2013 December Beer Series

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Beer Blog, Newsletters | 0 comments

Southern Tier Brewing Company
Lakewood, New York
choklat stout 22oz bottleFounders Phineas DeMink and Allen “Skip” Yahn started Southern Tier with the vision of reviving the practice of small batch brewing to a region rich in brewing tradition. In 2002, with equipment gained from the purchase of the Old Saddleback Brewing Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the Southern Tier Brewing Company began production in the Stoneman Business Park just outside of Lakewood, New York. By 2003, select varieties of small batch ales were locally distributed, and by 2005, sales covered the majority of New York State and Pennsylvania.
Steadily growing, throughout 2010 it became clear that more beer needed to be produced to satisfy a growing customer base. 800 barrels of fermentation vessels has been added to the production area and a 7500 square foot addition has been added for use as a conditioning room. The constantly running brewhaus has also been expanded and updated. In early 2011 the company replaced its bottling line with the most high-tech, state of the art bottling line of its size in North America. It fills, caps and labels an impressive 8,000 bottles per hour, with the ability to package 12,000 per hour at full speed.
The Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya, unfolds a complex web of mystery around a beverage known as xocoatl (ch-co-atle). At Southern Tier, they were not surprised that hieroglyphs of the ancient Maya depict chocolate being poured for rulers and gods. Even through the many voyages of Columbus, the mystical bean remained nothing more than a strange currency of the native peoples.
Moving through centuries, the circular journey of cacao has been realized At Southern Tier Brewery, encompassing the complexity of the darkest, bitter-sweet candy together with the original frothy cold beverage of the ancient Maya to bring to you Blackwater Series Choklat Stout. While Chinook and Willamette hops and bittersweet Belgian chocolate may not unlock any deep dark secrets for you, it will provide for excellent winter drinking.
(If you have been in the club for a while, I know you have already seen this one. It is my favorite warmer.)


Old Viscosity Ale
Port Brewing Company
San Diego, California
portbrewing oldviscosityIn 1992, there weren’t many options when it came to locally crafted, freshly brewed beers produced in San Diego. As such, brother and sister team and Pizza Port co-owners Vince and Gina Marsaglia started brewing at home. Soon, they were making more than they could leisurely drink. Yet, they really wanted to share some of the incredible brews they created with their customers too. So in October of 1992, a seven barrel brewery was installed and in 1993 the first handcrafted beer brewed on the premises of Pizza Port in Solana Beach was served.
Pizza Port became famous for fresh, hoppy beers prompting the addition of two more Pizza Port locations in Carlsbad and San Clemente. But even with three brewing systems, there wasn’t enough capacity to distribute the beers outside of the restaurants and Vince and Gina realized they needed to expand the production.
“As suggested on the label, this is one hell of an opaque beer–like, scary opaque. “Motor-oil black” would be a good description; topped with a rich, coffee-colored lacing. Surprisingly soft in the aroma, but full of chocolate, cake, Ovaltine, roasted grains, figs and ripe, dark, forest fruits. Whoa, this is one intensely rich and robust beer–nearly heart-stopping. Mouthfeel is huge and viscous at first, not as full-bodied as we expected. The carbonation is uplifting, tingly, and creates some fluffiness on the palate. Malt flavors are all over the place: dense chocolate cake, blackstrap molasses, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, black treacle syrup, slightly acrid coffee and a nice dollop of rounding toffee. Hints of spicy hops dance around a barely noticeable alcohol presence–though it does get a bit solvent-like after a while. Figs; some vanilla; date-like sugars. A cutting, raisiny edge highlights the beer’s acrid notes and pulls through as the beer warms. Finish is very dry, powdery, and leaves you thirsting for another sip, with a big, residual, roasted astringency.
And yes, this is a sipping beer. The 10 percent is well hidden in the dark chaos, so watch your ass with this one. We have no idea what this beer is–motor oil? A Russian Imperial Stout? They call it a Strong Ale, so it’s best just to agree and enjoy. Pairing could be futile. Just drop it into a snifter and share with friends.” Beer Advocate 93 points


Piercing Pils
Dogfish Head Brewing Company
Milton, Delaware
Dog fish Piercing PilsThe story of Dogfish Head began in June of 1995 when Delaware’s first brewpub, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, opened in the resort beach community of Rehoboth Beach. The plan was to bring original beer, original food, and original music to the area. Dogfish Head has been a rapidly growing brewery – it grew nearly 400% in between 2003 and 2006. The brewery was featured prominently in the documentary Beer Wars, and is the subject of the Discovery Channel series Brew Masters, which premiered Sunday, November 21, 2010. The brewery takes its name from Dogfish Head, Maine where founder Sam Calagione spent summers as a child.
Piercing Pils a new winter seasonal for Dogfish Head bridging the gap between perry and Pilsener.
From the brewery:
A Perry-Pils hybrid, Piercing Pils is a Czech Style Pilsner brewed with a White Pear Tea and Pear juice.  Both the juice and the tea were added in the kettle during the whirlpool (after the boil) for maximum flavor and aroma contribution.  The Pear fruit complexity pierces right through the spicy Czech Saaz hops beautifully, adding a gentle acidity to this pale lager that makes for a crisp refreshing sipper.  Amarillo hops add nuanced citrus notes that meld perfectly with the fruit.


Smoked Porter
Stone Brewing Company
Escondido, California
stone smoked porterStone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in San Marcos, CA.  It’s most popular brand; Arrogant Bastard Ale was unleashed upon the world in November 1997.
They moved to their current facility in Escondido, CA, in December 2005. Beer Advocate named them “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” in 2008 and “the most popular and highest rated brewery – ever!” in 2009.
“Thick webby lacing riding off the tawny brown color. Estery smoky aroma and malty nose. Spicy alcohol flavor with a smoke charcoal malt in the middle. Big maltiness with a light hop balance, some mellow chocolaty malt flavors in the end with a lingering faint smoke”.  ~ 90 points Beer Advocate

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