Thursday, March 5, 2015

Flagship IPA

After checking out Carolina Brewery's Sky Blue Golden Ale yesterday, I headed for their Flagship IPA for a taste today. The can lets you know this is "A Classic, Hoppy IPA," one which won the Gold Medal at the 2006 GABF in the English-Style IPA category. There is a small picture of a ship, one that would have been used to take this type of beer from England to India in the 18th Century, according to the story on the back of the can.

Lemony-hoppy aroma with some caramel too. More bitter than I was expecting, leading with a sharp lemony Pledge cleanser type flavor. Leafy, piney, astringent. There is a little sweet caramel balance, but this leans way bitter. And that bitterness lingers long after each sip. Not my favorite but was OK.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Icey Pale Ale

Last week, Ed Roberts opened the trunk of his car because he wanted to show me something. No dead body, either! But he did hand me a pounder can of Oskar Blues Icey Pale Ale that I had never heard of. The can says this is an Icelantic Limited Edition for Winter 2014/15. 7% alcohol. The artwork showing an enormous buffalo-like creature in the woods is very lifelike! This can was canned on 11/19/14 and the stamp also says "Icey Icey Baby."

Nice sweet fruity aroma, lightly floral as well. Beautiful fruity orange, mango and other tropical flavors to start. Some yeasty character as well but not too much. A little spicy and peppery. Carbonation and texture were also very nice. The finish was clean with more fruitiness left behind. Very good beer! Thoroughly enjoyable.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sky Blue Golden Ale

Perfect beer for the White/Gold or Blue/Black Dress debate? Sky Blue Golden Ale, a combination of the two, duh! I'm surprised Carolina Brewery didn't exploit that immediately as a part of their 20th Anniversary celebration! (BTW, that dress was linen/egg shell and brown mustard color). Sky Blue (sounds like a David Copperfield/Beyonce baby name) is a German-Style Kolsch that actually won GABF Bronze in 2012! Nice!

The PR agency for the brewery arranged a tasting since this is a NC and TN distributed beer. Carolina Brewery is actually the 5th oldest brewery in North Carolina, a state that dominates in awesome breweries, so they must be doing something right. Like brewing award-winning beers at both their Chapel Hill and Pittsboro Brewpubs. And sourcing most of their food from locally sourced products (like the cows that are used in their burgers were fed spent grain from the beer-Circle Of Life). The owner is from UNC too, but let's not hold that against him since I don't think he played basketball there!

OK. This beer didn't have much of an aroma at all, maybe a little grain. Flavors were a combination of grainy sweetness balanced by a refreshing lemongrass bitterness. Very simple though also very refreshing. My wife said a beer to drink "on a boat" though we don't own one or have that many friends with one either (so I better check her emails to see what other friends she might have!)

Check it out if you're in the area. Let me know how the food (and beer) tastes!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brew Hub Craft Collection: Keybilly Island Ale, Pool Hop All Season IPA and Diver Down Imperial Red Ale

Besides brewing those beers for GolfBeer Brewing Co, Lakeland, Florida's Brew Hub has a few of their own beers. I had the chance to check out three cans from their Craft Collection: Keybilly Island Ale, Pool Hop All Season IPA, and Diver Down Imperial Red Ale.

Keybilly Island Ale is an ale brewed with Key Lime juice, "perfect for the beach, the boat, and the bar." The story to the side lets you know this is an amber ale brewed with key lime juice, a beer that we should prepare to be transported to Key West upon drinking. "Florida Keys Style Beer!" 5.4% alcohol.

Faint Key Lime aroma. Grain, good bitterness, light citrus. Key Lime, I suppose, though I was expecting WAY more. Nice tangy flavor persists throughout and lingers after each sip. Not bad.

Pool Hop All Season IPA for those days you want a hoppy beer "you can enjoy all day poolside..." Looks like this is their version of a session ale, coming in at 4.5% alcohol.

Orange and grapefruity citrus aroma, nice but not very big. The flavors are full of citrus bitterness and immediately noticeable spiciness. Quite fruity, lots of orange and generic citrus. Big and flavorful for a session beer. Finishes with a lingering fruity flavor on your palate. Very clean. A winner!

Diver Down Imperial Red Ale. The can has a Divers' Flag and a Diver on the front, while telling a little story on the side. This beer is supposed to be "The Perfect Reward after a full day of work or play." 8.0% alcohol.

Caramel aroma. Caramel and toffee flavor, rich and malty. And as they suggest on the can, there is definitely some hoppy relief and a kick at the end to balance that initial sweetness. Light alcohol at the finish helps cleanse the palate. Simple but flavorful.

Pool Hop was the best of the three with Diver Down a close second. And all three of these kick GolfBeer's ass!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

SOBEWFF Amstel Light Burger Bash 2015

Guy walks up to a bar and asks what beers are available. Bartender says, "Amstel!" Yep, you're at the SOBEWFF Amstel Light Burger Bash! Ed Roberts and I pre-gamed at J Wakefield Brewing in Wynwood beforehand, so we were good with just a few palate cleansing Amstels (and Strongbow Ciders) to wash down our burgers.

I published a more comprehensive recap at SoulOfMiami, but I thought you might like to see some new friends I made and pretty much THE WAY to get people to walk into your liquor store!