#SippyTimeBeer Review – A Round Table of Drunks Part 2

Everyone loves a good year end list. Here at Stunt Granny, we’re no different. It’s fun to yell at paper or a computer screen and tell the person who can’t hear you that they’re an idiot. I’ve rounded up quite a few of those idiots to give their opinion on beer. Since I have a tendency to be a beer omnivore, it’ll be good to have opinions from people who tend to stick to families of beers. The other upside to this list is that these people are from all over this fine country of ours so you don’t have to listen to me yammer about beers from Ohio or more specifically Columbus. Keep in mind that I asked these drunks to list their five favorite beers from this year, not their five favorite beers of all time. Could I put Eliot Ness on my list? Sure but that seems silly since most people that read this site know it’s an easy top five beer for me. Since part 1 was friends of the site, part 2 is the staff:

Jeremy – Greenville, SC & Charlotte, NC

ufopumpkinale

 Beer: UFO Pumpkin
Brewery: Harpoon
Location: Boston, MA
Style: Unfiltered Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.9%
Harpoon made a clear winner in the Fall/Oktoberfest seasonal market this year UFO was downright delicious. It was  smooth, sweet and not the least bit filling. It has just the right amount of spice and brown sugar hints to compliment the pumpkin.

Highland_Cold_Mountain

Beer: Cold Mountain
Brewery: Highland
Location: Asheville, NC
Style: Winter Ale
ABV: 5.2%
Cold Mountain isn’t new. In fact I have been drinking it for the last four years but it never gets old. Highland keeps the supply at a minimum which of course drives the demand up and in turn makes this a hard brew to find. It adds to the mystique of it I suppose. Highland Cold Mountain is probably the best beer I have ever had. It is smooth with no tart or bitterness. It has a nice tang of malt with the smoothness of a pilsner. It is just fantastic.

Stone Enjoy By 12-21-12 IPA SBeer: Stone Enjoy By
Brewery: Stone Brewing
Location: Escondido, CA
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 9.4%
I am an IPA person so it may be a small surprise that Double IPA’s are not my taste. Most taste too thick or syrupy. When I first ordered this at VBGB here in Charlotte I was unaware it was a Double IPA. It had everything an IPA has but the bitterness was minimal. It has a strong body that pours with nice head. What makes it different is the fact it is made with fresh hops. The entire beer is designed to expire as if it were milk or cream. After tasting it though there is no chance it could go bad based off its enticing taste.

Beer: OMB Copper
Brewery: Old Mecklenburg Brewery
Location: Charlotte, NC
Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 4.8%
OMB Copper is a nice, easy relaxing time beer. It goes with just about everything. Being a local brew it is easy to find around here so when in Charlotte it is worth tasting.  It is your basic amber ale but this actually has flavor. It is about time I found a nice basic beer that has a rich flavor.

Frog Level Catcher in the rye

Beer: Catcher in The Rye
Brewery: Frog Level Brewery
Location: Waynesville, NC
Style: Rye Ale
ABV: 5.3%

Catcher in The Rye was my choice as the top beer at this tears Charlotte Beerfest. It is a perfect Rye Ale but it has one problem; availability. In a town full of craft breweries and even more bars and restaurants carrying them this has been impossible to find. If you ever have a chance and rye ales are your bag you have to try this.

My Lady M – Columbus, OH (Cider Special)

Angry Orchard Crisp AppleBeer: Orchard Crisp Apple (#5)
Brewery: Angry Orchard Cider Company
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Style: Cider
ABV: 5.0%

Angry Orchard Crisp Apple was my #1 at the beginning of the summer when Kevin asked me to write a cider review. Unfortunately, the crisp, dry and tasty apple flavor didn’t hold the #1 spot as I started trying more and more ciders. If you’re looking for a dry but tasty apple drink I definitely suggest the Crisp Apple over the other Angry Orchards. This one has just enough of a bite that you actually feel like you’re eating a nice crisp apple on a warm summer day.

Origsin ElderberryBeer: Elderberry Cider (#4)
Brewery:  Original Sin
Location: York, NY
Style: Cider
ABV: 5.0%

When I first saw this cider on the beer menu at a restaurant, I thought, what does Elderberry taste like? Well, this beer became my #1 after trying it; beating out the Angry Orchard. As I had never heard of Original Sin before, I found that the orchard is based out of NY. The mixture of apples and elderberries make this a very tart yet refreshing drink which would be good to enjoy all year round and in case you didn’t know, per wikipedia, elderberries have been used medicinally over hundreds of years treating you for the common flu, alleviating allergies and boosting immunity. So, when you’re not feeling very well, grab an Original Sin Elderberry Cider, not only is it tasty, but could help you feel better too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beer:  McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider (#3)
Brewery:  Mayer Brother’s Fine Beverages
Location:  Buffalo, NY
Style:  Cider
ABV: N/A

I stumbled across this spectacular cider while we were out shopping one day. Not knowing what it tasted like, but sounding delicious, I grabbed a 6 pack bottle holder and grabbed a McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider, the outcome was delicious! You have the dark cider apple taste but infused with a deliciously sweet black cherry finish. It’s only #3 because it was in a tie with my number 2 spot. McKenzie is based out of New York and these New Yorkers know how to make a delicious cider!

Griffin Honey Oak CiderBeer:  Honey Oak Cider
Brewery:  Griffin Cider Works
Location:  Westlake, OH
Style:  Cider
ABV: 6.99%

I would have never tried this absolutely divine honey cider, but a trip to Hal & Al’s in Columbus is where the love of this cider came from. This cider is made with 4 local honeys and then oak aged. I drank 4 of these in one night as the taste is so delicious it was almost the #1 spot. If you love honey, you will love this Honey Oak Cider, and the best part is it’s local! Nothing like having a delicious cider and knowing it’s made from all local honey’s.

McKenzies Seasonal ReserveBeer: McKenzie’s Seasonal Reserve
Brewery:  Mayer Brother’s Fine Beverages
Location:  Buffalo, NY
Style: Cider
ABV: N/A

McKenzie’s Seasonal Reserve is my #1 beer for the year. When you pop that top, the sweet aroma of Christmas surrounds you. The warmth of the mulling spices along with the taste of cinnamon and nutmeg, you can just envision sitting by the fire and enjoying a fabulous evening with friends or family. This cider is so deliciously addicting, I probably wouldn’t know if I drank an entire 6 pack by myself in one evening. The taste is so sweet and so developed, there’s a reason it’s a seasonal reserve and only out for a limited time. My advice, run to the store and grab McKenzie’s Seasonal Reserve before the season ends.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – A Round Table of Drunks: Part 1

Everyone loves a good year end list. Here at Stunt Granny, we’re no different. It’s fun to yell at paper or a computer screen and tell the person who can’t hear you that they’re an idiot. I’ve rounded up quite a few of those idiots to give their opinion on beer. Since I have a tendency to be a beer omnivore, it’ll be good to have opinions from people who tend to stick to families of beers. The other upside to this list is that these people are from all over this fine country of ours so you don’t have to listen to me yammer about beers from Ohio or more specifically Columbus. Keep in mind that I asked these drunks to list their five favorite beers from this year, not their five favorite beers of all time. Could I put Eliot Ness on my list? Sure but that seems silly since most people that read this site know it’s an easy top five beer for me. Part 1 will be friends of the site, while part 2 will be the staff:

Fred – Columbus, OH

Victory DirtWolf Double IPA 2

Beer: DirtWolf
Brewery: Victory Brewing Company
Location: Downingtown, PA
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 8.7%

Brewed using whole flower Chinook, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops. The DirtWolf is a great IPA and I am overjoyed that this beer will be available year round unlike most other DIPA’s like the Lake Erie Monster.

Beer: Engine 20 Smoked Pale Ale
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Location: Cleveland, OH
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 6.0%

I am a big fan of smoked beers and this one is a good example of a pale ale as well as a very good smoked ale.

SouthernTierWarlockBeer: Warlock
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Location: Lakewood, NY
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV: 8.6%

Even stronger than the Pumking, the Warock has great malt, plenty of hops and a great finish.

Bell's Hopslam Ale

Beer: Hopslam Ale
Brewery: Bell’s Brewing, Inc.
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.0%

Probably one of the best beers ever sold. Brewed with honey. Hoppy as hell. Say no more.

Seventh Son Humulus Nimbus

Beer: Humulus Nimbus
Brewery: Seventh Son Brewing Co.
Location: Columbus, OH
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 6.0%

A very solid IPA for an almost brand new microbrewery, it is definitely worth a try.

Ron – Richmond, VA

southern-tier-pumking-reviewBeer: Pumking
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Location: Lakewood, NY
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 8.6%

I’m a fan of all things pumpkin especially pumpkin ale’s.  This one is top’s on my list and is a must drink for anyone who likes pumpkin ales. This one is extremely smooth, lightly spiced, and as you drink it you can imagine a good pumpkin pie. This one is a very limited release so if you find it in the stores you need to stock up!

Shipyard PumpkinheadBeer: Pumpkinhead Ale
Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Company
Location: Portland, ME
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 4.6%

This is my second favorite pumpkin ale.  Similiar to the the Sothern Tier, it drinks extremely smoothly and is lightly spiced.  It isn’t quite the pumpkin pie tase, but pretty darn close.  Fortunately, this one isn’t quite as well known and seems to have a wider and longer release cycle so it can be easier to find, but I still stock up.

schlafly-pumpkin-aleBeer: Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Schlafly Beer (The St. Louis Brewery)
Location: St. Louis, MO
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 8.0%

This one I’ve only found in a local restaurant and it was pretty tasty as well, though not quite as smooth as my top two.

Strangeways Gourd

Beer: Gourd of Thunder Imperial Pumpkin Porter
Brewery: Strangeways Brewing
Location: Richmond, VA
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 9.2%

Generally speak, I’m not a big Porter fan, especially Pumpkin ones, its something about the combination of pumpkin spices and the dark rich flavors of a porter that throws me off.  This one had none of that and was surprisingly tasty and is now on my list to have next year.  Since this brewery was local and I was in their tasting room when I had it, I decided growler to go was well worth it.

Hardywood Gingerbread StoutBeer: Gingerbread Stout
Brewery: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Location: Richmond, VA
Style: Milk/Sweet Stout
ABV: 9.2%

For this year, this is my one and only NON-Pumpkin.  This is produced by a local brewery and it is one of the brews that made them “famous” as it was rate 100% by beer advocate magazine.  It is quite simply Christmas in a bottle and pretty much can ONLY be purchased at the brewery or on tap around town.  Last year, friends helped me obtain a few bottles, but this year my wife and I stood in line to pick our my stash for the holidays.

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