#SippyTimeBeer Review – @BellsBrewery, @BreweryOmmegang and @FullPintBrewing,

Bells OberonBell’s Brewery, Inc.Oberon – I was more than happy to find out that the Columbus Bluejackets decided to start serving craft beer. Considering that this is a Summer seasonal beer, I was a bit surprised to find it even at the end of the hockey season. It comes with a slice of orange because it has a very orange flavor to it. The bottle comes with an orange label to reinforce the idea. The beer normally looks more orange than the picture above does too. It is a wheat beer so it is quite light. They don’t list an IBU but they do use a low dose in there. Bell’s uses their own in house ale yeast for it too. This beer has an 5.8% ABV. So it’s a good, refreshingly crisp, perfect summer sipping beer.

Ommegang Fire & Blood

Brewery OmmegangFire & Blood – This beer name was named after the motto of the House of Targaryen in Game of Thrones. They produce three different labels for this beer after the three dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal & Viserion. I got this on draft at Gallo’s Taproom so I didn’t get to see any of them. They would be cool to check out in person. The problem with trying this beer was that the keg blew so that picture is all I got. The beer is a red ale which gives it a nice malty taste. They add some fire by soaking dried ancho chilies in the beer which helps give it an even darker red hue. The IBU isn’t listed but they aren’t a prominent taste. It will infect your blood at 6.8% ABV. Even after a small smapling, I would suggest giving this beer a taste, even if you don’t care about Westeros.

Deschutes Inversion IPA

Deschutes BreweryInversion IPA – This IPA is around my limit for IBU at 80. They mixed in six kinds of hops (Millennium, Horizon, Centennial, Northern Brewer, Cascade and Citra) which is my favorite kind of IPA. With the later two types of hops bringing a good dose of citrus which helps cut through the bitterness of the other types of hops. Despite all of the hops, the ABV is only 6.8%. Even in their description, Deschutes mentions that there is some malt just for additional restraint on the hop flavor. Deschutes has expanded their coverage so you can’t grab this in Wisconsin, Michigan and then the east coast so if you like IPAs, try and find this one.

Full Pint White LightningFull Pint BrewingWhite Lightning – I had this beer during a work lunch. It was perfect for that occasion since it’s light in the ABV content at 5.5%. It was very light since it is a Belgian style wheat beer. They combined two very distinct flavor profiles in this one by using both Belgian yeast and Grains of Paradise. They’re a fantastic fit together. Full Pint tossed in two usual suspects into the mix by using orange peel and coriander that helps to make for one refreshing beverage. With all of that going on, they only use a dash of Northern Brewer hops to come to a low total of 18 IBU. This company is out of Pittsburgh but they only distribute in PA, OH and FL. It’s a perfect beer for this time of the year so go out and grab it if you can.

Have a good #SippyTimeBeer this weekend! – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @DeschutesBrewery, @FullPintBrewing, @RivertownBrew and @Seventh_Son_Brewing

IMG_20140221_234726Deschutes BreweryBlack Butte Porter – I tried this beer at the Columbus Winter Beerfest but it was during my “I made a rookie mistake” phase of the evening so I didn’t remember consuming it. I had been wanting to try their beer since Eric had listed Chainbreaker as one of his favorite beers for last year. Deschutes says that this beer is their flagship. I understand why. Though it isn’t as thick as most porters I like, it has a smoothness to it that is unlike a normal beer. The flavor is fantastic with a roasted nuttiness. It has just enough hops at 30 IBU to give this porter a kick on the back end. It doesn’t provide much kick in the ABV content at 5.2% which is a good thing because I’d be fine with drinking this beer all day long. They distribute over most of the western and central US, so grab this one if you can.

IMG_20140208_223243Full Pint BrewingNight of the Living Stout – This beer was a Christmas gift from the lady’s younger sister. Since she lives in Colorado, I was expecting something from out there but this one comes out of Pittsburgh. She had to get me it then because this beer is a seasonal beer. Maybe I should start posting the seasonal beers first. This beer though is interesting because most stouts aren’t heavy in the hops department. This beer comes in at a very high 110 IBU so it’s the hoppiest beer I have ever tried. Even Rivertown’s Hop Baron Double IPA was “only” 103 IBU. I was surprised that Full Pint used just Cascade hops to provide a citrus tone that was lost to me. It just tasted like hops. The blends of hops provide a better citrus punch in my opinion. With all of that hops in it, I would have expected a higher ABV than 7.0%. That is still a solid punch to pack. You can only find Full Pint in OH, PA and FL so if you feel like having the hoppiest stout ever, feel free to drink this one.

IMG_20140214_000514Rivertown Brewing Co.Hop Bomber – This beer is the little brother to the hoppier Baron. It is a rye pale ale which brings the IBU down to a reasonable 49. I’m not one for rye beers but this one hit the spot. It is probably because the other ryes I have had have been IPAs. It may be because of the malt used in this pale ale that made me like the rye. I’d love to know the types of hops they used but they aren’t letting you know other than the fact that they dry hop with two styles of American hops. Do they use the same types in the original brewing? Different? Who knows. I don’t care either. This beer is their second best beer. Only their Roebling Porter is better to me. This beer comes in at 5.5% ABV so it can be had over the long haul too. They distribute in OH, KY, TN and FL so grab this one up if you can.

IMG_20140215_142940Seventh Son Brewing Co.Stone Fort Oat Brown – I reviewed this beer in my top 10 beers in Columbus. I’m not sure if this beer will maintain it’s top five status at the end of this year but I do know that I will still find this beer to be fantastic. I bought a growler recently and took it down to my lady’s parent’s place. Unlike myself, he’s not going to convince his palate to like hops. Because of that fact, I find his tastes interesting since I’m surrounded by hop heads. I did know his limit was 40 IBU so when they labeled the growler 30 IBU I was confident he’d like it. Her father did end up approving it. This beer comes in at 5.25% ABV so it’s another beer that you can sip all day long.

I’d like to thank Cheryl Harrison and Drink Up Columbus for the invite to last night’s 3rd Anniversary party. I got to try an old beer with a new name, Smokehouse Brewing’s MacLenny’s Scottish Ale, and two new beers, Four String’s Mexican Blonde and Catawba Island’s Whitecap Wit. All good beers that will be reviewed in due time. Thanks for including myself and StuntGranny in your events! Now go have a #SippyTimeBeer over the weekend! – Kevin

 

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @HalandAls Winter and Christmas Beer Tasting 2013

Bells Winter White

Bell’s Winter White with the commemorative Hal & Al’s glass

I went to Hal & Al’s last night for their Winter and Christmas Beer Tasting. It was just what the doctor called for since the lady & I have been a bit grumpy getting prepared for Christmas. Our friends Chris & Lacey got there ahead of us. You got a punch card for the 12 beers of Christmas. At the end of the tasting, you got a special pint. Let’s delve into these four ounces of beer.

Bell’s BreweryWinter White Ale – Last year, I tried Bell’s Christmas Ale in my second Sippy Time Beer post. I also had the Winter White Ale in the fourth post. Unlike Christmas ales, Winter ales tend not to have cinnamon, nutmeg or clove. Christmas ales also don’t tend to be whites either. I’ll get more into that topic later. This beer doesn’t use any of those spices but the mixture of yeast, barley & malt do make it taste like it has a hint of clove in it. That line is a correction from the original review. This beer has a hefeweizen like quality without the wheat flavor. Availability here. Solid start.

Smuttynose Brewing CompanyWinter Ale – This beer was interesting because it was an amber ale, which isn’t used much for these style of beers. It did seem to have the normal spices in it which had a different tone to them since it was playing off the malt instead of hops. I enjoyed this beer out of New Hampshire. Availability here. Two for two.

Buckeye Lake BrewingChristmas Ale – This beer is obviously a local one that most read won’t get to try. This beer was more of a red ale with the usual spices but there was an interesting note on the beer list. This beer had graham crackers in it. I didn’t taste it unfortunately and it didn’t seem to make the beer any thicker. They also said it finished with a sweetness and it did. A little too much in my opinion.

Smuttynose Winter Ale, Buckeye Lake Christmas Ale and Southern Tier Old Man Winter (L to R)

Smuttynose Winter Ale, Buckeye Lake Christmas Ale and Southern Tier Old Man Winter (L to R)

Southern Tier Brewing CompanyOld Man Winter Ale – My third review covered Southern Tier’s other winter offering, 2xmas. This beer was more traditional than that one. The barley and hops stand out. You were supposed to sip this because of it’s high alcohol content, 7.0% which isn’t that high. I took this one down with a quickness. Availability here. Seriously, try it.

Full Pint BrewingFestivus – This beer comes out of Pittsburgh, PA. The verbiage of this beer gets the Seinfeld treatment so you don’t get much of a description and their site doesn’t even list. I think it was another amber ale though because of the heavy malt with a little more hops than normal. It was very tasty also. The distribution area is pretty limited but if you’re in this area, try it.

The Brew KettleWinter Warmer – This beer is another local offering that many people won’t be able to wrangle. From the northern city of Strongsville, OH this beer brings the usual Christmas spices of cinnamon, ginger (not as common) and honey. They also toss in some orange (not tasted much) and lemon (very much tasted). It actually helped to cut through the sweetness of the honey with the acidic taste of the lemon. I still don’t think it cut the sweetness enough. I sense a general trend of holidays beers that I don’t like.

Full Pint Festivus, Brew Kettle Winter Warmer, Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas and Oskar Blues Yule Chub (L to R, T to B)

Full Pint Festivus, Brew Kettle Winter Warmer, Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas and Oskar Blues Yule Chub (L to R, T to B)

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company12 Dogs of Christmas – The sweetest of the lot as noted a few weeks ago.

Oskar Blues BreweryYule Chub – This beer was a strange one because of it’s dark color. It looked like a porter or stout. Neither the description nor their website say exactly what style of beer it is. The website doesn’t even acknowledge that this beverage exists. That is probably why we were supposed to thank someone at the bar for procuring this limited edition keg. The description used orange peels and spruce tips in it and I tasted the pine flavor but not the orange. I am not a fan of of drinking spruce but the darker beer held up to it much better than a lighter style of beer. Availability here although you probably won’t be able to snag this beer in particular.

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