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Beer party idea: Fill up some kiddie pools!

June 06, 2011 By: mike Category: Oddities

Beer party - kiddie pools!

This past weekend, my brother Mark celebrated his 30th birthday, and we resurrected an idea for a party I helped host a decade ago.

The idea is simple: grab a few kiddie pools and fill ’em with ice. Invite your friends and have them each bring a six-pack of craft or import beer. Chill the beers in the pool and then pick and choose different beers all night.

My roommates and I used to have a beer party like this every summer a decade ago on McLean in Midtown and had a live band and something like 300 people at our house, which always drew the cops. It was nuts.

Turns out the last time we did this my brother was celebrating his 21st birthday. So nine years later, we did it again.

This one was a little more low-key, but it was a lot of fun. I brought a “tacklebox” mixer of 12 beers from Sweet Water Brewing Company, which went pretty quick. The pools had lots of Hefeweizens and summer seasonals and then a mix of other styles.

To whomever brought the Stone IPA and Stone Pale Ale, thank you! I had one of each, and they were delicious.

Beer party - pink poolThe FuzzyBrew crew surrounded the pink pool and claimed all its contents.

Beer party - What's in the poolBeers on ice.

Beer party - blue poolThe blue pool.

FuzzyBrew’s Favorites from the Winter Warmer

January 18, 2011 By: mike Category: Breweries, Events, Memphis, Opinion

Winter Warmer taster

We tried a lot of beers at the Memphis Brewfest Winter Warmer this past weekend, so picking our favorites was a tough assignment. Here’s what we came up with:

Mike’s Picks

1. Pliny the Elder, Russian River Brewing Company — I’ve heard so much about Russian River’s Pliny the Elder that I almost thought the skies would open up and angels would start singing when I took my first sip of this Double IPA. Well, all that did happen. It was amazing. Best beer of the day.

2. Festive Ale, SweetWater Brewing Company — Part of SweetWater’s “Catch ‘N Release” series, this strong ale has a hint of cinnamon and a load of malts that are perfect for sipping on a cold day.

3. Never Summer Ale, Boulder Brewing Company — Dark caramel malts, combined with lots of hops and a “top-secret brewmaster’s spice,” make this is a winter seasonal that you can’t put down.

4. Blind Pig, Russian River Brewing Company — With all the winter seasonals in the building, it was nice to try a really good IPA. The Blind Pig delivered a blast of citrus and floral aroma in a light, well-balanced brew.

5. Mogul Madness Ale, Rogue Ales — This winter ale tastes stronger than its 6.6% ABV and is my new favorite from the popular Newport, Oregon, craft brewery.

Grant’s Picks

1. Peach Lambic, Lindemans — I asked the lady serving us which of the frutiy lambics I should sample; this peach was recommended and did not disappoint. Aaaand it was served over ice cream. This may become a dessert staple in this house.

2. Pliny the ElderRussian River Brewing Company — This is a no-brainer. It was my second beer of the day (at the festival, that is) and would have been my first had I not lined myself up behind the wrong group of drunkards. I hope my recent homebrewed clone comes close.

3. Trappist Tripel Ale, Westmalle — Strong and tasty and super drinkable. Also totally palette-cleansing.

4. Gaelic Ale, Highland — Malty and somewhat hoppy. Very smooth and a nice reprieve from some of the overpowering brews I sampled. A great session beer.

5. Welcome Winter Ale, Samuel Smith — I love Sam Smith and passed this table over at first because I’m pretty familiar with their beers. But I’m glad the unfamiliar label drew me in. I’m not winter’s biggest fan, but I could surely cope better with more of this beer on hand.

Jeff’s Picks

1.  Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier — I’ve been reading the book, Smoked Beers, and just finished the part where they visit this brewery.  It absolutely lived up to its billing.  An insanely dense, smokey, bacon-like aroma blends perfectly into this Marzen-style beer.  I must have gone back to this beer 15 times at the festival.  A Rauchbier just jumped to the top of my to-brew list.

2.  Blind Pig, Russian River Brewing Company — This was the first time I’ve had this beer and I thought it was an incredible IPA.  If they told me I could walk around the festival and drink this beer only for the rest of the night, I would have done it.

3.  Pliny the Elder, Russian River Brewing Company — The last time I had this was in Portland, Oregon, a few years ago, and it was as bad-ass as I remember it then.  A classic Double IPA.

4.  Moo Hoo Stout, Terrapin Beer Co. –Another first-time beer.  I was really impressed by the smooth, chocolate flavor and aroma of this beer.  I will seek this one out on future travels.

5.  Mogul Madness Ale, Rogue — This beer stands out for the sheer fact that after two hours of drinking, it was able to elicit quite a reaction from my overloaded taste buds.  Citrusy hops and a wallop of malts combined for a complex ale that really hit me.  I was thinking this was a barleywine when I first tasted it.

What were your favorite beers from the Winter Warmer? Leave a comment below.