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Barleywines and the resurrections of and Old Soul
Barleywine is a beer characterized by its high alcohol content and rich, complex flavor profile. It is typically brewed with a high proportion of malted barley, contributing to its full-bodied texture and caramel-like sweetness. Barleywine is often aged for months or years to allow its flavors to develop and mature.
Barleywine can be divided into two subcategories: American style and English style. American-style barleywine tends to be more hop-forward and assertive, with a greater emphasis on the bitterness and aroma of the hops. On the other hand, English-style barleywine is more malt-focused, with a balance of sweetness and anger and a subtle, earthy hop character.
Barleywine is a sipping beer that is best enjoyed slowly and in moderation. Its high alcohol content can make it quite potent, and it is often served in smaller quantities than other beers. Barleywine pairs well with rich, hearty foods like stews, roasts, and strong cheeses, and it is an excellent choice for cold winter evenings or special occasions.
Breweries around the world produce many excellent barley wine beers. Here are a few of my favorites from this past year, listed in no particular order: Orpheus Brewing- Room of a Thousand Years Old Thunder- Time out of Time East End- Gratitude (Rum Barrel) Dewey Beer Co.- Outsiders Only Voodoo Brewing & Equilibrium- Conntium As always, cheers, everyone! These are just a few examples of the many excellent barley wine beers domestically. As with any beer, personal taste will vary, so it's always a good idea to try various brands and styles to find the ones you enjoy the most.
Even the Resurrected needs a Beer
How does one decompress without losing one’s focus to operate in the economical monster of life? We all dream of storied romances with muthafuckers who often fall short of our wildest dreams and candied heavens where we are rewarded the maximum with minimum effort. Let’s be honest, an honest attempt at unwinding is about as exhausting as actual work. But let’s make believe that you’re not beholden to everything and everyone that request your time. I dream of a Valhalla where me and my friends can start the day with heavy bourbon’ed coffees & cold beer, a dedicated chaos of opulent meals and intoxica. In between the hedges of sportsmanship and a devotion to be as useless as possible, but it’s not so far from our reach as we think. The rub is to truly dedicate yourself and attack your relaxation with the same fervor you would other shit you're enthused about. I would regularly talk myself out of vacation and rest. Having some bizarre fantasy that I was somehow the gear that kept the machine running, when in reality I could drop dead and be replaced before I was put in the ground. Then I had an epiphany, I would no longer seek fulfillment out of people and environments that weren’t vested in my totality as a human. Now mind you it’s called “Self” esteem and I had to stop counting on anyone but me to meet that quota. Fuck it! let's relax, especially after the twilight zone of the last five years, now here is where it gets tricky. Selfishness is not a four-letter word, and it is also key, I like to double down on my relaxation by long terming it, short terming it, & being totally negligent in between. I stock the beer fridge, batch a cocktail, and step off the ledge into the uncertainty of it all. Also becoming increasingly comfortable with solitude, I’m my best company. Sitting down to a giant steak dinner and a bottle of wine by myself and even engaging in a conversation (I am a Gemini after all) by my “Gat Damn Self (for real)”. Do whatchaya like, these last couple years have been as draining on every level of our humanities, it's made us feral it's made us softer it's made us unsure of what comes next. But that’s why it is important for us to not give a fuck, but responsibly. Take that first step of getting in touch with yourself, and lean into it! Social media ain’t real! Stop giving more than a mildly entertaining fuck about things that are about as real as a stone cold stunner. I imagine whenever Jesus gets around to finally coming back, he'll be abhorred to see how bad we fucked it up. Maybe the tearing down of the Tower of Babel was a bad move because maybe in losing the one language we lost the ability of compassion to one another and our simple differences became ugly truths. That in climbing over each other trying to reach heaven, we lost the ability to relax and find relaxation in the simple shit. Once the savior realizes, the hubris of his simple black and white instructions were lost upon us, and we did everything possible to ward off paradise. He can join me at the bar of Verdettos, i'll buy him a Beer and a Shot.
NFL PICKS AND PREDICTIONS
As we've indicated throughout various post we here at 412beer are huge sports fans. Therefore we wanted to share with you our picks and predictions for the 2021 Season. Best of luck to all the teams out there this year and can't wait to see how things play out! Justin Winners AFC East NFC East Bills Cowboys
AFC WEST NFC West Chiefs Rams AFC North. NFC North Steelers Packers AFC South. NFC South Titans Buccaneers
Super Bowl Rams v Steelers Steelers 24 -21 Devon AFC East NFC East Bills. Cowboys
AFC WEST NFC West Chiefs. 49ers AFC North NFC North Steelers Packers
AFC South NFC South Titans. Buccaneers
Super Bowl 49ers v Steelers
Steelers 20 -10
Derek AFC East NFC East Bills Washington
AFC WEST NFC West Chiefs Rams
AFC North NFC North Browns Packers
AFC South NFC South Colts Buccaneers
Super Bowl Packers v Browns
Packers 31 -21
When to Pumpkin.
I waited to publish this article until the date I think appropriate for the release of pumpkin beer. Growing up in the northern mid-Atlantic Appalachia soup that is Pittsburgh, fall has always been a big deal for us. As soon as the Steelers report to Latrobe for training camp, Pittsburgh’er’s begin whipping out hoodies & skullys (affectionate name for tassel caps) and exchanging sandals for Ugg’s. Our cuisine changes as well. Out with the light, fruity, charcoaled flavors of summer being replaced with the hearty, robust, toasty, flavors of autumn. The practices of drinking aren’t exempt, we put away our light drinking beers and tiki drinks in exchange for “the brown liquor”. Pilsners give way to stouts, porters, and Bavarian seasonal beers, a few heavy Belgians are at the table as well. Which brings us to the bell of the ball or the evil step-sister, depending on your preference, Pumpkin Beer. When done right, a good Pumpkin/Yam beer can be a marvelous endeavor. You have the sweeter types that remind you of the best slice of pie or yams with your thanksgiving dinner, or the more savory ones that remind you of a delicious squash stew. The traditions are aplenty, cinnamon sugared rims and what not. The riffing is insane, pumpkin stouts are among one of my faves, not just the ales. God help me though because the last couple of years we’ve had an over saturation of these things and not all of them good. If you are a fan, you know who the flag bearer of the style is. Southern Tier took the world by storm when they released their “Pumpking” an imperial ale clocking in at a respectable 8.6% with a delicious mouth feel, and body that rightfully took its place among the top-tier beverages in the game. Pairing it with a family of pumpkin flavored styles, the aforementioned pumpkin stout Warlock, the rum barrel aged Rumking, and the Pumpking conditioned on cold-brew coffee. But this ain’t an article to sing the praises of the beer as much as I praise it when done well! Supply and demand are the great enemies of quality, Pumpking arrived in magnums in early September and you were lucky to get a taste come Halloween. We called our favorite haunts, traversing the city hoping to score it however we could’ve, a bottle, a case (and it wasn’t cheap) and if that wasn’t available to us, just a pour of it would suffice. Every other brewery took notice and began to create their pumpkin frankenstine’s, some of them incredible (here’s looking at you Whole Hog) some of them too awful to choke down. But soon, like the Halloween decorations in department stores, pumpkin beers started hitting shelves as early as August, even though you could still come across last season's efforts. Even the vaunted Pumpking buckled to demands and was now being sold in smaller quantities and to everyone’s opinions, I trust, said it wasn’t the same tasty beer we chased around town. The competition in the marketplace became brutal, not just were there more options, but I swear I started seeing these beers pop up in late July. Asking people, who love money more than culture and creativity, to respect the boundaries of palates, is like asking an alpaca to breathe water. And before you knew it, we’re all being drowned in pumpkin beer, but without the pumpkin season. Now I won’t sit here and be one of those beer Bros who dictates who should drink what, & when, where and why they’re drinking it. But I have a soft spot for the magic the changing of the seasons brings. I love the coziness of the world around me come fall, and despise the rushing to the next theatre, missing the art playing out before you in real time. I believe god to exist in the gray areas, in the simplicity of enjoying a pour of a good beer in a cable knit sweater. Y’all know I’m a seasonal drinker. I wax poetic about it every chance I get, and won’t pass up the opportunity to influence those in my realm. Having said all that, I'm finally getting less cantankerous about the drinking habits of my familiars and the greater drinking public at large. So enjoy your warm pumpkin beer in August I’ll respect my traditions and go sit at a bar and have my delicious gourd flavored beverage when I need a skully and I won’t forget my sugar rimmed glass cheers. But for real, though, stop selling and drinking it in the summer…cheers?
Beer Festivals 2021
As we hope to be moving away from the pandemic and back in ordinary life, we here at 412beer are hopeful this COVID wave is passing, and we can get back out to festivals. Don't get me wrong; the virtual fest put on by various outlets this past year has been entertaining and very well thought out. However, there is something special about talking to the brewers and meeting beer nerds and novices alike who enjoy excellent beer. There is a great spirit and camaraderie in knowing that you are there to enjoy yourself and have a great time when you head to a festival. Over the years, we have attended some incredible festivals, and below is a quick listing of the ones that come to mind: ( in no particular order) Devon Fresh fest Beer Good Vibes Great American Beer Festival Justin Good Vibes Fresh Fest Beers of the Burgh Carrie Furnace Winter Warmer Hunts Armory
Derek Good Vibes Fresh Fest Hop Culture Juicy Brews Festival ( pictured above) These environments provided some great times, great opportunities to meet people in the beer community, and oh, without a doubt, great beer! The beer selection at these environments varied from everything you can think of stouts, IPA's, and sours. It is an opportunity to meet some of the creators of these various whales and see what beers are on the horizon—perhaps the chance to try a bottle that may be releasing in a month or two. Additionally, you get the opportunity to try beers from many breweries that you usually wouldn't get a chance to as you get to see what may be your future favorite style or next favorite brewery that you may frequent. The festival environment is also a chance to talk to other festival attendees and gauge interest in a new style, flavor profile, or beers they love. As you never know what exciting combination you might enjoy! Maybe perhaps a Barrel Aged Neapolitan Chocolate stout ??? One specifically from More Brewing the Henna: Double Rainbow🔥🔥🔥 outstanding! Furthermore, I get it we are all tired or maybe not tired of another new seltzer or new sour hazy pineapple mango IPA. However, innovation and creativity have always been present in the beer industry. These festivals have always showcased that in the various styles of beers that breweries bring to these festivals. However, the above styles are not my favorite styles of beer. I can appreciate creating beers such as these and enjoy the innovations and collaboration amongst breweries that continue. In that same vein, I hope that the opportunities and partnerships created and forged with people of color before and during the pandemic continue moving forward. Cultivating these relationships will create even more opportunities to make fantastic beer and develop opportunities with equal footing for people of all colors. With more diversity and inclusion, I feel that there can be great opportunities to foster great relationships, more creativity, an even bigger and better collaborations! Collaborative efforts can make the industry more dynamic and push the boundaries of what can be created and brewed forward to new heights in 2021 and beyond. Lastly, we were able to get a sneak peek at a great collaboration with Rafiq Payne x Spring House brewery for the Barrel and Flow festival (formerly Fresh Fest) in September, which is a festival you should check out! As we mentioned above in our listing, Fresh Fest was a great time ,and we met a ton of great people from everywhere and I am sure Barrel and Flow will be the same! Additionally, below are some other festivals happening this year and in 2022 that are worth checking out! We have had some great opportunities to try some great beers throughout the years and attend some fantastic events, and we can't wait to get
back out there to try some great beers
and meet more great individuals! If we
missed events, festivals or if you have your
own festival story to share hit us up ,and let
us know! As always🍻 and stay safe
during these times and can't wait to see
everybody back out enjoying themselves!!! Suave Fest September 2021 F irst Latino Craft Beer festival in the nation is back for Year 2 Blacktoberfest October 2021 The second installment of Black Brew Culture's amazing celebration of our cultural connection to beer, food, entertainment and the age-old concept of circular economics. Weldwerks Invitational October 2021 The WeldWerks Invitational Festival (WIF), first and foremost, is about showcasing both the best of craft beer as well as the amazing community that has to offer! Savor (Pushed to May 2022) Discover the intersection of American craft beer and culinary delight. SAVOR marries flavor-forward, independent craft beer with sublime small bites to create an unforgettable experience for beer lovers and foodies alike. Great American Beer Festival (Pushed to October 2022) Huge festival if not the biggest and next year will be celebrating there 40th anniversary!
Home Bar?.. Yes Please!
Where to start, I always loved the art of the ingredient. How so many fluids, solid and ethereal moving parts can come together to make something that’s incredible. Something that makes you pause and stare or cuss playfully, a creation that’s thought-provoking and can start a conversation. To human is to socialize and let’s be honest booze enhances most social activities. But we’ve all been there, after a fantastic night and even more fantastic drinks you get a bill that seems more apropos for a fancy steak dinner than a night of drinking. Or you’re just intimidated by your lack of knowledge of what these “fancy ass bars” are whipping up into your drink. Well, we hope to ease your anxieties a bit with our collective knowledge of building a dope home bar to help offset your spending, a little wallet rehab if you will. Most adults who drink already have a few bottles squirreled away in their homes. Vodka under the bed or Whiskey in the kitchen cabinets, I always thought it should be a little more dignified than that. We are going to give you a quick course on what it takes to not only build a solid home bar but the different levels. In the process, hoping the info provided will allow you to pick out which level makes you most comfortable. Anything can be a bar, you don’t need to spend a ton of cash on something to hold your bottles. It entirely depends on your levels, are you a social drinker? Dedicate a shelf, a little more than that? Get creative! A solid chest high, shoulder width piece of furniture can hold your bottles, wood is my preference, but any material will do. But if booze is another language you speak, invest in a nice solid piece of furniture to hold your bottles (pro-tip: get something that stands out but folds into your home decor), I had an antique cypress bar cabinet shipped up from New Orleans, but that’s because I’m a lunatic, be a little saner in your approach. The Bottles, remember you’re ultimately building a collection to your taste, but if you’re an entertainer, diversify your stock to include what others may drink. (I am not a big Vodka guy, but I keep it on hand for Martinis and Gimlets). Comfort in price is key here, all that cheap-ass booze people love to make fun of are workhorses for cocktails. I'd never use a premium Bourbon for a whiskey sour, but a well-rounded and delicious bottle of Heaven Hill works great in a Whiskey Sour or a mid-week Manhattan. The more pretentious the bottle, the more the spirit should be imbibed in its simplicity. For my sanity I will not be speaking to the “I just want to get fucked up!” crowd, you’re doing fine getting drunk on your own, you’re not here for flavor. And that Sunny D mixer will give you fits the drinking gods themselves wouldn't envy, friend. So go ahead and store your bottles above the fridge and decorate your crib with the empties. Just starting out can be daunting, but we are all students of something until we’re not. Start out by swinging for the moderately priced bottles, no one’s in the booze business to make nasty booze. Just because that rum is $15 bucks doesn't mean it’s not just as good as the $60 bottle. So many things factor into the price point, but often I find the sacrificing of flavor to not be one. Liqueurs and Bitters are a must, they are the cornerstones to any great cocktail, but if you find yourself standing in front of the cordials section don’t shrink because you are unfamiliar with the ingredients. Start with the classics, Angostura, and Peychaud’s bitters to begin, a bottle of Campari and Luxardo should always be a part of your early repertoire. After you get comfortable with the new strange and bold flavors, experiment by grabbing a bottle that catches your eye and forcing yourself to learn a new recipe that contains it. The last beginners tips ill give you are these, use fresh filtered ice and keep it in a plastic container in your freezer. If you have fish in your freezer, and you don’t take these precautions, then get ready to enjoy that salmon flavored old-fashioned. Keep your glassware simple to start, just make sure it's clean! And chilled, while your busy whipping up your drink, pop the glass in the freezer. You can acquire fancier glasses for different drinks as your comfort level builds, but if you fancy a mason jar so be it, remember this is your bar. We aren’t pros, we are just guys who are moved by the spirit of the drink. Thirsty travelers hoping to impart a Little of the wisdom we’ve picked up along our journey and passing it on to you, the novice drinker. So go forth and build your bar, allowing it to become whatever your imagination and budget allows, Cheers.
Cellar Trappist Experiment
As we come back into season, why not hit the cellar and break out some Belgians brews. We hit another style of Belgian beers last summer with our affinity for Saisons. One of my favorite styles, in my opinion, to usher seasonal change is Trappist Belgian Beers. They seem to have a unique mellow candy aftertaste. I find that the few Trappist styles I've had, have a complex taste as they warm. I often used to overlook Trappist and Kriek styles as one that I would never enjoy. However, I've grown to appreciate these delicious and unique beers with age and an older palate. Also, my appreciation for these beers grew by an off-chance trip to the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, where we had the chance to stop by Ommegang Brewery (which I highly recommend). Once there, I began exploring the various styles of Belgian-inspired beers. There I had the chance to try Three Philosophers and some of the aged iterations of Three Philosophers; I also had one of the flagship beers, the Abby Ale, which is not a traditional Trappist. However, it piqued my interest as it was as if every sip had a different taste; however, it combined seamlessly into a great sipping beer. I started to branch out and try some Belgian beers from Belgium, the county from which they've been founded and perfected. Through the years-long quest, I've ultimately tried to have as many as possible as there are multiple styles. Most recently, I had these beers from Rochefort after finally being able to locate the 10yr. I appreciated the differences in the years and ages of each beer. Each seems to have its distinct and unique flavor profile. I went into it thinking that without question, I would love the 10yr with its age and higher ABV, and the 6yr and 8yr could fight for 2nd place. However, I was pleasantly surprised as the 8yr to me brought out the best of the beers. It met in the middle with age and still had that sweetness that the 6yr possessed, which I felt was missing in the 10yr. I plan on trying a few more Belgian beers here as we work through the Spring into Summer months. A fun experiment to try with the different years and taste the differences in each beer. Although I have done this with a few Brooklyn Brewery Black Ops stouts for one reason or another, I never tried with Belgians; for sure, I will try to recreate this experience this year. We invite you to hit us up and let us know your favorite verticals or vintages beers worth checking out! As always, Cheers! 🍻
A man walks into a bar on St. Charles
The Avenue Pub on St. Charles in New Orleans Louisiana is one of the greatest environmental acquaintances I have ever made. I've had the pleasure to be in its company twice and both times were vastly different but incredibly inviting in their own right. The Humid Orleanian night being washed down with delicious Local Beers from not just Louisiana but the states that surround it. Giving me a look into craft beer culture below the Mason Dixon, a difference from the Rust Belt style I’ve become accustomed. My first dalliance with the Avenue was on a smoldering August night in 2018. A conversation with a bartender in my favorite brewery back home put it on my list, After an early dinner I made my way to this work of art. Housed in an old creole cottage the pub has such an incredible charm, old and divey when you walk in its anything but. Two floors both with dealing personalities, the first having no less than 30 plus taps of some of the most delicious and creative local beer. It can seem both intimidating and overwhelming, and a small kitchen tucked in the back serving up incredible creole and cajun fare. My first sip was a fantastic nameless ale conditioned on local sugar cane, crazily unfiltered with an incredible mouth feel and dope flavor profile and ordering must’ve given me an in with the staff who became extremely engaging and conversational. I was part of the club! Feasting on shrimp rémoulade, fresh gulf oysters and fried green tomatoes smothered in crawfish tails I gained a perspective. This is what all bars should strive to be damn it! About 4 glasses later I was invited to sit out on the curb with a fresh pour and take in the New Orleans night. No sooner than we got outside a magnificent parade of bicyclist with their bikes decked out in neon lights cruised past us in a beautiful display of rambunctiousness while a thunderstorm carried on off in the distance. That was enough for me, I collected myself ordered up an Uber(the only way to bar hop in the city) but not before bonding over a well-made Sazerac and me annoyingly proclaiming that I’d be back soon… Soon came 7 months later when I was back in the city for the bachelor brouhahas of my buddy Marcus. And this time I got the day drinking experience of what the pub had to offer, and surprisingly, it was Night and Day (pun intended). What I was excited about getting the ability to share something I love with people I love, and I was giddy and nervous going in, what if they weren’t fans? But soon all my fears unfounded, they loved it! This time we took the party to the second floor deck, sitting outside on a lazy cool Sunday afternoon drinking unicorns and watching the streetcars make their way up and down St. Charles. It was a total different vibe than what I experienced before, and it gave me a new fondness for the place. Local murals decorated the hallways and the rare beer selection was astonishing, Derek scored a Vigneronne from Brasserie Cantillon and the show stopping Black Damnation XXVI Froggie from De Strussie Brouwers. Sharing beer and dope ass beer haunts with folk you know would appreciate is one of the best drinking experiences period. Showing off to your acumen to your friends and having them validate your taste is as intoxicating as the beer you drink. The Avenue Pub is legit magic in a city filled with it, the place take such care to curate a massive list but a well poured one.
Here we are a year and yet it feels as if we are still far away from some form of normalcy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the 600k families in the US and millions abroad who has lost loved ones to this pandemic. Been a crazy ride of mistruths, sadness and personal joy along as we welcomed our little boy. However overall with the world hopefully opening back and vaccinating more we are can get back to the days of reconnecting with each other in public places. Whether that be at a bar, restaurant, beer festivals or my personal favorite line shares. It will feel nice to be able to be back out there doing what we enjoy best trying a new place to eat with friends or hanging out at your favorite local spot for a few brews. While it seems that we all have adapted to online events such as beer festivals, virtual birthday celebrations and the dreaded daily zoom meetings! It most certainly does not replace the fact that some of the fact that being able to connect with others over beer, food and spirit is one of the most enjoyable parts of life! Yeah there will be some awkwardness of being away from everyone for over a year. However being able to reconnect and have some conversations that should be had with one another face to face instead of over zoom will be much enjoyed. Hoping you all are staying safe and cant wait to see everyone back out soon!!
Is This Thing On.
Welcome, welcome; thank you for checking us out! As you can see from some of the forthcoming articles, this website has been in the making for quite some time. As there have been some start and stops along the way and a Global Pandemic!! However, we would like 1st to wish you all excellent health during this time and thank you for bearing with us! Our goal of this site is quite simple as we want to show a diverse range of experiences from the minority community enjoying what we enjoy BEER! We also will be discussing, most importantly, culture. As we currently, see how the world is changing for the better and finally opening its eyes to end systemic injustices that occur far too often in America. We wanted to use this platform as an opportunity to collaborate, open dialogue, and share our experiences with you all, and we hope you all share your experiences with us! This site will be ever-evolving, so please bear with us as we grow and find our footing. We hope to positively influence the beer/spirits community, and we cannot do that without your continued support! Please reach out with ideas on how we can improve, or if you would like to contribute to improving the site, please reach out! Again, thanks for checking us out and enough rambling'; for now, let's get into it!
Bring that Old Burgh Back
I 'm an old romantic when it comes to drinking & dining, it's reflected in my approach to what & how I consume. I'm just as comfortable in one of the many cocktail cathedrals that have sprung up around the country as I am in a Hood bar. But now I am vexed, many of my favorite places are leaving me, chased back to the underground from which they came to make way for the braggadocio of “Dude Bars”. Where the hard seltzers & Bad IPA’s flow like milk & honey, A promised land for people who don't require chilled cocktail glasses. Justin you fucking snob! They'll say & they are right, I've learned from people more dignified than me to never settle on my passions. I miss the days of the fierce competition between bartender, breweries & all the spaces in between them. How the different iterations of a simple old-fashioned could keep you satiated because they were all being constructed well. The taste of a Russian Imperial barely leaving you in between sips while you admired the intense lacing on the glass. But now it’s s all hey give me *insert trend here*, so I can fit in, & let's clarify I'm happy for this in a vacuum. A chance to share space & grow palates inspiration for what comes next. In the Grand Ole Days of the Burgh we chased Beer & the next great glass all over the city creating the dopest environments with just our presence while self educating ourselves on the newest styles & ingredients. Time & Responsibility weren't our master, we moved about like Huns conquering Establishments & Beer festivals becoming the bones on which Pittsburgh's world competing Beer scene is building, a sudsy St. Peter if you will. But it comes to a crashing halt when you go to reach for your favorite seasonal only to find it's out of production because it's fighting for shelf space against what I deem to be inferiority. Now don’t get this twisted I’m ok with everyone finding their depth when it comes to imbibing. But when trends start to destroy the very fabric of the institutions that allowed us to arrive at this point I find it extremely problematic. The fact that many of my favs are disappearing from shelves gives me a sense of dread, what is compromise in the age of craftsmanship? What happens when the masses loathe what you love and your local neighborhood brewer has to prioritize that hydra, chasing palates of folk who just want to get drunk and not enjoy the odyssey of drink. If I had the answer, I’d damn sure man the turret and keep those zombies at bay, but alas I’m out gunned here. Winter beer fest 2015 while kicking around the booths sipping on the winters bounty the Weyerbacher rep let it slip that he would be pouring Sunday Morning Stout at one of the city’s best locales for craft beer. The Harris Grill, one of those beauts that you meander into on a lazy weekend morning and drink delicious beer from impeccable maintained taps until the small hand is in the wrong side of the big hand. Our party sat there and bullshat our way through what seemed like forever, but today I’m sorry to say everything that made that day special burned down and is just another bottle on the shelf. But I tell you what, I could end this article telling you a sad story about how you missed out but there’s hope. I believe this pandemic is the big reset the industry needed. Imagine a wonderland where local craft can coexist with the regional bigs and the locales that I cut my teeth in, reaching back to reclaim the magic lost. Venturing out and wasting days in the bottom of my cups. One can only hope, or I can’t fuckin wait.
One The One
Seasonal drinking now commands my life, in the early days I'd never given it much thought until I kept hearing Derek wax poetic about a specific Saison style beer, Sorachi Ace from Brooklyn Brewery, every beer style has the one (God bless you Godfather of Soul) that one beer that makes you a fan of that particular style and helps you grow a palate that when you taste other brewery's attempts at that style it never holds up to the one. Coincidentally, it's also how one fleshes out the risk they're willing to take into trying beer they aren’t comfortable with. Tasting that Saison with its “cool ass looking” bottle immediately made me love the style but it wouldn't be until I tried drinking the same beer a few months later that made me realize why I loved the beer so much. As we were kicking around a Beer Share in the fall someone had put a Sorachi Ace in one of the ice buckets and as soon as I laid eyes on it, I immediately grabbed it and filled my taster, then something strange happened. The beer while still good didn’t have the same oomph as it did on that cool spring evening, and it didn’t hammer home with me till I enjoyed a Russian Imperial sitting around a fire in the snow that having beers and cocktails at certain times in the year are akin to eating a hearty stew in the winter or grilled meat on a hot summers day, and thus I begin my education into Seasonal drinking. Experiencing “The One” again and again every single season and every part of every season became an obsession for me. Finding the best Festbier for Oktoberfest the best pumpkin for spooky season and so on, working my way back from the best perceived beer of each style to others has been as pleasurable as Scrooge McDuck swimming naked through his money. The insane part of this ride is that it makes the year a magic carpet ride, you start looking forward to not only the beer and flavors you've built an intimate relationship with coming back around but also what the next craze the brew masters have in store. How in the hell can you build on Sorachi Ace?! I didn't find out until I had a Tank 7 by the Boulevard Brewing Company and the Plethora of other plays on that particular style that creates infinite flavor combos and possibilities. Justin My 1st foray into seasonal drinking started with Brooklyn Sorachi Ace as well, as it was the 1st actual craft beer I enjoyed in Spring. Justin, I thought you did a fabulous in capturing that beer's flavor profile, and sadly it will no longer be in production; we here at 412beer are going to miss it! However, as I get older and a more seasoned palate, I love nothing more than wild ales and Lambics during the spring and summer months. I would say the appreciation comes from the various beer festivals that I have been to throughout the years during the summer months. After drinking numerous stouts and IPA's, I was looking for something a little different and, in the summer of 2018, I found it! It was an offering from Degrade Brewing called the Purple .. an outstanding balance of berry, tartness, and funk that was mind-blowing! Since that day, I have always made sure that I have a few bottles of DeGarde in the cellar with various others. However, wild ales have some pretty unique flavor profiles while using the natural fruits that surround us every day. I have enjoyed some aged-on Tangerines, Blueberries, and Currants that give a fantastic taste and tartness with a perfect amount of sweetness. I look forward to trying more of these delicious brews throughout the year and hopefully get a chance to get out once the pandemic recedes and have a few in taprooms or beer garden. Until then, I'll continue to drink them here on the porch until the spring season is finally here. Cheers, everyone. Derek When I started drinking beer, it was a gradual step-up. Zima, Smirnoff Ice, and St. Ides Special Brew to start, working my way through the gambit of beverages until I reach Stouts! My first sip of Murphy’s and I was hooked on that Roasted, Creamy, Coffee-like profile, a Stout drinker was born.
It wasn’t until I was on a beach vacation when I realised beer was a seasonal thing. Picked up a 6pack of Left Hand Milk Stout, drank 3 of them in the summer sun and felt HEAVY heavy! The next day I drank a few Coronas and the were refreshing as fuck, so you could say that the Mexican Pale Lager is what turned me into a seasonal drinker. Devon The One, a gift given from Mr. Brown to Bootsy Collins who gave it to the Funkadelic and watched it spread through Black Music then to music everywhere, became the backbone to the industry that you enjoy in your music today. I truly believe it's impossible for the one to find a home, I believe it to be a phantom chalice meant to be passed around from brewery to brewery style to style a moving of the goalpost that continues to create happy accidents and flavor pathways that draw you into the maze of flavor without ever letting you out.