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After a raucous night of tasting imperial stouts I managed to get out early in the morning (around 11am) and shlep over to Toronado for their 22nd anniversary. By the time I arrived there was quite a bit of a line, but luckily found Alex and Party Dan close to the entrance and joined them in line (thanks fellas!). Once in we had to wait some 30 minutes before getting the first beer as the crowd of beer geeks stampeded into the bar.  Like many, I was looking forward to Lost Abbey’s Cable Car blonde sour and that’s what I drank most of the day. The was many other special and rare releases, most of which I don’t remember, oh well. The Nelson IPA really stood out, it was amazing and holds up to Pliny any day. We sat in the rarely visited back area of Toronado, right next to the food. Steve brought in a bunch of Hawaiian BBQ which was awesome. Overall, a great day and can’t wait till next year.

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cherriesJust saw an awesome recipe posted by Sean Z. Paxton, The Homebrew Chef, on the Bottoms Up Blog. The recipe is for cherries pickled in Jolly Pumpkin’s La Roja, a Flanders Red style of beer that has a nice sourness to it. I have a couple bottles of this beer in the cellar so I just might give this recipe a try. Here’s some words from the chef:

A perfect way to capture a season. By using a sour beer and some vinegar, cherries can be preserved and enhanced at the same time, to be served at a later day or for a special dinner. Try these cherries with a cheese plate, serve with a grilled piece of veal or pork, a torchon of foie gras, or even as the cherry for your Manhattan cocktail. The beer and spices blend with the cherries sweet and sour flavor, creating harmony on the palate.

Sounds awesome, eh? Get the recipe over at Bottoms Up.

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Brewers Association Reports Mid-Year Craft Brewing Numbers
Number of US Breweries the Highest in 100 Years

Boulder, CO • August 17, 2009 – The Brewers Association, the trade association representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies, reports America’s small and independent craft brewers¹ are still growing (see Craft Brewing Statistics) despite many challenges and are continuing to provide jobs to the U.S. economy. Dollar growth from craft brewers during the first half of 2009 increased 9%, down from 11% growth during the same period in 2008. Volume of craft brewed beer sold grew 5% for the first six months in 2009, compared to 6.5% growth in the first half of 2008. Barrels sold by craft brewers for the first half of the year is an estimated 4.2 million, compared to 4 million barrels sold in the first half of 2008.

“At a time when many of the giant beer brands are declining, small and independent craft brewers are organically growing their share and slowly gaining shelf and restaurant menu space one glass of craft beer at a time,” said Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association.

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The number of US Breweries is the highest it has been in 100 years.
Download a high resolution version of this image.

The U.S. now boasts 1,525 breweries, the highest number in 100 years when consolidation and the run up to Prohibition reduced the number of breweries to 1,498 in 1910. “The U.S. has more breweries than any other nation and produces a greater diversity of beer styles than anywhere else, thanks to craft brewer innovation,” Gatza added.

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