Category Archives: commercial beers

Seattle 2017 Trip 2 pt 2

The wra38128333395_af72cd6760_cpup of the beers I got to try in Seattle:

Sumerian-Hopruption Double IPA: the nose has some solid dank, piney qualities. There isn’t much in the middle, which tracks for a DIPA but that also means that there is much between the nose and a very strong bitterness that is working the same pine qualities of as the nose. Still, I’d personally like a little more malt in the middle: this isn’t a bad beer, I just feel like it’s a lost opportunity.

Lucky Envelope-Eniac IPA: The nose on this is amazing. Mosaic hops, as though I’d just cut open the bag to put them in the beer. I’m really impressed by that. The beer itself isn’t as intensely bitter as I might expect, though, given the IPAs I’ve had recently. There’s a bite, sure but it’s not scouring and it doesn’t linger. There is even a little sweetness in there, leading into something faintly grassy. I’m pretty happy with this one.

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse-Little Red Cap alt: I don’t get much nose but what I can get, there’s some malt there, little caramel, maybe some C60 malt? But it’s not a sweeter ale: a little roasted quality, a little dry on the finish. The Red Cap is a pretty drinkable beer that I could see going really well with some pub food. I’d have another: heck, I’d try something else by the brewery.

Black Market Brewing-Enemy Within IPA with dragonfruit: so, this beer kinda exploded. No reason for it that I can tell, but the initial pour was 85% foam and took a little time to settle out. But there’s a nice nose on it and the beer is reasonably drinkable. There’s a fruity quality that is close to citrus but not quite, which I suppose is the dragonfruit. The finish is a little weird, too: not quite dry but I get a strange, tacky sensation on the roof of my mouth.

38128333655_373257569d_cUrban Family-Island Crusher Dry hopped sour w/pineapple: has a fruity funk on the nose but the beer itself isn’t too sour-tart, yes but not mouth puckery/dryingly so. It works more like a lemonade, maybe a bit stronger but definitely the kind of beer that I could see going to frequently during the summer. The finish is also surprisingly clean, making for a remarkably drinkable sour.

Aslan Brewing-Dawn Patrol Pacific IPA: Nice nose, with some watermelon and guava in it. Not what I was expecting but pleasant nonetheless! The beer itself continues the tropical fruit flavors, and then finishes very clean, with a lot of bubbly pop at the end. I’m still not up for pacific ale as a style-I don’t think this exists-but it’s a nice beer all the same.



Seattle 2017 Trip 2 pt 1

The holiday allowed me to visit the Seattle area and, of course, I got a bunch of beer to try so…here are the slightly edited reviews:

25144252488_f9135a88d9_cPayette Brewing-North Fork Lager: Nice bready nose, like uncooked bread. It’s sweet on the finish, like corn, that evaporates after the last swallow. It’s pretty damn good! The bread flavor in front with the corn on the end gives this beer some dimension.

Dru Bru-Belgian Bordeaux: Belgian pale aged in Bordeaux wine barrels. The wine really comes through in the nose; like church wine, only pricier and meant to be drank. The flavors follow through, too. A tart fruit quality rides through the ale, with some hop bitterness on the finish. The problem is; those two things don’t play nice with each other. It’s a beautiful drink, with a pink hue I rarely see and a pleasant floral nose but the sum is less than it’s parts. An interesting experiment that didn’t quite play out.

Counterbalance brewing- Counterbalance IPA: sweet orange nose; citrus but I get a little caramel under it. The first sip was a little overwhelming; a lot of bitterness, not much else. As I continue though, a inkling of sweetness crawls out from under the bitterness. The beer becomes a little more palatable as I go, which is novel but a nice experience.

39014539821_7c71506834_cMollusk-Briny Deep stout: A coffee nose but it’s not overwhelming. The beer itself is pretty smooth and finishes remarkably cleanly. It’s an 8% beer-which I don’t get at all-and I’m not picking up much in the way of oysters, which the label says is included in the beer. But I’m actually kinda impressed by the beer. Plus, 10/10 on incorporating the brewery name into the ingredients.

Dystopian State– The Gold Sigil, Imperial honey wheat ale: The nose has some honeysuckle to it, but the wheat malt doesn’t shy away either. While this beer is a sweet, it doesn’t linger and almost has a slight dry quality. It’s pretty nice and I’d have more.

Highwater Brewing-Aphotic Imperial Porter: the nose is a lot of mocha. Coffee chocolate blend. And the beer has a lot of that, too! But it’s awfully effervescent on the finish that that feels weird. From a sensory perspective-that is, the sparkle on my tongue is so intense that it feels weird. It also gives the finish a strange twist that doesn’t quite work. It doesn’t ruin the beer, but it makes me feel like I should have some misgivings about it.

Black Market Brewing-Invasion Red IPA: This has a great nose: pine and a little caramelĀ  in it and it makes me look forward to the beer a lot. But the mouth is thin, the midrange is flavorless, the finish is dirty and where it’s isn’t dirty it tastes like raw hops.

Common Ales: Occidental Altbier

37386133964_0950aa21d7_cOccidental Altbier: pleasantly roasted nose, and it rolls right into the mouth. The beer itself has a little bit of chocolate in there but I’m reminded of that scent that I get when I go to the homebrew store and put my nose into a container of biscuit malt. I like it.

This finishes really clean, with no aftertaste at all. I want to get a plate of nachos with this. Sushi would work too: foods that might need a lighter feel and less intense flavor would be well matched to this beer.

Occidental did well with their altbier and I’m thinking this would be a good one to recommend to people who aren’t well versed in craft ales. It’s tasty without being overwhelming.

It’s Coming

It’s actually already here.

In this instance, I am referring to cannabis ales: quite simply, ales that replace the hops with marijuana. I’ve had the CBD infused beer from Coalition and it’s not bad. It’s not brilliant but it’s definitely drinkable and the buzz I got from it was a little mellower than the typical beer.

Making THC infused ale is challenging because of the expense, at least as a home brewer.

However, I have some friends who grow their own and I’m hoping we’ll be able to collaborate on a beer soon and I look forward to sharing the results!

When Is Big Big Enough?

Apparently ABInBev is done acquiring craft breweries.

All that means to me, though, is that they now think A) they have enough to muscle out craft breweries from the shelf space and B) they’ve got enough indy cred to make sure that Budweiser and their associated brands stays ‘cool’ while C) preserving enough variety of styles that accusations of monopoly might fall flat.

Neither of those things seem very promising to me.

East Coast 2017

As I mentioned Monday, my last trip was to the east coast where I was hosted in New Jersey and got to spend time in New York. Of course, I drug my Dad around to try beer because otherwise we would’ve just gone to see awesome stuff all day. Can’t have that!

I proceed, once again, with my lightly edited notes.

37419583870_bcde108431_cCricket Hill Fall Festivus Ale: vegetal finish = no, this is awful.

Departed Soles-Playoff Beard: red-burnt on the finish in a way that just overwhelms the beer. It’s drinkable but I didn’t enjoy it. I just wanted to finish a beer.

Pipeworks War Bird session IPA: sour. Poured this out. How a sour session IPA comes into existence boggles me.

Troegs-Hopback Amber: this is solid. Nice, drinkable beer, the roasted qualities are there but not overpowering. The midrange of the beer feels a little thin but the pluses outweigh the minuses.

Hop Concept IPA: It’s an IPA that is so clean that the bitterness might be the only thing on the finish that registers and while that’s not bad, it’s a little one dimensional. If I reach for it, I can get a little tropical fruit-mango, I think-but it’s just not balanced enough for me.

36967432744_26d3272c7f_cEinstok White Ale: This is a really nice white ale; a touch of coriander in the nose, with a sweetness that helps like fantastic dryness on the finish to that encourages the next sip.

Threes: Way to go Idaho (my Dad ordered this so I just got a sip)-super dank, almost gritty marijuana flavor.
Temporary Identity: NE IPA and not bad but doesn’t stand out special, either.

I still love the names Threes gives their beer. Also, it was the place that had the most ‘Fuck Trump’ graffiti I saw in the bathroom. Points for that, too.

Terrapin-Hopsecutioner IPA: solid nose, which I appreciate. I get grassy notes from it and that leads nicely into the caramel malt in the body. The finishing bitterness isn’t too intense, which seems a little surprising but I’m pleased about. I’d have another.

23824569438_083b5f2866_cFolks Bier Helles Simple: this tasted like pickled green beans. That is…no. However, I also had a their Echomaker dark rye ale, which I enjoyed and the Recurring Dreams 10 IPA, which was good. So 2 out of 3?

902 Brewing Single Hop IPA with Amarillo hops: It’s not bad. There isn’t much dimension to it , though. The Amarillo hop gives me a solid but not overwhelming grapefruit flavor, the bitterness isn’t too prominent at all and there’s a strong sweet note in the middle to try and give this beer something else to do. But I’m just not that excited.

Common Ales: Culmination Elation

36216386234_c53d2245a2_cThere’s a little bit of pine, little bit of malt in that nose. Interesting!

The middle doesn’t make a strong impression though; it’s not too thin but not really present either.

Unfortunately, the finish tastes really dirty-I’m torn between a medicinal flavor or just plain dirt. That’s a problem, as you might expect and I think I got a bad bottle. It’s bad enough that I’m not going to finish this beer. Other beers I’ve had from Culmination has been better than this, so it’s a bummer to get a bad bottle.

I’ll have to try another one to see if this is just a one-off beer or if, perhaps, I just don’t like it.