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!