Season 2, Episode 7: Never let the weather get in the way of a great Craft Beer event! Originally scheduled to be an outdoor pool-based Beer Show, we had to bring this one inside Jimmy and Myrna’s Cantina on April 24th, 2015 in an undisclosed area of Las Vegas where we uncovered some amazing tasting saisons, farmhouse ales, and much more from some pretty amazing craft beer brewers and breweries. In fact, we actually broke a record with the number of craft beers featured on the show! So sit back, watch the show archive, then get in your car and head to your local craft beer store and get yourself some of the great tasting craft beers we showcased for your pleasure.
We started the show with “St. Feuillien Saison”, a 6.5% alcohol Belgian Farmhouse Ale Saison from Brasserie St. Feuillien in Belgium. Sylvain described it as crisp, light, and fresh. The general consensus is that this is really what beer drinkers are looking for in a saison, nothing overly spiced or strange, just classic farmhouse goodness. Plus, Matt gave a nice overview on the historic origins of Farmhouse Saison which was quite interesting.
Then we moved on to a spiced saison from one of our favorite breweries, Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, New York. This 7.3% alcohol saison was a result of Ommegang’s collaboration with Boulevard Brewing where two batches of beer were brewed and each was fermented with each respective brewer’s unique house yeasts. In the post-fermentation, the two batches were blended, allowing both distinctive yeast signatures to shine through. And it does! This saison was excellent!
Our next saison we featured was the “Opal – Proprietor’s Reserve”, a 7.5% dry hopped saison from Firestone Walker Brewing which is their interpretation of the rustic Wallonian Saison style of a harmonious blend of rustic grains, spicy yeast and unique sauvignon blanc tones. The beer tasted totally as advertised – a complex yet dry, tart, and refreshing farmhouse ale with a white wine type finish that we all loved. Saison drinkers – get this!
Of course we had to stay with the saison type theme for our next beer, the Evil Twin “Classique Imperiale” from Evil Twin Brewing. This farmhouse ale came in at 8% alcohol and delivered an easy drinking beer with complex fruit, lightly sweet and dry components, a nice citrus bitterness all without the strong sour flavors. The aroma was outstanding and the flavor followed with similar complexity, but a more standard saison body. Evil Twin Brewing is a gypsy brewery originating in Denmark that was founded in 2010 by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin produces limited-edition and one-off beers as well as a series of seasonal and year-round beers available internationally. If you can find it, get it. This beer was another winner on the show!
The next beer on our list was the “Queen of Hearts” from Bad Beat Brewing, one of our local craft beer brewery favorites. This Berliner Weisse was made with guava during the fermentation process to add flavor without the sweetness and drinks tart, crisp, and effervescent – and it’s only 3.8% alcohol making it a perfect sessionable beer! The aroma and taste was about as original and unique you can get, so if you’re ever in the Henderson area of Las Vegas, stop into Bad Beat and you can not go wrong, trust us on that one!
Switching things up a bit, we cleansed our palates with the Kilt Lifter from Pike Brewing in Seattle, Washington as our next beer on the lineup. This 6.5% Scotch Ale poured a ruby orange color, topped with over an inch of semi-creamy white head on top which retained itself well with splashes of lacing cling. The sweet aroma brought notes of caramel, honey, raisin, dark bread, a kiss of husk and smelled somewhere between a doppelbock and Scotch ale. The malt hit hard with a great taste of soaked raisin, bread crust, nutty yeast and a splash of bitterness at the end. If you like that strong maltiness taste, you must give this craft beer a try!
Up next was the 6% alcohol Cherry Grand Cru, a fruit beer selection from Big Dog’s Brewing, another of our favorite craft beer breweries local to Las Vegas. This sessionable craft beer has a great light cheery taste with a Belgian Amber feel to it. Big Dogs always does a great job with their beers, and this is no exception – except you have to be a fan of the fruit beer genre to really enjoy it.
Then we went an entirely new direction with the show by featuring a couple of beers from the Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, Oregon. We tasted their 8% alcohol Tricerahops Double IPA and have to say it was outstanding. A great balanced beer that finishes thick and warm, almost creamy with excellent juice and mild bitterness with an amazing nosefeel as well. Then, just when we thought we had nailed it with this selection, we brought out their vanilla stout, a 7.2% alcohol oatmeal stout with just enough hops to balance the quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans added to the final stage of fermentation for a rich complexity. Dameron thought the vanilla was “perfect” and the rest of the crew agreed. Let’s add Ninkasi to our list of favorite breweries for sure! You can’t go wrong with either of the selections we sampled from this brewery! Perhaps the show favorite?!
Maybe add some maple syrup with that? <– this is the video we mentioned on the show!
Then, we broke the I Love Beer Show tasting record with Pike Brewing’s “Extra Stout” (also referred to as “Pike XXXXX Stout”). This 7.0% alcohol craft beer poured pitch black with a three finger high brownish beige, fluffy head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass. You get an immediate aroma of espresso, roasted malt, dark chocolate and dried fruit leading to a medium body with light carbonation and resulting in a soft taste with a great bitterness. Perhaps not as unique as the Ninkasi we tasted before it, but a winner nonetheless for sure!
And that was supposed to be it for the show, but then it was time for a few surprises. Our first bonus craft beer was the Silverspot IPA from Pelican Brewing, a craft brewery located on the beach in Portland. This 6.5% IPA really impressed! The flavor is malt with a good caramel taste and edged with the hoppy aromatics with some bitterness that allows for a friendly bite and a warm taste of yellow cake and filberts. The bready malt is nicely balanced by the citrusy hops. In general, this is a really drinkable and user-friendly IPA.
Finally, we finished up with the Asylum, a craft beer from Left Coast Brewing that we already featured on a previous show, but it’s so good (and it’s Sylvain’s favorite) that we just had to break it open to continue with the fun time everyone was having. Suffice to say, this 11% alcohol Belgian Tripel hits hard and stands up to just about any similar style beers out there – there just aren’t enough superlatives to describe how good this is.
Wow! Talk about an amazing show! We broke our show record with the 12 craft beers ranging from saisons to ipas, to ales to stouts and so much more! Everyone had a good time and the bottom line is if you were to go out and find any one of these craft beers at your local store, you certainly will not be disappointed. Now you’re privy to some new great tasting craft beers that you may not have been aware of before – it’s your job to find out which ones we showcased on the show were YOUR favorites and let us know on the “I Love Beer” Show Fanpage. Thank you for being a fan and we’ll see you on the next “I Love Beer” Show!
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