Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Memorable Beer List---by ALVIN ( kl)

这期最有印象啤酒清单来自ALVIN---本地CRAFT BEER专卖酒吧的年轻老板之一。


We continue with the beer list --this time around a short list from Alvin--one of the owners of Tapsbeerbar here in KL.

here's the list--- in his own words:-

This year has been really great. Taps Beer Bar opened a 2nd outlet in 1mk mall and its been crazy setting the place up. In the last 6 months we have been so busy that we hardly had time to sit down and enjoy our beers.

This year my habit of drinking has changed. Instead of chasing for a certain beer style, I will decide based on the mood I'm in.

1. Australian Brewery - extra hoppy ale - all day everyday
This is a very surprising beer. So easy to drink and very satisfying. Nothing big in terms of flavours but the balance of the flavours makes this beer the easiest beer to drink any time of day.

2. Mikkeller - George bourbon ba -slow drinking beer
Mikkeller has produced some really nice beers but sometimes its best to keep it simple and not too crazy. This bourbon barrel aged imperial stout is part of the George Foreman series and at 12.12% its perfect! A very nice oak aroma hits you when the beer is poured but barrel aged stouts you want to let it warm up a bit. The smell of the alcohol becomes more apparent and coupled with the whiskey oak and slight dark chocolate taste, this makes the beer one to remember.
3. Thornbridge - brascia -slow drinking beer
Thornbridge range beers have been solid. Be it their core range or their seasonals. Brascia is a very rich dark ale which surprised me on so many levels. Firstly, its vanilla and dark fruit taste with a strong alcohol taste which didn't overpower the flavours of the beer. It finishes with a slight malty flavour and leaves your mouth wanting more. Shared the first bottle with a friend thinking that it will be too much but ended up having one on my own.
4. Prickly Moses - Otway stout
The simplest stout I've had this year. Medium roasted and low on alcohol. Light to medium body so that's perfect. Not too rich and that makes it so easy to drink and multiple times in a day!

5. Boatrocker - hop bomb IPA - anytime IPA
Boatrocker is one of the newest brewery we've brought in this year. Their hopbomb IPA changed the perception of Aussie beers. Quite a lot of our customers always say they don't really like Australian beers or that Australians don't know how to brew beers. But when I told them that this is a very very good IPA and gave them a little taster, they would order it all night long. 
这是来自澳洲新酿坊“摇船者”,让人刮目相看的印度淡啤--不少饮客并不喜欢澳洲啤酒或觉得澳洲撞意啤酒不够格--不过,尝试过HOP BOMB之后,会整晚喝不停。。。

NEXT UP---Beer List by STU Mckinlay( New Zealand)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Memorable Beer List--by TOBIAS(Copenhagen)


之前是长住东京的英国部落客朋友NEIL,这次的是来自哥本哈根的酿酒师TOBIAS,如果你熟悉TO OL这个北欧品牌,没错,以下是他的自选LIST。

The 2014 memorable beer list started with Neil, a blogger friend from Tokyo---next up to provide us some of his memorable beer list is a Brewer from Copenhagen---yup, if you are familiar with TO OL of Denmark---this list is from the brewer himself.
it's a rather short list, here we go:-( original writing from Tobias)
Mikkeller Spontanrødbede: exciting sour beer brewed with beetroot. A very familier Danish vegetable in perfect combination of the sour flavours. Amazing colour and appearance.


To Øl Garden of Eden: One of our own beers, an IPA brewed with 5 different tropical fruits. Amazing how the perfect combination of fruity hop varieties bonds together with fruits. From a distance it's really overdosed but when you drink it it's actually very drinkable and friendly. Really complex and yet simple.

TO OL自家的印度淡啤--利用五种不同热带水果,和啤酒花美妙结合而成--虽然可能有过量过重错觉--不过是复杂得来由易喝的。

De Proef Amarillo projects: Really interesting test brews from Belgium, sourcing amarillo hops from different farmers at different locations and really discovering the terroir of the hops you use. This beer is not released yet, but have some really exciting differences that I think any beer geek would love to discover.

这家位于比利时的酿坊是一些吉普赛酿酒师--包括TO OL有合作的--所以TOBIAS知道/尝试过这家的实验酒--以不同区域收集的AMARILLO啤酒花酿制,是很有趣的酿品,目前还没有面世。

Three Floyds Zombie Dust: This beer is just too simple to be good. Single hop citra pale ale, Many have brewed similar recipes, but this one is just amazing.....

美国大名鼎鼎的FFF--THREE FLOYDS这支美式淡啤是被公认最佳的---TOBIAS觉得这支酒的酿方很简单,可是又那么美味--很多酿酒师都试过同样酿方--就是没有ZOMBIE DUST 那么神奇。

Arizona Wilderness: Most friendly guys around, met them at CBC and at the Shelton beer festival in US. Amazing projects with mead, barrel aging and new flavours. Can't pick out any of the beers as being the best, but I would really watch this brewery in 2015.

2015年最值得关注/期待的美国新酿坊---TOBIAS 在丹麦和美国啤酒节遇到来自这家的酿酒师们--他非常欣赏这家的桶陈年处理蜜糖酒, 以及一些新口味啤酒的计划.

NEXT UP---list by ALVIN ( KL)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

WEEK 39---TOKYO Craft-spotting----Part 3 of 3

东京喝CRAFT 的地方很多,有大有小,有专注日本自家酿品,也有只专注或美国或北欧或比利时等地酿品的。

“告一段落”篇写了4个地方,除了TANAKAYA是瓶子专卖店,其他的都是酒吧,ALDGATE和GOODBEER FAUCETS位置在热闹的涉谷,老字号的POPEYE位置有点偏离市中心,不过去了就知道为什么会被誉为东京CRAFT BEER吧的老大哥。

This is sort of the "concluding" page for Tokyo craft-spotting, having written for 3 weeks in a row---with Yokohama craft-spotting to follow.
with 10 bars and 1 bottle shop written for Tokyo craft-spotting, it's really just scratching the surface of what Tokyo craft beer scene is all about...while there are still many more new places to visit, i will be very happy to revisit places i have been and enjoyed repeatedly.

this week's column touch on 3 bars and THE bottle shop in the whole of Tokyo.....

"ALDGATE---located nearby the ever busy Shibuya crossing--this old school British pub is hidden on the 3rd floor of  a not so tall building, just side of the busy main street---21 taps--beer selections ranging from Japanese brew--to the US brew.."
"ALDGATE---this is one of the very few craft beer places with live streaming of football matches like English premier league--so expect the bar to be jam packed---especially on match day---if you prefer a quiet place--then this is not the place"
"ALDGATE---if you happened to be a craft beer lover, as well as very much into vinyl record---you may want to be the good friend of the bar owner---this is most probably one craft beer bar in the whole of Tokyo with the largest collection of vinyl..."
"POPEYE---long been hailed as the "big brother" bar in Tokyo craft beer scene( as the owner is one of the very early starter)--the 70 taps occupying the bar area is a sight to behold..."

"POPEYE---the location--Ryogoku-- though slightly off from city center point of view--is not really that far considering the highly efficient public transport system in Tokyo..."
"POPEYE---even before you walk into the bar---there's a clear sign showing "70 taps"---the moment you rest yourself at the bar area-this is where it really hits you--with beer selection from Japanese brew, and some imported ones---no doubt this is one craft beer bar worth visiting for a good few round.."
"GOODBEER FAUCETS---located further up from the 109 building nearby the famous Shibuya crossing---this is an easier to find bar for first timer--it's located nearby the main street, just on top a family mart convenience store.."
"GOODBEER FAUCETS---beers are mix of US-Japanese brew--with some Belgium/UK brews---hand pump is available---and sitting on the window long bar watching what's going on in the street is a cozy way of enjoying a beer or two if you are alone and don't enjoy talking to strangers..."
"TANAKAYA---this place in Meijiro is probably the "best known secrets" for all who love a good bottle or two of craft beer/spirits in Tokyo.."

"TANAKAYA---although craft beer section is only a small part of the whole shop---there's no doubting the magnetic power this place caused to beer geek---the beers are lined up systematically---from first door of the fridge with Belgium beers--Sours--onto beers from places like Scandinavia, Holland, Italy,Spain,Scotland,UK--USA---this place is a funfair..."
"TANAKAYA---If there's anything you want to "complaint"about--it is the fact that all bottles are for take out--no drinking inside the shop---UNLESS if you are given special permission, and/or invited to have a tasting session---but don't expect to drink like you do in a bar---the fact that you are invited/given permission to drink inside is already a super privilege...;) 

NEXT WEEK---YOKOHAMA craft-spotting

Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014 Memorable Beer List---by NEIL--Part 2/2

Let's see what else is in store in Neil's list of memorable beers:-
Partizan - Belma Liberty IPA
Don’t think they’ve made it out of Europe, maybe not even out of the UK. Another beer consumed on a trip home. Reminded me a lot of Shiga Kogen’s House IPA and given how much I love that beer, that must be a good thing. There’s now a whole host of breweries in the arches under the railway lines in Bermondsey, but I think I’ll stick with just Partizan and Kernel for the time being as I’m not really convinced by any of the others yet.

Kernel - Biere de Table Oak Aged Saison
Another low alcohol/high flavour combination. Another London trip highlight. Nice and cheesy. I like that in a beer. Also like that in a cheese. Nice to see something other than an imperial stout in a barrel too. And Kernel are just always great.
Nihonkai Club - IBA
India Brown Ale, and it definitely is brown rather than black. Tried this again recently and was blown away by it. Nihonkai Club beers are made at an isolated brewery in west Japan by a Czech brewer. His pilsner is also great. As is his Weizen. As are most things I try by him. If you can make Pilsners and Weizens that really stand out and that are totally memorable, then you must be doing a really good thing as there’s a hell of a lot of these styles being made in Japan.
To Ol - Yeastus Christ Supersour
Best beer name of the year. The beer was very nice too.

Westbrook - Bearded Farmers Hughey & Taylor
Two big bottles of Saison that I drank by myself at the very start of the year, and I have been yearning for Westbrook beers since then. Nice to find a US Saison that hasn’t thrown the whole herb and spice cabinet in. Subtle, refreshing and delicious. Must try some more of their stuff when I have the chance.
De Leite - Cuvee Soeur’ise/Cuvee Jeune Homme
My January trip to Belgium started badly  when I realised on the train that I had booked my hotel for the wrong week. It soon took an upturn when I had these two great beers in Leuven. It was almost a year to the day that I had my first De Leite beer, Cuvee Mam’zelle at Cafe Rose Red in Bruges. Belgian beer is still my beer of choice, and that’s because of beers like these. They are dignified, subtle, fascinating and delicious. 
So many good beers and so many that I haven’t mentioned. I also want to say that I’ve really enjoyed Modern Times cans this year which are now being imported to Japan. Shiga Kogen are still great with their regular beers and their seasonal, and it’s particularly good that their beers are widely available (in Craft Beer bars anyway). 
有太多好啤酒没能提到,包括近期开始在日本出现的美国MODERN TIMES啤酒,当然还有一些日本啤酒,例如志贺高原的各类啤酒.
I’m also really enjoying drinking Yorocco beers, just wish that they would make it to Tokyo bars or shops, but completely understand their ‘local beer’ slogan, and it gives me a reason to take a trip out of town. 
Fujizakura are still very nice and I’ve had some very nice seasonal from them this year. And they are another brewery who always seem to be available in Craft Beer bars. And Loco too. Haven’t liked everything I’ve had, but have had some very pleasant surprises from them. Their Scottish Light was really great. 

And, I am in the very fortunate position that possibly my best beer of the year could be yet to come. I have a bottle or two of special stuff stored at my parents’ house waiting for me to open soon after a 12 hour flight and have with my Christmas dinner. Very much looking forward to that!

ct's note:-
MERRY X'MAS to everyone---have some nice beers but don't Fxxx up your palate.....:) ....cheers.
NEXT UP on 2014 memorable beer list---TOBIAS from Copenhagen

Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 Memorable Beer List---by NEIL(Tokyo)---PART 1/2



and so 2014 is soon coming to an end, it's time to take a look back at what memorable beers were had for the past 12 month or so...just like last year, this year there will be friends of this blog giving us their list of memorable beers...
first up is NEIL from Tokyo--who is actually an English man who loves nothing more than drinking in Belgium. A blogger himself( his blog is listed on this blog), Neil is an avid beer drinker who also do ratings for fun...

this is the original writing from Neil:-

It was a bit difficult for me to remember the best beers I drank this year. I had to use ratebeer to go back and check my ratings over the course of the year to jog my mind. So this is my list of the best beers I drank and I rated for the first time, even though I may well have drank much nicer ones multiple times and forgotten them. Probably means I should keep on rating on ratebeer, even though I have been losing enthusiasm for it a little recently. Still, it does provide me with a good guide to what I think about beer, even though my opinions may not be much use for the beer community as a whole. Anyway, here’s the list.

Y Market - Trinity Black 
This is basically a big thumbs up for Y Market, a new brewery from Nagoya. I picked Trinity Black, which was described as a Belgian Stout, as I had it fairly recently, so can remember it a bit better, but this could easily be many of their beers. They don’t seem to be worried about trying new things and mixing up styles. I am really excited to have them brewing and look forward to them making many more interesting beers.
Y-MARKET是来自名古屋,很有实验精神的小型自酿啤酒。TRINITY BLACK 是黑啤,当然这家还有很多不同类别啤酒。
Swan Lake - Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout 
This deserves a place in this list as I generally find Swan Lake beers to be pretty mediocre. However this beer knocked my socks off, and I’m not particularly a chaser of barrel-aged beers. It was so good that I had to go back and have it again a couple of days later as I was still thinking about it. In general I am moving away from these high alcohol beers (well, when I’m not in Belgium anyway…) as I prefer to avoid hangovers recently, but I have absolutely no regrets about drinking this multiple times.
SWAN LAKE也是日本啤酒,印象中酒不太怎样。不过,NEIL喝到的这陈年处理过的黑啤让他惊艳到隔几天又去找来喝。

Beachwood/Heretic/Stone - Unapologetic IPA
Again a beer that was a real surprise. I don’t think I would have picked it if my Danish friend hadn’t wanted to drink it, but I was really glad we had it. I like Stone beers, but they don’t generally wow me. In fact I’ve had some real stinkers from them, notably the Saison which was pretty horrible. Very interesting new hop varieties used in the Unapologetic which I hope make it into plenty of other beers next year.
这是不同美国酿坊合酿的印度淡啤。因为STONE啤酒并不特别吸引NEIL,如果不是因为当时一起的丹麦朋友想试, 就会错过这支因为使用新啤酒花组合带来惊喜的瓶子。

Siren Caribbean Chocolate Cake/Broken Dream Grand Cru
Two beers from Siren, but could have been many more. I brought these two back with me from the UK and they were just lovely when I finally opened them. Siren are one of the things I miss about living in the UK. Real innovators, and making lovely beers in all different sorts of styles. Looking forward to being back in the UK for Christmas and New Year and drinking a lot more of their beers.
英国CRAFT BEER新贵SIREN的两个不同瓶子。这是NEIL回去英国一定找来喝的酿坊啤酒之一。

Thrashzone Frontside Grind
Yokohama’s Thrashzone is a very popular venue with beer lovers in Kanto. Their own brews are some of the strongest and cheapest beers in Japan. Normally this combination is not necessarily a good thing, but Thrashzone get it right more often than they get it wrong. This beer is a Session IPA and therefore is something of an anomaly for them. It’s the lowest alcohol beer they have ever made (3.5%) and I hope it convinces them that not everything has to be loaded with alcohol. This evening, I realised when coming back through Yokohama, that it felt very different to be on that train line and not be absolutely smashed after ending a day in Yokohama in Thrashzone. It seems to be the normal way things work out.
横滨的摇滚主题撞意酒吧, 主要卖点是自家酿的高酒精度啤酒,不过NEIL喜欢的这杯是THRASH ZONE所有啤酒中最低度的,只有3.5%的低度好喝啤酒。

New Glarus - Raspberry Tart/Serendipity
Only available in Wisconsin, so it’s something of a miracle that I’ve been able to have a few of their beers. Thank you very very much to Kobayashi-san for this. I don’t know if a business trip to Wisconsin would be much fun, but if it means you can bring back these, I can’t see how it can be a bad thing. Fruit beers that are just indescribably delicious, even when it’s a fruit I don’t particularly like. The Raspberry Tart was just amazing. The Serendipity, not far behind. More business trips to Wisconsin please.
位于美国中北部的NEW GLARUS酿坊两支“果香”佳酿,是NEIL的日本朋友出差时候带回东京尝味的瓶子。

NEXT UP---Part 2/2 of NEIL's list

Monday, December 15, 2014

WEEK 38--TOKYO craftt-spotting--Part 2 of 3




DEVIL CRAFT虽也是美国啤酒为主,不过品牌类别完全不同,也有一些日本小型自酿啤酒选择。
PIGALLE TOKYO是很小一家专卖店,走欧陆风,啤酒选择以北欧帮为主,或DE MOLEN这样的名牌,偶尔会有很小型日本新晋酿酒师啤酒出现(是受邀去北欧啤酒节的级别)。


Part  2 of 3 about craft beer places in TOKYO--the big fun place for craft lovers in Asia.

This week is about 4 bar with wholly different choices of beers, as well in look and feel/mood and feel....
"Hatos Bar---though location says Naka-meguro--having tried coming out from both Naka-meguro station & Daikayama station--the easiest route is to exit from Daikayama station"
"Hatos Bar---"though kind of famous for their bbq pork item--this is probably the only bar that serves Gigantic brewing's beers from Oregan,--was in fact turned away during first visit--it was a Friday evening and the small place was jam packed"
Hatos Bar---"though the beer selection is not that big( 5 on tap+ 1 fridge of bottles--with alameda and up right from oregan on offer too)--but if you love good beer and awesome bbq pork---you soon will find yourself making friends with the whole team at the bar--from bosses to kitchen staff....very warm place indeed"
"Devil Craft---opted for the "new shop"( second outlet after Kanda) located nearby Hamamatsu station--was having a sort of "wrong impression" about this place prior to this visit---simply because if a craft beer place is more famous for it's pizza--what does it says about the place?"

"Devil Craft---visited early evening---moments after settling down at the bar--any doubts about this place quickly disappeared--it has got this very easy, laid back feel that makes you feel very relax"
"Devil Craft--surprised to find that there's no bottles selection--all beers are on tap--with mainly US brews like Pelican, Green Flash, Heretic, Ballast well some Japanese small brews---and YES--the Chicago style thick pizza is delicious--but the biggest surprise?---the SPICY buffalo wings--if you don't like the hot sensation on top of your head/hair---don't do spicy--take mild!" 
"Pigalle Tokyo--situated nearby Sangen-jaya station, this is really a tiny place---but full of good European beer choices--take for examples the beers consumed that evening--TO OL 's Mochaccino Messiah, De Molen Amerikaans and Rooie Dop Double Oatmeal Stout..bottles that's a bit hard to find locally..."
" Pigalle Tokyo--occasionally, they do have on tap from home front--but not any big Japanese brewery--rather very new name like Oshare( a new brand recently invited to Gothenburg beer fest)  that is aiming for the Scandinavian market rather than locally--however, missed the tap take over event couple of days--would see when can sample some of those beers....:)"
"St.Bernardus---situated nearby Kanda station--if you are into Belgium beers--this is a really nice place to be at---with even st.bernardus 12 on tap from time to time.."
"St. Bernardus---though this is a franchised bar, there's still some other Belgium beers available--and if you like some pub food--this is one place with mix of east and west items available--with some very nice items to go with your beers...."

NET WEEK---TOKYO craft-spotting---Part 3 of 3