It is still odd to see Max play the older and more responsible dog.
He was such a punk at that age.
That is why I root for CB the Relentless, Nibbler of Fingers, All-Destroying Aussie pup. CB to his friends.
Since DougJ just posted an open thread, limit this one to conversation about pets and/or beer.
Speaking of. I have a case of Stoudt’s American Ale at home and I love it. Stoudt’s really is one of the most consistently good breweries that I have found. Some fantastic breweries have absolute WTF moments, like Southern Tier with their creme brulee stout. Other breweries make one or two beers that stand out and a bunch of meh, like Railbender versus everything else from Erie (although their seasonals can be splendiferous). There are just very few breweries where everything they make stands out as a good to great beer. The only one that comes to mind, other than the few that everyone knows like Dogfish Head and Unibroue, is New Belgium in Fort Collins. Lord do I wish you could get a bottle of Fat Tire
east of the Mississippi in PA (apparently they advanced east a bit).
Scrimshaw is a great beer if you are in the Northern California area. While on vacation in SF I had some and subsequently ordered it whenever we were out on the town (most places had it).
I’m a huge fan of the Sam Adams line of beers. Their Octoberfest is one of my favorites.
OMG, that little pup in the top video is too cute! I love his little white butthole.
Max is really growing up, isn’t he? He’s still my third great dog love (Otis and Henry will always be #1 and #2).
Hrm. I’m in NC and Fat Tire is readily available. And Mothership Wit, and my favorite pizza place has another one of theirs on tap that I’ve forgotten what it’s called.
hey… is that a banjo I see!? Awesome.
It’s Somersault, if you cared. Seasonal.
I’d say Pretty Things has had a perfect record so far on their beer releases. Up there with Dogfish Head and Allagash.
Gin & Tonic
You paint Southern Tier as a one-hit wonder, which I think is grossly unfair. I’ve tried at least a dozen of their varieties, and I can’t think of more than one or two that could fall in the “miss” category.
I’m at work. I miss my dog. I miss my beer. See you both at 6 pm depending on traffic.
Hey, man, we can get Fat Tire by the case at any local grocery store here in NC. Sorry. And that’s not even the good stuff from New Belgium — try the Abbey Ale for starters. And the Ranger IPA is good.
Other breweries that hit on all cylinders: Victory in Downingtown, PA, and Weyerbacher in Easton, PA. Locally, I really like Big Boss in Raleigh, too.
I just bought a Creme Brulee Stout, along with the Mocha Stout. Haven’t tried either yet. The best beer I’ve had in the past couple of weeks is Left Hand Week Sauce Porter. It is the coffee-est tasting beer I have ever had. Amazing.
@Gin & Tonic: No, I describe them as a fantastic brewery that has an absolute WTF moment once in a while. UnEarthly is still my favorite beer in North America.
I’m in MD and Fat Tire is now available here.
Gin & Tonic
Oh — I’m not going to try to edit, because that’s usually a disaster — but I re-read and I think I got your view of Southern Tier 180 degrees reversed. Sorry.
Fat Tire’s purt’ good but nothing sets it apart from several dozen other ales. New Belgian’s forte is (shock) their Belgians. Trippel and Abbey are highly recommended!
It cracks me up one bottle is roughly the equivalent of a six-pack of Bud Lite.
Gin & Tonic
@Tim F.: Yup, got it. Reading comprehension fail.
I posted yesterday about a limited-edition Harpoon Rye IPA that was just really outstanding, but I don’t know if you’ll get it outside New England.
And even though I usually loathe beers with fruit in them, I had an opportunity to try Shipyard’s blueberry porter, which was really a revelation.
Had Life & Limb, the collaboration between Dogfish and Sierra Nevada, when I was down in Delaware before Irene… then saw a few bottles of it at my local liquor store in Boston. Seems like they released another batch mid August, so keep an eye out if you’re interested. The difficulty of obtaining it probably makes it seem better than it is, but it’s a good beer regardless.
Any of you Eastcoasters get Bridgeport (Portland, OR)? Deschutes (Bend, OR)? Both fall into the category of “all their beers are great” IMO.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
A twelve-pack of Sierra Nevada Torpedoes will be joining me on my drive home… ain’t it time to go, yet?
Is everyone here on the East Coast or something? Lost Abbey, Russian River, Deschutes, Rogue… I can’t think of any poor beers from these breweries. And those are largeish and well-distributed breweries with big portfolios. I haven’t had a bad beer from Portland’s HUB, Seattle’s Maritime Pacific, or Bellingham’s Chuckanut, either.
Random regional beer thoughts. Was at a pizza joint in Chico a couple weeks ago that had six Sierra Nevada flavors on tap. We settled on Torpedo by the pitcher. That worked.
My two current California favorite brewers are Lagunitas, North Coast and Mendocino. Wait, my three current…. They almost never make a misstep and are always trying new things while continuing with the favorites. Also, too, Anchor remains esteemed (sorry) for triggering the whole bloody craft beer movement those many decades ago. Consider a toast to them, next time you’re at a party serving Corona Light.
I’ve never had a Deschutes beer that I didn’t like. Same for Russian River brewing but I don’t know how far East they go (I’m guessing not very on the latter).
Nice to see New Belgium spread its wings eastward! Their winter seasonal (2 Below) is essential. Also, the brewery tour is great – it’s 10 minutes long, you get to look at the vats and the bottling room, then drink 10 different beers for an hour.
Fat Tire is readily available in NC but no where else on the east coast that I’m aware of.
Stoudts is a great brewery but I would even recommend Troegs out of Harrisburg, PA even more highly. Have yet to get a mediocre beer of any style from them. They have all been excellent to awesome. Troegenator is their signature beer, but their Dead Reckoning Porter, Sunshine Pils, Nugget Nectar, Mad Elf are all worth traveling to get.
Troegenator “Believe the hype. This beer has garnered a cult status over the years, and it’s a delicious beer that easily ranks within our top Doppelbocks worldwide.”
I’m sorry to say that I have to disagree on the steadyness of Dogfish Head. I love some of their beers (the Indian Brown, 60 and 90 minute IPAs) but they’ve produced some abominations as well, the Raison D’Etre springs to mind and their brewmaster is a bit too fond of hops, especially Cascade hops for my taste. I am generally a fan of heavy beers, I love an Arrogant Bastard, for instance, but “heavy” should not be an excuse for GBH charges! I always feel assaulted by the Dogfish head offerings in the heavier classes.
On New Belgium, my local (O’Shaughenssy’s, Alexandria, VA) has both Fat Tire and Hoptober in bottles. No draft yet, but I continue to hope!
Lost Abbey and Rogue are readily available in Boston… not sure about the others. Not a huge Rogue fan, but I’ve loved everything I’ve had from Lost Abbey.
If you’re hankering for a good Oktoberfest then I think you should get a German beer. My faves include Ayinger (absolute best Oktoberfest IMO), Spaten and even HackerPshorr makes a nice one.
@Gin & Tonic: You mean Rich and Dan’s Rye IPA. I had it at the brewery in Boston and hated them for a month because I knew I would never see it again. Then I found it at a place called Brgr in Pittsburgh and it felt like I won the lottery.
For all the New Belgium love here — which is generally warrented — I’m surprised Fat Tire is mentioned so often… It’s probably their least interesting beer. My current favorite (OK, it’s been a “current” favorite for about 4 years now) is their La Folie sour brown. So glad that it’s being sold more regularly in 22oz. bombers these days (used to be a rare sighting and more expensive in 750mL champagne bottles).
Love Spaten Klub Weisse, even more than their Oktoberfest, which I swear to bog Costco usually carries by the case in fall. Win!
@trollhattan: I like those Belgians sometimes, but am usually looking for something with a little less of a wallop. Have kids, don’t get out much, beer consumed mostly at home.
Lately I’m working through all the local brewers, of which there’s been something of an explosion of late, and trying out a largely growler-based consumption model. Going to get the Aviator and the Natty Greene’s refilled tonight.
I gave up the demon rum about a decade ago, but I was fortunate enough to enjoy a bunch of Russian River brews back when they were out at the Korbel winery.
Right now, Russian River is literally a two minute walk from my office. I don’t often miss drinking, however, whenever I walk by the RR brewery I do get a little nostalgic for their products. I understand that Pliney the Younger is considred one of the best beers in the world.
Also, the Full Moon brewing company had a beer called Death and Taxes that was probably the best beer I’ve ever tasted.
Well, mostly we’re just saying it’s purchase-able.
Man, I sort of felt like New Belgium was the sort of safe choice that everyone knew. But I guess it’s because I’m kind of sort of in the region. In any case, I very much agree. I’ve sort of grown meh on Fat Tire lately, but it’s still perfectly drinkable, and I still love most of the rest of their line. Abbey tastes like Jesus.
More locally, Saint Arnold is supposedly due to release a new Divine Reserve sometime this month. I have no idea when exactly or what the style is, but these are always a big deal. Like, take your lunch hour off to drive around everywhere to get some or else there won’t be any left by the end of the day.
Completely understand about that wallop. I bike commute in summer and when I arrive home the beer urge is strong. If it’s a hundred degrees and I down a Trippel you might as well pour me into bed for the duration.
It’s like this:
Wait, make that
threefour. I forgot about Bear Republic Racer 5, which has made me forget about everyone else’s IPA and is on tap at my favorite pizza joint.
@trollhattan: we must be on the same wavelength because Lagunitas is probably my favorite brewery (hard to say that). They had a limited called Sirius and thats the one that got me interested in craft beers.
Have you had many of Three Floyd’s offerings?
Not sure if you can get it where you are, but every single solitary variety that Boulevard puts out is OUTFUCKINGSTANDING. Just … damn.
Their Wheat is the best I’ve ever had, the Zon is perfect for a hot summer’s day, and the Bully Porter is great for those who like a heavier brew.
I just wish I could still drink …
@jibeaux: Fair enough, and I don’t mean to sound like a jerk about it. I’ve lived most of my life in places where Sam Adams Boston Lager was the best beer I could get, so access to choice and more diverse breweries is a great thing.
Fat Tire’s a fine beer, but I’ll take 1554 Black Ale from New Belgium. For a very-seldom-miss brewery with some awesome specialty beers (yay, Tank 7) I’ll offer my home-town brewer, Boulevard. Their Single Wide IPA and Dry Stout are very nice. And while I regret adding to Colorado’s shine, Left Hand Brewery’s Milk Stout is my current favorite; and how can you not like an ale titled 400 Pound Monkey, especially as it drinks just fine.
I sure haven’t. Any idea whether they’re shipped west? I’ll start watching for them.
Well, this is nice timing. And I can’t believe I forgot to mention Boulevard’s current seasonal–Bob’s 47, a German ale that will let you quit worrying about what beer to grab, at least for a few months. Ah, fall.
Ah, Railbender. I brought two cases of it back on my last driving trip to Erie. A far cry from Kohler’s (mit en umlaut) Wot?
No idea. They’re based in NW Indiana and I’m in Chicago so its a short trip or just get some of their great beers off the shelf at my local Binny’s. They’re most know for Dark Lord (RIS)which is highly sought after and only sold on one day of the year but they’ve got so many great beers you can hardly go wrong. If you do run across them try Dreadnaught (IIPA) or Gumball Head (American wheat).
sheesh, now I’m thirsty!!
Tour de Fat is this weekend. Yaay!
Fat Tire? Really? My buddy who works at a brewery calls New Belgium the second best brewery in Fort Collins, behind Odell. I like their Mothership Wit, their Trippel and a couple of their seasonals, but I’m not a big Fat Tire guy. Then again, ambers aren’t my favorite style
I’ll fedex you some Fat Tire if you send a keg of 90 Minute or Tres Pistoles/La Fin du Monde to SF. We get Dogfish and Unibroue on tap out here, but only the weirder flavors.
Just have to make due with Blind Pig and Pliny the Elders.
@kg: As far as I know, Three Floyds is not available out west. Whenever I visit family in IL, I bring some of their beers back home with me. And if I get time, I’ll dip up into WI for some New Glarus offerings. So good!
My New England-dwelling bro was talking about the nearly-impossible-to-find Pliny on his last visit out west, and I was able to haul him to a joint that has it on tap.
Must say, it was darn good!
And a really spiffy border fence, new weapons systems, and maybe a nice little war.
Smuttynose brews consistently delicious beer, and I’m a big fan of Lost Coast – nothing spectacular, but always very good in my opinion. Schlafly’s is also quite good – their pumpkin ale is out of this world.
@trollhattan: I’m wondering how a midwesterner gets his hands on either Pliny. Guess I’m going to have to sign up on Beer Advocate and look at their trade boards.
Arm The Homeless
Oh Fat Tire, how I have missed you. When I moved back to Floriduh it was a punch to the soul that we didn’t get it down here. On-tap it is the most delightful session beer I have ever tried. In the bottle it still blows a vast majority of golden-ale out of the water. Hell, most beers it tops in my opinion. Luckily the GA-line is close.
I took a trip up to Asheville a while back, and really enjoyed the Wedge. If you folks would get a real economy, instead of one based on a Hotel, I would love to come help your $tax-base$
Somewhat pet related: Security is like super tight at work today for some reason. As I came into work I got sniffed and kissed by a Homeland Security puppeh. He was a big black sweet Lab. My day is pretty much made.
Oh and MAXPUPPEH!!
last time i saw the new belgium brewery in fort fun, colorado, it was when they were escorting me from the premises. good times.
I will be having some Leffe tonight.
One of our neighbors dropped by with her niece this afternoon. They’re big pet people. They had a wee ickle kitten with them, 7 weeks old. The kid was enchanted. Our tabby groomed it. We’re going round to have a second look tomorrow.
Oh, who am I kidding? We’re getting a kitten tomorrow.
@R-Jud: Aaww that sounds so cute. We can has pics?
As a pacnorwest resident I apologize for not making the concerted effort to identify all the great breweries that make great beer and ale day in and day out.
As a former mid-Atlantican having either suffered from reasonably priced no tasting or high price good beer, I voted with my feet.
If you really like good beer and live somewhere other than the pacnorwest, there’s lots of other good reasons to move here also. But the malted beverages are to die for.
Vid, or it di’n ‘appen! (But do tell, anyway.)
I have one bottle of New Belgium’s Hoptober left in the fridge. Fat Tire is a reliable alternative to the usual crew that I find in my typical haunts. I had a pint of Lagunitas Lucky 13 the other day. It’s so hoppy that it has a flowery taste, plus it’s 8.5% ABV. Fortunately, I was taking the bus home that night.
I was amazed at the number of pubs in Scotland and England that had Budweiser (the American, not the Czech beer) in bottles. The selection at most places was pretty slim; Tennants and Boddingtons were common on tap. I did have a couple of good beers from Oban Bay Brewery; the Kilt Lifter IPA and Skelpt Lug 80 shilling were the ones I remember trying. I’m not sure they export them, though.
@schrodinger’s cat: I didn’t take pictures of her today, but will when (if?) we come home with her tomorrow.
We’ll have to change her name, though– she’s called Rose, same as me.
@Dave R: Just after noon here, and I’m off for the weekend. Just cracked the first Mirror Pond of the afternoon… Deschutes rocks. Bridgeport, though, is a pretty close second.
Just checked on a local joint that has had Pliny on tap in the past, and they don’t list it at the moment (unless it’s on the “guest tap”) but they’ve a few options anyhoo.
“I’ll take the lot, and a new liver.”
@R-Jud: How does the wee kitteh look?
@trollhattan: late 90’s (pre cell phone video). pregamed the tour of another brewery, then did the other tour and showed up at NB for their tour. i was wasted and quickly became “that guy” on the tour. my comedy routine was not received well so i shifted into fourth gear and started insulting people. i didn’t take kindly to the suggestion that i should leave and was ushered out.
as pointed out above, o’dell’s is a great brewery in the fort as well.
Tim, I live in AZ and we have Fat Tire coming out of our ears here. I’d send you some if I could!
I’ve been an arse at wineries but never actually 86ed. Sometimes I can’t tolerate being surrounded by tourists and…just react.
It’s a Festivus miracle!
Whenever I get back to MN I have to get a couple six packs of Schell’s Dark. Their seasonals are amazing and short lived. Luckily I was able to get some Oktoberfest at the MN State fair this year. Usually by late October mid November it is nowhere to be found. I also remember as an undergrad buying all of the Schmaltz’s Alt our town’s liqour store had and storing it in my closet for the months ahead.
Truly a great brewery. Now that they are brewing grainbelt you gotta try the Nordeast.
@schrodinger’s cat: She’s a happy little greyish tabby with white bits. White socks, if I recall correctly. The kid spent the most time with her.
We already have Quinn, a 5-year-old cinnamon tabby who’s gorgeous and sweet, but not all that bright.
Glad she can’t read that as she’s looking over my shoulder right now.
@trollhattan: if you endeavor to get the boot, my guidance is MOAR b00ze and turn off all verbal filtering systems.
Arm The Homeless
Barks and Brews tonight, with food-truck round-up. Ten home-brews enter, hopefully none remain. Plus, animals get donations. B00000000ZE
Agree with freemark @23. I live in Lancaster, PA, more or less smack in between Stoudt’s and Troegs, and while both are fine, Troegs is better. (As is Victory.) More locally, the small Spring House brewery (tanks in Conestoga, Taproom downtown) does great work too. In fact I may be there tonight.
Don’t get the Fat Tire love, it’s waaay overrated.
Russian River barely gets south of Santa Barbara and a few places in Oregon. It is, however, top notch. Pliny the Elder is ridiculously good, as are their sour ales.
I’ll put in a vote for Oskar Blues. Deschutes, Northcoast and Port are all great. Firestone Walker too.
@MikeBoyScout: It’s true you have the highest concentration of good breweries, but I’m pretty happy with my local selection, Surly, Summit, Fulton, Harriet, Flat Earth, and if I’m willing to make the 40 minute drive to Wisconsin, sweet, sweet New Glarus. It seems almost everywhere you go, there are good local beers available, though I was extremely underwhelmed with the local selection the last time I was in Florida.
I third the votes for Kansas City Boulevard, especially their Irish Ale. But today I had a Tallgrass Ale from Manhattan, KS, and it was lovely.
Submitting Tunch Classic for weekend entertainment:
@Gretchen: Boulevard just did a collaboration with Deschutes that was really really tasty…
I see that no one has commented on the two breweries closest to me–Alesmith and Green Flash.
I’m lucky enough to be able to go and fill up growlers at the brewery. The IPAs at both places are unbelievably good when fresh (and both very distinctive). But I think I’ve tried everything these breweries offer and haven’t had anything mediocre yet.
gotta give a shout out to Great Lakes Brewery and their Dortmunder Gold Lager and Holy Moses White Ale. But their whole lineup is solid across the board whether you want a porter or and IPA. And their seasonal brews are awesome as well.
@artem1s: +eleventy to great lakes. Edmund Fitzgerald is amazing and I’m not even that keen on porters.
@Mike Lamb: Ooh, forgot to mention the Firestone Walker. Love me some Union Jack… and some Walker’s Reserve.
ETA: but we can get Russian River beers up in Seattle and environs pretty easily, so they distribute more than just NoCal and some Oregon spots.
@R-Jud: Keep us updated, I for one am eagerly awaiting new kitten photos. I sure Bean and Quinn will thank you for it!
Nosferatu is now on tap!
Just hit the beer zone here a few minutes ago. A boring Sam Adams Irish Red, but I’m waiting to be picked up for dinner by two friends, and there will be more interesting things on the menu tonight.
@Yuppers: Oh god, I’m hitting up Rogue/Issaquah tonight.
I’m going to drown in John John Dead Guy, John John Juniper, and Ménage À Frogs.
Plus for all you lucky PNWers, Rogue Brewhouses are having a labor day garage sale!
In Seattle, I think Bambino’s has/had Pliny. Knowing how quickly it sells out, it probably doesn’t by the time I heard such rumors.
Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest is chilling in the fridge now, and their Locals 1 and 2 are great. BB has grown in leaps in bounds since I moved to NYC, so they feel like a local Sam Adams now, but their craft series (only in local restaurants) is awesome.
Max is so great; love both videos but the second one where has the leash in his mouth is too funny.
I’ve been out for a few hours — my but the posting looks very busy. I have a lot to read this evening.
I was pretty meh on Brooklyn Brewery until Garrett Oliver worked with Brasserie d’Achouffe… everything since has been a revelation. Love the Locals. I look forward to his latest book.
Don’t overlook Avery IPA, brewed in Boulder, available at Redstones Liquors in Stoneham Mass. Fantastic…
As a Kalamazoo boy born and raised, I’m a little sad/surprised that no one has mentioned Bells, although at the risk of sounding “deader than thou” their product has suffered as the brewery grows. Founders and New Holland are good Michigan beers, too.
West Coast Votes–Deschutes, Rogue, Stone, New Belgium
I never liked Brooklyn all that much when I lived in NYC (pre d’Achouffe and Local series); but I’m very happy to hear that they’ve really brought up their game in the last few years.
I’ll mention Bells, jmg: Two-Hearted was a great beer the last time I had it. Sorry to hear they may be slipping.
I tried Spring House at Cobblestones 2 years ago and it was terrible. But enough people I trust have told me that it is good. So I’m going to try it again. Must have been a bad batch or something. It a severely bad aftertaste. I guess it could have been something with the tap but I have had no issues with any other beer at Cobblestones in the many years I’ve gone there.
By the way if you get a chance get the ‘Flying Mouflan’ large bottles from Troegs. It is awesome, it is also bottle conditioned so you get 2 distinctly different tastes if you drink one fresh and let some age fro a couple of months. But both ages are excellent.
@Yuppers: Oh, HUB is awesome! Also- I can’t believe no one has mentioned Ninkasi.
Just got a case of surly furious for the long weekend. Surly is the newest brewery in minnesota. Furious is, bar none, the best ale I have ever had. The manager gave me a bottle of surly five for free!
They’ve already been mentioned in this thread, but:
My old favorite, Bell’s, is still quite good (though I agree that their new offerings aren’t quite up to par with their old stuff, the standard offerings like Two Hearted Ale and their stouts are still quite good.
My new favorite is Three Floyd’s. Gumballhead is amazing and many of their other offerings are great.
BD of MN
I can’t believe that nobody’s mentioned Capital Brewing yet, their beers are steadily flawless (or flawlessly steady), Autumnal Fire is in the top 20 beers I’ve ever had…
I’m gonna join in on the Dogfishhead bashing, 120 Minute is a great beer if you like soy sauce, especially for the price… skip the raisin beer as was previously mentioned, but I do like the Midas Touch… perhaps the handling gets a little suspect this far west, but 90 Minute has been hit and miss the couple of times I’ve had it in the past year…
And Larry Bell is a deity… I still have a few bottles of Batch 5000, 6000, 8000, i see a vertical tasting in the near future…
I could wax and wail over my long ago and far away New England brews, stouts, etc., having lived on the West Coast these last 14 years, but sometimes its good to just have a simple lager.
When I first moved to L.A. you could get Black Star on tap, and that was a damn good beer on a hot day. For some reason they left the state, and many angry drinkers, behind. Recently I discovered double hopped Black Star in the bottle at BevMo.
Good times again! Great beer for barbecue, or just having a cool one after a long day. And reasonably priced, too.
Just went to Mac n Jack’s in Redmond, WA yesterday to get my first growler, filled with African Amber. Absolutely the best beer I’ve ever had.
Opinions. Everyone’s got one. For my money the best beer I’ve had recently is Fishtale lager, brewed and mostly drunk in Olympia WA. Can’t get it more than fifty miles away.