Kirby's Dreamland

Name's Kirby. 23 Y.O. Writer. Tea/Beer/Wine/Fiction = Passion
Sofie: Slang for taking a picture of yourself while sitting on your sofa drinking a beer

Beer: Sofie / Wine Barrel Aged Saison with Orange Peel / 6.5% ABV

Brewery: Goose Island / Chicago / Illinois 

Age: Bottled March, 2013 (over one year old)

Verdict: Evidence Of How Aging Beer Can Be Magical / 96

🔸Story Time

	You walk into a store and purchase a 2007 Cabernet with the intent of bringing it to a friend’s apartment for his/her party they are having to celebrate their new promotion at work. Unfortunately, in between combing your hair and jamming out to the latest tunes on the radio in front of the bathroom mirror, you forget the bottle on the kitchen counter as you head out to your car to leave. Bummed that you forgot to bring a gift for your friend’s party, you drive home after it has ended feeling like a freeloader that has just imbibed and munched on free food and booze at the expense of others for 3 hours with nothing to contribute yourself. 
	When you swing open the door to your apartment and throw your keys on the counter, they slide across the tile and clank against the bottle. At first you are unsure what to do with the bottle. Should you drink it? You are about to pull out your wine opener from the silverware drawer when you decide that you have already drunk enough for the evening and will just put the wine in your pantry until you find a use for it. Days turn to weeks which melt into months that transform into years. 
	One day you are cleaning out your pantry in a random fit of sanitizing craze for Spring cleaning when you come across the forgotten bottle of wine. It had been hidden behind a couple boxes of cake mix, a big bottle of soy sauce and stacks of canned soup that you had purchased on sale. Pulling it out by the neck, you brush the thin layer of dust off of the bottle and rotate it in your hands as you look at the label and suddenly remember that this was the infamous ‘forgotten bottle’ that had soured your relationship with your obviously very shallow friend for not bringing a gift to his/her promotion party. 
	You realize it is 4:15 in the afternoon and that it is 5:00 somewhere in the world, so you grab a wine glass out of the cupboard and open the bottle of vino. You do not know how it is going to taste. The 2007 bottle of Cab had been purchased in 2014 and it is now 2017. Ten years is a long time for 750ml of liquid to just stay cooped up in a bottle. Oh well, it will at least be an interesting little experiment. 
	As you pour the contents of the bottle into your glass, the light catches the cascade of wine in a way that makes it glow blood-red and shine like freshly polished silver. A gentle breeze blows into your house from the open kitchen window and catches the wine’s aroma, gently wafting it up into your nose. Notes of juicy berries, oak and a little leather hit your olfactory senses and shock your sense of smell awake with a jolt. Your mouth begins to water and you feel a grumbling in your stomach. Your entire body is fighting to procure a drop of the sweet nectar that has now splashed into your glass. 
	The first sip can only be likened to that of an orgasm. Your eyes roll back slightly and you lick your lips happily as you swallow the moutful of delicious ambrosia. Your lips scream for another meeting with the wine and before you know it your glass is empty. Every gulp goes down like silk sliding off stee, without any alcohol burn or intense tannic drying. Before long, you are vertically shaking the bottle trying to get the very last drop from the inside until it reluctantly lets go of the lips of the bottle and plops into your glass with a faint ‘plop’. 
	Was the wine this good when you bought it? You do not know because you had never had it before. All you know is that what you have just drunk was one of the most magicall experiences of your life. 

🔸General CommentsIf you bothered to read my story above (probably not because I know all people these days have the attention span of a fly) you find out that a silly mistake turned into one of the best experiences a person could have. Personally, there is nothing like cracking open a beer and from the moment that the stream of liquid pours out of the spout into the glass, knowing that what you are about to drink is going to be special. 
	This is what happened when I drank this bottle of Sofie. It is a bottle that has been sitting on shelves of a local beer store for over a year. Most people might see it and think “how can they bother to sell expired beer here” without knowing that, yes, for a hoppy IPA sitting on the shelves for a year is a travesity. However, for a Saison aged in wine barrels, a year in the bottle is a year that allows the yeast to continue changing and evolving the beer it lives in; sometimes this is for the better and other times it is for the worse. 
	In short, do a little reading and find out which beers can be aged and the next time you see one around, try and grab multiples so you can drink it every so often and seen how it transforms. Honestly, it is one of the coolest things you will ever experience. 

Without Further Adoo…RELEASE THE CRACKIN!

🔹On To The Aroma
When it is fresh, this beers smells like your quinessential Saison: Bready, peppery with a little lemon peel and yeast. When I smell this, is it all about the wine. It smells like other American Wild Ales in how you get a little lactic acid and lemon juice. There is also a great vinous presence from the time spent in the barrel as well as a little citrus from the orange peel. It does not smell like a Saison anymore. It smells like a completely new beer

~Bottom Line: lactic acid, lemon juice, black pepper, white wine, wheat

🔹On To The Flavor
Wow, this is pleasantly tart. The original Sofie is insanely carbonated with a little tartness that some Saisons are known to have. This one, however, tastes like a tame Wild Ale. I honestly feel like another year in the bottle with make this one a total ‘pucker inducer.’ Apple flesh, tannic grape skins, tart lactic acid and citrus juice with just enough bready-like malt to balance it out. It is insanely fresh, crisp and refreshing. I could drink this all day…and I just might. 

~Bottom Line: white wine, oak barrel, lactic acid, faint band-aid, grains, orange peel, green pepper

🔹On To The Verdict
There are 3 4-packs left at that store and I can safely say that I am buying all of them. This is one of those specials that is good when it is fresh, but turns into something. The only other beer I have had this same experience with is Stone’s Russian Imperial Stout. Buy a 4-pack of this, drink one right away, then drink another one every six months or so to see how it is coming along. I can’t talk this beer up any more. So, I will let my review do the talking and return to finishing this glass so I can drink another. 

Cheers!

Sofie: Slang for taking a picture of yourself while sitting on your sofa drinking a beer

Beer: Sofie / Wine Barrel Aged Saison with Orange Peel / 6.5% ABV

Brewery: Goose Island / Chicago / Illinois

Age: Bottled March, 2013 (over one year old)

Verdict: Evidence Of How Aging Beer Can Be Magical / 96

🔸Story Time

You walk into a store and purchase a 2007 Cabernet with the intent of bringing it to a friend’s apartment for his/her party they are having to celebrate their new promotion at work. Unfortunately, in between combing your hair and jamming out to the latest tunes on the radio in front of the bathroom mirror, you forget the bottle on the kitchen counter as you head out to your car to leave. Bummed that you forgot to bring a gift for your friend’s party, you drive home after it has ended feeling like a freeloader that has just imbibed and munched on free food and booze at the expense of others for 3 hours with nothing to contribute yourself.
When you swing open the door to your apartment and throw your keys on the counter, they slide across the tile and clank against the bottle. At first you are unsure what to do with the bottle. Should you drink it? You are about to pull out your wine opener from the silverware drawer when you decide that you have already drunk enough for the evening and will just put the wine in your pantry until you find a use for it. Days turn to weeks which melt into months that transform into years.
One day you are cleaning out your pantry in a random fit of sanitizing craze for Spring cleaning when you come across the forgotten bottle of wine. It had been hidden behind a couple boxes of cake mix, a big bottle of soy sauce and stacks of canned soup that you had purchased on sale. Pulling it out by the neck, you brush the thin layer of dust off of the bottle and rotate it in your hands as you look at the label and suddenly remember that this was the infamous ‘forgotten bottle’ that had soured your relationship with your obviously very shallow friend for not bringing a gift to his/her promotion party.
You realize it is 4:15 in the afternoon and that it is 5:00 somewhere in the world, so you grab a wine glass out of the cupboard and open the bottle of vino. You do not know how it is going to taste. The 2007 bottle of Cab had been purchased in 2014 and it is now 2017. Ten years is a long time for 750ml of liquid to just stay cooped up in a bottle. Oh well, it will at least be an interesting little experiment.
As you pour the contents of the bottle into your glass, the light catches the cascade of wine in a way that makes it glow blood-red and shine like freshly polished silver. A gentle breeze blows into your house from the open kitchen window and catches the wine’s aroma, gently wafting it up into your nose. Notes of juicy berries, oak and a little leather hit your olfactory senses and shock your sense of smell awake with a jolt. Your mouth begins to water and you feel a grumbling in your stomach. Your entire body is fighting to procure a drop of the sweet nectar that has now splashed into your glass.
The first sip can only be likened to that of an orgasm. Your eyes roll back slightly and you lick your lips happily as you swallow the moutful of delicious ambrosia. Your lips scream for another meeting with the wine and before you know it your glass is empty. Every gulp goes down like silk sliding off stee, without any alcohol burn or intense tannic drying. Before long, you are vertically shaking the bottle trying to get the very last drop from the inside until it reluctantly lets go of the lips of the bottle and plops into your glass with a faint ‘plop’.
Was the wine this good when you bought it? You do not know because you had never had it before. All you know is that what you have just drunk was one of the most magicall experiences of your life.

🔸General Comments
If you bothered to read my story above (probably not because I know all people these days have the attention span of a fly) you find out that a silly mistake turned into one of the best experiences a person could have. Personally, there is nothing like cracking open a beer and from the moment that the stream of liquid pours out of the spout into the glass, knowing that what you are about to drink is going to be special.
This is what happened when I drank this bottle of Sofie. It is a bottle that has been sitting on shelves of a local beer store for over a year. Most people might see it and think “how can they bother to sell expired beer here” without knowing that, yes, for a hoppy IPA sitting on the shelves for a year is a travesity. However, for a Saison aged in wine barrels, a year in the bottle is a year that allows the yeast to continue changing and evolving the beer it lives in; sometimes this is for the better and other times it is for the worse.
In short, do a little reading and find out which beers can be aged and the next time you see one around, try and grab multiples so you can drink it every so often and seen how it transforms. Honestly, it is one of the coolest things you will ever experience.

Without Further Adoo…RELEASE THE CRACKIN!

🔹On To The Aroma
When it is fresh, this beers smells like your quinessential Saison: Bready, peppery with a little lemon peel and yeast. When I smell this, is it all about the wine. It smells like other American Wild Ales in how you get a little lactic acid and lemon juice. There is also a great vinous presence from the time spent in the barrel as well as a little citrus from the orange peel. It does not smell like a Saison anymore. It smells like a completely new beer

~Bottom Line: lactic acid, lemon juice, black pepper, white wine, wheat

🔹On To The Flavor
Wow, this is pleasantly tart. The original Sofie is insanely carbonated with a little tartness that some Saisons are known to have. This one, however, tastes like a tame Wild Ale. I honestly feel like another year in the bottle with make this one a total ‘pucker inducer.’ Apple flesh, tannic grape skins, tart lactic acid and citrus juice with just enough bready-like malt to balance it out. It is insanely fresh, crisp and refreshing. I could drink this all day…and I just might.

~Bottom Line: white wine, oak barrel, lactic acid, faint band-aid, grains, orange peel, green pepper

🔹On To The Verdict
There are 3 4-packs left at that store and I can safely say that I am buying all of them. This is one of those specials that is good when it is fresh, but turns into something. The only other beer I have had this same experience with is Stone’s Russian Imperial Stout. Buy a 4-pack of this, drink one right away, then drink another one every six months or so to see how it is coming along. I can’t talk this beer up any more. So, I will let my review do the talking and return to finishing this glass so I can drink another.

Cheers!

PBJ: an acronym commonly thought to represent the abbreviation for ‘Peanut Butter & Jelly’ but actually stands for ‘Peach and Brett Juice.’

Beer: Peche ‘n Brett / Oak-aged Saison brewed with Brettanomyces yeast and Peaches / 10% ABV

Brewery: Logsdon Farmhouse Ales / Hood River / Oregon

Age: Unknown (most recent batch)

Verdict: One of the best sours I have ever had / 98

🔸A Little History
Since starting up Logsdon Farmhouse Ales in 2011, David Logsdon has helped revolutionize and inspire a generation of brewers and drinkers to keep the Farmhouse Ale style alive. Ever since being created in the farmlands of Belgium in the 19th century, saisons have fought to stay alive in the ever-growing craft beer world. Of all the brewing countries in the world, the US is probably the only one doing anything substantial in terms of revolutionizing and pushing the limits of what a saison can be. In actuality, it truly is the most versatile beer in the world. It can be light, dark, hoppy, bready, sweet, dry, brewed with fruit, aged in bourbon barrels, etc. In a way, a traditional saison is a blank canvas that brewers can use to make a beer that is truly unique and one-of-a-kind. That is why saisons are my favorite style and why I like to act as an advocate for their exponential incline in the craft beer world.

🔸General Comments
This beer has been on my ‘must have’ list for over a year now. I have had the base beer that makes up this particular brew known as Seizoen Bretta, which is a Saison brewed with brettanomyces. They take that beer, age it in oak barrels, and then condition it on tons of peaches; to be exact, 1.5 pounds of peaches for every gallon of beer. Also, for those that are not privy as to what exactly ‘Brett’ is, it is a strain of yeast famously used in Belgian styles such as Lambics and Gueuzes. When you hear people talk about beers such as those, you may hear them mutter descriptions such as horse blanket, sweaty gym socks, musty cellar, dust, ‘funk’ and wet hay. While these might sound like adjectives that would keep you from purchasing a particular beer, in the right style of beer they can be some of the most magical and memorable flavors and aromas you will ever experience. 

🔹On To The Aroma
Having been brewed with Brett, there is just enough of those characteristics that make me say “oooh yeah, I smell the brett.” At the same time, the peaches are the star of the show and definitely take center stage. Juicy peach, lactic acid, faint citrus juice, wisps of alcohol and a little bit of oak. After I had carefully poured a few glasses to get a taste, I sloshed the beer in the bottle so I could mix the yeast and fruit sediment up and really get that ‘rustic’ flavor that I love in Saisons. Yehp, that definitely gave a little more ‘funk’ to the aroma as a whole. Absolutely amazing. 

🔹On To The Flavor
The flavor is where the show really starts. Crisp mouthfeel and prickly carbonation coupled with a pleasant tartness makes this a beer I can’t put down. It has that quintessential Saison yeast flavor with grain, bubble gum, lemon and a little banana on the finish when it warms. Again, once aroused the sediment in the bottom of the bottle, the Saison characteristics really come through. As it warms, the alcohol gently numbs the palate. However, at no point in my imbibing do I taste alcohol. Brett shines a little more once the beer has warmed and had the sediment aroused. 

🔹On To The Verdict
Honestly, this is right up there with West Ashley. While West Ashley is a Wild Ale and features a more ‘sour’ flavor profile, this beer is not far behind in terms of sour Saisons and really acts as a quintessential example of the ingenuity and creativity of brewers these days. Mr. Logsdon, if you are reading this, you have made this boy very happy!

Cheers!

PBJ: an acronym commonly thought to represent the abbreviation for ‘Peanut Butter & Jelly’ but actually stands for ‘Peach and Brett Juice.’

Beer: Peche ‘n Brett / Oak-aged Saison brewed with Brettanomyces yeast and Peaches / 10% ABV

Brewery: Logsdon Farmhouse Ales / Hood River / Oregon

Age: Unknown (most recent batch)

Verdict: One of the best sours I have ever had / 98

🔸A Little History
Since starting up Logsdon Farmhouse Ales in 2011, David Logsdon has helped revolutionize and inspire a generation of brewers and drinkers to keep the Farmhouse Ale style alive. Ever since being created in the farmlands of Belgium in the 19th century, saisons have fought to stay alive in the ever-growing craft beer world. Of all the brewing countries in the world, the US is probably the only one doing anything substantial in terms of revolutionizing and pushing the limits of what a saison can be. In actuality, it truly is the most versatile beer in the world. It can be light, dark, hoppy, bready, sweet, dry, brewed with fruit, aged in bourbon barrels, etc. In a way, a traditional saison is a blank canvas that brewers can use to make a beer that is truly unique and one-of-a-kind. That is why saisons are my favorite style and why I like to act as an advocate for their exponential incline in the craft beer world.

🔸General Comments
This beer has been on my ‘must have’ list for over a year now. I have had the base beer that makes up this particular brew known as Seizoen Bretta, which is a Saison brewed with brettanomyces. They take that beer, age it in oak barrels, and then condition it on tons of peaches; to be exact, 1.5 pounds of peaches for every gallon of beer. Also, for those that are not privy as to what exactly ‘Brett’ is, it is a strain of yeast famously used in Belgian styles such as Lambics and Gueuzes. When you hear people talk about beers such as those, you may hear them mutter descriptions such as horse blanket, sweaty gym socks, musty cellar, dust, ‘funk’ and wet hay. While these might sound like adjectives that would keep you from purchasing a particular beer, in the right style of beer they can be some of the most magical and memorable flavors and aromas you will ever experience.

🔹On To The Aroma
Having been brewed with Brett, there is just enough of those characteristics that make me say “oooh yeah, I smell the brett.” At the same time, the peaches are the star of the show and definitely take center stage. Juicy peach, lactic acid, faint citrus juice, wisps of alcohol and a little bit of oak. After I had carefully poured a few glasses to get a taste, I sloshed the beer in the bottle so I could mix the yeast and fruit sediment up and really get that ‘rustic’ flavor that I love in Saisons. Yehp, that definitely gave a little more ‘funk’ to the aroma as a whole. Absolutely amazing.

🔹On To The Flavor
The flavor is where the show really starts. Crisp mouthfeel and prickly carbonation coupled with a pleasant tartness makes this a beer I can’t put down. It has that quintessential Saison yeast flavor with grain, bubble gum, lemon and a little banana on the finish when it warms. Again, once aroused the sediment in the bottom of the bottle, the Saison characteristics really come through. As it warms, the alcohol gently numbs the palate. However, at no point in my imbibing do I taste alcohol. Brett shines a little more once the beer has warmed and had the sediment aroused.

🔹On To The Verdict
Honestly, this is right up there with West Ashley. While West Ashley is a Wild Ale and features a more ‘sour’ flavor profile, this beer is not far behind in terms of sour Saisons and really acts as a quintessential example of the ingenuity and creativity of brewers these days. Mr. Logsdon, if you are reading this, you have made this boy very happy!

Cheers!

Waiter, May I Please Have a Menu That Doesn’t Encourage Me To Color In The Food I Want To Eat?
Beer: Adult Menu / IPA brewed with Blood Orange and Grapefruit Puree / 4.3% ABV
Brewery: Tired Hands / Ardmore / PA
Age: 4 days old
Verdict: Insanely Aromatic / 92
🔸General Comments
In the last 10 years, craft beer breweries have been sprouting up across the country by the thousands. Some rise like cream to the top of the bottle while others fall out of solution and settle at the bottle of the barrel. Then, there are those that float in the middle and neither rise nor fall. Of those three archtypes, Tired Hands has risen through the ranks and now floats confortably among the rest of the cream at the top.
Everything that brewmasters Jean, Julie and Magic Mike touch turns to liquid gold; whether it be a citrusy IPA, bourbon stout, tart berliner weisse or smoky rauchbier. The skill, love and attention to detail that they put in their beer can be noticed from the first wiff of the beer to the final drop in the glass. They brew beers that they like, all the while not worrying if the vast majority of the population will appreciate them or not. They march to the beat of their own drum and do not alter their tempo or change pitch because someone cannot appreciate what magic radiates from their fingers and brew kettles. I am fortunate enough to have experienced and partaken in a number of their beers and can honestly say that they are in my top 5 favorite breweries as of now.
Boys and girls of TH, keep doing what you are doing and stay true to who you are: funky, unique individuals who brew funky, unique beer. I would not have you change for anything.
🔹On to the Aroma!
Simcoe hops = passion fruit, tropical goodness and pine resinMotueka hops = earth, spice and fruity esters Add these two varietals to loads of blood orange and grapefruit puree and you have quite the pungent mixture. The nose is basically dripping with citrusy nectar. It is not the usual IBU onslaught that most American Pale Ale styles have come to be known for. The nose is soft with the characteristics behaving more like introverted nuances than aggressive expressions.
Bottom line: grass, grapefruit, orange, lemon/lime zest, pine resin, grain.
🔹On to the Flavor!
Tired Hands brews practically all of their beers with oats in the grain bill. This gives their beers a wonderful cloudy appearance, but more importantly it softens the beer’s presence on the palate. It masks alcohol, softens carbonation and gives the beer a silky aspect when it glides across the tongue. Malt is not sweet here, but rather toasty and gives the beer a pleasant dryness on the finish
Bottom line: toasty malt, grass, earth, tannic citrus peel, hints of black pepper, orange/grapefruit puree, oats.
🔹On to the Verdict!
Needless to say, that entire growler went down the hatch in no time. As with all of Tired Hand’s beers, the drinkability is through the roof. The hop bitterness does not numb the palate, the malty sweetness does not sicken the stomach and the alcohol does not quickly fog the mind. I am always a little sad when I finish a growler because I know that it might be the last time I partake in that certain beer. Tired Hands brews in such small amounts and rotates their line-up at such a frequent rate that they do not have the same beer on tap for long peridos of time. I hope they bring this back.
Cheers!

Waiter, May I Please Have a Menu That Doesn’t Encourage Me To Color In The Food I Want To Eat?

Beer: Adult Menu / IPA brewed with Blood Orange and Grapefruit Puree / 4.3% ABV

Brewery: Tired Hands / Ardmore / PA

Age: 4 days old

Verdict: Insanely Aromatic / 92

🔸General Comments

In the last 10 years, craft beer breweries have been sprouting up across the country by the thousands. Some rise like cream to the top of the bottle while others fall out of solution and settle at the bottle of the barrel. Then, there are those that float in the middle and neither rise nor fall. Of those three archtypes, Tired Hands has risen through the ranks and now floats confortably among the rest of the cream at the top.

Everything that brewmasters Jean, Julie and Magic Mike touch turns to liquid gold; whether it be a citrusy IPA, bourbon stout, tart berliner weisse or smoky rauchbier. The skill, love and attention to detail that they put in their beer can be noticed from the first wiff of the beer to the final drop in the glass. They brew beers that they like, all the while not worrying if the vast majority of the population will appreciate them or not. They march to the beat of their own drum and do not alter their tempo or change pitch because someone cannot appreciate what magic radiates from their fingers and brew kettles. I am fortunate enough to have experienced and partaken in a number of their beers and can honestly say that they are in my top 5 favorite breweries as of now.

Boys and girls of TH, keep doing what you are doing and stay true to who you are: funky, unique individuals who brew funky, unique beer. I would not have you change for anything.

🔹On to the Aroma!

Simcoe hops = passion fruit, tropical goodness and pine resin
Motueka hops = earth, spice and fruity esters
Add these two varietals to loads of blood orange and grapefruit puree and you have quite the pungent mixture. The nose is basically dripping with citrusy nectar. It is not the usual IBU onslaught that most American Pale Ale styles have come to be known for. The nose is soft with the characteristics behaving more like introverted nuances than aggressive expressions.

Bottom line: grass, grapefruit, orange, lemon/lime zest, pine resin, grain.

🔹On to the Flavor!

Tired Hands brews practically all of their beers with oats in the grain bill. This gives their beers a wonderful cloudy appearance, but more importantly it softens the beer’s presence on the palate. It masks alcohol, softens carbonation and gives the beer a silky aspect when it glides across the tongue. Malt is not sweet here, but rather toasty and gives the beer a pleasant dryness on the finish

Bottom line: toasty malt, grass, earth, tannic citrus peel, hints of black pepper, orange/grapefruit puree, oats.

🔹On to the Verdict!

Needless to say, that entire growler went down the hatch in no time. As with all of Tired Hand’s beers, the drinkability is through the roof. The hop bitterness does not numb the palate, the malty sweetness does not sicken the stomach and the alcohol does not quickly fog the mind. I am always a little sad when I finish a growler because I know that it might be the last time I partake in that certain beer. Tired Hands brews in such small amounts and rotates their line-up at such a frequent rate that they do not have the same beer on tap for long peridos of time. I hope they bring this back.

Cheers!

My KBS hunt unfortunately starts tomorrow, so in the meantime I have this badass package to bring home with me. So pumped about that Funk’d Citra. Only one of ~300. #beer #nightshiftbrewing #craftbeer #sour #craftbeer #beerhaul #beertrade @nightshiftbeer

My KBS hunt unfortunately starts tomorrow, so in the meantime I have this badass package to bring home with me. So pumped about that Funk’d Citra. Only one of ~300. #beer #nightshiftbrewing #craftbeer #sour #craftbeer #beerhaul #beertrade @nightshiftbeer

Sippin on a pint of Gorilla Warfare from Sixpoint Brewery at Hoptron Brewtique. 7% Coffee Porter from my favorite NY brewery. Big roasted coffee notes in the aroma and flavor with dark chocolate bitterness. Finishes nice and dry. Alcohol is perceptible but only lets you know you need to sip it slowly. #beer #craftbeer #alcohol #porter #coffee #sixpoint #brooklyn @sixpointbrewery @hoptronbrewtique

Sippin on a pint of Gorilla Warfare from Sixpoint Brewery at Hoptron Brewtique. 7% Coffee Porter from my favorite NY brewery. Big roasted coffee notes in the aroma and flavor with dark chocolate bitterness. Finishes nice and dry. Alcohol is perceptible but only lets you know you need to sip it slowly. #beer #craftbeer #alcohol #porter #coffee #sixpoint #brooklyn @sixpointbrewery @hoptronbrewtique

-That Man is NOT the Kind of Beer Geek You Bring Home to Your Mother-

Beer: Rico Sauvin, New Zealand Imperial IPA, 8.2% ABV

Brewery: Against the Grain, Louisville, Kentucky

Age: Unknown

Verdict: Flavorful, but a little unbalanced

🔸Personal Notes
Seeing as how I am in the process of brewing my very own New Zealand IPA, I thought I would try as many as I could to see what it should taste like. If I had not been forced to use English hops as my flavoring hops instead of New Zealand varietals, I do believe that my own beer would taste close to this. It certainly smells like it. 

🔸Style Background
New Zealand hops have only recently found popularity among the masses. This is due largely in part to the fact that if you want to brew with ones of a high quality, it costs a pretty penny to have them shipped directly from the source. This particular beer is hopped with a varietal known as Nelson Sauvin. The word ‘Nelson’ stems from the name of the city in which the hop is grow, while ‘Sauvin’ is thought to derive from a nod to the country’s famous varietal, Sauvignon Blanc. Also, when used as an aroma hop, it gives off a very bright citrus/vinous quality reminiscent of the country’s flagship grape. 

Release the Crackin!

🔹On to the Aroma!
Very interesting nose on this beer. It opens with orange-like citrus coupled with hints of pineapple and mango. Vinous qualities also poke their head out, but only after the beer has sat in the glass and opened up a little. The quintessential ‘piney resin’ of American west coast hops is not present, and instead is replaced with a subtle grassy aroma that works in tandem with a faint earthiness. Malt is present, but plays second fiddle to the wonderful characteristics of the Nelson Sauvin hop. 

🔹On to the Flavor!
The first sip brings a pleasant candied fruit sweetness to the palate that can be compared to candied oranges and grapefruit. It is not cloying, but dances dangerously along the edge of being so. The bitterness that strikes is more of an earthy kind that one mind find in a German or Czech pilsner or an English IPA, as opposed to the resiny characteristics of the American style. It detracts slightly from the citrus and vinous flavors in the beer and keeps my attention from focusing solely on them. Yes, I understand this is a Double IPA and that bitterness is always more perceivable in that style, but for some reason the aroma led me to belive this beer would be a little more subtle. 

🔹On to the Verdict!
All in all, this beer is wonderful. The alcohol is hidden, the flavors do not exhaust or overwhelm the palate if one wishes to imbibe in the entire bottle and the aroma is pleasant and inviting. I highly recommend this beer and while the price is a little steep at $13 for a bottle, you will quickly forget the lightness in your wallet as you revel in the hops and let them carry you along the winds of the ocean to the country of rolling hillsides with sheep pasteurs, vineyards and hop farms as far as the eye can see. 

Cheers!

-That Man is NOT the Kind of Beer Geek You Bring Home to Your Mother-

Beer: Rico Sauvin, New Zealand Imperial IPA, 8.2% ABV

Brewery: Against the Grain, Louisville, Kentucky

Age: Unknown

Verdict: Flavorful, but a little unbalanced

🔸Personal Notes
Seeing as how I am in the process of brewing my very own New Zealand IPA, I thought I would try as many as I could to see what it should taste like. If I had not been forced to use English hops as my flavoring hops instead of New Zealand varietals, I do believe that my own beer would taste close to this. It certainly smells like it.

🔸Style Background
New Zealand hops have only recently found popularity among the masses. This is due largely in part to the fact that if you want to brew with ones of a high quality, it costs a pretty penny to have them shipped directly from the source. This particular beer is hopped with a varietal known as Nelson Sauvin. The word ‘Nelson’ stems from the name of the city in which the hop is grow, while ‘Sauvin’ is thought to derive from a nod to the country’s famous varietal, Sauvignon Blanc. Also, when used as an aroma hop, it gives off a very bright citrus/vinous quality reminiscent of the country’s flagship grape.

Release the Crackin!

🔹On to the Aroma!
Very interesting nose on this beer. It opens with orange-like citrus coupled with hints of pineapple and mango. Vinous qualities also poke their head out, but only after the beer has sat in the glass and opened up a little. The quintessential ‘piney resin’ of American west coast hops is not present, and instead is replaced with a subtle grassy aroma that works in tandem with a faint earthiness. Malt is present, but plays second fiddle to the wonderful characteristics of the Nelson Sauvin hop.

🔹On to the Flavor!
The first sip brings a pleasant candied fruit sweetness to the palate that can be compared to candied oranges and grapefruit. It is not cloying, but dances dangerously along the edge of being so. The bitterness that strikes is more of an earthy kind that one mind find in a German or Czech pilsner or an English IPA, as opposed to the resiny characteristics of the American style. It detracts slightly from the citrus and vinous flavors in the beer and keeps my attention from focusing solely on them. Yes, I understand this is a Double IPA and that bitterness is always more perceivable in that style, but for some reason the aroma led me to belive this beer would be a little more subtle.

🔹On to the Verdict!
All in all, this beer is wonderful. The alcohol is hidden, the flavors do not exhaust or overwhelm the palate if one wishes to imbibe in the entire bottle and the aroma is pleasant and inviting. I highly recommend this beer and while the price is a little steep at $13 for a bottle, you will quickly forget the lightness in your wallet as you revel in the hops and let them carry you along the winds of the ocean to the country of rolling hillsides with sheep pasteurs, vineyards and hop farms as far as the eye can see.

Cheers!

One Nation, Under Hops, Imbibe-able, With Liberty and Alcohol for All

Beer: Citranation, Citra-hopped Double IPA, 8% ABV

Brewery: Night Shift, Everett, MA

Age: 1 day old

Verdict: Solid (better out of a bottle than a growler) / 91

Now that I am safe and sound back in the sanctity of my home, I thought it was time I christen my new glass and break open this growler I procured from my time at the Night Shift Brewery. From talking with one of the brewers, when they open their new production facility the chance of getting a job there increases. I have been a huge fan of their beers for a while and am greatly considering moving to Boston if I could get a job at the brewery. They are growing exponentially and I would like to get on board while the oppurtunity presents itself. 

Without further ado, however…

Release the Crackin!

The first time I had this beer was last year out of their corked bottle. When I saw it on the board for tap offerings, I quickly grabbed a growler. This is one in a series of single-hopped Belgian Imperial IPAs. They have brewed beers with hops such as Mosaic, Simcoe and Amarillo. Citra, however, happens to be a personal favorite; although New Zealand varietals are quickly climbing the ranks. 

As I snapped open the swing-top growler and poured aggressively into my glass, I noticed that there was a low level of carbonation. I guess even a day old growler can lose some of its luster. Aroma is comprised of the usual tropical fruit and cat urine/amonia notes that are associated with the Citra varietal. Pine and grass are present, but not as prevalent as with other varietals. Also, there was a noticeable level of garlic in the aroma. I did a little bit of research and found that garlic/onion is an characteristic that comes from different elements in the soil where the hop is grown, as well as a hop that has sat on the bine for too long. I am not sure which is the correct answer, but needless to say I have found this characteristic in numerous other IPAs. Oh well, it still smelled great. 

Flavor consists of a rock sugar-like sweetness with low levels of citrus and pine. Again, that garlic characteristic is even more noticeable in the taste. Unfortunately, it really distracts my taste buds from the potential flavor profile of the beer and masks any nuance that might have otherwise been present. It is certainly palatable, but not to the degree of the bottle I had last year. 

I will just chock this up to a ‘less than stellar’ batch and hope that their next release is back on track to being one of the best imperial IPAs in the Northeast. Night Shift, keep doing what you are doing. 

Cheers!

One Nation, Under Hops, Imbibe-able, With Liberty and Alcohol for All

Beer: Citranation, Citra-hopped Double IPA, 8% ABV

Brewery: Night Shift, Everett, MA

Age: 1 day old

Verdict: Solid (better out of a bottle than a growler) / 91

Now that I am safe and sound back in the sanctity of my home, I thought it was time I christen my new glass and break open this growler I procured from my time at the Night Shift Brewery. From talking with one of the brewers, when they open their new production facility the chance of getting a job there increases. I have been a huge fan of their beers for a while and am greatly considering moving to Boston if I could get a job at the brewery. They are growing exponentially and I would like to get on board while the oppurtunity presents itself.

Without further ado, however…

Release the Crackin!

The first time I had this beer was last year out of their corked bottle. When I saw it on the board for tap offerings, I quickly grabbed a growler. This is one in a series of single-hopped Belgian Imperial IPAs. They have brewed beers with hops such as Mosaic, Simcoe and Amarillo. Citra, however, happens to be a personal favorite; although New Zealand varietals are quickly climbing the ranks.

As I snapped open the swing-top growler and poured aggressively into my glass, I noticed that there was a low level of carbonation. I guess even a day old growler can lose some of its luster. Aroma is comprised of the usual tropical fruit and cat urine/amonia notes that are associated with the Citra varietal. Pine and grass are present, but not as prevalent as with other varietals. Also, there was a noticeable level of garlic in the aroma. I did a little bit of research and found that garlic/onion is an characteristic that comes from different elements in the soil where the hop is grown, as well as a hop that has sat on the bine for too long. I am not sure which is the correct answer, but needless to say I have found this characteristic in numerous other IPAs. Oh well, it still smelled great.

Flavor consists of a rock sugar-like sweetness with low levels of citrus and pine. Again, that garlic characteristic is even more noticeable in the taste. Unfortunately, it really distracts my taste buds from the potential flavor profile of the beer and masks any nuance that might have otherwise been present. It is certainly palatable, but not to the degree of the bottle I had last year.

I will just chock this up to a ‘less than stellar’ batch and hope that their next release is back on track to being one of the best imperial IPAs in the Northeast. Night Shift, keep doing what you are doing.

Cheers!

Ending the night with Brooklyn Brewery’s Cuveé La Boîte: a single keg of barrel aged Belgian Ale. ONLY ONE KEG EVER MADE! One of the most complex beers I’ve ever tasted. #craftbeer #beer #alcohol #brooklyn #boston #tiptaproom #EBF

Ending the night with Brooklyn Brewery’s Cuveé La Boîte: a single keg of barrel aged Belgian Ale. ONLY ONE KEG EVER MADE! One of the most complex beers I’ve ever tasted. #craftbeer #beer #alcohol #brooklyn #boston #tiptaproom #EBF

Honoring the great Charles Bukowski with drinking a hoppy red ale brewed with hibiscus named Bukowski R.I.P. @joefuzz13 #beer craftbeer #bukowski #alcohol #boston #thetiptaproom

Honoring the great Charles Bukowski with drinking a hoppy red ale brewed with hibiscus named Bukowski R.I.P. @joefuzz13 #beer craftbeer #bukowski #alcohol #boston #thetiptaproom

What am I doin? Oh nothin, just chillin with Todd Alström. #beeradvocate #boston #craftbeer

What am I doin? Oh nothin, just chillin with Todd Alström. #beeradvocate #boston #craftbeer