Tommyknocker Green Chile Lager

Anytime I see a beer that uses chile peppers, I’m interested. It’s also nice to see more and more breweries using them. I tried growing some this year with mixed results. The ones that I grew were insanely spicy and I had to use them in very small doses. They had the heat of Thai Bird chilis. Next year, I think I will get some that are on the milder side.


ABV: 5.3%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blend of hot and mild Anaheim chiles infused in a refreshing light lager. A pleasant spicy bite makes for a delicious palate pleaser.”

Random: This comes in at 27 IBUs.

This beer poured with less than a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was lightly hazy and a straw yellow color. There was light carbonation visible. The nose was very vegetal. There was green peppers and cilantro with oregano. The taste did not offer any sort of chile pepper heat. It had green bell peppers and a general green vegetal flavor. I really wish there was some heat to this beer given what was advertised. I kept sipping it and I got a touch of hot pepper, but again, it offered almost not heat. The body was on the thinner side with light carbonation. The finish was quick with green bell peppers. A single of this set me back $2.50 ($.21 per ounce). This beer was a huge disappointment. It offered no heat and no other flavors other than bell peppers. This is a beer to avoid.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Tommyknocker Tundrabeary Ale

This beer was one that the other half wanted to try. We picked it up the last time that we went to Half Time, despite being a bit out of season. I haven’t had a beer from Tommyknocker since 2012, so I was excited to try this one.


ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A slightly tart, refreshing light ale made with raspberries, blueberries and other natural fruits. Just as the cinnamon black bear on our label craves the flavor of mountain tundra berries, you will find this brew to be irresistibly delicious.”

Random: It’s a really nice day today. I think at some point I will have to remove myself from the couch and go outside.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the pint glass. The body was a hazy, dark copper color with a purple tinge with medium carbonation visible. The nose was filled with blackberries and blueberries and a touch of wheat. The taste was not great. It was like a berry wine cooler. The blueberry and blackberry flavor that was apparent reminded me of an over-sweetened juice box from my childhood. I also couldn’t pick up any wheat in it. The body was on the medium side with light carbonation. It luckily had a quick finish with the same sickeningly sweet berry juice. For $2.29 a bottle, the beer wasn’t expensive and broke down to $.19 per ounce. Despite this, I definitely wouldn’t have it again. It was exactly what I didn’t want a fruit beer to be.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Tommyknocker Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale

Oh, fall. It’s the season where the leaves start turning and people start throwing pumpkin in freaking everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of pumpkin flavored things, but I’m really not okay with the trend in the craft beer industry of pumpkin beer coming out in August. It’s still insanely hot in August and that’s not when I want to grab a pumpkin beer. So, if you’ve been reading, I held out until late September to have my first one. For the past two years, I’ve had six pumpkin beer reviews each year. This will be my third review for this year…let’s see how it goes.

ABV: 5%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A hearty brown ale brewed to celebrate the fall harvest season. Brewed with a hint of spice and a touch of molasses, Small Patch has a malty backbone rounded out by an addition of real pumpkin to the mash and brew kettle. Think outside the patch!”

Random: So, Kate and I have been watching that “Breaking Amish” show and the newest report that I’ve read is that the show is fake. What is reality television coming to?

This brew poured with a thin, half a finger head that was tan and dissipated almost instantly. The body was a cloudy, mahogany color with light to moderate visible carbonation. The nose had the usual notes of pumpkin and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. But, the one unique thing that came out was the molasses, which were pretty fragrant and just added this other dimension to the beer. The taste was almost as good as the nose. The molasses stood out, but died too quickly. The pumpkin and spices were also present, but the spices needed just a little more. A little more sweetness would have helped as well. The body was moderate thickness and slightly under carbonated. The finish was long with spice. This wasn’t a bad beer by any means, but there’s better choices for a pumpkin brew out there.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Tommyknocker Hop Strike Black IPA

So, I finally started feeling better yesterday. This is a really good thing given the fact my first practical day at fire school is Saturday. So, last night my girlfriend took me to a bar that I haven’t been to in forever that actually had 31 taps of brews. This was the first one that I sampled at Court Jester in Freehold (shockingly, one that was on my wish list).


ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This beer is characterized by an intermingling of spicy citrus hops and chocolate malt creating an interesting complexity and great first impression on the nose. Hop Strike’s substantial 78 IBUs are balanced by Chocolate Rye resulting in a nice depth of malt character and deep color.”

Random: I think I’m turning my girlfriend into a Phillies fan. At least, I’m hoping.

This brew poured with half a finger of thick, tan head that took awhile to dissipate. It left lots of lacing on the pint glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black, with some visible carbonation. The nose started with a lot of roasted malts and chocolate on it. Where was the pine? Where was the bitterness? The taste was very different than any other black IPA I’ve ever had. There were a lot more roasted malts on this brew and a real lack of bitterness. The taste still had the chocolate that was apparent in the nose. The body was thicker than I expected with moderate carbonation. It finished quickly with roasted malts. Final vote…it’s alright, but nothing amazing. I wouldn’t rush back to have it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale

Another day, another beer. I picked this up in a mixed six-pack because nothing else really caught my eye. I pretty much grabbed the first beer I saw, which was this one.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: American Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the Tommyknocker website, “A delicate amount of Maple syrup is added to each barrel of our award-winning Maple Nut Brown Ale to impart roasted sweetness. This addition balances the nut flavor produced by  chocolate malts used in the brewhouse, producing a drinkable dark amber ale with a relatively low alcohol content. 1996 Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal.  1999 NABA Silver Medal.  2000 World Beer Cup Gold Medal.  2002 GABF Bronze Medal.  2002 NABA Silver Medal.  2003 GABF Bronze Medal. 2006 GABF Bronze Medal.”

Random: I’ve never seen this brewery in NJ before. After some research, it seems like this is a new brewery to come to NJ. I hope it’s good because the beer store has a lot of different brews from this place.

The brew poured with a barely there white head with no lacing left on my pint glass. The body was a hazy golden brown with moderate visible carbonation. The nose has definite caramel malts with a slight hint of maple that was mentioned in the name of the beer. The taste has moderate carbonation with definite sweetness and malt. The maple was very subtle, which isn’t what I expected. I was hoping for a little more maple apparent on the taste. This is a beer that has lower alcohol than I typically drink and it was pretty thing. The finish was quick and unremarkable. This wasn’t a fabulous brew, but it would be a good session beer, although I wouldn’t rush back to have it any time soon.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0