Archive for November, 2007

The reason we have nightmares

Posted Nov 30, 2007 in In the news

Scary, scary, scary, scary.

This week’s happenings…

Posted in Beer, Breweries, Goings on, New this week, People, Seasonals











It’s been a busy week around Bruisin’ Ales and we apologize for the slow posts. Normally, we can squeeze in a morning rant to you all, but the insane amount of deliveries we’ve been getting have us all tied-up. Not to mention the visitors and of course, the tastings. Here’s a round-up for the week:

Bell’s Update
Derek from Bell’s Brewery dropped by this week. Did you know that Asheville is the second largest market for Bell’s in NC? Wow! The good news is that more Expedition Stout is coming, so the clammoring (and complaining) may now cease. Also, Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale, a barleywine, is now here along with Bell’s Sparking Ale, just in time for the holiday table.

Terrapin Update
John Cochran, founder and president of Terrapin Beer, also paid us a visit. Their new brewery is coming along, though Georgia is having fun toying with them in this mess with all the new laws being passed, i.e. no sampling, no growler sales. He’s upbeat about it though and excited to get rolling in Athens proper. The newest of the Monster Series, Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout (aka Wake-n-Bake) should be here in two weeks. That’s straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. The bad news is that their awesome new beer, Terrapin India Brown Ale, will likely not be brewed or bottled next year as planned due to the hops shortage. That’s a big, fat bummer.

Upcoming Tastings
For the holidays, we’re doing weekly tastings. We love you that much. Next week on Thursday Dec. 6, is going to be super special with Jason Gavin of Brooklyn Brewery coming to town. This one will be our holiday fundraiser for Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway and will have a fee of $5/pp at the door. We’ll be sampling Brown, Winter, Local 1, Black Chocolate Stout, and the 2007 Monster Ale, which is to be released next week (fingers crossed!). 2004 and 2005 vintages of both Black Chocolate Stout and Monster Ale will also be sampled while they last. Get there early.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, Pisgah Brewing will have it’s in-store holiday tasting to kick-off Baptista and Red Devil in beautiful new bottles with a cork and a cage. Yup, both are being bottled for the holiday season. They’ll be bringing Porter, Equinox, Solstice, Red Devil, and Baptista for you to sample. Don’t miss it! And, if you have not yet had their coffee stout, Valdez, run (don’t walk) to Barley’s and grab yourself a pint. It’s so coffee-ish (is that a word?) and reminds us of the Hitachino Espresso Stout, which is made with whole beans that are thrown into the boil.

What else is new this week?
Boon Gueze
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout

Heavy Seas Below Decks
Ridgeway Very Bad Elf
Ridgeway Seriously Bad Elf

Ridgeway Santa’s Butt

Thursday Tasting: Winter’s Warmers

Posted Nov 28, 2007 in Beer, Beer Pairings, Events, Goings on, Seasonals








We know, we know—we’re late! Yes, save yourself a phone call because there is indeed a tasting tomorrow (11/29, 5-7pm). We’re sampling some brews that will take the chill out of winter. See you there! We’ll bring cheese.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale // “The long, cold nights of winter are a little brighter with Celebration Ale. Wonderfully robust and rich, Celebration Ale is dry-hopped for a lively, intense aroma. Brewed especially for the holidays, it is perfect for a festive gathering or for a quiet evening at home.” [American IPA / 6.8% abv / BeerAdvocate Rating: 90]

Anderson Valley Winter Solstice // “Luscious, creamy, smooth, and warming, this medium-bodied ale is brewed with Caramel and crystal malts to give it just a hint of sweetness, then paired with our private blend of holiday spice. Winter Solstice Ale is great alone or as an accompaniment to any meal, and it has been known to liven and spice up nearly any social event.” [Winter Warmer / 6.9% abv / BeerAdvocate Rating: 86]

Sweetwater Festive Ale // “A full-bodied, high-octane brew capped off with our use of cinnamon and mace. This beer will warm you all the way to your bones. Brewed only one day a year.” [Winter Warmer / 8.6% abv / BeerAdvocate Rating: 85]

Le Baladin Noël // “Le Baladin Noël is brewed in the tradition of an ancient winter warmer. A strong complex ale with an incredible complexity of aromas: flowery of rose, hint of dried fruits, caramel tasting, banana, cherry, plum, toffee, cocoa, licorice and peppery notes. Excellent with black chocolate, a glass of Nöel is perfect for a special night.” [Belgian Strong Dark / 9.0% abv / BeerAdvocate Rating: 87]

Draft’s Top 10 Beers to Share

Posted Nov 27, 2007 in Beer, Breweries, In the news, Seasonals

While perusing Brooklyn Brewery’s news today, we found this tidbit from Draft Magazine’s November issue, “The Top 10 Beers to Share.” You can share six out of the ten below:

750 mL Val-Dieu Blonde from Brasserie de l’Abbaye du Val-Dieu in Aubel, Belgium. This crisp, clean Belgian Ale offers notes of honey and a nice citrus vanilla finish.

22 oz. Chocolate Porter from Renegade Brewing Co. in Siletz, Ore. Brewed for the adventurous set, this decadent Chocolate Porter is soft and pleasant due to the unusual addition of oats to the mash. Serve it with chocolate or caramel desserts.

22 oz. Blueberry from Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, Calif. This beer might change cynical minds about fruit-flavored beers. The blueberry-infused ale makes a great breakfast mix with OJ or as a sweet dessert beer.

22 oz. Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale by Bison Brewing Company in Berkeley, Calif. This holiday seasonal is surprisingly smooth and has a rick silky texture—a great match for the season’s big meals. And as the brewers at Bison say, “It’s sure to smooth out that dinner with the in-laws.”

22 oz. Organic Woody I.P.A. from Roots Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon. Names after the iconic wood-sided car this is one of those IPAs you just can’t help but tell people about: The wonderful fresh taste seeps out of every sip.

750 mL Pomme from Brouwerij Lindemans in Vlezenbeek, Belgium. While this is one of our favorite Friday afternoon beers here in the DRAFT office, each person can never seem to finish a whole bottle. The solution? We split one and share the tart apple character.

750 mL Local 1 from Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, New York. Spicy yeast and plenty of carbonation make this a wonderful corked beer from Brooklyn. If you can find it in cases, but two and save one for next year.

1.5 L Bush (edit: Scaldis) de Noel from Brasserie Dubuisson in Pipaix, Belgium. At 12% ABV and over 50 oz., you’ll want this beeer circling your holiday table. It pairs fantastically with so many feasts; our favorite? Smoked rib roast with raspberry compote dressing.

25.4 oz. Super Baladin from Birrificio Le Baladin in Piozzo, Italy. Sour fruit notes in the aroma and flavor distinguish this Belgian-style ale from an Italian brewery. The larger size and 8% ABV make it perfect for four people to share; plus, it ages well.

750 mL Trois Pistoles from Unibroue Inc. in Chambly, Canada. Guests will love the vinous notes and the hearty malt flavors and relish the obscure yeast aromas and dark fruit flavors of this Canadian delicacy.

One of the last great lambics

Posted Nov 24, 2007 in Beer, Breweries, New this week, People












This week, one of our favorite lambic lines arrived. We chose five that represented a variety of tastes and flavors, including Iris, which is actually an all-malt brew made in the style of lambic. The brewery is Cantillon, which was built back in 1900. Cantillon is one of only two breweries that still produces true lambics. The other is Boon. And while Hanssens gets props for producing fantastic lambics—the strawberry Oudbeitje is always a treat— they don’t quite qualify. Hanssens is a blender, which means they buy their lambics from other brewers to make their beer. From Shelton Brothers:

Master Brewer Jean-Pierre Van Roy remains a tireless champion of authenticity in lambic brewing. … The mash at Cantillon consists, by long tradition among lambic brewers, of two-thirds malted barley and one-third unmalted wheat. The hops that are added to the boil in great profusion have been aged for several years, eliminating all trace of hop flavor or aroma, but not diminishing their original preservative powers. Twenty or more different strains of wild yeast may be represented in any one batch of lambic beer. The fermenting casks are all at least 40 years old and most held French wine, while a few held either wine, port, or sherry from the Iberian peninsula.

CANTILLON Classic Gueze
CANTILLON Iris (2005)
CANTILLON Lou Pepe Framboise
CANTILLON Rosé de Gambrinus

Image: Cantillon