Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ostende/De Bistronoom article in Celebrator Beer News

Photo, above: Stefanie De Vos and Christophe Pelfrène
outside De Bistronoom.

I'm happy to say that I have a 750 word article on the beery delights
of Belgium's port city, Ostende, in the October issue of Celebrator Beer News.
I cover Hotel Marion and 't Bottelje, which are connected to each
other and under the same ownership. "The Little Bottle" stocks 300
beers and has good food.

Photo, above: this excellent selection of 75 cl beers 
features front and center at De Bistronoom.

Ostend's new beer star is De Bistronoom, a beer cuisine 
restaurant with over 250 beers on offer, including the largest 
selection of 75 cl bottles on the Belgian coast.

Photo, above: Christophe Pelfrène with a bottle of 
De Bistronoom, the house beer of the restaurant. It 
is brewed at Brouwerij den Tseut, and has 10% abv.
This brew has a whole hop flower added to it at bottling,
adding to the hop aroma and bitterness of the beer.

Stefanie de Vos and her partner, Christophe Pelfrène, 
craft superb multi-course meals and pair them with Belgium's 
excellent beers.
De Bistronoom offers meals cooked in beer as well. On my visit 
May 31, my group enjoyed a fine lunch, with seafood being heavily 
featured. The tuna steak was delectible, as was the dessert course, 
custard paired withOak-Age Alvinne Melchior. Oysters, another 
fish plate and veggies also impressed.

Photo, above: Oysters at De Bistronoom. 

My recommendation: get to this world-class "cuisine a la biere" 
restaurant if you go to Belgium! It's a mere three minute walk from 
Ostende's train station, so there's no excuse for not doing so.

Photo, above: Christophe Pelfrène, with a great array 
of Belgian brews.

Photo, above: a dessert course of rich custard, paired 
with Picobrouwerij Alvinne's fine Oak-Aged Melchior. 

Photo, above: Ive Mostrey of 't Koelschip

Also covered: Ostende's excellent new beer shop, 't Koelschip. 
The shop carries over 500 different beers already, and plans are 
to get that number to 1,000 over time. "The Coolship" is owned 
by Ive Mostrey, a friendly, dedicated beer  lover. Ive can offer 
tutored tastings for groups. See

Photo, above: a shelf full of Belgian brews at 't Koelschip.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Church Key/Birch and Barley First Anniversary beer

Photo, top: Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal (left); Greg Engert,
Beer Director, Birch and Barley/Church Key; and Executive Chef
Kyle Bailey, right. All three are enjoying a glass of Year 1
Anniversary Ale.

Washington, D.C.'s premier beer cuisine restaurant and bar,
Birch and Barley/Church Key, celebrated its first anniversary
all last week.

On Saturday, Beer Director Greg Engert and crew held a small
invitation-only gathering. The star of the show, so to speak, was
"Year 1: a Birch and Barley/Church Key Anniversary Ale" brewed
by none other than Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales.

Brian Strumke.

In Brian's own words:

"It has been one year since Church Key / Birch & Barley has opened it’s doors, and it that small span of time they set to elevate the level of what a beer bar / restaurant can and should be. For this occasion their beer director Greg Engert approached me to see if I could prepare a special offering. We decided to pull together chef Kyle Bailey, Greg, and myself to devise a recipe to be paired with their tasting menu for the week of their anniversary. The outcome is a delicate hazy blond ale brewed with Perle, Nelson Sauvin, and Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops and lightly spiced with toasted juniper and guinea pepper. The brew was then fermented with a mix of Belgian ale yeast and Brettanomyces Claussenii, providing an aroma of tropical fruit and mild spice with flavors following it’s course melded with soft malts."

Most importantly, you ask, how did it taste? Delicious.
Only two sixtels were produced, so it won't last long.
In fact it may be already all gone.

Photo, above: Greg Engert and Brian Strumke inside Birch and Barley

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baltimore Beer Week 2010: a look back

Photos, above: Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes rings in
Baltimore Beer Week, and pounds in the tap on a firkin of
Clipper City Loose Cannon, officially beginning the eleven day
celebration of all things beery in Charm City on October 7.

Baltimore Beer Week ended on Sunday, after eleven days of
beery events.

Highlights included the opening tap celebration, three beer
festivals, countless beer tastings, many beer dinners and much

Now we can all sleep again. Whew.

Here's a photographic look at some of the events of the week.

Photo, above: Baltimore's Museum of Industry, site of
the opening tap celebration.

Photo, above: Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales
and Steve Jones of Pratt Street Alehouse at the release of
Channel Crossing number 2, on Thursday October 7th.

Photo, above: Melanie (left) and Lindsay were two
of the loveliest ladies at the Maryland Brewer's Oktoberfest
on Saturday, October 9th.

Photo, above: the gang from Ruddy Duck Brewing were
also having a great time at the Oktoberfest.

Two of the members of the Charm City Lingerie
Football Team at the Canton Beer fest on October 17.

A sumptuous plate of glazed beef, which was one of the
courses at the Stillwater Artisanal Ales Beer Dinner at
Jack's Bistro on October 14.

Jack's Bistro Chef Ted Stelzenmuller (left) and Brian
Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales at the beer dinner.

Several local brewers at Max's on October 10: from left,
Volker Stewart, Brewer's Art; Steve Jones, Pratt Street Alehouse;
Brian Strumke, Stillwater Artisanal Ales; and Hugh Sisson,
Clipper City Brewing.

Stillwater Artisanal Day at Max's, October 10: from left,
Brenda Strumke, Brian Strumke, Casey Hard, Danielle,
and Erin Tyler.

Beer lovers waiting to buy beer at during a special release
event at Max's for Stillwater Artisanal Ales. It was 10 am on
a Sunday morning!

Aaron Goldschmidt talking with Brian Strumke during
the event.

How about one last Oktoberfest beer? Winter is just
around the corner.

See you in Baltimore in 2011!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

12 Percent Imports Night at Max's Taphouse

Photo, above: from left: Brian Strumke, Stillwater Artisanal Ales;
Piet from Huisbrouwerij St. Canarus; Brian Ewing (front) of
12 percent; Ronald Mengerik, De Dochter van de Korenaar
(white shirt, back;) Andre Janssens, Hof ten Dormaal (back)
and Maggie of 12 Percent Imports.
Photo taken at Tria during Philly Beer Week in June.

Baltimore Beer Week is in full swing, and I'm happy to
say that things are going well.

Tonight, Brian Ewing of 12 Percent Imports will be
here at a beer social at Max's Taphouse.

Brian imports lots of great Belgian beers.

Here's info from Casey Hard about the event:

Come by Tuesday to meet Brian Ewing owner of 12
percent Imports. We will have a whole bunch of his beers
on draft and in bottles.
ON DRAFT: Hof Ten Dormaal Blonde, Sint Canarus Triple,
Het Alternatief Bitter Truth, Contreras Valeir Extra,
De Dochter Van De Korenaar Embrasse, De Hoevebrouwers
Toria Triple, Stillwater Cellar Door, Stillwater Stateside Saison,
Stillwater/Olivers Channel Crossing #2, Stillwater Stateside

IN BOTTLES: Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout,
Emelisse Double IPA, Emelisse Esoresso Stout,
Emelisse Rauchbier, La Botteresse Noire, La Botteresse
Ambree, La Botteresse Blonde, T Gaverhopke Koerseklakse,
T Gaverhopke Extra, T Gaverhopke Singing Blonde,
T Gaverhopke Blonde, Cazeau Tournay, Cazeau Tournay
de Noel, Contreras Valeir Extra, De Dochter Van De Korenaar,
Noblesse, De Dochter Van De Korenaar Courage,
De Dochter Van De Korenaar Bravoure, De Dochter Van De
Korenaar Finesse, De Hoevebrouwers Toria, Het Alternatief
Piet Agoras, Het Alternatief Eerwaarde Pater, Hof Ten Dormaal
Amber, Stillwater Autumnal, Stillwater Of Love & Regret____________________________________________________________

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oliver's/Stillwater Artisanal Ales Channel Crossing #2 release party

Photo, above: Brian and Steve enjoying a beer
during a collaboration brew day.

Baltimore Beer Week begins tomorrow night, with the
opening tap celebration at the Baltimore Museum of
Industry on Key Highway in Federal Hill. Details here.

The events runs from 6 to 8 pm.

But you aren't going to head home and go to bed
at 8 o'clock...not on opening night.....not on a Thursday...
are you?

No, you're just getting started then. Those first two hours
are a good warm-up to the many other events going on
that night.

Photo, above: Steve (left) and Brian in the firkin cooler
in the bowels of Pratt Street Alehouse.

The best of which just happens to be happening at Pratt
Street Alehouse, beginning around 9. Brian Strumke of
Stillwater Artisanal Ales and Steve Jones of Pratt Street
(Oliver's Ales) will be on hand to debut their second
collaboration brew, Channel Crossing number 2.

The beer is described by Jones as "A Belgian take on
an English Nut Brown Ale. We used Belgian dark candi
syrup in it, among other things."

Sounds very interesting! More on the CC #2 here.

Read about Channel Crossing #1 here.

See you tomorrow night!