Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Oliphant Perpetual Cabaret Pilsner

Oliphant Perpetual Cabaret Pilsner. 5.8% ABV. Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, WI.

The other day, Jason and I went down to Somerset, thought we'd drink us up some Oliphant beers. This time around, 7 of the 10 beers on tap were ones that have appeared here in the ol' Nib before. Some of them will return with me because they have been bedecked with new Jeremy Hughes artwork. Ever since they put out crowlers with this new art, I've stopped crushing and recycling them. Now, where to store them?

For the first time, then, I was able to check off all the boxes. Took those three new-to-me brews home in crowlers and growlers. They weren't the types of beers I normally pick up, no matter how good they are. So, first time here in the Nib, the pilsner, Perpetual Cabaret.

Clear, bright golden color, beautiful ivory head, leaving lace, looking perfect.

In the nose: Floral, spicy, hoppy, just a little grainy. Nice, pleasing.

In the mouth: Slightly sweet at the top, then turning dry. Bone dry. Clean, easy-drinking, good and hoppy. Classic pilsner. Damned delicious, too.

once a year danny the street finds his way to somerset. 

cavalier showmen lineup for their chance to grab the microphone and sing grand their grand exuberances to the audience. seals dress like lions, lions dress like monkeys, monkeys imitate great apes, and on and on. high heels clack, clack, clack across the brick pavement as the giant and mighty oliphant dances and trumpets across the land. 

it's a place of freedom, of perpetual cabaret. it's where gandalf takes a strong hit of his pipe, clutches his staff, and exclaims, "dance, you fools!" it's where the somber-faced mulder and scully do the shag-and-scooby dance; their shoulders hunching up and down to the rhythm as the techno-color dream sun bounces fat beats that echo into each other from the brewery's concrete walls. 

there are some in this world who would have danny the street destroyed. the fly fisherman of the dank river styx cast barbed thoughts at the streets, trying to penetrate in with a malicious fervor. the central slug agency sends it's slimy agents to try and cover everything in a slick muck. the men from n.o.w.h.e.r.e. who wish to rid the world of it's quirks. 

we think little of them and in a different way we can say the same thing about them about us. 

so please dance on and be merry at our --

perpetual cabaret | pilsner | 5.8% abv

I was curious about where the name came from, but now it's clear. Obviously, another reference from Grant Morrison's run on "Doom Patrol" in the '90's. I don't think that's where Jeremy's chalk art came from, though. This one's still a mystery.

Town Hall Broken Paddle ESB

So, I was at the Town Hall Brewery the other day, looking at what was available in growlers. Have I done Broken Paddle ESB yet? Nothing turned up, but there was a beer merely called ESB back in September of 2011. Also in that month of that year I checked in on Broken Paddle in Untappd. There is no ESB in Untappd, only Broken Paddle ESB. Did they just forget to use that name at the brewery, that one time, causing me to believe it was a new brew?

So, here's what I'm going to do. I will resurrect my original notes from October, 2003. And I'm going to drink a mini-growler here in May, 2018. And I'll leave that 2011 post alone. Sounds good? Here we go....

Broken Paddle ESB, Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN. 6% ABV.

Tawny bronze hue, with a neat, cream-toned, fuzzy head.

Aroma: fresh, clean, but softly fruity. Bread-y malt.

Lively on the tongue, brisk and fairly buzzing with hops, much more active than many an ESB I've ever encountered.

Bright, fruity flavor, and copper-toned on the palate. Crisp finsih, that lasts pleasantly in the mouth and the memory. Mostly malt, nicely bread-y. Light body, but surprisingly full-flavored. Leans back on the palate, thius ale, and makes itself comfortable, leaving it's stamp everywhere it goes...very nice ale, indeed.

Coronado North Island IPA

Coronado North Island IPA New England-style India Pale Ale. Hazy. Tropical. Juicy. 7.5% ABV. 40 IBU. Coronado Brewing, Coronado, CA.

It's hazy, bright golden hued. Slim, milky white head.

In the nose: Tropical fruit notes aplenty. Pineapple, guava, etc. Soft'n'fuzzy. Bitterness on low.

In the mouth: Nice and bitter up front, on the way back it's mild and smooth. Soft mouthfeel, while bitter hops flavors lay low. More soft and fuzzy on the palate. Bright and citrus-y. A tasty one.

Well, it's a New England IPA. If you like that. Go knock yourself out.

This New England-style IPA is bursting with ripe, tropical juiciness. British ale yeast accentuates the hop fruitiness and gives this unfiltered beer a dense, foggy haze like the coastal marine layer swallowing the north side of our island.

New Belgium Special Release Guava Spruce DIPA

New Belgium Special Release Guava Spruce DIPA. Brewed and canned by New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO & Asheville, NC. 7.6% ABV. 84 IBU.

Quite hazy. Golden hued. Prodigious ivory foam on top.

In the nose: Sweet and fruity. Plump and piney. Pleasant, indeed.

In the mouth: Smooth. Fruit-y. Or, "fruit forward", as the nerds would say. Easy-drinking. Low bitterness.

Is it a double IPA? I'm not getting any extra dimension of hoppiness. I'm not feeling a greater level of alcohol. I get the guava, yet not the spruce. Color me un-impressed. It's not bad, it's just ...eh, I want better. What's wrong with that?

An exotic, hoppy double IPA dripping with delicious guava and wild-harvested, citrusy spruce tips.

Sisyphus Mandarina Bavaria Lager

Sisyphus Mandarina Bavaria Lager. 5% ABV. 15 IBU. Sisyphus Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

Clear, bright golden hue, slim white head.

In the nose: a little hoppy, a little grainy, some citrus. Lightly floral.

In the mouth: Nothing but nice. Light bodied, smooth, easy-drinking. Little bit of hops, nice citrus-y flavor. Excellent consumability. I can drink it down with ease, and I will.

An American Lager hopped with Mandarina Bavaria Hops. Orange fruity taste and aroma.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Surly Heat Slayer Kolsch-style beer

Surly Heat Slayer Kolsch-style beer. 5% ABV. Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis/Brooklyn Center, MN. Available in the summer sample pack or on tap.

This beer came with a letter. So many funny things in it that I'm going to share it with you at the bottom. And none of them appear on the can. More hilarity there. It's all so small I can't even read it. Maybe I'll try it later. For now, I'm anxious to taste this one, I'm a fan of kolsches done right, so let's crack open that can, and check it out.

Clear, bright golden color, small but lasting head of ivory foam above. Looking very nice.

In the nose: light and floral, slightly grainy, just a touch of fruity sweetness, way off in the distance.

In the mouth: Crisp, dry, just a touch bitter. A little bit of fruit, melon, apple, backed up with a smack of hops. Light and easy drinking. Very mellow, very cool.

So this one is light, dry, crisp and, yes, "crushable", as everyone likes to say these days. Some day they'll tire of it. I hope. And it's a bit hoppier than I'd prefer, but this is the Surly way, after all. A purist would condemn it. I'm not that much of a purist, but I could go with a little less bitter, and more from apple and pear. Those delicate fruit notes that the kolsch yeast gives, in the true interpretation. Which this is not. (Help! I'm caught in a time loop!)

Again, though, this is the Surly interpretation. They never said they'd be true to style. And I could definitely toss a few back without a quarrel.

The mercury climbs, the humidity oppresses, and the sun bakes. Our solution? HeatSlayer, a crisp, refreshing answer to the summer swelter.

Pilsner, Wheat, Acidulated Malt, Carafoam
Spalt Select
Kolsch German Ale Yeast
COLOR Straw-Yellow

Peak Organic Brewing Winter IPA: A New England Style IPA

Peak Organic Brewing Winter IPA: A New England Style IPA. A winter india pale ale. Brewed and canned by Peak Organic Brewing, Portland, Maine. 6.2% ABV.

I have got to clean out that fridge. Got to. And what better beer to leave the collection of cans and crowlers waiting their turn than one whose very name places it out of season. Winter is officially gone, but we can still pretend. And a New England IPA is always in fashion, somewhere, sometime, for some reason.

It's a hazy one, clear at the foot, with a slimmish ivory head.

In the nose: Nice dose of bitterness starts it out, rounded it out with citrus and tropical fruit notes: grapefruit, mango, pineapple.

In the mouth: Big bite of hops up front, then clean and clear, smooth and light-bodied. Bitterness grips the palate and holds on for the long haul. Easy-drinking. Slightly sweet, fruity. The tropical tones keep on coming.

All in all: Passable. Good IPA and you can drink it. That's about it.

Winter IPA is a hazy, hop-bursted New England Style IPA, brewed to brighten things up a bit as the colder weather sets in. Infused with a juicy blend of Calypso, Azacca, Simcoe, and Citra hops, we hope this beer helps keep you warm and happy as we wait for Spring. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

BlackStack On One Double Dry Hopped Double IPA

BlackStack On One Double Dry Hopped Double IPA. 8.5% ABV. BlackStack Brewing, St. Paul, MN.

Heavily clouded, one might say "hazy", dull orange/golden color, with a prodigious layer of ivory head atop.

In the nose: creamy, sweet, fruity. hoppy, damn. Grapefruit, lemon and lime. Wow. This is nice. Very nice.

In the mouth: Sweet, bitter, creamy, delicious. Milky, creamy, lush, malty, ...I already said delicious, right? Smooth. Flooded with tropical fruit flavors, pineapple, mango, & more. Beautifully, delightfully hoppy. Medium body, easy drinking. Not quite feeling the buzz yet....almost....there we go.

This was a good one, and it went down in no time. Wish I had some more.

We turned one. We're on one. Let's crack one. On One is a sumptuous celebration. A similar yet singular saturnalia. The setting of malt provides structure, depth and balance. But once again, the hops are the life of the party. We invited some of our friends, Galaxy, Vic Secret, and El Dorado, and boy did they deliver. Hope your invite wasn't lost in the mail. Somebody should've told you. 
BlackStack is family-run. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Inbound Juicy Lucy IPA

Inbound Juicy Lucy IPA. Hazy IPA made with El Dorado, Super Galena, Citra and Simcoe hops. 5.8% ABV, 75 IBU. Inbound BrewCo, Minneapolis, MN. Crowler dated May 9, 2018, purchased May 13.

Clear, bright reddish hue, layer of off-white foam holds down the fort. (I know it says "hazy", but I can see through it, so...)

In the nose: Big fruit in here, plump berry/cherry/apple notes in this one. Lower bitterness, rich 'n' juicy.

In the mouth: Juicy and bitter up front. Luscious malt. Bitterness hangs in there for the long haul. Nice and fruity, bitter and tasty. Cherry/berry, melon, apple. Delicious. I'm digging this one. A very diggable IPA.

Careful calling it hazy, though. It's juicy, but, man, these days you get hazed if you aren't that hazy. There are some strict standards of turbidity out there. I personally don't care at all. If it tastes great, that's good enough for me.

On the menu, there was some commentary about the name of this beer, saying "let the debate begin!", referring to the never-ending squabble about who created the Ju(i)cy Lucy hamburger, Matt's Bar or the 5-8 Club. Based on their spelling, we know what side Inbound has chosen.

Hazier than a hotbox. A brand new brew made with El Dorado, Super Galena, Citra, and Simcoe hops. 

Surly/KEX Collaboration - Enigma Dry-Hopped Kettle Sour With Peaches

Surly/KEX Collaboration - Enigma Dry-Hopped Kettle Sour With Peaches. 5.5% Alc. by Vol.

Clear, bright golden, slim head, soon-gone.

In the nose: Lightly hoppy, lightly soured, lightly peachy. There's something here. It's nice enough, for now.

In the mouth: Tart at first, then fruity. Getting the hops, and more of the fruit. Lean bodied, light, very drinkable, not too sour.

Do they have peaches in Iceland? Does it matter? Everyone loves peaches. And most people also like Herb. Reunited, and it feels so good.

Mild tartness, mild fruit, mild everything. There ain't nothing wrong with it. But we expect a bit more, especially from Surly. This stays far from the edge.

The first beer in our 2018 Collaboration Series is a bright kettle sour we brewed with Iceland’s KEX Brewing. Expect subtle peach notes and fruity hop aromatics from Enigma dry-hopping. 

Brunswick Bierworks & La Trappe Ora Et Labora Doppelbock

Brunswick Bierworks & La Trappe Ora Et Labora. Doppelbock. Brunswick Bierworks, East York, Ontario. Canada. 7.5% ABV. 30 IBU.

I'm always about the proper glassware, so it's time to break out my La Trappe chalice for this one, lacking any Brunswick Bierworks chalice, that is.

Clean, deep burgundy color, slim brownish head.

In the nose: Dark fruit: plum, raisin. Molasses, brown sugar. Big, sweet richness, but not too much.

In the mouth: More plump, malty flavors. Good balance. More richness, more sweet, but all kept in check. Creeping alcohol. Clean, with a dry finish. A tasty nightcap. Even if I'm not quite ready for bed.

Editor's note: If you live where I do, and are interested in this beer, I have to apologize. I think you have to be in Ontario. I just have to write about every beer I drink, and share it here, whether you can find it locally or not. Sorry.

And to Nick, the next two are coming, sorry it took so long.

Handshake brews for a Good Cause

The first of the Brunswick bierworks handshake Brew Series serves an almighty moreish New World Double Bock named Ora et labora which translates to Work & Pray the philosophy of the La trappe monks Brewed by La Trappe's Brouwmeester Lodewijk Swinkels and Brunswick Bierworks Brewing Ambassador Christian Riemerschmid von der Heide, this collaboration weaves traditional krausen fermentation with a mighty maltbill and a unique blend of Opal, Loral, Mandarina Bavaria and Ontario Newport hops sourced from the Americas and Europe; bridging the two worlds of brewing

Town Hall Hefe Weizen

Town Hall Hefe Weizen. 5.6% ABV. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN.

I've never reviewed the Hefe Weizen from Town Hall? Man, that's some slacking. Although, looking on BeerAdvocate, I actually reviewed it originally almost fifteen years ago. But then, in the 7 and 1/2 years of this blog, I never went back to it? Shame, shame. So, here's what we'll do: I'll review a pint from this growler I've got, then share that bit of juvenalia from 2003.

Highly clouded, dusky gold, ivory head.

In the nose: Big banana, minor clove, a little touch of citrus.

In the mouth: Nicely spicy on the tongue, clean and smooth on the palate. Orange and banana, with a touch of pepper and clove. Medium bodied, smooth wheat mouthfeel, slightly sweet, ending dry.
Just about right on the money for a Bavarian hefeweizen.

Traditional southern German-style unfiltered wheat beer.

From June, 2003: Appearance: a very solid yellow, with a fine, sturdy white head. The tone is already being set here, for it perfectly hits all the right notes for a hefe weizen.

Aroma: big fat lemon, and I wish the server might have asked whether I needed the addition of a slice of said fruit. Probably out of sheer habit, the way one would be foolish to not serve a Corona with lime. The masses like, I don't. She merely tossed it out, after I did. The lemon looms so large, that the slice is overkill. Spicy, sparkling, zesty, uplifting, fresh, perfect.

Great weizen texture, too, lively play, decent hop showing, just-right malt spine. Creamy, tasty, refreshing, full-bodied.

Sweet fruity flavors persist all the way down the pint, which was fully enjoyed. A bright shining example of a hefe weizen. I'll try to take in more of these while summer lasts, and make the most of it!

Good job again, Town Hall!

Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion Revolving Hop Series Revolution No. 009 IPA

Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion Revolving Hop Series Revolution No. 009. Firestone Walker Brewing, Paso Robles, CA. 5.9% ABV, 59 IBU.

Crystal clear, bright golden color, beautiful bone white head on top. Looking gorgeous.

In the nose: Vibrant citrus-y hop flavors burst out at first, lemon lime, grapefruit. Beautiful citrus explosion.

In the mouth: Bitter hops attack up front, blazing the palate, ending nice and dry. Medium body, expertly drinkable. Blisteringly bitter. Bright, fresh and lively. Some juicy/fruity notes and hop bitterness that just won't quit. Light bodied and highly drinkable for a hop head like me.

I like this one a lot. Go out and get some.

Revolution No. 009 is a showcase for five "public domain" hops from the United States and Germany, offering a fresh twist on some not-so-familiar favorites. 
The lead hops include two varieties from the Pacific Northwest – one that provides exotic tropical notes, & another that offers a balance of earthy pine and citrus qualities. The German hops round out the blend with a dimension of bright fruitiness. 

Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale

This might be the first beer I've had a beer named after a style of shirt. I can't think of another. Can you? Leave a comment below. Wait. Just though of one. Are there others? Let's make a game of it!
Anyway, on to the beer...

Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale. 5.5% ABV. 50 IBU. Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL.

Clear, golden-hued, significant slab of ivory foam above, leaving lace.

In the nose: vivacious flowering of citrus notes, orange, lemon, tangerine. Nicely hopped.

In the mouth: Bitter hop bite up front, big and citrusy. Orange peel and lemon zest, bitter hop flavors grabbing the palate. Slightly sweet in the back, but bitter takes charge of the front. Minimal malt, easy drinking. Goes down nice and easy. A likable pale ale, indeed.

Traditional throughout Latin America, the guayabera shirt combines style, functionality, form and tradition in it’s four-pocketed design.  We at Cigar City feel the same reverence and appreciation for the guayabera that we do for the Citra hop varietal, an ingredient that imparts notes of tangerine, lime and berries to this traditional American Pale Ale.  The exclusive use of Citra hops in this beer creates a flavor that’s at once unique and recognizable, while it’s dry, crisp character and moderate alcohol make it as refreshing and functional as a crisp linen guayaberas.

Again, a first, this time for real. Drawing a comparison between a beer and apparel. Okay, whatever works.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Venn Brewing Batch #50 Sticky Icky double IPA

Venn Sticky Icky double IPA. 9.7% ABV, 90 IBU. Venn Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

Clear, bright golden/orange-ish hued, slim white head on top.

In the nose: "Dank" is the correct terminology, as well as the titular sticky-ickiness. Pungent, all up in there. Underneath the bouquet of Otto's jacket, comes the citrus notes, the whiff of pine, the traces of tropical. Nice.

In the mouth: Powerful hop attack on the palate starts it out. Big, bountiful and a little fuzzy around the edges. Remarkably smooth past that. Despite the strength, a good drinker. Medium bodied, tasty malt component, amazing hop blast. Bright and beautiful. Alcohol warmth starts shining through....very, very nice. Tasty stuff, indeed.

Face ripper! Straight resin - hold onto yer butts! A super-hoppy, super-dry, super-bitter, resinous, dank enamel-scraper, featuring Eureka and Idaho 7 hops. Sticky icky!

Malts: Domestic 2-Row

Hops: Eureka, Idaho 7, Warrior (United States)

Yeast: American Ale

Friday, May 11, 2018

Blackstack Local 755 NE IPA

Blackstack  Local 755 NE IPA. Hazy, Juicy, Soft. Brewed and packaged by BlackStack Brewing, St. Paul, MN. 6.6% Alc./Vol.

I know when I've been negligent, and I certainly have been negligent in covering the beers of St. Paul's BlackStack Brewing. I'd been there once last March, not long after they opened, but did not take notes. When I'm with people and in conversation, I tend to keep the notebook closed. But I promised to return and consider their products here in the Nib, but no matter how much I meant to, I just never did. So many reasons. They're in St. Paul. It's way over there. Etcetera.

On that first visit, there were no growlers or crowlers available. Then, they started appearing in stores. Something always jumped ahead of them, though, and I never purchased one. I finally bought a 4-pack of this beer in cans a few weeks back, but drank them all before taking notes, something which rarely happens. To correct this, I made it back down to the brewery last week and stocked up on some BlackStack offerings, and will commence making up for lost time with this one, in that much favored NE IPA style. (I was with friends again that time, and also did not crack the spiral, but these cans will make up for lack of notes.)

Well, is it ever hazy. It's got the haze craze for days. Bright-ish golden toned, solid layer of cloud white foam on top. Looking nice.

In the nose: soft, silenced, citrus. Muted, would be another way to put it.

In the mouth: Big juicy. And "pillowy", too, is a word I'd use. Light bitter, high juice, and a big dose of tropical tones, with a side order of citrus. Just bitter enough. Medium bodied, easy drinker.

It's got all those things the NE-style lover wants, but this one does not make the case for replacing the original style. As it is, mighty fine version of the style. I can drink it and be happy.

New England style IPA. A specialty of Blackstack Brewing: soft, juicy and refreshing. A reserved bitterness lets the pungent aromas from the hops shine brightly.

Hmm. I feel like more can be said. From the label: "Blackstack is family run and Local 755 is our baby, our spoiled, spoiled baby. This ale gets what it wants, Period. Citra, Amarillo and Azacca hops? Done. Two massive dry hop additions? But of course. The result is a juice bomb of white peach and ripe mango flavors with minimal bitterness. Soft, hazy, and truly as perfect as we think it is, biased though we are. Pour up." 

There's an odd phrase right there: "As perfect as we think it is." I've been on record about calling your own creation 'perfect.' Talk about spoiling the baby.

Ska Rue B. Soho Grapefruit Lager

Ska Rue B. Soho Grapefruit Lager. 5.1% ABV, 20 IBU. Ska Brewing, Durango, CO.

Clear, bright golden, large, ivory head.

In the nose: big grapefruit, large citrus. Intense ruby. I like it. Nice hoppiness.

In the mouth: Bright citrus, bold grapefruit, ending dry. Clean, crisp, full flavor, refreshing. Fruity, delicious. Very likable. So, I guess I liked it.

Like Ruby Red slippers, this grapefruit lager will take you where you want go...if where you want to go is beer heaven!

At first, your nose is treated to the aroma of bright and crisp citrus. Then your tongue is tickled by the carbonation that delivers flavors of tart and light grapefruit juice. Lightly acidulated, Rue B. Soho is a refreshing lager brewed w/ cascade hops and grapefruit.

Bull Falls Nut Brown Ale

Bull Falls Nut Brown Ale. Bull Falls Brewery, Wausau, WI. 6.3% ABV. 25 IBU.

Clear, caramel-toned brown body, slim, whitish head.

In the nose: Nutty. Malty. Semi-sweet.

In the mouth: Mostly malty, caramel and cocoa, slightly sweet. Well balanced and agreeably flavored. Medium bodied, good drinkability. Moderate bitterness.

 It's a good brown ale and you can drink it.

An American Brown Ale with caramel and chocolate like characters with a slight nut presence. Finishes very clean with no aftertaste.

Surly Hop Shifter IPA India Pale Ale

Surly Hop Shifter IPA India Pale Ale (what? that's what the label says!). 6% Alc. by Vol. "Crafted to reduce gluten." Brewed and canned by Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis & Brooklyn Center, MN. "Don't settle, Get Surly."

Clear, slight chill haze, bright golden hue, slim white head.

In the nose: Usual citrus notes pop up. Lemon and lime, brief cameos from orange and grapefruit.

In the mouth: Big blast of citrus-y hop flavors and bold bitterness from the start. Intense palate-grabber. Fresh and refreshing. Light bodied, if a trifle thin. Long-lived citrus-y hop finish.

 I think it's fine. Not terrific, not bad, just fine. A good IPA India Pale Ale, and you can drink it. Why not? It won't hurt you none.

Who controls the horizontal? Who controls the vertical? Not you. Not us. What we can control is Hopshifter, our line of experimental, gluten-reduced IPAs. Every tank has a new hop profile. Once a batch is gone, it’s gone. Embrace the temporary.

I grabbed that from Untappd. There's more on the can label, but I can't be bothered to copy it all down, nor can I decipher it all.

For more, click on this.

Lupulin Straight Hash Homie Double IPA

Lupulin Straight Hash Homie 100% Hop Hash Double IPA. Lupulin Brewing, Big Lake, MN. 7.7% ABV, 60 IBU.

I haven't been to Lupulin Brewing since 2016, and I can offer no excuse as to why not. When this beer was being talked up and highly hyped, by both the beer geek community, and the brewery itself, I wasn't on board right away, and had a few questions. "Hop Hash?" Oh, you mean Lupulin powder. I guess we're doing drug references. They had a 4/20 release for it, on 4/20 at 4:20. "cause it's so dankalicious. I tire of drug references.

So, I listened to the raves and convinced my bosses that a keg this expensive is worthwhile. And I bought a 4-pack to do this review. These notes are from can #4. I'm not too sad that they're gone, because it's on tap now I can drink it every night after work. Unless we get swamped and the keg runs dry. I see this as a challenge for you, dear reader, if you live in proximity to where I work. Try to drain the keg before I do.

Lightly hazed,  bright golden hued, slim slab of ivory foam above.

In the nose: Fresh, lively, vibrant. The citrus notes are at play, and the piney ones, too. Hop bitterness and flavor rings and echoes through the caverns of the senses. Quite nice.

In the mouth: Here. it's more clear, intense, incredibly flavorful. An essential distillation of all things lupuloid. Day-yum. I may have an issue or two with their insistence on using the potty talk, but if this isn't "the good shit", I don't know what is. Juicy, slightly sweet, luscious. Pineapple and papaya meet a touch of grapefruit and lime, and it lingers long on the palate. Did I say "delicious" yet? Well, I should have by now. Unless I plan on using up every synonym before I get to it.

This is just strong enough, bitter enough, and flat out fantastic enough to make it one of my favorite IPAs of all time. Favorite beers, even? Maybe. It's so damned good.

Straight Hash Homie is made using only pure, 100% Lupulin powder. In the boil, while whirlpooling, and dry hopping(or Hash Hopping), not a pellet or cone saw the beer. Bursting with flavors of fresh tropical fruit, with a soft bitterness.
Don’t get left holding the bag! This beer is a limited edition beer!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Upper Hand Escanaba Black Beer

Upper Hand Escanaba Black Beer. 4.5% ABV. Upper Hand Brewery, Escanaba, MI, a division of Bell's Brewery.

Solid blackness, slim brown head.

In the nose: cocoa, cola, char. Roasty. Like any good dark beer should be.

In the mouth: Sweet, a touch.  Cocoa, some coffee, a touch of carob.  I'd guess that we have a schwarzbier lager bier here. (Although I have found no evidence to back up or refute this claim of mine. Their website gives no category. Untappd calls it a "dark ale." BeerAdvocate calls it a "Black ale", and RateBeer a "stout." Okay, maybe I'm wrong.)
Smooth, drinkable, but rich and malty. Medium bodied. Mild hop attack.

Escanaba Black Beer is malt forward, dark, and delicious. Its moderate roastiness is balanced with a mild hop bitterness. The result is a silky smooth finish for this sessionable ale, making it the perfect beer for anything the north has to offer.

Also: Escanaba Black Beer is at home around summer fire pits and winter fireplaces. This dark, delicious, malt-forward black ale has a moderate roastiness that’s balanced with a silky-smooth, mildly bitter finish.

I think they're trying to emphasize the silky smooth finish.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Firestone Walker Pivo Pilsner

Firestone Walker Pivo Pilsner. 5.3% ABV. 40 IBU. Firestone Walker Brewing, Paso Robles, CA.

Crystal clear, bright golden color, gorgeous snow-white head. Beautiful.

In the nose: floral, hoppy, light and lovely.

In the mouth: Lean, clean, crisp and delicious. Light, refreshing, malty, and delightful. It's a good ol' pilsner, done right.

That's all I have to say. If you want to hear more, listen to these guys:

Everything we love about classic German Pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Pils is a bright straw colored lager beer with playful carbonation topped with beautiful white foam lace. Delicate lightly toasted malt flavors underscore noble German hop character. Hallertau-grown Magnum hops deliver the lupulin foundation while generous amounts of Spalter Select hops bring floral aromatic and spicy herbal notes. As a twist on the traditional Pils, we dry hop with German Saphir for a touch of bergamot zest and lemongrass. A refreshing, light-bodied and hop-driven Pils.

Cigar City Invasion Tropical Pale Ale

Cigar City Invasion Tropical Pale Ale. 5% ABV, 50 IBU. Dry-hopped with Simcoe and Mosaic hops. Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, Florida.

Mostly clear, light haze, golden hued, under a slim layer of ivory foam.

In the nose: tropical fruit tones appear, mild bitterness.

In the mouth: Bitterness mild again, drinking is easy. Mellow. Cool. Hops keep smacking the palate. Citrus and berry flavors abound.

Nice pale ale. I like this just fine, but no more. Wouldn't go out of my way for one. You'd have to thrust it right into my face.

The people of Tampa Bay have fallen prey to Pirate invasion every year for well over 100 years. After more than a century of failing to repel these seafaring raiders in their anachronistic wooden ships, despite access to modern sea, land and air arsenals that ostensibly should make short work of wind powered vessels equipped with naught but cast iron cannons and raging scurvy, it occurred to the folks of Cigar City Brewing that if you can’t beat them start saying Arrrr Matey! And so we have brewed Invasion Pale Ale, a citrusy and tropical session beer brewed for those long days of marauding, pillaging and pirating. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ballast Point Moscow Mule Ale

Ballast Point Moscow Mule Ale. Ale with ginger and lime added. Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, CA.  10.2% ABV.

Clear, amber-ish hue, slim, soon-gone head.

In the nose: Hey, there's ginger in there. And along comes the lime, as advertised. And nothing else.

In the mouth: Big, fierce, large and in charge ginger flavor. Once again, lime comes next, in full force. Light bodied. Lean, clean and powerful. Crisp and refreshing. But, where's the vodka? And, while we're at it, where's the beer?

This is not for me. Gimmick beer. Too much lime, too much ginger, not enough beer. No, thank you. I don't even think it's very good. I hate saying that, but sometimes you have to.

But, I didn't drain-pour. I always finish, whether I want to or not.

Ginger, lime, refreshing; all the good things you’d expect from the cocktail of the same name. We started with a light, sour base beer and then loaded it up with tons of fresh ginger and lime zest. All that is missing is the copper cup.

Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative Minute Man New England IPA

Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative Minute Man New England IPA. 6.8% ABV. 45 IBU. Minneapolis, MN. Canned on 4/18. Purchased: 4/30. Consumed: last night.

Another one of those New England hazy IPAs everyone's so into now, eh? Well, okay, I guess, if I have to....

And it's the first Broken Clock beer I've bought in a store. Why is that significant? I didn't know they were selling in stores. Good for them.

Highly hazy, golden hue, big white head.

In the nose: ah, lovely! Pure hoppiness. Piney, resinous, citrusy. Right on.

In the mouth: vanilla, cream, pineapple. Leafy green. Nice, low-laying bitterness on the palate. And juicy. Did I forget to mention juicy? All the things, the juice, the fruit, the haze and the soft. Ending dry and just a little bitter.

I like this. It's pretty danged good.

Maybe I'm turning the corner on this "Hazy, juicy, NE"-IPA stuff. Maybe. Anything's possible.

A hazy, juicy IPA with the aroma of a hopped up IPA, but without the harsh bite. Loaded with hops with citrus and tropical fruit flavors.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sisyphus Scoopshot IPA

Sisyphus Scoopshot India Pale Ale. 7% ABV. 60 IBU. Sisyphus Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

I said I'd stop drinking milkshake IPAs. Maybe this one from Sisyphus is different from the others.? Maybe I'll like this one.

Hazy, golden-hued, lush ivory head above, looking good.

In the nose: Bright hoppy flavors, pine, tropical tones, yet soft, smooth. Creamy, fruity, mmm.

In the mouth: A burst of tropical notes on the palate, pineapple-y, fruity, creamy, delightful, yum. There's plenty of hop flavor, but practically no bitterness. Juicy. Sweet. And along comes the vanilla. Medium-boded, easy drinking. Uh, huh.

Okay, so I don't hate it. But, I won't return to it, unless there's nothing else around. I need that old time IPA. The bitter, hoppy ones. I love those. Those are the good ones.

Our take on the milkshake IPA except we skipped the lactose (you are welcome, our lactose intolerant friends.) But this thing still tastes like it has a scoop of ice cream in it, with a healthy dose of pineapple and vanilla, to complement the fruity hops and yeast. Look for this one to be a new regular occurrence on our menu

Regular? Sigh. Alright. Whatever.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Blake's Hard Cider El Chavo

Blake's Hard Cider El Chavo, Infused with Habaneros and Mango. 6.5% Alc./Vol. Blake's Hard Cider, Armada, MI.

Clear, pale golden hue, slim head, soon gone.

In the nose: Lightly spicy, minor heat, then comes the fruit. Little bit of heat to match the sweet.

In the mouth: Fresh apples, very fruit-forward, and then come the chilis. Heat comes rushing in. Peppers dominate the mouthfeel from here on out. That's alright, but it's not for me. I tend to avoid beverages such as this. If it flips your switch, go for it.

At Blake’s Hard Cider Co., we like spicing things up. That’s why we put dimmers on the lights in our Cider House. And it’s why we created this sweet, heated blend of habanero pepper, mango and our famous Blake’s apples. Experience a hard cider that’s really, honestly, truly like no other.

Minnesota Breweries One by One, #14: Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Barrel-Aged Week, with Foolish Angel

A bit of background: I got the idea for this project when I noticed that the number of posts tagged under "Minnesota" had reached ...