The BrewFL: Week 4

So (Insert caddy referee joke here).  With that out of the way it is my duty to inform you that there will only be 1 game pick this week and no picks next week.  I have decided to take a much needed vacation to Ireland for 9 days and will be indesposed.  Leaving the country tends to have that effect on you when you realize the gravity of what you have to do.  I plan on drinking well and wearing an endless amount of beer t-shirts.  Someone has to go to Europe and tell them they actually don’t know where the best beer is; the best beer in in America.  The Guinness Factory will be a stop and I plan on squeezing every bit of irish beer knowledge that I can out of this trip.

As for my robust picking record.  I have noticed that if you want to see a game that is close or involves an upset, just look at my picks.  I was apparently a magnet for contraversy but thankfully steered clear of that Packers Seattle game.  1-2 not bad overall when only deciding games arbitrarily on beer.  The game….

Washington Redskins (DC Brau) v. Tampa Bay Bucs (Swamp Head Brewery)

As a DC area resident I have to extol the first brewery to being brewing in the District since 1956.  They do a great job in giving DC a brewery that really reflects the city and its residents.  The beers have great names for different areas like their wonderful Penn Quarter Porter.  They also try to give you a vague connection to politics with names like Public and Corruption.   Both of these beers have a great earthy hop bitterness.  They did a collaboration with Epic Brewery the manifested itself in a robust Pumpkin Porter named Fermentation without Representation.  Fantastic roasty malt with a good essence of real pumpkin.  Its hard to find pumpkin beers that aren’t just simply pumpkin, and this one did a good job balancing the two.  The best offering that I have had from them was their Penn Quarter Porter aged in Rye Whiskey barrels.  It was unreal.  Robust flavor and great mellow whiskey flavor.  On to Florida….Swamp Head is another of my favorite Florida breweries that does a great job in breaking the perceived mold of Florida beer.   I got the chance to meet the brewers at a bar in the area and they ran an entire tap takeover while only bringing 1 beer that wasn’t a dark beer.  The brewers told me they just like to push the envelope and that the most popular beer style (in their opinion) that people took a liking to was the Berliner Weisse.  I tried their 10 10 10 IPA which was a fantastic hop punch in the face.  The true gem was the Church on a Hill Barleywine they did as a collaboration with Cigar City.  Fantastic rich dark barley wine.  Very malty with hints of raisins and dark fruit.  It really sent me stumbling home that day.  The Bogs of Islay was another awesome dark beer and really blew my mind that a Florida brewer was able to craft something so smokey and complex.  The Florida Breweries that I have seen only make me hope that they start gaining traction so we can get more of there beer up here.

Winner: DC Brau.  I have to go with them here.  I really enjoy the way that they have embraced the DC theme in their beers and it really shines through with a fantastic product.

Picture from DC Brau. Can’t beat those hops

On that note, I will be off to Ireland and should be back blogging in Mid October.  I am also finishing the planning stages of a Samuel Adams Belgian beer dinner.  It’s going to be a very rich meal so waiting for cooler weather isn’t a bad idea.  And I hope to have more beers for you to try for the fall as many brewers are rolling out their Harvest Beers.  Anyway…

As they say in Ireland, ‘Sláinte.



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