#SippyTimeBeer Review – @4StringBrewing, Barley’s Brewing, Barley’s Smokehouse and @JackieOsBrewery,

Four String Red Skeleton IPAFour String Brewing CompanySkeleton Red IPA – Four String opened up a small tap room back in November and I have been there a couple of times. It has helped that it has given me more chances to grab a growler from them. Above is a picture of their chalk board beer list, the front of the bar and the beer is seating on a rough concrete poured bar top. It has a cool look to it. You can also inspect the brewing kettles while you’re in there. Enough about the tap room, this beer was on tap because it was a Halloween special that they still had some left. It is an India Pale Ale that is made with malted rye instead of barley malt. It makes for a hoppy, bitter flavor that has a twist to it. I like a lot of their beers, but this one is not going to be a favorite. If you like that hop flavor though, this one is for you.

Barleys BC Blood Thirst WheatBarley’s Brewing CompanyBlood Thirst Wheat – I may have made an error on what to call a local beer last week. I saw both Barley’s on a local ballot for best beer. After inspecting both websites more, I’ll have to include them on my choices next year. I mention that because this beer in particular could make the list. Or should have made the list? The name and color comes from using blood oranges which I became familiar with when living in Italy. The type of blood oranges that I ate originated from Sicily. The other two types are from Spain and Morocco. Barley’s uses the Sicilian version to create this tasty beer. This beer had just a hint of tartness, sweetness and you could still taste the wheat. It was a very delectable beverage that went down like orange juice at breakfast. It has an ABV of 5.0% so it’s in the session territory but with the way I drank it, I’d still get hammered on it.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – #Cbus Microbrew Festival

Cbus Microbrew Festival '13

I got to taste a lot of local beer when I went down to the Columbus Microbrew Festival. I had a chance to taste some of my favorites but as usual, I decided to try beers that I didn’t have. Zauber Brewing is still working on a larger facility. Four Strings had a couple of offerings there and I passed on them along with Barley’s, Barley’s Smokehouse & Pub, Columbus, Elevator, Gordon Biersch, Great Lakes, Ohio & Thirsty Dog because I have had and reviewed a number of all of their products. I’ll list in alphabetical order what I did have since I’m not completely sure of the order I drank them in. They were supposed to serve 4 ounce portions but almost everyone was very generous with their pours so I got a good idea of how they all taste.

Buckeye Lake BreweryOctoberfest – It’s that time of year, Oktoberfest & Pumpkin beers are everywhere. I’ll get around to a whole column on pumpkin beers later. This brewery just east of Columbus in, you guessed it, Buckeye Lake has gotten good reviews from my friends in the area. It was finally time to try some for myself though. I’m not sure if it was fair to try a seasonal beer though. If it is indeed seasonal since they don’t even have a beer list on their website. The beer had the red hue that most “Marzen” (March in German because of when they brewed them) beers have. This one has a nice balance of hops and malt to make it taste really good. Thumbs up for my first taste of Buckeye Lake.

Great Black Swamp BrewingWetlands Wheat – This company is based in Toledo, OH so it’s not the most local beer there but it was a new one to me. No one wants to go to Toledo so I’m glad they came to us. I love wheat beers so it was an easy first choice from the company and it delivered. Nice and crisp on a night that was reminiscent of Fall than the Summer.

Great Black Swamp BrewingBull Frog Stout – Because there weren’t any cider beers on tap, my girl friend ended up giving me her tickets. Since they had a hard closing time of 10 PM on Friday, we had to venture back Saturday afternoon to finish using the tickets. You don’t need to twist my arm. Since I had a second crack at this brewery, I went with their Bull Frog Stout which was quite good. Double thumbs up from this company.

Homestead Beer CompanyPine Table Pale Ale – This beer is from Licking County which, like Buckeye Lake, is just east of Cbus. Unfortunately, my memory of this beer is hazy at best. I didn’t take notes and I didn’t Instagram each beer, just their label. No, it wasn’t from drinking too much, this time. It just means I’ll have to try it again.

Homestead Beer CompanyBoat India Pale Ale – On Saturday, I couldn’t remember how many choices Homestead had. When I got to their station, I was talked into trying this beer. “It’s the right balance of hops & malt” said the worker who must have been part of the brewery because he was dead on.I could get into more IPAs if they were like this one.

Hoof Hearted BrewingVoltan – Russian Imperial Stout – Aside from the over played but somewhat amusing name, they do have a goofy centaur as a mascot so these guys know how to market. Of course, it helps when you have a fantastic beer. One of the best beers of the weekend.

Jackie O’s BreweryMatriarch Tri-Pa – I have reviewed two of their beers with another one on my “To Get To” list. I hadn’t seen their Tri-Pa probably because it contains six different kinds of hops and a total of five pounds of it per barrel. It’s no wonder this beer cost me not the normal one ticket for four ounces but three tickets. Another reason the cost was so high was because of it’s 11% alcohol content. If you want to get drunk in style and quickly, have this beer if you can get a hold of it.

Lagerheads BreweryWhite Water Witte – When we arrived Saturday, I grabbed this beer first because the vendors let us in without getting our 21 and over wrist bands. No one cared that we didn’t have them on. Yep, starting to get old. Any way, since it was good and sunny, mid 0s I went with a Belgian wheat beer. Perfect plan to soak up some of the last rays of summer. Come Fall and Winter, that whole sun thing is going to be scarce around these parts. Glad I could enjoy a smooth crisp and citrusy beer. They are located up in the Abbeyville OH which is just south of Cleveland.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – Flying Dog, Fortune Teller & Green Flash

Flying Dog Pale AleFlying Dog BreweryClassic Pale Ale – I’ve mentioned more than once that I’m not always the biggest fan of India Pale Ales (IPAs) but they are starting to grow on me. This beer dials back the hops and delivers quite a good balance of hops and malt. Their site says that there are grassy and citrus notes but I didn’t get those. I remember a failed beer from Great Lakes Brewing that was called Grassroots Ale. I felt like I was tasting a thinned out version of dirt. I got nothing of the sort from this beer. This beer out of Frederick MD is worth drinking.

Barley’s Smokehouse & BrewpubFortune Teller East India Porter – There is a Barley’s chain around that are serving house brews but as far as I understand this spot is unrelated to the chain. According to their website, IPAs were made for the officers on the ships sailing from England to India since hops are a natural preservative. The crew got a similarly hopped porter. Even with all of the hops, it isn’t heavy handed. It has a dark color but is thinner than most porters. It was another tasty beverage that I’d recommend. It helps that the food is good to boot.

Green Flash Saison Diego

Saison Diego with Sir Perry Berry in the background

Green Flash Brewing CompanySaison Diego – Saisons are quick becoming a favorite. They remind me of hefeweizens because they’re light, have just a hint of fruit and a noticeable spice note. For this beer, the citrus is orange (banana for most hefeweizens) and the spice is ginger (usually clove or cinnamon for the other) which makes for a light, crisp refreshing beer. This beer seems suited for summer so since it’s upon us, give it a try.

Here are a couple of links that I got to read today. Thanks to extra local brewers like Zauber, Hoof Hearted and Four Strings along with Cbus staples Columbus Brewing Company and Elevator Brewing, Ohio has become the #4 state for craft beer production. My liver is not happy with this news. The other link is about how one rates a local beer on the Untappd app, which I have but don’t use. Do I overrate local beers? I don’t think so but it could be a factor. Enjoy a #SippyTimeBeer this weekend! -Kevin

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