Friday, April 28, 2017

The Waldos' Special Ale

Yesterday I picked up Lagunitas Brewing's The Waldos' Special Ale. Today I'm drinking it! According to the label, "the dankest and hoppiest beer ever brewed at Lagunitas was made with help of the Waldos for all treasure hunters." The website part of the story, seen below, says 4:20 though that label says 4:19 and doesn't mention Louis Pasteur. Probably space and "drug reference" choices!

So I guess this beer is a Triple IPA? I don't know, but it's 11.9% alcohol. Part of the 2017 OneHitter Series. And I guess the purple cap is a warning and/or a liquor store anti-theft identifying piece.

Fruity orange and peach jam, lightly tropical aroma. Sweet, fruity orange and peach marmalade flavors with a very rich texture. Spicy, hoppy balance as well. Pine, dank, green, resinous, yet never overly bitter considering the rich sweet start.

Alcohol is dangerously hidden though you will taste and feel it in your chest on the way down. Great beer! Where's Waldo? In my belly! Check it out!

Here is the description and a Google-search challenge from their website...

"In 1971, the Waldos met one afternoon at 4:20 in the front courtyard of their school near the statue of Louis Pasteur. They set out in a '66 Impala armed with a "treasure map" on a journey to find a secret garden near Point Reyes. They met there at the same time every day and continued their quest. They never found the secret garden....But they keep lookin'. The dankest and hoppiest beer ever brewed at Lagunitas was made with help of the Waldos for all treasure hunters."

"Good with Beer-battered Twinkies Con Queso…you can find out why if you google 'Waldo 420'"

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pachanga Mexican-Style Lager

Sun King Brewery recently sent me a Pachanga Mexican-Style Lager "kit". I was surprised when I opened the box to find some swag which included fake fireworks and a mini piñata. Oh, and the cans, considering their website says this is Draft Only beer.

My teenager took the poppers and I will definitely be taking the koozies to my pool this summer! The mini piñata will be around as long as the wife allows. The Pachanga cans feature that piñata as well. 4.2% alcohol 24 IBU.

Light grainy aroma, very clean. Flavors the same, clean and crisp. A touch of honey and grain with a perfect hoppy balance. Super simple, super refreshing. Not sure what the Mexican part is... seemed like any HOT-AS-SHIT-Style Lager! Like Miami.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lucky Lucy Strawberry Blonde

Pair O' Dice's Lucky Lucy Strawberry Blonde recently hit the shelves of my Miami liquor store. The brewery is OK with you calling this a "girly" beer but then clarifies why that is the case on the can's label. This is an award-winning beer! 5.5% alcohol.

Kind of cloudy with a faint red hue. Nice pleasant aroma, soft strawberry. Terrific strawberry flavors show immediately, a little tangy and tart, not overdone. Some malty sweet balance comes next. Some light bitterness and more strawberry take you into the finish and beyond. Super flavorful, loved it!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Times 2017 Brew At The Zoo: Zoo Miami

Lions and Tigers and Beers! Oh My! Lions and Tigers and Beers! Oh My! Lions and Tigers and Beers! Oh My! Lions and Tigers and Beers! Oh My! Yeah, I know I'm not the first person to think of that, so don't bother mentioning.

But for real, New Times is hosting their 8th Annual Brew At The Zoo on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Zoo Miami. And besides beers, I'm hoping to ride giraffes and pet baby lions (this is just a joke)! There will be live music and food and a lot of fun too!

Right now through 4/30/2017 at 11 PM you can get 2-FOR-1 General Admission Tickets using Promo Code BATZPROMO. Check out the site for tickets and for sure check out the beers that Laine Doss says you're going to be tasting! (She's my favorite!)

Sneak Attack Saison

21st Amendment brewed a saison as a winter seasonal. That's the "sneak attack" in Sneak Attack Saison, a farmhouse ale brewed with cardamom. The artwork on the can is supposed to remind you of the famous Washington surprise attack, crossing the icy Delaware River. The group of under-dressed yahoos drinking beer aboard the Endless Soma, however, I don't believe have a chance! 6.2% alcohol. 38 IBU.

Lightly fruity, yeasty and spicy aroma. Light fruity flavors too, soft peaches and oranges. There is an interesting and very distinct spiciness that persists, which suppose is the cardamom.

Yeasty, farmhouse hay. Some light bitterness at the finish. Very dry at the finish as well. All in balance, not bad. Wanted a little more bite from some aspect.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hotbox Coffee IPA

Today I'm trying Oskar Blues Hotbox Coffee IPA, named for and brewed with coffee from Hotbox Roasters. Sounds like an interesting idea! The can gives you a few things to think about... WAKE 'N ROAST. TURN YOUR HEAD & COFFEE. 7.2% alcohol. 70 IBU.

Not sure why, but I was expecting a darker-colored beer. Don't get me wrong, the rich orange beer looked terrific. Super-fruity tropical orange and tangerine aroma with some underlying coffee playing second fiddle.

Flavors are similar. Super juicy, tropical orange. Nice sweet and bitter back and forth.  Nice tanginess. The coffee flavors show middle and into the finish with a little roast and hint of cocoa.

The coffee aspect is more of an interesting nuance or twist. I was scared based on the name it would be overdone but in fact just the opposite is what I found. Using "Coffee" as part of the name is a bit of a lie. And yet, despite being only a nuance, I found myself wanting just the base IPA. Check it out!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Avatar Jasmine IPA

Elysian Brewing's Avatar Jasmine IPA sounds pretty interesting. The bomber bottle has some nice illustrations of the Jasmine flowers and describes this beer as "East meets West Coast with a unique floral aroma and a smooth dose of hops." 6.3% alcohol. 43 IBU.

Fruity and floral aroma, though neither very big. Soft fruity peach and apple flavors come first. Next up, the Jasmine floral component. Floral and bitter pair up, each enhancing the other. Creamy texture.

The Jasmine is prominent yet not overdone. The base IPA is flavorful yet simple and a good showcase for the flowers. And yet, while interesting, adding Jasmine just wasn't my thing. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cumulus Lupulus Imperial IPA

Terrapin Cumulus Lupulus Imperial IPA was recently put on the shelves of my local Miami liquor store. The label depicts a tropical island scene, with hop-cone-shaped clouds moving with the breeze. DRINK FRESH DO NOT AGE is the aerial message to beach goers, dragged behind a boat. A story on the side will set your expectations. 8.1% alcohol. 101 IBU.

Tropical fruity aroma full of mango and pineapple, a little spicy. Bursting with juicy tropical pineapple and mango fruit flavors, just WOW! Orange citrus, pine, resin, very fresh. Perfect fruity sweetness with some hoppy and spicy bitterness. Good body.

Delicious! Phillies Home Run!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Breckenridge Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout

Breckenridge Brewery recently sent me a wine bottle of their Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout, where 50% was aged in whiskey barrels and 50% was aged in port wine barrels. This beer is part of the brewery's Brewery Lane Series, named for where they built their new brewery.

There is a nice illustration of the Breckenridge Brewery on the label, makes you want to visit. Corked and caged. 9.5% alcohol. 50 IBU.

Chocolate and cherry aroma big with some spirits quality in the background. Rich sweet chocolate flavors meet big cherry flavors! Excellent start, promises already kept! You can definitely taste the barrels with nuances of vanilla, oak, and toffee.

Cherries are the star but raisins and prunes stick out as well. And all work perfectly with the chocolate. A little alcohol is noticeable but it mostly enhances the cherries and other fruity aspects. Despite 50 IBU, this more than leans to the sweet side. I think the alcohol helped temper that though. I liked it, especially the NON-aggressive flavors added by barrel aging.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blah Blah Blah IPA

21st Amendment Blah Blah Blah Imperial IPA? LOL. If you look closely at the can, you'll see the name of this beer is clearly teasing at IPA popularity and mocking all the variations that have sprung up in the past years.

The can lists adjective after adjective that have been used to describe IPAs: Belgian, Wheat, California, American, Grapefruit, etc. They did throw in a few questionable ones too: "Another F**king IPA," "Are You Still Reading This IPA," and "Running Out Of Room IPA."

The joke continues as they list the beer stats. 8.0% alcohol. 65.3015 IBU. .0528 wetness factor. This beer was brewed with 9 hop varieties, so you know all of this was done in good fun.

Pine-forward aroma, spicy with some citrus. Excellent bitterness to start. Big pine, again spicy, resinous, green, dank. There is some fruity orange and a lightly sweet caramel malty balance, but make no mistake this beer has mostly bitter bite.

Very dry. Light astringency at the finish. One for hop lovers! Check it out!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale

Today I'm checking out Elysian Brewing's Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale. The label art is cool on this bomber. Dude wearing dark shades with a psychedelic orange afro alongside a story that starts with "Grok This >>". 6.4% alcohol. 45 IBU.

Very juicy aroma, full of sweet oranges and citrus. Similar flavor profile to start, juicy sweet oranges. There is a nice hoppy answer and a little spiciness, the hops seemingly amplifying the orange even more if that's possible. Citrus, more orange. Tangy finish with long lingering orange flavors. Yeah, there is a ton of orange but never seems overdone. Pretty good!

Monday, April 17, 2017


Last summer, my wife and I visited Pompano Beach's 26° Brewing. One of my favorite beers that day was their IPA1A, and though I've had it at a few beer festivals since then, today I was happy to see it canned and in local distribution!

The story lets you know this was inspired by the A1A Highway and sets your expectations for the beer. SCENIC RIDE. HOPS IN MIND. Nice can artwork too, including a pelican with SLOAN tattooed on its wing. 6.4% Alcohol

Nicely fruity aroma with some spiciness as well. Fruity flavors to start, citrus with tropical hints. Excellent bitterness from the very beginning as well, but you will not miss the sweet caramel backbone underneath. Spicy, bitter, fruity balance, good body. Very nice beer!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sea Rose Tart Cherry Wheat Ale

Ballast Point Sea Rose Tart Cherry Wheat Ale? Yeah, and I chose to check it out on a day my wife was not home as I was sure all those promises in the name would not match her liking. Interesting pretty-pink fish featured on the label. 4.0% alcohol. 8 IBU.

Light reddish pink rose color. Cherries and some faint tartness on the aroma, pretty lackluster and hard to find. Fruity flavors are there, light cherry but pretty generic. Also, barely tart. For a "Tart Cherry" beer, that's two broken promises.

Faintly tart, on the flat side, kind of flavorless, definitely not a fan. I wanted fruit, tart, pucker, a little sharpness, some depth. Nope!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Fresh As Helles

Fresh As Helles? Yeah, even Sam Adams is making that joke based on the beer style. This is a lager brewed with orange blossoms and other flavors. 5.4% alcohol. 18 IBU. Not sure what the skeleton with the orange slice eyes means but whatever. Enjoy By Aug 17.

Grainy, orange sweetness. Similar flavors. Grainy and sweet with a kiss of honey and orange. Floral, herbal, light bitter balance. Pleasant, and while there is some bitterness, this comes across just a bit too sweet. Not bad.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shipyard Chocolate Milk Stout

Today I'm checking out Shipyard Chocolate Milk Stout! The label is nice with a chocolate splash happening. 5.4% alcohol. Bottled On 12/11/2016 and I drank this beer in February, so it was fresh! 5.4% alcohol.

Nice chocolaty aroma. Chocolate flavors come first, but definitely not sweet. Some roast and smoke, with a little nutty character. Hoppy too, some good balance. I liked the beer but wanted a little more sweetness. Was OK.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Xtra-Citra Pale Ale

Surly Xtra-Citra Pale Ale is still on South Florida's Total Wine shelves as part of their Brewery Direct program. My pounder was canned on 2/16/17, just a few weeks before I wrote this review (sorry to keep you waiting). The story says this beer "Xplodes with Citra hop flavor and aroma," so we better check it out immediately. 4.5% alcohol.

Nice fruity orange and citrus aroma, quite fresh. Fruity sweet flavors come first, orange-ade, citrus, tangerines. A hoppy balance does come, leaning slightly bitter. Very simple yet shows great flavor. Nice easy-drinking pale ale.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Blackberry Daze IPA

I recently noticed that Anchor Brewing put Blackberry Daze IPA on the shelves of my local haunt. Same stubby bottle you might be used to, but the label design is pretty nice. An anchor is being used to grow both blackberries and hops, I guess setting the stage for the beer. 6.5% alcohol.

Nice reddish-purple tint, you know there's some blackberries in this one! And you can really smell the blackberries alongside some citrus and a little sweetness.

Nicely tart and fruity to start, obvious blackberries yet not in your face. Hoppy, nicely bitter with citrus and herbal flavors coming through. Creamy texture. More tartness with a fruity finish and lingering bitterness. The hops and blackberries do play nicely together. I liked it!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dragonstooth Stout

Elysian's Dragonstooth Stout was my second favorite of the four I recently checked out from their portfolio. Check out Space Dust IPA if you'd like to see my favorite, it was close. Dragonstooth is an Imperial Oatmeal Stout. 8.1% alcohol. 56 IBU.

Who did the really cool dragon artwork on the label of this bomber. Who is a good friend of the brewery and a Seattle tattooer. That's Joe Who!

Nice chocolate and roasty aroma. BIG coffee flavors to start followed by some chocolate and plenty of char and roast. Creamy with an underlying sweet nuance. But this beer ain't sweet! Awesome texture. Great flavors too. Check it out!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bonito Blonde Ale

Ballast Point Bonito Blonde Ale recently showed up on my local liquor store shelf. This brewery makes great beers so I always try the new ones. As usual, this blonde ale is named after a fish. 4.5% alcohol. 20 IBU.

Soft fruity aroma. Lightly fruity apple flavors come first. Creamy with a soft citrus bitterness. Just a touch of honey sweetness and floral nuances come next. That's it! Simple, pleasant. My wife loved it and drank the rest of the glass. Very nice.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Maui Brewing POG IPA? Yeah, man, POG is so you remember this beer is brewed with passionfruit, orange and guava. Can has a nice design. 7.1% alcohol. 58 IBU. Canned On 120116 (and to be honest I wrote this at least six weeks ago, so had it pretty fresh).

Fruity orange and citrus aroma. Initial fruity flavors meet a great hoppy bite. Sweet passionfruit and oranges make a juicy blend, difficult to discern each on its own.

Tangy, a little tart, nice citrus. Lingering fruit and dryness in the finish and a definite prevailing IPA bitterness. Interesting but I'm not going to say I'm in love with the the POG fruity combination. I LOVE all fruits but they don't all LOVE each other. Not bad.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sun Gose Down

Lakeland, Florida's Brew Hub doesn't just contract brew beers. They also have their own Craft Collection including the pounder can of Sun Gose Down that I checked out recently. The can definitely has a marine theme--it seems as if you'd find these underwater drawings in some ancient sea. Canned on FEB/07/17.

Lemony, salty, lightly spicy aroma. Flavors are identical with a tiny bit of tartness. Wanted sharper tart/sour bite and more pronounced flavors. Very muted and boring. Easy drinker, refreshing. Was OK.

Friday, April 7, 2017

National Beer Day with Elysian Beers

I was recently asked if I'd like to celebrate National Beer Day (yeah, Wiki) with some of Elysian Brewing's beers on April 7th. Um, duh! But what is this National Beer Day? Another made up beer holiday?

Nope! National Beer Day actually has some history. On April 7, 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect, allowing for beer sales and thus beer drinking! God Bless You, FDR! So today's the day!

Over the past few days I got to check out Elysian's Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale, Avatar Jasmine IPA, Space Dust IPA and Dragonstooth Stout. Today, I'll tell you about my favorite today, and you can subscribe to new content if you'd like to hear about the others in the coming days!

Drum Roll.... The winner is Space Dust IPA. The label features a hop cone blowing a trail of bitter space dust, presumably right into the bottle. 8.2% alcohol.

Giant head, even a little went over the edge of my glass. Oops! Nice aroma full or orange and sweet juicy citrus. Plenty of citrus flavors as well. Tangerines, juicy, very fresh. There is an interesting floral bitterness and a light astringency. Creamy texture. Lightly spicy. Excellent flavors and balanced bitterness. Very nice beer! Check it out!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sprung! Spring Beer Festival 2017

Sprung! Spring Beer Festival took place last Saturday for the second year in its new Wynwood home, adjacent to Wynwood Brewery, at the old RC Cola plant. Lots of breweries! Lots of People! Cool VIP beers, great food both in VIP and many food trucks, cooking demonstrations, a live band? What else could you want? IT WAS AWESOME!

Below are some pictures. Yes, I did take some great beer shirt photos alongside the rest. Did you go to Sprung!?!!