Yes, we are all still crazy about Indian Pale Ales (commonly known as “IPAs”). Why? I dunno, maybe because they are so dang delicious. But regardless, whether you are on the IPA-train or not, it is undeniable that you can’t find an authentic beer establishment that doesn’t stock a slew of them in their coolers.
Did you know that the style was coined in a newspaper article in the Syney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser in August, 1829 (ref. http://zythophile.co.uk/2013/05/14/the-earliest-use-of-the-term-india-pale-ale-was-in-australia/). Yes, the same dudes who came up with Foster’s Lager were into the “IPAs” it seems! The term is a reference to the route in which the beer was shipped from England to India and identified the beer as having a higher alcohol content to preserve the tasty elixir for its’ long journey.
New to the IPA-world, however, are beers dubbed as “NE-style” IPAs. The “NE-style” refers to New England or Northeast (depending on who you ask) and is a new sub-style of Imperial IPA that is getting a lot of attention. Currently, the #1 IPA on both Rate Beer and Untappd is Julius, a NE-style IPA from Tree House Brewing in Massachusetts (which, incidentally, is both in New England and the North East). Other brands dubbed “NE-style” include Marz NE MDW Chi-PA, Hailstorm Stratus and the new Reply Hazy Try Again 16 oz can.
The distinguishing characteristic of NE-Style IPAs are their earthy, woodsy hop profile (a la Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA) versus the citrusy, piney, dank, resin-y hop profile of Pacific Northwest hops, like a Sculpin IPA. NE-Style IPAs use fruity, tropical hops (lots of sweet grapefruit, mango, and pineapple type flavors), combined with the addition of oats and wheat to the recipe, and then leave it unfiltered. The oats and the wheat create an incredibly soft palate that allows the hop flavors to be expressed as extremely juicy. They also create a lot of haze in beer — hazy to the point that it looks milky, kind of like pulp-rich orange juice. The haze comes from two things: i) it’s unfiltered, and ii.) the oats and wheat have a lot more protein than typical barley and those proteins create a lot of haze. The Marz NE MDW Chi-PA is the best example that we’ve seen of how hazy it should be. Anyway, that’s your quick synopsis on NE-style IPAs. They’re all the rage right now, so expect to see them more and more and go try one! Now you know.
Beerhead Bar & Eatery
Sometimes we just like to talk about beer (a statement that is purposely understated for emphasis). There is no shortage of cool beers to talk about but there are some that are on our radar as especially cool and timely choices, at least at the time of this blog given that the craft beer market is oozing with innovation. So here are a few that we have showcased at our venues (Beerhead Bar & The Beer Market) that we find particularly interesting and worth a trip to anywhere that may have the good fortune of scoring these not-so-common brews.
A really cool beer to be tapped at The Beer Market Schaumburg is Zut Alors by Two Brothers located in Warrenville, Illinois. It’s Domaine Dupage aged in Cabernet barrels. Domaine Dupage is a Biere de Garde, which is also known as a French farmhouse ale. While France as a whole hasn’t given much to the beer world, northern France gave us the Biere de Garde. “Zut Alors” is a French phrase that is used like we would use “Darn!” (also purposely understated to be sensitive to sensitivities). Anyway, a Biere de Garde is a malt-forward beer with sweet malt flavors with earthy undertones that are achieved through aging. Domain Dupage won a gold medal at GABF for French Farmhouse Ales, so it’s one of the best in the country already. Those earthy flavors will pair perfectly with the oaky flavors from the Cabernet barrel. We are really looking forward to tapping this one this December.
We get our “undies in a twist” waiting for February to come for our Big, Bad Beer Night to arrive at The Beer Market Schaumburg. On the list for this annual tapping are Goose Island’s (Chicago, IL) Proprietors Bourbon County Stout, Prairie Artisan Ales’s (Tulsa, OK) Prairie Bomb!, Founders Brewery (Grand Rapids, MI) Lizard of Koz, Hoppin’ Frogs (Akron, OH) Rum Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S., Revolution Brewery’s (Chicago, IL) Hellalund, Tighthead Brewery’s (Mundelein, IL) Chocolate Malty Balls, and Crystal Lake Brewery’s (Crystal Lake, IL) Barrel Aged Barleywine … to name a few.
Here are some “deets” on these tasty, rare, wonderful brews:
Proprietors Bourbon County Stout is the rarest of this year’s variants – Imperial Stout aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels with ancho chilies;
Prairie Bomb! is an Imperial Stout with coffee, chocolate, vanilla and ancho chilies. It’s not barrel aged, but it’s one of the best stouts in the country;
Lizard of Koz is an Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels with blueberries, chocolate and vanilla;
Rum Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S is one of the most highly respected Imperial Oatmeal Stouts, aged in rum barrels – definitely a cool alternative to bourbon-aged barrels;
Hellalund is Revolution’s Batch 1000 beer, an Imperial Brown Ale at 13.5%, aged in bourbon barrels with orange zest. We tried this one in the taproom, it tastes just like an Old Fashioned cocktail and it’s absolutely incredible; and
Chocolate Malty Balls is an Imperial Stout with chocolate, aged in Buffalo Trace barrels.
Barrel Aged Barleywine is made with barleywine brewed when Crystal Lake Brewery first opened about a year ago. We are ready to try this Imperial stout resting in bourbon barrels for the past year ready for release!
If all this (and more) doesn’t make you think “yum,” check your pulse! And check back here for more about the wonderful world of delicious craft beer!
Beerhead Bar & Eatery / The Beer Market
Casual beer lovers still will argue (over a pint of their favorite hop concoction) on whether a legitimate beer can possibly be enjoyed wrapped in a metal cage, or whether a regal glass bottle is the only way a tasty craft beer ought to be presented. Traditionally, the finer brews would not be found in anything but a proper glass bottle…never in a can.
The debate isn’t new but the views seem to have evolved. No longer are the craftiest of beers only found in dressed up bottles. As cans have gained ‘street cred’ the list of breweries making them available has been growing. So, what’s the fuss about you may ask?
The debate primarily centers on taste. The impression, for the naysayers, has been that metal cans taint the taste beer packaged in cans. In reality, cans have been lined with plastic composites since the late 1930s and those highly sought after draft beers are almost exclusively served in aluminum vessels don’t forget. Still, whatever the beer is stored in will affect the taste to some degree. Lifting a can to your nose will expose your senses to the scent of the can itself versus the non-fragrant glass bottle (tip: dip your hands in your favorite beer before lifting your pint!). Regardless of the impression, even the most seasoned drinkers have a difficult time distinguishing between a beer served from a bottle versus the same beer served from a can. We’ve tested it ourselves (unscientifically, but enjoyably) at Beerhead Bar & Eatery and it’s a push.
Other factors that stimulate the discussion is whether the precious ingredients contained inside these vital carriers are overexposed to the elements in bottles versus cans. Bottles are more permeable to light and air due to the transparency of the glass and the inferior seal of the bottle top as compared to the impervious pop tops. However, even though cans chill quicker than bottles, they also warm quicker since glass retains the temperature of the encased treasures more readily.
If the taste factor is basically moot, cans guard off the elements preserving the ingredients better, and the chilling /warming factor is a wash, why aren’t all beer served in cans? Cans are undoubtedly more convenient to ship, serve, carry, (or even hide, when necessary, but we would never promote that practice), stack, and stock.
Two reasons are holding cans back:
1.) main stream, less seasoned, beer drinkers aren’t completely onboard with the perception of cans being able to house a premium beer
2.) economics – the canning process requires a more significant investment.
So maybe it’s the can that gave PBR its panache after all, but for an entirely different reason than many could have thought (or thunk). Get your hands on a Beerhead canned favorite, like Six Point Puff, and we think that you will be convinced that cans are cool.
When we see an idea we love, we love to share it. Here’s one that peaked our interest — biodegradable fish-friendly 6-pack holders! Now that more and more great craft beers are available in cans, more and more great craft beers require those pesky plastic 6-pack carrying rings. Or maybe not. A craft brewery in Florida, Saltwater Brewery, has developed a brilliant solution to the old-school plastic 6-pack holders. It’s a biodegradable and edible carrying ring made from byproduct from the brewing process. Though you probably wont see the 6-pack carriers on our menu (yet?), fish and fowl alike can dine on these smart packages.
This is a novel solution to a growing problem that we hope to see soon. Who knows, maybe 6-pack “chips” are in our future? But, for right now it’s encouraging to know that these barley-based appetizers may help to further expand the delights of craft beer throughout the animal kingdom.
Black IPA (India Pale Ale) also known as India Black Ale is a style on the rise. Brewers and knowledgeable beer enthusiasts sometimes refer to this beer style as a Cascadian Dark Ale. Though the name is sometimes debated, the growing appeal of this style to beer aficionados is not.
As someone who has been around beer majority of my life and has tried many different styles, this style is something to behold–dark brown or black in color with malty, roasty toasty and light notes. Average alcohol by volume (ABV) is anywhere from 6-8%. The ABV can be higher, but then the style crosses into the double IPA/Imperial IPA realm.
It’s a great beer for those who enjoy IPA’s and want to give something new a try. Even those who don’t favor the bold hoppy IPAs, however, can enjoy this style given it’s lighter, toastier finish.
You will find a wide assortment of Black IPAs at Beerhead / The Beer Market, both on tap and in bottles. Have your local Beer Pro suggest one for you!
Drink Good Beer. Live Happy.
If you had only three working taps, what beers would you serve and why?
I found this to be a particularly challenging question, not only because it is difficult to pick only three with all of the amazing beers available today, but also because it really depends on objectives of the purveyor. At The Beer Market (soon to be known as “Beerhead Bar”) on the North Shore we pride ourselves on introducing our guests to something new each visit, and making learning about beer a fun and tasty adventure. If I could only offer 3 beers, the below would be my choices based on our mantra…. “Drink Good Beer. Be Happy”:
- Stout- Victory Brewing Donnybrook Nitro Stout
- Light Lager/ Pilsner- Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils
- IPA- Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
When choosing the above I wanted to have an option for light beer drinkers, hop heads and, of course, those that love a traditional malty, roasty smooth beers.
I picked Victory Donnybrook because it’s a traditional style beer reminiscent of an old world beer and culture, but with modern day panache. Everyone can think back to when they had their first Guiness, for example, and it always brings back fond memories. The Donnybrook is a step up — reminding you of a classic but enticing you to stay current.
Because of the wide availability of the macro-beers, you will always encounter those that won’t deviate from the light, crisp beer they have come to know. I chose Mama’s Little Yella Pils because it is a very approachable Pilsner and still has what we call, “craft-cred.” It’s not overly hopped. Just light, crisp, refreshing and to the point. I have used this beer to convert several of my friends and family members into the craft world and since then they have branched out even further.
Finally, it is undeniable that Americans have developed a taste for hops and that nice bitterness in beer. Currently, the sales of this style still trumps any other. To represent IPAs, I would offer Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. It has very nice hop flavor and aroma but does not overdo it yet it has enough to satisfy the “hop head.” Whether you prefer east or west coast IPAs, everyone can agree on Bell’s Two Hearted.
-Cassie Cormack, The Beer Market/Beerhead Bar Pittsburgh, Beer Pro
Abby Celso, a server in our Rochester location, auditioned for The Voice singing “Should’ve Been Us” by Tori Kelly.
Both Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams turned around for Abby, which gave her the opportunity to choose her coach. In the end, Abby chose to join Team Pharrell.
You can watch her audition here:
Check out local coverage by WHEC News Channel 10 in Rochester!
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Two months ago, there were dumpsters and dust everywhere, traffic barriers and workers in hard hats lining the streets, forklifts in the sky.
These days, there are partiers and pedestrians coming for a look at the bars, restaurants and clubs — not to mention the river and the bridges. The Flats East Bank project has seen the opening of eight venues in less than two months.
Number nine comes Thursday, when Beerhead hits its first tap. Click here for full article.
Name: Travis Ricker
Date Started with TBM (roughly): February, 2014
What got you interested in Beer: I started homebrewing out of curiosity, ended up switching to brewing Mead, but when I saw The Beer Market opening across the street from me, advertising 500+ beers, I had to check it out. I made it a project to drink 3 different beers every time I went. After drinking here for 6 months, I figured it would just be easier if I worked here.
What is your (latest) favorite beer: New Holland’s Dragons Milk is an awesome heavy and smooth milk stout aged in bourbon barrels to give it that little boozy nip at the end.
What makes TBM special: An amazing selection of beers coupled with passionate, educated, and friendly staff makes this the best bar to hang out, enjoy something you’ve never heard of and never would have tried otherwise while learning about beer, brewing, and breweries, all while surrounded by others with the same passion and interest.
What would you like the world to know about TBM: We don’t carry Bud, Miller, Coors, or other Macro Domestic Brews. Yes really. No, no Michelob Ultra either, but we do have some really awesome lighter beers, some of which are original Pilsners, Kolsch, and Pale Lagers which started American brewers on the path to brewing those famous and easy-to-drink beers everyone knows.
Anything else? Quirky and fun: I used to be a pirate. I still let slip a “Yarr” here and there when hauling kegs and cases.
Favorite Food to eat with beer: Curry. It comes in hot or sweet, all kinds of meat, thick or thin, and can be paired with almost any beer style. Give it a try! I recommend Hefeweizens if you want to quench the heat, or IPAs if you want to boost it!
We were thrilled to find out that our Pittsburgh location (currently called “The Beer Market” was named one of the 13 best beer bars in Pittsburgh, by Thrillist! Thanks for the shout out! Check out the article here.