Saturday, May 8, 2010

What we're drinking tonight: Choc Basement Batch Pale Ale

This is going to be a badly done tasting. With our past experiences with Choc beers, we wrongly assumed Basement Batch would be easily dismissed as just another pale ale so we took no notes. Whoops! We'll do better next time.

Choc's pale ale stands out among some of the lesser pales that have flooded the market recently. It's not as mainstream as Bell's Two Hearted, but nowhere near as caustic as, say, Moylan's Hopsicle. But Basement has just enough hoppy bitterness coming through an otherwise malty brew. It pours a golden, almost orange with lots of signature Choc sediment.

And that's about all we have to say about Basement Batch. Notes would have certainly helped. But it's definitely the best Choc we've had yet and hope to pick up a sixer soon.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What we're drinking tonight: Great Divide Colette Saison

Disregard the Coors tray. Colette is a much
better beer for your summer
parties and yardwork.
Farmhouse beers, or saisons, were almost extinct just a few years ago according to Beer Advocate, but are seeing a resurgence with U.S. fans. Count Beermingham among those. Saisons are usually light in color and easy to drink – perfect for our hot, humid Alabama summers.

Great Divide's Colette saison is beginning to show up in local beersellers as well as on tap at HiPS. We bought a couple of bottles at Vulcan and wish we'd gotten more.

Colette pours like a typical saison – a somewhat cloudy golden yellow with a thin head and no lace. Scents coming from our glasses are of yeast and grapes.

On the tongue, Colette is much the same as on the nose. Slightly sweet with hints of fruit, but yeasty, turning a bit tart at finish. Unlike most farmhouse ales we've tried, Colette wins us over with its relatively robust mouthfeel and alcohol on the high end for a saison (7.3%ABV).

This will certainly be one of our go-to beers this summer and we hope HiPS keeps it on tap until well after school's back in session.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Want free Magic City Brewfest tickets? Here's how...

This contest has ended, but there's an even better one going on right now on Beermingham. Click HERE to enter.

Magic City Brewfest tickets are on sale now for $25 beer only and $35 for beer and food. But if you like your beer cold and free, we have three pairs of beer-only tickets to give away.

To win this week's pair of tickets, all you need to do is make a comment on this post telling us what beer you hope to see at this year's Brewfest. It can be as obscure as Masala Mama or as common as Sam Adams Boston Lager. Sorry, but votes for Budweiser Clamato will not be accepted. And you must be of legal Alabama drinking age to enter. Multiple entries will not be accepted. Comment as much as you like, but you still only get one entry. Winners will be chosen randomly from the qualifying comments.

Deadline for entry is Saturday, May 8th, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be announced sometime on May 9th, 2008.

This contest is for two beer only tickets to Magic City Brewfest 2010 and have a face value of $25 each. Winner can choose which session he or she wishes to attend. No physical ticket will be given. The names of winners will be placed on a will-call list at the event's front gate. Therefore tickets may not be sold or transferred. Tickets were supplied to specifically for this giveaway and no other compensation was received.

What's better than free beer? Free tickets to Brewfest 2010!

Thanks to our friends at Free the Hops, Beermingham has tickets to the Magic City Brewfest to give away! We'll have lots more information soon, so check back to get details on how you can win.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Magic City Brewfest looking for volunteers

The 2010 Magic City Brewfest is June 4-5. If you've been to one of the three previous years', you know how much fun it is. You also know how much work goes into making it one of Birmingham's premier events. Much of that work is done by volunteers.

Some of the Beermingham staff have volunteered the last two years at the MCB and we can highly recommend it to our readers. Not only do you get to talk to hundreds of local beer fans, you also get free admission to one of the event's two days. Work on Friday, get in free to drink on Saturday, or drink on Friday and work on Saturday. We like to drink the first day, work the second. That way we can answer questions and recommend beers to those in attendance on the second day. 

Click here to sign up as a volunteer at the 2010 MCB. It's a lot of fun for little work. 

What we're drinking: Good People Hitchhiker IPA

Jason Malone, Good People Brewing
Good People Hitchhiker? Seriously? No, we'd never heard of it either until it appeared on the big, white board at Vulcan Beverage. The only other clue Vulcan offers is that Hitchhiker is a "West Coast IPA." Whatever that means.

So we bought a half-gallon. It was certainly a Good People product. The dark, golden-yellow color and distinctive Good People nose insured that. So why have we never heard of it?

Like we just said, it pours a golden yellow/amberish, with a thin head that leaves a lot of nice, pretty lace. The taste is familiarly Good People. Lots of hops, just the right hint of malt and an undertone of fruit and citrus. No suggestion of high alcohol in the tasting, but it can sure be felt (though GP claims an ABV of only 7.5%).

So why have you never heard of Good People's Hitchhiker IPA? Well, you have, actually. Good People's Jason Malone tells us that Hitchhiker is actually just the new name for their Brewer's Reserve IPA. Mystery solved.

Danner Kline, founder of Free the Hops, reviewed the Brewer's Reserve back in January for The Birmingham Weekly. You can check out his thoughts here.