#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 – @ZauberBrewing and Local Beer

Zauber Kolsch

I love local beer. Whether it’s just from the same city or state. Local doesn’t always mean better especially when you go to Tennessee. In the case of my Friday adventure though, it was definitely great. Zauber Brew Master Geoff Towne decided to do a little experiment. He took the same ingredients for their new Kolsch style beer and only changed out the yeast used to create four distinct beers. As a primer, he gave me samples of their Myopic Red, a German Red Alt, and Vertigo, a hefeweizen. Then he poured out the four different styles of Kolsch. We talked about, go figure, beer while I drank the different styles. I haven’t had too many Kolsch style beers so I was concerned. As far as I know, the total has been one (which I haven’t review yet) but since it is German, there’s a solid possibility that I had one while I was in Germany. After tasting all four, I gave him my reviews as had anyone who wondered in to get a growler. Geoff wrote down what I had liked and since they were almost finished with the test batches, he gave me my favorite taste in one of the two growlers I brought, which is pictured above. You’re not going to get much of a choice if you go to some gigantic brewer like Budweiser to sample anything like this. Sure, I didn’t like two of the four. One was tasted like yeast a little too much. But I’d rather test beers out and figure out what I do like which requires some failures. Support your local brewers, whether they’re in town or a few miles around. They’ll get you a libation you love.

I met the owner of Drink Up Columbus, Cheryl Harrison, a couple of years ago at a Twitter meet up for a group called Cbusr. They have some good drinking content that is very local. While I do prefer to expand the scope of my beer intake so that it is more accessible to a larger audience, DUC does that too. I liked their article on the possibility of nutritional information on beer, wine and alcohol. -Kevin

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