#SippyTimeBeer Review – @LagerheadsBeer, @ROCKMILLbrewery, @SeventhSonBrew & @4StringBrewing

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Since I have been doing two of these articles a week, I decided to tweak the set up. I’ll go local beers, aka those from Ohio with possible expansion in PA later, on Tuesdays and I’ll do the national beers on Friday. If I have a trip like New Orleans or Colorado Springs, they’ll change to complexion of this separation but we’ll cross that bridge when necessary. Let’s start drinking local.

Lagerheads Brewing Co.Kilt ‘Em All – Other than starting off my birthday with Left Hand’s Milk Stout, I went local for the remainder of my beers. This one from Medina OH was the one from furthest away. This beer is a Scottish Ale and as usual, it delivered on the malt content. There was an unidentified spice in it though that gave it a funk that I wasn’t a fan of. I usually get help from their website to help figure out what the little tastes are to make it taste differently but Lagerheads doesn’t provide much information. It may be the toffee that is included but I usually enjoy that spice. They do let you know that it has a 5.9% ABV and a 27 IBU.

IMG_20140301_210528Rockmill BrewerySaison Noir – This company is located south east of Columbus in Lancaster, OH. Saison is a very loose term meaning seasonal in French. Noir means black so you’ve got a decent idea of what this beer looks like even if I didn’t provide a picture of it. I’m not sure what the season on this beer is but I did have it a month ago during a dinner out. This beer has nothing in common with Ommegang’s Hennepin despite the fact that both are considered a farmhouse saison. This beer is similar to a Black IPA but without as much hops in my opinion. Rockmill doesn’t give an IBU so there’s no way to check. They use raspberry, candied fruit, potato creme brulee, caramel and tobacco in this beverage. I couldn’t pick out any of those flavors on their own but the creme brulee does add a creaminess to viscosity of the beer. The complexity of the flavors did come through with a fantastic taste. This beer does have a kick at 8.0% ABV. It was the first beer I tried from Rockmill and it was a great first impression.

IMG_20140303_202238Seventh Son Brewing Co.Humulus Nimbus – I’m not sure this company needs an introduction since I’ve reviewed their beers here, here, here, here and here. I’ll hope not to do all of that linking in later columns. This beer is considered a super pale ale but they don’t admit to dry hopping like Rhinegeist‘s Fiction Belgian Extra Pale Ale. Seventh Son does use mosaic and simcoe hops to come to their flavor. I don’t get the hints of blueberry from it but I do get the pine hints with the bitterness of the hops. There is not much to offset those flavors which is right for a pale ale. Though it’s the main flavor, it doesn’t have the extra bite that comes with an IPA so it works well. At 6.0% ABV, this beer is a good one for sipping. It was a good beer to get lubed up before doing the Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of WWE Raw on my birthday.

IMG_20140308_164256Four String Brewing Co.Russian Imperial Stout – I’m not sure they need an introduction either but the links are here, here, here and here. The first (Halloween theme Skeleton Red IPA) and last link (Cherry Blonde) are similar to this beverage in that it’s a spin on one of their regular beers. They call it their Solo Series. I recently tried their Saison from this series. Their stout isn’t part of their four beer core but it does pop up from time to time. This beer was their Russian Imperial Stout with coffee. They were not lying about the coffee part either. This beer was so heavy with coffee, I’m surprised I haven’t started drinking coffee in the morning. They don’t have an IBU for this beer but the coffee supplies plenty of bitterness instead of the usual hops. The imperial stouts seem creamier on a whole and this one was on that level. It was a little too smooth at 11.0% ABV. You can get hammered in a hurry with this tasty beverage.

If you haven’t gotten enough of Ohio beers, check out this article on Drink Up Columbus about North High Brewing’s new brewmaster, Jason McKibben who worked for Anchor Brewing Company. Now go out and enjoy one of your own local #SippyTimeBeer no matter where you live. – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @GViewDigfest Smapling

Grandview-Digfest-LogoGrandview Digfest was larger in scope than most tasting I’ve gone too. They didn’t just cater to beer drinkers. They had numerous tents for liquor, which the lady wholeheartedly took part in, for food purveyors and local craft manufacturers. I will buy a shirt from one of the company’s for my younger brother’s birthday.  So what beers did I try? Let’s run down that list of six.

Catawba Island Brewing Co.Seiche Scottish Ale – I tried their Whitecap Wit a little more than a week ago when I went to the Drink Up Columbus 3rd Anniversary Party. They are out of the northwest part of the state, sitting on Lake Erie. I will end up reviewing the second beer I’ve tasted before the first. I have been trying more Scottish ales because of their fantastic malt tastes. This beer was not much different save for a little bite of hops, this time courtesy of the East Kent Golden variety. The dose is noticeable even at 16 IBU because of the sweetness from the malt. This beer was my first of the evening and got me started at 7.8% ABV. No wonder I didn’t make it through the UFC 174.

Wolf’s Ridge BrewingClear Sky – This brewery is one that I haven’t found myself at yet even though it’s in town so I wanted to try one of their beers. I decided to go with this cream ale, which I’ve found out is related to a pale ale. I can understand the comparison as it wasn’t very hoppy or malty and had a clear yellow coloring to it. I did throttle back on the alcohol content with a 5.1% ABV. If Wolf’s Ridge was going for a craft version of Genesee, they hit the spot.

Rhinegeist Fiction (L) Wolf's Ridge Clear Sky (R) and Catawba Island Seiche (B)

Rhinegeist Fiction (L) Wolf’s Ridge Clear Sky (R) and Catawba Island Seiche (B)

Rhinegeist Brewing Co.Fiction – This beer is another that I’ve had another offering of theirs (Truth, an IPA) that I picked up on a trip to Fairfield, OH. The second beer will also get reviewed first again. This company is out of Cincinnati and don’t distribute this far north yet. This beer is one of their rotational rarities, which I believe is a fancy word for seasonal. This beer is a Belgian Extra Pale Ale. Belgian yeast is present so that gives the pale a twist. The extra pale part comes in with a dry hopping of Nelson Sauvin and Motueka hops. At 40 IBUs, it isn’t that bitter especially with the yeast doing it’s job. Fiction has a 6.0% ABV so I went back up the scale.

Zaftig Brewing Co.Scottish Perle – After we finally grabbed some food (Let’s just say a sandwich shop was out of sandwiches. Maybe they should work on that aspect for 2015.) I realized that I was behind on drinks so I decided to get a full beer. The problem was I decided to grab a beer that was 10% ABV. Good idea on a catch up beer, moron. It was a Scottish Strong Ale. I was expecting a dose of the grapefruit hops that is present in Seventh Sons’s Seventh Son American Strong Ale. Another reason I expected it was that they listed it at 43 IBU. This beer did deliver on the promised roasted malt and chocolate. It may have actually been a bit too much roasted malt. It wasn’t my favorite beer but I do want to try more from this company based here in Cbus.

Sideswipe Coop Looter (Duh), Millersburg Blonde (L), Guinness Chocolate Cupcake from Sweet! Mobile Cupcakery and Zaftig Scottish Perle (R)

Sideswipe Coop Looter (Duh), Millersburg Blonde (L), Guinness Chocolate Cupcake from Sweet! Mobile Cupcakery and Zaftig Scottish Perle (R)

Millersburg Brewing Co.Lot 21 Blonde – This company is proud to be part of the Browns Backers. Yuck. They are based between here and Canton so that is too be expected. I needed to back off the heavy beers so this one came down to 5.5% ABV. Blondes are good for that kind of beer. It was a great cool off beer. It was light and crisp. As usual in blondes, it only has a 23 IBU so little bitterness to be found. Just what the doctor ordered. Now if I just would have swapped this beer and the Scottish Perle, my liver might have been happier.

Sideswipe Brewing Co.Coop Looter – This company is the third of the evening that I will be reviewing beer #2 prior to beer #1 that I have tried. I have shied away from buying their beers in part because they only come in 22 oz. I did try their Elegant Hoodlum Smoked Stout which is fantastic so I had to try another beer from them. I crept back up in ABV at 6.0% with this Saison. It was a perfect summer beer. It was light and crisp with just a hint of spice. I would have called it a Hefeweizen if I didn’t know any different. Another good beer from a company here in Cbus.

As usual, go out and enjoy your own local #SippyTimeBeer and let me know how it is. I may travel there to try it! – Kevin

SippyTimeBeer Review – @AVBC, @GLBCinColumbus, @lagunitasbruhws, @RevBrewChicago and @SeventhSonBrew

IMG_20140221_204305I’m writing this article well ahead of time because I am in Richmond VA having a Sippy Time Beer courtesy of my older brother, who graciously provided more pumpkin beers to try than any one person should in our Year End Review. I’m also sure that I’ve had a few beverages from the neighboring state West Virginia on our way. Those beers should hit the internet come next week. Until then, here’s some drinks from February.

Anderson Valley Brewing Co.Winter Solstice – Ken and I had some free time without the ladies so we went to the 16 Bit Bar & Arcade in town. Not only is it a fun place to play the terrible video games I played as a child, it’s also a great place to try beer. Anderson Valley started off the fun with this take on a Winter Warmer. Though their site only says that they use spice, there’s definitely nutmeg in this beer which is standard for this style. They also include toffee & caramel which helps sweeten the beer up even more. Sometimes that would make the beer too sweet but it doesn’t for this one. They don’t even add much hops to offset the sweet but at 6 IBU, there’s no bitterness to be found. This beer packs a wallop at 6.9% even if that’s low for a winter beer. They are based in Boonville CA so if it reaches Ohio you probably have a good chance of trying it in the winter.

Great Lakes Brewing Co.Conway’s Irish Ale – At some point during my tenure of writing beer reviews, I will do an Irish themed post around Saint Patrick’s Day. This beer will get included in that post. I’ll also review it now. This seasonal beer is available from January to the end of March. It is similar in flavor to their year round offering & one of my personal favorites, Eliot Ness. It is lighter on the malt though so it’s as in your face. Neither are hoppy which is confirmed by the 25 IBU for this one. Conway’s provides a decent punch at 6.5% ABV. They distribute in these areas so even though it’s a seasonal beer, you may still be able to find this one.

IMG_20140222_191243Lagunitas Brewing Co.Maximus – Jeremy brought this company to my attention. It is another California based company so the distribution area is bigger which helps me try them too. This beer is an amped up version of their IPA. Since I haven’t had their IPA, I can’t compare them. They don’t list IBUs so I can’t compare bitterness. I do know though that this beer didn’t taste bitter for a Double IPA. They claim it will remove enamel from your teeth because of the hops but I don’t agree. To no one’s surprise though, you jump from 6.2% in the IPA to 8.2% for the DIPA. It provides quite the punch so be careful if you’re a hop head.

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#SippyTimeBeer Review – @DeschutesBrewery, @FullPintBrewing, @RivertownBrew and @Seventh_Son_Brewing

IMG_20140221_234726Deschutes BreweryBlack Butte Porter – I tried this beer at the Columbus Winter Beerfest but it was during my “I made a rookie mistake” phase of the evening so I didn’t remember consuming it. I had been wanting to try their beer since Eric had listed Chainbreaker as one of his favorite beers for last year. Deschutes says that this beer is their flagship. I understand why. Though it isn’t as thick as most porters I like, it has a smoothness to it that is unlike a normal beer. The flavor is fantastic with a roasted nuttiness. It has just enough hops at 30 IBU to give this porter a kick on the back end. It doesn’t provide much kick in the ABV content at 5.2% which is a good thing because I’d be fine with drinking this beer all day long. They distribute over most of the western and central US, so grab this one if you can.

IMG_20140208_223243Full Pint BrewingNight of the Living Stout – This beer was a Christmas gift from the lady’s younger sister. Since she lives in Colorado, I was expecting something from out there but this one comes out of Pittsburgh. She had to get me it then because this beer is a seasonal beer. Maybe I should start posting the seasonal beers first. This beer though is interesting because most stouts aren’t heavy in the hops department. This beer comes in at a very high 110 IBU so it’s the hoppiest beer I have ever tried. Even Rivertown’s Hop Baron Double IPA was “only” 103 IBU. I was surprised that Full Pint used just Cascade hops to provide a citrus tone that was lost to me. It just tasted like hops. The blends of hops provide a better citrus punch in my opinion. With all of that hops in it, I would have expected a higher ABV than 7.0%. That is still a solid punch to pack. You can only find Full Pint in OH, PA and FL so if you feel like having the hoppiest stout ever, feel free to drink this one.

IMG_20140214_000514Rivertown Brewing Co.Hop Bomber – This beer is the little brother to the hoppier Baron. It is a rye pale ale which brings the IBU down to a reasonable 49. I’m not one for rye beers but this one hit the spot. It is probably because the other ryes I have had have been IPAs. It may be because of the malt used in this pale ale that made me like the rye. I’d love to know the types of hops they used but they aren’t letting you know other than the fact that they dry hop with two styles of American hops. Do they use the same types in the original brewing? Different? Who knows. I don’t care either. This beer is their second best beer. Only their Roebling Porter is better to me. This beer comes in at 5.5% ABV so it can be had over the long haul too. They distribute in OH, KY, TN and FL so grab this one up if you can.

IMG_20140215_142940Seventh Son Brewing Co.Stone Fort Oat Brown – I reviewed this beer in my top 10 beers in Columbus. I’m not sure if this beer will maintain it’s top five status at the end of this year but I do know that I will still find this beer to be fantastic. I bought a growler recently and took it down to my lady’s parent’s place. Unlike myself, he’s not going to convince his palate to like hops. Because of that fact, I find his tastes interesting since I’m surrounded by hop heads. I did know his limit was 40 IBU so when they labeled the growler 30 IBU I was confident he’d like it. Her father did end up approving it. This beer comes in at 5.25% ABV so it’s another beer that you can sip all day long.

I’d like to thank Cheryl Harrison and Drink Up Columbus for the invite to last night’s 3rd Anniversary party. I got to try an old beer with a new name, Smokehouse Brewing’s MacLenny’s Scottish Ale, and two new beers, Four String’s Mexican Blonde and Catawba Island’s Whitecap Wit. All good beers that will be reviewed in due time. Thanks for including myself and StuntGranny in your events! Now go have a #SippyTimeBeer over the weekend! – Kevin

 

#SippyTimeBeer Review – Crescent City Brewhouse, @Jaxnola and @TinRoofBeer

Jackson Brewery Flight

I believe this will be the final Wrestlemania related post. I hoped to do this at my parent’s house this past weekend but to no avail. I did get to pick up some beers though that I hadn’t gotten a chance to try before when I visited thee Altoona PA so more research material is a positive.

Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar – After wondering around much of Saturday morning just taking in the sights in the French Quarter, we finally worked up an appetite for lunch and stopped in at Jackson for food and beer. To make life easy, Jeremy and myself ordered flights of beer. Since they had a light colored flight and a dark colored flight, we ordered one of each. They didn’t follow North High Brewing theory that IBUs should order how you taste the beers. The two flights had two beers, their IPA and Double IPA, in common though so we didn’t order that much differently. I just got an amber & a stout while Jeremy and his lady got two other beers that no one can remember. The three of us tried all of the beers. I discovered that Jeremy isn’t much of a DIPA drinker even though he prefers the hops much more than I do. I thought the DIPA had an interesting taste though it wasn’t close to the Seven Fists of Deth from Revolution & Seventh Son. The IPA wasn’t too hop heavy. The amber wasn’t too malty. The stout wasn’t too heavy on coffee. I think that’s part of their beer problem. All of their beers didn’t have anything that defined their taste. The beers weren’t terrible but they weren’t anything to rave over. Most beers that are good play up one or a couple of ingredients then down play others. These beers seemed to be made with a thought of balance but they did that too well so their beers came out middle of the road.

Crescent City Brewhouse Flight

Crescent City Brewhouse – Later that night, before meeting up with Shahid, Cameron Hawkins & their respective ladies, we stopped in at the Crescent City Brewhouse. We yet again ordered a flight of beers to figure out which beers were the best. Because of the larger sample size, we only ordered one flight here. They had five types to choose from: Pilsner (Btm L), Black Forest (Top L), Red Stallion (Btm. R), Weiss (Middle R) and an Alt (Top R). I tried their Pilsner first as I knew it wouldn’t really grab my interest. It was good for a pilsner but as usual there’s no real bite behind it. The Black Forest is a traditional Munich style Black Lager. It’s a malt heavy beer with small notes of hop in it. This one was good. The Red Stallion is their Vienna style lager which has a sister beer in Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing. This beer isn’t quite as malty which I don’t prefer but others may like this one better. The Weiss beer is their version of a hefeweizen. It was the beer I ended up ordering a pint of after our flight because I didn’t get to sample enough of it. After having a full beer, I’d say this beer was in the middle with the Black Forest and next beer taking the taste department. The Alt was their seasonal beer and was quite tasty. I had only ever had one other one and it’s the Myopic Red from Zauber Brewing. Crescent City wasn’t quite as good but it was Crescent City’s second best beer.

Tin Roof Perfect TinTin Roof Brewing Co.  – Perfect Tin Amber – Because the lady & I spent most of Friday traveling (and due to the fact that Jeremy & his woman had their flight delayed), we decided to pack it in early after eating at Emeril’s, which I highly suggest even if it’s on the expensive side. I decided I’d have some beer for the hotel room. While looking around one of the local corner stores, I found this beer from Tin Roof which is from Baton Rouge. It was interesting because it melded two similar beers, an Amber with a Red. It came out more hoppy than I expected from two malt beers. It was a solid beer with a 4.5% ABV and 28 IBU. I just wish I had remembered that I was allowed to walk outside with an open container or else I wouldn’t have left two of these bad boys in the fridge when we checked out Tuesday morning.

Have a good weekend and remember to have a #SippyTimeBeer! – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @BreckBrew, @GreatDivideBrew, @GreenFlashBeer and @SeventhSonBrew

Breckenridge Christmas AleBreckenridge BreweryChristmas Ale – Breckenridge brews some seriously good beers. This beer is no exception. It didn’t have the usual nutmeg or cinnamon in it which was a nice change of pace. They went for caramel and chocolate in their beverage so it made it more like a porter than any Christmas beer I have tasted. The hops are pretty much absent with a 22 IBU but the alcohol isn’t at 7.4%. That will give you some Christmas cheer. Since this company emanates from the fine city of Breckenridge, CO and gets the whole way here to Columbus, I’m going to guess you might be able to find some in your area. Probably in the clearance aisle now that we’re almost a full two months removed from Christmas.

Great Divide Hibernation

Great Divide Brewing Co.Hibernation Ale – This one wraps up my Christmas beer selection, which has been quite extensive. I’m more than ready to leave nutmeg and cinnamon for the next ten months. Interesting enough though, this beer didn’t have either of those ingredients. Which might have been one of the reasons I didn’t like this very much. It’s an English style old ale which doesn’t taste all that good to my palate despite having plenty of malt in it. It clocks in at a nice 8.7% ABV so it does have it virtues but I wouldn’t recommend this one come late 2014. If you want to try it though, they distribute here.

Seventh Son Seventh SonSeventh Son Brewing Co.Seventh Son – I had no idea what an American Strong Ale was until having this beverage. It is a beer that uses a lot of the grapefruit and stone fruit hops meets a meets the malty goodness of an Amber Ale. They blend seven types of hops during the dry hopping process to make sure the name fits. The earlier hops cut through the dry hopped part perfectly with their fruitiness. The malt still comes through even with plenty of hops in this beverage. To continue the Seventh Son theme, the ABV comes in at 7.7%. Unfortunately for some, it’s only available here in Columbus. When you come to visit, we’ll definitely grab several pints at their brew pub. It doesn’t hurt that they almost always have a food truck there and most of them make tasty food. The picture also reminded me that I love their half growlers. I’m starting to see them at all of the local brewers now but they were the first spot I saw them at.

Green Flash TrippelGreen Flash BreweryTrippel – This beverage was the first new beer of 2014. Time to start a new picture folder and a new count down for the end of the year on my computer. It’s always good to take monks old recipes and updating them. Belgian yeast has been a noticeable taste that keeps popping up in my beers and when the formula comes from monks, it’ll definitely be there. Green Flash pops in pale malt and a pair of hops flavors to come up with this bad boy. The hops aren’t overwhelming or even that noticeable since Trippel only comes in at 24 IBUs. I talked about a Double White last week. This one is triple brewed so guess where the ABV is at? 9.7% is what this beer delivers. It was a perfect beer on New Year’s Eve since I was hosting the party and I bought this beverage in 22 ounce form. This company is out of San Diego, CA so if I can find it you should be able to also. I recommend this one if you like the Belgian style beers. It’s right up your palate’s alley.

Another fun part of Seventh Son Brewing is that they have teamed with other small brewers to produce some unique joint beers. I recently got a mini-growler of Seven Fists of Deth which is a collaboration Revolution Brewing out of Chicago. It’s a double IPA which I will be reviewing in November at this rate. They are also doing a collaboration with Rockmill Brewery out of Lancaster, Ohio. Here’s a little video they put together during the brewing process of Urban Cowboy Stout they are collaborating on. Have a good weekend and enjoy a #SippyTimeBeer! – Kevin

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @Dogfishbeer, @Seventh_Son_Brewing, @ShockTop and @ZauberBrewing

Dogfish Head India Brown Ale

Not my favorite beer picture but it’ll do.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Inc.India Brown Ale – I could have named this column the mutt beer column since three of these four beers are hybrid beers. This one is the most complex since it’s a mix of a Scotch Ale, IPA and an American Brown Ale. I probably could have used the Scotch Ale to be cut out of this equation since I’m not a fan of scotch. It’s similar to a beer being barrel aged because it tends to overwhelm the other flavors. It does come with a nice 7.2% ABV and is not that bitter with a 50 IBU. You can use their Fish Finder to figure out if you like this blend of beers.

Seventh Son Black Sparrow IPASeventh Son Brewing CompanyBlack Sparrow IPA – Seventh Son had the brilliant plan to open on Thanksgiving Day but from 9-12, I believe. The closing time is what I forget. It allowed my lady and I to pick up a couple of growlers before heading to her parent’s place to enjoy some turkey and football. I knew her father wouldn’t drink Black Sparrow because he is definitely not a hops man. I had assumed, for some reason, that my older brother’s taste in beer was similar to my younger brother’s taste. If you read the Round Table of Dunks Part 1, you’ll know that my older brother’s taste is nothing like my younger brother’s. I had bought the IPA for him to drink during the Miami Hurricanes at Pitt Panthers tail gate party the day after Turkey Day. I ended up doing the drinking at the tail gate though when I found out he didn’t like IPAs. This beverage continues my path down the hops rabbit hole. The roasted malt again makes a difference that takes the edge off the giant dose of hops. Another fantastic beer from this company in the heart of Cbus.

Shock Top Belgian WhiteShock Top Brewing CompanyBelgian White – The main reason I told the tail gating story is because of this beer. It is quite the shock (seriously, no pun intended) to the taste buds to go from a black IPA to a Belgian wheat beer. Just a brutal turn around in flavor profiles. I will not be doing that again. I would be fine drinking this beverage again though. It has orange in it for sure and was highlighted more by the lemon peel and not as much of the line peel. It has a nice cloudy orange look. Shock Top drank smooth after the initial swig. This beverage comes in at a tail gate friendly 5.2% ABV. I’m sure I don’t need to list the availability of this beer considering it’s made by Anheuser Busch.

Zauber PortergeistZauber Brewing CompanyPortergeist – Zauber sent out a tweet to see what this beer should be called. I knew it’d be a dark porter so I figured Schwarzwald, Black Forest, with all of the Germanic references in their lingo would be a good fit. They didn’t think so. Boo. Another reason that seems like a good name is because it is a mix of a porter and a Schwarzbier. Double boo. Because of the mix, the beer is thinner than I like my porters but that’s okay since I don’t know the usual mouth feel of a Schwarzbier. Like most porters, I can taste the coffee coming through but the chocolate doesn’t quite touch my palate. There’s just enough vanilla in it to be a nice highlight. The ABV comes in at 5.0% and has a low 31 IBU so if you like dark beers without too much bitter, this one is for you. Too bad this in a Columbus only choice.

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