The Shed Mountain Ale

This was the second beer that I had at the 1620 Brewhouse. One of the other things that I had there was a burger with peanut butter on it. The sweet and salty combination was amazing. I added some hot peppers to it as well, which gave it a bit of spice to counter the sweetness. I would definitely have a burger like that again. I wish more places would make a burger with peanut butter.

ABV: 7.4%

Style: English Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A Vermont staple. Now available in Vermont’s favorite container: The 16 ounce can. Look out for Mountain Ale 4-packs coming to a cooler near you. This unfiltered English Strong Ale is a medium to full-bodied ale, with pronounced caramel and toffee notes, followed by a roasted finish. A moderate hop bitterness is derived from generous kettle additions of Mt. Hood and Northern Brewer hops.”

Random: This beer comes in at 35 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark mahogany color with some visible carbonation to it. The body was clear. The nose was really toasty with caramel and hazelnuts. There was some toffee to it as well. The taste was warm and sweet. It had a lot of caramel and hazelnuts with toffee. The alcohol was present as well, but not overwhelming. It had a thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with some malty sweetness.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Banded Horn Oktoberfest Marzen Bier

While walking Commercial Street, Val and I found a place called 1620 Brewhouse. It had a decent selection of beers and the food was also quite good. They have clam fries, which is something I’ve never heard before, but picture a plate of fries with some New England clam chowder on top of them. I was definitely questioning how good they would be, but after ordering them, I’m a believer. They also had a kale soup that was really good. Since Provincetown used to be a big Portuguese town, almost every restaurant has their take on kale soup. The soup basically consists of kale, spicy sausage, potatoes and broth. It’s my new favorite. Anyways, this was the first beer I had there.

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Classic German-style Märzenbier. Malty notes of toffee, biscuit, caramel + timelessness.”

Random: I visited this brewery with Val years ago and loved it. They had ping pong there.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. It left a small crown as well. The body was clear and bright orange-brown with moderate carbonation. The nose was sweet with some toasted malt. There was toffee present as well. The taste was light and sweet. There was a lot of malt and toffee with some honey as well. Biscuit and grain came through next. There was a touch of pine as well. The body was crisp and medium thickness with generous carbonation. It had a quick finish with toffee and biscuit. This beer went down easily, but just wasn’t my favorite of the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Fiddlehead Second Fiddle

This was the second beer that I had in Ptown. This place was one of my favorites the last time that I was there. This time, it wasn’t so great. The lobster roll was tasty, but the service was rushed…to the point that they put the check down while we were still eating. Unfortunately, bad service was going to be a trend on our vacation.

ABV: 8.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In January of 2017, our brand new 10,000 sq foot brewery opened for production just behind the tasting room. The added space meant room for more fermenters as well as some much needed upgrades like a laboratory, grain silo, office space, and our own canning line. This expansion has allowed us to increase distribution of kegs and cans within our home state, branch into New York and Massachusetts, and renovate our tasting room (coming soon!). While we do not currently offer tours of our production facility, our knowledgeable tasting room staff is always happy to chat about our beers and the brewing process. Our beer can be found on draft or in cans at over 650 Vermont establishments as well as an increasing number of locations around Massachusetts and New York State. The tasting room remains at the original Shelburne Rd. location, as do countless memories of where it all began.”

Random: After I had the regular IPA on draft, I saw they had this in cans and had to have it.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a bright golden orange color with no visible carbonation. Unlike many of the IPAs now, the body was clear. The nose was filled with pine and grapefruit rind. The taste was very hoppy with a lot of grapefruit and pine. After a few sips, I picked up tangerine as well. There was a touch of malt at the end. The body was on the thick side, but not overwhelming with generous carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with tangerine and grapefruit. This beer was outstanding and one that I would happily consume again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Fiddlehead IPA

In October, Val and I went to Provincetown, right at the tip of Cape Cod. We got there pretty late on Saturday, so when we woke up Sunday, I wanted to go to the Squealing Pig. It’s a pub on Commercial Street that I remembered having a decent tap list. This was the first beer that I had.

ABV: 6.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “‘Fiddlehead Brewing Company is a brewer owned business. Crafting approachable, multidimensional beers, while growing responsibly with a focus on the arts and positively impacting those in our communities – one pint at a time.’ Fiddlehead Brewing Company is located just outside of Burlington, VT in the scenic town of Shelburne. Our owner and Brewmaster Matt “Matty-O” Cohen opened the doors on New Year’s Eve of 2011 and since then we have gained worldwide acclaim with our lineup of approachable, multidimensional beers. When we first opened in 2011, we did so with a completely manual 15 barrel system and just 30 barrels of capacity. Within the first month Fiddlehead IPA, the flagship ale, was on tap with at over 50 bars and restaurants in Vermont. With the immediate success, we quickly outgrew the 3,000 sq foot space that was split between retail and production. After the last fermenter was added in 2015, we knew we needed a bigger boat.”

Random: I’ve been wanting to try this beer for years.

The beer poured with less than half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was incredibly hazy and bright yellow in color. There was no carbonation visible due to the cloudiness. The nose was filled with a lot of pine and tangerine and grapefruit. The taste had a lot of pine and bright tangerine and tangelo. There was a touch of pine sap at the end. The body was on the thicker side with a lot of carbonation. It had a sticky and lengthy finish. I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely have it again, if it ever makes its way to Jersey or PA.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Campanology For Whom

Tonight’s beer is from Trader Joe’s store brands that they contract brew. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to wisconsinstatejournal.com, “There’s only one Waunakee in the world, and there’s only one brewery in Waunakee that could make a pineapple IPA for a nationwide chain of grocery stores. Having ‘Waunakee, WI’ on the side of the bottles of Campanology Brewing beer sold at Trader Joe’s 700-plus stores from coast to coast is a nice little bump on the national radar for a nice little suburb of Madison. Isaac Showaki, owner of Octopi Brewing in Waunakee, declined to confirm that his brewery was making the three Trader Joe’s-exclusive beers Campanology has released so far. But unless Lone Girl Brewing, Waunakee’s other brewery, scaled up quickly and added some impressive equipment, it’s a pretty easy deduction to make — even without the federal label approvals that list Octopi and Campanology on the same documents.”

Random: One of the guys I work with makes his own hot sauces and grows his own chilis in the Summer. Maybe next year I will get into that.

The beer poured with less than a finger of tan-colored head. It dissipated slowly, but only left some lacing on the side of the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black. I couldn’t see any carbonation through it. The nose was filled with roasted malt, cocoa powder, chili peppers and cinnamon. The taste started with dark chocolate and roasted malts with some smoke. The beer quickly showed notes of cinnamon and chili peppers that provided a pleasant, but not overwhelming heat. The body was on the thick side with moderate carbonation. The alcohol was present, but not overwhelming. The finish was sticky and lengthy with heat left over from the hot peppers. Since Val picked this up from Trader Joe’s, I’m not sure how much it was, but their beers are never expensive. It wasn’t the best beer I’ve had from the style, but was certainly solid. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

LIC Beer Project Higher Burnin’

A few months ago, I started see LIC Beer Project cans on the shelves of Cranbury Buy Rite. I decided to give their IPA a try.

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “LIC Beer Project is a collaborative journey of insight, experience, travel, education, and the goal to achieve a beer we have yet to discover. Here at LIC Beer Project we will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the slaves of the ordinary. Join the odyssey……”

Random: At least their can art is pretty.

The beer poured with a half a finger of wispy, white head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was opaque and looked a lot like orange juice. I could not see any carbonation through it. The nose had a lot of fruit on it. I picked up mango, pineapple, grapefruit and apricot. The taste was not nearly as good as the nose. I picked up some disjointed notes of mango and pineapple up front with some mint and a weird malt note. It distracted from the fruit. After a few sips, the apricot came through next. The alcohol was also overly apparent for the ABV. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It was a lengthy, fruity finish with the malt bite at the end. A pounder can of this was $4, which came to $.25 per ounce. This wasn’t the best introduction to the brewery and I wouldn’t rush to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cypress Alva Vanilla

Tonight’s beer is another Jersey beer. Since it’s getting colder, I’m getting more into porters and stouts.

ABV: 8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He is credited with developing many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He is often credited with establishing the first industrial research laboratory. Edison was raised in the American midwest and early in his career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where many of his early inventions would be developed. He would later establish a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, and a laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey that featured the world’s first film studio, the Black Maria. He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. Edison married twice and fathered six children. He died in 1931 of complications of diabetes.”

Random: Even though I lived right next to West Orange as a kid, I never went to visit the laboratory.

The beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, brownish-red color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with roasted malts and vanilla. It had a significant sweetness to it as well. The taste was much of the same. It had a lot of roasted malts and quickly went into vanilla sweetness. There was also some sweet, sugary coffee as well. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with vanilla sweetness. The tallboy set me back $3.50, which came to $.22 per ounce. This beer was good, just a touch too sweet for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0