In other local beer news, Tin Roof has released their Voodoo Bengal pale ale in cans as of this week. Voodoo Bengal is my favorite of their year round brews, so it’s nice to have them available now.
According to this post at Beer Pulse, New Belgium, makers of the ever popular Fat Tire amber ale, among others, will enter the Louisiana market in 2013. I was told earlier this month this would happen, but had no official confirmation. This is great news for Louisiana. New Belgium is one of the largest craft breweries in the US, and is a great get for Louisiana. Not only do they make Fat Tire, but a whole slew of other brews, including 1554, Shift, Ranger IPA, Belgo IPA, Somersault, and the entire Lips of Faith Series, which I am most excited about.
More details as they emerge, but I’m glad we will be able to get more access to good craft beer here in Louisiana very soon.
Being a beer blogger has it’s perks. Among them, is that every so often I get to try a beer before it hits the market. That was the case this last night, as not only did I get to sample a beer early, but I got to record a radio show with two other beer bloggers: Jay Ducote (Bite and Booze) and Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene). Jay was fortunate enough to get a bottle of the Parish Brewing Grand Reserve barleywine from Andrew at Parish to share with us ahead of its November 30th release.
We devoted an entire segment of the radio show, Raise A Glass (Raise A Glass on Facebook and @RaiseAGlass on Twitter), to the Grand Reserve as we sampled it on air. The appearance was a nice dark ruby color with a two finger head that quickly dispersed. There was nice lacing on the glass as the head disappeared and as I drank it. The aroma was a wonderful blend of hops and malt, neither of which was overwhelming. The taste was surprisingly smooth for a relatively young barleywine. The hops were there, but not overpowering at all, which is sometimes the case with beers of this style. The bitterness was enough to let you know it was there, but it didn’t linger around beyond its welcome. It had a big malt backbone as well and was very balanced. Mouthfeel was medium, as it wasn’t overwhelmingly thick, nor was it too thin.
Parish really has a winner with this Grand Reserve. As far as I know, it’s the only barleywine style produced by a Louisiana craft brewer, and it would not be a stretch to say that this is the best beer currently on the market from the Louisiana craft brewers. It is designed to be a beer that you can age, so that you can try it again at this time next year and it will be even smoother. There were roughly 1,300 bottles of this beer produced, so it is very limited. But since each was hand bottled, waxed and numbered, it is definitely one to savor. Make sure to grab one to try now, and one to age.
Parish Grand Reserve is scheduled for a November 30th release in south Louisiana. There are about 80 cases to go around, about 30 of which should hit the Baton Rouge area on or around November 30th. There will be a few casks that will be released as well, starting with Avenue Pub in New Orleans on November 30th. Some of the bottles and kegs will be held back so that it can age a bit more, and hopefully people can have a vertical tasting alongside next year’s release.
Be sure to check out Raise A Glass on Friday’s at 6PM and Sunday’s at noon on Baton Rouge’s Community Radio Station, WHYR 96.9 FM, or check them out on an iTunes podcast. The episode we recorded will be airing soon, and will be available on iTunes shortly after airing. So check it out to hear my full thoughts, as well as the other guys. Thanks to Jay and Eric for the invite, and I hope to return to the show soon.
Got word from 3 different sources in the last 24 hours that the much awaited, long anticipated US release of Westvleteren 12 will happen in the coming weeks. Shelton Brothers is the US importer, and the gift sets, which will contain 6 bottles of Westvleteren 12 and 2 commemorative glasses, will be available on a very limited basis either the last week of November or early December.
I’m still working to find out the anticipated price of the gift sets, but it seems it will be higher than the originally reported $85.
Westvleteren 12 is the #2 ranked beer in the world according to Beer Advocate. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had it before, and it is glorious. You can rest assured I will grab a gift set if at all possible.
More details to follow as they come to me.
UPDATE: Release date is set, appropriately enough on 12/12/12. Thanks Ryan!
Thursday November 8th has been deemed International Stout Day. What is Stout Day? It’s nothing more than an excuse for beer lovers to honor the stout style by drinking any style of stout on Thursday.
Join in with other stout fans with the hash tag #StoutDay on Twitter, and see what others are drinking and talking about. The social website Untappd has joined in the fun as well. Check into any kind of stout on Thursday and you’ll be rewarded with a special Stout Day badge.
What can you do for Stout Day? You can hit your local pub or taproom and drink a stout, host or join a group of friends for a stout tasting, enjoy your favorite stout at home, or even better, try a stout you’ve never had before. No matter how you decide to celebrate, just enjoy the malty darkness of the stout style.
How do you plan to celebrate Stout Day? Any special stouts you plan to drink?
Me, I will likely peer into my beer cellar and pull out a stout that’s been aging for a while. I have plenty of options in there. There’s a 2011 Deschutes Abyss, a 2008 Avery Czar, a Jester King pre-farmhouse Black Metal, a Cigar City Marshall Zhukov’s stout, and a few more as well. I will probably hang on to the 2012 Three Floyds Dark Lord a bit longer, even though it will be tempting me. I did put a bottle of my homebrewed peanut butter chocolate stout in the beer fridge earlier. It has been bottle conditioning for almost 2 weeks, so it seems like a good day to check on its progress.
Happy Stout Day tomorrow! Cheers!