Am I a bad beer drinker for not being familiar with Westvleteren Brewery and their three classic Belgian Trappist brews? Probably. Regardless, once I sat down and started doing a little research, I quickly found out I had something special in my possession. If you were like me and unfamiliar with Westvleteren, let me get you up to speed on what my Google search results overwhelmingly reports as one of the best beers in the world.
Last week I was walking around the grocery store when I stumbled across this giant orange monstrosity that was a pile of dozens of different types of pumpkin ales, ciders and other types of beer that breweries felt appropriate to sprinkle fall’s signature flavoring in. Wading through stuff that didn’t interest me, I found a couple of beers that weren’t prominently up front, and to my enjoyment one of those was No Label Brewery’s third Off Label release.
There’s a difference between being a Texas brewery, and then really brewing something Texan. I know that might sound ironic considering we’re going to be talking about a German-style beer that does use German hops, but stay with me here.Last year, Robert Earl Keen, the Houston, Texas born and raised country singer, got with Pedernales Brewing Co. Fredericksburg, Texas, to collaborate on a beer that would feature Texas Hill Country well water but more importantly uses Llano, Texas-based honey producer Fain’s Honey Co.
A fairly recent newcomer to the DFW brewery scene, Community Beer Co. opened its doors in 2013. One of the special beers it did occasional releases of was Inspiration Belgian Strong Ale, which was named after the street the brewery is located - Inspiration Drive. This year they decided to do an interesting mix of barrel aging past your average bourbon barrel fare. The second release in their Barrel Aged Series takes the Inspiration brew, ages two thirds in bourbon barrels that were used to age its Barrel-Aged Legion, and then the other third in Colorado "craft" whiskey barrels.
Today I’m reviewing a beer that has had an extensive amount of name changing in less than a year’s time span. Half Acre Beer Company out of Chicago, Ill. created an IPA that would be their first regular production beer in that style. Half Acre named it Heyoka India Pale Ale and released it in November 2013. It went on to win the silver medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival for the American-style India pale ale category.
What do you get when you match up a guy who started working in the brewery industry at 20-years-old and a woman who majored in marketing, graphics, studied business and has a strong entrepreneurial spirit? A brewery of course! The husband and wife team Daniel and Deborah Carey are the owners of New Glarus Brewing Co., which was founded in 1993 when Deborah Carey raised the capital to start it as a gift to her husband. Coincidentally, as founder of the brewery, she became the first woman to found and operate a brewery in the United States.
A couple months ago I had the pleasure of reviewing the No Label Brewing Co’s Perpetual Peace. The wee-heavy aged in bourbon barrels was part of the brewery’s Off Label Brew Series, which is a limited production set of beers on the experimental side of things.
Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Pilot Series is another one of the breweries special lines that have grown out of the Rough Draft Series, much like the Hopothermia that I reviewed back in February. The Pilot Series rotates through these beers, much like seasonals and are a limited production that is shipped nationwide to all states they distribute in.
Today I’m reviewing a beer that seems to be having an identity crisis. The brewery’s name and beer names are in French, with a beer style from Scotland, using some ingredients from Canada. It would probably make more sense if I told you that the brewery was based in Quebec though, so let’s start over.