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Beer Showcases

PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.

Starr Hill’s Monticello Reserve Ale

April 3, 2013 |

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. Read More

Franzia – Vintner’s Select White Merlot

April 1, 2013 |

ABV: 12.5%

IBU: 0

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.

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One Minute Beer Review: New Belgium Oh La La

March 29, 2013 |

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.

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Uinta Brewing Dubhe Imperial Black IPA

March 28, 2013 |

ABV: 9.2%

IBU: 109

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. Read More

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co – Canoe Paddler

March 27, 2013 |

ABV: 5%

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.

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Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier

March 26, 2013 |

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. Read More

Green Flash Brewery-Rayon Vert

March 25, 2013 |

Green Flash Brewery Rayon Vert

California, USA

ABV: 7.00%

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.

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Terrapin Brewing – Hop Karma Brown IPA

March 22, 2013 |

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.

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Smuttynose “Finestkind” IPA

March 21, 2013 |

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.

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Odell Brewing Bouquet Array IPA

March 19, 2013 |

A few months ago, I was asked by Brent Cordle of Odell Brewing Company if I wanted to brew a beer on their pilot system with them. Of course I said yes. After a few emails back in forth with Cordle, the pilot system brewer, we decided on a floral IPA.  I had recently had Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp No. 53, Floral IPA, and fell in love. The inspiration was rose petals, but we decided to also throw in hibiscus and lavender.  For our hop additions we went we varieties that have more floral characteristics, Chinook, centennial, and a little cascade. Most of the hops were added later in the boil, adding more aroma and flavor than bitterness.

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Petrus Aged Pale Ale – Bavik Brewery

March 18, 2013 |

If there’s one thing I love about Belgium, it’s their ability to brew incredibly good beer. And of my favorites, Belgian or not, are sours. When you’re mouth uncontrollably puckers is about the point where I like my sour ales to be, and Petrus Aged Pale Ale from Belgium’s Bavik Brewery does a damn fine job of making your mouth implode (in a wonderfully pleasant way).

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Wild Woods Brewery: Jake vs. Erin

March 15, 2013 |

Wild Woods Brewery is one of my new favorite places in Boulder. In my initial visits to the brewery, I was very impressed with their six core beers (check out the review). But when the opportunity presents itself, I must try the small batch options. In my most recent trip, both Erin and Jake brewed Pale Ales individually and each showcase a different single hop variety. I got to try both beers head-to-head and here are the results of Jake vs. Erin. Read More

Harpoon Brewery – Celtic Red

March 14, 2013 |

ABV 5.4%

IBU 26

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I decided to pick up a 6er of Harpoon Celtic Red. I’m no Irish Red Ale savant, but this is definitely one I haven’t seen before. It’s only fitting though that it comes from Harpoon. They’re the largest craft brewery in New England, and they’ve been brewing in South Boston since 1987. Read More

Anchor Steam – Anchor Brewing

March 13, 2013 |

Anchor Steam – Anchor Brewing

ABV: 4.9%

Need a beer that will help convert your dad to the craft brews that we know and love? If I were you, I’d throw him an Anchor Steam and be on my way. Read More

Deschutes & Hair of the Dog – Conflux #1

March 11, 2013 |

ABV 11.6%

The craft beer industry is a collaborative world. When the great minds of two breweries come together, the results are often twice as good. The barrel aged project between Hair of the Dog and Deschutes that results in Conflux #1 is an excellent example of this collaborative style.  Read More

Mt. Carmel Springtime Ale

March 8, 2013 |

Most of the Midwest just got what (we hope) is the last snow of the season. Not that we had that many to begin with. Before the storm, I went to my local grocery in search of something dark and delicious, and ended up bringing Mt. Carmel’s Springtime Ale instead. That’s not to say that it wasn’t delicious; however, this was the darkest beer I could find, so I was severely let down by my grocer’s selection.

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Lexington Brewing Company Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout

March 7, 2013 |

Lexington Brewing Company’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout – (8.0% ABV)

A snow day has allotted me the time to bring you another beer review this week (lucky you). And, as optimism amongst most writers on and readers of this blog spikes about the impending Spring, my job, nay, my duty is to drudge everyone back down into the pragmatic and dark depths of Winter. So hold your daylight savings horses one minute, while the white still blankets the ground because the only green I see on the horizon is that of St. Patty and his drunken band of rabble rousers. What does all of this mean? It is only quarter to Spring and we still have a good fifteen minutes of darkness before the wheats inundate our gustatory cells and leave those forlorn Bocks, Stouts, and Porters to hibernate for the summer.

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Three Floyd’s Brewing Dark Lord Days

March 6, 2013 |

By our nature, we covet.  And how do we begin to covet, you may ask?  Do we seek out things to covet?  Sure, we love the unusual and the eclectic; we find beauty in rare things and seek out that one of a kind piece.

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West Sixth Amber Ale

March 5, 2013 |

5.5% ABV

Formerly known as the Deliberation Amber, Lexington’s West Sixth Brewery is canning its second beer now simply known as the Amber Ale. This beer has been on tap at the brewery since its inception, but February marked an expansion in both where and what they distribute.

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Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada – Rhizing Bines

March 4, 2013 |

Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada Rhizing Bines

ABV: 8%

IBUs: 70

Rhizing Bines is the delightful product of a mind meld between the kings of innovative hopping processes: Delaware’s Dogfish Head and California’s Sierra Nevada. What happens when two craft brew heavyweights from each coast combine their powers for good? Well, pretty fantastic beer, of course. This Imperial IPA is the second installation in these breweries collaborations, the first of which – the dark, maple brewed “Life & Limb” – debuted in 2009. Though I feel that more diehard hops fans will be left wanting for a bigger punch of bitterness, this is a beer that will please even those on the fence about IPAs. Read More