1001 Beers: IPA

Beer Number 68: Caldera IPA

Another Oregon Brewery, though this one is right at the border right before you hit California. Now way I am going to be making it that far south on this trip but while I have a can of their beer here with me, why not drink it before I get there.

Caldera is focused on a being just a production brewhouse, with no pub, restaurant, or even tasting room. Everything is brewed on a small ten-barrel system, with varying size fermenters allowing the brewery to do single, double, and triple batches.
I find this pretty awesome. You hardly ever see that from a brewery. I guess they are more worried about the beer they make than everything else. While, I think it would be awesome to have a tasting room, I totally like and appreciate the fact that they do not. If I opened a brewery, would I follow this model? Probably not. But that is because I have plans for the food menu and special events. Though, it might not be a bad way to start.

A nice, deep golden to amber color with a big and rocky tan head. Some grassy and oniony notes on the nose. This is not a very bitter IPA, which surprises me since it clocks in at 90 something IBU's but it is very flavorful. Juicy, some of that onion comes through and grapefruit. A bit of bitterness come in the finish and those flavors really linger on. Medium to light body and dry.

This is not my style of IPA. Though, I guess I am getting the taste of Oregon in my mouth now. Only a few more days until I am there.

933 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Black Gold Bourbon Imperial Stout

Beer Number 67: Full Sail Black Gold Bourbon Imperial Stout

Since I am going back home to The Great Pacific North West very soon... in a couple of days, I thought it would be appropriate to drink a few beers from there. Luckily there are two, that I currently have in my cellar, from back home... Well, 2 hours South. They are both from Oregon but that is not going to prevent me from trying them. I have a few Washington beers I am going to knock off while I am there, too.
Black Gold Imperial Stout is released every year, but the barrel-aged version is only available every other year, after it has spent about ten months in bourbon barrels. Full Sail's brewers began experimenting with aging beer in barrels when they put two beers in bourbon ones back in 1997.
The text goes on to say that they originally released this beer aged in a barrel and in stainless to let people taste the differences and they now release a barrel aged beer every year, this one and Top Sail Porter. Alternating, of course.

This beer seemed to have poured pretty thin. I guess that was just an optical illusion though. It carries on a very nice, and balanced full body with just a trace of foam around the glass where you expect the head. It appeared a bit more on the pour, rather big and fluffy but quickly dissipated. You get straight bourbon on the nose but it is a little sweet and it is questionable whether I am getting oak or not. I feel like it should be there but I am trying to convince myself to see it.

In the taste... not a lot, in my opinion. Mostly bourbon. Pretty malty and maybe a little bit of almond. Very smooth and finishes dry. Not a lot going on but it is nice. I think too much else would be overpowering on top of the bourbon but I do wish this beer carried a little more on it. It is good but very plain and simple. Then again, that is one of the things that beer should be. Full Sail did a great job.

934 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



Love Buzz

I got this beer in a trade with a buddy of mine up in Alaska. The last time I was up there, I was not really into beer... or even old enough to drink so I guess I was really missing out. I did have a good time though. I wish I had pictures of my visit, but I cannot recall where any are... or if I even owned a digital camera back then...

A feeling overcomes, deriving of a most curious perplexity. A rich desire awakens to explore the contents of such delicate loveliness. Upon a deep connection with rounded lips, a bitter sweet complexity enters the soul…and so begins an amorous affair.

Heightened awareness envelopes the senses as the grandeur of such bold character develops. Caramel beauty exhibits itself, sprawling its full body widely upward, bubbling with excitement. Tantalizing effects of peppery bitterness grasps the tongue. Enchantment takes hold as a blanket of citrus slowly unfolds. As in any noteworthy love story, a subtle fruity sweetness of a rose emerges to the finish. A warm contentment grazes over, signifying a united marriage of balance and pleasure.

Fortitude has revealed itself to those who have encountered such an enriching experience. An experience so delectable, so defining, so unequivocal. An experience that is Love's Buzz.
I have never had a beer from this brewery before but I have heard a lot of buzz about Love Buzz... I know, right? I understand what they were talking about. Wow, I wish I knew they brewed beer this good in Alaska.

Love Buzz pours a hazy orangish color with a golden head. A hoppy nose that has a bit of tropical scents in there as well. Sweet and fruity, though initially sour. A bit dry with flavors of passion fruit and peach. I highly recommend. I was told to try others from Anchorage Brewing Company. I guess I better figure out where to start.



Lips Of Faith: Paardebloem, Pluot, & Hop Kitchen: Hoppy Bock

This has to be a first for me. Two brand new Lips Of Faith Beers, and two that I was not all to crazy about. These two beers had some very promising factors about them, too. The first one I opened up was Paardebloem, an ale brewed...
Using dandelion greens to bitter a Belgian-style ale blossomed from our brewers collaborating with Red Rock Brewing. These being our sixth interpretation together since 2008, expect a wonderfully complex ale fermented with wild Belgian yeast and blended with just a touch of wood-aged beer. Bitterness imparted from dandelion greens and grains of paradise will have you blowing wishes for sips.

This was a hazy beer and rather orange. Big white fluffy head that was short lived. Earthy and floral notes on the nose with a little bit of funk. A touch sour on the opening, grassy, and that little Belgian twang you tend to get in some Belgian beers that pokes its head out as you head into the finish. This one just did not work for me.

The other, Pluot. I had my first Pluot while working at Fred Meyer in college. The produce section there is pretty amazing. It is so weird seeing the setups that are on the East Coast. Maybe I better setup for a move back. I think it is very interesting that someone thought to put it into a beer. Hell, I thought up some crazy things, (not many actually make it into the kettle), but never using hybrid fruit.
Hook up a plum with an apricot and they’ll make you a pluot. This sweet hybrid fruit is as refreshing as it is strange, and it’s the perfect starting point for our new Lips of Faith beer. Pluot Ale pours a bright, light golden. The aroma is full of fruit tones and distinct esters from blending the funky brettanomyces and our house Belgian ale yeast. The flavor carries the same weight, adding a spicy, vinous subtlety to stand up against the malt backbone. To build a beer around this worldly fruit is purely Belgian in imagination. Pour some Pluot and enjoy!

I found this one a bit better but I just don't know where it was going. A crystal clear beer with an off white head, funky, fruity, and musty on the nose. Sweet juices up front and a big malt presence. Very full bodied and dry in the finish. You get a bit of a twang in this one as well but I cannot see myself drinking more than just this bottle of it. The last time I felt this way about a Lips Of Faith beer was, Cocoa Mole. I had it a few times after my first time but I was still unsure as to what to think. Maybe I will come across this again... maybe not?

While I am at it, why not throw the first beer in the Hop Kitchen into here as well, Hoppy Bock. The next one should be out in about a week, though I guess it depends on your retailer. I am hoping to get it before long but I am also traveling... that may have an impact. Positive or Negative?

I am very jealous that Beer Drinker Rob over at Daily Beer Review got to taste French Aramis before me... What seems odd about that? The fact that New Belgium is not officially released in Florida yet and that this beer was not released. It was even delivered by Bike Courier. Oh, well. I will get my hands on it at some point.
A German-style springtime lager brewed with rye then loaded with Hallertauer, Perle and Fuggle hops for a spicy, earthy aroma. This Hoppy Bock Lager offers a medium body and slightly sweet malt character perfect for your spring hop-fling.

This one I did enjoy. It was awesome how the hops just jumped out of the bottle of this beer and into the air around you. It was almost like bliss... but that is reserved for La Folie or 1554... This was overall just a nice beer in my eyes. A bit earthy, spicy, clean, crisp, but the hops that you smelled did not get in the way of the flavor of this beer. It was not highly bittered, it was just right I feel... Though, after looking over the fact that it is 70IBU's thick, I take it the brewers spent a good amount of time making sure it was balanced.

So, until the next Lips Of Faith beers are released, This quarters beers are brought to you by the letter P!



1001 Beers: Summer Pils

Beer Number 66: Saint Arnold Summer Pils
There's a good reason that America's largest breweries spend even more on advertising their pale yellow lagers in Texas than other parts of the country. "In Texas, it's cool to be a cowboy with a longneck in your hand" says Brock Wagner, cofounder of Saint Arnold Brewing. Saint Arnold brews a full line of traditional styles. After years of tinkering with what looks like a simple recipe--one malt, two hops--Saint Arnold Summer Pils (originally known as Summerfest) won three medals in five years at the Great American Beer Festival, albeit as a Munchner-style Helles.
I wonder if it was a lawsuit that made them change the name of the beer... I've seen it before from the only company I can think of with that name for a beer, but who knows. There could be a number of reasons. This is the last beer from Texas I have on my list, but not the last one I will be drinking from that state by far. Time and availablity are the only factors.

This is a beer that surprised me. Just how intense it is, I was not expecting. I should have had a clue though being the cap said, "Hop on board!". A crystal clear beer with a little bit of a burger on its side... I mean, a bright, white head on top. The nose was quite hoppy and a little grainy. You get a lot of that malt and grain in each and every sip. It was built on a very solid Pilsner body with a touch of hop flavor, a pretty full body, and a dry finish. This is a very nice beer to be drinking on a nice Summer day. Good thing it just officially started. Hey, Saint Arnold is even wearing sunglasses in his photo!

935 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Fancy Lawnmower

Beer Number 65: Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower

While I was in Texas, I spent quite a bit of time trying to find good beer. I guess I was in the wrong area to begin with, i.e. Not Austin, but I figured there had to be someway for people in San Antonio to get what they want. I found The Friendly Spot and this is where I fell in love with The Flying Saucer. The only other hotspot I found in the city was The Alamo Draft House and man, between just these places, one can live.

The San Antonio Breweries just did not do it for me at all. The Blue Star Brewing Company and Freetail Brewing Company fell far short of what I was used to. Maybe just growing up near Seattle, less than 2 hours away from Portland, and living in Los Angeles for a while has ruined what I expect from beer, but the beers I had in Texas just did not stand tall.

I had some beers from Austin breweries and fell in love with those but, like I said, I never made the trip. That is where I want to go at some point. Anyway though...

I heart beer
The name Fancy Lawnmower "comes from the old home-brewers' term for crappy light beer," says Brock Wagner, a former investment banker who started Saint Arnold Brewing--named after the patron saint of brewing--in 1994. "I remember walking around the brewhouse asking people what adjective they like that had the tone I was after (indicating it was upscale but clearly tongue-in-cheek). 'Fancy' won over 'gourmet'"
This beer is one of my favorite styles that I do not drink too often. Why? Because not many people brew it. The K├Âlsch. A fantastic style that highlights the simplistic nature of beer but allows for a lot of depth. I want to brew one... maybe this summer... maybe next. I will be done though.

Fancy Lawnmower carried a short lived white head on top of a straw colored body. Very bright and clear. The nose was a bit sweet, bready, and malt forward. You do get a fair amount of hop in the nose as well, though.

The body on this beer was a bit higher than you would expect. Like a medium high feel and it had a higher level of carbonation. Creamy, crisp, and dry. A bit fruity but a low, but perfect amount of bitterness kept that in line. Maybe a little bit of toffee in the finish. I very much enjoyed this one.

I have a couple more Saint Arnold beers to get through, and one more to Knock Texas off of my list. Even though I know there is more great beer in that state. You just have to look.

936 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Guinness

Beer Number 64: Guinness

I find it funny that I am currently running through a ton of old favorites... or something like it. This beer takes me back to my Irish Carbomb days. Yeah, you know what I mean. Even though I have drank these multiple times throughout the years as well. I hear it is really awesome in Ireland. I would love to know their process in making this one, too. 3% soured beer? Something like that. Old beer? Hmm...
Some beers need no introduction and, with 10 million pints drunk every day all around the world, Guinness slots neatly into this category. No longer just the drink of Ireland, this famous stout is produced in more than fifty breweries across the globe.
I kind of failed to red the, this beer needs no introduction part, oops. It got one on here anyway. I find it crazy that people took the lease for the land that the main brewery is built on seriously. 9000 years is what was signed. I know things were different back then, but I would take that as a complete joke! Sure, let me sign this paper for some land that will be around long after I'm dead... I find it weird that it is also brewed in so many breweries. I wonder if they all have the Guinness name on them...

I had this one at Red Lobster. I couldn't decide between knocking this one or Heineken off of my list while I was there. Not sure what made me choose Guinness, but I feel I made the better choice. Next time... Next time.

So, I did not pick this one up to check out the highlights but it was also kind of dark in that place. Kind of odd, but oh well. It appeared deep black and had a huge fluffy tan head on top of it. Did I pour it all fancy like? Meh, I just asked for a warm glass. I hate getting cold ones.

Creamy, a little sour, almost metallic like and a fair amount of roast. Light bodied but a fair beer to drink when the choices are limited. And check this, there were less than 125 calories in that whole bottle! (Yeah, this is the first beer I have personally found... besides those select 55's and such, that advertised the calories...). Why was that whole block in a bracket? Not sure, but hey, check out this glass.

937 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Beer Number 63: Pabst Blue Ribbon

The beer that got me through college. So many games of Kings and shotgunned tall boys. It is funny that shortly after this I got into homebrew and then into craft beer. I am glad I did but sometimes... well, there is no sometimes!
Today, it is a brewery in name only. The company is owned by a nonprofit charitable foundation. Its products are made under contract by companies including MillerCoors. The flagship, known widely as PBR, gets its name from the many blue ribbons it won at late 19th-century beer exhibitions.
Knowing that it is charitable, makes me feel less bad about buying this one. Though, it is not a beer I drink, like at all. So,... My dad told me that this beer used to be the only served at amusement parks, and that is not hard to believe knowing that Pabst used to be a major player in the beer world. Competing for bigger share of the market and all that jazz. I never took the time to look it up. I honestly did not care that much but I do kind of believe it. Just don't go around saying that I am spreading that knowledge. I only like verified facts.

I was kind of hoping to relive my college days when I broke into this one. Though, that did not happen. Big white fluffy head (which I never saw being I never drank out of a glass), bright yellow beer (I only knew that when it exited my body), a lot of rising carbonation and some grain on the nose. A bit of honey sweetness, grainy, and light bodied. Picked up quite a bit of corn. A lot of things that I never picked up because, well, this beer was not for drinking. No beer was for drinking IMO. It all had one purpose and that was,

938 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Newcastle Brown Ale

Beer Number 62: Newcastle Brown Ale

Back in my non-craft drinking days, I had this one once or twice but that was just because it was at a party and it was something different from the classic BMC that is at every underage party Superbowl Party one would go to. I drank it, it did the job after enough of them and whatever else was around but I was never a fan of it or anything like that. St. Pauli girl was my drink. Her smooth green long neck body and her dark version were to die for... or so I thought.
For many years, the beer was brewed in the heart of Newcastle. However, this site closed in 2004, and production moved to the former Federation Brewery in Gateshead, where the beer is brewed to an alcohol strength of 7.5 percent before being diluted to the strength at which it meets its drinkers.
Brewed to 7.5%! Wow, I would love to try that version. I know it never sees the light of day and the final version is actually a picture perfect example of the style, but it would be interesting enough. That would definitely get college kids going... like they originally did to push this beer according to the book. The lower ABV version.

I love how clear that glass is. The beer is just as so. A lot of caramel comes off in the nose and even the flavor of this one. Very thin but a high level of carbonation. I got a little bit of a bready character but not much. Just one of those beers you look back on. It totally reminded me of the old days... I did not have many memories of them though. So, yup. Knocked off the list.

939 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Oaked Hoppy Monster

Beer Number 61: Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster

Ok, so this is not the actual beer in the book but one of the things that I am sure the contributors did not consider is the fact that at times beers are discontinued... or the fact that there are a ton of seasonal and draft only beers in here... maybe not a ton, but quite a big handful. Big Hoppy Monster is one of those beers that fell prey to the test of time. Though, Terrapin did not fully let go of the beer. They still brew it... kind of, and throw it in a barrel or dozen. I'm not sure of the numbers but this is is the result.
When the alcohol limit in Georgia was finally lifted in 2004, Terrapin Beer barged through the door with its Big Hoppy Monster. The garnet-colored ale, with its heft malt backbone, hoist an astounding load of citrus hops; Warrior, Centenial, Cascade, Ahtanum, and, for good measure, a dry-hopped dose of Simcoe. The beer seemingly created an entire new style category.
I wish I could have had a chance to taste the regular version before it was discontinued... or put on hiatus, whatever they want to call it but I guess that is just part of my journey. I may have started late, but now I am on track... Though started late is relative since I got into craft beer at 22ish. But, you know.

This beer was a very dark amber, apparently "garnet", whatever that is, with a nice caramel nose and a subdued hop character. I was expecting a ton of oak to come across, but nope. Drinking this one down I got some light oak but more caramel and some hops. It was not the big hoppy I was expecting, but then again maybe that was the original version not this one. Pretty good. Maybe one day they will brew and release the other again.

940 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



New Belgium: Heavenly Feijoa

It has been a while since I opened up this beer, April 7th to be exact, but I wanted to get my notes out there especially since I am about to open up the two new offerings; Pluot and Paardebloem. I drank this one not too long after Cascara Quad and now I see a bunch of people digging in for the first time.

One thing I realized about my New Belgium Love, is the fact that on their website they have a Beer Masher. While it is not a complete list of all of their products, it is quite close. I have had all but 7 of the beers listed on there. If you would like a shot at guessing which 7, go ahead. For now I will continue to track down each and every beer of theirs I can and hopefully make another brewery trip.

This beer I really enjoyed, but it was not like any other that I have had... though, almost every trippel, tripel, triple, however you want to spell it, they were all pretty different. I guess it is the selection of the ones I chose.

Copper beer below a white, fluffy head. Fruity on the nose. Pineapple and a bit sour. Some odd but good, juicy flavors. Mango and pretty full bodied. Not as good as a few others I had, but I still enjoyed this as a Faith beer. Cannot wait to crack the others open and see how this quarters beers are.



Art, Tart, and Heart Of Darkness

I have been trying to track down these three beers for some time now. Actually there is a fourth but getting my hands on that one may have been more of an issue than it would be worth. Maybe one day I will be able to add Surly Darkness to my list, but for now Art of, Tart of, & Heart of Darkness will have to be enough for me.

I am not saying I was particularly excited for all of these beers, they were all new to me and I have heard good things about a couple, but the whole idea of a series... Okay, yes I know these beers are not part of a series, BUT I MADE IT ONE!!! Go me :D... I actually wonder what the story is behind the name. There has to be something for three separate breweries to do it... who knows, there may be more.

Big, black, billowy brown head. Roasted malts all throughout the nose. A touch of caramel, very assertive roasty-ness. A sharp dark malt bitterness, thinner body than expected and far better than the last Magic Hat beer I had even if this was flat and single dimensional.

This beer was fantastic. A deep brown pour with a tan head. Prunes and other dark fruits on the nose. Simply a beautiful beer. You get a lot of that scent in the flavor as well. Full bodied, low carbonation, a nice hint of alcohol though, a bit syrupy in the finish. If that is the one flaw of this beer, I will take another sip before I hit that point.

Now, this is the tricky one. I loved it. More than I should have. It was so incredibly sour and vinegar like, the good kind not the sickening kind, and I had no idea what else to think... or what else to say about it's flavor. That is all there was to it. Simply a fantastic beer. I have another bottle of it. Not sure when I should open it. Will it become more sour and not worth it, or will it mellow out a little bit as time goes by. It is kind of old to begin with. I have no idea what it was like originally but man, great.

Maybe I just hyped these beers up to myself too much? Maybe not. I really like 2 out of 3 and I would drink them again and again. SO that is a win in my book. I feel you should give them all a try as well... if you can find them. Tart was horrible trying to track down.



1001 Beers: Brown Shugga

Beer Number 60: Lagunitas Brown Shugga
Lagunitas founder Tony Magee describes Brown Shugga as a "strange and irresponsible beer." This seasonal ale was born as a result of a series of mishaps on the night shift back in 1996. "I got a call at home from the brewer, telling me that the original gravity of Gnarleywine he was brewing was too low. I had miscalculated the recipe." This is a test of the skill and creativity of a brewmaster. "I told him to go to every grocery store in Petaluma and buy all the brown sugar that he could find and stick it into the kettle until he got the beer to the right strength. On Monday morning, I came into the brewhouse early and there were about 200 boxes of C and H Brown Sugar scattered on the floor." Progress was dicey in the fermenter, but after some weeks, a beautiful creature emerged from the aging tanks.
An interesting story about this brew. I heard a few other interesting stories while at the brewery about other beers in their line up. But I suggest you go on the tour to figure those ones out. I had a great time there and I cannot wait to do it again. It is great having family in the city, wouldn't you agree?

This beer checked in at 9.9% and it is an interesting one for sure. The head on this one was essentially copper on top of a body of the same. A very malty brew, surprising given that usually added sugar to your beer thins things out. I guess the malt behind it was already up there... then again, apparently they were brewing Gnarlywine... A bit boozy and a very sweet initial bite. I feel you could pick out the molasses quite a bit. Tasty brew. Just wish I could pick out the Frank Zappa reference.
By the way, if you know your Frank Zappa, you may have figured out that the quick-thinking salvage job that created this beer holds a secret message: Necessity really is the Mother of Invention.
941 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Titan IPA

Beer Number 59: Great Divide Titan IPA

I find it a little weird that when I was in Denver and got a chance to stop by The Great Divide, that I did not drink of their IPA's... Well, not really surprised because I try to taste as many styles of beer as I can and IPA, while I do enjoy it, is one that I often overlook because I feel there are so many of them on the market. A lot of which, in my opinion, I feel are kind of bad. Granted I expect more from the bigger breweries, including this one, and I do not let that haze my judgement when I do pick one up, but just the same, I have had a number of IPA's from the little guys that I thought were superbly fantastic and were more enjoyable than some that I truly love. Even homebrew examples of the style. They just cannot be beat.

Anyway though, I had a lot of good beers there and just surprised I did not try Titan. I was not searching for beers in the book but rather just enjoying the city and everything it had to offer. Such a great time and I cannot wait to go again. Hell, I might just drink this IPA when I do get the go again. So damn good.
Titan IPA exhibits the balance characteristics of all Great Divide beers but also packs plenty of hops. It quickly became the best-selling beer outside the brewery's home region.

Yes, that is a cider in the background and a glass of water to the other side. I think it was the Woodchuck Raspberry Cider and it was quite good, just not mine... I think it was good. I mean, it was a cider.

The beer was a bit clearer than what you can see in that picture but a very orange-ish color to it with a very nice fluffy head that left an amazing lace all the way down. Kind of hard to remember the aroma. My old phone had the notes on this beer and I got rid of it faster than you can imagine when I got my S4. I love this phone so damn much... anyway, it was that damn good. One I will visit again and again. I like it more than the Yeti's. I had all four but only 2 made it onto here. I even had some more in Denver.

942 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Union Jack

Beer Number 58: Firestone Walker Union Jack
During the first year after Firestone Walker released Union Jack, the beer won a gold medal in the World Beer Cup in San Diego, a gold medal at the European Beer Star Awards in Germany, and a gold medal in the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
Quite an impressive resume for the first year of a new beer. I wonder if anything has lived up to it before or since. I kind of regret not getting into Firestone Walker while I was living in California. Well, I guess this is a good a time as any to delve into their beers.

This was a mighty fine beer, but I wonder how time effected it, if at all. It clocked in at 7.5% and was bottled on 11/07/2012 according to the bottle. Like I said though, excellent beer.

Golden with a white head. It was actually a bit clearer than it looks in that picture, but eh. I got a new camera, (read phone), recently so hopefully things start to look better in it. The nose was sticky and piney. Kind of lived up to what I was expecting. Upon taste, a ton of earthy and pine flavors. It carried a really nice body. A solid base for the hops that were still present. I need to find out what more this brewery has to offer.

943 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Dortmunder Gold

Beer Number 57: Dortmunder Gold

Another beer that just landed in my lap. I have seen it around before but it never really caught my eye, even with the gold medal on the front. Hmm... Was I wrong for never picking this up before?
Uncertain what to rename the beer, the Conways found their answer after winning their first gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1990. A photograph of their medal is displayed on the label of Dortmunder Gold.
Like I said, I should have suspected something after seeing that medal on the bottle. I have only been to one Great American Beer Fest, but I know very damn well that those guys know their beer. I should have taken that as a sign.

This is one of the best beers I have ever had. No lie. A nice golden ale with a nice golden head that was big and rocky. A very clean nose and a beer that had great balance, finished dry, with some nice earthy characteristics. Plain and simple, one you should pick up.

944 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



Hop Watch

It has been a while since I planted my hops, so I figured I would show a few little updates. Especially since the hops are starting to get a little bit of cone formation!!! Here is a look back to when I planted my Chinook and Cluster Rhizomes to begin with.

So exciting seeing the first sprouts!

My Chinook before I figured it would be a good time to add my trellis lines.

Had to train them up to begin but they started to take off pretty damn well!

Chinook in front, Cluster in back.

Look how fantastic the Chinook is doing! and how wimpy the Cluster is doing :'( I hope that it is strong enough to survive the winter... More pictures to come soon!



1001 Beers: Breakfast Stout

Beer Number 56: Founders Breakfast Stout

I have no idea how to ever say Thank You! to the one who gave me this beer, and quite a few others on my list but Ohh Emm Gee am I lucky to have gotten them. I will try somehow, just need to find the way.

This is a beer that I have been wanting to get my hands on for a while. It is even my first beer from Founders. Some find that hard to believe but you know, whatever. It could not have come at a better time.
At 8.3% alcohol content, this is not a beer to start off your morning with! Instead, it is the perfect drink for the end of an evening or even to go along with a rich piece of chocolate cake at the climax of a meal.
So... I totally did not read this or take their advice... This is the first thing I had in the morning and I regret it, not at all!!! A fantastic choice for breakfast. Wish I had one everyday... I guess I have to brew one of them...

This one poured with practically no head. What did appear though, was a deep brown color on top of a viscous brown liquid. You could see rising carbonation throughout, as well. The nose was roasty, chocolaty, and quite a bit of alcohol could be picked up. It had a nice sweetness to it as well.

Notes of bittersweet chocolate worked very well and it was very smooth going down. Excellent mouthfeel. A very full and bold beer with a little bit of spice. I guess this is what non-beer drinkers are referring to when they say that a beer taste, "dark". Or maybe they mean something else... Regardless, they do not know what they are missing...

945 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Fat Tire

Beer Number 55: New Belgium Fat Tire

So, I actually knocked this one off my list in the post with my Trip To The New Belgium Brewery, but somehow I forgot to count it! Instead of changing the numbers of all the following beers, (Fat Tire was originally number 18 or something), I just decided to give it another go! Lucky for me, this beer is everywhere!

Here are my tasting notes from the first time it hit this list.
The next part of the tour brought us to Fat Tire, and 1001 Beers Number 18. This was seriously the best Fat Tire I have ever had. I am usually not a fan of this beer, and maybe being at the source had some magical voodoo over me but just every layer of this beer came through and made me remember why I first started drinking the beer from this company. The biscuit, the crystal, just everything that makes this beer what it is was very well showcased here. I should have taken some of this home with me too. I guess I can easily find it at the store though. Not sure if it can ever taste this amazing again.
I realized at that time just how good Fat Tire was. This beer was one of my first in the world of Craft and I think that it is not given much attention due to the fact that it is so tamed compared to everything else nowaday. I think it is kind of crazy New Belgium is starting to run ads for this beer, and themselves, on Youtube... Never thought I would see the day, but I guess whatever gets their beer into someones hands. It is all a business, even if others fail to see this fact.

Just as it is an amber ale, this beer poured a very nice, and bright amber color with a slightly off white head. Notes of the biscuit malt and a bit of sweetness cut across the nose and bounce off of the billowy, long lasting head.

I was surprised to once again experience the toasty, bready, and caramel flavors that I guess I lost from years of just drinking this beer as an alternative to what was around. A un-remembered maltyness, medium bodied and you know, just a straight classic.

One you don't think about when you think of your favorite beers, but when you actually break it down, it's one of the best around.

946 Bottles Of Beer To Go!