We’re excited to announce that Craft Beer Nation will be at Savor this year. Besides wandering around taking in the sips and sights and enjoying a Salon we will be there with our gear to nab some interviews with some of the Craft Beer industry leaders. We’re hoping to be able to broadcast live on air as well at some point from the event.
As the day draws closer we hope to share more details. Till then, prost!
Jeremy Danner started at Boulevard back in 2008 as a full time brewer and spent a few years being the brewing face of the brewery, developing the skills that developed into his current role, since 2013 as Boulevard’s Ambassador Brewer.
So just what is an Ambassador Brewer? According to Jeremy:
“I do our social media. I also am kind of involved with recipe formulation, and cuz of all of the travel I get to see what’s happening in a lot of different beer scenes around the country and try to bring back that information to kind of help us be informed on what’s happening, what sorts of beers we should make and what’s going on.”
As our host Matthew Miller jokingly summed up: “So, you’re a spy. Your Ambassador duties include spying.”
Having never homebrewed Jeremy made his first batch of beer professionally in 2006 in a neighborhood brew pub where he bartended. He brewed 7 barrels and hasn’t looked back since.
For our full conversation with Jeremy Danner, Boulevard’s Ambassador Brewer watch here
-Jeremy Danner’s road to Ambassador Brewer
-Ommegang Nirvana IPA brewed at Boulevard
-On Boulevard Being purchased by Duvel
-Imperial Stout X Series
-The Calling IPA – Boulevard’s new super hopped IPA or, as Jeremy says: “The Beer of Destiny”
Every Friday evening Craft Beer Nation gathers together for a Hangout On Air on Google + that is also broadcast live on YouTube. Each Friday we explore a different style of Craft Beer.
We recently took a 3 week journey through the Craft Beer Ale, exploring, drinking, discussing, Pale Ales, India Pale Ales and Double/Imperial India Pale Ales.
We drank a lot of beers, and had some great roundtable discussions on the variations of these styles. Throughout the three weeks was a lot of discussion on Hops and all they bring to craft beer.
Here’s a breakdown of our Ale trip.
Matthew Miller – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Charles Dunkley: – Bronx Brewery, Bronx Pale Ale
Lola Lariscy – Intuition Ale Works, Victory Pale Ale
Tom Snyder – Icelandic Pale Ale – Einstok Olger
Doug Nolan – 3 Floyds, Zombie Dust
Randy Gardner – DC Brau, The Public
Ricky Potts: Firestone Walker Pale 31
Jeffrey J. Davis – Alaskan Big Mountain Pale Ale
INDIA PALE ALE
Randy Gardner – DC Brau / Oskar Blues – Smells Like Freedom
Matthew Miller – Rhinegeist – Truth IPA
Lola Lariscy – Veterans United – Hop Banshee
Gil Melo – Santa Fe Brewing – Happy Camper
Charles Dunkley – Sixpoint Bengali
Patrick Webster of Erie Better Beer Bureau – Bell’s Hopslam
DOUBLE / IMPERIAL INDIA PALE ALE
Ricky Potts – Firestone Walker – Double Jack
Charles Dunkley – Rooster Fish – Hop Warrior
Jeffrey J. Davis – Odell Brewing – Myrcenary
Randy Gardner – Trillium – Upper Deck
Gil Melo – Founders Doom
Besides giving our impressions of the above craft ales we also dove into discussions about sub styles like the Black IPA. And what constitutes a Double or Imperial IPA. We also touched on Hype and its impact on pricing craft beers.
And of course we shared our love of the Hop itself and all of the wonders it can bring to a beer. We had a great time and each learned something new, tried new beers and overall enjoyed our exploration of the Ale. Like most craft beer drinkers we also took quite a few beer pics during each episode. You can find those on the Google+ Event pages (found in each episode article linked below.
Above are the full Friday Night Hangout Episodes for each style. For snippets from each show you can click on the Sips and Clips Playlist link below.
Next we’re moving to the other side of the spectrum and will be spending a couple of shows exploring the Lager, beginning with the Pilsner.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Ale, and on our upcoming Lager shows. And if you have a style of craft beer you’d like to have us dive into drop us a comment here or hit us up on one of our Social Media sites.
PILSNER is a Pale Lager, named after the city of Plzen, Bohemia, Czech Republic where it was first brewed in 1842. The well known Pilsner Urquell is still brewed there to this day.
One staple of the Pilsner is the Saaz Noble Hop, which gives this style its mild, herbal and earthy notes, along with a little spice. The Saaz Hop is the dominant hop produced in the Czech Republic. Our own Gil Melo is a huge fan of the Pilsner.
“Pilsner are very delicate beers. Softness and freshness are crucial.” – Gil Melo
The Modern Pilsner falls into three main categories:
Jever Pilsner – photo by Charles Dunkley
Lagunitas Pils – photo by Charles Dunkley
Heinekin – photo by Charles Dunkley
After spending three weeks celebrating the boldness of the American Hop, this week we take a sharp turn back in time to the Lager side of the spectrum and specifically to the Pilsner. We will be exploring Lagers further in a couple of weeks, diving deeper into this traditional well. But for #FNH154 it is all about the Pilsner.
The traditional Pilsner is a difficult style for the craft beer drinker to explore as many of the main players that helped create and build the style are now owned by the major Macro Brewers. More American craft brewers are delving into the style, beginning to offer a bit more of a selection for those among the craft beer drinkers who choose not to give any of their money to the Macro Breweries.
“Because Pilsners are soft and crispy in flavor, any defects that may exist in the beer are more perceptible than in most other styles. You can not mask a bad Pilsner.” – Gil Melo
While the Pilsner may seem a simple style of beer it is its own artform. A great Pilsner stands forward providing that crispness and refreshment with no loads of hops to mask deficiencies. Pilsner is the acoustic folk singer of the craft beer world. Out there with nothing to hide behind. And when done right it’s that perfect beer for a hot Summer day.
“I love Pilsners. They are wonderful example of balance. When the summer comes I grab all the Pilsners I find to enjoy in those sunny hot days while grilling my BBQ.” – Gil Melo
Join us Friday, April 17, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the PILSNER. Do you have a favorite? Or do you walk right past them on the shelves?
Friday, April 10, 2015 we wrap up our Pale Ale journey with Episode 153 and the Double India Pale Ale. This is also become known as the Imperial IPA as some breweries package theirs as Triple IPAs.
We were going to break Double and Triple out into their own Episodes but since Triple IPA isn’t really a recognized style (that and the availability of the few marketed that way isn’t widespread enough for our Panel to all get their hands on) we’re combining them for this episode.
While the IPA may be the rock star of the Craft Beer world, for hop heads it is the DIPA that really reigns supreme. The IPA today is more like the Pale Ale of yesteryear. If we are in the mood for Hops. We are in the mood for HOPS!
Pack them in there. We want the nose to send us off to some tropical paradise. We want the citrus and mango and pineapples to rampage across our palate.
But that doesn’t mean we want only hops. A big Imperial IPA needs to have a robust Malt backbone to balance it out. A DIPA that’s only Hops quickly fades into an unbalanced mess. A proper Malt presence really is key to a great beer.
THE BIG THREE
In the world of the DIPA or Imperial IPA there is The Big Three:
Whenever talk makes it way around to the DIPA these are the three beers most often spoken of. Personally I’ve only ever had Hopslam out of the three so I can’t speak for whether or not they are all deserving of this accolade.
Note: Anyone interested in sending me some Pliney or Heady to see if they are worth the hype, feel free to let me know.
I’ve had Hopslam twice. The 2014 Hopslam was my first taste. I could see why this beer had the hype surrounding it but was underwhelmed. And then I had the 2015 Hopslam and it blew me away. I’m guessing last year must have been an off year because the 2015 is phenomenal.
Now, that said, I have a DIPA and an Imperial IPA marketed as a Triple that I would both rank above Hopslam, but this is personal preference on my part.
Sixpoint Resin – IIPA
Sixpoint – Resin – DIPA
Sixpoint Hi-Res – IIIPA
Sixpoint – Hi-Res – IIIPA
I will drink these two beers over Hopslam any day. Where Hopslam gets its unique spin on the Imperial IPA with its addition of honey, Resin and Hi-Res are all about that big piney, resin. That bitter citrus. But both have a strong malt backbone that keeps either from going over the cliff.
Side By Side
Sixpoint Hi-Res and Bells Hopslam
I recently did a side by side comparison with Hi-Res and Hopslam and they were strikingly similar. Hi-Res wins out for me with its far more enjoyable finish. Hopslam leaves my palate with an odd aftertaste whereas Hi-Res leaves it clean and wanting more.
There are way too many great DIPAs to list here. Your mission: go and seek them out. If you like Hops but haven’t made the deep dive into these waters yet now is the time to go for it.
Join us Friday, April 10, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Pageand on our Ep. 153 YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the DIPA.
On Episode 38 of the Craft Beer Nation Pints and Quarts Breckenridge Brewery unveiled the artwork for (and were drinking) their new IPA:
Here’s a clip from the Pints and Quarts episode. You can find other snippets from our shows on our new “Sips and Clips” Playlist which will highlight moments/reviews from our weekly Friday Night Hangout and Pints and Quarts shows.
Screen capture from Craft Beer Nation Pints and Quarts Ep. 038
INDIA PALE ALE is perhaps the most well known style of craft beer. Or at least it is the one with the most name recognition. From the dedicated craft beer drinker to the macro beer drinker wondering what this “craft” beer thing is all about, to the hipsters who don’t really know a lot about craft beer but order it because that’s what they feel they should be doing, the IPA is probably the most selected style.
Especially here in America. The American Pale Ale dominates the craft beer market. If you brew beer you had better brew an IPA because that is going to be a big seller, if, of course, you brew a good one.
There’s many a history lesson out there about the India Pale Ale. Born out of the old colonial British Empire this style has morphed into what it is today. The IPA is another great example of American ingenuity and desire to put our stamp on something that’s been around as long as we have as a nation.
Today, the IPA falls into two main camps: English IPA and American IPA
The English IPA is characterized by a more balanced presence between Hop and Malt and is often little lower in ABV% than the American IPA. While the hoppy bitterness is there, the caramel malts are right there with it.
In contrast the American IPA is a big bold beast of a beer. These are bitter beers with a strong floral or citrus hop character. The west coast IPA in particular is known for it’s grapefruit and other citrus elements.
Join us Friday, April 3, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the IPA. Do you have a favorite? Do you hate the style and think it is way over blown? Has the market just become way over-saturated with IPAs?
We want to hear from you.
You can watch the replay here:
#FNHBeer style: IPA
Editors note: This is for the Single IPA. Upcoming Episodes 153 and 154 will feature the Double IPA and the Triple IPA
On Friday, March 27, 2015 Craft Beer Nation will be celebrating Friday Night Hangout Episode 151 with the Pale Ale and a slightly revamped FNH 2.0 formula. For the most part the show will be what it has been: drinking and discussing a different style of Craft Beer each week. However, we’ve decided to concentrate a bit more on providing useful and interesting content and less shenanigans.
Going forward throughout the week we will be posting about that week’s FNH style leading up to our show on Friday evenings. We also want to hear from you. We want you to share your thoughts, pics, reviews on each week’s FNH beer style.
We’re also very interested in hearing your feedback. What do you like or dislike about the show? Without us hearing from you we don’t know if we are delivering content you find interesting and useful. And if you have any suggestions for a segment please let us know. Also, very soon we will be giving you the chance to choose an upcoming FNH craft beer style. Bottom line: we want to know what you like or dislike about each week’s style. We want you to be involved and have your comments shared.
So, we’ve had a blast finishing up 150 episodes and now we look forward to many more.
Reminder: This week’s #FNHbeer is PALE ALE. So share with us your thoughts on the style.
On Friday, March 20, 2015 Craft Beer Nation will reach Episode 150 of the Friday Night Hangout. We’ve celebrating with BARLEYWINE a big favorite of many of us here at Craft Beer Nation. A version of the Strong Ale, Barleywine has been around for a few hundred years. And it is another English style beer that America has taken and loaded up with hops giving us today’s divided Barleywine experience.
The English Barleywine is a big malty beer, often with a raisin or grassy note to it, and a warm alcohol burn.
The American Barleywine is a big Strong Ale loaded with hops. Some American Barleywines can border on the Triple IPA realm in terms of their hoppy profile.
Either way, a Barleywine is a beer you sit back and take a while to work your way though. It’s most definitely a “sipper” beer and not a quick toss one back style at all.
Here’s to the Barleywine. We look forward to enjoying our fair share on Episode 150 of our Friday Night Hangout over on Google+ and YouTube
Feel free to drop us a line over at either location or comment here with your favorite of the style. Cheers!
Craft Beer drinkers love looking at beer just about as much as drinking it. We come home from a “beer haul” and – before putting all of our finds away to get cold for immediate consumption or to cellar away for a few years – we proudly lay all the bottles out on our counter top and snap a few photos to share on our favorite social media websites.
And sometimes, while in the midst of drinking we snap a few shots that capture the light shining through the beer, capturing that perfect glance of how gorgeous that beer looks, like snapping that perfect sunset. Or we get lucky and capture lacing at its finest. Social Media has, as a byproduct, turned us all into amateur photographers.
Have you visited our Craft Beer Nation Community on Google Plus? It’s a great place to peruse and share great craft beer pics.