Sunday, July 30, 2017

Beer Review: Bloomington Rooftop IPA

A beer run to Indiana had provided me with the opportunity to look and try to locate some other beers that I may not have tried in the past and this time, one that I found was The Rooftop IPA from the Bloomington Brewing Company which is the focus here of my latest review. This American India Pale Ale comes in with an ABV of 7.4% and 80 IBU.

Appearance:


I really thought the appearance of this one came through well with its deeper orange-yellow sunset like color which was capped nicely by its foamy bone-white head. There was some haziness which of course can be expected, but there was still enough clarity to see some of the lively carbonation that was taking place.

Aromas:


The tropical tones from the hops easily climbed out of the glass and were easy to pick up from those that were used including: Nugget, Cascade and Mt. Hood. Notes of pineapple and mango seemed to come through the most as I inhaled the goodness from this ale.

Flavor / Palate:


The citrus notes taken in on the aroma were right there in the taste as well, with a nice flavor pop really coming on the initial taste along with a malt smoothness that balanced them out and making it feel like nothing near an 80 IBU level. The finish had a nice crisp dry break with very little if any throat scraping on the swallow. The texture did have a little bit of syrupiness to it, but it worked much like some of the others that we often see like Great Lakes Chillwave for example. The mouthcoating and mouthfeel both stood out nicely on this IPA and just provided some of the mouth tingling that I like to find in beers. Read some of my notes here or check out my YouTube video posted below to watch the review.


Overall Summary:


This beer proved to be a decent one indeed and proved to be a great choice from the beer run that was made. I will say though that while I was okay with it on a 22 ounce bottle, it may be a little much for some so a friend may be needed. But if you like IPAs then I don’t think that you will be disappointed. For me on my personal Untappd score it proved to be a solid 4 out 5, and I proved well worth it to go to the Rooftop.



Brewery Links:


Bloomington Brewing Company: http://www.bloomingtonbrew.com/

Rooftop IPA: http://www.bloomingtonbrew.com/rooftop-ipa/

Beer Review: MadTree Entropic Theory

One of the things that I like about supporting local breweries is that often they have other interests in the community which they support. They give back at the local level and that affects lives, so being able to raise a pint to that is always a good thing in my book. Hence, my looking at Entropic Theory from MadTree Brewing which is one of their latest limited release offerings aimed at helping to raise funds and interest for local children that are studying STEM as part of their scientific interests. See and hear a little more about this in the YouTube video attached here in the post. This India Pale Ale comes in with an ABV of 7.5% and 70 IBU making it a somewhat bittering treat for this latest review, but looks aren’t always what they seem.


Appearance:


First of all, I have to give props to MadTree on a well-designed call as the look is just perfect for what was being used as link between the beer and idea. As for the beer inside, the beer poured a nice golden orange-yellow color that ended up being capped nicely by a pretty much dead-on white head. During my pour, I was able to easily gather a two finger head which sat nicely in the glass with a good foaminess. There was some chill haze that added to the appearance, but I was still able to catch some of the bubble action inside as it raced toward the billowiness that was above.

Aroma:


The aroma of the beer was easily able to appreciate as the notes of tropical and citrus did come through from the hops used. To find out more on what these were make sure to go to the MadTree link below about the beer where the details are provided as well as a clone recipe for those that would like to brew it on their own. But the main notes coming through from the beer resonated to me of mango, pineapple, and orange, providing the quality of what one would expect when they think of a tropical type IPA.

Flavor / Plate:


The flavors that I mentioned for aroma were also right there where they needed to be for taste as well. I was able to pick up what reminded me of mango the most, but all came together nicely. The initial burst that I received on the initial was highly satisfying and it didn’t take long for my mouth to really have a nice tingling effect. There was no overabundance of flavor that we are seeing on some IPAs which also sat very well for me. As far as body, I would call this one a nice medium body as it wasn’t overly heavy and while there was some bitterness on the initial and finish, the balance between the malts and hops was decent enough that even the greatest of IPA haters may be able to make it through this one unscathed.

Overall Summary:


As a beer overall, MadTree did a really good job with the beer in my opinion. It is sure to have some of our local beer community buzzing about it. In my opinion, it could easily even rival its main flagship beer which is Psychopathy as that Tropical alternative. Maybe, this one will call for more research and they could bring it back to see…Hmmm I wonder. As to how this one sits on my personal Untappd rating scoreboard, it is 3.75 out of 5 for me. While it is very solid and mouth pleasingly good, it’s not one that I may go after more than once or twice at a time, but it is one that I would to break up a routine of what I may be drinking.


Brewery Links:


MadTree Brewing: http://madtreebrewing.com/home


MadTree Entropic Theory: http://madtreebrewing.com/beers/entropic-theory

Friday, July 28, 2017

Beer Review: Upland Latitude Adjustment

The Latitude Adjustment from Upland Brewing is a pineapple coconut Pale Ale that is offered seasonally and the subject of my latest beer review. Now this was actually done a while ago but is just being uploaded at this time. So if this does pique your interest then make sure to check it out when it returns and if you would just like to just jump ahead to the video review then please feel free to do so by scrolling down to the end of the post. The beer itself comes in at 6.2% ABV and 30 IBU.

Appearance:


The beer itself provided a decent medium color of a beer, a little darker than your light straw but still straw-like and capped by a large, foamy just off- white head. Carbonation was definitely lively as it was able to observe the bubbles just racing up the class. There was some haziness to the body but not too much where I couldn’t see all the way through.


Aroma:


There was no issue at all receiving the coconut and even pineapple aroma, but there was also more of sense of mango and orange making it a nice tropical and citrus feel. The notes of aroma were moderate enough to come out of the glass without as much issue, however what I also sensed was the carbonation much like that of seltzer water which wasn’t as hidden and was lively for sure.

Flavor / Palate:


For 30 IBU I was surprised by the bitterness felt on the initial and on the finish. It wasn’t overly bitter, but it was definitely there, but more than the bitterness the carbonation was very lively. At points, it almost felt like I was drinking a Schweppes, but in a way there was also a refreshing quality around this. The beer did have a nice dry texture as one would expect from an American Pale Ale, and it felt about right with its medium body and tropical taste coming through with each sip.

Overall Summary:


The Latitude Adjustment did one thing I really liked and that was look to be something different. The coconut and pineapple being sought was found and it was like a bit of tropical getaway. I am not sure that I would want to go through a sixer of these, but one or two could easily hit the spot. For me and my palate that likes some bittering at times, this one was 4 out of 5 on my personal Untappd score.



Brewery Links:


Upland Brewing: https://www.uplandbeer.com/

Latitude Adjustment: https://www.uplandbeer.com/beers/latitude-adjustment/

Monday, July 24, 2017

Beer Review: Stone Mocha IPA

Last year I stumbled across a brew that for the first time in a long time actually knocked me back. But the beer at the time could be found nowhere outside on tap at a couple of our local places, that changed this year. That beer was the Mocha IPA from Stone Brewing, but you knew that already since you’re reading or watching this review. Which if you are not watching right now but want to go ahead and do so, then just go ahead and hit play on the YouTube video attached here in the post. But if you do want to read a little about my view then let us continue.

Appearance:


Beginning with appearance, there is no disappointment with this one that I have seen whether on draft or out of the bottle. Since we are talking about the bottled version, I will just stick to this version. The beer itself poured a brilliant sunset amber orange color in my opinion and was capped nicely with a large foamy bone white head. I didn’t pour too aggressive, but ended up with about a three or 4 figure one but it all settled in nicely. It was easy to catch all of the nice bubble action taking place as the bubbles streamed up the glass. During my tasting of the beverage there was a fair amount of lacing that also took place, although not as much as I anticipated.

Aroma:


As far as aroma on the beer, this is where this one really gets interesting. The notes received from the ale brought up the imagery of an IPA meeting Stout. I received good notes of chocolate and coffee much like a stout, but there was also a lovely spice kick in there kind of like a peppery type feel which I wasn’t expecting but did enjoy.

Flavor / Palate:


So now it was time for the tasting portion and seeing how it felt on the palate as well as enjoying the flavor that may be offered. Now as I mentioned, it is a Double IPA so it did have a moderate amount of bitterness in the initial and finish but not as much as I imagined for the 80 IBU level. There was some throat scraping on the swallow, but nothing that was overly heavy. The texture was nice and dry with some good carbonation, but it wasn’t over carbonated. A full body beer for sure and there was some astringency as well, and in the end the finish had a nice amount of duration.

Overall Summary:


The Mocha IPA is really a beauty of a beer and brings a lot to the table, as I did really enjoy some of its complexities. It is also one that shakes up the rather overloaded IPA style and says hey, we are not the same which is something that Stone has seemed to be doing for a good amount of time. And for someone like me who likes IPA’s and Stouts, this is a perfect colliding of worlds and is why I rated this on my personal Untappd score as 5 out of 5. I will enjoy this one for seasons to come.



Brewery Links:


Stone Brewing http://www.stonebrewing.com/

Mocha IPA http://www.stonebrewing.com/beer/stone-seasonals/stone-mocha-ipa#ageGatePassed

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beer Review: Evil Twin Liquid Double Fudge

From Evil Twin Brewing comes the Liquid Double Fudge, this Imperial Stout boasts an ABV of 12% and the estimated IBU found places this one at 60, although bitterness was not really much of an issue for this dark ale during my tasting of it. Seeing something called Liquid Double Fudge was pretty much an automatic pickup for me when I saw it during a beer run. So let’s talk about it some, but if you would like to see my video review of this beer then please go ahead and click on the YouTube video which is listed here as part of this post.

Appearance:


Starting with appearance, I found it to be very nice in both the color of the body which was a nice dark brown color and probably as dark as it could be without being jet black as well as the foaminess of the tan or beige colored head which came out to be just about two fingers from the pour. With a stout, there are some limitations on the appearance but it represented itself very well and as it was being consumed, the lacing left behind was nicely done.


Aroma:


Aroma-wise, the beer was just oozing with sweetness from the malts and I was able to easily pick-up a chocolate feel as well as that similar to the fudge for which it was striving. I was surprised by some of the vanilla tones that I noticed but it just added to the beer very nicely. In the end, it delivered roasted coffee and chocolate notes in a way that you would expect a stout to do so.


Flavor / Palate:


So it looked good and it smelled good, but did it taste good? Isn’t that what we are really seeking when it comes to beers? Just as sweetness was received in the aroma, the taste followed right along the same lines. Now for some this could be an issue, but understanding what the beer is and what it should do then it shouldn’t be one. The beer’s taste was definitely that of decadence making it deserving of something like a dessert beer or maybe one for a nightcap. The thickness and full body of it just coated my mouth so nicely, that it was really like drinking a dessert. There was no issue with carbonation and although there was some light bitterness in the initial and finish, the overall creaminess of it was so smooth that any slight bitterness was easily offset.


Overall Summary:


So overall, I think that Evil Twin has put together a solid beer with this offering that is offered year-round. But for some it may weigh too heavy so bringing a friend to share it with could be a good idea, especially of you have a 22 ounce bottle like I did. There is a slight booziness and warming that will also come through on the beer but again at a 12% ABV, it is kind of expected that may be the case. As far as any rating score for how it fit for me overall in my beer enjoyment scale, I scored it 3.75 out of 5 placing it strongly in the area of good and just off of being very good.



Brewer Notes: N/A

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Beer Review: Victory Jubilee

Jubilee from Victory Brewing Company is described as a Bière Brut when it comes to a beer style. If you are not familiar with that style then think of beer meets champagne, and this ale is the focus of my latest review here which you can see in my YouTube video at the end of this post.

Now I will tell you that I am not always the biggest champagne lover but the beer caught my eye and part of the fun of reviewing beers is trying ones that expand your horizons. This one did not fall short of that, and was able to bring something different with its effervescence and Belgium qualities. Check out my YouTube review to see my thoughts on it, and if you’ve had it then let me know what you thought as well.

Brewer Notes:


Join the Jubilee as we toast to 21 years of Victory! This lush and decadent Biére Brut has been fermented with sparkling wine yeast to marry lively effervescence with rich, fruit-forward flavors of Belgian-style ales. German Blanc hops impart aromas of pear, apple, and white grape while citrus and spice flavors culminate in a crisp, wine-like finish.

Composition


Malt: Pilsner
Hops: German Blanc
ABV: 12.0%

Flavor


Pours golden yellow/orange, with a nice white head. Immediate aromas of pear, green apple, white grape, and spice, with hints of a floral presence. Flavor/mouthfeel is lively and intense with flavors of orange peel, spice, cloves and pear (will be highly carbonated). Finish is dry, crisp and warming.

Availability


Available in 750 ml bottles.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Beer Review: Shmaltz Klingon Imperial Porter

Beer meets sci-fi with this one, and I couldn’t be any happier or geeked by what has been produced. The Klingon Imperial Porter from Shmaltz Brewing is a bold Imperial Porter that comes in at an ABV of 7.3% and 60 IBU. Not too thin, this one did deliver well during my enjoying of this brew and provided a nice overall aroma and flavor. The appearance was solid although I would have liked to have gotten more out of its head, but one is here to enjoy the beer and simply not just look at it. Check out my video to see all of my other thoughts on this ale and 'IwlIj jachjaj, that’s Klingon for “May your Blood Scream” or Cheers as we use it, lol.

Brewer Notes:

The First of 3 Limited STAR TREK Releases in 2017

STAR TREK KLINGON IMPERIAL PORTER

MALTS: Specialty 2-Row, Vienna, Melanoidin, Crystal, Honey, Pale Chocolate

HOPS: Columbus, Vanguard

Raise a goblet of Klingon Imperial Porter to the strongest warriors in the Galaxy. Discover the ruby undertones that pay homage to Klingon Bloodwine and fallen warriors who hold honor above life. “There is no honor in attacking the weak,” so take pleasure in besieging this 7.3% ABV Imperial Porter. But like this mighty elixir, Klingons also have a sweet side: Witness the wedding ritual where the gods forge two hearts so strong that once joined together cannot be opposed. (Just ignore the part of the ceremony where the groom swings his bat’leth at the bride!) A Klingon proverb states: “Death is an experience best shared,” and so is the first Star Trek limited release of 2017. Qapla’!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Beer Review: Victory Tart Ten

This is a look at the Tart Ten from Victory Brewing out of Pennsylvania. This sour ale beer is based in part on that of the Belgian dubbel style. For me, the beer poured a nice reddish amber color and capped out well with a nice two finger foamy head. There is no hiding the tartness on this 10% ABV ale, but what is well hidden was the taste of the alcohol making this a dangerous one that may sneak up on you. Check out my video review here to see more of my thoughts on this brew.

Brewery Notes:

Belgium’s vast history of brewing and beer styles has inspired us at Victory for decades. Settling in on the comfort a dubbel ale provides, we sparked that style up a bit with brettanomyces fermentation. The result is rich in flavor but light in body—sharp in impression but smooth in finish. You’ll Taste Victory as Tart Ten takes your palate on a new journey!

Composition

Malt: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich, Cara 350, Cara 150, Acidulated
Hops: Saaz
ABV: 10.0%

Flavor

This bold, copper-hued, brettanomyces-infused beer entices with a delicious tart flavor combined with its slight malt character and stellar carbonation.

Unboxing: EricALionsFan Beer Mail Surprise

It's always nice to receive a surprise. Who doesn't like getting one? I think just about everyone does. So when my my buddy Eric decided to drop me out a little beer as a surprise in the box, I was appreciative and ready to get this baby open. Check out my video here to see what it may be. Yes, indeed.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Beer Run: Here's What I Got Today!

I decided to attend our recent Beer, Bourbon and Bacon Festival today and following, what is better than a beer run on the way home? So that’s what I decided to do, and here you can check out my video to see what I happened to acquire during the run which ended up yielding some good deals. This is why I keep more than one store in my rotation, because having a variety brings together various opportunities especially when each store may offer something differently. The specialty of this store is that it does well with offering some closeout deals and beers at near wholesale prices. Check out the video below to see what I mean.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Beer Review: New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale

The Cherry Almond Ale from New Belgium Brewing is I guess what one could call a fruit ale in how it may be described for a style. The beer provides a great appearance with its reddish brown color and nice tannish and foamy head. Drinking this brought up images and tastes associated with chocolate covered cherries. This definitely played out as a malt forward beer and of course that is no surprise considering the IBU on this ale is only 16. And at an ABV of 5.8% the beer doesn’t play out too heavy, although its sweetness could become a factor for some. Check out my video below to see more of my thoughts on this limited availability ale.

Brewer Notes:


With a vibrant splash of cherry, and gentle chocolate aromas, our Cherry Almond Ale delicately balances malty sweetness with a refreshingly bitter finish. Find it only in Folly Packs in early 2017.


TASTING NOTES


VISUAL: Bright ruby/mahogany color with a light off-white foam.
AROMA: Coffee, roasted malt and chocolate initially with some caramel, cherries, cola and nuts, slight smoke.
FLAVOR: Sweet throughout with very subtle sour middle and a mild lingering bitterness.
MOUTHFEEL: Starts lightly coating, finishes astringent.
BODY: Medium body.

BEER FACTS


ABV: 5.8
IBU: 16
YEAST: Ale
HOPS: Nugget, Cascade
MALTS: Pale, Munich, C-120, Victory, Black Prinz

Friday, July 14, 2017

Beer Review: Lagunitas Lagunator Lager

The Lag or Lagunator Lager is a California Common from Lagunitas Brewing that provides a nice amount of maltiness with a little bit of bite from the hops used. I decided to pick up this bottle as my curiosity was aroused, especially as it is also related to being a bock. Check out my video located below to see my full insights on this beer.

Brewer Notes:

It’s a dry-hopped California Common with a massive malt character, rounded out by a bitter balance from some experimental hops from the Yakima Valley; this beer will leave you saying ‘I’ll be bock!’

AVAILABILITY: May - June
IBU/ABV: 42 / 7.7%
INTRODUCED: 06/1998
SOLD AS: 22 Oz. and On Tap

Monday, July 10, 2017

Beer Review: Avery Hog Heaven

I always enjoy a good Imperial IPA and Hog Heaven from Avery Brewing Company was one that I happened to find on a local beer run and was looking forward to trying. Pouring a nice reddish color as an Imperial Red IPA the beer did provide a nice appearance. But what really surprised me was that with the high IBU noted on Untappd as 104, the beer played smoother than expected. Side note, Avery should really provide this detail on their website so it can be easily seen. But back to the beer, the flavor and taste was very decent and there is a great balance between the malts and the hops. This applied to a good finish definitely makes it worth a try, and was part of the reason why I scored this one on Untappd as 4 out of 5. Check out my YouTube video to see more of my thoughts on this fine brew.

Brewer Notes:

This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel malt backbone. This is a serious beer for serious beer aficionados. Oink!

AVAILABILITY: Year-round: 4-pack, 22-ounce and draft
IBU/ABV: 104 (Untappd)/9.2%
HOPS: Columbus
MALTS: 2-Row and C-80
YEAST: London Ale
SUGGESTED PAIRINGS: BBQ Nachos - Hog's hops cut the fattiness of the cheese, and its maltiness is a beautiful complement to the smoked meats.

Instagram Beer Shot


via Instagram http://ift.tt/2t6MHQU Day off...don't mind if I do. @madtreebrewing and their #entropictheory! #beer #craftbeer #beerme #beerporn #beernerd #beergeek #instabeer #beerstagram #beerlover #beersnob

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Instagram Beer Shot


via Instagram http://ift.tt/2tY3l9N Down at #braxtonlabs part of @braxtonbrewco enjoying a little #cucumber #witbier and how refreshing it is! #beer #craftbeer #rodjbeerventures #beerme #instabeer #beerstagram #beersofinstagram #beergeek #beernerd #beerporn

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Beer Review: Blank Slate Fork In The Road

Blank Slate Brewing Company is yet just one more brewery that we have here tucked away in the Cincinnati area, and this is a look at their Fork In The Road India Amber Ale. The beer itself comes in at an ABV of 6.85% and a nice IBU of 65. So as you can imagine, the hoppiness is present with this one. Pouring a nice red amber color, this beer provides a nice appearance from the body to its foamy head. Aroma and taste both come together with this beer and the balance between the malts and hops play out nicely. Check out my review here to see my full thoughts on the beer, and what led me to provide a personal Untappd rating of 4 out of 5.

Brewer Notes:

India Amber Ale. The first beer in Blank Slate’s “Traveling IPA” series. This beer sits squarely at the fork in the road where darker malts and brighter hops meet. Munich and CaraRed malts give it an amber color and bigger malt presence than a standard IPA. Generous amounts of Citra and Centennial hops remind you that it’s still an “India” style beer nonetheless.

AVAILABILITY: Year-round: 6-pack and draft
IBU/ABV: 65/6.8%
HOPS: Citra, Centennial
MALTS: 2-Row, Munich and CaraRed

Beer Review: New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA

Recently, I had the chance to check out the Voodoo Ranger IPA from New Belgium Brewing Company. This offering is just one more of the offerings under their Voodoo series. The beer itself has an ABV of 7% along with an IBU of 50, making it pretty much what should be expected from this style. The beer itself was highlighted by a nice appearance, aroma, taste and overall quality about it. I was able to easily receive a nice bittering quality with the beer and did like the semi-dry feel on the finish. Comprised also of a nice medium body, this beer was pretty solid overall. Check out the video to see my full thoughts on why I rated this one as a 4 on Untappd, firmly making it very good in my opinion.

Brewer Notes:

Bursting with tropical aromas and juicy fruit flavors from Mosaic and Amarillo hops, this golden IPA is perfectly bitter with a refreshing, sublime finish.

TASTING NOTES

VISUAL: Light golden, bright with a little particulate, medium-thin white foam.
AROMA: Pine and citrus in the fore, the citrus comprised of orange and grapefruit. Tropical fruit with lesser grassy and floral geraniol. Faint toasted bread malt note.
FLAVOR: Lightly sweet at first with a stronger, building and perfect bitterness.
MOUTHFEEL: Coating and warming with a clean finish.
BODY: Medium body.

BEER FACTS

ABV: 7%
IBU: 50
YEAST: Ale
HOPS: Nugget, Cascade, Simcoe, Chinook, Mosaic, Amarillo
MALTS: Pale, Black

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Beer Review: Terrapin Hopsecutioner

The Hopsecutioner is an American IPA offering from Terrapin Beer Company out of Athens, Georgia. This 7.3% ABV and 72 IBU American IPA pours a nice golden orange amber color with a decent foamy head. Highlighted by six hops, there is no missing of the aroma nor taste as this one is enjoyed. What I did like about this beer was that they did well with the balance between the hops and malts and were able to keep down any overkill of the taste that is plaguing some IPA s on the market. You will feel the bitterness on this one, but that is expected. I mean it is an IPA. As far as my full details on this one then check out my video below and see my overall conclusion to this one. For me, this one sat at 3.5 out of 5 on my Untappd scale which placed it between good and very good.

Brewer Notes:

About the Beer: Light copper in color, this IPA has an aroma. of fresh pine and citrus. A strong malt backbone provides balance to an assertive hop bitterness.

Pair with: Blue Cheese or Sharp Cheddar. Pair with a classic burger, or play up the citrus in the beer with a glazed orange duck dish.

ABV: 7.3%
IBU: 71
OG: 16.0
HOPS: Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade
MALTS: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Crystal 24L, Victory
AVAILABILITY: Year Round

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Beer Review: Third Street Brewhouse Hop Lift IPA

Sometimes one just decides to take a risk on a beer and that is what happened here on a recent trip to our local Aldi which just started selling beer. Hop Lift IPA is one of their few offerings and is an IPA brewed by Third Street Brewhouse out of Minnesota, a brewery for which I have no familiarity. But being a 4-pack of 16 ounce cans for $6.99, I figured why not go ahead and give it a try. Appearance wise the beer definitely didn’t disappoint as it poured very well, however taste and aroma were more along the average line of what to be expected. It did carry a little bit of an aftertaste, but for the value it did prove to be decent enough that my Untappd rating on this one was 2.75 out of 5. But, check out my video here to see my full thoughts on this American India Pale Ale.

Brewer Notes:

You love big, bold hoppy IPA’s. We get it. We love them, too. That’s why we put 600 pounds of hops in every tank of our Hop Lift IPA. Getting that many hops 40 feet up in the air and into our fermenter is no easy task. But we’re up for it. And when you taste this bold, dry-hopped brew bursting with citrus and passion fruit notes, you’ll be glad we did. How we do it, we’ll never tell. Do you need a hop lift today?

ABV: 6.2 / IBU: 60
COLOR: Deep Golden
BEST PAIRED WITH: Fried, spicy and/or salty foods along with bold, sweet desserts – suggestions include curry, fajitas, burgers, blackened chicken, mango salsa, lemon tart

Beer Review: Terrapin HI-5 IPA

The HI-5 IPA from Terrapin Beer Company is an American IPA branded as a California style IPA, and the subject of this review. Coming in with an ABV of 5.9% and IBU of 80, this IPA does hit with bitterness. The hops used do well bringing out the citrus quality that is often expected from this style, and deliver in both aroma and flavor. And despite them now being partially acquired and not considered to be craft beer by the Brewers Association, they do deliver a nice product here which is why my Untappd rating on this one is 3.5 out of 5 placing it between good and very good. Check out my video to see my full thoughts on this beer.

Brewer Notes:

About the Beer: This IPA features 5 tropical, orange, & citrusy aromatic and flavorful hops, a medium body with biscuit and caramel malt notes that bring balance to the beer. This California Style IPA’s big citrusy aroma and huge hop presence will keep you in awe sip after sip.

Pair with: Gruyere or Asiago Cheese, or classic fish tacos with crispy, crunchy cod or grilled Mahi-Mahi. Either way, load it up with freshly diced onions, roasted jalapeno, avocado, lettuce, a little fresh lime, and some garlicky aioli or mango chutney.

ABV: 5.9%

IBU: 80

OG: 13.9

HOPS: Zythos, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra (Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo & Centennial – dry hop)

MALTS: 2-Row Pale, CaraMalt, Cara Pilsner

AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Drinking Temp: Drink at 50 – 55 Degrees Fahrenheit

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Beer Review: Urban Artifact Pinwheel

The Pinwheel from Urban Artifact out of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the latest ale for my next beerventure. This ale is a Gose that has an ABV of 4.5%., and estimated IBU of 12. The thing that I like about the Gose style is that nice saltiness that follows after the refreshing taste of the beer. This one does well on following along in that regard. You really get a nice essence of the kumquats used, as both the aroma and taste do come through nicely. The appearance of the ale is very nice in color and definitely makes for a nice beer especially heading into the summer. Check out my video review here to see all of my overall thoughts on this one. As far as a rating, my Untappd score for this one is 3.75 out of 5.

Brewer Notes:

Just as the virtue of perseverance is taught in martial arts, a pinwheel symbolizes turning your luck around. Be prosperous. Enjoy a Pinwheel.

This Kumquat Gose has 250lbs Kumquats, 45g Vanilla Bean. 8lbs Sea Salt, and 1.25lbs Coriander per 30 BBL batch.

abv: 4.5%
pH: 3.4
Wild Cultures: Urban Artifact Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces cerevisae

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Craft Connection Bringing You To The Beer And Fun

All Aboard:

Our transportation for the trip

On Sunday June 25th, I had the opportunity to partake a tour around the city to various breweries as a passenger on the Craft Connection Brewery Tour. One of the great things about living in the Cincinnati area at this time is our, what I would call abundance of breweries. So, it would only make sense to be able to visit them in a safe manner…on a bus. No driving just riding, and what a great way to get around the city.

So my buddy and I arrived Sunday to the Nation Kitchen and Bar at 1200 Broadway to begin the tour. This is where the tour begins and ends and happens to be a fine little spot in the over-The-Rhine area. Oh by the way, if you are on the tour then they also provide you with happy hour pricing too which isn’t bad either. But you meet here and then the bus driver and your tour guide will come to meet you and lead you back to the bus. For this trip this was John Funcheon, and off the bat I can tell you John has put in his work. He was able to display good beer knowledge and really turn the trip into not just a good entertaining experience, but an educational one as well.

John driving the bus
So, I believe it was around 12:45 or so and John was able to get us over to the bus and provide all of the details to highlight what would take place. Once on the bus, he was able to provide the little things that we call safety notes to make sure everyone did remain so, as well as the do’s and don’ts. By the way, the best don’t was probably that they don’t play Justin Bieber as part of the music selection. And there was no complaining from the riders about that one, lol.

So for this journey, we were off to see three breweries: Blank Slate, 50 west and MadTree. If you are not familiar with these breweries in Cincinnati then you should be, they are all pretty solid nut more on them in a bit. As far as any other preliminary items about the bus, riders are allowed to bring beverages and snacks if they like although chips were provided by the tour as well. They keep a few coolers and ice on the bus which makes things nice for keeping your beer cold in between stops, especially if a few are a little bit longer of a ride but away from this it’s enjoy the ride and checking out some beers.

Blank Slate serving up brews

First Stop: Blank Slate Brewing

So our first arrival brought us to Blank Slate Brewing. Now, this is pretty cool as I have been a fan of this brewery for a long time and it is one that I feel is often overlooked and underappreciated in Cincinnati. We pulled in to this brewery and John did well leading us in into what I would call this nice cozy brewery. Side note, if you are looking at trying the new thing of beer yoga then they hold classes here, which I was able to discuss with a few of brewery patrons.

John discussing Blank Slate and their offerings
John did well with taking us into the brewery and pointing out many of the aspects that go along with brewing and telling the story of the brewery. After some dry hopping on a brew, we were able to be joined by the owner Scott LaFollette. An engineer by education, he decided to walk away to follow his dream if running a brewery and he is definitely on the right track. The thing that I liked most about Blank Slate is their philosophy of how they are creating beers and looking to create ones from a “blank slate” idea. The creativity definitely tends to show in their beers.

Speaking of which, we were able to try a few of them which as I mentioned come along as part of the tour. We started with their Out & About which was a very nice Gose. This was followed by The Lesser Path which is a White IPA, the Shroominous which is an American Brown ale and lastly the Fume which is a Porter. A nice variety of beers indeed and John also did a good job of discussing the beers and styles, which was also great as we had a fun banter back and forth around them. Yeah, I may have geeked out a bit. It happens, lol.

Fifty West was definitely hopping

Second Stop: Fifty West Brewing

So after a little loading up of beers to enjoy for the next ride, we departed from Blank Slate to adventure to Fifty West. Now somewhat like Blank Slate, I feel like Fifty sometimes gets missed but not to the same degree. This was evident as we pulled in to the lot, and had a little difficulty finding a spot to park. Now granted this is on a Sunday at around 2pm or 2:30pm during a sunny day following a few days of rain, so people were definitely anxious to get out. The cool thing about Fifty West though is that it is somewhat of a mini-complex as they have sand volleyball courts, canoe launches and even a bike shop. It truly is a nice brewery for the outdoor person, and John did well explaining the symbolism of the name and how it’s about having fun on Route 50 which is actually the longest riding highway, not Route 66.

John pouring and talking about the beer
John again was able to take us back into the brewing area so that we could check out things, and again he was able to provide a nice thorough rundown of what was happening there as well as discussing their operations. Here we were able to enjoy the Cumulus which is a Kellerbier. And this is the only brewer in Cincinnati that I have seen with this style by the way, I highly recommend it if you happen to visit them, the Doom Pedal which is a Witbier, the Strawberry Lodge Golden ale which is a Golden ale, and lastly the Coffee Please Stout…which obviously is a Stout. Again a nice variety of beers as chosen by John, and even though Golden ales aren’t usually my thing it was definitely worth trying. 

One thing to note during the visit and sharing of information, John did very well sharing again his good knowledge about beer and brewing which made it fun for everyone that was involved.


Third Stop: MadTree Brewing

The MadTree logo from out front
So after riding up the road a little more and of course drinking another beer in between because I mean we are on a beer tour, we arrived at MadTree Brewing. So MadTree is pretty much one of the big boys here in Cincinnati, along with Rhinegeist at least at the current time. I do feel as though Braxton Brewing in Northern Kentucky will also be making a push. But anyway, MadTree had just recently launched a new facility because they had outgrown their previous location. The beers here are many and draft for draft, they just may have the best variety of styles for anyone looking to get out to one of our breweries. But with their size and still renovations that were being completed, access was limited.

The view from the observation area
However, John was able to escort us up onto their observation deck so that we could see into the operations. Their wasn’t as much action taking place being it a Sunday, but the difference in this one versus the first two was yuuuuuge to quote our president.

Again, John was able to provide great tidbits about the location and the beers that we enjoyed which included the following: Sol Drifter which is a Blonde ale, Boysen the Hood which is a Belgian Blonde ale, Muddle Lover which is actually the collaboration beer that was created for Cincinnati Beer Week, and Dreamsicle which is a Kolsch. And yes, it does taste like that orange desert that we remember from our childhood. Pretty much all good beers selected from John that allowed some good experiences for all that made for happy palates.

So following MadTree, we loaded back onto the bus and headed back to our starting location where our journey began.

Final Thoughts:

www.craftconnectiontours.com
Overall, I feel as though the tour was a great experience, especially for those that are looking to learn more about beer. But even for those like myself or even more experienced, it still makes a great time and John did make it interactive. Even my buddy Gary who went along with me for the ride and has also brewed and loves beer as much as I was really thrown back. If you want to see the city through the eyes of the beer being served then this is definitely a good way to do it for sure. I must give kudos to John for a job well done, and it is great to see one more great business addition like this to the city. #HopOnCincy, leave the car at home and let Craft Connection be your tour guide to some of the best suds in the city.

Cheers! Keep Drinking Those Good Craft Beers!

Disclaimer: The tour I took with Craft Connection was that of a complimentary one but in no way did that influence my opinion. The views expressed are my personal ones and are those of an honest nature. We were joined by two out of town couples and all had a fun time with smiles on their faces at the end, and during the time I was able to gather their feedback as well which aligned with mine.

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