We are smack in the middle of the annual Beer Bloggers Conference and while most thoughts will be recorded later, it is time for the signature “live beer blogging” event — “You will taste ten beers from ten breweries in 50 minutes, each of whom has five minutes to pour and explain their beer while you taste, judge, and write your views on your social media or blog – live!”
I’ve live-blogged this at the previous two conferences attended, so here we go again! I’ll be writing, updating, writing, updating. And tasting beer of course. Also follow the Instagram feed for the imagery as well.
Saltwater Brewery, Screamin’ Reels IPA: All of their beer is ocean-themed. Columbus and Summit hops, 7% abv and 75 IBUs. Hoppy, a bit of a piney hop character, sweet malts. Nice American IPA with a bit of malt-forward characters.
St. Pete Brewing, McCracken Scottish Ale, 5.5% abv and 14 IBUs. Nicely clear amber brown. Great nose, malty sweet with a hint of leather and roast. Same for flavor—malty, finishes a touch dry, good roast and brown malt levels.
Crooked Thumb Brewery, Florida Grapefruit Gose. White grapefruit peel, used on hot side in the boil and during fermentation. Crackery nose, thin, slightly sweaty citrus peel. Super light bodied, a bitter(ish) sea salt character along with the lacto prickling the side of the tongue. Tart character is a bit herbal (from the grapefruit peels?).
Terrapin Beer Company, Watermelon Gose. 4.3% abv and 7 IBUs. Another gose! Terrapin’s “first tart beer without training wheels.” Watermelon rind all up in the aroma, earthy and fresh. The flavor is exactly the amount of salt I want to taste, and the fresh, fresh watermelon character reminds me of pickled watermelon rind. This one is a winner!
Cigar City Brewing, Decoherence. 12.8% abv. Imperial porter in bourbon barrels, 50% — imperial stout in brandy barrels make up the other 50%, with coconut and coffee. Boozy, chocolate, almond, coconut, like an Almond Joy candy bar in a glass with a generous boozy bourbon character. Coffee comes out in a sweet Turkish style. This is an amazing beer.
Update: Lack of wi-fi connectivity basically dropped the last half of the event, so I was unable to finish live at the time. So most of what I’ve added below is after the fact (sad trombone).
Sierra Nevada Brewing, Otra Vez. 4.5% abv and 4 IBUs. Third gose! This style might be catching on. I’ve had this before, it’s a good example of the (American) style, salty and lighter than the Watermelon Gose we just had but crisp and a great hot weather drinker.
JDUB’s Brewing, Bell Cow Milk Chocolate Porter. Punctuated by the brewer/owner wearing a cow costume, complete with udders that people felt compelled to squeeze. The beer itself is tasty, chocolatey, mellow, and desserty. (“Strong” descriptors, I know.) More of a brown ale than a porter to my taste, but fantastic milk chocolate aroma with the dessert chaser.
New Belgium Brewing, Citradelic IPA. I’ve had this before, and it’s just as good once again. Orange and clear in appearance, with a beautiful orange cream candy nose. It’s bitter up front without astringency, and a lightly puckery orange peel character.
Lagunitas Brewing, IPA. Honestly I was disappointed with this pick, as I think I just read somewhere that Lagunitas IPA is the top-selling IPA in the country and after following many of the special beers today, just bringing your IPA just seems odd. The rep claimed this beer is brewed with 43 hops and 65 malts… really. (I have very strong doubts about this myself.) It’s fine as an IPA, many people like it, citrusy hops with a mild bitterness.
Florida Beer Company, Florida Lager. This was a good finish for me, a clean, grainy lager that reminded me of a Pre-Prohibition style. Amber-orange and clear as crystal. Aroma is full of malts that aren’t-but-are corny, along with an older (Old World?) hop character. In taste it’s grainy and sweet, and definitely reminds me of a Pre-Pro lager. Drinkable and good for hot weather.