July 28, 2011

De Dochter van de Korenaar

Back in 2009, I had a beer called Embrasse, a very complex, Belgian strong dark ale. I didn't come across anything more from the brewer, Antwerp-based De Dochter van de Korenaar, until I was reintroduced by Brian Ewing of 12 Percent Imports at Brewvival 2010. I tried the L'enfant Terrible, a delicious sour ale. I was not a huge fan of sours before then, so I credit that particular beer with opening me up to the style. I was unsuccessful finding more of their beers back home. I even asked one of the top craft beer stores in the area if they could order some, which they said they would, but never did (disappointing). During my stay in Asheville, NC this past February, I visited Bruisin' Ales and found what I had been looking for. I grabbed one bottle each of Noblesse, Courage, Bravoure, and L'enfant Terrible.

Five months have passed, and I've gone through a lot of beer (I brought back over $500 worth from my trip). This past week, I finally got to the ones from De Dochter van de Korenaar.

Noblesse is a low-alcohol (5.5% ABV) Belgian pale ale. It has a sweet aroma, with grassy hop notes and a little funk, and is very crisp and refreshing.

Courage claims to be a dark wheat ale, but I thought it was more of a slightly sour brown ale with a hint of cherry.

Bravoure is a tasty dark ale with a rich head. It's more malty than I expected, and carries tastes of raisin and fig, plus a little spice, and also very slight nutty and smoky notes.

Noblesse, Courage, and Bravoure were good, but not amazing. I enjoyed drinking them, but have had other beers I liked more for the same price.

The bottle of L'Enfant Terrible is still in my fridge (I always save the best for last).

July 7, 2011

International #IPADay

Attention all craft beer evangelists, brewers, bloggers, and suds-savvy citizens! On Thursday, August 4th 2011, you are cordially invited to participate in the largest international craft beer celebration and virtual conversation the world has ever seen.

International #IPADay is a grassroots movement to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide through social media. On Thursday August 4th, craft beer drinkers across the social sphere and across the globe will raise pints in a collective toast to one of craft beer’s most iconic styles: the India Pale Ale. This celebrated style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations – making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.

#IPADay is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. #IPADay is an opportunity for breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. Getting involved is easy; the only requirements are an appreciation for great beer and the will to spread the word. Anyone can participate by enjoying an IPA with friends, making some noise online with the #IPADay hashtag, and showing the world that craft beer is more than a trend!

Tips on How to Take Part:
  1. Organize an #IPADay event at your brewery, brewpub, restaurant, bar, home, or office (Example: An IPA dinner/cheese pairing/comparative or educational tasting/cask night/tap takeover). Share your events on the official #IPADay forum at http://www.ratebeer.com.
  2. On August 4th, share your photos, videos, blog posts, tasting notes, recipes, and thoughts with the world. Be sure to include the #IPADay hashtag in your posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, RateBeer, Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Untappd, or any other social media site.
  3. See what other people are saying by searching “#IPADay” on Google, Twitter, etc.
  4. Track down your favorite IPA’s, ones you’ve been meaning to try, and ones you’ve never heard of; share them with friends and share your thoughts with the world.
  5. Have a good time and know that by sharing your experiences online, you’re strengthening the craft beer community at large.
About International #IPADay

Founded in 2011 by beer evangelists and social media personalities Ashley V. Routson and Ryan A. Ross, International #IPADay is the largest grassroots social media-based celebration of craft beer. The goal of #IPADay is to use social media to strengthen the collective voice of craft beer through the simple celebration of beer itself. The success of #IPADay hinges on the passionate voices of beer enthusiasts worldwide and their willingness to share that passion across the social sphere.

For more information on events or how you can support #IPADay, visit http://ipaday.eventbrite.com.


I am really excited about this! I've been thinking about organizing a tasting and food pairing thing for my craft beer drinking friends for a little while now, and this is the perfect excuse to do it. The only drawback is that if I do that, I won't be able to attend of the undoubtedly awesome events that my favorite beer purveyors will probably be having. Perhaps I'll take the day off, visit my favorite beer spots in the afternoon, and do the tasting in the evening. The cogs are turning...

July 6, 2011

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Sorachi Ace is a relatively new hop variety, originally developed and grown by Sapporo in 1988 for use in its beers. It is a cross between the British Brewer's Gold and Czech Saaz varieties and is distinguished by its strong, lemony smell. The hop gained popularity during the "hops crisis" of 2007-2008 when it was available in small quantities to homebrewers in need of high alpha hops. Today, it is a little more readily available, allowing several major craft brewers to begin using Sorachi Ace for special releases. It seems to be particularly popular in "single hop" settings.

Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace is a Belgian-style saison, although not entirely traditional... in a good way. It's definitely more hoppy, which is fine considering it is meant to show off a single type of hop. The lemon is prominent in the aroma, plus breadiness from the yeast and a very slight hint of alcohol, but there was also something more complex happening that I can't describe. Flavors are of fresh pear, orange, green grapes, spicy lemongrass, and lightly bitter hops. It has a thick head and lively carbonation that continues to the last sip. Finish is crisp and dry. Overall, a tasty and rather interesting take on a saison, and a good showcase of the Sorachi Ace hop.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace