Beer 163/365 – Short’s Bellaire Brown

Style: American Brown Ale

ABV: 5.2%

Purchased at: Siciliano’s Market – Grand Rapids MI

What makes this beer different: Very drinkable brown ale

Will I be drinking this again: Shorts needs to start distributing to PA damnit.

Grade: B+

4/20/2010: Why doesn’t Short’s distribute out of Michigan?? Does the brewer just want to remain a small humble brewery, lack of funds, lack of desire to distribute farther? Regardless they should at least send beer to Ohio so I can head over the border to grab a bunch whenever I want.

Bellaire Brown actually doesn’t have a lot of smell at all. Honestly I am not the best for smelling because my sinus’ are terrible, but regardless I am just getting a bit of sweet malt smell. The flavor is a good bit lighter than I thought it would be, mostly sweet caramel with a little bit of chocolate going on. A little bit of hops going on too. Overall I like brown ales to be a bit sweeter and malty, but this is a good lighter brown ale. Good flavor, just needs a bit more.

Picture of the day: The first illegal immigrants.

Published in: on April 20, 2010 at 8:50 am  Comments (4)  
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Beer 162/365 – 21st Amendment Monk’s Blood

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

ABV: 8.3%

Purchased at: Jared send this to me as an extra in a trade.

What makes this beer different: Very sweet smelling and tasting, a little off on the mouthfeel

Will I be drinking this again: Yes I liked this one a lot, a pretty affordable BSDA as well.

Grade: A-

4/19/2010: My first beer from 21st Amendment. I am a huge fan of craft beer in cans, not quite sure why? This is also the first Belgian I have ever had from a can, so this should be interesting. I gotta admit a can looks kind of funny next to a chalice.

The text on the can mentions that figs, vanilla, cinnamon, and oak are used in making this beer. You crack this bad boy open and you instantly smell dark fruits and vanilla. Not as much head as a normal BSDA. The taste is very good, figs, cherry, a nice splash of vanilla, and a pinch of cinnamon. I really am not getting any of the “oak” mentioned on the label at all. I give the taste of Monk’s Blood an A, but the mouthfeel is where it dropped a few points for me. It didn’t have that yeasty/bubbly/creamy feel that you love with a BSDA. Overall though for the price of this beer I was very impressed, and will be drinking it again.

Picture of the day: Not the place you want to actually want to take your kids on bring your kids to work day.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 161/365 – Harpoon Leviathan Baltic Porter

Style: Baltic Porter

ABV: 9.5%

Purchased at: One of the bottles I won via the superbowl block poll on beeradvocate

What makes this beer different: Super strong for a porter, but about right for the style from what I understand.

Will I be drinking this again: Only brewed once, but to be honest probably wouldn’t go out of my way to find it.

Grade: B

4/18/2010: This beer brings two firsts for me on my 365 journey, first beer from Harpoon, and the first Baltic Porter style beer. To be honest I think this is my first Harpoon beer ever. What styles are they known for? I might try out some more harpoon in the near future.

Leviathan smells STRONG. A good bit of chocolate in the nose, and something kind of fruity. The flavor is dark malt, some chocolate, and a nice touch of dark fruit. The mouthfeel/carbonation is a bit on the low end for a beer with this high of an ABV. Trust me I like a strong beer with some bite, but this stuff has a bit of a rubbing alcohol kick to it. Normally strong beers like this get easier to drink as you go, but I found myself barely sipping this. Took me a good hour to finish it off. Overall the flavor was awesome, but the lack of mouthfeel to cover the ABV was a deal breaker for me.

Picture of the day: 25 examples of unintentional porn. Its safe for work don’t worry.

Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 10:06 am  Comments (5)  
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Beer 160/365 – Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold Tripel

Style: Tripel

ABV: 10.0%

Purchased at: One of the bottles I won via the superbowl block poll on beeradvocate

What makes this beer different: Fluffiest head I have ever seen on a beer, even more than Duvel.

Will I be drinking this again: Pretty sure they don’t distribute to PA, but if they did I would for sure buy more of this.

Grade: A

4/17/2010: How do you like the green walls at my buddies fishing camp? Gotta love fishing camp though. My buddies pap is 87, and was up doing snakebite shots at 2am with us. As far as the beer I have to be honest in saying that I have never heard of Captain Lawrence Brewing before I got this bottle. After looking up some of their beer it looks like they brew some good stuff. I have never seen any Captain Lawrence on the shelves here in the burgh but I will have to keep an eye out now.

Tons of fluffy head Very sweet smelling, typical yeasty smell you get with a belgian, and a good bit of fruity action going on also. The taste really took me by surprise. Its a complex flavor, but at the same time no one ingredient is out doing the others. Sweet rock candy type flavor is the first thing you notice, with some nice citrus flavor going on also. Floral hops finish of the main trifecta of flavors, which is pretty unexpected for a belgian. Flavors aren’t super intense, which makes this very drinkable. Mouthfeel is perfectly creamy. To be honest Xtra Gold Tripel probably got the closest on mouthfeel to an Authentic Belgian more than any other US brewed Belgian I have ever had. Did not expect this beer to be as good as it was.

Picture of the day: I try not to be too political on here, but sometimes I just can’t help it, especially when its funny and points out hypocrisy. The Daily Show and Colbert Report are probably two of my favorite shows on TV. Here is Jon Stewarts take on the latest with Goldman Sachs.

Published in: on April 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 159/365 – Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 13.6%

Purchased at: Received in a trade

What makes this beer different: Almost barleywine-ish. But hides the alcohol insanely well

Will I be drinking this again: I hope I can find more of it. If so then yes. Two of these in one night I will be down for the count.

Grade: A

4/16/2010: I think its official, if I had to pick one brewery to have the best combo of an Imperial IPA and an Imperial Stout, Dark Horse would take the title. Yes there are better Imperial IPA’s and Stouts, but for one brewery to have beers in both styles that are this good, is just awesome. I would be a happy man if I could have an entire case of Plead the 5th Stout and Double Crooked Tree sitting around to drink whenever. Then again if that were the case I would probablyyyy end up having a drinking problem because I would pop them open way too often.

Wasn’t sure what to expect from this DIPA, but I read some good things about it so I had to trade for it. If I had to guess this beers style just by the smell I would guess its a barleywine, boozy and even amounts of hop/malt. Wow the flavor is awesome, some earthy and grapefruit hops, with a ton of toasted/caramel malt to support the high ABV. Mouthfeel is a bit heavier than a normal Imperial IPA but I think it needs to be, also a bit resiny. This beer is amazingly drinkable for a beer with 13.6% ABV. So if you are looking to get a buzz but not drink a ton of liquids, pick this one up.

Picture of the day: Some amusing Unattended Children signs.

Published in: on April 16, 2010 at 10:29 am  Comments (2)  
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Beer 158/365 – Troegs Sunshine Pils

Style: German Pilsner

ABV: 5.3%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very fresh and grainy

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, I need to turn my “miller lite” friends onto this beer

Grade: B+

4/15/2010: I have tried a ton of Troeg’s beer in my a day, but this is the first time trying Sunshine Pils! I would say Troeg’s probably has some of the best beer in PA. Actually they probably have the most solid beer overall from A-Z, with Victory a close second.

The smell on this I can only describe as “vibrant”… Very grainy, almost like smelling multi-grain bread, with some lemon scents in there too. The flavor is very crisp, a nice dose of hops for a pils, and again grainy. Very smooth and finishes a little bit dry. This would be a perfect gateway beer for your Miller Lite drinking friends.

Picture of the day: Okay this one isn’t so much funny, actually kind of sad. America is not #1.

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 8:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 157/365 – Southern Tier Hop Sun

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

ABV: 4.9%

Purchased at: 3 Sons Dogs n Suds – Wexford PA

What makes this beer different: Great summer beer. Pale Wheat Ale’s might be my new go to summertime brew.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, although I am hoping Three Floyds gets their paperwork through to sell in Ohio ASAP. If that happens I will be buying gumball head by the trunk full.

Grade: B+

4/14/2010: Southern Tier is one of my favorite breweries because of the awesome imperial stouts they brew. Creme Brulee, Jahva, Mokah, Chokolat.. all great beers and all taste just as advertised. When I want a flavored stout I don’t want to have to search for the flavors, and with Southern Tier its like playing hide n seek with the neighborhood fat kid who isn’t exactly the stealthiest guy around. I haven’t had many of their non-stout beers and this one sucked me in with the shiny summertime labeling.

For as light and transparent as this beer is, is sure has a strong floral hop aroma to it. The taste is tons of floral hops, and some tangy zesty lemon action going on. Unfortunately there isn’t much wheat to malt balance in Hop Sun. There is much more sweet pale malts that wheat it seems like. Super light mouthfeel with above average carbonation makes this a great summer time beer. If only the malt/wheat had a little better balance (like gumball head), and a little bit thicker of a mouthfeel to it, this beer would have been an A-.

Picture of the day: Wow what a combination. I might have to stop by this place next time I need to stock up on beer.

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm  Comments (5)  
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Beer 156/365 – Mayflower Porter

Style: English Porter

ABV: 5.5%

Purchased at: Argh I forget,… again. I think Jared sent me this one in a trade?

What makes this beer different: Just a solid porter overall.

Will I be drinking this again: If it was in my area I would buy a few more for sure. Very good porter.

Grade: A-

4/13/2010: I am somewhat of a history nerd in that I like knowing how certain styles of beer came to be, when they came to be, why etc. Turns out English Porters have been around since the 1700’s. It was the beer of choice for the blue collared workers during the United Kingdoms Industrial Revolution. Ok enough History Channel shtuff, time to drink.

Mayflower Porter smells very “roasty.” Pours out a bit thicker than average with only a little bit of head. The flavor is roasty, mocha-y, and a little bit of char. This beer is very smooth, and roast flavor is for sure the headliner the whole way through. Has a nice dose of sweetness as well, maybe molasses? Overall a very drinkable porter.

Picture of the day: Ready to update your iPhone to an iPad?

Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 9:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Gone Fishin!

Taking a short hiatus until Sunday night on posting! I know I am currently already a few days behind, but I plan on catching up 100% on Sunday night. Taking a weekend to go fishing with from friends, a case of Aventinus, and a sixer of Hop sun from Southern Tier.

Have a good weekend fockers!

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Beer 155/365 – Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 9.0%

Purchased at: Sent to me by the guys at SCAATB

What makes this beer different: Super sweet but a good dose of hops also.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, this has become my go-to affordable imperial IPA

Grade: A

4/12/2010: Believe it or not I have never had any of the (insert number here) Minute IPAs from Dogfish Head. Why? Because only recently have I been open to IPAs and DIPAs. Honestly I would have never started to drink these types of beers if some of my readers weren’t pushing for me to try them. I am glad I did because this is probably my third favorite style now (After Imperial Stouts, and Belgian Dark Ales).

Man this stuff is awesome. Strong and sweet, but not too much of either. The sweetness comes from caramel malt, citrus hops, and I get a nice dose of honey in there also. Mouthfeel is just perfect on this one, with just enough carbonation. Just like the Rust Belt Ale from Sprague, this beer could use just a tiny tiny bit more hops to be a tier higher in my grading system. Overall this is a very affordable DIPA and I wish I would have bought a case of this for fishing this weekend instead of the Aventinus. Don’t get me wrong Aventinus is an awesome beer, just not as “sessionable” as the 90 Minute.

Picture of the day: Anyone care to explain what is going on here?

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm  Comments (12)  
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