The Bruery Icky Thump

There’s a small, independent coffee place by my job that I’ve started to go to. Their espresso is really good and it’s a nice pick-me-up in the afternoon. I also like coffee beers for just that reason.

ABV: 11%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to, “It started in Chicago, and now California has their shot at a taste. The Bruery Icky Thump, a collaboration with Chicago’s Mikerphone Brewing debuts in the Sunshine State. ‘A massive imperial stout’ pretty much sums up this release, which was initially brewed with California-based Portola Coffee Chicago. Incidentally, for the Cali release, The Bruery used Chicago coffee, from Tugboat Coffee. Our version of Icky is a silky, creamy, coffee bomb of a beer… – The Bruery. The Bruery Icky Thump is available in 16-ounce cans and draft starting March 20th.”

Random: It’s been really cold lately. I can’t predict this weather, sometimes it’s 60 degrees and sometimes it 10 degrees.

This beer poured with a half a finger of light brown head that dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black with no visible carbonation. The nose was intense. There was a lot of baker’s chocolate, smoke and then espresso notes. There was some booze too. The taste was intense with more notes of baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate. There was some vanilla and then espresso and smoke as well. The booze was noticeable, but not overwhelming. It had a lengthy finish with coffee. I thought this beer was outstanding and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

The Bruery Muffin Stuffin

I really enjoy muffins, but I only like the muffin bottoms. I think it’s because as a child, my sister would take the tops off of muffins and give me the bottoms.

ABV: 11.8%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to, “A muffin is an individual-sized, baked product. It can refer to two distinct items, a part-raised flatbread that is baked and then cooked on a griddle (typically unsweetened) and a cupcake-like quickbread (often sweetened) that is chemically leavened and then baked in a mold. While quickbread muffins are often sweetened, there are savory varieties made with ingredients such as corn and cheese. The flatbread is of British or European derivation, and dates from at least the early 18th century, while the quickbread originated in North America during the 19th century. Both are common worldwide today.”

Random: My favorite muffins are blueberry, corn and carrot cake.

The beer poured with a three finger, thick, light brown head. It took forever to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black, with light carbonation visible. The nose had some dark chocolate, smoke and then went into gingerbread and dried blueberries. There was some heat there as well. The taste was a bit sweeter than I expected. I picked up a lot of roasted malts, dark chocolate and dried blueberries. The gingerbread and vanilla came through next. The body was thick and heavy with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with blueberry and dark chocolate. I liked this beer, but it definitely is a slow sipper that could easily overwhelm.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Geburtstagskranz

Tonight’s beer is another one from The Bruery. Being in their reserve society got us access to a lot of the rare beers, but the price tag was really high. I’m glad that I got to participate and it also got me access to their rare beers when we were out in California.

ABV: 9.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It’s a surprise. Close your eyes, make a wish, take a sip. Now open and behold this bottle crafted to celebrate our friend’s sixth birthday. Inspired by the flavors found in black forest cake, this recipe called for a rich imperial stout, with notes of chocolate, barrel-aged character, sweet vanilla and tart, juicy cherries. We couldn’t be happier to craft this bottle to help our friends celebrate. Cheers to them (and you!)”

Random: Val and I are going to Germany in December with my family and we’re very excited.

The beer poured with a large, three finger, tan head. It hung around forever and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was almost black, with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was big and filled with dark chocolate, vanilla and oak. I picked up some berry notes as well. The taste was even better. There was a lot of dark and milk chocolate upfront with some oak and vanilla. There was some booze as well. Cherry came through too. The body on this was big with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and chocolatey finish. I liked this beer a lot, but one was definitely enough.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

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 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

The Bruery Ruekeller: Pilsener

Tonight’s beer is a selection from The Bruery. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 5.7%

Style: German Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, CA specializing in barrel aged and experimental ales. Founded as a small, friend & family run business in 2008, The Bruery takes its unique moniker from founder Patrick Rue’s family surname. Patrick picked up homebrewing as a hobby, later to become an obsession, as a distraction to the banality of law school. Soon he was winning numerous awards for his beers and driving his wife, Rachel, mad with the messes that he would leave on the kitchen stove. Upon finishing school, he took it upon himself to draw up a business plan rather than study for the California Bar exam – a risky endeavor that shows through still today in the creative, genre-tilting beers that The Bruery prides itself on. The Bruery is founded on the excitement that Patrick felt in those first years of homebrewing and we continue to strive for that same passion in every aspect of our business today. We never stop challenging ourselves to develop distinctive & imaginative beers, constantly pursuing improvement in all that we do. We brew dozens of original beers each year with our list of ingredients and inspirations growing perpetually. Our collection of oak barrels has also become a primary element of our brewery. Nearly half of our beer is aged in wine or spirit barrels bringing forth flavors reminiscent of the Belgian countryside or classic American distillers. We greatly value our customers as well as our employees at The Bruery and want to give them all an impassioned way to spend their time while sharing a beer worth talking about.”

Random: We decided not to do the Bruery Society this year. It was very expensive and one year was enough for us.

The brew poured with a half a finger of thick, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace with some lacing left behind. The body was a clear, bright straw yellow color with a lot of carbonation. The nose had a lot of mineral water and some straw as well. There was a slight honey sweetness as well. The taste was also filled with grain and mineral water. There was a slight sweetness in the beer as well. The body was on the lighter side with heavy carbonation. The finish was quick with grain. I liked this beer a lot. When I think of The Bruery, I don’t think of a pilsener, but this was really pleasant.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Out Of The Lunchbox

The Bruery store in DC was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. But, it had a huge selection of beers that I had never seen before and some cool looking merch. It’s also right by Union Market, which is a huge market with different food and beverage vendors. The best thing I had there were these steamed buns, which I would definitely go back for.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “What’s better than splitting a PB&J sandwich with your favorite buddy over lunch? How about sharing this PB&J-inspired beer instead? This lunchtime ale was brewed with lactose; with peanut flour, boysenberries and salt added.”

Random: As a child, I loved peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches. I was very averse to grape jelly.

The beer poured with a thick, slight pink tinged head that was two fingers high. It took awhile to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a murky reddish-brown color with no visible carbonation. The nose started with peanut butter and transitioned into red grapes, berries and some toasted malt. The taste started with peanut butter and then went into berries and grape jelly with a slight coffee note as well. There was a white bread note present too. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with peanut butter and grape jelly. This was an interesting beer for sure, but it delivered what it promised. I enjoyed it, but this wouldn’t be a beer that I would want to have constantly.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Zesty Mounds

This was another beer that I picked up at The Bruery store in DC.

ABV: 13.6%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Barrel-aged Beer Day is our staff’s day for premiering flavors that cannot be achieved outside of the art of the blend or by any one beer. This staff-winning blend, created by Jennifer Anderson, Conner Coghill, Adam Funderberg, Jeff Scott, Andrew Stretch and Patrick Traster, showcases mounds of candy bar-esque flavors, with vanilla, coconut, cacao nibs from TCHO and orange zest folded into an exclusive fusion of some of our darkest, richest and most malt-forward bourbon barrel-aged beers.”

Random: The website also recommends the following pairings with this beer: citrus-marinated skirt steak, appenzeller cheese, ambrosia macaroons. A company meeting.

The beer poured with a one finger, brown head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass, along with a small crown on top of the black body. Due to the color of the beer, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose of the beer started with the expected barrel characteristics with smoke, char, leather and then went into dark, roasted malts. Dark chocolate and vanilla came next with some coconut. The taste was even more intense than the nose. It had dark roasted malts and dark chocolate upfront and then transitioned into vanilla, oak, coconut and a touch of orange as well. Molasses and smoke were present as well. The alcohol was present, but not overwhelming. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with coconut and dark chocolate. This beer was outstanding and very complex. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0