5/19/2012

#BeerSummit Boston!

So in the midst of the A to Z challenge, I was unable to get in a post about the Beer Summit! http://www.beersummit.com/

The beer summit in Boston was April 13th, and 14th. I went with my friend Mike Johnson from http://www.FestPics.com who was taking pictures of the event.

There were 78 Brewers at the event, each with several brews to share. We got there a bit early so that Mike could set up. We walked around and got some pics of the folks setting up, got to talk with them for a while, and got the lay of the land.

The fest picked up quick, and within no time was packed. I very quickly lost track of Mike, which was OK, because he was busy anyway, and I really have no issues with being on my own. This was my first fest every, but he's been to a billion of em.

By the time the general public was let in, I'd already had a good buzz going. There's a lot I don't really remember, and not because I was wrecked or anything, but simply because a lot of it didn't stick out. All in all everything was "Good", with a few greats,  and a handful of disgusting.

I stopped and talked a while with the guys from Geary's, because during the A to Z challenge, I'd really been kinda blown away by their Winter ale. It was the only beer in the whole challenge that really surprised me. You can read my review of it here.

The Geary's guys were cool. I don't recall what the beers they had there were, except for an IPA... Which of course if you have read this blog much, or know me, is my favorite brew, so it's no surprise that that's what I remember...

The best brew of the night though, was a black IPA from the Garner Ale House brewpub out in Gardner MA. This beer was fantastic! If you are anywhere in the area, stop in and have some "Nightcrawler". You won't be sorry.

I was crushed though, to find that they do not make enough to ship to liquor stores, and it can only be had at the brew pub which is a 2 hour ride for me, one way... I will make it out there at some point though... This I swear.


I took this picture at the Saranac stand, cause I have two daughters, and thought this chair would be an excellent Barbie doll prop. He wasn't prepared to part with it though, and rightly so I suppose. I took this picture because I thought it was a great shot. This was before the doors opened. I had no intention of taking pictures. 

However, at some point, I guess I did. And I don't remember this because at this point, I WAS wrecked.



As you can see, I am not much of a photographer when I'm drunk. Don't judge, I don't even remember these. Not sure what I was taking a picture of. 

 

I don't have the slightest idea who these guys are, but aren't they photogenic? And friendly?


I don't know these two either, but this is actually a fairly decent pic. 


This guy I did talk to a fair amount, he's a friend of Mike's and is at most of the beer fests, from what I'm told. Very nice guy, though I can't remember his name... 

From this point on, things got worse as far as the pics I was taking... I got a few shots of the backs of some folks, and then a shot of some of them turning around like "Dude, what?" They were all pretty blurry, so I won't bother posting them. I'll leave you with this last one though, that sort of encapsulates ALL the rest of the pics I took that night. 


A beauty, ain't it? This is kinda what I remember the rest of the fest as. 

For anyone worrying, I am aware what my limit is, and I did stop drinking shortly here after, and got some hot dogs and water. I sober up pretty fast, the last half hour of the fest is pretty clear in my head, though it consisted of me just kinda standing around. 

Having just checked out the Beer Summit website, as I recommend you all do, I realized that their next fest is September 21st... That also, just so happens to be my birthday. Coincidence?? I think not. 


5/18/2012

Magic Hat Black IPA

Brew Style: Black IPA
Brewer:  http://www.magichat.net/ipa_on_tour/blind_faith
ABV: 6%
BrewNewb Opinion: Good Beer


I love stouts and IPAs, so I figure, how can a hybrid be bad??


I poured this into my Samuel Adams, perfect pint glass, and it poured well, an inch and a half of head. 


Smells like a good stout. I'm aware of the lack of IPA smell though.

Next to no carbonation. 

Sort of a sticky sweetness to the taste, not a whole lot of hops. Tastes more like a black lager to me, than a black IPA. 

Still though, not a bad beer... I'll give this one a decent. 


I'm not blown away by this beer, given that it was called a black IPA. I love IPA... It was not even close to my definition of an IPA, black or otherwise. BUT. I do like it.

Port Brewing Hop-15 Ale

Image stolen right
off their website.
Brew Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Brewer:  http://www.portbrewing.com/our-beers/hop-15/
ABV: 10%
BrewNewb Opinion: Good Beer!


I poured this badly. I went a little too fast, into my over-sized Samuel Adams glass... The head came up fast, and I had to suck some ... uh, I'm not saying head there... Foam down real fast, or I was going to wear it. 


That said, the foam was quite promising. 


I let it relax a bit, and finished topping off the glass. 


Could QUITE fit it all, so I drank the end of what was left in the bottle. Lots of malt, and I could taste the alcohol though it's shrouded by bitterness and maybe a little metallic taste. I like it. 


The glass, very hazy orange. Translucent, but only a little. Enough to see floaties in the mix there. Probably dead yeast and what have you... "Lees" as it's called. 


Low carbonation, Syrupy. The after taste is mostly alcohol, some malt, not as much bitterness as I like in an IPA, and a little more floral than I care for. 


All in all, a good beer. 

5/16/2012

Cisco - Grey Lady

Brew Style: Witbier
Brewer: http://www.ciscobrewers.com/
ABV: 4.5%
BrewNewb Opinion: Yuck.

In all fairness, I didn't drink the whole thing. I asked for a taste at the British Beer Company, where it was (IS right now) the beer of the week.

This poured (for me anyway, in the little taste glass) much paler than the picture on the left there, almost like a lemon juice. Smelled OK, lots of malt, lots of yeast and a TON of citrus.

The flavor was rather tropical, lots of coriander, oranges, maybe pineapple, and I swear I could taste some coconut. Perhaps some white-tea flavors... Underneath the fruits and flowers, it had a taste of something akin to coors light... A Pina-Coorslada, if you will.

Lots and lots of carbonation too, even in the small sample I had.

I did not like this beer all that much from the two or three ounces I was given as a taste. Perhaps given a full beer, it might have made a different impression, sometimes the first sip shocks the pallet, and you can't get the full appreciation until afterwards, but honestly, I can't see this beer tasting much better...

If you like light citrusy beers, give it a shot, you might be impressed. I just may be more of a hop head. I won't say it's a bad beer, just not my bag. This is the first example of this brew style I've ever had, maybe as far as the style goes, it's good? BeerAdvocate seems to like it.

#atozchallenge - Reflections

Welp. I almost made it... I think at this point it's safe to say that I can quit, since it's halfway through the month AFTER the challenge.

The sad part is, I DRANK all the beers, I just couldn't get all the reviews done within the allotted time.

I will still post them, but I will refrain from calling it a part of the A to Z challenge.

Had a great time though! Going to still go through the linky list and visit the participants. Now I can actually spend some time commenting on others' posts!

5/01/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - UFO by Harpoon

UFO HefeweizenBrew: Unfiltered Wheat
Brewer:   http://www.ufohefeweizen.com/
ABV: 5.1%
Opinion: Yuck...

 I wanted to try to stick to lesser known, or "craft" brewers for this challenge, but I had a hard time with this one... I'm not sure if Harpoon is considered a "craft" brewer either, I'll have to check on that...

Anyway, this is an unfiltered wheat beer. I poured from a 12oz bottle, it smelled like a bud light, to be honest. My expectations are low.

Next to no head, it poured a very pale yellow. I noticed a lot of carbonation being released as it sat on my table. I let it sit a few minutes, and gave it another whiff. Still a bud or miller light scent.

Tried it. I hate it.

This is like two parts bud light, three parts scrambled eggs. Nothing but corn and yeast flavor. Totally not a fan.

This seems like a beer that people who want to say "I don't like bud light" but need to have something similarly bogus. "I won't drink that swill! I drink THIS!" but it's still swill, it just has a cool, lesser recognized label.


The only saving grace I can see this beer having is that it's a 5.1%.

I'm actually kind of surprised, my friends over at BeerAdvocate.com seem to think it's good to average.

Truth be told, I'd rather drink miller light

And yeah, I know I didn't capitalize miller or bud.

I am disappointed. I like Harpoon's IPA.This is a far cry. I hope I never have to drink this again. Perhaps it's just me though, maybe I'm not much for unfiltered wheat beer?

4/28/2012

#atozchallenge - Torpedo Extra IPA by Sierra Nevada

Brew: Extra India Pale Ale
Brewer:   http://www.sierranevada.com/beers/torpedo.html 
ABV: 7.2%
Opinion: Meh...

This is another beer I kinda dropped the ball on. I seem to recall having somewhat of a trying day, and decided to do a few reviews all in the same night, for more reason than just to do the reviews...

But I remember this well. Frankly, this was one of the few beers (count em: TWO!) that I did not like from this whole challenge.

First, let me describe... The smell was hops, like most other IPA, some breadyness too... Nothing unusual there. I don't recall being impressed one way or another by the head, so I imagine it was average.

The inital taste was lots of piney hops, which I loved. However... Have you ever taken a drink of water from a freshly washed glass, from which not all of the dish soap was rinsed? You know that bitter soapy taste that kinda clings to the back of your throat? I got a lot of that... I thought perhaps it was just that it was the first sip, and my pallet wasn't expecting it or something, but throughout the whole bottle, I just had that soapy flavor in the back of my throat.

Aside from that, I probably would have enjoyed this. I'd still drink it before a Bud. Hell, I'd drink soapy water, before a Bud, most of the time.

#atozchallenge - Ruination by Stone

Brew: India Pale Ale
Brewer:  http://www.stonebrew.com/ruin/
ABV: 7.7%
Opinion: Great Beer!  

In keeping with their large boasts, the brewers of "Arrogant Bastard" have done it again. This beer boasts that it will ruin your pallet for anything else. Here's the description from their website:

So called because of the "ruinous" effect on your palate! This massive hop monster has a wonderfully delicious and intensely bitter flavor on a refreshing malt base. One taste and you can easily see why we call this brew "a liquid poem to the glory of the hop!" Those who seek, crave and rejoice in beers with big, bold, bitter character will find true nirvana in Stone Ruination IPA!  

I love the fact that they come right out and say it, and then do not disappoint. I personally love high IBU (International bitterness unit) beers. I live them full of flavor.

This one grabs you by the taste buds and doesn't let go. This is like drinking crushed up pinecones, which after this blog challenge, I just might consider trying. Once the initial shock of pine bitterness, there's subtle hints of floral hops as well.

This is a great beer for sipping. I do no recommend chugging. Although I may try that one of these days.

Hmm... That sounds like a great blog challenge... I could chug, and then describe the experience as the brew expands in my stomach, and makes my eyes tear...

Nah, that'd be a waste of great beer.

4/23/2012

#atozchallenge - Q...?

Welp. I dropped the ball here, cause not only is Q supposed to have been posted some time back, but I never got my hands on a Q brew...

SO. Instead of giving you a first hand review of a beer, I will search the internet, and give your a few regurgitated reviews of a few Q beers...

I figured, there'd HAVE to be some kind of beer with "Queen" in the name, right? "Queen's land" or "Queensmen" or something... So I turned to the internet on my Droid, as I do so often.

The app is called "UNTAPPD" and you can use it to "Check in" in different places, while you're drinking, and get badges for what you're drinking etc. It's like Foursquare, which I tried out before, though I seldom leave the house, so location based check ins make no sense for me.

Beer based check ins however...

Aside from simply tracking your drinking habit, which may or may not be smart, by the way... It also allows you to review the beer and share your thoughts on twitter. I like this cause I can't remember things so well these days, so I can look back and see which ones I liked the most!

So I searched for Q...

Result #1 - Queen Josephine's Brewery. A couple of clicks here, and I get their beer list... Very interesting, says I!

Coffee & Donut Stout! The second that looks interesting here is Queen Josephine's Chocolate Maple Porter. Indeed. Let's see what I can find on the interwebs about these things!

So it looks like this brewery is in Marietta, GA, and has a total of 4 beers listed on Untappd. That's the extent of the information on this place in that app, so I turn to Google! ...nothing. I didn't expect that. There's nothing more than the address some ten or so search results down on the page. They apparently have no website. That's a drag.

So I go to Beer Advocate! Absolutely nothing.

So depressing! How's that for anti-climactic?! Sorry to whet your appetite to let you down here!

Let's move on, I guess...

Quantum Brewing Co.
They are apparently in Manchester England, but I won't hold that against them. Looking through their Beer list for the most interesting sounding name...

Huh... "American Amber Ale"... Wonder how that sells in England? ...moving on.

So far, the names are fairly boring, like "IPA" and "Stout"... Ah, here we go... "SK1", "Steam Beer", and "Don't Panic". Excellent.

Unfortunately, once again, there's not a whole lot of info on the web here. They do have a web page, but there's nothing on Beer Advocate, and the only description they have of the three brews above, is the SK1, which is:

Quantum SK1 Barleywine. The first in what will hopefully be a series of collaborations with Colin Stronge, head brewer at Scotland’s Black Isle Brewery, this was a 7.4% barley-wine brewed in August 2011, using all New Zealand hops. It has been released in keg, bottle and we have a cask held back for the Stockport Beer Festival 2012.

Well, I guess I could continue on, but I don't think I'm going to find much else here. I will look for a brew that I can get my hands on, cause at this rate, this post is likely to be HUGE, and not really say much. 

Any readers out there have a Q beer, or know of these brewers I've listed and want to share your opinions?!

4/22/2012

4/18/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Pale Ale by Tröegs


Brew:  Pale Ale
Brewer:  http://www.troegs.com/ 
ABV: 5.4%
Opinion: Great Beer!  

When I started drinking beer, I started much like most other folks, drinking the cheap, yellow fizzy corn-tasting stuff that the college kids drink out of funnel-ended tubes. Responsibly of course, and only after the age of 21.

I remember going to a bar that didn't actually have any of those things, and I was kind of shocked. Out of my element I ordered a Harpoon IPA, and remember thinking it was disgusting. Now I find them ALMOST bitter enough!

One of the first brews outside of yellow and fizzy that I started to enjoy a lot was a pale ale. (Bass, to be specific).

This here Tröegs pale ale was sort of an last minute grab, because I was having trouble filling the P slot. Thinking about it now while sitting at home, I can think of several other beers I could have gone for, but frankly I'm glad I grabbed this one. I always tend to overlook the pale ales, going for the more bitter IPA or the completely different stouts.

So without further blahblahblah, I get down to it, optimistically!

Ok.. .that was interesting. Not sure exactly what it means, but I cracked the bottle and began sniffing at the opening, only to realize that third sniff, my nose was sitting in foam. The head crept right up out of the bottle. I know it hadn't been shaken, it was sitting here on the table for the last ten minutes... perhaps the temperature change?

Anyway... Poured, low carbonation, as a pale ale tends to be. Dense orangy color, slightly opaque. Juicy slightly sweet smell. It tastes almost exactly how it smells, too. It's a nice, crisp, sweet slightly citrusy beer. Hints of hops in the finish, just enough to remind you that it's a beer.

This beer reminds of me of Tröegs Nugget Nectar which I reviewed two posts ago, only a little more on the light side.

This is a good beer. Once again Tröegs doesn't disappoint!

4/17/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Otter Creek's Copper Ale

Holy fizzy fluffy head Batman!

I popped this thing, and smelled maybe some Killians.. malty, bready, a little sweet. I had so much fizz it was ridiculous! I got about four ounces in there, and the whole damned glass, which is a 16oz Sam Adams glass, filled to the brim with foam. 

Citrusy, a little coppery (ironically?) Poured a cloudy coppery red.

Slight hops, overtones of wheat and honey.

This is a very mellow ale. All in all, not a bad beer. I would drink this if there weren't an IPA available.

I don't have a hell of a lot to say about this brew, it's understated, and good. I think I'll leave this post understated as well. :)

4/16/2012

A to Z 2012 - Nugget Nectar by Tröegs Review

Brew:  Imperial Amber Ale
Brewer:   http://www.troegs.com/our_brews/nugget_nectar.aspx 
ABV: 7.5%
Opinion: Great Beer!   

\Nugget Nectar from Tröegs is an "Imperial Amber Ale", and a damned good beer, says I! This is a seasonal spring beer. I wish they made it all year round!

Brewed with Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade, and dry-hopped with more Nugget and Warrior, this runs (or hops?) the gamut of hops.

As I opened the bottle I could smell the hops immediately, with a bit citrusy over-tone. And not the kind of citrus smell where you figure they used hops that taste like citrus, I'm talking like, there may be orange juice in this brew.

It pours a coppery color with a short fluffy head that turns creamy. My first sip was pleasant, for someone who loves the sharp bitterness of hops. it was a mostly piney, somewhat floral hop flavor with a grapefruit / orange or pineapple aftertaste.

It's a very well balanced beer, nothing over powering in any way, unless you like beer that sucks, in which case, I recommend you don't drink anything I recommend on this blog.

This beer hits me right in the back of the throat and hangs there on the tongue. Very nice beer.

4/14/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Mayflower Oatmeal Stout

Popped the top of this beer and honestly didn't smell much... After the pour I did though.

It poured smooth, slight chocolate brown head. Smelled malty, tones of brown sugar, and toffee.

Tastes like toasted malts, baker's chocolate, and oatmeal. Brings it all together nicely. Lots of tastes in one nice flavor... or is it lots of flavors in one nice taste?? Not sure how that works...

Anyway... not a bad beer. Not wonderful, but way better than yellow fizzy.

4/13/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Long Trail's Double Bag

Brew:  Strong Ale
Brewer:   http://www.longtrail.com/
ABV: 7.2%
Opinion: Good Beer.
 
Straight outta Vermont, this beer came highly recommended by a friend of mine. I was intrigued by the fact that it says "Strong Ale" on the label, and have no real idea what it has to do with cows...

I popped open this beer, and got a bready, metallic and yeasty scent. Not bad, I thought as I poured.

Light in color, a amber red. No head whatsoever.

It's got a nice malty flavor, a little bit of the alcohol taste, as it's 7.2%, but honestly not too much. I don't mind that flavor anyway to be frank.

Not a bad brew, I like it. I'd probably not crave it or anything, but if it were available, I'd much rather it to a fizzy yellow beer, or like, wine coolers.

4/11/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Kona Brewing's Pipeline

Brew:  Porter
Brewer:   http://konabrewingco.com/beers/pipeline-porter/
ABV: 5.4%
Opinion: Good Beer!  

I've really been enjoying these reviews for the stouts. This one isn't a stout, but it's a porter, and that's pretty close...

Anyway, I've been enjoying the hell out of the coffee / chocolate stouts. This beer boasts that it's a porter with 100% Hawaiian Kona coffee.

I popped the cap on this, and was sorta surprised I didn't really smell it right outta the bottle. I practically stuffed the thing up a nostril and inhaled. Still not much. Slight coffee and malty overtones, but that was about it. I wasn't quite disappointed, as I was curious.

I poured it, it had minimal head. Either this is a flat, tasteless beer, or it's a very understated gem. Here's hoping...

PHEW. Understated gem!

It's not overly thick, not bitter, smooth, doesn't coat the tongue, doesn't linger much. This is a good smooth drinking beer.

As I scoured the bottle for the alcohol percentage, I realized the label at the top says "Mele Kalikimaka", which of course is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day, you know. That's the island greeting they will sing to you from the land where palm trees sway, so I'm told. So being April, this bottle is several months old. Five or six anyway. Not sure what that means as far as porters go. I dunno if it would have been tastier a few months ago, or... Who knows.

Anyway, like I said, good beer. If you like porters, and you like coffee, do it!

Also, I really like that glass in the picture. I'd love to have a set of, oh, 40 of em. So feel free to send some along. 

#atozchallenge - (Chateau) Jiahu by Dogfish Head Review


Brew:  IPA
Brewer:   http://www.dogfish.com/ 
ABV: 10%
Opinion: Good Beer! 

I apologize, this is a re-post from last years A to Z reviews...

Interesting beer... It's an ale with huge fruity over tones. I picked this, mostly just because it starts with J, but also because it's a Dogfish Head brew, which I have a great respect for.

Drinking this is an investment. You have to be committed, cause it's a standard beer bottle cap, but the bottle is 1 pint, 9.6 oz. It's open, you're going to kill it.

It's about the size of a standard wine bottle, and I'm about 1 and a half glasses into it right now. Initial impressions: When I opened it, I could smell that it was heavy on the fruity end of things. It was definitely like a beer / wine. It poured not unlike a regular pale ale, except that there was much less head. (resisting the urge to make a joke). For all intents and purposes, it looks like a pale ale, if only just a little more opaque.

At first taste, I can tell it's an ale... though, it's a little sweet / sour, but it has a wine after taste... In fact, if you sit a moment after swallowing, your belly feels like you just had wine... you know, that sort of burny feeling. It burps like a white wine in my opinion.

So my problem with this brew is that I know it's a beer, but it drinks like a wine... You want to sort of sip this, but I drink beer fast. I haven't eaten anything today either. Now's where I look up the Alcohol content, and hot damn, this stuff is 10%. Each glass is like 2 beers. I'm just getting to the bottom of my second glass, which means, I've had the equivalent of 4 bud lights in the last 10 minutes. My spelling is very likely to take a dive in the next few paragraphs.

...actually IF there are a "few paragraphs" more, you'll know this stuff is doing it's job, because I talk when I'm under the influence. In fact, you may even notice a Boston accent come out, which I don't have when sober. (that's a joke... I don't have one, but it comes out when I'm drinking).

ANYWAY. This is basically and Ale that was brewed with honey, hawthorn (whatever that is) fruits and fermented with grape concentrate.

I just poured the end of the bottle, which makes 2 and a half beer glasses per bottle, by the way.

I just realized that on the side of this bottle, it says 9000 year old... Which I imagine means that it's a replica of something they drank 9000 years ago, or at least we think they did. I wonder if DfH has a 9000 year line of brews, or if this is the brew that one of my commenters was talking about a day or two ago.. I'd look up the comment, but I just had about a 6 pack in a very short amount of time.

I like this stuff... it tastes pretty good, although I admit it wasn't what I was expecting, so I had the "sourface" during the end of my first glass... and it packs a hell of a punch. not bad for twelve bucks.

Good beer!

for more official stuff about this brew, go here.

4/10/2012

#atozchallenge - Ithica Brewing's Flower Power IPA Beer Review

Brew:  IPA
Brewer:  http://ithacabeer.com/flower-power/
ABV: 7.5%
Opinion: Great Beer! 

Today I will finish the last of the brews I bought for reviews, and that group consists of ipas. I am excited, I love ipa.

Flower Power came highly recommended by a couple of folks of taste, so I am looking greatly forward to this.

The scent is potent, a nice "bouquet" of floral and pine hops. This beer smells good. It poured a cloudy orange with very little head. The scent is only that much better from the glass.

First sip, an excellent blend of citrus, floral and pine hops, the floral being only a little more prevalent than the other two. The second sip was equally tremendous. The after taste is a nice pine reminder of a moment ago when I was swallowing a terrific beer. Those were good times... good times...

This is a great beer.

4/09/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Hopdevil Ale by Victory

Main Image
Brew:  IPA
Brewer:  http://victorybeer.com/beers/hopdevil/
ABV: 6.7%
Opinion: Good Beer! 

Normally I do some kinda narrative as I open the bottle, yada yada... Truth here is I was so eager to taste this, being called "hopdevil" and all, and I'm such a fan of the bitter hops... one might call me a hop-head. Hmm... that might have been a better name for this site, huh? Anyway...

I had high hopes here. Hopdevil... Gotta be good, right?!

Begrudgingly, I will admit, yes, it's a good beer. However, I think it would have been better named something else. I expected something else I guess. I really love bitter piney hops. This left me disappointed.

I know it isn't fair. On it's own merit this is a good beer. A mild IPA, for sure... In fact, "India" and "Pale" are very feint on the label, but "Ale" is just as prominent as "HopDevil"... It's like, they made an IPA, that came out like just a good ale...

This is a good beer, I would drink this again, I think I was just expecting something else. Not to say something BETTER... Just something else. It's like rating milk when you expected orange juice.

4/07/2012

#atozchallenge - Geary's Winter Ale Beer Review

Brew:  English Pale Ale
Brewer:  http://gearybrewing.com/pages/winter.php 
ABV: 6.0%
Opinion: Great Beer! 

I smell the yeast after the pour. Perhaps apples as well. Fruit, anyway.

This is perhaps the most shocked I've been during this whole A to Z beer review, and for those of you wondering, no, I didn';t start at a... I'm almost done at this point.

The flavor is butter scotch, almost entirely. There's a...no, that's it. Butterscotch. That's ALL I get. Now that I have tasted it, even the smell is butter scotch.

This has got to be the most unique beer I've had throughout this challenge, and I haven't done the IPAs yet at all... Which is my favorire of the genres... This beer was the biggest surprise so far. I like this. This is great!

The taste IS butterscotch.

I really like this beer. I have great respect for it, being something that tastes SO MUCH like something else. It even burps butterscotch.

So here's the thing about this beer... I'm totally shocked about it. It doesn't taste much like any other ale I've ever had, but... wow. Excellent ale, mostly just because it of how completely it tastes like something else. As a craft brewer, I hope that some day I can make something that takes another curious lad or lass as off guard as this took me.

Excellent beer!

4/06/2012

#atozchallenge Beer Review - Founder's Breakfast Stout


Breakfast Stout
Brew:  Stout
Brewer:  Founders Brewing
ABV: 8.3%
Opinion: Great Beer! 

I love this bottle. Doesn't the picture just make you wanna drink it??

I was very interested in this brew, being a stout fan (and a fan of stouts! HAR!) I thought it sounded good. It's stout made with chocolate, coffee and oatmeal. Who wouldn't love that?!

Interesting story: I once had an idea that Coffee flavored oatmeal would be a fine thing. I emailed the Quaker oats guy, and suggested it. I said you could go so far as to have french vanilla, hazelnut, etc. I was told that they have people who are paid to think of those things, but thanks for my interest, and they suggested I buy more product... I thought for sure a month later they'd have the coffee oatmeal on the shelves or something, but still no.

Anyway, who needs the Quaker oats dude, when you have Founders?! They figured out the same genius scheme and added chocolate!

I cracked this baby open, and immediately the smell of coffee found my nose. I eagerly, yet carefully poured. The head came up about an inch and a half. Twas a brown color, much like the foam from a cola. Still the smell of coffee dominated, which is fine with me, cause I love coffee.

As it sat, I continued to sniff, in between typing paragraphs here, and the chocolate became vaguely apparent. Perhaps it was there the whole time, but I was over powered by the coffee smell. Either way, my mouth is watering.

Wow. This beer is amazing. There's so much going on here. The coffee is definitely the most prominent flavor especially in the first of a sip. The chocolate and oats flavors come out in the finish. There's a little alcohol heat left on the tongue, as it is 8.3%. There's a little bitterness in burp.

This is such a terrific beer! Smooth and tasty. I could drink these all day. Or... at least for a couple hours or so.

HIGHLY recommended.

4/05/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Erdinger Dark Hefe-Weizen

Brew:  Weissbier Dunkel 
Brewer:  http://www.erdinger.de - Careful, the site has music.
ABV: 5.6%
Opinion: Good Beer! 

I was careless with this pour and I paid for it. The bottle is a 1 pint, 9ozer, and I was pouring it into one of those sexy Sam Adams glasses. I poured JUST a little too fast, and by the time I got the thing half full of beer, the rest was filled with foam.

I took a break to let it subside, put the kids in the tub, selected their pajamas for the night, had myself the crust of the 2 year old's pizza and came back to it. I then slowly poured the rest into the glass, and the damned thing foamed up again. I had to suck down some suds before it spilled over.

So I don't know if this bottle got shaken up at some point and was holding a grudge, or something like that, or if it's supposed to be that foamy or what. My suspicion is confirmed by the picture I found for this post.

Smells a little bready with some maltyness. Carbonation isn't bad, what you might expect from say, a stout... but like I said, I think most of the carbonation bailed out when I poured.

As the name suggests, it's dark, light only barely shining through the thick brown body.

Interestingly the App I use on my droid called beerspec, doesn't recognize the barcode.

This beer is 5.5%, and very smooth. I have to give this bad boy a 4 out of 5. Very good beer. 

Best part about this beer, it was a pint (and .9oz!) for $2.95. :)

4/04/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Deadguy Ale by Rogue Ales

Brew: Deadguy Ale
Brewer: Rogue Ales
ABV: 6.5%
Opinion: Good Beer! 

I like the label, one of the most original labels, thus far in this review process, which did not start with A, and has not gone alphabetically.

I really like how creative, and yet, simple the name of this beer is. "Dead guy ale". That's totally a beer drinker at the helm of creativity right there. It doesn't have to be clever, it just has to be memorable, distinctive and original, just like the beer behind the label!

I cracked the bottle... which by the way... You're going to read that statement a lot. I didn't crack the actual glass of the bottle, that's cool guy slang for "opened". Savvy?

I smelled mostly bread. A sweet, bready, citrusy, maltieness. Smells like a lager yeast, I think. (Now I'm starting to sound like I know what I'm talking about, huh? Or at least like I think I do...)

This ale is sweet and fruity. Not a lot of bitterness, which is my favorite characteristic in a beer... But still a good tasting beer. For those who like everything BUT bitterness, this is a great beer.

Their website says to pair pork, or hot & spicy foods with this beer. I like to pair buffalo wings with just about any beer, but I can see where the smooth sweetness of this one would definitely compliment hot & spicy.

4/03/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Chicory Stout by Dogfish Head


Image from here

Brew: Chicory Stout
Brewer: Dogfish Head
ABV: 5.2%
Opinion: Good Beer!

Chicory. Chicory. Chicory... Fun to say. What is Chicory anyway, you ask? It's a plant. Glad you asked?

Sorry, this is a beer review, not a botany class.

So I cracked this puppy open, found it's scent maltier than anything else, with sweet raisin-like tones.

The pour was smooth, almost no head. It had a little more carbonation than I'd expected. Perhaps had I poured a little quicker there'd have been more head / less carbonation? Eh.

It tasted smooth, tones of coffee and chocolate, odd after taste, slightly bitter, but not hoppy. (Likely from the chicory, which is known for it's bitterness... There, you got a little info outta me...)

This wasn't my favorite ever, but still pretty good. It's hard to go wrong with chocolate and coffee in a stout.

Ok, fine. This is a chicory flower (with an insect):


4/02/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale by Sierra Nevada

Estae
Image from here.
Brew: Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale
Brewer: Sierra Nevada
ABV: 9.6%
Opinion: Great Beer!

First, I hate feet, so just thinking about feet makes me wanna wretch. Feet are disgusting. All feet. Even the words feet and foot. And those of you who always say "I agree! Oh, but I have NICE feet!" no, you don't. Your feet are just as disgusting as everyone else's.

That said, there's fortunately no picture of feet anywhere on this label, so that makes it palatable.  There are footprints, however... but I prefer to call those "tracks".

I cracked this bottle open, and immediately could smell it. A sweet sorta caramel citrus fruity smell. Or a molasses. I liked the smell so much, after I poured it, I just sat and sniffed for a few. I do get hints of the high alcohol content, as it is 9.6% after all.

There was next to no head whatsoever. (Stop giggling!)

The taste starts with a burst of sweetness, very fruity and thick, finishes with a nice hoppy flavor. Little bit of warmth going down from the ABV.

Thick, heavy beer, definitely not one you'd want to chug. I could see myself having one of these with a thick beef stew on a wet, snowy day or something like that.

I have never had anything like this, so I can't really compare it to anything else with much conviction. I'm very impressed with how the maltiness is the first impression, but the hops comes mostly in the finish.

Outstanding beer. I forgive them for having the word "foot" in the name.

4/01/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - Arrogant Bastard Ale (Oaked) by Stone Brewing



Brew: Arrogant Bastard Ale
Brewer: Stone Brewing Co
ABV: 7.2%
Opinion: Good Beer!


I've been putting this one off for a while, even though it's my A post... (As you may have guessed, I didn't start at the beginning with these... I skipped around a lot. In fact, I'm about half done.) I've had Arrogant Bastard before, and it was really good. Now, this one is "oaked", but I put that at the end of the title because otherwise it wouldn't work as an A post..

But oaked, means aged in oak barrels, like bourbon, which I also like... I have big expectations for this brew. I wanted to wait for a night when I was alone, the TV was off, the wife was at work, and American Idol wasn't on. ...what, shut up.


Anyway, tonight is that night.

I am nothing if not honest about myself, so anything that proclaims itself as an Arrogant Bastard is already something that I respect. I don't particularly LIKE arrogant bastards, and I've know many. But none of them were aware of what they were. I think perhaps had they known, I might have found them a little more bearable.

And here, I grab the church-key, and pop the cap.

I smell hops, and something similar to whiskey, which I would have to assume is the oak aging. Of course, then again, maybe I'm just looking for it... Carrying on.

The hops hit first, bitter, with just a twinge of the alcohol, as it is higher than usual. The maltieness comes out in the finish, and in the after taste, balancing it nicely. It's somewhat thick on the tongue, strong grapefruit flavor.

Not a chugger, this beer is best enjoyed leisurely. If you're looking to smash beers into your face, get something cheaper and lighter. This beer is one to be appreciated, not pounded.

Very nice beer, full of character. Stone Brewing does it again.

3/21/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Coming Up! A to Z Beer Reviews!

So like last year, I'm in the A to Z blog Challenge this year again, starting April First.

I'm going to be reviewing beers from A to Z.

I like heavy, bitter beers. I like a beer that doesn't feel or look like water. I like a beer that doesn't taste like pennies and dishwater. I don't like what they call "Fizzy yellow beer" although I will drink it on occasions when taste isn't a factor. When I'm very goal oriented, and that's all that's around, I will.

The views expressed here are the views of me, and definitely represent the views of the Brew Newb, because that's me.

If you'd like to see the beers I'll be reviewing there's a link over to the right that'll take you to my list.

Please feel free to agree with my reviews, or respectfully disagree. I will not argue. At the end of the day, you're at my blog. Just like I drink, I will blog responsibly, I suggest you do as well.

Happy reading!