Thursday, November 30, 2006
We have a good amount of barrel aged beer to serve. Come drink it.
(These are the kinds of beers we are serving)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Man Skirt Wee Heavy (8.3% abv)
This year's winter warmer is a hearty scotch ale. Deep mahogany, malty, and a little peaty smoke thrown in too. Medium carameled body, with very little hop presence, and a warming alcohol finish, it's big but very enjoyable.
Replicale Saison (6.3% abv)
This year's installment of the Illinois Craft Brewer's Guild's Replicale project is a belgian-style farmhouse saison. Ours ended up very fruity and spicy from the saison yeast that we let go wild. Look for a pale to yellow beer that has a complex, tart, and refreshing flavor to it.House Beers----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Zephyr Golden Ale
Our lightest beer, the Zephyr is a light and refreshing golden blond ale in the style of premium American beer. Brewed with three varieties of hops and a touch of rice, this light golden ale provides a smooth introduction to the distinctive flavors of our premium quality handcrafted beers.
Gandy Dancer Honey Rye Ale
With a blend of aromatic rye and a whisper of Orange Blossom honey, our Gandy Dancer is light and sparkling, yet full of flavor. The addition of three varieties of hops guarantees an inviting and complex taste, proving that lighter beers can have character.
Station Master Wheat Ale
A golden, flavorful, and crisp light ale brewed with 46% wheat malt, our Station Master Wheat is distinguished by a hoppy yet smooth taste with a malty body and a subtly spicy aroma.
Chessie Cherry Wheat Ale and Roundhouse Raspberry
Fruit beers originated in Belgium and we at The Station are proud to offer our version of these continental classics. Our light-bodied Chessie Cherry Wheat is a blend of red cherries and wheat ale, which yields a slightly sweet, yet agreeably tart, fruit ale.
Panama Limited Red Ale
Our Panama Limited Red is a hoppy, robust yet smooth amber ale brewed with nine different malts and four types of hops. With its deep amber color and rich malty body, our Panama Limited Red will smoothly transport you into the wonderful world of complex and flavorful handcrafted beers.
Pullman Brown Ale
This robust, dark brown ale gets its rich flavor from seven different malts and three types of hops. The addition of hand-toasted oats and a generous portion of molasses give Pullman Brown Ale an incredible smoothness and quaffability.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Coming up: Tuesday, November 28th, Man Skirt Wee Heavy
Flossmoor hasn't had a wee heavy since Todd took off, in fact it was the last beer he made at Flossmoor before going to Titletown. Man skirt is a big (re: 8.3% abv) beer that's perfect to warm you up in these upcoming cold months. Dark, Carmely, a little peaty smoke, and plenty to enjoy.
December 4th (at 4:20 dude! (not really))
We've been slacking in the Hops department here at Flossmoor for a while. Vishnu's ran out a while ago, and I know you have been hurting for the green stuff. As you may have read earlier on this blog, Mountain Sun/Southern Sun in Boulder Co. makes a beer called Colorado Kind that is full of hops. They also make a bigger, crazier version called Superkind. In a nod to them, this most recent I.P.A. we have concocted has a boatload of Amarillo, Centennial, and Summit Hops. And as a bonus we also threw in some wheatgrass, lemon grass, and hemp seeds. So come the first week of December, look for Kind Ale I.P.A., a 8.5% I.P.A. that should cure what you're jonesing for.
Monday, November 20, 2006
(matt holding the award for driving the biggest P.O.S Toyta Previa in the U.S. awarded by your neighboorhood hacksaw dealer)
It's been a pretty decent year for Matt and I at Flossmoor Station. That may seem to be putting it a little lightly, considering all the stuff that we have walked away with this year at the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Fest, ICBG Barrel Aged Fest, etc, but as Matt has said before, it's not all about awards.
It's great to win, anything, but even if at the end of the day you walk away with nothing more than what you came in with, your brewery doesn't go out of business, they don't take your beer off the shelves, and bars don't shun you away when you come calling.
That being said, winning awards is awesome and makes you feel like all of your time and energy hasn't been wasted on "merely making beer." So lets look back at a year that I won't soon forget.
Smarch 4th, Night of the Living Ales (Popular Vote)
Champion Real Ale of Chicagoland - X-I.P.A.
April 14th, World Beer Cup
Category: 10 Specialty Beer - 17 Entries
Gold: Pullman Brown Ale
Category: 43 Belgian-Style Sour Ale - 22 Entries
Silver: De Wilde Zuidentrein
May 22nd, Radical Beer Open
CATEGORY 4 - WILD
Bronze - De Wilde Zuidentrein
September 30th, Great American Beer Festival
|Pullman Brown Ale||Silver||Specialty Beer|
|Angry Mike's Stoudt Creek||Silver||Experimental Beer|
|Black Wolf Schwarzbier||Gold||German-Style Schwarzbier|
|Wooden Hell||Bronze||Wood- and Barrel-aged Strong Beer|
Small Brewpub Company and Small Brewpub Company Brewer of the Year
November 4th, ICBG Festival of Wood and Barrel-aged Beers
Category 1: Classic Porters & Stouts
Silver - Brown Heaven
Category 3: Barleywines
Gold - Wooden Hell
Category 4/5: Classic Styles, Strong/Double/Imperial Pale Beers
Gold - Ol' Woody
Silver - Ella's Reserve
Runner-Up Best in Show:Ol' Woody
November 11th, Chicago Beer Society Fall Tasting (Blind tasting & popular vote)
Imperial Mocha Stout - 1st place favorite beer
Next year we aren't going to win anything, or make good beer so make sure to get it while you can.
(Don't ever let Matt into a malt house and give him a tour)
Jay Brooks, at Brookston Beer Bulletin, (a great blog that covers craft beer, media's coverage of craft beer, and a litany of other beer related topics) recently mentioned us in a post about brewers who among other things, blog. Go check out his writing (about us) and the other beer stuffs.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
On November 11, 2006, CBS celebrated its 30th Anniversary fall tasting and dinner at Marcello's in Chicago. 111 people sampled 16 extraordinary beers in a blind tasting and voted Flossmoor Station Imperial Mocha Stout as the top beer of the event. Placing second was Goose Island Imperial IPA, while Okocim Porter (from Stawski Imports) took third. The other fantastic beers were: Blue Cat Count Magnus (Belgian strong dark), Brockway Chophouse Sydney's Pale Ale (APA), Emmett's Victory Pale Ale (APA), Jever Pilsner (Raven Import Company), Lakefront Brewery Rendezvous (Bière de Garde), Mickey Finn's Düsseldorf Brown (altbier), New Belgium Saison, The Onion Pub & Brewery Mayzie (traditional bock), Rock Bottom Chicago Imperial Pils, Rogue Brewer Ale (American strong ale), Sprecher Dopple Bock, Three Floyds Gumballhead (hoppy American wheat ale), and Two Brothers Philosophers Stone (Belgian-style specialty, saison).
Saturday, November 11, 2006
That thing is 5lbs of nut roll. It's a nut roll loaf.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Sorry for the delay- if you've been following my three part series on the 2006 GABF where we were fortunate enough to win Small Brewpub or the Year, here is the final installment. If you are new to our little space on the world wide web, you might scroll down to my first two ramblings on this topic.
Deciding what to take to the GABF every year is always tough. There are so many great beers and there are so many factors involved. Putting a beer in the right category, getting your beer into a bottle , and getting it to Denver in good shape are all factors to consider. We knew we were sending our Pullman Brown(silver this year) since it just came off the WBC gold. We would also send some bottles of De Zuidentrein and see if it too could continue its winning ways. Since there was only a small amount of this, we would send it "judge only", meaning it would be judged in the competition, but not be available for the festival-goers.
What else ? After long thought and debate (and careful sampling of many beers) we decided to send a couple of barrel aged beers (Ol' Woody and Wooden Hell-bronze 2006). We also thought we could send our Honey ale since Todd had won awards with it, but it had not been to Denver since I have been at Flossmoor. That was five beers. We rounded it out with Imperial Mocha Stout in the coffee category and Angry Mike's Stoudt Creek. AMSC is an interesting beer, because we had about 6 bottles of it leftover from other occasions. It was the reigning Gold Medalist two years running in the experimental category at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers. However, we had sent it to WBC and GABF before with good comments, but no awards. Our choices were 1) drink it ourselves or 2) send in the last few bottles and see if it could finally win. Luckily we chose #2 and it was 2nd place in the experimental category! Sorry Sam Adams, we were ahead of you again.
So that's the original seven beers we planned to send to the 2006 Great American Beer Festival. We did a lot of thinking, planning and hoping to get our line up ready. As I learned in my days as a teacher, remember the 6 P's. Lesson #8 Proper planning prevents piss poor presentation! Well, it's a good thing we kept thinking about our beers before the final deadline because I was not so sure Gandy Dancer Honey Rye Ale was the beer we should be sending. Andrew and I discussed alternatives and we felt like our newly made Schwarzbier was tasting good and would be perfectly lagered come late Sept. After countless days of waffling, my gut said go with the Schwarz. And go we did, and it's a good thing because without the gold we won with that beer, I would not be telling you about winning Small Brewpub of the year. That decision was huge. Lesson #9 When all else fails, go with your gut.
Alright, fast forward to September 27th. We were off to Denver. See Andrew's previous posts for pics and stories about our great breakfasts, a day in the mountains, and the great people we met and great beers we drank.
As the Festival wore on, I could not help but think ahead to the awards ceremony. We packed a lot into a half week, and it flew by as expected. Saturday came and I was feeling pretty good. Not only did lots of people love our beers (of course they did, who comes by your booth and tells you they hate everything you have) but I was happy with several of the beers we sent. This says a lot because as my wife will attest, I am my own worst critic. I guess this is a good spot for lesson #10 There is always room for improvement.
Even though I was confident that we sent one or two good beers this year, I started early on the routine with Andrew. " No regrets", "Being shut out won't matter" , blah blah blah. We found our seats (standing means pacing-that's not for me). I got a piece of paper out to mainly keep my hands busy and my mind off losing, but also to keep track of what medals my friends won. It's always great when our fellow Illinois brewers do well. It just shows that there ARE other good brewing regions beside the west coast. (eh hem-Piece Brewing WBC Small Brewpub of the year) So the ceremony began. 69 categories. 3 medals in each. It was going to be a long hour or two.
Many of the beers we sent this year and last year were bunched near the beginning of the list.Silver for Pullman Brown in the Specialty category, then Silver for Angry Mike's in the Experimental, then Bronze for Wooden Hell in the Stong Barrel Aged Category. Bam three medals in the first dozen categories. I think people noticed us!
Don't get me wrong, we were MORE than satisfied to win three medals at one GABF, but we did need a gold for the cycle :) Well, just 16 more categories and we would be to the German Style Schwarzbier. BAM! we earned gold. Unbelievable. From that walk on stage my head was spinning and a lot is foggy, so I'll try not to make too much stuff up now. After we got back to our seats, you couldn't have pried the smile off my face. In 28 of the 69 categories, we got to shake hands with Charlie Papazian 4 times! (for those not up to speed in the craft Brewing scene, Papazian would be thought of as a forefather. He was doing IT before there was an IT. Author, brewer, leader, and president of the Brewer's Association). Needless to say we were stunned amazed and in awe. And we had one beer left. I dialed my wife real quick to tell her how things were going. We did have a while until category 56 came up. Andrew just about knocked the phone off my ear. "Knock it off, we have to pay attention, don't jinx it" were some of the ramblings I remember him saying. Well, Zuidentrein did not win anything and we fully understood why. There are some really kickass sour beers being made today in the US. We couldn't stand up. Oh well.
As we collected our thoughts, it dawned on us that those four medals could possibly be enough to get Small Brewpub of the Year (3 pt. for gold, 2 pts for silver and 1 for bronze). They were winding down the medal list and as they did, last year's small brewpub of the year, Pelican in Pacific City Oregon began a landslide of medals. Gold, Gold, Silver, Gold, Bronze. As our categories were all at the beginning, his were all near the end. Well, that's it, we decided. As much as you might daydream about winning the big award(and I did) and hoping you win it, you're pretty sure that's never going to happen. People like me don't win stuff like that. And really who cares. The beer is still good and we did get four medals. Pretty darn good. Honestly. Well, if I'm going to be totally honest, we don't send the beer and pay a hefty entry fee for seven beers just to come home with one bronze medal. Don't get me wrong, I'll take that one bronze medal and wear it proudly, but c'mon, we all want to sit on top, right? so.. while we were thrilled with the results we knew finishing just behind Pelican (a damn great brewery) was a litlle bittersweet.
So they started to name breweries of the year. Large brewery-Pabst, Mid Size-New Glarus, Small-Bear Republic, Large Brewpub-Pelican brewery----What??!!!???
Crap, they must have made enough beer this year to qualify as a large brewpub. Andrew caught my dumfounded glaze. My heart rate rose and my blood pressure pulsed. Could we possibly win the coveted award. Having sat through 90 minutes of awards, you can't really tell who won multiple awards so we didn't know. It seemed like an eternity went by. C'mon...announce it already. And when they did I was shocked, astounded and amazed. I'm certain that there was only about a couple of minutes from the announcement to the time we came off the stage, but in that short time as all the clapping is going on and cameras are being flashed, all the hard work that went into getting to that point went flashing by. Angry Mike's was put together three years ago and aged in a barrel, Wooden Hell was put in a barrel a year ago, the bottling, the delivering of festival beer to Wisconsin, the delivering of bottles to Goose Island, filling out the forms, getting everything out to Denver, waiting, hoping, planning. It was like a big weight was lifted off our backs. The rest is fuzzy. 80 million people said congratulations. Thank you by the way if you said that to me that afternoon and I gave you some mumbled response. It was crazy.
I know to some, it may not seem like much. It's just an award for making beer. But in reality it goes way beyond that. Beyond the fact that it is one of the top awards we can recieve in our industry. Sure, many can argue the flaws of GABF and I know not EVERY beer and brewery in the country was entered(yet they were invited-remember, you can't win if you don't play. Which lesson was that? ;) ) But here's what it really means. My peers, the judges, said that I make quality beers. The judges are beer industry professionals, brewers, beer writers and some are BJCP certified. Many have judged for years and there are several from other countries. In short, they thought so highly of my beers and so many of my beers that we were able to earn the top spot of all the small brewpubs entered. And what it tells me is that all the details that we sweated over (how much hops, how long to age, which beers to send, how much bubble wrap to put around a bottle before sending) all paid off in the end. And no matter what happens down the road, nobody can take away the 2006 Great American Beer Festival.
With our recent wins (WBC and GABF) people have asked me about raising the bar too high. What next? they ask. Well, winning this award once was great, but some might think a fluke. Aw, he was lucky, the naysayers reply. Well, win it twice and we'll make believers. Maybe that's just what we'll do.
You keep drinking great craft beers and I'll keep makin' em. Lesson #11 Drink good Beer!
Monday, November 06, 2006
1st Place Barleywine- Wooden Hell
1st Place Strong/Imperial/Double Pale beers-Ol' Woody
2nd place classic stout and porter- Brown Heaven
2nd Place Strong/Imperial/Double Pale Beers-Ella's Reserve
Runner up for Best of Show- Ol' Woody