First, what's been in our fridge lately.
As Liquid Diets recently posted, Caldera Brewing out of my home state of Oregon has started to distribute to the KCMO area - with cans! They're sending their IPA and Pale Ale out our way, and boy is it tasty. Deliciously hoppy as west coast APAs and IPAs should be, these two beers deliver. We've spotted them at Gomer's Midtown and Royal on State Line.
Here's a video of Caldera Brewing Company's canning line:
Hey look! They're on 'can'did camera!
anyway. I picked up a bottle of Schmaltz brewing's He'Brew Jewbilation 12, which is an anniversary ale using the same number of grains, hops, and hop additions as years - and %ABV (yes, 12%!). If you're so inclined, you can read about the ingredients on their website or in pdf. This beer is amazing and not to be taken lightly. It pours a rich dark brown with a tan & quickly dissipating head. It smells sweet and rich and boozy, almost like port. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, tasting heavily of raisins and dark chocolate. Aftertaste is definitely bitter chocolate. This is one rich and complex beer!
This beer would go lovely with a giant plate of brownies (yes, giant) or maybe a black forest cake. Better yet, a plate of hearty cheese (3-year cave-aged gouda, for instance) with crackers, dried apricots, prunes and hazelnuts. Decadent!
And now for the not-yet:
We've been keeping an eye (or four) out for the 2009 Samuel Adams Longshot releases, but no luck so far. In case you're not familiar with Longshot, this is Jim Koch's nod to the art of homebrewing. Sam Adams invites homebrewers to submit samples of their homebrew, then picks four finalists from the submissions. The finalists then get flown to the GABF, where the two champions will be announced. The Samuel Adams brewery will brew the two winning recipes and bottle them as the Longshot series for the year.
This run is special, as there's a 2007 winner in the line-up - a Double IPA. This is, according to some, a clone of Russian River Brewing's highly-praised Pliny the Elder. In other words, west coast hop splendor.
Due to the hop shortage in the past couple of years, Samuel Adams was unable to source the ingredients necessary to stay true to the recipe. They gave the homebrewer, Mike "Tasty" McDole, the option to have his recipe brewed with alternate ingredients in 2008 or brewed with the proper ingredients in 2009. Clearly, he chose the latter and it's only a matter of time before we get the pleasure of tasting it! It'll be accompanied by a Traditional Bock and a Cranberry Wit.