Saturday, November 7, 2009

Breweries Collaboarate; The Bavarian Lodge Celebrates!

Collaboration beers are really gaining popularity in the brewing world. Two great breweries get together and collaborate on one special brew. Rarely does this result in a bad beer, my friends, and we have some very special collaborations to share with you in the coming months.  Most recently we featured a collaboration beer brewed by Hans-Peter Drexler (of Germany's Schneider Brewery) and Garrett Oliver (of Brooklyn Brewery). Schneider Brooklyner Hopfen-Weiss, is a hop-heavy weissbier with tons of suspended hop particles and 8.2% alcohol by volume to boot.  Notably, this was the first time Schneider had allowed an outside brewmaster to collaborate with them in their 400 year history.  We're glad they opened the door to him too, because a thing of beauty was most certainly created.  We're actually hoping to bring you a few more kegs of this fine brew before the year is out... we'll see if we can get our hands on them.  Coming very soon, we have a very limited release collaboration between Dirk Naudts (of Belgium's De Proef) and John Mallett (of Bell's Brewery).  These two got together to brew "Van Twee" a 7.5% abv Dark Ale that uses both Belgian and American ingredients, namely dark Belgian candi sugar and sour dark Michigan cherries.  The end result is a Dark Belgian Ale that falls somewhere between a dubbel and a porter infused with fresh sour cherries.  We can't wait to try it, and we've been lucky enough to get a keg of it to share with you on draft very soon. Last, but most certainly not least, we're going to introduce you to two phenomenal breweries that have collaborated on a remarkably special brew. We're so excited about this one that we're going to throw a party to celebrate its release. Scotland's Brewdog Brewing Company and California's Stone Brewing Company have collaborated on "Bashah" an 8.6% abv, Black Belgian Double IPA. This will be released on draft at The Bavarian Lodge on Thursday Dec. 10th during our Brewdog / Stone "Bashah" Release Party.  In addition to the featured collaboration brew on tap, we're going to bring you a very special gravity-fed cask of Brewdog's "Paradox: Isle of Arran". This is a rare 10% abv Imperial Stout that's aged in single malt Scotch barrels from the Isle of Arran distillery. Even more interesting, is that these oak barrels were used to aged sherry before they were used for the single malt Scotch, so the flavors it imparts are quite complex.  In addition to these two remarkably rare brews, we will be featuring a few more offerings from Brewdog... more details will be released on our website as the date gets closer. Ah yes, finally something from Stone in Illinois... is this a sign of more good things to come?  We certainly hope so.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Metropolitan Brewing Company & More...

Last night we hosted an event with Chicago's Metropolitan Brewing Company.  The owners of the brewery, Doug and Tracy Hurst, were both there to meet every one and hand out samples of their three fine German-style brews.  It was a total pleasure having the two of them there.  You can tell they're proud of what they're doing and we're happy to get their beer in front of our customers.  They're both very cool, down to earth, genuine people... I sincerely wish them the best with their new brewery.  It's really interesting that they're brewing Germanic style session beers when so many craft brewers are trying to amp their brews to the moon, creating 13% skull crushers to out do each other.  Of course, we like those skull-crushers too, but it's very cool to see something else being done.  There is a need for a good session beer sometimes, and there's nothing like an ultra fresh Munich-style lager to go with a hearty meal.

Speaking of brewery owners visiting our place, we had the distinct honor of being visited by Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield a couple weeks ago.  Don and Wendy founded Brewery Ommegang in 1997. (The brewery was bought by Duvel-Moortgaat in 2003.)  Though Ommegang is no longer theirs, they are still in the beer business and import a fine portfolio of Belgian and French beers, all from family-owned breweries.  Don was instrumental in introducing Belgian beer to the United States, and his passion for it is amazing.  If you ever get a chance to talk to him about beer, I highly suggest you do so.   We feature several of the beers in their portfolio in bottles and on draft from time to time.  Their selections include Scaldis, Moinette, Saison DuPont, DuPont Foret, and more.  We're looking forward to hosting a beer dinner with Don & Wendy sometime next year.  It's something we've been looking to do for some time, and I think their portfolio will be a great way to start our very first series of beer dinners.

We're working on more beer centered events coming up soon.  The coming months should bring around some great events including some truly rare beers from Port & Lost Abbey, Tyranena, and a special release party for a collaboration beer brewed between Scotland's Brewdog & California's Stone Brewing Company.  Be sure to stay tuned for more info on that one.  Looks like we might have a gravity fed cask from these guys as well.  Anything related to Stone Brewing Co in Illinois is alright with us, and the fine brews of Scotland's Brewdog Brewing Company shouldn't be overlooked either.  It's gonna be killer....