Saturday, June 25, 2016

New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends Fat Funk Ale

The New Belgium Brewing Company is from Fort Collins, Colorado. Fat Tire is their flagship ale, and to celebrate their 25th anniversary they collaborated with several breweries to make different versions of the beer, and released them in a Fat Tire and Friends 12 pack. This 5.6% ABV ale is made with Belgian De Dolle House yeast and brettanomyces. It is a collaboration with Allagash Brewing.

The beer pours copper and amber in color. There is an inch of off-white, foamy head. The aroma is yeasty, esters, banana, clove, tangy and funky, with a leathery spiciness. The taste follows the aromas, lots of yeast notes over a solid malt base, banana, clove, leather and spice, funky all around. The beer drinks smooth, but with the fine and intense carbonation of bottle conditioning. The finish is dry and lightly bitter. If you love yeasty Belgian style beers you should really like this, it is well done.

 

New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends Fat Sour Apple Ale

The New Belgium Brewing Company is from Fort Collins, Colorado. Fat Tire is their flagship ale, and to celebrate their 25th anniversary they collaborated with several breweries to make different versions of the beer, and released them in a Fat Tire and Friends 12 pack. This 5.9% ABV beer is made in collaboration with  Hopworks Urban Brewery. It uses apple juice and lactobacillus to impart a tart, apple flavor.

The beer pours copper colored with a short head of off-white foam. The aroma is apple juice, apple cider, a bit of soft tart, over toasted caramel malt. The taste follows the aromas, the flavor is very mild, and in my estimation could use a bit more aggressive apple flavor. The finish is dry and tart. The beer drinks with a medium body and a fine, but intense carbonation.

New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends Fat Wild Ale

The New Belgium Brewing Company is from Fort Collins, Colorado. Fat Tire is their flagship ale, and to celebrate their 25th anniversary they collaborated with several breweries to make different versions of the beer, and released them in a Fat Tire and Friends 12 pack. This 6.2% ABV version is a collaboration with Avery Brewing and uses Brett yeast to give distinctive notes.

The beer pours a dark copper and amber in color. There is a half inch of light tan foamy head. The aroma is spicy, herbal, funky, leather, dark caramel. The taste is deep and rich, dark caramel, with herbal, leathery, funky notes. Everything fits together beautifully, harmoniously, making a distinctive and delicious taste. The beer drinks smooth and medium bodied, with a soft tingling of carbonation. The finish is dry with a light to moderate bitterness. This is a really well done and great tasting beer.

New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends Fat Hoppy Ale

The New Belgium Brewing Company is from Fort Collins, Colorado. Fat Tire is their flagship ale, and to celebrate their 25th anniversary they collaborated with several breweries to make different versions of the beer, and released them in a Fat Tire and Friends 12 pack. This is a 6.0% ABV collaboration with the Firestone Walker Brewing Company. It uses Mosaic, Citra, and Mandarina Bavaria hops.

The beer pours amber and copper colored. There is nearly an inch of thick, foamy off-white head. The aroma is a blast of tropical and musky hops. There is mango, mango skin, passion fruit, very ripe melon, and some dankness. The taste follows the aromas, big, round, ripe, tropical, fruity, musky, dank, delicious. The finish is dry with moderate bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, with a tingle of carbonation. This is absolutely delicious!

New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends Fat Pale Ale

The New Belgium Brewing Company is from Fort Collins, Colorado. Fat Tire is their flagship ale, and to celebrate their 25th anniversary they collaborated with several breweries to make different versions of the beer, and released them in a Fat Tire and Friends 12 pack. This 6.0% ABV beer is a collaboration with the Rhinegeist Brewery that uses Belgian-yeast and adds in extra hops.

The beer pours gleaming copper and amber in color. There is a relatively short head of off-white to very light tan head. The aroma has the same malty base as regular Fat Tire, but adds a bit more roast, and then layers on earthy, tangy, piney hops. The taste follows the aromas, roasted and caramel malt, with funky, dank, fruit tangy hops and yeast. The beer drinks medium bodied with firm carbonation. I am liking this one.



New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends The Original Fat Tire

The New Belgium Brewing Company is from Fort Collins, Colorado. Fat Tire is their flagship ale, and to celebrate their 25th anniversary they collaborated with several breweries to make different versions of the beer, and released them in a Fat Tire and Friends 12 pack. This is the 5.2% ABV original version.

The beer pours a gleaming copper in color. There is a short head of off-white foam. The aroma is roasted and toasted malt, caramel, light stone fruits. The taste follows the aromas, lots of caramel, but with a fruity tang, followed by a dry finish. The bitterness is light. The beer drinks smooth with tingling carbonation. It will be nice to see how all the collaborators riff on this.




Toppling Goliath Naughty 90 Oaked Ale

This oaked India Pale Ale is from Toppling Goliath of Decorah, Iowa. It is 8.2% ABV and has 100 IBU's.

The beer pours a deep amber and copper in color. There is an inch of thick off-white to light tan foam. The aroma is rich, nutty malt, light and tangy fruit, plums and citrus, along with a woody oak. The taste follows the aromas, but is exquisitely bright and vibrant. There is a magical balance between hops, malt, and the oak wood notes. The finish is dry and tangy, with a pleasant woodiness, and a mild bitterness. The beer drinks smooth and easy.


Toppling Goliath Golden Nugget with Mosaic

The Toppling Goliath Brewing Company is in Decorah, Iowa. They make the best beers in Iowa, and some of the best beers in the country. This is their Golden Nugget beer hopped with Mosaic.

The beer pours apricot and orange in color. There is a tall, thick, foamy head of white to off-white. The aroma is tropical, lots of mango and mango skin, passion fruit, and musky dankness. The taste follows the aromas exactly. The taste is big, so full of flavor. This is one of those brain shifting TG beers. You'll be chasing that flavor from here on out, like an addict, and you'll find few other brewers who give you the same rush. The beer drinks smooth, with a medium body and soft carbonation. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. More TG, more! Do not tease me!

 
 
 

Toppling Goliath Thresher Wheat IPA

The Toppling Goliath Brewing Company is in Decorah, Iowa. This is their wheat India Pale Ale.

The beer pours a very pale yellow, hazy. There is a very tall, thick, foaming, bubbling, head of white. The aroma is citrus, dank, tropical, mango and mango skin, tangy, with a bit of pine. The taste follows the aromas, upping the dank and the mango skin. The finish is dry and fairly bitter. The beer drinks very light and easy, with a soft carbonation. This is a very flavorful, yet easy drinking, beer.
 

Sierra Nevada Stout of the Union Robust Stout - Beer Camp Across America 2016

This is part of the 2016 Beer Camp Across America special release from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. They invited 31 breweries all across America to join in a collaboration brew with them and/or join them on their Beer Camp Tour with six stops across the USA. The release features a mixed 12 pack of six unique beers. This year's release was a bit hard to find and was a whopping $29.99 for a 12-pack.

This is a 7.3% ABV stout made in collaboration with Bagby Beer Company, Beachwood Brewing, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, Smog City, and Societe Brewing.

The beer pours black in appearance, with a very tall, thick, foamy tan head that has a bit of creaminess to it as well. The aroma is dark roasted malts, pleasant char, chicory coffee, and a touch of black anise. The taste follows the notes of the aroma, lots of dark roasted flavors melding together quite harmoniously. The finish is dry with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks very smooth. This is one very nicely done stout.


Sierra Nevada Family Values Imperial Brown Ale - Beer Camp Across America 2016

This is part of the 2016 Beer Camp Across America special release from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. They invited 31 breweries all across America to join in a collaboration brew with them and/or join them on their Beer Camp Tour with six stops across the USA. The release features a mixed 12 pack of six unique beers. This year's release was a bit hard to find and was a whopping $29.99 for a 12-pack.

This 8.5% ABV imperial brown ale is a collaboration with August Schell, Dark Horse, Half Acre, Perennial, and Sun King breweries.

The beer pours dark brown and very dark ruby in color. There is a relatively short head of light tan foam. The aroma is sweet, yet roasted. The cocoa and honey are apparent, along with dark roasted notes and a touch of nuttiness. The taste follows the aromas, alternating sweet and cocoa with dry dark roast and nuttiness. The beer has a fine, yet intense carbonation, stinging the tongue. The beer drinks with a smooth medium body. The finish is overall just this side of dry with a light bitterness.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sierra Nevada West Latitude Session Rye - Beer Camp Across America 2016

This is part of the 2016 Beer Camp Across America special release from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. They invited 31 breweries all across America to join in a collaboration brew with them and/or join them on their Beer Camp Tour with six stops across the USA. The release features a mixed 12 pack of six unique beers. This year's release was a bit hard to find and was a whopping $29.99 for a 12-pack.

This is a 5.5% ABV beer brewed with rye and hibiscus flowers. The collaborators are Bear Republic, Faction, Mad River, Magnolia, and Maui brewing companies.

The beer pours a dark brown with very dark amber that flashes purple as it is being poured. There is nearly an inch of very light tan foamy head. The aroma is toasted spicy rye, with light fruity and floral notes. The taste follows the aromas, floating floral and fruity over a very solid base of roasted, toasted rye. The finish is moderately bitter and quite dry. The beer drinks with a refreshing carbonation, but also smooth. This is the most quintessentially Sierra Nevada beer of the pack, despite the input of the collaborators on this one.

Sierra Nevada Moxee-Moron Imperial Session IPA - Beer Camp Across America 2016

This is part of the 2016 Beer Camp Across America special release from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. They invited 31 breweries all across America to join in a collaboration brew with them and/or join them on their Beer Camp Tour with six stops across the USA. The release features a mixed 12 pack of six unique beers. This year's release was a bit hard to find and was a whopping $29.99 for a 12-pack.

This is a 7.5% ABV Imperial Session IPA. That of course makes no sense, it would be an oxymoron, the in joke with the name Moxee-Moron. The collaborators were Bale Breaker, Barley Brown's, Black Raven, Melvin, and Odell.

The beer pours an orange golden in color. There is an inch of white foamy head. The aroma is floral, fruity, and dank. There is pine and overripe fruits. The taste is a blast of pine over very ripe fruits, with just a touch of dank. The finish is sand storm dry, with a moderate bitterness. The aftertaste is full of passion fruit. The beer drinks smooth, but nicely carbonated, with a medium body; a real easy drinker. This is a good one.
 
 
 



Sierra Nevada Sweet Sunny South Table Beer - Beer Camp Across America 2016

This is part of the 2016 Beer Camp Across America special release from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. They invited 31 breweries all across America to join in a collaboration brew with them and/or join them on their Beer Camp Tour with six stops across the USA. The release features a mixed 12 pack of six unique beers. This year's release was a bit hard to find and was a whopping $29.99 for a 12-pack.

This is a 4.9% ABV table beer brewed with corn grits, tea, and peaches, papaya, guava and prickly pear. The collaborators were Austin Beerworks, Bayou Teche, Creature Comforts, Funky Buddha, and Wicked Weed.

The beer pours a lightly hazed golden orange. There is a short head of white foam. The aroma is very, very fruity, sweet and tangy, a ripe mish-mash of the ingredient list. The taste follows the aromas, packed with fruit, with enough grain just to hold it up, and a mellowing whisper of the tea, and a spicy saison note. The finish is zesty and dry. The beer drinks smooth and well-carbonated. This is enjoyable.

 
 
 




Madhouse Kinky Zonker

The Madhouse Brewing Company originated in Newton, Iowa, and now have a new location in Des Moines. A portion of the profits of this 4.5% ABV session IPA go to Trout Unlimited, an organization promoting river and water conservation. A "Kinky Zonker" is a kind of fly lure. This release appears to an annual tradition now. This year's features Amarillo hops and uses tangerine.  Last year's release featured Citra.

The beer pours a gleaming light copper and amber in color. There is about an inch of white to off-white foamy head. The aroma is dank, with lighter pine and citrus. The tangerine is subtly, but adds its unique note to the citrus. The taste follows the aromas, dank and citrusy, over toasted malt; very flavorful. The finish is lightly dry with a very mild bitterness. The beer drinks very crisply carbonated, refreshing. This is one of the best session IPA's I have had.

Big Sky Shake A Day IPA

This is a 7.5% ABV India Pale Ale from Big Sky Brewing of Missoula, Montana. It takes its name from a Montana bar tradition of putting some money in a pot and you get one shake and roll of the dice per day to win the pot if you roll five of a kind.

The beer pours golden with a tint of orange, with a very light haze. There is nearly an inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is citrus and apricots. The taste is citrus, oranges, apricots, over caramel malt. The beer is sweet and tangy with citrus at the same time. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks very smooth, with a tingle of carbonation and a wonderful mouthfeel. This is one very enjoyable beer.





Deschutes Hop Slice Session IPA

The Deschutes Brewery is in Bend, Oregon. This is their 4.5% ABV session India Pale Ale brewed with Meyer lemons.

The beer pours a lightly hazed amber and apricot in color. There is a tall, thickly foamy head of white to off-white. The aroma is hops, citrus, lemon, with a very light touch of pine and dank, over toasted, crackery malt. The taste follows the aromas precisely, hitting all of the same notes. The finish is moderately bitter, with a grapefruit thirst quenching astringency. The beer drinks easy and refreshing. This is a great beer for summer.




 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

New American Double Freedom DIPA

This 8.0% ABV and 80 IBU double India Pale Ale is from New American Brewing of Ankeny, Iowa. It uses Citra, Cascade, and Centennial hops.

The beer pours copper and amber in color. There is a tall, thick, foamy head of white, to light off-white. The aroma is big peach and tropical, over toasted malt. The taste hits the same notes as the aromas, adding in a tang of light pine and citrus. The beer has 80 IBU's, but the finish is only mildly bitter. The beer is wonderfully balanced, drinking smooth and oh so easy.

 

New Belgium Heavy Melon

This 5.0% ABV watermelon lime ale is from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado. 

The beer pours a deep golden in color. There is a half-inch of white foam, not long-lasting. The aroma is fairly mild, light watermelon sweetness over toasted grain. The taste is mild watermelon, toasted grain, with a very light hint of lime. The flavors are pleasant, and I am glad this is not overwhelming as too many of these kind of beers are, but it is actually too mild in its flavors. The finish is fairly dry with very little bitterness. The beer drinks smooth and easy with a soft tingling of carbonation.

Goose Island CALM Radler

This is a 3.0% ABV take on a radler that flavors the wheat ale with cucumber, lime and mint. It is from the Goose Island Beer Company of Chicago, Illinois (now owned by AB-InBev). It is release two of four in their 2016 Fulton & Wood series.

The beer pours a very, very pale, sun bleached straw in color. There is a half-inch of white, foamy, fizzy, head. The aroma is as advertised, strong cucumber, lime and mint. The taste follows the aromas, big, big cucumber flavor, some sweetness, then a cut of tart lime, with the mint mellowing out the end. The finish is dry and lightly bitter, mostly clean, with the flavors lingering a bit. The beer drinks very easy. This is a very nice addition to the summer mix, and would be great alone or mixed with any variety of summer foods, Mexican or Asian dishes.
 

Sierra Nevada Pat-Rye-Ot Revolutionary Ale - Beer Camp Across America 2016

This is part of the 2016 Beer Camp Across America special release from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. They invited 31 breweries all across America to join in a collaboration brew with them and/or join them on their Beer Camp Tour with six stops across the USA. The release features a mixed 12 pack of six unique beers. This year's release was a bit hard to find and was a whopping $29.99 for a 12-pack.

This is a 5.6% ABV ale that features rye and apples. It was made with Dogfish Head, Devils Backbone, Stoudts, Trillium, and Lawson's Finest Liquids.

The beer pours a cloudy golden yellow in color, with a tint of orange. There is a half-inch of white head that is not long lasting. The aroma is tangy apple over toasted, spicy rye grain. The taste is the opposite of the aroma, heavy on the toasted and spicy rye grains, very light on any apple notes. There is a bit of apple in the aftertaste. The finish is quite bitter. The beer drinks with a stinging carbonation, medium bodied. This would be better if they had upped the apple. It didn't have to be paramount, but it needed to be stronger and act more as a tarty and fruity counterpoint to the heavy rye.

 
 




High Tide Australian Pale Ale - DSM Beer Week 2016

This 5.0% Australian Pale Ale bottled by Exile Brewing is a collaboration in honor of Des Moines Beer Week 2016 from several brewers from the Des Moines, Iowa area. The collaborating breweries are 515 Brewing, Confluence Brewing, Court Avenue Brewing, Firetrucker Brewing, Exile Brewing, Flix Brewing, Fox Brewing, Granite City Brewing, Madhouse Brewing, New American Brewing, Reclaimed Rails Brewery, Rock Bottom Brewery, Twisted Vine Brewing, and Wing Nutt Brewing.

The beer pours a golden yellow in color, very light touch of haze. There is an inch of white, foamy, fizzing head, but relatively long lasting. The aroma is bright citrus over toasted grain. The taste is rich, toasted malt, followed by a blast of bright citrus, along with tropical notes. The finish is grassy with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, medium bodied, with crisp carbonation, ending refreshing. This is one very quaffable drinker of a beer.


Confluence Long Ride Pale Ale

The Confluence Brewing Company is in Des Moines, Iowa. This 5.7% ABV pale ale is a collaboration with SingleSpeed Brewing of Cedar Falls, Iowa. It was brewed to honor National Bike Month (May).

The beer pours a honey golden with a tinge of amber. There is a relatively short head of white to just off-white foam. The aroma is citrus, light tropical fruits, fruity, with just a bit of toasty malt, hint of caramel. The taste highlights the hops even more, upping the citrus and tropical. The beer drinks bright, and fruity, with a light bitterness on the finish. The mouth is smooth, with soft and tingling carbonation, overall refreshing and easy to drink.

 

Surly #Merica!

This 5.4% ABV pre-Prohibition style American Lager is from the Surly Brewing Company of Brooklyn Center (and now Minneapolis), Minnesota. It uses corn along with barley, and Willamette and Warrior hops, with German lager yeast.

The beer pours a very clear and pale yellow and golden. There is a half-inch of fizzy white head, and the beer is well-carbonated, with big soda-like bubbles. The aroma is very light grain, light wet cardboard, with a hint of grassy and citrus hops. The taste is better than the aromas, very light toasted grain, followed by a wallop of hops. The hops are grassy, quite bitter, but also have citrus and floral notes. The finish is dry and very bitter. The beer drinks chuggably. This is amusing, this beer has the look, smell and feel of an adjunct lager, but the taste kicks in as all Surly.




 2017: The can is the same, but the beer seems a bit tweaked, with a better aroma. It is now 5.0% ABV. 
The beer pours a lightly hazed bleached straw golden and yellow. There is over an inch of white, foamy head, that slowly fizzes down. The aroma is floral, hay, straw, a touch of citrus, with some bread dough and toasted grain. The beer is tangy citrus and floral over toasted grain, some bready yeastiness, and a very dry, bitter and grassy finish. The beer drinks easy and refreshing.