#SippyTimeBeer Review – @FoundersBrewing, @JackieOsBrewery and @KonaBrewingCo

Founders Breakfast StoutFounders Brewing CompanyBreakfast Stout – This beer comes from what is becoming one of my favorite breweries. They are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This beer is seasonal so I must have grabbed it when it first came in October. It runs through February. It is not a cheap beer which is why I took my time to enjoy this beer. It is the best oatmeal stout I have ever had. It’s thick, it’s got some bitter coffee notes along with the usual offsetting chocolate and enough oats to make you think you’ve had breakfast. Much like the child on their label, this beer is so good I could have it for breakfast. It’d be perfect on Cap’N Crunch. They have a handy dandy tool on the website that you can punch in your zip code and find out if it’s sold in your area. If you like stouts, buy it. It’s worth every last penny.

Jackie O’s BreweryFirefly Amber – This brewery is out of Athens, OH and doesn’t have a large distribution area but because I’ve been told it’s a great brewery, I keep trying their beers. Amber Ales are usually my favorite but this one was just okay. Their own description calls this a gateway beer to drinking craft beers which might be my problem with it. I like more malt in my ambers than they provide since I enjoy Eliot Ness so much from Great Lakes Brewing s that’s another strike against it. The beer is worth grabbing on a night out but I wouldn’t buy a six pack again.

Kona Brewing CompanyWailua Wheat – This beer could be called a summer beer. Considering that I drank it three months ago, it was summer. If Jackie O’s was trying for a perfect craft beer to introduce to new drinkers, Kona nailed it. Wailua Wheat is like your average Bud Light, Miller Lite or Coors Light except with taste. It’s fresh and crisp. Kona adds passion fruit to add a citrus note to the beverage but I didn’t taste that very much. This beer is an excellent choice if you don’t want a heavy beer. Luckily, Kona is distributed in quite a few states so go out and grab some for yourself.

If you do like beers, you’ve probably got at least a couple of growlers sitting around. I have five myself. In case you were wondering how to properly clean them, here’s a helpful video. Remember to hop on Instagram, follow me @difrango11 and hash tag #SippyTimeBeer. – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @BrooklynBrewery, @KonaBrewingCo and @StoneBrewingCo

Brooklyn Lager (1)

Brooklyn BreweryBrooklyn Lager – The only beer on my list this week without the style in the title. It’s an Amber lager which is right down my alley. Caramel malt is a fantastic thing. So is dry hopping, which is “the centuries-old practice of steeping the beer with fresh hops as it undergoes a long, cold maturation.” It reminds me of cooking and putting something in later in the process so that it doesn’t overwhelm the dish you are making but accents it. The hop flavor is in there just as a kicker and it works perfectly. This beer is worth harming your liver. Unfortunately, they don’t have a beer finder. I got it here and my older brother found it in Virginia when he asked me for an Amber lager choice so you should be able to find it yourself.

Kona Brewing CompanyKoko Brown Nut Brown Ale – I got to have this beer during lunch on a Friday afternoon. It was a delightful treat during a long afternoon. It’s taste is super nutty which isn’t normally that potent in other nut browns. I didn’t sip the toffee that Kona says is in there but it may have led to the extra nutty taste. It’s a good thing I didn’t know it had coconut in it or else I may not have ordered it. I’m glad I didn’t because I didn’t taste it. I’d highly suggest this beer too. So go here to find out if it’s in your area.

Kona Koko Nut Brown

Stone Brewing CompanyRuination IPA – I don’t remember how I acquired this beer. I feel like it was my neighbors but I’m not quite sure. I do like Stone’s product so I may have just bought one but that seems unlikely since as they say “…its truly “ruinous” effect on your palate, this massive hop monster will change forever your preconceptions of what defines good beer.” I don’t feel like this lived up to either part of their quote. It didn’t ruin my palate although it is a pretty heavy dose of hops. It won’t change how I define a good beer either because it has so much hops. The interesting part comes in that I enjoyed the beer. They tossed in enough extra malt to balance things out better than they are saying. If you like IPAs and haven’t tried this one yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

The Great American Beer Festival was a couple of weekends ago out in Denver. If you like beer, it’s a must attend as it’s the Mecca of beer festivals. Good news for me came out of the festival, six Ohio breweries won awards. None of them are here in Columbus but I should be able to visit the Yellow Springs Brewery when I go to visit my girlfriend’s family in Dayton.

This article “8 Simple Steps: How To Not Be a Dick While Drinking Beer” is a pretty solid guide if you may think you’re starting to get too snobby about your beer choices. They should have thrown the word “Craft” in between drinking and Beer though. People who drink macro-brews aren’t likely to get snobby. Those types of beer drinkers have rule #5 “Educate your macro beer-drinking friends” which is what I try to do from time to time. I didn’t get any takers when I was at an Ohio State tail gate recently so I just got to enjoy a growler of really good beer on my own. It also reminds me of a story in which a friend, who only drinks Budweiser or Bud Light, told me that “I don’t drink that foreign crap” when referring to Leinenkugel, which is brewed in Wisconsin. They may sound like Canadians, but they’re Americans.

Stone Ruination IPA

Are you like me and afraid that the craft beer boom is going to slow down? Well, CNBC is here to tell you there’s still room for expansion in the U.S. market. We have the most amount of breweries in the States since Prohibition. Yeah for my mouth, column and beer. Now go and start your weekend and enjoy a #SippyTimeBeer! – Kevin

#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 – 3rd Annual #Cbus Winter Beerfest

I went to the 3rd Annual Columbus Winter Beerfest on Saturday. It was the first time I’ve attended the event. I went with my girl and my neighbors. We paid for the VIP entrance an hour early at 6:30 PM and it lasted until 11:00 PM. We got a set of twenty five tickets, one for each beer that you could taste. Many of the vendors didn’t care if you gave them one or not. The samples were supposed to be 5 ounces but most of the vendors topped you off to about 8 ounces. In no way am I capable any more of drinking that much. I got around to twelve samples. Here’s the list.

Weasel Boy BrewingBarrel Aged Brown Stoat Cherry Stout – I started off the night with a local beer from Zanesville, OH. It was a wise choice as it was quite good. It had nice head and was as thick as expected out of a stout. The cherry kicked in as an aftertaste. I think it matches well with a stout. It was one of my favorites of the night.

Victory Brewing CompanyRed Thunder – This beer was served to VIPs only. It became a mission to try as many VIP only beers as possible in our hour head start. It wasn’t as much of a help though because a majority of the crowd pitched in the extra $10 for the the extra hour. This beer was served out of a double deuce bottle that was chilled on ice. They don’t have this beer on their website so it was an exclusive. It tasted like a red amber. A big bounce back from the Prima Pils.

Six Point BrewingResin – I’m not much of an India Pale Ale fan. The heavy dose of hops is not my favorite taste. This IPA is very tasty. The hops was kept to the minimum considering the type of beer. They’re out of Brooklyn, New York.

Kona Brewing CompanyBig Wave Golden Ale – This beer was very crisp and refreshing. This one would be my other favorite beer of the night. Outstandingly smooth. They’re out of Kona, Hawaii so I won’t be able to get this one too often. That’s too bad.

Green Flash BrewingSaison Diego – I was told this was “some type of Belgian Blonde” by the woman working the counter. On the beer map, it was called Grand Cru but it is definitely not that. I’m guessing that it is the Saison Deigo because of the slight fruit note at the end with a summer ale feel. As can be implied by the name, they’re out of San Diego, CA.

North Peak Brewing CompanySiren Amber Ale – This beer got the thirty two second video review above. It was very tasty with some spice kick at the end. I did this review just in time because things started to get ugly soon there after. My presentation could have been better. As I do more of them, hopefully they’ll get better. I hope not to tell my camera woman when to cut next time. They’re out of Traverse City, MI.

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