Archive for October, 2009

Review: Deschutes Brewing Hop Trip Ale

Author: Jason Harris
October 31, 2009

On a recent visit to the Deschutes Brewery Portland location, I had the sheer pleasure of partaking in their Autumn seasonal – Hop Trip Ale.

Hop Trip Ale from Deschuted Brewing

Hop Trip Ale from Deschutes Brewing

This ale has a fun story behind it. You see, there are some great hops grown in the Willamette Valley area of Oregon (where I live). Bend, home to Deschutes Brewery, is a short 3 hour drive from the Valley.

Once a year, the brewers from Bend come over to the Valley to hand-pick their hops. Then, the harvested hops are taken over to Bend and boiled/brewed fresh. Hence the name: Hop Trip Ale

Hop Trip is available from October through December. So, how is this years batch?

In one word: phenomenal! I trialed a pint straight from the keg and enjoyed every sip of it. The hops flavor the beer in a smooth and savory way. This beer isn’t ‘hoppy’ the same way an IPA is – in the sense that IPA is bitter and shocking.

Hop Trip Ale is a bit stronger in flavor than an average pale ale.

So, get a bottle or pint the next time you’re out and about – you won’t regret it!

Review: Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale

Author: Jason Harris
October 23, 2009

As a self-certified Beer Snob, I’m always on the lookout for new brews to try. A recent Men’s Journal highlighted the world’s best beers, and among them was a brew that definintely piqued my interest: Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale. This beer was in the same magazine as the recently reviewed DogFish Head 120 Minute IPA.

Brewed by Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York, this ale is a Belgian Style Blend that comes in a distinctive brown bottle with a cork on top. The label describes the beer in this way: “Created by blending a rich, malty Belgian-style ale with authentic Kriek, a classic cherry-Lambic from Belgium, our Qaudrpeled is cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.”

This specific brew is 98% ale with the 2% cherry Lambic mixed in for balance and flavor. Upon reading about the cherry mix, I expected a sweet, overpowering flavor. However, upon pouring – I found a dark amber beer with a vew ruby hues in the coloring.

When you take your first sip, you notice the malty flavor, softened by the mild sweet taste of the cherry. However, the cherry flavor is only a hint, not overpowering or too sweet.

Quadrupel Ale has hints of malt, cherry, and a little creamyness to it, all without feeling too heavy or overpowering. It’s a very drinkable beer that has a wonderful aroma to it.

Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale is 9.8% alcohol and is available at fine retailers everywhere.

Get Yourself a Portable Pint Glass

Author: Jason Harris
October 18, 2009

Do the parties happen spontanusly in your life? If so, never be caught off guard without your pint glass! You must get yourself a Port-A-Pint Portable Beer Glass.

Another benefit of the Port-A-Pint, it’s more environmentally friendly than disposable plastic cups! The Port-A-Pint is only $7.95.

Britain Considers Banning Glass Pint Glasses

Author: Jason Harris
October 9, 2009

News out of jolly ol’ England: the British government is considering banning pint glasses made out of glass. Why, might you ask? To cut down on the number of folks injured in bar fights where glass is involved!

The British Home Office has designed a new glass that is made up of shatter-proof plastic that will make your bar fights much more safe, according to the BBC. According to officials, 5,500 people are attacked in bars and pubs every year in Whales and England.

Pubs and bar owners associated with the British Beer and Pub Association are opposed to the new design and are hoping officials don’t make the new design mandatory in British drinking establishments. I would agree, as the traditional pint glass feels good in the hand and is a perfect vessel for your favorite ale, pilsner or other brew.

Plus, bar owners would have to pay for new glasses at a time where the economy is causing enough hardship already.

Review: Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Author: Jason Harris
October 1, 2009

When it comes to types and styles of ales, Imperial Pale Ale is amongst my favorite. We have many great IPAs here in the Northwest including Widmer’s Broken Halo and Deschutes Inversion IPA.

However, at my local micro-brew grocer, I had a new IPA catch my eye on my last trip. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA is the product of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Milton, Connecticut, USA.

The 120 Minute IPA is continually hopped over a 120-minute boil and then dry hopped every day for a month. According to Dogfish, the 120 Minute IPA is the “Holy Grail” for hopheads.

This IPA weighs in at 120 on the IBU scale for bitterness and has 20% alcohol – so this is definitely a sipping beer.

This beer snob was very surprised with my first taste of 120 Minute IPA. Surprised, that is, not in a good way. The beer, at first sip, is especially sweet, almost like a Barleywine such as the one from Anchor Steam of San Francisco, CA. The intense sweetness doesn’t last long and after it wears off you are greeted with a slightly bitter after taste.

This beer is so strong and sweet, that this puppy (pun intended) would take well over 120 minutes to finish – it’s truly a strong sipping beer.

Have you sampled Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA? What are your thoughts?

I look forward to the conversation in the comment section below.