AleSmith Sublime Mexican Lager

In my twenties, I loved the Sublime album “40oz. to Freedom,” so when I saw this on the shelf, I needed to bring it home.

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Vienna Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sublime has something special brewing for their fans in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their seminal debut album ’40oz. to Freedom.’ The band, hailing from Long Beach, has enlisted the help of craft beer stalwart AleSmith Brewing Company, operating out of San Diego, to brew this namesake beverage. AleSmith Brewing Co. is brewing a Mexican-style lager on behalf of Sublime. There are plans for national distribution of the beer in 12oz. six-pack cans through AleSmith’s supply channels with an initial small batch of limited edition 40oz. bottles to be made available for sale from the brewery. When asked how the decision to produce a Mexican-style lager came about, AleSmith owner/CEO, Peter Zien replied, ‘The band members are all big fans of this style of beer. We wanted to create our thirst-quenching version of a traditional Vienna-style lager (famously brewed by the Mexican breweries) that showcases a grainy, malt-forward sweetness and easy drinkability. Clean and crisp with subdued hop bitterness to balance, makes Sublime Mexican Lager the go-to beer for hot summer days or pre-concert tailgating.’ ‘From our very first meeting this was obviously a perfect fit,’ says Sublime’s manager Dave Kaplan. ‘Both AleSmith and Sublime are all about staying true to quality and authenticity above all else. Plus, I always could see that classic Sublime “Sun” logo on a beer bottle. We just needed a world-class beer to go inside and we found it with AleSmith.’ ‘It doesn’t taste like anything else,’ says Sublime co-founder Bud Gaugh. ‘The flavor is great and it has a craft beer flare with a true Mexican lager taste. This is the one!’ ‘Being a beer lover, I’m so proud to partner with an elite world-class brewery like AleSmith and I know Sublime fans will absolutely love it!,’ added Troy Holmes, widow of Bradley Nowell. ‘Like Bradley sang, “That 2nd beer was such a turn on.”‘”

Random: I love the art on the can. Very well done.

The beer poured with a finger of loose, ecru colored head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear orange color with a lot of carbonation. The nose was clean. It had some lager yeast along with barley. There was a slight undertone of honeydew along with a touch of pepper. The taste was equally crisp and clean. The barley came through first with corn and peppercorns. The melon note was very slight, but still present. The body was light with lots of carbonation. The finish was quick with corn and lager yeast. I got this beer awhile back and since it’s not made anymore, I have no idea how much it was. This would make for a great Summer drinker though.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

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Odell 90 Shilling Ale

The day that we were flying back from Colorado happened to be the day of a snowstorm. We managed to have a four hour delay and got to know Denver airport really well. We both ended up doing a lot of work at the airport, but stopped to have dinner before we flew home.

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Scottish Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “BRITISH CRYSTAL AND CHOCOLATE MALT, PERLE AND NUGGET HOPS. 90 Shilling is our smooth and complex flagship beer. A medium-bodied amber ale with a distinct burnished copper color and a deeply pleasant aroma. The name 90 Shilling comes from the Scottish method of taxing beer. Only the highest quality beers were taxed 90 Shillings. We think you’ll find this original ale brilliantly refreshing, and worth every Shilling.”

Random: Odell has really nice merch.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left a moderate amount of lacing on the glass. The body was perfectly clear and mahogany in color. The nose started with some herbal notes and quickly transitioned into biscuity and caramel malt. It had a slight nuttiness to it as well. The taste was very similar to the nose, except the malt came through first. It had the same caramel and nutty notes, but also had a slight note of clove. Some herbal hops came through as well. The body was on the thicker side with lots of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with caramel malt and cloves. I enjoyed this beer and would definitely have it again if it received distribution to Jersey.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Beachwood Earthbound Misfit

One of the things I wanted to do while in Colorado was visit Falling Rock Tap House, but since it was GABF, it was packed every night. We waited until the end of GABF and stopped by to see what the fuss was about.

ABV: 6.2%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “BEER DONE RIGHT. 22 rotating taps and one cask-conditioned beer have been hand-selected for your drinking pleasure. We take pride in serving rare and unique first-rate beers. That means special brews that not only enhance the food we serve, but also represent some of the finest beers locally and around the world. Based on the ten kegs we go through a week, we like to think we can convert anyone. But don’t be surprised if you come in and don’t see the beer you drank yesterday. When it’s gone, dunzo. Adiós! You’ll be lucky to have the same beer twice. (Increase the odds that Lady Luck shines upon you by visiting us more often.)”

Random: I wanted to go to Beachwood when I had a work trip in California, but ran out of time.

The beer poured with a three finger, loose, cream-colored head. It took awhile to dissipate and left a lot of spiderweb lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and light brown in color. There was no carbonation visible due to the cloudiness. The nose was filled with funk and vinegar. Instantly, the aroma of kumquats along with oranges and lemon slices. The taste started with some mouth puckering tartness. The vinegar note came through immediately with kumquats. The oranges and lemons came through next along with hay and a wet dog note. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with funk. I enjoyed this beer a lot and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Avery Promiscuus

One of the highlights of our trip to Colorado was going to Avery. It was an awesome brewery with lots of indoor and outdoor spots to hang out in. They also had a lot of rare beers to sample, which was awesome. They had smaller sampler sizes to get, so I could have a bunch of beers while I was there. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Since 1993 our brewery has been committed to producing eccentric ales and lagers that defy styles ​and​ categories. Our beers are thoroughly American at heart: blending Old World tradition and expertise with ingenuity, creativity and boldness.”

Random: I love the glass that this beer was in. I’ll have to get one.

This beer poured with a quarter finger of pure white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and orange in color. It had some carbonation visible. The nose had a significant sourness to it with lots of vinegar. There was some leather along with a touch of vanilla as well. The taste had a lot of berry fruit, along with vinegar sourness. I picked up limes, white grapes, lemon and currants. There was also an undertone of kumquat as well. I picked up some leather and vanilla to attempt to balance out the sour fruit. The body was on the medium side with generous carbonation. The finish was lengthy and mouth puckering. I liked this beer a lot, but I couldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

TRVE Autumn Eternal

This was the second beer that I had at Urban Farmer. We later went to the brewery, which was insanely loud and dark and just not my scene. Let’s see how this was.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our goal is to give you a rad place to hang out and drink killer beer. Founded on the Summer Solstice of 2011, our mission has always been to create beers that are beyond the pale. To us this implies new ideas, channeling Loki, and embracing chaos. It means drawing from the sounds and sights that inspire us most in life. Our beers may or may not exactly adhere to any particular guidelines – we’re style blasphemers and category agnostics – but you can count on the fact that we’ll always brew damn good beer. To us, TRVE represents being a part of a counter culture without immersing yourself to the point of taking it too seriously.”

Random: The brewery was on a suburban street. Definitely not what I expected.

The beer poured with a one and a half finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and bright yellow. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with a lot of yeast and then went into funk along with a touch of bubble gum. The taste was filled with wheat along with grass. It quickly went into grass and yeast. It had a touch of nuttiness along with bubble gum. The body was light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with yeast. I thought this was a decent beer, but not my favorite of the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Odell IPA

One of the best parts of our trip to Colorado was seeing a concert at Red Rocks. We got tickets to see Spoon. It is probably the coolest concert venue that I’ve ever seen. The walk to the venue was ridiculous though and straight uphill. They had cabs going to the venue, but I was too stubborn to take one. The venue is slightly outside of Denver, so we stopped at a restaurant by the venue and this was the beer that I had there.

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We took the traditional IPA, originally shipped from England to India in the 1700′s, and made it bolder and more flavorful—American Style. We added new varieties of highly aromatic American hops to create a distinctive bitterness profile and an incredible hop character.”

Random: This beer comes in at 60 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was mostly clear and light yellow in color. The nose was filled with honey, grass and grapefruit flesh. It quickly went into pine and grassy hops. The taste was very hoppy. It started with pine needles and pine resin. It then went into grapefruit flesh and pith. There was some booze that came through as well. The body was on the thicker side with lots of carbonation. It had some grapefruit pith in the finish. This was an alright beer, but nothing mind blowing.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Crooked Stave Von Pilsner

Denver is one of the best beer cities, at least according to most writers. Unfortunately, Val and I were not big fans of the city. The food was alright, not great and since we’re not big fans of the smell of pot, it’s definitely not a city for us. But, I’m glad we got the chance to go to GABF so I could cross that off of my bucket list.

ABV: 5%

Style: Kellerbier/Zwickelbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Combining our brewery’s super soft water, traditional floor malted barley and the finest German hops, this unfiltered keller pilsner is crushable. Brewed as a traditional European pilsner, this is what pilsner tastes like pouring from the wooden vats used to make lager for centuries.”

Random: While we were in Denver, we visited the Crooked Stave taproom which was packed, given that it was GABF week. But, it was in a cool building with a lot of different stores. I wish we had more areas like that in Jersey or Philly.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw yellow in color. There was some carbonation visible. The nose had a slight funk to it along with grass and the expected noble hops. The taste was much of the same. It was more grassy than funky, but still had a nice noble hop characteristic to it. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick and grassy finish. I thought this was a solid pils that paired well with food.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0