#SippyTimeBeer Review – @21stAmendment, @Lagunitasbruwhs, @OtterCreekBeer and @ThirstyDogBeer

21stAmendment Sneak Attack Saison21st Amendment BrewerySneak Attack Saison – My lady and I went back to Altoona PA to go see Kent State play at Penn State back in September. We stayed at my parent’s place Friday & Saturday nights. After being rained on for the entire game and watching Kent State be miserable, I was ready for a beverage after a rainy forty five minute trip from State College to Altoona. Luckily my younger brother Brian had left this beer in the fridge. It must have been in there for a while since this beer is only available from January to March. Not only did I need a beer, I really loved this one. The spiciness provided by the cardamom is quite a surprise and very pleasing. The beer goes down smooth and has a nice crispness to it. I would suggest finding this beer in the upcoming months, so go to this part of their site to find out if you can Sneak Attack your taste buds.

Lagunitas Brewing CompanyLittle Sumptin’ WildJeremy tried this beer back at Oktoberfest in Charlotte so when I saw it on the menu at a bar, I decided to give it a whirl even though it is an IPA. It may have been the beer that started my long, hop heavy road to at least figuring out IPAs. Lagunitas advertises that they also put in boatloads of wheat and pale malt which might cut the edge off of the hops for me. So just like other IPAs that I have enjoyed, this one is more balanced than most that I have tried. This beer from Petaluma CA made it all of the way to the taps of a small bar in Columbus so you should be able to find it in your area, so long as it’s July-ish. Or October which is when I had it.

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#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 – @4StringBrewing, @JackieOsBrewery and @LostCoastBrewer

Four Strings Sun Caster Wheat

Four Strings Brewing CompanySun Caster Summer Wheat – As I look through my catalog of consumed summer beers, I came upon this one. It’s a local beer which is on tap at any number of restaurants in Columbus along with being able to pick up growlers at their brewery. This beer was an interesting one. I’m not a lemon fan but this beer had just a hint of it to give it the summer feel. It’s a wheat beer but I detected a little bit of hops to give it a little extra punch. It’s listed on their website so I think it’s a year round beer but it’d be great for the waning warm weather days while you’re tailgating. The poster for this beer looks pretty cool, so click on this link.

Jackie O’s Pub & BreweryRazz Wheat – Another local beer but this time from the hell hole known as Athens, OH (Boo Ohio University, boo I said) but it’s sticking with the fall cleaning I’m doing on summer beers. Jackie O’s has really been invading Cbus recently as I got to try this beer when we went out for dinner at Woodlands Tavern. Razz Wheat was also unique in that it brought the pucker that comes along with eating a raspberry but didn’t overwhelm the palate with direct raspberry taste. It was nice and crisp like other wheat beers. I’ve tried three of their beers now (one has not been reviewed) and two of them have been quite tasty. Looks like they’re getting something right in Athens aside from Halloween parties.

The Rzz Wheat was in the other glass. Long Coast Tangerine Wheat is full.

The Razz Wheat was in the other glass. Long Coast Tangerine Wheat is full.

Lost Coast BreweryTangerine Wheat Beer – Considering that they’re out of Eureka, CA, one couldn’t get much further from Cbus while still being in the US. The fruit difference is pretty obvious and leads to obvious flavor differences. Gone is the sour pucker, in is the sweetness of tangerines. Both are a wheat base though so the crispness is evident in both. Luckily, for anyone reading this column you can probably get your beer needing hands on it. Check out their distribution area which is obviously larger than these two local brewers.

I enjoyed this little video “How To Make Beer, The Animation” so I thought I’d pass it along. Zauber Brewing tweeted it this morning. I’m headed to the North Market Microwbrew Festival with designated driver in tow. Go out and enjoy a couple of #SippyTimeBeers yourself. – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer – Jackie O’s, Ohio Brewing & Boulder Beer

JackieOs_Chomo-lung-ma

Jackie O’sChomo-lungma – I had never heard of this brewery out of Athens, OH before I went to Kenny Road Market this past week. The owner of KRM, who I’ve known since I moved here in ’99, told me it’s one of the best breweries in the country. His co-worker backed him up. I found it a little suspect since I’ve had a number of friends who went to OU and only live forty five minutes from Athens but I had never heard of this bar. The main reason for that is that they hadn’t packaged their beers until recently. Jackie O’s is also in the link below for top 25 breweries in the country. I had no such intentions because I had only picked up the beer because of the packaging. After having the first beer when I got home, I was disappointed with the taste of this honey nut brown ale. I thought maybe I had too high expectations for it. So the next evening, I went for round two. Then had another one when doing the Raw Blog. I only have one left in my fridge after having the six pack for six days. I’m starting to think that it tastes pretty good. From the way KRM talked, this beer wasn’t their best so I’ll look forward to trying more.

Ohio Brewing CompanyVerich Gold – Another company from the Buckeye state but it resides in Akron, OH. People need to drink to live there so I’m not surprised there are a number of good breweries up there. Yeah, it’s a hack joke but it’s true. I have only had two kolsch style beers during my review phase, if memory serves. The third kolsch was finally one that I enjoyed. It was a light beer that gave you malt first with just a hint of hoppy bitterness at the end. The other two beers had too much hops. They are distributed in Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Cincinnati/Kentucky so I’m not sure how I got it. Probably the impeccably stocked Kenny Road Market.

Boulder BeerSweaty Betty – Yet another hefeweizen that is perfect for the hot summer. Betty had some familar friends in the party, a hazy, cloudy look, hints of banana & clove and a whole lot of wheat. I’m looking for more to say but I think it’s pretty much covered. You can find their beers in these states. They don’t cover Ohio but I’m sure I got it from KRM. So not only should you support your local breweries, support the stores that supply tasty beers from all over this country like Kenny Road Market.

If you happen to live near the Cleveland area, go to the Burning River Festival that will serve the (at least around these parts) legendary Great Lakes Christmas Ale and help pay for ecological clean up for a river that may not burn any more but still look pretty bad.

If you want to have a say what’s the best brewery in America (at least according to TheDailyMeal.com) go to this link. They already cut the vote down to 25 breweries grouped by region. Give your input then go enjoy a Sippy Time Beer. -Kevin

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