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the beers of 2010: June

July 1, 2010

If May wasn’t very varied, June picked up the slack and then some. I was almost tired of beer at one point in June 2010. Almost.

On June 12th I attended the Two Brothers Brewing Company’s ‘For The Love Of Hops’ fest. Their annual Hop Juice Imperial IPA release bash. Lots of great Two Brothers brews were served along with hourly guest taps. I got to try a few of those (and only remember one of them), but by the time the fest was heavily attended during the mid-afternoon, if you wanted to try any of the guest taps you had to line up about 45 minutes before they started pouring because the entire keg would get killed in roughly 10-15 minutes. Standing in line is no fun when there are plenty of other beers to drink sans lines.

A week later I visited Philadelphia for a work trip, and work I did, but was also able to head out to a few good pubs and restaurants in the evening (The Eulogy, The Irish Pol, The Khyber, Johnny Brenda’s, Kraftwork, National Mechanics). Even though I hit town the day after Philly Craft Beer week came to a close, luckily, there were still some good leftovers taking up taps at the local spots, which weren’t very crowded since I’m sure most of the Philly craft beer scene was hungover and/or back to work.

Later that same week, I attended the American Homebrewers Association annual national conference in Bloomington, MN, which included both a pro brewers fest night as well as a home brewers fest night. I have tried to recall what I could below, but I won’t even attempt to remember all of the beers I got to try there. It was overwhelming, astounding and beyond excellent. I also sampled as much, if not more, homebrew from talented brewers around the country as I did commercially produced craft brew.

There were a lot of beers pouring at the pro brewers night that are commercially available in the Chicago area, it being the midwest and all, so my focus was on trying everything I could that wasn’t. A few surprising highlights were actually the Samuel Adams Barrel Room collection beers. They’re being test marketed now around Boston and Denver, but they sent some out for the AHA. Really great stuff. So here’s the list…as best as I can remember, which is, not surprisingly, not well at all and missing many I’m sure.

June 2010:

21st Amendment Brew Free Or Die IPA
21st Amendment Hell Or High Watermelon Wheat
August Schell 150th Anniversary Hopfenmalz
August Schell FireBrick Lager
August Schell Schell’s Pils
Bear Republic Nor Cal Ale
Bell’s Two Hearted IPA
Boathouse Brewpub Hasselhop Rye IPA
Brew Works Space Monkey
Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA (something special with it…Cask? Dryhopped? Double? I can’t remember.)
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale (also learned that Deschutes is planning to distribute in the Chicago area in 2011!)
Dock Street Rye IPA
Dogfish Head/Stone/Victory Saison du Buff*
Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian IPA
Flying Fish ESB
Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster Belgian IPA
Lift Bridge Minnesota Tan (Belgian Tripel infused with lingonberries)
New Belgium Skinny Dip
Philadelphia Brewing Co. Kenzinger
Revolution Brewing Best Coast IPA
Revolution Brewing Bad Man Rye Ale
Rogue Chatoe Rogue Single Malt Ale
Rogue Chatoe Rogue OREgasmic Ale
Rogue Double Mocha Porter
Rogue Dry Hopped St. Rogue Red
Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale
Russian River Consecration
Samuel Adams American Kriek (Barrel Room Series)
Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Series)
Samuel Adams New World Tripel (Barrel Room Series)
Samuel Adams Belgian IPA (Beer Lover’s Choice 2010) – I voted for this one over the next one on the list.
Samuel Adams Rye Pale Ale (Beer Lover’s Choice 2010)
Schneider Weisse Hopfen Weisse Hefeweizen
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss
Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA
Smuttynose IPA
Stone Ruination Imperial IPA
Summit ESB
Summit Extra Pale Ale
Surly AHA Rally Wort (a few different versions of this fermented with   different yeasts)
Surly Bender
Surly Coffee Bender
Surly CynicAle Saison
Surly Furious IPA
Three Floyds Alpha King
Town Hall Masala Mama IPA
Town Hall Imperial IPA
Town Hall (a few others…can’t remember anything but wanting to try everything they were pouring)
Two Brothers Cane And Ebel
Two Brothers Hop Juice Double IPA
Two Brothers Oak-Aged Domaine DuPage
Vine Park Cuvee de Belgium
Weasel Boy Anastasia Russian Imperial Stout (cask)
Weasel Boy Bitter Sable Black IPA (cask)
Wyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA
Yards ESA
Yards IPA
Yuengling Black and Tan
Yuengling Traditional Lager

…and more homebrews than I would even dare to possibly recall…though I do recall my friend A.C. Ross’ West Coast IPA, which was pretty nice.

*After being disappointed in not getting my hands on any elusive Saison du Buff while I was in Philadelphia, back at home, nearing the end of the month, we took an after dinner date night trip into Brixie’s, in Brookfield, IL. Guess what had just gone on tap? The bartender said that they were the only bar in the Chicago area that was receiving any. Good timing. Things have been working out for the best lately…hoping it continues.

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