Archive for August, 2011

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Bigfoot (365 Day 273)

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot

The evening started off with me giving an American craft brewery that I have had in the past but not really enjoyed another chance. It ended with American craft beer number 273 becoming Bigfoot by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. In between is the story.

Before I go any further I am not going to mention that brewery that wasn’t named above, although their name is comprised of two animals and they consider themselves dark beer specialists. The beer I opened, which I had actually been looking forward to, was an contaminated. The pour was one part beer, 150 parts foam. There was a sour smell and that’s as far as I went. I have had this from them before. I was in the mood for a high quality American craft beer. No exceptions.

That’s where Bigfoot stepped in. An American Barleywine, Bigfoot packs a wallop of west coast hops in the shape of citrus to cut through the big malts.

Smooth for the age (’10) while having enough sweet, dark fruit malts to hold up. Great beer for that occasional barleywine itch that I get. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.4

Useless Fact: In 1905 the Bosco company of Akron, Ohio, marketed a “collapsible Rubber Automobile Driver.” The figure, deflated and kept under the seat when not in use, was a kind of dummy intended to scare thieves away when the car was parked.

Nimbus Brewing Company Old Monkeyshine (365 Day 272)

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Nimbus Old Monkeyshine

American craft beer number 272 comes all the way from Arizona in the shape of Old Monkeyshine brewed up by Nimbus Brewing Company. After the onslaught of IPAs that I have had recently, I am trying to clean my senses so that they can recoup their freshness in appreciating said IPAs.

Old Monkeyshine has been in the cellar for about a year, aging. The beer pours a deep brown with an inch of foam that leaves little to no lacing behind. Aroma and taste are similar: dark fruits are strong and mildly, at times, dominate the beer. Kept my interest enough to want to try some of their other brews. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 7.9

Useless Fact: The Washington Monument sinks 6 inches every year.

The Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa (365 Day 271)

Monday, August 29th, 2011

The Lost Abbey Framboise de Amorosa

I have to admit before sharing this beer (more on this shortly) with Rich, I had two IPAs, neither of which lived up to past expectations. Pliny the Elder and Exponential Hoppiness both went down easy but neither seemed to “pop” my senses like they have in the past. The rest of this week I might have to refrain from IPAs to give my senses time to recoup.

American craft beer number 271 was Framboise de Amorosa by The Lost Abbey. This is where the rest of the story from above continues. I brought out a bottle received in a recent transaction, straight from the cellar, while opening it the cork broke at the top of the bottle. Into the house for a cork screw (yes, luckily this was outside). Finished opening the bottle with the cork screw, at first, slowly pulling out the cork. I heard a bit of carbonation release before I just yanked the rest out.

What a mistake!!! The liquid shot out of the 375ml bottle like it was coming from a cannon. A good three feet tall shot all but about an ounce of the beer from the bottle. Rich and I shared the measly bit but I enjoyed the sour, tart, raspberry flavor. The barrel came through a touch too.

I have another bottle in the basement that I am anxious to try, opening slowly, so that I will have enough to give a fair review on. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: The Chinese invented the speedometer. In 1027, Lu Taolung presented the Emperor Jen Chung with a cart that could measure the distances it spanned by means of a mechanism with eight wheels and two moving arms. One arm struck a drum each time a li (about a third of a mile) was covered. Another rang a bell every 10 li.

Russian River Brewing Company Blind Pig IPA (365 Day 270)

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Russian River Blind Pig IPA

Continuing my week or so of American craft beers obtained via transactions, Blind Pig IPA by Russian River Brewing Company graced my glass. Not the first time I have had this beer but something seemed to be off. Let’s not jump to conclusions, the beer was tasty, it just that it wasn’t as aromatic or tasty as I remembered from past experiences.

Of course I had to figure out why. I started looking at the American craft beers that I have been grading or just having in general: all big IPAs. My taste buds this past few days has seemed subdued: none of the IPAs that I have revisited from past experience have been as robust. The aroma and taste just seem to fall flat.

Am I experiencing IPA overload? 😉

I know that IPAs can pummel the taste buds and I am thinking that repeated abuse in a short period of time has allowed them bounce back. Unfortunately tomorrow is going to be more of the same with Rich, so we shall see. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 10 (35%), Overall: 9.6

Useless Fact: The short-term memory capacity for most people is between five and nine items or digits. This is one reason that phone numbers are seven digits long.

Russian River Brewing Company Blind Pig (365 Day 270)

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Russian River Blind Pig IPA

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 10 (35%), Overall: 9.6

Useless Fact: The name of the first airplane flown at Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers was Bird of Prey. The maiden flight of the Bird of Prey, however, was less than a flight—the plane stayed in the air only long enough to sail 59 feet.

Hop Valley Brewing Company Alpha Centauri Binary IPA (365 Day 269)

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Hop Valley Alpha Centauri Binary IPA

Without transactions I wouldn’t be able to try some of the wonderful American craft beers throughout the United States. Wit that in mind the beers for the next 7 – 10 days will be from that method.

Alpha Centauri Binary IPA by Hop Valley Brewing Company steps in as the first American craft beer to start off the celebration. 😉 An Amerian Imperial IPA, Alpha Centauri has a bunch of west coast hops that burst through in the aroma and taste. Citrus is the main course but tropical and grass aromas are prevalent too. Bread malt aromas give a slight homage to English IPAs before the hops once again squash any type of connection.

Originally brewed to commemorate Hop Valley’s 100th batch, Alpha Centauri is now a seasonal that I could see locals clamoring over each release. Enjoy!

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

Useless Fact: If one started counting the moment he or she was born and continued counting without stopping until he or she reached the age of sixty-five, that person still would not have counted to a billion.

Oakshire Brewery Watershed IPA (365 Day 268)

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Oakshire Watershed IPA

American craft beer that is brewed by Oakshire Brewery has been on Rich’s and my radar for a while. We have heard good things about their craft and have always wanted to lay our hands on a few bottles. Of course beer trading makes this all possible when there really is no other viable method of landing Oakshire beer.

A recent transaction landed us a bottle of Watershed IPA, Oakshire’s year round American. The beer is straight forward centered around hops. Floral, citrus, grapefruit, and I even thought wood hop aromas poured from the glass. Pale malts are the backbone with the beer showing little signs of sweet while being dry.

Possibly too much for your casual American craft beer drinker, Watershed is a rock solid beer that would easily be appreciated by any hop head. Enjoy!

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

Useless Fact: Suetonius Tranquillis reported in his Life of Augustus that the great Roman poet Vergil once held a funeral for a dead fly, complete with pallbearers and lengthy eulogies. In ancient Rome, cemetery land was not taxible. By interring a fly on the land surrounding his private villa, the wily poet turned his home into a burial ground and thus made it tax-exempt.

Half Acre Beer Company Galactic Double Daisy Cutter (365 Day 267)

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Half Acre Galactic Double Daisy Cutter

Does standing in line for a beer release automatically make an American craft beer taste better? I think that the power of the mind is at work and many times it is perceived that way. I am sure I am guilty of it. This is why I tried to go into American craft beer number 267 with an open mind, putting the 45 minute wait out of mind as well as knowing that I was one of the last people that actually could get the beer since Half Acre Beer Company ran out of Galactic Double Daisy Cutter shortly after I got to the front of the line. I didn’t take my full allotment of beer as I wanted to make sure everyone behind me had a chance.

Galaxy hops is the hop that is used in Galactic Double Daisy Cutter. I believe it is a hopped from Australia, no matter, it is a complex hop with lots of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine aromas/flavors (assuming it was the only hop used in the beer). A solid hit of bitterness that might make the beer a bit unbalanced but overall made me want to run out and brew a batch of beer using the hop. Another solid one off from Half Acre.

After having my first Galactic Double Daisy Cutter I wish I would have purchased my full allotment but then I came back to my senses and I am much happier that more people had a chance at this liquid goodness because I wasn’t greedy. Enjoy!

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

Useless Fact: Humans are susceptible to a disease called the “laughing sickness.” People stricken with this disease literally laugh themselves to death. The disease is known in only one place in the world, among the Kuru tribe of New Guinea.

French Broad Brewing Company Wee-Heavy-er (365 Day 266)

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

French Broad Wee-Heavy-er

Trying new American craft beer from American craft brewers is part of the excitement of the hobby. Having so many different offerings to choose from is what allows people to make the transition up the ladder from small to medium to, eventually, big beers.

Along the way there are bumps in the road. Few and far between but they do occur. Beer number 266, Wee-Heavy-er by French Broad Brewing Company, is a casualty for me. I try to find good in every beer but Wee-Heavy-er and not knock a brewer for their hard work and effort. I couldn’t find it in this beer nor could I finish.

I was really in the mood for a beer last night so I followed up with Illumination Double IPA by Central Waters Brewing Company. I have already had this as part of my 365 American craft beer but it one that I like. So the evening ended well. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 2 (25%), Look: 8 (15%), Drinkability: 2 (35%), Overall: 4.2

Useless Fact: Fagin, the sinister villain in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, was also the name of Dickens’ best friend, Bob Fagin.

Mayflower Brewing Company Porter (365 Day 265)

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Mayflower Porter

Everyone has little quirks. Mine is never setting anything to an even number, especially for my alarm clock. Numbers that end in 1, 2, 3, or 4 or the common time settings. I have done this with the 365 American craft beers in 365 days endeavor too. I wrote a while back (can’t remember the damn entry myself) that I wasn’t going to celebrate day 100, 200, etc. Today though is close to a celebration: only 100 more beers to go, yeah. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Actually still 101 days (see has to end in a non-normal number) since I doubled up on a beer; I have to go to beer 366.

Mayflower Porter by Mayflower Brewing Company bellies up as beer number 265. Porter is actually an English Porter that fits the style well. The beer I had was a good sixteen months old. It aged well.

Aroma and taste were perfect in my book. Roasted, chocolate, caramel, and coffee all come through with the roast probably being the biggest on the senses. The beer finishes dry, real dry, while there is a good bitterness from the malts to balance in the finish. Roast and coffee linger a bit. A solid beer that deserves a try. I need to get my hands on a fresh bottle. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 9.2

Useless Fact: A person uses more household energy shaving with a hand razor at a sink (because of the water power, the water pump, and so on) than he would by using an electric razor.