#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.

Chris – Columbus, OH

Sierra Nevada TorpedoBeer: Torpedo Extra IPA
Brewery: Sierra Nevada
Location: Chico, CA
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.2%

At 65 IBU and 7.2% ABV, this torpedo is headed straight for your taste buds. Brewed in the “american” style, the flavors are intense, but there is a nice balance of the bitterness from the full-bodied background. If you’re not an anal retentive microbrew hipster, do yourself a favor and drink this beer; otherwise, do us all a favor and drink
a few gallons of it.

New Blegium 1554 Black AleBeer: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Style: Black Ale
ABV:

Fresh out of the time machine, this roasty ale is here to bring you a message from your ancestors: drink more 1554. Strong cocoa flavors will remind you of the fat kid from
Willy Wonka, with a smokeyness that makes you wonder what happened to him after he floated off down the chocolate river. The flavors are well balanced and this beer is easy to drink, so what are you waiting for?

breckenridge-vanilla-porter

Beer: Vanilla Porter
Brewery: Breckenridge Brewery
Location: Denver, CO
Style: Herb and Spice Beer
ABV: 4.7%

The wonderful thing about beer is that it can really serve whatever purpose you want it to. The purpose of this beer is to take the work out of eating dessert. Coffee flavors come through first, with a nice sweet vanilla finish. This isn’t really a beer you want to drink a bunch of, but it’s definitelya nice treat on a cold Wednesday morning (I mean.. uh.. evening).

milk stout nitro 001Beer: Nitro Milk Stout
Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company
Location: Longmont, CO
Style: Sweet Stout
ABV: 6.0%

Why does Colorado get all of the nice things? Majestic mountains, legal cannabis and Left Hand Brewing are enough to make a man want to tell his boss where to shove it and hit the road to the promised land. Deep in the secretive caverns of Longmont there lurks a creature shrouded in delicious mystery: the Stout Cow. From its nitrogenated utters squirts a decadent, velvety, smooth stout that will leave you wanting to genetically modify your very own Stout Cow named “Guinesshminess”.

great-lakes-brewing-co-nosferatu1

Beer: Nosferatu
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Location: Cleveland, OH
Style: Red Ale

Seasonal beers piss me off. This imperial american-style red ale is so damn delicious that I am tempted to stockpile it in the autumn to fight off the yearly winter “why-the-hell-did-I-move-to-ohio” depression. The ample amount of booze is well hidden behind the vampire-cape of cherry, caramel and woodsmoke flavors. In spite of the twilight series, this beer has restored my faith in vampires.

Brian – Youngstown, OH & Pittsburgh, PA

Virgin Island Island Hoppin IPABeer: Island Hoppin’ IPA (#5)
Brewery: St. John Brewers
Location: St. John, Bahamas
Style: IPS
ABV: 6.2%

When in the US Virgin Islands, drink this beer.  I can’t say for sure that it would make a top 5 list on the mainland, but this beer scores bonus points by virtue of the fact that when you drink it – you’re in the Caribbean and on vacation.  This creation by St. John Brewers has a beach themed label that reminds you where you are.  The initial smell is of a fruity IPA.  The taste is mildly hoppy but very smooth.  A nice refreshing IPA that is not overpowered by hops and a great compliment to any beach chair.

Avery KarmaBeer: Karma (#4)
Brewery: Avery Brewing Company
Location: Boulder, CO
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
ABV: 5.4%

Avery Brewing does not put this beer out very often but when they do the most interesting man in the world drinks it.  Karma is somewhere between orange and amber in color.  This beer tastes to some degree like Hoegaarden or Blue Moon but hoppier…and…well…better.  It’s fruiter than most beers I like but the mild hoppy taste to go along with the crisp taste of Belgium ale has this beer cracking the top 5.

Tommyknocker PumpkinBeer: Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale (#3)
Brewery: Tommyknocker Brewery
Location: Idaho Springs, CO
Style:

Pumpkin is everywhere this year.  Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin Pringles (seriously).  You need to moderate your pumpkin intake.  This beer is worth it.  This seasonal selection has a strong pumpkin flavor and reasonable use of spice.  Tommyknocker found a nice balance on this pumpkin beer.  Tommyknocker was born from the mines of Idaho Springs, CO and the bottle is adore with their logo the “tommyknocker” surrounded by a pumpkin patch.  This beer is dark amber in color.  This is a pumpkin beer, not a pumpkin spiced beer.  The pumpkin is not overwhelming and the spices are only in the background.  Believe in the legend of the tommyknocker – they will lead you out of harm’s way and to the gold you seek (which luckily for me is this delicious beer).

Great Lakes Lake Erie MonsterBeer: Lake Erie Monster
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Location: Cleveland, OH
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 9.0%

When you think Great Lakes, you typically think of the Christmas Ale (at least if you are from the Ohio area). Great Lakes Brewery has added another great offering to their collection with the Lake Erie Monsters.  The graphics on the bottle Lockness Monster type creature named Bessie. At first pour, the beer has a strong floral scent and darker than normal hue almost amber in color.  At 9% ABV, this imperial IPA has an assertively hoppy taste during and after drinking. Cleveland Browns fans wish this beer could play quarterback; they might actually win a game or two.

21st Amendment Back In BlackBeer: Back In Black (#1)
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
Location: San Francisco, CA
Style: Black IPA
ABV: 6.8%

Prohibition – Boo!  21st Amendment – Hooray!  As with all 21st Amendments offerings, this beer comes in a can with a cool design.  This dark beer looks more like a porter or a stout than an IPA.  Porters and Stouts are not my thing but luckily this IPA doesn’t read as either.  A quick sniff and you can smell coffee and hops aroma.  The beer is surprisingly smooth and hoppy.  The hops are not overpowering and there is a hint of a coffee flavor.  Back in Black has become a staple in the house and we continue to spread the word that this is one of our favorite IPAs of all time.  We have tried several Black IPAs and they just don’t stand up to this one.

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