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Oktoberfest Craft Beers: American Brewers Choosing Style Over Substance

craft beer glasses Oktoberfest Craft Beers: American Brewers Choosing Style Over SubstanceBy Tim Rodgers

Since my favorite NFL squad was on the road this week, I celebrated Oktoberfest under the ominous glow of the Red Zone channel in high definition.  I was feeling the pressure to rate for the masses a cornucopia of this years Oktoberfest brews, but after each beer went down my gullet coincidentally, the pressure began to subside.

What did emerge however, was the disappointing realization that each of my favorite American craft beer maker was missing the mark on the Oktoberfest style. Oktoberfest beer has become a proud tradition and signifies the best time of the year of the fall, harvest festivals, and yes I’m going to throw this in….football!!

What all the websites will tell you (and our last year’s ratings already alluded to) is that Oktoberfest began in Munich as a public party for the royal wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony on October 12, 1811.

But why are Marzen beers brewed in March and drank in October?  March is the end of the winter, and nothing has grown since the fall of the previous year.  Therefore, folks in Germany used the various remaining wheats, malts, and barleys that were leftover from the winter and brewed one last batch of robust beer.  Since these brews ended up so unique and flavorful, the Marzen beer signified a tradition worth keeping around and tapping in the fall!

So now we are here 200 years later, and I am getting paid to drink and rate Oktoberfest beers.  Pass me another bratwurst!  The first thing that I noticed, was that each American beer was this unusually unnatural vivid orange color.  I suspected that there is artificial coloring going on there with each one.  In contrast with each German Oktoberfest I sampled, those beers seemed to have more natural colors of amber and copper.

Secondly, the American Oktoberfest beers are dominated by mostly all malt notes and no hint of bitters whatsoever.  Many of the American beers weren’t subtle at all about the kind of malt flavors, Victory for example, was way too heavy on the coffee notes.  The German styles balanced a nice robust malt with subtle bitterness, more true to the German style.

Lastly, some of the American crafters couldn’t help themselves by sneaking in overt hoppiness into the brew.  I definitely appreciate the hoppy pale ales and IPA’s, and the United States is leading in this regard, but this is Germany’s tradition and their style so for once, ease up on the hops.

So in sum, my recommendation to the American crafter beer makers is to stop trying to be so cute, and stick to the fundamentals when it comes to Oktoberfest beers.

 

Cheers!

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The Oktoberfest Wiener Schnitzel: A Breaded Veal Recipe

Oktoberfest 700PX LR 300x137 The Oktoberfest Wiener Schnitzel: A Breaded Veal RecipeAn Oktoberfest Recipe Featuring Illg’s Meats

By Tim Rodgers

Oktoberfest, it’s that time of year again.  If the Germans know anything about beer, than they sure know something about meats.  For those of you that live in the Philadelphia area or even New york/New Jersey for that matter I encourage you to visit Illg’s Meats in Bucks County  Pennsylvania.  You can even pick up some of Illg’s delicasies at the Apple Valley Farm stand in the Reading Terminal in Center City Philadelphia.

weiner schnitzel The Oktoberfest Wiener Schnitzel: A Breaded Veal RecipeAccording to the Illg family, “Ernst came to America in 1952 and settled in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia, at 29th and Master Streets; a good neighborhood for lunch meats and sausage.  German, Irish, Polish and Jewish people.  They liked our meats.  So business exploded.  And all we had was a little rowhouse-in front, the store; in the middle, the icebox; in back, the sausage kitchen; upstairs, the family.  So we moved to Chalfont.  We took over a store from a butcher who was American but with German parents, so he had a few German items.  We just put our items out, and all of a sudden we didn’t know where all these people were coming from.  It’s not just people from Germany like these meats, you know.  It’s people from Poland, from Russia, from all over Europe.  We even make Hungarian sausage.  We’re Germans, but we make it.  And we make it good.”

I grew up eating the lunch meat, brats, sauerkraut, and butcher cuts from the Chalfont store.  But comfort food has kind of been my go-to cuisine and nothing takes me back to my childhood better than some basic ole’ fashioned Wiener Schnitzel.

Basically, its merely a fried breaded veal cutlet served with a lemon wedge.

The Winer Schnitzel Recipe:

1 lb of fresh veal cutlets from Illg’s Meats tenderized and pounded flat

1 cup of UNSEASONED bread crumbs

1 cup of flour

2 eggs

Splash of milk

2 tablespoons fresh parsley flakes

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 lemon

3 tablespoons of butter

Cooking oil

 

First pound out your veal cutlets.  Next, mix some fresh ground pepper into your flour and set aside.

Beat your eggs with the milk and set aside.  Mix your parsley with the bread crumbs.  Next you will be breading your cutlets by dipping each cutlet into your flour mixture assuring that the entire piece is coated and shake off any excess flour.  Next dip it into the beaten eggs, and finally dip the cutlet into the bread crumb mixture.  Repeat this process for each piece.  Heat your cooking oil in a large skillet.  Once hot, add the butter until that melts and begin frying your breaded cutlets until golden brown on each side.

Once each side is fried set aside on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.  Squeeze a lemon wedge on your Schnitzel and serve with a lemon wedge and parsley garnish.

Really, Wiener Schnitzel is an Austrian dish, but culturally, its close enough.  It is also tradition to serve your Wiener Schnitzel with parsley herb potato wedges and a parsley garnish.  I would pair this bad boy with this years Whiskey Goldmine Oktoberfest Champion Spaten Oktoberfest!

The Illgs Store by the way, is at 365 Folly Road, Chalfont, PA is open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday through Friday and from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday.  “Tell people to call (215-343-0670) before they come, and I will give them directions,” says Ernst Illg.

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The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

 

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

 

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

 

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

 

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

 

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

 

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

 

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

 

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

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The Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Beers: Spaten, Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Ayinger Oktoberfests and more…

spaten oktoberfest beer The Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Beers: Spaten, Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Ayinger Oktoberfests and more…Oktoberfest Beers: A 200 Year German Brewing Tradition

By Team Goldmine

The German Tradition of Oktoberfest started in Munich Germany in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of the Crown Prince of Bavaria.  An Oktoberfest beer, or Marzen style lager is brewed in March and stored cold through the spring and summer, and finally tapped in October.  Compared to a regular German style lager, the Oktoberfest bier is brewed with more malts and higher alcohol content in order to survive the long spring/summer storage.  One of our favorite styles, the Oktoberfest Marzen Lager is usually darker, full bodied, with more flavor than a traditional lager.  Below is a list of the Top 10 Oktoberfest beers of 2011!

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spaten munich lager bier The Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Beers: Spaten, Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Ayinger Oktoberfests and more…1.  Spaten Oktoberfest Marzen- -Germany.  5.9% ABV

Crisp, well balanced, excellent head, natural amber color, balance is subtle in rich malts & bitters.  Crisp pleasant finish.  Our 2011 Oktoberfest Champion!

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2.  Hacker Pschorr Original Oktoberfest—Germany.  5.80% ABV

Golden Brown color, great wheat aroma, smooth but crisp, excellent mouthfeel interesting malt tones, tastes of malts and notes of honey.  Finish is slightly flat.

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paulaner oktoberfest The Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Beers: Spaten, Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Ayinger Oktoberfests and more…3.  Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen—Germany.  6.00% ABV

Pours a rich copper color, perfect carbonation settles to rich head.  Bitter, malty, complex and dry. Achieves perfect balance of maltiness & bitterness.

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4.  Slyfox Oktoberfest Lager—Pennsylvania.  5.80% ABV

Great for being out of a can!  Settles to a cloudy light orange/amber color with a rich head that sticks to glass.  Out of the American Oktoberfest brews, this is the quintessential German Oktoberfest style.

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ayinger 300x216 The Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Beers: Spaten, Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Ayinger Oktoberfests and more…5.  Ayinger Oktoberfest Marzen—Germany.  5.80% ABV

Malty, Crisp, Dry with Light Hops.  Hints of Coffee and very well balanced.  Our 2010 Oktoberfest champion.

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6.  Stoudts Oktoberfest—Pennsylvania.  5.00% ABV

Pours a dark copper cloudy cover with light head and toffee malt notes.  Sweet, citrusy and malty.  More noticeable hoppiness than others, smooth finish & balance.

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great lakes brewing The Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Beers: Spaten, Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Ayinger Oktoberfests and more…7.  Great Lakes Oktoberfest –Ohio.  6.5% ABV

Made with Harrington 2 Row Malts and Hallertau U.S. German style Hops, here is another flat out stud from Great Lakes.  This brewery has the lock on lagers.

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8.  Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier—Germany.  6.30% ABV

Robust, crisp, sweet and dry.  Made with ale yeasts and ours an unusually light golden color.  Frothy head, light on the malt characteristics, but the wheat bitter balance is nice.

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flying dog dogtoberfest The Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Beers: Spaten, Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Ayinger Oktoberfests and more…9.  Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Marzen—Maryland 5.30% ABV

Made with German Perle and Hallertau Malts, and brewed with 100% German ingredients.  A medium and solid crisp lager.

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10.  Flying Fish Oktoberfish—New Jersey  5.50% ABV

Pours an orange to light copper with thin carbonation.  Malty, crips, with a sour aftertaste.  Flavor dissapates rather quickly.  Hints of coffee in the malts.  Finishes crisp.

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11.  Victory Festbier—Pennsylvania.  5.60% ABV

12.  Becks Oktoberfest—Germany.  5.00% ABV

13.  Sam Adams Oktoberfest—Massachusetts.  5.30% ABV

14.  Saranac Oktoberfest—New York.  5.40% ABV

15.  Brooklyn Oktoberfest–New York.  5.50% ABV.

Oktoberfest officially begins on September 18 and goes through the first weekend of October.  This year the traditional German brewers did what they due best, taking 4 of the top 5 spots in our 2011 rankings.  Our esteemed panel consisted of 5 judges, one being a craft beer sommelier.  Please note: these rankings are based upon the beers available in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area.  We searched 7-8 locations and tasted every Oktoberfest beer available.

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The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

 

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

 

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

 

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

 

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

 

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

 

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

 

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

 

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

 

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Wicked Brewing and an Evil Twin: A Harpoon Brewing Review

harpoon brewery logo 300x120 Wicked Brewing and an Evil Twin: A Harpoon Brewing ReviewHarpoon Belgian Pale Ale, Harpoon Rich & Dan’s Rye IPA, Harpoon Munich Dark, & Harpoon Leviathan Imperial Rye

Courtesy of Billy’s Beer Blog

My friend Jack and I hit Shamrock Pub last night to check out several beers that were featured during Monday’s Harpoon Tiny Tap Takeover. I’ve been a fan of the Boston based brewery for some time, so it was a great opportunity to try some offerings that aren’t normally seen in the SRQ area.

harpoon belgian pale ale 137x300 Wicked Brewing and an Evil Twin: A Harpoon Brewing ReviewHarpoon Belgian Pale Ale; Harpoon Brewery; Boston, MA; Belgian Pale Ale; ABV: 5.8. This Belgian pale ale (beer on right in left hand side picture) is brewed and conditioned according to the brewery’s IPA specifications, but is also fermented with Belgian golden ale yeast. Golden amber in color, it has subtle notes of Belgian spices and caramel malt backed by Amarillo hops with a crisp clean finish. The floral character of this ale balances nicely with the Belgian influence from the yeast and spices.

Harpoon Rich & Dan’s Rye IPA; Harpoon Brewery; Boston, MA; India Pale Ale; ABV: 6.9). This beer (beer on left in left hand side picture), is #37 in the brewery’s 100 Barrel Series. A blend of a rye beer and an IPA, Rich & Dan’s Rye IPA pours a light copper color, with notes of rye and citrus fruit such as grapefruit up front, complimented by caramel, peppery spices, and piny hops on the back end. Quite smooth throughout with a dry finish.

Harpoon Munich Dark; Harpoon Brewery; Boston, MA; Munich Dunkel Lager; ABV: 5.6. Brewed with Harpoon’s house ale yeast, this dunkel is inspired by a centuries’ old Bavarian recipe. Dark brown in color, it has ample notes of sweet caramel malt and yeast balanced by chocolate, molasses, and dark fruit with a smoky bitterness at the finish. A fine example of this beer style.

harpoon leviathan rye Wicked Brewing and an Evil Twin: A Harpoon Brewing ReviewHarpoon Leviathan Imperial Rye; Harpoon Brewery; Boston, MA; Rye Beer; ABV: 8.9. My favorite of the four on tap. From Harpoon’s Leviathan Series, this superb imperial rye beer is black burgundy in color with appreciable notes of spicy rye and breaded malt complimented by caramel, sweet honey, and grassy hops with a noticeable hint of alcohol in the backbone. As silky smooth as it is complex, Leviathan Imperial Rye has an almost barley wine like character to it.

We chatted with owner Derek Anderson for a bit, and he had a nice surprise for us by putting Evil Twin Yin (Evil Twin Brewing; Valby, Denmark; Russian Imperial Stout; ABV: 10.0) on tap. On tap recently at Willards Tap House in Largo, Shamrock is the first pub that I’ve seen to have it here locally. Evil Twin derives its name from Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, who founded the brewery and happens to be the twin brother of Mikkeller founder Mikkel Jarnit-Bjergsø. Yin is jet black in color, with substantial notes of sweet chocolate and roasted malt balanced by dark fruit and a hint of smokiness on the back end. There’s a boozy character to Yin from the considerable alcohol presence, but it blends in nicely with the rich, full-bodied texture of this delicious imperial stout. Looking forward to trying Evil Twin Yang (Evil Twin Brewing; Valby, Denmark, Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 10.0) sometime in the future.

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The Sierra Nevada Summerfest

Sierra Nevada Summerfest 300x198 The Sierra Nevada SummerfestBottom Fermented Pilsner Style Lager

By Kevin Hussey, Eric Duncan & Matt Goldstein

The Sierra Nevada Summerfest is made with 2-row pale and Munich malts and Perle and Saaz hops.  A crisp summer lager that has been around for more than a decade, the Sierra Nevada Summerfest also lets you know that you’re drinking a real beer.  With a full flavored tang hop kick, this pilsner style lager is another classic from Sierra Nevada.  With light malts and light hops and spice, the crisp big bubbles make an excellent refreshing summertime lager.  The lemon and malt aftertaste are very well balanced making this one of our favorite summer beers.         

GOLD MEDAL WINNER
California State Fair (European Light Lagers: 1999)

alcohol content: 5.0% by volume malts: Two-row Pale & Munich
beginning gravity: 12.2 Plato yeast: Lager Yeast
ending gravity: 2.8 Plato bittering hops: Perle & Saaz
bitterness units: 28 finishing: hops Saaz

 

The Sierra Nevada Story:

In 1979, Ken Grossman began building a small brewery in the town of Chico, California. His goal: to brew exceptional ales and lagers. Today, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is considered the premier craft brewery in the United States. And the beer? Critics proclaim it “Among the best brewed anywhere in the world.”  
       
  Ken’s passion for brewing began when a friend showed him the basics of home brewing. Using homemade equipment, Ken began brewing five-gallon batches of beer on his own, and soon became a proficient home brewer.In 1976, after studying chemistry and physics at Butte Community College and California State University at Chico, Ken opened his own store, The Home Brew Shop. There, he supplied Chico’s home-brewing community with equipment, materials, and advice, but dreamed of opening his own brewery.    
  Two years later, it was time to make the dream a reality. Ken and co-founder Paul Camusi cobbled a brewery together from dairy tanks, a soft-drink bottler, and equipment salvaged from defunct breweries. Though the equipment was secondhand, they created a first-rate microbrewery. The ingredients were premium, including the copious quantities of hops that would become the brewery’s trademark. An avid backpacker, Ken named the new company for his favorite hiking grounds—the Sierra Nevada mountains.  
    Finally, on November 15, 1980, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. brewed the first batch of what would soon become a landmark in American craft brewing: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.Word spread quickly, and over the next decade the demand for Sierra Nevada brews soon exceeded the brewery’s modest brewing capacity. Despite nearly constant additions to the brewery, Ken was soon back at the drawing board, planning a new brewery. In 1989, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. moved to its current site.  
  Ken traveled to Germany and brought back a traditional 100-barrel copper brew house, which became the heart of the new brewery. This met demand for a while, but the brewery soon needed to expand again. In 1997, Ken commissioned the original coppersmiths to match new kettles to the originals, bringing the brewery’s total capacity to almost eight hundred thousand barrels per year.Building the new brewery afforded Sierra Nevada the opportunity to create two stunning showcases, both featuring exceptional dining, live music, and its award-winning beers. The elegant Sierra Nevada Taproom and Restaurant has become a destination in its own right. With mouthwatering lunch and dinner menus, an impressive dining room, and a large outdoor dining patio, it offers distinctive, contemporary cuisine as well as an opportunity to sample the brewery’s entire line of premium ales and lagers, including hard-to-find specialty drafts. The 350-seat Big Room—a beautifully designed live music and multi-purpose room—was constructed on the west end of the brewery to feature live music events for all ages and is a perfect facility for weddings, reunions, and business conferences.To this day, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. remains true to its roots. Ken is still personally involved in every aspect of brewery operation. Most importantly, the Sierra Nevada commitment to quality remains the same. Premium ingredients and time-honored brewing techniques make Sierra Nevada ales and lagers truly exceptional beers.  
     

 

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The Top 10 Beers from Philly Beer Week 2011: Ballast Point, Dogfishhead, Nebraska Brewing, Russian River, Fegley’s Brew Works and more…

ballast point victory at sea imperial porter 232x300 The Top 10 Beers from Philly Beer Week 2011: Ballast Point, Dogfishhead, Nebraska Brewing, Russian River, Fegleys Brew Works and more…The Best Craft Beer from the Best Craft Beer City

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.           

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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.

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hitachino espresso stout 142x300 The Top 10 Beers from Philly Beer Week 2011: Ballast Point, Dogfishhead, Nebraska Brewing, Russian River, Fegleys Brew Works and more…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. 

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3. Dogfish Head Festina Peche BerlinerWeisse

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. 

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fegleys hopsolutely triple ipa poster1 252x300 The Top 10 Beers from Philly Beer Week 2011: Ballast Point, Dogfishhead, Nebraska Brewing, Russian River, Fegleys Brew Works and more…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. 

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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.        

Pliney the elder 1 300x300 The Top 10 Beers from Philly Beer Week 2011: Ballast Point, Dogfishhead, Nebraska Brewing, Russian River, Fegleys Brew Works and more…6.  Russian River’s Pliney the Elder

8.0% ABV.  American Double IPA.  Purchased in a growler from the Hulmeville Inn.

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7. Port Ole Viscosity Whiskey Barrel Aged

12% ABV by Port Brewing.  Served at the Resurrection Ale House. 

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8. Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel

5.0% ABV Ayinger Brewing from Germany.  Served at Eulogy Belgian Tavern.

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Ballast Point logo The Top 10 Beers from Philly Beer Week 2011: Ballast Point, Dogfishhead, Nebraska Brewing, Russian River, Fegleys Brew Works and more…9. Ballast Point Navigator Dopplebock

8.9% ABV barrel aged by Ballast Point.  Served at the Khyber Pass Pub. 

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10. Yards CB4 Belgian IPA

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11. Ballast Point Sculpin on Cask

Check out this review of the Sculpin on Cask by Billy’s Beer Blog.

12. Nebraska Black Betty Russian Imperial Stout

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PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon, A Review

pabst blue ribbon PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon, A ReviewA PBR Review:  Hipsters Rolling their Eyes Everywhere

By Matt Goldstein

When I had a PBR last summer, there was something wrong with the tap and the beer was spoiled.  It was basically undrinkable.  Now, considering I can drink even the worst of beers without a flinch, I decided that Pabst Blue Ribbon deserved another try.  Pabst Blue Ribbon is the first beer to sell 10 million cases of beer in the United States.  It’s an American staple and deserves recognition for that alone.  Let’s give Pabst Blue Ribbon the chance it deserves: A Whiskey Goldmine Review. 

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Pabst Blue Ribbon Tasting Notes:

PBR is sweet, dry, crisp with a grain aftertaste.  Very refreshing!  There you have it.  That’s our review.  It’s an easy drinking session lager and pretty good flavor.  We love it.  If you got a problem with that, nobody cares.

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clint eastwood pabst blue ribbon PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon, A ReviewPabst Blue Ribbon and the Hipster issue: 

Now, it wouldn’t be a Pabst Blue Ribbon article if we didn’t address the hipster issue.  Yes, Hipsters drink PBR at staggering amounts and the Hipsters are multiplying exponentially like a badass zombie movie.  The Hipsters where PBR t-shirts, and drink PBR like it’s their uber sudo liberal (but not the democratic party) political identity.  Yup, their socially advanced, and your craft beer is just too cool to be cool. Drinking real beer is uncool.  It’s scary, frightening and Hipsters could simply revolt and kill us all.  However, now that everyone knows the Hipsters drink PBR to be cool, or un-cool, they are moving on to a new beer.  And they probably will officially move on after this review.  It’s too cool to be called un-cool.  Hipsters are moving on to National Bohemian.  Yup, they be drinkin the “Nati bo.”  Review coming soon.  We’re gonna single handedly do our best to destroy the Hipster Nati Bo revolution.  Someone might get smacked in their face for this one.         

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pabst blue ribbon mobile wallpaper can PBR: Pabst Blue Ribbon, A ReviewHere are some facts to enjoy about Pabst Blue Ribbon: 

Pabst Blue Ribbon
American Style Premium Lager

Pabst Blue Ribbon is a premium lager brew crafted with a hefty infusion of 6-row barley in its ingredient package, a carefully balanced carbohydrate profile from corn syrup, and a unique combination of Pacific domestic hops blended with an imported Yugoslavian variety.  Fermented with a pure culture of yeast and aged at high gravity, PBR is cellared and finished to the smooth, robust likeness of a fine Pilsner.

144 calories

12.8 grams of carbohydrates

Pabst Blue Ribbon Light
American Style Light Lager
Pabst Blue Ribbon Light is brewed with the traditional grains and malts of a fine lager, and is tailored to the brewing specifications of a low calorie beer.  Hopped with the same intensity as PBR, the light version is a satisfyingly superior way to bend an arm.

113 caloreies

8.3 grams of carbohydrates

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The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

bohemia classica bottle cream The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more...Water Supply Issues Create a Light, Easy, Drinkable Mexican Style

By Matt Goldstein & Tim Rodgers

Now, Mexican beers are at a disadvantage because of the water supply situation.  One must remember to compare apples to apples when analyzing their brews.  Mexico tends to be a warm, arid climate with spicy/salty cuisine.  Therefore, the beers that would make the most sense would be your lighter lagers.  All of which Mexico produces.  Bohemia was by far the best beer we sampled.  It could compare with a solid American IPA and tasted a lot like Flying Fish. 

1. Bohemia, surprisingly crisp/clean with an unexpected subtle yet distinct hoppiness

2. Negra Modela, always consistently smooth with a nice malty finish

3. Dos Equis Lager Especial, crisp flavors, solid lager

4. Carta Blanca, smooth, light, solid

5. Corona, always good, always refreshing

6. Cristal, actually from Peru, but fits in well with the Mexican style

7. Corona Light, great light beer but light on flavor

9 Tecate, just OK, light and smooth but far from great

9. Sol, awful, almost undrinkable, bad aftertaste

10. Modela Especial, the six-pack we bought was skunked, we know Modelo is a good beer but it will have to wait a few months for another chance to be reviewed.

Bohemia Pilsner is this year’s Mexican Category champion!  It was a hot day in Chester down at the new MLS stadium PPL Park.  We decided to conduct this categories beer tasting tailgating the Philadelphia Union soccer game.  The dirt parking lot in July made it actually feel like a Mexican desert.  Pure genius!  To keep the theme going, we got burritos, chips, salsa and guacamole to cleanse our palates between each beer.  We had Pork, Chicken and Beef burritos made with black beans, corn and rice. 

Now, Mexican beers are at a disadvantage because of the water supply situation.  One must remember to compare apples to apples when analyzing their brews.  Mexico tends to be a warm, arid climate with spicy/salty cuisine.  Therefore, the beers that would make the most sense would be your lighter lagers.  All of which Mexico produces.  Bohemia was by far the best beer we sampled.  It could compare with a solid American IPA and tasted a lot like Flying Fish.  I think the most surprising beer was Carta Blanca.  Based on our preconceived notions of the beer, I thought it would be mere swill.  However, it would be up at the top of my choices if we were scarfing down tortilla chips and tacos on the roadside in Puerta Vallarta.  Dos Equis Lager was also very solid.  Again, based on the most the interesting man in the world advertising campaign, perhaps Dos Equis would bring more style than substance, but it was an enjoyable beer.  The most disappointing beer was Sol.  It basically tasted awful to everybody.  Now, we’ve had Sol before and liked it, but this was just not its day.  Tecate, we expected to be at the bottom, but it was a toss-up between Sol and Tecate for the worst of the day.  Bohemia is officially the first beer to receive an automatic bid to the first annual Whiskey Goldmine March madness 64 beer tournament.  Let the countdown begin!

The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

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The March Madness Beer Championship Final Four: Founders Breakfast Stout, Pliny the Elder, Stone IPA and Ayinger Celebrator

chrisitan laettner final four 300x219 The March Madness Beer Championship Final Four:  Founders Breakfast Stout, Pliny the Elder, Stone IPA and Ayinger CelebratorElite 8 Results: The Big Dogs in Craft Beer Lay the Smack Down in Multiple Beer Competitions

By Team Goldmine

After four rounds of all out beer competitions, beer trials, and taste testing, the Goldmine Team has selected our Final Four:  Founders Breakfast Stout, Pliny the Elder, Stone IPA and Ayinger Celebrator.  The crazy thing is that we thought two of these beers might actually go down in the first round, but hey, that’s just March Madness.  Over the next few days we’ll feature each of the Final Four Beers and hype up the biggest showdown in beer bracket and beer competition in history.  Yup, I said it.  Do you really think the Washington Post and the Great American Beer Fest are more important than us?  Of course they are, let’s not get crazy now.  Thanks for the compliment though.  Click the link to see the March Madness Beer Championship Bracket. 

 

The March Madness Beer Championship Bracket Final Four

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The March Madness Beer Championship Elite 8

Lou Alcinder UCLA Kareem Abdul Jabar 300x244 The March Madness Beer Championship Elite 8Sweet 16 Results & Elite 8 Matchups

By Team Goldmine

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! 

2011 March Madness Beer Championship Elite 8

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