Allagash Curieux Vidieux Contesteax: Help me NOT lose badly

The Allagash Curieux Video Contest is live. The grand prize is a trip to Allagash to blend a batch of Curieux. After that, I will slip away from my handlers, hide out in the brewery until closing time, then have the run of the place all night.

My entry is currently losing (big time) to a lady crying about her dead dog and the fact that she can’t track down any Curieux. I’d really appreciate your vote, if for no other reason than to shield the hit my self-esteem will take from losing badly to such a video. Also, the top 5 make it to the next round, where I expect to destroy the fake crying lady with the five-judge panel. You can vote for mine —> here <— (requires “the Facebook”, as my dad calls it).

And for those of you lucky enough not to have been sucked down the mindless hole of Facebook, here is the video for your viewing pleasure.

Allagash Avancé: A High Ball Stepper video music review

Next up, Allagash Avancé. This is beerbecue’s first video music beer review. The idea has been bouncing around my noodle for awhile. Based on the reception, there may be more.

Avancé is a strong, sour ale aged with strawberries for three years in bourbon barrels. Three damn years, people. Allgash says it “has the aroma of strawberry preserves and toasted oak. The oak and berries continue their presence in flavor, and compliment the sweet, warm finish.”

When I think of strawberries, I think of their sweetness AND tartness. I also think of their distinct strawberry smell: A little caramel and this slight funk you get when you pass by an unwashed container of them on the kitchen counter…kinda like they’re up to no good. This beer captures that essence well. And it’s sour…quite sour. Oh, and at 10.8% ABV, it brings the heat.

Out of the bottle, this little fella kinda needs to breathe a little. Hey, if you spent three years in a bourbon barrel, you’d be a little cranky, too. Ok maybe you wouldn’t. Additionally, use a glass with a little more open mouth than I used. This beer has a potent nose. It doesn’t need to be concentrated with a highly-tapered glass.

Now, without further adieu, Jack White’s High Ball Stepper and Allgash Avancé:


Shotgunning Stillwater Classique: Pee-Wee, Get My Gun

Next up, Stillwater Classique:


This Summer, I have been on a search for an everyday beer. While the Haybag might disagree, it’s not like you can always drink beers that are so big they leave their shirt on at the pool. And ticking something new every day can get tiresome.

My go-to shall be interesting, but not an attention whore. It shall be enjoyable, yet easy to shotgun. It shall not leave me wishing for something else. It shall be conducive to multiple beverages while tending to the smoker in the Summer or watching Notre Dame disappoint me in the Fall, but also just drinking one with lunch or dinner…or breakfast…or mid-morning snack.

I think I have found that beer in Classique. And I suspect that’s what Brian Strumke intended. Mr. Strumke took the building blocks of post-Prohibition American adjunct lager (including pilsner malt, corn, and rice) and tweaked it with Cluster, Northern Brewer, Saaz, and Cascade hops, and a farmhouse yeast strain to create one of the most drinkable, yet interesting, beers I’ve had in a long time.

It pours a slightly hazy straw color, with a persistent and foamy white head that leaves some lace. It smells like pilsner malt, light and lemony citrus, and the tell-tale phenolic and floral quality of Stillwater yeast (to me, it smells like distant cloves and fresh lilies). The taste follows the nose with the addition of some grassiness, some apples, and maybe very occasional bananas. And it finishes pretty dry and snappy.

All of this is very subtle, though. And while this is a beer that can be contemplated as such, it is also very conducive to pounding…or perhaps shotgunning. So, enough over-thinking this beer. Let’s break out the T-Model Ford album (Pee Wee Get My Gun) and get to it:

The Haybag: So this is how you spend your time while I’m at the grocery store and 2.0 is napping. Interesting.

The Session #76: Compulsion – But I’m just getting one bottle, dear…

sessionThis month’s installment of the Session is hosted by Glen at Beer Is Your Friend. The topic is: Compulsion.

You’re at the beer store. You see beer you want. The fridge is already full. What do you do? Buy it, of course. One might ask: Why? Or what the eff are you doing at the beer store in the first place if the fridge is full? Well, maybe one shouldn’t be so judgy.

Incapable of a serious self-examination of my personal shortcomings, I made another video. Special thanks to Nick at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington for letting me film in the store. Now, with a little help from Wolfmother, I give you “But I’m Just Getting One Bottle, Dear…

The Session #74: Finding Beer Balance – Is this an intervention?

sessionThis month’s installment of the Session is hosted by Bryan at This Is Why I’m Drunk. The topic is “Finding Beer Balance”. The topic suggests that there is perhaps more to life than beer. While I find Bryan’s premise shaky, I’ll play along.

Actually, after giving it some thought, there are a number of facets of my life that I am constantly seeking to balance with my love for beer. Personal hygiene, nutritional, recreational, parenthood…just to name a few. However, this may be best demonstrated in video format. So, I give you: Beer-Life Balance (with musical accompaniment from the White Stripes).

How to Pour a Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro (Do Not Attempt at Home)

Next up, Left Hand Brewing’s Milk Stout Nitro:

Left Hand

A couple months ago, Left Hand’s Milk Stout helped douse flames in beerbecue’s spicy food and beer experiment. It’s a yummy milk stout (big, chocolatey, slightly roasty, and just on the right side of the sweetness Maginot Line). Occasionally, one can even find it on nitro tap, which makes it creamier and, I think, even yummier.

Now, after thousands of R&D dollars, countless hours of lab nerd work, and possibly a deal with the devil, Left Hand brings you its Nitro Milk Stout in a bottle…without a divisive Guinness-like widget. So, through a secret process and some voodoo magic, Left Hand imbeds the nitrogen, which then comes alive after a vigorous pour. How vigorous, you may ask? Well, beerbecue’s R&D, AV, and Child Labor departments have teamed up to demonstrate…

The Session #72: How We Love Beer

sessionThis month’s installment of the Session is hosted by Ryan at Montana Beer Finder. The topic is: What do we do to show our love for beer?

Those who regularly read beerbecue know that the Haybag and I are doing our part to contribute to the continued solvency of the Social Security system by having daughter #2. Thus, beer will probably be feeling a little neglected. Oh, I’ll still be drinking, mind you. In fact, I don’t know how anyone could get through parenting without drinking. But because babies are a real time suck, there just won’t be as much time to devote to all things beer. Hopefully with a little reassuring, beer will understand…

Music by The Pixies