Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sacramento Beer Week, Day 1 :: Friday, February 22, 2013 :: Boulder Never Summer Ale, Boulder/Knee Deep Shakenbake, Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Leipziger Gose, Odin's Tipple Dark Norse Ale, Tripel Karmeliet

They call me... the Photobomber.
It's BEEEER WEEEEK! Woo hoo! While I feel guilty that I am leaving my sweet kiddo at home with Nana to attend these awesome beer events, I just keep reminding myself that it's only once a year... ok, now that I've satisfied my nagging Catholic guilt... let's talk about beer!

The first Friday night of Sacramento Beer Week... so many events! How is a craft beer lover to choose just one?! Jim and I headed to Dad's Kitchen to meet up with our buddy Andy from Boulder Beer and his zany crew of craft beer loving friends - Andy made it easy - he sweetened the pot by telling us we would get to hang with Jeff Brown, the President of Boulder Beer. Ding ding ding, winner!

At Dad's I ordered a pint of Boulder's Never Summer Ale, which was really tasty. It is medium amber-red in color with a nice puffy head. Medium bodied, very nice caramelly malt flavor spiced with hops at the finish. I had a second pint. Which means I like it, a lot. Read that again in the Dumb and Dumber voice... do it... it's funnier.

Jim tried the Shakenbake, a collaboration between Boulder and Knee Deep - Colorado's oldest microbrewery partnering with one of Sacramento's youngest microbreweries to create a rye IPA that we really enjoyed. Rye enhances the beer's flavor and adds a touch of grainy spice to the citrusy hop flavor. Good stuff.

Andy is a genuinely cool guy, and Jeff was a super down-to-earth and nice dude (what a pleasure to meet him)... and then there's Andy's crew... They. Were. Hilarious! After just a few minutes it felt like I had known them forever, and I think I've been recruited to play on their indoor softball team - beer makes things like this hazy. My best friend Melissa and her hubby Peppe joined us too - our table was overflowing with craft-beer-loving people, with some old-school beer guys, 2 Jessicas, 2 Melissas, a Sicilian, and one crazy beard.

At one point, someone said, "Pizza the Hut is better than Jabba the Hutt," followed by, "he ate himself... to death!" and we absolutely dissolved into laughter. I'm sure it was funnier in context (and lubricated by craft beer). Their friend Melissa was most definitely the life of the party - what a riot! Imagine a ball of energy with gyrating hips, the mouth of a sailor sometimes speaking in tongues, absolutely no shame, an unbelievably effective pouty lip, and the charm of the devil - that's her. I don't know if you've ever seen/heard me laugh, but when something truly strikes me as funny, I throw my head back and let loose a cackle that makes heads turn a half-mile away. I'm so ladylike. *curtsies* My cheeks were burning from smiling so hard. We were having so much fun that we were asked to pipe down by the table behind us on the patio... party poopers, you know who you are. So we decided to make our way to more boisterous pastures.

We hit up the Shack, which was *technically* closed, but we are special, so we got to join the after hours party. Talk about feeling like a VIP! No but really, we are very fortunate to be good buddies with Gary, the owner of this fine establishment, who is one of my favorite people on the planet and just so awesome. He was stoked to meet Jeff from Boulder, so that definitely helped.

Gary is an amazing craft beer man - he gets his hands on some really obscure and rare stuff, and he's very excited to share great beers with those who appreciate them. Here's what we sampled there:

Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Leipziger Gose :: Clear golden in color, very light bodied with a thin mouthfeel. Smelled like sour apples and had a tart flavor.  Dry finish.  A light weight at 4.6% ABV.

This is only the second Gose I've tried, and it was not bad, but not sure I'd buy it myself. I loved the Sam Adams Verloren Gose, which had a better mouthfeel and more flavor.



Odin's Tipple Dark Norse Ale :: This is a Norwegian dark ale that weighs in at 11% ABV. I wish this came in cake form. Very dark brown in color, almost black. Smells and tastes like a beautiful dark chocolate cake covered in coffee and vanilla beans. Slight alcohol warmth, with a hint of licorice flavor. Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Delicious. I'm drooling at the thought of having it again.

And I had to finish my night with one of my favorites, Tripel Karmeliet. Aaahhh!

What a fantastic start to Beer Week!

P.S. Don't drink and drive, kids. Taxis are the way to go.

Cheers!



>^..^<

{image courtesy of sacramentobeerweek.com}
Hashtags :: #sacbeerweek #SBW2013 #craftbeer #locallove #rarebeers

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