Jim's Beer in Pittsburgh Tasting Notes
(Last updated 17 April 2007)
Bocktown Beer has a weekly beer tasting, and Laurie and I have been to the last 5 or so of them. It's been a good opportunity to try some new beers (or, in many cases, re-try some I haven't had in a while). They usually have 4-6 varieties in bottles, and Bocktown also tends to have at least one and sometimes as many as four of the brewers offerings on tap that night.
My Favorite Beers
Before I tell you what I thought of recent beer tasting, I should first tell you something about my tastes in beers. My favorite styles tend to be IPAs, American Pale Ales, and Stouts and Porters (though I also like cask-conditioned British ales). My favorite beers include:
- Arrogant Bastard -- Stone Brewing's dark, aggressively hopped ale. Pick up a bottle and read the back for extra entertainment.
- Victory Hop Devil -- probably the best American IPA, though I also really like Anchor Liberty Ale and Sierra Nevada Celebration (their winter seasonal)
- Rogue Shakespeare Stout
There are others, but I'll touch on them later.
Laurie's favorite styles are Belgian Trippels (which I like, but not as much as the styles listed above), wits and wheats (which most of the time I can pass on).
The April 11 tasting was of beers from Victory, one of America's great brewers, who make good beers in all the major styles. I only tried one new beer (their Mai Bock), which was nicely done, but I also got to try some old favorites. Of course I had a pint of Hop Devil, which, like all the great American IPAs, is hopped in an over the top fashion. But I also had their Bohemian Pils, which is probably the best European-style Pils made in America. Their Storm King Stout was also quite good; it's a very flavorful Imperial Stout, almost as good as Great Lake's Blackout Stout, which I'd had at their tasting a few weeks earlier. I finished off with a glass of Old Horizontal Barley Wine, a fine example of American barley wine, both hoppy and malty (and alcoholic, thus making it the beer to have for desert, when you've finished for the evening).