Archive for November, 2009

66 – Ithaca Eleven

I’m a sucker for a fancy label but knowing the great success I’ve had with Ithaca Beer Company in the past I thought I’d give this one a shot. Milk Stout though… this could hurt the lactose intolerant guy. The things I do for science. *sheesh*

Ithaca Eleven
brewery:
Ithaca Beer Company – ithacabeer.com
style: Milk Stout
abv: 7.5%
serving size: 22 oz
glass used: pint
price: $11.99

Overview
Brewed with British, German, and French malts, American hops, and milk sugar, then aged for weeks on locally roasted Sumatra coffee beans.

What I think
Again with the coffee aroma. I’m sure I would dig coffee shops if the culture behind most of the jagoff drinkers wasnt there. I LOVED the aroma of this. As soon as I opened the bottle it was a nose full of coffee and sweetness. Its like a hot chocolate on a frigid winter day but without burning your tongue. My gripe from appearance was that the head vanished very quickly. I would have liked to stuck my nose in the frothy goodness a bit longer.

Eleven packs a medium body with upfront deep roasted beans and chocolate balanced by a little carbonation. The finish was soothing and a latte aftertaste.  Should you buy some? This is absolutely one you need to pick up but I wouldn’t sit it on the shelf, you deserve to enjoy this soon.

Spoon’s rating: A+

Comments (1)

65 – Flying Dog Raging Bitch

This was a tasty treat from Chris at Bocktown. I think she was tired of hearing me whine about not having this yet so with growler in hand I caved. Many thanks to her and the Bocktown staff for yet another great craft beer trip!

Flying Dog 20th Anniversary Raging Bitch
brewery:
Flying Dog – flyingdogales.com
style: Belgian Style IPA
abv: 8.5%
serving size: 64oz
glass used: pint
price: n/a

Overview
Bitches come in a variety of forms, but there’s never been something as sassy as Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch Belgian IPA. An American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast, our 20th anniversary beer jumps out of the glass and nips at your taste buds with its delicate hop bitterness. At 8.3% ABV, this bitch is dangerously drinkable.

What I think
Flying Dog doesn’t get enough credit in this area for the all out greatness of their beers. The Canis Minor series is probably the best variety pack available in the commonwealth. When Chris called that she had Raging Bitch in for a limited run I knew I had to get there.

Pouring form the growler you can’t fully appreciate the deliciousness in the picture of the head that was around when I poured it. But since I was a putz about lighting is fizzled quick. The aroma on this was straight up hops with a slight Belgian twang. None of that sissy nancy triple hopped Miller Lite bullshit. A fistful of Amarillo beating on your nostrils. Nice imagery eh?

The taste… ohmyfreakinglord the taste. Give me a moment… ahhhh hops, hops, little citrus, Belgian sweetness and more hops. It’s like chewing gum that Violet eats in Willy Wonka. Oh the next course… YUM! The finish was straight up rockstar goodness. Smooth with a slight hop aftertaste that was very flavorful.

Spoon’s rating: A+

Comments

Review: Market District at Settlers Ridge


(click on image for 3264 x 2448 – 2.08MB)

To most of you outside of Pennsylvania this may seem like a normal thing but here in the fine SW corner of the commonwealth this is a first. For the first time we are able to buy beer in a grocery store and Giant Eagle’s Market District is the place.

Nestled in the corner of newly christened Settlers Ridge the mansion of foodie heaven opened its doors this weekend. You’re here for beer though, and quite frankly that’s why I went.

Layout
There are 2 coolers. The one pictured above and then around the corner from it that is 4x’s as long. There was also a display of Christmas beers at the street entrance to the cafe. I would loved to have taken more pictures of the beer layout but there were so many people in there you wouldn’t have seen anything. If you’re familiar with Wegman’s on Upper Peach in Erie the coolers are similar. No rows of bottles though.

Selection
One worker told me they have 250 different beers which, from a bottle shop standard, is on the lower end of the spectrum but I do give them credit for going above and beyond the Bud/Miller/Coors. The cooler pictured above is for single bottles. I was pleased to the gang from Ommegang (avg price $7.99) going top shelf and joined by Brooklyn’s Local 1 and 2, Chimay, Orval (for $5! wooo) and a class from Lindemans.

Unfortunately this is the only section with freestanding bottles. Everything else is 4 , 6 or 12 packs. Overall display and appeal of setup was pretty high and everything was clearly marked with a price which is great when you’re there for a quick pickup.

Price
This is where the knife will be plunged into the heart of most bottle shops who rely on carry out beer sales. I like using Arrogant Bastard as a price gauge. That’s pretty much a staple of any craft beer store and if they stick you on that then you’re in for an expensive trip.  Market District price was $4.50, avg. bottle shop $7, restaurant price $11. Based on prices I’ve seen recently, Market District offers beverages $1-3 cheaper than most bottle shops on the singles and almost $5 cheaper on the 4 and 6 packs.

Rules

Overall
This is a huge step for craft beer in PA. I don’t see a lot of the bottle shops losing too much business since its 2 different levels of service you’re getting… for now. Market District is too new for us to know what they’re going to do in terms of events or how educated the staff will be. Local bottle shops are usually staffed with beer geeks and have a wider selection meanwhile if you need a beer in a pinch and want convenience odds have it you’ll hit the supermarket. Now with Wine and Spirit stores in many Giant Eagles you really can have a one stop shop. Local breweries who are getting their beers into these stores will now have remarkable visibility and the BMC drinkers will hopefully get a better understanding of the varieties out there. My wish for now is that they get some aisles for single bottles and 6packs that aren’t already chilled in the coolers.

Here is the beer list for Market District.

cheers!

P.S. Oh yeah my shopping. I picked up 3 Philosophers, Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale and Orval for $19.

Comments