Archive for August, 2011

Our Guide to Brewmaster’s International Beer Festival: Part 2

Yesterday we highlighted a few top-notch Texas breweries, and today we’re heading west to check out what California has to offer!

First up is one of the more well-known craft brews- SIERRA NEVADA! Ever since founder Ken Grossman opened a small brewery in the town of Chico,California back in 1979, his goal has been to brew exceptional ales and lagers. Today, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is considered the premier craft brewery in the United States. Come out to Brewmaster’s this weekend and see why some critics proclaim it “Among the best brewed anywhere in the world.”

Sierra Nevada will offer something for every beer lover with its all-star lineup:

SIERRA NEVADA TORPEDO – 7.2% ABV – Sierra Nevada Torpedo ale is a big American IPA; bold, assertive and full of flavor and aromas highlighting the complex citrus, pine and herbal character of whole-cone American hops.

SIERRA NEVADA PALE ALE – 5.6% ABV – One of the more popular options, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a delightful interpretation of a classic style. It has a deep amber color and an exceptionally full-bodied, complex character. Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

SIERRA NEVADA SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE HARVEST -6.7% ABV- Fresh New Zealand hops are key. Taste the toasty caramel-like malts, fresh hop flavor of peppery spice, and lemon with a hint of rose-like aromas.

SIERRA NEVADA TUMBLER – 5.5% ABV-This beer features fresh-roasted malt used straight from the kiln to give it a gracefully smooth malt character perfect for an autumn afternoon.

Next stop, Sonoma, California for a taste of BEAR REPUBLIC’S hand-crafted brews. Made from carefully selected, premium ingredients, this brand is a “can’t miss” at the festival!

According to the brewery, all recipes and final formulations for the brews have been developed over a period of several years through home brewing sessions and lessons learned from trial and error. Taste the results of all of this hard work by trying any of the following offerings: 

HOP ROD RYE7.5% ABV – A strong American IPA made with 20% rye malt. Darker in color, Hop Rod Rye boasts a huge hop aroma and flavor accompanied by a slightly sweet, malty finish.

RACER 5 IPA 7.0% ABV -This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with American grains.Columbus and Cascade hops add a unique floral quality. Also hopped with Chinook and Centennial.

PETER BROWN TRIBUTE ALE -6.5% ABV- Dark brown in color, this is our rendition of a Strong American Brown Ale, paying homage to subtle flavors of golden brown sugars and sweet molasses.

RED ROCKET6.8% ABV- An American Amber Ale, this bastardized Scottish style red ale traces it’s origins to our homebrew roots. This full bodied and hoppy brew finishes on the palate with sweet, caramel malt flavors 

Finally, join the beer revolution with ROGUE The spirit of the Rogue brand, even the name, suggests doing things differently, a desire and a willingness to change the status quo. A Rogue Ale, Porter, Stout, Lager or Spirit is crafted to give it unique character, innovative in its makeup and brewing, a process that has not compromised quality. This brewery believes if a Rogue Ale, Porter, Stout, Lager or Spirit cannot be all of these things; it should not be made at all.

With flavors inspired by everything from peanut brittle to chipotle peppers, Rogue is definitely worth checking out!
Learn more about the interesting lineup of brews below:

DOUBLE DEAD GUY ALEDeep amber copper color. Buttery peanut brittle, orange blossom tea aromas follow through to a rich chewy and fruity full body with nice notes of caramel drizzled dried apricot and roasted grains and spice. Finishes with a long, tangy grilled grapefruit and chocolate fade.

DEAD GUY ALE Deep reddish amber hue. Generous toasty malt aromas and earthy hops follow through on a moderately full-bodied palate with fruity accents and a long spicy hop finish. A delicious hybrid style with bock-like maltiness but ale-like hopping

JOHN JOHN HAZELNUTRogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar aged in Rogue’s Hazelnut Spiced Rum barrels 

CHIPOTLE ALERoasted chipotle peppers produce an eye opening chile flavor in this deep golden ale with a malty, smoky aroma and smooth, crisp flavor

Starting to feel overwhelmed with choices? Luckily for you, it’s a four day festival. Check back tomorrow for a closer look at Fat Tire, Indian Wells and Cornell Brewing!

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Countdown to Brewmaster’s International Festival 

Who’s heading to Galveston’s Moody Gardens for the Brewmaster’s International Festival this weekend? Want to know what to expect when you get there?

Check back daily as we’ll share information on our favorite brands and brews that you can expect to see at the event! Today, we’ll kick things off by introducing you to a few of our Texas breweries –Southern Star, Saint Arnold and Rahr & Sons.

Straight out of their 10,000 square foot warehouse in Conroe, Texas, Southern Star Brewing Company will be on site offering a taste of their delicious canned craft beer selection. The brewery, which started production in March of 2008 with their signature beer, Pine Belt Pale Ale has since expanded their offerings to include Bombshell Blonde, Buried Hatchet Stout, and summer seasonal Walloon.  Here’s a brief description of each beer, courtesy of Southern Star’s Web site.

Bombshell Blonde – American Blonde Ale – 5.25% ABV – 20 IBU – Rich, creamy golden-colored ale fermented at a cool temperature to give a clean finish.  Hints of yeasty bread and a touch of hops combine to make a beer that is truly more than the sum of its parts.

Pine Belt – American Pale Ale – 6.3% ABV – 45 IBU – Deep copper-colored ale with a substantial malt backbone accented with British crystal malts with aggressive hop bitterness and substantial American hop flavor and aroma.  The yeast profile is neutral.

Buried Hatchet – Strong American Stout – 8.25% ABV – 50 IBU – Jet-black in color, this monster smells of coffee and chocolate.  The taste is much of the same, with hints of creamy toffee and roasted malt.  Smooth and delicious, this medium bodied ale is all about the malts, but has enough hop bitterness to be balanced.

Walloon (Summer Seasonal) – Belgian Grisette – Grisette was a style of beer developed in the 1800s in the Hainaut province of southernBelgium to slake the thirsts of coal and stone miners.  Delicate mouthfeel, slight acidic taste, light & refreshing 

If you’re one of the few craft beer lovers who hasn’t already tried Saint Arnold’s you’re in for a treat. This year, the Houston area brewery will be on site with a selection of brands including Oktoberfest and Weedwacker. While we love all of the brewery’s offerings, we’d like to give a special shout out to Elissa IPA – an Indian Pale Ale with a cause close to our hearts! Proceeds from this brew go toward preserving Galveston’s historic tall ship by the same name.

Here’s some more information on the beers Saint Arnold’s will have available.

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 11 – 8.9% ABV The first filtered Divine eserve, the color is deep amber with a light, creamy head. The nose starts off with a touch of citrus but then turns decidedly into peaches. The taste starts off with creamy malt resulting from the pale 2 row and caramel malts and Saint Arnold yeast. The hop bitter starts low then builds to a crescendo, but always maintains a balance even in its big finish.

 Saint Arnold Weedwacker –  4.9% ABV – Essentially a Bavarian hefeweizen, but it’s not. It’s Lawnmower but fermented with Bavarian hefeweizen yeast instead of kölsch yeast. Unfiltered, it is light and refreshing but has a spicy clove note and some banana esters that come from the different yeast.

Saint Arnold Elissa IPA  6.6% ABV – A traditional India Pale Ale, the Elissa IPA is very hoppy with a properly balanced malty body. Elissa has huge hop additions in the kettle that give it a wonderful bitterness and is then dry-hopped in the fermenter to create the pleasant floral, hoppy nose.

 Saint Arnold Oktoberfest 6.0% ABV – A full bodied, malty, slightly sweet beer celebrating the Autumn harvest. this rich beer has a round malt flavor and an above average alcohol content perfect for a cool fall evening.

Last but certainly not least is Rahr & Sons Brewing from Fort Worth. This family brewery may have opened its doors in 2004, but the Rahr’s have been making beer in America since 1847 and the experience shows! While all of the brands are a treat, we recommend trying Ugly Pug and see what earned the brew a shout out from the Wall Street Journal!

Rahr & Sons will have all of the following available at Brewmaster’s:

Stormcloud IPA6.0% ABV – A German-Style IPA – a traditional India Pale Ale with a German Influence.

Rahr’s Blond – 4.8% ABV – A medium-bodied traditional Munich Helles-style pale lager that features a rounded maltiness without being too heavy. And like every proudTexas, it has a good head, is pleasant – but not overly sweet.

Ulgly Pug Black Lager –  4.5% ABV – This schwarzbier, or black lager, has a surprisingly light body with hints of coffee and chocolate making it easy to drink on even the hottest Texas summer days.

La Grange Farmhouse Ale – 7.25 ABV – With an apricot-colored body, the aroma is oflight citrus and peppery spices. The taste starts offfruity and finishes off refreshingly dry.

Which of these beers are you most looking forward to? Check back tomorrow for more!

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Happy Foodie Friday!
This weekend, enjoy a truly Texan pairing – delicious BBQ Beef sandwiches and ice-cold Ugly Pug from Fort Worth’s own Rahr & Sons brewery!

Ugly Pug, referred to by some as “nirvana in a bottle” combines the rich flavors of coffee, chocolate and beer to create one satisfying beverage.

Despite its dark color, the tasty brew has a surprisingly light body, making it easy to enjoy on even the hottest of summer days! So, cheers to another day of triple digit temperatures with an Ugly Pug and some good ole’ Texas BBQ!

Makes 6 Sandwiches
2 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck                     2 cups beef stock
3 garlic cloves, minced                 6 crusty French-bread rolls, split
1 can (7oz) chipotle sauce or spicy salsa         1 tbsp honey

1 can (4 oz) diced jalapeño chiles, drained      2 ½ tsp kosher salt

1 onion, chopped                                           1 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp ground dried New Mexico chile or regular chili powder
1 can (14 ½ oz) chopped tomatoes

Rinse the beef and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off any excess fat. Place the beef in a large electric slow-cooker. Stir in the tomatoes with juice, chipotle sauce, jalapeño chiles, onion, garlic, ground chile, honey, salt, and cumin. Pour the stock over the top.

Cover the crock and cook on low heat until the beef is very tender when pierced with a knife, 8 – 10 hours. If desired, remove the lid for the last 30 minutes to let the sauce reduce and thicken.

Using a heavy fork, transfer the meat to a carving board or plate. Shred with 2 forks. Ladle out half the sauce and reserve for another use. Return the shredded beef to the remaining sauce in the slow-cooker, cover, and let warm. Pile onto rolls and serve.

Cook’s Tip: These sandwiches are delicious topped with shredded cabbage, red onion, sliced tomato, cilantro, and sour cream.

Try out this recipe and let us know what you think! Have a tried and true BBQ recipe you’d like to share? We’re open to suggestions – post it in the comment section below!

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Calling all foodies and beer lovers! We’re introducing a new column – Foodie Friday!

Here, we’ll post information on upcoming tasting events and beer dinners, and share our own suggested food and beer pairings to try at home.

This week, we dive right in with a surprising pairing – Belgium White meets Spanish flair with Paella Valencia and an ice-cold Shock Top! The naturally cloudy brew’s golden hue and slight orange taste pairs perfectly with the rich, salty flavors of this traditional seafood dish from Spain.  Enjoy this special recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Sam Neimann of St. Louis, Missouri and let us know how it turns out.


What else do you enjoy cooking with Shock Top or other Belgium Whites? Add your ideas in the comment section below!

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