River Horse Sour Homer

Local beers are my favorite. Let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 4.2%

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “You don’t have to be in a dead end job to feel like you aren’t going anywhere. That’s the way we felt before River Horse. We were finance geeks living in a world without soul. Grinding it out everyday for a fee, wearing suits and kissing butt. Then this brewery chose us…she forced us to ask ourselves, ‘Is this desk job really how I pictured my life?’ We answered that question by taking over River Horse in 2007 and have not looked back. We may not end up as the greatest success story on earth, but at least we had the balls to try. Sometimes, for better or worse, your dreams get the best of you. Just remember, it’s a big world out there and cubicles don’t have doors, so you can walk out anytime. Come see us when you can. We are located in Ewing, NJ. Thanks for supporting the cause. Hope you enjoy the beer…”

Random: I picked this up from the brewery, since the brewery is only a few minutes from my house.

The beer poured with a relatively thick, one finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The nose was sour with some cherry notes, along with a touch of oak and vanilla. The taste was mouth-puckeringly sour with intense notes of cherry and white vinegar. It quickly transitioned into oak and vanilla with some yeast as well. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation to cut the tartness. It had a lengthy finish with cherry and oak. I liked this beer a lot. It had a lot of good flavors and was an outstanding selection from River Horse.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

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Holy Mountain The Seer

This beer was picked out by Val because she loved the owl on the label.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “THE SEER IS A HOPPY SAISION BREWED WITH PILSNER MALT AND WHEAT, AND HOPPED AGGRESSIVELY WITH GALAXY AND EKG. THIS BATCH WAS FERMENTED WITH ONE OF OUR HOUSE SAISON CULTURES AND AGED IN AN OAK FOUDRE WITH BRETT. AFTER SPENDING 4 MONTHS IN OAK, THE SEER WAS DRY-HOPPED WITH GALAXY AND EKG AND CONDITIONED IN THE BOTTLE WITH BRETT.”

Random: This is a brewery out of Seattle, Washington.

The beer poured with a huge, four finger, fluffy, white head. It dissipated slowly, but left limited lacing on the glass. The body was hazy with a lot of floaties. It was bright yellow in color with a lot of carbonation. The nose started with a lot of brett and funk. It quickly went into pilsner malt. It had some wheat, along with grass and a touch of flowers. The taste started with the same funk and brett, but quickly went into some aggressive hops that came through with pine and grass. There was an earthy characteristic to it as well with some flowers. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with funk and hops. A bottle of this was $20.99, which came to $.95 per ounce, which was definitely expensive. I thought this beer was interesting, but there was so much going on with the flavors that it was hard to enjoy during some sips.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Devil’s Backbone Pear Lager

One thing I love about the Summer is that the show “Tiny House Hunters” comes back on HGTV. I do not understand why people would want a tiny house. Our house isn’t huge, but I could not live in 200 square feet. When Val and I watch it, we usually just yell at the tv since people have some crazy requests for their tiny house (i.e. “I want my canopy bed to fit in it,” or “I want a full-sized bathtub,”).

ABV: 4.4%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A revitalizing combination of pear and lager, this thirst quenching beer is light to medium in body and refreshing in character with a subtle pear flavor and aroma. Pear, Quaffable, Fresh.”

Random: This is a Summer seasonal from Devil’s Backbone.

The beer poured with a hazy, yellow body with some floaties that were visible. The head was one finger high and white in color. It dissipated quickly, but left very little lacing on the glass. The nose started with some biscuit malt, but quickly transitioned into pear flesh and crushed apples. There was some lager yeast as well. The taste was clean. It started with some tart, Granny Smith apples and then went into biscuit malt. The presence of pear was minimal, which was a bit disappointing. It reminded me of pear jelly beans. The body was on the light side with generous carbonation. The finish was quick with crushed apples. A can of this was $1.67, which broke down to $.14 per ounce. I thought this beer was alright, but if you’re going to call it a pear lager, it needs more pear notes.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Small Town Not Your Father’s Mountain Ale

In High School, I used to drink a lot of Mountain Dew soda because I thought it had more caffeine. Between sports and studying, I thought it would help me stay up. I was never a big fan of the flavor, but it did the job.

ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “NOT YOUR FATHER’S MOUNTAIN ALE – Camping, glamping, skiing, hiking. There are all kinds of fond memories you’ve created on one of America’s grand peaks. They’re basically giant playgrounds ready for action. Those memories and that energy is exactly what inspired us when we brewed up Not Your Father’s Mountain Ale. Let’s be honest – no one’s ever had a bad time on a mountain. TASTING NOTES – If you want citrus, this is your beer. A big ol’ wallop of crisp citrus notes invades your mouth on the first sip. A smooth finish means you can knock back a few of these by yourself – or split a sixer with friends. You don’t even have to be on a mountain.”

Random: The first time I brought a Red Bull into my high school, my teacher asked if it was a beer.

The beer poured with no head at all. It had an electric, greenish-yellow body with moderate carbonation. The nose was sweet soda syrup with lemon-lime notes. The taste was sickening sweet with lemon and lime. It was like mixing a bad soda and booze. The body was thankfully, light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with corn syrup sweetness. A bottle was $2.16, which came to $.18 per ounce. I didn’t like this at all. This is one to avoid.

Untappd Rating: 0.5/5.0

Beau’s Wild Oats Series No. 9 – Winterbrewed

This is another beer that had a super cute label. The monster reminded me of the snow monster from “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” but cuter.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Winterbrewed is an amber ale is infused with Mexican micro-lot organic fair trade coffee from Bridgehead. Fruity nuances of lime and peach show up alongside a bold roasted coffee presence, which is interwoven with caramel inflections from the malt. History & Style – Winterbrewed Coffee-Amber is a collaborative creation with our friends at Ottawa’s Bridgehead Roastery, celebrating all that brewing great beer and great coffee have in common. Beau’s Winterbrewed was a Bronze-medal winner at the 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards. Tasting Notes – Complimentary coffee and hop aromas reveal fruity nuances of lime and peach alongside a bold roasted coffee presence. Intense earthy, woody coffee flavours are interwoven with roasted caramel inflections from the malts. A balanced hop presence provides pleasant dryness in the finish. Food Pairings – Southwest spice & espresso rubbed short ribs; lime, cumin & chipotle braised chicken; or pancakes with double-smoked bacon”

Random: This comes in at 25 IBUs.

The beer poured with a four and a half finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark mahogany color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with hops up front and quickly transitioned into caramel, toffee, nutmeg and cinnamon and some coffee as well. The taste was more of the same. It had a significant sweetness from the toffee and caramel, but quickly went into Winter spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. There may even be a bit of clove, as well. The coffee was light, but came through next. The body was on the heavy side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with spice. I paid $9.99 for the bomber, which came to $.45 per ounce. I liked this beer, I just found the sweetness of the caramel at odds with the bitterness of the coffee.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/4.0

Portland Sangria

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging in the morning is watching all of the animals outside. I got to see a rabbit hop across the street this morning.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the producer’s website, “We are that perfect blend of Pacific Northwest wine and juice served up in a can with a touch of fizz. Not too sweet and not too buzzy. In fact, it’s just right. Sometimes accidents—and a fist-full of hustle—lead to the greatest of discoveries. That is the story of Portland Sangria. It all began in 2010 with winemaker Ryan Sharp at his urban winery tucked into SE Portland’s Buckman neighborhood. He was just about done bottling rosé when he realized there were about 10 extra cases worth of wine and no more bottles sitting before him. Time was of the essence as Ryan was practicing natural fermentation, so any longer in the tank meant it could referment which is not good! Being the smart and resourceful Portlander he is, Ryan knew one thing was certain: ONE NEVER DUMPS GOOD ROSÉ! So he poured the leftover wine into an empty keg, blended in some fresh berry juice and popped it onto the tap system in his tasting lounge. He listed it as Portland Sangria and served it in frosty pint glasses over ice and frozen berries. Two months later, the kegs were empty and people were begging for more. Ryan had his sights set on making Portland Sangria a reality and taking it to a wider market, so he called on Mercy Corps NW’s small-business program. They saw his vision, offered him a loan to buy his first batch of grapes, and then just like that, Portland Sangria was born. Soon after, Ryan started packaging it for retail and all of us have been blown away by the response. It continues to out-perform all of its in-class competitors! We are committed to quality, flavor and innovation. We only use WHOLE, all NATURAL ingredients and NEVER USE additives you can’t pronounce. We are committed to making a product that can stand up to any wine, beer, cider or cocktail any day of the week. Each flavor of Portland Sangria is a half-and-half blend of premium dry wine and juice from the Pacific Northwest that’s finished with fresh herbs or whole spices. And at 6.5% ABV, it’s the daydrinker’s best friend!”

Random: The can art reminds me of old baseball teams.

The sangria poured with no head on top of a bright red body. It was clear and there was no carbonation visible. The nose was filled with red wine and blackberry and currant. The taste was on the sweeter side and still had a lot of red wine. There was a lot of fruit, specifically strawberry and blackberry, but it tasted a bit artificial to me. The body was on the lighter side and still. It had a quick finish with red wine. I bought this for Val awhile ago, so I don’t recall how much I spent on it. Either way, this just wasn’t for me.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Beau’s Wild Oats Series No. 53 – Golden Vox

This, like yesterday’s beer, was purchased because the label was adorable.

ABV: 6%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Golden Vox is a rye pale lagered ale that was conceived and brewed collaboratively between Beau’s and Canadian hip hop artist k-os. The recipe is a blend of rye and barley malts, with just a kiss of whiskey, courtesy of a light aging on rye-soaked oak spirals. History & Style – Rye pale lagered ale is something of a hybrid creation, blending the noticeable citrusy hop character of an American Pale Ale with the spicy elements of rye malt, and adding in the signature crisp finish of a lagered ale. An aging on rye-whiskey-soaked oak adds subtle complexity to this balanced, approachable pale-golden beer. Tasting Notes -Smooth malty notes are kept in balance by the citrus & slight pine hop character. Peppery undertones derived from the rye malt harmonize with gentle warmth and subtle toastiness from light aging on rye-whiskey-soaked oak.”

Random: This comes in at 46 IBUs.

The beer poured with a loose, fluffy, white head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was bright orange and had a lot of visible carbonation. The nose was filled with rye and citrus. There was a touch of vanilla as well. The taste started with the same rye that came through in the nose. It quickly transitioned into orange and lemon hops and then had some white peppercorns as well. I had a hard time finding any whisky, but slight vanilla came through. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation. The finish was quick with rye and white pepper. I picked this bottle up for $9.99, which came to $.45 per ounce. I liked this beer, I just wish that it had more whiskey.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0