Saturday, April 25, 2015

BEER & Friends Laser Cut Bottle Openers

BEER&Friends launched their Kickstarter a few days ago and it's already funded! Basically these guys bought a lot of "F**k'n Lasers," which is what you would be funding should you decide to participate. The lasers are used to cut some really fun designs into stainless steel, which then you would use to open your beer bottles.

Now, just because the kickstarter is funded doesn't mean you shouldn't participate. The owner of the company will hand deliver your bottle opener (eye contact not guaranteed) for the right price. And they have simple levels if you just want one for yourself or a few gifts.

They sent me their BEER design of bottle opener which you can see above. In this case BEER = Bear + Deer. I tested it out on Evolution Brewing's Lot No. 3 IPA. Worked perfectly as expected, then went right back into my wallet! Yep, thin and lightweight and better than most credit cards!

Check out the kickstarter page to see other versions as well: Don't Give Two Flying Fox, Hawkward, Jackass, and Koalafied Beer Inspector are my favorites! If you fund the kickstarter, you get to choose the design. Enjoy!



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rhye IPA

It's been a while since I grabbed a Smuttynose Brewing beer, not really sure why. But a label with a rhinoceros on it caught my eye a few days ago. And the name, Rhye IPA, what the hell is that? Well it's a combination of the rhino and the rye that the brewery used while brewing the beer itself. Best By 08/11/2015.

Spicy, citrusy aroma. Giant spicy flavors to start on top of a lot of pine. Those give way to some orange citrus, sweet and zesty at the same time, kind of interesting. A light caramel sweetness adds another element of balance right at the finish. The finish is also very dry with a light touch of alcohol noticeable. Pleasant lingering aftertaste.

Good balance with sweet and bitter and spicy and alcy. I liked it and will go to see what other Smuttys are on the shelf next to this one!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Inedit Damm

Last week, security called my house to let me know "Michael" was at the gate. When I asked who he was and why, I was told that he'd like to deliver something to me. So two minutes later, he was handing me a 4-pack of Spain's Inedit Damm, compliments of Estrella Damm's agency here in Miami. Nice! (So many Damm jokes, too! Beware!)

This is a wheat beer brewed with a lot of Damm spices including licorice, coriander and orange peel. It is just recently being introduced to the US in "Personal Size Bottles." It's been available in wine-sized bottles here, but it's funny b/c I didn't even finish my Damm review yet and already cracked open my second 330 mL personal bottle. Perspective!

Inedit Damm was created by famous award-winning Chef Ferran Adria and the Estrella Damm brewmasters. I think this is a highlight though I've never heard of this guy despite watching a Damm inordinate amount of Food Network and other cooking shows. Anyway, given Chef Adria's cooking prowess, this beer was created in such a way that it's extremely versatile and can be "paired with any [Damm] dish." I paired the first two bottles with nothing.

I also didn't follow instructions to serve in a Damm white wine glass, no more than half full, so I could fully appreciate the aromatic intensity. Damm (InEd) It! Best Before end of 01/2016. 4.8% alcohol.

Damm nice aroma, full of lemon and orange citrus with strong coriander. Sweet wheaty grain flavor start. Wow, plenty of corainder and orange too, accompanied by a nice tangy streak. Carbonation is good, adds to the Damm refreshment. Medium body, not too thin.

Inedit Damm does remain on the sweet side despite some grassy hoppy nips and a little zesty citrus. But it's mostly balanced. Pretty Damm easy drinker. Not bad!

As I was writing this review, someone retweeted a tweet Alyssa Sutherland sent me (she's the Damm hot actress from the History Vikings show!) So I tweeted pictures of the new Damm packaging and bottles to Alyssa, considering it's a beer she likes. Man, Estrella Damm must be stalking me (see response below). Damm Funny. OK. Done, for now!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spencer Trappist Ale -- Heath McKnight Guest Post

Spencer Trappist Ale Review

The past few weeks, Ive been on a Belgian beer kick, specifically Trappist and Abbey beers, brewed of course by monks. Ive enjoyed Chimay Blue and Red (though I thought the White wasnt all that good in a bottle) and St. Bernardusfamous Abt 12 and Prior 8, along with some American-style Quads (Barrel of Monksline-up in Boca Raton, FL; Boulevard Brewings The Sixth Glass; and Brooklyn Local 2).

Im partial to the Trappist and Abbey beers, and the 10 Trappist monasteries brewing beer are mostly in Europe (6 in Belgium, 1 in Austria, and 2 in the Netherlands), and one in the United States, the Spencer Trappist Ale, brewed by the monks at St. Josephs Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. (I wont go into the whole Trappist vs. Abbey beers.)

My buddy was able to grab a couple of bottles of the Spencer Trappist Ale, which is a blonde ale with 6.5% ABV. According to Wikipedia, the monks at St. Josephs Abbey made preserves, but started looking at brewing beer to pay the bills. They did their research and went to the Trappist breweries in Europe, and were told to brew one beer for a few years. This is that beer.

Though its a blonde ale, and has a slightly higher alcohol content (similar ABV to a dubbel), its really close to a singel,or Enkel, but also commonly known as a Patersbier. This beer isnt usually sold, and the monks drink it and has an ABV of less than 6%. Thats why Im a little surprised this one pushes nearly 7%!

Like pretty much all Belgian Trappist beers Ive had, it pours a nice head, nice yellow color. For a Patersbier, you can taste that higher alcohol content vs. a more mellow one. Keep in mind, Ive only had one other one at Barrel of Monks in Boca Raton, and it had 4.5% ABV, much milder. Anyway, the Spencer had some nice fruity flavors, plus some honey and good carbonation. Good beer.

The price for a 4-pack is about $15 to $16, which is steep, but imported Trappist beers can cost about $20 to $22 for a 4-pack. The brewery just announced there will be 750 fluid ounce bottles coming soon, but no details on a firm date yet. Also, on their Facebook page, they said theyve been sampling other famous Trappist beers, in the styles of Dubbel, Trippel, and Quad.

Find out more at

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Guy on a Buffalo Coffee Stout

Today I'm checking out Great Northern Brewing's Guy on a Buffalo Coffee Stout. The brewery sent me a sample of the beer along with one from Montana Coffee Traders, the makers of the coffee they used while brewing the beer. This is part of their 2015 Weathervane Series and is packaged in a 22 ounce bottle which has a sketch of the brewery on its label. 5.4% alcohol. 29 IBU.

Plenty of roasted coffee along with a dose of sweet chocolate on the nose. Very smooth and creamy texture. Huge coffee flavor, and clearly a quality coffee product (I'm going to try that sample tomorrow morning to verify!). Chocolate flavors are secondary but a good complement to the coffee. Body is medium at best, not too rich or robust. Roast is present but tame, thankfully. Very simple. Also very pleasant, good flavors, enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Delicious IPA

I grabbed a bottle of Stone Delicious IPA a few days ago--they are kings of the style after all. While reading the story on the back, I learned that Stone tried to craft this beer to reduce the amount of gluten in it, despite using barley in the brewing process. At the same time they decided to try to create a recipe that would be bold enough for hopheads yet approachable for those new to hoppy beers.

This is their 2015 release. Brewed with Lemondrop and El Dorado Hops. 7.7% alcohol.

Nice aroma, citrus and fruity, though not very powerful. Wow, delicious flavors! Whoever named the beer deserves a raise. Excellent lemony citrus comes first, sharp with a tangy flavor to it. Some light tropical fruity sweetness adds a hint of balance. This beer is bursting with fruit flavors.

Nicely spicy, zesty lemons everywhere, good hoppy bitterness with a little bite. And a little alcohol kick and dryness at the finish. Tasty and very enjoyable. Loved the hops combination.