Archive for July, 2011

This was the second beer that I had at Surf Taco. I’ve had this beer a bunch of times, but for some reason, I’ve never reviewed it. When I first got into beer, my favorite style was fruit beers, so this one totally fit the bill. This was also the first beer that I ever had from 21st Amendment. Given how hot it is today, let’s see if I still enjoy it.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hell or High Watermelon Wheat is our summer seasonal beer available from April through September in six pack cans and on draft. We start by brewing a classic American wheat beer, which undergoes a traditional secondary fermentation using fresh watermelon. A straw-colored, refreshing beer with a kiss of watermelon aroma and flavor.”

Random: I really hope that the Phils get Heath Bell, although with 15 minutes left, it’s not looking good.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden-yellow color with mild visible carbonation. The nose was very muted. I only got a hint of watermelon. I remember this having more of a nose the last time that I had it. On the taste, the first thing that hit me was how much more carbonation there was on the taste than what I could see in the glass. The next thing that hit me was that this tasted exactly like a liquid watermelon jolly rancher to me. This was completely saturated with lots of artificial watermelon, which wasn’t all that pleasant. After that, I really didn’t get anything else. Any other flavors were completely hidden by the watermelon. The finish was quick, again with watermelon. I remember enjoying this beer much more…I guess my tastes have changed. I would not rush back to have this.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

My buddy and I ran out to Surf Taco for lunch while my brisket was smoking. I seriously love Surf Taco. I’ve only been there a few times, but the food there is always solid. I also was completely unaware that they had some craft beers on tap. The only true macro that they have on tap is Miller Lite. Epic is a new brewery to New Jersey, and I haven’t tried anything from them yet. Let’s see how it goes.

ABV: 6.6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery: “Spiral Jetty India Pale Ale is the launching point in our series of hoppy IPA brews. Spiral Jetty IPA has an aggressive hop profile (five different hops used here with two in the dry hop) presenting citrus, floral, resinous or pine aromas and flavors typical of American hops and a nice pleasant, cleansing bitterness on the finish. The dominance of the hops helps to balance the complex malt flavors and the higher alcohol content. Spiral Jetty is our strongest Classic Series ale at 6.6% alcohol by volume, but certainly not our strongest beer.”

Random: I had this coconut shrimp taco at Surf Taco (it was a special) and it was possibly the best taco that I’ve ever had. Just sayin’.

This brew poured with a two-finger, pure white, fluffy head. It dissipated slowly and left significant lacing on the glass. The body was a clear golden color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose presented with definite citrus and pine notes. On the taste, I was definitely surprised. I expected a lighter IPA that was a total hop bomb. But, the taste was way bigger than I expected. It was full-bodied with a lot of oily pine resin on it. I also got a bit of malt at the end, to balance out some of the hops. The resin was stick and lingered for awhile. The brew also had mild carbonation, which again, was surprising. I also got some floral notes after a few sips. I definitely enjoyed this IPA, as it had more than one dimension. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

This is definitely a two-review type of night, especially after the week that I had. At least I have next Friday off, which is good because next Thursday is IPA day. I’m thinking of hitting up Philly and trying to find some Pliny. Well, that’s what one of my buddies wants to do because he’s obsessed with Pliny. I’ll just be the willing accomplice. So, this is another beer from the Massachusetts stash. I’ve never heard of the Maine Beer Company and their website is pretty sparse, to say the least. It matches their label as well. It was one of the most simple and plain labels that I’ve ever seen. But, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: The motto of the Maine Beer Company is “Do what’s right.” I’m down with that.

Random: Hunter Pence is going to be joining the Phillies. I think that’s definitely a good trade.

First of all, this beer poured with a crazy head, as you can probably tell by the picture. It was a generous three finger tan head that took forever to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark chestnut-brown with no visible carbonation due to the color of the brew. The nose had two distinctive scents to it. First, I got a great deal of grassy hops. Then, it followed up with lots of caramel malt. This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from an amber…I was definitely intrigued at this point. On first sip, I got a lot of caramel and toffee maltiness. Then, after a few sips, the hops make an appearance. But, for me, the malt took the front seat on this one and lasted until the finish. I also got a bit of brown sugar and breadiness that lasted through the finish. This was definitely an enjoyable beer, but on it says that this is a hoppy amber. I definitely would not agree with that. For me, this is more on the malty side than the hoppy side, but totally worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Today was the end of a very rough work week. I went out with my buddy to one of my favorite sports bars to grab some dinner and a brew. I was planning on doing the strongman tomorrow, but I just managed to twist my knee. I’m thinking that perhaps a strongman is not the best idea. Anyways, back to the beer. They really didn’t have a lot to choose from. And again, I’m getting to the point that I’ve had so many beers that it’s a struggle to find one to review at a normal bar. This is a beer I’ve had many times and I really can’t believe that I haven’t reviewed it.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon (not necessarily a full moon) appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, which is a rare event. The effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere, as has happened after forest fires in Sweden and Canada in 1950 and 1951, and after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which caused the moon to appear blue for nearly two years. Other less potent volcanos have also turned the moon blue. People saw blue moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico, and there are reports of blue moons caused by Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.”

Random: This was one of the beers that got me into craft beer. It took me awhile to figure out it was made by Coors…

This is a beer that people either enjoy or seem to love to hate. For me, it has a certain sentimental value. Whenever I drink Blue Moon, it brings me back to the good times that I’ve had (usually at outdoor bars) when I was in my early twenties. So, I guess for me, it has more sentimental value than anything. It’s also a beer that I’ll drink if I’m at a bar that has nothing else on tap except macros. Now that I’ve brought you down memory lane, let’s get into the review. The beer poured a cloudy orange color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The head on the beer was pure white and barely one finger and dissipated quickly with no lacing left on the glass. The nose was a bit of citrus, a hint of spice and a little wheat. On the taste, the citrus was definitely the dominant flavor. The spice was pretty muted and wheat was also apparent. The finish was quick and fruity. Despite the fact that I’ve found much better witbiers, this one is still an easy drinker and incredibly refreshing. I’ll definitely have it again, even if it’s made by Coors.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

This is a two beer review type of night. Saying I’m definitely not reviewing anything tomorrow, I figured why not do two tonight. One of my friends bought this beer and left a few in my car. For some odd reason, I left it in the fridge to taste. After drinking two of these, I’m really not looking forward to this…at all. But, for educational purposes, I’m going to review it. And here we go…

ABV: 4.3%

Style: Light Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Michelob Light is a full-flavored, rich-tasting light lager with surprisingly low calories and carbohydrate content. Traditionally brewed with European hops and a blend of the finest two-row and caramel malts, Michelob Light is fermented and aged with our classic lager yeast strain and cold-matured for balanced crispness.”

Random: Why am I drinking this? I really have no idea.

So, I can’t even justify pouring this into a glass. This is probably the first beer I’ve ever had that I haven’t poured into a glass. Anyways, On the nose, yeah, not much. Maybe a hint of beer? There really wasn’t anything to this. On the taste, I get a slightly unpleasant sweetness with a bit of wateriness. Wow, this is a horrible macro. I never thought that I would say this, but please, hand me a Coors Light. There is really no finish to it, a bit of the sweetness lingers. What cracks me up is that on the label it says, “Our full flavored light lager features a malty sweetness and aromatic hop profile.” Where are the hops, cause seriously, I can’t find them. This is most definitely a drainpour. Avoid!

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

I’ve fallen off the wagon with reviews. It has been a crazy week at work, probably one of the worst weeks since I started there 7 years ago. I’ve basically been hitting the gym and coming straight home. Yesterday, I was at the gym, totally tearing it up, when the owner comes over and tells me he put me in the annual strongman competition (ladies division). Now, for my size, I’m pretty strong, but I’m only 5’2″, so I’m not completely sure I’m going to do it. It’s also on Saturday, so it’s not like I had time to train for it. But, my buddy took me out yesterday after my two-hour workout to go flip tires and it went decently well, so we’ll see. Anyways, this is the other brew that I bought from Trader Joe’s.

ABV:  5.2%

Style: Dunkelweizen

Trivia: And this would be another Trader Joe’s offering that is contract brewed by Gordon Biersch.

Random: The tire that my buddy will be flipping is taller than me.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy chestnut-brown with moderate visible carbonation. On the nose, I got banana and a bit of clove and nutmeg. I also got a bit of lemon. The taste was less pleasant than the nose. I definitely got the banana flavor and a bit of spice. The lemon came through on the end. But, the carbonation definitely was a bit lacking. After a few sips of this, the banana definitely hit me as the overwhelming flavor and lasted onto the finish. Not a bad dunkelweizen, but definitely not even close to the best one I ever had. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

I have yet another case of the Mondays. I’m still sore from my workout on Friday, so I came right home. I’ve been taking Mondays off from the gym and it’s been working out pretty well. The Phillies got embarrassed today by the Padres and Lee was pitching. It was horrible, but I know you have to lose some games. I’m currently waiting for the Yankees to play, but they’re currently in a rain delay. Anyways, this is another selection from the fridge.

ABV: 4.6%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: This is a contract brew for Trader Joe’s done by Firestone Walker.

Random: I seriously love Trader Joe’s, but I hate how crowded it always is. But, they really have good stuff.

The brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw yellow with lots of active visible carbonation. The nose had notes of grapefruit and lovely hoppiness. It reminded me of fresh citrus. The taste wasn’t exactly what I expected. I got a lot of honey sweetness with a touch of biscuit and really mild bitterness. The citrus was also not as present as I would have expected. The finish lingered for awhile with a bit of sweetness. Although the nose led me to believe that this was going to be a really good beer, for me, this was only mediocre. I could finish it, but there are so many better pale ales out there. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0