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

AleSmith Mount Crushmore

I gave this beer a try while we were at Memphis Taproom, waiting for our takeout order. They have a Korean fried chicken sandwich that is absolutely amazing. If you’re ever in the area, definitely give it a shot.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Founded in 1995, AleSmith Brewing Company is a San Diego based artisanal craft brewery that specializes in handcrafted ales inspired by the European classics. Deeply rooted in the amateur and craft brewing communities, AleSmith ales have continued to garner both national and international awards. In 2015, AleSmith celebrated its 20th year in production by opening a new state-of-the-art brewery in Miramar at 9990 AleSmith Court (formerly Empire Street). ‘AleSmith 2.0’ features an entirely new tasting room and brew system with the capability to pump out more than 100,000 barrels/year only two blocks west of the original location. Please come visit us and taste the legendary craftsmanship for yourself.”

Random: The coconut club at Memphis Taproom is also amazing and one of my favorite sandwiches.

The beer poured with a huge three finger, pure white head. The head dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and bright yellow. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was overly mild. It had some grass and citrus with white bread. The taste started with some grainy sweetness. It transitioned into grapefruit and hops. There was some caramel as well. The body was very light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with grainy sweetness. This beer was alright, but nothing earth shattering.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

AleSmith Spezial Pils

Tonight’s beer is one that I’ve never seen on shelves before and I’ve really been searching out pilsners. Let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: German Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inspired by classic European lagers, our entire Brewing Team got together to create this truly collaborative beer that captures the essence of European tradition. The result, Spezial Pils, is our take on a German-style pilsner with a pleasant balance between light, grainy malt and spicy, floral hops. We lager it at freezing temperatures for an extended period to round out its delicate flavors and improve drinkability. The finish is crisp and clean with a pleasant dryness and subtle bitterness. Prost!”

Random: I’m really into pilsners lately and it’s definitely getting to be the season for them.

This beer poured with a thick, one and a half finger, off white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow color. The nose was relatively mild with grass and some lemon zest as well. The taste was equally mild. It had some mineral water with grass and lemon zest along with some sweet malt at the end. The body was on the lighter side with high amounts of carbonation. The finish was quick with malt. A can of this was $2.00, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. This was a pils that didn’t pull any punches, but I wouldn’t refuse at a party. Give it a try if you see it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

AleSmith Private Stock Ale

This morning’s selection is a beer that I picked up awhile ago and let sit in the cellar for a bit. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 11%

Style: Old Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Originally brewed in 2005 as the first in our annual Decadence series, AleSmith Private Stock Ale follows the tradition of classic British-style Old Ales. This rich, malt-forward ale showcases soft notes of currants and dried fruit along with complex dark sugars, all of which are balanced by a subtle bitterness derived from the addition of traditional English hops. AleSmith Private Stock Ale is ready to be enjoyed now or it can be aged upwards of twenty years to further enhance its amazing depth of flavor. A hearty ale designed to please Bacchus himself!”

Random: There are so many breweries popping up in Jersey that I haven’t had a chance to visit.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body had a dark, mahogany color with light carbonation visible as well. The nose was filled with tobacco, caramel and vanilla. Oak was another undertone, but didn’t overwhelm the other scents. The taste started with leather and tobacco. What was instantly apparent to me was that it didn’t have as much sweetness as I expected. There were caramel undertones and vanilla. Some raisin and fig came through along with some alcohol. The body was light for the style with minimal carbonation. It had a swift finish with dark fruit and booze. I picked this beer up for $16.99, which came to $.77 per ounce. I thought this was a good beer, but it needed some more viscosity for the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

AleSmith YuleSmith (Summer)

End of quarter is finally over. I’m also going to be working more of a Monday through Friday schedule, which is very exciting. I will be working from home on Mondays, so that will save gas as well. Anyways, I opened this beer up because I was craving a nice IPA. This beer did not disappoint, but is unfortunately not available in New Jersey. .


ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to, “Beers from the brewery have been rated on website as #1 Top Brewer in the World 2006 and again in 2013. In 2008, AleSmith was awarded ‘Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year’ at the Great American Beer Festival.”

Random: This beer is available in July and August.

This beer poured with a three finger, pure white head that was very fluffy. It dissipated quickly and left lots of lacing on the glass and a crown on top of the body. The body itself was a clear, light yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had big notes of freshly cut pine and caramel malt. Just from the nose, this appeared to be a balanced DIPA. The taste was really nice. It started with piney and earthy hops. Then, some grass and spicy from the hops came through as well, just in time to be balanced by the sweet malt. The body was thick and chewy with high carbonation. The alcohol was deceptively absent. It had a long finish with a lot of malt. The bomber was $10.99, which broke down to $.50 per ounce. I didn’t think that was a bad price for a solid, flavorful beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

AleSmith X

Beer gifts are awesome! This beer is from the stash that my parents brought home for me. I haven’t had a lot of AleSmith beers, but what I’ve had from them has been absolutely solid. I find that a pale ale is a harder beer to nail than an IPA, especially given how many breweries are doing IPAs now.


ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to, “AleSmith Brewing Company is an artisan, American craft brewery founded in 1995 by Skip Virgilio and Ted Newcomb in San Diego, California that specializes in handcrafted ales in a variety of styles. In 2002, the brewery was purchased by the company’s brewmaster, Peter Zien. Zien is a BJCP ‘Grand Master level 1’ beer judge, the only one in San Diego County.”

Random: For once, my office isn’t freezing today.

This beer poured with a huge, three finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a bright yellow that was slightly cloudy. Light carbonation was visible as well. The nose had a lot of grass and grapefruit. The taste was also bright with lots of grass and pine. It quickly transitioned into sweet malt and was nicely balanced. The body was light and needed some more carbonation. I think it could have been an older bottle. The finish was long with grass and pleasant bitterness. This was also received as a gift, so no comment on the price. This was a solid pale and one that I would definitely have again. If you see it around, definitely grab it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

AleSmith YuleSmith (Winter)

This is another beer that I picked up at Half Time and yes, obviously I had this way after the holidays. Hopefully the higher ABV preserved this one without any issues with the taste. Let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Welcome to the holidays! Winter YuleSmith arrives each year as the weather turns cool and our cravings for winter warmers begin. This Imperial Red Ale has an intense hop aroma with well-balanced caramel malt sweetness. The intense American hoppiness builds on the substantial malt backbone to deliver a full-flavored beer with a ton of complexity.”

Random: The one bad thing about home ownership has been shoveling the driveway. I can see why most people do not like moving in the winter.

This beer poured with a one finger, cream colored head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, reddish color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had notes of pine resin, toffee and caramel with some booze. The taste was big with lots of pine resin and then went into very sweet caramel and toffee malt. It was really hoppy for the style, which was very nice. There was some booze to it, but it was relatively well integrated. The finish was long and hoppy with some caramel malt. This beer was $10.99 a bomber, which broke down to $.50 per ounce, which was on the more expensive side, but I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

AleSmith IPA

Eight months after my first beer from this brewery, I’m getting to try another one from them. I am seriously excited. I’ve read about them for years and I’ve heard that the IPA is really good, so a bomber came back with me from the Westchester trip. Let’s see if it’s as good as I hoped.


ABV: 7.25%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It’s Pretty Awesome. A San Diego classic, AleSmith IPA showcases the versatility of American hops. Aromas of grapefruit and tangerine lead into an abundance of fresh pine and tropical fruit notes followed by a crisp, resinous bitterness. The complex hop profile is supported by a firm malt presence to create an incredibly flavorful and well-balanced IPA.”

Random: We bought the meow a new scratchy box that he seems to think is some sort of luxury bed.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger ecru colored head that was like whipped egg whites and incredibly thick. It dissipated very slowly and left lots of spiderweb lacing on my IPA glass. The body was a clear, copper color with moderate carbonation. The nose was incredibly fragrant with tropical fruits. Specifically, I got pineapple, mango and passionfruit. There was also some grapefruit and hops, but tropical fruits were the star of the nose. The taste had a touch more malt with caramel notes. Tropical fruits were still present with pineapple and mango, but peach made an appearance as well. Grapefruit and grassy hops came through at the end of the sip. There was no booze warming on it, despite the higher ABV. The body was on the thick side with high carbonation. It had a long, fruity finish with hops. This was a really good and really fruity IPA. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

AleSmith Speedway Stout

One of the aspects of beer blogging that I’ve really gotten away from is the necessity of purchasing/consuming hyped beers. I’m lucky to live in the best distribution state for beer (going by sheer number of breweries we get) and there is no shortage of amazing beers that are not crazy hyped. This beer is one that gets a decent amount of hype that I found in Philly. Since we were getting into stout season, I decided to pick it up.

ABV: 12%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won’t fool your taste buds – this beer is HUGE!”

Random: It’s getting more and more rare that I get to add new breweries to my categories. It makes me happy when I do.

The beer poured with a three finger, light brown head into my Kane tulip glass. The head was slow to dissipate and left generous lacing. The body was a dark brown, almost inky black color. The nose had a lot of dark chocolate notes with burnt espresso as well. Anyone who follows the blog knows that I love a good nose on a stout and this brew was no exception. On the taste, I got baker’s chocolate with heavy coffee notes and hot booze warming on the end. I could only imagine how good this would be with some barrel aging. Although the booze was present and hot, it wasn’t as hot as the 12% would indicate.  The body was thick and viscous with light carbonation. The finish was long with coffee and bitter chocolate. This is one of those beers that I can completely understand why it got the hype it did. It’s a perfect example of what a stout should be, multidimensional, lots of flavors and some nice booze warming. Go grab this one for a cold winter’s night.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0