Breweries "Visited"

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The End...Sort Of.

Day #721 Westvleteren 12 / Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren, Westvleteren, Belgium
Previously from this brewery:  The blonde and the 8

First, before the review allow me to announce that there are changes coming to your favorite beer blog.  No, not that one.  This one here.  Going forward, you are likely to not see a post every day, as you have for the past 721 days.  The writing staff have agreed that after nearly two years, we've lost some steam and maybe some passion, and schedules are currently making it difficult to drink, review, and write on an every day basis.  This by no means spells the end of this blog.  Quite the opposite.  There will still be reviews and commentary, but on a more manageable pace that fits in with our lifestyles.

So, to close out this phase of the blog, I'm going to pull out my last review that I had stashed from Belgium; quite possibly the rarest of the white whale beers, the Westvleteren 12.  Regardless of what source you consult (like this one, or this one, or this one), Westy 12 is likely to be the #1 ranked beer in the world, and if not, then somewhere near the top of the list.  That lofty - and let's face it - cult status stems from the fact that it is delicious (more on that soon), but also because they don't distribute their beer anywhere other than a cafe across the street from the abbey.  So, unless you have some well connected friends or a plane ticket to Belgium or the abbey has a serious financial need, you aren't having one of these.  And that makes it special. A running joke I have with some beer friends is that if you want your beer to become famous in the increasingly crowded world of craft beers, make a good beer.... and then don't sell it to anyone.  Might be some truth in that.
This may actually be the Westy 8... but go with it
So, the review.  In the glass, this quad pours a dark brown color, with a thick and lingering off white head. The aroma is an intoxicating mix of dark fruits, sweet malt, and Belgian yeast.  You could inhale this beer all day.  But even better than that would be actually drinking the beer, and when you do there are wonderful flavors of apple, raisin, and malt, with some caramel and spice in there as well.  Rich and complex, this beer definitely got even better as it warmed up a bit.  I'm probably not doing this beer justice, but trust me when I say that this is indeed an amazing, world class beer.

But is it the best ever?  I guess it all depends on your definition and what styles you prefer.  I've had more complex beers, I've had more flavorful beers, I've had more unusual beers.  All that being said, this is a very delicious beer, and the inability to get this beer easily definitely ratchets up the value.  However, I'll leave it up to you to decide if this is the best beer on earth when you drink one yourself.

As we leave this phase of the blog and move into the next phase, allow me to pause and again say thank you to you, the readers, who stopped by frequently, liked posts on Facebook, and every now and then would mention in person that you took our advice on a beer.  That means a lot.  And of course, thank you to Marci, my co-author, who had the crazy idea to launch this blog in the first place.  Been quite an adventure, and thank you for that.

Thing to Think About Today:

<This space intentionally left blank>

Friday, November 29, 2013

Mall of Honor

Beer #720 Ritterguts Gose / Brauhaus Hartmannsdorf, Hartmannsdorf, Germany
Previously from this brewery: N/A, this beer is the first out the limo

Hopefully you all survived the mall today.  Or, hopefully you realized there's this thing called the internet, and you can buy things there instead of getting into a knife fight over a parking spot at the mall.

Today's beer is an interesting pour; a Ritterguts Gose from Brauhaus Hartmannsdorf.  It has a dark gold hue, with virtually no head.  There is a light, light aroma of wheat and citrus, and when you drink it you get a tart, slightly funky taste.  Interesting that I noticed white grapes more than the salty qualities that are usually found in this style of beer.  Solid, easy drinking (4.2% ABV) choice, even if it likely won't be on tap frequently near you.

I didn't get a picture of this beer, so instead, I'll leave you with this picture of Goose from Top Gun, because that's close to Gose and I've been on a Top Gun kick lately.
Talk to me, Gose
This brewery may date back to 1887, but I don't speak German (unlike their website) so I can't confirm that.

Thing to Think About Today:
If you are at the mall today, good luck - and buy me something nice.  I leave you with one of my favorite gags from How I Met Your Mother, the episode where they find out Robin had a career as a teen pop idol back in Canada (sort of their version of Tiffany).  I leave you with the faux-video from her faux-hit song Let's Go To the Mall.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thank You

Beer #719 Blind Pig IPA / Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA
Previously from this brewery: some of the best beers on earth

An abbreviated list of things I'm thankful for:
1. A wonderful family - who cooks me Thanksgiving dinner :)
2. The understanding that while my life is far from perfect, there are many others out there who have things so, so much worse.
3. That you actually take time to read this silly blog.  I'm always floored when someone mentions a post they read, even though this site gets hundreds of visitors a day.
4. My new Rainbow Loom bracelet; I felt like the last kid at school to have one.
4. That I am loved.

Tonight's review is a pint of Blind Pig IPA from my all time favorite brewery, Russian River.  This beer has a golden amber color with a lingering thin white head.  Your nose picks up pleasing aromas of grapefruit and lemon, and your taste buds are greeted by ample resinous pine and grapefruit flavors, with a fantastic dry and bitter finish.  Is this one as good as fellow Russian River offerings Pliny the Elder, and the uber-white whale Pliny the Younger?  No, but this is still a world class beer that you should order whenever you spot it on tap.  And, unless you live on the West Coast, Colorado, or Philadelphia, that won't be happening.  Sorry.
Blindingly good
Thing to Think About Today:
Facebook will be loaded today with people saying, "thanks", so allow me to instead say, "Please."  Pass the mashed potatoes, U2.  I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving.

"So you never knew that the heaven you keep, you stole"

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve

Beer #718 Newcastle Brown Ale / Caledonian Brewing Company, Edinburgh, Scotland
Previously from this brewery: the others

Hustle day, so I'm keeping this short - and if I can be honest, probably not interesting.

Today's beer is a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale, which I think was left in the cooler at a tailgate.  Last season.  It pours with a dark amber color with a fluffy white head.  There are aromas of biscuit and malt, and flavors of caramel, sweet malt, and a hint of bitterness.  This beer is very easy drinking, and while there are certainly more flavorful or complex brown ales out there, this one holds up.
Back when there was sun in the world, unlike winter
It's almost odd to have a beer that comes out of a clear bottle, when you think about it.

Thing to Think About Today:
A brown ale... the day before Thanksgiving.... means you get Charlie Brown and the always magical Thanksgiving episode.  Should I have posted this tomorrow?  Probably, but time doesn't wait for awesome.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It Takes Two

Beer #717 Two Hearted / Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI 
Previously from this brewery: Oberon, another Oberon, and a Double Cream Stout

Tonight's beer is an old favorite; a bottle of Two Hearted Ale from Bell's.  This IPA has a clear, dark gold hue and a wispy white head.  There are big grapefruit aromas, with lemon and pine as well.  When you take a sip, you find a wondrous mix of tropical fruit citrus and dry, earthy pine, with enough malt to balance things out.  A mellow bitterness to let you know that this is an IPA, but not enough to kill your taste buds.  A Top 25 selection, for sure.  To be fair, that list is now well beyond 25 beers, but it's still a high honor.
Nothing fishy about that!
I suppose you should read Ernest Hemingway's Big Two Hearted River when drinking this beer, if you want to get all up in the theme.

Thing to Think About Today:
Bottle of Two Hearted?  Don't need two, just need one Heart in this space - the Heart with the timeless classic What About Love?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Heavenly Hellish

Beer #716 Hop Devil / Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA
Previously from this brewery: A metric ass ton of beers

I have bad posture when I sit and type.  I have no idea what prompted me to type this, other than the fact that I'm sitting here hunched over the computer like a 98 year old, hammering away at the keys without noticing that sitting like this makes my back hurt.  Sometimes, I'm not as intelligent as I think I am.

Now that I'm sitting like a normal human, tonight's beer will be another from the archive, a Hop Devil from Victory Brewing.  You see a light, clear copper color and a lingering white head.  Your nose finds a citrus and earthy aroma mix, and your taste buds pick up the flavors of lemon and pine, with a touch of malt, and a dry, bitter finish.  Just the way an American IPA should taste.
Hop to it
Thing to Think About Today:
Another beer with a devil connection tonight, and while I usually go for something from the dark side, tonight I'll look upwards instead.  Going to close with The New Pornographers and the thankfully not religious All the Things That Go To Make Heaven and Earth.  The sound isn't completely outstanding on this live video, but this is a band I desperately want to see live one day, so we'll go with it.  Night all....

"Our time reduced to an honorable mention"

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Beer #715 Landsknecht Bier / Furst Wallerstein Brauhaus, Wallerstein, Germany
Previously from this brewery: another Landsknecht

Another season in the books, which ended in a disappointing fashion.  I'm exhausted and drained and tired and only writing this as part of my civic duty.

This is another review from the archives, as I think I drank this last December.  It pours a dark mahogany shade with a thin off white head.  There's a nutty, earthy aroma, and the taste is dry, with a light toasted malt flavor, and almost even a hint of smoke.  Not a bad beer for the season, and definitely unique
Furst out the limo
Thing to Think About Today:
Landsknecht beer gets you some Swim Until You Can't See Land, from a favorite of mine, Frightened Rabbit.  A fantastic song, which I hope you enjoy.

"And if I hadn't come now to the coast to disappear
I may have died in a landslide of rocks and hopes and fears"

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wolf This One Down

Day #714 Werewolf / Caledonian Brewing Company, Edinburgh, Scotland
Previously from this brewery: two reviews of John Smith's Extra Smooth Ale

Game Day!

Today's review is a beer that was in the fridge for seemingly an eternity.  No clue where it came from or when it arrived.  I guess a beer from Newcastle isn't that cool and kept getting pushed to the back of the pack when I've had some of the rarest and most magnificent beers in the world over the past two years. That being said, Newcastle Brown Ale was one of the first "good" beers I started drinking when I realized there was more to beer than just "cold" or "less filling".

The Werewolf is a special edition red ale (blood red ale, according to the bottle) that has a dark amber hue, and a quickly dissipating white head.  Your nose finds aromas of toffee and malt, and there are flavors of bread, berries, and toffee, with a dry bitterness on the finish.  This beer isn't exactly outstanding, but is certainly drinkable if you're looking for something in the blood red ale genre.  And who isn't?
I'll call my wolf guy....
Thing to Think About Today:
I've already used the song Werewolves of London and the movie Teen Wolf in this space, thus using up two of my three favorite wolf motifs.  The third?  Duran Duran and Hungry Like the Wolf.  Ah, the 80s. Never not awesome.  Have a good Saturday, my friends..... go Penn State!

"I'm on the hunt I'm after you...."

Friday, November 22, 2013

Old and Cold

Day #713 Old Rasputin / North Coast Brewing Company, Fort Bragg, CA
Previously from this brewery:

Hustle day, as tomorrow is the last home game in the 2013 Penn State football season.  Hard to believe that we're closing out another season of football and tailgating; feels like it just started.  This season has definitely not gone according to plan, but I guess that's about par for the course.  I do hope the stadium is somewhat filled, and the seniors go out with a win.  They deserve it.  We all deserve a win.

Keeping up with the trend of old beers that spent a good, long time in the fridge and equally old reviews, today's offering is a bottle of Old Rasputin from North Coast.  Black hue with a fluffy tan head, aromas of roasted malt and coffee, and flavors of malt, chocolate, cola, and tons of roasted malt.  Smooth and silky texture, too.  Little too much coffee for me to be a fan, but I can appreciate that this is a well made beer.
From Russia, with suds
Thing to Think About Today:
Old Rasputin gets you the Four Tops, and Same Old Song.  Because nothing says "indestructible Russian mystic" like some smooth Motown.  Just enjoy and don't think about it too much.  Have a good Friday, all....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hands Up

Day #712 Milk Stout / Left Hand Brewing Company, Longmont, CO
Previously from this brewery: 400 Pound Monkey, another 400 Pound Monkey, a Milk Stout, and a Sawtooth Ale

So, today wasn't what I would call outstanding.  The nice people at General Motors made it a bit easier, if you call them paying for half of a new transmission easier.  Or, they could just build transmissions that don't break.  Maybe today will get better.  Or... you know, not.

The beer du jour is a glass of Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing; another beer that had first been in the fridge and then trapped in my notes for quite some time.  This one has a dark black color with a wispy tan head, and gives you aromas of lightly toasted malts.  When you take a sip there are notes of chocolate, toasted malt, oak, and a welcome sweetness.  Again, I don't often seek out stouts, but when I do, this one is a definite go to option.
With the appropriate glassware, even!
As always, Left Hand, I apologize for stealing this pint glass.  However, I did purchase a different pint glass, so therefore my guilt is relatively small.  Relatively.

Thing to Think About Today:
Left Hand Brewery, meet Jenny Lewis for some Handle With Care.  Night.

"Been beat up and battered 'round / Been sent up, and I've been shot down"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Milk Does a Body Good

Day #711 Dragon's Milk / New Holland Brewing Company, New Holland, MI
Previously from this brewery: a gaggle of beers

Another beer that was relegated to the shelf in the basement to age, where it spent a good, long time is this bottle of Dragon's Milk, a stout from blog favorite New Holland.  This beer has a black color with a wispy and quickly dissipating tan head.  When you inhale, you're greeted by intoxicating aromas of oak and vanilla. The taste is more of the same, with a delicious blend of oak, malt, vanilla, and hints of leather.  None of which is surprising considering this beer is aged in bourbon barrels. Can't argue with that!  It gives off a bit of a barleywine vibe, to be honest, and you definitely notice the boozy warmth of the 10% ABV.
The Dragon, or El Dragon
This one has a tiny little too much toasted malt to find a home in my regular rotation, but if you like bourbon, you'll probably like this beer.  If all stouts would be aged in bourbon barrels, stouts and I would get along much better.  I would highly recommend opening this one on a cold winter's night, preferably in front of a fire.

Thing to Think About Today:
Not a lot of music on my iPod that connects to dragons or milk, so I'll go with what something I'm not embarrassed to admit I enjoy, Kelis and her ass-shaking Milkshake.  Night all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 710: Odin's Tipple

I'm just going to leave this here. 
I like Pink way more than I probably should.

But you didn't come here for the music, you came for the beer. Today's beer is HaandBryggeriet's Odin's Tipple, a dark Norse ale. This particular one is one of only 3,500 bottles in Batch 507. I'm not sure how Odin's Tipple came to be in my house, but I'm glad it did.

It poured an almost black, brown shade with a rosy and deep cocoa color head. The color on this beer's head was remarkable. It smelled of cherry, wood and cola. The flavor is bright with a lingering hoppy aftertaste. It's a combination of fruity and roast coffee. I would also say that it was one of the most challenging beers I've had since starting Blog Named Brew. There was a lot going on with the flavor and the velvety texture definitely turned it into an extended, sipping experience.

Beer stats
Style: Russian imperial stout
ABV: 11%
IBUs: Unknown
Rating: Good

Previously reviewed from HaandBryggeriet
Another Odin's Tipple and Farewell Ale and Nissefar 

Monday, November 18, 2013

I Don't Want Lunch, I Want Breakfast

Day #709 Worthington's White Shield / William Worthington's Brewery, Burton Upon Trent, England
Previously from this brewery: Red Shield and Red Shield

Raise your hand if you came here tonight to hear me complain.

I can't see you, because you're reading this on the internet, but I'll just assume that you have your hand raised.

Today was an unmitigated disaster on many fronts - and it's not over yet.  The one bit of news that I'll share is that I've learned my car needs a new transmission, and this will run me much more than I care to spend. As I've already replaced the problematic transmission part before, I'm currently in negotiations (read: getting ready to scream) with General Motors to have them pay for the repairs.  And the cost of my bitchin' Hyundai rental car. I'll keep you posted.  Or, just open your window... you might be able to hear my cursing and yelling from your house.  Dammit.

Tonight's beer is another old one from the beer collection, a bottle of Worthington's White Shield.  I have no idea where this bottle came from or when it was acquired, but the label suggests that it is bottle conditioned, and can be aged for up to three years.  Good, as it was in the fridge for a while.  In the glass, this beer has a bright, clear copper hue with a lingering creamy white top.  Very good looking beer.  There are aromas of biscuits and bread and sweet malt, and there's a nice flavor mix of caramel, toffee, and bread, with a touch of hop bitterness on the finish.  This is a British made India Pale Ale, so there's not the hop overkill that you find in American made IPAs.  A rather tasty beer, I'd say, almost more like an ESB than an India Pale Ale.

I'm not entirely sure who brews this one; I've seen references to William Worthington's Brewery, Museum Brewing, and White Shield Brewery.  Ultimately, no matter what you call this brewery, it's owned by corporate giant MolsonCoors, purveyor of crappy beers and big profits.

Thing to Think About Today:
Whenever customer service doesn't live up to their end of the bargain, I reflect back on an old scene from the movie Falling Down, where Michael Douglas' character goes off the deep end a tiny bit when he finds out that he missed breakfast at his favorite fast food location.  He just wants some breakfast.

I can appreciate that.  I just want a car that works, General Motors.  That's all.  The customer is always right.....

"I don't want to be your buddy, Rick.  I just want a little breakfast."

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Beer #708 PranQster / North Coast Brewing Company, Fort Bragg, CA
Previously from this brewery:  yes, indeed

Today started early and is ending later than I wanted, with a free tow truck ride in the middle (thanks, car!). Let's just pretend today didn't entirely happen and just talk about beer, okay?


Tonight's pour is a bottle of PranQster, a Belgian pale ale from North Coast Brewing.  You see a dark gold color with next to no head, and you pick up aromas of banana and clove.  When you take a sip, you get fruit esters, banana, some light clove, and mild peppery spice on the finish.  Really enjoyable beer, and well worth your effort if you see it on a shelf or tap handle near you.
No pranks
Thing to Think About Today:
Short and sweet.  Tom Petty, Breakdown, in honor of my car and its ever so finicky transmission.  Fitting. See you soon.... although hopefully I see my car again sooner.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mai, Mai

Beer #707 Mai-Ur-Bock /  Einbeker Brauhaus, Einbeck, Germany
Previously from this brewery: another Mai-Ur-Bock

Another one from the archives as it's the second to last PSU home game today!  This one is a bottle of Mai-Ur-Bock, a maibock beer from Einbecker Brauhaus.  In the glass, you get a bright copper color and a rather fluffy white head.  There are pleasing aromas of malt and honey, and the taste gives you a solid mix of caramel, sweet malt, toffee, and raisin.  Not a bad beer, although I tend not to gravitate towards beers like this when ordering from a beer menu.  I would have another one of these, however.
Ich bin ein bier!
Thing to Think About Today:
Hall and Oates.  Heard some Hall and Oates recently, so I figured I'd share that wonderfulness with you all here in this space.  Enjoy your Saturday just a bit more now that you've heard You Make My Dreams Come True

Friday, November 15, 2013


Beer #706 Cabin Fever / New Holland Brewing Company, New Holland, MI
Previously from this brewery: a whole gaggle of delicious beers

Hustle day; on the road to State College for one of the last two home games.  Is it wrong I wish it was colder?  I do somehow enjoy those bone-chilling cold days in the parking lot....

So, that means a beer review, and up to bat is a bottle of Cabin Fever from New Holland Brewing.  Out of the bottle, this beer has a dark brown hue and a big toasted malt aroma.  Uh oh.

When I took a sip, I was hit with toasted, burnt, and roasted malt flavors..... none of which I enjoy in a beer. Crud.  If I close my eyes, this one tastes more like a porter or a stout than a brown ale.  Brown ales are usually something I enjoy - the brown ale from Tommyknocker Brewery is fantastic, for example.  However, this one was not something I liked or would try again.  But, if those flavors are your thing, feel free to grab one of these.
Not feverish about this one
Thing to Think About Today:
Beer with cabin in the name means you get something about a home.  So, that means Home, from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Galaxy of Stars

Beer #705 Galaxy White IPA / Anchorage Brewing Company, Anchorage, AL
Previously from this brewery:  Love Buzz Saison, and my 366 Challenge 'Beer of the Year' award winner, Bitter Monk

Tonight's review is a beer I purchased a while back, a bottle of Galaxy White IPA from Anchorage Brewing Company.  After the cork nearly exploded out of the bottle, this beer showed off an dark straw color with a monstrous, lingering white head.  Like being back in Belgium, only I didn't need a passport. Your nose finds a somewhat tart aroma of citrus fruit, and there are ample flavors of lemon and orange citrus and some mild earthy oak, along with a pleasing tartness (this beer is brewed with Brettanomyces).  It has a dry, peppery spice on the finish.  My brain is a bit fried, so forgive me if I'm not properly conveying just how incredibly delicious this beer tastes.  This gets a Top 25 spot, without a doubt.
The stars are out
I'm not going to say how much I paid for this case of beer, but let's say that I could have bought this case or six cases of Miller Lite 30 packs.  I chose wisely.

Thing to Think About Today:
Keeping it simple here tonight - with a beer from the galaxies, I wish you a good evening with some Across the Universe; this version of the classic Beatles song is from the soulful Rufus Wainright.

"Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Beer #704 Benediktiner Weissbier / Klosterbrauerei Ettal
Previously from this brewery: N/A, this beer is the first out the limo

It's a hustle day, so you get some hustle.  Today's beer was an old pour of Benediktiner, a hefeweizen from Klausterbrauerei Ettal in Germany.  In the glass, you get a hazy amber with a fluffy white head.  There are ample aromas of banana and yeast, and when you take a sip, you get an almost carbonated feel, and flavors of banana, clove, a fair amount of spice and biscuit.  Rather nice, particularly if you like hefeweizens.  And I do like them, even if I don't order them all that often.
Borrowed photo; mine lost to the sands of time.
This beer has roots that go back to a Benedictine order of monks who brewed beer; it appears they're still involved in production.  Sweet.

Thing to Think About Today:
I mentioned them in my post last night, and I'll go ahead and delight you with The Jayhawks in this space. Further proof of my fondness for country music (that is, the non-pickup truck or macro beer version, of course).  We close with Ten Little Kids.  Night, all.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hand, Snow, Drugs. Got It?

Day #703 Odin's Tipple / HaandBryggeriet, Drammen, Norway
Previously from this brewery:

The surprisingly cold weather today made me reflect upon the fact that I have very few talents.  However, one on the incredibly short list is my ability to make chili.  Honestly, it's fantastic.  With the winter apparently now upon us, chili may be upon us soon.
Isn't that the truth?
With winter upon us, I reach into my bag of tricks and give you an old pour, a bottle of Odin's Tipple from HaandBryggereit in Norway.  This was a birthday gift, and allow me to remind you that beer makes the perfect gift.  In the the glass, this beer has a dark brown hue, and when you inhale you find coffee.  Uh oh...

Upon taking a sip, you find burnt, toasted, and roasted.  Um, not words I'm usually looking for in my beer. There's malt and chocolate in there somewhere, if I think about it hard enough, but probably not enough. This one probably belongs in a coffee mug, or at least drank in the middle of a massive snow storm.  Brace yourself... they're coming.
Hammer of the Gods
Hops don't really grow in Norway, but they do use many local ingredients in their brews. The brewery opened in 2005, and Norway seems like an awesome place to go visit.  Add it to the list...

Thing to Think About Today:
Tempted to put some The Jayhawks in here, as I've been listening to a lot of their music lately (and I do love some alt-country), tempted to put some some New Pornographers in here and play some Hey Snow White, due to me talking about snow.  However, I'll keep my alt-country and hipster motif in motion while combining an element of the brewery name and present you with Wilco and Handshake Drugs.  Off to eat. Night all.

"Exactly what do you want me to be?"

Monday, November 11, 2013


Day #702 Tucher Helles Hefeweizen / Brauerei Tucher Brau, Nurnberg, Germany
Previously from this brewery: Hefeweizen

Another blast from the past review, as I didn't get a chance to eat lunch yet, and not really feeling like today is a good day for liquid dinner.  So you get a glass of Tucher Helles Hefeweisen, which pours a cloudy pale yellow with a lingering head.  There are aromas of lemon and bread, and the taste has notes of biscuit, wheat, orange, and some light banana.  This isn't a beer that really stands out from the crowd, but it is perfectly drinkable.

My photo is mysteriously lost in space.  So, you get this stock footage:
The Good "Tuch"
Thing to Think About Today:
A song that popped up on the iPod, and provides a nice mellow background for the evening.  The immensely talented Ben Folds and Landed.  Makes me wish I still played the cello.  Night, all...

And I've been flying high all night / So come pick me up, I've landed"

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blast from the Past

Beer #701 Jever Pilsener / Friesisches Brauhaus zu Jever, Jever, Germany
Previously from this brewery: another Jever Pils

I have buried in a folder draft notes on beers I drank last year.  I had some extras stashed away as we raced to the finish line of the 366 challenge, and then moved to a review every other day model, so I never needed to dip into my supply.  I'll go ahead and break one out now, a bottle of Jever Pilsner that I drank in November.  That's November of 2012, for those keeping score at home.

It poured a crystal clear pale gold, with aromas of grain and barley.  The taste is simple and clean, with notes of grass, grain, and barley.  It's an easy drinking beer, really.  But not much there....
Pics from the past
Thing to Think About Today:
With a picture of a beer from 2012, I thought of Mitch Hedberg, a deceased comedian (unfortunately!) who one had a joke, and I'm paraphrasing, "Someone showed me a picture and said, 'here's a picture of me when I was younger.'  Isn't every picture a picture of you from when you were younger?"

And that about sums up Mitch Hedberg's sense of humor.  Watch some more, if you will.... laugh, please.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Goose is Loose

Day #700 Pere Jacques 2012 / Goose Island Beer Company, Chicago, IL
Previously from this brewery: the others

Today is a Penn State game day, so let's all hope that goes well.  Your beer for the day is a bottle of Pere Jacque 2012 from Goose Island that's been sitting in the fridge for a year or so.  This Belgian style ale poured into a tulip glass a honey brown color, with no head.  There are welcoming aromas of yeast and cherry, and when you imbibe you pick up flavors of sweet malt, bread, apple, dried cherries, and light notes of honey.  From the bottle, you learn that this beer develops well for up to five years, further dispelling the notion that you need to drink beer quickly after it is made.  Good beers are like wine in that they grow and evolve over time, and this one is more than just "good."
That's French for "tasty"
Thing to Think About Today:
If Goose Island is up for review, we're going to pay homage to one of the great film roles of all time, from one of the greatest movies of all time:  Goose, from Top Gun.

Played brilliantly by Anthony Edwards, Goose was Maverick's wing man extraordinaire, even when it came to picking up ladies in the bar - hence, where today's common usage of the word wing man truly originated. And if we're talking about Anthony Edwards, let's give him credit for also being amazing in another "greatest of all time" movie, Revenge of the Nerds, and one of the best tv shows of all time, ER.  My man brings his A game.

You know, I can't even begin to tell you how many women I've picked up in bars by finding a random microphone and then getting the entire bar to join in a sing-along serenade.  Too many to count, really.  So, Goose and Mav (and the rest of the bar), take it away....

"Don't worry, I'll take care of this....."

Friday, November 8, 2013

We Can Be Heroes

Day #699 Anti-Hero / Revolution Brewing Company, Chicago, IL
Previously from this brewery: N/A, this beer is the first out the limo

It's another Friday, and that means you get a beer review.  Tonight's offering is a can of Anti-Hero, an IPA from Revolution Brewing.  This was another beer acquired in a beer trade with a co-worker.  In the glass, this beer pours a dark copper color, with a dissipating white head.  There's a pleasant orange citrus aroma, and when you take a drink you find a dry bitterness, with ample lemon and orange citrus, with some floral notes, pine, and malt in there as well.  Somewhat light for an IPA, but the citrus flavor actually makes this a really enjoyable beer.  Definitely check this one out if you find it near you.
Anti good photo
Maybe this is a sign of the craft beer explosion, but there is another Revolution out there; the previously reviewed Revolution Cider. Only so many names to go around, I guess.

Thing to Think About Today:
Would you think less of me if I said that the first thing that popped into my head when thinking of what to write here was Hero, by Enrique Iglesias?  Well, if you didn't think less of me, you probably should. So, instead of dropping that here, I'll go in a different direction, and leave you with The Greatest American Hero, an old sitcom about (as best I can remember; this came on when I was like 8) a teacher who gets a superhero suit that gives him amazing powers, but unfortunately he doesn't know exactly how to use them. For example, the suit allowed him to fly, but he didn't know how to land.  Hey, it was the 80s, people did a lot of drugs.  Plus, it had this totall badass theme song, which I absolutely have in my iPod.  Good day, all.

"Who could it be? / Believe it or not, it's just me"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 698: North Coast Pranqster

That is the North Coast Pranqster, a Belgian style golden ale. It pours a nice, bright gold color with very little to no head. It smells of bread dough but not much else. (Not sure if that's the beer's fault. I'm suffering some major allergies right now.) The flavor is grassy with a fizzy, yeasty tang. It has a big, round mouthfeel. There's also a good amount of pepper with hints of lemon. I wish there was another one waiting for me in the fridge tonight.

Beer stats
Style: Belgian style golden ale
ABV: 7.56%
IBUs: 20
Rating: Great

Previously reviewed from North Coast
Brother Thelonius (abbey ale)
Scrimshaw review from me and a Scrimshaw from the Mr. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Heads and Head's

Beer #697  Head Hunter IPA / Fat Head's Brewery, North Olmstead, OH
Previously from this brewery: Bumble Berry, Head Hunter

Today's beer was a gift from a fellow beer geek and co-worker; a bottle of Head Hunter from Fat Head's Brewery in Ohio.  This beer shows off a deep gold color and a persistent white head.  There's an aroma of resinous pine and grapefruit, and when you take a sip, you get a big dose of hop bitterness, with ample pine, lemon, and grapefruit and a dry finish.  Perfect beer for the hop lovers out there in the world.  Should you find yourself in Ohio (and let's face it; I hope you don't have to go to Ohio any time soon), you should definitely track this beer down.  And then leave Ohio.
Thing to Think About Today:
With Fat Head in mind, that means you get one of my all time favorite bands,Talking Heads!  I love this group due to their funky, intelligent, artistic songs, which always sound better when played at loud volumes, preferably on a warm summer day with the windows rolled down. We'll close things out tonight with a live rendition of Girlfriend Is Better.  In the words of David Byrne himself, "Nothing is better than that."  Good night, all.....

"As we get older and stop making sense"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 696: Bell's Double Cream Stout

It's after nine o'clock and I just finished working. I've got nothing left for you folks.

I was trying some artsy-fartsy angle. Yeah. So there's that.
That's a Bell's Beer Special Double Cream Stout. It pours a deep, dark brown with an off-white head. There was tons of sticky lacing left behind. It had a very light smell of roasted malts. The flavor had a little cola, lots of coffee and barely any hops.

Beer stats
Style: Double cream stout
ABV: 6.1%
IBUs: Unknown
Rating: Good

Previously reviewed from Bell's
Nothing says summer like an Oberon
More Oberon

Monday, November 4, 2013

Quick Draw

Day #695 Quick Wit / Fort George Brewery, Atoria, OR
Previously from this brewery: Marci's take on Quick Wit

Up for your reading pleasure is Quick Wit, a "Belgianesque" ale from Fort George Brewery in Oregon. In the glass, this beer is an orange sort of amber, with no head to speak of.  The aroma gives you a floral, malt sweetness vibe, and when you take a sip you pick up notes of orange rind, wheat, and a floral quality.  Not much hops in this wheat beer.  Because I like this beer I think I should let you know this beer can is the worst color can I've ever seen; sort of a mauve thing, which isn't the least bit attractive. However, there were brain teasers on the can, so I am smarter for having drank this beer!
Quick and painless
Fort George is another in the growing line-up of breweries who only distributes in cans (or kegs), rather than glass bottles.  You know you like it in the can, so this is a good thing.

Thing to Think About Today:
This brewery is in Astoria, OR, and that's important because the classic 80s film The Goonies was filmed there.  Without any further adieu, take yourself back in time, and enjoy some "Truffle Shuffle", and to keep things interesting, I give you the dubstep remix.  Just because.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

This is Bananas

Day #694 Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Ale / Rogue Ales, Newport, OR
Previously from this brewery:  Plenty

Up for review today is a beer I had a small sample of, the Voodoo Doughnut from Rogue.  This beer pairs two Portland institutions, Rogue and Voodoo Doughnut, famous for their works of art in doughnut form. Last year, Rogue produced a bacon maple ale, which I avoided as all the beer geeks I talk to told me it was incredibly smoky, which is not a phrase I use to describe beer I enjoy.  This year, with chocolate, peanut butter, and banana on the ingredients list, it seemed more my speed.

The beer poured with a mahogany color and wispy tan head, with a light chocolate aroma.  The beer itself was very thin, with some toasted malt flavor, some chocolate, some cocoa, some sweetness.  But not much of anything, to be honest.  This was a beer better in theory than in execution.
Voodoo Doll
This beer pays homage to Voodoo's "Memphis Mafia" doughnut; I can vouch that this is a delicious, if wildly unhealthy, doughnut.  Shame it didn't work out for the beer.

Thing to Think About Today:
With doughnuts on the mind, I present some Mike Doughty, with an acoustic version of Janine.  Youtube not cooperating, so just click the link.  Good night, friends.  See you soon.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 693: Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey

I'll be spending the day drinking all the beers at TJ's and watching Penn State football and then whatever other football I happen to find. So let's get the beer review out of the way.

That's the 400 Pound Monkey from Left Hand Brewing. It's an English style India pale ale brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain. It poured a bright amber color with a medium but quick to disappear cream color head. It smells of caramel, good bread and lightly of hops. The flavor is full of orange, candi sugar with a solid hop bite. There's also some green grassy notes and it is very well balanced.

Speaking of the mighty St. Vrain, it flooded last month as a result of some monsoon-like rains in Colorado. Tons of damage was done but it appears that most of my favorite Colorado craft brewers were spared. Unfortunately many, many residents, other businesses and the parks were not spared. Left Hand Brewing has a little fundraiser going here and you can also support the relief efforts through the Longmont Community Foundation. Personally I've stepped up my consumption of Colorado beers.

Beer stats
Style: India pale ale
ABV: 6.8%
IBUs: Unknown
Rating: Great
Previously reviewed from Left Hand
Another 400 Pound Monkey review, one of my favorite milk stouts, and Saw Tooth Ale

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 692: Bohemia Pilsen

I should be in State College for the PSU vs. Illinois game, but I'm not and it blows. In light of my shitty situation, I give you a shitty beer review.

It's the Bohemia Cerveja Pilsen--a pilsener from Brazil. It poured a bright, clear gold color with a medium white head. It has lots of grains in the aroma with some grassy hops. The flavor is exactly what I think of when I drink mass produced beers. Sweet. Grainy. A little watery. White Bread. None of those are compliments.

Beer stats
Style: Pilsener
ABV: 5%
IBUs: Unknown
Rating: Poor

Previously reviewed from Bohemia

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Handing Out Beer for Halloween

Day #691 Rubaeus / Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapid, MI
Previously from this brewery:  All the beers

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Tonight I'll likely be hiding in the dark as parents bus in kids from other neighborhoods to beg for candy.  Maybe because I grew up in a house filled with candy (Mom worked for Hershey), or maybe because my parents didn't parade me around to strangers' houses each year, or maybe something else I'm not even thinking of, but mostly I don't get into trick or treating.  I just don't get why hundreds of kids hit my neighborhood each year, when clearly NONE of them live anywhere near here.  All for a miniature Kit-Kat bar.  Doesn't make sense.

This being said, I do in fact love Halloween.  It's a night to be creative, to put on a costume and become something you're not, even if it's only for a night (pro tip: I dress up like a pimp every time a costume is needed).  Plus, it comes in the middle of fall, my favorite season of the year.  Really, I love everything about Halloween... except teenagers ringing the doorbell at 9pm and making the dogs freak out, so that they can get some high fructose corn syrup.

Rant over, on to the beer, which is a bottle of Rubaeus, a raspberry ale from Founders.  In the glass, it looks like cranberry juice with a lingering white head.  There are aromas of (wait for it...) raspberry, and when you take a sip you get (wait for it.... wait for it... ) sweet and tart raspberry.  You also get some malt, but mostly pure, summery raspberry.  It's sweet, but has a good natural flavor, and would best be enjoyed on a warm summer day.  Not on par with a legendary beer like the raspberry from New Glarus, but good just the same.
Raspberry all day
This is a seasonal release beer, so you likely may have missed your chance to find this on the shelves.

Thing to Think About Today:
How about a guy who looks like he's dressed up in a Halloween costumes and then you realize that no, he's just wearing a yellow suit with the ass cut out because that's how he rolls.  Yep, I'm thinking about Prince, and with the beer in mind I'm thinking about some Raspberry Beret. However, apparently the Purple One doesn't like Youtube, so there are no Prince clips.  However, I can fix that.  How about the Somerville Ukulele Club and their (wait for it) ukulele-centric cover?  Not good enough?  I also provide John Mayer covering this song, because that's how I roll.  Take that, Prince.

(There are other JM versions with the full song, but they're all really awful videos)

"If I had the chance to do it all again / I wouldn't change a stroke
Cause baby I'm the most / With a girl as fine as she was then"