Sunday, May 24, 2015

Boulevard Spring Belle

Billed as a Saison with chamomile, rose petal and elder flowers, I drank it out of a bottle, so I'm unsure of the color and the quality of the head. As all Boulevard beers are, Spring Belle is a quality brew. The distinctiveness of the Belgian-style yeast gives it a refreshing summery quality which the floral additions only add to. I can imagine pairing this with some pasta salad or even a light salad of greens. Apples & sharp cheese would go well also. Pretty darn good beer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Boulder Beer Company - Emergent White IPA

Of all the myriad IPAs out there, white IPAs are my hands-down favorites. Once again (or still) at Yia-Yia's, trying out another sensational beer on tap. Grapefruity hops, but not overwhelmingly so, with some (surprisingly) melon-y taste. I'm detecting some coriander and orange peel as well. Great Belgian yeast character! Good choice for the (hopefully) upcoming summer

Empyrean Brewing Barrel Aged Porter

Had one of these at Yia-Yia's. It's got everything the regular Dark Side Vanilla Porter has, with a nice addition of high-alcohol heat & smoothness. They are not really clear what kind of barrel this was aged in, but it tastes like some kind of wine. I'll have to ask Jim or Rich the next time I'm down there. The vanilla isn't very evident at first, but becomes more pronounced as it heats up. Not for novies.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Brickway Brewery: Session Series Pils

If these are true lagers and not ales that they are calling IPL and Pilsner, I will be impressed. Mainly because of the difficulty producing lagers due to cold fermentation and the additional "lagering" that these beers need which causes the equipment to be tied up longer. The turnaround is much better with ales.

This particular pils is really good. Nothing fancy, but good, solid drinkability, with a "grainy" flavor and minimal hoppiness.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Brickway Brewery: Session Series IPL

As I was enjoying a delicious craft beer from a can the other day, a co-worker expressed surprise that I was drinking beer from a can - so ingrained is the idea that "good beer" only comes in bottles. But more and more new breweries are using cans. Canning has not only become cheaper than bottling, but the can protects the beer from harmful UV radiation, which "skunks" the beer. Brickway's IPL is a fine session beer, hoppy enough to be interesting, yet with a low enough ABV to make multiple trips to the trough possible. It shows quite a bit of flavor for a lager, while still retaining the crispness and drinkability that one would expect from one. There's some nice bready flavor with some subtle floral notes. Pretty cool for a hot summer day.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Boulevard Tasting Room Series: Red IPA

Yes, my disciples, you have heard me in the past bemoan the tendency to call everything with a little hoppiness to it an IPA; you have heard me decry the crass commercialism of unabashed branding. Well, not today.

Boulevard's Tasting Room series has produced a red IPA that is worthy of the appelation "India Pale Ale".

The thin white foamy head rests atop a reddish-brown body with hoppy fumes emanating from it. Lots of piney hops with a bit of astringency to it. Could possibly strip the paint off your car.

Lagunitas 2015 One Hitter Series: Waldos' Special

I'm a few weeks late on this review. I was in Yia-Yia's on April 20th and they were doing a one-day special on this beer. Apparently this beer has something to do with a couple of stoners both named Waldo, and they release it every year on 4/20. This is quite the beer. Although some reviewers claim to detect a hint of cannabis in the taste and aroma, I didn't notice it myself. At 11%+ ABV, this is one serious beer. You catch the alcohol heat right off the bat and there's hops-a-plenty. Lots of resiny pine, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, caramel and brown sugar - all marching together in perfect cooperation - not vying for individual attention. Too bad it's not available year 'round, although I've gone back twice and found it still on tap.