This upcoming Saturday, the largest beer festival in Las Vegas will take place downtown. If you haven’t already, purchase your tickets here.
Assuming you have your tickets, the next course of action is to take a look at the festival map here. Start planning out which booths you want to visit, to ensure that you get samples of all the beers that you are interested in. Keep in mind though that not all beers are available all at once, and many breweries will tap a new beer each hour.
Probably one the most easily forgotten tips of a beer festival is to drink plenty of water and eat plenty of food. The purpose of this beer festival is to “discover beer.” This should be an opportunity to learn more about what types of beers you prefer and give you an opportunity to try something new. Hopefully, a newfound appreciation can be started for something unexpected. Of course, the only way for any of this to make any impact, is if you can remember what beers you are sampling.
Water is typically available to all attendees for free, so be sure to take advantage of it. Additionally, if you purchased a VIP ticket, then not only can you enter the festival an hour earlier than everyone else, but your food for the day is included in the price of the ticket. There are also plenty of food booths and trucks are available for anyone to purchase from.
Be safe, and have fun. It’s going to be a great event. And if you happen to run into us, be sure to say hi! Follow @hookedonhops on twitter to see photos and updates from the event!
“Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”
—Ishmael; Moby Dick
Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione, being the literary nerd that he is, worked with a Delaware clam harvester to recreate the clam chowder found in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Calagione took some liberties with the recipe, and assumed that Melville left out IPA when writing up the recipe. Thus, Dogfish Head’s Hard Tack Chowder was born; made with 60 Minute IPA! I procured a can of said chowder (“chowdah” for those of you in the northeast) and went to work following the simple directions on label.
You would have to be living under a rock to not see the impact that ciders are making on the beverage industry. Angry Orchard from Sam Adams is currently dominating the market with both Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors adding additional cider brands to their already existing labels. Sadly, these ciders do not do the style justice. That’s what we have Tieton Cider Works for.
I’ve had a few of Tieton’s ciders, and while I found them all to be very enjoyable, and extremely food friendly, I am immensely drawn to one particular cider of theirs.
Yesterday, in partnership with The Great Vegas Festival of Beer, Joseph James Brewing Company held a special event at the brewery to celebrate the upcoming festival and the partnership of Nevada Craft Brewer’s Association.
Firstly, Joseph James debuted a beer brewed as the festival’s official beer: Sweet ‘N Funky Desert Junkie. The beer is an easy drinking 5% alcohol blonde ale brewed with local desert honey and Saaz hops. In my tasting of the beer, I found it to be extremely refreshing, with a sweet and floral finish. Saaz hops are a favorite of mine in a style like this because they contribute a sort of herbally, spice character that provides some earthiness to a beer. (more…)
Last night I visited the top floor of the Trump Tower for a special event featuring the Tenaya Creek Brewery. The past couple weeks they have been working with James Watt and Martin Dickie, co-founders of Scotland based Brew Dog, brewing a collaboration beer celebrating Las Vegas; and it was time for the big reveal.
Brew Dog is most well known for some of their outlandish beers. The End of History is a 55% alcohol beer in which the bottles were shoved in the mouths of taxidermy squirrels. They’ve also fermented a beer at the bottom of the ocean, and most recently released a protest beer named Hello, My Name is Vladimir.
They also have their own TV show, aptly named Brew Dogs. The show features the co-founders as they travel around the US, brewing beers that are meant to represent the given city that they are visiting. Of course, these are no ordinary beers that are brewed. A San Francisco a beer was brewed using fog, a Colorado beer was made using the power of the sun, and a highly caffeinated beer was brewed on top of a ferry in Seattle. The show also features a brewery local to the city to assisting with the creation of the beer. They are currently filming season 2, with Las Vegas and Tenaya Creek being chosen to participate.
I’m not sure what I personally would have chosen as ingredients in a beer meant to represent Las Vegas. Anthony Gibson, head brewer for Tenaya Creek, and the Scottish duo chose to go big. Really big. They brewed the most expensive beer in the world, in the most Las Vegas way possible.
Oskar Blues is finally available in Las Vegas. If you are unaware of who Oskar Blues is, here’s what you need to know:
1. Colorado based craft brewery famous for being the first to fully embrace cans for the packaging of their beer.
2. They make outstanding beers.
Now that we have cleared that up, let me say that every Oskar Blues beer that I’ve had has been phenomenal; though admittedly, I haven’t had too many. Ten Fidy, Old Chub, and Deviant Dales come to mind. So, I went ahead and decided to try something new. Being as I’ve been in a bit of a lager mood lately, I opted for a can of Mama’s Little Yella Pils. (more…)
We started using an enzyme in all of our beers before the end of last year and are now prepared to announce a significant breakthrough for gluten intolerant people. Because we love you and want you all to be happy, our beers are now SIGNIFICANTLY gluten reduced. Legally, we can never claim our beers to be gluten free because any product, according to the FDA, that once contained gluten can never be claimed as gluten free. However, the FDA threshold for gluten free is 20 ppm; our beers should fall in around the 10 ppm range. Celiac sufferers need not abstain any longer. Relax and have a beer.
This is huge for those with gluten intolerance. Searching for gluten free beers is not easy, and many of the beers are lackluster (though I personally prefer either Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale, or Las Vegas locals, Joseph James Brewing Company’s Fox Tail; which happens to be the first canned gluten free beer). Alpine is known for having incredible beers, and having all of them available to those who are gluten intolerant awesome. Click the above quote for the remainder of the press release.
I believe that the enzyme that Alpine is using is likely Clarity Ferm, made by White Labs. This enzyme was released last year, and its primary purpose is to reduce chill haze in a beer. As an added bonus, it reduces the gluten content in a beer. When I first heard of this enzyme a year ago, I wondered if/why a brewery wouldn’t just add it to all of their beers. Chill haze is something that no brewer wants to have, and why wouldn’t they want to make their beers available to those with gluten intolerance? If you clicked the link over to White Labs, you would’ve noticed that the TTB has interim guidelines for beers made with Clarity Ferm in what is allowed to be on the label. As Alpine mentioned in their press release, the term “gluten free” is not allowed since it was originally produced with gluten. It will be interesting to see if the use of this enzyme expands further.
Somewhere near the end of 2013, New Belgium released details of what was going to be their newest year round beer: Snapshot Wheat. This beer was to be a blend of both a traditionally fermented wheat beer, and one fermented with the souring bacteria lactobacillus. Being a fan of the Berliner Weiss style made me excited to try this beer; with the assumption that it would be similar to that style of beer.
Here we are. We’ve reached the final installment in this series of Emily and Melissa drinking beer. Along with Danny, they’ve had barley wine, mead, gueuze, and kriek. Off camera there has also been excessive wine drinking, and some shots of tequila; which leads us to where we are today. The beer is Sierra Nevada and Russian River’s collaboration; BRUX. Next time you see Danny, be sure to give him a hi-five for putting up with Emily and Melissa, and managing not to physically attack either one…
To be clear, I wasn’t exactly expecting to be amazed by MillerCoors’ newest “premium beer,” however I was intrigued by it and the way it was being marketed. Bloomberg was first to put together a piece on the beer. Between the various interviews in the article, it is mentioned that the primary reason for this beer’s existence is to try and bring market share back to beer from spirits.
“We asked, ’How would Jack Daniels or Maker’s Mark do a beer and why?’” said David Kroll, who was brought to MillerCoors from Dyson in 2012 to shake things up as its head of innovation. “We tortured every aspect to say, ’Are we falling back on what beer would do?’ Because this brand is intended to play in a spirits occasion.” (more…)