Friday, July 29, 2016

Flesh & Blood IPA

Dogfish recently brewed a new beer called Flesh & Blood IPA. This IPA is brewed with orange peel, lemon flesh and blood orange juice, all prominently featured on the label. 7.5% alcohol.

Lemon and orange aroma, though I really had to work for it. Juicy orange aroma does show more with some warmth. Lemony flavors in the beginning followed by a rush of orange, a combination of both juicy and bitter zesty rind.

Fruity, nice bitterness, both play well together. Also great carbonation. Blood orange flavors really linger long after each sip. Interesting and unique as usual. Balanced and pretty good, though I prefer 60/90 Minute to Flesh & Blood, which for me leans way more fruit beer than IPA.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Visit to 26° Brewing Company

After lunch and a few beers at Funky Buddha last Saturday, my wife and I decided to make our first visit to 26° Brewing Company in Pompano Beach, FL. There was a decent crowd inside of a very roomy tasting room. A door leading to the brewing area also showcased another large room dedicated to all things beer games!

We sat at the bar and ordered a few flights.

Flight One: "Merica Pilsner, Hip Hop Double IPA, Lemon Drop Wheat Ale, IPA1A

Flight Two: Captain Ron Hefeweizen, Sesh on the Beach Session IPA, Jared's Batch Amber Ale, Zikoko Coconut Imperial Russian Stout

I loved all three IPAs, especially the IPA1A, and I'm a total Hop Head and IPA critic. My other most favorite was the Zikoko Coconut Imperial Russian Stout, a limited release variation on their (no coconut) Ziko's Rage. Yum! And my wife liked the Pilsner and Hefewiezen too!

I overheard one of the bartenders tell the other that they were expecting a very large crowd that evening, something about watching a soccer game, and there were dozens of seats and tables reserved for that occasion. And indeed there were plenty of TVs and sports to watch!

Seems like a pretty cool local hangout with some yummy beer. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Who You Callin' Wussie

Stone's Arrogant Brewing canned a pilsner called Who You Callin' Wussie? OMG no way! And a pounder can too, duh, what should I have expected? There is a giant gargoyle on the can but the story is MIA, until you visit the A+++ website description from Stone's Marketing Department! 5.8% alcohol. "Drink Fresh, Numbskull!" Canned 06/27/16. I drank it 20 days later.
It's Time a Pilsner Got Arrogant 
For far too long the tyrannical industrialized beer overlords have disgraced and cheapened the noble heritage of the pilsner with their relentless multi-generational downward drive to commercialized homogenization. Over decades, this once vaulted style has been slowly and methodically gutted, bringing forth a soulless and anemic result, all the while spending billions in advertising to convince the unwitting public that their fizzy yellow end result was beer. Well, I will not have it. We are striking back for true craft by stealing the pilsner back from their evil clutches, and restoring it to its almighty glory. They do it cheaply. We do it right. Choose vapidity, or choose righteousness...but whatever you do, choose wisely.
Grainy, lemony aroma with flowers and light apple peeking through. Not so arrogant yet. Sharp, lemony flavors to start. Grainy, grassy, hoppy, prickly on the palate. There is a nice sweet fruity apple backdrop as well. Fresh and crisp and totally refreshing. Definitely an amped up pilsner. Next time I'll buy the full box! Pretty arrogant for a pils; check it out!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Visit to LauderAle Brewery and Tap Room

This past weekend, my wife and I took advantage of Camp Grandma and did a mini brewery tour of Broward County. Funky Buddha for lunch and beers, 26° Brewing in Pompano, Banjo Brewing in Pompano and LauderAle in Fort Lauderdale on the way back home! It's a fairly tight grouping of cool breweries.

Now...while this place is ultra convenient to FLL and Downtown Fort Lauderdale, it's still isolated in the middle of an industrial park near Port Everglades. Seriously, the turn left lane with zero traffic was SO FUCKING LONG without a single car that I just went for it! And the only thing happening in the park (on a Saturday) was LauderAle-ing!

No trouble finding a parking spot! The ivy on the wall of the warehouse was growing through the windows, very cool. Outside, a bunch of people and as many fun dogs chilled, played games and drank beer.

Outside was 88°F weather. We stayed comfortable in a fan-cooled tasting room and separate air-conditioned lounge which housed the bathrooms and a few couches, I guess for an extraordinarily angry hot day. We sat at the bar and took in the scenery and beers.

Inside, nice space with a bar and comfy seating around the tasting room. Lots of super-shiny tanks. And a big beer selection board with a shark on top!

We decided to check out a flight of beers, which were served in what I first thought was a clover leaf shaped holder but then realized it's a fan. Numbers corresponding to your selections were etched into the steel though not prominent. So yeah, I did ask once but I guess now I'll know for life how to identify the flight.

A few beers were kicked and a few on the board didn't make the menu, but we managed two unique flights to check out.

Flight One: Therapy Session IPA, Double D Imperial IPA, Mr. White's Wit, Smoke Stack Stout.

Flight Two: Gozilla Gose, Pieces of 8 Belgian Tripel, Port Everglades Porter, Heisenberg Hefeweizen

My favorites were the two IPAs, Smoke Stack Stout and Pieces of 8. Gozilla Gose is more like mini-Godzilla tart and pretty approachable. Honestly, I'd say (and I did on Twitter) that if you fly in or out of Fort Lauderdale FLL and don't stop for a beer, you're an idiot! The End. Check this place out!

Looks like Julian stopped by!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Athena Berliner Weisse

My mother arrived with a sixer of Creature Comforts' Athena Berliner Weisse a few days ago. It was a gift from my sister who lives in Atlanta, close enough to their Athens, GA brewery to be in the limited distribution area. She told me she got the last sixer of the only Creature Beer left from behind the counter at the liquor store. Hmmm, doesn't look good for us Miami!

Can design is nice. It looks like Athena is approaching the brewery, designed to look like a theater that is "Playing Tonight, Lacto Bacillus!" Described on the can as "Gently Tart, Effervescent, Ambrosia."

Sharp lemon aroma, full of yeast with a lightly sweet, fruity background. Tart flavors in the beginning, not puckering. Lemony with some soft fruit in the background. A little salty perhaps. Not acidic but has some white wine character and decent bubbles.

Super refreshing. I appreciate the perfect tartness, not overdone. Simple but a winner! Pick me up another sixer on the way to Miami!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fat Tire & Friends: Fat Sour Apple Ale

Today I'm checking out the Fat Tire & Friends collaboration beer with Portland, Oregon's Hopworks Urban Brewery. HUB decided to use apples and go sour with some lactobacillus with their entry. 5.9% alcohol.

Tart apple aroma with a malty backbone. Nicely tart Granny Smith apple flavors to start. Malty, grainy, herbal sweet balance. Not sour. Definitely tastes like Fat Tire with a fun and innovative twist that adds some character.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Wolf Pup Session IPA

I was recently sent a can of Golden Road Brewing's Wolf Pup Session IPA. The brewery told me this is part of a trio of IPAs that they call "The Wolf Pack" that includes Wolf Among Weeds (8% alcohol), Wolf Mother (11.2% alcohol) and now Wolf Pup (4.5% alcohol, 50 IBU). The can has a nice Palm Tree design and "REFRESHINGLY HOPPY with a wildly aromatic citrus character" posted to the side.

Bright tangerine and citrus aroma with an awesome flowery component; sweet and tangy and definitely delivers on the "wildly aromatic" line on the can.

Similar tangerine citrus flavors to start coupled with some sharp and bitter grapefruit rind. A little spicy with a tangy finish. Big refreshment. Reminds me of All Day IPA which is a huge compliment from me.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hootie's Home Grown Ale

Hootie makes beer now? Does that mean he's moved on from country music? Thank God. I want my Rock 'N Roll Hootie back!

There's a long micro-font story on the back of the can. Hopefully when I mega-size that picture below, it'll be readable. This is a collaboration beer between Rock Brothers Brewing and Hootie, brewed by Brew Hub in Lakeland, Florida. Furthermore, hops and malts also come from Cigar City and Palmetto Brewing, so it's kinda complicated. Hopefully, this isn't just a gimmick beer! The website I found for the beer warned me it was an attack website, so here is their Facebook page instead. 5.2% alcohol.

Faint fruit, malty sweet aroma. Flavors are the same, fruity with maybe a little honey sweetness. A little spicy and very boring blonde ale. My wife liked it, however she's probably a closet Hootie fan! In the end, it's on par with the super-average "Golf Beers" Brew Hub devised with some PGA pros.

Call me if you need recommendations.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Upside Down Blonde

I just grabbed a pounder can of Upside Down Blonde from Flat12 Bierworks. The label shows this beer as the Queen of Hops playing card. A little story lets you know what to expect. 4.5% alcohol. 23 IBU.

Sweet grain, honey, caramel and cracker aroma. Flavors are the same starting with some honey wheat bread and caramel. A light bitter citrus balance comes next. That's it! Clean, simple, easy drinker.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Liberty Lunch India Pale Ale

Austin's Independence Brewing recently sent me a few cans of their Liberty Lunch India Pale Ale. The beer was named for and inspired by an iconic Austin music venue that closed in 1999 and showcased tons of "before they were famous" artists including Nirvana and Ween. Here's an article republished from 1999 that shares some of the sentiments from the actual closing. Wiki is also good, just don't write your term paper citing it.

The beer is canned and available in many Texas markets. "Music Feeds The Soul" adorns the can. 5.5% alcohol.

Very nice aroma full of honey and jammy sweetness, fruity orange citrus and tropical scents. Fruity tangerine and melon flavors come first. Honey sweetness meets citrus and a hint of pine. Light spiciness, hoppy, good body. On the sweet side but very good and I liked it! Check it out if you're in Texas and if not, everyone has a friend in Texas that will grab you a can!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Coronado 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA

To celebrate their 20th Anniversary, Coronado Brewing brewed a "massively floral Imperial IPA." I am drinking a bomber of this 10.0% alcohol beer though I did see it available in 12-oz 4 packs. A little story on the bottle will set your expectations. Mine are very high!

Nice fruity sweet aroma, orange and tropical. Super floral flavors, as advertised. Fruity orange, plenty of citrus. Rich body. Spicy.

The alcohol is not shy but really brings out some awesome nuances: marmalade, honey, pineapple. I'm not sure if it's weird but this beer has lots of characteristics/nuances of Grand Marnier. Alcohol, orange, good body, spiciness... made me go buy another bottle of Grand Marnier, and yep!

Nice lingering flavors. Here's to another 20 years. This is yum!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Oatis Oatmeal Stout

Last month I reported on Ninkaski's Helles Belles. In the same Brewery Direct shipment to Total Wine in Florida, Ninkasi sent their Oatis Oatmeal Stout. A story on the label sets your expectations. 7.0% alcohol.

Chocolaty, roasty aroma. Rich, luscious, creamy texture. Beautiful roast hits first with hints of smoke and char. Chocolate sweetness along with a coffee mocha creamolato next!

In addition to the those dominating flavors, there are many interesting and intriguing nuances. Prunes and plums, vanilla, licorice. Sweet and hoppy and roast, all with great balance.

That smokey roasted flavor coats the palate in the finish and lingers long after each sip. I liked this beer!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cucumber Kolsch

Today I'm checking out a can of Flat12 Bierwerks' Cucumber Kolsch. This is the summer seasonal from a brewery that prides itself in making "ish-styles" of beer. The can design is pretty nice, simply depicting some hops and an cucumber. A story to the side sets your expectations. 5.2% alcohol. 28 IBU

Grainy aroma with lemon and a light fruity background. Similar lemony and grainy flavors to start. But big cucumber comes in with an interesting flair. Grassy, crackers, sourdough. Nicely carbonated.

Simple yet super unique with the cukes on full display. Lots of character and I definitely enjoyed it.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tony P's Dockside Grill

On the way to Thailand this past April, my wife and I stumbled on Tony P's Dockside Grill in Marina Del Rey, California. Honestly, we were on foot and a little lost, couldn't figure out how to cross this annoying canal, super hungry, and so happy to find this place. It was cold and uber-windy!

To our delight, Tony P's is also a craft beer joint! Seriously, I had some of the freshest, dankest West Coast IPAs and other local beers too. And I'm not lying when I tell you I don't even remember what I ordered for dinner, but I do remember that I loved every bite! THAT is the kind of review Yelp begs for!

Despite the wind and cold, the back outside patio was nice and completely sealed for such an occasion. The view was terrific, and our waitress was awesome too! Highly recommended!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Fat Tire & Friends: Fat Funk Ale

So Allagash used to distribute to South Florida. I hate premature pull-outs! Anyway, New Belgium collaborated with them for one of their Fat Tire and Friends beers: Fat Funk Ale. The collaboration beer showcases De Dolle House Belgian Yeast and Brettanomyces to "bring the funk." 5.6% alcohol.

Lightly fruity, yeasty and spicy aroma. Very fruity flavors in the beginning, mainly pears and soft tangerines. Spicy cloves, herbal flavors come next along with a funky yeasty twang that persists.

Finish is spicy with some lingering funk. For me, this is the kind of beer that usually makes me think "meh" in the beginning but grows on you after half the bottle. This wasn't an exception to that but in the end, wasn't a favorite of the series.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Citrusy Wit

Stone Brewing made a beer called Citrusy Wit. A story on the back label titled "Stone Gives A Wit" lets you know that quality ingredients are an essential part of their beers. In this case, they ditched the traditional orange peel for tangerines and kaffir lime leaves. The story then goes on to offer several digs at Blue Moon's wedge of orange on the rim of the glass. 5.3% alcohol. Bottled on 06/06/16.

With no fruit slice in the way, I was able to really stick my nose in the glass. Terrific fruity tangerine with a wheaty, doughy aroma. Lightly sweet to start. Spicy coriander and a little peppery. Nice body. Oh, yeah, great citrus with some hoppy bitterness.

Tangerines, lemons, and a distinct alternate which I'm guessing is the lime. Good idea and nice beer.