10 February 2009

Leave a Comment, Maybe Win a Shirt Contest 2

If I had my druthers1, I'd give away a present everyday until everyone that ever read from HBG had been properly bribed. Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to make that happen.

That's why this, our latest and greatest giveaway, is so great. I don't have to do much of anything.

This time around we're giving away a size XL Euro (which I've been told translates to a US Large) Mikkeller shirt like the one shown on the right here. This shirt comes courtesy of Mikkeller's Indiana distributor, Cavalier Distributing, who advises you to (responsibly) drink as much Mikkeller as possible. As do we at Hoosier Beer Geek. The shirt is way rad2, and I'd like to have it for myself.

How do you win? All we need from you is an answer to the question "What's the best (single) craft beer you've ever drunk? And why?"

Just like last time - Leave your answer, your first name and last initial in a comment for this post, and then we'll count the entries, and chose a random numbered winner. Or something like that.


Multiple answers will be tossed (we'll only count your first).

Cheating is stupid.

We reserve the right to not give you a shirt if we think you're shady.

We reserve the right to change all the rules.

By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of HoosierBeerGeek.com, which shall be final and binding with regard to all matters relating to the contest.

I stole that last line.

Contest ends Sunday, February 22nd, at 5PM EST.

* * * * *

1Druthers? Druthers.

2 This doesn't mean rad squared, though I suppose it could. I use the word rad a lot.


  1. I actually don't need the t-shirt because it would probably be too big on me, but I want to share my favorite anyway: Russian River Supplication. Second runners up: Deschutes The Abyss and Portsmouth's Kate the Great.

  2. Deschutes Hop Trip

    An old college roomate who lives in Bend, Oregon and knew that I am a hop head decided to hook me up, since I can't get it on the East Coast without help. I had no idea it was coming.

    My only experience with a fresh hop ale was Sierra Nevada's and while solid it was not spectacular. So when I chilled it and then cracked it open, pouring the fresh smells of all the west coast hops started filling the air, the citrus spectrum, some pine, but fresher, bolder ... spectacular. I spent a good 30 seconds just smelling Hop Trip.

    As great as it smelled the tastes that popped in my mouth were amazing. The light orange APA tasted like no other pale ale or ipa has ever. The drinkability is second to none, with more flavor than a 5.5%abv beer should have. Hop Trip isn't an over top Hop Bomb, but a very balanced, well thought out crafted beer.

    Session like in body but the oily hop goodness upfront was rather low in backend bitterness and mixed really well with the sweet malt background. Hops were present from start to finish and resided in my mouth for what seemed like a minute after each drink.

    The 22oz bomber did not last long enough and I dream of the day I can easily get a case of this fine beer on the East Coast.

    If it wasn't for my family, I would move to Bend, Oregon and live in the brewery.

    Eric J.

  3. Not to copy Cari but Supplication is the deep red sour beer that I love most of all. Port Older Viscosity for its bourbon and stout richness is another love. And last in this three way tie, Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter, probably the richest winter ale I've had and still one of the most allusive as the store I once bought it from appears to be out of business.

  4. I know I'm not eligible to win, but I'll chime in anyway.

    The Rodenbach Grand Cru on tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago. Just an amazing sour ale - oaky with apple and cherry notes. Lovely, lovely, lovely stuff.

  5. the best beer i've ever had was probably last year's dark lord, bourbon barrel aged at their pub. amazing. i think dark lord is good, not exceptional, out of the bottle. but the bourbon barrel aging just knocked it out of the park. smooth, rich, complex... a stunner.

    sure, i was having a great time, the weather was awesone, and i was probably 5-6 beers deep already that day. you can't really separate the "experience" part out of the memory, but why would you? it was a great day, with great friends, drinking great beer. perfect.

  6. Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek

    Tough to make a decision - my top two are both Belgians, but the similarities really end there. One is Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek, simply one of the most perfectly balanced and delicious sours I've ever had the pleasure of trying. Not overly complex, but sometimes beauty is in the simplicity. This one is probably my favorite.

    The second, and also worthy, is Westmalle's single, Extra, which is the session beer I dream about at night. Unbelievably fresh and grassy, light and crisp, simple and complex at the same time. Pure satisfaction.

  7. I'm still a relative newcomer to craft beers, but so far my favorites have been De Dolle Oerbier, Allagash Tripel Reserve, Founder's Breakfast Stout and Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus Porter.

    The Oerbier left be ready to try more of the beer from De Dolle. Something I hope to do soon. I had a brief business trip to Denver last week and brought home 4 bombers with me, so I now have some Alaskan Smoked Porter, Port Wipeout IPA and Lost Abbey Judgment Day to try, so my list may be changing.

  8. For somebody "new to craft beer", that's a pretty nice list already, Jeff.

  9. Very tough question. I guess right now it would be Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. The hop balance between bitter and the aroma just does it for me.

  10. I answer this question the same way I answer "best" food/meal questions.
    The most important thing is the main dish or that craft beer but it also has a lot to do with ambiance, the company and the taster's mood or attitude at that moment. The time of year and especially the anticipation.
    Last Spring and Bell's Oberon release seemed to have many of these enjoyable aspects to culminate in my most enjoyable craft beer experience. I don't think I need to explain about the wheat, malt, refreshing crispness and hop bitterness for people to understand how it feels when they get the right beer at the right time. Hanging out at the Lockerbie Pub and with bar manager Jeff damn near matching us beer for beer and cool spring air, fun friends, pool table, dart board, juke box. That's what a beer is suppose to bring to the party.

  11. Drove to Holland, Michigan, two Octobers ago for our anniversary in October. Stayed a great bed and breakfast just up from Lake Michigan. Wonderful people in that town.

    A friend from Kalamazoo suggested we visit New Holland Brewery on the trip. With no plan, no preconceived notions we visited downtown Holland. Went into a knitting shop (my wife had started knitting recently), stopped into an outfitter to pick up a hat (it was colder than we'd expected it to be), visited the farmers market and talked with a lot of the locals (a mist had started coming down and with the 40 degree temperature, it was time to head inside). So to the brewery we went.

    At first glance, I wasn't too impressed. The place was open, rather modern in appearance, big area up front for merchandise/shirts/mugs/cookbooks ... but the bar called us.

    We spent two days at that brewery.

    And I learned. About. Dragon's Milk.

    This complex, oak aged brew owned me. It was different. It was reminded me of my bourbons. It felt soft and wonderful on my tongue. I loved the feel of it in my mouth. The creamy smoothness of it as it moved around.

    Now, this stuff isn't just beer. It's heaven. It is medieval heaven. It is pulled forward through the ages through the tap and poured into my glass. I felt as if Beowulf would be at the other end of that tap saddened that he was losing some of the mead they served in his hall. (Maybe a little too much, eh?)

    I can't say enough about this beer. Even talking about it makes me want to run up to Kahn's to go get some (but the stuff in the bottle pales in comparison to what they'll put in your glass straight from the source.)

    Go. Walk. Run. Get. Head yourself to Holland, Michigan. Stay at a B&B and get to know the locals. Sit at the bar at the New Holland Brewing Company and have them pour you up a glass. Don't bother with the food, it's passable. But the art of this place will be in the glass in front of you. Dragon's Milk.

    If dragons can raise their young on it, it's gotta be good.

    Why do I like it?

    Made for a perfect stay. It IS Holland.

    Dragon's Milk - Ale Aged In Oak Barrels
    The beer you hold in your hand, Dragon’s Milk Ale, is a crown jewel of New Holland Brewing Company. It is the unrivaled result of painstaking processes - both creative and scientific.

    We could tell you about the centuries-old tradition of the term, Dragon's Milk, or we could tell you about the history, craftsmanship and challenges of important, the beer inside this bottle.

    Expect a complex ale with a soft, rich caramel-malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones; all dancing in an oak bath. Unmistakably distinctive example of New Holland’s Art in Fermented Form.

  12. One of the beers that impressed me the most was Blackjack Baltic Porter from Free State Brewing in Lawrence, Kansas. I was helping to judge a homebrew competition in Olathe and they had a keg for us to sip on. All weekend I kept returning to that keg. It was awesome. The chocolate, currant and other dark fruit notes played so well with the roast tones. It was delightful and complex.

    Here is what Free State says about that beer (which sadly is not currently on tap.)

    Black Jack Porter Baltic Porter is a somewhat blended style, popular in the countries bordering the Baltic Sea. It's based on the English Porter style and strongly influenced by Russian Imperial Stouts. The resulting dark ale is more full bodied than a traditional Porter but doesn't have the intensity of an Imperial Stout. What we have is a rich, malty beer with notes of chocolate and roast malt overtones. The flavor has been mellowed further by conditioning on a blend of French and American oak. Served unfiltered.

    O.G.- 18.4 °P/1074. Hops - 30 IBUs

  13. The best craft beer I've ever had was Three Floyds Pride and Joy. The reason? It was 60 degrees Monday and I drank it while grilling steak. Outside. In February. In Indiana.

    Usually the most recent craft brew you've had is the best.

  14. Founders Breakfast Stout – Because it turned me on to what has become my favorite brewery

  15. Clearly there is so much out there yet to try. Furthermore, the mystique of the incredible, one of a kind local craft brew, is something I'd love to have more of around Indy. Great beer from wherever is nice, but great beer from your backyard neighborhood is just so much better. To know you can get something local that is hyped up appropriately is one of those warm and fuzzy feelings we all need in the winter.

    Anyway, I agree that the most recent craft brew is usually the best and most memorable. That being said, I haven't bought much fun stuff lately (thanks, Economy...jerk). The last beer I remember thinking "this is just so good," was probably Great Divide's Oak Aged Yeti Stout. MMMMMMmmmmmm.

  16. I can't say enough good things about that Stone 11th Anniversary Ale that I had at the Winterfest the other weekend, but my favorite beer I've ever had was the nitro-drive North Fork ESB. You'd have to drive about 2.5 hours northeast of Seattle to the North Fork Brewery, Pizza House, and Wedding Chapel to get it, but it would be worth every mile.

    A couple of runner ups in addition to the Stone brew mentioned earlier is the ESB that my wife's mom's cousin's husband makes in his brewery in his garage and the cask ale that I had in a dilapidated old English pub out side of London that had the casks stored at around room temp in the floor boards and were pumped by hand. Amazing stuff.

  17. Parklife beat me to it already, but FFF's Oak Aged Dark Lord is the stuff of legend, with the Vanilla Bean Barrel Aged close behind. Had these both on tap at last years DLD (and the Oak the year before). An associate of mine is good friends with Nick Floyd and I begged him relentlessly to convince Nick to sell me a growler. That way I could hand bottle some and share it with friends. Maybe this year...

    Also I have to give some runner up shout outs to a few recent treasures I was able to try. Lost Abbey Isabelle Proximus and Russian River Consecration. If your a fan of sours, these are heavenly. Now if I can only get a few bottles just for myself!!!

  18. KBS. I would drag my balls through shattered glass for a four pack. Do I stil need to leave tasting notes?

    Mike B.

  19. Tough choice. I'd have to go with the d'Achouffe IPA Tripel.

    Aaron L.

  20. I need to hear more about the beer selection at Lockerbie Pub.. anyone got any info?

  21. Just one? That's a tall order since calling any one a 'favorite' seems unfair to all the others. But, I think I'd have to go with FFF AlphaKing since it originally turned me on to the FFF brewery and helped to broaden my interest to many other craft brews.

  22. Jeez. I think it might have to be Darkness. Ask me when its 102* here in Chicago and I might change my answer. :)

  23. Laurence HartnettFebruary 17, 2009 3:02 PM

    Three Floyds Gumballhead. It's my favorite craft brew and the one I offer to macro drinkers who are searching for that beer that is different from bud, miller and coors. I was afraid to try this beer myself, thinking what whacked out brewer would put a silly wabbit on the bottle of their beer. But I took a chance and found it to be the summer taste quencher I had been searching for. And just last month, my 25-year-old nephew told me he was tired of his cheapie macros and was searching for a wheat beer. So I told him about Gumballhead. I had sent home a bottle with his father to try and he spotted it in the fridge and asked to split it. They're both beer drinkers out of the bottle, so I told them to get a couple of wine glasses out and pour and smell and then enjoy. And guess what, they really enjoyed it. My nephew said it "really rocked." I have to agree. Three Floyds Gumballhead does really rock. Laurence Hartnett, Cadiz, Kentucky, l-hartnett@msn.com

  24. Dale's Pale from Oskar Blues in Lyons, CO. This is the most drinkable and balanced pale I've tried. Plus over the summer you can park at the brewery, ride 1mi to a trailhead, mountain bike the loop (~4mi), bike back, then log your time get a free pint!

    Dave R

  25. The best beer I've ingested, so far was the Bell's Bourbon barrel aged double cream/ expedition stout blend. I have yet to try two I have, The Abyss and (since it's a Mikkeller T-shirt) Beer Geek Brunch Weasel.

  26. Who won the Shirt??