Chocolate, Raspberry…& Beer

Chocolate, Raspberry…& Beer. Oh yes, you read that right. And it’s good. Was roaming around New Belgium Brewery during a local vendor event and they had a seasonal release on tap — Imperial Frambozen with Cocoa.

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It’s one of those brews that you just have to try. Very unique — you taste the fruit, you get that heaven of chocolate. It flows so smooth. And a warning — 8.5% ABV. It’s sold in 22oz. bottles, so you have a good amount to enjoy on your own or share with friends.

Hope you can get it near you.

Cheers!

Brew on

There was just a great article about the Best New Breweries in the US in The Daily Meal.  They are everywhere across the country, showing how much microbreweries continue to grow.  And as noted in the article, according to the Brewers Association, an average of 1.5 new breweries opens every day in the U.S. alone. In 2014, 13 states reached the 100-brewery milestone (along with some other great stats).

Photo Source: thedailymeal.com

Photo Source: thedailymeal.com

Horse & Dragon Brewery

I’m in Ft. Collins for Christmas and of course have to check out some of the local ‘fare’ — that mostly means good microbrews.  So today that meant a new brewery by the name of Horse and Dragon Brewing Company.

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Wasn’t sure what to get so opted for a sampler.  Ok, sampler?  Six brews of 4oz each for $8 — that is quite the nice pour of some high octane beer.

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The half dozen tastes included:

Fort Kolnz Keller Kolsch-Style Ale — “A grainy sweet aroma holds well with a slight citrus note derived from the moderate hopping. Dry and clean on the palate, bitterness is present but not overpowering. Extended cellaring is evident in the clean crisp finish and despite a very pale straw color and light body our ale has great depth and complexity. Ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit! ABV: 5.2%”

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Sage Adweisse Berliner Weisse — “A light, effervescent, slight tart wheat ale that tastes so refreshing that it mush be good for us.  Dominant ingredients are evident from the first sniff; wheaty goodness mixed with traditional German yeast scents and a hint of tartness.  One glass will make you wonder why anyone ever put a lime in a beer, though this beer is sometimes served with dashes of flavored syrup.  Our lowest ABV brew, this is an ale you can enjoy all day.  Sage Adweisse was name for our (well, really, Linsey & Titus’s) brewdog.  ABV:  3.6%”

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Whistle Blast Honey Brown — “A welcoming ale displaying warm mahogany earth tones accentuated by a thin veil of creamy foam head, our Honey Brown Ale is as inviting as the historic English pubs where the style originated. Slight roast malt character leads the nose to a warm sensuous balance of mild hop bitterness and sweet honey malt after notes. A clean, somewhat drying finish allows the sweetness of malt to shine through and remain as a memento for each sip. Quaffable in design, this ale will toast well in any social situation and keep you coming back for more. Cheers!  ABV:  6.3%”

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Picnic Rock Pale Ale — “Picnic Rock Ale aligns itself with recreation in Colorado and our noticeable desire for great craft beer.  Fresh hops aromas likened to lemon, pineapple, and honeydew melon stand out in front of this golden colored ale holding a white laced head.  The aroma taking center stage is then carried into the noticeable hop bitterness.  Malt body is medium-light and complements the bitterness, allowing for a smooth finish with a light floral hop linger.  Let’s go for a picnic!  ABV: 5.4%”

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L3 IPA — “The L3 IPA pours an inviting copper color topped by a strong, slightly off-­white foam. Your first sniff reveals the complex balance between the citrusy, spicy pear hop aroma backed by slight caramel malt notes. Tasting the beer takes you further into a flavorful American hop experience with plenty of hop bitterness balanced perfectly with the sweet malt backbone. This flavorful combination lingers on the palate yet finishes clean and prepares you for another sip. A very drinkable IPA, L3 is hop forward yet balanced. ABV: 7.6%”

L3The Dark Crystal Cascadian Dark Ale — “A relatively recent style that has gained traction in the Pacific Northwest is the American Style India Black Ale, or “Cascadian Dark Ale”.  Deliciously hoppy, also hugely roasty-toasty malty. Get on in here and give it a try! ABV: 6.5%” (forgot to snap a picture  — it is definitely dark!)

They were all quite unique — have to love microbrews.  My favorite two were the Picnic Rock and L3.  We decided to leave with a growler of the latter to enjoy some of before dinner and to have on hand the balance of the week.

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The snow ‘storm’ in DC brought a government shutdown.  This was the first time I’ve ever been able to actually have a paid snow day!  So, come 1pm, the snow was gone, the sun was out.  What did that mean? Time to go (Christmas) shopping.  I only had the intention of finishing off getting gifts for those on my list but when I went to the mecca of grocery, kitchen gadget, wine and beer store, things changed.  After some discussion with the beer man and other shoppers of the current offerings, New Belgium’s (new) Frambozen came up.  Nobody had actually had it for several years.  The name itself screams raspberry then the description lures you into a brown ale.  You can’t leave that poor thing sitting on the shelf!  Had some a bit later.  Very nice, smooth, nice hint of the fruit, but not overwhelming.  Pick some up for a friend, yourself, or to take to a party to celebrate the season.  Happy Holidays!

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Masters of Golf = Mistress of the Kitchen

What a game, what a game!  Overall the Masters was phenomenal once again, but those last few holes were absolutely amazing.  Both Scott and Cabrera deserved the Green Jacket but in the end only one can wear it.  Congrats to the first Australian to win the Masters.

Backing up a bit, one must have good food to watch such a game.  So yesterday, I prepared (and bought) a nice mix of treats to stay entertained for several hours while enjoying the amazing golfers.  Last week, Whole Foods’ Friday special was halibut, so I found a Halibut Ceviche/Ceviche Verde recipe.  Unreal!  From the fish to avocados, tomatillos and green olives (do we sense the greens here…equating to the jacket…), it was delicious.  I highly recommend it!

With this, we nibbled on some great BBQ chicken from Rockland’s, chips, salsa, veggies, crackers, peanuts and dark chocolate covered pretzel slims.  The wine for the evening was Ferrari-Carrano’s Viognier from Sonoma (oh, had some New Belgium Dig while prepping).  A nice pairing to everything and a great evening all around.

MasterPrep

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Friday=Great beer

It’s Friday!  So what are we waiting for?  The 5 o’clock whistle!  I always get the great songs from “It’s Finally Friday” to “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” stuck in my head all day.

After meeting a great rep from New Belgium Brewing the other night at their tasting session at Hard Times Bethesda, I found out they will be sampling some of their amazing brews again tonight at Beer, Wine & Co. in Bethesda.  You can never go wrong with that.  Tonight’s event rundown includes:

Join us Friday March 22nd from 6:00-8:30pm for a beer tasting featuring New Belgium Brewery out of Fort Collins, CO! Ryan Carpenter, a Beer Ranger for the brewery will be on hand chatting craft beer, pouring samples, and educating you on their great lineup of brews! Come out and try their latest Lips of Faith releases as well as their brand new Imperial IPA – Rampant! New Belgium beers will be 10% OFF during the tasting. See you Friday!​

Source: www.newbelgium.com

Source: newbelgium.com

Source:  beerwineandco.com

Source: beerwineandco.com

Cheers to Friday and the weekend!