Archive for October, 2009

Lakefront Pumpkin Lager and Coors Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
Pumpkin Lager by Lakefront Brewing Company

Pumpkin Lager by Lakefront Brewing Company

Lakefront Pumpkin Lager by Lakefront Brewing Company is a pumpkin beer that was very drinkable and crisp. It had a slight head on the beer that disappeared very quickly until there was no trace at all. A nice amber color that had good spice, malt, and a trace of hops on the nose. The spices weren’t as noticeable in the taste while it was light in body with medium carbonation. I have had other Lakefront beers (especially on the brewery tour) and will have to say that I expected a bigger, better beer from them. No, this isn’t a horrible beer, I would drink it again, but the body of the beer is really light. free run 3.0 v2 femmes I feel like “transition” beers like these should start to bulk up on the body.

The second beer of the night was Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale by Coors Brewing Company. The beer started off nice with a nice tan foam but lasted like a robber running from the police. The aroma and taste was more of an Oktoberfest style beet to me than a pumpkin beer. I don’t know if this was suppose to be a twist of styles or not. Despite the amount of malt, the body was light but the carbonation level seemed fine. My wife made the best observation about the beer: “It doesn’t taste like much.” I think that says just about everything I need to say. It is a macro brew that smells, tastes, and acts like a macro beer.

Four beers of the 28 down from Two Beer Dudes American Oktoberfest. No drinking tonight, I have hoops. More to come on Friday. Enjoy!

Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale and S.A. Octoberfest

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

michigan brewing screamin pumpkin spiced ale

Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale by Michigan Brewing Company was the beer that I purchased before the party; proud of myself for even finding it, needless to say I was excited to try and review. I was not disappointed. Screamin’ brings back thoughts of my Mom’s pumpkin pie that I so dearly look forward to each Thanksgiving Day. Lots of nutmeg, all spice, and cinnamon spices that are not over powering but justified by the almost meaty body that seems to almost emit thoughts of pumpkin pulp. Having several of these might put you in an early Thanksgiving Day food coma, it is that good.

Boston Beer Company puts out good beers, in my opinion, that are more geared towards the masses that are thinking of trying American craft beer and/or actually believe they are enthusiasts. That said, Sam Adams doesn’t quite hit home runs for me but they do put out very drinkable, quality beers. roshe run flywire femmes Their Octoberfest is right on course. The beer was big on malt as should be expected, shooting the gambit of aromas and flavors that should be in present in an Oktoberfest beer. There was even a slight twinge of hops to offset the large amount of sweetness to the beer. I have this beer every year.

Two Beer Dudes (Rich and I) recently held our inaugural Oktoberfest party in which we had some 28 American craft beers show up for the event. Since I was the only one that was trying to review beers, I have decided to go through each beer and review on my own to be fair to the beer and the brewers. Two more beers should be up again tomorrow as I continue the trek across Oktoberfest land. Enjoy!

Two Beer Dudes Oktoberfest

Monday, October 19th, 2009
Two Beer Dudes lineup of Oktoberfest and Pumpkin American craft beers

Two Beer Dudes lineup of American craft beer

The Inaugural Oktoberfest Two Beer Dudes style has come and gone. It seems like when this event was in the planning stages that it would never arrive; it seemed on the morning of the event there was no one I would be ready on time; thank the heavens for the earliest person arriving a half hour late. 🙂

Rich and I had many discussions: email, phone, face-to-face, roshe run hyp about Oktoberfest and I would have to say that it went off without a hitch and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves (which is most important to me).

The food for the evening was authentic German fare: sausage from the German meat market, green cabbage sour kraut from German restaurant, home made: red cabbage sweet kraut, German potato salad, squash casserole, with 5 or 6 different flavored mustards. There was other food but this was the main event and was enjoyed by all.

Now onto the serious stuff: the beer. I don’t know if I listed everything below but we had a total of 28 beers dress up in coat and tails for the event.

  • Oktoberfest
    • Oktoberfest by Point
    • Sam Adams Octoberfest by Boston Beer Company
    • Oktoberfest by Great Lakes Brewing Company
    • Gemuetlichkeit Oktoberfest by Tyranena Brewing Company
    • Munsterfest by Three Floyds
    • Dogtoberfest by Flying Dog
    • Oktoberfest by Central Waters
    • Oktoberfest by Leinenkugel’s
    • Oktoberfest by Sprecher
    • Oktoberfest by Capital
    • Oktoberfest by Harpoon
    • Oktoberfest by Bell’s
    • Staghorn by New Glarus
  • Pumpkin
  • Miscellaneous
    • Weizen Bock by Victory Brewing
    • Harvest Ale by Goose Island
    • Freaktoberfest by Coney Island
    • Harvest Ale by Founders
    • Nosferatua by Great Lakes
    • Hoptoberfest by New Belgium

We only happened to get through 15 of the beers throughout the course of the evening (spouses and children running around made it tough to concentrate and I had to fix the WII at least a half dozen times). I know, you could consider us lame. Most of the attendees didn’t’ care for the nutmeg and all-spice of the pumpkin beers and then, to top it off, we all thought the Oktoberfest beers to very similar. You could say that is good or bad. We leaned the negative way: the whole idea of American craft beer is for the individuality of their beers. We probably didn’t even try to consider the fact that we never cleansed our palates for another beer.

Because I was the only trying to actually do review, I eventually gave up and truly tried to enjoy the evening and the company. I was fortunate to have enough beer at the end of the night that I could keep one of each beer so that I can do my own tasting over the next two weeks or so. I play on trying to get two or three reviewed per evening, starting off with a pumpkin and Oktoberfest beer so that my palate doesn’t get overrun again.

The best Oktoberfest that we tried, in my opinion, was Bell’s Oktoberfest. Good, crisp beer that was an overall nice beer that everyone liked. In the future I don’t know if I would do another Oktoberfest tasting. I would want a style of beers that has more artistry behind the style. IPA, porters, and stouts quickly come to mind. Needless to say, I am busy planning the next festival in my head. Only time will tell what it will be but I think, at least at this time, I am leaning towards a more public type. Enjoy!

Four Beer Review Evening

Friday, October 16th, 2009

It has been so hectic lately that I haven’t been able to sit, enjoy, and review more than a beer in one evening. Last night afforded me four fold. The list of American craft beer participants:

O'so Brewing Companies Hopdinger an enjoyable APA with a real balanced hop presence.

O'so Brewing Companies Hopdinger an enjoyable APA with a real balanced hop presence.

Ouisconsing Red Ale by Central Waters Brewing Company is an American Amber Ale that poured a clear, dark gold hue with a good, white head, nice retention and lacing. The aroma is has big sweet malt backbone with a pleasant floral hop aroma setting up a taste that includes bread and even lemon grass elements. roshe run hyp femmes A really good beer that you could session and something that I would enjoy having again. Central Waters Brewing Company makes some really nice beers and if you can find them (only in Wisconsin that I know of) treat yourself to a couple of their flavors. You won’t be disappointed.

OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale by Stone Brewing Company is an American Strong Ale that has been aged with oak wood chips. A complex beer that looks good in the glass from the get go. A nice frothy, tan foam that has good retention and beautiful spider web lacing on the glass. The aroma and taste both bring lots of malt (molasses, earth), hops (nice citrus and floral blend) and a slight bit of strangeness that compliment each other throughout. A unique beer that, maybe a little over priced, is worth the taste.

OAKED Arrogan Bastard Ale by Stone Brewing Company another fine example of their beers.

OAKED Arrogan Bastard Ale by Stone Brewing Company another fine example of their beers.

Leinenkugel’s Classic Amber Lager by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is a macro brew pretending to be a micro brew that is an American amber lager. Spicy hop notes sort of stuck out in my mind more than anything else in this beer. It is an easy drinker but the spice detracts from how much of it you want. Not a bad beer just something I wouldn’t want all that often.

Hopdinger by O’so Brewing Company is an American pale ale. Pours as you would expect: big frothy head, good retention, and some quality lacing. Nice combination of floral and citrus hops on the nose that put your nose in a higher place. Awesome. This beautiful combo isn’t as prevalent on the palate but noticeable. The only real drawback to an otherwise great beer. A touch of earthiness to the finish. A twist on APAs that is nicely done and enjoyed. O’so isn’t easy for me to get but every chance I do, I try. They are another small brewery in Wisconsin that I have to travel to get and, then, I am not even assured to get any. 🙁

A good night of tasting in which I would rank the beers as follows: Hopdinger, OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale, Ouisconsing Red Ale, and Leinenkugel’s Classic Amber Lager. I can’t wait for tomorrow: Two Beer Dudes Oktoberfest. Enjoy!

Beer Review Pages Updates

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

The site is slowly but surely taking shape as I continue to struggle to find time to juggle enjoying beer and coding beer. 😉 Drinking beer is much more fun but I have to continue pushing the site forward. The deadline of an October is definitely premature. Aren’t deadlines made to be pushed back?

The latest changes to the site are a 99% finalized beer review pages. You can also select a beer and see the individual beer review page, which is also close to completion.

The navigation will be the next part of the site I knock. I have the some of the design elements in place it is just a matter of a little css and the navigation will come magically to life. I would say the site, in terms of graphics/css, is 20% complete. Enjoy!

Yokel by New Glarus Brewing Co.

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

New Glarus Brewing Co. does a great job with the beers that they make. I haven’t found one to date that I haven’t enjoyed (I believe I am at 17). I picked up a bottle of Yokel on my last trip out to the brewery and I have been sitting on it to enjoy it at the right time.

Yokel by New Glarus Brewing Company label

Yokel by New Glarus Brewing Company label

Last night seemed to be the time: roshe run hyp qs wife out with the kids, Bulls pre-season on the tube, and nothing really to do. Perfect.

Yokel is a Keller Bier which is an unfiltered lager that originated in Germany some 400 or more years ago. The alcohol is in the 5% range.

Yokel differs slightly on the pour from the style in that it is completely clear but had a nice, fluffy white foam with a golden hue to the beer. Sweet, grainy notes with floral and spice hops are both present on the nose and palate. Refreshing and crisp beer that I could enjoy over and over. A good candidate for sessioning. Enjoy!

Beer Store Visit Day

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

It’s hard to believe another Wednesday is already here and brought another beer store visit upon me. No, I am not complaining; this one just seems to have quickly this week. I have been busy at work so the time has flown by to this point, this week. Let’s hope I don’t jinx myself.

rest in peace sam's liquors

Since this is my birthday month at my favorite beer store in which I am a card carrying member, I have received coupons for 10% off, a free item from the deli, and another $5 off coupon. Not bad. I will have to get something today but since I have 20 bombers of liquid goodness sitting at home from Russ and Jay, I will keep it to a minimum.

What American craft beer will has its number called today? I am heading for the store now. Finish writing this in an hour.

On another note, roshe run nm br I read in the local paper over the weekend and online that my favorite beer store, which is family owned, sold out to another local family beer store chain. I hope that things don’t change too much as I have been to the other chain before also. I liked the fact that each had it’s own nuances. Also, I hope they keep the store right across from work open and Travis game-fully employed.

Well, the news wasn’t good and not horrible either. No new beer this week as they await the official buy out this coming Monday. But, unfortunately, the buyers haven’t said a thing to any of the employees in terms of keeping jobs, changes, etc. If you have been through a buyout it is a tough place to be. Why? You don’t know from day-to-day if you will have a job: will you be fired, or laid off, or they close the store. You don’t know what to expect. And the worst, you lose all motivation to go to work, to do a good job, etc. I have been through it and I am sure Travis will come out of the other end for the best.

On a selfish note: I hope they just change the name and don’t close the store. I would imagine I will know in the short term.

Only three days until Two Beer Dudes Oktoberfest. I have a lot of work to do. Enjoy!

Stone Ruination IPA

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
The fateful bottle that hooked up my senses to a blissful evening!

The fateful bottle that hooked up my senses to a blissful evening!

I recently came to the realization that I am officially a hop head. In earnest I have been trying as many American IPAs and American Imperial IPAs that I can get my hands on.

I prefer a well balanced finish instead of some that just leave it out there to prove how much hops they can put in at boil. Nonsense. West coast people may enjoy an over the top bitterness but, to me, why? Oh, don’t get me wrong, if there is some floral, pine, or citrus notes in the after taste or a quick hit of bitterness; that is great stuff. Just don’t over do it.

Last night I set roshe run suede out to have Stone Ruination IPA as it has been in the cellar (using that term loosely) for a couple of weeks. Each time I go down there it beckons me, teasing me into submission. I had had enough and the bottle top came off last night.

The pour was beautiful as the foam seem to be perfect: off-white, thick, and frothy, exactly what I want in an IPA. The aroma was even better, probably the best part of the beer. A perfect combination of pine and citrus notes that played a scintillating tune for my nose. The taste was pretty damn good too. Not as good as the aroma as the bitterness was just a tad too much in the aftertaste. An American Imperial IPA that can finish nicely is something to behold and Stone Ruination IPA comes close.

Stone Ruination IPA is an impressive beer that should be on the top of your list to try. Enjoy!

Beer From Travelers

Monday, October 12th, 2009

In the past few days I have have been fortunate enough to receive two big grouping of beer: one from cousin, Russ, in California and from a co-worker, Jay, who took a trip out to the Baltimore, Maryland area.

I received beer from Russ on Friday (my birthday) and he sent me a huge haul totalling 13 beers:

  • Mortality Stout by Reaper Ale
  • Deathly Pale Ale by Reaper Ale
  • Sleighor Double Pale Ale by Reaper Ale
  • Anvil by AleSmith
  • Grand Cru by AleSmith
  • Decadence by AleSmith
  • Wee Heavy by AleSmith
  • Vertical Epic by Stone
  • Sea Monster Stout by Ballast Point
  • Calico Amber Ale by Ballast Point
  • Red Tide Amber Ale by Hollywood Beach
  • Damnation by Russian River
  • DBA by Firestone

All of these beers I have never had, so 13 bombers of fun await.

Jay brought me back seven bombers from Maryland that I gave to him off of a huge list of potential beers that I can’t get in Illinois:

  • Rastafa Rye Ale by Blue Point
  • Java Head by Tröegs
  • The Mad Elf Ale by Tröegs
  • Heavy Seas – The Great Pumpkin by Clipper City
  • Heavy Seas – Prosit! by Clipper City
  • Heavy Seas – the Big DIPA by Clipper City
  • Insanity by Weyerbacher

I can’t complain about 20 bombers over a weekend. Now I have to find time to drink them. Yeah, like that will be a problem. Enjoy!

40th Birthday Easy To Swallow

Friday, October 9th, 2009
My wife's friend, Kim, has to be the culprit.

My wife's friend, Kim, has to be the culprit.

Today is my 40th birthday. As every year, I don’t feel older and I am not pysched out by the big 4-0. It is just another birthday, it just so happens this one is divisible by 10. I guess we like to celebrate round numbers; why not celebrate prime number birthdays? Next year would be a huge celebration: 41! 🙂

The day began with my wife letting me know that our house was “messed” with last night. roshe run suede femmes I don’t know if she was in on it but, I believe, a friend of hers made a 40 out of beer bottles and cans on the walkway. I appreciate the effort but she knows better than to soil the cement around my house with Old Style, Coors Light, and Miller Genuine Draft 64. At least I have beer for the relatives tomorrow at my daughter’s birthday celebration. 😀

Just as I am writing this, I noticed a man walking around the yard. I go to the front door and see a lawn care truck in the street. My wife greats me with a happy birthday, nice: I don’t have to go out in the crappy weather to mow the lawn. How about that and all before 9:30am.

Now I just sit, wait, and hope the beer my cousin said should be here today from California will rear it’s beautiful head sometime today. Enjoy!

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