Want to know a secret? Cryptic Review started as a way to make fun of beer and wind snobs.  It is true.  At my first beer festival it was decided that everytime one of my group had a beer we would have to explain how it tastes to everyone else using the most pretentious adjectives we could think of.  “Perpendicular”  was one of my favorites from that day.  New Holland Brewing was there, and it was their Dragon’s Milk that started my cryptic reviews.  Not that it was the first beer I had there, but it was because of New Holland’s talent for making beers that will knock you on your ass, just to get back up and get in line to have another.

The first time I had Black Tulip was just as eventful. or so I am told.

The Black Tulip is a Belgian Tripel, clocking in at 10.5% according to the bottle,  that they describe as “Mysterious, alluring and seductive, yet tantalizingly elusive; these are the storied characteristics of the Black Tulip.”  One way that I will describe it is simply as a beer that is dangerous for tasting the way it does while being as strong as it is. Another way I can describe it is in the video you will find below..
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Death of A Contract Brewer LabelHave I mentioned yet how much I love this brewery.  Schmaltz Brewing Company has a couple of brewing labels under their umbrella.  You may have seen their Coney Island beers, but the flagship is the He’Brew The Chosen Beer line.  If you get a chance pick some up and while you are enjoying it (you will) be sure you read the whole label because they put plenty of thought into the packaging of their brews.

But that is the “in general”s, how about the specifics?  Despite how I may feel about this brewery, this beer in particular has a couple of words on it that tend to give me pause.  Black IPA.  This style of beer tends to taste pretty empty to me.  It could be just tongue confusion from having a dark beer taste like such a departure from what I am expecting, even though I know better, or I might just not like what most black IPAs taste like.  Not that they are all bad, there have been a few that have certainly hit the right balance of what I am expecting and what I am actually getting, and this beer is one of them.  Light and old, with a hint of a deeper story just under the surface.  check out my review after the break.

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Short’s Brewing Company implements 2018 minimum wage now.

Short’s Brewing companyShort's Brewing Company Logo in Bellaire Michigan has announced that they will be skipping the gradual increase in the minimum wage that was passed signed into law in Michigan, and instead raise their wages to match the 2018 goals immediately.  Short’s Brewing Company is Michigan’s leader in creative and inspired beer choices, and they appear to also want to be a leader in treating their staff fairly and with respect. Matt Drake, COO and HR Director at Short’s stated, “Along with making high quality, creatively fearless beer, our goal is to take care of our staff.” Continue reading

2014 Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival

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Mark your late summer calendars, there is a beer and music festival getting ready for your visit.

The 2014 Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music festival is scheduled August 22 and 23rd at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Your standard admission ticket ($40 for a single day or $70 for the weekend) will get you access to 40 select breweries with over 200 different beers, ciders, meads, and wines.  Included are five 80z pours and a costom tasting glass.  You will also have access to brewery representatives, local food vendors, live music, and a silent disco tent (don’t feel bad if you had to look it up, I did too). There are also VIP tickets that get you into the festival an hour earlier than everyone else and also include side-stage viewing, home brewer’s tasting, private bathrooms (if you have ever been to a large festival, you know that can be a big bonus), seated dining area, lawn games, and more fun extras.

And that is just the beer,  Continue reading

Tri City Brewing Loons Summer AleThere are certain days, when it it cool outside, and a great comfort is sitting in a warm spot, perhaps by a fire, with a dark, heavy, full bodied beer. And there are also those days in early spring, when the wind is cool, but the daylight warms you, when a sweet, light, flavorful beer is what you need.   And then there are other days, often in the summer, when it is hot, and the sun is shining down on you, and what you really need is something refreshing, easy to drink, that will cool you down and quench your thirst.  This beer is in that last category. Continue reading

stone sublimely self-tighteousMaybe I am a bad Michiganian   MichigandeMi..chi..ganite Northerner.  But I hate the winter.  I am already all set for March to come around and spring to start.  Some people will say, “Oh as long as it snows on Christmas, that is all the snow I need.”  That is close, but I don’t think that is even going far enough.  I am fine with mowing the lawn on Christmas morning.  So I will hold onto the warm weather for as long as I can, and when it is gone, I will find ways to try to bring it back.  Here is how I am bringing it back today.  I have some old videos from the summer here that I will be posting in a lame attempt at remembering the warmth that I am missing so much.  So follow me along to watch my cryptic review of Stone’s  Sublimely Self Righteous. Continue reading

Can-Stamp-mine-designI really can’t not share this because I think I could have used this item last weekend.  What you see here is a simple (good) and fun(better) solution to a common problem.  The ‘is this my beer?’ problem. This is The Can Stamp Now it is true, this product is not for every occasion.  I often find myself drinking something other than what everyone else is drinking, so that makes it unnecessary.  And usually when I am, it is out of a bottle and that would make in unfeasible.  But for those times when we all have a common drink, and that drink is in a can, it is a good idea to find a way to differentiate your own.  I used to do this by only cracking my can partially, but that is too easy to not notice.  What we have here is simply a metal stamp.  Press it into the side of your can to leave a nice little statement that can be seen, and felt by anyone who may be confused about the can’s owner.  Personally, I like the “in Use” one, but there are a number of choices in order to cut down on the, let’s be honest, astronomical chances that you and someone else have brought the same Can Stamp to a party.

I had the pleasure of trying Sam Adams Utopias a number of years ago, and I was rightfully  blown away.  It truely is an experience I would recomend to anyone.  The metal bottle, the strong aroma and the pleasantly palatable flavor all create quite the memory.  And I was content in the fact that I probably would not get another chance to try it.  It is simply a luxury that I could not afford to make a habit of.  Well to my pleasant supprise, only a few years later I was presented with the opportunity again.  And again, it was quite the memory.  But after having two vintages of Utopias pass my lips, I was even more content with having my Utopias experience complete.  But then I had to see this.

utopias cigars

These Sam Adams Utopias seasoned cigars are available for a limited time from Ted’s Cigars.

From their website

The pairing is perfection. Rich nutty and fruit notes in the Utopias play well with the spicy complexity of the cigar, while the Dominican Republican, Nicaraguan and Brazilian tobacco blend provides a smooth, deep caramelized taste that compliments the Utopias’; woody, toffee flavors.

Now I am going to have to buy a set of these and track down another bottle of Utopias, for what I expect to be an extreme beer experience.

 

 

 

 

So it sure has been a while hasn’t it?  well I would like to welcome you back to the new and improved This Week In Beer! So I have spent the last few months streamlining the website and cutting out much of the fat (no one really used that map anyway).  So hopefully this new site will usher in an era of smother functionality and smoother beer. I hope.

So beyond the trimmed down site, i have a docket of ideas for new features and shows.  The social site is still here, but it is seriously trimmed down.   The site is now responsive too so you should see a mobile friendly version when you visit from a smartphone or tablet.  I do expect to add features back in as I see the need for them, but for now I think all we really need here is a regular stream of beer related content for you all to enjoy.  and for me to enjoy as well.

But, I hear you say, did it really take you six months to redesign the site? It doesn’t even look that different, no way it took you that long!  You are right.  You caught me. There is more Continue reading

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Is that a saying?  it really should be if it isn’t.  and you really don’t have to be a regular at Thirsty Thursday to know it.  But do you realize how interconnected beer and baseball really are?  If you are curious, or even if you aren’t curious yet, you might be interested in this. The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game.  Edward Achorn relays the story of Chris Von der Ahe, a St Louis entrepreneur who noticed that people were visiting his beer garden after baseball games.  So he did the obvious thing, he bought a baseball team in order to sell more beer, and in the process, injected some much needed fun into America’s favorite pastime.  Have I piqued your curiosity yet? A little bit?  want more? have a listen to this interview with the author on All Things Considered He paints a picture of the wild west atmosphere of baseball in the late 1800s and the wild character that was Chris Von der Ahe.

via The Summer of Beer and Whiskey | Uncrate.

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