August Beer Club: Iowa

BeerClubLogodhop5Equilibrium Brewing
dHop5
Double IPA
Middletown, New York

dHop5 is a Double IPA made by enhancing one of Equilibrium Brewing’s favorite IPAs – the Fractal Citra/Galaxy. Milky, straw-yellow in color, the dHop5 releases aromas of passionfruit, peach, lime and pineapple. On the palate, it is bright, creamy and tropical. Equilibrium Brewery scaled down on the Fractal’s grain bill, water treatment and fermentation; and intensified the hop bill of citra and galaxy making an extremely drinkable and balanced DIPA.

BeerStyles: Hoppy
Style: DIPA
ABV: 8% alcohol / volume


Super Fractal Kangaroo SetEquilibrium Brewery
Super Fractal Kangaroo Set
Triple IPA
Middletown, New York

Super Fractal Kangaroo Set was inspired by brewmaster and owner, Pete, and a trip he took to Australia. This Triple IPA starts off with a fractal grain bill, then Galaxy hops lead their way on the dry hop with support from Sabro and Citra. It is hazy intense yellow in color with tropical fruit, coconut and citrus aromas. On the palate, there are flavors of orange, melon, pineapple and coconut. 

BeerStyles: Hoppy
Style: IPA – Triple
ABV: 10% alcohol / volume


Equilibrium Brewery_South St. PilsEquilibrium Brewery
South St. Pils
Pilsner
Middletown, New York

Named after the Brewery’s new address, the South St. Pils is pale golden-yellow in color. It is light bodied and crisp, with a very soft hop aroma. On the palate, there are notes of flower medleys, fresh cut lawn, and yeasty crackers. This beer has a refreshing, clean finish.

BeerStyles: Crisp & Clean
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5.5% alcohol / volume

ABOUT THE BREWERY:
Equilibrium Brewery considers themselves to be an experimental brewery, emphasizing research and exploration. They are curious scientists and beers drinkers looking to share delicious beverages created in an organic process. Equilibrium Brewery works with local producers to use the freshest ingredients possible. They believe it is an essential part of their business to maintain an equilibrium between local supply and demand. Learn more about their story here.


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July Beer Club: Iowa

BeerClubLogoThe Good MonsterCollective Arts Brewing
Good Monster DIPA
Toronto, Canada

This New England style Double IPA is a beast, but in a GOOD monster type of way. It is double dry hopped with 24 g/L of Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe and Amerillo; highlighting flavors of tropical mango, passionfruit, peach, bright orange, lemon and grapefruit.

BeerStyles: Hoppy & Bitter
Style: New England DIPA
ABV: 8% alcohol / volume
Artist: Kire Torres


Guava GoseCollective Arts Brewing
Guava Gose
Toronto, Canada

This Guava Gose is soft cloudy pink in color with tropical aromas. This Gose is similar to a sour mashed wheat beer, dosed with as much guava as possible. It is balanced with lemony tartness, Himalayan pink sea salt and coriander, with a flowery, brightness from the guava. This is a perfect harmony of tart, sweet, and sour.

BeerStyles: Sour, Tart & Funky
Style: Gose
ABV: 4.9% alcohol / volume
Can Artist: Sergio Vazquez


SmoCollective Arts Brewing
Berry, Banana, Acai, & Granola Smoothie
Toronto, Canada

This sour beer is everything reminiscent of a breakfast smoothie bowl. Collective Arts Brewing uses strawberries, blackberries, açaí berries, banana, granola and milk sugar to make this bright, sour beer.

BeerStyles: Sour, Tart & Funky
Style: Sour
ABV: 5.6% alcohol / volume
Artist: Joel Mackenzie

ABOUT THE BREWERY:
Collective Arts Brewery combines the creativity of their craft beverages with the inspiration of local artists all around the world. They feature limited-edition pieces of artwork on all of their cans, and aspire to produce equally creative and delicious drinks inside. Learn more about their company here.


Astro-world-canBlackStack Brewing
Astroworld
St. Paul, Minnesota

This triple New England IPA is made with Comet, Australian Galaxy and hand-selected Strata from Indie Hops. It highlights citrus and grapefruit flavors with a sweet melon finish. 

BeerStyles: Hoppy & Bitter
Style: Triple IPA (TDH TIPA)
ABV: 10.1% alcohol / volume

ABOUT THE BREWERY:
A family owned and operated brewery, the Johnston family have had a long love affair with great beer. In the 1990’s, Scott Johnson, the patriarch of the family, owned of All Saints Brands, Inc., a distribution company bringing European classic beers into Minnesota. Finally, in 2017, the entire family was able to launch BlackStack Brewing. Learn more about their journey here.


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March Beer Club: Iowa

Evil Twin Brewing

© Evil Twin Brewing

Evil Twin Brewing
Most Men Pursue IPA With Such Breathless Haste That They Hurry Drinking It
Hinnerup, Denmark | Brooklyn, NY

Double dry hopped IPA with Ariana, Citra and Callista hops. Strong citrus and sweet hop on the nose. Refreshing and soft medium-body. Crisp up front and dry finish. Cloudy, orange color, small head of foam.

BeerStyles: Hoppy & Bitter
Style: IPA
ABV: 7% alcohol / volume
Production: Brewed by Twelve Percent Beer Project


Evil Twin Brewing
IPA Is Not A Problem To Be Solved, But A Reality To Be Experienced
Hinnerup, Denmark | Brooklyn, NY

Triple IPA, double dry hopped with Waimea, Citra and Wakatu hops. Cloudy, golden orange in color.  Aromas of pineapple, grapefruit, orange, guava and caramel. Tropical fruit taste with toasted caramel and piney bitterness.

BeerStyles: Hoppy & Bitter
Style: Triple IPA
ABV: 10% alcohol / volume
Production: Brewed by Twelve Percent Beer Project

ABOUT THE BREWERY:
Evil Twin Brewing was started up “nomadically” in 2010 by Jeppe Jarnit- Bjergso. In 2012, Jeppe and his family decided to make New York City their home and join the burgeoning local beer scene. In 2016, Jeppe was approached with the opportunity to finally root his ideas & dreams and Evil Twin Brewing NYC was born. Evil Twin Brewing now exports to more than 35 different countries, is in around 35 states in the US, and brews at 5 different breweries around the world. Learn more here.

Fat Orange Cat

© Fat Orange Cat Brew Co.

Fat Orange Cat Brew Co.
Welcome to Harga
East Hampton, CT

“A Double IPA copiously hopped with Nelson and Motueka. We love this hop combination and hope we do May Queen proud. Don’t worry, she’ll be smiling soon.” – Fat Orange Cat Brew Co.

BeerStyles: Hoppy & Bitter
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 8.5% alcohol / volume
Production: Brewed at Twelve Percent Beer Project

ABOUT THE BREWERY:
Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. is a small, seasonal homestead brewery, that opened for tastings and growler sales/fills out of their barn in August of 2016. They now have the ability to produce Small Batch Beers and Large Batch Beers under their name, with the help of Twelve Percent Beer Project. Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. specialize in extremely high quality small batch recipes, and are making every effort to support and promote local agriculture. Learn more about their brewery here.

 


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February Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubHook’s Cheese Company, Inc.
10 Year Cheddar
Wisconsin, USA

Hook's 10 Year CheddarThis 10 year cheddar won 1st place at the 2006 American Cheese Society Show, the only 10 year cheddar to get a 1st place in this, or any competition. It has more calcium crystals than Hook’s 7 year cheddar. It has a full, rich cheddar flavor with a smooth finish.

The 10 year cheddar has calcium lactate crystals. These have the texture of salt but have no flavor. More crystals develop as the cheddars get older. The 10 year has a rich, kind of creamy, slightly acidic but more of a fruity note to it.

FOOD PAIRING: Make a yummy cheese and charcuterie board with dried fruits, quince paste, olives, pate, cornichon pickles, grained mustard, peppadew peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, assorted salami and prosciutto.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, or Merlot; for beer, look for something a Cider or something malty and sweet, such as a Scotch Ale or an Oatmeal Stout.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Malty & Sweet


Hook’s Cheese Company, Inc.
Triple Play Extra Innings
Wisconsin, USA

Hook's Extra InningsA fantastic blend of three types of milk – cow, sheep, and goat.  Flavor notes that come through – Baby Swiss, Havarti and Gouda. Aged over a year.  At this point the Gouda flavor has become more prevalent and crystals have started to form.

FOOD PAIRING:
Dried apricots, dried cherries, sliced apples and pears; as well as flatbread, sesame breadsticks, olive tapenade, and shelled pistachios.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Zinfandel; for beer, look for something Hoppy and Bitter such as an IPA.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Hoppy & Bitter


Hook's Cheese Company

© Photo by Hook’s Cheese Company, Inc.


ABOUT HOOK’S CHEESE COMPANY:

In 1970 Tony Hook began apprenticing at a small cheese factory in Barneveld and got his cheesemakers license in 1972. In 1976, college sweethearts, Tony and Julie, formed Hook’s Cheese Company. At that time they only produced Cheddar and some Swiss. Since then, they have not only grown into a much larger factory, they have also expanded their lines of cheese. This duo continues to produce award winning cheeses including Colby, Monterey Jack, Maple Jack, Muenster, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Parmesan, Swiss, Havarti, Gouda, Blue Cheese and many others. To learn more about the Hook’s family and the cheeses they produce, click here.


WineStyles of West Des Moines is excited to announce they have got their hands on a small amount of Hook’s Cheese Company’s special 15 Year Cheddar! While this is not featured in this month’s Cheese Club, we promise you don’t want to miss this. Ask how you can pick up this very special, limited cheese at your local wine store!

Monthly Cheese Club

Don’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

October Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubApple Smoked CheddarCarr Valley
Apple Smoked Cheddar
La Valle, WI

This white cheddar is apple smoked and then hand rubbed with paprika. It has a light smoky flavor that balances very well with the flavors from the paprika.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Merlot and Shiraz grape wines will bring out the mature flavor of the cheese. For beer, reach for a Hard Cider or a Porter when pairing with this cheese.

WINESTYLES: Bold, Fruity, or Nectar
BEERSTYLES:
Dark and Roasty; or Fruity and Spicy

Carr Valley Cheese

Photo by Carr Valley Cheese: Apple Smoked Cheddar

ABOUT CARR VALLEY:

Owned and operated by the Cook family, Carr Valley Cheese Company is over one-hundred years old. Nestled amongst the rolling hills and lush pastures of central Wisconsin, they remain one of Wisconsin’s traditional cheese plants, famous for making cheese the old-fashioned way!

Carr Valley Cheese has won numerous awards over the years and continues to offer delicious and unique Wisconsin Cheeses. Certified Master Cheesemaker, Sid Cook, has won more top national and international awards than any other cheesemaker in North America. As a fourth-generation cheesemaker, he received his cheesemaking license when he was 16, and now owns and operates four cheese plants and eight retail cheese stores in Wisconsin. As a company, Carr Valley Cheese began in 1902, and today is best known for producing high-quality, artisanal aged Cheddars. Using cow, goat, and sheep milks, Sid enjoys creating new cheeses, and Carr Valley now produces more than 50 original varieties.

APPLEWOOD SMOKED CHEDDAR AWARDS:

  • 1st Place 2016 Los Angeles Int. Dairy Competition
  • 1st Place 2005 American Cheese Society
  • 2nd Place 2007 World Cheese Competition
  • 2nd Place 2012 American Cheese Society Competition

Maytag White CheddarMaytag Dairy Farms
7 Year Aged Cheddar
Newton, Iowa

This 7 Year Aged Cheddar has a robust cheddar flavor and an assertive tang that can be slightly acidic or even lactic. It showcases dense, fruit notes and a slightly earthy flavor. The aging process takes the cheddar from a smooth creamy texture to a drier, more crumbly style. This is the 2nd most popular cheese in America and is very versatile. Traditional food pairings include apple pie, or a salted caramel for a nice contrast.

HOW IT IS MADE:
Made from cow’s milk, Maytag 7 Year Cheddar has gone through the traditional process of “cheddaring” which involves stacking the blocks of cheese on top of one another to press out moisture. The aging process makes the recognizable cheddar flavor of this cheese even more pronounced and concentrated.  Typical “grocery store” cheddars only age 2-3 months, while this cheddar is aged for 7 years.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS: For Aged Cheddars with earthy undertones, look for the yin and yang. This cheese pairs well with hoppy bitters and dryness, like an IPA Beer and a Cabernet Wine; or full bodied red, stout, or scotch.

WINESTYLES: Fruity; Nectar; or Bold
BEERSTYLES: Dark and Roasty; Fruity and Spicy; or Hoppy and Bitter

Maytag Family

Photo by Maytag Diary Farms: Maytag Family

ABOUT MAYTAG DIARY FARMS:

In 1919 E.H. Maytag, the son of Maytag Appliance company founder F.L. Maytag, purchased a single Holstein cow to provide fresh clean milk to his children. E.H. quickly developed a passion and determination to breed champion Holstein-Friesian cows that could supply milk to the community while also winning blue ribbon upon blue ribbon at livestock shows across the United States.

Cave Wheels

Photo by Maytag Diary Farm: Cave Wheels

Upon E.H.’s death in 1940, his sons Fred and Robert Maytag assumed leadership of the farms and Fred pursued his idea of creating a uniquely American blue cheese made from cow’s milk. Maytag Dairy Farms collaborated with Iowa State University to pioneer the first great American blue cheese that would compete with classic European cheeses such as Roquefort, made from sheep’s milk. The cheese plant and caves were completed a year later, and the first wheels of Maytag Blue Cheese were formed in October of 1941. Fred’s son Fritz Maytag assumed leadership in 1962 and helped guide the small family company for the next 50 years. In 2003, Fritz was awarded the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional, and in 2008 won the Beard Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement. Fritz now serves as Chairman Emeritus and a director with his brother, Ken Maytag, and their sister, Martha Maytag Peterson.

Today, Seventy nine-years after the first wheels of Maytag Blue Cheese were made, the family tradition continues. Each wheel is handcrafted on the family farm in the rolling hills of central Iowa. Maytag Dairy Farm is still owned and operated by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of E.H. Maytag. His legacy is the pleasure and joy taken from good food shared with people you cherish.


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

August Beer Club: Iowa

Memba Berries
Marto Brewing Co.
Member Berries
Sioux City, Iowa

Oh I memba! Kettle sour brewed with raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. Featuring a medium mouthfeel with moderate acidity, while remaining balanced with a massive amount of the three fruits. Contains lactose.

BeerStyles: Sour, Tart & Funky
Style: Fruited Sour
ABV: 6.8%


Smell of Money
Marto Brewing Co.
Smell of Money – DDH Sabro
Sioux City, Iowa

Smell that? That’s the smell of money, and hops are expensive! This Hazy double dry hopped DIPA (Double India Pale Ale) showcases double dried Sabro hops with notes of coconut, apricot and citrus.

BeerStyles: Hoppy & Bitter
Style: Hazy Double IPA
ABV:
7.9%

 

ABOUT THE BREWERY:
Marto Brewing Co. is an Iowa craft brewery and taproom featuring world class beer and wood fire food. They have a passion for brewing a wide range of beer styles, and will experiment with just about any flavor in search of the next best beer. At Marto Brewing Co., you will find the classics alongside new modern styles, but their favorites reside in their hazy IPAs, wild fermented sours, and massive barrel-aged stouts.  Marto’s lineup changes often, with some tried and true staples that are always on tap. You don’t want to miss their selections!

Smell of Money and Member Berries

Beer and Chocolate Pairing Guide

In our last post (click here to read), we celebrated National Chocolate Fondue Day with tasty chocolate fondue recipes, fun chocolate quotes, and our wine and chocolate pairing guide! We hope you enjoyed it, and will practice your wine and chocolate pairing skills all year long.

But, why should wine get all the attention? Let’s talk about BEER!

beer-chocolate-pairingSo, to all our craft beer lovers out there, we have good news — beer and chocolate go great together, too! In this post, we will discuss the basics of beer and chocolate pairing, and offer some tips for creating a match made in heaven.

Like wine, craft beer is a very complex product of ingredients, time, and art. There is a wide, and ever-growing, variety of craft beers being introduced into the market every day. Craft beer brewers are taking matters into their own hands, mixing and matching ingredients like we’ve never seen before. This new age of craft brewing has truly become an art form all its own.

Sweetshop Truffles WineStyles

Sweet Shop USA truffle assortment from WineStyles Tasting Station

Likewise, one bite into high quality chocolate and you’ll immediately realize the difference. Each variety of chocolate contains its own unique set of flavor profiles just like wine and craft beer. Similar to grapes, cacao beans and their subsequent flavors can be the result of a multitude of variables including topography, weather, soil conditions and harvesting processes.

Who ever thought that chocolate would pair well with beer? Let’s break it down: to put it very simply – chocolate and beer pair well together, because there is a desirable interaction between the richness of the chocolate, and the carbonation of the beer.

Think back to when we advised you to try champagne or sparkling wines with any type of chocolate in the chocolate and wine pairing guide. The carbonation in the bubbly, or beer, provides a round and full mouth-feel when paired with the fatty feeling of the cacao butter on your tongue.

As we move on, remember the best part of any pairing is the experience, the joy of experimenting and trying different flavors together. We’re here to give you a basic road map to help you along that journey.

Beer and Chocolate Pairing GuideStout Glass Craft Beer WineStyles

You may have guessed it – richer, bigger, and overall maltier beers typically pair the best with gourmet chocolate. These styles are known as porters, barley wines, sours, stouts, and barrel-aged beers. The rich flavors of these brews easily bring out the nuances in fine chocolates.

Beer with a higher alcohol content is better able to cut through rich cacao butter (this is especially important to heed if pairing with white chocolate, as it is higher in cacao butter).

It’s a good rule of thumb to first seek to match the intensity of the chocolate. If you’re opting for a dark-as-night gourmet chocolate bar, it would best be paired with an equally intense beer, such as a Russian Imperial Stout. Sours pair well with most milk chocolates, because they balance out the sweetness.

Sweetshop Milk Pecan Brag WineStyles

Beers with nut and caramel flavors pair well with a Sweet Shop USA gourmet Milk Chocolate Pecan Brag

If you’re unsure how intense your beer might be, or want to try another route, try matching up similar flavors. For example, IPAs are notoriously difficult to pair with chocolate, due to the bitterness of the hops used in making them. They do, however, tend to embody notes of summertime citrus. Match those citrus notes with a chocolate that has added lemon or orange zest for a pleasant pairing experience. Are there caramel or nutty notes in your chosen beer? Try pairing it with matching flavors — a delicious caramel truffle, or a nutty gourmet chocolate.

We know what you’re thinking — is there a universal pairing? One beer that can be paired with nearly any chocolate of choice? Yes, indeed, one beer rules them all when it comes to versatility! That king of beers is the fruit-infused Lambic. Kriek (Cherry) or Framboise (Raspberry) are great selections for a spot-on chocolate pairing 99% of the time.

Like we said in the beginning, it is the journey that is the most fun. If you’re a beginner, try casually picking up a gourmet chocolate truffle the next time you head to your local WineStyles to pick up craft beer. If you’re already ahead of the game, invite friends over for a fun beer and chocolate pairing night. Have fun picking out which chocolates to pair with your favorite craft beers. You may just love what you find!

Love Craft Beer? 

BeerClubLogoJoin our exclusive Craft Beer Club* and you’ll be among fellow beer lovers across the country. Each month you’ll discover remarkable craft brews, each with different beer styles such as Ales, IPA’s, Pilsners, Porters or Stouts. Monthly beer selections are chosen locally, focusing on beers from small independent brewers to regional microbrewers to international brewers using time-honored brewing methods. Plus you’ll enjoy all the perks that come with our Craft Beer Club memberships! It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing hand-crafted beers all year long! Gift memberships can be purchased by visiting your nearest WineStyles Tasting Station location.

*Craft Beer Club is not available at all WineStyles locations. Please see your local WineStyles for details and information. (Click here for store locator).

Thanks for reading, 

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When Dogs Fly

Matt_Brophy_FlyingDogs

Interview with Matt Brophy, Brewmaster & COO of Flying Dog Brewery

Since opening as a brewpub in Aspen, Colorado in 1990, Flying Dog Brewery has taken the craft beer world by storm.  Today they ship more than 800,000 cases a year, across the world from their state-of-the-art facility in Frederick, Maryland.  Matt Brophy, Flying Dog’s Brewmaster and COO, shares with us what makes craft beer so unique.

What makes craft beer different from other beers?

Craft beers draw their inspiration not from the factory profit-driven-machine mentality but from the creative desire to produce a product that is unique to its creator, the brewer, and enjoyable to the customer.  Although beer is very simple in that is contains only four ingredients – water, malted barley, hops and yeast – it’s the nontraditional ingredients such as the use of spices, fruits, sugars and alternative cereal grains that has found its way to craft beers.

How does Flying Dog brew their beer?

Flying Dog brewers use traditional brewing techniques and all-natural ingredients.

FlyingDogs-PaleAleWhat are some of the different flavor profile you can find in a craft beer?

Generally speaking all beers are a balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness.  A good brewer can manipulate ingredients to produce aromas and flavors ranging from crisp and quenching to much bolder sensory experiences.

With the Super Bowl coming up, can you recommend special beers that pair well with Super Bowl food/snacks?

Our hoppy Snake Dog IPA pairs with a spicy-hot pepper jack cheese but it will also do well with hot wings, spicy salsa or queso dip. Dog Schwarz is brewed using smoked malt and has a moderate amount of smoke in the aroma and flavor.  This beer pairs great with smoked or grilled meats.  A malty American amber lager like our Old Scratch goes great with some brats from the grill.

What tips do you have for pairing craft beer with food?

The simplest and best advise I have is to have fun and experiment.  There is no “right” or “wrong” pairing as long as it tastes good to you.

Winter Brews

BobBrewmasterInterview with Bob the Brewmaster

Our own craft beer enthusiast, Bob the Brew Master, has been keeping busy scooping out the latest in the world of craft beer. Today, he shares with us the latest trends and pairing ideas for the big games and the holidays.

What are the latest brew trends we’re seeing this winter?

Winter brings out the higher alcohol beers that are typically darker and often spiced. Although with the popularity of IPA’s I’m looking forward to some aggressively hopped double IPA’s this winter.   This Saturday, November 8th is International Stout Day — another beer style to consider this season.  While stout beers appear dark, most are creamy and rich, sometimes even sweet. If you’re traveling this holiday season, I highly recommend tasting some regional stouts when you are in town.   Whether you pick up a local brew at the nearest WineStyles or local brewery, it’s all about “taste, learn and enjoy”.    I recently had the opportunity of enjoying a St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout in Montreal, a rich brew punctuated by espresso and chocolate notes, topped with a thick, creamy head with just a hint of mocha.

What beers would you recommend to enjoy with big games?

There are some great seasonal beers available now, like Goose Island Mild Winter, Bells Winter White Ale, Sam Adams Fat Jack and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. These are great selections on game day.

rogueturkeyAny recommendations for which craft beers to pair with a Thanksgiving feast?

Malty beers tend to go well with turkey & stuffing things like Stone Brewery Levitation Ale, Flying Dog Old Scratch or Oskar Blues Old Chub and for dessert Southern Tier Choklat Stout.

Any recommendations on what beers would make a great gift for beer connoisseurs?

Seasonal Holiday beers always make a great gift basket or stocking stuffer like Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve.

 Why do you think the beer club is a great idea?

Having a beer expert suggest fantastic new craft beers for me to enjoy every month – what’s better than that?

Want to learn more about craft beer or submit a question to Bob? Send your questions to info@winestyles.net to be considered for the next posting. Cheers to your holiday celebrations!

Fall for Great Beers this Season

BobBrewmasterInterview with Bob the Brewmaster

Our own craft beer enthusiast, Bob the Brew Master, has been keeping busy scooping out the latest in the world of craft beer. Today, he shares with us the latest trends and pairing ideas for autumn.

What are the best beers to enjoy this fall?

Fall means Oktoberfest. The cooler fall weather makes the craving for hearty more flavorful and substantial beers arrive. As the leaves gets darker on the trees, so does the trend of enjoying darker beers and flavors that are typically more toasty and malty.

What are the newest flavors we’ll find on shelves this season?alltech

More and more craft brewers are showing off their brewing talents with some great pumpkin ales, brown ales, black IPA’s, Porters and Stouts.  Warmth inducing, stronger flavor and higher alcohol beer is great for cool weather.    Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale is aged in fresh bourbon barrels, the sweetness of caramel and vanilla are imparted upon the brew and complement its spicier base.  This robust, limited release seasonal makes for a flavorful sipping beer to slowly warm up with as the weather cools.

Pumpkin Patch Ale Product ShotWhy do you think pumpkin and other strong flavors have taken over as the newest fall traditional beers?rogue_farms_pumpkin_patch_ale

Beer geeks are always looking for new unique flavors and extreme beers.  American Craft Brewers continue to push the envelope on taste and style with pumpkin ales, strongly hopped double or Black IPA’s, higher alcohol beers and chocolate and coffee stouts.   I’m especially impressed with Rogue Ales, who grow their own ingredients from “patch to batch”, just look for their GYO label (Grow Your Own).  Whenever you see the Rogue Farms label, you’ll know they are farming their own ingredients.   Such as their Pumpkin Patch Ale, made with their own hops and pumpkins grown at Rogue Farms in Oregon, and brewed with a touch of ginger, cloves, vanilla bean, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.  This craft beer pairs especially well with pork or desserts.

 What’s your favorite craft beer and cheese pairing for the fall?

I like to pair a nice hoppy IPA like Stone Ruination IPA with an aged Gouda or an Oskar Blues Ten Fidy with a Strong Blue or Asiago cheese.