#SippyTimeBeer Review – @RockBottomRVA

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I went to Richmond VA to visit my older brother and his family. He’s lived down there for as long as I’ve lived in Columbus. This was the first visit I’ve gotten a chance to actually visit some of Richmond instead of hitting a party for <insert occasion here> and leaving. Because of the #SippyTimeBeer articles, they of course took me to a couple of breweries in town. The first one we went to was Rock Bottom Brewery, which is a chain much like Gordon Biersch. We thought the name was familiar and it was because there is one in Colorado Springs. They also had a fantastic deal of a flight of six beers for $6. You can’t beat that with a stick. They were also very generous and mixed up my brother’s flight with mine so they gave us an additional beer to taste. Here are the reviews.

Rock Bottom BreweryWhite Ale – When I have the information to do a tasting from lowest IBU to highest IBU like North High Brewing suggested, I do it. Rock Bottom did provide this information so I started with the White Ale which comes in at 11 IBU. Like a lot of white ales, we get orange peel and coriander to spice up the drink. They both came into harmony with the Belgian yeast since this is a Belgian style beer. It packs average punch at 5.3% ABV.  They actually gave you a rating card with the flight. I listed this beer as their best.

Rock Bottom BreweryKolsch – This beer was next up on the IBU list at 20. I had this style from Saint Arnold on my New Orleans trip and really liked it. This one was not as good as that one. It didn’t seem to have punch either way. I didn’t taste a light wheat in it or a nice bitter hop note. It tasted a bit like a pilsner, which I’ve come to figure out I don’t like. Like a pilsner, it comes in at a modest 5.0% ABV. This beer went to, ahem, rock bottom of my list.

Rock Bottom BrewerySweet Magnolia Nut Brown Ale – My normal procedure is to use the brewery name to hyperlink to the specific beer in question, if possible. That is not possible in now because each Rock Bottom location has a brew master who gets to create their own unique flavors. I think that’s a cool way to make the chain stand out. This beer was one of the Brew Master Becky’s creations. It fell into the IBU spectrum at 24 so it was next on my list. My dad took a sip before I did an approved. That was the second time in my life I saw him drink beer. I ended up approving of it too. It had a good nuttiness to it and was smooth. It stayed in the same area as the other beers with an ABV of 5.7%. I should have take a picture of my rankings to jog my memory on exact rankings aside from the top & bottom. Very good beer.

Rock Bottom BreweryN2 Cafe con Leche Stout – This beer rotates so the link isn’t entirely accurate. Stout beers don’t tend to very hoppy so the IBU comes in at a mild 27. It does have bitter notes that come from a very heavy coffee taste. It had a great thickness, darkness and head to it. This stout didn’t have any other prominent notes in it though. I thought the N2 might mean nitro but I’m not sure. Those beers tend to be more smooth than this one. There was no sweetness from milk. It was a good beer but not outstanding.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – Crescent City Brewhouse, @Jaxnola and @TinRoofBeer

Jackson Brewery Flight

I believe this will be the final Wrestlemania related post. I hoped to do this at my parent’s house this past weekend but to no avail. I did get to pick up some beers though that I hadn’t gotten a chance to try before when I visited thee Altoona PA so more research material is a positive.

Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar – After wondering around much of Saturday morning just taking in the sights in the French Quarter, we finally worked up an appetite for lunch and stopped in at Jackson for food and beer. To make life easy, Jeremy and myself ordered flights of beer. Since they had a light colored flight and a dark colored flight, we ordered one of each. They didn’t follow North High Brewing theory that IBUs should order how you taste the beers. The two flights had two beers, their IPA and Double IPA, in common though so we didn’t order that much differently. I just got an amber & a stout while Jeremy and his lady got two other beers that no one can remember. The three of us tried all of the beers. I discovered that Jeremy isn’t much of a DIPA drinker even though he prefers the hops much more than I do. I thought the DIPA had an interesting taste though it wasn’t close to the Seven Fists of Deth from Revolution & Seventh Son. The IPA wasn’t too hop heavy. The amber wasn’t too malty. The stout wasn’t too heavy on coffee. I think that’s part of their beer problem. All of their beers didn’t have anything that defined their taste. The beers weren’t terrible but they weren’t anything to rave over. Most beers that are good play up one or a couple of ingredients then down play others. These beers seemed to be made with a thought of balance but they did that too well so their beers came out middle of the road.

Crescent City Brewhouse Flight

Crescent City Brewhouse – Later that night, before meeting up with Shahid, Cameron Hawkins & their respective ladies, we stopped in at the Crescent City Brewhouse. We yet again ordered a flight of beers to figure out which beers were the best. Because of the larger sample size, we only ordered one flight here. They had five types to choose from: Pilsner (Btm L), Black Forest (Top L), Red Stallion (Btm. R), Weiss (Middle R) and an Alt (Top R). I tried their Pilsner first as I knew it wouldn’t really grab my interest. It was good for a pilsner but as usual there’s no real bite behind it. The Black Forest is a traditional Munich style Black Lager. It’s a malt heavy beer with small notes of hop in it. This one was good. The Red Stallion is their Vienna style lager which has a sister beer in Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing. This beer isn’t quite as malty which I don’t prefer but others may like this one better. The Weiss beer is their version of a hefeweizen. It was the beer I ended up ordering a pint of after our flight because I didn’t get to sample enough of it. After having a full beer, I’d say this beer was in the middle with the Black Forest and next beer taking the taste department. The Alt was their seasonal beer and was quite tasty. I had only ever had one other one and it’s the Myopic Red from Zauber Brewing. Crescent City wasn’t quite as good but it was Crescent City’s second best beer.

Tin Roof Perfect TinTin Roof Brewing Co.  – Perfect Tin Amber – Because the lady & I spent most of Friday traveling (and due to the fact that Jeremy & his woman had their flight delayed), we decided to pack it in early after eating at Emeril’s, which I highly suggest even if it’s on the expensive side. I decided I’d have some beer for the hotel room. While looking around one of the local corner stores, I found this beer from Tin Roof which is from Baton Rouge. It was interesting because it melded two similar beers, an Amber with a Red. It came out more hoppy than I expected from two malt beers. It was a solid beer with a 4.5% ABV and 28 IBU. I just wish I had remembered that I was allowed to walk outside with an open container or else I wouldn’t have left two of these bad boys in the fridge when we checked out Tuesday morning.

Have a good weekend and remember to have a #SippyTimeBeer! – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Suggestions For Memorial Day

Grilling_With_Victory

I figured I’d try something a little bit different for this coming weekend. I have probably drank these beers at some point or another but I’m not going to do a full review of any of these beers. Just suggestions for what to do with your extra long weekend.

Columbus Brewing CompanySummer Teeth – I feel like CBC has more beers but after looking through their website they only have five beers. Their year round beers are a pale ale, which I drink frequently, and IPA, which is solid. Summer Teeth is only available April through August so I make sure I get my fair share. It is considered a kellerbier which is a Bavarian style. It reminds me of a hefeweizen without the bananas or spices. It’s a crisp cool beer perfect on a summer day.

Great Lakes Brewing CompanyLake Erie Monster – Let’s say that you’ve had a bad start to the year. It’s your first long weekend of the year and you really want to get shit canned to start the summer because you have plenty of time to recover for work. Lake Erie Monster is just the beer for you then. It has a 9.1% ABV and only comes in a four pack because it is so potent. It’s an Imperial India Pale Ale and I really like it. Monster isn’t as hoppy as Commodore Perry, which is their year round IPA. The upside to this selection is that GBLC just expanded their coverage in Pennsylvania.

Victory Brewing CompanySummer Love Ale – How could I not select one of their beers when I used one of their posters? This company out of Philadelphia has made several tasty beers that I’ve reviewed already. This beer is the only one on my list that I haven’t tried. It looks like another crisp, clean ale.

What I’m Going To Drink This Weekend

Zauber GrowlersI picked up a couple of growlers from my favorite Cbus brewer, Zauber Brewing Company. I reviewed their Vertigo about a month ago. My favorite beverage from them though is their Buxom Blonde which is on the far side of the picture. It’s a Belgian Abby style of beer. It’s really clean with just a hint of fruit. It has a little less fruit than a hefeweizen and it also doesn’t have the spice but they are similar styles. The near growler contains Stodgy Brown, a German Alt beer. It’s an old style that is not made much now and predates even lagers, at least according to Zauber. I haven’t had this one as recently but I thought it was a bigger change of pace than grabbing their Magnum. The mouth feel is more like a thin porter because it has hints of that and stout but it drinks more like a lager. I may not mention what I think of their taste during tonight’s Penguins game but check in on my Twitter & Instagram (@difrango11) for more insight into the tastes of these beers.

Go out to your local brewer, even if it’s not fifteen minutes from your house, grab a great beer and enjoy your grilling this Memorial Day weekend. -Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – Flying Dog, Left Hand Brewing & Shiner

Flying Dog Left Hand Shiner

Do you need to try a new beer this weekend? Well I’m just the guy to tell you what choices you have out there. I’m going to be trying out some new beers when I head out to Woodlands Tavern for Happy Hour this evening. So I’ll have even more suggestions next week.

Flying Dog BreweryUnderdog Atlantic Lager – Are you normally a Budweiser guy? Don’t like those foreign beers like Leinenkugel? That’s an inside joke. Do you want to look cool by having a micro-brew with that same old taste? I give to you Underdog Atlantic Lager. It works as beer but the flavors and looks aren’t complex.

Left Hand Brewing Company400 Pound Monkey – This beer is an English style India pale ale. If more IPAs were like this one, I’d drink more of them. My assumption drinking this beer was that they were going to have 400 pounds of hops in the bottle. I was wrong. On their site, they say they use a different color hops which definitely has a different flavor. They also use a bready malt which may make the difference too. If you’re not a big IPA guy like myself, drink a bunch of these then go fling your poo like a 400 Pound monkey.

Shiner BeersFM 966 Farmhouse Ale – Make sure you hit their website. It’s one of the better ones that I’ve seen. They “pour” you a beer when you want to look at which type. This beer is named after the road from Shiner, Texas to the farm market. It was meant to be a spring beer. It’s refreshing like spring. It is similar to the Atlantic Lager but it packs more punch in the flavor department without being too complex.

Enjoy a Sippy Time Beer this weekend. -Kevin

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