Saturday, October 28, 2017

Beoir Le Caife Brown Ale


I was certainly WTF with Cigar City's Beoir Le Caife Brown Ale name. Even with a nice story, I had to rely on Google to tell me this beer has an Irish name that translates Beer with Coffee. That should have definitely been part of the marketing, what the name means and how it meets up with the actual beer.

Bad Name, weird words and letter structure for Americans (in Tampa and elsewhere), no fucking way you can tell your friends about this beer! Had to refer to website for spelling a dozen times!

So this Brown Ale was brewed with lactose for some body and creaminess. And it was also brewed with coffee aged in Jameson Irish Whiskey barrels.  6% alcohol. 18 IBU.

Sweet chocolaty aroma with lots of coffee and a whiskey hint. Rich chocolate flavors, super smooth and creamy. Definitely some Whoppers action!

Lots of coffee and roast, hints of smoke and a very subtle showing of vanilla and spicy whiskey notes. Coffee and the barrel add a few simple twists to an already delicious brown ale. I think I prefer the original. Not bad. But again, shitty name. I won't remember how to spell it in 5 minutes!




Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bell's Octoberfest Beer


Today I'm checking out Bell's Octoberfest Marzen. Larry Bell let's you know on the label that Fall is his favorite time to drink beer. In Miami, his rationale disappears as the weather is always oppressive. I hope my wife reads this and finally listens how much the temperature here blows! Come on, Babe. Let's move to Atlanta or NC!

PKG 08/18/2017. Shelf Life 3 months. I drank it in September, so don't worry. 5.5% alcohol

Nutty and herbal aroma. Same flavors to start, nutty and herbal, with some black bready notes. Nice balance, good flavors. The end. Let's move to winter beers!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Guayabera Citra Pale Ale


Earlier last year I got my first chance to check out Cigar City Brewing in Tampa. They had a beer on tap called Guayabera Citra Pale Ale, and despite being 5.5% alcohol, they called it a Session IPA. Anyway, it's now packaged and in my Miami stores.

If you have eye problems, don't even bother trying to read the can story. Basically though, a Guayabera is a shirt with 4 pockets common in Latin America. And the brewery loves it, almost as much as they love the Citra hop which is what they used to make this beer stand out. 5.5% alcohol. Canned on 08/15/17.

Bright citrus aroma full of tangerines, limes, super zesty! Same flavors, tangerines and limes. Tangy, lightly bitter. That's about it, with a little dry astringency at the finish. Simple yet very refreshing and enjoyable.
looks blurry, but it's the micro print and crappy transfer to the can!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Punkin' Ale 2017


I grabbed a bottle of this year's Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale to check out. I usually only grab one or two pumpkins a year, so this one hasn't been featured here for a while.

Anyway, Dogfish apparently ended their annual artist series that usually accompanies their seasonal beers including this one. I say "apparently" because I've asked them about that with crickets on the reply (and this is October and their third seasonal, trust me I've asked more than once). Weird considering my Dogfish Head art shrine and additional fun contests surrounding their label art! Oh (fucking) well!

Pumpkin aroma, sweet, rich with a hefty dose of cinnamon. I like it. Rich flavors with brown sugar, a little nutty. Spices not overdone, cinnamon, nutmeg. Earthy pumpkin at the finish. 7% alcohol. 28 IBU




Monday, October 23, 2017

High Stepper American IPA


I checked out this can of Crooked Can's High Stepper American IPA a few months ago. I've been staring at the empty can and a written review since then, what a loser. My recent trip to Grovetoberfest got me inspired to finally give this beer its due!

I was chatting with the guy staffing Winter Garden, Florida's Crooked Can Brewing about this beer. I remembered an excellent beer, one I wasn't expecting in a crowded category. This guy said it's his go-to beer (could have been the owner, but it's still good!)

The can says "PICK ME UP... PUT ME DOWN... PICK ME UP... PUT ME DOWN" with a story describing this beer as a "cunning display of epicurean vicissitude!" Marketing team must have had some internship under the Stone Brewing brand! 7.0 % alcohol. 90 IBU.

Smells great, full of tropical orange and pineapple coupled with some spicy pine. Sweet tropical tangerines and lots of citrus meet some spicy pine and an excellent bitterness. Fresh, green, dank!

Sweet and bitter play awesomely off each other, with bitterness doing the honors. Loved it!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nitro Series Pumpkin Spice Latte




Breckenridge Brewery recently sent me their Pumpkin Spice Latte pounder cans. The 4-pack actually came with a candle that falsely lured me into the kitchen for pumpkin pies! This beer is nitrogen charged, so the beer volume is actually 15.2 oz to make way for that gidget. 5.5% alcohol. 11 IBU.

This beer is a cross, pumpkin ale and sweet coffee stout, so let's see what's up! Nice chocolaty coffee aroma, lightly earthy, roasty. Super creamy. Spices very noticeable: cinnamon, allspice, hints of vanilla.

Pumpkin tough to find, but like the aroma, there's a definite earthy component. Was a so-so beer over all. Gave away the other three in the 4-pack. Will report back alternate findings.



Friday, October 20, 2017

Boulevard Berliner Weisse


Today was the day to write this review! It was so fucking awesome to see the Kansas City Chiefs lose their first game this past Sunday and again last night! That said, it looks like the players and fans of the city have a beer to drown their sorrows... Boulevard Berliner Weisse.

This is a recent addition to the brewery's seasonal lineup. Boulevard Berliner Weisse is a German-Style Sour Ale, 4.5% alcohol, 6 IBU (that's what my bottle says though website says 8 IBU), Best By 07DEC2017 (I drank mine in September sometime).

Boulevard Berliner Weisse has a briney, lemony aroma. Softly tart flavors with lemon and citrus start. Background fruity apple sweetness adds balance.

Tangy. Briney. Flavorful. Tasty. Very tame. I definitely wanted more bite, acidity, citrus, sharpness.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Jack's Abby House Lager


Jack's Abby House Lager hit the shelves of Florida in the past few months, one of a handful of beers Total Wine brought here on their Brewery Direct program. Honestly, I wasn't that happy with the styles in the four options, an IPL, an Imperial IPL, an Octoberfest and this House Lager. But I love the program so wanted to support it by checking it out.

House Lager came in a pounder can, 5.2% alcohol, 18 IBU. Canned 08292017, and I drank it within a month of that.

Grainy sweet aroma, not too powerful. Rich, grainy sweet flavors to start, with some additional honey sweetness. Toasty background is nice. Perhaps a hint of floral flavor.

But there is a serious lack of bitter balance. Probably was negative 18 IBU. Good flavor, but needs to have some bitterness and I would have loved some prickly carbonation to enhance that! Pass.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Melon Cart Watermelon Wheat Ale


Golden Road has a new beer in their series inspired by Los Angeles' fruit cart vendors: Melon Cart Watermelon Wheat Ale. This is a wheat ale brewed with watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. PKG 9/22/2017.

Sweet cantaloupe and banana aroma with hints lemon. Tart flavor backdrop but pretty tame for sure. Melon flavors are VERY distinguishable, but I wouldn't say watermelon is even a player, especially calling it a watermelon wheat ale.

That said, super ripe honeydew and cantaloupe are easily identified, and again, I can't help to say bananas out loud. Three ripe, sweet fruits are dominant.

Good flavor, super interesting, definitely delivered on the fruit part. Melons were the superheros here but not convinced this works in a beer. The other beer I had in this series was supposed to be tart, and though I felt a little of that in the beginning, I started questioning myself if the "tart" part is even part of the series. Anyway, pretty sweet all around. VERY FRUITY though, promise delivered.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Guinness 200th Anniversary Export Stout


Guinness 200th Anniversary Export Stout was brewed in Ireland to commemorate the first time they exported the beer to the USA. 11.2 oz. 6.0% alcohol.

Toffee with a light roast and cocoa powder in the aroma. Sweet chocolate flavors come first. There is definitely a little pruney character to this beer. Hints of smoke, light roast and coffee come through as well.

Super smooth while kind of flat at the same time. Has a dry and chalky character too. Along with that, was a little too sweet. Not bad.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Our Special Ale 2017


Anchor's Our Special Ale (I guess they will eventually update that link to 2017), which the label says is ONLY sold early November to mid-January, was on my liquor store shelves early October (Purchased 10/7/2017)! Not sure if someone screwed up or if that's just a target release. Anyway, I couldn't find anything about this beer online, no Beer Advocate or Ratebeer or updates on the Anchor website, NADA!, so naturally I will publish immediately in case I'm breaking some news.

2017 is year 43 for Our Special Ale, Anchor's Christmas Ale. Each year, the brewery puts together a new recipe and puts a new tree on the label to represent the joy and celebration of the newness of life. This year's tree is Abies bracteata, the Santa Lucian Fir, one of the rarest firs in the world and limited to the slopes and canyon floors of California's Santa Lucia range. Beautiful tree!

The beer recipe for this year, well that's also another mystery, since the label is less forthcoming about that (even style) than it is about the trees. I guess I'll compare notes after they really release the beer! 6% alcohol.

Chocolaty aroma. Malty, chocolate flavors as well, with a good dose of bitterness to follow. My style guesses are either a dry stout or a very tame Black IPA. I went with the Black IPA choice. Creamy, smooth, not harsh. Very nice beer. Check it out.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Grovetoberfest 2017: Back to the Grove


Grovetoberfest 2017's theme was "Back to the Grove" after a one year exodus to Key Biscayne's Miami Marine Stadium. The organizers again planned on hosting in Peacock Park... until just 3 days before the event, when brewery and attendee demand forced them to relocate a few hundred yards up the road to Regatta Park.

As usual, I took a lot of pictures of the different beer brands attendees and vendors were sporting. Let me try to do a recap in between those pictures.


I arrived early and parked kind of far away. Maybe I just am an idiot when it comes to finding a parking garage, but I have no idea where the full amount of attendees put their cars.


The event organizers had a separate entrance for VIP, as they have for this and other beer fests in the past. However, A BIG DIFFERENCE this time, compared to say, SPRUNG! in the spring is that they checked people in while waiting in line, scanning bar codes, giving wrist bands and VIP lanyards. That got all the VIP ticket holders inside in less than 5-10 minutes (versus past experiences). And that's important since VIP paid a lot for the first exclusive hour! Nice Job!


There was definitely a lot of space, even after General Admission was let in at 4 pm. I spent the first hour outside the VIP tent, though, so I could make sure to visit all the breweries and BS with some brewery and distributor friends.


Some favorite breweries were represented. Wynwood Brewing was there but no David and no Pops! :(( Dogfish, Stone, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Bell's. And then the locals Coppertail, Copper Point, Funky Buddha, Cigar City, LaurderAle, Florida Keys Brewing, Gravity Brewlab, J. Wakefield, Descarga, Concrete Beach.


There were definitely some new beer brands in the audience.


The homebrew area had some 1980's style video games set up in the middle, was pretty fun watching the younger guys play.



Barracuda Bar & Grill and Boxelder Craft Beer Market were awesome servers in the VIP area! The picture above, she did that work on her hand by herself! And Adam and his team from Boxelder fantastic as usual!


The live music was great. There were also cooking demos, some games, food trucks, and other vendors to visit.


Great Event! Can't wait for next year! Just a bonus... If you scroll to the bottom, you can see I put some Bell's tattoos under my eyes when I got home! My wife HATED THAT (and just an FYI, they don't come off so easily)!




I thought I was done, but the picture above reminded me I had some offensive citrus flavored malt manufactured by Pabst. I asked for the best "non-PBR" offering and that's what I was given. She was very nice so I hope she gets a better brand next year.








The Distributor told me this stands for Great Fucking Beer and that the bars and retailers love that! Green Flash doesn't make many low alcohol beers, but this was an exception.