Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stone IPA -Shaun Revisits the Gold Standard

Stone IPA from Stone Brewing is one of Mark's favorite gold standard IPAs. It's been while since I've had one and decided to tip my hat to him and go back and review it myself. There are so many IPAs out there with various slants and varieties it's tough to sometimes wade through them all or even come back for seconds since I always want to try something new.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My newest Discovery -Oakshire Brewing

Okay so for the cognoscenti these guys have been around since 2006 but I just discovered Oakshire Brewing at Seattle International Beerfest in July and loved their "Inception" special batch sour aged in oak and spiked with bread in the barrel. A very ingenious, subtle and complex beer. These two brothers are out of Eugene Oregon and have a full line of standards, Seasonals, and put out interesting single batch brews as well.

They were a most pleasant surprise discovery for me and can't wait to find more of their beer! keep a look out for them and try them out when you get the chance!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Port Brewing - Mongo Double IPA Shaun's take on a big beer

Mark has been on a tear lately with some excellent reviews that make my mouth water. I saw his review of Port Brewing's Mongo double IPA and decided to write a review of this big heavy handed beer. you can find this in 22oz bombers in most stores that carry Port Brewing's lineup.

Monday, August 8, 2011

North Peak Brewing Diabolical IPA . . . and The Jackalope

It's hard to walk into a bar these days and not stumble over someone's IPA.  One of the latest editions to my roster of conquered hoppy ales is out of Michigan, Traverse City's North Peak Brewing's Diabolical IPA, which manages an exacting ABV of 6.66%.  Devilish.  Overall, it's more noteworthy than noble. 

Dogfish Head Brewing Tap Takeover At Bavarian Lodge

Sporting one of metro Chicago's best reputations for beer selections, Lisle, IL's, own Bavarian Lodge is hosting a Dogfish Head Brewing tap takeover beginning at 4:00 p.m. on August 11.   Along with the legendary Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, they're also offering amazing DFH brews including the rare 120 Minute, the amazing Palo Santo Marron, the stunning Midas Touch, and some beer called Hellhound On My Ale.  I have no idea what that is but if it's Dogfish Head, it's guaranteed not to taste like anything you've had before or like turpentine. Well, if it tastes like turpentine (as if you've drunk enough paint thinner to the point of familiarity), it will be the best turpentine you've ever tasted and probably at 12%.  They are indeed a singular brewer.

Anyway, the full DFH list is here.

If you are not familiar with Bavarian Lodge, they consistently have one of the best taps in all of metro Chicago.  If you don't believe it, check this list out.  If you come out to visit Chicago from out west, this place is way out of the way but indeed worth a stop despite the limited hours of operation.  Few other spots in Chicago can rival the prowess of their beer list. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Green Flash Brewing Hop Head Red

Too much of anything is no good.  I'm torn on Green Flash.  I really want to like them. They're a San Diego brewery. They love hops.  Many of the hard core San Diego locals love them.  But, they disappoint me way too often.  The first time I tried their West Coast IPA I thought it was more herbaceous than mama's Italian seasoning.  I later developed a taste for it, a very unique beer.  Then, I fell head first in love with the Imperial IPA and raved about it.   It made me want to try the Summer Saison, which was only okay.  That brought me to the Hop Head Red.   It was an important turning point in my opinion on the brewery.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Coming Soon: Half Acre Galactic Double Daisy Cutter

Here's an interesting bit of news for you Chicago brew lovers.  Half Acre Beer Company has announced at their webpage that they are brewing a Galactic Double Daisy Cutter, which is a new version of their exceedingly floral hopped-up pale ale that's quite unusual and popular here in Chi-town. Galactic hops are said to be a brutally bitter Australian hop.

The release date is to be August 12, 2011, so get that growler ready.   It will also be available in bombers. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Glarus Imperial Weizen

Over at Chicago Foodies, I submitted this post about New Glarus Imperial Weizen beer from Wisconsin, a sensational hefeweizen beer.  I hope you have a chance to check it out.  This is a special beer that's not for the faint of heart, so tea toddlers, beware. 

New Glarus is an amazing brewery.  Their Spotted Cow, Fat Squirrel, and Moon Man labels only scratch the surface; they have many other limited releases that appear to rival anyone's.

4.9 of 5 stars.

Flying Dog Brewing and Local Demand

This article in the Chicago Tribune is disturbing.  The link is here but newspapers are notorious for changing their link locations, so if you are reading this a few months from now, here is the important part of the piece: 

Beer makers such as Flying Dog Brewery of Frederick say they're dropping out of distant markets to focus on selling more beer at home.The strategy reflects the growing thirst everywhere for boutique beers made by breweries that simply can't make enough to meet the demand.

Instead of shipping beer across the country, these companies are following the lead of New Glarus Brewing Co. of Wisconsin. President Deb Carey says they decided in the late 1990s to pull out of Chicago and sell beer only in their home state.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stone Levitation Ale

My beer tastes have changed dramatically over the years, particularly in the last 5 years.  So when I form a strong opinion on a beer then don't try it for a while, I'm curious to revisit that beer after a year or so to see where it resides on my palate's favorability scale at the new point in time. Bell's Amber Ale, for example, was a long time favorite that got a respite for a year or so, and many IPA's later I could no longer drink it.  Three Floyds Gumballhead grew on me a lot. 

I've written much about Stone at this page and they are obviously a favorite brewery.  Their main line products are not artisanal, such as Hair of the Dog, but are marked by sturdiness, drinkability, and, especially, that patented, uncanny Stone freshness. Any beer of theirs is going to be at least okay and will make up in freshness what it lacks in flavor.  Their commitment to quality production can rescue a mediocre ale from being dreck in someone else's hands.  This is about where Levitation Ale lies.