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New Beer Alert: The Netherlands' Rooie Dop
Written by Mike Reis   
Monday, 24 March 2014 22:53

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Rooie Dop is led by a man known simply as "The Dude."


We liked him before we'd even tried his beers. Thankfully, they hold up.

Inspired by the big ales of the United States, the Dude abides by the unwritten rules inherent to American craft brewing: stay excited, have fun, and push boundaries.

Founded in the Netherlands in 2012, Rooie Dop has done exactly that--and they're wasting no time gaining attention for their tasty beers. RateBeer.com recently named them the 2013's best new brewery in the Netherlands.

 

We've just brought two of the Dude's beers into California for the first time. Check 'em out:

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Now available in 330ml bottles:


The Daily Grind

Light in body and packed with flavor from a monster dose of Guatemalan coffee, this is a tasty, drinkable porter built for coffee lovers. Refreshing stuff!

 

Double Oatmeal Stout

Of their Double Oatmeal Stout, Rooie Dop says this: "The world needs more dark strong ales." We couldn't agree more. Oats give this big ol' beer a smooth, luxurious texture and its 9.6% ABV is nearly undetectable. A touch of up front sweetness is neatly balanced by a drying bitterness provided by Columbus hops. Double good!
97 on RateBeer!

 

 
Mikkeller...in CANS?
Written by Mike Reis   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 22:12

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Mikkeller is on a freakin' tear right now.


They're opening up bars all over the place, brewing tons of super tasty beers (37 on our last price list!), and collaborating with brewers, bars, and restaurants in every corner of the world. Throwing beer in cans has remained one of the few beery frontiers left unexplored by our roaming Danish friends.

Until now.

Coming soon to a beach, backpack, or tailgate cooler near you: 12 ounce cans containing new beers from Mikkeller.


Now available (in the Bay Area only, for now):


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Better Half American IPA

Better Half is not your average dry citrus-bomb IPA. This is a fairly dark beer--copper in color with a significant caramelly maltiness. It's a bit toasty and packed with tropical fruit and pine-like hop flavor. Seriously tasty stuff.


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Keeper American Pilsner

Keeper ain't your average American pilsner, either. Unlike the adjunct-laden, nearly-hopless beers that more commonly bear the "American pilsner" name, this is a seriously flavorful beverage. Very dry and grainy with a lot of American hop flavor. Expect grassy, passion fruit-like, citrusy and lychee-like aroma out of this one. 97 on RateBeer!


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Wicked Awesome Beers from Cambridge Brewing Company
Written by Mike Reis   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:56

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Cambridge Brewing Company's beers are still pretty new to us Californians, but these guys have been making great beer in their Massachusetts-based brewpub since 1989.


That tiny brewpub setting has given them opportunities not afforded to bigger brewers--they get to experiment, pull from many different traditions, and follow through on their weirdest strokes of inspiration. This environment has set the scene for some satisfying beery breakthroughs: saisons with peppercorns, Belgian double IPAs with German hops, and America's first ever tripel.

Thanks to a partnership with fellow Mass-ers Ipswich Ale Brewery, Cambridge and Lime Ventures are able to bring some of these beers to you.


Now available in super cool-looking 22oz bottles:


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Tripel Threat

This is that pace-setting tripel that we mentioned above! Indeed, according to the Beer Hunter himself, Michael Jackson (the ungloved one), this was not only the first tripel brewed commercially in the US, but the first Belgian-style beer at all! Packed with fruity esters, spicy phenols, and about 10% alcohol by volume, this is a big ol' super-tasty tripel that opens up full and fruity and finishes dry and peppery. Not bad for a first try, America!

 

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Big Man IPA

Originally brewed in 1992, this IPA was way ahead of its time. It's a bold beer showcasing the big three Cs in the world of hops: Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus. Packed with citrusy hop flavor, the Cs aren't alone--Amarillo makes a cameo appearance in the dry hop and a firm maltiness makes this a perfect late-winter/early spring interpretation of the super-hot IPA style.

Cambridge Brewing Company's beers are still pretty new to us Californians, but these guys have been making great beer in their Massachusetts-based brewpub since 1989.
That tiny brewpub setting has given them opportunities not afforded to bigger brewers--they get to experiment, pull from many different traditions, and follow through on their weirdest strokes of inspiration. This environment has set the scene for some satisfying beery breakthroughs: saisons with peppercorns, Belgian double IPAs with German hops, and America's first ever tripel.
Thanks to a partnership with fellow Mass-ers Ipswich Ale Brewery, Cambridge and Lime Ventures are able to bring some of these beers to you.
Now available in super cool-looking 22oz bottles:dry hop. Maltier than you might expect, this is a great late-winter take on the ever-popular IPA style.

 

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Spring Training IPA

Just in time for baseball season, Spring Training offers a different take on the IPA style. Brewed with Ahtanum and Palisades hops, this beer trades Big Man's in-your-face citrus aroma for a huge dose of grassy and floral hop character atop a base of wheat and Canadian pale malt.

 

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The Audacity of Hops

Still hungry for more hoppiness? The Audacity of Hops is here for you. This is a double IPA fermented with fruity, aromatic Belgian yeast. Malty and aggressively hoppy, this is a well-constructed, drinkable example of a style that can be a bit much at times. 8% ABV, 97 on RateBeer!

 
Milling About with De Molen
Written by Mike Reis   
Friday, 21 March 2014 21:33

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Ever wondered what that windmill is all about on De Molen's labels?


Well, here's a good place to start: "De Molen" is Dutch for "the Mill," a reference to the giant windmill that rises above the original brewery. Simple enough.

But Menno Olivier and his band of brewers have moved on from that original location. In order to facilitate a recent expansion, the brewery had to make the long, arduous journey to its new location. About 100 feet from the original spot.

Since the move, we've been loving De Molen's beers more than ever. We've just received a shipment of some favorites new and old--check it out!

 

Now available in 330ml bottles:

 

Hel & Verdomenis (Hell & Damnation)

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Another perfect imperial stout from the brewery that brought you Rasputin and Tsarina Esra.

Like those, this is a dark, rich, force of a beer. Ultra-dense but not cloying, strong but not boozy, and aggressive but elegant.

This is complex stuff--a beer to be sipped slowly and allowed to transform on its approach toward room temperature. Menno suggests that this can be cellared for up to 25 years, but good luck hanging onto it for that long.

A perfect 100 on RateBeer!

Commercial description: “Brewed with brown malts, an English traditional specialty malt, we created an Imperial Russian Stout that has won prizes at festivals across Europe from Sweden to Italy. It’s big (10% ABV), black, roasted and complex. We are convinced that not trying this ale will be a mortal sin to your taste buds and beer experience.”

 

Hamer & Sikkel (Hammer & Sickle)

Just stretching over 5% ABV, this is a surprisingly un-extreme beer from a brewery known for their aggressive beverages. Drinkable without sacrificing in complexity--expect flavors of licorice, smoke, and dark, bitter chocolate.

90 on RateBeer!

Commercial description: “A very special brew compared to our regular ways. Unlike almost all our beers this is brewed completely according to the traditional way. Not with other malts, other hop varieties, special ingredients, aging on oak or other stuff. Just a regular Porter, the way it was supposed to be once.”

 

SSS Triple StoutDE-MOLEN-sss-triple-stout

Beer historian Ron Pattinson and De Molen came together to brew this recreation of a 1914 recipe that Pattinson discovered in his research. Full-bodied and sweet, this is a rich, malty stout that is quite unlike anything else made today. A very well hidden 10% ABV.

97 on RateBeer!

 

Lost & Found (a collaboration with Pennsylvania's Tired Hands!)

A dark brown beer aged and dry hopped in oak casks. Lightly tart and bitter with grapefruit, pepper, and cherry flavors amidst funky Brettanomyces character. Drink one now and save some for later--this beer should change dramatically with age.

 

Got a few minutes to spare? Check out this great interview with De Molen founder Menno Olivier from our friends at Shelton Brothers:

 

 
New Beer! Amager's Sinner Series
Written by Mike Reis   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:02

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Sometimes, you've gotta envy those Danes.

We've been hearing wonderful things about Amager Bryghus' Sinners Series for almost two years now, but we've never been able to taste them. We have to admit we got a little jealous.

Well, we're jealous no more.

Amager has put together a series of seven killer beers--one for each of the deadly sins--and we're finally able to share them with the state of California.

Each beer is a different style--perfect for a weeklong horizontal tasting by yourself, or with friends for one gluttonous bottle share.

 

Now available in 500ml bottles:

Envy - A juicy IPA hopped with Amarillo, Simcoe, and Centennial hops. Aggressively bitter. 97 on RateBeer!

Gluttony - An appropriately excessive Double IPA. Lightly sweet and heavily bitter. 99 on RateBeer!

Greed - A no-nonsense German-style pilsner inspired by money-grubbing macrobrewers (important note: that's in concept only, not execution!)

Lust - A Belgian strong dark ale designed to be as smooth and sexy as possible. Sweet, rich, and dense.

Pride - An imperial stout boiled for over six hours! It's a hefty beer at 10% ABV, but it's amazingly drinkable stuff. 98 on RateBeer!

Wrath - Age Amager's saison in a barrel with pinot noir grapes, and you've got Wrath. Fruity, tart, and lightly sweet.

Sloth - A simple pale ale, Sloth is brewed with just pilsner malt, clean-fermenting American yeast, Simcoe hops, and water. A wonderful expression of Simcoe's pungent, citrusy, juicy character. 98 on RateBeer!

 
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