#SippyTimeReview – @HeavySeasBeer, Hoegaarden, @RodenbachBeer and Steenbrugge

Steenbrugge Tripel

Steenbrugge Tripel

Heavy Seas BeerCutlass Amber Lager – This beer ended my night of drinking as I had all four of these beers in one evening. Because I do these reviews in alphabetical order though, it’s first. This beer got downed while waiting for some chick pea curry at Explorer’s Club, which is fantastic. It wasn’t overwhelming in taste. It was a lighter amber that didn’t go heavy handed on the malt despite the name. It was right in line with a Vienna style lager. This beer has won a number of awards at the Great American Beer Festival and is their second highest selling beer. Heavy Seas is out of Halethorpe MD. They are kind enough to provide a beer finder so figure out if you can drink this one, you scurvey dawgs. I had to make one pirate reference.

HoegaardenHoegaarden – We went out with some friends one evening and because of the draft menu at Hal & Al’s, I decided to make it a Belgian beer night. First up on the list was this beer which I first drank when I moved down here to Columbus. I haven’t had it much between then and now because I drank too much then to pay for expensive beer but with so many choices now, I hadn’t tried it until that night. This beer is a white ale which is a brother to hefeweizens. This beer has all of the hallmarks of a hefeweizen which is orange peel, coriander and herbs along with a murky look to the light yellow color. I’m not sure what the herbs are because the orange and coriander are far more prominent. I remember being surprised by the difference in flavor profile then but now it’s expected. Because of a difference in expectations, this “500 years of hard work” for this beer seemed just okay amongst it’s brothers in the hefeweizen family.

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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

#SippyTimeBeer Review – #Cbus Microbrew Festival

Cbus Microbrew Festival '13

I got to taste a lot of local beer when I went down to the Columbus Microbrew Festival. I had a chance to taste some of my favorites but as usual, I decided to try beers that I didn’t have. Zauber Brewing is still working on a larger facility. Four Strings had a couple of offerings there and I passed on them along with Barley’s, Barley’s Smokehouse & Pub, Columbus, Elevator, Gordon Biersch, Great Lakes, Ohio & Thirsty Dog because I have had and reviewed a number of all of their products. I’ll list in alphabetical order what I did have since I’m not completely sure of the order I drank them in. They were supposed to serve 4 ounce portions but almost everyone was very generous with their pours so I got a good idea of how they all taste.

Buckeye Lake BreweryOctoberfest – It’s that time of year, Oktoberfest & Pumpkin beers are everywhere. I’ll get around to a whole column on pumpkin beers later. This brewery just east of Columbus in, you guessed it, Buckeye Lake has gotten good reviews from my friends in the area. It was finally time to try some for myself though. I’m not sure if it was fair to try a seasonal beer though. If it is indeed seasonal since they don’t even have a beer list on their website. The beer had the red hue that most “Marzen” (March in German because of when they brewed them) beers have. This one has a nice balance of hops and malt to make it taste really good. Thumbs up for my first taste of Buckeye Lake.

Great Black Swamp BrewingWetlands Wheat – This company is based in Toledo, OH so it’s not the most local beer there but it was a new one to me. No one wants to go to Toledo so I’m glad they came to us. I love wheat beers so it was an easy first choice from the company and it delivered. Nice and crisp on a night that was reminiscent of Fall than the Summer.

Great Black Swamp BrewingBull Frog Stout – Because there weren’t any cider beers on tap, my girl friend ended up giving me her tickets. Since they had a hard closing time of 10 PM on Friday, we had to venture back Saturday afternoon to finish using the tickets. You don’t need to twist my arm. Since I had a second crack at this brewery, I went with their Bull Frog Stout which was quite good. Double thumbs up from this company.

Homestead Beer CompanyPine Table Pale Ale – This beer is from Licking County which, like Buckeye Lake, is just east of Cbus. Unfortunately, my memory of this beer is hazy at best. I didn’t take notes and I didn’t Instagram each beer, just their label. No, it wasn’t from drinking too much, this time. It just means I’ll have to try it again.

Homestead Beer CompanyBoat India Pale Ale – On Saturday, I couldn’t remember how many choices Homestead had. When I got to their station, I was talked into trying this beer. “It’s the right balance of hops & malt” said the worker who must have been part of the brewery because he was dead on.I could get into more IPAs if they were like this one.

Hoof Hearted BrewingVoltan – Russian Imperial Stout – Aside from the over played but somewhat amusing name, they do have a goofy centaur as a mascot so these guys know how to market. Of course, it helps when you have a fantastic beer. One of the best beers of the weekend.

Jackie O’s BreweryMatriarch Tri-Pa – I have reviewed two of their beers with another one on my “To Get To” list. I hadn’t seen their Tri-Pa probably because it contains six different kinds of hops and a total of five pounds of it per barrel. It’s no wonder this beer cost me not the normal one ticket for four ounces but three tickets. Another reason the cost was so high was because of it’s 11% alcohol content. If you want to get drunk in style and quickly, have this beer if you can get a hold of it.

Lagerheads BreweryWhite Water Witte – When we arrived Saturday, I grabbed this beer first because the vendors let us in without getting our 21 and over wrist bands. No one cared that we didn’t have them on. Yep, starting to get old. Any way, since it was good and sunny, mid 0s I went with a Belgian wheat beer. Perfect plan to soak up some of the last rays of summer. Come Fall and Winter, that whole sun thing is going to be scarce around these parts. Glad I could enjoy a smooth crisp and citrusy beer. They are located up in the Abbeyville OH which is just south of Cleveland.

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#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

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