Kona Brewing Company is situated on Hawaii's Big Island. You've probably seen some of their "liquid aloha" at your local liquor store. The beers they ship off the island are: Long Board Island Lager, Fire Rock Pale Ale, Big Wave Golden Ale, Wailua Wheat and Pipeline Porter.
After doing some research I discovered that Kona has five other beers that they only serve on tap in Hawaii. To be honest, these sound more appealing to me... not that their exported bottled beers aren't good (because they are), but the draft beers sound more appealing to me personally. Tap only beers include Black Sand Porter, Duke's Blonde Ale, Lavaman Red Ale, Castaway IPA, and what would likely be my fave of the bunch -- Hula Hefeweizen. I've never been to Hawaii... I wonder if I can wrangle a beer writing trip out of this? ;)
Recently I was sent samples of Pipeline Porter and a bag of the world famous 100% Kona coffee (grown at the Cornwell Estate Plantation) that Kona Brewing uses in that porter. This was a very interesting taste test. Fran and I are big morning coffee drinkers, and just like beer -- I don't have one favorite that I drink all the time -- we like to sample a variety of different coffees. After having the Kona coffee from Cornwell (which we've never had before) it's easy to see why it's world famous.
Full disclosure: I've had Pipeline Porter before. In fact, I still have a bottle or two in my fridge from last winter. That's not a slight against Pipeline, I have other beers from last winter in there as well... remember, I'm a seasonal beer drinker.
However, this time was different. Sipping the freshly brewed Kona coffee for a few mornings prior to imbibing the beer that those same beans are used in totally changed the taste of the beer. I was able to discern the coffee nuances much more this time around.
Kona's PR description of Pipeline goes something like this: "... smooth and dark, with an earthy complexity from its blend of premium malted barley. The malt unites with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee... a delicate blend of hops rounds out the palate-pleasing brew and the infusion of coffee gives Pipeline Porter a unique roasted aroma and flavor."
Can't argue with that. As you know I don't delve into deep, analytical, superfluous, adjective-laden reviews. I leave that to SMRT people. For me it's good or it's not to my liking. Pipeline Porter is damn good. And I'll be drinking more of it as summer gives way to fall which gives way to winter. The islanders may be sucking this down on on the North Shore of Oahu after a long day of hanging ten... I'll be sucking it down after shoveling a foot of snow off my damn driveway!
Beer Mapping Fantasy Draught: Season Two! In a nutshell folks participating in this competition will have a list of the breweries that are submitting beers to be judged at the Great American Beer Festival coming up in Denver in a few weeks. Competitors in the fantasy league will try to select the breweries that will win them the most points. Just like in a real draft each brewery can only be picked by one person. they are going to limit the number of participants to between 30 - 35, so you best hurry on over to the site and register!
It's that time once again when beer lovers from around the world descend onto Munich, Germany, for the biggest and baddest Oktoberfest in all the land. This giant beer-love-in lasts for another 15 days 5 hours and 46 minutes (give or take an hour or two). Which means you still have time to grab your lederhosen and hop on a jet plane!
For all you Southern Colorado Beer Lovers (go read my SoCoBX diatribes)... Woodland Park is hosting their 11th Annual Rocky Mountain Oktoberfest today and tomorrow. Since it's a quick hop up the pass to Woodland Park this is a much more manageable excursion then climbing aboard a 747 bound for Germany. Although this 'fest probably won't have nearly the same caliber of fraulines... or beer. Oh well, that's the price you pay for staying local! I'm not saying that Rocky Mountain gals ain't the bomb, but... they're not German frau's decked out in Dirndls. I mean... look at 'em! All German-y... hoisting liter mugs of beer. COME ON! Why do you think I married one?!
And if you can't get to any of the fests remember... my good friends Dieter and Norm down at Edelweiss will again be having their weekly festival specials. This is the best German restaurant Fran (who remember is 100% German) and I have ever been to. Starting the week of October 1 they will -- as usual -- be dishing out their fantastic German cuisine and serving up the best selection of German beer in the region. Week 1 is a Bratwurst special, Week 2 is Rippchen, Week 3 is Schweinehaxen, and back by always popular demand for Week 4... Bratwurst!
Achel Blond 5 is achely heavenly! There isn't a Trappist beer I haven't liked.
St. Bernardus Wit is perhaps my new favorite wit beer. This is the first time I've had a St. Bernardus. I've heard about it for years but had no idea it was this damn good! I will most certainly be buying more of this.
Pyramid Imperial Hefe and Crystal Wheat. Pyramid is one of my "go to" breweries. I love almost everything they brew. The Imperial Hefeweizen is no exception. I've got to get more of this before it vanishes! The Crystal Wheat on the other hand... not so much. It's harsh, and doesn't appeal to my buds in the slightest. I won't buy it again.
Widmer is my Numero Uno "go to" brewery. Their hefe is the bomb during the summer and the Snowplow is the bomb in the winter. Their W'08 Crimson Wheat is majesty in a bottle... and I want more! Rob and Kurt... send me your beer! Ya, I'm pimping again. Sue me.
Kapuziner Hefe is without qeustion the smoothest hefe either of us have ever tasted. Ever. This is so sessionable one could quite frankly live on this suckulent wheat beer. You can bet I'll be buying a lot more of this! I want to try their whole line of Hefes, so if a Kapuziner rep is reading this... SEND ME ALL OF THEM! ;)
Twisted Pine Brewing craft pack (2 bottles of 6 of their Twisted Pine series brews). IN this particular pack was a Raspberry Wheat, Hoppy Boy, Honey Brown, American Amber, Blonde, and Creamy Stout. Really enjoyed the Wheat and Honey Brown, but was left wanting more from the rest.
Abita Turbodog is down in Louissiana, and they can brew some beer. I'd drink this one again... and again... and again.
Rogue Dead Guy. If you've had it, you'll love it. I've had it... and I love it.
Unibrou Don de Dieu. A triple Wheat Ale that's been refermented in the bottle with an ABV of 9 %?! What's not to love!? This is yum in a bottle, baby!
Autumn is rolling in. You can smell it in the air. Summer's hot air is getting chased out of the high country faster than a beer getting drained from my pint glass.
Like many, I am a seasonal beer drinker. As the climate cools my penchant for summer beers (mostly Hefes and Wheats) dissipates. With AM temps dipping dangerously into the low 40's over the last few weeks... it's time for a change in beer! Since I'm not one to drink normal mass produced swill... it's time for something crafty. A little bit of liquid goodness would be perfect right about now.
Something like... Redhook's Late Harvest Autumn Ale.
As you know the Mad Beer Man (damn that third person) doesn't do proper beer reviews. I grunt "good" or "meh." Bad beer (unless it's skunked) is a misnomer. Every single person's palate is different, therefore what's "bad" to one person may very well be the pinnacle of beery goodness to the next. Take for instance IPAs. I cant' stand 'em. Doesn't mean they're bad, they're just not my pint o' beer.
But Redhook's autumn brew... that's a different story. This sucker pours a coppery color. If you dropped a penny in it'd vanish. It has a thick, firm head. There's absolutely no smell after being poured into a glass. It tastes malty and a lot like Autumn... as it should since that is its frakin' name. Better still, there's no aftertaste. It's the ideal brew for chomping down a burger with.
So there ya go... grab yourself some Late Harvest Autumn Ale before it disappears. It's only available through October!
Beer and cheese go as well together as wine and cheese. Maybe even better. I mean come on... cheese and beer go together like milk and cookies. Think about it. What's a burger without cheese? And beer. Cheese goes on pizza. And you can't have wine with pizza... it's un-American! Cheddar cheese brats. Wine and brats? Uuuuh... no. OK, so maybe I'm taking it a bit too far, but you get my drift.
A few months back I made a guest appearance on Beer Tap TV where we discussed/tasted Belgian beers. During the session we ate some cheese along with the beers and the degree to which the tastes of both were amplified was nothing short of amazing. Ever since then I've had my loving and understanding (thank God!) wife pick up different artisan cheese to sample along side my beers. Yuum!
Well, Sargento Cheese believes in the ability of their cheeses to bring out the best in every beer. In fact, they made a video about it. Take a look see..
So there ya have it! Those sliders look goooood! Think I'll go make some. Oh wait... I don't cook. Maybe Fran will make me some. ;)
Big thanks to Bob Krause for providing this video.