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).