Baltic Porter

One of us Beer Chicks (the brunette one) recently spent quite some time this summer seeking out the best beer that Latvia (yes, Latvia) had to offer. Amidst the myriad of German and Czech-style Pilsners, one style stood out as a testament to the land, the sea and the climate: the high octane and delicious Baltic Porter. (So what if it was introduced by the British!)

Baltic Porters are, as the name suggests, brewed in the Baltics in the countries of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and yes, Latvia. The style was brought to Northern Europe by the shipping of British Porters to Russia in the 1700’s.

These beers are complex and traditionally pretty high in alcohol, ranging from 5-9% ABV. This beer is usually brewed with lager yeast, but sometimes is brewed with ale yeast. If the beer is brewed with ale yeast, it is then fermented at cold lager temperatures, making this a kind of “hybrid beer.”

Baltic Porters can have flavors of dried fruit, licorice, coffee and spicy hops. They are typically less burnt in the mouth than Robust Porters and are much more complex than Brown Ales. Try out some of our favorite Porters and get a taste of the Baltics.

Aldaris Porteris: Aldaris Brewery – Riga, Latvia.
We drank many a Porteris while sitting under the Aldaris umbrellas in the lovely biergartens in the squares of Riga. Roasted coffee with notes of honey, walnuts, raisins and vanilla.
6.8% ABV.

Olfabrikken Baltic Porter:
Bryggeriet Olfalbrikken, Roskilde, Denmark. Bitter chocolate, smoke, licorice, leather.
7.5% ABV.

Baltic Porter:
Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Part of Smuttynose Brewing’s seasonal and limited “Big Beer Series,” this black beer is big and bold with quintessential flavors of dark fruit, coffee and raisins. It’s a little hard to get a hold of but Smuttynose just announced that it will be releasing the Baltic Porter in early November, 2010. Yay!
? ABV.
(2009’s version was 8.7% ABV.)

Boobs & Beer

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We Beer Chicks will be doing a Beer Pairing Dinner and Beer 101 Class at Library Alehouse next week on Tuesday, August 31st.   The 7-course dining event, which will take place in the back garden patio, will benefit breast cancer research through the charity organization  What a Pair.

Please make sure to call to get your reservations now as this dinner will sell out!  The menu will include small plates to go along with each beer, and you won't go home hungry!

Beers will include Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils, The Bruery Tradewinds Tripel, Chimay Blue and more. Food will include Heirloom Tomato Salad, Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa, and Beef Carbonade with French Fries.

There will be one seating from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m, on Tuesday, August 31st.

Library Alehouse
2911 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 314-4855

Haines Brewing Company – Paul Wheeler

Haines Brewing Company, Inc., established June 21, 1999

owned and operated by Paul Wheeler & Jeanne Kitayama

~ Welcome to our website ~

For years friends trekked across tide flats and through coastal forests to our home, for the taste of Paul's fine brews. Then with the encouragment of local folks, and growing from those homebrew recipes, we took the leap to open the brewery. Starting off with dairy tanks from the midwest for fermenters, we scrubbed off the old butter and Paul started brewing. We grew quickly, exchanged the dairy tanks for closed fermenters, and now regional demand is more than Paul can supply. All our beers start with organic base malts, and use no filtering or pasteurizing, to produce one of Alaska's finest hand-crafted beers.

Currently, in our location in Dalton City at the Southeast Alaska State Fairgrounds in Haines Alaska, we have several beers available on tap. Beer can be purchased by the sample glass or pint to consume on premise, or by the liter or half gallon to go.

Haines Brewing Company is a proud supporter of the Great Alaska Craft Beer Festival held every year in Haines.

 

That's how the Haines Brewing Company intends to make inroads. Principal owner and brewer Paul Wheeler supplies the town's restaurants and bars with kegs of beer, then sells growlers from the brewery. He'll never get filthy rich making beer with a 3.5 barrel brewhouse, but he sure gets to work in cool digs at an old movie set for the film White Fang.

Fittingly for a brewer in a town of only a few thousand, Wheeler has verbal agreements with most folks in the food and beverage business. "Nothing's in writing, but every bar has expressed interest," he said. Once out and about, no doubt, locals will make a stop at the brewery a part of their routine. Eventually, though, Wheeler hopes to branch out to other southeast markets with his English style stout, India pale ale, porter and specialty beers. 

 

Ten Questions: Eagle Rock Brewery

Steve and Jeremy Raub make some damn awesome brews at Eagle Rock Brewery under the slogan "Beer For the People," and, get this, they're father and son!! That's right, Steve is the senior and Jeremy the junior, working together tirelessly to bring fresh beer to Los Angeles. 

We love our dad's, but since one of them still keeps macro-brew in the fridge and the other's carbonated beverage of preference is diet coke, we can't imagine brewing with them.  So we truly admire the way that Steve and Jeremy share a vision for creating interesting beers. 

We love stopping in at their tasting room to sample some of their freshly made brews.  Two of our faves are Solidarity; a smoky, malty mild ale with great balance, and Red Velvet; an Imperial Red ale with chewy sweet caramel malt and a nice piney hop kick. Here are their answers, enjoy;

1) What did you do with your life before working in the beer world?

Jeremy:
I worked as a film music editor.

Steve:
I worked as a field service engineer for medical imaging.


2) What is most thrilling about the beer world right now; and where do you think the future of beer is going?


Jeremy:
The amount of creativity and variety in craft beer right now is really exciting.  I think the future of craft beer will have more, smaller brewers exploring more diverse styles…especially under-appreciated or forgotten styles.

Steve:
Craft beer continues to steadily grow, with an ever-widening appreciation of what good beer truly is.  Itʼs a renaissance of beer culture! The future?  Beer is returning to where it was a century ago; well- supported, locally-brewed and enjoyed.  Solid regional breweries creating craft-brewed beers, understanding and acknowledging their differences from other regionals without trying to homogenize the nation or world.


3) Beer Geek, Beer Lover, or Dangerously Beer-Obsessed?

Jeremy: Iʼd say giving up a well-paying, steady-working career and sacrificing my entire savings (as well as the savings of other loved ones) would qualify me as being Very Dangerously Beer-Obsessed.

Steve:
Beer Lover.


4) Hop Head, Funky Yeast Freak, or Barrel-aged Believer?

Jeremy:
All of the above….maybe even together…

Steve:
Barrel-aged Believer.


5) What is your fondest beer memory?

Jeremy:
Drinking my own first really good homebrew (a Bock my Dad & I brewed).

Steve:
My father allowing me my first sip of beer as a youngster.


6) Desert Island Question:  If you were trapped on a desert island, and could only have three beers, what would they be? (PS. Magically there is refrigeration on this island.)

Jeremy:
Brut du Falcon, Steve French, Jeremiahʼs Flanders Red (all homebrewed beers from friends.)

Steve:
A true world-class, classic Pilsner, a classic Hefeweizen, a clean but complex Dark Mild.


7) Neil Diamond, Journey, or Queen?

Jeremy: Journey
Steve:
Journey


8) What was the best beer and food pairing of your life?

Jeremy:
Speedway Stout with Hot Knivesʼ Smoked Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie with a Bleu Cheese crumble.

Steve:
Roast Beef on a Kimmelwick Bun with Ballantine Ale


9) What was the most extreme beer and food pairing of your life?

Jeremy:
Cool Hausʼ Brown Butter and Candied Bacon Ice Cream with Old Chub and Solidarity (50-50 beer blend).

Steve:
Wild Raspberries with a questionable homebrewed wheat beer.  The berries salvaged the beer and elevated it.


10) What do you want to say to the world with your beers? Or, if you were a beer, what beer would you be and why?

Jeremy:
Cheers!

Steve:
The world is a better place with good beer, so come together and salute your humanity.  Restrained and well balanced beers engender a deeper understanding of the vast and varied world of beer.

Broadminded Beers

We Beer Chicks were lucky enough to be invited on the Sirius XM radio show Broadminded this past Friday!  We talked about beers for Father's Day, and beers for gifting in general.  We've received many requests for more information on the beers that we discussed during the segment, so here they are – for your reading and drinking pleasure.

Bourbon:
If you're a fan of Bourbon, you can't go wrong with a finely crafted beer aged in a Bourbon barrel.  We love Allagash Curieux, from Allagash Brewery in Portland, Maine.  Aged in Jim Beam Bourbon Barrels, this is a complex, high-octane Belgian beer with notes of wood, and vanilla from the barrel.  Comes in a lovely 750ml bottle.

Sweet & Sour:
Rodenbach Grand Cru
, from Flanders, Belgium, is arguably the most famous Flemish Red Ale.  Flemish Reds have the complexity of a Barolo with a sour bite of ripe cherries and complex Balsamic Vinegar.  Aged in Oak vats, Rodenbach is a mixture of 1/3 new ale and 2/3 aged ale.  This is a great beer for someone who loves craft beer already, but hasn't ventured in to the more esoteric sour ales. 

Scotch:
If you are a Scotch man (or woman), Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30 from Harviestoun Brewery in Scotland is an ale aged in Highland Park's 30 year old Single Malt Scotch.  Think engine oil (in a good way) with aromas of Heather, Honey and Smoke, flavors of Vanilla, Espresso, Juniper, and Chocolate.

Bitter Old Man:
For the bitter lover, we recommend a delicious Pliny the Elder Double IPA, a famous and sought-after ale from Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, California.  Lots of Pine, Grapefruit, and a bitter Resiny bite. Big, but well-balanced.

Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: 
This is for the person who has been loyal to one beer and one beer only for their entire life… and it happens to be that Macro brewed light fizzy yellow water.  Try giving this tough customer a beer that will more align with the style that they are used to (it's called baby steps).  One of our favorite Pilsner style lagers is Victory Prima Pils from Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, PA.  Crisp, bright and delicious.

Broadminded
Sirius 102 & XM 155
Mon – Fri Live 2-4pm
Replays 10pm – 12am
866-267-0447

Spent Grain, Redux

Brewers are into recycling.  The passion for reducing impact, being green, and reusing the byproducts of making beer is hot in the brewing community.  Brewers often buy old equipment from other breweries, recycle their water used in brewing, reuse bottles and kegs, and use wind and solar as a major power supply.

One of our favorite brewing byproducts that lends itself to much reuse is spent grain.  Spent grain is a brewing term which refers to the leftover malted grains found in the mash-kettle.  Once it's provided the fermentable sugars and flavors for the brewing process, it's no longer of use to the brewer, but still perfectly good for a few other uses:

Baking Bread – Many breweries are now reusing their spent grain as an ingredient in bread baked at their brewpubs.  The grain adds a beautiful coarseness and rich earthly flavor, making a perfect rustic bread or bun for burgers.  Spent grain can work in cookies, cakes or pie crusts as well, Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon even adds spent grain to their house-made veggie burger.

Compost – Lovers of living green know that good compost is important to fight topsoil degradation and for good growth in a healthy organic garden.  Schlafly Brewery in St.Louis, Missouri has a beautiful vegetable garden growing from a rich compost soil full of their spent grain.

Mushroom Farms
– Spent Grains (and used yeast) are a perfect environment for growing mushrooms like shitake and oyster.  Breweries like Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland, Ohio give spent graint to Killbuck mushroom farm and use the mushrooms in their recipes at their restaurant.

Cattle Feed – Spent grain contains protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates that are perfect for Cows and other livestock like pigs and goats to digest.  Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California feeds local organic, free-range cattle their spent grain, then uses that meat in their steaks and burgers at their pub.

SOLD OUT: Beer Class w/ The Beer Chicks: Beers of Our Fathers

Due to popular demand, we are teaching another fun-filled Beer Class at our beloved Rustic Canyon Winebar & Seasonal Kitchen!  This time it's for all the fathers out there with a delicious class just in time for Father's Day on the afternoon of Saturday, June 19th called "Beers of Our Fathers."  It's the perfect gift for the Dad who has everything!

We will lead you on a fact filled Beer Journey, exploring different styles and flavors of craft and artisanal beer as they dispel the misconceptions that have haunted the craft beer world for a century.  Dad will learn his ales from his lagers, how discern the right beer for him, how to pair the right beer with food, and how to truly appreciate and discern a tasty brew.  We will have some specialty Craft Beers to taste perfectly suited for Dad, including Barrel-aged Beers, Double IPA's and Sour Belgians…


Because this class is by popular demand and space is limited, TICKETS for Beer Class with The Beer Chicks are available ONLINE ONLY.  There will be no tickets for sale at the door.


Please DO NOT CALL RUSTIC CANYON for tickets.

$45 / person
(includes all beer)

Sorry, tickets are SOLD OUT.

What:
Beer Class with The Beer Chicks:
Beers of Our Fathers
Saturday, June 19th
12:00pm – 2:00pm
$45/person

Where:
Rustic Canyon Winebar & Seasonal Kitchen
1119 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA  90403

Please do not call Rustic Canyon.
Click HERE to order your tickets online.
No Tickets will be sold at the door.

Thank you!

The Beer Chicks @ Google

218

We Beer Chicks have spent a great deal of our online time using Google Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Adsense. We first started writing about our love of beer on Google owned Blogger and we were able to write our book many times editing together simultaneously on different sides of town using Google Docs.

So, never in a million years did we imagine that we'd be talking about beer to the Google nation! Whether or not we imagined it, we were indeed invited to speak Google's Authors@Google series to wax poetic about our book The Naked Pint and the delicious beverage that is beer.

Of course, it's nearly impossible for The Beer Chicks to talk about beer without drinking beer, so we suggested that we turn the whole thing into a big tasting and Google agreed! Turns out beer geeks have A LOT in common with computer geeks (we mean that in the nicest way!) We feel like we've found our people at Google.

We had a great tasting/talk experience (and got a free lunch in their awesome cafeteria to boot). Google was cool enough to record the whole thing and blast it into the world wide web via YouTube. (Where it's already gotten almost 6000 hits!) We hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

The Eagles + 395 IPA

We believe that beer can pair with any food from ice-cream to fois gras. If you put on our plate, we'll find a beer to enhance the dish.  But we also believe that beer pairs well with something else near and dear to our hearts; music.  In fact, we often use musical references when describing the qualities of a beer.  For example: we always say that West-Coast American IPA's are the hairband of the IPA world. (Right?)  

So it is that we found ourselves packing up our cooler, selecting the perfect beers to pair with a night of outdoor music.  The show was a classic: The Eagles.   Unfortunately, many of us grew up singing Hotel California with a can of mass produced fizzy yellow water in hand. But our choice for the Eagles had to be something that captured the dreamy desert American landscape of the band itself.  Something that matched our cowboy boots and Don Henley's Black duster. 

The answer to the pairing question was Mammoth Brewing Company's 395 IPA, a California beer showcasing the west coast's most beloved beer style and important contribution to the craft beer world – the hoppy IPA.  But 395, named after the highway that runs through Mammoth, is more than just another bitter IPA.  Brewed with local hops, mountain juniper and hand-picked desert sage, this beer is an earthy, herbaceous experience that can stand up to the strength of "Desperado."

The combo of these ingredients can only be described as drinking the desert, ushering forth images of juniper and sage blurring in our rear-view mirror as we drive down a California highway in the early evening.  The Eagles' songs conjure up the same scenes.  So as we sat at the concert that night and heard the familiar words "put me on a highway, and show me a sign…"  we popped open our 395 IPA and fell in love with west coast beer all over again.

Mammoth Brewing Company
94 Berner Street
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
(760) 934-7141

Mother of All Beer Weeks

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It's finally here – American Craft Beer Week (insert choir of angels.) So gather all ye beer lovers as May 17-23 is the time for the "Mother of All Beer Weeks!"  Celebrating small and independent craft brewers, and highlighting all that America loves about craft beer, this week is now "a cherished tradition…a great chance to toast craft brewers and to celebrate the advanced beer culture here in the United States," says Julia Herz of the Brewer's Association.  

American Craft Beer Week is a time where craft brewers, bar owners, beer store owners and beer enthusiasts across the nation hold special events across the nation.  This is a beautiful week of special brewery tours, beer and food pairing events, special release craft beers and festvals.  Yee-haw. 

You know the Beer Chicks will be celebrating by drinking fabulous beers and celebrating in Los Angeles this week.  You can also toast the week along with us by finding the Craft Beer Week events in your area.  The Brewer's Association has some great links with information on events around the country. Long live Craft Beer and long live American Craft Beer Week!

  • Click HERE to find a list of American Craft Beer Week celebrations near you. 

  • Click HERE to become a fan of American Craft Beer Week on Facebook. Just pick your state from the drop-down menu and make the difficult decision of where to have your next delicious craft beer! 

  • Click HERE to find a complete listing of craft breweries in your area!


Thank you Brewer's Association for all the great links and information!

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