Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Brewers Project: Guinness Irish Wheat

Guinness recently added another beer in The Brewers Project series: Guinness Irish Wheat. 5.3% alcohol. 11.2 oz bottle. The label says to expect "zesty citrus, subtle clove & banana notes."

Lemony aroma with a little spice. Lemon and orange citrus flavor to start. Tangy, lightly sweet. There is a soft spiciness, especially at the finish. An it took half the bottle, but banana nuances start to show as the label suggests. Simple, nice beer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cochon555 Miami VIP Ticket Giveaway

Cochon555 will be returning to Miami this Sunday, March 26, 2017! Cochon555 is a celebration of Heritage Breed Pigs in a nose-to tail cooking competition which supports safe, honest food in support of family farms and the Piggy Bank charity. Trust me, this is a must-attend event with so many opportunities to eat and drink! Check out the awesome video below to catch a glimpse!

Want to win two VIP tickets? I'm going to make this really easy for you. Between now and midnight Thursday 3/23/2017, visit the Cochon555 website. You will find a link there about Heritage Breed Pigs. Pick your favorite then leave a comment naming it here. If you have trouble leaving a comment, email me your entry and I'll add it for you. That's it. I'll pick a random winner on Friday morning. Be sure to give me some way to contact you in case you win.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Sirens' Song

Ommegang has a new beer: Sirens' Song, a dark ale brewed with figs and raisins. Apparently, Sirens are mermaid-like creatures that produced enchanting melodies, luring sailors to their demise (probably like a zillion years ago, right?). You can read most of that on the microscopic story on the label or enlarge here, "Where Heaven Met Earth and Stayed Awhile."

"Pour Slowly... but with enough vigor..." They want you to pour some head into your beer but not pour the yeast from the bottom of the bottle. Whatever, I tried to participate but ended drinking all the yeasty goodness from the bottle too. 9% alcohol.

Nice roasty aroma, caramel, dark fruit, a little yeast and a little spice. Caramel, figs, prunes, lightly sweet to start. Cola and vanilla, hints of toffee with a little warmth.

Super creamy, nice texture. Again spicy. Finishes with some bitterness and lingering figgy flavors. Not necessarily my favorite style but very good.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cochon555 Returns to Miami - Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cochon555 will return to Miami's Ritz-Carlton South Beach next Sunday, March 26, 2017. Cochon555 is a celebration of Heritage Breed Pigs in a nose-to tail cooking competition which supports safe, honest food in support of family farms and the Piggy Bank charity.

Cochon555 2016 was fantastic. I ate a lot of awesome pig dishes, I drank a lot of "Perfect Manhattans," met tons of fabulous chefs and other patrons, learned so much about the mission of the Piggy Bank charity, and (I think) even got honorable band membership in Public Enemy! I did NOT get a tattoo like that PIG!

This is a must-attend event, so much fun and for a great cause! Check out the video below then definitely GO BUY YOUR TICKETS! Want to see some pictures, check this out. Facebookers, here you go. I'll see you there!

Cochon555 stands for 5 Chefs, 5 Pigs, 5 Winemakers. There will be an epic competition in which the winner is crowned Prince/Princess of Porc with the winner competing later in the year against other city winners.

This year's competitors include Rick Mace & Clark Bowen from Team DB'QUE, Tito Vargas from The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Paula DaSilva from Artisan Beach House (I love her), Jeremiah Bullfrog from P.I.G. (Pork Is Good), and Rene Reyes & John Gallo from Pinch Kitchen.

Jimmy Carey from Jimmy'z Kitchen, Xavier Torres from Drunken Dragon, Adrianne Calvo (I love her too) from Chef Adrianne's Vineyard, and Sean Brasel from Meat Market among others will also be there with their own tasty food stations.

I expect a pig to be tattooed, that pic to be butchered and put for sale, great music, and lots of other fun surprises! Get ready to eat, drink and BE MERRY! Here is where you can get tickets!

Juicy Watermelon

Juicy Watermelon Watermelon Lime Ale? OK I'm in! The label is telling me to "cool off" with this beer. Let's see. 5% alcohol. Enjoy by 09JUL17.

Aroma is full of lime, not really fruity, and a little spicy. Fruity sweet flavors to start, very juicy but hard to say watermelon. Pleasant nonetheless.

The lime is noticeable yet restrained and adds some citric challenge to the initial sweetness. Light tartness into the finish. Refreshing, enjoyable easy drinker.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tart Mango Cart

Golden Road Brewing recently sent me their Tart Mango Cart, a mango wheat ale. This is the first in a series inspired by the fruit cart vendors that work the streets of LA. The can art if very nice, showcasing the fruit vendors along with surfers and skateboarders with a beach scene in the background.3.2% alcohol.

Pretty bland aroma, tough to find much. Mango sweet flavors come first followed by a VERY light tart answer. Lightly spicy, fruity. This beer is super simple but not bad with good fruity flavors. I definitely wanted and expected more TARTness based on the promise of the beer's name, though. This is hardly tart, barely past a whisper. Good flavors, (NOT) Tart Mango Cart!

This GIF came from the brewery!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sprung! Spring Beer Festival 2017

Sprung! Spring Beer Festival 2017 is just 2.5 weeks away! It will take place Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the RC Cola Plant in Wynwood, Miami, 550 Northwest 24th Street, Miami, FL 33127.

This will be the second year at this Wynwood location and the first year kicked ass! Would you like to win tickets? I have two Beer Socialite tickets you can win by simply following the instructions below!

To win the tickets, you need to comment (preferred) or email me with answers that I will publish for you. I will pick my favorite answers to crown a winner, that's it, to these two questions.

1. Tell me about your best April Fools' prank (and no, Sprung! isn't a joke, it's happening).

2. Favorite local beer and why.

The End. Deadline for Entry is 3/21/17 at midnight. I pick a winner the next morning.

Here is the official Press Release...


WHAT:             It might take place on April Fools, but when it comes to pulling together a unique lineup of beer from around the World, Sprung Craft Beer Festival doesn’t joke around. This free spirited approach to some serious beer tasting of over 300 craft beers will take place on April 1 and will overflow with unlimited beer samples, live music, food and games!  It’s time to get Sprung!

This year, the festival put together an incredible beer lineup that includes New Belgium, Founder’s, SweetWater, Green Flash, Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn Brewery, Kona, Magic Hat, Shiner, Shipyard, Harpoon, Blue Moon and others looking to showcase their spring and summer ales. Representing Florida will be Wynwood Brewing, Biscayne Bay Brewing, The Tank, J. Wakefield, Concrete Beach Brewing, Cigar City, Miami Brewing Company, Tequesta Brewing, Hialeah Brewing, Funky Buddha and M.I.A.  Beer enthusiasts will also be treated to a selection not available in South Florida, and in keeping with tradition, the homebrew section will showcase brews created by locals who are passionate about their beer. Aficionados know to keep an eye on homebrew participants, because more often than not, they end up opening a brewery of their own.
The Kitchen Lab will feature four notable chefs who will conduct a cooking demo that either uses beer as an ingredient or pairs well with beer. 

WHEN:             2:30 – 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 1, 2017

WHERE:           RC Cola Plant, 550 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127
INFO:                $45 at the door (general admission). To purchase tickets online, go to Ticket options include Beer Socialite ($70) and VIP ($90).  Follow SWARM and Sprung! via @IGotSprung, #IGotSprung, @SWARM_EventAgency

Also... You will make friends!!!

Double Knot DIPA

Double Knot? OMFG. I spent an hour at the beginning of many a T-Ball and then 8U Little League practices teaching this skill! Four Peaks Double Knot DIPA is the big brother 9.0% alcohol beer (website says 9.2%) to their Hop Knot IPA. Same ingredients but 2 1/3 more times. As the story states, Double Knot is an easier sounding round-down of a name. 62 IBUs.

Orange, citrus, not too powerful of an aroma. Fruity orange flavors start, lightly sweet with some caramel in the beginning. Good body. Spiciness comes next alongside some citrus and a touch of pine. Nice bitter answer to the initial sweetness. Well balanced, not overly bitter. Alcohol dangerously hidden!

Monday, March 13, 2017

CynicAle Saison

Surly CynicAle! This beer is a saison, and I'm checking it out today. I wasn't sure what style of beer this pounder can had in it, despite a pretty good story to set your expectations. 6.5% alcohol. 33 IBUs. Art is a shield with some abstract stuff. Canned on 02/06/17.

Yeasty aroma, spicy with hints of clove and lemon. Very yeasty flavors as well. Big peaches, soft yet flavorful. Spicy, peppery, cloves, lemon zest. Add in some sweet honey relief to the spices. Repeat! Yum, very nice beer. And it's still always totally amazing to think about all the flavors that yeast and hops can produce!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dayblazer Easygoing Ale

Today I'm checking out New Belgium Dayblazer Easygoing Ale. Six packs of these cans were BOGO at my local Publix last week! What do you think I did? 4.8% alcohol. Enjoy By 16APR2017

Grainy, honey sweet aroma. Flavors start the same, sweet honey. Bitter, hoppy balance comes next, very soft. Super simple yet pleasant flavors. Yeah, I wanted more bitterness and refreshment, something to take more of the sweet edge off, but this was definitely an easygoing, easy drinker!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ananda India Pale Ale

Memphis' Wiseacre Brewing recently sent Florida some beers as part of Total Wine's Brewery Direct program. I decided to start with their Ananda India Pale Ale. Ananda is apparently the ancient Sanskrit (their website says Sankrit, but whatever) word for "bliss." The can has an interesting hops/orange grove pattern. 6.2% alcohol (web says 6.1% but I assure you if you zoom that pic you will see). 75 IBU. 0117 stamped on the bottom of the can, I guess the canning date. A bunch of details need cleaning up.

Fruity orange citrus aroma, nice but certainly not pronounced. Juicy citrus flavors to start, lightly tropical with some pineapple. Nice bitterness follows, citrus and a little grapefruit. Quite dry at the finish and the alcohol also shows then. Didn't love that part of this one. Too many other awesome IPAs to go looking for this one again! #NoBliss

Friday, March 10, 2017

Nitro Red Velvet

Three skeletons sit down to a feast. What beer are they drinking? Ballast Point Nitro Red Velvet of course! Lobster, ham, pineapple, pie, and of course Red Velvet Cake, the inspiration for this beer. This is a Golden Oatmeal Stout brewed with beets and chocolate! Pour With Purpose! tells you to turn the bottle upside down. That did create a nice cascading effect. 5.5% alcohol. 35 IBU.

Crimson red. Nice cascade from the pour. I guess the foam left behind is the icing? The aroma is full of chocolate and sweet beets. Cocoa flavors come first. Super creamy though on the thin AND flat side. The beets add an interesting sweetness that lingers long into the finish. Definitely a red velvet cake type flavor. I'd say this is a fun though novelty beer, worthy of checking out!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Jindia Pale Ale: The Finest DOUBLE IPA

Stone recently brewed Jindia Pale Ale, "The Answer for Boring Beer Fatigue." To create this "lupulinicious liquid," they infused juniper, ginger and lemon and lime peels into their base double IPA. 8.7% alcohol. Bottled On 01/19/17. Enjoy By 05/19/17.

Spicy aroma full of ginger, lemon, a little floral. Nice base beer shows first. Sweet caramel, hoppy bitter answer. Then BLAMO on the ginger! Orange, citrus, a little spicy with some juniper in the background adds some interest.

Love Stone and their creativity. Their IPA is one of my favorites and is always in my house. And some of their other IPA treatments (like that Enjoy By 10.31.16 Tangerine IPA) are fabulous. But Jindia has entirely too much ginger. That heavy handedness overpowered everything else going on in this beer. Not a fan at all, but definitely not boring.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Beer To Drink Music To '17: Tropical Blonde

Today I grabbed a bottle of Dogfish Head's Beer To Drink Music To '17: Tropical Blonde. As the "Official Beer of Record Store Day," Dogfish made "a music-inspired liquid soundtrack for welcoming warmer weather." Brewed with kiwi juice and hibiscus flowers. 6.8% alcohol. Bottled On 02/07/17.

Had a pinkish-orange hue. Aroma is full of hibiscus, floral, vegetal, herbal with a touch of kiwi and tropical juiciness underneath. The smell definitely delivered on label promise. Flavors from the hibiscus flowers show prominently first, floral, vegetal, and kind of a weird, off-putting bitterness.

Juicy and sweeter kiwi tries to tame those initial flavors, but it was honestly hard to get past them as they kept hanging on and lingering into the aftertaste. Not horrible but I am not a fan.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Grass Monkey Hoppy Wheat Ale

SweetWater Grass Monkey? Did Freddy finally brew a marijuana beer? If so, this one isn't it! Rather, Grass Monkey is a Hoppy Wheat Ale with lemongrass. The story on the back label sets your expectations with a Beastie Boys "Funky Monkey" line. 5.4% alcohol. 35 IBU. Best By 04/27/17.

VERY lemony aroma. Ditto on the flavors, super lemony and hoppy. There is a nice tangy aspect and a little lemony sourness as well. A little astringent at the finish. However, this is pretty one-note, full of lemony sharpness throughout and kind of "meh" because of that. Not "extremely complex" as the label suggests. Wasn't my thing.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Todd The Axe Man India Pale Ale

Total Wine recently added a new "Brewery Direct" brewery to its Florida store rotation: Minneapolis' Surly Brewing. I decided to start with Todd The Axe Man India Pale Ale, brewed in collaboration with Denmark's Amager Brewery. Amager's marketing department also came up with the name of the beer, referring to Surly's Head Brewer and metal guitarist Todd Haug. The can art follows that metal theme.

This is their version of a West-Coast style IPA. A single pounder can rang up at $6 so I definitely had high expectations. 7.2% alcohol. Canned on 02/09/17

Beautiful aroma, full of tangerines and citrus, bright and hoppy. The flavors burst in your mouth. Initially sweet with some orange and lots of citrus. Those are met with some pine resin, a big zesty dose of bitterness, and a huge spicy bite.

Delicious fruity flavors, super fresh, plenty of bitterness, ballsy spiciness, prickly carbonation. Definitely an awesome beer, though I don't want to pay $16 for a 4 pack, even of pounders. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Beer Geek Breakfast

Beer Geek Breakfast, huh? This is a Stout brewed with coffee by Mikkeller in San Diego, California. I suppose it got its name because of the coffee and brown sugar it was brewed with. I was a little surprised that my liquor store cashier told me the single can was $6. But since I had a $5 coupon, I went for it anyway.

The can depicts both a wild tiger scratching the can and the weird Mikkeller character petting another tiger. 7.5% alcohol. Canned on 11/18/16.

Big coffee aroma, rich and nice. Super creamy and smooth texture with a nice cocoa sweetness in the beginning. A huge dose of strong and delicious coffee follows, adding plenty of bitterness and a big roasty flavor that extends all the way into the finish.

There are hints of vanilla, but the coffee and roasty flavors dominate--big and rich flavors that work well together. Ends on a bitter note.I liked it, except for the price point.