I will be the first to admit that certain beers get me excited. There is nothing like a quality beer, and nowadays there are many different brands and styles to choose from. Something magical happens though, when multiple brands come together to produce a limited, special brew for a special time. Thanks to this being Cincinnati Beer Week, that time is now.
Cincinnati Beer Week is a celebration of the libation. Running from Feb. 2nd to the 9th, many local venues and local breweries are participating to make this inaugural year a week to remember. And what would a beer week be without a special beer? So in the true fashion of collaboration, all of the major players in the Cincinnati beer arena came together with the common goal, to make a beer for this special week. Enter the Barleywine Ale:
Today I was lucky enough to stop by the Mt. Carmel Brewing Company on my way to drop off my wife’s lunch at her workplace. I will admit, if you are not paying attention, you will drive right by the brewhouse. It was very cool to see where one of my favorite brands was made, and to chat a bit with some of the nice folks there. After filling my growler, and picking up a pint glass, I was out the door to head home.
Barleywines are interesting beers, and this one is no exception. Poured out of the growler into my glass, it gives you the ruby coloration that Barleywines are known for. Once in the glass, the smell of this beer is gorgeous, hitting you with sweet fruit, some citrus, and balanced with the smell of hops. The smell reminded me of Great Divide’s Old Ruffian a tiny bit, due to the hops. When the beer hits the taste buds though, all of those scents come together to make an amazing flavor. The beer has a sweet taste, which flows nicely with the hop bitterness, a bit of vanilla in there, and the alcohol finishes it up quite nicely with a warming sensation. I have not found an alcohol content on this one yet, but I am sure that it is quite high. This beer finishes, and makes you wish you had another. Luckily, I bought a 64oz. growler.
So take all of the craft beer companies in one city, put them into a room, and give them the goal to make a beer for one week, the inaugural Beer Week. For some reason, I keep getting the mental picture of the council scene from the “Lord of the Rings” where all of the factions are deciding what to do/how to get rid of the ring. Except all of the members in the roundtable are beer Gandalfs, super wise to the craft of beer making, and the quest at hand is a Barleywine quest. Be sure to look for this beer in your own travels, especially during this special week here in the Cincinnati area. I will be buying some more, and I suggest you do too before it is all gone.
Now if only I could find a bottle or two to put away in my cellar…
Be sure to check out these links:
Cincinnati Beer Week
Mt. Carmel Brewing
Red Ear Brewing
Rock Bottom Brewery
Cheers, and happy Beer Week!
Yesterday’s installment of the month of biking brought out some friends for a night ride. Unseasonal warm temperatures made the evening bearable, so lots of miles were thrown down. Lots of time on the Little Miami:
A ride mapped on 12/14/2011
Find more Cycling Routes / Bike Rides in Milford, OH
Once off of the trail, we did some beer sampling with some of this season’s staples, 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat, and Moerlein’s Christkindl. Great way to end the evening, beer and stories in the garage.
When you think of Cincinnati, does beer come to mind? I would guess not, but in all actuality, it should. This city has a rich German heritage that fueled a massive beer industry in the 1800s. Sadly, most of the breweries did not survive prohibition. One of those breweries that died off but came back was the Christian Moerlein Brewing company.
Christian Moelein was a German immigrant who arrived in the area in 1841 after growing up in Bavaria. If you know anything about beer, you probably know that Bavaria is the place to be for a good brew. Reinheitsgebot anyone? Moerlein knew a thing or two about it, and started up his own brewery here in the area in 1853, which it ran until prohibition, and came back in 1981. The Moerlein company that we know of today came about in 2004. Since then, they have been putting themselves back on the craft beer map, and this beer is one of my favorites of the season. Enter the Christkindl Winter Warmer:
Winter beers are supposed to be a little spicy, and from the last few beer posts, you are probably getting that by now. This beer is heavier on the malts than the spices though, which is not a bad thing at all. The beer has a subtle sweetness, mixed with a mild carbonation, and a hint of spices, that makes this a Cincinnati classic. This is one of my favorite seasonal beers, not my favorite overall, but a solid brew. This is also not the heaviest of the Winter Warmers that I have tried, at only around 6.95% ABV, but this beer is very easy to drink. And by easy to drink you can put down a few before you realize it. Sometimes Moerlein can be hit or miss with me, but with this beer and their Saengerfest Maibock, they make me a believer in the brand.
Good things coming in the future for Moerlein. The Moerlein Lager House will be a brand new microbrewery and restaurant on the Ohio River. I read not long ago that they will have around 100 historic Cincinnati beer recipes at their disposal to experiment with to make your beer experience that much more exciting. It is supposed to open in 2012, which cannot come soon enough! I think Mr. Moerlein would be excited himself.
If you haven’t already, check out their website.