Meet author of Idaho beer guide at The Front Door tonight

One of the coolest things about the beer culture here in Boise is that local beer peeps are a relatively close knit bunch.

There isn’t a lot of rivalry going on between our four local brewpubs, which each serve a niche in the community. We have a strong homebrewing scene. Many local beer nuts seem to enjoy hanging out and drinking together — and tweeting about it.

If you want to experience that fun for yourselves, stop by the The Front Door, 105 S. 6th St., between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight (Wednesday 12/2) to help celebrate the release of local author Bob Phaff’s new travelogue, “ A guide to the beers and breweries of Idaho.”

What a surprise — you can’t buy Sam Adams’ Utopias in Idaho

Boise is a great beer town and Idaho is an up and coming craft brewing state — but we still have some of the most antiquated and assinine beer laws around.

The issue with Sam Adams’ much coveted Utopias? It has too much alcohol in it to be classified as a beer in Idaho — at 27 percent alcohol by volume.

It doesn’t matter that you can buy whiskey and other liquor at a state dispensary with more alcohol by volume than the Utopias.

I realize this doesn’t adress the issue if you, or anyone else you know, would actually spend $150 for a bottle of the beer brandy-like Utopias. But wouldn’t you like to make that choice, rather than the State of Idaho making it for you? I’m just sayin’.

Brewforia to open specialty beer store on Milwaukee Street this week

Boise-based internet beer retailer Brewforia is opening a temporary store this week — in the real world. As in 435 Milwaukee St.

This means you will be able to just go the Brewforia store (next to the Moxie Java in that strip mall on the west side of the street) and buy many of those bottles of beer you can’t find anywhere else in Boise — instead of waiting for a delivery.

Brewforia owner Rick Boyd hopes to have the store open by Friday, but is still trying to find enough coolers to stock as many as 150 different varieties of craft beer he hopes to have for sale to you, the thirsty and discerning beer customer.

Get your hops here! 9 Fresh hop ales on tap at Bittercreek

One of the things I really love about fall are fresh hop harvest ales — the perfect panacea for a craft beer-loving Cleveland Browns fan.

By my totally unscientific calculations, It’s been about the past five years or so that craft brewers have really embraced the virtues of making fresh hop ales — and getting them on the market ASAP so we can enjoy the ultra fresh aroma and flavors newly picked varieties of the humulus lupulus plant imparts on to our favorite beverage.

To honor the hop harvest, Boise’s best beer bar, Bittercreeek Alehouse (246 N. 8th Street) currently has nine such fresh hop ales on tap. Sweet.

The Ram wins silver medal at GABF for Clearwater Kolsch

Congratulations to Ram brewmaster Kevin Bolen, who won a silver medal today in the 2009 Great American Beer Festival for his Clearwater Kolsch in the German Style Kolsch category.

That marks the fourth medal Bolen as won at the GABF since 2000. Congrats to Kevin and the Ram for representing so well for Boise.

Bolen's Koslch bested 39 other entries in the German Style Kolsch category.

It’s time to drink some beer at the GABF!

Outside of family stuff (Christmas, birthdays, anniversary, etc ...) it is now my favorite time of the year. Yes folks, it’s time for the coolest convention known to man — the Great American Beer Festival.

Seriously. A convention totally focused on American craft beers. A convention where you can sample over 2,000 craft beers (from about 450 different breweries) with over 40,000 fellow imbibers.

For the next three days, there will be not better place to be than the Denver Convention Center for a beer freak — and you can read about the GABF right here at the Beer Nut.

Wait ‘till next year — GABF sold out.

People love to drink their craft beer, even in a crap economy — 2009 marks at least the third year in a row the Great American Beer Festival sold out in advance.

Considering the tickets are $55 each for the cheapest sessions and hotel rooms in Denver are expensive, I was wondering if the economy would keep people away from the GABF this year. The answer? No.

So if any of you guys were planning on making a last second decision to go to the GABF, you are out of luck. Plan for next year, when the biggest and best American beer festival returns to Denver on Sept. 16-18, 2010.

Mixed feelings about Boise BeerFest

There is a lot to discuss about last weekend’s first Boise BeerFest in Ann Morrison Park, but there is one thing organizers can do for sure next year that will exponentially improve the event.

Get signs. Lots of signs.

There was plenty of beer to drink, food to eat, sun to bask in, and grass to chill in.

But there were no signs anywhere. As in signs for what kind of beer you were standing in line to sample. Signs clearly specifying what food was for sale where. Signs on where to get tickets so your kids could play on the inflatable slides.

Signs. That’s the key — especially in the beer tents.

Attention hop heads — Stone 13th Anniversary beer finally in Boise!

Good news from the Boise Co-Op for all you Stone Brewing loving hop freaks in Boise. 13th Anniversary Ale — an Imperial Red style — is finally available for the reasonable price of $5.99 a 22 ounce bottle.

I don’t know about you guys, but I look forward to the Stone Anniversary beers every year because they are so good. The 11th Anniversary black IPA style was so beloved it has entered into their regular beer rotation as the Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, which, unfortunately, hasn’t made it to the Boise market. Yet.

But you can get the 13th Anniversary Ale, which I drank last week and loved the crap out of. It’s a hop lovers masterpiece, Stone’s self-described “hoppiest beer ever.”

Super-rare Old Rasputin XII Russian Imperial Stout now available in Boise

Here is some good news for the Russian Imperial Stout lovers in the Treasure Valley.

For the first time, you don’t have to drive all the way to Fort Bragg’s North Coast Brewing Co. on California’s Mendocino Coast to buy a bottle of the super-rare Old Rasputin anniversary stout, which spent over a year aging in bourbon barrels.

All you have to do this year is drive over the the Boise Co-op, with $15.89 ($14.99 plus .90 cents tax) in your pocket, and you can walk out with a 500 ml (16.9 ounces) bottle of Old Rasputin XII.

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