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Beer dinners return to Kickbacks with New Belgium Lost in the Woods event

FullSizeRender With the opening of Goozlepipe & Guttyworks expansion, Steve Flores has essentially quadrupled the size of his popular King Street Beer District anchor Kickback’s Gastropub. During the long construction phase of the project, Flores made the conscious decision to suspend hosting his popular beer dinners. But, the long drought is over with the highly successful event he hosted with New Belgium Brewing Company Saturday, February 7.

Nestled in the still-under-construction Belgian basement of G&G, the dinner was timed to coincide with the brewery’s annual Lost in the Woods event in Ft. Collins, Colo. The event in Colorado opens the doors of the brewery to lucky ticket-holders who are given a behind-the-scenes look at the brewery’s acclaimed sour beer program.

IMG_4988The Jacksonville event had diners seated in a dining and bar area reminiscent of a medieval brick beer cellar smack in the middle of Belgium. One could almost imagine robed monks toiling away behind the brick walls, making the kind of amazing beer they are known for.

Dinner consisted of eight courses; each paired with or made with one of New Belgium’s brews. But, it was the beer list that was truly impressive. Interspersed with the food were 25 beers including some of the most sought-after brews New Belgium has ever produced.

As the dinner unfolded, guest were treated to insightful information from local New Belgium Beer Ranger Kirsten Kelly. She related the story of how the brewery was founded and its dedication to green processes. She also provided details on how the beers being served were created.

Flores also provided details about his plans for the Belgian Basement. Once it is fully operational, the basement will serve only beers brewed in Belgium, not Belgian-style beers produced in other parts of the world. The IMG_4994basement will also feature catacombs for storing and aging beers, lockers that can be rented by guests to store their rare and vintage brews and a grand, circular tasting room reminiscent of the tasting rooms found in the great wine producing areas of the world.

For those interested in the beer list, guest were treated to:

  1. Fat Tire – New Belgium’s flagship amber ale, 5.2%.
  2. Lips of Faith Paardebloem – Brewed with Red Rock brewery, this is a Belgian-style Strong Pale Ale brewed with peach juice, grains of paradise, dandelion greens and blended with wood-aged ale, 9%.
  3. Snapshot – A refreshingly tart American wheat ale, 5%.
  4. Lips of Faith Heavenly Feijoa – Brewed with Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, this is a Belgian-style Triple with hibiscus flowers and feijoa fruit, 9%.
  5. Lips of Faith Pluot – Another Belgian-style Triple, this time brewed with pluot (a cross between a plum and an apricot) juice, 10%.
  6. Lips of Faith Gratzer – Brewed in collaboration with 3 Floyds, this Polish-style beer is made with smoked wheat for a delicious smoky flavor, 4.5%.
  7. Lips of Faith Coconut Curry Hefeweizen – Brewed with cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime and cayenne pepper, 8%.
  8. Lips of Faith Gruit – Includes seasonings such as horehound, bog myrtle, yarrow, wormwood and elderflowers, 6.6%.
  9. Slow Ride – A refreshingly and drinkable session IPA, 4.5%.
  10. Ranger – New Belgium’s flagship IPA, 6.5%.
  11. Rampant – An Imperial IPA weighing in at 8.5%.
  12. Portage – A smooth porter with flavors of chocolate and coffee, 6%.
  13. 1554 – Black lager, 5.6%.
  14. Trippel – Belgian-style tripel brewed with coriander, 7.8%.
  15. Lips of Faith Yuzu – An Imperial Berliner Weisse brewed with yuzu (an Asian citrus fruit) juice, 8%.
  16. Wild2 Dubbel – A Belgian-style Dubbel brewed with schisandra berries, 8%.
  17. Lips of Faith Anaheim and Marash Chilies Ale – Brewed with Cigar City Brewing Company this beer was aged on Spanish cedar spirals.
  18. Lips of Faith Cascura Quad – Belgian-style Quad brewed with date sugar and coffee cherries, 10%.
  19. Lips of Faith la Terrior – Dry-hopped sour ale aged in oak foeders for three years, 7.5%.
  20. Lips of Faith la Folie 2014 – Sour brown ale aged for one to three years in oak foeders, 7%.
  21. Lips of Faith la Folie 2015 — Sour brown ale aged for one to three years in oak foeders, 7%.
  22. Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek 2014 – Cherry lambic spontaneously fermented in Belgium with cherries and blended with golden ale, 8%.
  23. Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek 2015 – Cherry lambic spontaneously fermented in Belgium with cherries and blended with golden ale, 8%.
  24. NBB Love Leopold – American wild ale and Oscar blend aged in Leopold Brothers Distillery Blackberry Whiskey barrels, 9.5%.
  25. Salted Belgium Chocolate Stout – Brewed with Perennial Artisan Ales, this stout is brewed with cocoa powder and table salt, 9%.

Flores promised that the tradition of beer dinners would continue and that the next one would be in just a few months.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Beer Dinner

 

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Intuition Ale Works’ Underdark is coming, prepare yourself

UNDERDARK-poster-460x710Once per year Intuition Ale Works releases a beer that has become a legend in the craft beer community. This year, on Saturday February 1st, the brewery will release their coveted Underdark Imperials Stout. Last year’s release of the inky black brew garnered rave reviews at RateBeer.com earning 98 out of 100 points. On Beeradvocate.com the brew attained 94 out of 100 and an Outstanding rating.

Underdark is a mixture of several of Inuition’s other, popular beers King Street and Truck Stop Stouts that has been aged in bourbon barrels.

Last year’s release was described by Steve Flores owner of Kickbacks Gastropub on Beer Advocate: “Aroma dominated by coffee, slight vanilla and molasses and just a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous. Very thick. Taste has nice coffee, touch of chocolate and vanilla, lots of roasted malts. Plenty of complexity but I think more layers will be added to the mix with additional aging in the bottle. Alcohol is well hidden. Deep. Dark. Mysterious. Perfect name, spectacular beer.”

The brewery has stated in an email newsletter that they set aside a limited quantity of last year’s release so that beer lovers could compare the beer with some age on it side-by-side with the new release.

As is fitting of such a huge release, the brewery is throwing a party and will shut down King Street like they did for their anniversary in November. In addition to Underdark, there will be a number of guest beers on tap. Hungry party-goers can chow down from two food trucks: Funkadelic and Chew Chew.

The 2014 release of Underdark bomber bottles will go on sale at 12:00 noon for $15 each. Purchasers must show a valid government-issued ID to purchase. A strict limit of two bottles per person will be adhered to. In addition to the beer, Underdark t-shirts ($20) and snifters ($6) will be available.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Beer Festival, Intuition Ale Works

 

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Jacksonville bubbling over with great places to eat while enjoying craft beer

A burger paired with craft beer at Kickbacks Gastropub. Photo courtesy of jaxbrewbitch.com

A burger paired with craft beer at Kickbacks Gastropub. Photo courtesy of jaxbrewbitch.com

When you are looking for the best place to grab a bite along with a pint of freshly-made craft beer you do not need to look much further than the hundreds of brew and gastro pubs that have popped up around the country. Matching great beer to food is quickly becoming as popular as matching food with fine wines. So much so that there are several programs that seek to certify beer servers in much the same way wine servers can be certified as a sommelier.

Here in Jacksonville, Fla. weary travelers staying downtown can catch a quick cab ride to the King Street Beer District to dine at Kickbacks Gastropub and its soon-to-open companion establishment Goozlepipes & Guttyworks where they will find over 200 draft beer choices. Also in the area are restaurants with estensive beer offerings like The Blind Fig, European Street Café, Lola’s Burrito Joint, Carmine’s Pie House or Pele’s Wood Fire. For those with a smaller appetite but a thirst for craft beer, there is the soon to be open Silver Cow that will feature an ever-changing menu of small bites made fresh from locally sourced ingredients.

Further away from downtown are brew pub restaurants like Seven Bridges and World of Beer at Tinseltown on Southside Boulevard. Seven Bridges, part of the Gordon Biersch restaurant chain, brews its own beers on site and serves them paired with a full menu of steaks, seafood, and poultry. At World of Beer find 50 taps of craft beer and over 500 bottled beers along with a menu of flat breads pizzas, sandwiches and other pub fare. At the beaches one of the areas oldest brew pubs, Ragtime – now part of the Gordon Biersch company – serves freshly brewed beers along with Irish-inspired dishes. A block or so down the street from Ragtime is Poe’s a restaurant themed after Edgar Allan Poe that serves an array of unique burgers along with a large selection of quality craft beers.

Another idea for craft beer and food might be to swing by one of the several local brewery tap rooms that wither offer food or host food trucks for hungry patrons. Aardwolf Brewing Company in the San Marco area near downtown often has a food truck outside providing tasty dishes that beer-lovers can carry inside to enjoy with a cold pint. And Bold City Brewing Company has an in-house caterer called Jolly Mon that provides burgers, wings and other tasty foods fresh from its grill in the brewery. In Orange Park, Pinglehead Brewing Company exists inside the same storefront as Brewer’s Pizza and therefore benefits from its ability to provide hot, fresh pizza as well as cold beer. At the beaches Engine 15 Brewing Company serves up pub grub along with freshly-brewed beers to throngs of thirsty beach-goers and local alike.

But, even if a brewery does not offer on-premises food, all allow food to be brought in. At the Intuition Ales Works tap room in the Beer District, guests are encouraged to bring their own food or to order from the list of restaurants that deliver. The tap room staff maintains several menus behind the counter for perusal or can certainly make a suggestion. Similarly, the staff of Mile Marker Brewing Company in St. Augustine is pleased to allow outside food into the tap room.

Given the wide range of establishments available for the beer-lover to both dine and enjoy craft beer, there is no reason not to indulge. And, as craft beer expands in popularity, more and more venues will be added to the fray. For hungry craft beer-lovers, the times are indeed tasty.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Beer Food Pairing

 

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Jacksonville’s King Street Beer District infographic

Lately I have been really into infographics. I love the way they can convey a lot of information in an easy to understand format. In the spirit of these fun graphics, I have created the image below for your enjoyment. I hope you like it and will share it with your friends.King_Street_Infographic

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Infographic

 

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