Thursday, December 19, 2013

What's Tappening! 12.19.13

This series is devoted to new beers on tap at KC Hopps locations.  The updates will be regular.  If trying new beers is what you're into, check out these new brews.

Barleys Shawnee

Boulevard Saison-Brett ABV: 8.5%
Foeder Projekt 1 ABV: 6.9% - Sour Ale
Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout ABV: 11%
New Belgium Le Terroir ABV: 7.5% - Sour Ale
Ommegang Game of Thrones #2 – Take the Black Stout ABV: 7%
Odell Celastrina – 7.5% ABV: Saison
Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout ABV: 6.9%
Rogue Double Chocolate Stout ABV: 8.7%
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout ABV: 14.9%


Barley's Leawood

Mothers Old School Marzen ABV: 5.5%

Abita Macchiato Expresso Milk Stout ABV: 6%

Boulevard Nutcracker Ale ABV: 6.8%

Founders All Day IPA ABV: 4.7%

Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale ABV: 8.5%

Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale ABV: 5.4%

Founders Oatmeal Stout Nitro ABV: 4.4%

Founders Backwoods Bastard ABV: 10.2%

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CAT got your tongue

Do you feel left out at parties when the resident beer geek starts sharing his wisdom using terms like SRM, IBU, and specific gravity?  He describes a beer using words like toffee notes, summit hops, and yeasty.  The crowd hangs on his every word.  Ladies love him and guys want to be him.  He has beer acumen… ale charisma… lager chutzpa.  He’s got it.  You want it.  Or, ultimately, you just want to be able to speak “more edumacatedly” about beer.  Your pastime has developed from fun, to a hobby, and now to an obsession.

Tasting, enjoying, and describing beer is like studying any art form.  You can’t pick the concert violinist who’s slightly off pitch out of the entire orchestra unless you’ve got a trained ear.  A sculpture museum just isn’t fun, unless you know a little something about sculpture and the process.  Even a baseball game requires some basic foreknowledge if you plan to fully enjoy it.  

Do not fret my friends.  Follow this easy step guide to beer knowledge freedom.

Step 1: Drink with people who know and love beer!
Beer buddies who are serious about beer will get you further than any self directed study.  Host a beer tasting party.  Usually they’ll bring new and exciting beers to try and everyone is focused on the task at hand.  Once someone tries a beer and says they taste banana bread, you are much more likely to pick up that flavor.  Eventually your brain makes the connections.  Next time you taste that flavor, you are more likely to recognize it.  Yeah, it’s called learning.     

Step 2: Think before you drink!
This isn’t an ad against drunk driving (although I am against that.)  What I mean is you can’t just slam down the beer like a college frat boy.  Yes, beer should be enjoyed and not feel like homework.  But if you want to learn about it you need to put in some effort on the front end.  Read the freaking label.  What does the brewer say about the beer?  Do they list the different hops or malts involved?  What’s the alcohol content?  Where is the brewery and what style is this?  Learning these basics will help you a long way on your quest.

Step 3: Read about beer!
I subscribe to at least one beer magazine at a time.  Currently I’m reading “Draft” magazine and I really like it.  They give you insights and sneak peaks into upcoming products, and what’s hot now.  I also enjoy reading about the brewing process as I attempt my home brews.  This gives you the more technical aspect of beer.  I also highly recommend you join and continue to read a blog.  BeerforwardKC for instance.  And how about following the blog and posting the occasional comment instead of just voyeuring all the time?  Just sayin.      

Step 4: Put the CAT to use.
This acronym helps you break down the components of a beer.  There are layers upon layers within these categories, but this is where you want to begin.  Whenever you describe a beer, describe these three components of the beer: Color, Aroma, and Taste.  And don’t just mail it in.  Uhh.. yellow, smells like beer and  taste likes beer.  That’s not gonna cut it anymore.  Time to grow up.  Use more distinct descriptors, like you would when writing poetry.  Huh!?  Yeah, I said poetry.  This is an art form after all and you’ll sound smarter.

Color words can be like – honey, caramel, russet red, root beer, amber, chestnut, deep red, apricot, orange, burnt auburn, garnet, ruby, copper wire, and deep gold.   

Aroma could be described as - grainy, corn-like, hay, straw, graham cracker, biscuity, caramel, toast, espresso, burnt, tobacco, gunpowder, leather, pine, or fresh cut grass.

Taste expresses itself as - roasted, bready, bitter herb, candy sweet, spicy, fruity, chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee bean, malty, tart, subtle, woodsy, earthy, warming, hearty, or even sulfuric.

Voila!  You’re now the guy everybody texts when they’re at the beer store and want to impress someone.   Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“Don’t Hassel the Hops” –David Hasselhopp   

Monday, November 4, 2013

Beermosa to the Rescue

So your girlfriend slash wife is making you go to or "god-forbid" host a brunch.  What's a self-respectin', brat-lovin', football watchin', toilet seat leavin' upin' manly man supposed to do?  Make this suggestion and you can not only enjoy but impress.

Make beermosas!

They have just the right touch of class.  They are trendy.  And you can keep your dignity while drinking one.

Here's the recipe:
12oz of any Belgian Wit.  Blue moon will do in a pinch, but Wittekerke or Hoegaarden are far better options.
3-4oz of pulp free OJ.  Might be a good idea to splurge a little here.  Tropicana isn't that much more.
Finally a splash of any berry lambic.  Lindeman's Framboise, or Timmerman's Strawberry work great.
A quick alternative is any 12oz raspberry wheat and 3-4 oz of OJ.  The best is a growler of 75th Street's raspberry wheat but Shocktop will do if you don't have time to stop by the brewery. 

Ladies will love it and you get the satisfaction of knowing you are still drinking a beer.  
Goes great with prosciutto chanterelle quiche, egg and Gruyere tartlets, and croissants with berry yogurt spread!
If she's making you go to a brunch - suggest 75th street Brewery or any of the Barley's.  We have a beermosa on the menu!

Now you fellas owe me one.

“Don’t Hassel the Hops” –David Hasselhopp

What's Tappening! 11.04.13

75th Street Brewery

Up All Nitro Porter

This robust porter has a smooth roasted malt flavor with subtle chocolate undertones. By adding over 10 pounds of coffee to this beer it gives you the perfect pick up for any occasion.  Finished off with a milky smoothness that comes from the nitrogen pour.  Taps at 5pm on November 8th!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Real Great Pumpkin

Here’s a fun fall idea for your Halloween party or even for having some friends over to watch the game.  Make a pumpkin keg!  There are plenty of great web searches that can teach you how to make one.  While the kids are making their silly or scary faced pumpkin, you can be making your adult version.  I mean, what else says family like beer?  All you really need in addition to carving tools is a pumpkin, a spigot, and an appropriate fall brew.  I really like Freestate’s Oktoberfest if you are into local beer.  Don’t get a pumpkin ale as the pumpkin flavor could get too intense.  Also best to use a brown or darker style beer.  You basically pour bottles into the hollowed out pumpkin.  Make sure you have plenty of room in the fridge to keep it cold until your guests arrive. 
Now look at you getting all crafty!     

Tossed this clever pic below in just for laughs!
“Don’t Hassel the Hops” –David Hasselhopp   

What's Tappening! 09.24.13

This series is devoted to new beers on tap at KC Hopps locations.  The updates will be regular.  If trying new beers is what you're into, check out these new brews.

Barley's Leawood - Left Hand Oktoberfest, Goose Island Matilda Lambicus, Mother's Old School Oktoberfest

Barley's Midland - New Belgian Lips of Faith Yuzu, Goose Island Matilda Lambicus

75th - Still a little 20th anniversary Imperial Stout left, Alt Schule - Old German Ale

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's Tappening! 08.26.13

This series will be devoted to new beers on tap at KC Hopps locations.  The updates will be regular.  If trying new beers is what you're into, check out these new brews.

Barley’s Brewhaus Shawnee KS – Stone Brewery “Enjoy by 09.13.13" IPA, Freestate Octoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest
Barley's Brewhaus Overland Park KS - Stone Brewery “Enjoy by 09.13.13" IPA, Bear Republic Black Racer 5, Schlafly Pumpkin ale, Export IPA, Rogue Morimoto imperial pilsner, Spaten Optimator and Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Oktoberfest
Barley's Brewhaus Leawood KS - Stone Brewery “Enjoy by 09.13.13" IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Lost Cost Tangerine Wheat, Deschutes Black Butte XXV, Deschutes Class of 88' Imperial Smoked Porter, Sierra Nevada Beer Camp: Bloodshot Imperial Red , Sierra Nevada Beer Camp: Sleight of Hand Belgian Black IPA, Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel , Anchor Liberty Ale, Freestate Octoberfest  
7th Street Brewery - Cowtown Unfiltered Wheat

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fantasy Draught

In lieu of the upcoming Football season, let’s do a fantasy “Draught?”  Instead of picking QBs, RBs, WRs and other stars of the Gridiron, we will be selecting beers!  Pretend you are opening a beer pub in a beer savvy neighborhood.  This pub will need to dominate the competition and lead you to hop laden glory, dripping with the smell of sweet malty victory.  You have ten taps and ten taps only.  You have to take great care and preparation in selecting just the right team of brews.  Heavy hitting stouts, veteran ales, quick footed lagers, and sleeper brews must all be in your calculations to draft the perfect draughts.  To make my selections, I’ve enlisted the help of some proven beer dudes.  Major beer geeks and geekettes from around the KC Hopps company have been polled to create our list. 

Think you can do better?  Back up your smack and comment with your team.

Round 1) Deschutes Black Butte Porter – This is my first round pick.  The one I want to carry me throughout the season.  99 point rating flagship beer!  Strong and appealing!

Round 2) Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus Classic Doppelbock – This is like the veteran QB.  14% alcohol and very rare with tremendous aging potential.  Great for Keeper leagues.

Round 3) North Coast Schrimshaw - This lager is like my workhorse running back.  Lots of touches equals loads of production.  It will satisfy the masses looking for a refreshing quaff.

Round 4) Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale – This is my flashy Wide Receiver.  It has a big mouth and the skills to back it up.  The guy you hate if he’s not on your team.  Jealous much?

Round 5) Delirium Tremends Belgian Strong Pale Ale – Talk about dependability.  You can count on this one to produce week in and week out.  Three separate yeast strains create a unique flavor that produces consistently high ratings.

Round 6) 75th Street Possum Trot Brown – This is my “homer” pick.  It’s my favorite beer from 75th street and it always makes me feel comfortable.  Classic brown ale style with a well balanced slight hop finish.  So food friendly!

Round 7) Boulevard Tank 7 Saison – This is my breakout player.  The “sexy” pick.  It’s a saison style that everyone just loves.  Refreshing and complex with a punch at 8.5% ABV!

Round 8) New Belgium Lips of Faith Bier de Mars – About time to draft a tight end.  Quirky, complex and specialized.  This beer has great roots and a great character with just a hint of sour.

Round 9) Goose Island Bourbon County Stout – This is my solid defense.  A bulky dense profile with cigar power and hard hitting oak.  Who doesn’t love the turnovers that are sweet as vanilla and caramel.  You won’t know what hit you.

Round 10)   Odell IPA – This is akin to my reliable kicker.  It’s an IPA everyone can enjoy.  Well liked by the team, he is surprisingly the leading scorer and great in a pinch.  Always an overtime game winner.

Sleeper pick – Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale – You’ve got to have that one new beer in your back pocket.  The secret no one else knows about yet.  You can bring it to a party and surprise people.  Classic American Pale Ale with a huge upside!     
“Don’t Hassel the Hops” –David Hasselhopp

Friday, August 9, 2013

Whats Tappening! 08.09.13

This series will be devoted to new beers on tap at KC Hopps locations.  The updates will be regular.  If trying new beers is what you're into, check out these new brews.
Barleys Midland Drive

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA (going fast)
Free State Blood Orange Radler
New Belgium Pumpkick

20 years at 75th Street!