Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not Ned Flanders

Yesterday evening, El and I had dinner with some of her relatives at Coquette which is one of our favorite local restaurants. Coquette is a French brasserie and is locally owned by the Urban Food Group. All of their restaurants are among our favorites. In fact, the Italian beers in my previous post were consumed at Vivace.

I enjoyed two beers during dinner yesterday which will make this my fourth consecutive post discussing a pair of brews. Being a French restaurant, Coquette's wine list is completely composed of French wines. The beer list however is mostly Belgian. The two brews that I tried were both from the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders which is not to be confused with this Flanders.

The first beer was a bottle of Bruegel Amber Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge. Bruegel comes in a very distinctive bottle which is short and squat. The beer itself is an amber ale. I have previously tried two other Belgian or Belgian-style amber ales, Pauwel Kwak by Bosteels and Rare Vos by Ommegang, but Belgian-style ales come in a variety of flavors. Bruegel has a malty taste which I enjoyed.

Van Steenberge is located in the village of Ertvelde in the Belgian province of East Flanders. The second beer is by Brouwerij Bavik which is located in the town of Bavikhove in the province of West Flanders. I had a pint of Wittekerke which is a traditional witbier. Wittekerke has a very light yellow color and a light pleasant taste. And yes, I enjoyed this beer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Pair of Brews

A bit coincidentally, this will be my third consecutive post discussing a pair of beers. This time, the topic is two brews from Birra Moretti. For those of you following along at home, I try to be consistent with the format that I use for the Beer List. I am not always successful. In this case, the name of the brewery, the brand and the primary beer all share the same name which happens frequently. Birra Moretti was an Italian brewery that was bought by Heineken. Birra Moretti is still used as the brand name for most of their beers, and the flagship brew is Birra Moretti which is a pale lager. It is a very drinkable beer, a standard of the style, but not particularly outstanding.

A bit more interesting was the brewery's second most popular beer, La Rossa which is a dunkel or doppelbock. Although I never posted about it, I have a regular bock on the Beer List, the Spring Bock from the Carolina Brewing Company. I did not, however, have a doppelbock on the list until now. La Rossa is a dark reddish brown color or amber according to the website of the brew. The taste is very malty, but in a pleasant and not overpowering way.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Double Down

Quick executive summary of this post: Double IPAs are extra hoppy as expected.

For those of you still with me, the topic for today's post is Double India Pale Ales (also know as Imperial IPAs). Double IPAs are basically IPAs on steroids. My previous experience with one of these extra hefty IPAs was Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA which I thought was super-extra hoppy as expected. Yesterday, we stopped by our favorite watering hole which had not one but two double IPAs among the ten brews on tap.

I first tried the Mojo Risin' Double IPA from Boulder Beer Company. The company's webpage describes Mojo Risin' as "a souped-up, extreme version Mojo IPA." I have previously tried Boulder's regular Mojo IPA. As promised, Mojo Risin' is the big brother of the Mojo IPA. It is very hoppy and has extra alcohol content with a 10% ABV. It still very drinkable, although I wouldn't suggest drinking too many at one time.

My second DIPA was Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide Brewing Company. Great Divide is another Colorado-based brewery located in Denver. Hercules is a high-gravity beer with an ABV of 10% which is the same as Mojo Risin'. As expected, Hercules is extra-super hoppy. Despite the extra hoppiness and the high alcohol content, I enjoyed both beers. Perhaps, I am finally learning to enjoy big hoppy beers.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

SweetWater Keep on Rolling

As suggested by the title, the subject of this post are two brews by Atlanta, Georgia-based SweetWater Brewery. Of course, the title is a take on the famous song "Black Water" by The Doobie Brothers. I like the song which is an ode to the Mississippi River. A few years back, I saw Hootie and the Blowfish do a great cover of "Black Water" when they played at Koka Booth Amphitheatre over in Cary. But I digress.

The first SweetWater brew that I tried was not their more famous 420 pale ale, but their Blue which is a fruity wheat beer. While I like regular wheat beers, I don't care as much for fruit-flavored wheat beers, and Blue has a strong blueberry flavor. I didn't like the fruity flavor nor the strong aftertaste.

After the pint of the Blue, I then tried a pint of their 420 which is a pale ale, particularly an extra pale ale according to the full name. I am not sure what makes a beer an extra pale ale or how that differs from other pale ales. The Internet tells me that extra pale ale is another term for American pale ale. The 420 seems to be a standard example of a pale ale which I preferred over the more fruity Blue.

I just noticed that between a reference to the Doobies and a brew called 420, this post may seem to have an underlying theme. I am apathetic on that particular subject and any theme was unintended (but humorous).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not a Beer

It is debatable if hard cider falls into the larger category of beer, but I am adding a not-so-beer to the Beer List anyway. Today, I had a draft of Ace Perry Cider from the California Cider Company which is located in Sebastopol. That is right in the heart of wine country in that long state on the left coast. In the past, I have had Woodchuck and some other hard ciders. I enjoy hard cider, but I prefer apple to pear. Ace was still pretty good though, but in the end, I really prefer beer to cider.