Sunday, June 29, 2008

Overdue Notes

Sorry for the lack of posts as of late, I am in the midst of moving and we've turned off the Internet at my current place until we move to the new one. Hopefully this week I will get some good beers in as I am planning on meeting some folks at Bukowski's Tavern which has an awesome selection of beers as well as a "Wheel of Indecision" where the bartenders spin a wheel and pick your beer. Sounds like my kind of place.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Peroni Brewery, Rome, Italy

The Peroni Nastro Azzurro has given me some hope that I can enjoy a beer containing Saaz hops. I enjoyed a few of these Peroni's the other night at dinner and I found the beer did resemble the dreaded Pilseners I've had, but it didn't have that hoppy overbite that I previously attributed to the Saaz hop. It was a more constrained flavor that I found, with a hint of citrus flavors. The beer has a 5.1% ABV. The beer apparently battles Moretti for dominance in Italian restaurants as the Italian beer to have. Although, as far as marketing purposes, I give the nod to the mustachioed Moretti. The Peroni gets a 3.0.

Smuttynose IPA, Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, NH

The Smuttynose IPA is a progressive beer, meaning that you enjoy the different ingredients throughout the beer tasting phase. The beer starts of with a malty taste, it then switches into a more fruity essence before leaving you with a bitter hop sensation. This IPA is good for the Summer, it's light tasting but packs a punch with a 6.6% ABV. The beer gets a 3.5

Sunday, June 22, 2008

American Craft Beer Fest - It Was AWESOME!!

OK the event was as great as expected. I beat my friends to the fest so I had a few minutes alone inside the festival. The festival served beer from the left center and right with food and porta potties in the wings. Sorry no pictures because I forgot a camera. I immediately hit a few stands I had targeted from the website and instantly I knew I was in trouble. I had hit 6 stands in about 10 minutes and the pours were bigger than the 2oz advertised. I also figured out it would be really hard to track all the beers I was trying so I gave up pretty quickly, but here are the notes on the ones I tried. Not full reviews because honestly I couldn't due a review on a 2oz beer justice:
Avery Brewing Company, Ellie's Brown Ale Boulder, CO - A chocolate smokey brown. Similar to a porter.
Bear Republic Brewing Co, Crazy Ivan Healdsburg, CA - honeyish, despite the great name, disappointing
Brewery Ommegang, Ommegang Ommegeddon, Cooperstown, NY - belgian ale, very similar to La Fin Du Monde
Great Divide Brewing Co, Titan IPA, Denver, CO - a very light IPA, only a hint of hops
Lagunitas Brewing Co, Hop Stoopid, Petaluma, CA - very bitter and hoppy.
Mayflower Brewing Co., Mayflower Pale Ale, Plymouth, MA - very light pale ale
Newport Storm Amber - light, honeyish terrible
Port Brewing Co., Shark Double Red Ale, San Marcos, CA - very alcoholly red ale
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Prohibition, San Francisco, CA - wheaty grain taste light, no real malt flavor
Tuckerman Brewing Co., Tuckerman Pale Ale, Conway, NH - very light and fruity almost flat.
Of course I had more than this, but I couldn't keep up with my in depth notes from above (yes it appears all the beers are "light". I did have to finish off the night with a Harpoon IPA to go out on a high after my second to last beer was terrible. I didn't walk away with a new favorite beer which isn't surprising after all I tasted 20+ beers and they eventually all mashed together. The Duck Rabbitt Craft Brewery received rave reviews from my friends. All in all a great event and worth attending next year.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fire Rock Pale Ale, Kona Brewing Company, Honolulu, HI

Since I've been slacking a bit on the reviews I've decided to recycle a review I wrote to friends last fall after a trip to Coronado. Here goes: The Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale begins as a smooth caramel delight similar to a Sam Adams Octoberfest, however it accelerates and ends with a real hoppy finish. This kind of combination makes this beer so enjoyable and definitely targets my wheel house as far as beer preference goes. This beer tracks at 6% ABV so it also has some kick. The Fire Rock gets a 3.5.

Overdue Update

Sorry for the lack of content as of late, but I've encountered a few problems in getting some new beers reviewed. First off, I've been in the process of moving which sucks. Secondly, I've hit some restaurants/bars with such a generic offering of beers I haven't been trying anything new. This weekend however I am hitting the American Craft Beer Fest so I should have a few things to write about when my headache goes away. Lastly several readers have pointed out an error in my rankings (yes I am fallible), I underanked the Harpoon IPA, this is definitely a 4, not a 3.5. I've changed accordingly. I cannot believe I ranked it low as it is an all time favorite of mine. Mea culpa.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Harpoon IPA, Harpoon Brewery, South Boston, MA

Harpoon IPA has long been a favorite of mine and I credit this beer as the beer that turned me on to IPAs in the first place. The Harpoon is decidedly strong, and you are cognizant of that fact from the first whiff of hops as you put the glass to your lips. The first sip brings an onslaught of Cascade hops, that eases into a tangy bitterness. The beer finishes with a surprising fruitiness. The IPA has 5.9% ABV, but if you've ever attended a Harpoonfest, your head thinks this might be understated the following morning. I rate the Harpoon IPA a 4.5.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekend Notes

Not too much to report this weekend. I spent too much of the time moving, not enough drinking. I will have one or two reviews though this week. Just a quick link here for those in the Boston area. surveyed the local beer bars. Pretty interesting.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Shipyard Fuggles IPA, Shipyard Brewing Co., Portland, Maine

The Fuggles IPA is not your father's IPA. I'd classify it as a more a Heffewizen as it has a lighter summery feel. There is a bitter wheatish taste and the end of the sip. The opening sip is dominated by a fruity flavor that leads into a hop tardiness that struggles to overpower the fruitiness and ultimately fails. This is the perfect IPA for a person who doesn't want an IPA, but wants to look cool by ordering an IPA. The ABV on the Fuggles IPA is 5.8%, not too shabby. This isn't an IPA I'd order if I were looking for an IPA, but I could see the benefits of drinking this on a nice summer afternoon. The rating is 2.5.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Belhaven Scottish Ale, Belhaven Brewery, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

I checked out the Belhaven Scottish Ale at dinner and I was not totally on board with it. It's never a good sign when you need someone else to taste the beer because you think it's flat and they tell you that's how it's supposed to taste. Giving the Ale a second chance I was able to detect light malt accents in this subdued creamy ale. The creaminess really overpowers the other beer elements. The beer was surprisingly refreshing, although it's relatively low 3.9% ABV is a detriment. I rate this a 2.5.