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mk05
07-18-2013, 08:48 PM
For the beer aficionados...I am changing the beer menu in the restaurant and was wondering if you guys could give me a handful of names that I could look into. I'd like to get names from Alaska, Nantucket, someplace in the mid-west (preferably Wyoming), and maybe NorCal. Any tasting notes you could offer from personal experience would be highly appreciated! Please see the following for further specifics:
- No IPA
- cult, not well known nation-wide
- if it is a bright beer, it should be refreshing but not sweet
- if it is a dark beer, it shouldn't be too smoky or too syrupy

Thank you guys

ChicagoWhiteSox
07-18-2013, 08:52 PM
For the beer aficionados...I am changing the beer menu in the restaurant and was wondering if you guys could give me a handful of names that I could look into. I'd like to get names from Alaska, Nantucket, someplace in the mid-west (preferably Wyoming), and maybe NorCal. Any tasting notes you could offer from personal experience would be highly appreciated! Please see the following for further specifics:
- No IPA
- cult, not well known nation-wide
- if it is a bright beer, it should be refreshing but not sweet
- if it is a dark beer, it shouldn't be too smoky or too syrupy

Thank you guys

Why you are looking at Alaska, Nantucket, Wyoming and NorCal?

SvilleKid
07-18-2013, 08:56 PM
Moose Drool Brown Ale. Big Sky Brewing Co. Montana. I had this beer several times late last year on a trip to Glacier Nat. Park. I think this fits the bill on what you are looking for in a darker beer. NOT heavy smoky, at all. Good nutty flavor, more hints of sweet than sweet in itself. My wife is NOT a beer fan, but she was all over this beer. NOT a hoppy beer, which is a plus from my standpoint! They also have a number of other brews taht are highly praised, but this is the only one I've had.

mk05
07-18-2013, 09:53 PM
Why you are looking at Alaska, Nantucket, Wyoming and NorCal?

Its what people around here would consider "exotic" or "out of ordinary."

pnoon
07-18-2013, 11:48 PM
San Diego should not be overlooked.
Absolute heaven for craft beers.
:2

mk05
07-19-2013, 01:40 AM
I'm really looking to hear opinions on any local breweries, as long as you are passionate about it, and it's excellent. Peter, what do you recommend from San Diego?

MedicCook
07-19-2013, 02:10 AM
What exactly are you looking for? You want to change up your beers but then you put all the exclusions in there. With all the no's you might as well stick with the big box beers.
Posted via Mobile Device

jledou
07-19-2013, 06:37 AM
I have only had a couple but they have been good http://www.alaskanbeer.com/home.html

Not sure on Wyoming but maybe check out Avery http://averybrewing.com/ or Avalanche http://www.avalanchebrewing.com/ in Colorado or Nebraska Brewing Company http://www.nebraskabrewingco.com/main.asp

You might also look at New Brew Thursday (Video podcast) for more ideas.

jledou
07-19-2013, 06:40 AM
forgot, another one from Kansas http://www.tallgrassbeer.com/ 8-bit and Buffalo Sweat are regulars around my house.

mk05
07-19-2013, 07:09 AM
forgot, another one from Kansas http://www.tallgrassbeer.com/ 8-bit and Buffalo Sweat are regulars around my house.

Thanks, I'll look into those. Any personal tasting notes?

pektel
07-19-2013, 07:17 AM
Tallgraas is excellent.

The one Brewery i would recommend, you probably wouldn't be able to get anyways. Surly. AMAZING beers, but if you don't live in or near MN, then you'd have to drive here to get it. Same thing with a second brewery, but it's in Wisconsin: New Glarus.

Those are two not-so-hidden gems that hit home runs time and time again. Surly Furious is on tap at my favorite local watering holes/restaurants/music venues, and sells VERY well.

pnoon
07-19-2013, 07:31 AM
I'm really looking to hear opinions on any local breweries, as long as you are passionate about it, and it's excellent. Peter, what do you recommend from San Diego?

The 4 bigger breweries that you might have access to are Stone, Ballast Point, Green Flash and Alesmith.

There are way too many smaller ones to recommend. I have no idea what you have access to. If you run across something from San Diego, feel free to PM me to inquire.

czerbe
07-19-2013, 09:25 AM
These are going to be East coast Brew houses but I'm here to tell you that Victory, and Stoudts are both top Notch and they make some great craft beer!

http://www.victorybeer.com/
http://www.stoudtsbeer.com/

BlackDog
07-19-2013, 10:06 AM
Here is a list of all the recognized styles of beer. If you click on each listing, it will give you a list of the top beers in that style. This should help you find the best beers for your restaurant. Remember, though, that not all beers are available in all areas. So you should also talk to your local distributors to see what they carry that will meet the needs of your business.

For example, in the American Pale Wheat style, the number one beer is Little Sumpin' Sumpin' ale, and is brewed by Lagunitas, in Laginitas California, and may well be available to your distributors. The number two beer is Oberon ale, and is brewed by Bells in Grand Rapids Michigan, and may not be available to your distributors.

At times like this your distributors will be your best guide to what they can offer outside of the "normal" beers for your area.

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style

organgrinder
07-19-2013, 10:58 AM
From Milwaukee:

Lakefront Brewery
New Glarus Brewing Co

Both excellent medium sized breweries

macsauce13
07-19-2013, 11:24 AM
West Sixth Brewery in Lexington, KY is producing some PHENOMENAL beer. My favorite is the Amber Ale. It is a hit here in KY and growing by the day.

http://www.westsixth.com/amber/

SvilleKid
07-19-2013, 12:26 PM
Marc... I forgot about a great beer, and it IS Wyoming based! Blacktooth Brewing Co. in Sheridan, WY. I spent several months in Sheridan with my wife last fall, and had several of their offerings. Pretty much every eatery and bar in town carried their brews, and they had their own restaurant at the brewhouse, so I drank their beer many times (and think I tried all their offering except the IPAs). All I had were excellent. And they have won a crapload of awards. It's been long enough I can't give detailed tasting notes for every one of of them, but I can tell you the ones I had were not hoppy (mainly because I don't like heavy hops beer). Their "Wagon Box Wheat" was my first choice, but I love wheat beers, so that's a given! It had citrus hints, but not a strong yeast presence!! I'm also a Irish Red Beer fan, and enjoyed their take on the Irish Red called "Bomber Mountain Amber". This was mildly hoppy, with some sweet, maybe a little hint of cinnamon or nutmeg (at least to me). Their stout, Stumpy Ridge Stout, was just what you'd expect from a stout, chocolate, coffee hints, thick and chewy, but had a noticeable (but still enjoyable) hoppy finish that helped cut the thickness back on the finish. I don't know where they will ship to, they have a fairly complete web site.

The earlier one I recommended from Big Sky Brewing.... I found Moose Drool in Wyoming and Montana, and believe they ship/sell over a fairly wide market. I don't think Blacktooth has near the market coverage as Big Sky.

BlackDog
07-19-2013, 12:34 PM
From Milwaukee:

Lakefront Brewery
New Glarus Brewing Co

Both excellent medium sized breweries
New Glarus doesn't ship outside of Wisconsin. I wish they did, I love their beers. I always get some when I go to WI to go fishing.

mk05
07-19-2013, 01:43 PM
Thanks guys, very much appreciate the thoughtful local feedback so far. I'll do research on the recommended brews.

mmblz
07-19-2013, 02:01 PM
no IPA ????
:confused:

i would imagine that with distribution the way it is you'd be better off posting the list of what you can actually get and then asking which ones people like, instead of getting suggestions of a bunch of stuff you likely can't get...

pnoon
07-19-2013, 02:30 PM
no IPA ????
:confused:

i would imagine that with distribution the way it is you'd be better off posting the list of what you can actually get and then asking which ones people like, instead of getting suggestions of a bunch of stuff you likely can't get...

I thought of that too, Julian.

I think that is a much better approach.

mk05
07-19-2013, 05:01 PM
We use Burke Anheuser and Harpoon, but I have enough connections to get whatever I need. Thanks guys

dial911
07-22-2013, 06:55 PM
I have a good recommendation for you, if I'm not too late:

312 Urban Wheat - Goose Island Beer Co.

The beer is golden blond in color, has a fantastic taste, and is definitely refreshing. Just what you are looking for!

mk05
07-22-2013, 07:09 PM
Not a problem, I think I'll keep the thread rolling.

If certain beers are great but very hard to procure on a consistent basis, I'll put them on a "beer of the week." I guess I'll bump this thread the next time I am looking for some inspiration.

Thanks everyone.

pnoon
07-22-2013, 07:25 PM
Not a problem, I think I'll keep the thread rolling.

If certain beers are great but very hard to procure on a consistent basis, I'll put them on a "beer of the week." I guess I'll bump this thread the next time I am looking for some inspiration.

Thanks everyone.

Let me know if there is anything from San Diego/southern California you'd like feedback on.

mk05
07-22-2013, 07:36 PM
Thank you! I will. I'll also do some primary research before reaching out next.

T.G
07-22-2013, 07:40 PM
NorCal is typically hop heaven, but I'll check tomorrow if a particular German brewery I know can get kegs out to Boston. No point in me suggesting what you can't get. I know they ship cases to PA, so maybe it's possible.

kydsid
07-22-2013, 08:17 PM
Lived for Alaska for 7 years and drank everything up there. You find anything from there and want an opinion let me know.

The only general opinion I'll give as to not waste time is for Alaskan Amber. It is a great Amber. It however does not travel or age well. In fact Alaskan Amber in Juneau tastes different than it does in Anchorage. There have been many times I have sent Alaskan Amber back after ordering it because it was old and skunky. To anyone who hasn't had it they don't notice, but I always do. Alaskan has been nice though and added production dates to the bottles so that can help.

mk05
07-22-2013, 09:08 PM
...Alaskan Amber. It is a great Amber. It however does not travel or age well. In fact Alaskan Amber in Juneau tastes different than it does in Anchorage.

This is a big secret of the beer business. It is incredible how beer changes character in temp/time/pressure.

The easiest test I give to people (who don't care/know the difference) is the Heineken test. I rarely meet anyone who drinks Heineken bottles - or even cans. They complain about the sharpness, the very apparent bitter taste that Heineken is "known for." But pour them a tall one from a day fresh keg without them knowing, and they will tell you that it is the smoothest, silkiest, richest beer that they've ever drank. Then show them the keg and watch as their minds are blown.

poriggity
07-23-2013, 12:27 PM
I don't know how easily you would be able to procure from these two breweries, because they are pretty small scale at this point, but Hands down my favorite is Ritual Brewing, with Hangar 24 coming in a close 2nd.

www.ritualbrewing.com
www.hangar24brewery.com

They are both in the Redlands, Ca area. Hangar makes great brews, and is a bit larger in distribution than Ritual. Ritual, though, IMHO has some of the best microbrew in California.

replicant_argent
07-23-2013, 01:14 PM
I am of the opinion as a homebrewer and a guy who enjoys a wide variety of styles of beer that your limitations may exclude some of the best beers you might carry that may have a profitable sales record for you. Excluding some beers that aren't ~your~ particular taste or style does not preclude that they may be wonderful beers for your customers and may pair well with your food for certain palates. Sometimes, a beer list might not be about "liking what ~you~ drink, and drinking what ~you~ like." I don't mean to be disrespectful of your reasoning, but that is what comes to mind when a limitation list is posted. Can you explain why the specifications were posted? I would be curious about the reasoning, purely for a zymurgic and gustatory fascination.

mosesbotbol
07-23-2013, 01:20 PM
Is there even a brewery on Nantucket and if there is, is it worth it to get beer from them? I can say that http://www.ipswichalebrewery.com/ are making some nice beer for a reasonable cost. Keeps the east coast maritime theme that one would associated with Nantucket. One beer from Montreal I really like is http://mcauslan.com/en/