Thursday, December 31, 2009
I made a trip up to Selin's Grove over the holiday weekend for a good lunch, a few good beers, and to pick up a couple of growlers. The first beer I tried was the Hoppy Monk. The beer has a light copper color with gold hues and minimal head. The aroma is filled with citrus and wheat. The taste light lemon and has a nice pepper hop spice. The beer finishes with an orange flavor and includes a grass tasting hop. The alcohol content is 6.3% ABV. I thought that this was a very good start to the meal and it paired very well with spicy mustard on soft pretzels.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Following the much covered lawsuit between Rock Art Brewery and Monster Energy Drink, I decided that I had to give the Vermonster a try and I found a bottle of it at Brass Rail. The beer has a dark copper color with a frothy creamy head. The smell is spicy and hoppy with caramel hints. The taste is hoppy on the front consisting of pine hops. It then sweetens with caramel presence. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. This beer is one of the better hoppy beers that I have ever had. Rock Art really understands the balance of hops and malts that make this beer very enjoyable.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
When in New Jersey, I picked up a bottle of Flying Fish Exit 1 Bayshore Oyster Stout. I was very impressed with the Exit 4 and Exit 11 to date, so I had high expectations for the Exit 1. The beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is full of dark chocolate. The taste consists of chocolate at first but has accents of raisin and fig before it finishes dry in the mouth. According to Flying Fish, using oysters in the process gives the beer the dry finish. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. I thought that the beer was very smooth drinking and enjoyable. I will attempt to purchase some more bottles of the Exit 1 before they are sold out for good.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Another beer I ordered while out in Philadelphia was the Flying Fish Belgian Grand Cru Golden Winter Ale. The beer has a gold color with a light frothy head. The smell is full of malts and bananas. The taste is sweet, consisting of banana with hints of apple. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. I thought that the beer was not terrible but may be a little sweet. I thought that something might have been missing from the beer to balance out the sweetness.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
While out in Philadelphia, I ordered a draft of Stoudt's Winter Ale. I had last year's version and thoroughly enjoyed it. The beer pours a dark amber color with no head. The smell is lightly floral and hoppy. The taste is malty with caramel hints and the hops taste like pine, lightly adding spice accents to the beer. The alcohol content is 6.2% ABV. I thought that the beer was very enjoyable and as good as last year. I also liked that the beer finished with a minor citrus after taste, adding another dimension to the beer.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I tried a bottle of Left Hand Polestar Pilsner. The beer pours a yellow color with no head. The aroma is lightly hoppy and smells mostly of wheat. The taste is light with a slight lemon taste and also lightly hoppy, with the hops tasting somewhat like grass. It finishes pretty smooth with no aftertaste, but there is not a lot of taste with the beer to begin with. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. I'd only say the beer was okay, but not excellent. I'd say this beer would be better in the summer months or at a tailgate when a lighter drinking beer is required but you want to drink something better than Miller Lite.
Friday, December 25, 2009
A night before the blizzard in Philadelphia, I ordered a bottle of St. Bernadus Christmas Ale to warm myself up. The beer pours a reddish brown color with a light head. The smell is sweet and full of caramel accents and dark fruits. The taste is sweet with caramel and a nice spice accent. The spice consists of nutmeg and cinnamon and is rounded out with vanilla. The alcohol kicks in late. The alcohol content 10% ABV. There wasn't as much spice as I expected, but it was very good. The alcohol content wasn't too overpowering and the beer was very drinkable.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I picked up a bottle of Ithaca Excelsior Eleven at D's Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh. The beer has a brown amber color with a tan creamy head. The aroma is full of chocolate and roasted malts with a big focus on coffee smells. The taste is deep and rich consisting of a bitter dark chocolate flavor. There are sweet and creamy accents on the roasted coffee flavor and underneath is a great base of roasted malts. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. I thought that this was an amazing beer with excellent balance of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and cream. If you are a fan of coffee, you will thoroughly enjoy this beer.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I picked up a bottle of Tommyknocker Cocoa Porter Winter Warmer at D's Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh. The beer has a deep brown color with a light tan head. I was surprised to notice some yeast flakes floating around in the beer. It smells strongly of dark chocolate and the aroma can only be described as an amazing smell. The taste is full of dark chocolate flavor with hints of roasted malts. The alcohol content is 5.7% ABV. I thought that the beer might be a little sweet and maybe a little too carbonated, but overall I did enjoy it. I wouldn't buy a case of it, but I would buy another bottle.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
For my birthday, I was provided with a six pack of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. The beer is an amber color with a light foamy head. The aroma is full of spices including cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The taste has a base of tasted malts and is mostly comprised of cinnamon with hints of nutmeg and a light honey sweet undertone. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. I think what surprised me most was the honey accent which made the beer just sweet enough. This beer had an excellent balance and did not overdo the spices.
Monday, December 21, 2009
McGrath's recently added Sly Fox Christmas Ale to their draft lineup and I ordered a glass. The beer is a dark amber color with a light foamy head. The smell is malty with cinnamon and nutmeg liners. The taste is mostly cinnamon with slight spice hints, comprising of nutmeg and allspice. Underneath hints of cherry and chocolate peek through the spices. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. Sly Fox has provided a Christmas beer that was not overdone and overall very good. The many flavors made for a very enjoyable experience and they are nicely balanced with each other.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I ordered a glass of Brouwerij Corsendonk Christmas Ale at Fat Head's in Pittsburgh. The beer has a dark amber color with a creamy head. The smell is sweet and spicy. The taste is full cinnamon with nice spice accents and surprisingly it has an orange finish. There are light nutmeg accent underneath of it all. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. This definitely ranks up there with the better Christmas beers that I have had. None of the flavors or elements were overdone or overpowering, and each complimented the other nicely. I highly recommend you try this one before it is gone for the season.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
At D's Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh I ordered a glass of Shmaltz He'brew Jewbilation Bar Mitzvah. This is the thirteenth anniversary of this beer and the ingredients include 13 hops and 13 malts. The beer has a deep black color with a tan thick head. There is a small hop hint in the malt aroma. The taste consists of burnt hops with a nice hop balance. I can pick up some honey flavor with chocolate and toffee. It should also not be a surprise that the thirteen theme is continued with an alcohol content that is 13% ABV. I thought that this was an excellent beer and was not too dry. The alcohol is not too overpowering despite being so high, but it does find a way to warm you up during the colder months.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I want to give a huge shout out to Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, PA. The sent several of their employees to Troegs to pick up Splinter bottles on relase day, and by luck I happened to be shopping there and pick up their last bottle of Red (Although you could say they were the reason I did not get a bottle, but I am only happy that I got a bottle of Red). The Red is Mad Elf that was aged for six weeks in bourbon barrels and then bottle aged for eight months.
The beer pours much darker and thicker than Mad Elf. The color is changed from vibrant red to a brown color with light red hues. As with Mad Elf, there is minimal head. The aroma consists of the cherries from Mad Elf but with bourbon accents. I thought that the taste is rounded out a little more than Mad Elf and lacks the front end alcohol bite. The wood and bourbon lead the charge in the mouth. The chocolate and cherries are still there, but I cannot find the honey anymore. The finish is where the alcohol bite is located, and it kicks a little harder with bourbon flavoring. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV, just like mad elf. I thought that this a very excellent alteration to an already good Mad Elf. I can pick up new flavors as well, with coconut being one of them and the wood barrels really coming to front end of the experience. The finish is very dry and the bourbon latches on to your tongue. Just like the Gold, I really wish that the Red was more readily available, as I would like to buy a few more bottles.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I stopped in to the Troegs brewery on December 16 to pick up bottles of the newly released Splinter series, but I was only fortunate enough to be able to purchase the Gold. The Gold originally saw daylight as Scratch #3-2007, but has been aged in oak wine barrels dosed with brettanomyces. I don't recall having Scratch #3 in the past, but I am a fan of tripels and I have heard good things about the original beer.
Moving on to the two-year aged tripel that was re-birthed as Gold, the beer has a yellow gold color with a foamy and carbonated head. The head floats lofty in the chalice glass, and it makes you let the beer warm up a bit before drinking it so the head recedes, which is for the betterment of the flavors in the beer. The smell is full of banana and white grapes aromas. The taste is very sweet and banana filled and there is an underlying grape hint, which gives the beer a whole new dimension. The beer finishes slightly dry and all throughout the experience, it has a decent kick of alcohol. The alcohol content is 12% ABV. I thought that the beer had a nice bubbly feel in the mouth. This beer definitely took on some characteristics of the wine barrels that it was aged in. I have heard some people complain about the carbonation level in the beer, but I thought the extra carbonation made the beer take on properties of a wine while maintaining its enjoyment as a beer. Overall, I thought the beer was excellent and I only wish I could buy more, even with the $22.99 price tag.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Another beer that my roommate picked up for me for my birthday was the Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. (coolest brewer website ever!) Kasteel Triple. The beer has a golden color with a very lofty head that filled the glass. It smells of banana and grapes. The taste is full of flavor composed mostly of a banana taste on the front end tasted like a sweet apple juice on the finish. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV. I thought that this beer really packed a flavor punch, in addition to an alcohol punch. The 11% will catch up with you, but not as much the apple flavor. Check this beer out if you have a chance.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
My roommate bought me a bottle of Brasserie d'Achouffe Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel for my birthday. The beer has a golden color with a very lofty and creamy head. The head along the sides of the glass actually sinks before the center head does, creating a plateau of head. The yeast flakes are floating and circulating within the beer, and the carbonation plays volleyball with them. The smell is full of banana and yeast. The taste is very smooth with a nice alcohol bite all the way through the experience. It has banana flavors with pepper and other spice accents from the hops. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. This beer was very excellent and was quite an experience. Between the circulating yeast flakes, the lofty and structurally sound head, and the diversity of flavors, the is clearly a well crafted and much appreciated beer. It is smooth yet hoppy, but not at all dry on the tongue.
Monday, December 14, 2009
My roommate picked up a case of Weyerbacher Fourteen and gave me a bottle to try. The beer has a golden color with a light head. Looking into the glass, you can notice the yeast flakes floating. The smell is sweet with a wheat aroma and lemony accent with a slight spice hint. The taste is sweet with an alcohol bite and slight banana accent. The alcohol content is 11.8% ABV. I thought that this beer was excellent and would be even better with age. The label suggests that you cellar the beer, and I can only imagine that it gets much better with the amount of yeast in the bottle.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
While at Appalachian Brewing Company, I noticed that they had the Water Gap Wheat on cask. This version also took on the name Wet Hopped Palermo. The beer has a lofty head and a pale yellow color. There is a light lemon aroma. It has creamy taste in the head, and it turns light and sweet when you reach the beer. There is a slight lemon accent later in the experience. The alcohol content of the Water Gap Wheat 4.5% ABV. This was a very enjoyable version of the Water Gap Wheat, and I liked it better than the normal draft.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I stopped by Appalachian Brewing Company to get my monthly mug club beer. This month was the Grinin' Grizzly. The beer has a reddish amber color with a frothy head. It smells of cinnamon and spices. The taste is full of spices, mostly comprised of nutmeg and cinnamon. The beer is slightly dry on the finish due to the cinnamon. The alcohol content is 5.7% ABV. I thought that the Grinnin' Grizzly had a nice balance of spices and malts without any of them being too overpowering.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I picked up a six-pack of Harpoon Winter Warmer from Wegman's. The beer has an amber color with a light head. The smell is full of cinnamon and all spice. The taste is malty with heavy accents of nutmeg and allspice on the front end, and it finishes dry with cinnamon. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. I thought that this beer was a little too heavy on the spices, slightly impairing the experience. While I would drink this beer again if it was offered to me, I probably would not pick up another six-pack of the Winter Warmer.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I noticed that McGrath's had Sly Fox O'Reilly Irish Stout on draft and I ordered a glass. The beer is a dark brown color with a tan head. The smell is slightly nutty with a hint of chocolate. The taste is smooth and consists of milk and creamy flavors. Overall, I thought it was a little sweeter than Guinness. The alcohol content is 3.6% ABV. While I liked this beer, I think it is not quite as good as Guinness. It is a very close race, but Guinness is slightly better.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I picked up a bottle of Samuel Adams Coastal Wheat to give it a try. The beer has a pale yellow color and is unfiltered. It pours with a lofty and frothy head. The smell consists of wheat with lemon and citrus hints. The taste is lightly lemon at first, turns a little bit sour, and then it mellows out with a sweet wheat flavor. I could not located the alcohol content, but would guess it to be around 5.5% ABV. I thought that there was not too much flavor with this beer and that something was missing. There was the lemon flavor and the wheat flavor, but the were not connected together. Maybe the addition of some more hops would have rounded out the flavor.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I grabbed a six-pack of Bell's Winter White Ale at Wegman's. The beer is a white/pale yellow color that is cloudy and unfiltered. It smells is light and fresh with citrus accents. The taste is sweet and lemony with a slight spice on the back of the mouth on the finish. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. I thought the Winter White Ale had a very good taste and was smooth drinking beer. I liked Bell's take on the winter ale with a white ale offering and this change of pace was very enjoyable.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I picked up a four-pack of Delirium Noel at Wegman's since we have reached the holiday season. The beer has a copper color and is slightly cloudy with yeast flakes. The smells has a slight hint of malts. The taste is sweet and malty with spice accents that round out the flavor. The flakes of yeast make drinking this beer interesting, as every now and then you will get a chunk. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. The flavor is so smooth and is not overpowering with the high alcohol content. I really enjoyed the flavors of the Noel, but the yeast flakes set this beer back slightly in my opinion.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I picked up a case of Duck-Rabbit Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale. The beer has a copper color with a creamy white head. The smell is sweet and buttery with hints of toffee. The taste is heavy with alcohol, especially at first, and it is mostly comprised of malts with toffee accents. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. I thought that this was an amazing beer and very enjoyable. I've only had two Duck-Rabbit beers and have thoroughly enjoyed both of them. The Wee Heavy had such excellent flavors with no impurities that I highly recommend you try this beer.
Friday, December 4, 2009
I noticed that McGrath's had Anchor Special Christmas Ale 2009 in their bottle selection so I ordered a bottle. The beer is a dark amber color with no head. It smells of cinnamon and allspice. The taste is full of allspice and ginger and is somewhat dry. It also has a slight piney flavor. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. My friend Alissa said that it “smells like Christmas in a glass.” I could not agree more, and this beer provides the entire Christmas memory experience. It takes you back to your childhood memories while enjoying a great beer in your adulthood.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
McGrath's recently received Samuel Smith Winter Welcome Ale. I have previously had this beer but have not provided a review of it. The beer has a copper color with a light head. The smell is light and malty. The taste is sweet and malty with nice spice accent with a nice and easy dry hop finish. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I thought that this was an excellent beer and can really warm you up on a cold winter's night. I really like all of the Samuel Smith beers that I have had, and this one was no different.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Katie at McGrath's informed be that they had just received bottles of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, so I eagerly ordered a bottle. The beer has a deep black color with a tan foamy head. There was not too much to the aroma, but a slight chocolate hint could be detected. The taste is milk chocolate with a sweet and smooth finish. The alcohol content is 10.6% ABV. I thought that this beer was very excellent and I cannot say enough good things about this beer. The chocolate flavor was perfect without being overpowering and the mouth feel was not too dry. It has a nice alcohol content without hinting at it. This beer comes highly recommended by me.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
McGrath's in Harrisburg picked up Smuttynose Star Island Single on draft. The beer has a light gold color with no head. The smell is sweet and malty. The taste is light and lemony but no hop bite. I thought that the beer was decent overall, but not a great beer. The alcohol content is 5.8% ABV. The Star Island Single was a very drinkable beer, but not very memorable.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I stopped by the Troegs brewery today because I received a Twitter alert that Scratch 25- Magical Moustache Rye was released. The beer is an amber color with a lofty head that sticks to the glass. The aroma is lightly hoppy with pine accents. The taste is slightly creamy at first with a sweet malt accent. The taste then moves in with hops that leave a pine after taste in the mouth. I learned that the Bravo hops were bio-manufactured to have a pine taste and that they were a relatively new hop. Very few breweries have actually used these hops to date, so Troegs is a pioneer with this hop. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. This beer has an excellent multi-dimensional flavor that really hits all areas of the palette. It will satisfy all types of beer lovers. It starts with the sweetness for the malt lovers, hits the hops for the hop lovers, and finishes with the pine flavor for those that are interested in the earthy flavors a beer can provide. I highly recommend that you stop by the brewery and grab this beer while it is available.
I ordered a glass of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale at McGrath's in downtown Harrisburg. The beer has an amber color with a light bubbly head. The smell is slightly hoppy. The taste is very hoppy with lemon and pepper accents. Overall, it is a pretty dry beer with a decent taste. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. I thought the hops were a little too overpowering in this IPA and it was not an enjoyable beer. After finishing the glass, I really wanted a water because my mouth was completely dry.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
McGrath's in Harrisburg recently added Bell's Christmas Ale to their draft lineup and I was eager to order a glass. The beer is amber in color with red hints and a light foamy head. The smell is light with spice accents. The taste is smooth with slight sour cherry bite and a touch of honey. The alcohol content is 5.4% ABV. I thought this Christmas Ale was very good and smooth with the honey making the beer. The honey made the taste nice and sweet and made the beer very drinkable.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I picked up a bottle of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout on a whim and because I really like Bell's products. The beer has a deep black color with a lofty brown head. The aroma is sweet smelling with licorice accent. The taste is chocolately with roasted malts and licorice accents. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. The robust amount of flavors makes this a very enjoyable beer and I am a big fan of it. I would highly recommend this beer, even if you don't like licorice, as it is not an overpowering flavor.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I grabbed a bottle of Breckenridge Autumn Ale because I liked their Vanilla Porter. The beer is a dark brown color with a thin tan colored head. It smells is malty with hints of toffee. The taste is sweet and malty with an undertone of chocolate and toffee. There are also some mahogony accents. The alcohol content is 6.7% ABV. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer with the sweet caramel accents on top of the chocolate flavored base. I would recommend this beer and I look forward to trying additional Breckenridge beers.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I picked up a bottle of Philadelphia Rowhouse Red. The beer has a red copper color with almost no head. The aroma is malty and hints at hops. The taste is light and malty at first and finishes with a hop bite that tastes like pepper and toasted malts, but not a good taste of roasted malts. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. I thought that this was not a very good beer, and I wouldn't necessarily buy more of it. I think that the hop accent didn't accentuate the flavor but actually hindered it.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The sixth and final beer I had out of the “12 Beers of Winter” sampler pack from Saranac was the Winter Lager. The beer is a dark brown color with minimal head. It has a slight malt aroma. The taste is very sweet and malty with a very light hop accent. It also has a slight caramel accent and a dry coffee taste on the finish. The alcohol content is 5.9% ABV. This was a very excellent lager and would rank up there with my favorites. There are a variety of flavors and this beer is very dynamic.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The fifth beer I had out of the “12 Beers of Winter” sampler pack from Saranac was the Rye IPA. The beer has a gold color with a frothy white head. There is a fresh and slightly hoppy aroma. The taste is slightly sweet at first with a peppery hop bite on the finish. There is also a light lemon accent. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I liked this Rye IPA and thought it was not just about the hops, but more about the balance of citrus, hops, and malts.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sheetz is behind a movement in Pennsylvania to Free My Beer. The premise is that Sheetz wants to revise Pennsylvania's awful beer distribution laws and allow six packs to be purchased at convenience stores (that would be a convenience in my opinion). From the website:
If you support the convenient and responsible sale of beer in Pennsylvania’s grocery and convenience stores, join us as we work to change the state's restrictive and out-of-date beer laws.
The current PLCB ruling that allows grocery stores and Sheetz to sell six packs is being challenged in the State supreme court and if overturned would forever defeat six pack sales in PA. So please sign this petition and help Sheetz make purchasing beer in PA a better and more convenient experience.
I picked up a bottle of Red Hook Limited Release Tripel at D's Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh. The beer is a yellow gold color with a light frothy head. It smells sweet with pepper and cinnamon hints in the background. The taste is very sweet and this beer hits strong with the alcohol punch. It finishes with banana flavors, which smooths out the alcohol impact. The alcohol content is 10.2% ABV. I thought that this was a fantastic tripel and I really enjoyed it. It actually ranks among my favorite tripel beers.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The fourth beer I opened out of the “12 Beers of Winter” sampler pack from Saranac was the Black Lager. The beer has a deep brown color with a creamy foamy head. The smell is heavy on sweet malts with hints of coffee. The taste is dry and slightly bitter at first, but the taste sweetens with hints of chocolate and a slight coffee undertone, which is what makes it dry. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. I really enjoyed this beer with the coffee and chocolate tastes and thought it was a very dynamic experience.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I picked up a bottle of Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin (a little late, I know). The beer has an orange color with a light foamy head. The smell is sweet and of fresh pumpkin. The taste is sweet and full of pumpkin flavor with lots of cinnamon and allspice accents. It is a a little dry on the finish. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. This was a decent pumpkin beer overall. I think that Shipyard's other pumpkin beer is better and more rounded, but I do like the light alcohol punch that comes with this beer.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
D's Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh also had Anderson Valley Winter Solstice on draft, so I ordered a glass. The beer is a reddish amber color with a light head. It has a very minimal aroma. It tastes malty and sweet with a caramel taste with hints of sour fruit. It finishes with a dash of spices that warm the throat. The alcohol content is 6.9% ABV. I thought that this was very light drinking for a winter warmer, but wasn't disappointed in the overall experience.
At the Pitt-Notre Dame tailgate, my buddy's parents, The Repansheks, made some cider. This cider was homemade and was delicious. The apple was prevalent in the taste, but the cinnamon accent was perfect. Furthermore, the amount of alcohol was enough to let you know it was there but not overpowering. It was the perfect way to warm the inside when the temperatures dropped on the outside. If you are in town for a tailgate and the Repansheks are there, grab a cup of cider.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I hit up D's Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh for lunch and they had Southern Tier Oat on tap, so I ordered a glass. The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thick tan head. It has an aroma consisting of chocolate and molasses. The taste is a little dry at first but full of sweetness with chocolate accents. The alcohol content is 9.6% ABV. Overall, I thought the beer had an excellent flavor and was very smooth drinking. The beer is very complex consisting of a chocolate base with a nice hop accent and sweet undertones.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I went to the Pittsburgh Brewfest to help support the Pittsburgh Rugby Club. It was hosted at the Steelhouse, Bar Room, and Saddle Ridge in Station Square. I thought the event was well organized and had good food for all to enjoy. Below you will find my tasting notes of the beers I had from the night.
Erie Brewing Company Ol' Red Cease & Desist- The beer is a red amber color with a malty aroma. The taste is sweet at first with a hop and spice bite on the finish. It has a slight dryness due to the alcohol content. The alcohol content is 10.1% ABV. I thought the taste was great for the high alcohol content, as it was not apparently that it was that high.
Erie Brewing Company Mad Anthony's APA- The beer is yellow in color and is cloudy and unfiltered. There is a slight yeast aroma. The taste is very light with mild hops. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. I thought this wasn't a bad pale ale, but it was light on the flavor. However, it makes it very easy to drink.
Erie Brewing Company Misery Bay IPA- The beer has a copper color with no head. The taste is dry and hoppy with a slight malt undertone. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. I drinks a little bit creamy and is very enjoyable.
Rivertowne White Lightning- The beer is a cloudy white with a sweet coriander aroma. I thought it had an excellent taste, consisting of coriander with grapefruit accents. The alcohol content is 6.3% ABV.
Bud Light Golden Wheat- Due to the fact that it was free, I decided to give the Golden Wheat a try. It has an unfiltered gold color with a minimal wheat aroma. The taste is lemony, but very light. There is no aftertaste. The alcohol content is 4.1% ABV. At first, I thought that it was not as bad as I expected it to be but it was not great. However, it did get worse the more I drank it and I would not recommend this beer.
Boulder Mojo IPA- The beer had a decent head and a gold color. The aroma consisted mostly of floral hops. The taste is smooth with lemon and pepper accents and it finishes with plenty of hops. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. I thought that the beer was pretty good, but it was a little too carbonated.
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter- The beer is amber in color with light head. The smell is sweet with a light vanilla hint. The taste consists of toasted malts with a sweet vanilla undertone, but the vanilla is faint. The alcohol content is 4.7% ABV. I found that as I let the beer warm up it got better, so if you try this beer drink it after it has warmed up.
Southern Tier Phin & Matt's- The beer has a pale gold color with a lemon aroma. The taste consists of lemon with a slight pepper accent. It finishes dry due to the hops. The alcohol content is 5.4% ABV.
Great Lakes Eliot Ness- The beer is dark amber in color with a lofty head. It has a light malt aroma. The taste is malty with hints of caramel and a dry hop finish. The alcohol content is 6.2% ABV. I really liked the flavor and the drinkability of the beer.
Penn Brewery Kaiser Pils- The beer has a golden color with no head or aroma. The beer has a light crisp taste. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. I thought that this was a decent pilsner. It is very light drinking, but still has enough flavor to make it enjoyable.
North Coast Brewing Company Old Rasputen Russian Imperial Stout- The beer has a black color with a tan head. The smell has hints of chocolate. The taste is hoppy with toasted malt and chocolate flavor. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. I really liked this beer and plan on having more in the future.
Three Rivers Underground Brewers Smoked Porter- The beer is dark brown in color with a light smoke aroma. The taste is malty and sweet with a light smoke finish. There are chocolate and toffee hints. I am not sure what the alcohol content is due to it being a home brew. This beer ended up being my second favorite beer of the night and it was full of flavor.
Three Rivers Underground Brewers British Ale- The beer is a dark brown color with a lofty creamy head. It smells very fresh and lightly hoppy. The taste is sweet and dry with a nice malt flavor. I am not sure what the alcohol content is due to it being a home brew.
Three Rivers Underground Brewers Slutty Red Head- The beer is a dark amber color with a frothy head. It has a light hop aroma. The taste is smooth and round and finishes slightly dry. It has a light cream taste. I am not sure what the alcohol content is due to it being a home brew.
Atwater Vanilla Java Porter- The beer is a dark brown color with a lofty tan head. It smells like coffee with cream. The taste is full of chocolate, java, and vanilla. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I thought this was the best beer at the brewfest. The flavors were so dynamic and pleasing that I had to have several glasses of this beer. This is definitely a recommended beer.