Sunday, November 24, 2019

Northern Hollow Apple Spice Review

Name: Northern Hollow Apple Spice
Place of Origin: Grasston, Minnesota, USA
Style: Fruit Wine
Grapes Used: N/A
ABV: 10%

Originally when I was sampling this wine, I was at a crossroads of sorts. For you see, the idea was to focus mainly on “traditionally made” wines. However a thought occurred to me in which I’ve reviewed several beers in the past that have been anything but “traditionally made.” After all, I did review a beer a few years back that was made with a yeast strain which was found in someone’s beard; Much to my shock, it was quite refreshing and drinkable! So the point I’m trying to convey is that I will not be picky when it comes to reviewing wines that are made with “unconventional” ingredients.

Which brings us to today’s wine from Northern Hollow Vineyards, based out of Grasston, MN, simply called: Apple Spice. As the name suggests, it’s a wine made with apples and spices. I usually like to put in the finer details about wines, in particular, what kind of grapes were used…..except I couldn’t find anything about it through my research. In fact, most of the information I know about this wine comes from the wine label itself & a quick search on Google on the winery itself.

Appearance -  A clear white-golden color that reminds one of cider.

Aroma – I’m picking up on some sweet honeycrisp apples and they’re front and center. I’m also picking up on some mild white grape & tannins in here as well but they’re secondary to the sheer…..appleness (if that’s not a word, it is now) of the overall nose.

Taste – White grapes upfront with some potent honeycrisp apple and all-spice flavors. I’m picking up on some mild pear sweetness, while the back end of the palate finishes with some light tannin notes. The aftertaste does have a brief flash of apple sweetness but fades quickly. There’s also a nice warming sensation after taking a sip, courtesy of the spices.

This is one of those wines that is definitely meant for the colder months of the year since one sip of this warmed me up significantly &  the grapes used here mash really well with everything else. That said, it’s best to enjoy this wine on a crisp autumn day as opposed to say a scorching hot summer day because this warms you up & fast! I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open for more of their offerings in the future, information or not!

Northern Hollow Apple Spice - 8/10

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Alexis Bailly Country Red Review

Name: Alexis Bailly Country Red
Origin: Hastings, Minnesota, United States
Style: Red Blend
Grapes Used: Marechal Foch, de Chaunac, Baco Noir, Frontenac
ABV: 12%

I’ve decided to dedicate a bit of time to focus on the wineries here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, since there’s quite a few of them around. For today’s offering, we have something from Alexis Bailly Vineyards with their Country Red. The winery is located southeast of St. Paul in Hastings, along the border to Wisconsin. It is worth noting that area surrounding Hastings consists of vast, rolling hills ideal for growing grapes.

Come to think of it, the areas in and around by the St. Croix River Valley (where Hastings is located) is home to numerous wineries on both the Minnesota & Wisconsin Sides. With that said, let’s delve into this, shall we?

Appearance - Dark red which is quite clear when held to a light, which gives off a nice crimson color.

Aroma - Mild tannins mixed in with some light raspberry and cherry esters with a hint of dark currant.

Taste -Raspberry and black cherry upfront with some tannins in the middle and back. In the aftertaste, I'm picking up on a light dark currant flavor but that quickly drops off to a dry nothingness.

I have to say that I enjoyed this quite a bit. It strikes a nice balance between being fruity and bitter with any sort of aftertaste. Definitely recommend picking this one up should you get the opportunity.

Alexis Bailly Country Red - 8.5/10

Monday, November 4, 2019

Delaforce Red Blend 2015 Review

Name: Delaforce Red Blend 2015
Grapes Used: Tempranillo. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca
Style: Red Blend
Area & Country of Origin: Porto, Douro, Portugal
ABV: 13.5%

For my first wine review, I wasn’t really 100% sure where to start. After all, my experience with reviewing wine is somewhat limited, with my only experience being an article I did on my old website on Next Chapter Winery and their offerings.

So here how it’s going to work, I’ll post whatever technical information up top, just like I normally do with my beer review posts since I’m kind of a geek for numbers & details. However if there’s something that’s missing, I’ll make sure to add them as my posts continue. After all, that’s what I did with my beer posts, especially if you look at my very early posts all the way back to 2013. In any case, let’s move onto our first ever wine review.

Today I’ve got the Delaforce Red Blend. From what I gathered, the winery itself is situated in the Douro River Valley in Northern Portugal and a couple of their claims to fame are their limestone-infused soil, which is supposed to give their wines a distinct flavor and their Port Wine, which is supposed to pretty well known but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. In any case, let’s dive right in, shall we?

Appearance – Dark mahogany color that has an almost plum-like color to it.

Aroma – Upfront I’m getting blackberry notes with some mildly potent tannins. I’m also getting some subtle dark chocolate sweetness in here as well.

Taste – Much like the nose, I’m getting a moderate blackberry flavors with some equally strong tannins & light roasty chocolate notes on the back of the palate. There’s also an encompassing earthiness that is present throughout most of the flavor that gives it a distinct spin. In the aftertaste, I’m picking up on a tannin & dark chocolate mixture that lingers for a few seconds afterwards.

Overall, it’s a good wine and I really appreciated the earthy aspect of the flavor as it gave the flavor some needed balance from becoming too “dark,” if that makes any sense. As it is, this is a solid wine and I could see myself further exploring this region in terms of wine offerings. Check this out should you get the chance!

Delaforce Red Blend – 8/10

Friday, November 1, 2019

A Visit to Next Chapter Winery

Disclosure: What you are about to read is an article from my old website: The Sheltered Gallivant. The article, which was posted earlier this year, covered my visit to Next Chapter Winery, which is a small winery based out of New Prague, Minnesota. Given the direction that I wish to take with this website moving forward, I feel that it is now appropriate to share this article with everyone and I hope you all can see why.  With that said, I hope you enjoy this article as much as I enjoyed putting it together earlier this year.

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, Minnesota is best known for its craft beer, followed closely by craft spirits. However, if there’s one aspect of Minnesota made alcohol that I consider to be vastly underrated, it would have to be wine. In fact, when I tell people that Minnesota is home to a lot of wineries, their reactions range from disbelief to amusement.

I don’t blame them either since I was in that position at one point. That is, until I was a senior in college and did an internship with a wine education company and discovered just how vast the Minnesota wine scene was. Picking up from where I left off from those seven years ago, this is one of those things that I want to keep on looking further into. With that said, let’s delve into our first wine article!

Our first winery is Next Chapter Winery, located in-between New Prague & Montgomery, which is about 50 miles south of Minneapolis. They planted their first grapevines in 2007 before becoming established in 2011 and finally opening their doors to the public & for private events in 2014. They’re located on a farmstead that I accidently drove past when I arrived and had to do a U-turn on account of the GPS on my phone not working. When I finally made my way down the drive way, you know very quickly that you’re at a winery on account of the numerous wine-themed signs hanging from the trees.

Eventually, you come across a big red barn next to a gravel parking lot, which is houses the tasting room. The barn itself is quite old, as in “Built-in-1910” old, and has a certain atmosphere of rustic to it. Behind it, you see the rows of grape vines that stretch outwards. Outside, you get the feeling of rusticness and this is reinforced when you set foot inside.

If there’s one word I’d use to describe the tasting room other than rustic, it would be cozy. The walls are nicely filled with decor and the low hanging ceiling gives you a real sense of intimacy without necessarily being claustrophobic. You can either sit at the bar or at one of the tables spread throughout the tasting room.

Since this is a winery, I had the chance to sample a good variety of wines during my time there. However, wine tasting would be complete without some pairings. For this I decided for a meat platter with offerings from New Prague-based Orenthal Meats. This, of course, comes with a delicious wild rice baguette to act as a palate cleanser of sort.

Now let’s talk about the wine. I decided to try a few offerings; From driest to sweetest, I wanted to be sure to get a good sample of everything. So without further ado, here’s what I thought of the wine.

Muscat – Their driest offering. This wine has a mildy sweet white grape flavor with a slight oak undetone. The aftertaste is very dry, save for some mild bitterness. It’s a nice dry wine that gets the job done and there’s nothing wrong with that

Wedded Bliss – A 50/50 Mix of the Cabernet & Marquette grapes. This one’s got a full bodied feel with some dark grape and some light bitter tannins upfront with a slight hint oak on the back of the palate: Which itself is otherwise reasonably dry. All and all, a nice blend and it keeps in spirit with the winery’s reputation as a wedding venue (More on that in a bit!)

Blackberry Delight – A wine that is made with, you guessed it, blackberries! This one has a sweet blackberry and dark currant flavor that lingers throughout the palate and has a nice sweetness in the aftertaste. Full disclosure, I ended up getting a bottle of this to take home with me; It was literally that good!

MN Ice Wine – A wine whch came with an education lesson courtesy of Chuck. In order to be considered an Ice Wine, the requirements are that the grapes harvested must be on the vine in consistent 17 Degree Fairenheit temperatures for 3 consecutive days and must not rise above that temperature threshold. In any case, this wine was definitely different than the other ones I tried. It’s got a bright white grape flavor to it but there’s also a distinct boozy and honey-like sweetness in here too; The latter of which lingers on the back of the palate. It’s also worth noting too that this wine clocks in at 18% ABV, all the more reason why the sample I got wasn’t a huge heaping portion, which is a good thing because I spent my time nursing this.

As I enjoyed my Blackberry Delight, I was informed by Dawn if anyone had told me about their specialty Wine Ice Cream Float. Perplexed, I inquired as to what exactly that was. It was explained to me that it was their Blackberry Delight with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with some Sprite poured in to give it a kick. Since wine & ice cream are two things that I never imagined in the same glass, I decided to go ahead and give it a go.

It is served in, what else, a wine glass. It certainly looked good, but did it taste good? The answer is a resounding “yes!” The vanilla ice cream helps subdue the sheer sweetness of the blackberry delight while giving the Sprite a chance to help bring everything together into a fruity yet not-overtly sweet concoction. I was told that the owner of the winery actually came up with this idea one night. I’m sure what the thought process was behind this and I don’t care because it is tasty!

At one point during my time at Next Chapter, I was shown the barrel room/reception hall, as well as their small bottling and distilling by Chuck. During our time there, he asked if I wanted the light to be on as I snapped photos but I informed him that it wouldn’t be necessary as I thought that ambient lighting from outside was doing the job all on its own. Apparently Next Chapter is considered by some to be a premier place to hold a wedding ceremony and reception. Even though it’s the dead of winter at the time of writing this, I could see just how picture-esqe the winery would look during the spring & summer months. Judging from the photos that I came across of Next Chapter during warmer months, it’s very easy to see why this place could be host to a wedding party.

Overall, Next Chapter Winery has a good variety of tasty wines to choose from, all from the comfort of their cozy, atmospheric tasting room. Plus there’s tons of stories to be had here with how this place came to be. Don’t take my word for it, go visit and see for yourself!

They are located at:
16945 320th Street
New Prague, MN 56071

Their Winter Hours (November-March) are:
Friday 4pm-8pm
Saturday 12pm-8pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm

Summer Hours (April-October) are:
Friday & Saturday 12pm-10pm
Sunday 11am-5pm

For more information about the winery, you can visit their website at

A special thanks to Chuck & Dawn for making my time at Next Chapter an excellent one, I’ll be sure to stop in once the weather starts to warm up again and the surroundings become more greener!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Upcoming Content Changes

Hello fellow readers,

I apologize for my lack of posting. After all a new job & home will do that to you along with all of the hassle that comes with it but they’re good changes nonetheless. So once again, my lack of activity has been hampered by life events, but at least I saw these changes coming.

However, not everything is kittens, rainbows & unicorns. You see, when it comes to family history of various medical conditions, I didn’t exactly draw a great hand. We’re talking high blood pressure, diabetes, depression & perhaps the biggest one of them all: obesity. Case in point,  my recent visit to the doctor. It went something like this:

Doctor: Well all of your blood work came back well, you don’t have diabetes and are, in fact, very far from even being pre-diabetic. Your blood pressure is down from your last visit & On top of that, you’ve been managing your depression quite well!

Me: Gee wilikers, Doc! That’s great news!

Doctor: Wooooah, not so fast there, I’m not done yet. We still have to talk about your weight!

Me: What about my weight?

Doctor: Well, looking at your body fat numbers, you’re higher compared to last year. In fact, I’d even go as far to say that I’m concerned that if this pattern continues, you run a good possibility of running into the same health complications that have been present in your family.

Me: So in other words: I’m fat.

Doctor: What?

Me: ….What?

Alright it didn't exactly happen like that but that pretty much sums my visit. In part, my high carb intake is partially to blame for my weight gain. And it shouldn’t come as a shock that a good portion of my carb intake comes from my consumption of beer.

This creates its own set of problems when it comes to my writing, mainly because I write about craft beer. It certainly puts me in an interesting, if not. compromising position. So what do I do?

Well, remember when I first started this blog back up, I expressed a desire to focus more of my energy on things like wine & spirits? As luck would have it, I found out that not only are both of these drink categories vast and expansive but also they have way less carbs than beer. In fact, spirits have no carbs what-so-ever and wine typically has very little to low carbs, depending on the style of wine that is. Plus all across the country

It won’t be an easy transition but it’s one that I feel will benefit me in the long run. Plus, now I have an excuse to check out wineries & distilleries.

Rest assured that beer will still play an integral part of this website going forward but it will no longer be the exclusive drink that will be reviewed on here.

Oh and I'm also bringing back my old scoring system too!

Again, thank you all for your continued support & I look forward to what the future holds!


- Nick

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Shakopee Brewhall Double Prairieville Review

Name: Shakopee Brewhall Double Prairieville
Style: Imperial IPL (India Pale Lager)
ABV: 9.2%
IBUs: 56

It’s certainly been a busy couple weeks for myself with this move, but I’m pleased to say that I’m now moved in. Now that everything has settled down, it’s time to get back to what I enjoy: writing about beer. For my first post-move beer, we’ve got an offering from Shakopee Brewhall. Located in Shakopee, MN; Shakopee Brewhall is one of those places that set up shop during my absence.

I’ve seen their crowler offerings in a variety of stores in my area but crowlers weren’t exactly my thing when I wasn’t posting on this website since I opted more for the 4 or 6 packs during that time. With that said, I’ve got their Double Prairieville Imperial IPL. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good IPL so I figured this beer would be a great way to get back into the style.

Appearance – Hazy dark yellow color with a light amount of visible carbonation. The head is fairly foamy and the lacing left behind is decent.

Aroma – I’m picking up on some pale maltiness and barley notes, along with some fairly potent bitter hoppiness. There’s also a very light orange peel smell in here as well.

Taste – Upfront I’m getting a mix of pale malts and bitter hoppiness, while the back end of the palate opens up to a surprisingly potent citrus hoppiness and light barley flavor. In the aftertaste is where that bitter hoppiness makes an appearance, albeit a fairly light one at that, which lingers for a couple of moments.

I liked this. It’s an easy drinker yet the hoppy aspect of the flavor goes along with it perfectly. On top of that, there’s really no booziness to speak of, which is something I see all too often in Imperial Lagers. If you see this, I’d definitely recommend checking this out!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Where have I been? (Update)

Hello everyone,

You might be wondering why I haven't been posting a lot recently. Well, that's why I'm here today: To explain what has been going on with me these past couple of weeks.

So there's actually a couple different reasons that have more-or-less compounded with each other so I'll get straight to the point:

  1. I recently moved - After 7 1/2 years of renting, we finally committed to buying an actual house. This past week, I've been busy packing and moving stuff; As a result, I haven't had much time to write about beer. Once I get settled in, I'll be right back at it.
  2. New job - The other major change that has happened has been the transition to a new role. It's a change that I've been working towards for months and it just so happened to take effect the same that I've been moving.
Once the dust has settled with all of these changes, I'll be back at writing and posting regularly. Plus, I figured I owed it to everyone to give an update as an explanation for my lack of posts.

As always, thank you for your continued support. I look forward to sharing my adventures and reviews with everyone. 


- Nick

Friday, September 13, 2019

Summit Saga Review

Name: Summit Saga
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 65

Time to look at what has become a standby in Summit Brewing’s lineup and that is their Saga IPA. Named after the Norse Goddess Saga, she was also a drinking buddy of Odin so naturally, there’d be a beer named after her.

This is also one of those beers that I’ve had so often that I could’ve sworn that I had done a review on it at some point. After all, according to Untappd, I’ve been drinking this beer on occasion since 2014. However, after reviewing my archives the other day, I found out that this was not the case. Let us change this, shall we?

Appearance – Mildly cloudy dark golden color with tons of visible carbonation. The head has a nice foamy look to it and the lacing left behind is rather abundant.

Aroma – In the nose, I’m getting some potent citrus and piney hop notes, all backed up by a solid toffee malt backbone and slight yeastiness.

Taste – The front of the palate is dominated by piney hops with the middle opening up to light citrus hops and a solid toffee malt backbone. Towards the end of the palate as well as in the aftertaste, you start to see a lingering bitter hoppiness that lasts for a few moments after the last sip.

What can I say? There’s a reason why I’ll order this while I’m out if I’m unsure what I want to get. The hop profile is nicely balanced in conjunction with the malt backbone and the end result is a nice, drinkable IPA. Check it out, should you get the chance!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Hunyuck Malarkey Review

Name: Hunyuck Malarkey
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.5%

I’ve stated countless times that many breweries have popped up in my absence on this blog and Hunyuck Brew Co. is no exception. Currently, they contract brew at Barley John’s in New Richmond, WI but will one day have a brewery to call their own. I first encountered Hunyuck at the Summer Beer Dabbler last year and was impressed with their Oger IPA, which I covered in an article that I posted on my old website.

Well last week, I just so happened to come across their Malarkey, a new(er) offering from them, at a tasting they were conducting at my regular haunt and decided to give it a shot. What is Malarkey, you ask? It’s their Pale Ale brewed with Mosaic, Centennial & Amarillo hops, along with a “Golden Grain Bill.” What’s a Golden Grain Bill? More importantly, how does it taste? Even more importantly, why does it specifically tell us to serve this colder than a tin toilet seat? Let’s find out.

Appearance – Cloudy dark golden color with lots of carbonation. The head is rather thin but with good retention as is the lacing left behind.

Aroma – Citrus hops with a potent pale/toffee malt base. I'm also picking up on some bitter hoppiness and light yeast notes.

Taste – On the front of the palate I'm getting that Mosaic citrus, which lingers throughout the palate. In the middle is where that toffee Male backbone and yeast flavor comes into play, while the back opens up to a light bitter hoppiness.

In an age where hazy & barrel-aged beers are all the rage, this is a nice call back to the beers that I started out with when I first got into craft beer. The hop profile is on point and, as the label promises, is indeed “crushingly refreshing.” It’s a beer that you can enjoy for its flavor without necessarily having to think about it. As such, it’s an easy beer to recommend!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale Review

Name: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 28

It’s the changing of the guard in terms of the transition between Summer & Fall. With it, the seasonal releases from breweries are also following suit.

Which brings us to today’s beer: Punkin from Dogfish Head. Every year, the label art on this beer changes and this year we have anthropomorphic pumpkins in leather jackets playing drums, guitar and there’s even one singing. How punk indeed.

Appearance – Clear dark orange with a ton of visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. The head is thin and on the soapy side with very sparse lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma – Pumpkin Spice & Nutmeg dominate most of the nose with a solid toffee malt foundation. I’m also picking up on some floral hops but they’re not immediately apparent; Not that I would expect them to be.

Taste – Fairly reflective of the nose. You’ve got that pumpkin spice & nutmeg that make up the majority of the flavor, which in turn is backed up by that toffee maltiness. I’m also picking up on a mild but noticeable nutty flavor in the aftertaste that reminds me somewhat of a brown ale, along with a slight floral hoppiness.

Pumpkin beers were one of my favorite beer styles when I first got into craft beer almost 8 years ago and I’ll admit that it’s fallen out of favor with me in place of more traditional styles. Having Punkin reminds me why I fell in love with the pumpkin beer-style in the first place and has got me thinking that I should maybe revisit the style. Overall, I liked this and it’s a great beer to help celebrate the start of fall!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Insight Crazy Aunt Review

Name: Insight Crazy Aunt
Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer
ABV: 6%

One of the other trends I’ve seen pop-up in my absence is the rise of “cocktail” beers, which are beers meant to taste like mixed drinks, with Gin & Tonic and Moscow Mules being the most common of the bunch. I mean, I’m all for exploring uncharted territory in craft beer and all but I’m not really quite sure if I’m 100%  onboard with the idea of cocktail beers because if I want a mixed drink, I’ll make a mixed drink.

In any case, we have Crazy Aunt from Insight Brewing, which is a Gin & Tonic-inspired beer made with juniper berries & coriander. There is a companion beer to this called Rowdy Uncle, which is a Moscow Mule-inspired beer but I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. For the time being, this will have to do.

Appearance – Fairly clear pale yellow color with a moderate amount of visible carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass. The head itself is thin & somewhat foamy but the lacing is plentiful.

Aroma - I'm getting some pale malts, along with some of juniper and coriander notes and a light floral least that's what it smells like.

Taste - Strong boozy gin flavor upfront that lingers throughout the palate. In the middle, you get some of that juniper sweetness and coriander along with some light floral hops. Also, much like a traditional Gin & Tonic, the aftertaste is reminiscent of a dry gin finish

If there's one thing this beer does perfectly, it's emulate the actual flavor of a gin & tonic. If that is what the aim was with this beer, then Insight nailed it. If your looking for something different, this will do nicely.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Blacklist Peach Hazy Review

Name: Blacklist Peach Hazy
Style: India Pale Ale (Hazy/New England style)
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 28

It’s been well over five years since I reviewed anything from Blacklist Artisanal Ales. The last time I reviewed anything from them, they were contracting brewing at the old Dubrue facility before settling into their current spot in Downtown Duluth, which I'll cover in a future article!

In fact, my first post about Blacklist was 6 years ago this month! I recall they were packaging their beers in 750ml bottles and topping it off with corks that were too big for their own good. I remember coming home from work with a bottle of their Or de Belgique and spending upwards of 10 minutes trying in vain to pull out the cork with both my hands and corkscrew, all whilst swearing up a storm in an attempt to get at that "Gold of Belgium."

Going through my unused photos for my Or de Belgique article from 6 years ago, I took this photo after managing to finally to uncork this monstrosity.

...And here's me expressing my hatred and frustration at the cork which I had spent what seemed forever trying to open.

After what seemed like forever in my attempt to open it up, it finally popped out and I was taken aback by how good it was; It made all my efforts worth it! A year later, when I was helping promote & organize Bradtoberfest in Duluth, I actually met one of the former owners, Jon, at Endion Station since Blacklist was one of the sponsors of the event.

I recall shaking Jon’s hand and telling him how awesome Blacklist’s beers were before immediately mentioning the corks. A look of resignation came across his face as he was fully aware of the cork issue since the ones they ordered ended up being a millimeter too big from what their initial measurements were.

Nowadays, they utilize cans which are much easier to open. Which brings us to Peach Hazy, their own version of the Hazy IPA and one that was teased by one of my friends who works at Blacklist back in June. Since there was so much hype surrounding it, you know I have to check it out.

Appearance – Hazy dark orange color with no visible carbonation. The head is quite foamy in appearance but there’s no lacing to be had here.

Aroma -  Strong peach and citrus hops permeate throughout the nose. It’s like someone sliced open a fresh apricot and stuck it in your face. Sure there’s some mild maltiness in here but it’s pretty much all apricot.

Taste -  Much like the nose, the palate is dominated by the peachy sweetness and citrus hoppiness, both of which linger in the aftertaste along with a light bitterness. There is an encompassing mild maltiness in here but that is secondary compared to the peach and citrus aspect of the flavor.

If you enjoy hazy IPAs and/or in-your-face fruity beers, this beer is pretty much a love letter to you. The peach and citrus hop aspects of the flavor work in-tandem with each other to create a rather memorable drinking experience. That said, this one is definitely worth picking up should you see it!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Bell's I: Song of Myself Review

Name: Bell’s I: Song of Myself
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%

A few years back, Bell’s Brewery released a series of seven beers based on Gustav Holst’s musical composition “The Planets,” with each beer taking a name from each of the musical sections. It was a fantastic series and produced some of the best beers that I’ve ever had to pleasure of trying out. Needless to say, I was somewhat heartbroken when it ended and I even wondered if Bell’s would try something like this again.

Well, that question now has an answer as Bell’s has unleashed upon us “Leaves of Grass,” a series of seven beers based on the Walt Whitman book/poetry collection of the same name. I know next to nothing about Walt Whitman aside from the fact that he’s a famous poet from the 19th century and that he wrote stuff. In fact, the first time I had heard the name “Walt Whitman” was from The Simpson’s episode where Homer tries to find his mother and instead discovers the headstone of Walt Whitman and proceeds to assail it while proclaiming his hate for the writer and even mentions Leaves of Grass in the process. I’ll post it below….

Now that we got that out of our system, it’s time to take a look at the first beer in the series: Song of Myself. From what the label tells me, it’s a German-Style IPA and is made with hops and malts that are 100% German in origin.

Appearance – Hazy dark yellow color with a lot of visible carbonation. The head itself is pretty thing but there’s a healthy amount of lacing left along the sides of the glass.

Aroma – Strong toffee and caramel malts dominate most of the nose but some potent bitter hops lurking underneath.

Taste – Flavor-wise, it’s a mirror image of the nose. Throughout the palate you have strong toffee and caramel maltiness with a fairly strong bitter hoppiness on the back with a lingering resin aftertaste.

I’ve had a few “German-Inspired” IPAs before and this is definitely one of the more meltier ones that I’ve had. That said, I enjoyed this. It might be a more bitter IPA, which’ll turn off some people, but the malts used more than help balance this beer out. I’m looking forward to seeing what else this series will have to offer and hope to check them all out.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pipeworks Velocity of Light Review

Name: Pipeworks Velocity of Light
Style: India Pale Ale (New England/Hazy)
ABV: 7%

Ahh, Pipeworks Brewing. The last time I had anything from this brewery, they were not yet available in Minnesota. Fast forward four years later, they seemed to have brought everything including the kitchen sink to the fine state of Minnesota in terms of selection. So it should come as a complete shock to no one that they too have their own interpretation of a Hazy IPA.

Which brings us to Velocity of Light, a double dry hopped Hazy IPA made with Galaxy, Mosaic & Cryo-Mosaic hops. Also they threw some oats into the mix as well. It’s a beer an aroma that “breaks free from the vacuum of your glass as fast as the velocity of light.” Well, let’s see about that….

Appearance – Bright hazy yellow color with a mild amount of carbonation. The head has a rather thin look to it but there’s plenty of lacing left along the sides of the glass.

Aroma – Citrus hops and lemon peel dominate most of the nose. There is a mild toffee maltiness lingering in the background throughout.

Taste – The front end of the palate is vibrant citrus hops and mild lemon peel, whereas the back end of the flavor opens up to some surprisingly strong hop bitterness, even though it last for only a split second. It is in the aftertaste that we finally see those oats that I mentioned early make an appearance and it lingers around for a few seconds before fading away.

It’s got a layered flavor profile which I always enjoy and everything comes together in one neat little package. As far I’m concerned, this is another fantastic beer from Pipeworks and anyone who has the chance to try this out ought to do so!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Central Waters Mimosa Review

Name: Central Waters Mimosa
Style: Brut IPA/Pilsner
ABV: 6.1%
IBUs: 35

One of the newest trends to pop up in my absence is the rise of the Brut Beers, modeled to have a taste reminiscent of champagne. I've had a few of these beers, mostly in the form of an IPA or Bock, and my experience with them has actually been fairly positive.

Which brings us to Mimosa from Central Waters Brewing. According to the label they took a Brut Pilsner, blended it with a Hazy IPA and added tangerines during the brewing process. It's an interesting idea to say the least.

Appearance - Cloudy dark yellow color with a soapy head and little in terms of lacing.

Aroma - Orange peel and citrus hops dominate most of the palate. I am picking up on some pale malts along with a hint of white grapes

Taste - Mild citrus hops and light orange peel on the front and middle of the palate with a lingering pale saltiness throughout. The back end of the palate has a slight bitterness to it but is otherwise quite dry.

I like the concept behind this beer & there's nothing offensive about the flavor. However the flavors don't mesh together that well and I feel that the citrus aspect just isn't profound enough; Plus I feel the Pilsner/IPA balance isn't where it should be at to give it a more vibrant flavor. Overall, I can't say I'm a fan of this one.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Sierra Nevada BFD Review

Name: Sierra Nevada BFD
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 33

I’ve got a new offering from Sierra Nevada but this one is a bit different and that beer is their BFD. What does BFD stand for? Big Friggin’ Drink? Beer From Dave? Barney From Denver? No, it actually stands for “Beer For Drinking.” It also shows in both the style (Blonde Ale) & ABV (4.8%), which means that Sierra Nevada is trying to reach a wider market. Also, unlike most Sierra Nevada beer containers that have some sort of artwork depicting the outdoors, mountains, etc., Sierra Nevada opted for a generic design this time around.

Appearance – Dark cloudy yellow color with a high abundance of carbonation. The head is pretty foamy and thick with some good lacing retention.

Aroma – Pale malts dominate in the nose followed by mild floral hops, along with a slight earthy undercurrent.

Taste – For the most part, the composition of the palate is the same with one key difference. At first the Pale Malts are pretty profound but the middle of the palate is where those floral hops become more vibrant before fading away into what I consider to be a dry aftertaste.

Well if the intended purpose of BFD is to make it a beer that one can drink without having to think about it, then they’ve certainly accomplished that with BFD. Yeah, it’s probably not going to win any awards and there’s nothing particularly mind-blowing about this beer…….but it’s still an ideal beer to drink for a casual setting like say at a bonfire or picnic. It’s beer, it’s drinkable and that’s all there really is to say about it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Leinenkugel's Northwoods Lager Review

Name: Leinenkugel's Northwoods Lager
Style: Pale Lager
ABV: 4.9%

Time to look at another offering from Leinenkugel's with their Northwoods Lager. This is somewhat of an older offering from the brewery as I've seen articles referencing it's "comeback in 2008. I've also seen this beer as a part of Leinenkugel's Explorer Pack but haven't bothered to check it out until now.

Appearance - Clear dark orange color with tons of carbonation. The head itself is quite thin and there's some spotty lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma - Munich malts dominate most of the palate with some light floral hops & barley notes.

Taste - Much like the nose, the flavor consists  mainly of Munich Malts and barley with a slight bitterness on the back of what is an otherwise dry palate.

This isn't a beer that's trying to knock your socks off in terms of flavor and that's totally fine with me. In fact, based on the flavor, I'd classify this more in the Vienna Lager territory than anything else. Yes, there are more tasting complex lagers out there but I wouldn't turn this down again.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Visit to LocAle Brewing

After spending a couple hours recuperating from hiking, beer & food in our hotel room in downtown Mankato,  I was getting antsy and wanted to stretch my legs. I recalled my conversation with the bartender at Mankato Brewery in which she mentioned that a new brewery had recently opened up Mankato but I didn’t recall where exactly it was located other then that she referred to the place as “the local brewery.”

With curiosity getting the better of me, I looked it up on my phone and the top search result was: LocAle Brewing Company. Upon closer inspection, I saw that LocAle was a mere 2 blocks away from my hotel room, which meant that I didn’t have to rely on my phone or car to get there from where I was at.

LocAle Brewing is actually located in a pretty busy part of Mankato, right off of South Riverfront Drive, which runs along the Minnesota River, and a block from South Front Street, which is the main hub of Restaurants and Shops in downtown Mankato. Which means there’s plenty of food options for you to bring in should it be warranted.

The brewery & taproom itself are pretty brand new having been set up during the last part of 2018; No idea if the building is brand new. The taproom is pretty roomy, with plenty of seating options as well as a nice bar space, complete with a big screen TV to watch your favorite local sports on. Patio seating is also plentiful as well but I preferred the colder temperatures of the indoors. After all, I had spend a good portion of that day outside.

Then there’s the beer. Since I had pretty much lighter beers of similar styles that day, I decided to switch it up. Yet I had to keep in mind that I had to take Mrs. Nick’s Beer Blog out for our 5th Wedding Anniversary Dinner after I was done, so I knew that couldn’t get too crazy at that point. It’s also at this time I wanted to give a shout out to LocAle for having both regular pint glasswear as well as half-pint glasses; More breweries need to do this….seriously

Name: Helles
Style: German Helles
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 13

My first beer after walking through the sweltering head. Plus this beer (at the time of having this) has been released the prior day. This beer has a nice pale malt profile & some mild floral hoppiness with a reasonably dry aftertaste; Oh did I mention the body was very smooth and light. Perfect beer for a 90 degree day like it was that day.

Name: Saintson
Style: Saison
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: 20

I’m all about locally made beers, but I know that there are some instances that craft breweries will often source their ingredients from outside of their local area/state. That is not the case with Saintson as all the ingredients are sourced from Minnesota. To save myself the time of listing the ingredients and origins, I’ll just show it in the picture below.

Saintson has a nice Belgian Yeast & Clove foundation while the malted wheat and mild citra/bitter hoppiness builds upon that and lingers throughout the palate. The aftertaste is on the dryer side, save for a mild earthiness, which I didn’t expect. Overall, it’s a solid beer and a nice change of pace from the lighter beers I had earlier in the day.

Name: Norselander 2.0
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8%
IBUs: 70

My last beer while I was there. If you assumed that a beer named “Norselander” would have some Scandinavian ingredients in it…’d be right. This is a beer made with Norwegian Farmhouse Yeast with very non-Norwegian Wai-Ti, Pacifica, & Motueka hops. This beer has a nice bright flavor profile of citrus, mango & kiwi with some toffee maltiness and light bittersweet orange peel on the back end of the palate. All and all, a great beer to close out with.

Overall, I was pleased with the offerings from LocAle. The taproom itself has plenty of room, there’s ample seating, it’s in a great location and there’s a good variety of beers to choose from. Plus there’s plenty of places close by to grab some food from should the occasion warrant it. If you’re ever in the area, check them out; It’ll be worth your time!

They are located at:
LocAle Brewing Company
228 Poplar St
Mankato, MN 56001

Monday, August 12, 2019

Bell's Official Hazy IPA Review

Name: Bell’s Official Hazy IPA
Style: India Pale Ale (New England/Hazy)
ABV: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

Since everyone and their mother has seemingly released their own interpretation of the Hazy IPA style, it would make sense that some of the larger breweries would follow suit. Which brings us to Bell’s Official Hazy IPA, which is, of course, a hazy IPA. This beer is made with Mosaic, Citra, Azacca, Amarillo and El Dorado Hops; So you get sort of an idea of what we’re drinking today.

Appearance – Hazy bright yellow color with a light amount of visible carbonation. The head is pretty foamy but the lacing is more on the mild side.

Aroma – Bright orange peel and citrus hops dominate most of the nose but I am picking up on some light bitter notes but they don’t become apparent until the beer warms up.

Taste – Much like the nose, the palate is mostly orange peel & vibrant citrus hops with some mild pale/toffee maltiness encompassing the palate. However on the back end of the palate is where that bitter hoppiness starts to make itself known, in addition to the bright fruity flavors.

Bell’s has always been a reliable brewery for me and this beer helps reinforce that mindset. On top of that, the asking price for this beer is also very reasonably priced compared to some other Hazy IPAs out there. If you see this, this one is definitely worth grabbing!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

A visit to Mankato Brewery

Last weekend, I celebrated my five year wedding anniversary. We wanted to celebrate at first by doing something massive and extravagant. However since a first class flight to the Bahamas wasn't exactly feasible, we decided on the next best thing: A weekend in Mankato!

Mankato is one of those cities that you consistently hear about constantly but don’t visit unless you or a loved one happens to go to Minnesota State University. Which is kinda sad because there’s quite a bit to see around there in terms of nature & hiking and the food there too is also rather good. However this is a beer blog and we’re going to focus on, what else, beer!

After spending the morning scrambling along the hiking trail to get to the bottom of the waterfall at Minneopa State Park and watching herds of Bison roam the prairies, we decided that it was time for a beer! Since we were in Mankato, we decided to visit Mankato Brewery!

In comparison to most of the craft breweries in Minnesota, Mankato Brewing is actually one of the more senior craft breweries in Minnesota, having been formed in 2010. Also despite having the name of Mankato Brewing, the brewery itself isn’t located in Mankato, but in North Mankato which sits right across the Minnesota River from the actual city of Mankato proper.

If I could use one word to describe the taproom, it would be: roomy. The taproom consists of a bar with stools, tables that extend way beyond the bar at which patrons can sit at and all of the brewery equipment in view of everyone. This is one of those situations where the taproom is both intimate and roomy at the same time.

Now let’s talk about the beer itself. Since it was a hot summer day, I opted for styles of the mostly lighter variety. With that said, let’s get to it!

Name: Mr. Stout
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 11%
IBUs: 80

Opaque black in color, this beer has a strong chocolate malt and smoke profile upfront with some mild bitter hops and smokiness in the aftertaste. Despite all this, the beer itself feels incredibly smooth for being at 11% ABV in both body and texture and the boozy aspect of the flavor is hidden perfectly. It might not have been Imperial Stout weather that day, but this was an absolute pleasure to have! I’ll definitely be seeking this out once it becomes available in cans again.

Name: The Gob
Style: Shandy/Radler
ABV: 4%
IBUs: 10

Named after the caverns/ravines of the Mankato Golf Club in which countless golf balls have fallen into. This beer has a fairly bright lemon flavor with a mild lemon sweetness on the back end of the palate, but is otherwise fairly dry. Complex? No. Refreshing? Absolutely!

Name: Juice Box Hero
Style: Shandy/Radler
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 10

Named after the Foreigner song, this is a shandy made with raspberries & cherries. Much like the aforementioned Gob, the flavor itself has a bright fruity profile consisting of raspberries and cherry, with the former being the more potent of the two. Aftertaste is also pretty dry but there’s a subtle sweetness in there too. Much like The Gob, this is an ideal summer beer.

Name: The Sorceress Lemon Sour
Style: Sour-Fruited/Wild Ale
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 10

If I had to compare this beer to anything, it would be a Lemon Warhead candy albeit way less intense. Lemon tartness dominates most of the palate with some light pale malts on the back end along with some lemon peel. I've had some local sours that have been okay, but this is definitely one of my favorites!

Name: Ribfest
Style: Light Lager
ABV: 4%
IBUs: 10

Made for the annual Ribfest celebration that the city of Mankato hosts every year. Clocking in at 4% ABV, this beer has less alcohol content than Bud Light, but slighter higher in terms of IBUs (Bud Light is 4.2% ABV &  6 IBUs). If you took the adjunct flavor of Bud Light and replaced it with pale malts and barley, this is pretty much what you’d get. They’re clearly not trying to accomplish anything complex here in terms of flavor but it works for being an ideal beer to drink in the sweltering heat.

Overall, Mankato Brewing has a good vibe going for it. The taproom is nice, roomy, & atmospheric; The beer selection is plentiful and it’s just an overall nice place to kick back, relax and have a few pints. Plus the taproom staff are more than happy to point you in the right direction in terms of where to find some great beers/taprooms, which I’ll cover later on. If you find yourself in the Mankato area, this place is definitely worth checking out!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Dogfish Head Dragons & YumYums Review

Name: Dogfish Head Dragons & YumYums
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 25

The last time I did a Dogfish Head review, distribution had not yet reached Minnesota. Yet during my absence, they FINALLY decided to set up shop here and now I no longer have to make the trek across the border to Wisconsin to get my Dogfish Head fix.

Anyways, today I’ve got their Dragons & YumYums Pale Ale. This beer is a collaboration between Dogfish Head & The Flaming Lips: one of my favorite bands from when I was a freshman in college and was fortunate enough to see them live during that time. Who am I kidding, even now I still listen to them! This is a beer made with passionfruit, pear, dragonfruit, black carrot juice & yumberries (yes, they’re a thing).

Appearance - Mildly clear orange/magenta color with some mild carbonation. The head itself is pretty thin and the lacing itself is rather spotty.

Aroma - Toffee malts & citrus hops upfront with some pear and passion fruit notes. I'm also getting some light earthiness in here too that reminds me of apple skins.

Taste - Potent pear and toffee maltiness upfront, with some vibrant passionfruit & mild citrus hops in the middle. There is a bittersweet fruity taste and tartness in the back, which becomes more prevalent as the beer warms up.

At first I wasn't too sure, but the flavor gets way more complex the more it warms up and I like it! It's not a pale ale for everyone but if you want something different, then this beer is for you!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Omni FAD Review

Name: Omni FAD
Style: Imperial India Pale Ale (New England Style)
ABV: 8%
IBUs: 45

One of the styles has come into prominence over the past couple years is the Hazy/New England Style IPA. Normally I’d go into a discussion about it, but I’ll save it for a later article. For the time being, I will say that, love it or hate it, the Hazy IPA isn’t going away any time soon.

The beer we’re looking at today has become a real favorite amongst beer drinkers in these neck of the woods and it would be Omni Brewing’s FAD, which is an acronym for “Friggin’ Awesome Delicious.” I’ve actually had this beer before and did a brief write-up on it for my Summer Beer Dabbler article that I did on my old travel website last year. However it’s time to give this beer a proper review, so let’s have at it!

Appearance – Bright and cloudy orange color with no visible carbonation. The head itself is very thin and the lacing is very spotty to say the least.

Aroma – Orange slice and citrus hops dominate the nose with some light pale/toffee malts that remain underneath these aromas. It smells like orange juice, to say the least.

Taste – Much like the nose, that orange slice and citrus hop profile are out in full force and dominate pretty much the entire palate. There is, however, a light hop bitterness in here but it doesn’t really show up until the very end, and even then it’s still secondary to the citrus flavors.

Still as delicious as I remember it! Yeah, it’s not the most complex IPA out there but the flavor is extremely vibrant. Plus for them to give it a name proclaiming it to be Friggin’ Awesome Delicious and actually be so is really comething. This is definitely worth checking out should you get the chance to try it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Schell's IPA Review

Name: Schell’s IPA
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 5.8%
IBUs: 40

Much has changed in the two years I was absent. For example: new exciting breweries have entered the market, Sunday Sales in Minnesota is FINALLY a thing now and Minnesota Beer Culture is flourishing like never before. However, there is one other change that even I never would’ve seen coming: Schell’s Brewing has made an IPA.

“Big deal!” one might say. “Every brewery has their own interpretation of an IPA!”

Except Schell’s isn’t one of those breweries. You see, as the second oldest brewery in the country, Schell’s has been extremely dedicated to brewing exclusively German/European-style beers and it’s a dedication I have come to admire. In fact, when I went on a tour of the brewery a couple years ago, you could see all the German influences throughout the facility. Even our tour guide told us “When you have a town full of thirsty Germans, you’ve better be making good beer.” By the way, the tour is totally worth it if you’ve got a day to kill.

Then about a week ago, I was looking at my regular haunt for something new to try out when this caught my eye. Perplexed, I asked one of the owners if this was some sort of elaborate prank, to which he told me it was 100% genuine. He even told me that there was a rumor going around that when Schell’s went to register the name with the State of Minnesota, they “jokingly” submitted it with the name “Okay, fine. Here’s your f***ing IPA.” Whether or not it’s true remains to be seen; Again, just a rumor so take that as you will.

Up until now, the closest thing that Schell’s had made to an IPA was Arminius: their Hoppy Pale Lager and it’s still one of my favorite beers by them to date.

Anyways, Schell’s IPA, here we go!

Appearance – Mildly Hazy dark yellow color with a high amount of visible carbonation. The head itself is fairly thin but there's abundant amounts of lacing left behind.

Aroma – Big citrus and light piney hop notes are front and center in the nose. Behind that are some moderate toffee malts and I'm even getting some lemongrass in here too, though I suspect that might just be the hops.

Taste – Citra hops and toffee malts take up the most of the palate though there is some bitter/piney hops the pop up in the back to keep things from getting too sweet.

I was expecting an IPA on the maltier side, reminiscent of an English-Style IPA. However, Imagine my surprise when I instead got a nice citrus-centric beer. I enjoy my bitter hop-bomb IPAs but having this is a nice change of pace from some those said IPAs and is definitely an easy drinker. If you see this, you owe it to yourself to try this out.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Review

Name: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 38

During the first four years I was doing this blog, I reviewed many beers but there were some that I simply missed for reasons that are beyond me. I’m not speaking of rare beers but craft beers that are widely consumed. One of those beers is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a beer which I remember from my dad’s old company picnics from back in the mid-90’s as it was one of the beers of choice of my Dad’s younger co-workers who were fresh out of college.

Now I’ve reviewed quite a few beers from Sierra Nevada but never this one and my reason is because….well, I though I already reviewed it. That is, until, I dusted off the website and looked at the archives. Am I ashamed? No, but just a tad bit embarrassed.

Appearance – Dark orange with a mild amount of haze to it, along with some abundant carbonation. The head itself is pretty foamy and there's a healthy amount of lacing left behind.

Aroma – Caramel malts dominate the nose but behind that are some bitter and light piney hoppiness.

Taste – Much like the nose, the caramel malts hit you on the front of the palate. This gives away to the bitter and light piney hops in the back with the malts taking a back seat. The aftertaste has a lingering hop bitterness along and a light maltiness.

The balance of hops and malt is optimal here and while it’s nothing new, it’s a very easy drinking beer. As such, I can see why this is a standby for many beer drinkers everywhere; Myself included. As the old saying goes: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Tin Whiskers Bit O' Honey Blonde Review

Name: Tin Whiskers Bit O’ Honey Blonde
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 21

For my first review in over two years, I decided to do something special and it frankly didn’t take me too long to find the ideal beer. I give to you Bit O’ Honey Blonde, a collaboration between Tin Whisker’s Brewing Company & Pearson’s Candy, the latter of which is responsible for making Bit O’ Honey candy. 

This isn’t the first time these two St. Paul-based companies have joined forces as they’ve also made a Salted Nut Role Ale & Nut Goodie Porter in the past. Both of these beers came out right around the time I left beer blogging, so I was never able to give them a proper review.

Appearance – Dark yellow/orange with strong haziness to it with a light amount of visible carbonation. The head itself is about a finger in width with some spotty lacing along the sides.

Aroma – A strong honey & almond smell dominate the nose almost completely. It literally smells like they took a Bit O’ Honey candy and turned it into liquid form because the aroma is almost indistinguishable from the candy it’s based off of.

Taste – It starts off with a vibrant honey flavor on the front of the palate but it drops out completely in the middle with some pale malt and floral hoppiness. On the back end of the palate is where the almond flavor pops up and in the aftertaste. The honey flavor also reeappears and lingers for a few minutes after the last sip.

For me, this works! It smells great and the honey adds to the flavor perfectly. Some might find the aroma and taste to be a bit too sweet for their liking but if you’re looking for a good-yet-different take on the blonde ale, this beer is just for you!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Changes coming to Nick's Beer Blog

Alright everyone,

I’m in the process of cleaning up and getting back up and running, and with it, there are some changes that are going to occur. I’m here today to explain to you just what is going to change and how I believe each change will be for the better, Without further ado, let's get started:

Wine & Spirits - The biggest change here is that in addition to reviewing beer, I’ll also be looking at craft spirits & wine. My reason for this is that during my time running my old website, I visited quite a few distilleries & wineries and out their stories (and drinks) to be just as captivating as a brewery and their beer. Plus, it gives me a chance to explore other aspects of the craft alcohol industry in ways that would've seen foreign to me just a couple years ago.

No More Scoring System -  The other big change I’m making is that I’m no longer going to include a score at the end of each review. Looking back at my old reviews, I feel that assigning a numerical score to a beer is quite subjective and, in some cases, overshadows the actual review itself. I’ll still be following the same format as before but there’ll be no score at the end; Just a summary of my thoughts on the beer itself.

Layout Changes - It's no secret to those who were once faithful readers that my formatting didn't change much during the four years that I did blogging. That said, I feel the look of the website feels dated and is in need of a face lift. I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to proceed with the final look but you'll know it when you see it!

Name Change (or lack thereof) - In my previous post, I mentioned that I was considering changing the name of this blog. I was tossing around names like Nick's Booze Blog or Nick's Boozy Blog. However, I have ultimately decided against this, in spite of the forthcoming of non-beer beverages that are to be featured on here. My reason is because this blog started out as Nick's Beer Blog and the fact that I have already established this website as such. Plus the aforementioned names just don't quite sound as catchy.

There you have it. While I'm looking forward to these changes, the thing I'm most excited about is getting back to writing on this website. It's been a couple of years but it feels good to be home!


- Nick

Friday, July 12, 2019

I'm Back!

*walks up to the microphone*

Hello? Is this thing still on?

It's been over two years since I posted my last article on here. Much has changed since I made my last post here. Truth be told, so much has happened in the craft alcohol industry that temptation has more-or-less gotten the best of me.

That said, I've decided to take up the mantle of "Alcohol Blogger" once more. I say this because the craft wine & spirits industry has really taken off and I'd like to cover those as well. Plus half the articles on my new website are centered on alcohol in some capacity.

So with that said, I'll be making some changes to the website and already have a new name in mind, though it's not a big deviation from the current name of this blog. Also the idea of putting this website on a Wordpress website with its own domain is on the docket but for the time being, this is where I'll be posting.

It's been a while everyone, but I'm back!