I attended the first ever “Why is There Beer?” Tasting at the Brickskeller on October 27 with my brother-in-law Rich. It was another outstanding beer tasting! The event featured a panel of five local beer experts:
- Bob Tupper – host, brewer of Tupper’s Hop Pocket Ale, and beer historian
- Greg Kitsock – Washington Post beer writer and Editor of Mid Atlantic Brewing News
- Larry Robinson – of Chevy Chase Liquors, one of the best beer stores in the region
- Bill Catron – Distributor and Knight of the Belgian Brewers
- Dave Alexander – owner-operator of the Brickskeller, the best beer bar in the region
Each panelist selected two beers for the tasting menu, which consisted of:
- Grozet Gooseberry and Wheat Ale, Williams Brothers Brewing Company, Scotland
- Rodenbach Ale, Brouwerij Rodenbach, Belgium – a Flanders Red Ale (sour ale), with notes of dark cherry
- St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition, Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck, Belgium – a Lambic, another sour beer even better that the Rodenbach
- Harvest Wet Hop Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, California (6.7%) – smooth hop flavor, one of my favorites of the tasting
- Wild Devil, Victory Brewing Company, Downington, Pennsylvania (6.8%) – Hop Devil Ale subjected to ‘wild’ Brett yeast fermentation
- Old Foghorn Ale, Anchor Brewing Company, San Francisco, California (8.8%) – an American style Barleywine circa 1997.
- Thomas Hardy’s Ale, OHanlons, England (11.7%) – another Barleywine, this one vintage 2005
- Burton Baton, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware (10%) – a blend of oak-aged English Strong Ale and 90 Minute IPA
- Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, Stone Brewing Company, San Diego, California (8.7%) – an unusually dark hoppy IPA
- Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan (8.3%) – a delicious Imperial Stout with a strong coffee profile.
I enjoyed learning about sour beers, drinking the aged Barleywines, and the offerings from two of my favorite breweries, Dogfish Head and Stone. I also got a chance to talk to Greg Kitsock and I let him know how much I enjoyed his beer column in Wednesday’s Washington Post.
What a line-up of beers! And I also enjoyed Flying Dog Double Dog before the tasting started (an Imperial IPA from Frederick, Maryland).
Hard for me to recall which one(s) I liked best. I really enjoy the gueuze style, just can’t drink a lot of it. The Rodenbach was awesome as was the Burton Baton. The Sierra Wet Hop was magnificent. Gotta look for more of the wet hop style. The Founders stout was great too.
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