Friday, May 24, 2019

Bristol Brewing Company's Birthday Box #2: wheat gone wild

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2019 at 11:37 AM

  • Matthew Schniper
It's hard to believe that Bristol Brewing Company has been around for 25 years, but here we are. In 1994, Mike Bristol and company joined the then-burgeoning microbrew scene, debuting beers that remain iconic in this city. To celebrate, the brewery has and will continue to release mixed 12-pack birthday boxes celebrating its flagship beers.

Birthday box #2 spotlights Beehive Honey Wheat, a summer seasonal that the brewery simply kept brewing once summer was over. Each box features three Beehives, plus three bottles of Bristol’s wit, three of Bristol’s hefeweizen and three of a newly-created Simcoe hefeweizen.
We recently received a promo box of these beers. Here’s what we thought.

The Beehive honey wheat remains a reliable go-to summer beer. The honey adds a subtle dryness as well as flavor, and as easy as this beer goes down, it’s by no means thin or insubstantial. We’ve put more than a few pints of this one back over the years, but it’s nice to take a moment to reflect and appreciate the details in a familiar beer like this.

Bristol brews their witbier with coriander and orange peel, which both stand out in the beer. We’ve had more than a few wits wherein the citrus peel and lemony spice vanish, but not so here. Further, the Belgian yeast character stands strong and unmistakable on nose and sip, powerful but proportionate. Add in how this beer sips rich with substantial body, it could sell the box on its own.

Arguably, so could the hefeweizen. The beer articulates style-specific banana and clove notes well, with banana adding subtle fruitiness and clove notes standing out more in this unfiltered beer. It’s a good example of the style.

Adding Simcoe hops, though, changes things up. The Simcoe hefe bears grassy, dank notes on the nose. The yeast still plays a little, but the hops upstage it, a little sticky but not cloying and more piney than fruity. To be clear, we like this beer a lot, but — bear with us for a peculiar comparison — the best description we can find for its particular stickiness and substantial mouthfeel is to think about cleaning cannabis resin off of a pipe. Again, we like this beer. It’s weird and interesting in a far more modest way than even the most pedestrian of sours or farmhouse ales.

Of note, the circumstances of our tasting session left us with four opened, unfinished beers, so rather than risk wasting them, we threw them into a single growler for transport. The resulting four-beer suicide tasted pretty good too. (Don't hate us, Mike and team.)

Birthday box #2 can be found on liquor store shelves now. It’s limited edition, so once it’s gone, it’s gone. These beers are also on draft at Bristol’s taproom at the Ivywild School. Look out for two more birthday boxes to release later this year.
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Phantom Canyon's Game of Thrones finale banquet quite a feast, even if show disappoints

Posted By on Mon, May 20, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. hosted a Game of Thrones finale watch party and banquet on Sunday, May 19.

The brewery packed out its third floor for a feast that included a crispy and delicious suckling pig; rich, crab-cake-like cod cakes; piquant smoked rabbit and rattlesnake sausage; and tangy elk meatballs with blue cheese. Featured beers for the night included a dark and divine Take the Black Schwarzbier and a smart smoked Helles brew — both of which felt apropos given the final episode's thematics and plot points. (... a smoldering city, and "There's still a Night's Watch?")

Many fans were disappointed by how the show concluded, as more than one meme captures well. The crowd at Phantom Canyon grumbled through several scenes and plenty of cussing could be heard as the credits finally rolled. Still, everyone seemed to have a great time sharing their misery with company, over a fine feast.

If the wrap-up to one of the greatest TV shows ever produced is going to end up sucking, you may as well be sucking down some good beer over a plate of suckling pig. (Yes, that's about the best I can do here for a takeaway.)
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Monday, May 13, 2019

Phantom Canyon hosts Game of Thrones finale watch party, with banquet

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2019 at 5:14 PM

  • IMDB
No this is not another blog unpacking the latest Game of Thrones episode, fat with spoilers.

But the reality for all devoted fans: There's only one episode to go, on Sunday, May 19, before the epic TV show comes to an end after eight seasons.

Phantom Canyon is in on the action, for their part, hosting a finale watch dinner that begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour and buffet. (Tickets, $50 including gratuity and two drinks, here, 21+ only.) Costumes are encouraged, and prizes will be awarded for the best.

Here's the fantasy/period appropriate menu:
Pistachio kielbasa stuffed suckling pig (The South)
Parsnip mash (The South)
Beef + bacon pie (The North)
Cod cakes (The North)
Chilled fruit soup shooters
Smoked rattlesnake + rabbit sausage with fiery mustard (Dorne)
Flatbread, Naan, Olives (Dorne)
Blue cheese stuffed elk meatballs (King's Landing)
Melon and tea eggs (Across the Narrow Sea)
Assorted petite desserts from across the different regions (Sansa's Lemon Cakes, etc)

Now, you're probably asking, "What, no burnt toast?" to honor the second-to-last episode on May 12. ... Oh crap ... does that count as a spoiler after all?
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