Tag Archives: Beer Tasting

Beer Camp

My Very 1st

Beer Camp

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Welcome

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Beautiful Program

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Beer Camp Bus

Okay Everyone – Sing! B-Double E-R C-A-M-P, Beer Camp! Repeat!

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is GOING THERE! A 7-City Beer Festival Tour with more than 700 Breweries. What an Adventure, What a Journey! The Largest Craft Beer Celebration. Sierra Nevada is making history!

7 Cities

  1. Chico, CA – 7/19/14
  2. San Diego, CA – 7/20/14
  3. Denver, CO – 7/25/14
  4. Chicago, IL – 7/27/14
  5. Portland, ME – 8/1/14
  6. Philly, PA – 8/2/14
  7. Mills River, NC – 8/3/14

More than 100 regional breweries are pouring their beers at each City stop! How cool would it be to go to all 7 Cities! I can dream!

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Beautiful Tasting Glass


Cheers!


Celebration!

Beer Camp Across America Variety 12-Pack

On Tap at every City Stop is the 12 different beers Sierra Nevada brewed with 12 different craft brewers!

  1. Tater Ridge, Scottish Ale – Asheville Brewers Alliance, Asheville, NC
  2. Myron’s Walk, Belgian-Style Pale Ale – Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME
  3. Canfusion, Rye Bock – Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, CO/Brevard, NC
  4. Yvan The Great, Belgian-Style Blonde – Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA
  5. Maillard’s Odyssey, Imperial Dark Ale – Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI
  6. Alt Route, Altbier – Victory Brewing Company, Dowingtown, PA
  7. Double Latte, Coffee Milk Stout – Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR
  8. Yonder Bock, Tropical Maibock – Cigar City Brewing, LLC., Tampa, FL
  9. Electric Ray, India Pale Lager – Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, CA
  10. Chico King, Pale Ale – 3 Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN
  11. Torpedo Pilsner, Hoppy Pilsner – Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, CA
  12. There and Back, English-Style Bitter – New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI

Photo: Got Mine - SWEET :) :) :)
Cannot Wait To Taste Them All!!!

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A Favorite

Photo: Favorite so far. Happy Weekend :)
A Favorite


Roll Out the Barrels

MarchFourth Marching Band (M4)

MarchFourth Marching Band – Check Out Their Website. From Portland, Oregon.

M4 was AWESOME & AMAZING – So Entertaining!!!! From the Marching Band Themed Costumes to the 5-piece Percussion Corps to the 6-part Brass section to Dancing to Stilt Walking.

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Sierra Nevada’s New Brewery In North Carolina

I have been to their brewery in Chico, CA and would love to go one day and tour their new brewery in North Carolina!


Roll Out the Bottles (Photos by RSheridan)

Cannot Wait To Go To Camp Again!!!


26th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival

At The Beautiful Waterfront Park

July 24, 2013 to July 28, 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

Here’s the AMAZEBALLS to this Event – Done All By VOLUNTEERS (more than 2,200 volunteers)!!! Thank you for making this event what IT IS!


Watch Out for the Beer Warden!!!

OBF is Craft Beer Heaven! 84 different Craft Beers from 12 States! Fruit Beers Galore – I loved that! 85,000 people attended the 26th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival!

Admission: Into the festival grounds is free. To consume beer purchase a souvenir tasting glass (phased out the plastic mug) for $7 and purchase wooden tokens for $1 a piece. 4 tokens for a full glass and 1 token for a taste.

OBF got its start in July 1988 with 4 craft breweries (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland, and Widmer) and today there are 51 craft breweries!

Interesting Facts:

  • Full Sail started in 1987 in Hood River, OR.
  • Rogue Ales started in 1988 in Ashland, OR and later relocated to Newport, OR.
  • Deschutes started in June 1988 in Bend, OR.
  • “OBF is one of the nation’s longest running, one of the largest and best loved craft beer fesitvals!”
  • July is Oregon Craft Beer Month.
  • “Small and independent craft brewers have grown the number of U.S. breweries from less than 100 to more than 2,000 in 30 years.”

I have developed my palate over the years with wine tasting and now with beer tasting! I enjoy sampling and learning about a variety of craft beer styles throughout the U.S. Plus the 5 day event lets you take your time when it comes to sampling! I love being able to hang out with other craft brew lovers too.

Most Unique Brews

Gigantic Brewing Company – & Juice – Beermosa – IPA with citrus juices added

Burnside Brewing Company – Marionberry Berliner Weisse – Berliner Weiss


Loved Hanging Out at Gigantic’s Tap Room with a Beer in Hand on their Patio!

Photo: Happy Hour continues!!!
Hanging Out at Burnside Having the Oregon Berry Fruit Beer!

Best Named Brews & Tasty Too!

Mt. Shasta Brewing CompanySkip and Go Naked – Strawberry and Ginger Hefeweizen

Old Market Pub & BreweryDilution of Grandeur – Mixed Berry Belgian Lambic

My Favorite Light Ales

Good Life Brewing Company – Evil Sister – Imperial Pacific Ale

Alameda Brewing Company – Huckleberry Hound – Golden Ale

My Favorite Brown and Dark Ales

The Dude’s Brewing Company – Grandma’s Pecan Brown – English Style Brown (kept coming back for more!)

Lompoc Brewing Company – EleventyOne CDA – Cascadian Dark Ale

My Favorite Cream Ales

Fearless Brewing Company – Peaches and Cream Ale – American Style Cream Ale and Peaches

Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema – Summer Cream Ale

My Favorite Fruit Beer

Cascade Brewing – Raspberry Wheat – Fruit Beer

My Favorite Fruit Wheat Beer

21st Amendment Brewery – Hell or High Watermelon – Fruit Wheat Beer

My Favorite Hef

Laht Neppur Brewing Company – Peach Hefeweizen – Hefeweizen

My Favorite Saisons

All of them!

Great Divide Brewing Company – Colette Farmhouse Saison – Farmhouse Style Saison

Maui Brewing Company – Lemongrass Saison – Belgian Inspired Saison

Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub – Jackson Sundown – Saison

My Favorite Wit Beer

13 Virtues Brewing Company – Traverse Cherry Wheat – Belgian Wit with Fruit

Entertainment Favorites

#1 That 1 Guy

Mike Silverman aka That 1 Guy and His Magic Pipe, which is an instrument he created! The Magic Pipe has metal, strings and electronics and the sound that comes out of it is nothing I have heard before. I was mesmerized watching him play and perform. A Truly Unique Performance to Watch and Experience!

#2 Blvd Park

Blvd Park was a breath of fresh air with their music originality! A Seattle-based alt-folk band. I loved the harmonies and Brian Ballentine, the frontman, leads with his great vocals. Blvd Park plays and rocks it (folk, rock, Americana, country, and jazz)!


(Photos by RSheridan)

So Going Next Year!!!


17th Annual Boonville Beer Festival

Anderson Valley ROCKS!!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013 – Taps Open 1 pm to 5 pm – Marathon of Brews People!!!

Bringing Back the 80s! I wore my rainbow of colors shirt. I enjoyed checking out what others were wearing too!

1st Time & a Total Newbie! I enjoyed every minute of it though. I had a hard time deciding to taste from breweries that I was familiar with and those that were NEW! to me. I just dove in and went for it!

I loved seeing Barkley (mascot for Anderson Valley Brewing Company) march into the event! Barkley is an AWESOME looking bear with ROCKIN horns!!!

There was a person dressed as Duffman that was drawing a crowd too!

The pours were massive, at least for me! I either savored and enjoyed or took a few sips and moved on. I had to figure it out or be miserable. Certainly need to eat a few times throughout the event and DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!

You receive this landyard to hold your tasting device and let me tell you what happens when you drop your tasting device out of its holder. YOU GET BOO’D BIG TIME!!! I did it not once but twice and every time it is total humiliation. Plus you better know what you want to taste once it is your turn at the tap!

Checked Out

The Familiar

Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Summer Solstice

Bear Republic Brewing Company – Racer 5 IPA

Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Wookey Jack

Great Basin Brewing Company – Witbier & Icky

Knee Deep Brewing – Citra EPA

Mendocino Brewing Company – Red Tail Ale

New Belgium Brewing – Rampant & Shift

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Summerfest

Widmer – Hibiscus Gose

The NEW!

Drake’s Brewing Company

High Sierra Brewing Company

Iron Springs Pub & Brewery

Napa Smith Brewery

Ninkasi Brewing Company – Oatis Oatmeal Stout

Russian River Brewing Company – Redemption

Speakeasy – Prohibition

Third Street Aleworks

Too Many Brews & Not Enough Time

The Familiar

Anchor Brewing Company

Bison Organic Beer

Crispin Cider Company (love their Cider!!!)

Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant

Grand Teton Brewing

Lagunitas Brewing Company

North Coast Brewing Company

Pyramid Breweries

Stone Brewing Company

Tap It Brewing Company

The NEW!

101 North Brewing

21st Amendment Brewery

Auburn Alehouse

Berryessa Brewing Company

Eel River Brewing Company

Heretic Brewing

Redwood Curtain Brewing

Rubicon Brewing Company

Stumptown Brewery

Sudwerk Brewing


(Photos by RSheridan)

So Little Time, So Many Tastes to Be Had!!! PACE Yourself!!!


Fifty Fifty Brewing Company

Go Fifty Fifty

Fifty Fifty Brewing Company is located at 11197 Brockway Road in Truckee, California.

Enjoyed a Charlie Brown Ale and a Donner Party Porter – Love the name of the brews!

(Photos by RSheridan)

A Hard Afternoon of Beer Tasting – Ha!


Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Firestone

While In Paso Robles decided to take a brewery tour at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. In 2001 owners Adam Firestone and David Walker purchased the SLO Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California.

Firestone is truly Craft Beer and they ferment their ales in the Firestone Union oak barrel brewing system, which incorporates 65-gallon, medium and heavy toast American oak barrels.


Firestone Brewing Company (Photo by RSheridan)

Craft Beers

Tasting Room

Tasting Room is open 7 days a week from 12 pm to 7 pm and usually have about 14 beers on tap.


Firestone Brews Menu (Photo by RSheridan)


Firestone’s Solace (Photo by RSheridan)

I am a fan of the Solace at Firestone. The Solace is a Summertime Fusion Wheat Beer with hints of citrus – refreshing, aromatic, great tasting.


High Gravity Snifter of Parabola – Limited Release (Photo by RSheridan)

Let me tell you that you could stand a knife up in the Parabola – thick and creamy! Aromatic with bold bourbon and tobacco with flavors of dark chocolate and charred oak flavor – tasted like a chocolate liquer. We needed a chocolate souffle while tasting the Parabola.

The style of the Parabola is a Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout with 13% abv.

Brewery Tour

Tours of the brew house and cellar are complimentary and first come first serve on Saturdays and Sundays. Arrive 15 minutes before tour time to secure your spot and will need to wear flat, closed toe shoes for the tour.

Tour Hours

Saturday at 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm

Sundays at 1:30pm and 3:30pm


Brew Deck (Photo by RSheridan)

In a nutshell the brewhouse converts dry malt into a fermentable liquid – a very complex process. Firestone does not pasteurized so cleaniness is important in producing quality craft beers.


Cellar (Photo by RSheridan)

The Cellar is about fermentation and refinement. The Cellar contains multiple stainless steel fermentaters in various sizes.

The Firestone Union is a unique process. Their DBA, Pale 31 & Walker’s Reserve are partially fermented in oak barrels. Basically a portion of the wort is racked to 1 of 42 American oak barrels in the Firestone Union. If I understand it correctly the Firestone Union is taken from the Burton Union sytem, staple in British beer making. Firestone may be the only brewery in the U.S. using this method. This method adds character and complexity to Firestone’s beers – handcrafted quality.

Firestone produces barrel aged limited release beers – “strong beers” due to a higher alcohol content and complexity. These beers spend a certain amount of time in oak barrels – these barrels add the flavors and complexities to the beers. This includes the Parabola as well as Barley Wine, Saucerful of Secrets, Bravo Brown, Velvet Merkin and Sticky Monkey. These beers may become part of the blend that is released each year, their Anniversary series. Our tour guide stated that some of the Paso Robles Winemarkers are invited in to help with the blending of the Anniversary series.


Keg Processing Area (Photo by RSheridan)

The brewery’s keg packaging process is pretty amazing – this baby can sanitize as well as capable of filling 70 kegs per hour – can you say Kegger man!


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)


The Bottling Process (Photo by RSheridan)

I enjoyed learning about the bottling and packaging process. I started thinking about Laverne & Shirley while the tour guide was talking about this process. Since they do not pasteurize their beers the bottling and packaging process is important to the quality of their beers. Firestone has invested in the best equipment and procedures, especially sanitation and cleaning processes. The brewery uses a Krones bottling line – this baby can produce 300+ 12 oz. bottles per minute – do you hear beer heaven calling?


Firestone Brewery (Photo by RSheridan)

Stop for a Taste and Take in a Tour of the Brewery – A Fun Experience!


Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is located in Chico, California.


(Photo by RSheridan)

Brewery Tour

Had the BEST Tour Guide, Ryan!!!

Highly Recommend – Make Reservations in Advance! FREE! Tour Desk:  (530) 899-4776

Tour Days and Times

Monday – Thursday:  12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Friday and Saturday:  12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm

Sunday:  12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Solar Power


The parking lot is covered with solar panels.


More solar panels on the roof. (Photos by RSheridan)

The Basics of Beer Making

The Ingredients:

Barley Malt + Hops + Yeast + Water = Great Brews

Tried Crystal, Caramel and Chocolate Malts! The roasting process of the malt brings out the character, flavor and body of the beer.

Along with a brief history of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and then the tour began.

Hydrating Malt Mill

This is where the brewing process starts. The malted barley grains are cracked and then sprayed with hot water. This softens the grains before the grains are crushed. This results in a grist that is mixed in the mash tun, which turns the barley’s starches into fermentable sugars.


(Photos by RSheridan)

The Brew House

The Brew House was AMAZING!


(Photo by RSheridan)

Then the process continues in the lauter tun where hot water is run through the mash. This is where the wort comes into play. This process extracts the sugars, color and flavor components into wort. The wort is then boiled with hops in the brew kettles. Actually tried wort for the 1st time!


(Photos by RSheridan)

The Chilled Hop House

You get to check out the hops and get hands on! Sierra Nevada hand selects the finest hop cones from growers around the world (every year). Sierra Nevada also grows their own hops (out by the solar paneled parking lot).


(Photos by RSheridan)

The Yeast Room – The Magic

Did you know that the Yeast in the Kellerweis is what brings out the Banana flavor in the brew! The yeast works its magic on the malt and hops to make flavor packed brews.

Chico Water that is Filtered is used to make the Brews! The brewery’s waste water is treated with their state of the art recycling plant.

Fermentation & Filtration

Basically in fermentation the living yeasts convert the malt sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The Magic is Happening Now! Basically I think in terms of appearance, aroma, mouth feel, and flavor profile of the brews. Get Your 5 Senses into the process of beer tasting!

This is Where the Brew is Born!


(Photos by RSheridan)

Hops Everywhere


(Photos by RSheridan)

A Touch of the Unique


Be on the lookout for the unique tiles on the walls! (Photo by RSheridan)

The Hall of Brew Labels


(Photos by RSheridan)

Bottling 


Heading to the Packaging Area

The Bottling Area is Massive!


(Photos by RSheridan)

Tasting

I was amazed to learn that the tasting consisted of 8 brews – WOW! Let the FUN begin!

My Top 3:  Kellerweis, Ovila:  Dubbel & Narwahl

  • Pale Ale
  • Kellerweis
  • Celebration
  • Northern Harvest
  • Torpedo
  • Ovila:  Dubbel
  • Ovila:  Barrel-Aged Quad
  • Narwahl


The Pale Ale


The Kellerweis


The Celebration


The Ovila:  Barrel-Aged Quad (Photos by RSheridan)

These Brews are Meant to Be Sipped and Savored; No CHUGGING Allowed!!!


Surly Brewing Company

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Surly

Surly Brewing Company is based out of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Surly’s Owner, Omar Ansari, received a homebrew kit as a gift in 1994 and in 2005 a brewery was born.

I had Surly’s Darkness, a Russian Imperial Stout and it slowly grew on me as I drank it. I tasted the flavors of chocolate, coffee and roast. Additional flavors in the Darkness are cherries, raisins, and toffee. The hops is 85 IBU with 9.8% ABV. The color of this beer was like a dark chocolate and it came out of the bottle and into the snifter with a little heft and thickness. What surprised me was not the hops, but the overall sweetness to this brew!

Style:  Russian Imperial Stout

Malt:  Pale Ale, Golden Promise, Crystal, Dark Crystal, Oats, Black, Chocolate, and Roast

Sugar:  Belgian Dark Candi Sugar

Hops:  Columbus, Amarillo, Simcoe

Yeast:  English Ale

I loved the bottle that Darkness came in – pretty cool design!


Enjoying a Glass of Darkness (Photo by RSheridan)


The Front of the Darkness Bottle – Pretty Cool (Photo by RSheridan)


The Back of the Darkness Bottle (Photo by RSheridan)

“Surly:  The anger fueled by the inability to find a good beer.”


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