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Showing posts from February, 2013

Yankee IPA Brewday

One year is much too long to go without homebrewing.  I was excited to get a gift certificate for Christmas this year from my father-in-law for Keystone Homebrew Supply.  I had brewed several batches from extract syrup in the past, and had been hoping to make the jump to all-grain this time, but due to lack of prepping, I went with another extract batch.  Keystone Homebrew has tons of kits that they put together themselves, and I've had good luck with them in the past, so I picked up one of their Yankee IPA kits.  Its style is American IPA, and it is my first IPA homebrew!
7 lb. Briess Golden Light Dried Malt Extract (DME) 3/4 lb. Briess Crystal Malt 20L 1/4 lb. Dingemanns Aromatic Malt
1.0 oz. Magnum Hops (Bittering) 0.5 oz. Amarillo Hops (Flavoring) 0.5 oz. Centennial Hops (Flavoring) 0.5 oz. Amarillo Hops (Finishing) 0.5 oz. Centennial Hops (Finishing) 1.0 oz. Columbus Hops (Finishing)
Steeped specialty malt in 1 gallon water between 150F and 160F for 30 minutes. Added …

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

Hey everyone!  Thanks for coming by the blog.  I hope you all had a great weekend!  Kerry and I were shopping in PA over the weekend, and while we were there we picked up some beer that we can't get in NJ.  I was excited to find some cans of Cigar City Brewing Jai Alai IPA, a beer I tasted a year and a half ago while Kerry and I were on our honeymoon in Florida!  From Cigar City's website, I learned that Jai Alai is a Spanish game that sounds awfully like lacrosse.  It apparently used to be popular in the Tampa, FL area, but not anymore.  Let's dig into this IPA!

Jai Alai IPA Cigar City Brewing American IPA 7.5% ABV 70 IBUs Canned on Dec 27, 2012 12 oz can poured into Dogfish signature glass

Cigar City's Jai Alai IPA pours cloudy and dark orange in color with a one finger width white head.  There is lots of floating precipitate present, so I am guessing this IPA is unfiltered.  The aroma is full of citrus.  I can pinpoint aromas similar to grapefruit, lemon, mango and pine.…

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale (2013)

Hey everyone, glad you could make it!  Tonight I am going to try a different style of barleywine than the Brooklyn Monster I had last night.  Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale is an American barleywine, and can be expected to have the hops kicked up to another level.  Bigfoot Ale is part of Sierra Nevada's High Altitude line of beers and is released every winter.  Let's check it out! Bigfoot Ale (2013) Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Barleywine Style Ale 9.6% ABV 90 IBUs 12 oz bottle poured into my Victory Brewing tulip glass

 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot pours a deep copper color with red hues.  It has a two finger width off-white head, and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.  The aroma explodes with grapefruit and pine that covers a caramel backbone.  Bigfoot starts out rough on the palate, but eases up as it warms.  There are flavors of bitter grapefruit, pine and sweet caramel.  There's a bit of an alcohol burn in the finish.  The body is halfway between medi…

Brooklyn Brewery Monster Ale (2012)

Hey everyone, thanks for coming by!  Tonight I am going to be drinking a glass of Brooklyn Brewery's 2012 batch of Monster Ale.  Monster Ale is an English barleywine style ale and can be found on store shelves between the months of November and February.  I'll be saving a few of these bottles to age to see how the beer changes over time.

Monster Ale Brooklyn Brewery English Barleywine 10.1% ABV 47 IBUs 12 oz bottle poured into my Chimay goblet

Brooklyn Brewery's 2012 Monster Ale poured a clear copper color with a 1/2 finger width head that diminished very quickly.  After pouring, I let the beer sit for 15-20 minutes.  There are aromas of sweet fruit, malts and alcohol.  I'm not able to pick out any specific aroma from the hops.  As I sip on the beer, the malt and the alcohol take center stage.  There are flavors of caramel, dates, plums, toffee and and a smooth alcohol finish.  The mouthfeel on Monster Ale is sweet and medium bodied.  The carbonation starts off intense, bu…

New Jersey Beer Co. Hudson Pale Ale

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping in!  Tonight I am opening up a bottle of Hudson Pale Ale from New Jersey Beer Co.  I picked up this bottle while visiting the brewery in North Bergen, NJ.  It is one of the core beers in their lineup.  Check out the link to a write-up I made about my trip to the brewery at the end of this article.  I think it's time for a beer...

Hudson Pale Ale New Jersey Beer Co. Pale Ale 5.8% ABV 12 oz bottle poured into my Samuel Adams Boston Lager pint glass

New Jersey Beer Co.'s Hudson Pale Ale pours a translucent amber color with a one finger width white head.  The aromas are minimal, but I am able to pick up some citrus.  Taking a swig, there are flavors of floral and citrus, with only a light bitterness.  As the beer warms, some of the sweet malt comes through in the taste.  It goes down very easy.  Hudson Pale Ale has a medium body and medium carbonation.  
Overall:  This would be a perfect beer to bring out to a ballgame, BBQ or to the beach (if only it …

Weihenstephaner Vitus

Greeting everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  The other day, I had a bock beer from a brewery I won't mention the name of, and, to be brutally honest, it was pretty terrible.  Bock is a style I am not terribly familiar with, so I made it a point to go out and find a true bock so I can have a better idea of the style.  At my local Wegmans, I picked up a bottle of Weihenstephaner Vitus, which is classified as a weizenbock.  Let's check it out!
Vitus Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan Weizenbock 7.7% ABV Brewed under the Purity Law of 1516 1 pint 0.9 fl oz bottle poured into the closest glass I had to a weizen glass

Weihenstephaner Vitus pours a cloudy gold color with a large, fluffy white head.  There is a non-stop stream of bubbles quickly rising to the surface of the beer to escape.  The aromas in this beer jump right out at me, filling my nose with citrusy fruits, cloves, pepper and the classic wheat and yeast aromas that come from weisse beers.  The nose is incre…

Checking out New Jersey Beer Co.

Hey everyone, thanks for coming by!  
Kerry and I were recently near Hudson/Bergen County, so we decided to check out New Jersey Beer Co. (NJBC) in North Bergen.  NJBC will soon be celebrating their third anniversary!  I can't believe it has taken us this long to stop in and check things out!  
On tap at NJBC was their core lineup plus a winter seasonal.  The core lineup of beers are 1787 Abbey Single Ale, Garden State Stout and Hudson Pale Ale.  The winter seasonal, and my personal favorite, was the Weehawken Wee Heavy.  All visitors to the brewery are allowed a 4 oz. taster of each beer and a tour of their small brewery.  All of their beers were pleasing, and would appeal to a large audience of beer drinkers.  
  Thanks to the recent law that was passed by NJ government, NJ breweries may now sell pints of beer in their taprooms!  NJBC was selling pints of their core beers for $4 and pints of their seasonal Wee Heavy for $5.  They also had lots of swag you could purchase (hats, …

Samuel Adams Dark Depths Baltic IPA

Hey everyone, thanks for coming by!  Quick review tonight.  I'm drinking the Samuel Adams Dark Depths Baltic IPA.  Let's see how it is!

Dark Depths Baltic IPA Samuel Adams / The Boston Beer Company Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale 7.6% IPA  12 oz. bottle poured into my Victory Brewing tulip glass
Samuel Adams Dark Depths Baltic IPA pours a dark, dark brown (very close to black), with a one finger width light tan head.  There is an average amount of lacing and visible carbonation rising up the glass.  The aroma is a unique mix of grassy hops and roasted, chocolate malt (not heavy chocolate, mind you, but more of a subtle chocolate).  The flavor is all roasted and chocolate malt up front, followed by citrus hop bitterness at the end along the roof and back of my mouth.  The body of Dark Depths Baltic IPA is somewhere between medium and heavy, probably a little closer to medium.  The carbonation level is quite average.

Overall:  Samuel Adams Dark Depths Baltic IPA is an alright beer to …

Mid-February Blogshare

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping in!  Here are some posts from other beer bloggers that I thought you may like to read!  Enjoy!
Queen City Drinks, a Cincinnati-based blog, takes a private tour of Alltech Lexington Brewing Company, who have recently added a distillery!
Craft Cans, a blog devoted to all canned beers, interviews Southern Prohibition Brewing Company of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Southern Prohibition will start canning their beers soon!
Here's a great post from the Disturbing the Yeast blog about their pilgrimage to the St. Sixtus Abbey, makers of Westvleteren beers.
The Active Brewer posted a rant on the beer wars and what he thinks they are about. 
Definitely take the time to check out these blogs, they do some great stuff!  Cheers!
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Maine Beer Company Lil One

Thanks for coming by everyone!  Yesterday, I was tipped off from the Little Bros Beverage Outlet's email list that they were having a closeout sale on Sixpoint Diesel, selling 4-packs for $3.99!!  When I stopped by to pick some up, of course I checked out the rest of the beer section (which is always great).  I spied a bottle of Maine Beer Company Lil One.  I hadn't seen bottles of this beer since Maine Beer Company started distributing to NJ, so I picked a bottle up.  Let's crack it open and see how it is!

Lil One Maine Beer Company Style:  The brewers prefer not to classify it, Beer Advocate penciled it in as an American Strong Ale 9.1% ABV Bottled on January 31, 2013 1 Pint 0.9 oz. bottle poured into my Dogfish Head Signature Glass
Maine Beer Company's Lil One pours a cloudy, orange, copper color with a two finger off white head.  Very pleasant lacing is left on the walls of the glass as the head recedes.  The aroma is of onion, pine and grassy hops.  I'm halfway thr…

Troegs Nugget Nectar

Hey everyone, glad you could make it!  I got some new reading material in the mail today.  I ordered 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Dieafter seeing some other bloggers referencing it. Some are even attempting to drink all 1001 beers! (Active Brewer, 1001 Bottles of Beer on the Wall)  That book, along with Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher, should keep me busy for a little while!  

Tonight I am drinking the highly regarded Nugget Nectar from Troegs Brewing Company.  Troegs generally releases this beer late January through the middle of February, and is considered an imperial amber ale.  I had this beer last year, and while I thought it was a damn fine beer, I didn't think it was one that would drive people to go on pilgrimages and pick up all the cases of it they can.  Let's see how this year's batch came out!
Nugget Nectar Troegs Brewing Company Imperial Amber Ale 7.5% ABV "93ish" IBUs Bottled on January 23, 2013 12 oz. bottle poured into my Victory Brewing goblet

Blue Moon Brewing Impulse

Hey everyone, I hope a great weekend was had by all!  Kerry and I spent most of the weekend just relaxing.  To be honest, with my new smartphone, I discovered the game Temple Run 2, and I get incredibly addicted to these types of games.  So yea, I had planned on getting a lot of reading and cleaning done, but I ended up spending a lot of time unlocking achievements in Temple Run!  I did end up finishing Joshua Bernstein's Brewed AwakeningBrewed Awakening is a unique beer book that takes a look at the current state of beer in America and beyond.  
 This past Christmas, my brother-in-law David got Kerry and me a bottle of Impulse from Blue Moon Brewing (who I believe is an arm of Tenth and Blake Beer Company, who is in turn an arm of MillerCoors).  I have never had one of Blue Moon's large bottle series beers, so I'm excited to try this one.  The bottle describes Impulse as "a wheat ale brewed with the juice of cabarnet sauvignon grapes."  

Impulse Blue Moon Brew…

Otter Creek Brewing Twentieth Anniversary Ale

Hey everyone, thanks for coming!  I've recently started building a beer "cellar" collection.  Cellar is in quotes because in truth it is just a corner of my condo right now.  We keep the temperature in the mid 60s for the most part, which I know isn't the most optimal for cellaring beers, but for right now it's all I have.  I may decide to keep the beers in the basement of my parents-in-laws house (if they let me!), which probably has more appropriate cellaring conditions.  Do you cellar your beers?  How big is your stash?  What's the oldest beer you have been cellaring?
 I'm drinking another beer from Otter Creek Brewing tonight.  It seems like a pretty special beer.  It is their Twentieth Anniversary Ale, and on the bottle is described as a tribute to Copper Ale, Otter Creek's flagship brew.  I'm not sure if they have brewed other anniversary beers.  Let's try it out!
Twentieth Anniversary Ale Otter Creek Brewing American Strong Ale 12% ABV 12 o…

Allagash Dubbel

Hey everyone!  Tonight, I bring you this beer tasting with a winter storm cutely named Nemo knocking on my door.  With plans of staying inside for the next 12 - 20 hours, Kerry and I reactivated our Netflix streaming subscription.  Right now we are watching Adventureland, which has a few Velvet Underground/Lou Reed songs playing on the soundtrack.  There is lots of other good stuff too (The Replacements, Bowie, Husker Du).  Those are good, but it really makes me question why I don't listen to Lou Reed more.  I think I'm going to have to add him to my Pandora stations!
 In the world of craft beer, Allagash Brewing can't seem to do much wrong.  They have an incredibly strong core lineup of beers, including their White, Tripel, Black and Curieux.  Tonight I am going to drink a bottle of their Dubbel.  I have had this beer in the past, but not in quite some time.  With Allagash's reputation, I have high hopes this beer will be quite palatable.
Dubbel Allagash Brewing Compan…

Otter Creek Brewing Russian Imperial Stout

Hey there, thanks for coming by!  I hope you're all having a great week so far.  Tonight I decided to try the Russian Imperial Stout from Otter Creek Brewing.  Otter Creek is located in Middlebury, Vermont.  I don't think I've tried a beer from Otter Creek since college, when I used to drink their Copper Ale.  They also brew Wolaver's Certified Organic Ales and The Shed beers.  As of the time of this writing Otter Creek's website is down, but according to their Wikipedia page they were acquired by Long Trail Brewing in 2010.  Let's see what their Russian Imperial Stout is all about! Russian Imperial Stout Otter Creek Brewing  10% ABV 65 IBUs 12 oz. bottle poured into Victory tulip glass
Otter Creek's Russian Imperial Stout pours jet black with a half finger width dark tan head that diminishes to nil quick.  The aroma is of bitter coffee and chocolate.  The flavors in this imperial stout is sweet, yet slightly bitter chocolate and coffee.  The sweetness is almos…