Back in Business Again!!

Posted: November 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hello Fellow readers, and welcome back to Hops At Home. Well maybe its a welcome back to me since its been so long since I have written. But the good news is I have returned from Afghanistan and that Thanksgiving is over so now I can get down to business. Today’s post will cover a wide range of things since I have had lots of new beers, been to new places, and even bought some new toys since i Have been home! So grab a beer and lets get into it.

First off I want to talk quickly about a Russian beer I got the chance to try on way back to the states. The beer was more than a little difficult to get the name considering the entire label was in Russian and I was in a slavic speaking country. So after a little googling I did finally find it. It was called 9 and sold by a company called Baltika. Baltika is a russian brewery that is responsible for over 60% of the beer sales in the former Soviet Union. Baltika sells at least 15 beers, they may have more though. 11 of these beers are numbered 0-11 and pretty well cover the gamut of most beers sold here in the US. It would also appear that the beers number directly corresponds with its ABV, with 0 being their non-alcoholic version and 9 being their strong ale. (Maybe thats why i thought it was so good)! So lets talk about the 9, it had great flavor, a bit hoppy for me, but it was beer and I hadn’t any in a very long time. The color was very shiny gold, not super light however, and unfortunately there were no glasses to be had so I cannot discuss Head or Lacings, although judging from the full body of the mouth feel I am guessing the lacing would have held the entire way through. This beer smelled very strong of Citrus and and had a light Malty scent to accompany it.
The interesting thing was I didn’t smell any hops upfront especially for the strong taste they left in my mouth. This beer did do a very good job of concealing its alcohol taste I never would have guessed it was at 8% ABV until i found it the site, i thought i felt all woozy from just not drinking in so long.

Next I want to talk about a new restaurant here in Charlottesville, that I am sure I will be blogging about lots. Its Called Brixx and is located in Barracks Road. Brixx is great it combines 2 of my favorite things under one roof. They have really good wood fired pizza and they have at least 20 craft Brews on tap which is really the best part. Jess and I meet some family and friends there for dinner the first night I was back in town and I fell in love. We went back in last night, and I learned of a program thats is totally for me. They call it an MBA, Masters in Beer Appreciation, and its essentially just a great way to get people to taste great craft brews. The bartender we had last night, her name is April, is a great wealth of knowledge about beer styles and flavors and is a great asset to the place. Jess and I each tasted 4 separate beers which I will cover in later posts, but I felt it was really worth a mention, since I am sure I will be mentioning it much more often.

Lastly today I want to talk about my new toy! Yesterday I took a drive down 29 to Ruckersville and stopped in at the Fermentation Trap. The Fermentation Trap is a locally owned and operated home brew supply shop for both beer and wine. While in there I had a look around picked up a new basic home brew kit, I will add to as I go, but I always feel its a little easier to start with a basic kit. So hopefully we will get a batch started here in the next couple of weeks once things settle down a little bit. I would encourage anyone who home-brews right now to stop in and have a chat with them, they are incredibly knowledgeable about everything home brew related and will give you some recipes to get started. The other nice thing about them is they have everything packaged there for ingredients, if your experimenting for the first few times but they also sell everything fresh, and mill their own grains, so once you know what you are doing, its well worth it to spend a little extra, and get great tastes and results. I am sure you will be hearing more about this place in the near future as well. Thats all for now, although I could go on for hours.

Enjoy the Weekend



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