Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ommegang to open Belgian café

This just in from Steve Barnes at The Times Union

Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown is building a new visitors pavilion; this presumably is the “state-of-the-art facility” that will contain a Belgian café mentioned in a job posting for a kitchen manager that is on Ommegang’s website. More details when I have them.

The brewery, located five miles south of Cooperstown on County Route 33, is open noon to 5 p.m. daily for tours.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Que Syrah Syrah

Golden Ticket Baltic Porter.
Golden ticket is an opaque dark brown lager with big roasted-malt flavor with notes of raisin, and milk chocolate.  This Baltic Porter is profoundly smooth with a full, flavorful body, making it both drinkable and satisfying with slight hop presence and clean finish.
Taproom 20th Anniversary Ale. 
Taproom 20th is a hoppy golden ale with a surprising light body. A mild fruity aroma barely hints at the flavorful, resinous American hops inside. This easy drinking beer finishes slightly sweet with a moderate hop bite.

Juniper Black Ale.
This dark russet-colored beer has an intricate aroma of roasted malt and fruity esters, with a touch of resinous pine note from the use of juniper berries. The flavor is deep and complex with an upfront sweetness and flavors of dark baking chocolate, which give way to a dry finish from a mixture of hops, and a mild touch of juniper. Juniper Black Ale is very drinkable and perfect for a cold winter night.
Old Cantankerous
Old Cantankerous is an interesting example of the nearly extinct Stock Ale style of beer. It is full-bodied with sweet malt aromas reminiscent of raisin and toffee. The flavor is rich with complex malts with notes of caramelized sugar and toasted walnuts. This English-style ale is clean and balanced with a restrained hop finish.

This classic West-Coast style India Pale Ale is loaded with pronounced citrus and grapefruit rind hop notes with a hint of sweet malt in the aroma. The smooth malt flavor is backed by an assertive hop character from generous amounts of "new-school" aromatic hops including the Amarillo and Simcoe varieties used during dry hopping. This bold and aggressive IPA remains drinkable and will keep you coming back for more.
During a recent visit to Germany, our brewers had the good fortune to meet with the hefeweizen masters at the Brauerei Fritz Gutmann. Last fall the Gutmann brewers returned the visit, and while they were here, brewed up an exceptional Weizenbock beer. This Weizenbock is a strong hefeweizen with pronounced banana and clove aromas with layers of complex malt flavor.

Biggar Beer.
Made with our malt growers from Biggar, Saskatchewan, this golden ale is a perfect session beer—medium bodied, and perfectly balanced. Mild sweetness and delicate malt flavor play smoothly against an understated backbone of hops, offering a dry finish and superb drinkability.

Hellraiser—Chocolate Chili Imperial Stout.
This massive Imperial Stout is infused with cocoa and dried ancho chilies. Rich and complex aromas, heavy with roasted grains, mask the layers of flavor within. Notes of bittersweet chocolate, mocha, and a mild smokiness give way to a tingling and complex finish from the influence of the peppers.

Que Syrah, Syrah—Syrah Barrel-Aged Brown Saison.
Our unique saison, spiced with star anise, curaco orange peel, and juniper, and aged for 8-months in French oak barrels used to mature syrah wine.  This beer has layers of delicate flavors and complexity that a modest period of barrel-aging has made even more refined and interesting. The dry straw-like finish with fruity top notes of spice and farmhouse yeast character, blends well with the tannic fruitiness of the wine, combined with a mild tartness, and earthy character from native yeasts living in the barrel. This is one of only two kegs produced at the brewery at this time, with the remainder of the barrel continuing to mature.

Brandy Barrel-Aged Belgian Trippel.
Our Belgian Trippel aged for 5-months in California brandy barrels. Made with an authentic abbey-style yeast strain, our Trippel is full of flavor but surprisingly light-bodied and drinkable. A balanced beer with a mild, bready character from the malt, combined with subtle floral flavors from the use of European hops. The Belgian yeast strain produces a complex bouquet of spicy and fruity flavors and aromas. The brief barrel aging adds to the beer’s flavor and complexity with subtle notes of vanilla, and wine and a touch of a toffee finish.

Vintage 1994 Bigfoot Barleywine. 
From the brewery’s private library, this is the oldest keg of Bigfoot we have ever tapped. Extended aging of Bigfoot refines some of the barleywine’s notoriously bold character. Famously for its aggressive hopiness, vintage Bigfoot, gains more subtlety over time. As the hops fade to the background, the robust malts take over and notes of brandied cherries, dates, cocoa, leaf tobacco, and caramel come to the fore. Over time, Bigfoot becomes less of a beast and more of beauty suitable for serving as an after-dinner drink in your favorite cordial glass or snifter.

Mersey Cream Stout
Named after the Mersey River that runs through Liverpool, England this cream stout is the definition of a “session” beer—low in alcohol, light in body, and big on flavor. This ebony colored ale has a heady mix of sweet-malt and roasted coffee flavors, which offer complexity without weighing heavy on the palate.

Rhymes Wit.
Our take on a traditional Belgian Wit or “white” style of beer named for its hazy, pale straw color. This beer has interesting aromas of spicy Belgian yeast, wheat malt, and a hint of citrus. It has a silky smooth body, slight black pepper character, and a malt graininess that fades into a mild tart finish from the use of locally grown mandarin orange peels.

Dark Forces Baltic Porter
Brewed with help from our friends at Pizza Port near San Diego. This beer is a deep russet-brown with heady malty aromas. It has layers of roasty, malt-driven flavors, with notes of chocolate and smoke and hints of black cherry-like fruity highlights. The beer finishes medium-dry and is surprisingly drinkable for something so complex.

Nautilus Dry-Hopped Pilsner.
Nautilus is a Czech-style pilsner infused with dry-hopped aroma and flavor from our unique hop-torpedo process. The beer is brilliant golden in color and has an intriguing mix of malty lager-like aroma blended with light fruit-forward hop notes. It has a medium body with a touch of biscuit-like malt flavor and fruity and floral hop flavors.

Made with our Italian distributor partners, this beer is a unique European/American hybrid pale ale. Europale is a brilliant golden color, with interesting floral and grassy hop aromas. The flavors are a balanced mix of toasty malt alongside crisp and spicy noble hop flavors from the use of German Tettnanger and Spalt Select hops.
 ExPorter is a dark and mysterious brew, pitch-black in color, with a heady aroma of wood smoke, and roasted malt. The flavors are complex, but milder than the aroma suggests, with light malt sweetness, and notes of milk chocolate, molé, and caramel, balanced by a moderately full semi-dry finish.
Almond Märzen Project. 
This unusual beer is based on a traditional German-style Märzen lager, but with an added twist—the addition of locally grown almonds added during fermentation. It is a polished copper color, with delicate and sweet lager aromas. The flavor is an interesting mix of moderately sweet toasted malt, with hints of marzipan and roasted almonds coming through on the finish.

Brewed with our friends at High Sierra Music Festival, FestivAle is a beer in perfect harmony. A beautifully balanced golden ale with high notes of bright and floral hops and a driving baseline of complex but drinkable malt flavor. It's perfect for a weekend in the hills with good music and great beer.

Wood-Aged Porter.
This beer is rare barrel-aged treatment on our classic American-style Porter. It is dark chocolate brown in color, with rich, bittersweet and roasted toffee flavors enhanced with decadent notes of vanilla and toasted coconut aromas from extended aging in Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Vienna Lager
Vienna lager is our take on the classic European amber lager. It has bright reddish highlights and a pronounced bready malt aroma reminiscent of its Austrian counterparts. The flavor plays slightly toward caramel and toasted lager malt but remains balanced and drinkable with a clean finish perfect for a summer session.

Diving Blackbird Black IPA
A juxtaposition of the senses, this beer has the appearance of a dark porter but with the flavors of an American India Pale Ale. The rich ebony-brown body has a strong hop aroma with hints of orange peel combined with roasty malt aromas. The flavor is an interesting mix of resinous American hops and a light milk chocolate and slight smoky character from the dark grains. The finish speaks to IPA with a bold and bracing blast of citrusy hops. 

Ghidorah Double IPA.
An American Double IPA that is almost as formidable as its Sci-Fi monster namesake. Ghidorah is golden-amber in color, with a pronounced hop-forward presence. Grassy, resinous, and citrus-peel hops dominate the aroma. It has a significant malt body, which adds balance to the beer, but the malt quickly subsides toward a firm bitter finish.

Back Porch Lager
Made with the folks from the Telluride Blues and Brews festival, this easy-drinking lager is available exclusively at the event. Perfectly balanced flavors of malt and hops make this beer the perfect drink for all-night, back porch jam sessions and plenty of the blues. Enjoy!

Barrel-Aged Life & Limb
This new version of our sought-after collaboration brew with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton Delaware rested for 10 months in American Bourbon barrels. Barrel-Aged Life & Limb is dark mahogany-brown in color with massive aromas reminiscent of rich roasted malts, with heady notes of vanilla and toasted coconut from the oak. Round and early flavors dominate this full-bodied beer, with hints of maple, toasted pecan, and raisin.
Pro-Am Old Ale
Made with local homebrewing whiz Doug McLendon, this Old Ale is dark ebony-brown. Old Ale has aromas of dark cherry and cocoa powder with a faint whiff of hops. It features layers of roasted malt flavors with rich chocolate and plum notes and a clean, lasting, malty finish.

Hoppy Camper
Created by Taproom regulars, Hoppy Camper is an easy-drinking hoppy amber ale. This medium-bodied beer has an engaging fruity and floral aroma, anchored by sweet hints of malt. The flavor is an interesting mix of caramel-like roasted malts balanced by a solid dry and hoppy finish.

Writer’s Block
Made by influential beer industry scribes, Benj Steinman and Harry Shumacher, this hoppy golden ale should encourage creativity. Beautifully balanced toasty malt flavors work well against a crisp hoppy backbone, making this medium-bodied ale approachable, drinkable, and enjoyable. 

Knightro – Celtic Festival Beer
A fully Nitrogenated beer designed as our take on the creamy dry stouts of Ireland with a decidedly Sierra Nevada twist. Knightro is black in color but surprisingly light in body with rich caramel and chocolate malty flavors.  It has a creamy mouthfeel and gentle carbonation from the use of a high percentage of Nitrogen instead of the typical carbon dioxide.

Westnatte Lupulus
This is our take on a Belgian-style ale ramped up with plenty of whole-cone American hops. Westnatte Lupulus is copper in color with complex aromas of spicy clove, black pepper and stone fruits, from the use of a traditional Belgian yeast strain. The beer is hopped with Sierra Nevada estate-grown hops, and features some Ohio-grown Cascades from the heartland.

20th Street Ale
Once a year we release this extra special, American ale generously dosed with estate-grown Sierra Nevada hops. ESP is medium-bodied, amber in color, and packed with flavor and complexity from the use of premium malt and whole-cone hops. It has a bright flowery, citrus, and earthy flavor from the abundance of whole-cone hops, picked wet from our field adjacent to the brewery. 

Wood-Aged Old Ale:
Old Ale is a blend of Imperial Stout aged eleven-months in oak bourbon barrels, and our malty Scotch Ale. This black beer has an intense aroma of roasted malt with pronounced vanilla and toasted coconut notes from wood aging. The flavor is smooth and bittersweet, with hints of caramel, toffee, and mocha. This full-bodied beer is filled with deep, rich, and warming flavors tailor-made for wintertime enjoyment.

An old-style German hybrid ale, brewed using super-heated river stones to boil the sugary wort which encourages kettle caramelization and enhances malt complexity. Stein Alt is golden in color with an interesting toffee-like malt flavor, paired with fruity aromas and balanced by a moderate dose of whole-cone hops. Clean, complex, and amazingly drinkable.

Imperial Smoked Porter
Sierra Nevada’s Imperial Smoked Porter is a complex tapestry of rich, dark, flavors, tailor-made for the cold months of winter. Imperial Smoked Porter is dark espresso brown with a full body and strong depth of flavor. The bouquet is big, with pronounced roasted malt and hints of hardwood smokiness. The flavor is reminiscent of dark chocolate truffles that greet the palate with moderate sweetness that gives-way to a satisfying dry and warming finish.

Brown Saison
Sierra Nevada’s Brown Saison is a nod to the rustic farmhouse or “country” style beers of Belgium and France. Traditionally, Saison is brewed in the cool months of spring for enjoyment throughout the summer.  Our Brown Saison is remarkably complex from the use of roasted malt, a unique Belgian yeast strain and exotic spices including, coriander, orange peel, star anise and juniper berries.  The beer has an intriguing interplay of flavors ranging from earthy straw character and bright peppery spiciness, to deep notes of dark fruit and black currants. Brown Saison is bright and refreshing with a dry and mildly tart finish.

Belgian Trippel
Sierra Nevada’s Belgian Trippel is our interpretation of the traditional beer style invented by monks of the Trappist monasteries in Belgium.  A deep golden color, Belgian Trippel is full of flavor but surprisingly light-bodied and drinkable. A balanced beer with a mild, bready character from the malt combined with subtle floral flavors from the use of European hops. The authentic Belgian yeast strain produces a complex bouquet of spicy and fruity flavors and aromas and the use of ground coriander adds a light touch of citrus.

Imperial Oatmeal Stout:
Sierra Nevada’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout is a massive ale that is overflowing with flavor. This pitch-black brew pours thick and full with a decadent syrup-like viscosity. The aroma is profound and pronounced with a touch of rum, cocoa, coffee and loads of dark roasted malts. On the first sip, the overwhelming flavors of blackstrap molasses, dark chocolate and raisins greet the palate. The hearty sweetness soon subsides and the beer finishes quite dry with the taste of bakers cocoa and espresso lingering on the tongue.
10.5% ABV

Octoberfest is a rich mahogany colored beer with an inviting toasted malty aroma. The beer has a medium body and a delicate sweetness with a rich nutty malt flavor. Octoberfest is made with our lager yeast and aged cold for a smoothness that eases well into a slightly dry finish and great drinkability. Come help us celebrate the transition from summer to fall with a glass of our Octoberfest and a warm autumn spirit in mind.
Chico IPA:

Chico IPA is our answer to the calls for a big “west-coast” style double India Pale Ale. This beer is a big hop-hearty bruiser packed with flavor. A deep, tarnished-penny color, Chico IPA is brewed using massive amounts of Cascade and Chinook hops. The beer has a full body and flavor from the malt, which balances perfectly against the assertive citrus, pine, and spicy herbal notes in the hops. Chico IPA is dry-hopped late in the brewing process to harness all of the thick resinous aromas and flavors of bold whole-cone American hops.

Double DeBOCKel:
Double DeBOCKel is brewed in the style of the traditional German doppelbock but with our original Sierra Nevada spin. At the start, our Double DeBOCKel is robust and malty; it has a rich caramel character, a light bready flavor and mild, pleasant  sweetness. It has a silky-smoothness resulting from a long aging period at near-freezing temperatures, and hides its hearty strength with modesty. Double DeBOCKel is a boisterous beer that finishes clean; and in true Sierra Nevada fashion the use of a healthy dose of hops leaves the beer surprisingly dry, with nothing but a full-body warmth and a faint malty memory left behind.

Best Bitter:
The name Best Bitter is a bit of a misnomer, in fact, bitter refers to English-style pale ale that tends to be far more malty than its American counterparts. Sierra Nevada’s Best Bitter is true to its British roots.  Brewed with English Maris Otter malt, Best Bitter has a medium fullness and a slightly sweet, bready character that balances flawlessly with the deep green and earthy flavors of Challenger hops. Best Bitter is one of the lightest Sierra Nevada offerings, and while modest in alcohol, is an easy drinking beer that is full of flavor