Saturday, May 31, 2008


16 beers entered, 1 remains. The winner of the 2008 Major Beers Tournament is Michelob Light. A #4 seed that stormed through the tourney upsetting Miller Lite in Round 1, Michelob Ultra in the quarters, Natural Light in the Semis and fellow Cinderella, Narragansett, in a tightly contested championship. More details on how things went down are posted here. Gone are the days when Michelob Light was mocked as Chickelob, Michelob Light is the new King of the mountain. The smooth flavorful taste outlasted many worthy beers and many not so worthy. As the old Mich Light ads used to say, "Nice Finish"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Long Trail IPA, Long Trail Brewery, Bridgewater Corners, Vermont

The Long Trail IPA is a perfect example of your basic IPA. It provides the correct amount of crystal malt balanced with the cascade hops, and finished with just the right amount of carbonation. This the IPA that I can use as a benchmark to measure other IPA against. Considering your knocking back a 5.9% ABV beer, this is quality stuff. This is a good beer to bring along to a party if you don't want to bring around the same old stuff. The Long Trail gets a 3.0.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

BrouCzech Pils, Nova Paka Brewery, Nova Paka, Czech Republic

The BrouCzech Pils is another one of these beers that shocked the hell out of me. Halfway through my first sip I was thinking "What the Hell is this beer?" This beer assaults your senses and does not let go, you just gotta keep swallowing until it goes away. But there is a wheat aftertaste that prolongs the experience till you think you can't handle it anymore. The beer's dry tartness limits the beer's ability to be refreshing. The BrouCzech is a toasted honey wheat explosion, that slaps you upon the first sip and leaves you punch drunk until you cease fighting. Now, as I have mentioned before, I am not a wheat beer guy or a honey guy, but the uniqueness of the Pils genetic make up make this beer more attractive than it's counterparts. The ABV is 4.3% and the Pils gets a 2.5

Monday, May 26, 2008

Weekend Notes: Are You Not Entertained? Is this not why you are here?

So I thought I'd finally post the awesome STUMBLE VI t-shirt that I got at last weekend's pub crawl. As you can see this is quality work, and the best way to get one of these is to attend one of their kick-ass events. Have the guy write you a receipt for the T-shirt and write it off as it goes to charity. OK, so I was at a local Beer Summit a few weekends ago, and by Beer Summit, I mean hanging out with some college friends and other assorted ne'er do wells and my blog here was called "one note". It seems some people would rather I spice up the blog with Scarlett Johansson boob updates, One Tree Hill updates, Jessica Biel nude pictures or some crap like that. Well that's not happening, and that's why I went all Gladiator with my post title. This blog is about the beer people, not about what you might find in People Magazine. Now this past weekend I was able to try some McGinty IPA, a beer you won't find on many shelves because it was brewed by one of my friends. It ranked right up there with a Harpoon IPA. It was a tiny bit less hoppy and had a tartness that turned the bitter inducing grimace into a smile. Definitely a 3.5 rating, and did I mention it was 10% ABV? Good times. Well this was a big weekend for the Beer Crusade, we now have our Final Four and I imagine no one in their pools picked this Final four of Narragansett, MGD, Natty Light and Mich Light, but that's why I play the game. We also inducted our first Hall of Fame beer, Dale's Pale Ale. I plan on enjoying some more of the DPA this evening. I also updated the site with quick links to the beer styles I have reviewed thus far, those are on the right hand side of the column if you scroll down. I also managed to get 5 or 6 beer reviewed but I'll have to post those at a later date.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dale's Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery, Lyons, Co

Let me tell you a story about Dale's Pale Ale. A friend of mine gives a bunch of us a Mystery 12 pack of beer every year. We all try the beers and send each other emails on the beers to say what we like and dislike. Well one of my pals, said "I tried the one in the can. It was great." We of course gave him tons of crap for trying the canned beer instead of the other 11 bottled beers first, but after trying the canned Dale's Pale Ale, we were believers. Now, I usually keep a case or two of the Dale around because it's a great beer and I like introducing it to the un-initiated. Now, when I sat down to review the beer this weekend, there was definitely something in the air, an electricity that raises the senses to the next level. The same feeling a crowd gets in the 8th inning as it gazes to the scoreboard and sees a zero under the hits column. The DPA was dancing with Destiny on Friday night. It brought its perfect combination of malt and hops. It was not overly hoppy, it transcended hoppiness and arrived at a state of smoothness. There was no bitter aftertaste. The barley, malt, and hops came together, each complementing the other's talents. It was a perfect beer. In a can. Perfect bitterness. A perfect game. The 6.5% ABV was just another element to this masterpiece. The DPA is the first inductee into the Beer Crusade Hall of Fame racking up the prestigious, yet elusive, 5.0

Tourney Update: The Final Four is Set!

This sectional of the tourney definitely raised the stakes. First of all, we had the sub Mich Ultra replacing Milwaukee's Best Light which pissed me off because I think that these new carb beers aren't really in the spirit of the tournament, but I digress. First round pitted Beer A vs Beer B and it was a knock out. Beer A had a fuller flavor, and more importantly flavor. Beer B was standard light beer fare, drinkable but no match. Beer A won out easily. In round 2 Beer C vs Beer D we had a killer match up, and our first overtime match of the tourney. It went down to a buzzer beater before the 2nd OT and Beer D emerged victorious. Beer D met up with Beer A in the finals. I suspected that Mich Ultra with it's fuller flavor had advanced and I was tormented and thought about advancing it's opponent because of it's cleaner taste. And was docking "Mich Ultra" of it's barley and slight bitterness. Well I changed my mind and went with the better beer (Beer A), realizing that choosing the cleaner beer (Beer D), meant choosing one with no taste. Much to my chagrin Mich Ultra (Beer D) did make it to the finals, only it was the beer with no taste compared to Mich Light. Salvation!!! I would have died figuratively if Mich Ultra had made the finals. Click here to see the results. Beer A: Michelob Light. Beer B: Miller Lite. Beer C: Busch Light. Beer D: Michelob Ultra. Also if you haven't pick up on this, if you click on the links in the bracket you get a better in depth description of the match-up. We should be crowning the winner this week sometime. Go BEER!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weekend Notes

I made a few changes to the site. If you look at the right column, I now have hyperlinks to the various rankings I have given out. Makes it for easy navaigation, I hope this helps. If I get time I'll try and add the various beer styles as well. I hope to christen the 4th semi-finalist in the beer tourney as well this weekend, as well as try some homebrew I was recently given. I think it's an IPA so I am very excited about this. Wow this is a big weekend beerwise. Excellent. I also have some more of those Maine beers from Bar Harbor Brewing I may have to give that brewery another shot. By the way, due to a slight by the Boston area liquor stores, Millwaukee's Best Light will be replaced by Mich Ultra this weekend. I am not excited by this development, but the game must go on.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thunder Hole Ale, Bar Harbor Brewing Co, Bar Harbor, Maine

I was recently gifted the Thunder Hole Ale from a visiting friend from Maine. This selection won a gold medal at the 1997 World Beer Championships in the brown ale category, and I do not know why. The beer did start off great. The pour was a bit crazy, no matter how you poured it it came out 95% head. It looked like a giant chocolate frappe. The taste started off with a nice chocolate malt with hints of roasted coffee. And that's where it ended. The malty goodness disappeared halfway through your sip. But good news, this is when you realized the beer was flat, wait, that's NOT good news. At this point it was suggested that I put salt in the beer, because apparently this is what you do to flat beer. I tried it at the end, but it did not help. Can someone confirm this old wives' tale? Apparently I must have gotten the bottle of beer that was not "naturally carbonated" as the label suggests. One good thing about the beer, it came in a 22 oz bottle which is sweet. From Microbrews I tend to look for something stronger than the 5% ABV this beer was packing. As a brown ale guy I was disappointed with this entry. I'd have to give it a 1.5.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Harpoon Smoked Porter, Harpoon Brewery, South Boston, MA

Based on a loyal reader's recommendation I tried the Harpoon Smoked Porter this weekend. Despite my pal's best efforts to convince me otherwise, I am not a porter guy. The Harpoon Smoked Porter definitely starts off well. You can definitely taste the smoky grains, which gave off a slightly burnt roasted taste. The beer however does not finish well. Despite it's strong flavorful beginning it ends decidedly weak. I find that most porters and stouts (since a stout is essentially a porter named differently, Guinness I believe was originally called a Stout Porter) give off a slightly metallic taste which just ruins the beer for me. Harpoon gave off that taste and it sucked, because for two thirds of the sip I was on board with this beer. The beer has a 5.7 ABV but gets rated at a lowly 1.5

Weekend Notes

I had the pleasure of attending STUMBLE VI last night and as always it did not disappoint. I only made it for a few bars but once again it was a success. The T-Shirts were awesome this year, grey with a Beirut 6 cup setup as the logo. This was pertinent as there was a Beirut Tournament held at The Draft, one of the final stops on the crawl. I did not compete, but definitely enjoyed the antics of the Beirut players, everyone thinking they were better than they actually were. Of course we also had the latest divisional bracket which I posted about yesterday, I think I may be doing this tournament backwards as I cannot believe both Natural Light and MGD are in the semis. Finally I will have a beer post, the Harpoon Smoked Porter coming up.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tourney Update

The third bracket (Heavy Division) went to battle last night amongst a crowd of witnesses. Match up 1 Beer A vs Beer B was not close. Beer B had a metallic taste and seemed a bit skunkish while Beer A offered an easy smooth taste. Beer A won handily. In the second match up, Beer C vs Beer D. Beer C routed Beer D. They weren't even comparable. The Finals of Beer A vs Beer C wasn't close. Beer C came off as a tad flat and Beer A advanced. You can see the results here. As you can imagine I was SHOCKED by the outcome. The last time I had MGD I almost paid the bar to not serve it to me ever again. I thought Busch was the sleeper of the tournament and people in Vegas are not happy about this outcome. It was our first 1 vs 2 match up in the Divisional finals though. This win has however made me question my taste testing. Next year we may have to go to a panel of judges or a double elimination tourney. The beers competing were: Beer A: MGD, Beer B: PBR, Beer C: Busch, Beer D: The High Life. I thought High Life may squeeze out of this bracket as well, a lot of my friends have been swearing by it lately.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

STUMBLE VI - This Saturday

Just wanted to fill in the Boston folks on a great event coming up this Saturday in the Allston/Brighton area, STUMBLE VI. It's a pub crawl run by a few guys I know and it's all for charity. The Crawl attracts people from all over and is definitely the funnest one I have been to. I am copying the details below. I hope to swing by at some point. You will see that only the first bar is listed so show up early! Here are the details:

White Horse Tavern
116 Brighton Ave., Boston, MA 02134
Saturday, May 17, 5:30PM

Alcoholic altruism and philanthropic hedonism return to Brighton this spring, brought to you by Boston's premiere purveyors of charitable mayhem, The War Room.Highlights of the pub crawl include:+ Mind-blowing opening ceremonies+ Kick-ass t-shirts*+ Drink specials*+ Barbecue buffet from SoulFire BBQ*+ A chance to win Red Sox tickets**+ Beer pong tournament**+ Live music from RBR (Rude Boy Riot) and mystery musical guest+ Games+ No covers*+ Beautiful women and charismatic men*T-shirts can be purchased day of crawl for $25. Cost of t-shirt covers free dinner from SoulFire BBQ, drink specials, no covers and a donation to The Home for Little Wanderers.**Signups for the beer pong tournament (16 teams of two) begin promptly at 5:30, so arrive early for your chance to compete and win the first-place prize of a set of four Red Sox tickets ($360 face value) or the second-place prize of $50.All proceeds go to The Home for Little Wanderers, a Boston-based child and family service agency that protects, shelters and nurtures thousands of at-risk children.You can also check out up-to-the-minute details at our Facebook event page for STUMBLE VI.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tournament Update: Recount Demanded

Another upset in the brackets, this time in the Light Beer division. Round 1 pitted Beer A vs Beer B. It definitely went down to the last sips and Beer A had a slightly bitter start and therefore lost. Round 2's Beer C vs Beer D was also a close one. In fact at one point Beer D was declared the winner only to be overturned by a few more sips because of a slight aftertaste. The Divisional Finals featured Beer B vs Beer C. Beer B's honeysish undertones killed it's Final Four dreams and knocked it out of the tournament, thus making Beer C, aka Natural Light the winner. The other beers were: Beer A = Bud Light Beer B = Keystone Light Beer D Coors Light. I'll be honest I do not know how this happened. I have always been a huge Bud Light proponent, as well as Keystone Light, the beer of my collegiate years. In fact the end result was so shocking the tournament moderator demanded a recount, or retaste, which I didn't think was appropriate for this contest. The light beers, being light beers, have so little taste, so little to distinguish them, you are really finding the slightest flaws in the beers to declare winners, sadly this most likely means that if you got one bad can of beer it could kill a Beer's chances.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Midweek Notes

I did have the opportunity to have another Unibroue this past weekend, their Ephemere. It was a very unique beer, and I use the term beer lightly as it had almost no beer qualities at all. It was more an alcoholic Sour Apple Clearly Canadian. This was perhaps the most perplexing beer I have tasted and still do not know what to make of it which is why it has yet to be reviewed. Cider fans should give it a try. This weekend I should be knocking out one of the Light Beer divisions for the Sweet 16.

La Fin Du Monde, Unibroue, Chambly, Quebec, Canada

The La Fin Du Monde came heavily recommended from a loyal Beer Crusader. The beer is a triple fermented Belgian style ale that has a golden color and light head. The beer has a floral dry taste, with hints of citrus. I believe Belgian Ale and Hefeweizen fans would really enjoy this beer. Unfortunately, I am not the biggest fan of either of these styles or while we are at it Stouts. I believe beer should taste like malt and barley and hops, not pot pourri. The La Fin Du Monde, does pack a wallop which I like, it has a 9% ABV. I am giving the La Fin a 2, with the understanding that fans of the style would rate it much higher.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sweet 16 Update

We have our first semi-finalist in the round of 16. For those of you who are concerned there was a moderator, as it would be impossible for me to do a blind taste test alone. In round 1, it was Beer A vs Beer B. Beer A was just weak and bitter, Beer B was smooth and malty. It wasn't even close, Beer B won handily. In the other match up Beer C vs Beer D, it was a barn burner. It looked like it was going to go to overtime, i.e. a second glass of each, but with the last sip Beer D endured. The flavor just held up a little bit better over the tasting, so flavor endurance ended this coin toss match up. I was convinced that beers C & D were the same, the match up was that close. The divisional finals between Beer B and Beer D was closer than Beer B's first match up, but Beer B was clearly the better beer. Before the great reveal I guessed that the match up was Bud vs Coors, only to learn it was Narragansett vs Michelob. The winner being Narragansett. Click here for results and game details. We also had another contestant, a second sipper if you will, who partook of the blind taste test and came up with the exact same results. For those taking score at home the rankings for this division would go 1. Narragansett 2. Michelob 3. Coors Banquet 4. Bud

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dear Mr BeerCrusade (a letter from a reader)

Dear Mr. BeerCrusade®
I want to turn this into a sort of "Dear Abby" column in your blog. Something personal, heartfelt, and more than a little g@y.
Was at the Regatta Bar last night and followed [my friend's] lead in ordering a Chimay. I remember about 8 years ago I first heard of Chimay and could not wrap my head around expensive, high end beer. I drank a fair share back then, but nothing nicer than an occasional Newcastle. So I've probably had 10 Chimays over the past 4 years, and I think its really good beer, however it is served in what is effectively a wine glass. This is wack. You can talk all you want about the right glassware for the right beer and all of that, but its wack. I don’t want to sip beer out of a wine glass, bourbon snifter, or a crystal goblet. Not that I need a huge hulking bucket of beer; a simple pint glass will be fine.
Am I an uneducated ass for having this opinion? Am I an uneducated ass for other reasons? Possibly so, but the fact remains, specialty beer glassware is wack. Your thoughts?

Dear A. -
I agree. Beer should be drunk out of the following: it's original bottle or can, the tap, a pint glass, a pitcher, a yard, a beer mug or a funnel. All else is suspect. Hoegarden is often served out of what looks like a margarita glass. If that's what you are going for, you might as well just order the margarita. Thanks for the question