Monday, July 26, 2010

Newspaper story on "Skavery" ride

The Durango Herald has a short story today on the Ska/Avery/Oskar Blues statewide tour that culminated in the release of Wheelsucker Wheat Ale on Saturday.

The bicycle ride seems like a great way to build camaraderie among craft brewers. The beer ain't bad, either.

I attended the release party Saturday. A band called S.O.B. played ska tunes while the first kegs of Wheelsucker were tapped. The band moved inside as lightning threatened.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pagosa to tap Wolf Creek Wheat

Pagosa Brewing Co. is tapping its Wolf Creek Wheat on Friday, July 23.

The brewery describes Wolf Creek Wheat, a returning summer seasonal, as a "cloudy, unfiltered American wheat beer."

For an extra 50 cents, Pagosa will let drinkers add peach, orange, pomegranate, ginger, raspberry or apple flavor to the wheat ale.

It'll be a wheaty weekend in Southwest Colorado. Ska and Avery Brewing will be tapping their Wheelsucker Wheat Ale a day later at Ska HQ in Durango.

Last year, Ska had flavors available to turn Wheelsucker Wheat into a Radler, a popular German drink. I suspect that option will be available again Saturday.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wheelsucker release poster

Skavery Wheelsucker Wheat Ale returns

Ska Brewing Co. and Avery Brewing Co. will release this year's version of Wheelsucker Wheat Ale at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, according to Ska's Facebook account.

Wheelsucker Wheat Ale is a superb imperial hefeweizen that won Beer at 6512's Beer of the Year 2009 award.

Wheelsucker is a thick-bodied wheat beer that has a refreshing aftertaste despite its approximately 7 percent ABV heft. I assume it will again be bottled in 22-ounce bombers.

Wheelsucker was brewed last year with 50-50 two-row malt and wheat malt, Hallertau Hersbrucker and Hallertau Mittlefruh hops and yeast from the Hopf Weissbier Brewery in Meisbock, Germany. Sweet and bitter orange peel were added at the end of the boil, lending a distinctive citrus note.

This beer is a crown jewel of Southwest Colorado craft brewing. It's worth seeking out.

Ska-blogger collaboration in Zymurgy

The current July/August issue of Zymurgy, the journal of the American Homebrewers Association, includes a column I wrote about my brewing collaboration with Ska Brewing Co.

I covered the project last winter extensively on this website, but it was fun to reach out to some new readers via Zymurgy.

The column is not available online. Zymurgy is sold at Magpie's in downtown Durango, along with homebrew shops and newsstands nationwide.

An archive of all the blog posts I wrote about the project to brew Soggy Coaster Imperial Red Ale is available here.

It was very cool of Ska to open up their brewery to bloggers like myself and Jeff Hammett (formerly of Beer N Bikes in Durango, now writing at San Diego Beer Blog). Thanks especially to Ska Head Brewer Thomas Larsen and President Dave Thibodeau, without whom I wouldn't have had any clue.

I hope this project leads to other interesting collaborations between bloggers and brewers.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

George Orwell, hop head

The English writer George Orwell led an austere life, but he did appreciate the finer things, including well-hopped English beers. This is from his autobiographical novel Down and Out in Paris and London (1933):

"There are, indeed, many things in England that make you glad to get home; bathrooms, armchairs, mint sauce, new potatoes properly cooked, brown bread, marmalade, beer made with veritable hops - they are all splendid, if you can pay for them."