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.