Bowling and a Surprise Appearance

Prior to bowling, we all met up and had a few beers to get the night started!

I had the La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue of Quebec, Canada at 9% abv.

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This beer is fantastic! Its technically a triple, but I find it not quite like Belgian triples. Moderate, effervescent carbonation, sweet citrus and grapes, not hoppy. Its not heavy feeling, but a good creamy mouthfeel and quite smooth.

Still had a few more of Cocoa Porter by Tommyknocker Brewery in the fridge that I brought along.

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And then we were off to the lanes! Where I managed to have so much fun and cheap, shitty beer that I forgot to pull out my camera! But I promise we bowled! I even scored over 100 on the first game!

The best part of the night was that Joe and Parrish showed up and surprised us! They both live out of town in southern VA and Michigan, so it was a treat to have them out with us! To make the most of their visit we headed out to the Bilbo Baggins in Old Town after bowling to have a few more beers!

The BB has a decent sized beer list, nice décor, and great food!

I ordered the Liefman’s Goudenband by Brouwerij Liefman’s at 8% abv. Even though I’ve had it before, I had to get it again! Up until now, I’ve only seen this beer offered in the large 750ml bottles which force you to split it with someone. Splitting is not something I mind, but finding someone who wants to split it can be. I believe it was a bottle size larger than a 330ml.

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It’s a Flanders Red Ale, so right off the bat I know that means it will be a sour beer. Lightly acidic, soft notes vinegar, tart cherries, vanilla, and earthy funk. A very well-done beer, complex for the style. Satisfying and dry.

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What a fun night! I’m just so happy we got to see our out of town friends and got a chance to go to the Bilbo Baggins!

New Year’s Eve

A very belated Happy New Year’s!! At least I’m finally on to 2013 posts!!

Look at us being all classy with out plastic champagne flutes!

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We had a small get together for New Year’s, nothing too fancy. We didn’t really feel like going out big so I invited over a bunch of friends who felt the same way!

The one really interesting beer that I had that night was the Tokyo Black Porter by Yo-Ho Brewing Company of Nagano-ken Kitasaga-gun, Japan at 5% abv.

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I had read good reviews of this beer and was excited but skeptical. It seems like Japan has a lot of potential to make good beer, but hasn’t in the past. The Hitachino beers aren’t that bad, in fact I really liked one or two that I tried. But I can honestly say this beer blew me away. It surpassed all my expectations!

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Not only was this a good porter for Japan, but it was a good porter in general! Roasted malts, a nice mix between light sweetness and bitter semi-sweet dark chocolate. Vanilla and a creamy. Very well done. I now have a new favorite Japanese brewery! Now I can begin obsessively to pursue their other beers to try!

And of course I had another (we had quite of few of them in the fridge) Cocoa Porter by Tommynocker Brewery of Idaho Springs, CO at 5.7% abv.

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One of the highlights of the night was getting to taste the awesome cupcakes that Molly brought! They had mint Oreos inside them and vanilla-peppermint icing! I wish I could make them myself! They were gourmet!

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We also got to try some of Andrew’s homebrew! Andrew and Kristen, who recently moved away to Boston, brought some of their homebrew for us to sample! They brought an IPA and a pumpkin ale. Surprisingly smooth and full flavored!

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I hope you have a very good new year! I’m looking forward to continuing to try new beers!

Venturing out to the Windber Hotel

After Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to meet up with Cindy and Frank for some drinks! They live in the next town over, Windber, and we decided to go out there since they always come to town to see us!

I’ve heard so much about the Windber Hotel and I was excited to finally check it out! It really used to be an old hotel and was built in 1897.

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The bar ambiance was awesome. Lots of heavy carved, wood furniture. And a pretty decent beer selection!

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I’m very excited about winter/ Christmas beers being in season! So I started off the night with the 2XMAS by Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, NY at 8% abv.

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Nice holiday/ winter spicing. Nutmeg, cloves, caramel. Light citrus, orange peel. Darker fruits, plums and figs. A nice hearty medium mouthfeel. And hints of licorice. Decent, but probably not stand out in this category compared to some of my favorites. But I’ll never turn down a Christmas beer!

Later I spied in the beer cooler another beer I’ve never had that seemed promising. The Cocoa Porter by Tommyknocker Brewery of Idaho Springs, Colorado at 5.7% abv.

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Fairly strong cocoa presence. Somewhat bitter and dry. Not bad though, but not like creamy milk chocolate. Hints of vanilla, and I liked that it did not have a coffee taste to it. Not stand out, but very drinkable.

And to finish off the night I decided to go with a lighter beer, the Sofie by Goose Island of Chicago, IL at 6.5% abv.

Don’t worry, no beer was spilled! It looks close though the way I’m holding the glass!

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Quite bubbly! Almost champagne-like. Soft tart citrus flavors. Slightly sour and herbal. Floral and peppery. Such a delightful and refreshing beer. An easy drinking Saison beer but it has enough going on to keep you intrigued.