Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beers from the Northeast

it's been a while.

i just got back from a trip to new hampshire and vermont and had a killer time. i knew there were quite a few breweries in the area i was visiting and i went there with a goal to try as many local beers as possible.

beth's mom even got the trip started off on the right note and suprised me with a varitey pack from Otter Creek.

all the beers were solid and pretty typical. nothing outstanding that i would go looking for but good drinking beers... especially when hanging out on the lake.

next up were a couple of beers i picked up in stowe, vt. i stopped at a gas station and got two 22's. the first i tried was an IPA from Harpoon Brewery. I'll admit... this beer kind of let me down and it's pretty much what i expected from an east coast IPA.

Next up was Long Trail's Double Bag ale. this one was pretty good and not something i would regularly like... maybe it was because i had it after hiking for 3 hours. definitely worth trying.

friday night at the rehersal dinner there was free beer! i got my hands on a Long Trail IPA. good beer for sure, but again, no west coast style IPA. it was kind of like a "light" IPA. good if you want to drink an entire sixer of this stuff but not if you are looking for hops and bitterness.

after dinner we all headed to a bar. i checked the draft selection and tried a another local vermont beer. this one was Switchback Brewing Company's pale ale. i took two drinks and ordered a PBR. not into it all. i think i just have too high of expectations and when a beer doesn't blow me away i am bummed. probably a good session brew... and a good name too!

now for the good stuff!

on the way home from stowe we stopped at a killer wholefoods-esque grocery store with a great beer selection. i picked up two more 22's. i didn't drink them in this order but I will start with Pennichuck Brewings Halligan IPA. good IPA. not super hoppy but not as bland as the others. the label is why i chose it. i will probably snag one of these again if I ever see it at Bevmo.

now for the winner! the other 22 I picked was another from Long Trail. This time was their Brew Master Series Double IPA. I had high hopes for this and wasn't let down. at 8.6% ALC and 100+ IBU's this was what I had been searching for and hoping i would find. a great beer and as close to a socal IPA. i will be searching for this.

bonus beer. on our last night there Beth's mom made us an epic feast of lobster and awesome veggies... and she bought some beers. this beer was gnarly.... different for sure. the beer was from Allagash in Maine and was tripel ale that was barrel aged in Jim Beam barrels for 8 weeks. it was 11% ALC but went down pretty smooth. we all split this over dinner. it was good but probably not something i would ever buy again... but stoked i got to try it.

that's it. I am glad i got to try a bunch of different beers but can't wait to head up to sonoma tomorrow and get my hands on some killer IPA's. I am planning on hitting the Bear Republic Brew Pub and hopefully getting over to the Lagunitas for a tasting. report to follow!

Friday, May 8, 2009

a quick review.

I have been really slacking on the beer blogging front... but don't worry I have been enjoying plenty off good beers. Some regular favorites and a lot of new ones. Here's a quick list of some of the new ones I have had lately that I have really liked.

Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental IPA

2 beers from Moylans.
Hopsickle Imperial IPA - "Tripple Hoppy"

Moylander Double IPA

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid

I have also made a couple of trips to the Green Flash brewery... it's awesome! Was there ever any question? West Coast IPA, Hop Head Red, and the Imperial IPA or incredible straight from the tap and/or growler.

that's it for now. i made bevmo trip this week and got a couple of new ones so hopefully i will post a better review over the weekend.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Week of 3.23.2009 - Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine and more...

I know I have been slacking on this blog... but that's what happens when training ramps up. I have also been sticking with some favorites... Green Flash West Coast IPA, Lagunitas IPA, and Stone Ruination IPA. But last week I did get into some new stuff thanks to some sale items a Jimbo's.

I headed into Jimbo's before our wednesday night lululemon run to pick some dinner and they had a bunch of single beers on sale so I picked up a couple of those and also a 22oz of the Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine. I have never had a Barley Wine before this and because Stone is probably one of the best breweries around I decided to give it a shot and make the purchase.

I cracked the Old Guardian open on Thursday night just wanting to try. For some reason I was convinced I was not going to like. Well let's just say that I was way off. I loved and proceeded to kill the entire 22oz and with it being 11.3% ALC I was definitely feeling it! Stone doesn't disappoint... and I will never write-off another one of their beers without trying it first. Here's the review from Beer Advocate:
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine

The other beers I tried:
Flying Dog IPA - very good. i will definitely be buying more of this. the single i picked up from Jimbo's wasn't enough!
Firehouse IPA - ok... at 5.9% for an IPA I thought it was kind of week and doesn't even come close to the other San Diego brewed IPA's.
New Begium Might Arrow Pale Ale - very good pale ale. I really like this. Meredith both Beth and I six pack for letting her borrow my race wheels. I would loan out my race wheels to anybody willing to buy me a sixer of this stuff.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week of 3.2.2009 - Lagunitas The Hairy Eyeball

I am stoked on this beer. So far everything I have had from Lagunitas is solid.

I rolled to Ryan's house late friday night before Counting Coup and he had The Hairy Eyeball waiting in his fridge for our pre-race brew. To me it was almost like a hoppy'er amber... and really good. That's all I really have to say... and I will be picking up a sixer of this at BevMo this week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Week of 2.23.2009 - Port Brewing Shark Attack Double Red Ale

After a long day and a hard race on Sunday I was ready for a cold beer when I got home. i picked up this 22oz of Port Brewing Shark Attack Double Red Ale a couple of weeks and go and it's been chillen in the fridge.

This was the first time I have had this beer. I really like the Port's Shark Bite red ale so I was pretty sure I would like this double red ale. Shark bite is 5.5% alc and the Shark Attack is 9%.... sweet!

It definitely didn't disappoint. Even though it's a pretty strong beer it doesn't really taste like it. Way more mellow than the strong IPA's I have been drinking lately. I will be picking up a couple of these next time I go to BevMo. Since it's only a seasonal release I want to make sure I get some more before it's all gone.

here are some more reviews from Beer Advocate:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week of 2.16.2009 - Chupacabras Pale Ale

On Sunday Beth and I set up a group MTB ride at Lake Hodges. We decided to start and end our ride right across the street from Hernandez Hideaway. It's a killer little mexican joint right off of Del Dios highway.

We had a good time riding and then it was time for refueling so the crew all headed to the restaurant. I definitely wanted a beer but wasn't feeling like a mexican beer... I wanted an IPA! They didn't have any IPA's but the waitress suggested a new pale ale they just started serving.

It was Chupacabras Pale Ale from the Cucapa Brewing Company. I was a little hesitant at first. A pale ale from a mexican brewery... how good could it be? Well I was impressed. It was solid and hit the spot, especially combined with chips, salsa, and guac.

If you see this beer give it a go. Better yet... come out to Hodges next time we ride and knock a couple back post ride.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week of 2.9.2009 - Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

This post is coming a little late. I was a little short on time with everything going on last weekend, but I did get to drink some good beer.

When I was back east for the Holidays Beth's dad, Dr. G., showed me an article in the New Yorker about a small brewery in Delaware. The brewery was Dogfish Head and it was very interesting. While in Philly we searched for the Dogfish, and after a lot of driving around to various locations, we were able to get our hands on a couple of bottles of the 90 minute IPA. It was solid and I was bummed we didn't buy a couple more.

So a couple of weeks ago I noticed that Bevmo started carrying some Dogfish Head brews, including some we couldn't find in Philly. So I decided to buy a 4 pack of each and take the out to AZ for the family trip.

I got some more 90 min IPA, Midas Touch, and Palo Santo Marron.

All the beers are very unique... and good. The IPA is something I could drink on a regular basis, but the other two are not "everyday" beers in my opinion. They are interesting and taste good but not really a beer that I would ever drink more than one of at a time.

Midas Touch.

Palo Santo Marron.

If you can find these beers I would definitely recommend giving them a shot... especially if you want to try something new.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Week of 2.2.2009 - Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and a bad beer?

This week I picked up a Stone brew that I had never had before. I bought a 22oz of Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale for about 5 bucks at BevMo. The description called it a Double IPA which is why I picked it up. I what as good one. It was a little darker than the stuff I have been drinking and I'll pick it up again.

Ok... now for the bad beer. Ok... I wouldn't really call it bad but compared to all the "good' stuff have had lately this one kind of let me down. I bought a six pack of Victory Brewing Co.'s Hop Wallop. It was on sale and over the Holidays while in PA I had another one of the beers, Festbier, and I really liked it. The Hop Wallop is definitely hoppy but not as bitter and flavorful as the killer San Diego IPA's I have been drinking.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week of 1.26.2009 - Gordon Ale, Green Flash Imperial IPA, &

I found some winners this week. Forget beer of the week... I tried three new one this week. You gotta love Bevmo.... I can't get out of there in no less than 30 minutes. So much I want to try and so little time... alcohol tolerance. One good strong 22oz IPA and I'm feeling it.

Beer #1. Oskar Blues Gordon Ale
This week. I hit Bevmo and picked up another beer from Oskar Blues Brewery bases on GZ's recommendation. I got 4 pack for Gordon Ale. It was kind of steep... $10 for 4 beers... but mix a between an Imperial Red and a Double IPA with 8.7% abv is worth the loot. I really liked this beer and it's worth the 10 bucks. I love cans... but wish it came in a sixer.

ABV: 8.7%
IBU’s: 85
Gordon is a hybrid version of strong ale, somewhere between an Imperial Red and a Double IPA. We make it with six different malts and three types of hops, then dry-hop it with a mutha lode of Amarillo hops. It is 8.7% alcohol by volume, and has 85 International Bittering Units.
Beer #2. Green Flash Imperial IPA
I have had this beer sitting in my "beer fridge" for over a week now. Ryan suggested this one and I was waiting for a good time to drink it. So after my long ride saturday and taking my bike to the shop I cracked this one open. I will say this... everything I have had from Green Flash so far (west coast IPA, hop head red) has been awesome but this one was the best. I love San Diego style IPA's (very hoppy) and this one didn't disappoint. Right up there with anything I have ever had.

ABV: 9.4%
IBU’s: 101
San Diego-style IPA, as it has come to be known by many, is super-hoppy, high gravity, yet highly quaffable ale. Our Imperial IPA is created in this new tradition with intense hop flavors and aromas from a unique blend of Summit and Nugget hops. It's all about the hops!
Beer #3. Alesmith IPA
Last but definitely not least I tried another IPA from a local San Diego brewery that I have never had in the past. What can I say... another solid San Diego-style IPA. Just like it says on the bottle:

that's IPA for any of you slow folks out there.

ABV: 7.75%
Deep golden to light amber color, and a nice off-white head, with good retention when properly served. Starts off with pleasantly strong hop flavors, balanced by a firm malt backdrop, then fades to a dry finish with a lingering hoppiness.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week of 1.19.2009 - Dale's Pale Ale + Racer 5 IPA

Ok... this week is a 2 for 1 and both of these beers I have had before. First up is a beer from the Oskar Blues brewery in Lyons, CO: Dale's Pale Ale.

The first time I had a Dale's Pale Ale was at the 24 Hours in Old Pueblo last year. They were sponsoring a team at the race and giving out free beer at their RV. I love companies that support mountain biking and especially one's that give away free beer! I also like the fact that it comes in a can... always colder. This is a good everyday beer. Not to hoppy and goes down easy. A perfect beer to knock back while working on the bikes or cleaning the garage... at least that's what I did.

Now here's the bonus beer. Bear Republic's Racer 5 IPA.

I have been into this beer for quite some time and actually had a chance to go to their Brewpub last summer when we were in Sonoma for Vineman. This is just one of the those beers that you gotta get in a 22oz bottle. 12oz just wont' do it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week of 1.12.2009 - Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale

ABV: 6%
IBU's: 45

After the having the West Coast IPA the week before I decided to pick up a six pack of the Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale to quench my thirst after big weekend of riding and while watching the NFL divisional playoff games.

I like a good red ale... and this was a good one. Definitely a step up from the red's that I usually drink (Killian's Irish Red, Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Week of 1.5.2009 - Green Flash West Coast IPA

ok.. this is the first post on my new blog. JW's Beer of the Week. It's no secret that I like beer and especially trying a new beer. One of my new years goals (I don't like resolutions) was to expand my horizons in food and drink. I am by no means a connoisseur of beer and wine, but I like them both... very much. So this blog is here to keep my honest.

My plan is try one new beer a week and post about it. It won't be just about beer though. If I come across a good bottle or glass of wine I'll post about it here. Just more fun on the Internet.

I have some catching up to do and this post is from my first week back in SoCal after the holidays. For a while Ryan had been telling my about Green Flash beers, which is a brewery right down here in San Diego. Some how I had never had any of their beers. After a offroad ride with Ryan I headed to Henry's before the Chargers game to grab some snacks and beer.

I was stoked to find that they carried Green Flash. I picked up a sixer of the West Coast IPA. I cracked the first one right at the kick off of the Bolts game. I really liked this beer from the first sip... and I liked it more with every one that I had. Here's the description from the Green Flash site:

"This West Coast-Style India Pale Ale is extravagantly hopped, full flavored, medium bodied and copper colored. A menagerie of hops is combined throughout the brewing process to impart specific characteristics. Hops used include Simcoe for a unique fruitiness and grapefruit zest, Columbus for strong hop pungency, Centennial for pine and citrus notes, and Cascade for floral aroma.

All I can say is get some try... be prepared for a pretty hoppy beer.