What is the point of beer styles? Historically, beer styles were just names of the city of origin for the style, like Pilsner, Vienna lager, Dortmunder Export, etc. Or they were the beers eventual destination, like India pale ale, Baltic Porter, or Russian imperial stout. More often than not, the meaning of the name changes over time. India pale ale is better known as IPA; regardless of where it is being shipped to. The stout porter, which was originally known as a stronger porter (in both alcohol and flavor), eventually just started to be called stout. Today, the primary differing factor between stout and porter is simply the addition of roasted barley, giving a stout a more pronounced roast character over the typically sweeter or more chocolatey flavors of porter.
Today in the American craft beer world beer styles have become even more confusing. I once heard someone argue that a particular double IPA tasted more like a double pale ale. The odd thing is, despite the fact that neither the Brewer’s Association or the Beer Judge Certification Program recognizes double pale ale as a style, I still knew what they meant. The often rumored origin of India pale ale was that it was an extra strength pale ale; with the added alcohol and hops used to withstand a voyage to India from England. While I think it’s perfectly fair to argue that an extra strength pale ale is the same as a double pale ale is the same as an IPA; IPA nowadays is predominately recognized by its intense hop aroma and flavor (I’d argue that bitterness doesn’t matter, with Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA being an example of a non-bitter IPA). (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 assist 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.
I must confess, that as many times as I have frequented Aces and Ales, I have yet to attend either a dinner event, or Tuesday Night Tastings. This is not due to a lack of faith, as I have yet to enjoy a less than stellar dish during any eating experience at this establishment. Mainly, it’s simply due to life obligations sadly getting in the way of my palate’s enjoyment. Thankfully, both Luis and I were able to attend the recent Coronado Beer Dinner, and I must say, I can’t wait to attend the next!
Taco Tuesday is one of Hooked on Hops’ favorite days of the week; tacos being a favorite dish amongst all of us. And of course we prefer to enjoy a craft beer with our tacos. So what better way to celebrate Taco Tuesday, then with a craft beer cocktail, appropriately named, ‘Taco Tuesday?’ The base beer for this drink is The Bruery’s Black Tuesday. An imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels, with a 19% alcohol content, that the brewery only releases once a year. This is not an easy beer to get your hands on, and it is surely worth the effort if you can get it!
As for the rest of the ingredients for the ‘Taco Tuesday,’ well… just take a look at this video for the details: (more…)
This past week, May 13th-19th, marked American Craft Beer Week. American Craft Beer Week is basically a week to celebrate the small and independent breweries and the fine work that they do.
For the first time that I can remember, local brewery Tenaya Creek went all out to ensure that craft beer fans got a chance to whet their palates with some rare offerings. Each day, Tenaya Creek released a new beer (sometimes more), and all are worth talking about. (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.
It’s amusing to me how we often times covet the beers that we don’t get in our state. Case in point, I am currently on vacation in my home state of Washington, we walked into an Albertson’s and see cans of 21st Amendment and Oskar Blues sitting on the shelf. Typically, we jump at the opportunity to drink these beers, since they are not available in Vegas. But here, in the little town of Silverdale, they sit in the beer fridge along with countless great Pacific Northwest beers. Being an advocate for our local breweries in Las Vegas, it seemed only right to buy some local Washington beers, as opposed to the familiar names. I’ll likely be posting several other posts this week about non-Nevada beers and breweries. While Nevada local beers are a huge focus for us, many of our readers are from other states and have different beers distributed than what we get in Nevada. So whether you make it up to Washington, or are within the distribution of the breweries, here are some tasting notes of a few beers we had our first night in Washington.
Elysian The Immortal IPA
I’ve not had very many Elysian beers, so this was a new one to me. Solid IPA. Floral aroma, piney, resinous buttering hops, with a sweet, juicy malt finish. Like biting into a piney orange. The bottle conditioning gave the beer a soft carbonation and a refreshing finish.
Iron Horse Quilter’s Irish Death
Everytime I make it back to Washington, I make it a point to have Irish Death. This is one of the best stout/porter/American Strong Ale/whatever hybrid style beer this is. Dark as a stout, sweet as a porter, and boasting nearly 8% alcohol, this is the perfect balance of flavors. So incredibly drinkable, with a dry finish.
Silver City Ridgetop Red
A great example of a red ale that isn’t too sweet, with a good mix of earthy, piney hops to balance out the maltiness. A very drinkable session ale.
While Lauren Salazar was in Las Vegas for several of the New Belgium events in town, I was given a chance to sit down with her and discuss New Belgium’s creative process and some of their upcoming projects.
La Folie has become one of my favorite beers and being able to sit down and talk with the blender who makes La Folie was awesome. I’m really looking forward to all of the new beers that we discussed, as well as New Belgium’s expansion.
Hooked on Hops: You’re known for being the wood cellar manager at New Belgium and blending sour beers, like La Folie. What are some non-sour beers that you enjoy drinking?
Lauren Salazar: I’m a crazy stout fan! Anything dark, malty, huge; that’s my thing. Old Rasputin, Big Bad Baptist, I love anything huge and big. (more…)
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…)
Aces and Ales did it again, and in a big way. I’ve been to their Strong Beer Fest, Winter Beer Fest, Stone Domination, etc., but never have I felt the sense local community like I did a week ago Saturday. Aces and Ales presented their first ever Homegrown Tap Takeover, which brought together Las Vegas’ four most well known breweries: Tenaya Creek, Joseph James, Big Dog’s and Chicago Brewing Company.
Before I get into the beer, much praise needs to be heaped upon everyone that had a hand in making this special event happen. The organization and execution was flawless, and the Aces crew were in high spirits as they hustled to deliver great craft beer and delicious food to the insatiable palates of their patrons. The breweries put their best efforts forward and really were able to come through with some memorable offerings. A huge thank you to everyone involved. (more…)