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Showing posts from February, 2014

How are Those Cheap Beers from Trader Joe's, Anyway?

You don't have to void your wallet of hard-earned cash when you want to pick up some good beer.  If you happen to live near a Trader Joe's that sells beer (sorry Pennsylvania), then I have some suggestions for you to try.

First off is the Mission St Anniversary Ales.  They are brewed and bottled in 22 oz. bottles for Trader Joe's by Steinhaus Brewing Co, which is really Firestone Walker Brewing.  They have been releasing a new Mission St. Anniversary each year for the last several years.  From my memory, last year's Anniversary Ale was good, but 2014's release is great.  Sweet caramel and dark fruits up front, with a burst of citrus at the end of each sip, on top of a layer of alcohol makes this beer incredibly tasty.  And it only gets better with each sip as it warms.  Steinhaus/Firestone classify this beer as an Imperial Brown Ale, and it comes in at a warming 8.5% abv.  Oh, and the 22 oz. bottle was $2.99! 

There are other beers in the Mission St. line, includi…

Some New Beer Toys

I got some new beer toys recently.  Last fall, Kerry got me a starter kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop, and, more recently, three beer mixes from Brooklyn Brew Shop.

I love the idea of Brooklyn Brew Shop.  Basically, they give a great introduction to stovetop and all-grain brewing.  The starter kit includes a 1-gallon glass jug to use as the fermenter (along with airlock and stopper), tubing, thermometer and other odds and ends to help with your stovetop all-grain brewday.  The biggest thing you need that isn't provided is a brewpot.

Also for Christmas, my sister and her husband got me The Audacity of Hops by Tom Acitelli.  The book covers the history of the American craft beer revolution.  I can't wait to read it, but I just need to finish The Wheel of Time first!

Last but not least, I picked up Brew Like a Monkby Stan Hieronymus using a gift card from Christmas.  In the book, Stan covers the history and brewing of Trappist, abbey and strong Belgian ales.  If you're not aware …

Session #84: An "Alternative" Beer Review

The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. 

The topic of Session #84 is "Alternative" Reviews.  Oliver Gray, writer of Literature and Libation, has challenged beer bloggers to review a beer by not reviewing the beer.  He wants to get a feel for how you feel about a particular beer, without using the typical reviewing platform of appearance, aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, etc.  Let the fun begin!

There are some beers that stick with me no matter how old I get or how refined I "think" my palate is getting.  It doesn't really matter how popular these beers are or what kind of ratings they receive.  They stick with me because of history, experience a…

Weyerbacher Aries, Brewer's Select Series

It may be well into November, but there are still some pumpkins beer in my fridge waiting to be consumed.  As part of their Brewers' Select Series, the brewers at Weyerbacher made Aries, a blend of their Old Heathen Imperial Stout and Imperial Pumpkin Ale.  Both are mighty tasty on their own, so I was definitely excited to try this one out.


Aries pours black with a light brown, finger width head.  Most of the aroma seems to come from the Imperial Pumpkin Ale side of things.  Lots of autumn spice.  Upfront, the flavor in Aries is all Imperial Pumpkin.  However, as you swallow, you can start tasting some smooth chocolate flavors from Old Heathen.  It all comes together nicely.  If you see this one around anywhere, and you're in the mood for some autumn spice with a bit of stout thrown in, give it a try!


Facts about Aries the Constellation:
Known as Aries the Ram (Aries is actually Latin for Ram)The constellation is not very luminous and contains only 3 stars that could be called &…