Thursday, March 31, 2011

Golden Age Ale

Today I'm drinking Golden Age Ale brewed by Iron Fist Brewing Company in Vista, California. My friend Taylor, who gave me this beer, let me know she helped this brewery and its "young and talented brewer" get off the ground, adding that "they are kind and wonderful people." Sounds like a great place to work and drink! OK. I have a wine bottle of the stuff. Front label has a very large and prominent fist, with a bit of an industrial look. The back label tells a story and encourages you to "start a little revolution [and] put the 500 pack of light lager back with all its buddies and rule your taste with an IRON FIST!"

Hello Gigantic Head! I was fairly careful with the pour, too. Fruity aroma, very wine-like and grape forward. The aroma is also a little spicy with some sugar sweetness.

Apples and pears and booze flavors right off the bat. Candy sweetness comes next, but not overdone or massively sweet. Fine creamy carbonation. The Belgian yeast character really comes on strong next and accentuates the fruits. A bit of spicy coriander and clove also make an entrance, not as big as the other flavors but still noticeable.

Did I mention that the 9.2% alcohol being there start to finish? It definitely accentuates the fruits and candy and spicy flavors, but I do find it a little much by the end of the bottle. I guess I need to find some friends and stop drinking wine bottles myself. (I have asked. Miramar area? Beer lover? Not an asshole? Let me know. Maybe we can have a casual date first to get to know one another.)

Anyway, this beer is quite complex. Just as you think you're done, a light acidic and sour develops, mostly as the beer gets a little warmer. Some lemon citrus goes along with that. I am on board with this beer, as I found that it grows on you as you drink it more and more. Again find a friend and you can skip the part about this being overly boozy.

Good flavors, creamy texture, fruity niceness, and that yeasty at the bottom of the bottle is more fruity goodness not to be neglected. Nice job, Iron Fist!

By the way, this is post #900. Thank you for sticking around and reading all this time. If you don't think this site sucks too much, tell a friend or two. Heck, pass along this subscription link, and your friends will never miss even one of the next 900 posts! Thanks.


Iron Fist Santeria Voodoo Hand-bag Vegan Purse 2011 Collection

(Reprint) 1981 Yearbook: Vista High School, Vista, California

Speak Now -- Taylor Swift --MP3 Download

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cocoa Beach Pale Ale

Today I'm drinking Cocoa Beach Pale Ale brewed by Cocoa Beach Brewing Company in Cocoa Beach, Florida. And now you know how to spell "Cocoa"! I've never been there so I checked my map. On the East Coast of Florida, pretty much due east of Orlando for an idea. This 22 ounce bottle came back from Tampa with the famous Ed Roberts. I'm a bit like his personal taste assistant! The idea for the label is fine, but it is pretty much Clip Art-like. On the beach with a tiki and two umbrellas and chairs. Anyway...

Malty bread aroma with a little lemon zip, not very strong. It's hard to say which flavors come first, so I'm going to say the astringent lemon and citrus. But some bread and butter come right on top of it. The buttery oily flavor is a big turn off. Carbonation is good; body is good too, with some texture. The 6.6% alcohol comes in toward the end and leaves with a dry and medicinal finish. Refreshing but the competing strange flavors make me not want to drink this anymore. A little warmth does help some, but the astringent lemon, butter and medicine never really work together.

BAMBOO TIKI MASK 12" - LOVE TIKI MASK

Kashi Cocoa Beach Granola Cereal, 14.3-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4)

The Clip Art Book : A Complilation of More Than 5,000 Illustrations and Designs

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Black Butte Porter

Check out the scenic Deschutes River! And that dog!
Today I'm drinking Black Butte Porter brewed by Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. After reading my November, 2009 review, my friend Christina decided that a pair of these should be part of the care package she recently sent me. Reading the label, Deschutes Brewery is located on scenic Deschutes River, and the picture to your left was taken by Christina during her recent vacation there. Thanks for the picture and the beer! The label is simple, depicting the sun rising over Black Butte and the Metolius River. Best by 08/29/11.

Roasted, smokey chocolate aroma. The flavors begin with silky chocolate, creamy smooth. Smoke flavors also stand out amongst the rest. Some coffee grounds and just a hint of orange citrus also contribute to a very flavorful beer. Black Butte Porter is on the thin side, and the carbonation is pretty weak. Lightly bitter, yet balanced. You finish with some roasted malt left behind on your palate. Solid, easy drinker. Check it out where available.

Fishing in Oregon's Deschutes River

Exploring the Black Hills and Badlands: A Guide for Hikers, Cross-Country Skiers, & Mountain Bikers

Twitter For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gossamer Golden Ale


Today I'm drinking Gossamer Golden Ale brewed by Half Acre Beer Company in Chicago, Illinois. First, what does gossamer mean? Something light and delicate. Was this beer named for that definition? A better journalist would find out. Looking at the fly design painted on the 16 ounce can, I was thinking that might have something to do with it. Not sure.

This can and three of his buddies came home from my coworker's Chicago trip in unique snap-in 4-pack packaging. Around the top, the can shouts, "CANNED CRAFTED. BEER IS BETTER IN HERE." This better be spectacular being priced at $10 for a low-alcohol session 4-pack purchased in the same city as the brewery! (Yes, even factoring in their pounder status.)

Nice lemony and orange citrus aroma with some toasted bread as it warms up. Fruity flavors in the beginning with some toasted bread, lightly sweet. High carbonation offers an awesome creamy texture. After that initial sweetness, plenty of fresh grass and orange citrus turn the table, making a beer that now leans bitter. There is definitely a spicy hoppy nip in there as well. The 4.2% alcohol was a non-factor. Light to medium body, great carbonation, nice flavors. Crisp and refreshing. Glad this was 16 ounces and that I have a few more. Check it out when you can.

Norpro Stainless Steel Grip-EZ Meat Pounder

The Gossamer Webs Design Collection: Three Orenburg Shawls to Knit

North American NA222 Pure Citrus Orange Air Freshener - 7 fl. oz.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Florida Lager

Today I'm drinking Florida Lager brewed by The Florida Beer Company in Melbourne, Florida. This was given to me by the Brewery, and I even got a nice lesson in their history from their local sales representative.This bottle is their Commemorative Edition of Florida Lager, labeled and bottled as a tribute to Space Shuttle Discovery's final scheduled mission, STS-133, which took place from February 24 to March 9, 2011. (The 133 actually indicates this to be the 133rd overall shuttle flight). Anyone know what "1ROPS HOPS" means?

Update 3/29/2011: Florida Beer sent me to this link at Patrick AFB to clarify the 1ROPS HOPS slogan. I am not sure I completely get it, but you're smarter than I am!

Fruity with just a hint of grain, and some citrus. Lightly sweet start with a touch of apple. But a spicy and hoppy answer is just around the corner. The two aspects complement each other well. Prickly upper-level carbonation adds to the overall refreshment of the beer. Nice flavors. Simple, easy drinker. The finish is dry, making you want for another. Luckily, this gift was a sixer!

2011 Space Shuttle Mission STS-133 - Historic Coverage of the Last Flight of Orbiter Discovery OV-103, Comprehensive High-Quality Video, Images, Flight Documentation, ISS (Six Disc Set)

STS 133 Discovery Astronomy Dark T-Shirt

Space Shuttle F/S Discovery - 1/200 scale model

The STS-133 crew members are (clockwise, from upper left) Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Nicole Stott, Steve Bowen and Michael Barratt, Commander Steve Lindsey and Pilot Eric Boe. Photo credit: NASA

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cuvee de Tomme

Tonight I'm drinking Cuvee de Tomme brewed by Port Brewing Company (aka The Lost Abbey) in San Marcos, California. This beer came with and was left behind by online friend TheArtOfBeer. Eventually I'll meet her in person! The little 12.7 corked and caged wine bottle has a beautiful presentation. Dali-esque clocks are melting over an hourglass that has cherries dripping through it. The back label tells a story of the painstaking process these guys took to create and age and blend this beer. Great colors too!

Wild and yeasty aroma, with plenty of tart berries and raisins. Very pronounced and deep aroma. Sweet love, amazing! Tart cherry and strawberry flavors hit you right from the very first sip. Great wildly sour berry. Some red wine tannic flavors are also highly noticeable and dry out your palate quite a bit. Some oak flavors are there but not prominent. The carbonation is non-existent and this beer is flat. Sweeter fruits and raisins and prunes play well with their sour cousins. Very juicy, great yeast flavors, loving the sour berry. Though the lack of carbonation was a negative and a bit of a let-down, this was a really nice beer. Oh, and for the record, I didn't mention the 11% alcohol because I didn't even notice it was present. Dangerous!

Riedel Vinum Cuvée Prestige Glass, Set of 2

Tommy -- Roger Daltrey

San Marcos 109 Jalapeno Peppers, 7-Ounce (Pack of 24)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hoptical Illusion

What a crappy photo! I'll do better next time.
Tonight I'm drinking Hoptical Illusion, an IPA brewed by Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue, New York. This beer recently joined some other Blue Point beers on the South Florida shelves. I did, however, review this beer back in April, 2009, when it came back with my traveling coworker from a New York trip. That was a fun post, waxing poetic about the Obama-Chavez relationship and eating-puking cigarette butts. I must say EPIC!

This time, I chose to drink this beer on Harry Houdini's 137th Birthday. Nice planning, huh? The label is quite steeped in mystery and imagination, certainly because of the name. Pyramids with eyes in them, smiling moons, psychedelic colors, crazy lettering. I love it! Check out the Google Art for the occasion, too.

Fruity apple and citrus grapefruit and orange rolled into one sniff. Quite the fresh smell too! Nice zippy grapefruit bitter right up front. Grassy and earthy, with a little light malty bread balance. There is a small metallic flavor that is present as well, not great. A little spice shows up before the 6.8% alcohol dries things out quite a bit for the finish. Definitely bitter all the way, but in a solid IPA kind of way. Pretty good beer.

The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set

Masters of Deception: Escher, Dali & the Artists of Optical Illusion

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Florida Avenue Blueberry

This morning I'm drinking Florida Avenue Blueberry brewed by Cold Storage Craft Brewery in Tampa, Florida. The first thing I thought of was this storage place over on Dykes Road that will store your wines and beers in a temperature-controlled environment, but that's not who brewed this.

Ed Roberts brought back four great Cigar City beers from Tampa last week for me, including Hunahpu, but I decided to go with this one first! It is 10:15 am after all. (If you read yesterday's Cigar City Bohr review and are questioning my time line, don't. I drank this one before that one, just posting out of order).

The label uses the phrase "perfectly balanced blueberry aroma and flavor" and what appears to be a tagline: "Treasure the Flavor". The label depicts a large pirate ship, what I am going to call a schooner despite zero boating knowledge. Just tell me when to drop my line is all I know! Finally, I think these guys have their notch machine backwards as neither 2012 nor 2013 is marked, yet there is an errant one by the bar code. As it stands, enjoy by May, No Year. I did get out my ruler and measured March, 2012 if it were turned around, which makes perfect sense! Either that, or the year is 2011 which isn't available to notch. Who knows?

Faint berry aroma, and also a bit flowery and perfumey. Tart blueberry flavors kick things off, with just a hint of sugary cotton candy. Not overdone at all. There is also a wheat texture. Hoppy with good balance, not really sweet at all. Solid carbonation. Pretty simple and the flavors are not standouts, but not a bad beer at all. Very refreshing and not overly fruity. I'd drink this again for sure.

Sunkist Grower Select Blueberry Capsules, 500 mg, 90-Count Bottles (Pack of 2)

Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables

Schooner: Building a Wooden Boat on Martha's Vineyard

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bohr

Today I'm drinking Bohr, a stout brewed with raisins and spice by Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida. Being a scientist in my former life, I of course had heard of Niels Bohr, depicted as a young man in a photo on the label. But the beer, never heard of it until Ed Roberts left it after stopping by for dinner last week. He picked it up at the brewery last week.

Now knowing who Niels Bohr is did not give me a freakin' clue as to why Joey and Wayne would be naming their beer after the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics from 1922. Heck, I didn't even know these guys could read anything but skateboard stickers (OK, guys, I am just teasing, you are awesome, it's the beer talking, drinking solo, LOL). That's when you start reading the side of the label, designed by Juan Alvarez of Humble Wear.

It starts with Bohr's biography and takes you through his experience with atoms and radiation, suggesting he's a great scientific collaborator, mentoring many scientists that came after him. And because of that (and his nationality), this collaboration beer was named for him. This beer was brewed at Cigar City, and the recipe was conceived by Mikkel of Mikkeller (Bohr and Mikkel are Denmark Homeboys from different generations) and brewed in collaboration. There is another collaboration named Dirac, where Wayne Wambles of Cigar City took a similar idea and created his version of the recipe. (PS. I have that beer too, you live near Miramar?). I'll let you in on another secret. It's a good thing there was lots happening on the label to keep me busy because it took quite a while to drink this wine bottle.

Besides saying this was bottled in 2011, there is one more piece of researchable material: the phrase contraria sunt complementa. Great, now they're using Latin? Luckily I found a blog with that exact name, written by a guy whose favorite scientist is... wait for it...  Niels Bohr. Go Figure! The author goes on to explain that this phrase was on Bohr's Coat of Arms and means that Opposites are Complementary. And here I thought Paula Abdul came up with that quote! (And yes, you're right. She was hot then!)

OK. Jeez. Yes, I did drink the beer!

Luscious sweet chocolate aroma. Brown sugar and roasted coffee too. Super complex and totally amazing! OMG, I just took a sip. The End!

Just kidding. Delicious! Rich chocolate with plenty of roasted malt and even a hint of nuts in the beginning. Boozy from the start, but in a very good way! Molasses and some fruity raisin and cherry are other flavors that add some additional dimensions to this beer. The 10% alcohol is warming, especially in the chest, and does a great job of keeping the sweetness in check. As the beer warms, some vanilla and coffee flavors also start to creep into the mix of this ever-evolving beer. Every aspect of this beer is working in complete harmony.

Texture is awesome, so velvety smooth and milky. Some hoppy and spicy nibbles assist the alcohol in this great balancing act, start to finish. As you get toward the end of the bottle, the alcohol actually seems to be a little more prominent, providing more of a burn. A little hotter, but still a welcome aspect. Carbonation is not big but is perfect. Spectaculiciosis, as Marathon Marie might say! If you can, grab a bottle! Now!

Volume I - Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature (Philosophical Writings of Niels Bohr Series, Vol 1) -- Niels Bohr

Newman's Own Organics Organic California Raisins, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 6)

Cigar City Mafia: A Complete History of the Tampa Underworld

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

February 2011 Top Five

February, huh? The month that always screws you out of a few beer-drinking days. Well, I did my best anyway!

Bam! First post of the month was a review of the Jupiter Craft Brewer's Festival by Matthew Horbund. Great job and nice pictures! It wasn't more than a few days later than I was egged into reviewing the mass-produced, ultra-cheap Big Flats 1901 beer. It wasn't horrible, and it was only $2.99 for a six pack, but let's just say I only drank one of them because of a lack of flavor. I sent the rest with Ed Roberts to feed his father's taste buds. Hey, you guys should drink what you like!

That's it! Let's get to my favorites for February.


February 2011  Top Five


1. Old Horizontal


2. Moloko Milk Stout



3. Trois Pistoles
4. Samuel Smith's Organic Strawberry Ale

5. Olde GnarlyWine












Honorable Mention

Pitch Black IPA












Wow. Now that is a very diverse and interesting bunch. If you'd like to look back on January or any month in 2010, here is the Master List of Top Five Lists! Finally, if you'd like to make your own top five from February, or just want to figure out where I went wrong, here are all of February's reviews. As a preview, I'm going to have a terribly hard time picking five for March, and it's barely half over. Stay Tuned!

Drops Of Jupiter -- Train -- MP3 Download

I Am Not a Doctor -- Moloko

True Horizontal Beer Bottle Cooler TD-50-18