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May 29, 2011 / Chris

Social Beer Tracking with Untappd

I’ve been using Untappd since January.  Untappd is a web application, which is supported on portable devices, that you can track your beer adventures and with location data you can socialize your adventures.  It offers badges for different things, has friends you can hook up with and track, and also lets you build a wishlist, as well as the standard rating your beer and commenting on the beer.

I really like how easy it is to hope on the app on my iphone and search for my beer, add a rating, a comment if I like and can also add my location.  Once that’s done, the app will suggest similar beers and you can see if anyone else is at your location using the app.

If you like seeing the beers you had last night, Untappd is a great way to keep track, and is really easy and fun to use.

I’m going to see if I can get my Untapped check-ins to show up here for a almost real-time update.  What’s the worst that could happen?

March 14, 2011 / Chris

German Infusion

My dad went to Frankfurt, Germany to look at a machine for his work.  Along with the picture emails of him toasting various brews that he sent me, he also brought back a couple souvenirs:

A Bitburger Premium Pils, a beer I’ve had before, but a pretty good pilsener.  A Halleroder, another pilsener, with only three ratings on Beer Advocate, not many samples at all.  And a Paulaner Weissbier pilsener glass to enjoy these brews.

Thanks Dad!

March 6, 2011 / Chris

Ska Brewing’s “Brew Masters” Parody Film, “Brew Minions”

If you’ve been following along with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head in his Discovery Channel series Brew Masters, you’ll find this parody film from Ska Brewing Company pretty funny.  I don’t want to give away what really made it funny but let’s just say there is some direct Dogfish Head content.  Definitely not the worst way to spend 20 minutes.

February 6, 2011 / Chris

Central Waters 13th Anniversary Party

On Saturday January 29th, Central Waters Brewing Company hosted a party celebrating their 13th year in Amherst, Wisconsin.  This free party which featured access to roam around and check out the whole brewing floor and packaging area, also featured all of Central Waters offerings on tap, some the whole time like their Brewhouse Coffee Stout.  Their more specialty brews were on the hourly tap schedule.

Besides the beer that was available, what made this event special and also made me a bigger fan than I already was of this brewery were the extras that were setup for party attendants.  Things like a free shuttle from Stevens Point hotels and a bar for pickup & delivery of patrons.  Things like offering a tasting room for Beer Advocate members to bring any beer they want to share with other members.  Things like having live music, access to the brewery floor, and the opportunity to sample the harder to find brews of Central Waters all at a FREE event!

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The place was packed shortly after it began and often the Beer Advocate room was too packed to get in to even try some of the awesome and rare beers that showed up.  It seemed like a lot of food and raffle tickets were being purchased to help raise money.  I know beer was really flowing from the taps and not just when the special barrels were on.

I got a chance to try all three Bourbon Barrel brews, the Barleywine, Cherry Stout, and Stout.  My favorite being the Barleywine, it was the strongest I thought, but towards the end of the event, my senses could have been skewed.  The Peruvian Morning was good,  I look forward to finding some more to relive the taste.  Exodus was the crown jewel, they had a hard time tapping the barrel, at one point i think they were holding the smaller firkin style keg with tap handle inverted towards the floor, trying to get pours off the barrel that were not 75% head.  Once they decided, hey it’s just that carbonated, they started pouring.  My glass was 60% head, once it settled, the carbonation was there, but the beer was very tasty.  It’s funny, it’s hard to describe this golden colored beer, sour start, sweet finish taster.  Beer Advocate has it as a Flanders Red Ale:

Flanders Reds are commonly referred to as the “red” beers of West Flanders. Belgian Red Beers are typically light-bodied brews with reddish-brown colors. They are infamous for their distinct sharp, fruity, sour and tart flavors which are created by special yeast strains. Very complex beers, they are produced under the age old tradition of long-term cask aging in oak, and the blending of young and old beers.

A very tasty offering worth finding if you have the chance.  Paul one of the owners of the brewery posted they were making arrangements to acquire equipment for bottling and caging 375 ml bottles with the goal of bottling the Exodus in 3-4 months.  I look forward to it.

I tried a few beers from the tasting room, but really didn’t catalog all the beers, I did try a Stone Lucky Bastartd, Deschutes 2009 Abyss, and the Revolution Brewing Iron Fist Pale Ale I brought.

A great event, thank you Central Waters Brewing Company!

January 25, 2011 / Chris

Milwaukee Brewers New Scoreboard Update

My favorite part about the new scoreboard, is that hops are in the logo with grain, grain has been used in the Brewers logo for a while.  See picture updates here at Adam McCalvy’s Blog.

Photos courtesy of Darren Hauck/Brewers via Brew Beat

January 15, 2011 / Chris

Thursday Treat and Friday Nightcap

While doing some bills and other busy work on the internet on Thursday, I popped open a Great Divide Denver Pale Ale (DPA).

 

Great Divide Denver Pale Ale

Light head, aroma of some hops and citrus.  Hops are not overpowering in the taste, finish is smooth, very good pale ale, glad I got a six-pack of it. 8/10.

On Friday, at 6pm, after the drive back from 3 Floyd’s Brewpub, I stopped at Captain Mike’s for the tapping release of the annual release of Bell’s HopSlam Ale, a hop bomb of epic proportions.  Orange body color with white head, between 1 and 2 fingers thick in the tulip glass, some spotty lacing.  This beer is more on the citrus side of the hops, it’s less bitter than similar brews and has less bitter aftertaste, I enjoyed it last year and did this year fresh off the tap as well.  It is alcoholic tasting a bit and rightly so at 10% ABV. 10/10.

 

Bell's HopSlam

January 15, 2011 / Chris

3 Floyd’s Brewpub

I finished up a customer service visit in the early Friday afternoon, knowing I was only 15 minutes away and hadn’t eaten lunch yet, my destination was an easy choice.  3 Floyd’s Brewpub in Munster, Indiana.

3 Floyd's Brewpub

 

I pulled up and parked on the street as the parking lot was full, once I got inside, it was packed, nearly standing room only, I got the last open seat at the bar and started to peruse the on-tap choices:

Alpha King, Arctic Panzer Wolf, Black Sun Stout, Dreadnaught, Gold Leader, Jinx Proof, Krunk Monk, Owd Engwish, Pride & Joy, and Robert the Bruce.  What a lineup.

I stuck with my stout trend and got the Black Sun, a highly rated offering that didn’t disappoint.  Roasted caramel aroma and flavoring, thick tan lacing from its dark body color.  Finishes with a nice linger with hints of hops.  9/10. Will have again, probably in bottle form to see if any difference is seen.

Black Sun Stout

I order a chicken sandwich (very good) and finish off both beer and sandwich while chatting up my new BeerAdvocate friend seated next me.  I order my next brew Arctic Panzer Wolf to reset the palette of sorts.  Early on this murky golden bodied hop bomb is citrusy-sweet, in the middle the bitterness starts to ramp and is full on by the end with it being the basis of the lingering aftertaste.  If you know me, you know I love hops, this beer is good and is worth a purchase, even better fresh. 9/10.

So while I try to decide which brews I am going to buy to take home, I continue the conversation with the BA sitting next to me and enjoy another Black Sun Stout, as we talk another gentlemen into buying 3 cases of beer with another case of mixed bombers.  All told this gentlemen will have enough 3 Floyd’s to share with his buddies who he said told him he had to stop there, they will be glad he did and even more happier when he sees what we talked him into buying for them to enjoy.  You know you have good times ahead when the bartender follows you to your car with a hand-truck of beer for you to take home.

January 13, 2011 / Chris

iBottle opener protective case from BaronBob.com – the world’s wackiest gift gallery.

iBottle opener protective case from BaronBob.com – the world’s wackiest gift gallery..

An iPhone case that I could rock and never worry about coming across a bottle of beer I can’t open? Very tempting…

January 13, 2011 / Chris

Sling Shot To the Present (aka Catchup Post)

In chronological order, here are some ratings from while I was on hiatus, all of these are from one place, Captain Mike’s in Kenosha, which is walking distance from the apartment and has killer burgers and mac n cheese.  If source isn’t noted, the beer was served on tap into proper glassware.

9/15/2010

Ale Asylum Satisfaction Jackson – Double IPA – Plenty of hops but a good amount of sweetness, not so sweet you can’t have a second. 8/10

Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA – 6% ABV makes it easy to drink, hops are not overpowering upfront, but the bitterness comes through in the aftertaste.  Mild sweetness. 7/10.

Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier – My first import in a long time, wasn’t labeled as a weissbier when I ordered it, was surprising to find such a sweet wheat beer Oktoberfest, I think it’s great as a transition of summer to fall beers. 7/10.

9/23/2010

Founders Centennial IPA – Served from 12oz bottle. A solid Founders offering, in my favorite style, you can pick up the hop smell just before a sip and then there they are, little citrus as well.  9/10.

Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA – Served from 12oz bottle. More of a balanced IPA with the hops and malts closer to even, still satisfying for a hophead like me. 8/10.

Left Hand Oktoberfest – Malty smell, smooth to drink.  8/10.

9/29/2010

Bell’s Octoberfest – Simple almost sessionable beer, smooth, nothing overpowering in malt or hops areas.  Good Oktoberfest, 8/10.

Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey – You get good amounts of malt and hops, with the hops being all bitter and little flavor.  Alcohol is right there. 8/10.

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale – Good brown ale with good malt levels and roasted flavors, 7/10.

10/12/2010

Grand Teton Trout Hop Black IPA – Very hoppy with stout like lacing and head, toasted flavors. 9/10.

10/22/2010

Southern Tier Harvest Ale – An English style Extra Special Bitter, another hophead favorite, so much so I had too many of these than anyone should have in one sitting.  Will have again any chance I get. 10/10.

11/02/2010

Goose Island Minx – This Belgian IPA holds the Belgian part with some sweet upfront, a little malt character and then the IPA finish. 8/10.

Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 1 Foreign Stout – Black body with nice khaki head, the head doesn’t dissipate for a while, leaving good lacing.  The coffee is here, at least to me the non-coffee drinker.  Overall good stout as I try more and more of them, 8/10.

Left Hand Milk Stout –  Followed up the coffee flavored stout with the more creamy, sweet stout known as milk stout, I’ve had this on a few occasions now and really enjoy it’s light creamy stout qualities. 9/10.

11/08/2010

Central Waters Illumination Double IPA – Woot, I like this beer. Citrusy up front, malt flavors then take over before the hops finally kick the finish and aftertaste with some bitter notes. 10/10.

Jacob Leinenkugel Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout – Nice dark color as you would expect, mellow test, all malt and slight sweetness for this taste.  Not bad, but not great either. 6/10.

11/16/2010

Capital Weizen Doppelbock – Nice strong amber color, some yeast in the aroma.  Tastes pick up malts and some underlying alcohol.  Good beer from one of my favorite brewers. 7/10.

12/16/2010

Bell’s Batch 10000 – Seems to hit all the flavors of multiple styles of beer.  Hard to pick them out, dark color, minimal head, good flavor.  A nice sipping beer.  From 12oz bottle. . 8/10.

Capital Tett Doppelbock – A nice bock, which Capital seems is a good style for them.  Nice caramel malt smell and taste. 9/10.

Bell’s Christmas Ale – Some head and good lacing from this deep amber colored brew.  First beer I think I smell cinnamon, not sure, not around cinnamon that often.  Light alcohol content makes it nice to drink, a little spicy taste to it.  Ho Ho Ho. 7/10.

01/07/2011

Founders Double Trouble Imperial IPA –  Smells of a hint of a field of flowers, the malt and hops tastes are there but balanced.  Lasting linger in mouth. 9/10.

Founders Red’s Rye PA – This RyePA, does a good job of hitting you with hops after some malty flavors.  Like a thicker IPA. 7/10.

Capital Winter Skal – Full body with an amber/copper color too it.  Lots of malt flavors.  A little spice in taste and linger. 8/10.

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout – Solid dark black color, with some mocha i guess head.  No lacing as the head did fade fast.  Another coffee taste that gets bitter as it warms and lingers in your mouth. A coffee drinker may like it more.  7/10.From 12oz bottle.

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout – A very sip requiring strong stout.  The bourbon barrel side is noticable right away, it’s got a lot of roasted flavor to it and gets a tad more bitter as it warms while you take your time enjoying this can’t miss stout. 10/10.

No dates recorded:

Tyranena Hop Whore Imperial IPA – Lots of hops like I like it. 8/10.

Sprecher Pipers Scottish Style Ale – Saw in the glass door fridge behind the bar, ordered on a whim, it was pleasant, not great. Caramel smell, alcohol taste is strong, but ABV is high so it’s understandable. Served from 12oz bottle. 7/10.

Southern Tier Pumking – My first try of a pumpkin beer.  Ahhh, a little too much pumpkin, it’s like pumpkin overload, if that’s what you like though, try this beer.  Pumpkin Ale . 7/10.

Brouwerij Bavik Wittekerke – Have it marked for a rating, no notes, must have been pedestrian, even for a wheat beer. 6/10.

Brewery Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout – Very choco-tastic stout.  Awesome glass to boot. Must try if you have the opportunity. 9/10.

December 28, 2010 / Chris

Pint Me (2x)

I head back to Rock Bottom Brewery on 8/11/2010, but they had finished off the last of my goal, their American Dream IPA.  What will I try now?

I ended up trying their Argus India Brown Ale, a 7/10 offering to me.  Had the right flavorings if look at the style, but a bit on the sweet side.  I’ll shift gears and check something different next.

Erik The Red Irish Ale, a simplish plain ale that isn’t bad but won’t be your new favorite beer, 6/10.  PS: When searching “Erik The Red” I found it’s a popular beer name.