Sunday, August 14, 2011

Barley, Rosemary, Sage and Yeast

I didn't get to try all the beers I had hoped to at yesterday's UNICO Microbrew Festival. I missed out on the Boulevard Dubbel Nommo, the New Belgium Super Cru and the Green Flash Summer Saison. But I also didn't walk away with double vision and a splitting headache the next day, so there's that.

Ms. Mo and I met up with DJ Beer and Dubbel Blonde. We were later joined by Just Belgian. Here, Dubbel Blonde demonstrates how to properly shoot from the hip:

I did get to try the Deschutes Conflux No. 2 side by side with the Boulevard Collaboration No. 2. I prefer the Conflux over the Boulevard version by a wide margin, which makes me sad for my hometown brewer.

One of the other stars of the show was a beer I might have passed up if Ms. Mo and Dubbel Blonde had not raved about it so much: Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat. It is important to note that Ms. Mo's go to beer is MGD 64. So, when you make a stout that Ms. Mo raves about, you have really accomplished something.

We did spent some time scoping out the style preferred by Just Belgian:

Since Doodle Brewing was there, we headed that way and tried the Dubbel Doodle which we really enjoyed.

I was excited to meet the founder of Doodle Brewing, Nick Vaughn. I asked him if he is still self-distributing, and he reported that he now has a Missouri distributor for Jackson, Clay and Platte counties, which is excellent news.

The highlight of the day was when I asked Nick if he had any other beers in the pipeline and he said, "Funny you should ask" as he reached down and produced a 22 oz. bottle and proceeded to pour samples for me, DJ Beer and Just Belgian. It was a dark beer and poured with a fairly thin tan head. It had a malty aroma. The big surprise was in the taste. First, I guessed oregano and Nick waived me off. Then I guessed rosemary, and Nick confirmed it had rosemary and sage. Nick explained this beer, "fits perfectly with the style of a Belgian Spiced Porter". Nick's tongue was sitting squarely in his cheek as he said this.

I have never had a beer with this level of herbs, so at first I was a bit taken aback, but I quickly warmed to the flavor and went back for a second sample. This is audacious brewing at its best and something I would really like to try again.

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