#SippyTimeBeer Review – @BellsBrewery, @BrooklynBrewery, @NorthHighBrew and @GLBCinColumbus

IMG_20140131_182216Bell’s Brewery, Inc.Hopslam – This beverage is one of the more sought after beers in the area. Bell’s has a solid distribution area in twenty states. But this beer is one of their specialties and only comes out once a year. It’s so popular that a beer store in town was accused of buying cases from other stores for later re-sale.  Thanks to the Columbus Dispatch for that gem of a story. Is this beer worth getting in trouble for, yes. They use six varieties of hops and toss in Simcoe hops during the dry hopping process. Bell’s also throws in honey just for a touch of sweetness which is the only thing taming this beast of bitterness. They don’t list an IBU but it’s got to be around my 90 IBU threshold. It’s a double IPA so it packs a punch at 10.0% ABV. It’s only available from January until March so you’re out of luck for now but keep your eyes peeled next year.

IMG_20140125_191531Brooklyn BrewerySorachi Ace – I didn’t know the story behind this beer until reading their website. Here’s what they had to say:

A large Japanese brewery first developed the hop variety “Sorachi Ace” in 1988. A cross between the British “Brewer’s Gold” and the Czech “Saaz” varieties, it exhibited a quality that was unexpected – it smelled really lemony.

This beer is part of their Beer Master’s Reserve line because of the uniqueness of the hops. When I was tasting this beer though it was the Belgian yeast used that stood out to me. I do think that yeast has a flavor that pairs well with the lemon so it’s a good pairing. The hops aren’t overwhelming either with an IBU of 34. The hops certainly delivers a punch though because this beer is 7.6% ABV. Though I had this beer in January, it’s a perfect beer for the warm weather that is coming around now. If you can find it in your area, go give this special beverage a try.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – @BrooklynBrewery, @KonaBrewingCo and @StoneBrewingCo

Brooklyn Lager (1)

Brooklyn BreweryBrooklyn Lager – The only beer on my list this week without the style in the title. It’s an Amber lager which is right down my alley. Caramel malt is a fantastic thing. So is dry hopping, which is “the centuries-old practice of steeping the beer with fresh hops as it undergoes a long, cold maturation.” It reminds me of cooking and putting something in later in the process so that it doesn’t overwhelm the dish you are making but accents it. The hop flavor is in there just as a kicker and it works perfectly. This beer is worth harming your liver. Unfortunately, they don’t have a beer finder. I got it here and my older brother found it in Virginia when he asked me for an Amber lager choice so you should be able to find it yourself.

Kona Brewing CompanyKoko Brown Nut Brown Ale – I got to have this beer during lunch on a Friday afternoon. It was a delightful treat during a long afternoon. It’s taste is super nutty which isn’t normally that potent in other nut browns. I didn’t sip the toffee that Kona says is in there but it may have led to the extra nutty taste. It’s a good thing I didn’t know it had coconut in it or else I may not have ordered it. I’m glad I didn’t because I didn’t taste it. I’d highly suggest this beer too. So go here to find out if it’s in your area.

Kona Koko Nut Brown

Stone Brewing CompanyRuination IPA – I don’t remember how I acquired this beer. I feel like it was my neighbors but I’m not quite sure. I do like Stone’s product so I may have just bought one but that seems unlikely since as they say “…its truly “ruinous” effect on your palate, this massive hop monster will change forever your preconceptions of what defines good beer.” I don’t feel like this lived up to either part of their quote. It didn’t ruin my palate although it is a pretty heavy dose of hops. It won’t change how I define a good beer either because it has so much hops. The interesting part comes in that I enjoyed the beer. They tossed in enough extra malt to balance things out better than they are saying. If you like IPAs and haven’t tried this one yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

The Great American Beer Festival was a couple of weekends ago out in Denver. If you like beer, it’s a must attend as it’s the Mecca of beer festivals. Good news for me came out of the festival, six Ohio breweries won awards. None of them are here in Columbus but I should be able to visit the Yellow Springs Brewery when I go to visit my girlfriend’s family in Dayton.

This article “8 Simple Steps: How To Not Be a Dick While Drinking Beer” is a pretty solid guide if you may think you’re starting to get too snobby about your beer choices. They should have thrown the word “Craft” in between drinking and Beer though. People who drink macro-brews aren’t likely to get snobby. Those types of beer drinkers have rule #5 “Educate your macro beer-drinking friends” which is what I try to do from time to time. I didn’t get any takers when I was at an Ohio State tail gate recently so I just got to enjoy a growler of really good beer on my own. It also reminds me of a story in which a friend, who only drinks Budweiser or Bud Light, told me that “I don’t drink that foreign crap” when referring to Leinenkugel, which is brewed in Wisconsin. They may sound like Canadians, but they’re Americans.

Stone Ruination IPA

Are you like me and afraid that the craft beer boom is going to slow down? Well, CNBC is here to tell you there’s still room for expansion in the U.S. market. We have the most amount of breweries in the States since Prohibition. Yeah for my mouth, column and beer. Now go and start your weekend and enjoy a #SippyTimeBeer! – Kevin

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