Saturday, July 31, 2010

Victory Whirwind Witbier -- Mug Of Saint Arnold Guest Post

Tonight you get to read a guest post from yet another local Philly beer blogger--except we're all down here in S. Florida. And, get this, we're all under 40 and have real jobs too; this is no retirement group beer blogger community. What I'm getting at is that Chalie, who writes The Mug Of Saint Arnold Blog, is about to tell you about a beer...

Victory Whirlwind Witbier

With Daily Beer Review and I both being Philadelphia transplants to Florida, I felt I had to have a Pennsylvania brew to review for his blog. I went with a Victory Brewing selection, which is out of Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  I decided on their Whirlwind Witbier, their summer

The ale had an ABV of 5%, which leads to a very seasonable beer. On the label there was a “enjoy by” date of March 1, 2011. I served the beer from its 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass (and don’t worry, no slice of

Before I even poured the beer I noticed sediment suspended in the bottle, always a good sign. The beer had no head.  The body was slightly cloudy clarity and the color was a golden straw. The carbonation was light but steady.

I was impressed with the aroma, very full and appetizing.  I picked up notes of wheat, lemon, and spice.  The flavor paralleled the aroma, but I did not find it as strong as the aroma. I gathered notes of wheat, slight grainy, lemon, light pepper, yeast and cloves.

The body was very thin. The carbonation faded from tingly to more flat as I drank. The flavor duration was basic.

The beer reflected the style well.  It was light and refreshing, and would be a perfect summer beer to cool down with during those hot summer days. I would serve this beer with a nice summer salad or with some seafood.

Beer Score 3.5/5

Chalie Beatty
Beer Blogger

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pike Pale Heirloom Amber Ale

Let's get this weekend started! Actually, I already flew from Ft. Lauderdale to Philly today, so in essence, the party already has begun! I reviewed this beer a few weeks ago, a couple of days prior to our Pike Brewery Tasting event.

I'm drinking Pike Pale Heirloom Amber Ale brewed by Pike Brewing Company in Seattle, Washington. Nice red and white 22 ounce bottle presentation. The aroma is full of flowers along with caramel, just slightly hoppy. Wow, the flavors are much maltier than expected. There is an extremely distinct almond and mixed nut flavor as well. No Shit! Accompanying are sweet fruity apple and peach flavors. Bread, toast, tea, orange, lemon. Yes those are all in there. The flavors are aplenty, and despite that fact, the beer is still a little thin. Nice flavors except for a little offness left behind for an aftertaste. Mostly refreshing. Solid beer.

The Bounty Hunter ~ Jennifer Aniston -- #2 Video on Demand

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (English subtitled) ~ Michael Nyqvist -- #9 Video on Demand

Green Zone ~ Matt Damon -- #8 Video on Demand

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Prima Pils

This is a bonus presentation tonight. I already reviewed Hop Karma Brown IPA for you tonight. But considering the Phillies' #MarchToThePennant now includes recently acquired ex-Astro pitching stud Roy Oswalt, I'm gonna give you another beer to celebrate the occasion!

Yes, I went with Victory Prima Pils brewed by Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I've reviewed this beer before back last November, but the choice was based on the VICTORY name and the Philly suburbs location of the brewery. In fact, the label says "Prima! And exclamation of joy. A recognition of accomplishment." So let's get this show on the road and start by taking over first place and putting up an insurmountable lead. The label goes on to call this "A refined pilsner beer for natural enjoyment". Enjoy by Sept 8, 2010.

Lemony, honey sweet, clean aroma. Fruity flavor start, apples and pears, light and not heavy. Very flavorful. Some citrus and lemon rind work their way in to make and keep this a lightly bitter beer. Next, a hint of spice. Medium carbonation, creamy smooth. Quite refreshing! I really enjoyed this beer. Do the same! GO PHILLIES!

MLB Philadelphia Phillies Mr. Potato Head

Forever Collectibles MLB Philadelphia Phillies Logo Bandz

Houston Astros Roy Oswalt Forever Collectibles Platinum Bobble Head

Hop Karma Brown IPA

Good-bye. I'm resigning. Signing out! Actually, no such luck for you! I'm just going on vacation tomorrow afternoon lasting all the way through next weekend. Don't worry, though. I've been working overtime to be sure that you still get your daily dose of me and a beer review, too. There will be at least three guest reviews next week. A fourth will depend on HomeBrew Vanessa (surely you remember her from this month's reviews). She was doing some extra-credit report or something last night... You will also get a handful of reviews that I've done over the past month.

It'll be like I'm really around. I promise. That is unless you usually venture over here from inane-time-waster Twitter from where I promote my new posts daily. If that is your usual route, I suggest that you sign up for a daily email in the right column because there will be none of that for ten days! Yes, I know that there are ways to make any new posts go up as a link on Twitter automatically, but I find those to be lazy and spam-ish. If you'd like to promote any post that you find worthy this week, please feel more than free to do so. You'll be my hero!

Tonight I'm drinking Hop Karma Brown IPA brewed by Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Georgia. When I bought this last week, I knew it looked familiar, but searching and searching the blog I found nothing. So I dug around elsewhere and saw that this used to be called Terrapin India Style Brown Ale. Aha! Found you old review from last October. I am 98% sure that they are the same beers. Photo verification would have been helpful, but that ain't gonna happen.

The label says that this beer is a "head on collision between a hoppy west coast [IPA] and a malty, complex brown ale]. They used 5 hop varieties and 7 kinds of malt to achieve "PEACE, LOVE and HOPPINESS". The label depicts a turtle playing an Indian stringed instrument. I want to call it a sitar but am not sure. They play them in the windows of the Indian restaurants on 6th street in the East Village, NYC. Best If Enjoyed by: no notch. I took the liberty to chip out pieces in Month 10 Week 3 No Year Option Available.

Hoppy and malty aroma, chocolate and nuts stand out the most for me. Nutty and malty flavors kick things off, but there is a definite hoppiness and citrus flavor behind that. There are some brown sugar flavors that contribute to making this on the slightly sweeter side, but this is mostly a very bland beer. It is creamy and smooth, but it is also thin and flat. The ending is dry. I didn't really enjoy the beer. Not so sure about the hoppy brown ale combo idea in general. Pass on this one.

Sound of the Sitar ~ Ravi Shankar

Sitar, Standard, Single Tumba, Black

Brass Ganesh Statue Playing Sitar

Hello Optical Illusion. Why are you leaning? I have no idea why that came like that, but it can't be anyone's fault but mine!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Lady from the CDC called last night and wanted to ask some questions about the health of the children residing here including lunch-type crap, swine flu immunizations,  and other personal stuff. I told her I'd be happy to answer her questions, despite the attitude that was flowing from her mouth.

My favorite part was the exchange when she told me that she needed something. I explained that I'd be happy to voluntarily answer a few questions, but that I didn't really care about her needs. She said she didn't write the survey, real snotty like. I hope her boss was listening in on that part of the recorded conversation! We did that for about 10 minutes; it was quite the little battle. She kept saying "I need to finish the question (and she did)" after I had already given an answer. Personality clash! Survey takers: remember that we can hang up on you at any moment, and I bet that has an effect on your performance grade.

Tonight I'm drinking 2XIPA brewed by Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York. A lot of X's this week, starting with XXXX IPA, but I never did get an XXX. Too bad! This is a Double IPA brewed with four varieties of hops and 3 types of malts. Nice green color scheme for the label.

Lots of pine, but also some sweeter tropical fruity goodness in the aroma. Very nice and inviting. Bready and malty beginning, though spicy and piney flavors stick their flavors in right away, too. Not very much fruity flavor at all as the aroma suggested would be the case. Sticky and oily. A bit undercarbonated. Toward the end, the alcohol dries things out a bit and provides a subtle warmth. The finish is bitter and somewhat harsh. Pretty decent, though it got stuck a little in a spicy pine tree. Solid!

Now this was a 12 ouncer, and the best of all that I have had that didn't come in 22's from this brewery. That being said, I prefer Gemini and a few others to this by a mile. I guess this is the best of the little bottles, though!

One other observation, or perhaps it's a question, or a rhetorical something or other. How many IPA's and Imperial IPA's does this brewery make? Wait a second... How many Stouts with one different ingredient do they make? Coffee, Chocolate, Vanilla, and another I can't think of right now, at least. I'm not saying that they don't make both styles awesomely. But I am starting to feel like this brewery is not really pushing the envelope, rather seeing how far it can stretch one awesome creation with minor tweeks. And you suckers are falling for it. I'm sure you will all disagree with me for speaking the truth, so let me know how stupid I am!

Spiderwire XXX Super Mono 350-Yard Spool (Crystal Clear, Pound Test 20)

XXX [Blu-ray] ~ Vin Diesel


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hops Infusion India Pale Ale

Tonight I'm drinking Hops Infusion India Pale Ale brewed by Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, Pennsylvania. I know you've been long time readers, but as a reminder, Easton is where my father grew up and where I spent a significant amount of time for the first 30 years of my life. Ah, the Christmas Eves at Porter's Pub! If I didn't live in crappy Florida, I'd still visit my Aunt and Uncle there more frequently. Anyway, originally reviewed 16 months ago, I barely remembered the name, so here we go again.

Citrus, hoppy, lightly toasty and bitter aroma. A fleeting glance of caramel, bread and malty flavors start things off. Those are immediately pushed aside by strong citrus and bitter lemon rinds. The two opposites didn't really mesh very well, rather just duked it out on the front yard. Did I mention there was plenty of lemon? Some spicy components along with the 6.2% alcohol make an appearance. The alcohol further severely dries out the finish and provides a little burn, not unwelcome but slightly harsh. The end also shows some medicinal flavors mixed with more lemon rind, a bit of a turn off. Decent all around for sure, but not great.

Larry Holmes autographed Everlast leather boxing glove inscribed Easton Assassin

Easton BX70 Reflex (-3) Baseball Bat (30 Inch/27 oz)

Set of 2 30"H Bar Stools with Wheat Back Rich Cappuccino Finish

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rogue Brutal Bitter

First, PhillyKelly, one of the most dedicated Philly sports fans I've met, designed the card to your left for Christmas 2008. I even asked permission to publish it!

My eight-year-old son went to the Phillies game this afternoon with my mom. Last game he went, Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game here against the Marlins. Mom texted me a few times with updates, which was funny because I had better seats than she did from my desk in Florida.

Well, going into the bottom of the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead, it looked like the Phils would be winning their 5th game in a row, continuing their triumphant #MarchToThePennant. (I started those Twitter hash tags a few days ago; so far, zero cooperation, but I don't let that discourage me. I haven't been like everyone else all my life (though I have been super cool) yet I get along just fine. Hey Philly (part-time) fans, how about a little support! Hmmm. Perhaps Twitter considers my hash tags spam. Whatever, I'm a bigger fan than the Phanatic!)

Back to the game. Shit, it was a save situation being only a three-run lead, which means #WildThing2010 (also an invention of mine, named for the erratic 1993 World Series loser Mitch Williams) Brad Lidge was on his way into the game. Lidge was a god two years ago when the Phils won the Series, but last year and this year have been ugly. Lidge comes in. I leave to save my heart. Ninety minutes later I confirm that I had probably averted a heart attack. Lidge gave up two runs and left the bases loaded to end with a 5-4 save! JHC!

Tonight I'm pairing my beer with my Brad Lidge love and drinking Rogue Brutal Bitter brewed by Oregon Brewing Company in Newport, Oregon. The label has a dude decked out in all purple; Brewmaster John Maier's signature is above the guy, but I'm not 100% sure this is his caricature. Rogue's website calls this a Brutal IPA and then refers to it as an Imperial Bitter, so you tell me the style, though those strict classifications hardly matter to me. (For the record, their website also says it's available on draft and in 22's but I am quite positive this is a 12 ouncer I am drinking).

I originally reviewed this beer a long time ago, March 2009, but decided to re-review it as it's a favorite of my pal, and ex-Rogue employee, Cooking Asshole! What? You never heard of a cooking asshole? Well, expand your horizons and go get a few laughs and some awesome cooking tips. When you've had enough of his wit, check out my guest post there: Big Ass Ham! Looking at that cast-iron pan pisses me off as I got a serious burn from it 2 nights ago. Fucker!

Big grapefruit and pine aroma. A few whiffs (Ryan Howard x at least 3 today) and you will get some sweetness. Massive bitter flavors up front, pine and a load of citrus. Some malty caramel does come in and ever so slightly eases those. A little spice and a tangy zip show up next. Repeat! Yes, that bitter really digs in sip after sip after sip. Bitter wins by a landslide, yet it comes with a mostly creamy texture. The alcohol and upper-level carbonation do make the bitter stand out a little more prominently and harshly by the end, but I get it. This is a solid beer that does what it is supposed to do, be brutally bitter. My favorite? Not a chance. Good beer? Absolutely give it a shot if you're prepared.

Brad Lidge Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Series Champions Autographed Replica Jersey with WS patch

Mitch Williams 1993 Phillies Jersey 48

Philadelphia Phillies Kelly with White 59FIFTY Fitted Cap (7)

Spectacular picture, if I do say so my damn self. Though it certainly takes a back seat to an original Christmas card!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I was going to finish and publish this later as I am planning a pool trip with my four year old. Computer off, suntan lotion on, out the door and locked. Wouldn't you know it started to rain? That's the second time today I was outside and it rained. I did the last 15 minutes of cutting the grass this morning in a sunny downpour. Typical Florida.

No sooner did I finish the lawn than my wife told me the washing machine stopped mid-cycle for no reason and wasn't working. Great. I turned a few knobs, flicked a few circuits, opened and closed a few doors, checked a few pipes... Then I gave up. What could I do?

When my wife said "that's not good!" I didn't really give a very nice answer--it was like a "nice" Duh! I told her to let me think about it. So a few minutes later I went back into the laundry room, did another battery of clueless-guy tests and voilà, problem solved. I still don't really know what I did, though I have a slight idea, but I told my wife it's because I am a mechanical genius. And she wouldn't even play along. Go figure!

This afternoon I'm drinking XXXX IPA brewed by Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine as part of Pugsley's Signature Series. I have seen this beer around in the past but in big bottles only, and considering I am not a very big fan of Shipyard to date, I had always walked on by. So last week when I saw this beer in a 12 ounce version, I decided it was time. The label is nice: design, colors, lettering; the upper label was very crooked though. Best Enjoyed Before May, 2011.

Hoppy pine aroma, but a sweeter caramel also alternates with that, back and forth. Bitter pine and citrus flavors start things out, not overly bitter but a good bite up front. You will then notice a sweet layer of candy and tropical fruits right on top of those. Pineapple, mango and tangerine, very juicy and sweet. The bitter and sweet are not blended; rather, they are just matched up in a way that accentuates the other. (Think "you got your peanut butter in my chocolate" commercials.) Some spicy black pepper shows its way in toward the end, along with a noticeable 9.25% alcohol warmth. Good carbonation. By the end, you will realize that sweet is the victor in this beer, as the body will be on the chewy, heavy side. Great flavors, slightly too sweet, but I would for sure recommend this beer and will drink it again myself (No, Ed Roberts, not another rerun here any time soon! Just for enjoyment.) I'm pretty sure this is my favorite Shipyard beer by a mile!

Barnett Outdoors Cobra Slingshot with Stabilizer and Brace

Bear Archery Brave 2 Bow Set, Black, Right Hand

Gamo Varmint Hunter Air Rifle

This one and the picture above are pretty nice pictures, right? Practically professional!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Essence of Skank

Here is the final in the Threesome with Vanessa. It's funny because this one has a Skank in it, too! The other two in the series are linked below. (I'm pretty sure those first two sentences are going to be high traffic winners for this post! Pervs!)

The first was Vee's Pale Ale and the second was Caught Off Guarde.

This afternoon I'm drinking Essence of Skank, an apple black currant beer-cider home brewed by Vanessa from the Potables and Edibles Blog. Now I do not know the origin of the name, but I double-checked the legend Vanessa gave me and yep, that is its name. I type Skank into Google and the results are pretty hilarious. Personally, it brings up thoughts of Courtney Love, Amy Winehouse and Lindsay Lohan. The essence of those "ladies" is probably pretty nice, I'm guessing. Bottle ID: ES 5/7.

I wasn't expecting the ruby red color that came out of the bottle. There were little bits and pieces of something floating around, perhaps some fruits? Berry aroma, fruity, yet some dirty laundry in the background. Flavors start out nice and tart, with an interesting mix of berries and wet dog. Quite funky... Is that the skank I am tasting? I was tipped ahead of time that this was a beer-cider, but I can totally taste some cider characteristics. Vanessa told me the alcohol content is 7% and it wasn't really noticeable to me. This definitely took some getting used to, and though I could appreciate the tartly refreshing flavors more toward the end, this was probably my least favorite from Vanessa's brewery.

Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brew Kit

Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K7 Gold) with 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

Basic Brewing DVD: Introduction to Extract Home Brewing

Caught Off Guarde

Here is the second of Vanessa's trio. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here are the links for the other two. "Well how did you know what the third one was while you're only posting the second?" Because I'm David Copperfield of course!

The first was Vee's Pale Ale and the third one will be Essence of Skank.

Today I'm drinking Caught Off Guarde, a Bière de Garde style beer home brewed by Vanessa from the Potables and Edibles Blog. Seriously, you guys should meet her and try to invite yourself over for some parties! Watch out, beer world. I'm not sure if she has any intentions or aspirations of taking this hobby beyond that (but I guess I just asked her). Bottle cap identifier says C 7/2 (see below).

The aroma is fabulous and powerful! Funky sour lemon, citrus and hints of tangerine. Nice fruity flavors start things out, a little sweet but rapidly turning tart. Then some lemon peel and citrus flavors kick that sweetness' ass with a solid bitter, even sour. ZING! Next some dirty socks flavors accompanied by a bit of spice round off the experience. Vanessa told me this beer has a 6.5% alcohol content. I really didn't notice it very much except for a slight warming in the stomach afterward. The carbonation was very low, almost flat right from the start, which was the least desirable aspect of the beer. I do have another bottle and will drink it soon. Oh, and did I mention I love the aroma!?!?

A few days later during Phillies game; second bottle: very funky! There is a giant glob of yeast sediment in the bottom of this bottle. Cloudy. The flavors are a little more sour and I didn't like it that much. Rotting fruit, Blech. Sorry.

Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brew Kit

Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K7 Gold) with 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

Basic Brewing DVD: Introduction to Extract Home Brewing

 Holy Shit! This beer is magical! Bottle Cap I told you about.

Vee's Pale Ale

Over the past week or so, I've tasted and reviewed a handful of beers that a local friend of mine has home brewed. I'm about to publish three separate entries here, one after the other. I call them The Triumvirate! I'll be sure to link the others to each other so the less-computer-savvy amongst you can play along too! Be sure to tell Vanessa what you think (and when you'll be over for the party)! BTW, ignore phrases like "this afternoon". I already explained the time line to you!

The second will be Caught Off Guarde and the third will be Essence of Skank. Yes this is a little like Back to the Future!

This afternoon I'm drinking Vee's Pale Ale home brewed by Vanessa from the Potables and Edibles Blog. This is an American Pale Ale brewed by an Australian. Go figure. LOL. Identifying cap says V 6/17.

Big cap pop and ginormous head. My photos are only 9 ouncers because, well, the head was already taking over the glass! Sharp lemon rind and citrus aroma, quite enticing! Lemon and citrus flavors dominate too. Dry and astringent, not that there's anything wrong with that. Earthy, yet slightly bland beyond the bitter. The 6.8% alcohol was a drying factor toward the end. Very refreshing, not overly bitter while this beer certainly leans that way. Fairly one-dimensional, though it is so totally awesome that one of my friends brewed this beer!!!

Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brew Kit

Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K7 Gold) with 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

Basic Brewing DVD: Introduction to Extract Home Brewing

Oh No! Don't go over the edge! Very clever with the V marking for Vanessa's Vee.