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.

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Dogfish Head’s Amazin’ Raison

11 May

Image

Or not so amazin’. 

This frankenbeer makes me want to vom monster all over my stereo (which i sit atop while sip-guzzling Raison D’Etre). Seriously, who on God’s green earth thought it would be a good idea to turn everyone’s LEAST FAVORITE FOOD, the raisin, into a f*cking 7-dollar pint?? 

Not I, said the fly. “This is not a good beer,” the fly, who is not involved in the case, continued. The fly’s associate, Gnatty Light, could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. Fictional calls to Dogfish Head Brewery, of Delaware, were not returned. 

Guess what was returned. THIS BEER! 

All kidding and DEAD SERIOUSNESS aside, this beer effin rulez, mate (according to an Australian who doesn’t know ANYTHING about good beer, and is a poor speller). But really, it’s okay. It just has a really funky, lingering afterflavor that tastes of booze and spoiled fruits.

AND SELF LOATHING! 

According to the label, the brown stain that I just vommed all over my speakers is a “Belgian Strong Ale.” HA! Belgian Strong AIL is more like it. I taste caramel. I taste malts. I taste raisins. I taste alcohol. I taste my tongue trying to off itself in the bathroom. 

But really, truly, this is a fantastic brew — and by “a fantastic brew,” I mean “an affront to”:

a) All of Delaware, including Quahog, birth place of Peter Griffin 

b) The sun, because it didn’t spend 3 months drying grapes for this horsesh*t

c) My speakers, which have Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre all over them, and part of lunch it appears

d) Shawn Hannity, because everything is an affront to that assh*le.

When I started typing, there was a caramel white 1 1/2-finger head on this puppy. That, my friends, dissipated faster than Julia Robert’s career.

F*ck my life, why did I drink this beer? My body hates me right now, and so does Dogfish Head for besmirching their reputation with a false agenda. This is actually a highly sessionable beer that I quite enjoy and have purchased to impress friends with my good taste.

Just kidding, ladies. Stay away. Your TWENTY SEVEN DOLLARS of carpet cleaner will thank you.  

Soundslides of Neal Mackowiak, Florida brewer extraordinaire

23 Apr

Hi there,

Thought you may enjoy looking at a soundslide project I did on a local brewer.

I am so looking forward to this pancake beer (for girls)!

Leffe: The Poor Girl’s Belgian

17 Apr

While many girls “window shop” by standing in front of overpriced designer clothes and purses falling off of awkwardly naked mannequins, I stand in liquor stores and markets gawking at the imports and American craft brews that are all so delicious.

And while I CAN rationalize spending $40 on organic dog food because I am a really really good dog owner crazy, spending $8 on 12 oz of Duvel doesn’t fit into my poor graduate student budget.

So when Leffe was all pretty, brown, delicious-looking and CHEAP ($7.99 for a 12 pack at Publix), I was sold. Also, I need something delicious to feed the beer-loving boyfriend (who hijacked the last two posts) to mask my suspicious vegetarian cooking.

Now if you are going to read on, you need to learn out to say it proper. Here we go: LA-EFF-AY.

So here’s the deal, I am allowed to judge because I spend a fair amount of time drinking vacationing in Belgium. Leffe is a dark mahogany-colored abbey ale with a sweet, velvety, caramel taste. You might as well call it the Pinot Noir of beers. You can detect a light spice and woody undertone. It has thick ivory-colored foam that sits on top of the beer, holding in the carbonation. All of the carbonation makes this beer much lighter than it seems – allowing you to drink one, two or five. Mmmmm.

All around, I am a fan. No complaints, besides it being made by Anheuser-Busch, which also makes the disgusting Landshark and Natty light, and kind of put the little Trappist breweries out (poor monks!).

Also, since it’s a Belgian, you have an excuse to drink out of a fancy class. *Excuse me, it’s a chalice not a glass.

Blonde Ails

9 Apr

Come for the corny titles. Stay for the shitty analysis. 

Who needs Little Yella Pils? Um, Betty Draper Francis. Clearly. I mean, holy hell, Bets. I turn around for 17 months, and you’re pushin’ 2 bills and your husband to drink. Hypothyroidism. Riggggghhtt. I know a Blue Bell diet when I see one. And Betty Draper is on the Pint-a-Day.

Hey, speaking of pints… Mama’s Little Yella Pils is an easy-drinking Czech Pilsener (get it) from the guys that brought you Ten Fidy, Old Chub, Dale’s, and all the other tastily metallic brews that come in those budget-breaking cans. Look, I like Oskar Blues as much as the next guy (provided he’s HopLover82), but at $10.75 for a sixer, I’m expecting a little more than Budweiser with pretty artwork.

Oskar Blues - Mama's Little Yella Pils

LYP is bready, slightly lemony and drinkable by the gallon at 5.3% ABV. It pours a translucent yellow, which wafts of citrusy ethers and sprouts a healthy two-finger white head — just like The King. You would like it, if you don’t have a penis.

Whoa, the P-bomb comes out early. Apologies. This is what happens when you drink Old Rasputin while blogging. Or as I call it, “field research.”

Let me tell you about a beer that I do like. Abita Strawberry LagerTrois Pistoles is a beer you can bring home to your mom — strong, dark, and French (note 1: Trois Pistoles is brewed in Quebec by Unibroue; note 2: my mother likes black men; note 3: I have a girlfriend). I had it last night in a bucket-sized Hoegaarden glass that Ms. Bartender Come Lately sought fit to serve my 12 oz. Belgian in. Hey, it was five bucks. I can live with the ill-fitting frat-ware.

A strong (9.0% ABV), dark (coffee-colored) Belgian ale with a dissipating head and malts galore, this one tastes like Blue Moon on a power trip. The knock-you-on-your-ass raisin/coriander/booze profile is a slog to drink, but the complexity makes for rewarding sipping and even better debate. Some people love this beer. I just used the plebeian Blue Moon as reference point… Its reputation exceeds it, no doubt, but it’s certainly worth a try. A beer for girls? Yeeeeeeee…. No. Unless you’re Betty Francis, who will put down anything.

Trois Pistoles

So, recap. Mama’s Little Yella Pils is Bud for snobs — a lightweight pilsener that you might’ve had from a warm keg once at a Tri-Delt mixer. Boringly refreshing. Trois Pistoles is a dark fruit-laced conversation piece that you might like, but you will definitely respect. It’s big and full-bodied, like — wait for it — Betty Draper Francis.

Rogue’s ‘Nectar’ of the Gods

31 Mar

I’m generally not a fan of beers brewed with added flavors — i.e. strawberry, jalapeno, pumpkin… bacon, godforbid. Give me the hops and the malts and leave well enough alone, you know? If I’m eating a steak, I don’t want it slathered in A1 sauce. If I’m buying a t-shirt, I’m not buying the one with the big effing BRAND NAME slapped across the left chest.

(And actually, I’m probably not buying any shirt anyway. I really don’t shop. Ever. Also, I’m not a girl. I’m Robbie. I like Pearl Jam, Bell’s, tight pants and the author of this blog. Nice to meet you. Moving on…)

Courtesy of A Tattoed Tale

Rogue, on the other hand, does this whole flavored beer thing pretty well. Take the Chocolate Stout, for instance. Now that’s a beer, for guys and girls. Creamy and dark as asphalt, you could give this to a 4-year-old and he’d call it chocolate milk.

And then he’d pass out.

I shared this beer last weekend from a 22-ounce bomber and, let me tell you, it is dangerously drinkable at 6% ABV. Smooth, medium bodied, like your making out with a cocoa bean, it is by far the most chocolately “dessert” beer I’ve come across – even more so than Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (hey, and it’s cheaper!). Drink it for dinner. Put in your cereal.

Okay, so now that the Chocolate Stout has hijacked this review, let me briefly tell you about another of Rogue’s awesome flavored beers (and yes, I realize hops are technically an added flavor. You snob).

Hazelnut Brown Nectar is quite clearly the product of rowdy Great Northwesterners, their coffeehouse culture, alcohol, and a particularly boring long weekend. Hey dude, what if we made these Eight O’Clock beans into a beer? How sweet would that be?

Really, really sweet. Like pucker your mouth sweet. I don’t know if that was the actual thought process behind this glorious glass of malty goodness, but whatever the eureka moment, this beer is a winner. It’s a brown ale that’s not too bitter (Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale), or boring (Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale) or strong (Dogfish Head India Brown Ale, not that I object).

The malt flavors creep up first before – thwack – a wave of hazelnut flavor roles over your palette, leaving just a bit of bitter aftertaste. If there’s a weakness here, and there is, it’s in the slightly watery mouthfeel. Think Turbodog. Still, it’s deliciously drinkable and deceptively strong (6.2% ABV).

Courtesy of 365Beer

The Hazelnut Brown Nectar is a surefire “couple’s beer” – that is, you can drink it with your girlfriend or boyfriend without either party betraying their gender. In this sense, it beats the hell out of Abita Strawberry Lager, which I was forced to drink last week and tastes of vom (okay, that’s too harsh, but I felt like I was wearing a skirt). If you get the chance to tilt this one back with your significant other, and you’re in the Miami area (the window’s really closing here, huh?), may I suggest you seek out the University of Miami’s Wetlab — a little hideout tucked away in The U’s marine biology campus. You can drink these bad boys for $3 a pop, and the view (of Biscayne Bay) and company (cool enough to know this place exists) is hard to top.

Scandinavian Beer Mitt and other generalizations about northern Europe

23 Jan

Check out this weird mitt! 

 

It is a Scandinavian beer holder, made from Sheep hair, that functions to keep your hands warm while drinking beer. It’s available in two colors: brown or gray. It appeared in my email inbox and I was seriously tempted. I can’t decide if I think it is cute or hideous. Also, I live in Florida so I could not rationalize buying this thing, as it would probably just make my hand really sweaty. But nevertheless, I though it was appropriate to share on here and also to showcase the other things I know about the Scandinavian region that are probably culturally insensitive and mostly true. Here it goes:

1. Everyone wears these weird mitts to drink beer.

2. Everyone has blond hair and speaks in funny accents.

3. IKEA’s are everywhere

3. People eat swedish meatballs for all 3 meals.

4. And also they eat Swedish Fish for dessert.

5. Saunas are to Scandinavia as air conditioning is to Florida

6. Lots of skinny dipping

7. Everyone loves pickled herring

8. Favorite colors range from brown to gray.

9. Weather ranges from brown to gray.

10. And they also all have a deep appreciation for the sheep that provide wool for their beer mitts.

Check out this guy thanking his sheep for making his beer mitt possible:

 

This beer mitt is available for 2 more days and while they don’t endorse me, I am hoping they will see this and send me a free mitt (in gray)…(but I’d take brown too) for my lovely depiction of Scandinavia and this mitt.