There’s a few golden rules about craft beer like searching for that ever allusive Pliny the Younger, drinking as many different beers as possible at a beer fest and whenever an Evil Twin Brewing beer is on tap, ordering a pint is an absolute must period. From what started as a beer geek making beers in his basement, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso of Coppenhagen has now turned Evil Twin into one of the best craft beer brands in the world. Jeppe is the evil twin of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø from Mikkeller Brewing, also one of the most coveted craft beer brands in the world.
The Evilo Twin Biscotti Break Imperial Porter is made with espresso, vanilla and toasted almonds. This beautiful malt beverage is awesomely crisp, bitter and refreshing. With flavors of vanilla, espresso and nuts, this imperial porter is very balanced and a straight up stud! The Evil Twin Biscotti Break is simply one of the best balanced imperial porters in the world and comes with one of our highest recommendations.
By Pat Smith, Matt Goldstein & Sommelier Tom Pittakas
For Philly Beer Week, our staff hit eight events and about 30 different bars overall in celebration of craft beer in one of the best beer cities in the world, Philadelphia. From IPA’s to imperial Stouts, dopplebocks and fruit beers, Philly Beer Week had a profusion of many styles by the best breweries in the world. Below is our top 10 beers of the 2011 Philly Beer Week. Pick up a few these beautiful brews and let us know your thoughts.
1. Ballast Point Victory at Sea Barrel Aged Espresso Vanilla Imperial Porter:
An American Porter with 10.0% ABV, the Ballast Point Victory at Sea is a deep dark beer with notes of mocha, chocolate, vanilla and complex full bodied smooth porter. This is simply one of the best porters in the world and Ballast Point continues to prove it’s one of the best breweries in the world. This is an absolute must for dark beer lovers. Served at the Khyber Pass Pub.
2. Hitachino Espresso Imperial Stout
From the Kiuchi Brewery in Japan, the Hitachino Espresso Stout stands at 7.50% ABV with great malts and crisp finish. It’s rare finding a stout this flavorful and crisp at the same time. Dark black in color with dark head, the Hitachino is a classic imperial stout and proves that the Japanese can brew a hell of a beer. Served at the Side Car Bar.
3. Dogfish Head Festina PecheBerlinerWeisse
The Festina Peche is fermented with peaches that hints of a sour beer. Not made like traditional sour beers, this fruit beer is crafted with very ripe peaches to get it’s sour flavor. Very crisp and refreshing, the Dogfish Head Festina Peche is the perfect summer beer. Not too sour without many hops at all, the Festina Peche is about 4.5% ABV. Purchased at Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting.
4. Fegley’s Hopsulutely Triple IPA
The Fegley’s Brewery is getting a lot of buzz in the Philadelphia area and proving to be one of the best brewers in the city area. Considering this is one of the best craft beer cities in the U.S., Fegley’s is of course creating some great crafts. The Hopsolutely Triple IPA is made with Cascade, CTZ, Summit, Amarillo and Chinook hops, then dry hopped with Chinook and Amarillo. At 100 IBU’s, this triple IPA is still balanced enough to challenge the best IPA’s in the country. We challenge you to try it out. Allentown and Bethlehem are making a real name for themselves and deservedly so. 11.0% ABV. Purchased at Whole Foods in Plymouth meeting.
5. Nebraska Samarican Brown Ale
At 5.3% ABV, this American Brown Ale is slightly sweet, slightly malty, crisp and well balanced. Overall one of the best brown ales you will find. The Nebraska Brewing “cornhusker juice” was in major demand throughout Philly Beer week, especially the oak aged Black Betty Imperial Stout. Colorado isn’t the only Midwest state making excellent craft beer. Served at the Sidecar Bar.
6. Russian River’s Pliney the Elder
8.0% ABV. American Double IPA. Purchased in a growler from the Hulmeville Inn.
7. Port Ole Viscosity Whiskey Barrel Aged
12% ABV by Port Brewing. Served at the Resurrection Ale House.
8. Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel
5.0% ABV Ayinger Brewing from Germany. Served at Eulogy Belgian Tavern.
9. Ballast Point Navigator Dopplebock
8.9% ABV barrel aged by Ballast Point. Served at the Khyber Pass Pub.
There are a few certainties in life: death, taxes, major upsets in the NCAA Basketball tournament, and a lot of beer drinking at the Whiskey Goldmine. In the March Madness Beer Championship Tournament at Whiskey Goldmine, we have painstakingly drank beer after beer after beer to get down to the Elite 8 beers of the world. It was very difficult to consume this insane amount of beer but we’ve done it just for you; just so you can listen to us tell you what the best beers in the world are. We would write a longer article and tell you the Sweet 16 results but we’re pretty hungover from the utter debauchery running amuck in Atlantic City right now; fight weigh ins, deep stacked poker tables, throwing hot rocks at the craps table and open bar and free buffets with Macallan 12, prime rib, shrimp cocktail, Heinekens and pecan pie. It’s completely out of control and we’re just getting started. Click the link below to download the March Madness Bracket to see the Sweet 16 results and Elite 8 matchups. This is the road to the final four.
Click the link below for the March Madness Bracket!
There were some major upsets in round 2 of the March Madness Beer Championships as there is only two #1 seeds, two #2 seeds, two #3 seeds and two #4 seeds remaining in the tournament. Much like the NCAA Basketball tournament, there are Cinderella teams and major upsets in every round. Click the link below to see the March Madness round 2 results and the sweet 16 matchups! Check back for the Sweet 16 results, Elite 8 matchups, the Final Four and the eventual Beer champions. Results will roll out and coincide with the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.
Round 2 March Madness Matchups: 32 Beers Advance in the Bracket
By Matt Goldstein, Tim Rodgers, Pat Smith, Don Corino & Mike Magowan
In our first annual March Madness Beer Championship, the first round results are in. 32 Beers have advanced to round 2 and 32 beers were sent home with their bags packing. All styles of Ales, Lagers, Crafts, IPA’s, Stouts, Belgians and Pilsners are banging it out one taste test at a time. The round 2 matchups pit some big dogs against each other in an all out March Madness Bracket beer battle royal. Click the link below to see if your favorite beer made it through to the next round! Stay tuned for round 2 results to see out Sweet 16.
Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Borris Oatmeal Imperial Stout the Show!
By Matt Goldstein & Kevin Hussey
The 2011 Beats, Brews & BBQ beer fest at the World Café Live in Philadelphia had over 35 brewers with more than 100 beers and tickets sold out months before the beer fest opened its doors. With more than 100 beers trying to stake their claim at the 2011 beerfest, our panel of tasters provides you with the top 10 craft beers that crushed the competition. Speaking of crushed, Hoppin Frogs Borris the Crusher stole the show!
Made from the 2008 Gold Medalist at the GABF, Borris the Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout, the barrel aged version is a masterpiece in cask matured stouts. Full bodied, robust, roasted and smoky, with notes of oak and vanilla, the Barrel Aged Borris is complex and full of character. 9.4% ABV, 60 IBU. Hoppin Frog Brewing. Akron, Ohio.
2. Weyerbacher Heresy Imperial Stout:
The Heresy is an old heathen oak aged imperial stout. Aged in bourbon oak barrels with a roasted flavor, the Heresy has notes of bourbon, oak, corn, vanilla, and coffee. 8.5% ABV, Weyerbacher Brewing. Easton, PA.
3. Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale:
The Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, also known as an old ale, is brewed with 7 different types of malts. Ruby Red in color, with strong notes of hops, hints of smoke and peat, the Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is a classic. 8.5% ABV, Founders Brewing Co. Michigan.
4. Victory Old Horizontal Barley Wine:
The Victory Barley Wine is rich in hops with a sweet flavor that balances very well. With imported 2 row hops malts and American whole flower hops, the Old Horizontal is perfectly balanced. 10.5% ABV. Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA.
5. Six Points Sehr Crisp Pilsner
With all the IPA’s and Imperial Stouts at every beer fest, the Six Point Sehr Crisp Pilsner was a refreshing session beer and strongly lived up to the Pilsner style. According to Beer Advocate, the Sehr Crisp Pilsner is a cross between a German Pilsner and a Bohemian Pilsner and blended with German hops. 5.4% ABV. Six Point Brewing Company. Brooklyn, NY.
6. Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye:
The Hop Rod Rye has been a staple of Bear Republic for years and years, winning three separate gold medals in craft beer competitions. The Racer 5 and Rocket Red are already legendary Bear Republic Brews, but the Hop Rod Rye is just as good. The Hop Rod Rye is an IPA with a heavy rye malt base, but also a spicy kick and bitterness that add a beautiful complexity to the hops. 8.0% ABV, 80 IBUs. Bear Republic Brewing Co. Healdsburg, CA.
7. Yards Chocolate Love Stout:
The Yards Chocolate Love Stout is a sweet and sultry full bodied chocolate stout with a beautiful roasted malt flavor. The Chocolate Love is brewed with oysters in a kettle. Oysters? WTF! 5.5% ABV. Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, PA.
Some of our tasters at the beer fest thought the Dorris Destroyer might have been better than Barrel Aged Borris and for good reason. This Double Imperial Oatmeal Stout is similar to the Borris but a little more tangy. Dry hopped and wort hopped, Dorris the Destroyer will smack you right in your mouth. 10.5% ABV, 70 IBUs. Hoppin Frog Brewing Co. Akron, Ohio.
9. Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 2 Baltic Porter:
The Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 2 is a flat lout smoke monster. Made with 2-Row malts, Smoked Munich (smoked with Hackberry) malts, Malted Rye, Cara Aroma, Chocolate, Carafa, Special II, Carafa III and Magnum and Northern Brewer hops, the medium to full bodied porter stood out from all other porters at the beer fest.
10. Dogfish Head Red & White Belgian Style Wit Ale:
The Red & White Belgian Style Wit Ale is an easy drinking Belgian ale “brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice.” WOW! Dogfish Head will try anything. The Red & White Ale is then aged in Oak tanks. An Oak tank? That’s first we’ve heard of that. It certainly sounds better than being aged in a metal vat, but can’t possibly provide the character of an oak barrel. Either way, the Red & White is a fabulous Belgian Wit. 10.0% ABV, 35 IBU. Dogfish Head Brewing. Rehobeth Beach, DE.
“It’s not revenge, it’s a reckoning.” –Doc Holliday
By James Parker
The Troegs Dead Reckoning Porter is a seasonal offering that might not be tapped anywhere right now and could possibly end its’ run at the local bottle shop. However, if you do see Dead reckoning, and are a fan of the Baltic style of porters, it’s more than worth your money and time. Out of the bottle, Dead Reckoning’s body is a true shade of dark brown, and it supports a foamy, khaki-colored head. You can easily detect the chocolate in the nose, and if you linger a little bit, one not only gets a slight alcohol presence, but also a wonderful roasted aroma. It’s relatively straightforward upon first taste, but it will leave an impression as your mouth warms up to it. The chocolate and roast hints in the nose combine to make Dead Reckoning to be bitterer than expected, and it has an excellent mouthfeel — frothy and cold on the back of your throat. If you’ve ever wanted to try a roasted milkshake (and you probably have), this is your chance.
Dead Reckoning Porter, 5.4% ABV. Troegs Brewing, Harrisburg, PA
Port/Lost Abbey brewing is hands down one of the best breweries in the world. Their wide array of beers and styles continue to prove themselves year after year and award after award. From their year round beers like the Wipe Out IPA, to the seasonal beers such as Satna’s Little Helper, Witches Wit and High Tide IPA. So we decided to review every Port/Lost Abbey beer we could get our hands on.
Shark Attack Double Red Ale, 9.0% ABV, Port Brewing Company.
The Shark Attack Double Red Ale has strong hoppy and malty characters with peppery spice notes and a smooth finish. Great American Amber…
Old Viscosity Ale, 10.0% Port Brewing Company.
The Old Viscosity has the scent of a porter but the taste of a stout. The bottle even boasts to tease the drinker by refusing to reveal whether it’s a stout or a porter. It certainly worked because we argued about it for more than a half hour. The Old Viscosity has chocolate and spice notes and is super smooth for a porter but excellent for a stout as well. This imperial porter stout is a flat out A plus.
Judgment Day, 10.5% ABV, The Lost Abbey.
The Judgment Day Quadrupel Belgian has a sweet Belgian nose and a sweet flavor. Dark brown and purple in color, the Judgment Day light on carbonation and lacks bite but is still full flavored with a unique mouth feel.
Devotion Ale, 6.25% ABV, The Lost Abbey.
The Devotion Belgian Pale Ale is intense on flavor with a little kick. It’s also light but has good bite and good carbonation. It has notes of malt and fruit but is a little too light for a Belgian Pale Ale.
Hop-15 Ale, 10.0% ABV, Port Brewing Company.
The Hop-15 Ale is a sour but subtle in hoppiness for a double IPA. Although it’s not too flowery, which we love, there is little carbonation, almost like a Harpoon. The Hop-15 is sweet, malty, and robust with a perfect character of hops.
Wipe Out IPA, 7.0% ABV, Port Brewing.
The Wipe Out San Diego Style I.P.A. struck us as perfect balance of hops. The combination of the Amarillo, Centennial, and Simcoe hops is brilliant. It was quite possibly the best beer we’ve ever drank.
For about $36-38 the Duck Rabbit variety case is a great buy. The Duck Rabbit brewery’s slogan on the side of their bottle says the “dark beer specialists.” That’s a dead on slogan. The Milk Stout and Porter are classics in their respective styles but the Brown Ale really grew on us. Not only is the Duck Rabbit brewery dark beer specialists but their also authorities on creating the perfect head for their respective beers. We’ve never had head on a beer with this much flavor and this much bite. The beer head is in a class of its own.
Duck Rabbit Milk Stout, 5.7% ABV. Beautiful head, smells strong, good bite, sweet but tastes like an imperial stout, milky and tangy with a bitter aftertaste. Excellent beer!
Duck Rabbit Porter, 5.7% ABV, Lots of head, chocolate notes, malty aftertaste, great nose, head has bite flavor. Great porter beer!
Duck Rabbit Amber Ale, 5.5% ABV, Head has a malty bitter bite, the beer is dark red and brown in color, excellent bite. Solid American Red Ale.
Duck Rabbit Brown Ale, 5.6% ABV, Lots of head, bitter flavor and bite on the head, the beer is brown in color and has light bite, bitter malts, smooth dark ale. Excellent Beer! WOW! We love it! It really grows on you.
From the Duck Rabbit website: We are a small packaging microbrewery located in Farmville, North Carolina. We sold our first beer in August of 2004. We specialize in beautiful, delicious, full flavored dark beers. When we brew, we’re happy and we dance. During fermentation, we sing softly to the yeast. Please try our beer and enjoy a taste of contentment!
The annual Great American Beer Festival in Denver Colorado had over 3500 entries this year and was completely sold out 5 weeks in advance. The GABF is a 3 day event held by the Brewers Association with over 100 beer judges and 500 breweries. The 2010 GABF went from Thursday the 16th through Saturday the 18th. The original GABF in 1982 only had 22 breweries.
Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Blue Moon Brewing Company, Denver, CO
Dr. David Ryder
Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Crosby & Baker Ltd.
Utah Brewers Cooperative, Salt Lake City, UT
Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management
Mad River Brewing Company, Blue Lake, CA
Mad River Brewing Company
Brewpub Group and Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Country Malt Group
TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Brea, CA
Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Brewers Supply Group
Pizza Port Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA
Pizza Port Brew Guys
Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year