I think all posters need to supply a shot of their gut so we can know if their opinion can be valued
Interested to hear what brews people discuss and to see if I can find them in NZ.
So I'm in this big art show and one of the sponsors is Flying Dog Brewing in Frederick, Maryland. I'm friendly with the bar manager for the show and one of the first things he did was to give me a bottle of their Imperial Porter--all of a sudden my day brightened considerably. It was rich without being heavy and the malt and chocolate flavors balanced beautifully. I'm more of an IPA or brown ale guy, but this is an outstanding Porter. At 7.8% ABV, it has a bit of a kick. I doubt much of it leaves the state, let alone over to NZ, but if you ever see a bottle--grab it. Very cool Ralph Steadman illustrations on their labels, too.
There are two great brew companies in Michigan. Michigan Brewing comapny
http://www.michiganbrewing.com/ is one. 10 years or so ago I had a friend getting his Phd in fungus at MSU turn me on to these folks when they first opened. he'd drive by it to and from the lab and the smell of yeast sucked him in. The beer was good not great but the prices were good and the attached pub was a very friendly place. A couple years prior to leaving Michigan I went back there after an absence of a few years and the beers had become outstanding. They had hired a new Brew master and everything I tried was good. If you ever find yourself on I96 just south of Lansing (fowlerville exit I believe) stop in.
The other great Michigan brew is Bells. http://www.bellsbeer.com/ they are much larger than MBC and their goods can be found a pretty fair distance from Michigan. Their summer wheat called Oberon (it was originally called Solson, but Molson sued) is excellent and both their amber and pale ales are top notch. They also make a winter wheat that is a bit light but very tasty.
Here in Vancouver beer is so bloody expensive I haven't explored like I'd like to. The two I've tried in quantity are Whistler which I didn't like and Granville Island which is good, but nothing like MBC or Bells.
Who here makes their own beer? I've brewed some all-grain mashes, but in recent years I tend to be lazy and just go for a kit beer (a very good kit, though (usually Woodfordes Wherry) - the cheaper kits usually prove to be a waste of effort). I'm just coming to the end of a keg of the result of a Coopers Lager kit, which despite being a 'kit and kilo' type, proved to be actually very high quality. Not much of a lager fan, myself, though.
Is this group for home brewers or for any lover of beer...micro or import?
Photography and beer...what a combo. I'm from San Diego, which is one of the micro brew capitals of the world! I think at last count we had almost 40 micro brews in the area, with many of them being world class and award winning breweries, including Stone, Alesmith, Ballast Point, Coronado, Port Brewing (Pizza Port), Green Flash. We have many styles of beer here including Pale Ales, IPAs, Double IPAs, Imperial Porters, Imperial Stouts, Belgians to name a few. We also have wonderful drinkeries here...O'Brien's, Pizza Port, Oggi's, Liar's Club, San Diego Brewing Company. I live in beer heaven! And yes, we've been known to brew a keg or three of our own stuff. Ballast Point started out as Home Brew Mart, and continues to supply the voracious needs of the home brewers in the area. White Labs is here, and they produce the finest yeasts on the planet. And just to make you all a little envious, tomorrow (6/14/08) is the Strong Ale Festival being hosted by Pizza Port. Dozens and dozens of rich, complex ales with ABVs between 10% and 17-18%. You need a local hotel room if you want to try more than a couple!
By the way, I shoot mostly LF (4x5 and 8x10), but occasionally shot MF with an RB67. I do use a Nikon DSLR but mostly for exploratory or compository work, or to document things like the Strong Ale Fest.
Well done, jd. My second love is definitely beer. My local stomping ground is a hell of a cool place called the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock, PA. I can't recommend it highly enough. I'm a stout man through and through but do dabble in the occasional Porter and IPA. I'd have to say my favorite beer I've sampled so far is Sly Fox Brewery's O'Reilly's Stout. Hard to find but I got a taste at "The Standard Tap", not far from Project Basho in Philidelphia. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
We are blessed in Southern Ontario with several craft Brewies, The biggies are Steamwhistle, Amsterdam, Mill St. in Toronto. Out where I live in Oakville we have Trafalgar, Camerons and Black Oak, out west of us there is Wellington, Neudstadt, Brick Brewing with their Dark Lager Waterloo Dark which is yummy.
The two best bars to taste these wonderful beers in Toronto are C'est What downtown and The Rebel House up in Rosedale.
Montréal, and the province of Québec in general, is an interesting ground for good beer.
I highly recommend the pubs L'Amère à Boire, Le Cheval Blanc, Dieu du Ciel, and Sergeant Recruteur to drink what is brewed on site.
When stopping in your favorite dep, products from Boréale, McAuslan, Sleeman, Unibroue, and Cheval Blanc are to look for! All of which are usually easy to find in any bar as well. Alright, Sleeman and Unibroue are now owned by Sapporo, but at least they are still doing the same products.
Then there are the specialized stores, at Marché Jean-Talon and Atwater which have a very broad offering of the micro and micro-micro breweries.
I have never suffered Molson or Labatt anymore!
Anyone representing the Pacific NW in the US? Many great breweries here- Full Sail, Redhook, Bridgeport, Fish- but my favorite is Deschutes and can personally vouch for all of them, even though they quit making Bond St Brown ale.. But it's safe to say I'm (often!) a fool for good beer...
Have you ever tried the St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout? I know it's part of the McAuslan line up, I love the stuff when you can find it on tap in Toronto. I know I am going to sound like a heathan but I like it better than Guinness Stout.
Yep, I drink the St Ambroise stout here and there. I used to be more into strong beer, but I pussy-footed, and prefer lagers and ales, especially during summer. It's quite strong, coffee notes, and has a nice foam when poured from the tap.
It is Oregon Craft beer month! Leading up to the Oregon Brewer's fest the weekend of July 24th. I just missed the Organic Ale festival at Overlook Park this last weekend cause it was too damn hot. I never miss the Oregon Brewer's fest and if it is hot in the park they keep a mist station going to stand under and cool off. I always drink too much at the Brewers fest. There are just too many good ales to try. Usually the IPAs are everywhere this time of year. In the winter brew fests you get the winter ales. Portland is micro brew heaven if you like strong well crafted beers and 20 ounce pints that are getting to be so expensive you have to sip them rather than gulp.. at least after the first couple. Designated drivers are becoming a standard fixture in nights out with the boys. Good thing the gals like darts as well.
Some information about the beer culture that is Portland. It is amazing the number of people every night in every pub downing pints of beer. I used to make my own back in the day when there were only 4 or 5 micro breweries in town. But the quality and variety of ale available in every part of town just makes me want to leave it in the hands of the pros.
I had a couple of functions to go to over the holiday weekend and picked up a 6 pack of both Full Sail IPA and Full Sail LTD. For as good as Full Sail often is on tap with more specialty hopy ales, these bottled beers are crap. Especially the LTD is awful and the IPA is rather generic and uninteresting.
Odd that there is no activity here but mine. I am wondering if it is my fault. Did I take the direction of the beer talk the wrong way?
Last night was a rare fine quiet evening all to myself and I decided to go get a special beer. I found a double IPA from Midnightsun brewing in alaska called "Obliteration 111". I sat with the sunset and drank a glass and found it to be in the top 3 best ales I have ever drank. It was so good that I sipped it like wine to go slow and then in the morning wrote an email to a good friend to tell him to try it. He wrote back to say it was too expensive for him. Since he has a lot more money than me I dug out the receipt to see and was shocked to see that I had paid $11.49 for a 22 oz bottle!! Wow. That will be my last taste of that.
This coming weekend is the Oregon Brewer's festival with a long list of breweries...
I walked across town today to an exhibition reception for one of my photo friends and stumbled upon, in a different park, the "Portland International Brewers Festival" a whole different brew fest than I have ever heard of. I walked up to the gate and it was 20 dollars to go in and get a mug and 10 2oz tastes. That would be even more expensive than the Oblideration ale of last night. I didn't go in. they are just piggy backing the popular Oregon Brewers fest of next weekend.
OK... I recently tried a couple of brews from Mill St Brewery in Toronto. The Tankhouse ale is "a rich fiery pale ale, copper-red in colour, and truly satisfying in flavour." Yup. (Canadian spelling and all...) It really is a fine brew. Their Coffee Porter is very interesting. Not exactly subtle, but very tasty. I hightly recommend both.
I did a bit of research on the Mill St Brewery and it looks like it is a very busy popular place with somtimes really long lines to get in. Do they distribute kegs to other pubs?
So what are the thoughts on 21st Amendment's Watermelon Wheat? I was not impressed whatsoever until I got a can very cold on accident and then enjoyed one of the better beers I've had. However I do tend to be more of a Belgian drinker.