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The Beer Hunter’s Report is something new I am going to try. In the Beer Hunter’s Report, I will report on what new beers are available each week (in the Denver area, of course). I won’t post every week, especially those weeks when there are no interesting beers being released or lack of information from my sources. Also, look for the Beer Hunter’s Report to be updated throughout the weekend as I find out more.
So here’s this week’s report:
- Firestone Walker §ucaba (formerly Abacus) – I had no heads up this was coming, very last minute. Early reports are this will be very limited in Denver and will go fast. Tip: One store in the area will have the local FW reps at the store and will also release XV and some other goodies…
- Dogfish Head Noble Rot – At least there seems to be more of this available in Denver than §ucaba, but still pretty limited. Also note that Tweason’ale is out there, although this one might not be that highly sought after.
- Avery Récolte Sauvage and Muscat d’Amour – Note that these are being released from the brewery in Boulder on Saturday (Feb 11th) only. Very rare, 6 limit per person, might not make it to shelves and probably won’t make it out of state.
- Russian River Pliny the Younger – First keg in Denver is being released this Saturday, Feb 11th @ 1 PM at Falling Rock. Not a bottled beer, but a rare enough and highly sought after beer for me to mention here. I might forego this year since I had copious amounts last year, time for someone else to try it. Or maybe I’ll sneak a taste…we’ll see.
Today is the last day of 2011. It was a great beer year for me, here are some of the highlights:
I reached 500 beers on Untappd this year, achieving the “Legendary” badge. An awesome accomplishment considering I am a father of 3 and don’t drink that much during the week. Of course, Murphy’s Law kicked in, and only days after I achieved Legendary status on Untappd, they went and created two more badges; one for 1000 beers and one for 2500 beer. Goals for 2012 and beyond, I guess…
I’ve been going to the Great American Beer Festival for about 15 years now. When I moved to Colorado in 1997, I started attending the GABF and have attended almost every year since. But this year was the first year I took full advantage of the GABF and the events surrounding it. My brother and his friend came out, we went to the Rare Beer tasting, attended lots of events around Denver and stayed at a hotel in Denver. This has started a new annual tradition. My brother and his friend will come out to Denver from Florida every year from now on, and my Dad and some other family friends are even coming out in 2012. A new family tradition has begun.
Pliny the Younger
I finally tried Pliny the Younger (PtY)…a beer that some consider the best beer in the world. PtY eluded me for many years, but this year I finally caught it and drank 3 glasses. Admittedly, while I think it was a great beer, I think the experience and excitement of the release was greater than the beer itself.
My cellar is growing. At the beginning of 2011, I had maybe 5 beers in my cellar. I now have 40, and have plans to grow it to 100 by the end of 2012.
I started out with my own blog which had a major identity crisis. I was asked to join Brewing Some Fun which allowed me to focus on beer blogging much more. I also started writing for Drunk & Unemployed, a fun blog that allowed me to venture into writing outside of beer. I finally settled on The Beer Whisperer, the blog you are now reading. This blog is allowing me to focus my writing the way I want to do it. I introduced the “Anti-Review”, which is a work in progress and allows me to tell the world what I think about beers in an unstructured way. I don’t write often, usually once per month, but I like it this way.
Spreading the Word
I have introduced a number of people, about a dozen, to Dry Dock Brewing Co, and some of them now go there regularly. I also have 2 friends that I am getting into craft beer pretty hardcore. Soon, they will be like me…
I joined Crooked Stave’s Cellar Reserve Society. Even though this should be more of a 2012 accomplishment, I did join in 2011. I am so, so, so looking forward to the releases from Crooked Stave…I can’t wait!
In general, I have grown as a beer connoisseur. I no longer consider myself “just a beer drinker”. Taste and experience is now more important to me than “the buzz”. I have become a beer hunter, tracking down exactly what I want. I have become a beer traveler, seeking out new beer and new experiences in every city to which I travel. I have become a beer trader. A beer gifter. A true beer lover.
Hey Beer Whisperer, how about some “best of” lists?
No. Seriously, I cannot choose the best beers I had this year. I had many, many great beers this year. So many different styles and so many exciting beers, no single beer stands out. Sure, I can name a dozen of the best tasting beers and beer experiences, but that’s not how I roll. Like music, my mood, setting, the people I’m with, and so many other factors come into place when deciding what I like best. But feel free to check out my Untappd feed from the past year and ask me what I thought of beer X.
I’m looking forward to 2012…but not sure it can top 2011. It was a great beer year!
I like cooking with beer and have come up with some great recipes. I believe in cooking low and slow, and this always applies when I cook with beer. I usually use beer to braise meat and vegetables for hours. With the snow and cold weather last night, I decided to make some beer chili with Oskar Blues Ten FIDY.
- 1 lb ground organic bison
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups various peppers, chopped (your choice, depends on how hot you want it. I used green, yellow and red bell peppers and jalapenos)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 can of Ten FIDY
- 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1.5 tsp of chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1 can kidney beans
- (please note, I’m the type of cook that does everything by eye, so most of the measurements above are estimates and guidelines…follow your taste!)
Start by heating up the oil on medium heat in a large pot. Add ground bison and onion and lightly brown. Add all other ingredients except corn and beans. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add corn and beans and let simmer 20 more minutes uncovered. Ready to eat. I like to add hot sauce and cheese on the top of mine.
And the taste? Phenomenal. I thought it was absolutely delicious. I think the addition of the Ten FIDY adds a smoky, roasty flavor that’s out of this world. Even my wife, who doesn’t like it when I use beer in cooking, went for seconds and is having some of the leftovers for lunch today. Bam!
The protagonist of the show and movie “The Horse Whisperer” is described as a “talented trainer with a remarkable gift for understanding horses“. I’ve been described by some of my neighbors and friends as being, “The Beer Whisperer”. I suppose I am a “talented drinker with a remarkable gift for understanding beer“.
I tend to agree with them.
- I ALWAYS talk about beer. Yes, I talk about other things but I brighten up and get all chatty when beer becomes the subject.
- I ALWAYS post about beer. On Twitter. On Facebook. Everywhere.
- I know a lot about beer. A LOT.
- I can taste things in beer that others either cannot, or never realized.
- I have tried many, many beers. I love them all.
- If I could quit my job and do whatever I wanted right now, I would open something beer related. Like a beer bar or brewpub.
- I seek out rare, hard to find beers. When I travel, I always try to drink locals only (if/when possible).
- I read books about beer. I read magazines about beer. I read the interwebs about beer. I read about beer all the time.
- I buy and try new beer every week. No really…every. single. week.
I have had other blogs before, but I hope to make this one different by not taking things so damn serious. No beer reviews, at least not the traditional type. Mine will be called “AntiReviews”. What this means is, I will tell you about the beer, what I like about it, but will not give aroma/taste/mouthfeel/etc comments. And I will not give grades or ratings. There are too many sites out there that already do that, so I will just tell you, “Mmmm, this is fucking good”. (maybe a little more than that).
I will also be trying to talk about Beer in Society. How people react to those of us fascinated with beer. How we are treated by the “non-believers”, the “unconverted”. How we are viewed by the media. What are the results of trying to introduce and educate about craft beer. And so on.
Finally, I will discuss events and news that I see fit.
Please come back, check it out and have fun.