Monday, March 25, 2019

Ephemere Strawberry & Rhubarb

Today I'm checking out Unibroue's Ephemere Strawberry & Rhubarb, the brewery's newest fruit version to this terrific Belgian-style wheat ale. Also known as Fraise & Rhubarbe for you Frenchies. 5.5% alcohol.

Lots of floaties, yummy yeasty goodness. Strawberry and yeasty aroma. More tart than expected and full of both strawberry and rhubarb flavors. Rhubarb has a unique flavor, works nicely with strawberry and with this beer.

A little spicy, nice little nips at the palate. Nice flavors, soft yet flavorful and very refreshing!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Parched Pig West Coast IPA

Last weekend, Carnival Cruise Line had a party on board their Carnival Magic ship docked in Miami. They announced a partnership with Lakeland's Brew Hub to keg and can their beers for distribution on all of their ships!

We got to try the kegged and canned versions, and Parched Pig West Coast IPA was easily my favorite. I brought one pounder can home with me to check out! Canned 02/20/2019 Drink 03/17/2019. 6.2% alcohol.

I had several, including the one above. Terrific beer! Piney aroma with citrus and tangerines, nicely hoppy. Lots of pine and citrus flavors from the start, nicely bitter. Spicy with a really nice body. Lots of flavor, lived up to its "West Coast" billing! Not sure I'd book a cruise to drink it, but if you're on board, seek it out!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

White Geist Berliner Weisse

So the Stone Gargoyles delivered a baby 11.2 oz can from Germany. As the story says, White Geist Berliner Weisse is a descendant of what Napoleon called the "champagne of the north." 4.7% alcohol. 11.2 oz can.

Salty, lemony, sharp aroma. Wow! Quite tart grabs the sides of your cheeks, first sip! Lemon, salty and a little fruity. Super refreshing and you definitely do get used to the tart part! Nice beer!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Carnival Magic at the RedFrog Pub on St. Paddy's Day

You like that title? Set some expectations? Let me explain.

Sunday afternoon (St. Patrick's Day), Carnival Cruise Line had a little party at their RedFrog Pub aboard Carnival Magic, docked at the Port of Miami. I was emailed a press release the next day by an agency, LOL. The "Magic" was in the announcement of their partnership with Brew Hub!

I was sitting at the bar drinking a pounder can of ParchedPig West Coast IPA when I noticed that the beer was brewed in Lakeland, FL. I immediately suspected that Brew Hub was doing the bulk brewing for Carnival, so I asked the bartender that seemed to know everything, and he confirmed that.

Little did I know that Carnival's VP of Beverage Operations Edward Allen was just about to reveal that "secret" to the crowd! Speaking in front of three "ice mugs," Edward let everyone know that based on the success of their breweries on Carnival Vista and Horizon, they decided to forge a partnership with Brew Hub to scale up their craft beers in kegs and 16 ounce cans so their entire fleet of ships had them available.

Anyway, I LOVE THAT IPA. The ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat was described by a few staff as "like Blue Moon," and while I'd agree with that based on flavors and style, I'm not sure what angle the bar's leadership wants to take.

"Like Blue Moon" probably sells more beer. Some other descriptions, maybe not mentioning the Coors brand, and you preserve the "Private Label Craft Beer" tag they gave themselves in their press release. Finally, ParchedPig Toasted Amber, I have a can in my fridge to check out again. Stay tuned!

Lots of hors d'oeuvres and several pints of West Coast IPA later, it was time to disembark I was told. I thought that meant shots, never being on a Cruise ship before! (Just kidding you guys)!

Anyway, I am not positive if the beer is ONLY for the ships or if it will have some other (at least Miami/South Florida distribution). My guess is you'll probably be able to have some in Lakeland if you visit Brew Hub, but since most of you will not likely do that, definitely check out these new craft beers on your next Carnival Cruise!


Sixpoint Brewery is starting to Dabble with some new interesting hops! They created Dabble Double IPA with Sabro, Cashmere and Idaho7 hops, as you can read on the tallboy can story below. 8.2% alcohol. 20 IBU. Canned 13JAN19 Drink 17FEB19

Dabble looks like a thick orange juice! Very bright and juicy tangerine aroma.

Juicy, tangy, full of orange and tangerine flavor. You get tricked at the start with a hint of sweetness, but this beer is nicely bitter!

The can story mentions coconut, and you really can find hints of that, especially in the finish, and grows with each sip. Very interesting. Seriously an explosion of flavor. Check it out!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Boulevard Chocolate Ale

Today I'm checking out Boulevard Chocolate Ale, a Limited Release beer last brewed three years ago. This beer was brewed with cacao nibs, chocolate and vanilla extracts in collaboration with Chocolate Master Christopher Elbow. 8.7% alcohol. 24 IBU. Best By 20DEC2019 Drink 16MAR2019.

Sweet chocolate and vanilla aroma, pleasant. Choco-cocoa with hints of caramel come first and sweet. Then a wave of vanilla adds an excellent contrast. Nice little battle between sweet and bitter, with some alcohol bringing out the best of both. Excellent texture, not a big bodied beer. Check it out!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Captain Lawrence Orbital Tilt IPA

Captain Lawrence Brewing recently entered the Miami market. They are based out of Elmsford, NY, just north of New York City. I always felt cheated that they opened right after I left town for Miami too!

I have had the opportunity to try some of their beers before this new distribution thanks to co-workers bringing home from business trips and vacations in Ocean City, NJ (shout out to Circle Liquor across the bridge!). But now at least their staple beers are here.

Funny part is, the beer I'm writing about today, Orbital Tilt IPA, I didn't see at the local liquor store so I don't know if it's in the current distribution lineup (at least yet). I had the chance to try this beer at a Jameson Whiskey festival of all places! And one of the people let me take this can home for this review. 5.9% alcohol. Check out the story below to set your expectations.

Fruity orange and piney aroma with some dank hoppy goodness. Great flavor! Pine, juicy, fruity orange and hints of pineapple to start. Excellent hoppy bitterness with some dank green hops showing through. Spicy, peppery, has a lot going on in harmony. Delicious!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Schofferhofer Pomegranate

Radeberger Gruppe USA has decided to expand distribution of their Schofferhofer Pomegranate after testing out a few markets successfully. That includes Miami! This drink is a 50:50 blend of German Hefeweizen and Pomegranate juice. 2.5% alcohol. 11.2 oz bottle. Best Before 22 05 2019; Drink 02 03 2019.

You might recognize the Schofferhofer name from their original USA release Schofferhofer Grapefruit. You probably remember this party! #UnleashHappiness

As you can see above, I didn't follow the instructions to drink straight from the bottle for best taste. Whatever! Very bright and fruity pomegranate aroma, nice!

Terrific! Tons of juicy pomegranate, good body, nice little tart bite. Tangy, wheaty twang. Ultra refreshing on 90°F Miami day! Check it out! Beats the hell out of any wine cooler too, so take to your next party.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Skyway Hazy Double India Pale Ale

Today I'm checking out Green Bench Brewing's Skyway Hazy Double India Pale Ale. As the story on the sides of the can say, this beer is named for the "Flagship Bridge" of Florida, even recognized in a Top Ten by Travel Channel. 8.2% alcohol. 70 IBU. Canned 02/04/19 Drink 03/03/19.

Beautiful aroma, full of tropical mango and peach, soft and delicious, with hints of pine too. Similar flavors, starting with excellent fruity tropical melons, mangos and standout peaches! But there is also a big piney, resinous piece to this beer, including some dank green flavors. A little spicy too.

Sweet to start with a nice bitter answer. Terrific!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Witty in Pink

Barrel of Monks' Witty in Pink is a special October release of this raspberry witbier brewed for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sorry I waited to publish this for four months, but Breast Cancer needs awareness in February too. 

Nice label, 5.5% alcohol. Bottled 091818 Drink102118. "Fight Strong" "Fight Like a Girl"

Yeasty aroma with a touch of raspberries. Wow! Much bigger raspberry flavors, sweet and tart, very nice. Wheaty twang, yeasty texture and just a little funk. Super crisp and refreshing, YUM!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Fresh Catch

Today I'm checking out Narragansett's Fresh Catch, a golden ale dry hopped with Citra hops. Read that story I linked, but this beer is dedicated to the fisherman that bring the fish and seafood bounty to the region.

Lobsters decorate the pounder can. The website says this beer was brewed to pair with shellfish and whitefish. 4.2% alcohol. 23 IBU.

Nice aroma full of honey and tangerine citrus. Sweet honey flavors meet terrific hoppy bitterness. Tangerine and lemon citrus with hints of pine. Sweet and bitter playing nicely off each other. Tasty, refreshing. I liked this very much!

Monday, February 18, 2019

American Beauty Pale Ale

Dogfish Head and the Grateful Dead collaborated back in 2013 to create American Beauty Pale Ale. At the time, they asked on social media for suggestions for one quintessential ingredient that would represent the Dead (within reason, of course).

I submitted at least half a dozen what I thought were great choices. In the end, granola was chosen. If I had known that something like granola was an "ingredient," I'd have probably submitted ice cream or other already prepared food "ingredients."

When I saw the beer on the liquor store shelves, I didn't remember if I had tried it or not. Apparently not. I was wondering why, but have two theories and both could be correct. First, granola isn't an ingredient, and I was probably pissed about that choice. Second, the beer was released in wine bottles in 2013 and a few other times since then. And large format is a rip off. #BomberBoycott

So here we are, 12 oz bottles, 6 year later. 6.5% alcohol. Bottled on 01/02/19 Drink 10 days later.

Not much of an aroma. Nice bitter base, some citrus flavors to start. Honey and granola definitely show to create a balance. Simple, soft but nice flavors, and my wife loved it!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Juice Boost Dry-Hopped Sour

Tart, Tang and Tropical Fruit? Yes please! That's how Victory Brewing describes their Juice Boost Dry-Hopped Sour. The pounder can has a bunch of phrases that are supposed to set your expectations. Contains lactose, 7.2% alcohol. Enjoy By 14 May 2019.

Nice bright orange, tangy aroma. Similar flavors to start, full of citrus, oranges and tangerines, tangy, hoppy. Then the sourness kicks in, adding a stark contrast. Repeat each sip. Interesting twist.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Resilience Butte County Proud IPA

Sierra Nevada Resilience Butte County Proud IPA was brewed to support those impacted by THE CAMP FIRE. Sierra Nevada also asked all the other breweries in the country to also brew Resilience, and the amount that actually did was nothing short of amazing! Great cause, read the story at the link above. I love this brewery! 6.7% alcohol.

Citrus and caramel aroma, not that big. Pretty malty to start, lots of caramel and herbal sweetness. There is definitely a bitter answer though. Orange citrus, zest, pine. Couldn't shake a minty flavor too. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Emergency Drinking Beer

Wild Heaven's Emergency Drinking Beer recently started being distributed to South Florida. I've had the opportunity to visit the brewery while hanging with my sister in Atlanta last August. So I've tried this beer before, even a watermelon variation.

Emergency Drinking Beer is German Pilsner meets Gose. The can says "Contents: Beer. The Drink of Necessity." 4.4% alcohol.

Lemony, salty aroma. Similar flavors, grainy with plenty of lemon and a salty backdrop. Tart, lightly sour but not overly aggressive. Super refreshing, totally grows on you. Even my wife and her hairdresser that was over liked it, unexpectedly. Check it out!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Blushing Monk Belgian Style Ale

Today I'm drinking Founders Blushing Monk, a Belgian-Style Ale fermented with pure raspberries. The brewery has another great raspberry beer called Rubaeus, but says to consider "Blushing Monk as Rubaeus' older sibling - more intense, slightly larger and just a little bit more mature." 9.2% alcohol. 20 IBU. And one 12 oz bottle cost me $6 retail.

Great red color. Beautiful jammy raspberry aroma. WOW! Raspberry explosion in my mouth! Intense flavors, rich texture, jammy raspberry coats the palate. Lightly tart, lightly sweet, nicely play off each other. Definite yeasty character adds a lot. Love it!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

North Coast Beachmaster Imperial IPA

Today I'm checking out North Coast Brewing's Beachmaster Imperial IPA. The beer and label are a tribute to the Northern Elephant Seals that can be found on the coast near the brewery, with the label illustration done by Mike Patrick. 9.0% alcohol.

Nice color! Beautiful fruity orange, jammy, tropical aroma! Lots of flavor too. Sweet and bitter. Citrus orange, juicy, spicy, piney. Rich with an excellent bitter bite. Delicious!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Visit to Tripping Animals Brewing

Last weekend, my wife and I met up with a few friends at Tripping Animals Brewing in Doral (Miami). My wife works in the area and noticed the building toward the end of last year, so I asked the brewery at one of the beer festivals if they were open yet. Apparently they were just a few weeks away, and ultimately opened on 11/16/18.

The brewery is spacious and comfortable, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. They don't offer flights but do have 5 oz pours, so same difference. Our friends decided to let me choose our self-made flight.

We started with Koopa Troopa (Dry-hopped Pilsner); Wandering Eye IPA, Iwanna Sour (Berliner with mango and passionfruit); Wizard of Auz (Imperial Brown Ale with vanilla and cacao). I really liked the fruity sour and the rich Wizard of Auz!

We created a second set of 4 after we finished: Lick Me (Berliner with sweet cherries and raspberries); A Brewtiful Trip (Imperial Stout with coconut and cacao nibs); and two guest taps that would likely be pretty hard to try otherwise in Miami... Aslin Double Orange Starfish (DIPA); Jolly Pumpkin Rozilla (Sour aged 18 months on oak and blended). I loved all of them!

The brewery offers some pretty good cooked snack/bar type food. There is a substantial gaming area that overlooks the brewery as well: cornhole, ping pong, pool, and a few others. There are trivia and board games and you could definitely spend an entire day playing Risk if you wanted!

Service was great and so were the beers. Spacious, comfortable, nice decor. If you're in the area (and a lot of you will be since it's by Miami International Airport), you should definitely stop by!

Tripping Animals Brewing
2685 NW 105th Ave
Doral, FL 33172

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Calidad Beer

Tonight I'm drinking Calidad Beer, a "Quality 'Mexican Style' Cerveza" brewed by Smiling Sun Brewing in Santa Barbara, CA. Actually I'm drinking a sixer! LOL. Fun can art (and also their website), mixing English and Spanish. 4.5% alcohol. If you get the impulse, their website says you can text them at 253.300.HOLA

Very nice aroma, grainy with a light honey sweetness. Similar flavors, very tasty. Light grain, nice sweet honey, fruity apple. And just enough hoppy bitter balance. Crisp with nice flavors. I liked it and it was super easy to drink more than one!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Enjoy By 01.01.19 Brut IPA

I recently grabbed a can of Stone's Enjoy By 01.01.19 Brut IPA. I haven't had the opportunity to try other Brut IPA's, though I did see a few other options on the shelves. I guess this is the new cool thing? "A Festively Fresh Double IPA" 9.4% alcohol. 90 IBU. Canned 11/26/2018 Drink 12/23/2018 so I did make the beer name date!

Fruity tangerine aroma. Fruity flavors too, orange marmalade, rich and jammy. Light pine and some spiciness shows through, nicely bitter. Then a super dry finish, yeasty lingering into the aftertaste.

You can tell this beer has a killer DIPA base, but I'm not sure I'm in love with the "Brut" aspect. Check it out and let me know what you think!