#SippyTimeBeer Review – @BristolBrewing Helps Me Celebrate #ACBW

From hoperatives.com

From hoperatives.com

I had forgotten that is was going to be American Craft Beer Week. In a stroke of scheduling luck, my lady decided to fly me out to Colorado to meet up with her and her sister & son. The Great American Beer Festival is held in Denver for a reason. There are a lot of craft brewers here in Colorado. So many that started so long ago, I had a hard time finding beers that haven’t tried or at least can’t acquire in Ohio. But just like Columbus, more are popping up seemingly by the minute. I had enough to choose from including our first stop for lunch in Colorado Springs, Bristol Brewing Company.

Since we were only going there for lunch and to continue on our sight seeing, I ordered myself a flight of beers to get a feel for their beers. They have 19 styles of beers but the flight came with seven, the five basics and two of their seasonal offerings. I usually don’t expect more than six which was nice. Even better, they gave me a 5-6 oz. sample as opposed to the normal 3 oz. sample. Here’s what I drank:

Bristol BrewingYellow Kite Summer Pils – Because I have soured on the taste of the pilsner, this beer was the first one I tried. I was pleasantly surprised by this one though because of the hops in it. They use Czech & German hops that don’t have as much of a bitter punch as some of the other hops. They did give it an IBU rating of 25. Since the hops weren’t as bitter, it added a nice under tone of flavor to the pilsner malt. The beer has a 5.25% ABV so it’s a nice beer that could be enjoyed at length. This beverage lives up to it’s name too so it is quite yellow in color.

Bristol BrewingBeehive Honey Wheat – Ever since going to North High Brewing, I have been conscience about going from least to most bitter. This beer seemed like the next logical step in the progression. After looking at their website though, I started off incorrectly. This beer clocks in at a very low 12 IBUs. I am therefore glad that they didn’t go overboard with the honey because there isn’t much bitter to offset it.  The honey did provide a sweet touch to the proceedings since wheat beers are more crisp and less in your taste buds than most beers. At 4.06% ABV, this would be an ideal Sippy Time Beer. I liked this one more than the Pils by a little bit.

Bristol BrewingCompass IPA – I’m just going to say that our waitress wasn’t the best at her job. She did a poor job of informing of which beer was which so instead of moving on to the Mass Transit Ale, I went to the Compass IPA. Though it was a relatively low IBU of an IPA at 55, it still was a stark contrast to the previous two beers. I’m not sure if that is why I didn’t like this beer or I just didn’t like the combination of hops they used. I’m familiar with Columbus, Chinook & Casade hops but they weren’t in harmony on my tongue. This beer has an ABV of 6.5% so that’s relatively low for an IPA too.

Bristol BrewingRed Rocket Pale Ale – Next down the hatch was the pale ale which at that point was my favorite choice. They put in just enough malt to balance out the Perle, Willamette, Casacade and Palisade hops. Bristol dry hops with more Casade hops to give it some extra aroma which hit my nose only because I took Claritin that day. Even though I listed four types of hops, this beer only had an IBU of 28. Red Rocket also comes in at 5.25% ABV so it’s another low dose beer.

Bristol BrewingLaughing Lab Scottish Ale – When I sat down at the bar, the menu noted that this beer had won four silver and three bronze medals in the Scottish category at the Great American Beer Festival along with similar accolades at other large events. It’s also dawning on me that I may be switching my favorite beer type from Amber to Scottish. They are fantastically malty with a consistency that I have found lacking recently in ambers. I could have drank this one earlier in the session considering it’s 19 IBUs would rank it the second lowest in the group. I held off because of the accolades and my like for the type.  It doesn’t become a favorite style after trying something once. It has an ABV of 5.0% so it can be a Sippy Time Beer.

Bristol BrewingMass Transit Ale – Before trying this beer, it had dawned on me that I had mixed up this beer with the Compass IPA. So at least I had figured out that this one was going to be an amber ale. It wasn’t as malty as the Scottish Ale, which makes sense because there’s no reason to create two very similar beers. They bumped up the IBUs to 21 and the ABV 5.1%. The difference in hops is not noticeable as is the ABV. They do love hovering in the session beer territory. This one was in the top half of beers I tried.

Bristol BrewingWinter Warlock – I saved this one for last knowing that Winter beers have a pretty strong taste even if the IBUs aren’t always very high. Granted, I was a little confused that this was still a seasonal beer choice. It fit because the temperatures were in the high thirties the day we went but the middle of May doesn’t ever strike me as “winter.” The beer doesn’t strike me as a winter beer either because there was no cinnamon, nutmeg or coriander. It was a straight up oatmeal stout, which is also un-winter like. Porters, ambers and other similar beers abound during that time but not stouts. None of this un-winter like stuff gave me a problem with the tasting though. It’s a very good oatmeal stout. It’s the second highest in ABV at 6.0% so maybe you can still make it a Merry Christmas.

If you happen to head to Colorado Springs, Bristol Brewing is definitely a good stop. They’re in an old school which houses them and several local vendors who make some fantastic food. We munched on some cheese curds and freshly baked “everything” bread, which wasn’t the everything from a bagel.  As usual, go enjoy a #SippyTimeBeer this weekend, no matter where you happen to be! – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – Wisconsin – Ale Asylum

Ale Asylum AmbergeddonAs I have mentioned in a couple of audio shows, I have a friend who is originally from Wisconsin. The last time they went there, I tossed them $20 and told them to bring me back what they could in the craft beer department from Wisconsin. They delivered twelve beers back to me. Instead of going in order of drinking the beverages, I’m going to concentrate on a single brewer with each article. Up first, Ale Asylum which is brewed and bottled in Madison.

Ambergeddon – The beer above was the first one I tried from this company because I’m all for amber beverages since I enjoy the malt. Ale Asylum believes traditional ambers will be extinct but I’m pretty sure that’s a gimmick coming from the name. If do want to replace traditional ambers with this style of beverage, they might want to work on the formula. They put entirely too much hops in this beverage. I can understand their thinking in that throwing in some additional hops will make it different but sometimes it doesn’t work and this is one of those times. The hops overwhelmed the malt which isn’t as prominent of a flavor to me when they’re alone. This beverage comes in at 6.8% ABV so it has some kick to it. Both BeerAdvocate and RateBeer are much happier with this selection than I was. It’s a year round selection so if you want to give it a try, have at it.

Ale Asylum Bedlam! IPA CroppedBedlam! IPA – Of the three selections I had from Ale Asylum, this one was may favorite. After complaining about hops in the previous beer, it seems strange that I’d select the hoppiest beer as my favorite but this one mixed in the floral notes of citrusy hops along with Belgian yeast to come up with a terrifically different IPA. That is one of the reasons why I dig this company. They’re willing to try some different things but sometimes they’re not always a hit with even one individual. Didn’t like the first experiment on a beer type I enjoy, but loved the second one which is a beer type that is still new to me. They say the citrus comes from grapefruit & lime peel rind which helps cut through the heavier hops taste. The Belgian yeast gives it a tang that I haven’t had before but would welcome into other IPAs. This beer comes in at 7.5% ABV so it isn’t much heavier than Ambergeddon. Check out the reviews on BeerAdvocate and RateBeer if you’d like but we all agree this time. It’s a seasonal selection so it’s only available

Hopalicious – I either didn’t take a picture of this beer or I accidentally erased it. So it’s a good thing that I put a review into my Untappd app (difrango11 if you want to look me up) or else this beer would have been lost until my friends go back to Wisconsin. Unlike the other two beers, this one is not an experiment of mashing flavors together. This one is a straight up American Pale Ale. The other two descriptions were like a fresman English major writing but I think they nailed this beer on the head without going over board: “And we made it for the everyday hophead who wants bold, citrus hop flavor without crazy bitterness.” It’s heavy on the hops for a pale ale but it’s not overwhelming bitterness. It had a good taste to it which means it came in second place.

Good news on the beer front from yours truly who invested in Land-Grant Brewing a couple of years ago by way of Kickstarter. They have struggled with finding a location in which to house their equipment in. They had a contract last year that was yanked out from under them. It seems though that they’ve locked in a location in the Franklinton area of Columbus. I didn’t get to try their beer when they debuted them during the spring game in 2012 because I was in Atlanta getting ready to attend Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans. Here’s to hoping I have more #SippyTimeBeer to taste later this year. – Kevin

Stunt Granny Podcast: OHPA

Ken & Kevin are going to try a new show called OHPA for their joint living experiences in Ohio and Pennsylvania. We aren’t going to focus on one subject so that’s why we started with the How Did This Get Made? podcast starring Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas. They “turned us on” to the Blended trailer, which is provided above. How does this movie rank with other movies with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? Which obvious one did Kevin forget about? Which one did his ex-wife have him watch too many times? Ken scolds Kevin on speculating too much because there is plenty of bad things in the trailer alone. They move on to another movie trailer, Guardians of the Galaxy which is much better. How much do we know about these characters? Is that part of the appeal of the movie? Why is an Ent in this movie? What species in Drax aka Dave Batista?  How far in advance are they advertising this movie? The last movie that they take a look at is Godzilla. What do both of the trailers have in common? What are their differences? How versatile is Bryan Cranston? Ken & Kevin do a little sports review talking about the status of crowds storming the court. Will it be banned after the brawl at the Utah Valley versus New Mexico State game? Who exactly is to blame for this incident? How often has this happened? What does Kevin remember about storming the field after Kent State’s 0-16 losing streak? Who did Kevin know on the team? Can people break a stem off of a field goal post? Will Kevin crumble under Ken’s intense scrutiny? Come on this new adventure when you click on the link below!

OHPA

News You Can Use: Kurt Angle, Mick Foley and the WWE

What should I take?

A young Kurt Angle has his first encounter with his biggest life long nemesis.

Kurt Angle is in the news because in the UK Sun, he expressed the idea of coming back to the WWE. Per the article

And he revealed how his future could well rest with the WWE due to “unfinished business” from his previous run with Vince McMahon’s company.

If Kurt Angle truly has unfinished business, I hope he quit his side business that WWE helped him with by tossing him into rehab last year. For his sake, I hope all is well but that isn’t very funny. What could also be serious is a short WWE run to finish things up. He’s the same age as Batista so the WWE may not care whether it’s asthma or a pill that is causing your shortness of breath five minutes into a match.

Mick Foley is in the news (Prowrestling.net that is) because he now has a comedy special on AXS TV which will air on February 6th. I had no idea what the station was until it was revealed to be the re-branded HD Net. So I don’t get the station so I will not be watching it. I’ve seen his show. Jeremy has seen his show. We both enjoyed it so I’m sure it’ll be a good show. Too bad his comedy instincts didn’t help make his pay off video for being so mad at the WWE  for not giving the him a slot in the Royal Rumble and a chance at the title at Wrestlemania. We all know you’re a famous tight wad, but to make it more dramatic can you break more than a 32″ TV that goes for $200?

– I’m mildly annoyed that the WWE has decided to skip Columbus for a taping these past two weeks. They did come on a Sunday for a house show but those don’t count. It’s the first time in the last several years that we haven’t gotten a show on the road to Wrestlemania. The WWE instead went to Dayton’s Nutter Center last Monday (January 20th) for Raw which seats 11,500 people. Last night (January 28th), they recorded Smackdown in Toledo at the Huntington Center which seats 9,341. I have no idea why they’d want to record at either of those locations considering that Nationwide Arena here in Columbus seats 19,500. The WWE has a conspiracy against Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and now Columbus. This time it’s a conspiracy of why the WWE didn’t want more money and a better crowd for a TV show. – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review & Links – Ohio Brewing Company

Ohio Brewing Buckeye Blond

Ohio Brewing CompanyBuckeye Blonde – As I put in my Instagram (@difrango11) post …”so tasty, I almost took a picture of an empty glass.” Since it’s American Craft Beer Week, I went to Kenny Road Market and grabbed a pick a six pack. This company is out of Akron OH is one that I don’t think I have heard of prior to looking into their cooler. It tasted a bit like a hefeweizen because it has a spicy kick or nutmeg or cinnamon. Buckeye Blonde is made like a Belgian ale instead of it’s German sister. It is a seasonal beer and the distribution probably isn’t in your area unless you live in the Buckeye state or just south of the border in Kentucky. Feel free to call the distributors from this link if you want to find it. It’s worth seeking it out. Very tasty and crisp.

A couple of links for you to peruse: Zauber Brewing in Cbus tweeted this link earlier in the week that is worth checking out. “How to Decipher the Beer List at Your Local Craft Beer Bar” is the name of the article. If you have any time following what types I’m beer I’m drinking, go there.

In a Sippy Time Beer Review back in April, I pimped a local food truck called Ajumama which is run by fellow Kent Stater Laura Lee. She’s got a shoot at cooking on Live with Kelly & Michael. Voting started early this morning and runs thru 8 PM Saturday May 18th. Their food is extremely tasty so go vote for them, -Kevin

 

#StuntGranny is @WWE #Raw

StuntGrannyLogo

I will not be doing a write up tonight because I will be attending Raw. If someone else from the site is available, I will talk to them tomorrow about the experience. If not, maybe I’ll babble into a mic and see how a solo show goes. I haven’t had time to create a new sign so the one above will be in my possession again. I’ve toyed around with some new designs but they’re not fit for public consumption yet. I think we’re more centered on the camera & ring this show so I’m hoping we get a camera a bit more. Enjoy the show from your couches. -Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – 21st Amendment, Magic Hat & Zauber

Magic Hat Elderberry

I had a couple of tasty beverages during Wrestlemania. I actually had a fantastic food and beer day. I’ll concentrate on the beer side of things though. We had dinner at their place so I had:

Magic Hat Brewing CompanyElder Betty – I’m not the biggest Magic Hat fan so I wasn’t sure if I should try this beer but it’s always worth trying especially when your neighbors are the ones who’d have to finish the rest of the six pack. It’s an Elderberry Weiss beer.  Considering that it was a busy and warm day, it was a perfect beer to start off with. I am really getting into the wheat beers. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what an Elderberry is or how it tastes. This beer though had just enough fruit in it to not be overwhelming. It’s definitely worth a try and you’ll need to do that soon because it’s a seasonal beer.

When we came back to my place to watch Wrestlemania, I had two more types of beers.

21st Amendentment

21st Amendent Brewing CompanyBitter American – I couldn’t resist the packaging when shopping earlier in the day. All of their art work was in this style. I love it. It reminds me of companies that use the same art style for all of their products. The first product I thought of was KMFDM’s album cover art. It’s an Extra Pale Ale and also called a Session Ale. On their site, they are very happy because of it’s low alcohol content. It doesn’t really bother me what the alcohol level is but I don’t think it’s something you trumpet. It is a tasty beer though. I think it has more hops than a normal pale ale. I like pale ales because of the lighter hops but it is balanced more than an India pale ale because of the malts that are used. This beer is one of their year round beers so it’s not a rush to grab it but if you like pales & IPAs, this beer is for you.

Zauber Brewing CompanyVertigo – There are a number of breweries that I like in Cbus. Two of them are well established, Columbus Brewing Company and Elevator Brewing Company. The other two are recently established, Four Strings and Zauber. I have steered away from the later two because their distribution is pretty limited. They are both in the same area but I go to Zauber more. They sell growlers Thursday-Saturday in the evening. They also have food trucks there on a regular basis along with rallies when the weather is really nice. I got to taste their new flavor Portergeist & Berzerker (IPA) but I decided to buy the Vertigo growler. After drinking a pale ale, it was another good switch. It is refreshing and has just some hints of clove & vanilla. I don’t get any of the banana flavor. It is extremely tasty although it isn’t my favorite beer from them. If anyone comes to Cbus, I will be sure to take them down there. Jeremy missed their opening by a month or two last year. If you’re lucky, the Ajumama Food Truck which is run by a fellow Kent Stater, will be there selling their Korean street food. It’s extremely tasty even when you try something new like pork belly. -Kevin

Ajumama Pork Belly

#SippyTimeBeer Review – What I Drank During The Super Bowl

Elevator Thirsty Dog Tommyknocker

Elevator Brewing CompanyWicked Goat Barrel Aged I.P.A. – This beer is a departure from the normal I.P.A. because of the barrel aging. It dulls the taste of the hops or they don’t put in as much as normal. It tastes like they’re using an oak barrel because it definitely has a hint of it in the flavor. This beer is out of Columbus. They have a fabulous brew pub that was the earliest I had heard of aside from the Columbus Brewing Company. I have a vague story about my bachelor party from Elevator but I’ll save that for another time.

Thirsty Dog Brewing CompanyWhippet Wheat – This is my favorite beer from Thirsty Dog. As you can imagine names all of their names have a dog reference in them. The alliteration should not dissuade you from trying this beer. It is extremely smooth German Weizen beer. You can definitely taste the banana in there with something else surrounding it which ends up being clove and vanilla. You can check to see if it’s in your area here. I suggest finding it if you’re in one of those states. It may be out of Akron, but it has solid distribution.

TommyKnocker BreweryButt Head Doppelbock Lager – I’ve got to admit, I didn’t actually drink this one during the game. I like keeping a trio of reviews at a time though. I had this one for my dad’s 70th birthday party. As far as I know, this beer has been sitting in my parent’s fridge for two years. I’m not sure if that changed the taste at all. Although it was a lager, it was thicker than normal and the tasty were more like a porter. It does use caramel malt like the Founder’s Porter. It was tasty for a possibly skunked out beer. I’ll give it another taste from a fresh bottle just to be sure. This beer is the only one on this list not from Ohio. It’s out of Colorado. Here’s their distribution so taste one and make sure it isn’t skunky too. -Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review

Abita Brew Kettle Founders

Abita Brewing CompanySatsuma Harvest Wit – I learned what a satsuma is this weekend.  It’s the name for a tangerine since it was originally from the Satsuma province of Japan. The good folks from Abita Springs, LA got a hold of them for a very refreshing beer. I’m not one for summer shandies because I think they get heavy handed in the fruit department. This beer left just enough orange flavor on my palate. It was a nice change after drinking a rye beer, which I won’t review today. Abita makes good products so go out there and hunt this one down.

The Brew KettleLake BeErie – This beer is from Strongsville, OH which is west of my old stomping grounds at Kent. As far as I can tell, the distribution is just in Ohio and specifically for their Taproom and Brewhouse. This beer has confirmed something that I’ve been thinking since starting these reviews, I’m not a big pilsner fan. They’re just there. It’s hard to describe something that goes in and out almost as smoothly as water. I’m not the biggest fan of “cute” names especially when you look at the map and still see a solid 30-45 minute drive from Strongsville to Lake Erie. For a pilsner, I’d pick this one over the Victory Prima Pils though.

Founders Brewing CompanyPorter – It’s billed as dark, rich and sexy. I can agree on the first two parts. The last part might happen if you have enough of them at the bar and you strap on your beer goggles. This porter is dark and rich enough to drink like a stout. They say there’s chocolate and caramel (also called crystal) malt. I didn’t taste much of the chocolate but I did taste the toffee flavor which to me is more like a coffee flavor. Here’s TheFullPint review. They’re out of Grand Rapids, MI and have a find it search for their products in your area. There isn’t anything too fancy to this porter and that makes it just right to drink, hopefully in your area. -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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