Whenever we travel, if there is an aquarium, I want to visit it. Val is nice enough to come along, but she really likes if they have an otter exhibit. When I was in California, we saw the otter exhibit and otter show at the aquarium in Long Beach. They are really cute, especially when they play with shaved ice. I can’t say that I was surprised when she came home with this beer.

spaceotter

ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our story began on the morning after Eric William’s 40th birthday. While most 40-year olds celebrate their midlife crisis with a car and a younger girlfriend, Eric woke up and told his wife ‘Megan, we are going to open a craft brewery in Milford!’ After two years of planning, brewing (and tasting!!), traveling the country, and assembling a team of partners, Mispillion River Brewing opened in Milford, Delaware in the Fall of 2013. It is our goal to use the highest quality barley, hops, water and yeast to produce the finest beers on Mullet Run St. Our beers are for all drinkers, from n00bs to nerds, from Hopheads to Stoutfaces.”

Random: The information on the brewery website is from 2015 and there is absolutely no information about this beer.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. It did leave a small crown on top of the light orange body. It was hazy and had some carbonation visible, despite the haziness. The nose had lemon-lime soda and grass. There was a sweetness at the end from the malt as well. It was like a sweet loaf of bread. The taste was delicate. The lemon-lime soda came through, but also had lemon pith. It had a moderate amount of bready malt that gave it some sweetness and dominated the flavor at the end of the sip. This was an easy drinking pale with light carbonation. I wish it had a bit more. The finish was quick with lemon flesh and bready malt for some sweetness. This was $1.83 a can, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. I liked this beer and had no problem pounding this down, but it was a middle of the road pale ale for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

When I was doing research on this cider, I found that they have a very popular pear cider. Of course, that’s not the one that I picked out. Instead, I went for the one that was much more “unique.”

strawberrylim

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “Like summer in a glass; a splash of fresh strawberries in apple juice, and a squeeze of tangy lime. Drink it over ice and the job’s done. Available in can, bottle and on draught.”

Random: The cidery website asks if you’re legal drinking age in your country, but only gives a “yes” option. Also, the glass they show this cider in on the website is really interesting looking.

The cider poured with absolutely no head on top of a clear, bright, pink body. I could see some carbonation, but not nearly as much as I expected. On the nose, I picked up strawberry syrup and cherry ice pops. What wasn’t there was lime or apples, for that matter. I kept trying to find a yeast note too, but this was just cherry and strawberry soda. The taste started with incredible sweetness (and not in a good way). Like the nose, there was lots of strawberry syrup, but it was sweeter that I would have guessed. There wasn’t much cherry, but there was also a simple syrup note. The lime was muted and was also artificial tasting. At the end of the sip, I got juice box apple juice. The cider was cloyingly sweet and I couldn’t get past it. It had a medium thick body and was under-carbonated. The finish hung around for awhile and had the same sickeningly sweet note. A bottle of this was $2.99 ($.19 per ounce). I’m not a huge fan of sweet ciders and this is one that I won’t be having again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

With so many different IPAs out there, it’s not surprising that lots of breweries are jumping on the bandwagon of adding fruit to their offerings. I haven’t had many pineapple IPAs and Val thought she would like this one (spoiler: she didn’t).

evolutionpine

ABV: 6.8%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our story starts as a tale of two brothers, Tom with his passion for craft beer, and John with his passion for food. But it goes well beyond that. It involves you and your friends. Backyard barbecues and amazing meals. And beers you won’t ever want to forget. Our top-rated beers are perfectly crafted to complement great food. Whether it’s the food we serve at our restaurants or the foods you make at home. It’s the constant evolution to create the perfect pairings for you to enjoy. Ever-better beer for ever-better food. An excellent recipe for ever-better times.”

Random: The best pineapple I’ve ever had was in Hawaii.

This beer poured with a two finger, white head that took awhile to dissipate. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, copper color with some moderate carbonation. On the nose, I picked up canned pineapple rings, pine needles and grass. It was a bit catty. It was more towards the typical IPA notes than pineapple. There was a cracker malt component to it. The taste was also way more IPA than fruit-forward. There were notes of pine sap and needles. The cattiness that I picked up in the nose came through in the taste as well. There wasn’t a whole lot of malt, but some slight sweetness at the end. The pineapple was a bit player in this beer and manifested as pineapple juice. The body was light with high carbonation. The finish was quick and catty. A bottle of this was $1.42, which broke down to $.12 per ounce. I wouldn’t have pegged this as a pineapple IPA. It was drinkable, but nothing that I feel the need to revisit.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

One of the things about the craft beer scene that I think is very cool is the expansion of beer bus tours. I haven’t taken one (yet), but in Maine, it was a huge thing and also keeps people safe since they don’t have to drive.

youremyboyblue

ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blueberry wheat ale brewed with real blueberries to give it a natural deep purple color. We use Pacific Gem hops for optimal balance.”

Random: I love the “Old School” reference.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger, orange-tinged head. It wasn’t all that thick and after I took the picture, dissipated rather quickly and didn’t leave much lacing behind. The body was a cloudy orange with some carbonation visible. The nose had notes of blueberries, but wasn’t overly sweet. Wheat was there as well, along with lemon zest and light malt. The taste was quite good. It started with tart blueberries and went into the lemon zest note that was evident in the nose. The wheat came through at the end and wasn’t the dominant flavor. I fully expected this beer to be a sweet berry bomb, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. The body was thin with high carbonation, which was completely appropriate for the style. The finish was tart and fruity. I enjoyed this beer a lot. This would make for a great summer sipper and at $2.50 a can ($.21 per ounce), totally affordable. This could be my favorite of the Brew Bus series so far and one of my favorite blueberry beers. You can tell that they use actual blueberries as opposed to extract.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

As I’ve mentioned, Val tends to like fruitier alcoholic beverages, so this was another one that she picked out. I’ve had Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer and it looks like they’ve put out some variants due to its popularity.

crabbiesraspberry

ABV: 4%

Style: Ginger Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We are excited to introduce the newest flavor to the Crabbies’ family, Scottish Raspberry. Available nationwide, Crabbie’s Raspberry Alcoholic Ginger Beer combines steeped ginger with exotic spices and natural Scottish raspberry flavor for a deliciously distinct, raspberry-ginger delight. Crabbie’s Raspberry is best served cold and poured over ice. Crabbie’s uses plump and juicy Glen Ample raspberries, which are indigenous to the Perthshire and Angus regions in Scotland, and are grown and cultivated in the Strathmore Valley to take full advantage of the fertile soil and temperate climate. They are harvested in mid-summer to produce the succulent fruits, which are then macerated and extracted for use in the Scottish Raspberry Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Crabbie’s is available for purchase in two formats: a four-pack of 11 ounce bottles and a larger 16.9 ounce bottle. Ideal for sipping, it can also be blended into a variety of ginger beer cocktails, such as a Raspberry Collins and a Moscow Mule.”

Random: This was first released in 2015.

The ginger beer poured with a quarter finger of head that dissipated by the time I took the picture. The body was a brilliant magenta color with a generous amount of carbonation. The nose was sweet and filled with raspberry extract, along with a slight spice note of ground ginger. There was a slight sweetness that was that was tangible as well. The taste was a bit of a disappointment. The artificial raspberry note was pronounced and there wasn’t enough ginger flavor to balance it out. The ginger was there and again, was more of a ground ginger than fresh. I could see the flavors working out better in a cocktail than on its own. The body was light and spritzer-like. The finish lasted longer than I expected with the same raspberry note. A bottle of this was $2.25 for 11 ounces ($.21 per ounce). I wasn’t a huge fan of this, but I’d be open to trying it again in a mixed drink.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Sometimes I will get a beer, despite having heard from multiple reputable podcasts about how bad it is. This was one of those beers. I thought that it couldn’t possibly be as bad as everyone was saying. I was wrong…very wrong.

watermelondorado

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Watermelon Dorado Double IPA is not one to back down from big flavors. Mash, kettle, and dry hopping blend to create a huge hop profile that is balanced with a blast of watermelon. The result is a refreshing brew that is all summer and no seeds.”

Random: The older I get, the more that artificial flavoring bothers me.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated quickly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and dusky orange with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was liquid watermelon-flavored Jolly Ranchers. I left it for a few minutes, trying to pick something else up, but that was the only note that I got and man, was it strong. The taste was just terrible. It was a combination of the same watermelon Jolly Ranchers and strong, astringent booze. It reminded me of when I was in my early twenties and drinking watermelon martinis seemed like a good idea (there was also a significant amount of watermelon schnapps in there, which was equally gross in retrospect). There was some piney bitterness that didn’t complement the watermelon and came off as borderline medicinal. The body was thick and chewy with a lot of carbonation, but it couldn’t cut the strong, off-putting flavors. The finish was quick with pine and the same artificial watermelon note. A bottle of this was $2.50, which came to $.21 per ounce. This is a beer that I would avoid, even if it was free.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

This is a beer that I was really excited to pop open when Val and I got sushi. I thought the flavors would pair really well and I’m always excited about a chili beer.

thaichiliwahoo

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Wahoo Wheat is brewed with unfiltered, un-malted wheat and oats that give it a distinctive cloudy complexity.True to the Belgian tradition, this Witbier boasts a refreshing, citrusy flavor thanks to the orange peel and coriander we add to the boil. This makes Wahoo an ideal beer for year-round beach weather.”

Random: Getting up early for work during the week translates to me not being able to sleep past 7 AM on weekends.

This beer poured with a quarter finger of white head that dissipated instantly. There was no lacing left on the glass. The body was very hazy and light yellow in color with minimal carbonation visible. The nose had a hot pepper note with orange peel and wheat. There wasn’t any other spice and the dominant scent was hot pepper. The taste was flat-out disappointing. It was all capsaicin heat, to the point that it burned the back of my throat. I couldn’t pick up lime, citrus or wheat because the heat was so intense. What annoyed me was the fact that the spice didn’t add flavor, but seemed to just steamroll every other aspect of the beer, which made it a bit gimmicky. The body was light and the carbonation was more significant than I would have guessed based on what I saw. The taste was all capsaicin heat. It burned the back of my throat. There was really not wheat characteristic because the heat was so overwhelming. The body was light with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and hot. This beer just wasn’t one I enjoyed. I felt that it was a bit gimmicky, and although the bomber was affordable at $6.99 ($.32 per ounce), I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0