Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2 Pumpkin Beers

my trio and i just finished 2 weeks on the road, and one of the highlights was sampling pumpkin beers along the way.  i'm a pumpkin fanatic, so of course pumpkin beer would delight me!  here are two we tried, and my discovery of heaven in a glass...

#1 - blue point pumpkin ale, blue point brewing co, long island, ny
we played at one of my favorite venues greyhorse tavern in bayport, ny.  they serve the most delicious and carefully prepared food here, so it was no surprise that they presented their pumpkin beer in pint glasses rimmed with cinnamon sugar.  the girls and i couldn't speak...this was absolutely one of the most lovely things i've ever put in my mouth.  the beer itself was so rich and full of flavor, while still being light-weighted.  it was perfectly crisp.  i could almost taste hints of apple in it - maybe it was the cinnamon reminding me of apple pie?  either way, it was the perfect combination of having great personality but not overpowering.  it paired perfectly with the skirt steak we all devoured.  i MUST have this beer again one day.  it's on the top of my list of all time tastes.  HEAVEN IN A GLASS!

#2 - great pumpkin ale, cambridge brewing co., cambridge, ma
the great pumpkin ale was my first experience of draft pumpkin beer years ago, playing in boston.  it had been my favorite until i discovered blue point pumpkin ale!  the cambridge great pumpkin ale is a little heavier and the flavors aren't quite as balanced as blue point.  it is still delicious, but it's weight made it more of a dessert beer option.  we all enjoyed it while playing at the cozy toad in cambridge, ma.  

#3 - we also tried a pumpkin ale in pittsburgh, pa, but i didn't catch the name of it as we were buzzing around trying to go onstage.  it was good, but on the much lighter side.  without knowing the brewery, it seems silly to critique it much more than to say that nothing can hold a candle to blue point pumpkin ale, with sugar and cinnamon on the glass!! :)

we'll be in the southeast in november - i welcome suggestions of pumpkin beers to try in TN, NC, SC and GA!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The 2 Best Beers I had in May...

I have gotten pretty behind on my beer blog.  I meant to update it during my 2 week tour through Colorado, where I usually discover the best new beer, but one of my new favorites actually was introduced to me in Nashville.

I played a private house concert in early May where the theme and focus was the Kentucky Derby, so the drink of choice was mint juleps.  They were delightful, made from fresh mint from the neighbors garden and simple syrup handmade from organic cane sugar by the host.  There was an array of Kentucky bourbons to chose from and I definitely decided that the mint julep is one of my new favorites.

However, what I didn't expect was when the host handed me a stout in a can.  He knew that I am a bit of a beer snob, so he was curious if I had tried Moo Thunder Stout by Butternuts Beer and Ale (New York).   The can looked familiar, but I couldn't say that I had tried it...THIS BEER IS RIDICULOUS.  It may even be a close runner to Young's Double Chocolate Stout as my favorite dark beer.  It is silky smooth with a coffee undertone, but isn't bitter at all.  A hint of chocolate adds to a full, complex flavor that has a quick finish, unlike other heavier stouts.  I was so thrilled when I saw it in my local Whole Foods!

Later in the month, I did get to try some new Colorado beers on my 2 week tour there.  Always a favorite brewer of mine, I got very excited when I heard Ska Brewery had a new beer called "Mexican Logger"...I first had it on draft at one of my mother-in-law's favorite Mexican restaurants in Durango.  I loved it so much, we requested that we had it backstage that night at our gig downtown!  The "Logger" is more of a full bodied pilsner than a lager.  The flavor is really round and complex, but still managed to be light.  It almost reminded me of a good loaf of fresh baked bread with a lather of butter on top!  We bought a 6-pack to take back to Nashville, but it didn't make it past Missouri!

Some of my other favorite beers in the summer: