#SippyTimeBeer Review – @ActualBrewing, Chimay, @ColumbusBrewing and Southern Tier

Actual Elektron PGThis list of beers comes from an evening of drinking at Zauber’s Brew Pub. Because they are still dealing with small tanks, so their beers are only on tap Thursday and part of Friday. Even when they don’t have their own beers, they have plenty of good and local choices. Even if they’re not local choices, they’re good choices. Here’s what I drank the first time I went there.

Actual Brewing Co.Elektron – I started off local with this beer. They are from the east side of Cbus. I have only had one of their beers previously and it was their Winter IPA from a Firkin. I was hoping for a better result with their Amber Ale. One thing that makes it unique is that they use malted rye instead of barley malt. It certainly gives the beer a different taste which I’m not that big of a fan of. The malt doesn’t come through as strongly to me which I enjoy quite a bit. I know it wasn’t the normal problem child of an amber which to me is too much hops. This beer only clocks in at 27 IBUs. The beer wasn’t overly alcoholic either which will throw off the taste from time to time. It’s at a reasonable 6.2% ABV. They still have three beers that I haven’t tried so I will hope I enjoy them more.

Chimay TrippelChimayTrippel – Chimay developed their line of beer from Trappist monks in Belgium. We all know what that means now, right? We’ve got Belgian yeast in play for this beer. We have double fermentation in play too. The first happens in the vat while the second takes place in a fermentation cellar for at least 21 days. Chimay even crafted a glass specifically for this beer which Zauber uses. (You do see the giant Chimay on the glass, right?) They use muscat & dried raisins so you get some sweetness which is balanced out by bitterness on the back end. Because it is double fermented, the ABV is at 8.0% which will do the trick for just about anyone. You can find this beer all around the world, so no excuses for not trying this tasty beer.

Columbus Pale AleColumbus Brewing Co.Pale Ale – I have had this beer more than any other craft beer in town because it has been sold at various bars for as long as I have lived in Columbus. I had always liked Rolling Rock which is also a pale ale so it made it easy to try this one since I wasn’t into beer the way I am now. Drinking large quantities of beer for the cheapest price was the order of the day then. I’d throw in a fancy beer every now and again to try something new. Because of my history with this beer, I do feel it’s old hat but I shouldn’t because this is a quality beer. It has 28 IBUs which is barely above the Elektron but the base is so different you can’t compare them. Low malt makes the hops more prominent especially the splash of citrus hops that they dry hop. It makes it a really great beer. It comes in at 5.5% ABV. It can be found throughout the state of Ohio so if you’re passing through, be sure it give it a whirl.

Southern Tier 2xStoutSouthern Tier Brewing Co.2x Stout – I forgot to mention during my tour of North High Brewing that milk is used to sweeten stouts because it is not ferment-able by beer yeast. They told us that during the tour and the write up for the 2xStout jogged my memory. Both companies use the milk to sweeten up a bitter drink. Or at least that’s the goal of using the milk. I don’t feel like Southern Tier brought the sweetness, which is never overwhelming but just enough to make it more than a one note drink. It has a good roasted malt & coffee flavor though. I don’t think the coffee is too much but it’d helped if it were more sweetened. The drink is the right level of thickness for a stout. It can also be a doozy if you drink too much of it because it comes in at 7.5% ABV. This beer is one of their year round beers and is available in these areas so give it a try and see if you think it has enough sweet to bitter. – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – The Best of #Cbus #CraftBeer

columbusFor the most part, I have steered clear of posting about the local beers unless I’ve had an idea in mind (Local beer article) since I know most of the people who read the site aren’t living in the 614 area code or anywhere close. To close out the year though when news is slow and everyone is doing end of the year lists, you’re getting an article about the best ten beers I have had around Columbus. I am making three exceptions to this list – Buckeye Lake Brewing, Homestead Brewing Company and Hoof Hearted Brewing – which are within a stone’s throw of 270. No Jackie O’s, Ohio Brewing Company or anything delicious I’ve had from Cincinnati. Just the Best of the ‘Bus.

What I’ve Tried

Actual Brewing CompanyWinter IPA (From a firkin)

Buckeye Lake BreweryChristmas Ale, Octoberfest, Oatmeal Stout

Columbus Brewing CompanySummer Teeth, IPA

Elevator Brewing CompanyBear Ass Pale AleBelgian Xtra BlondeDirty Dick’s Nut Brown Ale, Heiferweizen, Horny Goat, Wicked Goat, Procrastinator Doppelbock

Four String Brewing CompanyBackstage Blonde, Big Star White IPA, Brass Knuckles Pale Ale, Cherry Blonde, Skeleton Red IPASun Caster Summer Wheat, Vanilla Porter

North High Porter

Delicious Sandwich by the Paddy Wagon. Delicious Porter by North High Brewing.

Homestead Beer CompanyPine Table Pale Ale, Boat India Pale Ale

Hoof Hearted Brewing Voltan Russian Imperial Stout

North High BrewingHefeweizen, Porter

Seventh Son Brewing CompanyBlack Sheep, Glad Tidings, Oubliette, Saison Noir, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Stone Fort Oat Brown Ale, Wilderman

Zauber Brewing CompanyBuxom Blonde, Myopic Red, Portergeist, Stodgy Brown, Vertigo

What I Haven’t Tried

A lot. The Granville Brewing, L. Hoster Brewing, Neil House Brewery, Rockmill Brewing, Sideswipe Brewing and Wolf’s Ridge Brewing are companies that I haven’t even tried this year. If I stick with my exception, Staas Brewing in Delaware (a shade closer than Homestead and Hoof Hearted) would also be on the list. I haven’t tried all of the offerings from the companies I have listed above either. Trying thirty-six different is a decent start though and pairing it down to ten will be tough.

My Top Ten In Cbus

10. Hoof Hearted BrewingVoltan Russian Imperial Stout The best stout from a local company had to make the list and this one was it. Oubliette was in consideration but this one edged it out. Both are Imperial Stouts that made the comparison easy in that they were from the same branch of stouts. This beer ended up being amongst the best during the Cbus Microbrew Festival in the Short North out of a dozen beers that I tried. This Imperial clocks in at 9.5% alcohol content which will help you feel good quickly. They use espresso (which I tasted) dried figs (I don’t remember any sweetness) and licorice (still not remembering sweetness). No matter, even if I didn’t pick those flavors out, this beer is worth a try.

9. North High BrewingPorter – I definitely haven’t gotten to try as much from this company as I would have liked. I had them at the above mentioned Festival and at a food truck rally for Zauber before the Pittsburgh Penguins first game here in town. I certainly dig that you can go to their brewery and schedule one of their kettles and make your own brew. It costs between $190-240 and yields 15 gallons of beer which equates to 147 12 ounce bottles. Just over a dollar a beer isn’t a bad price for a craft beer of your own making. To the beer though, it’s got a great thick consistency and has just a touch of molasses which also helps to make this beverage a dark brown.

8. Homestead Beer CompanyBoat India Pale Ale – Because of their location outside of the 270 confines, I haven’t had much from this brewer either except at the aforementioned Festival. After reading their site more, I have found out that this beer is seasonal so I got lucky to try it. They tell me that they put passion fruit and citrus in it so even though I didn’t notice those flavors in particular, it was a noticeably more balanced IPA between sweet and bitter. Homestead notes that it’s a Pacific Northwest IPA, which I had to look up. The best description I came up with was from the Seattle Times which said

Most fulfill the traditional characteristics of the colonial style: strong hop bitterness, pronounced aroma and high alcoholic content.

Which means to me, it’s an IPA with some extra adjectives attached. Whatever name they put on it though is irrelevant. It’s a tasty beer with a 6.3% ABV that any good beer drinker would imbibe.

7. Zauber Brewing CompanyMyopic Red – I had a hard time picking my second favorite beer from Zauber. Their Vertigo hefeweizen was probably the beer I drank the most this past year. I really enjoy their Stodgy Brown too. I went with the German Red Alt won out though. It’s a top fermented beer, unlike a lager which ferments from the bottom. It is matured at a cooler temperature which gives it a fantastic crispness which goes down very easily. It has a red hue to it and carries a 5.0% ABV so it’s a session-able beer for those people who are tailgating.

6. Four String BrewingBig Star White IPA – This beer may have started my turn towards IPAs or at least towards being receptive to tasting more of them. According to my Google search, White IPAs were only created in 2010 when Deschutes Brewery in Oregon and  Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City got together to make an IPA that was mixed with a Belgian Wheat Beer. I do love wheat beers so it explains my taste buds opening up to this version of the style. Coming in at 7.0%, this beer will make you happy along with your taste buds at this cross roads of beers in your mouth.

Continue reading

#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

#SippyTimeBeer Suggestions For Memorial Day

Grilling_With_Victory

I figured I’d try something a little bit different for this coming weekend. I have probably drank these beers at some point or another but I’m not going to do a full review of any of these beers. Just suggestions for what to do with your extra long weekend.

Columbus Brewing CompanySummer Teeth – I feel like CBC has more beers but after looking through their website they only have five beers. Their year round beers are a pale ale, which I drink frequently, and IPA, which is solid. Summer Teeth is only available April through August so I make sure I get my fair share. It is considered a kellerbier which is a Bavarian style. It reminds me of a hefeweizen without the bananas or spices. It’s a crisp cool beer perfect on a summer day.

Great Lakes Brewing CompanyLake Erie Monster – Let’s say that you’ve had a bad start to the year. It’s your first long weekend of the year and you really want to get shit canned to start the summer because you have plenty of time to recover for work. Lake Erie Monster is just the beer for you then. It has a 9.1% ABV and only comes in a four pack because it is so potent. It’s an Imperial India Pale Ale and I really like it. Monster isn’t as hoppy as Commodore Perry, which is their year round IPA. The upside to this selection is that GBLC just expanded their coverage in Pennsylvania.

Victory Brewing CompanySummer Love Ale – How could I not select one of their beers when I used one of their posters? This company out of Philadelphia has made several tasty beers that I’ve reviewed already. This beer is the only one on my list that I haven’t tried. It looks like another crisp, clean ale.

What I’m Going To Drink This Weekend

Zauber GrowlersI picked up a couple of growlers from my favorite Cbus brewer, Zauber Brewing Company. I reviewed their Vertigo about a month ago. My favorite beverage from them though is their Buxom Blonde which is on the far side of the picture. It’s a Belgian Abby style of beer. It’s really clean with just a hint of fruit. It has a little less fruit than a hefeweizen and it also doesn’t have the spice but they are similar styles. The near growler contains Stodgy Brown, a German Alt beer. It’s an old style that is not made much now and predates even lagers, at least according to Zauber. I haven’t had this one as recently but I thought it was a bigger change of pace than grabbing their Magnum. The mouth feel is more like a thin porter because it has hints of that and stout but it drinks more like a lager. I may not mention what I think of their taste during tonight’s Penguins game but check in on my Twitter & Instagram (@difrango11) for more insight into the tastes of these beers.

Go out to your local brewer, even if it’s not fifteen minutes from your house, grab a great beer and enjoy your grilling this Memorial Day weekend. -Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – What I Drank During The Super Bowl

Elevator Thirsty Dog Tommyknocker

Elevator Brewing CompanyWicked Goat Barrel Aged I.P.A. – This beer is a departure from the normal I.P.A. because of the barrel aging. It dulls the taste of the hops or they don’t put in as much as normal. It tastes like they’re using an oak barrel because it definitely has a hint of it in the flavor. This beer is out of Columbus. They have a fabulous brew pub that was the earliest I had heard of aside from the Columbus Brewing Company. I have a vague story about my bachelor party from Elevator but I’ll save that for another time.

Thirsty Dog Brewing CompanyWhippet Wheat – This is my favorite beer from Thirsty Dog. As you can imagine names all of their names have a dog reference in them. The alliteration should not dissuade you from trying this beer. It is extremely smooth German Weizen beer. You can definitely taste the banana in there with something else surrounding it which ends up being clove and vanilla. You can check to see if it’s in your area here. I suggest finding it if you’re in one of those states. It may be out of Akron, but it has solid distribution.

TommyKnocker BreweryButt Head Doppelbock Lager – I’ve got to admit, I didn’t actually drink this one during the game. I like keeping a trio of reviews at a time though. I had this one for my dad’s 70th birthday party. As far as I know, this beer has been sitting in my parent’s fridge for two years. I’m not sure if that changed the taste at all. Although it was a lager, it was thicker than normal and the tasty were more like a porter. It does use caramel malt like the Founder’s Porter. It was tasty for a possibly skunked out beer. I’ll give it another taste from a fresh bottle just to be sure. This beer is the only one on this list not from Ohio. It’s out of Colorado. Here’s their distribution so taste one and make sure it isn’t skunky too. -Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review

SouthernTier_2xmas

Southern Tier2Xmas is another interesting take on a Christmas beer. It is a tribute to a glogg which is a mulled wine drank during winter in Scandinavia. This product is a beer though. There is plenty of mulling going on with orange peels, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger root and most prominently figs. When I took my first swig of it, the figs and assortment of spices punched me in the mouth. There are so many spices that they get lost. It becomes one flavor aside from the figs. It’s not a typical fruit so it stands out. I didn’t like the beer at first. Baby Momma Drama disliked it enough to request drinking Columbus Brewing Company’s Winter Warmer. I’ll get to that one later. The day he asked for that though was the day I started liking the beer. It grew on me so drink with caution. Remember to take a look at TheFullPint for other Southern Tier beer reviews.

Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of Raw

I was watching the Home Run Derby. This is a Kentucky Derby hat. Much more attractive picture even if Prince Fielder's beard is awesomeness.

Yeah, aw recorded for me while I was scarfing down dry rubbed wings at the Winking Lizard. I also had Thirsty Dog Whippet Wheat and Columbus Brewing Company Summer Teeth for #SippyTimeBeers. Jeremy gave me a “spoiler” in terms of what happens. It’ll be interesting to see if I agree with him when I hear the promo. Time for the review.

CM Punk gets to kick things off. He looks like he wants to molest someone with that mustache. I tweet and half pay attention to Punk’s recap. Lots of cheers. I already can’t wait until he comes back. Punk gets to finish on the Kiss My Ass Club line before Cena interrupts. Punk still getting lots of cheers. They’ve sold me on the PPV already. I have to blog it. Actually live, or mostly live. The dogs will need walked at some point. Jeremy was right. Cena delivered before the interruption by the Raw GM. If he said it, it must be convincing. I’ve defended Cena for a long time, only finally giving up a couple of months ago. He restored my faith some. Jeremy asked if Punk to Cena could be Benoit to the Rock. Only time will truly tell but Cena has had to go against the Rock recently and now Punk. He’s in above his head and if he truly cares about wrestling like he said in Australia, Cena will step it up on the mic.

Cena has to take on McGillicutty & Otunga. We all know that 1 is always better than 2 in wrestling. Duh. I’m going to miss hearing Killswitch Engage every week.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: