#56: Copacabana Beach (85)

I took the opportunity to travel to Brazil in January — you always need a break from the cold, right?  Soooooo … since I’m working through The Growler List, I figured I might as well add another to my list … #56 for me  … drink a beer on Copacabana Beach.


I gotta tell ya, I wouldn’t put this place on the Growler List for “best places to drink a beer in your life.”  I would put it on there for “best places to drink a Caldo de Coco or a Caipirinha.”  IMG_2570

Definitely put it on your Bucket List.  Let’s be honest, Brazil is not really know for great beers … however, they do sport a wide array of Lagers/Pilsners due to a large German population the South.  As a matter of fact, the Blumenau Oktoberfest is one of the largest in the world.  Brazil is experiencing a small renaissance of microbreweries — we will see if they take hold.  I visited one in Curitiba and will have another post about it.  But back to Copacabana.  Wow.  What a great location and a great beach.  Whatever you choose to drink here, it will be memorable!  Highly recommend,

Beer Mentor.

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#40: Blues Bar (Stone Town, Zanzibar) (#41)

This is the first of several entries to catch you lucky readers up with my Growler List visits. This is my 40th stop on the Growler List (#41 on their list).   I was in Africa for most of 2012 and decided to spend my New Year’s in Zanzibar.

There were several reasons, but chief among them was the desire to visit the Blues Bar.  Imagine my chagrin when I realized this place was closed… if you look closely at this photo you can see the fallen down building that used to be the Blues Bar.


Of course, I didn’t realize it was closed until I had already booked my trip.  No problem!  I knew it would be an awesome time anyway and it was.  Fantastic even.  We stopped in at Mercurys right on the beach.  This place was named in honor of Freddy Mercury who was born in Zanzibar.  The picture above was taken from the deck.  Here’s a series of photos of the place so you can see the feel is quite awesome.

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Great place to drink a beer … and even better when you are drinking a Gin and Tonic!  Hey, I like other things besides beer!  Although this place was spectacular, I would probably rate the sunset cruise (with beer) even better … or even the Sunset Bar at the Africa House.  Both of those were awesome!

DSC_0942 DSC_0951 Nope, not pirates … thank goodness!

What kind of beer you ask?  What everyone drinks in Africa … a lager.  Haha.  Another one off the Growler List … I will keep them coming!

Beer Mentor


Beer 27/Day 27 – Rochefort 10

Well, I said I was going to drink only fantastic beers for the next two weeks–this is an awesome start!  Many beer-aficionados say that Rochefort 10 is one of the best beers in the world.  Ranks in the top 20 on beeradvocate and in the top 10 on ratebeer.  Of course, these websites are heavily skewed by Americans.  So the rankings on these sites are like calling the American Major League Baseball Championship the “World Series.”  Regardless, this Rochefort 10 is an amazing Quadrupel (Belgian Strong Ale).



Of course I am of the opinion that, if you can get them, it is appropriate to drink a beer out of the glass designed for that beer.  I bought this glass at Achel Brewery (they had an amazing beer glass selection too!)



Actually I bought this case of Rochefort at Achel too–I was living in Germany at the time.  I drank all of that beer.  Fortunately, not 5 minutes from my house is Randalls.  Awesome store.  Their beer selection is amazing.



Currently I have some nice homebrew in this case ready for consumption!

I visited this brewery in 2009 and I have to say it wasn’t very inviting.  It is kind of outside of a small town and there’s no real signs to guide you to any “visitor’s center.”

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Both Achel, Westmalle, and Westvleteren are similar, except they each have focused visitor locations.  The beer store at Achel is amazing.

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The Cafes at both Westvleteren and Westmalle are exceptional.  The two most inviting Trappist breweries are Chimay and Orval.  Many times there is a Monk answering questions at Chimay and you can enter some of the grounds.  Orval has a nice tourist setup and  you can also schedule tours of the brewery.  Well worth a visit.

Enjoy!  Beer Mentor

365 Beers … in 365 Days? First: Perennial Artisan Ales Hommel Bier!

Woo Hoo!  I took this 180 beers in 180 days challenge two years ago (see previous posts) … and I ended up making it to 250 beers/250 days.  This time … I’m going for the full year!  (I have to pad my Beer Drinker of the Year resume … (haha).

The first beer?  It is a Perennial Artisan Ales work … the Hommel Bier.

Yep, I went for the growler!  Beer advocate gives this beer an 89 and I have to agree.  It is almost a match to the Poperinge Hommel Ale (almost) … I just close my eyes and I’m back at the Hotel de la Paix enjoying one on draft!  But I digress … I liked this beer so much I did a taste test while at Tripel in Lafayette Square.

If you are in St Louis, I really recommend a visit to Perennial.  They are a little difficult to find (the GPS address takes you to the backside of the place … just drive around the block!)  The folks are awesome, they are really passionate about their brews and you can tell.  The Head Brewer has some side projects on-going and they usually have something really special on tap.  Worth a Trip!    Here’s a few pics of the place …
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Enjoy!  Beer Mentor


Summary Update #3: All About Beers Growler List

Not sure where my mind has been the last year … but it’s time for another update on my Growler list work.  As a reminder, this list is my effort to complete the All About Beer Magazine’s “Growler List.”  125 best places in the world to have a beer.

From the summary — see my earlier post for explanation:

Total (actual) places visited: 50.  I visited 11 places since my last post — my brothers and my best friend joined me in Europe for a 2 week swing (that post will come soon!).  Those I’ve visited since my last post:

3) U Fleku (Prague, Czech Rep)

6) Augustiner Keller (Munich, Germany)IMG_2553

28) Zum Uerige (Dusseldorf, Germany)

37) Atelier am Dom (Cologne, Germany)

41) Blues Bar (Stone Town, Zanzibar)
[This place was closed so I substituted Mercury’s …
you can see the old Blues Bar from the Deck]

61) Krcma (Ceske Krumlov, Czech Rep)

68) Gösser Bierklinik (Vienna, Austria)

73) Schlenkerla Brewery Tavern (Bamberg, Germany)

77) Die Weisse (Salzburg, Austria)

78) Halve Maan Brewery (Bruges, Belgium)

90. Cantillon Brewery and Gueuze Museum (Brussels, Belgium)


Place substitutions: 5

Substituting for a place no longer open: 2

That gives me a total of 50 “visited.”   Here’s the complete list of places I’ve visited …

1. Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006)
2. The Grand Place, Brussells, Belgium (2010) (2012)
3. U Fleku, Prague, Czech Republic (2012)
5. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany  (1998) (2012)
6. Augustiner Keller, Munich, Germany (2012)
7. Abbaye de Notre-Dame d’Orval, Orval, Belgium (2009) (2012)
11. Hofbrauhaus, Munich, Germany (1997, 1998, 2001, 2012)
12. The Brickskeller (now Bier Baron), Washington, DC (2005, 2011)
14. The Market Porter, Stoney Street, London, England (2010)
15. Cat’s Eye Pub, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD (2011)
16. Camden Yards (Baltimore) [Substitute] (2008, 2009)
19. Glengarry Highland Games Beer Tent (Maxville, Ontario) (2003, 2011) [Substitute]
22. German Bundesliga (Kaiserslautern) (1997) [Substitute]
25. World Beer Festival, Durham/Raleigh, NC (2011)
28. Zum Uerige, Dusseldorf, Germany (2012)
30. The Olde Mitre Tavern, Ely Court, Hatton Garden, London, England (2010)
31. Cowboys/Redskins, FedEx Field Sky Box (DC) (2009)
33. The Wynkoop Brewery, Denver, CO (2011)
37. Atelier am Dom, Cologne, Germany (2012)
39. The Flying Saucer, NC, SC, TN, AR and TX (2010, 2013)
41. Blues Bar, Stone Town, Zanzibar (closed) [sub: mercury’s] (2013)
44. Tailgating Frankfurt Galaxy NFL Europe Game (1996, 1997)
45. Selin’s Grove Brewing, Selinsgrove, PA (2010)
48. The Blue Tusk, Syracuse, NY (2010)
51. The White Horse Pub, Parsons Green, London, England (2010)
54. Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO (2011)
57. Andechs Monastery, Andechs, Germany (2010) (2012)
61. Krcma, Ceske Krumlov, Czech Republic (2012)
66. Delerium Café, Brussels, Belgium (2010) (2012)
68. Gösser Bierklinik, Vienna, Austria (2012)
71. Brewer’s Art, Baltimore, MD (2010)
73. Schlenkerla Brewery Tavern, Bamberg, Germany (2012)
77. Die Weisse, Salzburg, Austria (2012)
78. Halve Maan Brewery, Bruges, Belgium (2012)
80. Le Bier Circus, Brussels, Belgium (2010) (2012)
82. Irseer Klosterbrauerei, Irsee, Germany (2010) (2012)
90. Cantillon Brewery and Gueuze Museum, Belgium  (2012)
91. Dogfish Head Ale House, Rehoboth Beach, DE (2010)
92. Belgo Centraal, London, England (2010)
97. Clark’s Ale House, Syracuse, NY (2010)
103. Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery, Key West, FL (2007)
104. Rose & Crown Pub, Epcot Center, Orlando, FL (2006)
106. Brick Store Pub, Decatur, GA (2011)
110. The Gingerman, Austin, TX (2010)
114. The Dubliner, Washington, DC (2010)
118. Top of the Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Chapel Hill, NC (2011)
121. Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, DC (2010)
122. 5 Seasons Brewing, Atlanta, GA (2011)
123. Tim Schafer’s at Lake Norman, Sherrills Ford, NC
[CLOSED] Sub–In de Vrede (Belgium) (2010, 2012)
124. Stumbling Monk, Seattle. WA (2011)

More to come!   Beer Mentor

Whoa. Where’d the last year go??


Wow!  I looked up the other day and realized I’ve missed a complete year (plus!) of blogging!  Terrible.  But I haven’t been idle for the last year — I will be updating “back-posts” … there’s been a lot of exciting things going on with the Beer Mentor this last year — to include a move to St Lous, MO!  Here’s a picture to whet your appetite for upcoming blogs … World of beer anyone??

day-0-51Enjoy again!  Beer Mentor


South Africa: Newland’s Brewery

I had the opportunity to travel to South Africa in June of 2012.  While there I made it a point of touring the oldest brewery in South Africa … Newland’s Brewery.  Technically it was the Mariendahl Brewery in the early 1800’s, but all breweries eventually change, don’t they?  Well … maybe not some German breweries.  haha.

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Yes … Newland’s is a part of the SAB family of breweries.  Regardless, the brewery was awesome, the people were great, and the beer was good.  I recommend a quick pass out that way if in Capetown.  The tour is 5 Rand I think … and you get to sit in the pub at the end and have a few!

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This place has quite the history — and it’s well worth the tour.  I know most people think of wine in South Africa but there is definitely a tradition of beer brewing.  I enjoyed the lagers (naturally … what country doesn’t server lagers on the African continent?) and the Stout.  Like I said — you get to enjoy yourself at the end of the tour.  Reminded me of all my US brewery tours.  haha.

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Enjoy!  Beer Mentor

Abita Brewing … Restoration Ale

On my way back to Texas in December I was looking for a place to stop overnight … I was scanning the map (should have been scanning the “Beer Mapping” tool), but I was just using good ole’ Google.   I was trying to make my way through New Orleans so I could stop at Cooter Brown’s.   Since I had my Mountain Bikes on my car and all my luggage,  I didn’t want to stop downtown New Orleans so I was looking for a place up around the I-12/I-10 interchange and realized Abita Springs was up there!!  Yes.  What did that mean?  Well, Abita brewing obviously!   After a little more searching I found out they have a brew pub in their Original Brewery.

I pulled into this place and was pleasantly surprised.  It was not crowded at all, the people were friendly, and they had a full selection of their beers on tap.   I spent a couple of pleasant hours in this place — best of all, they had a cask-conditioned version of Abita’s Restoration Ale.  Wow!  It was very good.


If you are passing through and would like a refreshing, local brew and some pretty good food I recommend a stop.  It was a nice diversion on my drive to Texas!


I understand that the brew pub is not owned by Abita but it was nice anyway.  Once I was finished I drove by the Brewery just to say I’d been there — I think they were having their Christmas Party that night!  haha.


Beer Mentor

Kempinski Resort in Djibouti

So if you come visit Djibouti I would recommend staying in a couple of places.  There’s a Sheraton here.  There’s also this place: Kempinski Resort.  This place is a five-star hotel/resort.  You have to see it to believe it.  It has as many as five bars to choose from … Check out the details here.

Last Friday I had the pleasure of hanging with some friends at the Kempinski.  What was special about it?  Well … besides the live music, great scenery, they had both Stella Artois and Leffe on tap.  The only drawback on having Belgian beers available was that they didn’t have the right glasses for it.  However, that’s ok — I enjoyed the glass they gave me for my Leffe … especially since I could only have two!

Ha ha.  Again … the Kempinski is a nice plan to go if you are in the area! :o)

Beer Mentor