Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quest for Lost Abbey bottles

Bottle count updated 1/10/2011!

Who needs to search for a Holy Grail? I do! Well, not in an Indiana Jones type of way, but rather in a beer sort of way.

So, I've been thinking lately... The Lost Abbey brewery has the best style and artwork of any brewer out there (in my opinion, of course). I would really like to get all the obtainable Lost Abbey bottles out there to try and place the empty bottles on my (future) bar shelf. We all need to have dreams, right? With the exception of Cable Car, Yellow Bus and some of their older bottles, I think this is possible.

So, I'm thinking about buying some bottles and having them shipped to me or trade for them. Here's a list of the beers Lost Abbey has bottled (and no, I'm not trying to get all the Veritas or Yellow Bus):
  • 10 Commandments (Belgian Strong Dark Ale) *Have one in the cellar
  • Amazing Grace Ale (Dubbel) *Need this bottle
  • Avant Garde (Bière de Garde) *Have one in the cellar
  • Cable Car (American Wild Ale) *Need this bottle
  • Carnevale (Saison) *Need this bottle
  • Cuvee De Tomme (American Wild Ale) *Have one in the cellar (newtonty's)
  • Deliverance (American Strong Ale) *Have one coming on a trade
  • Devotion Ale (Belgian Pale Ale) *Need this bottle
  • Duck Duck Gooze (American Wild Ale) *Have an empty bottle
  • Framboise De Amorosa (American Wild Ale) *Have an empty bottle
  • Gift Of The Magi (Bière de Garde) *Have one in the cellar
  • Inferno Ale (Belgian Stong Pale Ale) *Need this bottle
  • Isabelle Proximus (American Wild Ale) *Have an empty bottle
  • Judgment Day (Quad) *Have one in the cellar
  • Lost & Found Abbey Ale (Dubbel) *Have one in the cellar
  • Red Barn Ale (Saison) *Have one in the cellar
  • Red Poppy Ale (Flanders Oud Bruin) *cdflem is sending an empty, thank you!
  • Saints Red Barn (American Wild Ale) *Have one in the cellar
  • Saints' Devotion (Belgian Pale Ale) *Have one in the cellar
  • Serpent's Stout (American Double / Imperial Stout) *Have an empty bottle
  • Sinners Blend (Belgian Strong Dark Ale) *Have one coming on a trade
  • The Angel's Share (American Strong Ale) *Need this bottle
  • The Angel's Share Grand Cru (American Strong Ale) *cdflem is sending an empty, thank you!
  • Veritas (American Wild Ales)  *Have one in the cellar
  • Witch's Wit (Witbier) *Need this bottle
I will let you all know as things progress!

This would look great on my bar wall...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Upland Brewery Visit!

Rather than hit Dark Lord Day for the third consecutive year in a row (we attended 08 & 09), I reached out to Upland Brewing Co. to find out what events were lined up for May. See, I've had their lambics and their pale ale at beer festivals in the past and really enjoyed them. Add to the fact that only a handful of American brewers make Belgian-inspired sours - I figured it was time to pay tribute to a relatively "local" brewer.

In the planning of this road trip, I came to learn that May 1st is their annual Maifest celebration, so the date was picked! In addition, I made some arrangements with the staff at Upland to hold and reserve some of their lambics for me.

So, my friends Dave, newtonty and I left the Queen City yesterday and drove 3 hours west to visit the Upland Brewery located in the fine city of Bloomington, Indiana. Without doing any research on Bloomington prior to leaving, we were quite surprised when pulling in. I was expecting your typical, run-of-the-mill midwest-style town (you know, the boring, but pleasant type). Instead, we came upon a beautiful college town (IU) with rolling hills, gorgeous old homes with bright green lawns, and a beautifully forested campus.

Here's what the had on tap when we arrived:
We started out with their "Ard Ri", a beer that explained by the bar tender as an Imperial Red Ale. It was quite tasty, indeed! By the end of the afternoon, we tried every beer on draft,( including tastings in sample-sized pours) and really enjoyed them all. Their flagship beer is their wheat beer and it was very light, session-able and enjoyable.
Their menu was special for the event, including a great assortment of traditional German fares, including "Hasenpfeffer", or roasted rabbit with a red wine sauce, accompanied with red cabbage and boiled potatoes. Dave was bold enough to order it and he really enjoyed it. Newtonty had their sausage sampled severed on a bed of sauerkraut and two slices of toasted, multi-grain bread - delicious!

After eating, we were lucky enough to get introduced to one of the co-owners of the Brewery, Doug Dayhoff.  We talked with him for a bit and he offered to give the three of us a personalized tour of the brewery! Our favorite part of the tour was seeing the barreled lambics (a couple still in the barrel from 2008!) and their bourbon barreled porter, aging away gracefully in a "Buffalo Trace" Bourbon barrel. YUM! I need to keep an eye on their website event's page, to be certain I don't miss that!
 After leaving the brewery, we made a couple stops at local bottle shops, including Big Red Liquors and Bloomington Liquors. In hindsight, we really should have stopped at Sahara Mart because we heard they have about 1,500 bottles to drool over, but time was running out (and our money!), so we opted to just drive back to Cincy. We were able to land a couple Upland Bourbon Barrel Warmer's which were just delivered on the same day and I found a Three Floyd's Lord Admiral Nelson - a beer I've been wanted to try for some time.

All in all, it was a great day. I definitely plan to make a trip back again before the year's out.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Going to California!

That’s right, my first trip to California has been confirmed! Well, technically I’m flying out to San Jose for IT training on May 7th, but training doesn’t begin until May 10th. So, I plan to visit San Francisco over the weekend! I’ve already posted a thread on Beer Advocate about “must see” places and learned much, so I’ll see what kind of trouble I can get into.

Do any of my readers have a "must see" place? I definitely plan to visit The Toronado... Let me know if I am missing a great spot in the comments section.

Hopefully upon my return, I’ll have some pictures and stories to tell. More to come!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ithaca's LeBleu

Ok folks, I'm really excited to try this beer! Ithaca's "Brute" was fantastic and being that this beer is somewhat similar, I can't wait to try it!

In fact, I am working with Beer Advocate's newtonty in trying to land one for a small sour tasting coming up in early April of this year! Here's a detailed description of "LeBleu" straight from Ithaca's beer blog:

“In other huge news, we’re having our first ever day of simul-bottling- with one 3-man crew doing about 150 cases of LeBleu and the other rocking out 1,000 case equivalents of CascaZilla. ‘LeBleu’ you say? Yep, it’s finally ready to bottle. It’s a blend of 8 different wine barrels of aged sour beers from 2007, 2008 and 2009 each spiked with 50 lbs of fresh, hand-crushed local blueberries this past August. It is a really unique beer, and each of the barrels brought it’s own element to the blend. It’s very sour and dry, brilliantly red colored with a beautiful cap of pink foam and has that unmistakable blueberry aroma. I sampled each barrel and the overall blend while transferring them to the bottling tank, and the sum of parts is really pretty special.

For those curious about the name, it’s for our old friend (and 2nd IBC employee) Bret LeBleu. He and his wife Catherine and daughter Audrey moved back to Ithaca this year, and it’s great to have them around…what with all of the brettanomyces and blueberries it just was a natural fit with the beer...”

At the present time, beer advocate rates the LeBleu an A- after 55 reviews while ratebeer gives it a 98/100 after 64 reviews.
Look for my review of this beer in the next few weeks!
Top Image source:
Ithaca blog source:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Three Floyd's Artwork

Like their slogan, Three Floyds is definitely "NOT NORMAL".

In fact, they consistently create the most interesting, cutting edge (and even disturbing!!!) artwork for their beers. I decided to take some time and find other less common beer labels or tap handles and collect them here.

Check below for names, pictures and brief descriptions (where possible):

Admiral Lord Nelson
6.5% ABV 55 IBUs
Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
Commercial Description: This ale is our version of an English Strong Bitter (ESB) brewed with mostly British ingredients.

Alpha Khan Mongolian Pale Ale
6.5% ABV
Style: India Pale Ale
Commercial Description: Alpha Khan feared General of the Alpha King -Experimental Style bordering on IPA,Summit hops and light spices.

Alpha King
6% ABV
Style: American Pale Ale
Commercial Description: Big American Pale Ale with citrusy aroma- a hop lover’s cult beer and Three Floyds’ flagship beer Brewed with Centennial, Cascade & Warrior Hops.

Alpha Kong
13% ABV
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Commercial Description: A very complex Belgian sextuple, sweet with caramel notes.

Alpha Naught
10% ABV, 100+ IBUs
Style: American Strong Ale
Commercial Description: American strong Ale 100+IBUS "hop tonic"

Burnham Pilsener
Style: Pilsener
Commercial Description: N/A

Calumet Queen
5% ABV, 20 IBUs
Style: Kölsch
Commercial Description: A crisp and refreshing lighter summer offering, this Kolsch-style beer is golden in color, light bodied and a perfect remedy for hot weather.

Dogfish Head Popskull
10% ABV
Style: American Strong Ale
Commercial Description: An “Old School, German Brown Ale with Palo Santo Wood and Botanicals

Dortmunder Einfall
5.5% ABV
Style: Dortmunder/Helles
Commercial Description:

Dreadnaught Imperial IPA
9.5% ABV, 100 IBUs
Style: Double India Pale Ale
Commercial Description: A hophead’s dream beer. This Imperial India Pale Ale has an opening salvo of mango, peach and citrus hop aromas that sit atop a pronounced caramel malt backbone. Although Dreadnaught is a strong and intensely hoppy ale, its complex flavors is both smooth and memorable.

Extra Pale Ale
5.25% ABV
Style: American Pale Ale
Commercial Description: Moderate malt body and light hopping provides a refreshing brew with a crisp hop bite and a clean finish. Clean malt base and bright citrus aromas give this easy-drinking ale a robust floral hop nose.

4.8% ABV
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
Commercial Description: An American Wheat Beer brewed with red wheat and boat loads of amarillo hops gives this summer brew a lemony finish. The slight haze in the bottle is from the bottle-conditioning, where yeast is added to the bottle for a secondary fermentation. Gumballhead is a Skingraft Comics hero. Check out Skingraft Comics and Records at Cheers!

Invasion Helles Bock (Coming soon)
Style: Dortmunder/Helles
Description: Learned from

Jinx Proof
5.1% ABV, 35 IBU
Style: Pilsener
Commercial Description: This refreshing continental-style pils has a light body combined with a pronounced noble hop aroma and a crisp dry finish. This is the perfect beer for easy flavorful drinking. Brewed in collaboration with our friends at Jinx Proof tattoo in Washington D.C.

Mikkeller Hvedegoop
10.4% ABV
Style: Wheat Wine
Commercial Description: Joint brew between Mikkeller of Copenhagen DK & 3Floyds Brewing Munster, IN U.S.A.

Mikkeller Oatgoop
10.4% ABV
Style: Barley Wine
Commercial Description: This is a joint adventure between Three Floyds in Munster Indiana & Mikkeller in Copenhagen, Denmark an Oat Wine sold in 22 oz bottles only and brewed and bottled at Three Floyds

Precious Oatmeal Stout
6.5% ABV
Style: Sweet Stout
Commercial Description: Oatmeal Stout-Limited release 2004

Pride & Joy Mild Ale
4.88% ABV
Style: Amber Ale
Commercial Description: Three Floyds interpretation of an American mild. A smooth medium bodied session beer with a bright citrus hop aroma and finish.

Robert The Bruce Scottish Ale
7.2% ABV
Style: Scottish Ale
Commercial Description: A big malty body from chocolate and roasted malts, well balanced with just the right combination of hops. Robust yet smooth, a true malt-lover's delight. simply-90 shilling

And all though is not technically a beer label, but 3 Floyd's 10 year Anniversary poster. Click the image for a higher resolution view...
Great art!

I seriously doubt this listing is complete, don't you?

Do you have an image of a beer label I am missing? Please contact me and let me know. I'll add your image and give you credit!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Beer Related Pics

Founder's Brewing Mines

Ever wonder how Founder's performs their barrel aging? Well I did, so I reached out to Dave Engbers at Founders Brewing and here's his response...

"The Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Backwoods Bastard and the Curmudgeon Old Ale are all aged about 80 ft below ground in the gypsum mines here in Grand Rapids (Michigan). It is where they used to mine gypsum years ago and now is used as a storage facility. We began aging our products there because we had run out of space at our old location. It is really a great place for storage because the temperature is constant, the humidity is high and it is remarkably secure.One of our college friends owns the storage facility."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Three Floyd's seasonal release schedule

JANUARY - Behemoth
10.5% ABV 80 IBUs
Style: American Barleywine
Commercial Description: Huge sweet body, big flavors and high alcohol levels, this beer is best enjoyed by a raging fire. Complex caramel sweetness is well balanced by generous hopping, delivering an intense, smooth drinking experience. Intense fruity caramel malts, citrus hops, and alcohol notes waft up to tickle your senses.

FEBRUARY - Brian Boru
5.5% ABV 40 IBUs
Style: Irish Ale
Commercial Description: Ireland's first and last Ard Ri (high king) of the whole Gaelic race, Brian Boru was born in Munster Ireland around 940. His mother was killed by Vikings when he was a child. He spent his life uniting the Irish tribes to become the first king of Ireland, only to be killed at Clontarf on Good Friday, 1014 putting down a rebellion by the King of the province of Leinster. Brian Boru Irish Brand Red Ale is a very rich caramelly ale with toffee, citrus, and pineapple aroma. Brian Boru is brewed with several malts and Amarillo hops. Slainte!

MARCH - Rabbid Rabbit
7.4% ABV 25 IBUs
Style: Saison
Commercial Description: Smooth and elegant, light body, creamy mouthfeel, light spicing from coriander and orange peel give a wonderfully malty/spicy sweet ale. Big alcohol lurking underneath a light and frothy exterior.

APRIL - Dark Lord
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Commercial Description: A Demonic Imperial Russian stout brewed with INTELLIGENTSIA coffee,vanilla, and molasses. Dark Lord is only available once a year at Dark Lord Day - the 3rd weekend in April yearly.

MAY - Blackheart English IPA
8.0% ABV 70 IBUs
Style: English Pale Ale
Commercial Description: English IPA brewed with British Malt Simpsons, British Yeast, UK East Kent Goldings & UK Admiral Hops - and American Formulation. Check it~

Blackheart English India Pale Ale is a throw back historical ale brewed when English I.P.A.s were hopped up to last the long voyage from England to colonial troops in India. Using English malts, English hops, English yeast and aged slightly in oak for a 19th century taste. Amazing artwork greatley contributed by Tim Lehi & Jeff Rassier.

JUNE - Apocalypse Cow
11.0% ABV 100 IBUs
Style: Double IPA with lactose
Commercial Description:
This complex double India pale ale has an intense citrus and floral hop aroma balanced by a velvety malt body which has been augmented with lactose milk sugar. With this different take on an IPA we have brewed an ale that is both pleasing to drink and, once again, “not normal.” Cheers! June release.

JULY - Gorch Fock Helles
5.0% ABV 25 IBUs
Style: Dortmunder/Helles
Commercial Description: Franconian Helles Booyakasha

AUGUST - Moloko Plus
8.0% ABV 30 IBUs
Style: Milk Stout
Commercial Description: Baltic Milk Stout named after the famous milk drinks from "A Clockwork Orange."

SEPTEMBER - Munsterfest
6.0% ABV 30 IBUs
Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen
Commercial Description: A Bavarian-style Oktoberfest bier brewed with the finest Bavarian malted barley, aromatic German noble hops and traditional yeast brewed in strict accordance with the German bier purity law of 1516, the Reinheitsgebot. This rich malty lager is one of the few that remain true to the tradition of fest beers originally brewed to honor the marriage of Prince Ludwig in 1810. We hope you enjoy this fall offering. Es is nicht normal. Prosit!

7.0% ABV 80 IBUs
Style: Harvest Ale
Commercial Description: A Robust Harvest ale brewed with New Zealand Pacific Gem Hops and fresh Simcoe Hops.

NOVEMBER - Alpha Klaus Christmas Porter
6.0% ABV 38 IBUs
Style: American Porter
Commercial Description: Alpha Klaus is Alpha King’s cousin. A big American X-mas Porter brewed with English chocolate malt and Mexican sugar and of course tons of strange American hops! Cheers.

DECEMBER - Black Sun Stout
6.5% ABV 50 IBUs
Style: Irish Dry Stout
Commercial Description: Dry and surprisingly light-bodied. Malty sweetness and caramel flavors shift to distinctive dry-roasted malt notes.

COAST Jack Daniels Barrel Aged Blackbeerd Imperial Stout

(Released 2/27/2009)

Learned from a recent trade with kkipple on BA:

Wax-sealed bombers. They aren't numbered. Same label as the normal Blackbeerd, they just wax dipped them because they didn't want to get state label approval for a hundred bottle run.

Only 96 were sold at the Beer Exchange. This was a single batch aged in a used JD barrel for 3 months, bottled in February 2009, and the apart from a few sixtels that went to Evo in Charleston and whatever Coast held back for themselves, this is it.

They may revisit it in the future. They also have one unfilled Jack Daniels barrel that they are toying with putting the scotch ale or a DIPA in.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lost Abbey's Veritas Blends

I've always been fascinated by Tomme Arthur (Lost Abbey/Russian River) and his super limited "Veritas" line of beers. This blog entry was created in an effort to organize the base beers used in the unique blends of Lost Abbey's Veritas beers...

  • Lost Abbey Veritas 001 - A blend of of 1/5 Old Viscosity, 2/5 2003 Cuvée De Tomme, and 2/5 Red Stone Black Raspberry Mead

  • Lost Abbey Veritas 002 - A blend of Barrel aged and bugged Avant Garde, Old Viscosity and Red Stone Black Raspberry Mead

  • Lost Abbey Veritas 003 - A blend of Angel’s Share, Amazing Grace and Cuvee de Tomme

  • Lost Abbey Veritas 004 - A blend of Yellow Bus, Duck Duck Gooze and Cuvee de Tomme

  • Lost Abbey Veritas 005 - A blend of wild, native Southern California grapes and a sour base beer

  • Lost Abbey Veritas 006 - A blend of Sangre del Cristo* and Angel's Share aged on Cabernet Franc grapes...
    (*Sangre del Cristo = Phunky Duck with sour cherries, raspberry mead andsoured Avant Garde? tangerines?)

  • Lost Abbey Veritas 007 - Isabelle Proximus barrel aged on cab franc grapes (?)

  • Lost Abbey Veritas 008 -  is a larger batch of a T.E.A. (or "traditional experimental ale") that was sent to Stone earlier this summer. The base beer is Mellow Yellow (a.k.a. wine barrel-soured Port Amigo Mexican Lager) with a blend of teas from the Republic of Tea and Lemon Zest.
    Available quantity:
    125 bottles to be released
    1 keg for Barrel Night
    A couple other kegs for local venues
    Intial Release:
    4th Annual Barrel Party Night
    November 13, 2010 —7:00 pm to 10:00 pm