Friday, December 17, 2010

Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

My favorite day of the week, beer review day. I can’t lie, I have been looking forward to this beer for two weeks, and I cheated, I have already had a few of these before tonight which is not the norm for me as I usually wait till review night to try the beer. I have grown more and more a fan of anything stout but especially coffee stouts. Well this week is no different.

Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout – Terrapin Beer Co.

It pours really dark and thick, just a little thinner than molasses. At first you think there isn’t going to be any type of head but then a small thin brown head appears. The scent is mostly burnt rich chocolate with a slight hint of booze. The taste has a very rich bite of roasted malts with just a few hints of coffee coming through. The mouthfeel is a light, low carbonated one, not heavy at all for this type of beer. It also hides the 8.1% ABV very well, only leaving a tiny bit of an after taste.



Friday, December 10, 2010

Frambozen - New Belgium

Stop the presses! I made it on a Friday for a change. Not sure what to expect with this beer, it has a label that looks festive but not sure a Raspberry Brown Ale is a festive beer. I guess we shall see now won’t we.

Frambozen – New Belgium Brewing. What is Frambozen anyway???

It had a really weird color as I poured in the glass, and it created a purplish head but when the beer was all in the glass, it was almost black. I can definitely smell some tart raspberry but I get some of the famous New Belgium yeast biscuit smell that so many of their beers possess. The first taste is slightly sweet which can be expected from a fruit beer but then you really get the sweetness quickly followed by a sharp tartness of the raspberries. Almost no sign of a malt backbone which I find odd for a brown ale even if it is a fruit infused brown ale. A thin mouthfeel which helps, not sure this beer could handle something heavy as I think that would take away from the fruit that they obviously want you to experience.

Well, I guess I could see this as a festive type beer, not one I would want to drink more than one or two of but might enjoy with some desert after the Christmas dinner. OK, so my curiosity got the better of me before I could even finish this review, I had to know what Frambozen is, well idiot beer geek, it’s right there on the label, it’s Flemish for raspberry. Oh right, so what is Flemish? Oh, it’s a form of Dutch spoken in parts of Belgium, come on man, you gotta get out some more. Now, knowing all of this, I really see what this beer is, a very close ‘relative’ of a lambic. Don’t start with me on what a lambic is, it’s a Belgium Fruit beer made with wild yeast that is often very sour/tart.

Wow, try and drink a beer and make notes about it and you end up learning even more than just what beer you need for the family Christmas dinner, Flemish, a Dutch language, who knew. Cheers! I’m gonna need more beer after this one.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

400 Pound Monkey - Left Hand Brewing

Coming to you live and direct on a Saturday night for the second week in a row, sorry ‘bout that. I would really prefer to review these beers on Friday but sometimes life gets in the way, so here we are. I had this beer planned for last week but then I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the very awesome ‘Bitches Brew’ and couldn’t let that pass. The name on this beer is what got my attention but the style is what really got me to get it. ‘400 Pound Monkey’, now who wouldn’t look twice at that right, but it is an English Style India Pale Ale. For those of you not familiar with IPA’s, America is really the only place they are brewed anymore but their origin is England, way back when they occupied India, they would put massive amounts of hop in the beer so it would not go bad before it got to the English soldiers in India, hence the name, India Pale Ale. Now on to the beer!

400 Pound Monkey – Left Hand Brewing Co.

Standard pour for an IPA or a pale ale, light golden in color with a decent head, nothing out of the ordinary. Scent is really in between an IPA and a Pale Ale, you get the scent of hops but not the ‘blow you away’ hops that an IPA gives you. I must say the taste is almost the exact same thing as the scent, either a hoppy Pale Ale or a light IPA. This is probably the best beer I have tried from Left Hand but still nothing I would go out of my way for, if I were in the mood for an IPA and this were available I would take it, but to be fair, and I have said this before, I’m not a fan of IPA’s, sorry hop heads.

So cheers once again beer friend, take it slow tomorrow cause Monday is just around the corner.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head

This review is coming a day later than normal because I felt I needed a full days rest, for two reasons, 1) Thanksgiving on Thursday and Friday and 2) There was such a buildup for this beer I needed to make sure I was mentally prepared. I even debated not doing it, just saving this beer for a special occasion, lucky for you I decided to go ahead a give it a review.

Bitches Brew – Dogfish Head Brewery

This is a fusion of 3 parts Imperial Stout and 1 part African honey beer, it pours like a dark chocolate stout with a dark brown head. The scent is all full of roasted and chocolate malts. I usually like to stay away from high gravity beers as I don’t really care to taste the alcohol in my beers, there is now way I would have believed this beer came in at 9% ABV if it wasn’t right there on the label. It’s a very smooth and creamy stout with the sweetness from the honey hitting you so late, you have to take a second sip to make sure it wasn’t your imagination. If anyone saw the Discovery debut of Brewmasters on this beer, it is amazing that they nailed this beer on just the second try and in only about 5 weeks at that. Definitely one of the best beers I had the pleasure of reviewing on my journey. I can only think of 2 or 3 beers that I would rank equal to this one. It would also be in my most interesting category as well.

Not sure if you will have a chance to get one of these beers as it was a special brew, but if you see it, you must get one, or two, I really wish I had bought two. Well, cheers anyway beer friend!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Blackberry Witbier - Samuel Adams

Here we are again; another day another dollar; TGIF; Friday, I’m in love with you. Can’t think of any other cheesy Friday sayings but oh well, this is about beer not Friday right. I don’t think I have ever had a beer with such a strong smell as this week’s review. As soon as I opened the bottle and before I even began to pour it I could smell the explosion of tartness from the blackberries.

Blackberry Witbier – Samuel Adams

I’ve said it several times but I am a sucker for beers with fruit, spices, etc... added to them, add in the fact that this one is from Samuel Adams and you know you have yourself a good beer. Let’s review it anyway shall we. I was a little surprised that it appears like a normal wheat beer, the other berry beers always seem to have a hint of red or blue or purple in them, not this one, typical orange cloudy hue. Nice thin but tight head and the smell is very tart, your jaws almost tingle just smelling it. Unfortunately the taste doesn’t quit live up to the smell, comes across the palate very smooth and bland, no sharp bite from the blackberry that you almost crave just smelling the beer. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very satisfying beer and would go great on a warm spring day but I just expected so much more considering the amount of tartness you get just sniffing the beer.

Cheers fellow brew heads!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Road Dog - Flying Dog Brewery

Before we start with this week’s review, here is a little shout out to a fellow beer blogger who accomplished a pretty cool thing the other day, yep, he did review #365, awesome job Drew.

The brewer of this week’s review was probably my first introduction into the craft brewery world. I was always someone who liked trying different beers but that usually meant imports till I came across this brewer. I remember picking up their 12-pack mixed packs that would have 2-3 different beers included. That was way back before I had any clue about the many different styles of beer. I learned a lot from their beers as they always put a scale on their package that gave you the hoppyness and darkness of the different beers. I think I only liked 2-3 of their beers back then but I have grown to enjoy all of them now.

Road Dog – Flying Dog Brewery

Pours out pretty standard for a porter, very dark basically black. It has a nice thick but loose head that fades quickly but still leaves some lacing on the glass. Unlike a lot of porters that come off as creamy, this porter has a scratchy feel to it, almost dry as if you are actually eating some of the many types of malt they use. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as this is still a very good drinkable beer. No real detection of hops to speak of, but with the IBU at 31 and this being a porter I didn’t really expect any.

Now to the picture, I picked this beer for the name. I looked in my fridge (that is still broken by the way) and as soon as I saw the name, I knew it was the one for this week. Georgia plays Auburn in Auburn, AL tomorrow which makes them the “Road Dawgs”, see what I did there, lame yes I know but amuse me and laugh, and you will also notice a referee shirt wearing creature on the bottle so obviously they had football in mind with this label. So here’s to my Dawg fans out there hoping UGA makes it 5 in a row over the Tigers, or the War Eagles, or do they even know what their mascot is.

So grab yourself some cold ones for tomorrow and sit down at 3:30 PM eastern time and watch the South’s oldest rivalry, this is what Fall in the south is all about people. Cheers!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Sawtooth Ale

Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween last weekend, I say weekend cause some people did the trick r treating on Saturday and some did it Sunday and others even did it both days (candy hogs). I wish I had this beer last week as I think the name fits in with the Halloween theme, but it was given to me on Saturday night so, oh well, better now than never right.

Sawtooth Ale – Left Hand Brewing Co.

It pours out a nice deep amber color but I must say I am disappointed in the head, almost none to speak of. I always wonder when this happens if the glass is not beer clean or the beer is too cold or if I poured it crappy or if the brewer screwed up and it just doesn’t produce a good head. I get a nice subtle scent of hops with maybe a touch of citrus coming through, nothing overbearing. The first sip is almost boring with the flavors melding almost too well cause nothing jumps out to forefront, but then just as to go to swallow those subtle citrus hops give you a nice flavor. I guess with a name like Sawtooth I was expecting a bit more kick, it’s nice but nothing to get excited about.

So the weekend is here again my beer friend so let’s all slow down and enjoy our favorite adult beverage cause Monday will be back with a vengeance. Cheers!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Yuengling Porter

Happy Halloween peeps, or is that just at Easter, ok, lame I know but I’m tired. And speaking of Halloween seems like everyone is getting offended these days, no more picking on the witches people, although they look to have some good brew. Maybe this week’s review won’t offend anyone out there cause I am very thrilled about this review, any time I find a Yuengling beer I haven’t tried, you can bet your $@% I’m gonna try it. Also, how convenient that it’s also a porter since I seem to be getting into those here lately.

Yuengling Porter - Yeah, they’re America’s oldest brewery and still American owned. Ahem, AB & Miller-Coors can’t say that now can they.

I really didn’t know what to expect with this beer though, I mean, I love Yuengling as an everyday beer but don’t really think of it as a brewer that varies from the mass produced “Premium” lagers that American breweries are known for. This porter however really does fit the bill of a true porter, it pours nice and dark with a thick creamy head. You can smell the roasted/burnt malts bursting through in the first scent, the first impression of the taste is that it is a little thin but that quickly goes away and you are left with a nice thick creamy mouthfeel that leaves a slight bitterness from the roasted, chocolate malts. This is a very good porter that even the “American Lager” crowd just might enjoy but is complex enough for the beer geek to respect. Very nice job Yuengling, glad I got me a sixer.

So, drive safe tomorrow, drive a little slower and make sure to be one the lookout cause there’s gonna be a lot of those little rascals running up and down the street asking for some candies. Just do like I do, sit on the front porch drinking a cold one and you don’t have to worry about driving too fast through the neighborhood. Cheers!

Oh yeah, almost forgot....GO DAWGS, Kick some Gator @$$ tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vanilla Java Porter - Atwater Block

Hello once again. Yep, you read the title correctly, Vanilla + Java + Porter, as you may have noticed; I’ve been bringing out the heavy dark beers lately. I have had this one for awhile, ever since my last java stout actually, which is what really got me interested in the stouts/porters of the coffee/mocha mold.

Vanilla Java Porter – Atwater Block Brewery

Well, as you should know, it is a porter so it is going to be black; it has an interesting head though, a very thick but loose one that dissipates fairly quickly. The smell is mostly of roasted/burnt malts, no sign of vanilla or java. The taste however is a totally different story, I immediately taste the sweetness of the vanilla extract. Very similar to the vanilla syrup Waffle House puts in their vanilla cola and in fact gives you the idea you might be drinking one but then comes the roasted/burnt malts that dominate the scent as it quickly reminds you that this is no cola. A very light mouthfeel for a porter, once again very reminiscent of a cola not a beer. Very drinkable not sure if I would seek this one out again though.

Weekend is here friend so pour yourself a cold one and enjoy the next two days even if you can’t be at one of these cool watering holes, (pun intended). Cheers!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Fat Dog - Stoudts

OK, so another week in the books and here are again wasting away on a Friday night, at least we still have the MLB playoffs going on even if the Braves couldn’t do the new math of 11 for 6. We are finally getting some nice cool weather so here come the thick heavy beers. This week I will go where I have never gone before, an Imperial Oatmeal Stout. I have had an Oatmeal Porter if you recall and enjoyed it very much, not sure exactly what the Imperial style brings to the table but will check with Beer Advocate after the review.

Stoudts – FAT DOG (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

It has a smell of really rich chocolate roasted malt, if you could ever smell thickness this would be it. It also poured really thick almost syrupy and black in color then forming a nice thick tight creamy head. The first taste is a slight bit of alcohol that mellows for just a second but then really hits you hard, hitting the stomach very heavy as a shot of whiskey might. The last lingering taste is a small bit of licorice which normally I wouldn’t like but it actually helps with this beer. After the third or fourth sip, you begin to enjoy the experience and realize this is a beer that you will want to take your time consuming, making sure to notice each slight taste sensation being created. Just like the Oatmeal Porter, this beer is very thick and creamy, most definitely a meal in a glass.

Enjoy the weekend cause Monday is here before you know it beer friend.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Young's Double Chocolate Stout

Hello again, we come to you from our normal Friday spot after two weeks of cheating with Thursday and I have a beer I have been waiting for some cool weather to try. I also broke out my Boston Beer Works Fenway American Pale Ale glass in honor of the MLB playoffs starting this week, Go Braves! Now onto the beer, pretty cool can, orange and purple and a Double Chocolate Stout at that. I have become more and more a fan of stouts as my beer venture has moved along this year, just really love the thick rich taste and full body they provide.

Double Chocolate Stout – Wells & Young’s

Ok, so the can says open carefully and pour in a glass and watch the head form, which it does very similar to a Guinness. Starts out mostly head and then bubbles into the normal head you are accustomed to seeing on a beer, this beer just looks so thick and creamy. The first scent gives you a good bit of chocolate with a little bit of burnt/roasted malts. Wow was I blown away by the first taste, it really is like drinking a chocolate malt that isn’t frozen and has a hint of alcohol with some bitter burnt malts at the end. This makes me want to go out of my way to look for these mocha/chocolate/coffee stouts that have been popping up lately. Although I am blown away by the amount of flavor this is a real thick heavy stout and I probably could only consume one at a time, but oh how I would enjoy it.

So beer friend, don’t be afraid of the dark, reach out and try something new and exciting, you just might be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t come across as strange as it sounds. Cheers and Go Braves!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Black Mocha Stout

Not so sure my sinuses will allow me to give the best review tonight but it is tonight or skip this week as I’ll be camping and watching some GT racing at Petite Le Mans tomorrow and Saturday. And after just missing my first week two weeks ago I don’t want to start a trend, so here we go. This beer is fitting considering I spend the first four days of this week just north of where they brew this beer. I also think this is my most reviewed brewer, Highland Brewing Company from Asheville, NC.

Black Mocha Stout  

Wow, I have poured myself a coke with no ice, yeah I know, most stouts are going to look like this. It has a smaller head than I imagined but that’s ok. Even with my stopped up sniffer I can smell a ton of chocolate and coffee tones. The first taste is just as smooth as it looks and then finishes with the bitterness of burnt malts. I don’t get much mocha in the taste but very good never the less. Very good cold weather camping by the fire pit beer thank you very much.

Until next week, cheers beer friends.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fireside Nut Brown - Leinenkugel's

Hello out there in blogosphere, is that the right word? Sorry about last week, I usually get my beers out of my ‘broken’ fridge and place them in the family fridge on Tuesday or Wednesday. Well, I did last week but come Friday I just didn’t have the energy to review the beer that was planned. It was a beer I had tried several times and so there in-lies the problem. I was used to it, even liked it a lot but was just no excited about reviewing it. It is even a beer I have brewed a few times (I like mine better but we’ll leave that out) but I think I have grown tired of it. Just in case you’re wondering it was Son of a Peach by RJ Rockers and this is their second year brewing it as a summer seasonal. I must say that this year’s is not nearly as good as last year’s but still good.

Now, on to this week’s beer, it is definitely one I have never had before so there is no chance of me being disinterested. Although the first beer I tried from this brewer was like drinking fruity peebles so if you have tried it you already know what beer I speak of. This one though is spot on for the style and very good indeed.

Fireside Nut Brown – Leinenkugel’s 

It pours out a reddish brown color that is almost identical to what a glass of sweet tea looks like without the ice. Nice big bold head but it’s a shame it didn’t stick around as long as it looks like it should. The scent if of mostly roasted nuts and almost no hint of hops, taste is pretty much the same but it takes you a few seconds to actually get the full taste of the roasted nuts and caramel. Like I have said before I love a full body roasted beer like brown ales, stouts, porters, etc… so this was just what I expected, nice and hearty and really makes you wish you were sitting by the fire as the name suggest. The alcohol content is a modest 4.9% A/V so you can consume more than just one without losing yourself. So stock up beer friends on the big and hearty beers as Fall is here and old man Winter ain’t far behind and you are gonna need something to warm the belly. I say Fireside Nut Brown is a good start. Cheers!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Octoberfest - Samuel Adams

Oh yeah, my favorite time of year. College football has started, baseball is entering its final stretch to the pennant race and Samuel Adams has released Octoberfest. One of my all time favorite styles, I guess you could say I more of a malt head instead of a hop-head. I also love the English brown ales, stouts and porters cause their so full of malty goodness.

As to be expected with a rich malty beer, it pours a deep orange-brown color with a thick off-white head. You can smell the scent of all the malts right away, no need to put the glass up the nose. First taste gives you the bitter semi-sweetness from the roasted malts that transition smoothly into the finishing bitterness of the hops, very clean and refreshing leaving absolutely no after taste at all. I always look forward to the first batch of Octoberfest as it is only brewed a few months a year and seems to always have a slightly different taste each season. Last year was so so but this year has really nailed it. I had it on draft last week and I really can’t tell that much difference in the bottled version vs. the draft, usually there is always a difference even if it is ever so slight.

So with a awesome weekend of college football this weekend, there is no reason not to pick up a few of these delicious brews to chase down that tailgate food, that was obviously prepared on a charcoal grill right, that’s what I thought. Cheers my beer friend!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lagunitas IPA

Labor Day weekend, where has the time gone? Good news, College Football season is here, bad news….can’t think of any. I had grand plans of reviewing a beer from the state of UGA’s weekly opponent, this week it was University of Louisiana-Lafayette, easy enough to get a good beer from Louisiana and next week is USC (east), once again, easy enough to get good beer from South Carolina. The problem comes in week 3, Arkansas; I have no way of getting my hands on any craft beer from Arkansas. So, me being as superstitious as I am, I was not about to do it for some and not all of them and bring some bad mojo on the Dawgs.

So, with all that said, I have had this beer in my fridge for several months now, it being an IPA and all I have put it off as long as possible but I had to try it sooner or later. So here it is, Lagunitas IPA by Lagunitas Brewing Co. (say “lah-goo-KNEE-tuss”). I emailed my notes to myself last night, here is my exact quote “Odd color for an IPA. Looks more like a wheat ale than an IPA. Odd scent also, slightly sweet with citrusy hops mixed in. Good mixture of malt and hops. Very drinkable ipa”. It has an orangeish color to it just like the wheat ale I’m drinking right now. Me not being of the IPA fan club I never understood the statement by other beer geeks that an IPA didn’t have enough malt for the beer to stand on, I mean, an IPA is supposed to be hoppy right? Well, now I understand, this beer had a good malt front end followed by the massive hop flavors making it very well balanced and nice to drink. I may need to revisit some of the other IPAs I have had to get a real impression.

So, the dawgs win, I’m at the beach & it’s a 3-day weekend, what else could be better? Maybe if the Braves win tonight that would be the cherry on top. So cheers my friend and grab yourself a cold one on this long weekend.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Sch'Wheat - SweetWater

Sch’wheat, its Friday! I actually had planned on doing this beer a few weeks ago. I picked up some steaks and a six pack on a Saturday, fired up the grill and before I knew it, they were gone. So needless to say it is very good. So I made it a point to find some more, and make sure I save at least one for the following Friday review.

Sch’Wheat – SweetWater Brewing Co.

It pours only slightly cloudy, not nearly as cloudy as some wheat beers. A nice golden yellow color with a fair head. You get a sweet smell mixed with the flowery hops. The taste is very smooth and crisp with a light mouthfeel. A light wheat taste followed by a nice touch of hops that don’t overpower the entire beer and leave you with a bitter taste. I like to try the SweetWater beers because they are just up the road an hour or so but this and 420 are the only ones I like so far. I’m not a fan of their Blue (blueberry beer) but still want to try a real Black and Blue (Guinness and SweetWater Blue).

I was also hoping that reviewing a beer from the ATL would get my Braves back to winning, no so much, they are down 7-0 so far against the Marlins in the top of the 7th. Oh well, it’s still Braves baseball, and if I survived the 70s/80s with these Braves I’m sure I can handle anything they do now and days. So go ahead and relax, pick up a beer you’ve never heard of and think outside the box. Cheers!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co

Well another week another beer, so here we go. I survived the 107F golf outing of last Saturday only because of lots and lots of liquids, mostly water with a little beer thrown in. I even came out $10 to the good, always nice when that happens. This week’s entry into the beer blog is from one of my favorite breweries, not only do they have really good beer, they also give you a good long description and story of the beer you are consuming on the back of the bottle. Now, I always try to have no real knowledge of the beer before I review it, so, even though there is a description and story there, I will wait till I finish the beer to read it.

Stone Levitation Ale – Stone Brewing Co.

As you can see, it pours a deep burnt orange/brownish color with a massive head. The scent is all over the place with smells and I even get a little peppery burn in my nose. Interestingly enough though, the taste is not as nearly as complex as the smell is, very smooth at the beginning but you are then hit with the spicy pepper that you get when smelling the beer. Some burnt malts mixing very nice with the bitterness of the hops. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this beer, being called ‘Levitation’ Ale and all, but it is a very complex, yet smooth beer very easy to enjoy. I am also very impressed with the head on this beer, it has been at least 20 minutes since I poured this beer and it still has a very nice creamy head. Most good beers will create this thick of a head at the initial pour but it never last this long. The more I drink it the easier it is to drink, the true sign of a good beer.

So, once again I ask that you try and stay cool, enjoy the weekend and definitely relax with a nice cold one beer friend. Cheers!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Drifter - Widmer Bros

Well if you are able to peel yourself off the pavement after another hotter than #$%! week, I have another summer beer to help cool ya down. Now, I’m not sure if it is a seasonal beer but it is a good beer to consume in these dog days of summer. It also comes highly recommended, so anytime I have someone tell me how awesome a beer is I at least have to give it a try, if for no other reason than to see if they have some sort of good taste or not.

the Original Drifter Pale Ale – Widmer Brothers

It pours a really cool color of burnt orange with a thick creamy head. You immediately pick up on some citrus scents, almost grapefruit. The taste is almost exactly like the smell. You get a nice bit of malts at the beginning than the citrusy/grapefruit taste hits you making for a remarkably refreshing beer. This is one of the few beers I wish I had bought a 12 pack of, especially since I am going to be playing golf tomorrow and the heat index is supposed to be 107, yeah you read it, One Hundred Seven degrees!

So beer friend, please try and stay cool and hydrated, I’m going to do my best. Maybe this heat wave we are in will soon be gone, its not so much the heat I’m tired of as the fact that this is giving the global warming clowns something to argue with. Cheers!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Wacko - Magic Hat

Ok people, another hot week has passed so I’ll keep the summer beers coming. I really hope this beer is better than the only other beer from this brewer I have had. They have a vast array of beers in their lineup but I have only tried one and it is a little too fruity for me. As for this beer, it is advertised as being a ‘beer with beet juice color’; hopefully they just mean the color and not actual beet juice.

WACKO – Magic Hat Brewing Company

Well, not sure if you can see it in t he picture but it does have a red pinkish color to it with a small thin head. Not real sure what I pick up in the scent, it really smells like a homebrew. Most homebrews I have brewed and sampled have a unique, ‘can’t really tell what that is’ smell. The very first taste was quite unique with a surprising bitter bite at the end. I find myself at a loss for what this taste is. I have never had beet juice so I have no idea if it really is made with beet juice. After the first few swallows the bite calms down at the end and it really does become a very good summer thirst quencher.

Ok, a bit of good news for my fellow beer friends, here are 5 reasons why you SHOULD have a few brews a day. Cheers!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Juju Ginger - Left Hand Brewing Co

Wow, is it hot or what? Saw a bank sign today that it was 103 and it felt every bit of it. I had hopes of getting some draft beer to go today as I stopped by the awesome Total Wine & More, yep that’s right; they sell draft beer to go. No you can’t get it in a cup to go but they do sell it in gallon jugs, or growlers that they seal up so you’re not driving around with an open container. Nothing really caught my eye but I picked this up instead, totally stoked about this as it is one of if not the best summer beer I have ever had.

Now, as far as today's beer, I’ve had this one for a while and really been scared to try it. I’ve heard really good things about the brewery but something was just scaring me. Left Hand Brewing Company and their Juju Ginger-Ale brewed with ginger, if you’re like me your thinking, isn’t this the ‘real’ ginger ale than?
It pours like a standard ale, amber-orange color with a smaller than normal head. Lots of ginger in the scent, not really favoring the soft drink version more of the ginger you get with sushi. Don’t really pick up anything else though. The taste reminds you a little of the soft drink but with a beer flavor to it. Not sure I would/could drink this on a regular basis but it is nice if you’re looking for something different.

So try and stay cool beer friend in the summer heat.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Skinny Dip - New Belgium

I think this week’s beer may be the perfect beer for today, as hot as it was I sure do feel like going. If you have never spent a fews days in late July in middle GA, don’t. You would be better served ironing your clothes, while wearing them. Now on to something that might actually help cool you off.

Skinny Dip – New Belgium Brewing

One of my favorite breweries, they consistently brew good beer from top to bottom. Skinny Dip is not different, nice orange translucent with a huge white head. It seems all of their beers give off that unique biscuit scent that their flagship beer “Fat Tire” has. Skinny Dip has just a slight smell of it but you know it is there balanced with just a little hint of hops. Taste is very well balanced with malts hitting you first then the clean crispness of the hops coming in to finish you off. At 4.2% ABV it is also a beer that you can enjoy more than one of, especially after playing outside in late July. The massive head settles down a little but still leaves a good bit of itself on the side of your glass, and upper lip.

Try and stay cool my friend; there is nothing wrong with staying inside to catch a ballgame on TV. My Braves are in first place and playing as good as ever. Speaking of the Braves, I was pointed to this nice article on Bobby Cox, one if not the greatest managers of all time, (h/t Scott). At another one of my daily stops I found this yesterday (h/t Senator), if we can get the Chinese to go for this, maybe our economy will turn around. Cheers!


Friday, July 16, 2010

St. Terese's Pale Ale

So, part two of the reviews tonight. I didn’t even realize that the week I missed (or didn’t miss) was week 26, the midway point, kinda funny. So here we are at the beginning of the home stretch to this endeavor. So far it has been mainly what I had hoped for, a good way for me to actually put down in writing my ramblings on the multitude of beers I find myself trying. Some weeks have been more of a challenge to get something posted. I’m not sure if I have gotten any better at picking up scents and tasted over the last 6 months but definitely have had fun trying. Hope I have inspired some of my traditional American light lager friends to venture out and try something different, even if they didn’t like it, at least they tried it.

So week 27 brings us:

St. Terese’s Pale Ale – Highland Brewing Co.

I’m not trying to link this beer with Miller in any way I just hate using a plain glass when doing these reviews; I think the pictures look much cooler in a labeled glass. Plus, I really like the old classic labels my four pack of Miller glasses have. But on to this beer, as you can hopefully see, it pours a dirty amber/orange color with a thin head but the head does manage to stay just as thick the entire time. I immediately smell caramel malts here, with some hops faintly hiding in the background. It feels a little thin for as much malt as you smell but it still works, may even be a good thing. It has a lot of the caramel flavor with much of the bitterness coming from the malts and not the hops, usually that means a heavy beer, but not in this case, which like I said is probably a good thing, you know, makes it easy to drink. Also this doesn’t taste like your typical hop heavy pale ale even though the label says it is dry hopped with Cascade hops, either way, I’m good with it. It does live up to its description that it is “A crisp and refreshing beer perfect for any occasion.” I really could see this as a year-round beer, light enough for summer but malty enough for the winter.

So go grab a different kind of brew if you have yet to take my hints, you won’t regret it. Life is short, no need to stick with the same old beer week in and week out. If you don’t like what you bought, I’m sure you could cook with it. Cheers!


Hop Sun Summer Wheat

Ok, so I missed my first week. Technically, I didn’t but I will take the blame since I usually post the weekly reviews on Friday. See, what had happened was…I wanted to take the pictures of this beer with something summery in the background. We were planning to go to my mom’s house last Sunday to go swimming. Perfect, I’ll take the pictures and right my notes down there, by the POOL. Well, I did that but when I got home, what, where is my camera, are you serious, yep, I left it down there at ma’s house. Now, that shouldn’t be a big deal, just go over there and get it right, well it’s an hour drive, one way. So this week we will get a two-fer, but each will still have its own post.

So, without any more lame excuses, here it is

Hop Sun – Summer Wheat Beer – Southern Tier Brewing Co.

Hard to believe this is a wheat beer as crystal clear as it pours. Nice bright pale yellow with a foamy white head. You can most definitely smell some floral hops and citrus hops here. A bright crisp clean first taste that is followed by the bitterness from the hops, but it doesn’t leave any after taste most hoppy beers give. I must say, could quite possibly be the perfect summer time, sitting by the pool, doing nothing beer. Cheers!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bald Eagle Brown - RJ Rockers

OK so hopefully I can redeem myself for the goof on Friday’s review. I slow cooked some ribs, grilled some corn and even managed to shoot off some fireworks for the kids. Oh, and squeezed in an AMERICAN craft beer for this special review. What better name for a beer to review on the 4th of July than ‘Bald Eagle Brown’ from RJ Rockers brewing Company in Spartanburg SC.

It pours a deep, dark red that is almost brown and has a creamy head. You get the sweet scent of malts mixed with some earthy hop tones. The taste is almost just as the smell, semi-sweet taste of bittersweet chocolate with the hops adding some more bitterness at the end but finishing fairly smooth and creamy. A very nice English Brown Ale, which as I have said before is probably my favorite style. Nothing out of balance in this style of beer.

Well I hope you had a good 4th of July and if you are off tomorrow have a nice relaxing Monday cause it only makes Tuesday that much worse. Cheers!


Friday, July 2, 2010

PALM - Belgium's Amber Beer

Boom, Bang, Pop!!! Yes I know, that was a weak attempt at some fireworks but that is all I got, sorry. Anyway, hope everyone has a happy Fourth of July, and as I type this I realize I made a big goof. I was out of town for the latter part of this week (Wed – Fri) so on the way home tonight I called my wife and asked her to move a beer from my broken fridge, yes it is down again and has been for a while, to the family fridge so it would be cold when I got home and could do my review. This is where I made the mistake, I completely missed the boat on it too, I told her any beer would do when I should have said get me an AMERICAN beer, you know it being Fourth of July and all. MY BAD! But at least I bring you a beer from the mother land of all beer, Belgium; I’ll even use a Belgian style tulip glass.

PALM, Belgium’s Amber Beer 

It pours and really nice true amber color with a very decent cream colored head. Not very much scent going on, maybe a little floral fruity notes, most likely from the yeast. Taste is just about the same, not really anything that jumps out at you, slightly sweet at the front end with no hops what-so-ever in the back end. You only get a slight taste of yeast right when you would expect some hops to kick in. Not that it is bad or anything but I guess I was really expecting something with a little more pizzazz. The bottle says it is Belgian’s leading Amber Beer, pretty big claim don’t you think, but hey, Bud says it’s the King of Beers right.

So to make up for my gaff, goof, screwup or whatever you want to call it, maybe I’ll do something on July 4th, even if it is Sunday and the south looks down on drinking that day. So till then, be sure to use that SPF 50+ while lounging by the pool and relaxing on this 3 day weekend. Cheers!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Slim Chance - RedHook Ale Brewery

What are the odds I get to hang out down in here in Florida for another week? Slim Chance ha….well that’s what we get this Friday, Slim Chance from RedHook Ale Brewery. I wanted to either get a local brew or a summer brew non-Corona, non-Bud Light Lime, non-Miller Chill, you know, a craft beer summer brew. Well, I found a local Irish Red that is brewed down here in the gulf, was just about to grab a sixer when my wife tells me I have to back in the grocery store next door to show my ID. You see, I left her with the groceries and credit card while I ran next door to the beer store, not a good idea. When I got through with the over anal cashier I forgot all about what beer I was looking at and found this.

Now, I have said it here and I am a true believer that beer is meant to be poured, consumed out of a glass, but there is just something about sitting on the balcony at the beach that makes me drink the beer out of a bottle, and honestly, I did have it first out of a glass and I must say I like it better in the bottle. I also usually write these reviews as I drink it for the first time and without checking out any info on the beer. Well, this is the fifth on of these this week so that is out of the window but at least I still have yet to visit their website on this beer. You can do that here if you like. So I’m not sure if it is an ale or a lager, seems pretty light for an ale but you never know. The initial taste gives you a slight tingle on the tongue followed by a nice refreshing crisp summer taste with a slight citrus tang to it. No malt at all and very little hops yet it still taste like a craft beer, not at all like a mega-brew mass appeal beer, which I know it’s not. It is even a light beer coming in at only 125 calories and 3.9 % ABV. This could be my new summer beer for sure, easy to drink, good quality taste, doesn’t fill you up, three thumbs up all around.

So I must say, in this time of global warming (not), it’s just the sun dude, this is the beer for all my fellow beer geeks, craft brew lovers to try. I know I will be grabbing more. Cheers!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lone Palm Ale - Margaritaville

Wow, my second post in a row were I had to take the picture with my cell phone, from a restaurant on the ocean, I doubt very seriously that I will ever be at two different beaches/oceans two weeks in a row. Last week I was on the coast of South Carolina in the Charleston area, this week I’m in the Gulf of Mexico in Panama City Beach. Granted I was working last week but still, pretty cool. So we go out to eat tonight at the Famous Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and I see on the beer list ‘Lone Palm Ale’, I inquire and find that it is a Margaritaville exclusive that they only sell at the restaurants, well that means one thing, I have to get it and the $6 souvenir glass right.

So, it comes to me in the tall 20oz glass with a nice head and a deep amber color, just begging to be consumed. Well first I must take a few pictures, make sure they look ok, then my two oldest want me to take their picture too, well ok, if I must. I took a few more pics after taking a few sips. The beer has a semi-sweet caramel smell but nothing very strong or overpowering. The taste is actually kind of dull at first but then you get the semi-sweet roasted caramel taste with some hops hiding faintly in the background, you almost have to concentrate on tasting them. Kinda of odd to see such a malty ale marketed as a summer beer but oh well, it was decent enough. Unfortunately like I said I ordered the 20oz size and spent too much time taking pictures and trying to determine the smell/taste and taking notes so it got a little warmer than I like. I know several people that actually like their ales to be a bit warmer than normal but not me, now I don’t like them as cold as I do lagers but I still like them cold, so maybe that is why I didn’t like it as much by the end as I did at the beginning.

Well, this is just Wednesday and I will have another summer craft beer coming up this Friday. I already have it, I have even had some of them, I just haven’t spent the time to right some notes and take some pictures. Cheers beer friend till this time Friday.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Kind Bud...emm I mean Beer.

Kind Bud..I mean Beer. That’s this week’s brew. I’m a sucker for the small local brewer that barely hangs on and probably could make tons more money doing something else (that he hates). This is the only brewery that I have actually been to; it was to buy home brew supplies nit tour the brewery (wharehouse). Pretty cool to go in and have the brewmaster ask, “Can I help you”, and right there in a small corner of their brewery was all of the home brew supplies. I saw some guy boxing up the empty unlabeled bottles, another guy getting the hand trucks ready. It really was a 3-4 man operation, really cool, I almost hated to bother them by asking for some supplies but they were more than happy to help.

Now, the brewery is Thomas Creek in Greeneville, SC. I’m not sure if Kind Beer is theirs or if they just contract brew it for someone else that doesn’t have a brewery yet but I still like to support them. Oh and they do have good beer, so when I saw this at a Vickery’s in Mount Pleasant, SC this week I had to get it. I normally do these reviews on Friday night but I knew my time would be very this Friday as I’ll be headed to Panama City Beach to play in the oil come Saturday morning. So, given that I found a craft beer on Wed and it was from a good small brewery, problem solved right, just type my notes into the Blackberry and then write it up real quick on Friday.

So to the beer, Kind Beer Belgian Style Red Ale, here's the brewer link also.

It poured a really nice color of red with a thick, creamy off-white head, even if I did have to pour it this old style beer mug instead of the more elegant Belgian style tulip glass. I immediately smell the strong yeast that should accompany a Belgian style ale. If you’ve ever brewed your own beer and taken I whiff of the yeast before you pitch it, this is what this beer smells like. The first taste is the sweet taste of malts that quickly gives way to the yeast and almost no sign of hops. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy but very smooth and drinkable.

Now, I’m off to the beach and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of drinks to keep me hydrated in the Florida heat. Your job, relax cause it’s the weekend and be sure to have a drink on me and if you decide to fire up that grill, I like my steak medium rare, just tell me when and where. Cheers!


Friday, June 11, 2010

La Crosse Lager

This week’s review is kind of a double treat for me. As I mentioned last week I had a friend bring me back some beers from up north from his fishing expedition at Lake Erie. This is a beer I had never heard of before so it was an extra I didn’t even know to ask for, then on top of that it is supposedly the original recipe for the one beer I did request he bring back, Old Style.

La Crosse Lager – City Brewery, La Crosse, WI.

So the story is that MillerCoors owns the naming rights to Old Style but City Brewery uses the recipe for this beer. Now, I can’t say if it is better or worse than Old Style as I have yet to try the one can of Old Style he managed to bring back. I will say it pours the typical golden yellow that most American lagers do, and creates a very nice, thick white head that even leaves a bit of lacing behind. I get a slightly sweet scent of corn, very similar to roasted corn on the grill from the smell. Taste and mouthfeel are very light, not as crisp as other American lagers but refreshing none the less. Slightly sweet taste with a bit of bitterness kicking in at the very tale end and not leaving any after taste.

Before I started this journey of tasting as many different beers as possible I might have taken the first sip and gave this one away or even turned it down completely. Now that I have been brewing beer and enjoying the Craft beer boom, I have come to really try and appreciate what any and all beers bring. What it is the brewer is trying to give us. Now, I’m no fool and I don’t think for a minute that this beer is nothing more than a thirst quencher made to please the masses, but still, someone somewhere had to develop this recipe and then perfect it. So I can now mark off another beer of the list, expand my experience a little and think about how sad it was in the early 1900’s when this style dominated the U.S. Not that this is a bad beer but one that doesn’t really bring much to the table, alah Miller Lite, Coors, BUD, etc…

I do however have some pretty cool pics to post. One from about crazy ads, and another from reader JF about how serious Ireland is when it comes to alcohol consumption. Which just serves to remind me that time is running out for me to make the trip I have always wanted to make, visit Ireland.

Well, it’s the weekend and I have no baseball games to attend as my son’s All-Star team is finally finished, it was fun but tiresome, so that means it’s time to relax. Cheers beer friend!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Little Kings

Ok, this blog is normally about craft beer but I am also just a fan of beer, history of beer and just about anything to do with beer. I think it is awesome how brewers take 4 simple ingredients (for the most part, water, barley, yeast and hops) and develop so many different tastes. Ever since reading ‘Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer’, I have been on a quest to find all of the old beers, Schlitz, Stroh’s, Old Style, etc… I know that some of these brews are not owned by the original brewery but still I have hopes that it is the same recipe. So when my buddy made his yearly trip to Lake Erie, I gave him a mission, bring me back some Old Style and anything else you can find that we don’t get down here in the south. Well, tonight’s review is just that, one of those old style American beers we can't find in Georgia.

Little Kings by Hudepohl-Schoenling brewing Co. – Cincinnati, OH.

Pretty cool little 7oz bottles which is why you see two of them. Pours a nice golden yellow with a surprisingly thick head that also stays around leaving nice lacing down the glass. The smell definitely reminds you of when you were a kid and you would sneak a scent of your grandpa’s beer. Nothing like today’s craft brew, but I never expected that. Very light smelling, maybe just a bit of barley, straw, and hops hanging around. The taste is also basically what we grew up tasting when we would get someone to buy us beer before we ‘legally’ allowed to, but much better than the other King of beers. It is crisp, light, refreshing, nothing overpowering, your’e not going to be blown away by the hops or the sweetness of the barley, although there is a slight sweetness to it. I’m not sure this would replace my go to everyday beer that I drink when I plan on tailgating or partaking a backyard grilling feast but I could drink this or a couple of these on a nice summer day. I probably should have poured one in the glass and kept the other in the bottle for a comparison, you know, kind of how the old Coke you get in the small 8oz glass bottles seems to be the best ever tasting Coke. Oh well, I like a full glass of beer instead.

So cheers my friend and I hope this weekend finds you sitting on the back porch with your grill a flaming and your cooler full of cold beer.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Southern Tier - 422

Well he we are, Friday before Memorial Day. First and foremost let me give a big thanks to all those who have served our nation, it takes a special type of person to put their life on the line for someone they have never met. We cannot even begin to repay their families for their sacrifice, but here is my humble thanks.

This week’s beer grabbed my attention because it mixes two of my favorite styles, Pale Ale and Wheat Beer. So we have a Pale Wheat Ale from Southern Tier…422. Label says make everyday Earth Day. Now, I’m not one of those tree huggers or anything but I also would like to think we can keep the place we call home a little cleaner so our kids and grandkids can enjoy themselves, moderation is the key.

Ok, the beer, it pours a golden orange with just a slight hue, not crystal clear or super hazy, kind of in the middle. It has a nice head that settles to nice thin cap. The scent is bursting with hops with a little wheat hiding in the background, basically what you would think you get mixing the two styles. The taste however is almost the opposite of the scent, wheat dominating and the hops being subtle. It works very nicely though I must say. Much like a good springtime/summertime wheat beer it doesn’t come across as being heavy and would lend itself to multiplicity. Hey, if I can have a good beer like this and it somehow help the ‘earthies’, I can live with that.

So fire up the grill, clean the pool and relax on this 3 day weekend, and don’t forget those who have given us the freedom to do so. Cheers beer friend and military veteran, this beer is on me.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Coastal Wheat - Sam Adams

So a few quick reasons why I picked this beer for this week’s review: one, I thought I was reviewing a wheat beer last week but turns out it was just a fruit ale, so I had to make that up and really review a wheat beer this week. Two, it is officially ‘Craft Beer Week’ and I consider this brewer the real catalyst behind the craft beer movement we are in today. I know you have Fritz Maytag from Anchor Brewing and Ken Grossman from Sierra Nevada but I think Jim Koch from Boston Beer Co aka Samuel Adams really got craft beer on the map. So I give you this week’s review in the form of:

Coastal Wheat by Samuel Adams

It pours a light cloudy orange like one might expect from a wheat beer. The nose grabs a bit of a sour scent which I hope is the yeast coming through and not a sign of a bad/spoiled beer. Upon first taste I think the sourness smell is correct as I pick up a very distinct citrus tingly taste on the tongue, very similar to that of Allagash White, another very good wheat beer. Not a lot of hops to this beer and it is definitely a summer time beer. I also imagine it may do very well with a slice of orange or lemon squeezed in there but I like to judge beers on their own before I go adding extra ingredients, orange slice, lime wedge, salt, etc… All in all a beer we have come to expect from Samuel Adams, a good quality, fresh tasting beer.

I found another pretty cool blog this week. I’m not one for cigars although I would love to start; this site does a nice job pairing fine cigars with fine drinks. Doesn’t everyone that smokes a cigar while sipping a scotch/wine/beer just look so dang relaxed, like they haven’t a care in the world? Must be nice ha, oh well, cheers my friend ‘cause it’s Friday all over again and we have plenty of time for some of that relaxing.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Wild Raspberry Ale - Great Divide Brewing Co

OK so I have been officially thrown some love from other bloggers, ok just one but still, I guess that means I have to step up my game to make sure it doesn’t get stale. So if any of you out there are Dawg fans return the favor and check out Bernie’s Dawg Blawg, thanks Bernie. Also, I hate to admit it to any of the beer snobs out there but I actually drink Miller Lite on a regular basis so this post made me laugh, a lot, especially the picture. Well, maybe tonight’s review will fare better with the beer snobs of the world that may find their way to my small, remote corner of the WouldWideWeb. This will be the first beer I have had from this brewery but everything I have heard about them is good so hopefully this beer is also. I’ve said it before that I will try any beer at least once no matter what the crazy brewer decides to throw in the kettle. I also like a good wheat beer in the heat of summer, yes I know it isn’t summer yet but you don’t live in what feels like the hottest place on the face of the earth either, middle Georgia. Just ask anybody who has lived here from May to September and they’ll swear it is he_ _, ok maybe they mean something other than heat. Let’s get to the beer shall we.

Wild Raspberry Ale – Great Divide Brewing Co. (Denver CO). Once again another craft brewery from Colorado.

After the last ‘Wild something or other’ beer you would think I would stay away from “WILD” in the name and fruit in the beer but I had to try it. The color is in no way like that other ‘wild’ beer; this one has more of a normal beer color, brown with a red tint, very close to an Irish Red Ale. Not much in the way of a head though and that made me realize, this is not a wheat beer, I just assumed it was because that is what usually get infused with fruit. Interesting. The smell is a mixture of sourness, sweetness, raspberries and alcohol, having tremors thinking it might be like the last ‘wild’ beer I reviewed. Well relax, it isn’t nearly that bad, in fact it is pretty tasty, I think the tartness helps balance the sweetness then you get just a slight hint of hops to finish you off. Not really a traditional beer flavor to be found but you still know your drinking beer and not some sort of wine you uncle fermented in his orange Coleman cooler. After checking out their website they have plenty of brews I can check out, next time I’m in a good beer store I will have to grab a few others.

So make it a good weekend kids, I sure am. I might even find some more GDBC brews and have a grill out. Which I must say is different from a BBQ, a BBQ must contain PORK, be it a shoulder, ribs, etc.., simply throwing something on the grill doesn’t constitute a BBQ, that is just grilling, more on that at a later date or even a new blog, hmmm. Cheers!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Rye Pale Ale - Terrapin Beer Co

Ok, so with Cinco de Mayo behind us, I wanted to try and find a good beer for this week’s ‘real’ review. So while surfing the web on my BlackBerry as I got my oil changed in the car, I see this at one of my many blogs I follow. Interestingly enough, I don’t drink much from this brewer and I’m not exactly sure why, when I have had it on draft it has been good and it hails from the ‘Classic City’ (Athens, GA for those of you not in the know) so it is considered a local brew for me. Maybe it is something about the turtle that throws me off who knows, but this week I will dedicate at least some time for this beer and brewery.

Rye Pale Ale – Terrapin Beer Co. Athens, GA

Looks good in that Georgia glass don’t it? I just had to use that since the beer was brewed right there in Athens, GA, home to the DAWGS. Pours a nice translucent gold with a nice thick dense head, I was even able to float the bottle cap on it for a few seconds. Don’t ask me what made me try it, I just looked at how dense the head was and the Sam Adams commercial popped in my head so I did it, pretty cool, hope I didn’t taint the beer though. It definitely has some hop scents going on, almost as much as an IPA, nice and fresh smelling. The taste gives a ever so slightly sweetness at the front end then follows nicely with the hops but not nearly as much as the scent might lead you to think it would have. It has a nice medium mouthfeel that makes it an easy drink. Why I don’t drink this beer or others from this brewery is beyond me, maybe I should start.

Well, its Friday night, not raining so that means fire up the grill (I do it even if it is raining). I’m going to try something new tonight, I’m grilling pizza. Grilling is kind of like beer to me, I’ll try anything once. I’m going to start with a store bought pizza first, then if that goes well I will try to make one from scratch, wish me luck beer friend. Cheers!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo amigo! No, I’m not starting to offer a Spanish version of my blog, I slept so much in high school Spanish class that the teacher changed my name to Pepe SueƱo (which means Pepe sleepy one) so in no way do I know enough Spanish to even begin to write in Spanish. Cinco de Mayo is the holiday that most people think of as the Mexican version of Fourth of July, their independence day, not true, that is actually September 15th. May 5th is the day 4000 Mexico soldiers won a battle with the French army in 1862. American’s just use the date to get their drink on, just like we do for St. Patty’s day.

So, to do my part, I wanted to seek out a Mexican beer that I hadn’t tried before. Now that meant I had my work cut out for me unless I wanted to take a trip to Mexico. I think I have had every Mexican beer offered in the US at least a dozen times, and to be honest, they all taste the same except for Negro Modelo which is what I had actually picked out till I was talked in to this. As much as I wanted to try it cause I had never had it, I wanted to pass on it because of the cheesy Ed Hardy label, but here we are.

Ed Hardy Premium Beer – Brewed and bottled by Cerveceria Mexicana, S. de R. L. de C. V., Tecate

So, I hope you can tell by the photo that it appears like any other ‘Premium’ beer or Mexican style beer. Very light, yellow pale, clear but it does actually produce a nice big head even if it isn’t a tight thick head, and it even managed to stick around tell the end. The scent was of some corn and straw, not to pleasant when talking about beer but very similar to American Lagers. This beer seemed more watered down though and not much flavor, very close to what Miller Lite is like when poured in a glass. That coming from someone who can handle Miller Lite if it is in the bottle or even the can but I just really don’t care for it at all once it is poured in the glass, which goes against my number one rule of beer – BEER IS TO BE POURED. Oh well, Miller Lite isn’t really beer is it? So maybe this beer would have been a lot better if I had consumed it straight out of this gawdy looking bottle.

Well I guess I did my part to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I tried a new Mexican beer, ate crunchy tacos and lettuce. So, maybe Friday will have better things in store for us beer geeks, till then, cheers my friend.


Friday, April 30, 2010

JAVA STOUT! - Bell's Brewery

OK, this Friday I have another beer I have been craving to try since my uncle gave me a mix six packer last weekend. I love coffee almost as much as I love beer so if you combine the two, well I think I might feel complete bliss, nirvana, and utopia, yes, all at the same time. BAM! This beer is also from one of my favorite breweries, Bell’s, which happens to be located in Michigan, home to the Detroit Tigers, my second favorite baseball team behind the ailing Atlanta Braves. The only out-of-state college I applied to was also Michigan State, the only time I’ve been out of the country was when I was in Detroit and went south to Winsor, Canada so maybe I just have an unconscious love for Michigan, oh well, it could be worse, I could love Alabama or Mississippi.

Now, the beer, JAVA STOUT, stout brewed with coffee, man why didn’t I think of that. Wonder if I could get away with this in the mornings in place of my normal cup of joe.

It pours nice and dark like any good stout should, it has that cool bubbling effect just like Guinness that produces a nice thick, creamy head. It definitely smells like a good cup of coffee with a slight alcohol scent. The taste is amazing, starts of like a nice roasty stout but then the sweetness of a mocha hits and hides the 7.5% ABV unbelievably well. It truly is the marriage of coffee and stout. It is heavy like a stout but I still believe I could drink a handful of these at one sitting, it is just so smooth and creamy. Now, I’ve never had Bailey’s Irish Cream in my coffee but if it is anything like this I may just have to start. Wow, just wow.

So now I must get back to my favorite thing to do, grilling, and grilling my favorite thing, chicken leg quarters. Slow cook them for an hour than move them directly over the heat for another 45 minutes, um um, fall of the bone chicken. So I hope your Friday night has as much enjoyment as mine has in store, if not sorry brother, you can always grab a Java Stout and turn it around. Cheers beer nuts!

You can also check out 365beers’ review of this same beer, I think now that I have tried it I’ll do the same. This is also someone who has inspired me to take more creative pictures. I check his site almost daily and have found several beers that I have on my ‘to do list’ so had to close the page before I started reading this one as not to taint my opinion.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

O'Dempsey's - Big Red Ale

Once again I give you a mid-week bonus review, mainly due to my selfishness but you still benefit right? Ok, I’ve been wanting to try this since my uncle gave it to me this past weekend but been a little short on time so I made time this evening. This is the kind of story you like to hear about as a craft beer geek/nut/fan. Now if I could just get enough people to like my beer I could be in the same boat right, ok maybe not but it’s still a cool story. Very similar to New Belgium Brewery or even Sweetwater Brewery and probably a lot of other small craft breweries to be honest. Very cool times for the craft beer world. Before I even try this beer I have a small complaint, the brewery name on the label is very hard to see much less read but I guess if its good I’ll just remember the beer name and label instead of the brewery. However I do like that it tells you the IBU’s (30) and the Original Gravity (1.058) and the ALC/VOL (6.0%).

So here we go with Big Red Ale by O’dempsey’s (Beer to die for) – Brewed and bottled by Atlanta Brewing Co via contract brewing. Again, probably like must small craft brewers, this is an easier way to start out. You get a brewery that has extra space, brewmasters, and equipment to brew your recipe, bottle you beer and both parties win. You get quality beer for your start-up brewery and the brewing brewery doesn’t see their equipment sitting idle.

It pours a deep ruby red almost brown and has a nice thick head but it doesn’t stick around too long. I’m guessing it is an ‘Irish Red’ and has a little more hoppy smell than most Irish Reds. The taste however is not nearly as hoppy and has good balance between the malt and hops. I even has a slight ‘homebrew’ taste to it, not sure if that is real or if I am just imagining that due to him being a lifelong homebrewer turned ‘pro’ and this being his first beer in production. Very drinkable, normal Irish Red, if and when this hits my market I will occasionally pick it up when in the mood for this style.

So enjoy this rare mid-week treat and pour one for me friend cause it will be Friday before we know it and we will all be right back here for another round. Cheers!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Oatmeal Porter - Highland Brewing Co

This week’s entry is one of the main reasons I started my blog. Not necessarily this beer or style but rather what it represents. I don’t know or remember having this beer or this style of beer but also can’t believe I haven’t had it. If I did have it I have no idea what it was like or even if I liked it. So, BAM! I thought writing my thoughts down would help me with these situations. Well, I tried that and never really kept up with it. But, creating a blog and hopefully having readers would force me to keep up with it, so far so good ha.

So here we go with the style I have been wanting to try for a some time now (even if I have tried it before I don’t recall it). So, Oatmeal Porter – Highland Brewing Co it is.

It pours very dark as expected for a porter with a nice thick dense beige head that sticks around for a while. You can smell the roasted malts and a hint of some rich coffee tones. The taste gives you a medium mouthfeel with a bit of semi-sweet chocolate bitterness but finishing very smooth. Not as silky smooth as a Guinness but very close. Overall I’m sad that I don’t remember this beer/style as I like it a lot, maybe I haven’t ever had it, who knows. So with this effectively being my first oatmeal porter, I have nothing to compare it with but I will definitely try other oatmeal porters/stouts. Very easy to drink with a lot of flavors going on.

The Georgia glass is in tribute to the fact that the Dawgs released their dept chart yesterday for the 2010 Football season and to be honest I’ll use any excuse to talk UGA football. Only 133 more days till kick off baby. But right now it’s time for America’s past time, Baseball, tee-ball to be exact with my middle son having a game tonight, go #16 and go WhiteSox.

Bonus Link! Warning…not safe for the minors out there or the too easily offended! There is now way I could allow this link to go unmentioned. (H/T to JF for this one).Don’t know if this beer is any good but this commercial is, too bad it will never be aired on anything other than YouTube. Have fun with that one friends.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Wild Blue Lager

Whoa what a week. I started a running program a few weeks ago and my knees have officially waged war against the rest of my body, they refuse to work and are trying to sabotage my brain, it sure isn’t easy getting old. On a better note, my boss treated me to a round of golf Wednesday afternoon, which didn’t help the knee war but was better than the running. He also provided me with this week’s beer review. Now, before I get to the review let me first say I will try just about any beer, no matter what it is made with or from, peaches, cherries, blueberries, rice, wheat, etc… But I have a hard time trying anything from AB/Inbev but decided to take my boss’ advice and try…

Wild Blue Lager – Blue Dawg Brewing**, Baldwinsville, NY

** Two things wrong with this –

1. DAWG is to be used only by us southerners, not them D@MN Yankees (I married one so I can say that).

2. Blue Dawg Brewing is a group within Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (says so right on the website).

Ok, so here I go, kicking, screaming, scratching, and clawing, nah it isn’t really that hard to get me to try a beer.

Well, as you hopefully can see by the picture, it pours a, um, how shall I say, oh, purple rose color and has a thin pinkish head. Really, purple beer, now I’ve heard of green beer on St Patrick’s Day, but purple, hmm I’m kind of scared. It smells very similar to a cheap wine you used to drink in high school; you know the one from somebody’s farm or something. Well the first taste is about the same, pretty much just like a cheap fruity wine that my wife would like. Hey, there’s an idea, let’s see what the wife thinks. Ok, she likes it and doesn’t really like beer but says, and I quote “this is probably the worst beer you have ever had isn’t it”. You get a slight taste of alcohol, once again similar to what wine gives you. Well what else can I say; this ain’t any beer that a self respecting beer connoisseur would like. Man how am I going to break it to my boss, hmm, I know, I’ll just tell him I couldn’t find any. Nah, he isn’t the best judge of beers anyway as his last recommended beer was almost just as bad and I rag him about it every chance I get, this will just add to the ammunition.

On a better side of things, I got to see some high school baseball this evening and even saw my nephew hit his first ever homerun. So even if your boss recommends you try a really bad beer, life is still good, just let the wife finish it and grab yourself a real beer my friend.

Speaking of baseball, check out this link to see where your favorite team got it’s mascot from, or go here to see some really good beers. I’m not sure how much faith I have in some of these judges though. I brew my own beer every blue moon or two and had a bad batch. For the life of me couldn’t figure out what was wrong. “Hey, enter that skunky beer in one of those contest” says my buddy, “they will tell you what is wrong”. Well, not exactly, they kind of liked it and gave me a good score. Oh well, I can always ship them the remaining case and they can have a party on me. Cheers my friend.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Peachtree Pale Ale

So with my beer review stock reduced to just two choices thanks to my brother-in-law from last Friday, I find this(which was to be reviewed tonight) yesterday at one of my many daily blogs I follow, so now I have only one beer to choose from. Not much of a choice is it? Oh well, kind of fitting that I review a Georgia beer since it is Masters Week and all, Yeah you know that big golf tournament they hold every spring in Augusta GA., the one that every single human should attend at least once in their lifetime, not necessarily for the golf but the sheer beauty of the entire facility over there. I have had the pleasure of going about a dozen times and I find myself in awe every time I step inside those gates. I even tried like heck to name my third son Robert Jones Kimball, ‘cause you know Robert (Bobby) Jones was the man behind the Masters. My first two sons were named after Georgia sports figures so it would fit right in; but the wife put the axe on that. Although he still got a cool name and it was still after a Georgia athlete, an Atlanta Brave nicknamed Maddog to be exact, kind of cool when the wife lets you name your kids, thanks Red. I have even been to Augusta National in the fall and winter (unfortunately for work not to play) when the golf tournament was long gone or far from starting and it was still just as perfect, perfect I tell you. But enough of that, this isn’t a golf blog (I’ll save those stories for my book) it’s a beer blog. So I give you beer fans –

Red Brick Peachtree Pale Ale – American Style Pale Ale from Atlanta Brewing Co.

Interesting tid-bit on the name, when I first started brewing beer 3-4 years ago, the first batch of red ale I brewed I called Red Brick Ale, then I saw that Atlanta Brewing Co had that name for themselves, oh well, it’s not like I was going to be the next Jim Koch or anything, (he is the founder of Sam Adams for those not as geeky about beer as moi).

The first scent through me for a loop, at first I thought it might be a bad batch cause it smelled slightly ruined. Then I remembered that I cleaned my beer fridge the other day and the glass my still smell of cleaner. Grab a fresh glass and transfer beer and ahh, that’s better. Nice floral hop tones but not over powering, almost no malt but that is to be expected in an American Pale Ale. The pour is a cloudy orange with a nice thick head, kind of odd to have a pale ale be cloudy but whatever. Very light mouthfeel and very refreshing with a good bit of hops kicking in right at the end, really crisp for an ale. All in all a standard American pale ale, not too much malt mixed with a good dose of hops. Fairly easy to drink, especially when it is as nice outside as it is right now, mid 70’s and not a cloud in the sky. Might have to make this a regular in the beer fridge, or at least rotate them in every few months. So go have a beer for me, or better yet, if you’re in the Greenville SC area, check out Top of the Hops beer festival this weekend. Cheers my friend.