HEAVENLY BREW Coastal Extreme's Angel's Envy.
Beer news and musings and a couple of boxes you should dive into. . . .
• A recent conversation about calories in beer led to Google, which led to a great blog, Beer of Tomorrow (go there and read much more about the topic). They noted that the bulk (get it?) of calories are tied up in the alcohol volume, plus the carbohydrates spawned by the sugars involved in fermentation. Given the rich ingredients involved in the heartier items, it should be no surprise that all beers aren’t created equal. It’s pretty basic math: a 12-ounce serving of a 5% ABV beer (the proverbial session brew) has 150 calories. Split a bomber of Narragansett’s Imperial Black Steam (which you should do), and the 9% ABV will add about 270 calories to each of your waistlines (or wherever); that 15% Bourbon County Brand Stout in your basement (I still have six!) packs 450 energy units. Perspective-wise: an order of large fries from McDonald’s equals 500 calories. Choose your poison!
• The autumn offerings have been trickling into stores the last few weeks. No one showcases the pumpkin beers and Oc/ktoberfests and brews made with maple leafs and wool better than Madeira Liquors , the jam-packed craft beer oasis on Ives St in Providence. Follow their ever-growing Wall of Fall @ facebook.com/madeiraliquors.
• More fall stuff: Grey Sail ’s Autumn Winds (in tallboy cans) and Revival ’s Imperial Octoberfest will be back any day now, and Uinta’s Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale and Redhook ’s Pumpkin Porter will make their debut appearances in the market.
• In case you missed it: Dogfish Head , which pulled out of the state (plus Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Indiana) in 2011 when their demand exceeded their supply, has increased its brewing capacity and expects “to be on shelves and taps before the end of the year.” It will be sweet to not have to cross over to MA or CT to get a 60- or 90-Minute IPA, or indulge in a Burton Baton . . . .
• Great slogan in the new Founders ads: “If you’re willing to accept good beer, you will never experience great beer.”
• Jeez, let’s drink a few beers here: We recently enjoyed this year’s Beer Camp sampler from Sierra Nevada . The styles aren’t as adventurous as previous boxes — ’13 brings Imperial Red Ale , Belgian-Style Black IPA , and IPA (wow, how-did-they-come-up-with-that-name?) — but they’re all exemplary offerings. No surprise, Sierra Nevada can do no wrong . . . We dug w00tstout , the collaboration beer unleashed by Stone ’s Greg Koch, Drew Curtis of Fark.com, and actor/homebrewer Wil Wheaton. The 13% ABV ale was brewed with pecans, wheat, and rye, and aged in bourbon barrels. It’s a super-dense, multi-layered wonder. A few bottles are still on the shelves; don’t hesitate to grab one . . . And the new Widmer Brothers Variety Pack is a winner, featuring Hopside Down , a great take on the relatively new India Pale Lager style; Alchemy Ale , an admirably balanced American Pale Ale; Citra Blonde Summer Brew (tied for our favorite warm-weather seasonal with Narragansett Summer Ale); and their flagship Hefe . A damn tasty box o’ beer! . . . And Pretty Things ’ exalted Meadowlark IPA has made a triumphant return — and will now be available year-round. We’re going to need to get a paper route to keep these beauties in the fridge.