Posts Tagged ‘craft beer trading’

Trade, Ohio Fresh Hop Edition Part One

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

So I think I had the next two beers I’m going to blog about last year, and I jotted notes on them and intended to include them in a big comparison of fresh hop beers, but I just never got around to it. So since they’re both beers I got in trades from a state I have yet to review, I figure I’ll do a blog about each of them. I could do a comparison tasting, but I’d rather let each be judged upon their own merits.

So, the first one is Hop Stalker by Fat Head’s Brewery out of Middleburg Heights, Ohio. I received it from a guy named David who I hadn’t traded with before. He actually sent me a couple of Ohio beers, but let’s just stay with the fresh hops. This one was bottled 10/4, so it’s about six weeks old.

The first thing about this beer that jumped out at me was the big smell of hops. Fresh, citrusy, and dank, yes, even at this age. It’s got a cloudy bronze tint to it that gets darker the higher in the glass, plus a creamy looking lacing and a constant carbonation stream. I think the taste has faded slightly, but it’s still got a healthy fresh citrus mixed with dankness and a bit of bitterness. I’m kind of surprised how not bitter it is for an 80 IBU beer, plus it’s rather crisp and clean with little evidence that it’s 7 percent ABV.

I think the thing I like best about it, other than the smell, is how balanced it is with citrusy hoppy flavor and the mild amount of bitterness.

A rather quite enjoyable beer.

Trade, Georgia edition

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

In thoughts of the state that today’s beer came from, I am writing about Scofflaw Brewing Company’s Basement, an IPA from an Atlanta brewery. It was in the big box of much goodness from Ryan. a very generous chap. It was canned sometime in July, but I can’t quite make out the exact day since it was a bit blurry.

It pours a very cloudy tannish orange mix, a thick healthy creamy head and lacing. I poured it a while ago and there’s about a centimeter or two of foam still on it.

Smell is dank and lemony with a slight bitterness on the back end. Taste is interesting. It’s got a bitter tang up front, then follows that with a juicy citrusy hoppiness. I’ll be honest, it’s not the best tasting beer I’ve had. The description says it’s brewed with all citra hops, and it doesn’t remind me of any other citra hop beer I’ve ever had. It’s got a creamy and smooth feel that might be the best part of it.

Not a bad beer, but not great. I was curious about it, so I’m glad I at least got to try it.

Trade, Iowa Edition

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Time for another beer from a trade, time for another beer blog.

This one is Fire, Skulls, and Money from Toppling Goliath in Decorah Iowa. It was acquired from Ben in Wisconsin, who is my source for TG bottles.

It looks like the typical Northeast style IPA, very cloudy and orange juice tint with mild head and creamy lacing.

Smell is a blend of juicy citrus with a mild bitterness in the background.

Taste is also a blend of citrusy hops with a mild bitterness that’s a bit stronger than I usually expect from the style, but it’s pretty well balanced.

It’s a very clean, creamy, and full bodied beer with a gentle alcohol presence.

All in all, a rather straight forward Northeast Style IPA, but a rather tasty one.

Trade, Connecticut via New York edition

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Yeah, that sounds complicated, but when you’re dealing with Evil Twin, the east coast gypsy brewer, you have to move around a bit. Overshores Brewing Company in East Haven CT brewed and canned this one, and Twelve Percent in Brooklyn NY distributed it.

The beer has one of my favorite names I’ve seen in the last year: I PLAN ON WRITING AN EPIC POEM ABOUT THIS GORGEOUS IPA.

And I plan on writing a moderately length blog about it.

Two things, first off: one, it is gorgeous. And two, it’s about as Northeast Style IPA as you can get.

It looks like orange juice, very cloudy, very orange, with a darkening hue as you go further down the glass. I honestly don’t recall seeing a beer do something like that before. There’s not much head, but it does have mild lacing.

Smell is orange juice and dank hops. I’m thinking there’s a lot of citra hops in this one. Damn, does it smell good.

Taste….um, orange juice? Yep. Totally citrusy and hoppy, dank and juicy. There’s a very slight tangy bitterness all the way on the back end. Mouthfeel is smooth, full bodied, and has a mildness for 7% abv.

This is an outstanding beer, a damn strong IPA and as I said, it’s about as strong an example of a Northeast Style IPA that I’ve come across in a long time.

NOTE: after I posted this, I saw that it’s made with “hefty amounts of Galaxy, Amarillo and FF hops”. No Citra. Color me surprised.

Trade, Mississippi edition

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Today’s offering is from Ryan in Atlanta. He sent me a twenty pound box that I should be able to get a couple blogs from. This one is Devil’s Harvest from Southern Prohibition Brewing out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I don’t think I’ve had anything from that state before, but I could be wrong. Either way, this was a lot better than I was expecting it to be.

There are two real cool things I liked about this beer before even opening it:
1) it’s labeled as a “breakfast IPA”.
2) the bottom of the can does not only provide the Canned on date of 07/18/17, but it also says “Canned by Nick”, and there’s something funny about that to me.

It poured a thick foamy head with lasting lacing and looked like a breakfast juice – cloudy and a kind of pineapple/orange juice mix color. Smell is danky citrusy, with a pretty good grapefruit presence. It’s got a pleasant hoppy taste – kind of lemony and some tangy grapefruit notes. At 4.9% abv, it’s got a mild and smooth feel, and is very easily sippable. After only a few drinks, I was wishing he had sent more than one.

Trade, Florida edition

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

I think I may make these a regular thing, because:

  1. I regularly make trades and get stuff from lots of other states
  2. It seems to make Scot happy, and maybe that means he’ll keep inviting me to Thursday night shares

Tonight’s beer is one called Last Days of Summer from Tampa Bay Brewing Company, and I think you can figure out where they are located. This was sent to me by a gentleman named Jeff, and what’s strange to me about this beer is that is was canned at the beginning of May. Why would a beer named Last Days of Summer be brewed in the spring?

It’s labeled a fruited sour ale, and that’s a pretty good description. It’s definitely a sour, and there is a bit of fruit flavor to it.

It pours a hazy golden straw color with a creamy head that quickly dissipated but has a slight amount of lacing. The smell has a funky kind of farmhouse quality to it, and there’s mild fruit scent underneath. I can’t quite identify what fruit it is, but there’s a crispness and tartness to it. The taste, I believe, would best be described as a mildly sour fruit punch. It’s a full mouth filling feel with an almost acidic underneath. I sometimes have difficulties drinking sours, but this one is mild enough and has enough fruit presence that it’s pretty easy to drink and worth killing off one 16 ounce can.

 

Trade, Wisconsin edition

Monday, August 14th, 2017

I still have two more of these entries for the moment, probably will do the other one tomorrow, but for now, here’s an entry for a beer from Ben, a Wisconsinite who is my source for big bottles of Toppling Goliath beers. He recently sent me Fire, Skulls, and Money (a beer I want to try mostly because of the Warren Zevon song “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”) and Sosus, a beer I have wanted to try for a long time, and yes, it was worth it. However, this blog post will be about a collaboration between a Wisconsin brewery and one only about an hour from me in Illinois.

It’s Creamsicle Ale by Untitled Art of Waunakee, WI and Mikerphone in Elk Grove Village. When I opened the box, the first thing I saw on the top label of the bottle was the Mikerphone insignia, and I thought “Why is somebody from Wisconsin sending me a beer I could get if I was motivated enough to make the drive north?” Then I saw Untitled Art on the big label and realized that it was a collaboration, and I always enjoy seeing what two breweries can do together.

To the beer!

It looks like orange juice in terms of color, that’s for sure, and I can’t see through it with all the cloudiness. There’s very little foam to it, but a slight amount of lacing. Smell is a straight up slap of citrus (mostly orange) with a very slight bit of bitter hoppiness underneath. Taste is really fun – citrus and orange is the first thing I notice, but there’s a definite presence of cream and a slight bitter tangy hop under that. It’s very easy to sip and real mild for a 7% abv. It’s a very flavorful, very well balanced beer, and it more than lives up to the name. I’d recommend it, and I have to find some stuff to send to the friendly cheesehead who sent it to me!

Trade, North Carolina edition

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Thanks to another beer site that I won’t mention here, I have made a number of Internet friends over the last two years who I will regularly trade beers with. Scot constantly tells me that I do that blog on this site enough. And since he is right, I got inspiration for a couple of blogs to do with my latest trades, thus serving two masters, I guess.

The first one will be of a beer sent to me this week in a box from Ryan, a guy who lives in the Atlanta area. He and I first started trading because he was offering Creature Comfort’s Tropicalia in exchange for Three Floyd’s Zombiedust, and I was the first one to jump on it. He and I have been trading for a couple of months, as I t get him Floyd’s and other Chicago area beers for anything he can get me Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas (he got me my first Burial beer, which was amazing).

Anyway, to the beer!

El Paraiso by Wicked Weed out of Asheville North Carolina is a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Coffee Stout with caocao nibs and coffee beans. It’s a terrific barrel aged flavored stout. As way of comparison, I had a Southern Tier Creme Brûlée last night, and that’s an example of a beer that’s too sweet. This one is a good example of how to balance flavors, but maybe the barrel helps.

It was bottled 2/17/17, and I drank it in a spiegelau.

Poured a lot of foam, still has a good amount of lacing after a while. One of the better looking stouts I’ve had in a while.

Smell is strongly sweet with plenty of chocolate and a slight presence of coffee and barrel.

The taste is the best part of this beer. I’d imagine there might have been a bit more barrel heat when it was fresher, but I think if the chocolate has faded by now, it may have been too sweet then. It’s got nice roastiness with plenty of chocolate and a mild barrel burn. Only weakness is a lack of coffee flavor, especially for a coffee stout. There’s a slight bitterness on the back end from the coffee, but if it was stronger, this beer would have been extremely well balanced instead of just well balanced.

Feeling on this is great. It’s not too heavy, maybe slightly too thin, but there’s very little oiliness to it. There’s a definite alcohol presence, but it’s not too strong. It’s very sippable, really flavorful, and quite enjoyable.

One of the best barrel aged I’ve had in a while (to note, the best recently was Three Floyds French Vanilla Militia 2017, but that’s on a whole other level).

Trade, Virginia edition

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Next on today’s list of beers from people I have traded with is Dreamless from The Veil Brewing Company out of Richmond VA. It was sent to me in the first trade I have done with a gentleman named Mike, a nice guy who lives in Richmond and is one of the biggest Springsteen fans I have ever encountered.

It was canned 7/7, and, since it’s a witbier, I drank it from my witbier glass. It’s pretty straightforward for the style, so  I won’t be writing as much about it as the El Paraiso BA stout from earlier.

It pours hazy with an almost cloudy darker straw color. Smell has strong lemon and orange peel notes with a slight funk. Taste is just what I want from this style – it’s got some breadiness, some funk, and a good amount of citrus, with plenty of lemony and orange peel zestiness. For a low ABV, it’s got a mildly strong body. Very full mouth filling, although slightly dry. Very easy to drink, and really enjoyable for a warm day.

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