Thursday, April 16, 2015

Seattle Book Signing With Brann Dailor of Mastodon, April 26 at Schooner Exact Brewing

For me, one of the coolest things about writing The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers was getting to bring together two of my biggest passions: craft beer and extreme music. My "Brewtal Truth" column in Decibel  magazine, which was the precursor to my book, offered me the opportunity to connect with some well-known musicians within the scene who shared my passions. So, when it came time to put the book together, it seemed like a good idea to include some of those guys in the mix.

As luck would have it, two musicians I interviewed for the book, Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor and Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster are doing a North American tour together and making a stop in Seattle on April, 26. So, I'm excited to announce that Brann will be joining me at a brief book-signing at Schooner Exact Brewing Co. (3901 1st Ave, S), not far from the club, Showbox Sodo, he'll be playing at that night. J-P has other obligations and can't join us, but from 5-6 pm, you can stop by Schooner Exact, grab a beer, buy a book ($20 cash or charge) and get it signed by Brann and me.

The Mastodon/Clutch show is already sold out, but this event will be free and open to the public. No ticket needed. The show doesn't start until 7pm, so you'll have plenty of time to swing by Schooner Exact beforehand.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Quick Guide to Extreme Beers at the Great Canadian Beer Festival

Chairman Gerry Hieter has been doing an amazing job of putting on a well-run beer festival for more than 20 years, but the breweries attending Great Canadian Beer Festival haven't always put their best foot forward in what's arguably THEE craft beer event of the year. Without naming names, year after year, a number of breweries bring the same brews (and brews that are available on pretty much any liquor store shelf in town and most bars). Every brewery should be bringing at least one or two beers that will get people talking and cause a little buzz.

This isn't the same craft beer crowd from a decade ago. They have more sophisticated palates, they've been exposed to amazing beers from around the world and they are always looking for something new and exciting. The Great Canadian Beer Fest is the perfect place for breweries to show off a bit.

If the 2014 lineup of beers posted at the GCBF site is any indication, things are slowly changing. There does seem to be a lot more creativity in the offerings this year. Not only are there a bunch of new breweries—many of which clearly have an ambitious streak—many of the established breweries are putting forth some really interesting efforts this year. I don't think I could have done much of a "Guide to Extreme Beers at the GCBF" a couple years ago, but this year, I was able to put together what I think is a solid collection of "out-there" beers to seek out. As a disclaimer, I'll note that these are not the only extreme beers being served at the festival, just the ones I think are worth trying.

Magic Beans Strong Brown Ale
The "beans" are coffee beans and they are used in quite an interesting fashion here. Brassneck cold brewed the coffee in the beer, so instead of the usual roasty/burnt notes, you get fruit notes and acidity.

Belgian Apricot IPA
Belgian IPAs typically have an abundance of fruit notes from both the hops and the Belgian yeast, and this brew, made with experimental hops and 90 kgs of apricots, is an interesting take on the style. 

Both Barrels Imperial  IPA
This is a collab with Ninkasi, P49 and Gigantic that was aged in Cognac and bourbon barrels. Nuff said. 

Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoke Ale
Smoke can be an overwhelming flavour in beer, but Coal Harbour have gone all in on this one, utilizing both German smoked malts and Scottish peated malts.

Singularity Russian Imperial Stout (Friday)
This massive brew is known for its incredible strength, which is aided by time spent in Makers Mark bourbon barrels. 

Serendipity Apple Saison
Beers brewed with wine grape must (juice) have been gaining in popularity (try Dogfish Head's Sixty-One in the U.S. Pavilion), but this saison features the addition of Granny Smith apple juice. 

Currant Event
Lighthouse is going "all in" with this brew. It's a wheat, rye and spelt saison that was refermented on oak with black currants. 

2nd Anniversary Ale
Last year's first anniversary brew was amazing, a huge beer befitting a momentous celebration. This year's—a red wheat wine refermented on grape juice and oak—should be just as impressive and big.

Spruce Tree Ale
Others have tried this style—which is conditioned on Sitka spruce tree tips—but it's challenging to find the balance where the spruce doesn't dominate. Tofino gets it right. This offers a glimpse of the kind of ingredients beer was brewed thousands of years ago. 

U.S. Pavilion
I focused on Canadian (well, as it turns out, BC) beers above, but there will be some must-try extreme beers in the U.S. Pavilion as well. Many of these have either never been poured in this market before, or are back after a long absence.

• Alameda Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA (100+ IBU hop bomb)
• Dogfish Head 61 (brewed with wine grape must)
• Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (one of the original mega IPAs)
• New Holland Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout (pretty much says it all...)
• Saugatuck Serrano Pepper Ale (spicy!)

If you're a fan of extreme beers, you can find autographed copies of my Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers: An All-Excess Pass to Brewing's Outer Limits at Cook St. Liquor.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers in Chicago & at Dark Lord Day in April!

My first visit to the Windy City will be a momentous one. Not only will I be doing a book-signing event at one of the coolest craft beer bars in the Midwest, Northdown Cafe & Taproom, I'll finally get to attend and do a book signing at Three Floyds' Dark Lord Day.

The Northdown event will be in the late afternoon, so you can still make it over to the Metal Alliance tour with Behemoth, Goathwhore, 1349, Inquisition and Black Crown Initiate later that same evening at the House of Blues. So if you couldn't get a ticket to Dark Lord Day, here's your chance to get an autographed copy of my book from me. As usual, I'll have copies for sale for $20 ea. and I can now take cash, check or credit card.

And, yes, Dark Lord Day is totally sold out already. But if you're one of the 6,000-plus attending, look for me amidst the chaos of amazing beer and amazing music from Witchbanger, Iron Reagan, Brain Tentacles, Correction House, Vulgaari, Eyehategod and High On Fire.

• Friday, 4/25: Northdown Cafe & Taproom, 3244 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL, from 4–7 pm. I will be joined by some very special guests who will be there signing books with me. Map

• Saturday, 4/26: Dark Lord Day at Three Floyds Brewery, 9750 Indiana Pkwy, Munster, IN, from 10 am to 10 pm. You have to have a ticket for this event, which are long sold out. But if you DO have a ticket, come buy a book! Map

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bringing the Brewtal Truth to Tucson, Arizona!

I'll be hitting the road in mid-March to do two book-signing events in a much warmer climate. It's purely coincidental that, as a huge baseball fan, I'll be heading to Arizona. These events, however, are a couple hours southeast of MLB's Cactus League Spring Training facilities in the Phoenix area. Yep, I'm heading to Tucson.

Sunday, March 16, I'll be selling and signing copies of The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers at the Tucson Festival of Books. This free literary fest is held on the University of Arizona campus every year and attracts more than 100,000 book nerds attendees. I'll be set up in the Author Pavilion West from 9:30–11:30 am. This will be my first "dry" event. Sorry. If you're like me and you're into books, the event itself is worth coming out for. Plus, it's free.

• [VENUE CHANGE!] Wednesday, March 19, I'll be selling and signing books at 1702/The Address Brewing (1702 E. Speedway Blvd), starting at 8 pm. There will be beer sold here, and lots of it. Might even be a few beers featured in my book on tap at the event. I'll also have some Uinta swag to give away for anyone who buys a copy of my book.

Come on out and celebrate extreme beer with me, Arizona!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tasting Extreme Beers on Shaw TV!

Shaw TV Vancouver Island reporter Sucheta Singh interviewed me about my book recently at Cook St Liquor. Watch as I show off some British Columbia examples of extreme beers from Howe Sound, Lighthouse and Russell.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Four Brewtal Truth Book Signing Dates in the Pacific Northwest!

In two weeks, I'll be hitting the road for some book signing events in the Northwest (see below). This is where my craft beer odyssey started, so I'm excited to visit Seattle (twice), Portland and Eugene over the course of a week. Hope to see you there!

I'll have books will be for sale at every event, but feel free to bring your own to have me sign it if you've purchased it elsewhere.

• Saturday, 12/7: Brouwer's Cafe, 400 N 35th st, Seattle, starting at 4pm. This amazing event will feature special guest Todd Haug, head brewer of Surly Brewing, who will be bringing seven Surly beers that will be on tap (including the three I included in my book). Map

• Thursday, 12/12: The Beer Junction, 4511 California Ave SW, West Seattle, from 5-8 pm. There will also be a Ninkasi tasting. You can sample 5 different Ninkasi beers for $4. Map

• Friday, 12/13:  Ninkasi tasting room, 272 Van Buren St, Eugene, OR, from 6-7:30 pm. Map

• Saturday, 12/14: Green Dragon, 928 SE 9th Ave, Portland, OR, starting at 5pm. Map

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers is Finally Out!

The official release date for the book is actually November 12, but you can now go online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's and other online retailers and order it. Finally! In fact, there's a shortcut to the book on Amazon to the right of the this post. If you're ready to place your order, please do use that link. Order now and you'll have it in your hands long before the actual release date!

In the coming weeks, I'll be using this blog and other social media to promote book signing events and other happenings, so stay tuned. I'd also encourage you to, if you do purchase the book, please leave a review on Amazon or B&N or wherever—whether it's positive or negative.

And if anyone from a book store, bottleshop, brewpub, pub or brewery is reading this and is interested in having me do a book signing event. Please get in touch at brewtaltruth at