Archive for July, 2011

New Holland Brewing Company Farmhouse Hatter (365 Day 233)

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

New Holland Farmhouse Hatter

For the first Thursday for some time we had a gathering of more than just myself. Rich and Chuck came out of the woodwork to appreciate some fine American craft beer.

Started the evening off with what turned out to be beer number 233: Farmhouse Hatter from New Holland Brewing Company. Followed by Black Hatter, Rye Hatter, and Cascade Kriek Ale by Raccoon Lodge and Brew Pub. All the beers were fantastic but we all agreed that Cascade Kriek is a really solid sour. It stole the evening.

Farmhouse Hatter takes the base beer and, based on the name, adds Belgian yeast if not more. The Belgian yeast adds a nice pepper and spice complexity to the beer without overwhelming. Hops are grapefruit citrus and pine with the grapefruit coming on strong on both the nose and mouth. Definitely a refreshing beer, suited well for this shitty hot weather we have had lately. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.7

Useless Fact: Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, was an ophthalmologist by profession.

Terrapin Brewing Company Indiana Krunkles (365 Day 232)

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Terrapin Indiana Krunkles

Nothing better than having an American craft beer stun the pants right off of you. You know those beers: the ones that you get because you are curious, don’t know what to expect, and don’t know if you are going to get much. But hell, it is worth the try.

American craft beer number 232 of 365 did exactly that for me.

On a recent trip to the south-east I picked up a bottle of Indiana Krunkles by Terrapin Brewing Company is an American IPA that is part of Terrapin’s Side Project series of beers.

Indiana Krunkles has a bunch of hops, citrus and pine, to begin which gives way to complexities that weren’t expected. Yeast, wheat, banana, clove, sweet malt, and more all play a tune on the old nostrils. The same carries through to the taste. Making this a very exciting and sense arousing beer. There is a bit of extra sweetness that shows and leaves a light stickiness on the lips. Not enough to detract but possibly enough to annoy some.

I am very glad I tasted this beer and sorry that I don’t have another. If this is the craftsmanship that Terrapin displays in all their Side Project beers, I wish I lived within their distribution. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.9

Useless Fact: President Grover Cleveland was a draft dodger. He hired someone to enter the service in his place, for which he was ridiculed by his political opponent, James G. Blaine. It was soon discovered, however, that Blaine had done the same thing himself.

Uinta Brewing Company Tilted Smile (365 Day 231)

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Uinta Titled Smile

Another ridiculously hot and humid day in Chicagoland and it seems like we are in for more through the weekend. These type of days deserve a light, refreshing American craft beer. The only questioned that remained was which one.

Titled Smile by Uinta Brewing Company rose up and volunteered. I also wanted to make sure I had a large enough serving size to share with the wife, she was thirsty too. Not that this played into my choice, but Titled Smile also becomes the first beer I have officially had from Utah. Craziness abounds. 😉

Titled smile is an American Imperial Pilsner making it land on a short list of the beers within the style that I have had the chance to review. Sometimes that makes me a bit leery as I don’t always know what to expect or if I completely understand the beer. Still the beer was above average with varying degrees of aroma and taste that you would expect from a Pilsner. In order to get the 9.0% ABV Uinta had to bump up the sugars which come through with a stickiness to the lips at times; not what I really want in the style. In spite of the high ABV, which is difficult to detect, very drinkable and a hit on a hot evening. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 7 (35%), Overall: 8.0

Useless Fact: The average lead pencil will draw a line 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English words. More than 2 billion pencils are manufactured each year in the United States. If these were laid end to end they would circle the world nine times.

Red Brick Brewing Company 16th Anniversary (365 Day 230)

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Red Brick 16th Anniversary

Rich and I had a chance to visit the early on stages of New Chicago Brewing Company. More to come on this topic but I want to thank Samuel and Jesse for having us out and showing us around. Cool place. I can’t wait to have my first beer from the brewery.

American craft beer number 230 is 16th Anniversary by Red Brick Brewing Company is categorized as an American Brown Ale. Since it logs in at 11% ABV it is easy to say it is imperial.

16th Anniversary comes on with bourbon, oak, and vanilla that are quite prevalent and seem to dominate the base beer. Molasses and roasted malt are the only other characteristics that I could get on the nose or mouth. The combination of the bourbon, oak, and vanilla are quite nice but the molasses is really strong and sweet. I think it distracted the beer from me. I also would have like to see a few more brown ale notes come through as I almost thought he beer was more like a porter.

Sounding a little to critical today. I rated the beer well above average so I liked it and would have it again. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 7 (35%), Overall: 8.1

Useless Fact: Volleyball was invented in a Holyoke, Massachusetts, YMCA in 1895. Its inventor was William George Morgan. The game was first called “mintonette” and was played by hitting a basketball over a rope.

Orlando Brewing Partners Anisocoria (365 Day 229)

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Orlando Anisocoria

Most big American craft beers need to be cellared before they can be appreciated in all their glory. It is few and far between that you can pick up a bottle of big beer that has already been aged and is drinking well at the moment of purchase. Those few gems are all well worth it.

Anisocoria by Orlando Brewing Partners is an English Barleywine that was bottled back in April of 2008: three plus years of age.

It is quick to see that the beer as the age as the pour has a very reserved tan foam that recedes quickly leaving the naked liquid in the glass. Dark fruits, especially raisin, emit from the glass quickly. Alcohol and bit of soy sauce aroma also follow. Although it isn’t quite soy sauce. The taste follows with the same dark fruits being the focal point. Definitely a big beer with minimal carbonation, Aniscoria is a bit sticky on the lips and mouth; it’s only shortcoming.

A solid offering that is drinking nice right now. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.6

Useless Fact: The game of dominoes was invented by French monks. It is named for a phrase in the Vesper services: Dixit Dominus Domineo Meo.

Three Floyds Brewing Company Dreadnaught (365 Day 228)

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Three Floyds Dreadnaught

Dreadnaught by Three Floyds Brewing Company is one of those American Imperial IPA that has lore that has grown to epic proportions behind it. Rightfully so has it one fine beer. As most Three Floyds beers Dreadnaught has a huge helping of hops and then five more.

I had Dreadnaught on tap while out to dinner with a friend after we had a serving of Double Jack by Firestone Walker Brewing Company. After having them side by side and in spite of actually rating Dreadnaught higher than Double Jack, Double Jack was the winner. Both Chuck and I agreed.

I will always appreciate another Dreadnaught and I am on the continual lookout for another. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.4

Useless Fact: The initials BVD, which have come to stand for men’s underwear in general, stand for the names of the three men who originally manufactured BVDs-Bradley, Voorhies, and Day.

Terrapin Brewing Company Monk’s Revenge (365 Day 227)

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Terrapin Monk's Revenge

Terrapin Brewing Company make’s numerous beers with Monk’s Revenge turning out to be beer number 227. Monk’s Revenge is a Belgian IPA that has plenty on the Belgian side but not too much in terms of hops. Maybe I should clarify: I expect Belgian IPAs to have Belgian yeast notes but mainly an American IPA otherwise, which means plenty of nice American hops.

Monk’s Revenge is still a solid beer that I have had on several occasions and I would have again, I am just not sure if the style agrees completely with me even when the backbone is American laced. I will keep at the style in hopes of finding that special beer that changes my view. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.2

Useless Fact: The American Bible Association has published almost a billion Bibles since it was founded in 1816.

New Glarus Brewing Company Cran-bic Ale (365 Day 226)

Friday, July 15th, 2011

New Glarus Cran-bic Ale

New Glarus Brewing Company started up a new line of beers this year: Thumbprint. I believe the idea behind this line of beers is to continue to be creative and different from the rest of the American craft beer industry. There is a quote on the New Glarus site on this topic from Deborah Carey. Exert from that quote:

Thumbprint beers are still brewed with the beer enthusiast in mind. Thumbprint beers are brewed in small batches that are intended to be available for one time only. However, popular demand has caused some styles to return. This is my own thumbprint, to let everyone know this is a real New Glarus handcrafted beer! Cheers.

The second release this year is Cran-bic Ale. This beer was part of the Unplugged series back in 2009 and now is re-released into the Thumbprint series. I don’t mind at all. The oak that this beer is aged on comes through spectacularly on the nose: white oak is so pleasant and tantalizing. There are also notes of cranberries, sweet, and tartness. Per any of the fruit beers that come out of New Glarus, Cran-bic is delicious and especially refreshing this time of year. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 8 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.0

Useless Fact: Harry Drake of Lakeside, California, competing in a footbow archery contest at Ivanpah Dry Lake, California, in October, 1970, shot an arrow that traveled 1 mile, 101 yards, and 21 inches. A foot bow is fired by lying on one’s back, stringing the bow, and pushing out the wooden part of the bow with one’s feet.

Good People Brewing Company Brown (365 Day 225)

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Good People Brown

After my first Good People Brewing Company beer (IPA), I have been anticipating my second and more. While planning a recent trip to Florida, I was making plans to stop at the brewery on the way back up north. Those plans fell through but just want to make clear how much I liked IPA.

Knowing that I had a can of Brown sitting in the basement, I took the chance to try beer number two. The day was a bit cooler than it has been so I thought the bit of roasted/nut I would get out of the beer would be perfect.

We have all heard the sound a can of beer makes when it opens. When I opened Brown the sound lasted three times longer than expected. Immediately I thought of the beer being contaminated. I have experienced them before. The pour brought on a huge head that filled a 20 ounce glass with a one ounce of liquid pour. A sniff and quick taste let me know the beer was bad. Not overly gone but enough to nudge it to the dark side.

I still drank some as the anticipation was great and my ability to get another is not. I gave it fives across the board as I really didn’t have a true chance to appreciate the beer. It is on my radar for another. I just hope it doesn’t take too long to score one. Enjoy!

Aroma: 5 (25%), Taste: 5 (25%), Look: 5 (15%), Drinkability: 5 (35%), Overall: 5.0

Useless Fact: The first macaroni factory in the United States was established in 1848. It was started by Antoine Zegera in Brooklyn, New York.

Central Waters Brewing Company Illumination Double IPA (365 Day 224)

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Central Waters Illumination Double IPA

Been on a Cigar City roll lately, so I thought it was time to mix up. Going back to a familiar state for American craft beer 224: Wisconsin. I promise this will not start another Wisconsin kick since I have had at least one of those in the past.

Illumination Double IPA by Central Waters Brewing Company came by way of a co-worker of my wife’s. I have given him home brew and American craft beer in the past, so I believe this is the repayment.

Citrus and tropical hops abound in Illumination: both on the nose and mouth. Caramel malt gives some sweetness and slight bread for balance. There is a bitterness in the finish that doesn’t ruin the palate, it seems the combination of hops are gentle here. A really solid offering. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.3

Useless Fact: The average person can live for eleven days without water, assuming a mean temperature of 60° F.