I had some Brisk Iced Tea from Taco Bell.
Preeeetty good. It was a staff pick of the month at Total Wine. In my opinion, it has sort of a burnt aftertaste to it. If it weren’t for that, it’d probably be my favorite.
It’s doing a good job on my sinuses though. I’ve been sick for the last week, and I feel like it’s really helped clear stuff up pretty quickly. It was only bad for the first few days, and now I’m just coughing up all the gunk.
My current favorite is Four Roses. I think next time I’m going to get some Kirkland and see how that is, because it seems like everything else Costco makes is awesome.
The last Bourbon I had was Bulleit. It was pretty mediocre overall.
Some Kirkland wine actually gets surprisingly decent ratings…
Having this with some purple jesus.
Swamp Thing IPA from Bayou Teche Brewing. So many great breweries in Louisiana.
Probably my favorite. I’m always worried about these types of bottles exploding on me though. One time I accidentally left one in the hot car all day (probably like 115 outside) and as soon as I took the metal part off the cork flew out and beer went everywhere.
Recently single. In kind of a let’s get f’d up mood. This probably won’t do it, but it’s probably better that I don’t.
I do like the beer too. One of my favorites. Goes REALLY well with pizza. Too bad I have no pizza.
Shit, I am so far behind on this thread. I’m up to like 19 or 20 new ones since my last post.
I also signed up for the Allagash Grand Cru tour a little while ago, so expect pictures of that come September, assuming pictures are allowed and I remember.
Too late for a reminder?
Well, I’ve been trying new types of ciders the past couple weeks since I’m back in Oregon - if that’s of interest to anyone!
2 Towns Cider House, Atlas, etc.
I remembered pictures of the tour, but forgot about the forum.
The original Allagash logo that was created in the '90s.
Some of their smaller fermenters for smaller batches and specialty releases (think Cuvee d’Industrial, Hive 56, Jim Bean, etc.) There are a bunch of these.
Semi-automated pilot batch setup. It’s essentially a custom homebrew setup made for them by a German company. As a homebrewer myself I am 100% envious. Anybody in the company, from the tasting room folk to Rob Todd himself, can submit an idea to the pilot team, and if they think it sounds good then somebody from the team works with the submitter to try it out. Most don’t make it to retail, but some have made it to full distribution (like Saison and Two Lights).
A sample made on the above pilot system that was submitted by one of their truck drivers. I thought it was decent, although it was too close to Black in my opinion.
Just a picture of some grain sacks and part of their facility. The blue used to be an exterior wall, but Allagash grew enough they had to expand.
Behind me was a nearly fully automated 70 barrel closed brewing system. The brewer can literally run the entire 70 barrels through the system using a touch screen panel. I was feeling it at this point, so I forgot pictures
A heat exchanger. It can cool 70 barrels of near boiling wort to ~100F in 20 minutes. It’s just like a car or PC radiator, except instead of air passing through fins it’s liquid. The water used to cool the wort is stored in a tank off to the side to be reused as either cleaning water or even water for brewing another batch of beer.
Some of their larger fermenters. They have something like twelve of this size and eight larger ones, in addition to a slew of smaller ones scattered through the facility.
Closer to one of the twelve. One barrel is 31 gallons of liquid, and each of the twelve holds 315 barrels, or 9765 gallons. Their usually only filled to about 290 barrels though just to keep some headroom.
The whirlpool. Basically a giant centrifuge, it spins the wort at high speed and any debris or particles (hops cones or grains) drops to the center. Some NEIPA producers will put their entire hop bill into a machine like this.
Maine grown malts. Allagash wants to move to locally grown ingredients, so places like Aurora, Blue Ox, and Maine Malt House are a godsend.
Pallet of Hoppy Table Beer cans ready to be filled.
You can also see part of the canning line to the right as well. I did try to take a picture of the line, but my phone locked up on me
Stacks and stacks and stacks of Curieux aging in bourbon barrels.
The lab where every single batch of every single beer Allagash makes is tested. Not sure how accurate it is, but according to the guides this lab is only second to a brewer like Anheuser-Busch in terms of beer related capabilities. They can separate out individual strains of yeast from a sample.
A warm up beer before a QC tasting. Yes, the QC people are required to have a warm up beer before tasting.
The three samples we tasted. I don’t remember what the specific compound was called, but the middle one had something added that was supposed to taste like paper bags or spitballs.
Barrels of their wild and spontaneously fermented ales. We spotted some barrels that were dated back into 2014. Some of these will retail for $20+ for a single 375ml bottle…
The venerable coolship. Some of the best beers in America (in my opinion) come out of this small bin.
If you don’t know what a coolship is, Allagash has a three part blog on it: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
The small windows are where the outside air comes in with the wild flora and microorganisms come in and inoculate the liquid below as it cools overnight.
That’s all folks! It was a great experience and I would strongly recommend the Grand Cru tour if your ever in the area. It ain’t cheap at $100 per person, but the proceeds go straight to local charities, we got to see how the largest brewery in Maine operates, and we had plenty of samples to taste. Our three hour tour turned into almost four, and we probably could have gone on for at least another hour or two to really get to everything. The culture at Allagash is absolutely outstanding too, they are amazing people.
I actually like the average cider more than the average beer. Cider is more expensive and less popular though, so there’s not as much variety as I’d like
Clean up in aisle me.