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Beer Fox Craft Brew Awards - 12/30/07 to 5/26/08


December 30, 2007 to May 26, 2008

Throughout the past 30 years, craft brewing in the United States and abroad has expanded to encompass styles of great variety and sophistication to the delight of a growing body of beer connoisseurs, both men and women. To honor the creativity and technical expertise of so many world-class brewers, the Beer Fox selects the Craft Brew of the Week, and has listed each distinguished beer in the Beer & Brewing Newsletter at BellaOnline since December, 2004. As an easy reference tool, the Craft Brew of the Week Awards are listed by date, extending over each six month period.

These are in their original context, and have not been updated to reflect any changes that might have occurred. (for example: retired beers, new brewery locations)

Beer Fox – Craft Brew of the Week Awards – December 30, 2007 to May 26, 2008

Craft Brew of the Week Award 12/30/2007:

Firestone Walker Eleven - Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, California, USA
Style: American Strong Ale - 11% ABV
Its deep mahogany-walnut body supports a lean tan head, while aromas of bourbon, toffee, oatmeal, and vanilla captivate your attention. On the tongue, bourbon notes warm the tastebuds, and open up to caramel, espresso, black chocolate and figs. Silky smoothness slides with a viscous caress within the mouth. A masterpiece!

Craft Brew of the Week Award 1/6/2008:

Tripel Karmeleit - Brouwerij Bosteels,Buggenhout, Belgium
Style: Tripel - 8% ABV

The golden, hazy amber body glows with depth after the pour. A capacious head of billowing white crowns the top, releasing aromas of golden fruits - pineapples, peaches, pears, tangerines, and citrus - spiced by white pepper, honey, and yeast. A lively carbonation touches the tongue, and awakens your titillated mouth to enjoy the fruity flavors that continue into the honey-like middle. An alcoholic warmth spreads across the tongue, holding your attention while complex flavors of herbs, spice, and pepper mix with the ever-present lemon zest.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 1/12/2008:

B.P.A. - Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Style: American Pale Ale - ? ABV

What a refreshing, well-balanced drinker! The amber orange body glimmers with stately grace inside the pint glass, with a head of creamy, frothy white that leaves delicate lacing in patterns on the inside surfaces. Aromas are of sweet malt, florals, and citrusy orange and grapefruit rinds. Bready malt flavors of fresh steamy bread touch the tongue, balanced by the citrus, floral bitterness in the background. Flavors are so clean and fresh, I wish the ocean were made of this. Well done!

Craft Brew of the Week Award 1/20/2008:

Oud Bruin - Grand Teton Brewing Company,Victor, Idaho, USA
Style: Flanders Oud Bruin - 6% ABV

Dated and bottle conditioned with a yellow-waxed, flip top, this gorgeous beauty pours with a deep mahogany body with garnet lights around the edges and full tan head that settles like a blanket on the surface. The nose fills with tones of sour dark fruit, mixed with yeast and caramel maltiness. On the tongue, a juicy sourness takes hold. The malty grain sings along, while a touch of leather and funk hide in the back. A round, balanced level of carbonation makes this a nice, easy drinker.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 1/26/2008:

Hop Stoopid - Sonoma Farmhouse/Lagunitas Brewing, Petaluma, California USA
Style - Imperial/Double IPA - 8.2% ABV

This California powerhouse displays a bright, deep amber body with an off-white head that leaves specks of lacing on the glass like fine latticework. Pow! Hops assert themselves with authority. You feel like a Siberian tiger let loose in a roomful of catnip...roll around in the leaves, dive into the center as if it were the ocean. Grapefruit and lemon citrus seizes your tongue, dressed with a coat of sweet malt and a feathering of peppery spice that rounds out the edges. Fantastic balance in this Imperial IPA makes this a top-rate winner.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 2/9/2008:

The Lost Abbey The Angel's Share - Port Brewing Company / The Lost Abbey, California USA
Style - American Strong Ale - 11% ABV

The deep dark, opaque molasses body glistens with red highlights around the edges while supporting a creamy, one-finger head that settles like a blanket. Aromas of alcohol mix with the oaky fragrance of vanilla, as dark fruits and chocolate linger, rich and full, in the air. On the palate, cherries, figs and raisins merge with caramel malts, chalky dark cocoa, black bread, and brandy. Warmth rises up with prominence. As a sipper, desire will make you settle in with this for the night.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 2/16/2008:

Innis and Gunn Oak Aged Beer, Innis and Gunn, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Style - English Pale Ale, 6.6 % ABV

As you pour, her clear, coppery-amber body effervesces beneath a lean frothy head that settles to a wide ring around the perimeter of the glass. Aromas of sweet toffee mix with fruit - apricots and apples, and cast a delicate oakiness into the air. Flavors echo the aroma with sweetness across the palate, accented with vanilla, buttery toffee, and a oak nutty profile. The tongue lights up as gentle smoothness paints the surface, peppered with light carbonation. A firm bitterness - citrusy and leafy - lingers, while layers of whisky add interest to the multiple layers.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 2/26/2008:

Stone 06.06.06 Vertical Epic Ale - Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, California, USA
Style - Belgian Strong Dark Ale, 8.66 % ABV

So deep, so dark, as if coming from the depths of hell...walnut brown with glowing garnet hues, and a sticky bleached-molasses head! The malty, yeasty aromas seduce you. You feel as if this she-devil is pulling you into a field of dark fruits, apples, bananas, and spices. Once there, her flavors of fruit and malt roll across your tongue. Add chocolate malt, brown sugar, florals and pepper, while the alcoholic warmth slowly envelopes you. It pulls at you in waves, forcing you to concentrate on the mantra that lays before you. Light creaminess holds your attention - a hypnotic splendor, as you give in to the gentle sinfulness.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 3/29/2008:

Palo Santo Marron - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware, USA
Style: American Brown Ale - 12% ABV

Aged in Palo Santo Paraguayan Wood, this gorgeous inky black beauty appears viscous and solid on the pour, with little head - just a ring around the curve of the glass. Lace sticks to the glass, mingled with long legs. Aromas of red currants, wood, and vanilla have a clean, fruity profile, while licorice and earth arise as it warms.

Flavors are of smoked wood, burnt treacle, black currants, and bittersweet chocolate, mixed with hazelnut coffee and chewy raisins. What a complex rich brew! Must be savored!

Craft Brew of the Week Award 4/6/2008:

Old Viscosity - Port Brewing Company/ The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, California, USA
Style - American Strong Ale - 10%

A shiny black onyx body, with ample tan head leaves patterns of lace on the glass as aromas of graham cracker, molasses, chocolate, dark fruits, earth and bourbon fill the air. I am transported to Monk's, and an Abbey dinner in my mind, as the liquid gushes across my lips. Flavors of roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate, raisins and rum leave me pining for a wood-fired steak, dripping with juices. Mouthfeel is silky and smooth, full and satiating. Mmmmmm...

Craft Brew of the Week Award 4/29/2008:

Biere de Miel Biologique - Brasserie Dupont, Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium
Style - Saison Farmhouse Ale - 8% ABV

Wow! What an aroma! Flowery gardenias and honey. The beautiful body is hazy amber, with a head of tiny tight bubbles and superb creaminess. Made with East Kent Golding Hops and Dupont yeast, flavors of fresh pale fruit emerge, mixed with a peppery earthiness that grabs the tongue and captures your attention.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 5/5/2008:

Iron Duke - Wellington Brewery, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Style - English Strong Ale - 6.5% ABV

A deep, sparkling, garnet-brown body supports a soft tan head that settles to a creamy veil and ring around the perimeter of the glass. Aromas of lightly sweetened bread mix with toffee, chocolate, and nuttiness, woven with rum-dipped fruit. The palate mirrors the complexity noted in the nose, with a soft mouthfeel, dry finish and gently lingering alcoholic warmth.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 5/11/2008:

Saison Du Pelican - Pelican Pub Brewery & Restaurant, Pacific City, Oregon
Style - Saison / Farmhouse Ale - 6.0% ABV

Hazy tangerine-golden hues command attention, while a frothy white head gleams like meringue on the surface. Fresh fields of delicate fruits - peaches, apricots, pears and melon - mix with spices and earth and float in the air. Fruits echo in the flavor. Carbonation dances across the tongue, and highlight the spicy, herbal notes. A solid earthiness lingers within a malt and yeast backbone.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 5/19/2008:

River Horse Double White Belgian Style Ale (Brewers' Reserve), Lambertville, New Jersey, USA
Style - Belgian White / Witbier - 7.0% ABV

A burnished straw sheen glows beneath a fluffy pile of white that leaves intricate patches of sticky white lacing on the glass. Aromas of wheat, banana, citrusy lemon, clove and spices envelop the olfactory sense. Within your mouth, spices come alive, vibrant and solid - wrapped in citrus and warming alcohol. Delicate, refreshing, clean and quenching.

Craft Brew of the Week Award 5/26/2008:

Peche Mortel - Brasserie Du de Ciel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Style - Imperial Coffee Stout, 9.5% ABV

This sinfully delicious beer pours black as the sharps on a piano, while a creamy tan head puffs up, then settles to a persistent veil and ring. Aroma and flavors of sweet malt display a coffee latte profile. Smoky and peaty, with full body and robust character; Peche Mortel means "Mortal Sin."

More Beer Fox – Craft Brew of the Week Awards:

Beer Fox – Craft Brew of the Week Awards – December 04, 2004 to May 30, 2005

Beer Fox – Craft Brew of the Week Awards – June 25, 2005 to November 27, 2005

Beer Fox – Craft Brew of the Week Awards – December 4, 2005 to May 23, 2006

Beer Fox – Craft Brew of the Week Awards – June 2, 2006 to November 21, 2006

Beer Fox - Craft Brew Awards - December 20, 2006 to April 6, 2007

Beer Fox - Craft Brew Awards - June 5, 2007 to November 18, 2007

Cheers!

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Content copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Smagalski. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Carolyn Smagalski. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Carolyn Smagalski for details.

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