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Archive for March, 2011

Nebraska Reserve Series Apricot Au Poivre Saison Aged in Chardonnay Barrels

March 29th, 2011 by Aaron Goldfarb | 1 Comment | Filed in Brewer: Nebraska, Brewer: Russian River, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Style: Blonde Ale, Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

6.5% from a 750 mL

(I apologize for the sideways picture–my iPhone is fucked up.)

So…I write a novel, I’m feeling pretty proud about myself, about my career, and yet I keep hearing from people, I keep receiving emails:

“Why don’t you review beer any more?!”

I guess I thought novel > beer blog reviews in the world of writing and entertainment, but apparently, to many people, that isn’t the case and, in fact, I alienated many of my fans!  They didn’t care about my stupid novel (that took years to write), they care about my subversive reviews of craft beer (that take a few minutes to write).

Who am I to be the arbiter of my fan’s enjoyment?  Thus, I am back.  And, I plan to be back with new reviews every single week now.  My first “back” review, though, is of a great beer by some of my good friends in the industry, Nebraska Brewing Company.

Nebraska burst onto the scene in 2010 with two of my favorite beers of the year:  Hop God aged in Chardonnay Barrels and Melange a Trois, a tripel aged in, you guessed in, Chardonnay barrels.  Here’s another beer aged in Chardonnay barrels, this time using their Apricot Au Poivre Saison as the base.

Now, oddly enough, I’ve had all of Nebraska’s rare, high-end, and pricey brews–which, luckily, they ship to me, gratis–but I haven’t had that many of their regular line.  I was fortunate enough to finally try their IPA the other day and it is as good as anything on either coast, and last summer I sucked down plenty of the standard Apricot Au Poivre.  That was a nice little brew, but the chardonnay aging takes this one to a completely different level.

Flawlessly effervescent.  A slight tartness yet the apricot fruitiness comes through with just a hint of stinging black pepper.  I put back a 750 of this in about 750 seconds.  I was loving it that much.  Another huge winner from Nebraska that demands being searched for.  It still doesn’t even have a single review on Beer Advocate yet!  Come on people.

A

Is Nebraska one of the best sour beer makers in America?!  Hard to say, there’s so many great ones and NBC doesn’t quite have as large of catalog (yet) as some other, older breweries.  But they might be the best Chardonnay-barreled beer maker around.  Or, damn close.  At the moment, I’d rank them 2nd to the American kings of the sour beer game, Russian River, who also favor Chardonnay aging.

Interestingly, just a few weeks earlier I tried a Russian River beer aged in these beloved barrels:

Russian River Sanctification

This is a 6.5% Belgian Blond aged in Chardonnay oak with 100% Brett added.  And, whoa!, is it a nice beer.  Perhaps the best-looking beer I’ve ever had.  Looks like fresh squeezed OJ with the pulp removed.  Not overly complex, but flawless in execution.  Tart, crisp, with the fruity taste of a nice white wine.  Not too sour, and totally refreshing.  A beauty.

A

The Second Annual Boxes of Beer NCAA Tournament Pool

March 12th, 2011 by Aaron Goldfarb | 1 Comment | Filed in Boxes of Beer

We’ve all been entering NCAA tournament pools for years if not decades.  $10, $20, win, usually lose, big deal.  They’re fun, sure, but last year I had a better idea.

An NCAA tournament pool where your entry “fee” is beer.

So here’s the deal, to get into this tournament pool you just need to offer up a nice local beer from wherever you live.  Doesn’t have to be rare, doesn’t have to be expensive, doesn’t even have to be good (although, what kinda dickhead would offer up a shitty beer?)  You live in Wisconsin, offer up a bottle or two of New Glarus.  California, how about some Russian River?  I will probably offer a fancypants New York beer (Black Ops, hmmm?)  Now I’m not saying you have to be as generous of course.  I don’t want this be a burden or expensive.  A bottle or two of beer, plus shipping, will cost you max $10-15, around the same as any NCAA office pool.  The picture above is just a portion of winner John Martin’s haul during this year’s NFL Boxes of Beer contest.

Here’s our private group, “Boxes of Beer”

Password is of course:  beer

No one’s forcing you to enter, so please, if you do enter, don’t be a jerk and not live up to your end of the bargain if and when you most likely lose.  I’ll be really pissed if that happens.  And I’ll be insanely jealous at the thought of the winner receiving box after box after box of beers all throughout April.

If you enter, you must send an email to associate commissioner Mike Zambotti at mjz119 @comcast.net.

Cheers!

(And let’s go Syracuse!!!!)

Aaron Goldfarb

*You must be 21 or older to enter.

**And, buy a copy of HOW TO FAIL if you haven’t yet.  Come on, it’s all I ask.