Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October Fermentation Friday - “Remember why we brew?”

Hi all,

Welcome to my post for the October session of Fermentation Friday hosted by CNYBrew. This months topic "Remember why we brew" made me really think why do I brew. Well I brew for the love the beer. What better way to learn about my favorite beverage then to make it myself. I have tried hundreds of different beers from all over the country and world. While drinking many of these beers I always wondered how did they get that great citrus aroma or that great chocolate taste. I had to find out for myself so I started brewing. I just started out with something simple a nice amber ale due to the fact that I felt an amber ale has a little of everything that is good in the beer world. Good hop and malt flavors of aroma but not overly powerful in any one area. It was amazing to drink your first beer your drink. It may be good or it may be bad but its yours. Once you pop open your first beer and try it you realize there is a whole new world available to you. You can add as much hops you want, you can make it as strong or as weak as you want, you can add any kind of fruit, spice, or herb that you want. Its your beer! Heck you can even make someone elses beer but its still your beer.

So why do I brew! I brew cause I want to make my beer. I want to take the best of what I like from each beer I taste to possibly create the perfect beer. Is it possible to make the perfect beer? I don't know but I am sure going to try. That is why I brew!!

Thanks again to CNYBrew for hosting this month. See you all next month!!

Matt C.

Friday, September 25, 2009

September Fermentation Friday - "What turned you on to Craft Beer"

Hi All,

Welcome to this this months Fermentation Friday hosted by Jason @ Brewing the Perfect Beer! This months topic is one I have written about a few times. What turned me on to craft beer wasn't really craft beer at all. It was mass market German beer while in Germany. Before the trip to Germany a few years ago I wasn't really into beer I was in to wine. When we got to Munich I had the most amazing beer I had ever had. I think it was Spaten Octoberfest. I loved it! So while checking out Munich I got to try other Spaten beers,some Hoegaarden, and some local beers. From that point on I couldn't stop thinking about what other beers were out there. Luckily the next stop was Berlin and my wife's friend took us to this beer bar with hundreds of different beers to choose from. We went there all three nights we were there and I must have tried a dozen different kinds. It doesn't sound like a lot but they were high in alcohol and $$$. I have been trying as many beers as I can since then. I love the different flavors and ingredients that craft beer offers. If it weren't for craft beer I wouldn't have become a home brewer. What better way to learn about your favorite beverage and passion then to make it yourself. As a home brewer the more beers I try the more I learn about what I like and what I would like to brew.

Well folks that is how I got into craft beer. Thanks again to Jason for hosting. See you next month!

Matt C.

PS -The mass market German beers isn't the best beers I have ever tasted anymore. At the time Dos Equis or Amstel were the top of my beer list. Sad Huh! Then again there was there beer bar in college that had tons of craft beers and imports but I just tried them to get the mug on the wall. I didn't really know what I was drinking. So I am not counting it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beer Review #44 - Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Hi Guys,

I know its been a while but here it is. Who would have thought a 7 month old would suck all the energy out of you. Rather then drink a beer and write I much prefer to drink a beer and relax. But don't worry I know that if I am truly going to be the famous beer writer that I know will happen (yeah right) then I have to post. Like I stated in my last post I hope to do one review a week and go from there. On to the Rogue Dead Guy review.

Appearance - The Dead Guy pours a nice copper color with a great head. The head leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The Dead Guy has a good hint of pine and maybe a hint of citrus from the hops. This is well balanced with hints of caramel from the malt.

Taste - All the flavors in the aroma come through in the taste of the Dead Guy but I feel the malt has a slight lead in the taste.

Mouthfeel - The Dead Guy has a nice light to medium mouthfeel. The carbonation caries everything throughout the mouth.

Drinkability - This is what I call a good all year beer. It has enough body for the cool months but is light enough for the summer.

Welcome back all see you next time.

Matt C.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Been Busy!!

Wow its been a long time since I posted. I have been swamped at work. My wife has been traveling a lot for work so I have been playing Mr. Mom a few nights a week and I have been trying to cut back on the beer consumption. All these factors have kept me from posting the way I would like. So I guess that means I am going to have to re evaluate my goal of posting 2 reviews a week and just do one. I promise I will have one for you by close of business Sunday. I think I can fit in a beer during football. Ok I can probably fit in 2 so maybe I will cheat and save it for a later date.

I am still around. Keep looking and keep reading!!

Matt C.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fermentation Friday Roundup - Breaking away from the Norm

Hi All,

Sorry about the late roundup. When I first thought of the topic I had an idea in mind. I wanted to know if all you home brewers out there slightly stepped outside the box when brewing. Meaning there are many types of hops, grains, and yeasts but when brewing you always see people using basic American 2-row, some of the 3 C hops, and some American ale yeast. I wanted to know if people ever slightly stepped outside the box by using some lesser know variety of hops like glacier, with a base of 6-row, using Safale 04 as the yeast. I don't think everyone got that and now that I have read what I asked for I don't think I made that very clear. So like Adam said I guess this turned in to taking risk and brewing outside the box cause that is how most of you answered the question. I think if I were to do it over again i think I would title the topic "Substitution Game - Getting A Similar Beer by Slightly Tweeking the Ingredients"

So here is the roundup for this month!

Jason from Brewing the Perfect Beer just used Pilsner Malt for the first time but will stick with 2-row due to cost.

Mr. Randolph over at Just Another Booze Blog must have had a lot of beers before writing but it was an entertaining read. Tip don't try to use fruit to hide beer flaws it don't work. It seems that he loved my topic so much he posted twice. I think this was the first one. He told us his favorite beer is Miller High Life ;-) and he tried to make it(even used the rice). It almost worked something went wrong with carbonation.

Rob at Pfiff was dumbfounded at the topic but I don't know why. His holiday ale is made with a pilsner malt. That's not the normal 2-row.

Jimmy at Hopwild tried some reverse psychology on me. He says try to use the 3 C hops in a recipe that normally doesn't call for them.

John at Brew Dudes says you need to balance the basics with the experimental just like you balance the hops and the malt.

Adam at Beer Bits 2 normal operations of on the fly brewing causes him to use ingredients not normally used in a recipe. He has to use what is on hand such as a hefeweizen yeast in a pale ale. This is what I am talking about.

Steph at Brew.Cook.Pair.Joy is rarely in the norm they have used the 3 C hops but no more then her use of noble hops. She also has used many regional base malts when brewing the beers of the region.

Thanks again to Adam at Beer Bits 2 for starting this fun event and allowing me to host again. I now hand the reigns to Jason at Brewing the Perfect Beer who will be hosting the September Fermentation Friday. I wonder what exciting topic he has in store for us.

See you all next month!!

Matt C.

Fermentation Friday Roundup Delayed

Hi all that posted to this months Fermentation Friday. When I signed up to host i forgot I was going out of town for the week. I just got back and will have the roundup done sometime between tonight and Tuesday evening.

Sorry for the delay and thanks again for posting.

Matt C.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August Fermentation Friday Topic Announcement

Hi Guys,

I volunteered to host another Fermentation Friday but I didn't realize it would come so soon. For the last few days I have been racking the brain for a fun and stimulating topic and I think I may finally have come up with one. Ok, Ok I am am lying my topic ended up going back to the basics. In this case the basics are the ingredients. Most home brewers I know and read about use the standard 2 row base malt and the 3 big C's for the hops and maybe a nice 1056 or 05 for the yeast. In my book that is kind of boring even though I do it myself. I want to know if and why you break away from the norm. Do you use Maris Otter for your base and Tettenger as the hop. Or have you ever tried using a specialty malt as a base (can this even be done)? Do you like to mix up the yeast or do you always stay the same. So bust out your out of the norm recipes and tell me why you chose what you did.

Let me and the world know! See you on August 28th!! Send me an email if you know it or just post a comment here and I will compile them all in a nice post as usual.

Peace out and see you all soon!

Matt C.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beer Review #43 - Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Hi All,

I know is been a while for a review but here is my next one. Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager
is a seasonal from one of my favorite breweries. So I was expecting something good from this one.

Appearance - The summerfest pours a light golden color with a good head that dissipates quickly

Aroma - The summerfest has very little hop aroma and a slight bit of sulpher in the nose.

Tastes - I normally don't say this about SN stuff but there is very little flavor. The summerfest has a little more flavor then a macro lager and I have no clue how to review those.

Mouthfeel - The Summerfest is very highly carbonation with a nice chrispness

Drinkability - Its drinkable and I would choose it over a mass produced american lager but it's nothing special in my opinion.

See you all soon!
Matt C.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Session #30 - Beer Desserts

Hi All,

Welcome to my post for this months the session. I would like to thank Beer 47 for hosting this month. This months topic is beer desserts. I am not that knowledgeable in beer desserts but I have had a few.

The first is a stout float (I have also had it with a porter) this is a very nice end to a meal or even as a nice stand alone snack. The creaminess of the ice cream mixes well with the chocolate/coffee notes of the stout. Its just like an adult root beer float just not as sweet.

The other that I can remember was this June at the National Homebrewers Conference. Sean Paxton the Homebrew Chef did a whole meal with rogue beers. Each course used the beer in the recipe and was paired with it. It was a great meal. Sorry slightly off topic. The meal ended with a chocolate moose made with the rogue chocolate stout served in a chocolate bowl. It was so rich that a few bites were more the enough but it was delicious. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to a great meal!!

My only other beer and dessert experience didn't involve beer as an ingredient but as a pairing. A nice hoppy IPA such as Hop Ottin from Anderson Valley and Carrot Cake are amazing together. Also a nice stout with chocolate cake works very well.

Overall I don't really think much about using beer as an ingredient in desserts but hopefully I will get some good ideas to try while reading the posts. Thanks again to beer 47 for hosting this month.

See you next month,
Matt C.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beer Review #42 - Big Sky Moose Drool

Hi All,

Here is my review of Big Sky Moose Drool. Enjoy!

Appearance - The Moose Drool pours a nice brown with a short lasting off white head that leaves a good lacing.

Aroma - The Moose Drool is very malt forward with a lot of chocolate in the nose.

Taste - The Moose Drool is also malt forward but there is good bitterness. The taste of chocolate and a light roast really comes through.

Mouthfeel The Moose Drool is very light and there is good carbonation. Most of the taste hits the back of your tounge.

Overall - The Moose Drool is a good brown ale. It is light enough that you can drink it in the summer but big enough that it would work in the winter.

Matt C.

Friday, July 31, 2009

July Fermentation Friday - CopyCat (Clone) Brewing

Hi All,

Welcome to the July Fermentation Friday. I would like to start off by thanking Rob over at pfiff! for hosting July's copycat stole a rat put it in her Sunday hat Fermentation Friday. Once I got through the title and article from my favorite wordsmith I think it came down to cloning your favorite commercial beer. Did I get that right Rob? Well if its not that is what I am writing about anyway.

This months topic on brewing clones isn't one that I am that familiar with. I personally just brew what I like and don't really try to brew what I can get commercially. I actually always find it a little strange that a homebrewer would waste their time brewing what is already available. Homebrewing to me is a creative hobby and outlet and I feel cloning recipes takes that away. I do admit I am still learning so I have brewed mostly kits (which is someone elses recipe but since I don't know what that beer was supposed to taste like I can't try and clone it) but I have started to formulate my own recipies. When I formulate recipes I start with a style and build from there using some ideas from commercial brews that I have tried but I don't try to clone them. For example the local brewpub makes a Raspberry Wheat. My Mother-in-Law really enjoyed it so I tried brewing a version of it. I started with a really good hefeweizen recipe and then added some raspberry extract and it turned out amazing. It was similar to the local brewpub but it wasn't a clone and I actually prefered it becasue I was going for more fruit flavor then the local version and thats what I got.

I know some homebrewers use clones as a way to test their skill but I feel you can do that with your own recipe. If you brew a recipe and take good notes then you should be able to make that same recipe again and have it come out exactly the same. That's where the skill comes in. In my opinion. Getting the the same thing over and over again is what the commercial brewers strive for and that is what homebrewers should strive for if they find that perfect recipe.

The only thing I may try to clone someday is techniques. I love the 120 minute IPA from Dogfish Head. It would be awesome to continuously hop a beer for 120 minutes and then dry hop to finish it. I haven't looked on the net but I would probably try and use the process using the hops I can get the best deal on. It won't be a clone but it will be the GISBREWMASTER 120 min IPA.

I have no problem if someone wants to clone because part of homebrewing is doing what you want. I feel that there are so many beers and beer styles out there that I don't feel I need to make a beer that someone already has. I will keep trying as many commercial beers that I can and then take some parts for each. I may possibly make a Frankenstein beer. Maybe my clone will be the "120 min Rasputin Berliner Weisse Lambic Stout". Sounds good doesn't it?

Thanks again to Rob for hosting this month. I am looking forward to reading everyone elses opinion on this. Also as alwasys thanks to Adam at Beer Bits 2 for starting this fun event!!

Matt C.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Beer Review #41 - Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

Hi All,

After a big gap between #40 and #41 here is my review of Dogfish Head Indian Brown ale. I finally remembered that I have 2 or 3 reviews on my phone so I will probably be sending them off in the next few day.

Appearance - The DFH IBA pours a nice brown with a nice almond long lasting head with great lacing.

Aroma - The DFH IBA has a really nice aroma with hints of coffee and chocolate. This a very malt forward beer but the earthiness of the hops comes.

Taste - The DFH IBA has a nice full flavor with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. The hops do a good job with bittering but they see very happy to be the supporting cast in this beer.

Mouthfeel - The DFH IBA is light to medium bodied and has a good carbonation that carries the flavor throughout the mouth.

Overall - The DFH IBA is a very nice brown ale I would even lean it towards a light porter. Drink it if you can get it.

Have a great day until next time!

Matt C.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This video explains why we do it, Homebrew that is!!

Hi all,

I saw this video this morning and thought all my readers would enjoy it. Like the title says. This is why "I am a home brewer!"

Matt C.

I have been slacking!

Sorry all my readers out there I have been slacking the last few weeks. I have had some good beers but I haven't written about them. Don't worry I will be back soon. I plan to do at least 1 beer review this week and hopefully a recap of my trip to San Diego for a conference.

Talk to you all soon!

Matt C.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Session #29 - Will Travel For Beer

Hi All,

Welcome to my post for this months session. This months topic "Will Travel For Beer" is hosted by the folks over at Beer by Bart. This months topic is very easy for me. Normally I have to really think about what I am going to write but not this time.

The hosts what to know:
"If you see the words “travel” and “beer” and instead of your best tourist sagas you think of work or logistics, we want to know your tips and strategies on the road. (Perhaps for getting prized bottles home.)"

I happen to feel I am very knowledgeable in this area. There are very few trips where I don't hit at least one local brewery/brewpub, beer bar or local beer store. The first thing I do when going on a trip for either business or pleasure is visit This is one of my favorite beer sites. You enter a city or address and it will show all the beer based locations around. You also have the option of picking a regional map of all the breweries and brewpubs in the region. I also use the mobile version of when I get to a location. It makes it very easy to get the address of the beer location and directions to it.

So once you get to the destination and fall for a beer how do you get it home. I have 2 options for you. One is pack it in your suit case and 2 which is send yourself some yeast samples just don't use the USPS. If you pack it in your suit case make sure your wrap it really well in your clothes and put it in a large freezer bag just in case. I have brought beer home from all over the country and even from Europe with this method and have never had an issue.

So now that I have got you there and got you home. Here are some suggestions of place you should go so that you can bring great beer back. First my favorite beer trip to date is Portland, Oregon. There are many great breweries and brewpubs all over Portland. Second San Diego and the Bay Area are 2 great beer destinations on opposite sides of state that know there beer. Finally I would say hit any place you are going to be. There is great beer all over this great country and world. Get out, travel and try it!!

Thanks again to Gail and Steve at Beer By Bart for hosting this month. I am looking forward to reading all the other tips out there. Anything I can do to try great beer and get home safely I want to know!

See you next month,

Matt C.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

National Homebrew Conference in Oakland Day 3

Hi All,

Welcome to day 3 and final NHC recap. Like I stated in the last post I actually went to bed early the night before so the day started infinitely better the Friday. I was back to almost a 100%. I got up nice and early and made the troubleshooting panel. This was probably my favorite session of the conference. The panel which consisted of some of the brewing worlds rockstar giving tips on homebrewing issues and how to correct them hosted by James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio. If you don't know Tomme, Vinnie, Ken G, John P then IMHO you don't know beer. After that session I hit the equipment geek presentation and sampled some beer at the hospitality suite. I finished the morning with a hot dog and Italian sausage sandwich from Top Dog and a coffee from peets.

The afternoon consisted of 3 more sessions and more beer sampling. I really enjoyed the Beer and Chocolate session and Tomme's session on ingredients 5-10 (not what you think watch the presentation.) After the last session I went back to my room dropped off my stuff and then got in line for the awards banquet. While in line volunteers made sure our cups were filled with a the conference IPA and Saison. I say it again this is the best conference ever.

The final event of the conference was the dinner. The dinner was designed by the Homebrew Chef Sean Paxton and prepared by the Marriot's banquet staff. All the courses were made and paired with Rogue beers the dinner's sponsor. Everything was awesome.

The first course was a Chinese Chicken salad with a Mom's Hefeweizen Ginger dressing.

The second course was a Charlie's American Amber Ale Marinated Pork Roast with mashed potato and seasonal veggies. This may have been the best pork I have ever had.

The final course was chocolate moose paired with a Russian Imperial Chocolate Stout. I would say the flavors were amazing together but it was a little rich for me. I was only able to handle a few bites but for me that what desert should be.

After dinner there was the awards ceremony for the homebrew competition and then off to The Trapist (a new beer bar a few blocks from the convention center.) Finally, me and my new buddy John hit the hospitality suite one last time and the off to bed about 2am.

This was an amazing conference and if I can swing it I hope to hit the 2010 conference in MN. This will kill 2 birds with one stone. I can visit MN and I can finally see Midwest Supplies the place I buy most of my ingredients for brewing.

Hope you all enjoyed my recap on the NHC 2009 I sure did. I am not kidding this was by far the best conference I have ever attended. If you are a homebrewer this is the place to be.

Matt C.

Friday, June 26, 2009

June Fermentation Friday - Summertime Brewing

Hi All,

Welcome to this months Fermentation Friday hosted by The Brew Dudes. This months topic is summertime brewing. The host asks the question "How do you beat the heat when brewing?" I personally don't feel it is that much different.

I live in Bakersfield,CA where it gets really hot during the summer. The temps are consistently in the high 90's/low 100's. Until a few weeks ago I brewed indoors on a gas stove. I would put my pot over 2 burners and I would go to town. The boil was kind of slow but it did its job. When brewing indoors it doesn't matter if its 50 or if its a 100. The only issue is the amount of time it takes to cool the wort with the wort chiller. When its 50 in the winter I can chill 5 gallons to under 80 degrees in 15 minutes in the summer when its a 100 it takes about 30. I would prefer it be quicker but it isn't too bad. I am thinking about adding in a small chiller in a sink full of ice water but haven't got around to that yet.

A few weeks ago I did my first all grain and garage brew. It wasn't quite a hundred but it was in the high 80's. The worst part of summer brewing was being in the garage when it's hot. The flame from the burner and heat from the air gave me a nice sweaty gleam all day. Other then that everything went well and the only minor issue was the 30 minute wort chill time.

I am really interested in seeing the effect of the summer season on other brewers because it doesn't really effect me much. Maybe I can learn what I should be worried about. Thanks again to the brew dudes for hosting!!

Matt C.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

National Homebrew Conference in Oakland Day 2

Hi All,

Here is the day 2 recap of the NHC Oakland but first I missed something very important in the last post. I mean this is big. I had ramen for lunch in Japanese restaurant across the street from my hotel. It was really good. The broth, the veggies and the noodles made a great soup. I told you it was big!! ;-)

Well on to day 2. Lets just say it started out rather rough from the night before. I overslept through the first session but i made it to the next session part 2 of Randy Moshier's and Ray Daniels advanced brewing techniques. It was rather interesting even with a slight headache and haze. After the session I was beat so I took a 2 hour nap, got some lunch and some advil and attended all 3 of the afternoon sessions. I even managed to try a few beers in the hospitality suite. I came to drink beer and wasn't going to let a slight hangover (ok rather large hangover) stop me from trying homebrews.

Before club night I took another 2 hour nap and went to whet to have dinner at a Thai reseraunt but the hotel sent me to a Cambodian resteraunt instead. It ended up being a very good dinner. I really enjoyed my curry!

Then I hit club night with my new buddies John and Jesse. I was way better tonight in terms of quantity. I tasted and dumped through out the night. I will admit not all of this is by choice. I was only back to 75%. There were some great homebrews and some not so great homebrews but it was a blast. That might have been the best beer fest I have ever attended. Finally I woosed out a little and hit the sac around midnight. I actually wanted to attend the troubleshooting panel the next morning.

Day 2 was a good one stay tuned for day 3.

Matt C.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

National Homebrew Conference in Oakland Day 1

Hi all,

Over the next few days or so I will be doing a quick recap of the NHC. I plan to do 1 for each day so if you care about how it went read up over the next few days!!

Picture this you walk into a hotel lobby ready to register for a conference. You get in line show them your ID and they give you your name badge and a gift bag. Everyone one has done that right, easy to picture! After that everything is different about this conference. Not only do you get the normal stuff but they give you a glass, some small homebrew equipment and some bombers of beer. Sweet right!! It only gets better after that. Your next stop is the hospitality suite where beer will be served non stop (except from 3am-8am)on Thursday till 2am Sunday Morning. The suite is hosted buy the homebrew clubs from around the country. Every club that had a shift in the suite had at least 10 beers on tap to sample. Can you say a lot of beer?

After sampling a few beers I went back to the room to drop off all my things before volunteering to be a steward at the NHC homebrew competition. This was my first experience with a beer judging competition so it was pretty interesting. For about 4 hours I served beer in category 7(Amber Hybrid Beer) of the BJCP style guide. I would love to be a certified judge some day so it was really interesting to see how the beers were described and judged. I also got to meet Ramona who was my lead steward who helped show me the judging ropes. She was really cool and we hung out a few times over the next couple of days. She is a member of HAZE a homebrew club between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

I had been up for since 330 am that morning so I was starting to get a little tired so I headed back to room. It was going to be nap time but i decided I was hungry so I went to Pacific Coast Brewing for a quick dinner before Pro-Brewers night. While eating I met my first QUAFF homebrew club(one of the San Diego clubs) member Loren(dude)and we talked beer and homebrew and ate some supper. I never did get in my nap!

Now on to Pro-Brewers night. Pro night is basically a small beer festival. I was walking around and I met 2 more QUAFF members John and Jesse. These are the 2 I hung out with most the rest of the conference. I am not really going to describe how this went lets just say I sampled a lot of beers. I had beers from Russian River, Dogfish Head, Deschutes, Shmaltz, etc. It was a very quick 3 hours but then we decided to hit The Trappist a beer bar down the street(probably wasn't a very good idea now that I think about it). It got till about 2am and i finally hit the sack (or was it passed out). I had been up for almost 24 hours.

Stay tuned for Friday Day 2!!

Matt C.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Food Pairing - German Chocolate Cake and Sam Adams Imperial Stout

Hi All,

I have been doing a lot of reading on food and beer pairing and when my wife said I want German Chocolate Cake I was like I should find a beer to have with this. So I went to the net and I went to She said Wine/He said Beer and both said an Imperial Stout would work well with chocolate cake. The only one I had in the house was the Sam Adams Imperial Stout from their imperial series. So here goes the pairing.

First I took a bite of the cake and it was chocolaty sweet with coconut and pecans. This is just like a german chocolate cake should be.

Second I took a wiff and taste of the Imperial Stout. It was nice and creamy with hints of chocolate, coffee, and roastyness.

Finally I took a bite of the cake and drink of the stout and it went together perfectly. The chocolate in the cake enhanced the chocolate notes in the stout. The coffee notes in the stout worked really well with the chocolate in the cake and the nuts and coconut in the frosting. I think this was a very good pair.

After trying this pair I think I may have to pick up an Old Rasputin stout on the way home from work tomorrow. In my opinion it is a better imperial stout then the Sam Adams. That beer and this cake would be and even better pair.

Let me know what you think of this possible new series. I have never written about pairings before so if any one has any suggestions feel free to let me know.

Matt C.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beer Review #40 - Avery Maharaja

Hi All,

Welcome to my 40th beer review this year. I thought I would bust out something special and by special I mean hoppy. I am sharing this supposedly hoppy beast with the wife. Lets see how it goes!! On to the review.

Appearance - The Maharaja pours a beautiful golden color. The head is long lasting with a lot of lacing on the glass.

Aroma - The Maharaja hop aroma has hints grapefruit and pine. Smells rather tasty.

Taste - The Maharaja's taste is just what I was expecting after smelling that aroma. This is a major hop bomb. There is great bitterness with tastes of grapefruit,pine, grass, and orange.

Mouthfeel - The Maharaja has a very full mouthfeel. The carbonation carries all the flavors around the palate.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable but at 10.25%. I wouldn't drink more then one unless you are chilling at home watching a movie or something. Then have a few.

Thank you for joining me on my 40th review hope to be doing many more.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Beer Review #39 - Wayne's Hex Nut Ale


Here is my review of my buddy Wayne's Hex Nut Ale. This is my second review of his.

Pour - The HNA's pour was a deep brown with a almond color long lasting head.

Aroma - The malt comes through on the aroma in the HNA. There are hints of chocolate and roast. A small amount of hop flavor is also in the nose.

Taste - The malt comes through on the taste of the HNA but instead of chocolate like in the aroma I get coffee and a little caramel.

Mouthfeel - The HNA has a light mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Drinkability - The HNA is a good drinkable beer. I feel this would be a good transition beer from winter to spring or summer to fall.

My only suggestion would be to maybe give it a little more mouthfeel (thickness) From everything you said you are try to hit style and it may be a little light for a brown ale. I am just being picky cause I really liked it and you wanted suggestions. Keep up the great brewing Wayne!!

Matt C.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Session #28 - Think and Drink Globally

Hi All,

Welcome to this month The Session hosted by Brian @ Red, White and Brew. This month topic is Think and Drink Globally is an interesting one. And his request to discuss the farthest brewery you have been to was also interest and I may be cheating slightly on my pick but oh well. Well on to the post.

I really like to think and drink globally when it comes to the beers I drink. I always try to find beers from all over the world to try. Whether it be from Germany, China, Australia, or Brazil. If its something I haven't had before then I am going to try it. Drinking an ethnic beer is like a mind vacation. I always try and place myself in that country or region trying to imagine what I would be doing and who I would be hanging with while there. For example a few weeks ago i drank a Xingu Brazilian Black Beer. I imaged chilling on the beach in Rio de Janeiro,in my nice tight speedo of course, checking out the merchandise if you know what I mean. ;-) It was a very relaxing. Another great example of this is every time I drink a German beer it takes me back to my trip to Germany and the great time my wife and I had. That trip got me truly into good beer.

This leads into the farthest brewery I have visited and why it may be a slight cheat. I went to the Spaten brewery but didn't take a tour but I did go to there gift shop. So does that count. If it doesn't then the farthest brewery I attended at the time would be Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA. I was living in FL the first time I went to their brewery/restaurant. You can take your pick pick but i think it should count.

Every trip I take weather it be local or global I try and find the local brew. Its a great way to meet people and to support good craft beer. Also as a home brewer I try to brew globally. I have brewed a British ESB, 2 German Hefeweizens, a Belgian Double, and French/Belgian Saison. I find it very enjoyable to try and brew the beers of different regions. Its a great way to see how the world enjoys and creates their beer.

Thanks again to Brian from hosting this months topic and I am looking forward to reading other peoples adventures in beers.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beer Review #38 - Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu

Hi All,

A friend of mine helped me build my mash tun today so it looks like I will try my hand at AG brewing this weekend. I am totally inept at building things so his help was vital to my completing this project. So to celebrate I popped open a Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu. Which according to the bottle is a malt beverage brewed with honey & hawthorn fruit and fermented with grape concentrate. So on with the review!

Pour - The DFH Chateau Jiahu pours a hazy golden color with a small head that lasts.

Aroma - The DFH Chateau Jiahu has a nice malty scent with hints of honey and hawthorne fruit(just kidding I don't know what hawthorne fruit is). I do get some hints of grapes and citrus.

Taste - The DFH Chateau Jiahu has a nice light fruity taste. I get hits of honey and grape. There are also hints of warming alcohol in the taste.

Mouthfeel - The DFH Chateau Jiahu has a nice full mouthfeel with a low to moderate carbonation level. The beer leaves a light syrupy coating feeling in the month.

Drinkabilty - The DFH Chateau Jiahu is very drinkable. At 8% abv the beer goes down very smoothly.

I don't remember where I picked this up but I am very glad I did. I really enjoy trying unique and interesting beers and if I can find them I will try them. I bet not many people will get to try a 9000 year old recipe. Does anyone out there know anything really unique that I should try. Send me a comment!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beer Review # 37 - Ommegang Abbey Ale

Hi All,

Welcome to my 3rd of 4 reviews of the Brewery Ommegang variety pack my mom got me a few months ago. Abbey Ale is a Belgian Style Dubbel. This has been one of styles I have had a lot of lately so lets see how this goes.

Pour - The Abbey Ale pours a beautiful dark amber with a nice off white head. The head leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The Abbey Ale has a nice malty scent with hints of cloves and spice. I also get a little licorice in the nose.

Taste - The Abbey Ale has a nice malty and spicy flavor. The taste also mimics the aroma. I get hits of plum, cinnimon, licorice, and caramel.

Mouthfeel - The Abbey Ale has a nice full mouthfeel with great carbonation. There is very good coating of the month.

Drinkabilty - The Abbey Ale is very drinkable. At 8.5%abv you can have 2 glasses and just chill away.

I am still not sure about the Belgian Dubble. I prefer trippels and saisons but I will continue to try them. I also like that it comes from my home state of NY. I haven't been back there in a few years but I am really glad they are making some good beers. Maybe someday they will get out to CA.

See you next time,
Matt C.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May Fermentation Friday - Brewday Joy & Stress

Hi All,

Welcome to this months fermentation friday hosted by Ted at Ted's Homebrew Journal. This month topic has 2 parts. The first part is Joy or your favorite part of home brewing and the second is stress or least favorite part of home brewing. I like the topic and unlike normal I can pretty easily answer this.

What is my favorite part of the brew day? I would have to say adding the hops. I love how the smell permeates the whole house. My wife on the other hand doesn't agree but oh well you can't win them all. Every addition adds more aroma to fill the kitchen. I can't think of anything that brings me more joy (except of course drinking that beer a few week later.)

Now on to part 2! What is my least favorite part of the brew day? This one is even easier then the favorite part. It brings me sorrow to have to clean up. I wish I could just leave everything spread throughout the kitchen and go take a nap. This is even more a pain on bottling day but that's a topic for a different day. You have to scrub the brew pot, clean up any boil overs, and put everything away. I am lazy. I don't want to have to clean. I need an associate brewer. Should a brewmaster clean his own equipment. I think not ;-) but this isn't going to change anytime soon. Oh well what are you going to do.

Thanks again to Ted for hosting this months fermentation Friday and thanks to Adam at Beer Bits 2 for starting this fun and educational monthly event!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Beer Review #36 - Buffalo Bill's Blueberry Oatmeal Stout

Hi All,

How is every doing this Memorial Day? I wanted a beer so I went in to the beer fridge reached in and this is what came out. Lets hope it's good! This may be a rather interesting beer.

Pour - The BB Blueberry Stout pours a dark brown with hints or amber and purple (This may be psychological based on the name.) There is was little to no head with no lacing on the glass.

Aroma - The BB Blueberry Stout has a distinct blueberry aroma. I don't get much else.

Taste - The BB Blueberry Stout has hints of blueberry and all the other notes usually associated with a stout. There are hints of roasted coffee, chocolate, and light hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - The BB Blueberry Stout has a medium body and light carbonation.

Drinkabilty - The BB Blueberry Stout is very drinkable. I think the blueberry works very well in this light stout.

I wasn't expecting much out of this beer and I was expecting even less after the really strong blueberry aroma but it turned out to be really nice. I have said it before and I will say it again don't be afraid to pick a beer based on a name it may be good or it maybe bad but it will be an adventure.

See you next time,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beer Review #35 - Grand Canyon Brewing Company Sunset Amber

Hi All,

For this review I am going to be tasting the beer from a Growler from the Grand Canyon Brewing Company. My friends Vicki and Sue were nice enough to bring it back from a 3 week long road trip/camping trip.

Pour - The GC Amber pours a nice copper color with a good head that lasts a while. There is also some good lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The GC Amber has a nice hint of caramel and some sweetness. I do get a little bit of grassyness from the hops also.

Taste - The GC Amber tastes very different then what I was expecting. I do get some caramel but I also get some smoke in the back of the mouth. There is also a slightly bitter aftertaste. Its very interesting.

Mouthfeel - The GC Amber has a medium body and good carbonation. The beer leaves a nice coating of flavors through out the mouth.

Drinkabilty - The GC Amber is drinkable but after a while the smoke really comes through and makes me thirsty. I have never had this experience before with a beer.

I am really glad my friends thought of me when they were on the road. Remberber a majority of the populated US has a brewery within 25 miles of there home. So if you are on the road swing by for a pint and maybe dinner. You probably won't be dissapointed!!

Matt C.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beer review #34 - Sam Adams Imperial White

Hi All,

I have been reviewing a lot of Sam Adams lately. I don't get a lot of the Sam specialty stuff in Bakersfield so when I hit the Bevmo in SoCal (Valencia) and see it I give it a try.

Pour - The white pours a hazy orange. There wasn't much of a head and what was there dissipated quickly.

Aroma - The white has a nice orange scent with a hint of yeastiness.

Taste - The white has has a very distinctive orange taste with a hit of coriander. If there was more yeast in taste I would think this was a hefeweizen.

Mouthfeel - The white has a nice light mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Drinkabilty - The white is very drinkable which could be a problem at 10.3%. This beer goes down so smoothly that more then one would hit you like a ton of bricks. It is rather difficult to make a high ABV beer that is this refreshing.

I actually wasn't expecting much out of this beer but I was rather impressed. I think I will have to try some other of this series if the opportunity arises.

Matt C.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beer Review #33 - Sam Adams Longshot Traditional Bock

Hi All,

Wow another 2 day'er! I decided to have one more tonight and why not review it since I am behind. Well off to the the review!!

Pour - The bock beer pours a nice brown with a hint of amber. There was a really nice head but it dissipated quickly There was a nice lacing left on the glass.

Aroma - The bock doesn't have a lot of aroma but I do get a very small hint of chocolate and bitter coffee.

Taste - The bock has a nice caramel taste with a lot of malty sweetness from the specialty malts.

Mouthfeel - The bock has a light to medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Drinkabilty - The bock is very drinkable. It is a nice dark lager that is crisp and refreshing yet has the characteristics of a big malty beer.

This is the second of the Sam Adams Longshot winners beers that I have tried a full sample of and its been my favorite so far. None have been bad but they just seem muted to me. I find it hard to believe that a winning homebrew would be muted. I wonder if Sam's tweaked the recipe a little to save a few bucks.

Matt C.

Beer Review #32 - A Homebrewed Midwest Porter

Hi all,

Its been a while since my last review as I have been a little busy. I have 2 more in my phone almost ready to go but needs some editing. I also decided to try something different. I have decided to review a homebrew I got from a beer swap. Here is my review for Wayne's Midwest Porter. Sorry you won't have a chance to find this one unless you are lucky enough to know Wayne.

Pour - The MW porter pours a nice brown with very little head.

Aroma - In the MW porter I get nice hints of chocolate, coffee and malty sweetness.

Taste - The MW porters taste is spot on and matches the aroma well. I also like the nice bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel - The MW porter has a really nice mouthfeel. Its very light and you can taste the carbonation even if you can't see it. There is enough body to cover the mouth.

Drinkability - The MW porter is very drinkable. This porter would be warming in the winter yet refreshing in the summer. Wayne did a really nice job on this beer.

The only comment I have is it is a little low on carbonation in my opinion. With my limited experience with porters there is usually a good almost almond color head. Wayne said he tries to to carb to style so I am not sure if this is just specific to this bottle or if this is normally how a porter should be carb'ed. Overall I really enjoyed the flavor and aromas and can't wait to try the other ones.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Las Vegas Beer Bar

Hi All,

I am in Vegas for a friends bachelor party and he wanted to go to this place called the Burger Bar in the Mandalay Bay Mall. I love a good burger so I was happy to go but when I got there I didn't realize it was going to be a really good beer bar also. The had beers from Dogfish Head (including 90 min on draft), Deschutes, Chimay, Pyramid, ect. You are able to make your own samplers. I started with a pint of the DFH Indian Brown Ale and then had a 5 sampler of:

Burger Bar Amber Lager - House beer figured I would try it
Lost Coast Tangerine Ale
Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental
Speak Easy Big Daddy IPA
DFH 90 min

I read a lot of beer sites and I have never seen the one listed. If you are ever in Vegas and what a good burger and great beers check out the Burger Bar.

Matt C.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beer Review # 31 - Mendocino Winter Seasonal Imperial IPA

Hi All,

Day 2 with the baby has gone very well. I picked her up, gave her a bath, set up her room for bed time, then fed her. She fell asleep almost instantly. Today beer is a relaxing end of the week beer. Yesterdays was the my baby is driving me crazy beer. I much prefer this type of beer. On to the review.

Appearance - The MBC IIPA pours a slightly hazy golden color. The head doesn't last but there is some lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The MBC IIPA's aroma isn't is full of hops and malt. The hops are citrusy, piney, and floral. The malt sweetness nicely balances the hops.

Taste - This is always my favorite part of the review experience. The MBC IIPA doesn't taste like I was expecting. There is a lot of hop bitterness but not a lot of hop flavor. They must have used a lot of bittering hops to balance the malt backback bone and a lot of aroma hops to give it its great aroma. Its very good but maybe a little more flavor hops next season.

Mouthfeel - The MBC IIPA is a really full bodied beer. There is good carbonation that helps carry the bitterness to all parts of the month.

Drinkability - The MBC IIPA is very drinkable at 7.5% ABV. I really enjoy the bitterness of the beer but I think it can be even better if there were more flavor hops added.

I love going to a store with a good beer selection and going through the seasonals. Many breweries bring out some of there best stuff during specific seasons. So if you like a brewery's normal selection see if they have seasonals you probably won't be disappointed.

See you next time,
Matt C.

The Session #27 - Beer Cocktails

Hi All,

Welcome to my post for this months Session Beer Cocktails. This month is hosted by the folks over at Beer at Joe's. This months topis is rather interesting. I never really thought to write much about beer cocktails but I have had a few. Actually I had a few over the last couple of weeks.

The first one I will discuss is the snakebite. The snakebite which is a mix of Lenghtwise porter and hard cider. I think I have heard of it being made with a stout also. I don't know what it is about it but i think people either love it or hate it. I personally like it. I think the crispness of cider and the roast and coffee flavor of the porter work really well together. The cider thins out the porter giving it a good mouthfeel. I think it just works!

The other beer cocktail I had recently was also from the local brewpub lengthwise. Its name is the goat nut. You can see my review of the goat nut here! It is a blend of their Triple Hop Amber and their Harvest Wheat. I am not going to talk much about it you can read my post if you are interested in knowing what i think about it. I am just going to question if this is actually a cocktail.

According to dictionary. com a cocktail is "any of various short mixed drinks, consisting typically of gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, or brandy, with different admixtures, as vermouth, fruit juices, or flavorings, usually chilled and frequently sweetened." This definition leads me to believe that beer blends and even the snakebite isn't really a cocktail at all. I think there may need to be some hard liquor. So i guess that means that the last beer cocktail I had was an Irish car bomb last summer. For those of you that don't know an Irish car bomb is a half pint of Guiness and a shot of 1/2 Baileys and 1/2 Jameson. Now let me tell you that is good stuff!! I think the Irish know know how to go both straight up or cocktail it.

Whether you think that beer blended at the tap, a beer with a shot of booze, or any other mix of beer and alcohol is a cocktail all you need to know is that they have the potential to be very nice indeed. I will admit I am mostly a straight up beer guy but I also like the adventure of trying new things. So I say give it a try!!

Thanks again to the folks at Beer at Joe's for hosting this month. I am looking forward to some good reads.

See you all next month,

Matt C.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beer Review #30 - Full Sail LTD Series Recipe 1

Hi All,

Wow today was a tough one. This is the first of 4 days by myself with a 3 month old. To top that she has a cold and can't breath well. After 4 attempts and 2 hours I finally got her to sleep. I need a beer. I just reached into the beer fridge saw a few of the same beers and had one. Well lets get on with it.

Appearance - The LTD pours a very nice copper color with a quickly dissipating head. There is some lacing on the side of the glass that remains.

Aroma - The aroma of the LTD is that of caramel malt and light hops. I also get a little Dyacital in the nose.

Taste - The taste of the LTD mimics that aroma. I get a lot of caramel with some hop bitterness. This is a nicely balanced beer that leads towards the malty side.

Mouthfeel - The LTD has a heavy mouthfeel. Its almost a little syrupy.

Drinkability - I feel the LDT is drinkable but its a little too think for my liking.

Well it wasn't special but it sure was needed!!

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Going All-Grain

Hi All,

I have decided to start all grain homebrewing. I want to take total control of the brewing process from malted grain to drinkable beer. I have already started to build my mash tun but I am building inept so this should be interesting. I am going to a homebrew shop in LA on Saturday that sells the parts in a package designed to fit a cooler so I may just buy that rather then struggle to make something that may not work.

Wish me luck,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beer Review #24 - Pike IPA

Hi All,

Today I am reviewing the Pike IPA from the Seattle Brewing Company. I picked this up at the Bevmo in Anaheim a few months back. I wish Bakersfield had a BevMo. So sad!! Well on the the post. Also this is the 24th post that I some how missed but this is actually the 29th beer review so far this year.

Appearance - The Pike IPA pours a nice golden. The head doesn't last but it does leave a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The hop aroma is very citrusy. I get hints of orange, grapefruit and even a little lime.

Taste - The taste is not what I was expecting. With a very powerful aroma I was expecting a big hop blast. There is good bitterness but the flavor is rather muted. It's good but could use a little more flavor hops.

Mouthfeel - The Pike IPA has a nice light body and carbonation helps to send the bitterness and the flavor around the mouth.

Drinkability - This is a good drinkable IPA. Its not a hop bomb but its still good. I think this would be a good beer to start people on the hops. At 6.5% ABV on glass hits the spot but a 22oz would still work.

Next time will be the big 30. Maybe I will try something special we'll see!!

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April Fermentation Friday - Alcohol in Brewing

Hi All,

First off I would like to thanks Northern Table for hosting this months Fermentation Friday. The topic this month is nothing but alcohol and how you use it in brewing. This months topic is going to be short and sweet as I have never used alcohol in brewing and until I read the topic I didn't know others has either and I do a lot of reading on brewing. I probably would have skipped this month due to no content but I did promise as a new years resolution to participate in every Fermentation Friday this year.

The only time I have ever used alcohol in brewing is I used vodka to sanitize and fill the airlock my first few brews because I read somewhere that it was one extra level of protection that you could do to prevent contamination. I am still pretty conscious of sanitation but i have laxed a little and just use water now. You know why waste good booze in an airlock.

Thanks again to the folks at Northern Table for hosting this month. I am REALLY interested in seeing everyones posts this month. I am always looking for new things to play with and experiment with in brewing.

See you all next month!!

Matt C.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beer Review #15 - Sierra Nevada Torpedo

Hi all,

I just realized that I some how missed 2 posts . Either that or I labeled them differently. So I am going to write post #15 now. It will be out of order but who cares just deal! :-)

Appearance - The Torpedo pours a nice dark golden with a hint of amber with a nice head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing.

Aroma - The hop aroma is music to my nose. I get a lot of pine, citrus, and herbal notes.

Taste - The taste is just what an IPA should be nicely balanced but with nice hop bitterness and flavor. The citrus is the predominate hop flavor in the Torpedo.

Mouthfeel - The Torpedo's has a medium body with good carbonation that helps carry the flavor throughout the pallate.

Drinkability - This is a very good beer if you like hops but also like balance. This is another great beer in Sierra Nevada's line of great beer.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beer Review #29 - Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter

Hi All,

Three reviews in one weekend this may be a record. You can thank Twitter Taste Live for this review. The whole evening was Flying Dog Beers and I happened to have the Gonzo in the beer fridge. Not a bad deal huh!

Appearance - The appearance of the Gonzo pours a really dark brown almost black with a light brown foamy head.

Aroma - This aroma of the Gonzo is amazing. There are hints of coffee, caramel, chocolate, and a light hop aroma.

Taste - The taste of the Gonzo mirrors the aroma. The coffee, caramel, chocolate, and a light hops blend together to make this a very well made porter.

Mouthfeel - The Gonzo has a medium body and light carbonation. There is also a slight alcohol warmth.

Drinkability - The Gonzo is a great Porter. It is everything a good porter should be.

You all know that I am not a big Porter guy but this was probably my favorite to date. If you get a chance to try it I highly recommend you do. Actually I highly recommend that you try all the Canis Major line from Flying Dog. They know how to make good beer.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Beer Review #28 - Cerveza Cucapa Chupaca Bras Pale Ale

Hi all,

Here is post 2 of the weekend I still have plans for at least one more. I wrote a few posts back about a new wine bar that also sells beer called Embibe. Well this afternoon I took the wife to sample some wines while I had a beer. When picking a beer i found something I had never heard of before a Mexican Pale Ale. I didn't know what to expect well here it goes.

Appearance - The cerveza pours a nice golden with hints of red. There is a nice head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma - The aroma my wife (does like beer) says smells like beer. I think it has a nice citrusy and grassy hop profile.

Taste - The taste is very good. I was not expecting much from this beer but it is a very good pale ale. It has great hop bitterness and citrus and pine notes.

Mouthfeel - The beer has a really nice mouthfeel. I think this is due to a good amount of carbonation and hop bitterness.

Drinkability - This is a very good beer. I know that brewing location doesn't matter but I would never have thought this was from Mexico. This has the drinkability of a nice Northwestern IPA.

This beer just goes to show you why I try to drink as many beers as possible. You never know what you are going to get until you pop it open and drink it. So keep trying and enjoying both beer and life!!

Beer Review #27 - New Belgium Frambozen Raspberry Brown

Hi All,

Wow looks like I am behind again on my goal to review 104 (2 beers a week) beers. I should be on 32 right now but as you can see I am only on 27. I can probably get up to 29 this weekend but we will see there is a lot of time left this year to make it happen.

Appearance - The appearance of the Frambozen is a beautiful dark red almost burgundy. There is a nice head that lasts and leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The aroma of the Frambozen is very raspberry forward. With a good sniff you can get the nutty/toasty malt aroma normally associated with a brown ale.

Taste - The Frambozen tastes a lot like a blend of a lambic and a brown ale. There is a nice sour raspberry flavor mixed with the brown ale characteristics of light toast and chocolate.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a decent mouthfeel. Its always hard for me to describe mouthfeel. The sourness of the raspberry coats the the mouth but its not a syrupy as a Lambic. The brown ale thins the mouthfeel.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable but I think there maybe a little too much raspberry. I think the beer may have been better served being a brown ale with hints of raspberry rather then a raspberry beer with brown ale characteristics.

I listened to a basic brewing radio podcast a while back where one of the brewers at New Belgium discussed the style of their beers. Well in their case the lack there of and I think that is great. Most of their beers have distinct belgian characteristics but its there own and that is the key in great craft brews.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Beer Review #26 - Lengthwise Goat Nut

Hi All,

As many of you know I am a new father so any time my wife and I get a chance to go out we try and take it. So last night (Friday the 10th) one of my friends from the hash (running club) is about to go off to Afghanistan for a year so we had a little going away for him at the local brewpub Lengthwise. The Goat Nut isn't a beer its a 50/50 blend of their Triple Hop Red and Harvest Wheat. I haven't had too many blended at the tap beer so lets see how it works.

Appearance - The appearance of the Goat Nut is basically what you think it would be based on the blend. It is a hazy amber color with a nice head. The haze is from the unfiltered Wheat and the amber from the Triple Hop

Aroma - The aroma is rather interesting. It has a light banana smell from the wheat and some nice malt and hop flavors from the Triple Hop Red. I am assuming there is some centennial and cascade hops based on the citrus and pine notes.

Taste - I think the taste of blend works well together. The banana and clove of the wheat work well with hops and malts of the red. If you didn't know it was a blend you would probably think it was designed this way.

Mouthfeel - I really enjoyed the mouth feel of this beer. It had the chewiness of a wheat beer but the crispness of a red ale.

Drinkability - I think it is a very drinkable beer. If you are just going to have one beer this would be it. Its like you don't have to chose you get 2 beers for the price of one.

I really like to try their blends. They have other blends I may review in the future a blond which is a mix of the Golden Ale and the Triple Hop Red and a Snakebite which is a mix of the Kern County Porter and a Pear Cider.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beer Review # 25 - Pete's Wicked Ale Rally Cap Ale

Hi All,

Today I am going to review Pete's Wicked Ale Rally Cap Ale. I have had a few of the Pete brand beers and most have been ok but nothing exceptional. Lets see how this one is.

Appearance - The Pete's Rally Cap pours a golden yellow with a slight chill haze. There wasn't much of a head but what is there seems to last.

Aroma - The Pete's Rally Cap has the nice soft aroma of a pale ale but with a good bit lemon.

Taste - The Pete's Rally Cap has a good pale ale taste in terms of bitterness and hop flavor but the lemon is kind of over powering and fake tasting.

Mouthfeel - The Pete's Rally Cap has a nice light mouthfeel. It is very crisp in the palate.

Drinkability - The Pete's Rally Cap is drinkable if you like fake lemon flavor. This would be a good summer time beer.

Like most of the Pete's products I feel this was made for the masses. It would be a good stepping stone into the true high quality microbrews. Its not my favorite but its way better the the great American macro beer.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Beer Review #23 - Anderson Valley 20th Anniversery Imperial IPA

Hi All,

   Today I am going to review the 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA.  Anderson Valley makes one of my favorite IPA's so I am expecting alot from this beer.

Appearance - This IIPA pours a beautiful golden orange with a long lasting lacing head.  Gosh its pretty!!

Aroma - This IIPA has a lot going in the nose.  There is citrus, pine, grass, and some malty sweetness.  I can smell this is going to be tasty. 

Taste - This IIPA has a lot of flavor.  With all the aroma and all the hops I was expecting a true hop bomb but this is a very well balanced beer.  There is great bitterness and a good blend of flavors from the different hops added.

Mouthfeel - I love hop bitterness in beer and this IIPA has a great bitterness that lasts in your mouth.  This isn't the bitter beerface bitterness this is the smooth lots of early hop bitterness.

Drinkability - This IIPA is very drinkable and at 8.7% ABV you can have more then 1 (probably no more then 2) and still feel good.  And with the great balance in flavors beer drinkers who don't like the really hoppy beers would probably enjoy this.

I really enjoy when a great brewery releases a special beer and it meets and many time exceeds there normal brews.  Anderson Valley did it with this on. 

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beer Review #22 - 2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter

Hi All,

I hope you enjoy my review of the 2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter. This review is in conjunction with my post for The Session #26 Smoke'em if you Got'em. I had planned on drinking the 2007 release but after a long week at work and 10 week old at home I got permission from the wife to have a happy hour. So me and my buddy went to this new wine bar (they sell beer and spirits also) and had a beer and a cigar. I chose the the Alaskan Smoked Porter to get credit for the session requirement.

Appearance - This porter pours a beautiful brown with a small almost almond color head. The head didn't last very long but it left a nice lacing on side of the glass. This was a very nice looking beer.

Aroma - The smoked porter had a lot of subtle aromas. I got some smoke (of course) that wasn't over powering and was actually very pleasant. There were also hints of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts.

Taste - Many times when you taste a beer it ends up not tasting like it smells. In this case the taste mirrored the aroma. You could taste the light smokiness and hints of coffee chocolate and roasted malts. This beer was very complex and everything worked together well.

Mouthfeel - This smoked porter has a good mouthfeel. It wasn't too heavy and it wasn't to light. There was very nice coating of the mouth with each drink allowing all the subtle flavors to hit the right area of the pallate.

Drinkability - This beer is rather drinkable for a smoked beer. As I stated in my session post I am not very knowledgeable in the smoked beer style but most smoked beers I have tried the smoke has been very overpowering. This beer was different. There was a nice hint of smoke in a well made porter so everything worked well together.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

The Session #26 - Smoke'em if you got 'em

Hi All,

Welcome to my post for this months the session. Thanks to Lew @ Seen Through a Glass for hosting this month. I have to admit that I am not all that knowledgeable about smoked beers but I have had the Alaskan Smoked Porter the that last few years so that is what I am going to write about and that is what I am going to review. After work I went out with a buddy and had the 2008 release and let me tell you it is really nice. You will have to read my review here (Saturday sometime) to read a more in depth look into the Alaskan Smoked Porter. I am going to try and keep this strictly about my opinion of smoked beers.

Smoked beers what to say about them. Well first of all most of the smoked beer I have seen available and have tried have been stouts and porters. This is not my favorite style of beer as I am more of a hop head. I am starting to expand my horizons in this area but taste buds change slowly. I bet you are asking where am I going with this. Well let me tell you adding smoke to a beer you are trying to get in to doesn't always help. For some beers like the Alaskan Smoked Porter the really light smokiness really compliments the porter. In many of the other smoked beers I have tried the smoke was way overpowering and added a different type of bitterness that wasn't pleasing to my pallet.

Second I am really not sure why you would want to smoke a beer. I understand that smoke is a flavoring in many things like BBQ, whiskey, and cigars (sorry couldn't think of anything else) but why beer. I am all for creativity but smoke. There are very few things that smoke is good for and in my opinion most of the time beer isn't one of them. I think, if done improperly, it hides the taste of all the other ingredients that make beer beer.

Like I stated before I don't have a lot of experience with this "ingredient" but that's what I think. I will keep trying them as I see them and maybe one of them will change my overall opinion of the style. I will never say stop smoking so like Lew said Smoke'em if you Got'em.

Thanks again for hosting Lew this was a fun topic and its always good to bust open the Alaskan Smoked Porter.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fermentation Friday - Embrace Your Spring

Hi All,

Welcome to this months Fermentation Friday hosted by Byron @ When I first heard the topic embrace your spring I thought what am I going to write. Well I decided to write on why I can't write about this topic. First of all I don't brew a particular beer based on a season. I brew what I feel. I also brew based on when I want something ready. For example I brewed an english style barleywine that I want to age at least 6-8 months and i want it ready around Thanksgiving so I brewed it in Feb. I really don't know what to say about this.

The only think I can say about spring brewing is I think my next few brews will be really low under 4% ABV beers for the warmer months. Its not because of the season but because I want lighter crisper beers to refresh and cool down. Beers like wheats, kolsch, pale ales all go down nice and smooth as the cool and refresh you. Downing an imperial stout or a barleywine won't hit the spot like that. Last night it was about 65 degrees and I had Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale and it was really nice but it didn't really hit the spot. It was too big. It wasn't what I needed at the time. A good "spring" beer would have worked alot better.

I don't know if I answered the question or not but thats how I feel about spring and brewing. Thanks again to Byron for hosting this month. I am looking forward to see how everyone else writes about spring because I know I sure can't.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beer Review #21 - Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale

Hi All,

Sorry its been about 2 weeks but I have been cutting back slightly on the beer. Except for last Saturday but I drank homebrew. I picked this beer up at a new upscale liquor store in Bakersfield called IMBIBE. They didn't have everything they are planning on having yet but it looks like they have a lot of potential.

Appearance - Pours a golden amber with a late foaming head. Most of the head doesn't last but some does hang around and there is a little lacing.

Aroma - The aroma isn't as pronounced as I was expecting but there is some malt notes and some earthy and pine notes from the hops.

Taste - Wow this beer has flavor. There is good balance between the malt backbone and the hops. The beer also has some really nice bitterness. I get alot of floral notes along with some citrus and pine.

Mouthfeel - This is a really full mouthfeel beer. Every taste coats your mouth with a soft bittering and chewiness.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable in small amounts. It is a very thick mouthfeel beer. Any more then a pint and it might be overwelming. At 11.5% ABV just sip chill and enjoy.

This beer was really good but I don't think I drank it at the right time. I don't feel this is an end of your day sit by the tube beer. Its almost too big and I would have prefered something more light and refreshing.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beer Review #20 - Kern River Brewing Class V Stout aged in a Bourbon Barrel

Hi All,

This is my first review of a beer at a local brew pub. I went in like I normally do and got a sampler and then I asked if there was anything special I hadn't tried. The bar tender poured me a Class V Stout aged in a Bourbon Barrel and here is its review.

Appearance - Pours a really dark brown with a slight amber hue. The is a light head that lasts a while with good lacing.

Aroma - The aroma as a strong bourbon and roasted coffee. There is also some chocolate notes in the background.

Taste - The taste has a good combination of bourbon,chocolate and coffee. This is a really well balanced beer

Mouthfeel - This beer has a great moutfeel. The bourbon and the coffee coat your mouth giving a nice long lasting flavor.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable in small amounts. I know I have said this before but this would be an awesome cold weather chill by the fire beer.

This beer was really nice and brings on a good tip. If you ever end up at a brew pub and you have tried all the beers ask the bar keep if there is anything special they are hiding a lot of times they will hook you up with a glass and it may be some of there best stuff. I love brewery experiments.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beer Review #19 - Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers

Hi all,

Here is the 2nd of 4 Brewery Ommegang beers I will be reviewing. I am really excited about trying this beer. It is a Blended beer that is part Belgian Quadruple and Belgian Kriek. I have tasted a small sample at the GABF but its hard to get the true essence of a beer with a small sample and its even harder when you had 20 other small samples. So basically I am concidering this my first taste of the Three Philosophers.

Appearance - This beer pours a beautiful dark amber with a great foaming head that laces the side of the glass.

Aroma - The predominant aroma in the philosopher is most definatly cherry. The sour cherry in the aroma makes holding off on the taste very difficult.

Taste - This beer is very malt forward. Based on the aroma I was thinking there would be more of a cherry profile but the cherry sort of lingers in the background. The overall taste reminds me a lot of a barleywine.

Mouthfeel - For such a big beer this beer has a very light mouthfeel. It goes down nice and smooth with a nice warming feel.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable in moderation. I am not sure if most people consider Belgian Quadruples as winter beers but I could so see drinking this in a nice goblet type glass sitting by the fire with the old lady or some friends just chilling.

Until recently most of my beer expereince has been in American micro's and some German beers but over the last few month I have had the opertunity to try many Belgian and Belgian style beers and they are really starting to grow on me. So far I think I am leaning towards the triple as my favorite style but belgian blends such as this may finish a close second.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beer Review #18 - Franziskaner Weissbier

Hi All,

Welcome to the 18th beer review of the year. This one should be rather interesting. I found it in my beer fridge de-labled. Which means I have no idea how old it is but I think its either 1 or 2 years old based on the last time we went camping with our german beer drinking friends. Good thing it had a meaningful cap.

Pours - a nice hazy golden color with a nicely forming head. The head lasted for a few minutes but left no lacing.

Aroma - There is a slight skunkiness to the nose but I also get some citrus and sour notes.

Taste - In the taste there is also a hint of skunk but you can also taste some hints of banana,sour and wheat.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a nice mouthfeel. There is almost a chewiness to it.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable. This is a classic German wheat beer. It is nice and refreshing and would be a good spring/summer beer.

I love it when you find a beer that obviously was in a cooler at one point and some how made it home from a camping trip, sporting event, or where ever else you may drink beer. I have had times where it was absolutely nasty and times like this where it was a really nice surprise. So if you ever find that beer hidden away what do you do with it? Leave me a comment and let me know!!

Matt C.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Beer Review #17 - Powder Hound Winter Ale

Hi All,

I hope to be back to my bi-weekly reviews this week. I was a little under the weather for most of the week. Enjoy the review!!

Appearance - Pours a nice light brownish amber with a nice lasting foamy head. The foam coats the sides and leave a nice lacing on the side.

Aroma - I actually don't get much aroma in this. If you really take a good wiff you can get a very small hint of chocolate and caramel.

Taste - Again from a taste stand point everything is rather muted. I get some of the malt characteristics and some hop characteristics. This is a very balanced beer but I am nothing really sticks out in the taste.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a good mouth feel. The beer flavor lingers in your mouth and there is a good coating of the mouth.

Drinkability - This a very drinkable beer. I feel that the masses would really enjoy it. All of the parts are very well balanced.

Matt C.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Session #25 Lager Love / Beer Review 16 - Coney Island Lager

Hi All,

Welcome to this months The Session hosted by The Beer Nut. This months topic is lager love. I have to admit I am not an expert of the lager unless of course you count the mass quantities of the yellow fizzy stuff in college and the PBR I (am forced to) drink on my monday Hash House Harriers drinking club with a running problem. I am not a big bock, double bock, dunkel drinker but I do enjoy the occational Pilsner Urquell, Stella Artois, and various Oktoberfests but overall I am an ale lover.

I don't know what it is about the lager that has kept itself out as a major part of my adventures in beer. Maybe its the yellow fizzy tasteless beer that dominates the american college and bar scene. For the longest time Bud, Coors, and Miller took over the displays in supermarkets, convenient stores, and gas stations. That's all I could picture for a while when someone said lager. I know better know but the ora still stands. Don't get my wrong I do try many different lagers but unless the bottle catches my eye, I normally don't go out and say I am going to get a lager today.

Until this topic I never really though much about lagers but I guess when it comes down to it lagers have given me a lot of good memories. In college the light lager brings back the memory of great keggers and parties. The greatest trip I have ever taken was Europe and part of that trip included Munich and Berlin, Germany. I am pretty sure most would agree the germans know their lagers. Almost all the weddings I went to in my mid to late 20's the best beer available was Sam Adams and we always had a blast. When I moved to Cali a few years ago I met many of my friends at the hash runs and if it doesn't come in a 30 pack or greater they look down upon it. So as you can see lagers have given me some great memories.

For this session I have chosen to drink Coney Island Lager. Coney Island Lager is brewed by Shmaltz Brewing Company a small craft brewer in New York. I may be kind of breaking the rules going with a craft lager but it does say lager and it does have a cool label.

Appearance - This beer pours a beautiful clear amber with a nice long lasting lacing head.

Aroma - This beer has a nice crisp aroma with hints of citrus and grass. I can also get very light caramel notes.

Taste - The taste of this beer matches the aroma. Very crisp with good bitterness.

Mouthfeel - This beer has very good mouthfeel. I love a beer that coats your mouth and lets the bitterness and flavors hit all parts of your mouth.

Drinkability - This is a very drinkable beer and at 5.5% a 22oz was the perfect size.

I would again like to thank The Beer Nut for hosting this months session. I think that by doing this topic I will have to try and experience more lagers. There is a whole nother branch of the beer tree out there and if I am going to concider myself a truly knowlegable about beer I am going to have to have to get more experience in the lager word.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fermentation Friday Round Up - Cleaning and Sanitization

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed this months topic. I know I sure did. There were a few pretty interesting items I noticed when going through the posts. Here's a quick summary from each post then I will give my thoughts in what this all may mean.

1. GISBREWMASTER @ A World of Brews says he has tried many options since he stared a year ago and all worked mostly well but seems to have settled on Oxyclean for the cleaner and Iodaphor/StarSan for the sanitizer. ( I just talked about myself in the 3rd person.)

2. The Brew Dudes use One-Step or PBW for cleaning or StarSan for most of the sanitization but use iodaphor for small jobs.

3. M. Randolph @ Just another Booze Blog has one rather interesting sanitization step. Like many of you he is an oxycleaner and a StarSaner but he cleans his wort chiller with vinegar before sanitizing. Great now something new to think about!!

4. B. James @ Just another Booze Blog writes a rather humerous post where he compares a contaminated batch to sweaty gym socks. His idea of sanitization is boil the shit out of anything that can be boiled.

5. Tony @ Brew Dad uses bleach on all glass and one step for the rest. Doesn't miss bottling at all now all he has to clean is his kegs.

6. Steph @ has 4 options for sanitization StarSan, boiling, vodka and fire. I bet you can guess where each one works but if you can't read her post.

7. The guys @ CNYBrew make a short and sweet post and says 9 out 10 times a beer will come out fine. That 10th time where the beer comes out undrinkable is the reason why we worry about this topic.

8. Rob @ Pfiff! seems to sing a toddler song when he brews. It must be too much fatherhood. I may be over analyzing this but I think he is saying clean and sanitize as you go. ;-)

9. Adam @ BeerBits2 (our creator) posted a full length post and a short post. Adam uses a iodaphor, one step, and bleach depending on what he is doing. I think the key comes from his short post. "worry about sanitation after wort boils not before" and "It's just beer. "

10. Damon @ Life With Beer breaks his process down to pre-boil and post-boil. Pre-boil doens't worry too much about it. Post-Boil is a totally different story.

11. Dave @ Muckney Brewing was a fan of the big C word. He like chlorine based sanitizers namely C-Brite. Now he is a fan of One-Step as he feels it works as well without the smell.

12. Keith @ Brainard Brewing has tried a lot of things. Started with the One-Step as it was in his starter kit. Then went to StarSan but felt it burned his hands. Now is a big fan of iodaphor. Here is the part that may make some of you cringe. He still uses dish soap most of the time to clean.

13. Ted @ Ted's Homebrew Journal did a very good job of describing his practice even though he said he couldn't really put it to words. According to Ted iodaphor is the way to go because it works!!

Well like Rob said in his blog I used this Fermentation Friday to try and get a better sanitization processes but I think I have been doing it right all along. There is no right way as long as you get the beer you want.

For a very quick summary it seems that Oxyclean for cleaning is used by alot of you out there. When it comes to sanitizing Iodaphor, StarSan, and One-Step all seem to work well. Finally remember what Adam says "Its only beer" and what CNYBrew said "that one time out of ten that your precious brew is spoiled sucks so much that it’s worth the hassle of cleaning and sanitizing."

Thank you for allowing me to host this month and if i missed anyone I am sorry just let me know and I will update. According to the schedule Byron @ will be hosting next months exciting topic. Looking forward to seeing what that is going to be!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fermentation Friday - Cleaning and Sanitization

Hi All,

Welcome to this months Fermentation Friday hosted by the wonderful, talented, and awesome me!! Just kidding!! I chose the topic cleaning and sanitization because I had some problems with head retention on some of my brews and a few people asked what was my process so I explained it to them and they had some suggestions for me. I will quickly describe what I started using and what I have used the last few batches.

When I started brewing back in the day (Jan 08) I used dish soap to clean and bleach to sanitize. I think it worked rather well but as I did more research I decided to try some other things. My next process again started with dish soap but this time I used iodaphor. This also worked well for me but I liked it better because there was no bleach smell to get rid of. I used that for most of last year until I looked into my head retention issue on some of my beers. After some of the response I received I decided to try the method I am currently using.

The current process I use is I clean all my equipment with oxyclean then I sanitize with Iodaphor if I am not going to be filling a keg in the near future or StarSan if I am going to be kegging. The reason I do this is if I am going to be putting a beer in a keg I can clean it and store the starsan in the keg and it will be ready to go on kegging day. Now that you know what I use here is my detailed procedure by day.

Brewing Day -
Clean with oxyclean
- brew pot
- fermentation bucket and lid
- 3 piece airlock
- long handled spoon
- strainer (some batches)
- wort chiller (just got one)
- hydrometer
- wine thief
Sanitize with heat - Boiling wort
- pot and lid
- wort chiller
- long handled spoon
Sanitize with Iodaphor or StarSan
- fermentation bucket or lid
- airlock
- strainer
- long handled spoon (after chilling)
- spoon
- hydrometer
- wine thief

Racking Day/Bottling Day -
Clean with Oxyclean
- Bottling bucket or carboy
- tubing
- auto syphon
- rubber stopper
- airlocks
- bottles/keg
Sanitize with Iodaphor(if bottling) or StarSan(if kegging)
- Bottling bucket or carboy
- tubing
- auto syphon
- rubber stopper
- airlocks
- bottles/keg
Sanitize with dishwasher drying cycle
- Bottles

As you can see its pretty easy to clean and sanitize. One other tip I have is you don't need to make 5 gallons or more of sanitizing solution. Both Iodaphor and StarSan are both wet sanitizers as long as the equipment is wet with the solution (or has foam from StarSan) you are good to go. I usually make 2 gallons and let it sit for 10 minutes or so and am able to sanitize all my equipment. So far (knock on wood) I haven't had any issues with contamination so I think my current process works pretty well. I am really looking forward to seeing every ones processes. Even though my process works I am always looking for a better and cheaper way to make great beer. Everyone knows that great beer starts with good cleaning and sanitization processes.

See you all next month and check back for another post on the wrap up.

Matt C.

Beer Review #14 - Port Brewing Wipeout IPA

Hi all,

Welcome to beer review 14. I headed down to visit the big rat (Mickey) with my mom and niece and was able to hit the Bevmo. I picked up 7 different beers that I will be reviewing over the next year. On to the review.

Appearance - This beer pours a hazy gold color. It had good head and head retention.

Aroma - This beer has a great floral, grassy and fruity citrus aroma.

Taste - This beer has great bitterness. With 5 different hops in the mix all of them them come though in the taste giving it a good balance of bitterness and flavor. Also I believe this beer was bottle condition so I got a little yeastyness.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a great mouthfeel. The bitterness and the hops coat your mouth through out the whole swallow.

Drinkablility - I feel that this is a prototypical West Coast IPA. Since this is my favorite
style I feel it is really drinkable. I shared the 22 with my wife but I easily could have finished it myself.

I live in Bakersfield,CA and the only thing I feel is missing is a good beer store. Luckily for me I am able to go good beer locations like LA, San Diego, San Fransisco, and Sacramento pretty frequently to bring back beers I am unable to find in Bakersfield. Don't get my wrong I can get a lot of good beers here but its usually the nationally produced west cost stuff not the regional distributions.

See you all again later in the week. There should be 3 more posts this week. 2 Fermentation Friday posts and atleast 1 review.

Matt C.

Monday, February 23, 2009

February Fermentation Friday Reminder - Cleaning and Sanitizaiton

Hi All,

Here is your just short or a week reminder. Don't forget to post and let me know the link by Friday. Please see the original post for full details!!


Talk to you all soon!!
Matt C.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Beer Review # 13 - Speakeasy Double Daddy Imperial IPA

Hi All,

Welcome to beer review 13 Speakeasy Double Daddy Imperial IPA out of San Fransisco, CA. I can already tell this is going to be a beauty. Its an unlucky number and the the glass or bottle didn't shatter. Sweet!! Off to the tasting.

Appearance - This beer pours a beautiful golden/copper color with a decent lasting head. As the head dissipates it leaves a nice lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroma - This beer has an amazing hop aroma. I can get some notes of grass, citrus, and other floral characters.

Taste - This beer has a perfect bitterness for an IIPA. The bitterness is tasted through out the tasting of the beer. There is also notes of citrus and grass. I really like how the dry the beer finishes.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a good mouthfeel. I really enjoy beers where the hops and the malt coat your mouth through out the whole taste.

Drinkability - This beer is a perfect example of a IIPA. Nicely hopped and well balanced. At 9.5% ABV a pint of this would be nice drinking for a whole evening.

I got this beer at a liquor store called Tops in Tempe,AZ. I love place where you can make your own 5 packs with out a markup. I made 2 -6 packs of 12 different beers for under $20. Can't go wrong with that.

See you all next later in the week.

Matt C.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Beer Review #12 - Lagunitas Cappucino Stout


I wanted to review this a few weeks ago but I lost it. Now it is found and now it can be enjoyed.

Appearance -This beer pours a dark brown almost black. It poured with a head but it dissipated rather quickly.

Aroma - This beer has a nice roasty coffee scent with hints of chocolate and some malty sweetness.

Taste - This beer has a really nice flavor. I get a nice bitterness with hints of milk, chocolate, and coffee. I can see how calling it a cappucino stout would be very accurate.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a good mouthfeel. Its not too heavy and its not to light. The beer coats your mouth and leaves a bitter coffee aftertaste.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable at 8.3% ABV a 22oz is about all I could do at a sitting. I would prefer a 12oz and a good hour to sip and enjoy.

This is a limited release beer and I am glad I tried it. So if you are out and about and see anything that is in limited production give it a try it may be great or horrible but its always worth a try.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beer Review #11 - Brewery Ommegang Rare Vos


When I lived in NY almost 10 years ago I wasn't really into good beer. It was yellow fizzy all the way except for the occasional Saranac and Yuengling. Well now that I am into beer and since I went to the GABF I have gotten to try a little of what NY has to offer. I had my mom bring me some great beers from Brewery Ommegang. The first of these 4 beers is Rare Vos.

Appearance -This beer pours an orangish/redish color with a nice long lasting head. There isn't much of a lacing on the glass but the head still lingers but doesn't sit.

Aroma - This beer has a great fruity aroma. I get some some orange and some spice notes. I really like the fresh fruit forwardness of this beer.

Taste - This beer has a really nice flavor I can taste the orange, banana and the spice. This is a very light belgian style along the lines a Saison.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a great mouth feel. It is has some chewiness and some lasting spicyness

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable and at 6.5% ABV I could easily finish 755lm bottle and still feel good but not overly intoxicated. Even though I was able to share it with a few friends

Next time I get back to NY to see my mom I will definatly have to hit some of what NY has to offer in person.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Beer Review #10 - 8 Ball Stout

Hi All,

The beer I am reviewing today is 8 Ball Stout from Lost Coast Brewing Company in Eureka,CA. I am not a big stout guy but I am trying to discover why that is the case. I am a coffee drinker and I like chocolate so I am not sure why I am not a stout fan. I am not saying that I dislike like stouts but its normally not my first choice when I choose a beer. Well lets see how I like this one.

Appearance -This beer pours a dark dark brown almost black. There was a small head but it dissipated quickly.

Smell - This beer has a dark roasty coffee nose.

Taste - This beer taste a lot like it smells. It has a great roasted coffee taste but you can taste the bitterness of the hops.

Mouthfeel - I am really enjoying the mouth feel of this beer. Its almost as if I am drinking an ice coffee without the cream and sugar. The beer covers your whole mouth and and goes down really smoothly.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable. Its one of the better stouts that I have tried. I probably could drink 2 in a sitting but not much more. Its medium body is perfect for a beer.

This beer is the reason why I keep trying stouts and porters. I am bound to keep finding gems in this style of beer the more I try them. Also as you drink beer the more your palate changes and different style become more appealing.

See you next time,
Matt C.