The Bruery Rice & Beans

I finished a really good book a few days ago about stories about the East German underbelly. It was about 250 pages and I finished it in a night. It’s called Stasiland and I highly recommend it.

ABV: 7%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the mybeerbuzz.blogspot.com website, “Here’s another new can coming from The Bruery in Placentia, CA. This is Rice & Beans and it will be a blonde ale brewed with rice, lactose, cinnamon, vanilla and Terra Mia coffee beans. The beer will roll in at 7.2%-ABV and you’re looking at the 16oz can.”

Random: I’ve been drinking a lot more espresso at home lately. I’m favoring the Intelligensia espresso.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It was rather thick and dissipated quickly. It didn’t leave much lacing on the glass. The body was clear and golden-yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with fresh cinnamon. There was some light coffee as well with a touch of vanilla, but cinnamon dominated. The flavor had a bit more balance, but not much. It was still filled with cinnamon, but had some lactose, along with the same light coffee note. I didn’t pick up a lot of rice either. The alcohol note was a bit strong for my taste, but the body was medium thickness. There was moderate carbonation. The finish went away within a few seconds and had the same cinnamon. This wasn’t my favorite take on a horchata and I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Bruery Hold The Spoon

Years ago, I worked for a company that was based in Ohio. I had the opportunity to run one of the distribution centers in Ohio, while running one in Jersey, which meant a lot of traveling to Columbus. Although I went to an open food market in Columbus that had a Jeni’s, I decided I didn’t need ice cream then. That was a mistake. Jeni’s ice cream is awesome. Any beer based off the ice cream has to be good, right?

ABV: 8.8%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hold The Spoon is an Imperial Blonde Ale inspired by the flavors of Jeni’s Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks ice cream. Our innovation manager, Andrew Bell, states, ‘This was a fun project collaborating with a great craft company from another industry. Tasting through a bunch of ice creams is something we don’t often do at work at a brewery.’ The decision to make a beer inspired by this particular ice cream was an easy one, Bell continues. ‘Jeni’s Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks was one of our favorites from the start. It has a bold roasted peanut butter character that is balanced with the creaminess from the dairy, just the right amount of sugar and a surprising salty edge that really made you want to get another spoonful. We made this beer with the simple goal of conveying the wonderful experience of eating Jeni’s Ice Cream in… beer form,’ he says. Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, adds, ‘I was so excited when the Bruery came to us with this idea — and I don’t think they could have picked a better ice cream to turn into a beer. I love everything the Bruery does, and this beer is no exception.’ Hold The Spoon is brewed with lactose, cacao nibs, peanut flour and salt. It’s a full bodied, creamy beer with delicate notes of chocolate and peanut butter. The beer will be available online at www.thebruery.com and in tasting rooms, with a public launch party on March 6 at Bruery Terreux. Hold The Spoon will retail at $5.99 per can.”

Random: Ice cream is one of my favorite sweets.

The beer poured with a finger and a half of white head that was quite loose. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and light orange in color with some carbonation visible. The nose was pungent and sweet, which for a beer with ice cream cones on the can, is really to be expected. I picked up some peanut butter notes, caramel and a touch of honey. The taste reminded me of uncooked cookie dough along with peanut butter and white chocolate. The booze came through a bit too much for me. The body was on the heavier side with light carbonation. It had a sticky and lengthy finish with peanut butter. I thought this beer was good, but this was definitely a one and done beer for me, due to the sweetness.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Edmund’s Oast Baby Bubble Barbecue Beer

I had some time off before I started my new job over the Summer, so Val and I hopped a quick flight to Charleston. We had previously been to Charleston on a day trip and loved it. We especially loved this restaurant Edmund’s Oast. We basically planned a trip to Charleston on going to this restaurant, so it was our first stop for dinner on the trip. They also make beer now, which made it even better.

ABV: 5.0%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the restaurant’s website, “Edmund’s Oast is a restaurant like no other, because it’s so much more – a unique combination of brewery, seasonally-focused kitchen, and encyclopedic bar program. Scott Shor had the vision to bring these often-singular pursuits under one roof without sacrificing an inch of quality among them. The restaurant offers an elevated but approachable menu, providing guests a warm and exciting dining experience. Executive Chef Bob Cook’s distinctively dynamic menu includes bar snacks, house made charcuterie, small plates, heartier entrees, and classic desserts with a contemporary spin. The food is authentic without pretention, delivering an extraordinary dining experience inspired by the beverages featured on the menu.”

Random: Unfortunately, the restaurant was not nearly as good as I remembered it.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was only slightly hazy and bright yellow in color. There was a nice amount of carbonation visible. The nose had some grain along with a touch of honey sweetness. The taste was light and crisp with some milled grain, barley and a slight floral honey sweetness. The body was light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick and sweet finish. This was a nice beer for a Summer in the South. I would give this one a shot again, for sure.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cigar City After Sesh

I can’t wait until baseball is back. I love hockey, but I enjoy baseball season because it lasts so long and there’s always a good game to watch. This beer is one that I was hoping would be a good selection once the weather gets warm.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Skatepark of Tampa and Cigar City Brewing, two Florida originals, have collaborated on this crisp beer with notes of lime, orange and salt that can be enjoyed after a skate session or anytime you’re with friends. A portion of the proceeds from sales of this beer will go toward Boards for Bros, a nonprofit dedicated to rebuilding and distributing skateboarding equipment to underserved youth, empowering them to acquire important life skills.”

Random: I love when the weather is cold, but I love a good hot-weather beer.

The beer poured with about a finger of head and dissipated almost instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and golden-yellow in color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had some citrus and flowers with some wheat as well. The taste had the same wheat that was apparent in the nose and it went into floral notes with some honey. I was hoping for a bit more lime and salt, but the floral notes overtook. After a few sips, I picked up orange segments. The body was light and crisp with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with orange and wheat. This was an easy drinker, but I wish it had more depth. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Roundabout Lure Verden

Val managed to find a James Beard award nominee restaurant that was known for their pizza and doesn’t take reservations. We got there right as it opened so we could see how it was. Val really enjoyed it and I thought it was just alright. This was the beer I had there.

ABV: 6.4%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “So, it is your typical start-up brewery story: Brewer wants to open his own place after working for breweries in FL, HI, CA (x3), CO, MO (x2), New Zealand, and PA (x3). Hmmmm, maybe that isn’t so typical. Regardless, we are so excited to finally open the doors to our brewery. Steve was already thinking about opening a small brewery back in 2003 so it took about 10 years and a couple of brewery jobs to make it happen. The support from other local breweries and business owners has been amazing and we are very grateful for their time and knowledge. We are happy to be a part of the awesome Pittsburgh brewing community. Now go out and support Pittsburgh craft beer.”

Random: I always like to pair a lighter beer with pizza.

The beer poured with a half a finger of slightly off white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was most clear and a murky yellow-orange color. The nose was light with some grain and honey and a touch of grass. The taste was very similar to the nose. I picked up some honey up front and then light grain and grass. The body was light with generous carbonation. It had a quick finish with honey. I enjoyed this beer with dinner, but it wasn’t anything I would need to search out again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cape Cod Breakfast Blonde

When Val and I were at the Cape Cod beer tasting in P-Town, the owner mentioned that they had just made a coffee blonde beer that she was very happy with. Although I got a taste of it at the brewery, I wanted a bottle to bring home as well.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Breakfast Blonde is an unexpected combination of flavors made in collaboration with our friends at Cape Cod Coffee. Enjoy the light toastiness of our Blonde Ale enhanced by the dark roastiness of their popular Vienna Roast Coffee. This light brew has a crisp and clean base with strong aromas and flavors derived from the single source coffee beans. Breakfast… it’s the most important beer of the day!”

Random: If you celebrate – Merry Christmas!

The beer poured with a half a finger of loose, pure white head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, bright amber color with a lot of visible carbonation. The nose was filled with coffee and had some grains as well. The taste was all coffee and not much else. I picked up some grain as well, but this was, as expected, very coffee forward. The body was on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with coffee. I liked this beer a lot, but I also love coffee. It was an interesting take on a blonde and I would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Bronx Banner

I desperately need a new phone. My current personal phone (I have a separate one for work) won’t hold a charge for more than an hour. I just hate that phones only last a year or two without starting to have issues. Maybe a beer will make me feel less frustrated.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A crisp, refreshing golden Kolsch ale. We call this Kolsch, our Golden Easy Ale because it says what it means and it means what is says. Inspired by a borough with a fierce work ethic, this Kolsch is the perfect brew for those who embrace the grind. Wheat and pilsner malts are balanced by German hops, giving this easy-drinker, a slight lemongrass bitterness. This is our beer for those who make stuff happen.”

Random: This beer comes in at 24 IBUs and is a year-round offering from the brewery.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick, pure white head. It took awhile to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. It was slightly cloudy and light yellow in color. The nose had some crackery malt with a touch of lemon. Some yeast came through as well. The taste was pretty bland. It had the same crackery malt with a touch of grass and a very mild floral note. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick and unremarkable finish. Val brought this home for me in a mixed-pack from Trader Joe’s, so I have no clue how much it was. Either way, this beer was boring and there are many other beers of the style I would grab first, but it was refreshing.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0