Beer, Wine and Spirits. Tastings and Travel. News and Events. Classic Flavors from Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across the Drinks World.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Tasting: 21st Amendment Bitter American Session Ale

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample a session beer from San Francisco.

21st Amendment Brewery is a California brewery that many people know because of its High or Hell Watermelon Wheat and as one of the craft breweries that was an early adopter of cans.

21st Amendment Bitter American Session Ale is a 4.4 percent alcohol by volume beer that is 42 IBU thanks to the Warrior and Cascade hops used in the boils and the dry hopping by Simcoe and Centennial hops. The brewery uses Simpson's Golden Promise, two-row pale, Munich and Crystal malts.

Bitter American pours with bright new penny color with a substantial head. The aroma is a fresh pine base with hints of biscuit malt. The flavor is pretty smooth even with all of the hops that are packed into this one. Just right for a session beer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Tasting: Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample a new whiskey from Brown-Forman.

The Labrot & Graham Distillery was brought back from the dead in 1996 thanks to the renewed interest in quality Bourbon. Located in Woodford County, about an hour outside of Louisville, in the midst of major thoroughbred horse farms the site was first used for a distillery in 1812 by Elijah Pepper. The facility changed hands several times before it became the Labrot & Graham Distillery. Brown-Forman acquired that company and in 1973, during a long slide in Bourbon sales, the company ended up abandoning the distillery. Twenty years later Brown-Forman was looking for a location to house a new premium spirits brand and the company re-acquired the property.

Under the leadership of Master Distiller Chris Morris the distillery has established the Woodford Reserve label as one of the leading premium American whiskey brands. The Bourbon has a grain bill of 72 percent corn, 18 percent rye and 10 percent barley.

The Woodford label has been used for some special releases and now Woodford Reserve Double Oak is the first permanent line extension. The whiskey uses barrels from the Brown-Forman Cooperage, maturing first in new, charred oak barrels, then moved to a second barrel which has been toasted for more than twice as long as the first barrel.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is a deep amber color and has a honey-sweet and wood aroma with a hint of caramel. This whiskey has a long flavor profile. Classic vanilla and dark fruit notes dominate the taste, with bits of nut and spice notes. The finish is bright with a hint of pear skins.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Around the World in 80 Drinks: CIA Launches Wine Lovers Boot Camp

Around the World in 80 Drinks is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores drink culture and the places where great beer, wine and spirits are created and consumed.

The Culinary Institute of America is launching a new series of classes designed for the wine enthusiast at its St. Helena, Calif. campus.

Wine Lovers Boot Camp will take place at the CIA Greystone campus, near many great Napa Valley vineyards. Two courses will launch the Wine Lovers Boot Camp series, a five day Basic Training program and a two day Tasting Like a Pro program.

The Basic Training program will feature CIA faculty, information on great wine regions, tastings and food and wine pairings. Students will use the CIA kitchen to prepare a multi-course meal with paired wines. Class dates for 2012 are Feb. 13–17, April 16–20 and May 21–25. Tuition is $2,195 per person.
Tasting Like a Pro will teach the casual wine drinker how to adopt professional approaches to tasting wine. The two day program will guide feature structured tastings, where students will learn the influence on flavor of winemaking techniques, from barrel fermentation to fortification. Blind tastings will ultimately test their ability to identify wines like professionals. Class dates for 2012 are Feb. 2–3, Feb. 29–March 1, March 26–27, April 13–14 and May 17–18. Tuition is $895 per person.

Both classes are open to students 21 years of age and older.

Information about the CIA Wine Lovers Boot Camp is available at www.ciachef.edu/enthusiasts.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom to Host Raleigh Rare and Vintage Beer Tasting on Feb. 4 to Benefit Pints for Prostates

Tyler’s Restaurant &Taproom in Raleigh will play host to the Raleigh Rare and Vintage Beer Tasting on Feb. 4 from 2-6 p.m. to raise awareness and funds in the fight against prostate cancer.

The tasting event features beers and cider from 40 craft producers served under a tent adjacent to Tyler’s at 18 Seaboard Ave. in Raleigh, N.C. The event benefits Pints for Prostates, an awareness campaign reaching men through the universal language of beer.

“Tyler’s has put together an incredible collection of rare and vintage beers for this event. It’s a great way for beer fans to come together and support the fight against prostate cancer,” said Rick Lyke, a drinks journalist and prostate cancer survivor. Lyke founded Pints for Prostates in 2008 after successful prostate cancer surgery. The group urges men to get regular prostate health screenings.

Tickets for the Raleigh Rare and Vintage Beer Tasting are $65 and available online at http://raleighrarebeertasting.eventbrite.com/. Designated driver tickets are available for $15. A percentage of the net proceeds will be support Pints for Prostates.

“We created the Raleigh Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting to provide beer enthusiasts with the ultimate beer tasting experience,” said Daniel Kulenic, one of the owners of Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom. “We are serving 40 rare and vintage beers poured by brewery representatives – all benefiting a great cause. This is a gathering of some extremely unique and hard to find offerings.”

Event sponsors include Aquafina Pure Water, Harris Fine Beverage Distributors, Long Beverage, Mims Distributing and Tryon Distributing.

Forty breweries are expected to appear at the event, including: 21st Amendment Brewery of California (Allies Win the War 2011 Vintage); Allagash Brewing of Maine (Allagash Thing 2); Anchor Brewing of California (Anchor O.B.A. Our Barrel Ale); Anderson Valley Brewing of California (Boont Bruin); Avery Brewing of Colorado (Avery Immitis and Avery Meph Addict); Bear Republic Brewing of California (Bear Republic Black Racer); Bell’s Brewing of Michigan (Black Note Stout); Big Boss Brewing of North Carolina (Hell’s Bizz-Ness White Oak Aged Blend on Cherries); Bodebrown Cerejaria & Escola of Chile; Brooklyn Brewery of New York (Brooklyn 2007 Black Chocolate Stout and Brooklyn 2007 Vintage Monster); The Bruery of California (Bruery Cuir Anniversary Ale); Crispin Cider of (Wonderwall Unfiltered Pear Cider); Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales of Delaware (Dogfish Head Bitches Brew 2010 Vintage Original Batch); The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery of North Carolina (Duck Rabbit Bourbon Barrel Aged Baltic Porter); Duvel Moortgat of Belgium; Elysian Brewing of Washington (Elysian Mens Room Ale); Foothills Brewing of North Carolina (Sexual Chocolate 2010 Vintage); Fullsteam Brewing of North Carolina (Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale 2011 Vintage); Great Divide Brewing of Colorado (Great Divide Petty Theft Sour); Green Flash Brewing of California (Green Flash 2009 Barleywine); Heavy Seas Brewing of Maryland (firkin of Heavy Seas Siren Noire); Highland Brewing of North Carolina (Highland Spivey Mountain Wit); Huske Hardware House Brewing of North Carolina (Black hOPS and Watermellon Wheat); Kuhnhenn Brewing of Michigan (Kuhnhenn Olde Brune); Lagunitas Brewing of California (Lagunitas 2010 Bourbon Barrel Cappuccino Stout); Left Hand Brewing of Colorado (Whiskey Barrel Aged Widdershins Barleywine); Lone Rider Brewing of North Carolina (cask of Lone Rider Deadeye Jack with Laphroaig soaked oak chips); Natty Greene’s Brewing of North Carolina (Natty Greene’s Habanero Smoked Porter and Natty Greene’s Barrel Aged Strong Ale); New Belgium Brewing of Colorado (2011 La Terrior); New Holland Brewing of Michigan (Blue Sunday Sour); Brewery Ommegang of New York (Ommegang 2010 Adoration Aged in a Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrel); Peak Organic Brewing of Maine (Weiss Principal); Brouwerij Rodenbach of Belgium (Rodenbach 2008 Vintage); Rogue Ales of Oregon (Rogue Creamery 75th Anniversary Ale); Sierra Nevada Brewing of California (Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Quad); Ska Brewing of Colorado (Ska Local Series Hoperation Ivy #18); Smuttynose Brewing of New Hampshire (Smuttynose 2006 S'muttonator Doppelbock and Smuttynose 2007 Wheat Wine Ale); Stone Brewing of California (Stone Double Dry Hopped Ruination); Terrapin Brewing of Georgia (The Wizard 2009 Side Project Aged in Woodford Reserve Barrels); Uinta Brewing of Utah (Uinta 2009 Vintage Anniversary Barleywine); Victory Brewing of Pennsylvania (Ranch S Double IPA); Weyerbacher Brewing of Pennsylvania (Weyerbacher Fifteen).

The Sheraton Hotel in Raleigh has rooms available for attendees and free public transportation is available via the R-LINE, an eco-friendly approach to urban transportation. This FREE circulator service features hybrid electric buses that will connect you to The Raleigh Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting (Seaboard Station – R3) from the Sheraton (Raleigh Convention Center – R13).
“Men are 33 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than women are to have breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer claimed the lives of nearly 34,000 American men in 2011,” Lyke said. “The Raleigh Rare and Vintage Beer Tasting is a great way to remind men to get screened.”

About Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom

Tyler’s Restaurant and Tap Room has locations in Apex, Carrboro, Durham and now Raleigh. Founded in 1998, Tyler’s has been a local favorite for folks of all ages and has won a variety of awards for its food, beer and atmosphere. Serving American comfort food with a seasonal twist, Tyler’s offers business-paced lunches by day and casual dining at night. Tyler’s was voted one of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars by Draft Magazine. For more information visit: www.tylerstaproom.com.

About Pints for Prostates

Pints for Prostates is a 501(c)3 a campaign that reaches men through the universal language of beer to encourage them to take charge of their health. The group was founded by prostate cancer survivor and beer writer Rick Lyke in 2008. The grassroots effort raises awareness among men about the importance of regular health screenings and PSA testing by making appearances at beer festivals, social networking and pro bono advertising. According to the National Cancer Institute, 240,890 new prostate cancer cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2011. More information is available at www.pintsforprostates.org. Pints for Prostates also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter (@pints4prostates).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Tasting: Cigar City Jai Alia IPA

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample an IPA from Florida.

Cigar City Brewing is recognized as one of the best craft breweries in the south. Cigar City Brewing was founded by Joey Redner in Tampa, Fla., is 2009. The company has a 15 barrel brewhouse located in the Carver City-Lincoln Gardens neighborhood.

Cigar City Jai Alia IPA pours a hazy amber gold color with a moderate off-white head. The beer has a hoppy aroma and the flavor offers a classic combination of IPA notes. There is an assertive grapefruit note to open and plenty of hops are present throughout the flavor profile. This beer is a great way to show friends what an American IPA should taste like.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Beer Hunter: The Movie Looks to Kickstarter to Get Off the Ground

Michael Jackson was the unlikely father of the global craft beer movement. But the British journalist, who passed away in 2007, did more for good beer with words than most brewers in the late 1970s were doing with hops and malt. He can rightfully be credited with inspiring a generation of craft brewers and beer enthusiasts.

Jackson's landmark 1977 book, The World Guide to Beer, cataloged beer styles and brewing nations as they had previously never been treated. More books would follow and his 1989 The Beer Hunter television series was way ahead its time. There were no Food Networks or Travel Channels back then, but Jackson took viewers to the capitals of the brewing world.

J.R. Richards, a freelance documentary filmmaker and television producer, worked with Jackson from 2003-2006, producing video tastings and short documentaries for Michael Jackson's Rare Beer Club. Along the way he captured 60 hours of video of Jackson in the U.S., England, Ireland, France, Belgium and the Czech Republic, much of it still unreleased. The idea was to turn the footage into a documentary or even an update of The Beer Hunter series. A 2006 heart attack and Jackson's struggles with Parkinson's disease slowed the project, then news came of Jackson's death.

Now Richards is using Kickstarter to try to raise $30,000 to finish the project and produce a documentary film that could premier at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo. It was at several GABFs that I had my limited encounters with Jackson, who was a rock star to the throngs of beer fans. When Jackson would approach a booth to try a beer or show up at a media tasting event you could see brewers spring to attention and make sure that The  Beer Hunter received a perfect pour. So it would be a fitting tribute to Jackson to have this film ready for the fifth anniversary of his passing.

So far Richards has raised just under a third of his goal. If you want more information you can visit http://www.beerhuntermovie.com/.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Around the World in 80 Drinks: Trip Advisor Food and Wine Rankings

Around the World in 80 Drinks is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores drink culture and the places where great beer, wine and spirits are created and consumed.

Trip Advisor is a useful online service if you want to avoid booking a room at a modern day version of the Bates Motel. They also provide consumer feedback on what to do and where to eat in top travel destinations around the world.

Trip Advisor recently published its Travelers' Choice award winners, including a list of the Top 10 U.S. food and wine destinations:
  1. New Orleans, La.
  2. Napa, Calif.
  3. Chicago, Ill.
  4. Charleston, S.C.
  5. San Francisco, Calif.
  6. New York, N.Y.
  7. Savannah, Ga.
  8. Santa Fe, N.M.
  9. Las Vegas, Nev.
  10. Asheville, N.C.
It is hard to argue with any of these locations as being noteworthy for foodies. However, since the list is promoted as a top 10 for food and wine, it is difficult to understand why cities such as Portland, Ore., or Seattle, Wash., are left off the rankings.

Like any of these rankings, it is designed to get people talking and build website traffic. The difficulty is that what might make my top 10 will not necessarily hit your top 10. The best service these types of lists perform is to suggest new places to try.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Around the World in 80 Drinks: American Wine Society to Hold National Conference in Oregon

Around the World in 80 Drinks is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores drink culture and the places where great beer, wine and spirits are created and consumed.

The American Wine Society, the nation’s largest wine consumers’ organization, will hold its 45th National Conference in Portland, Ore., from Nov. 8-10.

The event opens with a reception featuring Oregon wines followed by two days of tasting sessions with leading wine personalities from the world's top regions. The event features wine pairing meals, including a sparkling wine breakfast and grand banquet.  Pre-conference activities include wine dinners and excursions to nearby wine country.

The AWS selected Portland because of the easy access to the Pacific Northwest wine industry, as well as the city's nightlife, and emphasis on locally produced food and drink. To learn more about registering for the event visit http://www.americanwinesociety.org/.

The American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition and the Amateur Wine Competition are held in conjunction with the conference. The organization’s wine judge certification training will also be held at the event. 

Founded in 1967, the AWS has more than 4,000 members and 125 local chapters. This is the first time the organization has held its conference in Portland.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Tuesday Tasting: Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we sample a winter IPA from Oregon.

Rogue Ales has a tongue in cheek approach to brewing serious beers.  Hence the name "Yellow Snow." But while it is good advice not to eat yellow snow, it is a good idea to drink a Rogue Yellow Snow IPA.

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA pours a cloudy orange-gold color with a slightly off-white foamy head. The beer has a rich hoppy nose, with plenty of pine and spice notes. The Amarillo and Revolution hops come through pretty firm in the beer's 70 IBU body. This beer has the classic west coast IPA bitter finish.