• Review – St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

    Today Chris and I are reviewing St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.  We’re t his house today, just to change things up a little. As a side note, the ride up I95 during rush hour wasn’t too bad.  He says it can be much worse.

    We’re doing this review today after reading a recipe for a Bloody Mary using St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.  This will be a 2 part review, with the first part focusing on just the beer, and the second part will be a review of Draft Magazine’s recipe for a Bloody Mary.

    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/. At the bottom of that page is an HTML template that can be used in our comments if you would like to post your own reviews along with us.

    About McAuslan Brewing:

    Based out of Montreal, Québec McAuslan Brewing began operations in January of 1989.

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/bierestambroise

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bierestambroise

    Appearance

    Scott: A nice nutty brown with a thickly bubbled head.

    Chris: Poured nicely with a small moca head.

    Aroma

    Scott: This one is teeming with aroma.  I’m getting caramel, molasses, espresso, and chocolate

    Chris: Awesomeness. Roasted coffee with hints of chocolate.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Very light and creamy feeling with a good medium carbonation.

    Chris: Medium thick body and medium carbonation. I was somewhat surprised as this is not as creamy as I expected. Excellent, non the less.

    Flavor

    Scott: A few of these will go down very easily.  I’m not generally a fan of oatmeal stouts, but this one is spot-on delicious.  Roasted malt, maybe some caramelized sugar, and a nice finish of bitter chocolate.

    Chris: Yummy, oatmeal deliciousness. It is has smooth roasted sweet flavors from start to finish with hints of chocolate throughout.

    Aftertaste

    Scott: A little bitterness with a nice espresso flavor.  Unquestionably pleasant.

    Chris: The coffee flavors last, but are not too bitter.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: I should have bought more of these, but at $10.25 a 4 pack, they can be a little cost prohibitive. 5/5

    Chris: This is an excellent, 5 star, oatmeal stout!

     

     

  • The Beer Fag: Oskar Blues’ Deviant Dale’s!

    Another great video brought to you by Gus.  A few highlights of the video for me are:

    • The blatantlyobvious plug for his local homebrew shop http://www.brewtensils.com/
    • The synchronized pouring
    • Identification of hops in the beer

    Without Further ado, I once again give you, The Beer Fag.

  • Review Hop Heads Alehouse – Middle River, MD

    Kelli and I recently went out for food and drinks at a new bar in the Baltimore area called Hop Heads Alehouse.  We had a great time as the bar is quintessential Baltimore at its roots.  There was very much a home town feel and a general comradery among patrons.  There are nightly specials listed on their website, so check it out before you go and see which night is the night for you.

    If you go:
    http://hopheadsalehouse.com
    9611 Pulaski Highway
    Baltimore, MD.
    443-969-2477
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hop-Heads-Alehouse/185854428124932

    Arriving at Hop Heads in Middle River, MD.

     

    Kelli had a Bear Republic Racer 5, I had a Flying Dog Classic Pale Ale.

    The menu was mainly comprised of your standard bar items of easy to make and easy to consume food.  Nothing really stood out to me on the menu, but keep in mind I don’t eat meat.

    For food I ordered the blackened tuna bites.

     

    Good, but highly seasoned.

    Their beer selection was really good if you are into craft beers.  I was blown away by the amount of beers they have available, over 200!!  While they are a lot of the standard craft beers you will find in the craft beer scene, that fact that the vast majority of the beers are from independent breweries is a welcome change in any bar.

    Plenty of great craft beers from which to choose.

     

    Craft beers were on tap, too.

    Make no mistake, this is not some stuck up, hoity-toity bar full of beer snobs.  This is a place where people come to have fun, meet new friends, and drink!!!

    Being a bar, and energy drinks on special at $4 each, we did a round of shots with the bartender.

     

    Not being full yet I went for a pizza.

     

    My pizza with half olives.

    There was a lot of room in the bar, and I could see the empty floor quickly becoming a dance floor when the music and crowd were just right.  Our early arrival found us in a mostly empty bar, but in the hour or two we were there the bar quickly began to fill.  I could easily see this bar being shoulder to shoulder by the end of the night.

    It was early on Friday, but you can see the potential.

    The event calendar on the website always lists any entertainment, and the DJ’s that were there the night we went were fantastic.  These guys had a nice grove going that made me want to stay longer.

    DJ’s Tony Stylez and Supreme were setting the mood.

     

    Some old school Baltimore action.

    The owner Mike Roser was a really down to earth guy that was enjoyable to talk with during my time in the bar.  He had some big ideas on what he wanted to do in the future, and I’m glad to see that his vision is off to a great start.  More bars like his would be a welcome addition to any city.

    Owner, Mike Roser.

     

    Beer selection 4/5
    Food: 3.5/5
    Atmosphere: 3.5/5
    Overall: 3.5/5

    http://hopheadsalehouse.com/

  • Review – Heavy Seas Sea Nymph

    Today Chris and I are reviewing Heavy Seas Sea Nymph.  This particular review comes after a trip I made to The Perfect Pour to meet Hugh Sisson of Heavy Seas from this short article (note the signed six pack above).  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/. At the bottom of that page is an HTML template that can be used in our comments if you would like to post your own reviews along with us.

    From the Heavy Seas website:

    Brewed by Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing Co., Heavy Seas is produced by Baltimore craft beer pioneer Hugh Sisson – the brewery’s founder and managing partner – and Brewmaster Ernesto Igot, formerly brewmaster at San Miguel Brewery in the Philippines.  After successfully lobbying the Maryland Legislature to legalize brewpubs, Hugh began brewing professionally in 1989 at his family’s Baltimore pub – Sisson’s – which was coincidentally Maryland’s first brewpub.  In 1994 he left Sisson’s to found Clipper City and has been involved in all aspects of the business – brewing, finance, marketing, and sales.

    Heavy Seas, as a brand, was an extension of Clipper City to handle  higher gravity beers.  The company is now called Heavy Seas with the beers segmented in one of three categories based on style/season: Clipper Fleet (lighter beers), Pyrate Fleet (high gravity beers), and Mutiny Fleet (seasonal beers).  Sea Nymph is a member of the Clipper Fleet.

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/heavyseasbeer

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeavySeasBeer

    From hsbeer.com:

    Light gold in color, yet crisp and refreshing. This summer ale will pair well with grilled seafood and salads. Available May – August.

    Appearance

    Scott:  Light gold in color is spot on.  Mild carbonation showing up.  Could easily be mistaken in looks for a light beer.

    Chris: Yep, light gold. Can I just copy off you Scott?

    Aroma

    Scott:  A slight sour smell with a hint of earthy.

    Chris: I catch just a hint of malts, but just barely.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Smooth and easy.  Very similar to the light beers previously mentioned.

    Chris: Clean.

    Flavor

    Scott: Smell and flavor are going hand in hand on this one.

    Chris: Very difficult to pickup. Lightly sweet.

    Aftertaste

    Scott: Not much there.  The flavor dissipates quickly.

    Chris: Nada. Uggh.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott:  Not a beer I would go after for flavor, but I could easily see myself throwing a few of these back on a nice hot day. 3/5.

    Chris: Exactly what I was expecting based on the Heavy Seas description. 3/5

     

  • Review – Anchor Steam Beer

    Today Chris, Mathew, and I are reviewing Anchor Steam Beer.  I was recently reading the book Home beermaking: The complete beginner’s guidebook and there was a section in the book talking about “steam beer”.

    Steam beer, the only native American beer style, was born in late 19th century San Francisco, when refrigeration and ice were unavailable to Eastern immigrants accustomed to lager brewing.  Desiring local beer, they brewed with lager yeast at (unrefrigerated) temperatures, producing a robust, highly hopped (partly for preservation reasons) brew more like an ale than a lager in flavor, yet with a unique sharp character imparted by the warm fermenting lager yeast.  Unlike most draft beers at the time, steam beer was carbonated (by krausening), and the hissing noise issuing from a freshly-tapped keg probably gave rise to the name steam.

    That is a nice piece of history, but it’s the next part that caught my eye:

    Today, steam is a trademark of Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco.

    I find that funny simply because the top of their bottle states:

    …Anchor alone has used the quaint name “steam” for its unique beer.

    With all the fanfare, we figured we give the beer a try.

    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/. At the bottom of that page is an HTML template that can be used in our comments if you would like to post your own reviews along with us.

    About Anchor Brewing:

    Based out of San Francisco, CA they have roots in the area that go back to 1849.    I was going to post more information about them, but I really hate their website.  The “Our Craft” and “Our History” sections are bad.  The guys over at Aleheads should consider using it in their “worst brewery websites” series.

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AnchorBrewing

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

    Appearance

    Scott: There was a slight cloudiness to the beer.  It had a good golden/amber color.  I must have poured mine wrong (or right depending on your personal thoughts) because I got almost no head.  My second beer I poured with a heavy hand to get a nice thick, creamy head.

    Chris: The body was a cloudy shade of amber. Pouring this beer differently changed the appearance. If you slowly poured it into a glass it had almost no head. If you didn’t baby it, the head was a fluffy off white that lasted throughout the entire glass. Lots of bubbles floated up from the bottom as carbonation was plentiful.

    Mathew:  There was a small head but seemed to vary a lot with everyone’s pour. It was also very bubbly and not creamy like the description says. The color was a light Amber with a slight cloudiness to it. There seemed to be a large amount of carbonation as there was a continued bubble stream from the bottom of the glass, like a soda, the whole time I was drinking it.

    Aroma

    Scott: Not much on the nose.  Maybe some hints of malt and grass.

    Chris: The aroma was very mild. Hints of grain and sweetness were noticable but faint.

    Mathew: There was not a lot of aroma and it was hard to distinguish.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Very crisp and smooth.  Lots of light carbonation across the tongue.

    Chris: Medium-bodied with abundant carbonation.

    Mathew: There was a large amount of carbonation leaving a bubbly feeling on the tongue, like champagne.

    Flavor

    Scott: As with everything else, light in flavor, but that’s not a bad thing.  It has a very approachable quality to it.   Unquestionably easy to drink.  I could see myself putting back more than a couple of these.

    Chris: I was very happy with this beer. It had a clean, lightly sweet caramel taste with no hoppy bitterness.

    Mathew: It had a light beer taste with a hint of wheat but was not strong with any flavors.

    Aftertaste

    Scott:  Nothing too much on the backend.  Mathew mentioned that it had a bitter aftertaste, but I think that is only in comparison to the mild flavor of the beer to begin with.  Held against any other beer it wouldn’t be considered as bitter.

    Chris: I didn’t pick up on much of an aftertaste.

    Mathew: At first it seemed to leave a sticky dry aftertaste but as I moved to my second one that went away and it have the taste and feel of a light lager.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott:  At $9.99 a six pack I won’t be rushing to drink a lot of these; however, if I find myself looking for something easy to drink, and this is part of my selection from which to choose, I would happily drink a few more.  I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.

    Chris: Above I noted that it didn’t have much of an aftertaste. Beyond this being a clean-light beer it was so easy to drink and found myself going through one very quickly. I like trying new beers and this one was a good one. Its mild palate makes it and easy to drink.  I’ll give it a 4 out of 5.

    Mathew: The beer was not bad, it was supposed to beer a mix of an ale and lager, I didn’t really get that as I am a big ale and lager fan. I think it more had the mix of a light beer with a hint of Champagne. I would drink again but would not order at a bar. I would rate it 3.5 out of 5 with a 2.5 out of 5 on the manufactures description.


  • Tales of Beer – Alone in the City

    Her lips were wet.  There was a small amount of head remaining on her upper lip as she pulled the glass away from her mouth while the dim lights of the bar were playing their magic across her face.  She had just noticed Alex staring at her, and in the even draw of speech women use to show disinterest in all things male she asked, “Can I help you?”

    Alex had been out for a walk.  He didn’t known how far he had come, but he had been walking for well over an hour, and he was getting thirsty.  Being a stranger in this city, the streets were all beginning to look the same, so any street with any bar would do the trick.  As he rounded what seemed an endless array of corners he saw what was about to become the start of a great night.  The bar was on the corner with one of those vertical red neon bar signs calling the moths to the flame.  Not being one to resist temptation, Alex headed for the door.

    As the door swung wide, it was quickly evident this was not your average bar.  There were more tap handles then one could count at first glance, and the music…it pulled him into a trance almost instantly.  The melody was a subtle background pleasure laying the tones for a time of euphoric relaxation.  Walking towards the line of bar stools, Alex realized that the bar was mostly empty, which was to be expected in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week.  He pulled up a bar stool, and began to soak in the environment.

    “Can I help you?”, came the voice a second time.  It was then that Alex realized he had been staring at her drinking her beer.

    “Actually, yes, you can help me.  I’m from out of town, and I’m looking to drink a great beer, can you recommend something?”

    She licked the remaining head from her lips before saying, “What’s your poison?”  With a gesture of her hand she waved towards the taps on display and then continued, “Heavy, light…traditional, unique…they have everything here to suit your needs.”

    Alex followed her hand as it guided him past the taps.  So many choices, so many beers he never seen, and others he had only heard of in passing.  “Unique”, came his reply.  “I think I need something unique.”

    “Well, if it’s unique you’re looking for there are a few beers that will pique your interest”, she said before taking another sip of her own beer.  “But you look like your really in search of something, so for you I’ll recommend the Firestone Anniversary Ale”.

    “Firestone Anniversary Ale?  I can’t say I ever heard of that beer.” Alex murmured as he scanned the taps looking for the beer.

    “Oh, you won’t find that one on tap, dear, that one comes in the bottle here, but you won’t be disappointed.”

    The barkeep had been paying attention to the conversation from the end of the bar, and knew it was time for him to make his entrance.  He walked about halfway down the bar and slid open door to the third cooler from end.  From within he pulled out a large bottle of Firestone Anniversary Ale, popped the top, and slid it down the bar to Alex.  “Would you like a glass with that”, he inquired.

    “Sure.”  And the barkeep slid a tulip glass Alex’s way.  Alex took a moment to study the bottle.  It was 22 ounces (650 ml) with a lion on one side, and and bear on the other.  It seems based on the markings this was a special limited release, the fifteenth in such a series.

    “Are you going to look at it all day or drink it?”, her voice said with a giggle, bringing him back from being lost in his study of the bottle.

    He tilted the glass and began the the process of transferring the dark brown fluid from one vessel to another.  As the beer settled he noticed it had a nice thick head of a tan shade.  Bringing the glass to his nose he found the bouquet to be a complex mix of coffee, caramel, and undertones of fruit or citrus.  Asking about how a beer could have such a a variety of flavor, the bartender informed him it was a blend of 76% Barley Wine style beers, 19% Stout, and 5% Imperial IPA.

    Curious as to the process in the manner of his drink, she moved to the seat next to his.  “That beer’s not going to drink itself, you know.”  Finishing the statement with another pull from her own beer.

    Alex noticed the head was again sticking to her upper lip, this time, however, she rolled her lips inward with a slight sucking sound to remove the frothy nectar.

    Having filled his nose with the smell he took his first sip.  It was pure delight.

    At first the beer felt light, too light for such a dark beer, but as the beer rolled across his tongue, the flavor become more and more heavy until his mouth was enveloped in the full, robust flavor.   All the aromas he was smelling moments before were now pleasantly transferring from smell to taste.  With each sip came more flavors that he had previously not found…chocolate covered cherries, cinnamon, honey, they were all there.

    She drank the final sip of her beer and said, “Well?”

    “I was looking for a beer, but I found heaven instead.”, Alex said to her with a wink.

    She stood up, gave a nod to the barkeep, laid a hand upon his shoulder and said, “Next time we’ll have to enjoy this game a little longer, but I’ve got to run for now.” And with that she walked out the door.

    Alex was left with his beer and his thoughts, which was turning out to be not such a bad thing.

     

    About Firestone Walker Brewing Company:

    Based out of  Paso Robles, CA

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/firestonewalker

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/firestone.walker

  • Review Ninkasi & 21st Amendment Collaboration


    Today Chris and I are reviewing Allies Win the War, a collaboration between 21st Amendment and Ninkasi (http://21st-amendment.com/beer/allies-win-the-war).  We decided on this beer after asking the Reddit community which beer we should review (Thanks shuazien, throwbookatface, and koollama for the recommendations).  We went to our highly recommended local beer store, The Perfect Pour, to procure our powerful pints (well, 12oz cans, but I was going for the alliteration). 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/.  At the bottom of that page is an HTML template that can be used in our comments if you would like to post your own reviews along with us.

    About 21st Amendment Brewery:

    Based out of San Francisco, California

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/21stamendment

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/21stAmendment

    About Ninkasi Brewing Company:

    Based out of  Eugene, OR

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Ninkasi

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

    Appearance

    Scott:  Tons of head (a good 5 minutes passed before it went away).  It took three attempts to to get all the beer into the glass.  Great looking redish/brown hue.

    Chris: It has a brownish-red color which was clear as opposed to cloudy. The head was frothy with big bubbles and left a head coat along the glass as it was being consumed.

    Aroma

    Scott: No question there is a strong hop smell.  As I leaned in to smell I could also hear the bubbles in the head talking like Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

    Chris: A strong malty aroma with subtle hints of nuts and hops linger in the background.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott:  Not a lot of carbonation, which is surprising seeing the amount head.  There is a slight syrupy feel to it on the tongue.

    Chris: It felt just over what I feel is lightly carbonated and is tingly on the tongue. It has a cooling effect which stood out and I found interesting.

    Flavor

    Scott: Unmistakable flavor of hops, but not enough to be considered an IPA.  The malty flavor that comes though is a nice undertone.  Knowing that it’s also brewed with dates makes me wonder about my morning ritual tomorrow.

    Chris: At first taste the hops stood out but as I went on that quickly dissipated and the malty sweetness took over.

    Aftertaste 

    Scott: I’m on the second beer as I write this, and it was a struggle not to throw these back more quickly.  Like good home cookin’, these please in a post-Thanksgiving-manner of wanting a second and third helping.  I’m not sure I could handle many any more as the 8.5% ABV is more than noticeable.

    Chris: I felt this was really tough to gauge since I really enjoyed the taste and probably drink/drank/drunk both too quickly to hone in on an aftertaste. It finished pretty much the same way it which is started.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: We didn’t properly place these precious pints 😉 in the fridge right away (they were off the self in the store).  The first ones were a little warm, which may have have lead to the exaggerated head, and while we all agreed (Kelli had a sip of mine) that they should be colder, I found the slightly warmer temperature to be acceptable.  The flavor overcame the lack of coldness.

    Our second beer was properly chilled, and more enjoyable than the first.  I guess the lesson here is, if you can’t wait, go for it, it’s still good, but if you can wait, well…you’re a better (wo)man than I am.

    I think the past couple of reviews I forgot to give the beer a rating, so for this one I’ll give it a 4.5 out of 5.

    Chris: Packaged, in a small box of four cans, that looks like an old newspaper; I was somewhat skeptical. Pushing doubts aside, this was without a doubt, a great suggestion by the reddit community. This beer is a excellent combination of hops and malts, and packs a surprising buzz factor within these cans. I would definately recommend it to others.

  • Review – Southern Tier crème brûlée Imperial Milk Stout

    Today I am reviewing Southern Tier’s crème brûlée Imperial Milk Stout.  We did our real beer float review a few weeks ago and several people suggested we use this beer.  I couldn’t find any at the time, but last week I found a bottle of it at a great beer store, The Perfect Pour.  They had so many great beers I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.  I’m watching football while getting a few things done around the house, so Chris will not be with me and I’ll be going this one alone.  Also, I was a little lazy and used my cell phone camera instead of my real camera for the pictures.


    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 Southern Tier Brewing Company:

    Based out of Lakewood, New York they started operations in 2002 and have grown to produce over 30,000 barrels annually.  They were listed as one of the top 50 American breweries in the June ’07 issue of  BeerAdvocate magazine.  The crème brûlée Imperial Milk Stout is listed as a Summer seasonal on their beer page, so I was happy to score one in mid-November.

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/stbcbeer

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

    crème brûlée Imperial Milk Stout 

    Without Ice Cream

    Appearance

    Scott: Very dark brown, almost black in color.  The head lasted about a minute before dissipating.

    Aroma

    Scott: Unquestionable smell of crème brûlée.  I’m looking forward to getting a taste of this one.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Somewhere between a syrup and a creme with light carbonation.

    Flavor

    Scott: No mistaking this flavor.  It is a liquid form of one of my favorite desserts.

    Aftertaste

    Scott: There is a slight bitterness.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: Very good, although not something I would have sought out.  With plenty of other stouts from which to sample I don’t see this one coming back around too soon, which is fine as it is a seasonal beer.

    crème brûlée Imperial Milk Stout

    With Ice Cream

    I still had some Hoffmans Ice Cream left from our real beer float review, and as this was one of the beers recommended by the reddit.com commentators,  I decided to try this with Ice Cream, too.

    Appearance

    Scott: Well, head abounds.  Like the others poured over ice cream, this beer wants to fill the glass with head.

    Aroma

    Scott: I need an old school batman POW or BAM image to describe how the smell crème brûlée is hitting me in the face.  While the smell was there without the ice cream, the combination of the two has pushed the smell over the top.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Similar to the other real beer floats, this one has that nice creamy feel, compliments of the coupled dessert.

    Flavor

    Scott: High quality palate pleasure.  If you love crème brûlée, this is for you, but drinking this while eating crème brûlée may be overkill.  If you can’t have crème brûlée, this is a cold, second cousin.

    Aftertaste

    Scott: Seeing I finished the whole thing in about a minute, aftertaste is all I have.  Like any good dessert following a great meal, I feel well satiated with a pleasant “mmmmm” resonating though my mind.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: If you get the chance , give this a try.  Ice cream and beer has been a new found pleasure for me, and this one is high on the list of those I think anyone new to the experience would enjoy.

     

  • Review – Chick Brewing Company Chick Beer

     **We are in the process of conducting an interview with Chick Brewing Company and it should be posted Friday or Monday.

    Today Chris and I are reviewing Chick Brewing Company’s Chick Beer.  We first found out about Chick Beer while doing a ghost tour in Ellicott City, MD.  We were intrigued by a beer marketed directly towards women, so we sought out a place to buy the beer.  We picked up our six pack for $9.80 with tax.

    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 Chick Brewing Company:

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

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chick-Beer/134861446534117

    Based out of Easton, MD, Chick Brewing is a new comer to the craft beer scene.  The beer is brewed by Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe, WI.  It has just 97 calories, 3.5 carbs, and 4.2% ABV.  From their website:

    One day, we were in our local store looking for an interesting beer to take home, and thought “Isn’t it strange that out of hundreds of beers, none are designed to appeal directly to women?  In fact, most are clearly marketed to men.”

     

    We went home and did some research, and found that women drink 25% of all the beer consumed in the U.S. That’s over 700 MILLION cases every year!”

     

    The idea to create a brand of beer specifically for women kept stirring in us.  We thought about it night and day, and decided that we were going to give women a female-centric choice that reflected their tastes.

    I was able to find an interview with the founder, Shazz Lewis where she says the following about getting the beer brewed:

    I knew I needed it not to be a gimmick. The beer had to be good. I looked at who was drinking most of the beer and the target market is really 21- to 35-year-old women. The ones who were out at night partying and getting together with friends. What they were drinking was American light lagers. We looked for brewers and tasted lots of beer and went with Minhas in Wisconsin. The beer they brew for us has 97 calories and 3.5 carbs but also a very mellow beer flavor. It has a very rounded, full flavor. People say, “I can’t believe this is a light beer.” So then all those things started going together and we got it brewed in June and launched in Maryland.

    In reference to the packaging she had the following to say:

    I knew I wanted to make it stand out. There was no sense of going halfway. I wanted to use pink and black and do something extremely iconic [by depicting it using an image of] a purse and a little black dress. I wanted it to be fun and sexy and I wanted people to have a good time with it. Beer’s about fun. And because I think globally, I knew right away that I wanted to be able donate some money from the sales to charities that empower women.

    Lastly, on gender specific alcohol products:

    I have daughters who are so powerful and so unconcerned that a labeling has anything to do with who they are or represent. That’s one reason why I used the word “chick.” That’s actually what men used to call subpar or light beer. I happen to think all things chick are terrific. I came up with a slogan that was a little in your face. It was empowering to turn it on its head. I’m not trying to be serious about it.

    Appearance

    Scott: Light, clear, golden color.

    Chris: Pours smooth with a golden color. There was a little head which dissipated quickly. Small bubbles continued to float to the top.

    Aroma

    Scott: Fruity with a slight hint of apple and/or pear.

    Chris: Clean and fruity.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: A slight ting of bubbles that quickly dissipates.  Very much the consistency of drinking carbonated water.

    Chris: No curveball here, it feels as it looked, very smooth and light.

    Flavor

    Scott: No question this is a light beer.   It has a slight taste towards metallic that is mostly on the sides of the tongue.

    Chris: Light with hints of sweetness and salt.

    Aftertaste

    Scott: The metallic taste tends to stay around for a few minutes, but it’s nothing overpowering.

    Chris: Not much going on here after two minutes. A few minutes later a soft metallic tone appeared.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: This is a great beer to drink as a replacement to Bud Light, Miller Lite, or Coors Light. The flavor (or lack thereof from the big 3) is comparable, and I doubt many would be able to tell the difference.

    Additional note, I’m now on my third (and last) beer, and I’m just now noticing the hint of a buzz.  We have been at this for just over an hour and these beers unquestionably go down easy.  If you drink Bud Light, Miller Lite, or Coors Light I would recommend the switch to this beer (if you can find it).  It’s better, and supports an independent brewery.

    Chris: The carbonation was abundant and the taste was smooth and crisp. This is exactly what I expected from a 97 calorie, 3.5 carb, Light American Lager. It’s easy to drink and no real buzz factor after two of them.

     

     

  • Review – Real Beer Floats

     

     

    Today Chris, Peter W,  and I are reviewing several different beers.

    This is based on the post we wrote a few days ago and the reception it got on this website and on reddit.com.  There were a few beers that were recommended on both sites, so we made a trip to one of our local craft beer suppliers and picked up a few of the mentioned beers.

    This review will be be done in 2 parts for each beer.  First, we’ll taste the beer without the ice cream, and then we’ll add the ice cream and drink it as a real beer float.  We’ll only be doing flavor and afterthoughts for the real beer float.  Keeping with the original post, I made a drive out to Hoffmans Ice Cream and picked up some fresh vanilla ice cream and pumpkin ice cream, a half gallon of each.  Also in keeping with the spirit of the day of the original post, we’ll be using my Duvel glasses for the regular beer tastings.

    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 the Various Brewing Companies:

    Young’s Beers
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/YoungsBeers
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wellsandyoungs

    North Coast Brewing
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/NoCoastBrewCo
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/northcoastbrewingcompany

    Oskar Blues Brewery
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/oskarblues
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrewedAndCannedByOskarBluesBrewery

    Dogfish Head Brewery
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/dogfishbeer
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dogfishheadbeer

     

     Young’s Chocolate Stout

    Without Ice Cream

    Appearance

    Scott: Looks like Guinness to me, with a little more of a head to it.  As it sits, I’m seeing small bubbles falling through the head.
    Chris: My favorite, motor oil.
    Peter W: It’s appearance looks thick

    Aroma

    Scott: Smells like a chocolate stout. Hints of cereal and caramel.
    Chris
    : I barely smell the chocolate.
    Peter:
    I think it has a real chocolatey smell to it.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Velvet-ly with a slight carbonation at the end.
    Chris
    : Creamy on the tongue, buttery texture going down.
    Peter W:
    Smooth and silky.

    Flavor

    Scott: Thick chocolate flavor evenly layering the taste buds.
    Chris
    : Lightly sweet with hints of chocolate
    Peter W: 
    Chocolate with a hint of coffee

    Aftertaste

    Scott: Similar to the after taste from bitter chocolate, very pleasant.
    Chris
    : Doesn’t have too much of an aftertaste…stouty
    Peter W:
    It’s like the aftertaste of eating a handful of dark chocolate M&M’s

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: A great stout, I can see why it was recommended by several people.
    Chris
    : This is an incredible stout and dangerously drinkable.
    Peter W:
    Not being a huge fan of stouts, this is on my radar for future drinking.

    Young’s Chocolate Stout

    With Vanilla Ice Cream

    Flavor

    Scott: Wow, this is really good.  When you get the mix just right, POW!!
    Chris: This is like dessert.  (Chris finished his in about 1 minute)
    Peter W:
    I’m not digging it with the ice cream. (Peter is not going to finish his)

     

    Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

    Without Ice Cream

    Appearance

    Scott: Thick head with big bubbly foam that after a few minutes completely disappeared.
    Chris: Opaque, A lot more carbonation than I expected to see.  Not really sticking to the glassNot very viscous.
    Peter W:
    Dark and syrupy looking

    Aroma

    Scott: Grainy, malty smell
    Chris
    : I smell sweetness, more so than the Young’s, maybe a woody smell
    Peter:
    Grainy

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Lots of small bubbles tickling my tongue
    Chris
    : Like a 9-volt battery all over your tongue with all the bubbles
    Peter W:
    Lots of carbonation

    Flavor

    Scott: Like a dark chocolate coffee….
    Chris
    : Slightly sweet and roasted coffee.
    Peter W: 
    Yuk.

    Aftertaste

    Scott: …with a long lingering after taste of darker coffee.
    Chris
    : Somewhat bitter, perhaps too much.
    Peter W:
    Too much.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: Not too bad.  I’m looking forward to enjoying some ice cream with this one.
    Chris
    : This was my first Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and won’t be my last. I’m excited to see how it works with the ice cream, as well.
    Peter W:
    I would never choose to drink that again.

    Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

    With Vanilla Ice Cream


    Flavor

    Scott: All bitterness is gone, and this is really good.  I would consider serving this at a restaurant.
    Chris: The sweetness of the ice cream neutralizes the bitterness of the beer, bringing out a roasted taste, like roasted marshmallow. (finished in less than 2 minutes)
    Peter W:
    It’s definitely more drinkable with the ice cream.  With the ice cream I would consider having another.


    Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

    Without Ice Cream

    Appearance

    Scott:  Darkest of the three.  A thick head that was gone in 60 seconds (great soundtrack).
    Chris: Very dark with carbonation that sticks to the glass and doesn’t float up.
    Peter W:
    Peter tapped out on this one, as he is not much of a stout guy.

    Aroma

    Scott: Not much of a nose with a slight tilt towards grainy
    Chris
    : I agree with Scott. Almost devoid of aroma. Perhaps a clean smell.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Syrup-y thickness with not a lot of carbonation, but enough to let you know it’s there.
    Chris
    : Watery with almost all the carbonation gone from when it was originally poured. Very easy to drink.

    Flavor

    Scott: Really bitter compared to the others.  I’m feeling that by chance we went from light to heavy with our tasting.
    Chris
    : Like the smell, it seems very average. Pushes between creamy and soapy. I really expected it to have more flavorful. 

    Aftertaste

    Scott: I’m thinking doing 3 stouts in 1 night with ice cream wasn’t the best decision, unless it really is that heavy.
    Chris
    : Not all that good. Somewhat acidic.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: I’ll give it a clean slate try another time (we have a few left), but my hopes aren’t too high.  If you love a HEAVY stout, this is for you.
    Chris
    : As a stout lover, I found this to be disappointing.  I’ll give it another try because of all the stuff we have on our pallets.


    Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

    With Vanilla Ice Cream

    Flavor

    Scott: Even with ice cream the bitterness is difficult to overcome.
    Chris:  The ice cream didn’t spice this up much at all. Still disappointed.

    Dogfish Head Punkin

    With Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

    (In light of the night, I’m skipping right to the ice cream as this beer is in my wheelhouse)

    Appearance

    Scott: Looks like a light colored Orange Julius with ice cream.
    Chris: Throwing in the towel, too much ice cream for the night.
    Peter W:
    See Chris’ comment above

    Aroma

    Scott: Pumpkin smell is just smacking you in the face.

    Mouthfeel

    Scott: Well, when you have the ice cream mixed in, it’s the texture of a good pumpkin pie

    Flavor (I made Peter and Chris taste)

    Scott: If I could get pumpkin pie this good, I would eat it all day.
    Chris
    : Mmmmm…(Chris won’t stop eating my drink)…”You might want to get your own”.
    Peter W: 
    Give me some whipped topping.

    Aftertaste

    Scott: The best part of a long night, satiation from a good meal.

    Final Thoughts

    Scott: Best of the four, without a doubt.

     

    Overall End Notes

    The whole process took 2.5 hours with 4 more afterwards to setup and finish writing the article.  I would say this worked really well, but doing this many beers in one night may have skewed the results.  To help keep things in perspective we were sticking our noses into a cup of coffee beans in-between a lot of the smelling and tasting.


    Scott
    :  I would say it worked best when the ice cream was mushed a little and not one big scoop.  Getting the mix of ice cream and beer just right was the key.  For me I liked the Dogfish the best, with Young’s taking second, Old Rasputin grabbing third, and the Ten Fidy coming in last.  I have a feeling this weekend I’m going to have a few more of these.  I may even get my family in on the mix when they come over for Halloween.

    Chris: As a stout lover, the Young’s Double Chocolate and Old Rasputin Russian Imperial impressed both alone and with ice cream. I feel like the Oskar Blues Ten Fidy was a let down, but I would definitely give it another chance. After drinking the other two first and with ice cream, I feel like my taste buds were overworked. This was a fun experiment which I will have no problem partaking in again.

    Peter W:  A Stout would not be the first beer that I would pick, but the two that I reviewed were worth while.  The chocolate was a nice start, but the ice cream was lacking.  The other was not up my alley, but add the ice cream, it was really good.   The pumpkin was like pie without the whip topping, not that you needed it.  Really good.

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