PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
What I went to Jungle Jim’s looking for and what I came home with were two completely different beers. Nevertheless, I was pleased with my choice. Kona Brewing Company’s Koko Brown is an ale brewed with coconut, and I absolutely LOVE coconut! Coconut candy, coconut shrimp, coconut rum…you name it, I want it. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who don’t enjoy it as much as I do, so I don’t get to eat it (or in this case drink it) as often as I would like.
On a Saturday in Fort Collins, a few of us PorchDrinkers brewery hopped, visiting New Belgium, Funkwerks and Odell. Lucky for us, a new beer debuted that day (April 6) at Odell Brewing, so it was a chance for all of us to try something new. The Tree Shaker Imperial Peach IPA is just as delicious as it promises to be.
It’s Marathon Monday! If you don’t know what that means, you obviously do not live in Boston. I suppose it’s known as “Patriots’ Day” elsewhere, but ironically, in the land of the Pats, the Boston Marathon is the main event. Imagine if Macy’s Thanksgiving Day was 20 miles longer in a city 1/20th the size of New York: things get a little crazy and crowded.
Bluegrass Brewing Company– Horse Piss Beer – 5.0% ABV
Remember Opposite Day? When good meant bad, ugly meant pretty, and happy meant sad? Opposite day paved the way for things like “not” and facetious “no-ew-oh” remarks, and eventually to the consistent sarcasm of high school and the intentional irony of adulthood. Many people say that we are living in the Age of Irony. Irony is in; it is cool. If you get it…then you get it. John Deere hats are no longer worn by farmers, sons of farmers, or those who have ever actually rode a tractor, but by those that shop at the mall at Hot Topic. We are so inundated with irony that we now have to say “literally” when we are not being ironic or sarcastic or hyperbolic. (By the way, my personal pet peeve is when someone prefaces a comment with “literally” and then says something figurative. That is not hyperbole; that is stupidity.) Bluegrass Brewing Company’s Horse Piss Beer, which I assumed to be a wittily ironic name, piqued my interest then confounded my senses, making me realize (for the second straight review) that craft brewers should heed the warning that quite a bit comes with a name.
As an Ohioan, this first week of warm weather makes me want to pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate the end of a long and cold winter (despite what the groundhog said otherwise a couple months ago). However, thanks to my brother who just came back from Grand Rapids Michigan, the brewery capital of the country, I think he may of found something even better… drum-roll please…Unity Vibrations Ginger Kombucha Beer!!!
As the age-old tradition goes, when the parents come to town, you have them treat you to dinner at places that are a bit (or a lot) out of your price range. I personally do not think this pasttime will ever fade, as my family loves exploring new places and sampling interesting eats, and (to be perfectly honest) I am always willing to let someone else pick up the check. As the fam visited the District this past weekend, I, of course, packed our itinerary with delicious prospects from new and old favorite restaurants. One particular gem is The Pig on 14th Street. As a member of the EatWell family, The Pig specializes in a more local, sustainable, and – when possible – farm-to-table approach to food. Beyond the merits of its laudable approach to sourcing ingredients, this place just makes a lot of very tasty, pork-filled dishes.
This beer makes a real “paki” which is Hawaiian for ‘splash’ as my beer cap informed me in Snapple-esque style. Okay, perhaps not quite a “splash” so much as a relaxed and steady wave would be the best descriptor for the Kona Brewing Long Board Island Lager, coming out of Hawaii. You won’t catch this balance-challenged reviewer anywhere near a surfboard, but who doesn’t love an island state of mind? And this beer certainly embraces it.
I am all up on spring beers. Why? Because I am ready for it to be warm. Seriously. It’s April, and it’s still in the 40s. WTF!? Samuel Adams Alpine Spring has been on the shelf for awhile, but I refused to buy it until it was actually spring. Well here we are, and it still feels like winter. Oh well, at least the sun is out…I guess?
ABV: 7% | IBU: 100+
These Gypsy brewers are true ‘phantoms’ of the craft. For those unfamiliar with Mikkeller, these folks from across the pond in Denmark have made over 600 beers in a myriad of styles that are very aggressive and push the envelope of styles new and old. They venture the globe, partnering with others to craft sudsy treats for you and I. This time, with Mikkeller Green Easter IPA, they take on the West Coast IPA. And they do it better?!?
Starr Hill’s Monticello Reserve Ale – 27 IBU, 5.5% ABV
My wife, Sarah, and I began our geeked-out Spring Break en route to Washington D.C. with a trip to the home of our third President, Thomas Jefferson. Monticello is a vast rollercoaster of hills and hollers nestled in the northern outskirts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Jefferson, a vegetarian for all intents and purposes (“using meat merely as a condiment,” as our tour guide informed us), fancied himself a farmer, as evidenced by acres of flowers, orchards, groves, gardens, and vineyards. The Monticello Reserve Ale from Charlottesville’s own Starr Hill Brewing is an homage to the type of beer that would have been consumed regularly in the Jefferson household, using two ingredients that were readily available on the Monticello grounds, wheat and corn.
As an avid wine drinker, I’ve sampled the gamut of varietals – from French Burgundy to Argentinian Torrontes – but am always seeking out a truly special wine experience. I’ve come very close in the past with some choice picks, such as the slightly jammy Meiomi Pinot Noir from California I sampled a few weeks ago. However, nothing could have prepared me for this gem of a find that had been hidden in plain sight for all of these years.
Last night I happened upon the jackpot of tap lists for a random Wednesday night. My buddy Andy was craving the sweet nectar known as Pliny the Elder and there was only one place in town that you could guarantee to have it on tap, Falling Rock. As I spied their specialty tap lists etched on 4 separate chalk boards I quickly realized that I had been swept into the perfect storm of accidental leftover tappings.
SRM: 110 (apparently blacker than the blackest black times infinity)
It’s like riding a chocolate wave of star-dust through floral hop galaxies. Taking on the Uinta Brewing Dubhe Imperial Black IPA is a journey through the stars that is dry yet refreshing, malty yet hoppy, light yet bold. Shit is crazy, brah. The beer pours a rich, malty black with a rocky tan head. Is this a fucking stout? Is this a porter? What the shit is going on in my glass? I was expecting a big, hop-heavy aroma with the five hop varietals in this brew but it comes off as a malty, sweet beast. There is a floral ester coming in before the first sip and most of that must be the hemp seeds? That first quaff is creamy and thick, with chocolate malts and a slight bitter punch coming mid-palate to fight off any cloying, bitch-ass malts trying to hang out on the tongue. Malt goodnesses AND hops galore. Wicked.
Spring has officially arrived, but with a large portion of the country buried under snow from yet another winter storm, it doesn’t quite feel like it. For those of us without a nice, warm spring break to look forward to, I give you Leinenkugel’s Canoe Paddler.
After attempting to pronounce the name of this beer, you’re definitely going to need a drink. Advertised as one of the oldest breweries in the world, this Bavarian beer is a a delicious and traditional German wheat beer. The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan in Bavaria, Germany has literally been around for over a thousand years. It first started out as a monastery brewery of the Benedictine Monks and then later turned into the Royal State Brewery. Today, it is property of the Free State of Bavaria and is considered the oldest brewery in the world.
Green Flash Brewery Rayon Vert
A while back I met a Green Flash sales rep during one of my random bar hopping adventures. Green Flash I have to say is a brand I haven’t followed too closely, but surprises me each time I try it. With the news of it being the latest western craft brewer to break ground on the east coast, as they plan to break ground in Virginia Beach in 2015 I figured I should get to know them better.
I generally follow the edict that beer should not be snobby. Drink it out of the bottle, hell bust out a solo cup if you must, but Terrapin’s Hop Karma Brown IPA is meant to breathe. It isn’t often you come across a Brown IPA. Generally the nutty malty flavors are a bit hard to manage with the bitter hoppy flavors, but Terrapin Brewing’s Hop Karma Brown IPA balances those tastes perfectly.
Smuttynose “Finestkind” IPA – 6.9% ABV, 75 IBU
At home this weekend taking care of a sick wife, I did not get to partake in the normal St. Paddy’s Day melee to which I have become accustomed, and am thus not feeling the residual effects of day-long Guiness-swilling and inadvertent ingestion of gallons of green food dye. Instead, I opted for the not-so-festive confines of my dining room and the company of an American craft beer, today’s companion “Finestkind” IPA from Smuttynose Brewing.