SippyTimeBeer Review – @AVBC, @GLBCinColumbus, @lagunitasbruhws, @RevBrewChicago and @SeventhSonBrew

IMG_20140221_204305I’m writing this article well ahead of time because I am in Richmond VA having a Sippy Time Beer courtesy of my older brother, who graciously provided more pumpkin beers to try than any one person should in our Year End Review. I’m also sure that I’ve had a few beverages from the neighboring state West Virginia on our way. Those beers should hit the internet come next week. Until then, here’s some drinks from February.

Anderson Valley Brewing Co.Winter Solstice – Ken and I had some free time without the ladies so we went to the 16 Bit Bar & Arcade in town. Not only is it a fun place to play the terrible video games I played as a child, it’s also a great place to try beer. Anderson Valley started off the fun with this take on a Winter Warmer. Though their site only says that they use spice, there’s definitely nutmeg in this beer which is standard for this style. They also include toffee & caramel which helps sweeten the beer up even more. Sometimes that would make the beer too sweet but it doesn’t for this one. They don’t even add much hops to offset the sweet but at 6 IBU, there’s no bitterness to be found. This beer packs a wallop at 6.9% even if that’s low for a winter beer. They are based in Boonville CA so if it reaches Ohio you probably have a good chance of trying it in the winter.

Great Lakes Brewing Co.Conway’s Irish Ale – At some point during my tenure of writing beer reviews, I will do an Irish themed post around Saint Patrick’s Day. This beer will get included in that post. I’ll also review it now. This seasonal beer is available from January to the end of March. It is similar in flavor to their year round offering & one of my personal favorites, Eliot Ness. It is lighter on the malt though so it’s as in your face. Neither are hoppy which is confirmed by the 25 IBU for this one. Conway’s provides a decent punch at 6.5% ABV. They distribute in these areas so even though it’s a seasonal beer, you may still be able to find this one.

IMG_20140222_191243Lagunitas Brewing Co.Maximus – Jeremy brought this company to my attention. It is another California based company so the distribution area is bigger which helps me try them too. This beer is an amped up version of their IPA. Since I haven’t had their IPA, I can’t compare them. They don’t list IBUs so I can’t compare bitterness. I do know though that this beer didn’t taste bitter for a Double IPA. They claim it will remove enamel from your teeth because of the hops but I don’t agree. To no one’s surprise though, you jump from 6.2% in the IPA to 8.2% for the DIPA. It provides quite the punch so be careful if you’re a hop head.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – @BristolBrewing Helps Me Celebrate #ACBW

From hoperatives.com

From hoperatives.com

I had forgotten that is was going to be American Craft Beer Week. In a stroke of scheduling luck, my lady decided to fly me out to Colorado to meet up with her and her sister & son. The Great American Beer Festival is held in Denver for a reason. There are a lot of craft brewers here in Colorado. So many that started so long ago, I had a hard time finding beers that haven’t tried or at least can’t acquire in Ohio. But just like Columbus, more are popping up seemingly by the minute. I had enough to choose from including our first stop for lunch in Colorado Springs, Bristol Brewing Company.

Since we were only going there for lunch and to continue on our sight seeing, I ordered myself a flight of beers to get a feel for their beers. They have 19 styles of beers but the flight came with seven, the five basics and two of their seasonal offerings. I usually don’t expect more than six which was nice. Even better, they gave me a 5-6 oz. sample as opposed to the normal 3 oz. sample. Here’s what I drank:

Bristol BrewingYellow Kite Summer Pils – Because I have soured on the taste of the pilsner, this beer was the first one I tried. I was pleasantly surprised by this one though because of the hops in it. They use Czech & German hops that don’t have as much of a bitter punch as some of the other hops. They did give it an IBU rating of 25. Since the hops weren’t as bitter, it added a nice under tone of flavor to the pilsner malt. The beer has a 5.25% ABV so it’s a nice beer that could be enjoyed at length. This beverage lives up to it’s name too so it is quite yellow in color.

Bristol BrewingBeehive Honey Wheat – Ever since going to North High Brewing, I have been conscience about going from least to most bitter. This beer seemed like the next logical step in the progression. After looking at their website though, I started off incorrectly. This beer clocks in at a very low 12 IBUs. I am therefore glad that they didn’t go overboard with the honey because there isn’t much bitter to offset it.  The honey did provide a sweet touch to the proceedings since wheat beers are more crisp and less in your taste buds than most beers. At 4.06% ABV, this would be an ideal Sippy Time Beer. I liked this one more than the Pils by a little bit.

Bristol BrewingCompass IPA – I’m just going to say that our waitress wasn’t the best at her job. She did a poor job of informing of which beer was which so instead of moving on to the Mass Transit Ale, I went to the Compass IPA. Though it was a relatively low IBU of an IPA at 55, it still was a stark contrast to the previous two beers. I’m not sure if that is why I didn’t like this beer or I just didn’t like the combination of hops they used. I’m familiar with Columbus, Chinook & Casade hops but they weren’t in harmony on my tongue. This beer has an ABV of 6.5% so that’s relatively low for an IPA too.

Bristol BrewingRed Rocket Pale Ale – Next down the hatch was the pale ale which at that point was my favorite choice. They put in just enough malt to balance out the Perle, Willamette, Casacade and Palisade hops. Bristol dry hops with more Casade hops to give it some extra aroma which hit my nose only because I took Claritin that day. Even though I listed four types of hops, this beer only had an IBU of 28. Red Rocket also comes in at 5.25% ABV so it’s another low dose beer.

Bristol BrewingLaughing Lab Scottish Ale – When I sat down at the bar, the menu noted that this beer had won four silver and three bronze medals in the Scottish category at the Great American Beer Festival along with similar accolades at other large events. It’s also dawning on me that I may be switching my favorite beer type from Amber to Scottish. They are fantastically malty with a consistency that I have found lacking recently in ambers. I could have drank this one earlier in the session considering it’s 19 IBUs would rank it the second lowest in the group. I held off because of the accolades and my like for the type.  It doesn’t become a favorite style after trying something once. It has an ABV of 5.0% so it can be a Sippy Time Beer.

Bristol BrewingMass Transit Ale – Before trying this beer, it had dawned on me that I had mixed up this beer with the Compass IPA. So at least I had figured out that this one was going to be an amber ale. It wasn’t as malty as the Scottish Ale, which makes sense because there’s no reason to create two very similar beers. They bumped up the IBUs to 21 and the ABV 5.1%. The difference in hops is not noticeable as is the ABV. They do love hovering in the session beer territory. This one was in the top half of beers I tried.

Bristol BrewingWinter Warlock – I saved this one for last knowing that Winter beers have a pretty strong taste even if the IBUs aren’t always very high. Granted, I was a little confused that this was still a seasonal beer choice. It fit because the temperatures were in the high thirties the day we went but the middle of May doesn’t ever strike me as “winter.” The beer doesn’t strike me as a winter beer either because there was no cinnamon, nutmeg or coriander. It was a straight up oatmeal stout, which is also un-winter like. Porters, ambers and other similar beers abound during that time but not stouts. None of this un-winter like stuff gave me a problem with the tasting though. It’s a very good oatmeal stout. It’s the second highest in ABV at 6.0% so maybe you can still make it a Merry Christmas.

If you happen to head to Colorado Springs, Bristol Brewing is definitely a good stop. They’re in an old school which houses them and several local vendors who make some fantastic food. We munched on some cheese curds and freshly baked “everything” bread, which wasn’t the everything from a bagel.  As usual, go enjoy a #SippyTimeBeer this weekend, no matter where you happen to be! – Kevin

Stunt Granny Audio: OHPA 4

Ken and Kevin are back and Kevin actually remembers to say the name of the show. If you didn’t get the reference to the show name before now, it’s plainly explained. We then go back to our roots in Altoona PA to talk about their ridiculous accent because of an article on Slate.com. How many accents are in Pennsylvania? Have they heard ones other than their Pittsburgh accent and the other big one from Philly? Where is the dividing line for these two major accents? How good of an example of it is the clip above from the Kroll Show? Kevin was in for a rude awakening when he went to Kent State. What factoid did he learn about the Cleveland accent while he was there? Ken spent his college years at Penn State. How much did he hear the Philly accent? Have they both lost their accents since moving to Columbus? They didn’t prepare a second segment so Ken quickly finds an article on the World Recording Setting Beer Mile run by James Nielsen. How ridiculous is this concept? How does it compare to an Hour of Power, which Ken and Kevin have both done? How did Kevin feel after drinking a beer and then playing indoor soccer? What beer did Ken supply that ends up becoming the #SippyTimeBeer of the week? Find out when you click the link below!

Stunt Granny Audio: OHPA 3

Demolition Man and Wolverine from Marvel - The Ultimate Character Guide

Demolition Man and Wolverine from Marvel – The Ultimate Character Guide

After an unintended month lay off, Ken & Kevin are back to talk about some diverse topics. They start with an article written in The New Republic about the formation of an American Football team in Chongqing, China. How much did these Chinese citizens know about football? How old are the people learning to play? How did they get their nicknames? How does China organize their school system? How recent was that type of freedom allowed? How much does this story sound like a typical underdog sports movie? Who could play the villainous coach? Which one of your hosts guarantees this will be made into a movie? Ken & Kevin move on to talking about possible Atari dump site. How bad was the game E.T. The Extraterrestrial? Did either of your hosts play the game as children? Is this game what sunk Atari? Which games from Atari might still be playable? Where can the gentlemen play some of these old Atari games in Columbus? How many games are supposed to be buried? Who paid to dig it up? Their last subject is Marvel’s Original Sin. Why does this topic relate to the present that Jeremy got Kevin for his birthday? What do all of these numbers mean in the Marvel- The Ultimate Character Guide? How obscure are some of the characters in this book? Do they have dumb factoids for Ken to enjoy? Is the Watcher listed as one of the characters? Why did Kevin reference a Robot Chicken skit while talking about this topic? Find out that and the #SippyTimeBeer of the week when you click on the link below!

#SippyTimeBeer Review – Wisconsin – Ale Asylum

Ale Asylum AmbergeddonAs I have mentioned in a couple of audio shows, I have a friend who is originally from Wisconsin. The last time they went there, I tossed them $20 and told them to bring me back what they could in the craft beer department from Wisconsin. They delivered twelve beers back to me. Instead of going in order of drinking the beverages, I’m going to concentrate on a single brewer with each article. Up first, Ale Asylum which is brewed and bottled in Madison.

Ambergeddon – The beer above was the first one I tried from this company because I’m all for amber beverages since I enjoy the malt. Ale Asylum believes traditional ambers will be extinct but I’m pretty sure that’s a gimmick coming from the name. If do want to replace traditional ambers with this style of beverage, they might want to work on the formula. They put entirely too much hops in this beverage. I can understand their thinking in that throwing in some additional hops will make it different but sometimes it doesn’t work and this is one of those times. The hops overwhelmed the malt which isn’t as prominent of a flavor to me when they’re alone. This beverage comes in at 6.8% ABV so it has some kick to it. Both BeerAdvocate and RateBeer are much happier with this selection than I was. It’s a year round selection so if you want to give it a try, have at it.

Ale Asylum Bedlam! IPA CroppedBedlam! IPA – Of the three selections I had from Ale Asylum, this one was may favorite. After complaining about hops in the previous beer, it seems strange that I’d select the hoppiest beer as my favorite but this one mixed in the floral notes of citrusy hops along with Belgian yeast to come up with a terrifically different IPA. That is one of the reasons why I dig this company. They’re willing to try some different things but sometimes they’re not always a hit with even one individual. Didn’t like the first experiment on a beer type I enjoy, but loved the second one which is a beer type that is still new to me. They say the citrus comes from grapefruit & lime peel rind which helps cut through the heavier hops taste. The Belgian yeast gives it a tang that I haven’t had before but would welcome into other IPAs. This beer comes in at 7.5% ABV so it isn’t much heavier than Ambergeddon. Check out the reviews on BeerAdvocate and RateBeer if you’d like but we all agree this time. It’s a seasonal selection so it’s only available

Hopalicious – I either didn’t take a picture of this beer or I accidentally erased it. So it’s a good thing that I put a review into my Untappd app (difrango11 if you want to look me up) or else this beer would have been lost until my friends go back to Wisconsin. Unlike the other two beers, this one is not an experiment of mashing flavors together. This one is a straight up American Pale Ale. The other two descriptions were like a fresman English major writing but I think they nailed this beer on the head without going over board: “And we made it for the everyday hophead who wants bold, citrus hop flavor without crazy bitterness.” It’s heavy on the hops for a pale ale but it’s not overwhelming bitterness. It had a good taste to it which means it came in second place.

Good news on the beer front from yours truly who invested in Land-Grant Brewing a couple of years ago by way of Kickstarter. They have struggled with finding a location in which to house their equipment in. They had a contract last year that was yanked out from under them. It seems though that they’ve locked in a location in the Franklinton area of Columbus. I didn’t get to try their beer when they debuted them during the spring game in 2012 because I was in Atlanta getting ready to attend Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans. Here’s to hoping I have more #SippyTimeBeer to taste later this year. – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @BreckBrew, @GreatDivideBrew, @GreenFlashBeer and @SeventhSonBrew

Breckenridge Christmas AleBreckenridge BreweryChristmas Ale – Breckenridge brews some seriously good beers. This beer is no exception. It didn’t have the usual nutmeg or cinnamon in it which was a nice change of pace. They went for caramel and chocolate in their beverage so it made it more like a porter than any Christmas beer I have tasted. The hops are pretty much absent with a 22 IBU but the alcohol isn’t at 7.4%. That will give you some Christmas cheer. Since this company emanates from the fine city of Breckenridge, CO and gets the whole way here to Columbus, I’m going to guess you might be able to find some in your area. Probably in the clearance aisle now that we’re almost a full two months removed from Christmas.

Great Divide Hibernation

Great Divide Brewing Co.Hibernation Ale – This one wraps up my Christmas beer selection, which has been quite extensive. I’m more than ready to leave nutmeg and cinnamon for the next ten months. Interesting enough though, this beer didn’t have either of those ingredients. Which might have been one of the reasons I didn’t like this very much. It’s an English style old ale which doesn’t taste all that good to my palate despite having plenty of malt in it. It clocks in at a nice 8.7% ABV so it does have it virtues but I wouldn’t recommend this one come late 2014. If you want to try it though, they distribute here.

Seventh Son Seventh SonSeventh Son Brewing Co.Seventh Son – I had no idea what an American Strong Ale was until having this beverage. It is a beer that uses a lot of the grapefruit and stone fruit hops meets a meets the malty goodness of an Amber Ale. They blend seven types of hops during the dry hopping process to make sure the name fits. The earlier hops cut through the dry hopped part perfectly with their fruitiness. The malt still comes through even with plenty of hops in this beverage. To continue the Seventh Son theme, the ABV comes in at 7.7%. Unfortunately for some, it’s only available here in Columbus. When you come to visit, we’ll definitely grab several pints at their brew pub. It doesn’t hurt that they almost always have a food truck there and most of them make tasty food. The picture also reminded me that I love their half growlers. I’m starting to see them at all of the local brewers now but they were the first spot I saw them at.

Green Flash TrippelGreen Flash BreweryTrippel – This beverage was the first new beer of 2014. Time to start a new picture folder and a new count down for the end of the year on my computer. It’s always good to take monks old recipes and updating them. Belgian yeast has been a noticeable taste that keeps popping up in my beers and when the formula comes from monks, it’ll definitely be there. Green Flash pops in pale malt and a pair of hops flavors to come up with this bad boy. The hops aren’t overwhelming or even that noticeable since Trippel only comes in at 24 IBUs. I talked about a Double White last week. This one is triple brewed so guess where the ABV is at? 9.7% is what this beer delivers. It was a perfect beer on New Year’s Eve since I was hosting the party and I bought this beverage in 22 ounce form. This company is out of San Diego, CA so if I can find it you should be able to also. I recommend this one if you like the Belgian style beers. It’s right up your palate’s alley.

Another fun part of Seventh Son Brewing is that they have teamed with other small brewers to produce some unique joint beers. I recently got a mini-growler of Seven Fists of Deth which is a collaboration Revolution Brewing out of Chicago. It’s a double IPA which I will be reviewing in November at this rate. They are also doing a collaboration with Rockmill Brewery out of Lancaster, Ohio. Here’s a little video they put together during the brewing process of Urban Cowboy Stout they are collaborating on. Have a good weekend and enjoy a #SippyTimeBeer! – Kevin

News You Can Use: Kurt Angle, Mick Foley and the WWE

What should I take?

A young Kurt Angle has his first encounter with his biggest life long nemesis.

Kurt Angle is in the news because in the UK Sun, he expressed the idea of coming back to the WWE. Per the article

And he revealed how his future could well rest with the WWE due to “unfinished business” from his previous run with Vince McMahon’s company.

If Kurt Angle truly has unfinished business, I hope he quit his side business that WWE helped him with by tossing him into rehab last year. For his sake, I hope all is well but that isn’t very funny. What could also be serious is a short WWE run to finish things up. He’s the same age as Batista so the WWE may not care whether it’s asthma or a pill that is causing your shortness of breath five minutes into a match.

Mick Foley is in the news (Prowrestling.net that is) because he now has a comedy special on AXS TV which will air on February 6th. I had no idea what the station was until it was revealed to be the re-branded HD Net. So I don’t get the station so I will not be watching it. I’ve seen his show. Jeremy has seen his show. We both enjoyed it so I’m sure it’ll be a good show. Too bad his comedy instincts didn’t help make his pay off video for being so mad at the WWE  for not giving the him a slot in the Royal Rumble and a chance at the title at Wrestlemania. We all know you’re a famous tight wad, but to make it more dramatic can you break more than a 32″ TV that goes for $200?

– I’m mildly annoyed that the WWE has decided to skip Columbus for a taping these past two weeks. They did come on a Sunday for a house show but those don’t count. It’s the first time in the last several years that we haven’t gotten a show on the road to Wrestlemania. The WWE instead went to Dayton’s Nutter Center last Monday (January 20th) for Raw which seats 11,500 people. Last night (January 28th), they recorded Smackdown in Toledo at the Huntington Center which seats 9,341. I have no idea why they’d want to record at either of those locations considering that Nationwide Arena here in Columbus seats 19,500. The WWE has a conspiracy against Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and now Columbus. This time it’s a conspiracy of why the WWE didn’t want more money and a better crowd for a TV show. – Kevin

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