Friday, October 24, 2014

Gringolandia Super Pils

I'm not sure I've reviewed any 5 Rabbit Cerveceria beers here, but I couldn't pass up their Gingolandia Super Pils the other day. You know, because I'm a Gringo and all living in the foreign country of Miami? Anyway, the story on the label lets you know that this beer is a salute to the multicultural input used to craft their products, their "Latin-meets-Chicago experience." The label has a background full of thumbnail sketches of many cultural symbols: picnic tables, jalapenos, baseball caps, skulls, boom boxes, and guns (go figure). 7.2% alcohol. 65 IBUs.

Kind of cloudy, unexpected. Light lemon and light grain aroma, faint but sweet. Grassy and flowery flavors kick things off, fairly sharp and building throughout the beer. And though that initial bitterness persists, some sweeter than expected apple and fruit and grainy flavors do show prominently. 

Carbonation is good. Each finish has a hoppy, bitter, lightly alcoholic streak running through it. And while flavorful and clean, I feel this pilsner was lacking the refreshment one would expect in the style, for sure not meeting what I deserved after four hours in the garden this morning!

Dear 5 Rabbit: This banner is on your website this morning. You can see I had this from a bottle, not draft.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

DECAPITATOR by Corkcicle

Corkcicle sent me a beer-related product in the past the I wasn't in love with, but I decided not to say anything about it here. Yesterday, an unexpected package arrived at my door. Inside, a new product to check out: DECAPITATOR by Corkcicle!

DECAPITATOR is a bottle opener that looks like none you've ever seen. It's designed to place over the bottle, push down firmly, and voilĂ , your bottle is opened. The pressure down activates a mechanism that opens the bottle, and a magnet inside catches the cap too. I used it to open a few bottles of one of my favorite beers: Victory Golden Monkey.

DECAPITATOR totally kicks ass! I went to their store but couldn't find it anywhere--my guess is that it's completely sold out for being such an awesome product, so I'd check back another day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dark Penance

I went to Grovetoberfest this past Saturday. Of course I visited the booth of one of my favorite breweries numerous times: Founders Brewing was serving All Day IPA, Breakfast Stout, and Dirty Bastard to start off a hot-ass Miami afternoon. But they also had a special tapping time for Dark Penance, their newest specialty brew. Of course I didn't make it back in time for that--either that or I was too impatient to wait in line to try it. But fear not, citizens! I had a bottle in my fridge to check it out!

The label depicts an old woman, eyes closed, bowing her head in prayer. I'm not sure what her dirty laundry is, but it seems like she's trying to absolve herself of the sins, first by praying but secondly by throwing back a bottle of this 100 IBU beer. 8.9% alcohol. Bottled On 09/23/2014.

Malty, burnt sugar and plenty of hoppy citrus in the aroma. Heavy bitter citrus flavors start things off, along with plenty of roasted malts. Bitter but there is a nice sweet balance, at least at first. A definite alcohol cleansing action is also there throughout, heavily synergizing the bitter hoppy effects.

Pine, very floral, sharp grapefruit, astringent and intense. This is the kind of beer that will drive your wife to the guest room because she says you have alcoholic breath. I tried to explain that it's the hops, not the alcohol, but no go so far! Overall, quite bitter from many angles. Roasted, burnt malty flavors are also very good and do not even go near the asshole levels many in this category pass. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CrafterNoon Delight Whiskey & Craft Brew Fest

Craft Beer and Whiskey in one festival? Yes, Please! Of course I'm talking about the CrafterNoon Delight Whiskey & Craft Brew Fest taking place this Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 6 - 10 pm at Mary Brickell Village in Miami. Fado Irish Pub and Zevents have teamed up to create this boutique festival featuring over 15 craft brewers and 5 of the largest Whiskey and Scotch producers.

Mary Brickell Village is located at 900 South Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33131. You can find a 40% off promotional code through Instagram @ZeventsMiami as well. Hope to see you there! I can personally already taste the Bulleit Bourbon and GABF Gold Winning Pops Porter from Wynwood Brewing!

Update 10222014: Here's a LIMITED deal I was just emailed from your friends at Grovetoberfest!

Use Code GFEST25 to get the $65 ticket for $25.

Use Code GFEST35 to get the $85 ticket for $35.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Grovetoberfest 2014

This past Saturday, Peacock Park in Coconut Grove hosted the 4th Annual Grovetoberfest! I don't know how the organizers do it, but they always get some of the most gorgeous days to host their events. And Saturday was no exception--not a cloud in the sky! But it was HOT, perfect weather for beer drinking! Yes, even the stouts!

My wife and I made the rounds, stopping by almost every table to see what beers they were pouring. It was cool to see a bunch of new breweries there--Biscayne Bay Brewing, Saltwater Brewery and Boulevard Brewing off the top of my head. We started with some of the local breweries that we knew would be mobbed later in the afternoon, especially with their special tapping times on a few beers. Funky Buddha, Due South, Cigar City, Saltwater, Wynwood, Biscayne Bay, Native, Miami Brewing, Florida Beer, Islamorada. Don't kill me if I missed one.

After grabbing some food, we headed to the name brands everyone loves. My personal favorites were Lagunitas, Founders, Terrapin, Green Flash, too many to name! We bumped into a lot of regulars and friends and even some people we never thought liked craft beer--go figure! I took a bunch of pictures of people representing certain beer brands with their shirts!

Besides the beer vendors, there was plenty of food, a loud rock-n-roll band, pretzel necklace makers, homebrew competitions and cooking demonstrations too. I didn't see the Most Interesting Man in the World this year, so I just hung out with Sam Adams and the Blue Moon girls instead! In the end, my favorite beers of the day included Founders Breakfast Stout and All Day IPA, Terrapin Hopsecutioner, Funky Buddha Bonita Applebum, Boulevard Tank 7, and Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' to name a few.

I tried to return the cap I stole from Biscayne Bay Brewing's mermaid as I had promised, but in the end was told I could keep it! I'm already looking forward to Sprung! in the spring and Grovetoberfest 2015 next October! Put it on your calendar now! Hope you enjoy the photos.

Grovetoberfest 2014 Beer T-Shirts

Last year at Grovetoberfest, I decided to take pictures of as many beer t-shirts as possible. I didn't get quite as many this year, but there are still some fun ones in the group. Consider this a teaser for my overall recap of the event with a lot more photos, coming shortly!