PD’s own dissect beer. Leave the pretentiousness on the curb.
The first time I went to Big Woods Brewing Company in idyllic Nashville, IN, I was seriously ill. Okay, not SERIOUSLY, but I did spend the previous night puking thanks to a winding car ride through Brown County, and a dinner of crab cakes. Sorry for that visual. Anyway, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out some new beer, but unfortunately I wasn’t really able to enjoy it either, so I was super excited when I heard my boyfriend’s parents were bringing us home a growler from their recent trip.
Samuel Smith makes four varieties of fruit ale – cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and apricot. I have tried all but the cherry and each are very similar. My favorite of the three is the Raspberry Ale. I am a bit bias though, because I like most anything raspberry. For those who enjoy organic foods, you are in luck because this one is organic.
Before I begin this review, I would like to give a heads up that this particular beer will most likely only be available to Ohioans, specifically Southwestern Ohioans. However, I am hopeful that this review will spark the interest of our national audience and perhaps even inspire them to take a little (or long) trip to the Midwest. I will promise you that it will be an awesome time! Maybe even a little too awesome seeing as The Business Insider just released its 2013 must hungover cities in the US and I am proud/embarrassed to say that five cities in Ohio made the top 25, making Ohio the most hungover state in the country! Shout outs: Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus, Cincinnati.
Boulder Beer Company’s Rum Barrel Porter is another addition to their unique taproom-only offerings. I suspect this is not only a limited release but a nano batch as their regular lineup does not include a Porter. Oftentimes the more creative libations can only be found in a brewery’s taproom, so visit your local taproom often.
Most Midwesterns are familiar with Leinenkugel Brewing Company. They’re the pride of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and brew some pretty unique beers.
Leinenkugel is out with a new winter porter with a slight twist – vanilla.
ABV – 9.1%
IBU – 103
Upon cracking the top of this slender, green can, the snappy scent wafts up to warn the drinker: this is no lager. The first taste is a bit of a shock – though the carbonation is fairly mild – and this beer lets you know precisely what 103 IBU means. However, once a few more sips pass over your palate, Sixpoint Brewery Resin‘s zesty bitter grapefruit juice flavor begins to shine through. This is the beer I buy to take to a party, and upon arriving, proceed to hide it in the back of the fridge so I’m not forced to share.
Here in Colorado the temperatures have dropped into the negatives the past couple days. So you would think that I would reach for a dark and heavy stout but no I went straight for the light refreshing characteristics of a Saison, Trinity Brewing Oh Face. Oh Face is part of Trinity’s Office Space-themed beers and is a complex saison that is fermented with brettanomyces then brewed with spelt, oats, rye, and wheat. Finally, it is spiced with pumpkin and lavender. If things go well, this beer should be showing me its oh oh oh face if you know what I mean.
The scene was Lebowskifest 2009 (Louisville, KY). My friend and I had just finished riding our bikes across the Commonwealth just in time to meet up with our fellow Dudeists at the annual meeting celebrating all things Lebowski. In the parking lot of the Executive Lanes, a young man smoking an electronic cigarette (a relatively new concept at the time) approached us, and offered us a beer form his portable cooler. He cracked open bottles of a Belgian Style IPA that reinvigorated by tongue, which was falling asleep after a few Miller High Lifes. He touted the beer as the best thing he had ever tasted, a bold statement both then and in hindsight.
ABV – 7.3%
IBU – 82
Let’s face it, it’s hard to find a microbrewed beer that isn’t just downright good. As a general rule, if it’s ONLY available in a six pack, you’re probably pretty safe when it comes to taste and quality. A unique or catchy name gets one bonus point. Make it come from somewhere else and BOOM, you have the perfect basic microbrew equation – the Uinta Hop Notch IPA, an equation used and perfected by many of the vastly growing microbreweries. Why then, even when absolutely enjoying the culmination of doing the math correctly, does a very small part of the back of my brain begin to utterly loathe it? What could have possibly gone awry?
The name of this beer says it all. Imagine if Snooki and Kanye had a child together (maybe the most terrifying thing I have ever conceived…) and then Kanye left during his/her/it’s youth. What would the product be? The most menacing and arrogant adolescent ever. Double your arrogant DNA, and you get double the devil child. Stone Brewing Co. doubles their Arrogant Bastard Ale and boggles the mind with their palate smashing Double Bastard.
I was about to run to the store when there it was, The Big Finish Ale, staring me in the face. This gem has been hiding in my fridge since the day after Thanksgiving, when my boyfriend, brother and I stopped off at Arcadia Brewing Company on our drive home. There are several reasons why this beer is awesome:
Who said being a ginger was a bad thing? Well, it wasn’t me. Especially after experiencing the unique flavors of Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew from Kiuchi Brewery. A virgin to ginger beer, this brew definitely holds up to its name with strong notes of ginger roots in both the taste and the smell. It also has a great hoppy flavor for those who like IPA’s and light refreshing beer.
Whiteout WitBier – Anchorage Brewing Company
Even though a few days late for a New Year’s celebration, Anchorage Brewing Company‘s Whiteout WitBier is a bottle that is worthy of popping at any momentous occasion. This decidedly funky Witbier pairs perfectly with your most outRAGEous party. Put on your favorite party hat, crank up the jams and get after it!
Generally speaking if you’re going to release a beer on New Year’s Eve, it better be pretty damn good. Great Divide’s Orabelle doesn’t disappoint. The spring seasonal Belgian Style Triple made it’s debut on New Years Eve in a tap room only release and for good reason.
When I first moved to Colorado and discovered the wide world of craft beer, I fell into a dreamatorium universe of hops. So it doesn’t come to any surprise that I wasn’t initially taken to Odell Brewing Company’s 5 Barrel Pale Ale, because simply put, I didn’t find it hoppy enough. To be fair it is a Pale Ale, not an IPA and I was also comparing it to the likes of Odell’s IPA, New Belgium’s Ranger, and Ska’s Modus Hopperandi. Apples to Oranges.
Half Acre Beer Company – 5.2% ABV
My Chicago friends and I try to occasionally exchange beer or meet-up to do an impromptu tasting. I make the trip back every couple months or so for work, and I always offer to bring some beer along with me. But here’s the thing – what’s available here is generally available on the east coast, with a few notable exceptions (Odell’s and some of the more recent craft brewery openings). Unfortunately, it’s not true the other way around. Despite living in a beer mecca, I find myself longing for the midwest beers I no longer have easy access to. My solution? I smuggle beer back in my luggage. The most frequent beer that I bring home with me? Daisy Cutter.
IBU – 15
ABV – 5.2%
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve been duped. We’ve been had. Swindled. Swash-buckled. The wool has been pulled firmly over our eyes. It seems about every decade or so a new seemingly legitimate but later debunked “end of the world” scenario comes out and captures the nation, nay, the world. In 2012 it was the Mayan Apocalypse. In 1999, it was Y2K. Before that it was the threat of the Cold War, and even further back in history, the landing of aliens at Area 51 in Roswell, New Mexico. But one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong; and I have the proof here in my hand in the form of Sierra Blanca Brewery’s Roswell Alien Amber Ale.
My latest trip home was dominated by delicious drinks. Is that enough alliteration for ya? But, seriously, I had some ridiculously good stuff while I was back in Louisville, KY for the holidays. One of my first beers of the trip was the Centennial IPA from Founder’s Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing about my palette when it comes to beer, it’s that hops and I are not friends. And usually when given the choice between a Bud Light Lime or a hand-crafted India Pale Ale, I’m going with the former. And this is why Odell’s Mountain Standard is an oddity to me. Not only is it an IPA, but it’s a double (also known as ‘Imperial’), brewed with double the hops and malt. That means it’s going to pack a punch on both your tongue and liver, clocking it at just under 10% alcohol. So imagine my surprise when I drink this fearsome brew with the olfactory anticipation of licking a pinecone, only to discover than HOT DAMN THIS BEER IS AMAZING.