• Review – Blue Point Brewing Company Toasted Lager

    Today Chris and I are reviewing Blue Point Brewing Company‘s Toasted Lager.  Like last time we are doubling up by doing the review while working on the website. In our ongoing review series we’ll be covering the following 5 items:

    • Appearance
    • Aroma
    • Mouthfeel
    • Flavor
    • Aftertaste

    Here is a quick guide for the beginner http://indybeers.com/beer-tasting-guide/.

    About Blue Point Brewing Company:

    Based out of Patchogue, NY they brew about 30,000 barrels annually, having just passed the 10 year mark in brewing.  They are happy to offer free tours and beer samples at the brewery, so if you find yourself in the middle of Long Island, NY, check them out.

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/BluePointBrewer

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BluePointBrewery

    Appearance

    Scott:  This time around I gave Chris the beer with the light head, and poured mine with more of a heavy hand.  While this caused for a good bit of head at first, it was almost gone about 2 minutes later.  The color is a nice copper tone, as you would expect from a lager.

    Chris: While this is only our second review this is not Scott’s second beer. He may get better at pouring beers with practice, but come on. Really, again? Enough messing around, this beer golden with hints of browns and yellows. The head on mine was thin with small light bubbles. It doesn’t strafe from your typical lager.

    Aroma

    Scott: The isn’t much of a nose on this one, but what you do get is full of malt.

    Chris: As I mentioned in the Stone Review, I’m recovering from a head cold. I’m at the tail end but my sense of smell is still really lacking. The aroma is weak and barely leans towards the sweetish side.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Wow, mouthfeel, can’t find it as I’m lost in flavor.  After a few more sips I’m getting a full head of bubbles that seem to explode as soon as they touch your tongue, but quickly dissipate.

    Chris: I’m still not sure how this is a category yet. Feels like beer.

    Flavor

    Scott:  With the bubbles gone I’m left with a nice classic lager flavor, if not slightly light.

    Chris:  This beer has a light flavor which is slightly sweet. Even though I mention its sweetness I can’t stress enough the that its flavor is light.

    Aftertaste

    Scott:  I definitely get the “toasted” part of this beer.  With the bubbles and initial flavor gone I’m left with a short lingering reminder of something that was cooked over an open fire.  Very pleasant.

    Chris: Like the flavor, the aftertaste is pleasant, light and somewhat short lasting.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott:  I’ll give this one a 3.5/5.  Not big on flavor, but there’s more than enough to go around.  It does, however, seem to be going down very easy.  At 5.5% these could sneak up on your quickly.  Fun stuff for sure.

    Chris: This is one of those beers that while I find difficult to describe it has unwritten qualities. It’s not overpowering in any aspect which makes it an easy beer to drink without thought. It has a nice flavor and aroma but neither bully you around the bar. I’m fairly certain that my fiance would love this which, for me is a plus. Score it a 3.5/5.

     

  • 2011 Fell’s Point Fun Festival

    On a cold and wet day Kelli and I headed to Fell’s Point for the 45th annual Fell’s Point Fun Festival.  The festival took place Saturday and Sunday Oct 1 & 2 from 11am-7pm, with us arriving on Sunday around 2pm.  While the street vendor section of the festival was partially crowded, the 98rock/Budweiser Beer Garden was nearly empty.  There were a total of 6 beer booths, with 3 of them shut down and not even serving beer.  The beer that was available was limited to Anheuser-Busch InBev brands.  There was Bud Light, Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Dominion Hop Mountain Pale Ale.

    I was curious how a craft beer like Dominion Hop Mountain Pale Ale of Old Dominion made it onto the taps of the Bud Light truck, so when I got home I did some quick research.  It turns out that Anheuser-Busch owns a stake in the company.  From the wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Dominion_Brewing_Company the following is stated:

    “Anheuser-Busch’s purchase stake gave them no control of either of the two breweries, nor any input or influence on brewery recipes, nor oversight of any day-to-day management — AB’s interest solely resides in the distribution side of the two breweries’ business using AB-favored distributors, entirely focused on competing with SABMillerCoors “craft brand” Blue Moon.”

    So there you have it, another ruse from big beer to make you think you’re getting an independent product when in fact you putting more money in their coffers.  Of course, with no other options (no outside beer allowed and all beer had to be purchased in the Beer Garden), I went with the Hop Mountain Pale Ale.  It was a heavy attempt an an IPA that I otherwise wouldn’t bother with outside of no other options.  I won’t do a full review, but I will give the beer a 3.5/5 stars.  It’s an OK craft beer, but tasted like the flavor was injected into the beer.

    To accompany the beer there was plenty of live music.  We arrived just in time to see The Niki Barr Band.  She did her best to entertain the 50 or so people in the Beer Garden.  It was tough, however, as the beer vendors were on the opposite side of the parking lot from the stage, and most seemed intent on staying closer to the beer than the stage.

    In between bands I found an odd sight of no lines for the spot-a-pots.  I think the cold and rain really spoiled the day and kept many of the festival goers away.

    Next up on stage was Can’t Hang.  They managed to get most of the crowd to come to the stage, and celebrated at the end by bringing as many people as they could on stage.

    After seeing The Niki Barr Band and Can’t Hang we left the Beer Garden to see the rest of the Festival.  There weren’t too many people left, or maybe there never were too many people to begin with, but there were plenty of vendors selling their goods.  We ended our Festival experience with a few orders of mussels from Bertha’s Mussels.

     

     

  • Review – Stone IPA

    Today Chris and I are reviewing Stone Brewing Co.’s India Pale Ale.  We’re doing some work on the site and figured we’d double dip with a review of a great beer.  In our ongoing review series we’ll be covering the following 5 items:

    • Appearance
    • Aroma
    • Mouthfeel
    • Flavor
    • Aftertaste

    Here is a quick guide for the beginner http://indybeers.com/beer-tasting-guide/.

    (Note written after my review) – For the record, I have finished my review and I’m waiting on Chris to do his.  He is on is second beer, but won’t come up for air on coding the site.  I may have to take drastic measures soon.

    About Stone Brewing Company:

    Based out of Scondido, CA they brewed about 115,000 barrels in 2010.  Stone has been brewing beers for about 15 years.  They are happy to offer tours, but they tend to get busy so make sure to call ahead if you plan to visit the brewery.

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/StoneBrewingCo

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StoneBrewingCo

    Appearance

    Scott: A nice classic golden beer with a slight tilt towards dark.  When I poured Chris’ beer I did it too fast and he got a nice size head.  For mine I poured more slowly and got a very easy to manage head on the beer.

    Chris: A cloudy, amber colored beer with a fair amount of head. I wasn’t opposed to how Scott poured the beer. While drinking the first beer I noticed the inside of the glass was coated with head based residue.

    Aroma

    Scott: You can definitely smell the hops, but it’s not overpowering like some beers.  There is almost a slight citrus smell at the end.

    Chris: I have a cold right now so my sniffer is on the fritz. The hops are there but don’t seem too strong.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Small bubbles, with a lingering feel on the left and right side of the tongue.  The the beer has a slightly heavy feel, like a light syrup thinness.  Overall, very pleasing palate.

    Chris: Seriously? This is category. It’s beer.

    Flavor

    Scott: Ah, the meat of the matter.  A very good IPA, although not my favorite.  The flavor is full, but not too heavy.  These will go down easy, but not too quick.  At 6.9% that is probably a good thing.

    Chris: Let me preface this section by saying that I’m not a huge fan of IPAs. I find most of them too hoppy with a strong tangy taste, almost bitter. All that said, Stone has done a pretty decent job by not knocking me off the stool. Something in my gut tells me, I really should review this when I don’t have a cold.

    Aftertaste

    Scott: There is an enjoyable hoppy aftertaste that seems to be lingering longer the more I drink.  Very pleasant, and makes me want to drink more.

    Chris: For an IPA it seems decent. I have a feeling my cold is masking the hoppiness.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott:  I would give this beer a 5/5 overall.  Out here on the East Coast it showed up as $10.99 for a 6 pack, so not an everyday beer, but one that should be enjoyed if you are given the opportunity.

    Chris: Score it 3.5/5 for me. My head is pretty loopy right now and not from this 6.9 ABV IPA. Based  on this experience, I would probably try it again.

  • 6th Annual Dogfish Head Dash 5K/10K

    The 6th Annual Dogfish Head Dash races started at 8am sharp with 1810 registered runners.  We arrived early to make sure we got good parking, which didn’t seem to be as big of an issue this year.  I finished the 10K in 58:09, while Kelli finished ahead of me in 56:18.  The post race party started at 9am to allow for many of the 10k runners to return.  There were lots of beers on tap, including the 60 minute IPA and the Punkin.  I heard a rumor that there were 90 kegs to cover the 1810 runners plus other paid guests.

    There were games to play, like the keg relay, but this year I didn’t see those events (I most have been too busy drinking my beer).  There was, however, live music provided by Reedo and the Front Porch Offering.  They are a band local to the DelMarVa Peninsula.  Intermittently between songs various awards and announcements were made, including the fact that the race raised $33,500 for the Delaware chapter of The Nature Conservancy — more than $100,000 to date from all the years of the Dogfish Head Dash.

    There was also a costume contest for the runner with the best use of recycled material as a costume.  The winner of that contest was won by a women who dressed in trash (pictured below) she had picked up from the side of the road.  Well done in the spirit of the race!!!!

    Tours of the brewery were overflowing with people all day as runners came and went from the brewery store.  Several items for sale in the store sold out, including a women’s running shirt that Kelli had her eyes on.  I was tempted to get a few things myself, but the line was long, and I needed another beer.

    Speaking of the beer, this is the one spot in the post race ceremonies that could use a little work.  This year, as in years past, the lines have been really long for the one beer truck on hand.  I know they don’t want people drinking too much, so maybe it’s a built in throttle, but it would be nice to have at least two beer trucks, if not three.  This way I could spend more time enjoying the event, rather than waiting in line.

    The overall winner of the men’s 5K was Greg Cauller of Wilmington, DE with a time of 17:29.

    The overall winner of the women’s 5K was  Elizabeth Butterly of  Milford, DE with a time of 20:25.

    The overall winner of the men’s 10K was Matt Flynn of Media, PA with a time of 34:28.

    The overall winner of the women’s 10K was Lisa Jalot of Wilmington, DE with a time of 42:54.

    Registration for the 2012 Dogfish Head dash will take place in April of 2012.

     

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