• Tag Archives sierra nevada
  • Ted’s Beer of the Month: Oct 2014

    Sierra Nevada Snowpack

    Whoops, looks like I lost a month there. September wasn’t very interesting anyway, I mostly drank a lot of Big Boss Harvest Time, because it’s Fall and it’s delicious and I do what I want. On to October! This month I came across  Sierra Nevada’s Snowpack 12-pack, which contains these 4 winter-friendly brews…

    stoplight_grnCoffee Stout – 6.2%

    A thick, dark beer, this simply-named coffee stout smells great, with the coffee aroma coming through first, followed by a combination of dark roasted malts and fruity smokiness. Fruity smokiness may sound crazy, but its my nose, so stop judging me! I forgot about it let it warm up a bit before drinking it. Because I’m fancy. The flavor is understandably coffee-heavy, but there is a delicate caramel sweetness that comes along with the mild piney bitterness. I’m still not a fan of smoke flavor in beers, so this is not my favorite coffee stout. Still, it is well-balanced and a nice wintry beer.

    stoplight_grnBoomerang IPA – 6.7%

    The aroma is dank and herbal, and it has an impressively bitter punch right off  the bat. It’s very hoppy and resinous from start to finish, with grapefruit peel and pine flavors taking turns at the forefront. The malts provide a baseline sweetness, but mainly get out of way to let the hops shine. The finish is dry, and the bitterness lingers a long time. I wouldn’t put this IPA in my regular rotation, but it’s a good occasional beer for when you’re feeling especially bitter.

    stoplight_grnPorter – 5.6%

    Starting out with a malt-forward aroma with notes of chocolate and floral hops, this is a balanced porter with  great carbonation and a dry mouthfeel that just keeps pushing those malts to the forefront. More chocolate and coffee flavors come into play as it warms, with the hops giving a bitter nudge that’s just enough to offset the mild sweetness. The finish is moderately dry, and bitter. It’s a great example of the style, and maybe my favorite of this bunch.

    stoplight_grnPale Ale – 5.6%

    A good old standby, it has a snappy pine aroma underscored by caramel malt sweetness. The flavor has a mix of piney and mild citrusy hoppiness and caramel sweetness, with moderate bitterness coming in about halfway through and lingering for a while. The finish is sweet but well-balanced. I don’t like it as much as Torpedo, since as an American in my 20s I’m conditioned to love gratuitous levels of hoppiness. Still, it’s a good anchor for this 12-pack, and a good, easy-drinking beer to have around.

    The Verdict

    First of all, Happy Halloween! Also, I have no major complaints about any of these beers, they’re all pretty great! This is an excellent variety pack, particularly if you’re as ready for winter as I am.

    And while I’m not a huge football fan in general, I’m incredibly proud of my Mississippi State Bulldogs, for getting our state and our university some of the recognition it deserves!


  • Ted’s Beer of the Month: Mar 2014


    Another month gone already. Is it just me or did March pass more quickly than February? I blame Daylight Savings Time. This month I read The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes by Joshua M. Bernstein. Its title is quite a mouthful, but Bernstein knows what he’s talking about, and I love that he gives multiple examples of each of the beer styles he describes. I’ve learned so much about what to expect from my beer this month. I highly recommend it! I may even use it as the basis for some future posts. I’m playing around with the stoplight-style quality indicators on this post, so let me know what you think of them in the comments. Helpful? Cheesy?

    Befriend me on Untappd so we can revel in our beer love together!

    stoplight_grn Dogfish Head My Antonia Imperial Pilsner – 7.5% – bottle

    Very hazy for a pilsner, with an aroma of musty yeast, cedar, and a hint of orange. The flavor is bittersweet, woody and hoppy. It has a dry mouthfeel with good effervescence that fades into a lingering bitter citrus peel finish. I wouldn’t classify this as a typical pilsner – it’s so good though, definitely unusual, but a great beer. Always trust Dogfish Head to push a style in a great direction.

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  • Ted’s Beer of the Month: Aug 2013


    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.

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  • Beer of the Month: Mar 2013

    I had a lot of beer last month, a large portion of which was at breweries, which is always a good thing. I’ve included links to the beers I’ve previously reviewed but had no new insights about. If you have any suggestions for improving the readability of these posts, let me know in the comments. Happy April / NC Beer Month!

    • Mash House Brewery & Chophouse – This is a really great restaurant & brewery in Fayetteville, NC. All the food we had was delicious, even if the beers weren’t world-changing. I had a four 4oz beer tasting tray. None of the beers had any sort of head or lacing whatsoever, which was disappointing, though not exactly surprising for such a short pour. Also, most of them had no aroma at all, or I had to really concentrate to detect even the slightest scent.
      • Blonde –  4.5% – lemon & banana on the nose, taste is soft cheese, maybe gouda. Crisp, almost cidery mouthfeel, light carb. The more of it I drink, the more gouda I get, to the point where by the end I’m drinking cheese. And just in case you think I’m crazy, I’m not the only one who thought this.
      • Irish Red – 5.0% – a little bit of grapes in the nose. Straightforward red, kinda earthy with a spice I can’t quite place. Second favorite MH brew.
      • IPA – 5.9% –  hoppy and floral, a pretty complex layering of the hops, and a very good beer overall. Best one of the 4 I tried at MH.
      • Hefeweizen – 5.0% – standard wheat beer, some more banana here, but definitely better than the blonde. I wouldn’t get this again, but that’s just because the IPA and Red are so much better. The mouthfeel was closer to an American wheat than a traditional hefeweizen, which is weird because this beer was so cloudy.

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  • Beer of the Month: Feb 2013

    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.

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