Madame Rose is a bitch. You wouldn’t know it from meeting her; she’s actually very friendly and personable. But to those who have to work with her: Madame Rose is a bitch. I met Madame Rose last week, while attending a Goose Island beer pairing dinner at Todd English. The darkly lit restaurant featured several of Goose Island’s barrel aged beers, and a very unique and diverse food menu.
It’s 11:30 AM, I’m hungover from drinking too much at The Trappist in Oakland, and I just scarfed down a Korean burrito for “breakfast”. I’m standing in a line about half a block long. There’s a guy asking people for money in line, but not for beer or drugs, god forbid, no it’s for arts materials for “the kids.” Everyone replies no, or so I would imagine. Welcome to the Tenderloin, home of Mikkeller Bar SF. (more…)
Two weeks from now, there are a few awesome New Belgium events coming to Las Vegas, courtesy of our local Beer Ranger, Karl Herrera. New Belgium’s Sensory Specialist/Blender/Organoleptic Educator, Lauren Salazar will be in town bringing some special beers to all of these events.
(All tap lists below subject to change)
First, a tap takeover at Khoury’s on Wednesday, March 13th at 6pm, featuring the following beers on draft: (more…)
We’ve toyed with the idea of making some sort of video series for the site, but could never come up with the right way to go about it that involves our love of craft beer, with our sense of humor. That was until Melissa Marth, of The Big Friendly Corporation, and Emily Miller agreed to get involved as well. They don’t have nearly the obsession for craft beer that we have, so we though it would be interesting to have them taste a few of our favorite beers, and get their reactions. It also helps that they are two of the funniest people I know.
So Danny sat down with them for what was supposed to be a quick 5 minute video of them tasting 5 different beers. However, they showed up after a couple bottles of wine, and we instead got 40 minutes of drunken ramblings. So, this will be broken up into 5 different videos, one for each beer, and each one progressively becoming slightly more belligerent.
So, without further ado, here is the first of the videos, my favorite sour beer, New Belgium La Folie.
*Parental discretion is advised*
When I wrote about New Belgium’s La Folie, I should have just written this.
This past summer (which started in April in Las Vegas) I was really into beers that were lower in alcohol, and preferably, a bit sour. These beers are perfect for Las Vegas summers. The lower alcohol means a lighter body, which increases drinkability and adds a nice refreshing quality to it.
Sour beers are a bit of another story, but if it’s a little tart, and low in alcohol, it has even more refreshing qualities to it. Think of lemonade, for example.
Berliner Weisse beers fit this description perfectly. Here’s a quick run down: German origins, features around 50% wheat in the ingredients list (much like a hefeweizen), low alcohol (traditionally under 4%), and a little bit of tartness. Napoleon’s troops referred to this style as “Champagne of the north” (according to the BJCP). Champagne is a fair description. Mimosa may be a little bit more accurate.
If you are new to sour beers. Berliner Weisse would be a good starting point. The tartness comes from the lactic acid cultures that are used in the fermentation process. Lactic acid adds a green apple level of sourness. Careful though, some are only mildly tart, others are puckeringly sour.
Sadly, this isn’t an overly popular style beer. The most readily available Berliner Weisse in Las Vegas would be Dogfish Head’s Festina Pêche. It’s their summer seasonal beer, so it’s not necessarily that readily available. Also, they call it a “neo-Berliner Weisse” so don’t expect this to be a traditional representation of the style.
If the name didn’t tip you off, it’s made with peaches. The aroma is filled with the smell of ripe peaches. It is very light body and has a crisp finish. The flavor is very peachy throughout, but it isn’t a sweet, sugary beer. It would be in the lightly tart range in the sourness scale.
Extremely refreshing beer. If you still find some around town, (honestly, a bit unlikely) scoop it up and enjoy while it’s still warm outside!
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.
Hopefully you’ve heard of Anchorage Brewing Company by now. This brewery is less than a year old and yet it has been recognized by Ratebeer as the top new brewery of the year. Each of their beers are consistently recognized as having high scores on both Ratebeer and Beer Advocate.
Embrace the Funk has a great interview with Anchorage founder, Gabe Fletcher. What I didn’t realize, is that he runs the entire company by himself, in some space he’s renting from another brewery. His methods for using wild yeasts, aging and blending are worth the read. For homebrewers, he provides the recipe for Anchorage Love Buzz Saison.
Read the interview here.
The above image greets you when you visit Public House’s website. There are billboards in town with a business suit dressed chimpanzee holding an American flag. While the concept of a gastropub is traditionally English, Public House is quintessentially American.
The interior resembles a library. Dark wood covers the floors with bookshelves holding various old books, ornaments and antiques. The decorations typically have an American theme. Pen drawings of American Flags or founding fathers are displayed.
Where to start? Public House is home to the only Certified Cicerone in the state of Nevada, and as such, has an impressive beer list. There are roughly 200 beers to choose from, primarily in bottles, ranging from German lagers to Belgian abbey ales, and from French farmhouse ales to American IPAs and even a few sours and barrel aged beers. They also regularly keep a beer available on cask. During my visit the cask beer was Deschutes Black Butte Porter. The cask version gave this beer a very soft and smooth texture. It retained it’s dark chocolatey taste while feeling very light texture-wise. I also tasted Stillwater’s Existent, a dark farmhouse ale. A lot of plum aromas paired with grape flavors. Despite the dark, fruity flavors, the beer was still refreshingly light.
Both beers paired perfectly with the hearty, rich food that Public House has to offer. Appetizer was the Welsh Rarebit. “Cheddar-Beer Sauce on Toast” as the menu described. The cheese sauce tasted like it was comprised of a dark malty beer with a little mustard, possibly even Worcestershire sauce? The bread was perfectly crusty to contrast the creamy cheese sauce on top.
I opted to try the Pub Burger for the main course. Maybe it was the bacon marmalade, the Guinness aioli, or the gruyére cheese, but this was one of the best burgers I’ve had in Las Vegas. The grass-fed beef was juicy and the toppings complimented it with rich cheese and sweet bacon. Despite the flavorful ingredients, the burger was perfectly balanced with no one aspect dominating the others. This is a difficult burger to eat in one sitting, but it’s even more difficult to stop eating it!
Other items on the menu include fried quail served with waffles, roasted bone marrow served with bacon, and various steaks, and shellfish. There is also grilled octopus, duck confit, and a foie gras parfait.
Public House is located in the Venetian resort on the strip. They use the best quality ingredients and have a renowned chef. As such, the prices reflect this. The quality of food definitely matches the price and this restaurant is worth every penny. That said, the beer prices are also higher than most places in Las Vegas. Bottles start at $7 for 12oz and drafts start at $8. You are likely to end up paying about $10 a beer if you want to drink the less common stuff. Yes, the beers are priced high, but you are likely not going to find most of these beers anywhere else in town. Even still, this place is completely worth it for the food alone.