Welcome to a new feature that I am going to try out for a bit to see how it goes. I am going to pick up a sampler pack of beers from a single brewery and go through it one at a time, leaving my thoughts here for you all to read in order to help you become more informed and responsible beer drinkers.  Or, I’m just going to gush of the beers I like and rag on the ones I hate and tell you if a pack is worth picking up or if you should avoid it.  Most samplers have 12 beers in them 3 each of 4 different styles, so I am going to have to say that for a sampler to be worth picking up, 3 of those 4 beers had better be pretty good.  So let’s begin with what I am going to call, “Stuck in the Middle with Brew.”2014-11-18 20.36.09

Today I have the Folly pack from New Belgium brewery.  New Belgium has been around for a while, but they have onlly recently started to distribute in Michigan.  And when they did, it was hard to swing a dead cat without hitting someone singing the praises of Fat Tire and how wonderful it is that we can finally get this wonderful beer that had for so long been something that required a trip out of state. So this may be my first time putting down on record what I think about the beers that have come out of this big little brewery from Colorado.  The Folly comes with their Blue Paddle Pilsner, Snapshot Wheat beer, Ranger IPA, and Fat Tire Amber. Continue reading

My brother used to have a poster on his wall called ship of fools (you can buy it here), depicting a group of ducks on a boat, singing and laughing away, blissfully unaware of the raging storm around them.  Somehow this beer gives off the feeling that I imagine those ducks have.  It feels like it knows what it is doing, and what it thinks it is supposed to taste like, but it isn’t working.  At least not the way it hopes to.  Instead there is a different feel and flavor coming out.  It is a good flavor, but it doesn’t feel intentional.  Another way to describe it, perhaps a clearer explanation(although probably not) can be found after the break.  Enjoy my cryptic review of Odd Side Ale’s Pineapple IPA. Continue reading

I have an opinion about pumpkin beers.  And since I have a website dedicated to craft beers, I suppose that I should not be keeping my opinion to myself.  But as the saying goes, “if you don’t have anything nice to say..”  The End.

But in all seriousness, it isn’t the _all_ pumpkin beers are horrible.  I distinctly remember having a pumpkin beer once.  It was on Gordon street. ahhh, I once new a pumpkin beer on Gordon Street, but that was a long time ago, and its name is now long forgotten.  And to be honest, I have really been trying to find that beer again.  And in doing so I subject myself to all manner of pumpkin beers that I find, but I still haven’t rediscovered that ever elusive, good pumpkin beer.

So I figure, why don’t i just get a sampler of pumpkin beers and bring you all along for the ride.  After all it is the season, judging by the sheer number of these things I see on the shelves, some of you must enjoy them.  So we can work through these beers together, and who knows, we may find gold in them there hills. Continue reading

If you have five and a half minutes to spare, and have ever thought about what goes into making that delicious brew that you like so much, you could find worse things to do with your time than check out this video. It comes from the PBS series It’s Okay to be Smart, where you can find some great bite-sized information nuggets to fill your brain.  Here they visit Jester King Brewery in Austin, TX to explore the chemical process that goes into making their farmhouse style beers.  They have also linked to some other helpful information in their description including

  • some Beer Chemistry
  • a little Beer History
  • and a few other great resources for a deeper look into, and comes out of beer and alcohol in general

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Sometimes you want to go…  Just had to get that out of the way.  Now this beer review has a little bit of background music going through your head.  I have to admit a healthy amount of skepticism when approaching a beer with such a big name licensing deal going on here.  It kind of stinks of macro beer dullness.  Not literally of course, I haven’t even opened the can at this point.  Upon opening opening the can of Norm’s Amber Ale (and expecting instead a poor imitation of beer)  I found that there was actually a fairly pleasing, if simple, flavor contained within.  I would say that what this beer really has going for it, is the element of surprise.  Check out my cryptic review after the break of Norm’s Amber Ale.
Cheers! (Sorry, i couldn’t help it)
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When the robot uprising occurs, do you think they will be happy or mad that I enjoyed this beer?

Hopcity Hopbot IPAHop City Hopbot IPA.

I have mentioned in the past the rules about buying alcohol based solely on the label.  If you weren’t around for that, or if you have forgotten (I wouldn’t blame you, it was a long time ago, and I don’t usually even listen to me very closely), I will reiterate.  Beer – yes; wine – no.  Now that we have gotten that lesson out of the way let’s move on to the beer review.  This is the reason for that review. A robot themed beer? How can you pass that up? I’ll tell you how.  You can’t.  And it is a good thing you didn’t because if you had you would have missed out on one very solid IPA.  It has a level of sweetness that puts it right on there on the scale of easy to drink IPAs with Two Hearted.  But any beer review can tell you how a beer tastes, I would like to tell you how this beer feels.  check out my cryptic review after the break. Continue reading

Once upon a time, there was a beer. This beer may not be the most prime example of its style.  It is not that it is a bad beer, or even an average beer.  This beer was good.  But this beer had dreams, dreams of becoming great. This beer wanted to be one that would be remembered by everyone who crosses its path.  It didn’t want to be one of those beers that cheated its way to the top by wearing a fancy label and a clever name without trying to actually be great.  It wanted to really be one that could be remembered for the flavor of its character and not the image of its bottle.  This beer felt that the potential of what it had inside was what it should be judged for, and it felt that it could bring itself up to be that beer that would be remembered.  Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero, is not this beer.  But it learned all it knows from that beer.  And it decided that a clever label is acceptable to use too. Continue reading

I want to do a beer review, But that raccoon won’t give me back my beer.

Dogfish Head Festina Peche
Seriously, I can’t not mention how brain-bustingly awesome this label is. Dogfish Head really got this one right. It is exactly the type of thing you want to put on your beer to make it shout at someone from the beer shelf, look into their soul, and command them to take it home.  I’m not saying that was my exact experience when I found this one (it was).  They call this beer a neo-Berliner Weisse, and it tastes about as familiar as that style is (it isn’t).  I would say that if you are looking for a new flavor experience the Dogfish Head Festina Peche is certainly one that you should be on the lookout for.  And I’m not just saying that because the raccoon told me to (it did).  Check out my video review after the break. Continue reading

I seem to be seeing more and more beers lately that have a very… two-sided personality. These binary beers, tend to take on two characteristics, that are not always as complementary as the seem like they should be.  It sometimes appears that the visual characteristics and the saporific characteristics are diametrically opposed.  The point being that age old adage of “not judging a book by its cover” has become more ubiquitous than I previously observed.  And now that I have used up all of my four dollar words, and even at least one five dollar word (my computer is insisting that saporific isn’t a word), It is time to advance you on to my review of the Brown Hound Dunkel Lager, from Frankenmuth Brewery.
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I hope you are all Having a great 4th of July.  and I hope you are all celebrating with your favorite Michigan Craft Beer.  One of my choices today was from the Belgian brewery out of Grand Rapids, Brewery Vivant.  Standing tall and unique in Michigan with Belgian style beer in cans, Brewery Vivant is always in my field of view when I am looking for something new to try.  And today I decided that I would try their Belgian Dark Ale, the Undertaker.  A dark beer with the distinctive Belgian flavor, Undertaker stands out
tall in it’s field.  So check out my review after the break and have a fun and safe 4th of July. Continue reading