Be sure to crack open a cold one on Jan. 24, the day canned beer celebrates its 75th birthday.
Full article here.
is the shit, son.
Be sure to crack open a cold one on Jan. 24, the day canned beer celebrates its 75th birthday.
Full article here.
For probably the last year or so I’ve been following a blog about a couple of guys trying to start up a new micro-brewery over in Tampa, FL — where as I am located in Orlando, FL — and the interesting adventure they’ve gone through in order to start churning out beer. Between the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and numerous contractors they’ve hit just about every brick wall along the way. In the end of it all Cigar City Brewing is finally able to brew the nectar we all love so much . They have a great lessons learned for anyone else in the area hoping to follow in their footsteps, but most of it boils down to: have plenty of money and patience.
Cigar City has an interesting approach to all of the craft beers they create: incorporate local cultural and ingredients in all of the beers they create. As a step further they also age some of their beers in whiskey barrels or add cedar chips to the beer while it ages. The final product is damn good. So far I’ve only been able to sample 2 of their beers: Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale and Bolita Brown Double-Nut Brown Ale. Both of these far exceeded my expectations (Redlight Redlight here in Orlando literally got the very first keg of Maduro).
There is a beer bar over here in Orlando, Redlight Redlight, that specializes in only carrying American and Belgium craft beers. These guys have 20 beers on tap and 70 more beers in bottles. Its a craft beer drinkers paradise. I was hoping to sample the Maduro again, but they finished it off and switched to the Bolita Brown. Here is what Cigar City has to say about their baby:
Bolita was a type of lottery popular with the working class citizens of the Ybor City district of Tampa. Bolita means, “little ball” but profits from the illegal (and often rigged) game were anything but little. In the 1920′s Tampa native Charlie Wall (center label donning the dapper hat) was the undisputed kingpin of the Bolita racket. Our Bolita is a Double Northern English-style brown ale that has a complex malt forward character with notes of chocolate, toffee and hints of roasted nuts in the finish. Bolita pairs well with Baklava, Big Band Music, Cool Evenings and robust cigars.
The tasting notes really do speak the truth. The chocolate and toffee is noticable in both aroma and taste. The roasted nuts in the finish? Yeah, theres definitely a finish of toasted nuts, but its not too strong. This isn’t a beer you drink fast by any means drink it slow and enjoy it. If you can find this on tap somewhere I’d recommend trying it.
My friend recently returned from a long trip to Germany with a brief stopover in Amsterdam where he was able to acquire this for me. This beer is a special version of Guinness with a higher ABV (8%) than any other Guinness available. Supposedly this version is closest to the “traditional” recipe that Guinness was brewed with up until about 100 years ago.
I decided to compare it with a normal Guinness poured from a can. I thought about going for the Guinness Extra Stout as that’d be a closer comparison, but as this beer is supposedly close to the original Guinness recipe I figured I’d compare it with what most people regard as “Guinness”.
Visually the head is far more bubbly and white on the normal Guinness. I was surprised by how much of a head built up on the Special Export Stout. It seems to bubble quite a bit more than I remember Guinness Extra doing, and I don’t remember that making much of a head. The head on this is almost comparable to the one formed from a nitrogenated can, except the bubbles poured from the can make pockmarks all over the surface of the beer.
I’ve never tried sniffing normal Guinness for its aroma, but upon doing so I find it’s virtually absent. Not so on the Special Export Stout, as there’s a strong, almost raisiny musk which hints at the Guinness flavor.
First sip: holy crap this stuff has an awesome flavor. What can I say, it’s Guinness but stronger, both in terms of flavor and booze. Taking a sip of normal Guinness it tastes like water in comparison. If you like the flavor of Guinness and wish it were stronger and full of more booze, this is certainly the beer for you.
Each time I take a sip of the normal Guinness after taking a sip of the Special Export Stout I can’t help but feel that regular old Guinness is crap in comparison. The Special Export Stout leaves a lingering aftertaste of the delicious Guinness flavor, and I feel little bubbles bursting all over my mouth.
I don’t know why Guinness doesn’t have a larger distribution for this stuff. It’s great! It certainly puts regular Guinness to shame.
Stone has been releasing a series of beers which culminates in the year 2012. The beer is released on a day such that the day, month, and year are all the same, so this year’s is 8-8-08. The last beer will be released on December 12, 2012, which as we all know is exactly 9 days before the end of the Mayan Calendar and thus the entire universe. Drink ‘em while you got ‘em! Stone intends for you to age all the verticals until 12-12-12 then open them all at once in an enormous beer orgy they’ve dubbed a “vertical tasting”.
That said I’m drinking one now. Yay.
8-8-08 is quite the absurd beer. Like the other verticals I’ve sampled so far, it’s has a hazy golden hue and the sweet yet boozy smell of a Tripel. The flavor hits you like an IPA and a Tripel at the same time. It’s got the sweet boozy flavor of a Tripel mixed with the intense hops of an IPA. I can’t wait to taste this stuff when it’s been aged 4 years. I expect the hop flavor to mellow out slightly so the classier Tripel flavor can come out a bit more. That said, drinking just one is enough to get you pretty hammered. As bottled it’s 8.6% ABV.
That said, an awesome beer.
Mark this occasion: it’s the first bascule-posted Beer of the Day that Jesse might actually find tolerable.
For being so cheap, Schlitz manages to stand out by actually having a flavor. When other beers in the category, such as Budweiser, only manage to conjure a flavor that can be best described as “ass”, Schlitz actually manages to manage a flavor that one can actually describe as verging on “good”. PBR manages a not-so-close second in this category with its “skunk”, but that said, Schlitz actually manages a mild hop flavor, but certainly one not strong enough to be offensive to hop haters.
The Schlitz story in a nutshell: Decades ago Schlitz was #1 in America, but suffered disaster after making a number of substitutions of cheaper ingredients in the recipe. People were pissed off at how the flavor suffered, and the brewery whose beer “made Milwaukee famous” went bankrupt.
Fast forward to the present: the company who makes PBR started brewing Schlitz again a few years ago. It’s starting to find its way into bars and liquor stores.
When I eventually get over my microbrew beer snobbery and just want a nice cheap beer I can crack open at the end of the day, I can see it becoming Sclitz. This stuff rocks, and it’s cheap.
I happened to be at the grocery store on this day and I bought a 3.2 tallboy of PBR for the LULZ.
They could stop me from buying booze, but they couldn’t stop me from drinking Listerine!
So I finally got around to visiting where my friend works – Great Divide Brewery in downtown Denver. They’ve got some nice beers, and lots are big and heavy hitters (it is next to Coors Field?). It has some rice beer by the name of Samurai, which is a smooth drinker that comes in at 5%. Nice and crisp… like rice. The DPA reminds me of FCB’s “Edgar” – another easy drinker w/ smooth finish. The Wild Raspberry Ale is much less sweet and lighter than NBB’s Frambozen – and it has a nice wheaty finish. And as a purist, they use the fruity, not some syrup. I like the Titan IPA; is drinkable but nothing to write much about.
Now on to their bigger beers. The Hercules Double IPA is a nice darker IPA that packs 9.1% . Fresh Hop is a great American Pale that has a nice bo-quet (Fresh Hop wasn’t on the taps that day, maybe they only have it in bottles).
Old Ruffian Barley Wine is the first barley wine I’ve ever liked, and it weighs in at 10.2% . The normal Yeti wasn’t anything for me to rave about, because I’m not such a big porter/stout fan. I arrived at my last beer, the Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, and wasn’t thinking much about it since I wasn’t really a fan of the normal Yeti. When this bitch is oaked, holy shit, it is one of the most amazing beers I had tasted in a while. It has strong flavors of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Creamy as fuck. I can’t comment any further of whether it had overtones of burnt apricot or essences of maudlin poverty, because my mouth had been fistfucked by hops. I kept ordering this beer, even though they are 9.5%… So try it. No idea how expensive it is in the stores, but definitely worth a buy. Think it comes in bombers. I want a case or two.
My friend put it best months ago when he tried to get me to drink the stuff – “Try this,” he says, “It’s like chocolate milk for adults.”
I’m typically a sucker for a good booze label, and it usually results in some relatively crappy booze in the bottle. As a Frank Zappa fan, this label could have easily sold me a bomber of Jenkem. From Lagunitas Brewing Company, this IPA actually turned out to be pretty darn good. Packing a 7.8% ABV, slightly harsh, yet fruity pine flavor, this ended up being a good purchase. I’ll definitely be checking out more brews from Lagunitas in the future.
Oscar Blues is most certainly one of the best breweries in Colorado, and possibly the best brewery in the world whose beer is only available in cans. If you’ve never tasted the deliciousness that is Gordon, Dale’s Pale Ale, or Old Chub, then you’ve been missing out. As they hail it, Oskar Blues serves up gonzo beer in a can.
Now they’ve served up an Imperial Stout that’s as black as its name. Ten Fidy weighs in at a whopping 10.50% ABV (hey ten fidy!). It’s certainly on the screw you up the ass end of the spectrum in terms of price, topping out around $3.50/can, but like all their beers it’s well worth it.
This beer is thick to say the least. It looks like soupy oil coming out of a dark black can. It’s one of those beers you can hold to the light and see nothing. The flavor is, well, ridiculously complex, with hints of chocolate mixed with a multitude of fruits and vanilla.
This beer packs a punch, much like Mephistopheles Stout without so insane an intensity. That said, it’s still a sipper. Don’t plan on drinking more than one of these at a time.
Yeah, it’s and unpronounceable Belgian from an unpronounceable brewery (De Proefbrouwerij… I kid you not). But it’s a delicious one. While I can’t say I’m a psychopathic Belgian fag enough to know what a Flemish red ale is supposed to taste like, this one was fucking awesome. Deliciously sour and savory… hints of a classical lambic without the painful stomach churning yeastiness. This one weighs in at a painful nine bucks a pop with a 7.0% ABV. But, that said, this remains one of the most drinkable and spicy tart beers I’ve ever had, and my favorite of De Proeffbre… ou… whatever’s beers.
2°Below. A nice, easy to drink seasonal packing a 6.6% ABV. And I know, anything New Belgium from RowTow is kind of a cop out, but what can I say? It’s a great brew. From their website, “We like to think we beat winter at its own game with 2Below Winter Ale- a bright, warming blast of Sterling and Liberty hops along with tawny-roasted malts. By pushing our 2Below into a final, nearly freezing state, its ample structure develops a brilliant clarity. Dry-hopping during fermentation creates a rosy, floral nose with a hint of pepper spice and subtle, estery undertones. Weighing in at 6.6% alcohol by volume with 30 IBU’s, 2Below provides a bright, hoppy palate and a cheery warm afterglow. We hope it helps take your winter from bearable to downright delightful.” [New Belgium]
I’m inaugurating a new feature today, J-Roc’s Pisswater of the Month. Unlike Bascule and Cy, I drink beer that doesn’t cost 7 fucking dollars a bottle and doesn’t taste like coffee filtered through raspberries or some other gay shit. I drink affordable American lagers that are good to pound for a buzz, preferably while watching a ricockulously shitty movie.
First up, is an oldie but a goodie, that’s sadly seen better days: Olympia.
According to Wikipedia:
The Olympia Brewing Company began brewing in 1896 at the Tumwater Falls of the Deschutes River and continued until Prohibition. It was founded by Leopold Schmidt, a German immigrant living in Montana. After Prohibition ended, a new brewery was erected just upstream from the original.
Olympia Beer was a very popular regional Pacific Northwest brand which eventually expanded nationwide, positioned as a low-price beer. During the 1970s, Olympia acquired Hamm’s and Lone Star. The Schmidt Family, which owned and operated the Brewery and company, elected to sell to Heilemann’s Old Style Beer Company in 1982. Heilemann’s was subsequently purchased by Pabst in 1983.
Here’s a great complete history of the Olympia Brewing Company.
Back when I started drinking “Oly” back when I was 19, it came in these awesome tiny 10oz bottles (like the above picture), which had rebus puzzles on the bottom of the caps. Then, after the plant closure in 2003, they switched to packaging it in crappy cans and in my opinion, lost a lot of it’s character. It’s still a fucking cheap beer, with a taste similar to Pabst Blue Ribbon, making for a smooth, clean American lager that goes well with hot wings and chilling at a dive bar, like the Surfside 7 in Fort Collins.
Plus it’s more punk rock to drink Oly now that every emo douchebag has co-opted PBR.
If you’re not a fan of Stone, you’re a fucking jackass. I’ve never had a Stone brew I disliked, with the possible exception of Levitation, an underwhelming brew which seems designed as a gateway drug palatable to pussy ass light beer drinkers.
That said, there’s high expectations to be met by their yearly releases. Stone’s 11th Anniversary Ale certainly rises to the challenge.
It’s described as a “Black IPA”. What the fuck is that? How can a pale ale be black? Well, Stone certainly managed to pull it off. Two starkly contrasting flavors, intense full bodied maltiness and the blast of hops you’d expect from an IPA combine quite surprisingly well to create one fucking awesome beer.
It’s still on the shelves for the time being. If you’re looking for a beer that’s radically different from anything you’ve ever tried, I highly suggest picking it up.