Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bud Light Review

Name: Bud Light
Style: American Adjunct Lager
ABV: 4.2%

It's been a long time coming but I think there is no better time to review Bud Light than right now. Why is that you ask? Because this Sunday is the Super Bowl and Budweiser & Bud Light will be the only 2 beers being advertised during the game! Never mind that Budweiser & Bud Light sales have been slipping over the past few years and that Anheuser-Busch will be using the Super Bowl to target specifically to Millennials, an age group in which almost half of them have never had a Bud before.

Rather than spend money on a six-pack of this, I opted for a tallboy can that was on sale. Now this isn't your standard 16 oz. tallboy can. No No, this is a whole 25oz! Upon closer inspection, I noticed this little ditty written near the top of the can....

A whole extra ounce of Bud Light?!?!? Why A-B, you shouldn't have!!!! I'm really shouldn't have. Let's take Bud Light's slogan, Up For Whatever, and run with it. After all, I'm up for whatever with reviewing this beer.

Bud Light pours a pale yellow color with a high amount of visible carbonation. It possesses a very foamy-fizzy head with no lacing to speak of.

The aroma starts off with some cardboard-like notes, some cereal grains, light booziness, and some light pale maltiness. There is also some skunkiness present too as it warms up.

The flavor consists of cardboard, cereal grains, booziness, some skunkiness that gets stronger as the beer warms up and light pale malts. Bear in mind all the flavors listed above are quite mild when drank from a glass & the aftertaste is about as dry as you can get. In fact, the only time I got any mildly vibrant flavors whatsoever is when I drank it directly from the can and even the skunkiness was there with reinforcements.

I find it kind of sad that this is beer of choice being advertised at the Super Bowl in attempt to win over Millennials, an age group which I just so happen to belong to. Myself, along with many others in my age group, don't have brand loyalty to just one brewery and we are willing to spend a couple extra bucks on a beer that tastes vastly superior to Bud Light. If Anheuser-Busch really wants to win over the younger crowd, I would suggest they starting making good beer, though I don't see that happening anytime soon.

At the end of the day, Bud Light is devoid of pretty much any flavors to speak of and is quite watery in terms of taste. With all of that said, it is nowhere near as bad as other beers I've had before BUT my advice to you would be to drink better beer during the Super Bowl.

Bud Light - 3/10

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Badger Hill White IPA Review

Name: Badger Hill White IPA
Style: White IPA
ABV: 5.6%

It's been a long while since I've had a White IPA so what better time to break that spell than with a beer from Badger Hill Brewing? Originally part of the brewery's Wanderlust Series, their White IPA is now a regular offering from the brewery. Looking back on my older posts, I had also talked about this briefly in my Chocolate Cherry Dunkel review from last year.

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with no visible no carbonation. The head is quite foamy and the lacing is pretty good.

The aroma possesses some malted wheat notes, orange peel sweetness, a bit of coriander with some citrus hops in the back.

Flavor-wise, it's got everything that was present in the nose. You've got some malted wheat notes upfront followed by some orange peels & coriander before settling for a sweet citrus hop aftertaste. The only difference here is that there are some light floral hops present that make an appearance in the middle of the flavor and some light toffee sweetness that lingers throughout.

Before having this, my favorite White IPA was from New Belgium but I think this beer may be new favorite in terms of the style. The flavor is nice and robust without being too overwhelming and it's got all the workings of a great White IPA and then some. Should you ever find yourself in Minnesota, this is definitely worth checking out!

Badger Hill White IPA - 9/10

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fulton Worthy Adversary Review

Name: Fulton Worthy Adversary
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.5%

Hey remember in my last review when I said that every once in a while, I need a lighter beer during the winter months? Well we're back to the other end of the proverbial beer spectrum with Fulton Beer's Worthy Adversary Imperial Stout. Now I've had this beer before at Fulton's taproom before but like many local beers I've had, I haven't given it a proper review yet.

This is also the first time I've seen Worthy Adversary in a four pack of 12oz bottles as opposed to the 22oz. bombers, which I think is awesome. They also have another Imperial Stout by the name of War & Peace, which is brewed with coffee. Note to self: Try to review this beer in the near future.

Worthy Adversary pours a pitch black color with no visible carbonation. The head takes on a very thin khaki-colored appearance and some spotty lacing.

The aroma takes on a strong Chocolate malt and roasted barley scent upfront. Oddly enough, I'm getting some raspberry sweetness paired up with some mild vanilla notes and light bitter hoppiness

The first three flavors that hit the palate are roasted barley, bitter hops & chocolate malts; All of which are simultaneous. Following this up are some vanilla & light raspberry sweetness. As for the aftertaste, it consists of mild bitter hops and more roastiness.

I don't recall any raspberry sweetness being in this beer before, but regardless it is still an excellent tasting beer. I'm not the biggest fan of wordplay or whatever it's called but one could say that this worthy of your time.

Fulton Worthy Adversary - 9/10

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Review

Name: Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
Style: Dortmunder Lager
ABV: 5.8%

Even though it is the middle of winter, that doesn't necessarily mean that every beer has to be dark and heavy. Sometimes I just need something to change things up, which is why I'm taking a look at Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Company. The beer gets its name from winning Gold Medals at various competitions across the country.

Come to think of it, I haven't reviewed a single beer from Great Lakes since starting this blog nearly 2 years ago. Better late than never I suppose.

Dortmunder Gold pours a clear dark yellow color with some mild carbonation. The head is quite foamy but the lacing is on the spotty side.

The nose starts out with some pale maltiness & floral hops, followed up by some yeastiness and barley. I'm getting some light Pilsner malts in here is well.

The taste starts out with some floral hops and yeastiness upfront before settling into some pale maltiness and a bitter hop aftertaste.

Dortmunder Gold is not overly complex by any stretch of the imagination but it doesn't really need to be. It gets the job done and the end result is a nice, easy drinking beer. If you need a six-pack for the weekend, then this'll do just fine.

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold - 8/10

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Summit Mild 3X Ale Review

Name: Summit Mild 3X Ale
Style: English Mild Pale Ale
ABV: 7.2%

I've got an interesting concoction from Summit Brewing's Union Series. It's a beer called Mild 3X Ale, which according to Beer Advocate, is an English Pale Mild Ale and usually has an ABV from 3-5%. However since everything is being Imperialized nowadays, you could consider this to be an Imperial English Mild Pale Ale, which is sort of an oxymoron if you think about it. I guess even session ales aren't safe from the Imperial Monster.

I'm also going to say this before starting the review: I'm not at all familiar with the style. In fact the only other English Mild I recall ever having is the Pub Ale from Tallgrass. With all that said, I'm not quite sure what to expect but let's find out!

Mild 3X pours a hazy dark amber color with no visible carbonation to speak of. The head is nice and foamy and the lacing retention is quite good.

The nose has some very strong toffee and chocolate malts upfront. This is followed up by a bit of roastiness and some coffee grounds. I'm also picking up on some mild hoppiness but it's tucked away in the back of the aroma

The flavor is very chocolate malt & roasted barley forward. I'm picking up on some smoky notes and a bit toffee sweetness as well. The bitter hops make an notable appearance at the end and lingers on in the aftertaste for a few moments along with some mild roastiness.

I have to say this is unlike any other beer I've had in a while...and I love it! In fact, I'd even go as far to say that this is probably the best Union Series entry yet. It's got a nice robust flavor and yet it's very easy to drink. Flavor-wise, it straddles the line between Amber Ale & Stout perfectly, though I'm not sure if that was the intent. Either way, it works for me!

Summit Mild 3X Ale - 9/10

Friday, January 23, 2015

Castle Danger 17-7 Pale Ale Review

Name: Castle Danger 17-7 Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.8%

Since the last time I took a look at anything from Castle Danger Brewing, they have opened up their new brewery and taproom overlooking Lake Superior in Two Harbors, MN; Check it out if you have not done so yet. They have also started canning their beer for distribution and at the time of writing, they're available here in Duluth and along the North Shore as well as a few locations down in the Twin Cities.

To commemorate this joyous occasion of having their beer not being just growler or draft only, I've taken it upon myself to get a couple of cans for review. The first one I'll be looking at is their 17-7 Pale Ale, named after the address in which the brewery is located at.

17-7 pours a clear dark orange color with some moderate carbonation. The head is nice and foamy with some abundant lacing.

The nose starts off with a fairly strong floral hoppiness upfront with some potent yeastiness. There is a solid caramel malt backbone in here too and some mild citra hops tucked away in the back.

Flavor-wise, it is pretty floral hop forward which is backed up by some yeasts and caramel maltiness. On the back end of the palate is where I'm picking up on some mild grapefruit/citrus hop notes and light toffee sweetness with a lingering bitter hop aftertaste.

Confession time, APAs are my favorite recreational beer to drink when I'm in the mood for just kicking back and relaxing. With that said, 17-7 would be one of my first choices when doing just that. Plus there's a lot more going on in the flavor than the nose leads you to believe. I have to say that Castle Danger has made a fine product that will no doubt have beer drinkers coming back for more.

Castle Danger 17-7 Pale Ale - 9.5/10

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bell's Mercury Review

Name: Bell's Mercury
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
ABV: 4.8%

The next release in the Planet Series from Bell's Brewery, which based on the orchestral piece by Gustav Holst, recently hit shelves with Mercury: The Winged Messenger. Since Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, it only makes sense that this beer is the smallest in terms of alcohol content at just 4.8%

The beer also pairs wonderfully with the Mercury section of Mr. Holst's classic masterpiece...

Mercury pours a very hazy yellow color with no visible carbonation. Despite there being a very thin head that retains around the edges, the lacing is on the sparse side.

The aroma has some potent clove notes in with some Belgian Yeasts along with some pale maltiness. I'm also getting some some cracked pepper and a some pilsner-grassiness.

Flavor-wise I'm getting some strong clove and cracked pepper notes upfront mixed in with some Belgian yeastiness and pale malts. In the aftertaste I'm getting some surprisingly strong hop bitterness & light spiciness in the aftertaste, which is unusually strong for a session ale; Though I'm not complaining

This has to be one of the best session ale, if not, the best I've had to date. The flavor is complex and robust yet you can still enjoy it throughout the day. I can tell that Bell's put a lot of love into making this a tasty session ale and their efforts are a resounding success. It's a limited release so get it while you can.

Bell's Mercury - 9.25/10

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dogfish Head Burton Baton Review

Name: Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10%

It's been a couple of months since I've had any beer from Dogfish Head, so I've decided to take it upon myself to check out their Burton Baton, Despite having the word "Burton" in its name, this isn't a Burton Style Ale but actually an oak-aged Imperial IPA. It is a comparatively stark contrast to Dogfish Head's 120 Minute IPA, which clocked in at 18% ABV.

Seeing as how I'm a history geek of sorts, there is usually a story behind a name of a beer from Dogfish Head and it turns out the name comes from the town of Burton, England. It is from Burton that the India Pale Ale was first conceived. Back when India was a British Colony, there was a demand from British Soldiers for beer from back home. However the beer would spoil on ships making their way to India, so extra hops were added to help preserve the beer, and thus, gave birth to a new style of beer and has gone on to become a staple of the craft brewing industry.

Burton Baton pours a hazy orange color with no visible carbonation. It possesses a very thin khaki colored head but comes with some pretty good lacing.

In the aroma, I'm getting some strong citrus hop & grapefruit notes paired with some oakiness. Following up with that is some rather caramel & toffee maltiness with a slight hint of smoke.

With the taste, it is quite grapefruit & piney hop heavy upfront, followed by some strong oakiness & caramel malts. In the aftertaste I'm getting some very strong hop bitterness and light roastiness.

Needless to say, this is an Imperial IPA that provides the hop fix that fans of the style so desperately crave. Plus I'm a sucker of sorts for oak-aged beers, but even if it weren't oak-aged, I would still highly recommend this!

Dogfish Head Burton Baton - 9.25/10

Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter Review

Name: Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter
Style: Spiced Lager
ABV: 5.7%

It's time to review the last beer in my Connecticut beer mail package. This beer comes courtesy of Thomas Hooker Brewery based out of Bloomfield, CT. The brewery itself is named after Thomas Hooker, the founder of the Connecticut Colony which would ultimately become the a State of Connecticut.

Today I have their Nor'Easter, which is named a type of storm that affects New England in which the wind blows from the Northeast that results in heavy snow fall. Despite my initial assumptions that this was going to be a Winter Warmer, this is actually a Spiced Lager

Nor'Easter pours a hazy orange color with some mild carbonation. The head is quite thin and fades away a few moments after the initial pour and there is no lacing to speak of

The nose starts out with some strong caramel maltiness, some strong cinnamon & clove notes, and a bit of floral hoppiness

Flavor-wise, it is quite malty up front with some caramel & toffee notes. On the back end of the flavor is where the cinnamon and clove flavors shine through, along with some bitter hoppiness in the aftertaste.

Nor'Easter is a beer that is fitting for a nice winter evening. Spiced beers aren't the most common type of beer you see for a Winter Seasonal so it is a nice change of pace.

Thomas Hooker Nor'Easter - 8.5/10

Saturday, January 17, 2015

City Steam The Naughty Nurse Review

Name: City Steam The Naughty Nurse
Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 5%

I'm on the last leg of my Connecticut beer mail. The next I have is from City Steam Brewery, based out of Hartford, CT with their Naughty Nurse Amber Ale. The website doesn't have a lot of other information about this beer so let's get right to it

The beer pours a hazy orange color with some mild carbonation. The head has takes on a thin khaki colored appearance along with some good lacing.

In the nose, I'm getting some chocolate maltiness, a bit of mild cinnamon, some yeastiness, and a bit of floral hoppiness. Definitely smells different than the other Amber Ales I've had recently

As for the taste, there's some chocolate malts, bit of nuttiness, some floral & bitter hops and bitterness in general. A pretty bitter aftertaste with some very mild hoppiness to go along with that

Naughty Nurse is a pretty good beer and certainly one of the better amber ales I've had as of late. Be sure to check this out if you can.

City Steam The Naughty Nurse - 8.5/10

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My thoughts on Wasted: How the craft beer movement abandoned Jim Koch (and his beloved Sam Adams)


This is an opinion column more than anything else. Potential grammatical errors aside, I'm well aware that I am not an economist nor do I have an MBA. In fact, I don't even start my MBA classes until later this year.......did I just say that out loud? 

Last week I was browsing on Twitter during my lunch break when this article from Boston Magazine popped up in my news feed.

Wasted: How the craft-beer movement abandoned Jim Koch (and his beloved Sam Adams).

It starts with Jim Koch, CEO of Sam Adams Brewing, complaining about how Row 34, a prominent craft beer bar in Boston, didn't offer his beer. The article then goes on to talk about how he got into the craft beer business, birthed the craft beer moment, trying to be "cool", keeping up with trends, being the corporate side of craft beer, etc, etc.

I'm going to start off by showing an excerpt from the article:

So why does Koch get so upset when upscale bars such as Row 34 don't serve his beer? It might be because he’s worried that those establishments could be the canary in the craft-beer coal mine. The tastes of today’s drinkers and brewers are changing—and, unexpectedly, Boston Beer Company has been forced to play catch-up in the industry it helped to create.

Let's make one thing clear right now: Despite Sam Adams having to play catch-up in the craft brewing industry in-terms of trends, they're not going anywhere. They produce 2 Million+ barrels of beer a year. Sam Adams owes its growth & success their Boston Lager, which can be found in pretty much every bar across the country. Hey, speaking of which....

This may come as a shock to no one but not every bar is America aren't Craft Beer Only Bars like Row 34 or The Map Room in Chicago. The article makes note of how Sam Adams can be found at the Irish Pubs & Sports Bars. In fact, it's fairly safe to say that most bars in America aren't strictly "Craft Beer Only" bars. Besides if consumers got tired of Boston Lager, Sam Adams probably wouldn't be in business right now.

Another big talking point of the article is about how Jim Koch deliberately didn't go along with craft beer trends simply because everyone else was doing it.

The American beer palate is experiencing a tectonic shift. Once opposed to bitterness, domestic drinkers now embrace it. Big, bold, and brash IPAs are what consumers want, but Koch has been loath to make them. That could be a problem for Sam Adams’s business model, since hop-heavy IPAs, the most popular style of craft beer, account for a quarter of all craft-beer sales—and those sales are expected to grow by 40 percent this year.

“I don't want to make something if everyone else is doing it,” Koch says. It’s not just business: He personally doesn't enjoy many of the flavors in IPAs that today’s consumers celebrate, dismissing them as “catty” in nature. “I am probably outside the mainstream on that. We don't release a beer unless I like it.”

This is where I start to get a little critical because in every industry, trends are what drive the marketplace even if it isn't exactly to your liking. The problem I see here is that Mr. Koch refused to go along with these trends simply because he didn't like the style and that has no doubt affected Sam Adams' status in the craft brewing community. Even Goose Island has been somewhat keeping up with trends in the craft brewing industry: Barrel-Aging, Session Ales and so forth; Even after being bought out by Anheuser-Busch. I'll openly admit that there are some trends in craft brewing that I think are pretentious, but at the same time, I know breweries have to embrace those trends if it means satisfying consumer demand.

Now there are some trends that craft breweries can go without and do just fine. Things like Barrel-aging, session ales, or sour beers. However I have yet to see a craft brewery or brewpub that doesn't offer an IPA because it is pretty much a cornerstone of any craft brewery to offer an IPA. I'm not saying the IPA is a trend but you get the idea.

It wasn't until recently that Sam Adams started offering and heavily promoting their Rebel IPA and I have no doubt it my mind it was driven by consumer demand. However they would've been in a better position had they done this with their Latitude 48 IPA a couple years back when the demand for IPAs was on a massive upswing.

With all those misgivings, I do think Sam Adams' is in a unique position to come back swinging and one of those things that can help tremendously is their Rebel IPA. A few months back, I was at the gym when I saw a commercial for Sam Adams' Rebel IPA....

Up until that point, the only way people had heard about IPAs was seemingly through word-of-mouth. The idea of having a TV commercial for an IPA a couple years ago, to me, would've been unheard of. Sam Adams' has the financial strength to sell their Rebel IPA to the masses and bring about the IPA-style to a much larger demographic.

Plus in their defense, I think they have been trying in earnest to promote their other offerings through various outlets. I heard a spot on the radio from Sam Adams a few weeks ago boasting about how they brew over 60 different beers a year, which is a claim which they can make.

In the past few years, they have been releasing styles that really don't get too much attention. Earlier last year, I reviewed their Braggot, a style which doesn't get a lot of attention yet here is Sam Adams making it for the consumers. Seriously, how cool is that?! Their Griffin's Bow Barleywine (which I haven't had for a while) is also one of the better barleywine style beers that I've personally had.

With these limited releases, they have a chance to introduce more obscure styles of beer to the masses. A couple years back, they introduced Verloren, their Gose-style beer. Now it seems like every other craft brewery are introducing their own interpretation of the Gose and Sam Adams may be to thank for that, but that is just speculation on my part.

On a final note, I like Sam Adams. With the exception of one beer, I have never had what I would consider to be a terrible beer from them. Even though I tend to favor smaller craft breweries compared to Sam Adams' size, I still enjoy going through their seasonal sampler packs because there is always something new and exciting each time. Plus I always be sure to check out a limited release from them whenever I get the chance, especially if it's something I've never seen before.

I have faith in Sam Adams that as time goes on, they will not only be able to catch up but also keep up with current trends in the craft brewing industry. Not only that but I think they can get into a position which puts them not at odds with other breweries, but also to lead the way.

Thanks for reading my ramblings!


- Nick

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Back East Brewing Back East Ale Review

Name: Back East Brewing Back East Ale
Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 5%

Getting back to my Connecticut beer mail, I have a beer from Back East Brewing Company, based out of Bloomfield, CT. I have their Back East Ale, which is an Amber Style Ale. I don't have much information about this beer aside from it being Back East's flagship beer, according to their website.

Back East Ale pours a very hazy orange color with no visible carbonation to speak of. The head starts out foamy but quickly takes on the thin filmy appearance that retains throughout. I'm not getting any lacing though.

Vienna & Munich malts make up the front half of the nose while roasted barley, some chocolate notes and floral hops make up the back end. For an amber ale, it possesses a very malty smell.

Interestingly enough, floral and bitter hops take on a more aggressive role in the taste, especially upfront. In the middle is where the Munich malts are the strongest mixed in with some roasted barley and chocolate notes. In the aftertaste, I'm picking up on some bitter hoppiness and some light roastiness.

Judging from the nose I was expecting a fairly malt forward Amber Ale, but what I got instead was a surprisingly balanced-tasting beer. Aside from the slightly superfluous name, I honestly can't find anything wrong with this beer. Sure it's not going to blow you away flavor-wise, but it's extremely drinkable and worth seeking out if it's available in your area.

Back East Brewing Back East Ale - 9/10

Monday, January 12, 2015

Milwaukee Brewing Louie's Resurrection Review

Name: Milwaukee Brewing Louie's Resurrection
Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 10.2%

So I've decided to take a break from reviewing my Connecticut beers because I recently came across a beer that I have been meaning to get my hands on for a while. Last month I reviewed Louie's Demise from Milwaukee Brewing Company. In that review, I talked about Louie's Resurrection and my desire to one day give it a proper review. Well that opportunity came this weekend when I was making one of my visits to Keyport's Growler Station and Louie's Resurrection just so happened to be on that list.

Now a tidbit about Resurrection. For starters, it's a stronger version of Louie's Demise, which is their flagship Amber Ale. On top of that, it's aged for a couple months in bourbon barrels. When I had it in late 2013, it was the first "Imperial" Amber Ale that I had. To this day, it's the only one I've had. Needless to say, I'm quite excited to finally give this beer a proper review.

Clear dark red color with some very light visible carbonation. The head takes on a fairly foamy khaki colored appearance but with some sparse and soapy lacing.

Aroma starts out with some fairly prominent oak and vanilla notes. I'm also picking up on some roasted barley, a bit of chocolate maltiness, and even some mild bitter hops.

Flavor I'm getting some vanilla sweetness mixed with some oak, along with some chocolate and toffee malts, more bitter hoppiness and even a hint of cinnamon. Aftertaste is mildly dry with just a hint of vanilla.

This is, hands down, the best beer I've had from Milwaukee Brewing yet. The flavor is vibrant & robust and you will want to come back for more. Just be sure that if you do go back for more, that you don't plan on going anywhere because this is a deceptively strong beer.

Milwaukee Brewing Louie's Resurrection - 9.5/10

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Broad Brook Hopstillo Review

Name: Broad Brook Hopstillo
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.8%

Next up on my Connecticut Beer package is Hopstillo from Broad Brook Brewing. According to the brewery's website, it is a West-Coast inspired IPA. As for the name "Hopstillo", I haven't found what kind of a play on words it is, so it's probably just a made up word. I also failed to get a photo of the beer for this review so I'll just have make due with the image above.

Hopstillo pours a mildly hazy orange color with some sparse carbonation. The head take on a foamy appearance and some soapy lacing.

In the nose, it starts off with some strong citrus hops & mango sweetness. Backing that up is an equally strong caramel malt base. I'm also getting some buttery biscuit notes and just a hint of yeastiness.

The flavor, much like the aroma, is fairly citra hop forward with some grapefruit notes. The caramel malts base is just as strong on the back end of the palate. The aftertaste is mainly some bitter hops and some light yeastiness.

Hopstillo is definitely one of the better West Coast-inspired IPAs that I've had. Sure it's not as vibrant or robust in the flavor department as other actual West Coast IPAs I've had before but this is still an excellent beer that is worth checking out.

Broad Brook Hopstillo - 8.75/10

Friday, January 9, 2015

New England Elm City Lager Review

Name: New England Elm City Lager
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5%

Next up in my Connecticut beer mail package is from New England Brewing Company called Elm City Lager. Oddly enough, the can looks like it's called Elm City Pilsner but the website calls the it "Elm City Lager", which makes sense since a pilsner is technically a lager.

Elm City pours a clear yellow color with some moderate visible carbonation. The head is white and foamy and the lacing is sparse but visible nonetheless

The aroma starts out with some pale & pilsner malts and mild citrus hops in the front. This is followed by a bit of floral hoppiness and some pilsner-grassiness.

The taste is fairly Citrus and floral hops forward by some pale & pils malts and ends with a slightly bitter hop aftertaste.

It's hoppier than usual for a Pilsner but it works out quite well! It's flavorful, crisp, easy to drink and I could see myself drinking this on a regular basis. I would highly recommend that anyone on the East Coast check this if it's available in their area.

New England Elm City Lager - 8.5/10

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Two Roads Road 2 Ruin Review

Name: Two Roads Road 2 Ruin
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8%

I recently received a beer mail for a beer Secret Santa, which in this case, was someone from Connecticut. So the next few reviews, I'll be looking at some beers from various from the said state. I'm not too familiar with the craft brewing scene in Connecticut, which by that, I mean not at all.

The first beer I'm taking a look at is from a brewery called Two Roads Brewing Co. based out of Stratford, CT. This is an Imperial IPA that is aptly named Road 2 Ruin. With an ABV 8.0%, I consider it to be on the lower end of the Imperial IPA Spectrum.

Road 2 Ruin hazy orange color with some mild visible carbonation. The head takes on a thin white foamy appearance and the lacing is more on the sparse side.

In the nose, I'm getting some strong mango and tangerine sweetness, followed by some apricot and grapefruit notes with some piney hops and toffee maltiness in the back. I can tell by the nose there is already a lot going on in here

Flavor-wise it's almost the other way around. I'm getting some strong grapefruit & piney hop notes, followed by some apricot & mango sweetness before finishing with a solid caramel maltiness. The aftertaste, however, catches you off-guard with a rather strong bitter hoppiness.

To all seasoned Imperial IPA fans out there: don't let the ABV fool you, this is a very complex and robust tasting beer. Seeing as how this is my first beer from Two Roads, I would eagerly try out their other offerings should I be given the opportunity. For the time being, I am content with the fact knowing that I had an absolutely wonderful Imperial IPA.

Two Roads Road 2 Ruin - 9.5/10

Monday, January 5, 2015

Fargo Brewing Stone's Throw Review

Name: Fargo Brewing Stone's Throw
Style: Scottish Ale
ABV: 4.5%

It's been a few months since I've reviewed anything from Fargo Brewing, a brewery that opened its doors recently in Fargo, ND. For this review, I have their Stone's Throw Scottish Ale. With an ABV of 4.5%, this puts this smack dab in the middle of Session Ale territory.

Stone's Throw pours a clear dark brown color with no visible carbonation. The head is takes on a thin khaki colored appearance and some mild lacing.

The nose starts out with a fairly strong buttery biscuit scent, caramel & toffee maltiness,  light yeasts and some light roastiness. For a Scottish Ale, it has a bright sweet characteristic.

The flavor has a pronounced roasty flavor along with some chocolate maltiness, and a bit of mild bitter hoppiness at the end. The aftertaste consists of some mild bitter hoppiness and light chocolate maltiness.

For what it is, this is actually pretty good. The flavor profile is very robust and is a textbook example of how to do a session ale right. If you so happen to stumble upon this, be sure to check this out!

Fargo Brewing Stone's Throw - 8.5/10

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Old Milwaukee Review

Name: Old Milwaukee
Style: American Adjunct Lager
ABV: 4.6%

Old Milwaukee is one of the first beer brands that I ever remember seeing. Growing up we would visit Northwest Minnesota, which is where my family is originally from. During the many times we visited from Minneapolis, we would often go to the bars and VFWs in the area. It was the beer of choice for the patrons of the people who were there, which consisted mainly of old war veterans and the farmers. In fact, I recall seeing a couple of the bar patrons wearing an Old Milwaukee Racing Jacket.

Nowadays, Old Milwaukee is now contract brewed by Pabst Brewing. Will Ferrell also made some pretty funny commercials, which you can view here. Now I know nothing about the target market of Old Milwaukee, but based on the can design, it looks like a beer that my grandpa would've had back in the day. In fact, even the can design hasn't changed too much. For comparison, here's an old can of Old Milwaukee...

Photo courtesy of Bill's Beer Cans

Old Milwaukee pours a pale yellow color with a surprisingly low amount of visible carbonation. The head starts out foamy before retaining a thin foamy appearance and there is no lacing at all.

The nose has starts out with some pale malts, cereal grains, very faint hops and some very light booziness.

The flavor is very light. What I am picking up on is some cereal grains, a bit of pale malts, and some booziness. With all of that said, the flavors mentioned above are a bit stronger when you drink it directly from the can.....and I think it's meant to be done as such.

When you consider the low price (I paid $5 for a 6-pack,) this stuff is surprisingly drinkable. Make no mistake, this is by no means a great beer and if there's something better available, it would be in your best interest to go with the latter choice. However, if you're on a budget and need some beer to tide you over, then this wouldn't be a terrible choice.

Old Milwaukee - 4/10

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Zip Line New Zealand IPA Review

Name: Zipline New Zealand IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.8%

Happy New Year to all of my readers, I hope you all had fun and stayed safe etc, etc. Let's kick off 2015 with a review! A couple weeks ago when I was visiting family, I was given a bottle of beer from my stepdad who, at the insistence of his friend whose son goes to college in Nebraska, suggested I give this a review.

So tonight I have a New Zealand IPA from Zipline Brewing based out of Lincoln, NE. Many of you already know that a recent trend in craft brewing is breweries taking hops from New Zealand and using them in their beers. Usually these said beers have some name like Southern Hemisphere or Down Under. Zipline is a bit more direct with the name by just calling it New Zealand IPA.

I also want to apologize for the lack of photo, I swore I took a photo of it but after search for nearly an hour, my efforts have turned up nothing

New Zealand IPA pours a hazy orange color with some mild visible carbonation. The head is on thinner side but foamy nonetheless and the lacing is actually pretty good.

Aroma has some citrus hops with a bit of kiwi sweetness. I'm also getting some caramel maltiness with some floral hoppiness as well.

Taste takes on some moderate citrus hoppiness with some pronounced kiwi sweetness, much like the nose. The caramel maltiness is also pretty solid and I'm also picking on some hop bitterness in the back of the palate.

NZ IPA is a very nicely done IPA. It's got a great taste and easy drinkability. Here's hoping that I can get my hands from more stuff from Zipline in the near future!

New Zealand NZ IPA - 8.5/10