Archive for August, 2011

Saint Somewhere Brewing Company Pays du Soleil (365 Day 264)

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Saint Somewhere Pays du Soleil

Following on the heals of yesterday’s Upright Seven, my senses needed to experience another Saison/Farmhouse Ale. Pays du Soleil by Saint Somewhere Brewing Company was recommended to me while down in Florida.

The cork came off the bottle faster than any I have ever seen, beer quickly started foaming out of the top, and I ended up with a sticky mess on my keyboard. My wife quickly asked why I open beers in my computer room. I do it so I don’t lose any of the aroma from the beer while walking from the kitchen. Pretty lame and I didn’t share that with her. I never did find the cork but I found the metal cage.

After cleaning up I finally had a chance to try the beer. This whole episode probably tainted my feelings towards the beer as I do not like explosions in my house.

Lots of berries were in the taste while the aroma carried a tart muskiness. There was an effervescence that kept the beer from being highly drinkable. A slightly above average brew that I might think differently of if I had on tap and didn’t have to clean up a mess. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 7 (35%), Overall: 7.8

Useless Fact: Diamond Jim Brady’s average breakfast as recorded by a New York restauranteur; a gallon of orange juice, three eggs, a quarter of a loaf of corn bread, sirloin steak with fried potatoes, hominy grits and bacon, two muffins, and several pancakes. For dinner Diamond Jim might eat three dozen oysters, two bowls of turtle soup, and six crabs as an appetizer. Restaurant owners referred to him as the best twenty-five customers they ever had.

Upright Brewing Company Seven (365 Day 263)

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Upright Seven

Looking through blogs and other American craft beer websites for new beers to try is one of my favorite things to do with my free. After all, when I am having a beer why shouldn’t I be looking into other great beers to partake in the future. In spite of carefully trying to pick out beers there are many times that the beer I am after is as good as I was lead to believe.

It is easy to say that Seven by Upright Brewing Company lived up to my web findings. Being a Saison/Farmhouse ale places Seven right into my pleasure zone, as it is one of my favorite styles.

Seven allows for the Belgian yeast to come on strong in the nose with pepper and clove leading the way. There are light fruity aromas but they are muted by the yeast. The taste carries the beer with tart and sweet balancing the yeast with mild fruit notes adding to the complexity. A very easy drinker that impressed as well as not lasting long. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 8.5

Useless Fact: Gamblers in ancient Greece made dice from the ankle bones and shoulder blades of sheep.

Founders Brewing Company Centennial IPA (365 Day 262)

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Founders Centennial IPA

While waiting in line for the new release from Half Acre Beer Company I hoping that I would be home in time to partake of Galatic Double Daisy Cutter: a version of Double Daisy Cutter that uses galaxy hops. While waiting in line my one child came over stating that we were eating at the Bad Apple again: a restaurant across the street from Half Acre with a fairly solid tap list. I knew then that Galactic Double Daisy Cutter wasn’t in the cards for beer number 262.

While sitting down to dinner I scoured the beer list with Centennial IPA from Founders Brewing Company caught my eye. I have been on an American IPA kick as of late and Centennial was going to scratch the itch.

Easy drinking, even the wife liked it, with just enough hops to balance out some pale and caramel malts. This is a year round offering from Founders that is worth trying out. In my case over and over again. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: The National Safety Council reports that seventy people a day die in home accidents in the United States. Falls account for the greatest number of deaths. Next in frequency are fire, poisoning, electrocution, and choking on food. Most of the people who die from falls are over sixty-five. Middle-aged people and infants die most often in fires. Teenagers succumb primarily to poison and drugs.

Alpine Beer Company Exponential Hoppiness (365 Day 261)

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Alpine Exponential Hoppiness

American craft beer on Thursday evenings has become ingrained with my family as the natural way things should happen each week. My kids usually ask which of the guys are coming over, replying with an “Ahhh,” if someone that they wanted to see can’t make it over. The wife usually joins for a sip or two while making some conversation near the end of the evening. Since everyone is involved, the weekly get together is made much easier. My oldest even distributes the ritualistic pretzels into bowls for the guys to share and cleanse their palate throughout the evening.

Of course sharing beer with friends has advantages: good conversation, not enough beer to impair but enough to taste and appreciate, and a chance for everyone to have that occasional hard to find beer that someone in the group snagged. Which was the case with beer number 261: Exponential Hoppiness by Alpine Beer Company.

Saying that Exponential Hoppiness is a normal American Imperial IPA is slighting the beer. The citrus and tropical fruit profile of the hops in this beer is outstanding. The 11.0% ABV made me believe this would be a boozy beer with the aroma making me believe this was going to be bitter and, more than likely, unbalanced. Assumptions. This beer was smooth, balanced like nothing I have experienced this size for and Imperial IPA before. I was shocked at how well it all fits together.

Rich and I had the bottle down so fast that, with this being our second beer of the evening, we both felt a slight buzz. Rich also brought up the fact that this is the best beer we have had in 2011. To this point, he is right. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 10 (35%), Overall: 9.9

Useless Fact: When ancient Egyptian priests held a banquet, a large mummy was often carried into the feast chamber and propped up at the table where all the priests could see it, a reminder that even while at pleasure, death was ever near.

Weyerbacher Brewing Company Old Heathen (365 Day 260)

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Weyerbacher Old Heathen

Today created the triple play for Weyerbacher Brewing Company beers: I had my third in a row. I have to say that I have been very happy with all three American craft beers, including today’s: Old Heathen.

Old Heathen is another Russian Imperial Stout, the same as Heresy. My thought is that Heresy is the bourbon aged version of Old Heathen. Heresy was so well balanced that it was easy to make out the underlying stout, Old Heathen seems to represent that stout.

Roasted, chocolate, coffee, molasses, and more excite the senses: both the nose and mouth. Medium body with no carbonation to sit on this beer dries the palate quickly and completely. The body probably isn’t big enough for some people that will tell you a RIS should be drank as dinner. I think it is a breath of fresh air that a complex beer can be made within a style without trying to set new first for size. Well done. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 8.7

Useless Fact: In the year 632, when the prophet Muhammad died, the Islamic empire comprised only an insignificant corner of Arabia. A little more than a hundred years later the Moslem religion had spread to Persia, Egypt, Syria, India, Central Asia, parts of northern Africa, and into southern Africa. In a century’s time Islam had converted one-third of the world.

Weyerbacher Brewing Company Heresy (365 Day 259)

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Weyerbacher Heresy

I guess you could say that I am a mini Weyerbacher Brewing Company binge. I have had a few beers from Weyerbacher down in the cellar for the past sixteen or more months. Now, for no apparent reason, seems to be perfect for tasting and reviewing.

Heresy, a Russian Imperial Stout, is also aged in bourbon barrels. The aroma is made up of bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted malt, cocoa, and a touch of coffee. The taste follows with more of the same, balanced well with each other just as is the nose. A body that is creamy and silky, making for a big body.

The alcohol doesn’t come through which makes for a very drinkable RIS. I think I have another bottle, so it will sit for another year hopefully bringing out more complexities. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.0

Useless Fact: Only 16 percent of the able-bodied males in the American colonies participated in the Revolutionary War.

Weyerbacher Brewing Company Blithering Idiot (365 Day 258)

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot

As I slowly hit up my stash of American craft beer in the basement, usually referred to as my cellar (but it is just a basement), I am uncovering liquid gold. How so? Glad you asked. I transacted for these beers a good 16 months or more ago and, in some cases, have no recollection of receiving the beer. I do keep track of all my transactions but, like most people, I don’t really go back and look at the list. It is more of a formality.

The gem regurgitated by the basement for beer number 258 is Blithering Idiot by Weyerbacher Brewing Company an English Barleywine. Blithering Idiot is a nice offering. There are some dark fruit, Belgian like candy sweetness, and some alcohol. Surprisingly there is still a fine bubbled carbonation the spritzes the tongue and lips.

An above average offering, not bad considering it is year round, but I would take a hit of Insanity as I like that beer by Weyerbacher a bit better. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 7 (25%), Look: 8 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 7.8

Useless Fact: The Maya Indians filed their front teeth to points and drilled holes in them so that they could be embellished with precious gems. They filled cavities in their teeth with pieces of jade.

Two Brothers Brewing Company Hop Juice (365 Day 257)

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Two Brothers Hop Juice

Consistency is what every brewer shoots for with their beers. When you make a beer annually, how easy is that? Especially when it comes to an IIPA or similar that if you taste it a year later will be no where near what it was originally.

This years batch of Hop Juice seemed different to me than in the past. In a good way actually: I couldn’t put it down. Two Brothers Brewing Company puts out this Imperial IPA each June.

Of course hops are a big part of this beer and the blend that I noticed was very inviting and pleasant. Mostly citrus and of the grapefruit persuasion, there is a slight bitterness but it doesn’t linger. Wonderfully balanced for a big beer. Caramel malt seems to stand out from the malt backbone but only to balance the hops.

Of course I only purchased one this year. I will have to wait for more unless I can find it on tap somewhere. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.0

Useless Fact: The United States Postal Service assures its customers that they will not get fat licking stamps. There is no more than one-tenth of a calorie’s worth of glue on every stamp.

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales E.S. Bam (365 Day 256)

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Jolly Pumpkin E.S. Bam

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales makes nothing that I would deem normal. Don’t take this as a knock on the brewery. Their beers are interesting, complex, and, of course, darn tasty. It is easily the closet American craft brewery that puts out sour after sour. Each beer has subtle nuances that, quite possibly, the same beer blended a year earlier might not have had. So trying their beers on a regular basis can be an interesting and fun experience.

E.S. Bam is a Saison, one of several the brewery puts together. Vanilla and oak were at the forefront of this wheat and hay stimulated brew. The aroma was better than the flavor but still nice. Spice hops finish the taste that has bitterness lingering. Some slight tartness that is easy to miss.

As always I am glad that Jolly Pumpkin is slow close. When do I open my next Bière De Mars. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: On March 16, 1970, a bidder at Sotheby & Company in London paid $20,000 for one glass paperweight.

Sebago Brewing Company Single Batch Series – Fool’s Gold Ale (365 Day 255)

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Sebago Single Batch Series - Fool's Gold Ale

I have had my share of American craft beer over the years. Heck, even over the past two years looking at all the beers I have logged on Two Beer Dudes. Since I stick to American craft beers there are some styles that I don’t come across all that often. Usually those are styles from Europe that are very specific to a region. A California Common or Steam Beer isn’t one that fits that foot. Safe bet we have all heard of Anchor Steam but the style, at least in my experience, doesn’t seem to get out that much.

Here’s where another Single Batch Series beer from Sebago Brewing Company steps up by brewing Fool’s Gold Ale. Before I go into my typical brief description of the beer (since you can read my review by clicking the link wrapped around the name of the beer, there is not need), I have to preface with the fact that it becomes especially difficult to give a fair and solid explanation of an American craft beer style with which you are unfamiliar.

Fool’s Gold was light bodied with grassy, citrus, and pale malt profile. The taste could be best explained by stating it was similar to a pilsner. Don’t know if that is normal for the style but it definitely worked here and kept my interest.

If you have the chance to pick up this beer, outside of the style, it is a solid beer that could easily make anyone happy. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 8.3

Useless Fact: According to the National Safety Council, an average of sixty-nine people a day are shot to death with handguns in the United States. Three-quarters of these shootings take place within the inner family circle or among close friends.

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