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Archive for the ‘Magic Hat’ Category

Hello and hearty Texas Tuesday to you, Pint Jockeys!

tx big beer logo

We’ve got a lot to look forward to this week: Christmas is just six days away and the supposed end of the world (!!!) is three days away. But we might argue the most important event is just TWO days away. That’s right, we’re talking about the December Pint Jockeys tasting events. We hear you; we can’t believe a whole month’s gone by, either. We guess time flies when you’re drinking good beer.

Anyway, this Thursday’s lineup will feature all three Texas BIG BEER Brewery offerings, including Big Texas Blonde (a Belgian ale which we featured in our Texas Tuesday post last week), Renaissance Cowboy (a Scottish Ale which first debuted at the Texas Renaissance Festival) and Texas Crude (a robust porter).

All the tasting events will also serve Magic Hat #9 and Stella Artois, which was originally crafted as a holiday beer.

At the Texas City tasting, Texas BIG BEER founder and brewer John McKissack (also known as Johnny MAX) and brewer Robert Hebert (aka BOB the Brewer) will be on site to talk about the joys and challenges of starting and running a microbrewery. Plus, we’ll be pouring Saint Arnold’s Bishop’s Barrel #1.

In Beaumont, our bonus brew is Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra Pale IPA, which is bold, assertive and full of flavor.

Victoria tasting-goers will enjoy Angry Orchard, a crisp and refreshing cider which offers sweet apple notes and a subtle dryness at the finish for a balanced cider taste.

As always, the tastings are free and open to adults ages 21 and older. Catch us at the tasting location nearest you. We can’t wait to share a beer with you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Del Papa Distribution Center
Hospitality Room
1220 I-45
Texas City, TX 77591

Del Papa Distribution Center
410 I-10 SOUTH
Beaumont, TX

Del Papa Distribution Center
Hospitality Room
3907 E. Rio Grande
Victoria, TX 77807

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Amber vs. Amber (Ale vs. Lager)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With only one day left in the week (TGI Thursday), it’s time for another beer school lesson. Did you already forget what we studied the past two weeks? As a reminder, we started by going over the general differences between ales and lagers, and last week we dug a little deeper with our study of pale ales versus pale lagers. So, it’s only appropriate that today we take class one step further by comparing amber ales and amber lagers.

According to the Beer Judge Certification Program (with a name like that, who wouldn’t consider them a trusted source?), amber ale is, fittingly, “amber to coppery brown in color” and usually clear, “although dry-hopped versions may be slightly hazy.” The malts may be sweet, often with a caramel flavor, and yet maintain a nice balance with the hops. Interestingly, BJCP says, this style of beer is known as “Red Ale” in other parts of the country, especially on the west coast, where the brew was first concocted. Some of our favorite amber ales include Fat Tire Amber Ale, Saint Arnold Amber Ale, Rogue American Amber Ale and Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale.

Amber lagers, BJCP says, are “a vaguely defined style of lager much favored by US lager brewers. They are darker in color, anywhere from amber to copper hued, and generally more fully flavored than a standard pale lager.” With more caramel malt flavor than in amber ales, amber lagers “are frequently hoppier than the true Vienna lager styles on which they are loosely based.” You’re surely familiar with one of our favorite amber lagers, ZiegenBock Amber (we’ve featured it on the blog before). Some other favorites include Rahr & Sons Texas Red, Magic Hat Spring Vinyl and Negra Modelo.

Another difference between amber lagers and ales? The Alcohol by Volume. The ABV in amber lagers is less (at 4% – 5%) than that in amber ales (4.5% – 6%). While there’s only a slight difference in ABV between the two, grab an ale if you’re looking for a little more kick.

Now, it’s time for a pop quiz! If you’ve been to a beer tasting before (one of Pint Jockeys’, perhaps?) or read any of our past blog posts, you’ve undoubtedly heard the terms “hoppy” and “malty.” Can you tell us what each of those flavors mean? *Cue Jeopardy music…* Don’t know? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you. Beers with a lot of malts have bready, sweet, floury, chocolate and coffee flavors. Hoppy beers are more bitter, often containing hints of grapefruit, resin and pine. And now you know.

Your homework assignment this week, should you choose to accept (and why wouldn’t you?): Grab a buddy and taste test each type of beer. Afterward, leave a brief description of what you taste in the comments below. Describe the color, aroma and flavor differences in an amber lager and amber ale, and share with us your overall impressions of each. For extra credit, let us know which brand you tried (and where).

Cheers, Pint Jockeys!

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This week: Ales vs. Lagers

 

 

 

 

 

With August in full swing, we’re starting to hear a lot of chatter about “back to school” season, and it’s inspired us to share a few of our very own lessons with you.  While we recognize that official school days are a thing of the past for many of you, we’ve decided to introduce a different kind of school. One that’s sure to turn you into the most well-educated guy or gal at the pub. Without further ado, welcome to Beer School, Pint Jockeys!

That’s right, for the next few weeks, Beer School is in session. On the blackboard this week? Understanding the difference between ales and lagers. This may seem elementary to most, but sometimes, it’s good to get back to basics.

According to Tastings.com, “the simple difference between a lager and an ale is that the yeast employed for fermentation of a lager works at a cooler temperature and sinks to the bottom of the fermentation vessel, while ale yeasts work at higher temperatures and rise to the top of the vessel. Hence lagers are ‘bottom fermented’ beers.” Additionally, lagers often take several months to brew, while ales can be brewed in as little as seven days. And, given its yeast content, lagers should be served at a much cooler temperature than ales.

There are many different types of lagers, many with which you’re probably familiar. Common lagers include amber lager (popular in the U.S.); bock; dark lager (or dunkel); doppelbock; esibock; “light” and reduced calorie lager; Munich helles; malt liquor; pale lager (“the standard in international beer”); pilsner; and Vienna-style lager. Among our favorite pale and Helles lagers are Rahr and Sons Blonde, Kona Longboard, and Rogue Irish Lager.

Although ales have been around for centuries, many consider it an “experimental” beer. Because of its shorter brewing cycle, brewers tend to throw in additional ingredients (called adjuncts) to their recipes. Ales also contain a higher count of hops, malt and roasted malts than lagers, giving the ale “a more prominent malty taste and bitterness,” according to BeerTutor.com. A few of our favorites? Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Magic Hat Elder Betty, and, just in time for fall, Shock Top’s Pumpkin Wheat (be sure to check back Friday when we’ll have a great recipe for you which may or may not include cooking with Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat).

Which brings us to your homework. Go out and sample both types of beer, making note of the differences. Come back here and let us know which you prefer – lager or ale — in the comments below. Doing homework has never been so fun!

‘Til Friday, class dismissed, Pint Jockeys!

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The Pint Jockeys tastings are back with an impressive lineup and room for surprises

It’s only Wednesday, but with our Pint Jockeys tasting events happening tomorrow evening, Thursday will feel more like Friday than ever! And it’s a good thing too, because after a couple of weeks of rain, we’re ready to get out and enjoy some delicious brew!

For the July event, we’re featuring a few of our rich, sometimes sweet, brews and ciders. Including….

  • Woodchuck Fall Limited Release – Inspired by the Green Mountains that surround Woodchuck cidery, this special limited release features notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of American white oak. The results are a unique, not-too-sweet cider for all to enjoy.

 

  • Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel – Clear and deep copper in color, this Abbey Dubbel has a complex and rich malty sweetness with hints of caramelized sugar.  The aroma is a heady and layered mix of fruit and spice with hints of clove, raisin and black pepper from the use of an abbey-style yeast.

           

  • Magic Hat Elder Betey – A golden haze for a summer’s daze.  Elder Betty is a weiss-style ale with a bready malt flavor, balanced by a touch of hops and complemented by the tart berry flavors of elderberry.

 

  • Southern Star Walloon – This Belgian-style grisette is brewed to be the lightest in the Southern Star lineup.  It’s a farmhouse style ale with a Belgian witbier and Belgian tripel.  While it may be light, the added clove and noble hops ensure it’s not without flavor.

 

  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Cans – This pale ale has a deep, amber color and an exceptionally full-bodied, complex character.  And now, Sierra Nevada’s most popular beer is available in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans!  Take your favorite beer anywhere without scarifying great taste, quality or craftsmanship.

Now, that’s a pretty strong lineup on its own, but don’t be surprised if you find a couple of surprises, too.

Want to join? By now you should know the drill but for those of you who are new to the site, here’s a few things you should know: The Pint Jockeys tastings are free, open to public ages 21 and older, held at the Del Papa Distributing Centers in Texas City, Beaumont and Victoria and take place from 5-7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month. Did we mention they’re free?!

Can’t think of a better reason to try some new craft brews with a few new friends. So, join us!  Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!
Cheers!

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Texas City and Victoria events to feature summer vacation selections; Beaumont to honor Saint Arnold

Today marks the official first day of summer, Pint Jockeys! And while we’ve been experiencing the brutal Texas summer heat since May, we’ll look for any reason to celebrate, and the official first day of summer is reason enough for us.

In honor of such a festive occasion, we’re here to tell you about our June tasting events, taking place in Victoria, Texas City and Beaumont tomorrow, Thursday, June 21.  As always, the tasting events are free and open to anyone 21 and older and will take place in each distribution center’s hospitality room from 5-7 p.m.

The tastings in Victoria and Texas City will feature a great lineup from brewers located in top travel destinations in the U.S. and abroad, including Costa Rica, Portland and Hawaii, just in time to plan your summer vacation.

Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to:

  • Kona Longboard Island Lager – Travel to Hawaii with Kona’s Longboard Island Lager, a smooth refreshing lager fermented and aged for five weeks at cold temperatures to yield its exceptionally smooth flavor.  A delicate, slightly spicy hop aroma complements the malty body of this beer.
  • Kona Wailua Wheat – The plunging cascade of clear water of Hawaii’s Wailua Falls is the inspiration for the Limited Release Wailua Wheat Ale.  This golden, sun colored ale has a bright, citrus flavor that comes from the tropical passion fruit brewed into each batch.  Sit back, relax and enjoy paradise anytime.
  • Redhook Longhammer IPA – Sample an IPA from Seattle. The generous addition of hops both during and at the end of the fermentation process (dry-hopping) gives the Redhook Longhammer its characteristic bitterness and piney citrus aroma and flavor.  The medium body, crisp finish, and moderate alcohol and IBU levels makes this one of America’s most drinkable and best-selling IPAs.
  • Redhook Wit – Redhook’s twist on the Belgian style is the addition of fresh ginger, which adds a refreshing snappiness to this lighter-bodied wheat beer.  Redhook Wit is perfect for warm summer months of outdoor BBQ-ing, sitting by the pool, or just enjoying a rainy day inside watching old re-runs of Gilligan’s Island.
  • Widmer Citra Blonde – Citra hops lend their name to this Portland interpretation of a golden ale.  But that’s not all they bring to the party.  Their striking citrus aroma and thirst-quenching flavor are the perfect pairing for soft malt notes.  Together they create a beer that’s full in flavor and uniquely refreshing.
  • Magic Hat #9 Not quite a pale ale, this elixir is impossible to describe and is a brew “cloaked in secrecy.” The mysterious ale is dry, crisp and fruity, and there is nothing quite like it.  Cascade and Apollo hops with pale, crystal malts make the unique brew quite magical.
  • Imperial–
    Pint Jockeys’ June Beer of the Month, Imperial combines a balance of malt, grains and hops to create an extremely refreshing beer.  Heading to the beach just got a little easier; this Costa Rican brew can now be enjoyed in 12oz cans, so it’s also welcome in locations where our bottled favorites can’t go.

More interested in a staycation? Our Beaumont event will feature some of our Saint Arnolds favorites, including: Saint Arnold Summer Pils, Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower, Saint Arnold Weedwacker, Saint Arnold Santo, Saint Arnold Amber Ale, Saint Arnold Elissa and the Saint Arnold Endeavor. Plus,  Saint Arnold’s beer aficionado Lennie Ambrose will make a special appearance to sample selections, answer questions and talk brew with our fellow Pint Jockeys.

Check out our official Facebook event for  the full details and and RSVP while you’re there!  After you leave your tasting, be sure to come back here and let us know which beer was your favorite.

Hope to see you there!

Cheers!

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Time for Somersault and Elder Betty

Picking up where we left off last week, we’re continuing to say “goodbye” to our favorite spring brews and “hello” to a line of lighter options that offer the optimal mix of unique flavor and drinkability. Next up in the summer lineup are New Belgium’s Somersault and Magic Hat’s Elder Betty.

Starting with New Belgium Brewing Company, the tasty, lemony aroma of Dig Pale Ale made the transition into the warm summer months nice and sweet. Taking the refreshing factor a step further, the brewer now offers Somersault Ale, a blonde-colored, remarkably drinkable brew that’s still full of flavor.  Despite the ease of each gulp, the brew still maintains remarkable notes at play in the nose, flavor and mouthfeel. There is an opening brace of citrus aroma from Centennial hops, a soft apricot fruitiness tucked into the flavor, a fresh snap from a sliver of ginger root, finished with oats in a long cool mash.

Another golden beer to hit shelves during the summer months is Magic Hat’s Elder Betty. Taking the place of the ever popular Vinyl lager, Elder Betty is a Weiss-style ale with a bready malt flavor balanced by a touch of hops and complimented by the tart berry flavors of elderberry. Crafted for enjoying during the lazy summer months, it’s easy to drink a few but hard to stop at one. While we will miss the flavors (and weather) of the spring, we have to say, these summer ales offer an equally delicious alternative.

Now, for those of you who prefer a beer you can find year-round we have a recommendation for you as well. This month, we have to point you in the direction of Southern Star’s Bombshell Blonde! If you haven’t heard, it’s the May Beer of the Month and it’s definitely worth a try. To learn more about this brew, check back next week when we dive into the full Southern Star portfolio in advance of the Beach Revue concert on May 18!

Until then, cheers!

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Beer-glazed Ham featuring Circus Boy

Congratulations, Pint Jockeys! You’ve just about made your way through lent. Looking for a recipe worthy of your Easter celebration? Try this Beer-glazed ham! It takes a couple hours to bake, but it’s still super easy. Plus, while it’s in the oven, you’ll have all the time you need to prepare the sides of your choosing.

Now, as you’ve probably already guessed, this recipe calls for beer.  While you can substitute a non-alcoholic option, those are never as fun, so we’re recommending something that will really bring out the flavors of the ham – a nice, wheaty Circus Boy from Magic Hat!

Magic Hat is an American Hefeweizen crafted from Apollo Hops and Wheat malts. With an ABV of 4.5, the flavor is distinct without begin too strong.  The Wheat malt’s soft sweetness compliments the sugary glaze and balances out the saltier flavors in the ham.

Not only is Circus Boy great as an ingredient; it also works as a pairing for the meal or leftovers. The Hefeweizen’s carbonation and acidity will help clear your palate between bites of ham and all of your delicious sides.
Here’s  what you’ll need to get started:

  • 1 boneless fully cooked ham (3 pounds)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) beer or nonalcoholic beer
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard

Once you have your ingredients, follow these easy steps:

  • Place ham on a rack in a shallow  roasting pan. Score the surface of the ham, making diamond shapes 1/2 in. deep. Set aside 2 tablespoons beer. Pour remaining beer over the ham. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and reserved beer; spread over ham. Bake 40-45 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 140°, basting occasionally.

Yield: 8 servings.

In less than two hours you’ll have a delicious feast for a family of up to 8! And if you pace yourself, you might even have some room left over for a few of those delicious cream-filled eggs.

What else are you looking forward to this Sunday? Share your favorite Easter treats and traditions in the comment section below!

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