Monday, July 31, 2017

Fruitlands Sour Tropical Fruit Gose

Today I'm checking out Modern Times Fruitlands Sour Tropical Fruit Gose, a beer that Total Wine brought to Miami in their Brewery Direct program. This beer came in a pounder can with a story to set your expectations with phrases including "frighteningly delicious" and something about a "fruit-filled asteroid." 4.8% alcohol. 17 IBU. Canned On 06/23/17.

Salty, tart, floral aroma with some guava sweetness. Salty flavors, lightly tart to start. VERY fruity! The passion fruit is actually the standout flavor throughout (with guava being mostly a nuance). Super juicy and tart work together perfectly! Perfectly tart too, with no pucker, just excellent tartness.

Salty aspect really makes the fruity elements stand out. Very refreshing. Great beer! Nice twang!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Coco Pina Gose

Coastal Empire Beer Co. out of Savannah, GA? A can on the shelves of Miami? I guess I better grab this  Coco Pina Gose? I linked their beer page but it said nothing about this particular beer. The label lets you know to expect a tropical take on a classic sour German Gose brewed with pineapple, coconut, pink Himalayan sea salt and sea salt.

Light coconut aroma, salty, but I really had to work for anything. I thought this was headed to tart-land from the start but that was immediately halted by sweet and oily coconut, shutting down any pucker whatsoever.

Salty, a little juicy, just a touch of pineapple with that juicy flavor lingers into the aftertaste. Coconut, however, totally coats the palate and lingers forever. Interesting take! Live! Relax! Savor!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Samuel Adams Summer Ale

Samuel Adams Summer Ale has three colors of bottle labels (I know you've seen the commercials), but you know what? Yeah, they also can the beer! This is a lemon wheat ale. Best by September, 2017. 5.3% alcohol. 7 IBU.

Not much for an aroma. Lemony tangy flavors to start, a bit like a pastry. Lightly sweet with just a hint of spiciness. Could use a bit more bitterness. Take the whole 12 pack to the beach!

Friday, July 28, 2017

A Visit to The Tank Brewing

After leaving Biscayne Bay Brewing, my wife and I went over to The Tank Brewing, also in Doral, and seemingly seconds away with the shortcuts she knows from working those streets (LOL!)

We entered a massive warehouse space, like unexpectedly enormous from square footage and the height of the ceilings. Felt like one of the biggest empty Costco buildings imaginable! And use your imagination x 1000. Very industrial, lacking something. Uncomfortably big, everyone miles apart, echo, little ambiance and comfort.

Anyway, one third of the place was the tasting area, one third was roped off floor space, and one third was the brewing area, enclosed in a glassed off area, but you could see the tanks. My measurements are surely not accurate, so please don't say you were on the tour with your tape measure and I'm wrong. Anyway, expansion is NOT this brewery's problem!

In the tasting area, there were tables scattered throughout, big, small, couches, plenty of room. My wife got pissed because before we did anything, I was addicted to this ring game that lived on a few of the tables (you know, swing the ring to the hook.) I was winded by the time I got to the bar. Not really, but if you work at The Tank as a server, you definitely get your exercise!

No music, quiet echo? Oh, finally a DJ got started with a very strange set, got a little better after but still kind of out of place. We ordered a flight: El Farito Southeast IPA, Abbey 6 Dubbel, Ventanita Series Coffee Brown, Frank The Tank Imperial Stout.

Now I don't like to be too disrespectful, but the first three in this series were very much meh! The IPA was super muddled and featured zero of the awesome tasting notes suggested on the card in front of us. The coffee brown was probably second best but pretty thin and could have used a little refinement. Frank The Tank was fucking money though! Awesomely rich, great cherry flavors, saved the trip. But Frank The Tank isn't a core beer at all and my guess is most patrons aren't drinking it.

Let's be serious. This was 8 or 9 pm on a Saturday and there were 50 or 60 people there. Needs to be way more than that! I couldn't even believe that my wife was suggesting this place needed major improvements, when she never says anything on these brewery visits!

For me, the major issue was the beer choice and beer quality. First, there were only 9 choices. Of the 9 choices, 5 were "dark" kind of beers and 2 were subpar IPAs. That leaves little for other drinkers. And the "others" were a saison and an amber that was not that awesome.

Sorry but the beer quality wasn't great and the massive, uncomfortable space was not welcoming. Service was good enough, but glad I wasn't in the Ukraine section of the bar. Sip and Discuss.

This was a bathroom mural I liked

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Visit to Biscayne Bay Brewing Company

After a hearty meal at The Local Craft & Food in Coral Gables, my wife and I headed north to Doral's Biscayne Bay Brewing Company. You probably remember my first visit around three years ago to their grand opening, right? No? All the stuff with the mermaid and her cap! That mermaid doesn't live at this brewery anymore either.

Anyway, this is my first time to visit since they completed their tasting room. And it's a very nice and comfortable space. Even though we had just eaten a lot of food, the first thing my wife noticed was how awesome the selection of food was here, not to mention how delicious each plate looked when it was delivered. Definitely grab the bar food here! Great tasty (looking) selection!

So we did a flight. Kapitan Kolsch, Fools Gold Hoppy Blonde, Double Nine DIPA on Nitro, Mole Imperial Stout. My wife loved the Kolsch and Fool's Gold. I liked both of those too with Fool's Gold being my favorite, but let me tell you the Mole Imperial Stout is money, starts a little hot burny but you will get used to it! Delicious.

We couldn't resist having the soft pretzel with caramel sauce. Well, I could, but not so much my wife. I used that time to drink a guest beer I hadn't tasted before, SixPoint Puff Cloudy DIPA. Also terrific! In summary, I was very pleasantly surprised with everything about the visit. Beers were great and much improved since opening day. Ambiance was really nice and comfortable. Service was great. And since my wife works at MIA, I might not need to see her quite as often after work (LOL, just messing with you-I'll be joining her at the bar!)

SixPoint Puff

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Local Craft Food & Drink

Coral Gables has a cool craft food (and BEER) place called The Local Craft Food & Drink. They currently have some construction in the neighborhood which is slowing business, so this is THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO CHECK THIS PLACE OUT! Grab a reservation and enjoy the terrific food, cocktails and craft beers!

The Local was featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives several years ago, though I'm pretty sure the menu is completely different now. But the recommendation still stands! My wife and I arrived last Saturday for our reservation 30 minutes early (one of my best qualities), and were promptly seated. A reused Bulleit Bourbon bottle filled with water was placed on our table (I do that at my house, suggested by Twitter dude Michael B) as we were given the chance to check out the menu.

Bavette Steak, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Egg, Black Garlic Soubise
Since we were brewery hopping (remember we were at Lincoln's Beard 15 minutes ago?), we decided to focus on the craft food here and skipped the cocktails, beer and massive bourbon options!

I ordered the Bavette Steak with mushrooms and a delicious sauce. Was terrific, juicy, tender. My wife ordered the Pork Chop with yucca and corn, which was equally awesome (yeah, we shared.) Along the way, we saw a neighboring table get an order of "Disco Fries" and decided we had to have that too, with the bacon and gravy. Major Yum!

That's it. No room for dessert. Super nice service, hospitality, the manager asked specifically about our opinion on the pork chop since it was just added that day. I'll definitely be back and suggest you check it out!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Visit to Lincoln's Beard Brewing

Last weekend, my wife and I did a mini brewery tour in Miami. We started at Lincoln's Beard Brewing in Coral Gables. I noticed on their website before leaving home that they have a parking problem. You can use a card system and double park in front if you can (and if you want), but definitely don't park in the diagramed red areas by the neighbors they "love." I took no chances and parked by the art wall and walked!

The brewery was nicely decorated, spacious, fun art, and plenty of beer. There were 5 of their beers available and 10 guest taps as well. Even though there were no official flights, we started by ordering all 5 of their beers in 5 ounce pours to create a flight anyway.

My wife's favorites were Avenge Me Irish Red and Lincoln's Best Sparkling (Cream) Ale. For me, it was P. Swayze IPA all day. After our flight, we moved from the bar to one of their tables for a few glasses of our favorites and a heated game of Battleship (I won!). There were dozens of games available and tons of space to just chill.

We didn't check out the back or the food trucks since we had a dinner reservation already, but food is definitely an option. We took some pictures before leaving of course, heading to The Local Craft Food & Drink up the street. Check out Lincoln's Beard!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Blazing World Hoppy Dank Amber

Modern Times now has some beers available in Miami thanks to Total Wine's Brewery Direct program. I decided to start with their Blazing World Hoppy Dank Amber which came in a pounder can.

Classic can design. 6.8% alcohol. 85 IBU. A story on the can lets you know to expect "the stickiest of the icky" and a "blastwave of dankness."

Super fruity aroma full of nectarines, citrus, very tropical. Very juicy flavors as well, fruity, tropical, nectarines, mangoes. But make no mistake... there is a dank bitter answer! Spicy, pine, looming, aggressive!

Hints of caramel and toffee, more fruity awesomeness. And extra doses of fresh, green hops! Loved everything about this beer!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Torikumi Wasabi Infused Blonde Ale

Today I grabbed a pounder can of Torikumi Wasabi Infused Blonde Ale. This appears to be a collaboration beer that SweetWater did with Telluride Brewing. There is crude Japanese art depicting a sumo wrestler on the can.

And then there's the story... it looks like SweetWater set up some theoretical Sumo match with Telluride where the sumo wrestlers are actually the ingredients. Read it below if you want, kind of dumb. Dank Tank Series. 7.5% alcohol. Drink By 10/13/17

Aroma is pretty faint, just a hint of undefined spice. Flavors are weird, wasabi meets hoppy citrus bitterness in a Sumo match. I'll leave it at that, but I really didn't like this experiment in the slightest! The End! Ask if you want another beer recommendation.

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!