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Grain and Grape Unite - Odell Brewing introduces Amuste Oak Aged Imperial Porter

Fort Collins, CO. – On February 9, 2013 Odell Brewing will release its first Cellar Series offering of the year. Amuste, an imperial porter brewed with grape must and aged in red wine barrels, is the product of a two year project lead by the brewery’s QA/QC manager, Eli Kolodny.

“They say it takes a lot of good beer to make great wine,” said Kolodny. “After two years of research and development, I can honestly say that the opposite holds just as true.”

In an effort to marry the distinctive qualities of beer and wine, Odell brewers crafted a rich, robust imperial porter and accented it with juice from Tempranillo grapes grown on the Western Slope of Colorado. The brew was then aged in red wine barrels and blended to create a harmonic combination of malt and fruit.

Amuste boasts a hearty malt backbone with notes of chocolate, a subtle sweet grape character, and hints of toasted almond from the oak barrels. It pairs perfectly with peppered red meats, brie cheese, or dark chocolate.

Odell Brewing will celebrate the release of Amuste in the Tap Room on February 9th with live music and local food-truck pairings. Amuste will be available in 750 ml cork and cage finished bottles throughout the brewery’s ten state distribution footprint.


Founded in 1989, Odell Brewing was started by Doug Odell, his wife Wynne, and his sister Corkie. Twenty-three years later, the culture of family and collaboration still thrives fostering a brewery full of beer-centric people. It is this passion for beer that inspires Odell Brewing to create quality, hand-crafted, innovative brews. As a regional craft brewery, Odell Brewing is committed to serving the communities in which it distributes by sourcing local raw materials, and through its charitable giving program known as Odell Outreach. Odell Brewing was recently named a “Top Company of 2010” by ColoradoBiz Magazine and is an award winning brewery, nationally and internationally: 2012 Brewers Association Recognition Award, 2011 Great American Beer Festival® - gold medal for Friek. 2010 North American Beer Awards – gold medal for Woodcut No. 3. 2009 BrewNZ Awards – gold for 5 Barrel Pale Ale. 2008 World Beer Cup® – gold for IPA. 2007 Great American Beer Festival® – gold medal for IPA.

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New Glarus Brewing Company- Cherry Stout: Pop your Cherry! 

So I had to spend some time in Kenosha this weekend to do some wedding planning. Christina and I meet some great people and had a great time. We even managed to find a caterer and start to get some concrete plans for this August. Needless to say, by the time I was done writing a rather large check, I was ready for a beer.  When you visit Wisconsin from Illinois there is only one beer you buy: New Glarus. This Winconsin exclusive is known to have some of the best specialty beers in the country. If you are looking for original, experimentational or just flat-out strange brews, stick to the New Glarus Thumb Print Series.

Cherry Stout Pours a little lighter and a little more carbonated than your average stout. The cherry aroma is overwhelmingly powerful and easily punches through the inch thick cream head. Upon further inspection the scent is actually more berry than cherry with a tart, raspberry note. This ruby/ mahogany brew is a visceral masterpiece. I looks and smells like a mythic tonic from a forgotten age.

Thankfully, this beer’s bravado matches its bluster. The cherry notes are the centerpiece of this brew. Usually I find fruit to be a distraction, but not in this instance. The cherries are tart and delicious. They add a perfect crisp finish to a light and tasty stout that is smart enough to stay out of the way. New Glarus has crafted a gem with its Cherry Stout. I have had many cherry beers in the last couple years; however, this is the first one to truly deliver what I was looking for. It may have taken me until March, but I finally found the perfect winter beer!

Consumed: Sensory Glass


Verdict: Buy a Keg!

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North Peak Brewing Company: Vicious American Wheat IPA- Behold the Shape-shifter 

I was able to bring a handful of brews back from Michigan on my last trip. One of them was Vicious by North Peak Brewery. I have had a few different beers from this Traverse City based brewery, and I have enjoyed the majority of them.  This one is different however. Vicious is an American Wheat IPA which is a style that I honestly cannot recall ever having.

Vicious smells extremely malty with notes of cedar, pine and citrus. The façade was chest nut brown with a mild carbonation and a wispy head. This is a beautiful and serene looking beer. It has a certain glow that seems to really extenuate and adorn a pint glass brilliantly. North Peak has a real gem here.

Hopefully your interest has been as piqued as my own by this beer. Wheat beers tend to be light and fruity while IPA’s tend to be bitter and hoppy so I am curious to see how the two mesh…  Happily this beer is a successful collaboration of styles. The wheat base provides a sweet and bready texture that is well nuanced with citrus hops. Vicious has a very full flavor that ends with a piney hop finish. It really does taste like a wheat beer that morphs into an IPA as it splashes across my palate.  This is a beer that needs to be had by all due to its broad appeal.

ABV: 6.7%

Consumed: Pint Glass

Verdict: Buy A 12-Pack

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2012 Chicago Craft Beer Festival (Part 5) - Author, Brewer and Industry Icon, Mr. Randy Mosher

Here's some more coverage from the Chicago Craft Beer Fest held at  St. Michael's in Old Town.  Our conversation with Randy Mosher, author of Radical Brewing and Tasting Beer as well as head brewer for 5 Rabbit is the fifth of a seven part series of the fest and we have a couple more interviews coming in the next week or two.  

It was an honor and privilege to be able to speak with Randy.  He is a legend in the industry and by far one of the nicest and most knowledgable people I've ever had a chance to speak with about the industry.  We talk about the industry in general as well as what's going on over at 5 Rabbit.  Our deepest thanks and gratitude to Randy for taking the time to speak with us.

Stay tuned to The Greatest Beer Of All Time for more Chicago Craft Beer Festival coverage...

Randy Mosher - Author and Beer Guru from Salt Media on Vimeo.

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The Livery - Benton Harbor Celebrates its 7th Anniversary: Festivities Planned for Friday, August 17 & Saturday, August 18

(BENTON HARBOR, Mich) – The weekend of August 17-18 will prove to be a big one for The Livery microbrewery in downtown Benton Harbor, in celebration of its 7th anniversary.

The weekend kicks off Friday, August 17 with a show by the iconic Americana/alternative country songwriter and performer Robbie Fulks, with guest Robbie Gjersoe. Showtime is 8pm and tickets are $20 in advance ($25 day of the show). On tap Saturday will be a special beer called ERUPTION – a collaboration among the brewers of The Livery, Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids and Arbor Brewing/Corner Brewery in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti. This Flanders-style red ale was fermented entirely in sour wood barrels; a raspberry version will be available as well.

On Saturday, August 18, the party moves to The Livery’s newly renovated beer garden, where Chef Wally Rouse will be grilling and local music legend Dave Carlock will be spinning all the smooth grooves from 2-5pm. Brewmaster Steve Berthel and assistant brewer Dave Sawyer will be releasing limited quantities of 10 rare and old barrel aged beers they have bottled. A few of the standouts: UMAE UMAMI – a wheat wine aged for 2 years with stanley plums; CHERRY TAXMAN – a Russian imperial stout aged for over a year in bourbon barrels with tart cherries and cocoa nibs; and UNKNOWN SOLDIER – a Belgian-style amber ale aged for 2-1/2 years with a variety of peaches and nectarines. There will also be a tap release of 5th DIMENSION – a Belgian IPA aged in sour barrels for 1 year; MAILLOT JAUNE – a French farmhouse ale aged in sour barrels for 1 year; and TAXMAN – a Russian imperial stout aged for 1 year in bourbon barrels. ERUPTION, in both forms, will be available on Saturday as well.

For more information on The Livery’s 7th Anniversary Celebration, as well as tickets, visit www.liverybrew.com  (or call: 269-925-8760).  The Livery, at 190 5th Street in Benton Harbor, Mich, is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild.

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4th Annual Detroit Beer Festival

Friday October 26, 5 to 9pm AND Saturday October 27, 1pm to 6pm
Eastern Market, Detroit, MI
Tickets on sale beginning August 1 ***PURCHASE TICKETS***
Tickets $35 advance ($40 at gate if available)

We are expecting more than 50 Michigan craft brewers to participate and there will over 300 different beers available to sample. The event will be open from 5:00pm to 9:00pm on Friday and 1:00pm to 6:00pm on Saturday; rain or shine. Enthusiast Members of the Michigan Brewers Guild will be allowed to enter the Festival an hour early (purchase your Enthusiast Membership in advance here)

The cost to enter the Festival is $35 in advance and $40 at the gate if tickets are still available. The total quantity of tickets is limited so advance ticket purchase online at www.MiBeer.com is suggested. Tickets can be purchased here on our website, at participating member breweries and at select retail outlets. Please see the related post on the MASH (our blog) www.mbgmash.org for an updated list of ticket outlets.

15 drink tokens are included with admission and each drink token is redeemable for a 3oz sample of beer. Additional tokens will be available inside the festival for 50 cents. The Michigan Brewers Guild utilizes drink tokens and specially marked cups to assure that we comply with Michigan Liquor Control Commission regulation and have a controlled means of serving beer. Festivals attendees are expected to willingly provide a token for each and every sample of beer received. We appreciate your cooperation.

Festival attendees must be 21 years of age or older and have ID to enter. Designated Drivers are encouraged and DD tickets will be available on line and at the gate for $5 each. Designated Drivers are not permitted to drink beer.

Live entertainment will be provided by local bands and food prepared by local restaurants will be available for purchase.

Outside food and beverages are permitted but bags and coolers will be inspected to assure that no outside alcohol or glass is brought into the festival.

Children are not allowed in the festival excepting very small, immobile children who remain in a backpack or stroller. Sorry, but this is an adult event.

Please look for information to be posted on the MASH www.mbgmash.org regarding participating breweries, ticket outlets and other information. The MASH will be updated as new information becomes available. Please feel free to make a post of your own if you are organizing a bus or have something else to share.

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