SOOOO, I finally made that long overdue visit to the Beer Army Outpost store! It took me a while to find it, I’m convinced my navigation system is possessed—she’s ancient and can only do one accent…robot! The vibes inside the Outpost were great; people were hanging out enjoying some beer on draft while I wandered around the aisles. It’s just the right size, but I did get lost in the rows of spectacular beers. Seriously, the selections are amazing. The Germany section had all of my favorite buddies from my days in Bavaria—if this experience was an animated series, my eyes would have popped out of my head from excitement. Anyways, I could tell that someone put forth effort in deciding on all of the goodies that filled the shelves.
If I won the lottery, the first place I would hit up would be the Outpost store…no joke! I get so grumpy when I go into a store that doesn’t have an interesting selection of beery-goodness. During the Outpost visit, I could have out-smiled the legendary Wal-Mart greeters. I really like how you can purchase a six-pack or a single bottle, already labeled with the prices. One of my weaknesses is Carolina Strawberry, I mean how can I resist “cream ale brewed with real strawberries”...I grabbed that six-pack as soon as I saw it. I don’t know why I was being a weirdo waltzing around the aisles holding it, but I guess I felt like I had to claim it, immediately. It’s the drink that I order when I want to get a fancy-lady drink without liquor in it; every time I take a sip I feel like I need a Cruella Deville cigarette holder. Fun fact: that fancy-lady cigarette holder is called a quellazaire…oh yes, I’m going to intentionally bust out that term in a conversation even if it isn’t relevant…then again Disney movies always relate to everyday life. Everyone’s met someone that looked like Ursula from The Little Mermaid or sounded like Jafar from Aladdin…bizarre but so true.
I remember tasting Carolina Strawberry for the first time at the first Jolly Skull Beerfest in Greenville. I still have my booklet and next to it are the words: “Cruellaz brew.” After looking through my book the next day, I assumed that I hated it, but I was totally confused because usually when I don’t like a beer, I put the words “blech” and “eww” or draw a sad face next to the name. During the middle of the next night, it came to me: Cruella Deville dresses like a fancy lady! I liked that beer! Mmm, here’s a nice segway to something important, so it’s going to be bold and…capitalized.
TOMMORROW, JANUARY 26, THE 3RD ANNUAL JOLLY SKULL BEERFEST WILL BE AT THE GREENVILLE CONVENTION CENTER….GO GO GO! SO AWESOME, SO MUCH FUN, SO MANY GREAT BEERS!
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this year—I’m so bummed, but people never let you live it down when you miss their wedding festivities. Hopefully, I can come back for the next one— I am after all an ECU pirate…arggggggggh! Some people may think that if you go to the Beerfest once, then that’s good enough, but it’s really just the beginning of the entire beertastic experience. Sometimes after you re-taste a beer, you end up loving it during the next round. Also, there are always new beers that you didn’t get around to tasting or ones that are debuting for the first time. The best part is that you get to taste so many different beers, so you can find out what you like and then you can look cool when you order it at a place that serves it. One of the top ten worst feelings happens when you order a random beer and hope for the best. If it’s good…you’re lucky! If it’s bad…you have to suck it up and chug it, casually walk away or convince your friend that it was bought for them. So, you can look at attending beerfest as an event saving you from embarrassment. For those of you who are stubborn about only drinking default beers:
“I know what I like, so I’m just going to stick to that kind of beer.”
I used to be like that too, but that’s the beauty of testing beers out at a fest, you get to form your own opinion and move on. Better yet, hang around at your favorite booth for some follow-up tasting. If you feel socially awkward, just pretend you’re a judge on Iron Chef: the Beer edition.
If you rewind back to before my ramble about how I wish I was going to Beerfest this year (one more insert…if you can go…you should definitely go…just saying!), I found an Imperial Red Ale at the Outpost store that I couldn’t stop staring at. Check out the label:
*picture contributed from http://omnipollo.com/leon “Artwork by Karl Grandin”
Huh…is the correct response! If you Google translate the name of the beer, En El Bosque, it is Spanish for “in the forest.” I Googled the name and all this information in Spanish came up.
Eventually, I found out that it is imported by 12 Percent in Brooklyn, NY, and is brewed by Omnipollo and Nómada at Companyia Cervesera del Montseny.
When I opened the bottle, it smoked and bubbled like a mini-volcano! Was it because it was dancing around during the car ride home or was it just a part of the beer’s head? I’m going to go with the foam-erupting-on-purpose explanation, since every time I refilled my glass it foammmmmed out. It was beautiful. Maybe I’m not good at pouring out beer but it seemed like more of a gas-filled beer. Some foamy beers are like that (well I’m convinced) to mask the taste by causing a distraction from the extra fluff. This foamy beer was sooooo good! The fluff added a little something extra, which was far from the diverting-attention-type foam. I experienced a similar feeling for this ale to the first time I had Guinness Stout. It’s a beer that I immediately enjoyed; I did not have to convince myself to warm up to it, I’m glad it wasn’t too tarty. Way to go Spain! This brewery knows what they are doing; no wonder 12 Percent imports En El Bosque. In the "About" section the founder and owner, Brian Ewing, shares:
“We import beer for selfish reasons, but with the hope of letting others indulge in our spoils.” The goal of 12 Percent is to share with others the very best of what we travel far to get. We love our beers, and we bring them home as a hobby and a passion…”
I really love it when there is a journey that goes into bringing a wonderful beer to the shelves; it’s kind of like that victorious feeling when Odysseus returned home from his epic adventure. The brewers of Omnipollo, Henok Fentie and Karl Grandin, traveled and teamed up with Nómada brewery in Spain to create the recipe for En El Bosque. Fentie describes it as:“An Imperial Red Ale containing ten specialty malts, rye, moscovado sugar, hops and a hand full of Spanish cranberries (literally a hand full so don’t expect a fruit beer).”
Book I: The brewers worked together to make the epic beer.
Book II: The importers brought the awesomeness to share in America.
Book III: The cool Beer Army Outpost store has the beer available.
The Odyssey contains 24 books, so the En El Bosque journey is way shorter but just as much of a daring voyage. As the beer tasters, we get to help with the completion of the journey’s last leg… the anticipated consumption. I even have that empty bottle displayed in my kitchen, it’s no Trojan Horse, but it still looks impressive!
Catch you later,
Author Script…Leila graduated from East Carolina University. She’s a part of the what-do-I –do-now club, but becoming a journalist seems to be the favorite option...who knows with her spontaneous nature. She believes traveling anywhere and everywhere is the best type of adventure. Rambling is her favorite activity, especially about Pink Floyd and penguins. Don’t get her started on her half Egyptian background, she’ll start going on and on about her personal curses of the Nile.