As part of my campaign to “take back the basement in 2008,” a tasting party at our house seemed in order. D decided to make it a premature St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, and chose a nice line-up of beers to share.
It was a little bit of an open-house situation with a count of approximately fourteen – twice the number that can comfortably sit at our table – and many brought additional food and brews. It made for a really nice gathering of acquaintances. Here is the line-up (in alphabetical order, since I don’t recall the exact order of presentation):
- Bar Harbor Brewing Co. Special Amber Ale (Vintage 2007; Bottle Number 587)
- Bell’s Two-Hearted (5 liter mini-keg)
- Berkshire Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale (brewed exclusively for Julio’s Liquors)
- Berkshire Brewing Co. Lost Sailor IPA
- The Brewer’s Art Green Peppercorn Tripel (no oysters here…)
- Cassissona (sparkling black currant-aged 6 months-bottles 2/25/2005)
- Firestone Walker Porter Reserve
- Frederiksberg Chocolate Stout (I hope I have the correct link!)
- Full Sail Top Sail Imp. Porter Bourbon Barrel Aged Brewmasters Reserve 2008
- New Glarus Brewing Raspberry Tart
- One Guy Cinnamon Boldy (growler; brewed with honey and Vietnamese cinnamon)
- Pisgah Baptista
- Pisgah Valdez (growler)
- The Portsmouth Brewery IPA
- Sixpoint Craft Ales Bolshoi Russian Imperial Stout(signed by brewmaster Shane C. Welch – batch # 74, bottle # 652)
- Ska Brewing Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter
- Southern Tier Choklat
- Stone 6th Anniversary Porter
- Stone 9th Anniversary Ale
- Stone Russian Imperial Stout
- Stuise Brewery Aardmonnik Earthmonk Flemish Sour Ale (1000 bottles every 2 years)
- Thomas Hardy’s Ale – 1986 (Bottle #A 32923; 1986 was the year Thomas Hardy’s Ale was introduced to the United States for sale)
- Unibroue Edition 2004
I owe a special thanks to Jason, not only for bringing the ever-so-tasty buffalo chicken dip, but for being so thoughtful to provide the growler of One Guy Cinnamon Boldy. It was a bit polarizing – some people didn’t care for the sweet, hot cinnamon in their lager, while others (like me!) absolutely loved the tingling in the nose and the heat dancing on the tongue. It’s such a nice beer with a sneaky 9% punch!
, low alcohol treat.
I broke out the Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa (and some less-potent dark chocolate) to go with the New Glarus Brewing Raspberry Tart, and transition us over to the Southern Tier Choklat. My mom would say of both, “that’s not beer!,” but I’m so glad that the brewers didn’t think that way. I’m such a fan of the hops, but these two treats take me down a whole different path of enjoyment.
I pulled out the Lively Run Fine Herb Chevre, and it was a big hit. It went well with rosemary crackers from The Fine Cheese Company, which I had in the cupboard. Unfortunately, it was gone by the time we opened up The Brewer’s Art Green Peppercorn Tripel. It was a little too peppery for my taste, but would have probably gone well with this calming, mellow cheese.
My biggest surprise was the Stuise Brewery Aardmonnik Earthmonk Flemish Sour Ale. Given that I am not a huge fan of sour beers and D is, I expected he would enjoy it and I would be less positive. In reality, I thought this was a pretty good and certainly drinkable sour ale. D couldn’t think of one good word to describe it! He was the only one of the six people around the table who did not care for this beer.
The beer of the night was the Thomas Hardy Ale. It was a vintage ale from 1986, and came from the other Jason’s cellar (it seems the men had to have a J or D name to be invited to this party – Jeff, Jason, Jason, John, Joseph, Dave, David and Deuane represented the male population.) We broke out the snifter glasses for this one, and it was absolutely worthy of new glassware. So smooth, so wonderful.
We started early with an intention to drive to Appalachian Brewing Company to hear Herbie, but D was in no condition to drive, and I was happy to continue hosting (we did pop the Herbie CD in the stereo, though!)
Things wrapped up pretty late, and we didn’t get out of the house on Sunday in time for the Philly Beer Week events (with the cancellation of the Game Dinner, and no appetite to attend the Lost Abbey brunch, my interest waned a bit anyway.) What a great way to spend our shortened weekend!