Listermann Beer Dinner, May 15 during National Craft Beer Week at Parkers Blue Ash

I just received information on a beer dinner featuring Listermann beers at Parkers Blue Ash. I really hope to make this one, as Listermann/Triple Digit have been cranking out some solid beers and the food pairings sound fantastic.

[Note: I just got an email stating that this dinner will take place at 7:00PM.]

Parkers Blue Ash Tavern Executive Chef Josh House is hosting a Craft Beer Dinner in partnership with Listermann and Triple Digit Breweries on May 15, 2013. The dinner will take place during National Craft Beer Week, which runs May 13-19, 2013. This celebration, coordinated by the Craft Beer Program, is an opportunity for craft brewers to commemorate their art and tradition with enthusiasts across the country.

Courses will include First Course: Tuna Tacos (Cucumber Salsa, Jalapeno Crema, Cilantro) with Serpentine Wheat; Second Course: Fish and Chips (Battered Pacific Cod, Crispy Plantain, Napa Cabbage) with Leopold; Third Course: Beer Belly and Pork Rinds (Smoked Pork Belly, Spicy Pork Rinds, Avocado) with Jungle Honey; Entrée Course: Ohio Steak and Potatoes (Ribeye Two Ways, Asparagus, Roasted Beef Jus) with Aftermath; Dessert Course: “Nutty Bars” (Fresh Peanut Butter, Wafers, Chocolate) with Nutcase.

Reservations can be secured by calling Parkers at (513) 891-8300; limited space with capacity at 40. Tickets are $40 apiece. Additionally, Parkers is currently featuring one newly offered craft beer per week as the “Brew of the Week,” intended to encourage new and returning guests to broaden their horizons and try something different. Parkers Head Chef Josh House plans to keep each “Brew of the Week” in mind as he crafts specials each week to be paired with the wide range in craft beers available. The first “Brew of the Week” was the Triple Digit Chickow Hazelnut Double Brown Ale, only available locally by the Triple Digit Brewing Company on Dana Avenue.

About Parkers Blue Ash Tavern’s Chef Josh House: Chef House hails from Miamisburg, Ohio where he began his culinary journey making pizza and washing dishes. He brings with him an extensive background of fine dining, banquet, and hotel experience from Louisville, Phoenix, and Cincinnati. Prior to joining the Parkers team, House was the Executive Chef at the Cincinnati Marriott Northeast where he helped design and implement new menus for the hotels’ restaurant and banquet departments. Before leading the culinary department at the Marriott, House worked at The Oakroom at The Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky’s only AAA 5 Diamond Award winning restaurant, helping design a seasonal menu reflecting the desire of the team to push the boundaries of the local dining scene. While at Kai Restaurant at The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AAA 5 Diamond and Forbes 5 Star Award winning restaurant, House began his education in southwestern cuisine with a focus on Native American ingredients indigenous to the area. House also spent time during culinary school working at The Seelbach Hilton Hotel as a banquet cook learning how to execute high volume banquets and writing the weekly brunch menu for The Oakroom before heading off to Arizona to help broaden his culinary knowledge. House looks to seasonal and locally sourced products when creating menu items or specials for Parkers and its award winning brunch, wine and beer dinners, and holiday menu offerings.

About Parkers Blue Ash Tavern: Parkers Blue Ash Tavern is located at 4200 Cooper Road in Blue Ash. They specialize in All-American Fare with a wide selection of beef and seafood dishes, as well as a critically-acclaimed Best of Cincinnati Sunday brunch. Additionally, they recently remodeled their Tap Room and patio and also offer a main dining room or private dining. The restaurant is known for its wood-burning fireplaces and charming equestrian theme.

Listermann Brewing Company wins Ohio brewery of the year at 2nd Annual New York International Beer Competition

Some great local news. Just announced is that Listermann Brewing Company  took home the Brewery of the Year for the State of Ohio at the 2nd Annual New York International Beer Competition. I know absolutely nothing about this competition, as I’ve just heard of it today, but a win is a win.

Additionally, they medaled in the following categories:

  • German-style Doppelbock (Bronze) for Gravitator
  • Smoke Beer (Bronze) for Friar Bacon Smoked Bock
  • Wood and Barrel Aged Beer (Bronze) for White Death

In other related notes, Alltech took home Kentucky Brewery of the Year. It also looks like Sam Adams took home a number of medals. More about the competition:

In Its 2nd Year, the NYIBC Competition Sets Unparalleled Standards and Uncovers the World’s Best-Brews, Ciders and Sakes

New York, NY (February 2013) The 2nd Annual New York International Beer Competition (“NYIBC”) was held at 3 West Club in the heart of Manhattan on February 10th 2013. Close to three hundred beer, cider and sake producers from over 16 countries submitted their brands to be blind tasted and judged by category and actual price. The trade only judges are buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant/bar proprietors, distributors and importers – those that have the unique ability to make a direct impact on sales.

While other renowned competitions prize up to 85% of entrants with awards and gold medals, the discerning panel and ethos of the NYIBC is to honor the brands that are most deserving among their peers. This year, NYIBC prized only 24% of its entrants medals and only one Double Gold Medal and One Gold medal was awarded.

Full competition results: http://www.nyibeercompetition.com/2013/02/2nd-annual-new-york-international-beer-competition-results/

Listermann/Triple Digit/Blank Slate Cincinnati Beer Week Events

The good folks at Listermann/Triple Digit just passed the flyer for their Cincinnati Beer Week events. It looks like they’ll be up to no good (I kid, I kid) every day of the week, so make sure you get your butts to at least one of their events. I’m sure these will eventually be up on the Cincinnati Beer Week site (which now contains next to no information), but that day is apparently not yet here, so feast your eyes below.

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Homebrew kit review: Midwest Supplies’ Ferocious IPA (Part 1: The Contents)

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When it comes to homebrewing, I typically like to keep it local. Listermann , who is my preferred shop in the area, not only is pretty close to my house, but the staff is extremely helpful and they carry a relatively wide range of products. Not to mention, you can pick up some Listermann/Triple Digit beer while you’re there. For eastsiders, Paradise Brewing is an excellent option; for westsiders, the newly opened Brew Monkeys looks to be promising.

I will admit, though, I can be lazy at times. Sometimes I just want all the makings for my next batch or two of homebrew delivered to my door. Lazy homebrewers like myself are amazingly well-served online. My favorite is Northern Brewer, though I often make larger purchase from MoreBeer due to the fact that shipping is free on orders over $59 (they also have very cheap dry malt extract). I had never purchased anything from Midwest Supplies before, but have heard great things from a number of people. When they contacted me to review one of their kits, I jumped at the opportunity.

It’s been a while since I’ve used a kit, since I typically like to come up with my own recipes, but sometimes it’s nice to let someone else make the decisions. Looking through their kit selection, I was like a kid in a candy store. They have over one-hundred options, encompassing pretty much every type of beer imaginable. I chose their Ferocious IPA, a clone of Surly Furious, for several reasons.

  1. I wanted to pick something that didn’t need to sit in a secondary for months. I have enough trouble with my patience dealing with the stuff I already have aging.
  2. It’s been over a year since I’ve brewed an IPA. I love hoppy beers, but when I can go grab a six-packs of Two Hearted from down the street, it’s tough to justify brewing an IPA that won’t be remotely as delicious. Oh – and hops are expensive. Yes, I’m cheap.
  3. Surly Furious is an amazing  beer. For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to try it, it’s a quite unconventional IPA in that its color is much darker than most and that its yeast it not quite as neutral as most. Yes it’s hoppy as hell, but it’s balanced by a nice caramel malt. Very good stuff.

So, what exactly is in this box? Let’s get to unpacking and see… Continue reading “Homebrew kit review: Midwest Supplies’ Ferocious IPA (Part 1: The Contents)”

My New Year’s Drinking Resolution: To Drink Local-er

Oh, New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve never much been one for them, but being a grownup with a wife, kids, and a house gives me enough things to improve myself on that I think I’m going to give a few a whirl in 2013. Among the more trivial of those are related to alcohol. Because I don’t drink that much, my resolutions aren’t related to the Betty Ford Clinic or anything so dramatic. I’d like to homebrew more often, make better homebrew and — the topic of this post — I would like to give local beers more of a chance.

Most of the beers I review for this site are brewed in the Cincinnati region. Behind the scenes and away from this blog, though, local beers make up a tiny portion of what I consume. There are a number of reasons for this: up until this last year, there really wasn’t a great deal of locally-brewed beers on the shelves that were up to par or better than the non-local options sitting right next of them for the same price. Many of the beers that I would then actually rather buy than their non-local counterparts were either draft only, growler only, or not available on most stores’ shelves. Not exactly conducive to everyday drinking.

With the last year, a lot of this has changed. Though Cincinnati still needs to get with the program and catch up to its C-named sisters in terms of producing a really good, off the shelf IPA (Cleveland with White Rajah and Head Hunter, Columbus with Columbus IPA and Bodhi), the options have improved substantially in terms of quality. In many ways, 2012 was a banner year for better beer in Cincinnati. Rivertown now puts out a sour for almost every season of the year. Listermann/Triple Digit, who turned Cincinnatus from a pretty bad barrel aged stout into a fantastic one, has been pushing out high-gravity beers than can be found all over the place, including places like Walgreens. We’ve also seen Blank Slate welcomed to the scene, Fifty West (my current favorite and most promising brewery) opened their taproom doors with more than ten offerings out the gate, and MadTree is going to be making a splash immediately from the looks of their setup and capacity. And that’s without even mentioning the crazy barrel-aged only stuff that Quaff Bros seem to be constantly brainstorming.

Even with all of that, local brews currently don’t make up anywhere near half of the beers I drink. When I can pick up a six-pack of Two Hearted from the gas station a block away from my house, it’s always going to be an uphill battle for local breweries. But, you know what? I’m going to try in 2013 to give local breweries a fair shake. I’m going to try this: half the beers I drink, at least to start 2013, will be locally-brewed. I’m even going to include my own homebrew into that bucket, so it should make things a little easier.

I’m certainly not bought into the “buy local” beer movement and I probably never will be. More than blindly buying local, I advocate being a smart consumer first. I’m happy to give local beer a try, but when it’s not as good as the commonly-available non-local alternative, I’m not going to continue to buy it just because it’s local. So, I’m asking you, local brewers, keep improving your regular lineups so I can keep this resolution moving. Even better, if  you have something you’re proud of, fill me in. I’m always happy to put up reviews to give local beers their time in the spotlight.

Happy New Year’s to all you Queen City Drinks readers out there. Drink well, but more importantly, drink safe and we’ll look forward to seeing you in 2013!

Josh’s Favorite Beers of 2012

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been going through my Untappd profile, rounding up my most memorable beer than I was lucky enough to try in 2012. I ended up with a total of fifteen beers, consisting of a top ten and five honorable mentions which were just short of the cut. It’s not quite the end of 2012 yet, so I suppose it’s possible that late additions bump some of these out, but it’s a risk I’m going to make.

My takeaways?

  1. I definitely like barrel-aged beers.
  2. Cincinnati-area beers performed well, taking 4 of the 15 spots.
  3. This list was really, really hard to cull down. There is so much great beer out there and I’ve been able to try so much of it. I love the choice that better beer drinkers have now.

Now, for the list. There are more details for each beer in the captions of the slideshow below, but this here’s the summary. By the way, the top ten are in no particular order.

Top Ten

  • Rivertown Lambic (2010)
  • Founders Looking Glass
  • Sierra Nevada barrel-aged draft only beers
  • Quaff Bros. Joseph
  • The Bruery Black Tuesday (2009, 2011) & Chocolate Rain
  • Goose Island Juliet
  • Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth (2011, 2012)
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2012)
  • Westvleteren XII
  • Listermann Cincinnatus

Honorable Mentions

  • Rivertown Sour Cherry Porter
  • Stone Enjoy By 11.09.12
  • Quaff Bros Sour Grapes
  • New Belgium La Folie
  • Founders Better Half

The format is a little awkward below with the captions, so if you’d like a better view of them, you can do so here.

 

Some Listermann/Triple Digit News

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Got some news direct from the source just a moment ago on some happenings over at Listermann/Triple Digit.

On Listermann:

White Death Bottle/Draft release is today at 5 pm. Bottles are $11.99 and limited to 3 with only about 480 bottles existing. We called our winter warmer at the Christmas in July Party White Death. This beer is the base beer for this and the only White Death going forward will be the barrel-aged kind. We will have held a few kegs of it back from the July party so we will have the base beer on draft as well as the BA version from 5 til close tomorrow. The Regular version will be on draft there after until we run out while White Death will see occasional appearances at events (Hint hint: End of World) and randomly at the tasting room. 20 cases will be hitting retailers (details on exactly where forthcoming).

On Cincinnatus (see review of last year’s batch here):

This beer will be in 4 packs this year. Price is $17.99 a 4 pack. Working on release date, but probably next week. We have 120 waxed, hand signed and numbered singles only available at the brewery. Those will run $5.50 a bottle. We have 2011 Cincinnatus in our cool room. We will be making a 4 pack with two vintage and two new bottles available for $19.99. I will get you the release date as soon as we know. These will be seeing distribution to NKY and Cincy. About 2300 total 12 oz bottles made with kegs making special appearances where we see fit.

On Triple Digit:

Triple Digit: Very excited for Chickow! to Finally see approval. Press release attached. Bottles and Draft will be available very soon, as soon as we get labels in. Beer is already bottled and Kegs kegged. Just waiting on labels.

Sneak preview: 2013 Cincinnati Beer Week’s Collaboration Brew


 

[Update: 12:47PM]

I just received some more information on the Cincinnati Beer Week 2012 collaboration brew from Jason Roeper of Rivertown.

The beer is called Embree’s Northern Dark after the famous early English porter (Cincinatian) producer. It’s ABV will be 10.6%, SRM at 38, IBU at 32. We will be producing 60bbls this year, same as last year; 6pack ringers (no carriers because of cost) and draft, just more of it. As you noticed by the label we have a longer brewery list involves this year. The beer will be released on January 19 as part of a local brewery pub crawl in which each brewery will brew their own version of the same recipe. We will have buses transporting guests to each brewery as part of the Cincinnati beer week kick off celebration

As always, thanks for the information, Jason!

(Hat tip to Beer Pulse! for the label)

Listermann’s Local Craft Beer Oktoberfest Details

Below are some details on this weekend’s Oktoberfest celebration at Listermann. This looks like an absolute blast, which I of course will be missing since I’ll be out of town. Hopefully QCD will be represented in some form there, though. Regardless, head over there and celebrate Cincinnati’s up and coming craft beer scene and show them your support!

With every one of the Cincinnati Brewers expanding as fast as they can because we cannot meet demand, we have decided to throw a party to celebrate. We are having a Cincinnati brewers ONLY Oktoberfest on October 6th. Mt. Carmel, Rivertown, Blank Slate, Triple Digit, Christian Moerlein, Rock Bottom, Cellar Dweller, Wiedemann, 50 West and Quaff Bros. will all be pouring beer. It will be more like a Cincinnati Craft beer party, in an Oktoberfest setting. Each brewery is bringing a different beer with Listermann’s providing the Oktoberfest. We will also be having the Bloatarian Brewing League of Cincinnati on hand brewing beer all day. If you want to learn to brew, they will be more than happy to show you.

Everything Cincinnati loves: Beer, sauerkraut, pretzels, live music at the Party Source/Quaff Bros. Stage and more beer.

Remember to Drink. Local. Beer!

Schedule of Events (More to be announced soon so stay tuned):
8:30 a.m. Kegs and Eggs (With Friar Bacon Smoked Bock of course) begins at the tasting room.
10:30 – 11:15 am This is a Knife kicks off the Party Source/Quaff Bros. Stage
11:45 am – 2:45 pm Zinzinnati Bier Band at the Party Source/Quaff Bros. Stage
3:30 – 6:00 pm Cincinnati Side Cars at the Party Source/Quaff Bros. Stage
6:30 – 10:30 pm Scotty Anderson Band at the Party Source/Quaff Bros. Stage

For special accommodations or questions/comments, please email jason@listermann.com or call 513-731-1130. Thank you!

Event map below (click on it to be able to see the full size map):