Archive for July, 2011

21st Amendment – Hell or High Watermelon

Posted in Wheat with tags , on July 27, 2011 by Steve

Hell or High Watermelon – Brewed by 21st Amendment Brewery from San Francisco, CA – 4.9% alcohol

I have never heard of 21st Amendment, but looking at their collection of beers, I can’t wait to try more. They

have “Monks Blood”, “Fireside Chat”, “Brew Free or Die IPA”, and many others. They sound so fun!

Anyway, this was another brew I tried on tap at The Wherehouse, the same night I tried the Summer Shandy. Before I arrived, my homeboy Jay texted me saying “I’m trying this watermelon beer at The Wherehouse, you have to try it”. I don’t think he was aware of our plans to go to dinner there that night, but I’m glad he told me about this beer.

It’s a watermelon flavored wheat beer that again, does the whole fruit thing the right way. Surprisingly, it’s not red, which I expected. It looks like your normal wheat beer. You can definitely smell the watermelon, and before tasting it, I was expecting to be overpowered by the taste of watermelon. I wasn’t. It hits you with just the right watermelon after taste that makes you wanting more. Simply delicious.

The day we went to dinner, it was a brutal scorching hot day here in NY. I left work with my temperature gauge reading 106. Drinking this at a restaurant off tap and this day was awesome. It’s an excellent beer to come in to and cool off with. I won’t lie, I did feel like a chick drinking it, but who cares. Good beer is good beer and that should be enough for anybody.

The 21st Amendment Brewery is located at 563 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107. They are also a restaurant and the menu looks amazing. Not sure if they do tours, but they are open daily. If your out that way, definitely stop in and check them out.

Final Rating – 4.5 Pints (4.5 pints)

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Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

Posted in Wheat with tags , on July 27, 2011 by Steve

Summer Shandy – Brewed by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin – 4.2% alcohol

Let me start by saying I’m not a HUGE fan of fruity beers (as in edible fruit, not….nevermind). There are some that are good, and some that are just so overpowering with fruit flavor that it’s actually kind of terrible. Summer Shandy is the former.

I don’t have much to say about this beer as I enjoyed a glass over dinner at my favorite restaurant, The Wherehouse. I saw it on tap, never tried it, so figured what the hell.

All I can say is it’s simply awesome. It’s a freaking lemonade wheat beer and is very very refreshing. It’s not too tart or tangy or anything like that. It won’t make your lips pucker and wish for death. I only drank one glass of this, but I’m really really hoping I see this out in stores somewhere before the summer is over. A great beverage for a hot summer day. Enough said.

If you are in the area, Leinenkugel is open for tours every day. They are located at 124 E Elm St, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729. Go here for more info on tours.

Final Rating – (4 pints)

Zywiec

Posted in Pilsner with tags , , on July 18, 2011 by Steve

Zyweic – Brewed by Zyweic Brewery in….Zyweic, Poland. – 5.6% alcohol

Poland’s #1 Premium Beer

Interesting enough, reading up on the Zyweic Brewery, it is majority owned by the Dutch Heineken Group, and righfully so I suppose because I’m not a huge fan of Heineken….

My first thought when I tasted this brew was “Coors Original but in a different package”, but of I had no Coors Original to compare it to, so I’m just going to take my own word for it. It’s tasty though. No after taste (maybe slight), goes down smooth, very light, and it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. It’s an average beer. If I saw it a restaurant I may grab one, but I don’t know if I could drink a 6 pack of it (for the record, this test was done with a single 22oz. bottle).

It goes down quickly though. And speaking of Coors (I know, don’t start a sentence with ‘and’, shutup), Zyweic has a little logo that appears when its cold. Interesting…..Anyway, their Wikipedia page says it’s a pilsner, and I don’t really know the difference yet between the tastes of any of these so I’ll take their word for it. Overall, it doesn’t wow me. It’s alright, not terrible, not great. I’d drink it again, but I wouldn’t actively seek it out.

UPDATE!!

So here’s the thing. When I do these reviews, I drink it while taking notes like a little nerd on my phone (my girlfriend thinks it’s cute, bite me). I finished my notes before finishing this beer. Do NOT sleep on this beer. I bought a 22oz bottle and continued drinking it after my note taking. It’s pretty easy to drink but UNLIKE Coors, has more alcohol. Caught a quick buzz off of this one and I’m no lightweight. Definitely took me by surprise. My rating still stands tho:

Final Rating – (3 pints)

Sea Dog Old East India IPA

Posted in IPA with tags , on July 13, 2011 by Steve

Sea Dog Old East India IPA – Brewed by Sea Dog Brewery in Topsham, Maine – 6.2% alcohol

So this is actually going to be a short review, and I didn’t really intend for it to be, so let me apologize to the 6 people that read this. I guess it’s actually a good problem to have. When I do these reviews, most of the time I have a 6-pack, a 3-pack (Beer of the Month shipments), or at least a 22oz bottle. With the 3 and 6-packs, I usually drink one, start taking notes, and either later on that night or the next day, drink another one, and take more notes. Well, that wasn’t the case this time, because I downed the 3 that I had in a sitting.

Yes, they were that good. It’s not too bitter, but the bittery hoppiness is there and the overall flavor is great. Definitely a fan of this, and would not hesitate to buy it again for any occasion. I’m a bit surprised, but it seems that with every IPA I taste, I start to enjoy them more and more. I’d say this right up there with the Mystic Bridge IPA in that is a great starter for people looking to try IPAs. Hopefully I’m not just saying that because I’m used to the taste now, so if you try it and hate, don’t blame me.

My last review was Sea Dog, so I won’t repeat their locations and crap. Just go here and check them out.

Final Rating –  4.5 Pints (4.5 pints)

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter

Posted in Porter with tags , on July 13, 2011 by Steve

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter – Brewed by Sea Dog Brewing in Topsham, Maine – 5.7% alcohol

If I understand this whole brewery right, Sea Dog is part of the Pugsley Brewing family which includes Shipyard and a host of other breweries and restaurants.

As noted with my last review of the Sprecher Black Bavarian, I’m not a fan of dark beers. But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. I’m not sure if it’s a running theme of all dark beers, but again, this tastes like coffee. Not just any coffee though, hazelnut coffee (surprise surprise). It’s another beer claimed to be a good dessert beer, or an alternative to a dessert and I’m sure it is if you liked coffee to begin with. Surprisingly though, this wasn’t has hard to drink. I don’t know if it was the hazelnut that helped or what. I sat next to the girlfriend, after dinner, outside on the swinging benchy thing as the sun set, and it kind of just felt right.

I can see why people like this though, and why those of you that have never tried it, would like it. It’s not terrible, but not my cup of coffee either (ah, see what I did there?). I can see this going with a good steak and they also claim to go well with oysters. This is definitely not a brew to pound down with the bros. This is a beer to bust out if you want to show your boys that you’re high class and got style. I’d probably try it again after a nice steak dinner sometime.

Sea Dog Brewery has two locations in Bangor and Topsham, Maine and they appear to be restaurants as well. Check out their site here for more information.

Final rating – (3 pints)

Sprecher Black Bavarian

Posted in Porter with tags , on July 11, 2011 by Steve

Sprecher Black Bavarian – Brewed by Specher Brewing Company in Glendale, Wisconsin – 6.0% alcohol

So a quick little note. My girlfriend, the best, cutest little thing in the world, signed me up to Beer Clubs of America, and every month I receive a 12 pack containing 3 bottles of 4 different beers. This shipment came with some Sprecher and Sea Dog (2 brews from each, 3 bottles for each brew). I’ve never really tried any dark beers because they scare me. I hate Guinness (maybe I’ll give it another try soon…) so I’ve been afraid to try anything similar to that. But that’s the point of this blog, to try new beers and tell the world, or the 3 people that view this, all about them.

Black Bavarian is described as a porter in beer competiton, and a porter I have learned is simply a dark beer. There’s more to it than that but who cares. It’s also said to be a great alternative to a dessert and that it should be drank (drunk? drinken? dranken?) at 60 degrees. Ummm….sorry, but I’m not sure any beer should ever be drank (drunk? drinken? dranken?) that warm, but that’s just me.

It smells like wheat bread, and after the first sip, it has a slight coffee taste. I hate coffee. The girlfriend says “blech” (she wanted to make sure I included that, but she hates any beer not fruity). I don’t think its terrible, just not really my thing.

Sprecher has some other beers too, one of which came with this shipment, so look for that review coming soon. If you’re ever in Glendale, Wisconsin, be sure to check them out. I usually write all their hours and stuff here but their website has a lot of words and my head hurts right now. Go here to check it out.

Final Rating –  2.5 pints

River Horse Summer Blonde Ale

Posted in Summer Ale with tags , on July 11, 2011 by Steve

River Horse Summer Blonde Ale – Brewed by River Horse Brewing Company in Lambertville, NJ – 4% alcohol.

First instinct when tasting this beer is that it’s simply a real damn good beer. I know it seems like a bunch of summery beers are being reviews but, helloooo, it’s summer. A lot of these are only seasonal, so might as well do it now.

River Horse’s website doesn’t contain a whole lot of information, but Beer Advocate describes this as a blonde ale (probably because of the name…). To make it simple, I’m going to categorize it as a summer ale because I don’t think there is much of a difference. Again, I’m not a beer snob, so if there is, too bad. I don’t care if there is a different fermentation method or whatever, its a damn summer ale.

Anyway, this beer fits the bill. Beer Advocate surprisingly only gave this a grade of a C+ but they’re a bunch of snobs over there who complain about not being enough foam, and not having the enough hints of caramel and it doesn’t sparkle enough and it only has 2.75 inches of foam when poured rather than 3. WHO CARES!!! MEN DRINK BEER! THEY DON”T CARE ABOUT THIS CRAP!! This beer is yummy. It’s tasty. It’s delicious. Got it? It’s light, with great drinkability (6 pack gone in no time). Definitely deserves a spot next to the Corona, Sam Adams Summer Ale,  Blue Point Summer Ale, etc. inside that cooler. Me personally, I say support your microbrewers and leave the Corona at the store. This one is just as good if not better.

As always, if your in the area, you can visit River Horse Brewing Company at 80 Lambert Lane, Lambertville, NJ 08530. The Brewery is opened for samples Friday through Sunday from 12-5pm. Tours on Friday are self guided and Saturday/Sunday are guided at 1,2,3 and 4. Definitely check this place out. I’m putting it on my list. Looks like they have about 6 other beers that sound mmmmmmmmmm tasty.

Final rating – 4.5 Pints  4.5 pints