Posts Tagged ‘cantillon’

So this weekend was busier than hell because it was the first nice weekend that we have had since September…so on top of prepping the yard and deck for summer, I also had to contend with my daughter’s dance recital, entertaining my best friend in from Charlotte and prepping for my annual Memorial Day Weekend tasting.

As if I need more beer, boxes came flying in from all the place (making the wife not happy with me)…

The first box was a trade that I had set up with a guy that I had worked with before in one of my Sour BIFs.   The back story is not important and makes me look like a mild dick but basically, my friend Joe left a bottle of Jester King Bonnie the Rare berliner weisse at a friends house.  We happened to be there one night and I pulled it out of the fridge and he realized it was left there from a previous get together…well, he left a little early that night and we cracked the bottle open after he was gone.  Regardless of how bad it was (worst Jester King beer ever), Joe was pissed because we opened his bottle…so I felt compelled to make things right by acquiring another bottle…and this is what came in…



Next box was the conclusion of a trade set up in September…I had a guy who I traded with last summer that was looking for several bottles of Bruery Black Tuesday.  When my allotment came in from Reserve Society in October, I had a box packed up and out the door.  After the box arrived, the recipient lost his job



Finally was the start of what I hope will be a beautiful relationship with a guy up in the PNW.  In the past couple of years, there has been a bunch of small breweries that have popped up in the Portland Oregon area that have been making some great beers…and I want all of it.  He and I have traded before and he has participated in my Sours BIF previously.  Since my last Sours BIF, he felt that he has been in debt to me since I destroyed him with a huge box of Belgian Lambics.   Revenge is a dish served whale-ish….he destroyed my porch…


Yes…that is 7 bottles of De Garde 🙂 with several bottles of Adam and Cherry Adam 🙂 and several Upright sours 🙂

I had a bad experience lately trying to set up a trade with someone lived in an unrealistic world with their demands….it is stuff like this makes it better.  So much for ‘cutting down’ the cellar when weeks like this happen.


I do apologize for being late with this post but the past four weeks has been very hectic with work and with all the travel (which included a trip to central Pennsylvania and another to Eastern PA, Maryland and Delaware), it has led to a ton of reviews for the month of March (70 in total).  Unfortunately I think my work travelling is coming to an end which means I may have to go out and get a real job soon.  Anyways, lets get to the good stuff…the good beers for March:

Top 5 Beer Reviews for March (okay, it is 7 but they are solid ticks):


The 5 Beer Reviews that made me realize that everything can not be a Wild Ale or Bourbon County variant:

  • Terrapin Brewing Cabernet Barrel Aged Monks Revenge ~ Belgian IPA ~ 9.8% ABV ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Stewarts Brewing Citra IPA ~ American IPA ~ ABV Unknown ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Left Hands Brewing Sawtooth Ale with Peaches ~ English Special Bitter ~ 5.3% ABV ~  2.9 /5 Rating
  • Picobrouwerij Alvinne Phi ~ American Wild Ale ~ 10.0% ABV ~ 2.8 /5 Rating
  • And the beer that made me wish I had chosen a better brewery other than Stewarts was Stewarts Brewing Kolsch ~ Kolsch ~ 2.7 /5 Rating

I know it may catch some of your of guard that there is an Otter Creek in my top 5 beers for this month but they must have finally realized that they can still make good beers and sell them to the masses.  I am not calling them the new White Whale brewery of the week but they have launches three straight beers that are better tan most other shelf beers or even some rarities in some cases.  Obviously, they are still no Cantillon…but few breweries are 🙂

…if you read the title and kept reading this thread, well then that is on you.  You’ve been warned!!!

A quick recap for myself in the craft beer genre

As all of my friends know that I am a craft beer ticker.  A ticker is someone who rates every beer that they have tried as they go, regardless of style, preference or quality.  A rating can be anything from a quick 1 to 5 score (5 being the highest) up to a full review with full descriptions of appearance, nose, taste and mouthfeel.  Unfortunately, I do not have a total for beer reviews for 2013 because I dumped all my information from Beer Advocate to Rate Beer then blew up my BA account.  If I were to take an educated guess, it would have to be upwards over 700 different reviews and with that being said, lets check out the best of the best from last year.

The Merc Top 20 of 2013:

20.   Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXIV ~ American Porter ~ 4.44 /5 Rating

19.    Bruery Sour in the Rye with Kumquats ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.44 /5 Rating

18.    Upright Brewing Four Play ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 4.45 /5 Rating

17.    Trappistes Rochefort 8 ~ Belgian Strong Dark Ale ~ 4.46 /5 Rating

16.    Almanac Beer Co. Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine ~ 4.46 /5 Rating

15.    Founders CBS Imperial Stout ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

14.    Hoppin’ Frog Bairille Aois BORIS ~ Russian Imperial Stout ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

13.    Cantillon Fou Foune ~ Lambic – Fruit ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

12.    Cigar City Hunahpu Imperial Stout ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.49 /5 Rating

11.    Fat Heads Brewing IBUsive ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 4.49 /5 Rating

10.   The Ale Apothacary Sahati ~ Sahti ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

9.     Live Oak Brewing Hefeweizen ~ Hefeweizen ~ 4.50 /5 Rating   (thanks Chris)

8.     Bruery Preservation Series: Or Xata ~ American Blonde Ale ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

7.     Bruery Oude Tart with Cherries ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

6.     Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze (batch 1) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.54 /5 Rating   (thanks Nate)

5.     Cascade Brewing Vlad the Imp Ale ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.60 /5 Rating

4.     Funky Buddha Veruca Snozzberry Gose ~ Gose ~ 4.60 /5 Rating   (thanks Miami Mike)

3.     VooDoo Brewing Black Magick Pappy Van Winkle ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.61 /5 Rating  (thanks Tom)

2.     Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek (2003) ~ Lambic – Fruit ~ 4.70 /5 Rating   (thanks Tom?)

and the Top Rated Merc Beer for 2013 was….Trappistes Rochefort 10 ~ Quadruple ~ 4.75 /Rating

Honorable Mention: Funky Buddha Passion Fruit Berliner

You will notice some names next to some of the beers listed above, that is just an appreciation to the people that shared or gathered those beers.  One great thing about the craft beer community is that most people will get really outstanding or rare beers not only to try them but to also share them with other people.  It is not all about a bunch of guys getting together to get drunk and make fools of themselves, its more of a profound brotherhood.

Now it is time for the 2nd annual installment of “The Merc-y Awards” (pronounced Merk-ee)

Favorite New Breweries Visited in 2013:

  1. Crooked Stave Artisan Beers ~ Denver Colorado
  2. Hoppin’ Frog Brewery ~ Akron Ohio
  3. New Belgium Brewing ~ Boulder Colorado

Honorable Mention: Voodoo Brewing Company ~ Meadville Pennsylvania

Favorite New Brewpubs Visited in 2013:

  1. NoDa Brewing Company ~ Charlotte North Carolina
  2. Tired Hands Brewing Brewing ~ Ardmore Pennsylvania
  3. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery ~ Charlotte North Carolina

Honorable Mention: Market Garden Brewing ~ Cleveland Ohio

Favorite Beers of 2013 (regardless of review or rating, this is more of preference):

  1. Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek
  2. DESTIHL Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Raspberry/Strawberry Ale
  3. Funky Buddha Veruca Snozzberry Gose

Honorable Mention: Bruery Oude Tart with Cherries

Biggest Surprises of 2013 (regardless of review or rating, more of a surprise because I usually don’t like the style):

  1. Bruery Or Xata
  2. New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb
  3. Perennial Barrel Aged Abraxas

Honorable Mention: Buffalo Bayou Gingerbread Stout

Here is to a healthy and great drinking 2014 (hopefully, I get a real job soon…).  Prost!

Yes…I know that December was kind of a neglectful month for this shitty blog but I was busy worrying about my financial future, health insurance and lack of a vehicle.   As stated previously that my now former employer decided to outsource my job which then not only resulted in a loss of job, health insurance and company car…I then had to dish out a bunch of money in the form of a new car and various insurances needed to function in 2014.   But, even though my blog posts were down for the month, my monthly beer reviews were probably the highest for the entire year.  Lets look at the Top Beers for me in December…

Top 5 Beer Reviews for December (yes, I realize that there are 9 but that’s how it ended up):

The 5 Beer Reviews that made me forget 2013:

  • Flying Bison B.O.B. (Bison Ordinary Bitter) ~ American Bitter Ale ~ 3.0 /5 Rating
  • Fat Heads Busy Bee Honey Blonde Ale ~ American Blonde Ale ~ 3.0 /5 Rating
  • Leinenkugels Orange Shandy ~ Fruit / Vegetable Ale ~ 2.8  /5 Rating
  • The Bruery Cacaonut ~ Old Ale ~ 2.7 /5 Rating  (totally infected….)
  • And the ‘beer’ that really wasn’t beer was Miller Brewing Steel Reserve 211 High Gravity ~ Malt Liquor ~ 1.9 /5 Rating

Well, 2013 has finally ended….and with that, I look forward to 2014 and whatever the beer drinking future has in store for me.   Year End Thread to come…

Where in the hell does the time go?   It seems like it was just yesterday that I was boarding a plane to Denver for the GABF and it turns about that it was a month and a half ago.  Another thing that I thought was ironic that was my tasting group had a Cantillon Heavy tasting and not a single bottle made it onto my Top 5 for this month, even though some of the bottles we had were new for me.  It just seems like time is flying over the past couple of months and before I know it, my job will soon change and Christmas will have come and gone too.

Anyways, here were the monthly reviews…

Top 5 Beer Reviews for November (yes, I realize that there are 7 again):


The 5 Beer Reviews that made me question humanity:

  • Brooklyn Brewing Brooklyner Weisse Beer ~ Hefeweizen ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Corsendonk Apple White ~ Belgian White ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Hamburg Brewing White Corner Wheat ~ American Wheat ~ 3.0 /5 Rating
  • Great Divide Heydey ~ Belgian White ~ 3.0 /5 Rating
  • And the beer that questions why I ever drank yellow fizzy water was Molson Canadian ~ Pale Lager ~ 2.2 /5 Rating

Some other changed that I have experienced, other than my job loss, was that I have removed all of my information from Beer Advocate over to Rate Beer.  It is just getting tiring of all the bullshit antics of the BA overlords and their douchebag minions that made the website boring.  Not to mention the personal attack on my own information by wiping out my entire profile, including my entire trade history as well.  I removed all of my beer and place reviews because they can boot you off of their website and still maintain all of your reviews because once you post it, they consider it “beeradvocate intellectual property”.   There is an oxymoron for you…

Since my job situation has changed too, I have also cut way back on my trading too.  I have several traders that wanted to set up a pipeline, which I am totally fine with.  I continue  sending my random boxes to my buddy Matt in California as always.  Matt and I have been sending blind boxes back and forth for the better part of two years now and has been a great beer friendship.  I have also established a couple of new ones with a guy down in Texas and another trading pipeline with a guy up in the Pacific Northwest too.   Oh, how I do love those sour beers and those two areas have some real up and comers in my favorite styles.

One of the guys in my tasting group has his house up for sale and had asked the group to come over and help him ’empty’ out his cellar, so that he wouldn’t have to move as much beer.  Well, one of the cool things about the tasting group is no one ever shows up empty handed (even when instructed to).  One thing leads to another, then showing up empty handed turned into ‘Let’s have a Loon (Cantillon) Tasting’.

Cantillon Brewery is a family owned operation going back to the very early 1900’s, who is well known for their lambic style beers.  I personally feel that they are the best lambic maker in the world and would be hard pressed to find anyone who can really argue against that point.  Unfortunately, Cantillon beers (or if you prefer the slang term Loons) do not get mass produced and sent to the states in huge shipments, so finding them is a bit of a task and almost never make an appearance here in WNY ever.

You know that the night is getting out of hand when this happens…


Cuvee de Cantillon

Here was the bottle list for the sharing that evening…

  • Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze
  • Cantillon Vigeronne 2012
  • Cantillon Vigeronne 2004
  • Goose Island King Henry
  • Drie Fonteinen Doesjel 2006
  • Jester King Atrial Rubicite
  • (homebrew from DontDrinkBeer) Pediobear (Persimmon Lambic)
  • Cantillon 50 Degrees N – 4 Degrees E
  • Ale Apothecary Sahati
  • Hardywood 2nd Anniversary Ale
  • Jester King El Cedro
  • Borg Brugghus Ulfur IPA No.3
  • Cantillon Blabaer 2012
  • Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze 2000
  • Cantillon Loe Pepe Gueuze 2009
  • Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2008
  • Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise 2010
  • Hair of the Dog Adam from the Wood
  • Three Floyds Cognac Barrel Aged Moloko
  • Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio 2013
  • Cantillon Saint Lamvinus 2006
  • Cantillon Iris 2012
  • Cantillon Cuvee Saint-Gilloise 2012
  • Cantillon Grand Cru Bruocsella 2009
  • Bruery Black Tuesday
  • De Cam Cuvee de Kriek 2009
  • Alesmith Rye Barrel Aged Old Numskull
  • Bellwoods Bring Out Your Dead – Cognac Barrel Aged
  • Hill Farmstead Damon


October was a great beer drinking month and kind of bittersweet in a way too.  On a high note, October means my return back to Colorado for the GABF and on a down note, I found out that I am getting laid off at the end of the year.   When one door closes, most of the time, another one opens…lets just see if that holds true in January.

You may notice a change in the scores this month too.  Since I am in the process of transferring my beer reviews from Beer Advocate over to Rate Beer, the scoring changes with the different website where the score is more rounded and less accurate.

Anyways, here were the monthly reviews…

Top 5 Beer Reviews for October (yes, I realize that there 7):

The 5 Beer Reviews that made me consider staying poor so that I can’t buy beer anymore:

  • Fat Heads Autumn Weisse ~ Hefeweizen ~ 3.3 /5 Rating
  • Breckenridge Brewing Peachtree Pale ~ American Pale Ale ~ 3.3 /5 Rating
  • New Belgium Fresh Hop India Pale Ale ~ American IPA ~ 3.2 /5 Rating
  • Equinox Brewing Space Ghost IPA ~ American IPA ~ 3.2 /5 Rating
  • And the beer that made me regret trying out a new brewery was Antietam Brewing Ottos Orchard Raspberry ~ Fruit / Vegetable Beer ~ 2.8 /5 Rating

I find it kind of funny that I went out to Colorado for two days of great beer and only one of them made the Top 5 (7) meanwhile three selections made my bottom 5 of this month.  I swear, it really was a good trip…

Anyways, as I had stated earlier, I found out that I am getting laid off at the end of the year.  The night that I had found out this wonderful news, I decided that the only thing that could cheer me up was to rescue my prior beer purchases from and bring them home (or course with some extra bottles too).   One reason why I like is that you can get some really great Belgian beers at a decent price but the shipping will kill you.  Thankfully, once you pay for shipping, the website is pretty quick to get your box packed up and across the ocean in 10 business days.  Here was my haul…


From Left to Right…

  • Cuvee De Ranke
  • Kriek De Ranke
  • Drie Fonteinen Doesjel
  • 2x Cantillon Mamouche
  • 3x Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus
  • Oude Gueze De Cam
  • Framboise Lambiek De Cam
  • Kriek Lambiek De Cam
  • Lambiek Special De Cam
  • Oude Lambiek De Cam

Yup, I feel better….