As you may have guest, Jim and I have decided the show has run its course. When we get time we’ll record a fairwell.
Author Archives: Jake
We begin a series on Abita beers with Satsuma Harvest Wit. We’ll be doing four Abita beers over the next four weeks.
This is an update from a story we brought you several weeks ago about a beer from Michigan. Drinks Americas Holdings, Ltd announced that on July 4th it started brewing and filling kegs for the launch of Kid Rock’s “AMERICAN BADASS BEER COMPANY”. Kid Rock plans to launch kegs of his new AMERICAN BADASS BEER American Style Lager at Detroit’s Comerica Park in time for concert dates July 17th and 18th. AMERICAN BADASS BEER will be available at kiosks within the park during the concerts.
After these shows, a newly formed sales team will begin meeting with and selecting distributors and filling orders in the Michigan market. J. Patrick Kenny, CEO of Drinks Americas, said, “ We will launch AMERICAN BADASS BEER in Michigan starting with Comerica Park and then rolling out to the balance of the Michigan market.
Satsuma Harvest Wit
- Abita is located north of New Orleans, in the town of Abita Springs, Louisanna.
- Abitia first began brewing beer in 1986. That year, the company produced 1,500 barrels of beer. Today, they brew over 80,000 barrels of beer annually and 5,000 barrels of root beer annually, which puts that in the larger craft beer area.
- In fact, they are the 31st largest brewery in the country right now and the 17th largest craft brewer.
- We are going to get into more of the history over the next few weeks, but let’s talk about this weeks beer first.
- It weighs in at 5.1% abv and is made with the satsuma fruit.
- The satsuma fruit is a citrus fruit, something along the line of an organe or a tangerine.
- Pour – Almost Coors lite in color. A little bit of haze, but really not much to speak of. The head is a crisp white, that does seem to stick around for at least a few seconds.
- Smell – Citrusy, but not bitter citrusy, almost organe or tangerine. That would be the Satsuma fruit I suppose. Some spices, corriander, but very light.
- Taste – First taste I get is of bitter orange rind. A little bit of the lighter wheat comes through as well. Mouthfeel is medium with a tone of carbonation.
- Overall, it is an intersting beer. I can see this being a very good quenching beer, and after tasting this I would like to actually like to try the Satsuma fruit.
OK, next week will be another Abita, although to be honest I am not sure which one.
Did you hear Jake mention he has a Tour de France podcast? Want to hear more audio gold from the co-creator of Your Next Beer, check out the Tour de France for Beginners podcast.
This weeks news is really less news and more of a shameless plug for a Chicago related beer event.The third annual AleFest Chicag will be held on Saturday. More than 150 craft brews from some 50 domestic and foreign breweries will be poured at Soldier Field’s Stadium Green which is the grassy plaza outside the lake side of the stadium. Represented will be such Chicago-area breweries and brewpubs as Flossmoor Station, Goose Island, Metropolitan, Piece, Three Floyds and Two Brothers. Attendees will be able to taste brews and quiz brewers or brewery reps about how their favorite beers are made.
Unibroue La Fin Du Monde
- This weeks beer, La Fin Du Monde, weighs in at 9.0% abv and is classified as a Belgian Trippel.
- For those of you who don’t remember, we did talk about trippels in our Belgian series. However, as a brief refresher:
- The name “Tripel” actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist “Simple.”
- Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, the head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish.
- Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well.
- La Fin Du Monde roughly translates to the end of the world, and was brewed to honor the great explorers, who believed they had reached the end of the world when they discovered America.
- First brewed in February of 1994 after 18 months of research, the website describes it as having champagne-like effervescence, it has a vigorous presence in the mouth, which accentuates its strong personality. Slightly tart, with the balanced flavors of wild spices, malt and hops, it belongs to the class of great Trappist beers and, in this regard, is a North American first. At meals, it can replace white or red wines and enhances the flavor of most dishes.
Well that’s all for the Unibroue beers. Next week I think we are going to start another series based on a brewery, but I am not sure which one yet, so tune in a find out.
In order to promote responsible drinking this July 4th, we bring a story of true drunken stupidity to you this week so you can know what not to do. According to the Associated Press, a South Milwaukee man was accused of driving drunk last week after trying to use a golf cart to drive home nearly 40 miles away from the golf course where he had been drinking beer. The man told police that his relatives had left him behind at the golf club. I have wanted to leave drunk people at the golf course from time to time. So he got in a golf cart and headed home down Highway 167. When the sheriff caught up with him, the man said he had drunk about 10 beers, but did not consider himself intoxicated. I think that if you think for some reason that driving a golf cart home, clearly, you are either retarded or drunk…or both. So don’t do that this weekend.
In a side note a recommendation from a listener, Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink a book by Randy Mosher
- Back this week to Unibroue. We are halfway through the series and to be bevery honest, there isn’t alot more that we can say about the brewery.
- As a brief review, Unibroue is a Candaian brewery located in Quebec, Canada. The brewry is currently owned by Sapporo a Japanesse company.
- In November 1992 Maudite which is translated to “the damned one, was the first strong beer to be distributed in Quebec grocery stores.
- It weighs in at 8% abv and is classifed on the website as a Strong Red Ale, refermented in the bottle, which probably just means bottle conditioned.
- Because of the high alcohol content on this one, it can be cellared and the website says that it has a 5 year life span or more.
- Maudite has a typically Quebecois name that is reminiscent of the legend of the Chasse-Galerie (the legend of the Flying Canoe). Legend has it that a group of lumberjacks struck a deal with the devil to fly home in their canoes, guided by Satan himself, to make it home in time for Christmas. This is the scene that is depicted on the label as well.
One more week, and one more Unibroue beer. We are going to be looking at La Fin Du Monde, which I believes translates into the end of the world. So tune in and enjoy.
Well, for the second week in a row we have a Pennsylvannia story. This one is from my home town of Pittsburgh, where the Pittsburgh Brewery will no longer be producing Iron City. All production will be moved to the old Latrobe brewery, owned by City Brewing. The brewery will go dark on June 22nd for the first time in 150 years. The brewery president said that the old Pittsburgh brewery cost too much to upgrade and and was not sustainable in the current economic climate.
Unibroue Chambly Noire
- Alright, well we are back for a second week at Unibroue, which we found out last week was a Canadian brewer that makes some rather potent beer.
- We talked a little bit about the brewery last week, but let’s go back into the background some more.
- In 1990, the founders of Unibroue, André Dion and Serge Racine obtained 75% interest in La Brasserie Massawippi Inc., a struggling brewery in Lennoxville, Quebec.
- At the end of 1991 the remaining shares of Massawippi were acquired and transferred to Unibroue Inc. Massawippi changed its name to Brasserie Broubec Inc. and amalgamated with Unibroue in 1993 to form the corporation that was around before it was bought by Sleeman.
- In spring 1992, Blanche de Chambly was unveiled after consultation with a Belgian brewer. La Maudite debuted in November of the same year, and Unibroue began to invade the palates of Quebecers. It would be another 18 months of research until their next beer, La Fin du Monde was ready for the market in February 1994.
- Another year passed, and Raftman debuted in March of 1995, followed by La Gaillarde in August. By now Unibroue was gaining respect and was exporting: even slow learning LCBO permanently stocked Maudite and Blanche de Chambly in the fall of 1995. Unibroue’s first seasonal, Quelque Chose, was unveiled in January 1996, and L’Eau Bénite debuted in June 1996.
- More on the history next week, but as for now, how about the beer for this week, Unibroue Chambly Noire.
- Chambly Noire weighs in at 6.2% abv, which is a step above last week, and is classified as a Belgian Dark Ale.
- Belgian Dark Ale’s are traditionally all over the board, but are darker in color and can contain some spiceness, as you can expect with some typical Belgians.
As promised our Unibroue series begins with a small little thing Ephemere.
This weeks story comes from Harrisburg, the state capital, where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court says stores and restaurants with licenses allowing beer to be consumed on the premises cannot limit sales to take out. The court ruled 5-1 Monday against a Sheetz convenience store in Altoona, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Louis Sheetz, the chain’s executive vice president for marketing, said he was surprised by the ruling and does not understand the court’s reasoning. “We are certainly not the first, and we certainly won’t be the last restaurant to sell six-packs,” he said. “The only possible difference is that they serve beer on the premises, and we do not.” Giant Eagle, a chain that has cafe areas inside its stores, has applied for beer licenses for seven stores in western Pennsylvania. Dick Roberts, Giant Eagle spokesman, said the chain is studying the court ruling, because it had planned to sell beer only for off-premises drinking.
Unibroue Ephemere Ale
- Well finally, no more Irish beers for a while. This week we turn our sites on a Canadian beer company, Unibroue, and the first in a series of beer that we are going to cover from that brewery.
- This was actually a listener suggested series from Ben in Chicago, so thanks Ben for the idea and feel free to keep them coming to everyone else as well.
- Unibroue is a brewery located in Chambly, Quebec and was founded by Quebec native Andre Dion in 1993.
- As with most breweries these days, it has been bought several times, first by Sleeman Brothers, Ltd in 2004 and then later by the Japaneses brewer Sapporo in 2006.
- Now I don’t want to cover too much of this company in the first week because quite frankly I am already a little worried about running out of material in the coming weeks, so lets focus some on the beer for the evening.
- Tonight’s beer, Ephemere, weighs in at 5.5% abv, and I believe is the lowest alcohol beer that Unibroue makes. There are a lot of high octane products from the brewery.
- It has been brewed since 2002 and is described as a while ale brewed with apple must on the website and ale brewed with apple juice, coriander, and curacao on the label.
- I had this one out of a 750 ml bottle that was corked and capped. The bottle claims that it is a bottle conditioned beer, and with the cork popping, that would seem to be true.
- The pour was light in color, very much like a wheat beer and very hazy, again like a wheat beer. It also had a nice big white fluffy head that seemed to go away rather quickly.
- The smell on this one was green apple, almost like a jolly rancher green apple it was that potent. It got me wondering if this was going to taste artificial.
- The flavor is not as potent as the smell may suggest, with a bit of bitterness up front and the apple aftertaste.
- There was a little bit of sourness here, but really not too much. Overall it was a pretty good beer for summertime. It really wasn’t too heavy and the apple gave it just enough to make it taste different than a wheat beer.
Next week we are going to continue our Unibroue series with Chambly Noire, a dark Belgian beer.
The second, and last, beer in our Irish Beer in Ireland series we look at Kilkeny Irish Cream Ale. Sorry about my audio quality, I forgot to turn my actual microphone.
Well talk about topical, we not only have a news story for you tonight, but it is a news story about Ireland. The oldest brewery in Ireland closed on May 30th. The Beamish and Crawford brewery was opened in Cork, a southern county in Ireland, around 1792. Production of Beamish is being transferred to the Heineken Lady’s Well brewery in Cork following a decision made last year. This means that Beamish and Murphy’s, once bitter rivals, will now be housed under the same roof. Heineken Ireland meanwhile has presented the Beamish archives – probably one of the most complete brewing archives in Ireland or Britain – to the Cork city archives. Beamish, as you may remember, was an Irish Stout that we covered back in our first Irish series and I actually like it better than Guiness.
Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
- Tonights beer is Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, named after a town located in the middle of the country, Kilkenny.
- A little bit about the background of this beer. Well, guess what, it is made by Diageo, the giant beverage company that also makes Guiness, Harp, and Smithwicks.
- We have talked long and hard about Diageo, so I am not really going to say much about the company.
- The beer is actually produced in Kilkenny in the same brewery that produces Smithwicks.
- The St. Francis Abbey Brewery occupies over 25 acres in the heart of Kilkenny City. The brewery has been part of local life for over 290 years and it is here that Smithwick’s Ale was first brewed in 1710.
- To give you a feeling of the size of the brewery, Budwieser is also produced there for the Irish domestic market.
- Tonights beer weighs in at 4.3% abv and is not available in the US. It is available over most of Europe and even Canada, but not here. Also, there are some rumors that the beer may start to be imported here in the future, so just keep your eyes open.
- Kilkenny is first a formost a nitro beer, alot like Guiness. This gives it a nice creamy mouthfeel and large head.
- The taste is rather well balanced, with some nice malty flavor and just a bit of bitterness from the hops. This is really kind of like Smithwicks, just a little bit better mouthfeel.
- Overall, I would give this one a try if you can get it.
Well, that is just about it for the Irish beers, being that this is the second Irish beer series that we have done within the last 4 months. Next week a new series, one completely focused on Unibroue. So tune in.