Monday, March 9, 2009

Mad River Steelhead Double IPA

I'm a sucker for colorful labels, so this one caught my eye. Since it was also a Double IPA, I figured I couldn't lose. As far as Double IPA's go, this one is relatively mild. It's from Mad River Brewing in Blue Lake, CA, and I've sampled a number of their beers over the past couple of years. The beer poured a cloudy amber color, and had plenty of yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle. It's definitely maltier and higher alcohol than a standard IPA. The sweetness of the malt was offset by citrusy, piney hops. The finish was decidedly bitter with an alcohol kick. This was very enjoyable.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale

It seems that "Imperial" is becoming the buzzword of the craft beer industry these days. I posted about an Imperial ESB a short time ago, and now I have an Imperial Nut Brown Ale from Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs, CO. This is a high octane version of their Maple Brown Ale, which I reviewed in an earlier post. This beer poured a deep brown with no discernible head. Mouthfeel is medium, and the first sip is emphasized by the higher alcohol level - 9%. This is a sweet malty beer, with a woody character from the maple. It has a lingering alcohol finish. I enjoy these Imperial ales, as I tend to brew higher alcohol beers that push the limits as well.

A Clever Stella Artois Commercial

Here's a clever commercial from Stella Artois, with a James Bond feel to it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lost Coast Winterbraun Ale

While perusing the beer aisle at Whole Foods, I discovered this bottle of Lost Coast Brewery's Winterbraun Ale. I like brown ales, and I like winter beers, so it was a natural. It poured a deep brownish red with a small beige head. The aroma was toffee, and chocolate. This brown is richer, spicier, and more chocolaty than their Downtown Brown, which I also enjoyed. It finishes with a nice lingering bitterness. This was an excellent selection! Once again, Lost Coast has made a great beer.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stoudt's Oktoberfest

Stoudt's Brewing Co. is based in Adamstown, PA, and I've sampled a number of their different creations. I've always been very impressed with their beers, but the Oktoberfest I tried today is not up to their usual standards. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, because I know they make excellent beer. Something must have happened to this bottle during its lifetime. It smelled and tasted a bit metallic and skunky. Maybe it sat on the store shelf too long before I bought it. Whatever the reason, I know it's not exemplary of Stoudt's usual high quality.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Open house at Lagniappe Brewing Co.

A new brewery has opened up in Minneola, FL, and last weekend I spent some time sampling their brews. The brewery is named Lagniappe Brewing and I enjoyed my afternoon there. Lagniappe is pronounced lan-yap and the general meaning is to "giva a little something extra". Since the open house offered free beer, they are certainly living up to their name already. My wife and I had an opportunity to speak with Brad, the owner and brewmeister - a very personable fellow who deserves a lot of credit for jumping into a new business at a time like this. I wish him all the success in the world.

We were able to sample 3 different beers - Minnehaha Golden Ale, Afterglow IPA, and Locomotive Breath Porter. Minnehaha Golden Ale (named for a local lake) is a very mild, very smooth and easy to drink ale. It would be a great thirst-quencher during the warmer months, which lasts most of the year here in Florida. Afterglow IPA uses a Polish hop variety similar to the Czech Saaz. It's not an over-the-top IPA, and was very enjoyable. The Locomotive Breath Porter was my favorite - chocolaty and roasty.

The brewery is in a good location, not far off the main drag in Minneola, and the owners have done a great job making it attractive and welcoming. The fact that it's only about 3 miles from my home doesn't hurt either. I took some pictures with a cell-phone while inside, but my blue-tooth adaptor doesn't like me, so...

Check out their web-site at Good luck to Lagniappe Brewing! I'm looking forward to trying out some of their future beers!