Tonight’s beer is one that I’ve never tried from Stone. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pat-ASK-ala? Pata-SKALA? Pa-TASK-a-la? While those in the know favor the third pronunciation, no matter how you say it, this is a unique red IPA. The beer was first brewed in September 2015 to support music and arts education programs in Pataskala, Ohio, where Stone co-founder Greg Koch grew up. People there loved it, so we added the beer to our seasonal lineup, and the Pataskala name stuck. The crimson hue is courtesy of a special German malt variety by BESTMALZ® called Red X. Appearances, however, only tell so much. Heavily dry-hopped with Mosaic, Cascade and Amarillo hops, the beer is incredibly citrus-forward, rounded out with notes of biscuit and toffee from the malt bill. The result is evocative of red IPAs yet different. And as luck — or perhaps skill is more the appropriate word, to give our brewing team their due — would have it, it’s quite wonderful. We think you’ll find this unusual red IPA to be quite deliciously satisfying, no matter how you choose to pronounce it.”

Random: I’m so glad that “So You Think You Can Dance” features adults this season, instead of children.

This beer poured with a full finger of off white head. It took awhile to go away and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color that had red highlights. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was nutty and had pine sap and sweet orange flesh. The taste had a lot of nutty malt, along with old pine sap and peanuts. The alcohol was astringent and prevalent in this one. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and nutty. A bottle of this set me back $2, which came to $.17 per ounce. This beer was a miss for me. It needed more hops, which is weird to say for a Stone beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0


Another day, another beer. This was one that I was excited to try, especially given that the brewery is down the street from Val’s mother’s house. I had this one on tap at our local bar.

ABV: 8.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Limited cans and draft available – call your local retailer or follow Two Roads’ social channels for availability Two Juicy is an unfiltered, cloudy ‘New England style Double IPA’ that uses generous amounts of Hallertauer Blanc, Citra & Mandarina Bavaria hops. The result is a ‘juicy’, fully-charged DIPA with notes of grapefruit, pine, lychee, orange & tangerine against a soft malt backdrop.”

Random: I am starving. We ordered sushi tonight and I’m definitely craving it.

The beer poured with a one finger, slightly off white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was very cloudy and yellow in color with no visible carbonation since it was so hazy. The nose was very fragrant with lots of bright citrus flesh and bordered on tropical. I specifically picked out mango, pineapple and kumquat. The taste wasn’t nearly as good as the nose. It had some citrus peel and dusty pineapple. It reminded me of the bottom of a container of orange pineapple juice. The alcohol was overly present. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with citrus pith and needed more tropical fruit. For me, this was a miss. Given that I had it on draft, I’d be curious to give it another shot.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Westbrook was one of the breweries that I visited while I was in South Carolina a few years ago. I tried a bunch of their gose variants, which were good (and given the fact that it was humid as all get out, went down very easily), but I really wanted to try one of their stouts. I also haven’t gotten my hands on Mexican Cake, but I guess this will do…for now.

ABV: 12%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: This was released in 22 ounce bombers and on tap.

Random: Our cats are obsessed with ping-pong balls. They use them to play cat soccer and hit the ball to each other. It’s very cute. Sometimes, they even hit them back to us.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was dark black in color with no visible carbonation. On the nose, I picked up dark chocolate, licorice and a touch of molasses. There was some coffee as well with a lot of bitter malt. The taste started with some booze and lightly burnt chocolate. It had black licorice, smoke and some tobacco. The body was thick and chewy. It had just enough carbonation. The finish lasted for awhile and had a lot of chocolate and licorice. I picked this bomber up for $11, which came to $.50 per ounce. This beer was on the expensive side, but had great flavor to it and I’m glad I gave it a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

This was another beer that came home because Val really likes the Not Your Father’s selection. She let me have a couple of sips of one.

ABV: 5.9%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Driven by passion for American heritage and ingenuity, Small Town Brewery’s founder and brewmaster, Tim Kovac, is forever experimenting with cherished classics. Kovac’s fond memories of his family’s homemade ginger ale and hard lemon candy inspired him to spend several years painstakingly refining his recipe for a sessionable, alcoholic ginger ale with a nuanced, yet refreshingly familiar taste and aroma. Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale presents a masterfully-balanced ginger and citrus body, with hints of black currant lending complementary floral and fruity spice notes. The end result is a pioneering craft specialty ale that delivers what we believe is a truly worthy and unparalleled evolution of another beverage icon.”

Random: This is a year-round offering from the brewery.

The beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of white head that went away instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw-yellow in color, filled with carbonation. The nose had notes of sugar and ginger. I kept sniffing, but I didn’t find anything else. The taste was a combination of fresh ginger and Sprite. It had a white sugar note as well. This was not complex, to say the least. The body was light and it had too much carbonation for me. The finish was quick with ginger and sugar. A bottle of this was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. I found this to be a bit gimmicky and not worth a second try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Val and I are watching the new season of “American Ninja Warrior” and it seems like every year, the obstacles get more ridiculous, and this year is no exception. I can definitely use a beer to drink while watching this one.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “At a Brooklyn beer event in October of 2014, 5 friends decided to join forces in a unique beer collaboration by beer industry women. The brew was so successful that the tradition has continued each year since! This imperial stout is brewed and fermented with cocoa nibs and a special chili blend, giving it a tantalizing chocolate aroma, and flavor with a heat that creeps onto the palate and builds into a beautiful balance of sweetness and spice.”

Random: I believe this brewery recently got distribution to New Jersey.

The beer poured with a quarter of a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown in color with no visible carbonation. The nose had a lot of smoke and ashy chocolate. There was some chili pepper to it, but it needed more. Cocoa powder also made an appearance. The taste had a pleasant heat that hit in the back of the throat, along with shaved milk chocolate. Cocoa powder came through next with cherries. There was a marked booze note as well, which took away from the flavor. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The finish was quick with chili and cocoa. A bottle of this was $1.67, which came to $.14 per ounce. I wish this beer had more intense chili to it and less alcohol presence.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Since I was 2 in 1985, I have no idea what a 1985 style IPA drank like. But, I think it’s interesting that Evil Twin tried to recreate one. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This is a tasty time-traveling tribute to an all time iconic beer style – the India Pale Ale. Though the style goes 200 years back this time around we re-created a 1985 style IPA – perhaps you remember the hip hop times. Enjoy a full on hoppy beer infused with everything you loved about the 80’s. The future is now.”

Random: This was brewed at Two Roads in Stratford, Connecticut.

The beer poured with a two finger, pure white head. It went away quickly, but still left light lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and bright amber in color. There was some carbonation visible. The nose was muted for the style. There was some old grapefruit rind and pine needles. There was some caramel malt. The taste started with a lot of nutty malt and went into a lemon candy note with some pine cleaner. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with nutty malt and a slight pine aftertaste. I received this beer as a gift, so I’m not sure how much it was (and beer gifts are always appreciated). I thought this beer was good and it was reminiscent of some of the first IPAs I drank. I think it accomplished what it set out to do.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

When this beer came out, everyone on the beer Facebook groups went crazy, so I had to see what all of the hype was about.

ABV: 6.3%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Spring is definitely in the air and theres nothing better than some ice cream in a glass! Knowing what we now do about scaling we got this bad boy dialed in. Recipe has remained the same but our process was a little closer to last year’s canned run than this year’s first batch. If you loved either then be excited for this one! Awesome mouthfeel, tempered bitterness and orange and vanilla popping from the glass. New cans feature the BOLERO SNORT stamp along the bottom and have updated hop cones around the OVB logo. As always we recommend checking ahead before driving anywhere as deliveries are made throughout the day and may take time to hit the floor though we expect less issues as this is already in everyones systems. Any spots that didn’t already received last week’s allocations will get them along with their OVB drops. Tune back in as we’ll be updating the list throughout the week!”

Random: I loved creamsicles as a kid.

The beer poured with a finger of thin white head that dissipated quickly and left limited lacing on the glass. The body was clear and golden-yellow with high carbonation. On the nose, I picked up lemon and orange hops with orange peel and vanilla extract at the end. The taste started more hoppy and earthy than expected with grass and then went into orange and vanilla. Lactose was a player as well. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with vanilla and lactose. A pounder can was $3.25 ($.20 per ounce). I thought the beer was alright, but bordered on gimmicky.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0