A ladies only event was hosted at Spec’s downtown with Jennifer Litz of Texas Girls Pint Out that included rare beers from the midwest paired with beers that are available in Texas that matched the flavors and style of the midwest beers.
We started off with some Goose Island Sofie- a Belgian Farmhouse Ale that was a Saison style beer using pilsner malts. It smelled and tasted sweet, poured a light amber color.
Joey, a real badass beer nerd from Spec’s, paired each rare beer with a beer that was available locally, and we started with a Brooklyn Brewery beer- Sorachi Ace. This too was a Saison style beer using only one hop- a Japanese hop. It poured a honey color with a white head and tasted sweet, yet spicy.
The next pairing started with Fleur from Goose Island, a Belgian Pale Ale blended with a special tea and hibiscus. It smelled and tasted sweet and caramel-y.
The Fleur was paired with the collaboration from Lips of Faith and New Belgium- Le Fleur Misseur (purposely spelled wrong), a pale ale that uses brettanomyces yeast. It smelled sort of sour and tasted a little funky, but hey that’s the idea, right?!
The next pairing started with another Goose Island, Matilda, an Orval clone (trappist) that also uses the brettanomyces yeast. It is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale that also smells funky but tastes really smooth.
The Matilda was paired with It’s Alive by Mikkeller out of Denmark. It is also a Trappist style clone, a Belgian Wild Ale. It also uses brettanomyces yeast. It was highly carbonated and smelled and tasted of honey and caramel.
Then came the trivia questions… Jennifer had several one-off beers from Sun King out of Indianapolis that she used as prizes for correct trivia questions… Kyle (a guy dressed in drag) graciously shared his Cupcake (I can’t seem to find any info on this…) but it poured a dark brown color with a mocha colored head, and it smelled like brownie batter (courtesy of Christine) and tasted sweet with a hint of coffee.
I “happened” to win a trivia question and decided that I wanted the Ring of Dingle, also from Sun King, an Irish Cream Stout that poured black with a very dark brown head. It was smooth and tasted of caramel. It was full-bodied and definitely something I’d be saving away if we could get it here!
The next midwestern beer that Jennifer gave us was a Three Floyds Moloko Milk Stout (Christine’s fave!) It smelled sweet and poured a dark brown with a mocha head. It was sweet and smooth, pretty big bodied and definitely one of the faves of the evening.
In between waiting for the next beer a lady down my table offered to trade my Ring of Dingle (I was hesitant to say the least- but hey, I’m not that greedy) for her Sun King Buffalo Aged Dopplebock. It was a honey color and very light bodied and had a light mouthfeel, not really my style, but hey something I probably won’t ever taste again.
The beer paired with the Moloko was a Left Hand Milk Stout, I have had this one before and loved it (in Christine’s top 3- that says a lot!), but always happy to get a second taste. It pours a black creamy color with a mocha head, and has a very sweet taste but balanced with some malts and coffee tastes as well.
Another badass midwestern beer we got to try was a top-rated pumpkin beer (it actually tasted like pumpkin!) by Schlafly, their pumpkin Ale. It was spicy and sweet. Simply amazing and reminiscent of thanksgiving.
Then we got to try a special beer from Bells, their 25th anniversary ale. Bell’s uses a Michigan barley to make their strong ale and it is dry hopped with one of their signature yeasts. It is a honey color with a light head and tastes of caramel and hops.
Up next was the pairing from Joey, something quite special, the Life and Limb from Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, a collaboration. Not really widely distributed and we were told we got the last of it from a personal stash (lucky us!). It pours a dark color and uses maple syrup and tastes of caramel, pancakes (obviously), coffee and honey. Very tasty, and definitely glad I got my hands on this!
And the Pièce de résistance, Dark Lord from Three Floyds. A beer you have to get a golden ticket for and stand in line to get. Only released once a year on one day, this was truly a delight and I am grateful to Jennifer for sharing, what a badass she is! It was this year’s release, a Russian Imperial Stout that was sweet but balanced, very strong weighing in at 15% ABV. There’s no way I would have been able to try this otherwise, unless I flew my ass to Indian. Lucky for me I have Jennifer in Texas and she shared with us ladies! Thanks!
I just want to give a big thanks again to Jennifer a badass, craft beer drinkin’ gal, who has so graciously shared a private selection of beers with us that we definitely can’t even get in Texas. Can’t wait to participate in more tastings and hopefully we can make it up to her with some Texas only beers! :)