Up From the Cellar – 2011 Brrrbon from Widmer

Yes this is a 5 year-old Widmer Bros. beer and yeah, I still have a 2010 of Brrrbon on the shelf as well too (maybe I will keep that for a ten year Christmas beer) .

The five year old beer has held up quite well and still has some spritz to it for a 9.4% beer. Starts off more woody forward than bourbon. The base beer, Brrr is a lighter winter warmer in my mind so the taste is almost more English than American. As it warms it has a sherry sort of note to it and it really does sticks to the roof of the mouth with caramel flavors to it.

I think I picked the right Christmas season to open it.

Whose Crafty?


After having the pleasure of speaking with Ben Love of Gigantic, I saw this new label pop up for a beer named Craftylicious described in the press release as, ” a limited release collaboration beer brewed by Portland, Oregon’s Widmer Brothers and Gigantic Brewing. It  is a unique, bright, partial kettle-soured beer that’s tart, hoppy, citrusy, and perfect for late summer.

You can read more about the cheeky slap referenced in the name over at the great Portland beer blog, BrewPublic.


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.



Thanks to my familia in Oregon, I have a couple bottles of 30 for 30 from Widmer in my ‘fridge.  A Bock and a Dopplebock.  Neither of which strike the chord though that the 1994 beer does, Widberry.  I remember how I would compare Widberry to Thomas Kemper’s Weizenberry that is sadly not made anymore.  Both would probably be way too sweet for my palate now but I would love to try them side-by-side again.

2 Decades later, Widmer has this to say about fruit beer, “”Beer with berries, not the other way around.” Fruit beers were on the rise in 1994, so we brewed this beer using ingredients we love from our neck of the woods…black raspberries. With no resources put behind it, this beer was extremely well-received and became one of our most popular. It’s a beer that we still get requests for 20 years later.”

Early Winter Forecast

Craft Brew Alliance will offer three beers from each CBA brewery (Redhook, Widmer Brothers and Kona) in the same package for the first time this fall. The 12-pack will feature Widmer Brothers Brrr, Redhook Winter Hook and Kona Pipeline Porter.

I am a big fan of this style of pack because it allows you to sample solid craft beer from more than one brewery and see which one you like. And if there is one you don’t like it is easier to give away three to other friends in beer who may like it as opposed to a full 12 pack that will sit in your ‘fridge forever.

the December beer shopping list

Sean suggests for this grand, holiday month two beers from the snowy state of Colorado and one from the cold state of Oregon.
December 2011
Click on the link twice (maybe less depending on the computer you are on) and you will have a handy beer shopping list for the most wonderful time of the year. Holiday beer time!

Galaxy Quest

Here is the press release for the latest Brothers Reserve…
“Since 1984, Kurt and Rob Widmer have been dedicated to creating the deliciously American and European-style beers. The Brothers’ Reserve Series is a showcase fo their innovative skills and creative passion for craft brewing.

Galaxy Hopped Barleywine is a new take on an old favorite. This beer pours a dark crimson, almost mahogany color. The yeast and Galaxy hops(TM) deliver a big bang of red and yellow fruit aromatics like banana, pineapple, cherry and strawberry. The experience begins with a taste of toffee and darkened sweet caramel overlaid on subtle tones of vanilla. All to be punctuated by the floral and citrus dry hop character.

I like the sound of a big barley wine that has hop fruity-ness to it.

Galaxy hops were bred in 1994 by Hop Products Australia. This company owns a hop garden called Rostrevor in North Eastern Victoria where they were grown for the first time. It’s now grown in both Victoria and Tasmania. It is a cross between an Australian female and a male Perle hop.”

This is the first I am seeing the Galaxy hop used unless it is hidden in another beer that I have. If you have tried it, let me know what you think.

Widmer Rotator series

Widmer has been busy!

Not only do they have the Brothers Reserve series. (Should I open the Brrrbon or not?)

Now they have the 929 series of beers and the Rotator which is what piqued my interest. Why? Because it is three unique and bold IPA’s that I never thought would make it past occasional keg apperances.

X-114 which I have not had yet.
Teaser IPA which I had at the 2009 NAOBF
Captain Shaddock’s IPA which I had at the 2010 OBF

Teaser was very good on draft. Shaddock smelled great but tasted weird if my memory serves and now X-114 is in my sights.