Owen Ogletree's Brewtopia Brewsletter
September 17, 2015
Owen is founder/editor of www.Brewtopia.Info, columnist for Southern Brew News, associate editor for Beer Connoisseur Magazine, lecturer at South College's Professional Brewing Science Program, founder/director of Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting and Classic City Brew Fest, a BJCP National Beer Judge and judge at the Great American Beer Festival.
|Follow our craft beer adventures...||
|- Owen's Report from Belgium|
|I flew into Brussels last month to attend the spectacular European Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference (#EBBC15). Since I arrived a few days prior to the conference, I had to think of some way to kill time. Of course, this involved some classic Belgian beers!|
After spending a relaxing afternoon and night at the Chimay Experience restaurant, tavern and inn near the Trappist monastery in the southeastern corner of the country, I headed east toward the rural village of Houffalize, Belgium to enjoy a couple of nights at the La Vieille Forge brewery and B&B.
Brewery Inter-Pol: An Amazing Discovery
Located near Achouffe, the home of Brasserie d'Achouffe, La Vieille Forge is owned and operated by my wonderful friends Pol and Tine. The B&B's rooms each have a theme based on a different Belgian brewery, and a scenic cow path leads from the B&B downhill to the Brasserie d'Achouffe gift shop and tavern. The walk downhill to Achouffe is much easier than the walk back up after several strong beers!
Tine concentrates on the B&B side of La Vieille Forge, while industrious Pol has built a small, on-site brewery and pub called Brewery Inter-Pol and Au Grand Cafe. Not only do B&B guests enjoy Pol's wonderful brews, but people drive from miles around when they know Pol's cozy pub is open.
A true brewing genius, Pol has engineered a multitude of methods to churn out scrumptious beers from his nano brewhouse that's located just next door to his pub. He specializes in Witte Pol Belgian Wit and Zwarte Pol milk stout but finds great pleasure in concocting imaginative seasonal recipes like a spicy ale with rose hips and other flowers, a smoked golden ale, and a fruity, flavorful saison.
When in the area, be sure to stay at least one night with Tine and Pol to enjoy delightful hospitality and delicious house brews in a lovely setting.
Beer Bloggers in Brussels
At the conference a couple of days later, I knew life was going to be good when the opening tasting session included grand Belgian beers such as Saison Dupont with dry-hops, Omer Blond, Van Eecke Hommelbier, Liefmans Kriek Brut, Petrus Oud Bruin, Timmermans Oude Geuze, Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet, De Ryck Arend Tripel, Lefebvre Barbãr, Silly Scotch Barrel-Aged and Van Honsebrouck Cuvée du Château.
I met enthusiastic beer bloggers at the conference from several different countries, including the USA, Brazil, UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany and, of course, Belgium. Imagine how enjoyable it was to gather this many international beer enthusiasts in one place!
- A pre-conference excursion to the hop gardens at Palm Brewery, tour of Lindemans lambic brewery, and tours and tastings at Brewery Dupont and Brewery Dubuisson.
- Live beer tasting and blogging with Tripel Hop Equinox, Ename Pater, St-Feullien Grand Cru, Lindemans Oude Kriek, Duchesse du Bourgogne, Gouden Carolus Classic, Delirium Tremens, Sint-Bernardus Extra 4, Bush de Nuits and De Halve Maan Straffe Hendrik Heritage.
- A world-class dinner and beer tasting at Brussels' gorgeous Belga Queen restaurant.
- A Belgian Family Brewers party and tasting at the sprawling Delirium Cafe in central Brussels.
- A wide range of engaging panels and discussions focusing on Belgium's personable brewing history and beer styles. Who says that Belgian beer is boring these days? Quite the contrary, Belgium is still a world leader in the creation of remarkable beers of character, flavor and uncompromising quality.
Post-conference Lambic Excursion
I adore the complexity of true Belgian sour lambics that are spontaneously fermented and blended in the small region of Payottenland, just outside Brussels. My post-conference journey took me to the Lambic Visitor Center for exhibits and a video on brewing traditions of the region, 3 Fonteinen lambic brewery and blendery, and lunch at my favorite lambic-focused restaurant in Belgium - 3 Fonteinen Cafe.
After lunch, we made our way to Brewery Boon in the small town of Lembeek to chat with owner and lambic "godfather" Frank Boon and sip his remarkable beers. We wrapped up the excursion with a short visit to the annual festival of De Lambikstoempers local beer club that focuses on regional beers.
Click here (or on the photo above) to view Owen's video of 3 Fonteinen's Armand De Belder pouring our blogger group a delicious, tart lambic sample from a barrel in the brewery's cellar in Beersel, Belgium.
If your mouth is watering, keep in mind that Owen is planning a major group beer trip to Belgium next year. Keep watch on this Brewsletter for details on how to come along!
Beer Blogger Group at Lindemans Brewery
|- An Evening with Orpheus at Brick Store|
|Be a part of Brick Store Pub's Evening with Orpheus Brewing on October 6 that will feature bourbon barrel Minotaur, cognac barrel Sykophantes, Life.Death.Life.Truth IPA, Clio session sour, Twelfth Labor aged in Woodford Reserve barrels and sauterne barrel-aged Even the Furies Wept. |
For Atlanta Beer Week on October 17-24, Brick Store also plans an exciting ITP (inside the perimeter) vs. OTP (outside the perimeter) vs. W(way)OTP brewery tap takeover that will include breweries from around the state.
Brick Store is located in Decatur, Georgia.
|- The Beer Wench Discusses Beer Dinners|
|Beer Dinners: Love Them or Hate Them?|
When I first started enjoying craft beer in the early 1990s, beer dinners did not exist, at least not in my area. As craft beer skyrocketed in the first beer revolution, beer dinners became more popular and became a way to showcase a brewery and a bar/restaurant that stocks that particular brand. As the number of beer dinners increased, the creativity of chefs did too. Now, you can almost find a beer dinner on any given day, if you look hard enough. So, do you love beer dinners or hate them?
Click here to read the entire post from Georgia's Beer Wench.
|- Classic City Brew Fest Slated for Sunday, April 10, 2016|
Georgia's longest-running and greatest craft beer festival returns to Athens on Sunday, April 10. The 21st annual Classic City Brew Fest will feature close to 30 unique cask ales, 400 amazing beers from around the world, and live music from The Big Smooth. Expect a ton of super-special, rare beers as well. There is no way you can miss this amazing event!
|- Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting tickets on sale NOW!|
Saturday, January 23, 2016
5 Seasons Sandy Springs & Taco Mac Prado
- Sample 40+ rare, cask-conditioned real ales from the USA and UK.
- Take home a Monday Night Brewing souvenir glass.
- Experience one of the Southeast's most highly regarded craft beer events. You must taste these casks to believe them!
- Delectable food from 5 Seasons and Taco Mac will be on sale.
- Vote for "People's Choice" cask and see which casks grab coveted awards from the morning judging session conducted by a panel of local beer judges.
Tickets will sell out - get yours today!
|- Snellville's Lincoln Fill Station|
If you are anywhere near Snellville, Georgia (where "everybody is somebody") be sure to visit Tiny McClannan and the guys at Lincoln Fill Station package store, growler shop, and cigar and homebrew supply retailer. The city even granted a permit to Lincoln Fill Station, allowing the place to sell pints to enjoy at the store's comfortable bar or patio area. It's quite a cool concept!
|- Georgia Craft Beer Fest|
|Join Owen Ogletree and The Beer Wench on October 3 at the Georgia Craft Beer Festival that benefits the efforts of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild. In its fourth installment, the festival features over 30 Georgia breweries and includes an afternoon of games, live entertainment and a variety of the city's top food trucks.|
Use promo code BREWTOPIA to get $5 off the price of each ticket!
|- New Orleans' Avenue Pub|
|Owen's choice for best craft beer bar in The Big Easy has got to be Polly Watts' remarkable Avenue Pub on St. Charles. Polly inherited the bar from her father and transformed the old neighborhood saloon that once featured standard American lagers into the craft beer destination it is today. The main bar and kitchen are downstairs, with the cozy upstairs bar and balcony featuring a slightly different range of draft beers. Check out Avenue Pub's website and calendar for exciting special events like the annual Cantillon Zwanze Day.|
|- Discounted Cask Engines|
|Owen's friend Daryl Harper at Olde Cask Imports has nine brand new Angram UK hand-pump cask beer engines that he's selling. These are top-of-the-line, chrome and black engines with all parts. They mount easily to a bar top and connect to a cask below.|
These usually retail for around $495, but Daryl will sell his for only $300 each. Again, these are brand new.
Please do not contact Owen, but rather email Daryl at: email@example.com. Daryl can also provide installation tips.
Restraining Order Porter
Rich porter brewed with figs
- 22 IBUs
Dark, ruby brown with light roast aromas of chocolate and coffee. Medium light body with flashes of chocolate, hints of coffee and ribbons of caramel flavors. Finishes with a dark fruit sweetness of caramel malts and figs and a lingering chocolate roastiness.
|- Like Brewtopia Events on Facebook & Follow on Twitter|
|CLICK HERE and hit the Brewtopia Events "like" button on Facebook to see live photos and news posts as we sip, quaff and sniff craft beer around the world.|
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- Owen Ogletree and The Beer Wench head to Denver next week to judge once again at the Great American Beer Festival. We'll post photos and beer news from the event on Facebook and Twitter.
- Owen and The Beer Wench have also been invited to the early October hop selection party at Oskar Blues in NC. Keep watch for pictures and sniffing notes.