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The Craft & Curd Beer Club

Posted by Tom Kisthart on

This posting is of the first email to our beer club members. The Craft & Curd beer club is $25 per month and gets you two unique bottles each month largely from the esteemed Shelton Brothers portfolio. You can join by emailing Tom@craftcurd.com with the subject line Beer Club. The club is currently only open for in store bottle pickup.  
Hello Beer Club Members,
February's selections are now ready to pickup at your convenience. And they are...
Les Trois Mousquetaires Grande Cuvee Edition Speciale
Crooked Stave Wild Sage Brett Saison
While I billed this club as Shelton Brothers selection focused, Crooked Stave is not fully part of the Shelton portfolio. Shelton's distributor here in FL (Progressive) distributes them and Shelton Brothers themselves distribute Crooked Stave in another state. Nonetheless, Crooked Stave is very much of the philosophy of their portfolio. 
The Wild Sage will likely be the more risky selection this month. Everyone may not like it. I picked it (first because I think it's delicious) to illustrate the concept of terroir (or sense of place) in relation to beer and because of the interesting food pairing possibilities. 
Terroir is a term thrown around a lot in wine talk. It takes many things into account mainly in the vineyard like composition of soil, elevation, surrounding area and even the culture of the region that has come to shape the wines. No place in the world can replicate the taste of Chardonnay from the Montrachet vineyard in Burgundy. Think cloning Hunahpu will make you rich? Figure out how to clone Montrachet and you'll be filthy rich. 
I've only just begun exploring the concept of terroir in beer. Since I'm first a wine guy, it's a theme that will pop up again throughout the club selections. 
Crooked Stave definitely had terroir on the mind when creating this beer. It's brewed with lemongrass and white sage from their surrounding area in Colorado. Maybe this is the brewer's interpretation of what it feels like to walk through Colorado mountains in the spring. 
All of the beers they make can be classified as sours. I hate the term sour, for me it's just beer with pronounced acidity. Think New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or dry Riesling. And all of their beers at some point are exposed to the strain of yeast known as Brettanomyces. Brett can produce a range of flavors like pineapple, pear, hay or funkier ones like horse-blanket (I'm quoting here) barnyard and even deeper into the funk spectrum. In addition to the Brett they're also going to be using the more common strain of yeast as well. I'm curious to know more about where their yeast comes from and if it is native to the area. As every good winemaker knows, the expression of place gets muted with yeast from a lab.
Vietnamese and Thai food will both go awesome with this beer largely due to the abundance of fresh herbs in those cuisines. Slurp down a big bowl of Pho was this and you'll be in paradise. It will act as a refresher for any spice you add and the Brett should compliment the savory aspect of the soup. Will also work well with Korean. I haven't tasted this with kimchi but I'm willing to bet it will go perfectly. 
Les Trois Mousquetaires Grande Cuvee Edition Speciale
 
I have a lot less to say about this beer as there is little info online. The Facebook link on the back of the bottle took me to what appeared to be a gay version of the movie three musketeers. Maybe they're also into film production. To use the hackneyed expression, the beer will speak for itself once you get it into a snifter. This is a baltic porter that's aged in both old bourbon and brandy barrels. The combination of the two really comes together to make a very complex beverage. Drink on it's own or maybe try with some really old cheddar or bresaola (air-dried beef). It's a 750ml bottle so get some friends involved in this one. The brewery is based out of Quebec. 
I really hope you enjoy these two selections. 
Next week we have our first tasting for beer club members. My Shelton Brothers / Progressive rep Melanie will be here next Wednesday 2/15 6-00 - 8:00 pouring selections from Mikkeller including ones from their San Diego brewery. She's quiet like myself but ask her anything about beer and you'll get her doing. She has deep knowledge. The tasting is free to beer club members (aka you guys & 2 gals) and will be open to non-members (aka losers) for a $5 charge. We'll also have some drink specials for members that night. 
Be sure to take advantage of your member discounts: 10% off growler fills and 15% off glasses of beer. Same stuff on draft right now. We'll probably have a few new things tomorrow once our new keg machine is up and running. We'll have a total of 6 taps now!  

New Releases From Funky Buddha Brewery December & January

Posted by Tom Kisthart on

'Tis the season for exciting new releases from our favorite Florida brewery: Funky Buddha.

Their cocaine-themed chocolate milk porter Nib Smuggler is out now and we should have available through January. 

Strawberry Shortcake which is part of their Little Buddha Small Batch Series is available at the time of this writing but these things tend to go quick. It's a wheat ale with strawberries and vanilla added.

Later in December is when it gets really interesting. We hope to get our hands on some of their I'm so excited I'm scared. From what I can tell it's their Imperial Russian Stout (Nikolai Vorlauf) with coffee and vanilla added. Sadly, it looks like the original version of Nikolai Vorlauf will be kept as a tasting room only release this year.

Also later in the month, they're releasing something new called Last Buffalo in the Park which is Buffalo Trace barrel aged Snowed In (aka barrel aged Imperial Last Snow). We're told that we will be able to get our hands on some, stay tuned for release date. 

January is when they release their most famous beer Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. In the past it's been available by attending the festival only but this year I'm told bottles are hitting distribution throughout the state. Also new this year, various establishments in Florida will all be taping a keg of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter on the same day which will be January 26th. Guess who scored a spot on the list.

Be sure you're signed up to our email newsletter to keep up to date with releases. You can do so here and like us on Facebook here. Some of the more exclusive releases like Last Buffalo in the Park we may not list on Beermenus but we do keep everything up to date there so please signup for updates on that very useful site. And if you're into this sort of thing, don't forget that we're the main Tampa hookup for pulp bottle shippers if you need to transport some "yeast samples". 

Stay funky!