Friday, July 29, 2005

I Just Wanna Love U (Give It To Me)

Friday's finally here. Ahhhhhhhhh. It's sunny, warm but not hot, it's the end of July, and it's beer o'clock.

Today's beer is the one that so impressed me last weekend. Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Maybe it was all the hummus I had eaten earlier than evening. Maybe it was the fact that right before I drank this I had suffered through another Miller Lite. Maybe it was just THAT good. But whatever stars aligned, I became a HUGE fan of this beer.

It looks a bit strange, in a clear bottle and an old fashioned label, but it's good.
BeerAdvocate's reviews rate it pretty highly. Here's a bit of history, lifted directly from this site:

The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was founded in 1758 and is Yorkshire’s oldest brewery. Samuel Smith is one of the few remaining independent breweries in England, and further is the last to utilize the classic Yorkshire Square system of fermentation solely in stone squares.

The rich Samuel Smith strain of yeast at The Old Brewery dates from the early 1900s. Hops are hand-weighed by the master hop blender, and the brewing water is drawn from a well sunk over 200 years ago.

First introduced to the U.S. market in 1978 by Merchant du Vin, Samuel Smith beers quickly became the benchmark ales for the emerging craft beer movement. To this day, they remain among the most awarded.

All Samuel Smith beers are vegan products, registered with The Vegan Society, as seen

Info about the Nut Brown, also lifted directly from their site:

Often called “mild” if it is on draft, brown ale is a walnut-colored specialty of the North of England. A festive-occasion beer, brown ale is one of the oldest English brewing styles, mentioned in literature in the 16th century. Beers brewed at the old brewery have a round, nutty flavor because of the Yorkshire square system of fermentation.

Walnut-like color and palate of hazelnuts. Wonderful balance of roasted crystal malt and aromatic hops. Long clean finish.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Stilton cheese, grouse and roasted game hen, barbecued duck, pepper steak; spicy food, paella, stir-fry, teriyaki, Thai food, Chinese food, creamy chicken and pineapple curry. Serve at 55 degrees.

Gold Medal and "Top-Rated English Brown Ale" —World Beer Championships, 2004

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Truth From Fiction

What's the beer this week (ahem, last week)? Why, it's a summer classic? Hefeweizen! Specifically the Widmer Brother's brewery's Hefeweizen, which according to their own site, is the standard by which all other hefeweizen's should be judged. Beer Advocate's user reviews tells a slightly different story here, but since it's the first of it's kind to be featured on my blog, we'll start with this one.

What's a Hefeweizen, you ask? Well, one descriptions reads thusly:

A south German style of wheat beer (weissbier) made with a typical ratio of 50:50, or even higher, wheat. A yeast that produces a unique phenolic flavors of banana and cloves with an often dry and tart edge, some spiciness, bubblegum or notes of apples. Little hop bitterness, and a moderate level of alcohol. The "Hefe" prefix means "with yeast", hence the beers unfiltered and cloudy appearance. Poured into a traditional Weizen glass, the Hefeweizen can be one sexy looking beer. Often served with a lemon wedge, to either cut the wheat or yeast edge, which many either find to be a flavorful snap ... or an insult and something that damages the beer's taste and head retention.

So basically we're talking about a pale, German wheat beer. Sounds good to me. I had one this weekend, since they were some bar's special o'the day, and I rather enjoyed it. The only other Hefe I've ever had was by my old favorite micro brew guy, so I'll have to expand my repertoire before I personally pass further judgment.

Sidenote: I also had a Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale this weekend. It was like a little chocolate-nut beer party in my mouth. Happiness for a Beer Sort of Girl, to be sure.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Beer Post! Since this was the week of my adventures in Chi town, I wanted to pick a Chicago beer. However, I find myself really wanting to feature a beer I has IN Chicago, but is not necessarily unique to the geography. Hence, today is a double bonus Beer Friday. That's right, 2 beers in one day. Can you even stand it?

The first is a product of Rock Bottom Breweries. They used to have a location close to me, but it closed a few years ago, and so I haven't had Rock Bottom beer in quite some time. I seriously doubted it would be anything special. For the most part I was right, but it was free, and therefore much better than if I had paid my own money for it. With this in mind, I give it to the points-earners, also for free. Don't you love it? Yes, you moochers, you love free stuff, just like me.

Here are the
locations of their restaurants. I had a few Erik the Red Ales, so that's what ya get. Very hoppy, a little tangy, and a little too much to drink as fast as I did. :) This picture is NOT from Rock Bottom, but it's a red, so I'm using it for illustration purposes only.

Second offering here is a Chicago beer. While I did not go to Goose Island this trip, (blame someone's wife for that,) I have been to the bar location in Wrigleyville in the past. I love these types of places, and
Goose Island's Nut Brown Ale is just so damn good. Their website's description:

Brewed in the English tradition, Nut Brown Ale combines the finest domestic and imported malts to produce a chestnut-hued ale of unusual complexity. Subtle notes of chocolate, honey and fine tobacco give this world champion ale an enjoyable and satisfying "nutty" finish.

I gave up on the summery beers this week. I wonder if visiting Chicago had anything to do with that. It wasn't cold or anything, but there's something about that place that makes you feel as if everyone eats & drinks a little heartier than in other places. Not MUCH heartier, mind you. Y'all know that I'm a midwestern girl too!

I hope that you enjoy the "nutty" finish on your free beer. I'm looking forward to enjoying a nutty finish of this week. Whew. I can't believe Friday actually arrived this week at all. I'm so Loverboy.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Beer Post!

Two Hearted Ale from
Kalamazoo Brewing Company is an IPA with juicy/citrusy flavor, and kind of a kick on the back-end. Excellent summer beer! AND...I found a place that serves it here, in my bad beer town. Happiness!

Their site describes it thusly:
India Pale Ale style well suited for Hemingway-esque trips to the Upper Peninsula. American malts and enormous hop additions give this beer a crisp finish and incredible floral hop aroma.

I have to comment, though, that they should really work on their labels. I'm a picky bitch when it comes to packaging, and this really ain't doin' it for me. And really? It's all about me.

Next week I think I'll be picking something from my Chi-town jaunt. I'm leaving tomorrow for the windy city, to bug a friend, crash on her couch and generally try not to be a mooch. I've been promised that I can take her out to dinner at least, to pay her back. Beer will be involved. And then I have to attend a conference to get some learnin' before I come home next week. I mean, my employer IS paying for the trip, so it's only fair that I bring something back with me besides beer, receipts for beer and memories clouded by beer, right?

I'll miss The Husband, and The Dog, and even you guys. But I promise to have fun anyway. :)