Monday, June 30, 2014

The Duck-Rabbit Hoppy Bunny ABA

Name: The Duck-Rabbit Hoppy Bunny ABA
Style: American Black Ale
ABV: 7.3%

It's time to look at the final beer in the beer mail trade I did a couple weeks back. This is from The Duck-Rabbit Brewery based out of Farmville, North Carolina and they're a brewery which I've never had before. The beer in question is their Hoppy Bunny American Black Ale. The only other North Carolina-based brewery that I've had is Highland Brewery and that was from a beer trade I did a couple years back

Hoppy Bunny pours an opaque black color with a foamy brown head. The lacing left behind is also very abundant.

The aroma is quite roasted malt forward with some roasted barley, chocolate, cocoa, coffee with some mild hoppiness thrown in for good measure.

The flavor is a bit more balanced with some roasted barley, chocolate malts, mild floral hops and even a touch of yeastiness on the back on the palate

The Body is light and the carbonation is fairly light as well. As such, this is fairly easy to drink.

Hoppy Bunny isn't anywhere near as hoppy as the name implies and it doesn't do anything that I haven't already seen in a black ale before. With that said, it's still a pretty solid beer that I would have again if I were given the opportunity.

The Duck-Rabbit Hoppy Bunny ABA - 8/10

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cigar City José Martí American Porter Review

Name: Cigar City José Martí American Porter
Style: Porter
ABV: 8%

Continuing on with some beer I got in the mail for an exchange, I'm now going to look at a beer from Cigar City Brewing based out of Tampa, Florida. Believe it or not, I've actually gotten some Cigar City in a beer trade about 3 years ago when I was still in college and found them to be quite good.

For this review, it's something which I've never had before and it's their José Martí American Porter. José Martí was a Cuban poet & political activist back when Cuba was fighting for independence from Spain in the late 1800's. Through his writings and activism for democracy, he became a national symbol for an independent Cuba after he was killed in battle in 1895. He is still, to this day, considered a national hero in Cuba. It's an interesting inspiration for a beer name, but it makes sense when you consider that Tampa, FL and Florida in general has a very high Cuban-American population.

Jose Marti pours a pitch black color with a very brown-khaki colored head. It's also worth pointing out the lacing is quite abundant and very sticky.

The nose is very hop forward and I mean very. Even by Porter standards, I am taken aback by how aggressively hoppy this smells; After all, the label does say "robustly hopped" on it. Once you get passed that, there's a very nice roasted barley bill and hints of chocolate malts, caoco and coffee.

The flavor is also extremely hoppy upfront but the strong roasted barley and chocolate maltiness help balance out the flavor from being too hop-centric The aftertaste is mainly roasted barley and coffee beans. One thing I notice about the flavor is that it's quite smooth and every part of the flavor seems to go together seamlessly. Speaking of smooth....

The body itself is quite heavy with some mild-to-moderate thickness. The carbonation is also very mild and the overall texture is very smooth.

I know this may be a bit of a stretch to say, but this is, without a doubt, one of the best porters I have ever had. The flavor is very robust yet well-balanced and on top of that, the palate and texture as a whole as so incredibly smooth. If you happen to come across this beer, you absolutely need to check this out.

Cigar City José Martí American Porter - 9.5/10

Ale Asylum Unshadowed Review

Name: Ale Asylum Unshadowed
Style: Hefeweizen
ABV: 5.5%

I have one more beer from Ale Asylum out of Madison, Wisconsin called Unshadowed. From my understanding, this is also one of their newest beers to be released and has been added to their year-round lineup. I also regret not snapping of a photo of the full label because I think the bottle artwork is extremely cool.

Picture courtesy of

Unshadowed pours a bright yet hazy orange color with a white soapy thin head. There is some mild visible carbonation and some soapy lacing.

The nose has a fairly sweet malted wheat and banana scent upfront. There is also some pale malts on the back end with just a light touch of floral hoppiness.

Flavor starts out with a banana sweetness which is followed up by some wheat & pale malts. Also much like the nose, there's also a light floral hoppiness on the back end of the palate.

The body is reasonably light and the carbonation is also very mild and quite manageable. I don't think anyone should have a problem drinking this.

Unshadowed is a fairly standard, albeit, good Hefeweizen and fans of the style will no doubt enjoy this. I would say that this is worth checking out if you aren't 100% sure what to get next time you go beer shopping.

Ale Asylum Unshadowed - 8/10

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fargo Brewing Iron Horse Pale Ale Review

Name: Fargo Brewing Iron Horse Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5%

Tonight is a fairly special review because it's a beer from a brand new brewery called Fargo Brewing. As you may have guessed from the name, it is based out of Fargo, North Dakota. This will also be my first time trying out a beer that is made in North Dakota.

At my local liquor store, they just started carrying this in six-pack cans. Since I'm always looking to try out the latest beers, I picked up a sixer of Fargo's Iron Horse Pale Ale. On the can it's described as a "great, sessionable, hoppy pale ale that makes hop lovers go crazy." At 5% ABV, I think that is pushing the boundary of what I consider a "session ale" but let's try this out to see how it is.

Iron Horse pours a hazy orange color with a very frothy head. I'm not picking up on any visible carbonation and the lacing is sticky and moderate.

The aroma starts off with a prominent caramel maltiness and citrus hop sweetness, showcasing the Falconer's Flight hops very well. There's also a light touch of toffee thrown in for good measure. If you were to put a blindfold on me, I would think that I was smelling an IPA.

The flavor is surprisingly floral hop forward with some caramel maltiness and a bitter dry hop aftertaste. Interestingly enough, it's fairly subdued compared to what the aroma showcased.

The body is fairly lightweight and the carbonation is also very subdued as well, which makes this a pretty easy to drink beer.

Iron House is no doubt a good beer, but the flavor feels a just a little bit one-dimensional in comparison to the nose. While seasoned Pale Ale fans aren't going to find this groundbreaking, it's still pretty tasty and I think this is a great beer to introduce someone to the American Pale Ale style. On top of that, it is a good sessionable beer that manages to achieve a reasonably good flavor profile that can be enjoyed throughout the evening.

Fargo Brewing Iron Horse Pale Ale - 8/10

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Northland Beer Dinner Train

As the North Shore Craft Beer Scene grows with each passing day, with it are the ways we can enjoy what is has to offer. That is why it is my pleasure to announce the Dinner Train from

The train ride will take you up the picturesque Lake Superior Shoreline along the Northshore Scenic Railroad onboard the Lake of the Isles Dining Car. While you take in the beautiful sights of Minnesota's North Shore, you will be treated to a first class dinner courtesy of Executive Chef Richard Salz from JJ Astor Restaurant in Duluth. The dinner itself will feature beer pairings from Duluth's very own Lake Superior Brewing Company. There will also be beer available from Bent Paddle & South Shore Brewing as well as a cash bar for patrons.

Departure is on July 5th, 2014 at 6:30 PM from the Historic Duluth Depot located at 506 W. Michigan Street in Downtown Duluth, MN.

Tickets will be $59 and you must be 21 or older to attend. To reserve your spot, you can register at or you can call at 218-722-1273.

Spend the 4th of July weekend in style and join Northland Beer for this exciting and unique experience that can only happen here along Minnesota's North Shore.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday Night Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale Review

Name: Monday Night Drafty Kilt
Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
ABV: 7.2%

Tonight I'm trying out some beers that were sent to me via beer mail and the next beer on my list is Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale from Monday Night Brewing. Like Red Brick Brewing before it, this is another Atlanta-based brewery, which is where the guy who I received the beer mail is from. Since my first exposure to Georgia-based beer was a very good one, I'm curious to see how this turned out.

Drafty Kilt pours a dark brownish red color with a thin khaki colored head. The lacing is rather sparse and I'm not picking up on any visible carbonation.

The aroma starts off quite smoky, even by scotch ale standards, with a solid caramel malt base. Added in are some mild roasted barley notes just a touch of dry hops on the back end. Interestingly enough, I'm not picking up on any peated scotch in nose.

The flavor starts off very similarly to the aroma as it possesses a fairly smokey and roasty profile at first. However this gives way to a nice peated scotch and caramel malt sweetness with some dry hops and  a slight yet encompassing oaky taste.

The palate possesses a medium weighted body and some light carbonation as well. I would say this strikes a pretty good balance as far as texture goes.

After having this beer, I can more easily say that Atlanta knows how to make some good beer. The flavor does start out a bit roastier than usual but once you get passed that, the rest of the flavor really starts to shine through. If I'm ever down in Atlanta, I will be sure to check out more of Monday Night's offerings. As for anyone who has access to their lineup, I would say that this is definitely worth checking out.

Monday Night Drafty Kilt - 8.5/10

The Duluth Experience Craft Beer Roundtable - Women of the North Shore Craft Beer Scene

Yesterday marked the end of The Duluth Experience North Shore Craft Beer Roundtable and what a series it was! The final event in the 4-part series focused on the role of women in the North Shore craft beer scene. I have mentioned before that this roundtable event was the one which I had been looking forward to the most. My reasoning for this is because that I think women are very underrepresented in the craft beer industry. Ironic when you consider that women were the primary brewers of alcohol for thousands of years up until roughly the 1800's when to become a male dominated profession.

Moderated by Elissa Hansen with the Duluth/Superior Chapter of Barley's Angels, the forum featured 5 women who play a big part of the North Shore craft beer scene:

·      Allyson Rolph – Thirsty Pagan Brewing

·      Jamie MacFarlane – Castle Danger Brewery

·      Liz Gleason – Carmody Irish Pub & Brewing

·      Laura Mullen – Bent Paddle Brewing Company

·      Melissa Rainville – Fitger’s Brewhouse

At the start of the discussion, the audience found out how each panel member was drawn into the industry In the case of Liz Gleason of Carmody, the idea to start brewing their own beer came from her husband. With Melissa from Fitger's it was her hobby of homebrewing would take her to Flat Earth Brewing and, ultimately, to Fitger's Brewhouse. Allyson, Brewmaster with Thirsty Pagan, it was meeting with Jamie Baertsch, brewmaster of Dells Brewing Company (and the only other female brewmaster in the State of Wisconsin) during the Dells On Tap Festival. With Jamie, it came from her husband's passion for homebrewing and her background in Accounting that led them to open Castle Danger. Finally with Laura from Bent Paddle, her company had helped organize a brewfest down in the Twin Cities and she met her husband Colin, through Midwest Supplies one of the companies she worked with while organizing those events.

The next topic that was covered was trends in the craft brewing industry that they noticed were gaining steam. The responses ranged from using cans as a means of packaging craft beer to localized production breweries such as Dangerous Man Brewing, whom only sell their beer on premises, to the rise of session beers, sour ales, ciders and even the number of people homebrewing.

They also touched upon some of the challenges that they face on a daily basis and the big one was securing the raw materials needed to make beer as well as the difficulty of obtaining certain types of hops and how the weather can affect all of that. On the business side of things, the biggest hurdle was dealing with the growing pains of an expanding brewery and anticipating the unknown.

It is worth noting that when the topic of competition came up, they didn't really view each other as rivals. In fact, Laura even coined the term "Coopertition" because everyone seems to help everyone out should the need arise. In fact, they welcomed it because it allows everyone to keep making good beer.

When asked how they constantly stay on par with their beer, the responses were varied but all pieces of the big picture. Things such as taking criticism, being patient with the process, making a commitment to the product and even turning to other brewers for help. The term "Coopertition" from the previous paragraph applies yet again and it was even touched upon that helping each other out is what makes the North Shore craft beer scene so unique.

The last piece, and arguably the most important I thought, was the role of women in the craft beer industry. It was unanimously agreed upon that women will play a bigger role in the brewing industry in the very near future and they even cited Urban Growler Brewing as an example. For those of you not familiar with the brewery, Urban Growler is a St. Paul-based brewery that will be the first in Minnesota which will be owned by women and brewed by women.

All and all, it was another fine event put on by The Duluth Experience. I would like to extend my personal thanks to Dave Grandmaison and The Duluth Experience for giving me the opportunity to help promote this event and raise awareness of the craft beer scene here along the North Shore. I hope I get the opportunity to work with such a great organization again in the near future.

If you'd like to find out more about The Duluth Experience, you can visit them at They have everything from brewery tours to history and even adventure tours!


- Nick

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Duluth Beer Roundup for June 22, 2014

Since the reception to my weekly round-up posts have been very positive these past couple of weeks, I've decided to make these posts a regular addition to my blog. That and I think this will be a good resource to those looking to try out something new in terms of craft beer.

This week certainly has been a busy one in terms of doing my weekly survey of Duluth/Superior's craft beer, thanks in part to my mom and stepdad visiting for Grandma's Marathon this past weekend, for which my mom was running. Before I get to that, I'll be going over a couple of beers that I had the chance to check out prior to this weekend.

Since I moved into my new place, my proximity to the brewpubs located in Duluth is close enough to the point where I don't have to drive 20-25 minutes to get to where I want to be, let alone drive at all. So that's why I decided to walk to Fitger's Brewhouse after getting off of work to check out a couple of new offerings which they added to their tap lineup.

Fitger's Finn's Finest (6.3% ABV) - This beer has a very nicely balanced citrus & piney hop profile with some very mild bitterness and a rather sweet malty finish. I'm honestly not 100% sure what exactly this beer is. Beer Advocate calls it an American IPA whereas the Fitger's website suggests that it's an American Pale Ale. I can see characteristics of both present in here but either way, it's quite delicious!

Fitger's El Diablo (9% ABV) - Fitger's Belgian Strong Ale. Despite it's rather pale yellow appearance, El Diablo possesses a good Belgian yeast, banana and clove flavor profile that comes together perfectly with a solid malty backbone. I'm not sure how long this will be on tap for, so be sure to check it out!

Now earlier, I mentioned that my mom and stepdad were in town for Grandma's Marathon. Since they both happen to be fans of craft beer, we decided to goto Thirsty Pagan Brewing after the race to load up on some carbs and to drink some beer. After running 26.2 miles, I'd want a beer and some pizza too! While we were there, I recommended a couple of beers to my mom and step-dad from my previous recap post and sure enough, they enjoyed them! As for me, I decided to have something new.

Thirsty Pagan Troublemaker Tripel (9.1% ABV) - The second locally brewed Belgian Tripel that I have ever had with the first being from Canal Park Brewing. This beer has some nice Belgian yeasts, candied caramel malty sweetness, clove and subtle dark fruit flavors with just a hint of spice. When I was there, I noticed they had added the Tripel to their regular lineup list as opposed to their seasonal list. If this is indeed going to be part of their year-round lineup, I think it would be a very welcome addition.

Thirsty Pagan Angela Merkel Chocolate Dunkel (5.5%) - A Dunkelweizen which is named after the German Head of State. This possess a fairly roasty and almost chocolate-like flavor with some dark fruitiness, wheat malts and a mildly bitter hop finish; All of which are nicely balanced and come together quite well. It's not too often that I see a Dunkelweizen on tap anywhere and it's nice to see a traditional German beer style being showcase locally.

After our meal, we decided we would meet up later that evening for dinner so I headed home and I did something I haven't done since I was 8 years old: I took an afternoon nap. I had been walking and running around since 7am that morning and I can only imagine how the runners must've felt.

A few hours after I had gotten home, I received word that we were going to Canal Park Brewing to have some dinner and, of course, more local beer. While I made my recommendations to my mom and step-dad, I took this opportunities to try out some offerings which I had previously neglected to take a real close look at.

Canal Park Mindblock Double Honey Maibock (7.5% ABV) - A spring/summer seasonal Maibock offering. Being that this is a Maibock, it's very malt forward with a pale malt, toffee and honey sweetness before ending with a mild floral hoppiness. Maibocks are always a seasonal favorite for myself and this is no exception.

Canal Park Ankle Deep Pilsner (5% ABV) - I actually had this because the menu said it paired well with their Beer Cheese n' Mac entreé, which is what I was having. For the most part, it's pilsner malts with a light earthy/grassy flavor with just a touch of bitter hoppiness at the end. It's pretty light and possesses a nice crisp feeling. Not overly complex by any means, but it did pair wonderfully with my dinner and I could see myself drinking a couple of these after a long day doing yardwork.

After dinner, we bid our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Overall, it was a very fun weekend. Stay tuned in the near future for my post regarding the final Craft Beer Roundtable Event from The Duluth Experience. That in and of itself was a lot of fun to attend and I cannot wait to share with everyone what was discussed.


- Nick

Saturday, June 21, 2014

American Sky Tailgunner Gold Review

Name: American Sky Tailgunner Gold
Style: Blonde Ale 
ABV: 5%

It's time to look at another beer from American Sky Brewing based out of Hudson, Wisconsin. Since my last review, I found out that American Sky is also known as the Hudson Brewing Company but the website makes no mention of that, which leads me to believe that the latter is used as an LLC name.

The beer we will be looking at is their Tailgunner Gold, which is the brewery's Blonde Ale offering. As you will notice in the photo above, the label actually fell off of the bottle while I was removing the the beer from the fridge.

Tailgunner Gold pours a very dark & hazy yellow color with a thin filmy head. I am picking up on some mild carbonation but there are a ton of tiny sediment pieces floating around in the beer. I'll be honest, this isn't exactly the prettiest looking beer I've come across.

The aroma has a distinct dry hoppiness at the front of the nose that comes off as floral more than anything else. Aside from that, there are some pale malts and noticeable grassiness in here as well.

Flavor-wise, it's very dry from when it first touches your lips up until you swallow the beer. What I am able to up on are some mild dry hops and a light pale maltiness...and that's pretty much it. When I have to dig, figuratively speaking, for flavors, that's never really a good sign. The palate is rather moderate in weight but light when it comes to carbonation.

Tailgunner Gold is not offensive by any stretch of the imagination but it's just so very bland. The nose is somewhat promising but the flavor is just so incredibly dry and borders on being almost non-existent. It just lacks the flavors that I'm used to seeing in a Blonde Ale. I know that Blonde Ales aren't exactly held to the highest standards in the craft beer industry but even those have some type of flavor most of the time. If you're looking for a decent blonde ale, I wouldn't advise picking this up.

American Sky Tailgunner Gold - 6/10

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

American Sky USA IPA Review

Name: American Sky USA IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.8%

Up until a couple of years ago, Hudson, Wisconsin was the small sleepy town on the St. Croix River that residents of Minneapolis/St. Paul flocked to for their Sunday beer run and that was pretty much the only reason why people even went there. Then last year, two breweries all of a sudden popped up in Hudson and it has since been gaining a reputation aside from the one it's already known for.

As mentioned before, Hudson currently has two breweries to it's name: Pitchfork Brewing (which is a fantastic place to go to if you haven't been there already) and American Sky Brewing. Today we'll be looking at a beer from the latter called USA IPA and it has perhaps the most patriotic name I've ever seen on a beer, hands down.

USA IPA pours a very hazy dark orange color with a thin foamy khaki colored head. The sheer haze of the beer also makes it very hard to pick up any type of visible carbonation.

The nose has a pretty nice citrus hop and grapefruit scent backed up by some caramel malt sweetness. On the back end, I am picking up on some faint piney hops but they're subtle at best.

The flavor is surprisingly piney hop and resiny resin forward upfront with the citrus hops taking more of a backseat. The maltiness definitely isn't as strong here but it manages to provide somewhat of a balance in terms of flavor.

Body is moderate in weight but fairly thick and the carbonation is actually quite mild. This also has somewhat of a creamy texture so it's fairly easy to drink.

In the end, USA IPA is a pretty standard IPA that doesn't really do much to stand out from the crowd. With that said, it possess a good taste and is easy to drink. So while there's nothing to write home about, you aren't doing anything wrong by checking this out.

American Sky USA IPA -  8/10

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Avery Hog Heaven Review

Name: Avery Hog Heaven
Style: Barleywine
ABV: 9.2%

Avery Brewing's Hog Heaven holds a very very special place in my heart as the first barleywine-style ale that I ever had. It seems like only yesterday I walked into The Four Firkins with a gift card in hand from my birthday. As I finished putting my mix-a-six together, I still had another $10 to spend. Since I was in the best place to find craft beer, I asked one of the guys working there about a barleywine that would be good for a green horn who was new the style. He pointed me in the direction of Avery's Hog Heaven and I was sold.

Following his advice of allowing it age, I sat on it for about 3 months before deciding to crack it open. Upon drinking it, was struck by how different it was from any other styles I had tried before. At the same time, I was taken aback by how great it tasted and it has since become one of my favorite styles of beer.

A couple months ago when I was reviewing Avery Salvation, I pointed out that while I was glad to be able to get Avery again, I expressed my desire to get my hands on Hog Heaven once more. Well this past weekend, I was visiting my local store when I noticed that they finally added Hog Heaven to their Avery lineup. Needless to say, I picked this up and reveled in the fact I was finally able to revisit an old favorite. So now that I have a more defined palate, it's time to see how this has stood up after all these years.

Hog Heaven pours a dark orange color with with a orange colored foamy head. The lacing left behind is mild but stick and the visible carbonation is also fairly mild.

The nose possess a very strong citrus hop and caramel malt backbone with a noticeable dry hop aroma and distinct toffee sweetness. Even 2 1/2 years later, the aroma still manages to pack the same punch that I remember.

The flavor possesses a pretty strong caramel maltiness and an equally strong citrus hop profile. There is also some toffee sweetness and a dry hop bitterness that shine through particularly in the aftertaste.

The palate has a very thick & heavy body but the carbonation is thankfully more on the mild side so you get to enjoy the flavors this beer has to offer.

Despite having had many barleywines since first having this beer, Hog Heaven still tastes just as great as I remember it. It's not as complex in terms of taste compared to other beers in the same style, but it is very robust and quite delicious! For those looking dabble in the barleywine style, Hog Heaven is a great way to get yourself started.

Avery Hog Heaven - 9/10

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dogfish Head Sixty-One Review

Name: Dogfish Head Sixty-One
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%

When I got this beer originally, I wasn't exactly paying attention to what I was getting. I knew I was grabbing a Dogfish Head beer but I thought I was getting a bottle of 60 Minute IPA. Now imagine my shock when I looked at the bottle and realized I ended up grabbing a bottle of Dogfish Head Sixty-One.

Now Sixty-One is, in fact, an IPA but keeping in with Dogfish Head's tendencies to explore uncharted territory, this is brewed with Syrah grape must which is just another term for "grape juice." According to the brewery's website, Sixty-One was created as a test batch at the Dogfish Head brewpub last year and it actually uses the same type of hops that is used in 60 Minute IPA and an addition of dry hops.

Sixty-One pours a hazy orange color with a pinkish tinge with a foamy white head that also has a light pink shade as well. Light visible carbonation and good lacing. I really can't say that I've had a beer that has been a pinkish color before. I guess there's a first time for everything

The nose has moderate aroma of citrus hops but it's lightly masked a a distinct grape and berry scent. It smells like you took sparkling grape juice and poured it into an IPA.

The citrus hops are a bit more prominent in the flavor but the grapes and berries are still quite noticeable. It does possess some resiny bitterness and also a distinct muskiness, particularly in the aftertaste. The palate possesses a fairly heavy body with some mild carbonation.

I have very mixed feelings about this beer. On one hand, it's a totally different IPA that is trying to bridge the gap between wine and beer which I think is awesome! On the other hand, I think the execution is a bit sloppy and somewhat imbalanced when it comes to the flavor.  I enjoy trying out beers that to go off the beaten path into uncharted territory. I have found several beers that have absolutely floored me with how great they taste but Sixty-One just didn't cut it with me.

Had this been a heavier style of beer like a Dubbel, Abbey or Barleywine, I think the outcome could've been a lot different. With that said, it's a decent beer that's worth checking out if you're looking for something truly unique and I feel that people are either going to love or hate this beer. For me, at the end of the day I'd rather have a 60 Minute IPA instead of this.

Dogfish Head Sixty-One - 7/10

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Duluth Beer Roundup for June 15, 2014

Since the my last post regarding the Duluth Craft Beer Scene received was mostly positive, I will continue doing these Roundup posts every week if I'm able to do so. This week was a busy one for me and I'm still in the process of getting everything unpacked and set up from my move a couple weeks back. Between work and all of that, I was only able to venture out to one brewpub this week and that was Thirsty Pagan Brewing over in Superior, WI.

Since I was last there they have added a ton of seasonal beers to their lineup. Around September of last year it was around maybe 3-4 seasonals but this time around I counted 9 and a couple of which caught my eye to the point where I just had to try it out.

Thirsty Pagan Rauchbier (5.5% ABV) - Finally, a Rauchbier (smoked beer) that is locally made and it has been a long time since I've had a good Rauchbier. It starts out with a solid smoked malt flavor followed up with some mild but nice hoppiness before ending with some lightly toasted barley. Definitely lighter in terms of appearance, body and even a little bit in the flavor than what I'm used to seeing in Rauchbiers but I would still highly recommend checking this out!

Thirsty Pagan India Pale Lager (6.7% ABV) - It's nice to see that the IPL-style is starting to gain traction amongst the craft beer crowd. This starts out with a nice citrus and piney hop profile with a solid pale malt base and a bitter resiny aftertaste. I usually see IPLs come out around the springtime so this makes for a very nice seasonal.

Thirsty Pagan The Patriot (4.8% ABV) - A Pilsner made with All-American malts and hops, hence it's name. This has a nice floral hop profile backed up by a Pilsner malt base with a hint of oakiness thanks to the hops used in this beer. The light body and relatively mild carbonation give this a nice crisp and clean finish.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this. Hopefully I will have inspired some of you to go out and try these beers out if you get the chance.


- Nick

Busch Signature Copper Lager Review

Name: Busch Signature Copper Lager
Style: Amber/Vienna Lager
ABV: 5.7%

It's time to look at a beer that I have been meaning to get around to for quite a while: Busch Signature Copper Lager. Released earlier this year, this is the 3rd beer (to my knowledge) released by Anheuser-Busch that contains a high-than-normal ABV than what is seen in macro lagers, with the other two being Budweiser Black Crown and Bud Light Platinum.

Released earlier this year, this beer is meant to be targeted mainly at the craft beer crowd with using the ABV as a justification for buying the product; Something which I find to be somewhat pretentious from a marketing point of view. I understand many craft beers are higher in alcohol content, but drawing from personal experience, it doesn't always necessarily mean that it's better.

Since I wasn't willing to spend the money on a six-pack, I opted for the 25oz. tallboy which just so happened to be on sale. A sign of good travels or a bad omen lurking on the horizon? Let's find out...

Busch Copper Lager pours a clear copper color with no visible carbonation to speak of what-so-ever. The head takes on a white filmy appearance with decent retention and there is also some light lacing here.

The aroma starts out with a surprisingly decent scent of Munich malts, roasted barley/grains, toffee sweetness and there's is even some faint hoppiness at the very back end of the nose! It actually smells like an amber lager should!

Now the flavor starts out with some good Munich and toasted maltiness but then the adjuncts (corn, cereal grains, etc.) seemingly come out of nowhere, hijack the rest of the flavor and it ends up tasting like a typical adjunct lager when it's all said and done. As for the faint hoppiness, it perished as well.

Now the palate is very light-bodied and the carbonation is so mild that it teeters on being almost non-existant. To it's credit though, it does make it very easy to drink even if it comes off as very watery

As much as I prefer craft beer over macro lagers, I'm somewhat disappointed that this didn't possess a better taste because it gives a pretty good first impression with the aroma. However given that it's an Anheuser-Busch product, I'm not surprised either. To it's credit though, there is nothing I would consider offensive about this beer in terms of both taste and smell. After all, with higher-than normal ABV macro lagers, you could do much, much worse.

Busch Signature Copper Lager - 5/10

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Two Brothers SideKick Extra Pale Ale Review

Name: Two Brothers SideKick Extra Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
ABV: 5.1%

I've been on sort of an APA streak as of late and tonight I'm going to reviewing a beer that was actually recommended to me by Seth from Regular Guy Brewing, which is the Two Brothers Sidekick Extra Pale Ale. Seth happens to be a big admirer of Summit EPA and likened the the aforementioned beer to SideKick. As luck would have it, my local store recently started carrying Two Brothers so I'm able to see just how good this is.

SideKick pours a clear yellow color with a fairly foamy white head. The visible carbonation is rather mild and lacing retention is decent.

The nose starts off with a potent floral hop & yeasty scent, which are backed up by a toffee sweetness and a pale malt noticeable pale malt backbone.

As such, the flavor is not too different from the nose. There is a nice balance between the malty backbone and the floral hops and yeasts. I would say the only noticeable difference here is that it's more resiny than the nose leads you to believe and is most noticeable in the aftertaste.

The palate possesses a fairly light body and the carbonation is also very mild as well. As such, one should not have any trouble drinking this.

While the flavor plays it safe for the most part, SideKick is a textbook example as to how to make a good & balanced APA. If you're not really too sure about what to get on your next trip to the grocery/liquor store, you're not going wrong by trying this out.

Two Brothers SideKick Extra Pale Ale - 8.5/10

The Duluth Experience Presents: Women of the North Shore Craft Beer Scene – A Candid Discussion on the State of Women in Brewing

The Duluth Experience Presents: Women of the North Shore Craft Beer Scene – A Candid Discussion on the State of Women in Brewing

Women were first to harness the power of fermentation during the era of our species' cultural transition from hunters and gatherers to a more agrarian model. Only later, would brewing become a male-dominated craft with monasteries becoming focal points of beer production. In today's craft beer scene, we see more and more women taking leadership positions in the brewing industry and the North Shore Craft Beer Scene is a glowing example of this resurgence.

In their fourth and final installment of the North Shore Craft Beer Roundtable series, The Duluth Experience will host a 5-person panel discussion that will highlight the unique character of the North Shore Craft Beer Scene and the roles that women have played (and are playing) in moving the local craft beer community to the forefront of the industry as a whole. Moderator Elissa Hansen (Barley’s Angels Duluth/Superior Chapter) will facilitate a discussion that will delve into the challenges and opportunities for women in the industry, the trends for craft beer as a whole, and the personal stories of these influential women in the local and regional craft beer scene.

The panelists for the event include:

·      Allyson Rolph – Thirsty Pagan Brewing

·      Jamie MacFarlane – Castle Danger Brewery

·      Liz Gleason – Carmody Irish Pub & Brewing

·      Laura Mullen – Bent Paddle Brewing Company

·      Melissa Rainville – Fitger’s Brewhouse

The Women of the North Shore Craft Beer Scene will be held from 1-2pm at Duluth’s Teatro Zuccone in the Zeitgeist Arts Building at 222 East Superior Street on May 22nd. Tickets for each event are only $5 and all proceeds from the event will be donated to a local charity. For more information about the North Shore Craft Beer Roundtable call (218) 464-6337 or visit The Duluth Experience website at:

The events are designed to provide behind-the-scenes perspectives on the regional craft beer community and showcase the great people involved in pushing the North Shore Craft Beer Scene to the forefront of the expanding craft beer industry in Minnesota. Beer will be served at the event (of course) and there will be time for audience questions. The event will close with a raffle and if it turns out anything like the previous two roundtables – the conversation will spill out into the mezzanine and then to a local pub for continued discussion and merriment.

Please visit or call Dave Grandmaison at 218-464-6337 for more information.

Out of all of the roundtable events, this is easily the event that I have been looking forward to the most. I know there is some marathon going on next weekend but what better way to unwind from all that running than with free beer and an event dedicated solely to craft beer?

I hope to see you all there, and thank you for being supportive of the local craft beer scene!


- Nick

Red Brick 3 Bagger Review

Name: Red Brick 3 Bagger
Style: Tripel
ABV: 9.5%

Last week, I received some beer in the mail via beer trade and have slowly been working my way through all of them. For this review, I'll be looking at 3 Bagger, part of the Brick Mason Series from Red Brick Brewing Company based out of Atlanta, GA.

This is a Tripel-style ale but with a twist: It's aged in rum barrels, much like Capital's Jobu. Since this is my first time dabbling in anything from Atlanta's Craft Beer Scene and having never had a rum barrel-aged Tripel before, I'm very curious to see how this turned out. Plus in addition to drinking beer, I just so happen to enjoy rum.

3 Bagger pours a hazy golden color with a snow white soapy head. The visible carbonation is on the moderate side and there is no lacing left behind to speak of.

The nose starts off with a very strong vanilla and belgian yeast aroma with some notes of oak, rum raisin, butterscotch and caramel malts. Sure enough, it smells like someone took a shot of Sailor Jerry rum and and poured it into a Tripel.

The flavor is comparable to the nose. Upfront you have some very pronounced vanilla, Belgian yeast and oakiness notes with some rum raisin, butterscotch and caramelized malts on the back of the palate. The aftertaste is a mix of caramel malts, belgian yeasts and vanilla-oak. There is also some mild hoppiness here but it's almost completely eclipsed by everything else.

The palate is fairly moderate in terms of body weight and the carbonation is also fairly moderate. Considering the flavor as a whole, it fits in quite well and adds some dimension to what I consider to be an already complex tasting beer.

This is truly unlike any other Tripel that I have ever had before and I love it! It gives a great first impression in the nose and the flavor is wonderfully robust and complex. Any diehard Tripel fan will love this beer as well as anyone looking for something off the beaten path in terms of style.

This may be my first beer (hopefully not the last) from Red Brick, but to anyone in Atlanta reading this, you guys are lucky to have Red Brick in your neighborhood!

Red Brick 3 Bagger - 9.5/10

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Deschutes Armory XPA Review

Name: Deschutes Armory XPA
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
ABV: 5.9%

Originally I was going to continue going through the beers which I received via mail but in a twist of events, a challenger has appeared. For you see, I am not the only beer blogger in Duluth; Quite the opposite. He goes by the moniker Duluth Beer Snob and he also reviews beers but with a Gonzo-esque narration and definitely worth reading!

This morning before I left for work, I was checking out his latest post that focused on the latest offerings from Deschutes Brewing. As I was coming to the end of the post, he was talking about how tasty the Armory XPA was when he mentioned:

  • I cannot imagine how good this would be on nitro at the pub. If I were Nick, I’d give it 10/10.
I noticed three things:

  1. My name is Nick!
  2. The name is hyperlinked!
  3. That's my rating system!
So imagine my shock when I clicked on the link and it sent my own front page! Was this a challenge? If so, I accept that challenge! I have to admit it's a pretty bold one considering that I've only given one 10/10 rating since starting this blog up. I just so happen to have bought a bomber of XPA last week, so tonight's review will be Armory XPA. The XPA stands for eXperimental Pale Ale as it was the first beer brewed at Deschutes' Portland location.

Armory XPA pours a hazy orange color with some mild visible carbonation and a soapy head. There is also no lacing to speak of along the sides of the glass. 

The aroma has a rather pungent floral hop and yeast scent that is complemented by some orange peels and pale malts. I do have to admit that it's rather vibrant smelling even for an APA.

The flavor is a lot more floral hop forward with some strong bready yeasts, mild citra-hops, yeasts and a solid pale malt backbone. Much like the nose before it, it's got a very vibrant taste even by APA standards

The palate as a whole is moderate in terms of both body weight and carbonation intensity. It's part-crisp and part easy-drinker.

While I think Armory XPA is an excellent and vibrant tasting APA, it doesn't quite match the complex flavors that I got from 3 Floyd's Zombie Dust, which I consider to be my all-time favorite APA. With that said, this is still a very flavorful beer and it's got a very decent price tag as I only paid about $4.50 for this so you're for sure getting your money's worth here.

Deschutes Armory XPA - 9.25/10

You can also check out the Duluth Beer Snob at

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ale Asylum Contorter Porter Review

Name: Ale Asylum Contorter Porter
Style: Porter
ABV: 4.8%

It's been about a year since I've looked at anything from Ale Asylum, so on my recent trip down to the Twin Cities, I picked up a couple of their offerings from Hudson, WI during my visit last month. The first Ale Asylum beer that I picked up from Hudson which I will be reviewing is their Contorter Porter, which has a lower-than-usual ABV of 4.8%. The label also invokes a Motörhead-esque sort of feeling but that could just be my imagination working overtime

Contorter Porter pours a pitch black color with a rather thin khaki colored head. The lacing left behind is somewhat sparse and the visible carbonation is seemingly mild.

The aroma has a fairly strong roasted barley scent upfront with notes of dark chocolate malts, cocoa and coffee grounds. It seemingly teeters between roasty and sweet almost.

Flavor-wise, it's definitely more sweeter than roasty. Starting out are some strong chocolate malts which transition into some roasted barley, coffee and some mild but noticeable hoppiness on the very back end of the palate. With that said, the aftertaste is quite roasty with no signs of maltiness

The palate as a whole is quite light in the body with some moderate carbonation. There is however a distinct creamy texture which makes this rather easy to drink.

At the end of the day, Contorter Porter is tasty and quite easy to drink. It's not too often you see "session" porters but this one ends up being quite flavorful. If you're ever in Wisconsin, I'd definitely recommend checking this out.

Ale Asylum Contorter Porter - 8.5/10

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Alchemist Heady Topper Review

Name: The Alchemist Heady Topper
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8%

Last week, I received some beers through a trade and one of the beers I received was something that I have been meaning to try for a considerably long time and I even included it as one of the beers on my bucket list. That's right, I'm talking about Heady Topper from The Alchemist, based out of Waterbury, Vermont. Needless to say, I've been looking forward to having this for quite a while.

This is one of those beers that seemingly every beer geek on the internet has tried except for myself and had it not been for r/beertrade on Reddit, this never would've been possible so a big shout out to such a supportive community.

Now on the can it tells you to drink it straight from the can as opposed to pouring it into the glass because supposedly you are able to experience more of the flavor and aroma by drinking it straight from the can (Don't worry, I have!). However, I think the rules in this case are meant to be broken so into the glass it goes!

Heady Topper pours an extremely hazy golden color with a soapy head that has pretty good retention. The lacing is soapy, which gives it a clean finish and I can see some mild visible carbonation.

The nose has a pungent aroma of piney hops, grapefruits, toffee sweetness, and caramel. For an Imperial IPA, the aroma is very balanced.

The flavor has some very strong piney hops compounded with some fairly strong strong citrus hop notes that give it an almost mango like taste. The caramel & toffee sweetness do provide some excellent balance throughout the drinking experience. The aftertaste however is a very bitter resiny flavor, which is a stark contrast to most of the components of the flavor.

Palate-wise, this possesses an extremely heavy body with some moderate carbonation. It's enough to help one enjoy the flavors this has to offer.

Do I think the hype surrounding Heady Topper is warranted? Honestly, I think it is. It's got an extremely nice and robust hop profile and some great maltiness to help balance it out. As for the whole drinking from a can vs. glass debate, I didn't notice any difference between the two what-so-ever. Bottom Line: anyone who appreciates the Imperial IPA style owes it to themselves to check this out.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - 9.5/10

Weekly Duluth Beer Roundup for June 9, 2014

About a week ago, I talked about wanting to do a weekly post dedicated to the craft beer/brewpub scene here in Duluth/Superior/North Shore Area. Well, consider this to be the first post of (hopefully) many depending on the response that I get. With these posts, I hope I can raise awareness of the craft beer scene here along the North Shore and convince some of you to come up here and try our beer.

They will typically be in lieu of my Minnesota Craft Beer Week posts in terms of formatting. Expect to see mini-reviews of the beers I've had because let's face it, there is no way possible I could review every beer made by every brewery here in-depth because it is literally changing everyday. As such, some beers which I look at may not be available at times because it's either a seasonal, rotating, or a one time only beer.

This week, I have 3 beers from two different breweries: Canal Park Brewing and Fitger's Brewhouse. Next time, I will be sure to take pictures!

Canal Park 40 Acre Saison - Canal Park's Spring Seasonal Saison. This golden colored beer has a very nice Belgian yeast profile with some cracked peppers and pale malts, along with a some floral hop flavors. A bit on the stronger side (7.6% ABV) as far as Saisons go but quite good!

Canal Park Resonation #1 Belgian IPA - One of the newest selections to be added to the Canal Park lineup. The Belgian yeasts profile here is a lot stronger than 40 Acre in terms of intensity. It's also got some fairly strong heavy floral/resin hoppiness to boot. I've been craving some good Belgian IPAs for a while and this fits the bill.

Fitger's Brewhouse Timmy's Edelstoff - The Brewhouse's seasonal Munich Helles Lager and the first Fitger's beer that I've ever had when I first visited my Dad a couple years back when I still lived in Chicago. I've had this beer every year for the past couple of years and it's a lot more hop-forward this year than I recall, almost taking on some EPA-like characteristics. It's got some strong floral hoppiness with a solid pale malt base and a solid yeast and biscuit flavor. With all of that said, I still enjoyed this beer quite a alot and it's always fun to revisit this beer every year!

That's it for the weekly round-up. I promise that next week I will take more photos because I don't like drab looking posts with no visuals to speak of. To anyone reading this, I sincerely hope you get to try these beers out!


- Nick

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Brau Brothers Bancreagie Sour Peated Ale Review

Name: Brau Brother Bancreagie Sour Peated Ale
Style: Scotch Ale/Wild Ale
ABV: 11.5%

It seems that every year, Brau Brothers releases a bomber that contains a strong beer. In 2012, it was their Barrel-Aged Quad (which I would sell my soul to have again). In 2013, it was their Rye Wyne, which is best described as Barleywine brewed with rye.

It's been a while since I've really looked in-depth at a Wild Ale, so I figured for this review I'd do something a that's more local with Brau Brothers Bancreagie Sour Peated Ale. This beer is a variation of their regular Bancreagie Scotch Ale but allowed to age for 8 months and was made using lacto fermentation and described as "bigger & smokier" than the regular Bancreagie.

Bancreagie Sour pours a clear yet clear crimson red color with a thin khaki colored head. There is no lacing retention to be seen here and the visible carbonation is subtle.

The nose starts off with a Sangria red wine-like aroma with notes of grapes, apples and cherries with some caramelized malts and vanilla sweetness in the back.

The flavor starts out with a crisp apple and sour cherry fruity sweetness with some sweet vanilla, peated scotch, caramel malts finishing things off. The aftertaste is a tart fruitiness with some noticeable smokiness. Interestingly enough, it's not as sour as the nose led me to believe but still good!

The palate has more of a heavier body to it but it comes with some mild carbonation. That said, I found this to be pretty easy to drink.

Bancreagie Sour is definitely an interesting take on the Wild Ale & Scotch Ale style depending on which point you are viewing it from but concept it works out well in the end. It's got enough sour characteristics to please seasoned Wild Ale veterans yet I think that Scotch Ale side of this beer is prominent enough to warrant the attention of craft beer fans who normally don't care for anything sour in their beers. Since it's not going to be around forever, I would highly suggest picking this up before it's all gone.

Brau Brothers Bancreagie Sour Peated Ale - 9/10

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bad Weather Migration Review

Name: Bad Weather Migration Review
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 5%

Today I'm reviewing a beer from a fairly new Minnesota-based brewery called Bad Weather Brewing, which opened it's doors during the second half of 2013. As you may have guessed from the name, most of their beers have a weather-theme to it; After all, we Midwesterners love to talk about the weather! Heck, they were even featured on the Weather Channel this past winter, which you can view on the brewery's website.

For this review, I'm looking at their Migration Ale or Migration Fair Weather Ale if you want to be technical. It's a Blonde Ale brewed with rose hips which, according to Wikipedia, is the fruit of a rose plant. I had no idea that roses could produce fruit, let alone have nutritional value unless you so happen to be a rabbit.

Migration pours a hazy golden color with some moderate visible carbonation. The head is ghostly white and thin and the lacing is quite soapy with no retention.

The nose starts off with a pretty yeast-forward scent with some fairly pungent floral hoppiness, some fruity sweetness which must be from the rose hips and a nice pale maltiness. Even though I have never tasted rose hips before, I can already tell that this isn't your typical Blonde Ale.

Sure enough, the flavor starts out with a fairly strong yeast and floral hop profile, but the fruitiness brought on by the rosehips is unlike anything I've ever seen in a Blonde Ale....and it works out very well! The aftertaste is primarily yeasts, some mild hoppiness and pale malt sweetness.

The palate is considerably light body and heavy in the carbonation department. Though I would've preferred the carbonation to be milder to help one enjoy the flavors, it does provide a nice crisp feel.

I don't consider the Blonde Ale to be a beer style that is most likely to break the mold, but I found this to be very good! The rose hips in particular make this beer stand out amongst others of the same beer classification. If you're ever in Minnesota and so happen to come upon this, then I would highly recommend you try this out!

Bad Weather Migration - 9/10

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA Review

Name: Great Divide Hercules
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10%

It's been a long while since I've reviewed anything from Great Divide Brewing, mainly because they weren't available up here. Now imagine my surprise when I discovered last Friday when I walked into my local liquor store and saw some brand new Great Divide beers sitting on the shelf that had just arrived on the shelves; Which makes me very happy considering that I got this beer from down in Minneapolis just a few weeks back and speaking of which.....

Tonight's beer is Hercules Double IPA, a name which more than likely gets it's name from being a fairly strong Imperial IPA that clocks in at 10% ABV, which I consider to be on the high end of the spectrum in terms of ABVs for this style unless you count Evil Twin's Molotiv Cocktail.

Hercules pours a hazy dark orange color with a fairly thin filmy head. The lacing is what I would describe as moderate and I'm not picking up any visible carbonation. I do, however, see a couple pieces of floating sediment on the bottom of the glass.

The nose has a very strong citrus & piney hop scent with some apricots, mangos and grapefruits. There is some slight maltiness to be had but it's an otherwise very fruity smelling beer.

The flavor is a thankfully more balanced out with a strong citra-hoppiness with some sweet mango and grapefruit fruitness and a much more prominent caramel malt backbone. The aftertaste is a little bit more on the resiny/pine side with some light maltiness thrown in. The palate has very heavy body which comes along with some moderate carbonation.

Hercules is a textbook example of how to do an Imperial IPA correctly when it comes to flavor. If I had to point out one complaint about this beer, it's that the palate could've been just a little bit lighter in terms of weight and carbonation. Aside from that, Hercules is definitely worth checking out if you ever see it on the shelf.

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA - 8.75/10

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Victory Old Horizontal Review

Name: Victory Old Horizontal
Style: Barleywine
ABV: 11%

It's been a couple of years since I've dabbled in anything from Victory Brewing Company, but that's all going to change tonight with my review of their Old Horizontal, which is their annual barleywine release. On the top label, there is some small text that says "2013", which gives us the idea that this was brewed in 2013. I bring this up because I didn't start seeing this on shelves until about 2 months ago, which I find odd because either I missed this when it first came out or it wasn't put on shelves until fairly recently.

Old Horizontal pours a hazy dark crimson color with foamy head that settles into thin filmy form and the lacing is quite abundant and sticky.

In the nose, I'm picking up a ton of dark fruit notes with some caramel malts and some fairly strong citrus hoppiness. 

The best way I can describe the flavor is powerful. Not powerful in the boozy sense, but more like "in-your-face" strong. Otherwise it's very much the same as the nose with some dark fruit/plum notes, caramelized malts and strong citrus hops. The only key difference here is that there is more of a pine/resiny flavor kick than in the nose, which is most noticeable in the aftertaste.

The palate is quite hefty with a very thick body and some moderate carbonation. It's one of those barleywines that you really have to take your time with.

Old Horizontal is a pretty good barleywine style ale but the sheer strength of flavor (again, not boozy) may be off-putting to some. I think with some aging this could be an absolutely fantastic beer; I know I'm cellaring one for myself. With that said, even in it's current state, I still think that Old Horizontal warrants your attention if you're looking for something a bit on the stronger side.

Victory Old Horizontal - 8.25/10

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bent Brewstillery Dark Fatha Review

Name: Bent Brewstillery Dark Fatha
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.3%

Well after a long weekend of moving and 3 days without an internet connection, I have returned! Since it's my first night back in front of a keyboard, I figured that now would be an appropriate time for a beer review.

About 3 weeks ago, I picked up some beers from down in the Twin Cities and one of the brands I got my hands on was Bent Brewstillery. I have already looked at their Nordic Blonde Ale, which I found to be very good so now I'm taking a look at their Dark Fatha Imperial Stout, or "Emperial Stout" as it's known by on the front of the label. Speaking of which, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the heavy handed Star Wars references present here; They even gave the already pimped-out Darth Vader a gold "tooth," which is original to say the very least.

Dark Fatha pours an opaque black color with a very dark brown head. The lacing retention is very good and there is some minor carbonation climbing up the sides of the glass.

Aroma-wise, it starts off with some nice chocolate malts, a vanilla sweetness, some toffee notes and some moderate roasted barley. The roastiness and malty aspects of the nose are surprisingly well balanced.

With that said, the flavor is fairly similar but with more of a roasty characteristic than before. Aside from that, you have your chocolate malt, vanilla and toffee flavors but with the roasted barley taking more of the center stage. The aftertaste is a mix of sweet vanilla, roastiness and a surprisingly hoppy flavor that comes seemingly out of nowhere.

The palate is a whole is very heavy in terms of body weight with some moderate carbonation. Despite all of this, there beer does contain a surprisingly smooth texture.

While I wish the flavor was just as balanced as the nose, Dark Fatha is still a very good tasting Imperial Stout and it's decently priced (At least what I paid for it.) Anyone looking for a good local Imperial Stout would be wise to check this out

Bent Brewstillery Dark Fatha - 8.5/10

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Couple of upcoming changes

Hello fellow readers,

As some of you may already know, I moved this weekend into my brand new place. Right now, I am currently without internet until tomorrow evening at the very earliest and I'm writing this post from my phone.

Anyways, there's going to be some changes made in terms of posts. About a year ago when I moved to Duluth, I mentioned that I would focus more of my posts on the craft beer scene here.
Well, I feel that almost a year later, I have not been holding up my end of the bargin enough. Drawing inspiration from my Minnesota Craft Beer Week posts, I've decided that I'm going to do a ”weekly roundup” post of sorts every week.

The idea is this: Every week, I do a weekly recap of various beers I try at the breweries/brewpubs in the Duluth/Superior area. I'm looking to do 1-2 beers a week, permitting that I'm not too busy with other things going on in my life. These posts would be in addition to my beer reviews, of course!

Thanks once again to all my readers for your patience! With any luck, I'll be back at it tomorrow night.


- Nick