Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Deschutes Pinedrops IPA

The Deschutes Brewery is in Bend, Oregon. This 6.5% ABV India Pale Ale is inspired by the Pinedrops trail near the brewery.


The beer pours yellow golden in color. There is a tall, thick, foamy head of white. The aroma is tart, piney, with loads of passion fruit and passion fruit skin. The taste follows the aromas, adding a bit of dank mango skin, with a dry and massively bitter finish. The beer drinks easy and crisp. Nothing wrong here, but not much going on here for me, this one didn't inspire me much.



Sunday, July 26, 2015

Brouwerij West Blond Ale

Brouwerij West is a brewery from San Jose, California that does Belgian-style beers with mostly Belgian ingredients. This is a 5.5% ABV Belgian-style blonde ale.

The beer pours a clear golden yellow. There is nearly an inch of white, foamy head, with large, rapidly disappearing bubbles. The aroma is bready, lemon, hay, with a subtle tart note. The taste follows the aromas, bready, touch of yeast, touch of lemon, fragrant dry hay. The finish is very dry with a light bitterness. The beer drinks easy with a bubbly tingle of carbonation. This is a nice take on a Belgian ale. 


Myanmar Lager

This 5.0% ABV lager is from the Myanmar Brewery of Myanmar (formerly Burma). 

The beer pours a dark golden and honey in color. There is an inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is toasted malt, hay, bread dough. The taste follows the aromas, a very malty lager, a touch of sweet, bready, with enough hops to make a dry finish, that  has a note of dusty straw in it. The beer drinks crisp, with a firm carbonation. It is a quite decent lager to start, but wears out its welcome on the palate as you make your way through the tall bottle, and chemical off notes start to crop up.


Isle of Skye Brewing Skye Red

This 4.2% ABV ale is from the Isle of Skye Brewing Company in Uig, Isle of Sky, Scotland. My brother recently visited the island and brought this back for me. It uses Pale Ale, Crystal, and Roast malts, along with Challenger, Fuggles, and Pioneer hops. It has a low 15 IBU's.

The beer pours amber colored with a half-inch of raggedly foamy off-white head. The aroma is malty, fruity and a bit nutty, with some caramel. The taste follows the aromas, malty, notes of dark fruits and berries, followed by a nutty note that is even stronger than in the aroma. Behind it all is a sweet and silky caramel. However, the end has enough hops to be dry with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks light and easy with a moderate to tingling carbonation. This is a nice, drinkable malty beer. 



Central Waters HHG APA

This is an "Americana" pale ale from the Central Waters Brewing Company of Amherst, Wisconsin. The HHG stands for Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, a band from Wisconsin.

The beer pours a light orange amber in color. There is over an inch of thick and foamy white head. The aroma is bright, fruity, citrusy, passion fruit, mango skins. The taste hits the same notes as the aromas, adding in a blueberry note, with a bread/cracker/biscuit malt background. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks easy with a tingling carbonation. This is pretty darn good.




New American Independence Pale Ale

This 5.% ABV single hop American pale ale is from New American Brewing of Ankeny, Iowa. It features the Citra hop and has 50 IBU's.

The beer pours an orange amber in color, a bit hazy. There is a relatively short head of white to off-white foam. The aroma is ripe and fruity, peaches, citrus, just a hint of tropical ripe mango, and just a touch of dank. The taste is peaches over toasted malt, ripe fruit, hint of pine and bit of caramel.  The beer drinks light, smooth, and easy, with a very subtle carbonation. The finish is fairly bitter. This take on the pale ale is just peachy.



Boulevard Heavy Lifting IPA

This 6.2% ABV India Pale Ale is from Boulevard Brewing of Kansas City, Missouri. I guess they have outstripped their capacity, as this one notes it was contract brewed at Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Springs, Minnesota. (Boulevard later tweeted me and let me know that they have the capacity, they just don't have a canning line yet; so it is their canned beers coming out of Cold Springs for now until they get their own canning line.)


The beer pours orange and golden in color, a bit hazy. There is a tall head of thick, white, foam. The aroma is bright, zesty, citrus, apricot, and bread dough. The taste follows the aromas, hits the same notes, and adds in some pine. The beer is bright, zesty, fruity, ripe, with a quite bitter finish. It drinks smoothly easy with a tingling carbonation. This is a nice IPA.




Bell's Uranus: The Magician

This black double India Pale Ale has 9.5% ABV. It is one of a seven part series of beers inspired by Gustav Holst's musical composition "The Planets." It is from Bell's Brewery of Comstock, Michigan. 

The beer pours a very dark brown and dark ruby, appearing mostly black. There is a tall, thick, foamy, lightly creamy head of light tan. The aroma is tangy citrus and pine over dark roasted malt. The taste follows the path of the aromas, tangy, piney, over dark roasted malts. Both parts blend well with each other, in equipoise, neither predominant. The finish is dry, tangy, and moderately bitter, with a lingering aftertaste that goes back and forth between dark roasted notes and char, and tangy pine. The beer drinks smooth and easy, would never guess it was 9.5% ABV. This is a nice mellow take on a black IPA.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

New Holland Tasmanian Hatter Galaxy IPA

This 7.0% ABV India Pale Ale is from the New Holland Brewing Company of Holland, Michigan. It has 55 IBU's and uses hops from the area of the Tasman Sea, namely, Galaxy hops from Australia and Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand.  For good measure, they add in Mosaic hops from the Pacific Northwest.

The beer pours a lightly hazed orange amber in color. There is about an inch of white foamy head. The aroma is mango skin, guava, some citrus, with an earthy, musky, dankness. The taste follows the aromas directly, hitting the same notes of very ripe tropical fruits paired with the earthy, musky, dankness, on a base of malt strong enough to hold up all that hop flavors, without taking center stage for itself. The beer drinks smooth, with a tingle of carbonation. This is one bold flavored and very nice IPA.


Boulder Emergent White IPA

This is a 6.1% ABV India Pale Ale brewed with coriander and orange peel. It is from the Boulder Beer Company of Boulder, Colorado. 


The beer pours lightly hazed, golden yellow. There is a very tall, bubbly, foaming, white head. The aroma is yeast, flowers, coriander. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, very floral and yeasty, with a bit of citrus tang. The beer has a quite dry finish, and a moderate to strong floral bitterness. The beer drinks easy, crisp, carbonated. They call this a white IPA, but it drinks as much like a hopped-up saison.


Fulton The Randonneur

This summer saison is from the Fulton Brewing Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ten percent of the profits of this beer go into the Ful10 fund that provides micro loans to entrepreneurs. The beer is 4.1% ABV with 20 IBU's.

The beer pours orange golden with a very light haze. There is not quite an inch of white foamy head. The aroma is honey, flowers, fruit, both sweet and tangy, with yeast esters. The taste follows the aromas note for note, lots of flowers, yeast, and fruit. The finish is dry with a light floral bitterness. The beer drinks refreshing and crisp, making a nice summer beer.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Small Town Brewery Not Your Father's Root Beer

This is a 5.9% ABV ale brewed with wintergreen, sarsparilla bark, anacin, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, and Madagascar vanilla beans, made to taste like root beer. It is from the Small Town Brewery of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and is experiencing a wave of popularity. There are also bombers available that run 10.7% and a whopping 19.5% ABV!  I sure would like to get one of each of those.

The beer pours black and ruby, fizzy, with an immediately disappearing head.  It pours like a soda pop. The aroma is straight up old-fashioned root beer, bright, much like a birch beer for those familiar with that Pennsylvania beverage. The taste is rich, sweet, spiced, very flavorful root beer, lots of vanilla and that old sarsaparilla bite. The beer drinks smooth, nearly syrupy, but not so heavy, with tingling carbonation. Man, if you like old fashioned root beer, here’s your new beverage.




Bent River Undercurrent IPA

This India Pale Ale has 68 IBU's and is 6.8% ABV. It uses Citra, Warrior, Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus hops. It is from the Bent River Brewing Company of Rock Island, Illinois (original brewpub in Moline, Illinois). Their motto: Get Bent!

The beer pours a dark amber in color, darker than most IPA’s. There is a tall, thickly ragged head of off-white foam. The aroma is malty, orange and caramel. The taste is orange, caramel, with a grapefruit rind bitter finish. The beer drinks medium bodied, smooth, and dry. Not hop forward, but very pleasant.


Left Hand Introvert Session IPA

This is a 4.8% ABV session India Pale Ale from the Left Hand Brewing Company of Longmont, Colorado. It has 55 IBU's and uses CTZ, Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, Sterling, and Comet hops.

The beer pours golden to light amber. There is an inch of thick, white head. The aroma is light musky dankness and pine, with light tropical fruit in the back. The taste follows the aromas note for note, adding in a massively bitter finish that has some grapefruit in it. The beer drinks easy. This is an interesting take on a session IPA, with more dankness than most have, and the most massively bitter finish of any session IPA I have tried. 


Saranac Our Legacy IPA

This is a 6.5% ABV India Pale Ale from the Saranac Brewing Company (Matt Brewing Company) of Utica, New York. It is based on the century old IPA recipe of their founder.

The beer pours a lightly hazed orange golden in color. There is over an inch of thick, foamy, white head. The aroma is citrus, orange, zest, over caramel malt. The taste is orange, bitter grapefruit, pithy zest, over caramel malt. The finish is dry with a quinine tonic water bitter bite. The beer drinks with a crisp, refreshing carbonation. This is not the beer for modern day hopheads if you only want tropical and/or dank; but it is very appealing nonetheless, more of an English style IPA, well-done.


Toppling Goliath Rover Truck Stout

The Toppling Goliath Brewing Company is in Decorah, Iowa. 

The beer pours black in color. There is about an inch of tan foamy head that completely disappears rather quickly. The aroma is rich dark roasted malt, char, maple syrup and coffee. The taste follows the aromas, lots of dark roasted malt notes, pleasant char, coffee, a bit of bittersweet dark chocolate, with a hint of maple syrup sweetness. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks smooth, with just enough body for all the flavors, and with a light, subtle tingle of carbonation. This is a great stout.

Fair State Hefeweizen

The Fair State Brewing Cooperative is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is a traditional Bavarian-style wheat beer that is 5.0% ABV with 12 IBU's.


The beer pours a hazy yellow golden in color. There is a relatively short white head, particularly for the style. The aroma is traditional German hefe, yeast esters, lots of banana, sweet and floury banana bread, tangy. The taste follows the aromas, drinking like liquid banana bread. The beer drinks easy and smooth. If you are a fan of German hefeweizens, I think you will like this.


Excelsior MinneGose

This 4.3% ABV gose style ale is from the Excelsior Brewing Company of Excelsior, Minnesota. Excelsior is on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, and you'll see a lake activity theme on the bottles of their beer. Gose is a traditional German beer style, tart, and brewed with wheat, coriander, and sea salt. 


The beer pours light golden and champagne in color, a touch hazed. There is a short, thin, and short-lived white head. The aroma is toasted wheat, lightly nutty, with a mild tartness. The taste follows the aromas note for note, nicely toasted wheat and light tartness, melding into a touch of pleasant sour apple and very light coriander. The beer drinks easy, with a carbonation that is fairly light, yet stinging. This is “light” on its sour as gose’s go, but makes for a refreshing summer beer. (Sorry for the terribly blurry photo below.)



Free State Stormchaser Summer IPA

This "summer" India Pale Ale is from the Free State Brewing Company of Lawrence, Kansas, brewing since 1989. It adds in some wheat malt, and uses Centennial, Citra, and Crystal hops.

The beer pours honey golden and apricot in color. There is nearly an inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is citrus, oranges, with a light note of earthy, dank, pine. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, resting on some caramel malt. The finish is fairly bitter and has a zesty grapefruit tang. The beer drinks with a medium body and a smooth note. 


Great Lakes High Striker Single

 This 4.8% ABV Belgian-style golden ale is from the Great Lakes Brewing Company of Cleveland, Ohio. It was part of their spring sampler pack. It uses a bit of wheat.

The beer pours a hazy yellow, nearing lemon curd. There is a relatively short head of white foam. The aroma is yeasty, esters, banana, clove, flowers, with some sweetness. The taste follows the aromas, lots of yeast flavors over floury, dough-like malt. The finish is dry and fairly bitter. The beer drinks smooth, easy, with a pleasant tingle of carbonation. There is a lot of flavor packed into this beer. 


Fulton The Ringer

This American Pale Ale is from the Fulton Brewing Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ten percent of the profits of this beer go into the Ful10 fund that provides micro loans to entrepreneurs. The beer has 5.0% ABV and 35 IBU's.

The beer pours a light amber in color, orange tinted. There is a tall, thickly foamy head of white to off-white. The aroma is citrusy, lots of orange, some peach, over caramel, malt present, but hops on top. The taste follows the aromas, oranges, peaches, creamy, caramel malt. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks smooth, round, easy, refreshing. This is that type of flavorful pale ale that you could just quaff by the quart. 


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

This 7.0% ABV India Pale Ale with natural grapefruit flavors is from the Ballast Point Brewing Company of San Diego, California.

The beer pours orange and apricot in color. There is a tall head of white foam. The aroma is tangy and zesty grapefruit juice over citrus and bitter hops. The taste is pure, bright, tangy grapefruit juice over bitter hops, with toasted malt coming through in the background. The finish is dry and fairly bitter. The beer drinks with a crisp carbonation. If you like grapefruit juice and IPA’s, here’s your man, if not, you better avoid.


Evil Twin Citra Sunshine Slacker

Evil Twin Brewing has its origins in Denmark, but its beers are actually brewed at ten different breweries around the world. This beer was produced and bottled at Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, Connecticut. This 4.5% ABV session IPA was brewed in collaboration with 7venth Sun Brewing of Dunedin, Florida.

The beer pours honey golden in color. There is over an inch of foamy white head, thick to start, more ragged as it bubbles down. The aroma is bright, citrusy, limes, lemon, orange, mango, with a musky dank note too. The taste follows the aromas directly, hitting all the same notes. The finish is dry and quite bitter in a thirst-quenching quinine way. The beer drinks easy with a crisp carbonation. This is one very flavorful session IPA.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Great Lakes Truth, Justice and the American Way Session IPA

This 4.8% ABV session IPA  is from the Great Lakes Brewing Company of Cleveland, Ohio. It was part of their spring sampler pack. It uses Simcoe, Cascade, and Mosaic hops.

The beer pours a clear, light amber in color. There is about an inch of foamy, white head. The aroma is dank, earthy, muskiness over light fruit. The taste follows the aromas, dank and musky, with a tinge of citrus, leading into a piney bitterness. The finish is very dry, astringent, with strong bitterness. The beer drinks easy, but it is hard to believe it is 4.8% ABV with its big, big, flavors.