April Beer of the Month - Guinness 250th Anniversary

I realize that I skipped march. I am sorry about that. I do have a good excuse but I won't bore you with it. Normally I pick a beer that I am familiar with, but I am going to review one that I have not tried- Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout. Guinness was one of my gateways into the craft beer and I still enjoy a pint on occasion, even though a few fellow beer snobs give it a bad rap.

Guinness 25oth Anniversary Stout- Guinness LTD. ( Dublin Ireland)

Using a unique brewhouse process that combines the use of stout and ale malt, it’s a distinctive carbonated stout with a clean, smooth finish. This is especially exciting, as we haven’t introduced a new stout to the US since 1967, when we first started importing Guinness® Draught.

Smitty's Review: Sampled at about 45 degrees. Pours a deep brown/black with a one finger tan head. Nice aroma of dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, and a hint of milkiness. Medium bodied but with a slightly watery mouth feel. Initial flavor of black patent malts and mild coffee that transitions to notes of tea, mild bittering hops, and unsweetened bakers chocolate. The semi-dry finish is somewhat husky, with some subtle flavors of chalk and green apple. At first, this beer tastes a little over attenuated (sweetness fermented out), but as it gets close to room temperature some small amounts of sweetness creep in to help balance things out. Overall this is underwhelming and average. To be honest, I am disappointed with this beer. One would think that Guinness would produce something more exciting, especially for their 250th anniversary. On the other hand, they are a macro brewery and I should not be surprised that marketing may have been more important than the beer. If you have the chance, you might as well try it since it's a limited release. If the opportunity passes by, don't be sad because I don't think you will be missing much. So far, I seem to be in the minority among the people that have tried it. To each his own. Cheers!

Recommended Food Pairing: Chocolate and chocolate desserts, grilled meats, oysters

Where To Buy: Most specialty beer stores

Browsing For New Beers.....

With the mother-in-law heading to town, I needed to pick up some hard stuff to get me through the week (Whitney Neill gin to be exact). Off to Frugal MacDoogal I went. I did see some new beers on the liquor store side, including OP2, which is an 11% European Lager and stronger version of Orange Blossom Pilsner (which is new on the beer store side). Rogue Double Dead Guy in the fancy red bottle was a new sighting for me, although I had tried it on draft at Blind Pig in Champaign, IL. It is a nice beer if you enjoy American Strong Ales.

I then walked next door to see what was new at the beer store. Out of curiosity, I grabbed a bottle of Orange Blossom Pilsner, which was a Bronze Medal Winner at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival. Yazoo Hop Project #13 was on the shelves and is available for a very limited time. I am working on my third 4-pack. I can't wait until the #14 is released. Thanks to Linus Hall at Yazoo for given us a bottled local IPA. I spotted another limited release - Guinness 250th Anniversary. I am anxious to try this one, so check back for my review. Below is the official news release:

This year marks our 250th anniversary, so it’s time to celebrate! We’re happy to announce to you, the loyal 1759 Society, the launch of our Special Edition Guinness® 250 Anniversary Stout on April 24th.

We couldn’t be prouder of this stout. Using a unique brewhouse process that combines the use of stout and ale malt, it’s a distinctive carbonated stout with a clean, smooth finish. This is especially exciting, as we haven’t introduced a new stout to the US since 1967, when we first started importing Guinness® Draught.

It’s only available for a limited time, so on April 24th, pick some up at your local retailer or go out with some friends and try a pint of our brand new brew!

Thank you for being part of a magical 250 years.


That's it for now. Let me know if you spot any other new beers.


Beer Wars- One Night Only April 16th!

For those who are interested, this will be shown at the Green Hills 16 and Opry Mills. Tickets are selling fast and can be purchased here. For those who are unfamiliar, here is the scoop from Fathom Events:

"Fathom and Ducks In A Row Entertainment present Beer Wars LIVE, an event dedicated to celebrating the American entrepreneurial spirit. This event will feature the world premiere of the groundbreaking documentary, Beer Wars, followed by a live panel discussion with leading independent brewers and experts. This exclusive event takes place in 440 movie theaters nationwide for ONLY ONE NIGHT on Thursday, April 16th. Tickets are selling fast - don't miss your chance to take part in the conversation about the future of beer and the American Dream.

Beer Wars LIVE will take you inside the boardrooms and back rooms of the big business of beer - a microcosm of American business today where the big are getting bigger, consolidation reigns and free enterprise often takes a back seat.
With over 95 million beer drinkers, beer is an American icon and is interwoven into our culture. Beer Wars tells the David and Goliath story of the American beer industry and introduces the who's who in beer while following the journey of small, independent brewers who are challenging the corporate behemoths.
The evening will feature Anat Baron's documentary Beer Wars, followed by a spirited LIVE panel discussion, led by Ben Stein. Ben will be joined by several of the country's leading independent brewers and industry experts, including Sam Calagione - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery founder, Rhonda Kallman - founder of New Century Brewing Company and co-founder of Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams), Greg Koch - founder of Stone Brewing Company, Charlie Papazian - Brewers Association president, Maureen Ogle - historian and author of Ambitious Brew and Todd Alstrom, Beer Advocate founder.

This inspirational event will provide unexpected and surprising turns and promises to change your opinion on those infamous 99 bottles of beer on the wall."

Surfing The Bottle Shops- April 2009

Even though I am on antibiotics and can't drink until Friday, I decided to do my monthly beer run. As usual, I was not disappointed to see some new and seasonal beers on the shelves.

At Midtown (liquor store side), four seasonal Schlafly beers have returned- Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Oaked Aged Barleywine, Irish Style Extra Stout, and Biere De Garde ( I have not tried this one yet). I also spotted all three Sam Adams Imperial Series- Imperial White, Imperial Stout, and Double Bock. For Stone Brewing fans, the 2009 release of Old Guardian has arrived. Dogfish Head World Wide Stout is back from a long hiatus, and comes in at a whopping 18% ABV! Another new beer I have not tried is the Heller Bock Lakefront Imperial Maibock.

Over at the Frugal MacDoogal beer store side, I spotted Oskar Blues Mamas Little Yella Pils and New Belgium Mighty Arrow Pale Ale.

That's it until next month. Happy beer hunting. Please report any other new beers you see as they show up to Nashville.