Karl Strauss Electric Waste Beer

During our trip to California, Val and I got to try some beers from Karl Strauss. Let’s see how they were.

ABV: 7%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Karl Strauss Brewing Company is a San Diego, California-based craft brewery with eleven brewpub locations across Southern California and an onsite tasting room at their main brewery in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego. Besides being available at its own brewpubs the company’s beers are distributed across all of California. Karl Strauss is the oldest surviving brewery in San Diego County, having been founded in 1989, and is credited with launching the county’s rise to prominence in the craft brewing industry. Based on 2016 sales volume it is the 47th largest brewery in the United States. In 2016 Karl Strauss was declared the Mid-Size Brewery of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival.”

Random: I have never had a Karl Strauss beer before.

The beer poured with a one finger, cream colored head that was relatively thick. It dissipated at a moderate pace. The body was reddish and had a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had some sweet malt with caramel and had a floral, hoppy note as well. The taste had a decent amount of hops with some floral notes. There was a sweetness with brown sugar and caramel. The body was medium thickness and had a lots of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with flowers. I thought this was a nice beer and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cape Cod Red

One of the things that we planned to do in Cape Cod was a beer tasting and pairing with food. Val bought the tickets in advance and we started walking to the venue, which was the activity room of a senior complex. I’ve only had one Cape Cod beer prior to this, so I didn’t know what to expect. It was one of the best events that I’ve ever been to. It was run by one of the owners and their Marketing Manager and they told the story of the brewery and explained the beers really well. So much so that Val and I stopped at the brewery on the way home. This was one of the standout beers for me.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A well-balanced amber ale with caramel and toffee malt notes and a subtle spicy hop character. Nothing but smooth sailing with this North American Style Amber Ale. This brew has a mouthful of malt flavor and just the right amount of hop character. The flagship of Cape Cod Beer, this beer won’t steer you wrong!”

Random: They recommend pairing this beer with burgers, steak and pork.

This beer poured with a half a finger of off white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a mahogany color and clear with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with caramel and toffee and then transitioned into light pine. The taste started off the same as the nose, with toffee and caramel notes and malt sweetness, but then transitioned into earthy hop notes. The body was heftier than I expected with a lot of carbonation. It had a medium length finish with toffee. I picked this beer up at the brewery and I don’t recall what I paid for it. Either way, this beer impressed me and I would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

SingleCut Dean Pacific Northwest Mahogany Ale

Since I got my new MacBook Pro, I’m shocked at how long the battery lasts, how quickly it charges and how quickly web pages load. Val has been laughing at me all day at how surprised I am, but given I was using a 10 year old MacBook Pro, this is like night and day.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “HEY Y’ALL!: 1) Let’s grow a big, bushy beard 2) Let’s get (insert multiple number) piercings 3) Sleeves 4) Drink an ale that’s got that PNW hop and malt attitude 5) And let’s color our hair mahogany.”

Random: This beer comes in at 82 IBUs.

This beer poured with a ridiculously large, four finger, loose, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of carbonation on the glass. The body was clear and a deep mahogany color with only a little bit of carbonation visible. The aroma was a lot more hoppy than I would expect from the style. It had a lot of pine from the hops along with some grapefruit, that was quickly followed up by toffee and caramel malt. The taste still had a lot of pine hops, but also had a touch of green herbs. I specifically picked up some basil. The malt came through next and imparted some caramel and toffee notes. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy pine finish that stuck to my tongue for awhile. I picked this beer up for $9.99, which broke down to $.45 per ounce, which is on the cheaper side for a SingleCut beer. I liked this beer, but I’m generally just not a fan of the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Pipeworks Blood Of The Unicorn

I love unicorns and Pipeworks beers, so this had to come home with me.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pipeworks Brewery was established in Chicago in 2012 by two friends with a shared dream of crafting quality and creative beers. Since putting the first cap on the first bottle, the brewery has garnered accolades for its distinctive beers and original artwork thanks to a growing and enthusiastic team. Pipeworks self-distributes in Illinois and Milwaukee, but can be found in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut through Sarene Distribution, in Colorado through Tivoli Distribution, and in Boston through Nightshift Distribution. The Dojo, our Bottle Shop, is located within our production facility at 3912 W Mclean Ave in Chicago. Pipeworks is located at 3912 W. McLean Ave Chicago IL 60647”

Random: I wish the brewery website had write ups on their beers.

The beer poured with a three finger, light brown head on top of a dark reddish-brown body. The head dissipated quickly and left little lacing on the glass. The body had moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of hops to it, specifically pine and grass. There was also some brown bread and toasted malt, but the nose was hop dominant for sure. The taste was also incredible hop forward. There was pine resin and needles, quickly followed by grass. Grapefruit pith came through next and transitioned into toasted malt and bread. The body was on the heavier side and had lots of carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with pine. This beer was $3 per can, which came to $.19 per ounce. I thought this was a solid beer with great flavor and lots of hops. If you see this on the shelf, you need to pick it up.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Demented Scarlet Night

Tonight’s selection is a local beer that reminds me of college. I went to Rutgers, so I’m assuming the beer name is a play on the name of our mascot, the Scarlet Knight. Given our colors are red and black, I assume that the beer being a red ale is also an homage of sorts. Let’s see how it stacks up.

ABV: 5.8%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blend of five different malts gives this brew intense red color and complexity, a medium body with light caramel sweetness and a feint roast finish.”

Random: At the brewery, this beer is $6 for a pint.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan-colored head that hung around for awhile. It left some lacing on the glass. The body itself was clear and reddish-brown in color. There was a nice amount of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with generous notes of malt and caramel. It had some brown bread as well. There was also a touch of floral hops at the end. The taste was more of the same. It started malty with brown bread and caramel, but quickly went into hoppy notes of grass and perfume-like floral hops. It had a touch of citrus as well. The body was on the thicker side with generous carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with citrus and floral hops. A pounder can of this was $3.25, which came to $.20 per ounce. I thought that this was a decent beer, but nothing that I feel the need to search out again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Jailbreak Infinite Amber Ale

Tonight’s selection is another beer I picked up during a DC trip. I’ve been preferring cans to bottles and it looks like Jailbreak exclusively cans their beers. I think the stigma of cans is finally starting to go away. Last year, when we had our family reunion, I exclusive got canned beers and people seemed to like them. Hopefully we will continue to see a shift towards cans. They weigh a lot less than bottles and if you’re having beer by a pool (which seems really attractive right now given it’s Winter), you have no risk of glass breakage.

ABV: 5%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Easy drinking and infinitely smooth, this amber ale is classic in style yet uniquely approachable. Hits of roast and caramel lend to a slightly sweet malt with a semi-dry finish. Perfectly pint-worthy.”

Random: This beer came in at 19 IBUs.

This beer poured with a huge, two and a half finger, tan head. It went away slowly, not leaving much lacing on the glass. The body was a deep and clear mahogany color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose had notes of maple, almonds and hazelnuts with some toffee at the end. The taste was super malty with caramel, maple syrup and toffee. The nuttiness was more muted in the taste than the nose. The body was thick and chewy for the style with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with caramel sweetness. A can of this beer was $1.83, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer, but I wish it had a little more balance.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Howe Sound Three Beavers Imperial Red Ale

This is a beer that we picked up in New York awhile back and it fell to the back of the fridge. I just got around to trying it.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Known as the ‘grandfather of micro-brewing in Canada,’ John Mitchell helped design Howe Sound Brewery in 1996, working with founders Stephen Shard, Dave Fenn and Colleen Fenn. He worked as our very first brewer, developing all of our initial recipes. We are proud of his ongoing relationship with our brewery. Today, we continue to brew in the craft style using unfiltered 100% barley mash. Our diverse selection of flavorful, well-balanced ales is constantly growing and changing with each passing season.”

Random: Otters are much cuter than beavers.

The beer poured with a two finger, tan head. It went away slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark and clear mahogany color. It had some detritus floating in the body along with moderate carbonation. The nose was incredibly sweet with molasses and caramel. The taste was even more sweet, with syrupy and sticky molasses. It reminded me of a monkey bread that had too much sugar in it with booze. It had some raisins and nuts as well. The body was very thick with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with raisins. A bottle of this was $16.99, which came to $.50 per ounce, which was a lot for a beer I just plain didn’t like. I tend to stray away from sweet beers and this was just too much for me.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Avery Hog Heaven: Imperial Red IPA

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a beer from Avery. I picked this one up because I’ve been favoring Jersey beers when I go to the store and I’ve passed this one a bunch of times.

ABV: 9.2%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel malt backbone. This is a serious beer for serious beer aficionados. Oink!”

Random: This used to only be available in bombers and on draft, but is now available in cans. I love beer in cans. It also used to be their barleywine.

The brew poured with a one finger, thick, cream-colored head. It took forever to go away and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and amber in color with moderate carbonation. The nose was strong. It had some booze with a lot of piney and earthy hops. It had a decent amount of malt with maple and caramel. The taste was surprisingly smooth with grassy and earthy hops and a generous dose of pine. It had a note that was comparable to a woody pine cleaner. Hazelnuts and caramel malt came through next. The alcohol presence was there, but not overwhelming. The body was thick and syrupy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky hop finish with alcohol. A can of this was $3.25, which came to $.27 per ounce. This beer was good, but the alcohol was bordering on overwhelming. I wouldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Stone Pataskala Red X IPA

Tonight’s beer is one that I’ve never tried from Stone. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pat-ASK-ala? Pata-SKALA? Pa-TASK-a-la? While those in the know favor the third pronunciation, no matter how you say it, this is a unique red IPA. The beer was first brewed in September 2015 to support music and arts education programs in Pataskala, Ohio, where Stone co-founder Greg Koch grew up. People there loved it, so we added the beer to our seasonal lineup, and the Pataskala name stuck. The crimson hue is courtesy of a special German malt variety by BESTMALZ® called Red X. Appearances, however, only tell so much. Heavily dry-hopped with Mosaic, Cascade and Amarillo hops, the beer is incredibly citrus-forward, rounded out with notes of biscuit and toffee from the malt bill. The result is evocative of red IPAs yet different. And as luck — or perhaps skill is more the appropriate word, to give our brewing team their due — would have it, it’s quite wonderful. We think you’ll find this unusual red IPA to be quite deliciously satisfying, no matter how you choose to pronounce it.”

Random: I’m so glad that “So You Think You Can Dance” features adults this season, instead of children.

This beer poured with a full finger of off white head. It took awhile to go away and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color that had red highlights. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was nutty and had pine sap and sweet orange flesh. The taste had a lot of nutty malt, along with old pine sap and peanuts. The alcohol was astringent and prevalent in this one. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and nutty. A bottle of this set me back $2, which came to $.17 per ounce. This beer was a miss for me. It needed more hops, which is weird to say for a Stone beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Ommegang Hopstate NY (2016)

We picked up this beer up awhile ago, although I think we picked it up in New Jersey, not New York. Let’s see how it was.

hopstateny

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewery Ommegang, located in Brew Central, is once again shining the spotlight on local hop farmers with its 2016 edition of Hopstate NY, an all-NYS hops beer. Brewed in tribute and to raise awareness for local hop farmers breathing life back into the state’s hop industry, this year’s Hopstate NY is an American amber ale brewed with rye, and of course, a healthy amount of hops exclusively sourced from Empire State farmers. The beer will be available on draft and in six-packs, starting in early July. The release of the new brew will be supported through tastings at farmer’s markets around the state, and the second annual Ommegang RV Tour, set to visit cities from Buffalo to Syracuse and Albany to NYC during the month. Just as in 2015, there will also be educational seminars and presentations on the New York State hops initiative across the region and as far as Washington D.C. – at Savor, a national beer and food celebration put on annually by the Brewer’s Association. These are conducted in collaboration with the Cornell Cooperative Extension and their hop advisers who counsel farmers across the state on best practices and manage a varietal research yard at Ommegang. ‘Hopstate NY is a beer everyone at the brewery is extraordinarily passionate about,’ says Ommegang’s Innovation Manager Justin Forsythe, who developed this year’s recipe. ‘For me personally, it is very special as our 2016 version is a vastly different take on showcasing New York hops. It’s an American amber ale by style, but breaking from tradition and expectation, we added copious amounts of the finest NY State Cascade, Chinook, and Nugget hops we could find. I think people are really going to enjoy our take – it’s citrusy and spicy, while being very refreshing.’ The hop industry has deep roots in NY which was the epicenter of hops production in the United States in the 1800s, producing 80% of the country’s hops. Last fall, Ommegang, which is located on the former Lynes Hop Farm in Cooperstown, NY, purchased one ton of New York State-grown and processed hops. The hops were used to brew not only Hopstate NY but were also used in Fleur de Houblon, Ommegang’s summer ale. This is the second year in which Ommegang has purchased local hops for both experimental brews, and local and nationwide releases. At 5.6% ABV, Hopstate NY pours a deep amber hue with a persistent white head. The hopping is almost entirely late-addition, and with two rounds of dry-hopping in fermentation, the beer has bright aromas of citrus and melon. The flavor is citrusy with a bit of sweet honey and caramel from the malt. Moderate bitterness of the taste is of citrus and tangerine with a slight pine resin presence. The finish is a pleasantly lingering resinous hop finish with a touch of sweet malt. Hopstate NY pairs well with grilled, fried, or roast chicken, spicy foods, pizza, and burgers. This year, Hopstate NY will only be available in New York but as the local hop industry grows, Hopstate NY may expand to new states, symbolizing its rebirth and vitality. Hopstate NY will be available next month in 12oz. six-packs for the suggested retail price of $13.99. Ommegang’s website offers a beer finder for locating retailers by zip code.”

Random: Ommegang’s label redesign really updated the brand. I like it.

This beer poured with a four finger, pure white head. it took forever to go away and left a lot of spiderweb lacing on the glass along with a significant crown. The body was a dirty light brown with yellow highlights and moderate carbonation. The nose started with pine hops and some lemon as well. It had some rye too with an herbal note that reminded me of sage. The taste was incredibly hoppy for the style. I picked up grapefruit juice, lemon zest, pineapple and then it transitioned into pine and got some help from the rye spice. The body was on the heavier side of medium with pleasant amounts of carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky hop finish. A bottle of this was $1.75 ($.15 per ounce), which was a great price for this outstanding beer. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0