Beer Snob

​Session ales for sunny days

April 12th, 2017

Spring is officially here and of course that means spring cleaning, yard work, grilling and socializing outdoors. Often this also means more time with friends or family in situations where you may want to have more than just one or two beers.

Historically, these beers were probably very light, fairly flavorless but just as refreshing as a glass of cool water. This spring and summer, thanks to an ever-expanding market of “session” beers, you no longer have to sacrifice flavor in…

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​Founders KBS released to the local market

April 5th, 2017

While it is true that beer aged in wooden barrels has been around for centuries, the modern practice of aging beer in a whiskey barrel was first tried in the early 1990s, with the initial experiments that would become Goose Island Brewing’s “Bourbon County Brand Stout.”

Since then, scores of craft brewers, both large and small, have taken to aging different brews in barrels that were formerly used for whiskey, specifically: bourbon or rye casks.

Though Goose Island still sees a huge…

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​Fargo Whiskey Fest offers whiskey from around the world

March 29th, 2017

Whether you consider yourself new to the experience of drinking whiskey or are a seasoned whiskey aficionado with hundreds of whiskeys sampled over the years, you will not want to miss the 2017 Fargo Whiskey Fest at the Sanctuary Events Center on April 12th.

Republic National Distributing company, in conjunction with over twenty distilleries, will be providing samples of almost ninety different American, Irish, Canadian, and Scotch whiskeys. In addition to “neat” samples of the pure…

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​Local craft brewers see no shortages of hops

March 22nd, 2017

It was right around this time last year that news articles around the world were spreading fear about a looming hop crisis. Supposedly driven by an overwhelming influx of new brewery startups, as well as the American craft beer consumers desire for ultra hopped-up brews, there was a hop crisis in the making that would result in both huge spikes in hop prices as well as possible shortages of some of the most commonly used hop varieties. Stories were coming from a wide variety of media…

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​Spring brings a flood of IPAs to market

March 15th, 2017

The last few years have really been hopping for craft beer sales, especially one specific style of brew known as the IPA. While stouts, porters, helles, kolsch, belgian ales and wild or sour beers are all seeing more and more interest from adventurous consumers, it is the bold and usually bitter India Pale Ale that is really driving craft beer sales at most retail and on premise locations.

Every day, without fail, the number one question we get at my store is “What are the newest IPAs…

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​Shandys and Radlers aren’t just for summer

March 8th, 2017

Last week I wrote about the beer cocktail and there was one specific beer cocktail that was left out of the discussion completely, with intent. The history of mixing beer and soda, lemonade or fruit juice (usually a half and half mix) dates back to the early 1900s in Germany and is called either a “shandy” or a “radler.” Lower in alcohol, with some even coming in at or around 2% ABV, they are usually bursting with so much flavor that any beer taste is usually completely buried…

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​Beer cocktails: beyond the boilermaker

March 1st, 2017

Last Saturday, my wife invited a friend over to catch up and have a drink together. When she pulled out a Redd’s Wicked Blood Orange “beer” and took a sip it was decidedly too sweet for their tastes. Then inspiration struck me and I suggested they drop a shot of Sauza 901 tequila into the mix. The results were not only pleasant but became part of the inspiration for this week’s Beer Snob.

You might call it “a beer and a bump” or a “shot and a chaser”. In Philadelphia…

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​Nick Goldschmidt kicks off special dining experiences

February 22nd, 2017

When an opportunity to meet, dine and drink wine with a winemaker of Nick Goldschmidt’s stature was presented to me, I just had to seize it without hesitation and book a Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Boiler Room.

I had briefly met Nick five years ago, during his last visit to the market and have enjoyed his small production, world class, single vineyard wines ever since he first poured me a glass -- but a wine dinner of this caliber at the Boiler Room was not only a new experience…

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​Flatland brews begin to flow outside of their taproom

February 15th, 2017

For the first time since they opened their West Fargo taproom last July, Flatland Brewery is now bringing their beer to your favorite ale houses and offsales through a series of tap takeover events in February and March.

When I last visited with brewer Frank, back in October, they had just expanded their tap room hours and were getting comfortable maintaining a steady flow through their twelve in-house taps.

This time around, I spoke with Chris Markwardt, a managing partner of Flatland…

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​Mead: an ancient wine for gods and lovers

February 8th, 2017

On the day of our wedding, my wife and I were given a simple hand-made wooden box by a couple of dear friends. Inside the wooden box was a pair of goblets and a bottle of mead and inside the lid of the box: a story of the origins of the word “honeymoon.”

According to Susan Ruud, co-owner and operator of Prairie Rose Meadery, “There has long been the belief that mead was served to a newly married couple for the first month after marriage to ensure the birth of a son. (honey = mead)…

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