While I was away…

I’m back from a week on the road (Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore, and DC) and while I was gone some fun stuff happened, the most fun being this FOX 12 news segment about the Bone Luge. Stephanie Kralevich came into Metrovino to find out what this Bone Luge craze is all about. See also cameo appearances by Metrovino’s owner Todd Steele and local curmudgeon John the Bastard.

In other Bone Luge news, e*starLA gives it a try and declares it delicious, Ludivine continues to spread the love to the uninitiated in Oklahoma City, and JBird in New York will give you the tequila for free with your order of marrow.

In this month’s Los Angeles Times Magazine, Camper English writes about bars making smoky cocktails. The Smokejumper from Metrovino made the list. Fittingly, that’s a drink I came up with while at a friend’s place in LA.

Finally, the Washingtonian wrote up our Bols event in DC, where we hosted the launch of our Stillwater Ales collaboration at the amazing Jack Rose. The Kopstootje should continue to be available next week at one my favorite DC restaurants, Brasserie Beck, where they also made my day by putting the Harvey Weissbanger on the cocktail menu.

Stillwater Artisanal Kopstootje launch tour

NOLA Kopstootje

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know that ordering a Kopstootje, Dutch for “little headbutt,” will get you a tulip glass of genever and a glass of beer. Typically the beer would be a simple lager, but here in Portland we took the idea further by collaborating with the local Upright Brewery to create a beer specifically designed to pair with Bols Genever, Upright Kopstootje Biere. This lightly spiced biere de garde has been a hit two years running, but if you haven’t been in Portland to catch one of the fewer than twenty kegs produced each batch then you’ve had no way to try it.

We enjoyed this collaboration between distillery and brewery so much that we decided to bring it to more cities. To do that we’ve partnered with another rock star brewer, Brian Strumke of Stillwater Ales. Brian set out to create his own perfect match to Bols Genever. His Stillwater Artisanal Kopstootje is a saison-style ale made with barley, rye, wheat, and corn, spiced with botanicals to complement the spirit. Brian is a gypsy brewer who travels the world making unique beers, so I can’t wait to taste what he’s come up with.

Beginning later this month, we’re kicking off a seven-city tour to launch the pairing. We’re starting in New Orleans, then working our way up the East Coast, and finally wrapping up in Chicago. All events are open to the public, so please stop by and order a Kopstootje. I’ll personally be at the events in New Orleans, DC, Chicago, and probably Boston. Lucas Bols Master Distiller Piet van Leijenhorst will visit in New York. Brian from Stillwater and Tal Nadari from Lucas Bols will be attending events as well.

Below is our current schedule of events, which I will update with dates and times as they become available. I hope to see you there!

New Orleans
Monday, 2/27 at Cure, 5-7 pm.
Monday, 2/27 at Bellocq, 11 pm – late.
Tuesday, 2/28 at Avenue Pub, 6 pm.

Baltimore
Wednesday, 2/29 at Alewife.
Wednesday, 2/29 at Ten Ten.

Washington, DC
Thursday, 3/1 at Jack Rose. (6-9 pm)

Philadelphia
Monday, 3/5 at Farmer’s Cabinet.

New York
Tuesday, 3/6 at Vandaag.
Wednesday, 3/7 at Alewife.

Boston
Dates and locations pending.

Chicago
Wednesday, 3/14 at Bangers and Lace.
Wednesday, 3/14 at Three Aces.

Upright and Bols introduce Kopstootje Biere!

kopstootje_biere

It’s been almost a year since I started working for Lucas Bols and I’m not going to lie, I’ve gotten to do some fun things on this job. However none of them is more exciting than the project we’re releasing tomorrow, a collaboration between Bols and Upright Brewing to create the perfect pairing of beer and spirits, the Kopstootje Biere!

The Kopstootje, or “little headbutt,” is the Dutch version of beer and a shot. A tulip glass is filled to the brim with genever and served with a beer back. Since the glass would overflow if moved, the drinker takes the first sip by bending down to take the first sip off the top and then following that with a sip of beer. It’s a surprisingly good match, with the maltiness and botanicals of genever complementing the malt and hops in beer (Bols Genever actually includes hops as one of its botanicals).

A crisp lager would be the usual choice of beer for a Kopstootje, but Oregon is better known for its hoppy ales. So my boss, Tal Nadari, suggested approaching one of Portland’s many local breweries about coming up with a Portland twist on the traditional Dutch drink. I knew right away that Upright is who I wanted to team up with; their farmhouse ales are among my favorite beers and brewer Alex Ganum loves taking on experimental brews, from oyster stouts to sour ales aged in Pinot Noir barrels. Alex also loved the idea of creating a beer designed specifically to par with Bols Genever, so I was thrilled that he decided to collaborate with us.

A few weeks later Alex, fellow Upright brewer Gerritt Ill, and I say down to taste genever and plan the beer. Alex decided on a biere de garde. This a rustic French beer that uses lager yeasts fermented at warm temperatures, fitting into Upright’s farmhouse style. Yet Upright’s beer diverges from the traditional with the addition of many of the same botanicals that go into Bols Genever, including aniseed, ginger, angelica root, licorice, and juniper berries. The result is a dry beer with subtle notes of spice. The beer came out just like we hoped it would and perfectly lives up to its name, Upright Kopstootje Biere.

We’re holding a release party for the beer tomorrow, April 1, at Circa 33 in southeast Portland. Tal, Alex, and I will be on hand and we’ll have $6 Kopstootjes on offer from 5-8. If you can’t join us then, we have a small number of kegs going on tap at some of Portland’s best bars and restaurants: Beaker and Flask, Broder, Clyde Common, Cruz Room, Grain and Gristle, Hop and Vine, Irving Street Kitchen, Spirit of ‘77, Spints Alehouse, St. Jack, and Temple Bar. Get your Kopstootje Biere before it runs out!

For more information:
Ezra Johnson-Greenough on the brewing of Upright’s Kopstootje Biere
David Wondrich on Dutch drinking culture

[Photo by David Lanthan Reamer.]