Tuesday, February 22, 2011

American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 48 - Pliny the Younger!

http://americanbeertv.net/ - Today for a special tasting, we go on location to Hollingshead deli in Orange, CA for their special release of Pliny the Younger!
The beer was scheduled to tap it at 10am, we got there at 8:30, and there was already a pretty good size line. We finally got in at around 11 and shortly after I got my beer in hand, the first of two kegs were gone. I'm sure there were a few people towards the end of the line that didn't get to try the excellence of Pliny the Younger.

I want to take this time to give some props to Kenny and the rest of the crew at Hollingshead Deli. They put on a great event and really did their best to cater to the crowd. Everyone was really cool and I think that comes out due to a shared love of craft beer. I would have loved to gone down the line and talked to everyone there, however, I had to save my space in line!

Pliny the Younger doesn't need much of an introduction, but I'll do it anyway. 11% triple IPA. Really well balanced, Good malt flavors and fantastic hop flavors. Really awesome beer, you need to try this one!

Sorry about the weird bars on the tasting segment, we turned the camera on it's side to focus the shot. Hopefully I was able to capture the experience at being at a Pliny the Younger release party!


Friday, February 18, 2011

American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 47 - Ballast Point Big Eye IPA

http://americanbeertv.net/ - This IPA from Ballast Point in San Diego, CA is different in its use of light floral, citrusy, grassy hops, and not so infused with the dank, earthy, really pungent bitterness that seems so previlant in west coast IPAs. Now I know a lot of hopheads love that dank stuff, but I think it's pretty refreshing to find a hoppy beer that doesn't clobber you over the head with hops. Big Eye IPA definitely has hop flavor, but here it's a lot of lighter flavor. I think this makes Big Eye IPA an immensely drinkable IPA, and at 7.0%, that could be dangerous. I really loved this one on tap, as it was less malty and carmelly than it was out of the bottle. On tap it tasted really fresh. I would recommend having this one on tap if you can find it, but if not still give the bottle a try!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Camera! Part 2 Flip and Playsport camera reviews.

So after the flip died on me after 5 days and 2 uses, I didn't want to risk getting another one. I went with the Kodak Playsport, which was the same price ($129) has higher video quality (shoots in 1080p HD vs the flip's720) and uses a removable memory card so I can select how much video I want to shoot at one time. Also, the Playsport shoots in uncompressed .mov format, while the Flip automatically compresses your video down to .MP4, reducing your quality before you get your video out of the camera. Thats why it can do two hours of HD video on 2 gigs, while the playsport uses an 8 gig memory card to get an hour and a half of HD video.

The playsport wasn't my first choice, I originally was looking at the kodak Zi8, which is about $179, but has a audio in jack so I could use an external mic. However, Best Buy was out of that model, and I didn't have the cash for the increased cost and a new mic.

The Playsport is supposed to be waterproof, which I don't really care about, but I guess I could just drop it in a glass of beer and shoot really Beer Video! :-) Beer goggles FTW!

The last two solo tastings were shot with the kodak, and I think it's a great increase in image quality.

Another camera to avoid would be the RCA small wonder. We picked up one of those and the image quality was horrible. What do you expect for a $50 video cam?

So in summary, Flip bad, Playsport good!
Back to the beer!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 45 - Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner

http://americanbeertv.net/ - This very light american craft beer is a lager from Laguinitas up in Petaluma, CA. Laguintas doesn't list the ABV, but beer advocate has it at 6.2 percent, which is really strong for a pilsner.

The overwhelming flavor profile in this beer for me is biscuit and bready malts. I'm not picking up that lager quality that is so often found, in fact this beer made me wonder if pilsner was a style like wit beers, that could be german ales, but no, this indeed a cold fermented lager.

Definitely one to czech out if you can find it near you!


American Beer TV: - Beer Tasting 44 - Noble Brewing Alpha Red

http://americanbeertv.net/ - YAY! I got a new camera able to broadcast in really good quality. Hope you can tell the difference from the previous solo tastings. Anyway! Back to the beer! Todays beer is Alpha Red from Noble Aleworks in Anaheim California. Sorry I said Fullerton in the video. I love red ales for their balance. This one is a bit on the hoppy side, but not too much. This is a great hoppy red ale. If you can find it definitely pick up a bottle and support the local beer brewers out there!

Friday, February 11, 2011

American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 43 - Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noir

http://americanbeertv.net/ - Bam Noire is a jolly pumpkin autumn seasonal ale released in September. It's a light drinking dark farmhouse ale with lots of flavor and complexity. We had a lot of fun with this one. Bam Noire goes down really smooth.

Here's what Jolly pumpkin says about it on thier website:
Bam Noire- Dark Farmhouse Ale
Dark, smooth, delicious. Aromas of worn leather and cool autumn nights. Notes of sweet plum and toasted raisin, hints of coffee and cacao. Lingering tart and refreshing finish. Only available for a few short months. Not to be missed.

Seasonal released in September
4.3% Alc./Vol.
750ml bottles - 12 case

American Beer TV - Beer 101 - Founding Fathers of Craft Beer Part 2

http://americanbeertv.net/ - Continuing from our last video, we explore and taste the beers of the founding fathers of craft beer.

Fritz Maytag of Anchor Steam
Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada,
Jim Koch of Boston Beer Co.
The Matt Family of Sarnac Brewing,
Greg Fish of Deschutes brewing
Jack Joyce and Bob Woodell of Rogue Brewing

From their tiny islands of real beer flavor awash in the sea of macrobrewery swill, these pioneers of beer crafted the mountains of revolution, changing the face of beer forever.

Take some time and re-experience the joy of discovering that moment when you found out that beer doesn't have to be just pale light lagers, and if you haven't had the pleasure of trying these beers, give them a shot. Although some may seem pedestrian daily drinkers now, they were the Double IPA's and Bourbon Barrel aged stouts of their day!


American Beer TV: Beer 101 - Founding Fathers of Craft Beer Part 1

http://americanbeertv.net/ - Today we discus the factor that lead to america's beer culture being dominated by fizzy yellow beer produced by megacorperations before the craft beer revolution began. Among them are, of course, Prohibition, the Dust bowl and the Great Depression, and World War 2. All three of these created an almost thirty year period of hardship for American brewers, killing of many of the smaller local brewers.

American Beer TV: Beer tasting 42 - Saint Somewhere Lecto Divina

http://americanbeertv.net/ Here's a really interesting wild belgian strong ale from St Somewhere Brewing in Tarpon Springs, FL. This 8.0% ale is surprisingly dry, with light crisp fruity notes and plenty of floral characteristics. Never had a Belgian beer quite like this one and we mean that in a really good way.


American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 41 - New Belgium Ranger IPA

http://americanbeertv.net/ Heres a daily drinker for all you hopheads out there. New Belgium brewing is a 6.7% ipa coming in at 70 IBU's!



American Beer TV: Beer News January 2011

http://americanbeertv.net/ Our first attempt at the beer news, we had a lot of fun with this one.

American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 40 - Avery Brewing Brabant Ale

http://americanbeertv.net Bring on the Funk! Check out the description below from avery's website!
Beer Style: Barrel-Aged Wild Ale, not brewed to any known style
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, dehusked carafa, honey malt, carafa 3, chocolate malt
OG: 1.074 ABV: 8.7% IBUs: 25
Barrels: Red Zinfandel barrels from Norman Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA.
Color: Dark brown with ruby corners
Availability: One and done. 694 cases produced. Bottled February 10th, 2009. Grab it if you can find it!

Experimentation. Ales and lagers that defy styles or categories. This is what we are about: our driving force, our passion. To further facilitate this innovative spirit, we've developed our Barrel-Aged Series where anything, and we mean ANYTHING, goes! Brewed for those as adventurous as we are!

No. 1, Brabant, is a luscious dark ale fermented with two strains of wild yeast (Brettanomyces) then aged for 8 months in Zinfandel barrels. We hope you enjoy sifting through the vast layers of complexity in this mysterious ale.

American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 38 - Caldera Brewing Ashland Amber

http://americanbeertv.net : This canned beer is a really basic, drinkable sessionable beer. It's really mellow, not a whole lot of aroma or flavor. If your looking for an easy to drink, basic craft beer, this is a good choice.

Flip's dead!

Ok, So last friday I bought a new white flip camera at best buy, and after one week it's dead. The darn thing won't turn on. It went off after recording a video Wednesday night and won't turn back on. A quick google search indicates that it's a pretty common problem.  Heading back to Best buy tomorrow to exchange it for something else. I'm thinking I will get a Kodak Zi8 or Playsport. Same price range but they support 1080 resolution instead of just 720 that the flip does.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 37 - Sierra Nevada Homegrown Estate Ale

http://americanbeertv.net:Todays offering is 100% american craft beer! Sierra Nevada's Estate Ale is made entirely from ingredients grown on their terroir in Chico, CA. Clocking in at 6.7%abv,this beer has a fresh, natural,and green flavor.

American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 36 - Kona Brewing's Pipeline Porter

http://americanbeertv.net/ Today we have a solid porter from Kona Brewing Co. in Maui Hawaii. Brewed with Kona coffee the coffee flavor really shines through. Unfortunately, not much else does. A good porter for coffee lovers!


American Beer TV: Beer Tasting 35 - Great Divide Hibernation Ale

http://americanbeertv.net/ : Great Divide has an awesome winter warmer in store for us. Hibernation ale is an 8.7% feast of malty goodness. Definitely give this one a try!


New camera!

Hey all. I'm sure that if you are looking at the page you notice that the video quality of the videos with both Kenny and I is clearly superior to the video quality of the videos of my solo tastings. That's because he had a nice HD Flip camera, and I was using my old digital picture camera's video feature. But no more! I've got my own flip now, and I can do solo beer reviews in HD glory, or at least close to it, as we scale down the quality a bit so we aren't loading 1.2 gig files all the time. This should help me get better video and pics up on the website, and inspire me to do some videos of my cooking processes! YAY!

We've been busy posting beer reviews on you tube as well. We have about 5 more beer tastings shot, and I've got almost a 12 pack of beers waiting to be reviewed in the fridge. Kenny's got like 3 cases in his fridge! We've got some great stuff coming, such as:

Lost Abbey Angel's Share in Bourbon Barrels,
Lost Abbey Angel's Share in Brandy Barrels,
All 4 of the sierra nevada 30th anniversary beers,
Ninkasi's Sleigher,
Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti,
Russian River Consecration

And much more!

Stay tuned to American Beer TV!