Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beer Ain't Drinkin'!

Ladies and gentlemen, our new beer correspondent, Jeff Allison

Ahoy Hoy!
I guess a little about myself is in order—I've been a beer dude at various liquor stores for 16 years. I actually get exited when I go on road trips to find new beers (for instance, if you are ever in the Southeast, try Terrapin out of Athens, GA). I like to use my business card to schmooze free beer at breweries and get free tours, and for the most part I rarely have the same beer twice in the same year (the local bar I go to only carries Abita, so that's the exception). I used to work with JD and he invited me to do a beer blog, so here I go!

Tonight's featured beer—Firestone Parabola. This is a super limited barreled-aged imperial stout. It is a blend of strong beers aged 12 months in a variety of barrels (wine, spirits, beer). The beer dorks on Beer Advocate go crazy for this beer (for good reason) to the point if I put it on the shelf it would be gone in a couple of hours!

So, the beer itself! In Spinal Tap terms it's "none more black"— total opaqueness. I tried this at pretty much room temp (tossed it in the fridge for a hour) and the smell really knocks you back—strong whiskey and a bit of vanilla. And what's important, the taste. Strong vanilla coffee with a bit of chocolate. If you like your beers SUPER rich, track one of these down, the only barrel-aged beer I've had that compares is the Vanilla Bourbon Stout from Goose Island. And now that Bud's bought them up, God knows if they'll make it again!

In other news, I headed up to Traverse City over the weekend and went to Jolly Pumpkin. Got a last minute brewery tour by the brewmaster who was extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. Only time I've ever had green beer (meaning unfiltered and unpasturized) fresh from brewing tanks. He also was a wealth of knowledge about the brewing industry (I had no idea Sierra Nevada had distro deals with Bud or that Magic Hat was bought up by Miller/Coors), and he brews a damn good beer. Their Diabolical IPA is really good—though sadly unavailable in the great state of Illinois, and he gave eye opening reasons as to why).

After the brewery (and a great Clutch show) went to 3 Floyds in Munster. It's really sad: I've been living about an hour away from one of the best breweries in America but have never taken the time to go there. Lincoln (their marketing guy) gave me a quick tour and a list of what their plans are for the future. Then I headed to the bar for a great burger, great beer (Zombie Dust!), and a couple of bottles to go (the best: Ragnarok, great honey porter only available at the brewery).

Cheers, beers, steers, and queers!

1 comment:

  1. Jeff, you make me wish I liked to drink beer! Sadly, I do not, but I like living vicariously through you! I know more about beer than any other non-beer drinker I know because of you!