Saturday, December 21, 2019

Cinnamon Roll Imperial Ale

Southern Tier Brewing brews some fun Imperial Ales based on things you all love! Cinnamon Roll Imperial Ale is one of their seasonals that fits that criteria. This is an ale with cinnamon and caramel flavors added. 8.6% alcohol.

Aroma is full of cinnamon and caramel, they made no doubt about their intentions here. A little boozy too. Flavors are rich and sweet and full of caramel and cinnamon as well, unsurprisingly. Definitely tastes like a cinnamon roll.

Although pretty sweet, there is an alcy answer that kind of tames it. For sure a novelty, but I'd definitely take it to a party for some fun.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Laces IPA

Wynwood Brewing's Laces IPA pays homage to the streets of Wynwood. Seriously read the story below. Basically the Laces are those of the shoes tied together then thrown over the overhead wires. The can art is pretty nice, too. 6.9% alcohol.

Nice dank hoppy aroma, very nice. The flavor is similar, full of dank, green hops and an excellent bitterness. Very resinous. Light citrus fruitiness in the background. Delicious!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tart Berry Berliner Weisse

"Whoever heard of a tart berry?" So the story goes with Green Man Brewery's Tart Berry Berliner Weisse. This "lickable delight" comes in pounder cans. "Pucker up dreamers!" 4.2% alcohol (yes, I know their website says 4.3%, but I'll go with the can I drank).

Deep pinkish-purple color, pretty cool! Holy mega raspberry bomb on your nose! Oh, yeah, big raspberry flavor too, accompanied by a nice tartness. Lightly salty, very refreshing. Full of flavor and yeah, it's very "one note". But who cares? I liked it!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Hopstate IPA 2019

Every time I see a new beer from Brewery Ommegang on the liquor store shelves, I pick it up because I'm always impressed with their creations! Today I'm checking out Hopstate IPA 2019 from their Farmhouse Series. This beer was brewed exclusively with hops grown in upstate New York. Pounder can. 7.4% alcohol.

Nice color, rich orange-yellow. Very nice tangy citrus aroma. Flavors are similar, citrus orange, tangy, lightly spicy. Soft flavors and not overly hoppy. Enjoyable in every way!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

North Coast Old Stock Ale 2018 Cellar Reserve Rye Whiskey

Today I'm checking out North Coast Brewing's Old Stock Ale 2018 Cellar Reserve, aged in rye whiskey barrels. Nicely packaged in 500mL bottles, small-batch, limited release, 13.5% alcohol. Perfect for a chilly December afternoon in Miami (60°F)!

Dark brown with reddish highlights. Wow! Big aroma of whiskey and brown sugar. Awesome flavors! Brown sugar, toffee, raisins, fruitcake soaked in booze. The rye whiskey is definitely noticeable but nicely adds more flavor.

Very rich body, plenty of sweetness with a sugary aspect. And while the alcohol is there, it's well incorporated and an enhancement for all of the flavors. Pick up a bottle!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Belgian-Style Dark Ale

Apparently I'm hosting a party tonight, and the guests are expecting me to supply some cool beers to sample. So I'm thinking this might be one of them. Boulevard Brewing recently started their Tasting Room Series. This member beer is Bourbon Barrel Belgian-Style Dark Ale Release 001 Year 2019. 11.9% alcohol. 16 IBUs.

Nice bourbon, fig and raisin aroma. Mmm. Super rich, excellent flavors! Caramel, figs, toffee. A little sweet though the alcohol does help tame that. Belgian, yeasty character topped with a Bourbon-flavored kick. Finish puts some heat in your chest, but overall the alcohol is a nice feature. Yum! See you later at the party!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Suddenly Comfy Imperial Cream Ale

Dogfish Head's Suddenly Comfy Imperial Cream Ale recently his the shelves here in South Florida. This is an ale brewed with apple juice, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla beans. Mmm, sounds like liquid apple pie! 8% alcohol.

Big cinnamon aroma! You will immediately taste a great apple and allspice flavor combo, exactly like an apple pie as surmised. Cinnamon and vanilla are also very easy to pick out, especially more into the finish. Creamy, good body, some alcohol kick helps bring out the flavors.

Good beer, similar spice profile to other beers this time of year, just swap in apple for pumpkin, which is AOK with me!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer

Wild Heaven's Watermelon Emergency Drinking Beer can now be found in South Florida. This is one of the variations on their regular Emergency Drinking Beer, and according to the brewery's website, their most popular beer. Unfortunately it's out of season now, but you can plan for next summer.

I had it at the brewery in Atlanta last time I visited my sister, but decided to grab some cans in case of local emergencies (hurricanes, broken AC, out of beer). 4.0% alcohol.

Lightly peachy pink color. Salty aroma with soft watermelon fruitiness. Crisp, lightly tart with a sweet watermelon answer. Refreshing a very flavorful, though I could have used a little more sharpness or tartness. Grab some!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Sticky Icky Icky

Happy Birthday to me! You know what that means right? #QuadDay !!! Since I don't have any Quads sitting around, I'm going to check out Short's Brewing's Sticky Icky Icky, an American IPA. 7.1% alcohol.

Beautifully hoppy aroma, full of citrus, plenty of dank goodness and some background sweetness. Very nice flavors. Soft citrus and spicy hoppiness to start. I was expecting more hop bite but can for sure appreciate the excellent balance.

Dank but sweet while spicy but in a tame way. Great IPA!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

A Visit to 3 Sons Brewing Co

Last month, my wife and I visited Dania Beach's (just south of Ft. Lauderdale) 3 Sons Brewing Co. We tried pretty much all the beers with half pours. There were some very interesting Goses like Strawberry Margarita Bling, some great IPAs like Double Dopealicious DDH DIPA, and a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout named Hazelnut Dreams! And lots of others.

Great food! Very nice staff! Family friendly! Check it out! Maybe when you go they'll be utilizing their balcony second floor space too!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Our Special Ale 2019

Anchor's Our Special Ale 2019 is the forty-fifth annual beer brewed to celebrate joy and the newness of life. The label on this year's Winter Warmer features Thuja plicata, a western arborvitae, this particular one an evergreen conifer native to Northern California. 6.9% alcohol.

Deep reddish brown color. Aroma features lots of pine and caramel with some licorice and dark fruits. Very hoppy, very piney, even minty. Caramel, some spiciness, and a little medicine-like, which I didn't love. Different, interesting, give it a shot.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Guinness Stock Ale Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels

Today I'm checking out Guinness Stock Ale Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels. This beer is a blend of an imperial stout and a barleywine both aged in Bulleit barrels. Bottled in 11.2 oz packaging, so I felt a little short, especially considering they were packaged in Baltimore. 10% alcohol.

Terrific aroma full of vanilla, chocolate, raisins and even hints of blackberries. Excellent flavors! Big body! Silky and creamy texture! Rich chocolate with raisins come first. Sweet but with some alcy balance.

Light roast with a touch of vanilla. A little heat in the chest with the finish. Can definitely taste the bourbon character. Very flavorful beer! Check it out.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Cin-Duh-Rella Pumpkin Pie Sour

Over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to try JDub's Brewing's Cin-Duh-Rella Pumpkin Pie Sour. It paired well with the sweet defeat of OSU's wrestling team to Virginia Tech! My first pumpkin beer of the year, and it sounds pretty cool!

This bomber-sized sample was sent to me by the brewery. They told me they were pretty happy the way it turned out and wanted to spread the word. So check them out when in Sarasota, Florida as this particular beer is not bottled or canned. 7% alcohol.

From JDub's What's On Tap Menu
Anyway, it has an aroma exactly like a pumpkin pie, big cinnamon, all-spice, pumpkin. Whoa! Lightly tart and sour to start but not overdone. And super creamy and silky texture. Full of flavors that work perfectly with that sour aspect too.

Pumpkin and cinnamon, pumpkin pie in a glass, with an acidic sour balance. A touch of alcohol also helps the flavors stand out! Super interesting beer. Definitely check this one out!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Wine Barrel Three Philosophers

Brewery Ommegang is one of my favorite breweries, so when I saw Wine Barrel Three Philosophers on the shelf, it was a no-brainer to grab a can. I love the original Three Philosophers quad with Belgian Kriek, so let's see what aging that for 3 months in red wine barrels does.

This beer was actually brewed and canned for Ommegang by Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, MO. Pounder can. 9.3% alcohol.

Cherries and wine acidity in the aroma. Yep! It's Three Philosophers with a twist! Rich body with a beautiful cherry flavor and initial tartness.

A terrific set of flavors are layered throughout: caramel, dark fruits, figs, brown sugar and brandy. Hints of oak from the barrel and some dry tannic character show, especially in the finish. Subtle and interesting, but my reaction to the additional treatment is that I prefer the original Three Philosophers!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Grovetoberfest 2019

Grovetoberfest is one of my favorite beer festivals to attend each year! Guess what? Grovetoberfest 2019 is just two weeks away! This year, the festival will be held at Regatta Park in Coconut Grove, a terrific location with lots of space for craft beer enthusiasts to check out a lot of breweries and their beers!

Check out this impressive list of breweries! And besides the beer, there is great food, live music, an unmistakable Miami vibe, and so much fun! I personally guarantee you will make some new friends and have some awesome conversations!

This is the must-attend beer festival each year for all of South Florida! Grovetoberfest will be held Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Regatta Park, 3500 Pan American Drive, Miami, FL 33133. Get your tickets here now! This festival will sell out!

Leave me a comment and maybe we can meet at the festival!

North Miami BrewFest 2019

Heads up! The 2019 North Miami BrewFest is approaching rapidly and you should get your tickets now! This beer festival will be held Saturday, November 16, 2019 in the same location as last year, MOCA PLAZA in the City of North Miami. You can get tickets here.

NoMi BrewFest started as a student project of FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, and proceeds of the festival still support its Brewing Science program. You'll be sure to see plenty of student volunteers, and I'm willing to bet their leader Professor Barry Gump will once again be in attendance.

Professor Gump photo op!

I went to this festival a few times before including last year in MOCA Plaza. The organizers have really created a unique environment for your enjoyment. Everything is included in the price of the admission: hundreds of beer samples, gourmet food, live music and some awesome beer seminars . Some of the breweries will even be giving NoMi BrewFest attendees first tastes of some new beer creations!

Last year, the beer was awesome, the food was delicious and way beyond what you'd expect from any outdoor festival (mmm, beef tenderloin), and the seminars were done by very interesting and knowledgeable beer experts! The music was also terrific, played by some very talented musicians. I expect even more this year!

Lincoln's Beard was there last year! Nice beers!

Again, the North Miami BrewFest will be held Saturday, November 16, 2019 at MOCA Plaza, 700 Northeast 124th Street, North Miami, FL 33161. You can get your tickets here.

Leave a comment and maybe we can say hello at the festival!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tropicalia India Pale Ale

Last month, I had the chance to visit Creature Comforts Brewing in Athens, Georgia. I'm sure you remember that! Definitely check that out! It was also a "first brewery visit" for two of my nieces.

Now I have had their Tropicalia India Pale Ale several times during business trips near my sister's house in Atlanta the past few years, including a few pre-gaming the brewery visit. But I decided to bring a few cans home with me to Miami for more pictures and a real review!

For this review I grabbed the can in an Atlanta Publix around a month after it was canned. 6.6% alcohol.

Bright orange and citrus aroma. Tangy orange and citrus flavors come first. Nice initial sweetness, beautifully fruity flavors in perfect balance. Also plenty of bitterness to counter that initial sweet. Definitely an IPA and a delicious one!

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Visit to 3 Taverns Craft Brewery

Last week when I was in Atlanta, my sister and I made a visit to Three Taverns Craft Brewery. We almost had the place to ourselves for the time we were there. This brewery doesn't serve flights but has small pours and since we were allowed two each at a time, we broke the rules and made our own flights!

Our first was VERY diverse: Prince of Pilsen Pilsner, Rowdy and Proud IPA, Lord Grey Tea Sour Ale, Saporous Passion Fruit and Guava Cream Sour Ale. We also had very different rankings of the set, with me preferring the IPA while my sister loving the Lord Grey beer.

At one point, there was a couple with an infant having a few pints (the couple was drinking them). The only reason I mention that is that I highly approve of children being permitted in breweries. In fact, the day after this visit, we took my three nieces aged five and under to Creature Comforts! What do you think about that?

We grabbed another flight and headed upstairs to a comfy loft area that overlooked the downstairs. Very cool. Two people were playing scrabble up there, but my sister and I decided not to start playing one of the other board games. My sister thought that was pretty hipster, but I told her every brewery down by me here in Miami has that too.

Check this out for our second flight: Quasimodo Belgian-Style Quad, Morning Smack Maple Bacon Banana Coffee Milk Stout, Basileus Cucumber Basil Sour, Lord Fog with Lavender and Vanilla.

Nice place, the beer was different and really good! They have a gift shop that includes beer to go as well. We took a 4-pack of one of their big stouts home to my brother-in-law. Definitely check it out!

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Visit to Creature Comforts Brewery

Yesterday, I visited Creature Comforts Brewery with my sister and her family. Sounds benign enough, right? Well, we were a power brewery family, including three girls five years old or younger traveling from Atlanta (like 1.5 hours in traffic each way) to Athens! Kindergarten pickup directly to the brewery!

I personally pre-gamed in Atlanta with a few Tropicalia IPAs around noon. Was perfect for our 4pm arrival! As we arrived, all of us 40-year olds (I'm 47) got carded and stamped by the staff! Georgia is so LOL as that was three times (the other two in Publix) in three days! Even my brother-in-law's parents got carded later! #DoubleLOL

Anyway, my brother-in-law and I decided to order a few flights to start. I started with a few I'd had in cans before along with a few new ones: Athena, Tropicalia IPA, Born Dreaming Hazy Double IPA, and Awaken My Love Imperial Stout.

Once you set up your tab, you're good at both bars (they have some different options) and also in the gift store. We put away a few flights, repeated, picked a few of our favorites for full pours and headed out before the brewery event later that evening.

Very cool space! A lot of room, though not enough for my 5 year old niece to be practicing her ballet without running into some guy's watch with her head. For the average beer drinker, this was killer though! And we learned a little history about the space while there. Apparently, a lot of the brewery's history is as a tire dealership!

Favorites included Tropicalia, Athena (and Athena Paradiso, a variation with passion fruit and guava), A Different Octave DIPA, Moon Tree Pale Ale, and Common Things Saison.

I had a bottle pour of Life in Flux Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout too. Big Beer! Pretty chill for 13%. I preferred the (non-barrel aged) imperial stout called Awaken My Love with cinnamon, coffee and lactose, though was a touch sweet.

Great place! Thank God I don't live in that town or I'd be figuring out reasons to "work" remotely from the brewery!