This weekend I have to go south to get my winter clothes, but also this weekend there are a few things to do in Columbus beer-wise.

I’m going to try to make my visit south very short to get to the beer tasting at Studio 35 which will be showing Better Off Dead (80’s movie with John Cusack) on Sunday, October 12th.  I’m not sure if I can make it but I sure as hell will try.

At Barley’s tomorrow for firkin friday, the downtown location will have the same thing that’s been sitting in the cask all summer, the Russian Imperial Stout.  It’s good stuff, but I’m still not certain that there is a difference between a firkin and a cask although Scott seems to think differently.

The Smokehouse will have the Centennial IPA which must have some appeal as they seem to put it in the firkin every other week.  It’s not a bad beer, but Centennial is not my hop of choice.  Where are all these rare hops that sprung up this year?  I want to try some new flavors.

Studio 35 had a tasting a month ago which featured somewhere in the realm of 14 beers and a showing of Anchorman with Will Farrell.  It was a mere $10 as is this one, and it started at 5PM but they seem open to late arrivals as I showed up an hour late.  It’s the best priced beer tasting deal that I’ve seen since I moved here.  I can’t say enough good things about this theater/brewpub.  It’s a great idea and if I had the cash, I would open the same thing along with a brewery stuck in the facility as well.

In the distant past they also had 24 hour horror movie marathons where I met the esteemed George Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead, Tom Savini, the best special effects man of all time, and Joe Bob Briggs, TNT/TBS MonsterVision lacky.

Hopefully they will continue with more cult movie support as I believe Columbus has a decent sized audience for that as well as craft beer.  Put them both together, and it’s nearly as good as chocolate and peanut butter.

With all the bitching I was doing about local beer lately, it could be perceived that I don’t like local beers at all.  This is far from the truth.  It is more that I want the local breweries that make beer for people like me to make beers that beer fanatics like myself will enjoy and tell their friends about.

I am not alone when I say almost all of Elevator’s brews taste like they are blended together in one big macro recipe that never improves on itself, and I hate that I have to say that, so I am very pleased to say now, Elevator has made a beer that beer fans can enjoy.

This month’s special beer for October is Vic’s Barley Ale Wine #3.  Not the greatest of names, but for Elevator, it is their best in beer.  I will always herald their craft root beer as my year round beverage of choice, but clearly in the month of October I can enjoy great beer to my heart’s content right downtown at a different location than Barley’s Downtown (more on them later).

So I waltz into Barley’s after work thinking, “well, looks like it’s time for the monthly card punch on some swill”, they have a beer appreciation card and when one fills it out, they get a stein style mug that can be drank from.  A pretty great idea and I think more places should have mug clubs set up.  So I belly up to the bar and go for the barleywine which pours into an oversized brandy snifter.  I really like this style glass as it really accencuates the smell of just about any beer.  Anyway, on with the review:

Appearance-The beer pours a hazy amber brown with a slim quarter finger of a head comprised of large and medium sized bubbles.  Lacing is ample and is showing some very liquor like legs on the side of the glass.

Smell- Strong alcohol phenols and strong malt on the nose.  Smells to be an american barleywine as the hops are strong, but noble hopping is also present.  Sour dark fruits come forward afterward with a strong figgy scent.

Taste- Light and fruity with a bit of burnt malted goodness.  Warming alcohol sneaks up afterward.  Who knew that Elevator could make a good barleywine?  A bit of a mouthwash aftertaste, downright minty.  A bit pleasant.

Mouthfeel- Slightly astringent with alcohol but not bad.  Warming, lightly bitter, low in carbonation, and full-bodied which again is a very rare thing for Elevator.

Drinkability- Much alcohol, but much drinkability on this one as well.  The waitress told me it was 12.5% alcohol which I believe, but it was very drinkable.  I’ll come back for this one, and maybe even get a growler!

After this beer of course I had to go to the mainstay from the brewery and have a root beer as that alcohol will really catch up to you on an empty stomach.

Then we had last Friday, right after my Barley’s bashing blog, I went out to the smokehouse to have that pale on tap and some Founder’s Breakfast Stout.  A fair share was drank, and eaten at the smokehouse and don’t you want to know what was there?  You probably should, because it’s still all there now.  I talked to Scott yesterday about it.  People don’t drink Breakfast Stout around here?  Well, keep that up.  I’ll finish off all the kegs in town if they stick around eventually.

I started off ordering a Breakfast stout and a Bell’s Oktoberfest.  I had a feeling that the stout would be served too cold, and I was right.  I set the stout to the side and got started on the Bell’s:

Poured from the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a light golden amber with a finger of head that quickly dies to nothing. There is no lacing to be found and really, the appearance doesn’t do too much for me. The temperature feels quite nice from the glass though.

Smell- Very little on the nose coming through. Some Munich malts and a perfumey smelling hop. Light caramelized notes. I really expected to get a lot more on the ol’ schnoz from Bell’s.

Taste- A bit better here on the flavor. Carmel and Munich malts with lightly toasted crystal malts coming through with a light hop finish. A slight twinge of bitterness on the finish, but the beer drinks much smoother than it smells or looks. A little diacetyl.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, lightly bitter, lightly astringent, medium bodied, and medium-light in carbonation.

Drinkability- A smooth drinker for the swilling needs. I may get a sixer just to slam back on a bender. Taste fine for those purposes, but with that in mind, wouldn’t it be a better deal to get a Sam Adams Oktoberfest twelve pack?

The Breakfast stout was still too cold after that was said and done, so I followed it up with a Goose Island Matilda.

Poured from the tap into a Belgian style tulip.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid amber with a slight half finger of head across the top that quickly subsides to a ring around the sides. Lacing is fairly substantial and lingers on the sides of the glass as well.

Smell- Candi sugar, rich piny hops, light pilsner malts, alcoholic phenolics, correction on the sweetener, candi sugar syrup and possibly maple syrup.

Taste- Overly sweet upfront with heavy candi sugaring and over hopping with extra florals and pines from the hops. It really does have more to it than I had originally thought from the first sip. There are more white grapes, dates, and slight raisins.

Mouthfeel- Warming from alcohol, lightly astringent from the hops, somewhat creamy, medium full-bodied, and highly carbonated.

Drinkability- Not the easiest drinker in the world. Not that smooth, sweet, but not a Belgian that I want to come back to.

Now finally, after the best quesidilla that I have ever had in my life and a couple beers.  The fine Breakfast stout was at the right temperature and could be savored:

Poured from the tap into a Belgian Style tulip glass.

Appearance- Beer pours solid molasses black with a red hued ring of foam around the sides that doesn’t die for over an hour and a half. Beer was poured too cold so I set it aside and waited. Lacing is THICK, and clings to the sides forever as well.

Smell- Rich coffee with cream and roasted malts. Dark fruits are quick to follow but not near as strong as the first upfront coffee and Irish cream smells. Black licorice and burnt malts. This beer smells amazing. The hops aren’t overly strong on the nose and that’s just fine with me.

Taste- Creamy, good god this is some amazing nectar. It is no surprise that I was unable to clone it perfectly. I did come close, but not as excellent as this perfected recipe. Coffee and rich creams. Almost a Kahlua style taste but so much better. Malty sweet roasted balancing acts with toffee, caramel, espresso, the great flavor just doesn’t stop coming! Again with the dark and milk chocolates. Wonderful!

Mouthfeel- Creamy, thick, full-bodied, medium-high in carbonation, even two hours later, I can find no negatives in this beer.

Drinkability- This is a desert island beer, a winter wonderland beer, the taste for the people of Hoth, and quite possibly the best stout of all time. I need more.. More.. MORE!!

During this stout we had a slice of the caramel apple wort encrusted pie.  Talk about a great pairing.  This is the kind of redemption I had to see at my local breweries to get me back in their corner.  As long as they can keep up this kind of great work, they will have me and my fellow beer lover coming back again and again.

Firkin Friday tomorrow.

September 26, 2008

Looks like the smokehouse will be the winner tomorrow with the lovely smooth pale on tap this time.  It is one of my favourite pales of all time and It’s about time I cut out all this Smokehouse bashing that I’ve been doing lately.  Dear god, please don’t make me bash this beer and make it as good as I remember it.  Also on the smokehouse’s taps currently are Goose Island Matilda, Founders Breakfast stout, Dogfish Punkin’, and Bell’s Oktoberfest.  Yes, it looks like I’m not coming home after work tonight right away.

The downtown location will again have the J Scott Francis ESB.  Not a bad beer but Angelo’s got to mix it up just a little once in a while.  Don’t get me wrong, if I’m on a bender tomorrow, I will show up and have another pint or two there, but with that tap selection above, it doesn’t look too good for my downtown travelling needs.

We need some more beer news/going’s on in this town.  And we will get them.  Just you wait.

Dogfish head last Wednesday

September 19, 2008

Yes, the big Dogfish extravaganza was last Wednesday.  I tried to get to it on here a little earlier, but I got myself tipsy last night instead.  Crazy how a beer blogger would go and do something irresponsible like that.

So Wednesday, I stepped into Bodega bright and early hoping to find something rare and new, and even on their menu’s they have listed:  Theobrama 10%.  I’m almost squealing with glee ordering this new beer that I’ve waited a year for at this point.  Well guess what?  No Theobrama.  It didn’t come in  yet.  But the fact that it’s on the menu bodes well for me.  If they are so sure that they will get the beer that they will reprint their menus, than hopefully they will get it in one day soon.

So what did they have on those taps?  They did have many Dogfish taps on the line.  Those taps were:

60 Minute IPA – of course, the trademark, benchmark beer of the Dogfish line.

90 Minute IPA – The higher gravity version of the same, clocking in at 9% giving just the power to knock off one’s socks.

no surprises there, but then it got interesting…

Black & Blue – Fermented with blackberries and blueberries and clocking in at 11%.  Tiny taster glasses only.

This one I had to try as I hadn’t had it in years since I had been to the brewery.

Appearance- Beer pours a hazy red with a thin nothing of a head that shows next to no presence.  There’s a bit of lacing and I’m hoping this beer delivers in the flavor from this poor appearance.

Smell- Blueberry and concord grape on the nose with substantial malt backbone and strong alcohol fumes wafting up to meet and  burn the nose hairs.  Blackberries were the scent I previously mistook for concord grape earlier when I wrote the review.  How I could do that is pretty surprising, I hope it’s not that end of summer cold that everyone is getting.

Taste- The berry flavor here on tap is much more pronounced and substantial than I remember from the bottle.  Strong berries, strong alcohol.  This is quite nice and lightly prickling.  Hops are not here at all, and the malt is even and balanced.  The beer tastes a whole lot like a revised Au Currant, the retired Dogfish brew.

Mouthfeel- Warming, medium bodied, highly carbonated, not overly puckering from the berry sweet/sourness and semi-smooth drinking.

Drinkability- It was a good beer to try once and move on to a different tap.  It may not get revisited by me, but I can’t say it was the beer’s flaws that caused that.  It’s worth it for the fruity beer lovers out there.

Chateau Jiahu – Inspired by a beverage found in clay posts in China around 9000 years ago. In keeping with historic evidence, Dogfish brewers used pre-gelatinized rice flakes, Wildflower honey, Muscat grapes, barley malt, hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers. The rice and barley malt were added together to make the mash for starch conversion and degradation. The resulting sweet wort was then run into the kettle. The honey, grapes, Hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers were then added. The entire mixture was boiled for 45 minutes, and then cooled. The resulting sweet liquid was pitched with a fresh culture of Sake yeast and allowed to ferment a month before the transfer into a chilled secondary tank.

I had to have this one on tap as well.  I enjoyed it from the bottle years ago, and have an aged bottle or two in my cellar, but never on tap.

Poured into a taster glass although the beer is a mere 8% ABV.  Which was fine with me, I do a lot of drinking and a little less won’t hurt me.

Appearance- Beer pours cloudy and orange.  If I didn’t know better I would say that’s orange juice with a little lemon mixed in.  Pulpy and cloudy, it hardly even looks like beer.  No lacing, no head, very slight carbonation.  Looks like some kind of a spritzer or carbonated juice at best.

Smell- Smells like orange juice or tangerine as well.  Orange and many exotic spices, but seems like it has cinnamon and coriander as well.  They don’t list that as an ingredient so I’ll have to guess that this is some other scent that I’m not so familiar with.  Hints of tobacco and caramel malts linger in there as well.  This smells nothing like the Jihau I remember.  This seems to have Ginger as well, I’m mistaking a lot of flavors and it could be my lack of experience with chrysanthemum flowers and hawthorn fruit.

Taste- Citric, but not orange, more like a papaya, and pomegranate, the juice flavor here is quite strong and refreshing.  It really tastes more like a wine than a beer.  This would be a great one from the Dogfish catalog for Sam to take to the woman in his book and argue the point of beer’s multitude of flavors that can be found.  There is a light fruit punch flavor and a hint of wheat, which is also not listed in the ingredients.  No hints of malt and absolutely no hops.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, juicy, medium-high in carbonation, and medium light in body.

Drinkability- I like juice, and this is amazing for something to have with breakfast in place of orange or some other juice.  I love it, what can I say?

Festina Peche – The neo Berliner Weiss with peaches infused in the flavor.  The bar manager thought it wasn’t right and had me try it.  It was sour like a Berliner Weiss should be and didn’t have a lot of the peach flavor.  I prefer it that way, but it was different than it normally is.

Immort Ale – Claimed to be the only keg in the state of Ohio and I believe it.  This is what they had in place of Theobrama since it didn’t show up.  Oh, you know I had to drink on this one.

Once again poured into the taster glass which is fine for that heavy 11% gravity.

Appearance- Beer pours a red/brown amber color with no real head to speak of and no lacing either strangely enough.  The beer is cloudy and as I love it aged, I can’t wait to taste it on tap.

Smell- Oaky, vanilla, and malty upfront.  Light hops, malt is heavily caramelized, and the oak smell is quite strong in this one.  There is another Dogfish beer called Immoak that I have yet to try.  The oak on that one must be insane because this one has ample oak riding on my nostrils.

Taste- Rich and malty in flavor, and the oak and vanilla taste are also rich in the taste department.  Hints of dark fruity ripe plums and dates.  Prunes and bourbon also seem thick upfront in the taste.  The bourbon is likely more of that oak bleeding through.  Very sweet and low in hops.  This is something I would love to have in the wintertime.  Alcohol is strong, but balanced.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, fruity with a fig infused perception, full-bodied, smooth, and medium-light in carbonation levels.

Drinkability- I would drink this by the fireside on a cold winter evening.  This is a great beer for all times though.  I’m glad I will have the opportunity to get this again in a four pack.  Great aged, and great fresh.

Indian Brown Ale – Dogfish’s lovely balanced and highly hoped brown ale.  Great for sessioning, and I have sampled many a times.

Punkin’ Ale – Dogfish seems to have improved their recipe on this beer this year.  A much more roasted pumpkin mouthfeel that is excellent for the fall season.

Now these were all great to have, but where was John the Dogfish rep?  Well, the men of the hour didn’t show up until happy hour was over.  So in the meantime I could stock up on a bunch of swag, which I was eager to do.  I love Dogfish head and their artwork.  I got a couple of sweet beveled pint glasses, two bottle openers, a tin sign, and a poster.  I made out like a bandit.

When the Dogfish rep, John showed up, I had to ask him what was up with Theobrama, and of course, it wasn’t here yet.  Easy enough answer.  He told me about this year’s Alefest in Dayton, where Festina Peche was infused with blueberries with their Randall device, and 90 minute IPA was infused with Glacier hops.  I also heard a story about the wonderful 120 minute going on tap when those ran out.  All of those would be a true feast here if they were on tap.  But either way, this truly was a special event, and I didn’t go home dissapointed, or sober either.

The next beer related thing coming up is Firkin Friday today at the Barley’s locations.  The downtown location still has the J Scott Francis ESB, which I can vouch for and say is a very nice smooth beer.  The smokehouse hasn’t been able to update due to the wind catastrophe, but I called them and found they have the centennial IPA on the firkin.  A little variety would be nice.  Perhaps I’ll see them next week.

Last Sunday we made the trip out for the farewell to our good friend the Beer Wench. Lively and fun, no great new beers to be seen on tap.  Just for grins I revisited Columbus Pale Ale, Great Lakes Oktoberfest, and Bell’s Two Hearted.

Even if you are the current top area beer blogger by the evacuation of one Wench, it’s very hard to say goodbye to someone you’ve had such fond memories with.  She brought in a great share of personality to our fair beer scene, who else have you seen bring card games into these fine craft bars?  That is one great idea if I have ever seen one.

With that in mind and our great beer tasting memories still lingering in my head I assembled a mixed six pack that hopefully would have many beers that she won’t be finding in Florida.  I attempted to focus on the midwest because we all know, as soon as you’re out of this hole, nothing else comes with it, not even the great beers.

The mixed six was:
Three Floyds Dreadnaught
Bell’s Expedition Stout
Clipper City Balto Marz-hon
Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire
Great Lakes Imperial Dortmunder
Paulaner Oktoberfest

Well, clearly the Paulaner doesn’t fit in with the rest, but I had to have something perfectly fitting a style, and really nothing here matches a style exactly.  Three Floyds is close to a Double/Imperial IPA, and same thing with Bell’s Expedition and the Russian Imperial stout.  Also with that and Balto, there can be a head to head similarities/differences tasting, which I’m all for.

I may do a rundown on styles if I run low on material to write about here in the future much like accidental hedonist’s know your/eat your series.  Right now I have a lot of material, but I may do a cliff’s notes version of the beer styles if I begin to run low at some point.  Oktoberfests brought this to my mind as there are so many that are off style and still so many that are on style as well.

In similar news, the title says wherever you are to Ms. Routson, but I know quite well where she is.  She is currently headed to the Dogfish Brewery in Milton, DE.  Having been there before, I know she will have a blast.  Related to that:  Tomorrow, at Bodega, the midwest Dogfish Head rep will be there pouring “something special”.  I have had many special things from Dogfish in the past and specifically from Bill (if he’s still the rep).  So this is something to look forward to.  I’m expecting something on a randall (a hop vaccuum invention that Dogfish loves to use).  Or another beer that I have been looking forward to all year.  Theobrama, the next in Dogfish’s ancient beer series.

So hope to see folks Wednesday.  I’m going to look into why none of my blog posts are appearing to the public.

Immediately after checking into this, I found bloglines to be the worst way for me to get my blog out to people, so I killed off that blog and transferred it to this one.

Columbus Microbrew Festival

September 16, 2008

Well, I’m certainly new to having an updated blog.  I’ll do this on time and tell people before review the event next time, I promise.  The Columbus Microbrew Festival is at North Market, Sept. 12-13th.  It is $15 and $2 off if you bring the flyer to the event.  Your $13-15 gets you a standard pint glass, and ten tickets.  Most beers cost one ticket, but some cost two.

Beef number one:  You must pay cash for this event although everywhere in North Market takes credit cards.  This is a minor beef as many beer festivals seem to think this is a good idea.  There is also no way to buy tickets online or before the event at any of the participating microbreweries as the original flyer claimed.

Beef number two:  There is no correlation between what beers cost two tickets when previously at other beer events, the same beer cost one ticket, and some of the two ticket deals are pure and simple greed.

For example:  Everything from Columbus brewing was two tickets.  Luckily for them, they came to their senses midway through the event and decided that most of their beers (excluding their “featured” barleywine) would be one ticket.  Which brings me to their “featured” barleywine.  Just how long does something have to be featured to make it non-featured anyway?  Not that the beer is bad, it is actually very good, but I reviewed that beer back in the beginning of May.  That means it’s been around on their tap handles for quite some time now.  Come the hell on Eric, if you’re going to brew something at the same capacity of all your other bottled beers and are only going to keg it, serve it at the same ticket price of all the other beers, or just hang on to it until it becomes a proper barleywine.  All barleywines should be drank at about the five year mark anyway or later.

Elevator’s Oktoberfest, Alt, and Doppelbock were all two ticket deals as well.  Oktoberfest currently isn’t on BA, I’ll be inserting that one on the site at a later time from my notes.  Now Alt isn’t a huge beer by definition or by the taste on that beer.  Perhaps I was harsh on it in my review, but it sure as hell wasn’t a double price type of beer, nor is their year round Doppelbock.  Actually, as I’ve said before, the only great beer Elevator has to this date is their root beer.  These ticket costs are pure greed, plain and simple.

The other two two ticket deals were from Barley’s.  Both the downtown location and the smokehouse.  I didn’t get to sample the five year old barleywine as it is on for the Saturday festival, but I have had that on cask for one ticket at the Smokehouse’s firkin fest.  I will say that one is worth two tickets.  Unfortunately, I was there on early bird friday for the Lame Duck Imperial Pilsner.  Well, although beer advocate thinks this is from the downtown location, it is actually from the Smokehouse.  Once again the Smokehouse dissapoints me.  I really hope this changes soon.  On Lame Duck, Scott makes a pilsner more in the vein of Miller Lite, full of corn and swill water than in the realm of a proper pilsner such as Czechvar (Budweiser for non-Americans) or Pilsner Urquell, which is a more flavored and drinkable version of a pilsner.  If this beer is Imperial (beer definition of imperial meaning big in ABV), than it is hardly imperial, and is no where near good enough for someone to be charging more for it.  For christ’s sake Scott, your brewery isn’t conveniently close to me and I have to make special trips out there for your beers.  Quit making bad beer for god’s sake.

Beef three:  The organization of this festival was shit at best.  Water was not supplied at all, and I think this is the stupidest idea for all festival organizers.  Hey, I have an idea!  Let me give everyone the means to get drunk and go out and drive and get OVI’s, but not give anyone the means to combat getting drunk, like water!!  Bars and breweries are concerned about getting their liscenses revoked by letting homebrew clubs such as SODZ (the local Columbus homebrewing club) bring in their own homebrews, but they have no qualms about inviting people to get shitfaced and then sending them off to drive with no other alternatives to cause them to not get arrested.  Even the water in the bathroom was on warm only because it was one of those damned sensor faucets.  I could clean my glass out for more beer, but I couldn’t get any water to cleanse my system.

Of course, the festival wasn’t all bad, I just had to get the grievances out of the way first.  On to the good things:  Weasel Boy, the brewery out of Zanesville had the best beers to be sampled by far, and all were one ticket.  they know how to treat their faithful drinking audiences.  With a good beer at competitive costs.  I found myself coming back to them just to blow out my extra tickets rather than wasting them on beers I’ve already had before.

The rundown on the Weasel Beers was pretty vague by my notes.  Wiesel Jungle Kolsch was light, smooth, lightly overhopped and fruity.  River Mink Mild Brown was probably the easiest drinking of the beers I sampled having a very dark mild flavor, lightly roasted malts, again, slightly overhopped again, but that was OK.  The beer itself was worth a revisit if I ever see it again.  The one I found myself going back to with the extra tickets at the end of the festival was the Brown Stoat Stout.  Fruity, smooth and creamy was the order of the day.  Not overwhelming with alcohol, and something I could have drank all day.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought this because the tap was gone by the end of the night.  The Dancing Ferret IPA was also on tap, but I had the beer before and I wasn’t feeling IPA’s until later in the night.

While I’m running down the beers, I may as well do the same with all the breweries I hit last night.  I did have one other Barley’s Smokehouse brew which was the Oktoberfest.  This tasted like a homebrewed ale (the Marzen/Oktoberfest style is a lager) was highly malty, grainy, and husky with off flavors running rampant.  It tasted unfiltered and very grist laden.  It wasn’t a bad beer, but it wasn’t a Marzen either.  Luckily, the term Oktoberfest can be used very loosely.  It doesn’t really have to be a Marzen, that’s just what is assumed by almost everybody.  Even Germany has an Oktoberfest beer that goes outside the style, perhaps I’ll bring that up in the future.

Gordon Biersch also had decent offerings.  I really feel that they are underrated for a Columbus brewery.  When Brian is left to his own devices without the corporate machine controlling him (Gordon is a chain, there are beers he must brew as well), he makes some rock solid beers.  Not to say his corporate beers aren’t good either, some of them are quite worthy.  I still can’t say much for German Pilsners, but the rest are quite good.  The special beer for the night there was the Berliner Weiss which he had flavored with woodruff or raspberry syrup.  I sampled the woodruff as I had never had the flavoring in a Berliner Weiss outside of Dogfish’s Festina Peche.  Interesting stuff, it had a very apple cinnamon flavor that cancelled out the sourness altogether.  I had Brian pour me an unflavored sample immediately following just to make sure it had that famous lacto bacillius sourness that I love so much.  Sure enough, it was there and perfectly to the style.  He knows his stuff over there.

Later on in the evening I ran into good old Wildman Dan and Ashley Routson, the friendly beer wench blogger, soon to be moving to Florida after this weekend.  To commence the celebrating of the farewell festivities, I took the liberty of smuggling a few bottles from the shop downstairs up to our tasters table.  Those beers were Green Flash Imperial IPA, Buckeye Hippie IPA, and Hoppin’ Frog BORIS the Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout.

Some may say smuggling beer in a beer event is excessive and wrong to do.  Those people would be right, but it was a joyous occasion, there was much rejoicing afterward, and when beer bloggers get together, you have to expect just a little drunken debauchery.  Luckily, no one got hurt.

More beer news and the farewell event to the beer wench at tip top on the next post.

If anyone reads this blog, which I would be suprised if they do, tomorrow afternoon at Tip Top on Gay St. is the official farewell of the beer wench.  I’m sure she will accept beer related gifts for said farewell, come out and get someone else drunk other than you for a change.


September 16, 2008

I had all these first 3 posts on bloglines, but realized very quickly that it was the worst format for blogging ever made, so I am migrating the entire blog immediately.  Hopefully nothing will get lost in transition.

Well, it looks as if I finally have gotten around to making this beer blog that will chronicle the beer goings on in the Columbus area.  To kick things off, I’ll show some of the places I’ll be focusing on here in the big city.  Perhaps I should start off by saying a bit about myself and my background.

I am an avid homebrewer and have been brewing for about 4 years now, I have taken the ungodly BJCP test and have also become a certified beer judge and occasionally have the opportunity to judge in such things as the Ohio State Fair.  Last year I was the Vice President of the local Dayton home brew club, DRAFT, and at the same time was a beer/home brew manager at the local retailer Belmont Party Supply.  Since then I have moved to Columbus as of April 2008.

While there is an ample tap selection and a decent amount of people with beer knowledge, I am utterly dissapointed in the amount of beer tastings and appreciation in the area.  Retailers are very few and far between and for the most part, the people are really pushing for this college town to be a wine city.  Hmm.. 3rd highest amount of beer drinkers in the country and everyone is pushing wine?  It just doesn’t really add up.  Is the wine drinkers’ dollar greener than mine?  Maybe they do have more money, but I have money as well.  Due to this and other scorn I get as a beer drinker, I have named this blog:  You’re Not Welcome Here.

I assure you as beer, or even wine drinkers that you are very welcome to visit this blog.  I will cater to the novice and the seasoned beer drinker alike and explain why the beers that I drink taste correct or incorrect at given times.  I hope to educate the area and give them a little something to think about while they are out getting shitfaced.

That said, I suppose I should continue on with some of the places I will be visiting and writing about on this blog.

One place I regularly frequent is Bodega.  A tap room with 50 taps and probably somewhere around 80 bottles.  I should probably mention that this pic is blatantly stolen from  No, I couldn’t find a good image of the outside of the place.

Barley’s Brewing
Barley’s, both the smokehouse and the downtown location is another great place to frequent here in the fine city of Columbus.  Currently I’ve been favoring the downtown location to the smokehouse, but both locations have great food and brews that I will be elaborating upon further very soon.

Columbus Brewing Company
That’s right, I’m fresh out of images to steal.  Not a lot of brewpub pride in this neck of Ohio, but I’m looking to change that and hopefully somewhere in the midst of this I can get a digital camera and start getting some fresh images up online.  Anyway, Columbus is a great brewery as well and has one of the most balanced pale ales in the beer world.  I’ll elaborate more on them later.

Elevator Brewery
The brewery pumps out a lot of different beers at the restaurant on High St.  They aren’t all winners, but I’m trying to get a mug from them so I’ll be sure to review more of their beers.  Also, the root beer they have on tap is top notch.

Gordon Biersch
The Columbus location has some very well made beers and the head brewer there is the current vice president of the local Columbus home brew club, SODZ.  I visit there once in a while and don’t hear much about them.  I can’t imagine why not though outside of the fact that people prefer ales to lagers.  The lagers are very well made and I’ll have to feature them a bit.

Grapes of Mirth
Located in North Market downtown, this is one of the very few decent retail locations to get beer.  I’ll be mentioning where I got the beer so I’ll be sure to include this place many times.  Also, there is a local microbrewery tasting coming up there this weekend, so I’ll be elaborating very soon.

I will also attempt to cover other areas and do more than make this a beer reviewing blog.  I’m going to try to do more homebrewing in my free time over here, so I’ll definately be covering that and perhaps even some tasting events of my own.  There will be many updates, so I encourage those with the RSS capability to get on the subscriptions so they can see what’s going on in the fair city of Columbus.