Saturday, March 27, 2010

What we're drinking: GP "Stepchild," Terrapin Dark Side, GP Snake Handler

First off, our apologies. This "drinking tonight" post will not be even as in-depth as past posts. It's 2:40 a.m., and we just got back in from a visit to the J. Clyde. Anyone know how much one of those apartments behind the bar goes for? We could save a ton of money on gasoline and probably retain tasting notes better if we lived there.

Anyway, we started the night off with a casked Good People Mumbai Rye. It's a good beer, but the waitstaff admitted the cask was a little warmer than it should be, and the beer suffered. Not bad, but with the Clyde's offerings, not worth a second try. Next up was the Good People Belgian India Red Ale, aka "Stepchild." Very nice. Gorgeous amber color with a malty/sweet nose. Tasted a lot like a less hoppy Snake Handler. Well worth a try.

We finished off the Clyde outing with a Terrapin Dark Side. Poured a deep black, with slightly tan head. The aroma was definitely coffee, but much less than, say, GP Fatso or Terrapin Wake and Bake. The taste was much the same. Imagine W&B dialed down a few notches. Not a bad beer, but not one I'd order over Fatso.

Then we returned home to find a quarter gallon of GP Snake Handler on the front steps courtesy of one of our very best GFOB (Good Friends of Beermingham). Thanks, um, well, you know who you are!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What we're drinking tonight: Choc Pietro Piegari Amber Ale

We're a little gun shy after our last experience with Choc Brewing, but bravely diving back in to the variety pack just the same. Out comes Choc's Pietro Piegari Amber Ale.

The pour produces a brownish, amber beer with a tan head. In the light, there's abundant sediment swimming around which is promising. Don't know about you, but we prefer our beer unfiltered as it was intended. That's not dirt in there, but flavor and body. Speaking of which, Pietro Piegari (we would abbreviate, but no decent beer should be referred to as PP) has a tongue-pleasing, medium-bodied thickness to it that feels right rolling around the mouth.

Once you do that, the caramel and malt flavors come through and something we at first thought was a hint of high-alcohol sweetness. But this amber is only 5% ABV. An empty glass shows no lacing from Pietro, but there's plenty sediment left in the bottle.

Beer Advocate gives Pietro Piegari a B-, and we agree. This is a far better beer than Choc's 1919 American wheat ale, but still not impressive enough to spend premium beer money on. Priced closer to Killian's Red, Choc would be a no-competition winner.

We got our variety pack at Vulcan Beverage, but we've seen it other places around town, too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Expansion is the word in Beermingham Part II

On March 1, we brought you news that Dee's and HiPS were expanding their beer-to-go offerings. Since then, HiPS' offerings grew to 24 (though at least half still aren't working properly), Vulcan Beverage to 16 and now we find out Bottle Stoppe has gone from two to five taps.

On top of that, we had a conversation today with Mark Green at Vulcan, who says they're getting ready to go from 16 to at least 24 and maybe even more. "We could park two Cadillacs in that cooler back there," is what he keeps telling us. Which means he has more than enough room to keep expanding.

So what's up with Dee's growth plans? Dunno, but we'll be asking next time we're by there. BTW, they've got some St. Patrick's green Bud Lite left on tap if you're into that sorta thing.

What we're drinking tonight: O'Fallon 5 Day IPA, Sierra Nevada Torpedo, homebrew IBA

It was a variety pack of beers at Beermingham HQ tonight thanks to a GFOB (Good Friend of Beermingham) who dropped by with some 6-pack remainders.

But we started the night with a an excellent homebrew India brown ale from another GFOB. Because of Alabama's archaic homebrew laws I'll honor this GFOB's anonymity, though I wish he could get credit for this fine brew. It poured a gorgeous brownish amber with a small but lasting head. The taste isn't at first distinctly brown, but doesn't so much fall into any other category easily. Hops aren't overbearing, mouthfeel is just right. This is a very drinkable beer you, unfortunately, can't buy anywhere. Our two bottles went way too fast, and we'll certainly be trying to work out a trade for more asap.

Next we popped the cap on some O'Fallon 5 Day IPA. Hopefully since our GFOB bought this six pack a couple of days ago it has somehow gone bad. He swears it didn't taste like this when he got it home from the store. It pours a hazy orange with a light head. The taste came on quickly as a sour, bitter, funk but turned into a weak pale ale with little aftertaste. We hate to damn a beer because of a bad bottle, but our first impression wasn't good. It wasn't totally undrinkable, so we'll give it a second chance. Let us know if you try 5 Day IPA and what your experience is.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Obama sends two cases of beer to settle hockey bet

U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson, right,
delivers President Obama's Yuengling payoff to
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
President Obama has made good on a bet with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper after the U.S. men's hockey team gave up Olympic gold to Canada. And what did our president send to the great white north? Dogfish Head? Rogue? No? Surely at least a seasonal Sam Adams? No, President Obama sent Mr. Harper a case of Molson and another of Yuengling.

At least it was Canada. It's easy to imagine Germany reacting to such a payoff by invading Poland all over again. But Mr. Harper didn't drink either beers. The Montreal Gazette reports that he gave it to the Hockey Hall of Fame. No word on whether the Hall of Fame drank the beer or challenged Poland to three periods on the ice.

Click here to see a short video of the beer delivery.

[Source: The Montreal Gazette]