Sunday, May 22, 2016

Peace Tree Kiss From a Gose

The Peace Tree Brewing Company is in Knoxville, Iowa. This is their gose style ale, brewed with coriander and sea salt, they add in rose hips.

The beer pours a hazy yellow golden. There is a half-inch of white foamy head that quickly fizzes down. The aroma is grainy, earthy, tart. The taste follows the aromas, toasted grain, followed by a very tart sourness, with a white wine quality, but more sour even then vinho verde. The beer drinks easy and light, with a crisp, but not overpowering carbonation.

 
 

Deschutes Black Butte XXVI

This is an 10.8% ABV Imperial Porter from Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon. They release a version of this each year to mark their birthday; this was year 26. This version was brewed with pomegranate molasses with 50% aged in bourbon barrels blended with some non-barrel aged that had cocoa nibs and cranberry added.

The beer pours black in color, with a half-inch of thick, tight, nearly creamy, dark khaki, foamy head. The aroma is dark roasted malt, molasses with a fruity tang, the cranberry is there, cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee, light bourbon, vanilla, light char, and some very light star anise. The taste follows the aromas, but is much brighter, and then adds in a heavy dose of pleasant char. The pomegranate and cranberry come through in the aftertaste. There is much sweetness, but the finish is mostly dry with all the char, and a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks smooth with light carbonation.

 
 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Exile G-Funk Gose

This 5.2% ABV gose ale (a sour ale brewed with coriander and salt) is from the Exile Brewing Company  of Des Moines, Iowa.

The beer pours a very pale, sun-bleached, yellow and golden. There is nearly an inch of white, fizzy head, not long-lasting. The aroma is tart and sour, with a bit of earthy, musky funkiness, and a touch of coriander. The taste is immensely and intensely sour, tart like biting into fresh cut rhubarb. The beer drinks soft, with soft carbonation.


 

Boulevard Amerikan Kolsch

The 12 pack samplers from Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City, Missouri now routinely includes two varieties of their "Tasting Room" beers; beers that have been available in their tasting room in the past, but not bottled. This is their 4.6% ABV kolsch-style ale.

The beer pours yellow golden, very lightly hazed. There is about an inch of pure white, foamy head. The aroma is honey, hay, straw and grass. The taste follows the aromas, with a light fruitiness as well. The beer drinks crisp, clean, refreshing, well carbonated, with a dry and very lightly bitter finish.



 

Iron Maiden The Trooper 666

This is a 6.6% ABV beer inspired by Iron Maiden, developed by lead singer Bruce Dickinson, and brewed by Robinsons Brewery of Stockport, Cheshire, England. The song from which it takes its name, The Trooper, was inspired by the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava, in 1854, during the Crimean War. This beer is the same recipe as the original Trooper, but brewed to a higher alcohol.

The beer pours a light amber and copper in color with a very light haze. There is a half-inch head of off-white foam. The aroma is bright, fruity, plums, malty, with caramel. The taste follows the aromas, bright and fruity, malty with caramel, light nuttiness and light sweet potato, sweetness, but coming to a mostly dry and quite bitter finish. The beer drinks smooth with a soft carbonation. This is a nice bitter overall.




Boulevard Frequent Flier Session IPA

This 4.2% ABV session India Pale Ale is from Boulevard Brewing of Kansas City, Missouri. It is one of their newest releases.

The beer pours golden in color, with a light orange tint. There is not quite an inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is tropical fruits, citrus, melons. The taste is citrus, with lighter tropical fruit, a bit of passion fruit and mango skin, with a moderately bitter finish. The beer drinks easy and crisply carbonated. This is a quality addition to the growing session IPA category.

 

Rogue 4 Hop IPA

This 4.44% ABV India Pale Ale is from Rogue Ales of Newport, Oregon. It uses four hops grown on Rogue farms; Rebel, Freedom, Alluvial, and Yaquina.

The beer pours a deep dark golden in color with a tall head of white, bubbly, ragged foam. The aroma is citrusy, lemony, fruity, a light touch of tropical sweetness, with a whiff of dank muskiness and mango skin. The taste follows the aromas, mostly citrus, tea with lemon, with a light old-fashioned bubble gum note. The finish is dry and quite bitter. The beer drinks very easy, smooth, with light carbonation.

 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Confluence Brewing Anniversary Porter 2015

The Confluence Brewing Company is in Des Moines, Iowa. They have been commercially available for some time on tap and in howlers sold at liquor stores, but do release some bottled specials, including this porter for their third anniversary.  

The beer pours black in color, with a huge over-foaming, bubbly head of tan. The aroma is dark roasted malt, chocolate, coffee. The taste follows the aromas, dark roasted malts, pleasant char, dark chocolate, and coffee, with a dry and lightly bitter finish. The beer drinks with a stinging over carbonation. This is a very pleasant tasting beer, but suffers from its over-foaming and over carbonation problem.  

Blue Moon Belgian Table Pils

The Blue Moon Brewing Company is a Molson-Coors brand, based out of Golden, Colorado.  This is their newest seasonal release, a 4.2% ABV "Belgian-style" pilsner, brewed with mandarin orange peel.

The beer pours a clear dark golden and yellow in color. There is nearly an inch of white foamy head, not particularly long lasting. The aroma is grain, grass, and light straw. The taste follows the aromas note for note, a touch of sweetness, but finishing dry, and adding in a hint of fruit from the mandarin orange. The beer drinks with an intense carbonation.

 
 

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin

This 7.0% ABV India Pale Ale brewed with hot peppers is from the Ballast Point Brewing Company of San Diego, California. It takes their regular Sculpin IPA and adds habanero chili peppers.

The beer pours a lightly hazy dried apricot and honey in color. There is a half-inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is ripe tropical fruit and melon, with a light whiff of peppers. The taste is the reverse, with a blasting hot wave of pepper heat and flavor, followed by a only partially tempering wave of sweet tropical fruit. The beer drinks smooth, with the carbonation adding to the burn of the peppers. This is good, but you better like pepper heat if you drink it.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

August Schell Apricot Vista

This 5.0% ABV Berlin Style wheat ale aged on apricots is from the August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota.  Schell's was established in 1860 and I believe they are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States, behind Yuengeling. This beer is part of their Noble Star Collection of Berliner weisse style beers that they make in their original 1930's cypress tanks.

The beer pours cloudy, the color of dried apricots and honey. There is a short and short-lived head of white to off-white foam. The aroma is tart, toasted wheat, with a light note of apricots. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, a punch of tart, fading into toasted wheat with apricot jam. The finish is abrupt, dry, with a slow lingering tartness. The beer drinks with the fine, burning carbonation of bottle conditioning.

 
 
 
 

Evil Czech Bobblehead

This 5.1% ABV American wheat ale  is from the Evil Czech Brewery in Mishawaka, Indiana.

The beer pours a lightly hazed honey golden and light amber. There is an inch of thick, off-white foamy head. The aroma is tropical fruit and sun tea. The taste follows the aromas, tropical and ripe melons, sun tea with lemon, over light toasted wheat. The beer drinks very smooth, with tingling carbonation. The finish has a light bitterness on it. Overall this is quite enjoyable and I would love to drink it ultra fresh once at the brewery.


Leinenkugel's BeerGarten Tart

Leinenkugel's Brewing Company is from  Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.  They began brewing in 1867. Leinenkugel's has been owned by Miller for some time now. This 4.8% ABV Berliner Weisse inspired beer is their latest release.

The beer pours a clear and very pale yellow golden, like champagne. There is a short lived head of white foam. The aroma is like a grainy adjunct lager, in this case regular Leinie's, with a bit of tart on the end. The taste follows the aromas, but ups the tartness to high levels. This is quite, quite tart. The beer drinks easy, carbonated, and crisp, like an adjunct lager, with a dry and tart finish. The tartness fades quickly off the palate. This is a mixed bag.

 
 

Exile Pasteur Le Fleur

This 8.3% ABV dry-hopped French saison with hibiscus is from the Exile Brewing Company  of Des Moines, Iowa. It was brewed in collaboration with Lion Bridge Brewing of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The beer pours a salmon pink in color. There is a short lived head of white foam. The aroma is tart, fruity, yeasty, with some hibiscus. The taste follows the aromas, floral, fruity, and tart. There is moderate hop bitterness on the finish. The beer drinks smooth, with a very fine, yet intense carbonation. The relatively high alcohol is well hidden.
 
 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Avery Salvation


The Avery Brewing Company of Boulder, Colorado
was established in 1993. This is their 9.0% ABV Belgian-Style Golden Ale.
 
The beer pours a lightly hazed orange golden in color. There is a half-inch of white foam. The aroma is sweet, fruity, tangy, yeasty. The taste follows the aromas, lots of tangy fruit, with the yeast adding fruit and tanginess. There is plenty of sweetness, but it is tempered by the tang and a very dry, floral finish. The finish is also lightly to moderately bitter. The beer drinks with a fine, yet intense, carbonation like a bottle-conditioned beer. It is not boozy, but is very warming. This is very nice.
 
 

Bos Meadery Hammer Smashed Cherry Mead

Mead is a fermented beverage based around honey. This is a 6.5% ABV mead from the BOS Meadery of Madison, Wisconsin. It is intentionally lower alcohol than most meads, meant to be a type of session mead that adds in a little light carbonation. It is also brewed with Wisconsin Door County cherries.

The mead pours crystal clear with a light cherry, reddish, pink, salmon coloring. It has a very light carbonation, unlike most meads. This one is made to be a bit lighter; they call it a session mead on the bottle. The aroma is rich honey, honey, and honey, with tart, sweet, fruity cherry. The taste is rich, yet light, sweet, with just a tang, loads of cherry with a softening of flavorful honey. This drinks easy, light, refreshing, and so tasty. I almost didn't get this, but it kept calling out to me from the shelf. Glad I got it.

Short's Space Rock

This is a 5.0% ABV and 70 IBU American Pale Ale crafted to remove gluten. It is from Short's Brewing of Elk Rapids, Michigan. 

The beer pours a lightly hazed golden yellow in color. There is a tall head of thick, white foam. The aroma is dank, more dank, earthy, with light citrus. The taste follows the aromas, very, very dank, earthy, followed by a bright citrus finish, before more dankness lingers in the aftertaste. The finish is very dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks smooth and easy, with a bit of crisp, refreshing carbonation at the very end.





Avery Liliko'i Kepolo

The Avery Brewing Company of Boulder, Colorado was established in 1993. This is their 5.4% ABV Belgian-style white ale brewed with spices and passionfruit.

The beer pours a cloudy pale lemon in color. It has a half-inch of whipped white foam. The beer looks like lemon meringue pie. The aroma is a blast of fruit, tropical and tart, lots of guava, passion fruit, rhubarb, melon. The taste follows the aromas note for note. The beer drinks smooth, tart, dry, refreshing, with soft carbonation. This is a unique and enjoyable beer.


 

Ballast Point Mango Even Keel

This 3.8% ABV ale with natural mango flavors is from the Ballast Point Brewing Company of San Diego, California. It takes their Even Keel Session IPA and adds mango flavor.

The beer pours a clear, light copper in color. There is an inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is fruit juice, mango, mango juice, pineapple juice, and light toasted grain. The taste is the reverse, and jarring, toasted wheat, with a strong metalllic note, followed by light fruit juice. The toasted and fruit notes clash and don't go with each other. There is a heavy, metallic bitterness on the end. The beer drinks easy and refreshing, but I don't like the taste at all. I liked the regular Even Keel, but not this one.

 

He'brew Slingshot

The He'Brew line of kosher beers is from the Shmaltz Brewing Company of Clifton Park, New York. They are "The Chosen Beer." This is their 5.3% ABV American craft lager, with the slingshot referencing David and Goliath.

The beer pours a lightly hazed yellow golden. There is a half-inch of white head. The aroma is bright, grassy and citrusy, with a light lager funk. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, and adding in tea with lemon. The finish is lightly dry, with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks smooth and light, with a kick of carbonation.
 

Exile Gorilla Press Redux IPA

This 7.0% ABV India Pale Ale  is from the Exile Brewing Company  of Des Moines, Iowa.

The beer pours a hazy yellow golden in color. There is an inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is musky, tropical, mango skin, mango, sweet and ripe tropical fruits. The taste follows the aromas, hitting all of the same notes, fruity, tropical, sweet, musky, with quenching tang of citrus as well. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks smooth, but with robust carbonation. This is quite nice.



 


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bell's Oatsmobile

This 4.3% ABV session pale ale brewed with oats is from the Bell's Brewery of Comstock, Michigan.

The beer pours golden, orange, honey, in color. There is a relatively short head of white foam. The aroma is fruity, apricots and berries, with a light muskiness and mango skin. The taste is the reverse of the aroma, big muskiness and mango skin, bit of passion fruit, with lighter fruits and berries. The finish is dry and lightly bitter. The beer drinks smooth with a light tingling of carbonation.

 


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Exile Zoo Brew Pale Ale

This pale ale is from the Exile Brewing Company  of Des Moines, Iowa.

The beer pours a lightly hazed deep golden with orange tint. There is about an inch of white to off-white head. The aroma is citrus, light tropical fruit and musk, like mango skins. The taste follows the aromas, citrus, peach, with musky tropical fruit. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks smooth. Straightforward, enjoyable, not much more need be said.


Grain Belt Lock & Dam Lager

Grain Belt makes "The Friendly Beer."  Now brewed by the August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota, it was originally brewed starting in 1893 by the Minneapolis Brewing Company.  In the 1960's it became Grain Belt Breweries and was sold in 1976 to G. Heileman.  In the 1980's Grain Belt was taken over by Minnesota Brewing Company who brewed it until 2002 when Schell's took over. Schell's has bought back the iconic Grain Belt sign that faces the Hennepin Avenue bridge, near one of the Mississippi River locks. That inspired this new brew in the Grain Belt family.


The beer pours a dark honey golden, with tones of amber and copper. There is an inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is toasted malt, light caramel, straw, with a bit of lager funkiness. The taste follows the aromas, malty, grassy, with a crisp lager funkiness. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks with a very crisp and refreshing carbonation. This is a nice pilsner-like copper lager.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Evil Czech Lucky Dog American Pale Ale

This 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale is from the Evil Czech Brewery in Mishawaka, Indiana. I really like the artwork on this can.

The beer pours a hazy dried apricot in color. There is an inch of foamy, thick, off-white head. The aroma is citrus, peaches, caramel, with light, ripe, tropical notes. The taste is citrus, caramel and peaches. There is some tea as well, all coming to a very dry and moderately bitter finish. The beer drinks smooth with soft carbonation. There is something very compelling about this beer, but there is one note missing, think it needs a higher kick of either citrus or tropical to brighten it up.