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The Beer Thread

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The Craft Beer Bubble, from Tampa Bay Times expert Justin Grant. The competition in these drinkeries seems to be ever on the rise. Where I live there's a new one opening up about each month. But it seems there's one going-out-of-business at the same pace. It's a dog-eat-dog world, and one reason IMHO that many of these places go under is they don't pay attention to the food. You gotta have cuisine that can compete with the suds!

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A small group of us went down to Thirsty Dog after the game Saturday. They had BA Siberian Night and BA Wulver on tap. Good Times. Check it out sometime if you haven't already.

Tasting-Room-outtakes-Thirsty-Dog.jpg

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I didn't take a picture, but there's a new brewery in Heath (east of Columbus) called Homestead which is turning out some delicious beers. They have a tasting room that's only open Tuesday and Friday evenings, and distribution is limited, but if you're in the area at the right time you should check them out. Their thing is more easy-drinking unfiltered beers. IPA's, pales, lagers and amber ales that don't have too high of an ABV but a really great taste.

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untappd.jpg

For those of you who love to drink beer and have a smart phone, I would suggest downloading the untappd app. I joined up some months back and have been having fun with it. The more friends you have, the more fun it could be, but at the very least it is a great tracker for your beer consumption.

http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/untappdgamification-of-beer/2013/04/26

http://www.untappd.com

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Checked one off my bucket list last Thursday when I visited Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL. I got two flights and tried some really good stuff. First amazing beer was a Brown Ale called Blueberry Pancake. I know it doesn't sound good, but it was amazing. The Jai Alai Cedar Aged IPA from the Humidor series was on point as well. I was one week early for the release of Puppy Breath Porter which was kind of a bummer, but it was a really fun visit overall and I made friends with a guy sitting next to me from Dayton who is opening a bottle shop. Good Times.

I also visited a couple of World of Beer locations while on vacation and tried some dandies. Full of Balarney was an Irish Stout on Nitro from Athens, GA's Terrapin. Killer. I also had 3 European Baltic Porters that rocked.

The first was from Finland.

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The second was from Iceland.

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The third was from Poland.

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If you like the style and can score any of these, do it.

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Here is one for you to try. I thought it was pretty unique tasting. I have no idea how you might get it. My friend had one bottle left, and got it directly from the band (Clutch). It's made by New Belguim. Description I'll keep my eyes peeled for it, and try to score some before September parties.

Now that New Belgium is distributing in the area, I tried two more that I liked.

Spring Blonde, and Snapshot. Both purchased at my local Giant Eagle.

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I have found this to be my favorite offering from New Belgium.

new-belgium-six-1554.jpg

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That periodic table of beers is a pretty cool idea, Hilltopper.

Today's been a long one, so I thought I'd give the beer below a go:

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I think Unibroue ought to reconsider the name. I didn't think it was so bad ;)

Seriously, if you enjoy their Trois Pistoles, then you will REALLY enjoy this complex, cornucopia of beer flavor. It takes Belgian Strong Ale to Schwarzeneggerian levels. Fantastic.

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Visiting North Carolina breweries is definitely on my list of things to do. Asheville was already loaded with craft brewers and now that western brewers are establishing satellite operations in NC, it is a very attractive destination for beer lovers.

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Visited the Phoenix Brewing Company in Mansfield this Saturday. 5 beers on tap: Pale Ale, IPA, Wheat, ESB, & Oatmeal Milk Stout. Nice little building that used to be a mortuary back in the day. No food, but 2 Cousins Pizza was delivering $10 2-topping specials for the grand opening. None of the beers were earth shattering, but they were all decent. The stout and ESB were definitely the best of the bunch. This place is head and shoulders above the breweries in Wooster & Millersburg, IMHO. Worth a stop if you are ever in the area. Nice to see something nice happen in Mansfield for a change.

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Spent the weekend in Columbus, and discovered a brewery that I enjoyed. Elevator Brewery has some nice beers. I really like the Dark Horse, followed by the Heiferweizen wheat. The seasonal was Horny Goat, aged in whiskey barrels. This beer was made for Keener & CK. The only one I tried that I didn't like was the Bleeding Buckeye. Elevator Dark Horse won Best of Show at Cleveland Oktoberfest 2013. Try it, if you see it. Guessing his palate, I would guess Zipswin would appreciate it. I'll see if my local guy can get some in for Lot 9 this year.

dark-horse-elevator.jpg

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I got to mark another brewery off my list Wednesday night:

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Pretty nice little bar with a big picture window to see into the manufacturing facility. I must say the food was fantastic. All those in our party were impressed with the food selection. Beer-wise, I was a little underwhelmed. I did not have any of their flagship beers since I have already enjoyed them out of the bottle (This may have been an unwise choice). I tried some pub-exclusive drafts instead: Boom Over Pow ESB, Yum Yum Pale Ale, Snow Weasel Porter, Hank on Rye Smoked Ale & Cimmerian Sabertooth Berzerker Imperial IPA.

As my friend ZipGrad01 pointed out, it goes to show how spoiled we are in NE Ohio when you can visit a "World-Class" craft beer mecca and leave feeling a little let down. Hoppin' Frog blows FFF away.

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Nice photos Keener. I'm in Amsterdam right now, I will have a full beer report (with photos) when I return. I am blown away!

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Nice photos Keener. I'm in Amsterdam right now, I will have a full beer report (with photos) when I return. I am blown away!

Can't wait for your report!

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Spent the weekend in Columbus, and discovered a brewery that I enjoyed. Elevator Brewery has some nice beers. I really like the Dark Horse, followed by the Heiferweizen wheat. The seasonal was Horny Goat, aged in whiskey barrels. This beer was made for Keener & CK. The only one I tried that I didn't like was the Bleeding Buckeye. Elevator Dark Horse won Best of Show at Cleveland Oktoberfest 2013. Try it, if you see it. Guessing his palate, I would guess Zipswin would appreciate it. I'll see if my local guy can get some in for Lot 9 this year.

dark-horse-elevator.jpg

I can get this in my grocery stores at home. Also, they quite often have it on draft at the Rockne's in Strongsville. It is a decent brew, but I am not much of a lager guy.

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I can get this in my grocery stores at home. Also, they quite often have it on draft at the Rockne's in Strongsville. It is a decent brew, but I am not much of a lager guy.

Thanks ZG, I have also found it locally now.

As promised will soon have some sort of beer report from Amsterdam/Germany/London. Lots of catching up to do with other stuff first. Short report, Amsterdam exceeded my expectations, Germany met my expectations, London fell short of my expectations. Quick crummy photo from my phone. Better photography soon.

London Pride was one of the good ones I had in London.

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PS I never understood how Heineken was the third largest brewer in the world. I do now.

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They are celebrating their 8th Anniversary at Hoppin' Frog and pulling out some old bombers:

"That’s right! You could win the opportunity to purchase these super rare bottles, currently only available for consumption in our tasting room, to take home at special anniversary prices."

Barrel-Aged B.O.R.I.S. Royale Imperial Stout (May 2011) - $27

Barrel-Aged B.O.R.I.S. Royale Imperial Stout (August 2011) - $24

Barrel-Aged Naked Evil Belgian-Style Barley-Wine (2011) - $34

Barrel-Aged Naked Evil Belgian-Style Barley-Wine (2012) - $30

Barrel-Aged B.O.R.I.S. Bairille Aois Imperial Stout (2013) - $27

Barrel-Aged B.O.R.I.S. Van Wink Imperial Stout (2013) - $28

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