Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Schaben's Pilsner from Thunderhead Brewing

Thunderhead Brewing is another one of those fine Nebraska brewers producing fine ales & lagers for our beer drinking enjoyment. Thunderhead has always been about 6 or 7 on a scale of 10 in my opinion, pretty good, but not damn good...know'msayin'? This pilsner is decent, but isn't lighting the world on fire; but maybe a beer doesn't always have to do that. If you're looking to support local business, but aren't out for a unique, flavorful brew, this may be for you. Low hops at 20 IBU, 5% ABV and not much in the way of flavor. Inoffensive.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blue Blood's Kompagnon Kölsch

Kölsch,to remind those who are not obsessive about beer styles as I am, is a hybrid style: brewed with ale yeast and warm fermented as ales are, but then lagered, i.e. set aside in cool temperatures as lagers are. Altbier is the other main hybrid style. Altbiers, however, tend to be a medium dark in hue, with a nutty, or sometimes chocolaty flavor, while a Kölsch tends to be golden in color and much lighter in body, closer to the lager side of the family. While I question whether this is a true Kölsch, Blue Blood has done a pretty good job of replicating the taste and feel of the style. It pours crisp and clear with a bright white head. There's flowery and fruity notes and an unobtrusive sweetness. Low IBU and ABV, making for a good beer for the hot days of summer. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA

Alright, this is something different, an IPA made with distilled hop oil. The idea is to give the beer a more hoppy aroma. They succeeded! The hop aroma assaults your nostrils right off the bat. It pours a very light golden hue, with a healthy white head. The aroma and taste is very piney. My personal taste for hops runs to the grapefruity variety, this is a little too intense for me.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

Of the three beers in the "Rebel Family", I think I like this one the best. Kind of like Goldilocks: not too hoppy, not too little ABV...just right. The taste profile is similar to the other two, a little pine, a lot of grapefruit and a nocely balanced hop character. The IBU's are the same as the session IPA: 45, but at 6.5%, not quite the beer for a drinking party. Overall, a good series.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Renegade Brewing Co. - Hiatus Oatmeal Ale

I thought this was a stout....I was wrong

Beer Advocate lists it as a Brown Ale, Renegade's website lists it as an oatmeal ale; what's clear is that the cold-brewed coffee which Hiatus is infused with is what is overwhelmingly present. I'm really having to dig for something other than coffee amid all the...coffee.

Hiatus pours the color of a milk chocolate candy bar, with a skanty brown head. The mouthfeel is about what you'd expect from a decent porter - must be the oatmeal. The ABV is midrange, about 6.5% with 40 IBUs, about what you'd expect from a weak IPA or a strong pale ale. Despite my nitpicking, this is a really solid beer, tasty too!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Blue Moon White IPA

What the hell? Despite being a mass brewer (part of Miller Coors) Blue Moon brews are usually fairly good - often a "training wheels" version of what you would expect from a true craft brewer; but there is nothing about this beer that says "IPA"; I can't detect much hoppiness; there is barely anything about it that says "White" (generally "white" means a Belgian-style IPA) - there just isn't much truth in advertising going on here. It's as if Blue Moon is trying to capitalize on the popularity of IPAs without the beer actually being an IPA.

Nah. Who would ever do that?

Now, let's pretend for a minute that they called this beer: Blue Moon Summer Ale. If that was what this was, I would have started this off differently, like so:

Blue Moon Summer Ale pours a pale, nay, even a lemonade hue, calling to mind (since it's Blue Moon) the oft-repeated musical trope, "pale moonlight". The head is magnificent, not one, not two, but four fingers of fluffy white cumulus. What other flavors lurk within? Thank you for asking; we have orange peel, we have coriander, what? we have even have some ripe melon!

Outstanding summer ale...just ignore the label.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Samuel Adams Rebel Rouser Double IPA

Holy carp! (Yup, the fish) 85 IBUs, 8.4% ABV, a big and bold, butt kickin' IPA. You can smell the hops long before the beer gets anywhere near your lips. It pours a hazy burnt orange, with a towering, three-finger white head. Resinous, piney hops framed by citrus notes that dance around your taste buds. A standout in the double IPA category.