Roughly one year ago, I had dinner and beer at Bull City Burger and Brewery. The dinner was delicious, the beer only okay. I noticed that they had some nice-looking frosted pint glasses for sale, so I bellied up to the bar to buy one (and get another beer while I’m there, because why not?), and I found out that it wasn’t a glass at all, but a flexible silicone Silipint! I had to check it out, so I forked over the $10 and took my “glass” home.
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I’m changing it up a bit this month, since I’m getting a little bored of the “list of beers” posts, and I won’t blame you if you were too. Everyone already knows that the full tale of my beer consumption can be found on my Untappd account, so here are just a few of the highs and lows from this month, along with a little something special I put together for a friend’s birthday.
I’m SO glad I was finally able to try a beer from Ponysaurus Brewing.They’re selfish, terrible people who like to brag about their delicious-sounding beers on Twitter, but then keep them all to themselves. (Read: I’m too lazy to go to the many events they’ve brought their beer to and I’m mad at myself about it…)
As first impressions go, the Fig Saison is a pretty great one. Tartly sweet at the start with a lemony aroma, the flavor segues into citrusy hoppiness with light but noticeable bitterness that balances the sweetness of the fig very nicely. You can really taste the fresh figs in this beer, and the spiciness imparted by the grain bill makes it incredibly interesting. Definitely give it a try if you’re in the area. Maybe sometime soon I’ll get my ass in gear and chase down some more great Ponysaurus beer.
Have ten days gone by already? Well the month is flying by, but lucky for you, I have another ten beers for you. I must say, this was an exceptionally good ten days, beerwise. Have a look and let me know what you think in the comments.
10/11: Duck Rabbit Milk Stout – 5.7% ABV – bottle
When I poured this one right out of the fridge it foamed up so much it took me almost 10 minutes to get the whole bottle in the glass. It pours smooth and black, with no perceptible bubbles rising up the sides of the glass. If I were to measure the head in fingers, I’d probably have to say it was about 30, but after I let it quiet down and warm up a little, it settled to half a finger of stable foam, with no lacing to speak of. The aroma is sweet and smoky with dark roasted malt notes along with a twinge of burnt wood chips. The flavor is primarily the same dark roasted malts, though there’s also a subtle cocoa and vanilla flavors. The mouthfeel is thinner than most milk stouts I’ve had, and the finish is dry and mildly bitter. I like drinking this one at cellar temperature over fridge temp. It really helps release the flavors.
10/12: Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre – 8% – bottle
It’s a repeat, folks, you knew it had to happen someday. I had this one back in May, and liked it then, and I’m happy to say I still do. Pleasant grape flavors amid the malty sweetness and light tartness common to high-gravity ales.
Since last month’s post was so slim, I’M GIVING IT ALL I’VE GOT this month. Every day I drank one of the beers from the stash given to me by my loving wife for my 27th birthday back in August. I didn’t have a full month’s worth of new beers, but I found a few others to fill in the gaps; it was tough, but I made it through somehow. Since it’s such a long post, I’ve broken it up into three parts. I’m trying out a slightly different format this month, so let me know if you like it. Here are the first 10 days’ worth of beers:
10/1: Uinta Hoodoo Kölsch – 4% – bottle
Grassy and mildly citrusy on the nose, with a tinge of yeast underneath. The taste is fine, but nothing to write home about. I’m not typically a kolsch drinker, so maybe my palate’s been tainted by all the strongly-malted and hopped beers I so love. If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.
10/2: Uinta Detour Double IPA – 9.5% – corked bottle
Speaking of strongly-hopped beers, this beer presents a stark contrast to last night’s selection. It pours a hazy amber with a short white head that dissipates quickly and leaves heavy lacing. The aroma is beautifully hoppy, a mix of grass and citrus with a sweet caramel backbone. There’s a lot of bitterness in the taste, and it lingers on the tongue. There are a couple sour off-notes in the finish that I’m not a fan of as well. The high alcohol content, something I look forward to in DIPAs, is overpowered by the harsh bitterness of the hops. Sadly, I can’t recommend this beer, and will be sticking with old standbys like Foothills’ Seeing Double in the future.
Rogue Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA – draft – 6.8% – smells like feet. No bueno. Tastes great though, very malty, the mark of a good black IPA. I think the lines at the place I drank this one were poorly cared for, since I noticed an off flavor in both this one and the Foothills Hoppyum I drank before it.
New Belgium Pumpkick – 6% – bottle – Pours amber and clear. Smells just like every other pumpkin beer I’ve ever had: spicy, mildly fruity, low on the hop character. I must say that seeing pumpkin beer in my bottle shop in the middle of Summer is extremely strange. Anyway, New Belgium put their little European twist on the typical American pumpkin beer with this one. They say they added cranberry, but honestly I didn’t detect any. The spices are nice, but as I’m not a fan of pumpkin beers in general, this one’s pretty low on my list.
Ommegang Hennepin Saison – draft – 7.7% – Hazy and dark yellow, it’s the pinnacle of a European saison. Very tart, with some orange rind bitterness and a heavy alcohol kick in the back of the throat. Reminds me a bit of Delirium Tremens. I think I like American saisons better though, since they tend to be slightly milder, and without that harsh tang that gets old for me about two-thirds of the way through the pint.
Wow, this month is flying by, and I’m so late with the July beer of the month! I know you’re holding your breath, so I’ll dive right in.
New Belgium Rolle Bolle – bottle – 5.5% ABV – New Belgium ROLLEd this one out as their summer seasonal this year, and I’m impressed. It has all the things a summer beer should have: light, refreshing body, a relatively mild flavor, and a clean finish that doesn’t leave you looking for a glass of water.
Terrapin Rye Pale Ale – draft – 5.3% ABV – I drank this one and the Hopsecutioner below on tap at a restaurant in Atlanta, because, well, “When in Rome…” It’s a little weak on the rye, especially since my gold standard is Sierra Nevada’s Ruthless Rye, and overall not my favorite. The malt and hop character are fine, but I look for that spicy punch and this one misses the mark for me. That’s why I drank it first, before…
Welcome to the third installment of my monthly beer list (now marked as mine thanks to Wesley’s Wine of the Week)! Due to the length and tedium of the last two posts, I’m tweaking the format a bit, so I’ll only share the interesting beers that I drink in the month. Say farewell to the Yuengling and all (well, most) repeats. From here on out it’s all going to be new and interesting brews, or old favorites that I just really really love and can’t stop talking about.
Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat – bottle – 4.4% ABV – Lemony aroma, pale foamy head that hangs around but leaves very little lacing. The color is bright yellow and very hazy. The taste is slightly tart, with a good wheat flavor and some hops to embolden it. I didn’t fruit this one, and it didn’t need it, although a small slice of lemon might be worth a try.
New Belgium La Folie Sour Brown Ale (Lips of Faith) – bottle – 6% ABV – Tan head with large bubbles that dissipate quickly, leaving no lacing and a little ring around the edge. Smells DELIGHTFUL! Tangy scent, with a little cherry. I poured this one right out of the fridge, so I drank it slowly to let it warm up. The warmer it gets, the sourer it gets, and that is awesome. It tastes like all the best sour flavors (apple, cherry, citrus) rolled up into one delicious package.
Bull City Burger & Brewery – their food is delicious! I got the Green Monster burger, and I tried the vegetarian Chipotle chili, and they were both excellent. I also tried the sweet potato Fries, pickle chips, and griddled lemon cake. I highly recommend the cake.
- Wa Wa Yonda Blonda blonde stout – draft – 5.2% ABV – Smells like fresh grains, tastes like the sharpest tripel ever. The first blonde stout I’ve ever had, so not entirely sure what to expect. The longer I drank it the less I liked it.
- Morven’s Alley American IPA – draft – Way, way too sweet for an IPA. Maybe this batch was little off or something, because almost all the hoppiness was plowed under by the raging sweetness.
- Jack Tar Dry Irish Stout – draft – I only had a few sips of this one, but it was the best beer I had at the brewery.
February was a pretty good month, beerwise and otherwise. I got a new job that’s really awesome so far, and I was able to try some delicious new beers and enjoy some old favorites. My plan is to write up the beers I’ve had every month and pick a winner. Keep in mind that I’m the very definition of an amateur beer reviewer, so I apologize in advance if my descriptions lack depth or wax poetic or both. I can’t promise it will always be something different, but maybe it’ll help you next time you’re at the bottle shop trying to make a decision. If you want to see my ratings as they happen, feel free to follow me on Untappd.
- Widmer Brothers Marionberry Hibiscus Gose – bottle – 5.5% ABV – A very pink beer. It’s a bit weak in the flavor department, although what there was was pretty good. Floral and just the slightest bit tart thanks to the hibiscus. Most of the flavor comes in the finish, which is a little unusual and makes for a slightly difficult drinking process. On the one hand its light ABV and champagne-ish look and feel make you want to drink it quickly so you can get to some real beer, and on the other hand, the longer you wait between sips, the more flavor you get. I’m not likely to buy this one again.
- Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout – bottle – 9.5% ABV – Drank this out of my Great Divide tulip glass, because what else would I use? Wonderfully oak-y as usual, and always a winner in my book. Definitely the best of the Yetis that I’ve had, though Espresso OAY is a close second. It’s a slow-sipping beer for me, one I like to savor, especially considering its gravity. My advice is to let it warm up a little before digging in, it’s worth the wait. I would love to try this one on a nitro tap.