THE SHOP IS OPEN

First off, it has been awhile since I have written anything on this, my favorite beloved web site. Recent distractions, such as the high cost of living due to the fossil fuel energy inflation, have taken their toll. Nevertheless, many things have happened.
The Fire At The F.X. Matt Brewery. Thursday night, a fire broke out at the brewery located in Utica, New York. I learned of this through e-mail from the company itself. This is a sad, though not dire, situation. I soon learned that their production facility was damaged, but not the brewed beer! I am going to purchase Saranac beer through the summer (at least) as tribute to the fine, decent business that the Matt Brewery is. I remind myself that not only do they produce their own great line of beers, but are also the contract brewers for the Brooklyn Brewery. Through their contractual work, many have enjoyed their handiwork, without even knowing their name. Blessings of the heart, they brew good beer.
What A Wonderful Beer. I am speaking of that conspiracy of goodness that has returned: Genesee Bock Beer. The arrival of this inexpensive, great tasting brew is just what the doctor ordered in these monetary challenging times. I have read comments from beer snobs who just could not understand why they enjoyed an affordable beer in a can. The gentle graphics of a young goat with flowers, green and yellow, should tell you that this is no ordinary beer. For lack of a better word, I call it: magic.
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale. From Chico, California comes this ale that is the epitome of the Sierra Nevada Brewery’s personality. Taking up where their fall classic, Harvest Ale, stops. Southern Hemisphere uses the fresh hops being harvested in New Zealand, which in turn, are quickly shipped from down under to California. Although expensive at five dollars per 24 ounce bottle, it is most definately worth the bother. Unlike the trend towards “extreme beers” , the empahsis here is on the tremendous flavors of the recipe. For those familar with Sierra Nevada, I will put it this way: sipping this ale, I had an almost Proustian moments of remembrance of Celebration Ales from the past. Easily one of the very best brews available in the United States.
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series: Old Rusty’s Red Rye Ale. From Boston, Massachusetts comes this amber colored pour with a very inviting, spicy nose. There is a drop dead iron-like palate. This is a rye ale that is exquisite in every degree. Truly something to behold. An incredible rye bread spicy finish, with a 6.5% abv, that says yes, it is all true. This is an iconoclast recipe for the ages. Pure example of what the best craft brewers strive for, challenging and deliciously unique.
Moylan’s Hopsickle Imperial Ale. From Novato, California, this bright orange-gold pour is luxuriously deep, even in a mug with handle. The intense citrus nose of foam makes this a kind of sherbet. The extended length of time it takes to settle, acts as a natural preventative from consuming too quickly, and at a too cold temperature.
As to the palate? This is indeed for the lupulin warriors. A combination of Chinook, Ahtanum, Columbus, Sincoe, and Cascade hops make this a tart bittersweet  experience, with a long, as in the day is long, finish. In what in the United States are called “extreme beers”, this “triple hoppy” Imperial IPA  would be an honored guest. A very strong presentation, equally matched in strength (9.2% abv). At one time, this would be considered adventurous, but after so many stabs by brewers at extreme beers, this might be considered par for the course.
So that is all for now. I will try not to be a stranger. My prayer is, as always, Thank You.

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