When the snow starts to melt (or, when winter feels like it will never end), the beer festivals start up again. And this weekend marks the start of the country's biggest beer festivals: SF Beer Week and Cincinnati Beer Week. Judging by the breweries and bars attending, these are two beer weeks not to miss.
Beer Events - February 6, 2014
Spent Grain Chef - February 5, 2014
2 O'Clock Tastings - February 4, 2014
Successful breweries start with a vision, and so Pipeworks began its life as a mental manifestation in the minds of Gerrit Lewis and Beejay Oslon as they stood in line during Three Floyds’ Dark Lord Day in 2008. Oslon quit his job at West Lakeview Liquors when he secured an apprenticeship at De Struise Brewery in Belgium, where he trained with brewer Urbain Coutteau for three months.
The two eventually embarked on a killer Kickstarter campaign, raising $40,000 and doubling that figure with Paypal donations. In March 2012, four years of preparation culminated to a five-year lease on North Western Avenue in Chicago. Lewis and Oslon began brewing with their proposed gypsy-brewery model of brewing every beer once and in limited quantities. The model worked extremely well; today, Pipeworks beers fly off store shelves at cutthroat speeds. And it’s not all just hype: we tried four of Pipeworks' DIPAs to prove otherwise.
Spalt, also called Spalter Spalt, comes from the Saaz hop family. Much like its German Tettnanger and Saaz brothers, Spalt is also a noble hop with a low co-humolone content. What makes Spalt hops so special are its essential oils, like farmesene, which aren't found in many other hop varieties. That makes for some very interesting German brews, like Kolsch, Altbiers, Bocks, and more. It's a rare, hard-to-find hop for most homebrewers.
Beer News Mashup - January 31, 2014
2 O'Clock Tastings - January 28, 2014
Ah, good memories of 1997: the movie Titanic was killing it at the box office, Married With Children was cancelled and Dolly the sheep was cloned. It’s also the year Rock Art Brewery was born, humbly starting out in owner Matt Nadeau’s basement, doubling as a brew room and growler station in Johnson, Vermont. Rock Art's one of the breweries that helped put Vermont on the map as a craft beer destination (have you heard of Heady Topper before?). Nadeau likes to keep the local tradition alive by using locally sourced ingredients when tinkering with his brews, like Vermont maple syrup, hand-picked spruce buds, and locally grown hops.
In 2011, Rock Art’s brewery expanded once again, this time remaining in Morrisville.
Beer List - January 27, 2014
The definition of a session beer: "A beer that is fairly low in alcohol so that you can drink several glasses of it over a period of time without getting drunk." And the best "period of time" to enjoy a few session beers? The Superbowl game, obviously.
An overly alcoholic, big beer will put a damper on your big Superbowl party; you need a lighter, easy-drinking beer that can keep the revelers going from kickoff to the after-game celebration. But that's where the trouble comes in: most people will grab a six-pack of a light beer from the big beer companies, thinking that only a light beer can sustain through the game. As we've found in our craft beer brethren, it's just no so. A low-alcohol beer doesn't have to skimp on the essence of a craft beer, big flavor and big hops. Whether you're craving a wheat brew, amber ale, even an IPA -- yes, really -- there's the perfectly sessionable craft beer for your game this Sunday. Our top picks for a low-alcohol beer with high quality taste:
Beer News Mashup - January 24, 2014
Beer Events - January 23, 2014
The holiday season may have passed, but the craft community refuses to be charitable only once a year: three upcoming events this weekend in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Nevada will be raising money for various charities and organizations, with no shortage of beer or fun. Join Bostonites for a Beer War Dinner (don't worry, there's more love than war), and bump heads with New Yorkers for some Southern twang and bluegrass
Cooking with Beer - January 22, 2014
Yes, we love our vegetables -- but we also love our fried things, especially during football season. Enter the unhealthy but undoubtedly delicious tempura, the ultimate combination of crispy vegetables and fried batter goodness we crave.
The tempura recipes you'll find online call for anything from ice water, to seltzer, to vodka to mix into the batter; obviously, we went for a beer. We used a balanced amber ale for our recipe, but you could also try a hefeweizen or even a saison (like our Jalapeno Saison) to add a little more flavor to the batter. Like we found with our Moroccan Beer Battered Onion Rings, the proteins in the beer give our vegetables an extra crisp we couldn't resist!
We used chopped up asparagus and zucchini "fries" for our tempura, but you can easily substitute your favorite veggies: green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, yellow squash, whatever you prefer. The more veggies you have, the more you have to feed a hungry crowd. Whip up an aioli for dipping (our beer aioli recipe is below), or serve with a dumpling or tempura sauce.
2 O'Clock Tastings - January 21, 2014
The Urban Farm Fermentory, or simply the UFF, was founded in March of 2010 by Maine native Eli Caver. This “experimental” fermentation center focuses on using local ingredients from Maine. The fermentory producse a variety of fresh pressed apple ciders that are spontaneously fermented with wild yeasts found on the fruits and in the air, similar to how sour beers are created, making them tart and dry.
Aside from cider, UFF also makes kombucha, a dry and sour fermented tea which contains a minuscule amount of alcohol and mead. The good people at UFF offer free samples at their facility in Portland, Maine during business hours in their tasting rooms. We picked up a few ciders to try for this tasting.
Beer List - January 20, 2014
The only thing we love more than a unique beer bottle design is a unique beer can design -- so it's no wonder that we love National Beer Can Appreciation Day, coming up on January 24.
While beer has been canned starting way back in 1933 (the holiday commemorates the first time canned beer was sold, from the Gottfried Kruger Brewing Company), not long after, beer cans fell out of vogue. Not so anymore: today, the beer can industry is overflowing with smartly designed graphics and artwork on canned beer. Many believe that today's wave of craft beer in a can began with Colorado's Oskar Blues, who claims to be the first modern craft American craft brewery to can its beer. Since Oskar Blues' inception in 2002, breweries have followed suit. Much like the so-cool-we-want-to-keep-them-forever beer bottles we find at our favorite beer shops, these beer cans are so cool, we want to keep them as apartment decor. (After all, our art money usually goes to beer, anyways.)
Beer News Mashup - January 17, 2014
- Brooklyn Brewery to Open in Culinary Institute of America [Eater]
- Mikkeller Makes Beer for Mission Chinese Food, Makes All Our Dreams Come True [Grubstreet]
- New Headcount of U.S. Breweries: 2,722 [Brewer's Association]
- Massachusetts Brothers Brew First Trappist Beer Outside Europe [Boston Globe]
- From Oskar Blues, the 'Crowler': Can + Growler [Craft Cans]
Beer Events - January 16, 2014
We're well into the first month of the new year and our hangovers from several weeks back seem to be subsiding. You know what that means: more weekend beer events. There are more than enough rare and local brews at this weekend's beer tastings and festivals to warm you up (or completely numb you) while spring lingers just a few months away.
Cooking with Beer - January 15, 2014
There's nothing we love more than a good beer, or a good cocktail. And after we mastered simple syrups at home, we decided to shake things up by making a simple syrup using beer instead of water. When added to a classic gin cocktail, the Tom Collins, it's a sweet-and-sour taste that brings a new level of dimension to our happy hour.
2 O'Clock Tastings - January 14, 2014
Founded in 1989, Cambridge Brewing Company, is the oldest brewery-restaurant in Boston. Owner Phil “Brewdaddy” Bannatyne studied Brewing Science at UC Davis in his formative years, which led to an insatiable interest in beer making. Bannatyne makes it his mission and a part of CBC’s model to "merge creativity and sustainability," by making beer in an environmentally sustainable way and serving locally sourced dishes.
Beer List - January 13, 2014
Sure, we all grab a sessionable beer when we're looking for an easy-drinking beer, but no doubt about it -- beers are getting more alcoholic. A lot more alcoholic. So alcoholic, in fact, that many beers on shelves today are topping out way past 10% ABV.
Of course, as with any of the massively alcoholic beers out there, there's some dubiousness to it all. Beer lovers have had some serious doubts over the latest beer to hold title to the "world's strongest beer." Brewmeister’s media-hyped monster-ABV beers, Snake Venom and Armageddon, clock in at 67.5% and 65% respectively, but some lay lab testing estimated Armageddon’s ABV to be less than 20%. What's a serious amped-up beer lover to do?
We wanted our list of strongest beers* to be a bit more than a numbers game. We’re more into substance and personality here, and even though some of these brews may be downright horrific to imbibe, all five have some form of pizzazz going for them, whether it’s the name, packaging or brewing method. If you plan on hunting some of these beasts down, bring a fat wallet -- the title of this list can easily be replaced with “Some of the Most Expensive Beers in the World.”
Beer News Mashup - January 10, 2014
Beer Events - January 9, 2014
Now that the holidays have wrapped up, it's back to the big, strong beers of winter -- not that we're complaining. After all, there's no better way to warm up than with a bold craft beer.
This weekend's events celebrate the best of locally-made craft beer, all over the country. Whether it's beer made in Michigan, California, or the grand state of Alaska, one thing is clear: the state of craft beer is booming. We'll toast to that. Find out where to get a craft beer in your home state this weekend:
Cooking with Beer - January 8, 2014
French toast is an unrivaled snow-day breakfast, and we thought we knew it well. Soak a few slices of a hearty bread in an eggy batter, throw it on a hot pan, get it crispy, drizzle on the maple syrup and some berries, and enjoy in front of the fireplace (or radiator in our case).
The only thing that could make it any more rustic, we thought, was the addition of beer. So we swapped out the milk normally found in a french toast batter for a rich, dark, and roasty beer that lends a brand new depth to pancakes' cousin from the country. Read More...
2 O'Clock Tastings - January 7, 2014
Located in Marlborough, New Zealand - the heart of wine country - Moa Brewing Co. takes a different approach to beer making. Master brewer Josh Scott's family history of wine making (his father, Alan Scott founded the note-worthy Alan Scott Wines), bears a strong influence on his brewing technique using barrel-aging and bottle conditioning, similar to the wine making process, to give his beers a hand crafted, labor-intensive, old fashioned taste.
Using New Zealand hops and other local ingredients, like water from a natural artesian water spring that flows 200 feet below the Moa brewing facility, Moa beers have a flavor that is distinct to the Marlborough region. With a varied array of styles to choose from, today we are sampling three of their twelve brews: Moa Methode, Moa Breakfast, and Moa Imperial Stout.
Tettnang, a noble hop, is known for its all-purpose hop versatility, great for its aromatic and bittering properties. Grown in the Tettnanger region of Germany as a land-race hop, it is prized in the German-Style Lager and Pilsner tradition.
It is also grown in the US, and Swiss where controversy brews about the legitimacy of their Tettnang hops. Many believe they are spawned from Fuggle hops since “Tettnanger” cultivation is traditional in Switzerland, it is most likely that the Swiss Tettnangers were never Tettnang Tettnanger’s to start with. US growers, in recent years, have tried to grow true Tettnanger hops, but because of the confusion in names it has become a hard task discerning the authentic Tettnanger.
Beer News Mashup - January 3, 2014
Beer Events - January 2, 2014
The holidays have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you can't ring in the new year with a beer. If your New Year's resolution is to go on more brewery tours, educate yourself in beer 101, or simply have more fun drinking beer, this weekend's beer events will help you keep those resolutions. (Nice knowing that we can keep one of our New Year's resolutions.) Where to enjoy a craft beer this weekend:
2 O'Clock Tastings - December 31, 2013
What’s life without a bit of spontaneity? Mikkeller seems to live by this principle, and quite adamantly at that. Mikkeller also acknowledges the contribution of conservative brewers. After all, without them, how would we ever get to enjoy our weissbiers and lambics and English bitters?
But with the spontaneous series, Mikkeller wants their predilections to be reflected directly on our taste buds. And it’s hard not to share their adventurous verve when sampling today’s beers: Spontankoppi, a beer that marries coffee with spontaneous fermentation; Spontangooseberry, a lambic with a healthy dose of gooseberries thrown in; and Spontankriek, an excellent take on the classic kriek. Keith Shore’s offbeat, quirky designs only add to the rebellious spirit of these beers.
Beer List - December 30, 2013
It's been a wild and wacky year of beers in 2013. We sipped beer during the Oscars, chugged a few through the Super Bowl; (kidding!), paired our favorites with junk food, brought them along during our camping trips - really, we'll find any excuse to find some themed beers. Our best lists from 2013:
Cooking with Beer - December 27, 2013
We don't just love making and drinking beer, we love cooking with it too. When added to your favorite appetizers, dinners, and even desserts, beer adds a whole new level of flavor and complexity to your standby recipes.
We couldn't have had more fun cooking up our own beer-infused recipes over the year, and we sure had a hard time narrowing down just a few of our most talked-about recipes to share with our dear readers. But when it comes down to it, there are some recipes that are near-guaranteed to blow your friends and family away -- and boy, these are the ones that will do that. Whether it's braising your best brisket with beer, or adding a splash to your delectable icebox cake, you'll always be glad you kept a few spare bottles of beer in the fridge.
Beer Events - December 26, 2013
Holiday blues got you down? Resting up between Christmas and New Year's? We understand that you need a bit of a break from the holiday insanity. Take a breather, knock back a beer or two (preferably while watching "Space Balls" or listening to Grateful Dead covers), and relax -- beer is the best way to de-stress this time of year.
2 O'Clock Tastings - December 24, 2013
It's safe to say that we've tasting some great beers this year. We've tasted beers from all over the globe, from the East Coast to the West Coast, and from Chile to Canada. The beers have been all over the spectrum -- bold IPAs that have grown a cult-like following, aged kriek, collaboration ales, quadrupel ales, and more. It's hard to narrow down our list of the most memorable tastings from the last year, but we'll continue to hunt down the best beers to share with you. (It's a rough job, but someone's got to do it.)
Our best 2 O'Clock Tastings from 2013:
Spent Grain Chef - December 23, 2013
You've spent all year perfecting your brewing recipes with Brooklyn Brew Shop -- and, perhaps just as importantly, your spent grain flour recipe. We've been jazzed to see just how much our fellow beer lovers re-use the grains leftover from their brews to make all kinds of desserts and baked goods.
If you're still unsure of how to use your spent grain, don't fret -- it's not hard to dry it out and turn it into easy-to-use, delectable spent grain flour. To inspire all you pro spent grain bakers and newbies alike, our most popular recipes from the Spent Grain Chef from 2013:
Beer News Mashup - December 20, 2013
- Craft Beer Contributes $34 Billion to U.S. Economy [Brewbound]
- Brewing Monks Put Orval Beer in High Demand [NPR]
- Brewery Ommegang Lets Fans Pick Next 'Game of Thrones' Beer [DRAFT Magazine]
- New Brew Concentrates Make Craft Beer Easy to Take to the Greaet Outdoors [TODAY]
- The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Beer Pairings [Serious Eats]
Beer Events - December 19, 2013
Just a few more days before the holidays; and it's crunch time for last-minute shopping, holiday parties, baking, and out-of-town guests. But there's still plenty of time to enjoy a beer, too - so indulge yourself a little at this weekend's beer events. And if you're in New York City, be sure to stop by our booth in Union Square Holiday Market!
Cooking with Beer - December 18, 2013
There is a reason certain dishes remain dinnertime standbys decade after decade. We chalk it up to a blend of ease, comfort, and hearty satisfaction. Pot roast with its tender beef, softened root vegetables, and slow-cooker adaptability long-ago earned its perennial Wednesday night spot at the table. We add dark beer (and lots of it) to put our own spin on an otherwise no-fail dish.
Two bottles of a full-flavored dark beer adds a rich maltiness while ensuring the meat stays super moist. We love using our Chocolate Maple Porter or Oatmeal Stout, but most other stouts or porters will do just fine. Alongside mounds of fork-splittable beef, you should be left with a healthy amount of slow-cooked carrots, onions, and mushrooms to puree into a rich, velvety, drizzle-worthy beef gravy for those who can't get enough of a good thing.
2 O'Clock Tastings - December 17, 2013
Prior to opening Hangar 24, founder and master brewer Ben Cook worked for the Quality Assurance organization at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Van Nuys, Calif. At the time he was studying Biology and became interested in the science of brewing. He then graduated from the Master Brewers Program at the University of California, Davis and opened the Hangar 24 Brewery in a location adjacent to the Redlands Airport in Redlands, Calif., inspiring the name.
With his brewery packed into an old style hangar, Cook, who focuses on American styles and classic German styles, has been able to expand incredibly fast by creating his own distribution company. In 2012, only its fourth year of production, Hangar 24 produced over 24,000 barrels, making it one of the fastest growing breweries in the country.
If you love German and Bavarian beers, you no doubt love the Hallertau hop variety as well. Born in the Hallertauer region of Bavaria, Germany, Hellertau is found most commonly in German lagers, altbiers (German style brown ale), and Belgian ales.
Hallertau is one of four noble hops (also including Saaz, Spalt, and Tettnang), meaning that it grows in the wild rather than is selectively bred. German hop researchers continue to tinker with the hop, creating a variety of strains. Hallertau slightly fell out of favor in the '70s and '80s because of its high susceptibility to disease, but the hop is essential to a large number of European-style brews. The most commercial craft brewery to popularize Hallertau is Boston Beer Co.'s Samuel Adams, which uses the Hallertau Mittelfrueh hop in a large number of its lagers.
Beer News Mashup - December 13, 2013
- Will Craft Beer Sales Double by 2020? Some Say Yes [UT San Diego]
- The Oldest Craft Beer Made in Colorado is No More [Westword]
- Behind Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale [Youtube]
- Chicago Craft Brewery Makes Frozen Spent Grain Pizzas (Yum) [DNAInfo]
- Brettanomyces Yeast 101: Why Wild Ales Taste the Way They Do [Food Republic]
Beer Events - December 12, 2013
Dropping temperatures can only mean one thing for beer lovers - winter beer festivals. From the chilly Mile High City of Denver to the never-quite-cold Dallas, you won't be hardpressed to find a winter seasonal near you this weekend. (And don't forget, New Yorkers - we're still at the Union Square and Columbus Circle Holiday Markets!)
Spent Grain Chef - December 11, 2013
We loved our Spent Grain Cinnamon Apple Scones so much that we thought we'd try again, but with a sweeter, chocolate-ier filling this time around. Packed with coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate and the dried sweet fruit of your choice (cherries, currants, or cranberries), these scones are a perfect on the go breakfast or midday snack.
2 O'Clock Tastings - December 10, 2013
Founded in 1994, by Brian Dunn in Denver, Colorado’s Ballpark Neighborhood, The Great Divide Brewing Co., has taken the craft brewing industry by storm with its eco-friendly initiatives and internationally award-winning brews. Unlike their impressive reputation, their distribution practices try to make as little impact on the surrounding environment as possible by using bottles made from recycled products and sending 100% of their spent grain to local cattle farms to use as feed.
Today we sample from Great Divide's Yeti Stout series with Yeti Imperial Stout, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, and Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti.
Beer List - December 9, 2013
It's the most wonderful time of the year -- to be drinking beer. While we always have beer on the brain, we can't help but pick out the best of all the beer gifts for our loved ones this season.
While we admit that we're a little bit biased in this area -- as we think beer kits always make the best gifts -- we've found some seriously cool beer-inspired gifts for everyone on our shopping list. (Minus the kiddos, of course.) For the fashion-forward to the foodie, the novice beer drinker to the pro, we've found the perfect beer gift for each and every beer drinker you might know. And that includes yourself -- because you've earned a little something special, too.
Beer News Mashup - December 6, 2013
- German Brewers Seek to Designate Purity Law as World Cultural Treasure, 500 Years After Its Birth [The Guardian]
- Colorado Breweries Raise $300,000+ For Flooding Victims [CraftBeer.com]
- The Best Review of Hanson's 'MmmHops' Beer Ever [VICE]
- The Next Craft Beer Boom? In France [The Daily Beast]
- Your Daily 'Awww': One Man's Quest to Drink Beer for Cancer Research [Hartford Courant]
Beer Events - December 5, 2013
As the first weekend of December looms, our minds are drawn to the season’s most joyous events: giving gifts, showing off our best ugly Christmas sweaters, and imbibing on perhaps a tad too much eggnog. But what we’re most excited about this month is the influx of big, bold and winter-ready brews.
Starting on the West Coast, two winter craft beer festivals in Seattle and Portland, Ore. kick off our holiday season with a plethora of excellent, rare, numbingly-high-ABV winter beers to keep us feeling cozy and warm. Across the country, TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery in Paoli, Penn. is celebrating 10 years with a lineup we'd kill to experience. And one epic Christmas party with Houston's Epic League of Brewers has us hoping we'll still end up on the "nice list" thereafter. Let the holiday beer festivus begin!
Cooking with Beer - December 4, 2013
Brunch is a weekend treat, and the mimosa is its star. No matter where you find yourself eating at 11 a.m. on a Saturday, and no matter what's topping your plate--be it huevos rancheros, eggs benedict, french toast, or waffles--mimosas will be on the menu if not on your table. Beer, however, is another story. Until now.
Our beermosa recipe is pretty simple. One part OJ followed by two parts of a dry Belgian-style ale with a splash of bitters and a sprig of fresh herbs to finish, and you've conquered boozy brunch.
2 O'Clock Tastings - December 3, 2013
Founded in 2003 in the province of Turin, in the town of Chieri, Grado Plato Brewery’s simple mission was to open an independent brewpub that focused equally on producing delicious craft brews and beer-inspired cuisine. Founders Sergio and Gabriele Ormea began with only two beers, soon expanding their line with more brews and adding flip-tops to their bottles when customers began to ask to take their unfinished beers home. As the world grew more aware of Grado Plato by way of international tastings, competitions and awards, so did demand for their beers. In 2008, the Ormeas had to move to their production plant to the Montaldo Torinese municipality near Chieri. This allowed Grado Plato to expand their line of beers and spruce up their original brewpub. Sergio, who creates and brews all of Grado Plato’s recipes himself, leaves everything unfiltered and unpasteurized, relying on the beers' raw ingredients to speak for themselves.
Beer List - December 2, 2013
Need to take a break from the holiday madness? There's no better way to relax on a cold winter night during Bingo Month (December) than with a game of Bingo - and a beer, of course.
Sure, you are most likely not a member of the National Bingo Game Association (no judgment if you are), but you can't deny the power of a solid board game night with friends and good food and drink. Whether you're a die-hard poker player, or a killer at Apples to Apples, there's a quirky craft beer pairing for your game. So take a night off from the holiday shopping, you deserve to kick back with a beer and a game. (And for Cards Against Humanity, we recommend drinking whatever you've got in the growler - that game needs an alcoholic kick to balance out its absurdity.)
Beer News Mashup - November 29, 2013
- Firestone Walker's Anniversary Ale, Made by Winemakers [TODAY]
- Who Needs Donuts and Cronuts When You Can Have 'Brewnuts?' Craft Beer Donuts, Yum! [Cleveland Scene]
- New Ultrasonic Device Adds Bubbles, Foam to Beer [CNET]
- South Africa's Newest Hop Variety Has Everyone Talking [Voice of America]
- The Science of Beer Tapping Explosions [RedOrbit]
Beer Events - November 27, 2013
It's official: the holiday season is here, and so are the holiday seasonals and dark beers we love so much. Fortunately, December presents every possible excuse to kick back a brew to relieve the holiday stress (including Black Friday - never fight the mall without a beer in you again). And don't forget, New Yorkers - we're open now in Union Square Holiday Market!
Cooking with Beer - November 27, 2013
When it comes to dips we are in the thicker-is-always-better camp (as evidenced in our: Beer & Onion Dip, Beer & Spinach Dip, and Beer & Artichoke Dip). And we judge the worthiness of chips on their ability to withstand the heftiest of toppings.
But when it came to crafting this recipe, we were looking for something that would stand up as a dip, but was also versatile enough to fold into hot pasta, slather on a steak sub, and top chips for nachos. We wanted to create our essential beer cheese: part dip, part condiment, part sauce, and most importantly: all beer.
So we started with a lot of beer (three bottles to be precise), reduce it down to a third of a cup, blend it with cheddar and cream cheese, and then melt it all together until velvety-smooth. The resulting beer cheese is firm when chilled, liquid when hot, somewhere in between at room temperature, and utterly addictive.
2 O'Clock Tastings - November 26, 2013
Beer Geek Breakfast, Mikkel Borg’s breakthrough beer, is responsible for grabbing the attention of the international beer circuit and ushering forth the Beer Geek series, and today we’re honoring this decisive brew by tasting Mikkeller’s decadent trifecta of Beer Geek beers.
First in the line we have Mikkeller’s stellar flagship, Beer Geek Breakfast, a gourmet-coffee infused oatmeal stout; their idiosyncratic Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, brewed with coffee obtained from civet droppings (basically what we have here is cat poop beer); and the devilishly drinkable and delicious Beer Geek Vanilla Shake.
The Challenger hop was originally bred at Wye College in 1961, as a combination of Northern Brewer and a German male downy-mildew resistant variety. Today, Challenger is primarily used in British ales and lagers in its native land, the UK.
Because of its lineage, Challenger has both a high level of alpha acids and a strong aroma. The result is a floral yet spicy hop that's moderate in intensity. This combination makes Challenger a hop that can be played with in a variety of different beer styles - mostly English - ranging from ESBs, porters, stouts, and brown ales. Add Challenger to the beginning of the boil to add some bitterness to the brew, or at the end to bring out the aroma. You'll get hints of marmalade, lemon, and spicy flavors from a Challenger-hopped beer.
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