Saturday, August 22, 2015

WEEK 57-----Seeking "rain" in craft-desert (& a Miracle)

if you have been living, or visited some cities in Europe or US, and somehow have to spend most of your time in Asia---especially South East Asia.....and you happen to be a beer geek....what are your chances of getting regular supply, good varieties of awesome craft beer from Europe/US?
DAY1(all beers brought in by Shawn)
While you can get some really nice selection of craft beers in cities like Tokyo( which for me is THE Asia city to be for craft beer) and also Osaka-Taiwan-Hong Kong-Singapore-Bangkok----as well as KL where i live---the level of awesomeness is just not there in comparison to some of the bars--bottle shops in some cities in EU/US...
DAY 1(all beers brought in by Shawn)
在撞意啤酒的世界,很多啤迷渴望尝味的啤酒都是欧洲美国酿坊所酿造,其中大多数是欧洲美国本土都不容易找到的,有些只上啤酒泵,不卖瓶装!(比如说美国RUSSIAN RIVER每年二月限量发售的PLINY THE YOUNGER)。而一些出名瓶子则是限量发行,限定每人只能买很少量瓶子,至于更出名难找的会有特别发售日,啤迷要上网抢门票,排长龙入场,有时候更要抽签,靠点运气才能买到一两瓶。(比如美国CIGAR CITYTHREE FLOYDS的大黑啤庆典HUNAHPU’S DAYDARK LORD DAY 比如只在哥本哈根瓶子店OLBUTIKKEN限量发售的CANTILLON BLABAER LAMBIC蓝莓果酸啤酒)
DAY1( BOTTLES by local tasting group)

抛开朋友帮忙不说,有些啤酒交易网站是以黑市价格卖的,既是炒卖,要价当然比原价高很多。比如说,最近在美国某网站成交的一瓶美国酿坊TOPPLING GOLIATHKENTUCKY BRUNCH STOUT就超过了美金1000大洋。(你没看错,是美元)
DAY1 (bottles by local tasting group)+ END OF SESSION GROUP PIC
So--what are the choices left for beer geek if you live in Asia?that's the small piece written for last week's newspaper column--not doing a full transcript--just some quotes:-

"some beers are just pure madness to get---we all know the annual "February-human-line" for Pliny the Younger---as well how you need some luck to be able to attend and buy some Dark Lord--Hunapuh's---Blaeber Lambic.....and so on..."
DAY 2---(all beers brought in by Shawn)

吉隆坡,相对之下算是亚洲城市撞意啤酒文化发展比较“沙漠”的地方,也有本地啤迷自己从国外找啤酒进来。早在两三年前就有认识的两位本地啤迷经常上丹麦MIKKELLER网店订购啤酒运进来,运费加上本地一点都不友善的高酒精饮料入口税务,兑换率等等算到来,一瓶自己“进口”啤酒分分钟要价马币两三百甚至四五百!从经济效益观点来看一点都不划算。不过,啤迷的看法是不太一样的,有人说“如果用10瓶水准不怎样的啤酒换一瓶上佳水准难找瓶子,那绝对值得,因为喝CRAFT BEER贵在质,绝对不是量。更何况很多时候都是跟一些同理念啤迷朋友分享分担。。”
DAY 2(all beers brought in by Shawn)
"if you have no friends in Europe or US who can help sent some beers---there's another way--you could try your luck on some web shop--or Grey market trade---which you obviously need to pay a higher price/s for---and that's not counting shipping costs--plus whatever taxes imposed by your country of residence...( if you so happened to live in Malaysia--be prepared to pay silly taxes!!)"
DAY2(all beers brought in by Shawn)
"It is normal for a Malaysian beer geek to pay anything between USD60-150 ( in some way thanks but no thanks to the weakening Malaysia Ringgit) for a bottle of "self-imported" beer from EU or US( depending on what you order---it could be a 330ml bottle--not always 750ml!!!)---in economic terms--it does not make much sense for a bottle of beer--but to beer geek, giving up 10-12 bottles of very average tasting beers in exchange of 1 bottle of awesome hard to get beer is something we all ready to do--anytime..."
DAY 2(all beers brought in by Shawn)
DAY2-- Bottles by local tasting group
"Recently there's a transaction for a bottle of Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch stout went for over USD 1K---it's no doubt bloody crazy price to pay for a bottle of beer---but then--if anyone is willing to pay that price--it's no longer about money well spend or whether it's worth it----it's a show of pure desire to get hold of that bottle..."
DAY2(bottles by local tasting group)
CRAFT BEER沙漠,偶尔还是有天降甘露的时候。
DAY2(bottles by local tasting group)
End of DAY 2--short video of bottles done--thanks to Toga

"So--if you live in a place like KL--which is a bit of craft desert--what can you do if you don't "import" your own beers, or don't buy online from web shop or grey market trade?---well---there's a thing call SHARING in the world of craft beer--few weeks back---a total stranger from US came in for work--and brought with him a case full of awesome beers--he left a message on Insta--somehow one of our tasting group guys saw the message--after quick contact, a 2 day, never before seen tasting session were arranged--strangers became friends--that's the beauty of craft sharing...."(a big thanks to Shawn and TheBeerExchange---as well Messrs Barley, Malt & Hops for hosting us)
"thanks session" by the local guys:-
a small "thank you" session by us the local guys for Shawn the day before he headed back to the states---these were some of the bottles shared/contributed by the guys:-
It's probably not that nice for beer geek to live in a city that's is a sort of craft desert--if you "geek" enough--want awesome beers bad enough--somehow--i mean somehow, awesome beers might just starts to flow in--and Miracles might just happen...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

WEEK 56---the city of fairy-tales & MFWM.....

It was around 4 years ago, when the first ever 100% dedicated craft beer bar emerged in KL that serves amongst others, the likes of Brewdog, Nogne, TO OL and a certain Mikkeller.

For most KL drinkers who have not been exposed to such craft beer brand, it was quite an eye opener to say the least,  some beers were had since then, with TO OL and Mikkeller always on the favourite list--there was even a meet the brewer session here in KL with Mikkel in town October 2013.
Fast forward to late April 2015--this is basically the brief notes of a short visit to Copenhagen--with CBC being the main reasons-complimented by the bar hopping---to various bars associated with one of my favs---Mikkeller

四年前当本地出现第一家CRAFT BEER专卖吧时,最常见的是4大品牌,BREWDOG,NOGNE,TOOL 和“米记”--个人最喜欢的是两师徒品牌。所以,这次去哥本哈根参加啤酒庆典(CBC)的其他时间大多都是去“米记”相关酒吧坐坐吃吃喝喝。
比如说,已经连续被RATEBEER票选为世界最佳酿坊的美国HILLFARMSTEAD主创酿酒师SHUAN HILL就曾经在哥本哈根一家酿坊历练过好几年。

some might say this as a "fanboy" note--but that's ok, craft beer is all about personal preferences--this piece on the recently published newspaper column is about :-
Mikkeller bar 
This is what the Japanese language call--a HONTEN(本店)-- the original shop.
This is where it all started--and it's still being kept small, nice and cozy. Though there's plenty of beers from Mikkeler's own label, the most interesting part would still be the amazing guests beers that keep popping up from time to time---that week when i was in town being beer week in conjunction with CBC2015--one could imagine the sort of tap takeover activities/lined up...
and yes--if you have not already known--will just repeat some names here---Three Flyods, Tired Hands, Cellar Maker, Gigantic, Bone Yard...were all having their various kick-ass beers on taps...( and in spite of all these--there's still time to have a mini bottle share at the bar with kind permission from Rob)
But i would think--that many geeks were probably kicking and wishing like i did---when a certain Mr. Shaun Hill from Vermont came to Copenhagen and had a tap takeover earlier this year with all those hard to get farmhouse brew.....!!!
比如,配合一年一度啤酒庆典,“米吧”连同一些友好酿坊,一星期连续几天办不同品牌啤酒泵占领活动,THREE FLYODS TIRED HANDS CELLAR MAKERGIGANTICBONE YARD等美国啤酒都出现了,喜欢果酸啤酒的也有其中一天是“全酸”啤酒活动。至于今年初邀请到来自美国,以低度农场啤酒著称的HILLFARMSTEAD举行啤酒泵活动时,很多不在北欧的啤迷简直想一头撞墙!
Mikkeller & Friends
Many would know Mikkel and the two guys from TO OL--Tobias and Tore go way back when they were "school-brewing"---this is the "collab-bar" that basically run it's own idea pertaining to beer list or activities.

There's a full 40 tap takeover by Brewdog on the evening of my visit with drinking partners--this is certainly a bigger bar with a bottle shop within the premises.
That evening, we managed to find 2 bottles of hard to come by beer( at least in Asia)---Clara by Hill Farmstead, and Daybreak--a collab-brew by Hill Farmstead & Mikkeller--which to a certain extent demonstrate the width length depth of both bars in pushing the craft beer culture....
知道MIKKELLERTO OL渊源的会知道,MIKKELTO OL两位主创酿酒师是学校老师和学生关系,这间酒吧就是两家合作。

“顽啤主张”和同去的美国啤迷朋友找到了想象之外瓶子,其一是只有4%低度,来自美国酿坊 HILLFARMSTEAD出名难找的农场啤酒CLARA,以及和MIKKELLER合酿的柑橘果香黑啤DAYBREAK。能找到这种高评价,少量生产瓶子,除了对的时间去了对的酒吧,更浅显的是展现了MIKKELLER吧在推动撞意啤酒文化中的能量。
If you like brewpub---and Mikkeller and Three Floyds and also BBQ--then yes--this is the bloody place to be....
The concept is simple---come in for some nicely grilled- smoked- roasted--whatever--juicy meat---and there's some beers to go with--for examples during the 1st of 2 visits---Dark Lord Vanilla Bean was bloody on tap---amongst others, while Alesmith speedway stout were being brewed right in front of all the customers...
MIKKELLER和美国酿坊THREE FLOYDS合作的最新酿吧(BREW PUB),特点除了两大高手合酿新啤酒之外,更不时会有其他友好高手酿酒师来友情客串酿啤酒,食物以烤肉类为主,更请到美国烧烤熏肉高手坐镇。

探访的其中一天,两位驻馆酿酒师正和来自美国ALESMITH的酿酒师在酿造SPEEDWAY STOUT,而酒吧黑板上更上着稀有的THREE FLOYDS黑魔王DARK LORD VANILLA BEAN版本!

If cocktail is your thing--and we are not talking about just any average ones here---then you should go check this one out next time you're in Copenhagen.
A regular feature of Copenhagen beer celebration, many beer geeks have had a taste of what concoction the guys behind the shakers and glasses can do....
If beer is your thing, you could still find some on tap here--but you come here for what's best known for...and that's arguments here....:)