Tag Archives: Drinkable

Northern Lights IPA – Brew Review

Happy Friday internet! A few hours separate you from 2 days of rest, relaxation, coke binges, whatever floats your boat. To kick off the weekend, enjoy today’s Brew Review: Star Hill Brewery’s Northern Lights IPA.

Northern Lights IPA 1

Star Hill Brewery was founded in Charlottesville, VA in 1999 and their beers can be found throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states. Their Dark Starr Stout has won 6 awards, including 3 gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival. It’s like the Michael Phelps of beer, except with fewer Subway endorsement deals and bong hits.

Northern Lights IPA pours a orange-amber color with a tan head. The smell is a mixture of sweet malt, floral hops, and tangy citrus. Taste-wise, it has a decent amount of hop bitterness, a little citrus, and a malty finish. The beer smooth, crisp and refreshing.

Northern Lights 2

Should I Drink It?

Overall, Starr Hill’s Northern Lights is a decent IPA. I don’t know if it’s the number of robust beers I’ve been drinking lately, but this one was a little subdued for my taste. All the standard elements that make an IPA great were present and blended well together, but I wish it had just a little more “oomph”.

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Widmer Hefeweizen – Brew Review

Windmer Brothers Hefeweizen

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, a holiday that officially kicks off the summer season (sure you could argue that the solstice is the true beginning of summer, but that would make you a science nazi). This means it’s time for barbecues, pool parties, and some prime beer drinking. To kick off the festivities, I settled down with a Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen.

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company opened in 1984 in Portland, Oregon and today is one of the largest brewing companies in the US as part of the Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. The company is home to over 20 varieties of beer, and is committed to creating a great,  environmentally conscious brew.

Widmer Hefeweizen 2

The hefeweizen pours a cloudy golden orange with a minimal white head. The smell is very delicate; some mild doughy malt mixed with banana. It has a floral, malty flavor with some sweet banana and citrus notes in the finish. It is bright and bubbly, with very little bitterness.

Should I drink it?

This is a decent hefeweizen. It’s very refreshing for the summer; the sweet, bright beer is the perfect complement to a hot summer day. So go out and enjoy your long weekend, and don’t forget to thank a member of the Armed Forces for their service to the country.

Maybe even thank them with a beer.

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BBC Coffeehouse Porter – Brew Review

Sorry readers reader mom, posts have been pretty light this week because I’ve been traveling. I made a trip home to visit my brother, so I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to drinking.

ImageOn the plus side, I got to see my cat.

I finally went to grab a beer yesterday, and decided on trying the BBC Coffeehouse Porter. Brewed by the Berkshire Brewing Company of South Deerfield, MA, this porter is one of over 15 beers the microbrewery makes, along with Pale Ales, IPAs, and even a German Kolsch.

bbc coffeehouse porter

The Coffeehouse Porter is an oily brown/black with a dense ivory head. It has a bold roasted coffee and malt aroma, with some bittersweet chocolate notes. The flavor is very coffee-forward but not it’s not overwhelming, with the nuttiness of the roasted malts and some vanilla and chocolate notes balancing out the beer. It’s creamy and full-bodied, with just a bit of carbonation.

Should I Drink It?

This is a solid porter, with the coffee enhancing the natural flavor of the roasted malts without overpowering them. Unless you hate coffee, I say give this one a try.

Note: If you hate coffee you are probably a replicant.

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Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – Brew Review

Confession: I am a woman. I love all stereotypical lady things; Catherine Heigl comedies (will she find love?), adorable cat videos, adorable cats, and men in suits with a bouquet of roses. But nothing compares to my love of chocolate. Those sweet, cocoa-laced morsels set my estrogen-filled heart aflame like I’m a freaking “Cathy” comic strip. The only thing that could make chocolate better would be if I could somehow combine it with my love for craft beer.  Which brings me to today’s brew review, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.Youngs Chocolate Stout

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is brewed by the Wells and Young’s Brewing Company. Located in Bedford, UK, it is the country’s largest private brewing company, and makes some of the most well-loved beers in the nation. Founded in 1875, Wells and Young’s now brews over 20 different types of beer, many of which are exported around the world. Their Double Chocolate Stout has been received several awards over the years, including the Brewing Industry International Awards Gold Medal in 2000.

What is a Stout?

A stout is a type of beer made with roasted malt or barley. This gives the beer a rich, nutty flavor that can also resemble coffee or chocolate flavor, depending on how long the brewer roasts the malt. First brewed in the 1720’s, the most popular stout in the United States today is Guinness. Typical characteristics of a Stout are a dark color and a thick, dense head that hangs around like a douchebag in an Ed Hardy shirt at the bar; way longer than you expected, and after you’ve actually finished the beer. This head takes a long time to settle, so it’s important to let the beer sit for a few minutes before you start drinking it.

Youngs Chocolate Sout Can 1

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is the darkest brown with a thick, tan head that dissipates but never dies off. The smell is rich and chocolately, with some nice coffee scent thrown in there for good measure. The taste has just enough chocolate for a beer, with some nutty espresso flavor cutting through. It’s not sweet but not bitter; a mellow, smooth stout that was, as the can boasts,  “pure luxury”.

Young's Chocolate Stout 2

Should I Drink It?

Fair warning before you heed my suggestion: first, I love stouts more than any other beer, and secondly, I would probably stab someone for chocolate. That being said, I would absolutely recommend Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. It’s smooth texture and rich flavors make it a wonderfully drinkable beer.

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Sol – Brew Review

It’s Cinco de Mayo (or as they say in Mexico, “El Cinco de Mayo”), a holiday that no one really understands but still use as an excuse to drink (just like St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas). So in honor of the fifth of May, I thought I’d sample a Mexican beer for today’s Brew Review. Corona is usually considered the official beer of chasing tequila shots while wearing a sombrero, but it was sold out when I went to the store so instead I went with Sol.

Viva Cerveza!

Sol beer was introduced in 1899 and is brewed by the Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery in Monterrey, Mexico. Owned by Heineken International, the company also brews Dos Equis, Tecate, and a handful of other beers. Sol is an American lager, a light and fizzy style that includes popular staples like Budweiser, PBR, and Coors.

Sol Cactus

The beer was a clear, warm yellow with an thin white head that bubbled off quickly.  The smell and taste were underwhelming; there was a grainy scent that showed up heavily in the taste as well, along with some sweetness and a corny finish (tastes like corn, not like the end of a rom-com). The aftertaste sticks around and is a bit metallic. After tasting it straight, I squeezed a lime wedge into the stuff, which made it brighter and more refreshing.

Sol Bottle

Should I drink it?

Sol is a decent beer for a day like Cinco de Mayo. If it’s hot outside and your chowing down on some spicy Mexican food, the crispness of a cold bottle with lime is a nice compliment. On its own, the beer is not that great; it is a little boring and the aftertaste is really strong without the lime to cut it. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s better than some other American lagers that I’ve tasted.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some nachos that aren’t going to eat themselves.

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Snake Dog IPA – Brew Review

Snake Dog IPA

Snake Dog IPA is one of several IPA’s brewed by Flying Dog Brewery. Originally started in Aspen, Colorado in 1990, all production was moved to Fredrick, Maryland back in 2008, which right down the road from where I live (so you can now stalk me. You’re welcome.). Flying Dog beers are pretty easy to point out for two reasons; the trippy label art done by Ralph Steadman (illustrator of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), and the make-your-grandma-faint names like “Doggie Style” and “Raging Bitch”. The brewery has some clout in the beer world as well, and their Doggie Style was named “Best Pale Ale in America” at the Great American Beer Festival in 1991.

What is an IPA?

Yes I have a framed photo of Michael Jordan. Space Jam changed my life.

Yes I have a framed photo of Michael Jordan. Don’t hate.

The IPA, or India Pale Ale, was first brewed during the British colonization of India. The beer sent to the troops would spoil (if you’ve ever had a skunked beer, that’s what they were dealing with), so brewers discovered by adding more hops and alcohol to the beer, both of which have preservative qualities, the stuff would last a lot longer.

In the US, breweries have taken the humble IPA to a new level, playing and adjusting the recipe to create stronger and hoppier concoctions.

Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of IPAs or other Pale Ales, because the hops tend to make the stuff pretty bitter. Maybe its my delicate lady taste buds, or my weak female constitution, but they’re a little too strong for me.  However, as far as IPAs go, Snake Dog is a pretty good one.

Snake Dog IPA 2

The color was a bright  amber, with a minimal foamy white head. The smell is bright and fruity, ripe with citrus scents like tangerine and grapefruit, as well as hints of yeast. The taste is sweet and malty, with more citrus, as well as the traditional IPA hoppy bitterness. The ABV of this beer is pretty high (7.2%) so you do get a little bit of that alcohol flavor at the end, but the beer is dry, crisp and refreshing.

Should I Drink It?

The Snake Dog IPA is true to the American style of India Pale Ales and a good choice if you like this style of beer. If you have petite, estrogen-laden taste buds like me, you may want to stick with something a little less bitter.

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Brew Review – Shiner Hefeweizen

The weather finally warmed up here last week; mother nature completely forgot a little thing called “spring” and the temperatures went from the mid-50’s to high 80’s over a 3 day span. Seeing warm weather as an excuse to drink more beer, I stopped and picked up a variety 6-pack of Shiner Beer.  (Other things I use as an excuse to drink more beer include: when the weather cools down, when its raining, if I find loose change in the sofa, or if I have just finished a beer)

Shiner Beer is brewed at the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. Their most popular beer is a bock that’s currently available in 42 states. The 6-pack included the Bock, along with a couple other great varieties, but I opted to try the hefeweizen.

Shiner Hefeweizen

Shiner Hefeweizen

What is a Hefeweizen?

A hefeweizen is a wheat beer, the “Hefe” part meaning “with yeast”. It is an unfiltered beer, so if it looks cloudy don’t throw it away (for the love of God, never throw away a beer. Unless it’s Natty Light).  The color is a perky orange, with a thick white head. The aroma is citrusy, with notes of lemon and orange that are also prevalent in the taste (I know this probably sounds redundant, as a lot of things taste like they smell, but beer can be a little trickier). It was smooth and light bodied, with a subtler flavor than other Hefeweizens I’ve tasted.

Shiner Hefeweizen full

Traditionally hefeweizens are served in a special glass that is curvier than Sofia Vergara, but you can drink it from a soup bowl for all I care. Personally, I chose my tall pint glass that I recently purchased at Epcot, where it cost me $11.50 for one beer. I figured I should get as much use out of it as possible at that price.

Should I drink it?

Shiner Hefeweizen is definitely worth a try. The flavor is lighter than most hefewizens, so if you’re not sure about this type of beer I’d say start with Shiner’s.

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