Brooklyn Insulated Dark Lager

When I popped this beer open, Val said that she was disappointed with the brewery when we visited, and I have to agree. Although it’s not a production brewery anymore, the interior is a lot of picnic tables and nondescript, without any charm. It didn’t make me want to go back, to say the least. Despite that, Val picked up this beer for me to try and I hadn’t heard of it until she brought it home.


ABV: 5.6%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brooklyn Insulated Dark Lager is your protection against biting wind and soggy weather. German Munich, roasted Carafa, and Pilsner malts create a nimble, racy body, while a helping of American black barley adds just a hint of roast coffee. A light dry hopping of American and German hops pitter-patters across the nose and dives into the dry, warming finish. Try it with dark breads, hearty meats, and sturdy cheddars. If you still feel the chill, just add another layer and enjoy your insulation.”

Random: This is a seasonal beer that is available from November through March.

The beer poured with a one finger, tan head. It went away quickly, but left a small amount of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black. Because of the color, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose had notes of strong, roasty, black coffee. Ash was there as well, with some smoke. It also had brown bread. The taste surprised me because I got some hop character that was moderately bitter. It then went into the same roasty coffee note with toffee and bready malt. The body was a bit too thin for me with carbonation that needed to be dialed up. The finish was quick with roasty coffee. A single of this will set you back $1.67 ($.14 per ounce). Despite the relatively cheap price, this beer was only alright to me. It was too thin and needed more flavor and smoke.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Jack’s Abby / Evil Twin Jack’s Evil Brew

I was really excited to see a brew from Jack’s Abby in the box that the lawyer brought me from New York. They are an all lager brewery, which is pretty rare to see. I’ve read a bunch of reviews on different beer blogs and they’ve all been positive. Let’s see how their collaboration brew with Evil Twin went.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Jack’s Evil Brew is now available in our tasting room. This beer was brewed as a collaboration between Jack’s Abby and Evil Twin Brewing. This black lager blends various roasted and dark crystal malts. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, and a subtle nuttiness dominate this sweet full bodied lager. Brown malt and chocolate wheat malt were specially sourced for this beer from Valley Malt. Enjoy!”

Random: I am really not thrilled with the meow waking us up at 4:30 AM on my day off.

This brew poured with a big and fluffy, two finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body of the beer was a clear, dark brown that was almost black. You could see lots of active carbonation through the dark body. The nose was lighter than I expected. I got some smoky malts with a lot of biscuit as well. The taste was filled with notes of chocolate and coffee along with smoky malts. There was also a touch of biscuit here as well. The body was on the medium side with high carbonation. It had a long finish with chocolate and smoke. This was a really, really good beer. It was flavorful, yet light and really satisfying. I wish I could get this one down here. I would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwarzbier

As a matter of comparison to the last review, I purchased this brew, a true German schwarzbier. Yet another thing I’m not used to in NJ, a beer bar that has bottles, but charges a corkage fee (pretty much like wine). Despite this, beer is still insanely cheaper in Virginia than New Jersey. So, let’s see how this one fared.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: This beer is from the specialty profile of the brewery. Cool!

Random: I hate the heat. I’m sitting under a fan and still sweating like crazy. This is not fun at all. Is it fall yet?

This brew poured with a finger and half of tan head that left lots of lacing on the pint glass. By the way, also love this glass. Anyways, the body was a dark brown color with visible heavy carbonation. The nose had smoke, coffee and dark chocolate to it. Compared to the last brew, this nose was really big. The taste was really full bodies with lots of chocolate up front with smoke that quick to follow up. Toasted malts came through as well. The body was medium to heavy with a lot of carbonation. The finish was long with a decent amount of smoke. This wasn’t overly complex, but had some great flavors to it. I really enjoyed this one, especially having it side by side with another beer of the same style. It wasn’t watery, but wasn’t too heavy for the style. The flavors were spot on and I could see this really complimenting a barbecue dish. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Devils Backbone Schwartz Bier

I found yet another crazy local beer while I was at Beer Run. Have I talked about the sandwich I had there? If not, it was awesome. It was a bratwurst with homemade sauerkraut and mustard on a pretzel roll. I am a serious sucker for pretzel rolls. Plus, I really love bratwurst and sauerkraut, so the sandwich in general was going to be a home run for me anyways. So, I first heard of this brewery when I went into the local spice store (where I picked up a bunch of great spices to use for either beer or barbecue). It ends up that the woman who owned the spice store sold them a bunch of spices for a brew. Totally cool. Onto the beer…

ABV: 4.9%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: From what I could find on the website, a pilot batch of this was brewed in January of 2013 and this is a beer that they occasionally brew.

Random: I’m watching a grizzly bear eat a frozen fish on my documentary.

This brew poured with a finger of tan head that dissipated very slowly. It left significant lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color that was almost black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was light for the style. It presented with roasted malt and a touch of smoke and char. The body was a bit bigger than the nose. I got smoke up front with some chocolate and roasted malts. The body was borderline watery, even given the style. The finish was quick with smoke. This brew was nothing all that special to me. It had some nice flavors, but given how watery the beer was, it took away from the experience.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Port Brewing Midnight Expression

On Friday night, Kate and I went back to The Draft House for dinner. Little did we know that we were walking in on late 50s singles night. It was pretty funny watching these old men hitting on every woman that we saw. Kate and I spent the whole time laughing. This was the first beer that I had there.

ABV: 5%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It’s not often that a great swell coincides with a full moon. But when they collide, nature affords us a rare opportunity to paddle out long after everyone has called it a day. These moments are a solitary pursuit with empty lineups. But those who carve graceful lines under a full moon understand how things can be dark, lonely and rewarding at the same time. So next time you paddle in from an overcrowded beach break, remember that nothing tastes better than a cold beer after a session. We suggest a roasty black lager for contemplating empty lineups and waves that go on for days. Most likely you’ll long for epic summer swells under moon lit sessions, opening the doors to isolation and empty secret spots on an age trying to pass us by…”

Random: It’s still snowing. Luckily, it’s not sticking.

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose was roasted malts and smoke without much else. The taste was smoke, roasted malts and then a touch of metal. As it warmed, the flavors really improved. After awhile, I also got some pumpernickel bread. The body was thick with heavy carbonation on the tongue. The finish was lengthy with a lot of smoke. This was a good beer, but it was missing something. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Fort Collins Kidd Lager

This was the last beer from Sunday. I cracked this one open while watching some movies with my sister. We watched “Snatch,” which was absolutely horrible. Then, we watched a documentary on how beer saved the world which was actually pretty good. It did the whole beer and history thing, which I really liked. Then, we watched Thor. For me, movies that are based on comics are hit or miss. This one was alright to me. I think it helped watching it on the big tv. So, beer time.

ABV: 4.75%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to, “William ‘Captain’ Kidd (c. 1645 – 23 May 1701) was a Scottish sailor remembered for his trial and execution for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians deem his piratical reputation unjust, as there is evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer. Kidd’s fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial. His actual depredations on the high seas, whether piratical or not, were both less destructive and less lucrative than those of many other contemporary pirates and privateers.”

Random: I remember having this beer in my fridge about a year before I started the blog and way before I even had a concept of what a schwarzbier was.

This one poured with a full finger of tan head that dissipated slowly, yet left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose had roasted malts, coffee and a bit of chocolate. What was noticeably missing was that smoky characteristic that I love from a schwarzbier. This isn’t boding well for this brew. While keeping an open mind, I took a sip and got instant bitterness and roasted malts. There wasn’t any of the chocolate that I got in the nose and a slight bit of coffee was present. Finally, I got some smoke. But, honestly it took a few sips for it to come out. I really would have liked more of a smoky character to it. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. The finish was remarkably quick as well with a toasty finish. After about 20 minutes, the beer slightly improved and more smoke came out, but not enough to make me search this one again. I wouldn’t have this one again. There are so many better examples of a schwarbier out there than this.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager

Today was rather uneventful. I got my haircut and then had brunch at one of my favorite places. I worked out in the yard with my sister for the rest of the afternoon. I planted some more herbs and vegetables in my garden and fenced it off so that the deer didn’t eat anything else. They already took out my strawberry plant. So, definitely time for a brew.

ABV: 5%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to, “Dixie Brewing was founded and began production in 1907 and is the only remaining large volume brewery within the city of New Orleans, a city that once was home to several major breweries (most notably, Falstaff). Several microbreweries and brewpubs exist in the city, and the popular Abita Brewing Company is located nearby. In 2005, the Dixie Brewery was severely damaged when Mid-City New Orleans flooded from the levee failure disaster during Hurricane Katrina. After the area was dewatered the brewery complex was looted with much of the equipment stolen. Despite early claims that the brewery would be restored, it remains off line as of December 2010 and the future of the facilities is uncertain. The brand remains in business, brewed under contract by breweries elsewhere. The building sits in the footprint of the new Department of Veterans Affairs hospital under construction in New Orleans’ Mid-City neighborhood.”

Random: I hate the fact that there is nothing on television anymore. At least I have Netflix.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark mahogany, lighter than other brews of the style, and had lots of visible carbonation. The nose had some slight sweetness with smoke on the end. The taste was equally as nice. I got roasted malts and smoke up front. There was also some bacon. This would pair really well with barbecue. I should have had this last night. The body was on the thicker end with lots of carbonation. The finish was medium in length and smoky. There wasn’t any noticeable booze to it. I really liked this beer and would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0