Beer 204/365 – North Peak Siren Amber Ale

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

ABV: 5.0%

Purchased at: From the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe

What makes this beer different: Watery and bitter

Will I be drinking this again: No way

Grade: C-

5/31/2010: I picked this up wayyyy back on New Years Day at the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe during my Michigan Brewery Tour. I am a sucker for any beer thats in these little grenade looking bottles. I’m sure this is partially due to the fact that I drank a lot of Mickey’s in college (remember that Nick?).

Siren Amber almost has no smell at all, very odd. I am sure its partially due to the fact that at this point its at the very least, 6 months old. The taste is bitter and medicinal. Some caramel malt there but its so subdued you almost don’t even notice it. Had a hard time finishing this beer to be honest, so I didn’t do the best job ever taking notes on it. But to summarize: avoid this one. I was under the impression this was brewed by the same people who brew Jolly Pumpkin, but apparently this is not the case.

Picture of the day: Ear-Plug Fail.

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 203/365- Sam Adams Boston Lager

Style: Vienna Lager

ABV: 4.75%

Purchased at: Hmm I don’t even remember?

What makes this beer different: Just a solid example of what a Lager should taste like.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes since its usually available everywhere.

Grade: B+

5/30/2010: This is probably my new favorite photo I have taken thus far. Took this picture on a nice hot summer-like day out on the new patio that the girlfriend got me. I figured I had to throw one of the best selling Craft Beers into the mix here. Actually I wonder if it is the best selling craft beer? I would figure it to be, or maybe Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Anyone have any stats on that?

Boston Lager doesn’t have to strong of a smell, but I do get some sweet malt and some noble type hops. The flavor is nice and crisp, some semi-bitter earthy hops, and some caramel malt. Nice airy semi-light mouthfeel. To me the taste isn’t overly complex, and thats what makes Boston Lager so drinkable. I would almost venture to say that this is the beer I have consummed the most of outside of BMC (Bud, Miller, Coors) beer. This is mostly due to the fact its available almost everywhere.

Picture of the day: Ask me about my Zombie Shirt.

Published in: on May 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 202/365 – Port Brewing Midnight Sessions Lager

Style: Schwarzbier

ABV: 5.0%

Purchased at: Sent to me in a trade as an extra.

What makes this beer different: My first Schwarzbier. Almost drinks like a porter.

Will I be drinking this again: Not sure how I feel about this style? But maybe

Grade: B+

5/29/2010: This is my first ever Schwarzbier, and honestly I have no idea what to expect. Lets check out BeerAdvocate for a description of the style so I know what to expect..

Schwarzbier (“shvahrts-beer”), is simply German for black beer. Unlike other dark beers, like porters or stouts, they are not overly bitter with burnt and roasted malt characteristics that the others tend to depend on. Instead, hops are used for a good portion of the bitterness. Very refreshing and soul lifting beers, they also make a great alternative for the Winter. Especially when you are looking for a lighter beer, but one with depth of colour and taste.

Midnight Session Lager pours out like a medium bodied Porter. The first smell I actually get is a little bit of hops, and some chocolate malt. The taste is like an extremely light bodied smoked porter; smokey, roasted coffee, a bit of chocolate, and some hops in the background. This beer is throwing me for a loop so far. I thought the hops would be much more prominent since they were semi-strong in the nose. My brain keeps telling me this beer needs to be thicker, and have more flavor, but maybe this is typical for the style? If I were blindfolded I would have guessed this to be a very light porter. Overall I liked this beer, it was very light and drinkable.

Picture of the day: I know I posted some of these up before, but here are some more BP Logos.

Published in: on May 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 201/365 – Three Floyds Pride and Joy

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

ABV: 6.5%

Purchased at: Sent to me in a trade.

What makes this beer different: Smells like an IPA not an APA

Will I be drinking this again: Ummm maybe but I won’t go out of my way for it.

Grade: B

5/28/2010: Hmm this picture came out a lot fuzzier than I wanted it to. I think its time to get a good lens cleaning on the old f1.8/50mm. Anyways onto the brew. Three Floyds has yet to let me down with any of their beers, all of them have been A- or better. But something about this one didn’t do it for me.

Pride and Joy smells WAY too hoppy for an APA. I don’t grade a beer based on how well it fits the style, but to me this beer is an IPA, not an APA. The taste is real hoppy, and the mouthfeel a bit thin to me. I realize this is made to be a “session” type beer, but I still need a little more malt to go on here. Its not even the hops that bother me, but if you are going to throw all these hops at me, I expect there to be a bit more thickness to lay the hops down on. Overall not terrible, but not going out of my way to drink it again.

Picture of the day: Haha isn’t this the truth. Life Before Google.

Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 11:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 200/365 – Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7.5%

Purchased at: Another one the parents brought back for me.

What makes this beer different: It just might be my favorite IPA now. Which is “different” for me because I never thought I would say favorite and IPA in the same breath.

Will I be drinking this again: If I can get my hands on some yes.

Grade: A

5/27/2010: I am pretty sure this is my first A rating for a single IPA so far. As some of you may know I started off this 365 completely avoiding any hop heavy beer, but I have really come full circle to appreciate a good hoppy brew. Apparently they have all kinds of fruit flavored remixes of the Jai Alai IPA available at the brewery. I’ll bet they are amazing. Can anyone confirm this?

This is probably one of the best smelling beers I have had so far, right behind Dark Horse Plead the Fifth Stout. Tons of citrus smell, and some other tropical type fruits I can’t put my finger on. Jai Alai can pretty much be summed up into three words, fresh, crisp, and sticky (but not too sticky). Lots of citrus and biscuity flavor, and a little pineapple kick as well. No trace of the 7.5% alcohol content in this. This beers flavor is more like a DIPA, but the mouthfeel is just light enough to come off as an IPA. Really impressed with this beer. It maybe took me 10 minutes at most to slug this down.

Picture of the day: BP’s Splendiferous Sound-Suppressing Device.

Published in: on May 27, 2010 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 199/365 – Gordash Brewing Holy Mackerel Mack In Black

Style: American Strong Ale

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: Parents brought it back from Florida, not sure where they bought it.

What makes this beer different: Almost tastes like a pop with some fruit juice squeezed in.

Will I be drinking this again: no

Grade: C+

5/26/2010: How cool is this glass? Lately my mom has been obsessed with going to estate sales, and she actually has been finding me some pretty bad ass glassware. She and my dad brought me back a handful of beers from FL that I can’t get here in PA. Most of them I suggested to them, but this one was recommended to them by the “beer guy” at the total wine in Ft Myers. Usually the people on staff at these types of places have some pretty good suggestions, but this one was a swing and a miss.

Remember those scratch and sniff stickers you would get when you were a kid? Remember that weird chocolate scented one? Well thats what this beer smells like, scratch and sniff chocolate. It also has a very cola like effervescence to it. I also think this beer is semi-infected as it has a bit of a sour taste, but I do get a little bit of chocolate and fruit flavors. Also how is this considered an American Strong Ale? Doesn’t fit the style at all, actually not really sure what stuff this should be considered. All that being said I guess it does hide the 8.0% very well. Not something I will go out of my way to try again.

Picture of the day: Now this is teamwork.

365 On Vacation!

So I had plans to update my site from the beach, but genius over here forgot to bring his laptop. I have all my pictures edited and ready to go, but they are back in Pittsburgh while I am in Ocean City Maryland.

I guess as a teaser, a couple of the beers I have yet to update; Sam Adams Lager, some Kona Beers, Surly Abrasive etc.

I will be away until early Monday, but I might update out of order with some pictures that I have on my camera from the last couple days. No promises though! Until then crack open a beer and kick back for a few days.

Cheers!

Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 8:03 am  Comments (8)  

Beer 198/365 – Brasserie d’Achouffe La Chouffe

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: On Tap @Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Yeasty and Fruity

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: A

5/25/2010: La Chouffe was actually my second beer of the night, my first was a KBS. KBS on tap is pretty damn amazing. I was a fan of it in a bottle, but it really took on all kinds of new flavors on tap. Had to make the 45 minute trip to try it since its not everyday a local bar gets a beer like KBS on tap.

I tried La Chouffe a few years back before I really appreciated beer like I do now, and I remember it being good. It smells very fruity, with some honey. The taste is malty, fruity, and some nice hops in the background. I’ll be honest in saying I can’t pick out the fruits exactly, but there is a lot going on here; maybe pear being the most dominant? Crisp and sweet up front and it finishes slightly sour, very interesting mix here. Mouthfeel is a little bigger than average, with moderate carbonation. The mix of all the fruit flavors is very unique, and its very well done. Therefore it gets the first A from me in a long time.

Picture of the day: Ozzie Guillen might be my favorite person ever now. Check out what he wrote on this ball for a Cleveland Indian’s fan.

Beer 197/365 – Brauerei Hofstetten Kramme Granitbock

Style: Dopplebock

ABV: 7.3%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Pretty sweet for a dopplebock, with some cherry flavor going on.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe!

Grade: B+

5/24/2010: Every once in a while I get sucked in my a cool looking label. This was one of those times. Never having heard of this beer I decided to buy it just because of the dark/off looking artwork. Being in the graphic arts corner of the world I can respect when a brewery goes out of their way to pay a good designer to create their labels. Also this beer is from a country I have yet to sample; Austria.

The first thing I smell with Granitbock is cherries, along with some caramel, and a little booziness. The taste is a pretty typical dopplebock flavor, just a little bit sweeter with some cherries splashed in. Mouthfeel is average, with not quite enough carbonation for my tastes. Overall the taste is there, I just need a l’il mo bubblay to push it up into the A- range.

Picture of the day: Some of you may get this, some of you may not. This kids mom thought it was lesbian symbolism.

Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 196/365 – Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale

Style: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.2%

Purchased at: Sent as an extra in a trade.

What makes this beer different: Very floral/citrusy for an APA

Will I be drinking this again: If they sold it around the burgh, I would say yes.

Grade: A

5/23/2010: This might be one of my favorite pictures so far, the colors turned out awesome. I think I might be trading a bit too much lately for my own good. I am starting to lose track of who sends me what. But if you are the person who sent this to me as an extra, and you are reading this, thanks!

I think there was a lot of truth in advertising with this beer. You get the general idea about the smell and taste from the label; floral hops and grassy. This almost drinks like an IPA, as it is pretty damn hoppy. The hops are crisp and clean, mostly floral, a good bit of citrus, and a nice malt base for it all to rest on. A little bit bubbly but I was drinking this on an 85 degree day, so the carbonation was nice. Overall this beer is just very well put together, and a great great summer beer.

Picture of the day: The new official BP Logo.