Red Hook “Late Harvest Ale”

Posted: February 2, 2012 in Amber

Seasonal beer is fun.  It’s pretty cool seeing what all the breweries put out for a limited time.  In the fall it seems like everybody has a pumpkin, or Oktoberfest ale.  I like something different.  Red Hook has an Amber ale for their fall brew.  It is a great Amber too.  It isn’t too malty, has a lot of good hop flavors, and drinks nice and easy.  I love the bottle Red Hook uses too.  The shorter bottle is just really cool.  Red Hook makes some very consistently good beer and their Late Harvest is another example.

Starr Hill “India Pale Ale”

Posted: February 2, 2012 in IPA

It’s no secret that I am biased to the Northwest beers, I just think we make a better product.  The beers I have had on the East Coast are good, but I prefer it back home.  In the mid 90’s Mark Thompson returned to Virginia from Portland Oregon having learned a few things about artisanal brewing.  He began brewing in Charlottesville and has done very well.  They have won quite a few awards including one from the world beer cup for their Irish Stout.  The IPA is very good.  It isn’t to hoppy, but at the same time hoppy enough.  The flavors balance quite well.  It is for sure a beer worth trying and if this one was so good and hasn’t won awards like their other beers I am excited to try some more varieties.  Try Starr Hill if you get a chance.

Widmer Brothers “Hefeweizen”

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Wheat

There comes a point in all mens lives where we change.  We go from being boys to men.  It is gradual yes, but there are some important milestones.  One point is the where our palate changes.  I’m talking about the when we stop drinking cheap domestics and graduate to full flavor craft beers.  The beer that did this for me was Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen.  I think I was about 21, and I was changed forever.  I think Widmer Brothers made a fantastic beer.  There is a lot of flavor without being to much.  Their Hefeweizen has a special place in my heart.  By the way American Wheat beers go this is one of the best.  Oregon State has more breweries than I can count and the fact the Widmer Brothers is as big as it is, and has survived as long in that market tells you they are special.  I do very much love this beer and think you will too.

Flying Dog “In-Heat Wheat”

Posted: December 18, 2011 in Wheat

Flying dog is cool.  Their beer is great, the labels are neat, and you can get it all over the place.  Flying dog was started as a brew pub in Aspen by George Stranahan.  His neighbor was no other than Hunter S. Thompson.  Anybody that was friends with Mr. Thompson should be a very interesting guy with great ideas.  I think that shows is their beers.  Flying dog makes some of the best craft beers I’ve ever had.  The flavors are bold without being overwealming.  They are easy to drink all the way to the last drop.  There is not a bad thing anybody could say about any of their beers.  The Hefeweizen is great.  As I have said before, I prefer hopper beers, but I do appreciate a good beer and this is one.  All I can say is it is perfect.  If you see it, try it out, you won’t be dissapointed.

Yuengling “Amber Lager”

Posted: December 18, 2011 in Lager

Yuengling is Americas oldest operating brewery.  They were established in 1892 by German immigrant David Gottlob Jungling.  Yuengling is the second largest American owned brewery (The Boston Beer Company is first).  The company is still family owned which is really cool.  About their lager, it’s alright.  It is an Amber Lager which is interesting, but a little off.  It has more flavor than a Lager, but not as much as an Amber.  It is light, easy to drink, and cheap.  When I drink some beers I get to the end and just pour it out.  Sometimes that last little bit just isn’t very good.  Yuengling Lager is like this.  It is good at first but turns not so good by the end of the bottle.  After a few which do go down pretty fast, it is better.  If you want a cheap beer this is the best one I have ever had.  There is so much more going on than Budweiser, Miller, Coors, PBR, ext.  I know people go crazy over this beer which I respect, I just don’t love it.  There are far better beers out there but having a Yuengling is having a part of American History.  I also love the fact that they didn’t sell to a foreign company like Budweiser did.  All in all Yuengling is alright and I will support the brewery when I can.

Michelob “Lager”

Posted: December 18, 2011 in Lager

What is a lager?  There are really only 2 types of beer; Ale, and Lager.  Ale is the first type of beer due to the yeast fermenting at a higher temperature than Lager.  Ales include IPA, Pale Ale, Porter, Stout, ESB, ext.  Lagers have only been produce since the early 1800’s.  The Lager yeast ferments on the bottom, not the top and at a colder temperature than the ale yeast.  There Germans started doing this in caves where they could control the temperature with ice from nearby lakes.  Lagers include Pilsners, Bocks, Marzen, Malt Liquor, ext.  Michelob does a fine job with their Lager.  It is brewed in the traditional european style and they allow it to mature cold.  It is a nice golden color with a good head.  If you like Lagers this one isn’t fancy, but isn’t bad.

9.5%, German malt, Belgian yeast, European hops, and Belgian brewing spices.  Sounds good right?  I thought it would be when I bought it, but the flavor kinda missed the mark.  Brewers throughout history have used all kinds of spices to flavor beer.  The Belgians are famous for the practice (not all Belgian beers use spices, but most are spicy).  Some of the spices used are licorice, orange peel, coriander, and so forth.  Using spices in your beer is good, hell it’s been done for centuries, but it shouldn’t be overdone.  I think Victory went a little to far.  Golden Monkey has won awards, and is honestly really well made, I just don’t like it.  There are to many competing flavors to really enjoy drinking it.  If you want a good Belgian Abbey style beer go get a beer form Belgium.