I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Friday, February 03, 2006

I Have Been Slack Lately...

about my writing about beer, though I have enjoyed a few really good brews lately.

During the Christmas season, Atlanta Brewing Company's Red Brick Winter Ale was a really good oatmeal porter. Rich, without the bitterness of a stout. And Sweetwater Brewing Company's Festive Ale was good as always.

The best other Christmas brews that I can think of are the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale and Mendocino Brewing Company's Winter Ale, it is the hoppiest of the Christmas ales that I tried.

Currently in the Atlanta market is Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Stout, brewed with Jittery Joe's "Wake and Bake" coffee. As mentioned in a previous post on Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster, Terrapin Beer Co. plans on building a brewery in Athens, GA, but for now, they are having their find beers/ales brewed in Frederick, MD.

Expresso stouts have been a characteristic of Athens since their first micro, Blind Man Ales, was in business in the mid to late-1990s. Stouts should be allowed to warm before being reverently consumed, but the expresso stouts would get too bitter at warmer temps. Two of the brewpubs in Athens, Burntstone and its successor Copper Creek Brewing Co., have had expresso stouts very similar to the Blind Man Expresso Stout.

But the Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Stout is much different. It is stronger, but it is less bitter than its predecessors.

And it is time to "get stomped" (in moderation of course) as Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine is now back in the stores. It is pricey, but if you put aside a few bottles in a dark pantry, where the temperature changes are somewhat moderated, it will age for a year or two. With aging of wines or strong ales, you give up the freshness, but in return you get more complex flavors.
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