Who Needs Candy When The Weekend’s New Beers Are Here…

As Halloween came to a close last night, I couldn’t help but think of some of my childhood’s biggest hauls.    The year that my love of all things chocolate and peanut butter was reinforced by a seemingly endless shower of peanut butter cups pouring from my upturned plastic jack o lantern, and how could I forget the year I became fully aware of the term “miniatures” as it applies to candy bars, and how smallish sizes somehow have a way of tricking you into eating far, far more than you really should.  I couldn’t help but reminisce over the memories of trick or treating, of coming home afterwards to examine what treats you ended up with, and even of the year I decided that I was absolutely done with those plastic superhero masks, because whoever designs those things clearly doesn’t put the simple ability to breathe at the top of the product’s feature list.  Times have certainly changed.  Nowadays, my “treats” – being the craft beer fan that I have become – come in more of an adult form, perfectly poured into a glass.  Leave it to craft beer to still provide a tremendous variety of treats, thanks to its endless and diverse styles – and this weekend’s “haul” is a perfect example.

From rich, barrel aged stouts to spiced wheat beers to sours, it looks like Blue 5 has recently put on enough varied beers to please everyone.  The most recent release in Stone Brewing’s “Enjoy By” series of beloved imperial IPAs – for those keeping track, this installment is 11/12/13 – is on tap.  A portion of the craft beer community seems to constantly revolve only around what’s absolutely brand new, and yesterday’s releases are old news.  So with each Enjoy By release I wonder when I’ll start to hear that somone’s “over” the series.  But I’ve yet to hear anyone utter this, so I guess there’s hope for those particular folks in the craft beer community yet.  A pungently wonderful mingling of dank and tropical fruit aromas and flavors make this one inexcusable to miss – yeah, still.  For the stout fan, a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout from DuClaw is new as well, called “Retribution”.  I’ve yet to try it, but reviews online are very favorable, and most point out a fair amount of bourbon and vanilla character from the barrel aging.  If barrel aged beers are definitely your thing, Local Roots Restaurant also still has Foothills Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel Aged People’s Porter.  For the adventurous, Blue 5 also has recently put on New Belgium’s Coconut Curry Hefeweizen, as well as The Bruery’s Oude Tart, a Flanders Red Ale aged in red wine barrels for about a year and a half.  If you’re into sour type beers, you already know what you’re having this weekend, and if you’re just getting into them, definitely seek this award winning, complex beer out.  The brewery’s website points out flavors such as toasted oak from the barrels used, as well as dark fruits and “hints of leather”.  Many will happily tell you that sour type beers are the “next big thing” in craft beer, if it isn’t already.

Halloween and peanut butter cups will be back around next year.  Time to move on to the weekend, and more delicious craft beer around Roanoke.  Cheers!

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~ by thebeerroad on November 1, 2013.

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