Monday, April 30, 2007

Its Fruity!

You'll have to try them for yourselves. I've realized that I am a strict no-fruit-in-my-beer-sort-of-girl.

Anheuser-Busch last week unveiled “fruity“ pilsners as the latest brews in its Michelob family. The debut comes as the summer grilling season is set to get underway, coinciding with the top selling season for alcohol.

The beers are “light and refreshing with a subtle hint of real fruit,” the company said.
The new beverages come in three flavors: Pomegranate Raspberry, Lime Cactus and Tuscan Orange Grapefruit.

"Adults who live an active lifestyle will appreciate the subtle fruit flavors and light effervescence found in these beers," said Jill Vaughn, Anheuser-Busch brewmaster. "Michelob Ultra Fruit Infused beers are perfectly balanced and best enjoyed when paired with bold ethnic dishes and lighter fare such as grilled chicken."

"Anheuser-Busch has had great success with Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Amber and we wanted to provide consumers with a refreshing summertime offering," said Eduardo Pereda, director of Michelob Family, Anheuser-Busch, in a statement.

The brews are now available through Labor Day in grocery and convenience stores in 12-bottle variety packs or single-flavor six-packs.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rogue Agent

I have a big bottle of Rogue American Amber chilling in the fridge at home. It was my name on it. Literally. 5:45ish this evening. There might be a review. There likely will not. But I promise that it will be enjoyed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's only Tuesday. I can't be so Loverboy already.

Dustin knows ALL of the good stuff! He says that the Parkville Brewfest is coming up, that he's been to it in the last few years and that its a good time.

Event Details:
April 28th - Micro (brewers) Festival

English Landing Park, Parkville, Missouri
Saturday, April 28th 2007 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Sample beers from Regional Craft Breweries at this festival, including:

Boulevard Brewery, Kansas City, MO
75th Street Brewery, Kansas City, MO
Free State Brewing Co., Lawrence, KS
Blind Tiger Brewery, Topeka, KS
Little Apple Brewery, Manhattan, KS
McCoy's Public House, Kansas City. MO
Power Plant Brewery, Parkville, MO
23rd St. Brewery, Lawrence, KS
Weston Brewing Co., Weston, MO
O'Fallon Brewery, O'Fallon, MO
Schlafly Bottleworks, St. Louis, MO
Upstream Brewing Co., Omaha, NE
River City Brewing Co., Wichita, KS
Augusta Brewing Co., Augusta, MO
Granite City, KC locations but it is a chain
Flying Monkey Brewery, Olathe, KS
and more!!

Guests will be supplied with a commemorative logo tasting glass, a custom tasting note sheet, and live Blue Grass music.

Learn home brewing techniques from the Kansas City Home Brew club.

Admission is $20.00 per person payable at the gate, and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy a relaxing day in the Park. Beer will be available at the festival, but cannot be taken out of the park. Outside alcohol will not be allowed into the festival site.

For more information contact:
Angelo Gangai - Event Co-Chairperson
Warren Crouse - Event Co-Chairperson
Ph: 816-505-2227

The Power Plant Brewery and Stone Canyon Pizza are reason enough to visit Parkville again. This festival just puts it over the edge for me. Plus, have you seen the forecast?!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hey! Why don’t you bang your head against this?

I went to the beer tasting on Friday. I like Cellar Rat’s store a lot, and I had a nice time. It would have been more fun if more of you were there. But that’s ok. I had a going-away get together to go to afterwards, so I couldn’t stay anyway. On the way out the door, I snagged a 6 pack of Schlafly’s more recent seasonal releases, a Raspberry Hefeweizen. “Light, summery, girly, to be drank cold," were the types of things I imagined as the lovely man behind the counter rang up my purchase.

I stuck the 6 pack in my car, and went on a later-than expected, Friday-fueled bar crawl of sorts. I didn’t crack into one of the bottles until later on Saturday. Turns out that I should have grabbed the Summer Kolsch instead. And I really should have known better. I don’t do fruit beers.

It doesn’t really taste like beer with a raspberry tang as much as it tastes like a beer cocktail with raspberry flavored soda. Remember the shandy? Yeah, it’s kind of like that. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I drank one, and left the other 5 in my fridge, hopefully to offer to a more girlier girl than me.

It smelled a little sweet, like raspberry candy, when I opened it. It poured into my glass pink (pink!) but with mild cloudiness and beer-like qualities, so it didn’t look like pink lemonade or anything. It settled to a orangey-pink color with a light pink head of foam. It reminded me of the green St. Pat’s yuck, and it turned me off a bit. The flavor of the beer wasn’t raspberry, as in fresh raspberries, but rather raspberry-flavoring, like Kool-Aid. Kind of artificial. There were underlying beer flavors, to be sure, like some yeast and malts, and the slightest twinge of wheat.

To be fair, I don’t like 75th Street Brewery’s Royal Raspberry either, and was never fond of any of the fruity beers the now-extinct microbrews around here offered. So yeah, I know. What was I thinking? I guess I was trying to keep an open mind. The answer is that I still don’t like it. But if you do, you know where to find some for free!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Friday Happy Hour

A neighbor in the Crossroads district of KC, Cellar Rat Wine, is hosting a few tastings this week. They are primarily a wine place, so the first tasting is for those of you:

Thursday April 19th, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
20 Great Wines all priced under $20!

There are so many great values out in the wine world right now. We have chosen 20 wines that we feel represent some of the best bargains that are currently available. You may recognize some of them, but most of them are smaller production, up and coming wineries, newly discovered regions or just wines that have gotten overlooked. Come see for yourself why some of the best wines in the world can still be had for less than $20 per bottle.

Here are some of the wines we will be sampling:
Agricolas Costamolina, Pillar Box, Trevor Jones, Las Rocas, Gran Feudo, Galida Cava, Juan Gil, Clara Benegas, Qupe, Crios, Gianni Gagliardo, Regusci, A to Z, Zaca Mesa, Vega Sindoa, Altos de la Hoya...

*cost for the tasting is $10 - and you get to take home a Cellar Rat engraved wine glass.

For the beer people (my people!) they are hosting a FREE beer tasting on Friday. Yeah!

Friday April 20th, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Handcrafted & Specialty Brews

Join us for our first ever tasting of handcrafted & specialty brews. No Budweiser, Miller or Coors' products here! We will be sampling some of the hottest brews in the market, both domestic and imports. Here is a partial list of brews we will be pouring:
Boulevard Lunar, Rogue Imperial Stout, Pilsner & Pale Ale, Schlafly, O'fallon, St. Peters, Houblon Chouffe just to name a few...this is a free tasting!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Well, Now I'm Trapped

I ran by Batson Liquors on my way home on Friday. ( not say Batshit, do not say Batshit, it's Batson...) That's the store I mentioned before that sells all kinds of interesting beers by the individual bottle. I picked up a nice selection of things, so now I have motivation for reviews sitting in my kitchen.

The first one I tried was Orval, a trappist beer brewed by monks in Belgium.

First, what is a trappist? It is a Belgian Pale Ale, defined per BeerAdvocate: Belgian Pales consume the Belgian brewing scene, and were initially brewed to compete with Pilseners during the WWII time frame. They differ from other regional Pale Ale varieties, by traditionally being less bitter, using aged hops for a delicate hop finish, and boasting sweetish to toasty malt overtones. They should be decanted properly, leaving the yeast in the bottle. This will showcase their brilliant color range from pale straw yellow to amber hues. Most will be crowned with thick, clinging, rocky white heads. Flavors and aromas will vary. Some have natural spice characters from yeast and hops, while others are spiced.

The Orval website is deep, so if you ever want a step by step education on the monk's brewing process, click here. Here's a picture of the beer in a brewing vat, with a motorized stirrer keeping the malts from thickening too much. They even have the rules of drinking their fine beer:

Beer, a refined drink in the same way as wine, must be stored away from the light; it must be maintained at a temperature between 10° and 15°C (46° and 56° F); it hould be served at this same temperature and in its special glass; one should taste the sediment of the beer separately.

Me being me, I stuck it in my fridge, chilled it a bit too much, and poured it into a pint glass, what with my kitchen cabinets sorely lacking a tulip shaped "beer chalice." Fancy-schmancy, I just can't deal with owning glassware dedicated to any one purpose. Wine glasses? Yes, we have some. Do not ask me if they are for red or white. The are for WINE. Ahem.

So, back to the Orval. When I popped off the cap, it immediately starting foaming out of the bottle, so you can imagine what the glass looked like - half beer, half thick foamy whitecap. It took a while to get it all into the glass. I tried to leave the yeast in the bottom of the bottle, and not in my glass. It is a deep golden color and slightly cloudy, reminding me of cider in the fall. I smelled a mix of fruity, malty, nutty tang, like citrus and berries and brown sugar with a kick. And maybe just because it looked like cider, I thought I got a hint of apple. At 6.9% ABV, there was a bit of the alcohol sting in the scent as well.

The first sip seems tart, and then warms into a more sweeter flavor, almost a sticky consistency, but finished quite dry. This is probably a "thick" beer for most of you. The Husband liked it, but said he'd never drink more than one. I loved it, but I don't know if I would have many more than one at a time either.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The bigs roll out another little batch

I got updates today from Brandweek and BeerAdvocate on the same topic:

Anheuser-Busch has a company-wide local specialty beer program, which was introduced to brew specialty beers that are uniquely tailored to regional taste preferences. The program was initially launched at Anheuser-Busch’s Merrimack, N.H., and Columbus, Ohio, breweries in March 2006 and was later extended to the company’s St. Louis brewery in September 2006. Those beers were the Burnin’ Helles Bock, Demon’s Hop Yard IPA, and Mule Kick Oatmeal Stout.

Today, Anheuser-Busch introduces Ascent 54 -- an authentic German-style dunkel weisse (dark wheat) beer available on draught in select bars and restaurants in Colorado. (Dunkels are quite the trend this year, huh?) Per the articles/press releases:

Ascent 54 is an unfiltered beer with a delicate sweetness, complex taste and a surprisingly light finish that complements its blend of specialty malts and unique spicy aromas. The beer is a deep-bronze color and has a distinctively dense and long-lasting foam head. This specialty beer was crafted by a small, hand-picked group of beer lovers from various areas of expertise at Anheuser-Busch’s Fort Collins brewery who chose the beer style, created the recipe and selected Ascent 54’s name and tap marker design.

“As members of this community for more than 20 years, we took great pride in crafting a beer specifically geared toward the discerning palate of Colorado’s adult beer lovers,” said Steve Presley, senior assistant brewmaster of Anheuser-Busch’s Fort Collins brewery. “People who thrive on trying new and different styles of beer at their favorite neighborhood pubs will enjoy discovering this one.”

For Ascent 54, the development team chose a blend of German Hallertau-Hallertau and Hallertau-Tettnang hops, which contribute to the brew’s complex taste and light finish. Also included is 50% malted wheat, combined with the finest Munich, caramel and chocolate malts, which give the beer its rich, deep-bronze color. A Bavarian weisse yeast strain was imported for use during fermentation to ensure the beer developed its expressive palate and characteristic weisse aroma.

”Ascent 54 is best served in a tall glass with a wide opening, which allows the beer’s aroma to funnel straight to the nose. The beer’s complex flavor pairs well with barbequed meats, spicy cuisine, traditional German fare, cheese and a variety of sweet desserts including apple pie, strudel, pecan pie and lemon cake.

Brewed at Anheuser-Busch’s Fort Collins, Colo., brewery, Ascent 54 contains 5.5% alcohol by volume.

Some of you who visit live in Colorado. Can you help me out? Go out, grab a glass, and let me know what you think. I'm curious as to how the mega brewers do, with their attempts at small batch, regional, specialty brews.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It is still Wednesday, right?

I woke up at 4 am, to leave the house by 5 am, to catch a flight at 6:20 am. What time did your ass wake up? Yeah....rock on, business warriors. The Drury next to the airport is not the hot spot you may imagine.

But how did you spend your Wednesday night? Mine ended with
a couple of Schlafly's, watching Chuck Berry, the world's greatest experimental whammy twang bar king crimson stunt guitarist at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis. I'd post pics, but I'm so flippin' brilliant, I don't have the required connections. I might do it later. I might not. I'm like that.

That's right, I shot that. Mr. Berry, checking out the chest on the young, cute, blond sound engineer who happened to be wearing a tank top. Ha!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The last sentence kills me

Beer bottles foil robbery

BRADENTON - A few well-placed beer bottles halted an armed robbery early Tuesday in the 2900 block of 6th Street East, according to a sheriff's office report.

According to the report, three men were sitting outside their home when three men approached - two of them armed with handguns - and demanded money. The unarmed man searched the three victims, taking money from one.

One of the other victims was then struck in the face with a handgun.

When the people inside the home realized what was going on, they began to throw beer bottles at the gunmen, striking one in the forehead.

The men then ran, while having beer bottles thrown at them, but fired several times in return.

No one was injured by the gunfire, the report states.

It was unclear whether the bottles were full.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Another new beer!

The 75th Street Brewery is coming back in full swing after the fire that destroyed nearby Kennedy's bar. Monday, April 9th (that's today!) 75th St. will be giving everyone a sneak peek at their newest brew - Saxy Golden Ale.

Monday, April 9th @ 5:30-close

What makes this brew so "Saxy?" According to the brewers, it's smooth. From the email they sent to their customers:

Saxy Golden Ale is golden in color with a light to medium body. The aroma is clean with a slightly spicy hop finish. And like KC's own jazz legend Charlie Parker, this ale is a [75thStreet] classic!
Looks like a pretty nice summer time option, don't you think? They tap the sneak peek tonight, and while that may run out, they officially tap the whole shebang on Friday, the 13th.

Friday, April 06, 2007

All the cool kids are doing it

Really. Tonight. You should go. It will be an intimate evening at a tiny club, full of beer sloshing, Red Bull & vodka fueled, dancing, yelling KC addies and excellent music. And if you go to the pre-party, you can pre-drink for one low price. It's totally just like you did in college!

Feather your mullets.
Get the IROC-Z tuned up.
Extend and lock the metal horns.
Friday, April 6th @ The Brick - 1727 McGee
Doors 9:30 pm, Show 10:30 pm
Cost: $10.00 at the door, $15.00 and we'll throw in a badass t-shirt

Want to start the night early?
Check out the pre-party:
Berg Studio, 1525 Grand (walking distance to the show)
$20 gets you unlimited drinks at the party, entry to The Brick and that sweet t-shirt.

Plus, BOTAB ‘06 winners Miss Major and Her Minor Mood Swings will be rockin’ the house.
For more info and streaming audio samples of the bands, visit

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Heavy info

As a public service announcement to the internets, please continue reading for the caloric content of your my favorite brews! The blanks are for beers that don’t share that kind of information with me. If you have a lead on it, let me know. If you have a beer you’d like listed, tell me. I’ll update as time goes on.

~*~Updated in August 2008, and again in January 2008 to include the **estimated** Weight Watchers point values of all the beers for which I have nutritional info. Some I calculated, some I found via many many internet searches. I credit DietFacts, Dottie's Weight Loss Zone, RealBeer, brewers' individual sites, and too many others to name.Some might be the "old" WW points system, but guess what? It's close enough. Use those flex points wisely, chickadees.~*~

If you have info of your own, regarding beers not listed here, please share!!

Beer Name Calories WW pts.
Amstel Light 93 2
Anchor Steam 152 3.5
Beamish Red

Beamish Stout 146 3
Beck's Light Beer 105 2.5
Beck's Oktoberfest 140 3
Beck's Orginal 292 6
Beck's Premium Light 64 1.5
Blue Moon 171 3.5
Boddington’s 154 3
Boulevard Bully Porter 194 4
Boulevard Irish Ale 182 4
Boulevard Lunar Ale 157 3
Boulevard Nutcracker 224 4
Boulevard Pale Ale 163 3
Boulevard Stout 149 3
Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat 155 3
Boulevard Zon 153 3
Bridgeport Black Strap

Bud Light 102 2.5
Budweiser 143 3

Coors 148 3
Coors Light 102 2.5
Corona 148 3
Corona Light 109 2.5
Delirium Tremens

Demon Hop Yard IPA

Dos Equis XX 145 3
El Presidente

Fosters 125 2.5
Goose Island Honker’s Ale

Goose Island Nut Brown

Guiness 125 4
Harp 153 3
Harpoon Ale

Harpoon Summer

Harpoon’s Octoberfest

Heineken 160 3.5
Heineken Light 99 2
Holy Grail Ale

J.W. Dundee Honey Brown 145 3
Kalamazoo Two Hearted

Killian’s Irish Red 163 3
Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss 149 3
Leinenkugel's Red 166 3
Magic Hat #9 215 4
MGD 148 3
Michelob Light 133 3
Michelob Ultra 95 2
Miller 152 3.5
Miller Chill 110 2
Miller Lite 96 2
Murphy’s Irish Red 171 3
Murphy’s Irish Stout 150 3
New Belgium 1554

New Belgium 2 Below

New Belgium Fat Tire 159 3
New Belgium Skinny Dip 108 2
New Belgium Sunshine Wheat

Newcastle Brown 150 3
Orval Belgian Pale Ale

Pete’s Strawberry Blonde 160 3
Pete's Oktoberfest 189 4
Pete's Summerbrew 163 3
Pete's Wicked 174 3
Pete's Winterbrew 170 3
Red Stripe 153 3
Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom Red

Rogue American Amber 176 4
Rogue Imperial Stout 363 7
Rogue Shakespeare Stout 201 4
Rolling Rock 142 2
Salvator Doppel Bock 251 5
Sam Adam’s Cream Stout 195 4
Sam Adam’s Light 124 2.5
Sam Adam's Ale 160 3
Sam Adams Octoberfest 165 3
Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown

Schlafly's Pale Ale 155 3
Schlafly's Pilsner 170 3
Shiner Bock 143 3
Shiner Light 120 2
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 171 3
Sierra Nevada Stout 210 4

Stella Artois 140 3
Warsteiner Dunkel

Warsteiner Verum 152 3
Widmer Bros Hefeweizen 159 3
Yuengling Lager 135 3