#SippyTimeBeer Review – @LeftHandBrewing, @BreweryOmmegang and @OrkneyBrewery

IMG_20140301_181925Left Hand Brewing CompanyMilk Stout Nitro – I reviewed this beer a little more than a year ago. I feel like the reviews have improved since then and since this was my first beer on my birthday way back in March, I had to review it again. I’m not sure the Guinness analogy works any more other than the fact that both are stouts. Milk stouts seem like enough of a division to do away with that in my book. I did forget to mention in the North High Brewing review that milk is used because it doesn’t ferment in the brewing process and it keeps it’s sweetness. They use brown sugar and vanilla cream to help sweeten up this beer. They have just enough bitterness from the hops (at 25 IBUs) to offset some of the sweetness. It also comes with an ABV of 6.0%. They distribute a whole lot of places, so even if you don’t like stouts, give the company a try because they have many fantastic beers.

IMG_20140228_211358Brewery OmmegangHennepin – This beer was from my lady in my birthday six pack. This beer is one of their year round offerings. It is a farmhouse saison Golden ale. They use Grains of Paradise in it, which much like Belgian yeast that has a very distinctive flavor that you can’t miss. They also use coriander, orange peel and ginger in smaller dose because you just get hints of them. Those sweet ingredients are offset by a low IBU of 24. The beer itself lives up to the golden name in color. It’s very smooth and crisp going down. For a beer of this style, it has a high ABV at 7.7%.  I’d have to say it’s a very good beer for this time of the year, even if it’s available all year. Find out where you can get beer from this Cooperstown NY brewery here.

IMG_20140228_225831Brewery OmmegangGlimmerglass – I bought the Glimmerglass for a spring beer that was to be an Irish beer substitute for St. Patrick’s Day according to the worker at Kenny Road Market. It wasn’t a substitute for an Irish beer, but that doesn’t mean that it was bad. It is a limited edition beer during that time of the year so technically she may have a point. If I called the Hennepin smooth and crisp, I’m not sure how to describe this beer. It comes off lighter and less full bodied, but just as crisp and tasty. Without the Grains of Paradise, the light flavors of pear, apple and citrus come through more. It was hard for me to notice the spice that is said to be in there. This beer doesn’t pack much punch at 5.2% ABV. I wish this beer were more of a summer selection instead of spring as it would work very well in warmer weather. It’s a good beer though so if it’s still on the shelves or in a bargain aisle like Kenny Road Market has, go and grab some.

IMG_20140227_232402The Orkney BrewerySkull Splitter – I haven’t had a lot of foreign beers. I didn’t actually chose this one as it was a birthday six pack that I had received from my lady. I’m quite happy to get this craft beer from England. The company has a viking motif for all of their products.  Dragonhead Stout, Dark Island Reserve Ale and photos of Stonehenge like rock formations are among their imagery. Skull Splitter is named after Thorfin Einarsson, the 7th Earl of Orkney. This beer is their heaviest of the lot at 8.5%  ABV. It’s not the highest but it will do the trick especially with how smooth this malty goodness was. Though I didn’t notice the flavor, they use figs and dates in this beer. They use East Kent Goldings hops to bring about a light bitter note. If this doesn’t make it to my top five beers tasted this year, I’ll be surprised. Considering it’s English, I’m pretty sure anyone can find this beer.

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

st_-james-gateAfter starting the Sippy Time Beer column a little more than a year ago, I have wanted to do a special on my visit to the Guinness Brewery way back in 1997. I’m not sure what threw me off last year but this year got tossed out the window by going to see my lady’s niece in a Tae Kwondo competition in Cincinnati on Saturday and by doing house work from 10 AM until 9 PM yesterday. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll still be typing next year so that gives me another chance to relive one of my favorite beer related moments. Let’s roll.

Tonight is going to be crazier than I expected. My buddy Ken came up to watch Raw for a non-wrestling perspective on our OHPA podcast. We will also have a guest host for a regular wrestling podcast. We get started with the #OccupyRaw movement. HHH starts off in the ring. Batista just loves skinny jeans. He is not happy with Trips decision. Randy Orton makes a quick appearance. HHH wonders if DB is in their heads. Dave & Randy argue. Batista wants this to be fixed. HHH flips out on everyone. HHH gets the shot at Mania if he beats Daniel Bryan. I’m pretty sure Eric advocated that. He comes around as often as the Groundhog and he’s just as accurate.

The Real Americans  have to wrestle the Usos again because the tag team division has been decimated recently. Jack Swagger starts against Jimmy. Jey gets to continue the beat down. Cesaro gets in. He gets to be beat upon too. Swagger gets in again. Jimmy gets the luke warm tag. Whisper in the Wind only gets two. We the People are in control at the break. Swagger Bomb gets a  hidden tag by Cesaro.  Swagger gets back in though. Jey and Cesaro come in. Jey gets the better of it. Super Samoan Drop only gets a two count. Swagger saves Cesaro. Swagger gets  taken out. Cesaro super upper cuts Jimmy. Neutralizer for the win. They still have a problem on the big stage, right? I may have to watch WWE Slam City. I don’t think I’ll be able to stick with it.

The Shield and Kane get a review then a promo with each other. Kane wants a united Shield by his side. Can I count on you? Seth Rollins gives a weak answer. Roman Reigns steps up. They act nonplussed after he leaves. Hornswoggle gets interrupted by Bad News Barrett. What is up with Hornswoggle’s hairdo? I love the continued insinuations that Mitchell Cool is an alcoholic comments. Sheamus is sporting a rugby jersey. Glad JBL explained that. (Next Day Note: What a paragraph of nothing happening. The promo was the big segment in this block and it was kind of boring.)

Titus O’Neil is sporting a red goat, hat and tie. Christian is on the head set. Sheamus clotheslines  O’Neil outside. He continues the attack on the outside. Titus finally takes control. Impressive looking overhead slam. Between the announcers and my company, it;s tough to concentrate. O’Neil picks on Hornie. O’Neil tosses Hornie but Sheamus catches him. Hornie is used as a lawn dart. Clubbin. Brogue Kick wins it. O’Neil better get used to losing in the singles division. Sheamus is joining the Andre The Giant Battle Royal. Christian attacks Sheamus. Killswitch on the outside. I’m digging Christian these days.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – Blackbeard, Kona and Singha

Blackbeard Ale

Virgin Islands Brewing CompanyBlackbeard Ale – I would provide a link to the brewer normally but they don’t have a website. What’s the use of a website? It’s not like people go to them. I did get a laugh out of reading the label, which read that the beer isn’t produced in St. Thomas or even the Virgin Islands any more. It is brewed in Wisconsin somewhere. I bet Dusty secretly runs VI Brewing out of his apartment. This beer hit the spot as we wondered around a group of vendors set up outside. It wasn’t the best English Pale Ale I’ve ever had though. I wouldn’t have guessed it was a pale though because it tasted more malty than anything else. Unfortunately, this beer was the only local one I got to try on the cruise.

Kona Brewing CompanyLongboard Island Lager – Back when I went to the Columbus Winter Beerfest, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get Kona beers because of their origin in Hawaii. Boy was I wrong. I’ve had it at minor league baseball games (Dayton Dragons & Columbus Clippers) and it’s served in several bars in the area. I had tried Longboard before the cruise, including at both games, and I wasn’t the biggest fan. Unfortunately, when you are on a ship, your beer choices are limited and this was the best one on the list. I enjoy Guinness but I don’t drink it with the frequency I used to. The other good choices on the trip were Bass (solid), Boddington (Behind Guinness & Murphy’s) and two others I can’t remember. I had a Longboard or two with our Jamaican Dream Team of bartenders every night on the ship.

Boon Rawd Brewing CompanySingha Lager – Our cupboards were pretty barren after returning from the cruise. The lady & I hit Bahn Thai for dinner one night to help restock with leftovers. I couldn’t pass up the chance to try a Thai beer. I never mind trying but am trying to figure out if every country imitates Budweiser or if everyone likes the same bland crap so every country produces something similar. Whatever the case is, it had a similar taste profile. If you like Bud, give it a drink.

Jamaican Dream Team

From L to R: Bernard, Ralston & head bartender Mario

Are you wondering what some of the beer terms are, especially when they’re German, French or Dutch in origin? This article from SeriousEats.com helps you with some terminology, especially the German end since they’re alcoholics. Good thing I’m part German. -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: Definitely Live & Half Assed Review of @WWE #Raw

I hope you enjoyed a Sippy Time Beer on St. Patrick's Day.

I enjoyed some Irish beverages. Mostly one actually. I prefer to go all in on Guinness during St. Pat’s. Harp is a preferred beer too but it wasn’t an option at the bar I hit. I did enjoy an Irish Car Bomb. It was tasty. Since I’m on time and Raw is starting, let’s roll.

I’m glad CM Punk is the first one out. He needs to respond to Chris Jericho. Mitchell Cool & Jerry Lawler mention Twitter already. If you feel like playing “Where’s Waldo?” with yours truly from Smackdown last week, follow us @Stuntgranny. I just tweeted them before the start of Raw. I hadn’t watched Smackdown until last night. Jericho isn’t there so that means a sneak attack, right? Punk with the exact reaction he should have, shrug it off. Granted, his words are much better than what I can type. Chris Jericho pops on via satellite. Jericho goes fake apology. He’s soorry. Jericho goes after Punk’s sister. Punk has a destiny to drink. Jericho ended strong but his line of thinking shouldn’t affect Punk but his facial expressions are saying that they are.

Big Show is set to take on Kane when Cody Rhodes comes down to hop into the announce booth. Are they bringing more people into the booth or is that just me? Extra hype for Wrestlemania? We get a Big Show blooper reel. We are denied his mic skills so he can shadow box with gloves on. Kane with a top rope choke slam with a distraction from Cody. Cool just called it a Disaster kick. I guess they dropped “Beautiful”. Cody cuffs Big Show to the ropes. Rhodes attacks him. Big Show selling more than the beating he took. Rhodes will throw more punches at Wrestlemania.

It appears as if we’re getting a match between the captains, David Otunga with Johnny Wooden GM vs. Santino Marella. We start with a pose off. I’m loving the painted on abs for Santino. Otunga gets the win after a phone stomping. Are we going to get a match longer than a ring entrance tonight?

The Rock uses another hack location to get a crowd pop. People won’t call him on it. The Rock has some awesome short shorts on. The Rock only needs to beat John Cena to complete his ass kicking of legends. He uses another hack location to get another pop. Ah, he’s going to shove it ups Cena’s ass. I’m just not getting into the Rock. The crowd didn’t look much different than I felt. Some cheered, most looked happy that Rock was on WWE TV but knowing he’s gone after Wrestlemania.

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