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Showing posts from November, 2012

11-28-12 Blogshare

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping on by!  In this week's blogshare, we've got some beer news, a few beer reviews, and a trip up to Buffalo to the newly opened Community Beer Works!
Big news this week comes from Chicago, where it was announced that John Laffler, the brewer in charge of Goose Island's barrel aged program, is leaving Goose Island to start a new brewery in Chicago, named Off Color Brewing.  This is right after Goose Island CEO John Hall announced his departure, being replaced by longtime Anheuser Busch employee Andy Goeler.  Here's the article from the Chicago Tribune.
Keith from Brew/Drink/Run posted a very informative article about some great Russian Imperial Stouts that you won't have to spend an arm and a leg to find.
Bob from The Beer Circle visited Community Beer Works in Buffalo, NY, and reviewed a barleywine they make that is brewed with Brettanomyces.
Sierra Nevada Narwhal, an imperial stout, was reviewed by Drink. Blog. Repeat.
And last but…

Founders Porter

Evening everyone!  Earlier today, Kerry and I went to a dine-in movie theater for the first time (we saw that new Twilight movie).  The experience was definitely unique.  We bought our tickets on Fandango's website, where you actually get to choose which seats you want to buy tickets for (you can see which seats are available and taken, so you can try to find the most comfortable and spacious seats).  For a matinee, the tickets were $6 each, plus a Fandango "convenience charge."  When you get to the theater and find your seat, there's a menu (fairly extensive for a movie theater) you can order food from.  We got mozzarella sticks, thai chicken fingers, and 2 unsweetened iced teas, which ran us around $30.  It didn't help that the unsweetened iced teas were $4.50 each!  We should have just got tap water!
The only part of the experience I really didn't enjoy was getting our food in the dark, which made it difficult to see, and therefore, share.  I guess if we …

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend!  Tonight I am drinking Heart of Darkness, a stout from Magic Hat Brewing Company.  Located in South Burlington, VT, Magic Hat has been part of North American Breweries since 2010.  N.A. Breweries owns such brands/breweries as Genesee, Pyramid, Dundee Ales and Lagers, and Original Honey Brown.  Last month, there was major news when N.A. Breweries was sold to Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A., which in itself is a subsidiary of Florida Ice and Farm Company, S.A.  So it seems that Magic Hat is now owned by a Costa Rican company, for whatever that matters.  Let's see how this beer tastes! Heart of Darkness Magic Hat Brewing Company 5.7% ABV Best By:  Unknown Heart of Darkness pours black with a finger width light tan head.  The head leaves a nice web-like lacing on the glass.  It smells of roasted malt and coffee, tobacco, and even soy sauce.  Upfront, this stout gives off flavors of roasted malts and a slight smokiness.  It leaves a stale choc…

Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale

Hey all!  I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, and are now ready to make the transition into the winter months.  Tonight I'm highlighting a beer from NJ's Flying Fish Brewing Company.  Flying Fish recently completed a move into an old building in Somerdale, NJ, not too far from where they were previously located in Cherry Hill.  They are aiming to make their new brewery as green as possible, and are also promising some new beers to be released once they're settled in.  I, for one, will be looking forward to that! Extra Pale Ale Flying Fish Brewing Company 5.2% ABV 11.2 IBUs Best by:  ??  (There was an area on the label for a best by date, but it was blank) Random Tidbit:  According to Flying Fish's website, the Extra Pale Ale is the best-selling local craft beer at the Philadelphia Phillies ballpark. Extra Pale Ale pours a golden/straw color with a one and a half finger head.  Lacing starts off pleasant, but as I drink this beer, it becomes spotty.  There is only minim…

Thanksgiving Eve 11-21-12 Blogshare

Hey everyone!  I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!  I hope you will enjoy these blog posts and links from around the beer community!

 Jon over at 10th Day Brewing interviews beer writer/tv star/jack-of-all-trades Lew Bryson

Andy Crouch, the Beer Scribe, writes about the importance of the craft beer "middle class"

Home Brew Manual gives tips on how to learn and taste the flavor profiles of all the different malts available for the home and/or professional brewer, as this will aid you in beer recipe formulation

Oh Beautiful Beer has some fantastic photos of Hangar 24 Craft Brewery's packaging

Here's a review of Lagunitas Brewing Brown Shugga' from Whoisbrew

Thanks for reading and supporting these great blogs!

Insights into Strong Ales, Barleywines Old Ales and the Double IPA

The other day I was drinking Stone's Double Bastard Ale, an American strong ale, and I realized I didn't have the greatest understanding of the differences between strong ales, barleywines, old ales and, to a lesser extent, double IPAs. In my mind, they were always kind of grouped into the group of beers that have lots of hops, lots of malt and lots of alcohol! I decided to do some research into the real differences between these beers.

To the best of my knowledge, there are two main organizations which provide beer style guidelines. The Brewer's Association (BA) provides style guidelines "as a reference for brewers and beer competition organizers."  The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) uses a similar set of guidelines, but there are some differences from the BA's guidelines.  For my purposes they are similar enough, so I am going to use the BA style guidelines for my comparison.

The first think I noticed while looking at the BA style guidelines (wh…

River Horse Special Ale

Hope you all had a great weekend!  I'm extremely excited for the upcoming 3 day work week and Thanksgiving.  Can't wait for the time off of work, and for the time with family.  I hope you all enjoy your holiday!

 Tonight I am enjoying Special Ale, An American Amber from the local to me River Horse Brewing Company.  River Horse is located in an old cracker factory in the picturesque Lambertville, NJ.
 River Horse Special Ale is an easy drinking amber ale that isn't going to blow you away and it isn't going to overwhelm you.  That's not it's purpose.  It pours a nice amber color with a fluffy white head.  Smells of sweet caramel, and tastes the same.  Goes down easy, and is a great beer to eat with your burger at a barbecue or while watching the game.  It's job is to be "drinkable", and it does it's job damn well.  Get some for your next gathering and let me know what you think!  6/10

Have you had River Horse Special Ale?  What did you think?  …

Stone Brewing Double Bastard

Hey everyone, I don't know about you, but I am super glad this weekend is finally here!  To celebrate the weekend, tonight I am drinking Stone's Double Bastard Ale.  Stone's Arrogant Bastard is great, and according to The Craft of Stone Brewing Co., the Double Bastard is an "amped up" version of Arrogant Bastard.  I am definitely expecting this to be intense!

11.2% ABV
Category:  American Strong Ale
Double Bastard pours deep amber in color, with a 1/2 finger width white head that sticks around while drinking.  Very nice lacing is left on the glass as I consume this monster of a beer.  The nose of Double Bastard is all hops, full of the typical citrus and pine aromas.  At this point, it could be just about any West Coast IPA.  Here's where it takes a huge turn.  Sipping this beer, I get a brief, sweet, nutty caramel flavor.  This is immediately followed by an onslaught of hop bitterness which just sticks to the sides of my mouth.  Tons of malt, tons of hops.…

Atlantic Brewing Company Brother Adam's Bragget

Winter is coming, and not just in Westeros.  When it gets to the point where it's dark out when I leave work and I have to wear my coat everyday, it's time to break out the bigger beers.  Barleywines, imperial stouts, tripels and quads, Belgian strong ales.  These are collectively my, and I'm sure a lot of yours, favorite styles of beer.
 Tonight I'm drinking another beer by Atlantic Brewing Company.  Their Brother Adam's Bragget sounded like just the right thing for tonight.  From the bottle, it's a barleywine style honey ale, brewed with Maine honey.  Brother Adam sounded like a pretty awesome beer wrangler, just check out his wiki page!  I bought this beer from the brewery itself while I was in Maine, and it was a bottle from 2010.
Brewery:  Atlantic Brewing Company
Beer:  Brother Adam's Bragget (2010)
ABV:  11.8% (from Untappd/BeerAdvocate)

Brother Adam's Bragget poured a reddish-brown color, with a tiny head that dissipated immediately.  Rising bubbl…

11/14/12 Blogshare

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I haven't had many beer or brewery reviews recently, but here are some beer articles for some good reading!

 Jim from the Beer and Whiskey Brothers talked with Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, and the topic of barrel aged beers came up.  Was Samuel Adams really the first?

Lyrics, Libations, and Life gives a stellar review of Maine Beer Co. Peeper Ale.

Wales blogger Brew Wales recounts a trip through Somersetshire and Dorsetshire, visiting some pubs, a cider/brandy company, and has a lot of great pics to go along!

That's all for this week folks!  I'm hoping to have another review up today or tomorrow...

New Star Wars and Cricket Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine

So it's official.  There will be a Star Wars Episode VII, and the screenplay will be written by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3).  As a long time Star Wars fan, even though I was for the most part disappointed with the prequels, I can't help but feel excited and a little giddy.  I don't think the timeline has been officially announced, but since they're calling it Episode VII, I am assuming it will take place after the events in Return of the Jedi.  There are many directions Disney/Lucasfilm can take, either starting up right after Return of the Jedi, or going farther into the future.  Either way, it will definitely be interesting to see how everything pans out.

Tonight I am drinking a bourbon-barrel aged barleywine from Cricket Hill Brewery.  There is no stamp on the bottle of when it was bottled, so I'm not really sure how old this barleywine is.  There is also no listed %ABV on the bottle.
It poured a reddish brown color with almost no head.  …

Maine Beer Company Mean Old Tom

Today is International Stout Day.  It is one of the new beer "holidays", each celebrating a style of beer.  The most popular of these "holidays" is IPA Day, which passed not long ago (August 2).  There is also Session Beer Day (April 7) and the less well known Sour Beer Day (September 8).  To celebrate International Stout Day, many bars will be tapping some special stout offerings.  Also, everyone's favorite beer check-in service, Untappd, offers a badge for checking in a stout on International Stout Day (if you're into that sort of thing).

Before I knew that Maine Beer Company was beginning to distribute their beer to NJ, I picked up their Mean Old Tom at a liquor store in Bar Harbor, ME.  Yesterday, I had a post on Maine Beer Co.'s Zoe.  Zoe was a great hoppy, amber ale that left me wanting to try more from Maine Beer Co.!  Without further ado, here is my take on Mean Old Tom!  Enjoy International Stout Day everyone!

Bottling Date:  08-10-12
Maine Bee…

Maine Beer Company Zoe

Around a month ago, Maine Beer Company expanded their distribution into NJ.  Beer fans were excited over this, since besides being known for their simple, to the point labels, they are known for making some great beer.  I came across their beer Zoe in my local Wegmans.  I think it was maybe $7 for a 1 pint .9 fl oz bottle.

Another great thing about Maine Beer Co., 1% of their sales is donated to environmental non-profits.  Specifically for sales from Zoe, they donate to Allied Whale, a non-profit who uses their funds to study marine mammals.
Bottled on:  09-30-12
Drink by:  12-30-12
Style:  According to Maine Beer Co., a happy, hoppy, amber ale

Zoe poured a dark amber color, almost brown, with a huge head.  As the head lessened, it left some great lacing on the glass.  Zoe has a nice aroma of a mixture of pine resin and citrus fruits, especially grapefruit.  The taste was full of sticky, piney hops, but balanced by a toffee flavor from the malt.  As the beer warms up, the malts reall…

11/7/12 Blogshare

Hey everyone!  It's been a crazy two weeks here in central NJ.  Hurricane Sandy came and went, and NJ is still recovering, and will be for quite some time.  Luckily, Kerry and I came out unscathed, and only lost our power for around 5 days.  Needless to say, blogging was the last thing on my mind.  I haven't reviewed any beers in awhile, but I did come across some great reviews by some other fellow beer bloggers, and a nice infographic from the team over at The Brew Gentlemen, who just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign!

Kaedrin Beer Blog reviews Ommegang's Scythe & Sickle, their fall seasonal this year.  I've been wanting to try this beer for quite some time!

The Barley Blog gives a review on an oft forgotten American classic, Anchor Brewing Porter.

The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. is a brewery in the early phases of development, located in Braddock, PA, which is just outside Pittsburgh.  They just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising more than $3…