The Devil’s in the Details as Micro-brasserie Le Trou du Diable Premieres at Beer Street

Saison_LeTrouduDiableTomorrow is looking snowy but that shouldn’t keep you from seeking out The Bitch’s favorite growler shop, Beer Street (north Graham off Metropolitan L), as they bring forth a devilish line-up of brews courtesy of Shelton Brothers Imports and the Canadian micro-brewery Le Trou du Diable. So, unless you are seeking out “the devil’s hole” or plan a trip to Shawinigan, QC, in the near future, here’s your chance to catch some exclusive pours (pay as you go). The fun starts at 3 p.m. (Saturday Dec 14) and will include the brewer’s collaboration beer with Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver. The full list of beers includes:

SMaSH Noble—An exclusive to Beer Street, which has the only keg in NYC. SMaSH is an acronym for Single Malt and Single Hop and is brewed with Noble hops. They do different varieties of this beer with a different hop varietal each time. This is the latest version and is brewed with Tradition, a German noble hop (7 % ABV).

 

Mouss’cornue—An exclusive to Beer Street, not just in NYC but in the USA! A collaboration with Laurent Mousson of Switzerland- pale ale with American hops, British yeast, and “Swiss flavor”.

 

Epoque Opaque—Black IPA (6.3% ABV).

 

Saison du Tracteur—An award-winning beer the brewer calls a “new world Saison”.

 

Shawinigan Handshak—This hoppy weizenbock brewed with Chinook hops is inspired by Brooklyn Schneider Weisse collaboration with Garrett and Schneider Weisse’s Hans Peter Drexler. There’s a great story behind the name and label of this beer. The label shows former Canadian PM Jean Chretien choking the brewer, which references the “Shawinigan Handshake” when Chretien choked a protester.

 

Those Canadians sure know their political humor, eh? Hope to see you there when the snow flies!

Banishing A Troubled Mind At B. United’s First Nepenthia

TourAs a member of the fifth estate, I am offered the opportunity to attend many events. Sometimes I solicit press passes; sometimes they’re offered to me. Frequently the experience is great, but only occasionally is the event outstanding.

This past Sunday I had the great good fortune to be at an event that surpassed even my highest expectations. B. United International, a beer and spirits importer/distributor, hosted its first-ever open house at its Operations Center in Oxford, CT. Dubbed Nepenthia “after ‘nepenthe,’ a drug described in Greek mythology as banishing grief or trouble from a person’s mind,” the open house brought together not only some of the best beers in the world but also the brewers who made them.

In the house (and the order in which I visited) were:

  • Toshiyuki Kiuchi (and his family) of Hitachino, from Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
  • Michael Brogard  of Dansk Mjod, from Vejle, Denmark
  • Valter Loverier (and his lovely wife, Elena De Luigi) of Loverbeer, from Marentino, Italy
  • Paolo Fontanta of Birreia le Baladin, from Piozzo, Italy
  • Leonardo DiVincenzo of Del Borgo, from Bogorose, Italy
  • Jerome Rebetez of Brasserie de Franches Montagnes (BFM), from Jura Switzerland
  • Simon Webster & Rob Lovett of Thornbridge County Hall Brewery, from Bakewell, U.K.
  • and Susi Hecht (not the brewer, but) representing Schneider Weisse, from Kelheim, Germany

KiuchiHitachino

Loverbeer

Baladin

DelBorgo

The entire event was the EPCOT of beer, and I truly felt that I had been transported from Japan to Denmark to Italy to Switzerland and back to Connecticut (with brief return to England and Germany to wind up my whirlwind tour). There was not a bad or uninteresting beer in the entire line-up.

PizzaAs if this weren’t enough, B. United offered beer spirits workshops, tank tastings, glassware and draught workshops for industry servers, plus they opened their Zymatore room for special pours. There were also tours of the facility, which looked more like a spruced up barn (in fact, horses were being ridden along the forested trails downhill from the facility). Add in live music and great food courtesy of Stanziato’s Wood Fired Pizza (yes, they brought their own oven), and it becomes obvious why the Bitch was Orgasmic about the entire day.

PizzaOven

Among the five star beers I tried (and there was nothing subpar among the dozens of offerings):

  • From Baladin: Nora (Pils, made with almost no hops – only included to be a legal “beer” in the U.S. – in an Egyptian style brew); Wayan (their Saison, made with nine spices and six grains); and, of course, the 2009 Xyauyu (which was off menu; had to ask for a pour)
  • From Loverbeer: Beerbera – a spontaneously fermented beer made from the yeast on grapes (the brewery is in the Piedmont region of Italy, so they harken to their oenophilic roots)
  • From Birra Del Borgo: Rubus Lamponi – a raspberry lambic that was not only five-star worthy, but possibly the best sour beer the Bitch has ever tasted
  • From Hitachino/Kiuchi: Not counting the sake, the best of the bunch were two off-menu options: a Japanese Sour Plum Wheat and the Belgian Owl Single Malt brewed in Belgium in whiskey casks
  • From Dansk Mjod: Viking Blod, a fortified mead that knocked my socks off… in a good way
  • The Sinebrychoff Porter – this was served during the glass workshop; an added bonus
  • and everything in the Zymatore cellar

ZymatoreIt is my hope that Nepenthia will become an annual event for industry professionals and will only grow in popularity. I can see it rivaling some of the international festivals, becoming a two-day event (possibly with limited ticketing available to the public) and a Danbury pub tour (with overnight accommodations there).

Just as when visiting EPCOT, there was too much to do in a single day. Hat’s off to B. United for this first-ever event. The Bitch isn’t just orgasmic, she’s enthralled!

Nature