Season 2, Episode 6: What do you do when a blizzard drops 3 feet of snow in your neighborhood? Drink craft beer! While you won’t see that happen in Las Vegas, when friends from the east coast tell you they are drinking some excellent craft beers during a major snow storm, you listen – and try them yourself! That’s why we featured Sam Adam’s New Albion Ale and a very rare Uinta Crooked Sea Legs on the latest “I Love Beer” Show at Cheers Bar in Las Vegas in 65 degree February winter weather.
First of all, we have to hand it to Jack McAuliffe, who is widely regarded in the craft beer industry as the father of the craft beer movement when he began his brewery in San Francisco way back in 1976. Jack was basically a home brewer and took his hobby to another level when he started his “New Albion Brewing” company. Due to bad capitalization and a failure to develop investor money, the brewery eventually failed and closed shop in 1982, but it gave birth to the Craft Beer Movement that’s really dominating the marketplace today. Some, such as Samuel Adam’s founder Jim Koch, have called New Albion the greatest failure in the history of beer! As such and as a tribute to McAuliffe, Sam Adams announced they would be brewing New Albion Ale for the first time in 30 years and it has just become available as of last month.
New Albion Ale makes for a great “Snowstorm Beer”. At 6% alcohol, this light bodied craft beer with a grainy, slight hop flavor comes across has a highly drinkable brew. Everyday beer drinkers will notice its sparkling golden yellow pour, but the malt balance and lingering finish makes it worthy of craft beer characterization. We found it to be the perfect beer to introduce “craft beers” to your regular beer type drinkers. The world just wasn’t ready for this beer back in McAuliffe’s time. It’s new, it’s available now, and our advice is to try it yourself, snowstorm or no snowstorm.
As we watched the UNLV Running Rebels spank ranked New Mexico in the background, the next step was to move to our second snowstorm beer, the Sea Legs porter from Uinta’s line of Crooked Beers. This is the beer you relax to after doing all the shoveling! This is a limited release craft beer, as only 1,500 cases were produced. We’ve heard great things about this porter, and been trying to find this for quite some time. Luckily we did. Unfortunately, we were only able to get our hands on one bottle!
Nonetheless, this medium-to-full bodied Baltic Porter craft beer – aged in Bourbon Barrels for 12 months – delivered flavors of roasted malt and chocolate along with a mild hop bitterness, all with an alcohol content of 8% making this a very nice drinkable beer. The beer poured black with a full tan head with lots of retention and a terrific initial aroma of chocolate and hops. What really impressed was the full coffee and vanilla aftertaste with subtle malt sweetness that made this craft beer delicious. Uinta even commissioned a local artist to come up with the label on the bottle. The beer made for a great way to close out the show. We just wish we had more on hand as the Cheers Bar faithful kept asking for it all night long.
Cheers Bar has been recently rated the #1 Dive Bar in all of Las Vegas from the Las Vegas Review Journal’s “Best Of” contest. (shhh… it’s not official yet). So come on down and join in on the fun. Not only will you get to drink some of the beers we feature on each show, but you’ll also get to see guys like Jeff Raylee do their thing during “Open Mike” night – and believe us, you’ll be impressed! By the way, did you catch Dameron’s reference to St. Baldricks? He’s going to look a lot different soon, so help him support this great cause.