#SippyTimeBeer Review – @ClownShoesBeer, @IthacaBeer and @RivertownBrew

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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia High School Reunion

I need to start clearing out some of my inventory. I’ve already had 14 different beers to star the New Year. Two were home brews and another came from my home town of Altoona, PA. Time to rewind though. One night in early November, I had to go to my lady’s high school reunion since it’s only in Dayton. To try and make my night better, I drank these three beers.

Rivertown Hop BarronRivertown Brewing CompanyHop Barron – When you’re in Dayton, you are not very far from Cincinnati so seeing Rivertown on the beer menu was no surprise. What was a surprise was that the draft menu for a craft beer resulted in me having to drink a beer I had already reviewed or an IPA. This Double India Pale Ale didn’t start me off on the right foot though. I haven’t paid much attention to IBUs, International Bitterness Units, but this one is listed at 103 which is why I didn’t like it. It was a little to bitter for me. They use four types of hops to create this beverage that clocks in at 8.5% ABV. I like Rivertown as a brewing company but this is not a beer for me. If you’d enjoy that bitterness, you can find their beers in these locations.

Clown Shoes Hoppy FeetClown Shoes BeerHoppy Feet – This beverage was different than the other two because it was a black IPA which got cover twice recently with 21st Amendment’s Back In Black. Clown Shoes uses roasted malt and dark chocolate to help bring out a completely different. They use grapefruit and pine to help balance out the double dose of hops that they use. I didn’t taste the grapefruit or pine, which is a good thing on the later count since pine isn’t tasty at all. The grapefruit sourness and touch of sweetness help to lighten this beer up in the bitterness department. Clown Shoes doesn’t list IBUs so it’s hard to compare these beers because of it but I’ll trust my taste buds and assume it’s below 103. These Shoes will help fill your liver with alcohol by giving you a 7.0% ABV. This beer out of Ipswitch, MA (I think. Hard to read the label and it doesn’t clearly say on the site.) has an interesting distribution area. If you fit into this clown car of a distribution area, give it a try to see if it’ll make you hoppy.

Ithaca Flower PowerIthaca Beer CompanyFlower Power IPA – My first impression of this beer was that it was smoother than the other two IPAs I had. After looking at their website, they tell you to enjoy the clover honey and tropical nose that comes from pineapple and grapefruit. I can’t say I tasted the honey, pineapple or grapefruit directly but I’m quite sure that it helped to balance out the bitterness that comes from hopping the beer five different times in the brewing and fermentation process. They wet hop with five types and dry hop with three other types of hops. All of this hopping ends up leading to a 7.5% ABV, which I thought was low for the pile of hops they toss in there. Ohio is the furthest south Ithaca distributes but if you live in the northeast, give this beer some peace, love and happiness. – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @21stAmendment, @AveryBrewingCo, @GLBC_Cleveland and @Harpoon_Brewery

21st Amendment Back In Black21st Amendment BreweryBack In Black – The picture doesn’t do justice to yet another quality beer can label that 21st Amendment uses. For some reason I chose to feature the label instead of the art. This black IPA is more than just the fancy graphics on the outside. It was brought to my attention by my lady’s sister, whose hand is also in the picture, because of her love of the style. It gets the black color from dark malts which enters the taste equation more than an regular IPA. It may have also led to a thickness that was reminiscent of a porter.  The hops are still front and center though. It is noticeable with the 6.8% ABV. This beverage is out of San Francisco CA and can be found in these locations. Enjoy it if you can.

Avery White Rascal

Avery White Rascal

Avery Brewing CompanyWhite Rascal – Anything other than an IPA recently has seemed out of the norm. This beer is a unfiltered wheat, aka white, beer. The difference in naming is basically a geographic change from Germany to Belgium. Because it is unfiltered, you will get some yeast at the bottom of your glass after drinking this fine beverage. The cloudy white ale has a tinge of orange because there is orange peel in this brew that comes in the flavor. Also present in it is coriander which is a go to spice for wheat beers and compliments the citrus. This beer is only 5.6% ABV so you can enjoy this one over a longer time frame. Avery emanates from Boulder, CO and can be sipped at these locations. If you like wheat beers, this one will tickle your taste buds.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Brewing CompanyChristmas Ale – This beer fulfills my promise to cover a Christmas or Winter beer for the month. Yeah! I did drink  this one a while ago though before a Bluejackets game. This beer gets a lot of play around here and has for a while. I went to a friend’s bachelor party almost four years ago and his brother-in-law had saved a six pack of it for him until June. I think that’s an extreme reaction to this beer. I enjoy it but I don’t think it needs to be saved for six months. It has a nice maltiness which I enjoy. Like some similar beers, they use honey which sweetens it too much for me and is where this beer goes wrong for me. The ginger and cinnamon make an appearance in just the right doses. Christmas Ale also provides just the right amount of ABV at 7.5% to help you forget about the terrible sweater your aunt just gave you for Christmas. If your memory doesn’t serve you, this company is out Cleveland, OH and distributes to these places. The season is almost over so if you’re one of those types that’s going to hoard this beer, I suggest going out and purchasing it with a quickness.

Harpoon I.P.A.

Harpoon I.P.A.

Harpoon BreweryHarpoon I.P.A. – I thought I remembered this beer from when I was at Kent State. I could be correct since it got started in 1993 but I doubt it. It is still one of the earlier IPAs I remember trying and disliking. I think it may have been because I had never had a beer heavy with hops in it. Now that I’m getting into IPAs, I dislike it for a different reason. This one just seemed too tame to me in the hops department. At 5.9% ABV, that would seem to confirm my suspicions. Since there isn’t much malt, there isn’t a back up flavor to it. Harpoon doesn’t feature the yeast either. Which is unfortunately their stated goal for this New England style IPA. They wanted a well balanced triumvirate of flavors that none dominate. To me, that makes for a bland beer. You’ve got to lean to one of those three sides to highlight what else in the flavor profile. This beer comes out of Boston, MA and can be found pretty much anywhere in this fine country.

No fun links for this week but I will give everyone a heads up that I have rounded up a fine set of drinkers and their top five favorite beers of this past year. For the ladies, my woman is even throwing in her top five cider beers if you don’t like the traditional brews. Now go out and enjoy UFC 168 with a tasty #SippyTimeBeer in front of you. – Kevin

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