Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's beer!

Hello, I'm back! After a trip to Geek Squad, my computer is back and as good as it was before it went sour. Fingers are crossed that this refurbished motherboard (read: failed once for someone else already) will hold. If not...I just have to drink more beer and take more notes. Tough, ain't it? Anyhow, here's the beer!

Brewery: Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Location: Comstock, MI
Name: Consecrator Dopplebock Beer
Beer: Umm...dopplebock (or double bock)
At first glimpse you'll have to take in the rich, dark auburn/dark coppery color. It's  not ultra dark but it isn't transparent. A nice red-tinted light will shine through when held up to light. It pours a virtually non-existent head which is fine by me as it makes it easier to get to the good stuff! I have to admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for dopplebocks. I think the thick malty flavor and higher alcohol content have something to do with it. Consecrator clocks in at 8.0% ABV which is respectable and not to be taken lightly. When you stick your nose in it you'll come across an almost fruity scent with a big whiff of malt. Those smells translate to the palate nicely. No big surprises here! The strong malt flavor coats the mouth nicely and the carbonation is relatively mild. It finished up nice and smooth. The aftertaste left me wanting to drink more and more...I'm trying to figure out how that could be perceived as something bad. Nope...can't figure it out. Hands down I would drink this again. And again.

Brewery: Founder's Brewing Co.
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Name: Double Trouble
Beer: Imperial IPA
Well hello, Mr.'s Trouble (referring to the optical illusion found on the bottle label). This knock you on your ass IPA (weighing in at a formidable 9.4% ABV) does everything right. It pours a gorgeous liquid gold color that will produce a modestly thin head. You smell that? That's hops. The bouquet is full of sticky, piney, and citrusy hops smell. I would like for it to be known that I do not enjoy gin. At all. Even the pine tree smell of gin makes me unhappy. However, the pine smell of choice hops has the opposite effect. I'm not complaining. It did take me a little while to warm up to IPAs though. I'm glad I reconciled my differences. Double Trouble will take that thick golden color and coat your mouth the way it coats your glass. Make no mistake, this is not a starter's IPA. This is an IPA for someone who really enjoys the tang and bite of hops. It's not a pungent or overpowering beer by any means. I'd love to try this out of a tap! I would urge those of you who like the IPA and excellent hop-flavored burps to try this one out. I'd be down for drinking this again.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I guess it rains down in Africa...

Brewery: East African Breweries
Location: Kenya, Africa
Beer: Lager (of the ultra pale variety)
Label: At first glimpse I thought it was a boar. Upon further review I noticed that the boar had a trunk...like an elephant. Even further review of the label revealed to me that the beer is named after the elephant that killed the founder of the brewery. Intense.
During a recent visit to The Shebeen, a South African restaurant in Charlottesville, VA, I came across the first beer from Africa I've ever seen. Curiously I ordered and waited with great intrigue. It came in a 12 ounce bottle and was poured into a drinking glass, not a pint glass or anything, a regular, old restaurant glass. The first thing most people will notice is that the beer pours a nice light piss color. I'm not exaggerating. I think Michelob Ultra is darker than this. It poured a thin head that came and went. Sort of looked like a more yellow version of seltzer water. And the similarities to seltzer water didn't stop there. There was hardly a taste to it...but it was crisp and refreshing! The high carbonation did good to perk up the tongue some. I can imagine that this would be the type of beer you would want to drink during the summer in Kenya. It has a low alcohol rating of 4.2% which is no surprise due in part to it barely tasting like beer. This super crisp, highly carbonated, faintly yeast smelling/tasting beer is great for those who are really into cold brewed American lagers...like Budweiser.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The first of many empty bottles...

Brewery: The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Location: Farmville, NC
Beer: Milk Stout
Label: Simple. See left. It's either a duck or a rabbit. Possibly both?
This was the first milk stout I've ever had and I should say I was pleased with it. The fact that lactose, or milk sugar, is used during the brewing process leaves this stout being super creamy. I found the thin, creamy white head to dissipate quickly, however, it did leave some nice "rest rings" on the mug it quickly disappeared from. It's a rich, dark coffee color which does not leave much to be seen from the other side of the glass. Notes of coffee and faint smells of caramel are quick to pick up through the nose and carry over to the mouth nicely. The beer has a crisp, lightly carbonated mouthfeel to it, which is interesting considering the fact that it's a stout. The lactose takes the edge off of the bitter aftertaste some stouts leave behind which leaves a clean finish. Tessa had some nice words of it as well... "It doesn't have that gross stout taste I don't like!" My point being that this is a great entry-level stout that isn't really going to offend anyone. It's also a beer I would recommend to those who enjoy drinking stouts. It's not likely to get you wasted with one or two as it has a relatively low ABV, under 6%, but the taste is what will bring you back for more!

It's a dirty job...

...and I'm up for the task! I say this now, having made the conscious decision to drink beer that I feel is pretty tasty, however, I am tasking myself with trying as many beers as one can possibly try and record my thoughts and feelings on said beers. It's going to be fun I think. I've never really put a critical tongue to beer before, usually it would fall into one of two categories; drink again or would rather not put that in my mouth again. I'll comment on label, color of the beer, mouthfeel, smell, etc. You know, the things that anyone reporting on beer would comment on.

I don't expect my ramblings to apply to everyone who reads this. Nor do I expect to impose my "beer will" on anyone. But if you feel inspired to try one (or all) of the beers I sample, let me know! I plan on having a list that spans multiple countries and covers as many beer types as possible. You can feel sorry for me whenever you want.

Make no bones about it...I will probably end up drinking a shitty beer or two.