Thursday, November 2, 2017

Octobers Top 8 Beers Tasted

What a month of tastings!

8. Bruery - Black Tuesday (2015): Thicker than average, huge ABV -- definitely tamed by over two years of aging. If I'd never had Fremont BA Darkstar, Perennial Abraxas, or BCBS I would have been more impressed. It has it all, rich flavors, robust aromas, complexity, balance, and a silky mouthfeel.

7. Funkwerks - Duplicity: One of those beers you taste and the first words that come out are wow and wow. Just enough tartness, perfect pineapple upside cake, just enough sweetness -- balanced and drinkable but not too much to prevent you from downing a whole 750ml bottle.

6. Dugges / Stillwater - Cocoa Cocao: I was a little torn on where to place this one because I drank two of these and had two different experiences.  The first was a perfect 5/5 - it tasted like a thick, rich, melty Caramello candy bar. The 2nd I had a week later, same batch, and this one had the full strength heat from its 9% ABV blast my palate, just fiery boozy chocolate.  Maybe it was too cold? Maybe the batch isn't consistent? But I stashed another away in the cellar hoping for the heat to mellow and get to experience another melty Caramello in the future.

5. Bale Breaker / Cloud Burst - Citra Slicker Fresh Hop Pale Ale: Sticky sappy fresh citrus juice galore. Dare I say it? Better than Fremont's Field to Ferment series?! Possibly so. Definitely better than at least 2 out of the 3 of that series I tried this year. No easy feat, for FtoF was at the top of my list for Fresh Hops Ales.

4. Alchemist - Heady Topper: It's kind of funny that I had tried over 2,000 different beers before ever having Heady. To be fair, depending on where you live and how good your networking skills are Alchemist IPAs can be pretty hard to come by. It was probably the biggest name brewery I hadn't had anything from yet. SO much hype around this guy, one of the O.G. kings of NE Style juice-bombs. Honestly, I wasn't disappointed in the least. The color (after having so many orange juice looking concoctions lately) was a little under-whelmingly clear, but it was full of all the tropical flavor its folk tales had promised of.

3. de Garde - Alle Kruge: If you're a Sour fan and haven't gotten to try anything from de Garde I urge you to get on some forums and makes some trades. Seek out anything with the name Bu, a fruit, or Alle Kruge in the title. de Garde are extremely tart but master the ability to make the true juicy notes of fruit shine through the sourness. Alle Kruge is a collab with the German brewery Freigeist, it's a little less intensely sour than the average de Garde, but even more fruity and complex than most. It's like squishing a mouthful of ripe tart blackberries between your tongue and the roof of your mouth and letting the juice just flow down.

2. Avery - Pump(KY)n (2015): That expression taste it again for the first time definitely applies with this one. This two year cellared vintage has all of the boozy Kentucky bourbon flavors infused into truck-loads of pumpkin and spice and the heat has mellowed to absolute perfection. It's one of the best beers I've had all year, and it's #2 this month, what-a-month!

1. Holy Mountain Guava Gin Table: Guava and Gin were made for one and other. Holy Mountain's Table Sour series is ridiculously and this is one of the best in their lineup. Fiercely tart but at the same time full of guava flavor. The Gin adds cocktail like boozy complexity -- there's been an abundance of quality Sours released lately but man, Guava Gin Table is playing in a different league. 

*Do a quick Google image search for Holy Mountain Guava Table and let me know if my black and white photo of me doing stand-up comedy that I use for as my Untappd profile pic comes up in the first dozen results for you as well?






Sunday, October 22, 2017

Netflix & Pils: Drink Beer. Watch Beer.





















These days there's never a shortage of things to watch, what with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime (don't pretend like you all aren't mooching of the same account with 7 of your friends and family), and plenty of other smaller channels. Problem is, most of these sites are time-sucking, endless search rabbit-holes with hidden gems camouflaged within a dense jungle of thousands of choices no ones ever heard of.

Well Pimpin' understands your struggle. We want to drink beer and watch stuff we can relate to -- like other people drinking and talking about beer. So today friends we take a step towards curing this disgusting habit of spending more time searching for what to watch than actually relaxing and enjoying a show. I've compiled a stellar list of beer related movies, shows, and documentaries for the brew-minded.

Crafting A Nation












A documentary that provides all of us craft beer enthusiasts with yet another point of pride we can attribute to our favorite hobby: boosting our nation's economy. The craft beer revolution has been legitimately making America great again, creating jobs and tax revenue. It'll leave you sighing ah, If only all non-fiction films could be about beer...we could all actually learn something new everyday.

Drinking Buddies












Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, and Olivia Wade are Drinking Buddies. Not sold yet? Throw in a love-triangle er..um love-square, some binge drinking shenanigans, some crazy sex, and some family drama. Shit gets real, real quick in this film. It's as fun of a watch with drinking buddies on a Friday night as it is on a solo Sunday afternoon while folding laundry.

The Irish Pub













What's more Irish than an Irish pub? Maybe not even shamrocks. This film provides a glimpse into the functioning dysfunctional family-owned and operated lifestyle that encompasses everything that is the Irish Pub.

The Magic of Heineken












The 150-year history of the world's largest family owned brewery. You don't have to like Heineken but after watching this doc chances are high you'll have formed a whole new respect for what they've done for beer culture.

Ken Burns: Prohibition













This doc. goes deep into the roller coaster ride journey of our 18th Amendment. Should we be allowed to drink, buy sell, and trade alcohol, how involved should our government be, the state we're in now, and all that we've gone through to get here. 

Chug












Comedian / Host Zane Lamprey travels around the world in search of beer adventures. Picture an Anthony Bourdain, but one that loves and respects craft beer versus the the actual Bourdain that drinks anything liquid placed in front of him the the goal of getting hammered.

Beer Wars



















Hear Sam Calagione, Anat Baron, Rhonda Kailman, and more discuss the war on beer: Indie versus corporate, what's going on in each world, what the major differences are, and what they are fighting for.

Beerfest














Beerfest is a 2006 comedy about two brothers that travel to Germany for Oktoberfest -- discover a secret underground drinking competition, get destroyed, head back to America to assemble a drinking team up for the challenge to compete in next years event. It's like the movie Dodgeball but wasted and without the balls.

Doug Stanhope: Beerhall Putsch












As a guy who's been performing stand-up comedy for many years, I have to say I have a lot of respect for Mr. Doug Stanhope. Nicked named the comic's comic, meaning he's beloved among his comedian peers, Doug has a unique style of self deprecation that only comes out after he's had a few beers. You will never seen this man perform sober, even he admit he couldn't do it. He's not his hilarious self if he's not drinking.

Ex Machina









This artificial intelligence thriller is one of my favorite films. One of the smartest people on the planet and inventor of a robot with human feelings and intelligence is also a troubled shlub who is rarely seen without a beer in his hand. It's easy to connect with both of the main characters right from the start and dive deep into the plausibility of this tale being true.

That's Odd, Let's Drink it (web series)












I had the pleasure of attending the premier party for this web series a few years ago in the bar above chef Mario Batali's Eataly in New York City. He and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head created this show for the adventurous craft beer drinker. It's all about crazy ingredients and innovative recipes in beer.

Strange Brew












You've probably seen this many years ago, but I couldn't not include it on this list. This 1980's classic stars Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis in a ridiculous comedy about brewing beer and mind-control.

The Saddest Music in the World



















This zany Canadian comedy/musical is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's pretty weird actually, I'd say be in the mood for something strange that involves a lot of singing, and definitely have some good, big ABV beers on-hand when watching this film.

Blood, Sweat, and Beer











Ever considered starting your own brewery? Then this film is for you. Blood Sweat and Beer is the tale, or more like the struggle of two independent brewery start-ups. It really answered a lot of what if questions for me personally and gave a insiders view into the whole process.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Guilty Pleasure: Juice Dumping Behind Closed Doors


My father used to say... and he still does, "Fruit doesn't belong in beer, son." He's the type of dude that will halt a bartender about to put a lime in a Corona like a robber caught red-handed. And I get it. And I understand a lot of beer purists think the Eastcoast juice-bomb IPA trend is trash. And there is suspicion around some breweries, that they dump juice in their beer post-brewing. But as an Oregonian that started my craft beer drinking adventures disinterested in bitter Westcoast IPAs, and what I thought at the time was how all IPAs tasted. Flash forward to living in Brooklyn, NY during the N.E. IPA boom, in a city making some of the best of this style in the country. Flash forward again-- I move to Seattle, WA where a legit Eastcoast IPA is pretty hard to come by. My current mindset is: juice dumping? Hell yeah juice me, gimme the juice, I need the juice.

So I started doing some research-- which beer styles made the best bases to add juice to, and which juices blended best to compliment each style. After what felt like attending an in-home beer festival, I found an exceptional pairing for 6 craft beers ideal for juice-blending and their perfect juicy match.


Pairing 1: Toppling Goliath - PseudoSue (Pale Ale) blended with Welch's Grape Juice. 
Anticipating that this was going to amount to nothing more than sacrificing one of the best Pale Ales in the country to the drain pour gods-- I was ecstatic to discover, after finding the proper ratio of Welch's grape juice that it turned out fantastic.  In-fact almost comparable to Other Half Grape Contemplate. For whatever reason most breweries have strayed from grape flavors sans wine grapes like Pinot Noir. Perhaps because there aren't many hop varieties that manifest grape juice notes on their own.  Grape and Pale Ales are a match made in heaven due to the Pale's typically soft hop bitterness, and grape being one of the most interesting of the uncommonly brewed but easily accessible juice flavors to blend at home. 


Pairing 2: Stillwater Nu-Tropic (IPA brewed with Mango & Passion-fruit) blended with Kern's Guava Nectar. 
This super soft juice-bomb is a tropical fruit paradise as is. But just wait until you add Guava. If there was a beer cocktail made for every state in the U.S. then this combo would be a keen representative for Hawaii.

Pairing 3: Belching Beaver Deftones Phantom Bride (Westcoast IPA) blended with ICEE Slush Fruit Punch. 
I'll wait for you to finish laughing... This combination is actually quite magical. Keep the ratio of Fruit Punch low, like around 10-15% of the blend-- it's potent stuff. Revive your inner 8-year-old self, Fruit Punch is basically just sweet sugary nostaglia in the form of a squeezably fun juice-pouch. 


Pairing 4: Voodoo KillaPilz (Pilsner) blended with Kern's Peach Nectar. 
Peach has become semi-common place within IPAs and Sours, but peach and fruit in general have been pretty neglected from the Pilsner style. A crisp pils with a strong malt backbone and a hoppy finish such as KillaPilz makes an ideal home for the succulent summer stone-fruit. 


Pairing 5: Grist Berliner Weisse blended with Kern's Apricot. 
No Pimpin' isn't being sponsored by Kern's...  After tasting tons of juices I concluded that they make some of the best in the affordable and easily accessible juice on the market.  Sure straight from the farmer's market or fresh squeezed at home would be ideal but those aren't always very convenient options.  Grist makes this traditional style Berliner Weisse with the intent of having the drinker add syrup or juice to it themselves. The Apricot's sweet-tartness is a divine supplement to the Grist's wheat-bodied sourness. 

Pairing 6: Bridgeport Cream Ale blended with ICEE Slush Cherry Frost.
Cherry is used a lot in beer but the Cream Ale is a beautiful untapped vessel for the sweet dark fruit. Cherry Cream, It even sounds delicious, and it is. Just like the Fruit Punch I would recommend adding the Cherry Frost sparingly, its sweetness is pretty intense. About 10% worth and you'll have a frothy cherry dessert treat fit to substitute in place of your favorite cherry-vanilla soda fountain cream soda.



Sunday, January 8, 2017

1000 Check-ins: The Best Of Weird Beer


After just recently trying Cantillon Gueuze for the first time, my 1000th distinct beer on coincidentally my one year anniversary since joining Untappd-- I felt a best-of issue was in order. But you know Pimpin' doesn't do anything basic.  So here's a list of the most enjoyably weird, interestingly unusual, and deliciously unique beers I've tasted from the past 1000.

25. Other Half - Grape Conversate: It probably doesn't sound that weird, but grape flavored beers are pretty rare, and this one is just grape IPA, juice-bomb, hop candy, surrealness.
Pimpin': 5.00  Untappd: 3.73


24. MAD - Salt: Not like a Gose. It's just straight salt to the veins. This ale is mad salty and I don't mean upset.
Pimpin': 3.75  Untappd: 3.43



23. 14er - Rocky Mountain Saison: Jalapeno, Cilantro, Lime-- impressively easy drinking for such intensive flavors.
Pimpin': 4.50  Untappd: 3.59 (less than 150 ratings last I checked)



22. Laht Neppur - Hot Chocolate Strawberry Porter: Okay this almost didn't make the list because the adjuncts aren't that crazy, but believe me when I say I've tried tons of fruit-chocolate stouts and porters and this is the only one that tastes legitimately like hot chocolate and strawberries combined.
Pimpin': 4.25  Untappd: 3.81



21. Mollusk - Squid Eyes: A German-style Swartzbier brewed with real squid ink. There's very subtle sea salt on the tongue and finishes remarkably clean.
Pimpin': 3.75  Untappd: 3.61


20. Council Guava Tart Saison: There aren't enough breweries using guava, and most saisons aren't tart enough. I'm not a huge guava fan or saison fan but this beer converts both for me. Council also makes a whole arsenal of other fruit sours.
Pimpin': 4.25  Untappd: 3.97




19. Valiant - Orange Slice Candy Sour: Remeber those gummy candies that look like orange slices? This tastes exactly like a sweet-tart version of those. Best Halloween party-favor of all time.
Pimpin': 4.75  Untappd: 3.88




18. 10 Barrel - Cucumber Crush: Too sweet for some, too sour for others, so cucumbery for all, I can't enough of this beer. Pair it with a rooftop in the summer.
Pimpin': 4.50  Untappd: 3.85




17. Ten Ninety - MPH: Cayenne and pomegranate juice, with a bittersweet dark chocolate porter backbone. This beer will confuse your tastbuds, but the adventurous drinkers that taste it with an open-mind with be rewarded handsomely.
Pimpin': 4.25  Untappd: 3.88




16. Omnipollo - Magic 420 Vanilla Waffle: They were serving this as an ice cream float at a tap-takeover at Brouwerij in Brooklyn, I opted for just the beer. I wish I went back for seconds and tried the full experience (there were new Tired Hands releases on-tap that night, what's a man to do?). If you've had this with the ice cream please leave a comment about your experience-- I'm dying to know more.
Pimpin': 4.75  Untappd: 3.61




15. Almanac - Heirloom Pumpkin 2014: Sour rye brandy barrel-aged pumpkin barley wine... wrap your head around all that. Trust me when I say it's just as hard to wrap your perplexed tongue around all these flavors when drinking it.
Pimpin': 3.75  Untappd: 3.89



14. Brooklyn - Kaedama Ale: Made specifically to be paired with the famous Ippudo Ramen (thought of by many as the best ramen joint in NYC and one of the top in the U.S.). Brooklyn Brewery executed the challenge to perfection, I've never had a beer that went better with ramen.
Pimpin': 3.75  Untappd: 3.84




13. Two Roads / Evil Twin - Geyser Gose: Two words: Icelandic Moss.  This is one of my favorite collaborations of all time and one of my favorite goses. It's just so refreshing in both the unique sense of the word and the definition of thirst quenching.
Pimpin': 4.50  Untappd: 3.84




12. Buckman Botanical - Double Fruitcake: It's baffling how fruitcake-esq this is. Now I'm not a fruitcake fan. Are there fruitcake fans out there still?  But this brew gets plenty of points in my book for accuracy.
Pimpin': 3.75  Untapp'd: 3.13




11. Baird - Wabi - Sabi Japan Pale: Woooo, that's what brewed with Wasabi tastes like. It doesn't have much of the heat, but it definitely has the spice notes, most prominently in the finish.
Pimpin': 4.0  Untapdd: 3.39




10. Firestone Walker/ 21st Amendment/ Stone - El Camino (Un)Real: A dark strong ale that drinks like a stout with: licorice, vanilla, dried mission figs, pink peppercorns, fennel and chia seeds. It's a tribute to The El Camino Real Highway that runs through California-- the three collaborating breweries took a road-trip together collecting random ingredients along the way... that oddly enough work together quite nicely.
Pimpin':4.25  Untappd: 3.89



09. Fremont - The Rusty Nail: I proclaim Fremont the Kings of making cocktails into stouts, the court is dismissed. This dark and herbally anise monster is definitely one of, if not the best stouts I've tried in the past year.
Pimpin': 5.0  Untappd: 4.55



08.  Postdoc - Ghost Reaper Pumpkin Ghost Pepper Porter: Please stop hating on Pumpkin beer already and try this. It's impressive how much Ghost Pepper flavor is in here and the heat is balanced well enough that your taste-buds aren't burnt off-- so still you get to savor all that great chocolatey roasted pumpkin porter goodness.
Pimpin': 4.25  Untappd: 3.90




07. Woodland Empire - Set em' Wild Set em' Free Beet: Beets in beer sounds weird, it is, but it's also sour and amazing. Don't be afraid of this brew, it's too special not to try if you get the opportunity. Woodland Empire makes several tasty peculiar sours, another to look out for is their Juniper + Rye (it tastes like a pickle sandwich).
Pimpin': 4.50  Untappd: 3.39




06. Carton - Grape Swisher: A ridiculously smoky rauchbier, Its truly like smoking a liquid blunt, the fruity grape kind all the young hipsters that are too cool to vape are using these days.
Pimpin': 4.25  Untappd: 3.57



05. Spiteful - Goddam Peanut Butter and Jelly Porter: Just take my money. PB and J is all I ate as a kid, and this is all I want to drink as a... technically I'm a grownup I suppose. All the flavors are spot on and this one goes down dangerously easy for being so rich and creamy.
Pimpin': 4.75  Untappd: 3.75




04. Great Notion - Blueberry Muffin: The shnozberries taste like shnozberries and this tastes uncannily like a blueberry muffin. Seriously I've eaten actual blueberry muffins that taste less like a blueberry muffin that this beer.
Pimpin': 4.50  Untappd: 4.31


03. Big Al - Time Capsule August 2008: A small batch brewed once over the course of 8 years while adding random beers to the mix along the way. You know those chefs that use a cast-iron skillet to cook everything and never wash it so everything they make holds the essence of hundreds of mouthwatering dishes created before it... this is kind of like that but in a super complex and balanced ale.
Pimpin': 4.50  Untappd: 4.12




02. Dogfish Head - Wastenot Pruno: A Collab with Chef Mario Batali for their popular web-series That's Weird, Let's Drink It. They use old overripe, about to be thrown-out fruits and vegetables repurposed beatifully into a tasty veggie-vinous experience that is best enjoyed pour from a cask.
Pimpin': 4.25  Untappd: (no rating only 8 check-ins last I looked).




01. New Belgian - Coconut Curry Hefeweizen (Lips of Faith series): There's no way I can prove to you that this isn't going to taste disgusting unless you have a chance to try it for yourself. Kudos to New Belgian, if you thought they were old news you have another think coming, these old dogs are still schooling the competition with new tricks.
Pimpin': 4.0  Untappd: 3.40