Archive for the Beer Category

Beer Review #4: 2 Below Ale

Posted in Beer on February 25, 2009 by Dan

The New Beligum Brewing Company is the same company that has brought “Fat Tire” onto this great earth. I love, love, love, Fat Tire and decided to give another one of their incarnations a shot. I figured that since it is February, I’d go with a winter themed beer (even though it was 75 degrees here today).

The beer is brewed in Ft. Collins Colorado and claims to be a “warming blast of Sterling and Liberty hops along with tawny roasted malts. By pushing our beer 2 degrees BELOW into a final, nearly freezing state, its ample structure develops a brilliant clarity.” Indeed the beer is what you’d expect from an ale, a nice rich amber color that pours very smoothly and settles quickly. I hope it can compete with Fat Tire.

A frosty beer from the makers of Fat Tire

A frosty beer from the makers of Fat Tire

The initial taste is very good. It’s a nice hoppy bitterness that isn’t overpowering. It’s a beer that tastes like a beer, something I’m always searching for and referencing. There’s good body to it and the advertised malts (which I have learned make a beer sweeter) definitely softens the flavor and leaves you with a very smooth and tasty brew.

The more I drink of it, the more I’m loving how smooth and delicious it is. It’s not an exotic flavor but that’s what makes it so good. There’s something familiar about the body and taste of the beer but I can’t say exactly what it is. It’s distinct enough to stand apart from any old recycled domestic beer  but isn’t so different that you wouldn’t want to drink it often. It’s also relatively light and you could drink a couple of them without wanting to burst.

Overall, I must commend the New Belgium Brewing company, they have produced a stellar companion to Fat Tire and I most certainly give this beer my seal of approval and recommendation. Regardless of your beer drinking experience and preference, I’d be surprised to hear you say didn’t like this one.

Cheers!

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Beer Review #3: Boddingtons

Posted in Beer on February 17, 2009 by Dan

I am Friends junkie. I’ll be the first to admit that I have seen every episode likely more than once and frequently quote this show that has been dead for a decade. What does this have to do with beer you might ask?

Well, there’s a scene from Friends where everyone (expect the pregnant Phoebe who could not make the flight) is reminiscing with great delight about all the fun they had in London after Ross’ botched wedding. The three gents are particularly enamored with a beer they had in London called “Boddingtons” and in this particular scene they all high five each other and shout “BODDINGTONS!!!” over and over again. Joey is then informed that an English pub down the street serves Boddingtons and he promptly sprints out the door to the bar. It’s funnier than I’m describing and I can’t find a youtube clip for the life of me. Humor me, people.

Anyways, I always figured that Boddingtons was a made up fake British beer. But then, after picking out some dinner tonight at Market Street, I spotted this beer and almost shouted “BODDINGTONS!” in the middle of the beer isle. The store is lucky that there was no one around for me to high five or I totally would have embarrassed myself. I am totally pumped about this review.

Let’s get onto business:

LONDON BABY!!!!

LONDON BABY!!!!

Boddingtons advertises itself to be a pub ale first brewed back in 1778(!) at the Strangeways Brewery in Manchester. It is packaged in a special can to deliver the “distinct creamy head and smooth body with little gassiness” that it is known for. The can itself has three very specific instructions:

  1. Serve the beer cool but not ice cold.  (As such I’ve let it warm up just a bit. I still can’t stand the idea of warm beer).
  2. Carefully open can, pour contents into a glass. (Not even I can screw this up).
  3. Wait…and watch the head settle on a perfect glass of Boddingtons Pub Ale.

After watching the remarkably entertaining pour (that I nearly spilled over my keyboard), I was relieved to see that it was a much lighter colored beer and would therefore be no where near as heavy as some of the previously reviewed beers had been.

The first sip is honestly unlike any other beer I’ve ever drank. The head of the beer is thicker than what I’m used to; it’s very creamy but surprisingly unsweet. It’s not the usual carbonation that’s in most beers as it has more substance to it.

As the head and the beer mix in your mouth, I was expecting some sort of flavor to come bursting forth but it’s mostly a dry beer that doesn’t taste like much of anything. There’s very little hoppiness associated with it but this, along with lower amounts of carbonation, make it the smoothest beer I’ve ever had. Literally, it goes down just like water-there’s no uncomfortable grimace from bitterness or bloated feelings caused by heavy beers. I can see how the British are such raging drunks, I could drink like ten of these things without filling myself up.

That being said, I don’t know if I like it . It doesn’t taste like beer, I want a little hoppiness or some substance to my beers but this remains rather flat and bland throughout the pint. I would reccommend to try this beer at least once because it is a novel, distinct, and incredibly smooth beer, it’s just not one that I will be drinking with any sort of regularity.

Beer Review #2: Double Dog

Posted in Beer on February 10, 2009 by Dan

Tonight’s beer is “Double Dog Double Pale Ale.” I selected it at Market Street because of it’s rather disturbing label. There’s nothing like a dog head with horns in whitey tighties drinking beer to draw my attention. It is brewed by the Flying Dog Brewery out of Denver, Colorado with (this is random?) special agreement from Frederick, Maryland.

Bitter Bomb Deluxe

Bitter Bomb Deluxe

The label claims that “Most versions of a Double Pale Ale are full-frontal, power-hopped bitter bombs that leave you feeling a bit short changed on the back end.” It goes on to claim that it is brewed with “copious amounts of hops for an unrelenting hop bitterness and aroma.” Apparently it has a slightly sweet finish.

I’m also excited because it’s 11.5% alcohol making it one of the strongest beers I have ever drank. It ranks up there with the ass kicking German beers that make you forget your name.

My initial reaction is that the beer is indeed very bitter. It’s not a cheap kind of bitter like you get with Keystone or Natural Ice but it’s definitely a strong flavor. The advertised sweetness is indeed there and it somewhat offsets the bitterness but after every drink, my palate is left a little confused and unsure of what it just drank. I consider myself to be an established beer drinker but even I’m left grimacing a little bit at the bitterness of it.

The texture of the beer reminds me of Guinness in that it’s very thick and hearty, it drinks like it could be a meal substitute. This combined with a rather unpleasant taste continues to devalue the beer in my estimation.

I’m going to have to try another Double Pale Ale because I have a feeling that this is exactly what they are brewed to taste like and that people obviously like them. In the meantime, it’s hard to recommend this bitter and heavy of a beer unless you really like getting your ass kicked by one.

Beer Blog: #1 Mississippi Mud

Posted in Beer on February 1, 2009 by Dan

Because it’s the Super Bowl and I’m a month overdue starting this feature of my blog, I decided tonight would be a great night to write my first beer review.

I give you:  MISSISSIPPI MUD (Black & Tan)

Mississippi Mud

Mississippi Mud

Price: $3.46 for a quart

Produced: Mississippi Brew Company, Utica New York

Mississippi Mud is a black and tan which means that it is a mixture of a dark and light beer. It originated in Britain and is usually layered by using a special spoon that helps the dark beer settle and separate on top of the light one. Mississippi Mud combines ” a robust English Porter with a fine Continental Pilsner” in an effort to create “the classic taste of the legendary ‘Black & Tan.’ ”

So how does it measure up?

Much like the name implies, it is a beer with many contrasting features and flavors. The dark beer overpowers the light beer in the initial pour which makes it darker in color. The lighter beer makes its presence known however,  after the initial drink because despite being very dark and rich,  it is surprisingly smooth. The bitterness that is present in most darker beers is pleasantly absent making it very easy to sip.  However, it’s a very filling beer and not something that would be enjoyable in large amounts.

Overall, it’s delicious and one of my all-time favorites. It’s easy to drink, has substance, and just tastes like a beer (for those of you who are experienced beer drinkers, you know what I mean).  I recommend this for people who have an acquired taste for beer looking for a full and rich flavor without the bitterness that is usually associated with darker beers.

I’m going to rank my beers as compared to the ultimate beer: Duff Beer.  Perfection is five duff beers, four is delicious, three is acceptable, two means it better be cheap, one means it’s equal to Natty Light.

Mississippi Mud, it's pretty damn good

Mississippi Mud, it's pretty damn good