Archive for January, 2014

One of the days that we were down in DC, we ended up at Brasserie Beck. I was excited to go as they had quite the beer list and their food was well-regarded. I decided against getting the mussels there as the ones I had the previous night at St. Arnold’s were so good. This was the brew that I tried with the cheese plate and sandwich that I got there. I hadn’t ever heard of the brewery, so I figured it was worth a try.

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ABV: 7.1%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: The brewery is located in DC and just opened on my birthday last year. Talk about crazy local.

Random: The cheese plate at this restaurant was really good. It paired really well with the beer.

The beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly with a cloudy chestnut body that had low carbonation visible. There was lots of lacing left as well. The nose was very spicy with coriander and clove and also had a unique nuttiness to it as well. This was definitely a unique saison. The taste was more citrus, but also had a distinctive nutty characteristic to it with some yeast presence and spice as well. Lemon specifically was present. The spice was nice and not overpowering. The body was light with heavy carbonation which tickled the tongue. The finish was long with a lot of yeast to it as well. This beer was really unique and flavorful. I would definitely have this again if I could ever find it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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I was looking on the New Belgium website about information regarding the beer and it calls this beer a “black lager,” which I found very interesting since everything else that I’ve seen states that it’s a black ale. Anyways, this was the second brew that I had during the second round of mussels at St. Arnold’s.

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ABV: 5.6%

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Born of a flood and centuries-old Belgian text, 1554 Black Lager uses a lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts to redefine what dark beer can be. In 1997, a Fort Collins flood destroyed the original recipe our researcher, Phil Benstein, found in the library. So Phil and brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, traveled to Belgium to retrieve this unique style lost to the ages. Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and mouthfeel.”

Random: I’ve started to watch Downton Abbey with the other half. So far, it’s really good.

The brew poured with a three finger, fluffy tan head. It dissipated very slowly and left a huge amount of lacing on the dimpled liter glass. By the way, those glasses were pretty darn heavy. The body was a dark brown color with heavy carbonation. The nose had a lot of roasted malts and some coffee with some Belgian yeast.  The taste was very heavy with roasted malts and coffee. There was no booze note to the beer at all. There was also a touch of licorice as well. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation present. The finish was long and roasty as well. This beer was okay, but not great. It could have used a bit more Belgian notes to it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I love mussels. I especially love mussels in a decadent broth with some crusty bread. Luckily, the other half is into mussels as well. We ended up at a place in DC called St. Arnold’s that is known for their mussels. They were the best mussels that I have ever had in my life. We ended up ordering 2 orders of them and going through a lot of bread. This was the first beer I had during the first round of mussels.

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ABV: 7.7%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This style is a farmhouse ale, and is considered to be in the domain of the Belgian Saisons. Hennepin is a delicious brew for all seasons, it is spicy and refreshing. A moderately hoppy, farmhouse-style ale with a champagne-like effervescence, Hennepin has a crisp start followed by malt sweetness balanced with a firm bitterness. Hennepin has a bounty of great flavors: ginger, spice, orange and toasted grain. Pouring a bright golden color with a spicy-sweet balance of orange peel, sweet malt, hops and ginger, Hennepin makes way for a dry finish with a slight bite of ginger.”

Random: I think you can add duck fat to almost anything and it turns out better.

How have I not had this beer before? This beer poured with a two-finger, fluffy white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the dimpled liter glass. The body was a slightly cloudy yellow with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose had lemon notes with bread and yeast as well. It also had a touch of spice, specifically coriander and clove. The taste had more lemon and less yeast than was in the nose. It had a touch of spice as well, but it was better integrated than in the nose. The finish was long with lots of lemon. The body was thick with heavy carbonation. I really enjoyed this brew, especially with the mussels. I can see why this brew is a benchmark for this style. I would definitely have this one again. I can’t believe it took me so long to review it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

After Christmas, the girlfriend and I decided to head down to DC for vacation. On our first night down there, the Eagles were playing the Cowboys, so we headed to City Tap House, which was new to DC, but I had been to in Philly. I decided to try this one on tap since I hadn’t seen it before.

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ABV: 7.6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to greatbrewers.com, “Almond Milk Porter is the winner of the inaugural 21st Amendment Staff Homebrew competition. This robust porter is rich and rounded with a soft nutty sweetness, thanks to eight different malts and homemade almond milk. We soaked crushed almonds in the mash tun along with almond flour, grains and water and then used the grain bed to strain the entire contents on their way to the kettle. Raise a snifter to the winning brewers Dan Parker, Lloyd Knight and Dave Wilson.”

Random: In DC, I really started having a borderline obsession with cheese.

This beer poured with a three finger cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the tulip glass. The body was a dark brown color and due to the very low lighting and the color of the beer, there was not any visible carbonation. The nose had a lot of nuttiness to it, specifically almonds and definitely some lactose present with roasted malts. There was a significant coffee presence as well. The taste was more roasted malts with notes of cocoa and coffee and a touch of almond, as opposed to the almond forward nose. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation present. The finish was quick with roasted malts. This beer was pretty good and definitely lived up to the name. If you see this one on tap, grab a pint.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I finally found a Lagunitas brew that I haven’t had. As you know, assuming you follow the blog, I have a love affair with Lagunitas brews. Anytime I see a brew from them that has not been reviewed, it magically jumps into the cart and comes home with me. This is their winter seasonal offering that I’ve never reviewed, so let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 9.4%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A roasty, toasty, malty, hangover-halting beer. Especially formulated for when you wake up feelin’ like you need to shave your eyeballs to see the new day.”

Random: I’m starting to get sick of the cold. I’m looking forward to Spring.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head. It was quick to dissipate and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy dark mahogany color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was nutty with lots of booze presence and malt. The taste had more depth to it. I got boozy hazelnuts up front and then some earthy hops came through. It finished with some sweet caramel malt as well. For the style, it was not overly boozy in the taste. It had a quick finish with high carbonation for the style. Given the ABV, I found this brew dangerously drinkable. I really liked this beer, although it wasn’t my favorite of the style. If you see, it’s definitely worth a try, so pick one up.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

 

I’ve been trying to get my hands on this brew for awhile. It’s not usually difficult to find, from what I’ve seen online, but every time I try to get it, I can’t find it. When the other half was up in Connecticut, she saw a bottle of this and brought it home so I could sample it.
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ABV: 7.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Blend two Dogfish Head favorites, add maple syrup and carbonate the mixture naturally. What do you get? 75 Minute IPA. The carbon dioxide trapped during bottle conditioning gives 75 Minute IPA a soft and velvety mouthfeel. Dry-hopped with whole-leaf Cascades, this complex IPA has been known to inspire pilgrimages to our brewpub. Now we’re sharing this animated blend of 60 Minute and 90 Minute with the rest of our fans, 750 milliliters at a time.”

Random: I can’t remember the last time that I was up this early on a day off.

This beer poured with a three finger, off white head that dissipated slowly. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose had some hops and then some maple syrup. So far, it was definitely more mellow than a typical IPA. The taste had a lot of maple syrup and then some earthy hops with some pine syrup as well. There was a touch of booze astringency too. The body was medium thickness and had moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with pine. I really enjoyed this brew and would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Last night, the other half and I were hanging out, relaxing after a long day of work, and right about 11 PM, I decided to take the ornaments off of the tree. The tree was pretty much toast and should have been taken out at least a week ago. So, the other half and I were hauling the tree to the dumpster at almost midnight and I managed to get covered in pine sap, but at least the tree is gone. Anyways, I picked this beer up awhile ago, mostly for the other half. Let’s see how this one went.

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ABV: 10%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “With the help of biomolecular archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern, we’ve re‐created another Ancient Ale, this time from the Nordic climes of Scandinavia.
The recipe for Kvasir was developed with the help of chemical, botanical and pollen evidence taken from a 3,500‐year‐old Danish drinking vessel. The vessel, made of birch bark, was found in the tomb of a leather‐clad woman Dr. Pat says was probably an upper-class dancer or priestess. The analysis pointed to the ingredients used in this unique brew: wheat, lingonberries, cranberries, myrica gale, yarrow, honey and birch syrup. The base of Kvasir is a toasty red winter wheat, and the bog-grown berries deliver a pungent tartness. While a handful of hops is used, the earthy, bitter counterpunch to the sweet honey and birch syrup comes from the herbs.”

Random: I couldn’t believe how many needles the tree lost in moving the stupid thing.

This beer poured with half a finger of white head that was quick to dissipate. It didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was a clear chestnut color with no carbonation visible. The nose had deep currant notes with a touch of herbaceousness as well. The taste started with tart cherries but quickly goes into this weird herbal thing with cranberry as well. The booze was pretty obvious with some warming at the end of the sip. The body was medium thickness and was a bit undercarbonated.  It had a long finish with currants. Despite how much I wanted to like this beer, it was only alright. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0