Archive for June, 2011

Misery Bay IPA by Erie Brewing Company

It is just one of those days where I really am not in the mood for a beer.  That of course does not mean I won’t have one though.  I do have a tendency to not always finish what I start but this is one of those things I want to finish and I will finish it “God willing and the creek don’t rise!”.

Beer #214 is Misery Bay IPA by Erie Brewing company.  Erie hails from Erie , Pennsylvania.  This beer is in the style of an American IPA with an ABV of 6.5%.

This beer had a nice color to it that reminded me of honey with some orange tints to it.  The head was thin and white.  Typical IPA nose of pine, grapefruit, & caramel malts.  Taste followed the nose with lots of sweet caramel maltiness and a huge, heavy pine flavor.  I didn’t get any citrus in the taste at all.   It had a nice overall bitterness but not over the top.  It was a bit heavier in the mouth than I expected with some sharp, biting carbonation and an almost sticky feel.

Alas, this was forgettable to me.  Nothing stood out and said…”Drink me!” though drink it I did.  Ahh well…enough of my yacking…

Rating: C

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Rare Vos by Brewery Ommegang

My bottle collection in the basement is growing everyday.  Yep…I have been saving every bottle, to the dismay of my wife, for the last photo of every bottle in one shot.  Of course that will be minus the beers I have had on draft.  Now lets journey to Cooperstown, New York to Brewery Ommegang for beer #213.

Today’s beer is Rare Vos.  According to the label, Rare Vos is Flemish for “Sly Fox” and it is also a famous cafe in Brussels.  This Belgian Dark Ale has an ABV of 6.5%.

It poured a cloudy, hazy shade of amber with an orange tint it.  Topping it off was a nice two-finger width creamy off-white head.  Nice nose on this one with a clove like spiciness, citrusy orange, and bready malts.  The malty goodness (think toast) hits you up front in the taste and then it gets spicy and fruity all the way to the dry, bitter finish.  Nice creamy mouthfeel with a medium body and moderate carbonation made this nice and drinkable for me.

I have to say at first smell and taste, this threw me for a loop.  The label mentions Amber Ale and that was what I was expecting.  I guess I should have noticed printed above the Amber Ale it said True Belgian Style.  To be honest, knowing it was from Brewery Ommegang, I should have known this wasn’t a straight up Amber Ale since all they brew is Belgian style beers.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit.  This was one of those beers that got even better as it came down to room temperature as it got even creamier and smoother. Good stuff from a brewer in the same home town of the Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Rating: B+

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Biere De Mars by Southampton Publick House

Time to grill…time for a beer.  Hmm…makes me wonder how grilled beer would be?  Probably not good unless you use it to grill brats in.

Beer #212 is Biere De Mars by Southampton Publick House from Southampton, New York.  Brewed in the style of a Biere De Garde  (what?), this brew has an ABV of 6.5%.  A Biere de Garde is a French farmhouse ale typically brewed in winter or spring.  Biere De Mars in French means “March Beer”.  Let me tell you, there is nothing like springtime in France…not that I have ever been to France but I have heard it is truly magical in the spring.

This beer had a light amber or honey color with just a touch of a white head. The nose was caramel malts, earth, and a very faint citrus like fruity aroma.  It was pretty one sided taste wise, nothing but sweet caramel and bread (I guess that is more two sided than one).  The carbonation was kind of low and it had a slightly heavy body being almost syrupy.

This wasn’t what I was expecting when I saw farmhouse ale on the label.  I was expecting something more like a Saison.  It was OK but it didn’t really go good standing at a hot grill on a hot day.  One and done.  Lets move on to beer #213…shall we?

Rating: C

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Festina Peche by Dogfish Head

Another lazy hot summer day finds me lounging on my back deck again wondering silently to myself why can’t all weekends be of the three day variety?  As I sit here with my shirt off (calm down now lady’s…), I find myself enjoying another fresh beer from Rehoboth Beach.

That beer, #211, is Festina Peche by Dogfish Head.  From Rehoboth Beach, Delaware comes this Berliner Weissbier with its ABV sitting pretty at 4.5%.  I had no idea what a Berliner Weissbier was so off to Google I went.  It turns out they are regional wheat beers from Northern Germany, in particular Berlin.  They are bottle conditioned and use top fermenting yeast.  Sounds good to me…lets go taste it…shall we?

From the growler into my tulip glass, the Festina Peche had a pale yellow color that was quite cloudy.  There was the tiniest of white heads that quickly disappeared.  The nose was peaches and citrus.  I love peaches and find them a summer staple fruit for myself so I was looking forward to tasting this.  I took a sip…wow…very tart up front and then it got sour for the rest of mouthful.  The sour component was new to me and I found myself enjoying it.  The peach flavor hit me about mid-sip and lasted until swallowed.  It was’t a very strong or sweet peach flavor but there was just enough so I had no mistake what fruit it actually was.  It finished off very clean with no aftertaste whatsoever.  It had a light body, bubbly carbonation, and was very crisp and refreshing.  I thought to myself…there is no way the growler will see the light of day tomorrow.

This was a unique beer for me with the sourness and was very delicious.  It was very easy to drink, the alcohol seemed nonexistent, and was quite refreshing on this hot summer day.  Another fantastic beer from Dogfish head and thanks again to my co-worker who brought this back from Delaware for me!

Rating: A

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Zitronenweizen by Triumph Brewing Company

After a 15 mile bike ride on the Delaware & Raritan Canal rail trail, I was thirsty.  As I was deciding how to quench that thirst at the train station of the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, I got the whiff of ground beef being cooked and that made me hungry.  I took a look over to where the lovely smell was coming from and lo and behold I saw Triumph Brewing Companys New Hope, Pennsylvania location.  I figured why not kill two birds with one stone, hunger and thirst.

Sitting on the outdoor patio watching the tourist train of the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad is where I had the pleasure to enjoy beer #210, Zitronenweizen by Triumph Brewing Company of New Hope, Pennsylvania.  Zitronenweizen is a Hefeweizen with an ABV of 4.8%.

Out came the beer in a pint glass and it had a hazy pale gold or yellow color (sorry…it looks hazy pale orange to me in the photo…new phone…have to learn how to take a good photo with it) with no head whatsoever.  I was so thirsty, I took a sip before even smelling it but when I did smell it I got aromas of wheat, grass, lemon, and maybe peach or apricot.  The taste was tart and lemony with a nice wheat backbone and a nice spicy flavor that I couldn’t really identify.  This was quite refreshing and smooth with a medium-light body and low carbonation.

It was a nice after ride drink and one that worked well on a nice summer day that today was…so much so I had another.  It went well with Triumph’s Brewhouse Burger…yep I got my fix of grilled ground beef and it was quite delicious!  Great day…great ride…great burger…yummy beer…what more could I ask for?

Rating :B

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Sunrise Weissbier by Victory Brewing Company

After waking up with a slight hangover from too much of the Black & Red I enjoyed yesterday, I really wasn’t in the mood for a beer today.  As the day went on, my mood changed so I figured why not give today’s beer, #209, the old college try.  What the heck is the old college try anyways?

Anyhow, let me introduce Sunrise Weissbier from Victory Brewing Company which is brewed in the quaint town of Downington, Pennsylvania.  Sunrise is a Hefeweizen with an ABV of 5.7%.

I actually had a Victory pint glass for the pour.  The color was a hazy pale yellow or maybe gold with a huge frothy white head.  The nose was straight up Hefeweizen with a spicy clove presence, bananas, citrus (lemon), and surprisingly Bazooka Bubblegum.  The taste was lemon zesty and heavy on the wheat.  I didn’t get all of the other aromas like banana or the cloves.  Odd.  It had a lots of tight tingling carbonation with a fairly light body.

This was OK but nothing to write home about.  For me it was maybe slightly better than average.  But what do I know…I’m just a King…who enjoys beer and sometimes I enjoy that beer too much.

Rating: C

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Black & Red by Dogfish Head

Imagine my surprise when just the other day I get an email from a co-worker asking “What do I want?” with a picture of a menu.  The menu was from the Dogfish Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  A big smile came across my face as I was pondering what I should ask her to bring back for me, in a growler of course.  Two options instantly stuck out,  Festina Peche and Black & Red.  Not one to turn down an offer of fresh craft beer, those were the two I asked for my willing co-worker to bring back from the far off lands of Delaware, home of tax free shopping!

Lets pop open the sealed cap of the Dogfish Head growler (1/2 gallons of liquid heaven) for beer #208…shall we?  I went with the Black & Red, which is an American Double or an Imperial Stout brewed by our friends at Dogfish Head in Milton, Delaware although it may be brewed at Rehoboth Beach as  I think they do brew there also.  The ABV clocked in at a lofty 10.5% which made me wonder if Dogfish brews anything on the lighter side alcohol wise?

I broke out my Duvel tulip glass for the pour, went to my backyard deck armed with camera in hand, poured, and snapped a photo or three.  It was black (how much more black could this be?  And the answer is none…none more black) with just a touch of a reddish color when held up to the light.  The head was disappointing (I’m not a fan of a lackluster head…is there anyone who is?), it was just a small tan ring that topped the beer.  Off to take a whiff I went and I was rewarded with an awesome bouquet of mint, chocolate, raspberries, roasted malts, and coffee.  Interestingly enough, for such a high ABV, there was no alcohol aroma to be found.  I took a sip, one word yum!  The raspberries and mint chocolate hit you first and foremost and last throughout the taste profile. Towards the back end of the sip I got some nice roasted malts reminding me of coffee.  Once again, the alcohol did not make itself noticeable in the taste.  So how was the mouthfeel you may ask?  Why it very smooth and creamy.  It was very filling and had low carbonation.  The alcohol finally kicked in after the first glass full even know I took my time with it.  It is going to be one happy time in the old house tonight for sure!

As I sit here with the rain falling gently outside my window and I compose this blog listening to 80’s hair metal (Ratt, Dokken, etc.) cranked to 11 I think to myself, this was absolutely delicious.  It just tasted so damn good with nothing out of place or too overpowering.  I don’t think you can get this anywhere other then the Dogfish Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach…but if you are there…and it is still on tap…give it a go…I’m sure glad I did!

A big Thank You to my fellow co-worker, you know who you are, who was kind enough to bring this back for me.  I raise a glass or three to you!

Have a great weekend all…and to all a good night!

Rating: A+

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Harpoon Summer Beer by Harpoon Brewery

Onto beer #207 which is Harpoon Summer Beer from Harpoon Brewery from Boston, Massachusetts.  This Kolsch had an ABV of 5.5%.

Look at that…I actually have a Harpoon glass to pour this into tonight.  Thanks Cavie!  Pale golden yellow, nice big fluffy white head (left some sweet lacing), and awesome carbonation bubbles made up the appearance.  Lemons, grass, grains, and bread make up the nose of this clean smelling brew.  Very bitter up front with that a lemon zest like flavor followed by some mellow grainy wheat flavors and then finishes up a bit dry with a tad more bitterness.  Light bodied, low carbonation, and crisp make up the mouthfeel.

This isn’t my favorite style of beer and this did nothing to change my mind on that.  I thought the best part of this was the nicest lacing it left on the glass. Now…where is my Jester…this is for him.

Rating: C

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Dunkel Lager by Sly Fox Brewing Company

Beer in a can…I have only had a few on my journey towards 365 and they were really not all that bad.  Quite unlike the beer in a can I can remember my dad drinking, Budweiser.  We have all had beer from a can, mostly bad beer but it seems like there are a few craft brewers like Oskar Blues and tonight’s brewer, Sly Fox Brewing Company, that make decent beer…in a can…although not tonight.

Beer #206 is Dunkel Lager by Sly Fox Brewing Company which hails from Royersford, Pennsylvania.  The style of this beer is a Munich Dunkel Lager with an ABV of 5.3%.  A Munich Dunkel Lager is a traditional Bavarian style dark lager.

Dark it was as it poured a dark reddish brown with sufficient tan head.  It was mostly caramel malts nose wise.  It was very light in the taste with just a tad bit sweet caramel, a bit of bread, and some grains.  The finish irked me as it had a funky almost metallic taste to it.  Possibly from the can?  It had a thin body with and was kind of watery with low carbonation.

Below average beer for sure and as much as I wanted to give it the big fat F, I held back.  It wasn’t worthy of that as I feel to get an F, it truly, at least to me, has to be horrible.  This wasn’t that but it was quite forgettable.  On to beer #207.

Rating: D

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Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dark by Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

Happy First Day Of Summer!!!  May your days be filled with plenty of sunshine and heat.  I love the summer…just call me old Mr. Heat Miser.

“I’m Mister Green Christmas, I’m Mister Sun, I’m Mister Heat Blister, I’m Mister 101.  They call me Heat Miser, What ever I touch, Starts to melt in my clutch, I’m too much!“.  Guess where that came from  and if you do get it…pat yourself on the back.

To celebrate the first day of summer, how about a beer form the world’s oldest brewery?  Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan is that brewery from Germany and they claim they have been brewing in some form since 1040 AD. That is a long, long time ago.  I doubt beer #205, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dark, is quite that old.  This Dunkelweizen (German dark wheat beer) with ABV 5.3% looked very nice on the pour.  The head went on forever atop this cloudy light brown (it looked a bit like iced tea) brew.  The nose was a nice mixture of wheat, banana, bread and spices.  The spices were cloves for sure.  It tasted really good, all of the things I smelled I could taste along with a nice malty backbone plus a bit of fruit sort of like a melon.  This was smooth and creamy with just a touch of tongue tingling carbonation.  The body was somewhat south of medium but north of light.  It was really refreshing and super easy to drink and enjoyable from the first sip to the last.  I should have picked myself up another or three.

Another excellent brew from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan.  This is my second from them and both are some of the best beers I have ever had.  If you see this…you should give it a try, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Rating: A

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