In the Arena

Time to feel strong, I think. An Enegren is giving us a Gladiator. A big and burly dopplebock to take our minds off all of the things we are currently fighting. Maybe six crowlers would be better?

Shall Not be Named

Whenever I see a post regarding Craftsman Brewing, I stop and screenshot it. They don’t get out on the interwebs often. Here is another anti-trend style from the Pasadena brewery that you should look for.

Ponder It

Coming out with a dopplebock in this day and age of hops might be a hard sell, but put a Patrick Rue pun in the name and age it in oak barrels and you have yourself a fall beer that people just might pick up.

Would be a good experiment to pick up a classic German version of dopplebock and see how it compares and contrasts to The Bruery’s Orange County interpretation.


Recently, I saw an ice cream and beer pairing put together by Baskin-Robbins and All About Beer Magazine.
One of the pairings got me motivated enough to go get the ice cream (not that hard) and a beer to go with it. (even less hard to do)
Here are the results….
On it’s own, the German dopplebock is quite sweet to an almost caramel point but with a certain lightness to it. Having a sip after the ice cream really brings out the tobacco smoke from the beer as well as drying it out. Neither the chocolate of peanut butter from the ice cream seems changed all that much. Both are pretty rich and the dark lager only seems to cut the butterfat a bit without adding anything to the dessert.
I can see the point of using a lager against a doubly rich ice cream but I think it doesn’t quite work in this case. Peanut butter being too much for the ABV of the beer. I don’t know what beer style would work with this without distortion. I’m thinking of the banana bread beer and wondering what that might be like….

Review – Dopplebock from Widmer


I am still unsure about the label on this beer.  As much as I like the concept, it seems a little too cartoon-y for me and for a big, bold Double Bock.  But, as I have mentioned before, I am here to review the beer inside….

Time to check out the Dopplebock from the 30 Beers for 30 Years series from Widmer.

This Doppel pours a dark garnet color with flashes of red if the light is right. There is a residual head around the rim and a bit in the center as well. Nothing a barista could fashion into a design but certainly nice to look at.

The initial taste is quite zippy with a medicinal tinge to it. It is not thick at all. Flavor wise this is in the fig and plum realm exclusively. No coffee or chocolate. Just that tingling on the tongue as the bubbles cross the palate. In the way back, there is a slight burnt note or char that sorta creeps in as well.


The top two dopplebocks (per Ratebeer) come from Augustiner and Andechs of Germany. And California wise Navigator from Ballast Point earns top marks.

Oregon Beer Review # 2 – Mediator from Heater-Allen

Here is the scoop on the second reviewed Oregon beer from my college town of McMinnville, “Dopplebock started out as a Lenten beer for the monks in Germany. During Lent they would forgo solid food and get all their sustenance from beer. Needless to say it was big beer with lots of unfermented dextrins. Once the public got a taste it became very popular. We call our beer Mediator because we think that a 22 ounce bottle is probably better shared than drunk alone. It’s rich, toasty and malty, with a few plum notes on the palate and the slightest roasted character in the finish. I think this would go really well with a number of cheeses.”

Here is my review of Mediator from Heater-Allen

The Firkin for February 2012

This month, I want to implore the craft beer masses (Which aren’t massive yet, but maybe soon) to use the month of March to sample a variety of beers from a style that they usually eschew.

It is easy to hop from hoppy IPA to the next and revel in the extremes that craft brewers in the US (and increasingly, everywhere) take our palates. But I think we all should re-educate ourselves with classic styles that we might be under appreciating. And I lump myself in that group too.

I have recently taken to buying more alts and stickes and dopples in an effort to re-acquaint myself with styles that are not my usual go-to’s. Rather than complaining about and buying yet another off kilter BIPA or Cascadian or whatever it is being called this week.

So far, I have had Hopworks Secret Alt, the Sultan quad from 8 Wired and I have a Mediator from Heater-Allen awaiting me as well. And if I find one on tap, I will grab a pint of Cismontane’s Dopplesticke too.

Now why am I doing this? Drinking beers that I would normally look over? Because I think it is important to keep a wide angle on the beer world. Just like I firmly believe that travel, even if it is just one county or town over is vitally important to keeping your worldview open. I believe that I cannot truly appreciate the sublime taste of a Nelson Sauvin saison without comparing it to the latest brett sensation or an English mild.

But I also believe that we cannot just leap from trendy beer to trendy beer in some mad dash towards the next “it” beer. There are reasons why kolsch is still around. There are good reasons why there are such a following and passion surrounding simple session beers and there are really great reasons to have a well crafted pilsner. Because, damn if it doesn’t work so well with a pizza. If you don’t believe me head to Ken’s Artisan Pizza in Portland and have an Upright Pilsner.

So pick the polar opposite to what you currently have in your fridge. Give two or three different beers a whirl. Pick up an Old Peculiar or a German hefe because the goal is to have as MUCH CHOICE as possible. Others have had none and we should not take for granted the great craft beer times that we live in.