Frozen Beer Lake in Germany

From Reuters

December 30, 2008

BERLIN — A busy intersection in the German city of Kassel turned into a lake of frozen beer on Tuesday when some 1,600 bottles smashed after poorly secured crates flew off a delivery truck, police said.

The truck, carrying 12 tonnes of freshly brewed beer, lost most of its load on a sharp left-hand turn at the bottom of a hill, according to Kassel police inspector Wolfgang Jungnitsch.

Nearly 80 crates carrying about 800 litres flew off the truck, most of the bottles smashed, and their contents quickly froze in the chilly temperature of about -4 degrees Celsius (25 Fahrenheit), he said.

“A sheet of ice quickly formed and the air was filled with beer fumes,” Jungnitsch said.

It took an hour to clear the intersection, and police said the trucker faced a fine for not securing his load properly.

Green Flash Imperial IPA

I am in the San Francisco Bay area for the holidays so I am tasting a lot of west coast beers that cannot be purchased in the Twin Cities. The most recent is the Imperial IPA from Green Flash Brewing of San Diego.

Green Flash Imperial IPAGreen Flash Brewing, San Diego, California
Style: Double/Imperial IPA
Serving Style: 22 oz Bottle

Aroma: Light orange/tangerine citrus. Citrus and pine hops. Background of grainy malt.
Appearance: Crystal clear. Deep golden. Persistent fine, white head.
Flavor: High bitterness, but not overly so. Reasonably balanced with grainy malt. Big citrus and pine hop flavor. Tangerine and orange notes. Light alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Light and drinkable for 9.4% ABV. Light carbonation.
Overall Impression: I have a cold, so my taster may be off. I found this to be an acceptable DIPA. Not outstanding. I like balance in a DIPA, but I found myself wanting more bitterness.

2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter

Alaska Smoked Porter

Alaskan Brewing Company, Juneau, Alaska
Style: Smoked Robust Porter
Serving Style: 22 oz. Bottle

Aroma: Smoke and roast with light caramel
Appearance: Black with a rich, creamy, off-white head.
Flavor: Nice balance of  meaty smoke, roast malt, and caramel. Expected stronger smoke character with a new release, but was pleasantly surprised by the balance. Low bitterness and no hop flavor.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, light carbonation.
Overall Impression: Lighter body than expected, but still huge in terms of flavor. Nice balance of smoke and malt. Nice beer that would go well with cured meats. I’ll take another, please. Oh…I’ve got another in the cupboard!

Certified Cicerone

Perfect Pint Owner Michael gets certified.

The wine industry has had an official certification program for wine experts, or Sommeliers, for a long time. Now such a certifying board exists for beer. The Cicerone Certification Program was founded by Ray Daniels and is based in Chicago. On November 23rd, I went to Chicago to take the Cicerone certification exam.  I received my results tonight. I am now officially a Certified Cicerone.

The exam covers a wide base of beer knowledge including beer styles and history, storage and service, production and distribution laws, and brewing ingredients and process. It is a four hour exam that includes a 250 question written section, a 12 beer tasting section, and a demonstration. An overall score of 80% with a minimum of 70% on the tasting section is required for certification.

Michael now joins a small group of people that have achieved this certification.

Twin Cities Perfect Pint Beer Club

I am excited to announce the creation of the Twin Cities Perfect Pint Beer Club on

TC Perfect Pint Beer Club is for people who want to learn about and enjoy great beer in fun, intimate, small-group settings.

We will meet each month in a member’s home to socialize and sample a selection of fine beers from the US and abroad. Nothing brings people together like beer.

To make the socializing part manageable, events will be limited to 20 guests. Each event will range in price from $15 to $30 and will include the beer, light munchies, and a special gift for the host. If you are interested in hosting an event let me know. Hosts attend free.

Each month’s event will revolve around a theme. It may be a beer style. Maybe it’s a region. Whatever the theme, we will be tasting a selection of great beers.

This group is open to anyone who is enthusiastic about beer. It’s not just for experts and beer geeks. It’s not for folks who are just interested in a monthly beer party. This is a club for people who are genuinely interested in learning about beer and exploring the full range of flavors and styles that beer has to offer.

Our First event will be on Saturday, January 17th.

Think Global. Drink Local: Great Regional Brewerie from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

You don’t have to go far to find great beers in a wide range of styles. The last few years have seen a proliferation of small breweries in the Twin Cites Metro, the wider state of Minnesota, and next door in Wisconsin. Breweries like Surly, Flat Earth, Furthermore, Tyranena, and New Glarus are quickly gaining national attention.

Come taste the great beers of the region and find out why the Upper Midwest could soon become a beer Mecca to rival Denver.

Follow the link to sign up for the club and RSVP for the first event.