#SippyTimeBeer Review – #Cbus Winter Beerfest – @OhioBeerfest

Me at Winter Beerfest '14A picture is worth a thousand words, right? I’m going to test that theory because this picture will be accompanied by a few words. I went to the Columbus BeerFest and I made a rookie mistake. Saturday started like a normal day. I got up, walked the dogs, my lady & I had breakfast then we planned out the day knowing that the VIP entrance for the Beerfest at 6:30 PM. We normally eat lunch at 2 and dinner around 7:30. To make up for that, we decided to eat lunch at 1 PM so we could eat around 6 before we headed down. We got lunch early but then ended up trying to fit too much in after that and neglected to eat before heading out. It’s a rookie mistake to not eat before going to any beer drinking activity especially a festival in which I would be drinking for four hours. My lady didn’t have a problem because she was the designated driver. Unless you count the two drunks she had to corral. I am trying to talk her into recording a podcast about the night but haven’t do so yet. On the upside, I did record comments about some of the beers before getting to the point of no return. I will review those beers now.

When I took a glance at the useless map, I didn’t see too many breweries I hadn’t tried. Because I can get the local beers, I took them off the list. So a lot of the night was spent drinking offerings from companies. When I first attended the Great American Beer Festival I had a 4 ounce tasting glass. I thought it was too small but it worked out because I got to try a boatload of beers. The mug you see above was 8 ounces, which was also part of my undoing.

21st Amendment BreweryBrew Free Or Die IPA – So the smartest thing to do after not eating before going to a beer festival is to get a tasty beverage that is 7.7% alcohol with a 70 IBUs (bittness unit).  I bring up the later because the Rivertown Hop Barron clocked in at 103 which was too much for me. Now, I know that I can tolerate at least 70 before my “too hoppy” stage hits. I’ll fine tune that over this year. It’s their top selling beer. Although it isn’t my favorite, it’s a good beer.

Founder’s Brewing CompanyImperial Stout – The second smartest thing I did after not eating was get an Imperial (aka Double) stout that clocked in at a mere 10.5% ABV with a 90 IBU. I’m not surprised by the bitter limit as this taste was very heavy in the coffee department. Though I’m getting used to that taste and enjoy it in small dose, this one was too much for me. It drank pretty smooth though.

Green Flash Brewing CompanyDouble Stout – Continuing a trend of heavy ABV beers, I got this one which was “only” 8.8%. It had a low 45 IBU which made it better than the previous stout in my eyes. It drank just a bit smoother.

Triton Brewing CompanySin Bin Belgian Pale – When I read about this one on my Untappd app (difrango11) I saw that it was a sour beer. I didn’t need that heads up though after the first sip of this beer. I’ve had some other Belgian Pale Ale’s recently and they weren’t anything like this one. The Belgian yeast taste was not all that present. The sour tasted was toned down compared to the other sours I’ve had. At the present time though, I don’t think I’m going to fully get into sours like I have IPAs. I did finally drop down to closer to a regular ABV at 6.2% with an IBU of 19. This beer was also the first one from a company I had never drank from before. They’re out of Indianapolis so it’s not far away from me.

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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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#SippyTimeBeer Review – @21stAmendment, @AveryBrewingCo, @GLBC_Cleveland and @Harpoon_Brewery

21st Amendment Back In Black21st Amendment BreweryBack In Black – The picture doesn’t do justice to yet another quality beer can label that 21st Amendment uses. For some reason I chose to feature the label instead of the art. This black IPA is more than just the fancy graphics on the outside. It was brought to my attention by my lady’s sister, whose hand is also in the picture, because of her love of the style. It gets the black color from dark malts which enters the taste equation more than an regular IPA. It may have also led to a thickness that was reminiscent of a porter.  The hops are still front and center though. It is noticeable with the 6.8% ABV. This beverage is out of San Francisco CA and can be found in these locations. Enjoy it if you can.

Avery White Rascal

Avery White Rascal

Avery Brewing CompanyWhite Rascal – Anything other than an IPA recently has seemed out of the norm. This beer is a unfiltered wheat, aka white, beer. The difference in naming is basically a geographic change from Germany to Belgium. Because it is unfiltered, you will get some yeast at the bottom of your glass after drinking this fine beverage. The cloudy white ale has a tinge of orange because there is orange peel in this brew that comes in the flavor. Also present in it is coriander which is a go to spice for wheat beers and compliments the citrus. This beer is only 5.6% ABV so you can enjoy this one over a longer time frame. Avery emanates from Boulder, CO and can be sipped at these locations. If you like wheat beers, this one will tickle your taste buds.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Brewing CompanyChristmas Ale – This beer fulfills my promise to cover a Christmas or Winter beer for the month. Yeah! I did drink  this one a while ago though before a Bluejackets game. This beer gets a lot of play around here and has for a while. I went to a friend’s bachelor party almost four years ago and his brother-in-law had saved a six pack of it for him until June. I think that’s an extreme reaction to this beer. I enjoy it but I don’t think it needs to be saved for six months. It has a nice maltiness which I enjoy. Like some similar beers, they use honey which sweetens it too much for me and is where this beer goes wrong for me. The ginger and cinnamon make an appearance in just the right doses. Christmas Ale also provides just the right amount of ABV at 7.5% to help you forget about the terrible sweater your aunt just gave you for Christmas. If your memory doesn’t serve you, this company is out Cleveland, OH and distributes to these places. The season is almost over so if you’re one of those types that’s going to hoard this beer, I suggest going out and purchasing it with a quickness.

Harpoon I.P.A.

Harpoon I.P.A.

Harpoon BreweryHarpoon I.P.A. – I thought I remembered this beer from when I was at Kent State. I could be correct since it got started in 1993 but I doubt it. It is still one of the earlier IPAs I remember trying and disliking. I think it may have been because I had never had a beer heavy with hops in it. Now that I’m getting into IPAs, I dislike it for a different reason. This one just seemed too tame to me in the hops department. At 5.9% ABV, that would seem to confirm my suspicions. Since there isn’t much malt, there isn’t a back up flavor to it. Harpoon doesn’t feature the yeast either. Which is unfortunately their stated goal for this New England style IPA. They wanted a well balanced triumvirate of flavors that none dominate. To me, that makes for a bland beer. You’ve got to lean to one of those three sides to highlight what else in the flavor profile. This beer comes out of Boston, MA and can be found pretty much anywhere in this fine country.

No fun links for this week but I will give everyone a heads up that I have rounded up a fine set of drinkers and their top five favorite beers of this past year. For the ladies, my woman is even throwing in her top five cider beers if you don’t like the traditional brews. Now go out and enjoy UFC 168 with a tasty #SippyTimeBeer in front of you. – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @21stAmendment, @Lagunitasbruwhs, @OtterCreekBeer and @ThirstyDogBeer

21stAmendment Sneak Attack Saison21st Amendment BrewerySneak Attack Saison – My lady and I went back to Altoona PA to go see Kent State play at Penn State back in September. We stayed at my parent’s place Friday & Saturday nights. After being rained on for the entire game and watching Kent State be miserable, I was ready for a beverage after a rainy forty five minute trip from State College to Altoona. Luckily my younger brother Brian had left this beer in the fridge. It must have been in there for a while since this beer is only available from January to March. Not only did I need a beer, I really loved this one. The spiciness provided by the cardamom is quite a surprise and very pleasing. The beer goes down smooth and has a nice crispness to it. I would suggest finding this beer in the upcoming months, so go to this part of their site to find out if you can Sneak Attack your taste buds.

Lagunitas Brewing CompanyLittle Sumptin’ WildJeremy tried this beer back at Oktoberfest in Charlotte so when I saw it on the menu at a bar, I decided to give it a whirl even though it is an IPA. It may have been the beer that started my long, hop heavy road to at least figuring out IPAs. Lagunitas advertises that they also put in boatloads of wheat and pale malt which might cut the edge off of the hops for me. So just like other IPAs that I have enjoyed, this one is more balanced than most that I have tried. This beer from Petaluma CA made it all of the way to the taps of a small bar in Columbus so you should be able to find it in your area, so long as it’s July-ish. Or October which is when I had it.

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