#SippyTimeBeer Reviews – @StrangewaysRVA

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My first comments after this picture were “I knew my head was large but it looks gigantic.”

Our second brewery tour was not exactly smooth sailing. My brother planned on taking me, the lady and parents to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery but it opened at two instead of noon as my brother had planned. As a back up plan, we headed to Strangeways Brewing which I was looking forward to trying more anyway. To make up for missing Hardywood, my brother got the brilliant plan to bring their Gingerbread Stout to Thankmas later this year. He did list it as one of his five favorite beers last year so I look forward to it. On to the strange beers from Strangeways.

Unlike Rock Bottom, this brewery is a Richmond establishment only. Another thing they don’t share in common is listing IBUs. They do have the numbers listed on their site so I can get into them in my reviews but I was unaware at the time of tasting. It’s pretty easy to guess by type of beer whether it’s going to be bitter or not. I’m not sure that matters in this instance because they’re bringing the funk on their beers that no one else I know is doing.

Strangeways BrewingAlbino White Monkey Ale – The base of this beer is a White Belgian Ale and is part of what they call their “Nucleus” series. They had an option with Grape in it but I had already picked the beer below so I wanted to try one of their beers without extra flavoring. I decided to start with this one because of it’s probable IBU, which ends up being 25. It had a couple of usual suspects in the white ale department, orange peel and coriander. I think what made this peculiar was the use of white pepper. It gives it a little hint of heat that helps pique the other flavors. They also provide just a little heat with the 5.0% ABV. I didn’t have a ratings card for Strangeways and I’m not sure I need one. This beer was a great starter.

Strangeways BrewingCaramel Woodbooger Belgian Style Brown Ale – Without the caramel, this beer is part of their “Nucleus” series too. From their description, this beer is normally more balanced. I don’t think adding extra caramel threw this one out of whack but I’m sure it is sweeter than their regular serving. It has a nice toasted malt flavor to it which brings about the color and classic brown ale taste. As usual, dark chocolate is added to the profile but I had a hard time picking it out. My mother may have considering she felt this beer tasted like burnt toffee. They use fruit esters in this beer too but again, I’m not sure I tasted it. Even though I can’t taste the later two flavors, you can tell how complex the taste is. This beer provided more punch than the last at 6.0% ABV. Even after missing some tastes, this beer tastes fantastic.

Strangeways BrewingMelon Disintegration Barrel Aged IPA – This beer is part of their “Woodsman” series which barrel aged in various casks. This one happened to be aged in oak. I didn’t know that the beer was barrel aged at the time of tasting. Like their other beers, it has a Belgian base for this IPA. It isn’t very high for an IPA with the IBUs at 70. The bitterness was wiped out by the oak flavor. It was obvious as soon as I read about aging. The citrus end of hops didn’t pop up much either. I will account the aging to that also. In my opinion, the barrel aging washes out a lot of flavors of the original beer. Since my mother had enjoyed an IPA the day before, I gave her a try. She told me it was “burny, throaty.” She didn’t like her second venture into IPAs. In IPA fashion, this beer does lay the wood on you at 7.7% ABV. Too bad the wood was the worst tasting beer I tried there.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – A Round Table of Drunks: Part 1

Everyone loves a good year end list. Here at Stunt Granny, we’re no different. It’s fun to yell at paper or a computer screen and tell the person who can’t hear you that they’re an idiot. I’ve rounded up quite a few of those idiots to give their opinion on beer. Since I have a tendency to be a beer omnivore, it’ll be good to have opinions from people who tend to stick to families of beers. The other upside to this list is that these people are from all over this fine country of ours so you don’t have to listen to me yammer about beers from Ohio or more specifically Columbus. Keep in mind that I asked these drunks to list their five favorite beers from this year, not their five favorite beers of all time. Could I put Eliot Ness on my list? Sure but that seems silly since most people that read this site know it’s an easy top five beer for me. Part 1 will be friends of the site, while part 2 will be the staff:

Fred – Columbus, OH

Victory DirtWolf Double IPA 2

Beer: DirtWolf
Brewery: Victory Brewing Company
Location: Downingtown, PA
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 8.7%

Brewed using whole flower Chinook, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops. The DirtWolf is a great IPA and I am overjoyed that this beer will be available year round unlike most other DIPA’s like the Lake Erie Monster.

Beer: Engine 20 Smoked Pale Ale
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Location: Cleveland, OH
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 6.0%

I am a big fan of smoked beers and this one is a good example of a pale ale as well as a very good smoked ale.

SouthernTierWarlockBeer: Warlock
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Location: Lakewood, NY
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV: 8.6%

Even stronger than the Pumking, the Warock has great malt, plenty of hops and a great finish.

Bell's Hopslam Ale

Beer: Hopslam Ale
Brewery: Bell’s Brewing, Inc.
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.0%

Probably one of the best beers ever sold. Brewed with honey. Hoppy as hell. Say no more.

Seventh Son Humulus Nimbus

Beer: Humulus Nimbus
Brewery: Seventh Son Brewing Co.
Location: Columbus, OH
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 6.0%

A very solid IPA for an almost brand new microbrewery, it is definitely worth a try.

Ron – Richmond, VA

southern-tier-pumking-reviewBeer: Pumking
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Location: Lakewood, NY
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 8.6%

I’m a fan of all things pumpkin especially pumpkin ale’s.  This one is top’s on my list and is a must drink for anyone who likes pumpkin ales. This one is extremely smooth, lightly spiced, and as you drink it you can imagine a good pumpkin pie. This one is a very limited release so if you find it in the stores you need to stock up!

Shipyard PumpkinheadBeer: Pumpkinhead Ale
Brewery: Shipyard Brewing Company
Location: Portland, ME
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 4.6%

This is my second favorite pumpkin ale.  Similiar to the the Sothern Tier, it drinks extremely smoothly and is lightly spiced.  It isn’t quite the pumpkin pie tase, but pretty darn close.  Fortunately, this one isn’t quite as well known and seems to have a wider and longer release cycle so it can be easier to find, but I still stock up.

schlafly-pumpkin-aleBeer: Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Schlafly Beer (The St. Louis Brewery)
Location: St. Louis, MO
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 8.0%

This one I’ve only found in a local restaurant and it was pretty tasty as well, though not quite as smooth as my top two.

Strangeways Gourd

Beer: Gourd of Thunder Imperial Pumpkin Porter
Brewery: Strangeways Brewing
Location: Richmond, VA
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
ABV: 9.2%

Generally speak, I’m not a big Porter fan, especially Pumpkin ones, its something about the combination of pumpkin spices and the dark rich flavors of a porter that throws me off.  This one had none of that and was surprisingly tasty and is now on my list to have next year.  Since this brewery was local and I was in their tasting room when I had it, I decided growler to go was well worth it.

Hardywood Gingerbread StoutBeer: Gingerbread Stout
Brewery: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Location: Richmond, VA
Style: Milk/Sweet Stout
ABV: 9.2%

For this year, this is my one and only NON-Pumpkin.  This is produced by a local brewery and it is one of the brews that made them “famous” as it was rate 100% by beer advocate magazine.  It is quite simply Christmas in a bottle and pretty much can ONLY be purchased at the brewery or on tap around town.  Last year, friends helped me obtain a few bottles, but this year my wife and I stood in line to pick our my stash for the holidays.

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