Ettaler Benediktiner Weizen

Val and I went to a German restaurant in New York City and I was looking for a German beer that I hadn’t reviewed before, so I settled on this.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Hefeweizen

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Wheat beers have a tremendous variety of flavors. Maybe that’s why they are so popular because they show what you can brew from just 4 raw materials. The Benedictine wheat beer is brewed in peace. The original Ettaler cellar yeast produces from the naturally cloudy, amber-colored beer a pleasant fruity aroma of banana and some raisin. Since the Benedictine wheat beer was so popular that the local brewing capacities in Ettal were no longer sufficient, we decided in 2011 to brew the beer with our cooperation partner in the traditional Licher private brewery Jhring Melchior under our supervision and according to our original recipe to let. At which of the two locations the beer is also brewed; Original recipe, the exclusive use of Ettaler cellar yeast and the monastic supervision of the brewing process ensure the unmistakable taste of Benedictine wheat beer.”

Random: Google translate is the best.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of white head. It dissipated slowly, but didn’t leave much lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and a bright orange color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had all the notes that I’ve come to expect from the style. It had banana, wheat, clove, bubblegum and yeast. There was some coriander and apple as well. The taste was also that of a typical hefeweizen. It started with tons of wheat and banana. Bubblegum notes were there, but subdued. It didn’t have as much spice as I would have liked, but still had some clove and coriander. Green apple came through next. Pear notes finished up the sip. The body was medium thickness with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with banana. I liked this beer and it paired well with German food, but it wasn’t my favorite of the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Other Half Green City

This is a beer that I had on tap at one of my favorite craft beer bars in New York City, The Ginger Man. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In 2014, Sam Richardson, Matt Monahan and Andrew Burman founded Other Half Brewing Company, a local brewery in New York City with a simple mission: to create beers that they wanted to drink from a company that they wanted to be a part of. Their vision was to build a passionate team that brewed great beers in the state of New York—done so with effort and thoughtfulness—to represent the ‘Other Half’ of the industry. Today, the Other Half team crafts beers in their Brooklyn brewery. They’re dedicated to collaborating with breweries both in New York as well as across the world in an effort to constantly move the industry forward while elevating the craft. The Other Half team believes that local breweries play an important role in their communities which is why they partner with these other likeminded brewers and brands in local nabes across the country and the world—but always return to their home state of New York and their Brooklyn taproom.”

Random: This beer is now retired.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was completely hazy and bright yellow in color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was very hoppy with lots of pine and tropical fruit. I picked up a lot of pineapple. The taste had a lot of hops with pine notes, pineapple and grapefruit. There was only a small amount of malt in the flavor. The body was on the thicker side with a lot of carbonation. It had a sticky and lengthy finish with tropical fruit. I enjoyed this beer a lot and anytime I get to have an Other Half beer is a treat.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Cape May Brothel Madam

I’ve never been to Cape May, but I definitely have a reason to go down there now that there’s a brewery. I hear it’s also nice during Christmas with all of the historic houses lit up.

ABV: 9.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to hauntedplaces.org, “Housed inside an 1880’s mansion, this historic inn was formerly a bordello and gambling parlour before its conversion to bed and breakfast accommodation. Guests staying in the Princess Louise Room have reportedly come across the apparition of a brothel madam, who has been seen and heard in the early hours of the morning. Others staying in adjacent rooms claim to have heard the whistling of a train, although the association of this recurring noise with the building is not clear.”

Random: This beer is named after the ghost that is in the Queen Victoria Inn in Cape May, New Jersey.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was very hazy and a bright pink color. There was no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose was filled with Brett and funk. It had a touch of warm berries as well. The taste started with a lot of yeast and Brett with some vinegar tartness. The same berry note came through with a touch of leather as well. The alcohol bite was apparent, which took away a bit from the flavor. The body was on the thicker side with generous carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with funk. I picked this up for $17.99, which came to $.82 per ounce. I thought this beer was good, I just wish the booze was dialed down.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

River Horse Sour Homer

Local beers are my favorite. Let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 4.2%

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “You don’t have to be in a dead end job to feel like you aren’t going anywhere. That’s the way we felt before River Horse. We were finance geeks living in a world without soul. Grinding it out everyday for a fee, wearing suits and kissing butt. Then this brewery chose us…she forced us to ask ourselves, ‘Is this desk job really how I pictured my life?’ We answered that question by taking over River Horse in 2007 and have not looked back. We may not end up as the greatest success story on earth, but at least we had the balls to try. Sometimes, for better or worse, your dreams get the best of you. Just remember, it’s a big world out there and cubicles don’t have doors, so you can walk out anytime. Come see us when you can. We are located in Ewing, NJ. Thanks for supporting the cause. Hope you enjoy the beer…”

Random: I picked this up from the brewery, since the brewery is only a few minutes from my house.

The beer poured with a relatively thick, one finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The nose was sour with some cherry notes, along with a touch of oak and vanilla. The taste was mouth-puckeringly sour with intense notes of cherry and white vinegar. It quickly transitioned into oak and vanilla with some yeast as well. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation to cut the tartness. It had a lengthy finish with cherry and oak. I liked this beer a lot. It had a lot of good flavors and was an outstanding selection from River Horse.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Holy Mountain The Seer

This beer was picked out by Val because she loved the owl on the label.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “THE SEER IS A HOPPY SAISION BREWED WITH PILSNER MALT AND WHEAT, AND HOPPED AGGRESSIVELY WITH GALAXY AND EKG. THIS BATCH WAS FERMENTED WITH ONE OF OUR HOUSE SAISON CULTURES AND AGED IN AN OAK FOUDRE WITH BRETT. AFTER SPENDING 4 MONTHS IN OAK, THE SEER WAS DRY-HOPPED WITH GALAXY AND EKG AND CONDITIONED IN THE BOTTLE WITH BRETT.”

Random: This is a brewery out of Seattle, Washington.

The beer poured with a huge, four finger, fluffy, white head. It dissipated slowly, but left limited lacing on the glass. The body was hazy with a lot of floaties. It was bright yellow in color with a lot of carbonation. The nose started with a lot of brett and funk. It quickly went into pilsner malt. It had some wheat, along with grass and a touch of flowers. The taste started with the same funk and brett, but quickly went into some aggressive hops that came through with pine and grass. There was an earthy characteristic to it as well with some flowers. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with funk and hops. A bottle of this was $20.99, which came to $.95 per ounce, which was definitely expensive. I thought this beer was interesting, but there was so much going on with the flavors that it was hard to enjoy during some sips.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Devil’s Backbone Pear Lager

One thing I love about the Summer is that the show “Tiny House Hunters” comes back on HGTV. I do not understand why people would want a tiny house. Our house isn’t huge, but I could not live in 200 square feet. When Val and I watch it, we usually just yell at the tv since people have some crazy requests for their tiny house (i.e. “I want my canopy bed to fit in it,” or “I want a full-sized bathtub,”).

ABV: 4.4%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A revitalizing combination of pear and lager, this thirst quenching beer is light to medium in body and refreshing in character with a subtle pear flavor and aroma. Pear, Quaffable, Fresh.”

Random: This is a Summer seasonal from Devil’s Backbone.

The beer poured with a hazy, yellow body with some floaties that were visible. The head was one finger high and white in color. It dissipated quickly, but left very little lacing on the glass. The nose started with some biscuit malt, but quickly transitioned into pear flesh and crushed apples. There was some lager yeast as well. The taste was clean. It started with some tart, Granny Smith apples and then went into biscuit malt. The presence of pear was minimal, which was a bit disappointing. It reminded me of pear jelly beans. The body was on the light side with generous carbonation. The finish was quick with crushed apples. A can of this was $1.67, which broke down to $.14 per ounce. I thought this beer was alright, but if you’re going to call it a pear lager, it needs more pear notes.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Small Town Not Your Father’s Mountain Ale

In High School, I used to drink a lot of Mountain Dew soda because I thought it had more caffeine. Between sports and studying, I thought it would help me stay up. I was never a big fan of the flavor, but it did the job.

ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “NOT YOUR FATHER’S MOUNTAIN ALE – Camping, glamping, skiing, hiking. There are all kinds of fond memories you’ve created on one of America’s grand peaks. They’re basically giant playgrounds ready for action. Those memories and that energy is exactly what inspired us when we brewed up Not Your Father’s Mountain Ale. Let’s be honest – no one’s ever had a bad time on a mountain. TASTING NOTES – If you want citrus, this is your beer. A big ol’ wallop of crisp citrus notes invades your mouth on the first sip. A smooth finish means you can knock back a few of these by yourself – or split a sixer with friends. You don’t even have to be on a mountain.”

Random: The first time I brought a Red Bull into my high school, my teacher asked if it was a beer.

The beer poured with no head at all. It had an electric, greenish-yellow body with moderate carbonation. The nose was sweet soda syrup with lemon-lime notes. The taste was sickening sweet with lemon and lime. It was like mixing a bad soda and booze. The body was thankfully, light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with corn syrup sweetness. A bottle was $2.16, which came to $.18 per ounce. I didn’t like this at all. This is one to avoid.

Untappd Rating: 0.5/5.0