Beer Class — Autumn Equinox: Fall’s Beer Harvest

I get the great emails from Total Wine and when reading one recently they another drink in it — BEER!  They were offering some great beer classes and one caught my attention — Autumn Equinox: Fall’s Beer Harvest.  How can you go wrong?  I think of this time of year with all the great pumpkin brews (apparently they started coming out super early because somebody with the first name Sam located in New England decided to hit the shelves much earlier than normal).

We had many great sips that night.  We started with Marzen from Germany (on the right) — October(fest) beer, then worked our way to pumpkin brews.  My favorite German beer was the 2nd one (from the right).  I can’t remember the name but the picture gives the label.

My next favorite was the Lost Rhino Brewing Company’s RhinO’fest Marzen.  It’s an Amber Lager.  Great flavors.

When we moved on to the one with the frog on it and the Shipyard, they truly tasted like liquid pumpkin pie.  Overly sweet.  Crazy!

It was a very fun night a fun, trying sips of so many different beers.

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From CO to MD

I visited the breweries in Colorado then went less than a hour north of Washington, DC to check about another great beer producer’s house of heaven.  This time it was Flying Dog.  Now, did you know they started in Colorado and moved to Maryland to grow/expand/make people around here even happier?  Oh, ok, maybe that last part wasn’t the true strategy but I don’t hear any complaints.

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So when considering checking out the Flying Dog Brewery, pull out next year’s calendar.  They have a several month wait list/lead booking time.  I lucked out because I was going alone and was able to snag a spot from a cancellation.  So, if you want to go that route, contact them a day or so before you’d be interested in checking it out.  They only do tours Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

You get there, get carded, get your nice bracelet.

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Pay $5 and get a great glass that you keep (this is jumping ahead as it has delicious fluid in it).  Then the tour begins.

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You get the scoop on the entire history, from the founder, the owner, the random tidbits, the alcohol, drugs, prison time, name, etc.  Neat stuff.  The hallway depicts all of this.  There are more paintings that the camera didn’t quite pick up.

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You continue into the beer processing area and learn about all steps of the brewing process, from when water and hops might initially collide, how they determine each brew (what goes into each one), when/how long it’s in vats, how the bottling process works and the final ‘boxing’/putting it in cases or kegging so we can enjoy it.

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When the tour was done, we headed to the bar where we could pick whatever we wanted.  For $5, we got 5 samples.  Big samples.  I had the staple, Raging Bitch.  Went with the White Wheat.  I tried the rarities — Orchard Ale.  Then some of the seasonals, which were hit or miss.  There were love/hates in the tour group as we discussed them.  The seasonals I tried were this beer and wine funky thing (can’t remember the name) — interesting.  One glass would be all I’d want and then the awesome Dogtoberfest Marzen.

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Great place, great tour, great beer.  Check it out when you’re in the area.