Traffic coming home from work last night was ridiculous. I thought it wouldn’t be so bad because everyone would have already been where they were going. I was wrong. It took me about an hour and a half to get home. When I got home, I was pretty tired, so we just hung out on the couch and watched tv and went to sleep. I managed to sleep in until 9:30 AM, which hasn’t happened in months. Anyways, let’s get to the other beer that I tried last night.

white birch

ABV: 5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hop Session is in. Starting with a blend of west coast hops for a balanced, bitter effect. We close the session out by late hopping the beer for a nice resiny mouth feel.”

Random: The meow was not thrilled that I slept in because he wanted to be fed around 7 this morning.

This beer poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly. It didn’t leave any lacing on the glass, but a very slight crown. The body was a hazy, orange color with moderate carbonation. The nose had grapefruit and citrusy hops, but smelled old. The taste was musty and dank with grass, grapefruit with some woodsy notes as well. The body was light, almost watery with light carbonation. It needed a bit more. It had a long, sticky finish with dank hops. I picked this up at Half Time for $2.09 a can ($.17 per ounce), which isn’t a bad price. Despite that, it was still a beer was only alright and not one that I would have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Happy 4th! This is one of the beers that I had after work last night. Let’s see how it was.

winefride

ABV: 7%

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Lovely Saint Winefride is a ‘brown’ lager, created by Dann using a complicated and extremely-rare decoction mash. You’re correct, ‘Brown Lager’ isn’t actually a style, but we wanted to make the most deliciously malty lager imaginable. At the same time we wanted this to taste like a lager you’d actually find in Germany, bursting with authentic character and suitable for the most discerning old-timer. Besides the decoction mash, we fermented Saint Winefride at 52 degrees and lagered her over a period of 9 weeks in the deep of winter. They just don’t make lagers like this here in New England. The beer is malty, containing a blend of German malts and roasted German malts. There’s even the wisp of smoke near the end. St Winefride lived in post-Roman Wales from 600 to 660 A.D. She was charming and intelligent, and decided to become a nun. Unfortunately, this news went down poorly with her suitor, Caradoc, who hacked off her head. Luckily, her Uncle Beuno was able to perform the miracle of reattaching it and she recovered fully. (Hooray!). She became an Abbess and governed Gwytherin Abbey in Wales until her death on November 3rd, 660 A.D. The lager, yes lager, started out as an idea to create a very rustic beer with a roasted character and a brown disposition. We imagined a pre-Great War sort of beer that might have been on its last legs of popularity. The kind of beer young folks of the time would laugh about as being ‘an old man’s lagerbier.’ Well Pretty Things is the old-man’s-dream-beer-brewer, so we decided to give it a whirl. We started with malted barley and hops from the German tradition and employed a single decoction mash. Decoction is a slightly complicated, time intensive and little used technique (on this continent anyway) that insured temperature accuracy in the age before real temperature control. Got it? Okay, that was a boring explanation. How is this: we took a portion of the mash and boiled it at 212 degrees F for 15 minutes. Trust us, boiling a mash is rare. Dann has only done this a handful of times in his twenty year career (on purpose anyway). Ahem. We continue by saying this brown lager is also quite delicious and nice to drink. If you choose to not think about boiling mashes and old men we assure you this beer will still very much please your palate.”

Random: I love beers with a story behind them.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. It also left a half a finger of crown on top of the dark brown body. There was no carbonation visible. The nose had brown bread, smoke and nuttiness. The taste was filled with brown bread as well. There was also nuttiness and pepper. Malt was present too. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a long, bready finish with lots of nuttiness. This was also a beer that my parents picked up for me, so no comment on the price of this one. This beer was well-crafted, no doubt, I just wasn’t a huge fan of the flavors. I wouldn’t have this one again, but it’s more of a qualm with the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

My drive to work today was really quick with very little traffic. But, I have never seen so many cops out. Luckily, I do the speed limit on days like that. Now, let’s talk about this beer. Val wanted a beer last night, and I brought this one up for her. She picked this out at Half Time. The bottle was cute, but I think that was the only thing going for this beer.

seedy

ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Seedy Blonde Apple Ale is a refreshing and drinkable blonde with flavors and aromas of apples. The finish is dry and slightly tart, balanced with pale and caramel malts and notes of red apple.”

Random: I’m not a huge fan of apple beers. Ciders? Absolutely down with them.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with high carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of corn and some skunk with very little apple. The taste was like a macro with an apple slice thrown in. Like the nose, it had a lot of corn and skunk and then some apple juice. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a (thankfully) quick finish with corn and skunk. It was $1.79 for the bottle ($.15 per ounce), which is pretty cheap, but not for a beer this pathetic. This beer was absolutely awful and I wouldn’t have it again. I’m lucky this was Val’s beer, because this would have been a drainpour for me.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Last night’s beer was this offering from a gypsy brewer in Denmark. Let’s see how it went.

to ol

ABV: 7%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We bring you a black, thick, milk stout called By Udder Means. We wanted to do a stout that had a thick mouth feel and still a low alcohol percentage. We obtained this by adding a solid amount of lactose in the beer. The yeast strain we used is not capable of fermenting lactose, so when the beer stops fermenting all lactose still remains in the beer. At the same time, lactose doesn’t leave this sweet touch to the beer, so you can obtain a thick mouth feel without having an overly sweet or overly strong stout. We hope you enjoy.”

Random: This was brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

This beer poured with a three finger, light brown head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of spider web lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation. The nose had roasted malts and lactose. After a few sniffs, I picked up smoke. The taste wasn’t like the typical milk stout. It had a lot of smoke, dark chocolate bitterness and burnt coffee beans. There was a touch of lactose present as well. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a long finish with smoke. This was an expensive beer at $7.29 for the bottle ($.61 per ounce). Despite the price, this beer was really flavorful and a unique take on a milk stout. I would have this again, if not for the price.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

This beer is a style that is relatively rare. I’ve only had 4 others, the most recent being in January of 2014, so I was excited to give this beer a try.

tarnation

ABV: 5.3%

Style: California Common/Steam Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed in a style born in 19th-century California, Tarnation is Baxter Brewing’s first lager. American crystal malts provide light toast and caramel notes along with the beer’s rich amber hue, while Munich malt supplies Tarnation’s malty body. The complex malt notes balance the ample bitterness of American Northern Brewer hops (the signature hop for this style) giving the beer great balance. An authentic San Francisco lager yeast ferments the brew, yielding a clean, crisp and satisfying beer. This lager requires several weeks of cold conditioning (‘lagering’). but we think it’s worth the wait.”

Random: I really like this brewery’s can art. It’s bright and visually pleasing.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, orange color with light carbonation visible. It also had a lot of floaties. The nose was mild with clean malt and a touch of caramel. The taste was really clean with biscuit, caramel and then a little bit of bitterness from the hops. The body was thick for the style with high carbonation. It had a long, clean finish with biscuit and dryness from the hops. The can was $2.13 ($.18 per ounce), which is a nice price for a quality beer. This was a nice, easy drinking beer that I would have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

It’s so close to being the weekend. Given the heat, I thought this beer would be a good choice.

bayou

ABV: 5.74%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Growing wild on our grandfather’s farm fences and in the tree lines all around our Amaudville home, we have consume a lot of fresh passion fruit through the year. The vines still grow abundantly around our family’s crawfish pond and behind the brewery, along the banks of the Bayou Teche. When they are in season, after a hard days work, we look forward to sitting in the shade of a large oak tree on the bayou’s bank, enjoying the pulpy fruit till we nearly make ourselves sick. When they arrived in Acadiana, our French-speaking ancestors discovered the passion fruit growing here and name it ‘grenade’ (pronounced grruh-nod). We still call it that today, the fruit’s juice has a refreshingly tropical, guava-like, sweet/tart flavor. Passionne is our wheat beer, which we brew to quench Acadiana’s warm weather thirsts. The ale is the color of a South Louisiana sun, and pours with the bright citrus flavor of passion fruit.”

Random: I don’t think I’ve ever had passion fruit.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated almost instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, bright orange color and had a lot of carbonation. The nose had some passion fruit and wheat. The taste was lackluster at best. It had some sort of tropical fruit juice, but nothing that I could call out as specifically passion fruit. There was some wheat as well, but nothing else to the beer. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with fruit juice. The bottle was $2.69, which broke down to $.22 per ounce, purchased at Half Time. Despite the reasonable price, this beer was only alright at best.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

This was the beer that I popped open last night when I got in from the rain. I wanted something with a bit more body than what I’ve been having lately and I’ve been excited to crack this open ever since I picked it up. It was also the last bottle on the shelf.

grimm

ABV: 8.3%

Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Cherry Oak Shapeshifter pours a deep mahogany with ruby highlights and a luscious cream-colored head. This beer has been aging for six months on tart Montmorency cherries in second use brand barrels. Aromas of caramel, hazelnuts and a hint of brand waft from the glass, to be followed by decadent flavors of tart cherry, vanilla and marzipan.”

Random: New York is putting out some insanely good beers lately.

This beer poured with a half a finger of off white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, reddish-brown with light carbonation visible. The nose was fragrant with peat and cherry. The taste had a lot of oak and then sweetness from the cherry as well. There was not as much peat as I would have liked, but it was present. There was also some vanilla and hazelnuts too. I didn’t pick up the marzipan, which would have been a welcome addition to the brew. The body was on the medium side with light carbonation. I didn’t pick up any booze. The finish was lengthy with cherry and oak. This bomber was $16.69 at Half Time ($.76 per ounce), which is a bit on the expensive side. As seems to be the norm with this brewery, I loved this beer and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0