Friday, June 29, 2018

Hot Tub Scholarship Lager

Rogue Hot Tub Scholarship Lager showed up on the local liquor store shelves recently. This German Style Helles Lager was inspired by Rogue founder Jack Joyce's love of hot tubs, and sales benefit the fermentation science students at Oregon State University. Can art is fun. 5.4% alcohol. 35 IBU

Sweet honey, grainy aroma, very pleasant. Toast and bread flavors come first. Touch of honey, a little sweet to start. But some grassy balance follows, especially with a nice bitter finish. Good body. Check it out! (Any hot chicks want to skinnydip in a hot tub, let me know.)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Hoptimum Triple IPA 2018

Sierra Nevada recently released this year's 2018 Hoptimum Triple IPA. "Distinguished, Yet Devilishly Hoppy!" There's a little story about the beer you can read below. 9.6% alcohol. PKGD 05/18/18 Drink 06/23/18

Aroma full of citrus and tangerines, very hoppy, fruity, nice. Sweet orange marmalade flavors first, some caramel as well. A spicy bitter answer comes next.

Rich, resinous, spicy. Very nice carbonation and texture. Flavors are well balanced while terrifically hoppy. Nice lingering bitterness in every sip. Yum!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Woodchuck Hard Cider Cucumber Mint

Woodchuck recently sent me their most recent Tank Series Hard Cider: Cucumber Mint. 170 calories for the can and gluten free. 5% alcohol.

Cucumber and mint are both very noticeable and work great together. The tart cider backdrop is also a great canvas for these flavors. Nice acidity and flavors! Check it out!

Monday, June 18, 2018

1906 Black Coupage

Last weekend, my wife and I attended the Cochon555 Miami stop of their US Tour (if you haven't been, it's a must stop!) I had my share of Glenfiddich 14, some new Woodford Reserve expressions, and enough cocktails to want something a little lighter! And I didn't really feel like drinking wine.

Luckily, there was a beer vendor, serving up two beers brewed by Hijos de Rivera in Spain. I only tried their Estrella Galicia that day, but on the way out was given a bottle of their 1906 Black Coupage, which brings us up to date! BTW, for that link, either learn Spanish or Google will be happy to translate for you.

Two stories on the label set your expectations when drinking "The Black Sheep of the Family." 11.2 oz bottle. 7.2% alcohol.

Great aroma full of chocolate and roast with hints of licorice. Flavors are great! Rich, super creamy, smooth, really nice velvety texture.

Chocolate, cocoa, licorice and butterscotch bring a decadent start. Some hints of coffee and a nice roast add interest. Nicely balanced between sweet and bitter. Very nice beer!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Bud Light Orange

Happy Father's Day! I have a big treat for you today, Bud Light Orange, marketed by the brewery as "refreshment with a twist." Clear bottle, good call. And get this, the bottle bragging in multiple spots that this is "brewed with real orange peels." 4.2% alcohol.

Huge orange peel aroma, that's about it. Flavors the same, tons of orange and sharp citrus, oily. Completely overdone! But that orange does dissipate a little unmasking the super-blah grainy thin base beer. Two phases, not incorporated at all. Weird and pass!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Vibin Groovable Lager

Today I grabbed a can of Funky Buddha's Vibin Groovable Lager. "Crisp. Refreshing. Groovy." 5% alcohol.

Very nice aroma, crisp, nicely grainy, sharp lemon. Terrific flavors, grainy, lemony, nicely bitter. Touches of toast and honey. Super refreshing on this 90+° Florida day!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Mixed Media Vino-esque Ale

Dogfish Head recently released another beer brewed with grape must called Mixed Media Vino-esque Ale. I didn't know before tasting, but they let you know on their site that this is barely a beer by law, drawing fermentable sugars from 51% grain, 49% grapes. 7.5% alcohol. 15 IBU.

Winey, grapey, acidic aroma. OMG I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT! Tastes like a weird glass of wine. Big grapes, acidic and sharp. Lightly fruity underneath, soft orange and melon. Tart, lightly dry, hint of alcohol.

The end! Super one-sided and doesn't say beer in any way. And my guess is that wine drinkers would say this doesn't taste like wine, just a weird hybrid. I totally disagree with Sam's assertion that wine and beer worlds "collide quite nicely," at least not in this beer. Pass! Yeah, for sure Pass!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Hemperor HPA

New Belgium The Hemperor HPA: "Hops and Hemp Reign Together at Last!" This was recommended to me by my local haunt store manager because the aroma is so potent they cancelled the store tasting! 7% alcohol.

Hoppy dank aroma, was NOT jumping out of the glass like I was expecting. You can definitely taste the hemp and hops, dank meets juicy and fruity. Super unique, nicely bitter. Unfortunately, I'm not in love with the hemp flavor with grows and dominates the beer, gets old and obnoxious.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Loral and Dr. Rudi's Inevitable Adventure Double IPA

Loral and Dr. Rudi hops got married in Stone Brewing's Inevitable Adventure Double IPA. "Hops don't talk. Together however, they speak." 8.9% alcohol. 84 IBU.

Spicy, piney, fruity peach and citrus aroma, very pleasant. Fruity, juicy flavors meet a very big spicy, piney and citrus flavor combination. Super resinous. Big body, great bitterness. You can really pick out the characteristics of each hop, and they nicely play on each other.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cochon555 Returns to Miami This Sunday 6/10/2018

This Sunday, Cochon555 will be returning to Miami for what I'm sure will be another amazing event! Pork, bourbon, wine, music, competition and all for charity! Check it out for sure!

Serving surprising combinations of creative cookery and incredible pairings make Cochon555 at 1 Hotel South Beach the hot ticket for foodies this summer. Photo credit: Cochon555
Cochon555 is excited to add more names to an already stellar lineup. Notable judges and celebrated somms will take part in the competition to find one chef who will be crowned for their whole pig cookery skills in addition to winning an amazing 4-day wine and gastronomy experience in Rioja, Spain's most prominent wine region. The event, set to take place in Miami at 1 Hotel South Beach, offers guests a unique way to sample food cultures near and far, putting the focus on a safer, more honest food system. National in scope, the culinary tour will go to 11 cities in 2018. The event also benefits a greater – and absolutely delicious – cause in the form of Piggy Bank, a farm-in-the-making devoted to sharing free heritage breed genetics with small family farms. For an in-depth look at the Cochon555 movement, watch the spotlight video, and to purchase tickets, visit the link HERE.         

This year’s competing chefs include José Mendín of Habitat, Brian Nasajon of Beaker & Gray, Michael Beltran of Ariete, Santiago Gomez of Cantina La 20, and Adrienne Grenier of 3030 Ocean. The chefs prepare boldly flavored dishes in this friendly competition using whole heritage breed pigs from family farms in a nose-to-tail, whole animal showcase. A crowd of a few hundred pork-loving gourmands and twenty notable judges will score each chef on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques, overall flavor, and the “best bite of the day.” This year’s twenty notable judges include a lineup of local luminaries such as Chef Jeremy Ford, Elad Zvi, Tony Guerra, Kiko Suarez, Gio Gutierrez, well-known Emcee Billy Harris, as well as the headline all-star butcher, Andres Barrientos of Miami Smokers.

Additionally, running in tandem with tour are a pair of internal beverage competitions. Punch Kings (video), features five of the city’s top barkeeps facing off in a whole-bottle punch bowl competition, challenging them to each make a large-format communal libation prepared with Breckenridge Bourbon. Competing this year are Ben Potts of Beaker & Gray, Craig Welsh of Boulud Sud, Daniel Love of Scarpetta, Rafael Vazquez of Bourbon Steak and Adrian “Moffin” Corona of Habitat. Cochon555 also challenges five celebrated sommeliers in the third annual “Somm Smackdown” (video) to use every bit of their accumulated knowledge and inspiration to find the best wine to pair with the dishes prepared by competing chefs. This year’s somms include Krystal Kinney of Royal Blues Hotel & Chanson Restaurant, Krista Grauberger of FallBall Group, Amanda Fraga of Amara at Paraiso, Natascha Patterer of La Centrale and Allison De Leo of Scarpetta.

Official Host & Hotel:   1 Hotel South Beach, 2341 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
When:                          Sunday, June 10, 2018
Time:                           4PM for VIP entry ($200), 5PM for General Admission ($130)
Buy Tickets:       

VIP Access ($200)
Start celebrating the night early and treat yourself to the VIP experience with an extra hour of extravagance; get up close with the chefs, winemakers and farmers who make it all happen. Chefs serve up two preview dishes to entice your palate while professional bartenders and sommeliers bring their best game forward with specialty cocktails at Punch Kings and reserve wines from Somm Smackdown.

General Admission ($130)
A unique signature three hour culinary experience of delight and wonderment. Feast on responsibly- raised heritage breed pig, ethically-sourced food and a variety of beverages from local craft breweries, distilleries and wineries,  all created by some of city’s most forward thinking food and drink leaders.

Dishes for the competition are just the beginning -- all in, we’re talking about 1,500 pounds of responsibly- raised heritage breed pork. Guests will enjoy innovative preparations and cocktails from some of the most critically-acclaimed kitchens and bars in Miami. The Welcome Lounge ushers guests in to the Buffalo Trace Punch Bar and our Signature Starter Bar and Cheese Experience spotlighting Cello, La Quercia, Savile Row and Cypress Grove.  Sparklers from Topo Chico, brews from Estrella Galicia, the portfolio of Wines from Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region, Italian gems from Azzurro Wine Company will be available. Neat tastings will be offered by Glenfiddich, Woodford Reserve and The Manhattan Project featuring Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Town Branch Rye, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and Breckenridge PX Cask Finish topped with Luxardo Cherries.  Guests may also treat themselves to innovative cocktails from Rums of Puerto Rico, Bombay Sapphire and Galliano, a Smoked Old Fashioned from Courvoisier, the Collins Bar presented by Effen Vodka, a Perfect Margarita presented by El Tesoro Tequila and the Heritage Rum Cart showcasing rums from Don Q Rum, Gubba Rum and Rums of Puerto Rico.. Guests will learn about pairings at The TarTare Bar aligned to the wines of Antica Napa Valley, stunning Rosés from Chateau D’Esclans paired with organic pâtés and mousses from Les Trois Petits Cochons, an Italian-inspired bite from Chefs John Gallo and Rene Reyes of Pinch Kitchen paired with the wines of Frei Brothers, a unique Malt and Mangalitsa tasting featuring Westland Distillery, a “Taste the City” culinary spotlight featuring the racy portfolio of Wines of Germany and an array of wines grouped under the “5 Winemakers” banner including Silver Oak, Pax Wine Cellars, Sandhi, Kosta Browne and Twomey Cellars. Cochon555 will debut a new experience this year called Trompo “Hora de Familia” in celebration of its first Global Cochon555 event in Mexico City later this year as well as Royal Oak’s Natural Charcoal “Dirty Steak” Tomahawk Bar. Guests wanting a sweet bite will enjoy Swine and Sweets, an innovative spin on dessert spotlighting notable pastry chefs working with Perfect Puree of Napa Valley.
About the Cochon555 US Tour
The Cochon555 US Tour executes a yearly host of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs through an innovative nose-to-tail pig cooking competition. This epic pork feast visits 15 major cities in North America annually. The tour is comprised of an array of live expressions and cultivates a long-term impact for heritage species. Both educational and inspirational messages are circulated among 16,000 guests; 2,200+ chefs; 150+ family farms; and culinary schools each year. Since 2009, 108,000+ consumers have experienced heritage pork for the first time, more than $1,100,000 has been donated to charities, and over $1,200,000 has been paid directly to our farmers. For more information, visit or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.

About Piggy Bank
Launched in 2015, Piggy Bank is creating a farming sanctuary for heritage breed pigs, many of which are endangered.  Piggy Bank will provide genetics and access to shared business plans for raising heritage pigs to emerging family farms. Piggy Bank aims to change the future of food by creating a community in which small farmers can learn about safer, more responsible practices and share genetics, livestock, and the very information needed to thrive as small businesses. Piggy Bank is building a model of socially responsible agricultural transparency. Piggy Bank proudly operates as a project of the Trust for Conservation Innovation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization which accelerates impact for initiatives focused on protecting and fostering a healthy, sustainable, resilient, and equitable world. For more information or to donate, visit or follow @PiggyBankOrg on Twitter. Watch the video

Hop Hyzer

Anderson Valley's Hop Hyzer is up for today. Pretty sure this is a pale ale. Their website explains the artwork, noting the brewery's affection for Disc Golf. 4.9% alcohol. 40 IBU.

Tangy, fruity aroma. Tangy orange citrus flavors show some light bitterness. A little twang and zesty zing. Very easy drinker, super pleasant flavors.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Thick Mint Imperial Stout

Today I decided to check out Southern Tier Thick Mint Imperial Stout. This is a Blackwater Series Dessert Beer aiming to mimic the Girl Scout's Thin Mint Cookies. Let's see. 10.0% alcohol (20 Proof).

Chocolaty aroma with a clean minty backdrop. Rich, creamy, chocolaty flavors first, not overly sweet. Then comes a super interesting minty wave, can I say peppermint patty?

That lightly cooling minty sensation against the boozy heating works well. Mint is not a nuance, bold yet not annoying, a cool play on a favorite cookie. Nice beer!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Subdivisions Pilsner

Winter Springs Florida's Red Cypress Brewery has a few beers distributed in Miami recently.  Subdivisions Pilsner was the first one I checked out, with the can displaying a typical map of suburban community subdivisions.

Grainy aroma with some light honey. Soft flavors, again with grain and honey standing out. Lightly herbal with some nuttiness. Sweet in the beginning but enough bitter hint to balance that out (though I did want a little more of that). Enjoyable. Pretty nice.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Pineapple Cart

Golden Road Pineapple Cart is the third in this series highlighting the famous LA fruit carts. Though this one bears the pineapple name, it's also brewed with blood oranges and strawberries. Can art is fun. 4.0% alcohol.

Pineapple is clear in the aroma. And the pineapple flavors are sweet and pleasant first sip, really playing nicely with a super light tartness underneath. The wife told me this isn't really tart, basically dismissing any claim this beer has to tartness since she hates that type of beer.

Anyway, tangy wheat, light tartness and subtle hints of strawberry round things out. I liked it! Very refreshing.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Upslope Mosaic Double IPA

Today I'm checking out Upslope's Tap Room Series Mosaic Double IPA. 19.2 oz can, 8.2% alcohol. 70 IBU. OK, I'm ready!

Beautiful aroma full of citrus, tangerines, juicy, sweet and spicy. Super juicy flavors to start feature an awesome orange marmalade. Tangy then spicy then an excellent bitter balance. Some hint of caramel in the background.

Some alcohol an astringency do show in the finish, which I didn't love. Nice beer but the the flavors didn't match the amazing aroma. I would definitely check it out again.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Innis and Gunn Kindred Spirits Stout

Innis and Gunn did a first-time collaboration with Tullamore D.E.W. to create this year's Kindred Spirits Stout. My local liquor store manager recommended this one as a yearly treat. A little story lets you know what to expect. 11.2 oz bottle. 6.1% alcohol.

Nice aroma, rich chocolate with a nice whiskey kick. Sweet chocolate and cocoa flavors come first. Creamy texture. A very noticeable whiskey provides a streak of alcohol that brings out some vanilla, oak, and hints of smoke and roasted malt.

Whiskey flavors grow and persist. Not bad. Interesting.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Winston Sheffield India Pale Ale

Today I grabbed a bottle of  Coppertail Brewing's Winston Sheffield India Pale Ale. This is their third Alpha Hunt IPA Series beer featuring Cashmere, Calista and Ekuanot hops.

I guess Winston is a big game hunting safari guy, not sure if real or fictional. Label art by Evan B. Harris is terrific as usual. 8% alcohol.

Citrus, orange and plenty of pine in this aroma. Citrus flavors first with lots of pine following, nicely bitter. Very dry! Nicely spicy with an alcohol kick. Different, nice beer!