Archive for July, 2017

Val made some chicken and wild rice soup for me. For some reason, I love soup. I’ve always loved soup, ever since I was a kid. Val does not share my love of soup, but indulges me when I want soup, except if it’s French onion. That’s one of the only soups I can only eat out since Val hates onions. I’m not sure what that has to do with this beer, but I guess I’m hungry.


ABV: 7.8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Chocolate Pumpkin Porter melds together rich chocolate decadence with fall spices. Notes of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg collide with a delicious chocolate flavor to create a whirlwind of flavor in your glass.”

Random: I also tried a new hot sauce today. It’s Chalula Chipotle. Normally I just like the original, but this has a mellower spice and more smoke.

The beer poured with no head on top of the dark brown body. Due to the darkness of the beer, there was no carbonation visible. The nose had notes of milk chocolate and roasted malts. It also had a lactic acid notes with very little spice. The taste had a lot of cheap dark chocolate and a touch of smoke. There was decent bitterness with the same weird lactic note and light cinnamon. It had a really thin body with light carbonation. The finish was quick with dark chocolate. A bottle of this was $2, which came to $.17 per ounce. This beer was lacking in cohesive flavor. This beer was a letdown.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Tonight’s selection is another Fall beer that I drank back in November. I typically like Coronado beers, so let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 8%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Taste autumn in the land of eternal sunshine with our Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Brewed with brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and plenty of would-be-jack-o-lanterns, this beer delivers autumn’s trademark flavors along with a hint of West Coast character, whether enjoyed in a pumpkin patch or on the beach.”

Random: Val made squash lasagna for dinner. I can’t wait to try it.

The beer poured with a half a finger of ecru colored head that dissipated instantly. There was a slight crown left on top of the clear, mahogany body. There was a decent amount of carbonation visible. The nose had the expected pumpkin pie spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. It also had a cinnamon candy note too. The taste was slightly different than the typical pumpkin beer. I still found a significant spice note of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger that was complemented by brown sugar. After a few sips, I also picked up gingerbread and vanilla. It had a sweet note at the end with caramel and white bread. The alcohol was integrated well and only gave a slight warming note to the beer. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and spicy finish with pumpkin pie spice. A bottle of this was $2.59, which came to $.22 per ounce. This was one of the better pumpkin beers that I’ve had and I would revisit it again without hesitation.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Tonight’s selection is another beer from Departed Soles that I picked up at the local beer store.


ABV 3.7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Departed Soles Brewing Company opened its doors in the Powerhouse Arts District in Downtown Jersey City in the summer of 2015. While the brewery produces all sorts of Craft Beer, it is proud to be New Jersey’s first Craft Brewery offering Craft Beer with 100% Gluten Free ingredients that can compete on the palate with traditional ales! Departed Soles Brewing Company was initially a brew pub concept – the hair brain scheme of two best friends, sitting in one of their parents’ house… drinking. One had a passion for craft beer and bar experience, while the other a way with people and resume full of restaurants; both with a passion for sneakers. Unlike virtually every other set of friends that has this conversation though, one of those friends had a personal motto: ‘DON’T TALK ABOUT IT, BE ABOUT IT.’ As time went on, each continued along their chosen career paths; one – Chris – a teacher, the other the Business Manager for his family’s funeral home. The Teacher would antagonize the Business Manager, Brian Kulbacki, that he’d never leave the family business and take the risk to chase his dream.”

Random: The cats like ham. We made black bean soup with ham and the cats went crazy for the ham.

This beer poured with a thick, two finger, white head. It went away slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a murky brown with high carbonation visible despite the cloudiness. The nose had a lot of lot of mango, passionfruit and other tropical fruit with orange pith. There wasn’t any malt to it. The taste was earthy with wet dirt and grass and didn’t have the tropical fruit that the nose did. It had a lot of caramel malt too. The body was thicker than I expected, especially given the ABV. It had moderate carbonation as well. The finish was quick with wet dirt and grass. The beer was $2.50 for the can, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. I wasn’t a big fan of this beer. It needed to deliver on the nose and all of the tropical hops.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

We’ve been binging on “Empire” all day and all of the storylines are getting a bit confusing. Val has been looking at cooking websites all day and it seems like she has zoned out. Occasionally she asks me what’s going on and I give her a recap and then she goes back to the computer.


ABV: 8%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Created by blending our Sour Golden Ale with ripe and juicy Hudson Valley peaches. Aged in French oak foundres until the tart flavors of the beer and the sweet flavors of the peaches meld into one. Enjoy on a hot Summer day with a peach in hand.”

Random: Peach pie is one of my favorite pies.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass and a slight crown on top of the cloudy, bright yellow body. There was moderate carbonation visible as well. The nose was fragrant with peaches, vanilla and oak. There was some lemon juice as well. The taste started with lacto sourness with lemon juice. Peaches came through next with lemon and orange zest. There was oak along with some vanilla as well. The alcohol was present, although not overwhelming. The body was light with just enough carbonation. It had a lengthy and tart finish. This was a really good sour and I wish there was a touch more peach, but other than that, it was solid.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Tonight’s beer is a draft only take on a Fall classic, Southern Tier Pumking. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 8.6%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the, “Southern Tier Cold Press Coffee Pumking, a new variant of one of the most well-known pumpkin beers, releases soon. The mere mention of Pumking will typically get a strong ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ reaction. Either way, it’s hard to doubt this pumpkin beer has made quite an impression on the beer scene. Southern Tier Cold Press Coffee Pumking is created in a few steps. First, the brewery mashed in the grains at a higher temperature in order to leave a little residual sweetness to pair better with the coffee flavor. Once fermentation was completed the beer was cold crashed to 32 degrees, and 150 pounds of cold pressed coffee from local roaster Stedman’s was added. Incidentally, the brewery pressed the coffee themselves. In the end, the coffee adds nutty and cocoa flavors to Pumking’s strong pumpkin and pie crust flavors. Due to the infusion, this beer does have traces of caffeine. Southern Tier Cold Press Coffee Pumking is a limited, draft only offering.”

Random: I’ve been getting into cold press coffee lately. It’s pretty good.

The beer poured with less than a half a finger of white head. it went away quickly and left a little bit of lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and bright orange with only light carbonation visible. The nose was filled with the normal pumpkin spices, specifically nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, but quickly into a lot of black coffee. The taste was filled with the same pumpkin spices or ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon and had less coffee than the nose. It had a touch of alcohol warming at the back of the throat. The body was on the medium side with high carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with coffee. The beer was an interesting take on pumpkin and I wasn’t even sure before I tried it that it would work, but it did. It’s definitely a one glass only beer for me, but I’m glad I sampled it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Jack’s Abby is now available in Pennsylvania too, so I get it a lot more easily than I used to. I still want to make a trip out to the brewery, but I haven’t had a chance yet. I’m thinking that maybe when we go to Maine next, we can detour to the brewery on the way up. This was a beer that I picked up in Pennsylvania awhile back.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “House Lager pulls inspiration from the numerous country lagers, or landbiers, found in Franconia. It’s sweet and golden with a full malty body that comes from using a traditional German malt variety. A special beer for year-round enjoyment.”

Random: This beer comes in at 18 IBUs and is available year-round.

The brew poured with a one finger, pure white head. It went away quickly, but left no lacing on the glass. Instead, a small crown was left on the straw yellow body. It was clear and had moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with warm pilsner malt and a slight honey sweetness. The taste was sweet with wildflower honey. It had pilsner malt as well and a touch of mineral water. The body was thin and crisp with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with wildflower honey. The pounder can was $1.54, which broke down to $.10 per ounce. This was a simple, but very drinkable beer. If you’re looking for a beer to convert a macro drinker, this would be a good choice.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

When I got home from Ohio, Val took me to Vault for a late lunch. Next to Vault is a small, local food market. We bought a blackberry and lime jam that paired absolutely perfectly with cheese. We just finished it and I need to get more. It was expensive, but definitely worth it.


ABV: 6.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A bright and pungent IPA hopped with Mosaic, Sorachi Ace, and Cascade. Notes of mandarine orange, blueberry, lemon, and apricot. Finishes fruity, bitter, and dry.”

Random: One of the best things at Vault is the beet salad and the hummus plate is outstanding too.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It went away almost instantly, but it left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow with light carbonation visible. The nose was filled with lemongrass from the Sorachi Ace hops. It had some white grape notes as well. The taste was also a lot of the Sorachi Ace hops. Lemongrass, basil and other green vegetal notes came out. There was light tropical hops to it as well that offered up some pineapple notes. It finished up with crackery malt. The body was on the light side with high carbonation. The finish was quick with lemon grass. This was one of the better beers that I’ve had from Vault and I also love anything with Sorachi Ace in it. If it’s on tap when you make a visit, order a pint.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0