Saturday, June 1, 2019
Monday, May 27, 2019
Click on the video below for highlights from our group beer/cider/wine tour of the regions around Barcelona and San Sebastián in northern Spain. Barcelona has become an impressive craft beer destination. Video by Owen Ogletree of www.Brewtopia.info.
Friday, May 24, 2019
For those of you who have never experienced a pub in the UK, look below for some useful tips...
- Order at the bar and pay as you go. UK pubs don't run tabs, unless you are sitting down to eat.
- If you are ordering food, find a table and look for the number on the table. You'll need the number when you go to the bar to order food and pay.
- Beers come in 20 ounce imperial pints and 10 ounce half pints. Half pints are exactly half the cost of a regular pint, so this makes it easy to try many beers.
- My advice would be to stick to half pints, for the sake of moderation and variety. When ordering a small beer, ask for a HALF. Don't say "half pint," because all the bartender will hear is "pint." Example: "I'd like a HALF of the Oakham Citra Ale please." Be sure the word HALF is stressed.
- Contactless pay is huge in UK pubs, and this makes paying for your beers so easy. On your phone, load the GooglePay or ApplePay app and put in your credit card information. Activate the NFC (Near Field Communication) setting on your phone, and use your phone to tap the card reader at the pub and pay with no hassle. Be sure to use a credit card that does NOT charge any extra on international purchases.
- Remember there is NO tipping in the UK. You can leave a couple of extra pounds on the table after a nice sit-down meal, but this is optional.
- Beers with tap handles that look like billy clubs are cask "real" ale. These are the special beers that we can't usually find in the USA. All pubs will also offer a boring range of mainstream lagers on draft, along with a few new craft beers on draft. Cask ales will have light, soft carbonation, while the draft beers will be fizzy like in the USA. Cask ales in the north of the UK will be served using a "sparkler" on the end of the faucet. The sparkler shoots the beer into the glass through tiny holes, creating a pint with a soft mouthfeel and creamy head.
- You can always ask for a taste of any cask ale before you order. Most bartenders will be happy to do this.
- Don't be afraid to talk to the locals in the pub. Once you get them going, they can be entertaining. Understanding some accents can be a challenge though. Always ask before petting a dog in a pub.
- A "listed" pub means that the building is on a historic register and is protected from modernization.
- Feeling peckish at the pub? Most pubs sell a range of tasty snack packs from behind the bar. My favorites are KP's Nuts, Nobby Nuts, Piper's Crisps, and Mini-Cheddar crackers.
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Owen Ogletree gathered a group of 15 craft beer enthusiasts and beer judges on April 20, 2019 for another round of Beer Styles Bingo. Each taster was given a list of ten beer styles with short descriptions from the Beer Judge Certification Program (see below). Beers were presented one at a time in blind fashion and in random order, and participants tried to match each beer to its appropriate BJCP style. It seems easy but turns out to be quite challenging when comparing ten different beers...
MONDAY NIGHT BREWING DARK SUBJECT MATTER
Russian-Style Imperial Stout
A strong, thick, high alcohol, dark beer loaded with rich malt and roasted, espresso, coffee-like character. Quite viscous and rich with notes of molasses, chocolate,
IRONMONGER BREWING PHRASING PALE ALE
American Pale Ale
An average-strength, hop-forward pale ale with light fruity character and citrusy, piney American hops. More sessionable than American IPAs. This version could use a bit more hop character.
HIGHLAND GAELIC ALE
British Strong Bitter
A moderate-strength, malty, caramely, deep amber ale around 5-6% ABV with notes of toasted bread, toffee and earthy UK hops. This style is not very bitter or strong by today's standards but quite drinkable and delicious.
GATE CITY BREWING TERMINUS PORTER
Malty sweet with a smooth, roasted flavor not as strong as an Imperial Stout. Clean lager character with few fruity esters. Starts sweet, but dark malts quickly dominate with hints of coffee, licorice, caramel, toffee, nuts, molasses, black currant and dark fruit. Notes of molasses, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and caramel candy dominate.
TERRAPIN WATERMELON GOSE
Gose with Watermelon
A highly-carbonated, somewhat dry, tart and fruity wheat ale with a mild coriander and salt character and low bitterness. Sharp, crisp, smooth lactic acid character reminiscent of pickle juice. Fruit complexity comes from the use of watermelon juice, and watermelon rind notes come through.
CREATURE COMFORTS ATHENA
A refreshing, light-bodied, sour, wheat ale with low alcohol and crisp, smooth notes of lactic acid. Like a Gose without the salt and spice. This version is malty for the style. Crisp and refreshing.
AKADEMIA BREWING NAME OF WORDS
A higher alcohol version of an IPA with impressive malt character and moderately high mouthfeel - all backed by citrusy, piney, American hops. Experimental hops provide hints of earthy, pungent, onion/garlic character. This example is quite clear - not hazy. A delicious and satisfying strong IPA.
VICTORY GOLDEN MONKEY
Tripel with Spices
A pale, somewhat spicy, dry, strong Trappist-style ale with a pleasant, rounded pale malt flavor and firm bitterness. Quite aromatic, with spicy, fruity, light warming alcohol notes. Spices provide a hint of added complexity. Malt sweetness and clove notes emerge on the palate.
TERRAPIN GAMMA RAY
Wheatwine with Honey
A high alcohol wheat ale with rich wheat/malt character, strong body, spicy/fruity notes, alcohol warmth and a bready profile. Like a wheat-focused Barleywine. The honey provides added complexity and alcohol spice and warmth. Smooth, delicious and dangerous.
CATAWBA WHITE ZOMBIE
Witbier (Belgian White)
A refreshing, light/moderate strength, effervescent, wheat-based Belgian ale with wheat cereal grain notes, orange peel and coriander. This version could use a bit more orange and coriander complexity.
Friday, March 29, 2019
- is a low-gravity, sessionable English mild ale with a twist from additions of lactose and vanilla beans. Expect notes of dark malt, mild fruity esters, light bittering hops, and nuances of creamy sweetness backed by appealing vanilla.
- Our 4.5% ABV patersbier is modeled after the beer that Trappist monks are rumored to brew for themselves. With notes of clove, peppercorns, mace, and cinnamon, this spicy Belgian-style "single ale" is approachable, complex, and quite refreshing.
- - An American pale ale with a grain bill designed to provide a moderate body and excellent head retention. Well bittered with Cascade and Chinook that give notes of grapefruit and spice, this cask was dry-hopped with El Dorado, Cascade, and Comet for a citrus and pine aroma.
- is a 9.1% ABV Wee Heavy Scottish ale produced with the historic Edinburgh yeast strain. This exclusive cask has been aging with oak spirals and cocoa nibs. Also check out our draft version of the same beer next to the Akademia booth. A collaboration done at Akademia.
- is a mixed fermentation farmhouse ale. Imagine a saison fermented in aromatic bourbon barrels with Belgian ale yeast and two funky Brettanomyces strains.
- is our nationally-awarded blueberry, blackberry, and black currant Dark Pearls mead sweetened with North Georgia wildflower honey and aged in the cask with Ceylon and Saigon cinnamon sticks. 13.8% ABV.
- is a barrel-aged American sour ale with dragon fruit. This 6.2% ABV ale offers interesting tart notes from the fermentation character, while the dragon fruit provides hints of kiwi and pear complexity.
- AKA Snicky Snicks, this rich, dessert stout is named in honor of our beloved taproom guy Snickers. At 10% ABV, this is a malty, boozy "candy bar" in a glass!
- . Red Jacket has been our flagship beer at Cannon for 20 years. It's a malty amber ale with notes of caramel. For this cask, we've added cacao nibs and maraschino cherries.
- is our golden sour ale aged on a blend of locally sourced, dried plums. A Mosaic dry-hop was added to this unique cask for a layer of berry medley, citrus, and stone fruit notes.
- - A 6% ABV sour blonde ale fermented with boysenberries and cranberries. Vanilla beans and blueberries were also added to this special cask for an added layer of mouth-watering flavors.
- is a juicy, hazy, IPA with Mandarina Bavaria and Simcoe hops with added complexity from additions of blackberry, apricot, and mango.
- is brewed with generous amounts of oats, wheat, milk sugar, and pineapple. All hops were added post-boil, with Citra and Azacca making up the fragrant dry-hops. Aged on Madagascar vanilla, this special cask will be like creamy pineapple soft serve in a glass.
- . Our cask is a version of our award-winning grisette Belgian-style session ale with local wheat and locally grown lemon verbena.
- . We took our gold medal winning oatmeal stout and conditioned it with Kona coffee, coconut flakes and a dash of vanilla caviar for a Hawaiian take on our favorite stout.
- . Kaiju means "strange creature" in Japanese. That's exactly what we created in this satisfying, 4.5% ABV pilsner-type brew with light green tea, ginger, and a pile of blueberries added to the cask.
- is made with Georgia honey, mountain water, mangos, guava and Amarillo dry-hops. One sip of this tasty mead would make Athena start hopping around saying "OMG!"
- was cask-conditioned with dark brown sugar, and the residual sweetness accentuates the vinous and chocolate flavors of the beer, while the fine, soft carbonation delivered by cask-conditioning presents a luxuriously smooth mouthfeel and taste profile.
- . We dry-hopped this brew three times with Citra and Mosaic on top of an already juicy, citrusy, and slightly hazy IPA. Truly the chief of hops, this cask offers massive citrus and floral notes from extra additions of Citra, Mosaic, and Eureka hops.
- - A dark, deep ruby red stout with aromas of roasted malt and a hint of licorice. Mellow sweetness and a malty fruitiness are followed by a smooth, dry finish. Sublime Stout gets hopped four times, including dry-hopping in the cask.
- is 7.1% ABV with Citra and Cascade hops backed by aromas of apricot and peach. Flavors of tropical and stone fruits lead to a pleasant, bittersweet finish. Superior IPA is generously hopped at four points of the brewing process, including dry-hopping in the cask.
- is our 8% ABV double IPA with loads of mango, hot chilies, and a dash of lime. The flavor starts with sweet mango goodness, then the heat slowly creeps in, warming you from the inside out. It's like sitting in a hot tub with your soulmate.
- . This 3.4% ABV classic UK-style ale offers elegant notes of toffee, leather, mild fruit, and malt complexity. It's easy on the alcohol, yet loaded with flavor. Number One of the bad guy English beer duo.
- . We took our fruity, juicy Hop Circus series and crushed it with 4.5 pounds per barrel of Azacca dry-hops. Expect huge tropical fruit notes and a smooth body from the flaked oats and flaked wheat.
- is a mango/guava Belgian-style wheat beer adapted from our staple witbier, Too Legit To Wit. With additions of fresh mango and guava, this 4.9% ABV cask is bursting with succulent tropical flavors.
- . Roasted malt and coffee flavors build the foundation of this creamy sweet stout. The addition of mint will remind you that it's time to order Thin Mints from your neighbor's daughter.
- . Our inspiration for this cask came from a beer and cupcake pairing. The cask is Hooch Shootin' NE IPA fruited with blueberries and lemon. Expect juicy hops, with a sweet and sour kick from the fruit. Let them have cake!
- is our 12% Russian imperial stout aged in a Belle Meade Bourbon barrel. Three types of chocolate and toasted coconut were added to this extraordinary cask.
- Addie has taken a wild ride in her search for revenge. Lonerider's limited Citra and Amarillo IPA has picked up three intriguing fruit additions for this one-off cask: orange zest, mango, and watermelon.
- We took a cherry rye ale and blended lactose, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans, creating a cherry chocolate milkshake ale with an additional fresh cherry puree.
- . Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic, El Dorado, and Azacca were added at the last minute to give this IPA a luscious tropical character bursting with notes of pineapple, mango, orange, and guava. This cask also contains a dose of Southern Passion hops from South Africa. 7.5% ABV.
- is thick, roasty, and toasty with chocolate and coffee notes. We decided to play into these elements by adding locally-roasted Batdorf & Bronson coffee, Ghirardelli chocolate, and toasted coconut to the cask. At 12% ABV, this truly is a stout to savor with dessert.
- with passion fruit. From the outer reaches comes a juicy, 5.9% ABV, hypnotic pale ale, thrumming with forbidden knowledge of ancient gods. The dark ritual involves untold quantities of Galaxy and Mosaic hops, performed twice for good measure, accompanied by the flesh sacrifice of the otherworldly passion fruit. Seriously, have you ever seen the inside of a passion fruit? Google it.
- dry-hops and oak chips. We dry-hopped this classic Belgian-style tripel with the new Sabro hop variety that adds coconut and fruity flavors, and then steeped it on bourbon-soaked oak chips. 10% ABV.
- . This 5% ABV golden ale is brewed in collaboration with 92.9 The Game Atlanta Sports Radio. Watermelon and lime were added, creating a refreshing and crushable springtime beer that's fruity but not over the top.
- is our one-year Méthode Traditionnelle from a single barrel. Brewed with a turbid mash and aged hops, then cooled and wildly inoculated in our coolships before spontaneously fermenting in barrels for a year, this soft ale offers mild acidity with notes of lemon, cheese, white grapes, and a hint of barnyard.
- . "Trop it like it's hot… and hazy!" It's a paradise of pineapple, mango, and citrus topped off with a mix of Idaho 7, Galaxy, Mosaic, Citra, El Dorado and Azacca hops. For this cask, we added an additional, generous charge of Strata hops to lend dank, passion fruit notes.
- is a 6.5% porter brewed with molasses, then aged on pecans. This one-of-a-kind, flavorful cask also contains cacao and maple syrup.
- is an American farmhouse sour ale with funk and flavor from yeast, bacteria, passion fruit and lychee. The dark purple color comes from the butterfly pea flower Clitoria ternatae that's said to provide antioxidants and slow down premature aging. And, of course, glitter was added. Sparkle on!
- Fresh passion fruit complements this northwest Atlanta version of an English IPA that crossed the pond only to find it prefers the States and wants to be a fruit-forward, new school, American IPA on tour with all its fancy new friends.
- Expect complex, deep aromas and flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, espresso, and caramelized sugars in this rich, potent dark ale.
- . This flavorful cask was dry-hopped with Citra and conditioned on mangos and peaches for an explosive profile of citrus and stone fruit intensity.
- is our guava Berliner weisse with fresh blueberries for added tartness and red jalapeño peppers for a spark of heat. 4.6% ABV.
- brewed with the crop year 2018 Veteran’s Blend of hops and pink guava. Ekuanot, Mosaic, Cashmere, Simcoe, and Centennial hops make this 6.9% ABV, heavily dry-hopped IPA extremely aromatic and juicy, and the addition of pink guava elevates the melon and papaya notes.
- comes in at 5% ABV and provides wonderful notes of caramel, bread crust, and light bittering hops for a southern take on a classic style from the Emerald Isle. Made with small-batch Irish malts.
- Utopian Fuzz is a 100% Brettanomyces fermented golden ale with strawberries and peaches. Look for subtle notes of fruit with a pleasant, dry, complex finish from the Brett. 5.7% ABV.
- Pull the crumbs out of your mustache for a sip of our Mr. Krunkles cask. This straight-up IPA was inspired by the most famous IPA brewer who ever lived… Krunkles! Packed with Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, Mosaic and Zythos hops for over-the-top juiciness.
- is an 8% ABV imperial milk stout with added sweetness and complexity from Krispy Kreme doughnuts. No need to watch for the hot doughnut sign, just make sure the tap is flowing!
- - This double IPA was brewed with the best Australian and New Zealand hops available. Massive notes of mango, peach, passion fruit and citrus jump out of the glass.
- was brewed with 75% Maris Otter malt, 25% Golden Promise malt and rare UK Jester hops, and the style could be considered a UK interpretation of an American Pale Ale. The malt is clean but has substance, the hops are fruity/earthy and in balance with the malt, and the English yeast produces mild fruity esters. 5.4% ABV.
- is a 10.5% ABV tart, salty ale with an extra dose of raspberries and lemon zest in this exclusive cask.
- is an amber sour ale with Montmorency cherries. The brew was aged in wooden foeders for two months and then transferred to red wine barrels for an additional six months to complete its aging and produce layers of complexity.
- is a big, malty beer reminiscent of a rich red wine with a drier finish than you'd expect from 10.5% ABV. This Belgian strong dark ale abounds with dark fruit and pit fruit flavors, and the vanilla notes from the oak add delightful complexity.
- . This is a single barrel Ventured Oatmeal Chocolate Stout aged for a full year in a Jim Beam barrel with blackberries, lactose, and vanilla.
- . Our popular high-gravity stout with notes of chocolate, coffee, molasses, and dark fruit. This special cask was conditioned on Tahitian vanilla beans for a decadent finish.
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Thursday, February 14, 2019
Photo by Ashton Smith
Owen Ogletree gathered Ashton Smith, Niki Schley, Andrew Borchert, Flavia Costa, Ian Meents, Stacy Stewart and The Beer Wench for a blind tasting of 13 craft beers made in Georgia. The tasting was conducted as a best-of-show panel, with each beer evaluated on its adherence to style and drinkability. See below for notes and awards...
- Roasted malts; burnt bread crust; espresso hints; bitter chocolate; creamy; viscous; not too sweet; good dry finish; pleasant; good beer for the style; medium esters; low hops; nutty quality. Excellent brew.
- An international pale lager style with light malt aroma; low hops; light corn complexity; mild fruity esters; wonderfully drinkable and well constructed.
- This wild, sour specialty brew with figs and dark candy syrup is dark brown in color with a ruby hint; balsamic hint; figs; leather; nice fruity esters; earthy; complex; malty; dark sugar notes; warming; cherry; dark fruit; acetic/lactic finish is pleasant.
- This special wheat beer contains Mandarina Bavaria hops and orange peel; notes of clove; orange zest; banana hint; cereal malt; pleasant; wheat character is nice; refreshing; pleasant fruit and orange complexity.
- This international pale lager style has a clean aroma; citrusy hops; light malt; subtle bitterness; crisp finish with a hint of malt sweetness; good balance of all notes.
- Perfect appearance for style; malty; floral; earthy; aromatic; light bitterness; malty; could use a bit more American hop flavor and aroma; ends a touch sweet but quite drinkable.
- Deep gold in color; murky, hazy; catty hops; sweet melon; malty mouthfeel; sweet finish; honeydew; dank; cantaloupe; rich malt; soft mouthfeel; orange; citrus, floral, honey notes.
- This amber contains orange pekoe and black tea. Toffee hint; caramel note; orange tea; tea makes up for the light hops; tea is quite mild; lightly sweet finish; tannin hint from the tea.
- Earthy aroma; herbal; piney; pear; rich, herbal hop note; perfumy; resins; tannins; needs a bit more clean American hop character and lighter esters; a pleasant, malty brew.
- This porter contains cocoa nibs, chilies, chipotles, cinnamon and cloves. Spice hint is nice; clove note; light chocolate; pepper warmth is mild; light/medium body; dry tannins; appearance is perfect; spices are subdued; could perhaps use a bit more malt for a better body and mouthfeel.
- Grain husk note; tannins; earthy malt; dark fruit; prune hint; might be a touch thin for style; fruity; citrus hint; needs a bit more dark fruit and toffee complexity.
- This Czech-style premium pale lager contains Mosaic and Cascade hops. Yeasty; bready; mineral note; herbal; grassy; sulfur hint; nice, light pilsner malt; light finish.
- This Belgian-style tripel contains cane sugar. Clove; Belgian spicy fermentation character; spice; white pepper hint; light, sweet finish; pleasant; rich; nice hop balance; ends slightly sweet for style; a robust, tasty strong ale.