Thank you to everyone who checks out Definitive Ale, I appreciate your support and enthusiasm! And I have good news, we are about to get even better! Starting NOW, all website content will be posted on my new self hosted site at www.DefinitionAle.com. This will be the last post here, with all future content going up directly to DefinitionAle.com. Thanks again, and see you at Definition Ale!
It always starts as a healthy passion. Something that you found to be intriguing, exciting, and perhaps delicious. The more you learn about it the more unique it becomes, and the more that it reveals itself, the more it sucks you in. Most likely its happened to you with something in your life; a sport, school subject, TV show, or a girl. Whatever it is, I’m sure you know what I mean. But then one day, you realize, that this passion is beginning to get out of control, and you are now totally obsessed.
It started for me with beer in about 2005. I thought nothing of it, but quickly my computer desk was being filled with beer bottles. There were bottles on top of it, on the shelves, in the book compartments, behind my monitors, and pretty much everywhere I could fit them. Much to the dismay of my girlfriend at the time, I would not get rid of these bottles. The 200 some odd bottles then has exploded into over 1,200 different bottles today. I am obsessed.
I’ve has countless bottles of beer from Brewery Ommegang in my life, and they always at very least excite me. There have been many memorable beers, but none quite as astounding as the Adoration, their special winter ale. Ommegang is brewing Belgian inspired ales in Cooperstown NY, and the Adoration is no exception – it is a 10% Belgian Dark Strong Ale that is packed with deep fruit and malt flavors and a rich crackling of spices. The beer just cries out for the winter.
It will be floating throughout the United States again from Late October to December, and may last on shelves even a bit longer than that. What I am most excited for is of course to drink it again, but also to put a few bottles in my cellar. Big, rich and spicy beers like this can benefit to amazingly with some time to mature. Bottle conditioning (a process by which existing yeast in the bottle naturally carbonates the beer) allows for a very real transformation to slowly take place as the beer ages – exactly like with fine wine. If you do see the Adoration on a shelf, I would by 2 to age for every 1 you enjoy.
One of my all time favorite meals is brunch. It is such a delicious combination of foods from all courses coming together in perfect harmony. Everything from eggs and pancakes to bacon, roast beef, shrimp, pastas, desserts and more make it onto the table. Beyond that, there is usually a wide selection of juices, coffees, cocktails, beers, spirits, and usually mimosas; the classic brunch drink of orange juice and champagne.
I do love champagne, but honestly the classic mimosa leaves something to be desired. It always ends up a bit to sharp, and unless you are using very expensive sparkling wine, a bit to tart. Ah ha, beer to the rescue. Here is one of my most favorite beer cocktails that people are always shocked, and then astounded by; the Blanch de Chambly Mimosa! It is smoother, creamier, has a soft vanilla and warm spice character to it, and just compliments orange juice better than champagne can. Read on for the directions, and I dare you to try it! Read the rest of this entry »
For anyone who may have been wondering why my daily posts were down to 1 or 2 from the usual 5 to 6 a day last week, the reason is this gorgeous brew kettle you see here. All last week I worked on building and perfecting my brand new homebrew system, which features this 30 liter Brew Kettle from Blichmann Engineering. It took some time, but now the system is all up and running, and the first batch went through yesterday, a Pumpkin Pie Weizenbock.
Homebrewing seems to be the natural step forward to beer enlightenment for the avid beer geek, or beer blogger. I have been homebrewing in various capacities for just over a year now, but I now have a system where I will have more precise control than I ever have before! To say than I am excited is a gross understatement. Coming down the pipes next will be a Mint Pale Ale and a Banana Chocolate Chip Stout.
Every once in a while the LCBO brings in a beer that totally shocks me. And its not necessarily the beer itself that gets my attention, but the fact that the LCBO had the you-know-what to actually bring it in! Last year the LCBO proved their worth to me by bringing in the Ola Dubh 12 and 40 – while the 40 was grossly over priced at $18.95 for a 330ml bottle, I was still excited to have it here. As well, it is a rare and pricey beer, so you can’t completely blame them.
This year the LCBO has again shocked me, and more so beyond last year. Not only are we getting the 12 and the 40 back, but the reaming Vintages in the Ola Dubh line are coming! That means soon we will have access to the Ola Dubh 12, 16, 18, 30 and 40! This is not yet reflected on the LCBO’s system, but was confirmed to me by beer services employee at the Sumerhill location. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s no avoiding it anymore, the summer is definitely gone; as hard as I have been trying to hold onto it, its gone. But fall is a pretty beautiful season – the leaves change, the air is crisp, the enchantment of the holiday season nears, and, oh yes, the Pumpkin Ales come in! This year we are getting four pumpkin ales in for the Autumn Release at the LCBO.
Great Lakes’ Pimpkin Ale will be back in 650ml bottles; it is a pale ale based pumpkin ale with mellow spice and pumpkin flavors at 5%. The St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale is also back, this 5% 341ml bottle is packed with crisp spices and refreshingly sweet pumpkin notes. The Post Road Pumpkin by Brooklyn will join the ranks for the first time, offering a more malty 5% pumpkin ale. And finally, Southern Tier, who is getting more and more shelf space recently will bring the Pumpkin, an 8.8% imperial pumpkin ale. Go get it!
Here is another amazing example of why I love Dogfish Head and its founder, Sam Calagione. Back in the early 2000’s at some beer festivals you may have seen Dogfish head pumping some of their IPAs through a vertical tube of fresh hops then poured directly into your glass. Most notably the 120 IBU (International Bitter Unit) 120 Minute IPA was being fed through what Sam named Randall, producing a wildly fresh, enamel eating, hoppy beer. This was a fun and unique experiment for Dogfish, and also a way for Sam to prove to the West Coast Brewers that the East Coast knows how to hop it up too.
Now though, Sam has introduced Randall the second, a much more refined and engineered version of the original makeshift Randall. This version installs onto a tap line, and has two chambers allowing Dogfish to filter beer though the ingredient of their choice in one, and the second to reduce foaming. Guess what they have been doing with it… Read the rest of this entry »
A month or so ago I posted a recipe for a Spaghetti Squash pasta made with veal meatballs, San Marzano tomatoes, and Unirboue’s La Maudite. Unibroue loved the recipe and posted it in the recipe section of their site – then, just a few days ago I got an email from then asking if they could post it up on the front page as their recipe of the month! So now on the main Unibroue Page my own recipe is featured front and center! Thanks Unirboue! You keep making the beer, I’ll keep enjoying it! Cheers.
As more and more consumers all across the globe choose local, artisan, and craft products the beer industry has benefits greatly. Or, at least the craft beer industry does. Budweiser, who once had an unfathomable stronghold over most segments in the beer market has been loosing ground to smaller, more unique breweries year on year for quite some time now. You just can’t trick people into buying a bad product anymore, at least not as easily as you could before. Budweiser was never about selling you a beer, it was all about selling you an image, an image of who you could be if you drank Bud. Like it or not, that image has been tarnished over the years, and people aren’t so willingly hypnotized by cleavage and free trips. They want quality, flavor, and something unique.
So Budweiser has come up with a new plan to energize, to reinvigorate their appeal to the under 30 sector who is now seemingly ignoring them. Bud will unleash the largest ever national free sample campagn in trendy bards and eateries. This, honestly, is proof that Bud just doesn’t get it. Read the rest of this entry »
On Wednesday September 22nd, in the middle of Toronto Beer Week the Beer Bistro hosted a beer tasting of four Lost Abbey Beers, and two from Port Brewing. Cass Enright from the Bar Towel introduced Matt Tweedy, a Beer Bistro employee, and assistant brewer at Duggan’s Brewery who also spent 8 weeks at the Lost Abbey for a brewing apprenticeship. You couldn’t ask for a better journey through the six beers which Matt had very intimate experiences with. Each unique beer was introduced and described by Matt, who was able to regale us with stories straight from the brewery. The Lost Abbey focuses on Belgian inspired beer brewed in California, and Port Brewing creates classically west coast beers also in California. Read the rest of this entry »
CraftBeer.com is a pretty remarkable resource for everything beer. They publish news, stories, lessons, guides to beer and enjoying beer, local events, beer and food pairings, and more. One of my favorite sections though is the recipe list. Not homebrew recipes, but cooking with beer recipes. The most recent post caught my attention; Amber Ale Donuts… MMMmmmm. I will be making these very soon and will post my results. I can’t wait!
Recently there has been a slew of Craft beer videos all resonating the same message about how much we love craft beer. Most of them are great, but absurdly repetitive uttering “I am a craft beer drinker” over and over again from different people at different angles. It was refreshing then to see the newest Craft Beer promotional video for the New York Craft Beer Week. This video is totally original, unique, and pretty awesome. I don’t think anyone has done a beer promotional video like this before. Hats off to ya guys. Oh, and NY Craft Beer week is going to be crazy! September 24th through October 3rd. If you are in New York, go get some great beer!
This week on The Modern Gentleman we take a look at the beer styles that best fit the Sunday throwdown. Football is back in full swing, and if you are an NFL fan that means your Sundays are filled with nachos, wings, friends, football and beer! Most importantly, beer. But siting down for hours of football warrants a different beer style that most times. Usually when I relax with a beer its to focus on it, and appreciate all the flavors that that beer has to offer. But when you sit down to watch 4, or 8 hours of football, you need something smooth, clean, easy and delicious. Find out what we are looking at here. Go Steelers!!
This past weekend in Denver Colorado the largest gathering of American beer and beer lovers enjoyed a flavor packed weekend of craft beer, great food, and good times. This year 3,523 beers were entered into the Great American Beer Festival brew competition, more than any other commercial beer competition in the world. Winners from the 79 beer categories were just announced over the weekend and Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were handed out. Pizza Port Brewing took an impressive 13 medals, and Firestone Walker to 6. For the full list of winners here is the PDF. Read more for some stats. Read the rest of this entry »