Review – Stillwater Classique


Stillwater Artisanal Ales is known for their saisons and the dark, foreboding woodcut-esque labels.  So a yellow can seems a little out of place but that is what I bought at Sunset Beer.  And the pilsner inside is also bright and light yellow. The glass is filled with lots of bubbles. The dominant aroma is potpourri and I get herbal notes and vanilla in the taste. Taste lingers pleasantly. Flowery as well.  This beer really shows a light touch.


On the side of my brain that isn’t devoted to beer, I am awed and still freaked out about this hidden octopus on the Science Friday website.  Check out the video HERE.  I can’t stop saying cephalopod now.

Stupid Sexy Flanders

You could, conceivably, chill this Simpsonian homage /  Sun King beer with the TurboCool.  It comes in the really cool 16oz Alumitech cans with the twist off cap.

Alumi-Tek 538b_f rev3

“Our traditional Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin is fermented with wild yeasts, Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces, which impart tart cherry flavors to glance the malt sweetness.”

New to cans

Coming soon (depending on your market’s thirst for beer), you might be seeing some beers you are used to seeing in bottles in canned versions.

1) “Kona Brewing Company has announced plans to offer its flagship Longboard Island Lager in 12-ounce cans, which are scheduled to hit shelves mid-March 2012. All Kona markets will receive Longboard cans, including the newest markets of Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey.”

2) Sierra Nevada has been Facebooking it’s pale ale progress towards cans too.

3) Evil Twin Brewing will release its first beer in cans in 2012. Hipster Ale and Bikini Beer will be first up. Brewing will happen in South Carolina (North Carolina is probably too busy) It will be part of the Twelve Percent Import line.

Cannery # 3 – Southern Star

Since this is CanFest month, my featured breweries don’t come from just one state or region but share the commonality of canning!

Southern Star got on my radar due to their Buried Hatchet stout. And due to recent expansions to brewing capacity and the canning line more canned beers will be flowing out of this Texas brewery. And that might include seasonal cans to!

Canfest – Photo Recap

As promised here is my full report (with photographic proof) of Canfest 2011.

Reno was cold and beautiful over the three days that I was in town.

...but this sign really scared me.

But I was here for the beer dinner....

...which finished with an awesome Hawaiian dessert paired with Maui Big Swell IPA...

...and this was the other reason I was there, the main event. Better than the fight in Vegas.

In between, I visited an excellent wine and beer shop....

tasted some beer from a local brewery

...and from our hosts as well.

like this can-aged brew from 2010

I even lost some money to the Dark Lord.

But I left Nevada a ......

Canfest – Day 3

My third and final day in Reno. Time to give you the quick recap of last night brought to me by the Canfest 2011 people.

28 canneries to sample and so little time and stomach space. First though, my favorite beer was the second of the night. Velvet Rooster from Tallgrass in Kansas was fantastic. Spicy with notes of vanilla. It was dreamy.

Now that that I’d out of the way. I sampled beers from new breweries (to me) like Coop of Oklahoma, Four Peaks of Arizona, Kenai River of Alaska, Santa Fe of New Mexico among others. All told, I sipped 18 brews during the event.

Others of note include the Kenai River Skilak Scottish, Pako’s Eye-P-A and the Pile o Dirt porter from Crow Peak Brewing of South Dakota.

In tommorows post, I will tell you what a Buckbean is and give my review of the weekend too. Oh, and photos lots of photos.

Canfest – Day 2

Waking up in Reno! Big day ahead. So let’s recap what the good folks at Canfest lined up for me.

Bright and early (after a Starbucks run), I taxied over to the Buckbean Brewery. Soon followed by the crews and posse’s of Fort George, Kenai and Snake River. We were treated to the full range of Buckbean ales including their IPA, Tahoe Tessie and their Belgian IPA, Tour de Nez. And that was not all.

We also got a taste of 2010 Very Noddy. And thar was not all. They whipped up a couple pre-noon beer cocktails as well. My favorite of the day was the Tessie which had a crazy mix of galaxy, citra and other hops.

After that and knowing of the beers to come at the main event, I grabbed lunch and a nap in preparation. More on that in the next post.

Canfest – Day 1

The Beer Search Party has landed in Reno. And was met at the airport in grand style. Time to recap what the good folks at Canfest lined up for me.

I arrived in Reno after a turbulent flight from Burbank but things got much better. There was a limo driver with my name waiting to whisk me downtown after that luxury, I met Doug from Buckbean accidentally and he gave me a quick tour of where to drink in Reno including the great beer and wine shop, Craft. I had a New Zealand beer in honor of Brett and Jermaine then walked a block to Silver Peak Brewing and had lunch and a DIPA.

Due to long lines from multiple wedding parties, I snagged my room at Circus Circus and chilled before trying to wend my way through the casino maze and the beer dinner.

Addendum: After getting my 7th floor room, I wound my way through the casino to Brew Brothers to sample one of their ales. I went back to the the DIPA well and came up with mediocre. Did not hop up my palate. But I did get to beer chat with some fellow beer lovers.

Then it was on to the beer dinner and awards. It was a really good set of pairings with past award winning beers. All plated elegantly. The best was the desert. A Hawaiian pudding with pineapple that worked wonders with the Maui Big Swell IPA.

Even better was sitting with Peter Estaniel, a fellow beer blogger from the Bay-ish area and the guys from Snake River Brewing (who won best in show for their IPA).

FYI – There will be a full pictorial wrap-up when I get home.

Trim Cans

This tidbit from last month on the All About Beer website that caught my eye.

“Ball Corporation the leader in the specialty aluminum beverage can and bottle market, has announced its newest can size – the 8-oz. “trim” can. The small, lightweight can is ideal for juices and other beverages for portion-conscious consumers, and is unbreakable, quick-chilling and 100 percent recyclable.”

I can see why an imaginative craft brewery who has no beer boundary would not want to be bound in just two types of can. Perchance a big imperial stout in this smaller container, or a big ABV DIPA.

I can see these becoming a cool marketing tool as well for smaller samples of specialty one off beers too.

Los Angeles Brewing history

Last month, I visited Strand Brewing and there on the desk in front of me as I drank 24th Street Pale Ale was this old beer can…..

The back of the can had this wonderful copy on it. “Our beer is packed in this modern container for your protection and convenience. This container is designed to afford all possible protection to the quality and flavor of this brew, which is the result of the use of choice materials and many years of brewing experience.” And it had this crazy cone top.

To learn more about the history of Los Angeles Brewing and the fate of Eastside beer click HERE