Monday, July 28, 2014

RAD


After the party I went to sponsored by Schofferhofer Grapefruit last weekend, I decided to try this can of Sixpoint RAD I had in the fridge. After all, this seems to be at least a cousin being an "ale with fruit juice added." My pounder comes in an orange can and with a story on the back.

"No one in their right mind would dispute it being... TOTALLY RADICAL. Sixpoint RAD is a unique blend of fruit juices with ale to create the original summer crusher. The first Sick Liquid from the Mad Scientists' Laboratory--a refreshing take on what beer can be." 3.2% alcohol. 7 IBU.

Murky orange-brown color. NOT one of the loveliest beers I've ever seen. Very fruity aroma and tons of wheat. Fruits are kind of a weird indiscernible fusion--it doesn't matter but I'll go with banana-orange-mango-peach juice is what was added.

The texture is thick and kind of chewy, lots of wheat. Fruit is still very prevalent, but also still a weird mixed basket. Some citric acidic grapefruit tartness does add a little balance to the wheaty cotton-mouth-producing aspect, but this is not refreshing in the slightest. Sick Liquid is right, but not in the cool way they want you to think of it. Rather, the Mad Scientists made a Blender of Weirdness. Pass for sure.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

WILDFOX Pool Party & Trunk Show with Schofferhofer Beer



WILDFOX recently had a fashion/swim apparel party at the Boulan Hotel Roooftop Pool in Miami Beach (Florida, duh). This was part of the larger Miami Beach Fashion Week Swim events going on around town (I think), including one a few blocks away we saw from Mercedes-Benz. Anyway, who doesn't love a good swim party, especially when it's sponsored by a totally refreshing beer like Schofferhofer Grapefruit!?!?

Greg Garcia, South Florida Manager representing Schofferhofer, invited Ed Roberts who in turn invited me, and you are surely smart enough to see how that ended up. Ed and I arrived at around 12:15, very fashionably on time for a 7 hour event in sweltering heat. It was a pool party, so Ed and I had our suits, but we naively thought that the pool part was a gimmick, that no one would be in the pool and it wouldn't be really that enticing anyway. Dudes, totally wrong!



It was an angry hot day on the roof, even in the shade of the umbrellas. Ed and I immediately grabbed a Schofferhoffer pint can upon arrival. There was a bar set up to offer the guests both the beer and a cool gin cocktail, with and without the grapefruit beer included. While the unlucky guy at the grill there cooked burgers, chicken and hot dogs, Ed and I headed over to the VIP room where we were offered several catered dishes and pizza from Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza! I was surprised yet very happy to find another sponsor I adore!

The VIP room also showcased a few other products including the really awesome lollipop cakes shaped like bikini-clad women by SusyPops. It was really fun eating those chicks! They also had iced coffee though I was too busy with my Schofferhofer cans. Dude, they are like 3.2% alcohol so it was very easy to drink this all afternoon!



Radeberger Group Senior Brand Marketing Manager Armin Buehler told us a little bit about the brand and what's to come next (like those cans you see in our South Florida market). Oh, and he brought the Schofferhofer Hotties too! We did walk around and see what the other sponsors had to offer, though I didn't end up buying any swimwear. Mostly it was a day for staying in the shade, chatting for a while and drinking beer!

We left mid afternoon for another small beer festival in Wynwood, but you'll have to wait to read about that one another day.









Unfortunately, I did NOT meet her!








Monday, July 21, 2014

Funky Buddha


OK. So I'm betting you didn't watch the World Cup Final from three different breweries. I'm willing to bet you don't even know anyone that did. Maybe in four years! My wife and I arrived to our final stop on #EpicBeerSunday to Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, FL just a little after the first 15 minutes overtime period started, perfect timing. The score was still tied at zero. This crowd, however, was exactly the opposite of what we saw at Saltwater. These people were clearly rooting for a Germany victory over Argentina.

The beer menu listed so many options that I had never heard of let alone tasted. Since we had already tried a few beers earlier in the day, we opted for a flight of four Buddha beers. There were a handful of limited release beers not eligible for flights, though we got around that with a few full pour orders later. Despite a very full house, we had no trouble ordering, paying, and carving out a nook at the bar to taste the beers and watch the game.



We started off with Clifford's Big Red Ale, a rich and full-bodied beer clocking in at 9.7% alcohol. Nice spiciness and caramel flavors balance each other. Tasty. Though I had tried No Crusts PB&J Brown Ale a few other times, I figured it was something I wanted my wife to experience. Yep, tastes just like a PB&J sandwich, nice roast, great flavors, not too sweet, decent bitterness on the finish.

Beer 3 was Chocolate Covered Cherry Porter. Smooth and silky chocolate with a cherry burst similar to when you bite into a cherry filled chocolate candy. The final beer in our flight was Vanilla Cream Abdul Jabbar, a pretty awesome beer name, though I'm betting half the crowd there didn't know the origin. Creamy, nice vanilla and good flavors overall.


It was just about that time that Germany scored the first goal of the game. The place went nuts! And there really wasn't that much time left in the game for Argentina to put up the equalizer and send it to penalty kicks.

Since there was still soccer to be played, though, we each ordered one of the limited release beers. For my wife, French Toast sounded like a good option. I opted for the beer name that caught my eye right from the start of the night--Dread Pirate Ed Roberts Imperial Stout! I mentioned above that I thought it likely that at least half of the crowd never heard of basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Well, with this "Ed Roberts" beer, I asked at least 4 or 5 of the servers the inspiration for this particular beer name. None had a clue! And here I thought Ed Roberts was famous!

Messi watches the Funky Buddha crowd cheer the German goal and victory! "¿Por qué me odias?"
The game ended as we were drinking our beers. The crowd seemed satisfied with the result and was cut in half rather quickly. We decided to walk around, check out the outside areas in addition to the gaming room in the back, complete with Cornhole and Bocci courts. I didn't go back there when I visited before and didn't realize that you get a great view of the inside of the actual brewery from there. If you visit, definitely take a look!

French Toast totally tasted like French Toast with maple syrup, brown sugar and chocolate nuances. Good roast, nice bitterness tames the underlying sweetness. Good balance. Dread Pirate Ed Roberts is an imperial stout brewed with coconut, cocoa, vanilla and raspberries, weighing in at 10.4% alcohol. I'm glad we saved this for last. For me, best beer of the entire #EpicBeerSunday trip! Rich chocolate, creamy and smooth, and the awesome raspberry infusion made it "the bomb!"

And that was our journey, Orlando though four breweries and back home in one day! Hope you enjoyed yourselves.










Sunday, July 20, 2014

By The Glass Show: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America

Last Thursday night, I tried 8/12 of Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America mixed box on By The Glass Show! By mixed, they put 12 different beers in one box, each brewed by Sierra Nevada in collaboration with another kick-ass brewery. And the box even included 2 cans!

Before the show, host Brett Hubbard and I got the beers into a strategic order so we could smoothly move through eight in an hour. Oh, and we also needed to try to time the beers to go with two cool call-in guests (well, we were expecting two but had a pretty cool third one as well). And Dio produced the show that night while Jorge fights bighorn sheep and black bears while vacationing in Montana!

The first beer we tried was called Yvan the Great, a Belgian-style Blonde brewed in collaboration with Russian River Brewing. Nice tangerine, fruity, hoppy, some yeast, champagne like carbonation. Next up, There and Back English-style Bitter brewed with New Glarus Brewing. Brett and I were both pretty sure that was the first beer either of has drank which had any New Glarus fingerprints of any kind on it. Was lightly bitter, very simple drinker, which I'm pretty sure is the point.


Just as we finished powering through those first two, Sierra Nevada's Communications Manager Ryan Arnold called in and delivered an awesome interview. As we cracked open the Cigar City collaboration, Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock, Ryan told us a little about the project and what they envisioned. Apparently these guys sent a bottle of beer  to every craft brewery in the country. The bottles doubled as an invitation to pour their beers during Sierra Nevada's seven-city traveling beer festival. 

The response was huge, and you should see hundreds of breweries if you are able to attend any of the events which started yesterday 7/19: Chico, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Portland (Maine), Philadelphia, Mills River, NC (home of their new brewery). During the same time, Sierra Nevada had the task of choosing 12 awesome breweries to work with on the brewing part of the project (that part seems like it would have been hard to decide). 

Ryan said they tried to pick brewers that were a mix of their friends and other great regional breweries that represented a strong swath of America, with some being breweries that many beer drinkers never had the chance to experience any of their beers. We said that was New Glarus for us, but Ryan reminded us that as we drank the Cigar City beer, it was they who are new to much of the country. 


Ryan told us that Wayne Wambles and a small crew from Cigar City went to California with ideas and were basically given the keys to steer the ship (to mix many metaphors). Nice mango and guava and grain with a light bitterness--enjoyable beer all around. Before hanging up, we had already moved on to beer #4 Electric Ray IPL brewed with Ballast Point Brewing. Fruity, hoppy, good body with a clean finish. Also, where did they hide the 8.5% alcohol? Ryan told us they used their famous Torpedo making this beer and the collaboration was a lot of fun. Ryan was a great guest!

After a quick break, cut short by our second call in guest, we had to switch up our original planned order. That's because Oskar Blues' Head Brewer Tim Matthews was already on the line (my kind of guy, showing up a few minutes early). So duh, we cracked open the Canfusion Rye Bock they collaborated with on the Beer Camp project.

Tim started the interview by saying he's "livin' the dream" and that this collaboration "blew [his] mind". He sounded like an awesome person to hang out with, from a fun and knowledge perspective at the same time. Canfusion was spicy with rye, a little tropical, doughy, fruity. I liked it. If you are attending the events, Tim will be in Denver as well as the final show in Mills River. After telling us a little about the brewing process for the collaboration, Jason got Tim to speak about his favorite beer, "Mama's Little Yella Pils". Nice!


Three beers to go and 15 minutes on the clock, we opened Myron's Walk, a Belgian-style Pale Ale Brewed in collaboration with Allagash Brewing. Dry, nicely bitter, spicy. Victory Brewing's Ale Route Alt Beer was pretty nice, good maltiness. Around that time I jokingly threw out the call in number for comments/questions. Ed Roberts called in to say he didn't want to leave us hanging, which was nice of him.

Final beer of the night was Tater Ridge Scottish Ale brewed in collaboration with Asheville Brewers Alliance. By the way, all of these beers have stories on the backs of the bottles/cans that give some insight to each beer's flavors and name. Sweet, nice caramel flavors, smooth.

Dio wrapped up the show by stating that this was a "journey to styles" that he will use when he brings new friends to the craft beer world. He sounded like Socrates or something! Fun show! Great guests! Oh, and as for the other four beers we skipped, subscribe to my website here to hear more about those--there are a few rock stars involved with those!









Saltwater Brewery


My wife and I left Due South Brewing maybe 25-30 minutes into the first half of the World Cup Final: Germany 0 Argentina 0. We figured that our third stop on #EpicBeerSunday at the nearby Saltwater Brewing in Delray Beach was close enough that we may even catch the end of the half. And sure enough, even with a packed house and difficult parking situation, we managed to arrive, order a flight of four beers and tuck ourselves into a corner with a pretty decent view of the game on the big screen.

The crowd (at least at our end of the large room) was clearly rooting for Argentina. That became more obvious after I loudly said "Aw, poor Messi" after he made a shitty shot during a pretty nice opportunity. But I survived the stares, and after the refs tacked on a few extra non-scoring minutes, everyone went outside to smoke with the score tied at zero. I stayed inside and walked around, did my own tour while the place was half full. (PSA: This and This might make you quit or prevent your kids from starting smoking.)


I strolled around the brewery taking photos of the great artwork, the crowd, the bar, and even the actual brewery on display behind everything. I stepped one foot behind the bar and got a sarcastic "hey" from my bartender. She told me I wasn't allowed there right now. I said they should put up a rope and she replied that the rope they usually have there was the one holding the enormous dog out front right now. LOLOL. We laughed it out, and she told me to walk around the bar for more views of the tanks, etc.

So yeah, I took more photos, but the second half was about to begin (and my wife was drinking all the beers in the flight)! So we sipped them for a little more. I picked the beers for our flight based on a few I liked from Saltwater's appearance on ByTheGlassShow a few weeks ago and included a few new ones.



We started with Sea Cow Milk Stout. What a nice beer--chocolate, coffee, creamy, yum. We needed something local like that here. Next up, a strong beer brewed with currants, weighing in at 10%. Sorry I'm too lazy to figure out its name. (If you tell me in the comments, you get 10 "Rob Points" which currently hold no value). Fruity, chewy, currants prevalent, alcohol noticeable. My wife said "this is good!" though I was a little overwhelmed with it.

I had tried their Reels IPA a few weeks back on the BTGS, but I really liked it. Ditto today: hoppy, fruity, balanced, doughy, fresh. While drinking this beer is when "The Messi Incident" above happened. Final flight beer was "Watch Out," a 10% alcohol barleywine. Sweet alcoholic streak, caramel, a bit one dimensional, light bitterness at the finish.



I guess I wasn't paying too close attention when choosing those four beers, because I really wanted my wife to try Don't Get Confused Belgian Tripel. So I ordered an extra glass of it. Rich, fruity, sweet orange and honey, chewy body. YUM! My wife said it was the Best Beer of the Day so far ("so far" survived 6 more beers at Funky Buddha later too, so nice job, Saltwater).

With the game tied at zero and eight minutes (plus whatever stupid extra minutes the ref was going to add), we made an executive decision to leave for #EpicBeerSunday stop 4 at Funky Buddha in Oakland Park. We figured the game would end in a tie and we'd be able to see the extra two 15 minute sessions there, plus any shootout if necessary.

Of course we were right, but you'll have to wait to read the conclusion of #EpicBeerSunday at Funky Buddha Brewery!