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!