Tag Archives: Microbrewery

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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Hipster Nonsense: How America’s Youth Jacked Up the Price of Bad Beer

Hipsters. They’ve already ruined so many classic American institutions: vinyl records, children’s sports team t-shirts, being aloof. But now they are threatening one of the greatest American values, the thing that separates us from the rest of the world: sub-par beer. According to a new report, the price of cheap beer is rising at a faster rate than quality craft beers. The reason? Hipsters and their cult-like devotion to PBR. Their love for those watery tall boys has caused lower-quality beer prices to jump 6.8 percent since October, nearly 5 times the amount craft beer has risen.

I’m not going to lie, when I started drinking in college, PBR was my beer of choice. Not entirely by design – it was the only cheap beer my friends snobby older boyfriend would buy us at the liquor store – but I knocked back that filtered piss water and loved every second of it.  I thought it was a pretty good beer, but this was a time in my life when I thought Private Stock and $7 handles of pomegranate-flavored vodka were also quality alcoholic drinks. Then when I turned 21 I moved onto craft beers, never to drink that blue ribbon again.
New Belgium Trippel 2

Thank you craft beer, for saving me from a life of shitty hipster parties

I think the results of this report might be a good thing. I mean, if we can continue to convince hundreds of mustache-growing “artists” to keep drinking this stuff, it wont inflate the price of quality beer for the rest of us. The key is to keep reminding them that it’s counter-culture and retro-cool.

I say PBR should change their brand mascot to a 19th-century circus bear smoking an American Spirit. Or Zooey Deschanel.


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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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It’s Here! American Craft Beer Week 2013

American Craft Beer Week


Now that your Cinco de Mayo hangover has faded and you’ve made it through another Mother’s Day brunch, it’s time for possibly the best week of the year: American Craft Beer Week. Started by the Brewers Association in 2006, American Craft Beer Week is celebrates small and independent craft brewers across the country. From now until May 19, hundreds of events will be held nationwide, honoring all the great styles and flavors American beer has to offer.

American craft beer as we know it began in the late 1970’s, when big beer corporations were turning the US beer market into a never-ending line of low-calorie, light lagers.  Then in the early 80’s homebrewing became very popular, and over time people began to turn this hobby into a career, opening a slew of small breweries. Mixing old-world European traditions with American ingenuity, they expanded production in the 90’s and 00’s to create the diverse landscape of craft beer we know today.

This calendar from craftbeer.com highlights upcoming ACBW events happening all over the country. There’s plenty of great beer to choose from, so get out there and get tasting.


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Trippel Belgian Style Ale – Brew Review

New Belgium Trippel 1

The weekend is here and the weather is awful, which I am using as an excuse to watch Say Yes to the Dress and drink beer all day. First on the list: Tripple Belgian Style Ale by New Belgium Brewing. Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, the brewery was founded in 1991 and as of 2010 had grown to the 3rd largest craft brewery in America. Their most popular beer is the amber ale Fat Tire, but the company also brews 8 other beers year-round as well as a handful of seasonal and special varieties.

New Belgium Trippel 2

What is a Trippel?

A trippel (or tripel) stems from the Trappist beers of Europe. This type of beer uses up to 3 times (or triple) the amount of malt in a standard Trappist beer. This particular style uses coriander, a spice most commonly found in Asian food and Indian curries. Before you start worrying that this stuff tastes like the #9 special at Taste of Bombay, you should also know coriander is also used in several types of Belgian beer, including the very popular Blue Moon.

The beer is a clear golden color with a solid white head that dissipated quickly to a thin sheet. There is a definite coriander bump in the smell, along with some nice floral and yeast notes. The taste is sweet and spicy, with malts balanced out by the bite of the coriander and a little bitterness from the hops. It is crisp and pretty carbonated, with a touch of alcohol in the finish.

New Belgium Trippel 3

Should I Drink It?

This is the first Trippel I can remember tasting, so I can’t speak to whether it’s a good representation of the style. I will say that the coriander gives it a unique flavor that might be a little jarring to people only familiar with the standard American lagers, but if you’re not afraid to take a risk then go for it. The carbonation and spices make the beer refreshing without being forgettable.

Don’t forget, next week is American Craft Beer Week!

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