Friday, September 30, 2011

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

I've had Hop Rod Rye on draft before and really liked it so I was very excited to open a bottle. Happily, in the bottle is just as good as on draft.
Smelled of hoppy grapefruit with some slight rye spiciness. Started a little citrusy up front, followed by some caramel and rye bread sweetness, and finished with a mouth-coating bitterness. Luckily, the bitterness lessened while the sweetness grew which made it quite enjoyable. I really like this one and you should give it a try if you see it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Emelisse Rauchbier

As part of Yard's Smoke 'Em event, they offered to fill a growler with a beer of our choice from whatever was left at the end. Since the New Holland kicked just before I made a decision, I went with the Emelisse Rauchbier.
Since you can't see it, the beer poured a dark brown color. Not much carbonation but that's a result of the growler fill. Smelled like a sweet wood stove, incredibly smoky. Had a large burnt wood flavor followed by some caramel sweetness and finished tasting smoky. Unlike some smoked beers that taste of bacon, this was more campfire. If you enjoy the flavors, it was pretty fantastic but it's definitely going to be a polarizing beer. I enjoyed it though and since I was drinking it, that's what matters.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dogfish Punkin at Kite & Key

Stopped by the Kite & Key yesterday and decided it was finally the season for pumpkin beers and ordered the Dogfish Head Punkin.
The nose hinted of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other pumpkin spices. First sip had a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe some clove with just a little something following. Continues that way with the spices up front and then some mild hints of the base brown ale following.

Honestly I'm not a huge fan of Punkin. I feel like with the spices being as weak as they are the base needs to be a stronger flavored to make up for it. However, lots of people love Punkin so it's probably just that I like the more heavily spiced pumpkin beers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Smoke 'Em If Yous Got 'Em

Last Friday, Yards held their third annual smoked beerfest named Smoke 'Em If Yous Got 'Em. Yards gathered around 20 different smoked beers of all different types plus a ton of different smoked food made by professionals and novices. Let me just say it was fantastic
This was my approach to the Yards building with the tents in front of me housing the novice bbq people. The only unfortunate thing was that it just started raining as I made my way to the building. However, Yards thought of everything and put all the beer pouring stations inside of their brewery so we wouldn't get wet. Hurray for Yards!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rapture at Weyerbacher

Well, that title is going to skew some of my search results. This post is about the new sour released by Weyerbacher last Thursday the 22nd at the brewery, not about going to heaven. Sorry crazy people! It was named Rapture because they apparently bottled it back in May the day or day before the rapture was supposed to occur. Whatever works, right? The last release, the one for Riserva, was awesome and I knew I didn't want to miss this one. Jo and I left after work and an hour and a half later made it to the brewery. Unlike last time, there were quite a few more people waiting in line to pick up cases when we arrived.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weyerbacher Harvest at the Kite & Key

I stopped by the Kite & Key like usual this past Tuesday and decided on the Weyerbacher Harvest Ale, an IPA brewed with fresh hops. If you want to learn a bit more about how the hops were picked, check out the Hops & Circumstances entry about it here.
Pungent grapefruit nose. No real bitterness which is nice. Started with some grapefruit, then some slightly grassy notes. It wasn't too bitter or dry which made the Harvest a nice drinking IPA. Quite enjoyable.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

20th Anniversary of London Grill

This past Monday was the 20th Anniversary party for London Grill. Pretty Impressive. For the party they had a really nice beer list but considering my weekend and the fact that it was Monday I unfortunately didn't have much will to participate. When I arrived around 5:30 the place was already pretty full. A lot of industry folks, some brewers, and a few others I recognized. You could really tell what London Grill and the owner Terry mean to the area and the industry just by looking around the room.

I started with a glass of something I've talked about a bunch but I don't even care because it's so awesome, Deschutes The Abyss.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blue Dog Wealth of Riches

Sometimes I think I may have issues with my obsession getting the better of me, but then I just shrug and get over it. This past Saturday was definitely one of those times when I decided to head out to Chalfont, PA to go to the Blue Dog tavern. First, if Google maps is telling you it's going to take two hours by public transportation, it's probably right. Second, if you are going to the suburbs and Google maps says you need to walk a mile from the train station, there probably aren't going to be sidewalks and so people are going to look at you like you're a psycho when you're walking down the side of a road on the shoulder. Oh and some of the sidewalks do this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hanging with PhillyTapFinder

My wife was out of town this past weekend which means time to go out! Since PhillyTapFinder's wife was out of town, we decided to meet up after work and hang out for a while. And, well, a while turned into almost seven hours.

We started out at Prohibition Taproom. Jo and I went there once a while ago but haven't been back since. The most unique part of the place is the oddly shaped bar which is shaped like an E with seats all around it. The inside is really nice looking though and it's a really comfortable place to spend time. When I arrived, Jared had already ordered a glass of Hill Farmstead Abner and was tweeting about how good it was so that's how I started.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Innis & Gun Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer

Besides having the longest name ever, the Innis & Gunn Rum cask is apparently a scotch ale aged in oak barrels, then all of it is moved to used rum barrels, and then it's blended for bottling.
First thing to note is the clear bottle. I got a case of this so didn't need to worry about light, but if buying single bottles beware clear bottles are awful about protecting beer. Smelled of vanilla and a hint of rum. Very sweet nose. Starts with mild rum, vanilla, and some caramel. Continues that way throughout the whole glass with the rum flavors growing. My first thought was how little it tasted like beer. I mostly just got vanilla and rum from the barrels.

Honestly not sure how I felt about this one. I didn't hate it but I also didn't really like it that much. Guess I'll go with ambivalent. Not something I'd buy again but I wouldn't refuse to drink it if someone offered it to me. High praise I know.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sixpoint Righteous Ale

Sixpoint brewery is based out of New York City although I'm not sure where their canning line is situated. I've been meaning to try their beers for a while but haven't made the time until now. I picked Righteous since it's a rye beer and I've gotten on the rye beer train lately.
Mildly hoppy, slightly spicy nose. Some sweetness in the beginning, then a tiny bit bitter, and finishing with some rye spiciness. Not a lot but some. As I drank more, the rye spiciness took over with the sweetness taking a back seat and the bitterness disappearing. Really enjoyed it and the flavors worked really well with dinner.

Firestone Walker Union Jack

I stopped in at Kite & Key, as usual, and ordered a Firestone Walker Union Jack, an IPA.
Orange and grapefruit in the aroma, no real bitterness. The first sip gives mostly grapefruit with a hint of oranges followed by a bit of bitterness. No real sweetness at all, but the bitterness is mild enough that the beer isn't too dry. Some bitterness lingers, but not long. Very easy drinking even at 7.5%. Glad the bartender suggested I try it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Great Divide 17th Anniversary

This was brought to my last beer tasting night but we didn't get a chance to open it. Since it's been sitting in my fridge since then I figured I'd finally give it a try. The 17th Anniversary is a wood aged double ipa.
Smelled good. Grapefruit and a sweet caramel with a little bit of wood. Starts with grapefruit, caramel, vanilla and what I felt like was chocolate but the last was probably my imagination. As I drank more, some oak characteristics stated to come out and added a nice dimension to the hops and caramel sweetness. Pretty tasty and really easy to drink. Quite enjoyed this.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pete G Mr. Bawk Ba Gawk Weizenbawk

After our last beer tasting, my friend left me an extra bottle of his homebrew weizenbock. Mr. Bawk Ba Gawk, and I got around to drinking it last week.
Smelled of bananas and caramel. Pretty decent nose. Thick mouthfeel. Some spiciness, some breadiness, and a bit of alcohol in the first sip. The flavors stayed pretty much consistent throughout the glass. Flavors weren't quite as strong as the nose would have you expect. Some of the banana and caramel flavors just didn't come through. I'm not sure if it was overly sweet which killed some of the more subtle flavors or what. Still, decent homebrew weizenbock as it's a difficult style to pin down and I've definitely had worse commercial versions.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Labor Day Bar Crawl

It's Saturday, my wife's out of town, I'm alone. So what do I decide to do? What? Not that, sicko. I decide to do a bar crawl going to Farmer's Cabinet -> Varga Bar -> Hawthorne's Cafe -> Devil's Den. Now, I guess it's weird that I decided to bar hop by myself for hours on end, but I really enjoy sitting at bars, talking to bartenders and trying new things. I guess I'm a weird dude and I'm okay with that.

First stop was the Farmer's Cabinet. I haven't been back since my awesome birthday dinner and knew it had been too long. At 11:30am, it wasn't particularly busy which was nice. There was only one other dude at the bar plus the bartender. I started with a glass of De Molen Cease & Desist, also known as Disputin, a Russian Imperial Stout.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Great Divide Belgian Yeti at the Kite & Key

I stopped by Kite & Key for my usual Tuesday visit and luckily the Great Divide Belgian Yeti was still on draft. It's a new variation in the Yeti Imperial Stout series and people have been saying good things about it since it came out so I wanted to try it.
Chocolate, roast and coffee in the nose. First sip had some chocolate and roast with some slight bitterness. I didn't get any other flavors from the Belgian yeast at first but it was super cold.. After letting it warm up for a while, I started getting a hint of sweetness with some clove and banana. Since I didn't have a ton left by that point, it was hard to get a full impression, but I imagine at the right temperature it would be full of those flavors straight from the beginning. All in all, a tasty addition to the Yeti series, but I'd like to get it again to get a better feel for it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Maui Brewing Co. Mana Wheat

I was sent two cans of Mana Wheat a while ago and realized I should probably finish the second one. lthough it's been in the fridge the whole time, it's still better to drink hefeweizens sooner rather than later. Mana Wheat is brewed with pineapples.
I'll admit I wasn't super impressed by the first can I opened. It was decent, but I didn't really get any pineapple. This time, however, was much better. Big pineapple nose. Not bitter like from hops, but actual fruit. Starts with pineapple, continues with pineapple, ends with a wheat finish. Very enjoyable and I imagine quite great on a hot summer day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dark Horse Plead the 5th Pseudo-Vertical

I had planned this pseudo-vertical ever since I picked up a bottle of 2009 Plead the 5th from Capone's. I call it a pseudo-vertical since a real one would have had a 2010 version as well but drinking three would have been too much for me so it works out I didn't have it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Night at Moe's

Just before Hurricane Irene, Jo and I took a short trip to Western Massachusetts to see her dad. It was supposed to be a weekend trip but we didn't want to drive home in the middle of the storm so we left early on Saturday. However, thanks to her dad's suggestion of heading to Moe's on Friday night after we arrived, I still managed to continue my tradition of always going there when I'm in town. Moe's is a really great bar in little old Lee, Mass. and if you are ever in the Berkshires you should be sure to stop there.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lost Abbey 10 Commandments at Kite & Key

Had a really excellent beer at Kite & Key this past Tuesday, Lost Abbey 10 Commandments, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.
Smelled of dark fruits, plums, and caramel. Really inviting nose. Started with caramel, edging towards chocolate, with some light banana flavors in the background. Very light Belgian notes which blended really well with the stronger plum and caramel flavors. The light touch is really welcome compared to some other beers in this style. I really enjoyed this. Another great draft offering from Lost Abbey.

I also found out that Kite & Key's Savage Sixtel Sunday was actually named after their Sunday night bartender, Jim Savage. Only reason I found that out was because he was filling in this Tuesday. Funny as I always thought it was named that just because the owner was putting on awesome beers.