Sunday, August 25, 2013

A bit of housekeeping...

So, I've broken the site and am in the process of slowly fixing it.
Also, I'm going to change the focus a bit. Stay tuned for details!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ask for a Better Beer Selection

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with other craft beer lovers in drafting a letter to restaurant managers asking them to treat their beer menu with the same respect they give their wine list.

A common concern among the authors is the number of times we've been to a restaurant with great food and atmosphere, only to be met with a beer selection that matches the corner gas station.

While many of us have no problem speaking up and asking for better beer, others are sometimes hesitant or have trouble finding the right words. 

I encourage you to use the letter if needed. At the very least, speak up and start requesting better beer. Report your success stories in the comments.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Southern Tier Brewing Co. - Krampus (2012)

Style: Helles lager
Availability: Winter seasonal
ABV: 9.0%
Serving Type: 650 ml bottle, poured into a Belgain tulip 

Color: Deep, brassy gold
Clarity: Hazy
Carbonation: Heavy
Head: Thin, cream-colored
Lacing: Significant and sticky

Aromas: Piney hops and a warm, sweet  honey malt
Flavors: Hoppy, with strong pine notes. Honey sweetness. Very piney finish. 
Body: Medium
Feel: Aggressive carbonation, a bit of a alcohol burn.

Very good.  Strong and hoppy with a good balance of sweet. Feels a bit stronger than nine percent, so you might want to pace yourself.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: Aviator Brewing Co. - Frost Nipper (2012)

Style: Spiced Ale/Winter Ale
Availability: Fall seasonal, NC only
ABV: 7.3%
Serving Type: 650 ml bottle, poured into a tulip glass

Color: Deep ruby / brown
Clarity: Jewel
Carbonation: Modest
Head: Thin, cream-colored and short-lived
Lacing: Light

Aromas: Burnt sugar, light smoke, nutmeg, clove
Flavors: Earthy hops, balanced with pie spice, brown sugar and a slight smokiness.
Body: Medium
Feel: Fairly smooth. Clean finish. 

Good.  Frost Nipper is nicely balanced and not too spicy. It could easily get lost in a sea of spicy autumn ales every year, but if you're fortunate enough to have access to Aviator beers, you should add this to your fall and winter lineup.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ballast Point Brewing - Dorado (2012)

Style: Double IPA
Availability: Limited. It was available last summer after a 5 year hiatus. 
ABV: 10.0%
Serving Type: 650 ml bottle, poured into a tulip glass

Color: Bright, deep gold  
Clarity: Good clarity, with a cloud of bubbles
Carbonation: A good amount, hanging in suspension. 
Head:Pillowy, cream colored and short-lived
Lacing: Light

Aromas: A light aroma, mostly piney hops with herby resin undertones. 
Flavors: Bold hops right from the start. Pine resin all the way through, with some grapefruit. 
Body: Medium
Feel: Hoppy sharpness with a dry finish 

Dorado is a fitting name, as this one is simply golden. From the color to the hoppy goodness, this is a solid IPA.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Review: Highland Brewing Co. - Thunderstruck

Good thing I needed beer to share. My latest trend has been to buy beer in larger bottles, so picking up a 6 pack of 12 oz bottles is a bit out of my routine. However, we have some friends coming over later, so I ventured out to the supermarket to grab a few.

Style: Coffee porter
Availability: Winter seasonal
ABV: 5.9%
Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass

Color: Brown-black
Clarity: Nearly opaque
Carbonation: Modest
Head: Dense and pillowy. Tan color. 
Lacing: Thick, sticky

Aromas: Espresso, with hints of dark chocolate
Flavors: Dark roast coffee, sweet toffee, chocolate, tart cherry. Slightly piney hops.  Coffee finish. 
Body: Full 
Feel: Creamy, with a bit of wheaty sharpness and a dry finish

Excellent.  I love most everything that Highland turns out, and this one is no different. Bonus points for using locally roasted beans, from Dynamite Roasting Co.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Brouwerij Lindemans - Framboise

Apparently this bottle has been passed around for several months, with each recipient hesitant to give it a try. When it landed with my wife's aunt, she brought it to me, knowing I'd gladly drink it.

Style: Lambic
Availability: Year-round
ABV: 2.5% 
Serving Type: 750 ml corked bottle. Poured into a Belgian glass

Color: Ruby-brown
Clarity: Muddy
Carbonation: Significant. It fizzes a bit when you pour. 
Head: Thin and cream-colored with a pink hue
Lacing: None

Aromas: Raspberry jam
Flavors:Raspberries, raspberries and raspberries. Extremely tart, fruity and sweet. 
Body: Medium
Feel: Acidic, but clean.

Drink it cold, from a smaller glass. And share with friends. It's decent, but a bit too sweet for me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Foothills Brewing - Oktoberfest (2012)

I always like sitting on fall seasonals for a few months and I think I've had this bottle since August. Winston-Salem based Foothills turns out an awesome selection, and their seasonal releases have generated a cult following. Needless to say, I've been looking forward to popping the top off this one.

Style: Amber lager
Availability: Autumn seasonal
ABV: 6.3%
Serving Type: 22oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass. 

Color: Deep copper
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Modest. Thin pillars of micro bubbles.
Head: Dense. Cream color.
Lacing: Edit

Aromas: Sweet toffee and nut malt
Flavors: Sweet toffee, with dry hints of almond and pumpernickel. Nutty finish.  
Body: Medium
Feel: A bit of a carbonated bite

Very good. This is available at a time when spicy pumpkin ales dominate the market, so the sweet, nutty flavor provides a nice balance when you're all spiced out.