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Have I told you lately that I love….Dale’s Pale Ale.

22 Aug

Dale’s Pale Ale is truly a masterful blend. 

After doing some “field research” for an article I am writing on canned beers, I decided I need to praise this old classic once again. I also got the chance to interview Dale Katechis, of Oskar Blues, for the article and he had some really interesting things to say.

We took a trip down memory lane to 2002,when he became the Father of canned craft beer and spawned this tasty brew. He said he knew people would scoff at the idea of putting such a high quality of product in a can. Since then, there are now over 600 craft beers in cans from over 200 breweries.

Here’s some things I learned about  the idea behind canning:

1. Portable – Better for hiking, biking, backpacking. Watch out for the trees and don’t pull a Sonny Bono. And, you can cool down a can in 5 minutes – quick for a break in your outdoor adventures.

Light penetrating bottles causes beer to smell like this guy. Le sigh.

2. Better quality – It’s SCIENCE people. A photochemical reaction occurs when light reaches beer through glass. It degrades the hops and causes it to excrete the same compounds produced by skunks. Hence, skunked beer. Beer in clear and green bottles have a better chance of skunking than brown bottles, but still some light gets through them. Not so in cans.

3. Legal – Some stadiums and outdoor venues don’t allow glass, but you don’t have to duck the cops when you’re rolling around with aluminum.

4. Eco-friendly – Mother Nature will thank you, since aluminum is more widely accepted by recycling facilities and infinitely recyclable.

5. Cheaper – Cans are lighter, so this concept should be pretty straight forward, even if you’re on your 3rd or 6th brew. Lighter cans, less fuel.

6. Practical – Just like driving a Subaru, it may not be pretty, but it’s a damn good package – perfect for the outdoors, trustworthy, and nothing more fancy than you need.

So if you think canned beer is only for Nascar races, above ground pools, and hanging out with people that don’t wear shoes and may be named Billy Bob or Bobby Jo, you’re just wrong. Unless it’s Natty Light in a can, then you are probably right. But as far, as craft beer in cans go, love it or hate it, I don’t care. I’ll be driving my Subaru up a mountain with a sixer of these bad boys.

Cans get cold in just 5 short minutes.

Stone’s Cold Classic

13 May

Stone IPA and Me, A Novella

Two things. Thing 1: if you need to fill a Saturday night minus the GF (wrong audience, I know), may I suggest poppin’ a Stone IPA and cranking Powerage until your neighbor’s ears bleed. And do it naked — because this is how God meant for you to hear AC/DC.

Thing 2:

Minutes before he passed out in an alleyway.

Now let me tell you about a beer that I stole from my dad no more than 9 hours ago. It was a hit and run. Swung by the old man’s house, punched the garage code, raided three of America’s finest IPAs and hit the road. I’m like the Robin Hood of alcohol — if this cat can’t appreciate a $13 sixer that I moved heaven and earth to get (i.e. hit up the “nice” Publix), then he deserves to get robbed. I mean, I bring the guy and his woman (Mom) this fancy dinner gift, drink three, and he’s STILL got three more toiling away in the back of his man-fridge a month later??

You snooze, you lose, budski. And here’s the best part: when I smuggled them out of the ice box, I swear on my life the Bud longnecks fell back like the parting of the Red Sea. Make way for the real king, boys.

Stone’s IPA is one f-cking arrogant bastard of a hazy off-orange ale that kicks the ass of Bell’s Two Hearted three ways from Tuesday. It’s a hoppy, woodsy sap bomb that rocks its 77 IBUs like the badge of honor it is. Seriously, if I spill a sip of this thing, I’ll have a pine tree growing out of my carpet by September. And look, I’m all about Stone’s (cough) “other” brew, but OAKED fanboys be damned, this is the best brewery in America’s best beer.

Period.

I can imagine the bitterness overpowering as it warms, but I wouldn’t know. My pint never lasts that long. And let me tell you, I haven’t seen finer lacing in a Victoria’s Secret. Nitro tastes like the bottle, too, which means you won’t  be confusing it for Big Nose (AHEM, Jai Alai) or spitting it back into your cup (AHEM, Two Hearted) when you order on tap.

God bless you Stone. You are to the IPA what Angus Young is to the power chord — its very finest purveyor.

~ The Fly

The end.

Scottish Brewery Makes Viagra-laced Beer for Royal Wedding

18 Apr

Leave it to Scotland, England’s cooler, kilt-wearing older brother, to give Price William a Viagra-laced beer for a wedding gift.

*Henry VIII chuckles in his grave*

The Royal Virility Performance is a 7.5% ABV India Pale Ale brewed by Brew Dog, based out of Fraserburgh.

Many British- based breweries have made commemorative brews to honor the royal wedding, which will take place April 29th, including Castle Rock, but none have taken this approach.

Ingredients of the beer will include aphrodisiacs such as Viagra, chocolate and horny goat weed.

According the Brew Dog Website, “With this beer we want to take the wheels off the royal

The secret ingredient

wedding bandwagon being jumped on by dozens of breweries; The Royal Virility Performance is the perfect antidote to all the hype. A beer should be brewed with a purpose, not just because some toffs are getting married, so we created something at our brewery that will undermine those special edition beers and other assorted seaside tat, whilst at the same time actually give the happy couple something extra on their big day.”

Bottles will be sold online only for 10 Euros each on brewdog.com and Watt plans on sending a bottle to Prince Willy for his big day.

On the Brew Dog website, James Watt, co-owner of Brew Dog brewery said, “We put a bottle in a jiffy bag marked ‘Prince Willy, Buckingham Palace’. We sent it by Royal Mail as we presume they are most likely to know where he lives. As the bottle says, this is about consummation, not commemoration, so we hope he gets it.”

Hilarious.

And so much better than a commemorative beanie baby.

Starr Hill Brewery – 2-for-1 Special

11 Apr

If you live in an area where Publix dominates the grocery industry with their good looks, fresh produce and uncanny ability to employ the fastest mentally challenged bag boys on the face of the planet, you must have come to know and love the Buy 1, get 1 Free specials they offer.

Now normally, I end up with a cabinet full of stuff I don’t need or really even like, such as soup, popcorn and random cereal, but this week they have a sweet deal and I thought I should let you know about it.

They are offering Starr Hill beer 6-packs buy 1 – get 1.

They are normally $8.99, so you will be getting 12 for the same price. Wait, put your phone calculator down – I got this.  You’re paying 75 cents per beer, which is a great deal.

They have some pretty tasty beers, brewed out of Charlottesville, VA. The Master Brewer Mark Thompson seems super laid back. Check out this Q and A with him, it’s pretty funny.

Starr Hill is a pretty cool little craft brewery, definitely worth an honorable mention, that <3’s bright lights, chill music and other trippy stuff.

I haven’t made my way over to Publix yet, but my picks would be Northern Lights and Dark Starr Stout.

For your convenience, here’s a run down of some Starr Hill beers:

Northern Lights – 6.5% ABV. This is a good India pale ale.  It’s not overwhelming, and certainly not as strong and bold as, say Bell’s Two Hearted, but definitely a good beer. It’s slightly hoppy, amber in color, floral smelling with fruit tastes.

The Love – 4.6% ABV – This German Hefeweizen is a light unfiltered wheat beer with tastes of banana and clove.

Jomo – 4.6% – If amber lagers are your thing, this could be a good option. It’s won a couple of awards at the Great American Beer Festival.

Dark Starr Stout – 4.6% – I had this at a recent beer festival, but it was toward the end and everything sort of tasted the same. But, it is a dark, heavy, chocolate stout. They brew it with coffee, so you may want to give it a try if you like stouts. It has also won multiple awards.

Lucy – 4.4% – This spiced golden ale is their current seasonal that is out. It’s spiced with ginger, lime and coriander. I have not had this beer yet but I’m guessing it’s light and herbal.

On their website, they claim this Lucy beer will “remind you of warm summer nights on the beach”. Now this makes me wonder why this is named as such. Could it be a waterfront hook-up or a beach-side Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds experience?  Considering master brewer goes to Bonaroo, loves Grateful Dead and said he thinks he should have existed in the 60’s, I’m going to go with the latter. Rock on Mark Thompson. Below is a video of what may or may not have inspired this beer (Beatle’s stuff is super copyrighted, it’s one click away!)

10 Reasons why I love Bell’s Two Hearted IPA

5 Apr

Once upon a time, a foam heart appeared in my Bell’s Two-Hearted IPA when I was on a first date with a new boy. It was like a sign from above he was “the one”.

We are now happily married with two kids, an array of adopted pets and a hybrid mini van.

Just kidding.

He was lame.

And he had horrible taste in beer.

Beer gods, you’ve deceived me again.

Bell’s Two-Hearted is my favorite beer and has been for a hot minute. And unfortunately I now associate it with this lame date/beer heart deal.

But regardless, this is a great beer, you should try it, especially if you love IPA’s like me.

10 reasons why I love this beer.

  1. Brewed in Kalamazoo, MI. Lets face it, Kalamazoo is fun to say. Kalamazoo. Kal-ah-mah-zooo.
  2. Hints of tropical fruit and citrus. Most IPA’s have a fruit flavor, but this is different tasting and very distinctive. I detect maybe mango, grapefruit or/and passion fruit flavor.
  3. Intensely hoppy. Like a frog wearing moon shoes.
  4. Perfect aroma. Sweet, floral and fruity smelling. If I could bottle it and wear it as perfume…ok I won’t go that far.
  5. Beautiful color. It has a golden copper hue, and not opague, but a little cloudy. This beer just looks delicious.
  6. 7% ABV. ‘Nuff said.
  7. It has a bite. This isn’t your mama’s watered-down holiday punch – unless your mom is a complete bad ass. It is quite bitter and very hoppy which most definitely gives it a kick. Truck through the first few sips and you will adjust to it .
  8. Well balanced. Sweet malts and grapefruit flavors up front, a piney taste and distinctive hops. Overall, delicious.
  9. Started brewing out of a 15-gallon soup kettle, now a regionally known craft brew company. Legit.
  10. Good carbonation, good foam. Not flat, bubbly and overall fresh tasting.

Put a couple of these bad boys in your fridge and impress your friends.

Did I mention this is my favorite beer?

Swamp Head Brewery: 3 Best Beers

3 Apr

Gaines ville, Flor ida

(geynz– VIL, FLOOR-duh)

– noun

1. A small town in the heart of Florida with an unhealthy infestation of Alligators, Koran-burning lunatics and pretentious academics.

2. A town where Tebow is an acceptable unisex first name for a child.

3. A town that is literally hotter than hell during the months of May, June and July.

4. A town holding the award for ‘most orange and blue infrastructures’ in a 5-mile radius.

5. The birthplace of Tom Petty and Gatorade.

Besides being a quaint small town, Gainesville as a community is very supporting of local music, art and beer.

Bar hop around Gainesville, and you will notice local bars with 2 or more Swamp Head beers on draft. As much as businesses like to support other local business, they would not house these beers if they were not good. These beers are good and have serious potential in the world of craft beers.

Swamp Head Brewery makes a variety of tasty brews that I have come to know, love and recommend at my bar. Here is a run-down of my 3 favorite beers they brew.

Big Nose IPA

As you may have guessed from other posts, I can be a little partial to IPA’s. What’s not to love about them – hoppy, fruit flavors, usually pouring a beautiful orange-red color.

Big Nose is an admirable IPA – full-flavored, strong and hoppy. It has a strong floral smell to it and a slight fruity taste. I like this IPA because it’s not too overwhelming in the bitter category. Overall, love it. If you like IPA’s, a must-try.

Stump Knocker Pale Ale

I like to think of this beer as a less intense, less fruity version of the Big Nose IPA. While this beer is milder than an IPA, it is still flavorful, hoppy and slightly bitter.

Whenever I have sold this at my bar, it has been very well received. Good beer.

Midnight Oil Oatmeal Coffee Stout

Perfect for dark beer lovers. This beer is thick, chocolaty with tastes of coffee. It pours with little carbonation and a light layer of dark brown foam. It has a bite to it and the roasted barley and malts are definitely identifiable.

I often recommend this to people at my bar, and it is always well received. It masters the art of making dark beer drinkable – not too heavy, but still dark, creamy, smooth and enjoyable.

Employee meeting – Oh wait, just kidding, awesome beer tasting.

29 Mar

If you have ever worked at a restaurant or bar, you know to brace yourself when your hear “employee meeting”. It will most likely be an hour rant about high costs, over pouring, too much socializing, blah, blah blah. I get it your angry and we are all on the verge to being fired. Basically, ending with a few empty threats and making you hate your boss even more than yesterday.

So when the bar I work at called a meeting last Sunday afternoon, I reluctantly strolled in hungover a little tired, and prepared to block out what I would hear, and tried to figure out how to sleep with my eyes open.

Not the case. This meeting turned into a 4-hour beer/wine tasting, FIFA tournament, pizza party, funny-You Tube-clip-watching,  Sunday Funday that surpassed the Greater Gator Beer Festival I went to Saturday in terms of trying new beers. We got to try around 50 beers, some from far away lands, some from close by, and I came across some delicious beers and some great blog material.

The boss men claimed they wanted their employees to know what they were recommending to people. Quite the genius plan if I do say so myself.

I have many beers on the docket for review but here are a couple that were too good not mention. Try them if you ever get the chance, you’ll thank me later.

Red Brick 16 Ale (Pricey $$) (Strong :-0)

This is a bourbon-style brown ale. Super good, very very strong (11 percent). Has taste of caramel apples and whisky. This beer is sweet, smooth, bold with a smokey lingering taste.

Coronados Mermaid Red

Not going to lie, this song was playing in my head when I was trying this. Had I not been the only girl in the room, I would have been singing it out loud.

This Amber Ale pours rub red and has taste of carmel and pine. It’s not very bold, but is a light overall tasty beer.

Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted English India Pale Ale (Pricey $$)

This beer is $12 a bottle, maybe not worth it, but really good nonetheless. It’s light, grassy, slightly hoppy with hints of grapefruit flavors. Overall, really liked this beer.

 

Highland Oatmeal Porter

This is one of the only beers we don’t rotate because it’s really good and its not a an overwhelmingly strong beer. You can certainly taste the roased malts and there are hints of coffee and chocolate. I really like this beer.

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

Like me, this beer was made in Tampa.

It possesses all qualities good in an IPA, hoppy, florally, has citrus and fruit flavors, and pours a beautiful copper orange color. This is something I recommend to people that come in. Great IPA.

Delerium Tremens (Strong :-0)

The beer with the pink elephant, you can’t miss it. Good, but not one of my favorites, personally, but I get so many complements on it I figured I should mention it.

Chrisp, spunky, Belgian style, maybe a slight peppery taste? If Belgians are your thing, you should probably try this. It will come in a fancy glass too.

Duvel

This Belgian Strong Pale Ale does a good job at keeping the classic Belgian beer taste while adding in hops, and slight fruit flavors (maybe pear?)