#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

#SippyTimeBeer Review

Victory_Stoudts_Left Hand

To absolutely no one’s surprise, I will be going to the Columbus Winter Beerfest tomorrow. I’m hitting it with my lovely lady who is going to be the designated driver for myself and my neighbors. There will be 60+ breweries on hand with a selection of 300+ beers. It’s not quite the Great American Beer Festival in Denver but I’m sure it’ll be a good time. I won’t put all of those beers into one post but I will stockpile some information. On to what I had recently.

Victory Brewing CompanyPrima Pils – I have had good beers from Victory. This one was not one of them. It’s a pilsner that tastes, well, like a pilsner. You could do worse than buy this one. I’d take it over a Beck’s or Grolsch but not a Heineken or Warsteiner. Here’s TheFullPint review which is about as lengthy as mine.

Stoudt’s Brewing CompanyOktober Fest – This beer is an amber lager so it should be in my wheel house but it wasn’t my favorite Oktoberfest beer that I’ve had in the past twelve months. It was better and smoother than the Prima Pils but it didn’t have much more punch than it. I didn’t taste much of the sweetness or the hops that they say are in there. I’m not a hops guy so while I will drink IPAs, I tend to steer away from them. Maybe the hops was hitting me and I didn’t realize it. TheFullPint review.

Left Hand Brewing CompanyMilk Stout Nitro – This beer was my favorite of this batch. I love Guinness, especially when you get to drink it at the Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. I’ll save the rest of that story for later. I mention Guinness because I would call this an American version thereof. It has that nice rich taste but has a touch of sweetness from the milk. I’d venture a guess that they use condensed sweetened milk. This drink has a widget of nitro just like Guinness too so you have to wait for it to settle. It is worth the wait. I drank it at as fast as a stout can be drank. Highly recommended. TheFullPint review. -Kevin

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

Second review of the night.

Let’s keep rolling after a small break to watch Minnesota at Denver on the NBC Sports Network. Yep, I even watch college hockey.

Sheamus starts me off for the second part of the double header. History tells us one of the titles will change hands. Sheamus has always fought against the bullies whether it was in school or in the WWE. Wade Barrett comes out before we get a dumb Irish story. Barrett is going to win the Elimination Chamber. So, when does everyone else come down? Cody Rhodes is the next one out. Then the Big Show. I mean, what can you really say about spots like this? It does the trick but no one gets enough mic time to do much. Rhodes ripping on Show was pretty funny. Show & Sheamus toss the heels from the ring. I smell a tag team match.

For some reason, as Jinder Mahal gets worse, he gets more bullshit. We don’t care about the headdress or the plexiglass box it’s in. He takes on Khali for his spot in the EC. I hope Jeremy liked this squash match. We got replay of Mark Henry’s suspension. Aksana is hitting on Teddy when we go “live”. Daniel Bryan interrupts. Bryan goes vegan on Teddy for his barbeque party. Teddy uses JR’s sauce. Teddy does a great job. Not sure why he isn’t on Raw. He’s a babyface guy that for the most part calls it down the middle.

Beth Phoenix takes on Alicia Fox. Booker is calling Beth peerless. Did they suddenly forget about Tamina? She hits the ring to save Alicia. They have a nice little face off. The announcers are even selling a respect angle. Best Diva’s story since the original break of Kharma.

If you don’t think I FF thru the Rock review, you haven’t read this review before. Such a time saver to watch Smackdown afterwards. Natalya is getting nervous. What, they’re going with her farts really stink angle? Really, pretty much after a good Diva’s angle?

Another dumb entrance sequence. Big Show before the commercial break then Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett & finish with Sheamus. I get it as far as popping the crowd before & after the break though. Still think it’s weird. Mitchell Cool makes a good point saying you need to believe in yourself. Booker was trying to say Cody couldn’t be dual champion. If he’s entrant #5 or #6, why wouldn’t he? Booker then says you need to believe how good you are between the ropes. Sheamus doing a roll up on Barrett was very uncharacteristic of his offense. Commercial break.

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TNA is a joke, tries to leech off WWE/NBA snafu

Would you all be acting this way had WWE just held Raw out here?

Would you all be acting this way had WWE just held Raw out here?

I don’t think I technically used “snafu” correctly (it’s Army-talk for “Situation Normal: All Fucked Up,” and the Pepsi Arena thing was all fucked up, so it might not be that wrong), but I didn’t want to use Jason Powell’s/Dot Net’s word, “debacle”. I truly think so little of TNA, the little engine that can’t, that I will spend the first full sentence of this post explaining what “snafu” means and relating it to WWE. Anyway, according that Prowrestling.net post I linked above, TNA is trying to pander to Colorado fans by giving a discount on upcoming TNA shows to not-at-all-WWE’s-fault-that-they’re-disgruntled WWE ticketholders…

“It was sad to see the WWE pull out of all their scheduled shows in Colorado recently because of the scheduling conflict with the NBA playoffs. I want everyone in Colorado to know that TNA Wrestling is coming and we hope to see you at our first shows ever in your state. For WWE fans that paid for any of these cancelled events, we are offering you $10 off the purchase of tickets to come see us and enjoy the best fan experience in pro wrestling.”

Fuck you, you filthy c-unit. You and Stan Kroenke both. You’ve tried to turn this around on Vince, which is typical of a couple of women like yourselves. (OOOH, did I just go there??) WWE’s hands were tied and, whether or not you agree with them moving all three CO shows to Los Angeles, they did what they felt they had to do because of the Pepsi Arena management’s poor planning skills. End of story. That is, until IWA-MS offers $2.18 off any $5 ticket in Colorado to fans who bring their ticket to Raw and a handy light tube. -Eric

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