Monday, July 17, 2017

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2017 Ayinger Dunkle Weisse

Today I'm checking out Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2017 Ayinger Dunkle Weisse. I love this collaboration brewery and this style is money when executed with skill. I expect nothing less from these two breweries! Obviously this is one of the "OverSeas" versions of Beer Camp Across the World.

The story on the label sets you up for this "dark twist on a Bavarian-style wheat beer." 5.7% alcohol. 10 IBU. PkGD 4/25/17.

Darker color than I was expecting. Lots of floaties, which is awesome! Nicely sweet aroma, full of ripe bananas and hints of bubble gum. Really yum! Tangy at the start with some dark brown bread flavors dominating at the beginning.

Big Banana. Big Bubblegum. Some spicy cloves and a rich body anchors the whole beer. Nicely sweet but plenty of balance. Definitely a winner from the series!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

First Bite Pale Ale

My Miami friends brought me a few Long Island beers from a recent trip up north. Spider
Bite Beer Company's First Bite Pale Ale is the one I'm checking out today. Simple label with an angry spider crawling on a hop cone.

The beer is named "First Bite" because it was the first beer the Spider Bite team brewed together. 5.5% alcohol. 30 IBU.

Caramel and lightly hoppy aroma. Caramel forward on the flavors too. Crackers are also prevalent, but a medicinal hoppy takeover comes next. Sourdough, spicy, leafy, pithy bitterness. Balance was OK, same as the beer, tough in a world of awesome pale ales.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2017 Boneyard Beer West Coast-Style DIPA

I was really looking forward to this 2017 Beer Camp beer! For real, Sierra Nevada and Oregon's Boneyard Beer should be able to figure out a fucking awesome West Coast-Style DIPA! Am I right?

And a pounder can too! 8.3% alcohol. The story on the back lets you know to expect an "intensely hop-heavy" beer. OK, I'm in!!!

Beautiful aroma full of tropical peaches, pineapples and tangerines. Whoa! Big pine and citrus WOMP of bitterness hits your palate first! But a beautiful tropical fruity streak comes next. Peaches pineapples, orange come then fade.

That fade leads to more spicy, dank, lingering bitter flavors. Bold bitter, enough nice balance, finish to let you know this is a bitter MoFo. Excellent beer! Loved everything about it! Those fruity flavors stood out so much my wife ignored her normal bitter hate and asked if this was brewed with a lot of oranges!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Samuel Adams Hefeweizen

Today I'm checking out Samuel Adams Hefeweizen. The label shows a raft with a cooler and a few paddles. 5.4% alcohol. 14 IBU.

Banana and a faint spicy aroma. Wheaty twang comes first. Definitely can taste banana flavors, too. Soft spiciness with cloves. On the sweet side but not overly so. Spices build as you drink more. Not bad.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2017 The Bruery Raspberry Sundae Ale

Next up on the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2017 tour: The Bruery Raspberry Sundae Ale, a beer brewed with lactose, cocoa, vanilla and raspberries. 8.0% alcohol. PKGD 04/21/17. Let's see if this hits their ice cream sundae inspiration.

Aroma is tough to find but has some light raspberry and cocoa there, very tame. WOW! Flavors all up in your face, super interesting! Raspberries shine from the start, bright, tart, excellent. Then layers of flavor wash over that, cocoa and vanilla in one super nuanced wave.

Alcohol is noticeable, continuously bringing out the raspberries in full force. Prickly carbonation. Super creative, really liked it. Definitely delivered on promise from its name!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Two Brothers Hop Centric DIPA

Two Brothers Artisan Brewing recently sent me a can of their Hop Centric DIPA. We get some of their beers here in Miami, but I haven't seen this one on the liquor store shelves. Maybe soon, as it's a seasonal.

A story on the back of the can sets your expectations. The beer is released just in time for Two Brothers Summer Festival. 9.9% alcohol. 100.1 IBU.

Lots of pine, a little citrus and a hint of spiciness in the aroma. Spicy, citrus flavors to start. Bright, sharp, hoppy flavors shine as well. Interesting and unique. There is a very distinct caramel richness adding some sweet balance.

A little alcohol heat in the chest at the finish lets you know who's boss. Terrific and different. Loved it!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Brunetta Oud Bruin Ale

Yeah, Brunetta is definitely winking at me! Ommegang recently released their collaboration with Belgium's Liefmans--Brunetta Oud Bruin Ale. The label definitely sets your expectations, "Tart with a touch of sweetness, refreshing and perfectly balanced maltiness and acidity."

The story on the back titled "Where Heaven Met Earth and Stayed Awhile" also gives some history and finishes describing this beer as a "fine ale all about elegant refreshment." 11.2 oz bottle. 5% alcohol. Best By 02/2019

Generic malty aroma, brown bread. Lightly tart to start, also plenty acidic with some apple cider flavors. A malty caramel answer does come. Nutty as well. Dark fruits, maybe prunes and bread round out the profile. Interesting but definitely not a style I adore. No Heaven for me. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bermuda Style Pilsner

Narragansett Bermuda Style Pilsner is the OFFICIAL beer of America's Cup 2017, taking place in Bermuda. The beer was brewed to celebrate the history of America's Cup and "yacht building excellence of Bristol, Rhode Island." I'm pretty sure this was brewed in Rochester, NY though. Pounder can with some nice artwork. 5% alcohol. Pairs nicely with spicy island dishes.

Grainy, lemon aroma. Nice honey sweetness to start. Grainy, bready sweet continues. There is definitely a tangy component as well. A touch of lemon and citrus bitterness add some balance. A little prickly carbonation is also a welcome component. A little sweet but tasty enough. Check it out before it's gone!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Brand New Normal Berliner Style Weisse Ale

Denmark's Mikkeller Brewing has a San Diego Brewery too. Brand New Normal Berliner Style Weisse Ale was brewed there. The can features the Mikkeller cartoon guy with nine different hair styles. I gave the can to my 15 year old (after it was empty) for some ideas! Canned on 2/2/2017. 3.2% alcohol.

Lemony tart aroma, salty, briney. Nicely tart flavors come first as well but definitely on the tame side. Lemony, nice twang, citric, more tartness.

Really like this style. Brand New Normal is refreshing with nice lingering flavors.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale

I recently saw cans of Cigar City's Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale on my local liquor store shelf over on the SE Florida coast. Duh, of course I grabbed one! The story on the back of the can suggests one of the brewers was thinking out loud one day about a beer tasting like an oatmeal raisin cookie. Brainstorming began and here's the beer.

They start with the decadent Maduro Brown Ale as a base then add raisins, vanilla and cinnamon. How could this possibly go wrong? The can story ends with "a beer that tastes like it was baked in Grandma's oven." So get ready! Canned 06/02/17 Drunk (I did that for you) 06/18/17. 5.5% alcohol. 25 IBU.

Smells awesome, full of cinnamon and raisins and chocolate, just beautiful. Smell and taste totally hit the beer name! Chocolate base is so luscious and creamy, showcasing the perfect amount of cinnamon and great sweet raisins. Brown sugar comes too.

Sweet, and that's the risk here I think, but for sure there's enough balance. Can't drink a sixer back-to-back, but the first two were super enjoyable. Great flavors and textures. Maduro, I love you. And Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, I love you too!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Beer Camp 2017 Duvel Moortgat Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden Ale

Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across the World 2017 collaboration with Duvel Moortgat was actually the first of the mixed 12 pack I tasted, even though not the first one I published about here. Don't read into that, means nothing on the back end. On the front side of things, though, it means Duvel is one of my favorite breweries and I can't want to try their beers!

Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden Ale is brewed with lemon peel, and the story on the back of the bottle gets you pretty psyched to try this new beer! PKGD 04/19/17. 8.0% alcohol.

Lemony with some malty bready sweet aroma, not strong but very pleasant. Sweet, malty, bready flavors also open things up but are quickly pitted against some candied lemon rind. There is plenty of Belgian yeasty character throughout.

Nicely hoppy, lightly bitter and a little bit of spice. Repeat. Soft enjoyable flavors: apples, bread and a sharp streak of lemon. Bright and flavorful. Nice beer!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Stone Ghost Hammer IPA

Another Stone Brewing IPA? No Way! Stone recently released Ghost Hammer IPA in honor of their overnight crew. You can read the story on the back of the can, but the silver and white contrast with a lot of reflections will probably drive you batshit crazy--just click that link and read it on their website. I'm pretty sure that's what the Stone marketing department had in mind anyway.

But I digress... Basically, The Ghost Hammer is the name of the mysterious and "mischievous poltergeist companion" that roams the nighttime brewery making "weird ghostly sounds" and keeping the staff on their toes. Canned 05/24/17. Released 06/05/17. Consumed 06/17/17. 6.7% alcohol. 56 IBU.

Orange and Tang (yeah, like the astronauts drank) aroma, tangerine citrus, bright. Very juicy flavors: tangerines, orange, tangy.

Sweet to start but enough underlying hoppy bitter answer. And while leaning bitter overall, this isn't really very bitter or hoppy at all for this brewery! Tasty though I prefer Stone IPA and many other of their hoppier offerings. One of the most tame and balanced beers I've ever had from this brewery! Good beer. Good story.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Two Brothers Pahoehoe Coconut Ale

Two Brothers Artisan Brewing sent me two beers recently to check out. Pahoehoe Coconut Ale sounds like a nice place to start! This is the brewery's newest seasonal. The story on the back of the can sets your expectations, for a beer to drink with "your feet up in the air, some music in the air." 5.2% alcohol. 16.1 IBU. Best By 10/31/17. Go nuts for coconuts!

Aroma full of coconut with hints of vanilla and tangerine. Sweet coconut flavor also shines, super smooth and creamy texture. A light, tangy citrus flavor follows. Hints of vanilla and toast round out a nicely balanced, very enjoyable beer. Flavors linger long after each sip. Check it out.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Nitro Series Orange Cream Ale

A Pounder Can of Breckenridge Nitro Series Orange Cream Ale? Yes please! Actually the can is 15.2 oz, probably because the nitro thingy needed some of the volume. 5.5% alcohol. Best By 09/29/17.

Nice cascade on the pour. Orange and vanilla aroma. Super creamy. Orange, citrus, tang. Nice sweetness but not too much. After the orange fades after each sip, there's a little off flavor that lingers, metallic or cardboard. Didn't love that. Was OK.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Samuel Adams Session IPA

Today I'm checking out Samuel Adams Seasonal Session IPA. You know these guys are canning beers now right? There's a story about Samuel Adams, mastermind of the Boston Tea Party and brewer, on the side of the can. 4.5% alcohol. 40 IBU. Best By Sep 2017.

Fruity, hoppy aroma with some lemon. Flavors are softly hoppy, lemony with some bitterness. Light apple fruitiness and a little herbal action like Sam Adams always has.

Not sharp or bright and more than a little boring. This is the Sam Adams tame version of a great session IPA. Not bad but NO ALL DAY IPA or GO TO IPA!

All that being said, my wife thought it was great, and my guess is she's more the target of this beer. I guess restraint is key to winning! So nice job with that Sammy! Check it out!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Enjoy By 07.04.17 Unfiltered IPA

It's "Crunch Time" on this beer! The 4th of July is half a week away! Stone Enjoy By 07.04.17 Unfiltered IPA is still available and cans are on the shelves. Brewed to be enjoyed within 37 days, you can read that story below! Honestly, I'm gonna look for a discount on 7/5 too! 9.4% alcohol. Canned 05/30/17

Beautiful aroma, full of peaches and mangos and fruity tropical deliciousness! Super tangy flavors to start. Tangerines, peaches, with the alcohol sharply enhancing those fruity flavors.

Prickly carbonation, very bright, super flavorful, dry at the finish. Long lingering flavors make everything last longer, taste better. A little heat from the alcohol hits the throat. Great Beer!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pinky Swear Florida Weisse

Tampa's Coppertail Brewing recently released the next beer in their Florida Weisse series. Pinky Swear is brewed with Lemon and Raspberries to enhance the already tart flavors of their Berliner Weisse. Le and Ra are boxed on the periodic table of ingredients on the label too. 3.5% alcohol. Best By 09/06/17. Pairs Perfectly With... a wooden rocking chair on a porch!

Fruity aroma, raspberries, but not in your face (which I wanted). Totally get the tart raspberry flavors from the first sip. And an excellent lemon bite follows. Those flavors work perfectly together and with the Berliner base!

Not overly tart. The combination of salinity and prickly carbonation really enhances the excellent fruity additions. Love this series from Coppertail. The style takes a little getting used to but I love how refreshing it is. The tartness is sharp enough yet tame enough. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2017 Fullers Atlantic-Style Vintage Ale

I know I only told you about one of the others so far, but this year's Sierra Nevada 2017 Beer Camp Beers Across the World is AWESOME. Definitely worth the $25!

Fullers Atlantic-Style Vintage Ale is next up on my list. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect except that this is a collaboration with an iconic brewery. "English-Style" usually is a turn off for me because I don't like that style IPA, but I managed to set my brain aside and started drinking, knowing this was NO IPA! Brewed with plums to enhance the natural fruity flavors that come from Fullers yeast strains. 8.5% alcohol. PKGD 04/13/17

Plums show in the aroma. When you take your first sip, you know that the beer is strong while super deceptive at the same time. Plums come first, playing with other fruity nuances, maybe some strawberries. Base beer is rich with some toasty, fruity, herbal flavors. More fruitiness beyond the plum addition, maybe some raisins too.

Nuances of sugar, toffee, candy, syrup, all sweet but controlled. A LOT going on in this EXCELLENT BEER! I loved it!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Beer Camp 2017: Garage Project CampOut Porter

Sierra Nevada teamed up with New Zealand's Garage Project brewery to create Beer Camp 2017 Garage Project CampOut Porter. This is a beer brewed with a special honey and vanilla and a specialty malt smoked with manuka wood. This was the first beer I checked out from this year's Beer Camp mixed 12 pack, seemed the most interesting! 7.7% alcohol.

Aroma full of roast, a hint of smoke, and just a touch of honey. Nice roasty flavor comes first, caramel, toffee and for sure an interesting marshmallow flavor. Lightly smokey, not harsh, not ashy, not even near any burnt flavors.

Vanilla is nice. Leans bitter with the roast but definitely has a nice sweet streak. I suggest letting this beer warm a bit as marshmallow, caramel, brown sugar, toffee and honey add a terrific set of flavors. Great Tasty Treat!

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Happy Father's Day! You're probably eating bacon and eggs in bed right now! Remember back in the 90's when you weren't a father? Was so awesome, right?!?! My roommates and I (and even my wife before we skipped birth control) used to regularly go bowling. Some of those bowling Friday and Saturday nights included Disco and Strobe lights, weird competitions and ZIMA! Don't act like you weren't there!

So ZIMA Beverages is giving ZIMA another go in the market. I have zero clue if this is the same company that put this malt beverage out in the first place. They are calling this a "Refreshing Citrus Beverage" with "Limited Release," the latter probably to see if this shit will catch on again.

My local Total Wine pal said he wasn't touching this stuff, but I decided nostalgia forced me to grab a bottle to see what's up 25 years later. 5.0% alcohol; 181 calories (per 12 oz) (Yeah, WTF, I'd rather eat a steak); 21.1g Carbs; Fat 0g; Protein <1g.

Sweet, malty aroma with a hint of lemon. OMFG, so sugary sweet to start, this grabbed the sides of my neck hard! Ridiculous!

A citrus streak does run through very hard though. Lemon and lime last a long time, linger, it's clearly the story they want to tell.

Tangy, biting carbonation (not a bad thing). NOT Refreshing. Super Obnoxiously Sweet! Ask me for a good beer recommendation instead. This mess doesn't even cater to the alcoholic bullshit which is Budweiser's Wild Blue. ZIMA should go back to the graveyard!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Samuel Adams Berliner Weisse

Samuel Adams now brews a Berliner Weisse! Yeah, I know, wow! It's a new seasonal for them. The label depicts a Wright Brothers type plane and sets you up for a "Refreshing & Effervescent" beer. 4.8% alcohol. 15 IBU.

Lemony, salty aroma, pretty nice. Super tame flavors, barely tart at all. There is a whisper of lemon that fades before you can even taste it. Lightly salty, very bland. Not really refreshing of effervescent. Seriously just blah, tastes like nothing. But of course my wife liked that blandness (and she HATES tart beers with a passion, so you know where we stand here.) Ask me for other recommendations on this style. Don't waste your time or stomach capacity.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Steal This Can IPA

Lord Hobo's Steal This Can IPA is on loan to Florida through Total Wine's Brewery Direct program. Once gone, they probably don't come back for a long time if ever. You may need to visit Boston to get another taste.

So I'm checking out my pounder can, nice design that promotes theft. I purchased my can. 6.5% alcohol.

Fruity, orange, tropical aroma. Fruity orange and big mango flavors come first. Those meet a solid dose of pine with some light resin. Nicely bitter.

There is a bit of a minty quality to this beer that persists throughout and lingers. I didn't lover that. Light alcohol and astringency. Not bad.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout

Elysian Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout sounds like a winner so I'm giving it a "split shot" today! This beer is brewed with Stumptown Coffee. PKG 12/21/16. 6% alcohol. 28 IBU.

Coffee and cocoa aroma. Super creamy, nicely sweet to start. Big coffee flavors, super tasty. Rich cocoa. Strong roast takes some of the sweet edge off. Nice flavors, great beer!

Friday, June 9, 2017

VooDoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA

I'm still trying to figure out the New Belgium VooDoo Ranger series. It has nothing to do with all of their other beers, their Belgian-inspired names and brews. It would NEVER occur to me that this brand has anything to do with New Belgium. Weird marketing decision, I think.

Anyway, they are a lot smarter than I am and are super successful, so today I'm checking out their VooDoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA, a special release packaged in a bomber. 6.5% alcohol. A story sets your expectations, suggesting filters for lots of things except this unfiltered beer.

Super hazy! Citrus, tangerine, super juicy aroma. Juicy, oranges and mandarina flavors. Sweet to start, very pleasant. There is, however, a citrus bitter answer. Lightly spicy. Very enjoyable.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Genesee Brew House Helles Bock

Genesee's Brew House Helles Bock on deck today. There's a short description on the bottle neck label. 7.0% alcohol.

Grainy aroma with a touch of honey. Grain and honey flavors come first with a little nutty touch. Good body. The alcohol shows with a kick at the finish, bringing out an herbal flavor. Didn't really like that alcohol punch. Not a fan.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Hyperbolic IPA

Today I'm checking out Coppertail's Hyperbolic IPA, their new seasonal Extra IPA. As usual, awesome label art, this time focused on space, including a flying space turtle!

Mangoes, tangerines, orange marmalade aroma. YUM! Beautiful tropical fruity flavors come first, mango and orange stand out. Those are followed by a spicy, hoppy kick. Pine and light citrus rind add more flavor and bitterness.

There is some dryness and a hit of alcohol at the finish. The alcohol makes some pithy flavors stand out. I didn't love that, but it did go away with a little warmth. Nice beer. Let it warm up a touch before drinking.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wolf Among Weeds IPA

I can't remember who recommended this beer, but I was told to check out Golden Road's Wolf Among Weeds IPA not too long ago. Guess I should have paid attention to the PKGD 12.06.2016 date when I grabbed a can and looked for something fresher. Pounder can. 8.0% alcohol. 80 IBU.

Sweet, fruity pineapple and tropical aroma with some pine. Similar flavors, lightly sweet with tropical peaches and pineapples. Those flavors and sweetness were mostly fleeting, however.

A big crush of pine and resin and citrus zest change the game. Spicy bitterness takes over, though you do never lose the underlying pineapple flavor. Tangy, interesting. BOLD! A bit astringent at the finish with some noticeable alcohol, which I didn't love. Flavorful, but beer was only OK as that finish was a turn off.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Davey Murray's Best Scotch Ale

I recently checked out Lagunitas' Davey Murray's Best Scotch Ale. This beer is a member of their 2017 One-Hitter Series. 9.5% alcohol. 52 IBU. The story on the rim goes something like this...
O gude ale comes and gude ale goes; Gude ale gars me sell my hose, Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon- Gude ale keeps my heart aboon!" Cheers to the great Bard of Ayrshire for this ale’s epitaph: There is a beer, whose clarity’s clear, can teach the mash paddle to steer, and fuels the brewer's mad career. This ale within is fine to brew and quick to know, and keenly felt by the friendly glow, and softer flame, of the heartful jolly soul that wears this name. Beer-lover, attend! Whether thy soul soars in fancy’s flight, or on this earthly whole in low pursuit, know water, barley, hops, and yeast are Davey Murray’s root. What’s it all got to do with beer? Give us a call! 707.769.4495
Lots of floaties. Caramel and sweet toffee aroma. Similar flavors including caramel, toffee and rum. Sweet. The alcohol does show and tames some sweetness. Herbal, a little medicinal. Was OK but not my gig!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Lowball IPA

Today I'm checking out Pair O' Dice Lowball IPA, a session IPA the brewery says has "an ABV low enough to keep your wits about you and calling bluffs when you see 'em." 5.0% alcohol. 55 IBU #GETAPAIR

Piney, floral aroma. Lightly fruity and tangy flavors to start. Tons of pine, super resinous flavors come next. Nicely bitter, a little spicy, lots of flavor, especially for a session beer. Leans quite bitter, while still holding on to enough balance. I like it!