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Goose Island Migrating North
This week, Goose Island is spreading the good word in Milwaukee and Madison, preaching the gospel of Bourbon County Stout. Goose Island Migration Week means that some of the best beer in the world will be available in our neck of the woods. On Thursday, Sept. 19, the migration comes to the taps at Romans’ Pub (3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) and brings with it a 2012 Bourbon County Stout, the delicious BCS Proprietor’s and the BCS Backyard Rye, which I thought was the best of last year’s batch. The tap takeover also includes Lolita Raspberry Sour and a Devon Ave. Pale Ale. The event starts at 7 p.m., but I’m guessing that Mike will be extremely busy, so get there early.
If you can’t get to Romans’ Pub, head to Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) on Friday, Sept. 12. They’ll be handing out samples of the incredibly rare 2012 BCS Cherry Rye (which I’m guessing has aged pretty well), 2012 and 2013 BCS Coffee, as well as wine-barrel-aged Halia, Lolita and Juliet ales. The tasting runs from 3 to 5 p.m.
Madison gets a taste of the good stuff with tap takeovers at Madison’s (119 King St.) on Tuesday, Sept. 9 and Dexter’s Pub (301 North St.) on Wednesday, Sept. 10.
The entire Bourbon County lineup is pretty amazing. Take advantage of the chance to try some world class beer.
Wrapping Up the Beer Fest Season
The busy beer fest season winds down in September, but it doesn’t go quietly. Great Lakes Brew Fest is a big one. The ninth annual event at the Racine Zoological Gardens (200 Goold St., Racine) features more than 100 brewers and nearly 300 different craft beers to sample. There’s also plenty of food, and music by the Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps and Zydeco Voodoo. Celebrate the end of summer with a few brews on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The gates open at 3 p.m. for those with $49 general admission tickets. Sadly, VIP tickets are long gone.
Barley Pop of the Week
I’m generally an IPA drinker. But I do like to break away from the bitterness on a regular basis. Dark Horse Raspberry Ale is a beer that I wish I had discovered earlier in the summer. Fruit beers are tricky, and too much fruit flavor can create a brew that tastes like cough syrup. Raspberry Ale has a noticeable berry flavor, but it is kept in check by slight hop bitterness. The beer is crisp and in no way too fruity.
Chris Staten reviewed five new beer apps last week for Draft Magazine. I’ve been hearing a lot about the SipSnapp app lately, which tells you the RateBeer.com ratings for every beer on a beer menu simply by taking a picture of that menu with an iPhone. I just downloaded it and will report back as to how well it works.
Everything you ever wanted to know about craft beer growth told in cool graphs and charts, thanks to the Brewers Association.
I was fortunate enough to find two big IIPAs from Bell’s last week and try them side by side. The new Mars, the first beer in the Bell’s Planet Series, was exceptional. The Oracle was similar but had noticeably less malt and brought a bigger bitterness. Both were very good, but I liked Mars a little bit better because of the malt backbone. If you find either, buy them.
Wednesday, Sept. 10: Door County Brewing brings its brews to Tess for a five-course beer dinner. The cost is $50, and the festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. Call 414-964-8377 to make a reservation.
Wednesday, Sept. 10: Taste brews from Wisconsin Brewing Company and hear from gregarious brewmaster Kirby Nelson at Ray’s Wine & Spirits (8930 W. North Ave.). Nelson alone is worth the $20 ticket price. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 10: The Milwaukee Beer Society heads to Palm Tavern (2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) to sample Belgian beers, including some from St. Bernardus Brewery.
Saturday, Sept. 13: Hop bombs are the sample of choice from 1 to 4 p.m. at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.).