Saturday, August 26, 2017

Goose Island Juicy Double DIPA

Bright orange beer bottle says Goose Island Juicy Double DIPA? OK, I'm in! This beer was brewed with orange juice. 8.3% alcohol. 70 IBU. PKGD 24MAY17

Very juicy aroma full of orange sweetness. Similar fruity, juicy, sweet orange flavors to start. Those flavors build then fall off a cliff into some citrus and spicy bitterness. Pretty cool--I liked that aspect.

Fruity orange then lingers into the finish. Pretty good beer, a little one-dimensional and certainly not mind blowing though it was tasty. However, I am positive this brewery could have made this beer stand out if they wanted to. Was this a "dumbed down" DIPA for more mass appeal under the influence of the real brewery owners?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hop Revolver IPA: Mandarina Bavaria

I recently grabbed a mixed 12 pack of Stone IPAs. Stone Hop Revolver IPA, Mandarina Bavaria, was one of the inclusions. I hadn't seen it sold separately (or any of the other beers in this single-hop series.)

The intention of doing this series is to demonstrate just how much one hop can affect a beer. This idea isn't new, but my guess is that the IPA masters at Stone will do it best! 7.7% alcohol. Bottled on 07/13/17.

Fruity and floral aroma. Interesting and unique flavors. Tangerines and tropical mangoes come first. Floral, tangy, hint of honey and a little spiciness. While there is a nice dose of hoppy bitterness, the sweeter components definitely are not overwhelmed.

Simple yet beautiful and flavorful. I guess that means I'm a fan of this hop variety. I'll look forward to trying others in the series for comparisons and contrasts.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Today I'm checking out Modern Times LomaLand. This saison comes packaged in pounder cans, with the story on the back setting your expectations of a beer that smells like "hay, pepper, and friendly sunshine." 5.5% alcohol. 30 IBU.

Aroma full of hay, yeast, pepper, crackers, a little spicy. Spicy and peppery flavors as well to start. There is a touch of honey sweetness that adds some additional character. After the initial flavors ease, you will not miss the large dose of cracker flavors and a nicely hoppy finish.

Soft on the palate, not overly spicy or overly yeasty. It is, however, very flavorful and refreshing, a great beer. One of the best saisons I've had in a while! Check it out!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

DemiSemiSeptcentennial Pale Ale

While down in Ocean City, NJ a few weeks back, I picked up a sixer of  Cape May Brewing's DemiSemiSeptcentennial Pale Ale to see what was being brewed locally. This beer was brewed by two Villanova grads in celebration of the University's 175th anniversary. There is a story on the label to set your expectations for this "veritable Professor of Suds." 4.5% alcohol. 30 IBU.

Floral, citrus aroma. Same for the flavors, lots of sharp orange, rind, pretty bitter indeed. Nicely fruity and a little tangy. Hints of astringency and a very dry finish. I liked it but perhaps a touch of sweet relief would have rounded this out more. Check it out and ask your friends what number anniversary is represented by the DemiSemiSeptcentennial (before looking at the bottle.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Visit to Wild Heaven Beer

I'm the cool shadow guy!
Five years ago, my sister got married in Atlanta, approximately October, 2012. Of course I checked out the local Kroger at that time for a few new beers with both Wild Heaven's Ode to Mercy Imperial Brown Ale and Invocation Belgian-Style Golden Ale on the shelves.

A recent business trip brought me back to the Decatur neighborhood of Atlanta. So of course, a brewery tour of Wild Heaven was in order. I use "tour" in the loosest sense since the tour was "self guided" and forced me to read a bunch of posters on easels (and do zero touring). I've been on beer tours before too, a lot of them, spoke to employees about their process, saw some behind-the-scenes stuff, even put on closed-toe shoes. None of that happened here.

Anyway, not to detract from this experience, but I feel I need to say that the Georgia legislature (fucking blows and) needs to amend their current laws to help breweries succeed! The loopholes (tours and souvenir beer, come on) are keeping them in business, but a friendly business-first legislature could mean all the difference! Someone please step up because selling "tours" is killing breweries and business AND REVENUE (here's an article for you locals to bitch at those people until they cave).

So my sister and I arrived in the narrow 6-9 Thursday window opening for this brewery tour. You'll be glad to know that they published new 4-11 hours for the same day of the week starting 9/1/17. By chance, we stopped by on a doggie friendly day, so there were Labs, weiner dogs, and others all night. There was also an adoption charity there, and I swear my sister would have taken one of those puppies home that night (except for "the man" and "the process" of the adoption center).

The ONLY moment nobody was walking by all night! It was pretty busy.

Dude. You know we drank beer. They were all part of the tour we purchased! We drank beer along the "tour route" the whole night! I did really enjoy the atmosphere and non-cookie-cutter approach to the brewery design and experience. Cool look into the brewery, seats and tables next to their barrel aging program, big fans, no AC, outdoor experience, laid back, tucked in an unsuspecting neighborhood.

With our tickets, we tried every single beer on tap and took home the max allowed by law. And we still had a few tickets left for another time. I am planning on another post with some thoughts on the beers we tasted, but I will say that we thoroughly enjoyed Ode to Mercy Nitrode, Emergency Drinking Beer with watermelon, Invocation, Eschaton, Wise Blood IPA and White Blackbird Saison (um, is that all of them?).

I bought a mixed sixer of all of their core beers on the way out. If you want to know what I thought of each, here is your link! Be patient!

Monday, August 21, 2017

2nd Story Brewing Revisit

I'm sure you remember #EpicPhillyBreweryTour from 2015 right? Well, my wife and I had a few hours to kill in Philly again this year before heading to the annual Ocean City destination. Well, duh, we headed back to 2nd Story Brewing!

We actually were looking for an authentic Philly Cheesesteak nearby before they opened, and while we found a spot open for 90 years or so, we were both really disappointed with what we got. "The Works" seemed super dry, missing a lot of toppings and flavor and juiciness. And "cash only" is bullshit! That's for lazy businesses. Charge more if you're scared away by banking fees! I will send you the name/pics if you know how to reach me.

Anyway, we landed at 2nd Story to a busier scene this year (first time was a weekday, 1130 am; this was Saturday noon). But we managed seats at the bar, though frankly the rest of the place would have been just as great!

OK. It's noon. I gotta do the AC Expressway. Need to be in control (resisted the Bourbon Bar)! One flight, shared. One beer! Oh and despite being super full from dry cheesesteaks, my wife ordered a giant serving of soft pretzels with a few dipping sauces. Honestly, I wasn't hungry, but I wanted them to be more "pretzel-like" and less bready, doughy. I still shoved half in my face!

Beers: we tried a Kolsch, a Session IPA, a Wit and an IPA. My wife loved the Kolsch and Session IPA; I grabbed a full glass of the Declaration IPA, so you know where my tastes went.

Anyway, on the way out, had to ask the dude w the purple dreadlocks ponytail thingy to stop leaning on my ride. He also seemed immune to the steady rain.

Check out 2nd Street Brewing! Tell your friends. Shit, I'm surprised these guys don't give flyers out to the line waiting to see the Liberty Bell a few blocks away! Just an idea!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Beer Camp 2017 Surly Brewing Ginger Lager

Sierra Nevada collaborated with Surly Brewing to create a Ginger Lager for the 2017 Beer Camp series. This is a lager brewed with ginger and cayenne and fermented on Oak. Pounder Can. 6.2% alcohol.

You know what? Sometimes I'm wrong. There, I said it. Feel better? But not with my notions on what this beer would be like. Maybe the "abrasive attitude" part of the story on the can combined with the ingredients is what set those. EXACTLY what I expected!

Grainy aroma with a LOT of ginger. Tasty lager backdrop to start with nicely sweet grain and honey and a touch of oak and even vanilla. But this beer is spicy as fuck, and I'm not even talking about the perfect addition of cayenne and its beautiful subtle heat and spicy welcomeness!

Nope. This is a ginger mess. As a reminder, I drink Ginger Ale practically every single day and LOVE it, so this isn't ginger hatred. But for real, ginger took over this beer after just a few sips. Way overdone. Had to dump most of the beer. Hated it.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fugli Fruit IPA

Oskar Blues Fugli Fruit IPA. OK, I'm in. This beer was brewed with Japanese Yuzu and Jamaican Ugli fruits. 5.8% alcohol. Canned On 05/09/17.

Very bright, tangy, lemony citrus, fragrant, floral aroma!

Similar flavors. Start with a nice base IPA, full of pine, floral and a hint of caramel sweetness. Citrus balance then a very distinct sour bitter citrus piling on. Guess that's these two fruits.

Not bad but I found the two fruits, the sour addition, and those flavors building with each sip to be a turnoff. Guess I'll drink this Dale's instead!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Kiko Santiago IPA

Who is Kiko Santiago? I usually ask questions like that then get a lot of  "duh" type replies. So let's see this time. Coppertail Brewing recently released Kiko Santiago IPA, their first beer in the Alpha Hunt Series.

The label art is fantastic as usual, looks like Kiko might have met his match this time! The featured hop in this beer is Mandarina Bavaria. 6.2% alcohol. Enjoy By 10/06/17

Fruity, peachy, tropical tangerines, beautiful aroma. Similar flavors, full of tropical peaches and nectarines. There is a great bitter balance that follows with some nice tanginess. Flavors are all pretty subtle and soft, working in harmony and none in your face. Perfectly matched sweet and bitter intensities, a subtle IPA.

I liked it. Different. Kiko must be a man of few words.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Boris The Spider Russian Imperial Stout

 A few bottles of Boris The Spider Russian Imperial Stout came home to Miami from Long Island with one of my friends who likes to share! Boris is guarding a few glasses of his stout on the label. 10% alcohol. Bottled On 01/13/2017

Cocoa and coffee aroma, very nice. Rich and creamy to start, full of cocoa powder, coffee then followed by prunes and a hint of cherries. Just a touch of char and roast and smoke round this out, along with a little heat in the chest.

Initially sweet, but a bitter answer does come. The pruney flavors though do build and detract from the other flavors. Not bad but that one element for me was unwelcome. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sierra Nevada 2017 Oktoberfest Festbier

Today I'm checking out the 2017 version of  Sierra Nevada's Oktoberfest. Every year they brew a new beer in collaboration with a different German brewer, this year Brauhaus Miltenberger. A story on the back label gives you a little insight and sets your expectations. 6.1% alcohol.

Grainy sweet aroma, plenty of dark bread and a hint of nuttiness. Flavors are similar, full of grain and honey and dark bread. While there is a background sweetness, there is a bitter hoppy answer. Some spiciness, toast, light herbalness, again can't stop thinking there is some nutty character. Not bad.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

2017 Edition Hoptimum Triple IPA

I saw a few bottles of Sierra Nevada's 2017 Hoptimum Triple IPA at my local liquor store a few days ago. They were in a  6-pack holder that was stuck to the shelf, kind of ratty. Now I go to this store every week (at least) and didn't see these, so either they sold out fast or I'm missing a display somewhere in the store.

2017 Edition Hoptimum is a reformulation of a super-hoppy version distributed in previous years. PKGD 06/07/17. 9.6% alcohol. "Distinguished Yet Devilishy Hoppy"

Hoppy aroma, plenty of pine and citrus, especially orange. WOW! Great flavors! A caramel and orange marmalade sweetness opens things up, nice touch of fruitiness. But then... a bitter hoppy burst full of pine resin, citrus orange and some dankness takes over.

While this leans way bitter, there was not really an aggressive bitterness, more of developed and refined all the way around. No alcohol bite despite its strength, fine with me. Really a nice beer all around, but definitely for hop LOVERS. Awesome!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Gulfstream Cream Ale

You probably remember my visit to LauderAle Brewery last summer. Let me double down and restate that if you fly in or out of FLL and don't make a stop (if they are open), you're an idiot!

LauderAle's Gulfstream Cream Ale is recently canned and distributed locally. I grabbed a can a few weeks ago and promptly put it in my freezer. Next morning, you know my sorrow. So I got another can a few days ago and today am going to check it out.

The can art is very nice, with the beer name actually creating a gulfstream effect around the state of Florida. A story on the side sets your expectations while a third panel gives some beer stats. 5.1% alcohol. 10 IBU.

OMG, where'd the head go? No biggie but the head on this beer lasted less than 5 seconds. Nice cracker lemony aroma. Cracker and lemon flavors show first as well. A little spicy throughout. Grainy sweetness lingers into the finish. Nice flavors. I liked it! Check out the brewery too!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Modern Times Ice

Today I'm checking out Modern Times Ice, the brewery's very first pilsner. The beer comes in a pounder can, a big plus; but the design and name are terrible, immediately drawing to the crappy "macro ice" beer memories of my past. Seriously, put this can in a gas station cooler-only thing is the 4.8% alcohol will drive away the interested winos. Canned On 06/20/17

Sweet grain, not too much of an aroma. Nice grainy sweetness to start. Prickly carbonation, spiciness, lemon and grassy bitterness add a strong answer to the initial flavors. Simple, clean, refreshing. I liked it!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lupu-Luau IPA

Dogfish Head Lupu-Luau IPA is up today. The story which led to the development of this beer is funny. But basically this is a coconut forward IPA brewed with experimental hops. 7.3% alcohol. 45 IBU.

Tangerines, tangy and juicy, and plenty of coconut fill your nose. Similar flavors, starting very juicy and tangerine fruity. And there is no mistaking the tons of coconut that was used.

Nicely bitter, super tangy, hints of vanilla dodge in and out of the coconut flavors, which by the half bottle mark have asserted themselves extensively. That coconut flavor just keeps growing to the point of "please, no more" by the end of the bottle. I liked the flavors but the coconut was overdone. Another interesting beer. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Doom Imperial IPA

Doom is impending! Today I'm checking out Founders Brewing's Doom Imperial IPA. This beer has been released before and has been available in the brewery's tap room as well, but this is my first shot at trying it.

Doom is an imperial IPA aged in bourbon barrels. There is a shadowy scary image in the background of the label art, just dark enough that you don't really know what's happening. A little story on the back label sets your expectations for this 12.4% alcohol beer. Bottled on 05.04.17

Lots of character from the bourbon barrels hit your nose: caramel, toffee, spice. Nice IPA bitterness shows first, citrus and pine. Strong toffee and vanilla and brown sugar follow. Even straight up bourbon.

Super creamy texture. Dry and woody at the finish. The alcohol is well disguised, but you will get a little heat in your chest and some spiciness with it.

Tons of lingering flavors. Very interesting. Barleywine-esque. Would definitely drink again.