Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Last night that meant getting sticky and itchy at Hopworks Urban Brewery with eight or so fellow beer lovers with a couple hours on their hands.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
While still working on the first half of the pint, Mike showed up, decided upon the Jolly Pumpkin Wit, and we grabbed a table to wait for the others. As it turned out JP’s version of a wit came with a fairly pronounced sour finish, much to Mike’s chagrin. Sours being right up my alley (and a bit bummed that I had missed the Cascade Frite Galois they had on tap the previous week), I gave it a try and offered to make his first beer my second beer so that he could order something more to his liking. When our waitress/bartender came by he ordered an IPA and I mentioned by way of explaining the nearly full glass in front of him, that he didn’t like it so I’d buy his IPA in exchange. She offered not to charge him for it but I insisted that I had tried it, enjoyed it, and it was no problem to keep it on the tab.
Fast forward a couple rounds beers and the rest of the folks that were supposed to show up…wherein we decided we’d all explored their beer menu to our satisfaction and decided to saunter down the street to one of the New Old Lompoc locations. Our tab came and low and behold – she actually didn’t include the Wit on the bill!
|Victory's tap list, in case you were curious|
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Last night was the grand opening for the brewery and with it being a short drive away, off I went to see how their first beer would stack up. The staff was eager to make sure everyone that came in got to try the beers. Yes, plural. Instead of the one beer, Chamomellow, that at least in terms of name didn’t intrigue me too much, there were three offerings which included an IPA and a ginger beer.
After my first taste of each I fully expected to end up with a pint of IPA in front of me. But after making my way back for second and third tastes, and the beers warming up, the Chamomellow really grew on me. The honey flavor became more assertive and the beer very smooth and I was powerless to do anything but order a pint of it.
All three beers were very drinkable (although I’d really love to be able to have the Ginger with some sushi) and being in the 6-ish ABV range, easy to enjoy a few of. As far as I’m concerned, Buckman is off to a great start. Such a great start that I might have to return tonight as the carrot being dangled is that they’ll have a firkin. Hmmm…will it be the Chamomellow? Something new? It’s probably important for me to investigate so I can report back.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
So far it seems like the Portland equivalent of Summit is Deschutes and while I’m A-OK with that, I don't want to be complacent with the first thing that pops up so I have been continuing to look around for another label that’s widely available and has something up my alley. Today I may have found a pretty good contender, one with enough hops and flavor to keep me coming back for more but without the brutal hop punch that is enjoyable but can be palate fatiguing.
Generally you won’t find me buying New Belgium beer. First of all, the majority of their products don’t interest me very much due to the style. (For the record, I think 1554 is a great black ale, full of the chocolately malts I love.) Secondly, I don’t think Fat Tire is a very good beer, but everyone who thinks they have just discovered the greatest thing since sliced bread thinks it’s AWESOME. That type of fan boy behavior just irritates me. Consumer behavior should not influence my view of a brewery but I’ll admit in this case it does.
Back to the story at hand and finding a good go to beer.
Tonight as I opened the beer fridge I found some good stuff in there but not what I was searching for; not an EPA or Coffee Bender to be found. Feeling lazy and also curious to see what the 7-11 had to offer I wandered down the street. I wasn’t surprised to find their selection wasn’t very broad, although it did include the aforementioned Deschutes. Looking to branch out I decided to take a chance on New Belgium and the Ranger IPA that has been dominating their marketing for the last few months.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
But lately I have a new infatuation - sour beers.
I’ve been a fan of the Duchess for quite a while, but I don’t really consider her a sour. There’s a bit too much sweet and not enough tart for her to actually be considered a sour in my book. But I suppose she must be given credit for leading the charge on my taste buds, pushing me in the right direction.
Since having been in Oregon, I've a wonderful sour blend at Upright Brewing and a Summer Gose from Cascade Brewing while attending the Oregon Brewers Festival. Just this week, in part to show the McG’s around our new home, we went made a maiden voyage to Cascade Brewing and made a return visit to Upright Brewing.
Cascade currently calls the Raccoon Lodge in SW Portland home (soon to be opening a much anticipated barrel room) and when we stopped in they were offering up somewhere around ten beers, of which nearly half of them were sour. Their Summer Gose caught my eye right away, but having already tasted it, I gave the Winter Gose a try. It was a good beer, with the spice notes being more subtle than I feared and the sour notes more pronounced than I had expected. But I was eager to return to the stronger sour notes of Summer. Then it was on to the Frite Galois, which offered the most sour notes of all and was my favorite of the session. Their Raspberry Wheat was also surprisingly good, with fruit and sour notes drowning out nearly all the wheat flavor and one of the most lovely shades of pink-lilac to have ever graced a beer glass.
At Upright, a young nano-brewery that uses open fermentation, the sour blend I’d had before was long gone, but the Barrel Aged Four was at least as good. After aging for a month or more, the wheat flavors of the original Four were virtually gone, being replaced by wonderfully sour flavors. Their two other “modified” beers, Long Pepper Six and Dry Hop Five, offered up bits of sourness, but nothing to satisfy the pucker seeking sour lover.
This is by no means the extent of sour beer I should be able to get my hands on and I can’t wait to see what makes me pucker next.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Times when the beer was cheap…say $3.99 for a 6-pk.
Times when you drank it because, well, it was beer.
These days you drink beer that is usually NOT this color, is more likely to be $13.99 for a 6-pk, and you drink it because it’s GOOD beer.
Then again, when you find a decently made pilsner, without any skunky or nasty aftertaste, that IS $3.99 for a 6-pk, is refreshing on a hot day and isn’t just 3.2% (5.5% actually), well, Simpler Times can still be yours.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Yesterday I was a bit negative in the thoughts shared about the Oregon Brewers Festival. Some of that negativity is my own damn fault. What should I expect when I move out to Portland and away from drinking the beer I love with the people I love? Of course OBF isn't going to stack up. And then to do a direct comparison, and a negative one at that, is disingenuous at best. I think my comparisons were pretty spot on, but I focused on the negativity. My apologies. Time to make amends. Here are some additional thoughts.
I really enjoyed the live music we heard yesterday and Friday. On Friday, there was a interesting "trance/psychedelic" (I guess) band called Ruins of Ooah that consisted of nothing really more than a harmonica, drums, a didgeridoo and vocals. Their music was creative, enjoyable and pretty original. On Saturday we got to enjoy a bit of techno from a DJ as well as some fellow playing steel drums. And you know what, it all fit the fest. And it wasn't so damn loud that you couldn't chat with the folks around you. I still think bagpipes would be a nice addition, though.
Beers - Not a Bad One in the Bunch IMO
I thought it was interesting that I didn't drink one beer, either day, that I didn't enjoy to some degree. There were one or two that I maybe wouldn't purchase given other options, but I'd be happy to drink them again. There weren't any beers I hated or decided to dump, and I pretty much tried as many different ones as I could (okay, except for the gruit). There was a wide range of beers from sours to RIS to blueberry wheat to gruit...oh yeah, and IPAs. Kris and I were excited to have our first nano-brewed beer as well (yeah, I know, no big deal, but it's the concept, you know). Additionally, getting a 4 oz sample (a very strict pour) gives you a chance to really sample a beer. One of the nice things about this event is that if you especially like a beer, they're willing to give you a full pour (about 14 oz typically, versus the 4 oz sample). And, as I've learned, the purpose is to promote as many brewers as possible, not labels, thus the one-beer-per-brewery requirement. I can respect that.
Saturday's was a markedly different crowd than Friday's and the beer shirts came out in force, thank god. I also saw more Wolverine-style sideburns than anywhere else, at any time in my life. Gotta love that. We also, finally, saw the folks sportin' the wild and crazy stuff, like the guy with the watermelon hat, vest, pants, etc., the goofy beer hats and goggles, and so on. Oh yeah, there was lots of cleavage too.
- This event had tons of port-a-potties ("Honey Buckets"). I never had to wait. And the damn things were clean and smelled good. Huzzah!
- They had free rain. Yeah, that doesn't sound like it should be a big deal in Portland, but it was kinda nice. It was a huge, metal misting contraption that you see in hot, dry areas. It was very enjoyable strolling through it on a day whose temperatures exceeded 90 degrees.
- There were several food options inside the gates, but as this is Portland, there were probably 40+ food stands within 2 or 3 blocks of the event grounds.
- There certainly was a bit of diversity here. And I'm not just talking ethnic, although there was more ethnic diversity here than at any other beer fest I've been at. There were folks from all other the country and all over the world. The 55+ crowd was also very well represented. And, there was a wide range of douches, ass-hats, hipsters, wankers, buttheads, and so on.
- Where else you gonna see a 6'5" sweaty turtle???
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sense of Excitement
OBF is a four day event and you don't need to buy tickets ahead of time. That means, if you want to go to the fest, you can get in. But wait! Why's that a bad thing, you ask? It's not, I guess. But instead of having a fest filled with die-hard beer fans who are very excited to be there, you get a mixed crowd of families, casual drinkers, fanatics, etc. Again, that's not a bad thing, but it detracts from the overall mood of the crowd (e.g. enthusiasm). There was no countdown nor ragged cheer when the gates open. Some people don't like how some fests can turn out to be exclusive events, but if you're fortunate to get a ticket, I think this makes the fest all the sweeter. Yeah, there's a flip side to this that sucks. But there's no denying a sense of excitement when you hold the hard-to-get-ticket. But, this is made up, in part, with enthusiastic, random yelling (see below).
What? Yeah, I said it. Beer shirts. Kris and I saw very few folks wearing beer shirts, hats, etc. I mean, what's a beer fest without folks supporting their home team or favorite pub or whatever. Based on the crowd, this could have been any kind of outdoor event. I like seeing the beer geek crowd all decked out. Hell, it's like going to Comic-Con and not seeing Storm Troopers or Spidey running around. A certain important element is missing from the ambiance. Also, and this is weird, as I was wearing a Surly work shirt (a very common thing to wear at GTotM or ABR), I got asked about five times about Surly beer, as though I was the brewer. "What did you bring to the fest?" "How long have you guys been around." What the hell?! I didn't ask the short white dude wearing a Pryzbilla jersey if he liked playing for the Blazers. Goofy as hell, man.
No food could be brought into the fest. Now, normally this doesn't really bother me much, although I think it's a bad idea. But this means that all the creative pretzel and sausage necklaces had to be left at home. I mean, what's a beer fest without pretzel necklaces??? And I didn't get a chance to eat any too-warm meat and cheese. Thankfully, we did see a few guys who snuck in pretzel necklaces.
All the beer was served by volunteers. Many of these volunteers were quasi-knowledgeable about beer, but given that any Joe off the street could sign up to be a volunteer, many of them were clueless. It doesn't help that most of them were serving beer about which they probably knew nothing. So, there were no opportunities to chat with anyone who knew anything about a particular beer, brewery, etc. You could get a tasty beer, but you certainly couldn't learning anything else about the beer/brewery. But I can live this. What I find unconscionable is the servers leaving full and partially filled pitchers of beer sitting in the hot sun when there was shade available. Christ, if you gave a damn at all about beer, you wouldn't do that.
No Beer Stands
Beer at OBF was stored in large semi trailers and pushed through coolers into pitchers from whence they were poured into ones cup. Tables were lined up, end to end, with the crowd on one side and the serving volunteers on the other. Now, this is an efficient way of doing things and pretty common. But it really lacks character. I like when breweries get to set up their own little stands or personalize their spaces. It tells you something about them and adds to the overall experience for attendees.
Aside from special offerings in a buzz tent, each brewery/brewpub had one beer on tap at the fest. There was no chance to explore several offerings from a place you'd never heard of or had the chance to visit, thus giving you a chance to evaluate the spectrum of their offerings and setting your overall level of interest in their beer. Instead, you get a limited picture and run the risk of basing your opinion on a brewery/brewpub based solely on the merits of one beer. Summit and Surly were both at this event. Summit had their Horizon Red and Surly had Bitter Brewer. Well, okay, Surly had Four in the buzz tent as well, but the damn yokels running the fest had the wrong beer hooked up for several hours, thus giving folks the wrong beer. We learned this when someone told me, because I was wearing a Surly shirt, that my Russian Imperial Stout (at least he was in the right ballpark) was way too pale and underflavored. *sigh* But I digress. If you were to base your opinion of Summit and Surly based on your sample of Horizon or Bitter, you'd really have missed the mark with respect to what these breweries are really doing with their beer.
If you've been to a beer fest in MN, then you know that when you hear the roar of the crowd roll from one end of the grounds through the other or roll out in ripples from some central point, some pour sucker has dropped his/her beer glass and broken it. You immediately get a warm glow from 1) not being that pour sucker and 2) being part of a superior majority of drinkers able to hold on their glasses. OBF had a similar rolling-wave of yelling, but given that the tasting cups were plastic and the event was held on a grassy area, I'm not sure what caused the yelling. Was it simply someone dropping a beer? I made numerous inquiries but was disappointed by the blank-stare, shrugged-shoulder responses I got. I was happy to hear the random roar of the crowd, but disappointed that I couldn't confirm why. That didn't stop Kris and I from enthusiastically joining in the random yelling, though.
I know there are many haters of bagpipes. But I, for one, like a little bagpipe at my beer fest. 'nough said.
I look back at what I've just written and can't help but feel that I've been too negative. At the end of the day, OBF was a reasonably well-run, affordable, accessible, comfortable beer fest. It was a good time and I drank quite a few tasty beers. But it lacked the overall level of excitement and beer-dork ambiance that I'm used to having at premier beer fests. Given the abundance of beer fests in Portland, I'm hopeful that we'll find some that provide the atmosphere we're looking for. But as long as we've got good beer to drink, I think we'll be okay.
You’ll notice that the beer fridge has a new look. It’s shinier and it’s black, but it’s also smaller. We were here less than a week when we realized that it’s simply impossible for us NOT to have a beer fridge. Even a small one. Small or big, it still does one of the most important jobs in the house.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Out of the can, the amber brew poured fairly carbonated so I let it sit a couple minutes.While I got the can shot posted the head had a chance to recede a bit and it was time for the sniff test. The result was a slight hop aroma...promising.
Now the taste test.Well, first swig says…have more! They didn’t hire a graphic artist first and a brewer as an after thought. This is actually a tasty beer. The gamble paid off.
I won’t say this is the best ever IPA, and I might even lean a little more toward pale ale than IPA (but that might be because there’s rarely a “too hoppy” beer for me). But it’s a solid beer that you could have a few of without burning out your palate.
So in the end, cool can, good beer, and well, it's in a can, which is a big plus if you're going to be somewhere with a "no glass" policy or you don't feel like doing the heavy lifting of carrying around bottled beer.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Word Press may be cool, and maybe we'll end up permanently moving the site there in the future, but it's also not nearly as user friendly. So for the foreseeable future, we'll stay planted here at Blogspot. We might muse about some Minneapolis-St. Paul beer (hint, hint McG's), but mostly we'll be talking all things beer in Portland. So whether you just like checking in on our most recent ramblings or you're coming out this way and want some insight on beer out here, we hope you'll stick with us.
I'll also be reposting the posts that went up on the new blog in case you need to catch up. Be patient if you've already read about Cool Can, Cool Can Answer, and The New Beer Fridge. And if you commented on any of those, sorry, but I'm pretty tech stupid and am not sure how to carry your comments over.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
With that in mind, we're trying out a new blog with Word Press. It's a work in progress, but if you'd like to see what we're up to lately, come on over and bear with us as we work on the site itself.
Click here to get there.
As soon as we figure out how to let you follow us there, we'd love to have you. Until then, patience. We're beer drinkers, not computer programmers. Just bookmark the new blog and have a beer.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
One of the things I was looking forward to about our move to Portland was living somewhere that walks could be more meaningful. Maybe to the grocery or other such errands, or maybe to an even better destination…say a good bar or brewpub.
As it turned out, our new home is .97 miles from Hopworks Urban Brewery. Although we pulled into town on Monday afternoon, a few days went by before we were actually able to embark on The Best Walk Ever.
Yesterday, however, there were no obstacles in the way so out the door the three of us went. A mere 20 minutes later we were seated on the HUB’s patio, the first round of beers in hand and Cleo trying to decide if she was thirsty enough to have a drink from the communal water bowl.
A few hours and a few pints later, a little buzzed, we retraced our steps. The only thing missing was a sugary, luscious donut from the joint across Powell, Acme. Oh well, there’s always next time…
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
At a gas station: Stone, Alaskan
At Target: pretty decent variety for a national chain, including the very tasty Deschutes Inversion IPA
At Safeway (grocery): plenty, but I restrained myself to only picking up Stumptown Tart, one in Bridgeport’s Big Brew series, which is 50% ale aged in oak barrels and 50% ale brewed with raspberry
Here's a look at Safeway's "good beer" selection. Yes, it's not huge, but it's the grocery store.
The next two are things I wanted to pick up, but figured I'd better wait until we purchased a dedicated beer fridge or in no time there wouldn't be room for food in the fridge.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Our impending move to Portland is fraught with anxiety and uncertainty. The decision to "go west, young man," was indubitably sound in the midst of a Minnesota winter, but now that we're in the balmy throes of spring with summer 'round the corner, the logic begins to look suspect. Does it make sense to leave friends and family behind, some of whom we may not see again? Certainly, career-wise and financially the move doesn't make sense. We've got a pretty nice thing going, socially, in the Twin Cities. Those bridges aren't burned, but they currently smolder. Pardon my mixed-metaphor, but the siren-song of the greener grass over yonder fence beckoned…and thus we go, for good or for ill.
Ours is a household where practicality and logic reign (or so we like to think). And yet this decision, based strongly on emotion and hope, is contrary to our natural inclination. As much as this might be a warning sign of a regrettable decision, I think this may be cathartic, in a way. Life is short and, I suspect, the list of regrets may be long by the time the wife cashes my first life insurance check. I hope that on the tally of my life, the box titled, "made stupid/ill-conceived, emotionally-driven, financially-ruinous yet ultimately fulfilling decision," is not unchecked at the end of the day.
These thoughts are a bit contemplative and sobering on a Friday morning. We'll see how they play out on a Friday evening with a few belts under my…er…belt. And at the end of the day, and at the western edge of our nation, I'm sure Portland will provide as many catalysts and causes for beer musings as the Twin Cities have. And while the observations may focus more on my fleas, the homeless, the crazy hippies and those d-bags from California, I'm sure the irreverent tone and sophomoric content will remain the same.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The Blue Door Pub
They haven’t been around long but they’ve made a huge impression both on beer lovers and burger lovers. Being both, I can’t get enough of this place.
Last week we went and I knew I had to try out the Gatsby. It was yummy. But so was the Oatmeal Stout from Summit; somewhat “out of season” by some standards but for the stout lover, it’s always welcome. And the Furious. Can’t go wrong with a Furious.
This week, “dragged” along by the Shervey’s I had to revert to my personal favorite, the Jiffy Burger. Peanut butter, cheese, mayo, pickles, bacon, beef – someone had a revelation of deliciousness when they thought this one up! I also greatly enjoyed the Latin Kisses, fresh jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in thick cut, caramelized bacon. The beers this time were closer together and a bit more seasonal – Summit Horizon Red and Bells Oberon – but none the less tasty.
As an aside, something that I won’t have to miss, and I must give tons of credit to for helping me remember what I drank a month, a week, or possibly a day ago is HopChart. You’re awesome and we’ll be keeping in touch as I drink down the beers in Portland.
Friday, June 4, 2010
There are a few places in town, Buster’s on 28th and the Gnome pop to mind first, that carry excellent cheese and excellent beer. But did you know Faribault has a place, too? It’s The Cheese Cave, a retail cheese shop that also has a demonstration kitchen AND serves beer.
Last night was celebrity bartender night and since Mag is friends with one of the folks that would be pouring, we hopped in the car and headed down 35 with the McG’s. Bellying up to the bar behind the retail section of The Cave we found a great selection: four Summit brews on tap (Oatmeal Stout, Horizon Red, Maibock, and Extra Pale Ale), four Odell brews in bottles (5 Barrel Pale Ale, 90 Shilling, St. Lupulin, and IPA), and to appease the non-craft crowd, bottles of MGD. That’s a pretty good line up for a small place anywhere, much less in a town of less than 15,000 people.
I started off with the Oatmeal Stout – oh, the creamy goodness! But since the rest of the group was drinking Odell brews I finished my pint of creaminess and followed the herd. That was the right choice as I haven’t been to the liquor store since they hit the Minnesota market and I had forgotten just how much I enjoy their beer. The IPA particularly hit the spot (maybe it was the bitterness of the day) and who doesn’t enjoy a bucking elephant?
As would be expected from a place named The Cheese Cave, they have excellent cheese. They serve as a retail outlet for the Faribault Dairy Company (ya know, those folks who make St. Pete’s) but also offer a wide variety of cheeses from around the region and across the country. We got two of their cheese plates – one with three blue cheeses and one with, well, three other cheeses. Don’t get me wrong, the three I can’t remember were really good, too, but they were all white and since I didn’t lift one of their menus on the way out you’ll just have to trust me that it was worth getting.
I’ll beat you to the punch and apologize right now for writing as much or more about the cheese as the beer. And for not having any pictures. I know you like to look. Anyway, if beer and cheese is your thing, too, the short drive down 35 should be on your to do list.
Friday, May 28, 2010
No…the ABV of a Miller product.
The answer is the distance between our Portland apartment* and one of the many brewpubs in town. It’s not exactly stumbling distance but it is a pretty straight shot so as long as I get myself pointed in the direction, it shouldn’t be half bad.
*In case you haven’t heard (we have been keeping it relatively quiet so don’t feel bad if this is how you find out), we’re moving to Portland, OR at the end of June.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Last night Stub & Herb’s hosted this amazing opportunity as part of the Minnesota Craft Beer Week festivities. Flat Earth loaded up their taps with a combination of standards, specialty beers, and infusions. And as much as I have loved some of those infusions, the two beers that captured and kept my attention for the night were Rode Haring Flanders Red Ale and Extra Medium.
For those unfamiliar with the beers, Rode Haring is a blend of Extra Medium (American wild ale) and Biere de Garde. It’s aged for over a year so once a batch is gone there’s going to be a bit of a wait until the next batch is ready. I finished my last bomber from the previous batch around the first of the year and have been thirsting for the new batch ever since. And rather than quenching that thirst, last night’s pints of these tart and kinda funky beers only primed me to get my hands on more.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Like Arborfest, this is a “different” festival. What I mean by that is that although I end up running into a fair number of people I know, there is a pretty high percentage of people that are not your typical beer fest buddies. Both are fundraisers so it’s likely that there will be people who are more interested in supporting their respective organization than the beer that’s being poured. On top of that, for the Bazaar I get the feeling that there are plenty of walk-in/local folks who hear about an event that’s right in their town and decide to show up.
Surprise beer of the fest: Schell’s Stout
I would have thought somewhere along the way I would have tried this beer, but I will swear to you, the flavor was not familiar at all. It’s a great, easy drinking stout containing plenty of the coffee flavors I love.
Best brewery location of the fest: Lift Bridge
They made sure to show up early and were rewarded by what was probably the best spot for a brewery to set up shop. The top deck was the only open air deck and it was a perfect day to enjoy it.
Best part of the fest: Drinking great beer with a bunch of fellow beer geeks on a beautiful spring day.
Best story from the fest: Ask Mag
It involves a drunken guy in the bathroom and a disturbing picture.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
- Rock Bottom had a very solid line-up, but the highlight was their vanilla-infused stout. The vanilla was balance just right so as to not overpower the beer itself and the aromatics were fantastic and improved as the beer warmed up.
- Bob at Great Waters was sharing Myna Bock which I really enjoyed. That's worth a trip to GW this weekend to get some more.
- Another beer that I found interesting was Vine Park's IPA. It's an all-Fuggles IPA, which gives it very different aromatics and flavor than most other IPAs I've had.
- But the hightlight of the night for me was Schell's Schmaltz's Alt aged in pinot barrels. I saw this beer aging at the brewery a few months ago while on a tour there and I've been itching to try it ever since. I love Schmaltz's Alt to begin with, so this was a treat for me. The pinot-barrel aging added a subtle aroma to the beer, more redolent of wine than of wood. The barrel's imparted a slightly sour flavor to the beer that was quite enjoyable.