Friday, May 27, 2016

Southern IPA Elite 8 Results

Owen Ogletree set up eight American IPAs that were poured at last April's Classic City Brew Fest in Athens in an "IPA Elite Eight" blind tasting bracket. All the IPAs were produced in breweries from the Southeast, and the beer judges chose a beer from each pair that seemed to have the most impressive IPA character and hop profile.
The tasting panel was comprised of Owen Ogletree, Steve Holzman, Aaron Wallace of Highwire Lounge and Trappeze Pub, Daniel Pittard, Richard Miley from Catch 22 Gastropub, Dean Graves, Gail Graves, Pete Dasher and Ian Meents of Southern Brewing Company.
From the BJCP American IPA style description...
American IPA: A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American or New World hop varieties. The balance is hop-forward, with a clean fermentation profile, dryish finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through. 
Vital Statistics: 
OG: 1.056 – 1.070 
IBUs: 40 – 70 
FG: 1.008 – 1.014 
SRM: 6 – 14 
ABV: 5.5 – 7.5%
Here's how the blind brackets went down, with Southbound Brewing's Hop'lin IPA taking "best in show"...
Our Bling Tasting Notes:
SweetWater IPA
Light hop aroma; citrus; kiwi; a hint of lemon; well-balanced; light, lingering bitterness; pleasant; subtle.

Foothills Hoppyum

Piney; hops are upfront; hoppy finish; good malt balance; hint of pepper; hint of malt sweetness; hop flavor is restrained; woody hops; citrus and grapefruit emerge after a bit; tasty.
Red Brick HopLanta - RUNNER UP
Slight fruit nose; metallic hint; pine-like bitterness; citrus hops; spicy hops; grassy; herbal hint; bright and crisp; bold hops.

Monday Night Slap Fight
Earthy hop note; nice, lingering bitter finish; herbal, tannin-like hops; hints of citrus; hops are in background behind malty character.

Highland IPA
Light pine tannin hops; very drinkable; a touch earthy; great color for style; hops are pleasant but light; soft, appealing, moderate carbonation.


Sweet, malty notes; pineapple; hint of alcohol warmth; balanced malt/hop profile; guava; fruity; wonderful after-taste; light piney hop note; medium body; a touch murky with chill haze; delicious.

Jekyll Hop Dang Diggity
Clear and bright; tropical fruits; kiwi; earthy hint; light bitterness in the finish; smooth hop notes; mild bitterness; pleasant balance.

Lonerider Hoppy Ki Yay
Hop aroma is mild; slight metallic flavor; hops and malt seem restrained; lots of fruity esters; seems malt-forward with interesting fruit complexity.
Photos by Gail Graves

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Owen Ogletree's Articles from "All About Beer" Over the Years

AUTHOR: OWEN OGLETREE, All about beer magazine

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    October 20, 2014 - Everards Brewery team leader Mick Trevor and Terrapin Beer Co. brewmaster Brian “Spike” Buckowski unlatched the lid of the Everards mash tun and peered through steamy haze at the thick, gooey grain bed containing 10% sticky rye malt. Draining the sweet wort from this glue-like porridge was proceeding slower than Trevor had anticipated. Seemingly unfazed,...View Article
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    Sidebars - Travel Features


    September 1, 2011 - For those who can’t plan their own events, here’s a list of established happenings… Tri-Beer: The Triangle Beer Meetup – Beer gatherings and special events in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Lagunitas Skunk Train – Annual beer train through the redwood forests of northern California. Good Beer Lunches – Australian group bringing craft...View Article
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    Full Pints - Travel Features


    September 1, 2011 - Twenty craft beer lovers, all wearing the same T-shirts, walk into a bar. No, this isn’t the beginning of a joke―it describes an organized pub-crawl for charity. Across America, people are realizing that craft beer can form the impetus for switching off the TV, getting off the couch, heading out of the house and bringing...View Article
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    Full Pints - Travel Features


    March 22, 2010 - With sheets of rain blanketing our SUV, windshield wipers pounding out a mind-numbing rhythm, a stream of crimson brake lights ahead to the horizon and two stressed-out beer reps in the back seat on their Blackberries, all I could think was, “Man, I really need a beer.”
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    Culture - Live Beer - Sidebars - Travel


    November 1, 2007 - Unfortunately, several southern craft breweries of the early ‘90s were perhaps ahead of their time and not able to survive. New Orleans’ Acadian Brewing (closed in 2002) produced a crisp, hoppy pilsner for a time and offered a pleasant beer garden for visitors. A delightful brewpub that featured live jazz, Port City Brewery in Mobile,...View Article
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    Culture - Live Beer - REVIEWED_POSTS - Sidebars - Travel


    November 1, 2007 - Here’s a handful of distinctive brews you can find only in their home region. Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, Terrapin Beer Co., Athens, GA Medium gold in color with a crisp American hop nose and flavor. Finishes dry with touches of rye spiciness and light bitterness that fade quickly, leaving a clean palate.
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    Culture - Full Pints - Live Beer - Travel


    November 1, 2007 - While Oregon and Washington, Colorado, Maine or California amongst others saw explosive craft brewery growth, the Southeastern states seemed trapped in light lager culture and a persistent prohibitionist mindset. Beer remained stuck at sports bars and tailgating parties.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Golden Beer Styles Bingo - April 2016

Owen Ogletree gathered 22 craft beer fans on April 30, 2016 to taste eight mystery golden beers and try to match each one to a BJCP style. Even though each beer offered different aroma and flavor notes, matching each to its style turned out to be quite a challenging task. 

At the conclusion of the tasting, before each beer name was revealed, participants voted on their picks for "best of show" - a favorite beer that was close to perfection, based on its style description.

All these wonderful ales and lagers were poured at our 2016 Classic City Brew Fest in Athens, Georgia.

FIRST PLACE: Ritterguts Gose
A well-carbonated, slightly dry, fruity, pleasantly sour wheat ale with light notes of coriander and salt. Not bitter and hoppy at all. Reminiscent of sweet tarts and light citrus.

SECOND PLACE: Gnomegang 
Belgian Blond Ale
A moderately strong, Belgian ale with wonderful fruit, spice, clove and malt character. Fermentation character from Belgian yeast strains is appealing, and the finish is medium dry. Offers lemon hints and slight initial sweetness.

THIRD PLACE: Foothills Torch Pilsner
Czech-style Premium Pale Lager (Bohemian-style Pilsner)
Golden pilsner malt backbone supported by hefty doses of floral, spicy noble hops. A lingering hop finish and clean, non-fruity lager character. Beautiful hops and good bitterness for style.

Mother Earth Endless River
A crisp, light ale with appropriate malt/hop balance, light fruitiness and pleasant floral German hop bitterness. Offers a dry and refreshing finish.

Foothills Pilot Mountain Pale Ale
American Pale Ale
A beautifully balanced, hoppy pale ale with light fruity esters and citrusy, piney American hops. A classic example of the style.

Weihenstephaner Original Premium
Munich Helles
A classic, lightly malty German lager with a smooth, light malt sweetness, honey-like undertones and a soft, somewhat dry finish. Light spicy, floral/herbal hops keep the balance toward malt, but not too sweet. A gorgeous session lager.

Mother Earth Weeping Willow Wit
Witbier (Belgian White)
A refreshing, complex, elegant, light ABV wheat ale with wheat cereal grain notes, orange peel, coriander and subtle Belgian fermentation notes. This beer exhibits a wonderful balance of all the appropriate aroma and flavor components.

Lonerider Shotgun Betty
A wonderfully drinkable version of the classic German-style wheat beer with soft, creamy mouthfeel, moderately dry finish, and banana, clove and light bubblegum yeast complexity.