Craft beer tasting is one of the things that I have the epic privilege of doing as the writer for the blog. However, I often ask the guys for their views on the different brews we feature because they have the most time to really assess each beer. They do the traveling, the heavy work, and they’re currently involved with all the preparations for the opening coming up in April in West Palm Beach.
They’re amazing people and I love the fact that I get to work with them. They’ve drawn me into a world that I had never really been interested in before, other than when my husband would gush about some new beer he had found.
You see, normally I would have been doing something along the lines of the picture on the left. Lots of reading. Plenty of writing. Tons of cooking and baking. Basically, I would have been hiding away in my little haven, avoiding people if possible (other than those horrid moments when Walmart is a necessity), and pretty much being my nerdy self. When I met these guys, it changed my world for the better. Or at least that’s what we believe.
Now, I have the chance to try out some amazing craft beer, which I never would have thought about before taking on this position. Yes, I’m serious. Beer just wasn’t my thing. Odd right? Years of craft brewing had been going on right under my nose and I’d never once tried a craft beer. That all changed when John hired me and I am glad for that. I’ve learned to really enjoy craft beer, though I’m partial to a good porter, as many love to point out. Apparently I am a Portaholic.
New habits form when you have a job as interesting as this one. For me, the newest habit (which my husband loves) is late night tastings. There is something about relaxing with a great craft beer that has taken over and I’m really enjoying reporting on these brews. For example, last night’s episode started with something akin to what you see in the picture to the left. Yep, malty delicious cocoa and ice cream. I know, pretty lame. Did we mention I’m a nerd?
While the start to the evening was clearly tame, it led me to wonder what some of the brews I’ve accumulated really taste like. I admit I hadn’t cracked a bottle in a while. As I said, I usually let the guys give me their opinions or ask my husband for his. However, I have gained an affinity for Porters, so I do a bit of tasting myself. Last night I got a bit adventurous and decided it was time to open some of those lovely bottles I’ve been hoarding.
I started by dragging out the wooden crate I received a few years ago from a friend of mine. She was a rep for Great Basin Brewing Company in Reno, Nevada and those Christmas crates were awesome. Really awesome. I was smart that year and made sure to hide the Shockolate Wheat beer from ShockTop Brewing Company before the husband could snag it. I’m a chocoholic. Don’t judge. It was the first craft beer I’d ever tried and I loved it, but I still wasn’t a beer person. My husband finished off nearly everything in the crate, including the Ichthyosaur India Pale Ale also locally known as Icky IPA.
Since then I’ve been filling that crate back up with brews I wanted to try, but never really had the nerve to crack open. Among these hidden brews were:
I didn’t have the nerve to take out the rest. Convincing my husband that he could only have half of those three was hard enough and replacing that Chocolate Porter is going to cost me an arm, leg, and part of my inheritance if Funky Buddha keeps pulling off those sales! Did you know they managed to hit over $25 a bottle?! Props to them for the epic popularity! To be fair, the quality of their craft beer is amazing, so I can see where the tag comes from.
Of those three, I have to say I loved Dirty Bastard the most. Normally I would fall for the porter right off, but that bourbon aged burn drew me all the way in and wouldn’t let go. I tried the porter and liked it, but was willing to give the hubby the rest if I could have the rest of his DB and the exchange was final.
I have to give big props to that Oatmeal Stout though. Neither of us was willing to give up our half of that. Ninkasi really created a great brew there and we plan to buy some more to age, as well as a bottle to drink straight away, because this one had been sitting about a month. I’m not honestly sure how much the flavor changed over that time. However, it was quite smooth, with very little bitter bite to it at all, so I’m guessing it changed quite a bit. Perhaps it’s the late addition of Vanilla that does it, but only another bottle can tell us for sure. We’ll be sure to report on it when we get it.
Overall, it was a great late night craft beer tasting and I’ve found a brew or two outside of my beloved porter’s that I truly enjoyed. I had previously loved the artwork on Founder’s bottles, but now I love the brews within as well. I’d say that’s just one more small step for the craft brewing world, because I’ve been fully converted. John and his crew deserve a big thank you from me and they’ll get just that once they get a chance to sit still!
Check back in through the week, as I’ve tons to report on, including the arrival of the tanks!