Thursday, August 11, 2011

MAXED OUT: Drinkin' Safari

A beer and food pairing post? Well, not quite but we'll let Max explain. Max..?

Alright, you crazy kids, I’m still trying to get statistics compiled from that article that I was going to talk about today, so instead I’m gonna talk about what I did this past Saturday night. As some of you may know, my roommate, Matt Steele, used to work for Stone Brewing
and is the current Social Media Coordinator for The San Diego
Zoological Society (which includes both the Zoo and Safari Park,
formerly known as The Wild Animal Park.) To make a long story longer,
this job-o-his includes some pretty freakin’ cool perk,s that
occasionally make their way to me. This past Saturday Stone Brewery
had a beer dinner at the Safari Park and aye was invited! Boom! Wait! Wait! It gets better. Not only was I invited, but because Mr. Steele was the only representative from the Zoo, we got to sit at the brewmaster’s table. Boom, again! Sos there I am at the Stone beer dinner, sitting at a table with Arlan Artsen (#3 in line at Stone) and Mr. Peter friggin’ Zien! You know, the guy who founded, built,
created, owns Alesmith Brewery?!?!?! Ya, kinda sorta beer geeked-out
a little when he started talking about how he came up with idea for
Speedway Stout and what not. Kindasorta!

Ok, so the highlight of the night was definitely meeting Mr. Zien but
I have to hand it to Stone; those SOB’s brought out some pretty
freakin’ good beer. And I have to take away from the Safari Park; the
food kinda sucked at life. Oh, and isn’t there something just weird
about eating meat at a place that saves animals and what not? I
dunno, maybe it’s just me.

So the beer! I know some of you know what a collaboration beer is
but for those of you that do not I shall inform you. Stone kinda
actually broke new ground with their usage of collaboration. What
they have been doing for the past few years is getting together with
different breweries' head brewers and concocting some pretty tasty
libations. Their first collab was with Alesmith and Mikkeller, a “brewery” out of Denmark. The reason I say “brewery” is because they don’t actually have a brewery. It’s just this young guy that goes around and makes beer at other breweries. I know, weird, and their beer is pretty unique as well. But this beer, brewed in 2008, was the hit of the night for me! A Belgian Triple that was accented nicely by the spices and the subtle hints of bubble gum. I asked Mr. Zien of Alesmith how he felt about this particular beer and he said, rather candidly, that when they first bottled it he wasn’t very impressed but was more excited to see what would come of it. And he was totally right. I had this beer some three years ago, and it was just ok in my opinion. But after three years of aging it has turned into such a bright and beautiful beer. The problem is that it will be tough to come by. They only brew these collab beers once, and since this one was 3 years ago the chances of finding it are slim to none. Sorry

Other beers that were at this dinner included El Camino “Un”-Real
Black Ale
which is a collaboration between Stone, Firestone and 21st
Ammendment (I had mentioned this beer in a previous blog about SF,),
there was Highway 78, a scotch ale collab between Stone, Green Flash
and Pizza Port Carlsbad. The two low-lights for me were the Holliday
Ale collaboration that Stone did with Jolly Pumpkin (remember the Oro
de Calabaza?) and Nogne and the ever forgettable Saison de BUFF that
Stone did with Dogfish Head and Victory. Yes, they actually brewed
this beer with parsley, sage, rosemary and, say it with me, thyme. No BS on that one.

So I just mentioned five beers that you probably won’t be able to
find ANYWHERE! But wait! I have good news. This summer Stone has
released two new collaborations that are available as we speak! I
know, I know. I do kick a$$. So go out there and keep your eyes
peeled for their collab with Iishi and Baird, the Green Tea IPA, which
I have had and personally do not like, but I don’t like green tea, so
it kinda makes sense. The other one that is available now is their
Cherry Chocolate Stout that they brewed with Troegs Brewery and this
year’s homebrew competition winners Jason Fields and Kevin Sheppard.
Oh, and Hoffer’s just so happens to have both of them available. Some
come on down and try em out!

As always thanx for checkin’ me out! You know where to leave the
commentos, and stick around next week when I promise to get to that
idiotic article from Travel and Leisure. SO FREAKIN’ STUPID!!!

Until next time my beer loving brethren, have a beer for me.

(ed. note: We've had the opportunity to meet Peter Zien. Super nice guy. ... A bad beer from Dogfish Head? Get out. Seriously, we don't understand the appeal of that swamp water brewery out of Delaware. People go nuts for their stuff but they just aren't that good. We don't get it.


SarahB said...

I'm just wondering if anyone in the history of food or drink reviews has ever used the term "...subtle hints of bubble gum" before. That's passion ;)

B-Daddy said...

Max, the Highway 78 is one of my all time favorite beers. Just never seem to find it at the store.