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Lunchtime at Brewforia: Beware Friends with Copious Amounts of Beer!

My buddy Chad (you may know him as @BeerPoet on Twitter) and I have been discussing for some time getting together for lunch and drinking some of our “ungettables”.  For me, I brought a 2007 Pannepot Belgian Quad, and Chad brought a 750ml of Ivan the Terrible, Big Sky Brewing’s barrel aged Stout, the 2010 version.  So we brought them to Brewforia, because Brewforia also has a great selection of lunch time fare, wings and craftbread pizzas.

Sounds innocent enough, two guys going for lunch and knocking back just a couple of brews on a Friday afternoon.  What could be better right?  So we did just that…

We started with the Pannepot.  This is a Belgian quad that weighs in at 10% ABV.  This was a beer that my Brother Jim sent me last year, and I decided to let it age a bit more.  So at age 5 I decided to open it up and give it a try.  Well the first thing that happened when opened was it fizzed all over the place.  I thought Oh Oh, that could be a sign of infection, but no worries it wasn’t infected, and in fact it was quite tasty.

We tried to figure out what flavors were in there besides raisin, and best we could come up with was dried plum.  Well what is a dried plum if not just a bigger raisin?  It had candy sugar and a very sweet flavor that the alcohol cut nicely.  It was a big smooth fruity Belgian that was quite a nice complement to our pizza and wings.

Our next and final (we thought) brew was the Ivan the Terrible.  What a great Imperial stout!  It was big, smooth, rich and chocolaty, with a nice bourbon finish that incorporated both the alcohol burn and a touch of oak.  The 10.5% ABV fit perfectly with the smooth stout.  This is truly a fantastic brew and I will make sure to get mine next year!

So we were wrapping up our lunch, and Rick the owner of Brewforia disappears for a couple of minutes and comes back with four beers that we cannot get here in Idaho (yet).  One from a brewery in Michigan that I cannot remember which was a Belgian brew that smelled like dishsoap and tasted like I was chewing bubble gum with tinfoil mixed in it.  It was bad, and ended up being a sink pour for all of us.

Next he had two brews from Dark Horse Brewing out of Michigan.  First we tried the Boffo Brown ale.  This was a 6.5 percent brew with a really nice and smooth flavor with a medium mouth feel and a good malty richness.  The thing we were all trying to figure out however was the price.  Rick told us that this was selling for $12 a bottle!  I wonder if that is a misquote, because there is no indication that this brew would be so expensive on the web sight, and certainly not in the bottle.  Don’t get me wrong it was good beer, just not $12 good.

Then we tried a beer that has perhaps one of the best beer names I have ever heard.  This too was from the Dark Horse brewing and it is their version of a scotch ale called Scotty Karate.  This beer too was good, but not particularly unique (other than the name).  I can’t really remember the taste, other than it was a very light scotch ale and had a lighter flavor as well (I was 5 beers in at this point).  Scotty is a 9.75% ABV brew and it won a Silver medal at the 2007 GABF.  Interesting stuff.

We finished the afternoon with a bottle of water and a taste of Bell’s Expedition Stout. This stuff was

quite good for a stout and very big!  The Expedition Stout is a show stopper.  It is big, rich, creamy and produces a big alcohol burn in your chest that was quite warming.  I could see this brew going well on a winter’s night with a big hunk of steak and a baked potato.  It is the kind of beer you want to be in a hunting lodge while you drink, perhaps on the UP on the shores of Lake Michigan.

It was quite good but the winner of the day was, without a doubt, the Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout.  It had the most refined flavor and the well rounded character of any of the beers we had that afternoon.  And let me just say that although Rick is quite generous with his sharing of beer (Chad and I shared too) geez, we both have jobs, and we both had to go back to work!  Suffice it to say it was a less than productive afternoon, but perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had over lunch on a work day.  Thanks Chad and Rick for making it a great day and one I won’t soon forget.

-Don

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23 Comments on “Lunchtime at Brewforia: Beware Friends with Copious Amounts of Beer!”

  1. May 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Nice account of Friday’s activities Don! Fun times indeed. That’s the kind of #BeerFriday I’m talking about when I use that hashtag.

    With the exception of the Pannepot and Ivan which were in bigger tulips, we were pouring into 8 oz. goblets. And we split those beers between a handful of people at the bar, including brewer Jake from the RAM. So yes, we did taste quite a few beers, but more than half of them, we just had generous tastes. But yeah, be sure to free up your afternoon at work if you’re going to taste that many big beers at over lunch!

    I’d agree with your assessment. Ivan was the winner that day. I may have like the Bell’s Expedition Stout a tad more than you. I liked the bit of bitter bite at the end. I think that was a 2008 Expedition, so I suspect that bite would have been even bigger in the fresh bottle. So some age probably served it well. And the Pannepot Quad. If you like raisins, this is the beer for you! Raisins on the nose, the taste the finish. Might as well have called it Belgian Raisin Beer. Good stuff, though.

    The beer you forgot was from 50 50 Brewing. Concentrated Evil, I believe. It wasn’t concentrated. Perhaps it was evil, if you define evil as bottling a week and thin Quad then trying to call it “Concentrated Evil.” I try not to pan breweries to much. We all have our bad days and bad batches. But that name is way over promising, gentlemen. Good luck on the next batch.

    Thanks for the good times, Don! Let’s do it again soon (but not too soon). Whew.

    • Don
      May 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

      Thanks for the info Chad on 50 50 Brewing. I couldn’t remember what their name was, or the beer. So not only was it a drain pour, it was forgettable too. Yes, I kind of made it sound as if we drank full brews for each, but that wasn’t the case they were 3 oz tastes mostly, but still enough to feel the effects. Good times! 🙂

  2. johnking82
    May 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Im a fan of scotty karate! I wish my lunches could be like that.

    I have 3 cans of Ten Fidy…should I drink them now or age em’? I got a few more Oskar Blues beers as well from the wedding.

    An Expidition stout mixed with a fresh Hopslam is pure heaven.

    • Don
      May 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      Drink them cans! Truly it isn’t worth aging. It tastes good as is, and is just a good stout, but not outstanding.

    • May 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      Drink one now, for sure. TenFidy is awesome fresh. Whenever I buy it, none of the cans make it as far as the cellar, so I can’t speak to aging it. It’s one of my favorite imperial stouts, period.

    • Don
      May 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

      Hey John, I thought I’d ask you, since we don’t get it retail, but is that $12 a bottle for the Boffo Brown Ale correct? It just seems inordinately high. I was talking with a brewer buddy at this lunch, and he said that browns are some of the cheapest brews to make. Just wondering if you could shed some light on this or anyone else for that matter.

      • johnking82
        May 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

        We don’t get it in KY, but I can skip across the flooded Ohio and get it in Indiana. The Google, let me know you can get it fo $13-15 a 6 pack and some places, $2 a bottle….so Rick just got rick-rolled on the price.

        I’m never gonna give him up though.

        • Don
          May 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

          Actually he got it for free, because that is how he rolls. But for some reason it had a $12 price tag on it. Must have been mis labeled. At $2-3 apiece this brew is a much better deal, and well worth the price. Thanks for your research.

  3. May 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Expedition is easily my favorite imperial stout. There are some who come close, but Expedition is the best, IMHO.

    • Don
      May 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

      I liked it too Zac. I wish you could try the Ivan the terrible. That stuff was amazing. I wonder if you would have liked it better like I did or if you would still go for the expedition as your favorite.

  4. May 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    I just had Scotty Karate a few weeks ago, really liked it – it was my venture into the scotch ale category. Had an expediting stout to follow. And just got the post up about it today. Weird blog symmetry.

    • Don
      May 2, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

      Well, Michigan brews, what can you say. The Scotty Karate was good, but I prefer Old Chub and think that really defines the style. If you can find one give it a try, I think you will like it too and I’d love to get your impression comparing the two because they are very different.

      • JohnKing
        May 3, 2011 at 8:06 am #

        I’ve been trying to plan a Michigan brewtour for sometime. So many to choose!
        I’m debating to keep my Old Chub to myself or let my buddies have a taste of my Old Chub. Choices.
        Expedition Stout, for the price, is an amazing deal.

        • Don
          May 3, 2011 at 8:53 am #

          Yes a Michigan Brew tour would be great!, However I’d be very tempted to pop over to Wisconsin and hit up New Glarus as well. Beer is for sharing, nuff said.

      • May 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

        As much as I never thought I would ever type the following sentence: I guess I’ll have to keep my eyes open for some Old Chub and give it a try. Their slogan should be “you haven’t lived until you’ve had an old chub”.

  5. JohnKing
    May 3, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    Don, my message was cryptic…come on now. I just finished Dan Browns last book. In the can!

    • Don
      May 3, 2011 at 9:16 am #

      Sorry my mind doesn’t work that way. Ask my wife, I am immune to subtlety. 😉

  6. louis
    May 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    re: ” It is the kind of beer you want to be in a hunting lodge while you drink, perhaps on the UP on the shores of Lake Michigan.”

    The UP actually sticks out into Lake Superior, but yes on Bell’s!

    • Don
      May 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      Geography Blog is next door.

    • Don
      May 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

      The UP forms the norther shore of Lake Michigan BTW. I knew I wasn’t crazy!

      • May 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

        But you did have to go look it up, right? 😉

        • Don
          May 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

          It was simply verifying what I knew to be true all along. And yes, I was being facetious, Geography blog is actually 3 doors down.

    • May 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

      Doesn’t the southern part of the U.P. face Lake Michigan? I think you’re both right (and don’t go looking, there isn’t a geography blog next door!).

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