Kohler P’s and Q’s

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Jigger Ale

Jigger Ale

I’m crushed that I’m not going to be at the Kohler Festival of Beer this weekend, May 31-June 2. The 2013 edition of the festival, the fifth annual, sounds just as marvelous as the second and fourth iterations, which I did attend.

As I’ve said in other posts about the 2012 event (which actually starts here), it’s tough for me to imagine a better beer festival than this one. (Although I’m open to invitations should anyone hope to convince me otherwise.) The harmony of great beer, food, golf and the graciousness of the resort itself sounds the perfect chord for me.

By the end of last year’s festival I was so bedazzled—okay, maybe a bit sodden—that I never finished off the last report I had meant to write. So this is it–the official list of all the beers I managed to sample from Thursday afternoon, May 31, to Sunday afternoon, June 3, 2012.

And if official, I’m not claiming it’s 100% accurate. I might have missed jotting one or two down in my notebook. But that would make up for the one or two where I can’t quite decipher the handwriting.

More than seventy beers might sound like a lot, and this doesn’t count any doubling up. Lest this unnerve my loved ones, I hasten to add these were mostly samples. The varied venues of the Kohler fest leads to variations in serving sizes, but it’s safe to say that no one who attends will want for beer.

In hopes of merely getting them all down I’ve kept the annotations and even attributions to a minimum. Beer geeks will recognize most of these anyway, and realize that some of the choices were extraordinary.

Having said that, I pretty much have to repeat from the previous Kohler post that the first beer, a Spotted Cow, came off the beverage cart at the Blackwolf Run Meadow Valleys course. This was nice because it was pleasing to see craft beer stocked on the beverage cart, because my friend and colleague Tom Harack paid for it, and because his generosity arose from just a few holes before, when he dunked his second career ace. Talk about promising starts!

1. Spotted Cow, New Glarus Brewing
2. Jigger Ale, Belhaven Brewing for Kohler
3. Ambergeddon, Ale Asylum
4. and 4a. Herb Gould’s homebrew (sorry, Herb, the styles now escape me)
5. Sawtooth Ale, Left Hand Brewing
6. Mid-Westvleteren, Great Dane Pub & Brewing
7. Baaad Boy Black Wheat, 3 Sheeps Brewing
8. Belgian Blonde, Central Waters Brewing
9. Whole Hog Raspberry Saison, Stevens Point Brewing

TAP writers Tom Harack (left) and Herb Gould sampling some of Herb's homebrew. A homebrew competition is part of the 2013 Festival.

TAP writers Tom Harack (left) and Herb Gould sampling some of Herb’s homebrew. A homebrew competition is part of the 2013 Festival.

10. Maibach, Grumpy Troll Brewpub
11. Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout, Leinenkugel
12. Smokejumper Imperial Porter, Left Hand
13. Curmudgeon Old Ale, Founders Brewing
14. Double Crooked Tree IPA, Dark Horse Brewing
15. Bitter Woman IPA, Tyranena Brewing
16. Duvel, Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat
17. Mudpuppy Porter, Central Waters
18. La Chouffe, Brasserie d’Achouffe
19. Rare Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island (This was a rarity, indeed, aged on 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels for two years.)
20. Hopalicious, Ale Asylum

I didn’t really get rolling until a four-course beer luncheon on Saturday featuring dishes from the various kitchens of Kohler, paired with a couple of repeat beers (Whole Hog Raspberry Saison and Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout), along with:
21. Peck’s Pilsner, Great Dane Pub & Brewing
22. Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Leinenkugel

Two of the Central Waters Bourbon-barrel-aged beers

Two of the Central Waters Bourbon-barrel-aged beers

But it was a busy day after that, including a remarkable tasting of four Central Waters bourbon-barrel-aged beers with samplings from The Immigrant Restaurant and Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates:
23. Bourbon Barrel Stout, Central Waters
24. Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout, Central Waters
25. 1414, Central Waters
26. La Petit Mort, Central Waters / Local Option

This left a little time to sample some of the imports at the Beers Around the World event:
27. Lambrucha, Vanberg & DeWulf
28. iStout, 8 Wired Brewery
29. Lava Smoked Imperial Stout, Ölvisholt Brugghú (Highlighted for a post on the beer.)
30. Carnegie Porter, Carlsberg Sverige
31. Landlord Strong Pale Ale, Timothy Taylor
32. I Hardcore You Imperial Double IPA, Mikkeller/BrewDog

The big event of the Festival is the Saturday night Cheers for Beers tasting, where in the space of a few hours it’s possible to sample—well, at least 26 beers–in the unique surroundings of the Kohler Design Center:

The Cheers to Beers grand tasting on Saturday night

The Cheers to Beers grand tasting on Saturday night

33. Centennial IPA, Founders
34. Omer, Brouwerij Bockor
35. Bourbon Barrel Aged Autumnal Fire, Capital Brewery
36. Seduction, Ommegang
37. Hop Happy IPA, Milwaukee Brewing
38. Wisconsinite, Lakefront Brewery
39. Sunflower, Grumpy Troll
40. Belgian IPA, Grumpy Troll
41. Hopped Up ‘N Horny, Horny Goat Brewing
42. Rocky’s Revenge, Tyranena
43. Totally Naked, New Glarus
44. Moon Man, New Glarus
45. Black Top, New Glarus
46. Belgian Red, New Glarus
47. Raspberry Tart, New Glarus
48. Two Women Lager, New Glarus (Obviously, hung out at the New Glarus booth awhile. Since the beer is available only in Wisconsin, it seemed like a good idea at the time–or any time.)
49. 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, New Belgium
50. Scottish Ale, Stone Cellar Brewpub
51. Fade to Black, Vol. 3: Pepper Porter, Left Hand
52. Rail Ale Nut Brown, Howe Sound Brewing
53. Wavehopper Kolsch, Big Bay Brewing
54. Nude Beach, Stevens Point
55. 2012 Black, Stevens Point
56. Czech Pilsner, Potosi Brewing
57. Bombardier, Wells & Young’s
58. Terminal Gravity, Great Dane (At 13.5% ABV, the big brother to Mid-Westvleteren)

La Trappe oak-aged Quadrupels and the base beer

La Trappe oak-aged Quadrupels and the base beer

If I needed any hair of the dog on Sunday, the 10 am vertical tasting of four different oak-aged La Trappe Quadrupels did the trick. After a baseline tasting of a regular bottling of the strong Trappist ale, we went through bottlings aged on
White wine new oak barrels
Barrels that had aged a single scotch
Barrels that had aged four different scotches
Malbec new oak barrels

The rest of the day was spent sampling grilled items paired with beers, a terrific getaway day for me. (Although I note the Shorts & Chefs is on Saturday this year.)
64. 3 Philosophers, Ommegang
65. Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat Beer, Boulder Beer
66. Dirty Bastard, Founders
67. Luna Coffee Stout, Hinterland Beer
68. El Mole Ocho Mexican Spiced Ale, New Holland
69. Fat Tire, New Belgium
70. Blanche de Bruxelles, Brasserie Lefébvre
71. Diamond Head Oatmeal Stout, Howe Sound Brewing
72. Milk Stout, Left Hand

Grill 'em and fill 'em at Shorts & Chefs

Grill ’em and fill ’em at Shorts & Chefs

My 72nd and last beer, the Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing, was the top vote-getter at the 2010 Cheers to Beers event, meaning it earned a tap spot at the Horse and Plow Pub & Restaurant for the summer, a good place to be.

The 2012 fan favorites—a tie—were the Kinda Blue from Boulder Beer, and the Enkel Biter from 3 Sheeps. I know I shouldn’t feel deprived; I had the latter’s brilliantly named Baaad Boy, yet somehow managed to go through the entire festival without a sip of the Enkel Biter.

Well, it’s on tap now if there’s any chance to make it out there this summer. If not, maybe in 2014.

For More Information: Kohler Festival of Beer

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