I recently attended the Granite City Food & Brewery Mug Club Party as they tapped their Belgian Golden Ale. They advertised this beer as “A beautiful golden color with crisp, spicy, malty flavors. It’s the perfect summer time refresher!” I was told the ABV of this beer is 10.2%. “Really” I responded “as it certainly does not taste very strong and does not come across as a sipping beer if the ABV really is 10.2%”. Interesting. The appearance was a small head, very fizzy and bubbly, opaque body and no carbonation. The aroma was malty and spicy. The flavor was sweet, very acidic, fruity, spicy, and crisp. It was a very easy drinking beer, but I still question the 10.2%ABV.
I attended my first Bock and Rock beer event in Minster, OH. I have heard a lot of good things about this event from a beer friend in Ohio who attends this event and decided to attend and see for myself what the hype was all about. I was definitely not disappointed and plan to attend next year’s event which will be the event’s fourth year. I attended the VIP event in which John Najeway, Head Brewmaster at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. (Akron, OH) and Ken Belau, Head Brewmaster at Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (Kalamazoo, MI) conducted a two hour guided beer and food education/pairing for the 148 VIP attendees. There were 11 different bottled and cask conditioned beers served from both breweries that were paired with cheeses, sandwiches and desserts. After the VIP event concluded the general public tent was open and the ticket price included 20 sample tickets, a tasting glass for 5oz. pours and a booklet detailing what beers are located at each of the tables along with a style description of the beer. There were 90 or so beers available for sampling. Some of the breweries represented were: Kulmbacher, Tucher, Schneider, Weihenstephaner, Troegs, Chapeau, Unibroue, St. Bernardus, New Holland, Wyerbacher, Avery, Dogfish Head, Great Lakes, Stone, Southern Tier, Founders, Great Divide, Thirsty Dog, Bell’s, Abita, Flying Dog, Wooden Shoe, and Elevator to name “a few”. There was also food available and live music to add to the fun. This was a well attended event and one that I look forward to attending next May. Their website is http://www.bockandrock.com/.