Beer 320/365 – Stegmaier Oktoberfest

Stegmaier Oktoberfest

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 5.70%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman, OH

What makes this beer different: A bit nuttier than your average okto-fest.

Will I be drinking this again: Probably! Better than I expectec

Grade: B

9/24/2010: Stegmaier brews out of the Lion Brewery in Wilkes Barre, PA. I have yet to try a full 12oz of their beer, but samples a good bit of them at The Big Tap In a few months back. From what I remember their stuff was okay, but nothing outstanding. At this point I’m grabbing everything and anything Oktoberfest/Pumpkin Ale so lets see what happens.

The nose has a lot of caramel, and even a bit of nuttiness. The flavor is caramel, bready, some light nut (pecan?), and even some kind of fruit that I can’t put my finger on. It almost tastes peachy to me. Mouthfeel a bit light, but it works here. Pretty unique for a style that is usually on the conservative end of the scale. Not bad!

Picture of the day: Tetris was one of my favorite games.

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Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 309/365 – Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Style: Pumpkin Ale

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: My first “Imperial” style pumpkin ale. Lots of spice but not overdone

Will I be drinking this again: Hell yeah, can’t believe it took me so long to try it.

Grade: A

9/13/2010: Lately I have been grabbing every and any pumpkin ale I could find. Its one of my favorite styles so its a bit surprising that I haven’t tried Weyerbacher’s version yet. I have heard good things from a few of my beer drinking friends so hoping its a good one.

The nose of Imperial Pumpkin Ale is very pungent. I immediately smelled a ton of spice as soon as I opened the bottle. The flavor wasn’t quite as intense as the nose, but still very good. A perfect menage trois of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. The spice flavor is slightly greater than the pumpkin flavor, but its a welcome change. Some caramel malt in the mix here as well. Mouthfeel is a bit heavier as this is an imperial style beer. The ABV is hidden very well for 8.0%. I might just have to pick up a sixer of this and see what one of these tastes like with some age on it. This might have just jumped up into the #3 spot on my top pumpkin ales list. #1 being O’fallon’s Pumpkin, #2 Michigan Screaming Pumpkin, and Weyerbacher just ousted Southern Tier Pumking from the #3 spot.

Picture of the day: Texting while driving into the sun; not advised.

Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm  Comments (3)  
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Beer 308/386 – Victory Moonglow

Victory Moonglow

Style: Weizenbock

ABV: 8.7%

Purchased at: Had this at Ryan’s house after the Steeler game.

What makes this beer different: Its like Aventinus’ little brother.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes as I just mentioned, it is similar enough to Aventinus, and less expensive.

Grade: A-

9/12/2010: Had this beer at Ryan’s dads house after the Steeler game. We also drank some of his homebrews, which are pretty damn good. He has equipment for all grain, so my next homebrew will probably be made at his house. I plan on trying to make a gingerbread porter for the Christmas months.

Tons and tons of yeast floating around in this beer. Instantly the smell reminds me of Aventinus; fruity, dark malts, even some chocolate. The flavor again, very similar to Aventinus, but a little bit sweeter. Lots of dark fruit, toffee, banana, wheat, a little bit of vanilla as well. I never thought I would say this when I started drinking craft beer, but moonglow is almost a little too sweet. Mouthfeel is a bit full, with average carbonation. Overall as I have mentioned already, I would consider this Aventinus’ little less refined brother.

Picture of the day: Funny and sexually charged photos.

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 303/365 – Voodoo White Magick of the Sun

Voodoo White Magick of the Sun

Style: Witbier

ABV: 6.75%

Purchased at: I don’t even remember? Giant Eagle Market District probably.

What makes this beer different: One of the spiciest beers I have ever had.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe? With a pepper steak it would be good.

Grade: B

9/7/2010: Western PA (Pittsburgh area) doesn’t have quite as strong a craft beer presence as Eastern, PA (Philly area), but Voodoo does a great job representing this side of the state. Their Big Black Voodoo Daddy is one of my favorite stouts. They also have a barrel aged stout called Black Magick that is only released every 2 years, and it just so happens this December it is being released. I will be sure to buy out any store I end up seeing them at.

Check out all the sediment in the picture above. I even tried to pour is slowly, but still a ton of gunk came out. The smell is unexpectedly spicy. The taste is as well, a HUGE black peppercorn presence, with a tiny bit of orange zest. But make no mistake, this beer is overwhelmingly peppery, so much so that even 15 minutes after finishing the beer I still tasted pepper. Very carbonated and average mouthfeel. I think if I would have had this beer paired with some strips on the grill, I would have enjoyed it much more.

Picture of the day: And you wonder why you are still single.

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 289/365 – Victory Whirlwind Witbier

Victory Whirlwind Witbier

Style: Witbier

ABV: 5.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Tons of lemon, even for the style

Will I be drinking this again: Yes! Very refreshing

Grade: B+

8/24/2010: On my last beer run I realized I haven’t had nearly enough Victory beers yet out of my prior 288. I would venture to say they are the biggest craft brewery in Pa, but I’m not 100% sure on that. I usually am not one for watching interviews on the web, but I just recently saw a really good one on winelibrary with co-owner Bill Covaleski. If you are bored go check it out, really good stuff.

Victory Whirlwind is one of the most lemony smelling witbiers I have ever encountered. A little bit of spice peeks out also. The flavor is tart but pleasing lemon, some coriander, and a little bit of pepper. A bit light on the mouthfeel but it makes this beer very drinkable. I could easily down 4-5 of these on a hot summers day.

Picture of the day: I’m pretty sure someone has to have oral cancer to go through enough containers to make a table like this.

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 9:06 am  Comments (2)  
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Beer 278/365 – Rivertowne Shepherds Crook Scottish Ale

Rivertowne Shepherds Crook Scottish Ale

Style: Scotch Ale

ABV: 5.1%

Purchased at: Rivertowne Pourhouse – Pittsburgh, PA

What makes this beer different: Very sweet and roasty, but still drinkable.

Will I be drinking this again: If they bottled it maybe

Grade: A-

8/13/2010: Sorry for the poor photo quality, but my cell phone camera is not exactly state of the art. Rivertowne Pourhouse is a pretty well kept secret even to a lot of casual craft beer drinkers in the Pittsburgh area. In the past they did not bottle any of their beer until they joined forces with North County Brewing out of Slippery Rock PA to create “Full Pint Brewing.” Not really sure at this point which of their beers they will be bottling, but very cool to see more craft beer activity out of my hometown.

Shepherd’s Crook has little to no smell at all, very odd. The flavor is mildly smokey and roasty with lots of caramel malt. This is one of the heavier beers I have had in the 5.1% ABV range, but it works for the style. I’m actually surprised I haven’t drank more Scotch Ales out of my 278 beers so far, as it is one of my favorite styles. I think its because not a lot of american craft brewers make year round Scotch Ales. Always I was really impressed with this beer, actually ended up having two more pints of it by the end of the night. If you are in the Pittsburgh area for any reason, be sure to stop by Rivertowne.

Picture of the day: The Melting Pot.

Beer 265/365 – Sly Fox Royal Weisse

Sly Fox Royal Weisse

Style: Hefeweizen

ABV: 5.4%

Purchased at: Giant Eagle Market District – Robinson PA

What makes this beer different: Tons of citrus and banana flavor going on.

Will I be drinking this again: Yup! Actually bought a case for my birthday golf outing next week. Its on of the only decent wheat beers I can find in a can.

Grade: B+

7/31/2010: I am ashamed to say this is my very first Sly Fox beer. Ashamed because its a brewery from my homestate of Pennsylvania, and I like to try as many local beers as possible. Not sure why I waited until now, as they usually are pretty accessible at all the local six pack shops. I need to pick up their pikeland pils at some point also.

The nose of Royal Weisse is all about banana, with a squeeze of lemon. Lots of fruity flavor going on here. Mostly banana, but not fresh banana. It reminds me more of banana flavored candy. There is also a lot of tart lemon for a hefe. The body is about medium, but very well carbonated which makes this a good summer beer. If the banana flavor was a bit fresher, I would have bumped this up to an A-.

Picture of the day: This is actually a video. Justin Bieber gets what he deserves.

Published in: on July 31, 2010 at 9:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 258/365 – Troeg’s Pale Ale

Troegs Pale Ale

Style: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.4%

Purchased at: Vecenie Beer – Millvale, PA

What makes this beer different: Very very bitter for a Pale Ale

Will I be drinking this again: Probably not, too bitter.

Grade: B-

7/24/2010: I drank this beer at a Pirates tailgate. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a die hard Pittsburgh sports fan, but I have all but given up on the Pirates. Actually I have been trying to avoid going to games completely as if me not going is really going to put a hurting on ownership’s pockets. The only reason I went to this game was because Steve Miller was playing a free concert afterward. But onto the tailgate, it was 97 degrees, and we were sitting on a black asphalt parking lot. I’m not exaggerating when I say this was by far the hottest I have ever ever been in my life. I just sat in my chair and didn’t move.

Usually I email myself notes on a beer through my blackberry as I’m drinking it, but it was way to hot for me to even move on this day. Therefore everything I am about to type is purely from memory. I can’t tell you what this beer smelled like because the air was so thick that nothing would penetrate the humidity. The flavor though was full of VERY bitter hops, with some pale malt in the background. It was well carbonated and relatively light which saved this beer a bit for me. Maybe I was just miserable from the heat, but this beer just didn’t do it for me.

Picture of the day: I see what you did there… also over here.

Beer 240/365 – Troeg’s Dream Weaver Wheat

Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

ABV: 4.8%

Purchased at: Vecenie’s Distributing – Millvale PA

What makes this beer different: Not very hoppy at all for a Pale Wheat Ale, but very drinkable

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, bought a mix case.

Grade: B+

7/6/2010: Picked up a couple mix packs for the Lesnar vs. Carwin fight. Decided on a mix case of Troeg’s and Smuttynose. Pretty much everything but the Shoal’s Pale Ale and Sunshine Pils were gone by the end of the night. I had a 6 pack left of gumball head also, so I threw those into the mix. Needless to say that is what ran out first.

I had no idea Dream Weaver Wheat was an American Pale Wheat Ale when I first drank it. It hits me more as a hefe weizen for sure. The smell is tons of banana, and the flavor is much of the same, with a hint of clove. It also has a peppery kick to it as well. The mouthfeel is a bit light for the style, and well carbonated. But both of the aforementioned qualities are good things for a summer beer in my opinion.

Picture of the day: It looks like you are installing windows.

Beer 208/365 – Voodoo Brewing Big Black Voodoo Daddy

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 12.5%

Purchased at: 3 Sons Dogs ‘n Suds – Wexford PA

What makes this beer different: So smooth for how high the ABV is.

Will I be drinking this again: Without a doubt.

Grade: A+

6/4/2010: Sorry for the poor picture quality on this one. I thought it came out a little better than this. Anyways Voodoo is a very good under the radar brewery, and they are probably best known for the beer seen above. They don’t really distribute outside of PA so if this beer looks foreign to you, don’t feel left out. But if anyone is really interested in one, let me know as I have a couple extra to trade. IMO its the best stout brewed in Pennsylvania. Now only if Matt would let me redesign his website, that would be sweet. I could make a really bad ass looking site with the whole voodoo theme.

Big Black Voodoo Daddy has a very complex smell. First is chocolate, followed by a little bit of coffee, a sweet milk stout-like scent, and lastly some smoky oak. I think I smell berry also? I would say this beer had more strong scents that I was able to pick out than any other beer I have had prior to this one. The taste is complex, yet smooth as all hell. Out of all the “big stouts” I have had, this one is the smoothest, and hides the ABV the best. No sign at all of the 12.5% Alcohol. The taste is a sweet chocolate, a hint of coffee, some berry in there? It finishes of with a quick punch of hops and a nice mild kick of smoke/oak. The flavors all stand out, but blend together so so well. The mouthfeel as mentioned before is just perfect. This might not be my favorite stout ever, but the mouthfeel is by far the best. This coming from someone who doesn’t put a lot of credence into mouthfeel. Okay enough jibba jabba about this one, just do yourself a favor and find a bottle of BBVD and share it with a stout loving friend.

Picture of the day: The evolution of man.