Monday, June 9, 2014

A warm reception and a little bit of what's been going on.

Just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone who took the time to A) Read things I've posted when I first started Little Boy Brew up until I started my hiatus in 2012 and B) Find their way back to Little Boy Brew to see if I had become any less flowery in my beer reviews. Spoiler alert, I haven't.

I've finally made my way into the brotherhood of Craft Beer. I'm no longer chewing back vomit while I talk about the differences between 4K and 1080p and why they really don't matter. I could give two turds about the nominal differences in Apple computer/iPhone/iPad "upgrades." I don't care about how big your TV is and how great of a deal you got it for at a competitor of mine; true story, never did care. And I can finally speak freely about what I think you should do with that copy of Consumer Reports you're using to tell me how awesome a discontinued model is. Moving away from the big box consumer electronics retail world has been a boon for me. I can't begin to stress how amazing it is to look forward to going to work because you have an absolute passion for the industry you're involved in. I'm working as the Retail and Tasting Room Manager for O'Connor Brewing Co. in Norfolk, VA. I have a feeling most of my readers may be familiar with what we have to offer. If not, hopefully, you'll be seeing our beer in your market in the next few years. We just opened a brand new facility that will be capable of pushing out 15,000 barrels of beer annually with the intent to expand upon that even further. My wife makes me pay her every time I talk about how much I love my job, not unlike Schmidt's douchebag jar from New Girl. Regardless, find a way to live your dream job. Who knows, maybe in a few short years I'll be on the rig trying to keep up with the amazing production crew at OBC?

I mentioned in my Gnomegang review that I have been using Untappd as my review forum of choice. Truthfully, this has helped me keep track of what I've had and what I want to have. It also does a pretty good job of helping me stay away from things that tasted like watery gym sock. That being said, I invite everyone who reads this to check out Untappd and to find me and friend me on it! If you haven't already... My user name is "littleboybrew." I'm literally a long evening away from my 1,000th unique check-in. If you don't know what that means just assume that I am not an alcoholic.

If you want to see pictures of the beers I'm drinking or my dog or board games find me on Instagram at "littleboybrew." Seriously, I make things easy.

Lastly, expect to find me reviewing with the same furor and vigor as I did in the past. My matured and refined pallet helps me find the subtle F it. I'm here to drink beer and to tell you about it.

Now...who wants to set up a trade or three?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Gnomegang, Becky.

I think my typewriter needs a new ribbon. But it's OK, I've got my corrective fluid at the ready to wipe on this screen if I make any mistakes...

Two long years, I've left loyal readers. How many of you poured over the old posts pining for a return? Will Little Boy Brew be the same when he comes back? IF he comes back? There have been more Bigfoot sightings in the last two years than there had been posts from me. I found a new template...Untappd. It's 140 characters forced me to reduce my reviews to the lowest common denominator. That being said, I'm happy to return to long-form beer review. Without further ado I present to you...

Name: Gnomegang
Brewed by: Brewery Ommegang
Location: Cooperstown, NY
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
ABV: 9.5%

As the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt floods my ears and fills my soul with a lithe, carefree feeling I'm basking in the glow of a flavorful and formidable fluid cascading with carbonation topped with a bright white head. It seems like just about everything that comes out of Ommegang is two things: carbonated enthusiastically and pretty delicious. I wanted my return to be marked with a beer that I had always been curious to try but had not been able to. Not that Gnomegang is a particularly exotic beer; but the name is just so damn cute! Once the transfer from bottle to vessel is complete you're greeted with an amazing bouquet of Belgian bananas...colloquially known as esters.

Side thought: How has a super hoppy Belgian pale ale not been named "Ester Bunny" yet? I digress.

Banana, clove, bubble gum, and the faintest whiff of white pepper spice. No bones here, this beer is as Belgian as JCVD. The initial feeling you encounter is a sharp tingle of carbonation. Making your senses change directions from tactile to taste, Gnomegang bestows upon it's drinker a flourish of fruit and spice. There is an incredibly delicate, but not fragile, body to Gnomegang. The malt shines through here. Light and bready but propped up by the familiar tingle of soft peppery spice and a melange of yeast and sweetness. While nice and dry, it doesn't come strong with a tannin-esque sensation. The fruit flavors are all over the place; apple, mango, peach, pear, apricot. It almost tastes more like a darker version of a Belgian ale to be completely honest. But the complexity is nicely balanced against the pepper notes and strong yeast profile. The finish is smooth and crisp. A hint of hop bitterness fades as quickly as it's noticed. There is a slight burn from the alcohol but it's a nice reminder that you're drinking a big person's beer despite the diminutive dwarf from which the name is derived.

This beer may not be the liquid form of the smokey jazz I'm listening to, however, it definitely strides toward a complexity that can be appreciated by everyone from layman to beer snob. It's not a beer to be taken lightly despite it's radiant hues and snow-white head. Give this one a go, it's worth your time. And you might be able to get someone who "doesn't like beer" to really enjoy this.

Final Thoughts? I can't think of a reason to pass this beer up. Gnome way, gnome how. Sorry, I had to throw a little pun in there. It was a tiny one, though. Thankfully short lived. Ok...I'm done.

It's nice to have a beer that looks up to you.

Ok! I'm done. Seriously.