#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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#SippyTimeBeer Review – Great Lakes, Left Hand & Samuel Adams

Left Hand Good Juju Great Lakes Lake ErieGreat Lakes Brewing CompanyLake Erie Monster – I have covered this beer before for the Memorial Day weekend beers. I heeded my own advice and grabbed one for that weekend in a pick a six pack. This Imperial India Pale Ale is quite tasty and has just the right amount of hops. Great Lakes says that there’s lot of hops in this beer but the extra heaping of malt mellows it out. It’s hard to go wrong when you buy from this company. Be glad they discontinued Grass Roots Ale though. Yikes.

Left Hand Brewing CompanyGood Juju – This beer is a pale ale that hides any hops flavor by loading up on ginger. It has the spicy bite that ginger provides in food. I’m not a fan of it in beer. Even though Left Hand is a great company, this beer gets a boo from me.

Samuel AdamsSummer Ale – This company is probably the first microbrew that I had. Their standard Boston Lager was an early go to. I’ll have to review that at some point. Anyway, after helping my girl’s parents clean up their back yard, they provided me with a tasty beverage. This beer is typical of what I thought of when summer beers were given to me. It’s an ale that puts lemon in it so that it feels more refreshing. The problem with that is the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of lemon. At least in beer. I’d take a tasty lemonade over most summer beers. Luckily, Sam Adams know how to dial back the lemon to not make it overwhelming. I’m still not the biggest fan of this beer but it’s better than most.

Doesn't the neighbor's yard look nice?

Doesn’t the neighbor’s yard look nice?

I follow Chef Michael Symon of Iron Chef America & The Chew fame because he’s from Cleveland. He sent out a tweet earlier this week about how he enjoys sour beer then linked to an article in The New Yorker. I’ve had a couple of sour beers recently from Russian River so I will give my opinion on the article when I get around to reviewing those beers.

From the Brewer’s Association, craft beer in America has grown 15% in sales and 13% in volume. Good news, better quality beer for every one! Enjoy a Sippy Time Beer or two this weekend! -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 – Learning On The Job

english pub

So I wondered why 21st Amendment was excited to tout their beer as a session beer since it had low alcohol volume. The beer world wanted me to find out because Zauber tweeted a link not long after I posted my review that linked to a story called Session Beer Revolution on AllAboutBeer.com. To summarize the idea behind a session beer, you have to brew a beer that is between 4-5% according to most experts. The low alcohol content allows one to continue drinking for hours on end without getting too hammered. It was a push back because most craft beers which had a high level of alcohol. To me, it was no coincidence that the article made the reference to IPAs which have a tendency to be the highest in alcohol content of any type of beer. To give a quick example from Great Lakes Brewing Company, my favorite beverage from them is Eliot Ness Amber Lager which has an alcohol content of 6.2%. Their seasonal IPAs are Lake Erie Monster (9.1%), Rye of the Tiger (7.5%), Alchemy Hour Double IPA (9.4%) and their standard IPA Commodore Perry (7.5%) are all higher Eliot Ness. The article continues to talk about beers being closer 9-12% area because of the cost of craft beers and the fact that people are looking for more bang for their buck when they buy a more expensive beer.

The article goes on to say that most beers produced are between 5-6% and they don’t know how much this push back will work. I don’t care about the alcohol content. I want a tasty beer no matter what the alcohol content is. I think more people that seek out beers like myself don’t care about the alcohol content either. Let’s find out what you think below. At least I know what a session beer is now. -Kevin

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