Sierra Nevada’s 40th Anniversary Ale

Most people have their own go to beer.  That special beer that you can always turn to when you can’t find another beer that appeals to you at that moment your craving something familiar instead of the latest beer trend of the moment.  Sierra Nevada has been my go to brew for many years, over 30 to be sure. 2020 is a milestone for Sierra Nevada, their fortieth anniversary.  They began brewing in 1980, a couple of years before it was official for me to drink legally.  When I was finally able to go to a bar and enjoy beer, … Continue reading Sierra Nevada’s 40th Anniversary Ale

Winter Warming Brews Part 2

Mad Elf, Tröegs Independent Brewing, Hershey, PA is light reddish brown with a fluffy khaki head that recedes quickly.  The Mad Elf comes in at a whopping 11%abv.  Dark roasted malt, brown sugar, and red cherries greet the nose up front. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and clove follow through as the aroma opens up.  Palate is a mélange of roasted malt, cherry, baking spices and wild honey, hitting the taste buds like Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” hits the eardrums. This is a welcome brew when the temperture’s are sinking lower and lower, the high alcohol content warms the bones, warm the beer … Continue reading Winter Warming Brews Part 2

Winter warming brews for 2019 part 1

The Virginia Beer Co., Evil Santa, Williamsburg, VA, 7%abv. is deep opaque with a thin dark brown head. Dark malt, sweet molasses, dark chocolate and espresso dominate the nose.  Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice are added to the mix and come on strong as the beer opens up, make sure to swirl your glass so all of the enticing aromas emerge.  The palate pretty much follows the nose.  The Evil Santa is billed as spiced milk stout.  The spices are well pronounced and this ale has a rich creaminess, full body and added sweetness with the addition of lactose. The Virginia Beer … Continue reading Winter warming brews for 2019 part 1

Hardwood Park, Christmas Pancakes

The cold weather brews are starting to show up on store shelves. I love to wait and see what brewers will cook up in their pots to hold us over until the springtime.  High alcohol wines are always welcome to warm bones coming in from the cold.  Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout is my go to beer for winter.  Big and malty and loaded with flavor and just enough punch to keep you warm. When I arrived in Richmond, VA people would talk about the “legendary” Hardywood Park Ginger Bread Stout (GBS) they released before Thanksgiving.  Even non beer drinkers would … Continue reading Hardwood Park, Christmas Pancakes

Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout

Most beer lovers have a favorite brew that is only available for a certain season for a limited run. When it is gone? You are out of luck until then next year’s release.  Sure you can stock up a little, but most seasonal beers are meant to be drunk right away, not to be held for too long.  Other special beers are meant to be drunk now and some saved for the future like a fine wine. Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout, 10.0%abv. is inky black with a dark tan head.  The amazing nose brings notes of dark roasted malt, hot … Continue reading Brooklyn Brewery, Black Chocolate Stout

Oktoberfest beers part 2

With Oktoberfest going on for a few more days over in Munich, here are a couple more Oktoberfest beers tasted on this side of the Atlantic. Harpoon Brewing Company, Boston, MA, 5.3%abv. is slightly darker than traditional Oktoberfest beers, more of a copper color than caramel.  The nose has beautiful aromas of sweet roasted malt, buttered popcorn and some clove, vanilla and allspice.   The palate has that roasted malt upfront without too much sweetness.  There is still buttered popcorn and some of those spices in the background lending a full round mouth feel.  The Harpoon Oktoberfest is truly delicious, slightly … Continue reading Oktoberfest beers part 2

Oktoberfest brews to try in 2019

With Oktoberfest opening in Munich Saturday September 21, 2019 it is time to take a look at a few Oktoberfest brews on the store shelves now.  The original Oktoberfest was actually a royal wedding that was celebrated publically.  October 12, 1810 was the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Free food and wine were served and the party lasted a few days and ended with a horse race. Today Oktoberfest begins in late September and runs just over 2 weeks into the beginning of October.  The beer served is Märzen style, meaning it is brewed in March and is … Continue reading Oktoberfest brews to try in 2019

Spooky, the beer I want for Halloween

It is that time of year once again. Strolling down the beer aisle, one six pack next to the next six they are lined up down the row. Pumpkin Ales! Every year I pick up a dozen or so to taste and write about and every year more appear, but follow the same formula. Sure some may stand out more than others and you might have a second one by that brewery, but my palate just gets too tired. The better name for these beers would be pumpkin pie beers. Malty, but too sweet and pumpkin pie spiced, I mean … Continue reading Spooky, the beer I want for Halloween