While I was visiting Washington last month, I finally got the chance to stop by Sound Brewery and try their beers. They are located just a couple miles down the road from where I grew up, and over the past year, I kept hearing about this brewery. Friends still living in the state would tell me about Sound, I’d see websites announce Sound as one of the best breweries of the Pacific Northwest, and I even started to see their beers for sale on Letspour. Needless to say, I had some high expectations, and was anxiously awaiting my chance to taste their beers. I scheduled an interview with one of Sound’s founders, Mark Hood, so I could learn a bit more about what has made Sound so successful, and to taste a few of their beers, of course. (more…)
I went to high school in a small town named Poulsbo. Over the past 9 years since I’ve left the state, there seems to have been a dozen small breweries that have opened up. I was able to visit a few of them and taste some of their unique beers.
Simply put, cask beer is a beer that is brewed and fermented, and then placed into essentially a small keg, where it is then conditioned and naturally carbonated through a secondary fermentation. The beer is transported to its serving location in this vessel and served directly from this vessel without the use of any additional pressure.
That being said, cask beer is delicious. Todd English’s PUB and Public House always have at least one cask beer available at any given moment. There are a couple other places in Las Vegas that also have cask beers available off and on. If you get the chance, try out one of these beers!
Here’s what to expect: (more…)
Tenaya Creek: Tapping their newest beer, God of Thunder Baltic Porter, at 6PM. Sauced Food Truck will be serving food made with the beer, and Tenaya Creek will be raffling a growler of the beer at 7 and 8PM.
Khoury’s Fine Wine: Also tonight at 6PM, Khoury’s will be tapping 3 rare kegs of Ballast Point beers: Victory At Sea (imperial vanilla coffee porter), Barrel Aged Black Marlin (porter), and Abandon Ship (smoked lager). Sausagefest Food Truck will be serving food.
Mammoth Brewing Company is tucked away in the mountains of California, and sadly, does not distribute to Nevada. Thankfully, it is close by to some of the Hooked on Hops extended family! We were able to get our hands on seven of their beers and had a tasting of them all. To get to the point, these beers do not disappoint! Next time you are in California, be sure to scope out some of these!
GOLDEN TROUT PILSNER
This is a solid pilsner! This is very refreshing, with a toasted bread aroma and a dry, cracker-like finish. There is a firm hop bitterness (as any good pilsner should have!) that gives this beer a nice, long, lingering grassy, finish.
REAL MCCOY AMBER ALE
As light and refreshing as the pilsner, but with less hop flavor, and more maltiness. This beer smells like caramel and has a maple-like finish. This is extremely refreshing and would make for the perfect session beer during the hot summer months!
PARANOIDS PALE ALE
This beer smells incredibly like fresh oranges, with a nice orange zest-like finish! In fact, this has such a strong orange aroma and flavor, that we decided to mix orange juice in with the beer to create one of the best beermosas we have ever had! This is very citrusy, with a lightly bitter aftertaste. Also, an amazing summer beer, or breakfast beer for that matter!
DOUBLE NUT BROWN
This beer recently won the gold medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup, and for good reason! An amazing coffee aroma greets you, along with a smooth coffee flavor in the finish. The aroma, and initial flavor, is lightly smokey with a nice smooth and chocolatey body. One of the best porters available!
Blondibock is an incredible uniquely flavored beer. This is brewed as a traditional blonde bock-style lager, but it is then aged for 3 months in bourbon barrels. The result is an extremely flavorful beer, especially for a lager. The nose is filled with bourbon and coconut, with a hint of pineapple, giving this an almost piña colada-like aroma. The flavor is also filled with coconut, in addition to a firm bourbon overtone. The overall flavor and aroma of this beer would make for an amazing candle!
DEVILS POST PALE ALE
If there was a grapefruit beer, this would be it. Generously hopped with centennial hops, this beer has a strong grapefruit aroma, along with a firm grapefruit style bitterness that lingers long after the finish. Calling this beer a pale ale is an understatement, as this beer has the alcohol and bitterness to match any other well respected IPA on the west coast!
Lastly, we tasted the juniper-themed IPA. The juniper is exceptionally strong in this beer, so much so that it is difficult to discern the sage that is also added to this beer. In the flavor, the juniper immediately jumps out, followed by a firm hop bitterness in the finish. A very solid, and unique, take on the IPA style.
All in all, Mammoth has some solid beers. We strongly recommend you seek these beers out the next time you are in California. The most favorited beers amongst the Hooked on Hops crew were the Blondibock and the Double Nut Brown Porter. Not sampled today, but also an exceptional beer, is their Hair of the Bear Doppelbock!
Photo Credits: Danny Szeto
The one and only Aces & Ales is celebrating their 3rd anniversary, and they’ve enlisted the help of the local Joseph James Brewery to help them. Together, they’ve made a beer commemorating the 3 years that Aces & Ales has been punishing palates in Las Vegas with their intense craft beer selections.
Porters have got to be one of the best styles of beer, simply because they perfectly balance dark, bitter, roasted malts, with sweet, chocolatey goodness. Not only does this beer boast both of these elements, the barrel aging gives this beer a nice smokey aroma and flavor to complement the dark chocolate. For a beer that’s 10.8% alcohol, this is extremely drinkable.
If you are reading this, and it is still Saturday the 14th, GO TO ACES & ALES RIGHT NOW! Not only is this a very limited offering, they are giving it away for free. The keg was tapped at 3PM today, and your first round is on the house, today only or until they kill the keg, whichever happens first.
As for the bottle seen above, I got bottle 34/120. So yeah, bottles are also very limited, and will probably sell out tonight, if not already.
Congratulations Aces & Ales! Las Vegas wouldn’t be the same without you!
If you’ve been following us on Twitter, you’ve probably heard me say quite a few times, “perfect beer for summer!” I’m starting to lose track of all these summer beers I’m recommending, so I thought I’d try and compile them all for you here. Feel free to chime in with your favorite summer beers.
New Belgium Tart Lychee – Definitely one of my new favorite beers. I fully admit that I don’t exactly know what lychee tastes like, but the fruitiness in this beer reminds me of cranberry, grape, and a little bit of pear. The sweet fruitiness in the beer gives a little bit of a crisp, tart edge upfront, making it taste a little like a flavored lemonade. Just the right amount of cinnamon is added as well giving a lightly spicy finish. Surprisingly, this is 8.5% alcohol, but the dry body and slightly sweet, slightly sour taste hides it well.
Maui Brewing Sobrehumano Palena ‘ole – This is a collaboration beer made with Jolly Pumpkin. The current version that is available is Maui’s version. This is a red ale made with liliko’i (some Hawaiian fruit) and cherries. The fruit gives this beer a nice tart flavor, but not as tart as New Belgium’s Tart Lychee. Again the light, crisp body and subtle fruitiness make this a very refreshing beer.
Stone Smoked Porter W/ Chipotle Peppers/Vanilla Bean – Stone has just released these two variations of their popular Smoked Porter. One is similar to an ice cream beer float, the other is similar to a Mexican molé sauce. However, hese smokey, delicious bastards are not available in Nevada. If you’ve ever had one of these at a beer festival, then you know that it is worth the trip to Southern California.
New Belgium Shift – This is basically the perfect “anytime” beer. It’s in a can, so you can safely take it anywhere. Perfect replacement for a cheap, light lager. This is a dry, crisp lager with a nice cracker like malt character and it is firmly hopped for a nice bitter edge. The light body and alcohol content makes this ideal for drinking outside when it’s over 100 degrees.
Uinta Baba Black Lager – All the benefits of a lager: light body, dry, and crisp; with all the benefits of a dark beer: roasty, malt flavor and goes great with the dark, charred bits of barbecued food.
One more, because I can never have enough favorite beers:
Stone Levitation – This is a low alcohol, session ale. The 4.4% alcohol content is similar to a Coors Light, but the difference being that this beer has a healthy dose of hops and colorful malt bill, giving this beer the same refreshing, light body of a light lager, but with a surprisingly complex flavor.
*All photos came from the respective breweries’ websites.
Stone returns to Aces & Ales this year for Stone Domination on May 18th-20th. CEO and co-founder Greg Koch will be in attendance on the 18th for a meet and greet.
$15 gets you a 9oz Stone-etched tasting glass with your first fill included. Tasters are $4 each after that. Or you can get 12oz pours of all beers for $7 if you’d rather do without the commemorative glass.
Aces and Ales released the tap list for this event at the Great Vegas Festival of Beer. I’ve included it below for reference. You don’t want to miss this!
– Bruery/Elysian/Stone La Citrueille Cèleste de Citracado
– Jason Fields and Kevin Sheppard/Troegs/Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout
– Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale by Stone Brewing Co
– Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
– Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA
– Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA
– Arrogant Bastard Ale
– Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale
– 2011 Double Bastard Ale
– Cali-Belgique IPA
– 2010 Stone Imperial Russian Stout
– 2008 Stone Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
– 2011 Stone BELGO Anise Imperial Russian Stout
– Stone IPA
– Stone LeVariation Ale
– Stone Levitation Ale
– Stone Mix Tape – GK & LU’s Blend Vol. 1
– 2010 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine
– 2011 Stone Old Guardian BELGO Barley Wine
– Stone Pale Ale
– Stone Ruination Double Dry Hopped with Amarillo Hops
– Stone Smoked Porter
– Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers
– Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean
– Double Dry Hopped Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale
Last week, the Whole Foods at Town Square held a beer pairing dinner with Sierra Nevada and Bit & Spur Restaurant in Springdale, Utah. The food and the beer was amazing, so I’m just going to cut to the chase and show you some pictures.
Gazpacho soup with roasted green chiles, tomato, cucumber, and garnished with a hard boiled egg and croutons.
Paired with Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
Kellerweis is a wheat beer, and a perfect companion to lightly spicy, flavorful soup. The soft textured, sweet beer cleanses the palate between each bite.
Smoked baby back riblets with red chile ketchup BBQ sauce with & citrus ginger cole slaw with fennel, apples, and pomegranate seed, ginger yogurt, lime dressing.
Paired with Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye
If you read my Ruthless Chicken article, you know that I love rye beers with barbecue. These ribs were no exception. The sweet smokey taste compliments the harsh, rustic IPA.
Picadillo empanada garnished with queso fresco & pico de gallo
Paired with Ovila Quad
Quad is probably the first Ovila beer that I’ve really liked. The malty sweetness was a good choice for the ground beef inside this empanada.
The above photos were either taken by me or by Whole Foods. See the rest of Whole Foods’ photos here.
When Joseph James had their brand relaunch at Khoury’s earlier this month, I was able to snag a bottle of their Roasted Coconut Pumpkin Porter. This is part of their “Rough Draft” series. These beers are in progress and are not available for sale.
This beer had an incredible smell. Neither the coconut or pumpkin overwhelmed the other. This was also evident in the taste as well. The two main ingredients went together incredibly well. This was more of a brown porter style, so the sweetness in the malts also brought out the sweetness in the pumpkin flavors.
The aspects that were lacking in this beer were body and carbonation. It was a bit thin and flat for a porter. It is important to remember that this is a rough draft beer, and as such is a work in progress. These are very easy issues to fix and the fact that these are the only issues in an in-progress beer is nothing to hold against it.
I really hope they make this beer again and release it as a seasonal. This would be a great fall/winter beer to drink by the fire. Or even better, as an ice cream float!