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Beer Matters: Aurora Brew Works, World of Beer and Marcy Casino

Sam Adams Utopias Vertical Tasting
7 p.m. May 26 at Aurora Brew Works (191 Main St., East Aurora; 652-2337)

Aurora Brew Works will be hosting a vertical tasting of one of the most expensive beers on the market. Copper-plated bottles of Sam Adams Utopias sell for upwards of $200 a bottle. A vertical tasting involves multiple “vintages” of the same beer produced in different years. Bottles are opened during the event and variations in aroma and taste are compared.

In the 2015 release, maple syrup was added to boost the fermentables and the batch of Utopias came in at 27-percent alcohol by volume. The beer was then transferred into multiple bourbon barrels, before being divided into other barrels such as Carcovelos (a Portugese wine), Armagnac, Cognac, tawny port, and ruby port.

Sam Adams Utopias will be available at Aurora Brew Works. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

Sam Adams Utopias will be available at Aurora Brew Works. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

For a more detailed explanation of the process used in creation of Utopias, see the Beer Matters report of an event featuring this beer by clicking here.

ABW will have the following vintages available:

  • 2012 10th Anniversary Utopias (29-percent ABV). Aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon casks and finished in Tawny Port casks, Vintage Ruby Port casks from Portugal, and rum barrels from Nicaragua.
  • 2013 Utopias (28-percent ABV). Aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon casks and 8-year-old Port barrels from Portugal, then blended with a touch of our Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF), a Belgian-style ale barrel-aged for at least nine months (and up to two years) in Hungarian oak tuns.
  • 2015 Utopias (27-percent ABV). Finished in White Carcavelos wine barrels in addition to barrels that once housed cognac, Armagnac, ruby port, sweet Madeira, and Buffalo Trace Bourbon.

Samples will be priced and served by the ounce. There will be no bottles for sale. Cigars and charcuterie will also be available.

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New York State Tap Takeover
11 a.m. June 2 at World of Beer – Walden Galleria (1 Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga; 683-0947)

World of Beer will be celebrating New York-made beer with a complete tap takeover, featuring 50 beers from 50 different breweries.

The tentative draught list features:

Abandon (Penn Yan), Bronx, Butternuts (Garrattsville), Captain Lawrence (Elmsford), Great South Bay (Long Island), Greenport Harbor (LI), Iron Flamingo (Corning), Middle Ages (Syracuse), Sixpoint (Brooklyn), Sloop (Elizaville), Barrier (LI), Ellicottville, Empire (Syracuse), Four Mile (Olean), Genessee Brew House (Rochester), Hamburg, Ommegang (Cooperstown), Ringside (Saratoga Springs), Southern Tier (Lakewood), Woodcock Brothers (Wilson), Three Heads (Rochester), CB Craft Brewers (Honeoye Falls), Keegan Ales (Kingston), Grimm (Brooklyn), Climbing Bines (Penn Yan), Critz Farms (Cazenovia), Galaxy (Binghamton), Horseheads, Keuka (Hammondsport), Roc (Rochester), Rooster Fish (Watkins Glen), Singlecut Beersmiths (Queens), Spider Bite (Holbrook), Wagner Valley (Lodi), Saranac (Utica), Flying Bison, Lake Placid, Ithaca, Brooklyn, Blue Point (Long Island), Upstate (Elmira), Davidson Bros (Glens Falls), Rohrbach (Rochester), Southampton, Resurgence, Shmaltz (Clifton Park), Kuka (Blauvelt), New Buffalo (Akron), Big Ditch, 12 Gates (Williamsville), 42 North (East Aurora)

Also, Community Beer Works will supply a cask of IPA made with all New York hops and malts.

Ciders will include Nine Pin (Albany), Embark (Williamson) and Blackbird (Barker).

There is no admission fee.

World of Beer inside the Walden Galleria Mall. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

World of Beer inside the Walden Galleria Mall. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

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A bottle of Blue Monk Reserve made by Struise Brewery in Belgium. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

A bottle of Blue Monk Reserve made by Struise Brewery in Belgium. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

Struise Blue Monk Reserve Buffalo Release
5 p.m. June 3 at Marcy Casino Buffalo (199 Lincoln Pkwy; 886-0088)

A beer made named after Blue Monk by Struise Brewery in Belgium will be available for the first time in in Buffalo. Blue Monk closed last month as a result of owner differences.

Additional information about Blue Monk Reserve can be found in a previous Beer Matters column here.

Blue Monk Special Reserve is a 10-percent alcohol by volume dark strong ale, aged in French oak barrels from Margaux, France, for three years. The beer is dark brown with a beige head that carries an aroma and bouquet of red wine, a fruity red wine close to currants and black cherries.

This beer will be released at the Marcy Casino. The cost to attend is $16 and includes a Blue Monk-logoed Belgian goblet.

There will be a cash bar with additional Blue Monk bottles as well as Struise's famous Black Albert Stout, bottles from De La Senne, and ToOl.

Tickets are $17.87 ($16 plus fees) and can be purchased here.

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Kevin Wise, Ph.D. is a professor of Biology at Trocaire College who maintains a blog on beer science and beer reviews and can be reached at: buffalobeerbiochemist.com; Facebook: @BuffaloBeerBiochemist; Twitter: @BuffaloBeerBio; Instagram: @buffalobeerbiochemist; Untappd: @BuffaloBeerBiochemist

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