Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hey Mark!

I'm glad you like the Moose Drool.:) It is definitely the girl your friends like better than you. The back story on this beer is that it's the first beer I tried when I first moved to Seattle. I really wanted to try a Pacific Northwesty beer and what sounds more Northwesty than Moose Drool? Glad you like.

-Shaun

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Moose Is Loose - Moose Drool Brown Ale

This review is sponsored in part by the Big Sky Brewing Company in Missoula, Montana. Actually, it isn't. This blog has no official sponsors but I was inspired to write this post after drinking a pint of my beer of the month, Big Sky's Moose Drool Brown Ale. After finishing my tasks for the day, I got home and decided to finally pour one of the Moose Drool Browns that had been tantalizing me in the fridge for several days. I pulled out my best stolen Red Hook Brewery glass and emptied the contents of the bottle (I don't have a picture yet but may add one later if I overcome my laziness).

This is no wimpy brown ale that you might have found in some English village in the 16th century. It's very dark in color and hits you immediately with a malt-hops combination that finishes with a strong current of chocolate. It held its own with ease against some Thai noodles I got from a local takeout. It has stout-like body to it, and the feeling that I was drinking a stout was only enhanced by the chocolate finish. I could see that dude on the net reprising his song, "Chocolate Rain" after downing a few of these babies, taking another swig or two during the bridge.

Overall, this beer was very easygoing and pleasant. If it were a girl you were dating, it would inspire your friends to give you a hard time if you ever screwed up the relationship, causing her to leave you. They'd hate you for chasing away that girl that they got along with so well, the one that never complained about how much you drink or how late you stay out, and even did shots with the guys every once in a while. You took her for granted, and now you won't find a girl that *we* like better, you fool. Nice going. We're going to steal your cell phone and call every female sounding name in your contacts, identifying ourselves as your drunken, pissed off friends. That is, unless you buy us each a six of some Moose Drool Browns.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Indiana Jones and The Two Hearted Ale

The only way that Indiana Jones does *not* indulge in Bell's Two Hearted Ale is if there's a snake on the bottle.

Bell's and I go back a long way; but Two Hearted Ale is new to my world. I first tried it in April, courtesy of my neighbor, a Wisconsin denizen. He was on his way home to the North Woods for the weekend and stopped by my place to chat about our favorite topic, baseball. After a while, the topic switched to our co-favorite, beer, and I eventually revealed that I was a Bell's fan but a virgin with respect to the legendary Two Hearted Ale. Bell's is no longer available in Chicago due to maverick-hero owner Larry Bell's stand against big Illinois distributorships and the draconian laws that punish micro-brews - the only beers with any character around here.

Anyway, the next evening, I'm sitting on my couch with my girlfriend, and my neighbor knocks at the door. He had returned from Wisconsin and was bearing the most stately six of Two Hearted you will ever see. It was practically angelic. I mean thing literally glowed like a mural of our Lord and Savior in a Mexican village. The rest is history. My "studies" of the beer began soon thereafter, and now I am as fully apprised of it as my beer amigo, Shaun.

I can't argue with the description. Two Hearted is firmly grounded in hops with a huge, burly nose of flowers - the kind of dry, rugged flowers that comprise a hearty tea. It's got plenty enough personality to be indulged on its own, but makes for a great food beer to accompany robust foods, perhaps with spicy sauces. Yet, it's not over-the-top hops or hops-for-the-sake-of-causing-a-hops-shortage hoppy, either. The bold yet restrained character of the beer makes it unique and very enjoyable.

Meanwhile, the arrival of my first beers is imminent . . . . impending . . .

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mark has sent me the first two beers to try from the Great state of Chicago. (Since there's not much other reason to go to Illinois.:)

They are in my fridge patiently waiting for me to uncap an savor.

My selection for him is on its way and should reach him next week. Look for the first review this weekend.
Mark sent me two bottles from Bell's Brewery of Michigan.

1) Two Hearted Ale
I opened the bottle and poured it into my favorite pint glass. It has a nice golden brown color that is so common in premium and micro brewed beers. It was cloudier than I expected. It had a light scent. Very floral. It has a small head about 1/2 inch or so. Fine bubbles and enough to let you know it's a carbonated beverage.

The first sip was powerful! This is not a beer for the faint of heart or people that enjoy polenta and pasta with nothing on it but butter. This is a beer for adventurers who are looking for a challenge. This is what Indiana Jones drinks when he gets back from his archaeological Adventures. The malt flavors are all but lost in the intense hoppiness that defines this India Pale Ale. This is not a bitter like one gets from a cheap inferior hop. This is full floral impact. You can taste every part of the flower that gave up it's lovely taste to make this beer. They definitely put in a ton of these lovelies early in the boil because it is almost all flavor and only a hint on your nose of what awaits you.

Pros:
-Excellent Hoppiness from generous quantities of high quality hops.
-Rewards those who are willing to be adventurous and venture out from their safe suburban beer.

Cons:
-Not for the faint of heart. your girlfriend might start to question your judgment when you tell her it's good.
-If you're not ready for this it will knock you over, steal your wallet, and scare your girlfriend.

Verdict:
-Makes you feel like you're wearing a fedora , leather jacket, and bullwhip when drinking it.


2)Kalamazoo Royal Amber Ale

I have to start by saying this is a great beer. It is to balance what the Two Hearted Ale is to Hops. The barley and hops in this beer were measured with The Scales of Justice, the boil was timed with an atomic clock, and the temperature was monitored down to the 10th of a degree.

The beer is again, golden brown and cloudy much like the two head. But that is where the similarity ends. The nose has more scent from the grains and the maltiness you might smell in a brown ale. The maltiness hits your pallet first and then is ushered in by the hops gently. The two dance in your mouth like a couple of professional salsa dancers. Spinning and twirling around each other. It's not sweet but has a hit of carmel and earthiness followed by the hop taste that chases it down your throat. This beer is like your buddy that everyone loves. The guy who always has something going on and can make friends with the guy that wants to kick your ass in the bar. Unfortunately he is also the same guy that always gets the girl. He shows up with a big smile next to you and the girl you've been working on in the bar for 20 minutes and 2 minutes later she's forgotten your name and he has her number.

Pros:
-This is a great beer for anyone on any occasion

Cons:
-Everyone will love it and then forget you were the one that discovered it and say they discovered it first.

Verdict:
-Like the guy that everyone loves to hang out with but will steal your girlfriend as soon as you're not paying attention.