Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category



I decided to take the excerpt from the Brew Dog Blog to give a background for this beer.  Hope they don’t mind.

“Question: What do you get if you blend Hardcore IPA and I Beat You together and then add even more dry hops?

Answer: I Hardcore You. Introducing a new type of collaboration. Coming Soon from Mikkeller and BrewDog. Oh and a completely new type of collaboration too!

I Hardcore You is a 9.5% Imperial India Pale Ale, an international collaborative effort between 2 of Europe’s most rock ‘n roll brewers. This beer is a blend of BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller’s I Beat You (2 of my favourite beers). After the blending, the beer was then dry hopped a further twice. Making I Hardcore You a beer which has been dry hopped four times, or maybe even six times. We kinda lost count.”

If you enjoy hoppy IPA’s this beer is beyond good.  The pour is deep copper with a big tan fluffy head that slowly dissipates with a ton of lacing.  The nose is hop crazy with pineapple, mango, orange, caramel, and apricot.  The taste has the pine coming through.  You can pick up the citrus if you let the beer sit on your tongue.

If you see it get it.  There’s probably not too much to be had and it’s well worth it.



Dogfish Head’s Punkin


It’s Autumn here in Charleston which means the weather is bearable the nights are cooler and well the autumn beers are hitting the shelves.  The first one I tried is Dogfish Head’s Punkin ale.  With an ABV of 7 % it’s stronger than the normal session beer but not so strong that you couldn’t sit down at a bar and enjoy one of these.  The pour is orange with a small head.  The nose comes across with roasted pumpkin, toffee, nutmeg, cinnamon, and I got some chestnut out of it.  The taste is much like the nose just a little more muted which I think is a nice thing.  A beer that is really nice and smooth and very approachable.  A must try for anyone who likes Seasonal beer or just beer for that matter.


Stone’s 14th Anniversary Ale


Stone's 14th year

For all of you who live is San Diego and enjoy Stone beer enough to be going to the 14th Anniversary party i am officially jealous.  Today is the big 14th anniversary party at Stone Brewery.  And if you’ve had the chance to look at the line up it’s really impressive.  So much in fact here’s a link to make the rest of you jealous.  14th Anniversary line up.  But since I can’t be at the party I’ll have to settle for the beer that celebrates the 14 years of Stone.  If your like me you try to follow everything these guys do and you might recall that Mitch and Steve were called upon to write the book on IPAs.  And that they traveled to England to do extensive research, this is the fruits of that trip.  A hoppy monster weighing in at 8.9% and an unspecified amount of IBU’s.  Pouring with a color that you would expect from a IPA.  A nice orange with a fluffy sticky head that sticks to the side of the glass leaving great lacing.  The smell of this beer is really something special.  I’m getting peach some lite orange citrus notes.  Also pic up some fig, sourdough, and for some reason something reminds me of fresh leather.  Not your typical American IPA nose it’s more earthy and herbal.  When you taste it you can really feel the hops.  Bitter all the way through, but it’s to be expected with this guy.  I get some of the peach and citrus notes, but mostly sitting in with the bitter notes.  Don’t get me wrong  this beer is very well-balanced and definitely worth a try.  Kudos to Stone and I can’t wait for the book.


A Trip to Coast Brewery


Some would say that Coast is the best brewery in Charleston and I would have to agree.  Not too long ago South Carolina passed a law where breweries could give tours, tastings, and sell a certain amount of their product to the public.  Good news for the breweries.  The problem is Coast is a small brewery with very few employees so they only give tours two days a week Thursday 4-7 and Saturday 11-2.  For me most of the time neither of these days or times works out.  Fortunately or unfortunately depending how you look at it I was able to make the trip, however with no money in my pockets.  But plenty of people did come with money and thirst for something tasty.

I noticed these lovely guys sitting off to the side.

If you notice the chalk one is Barrel Aged Black beard and the one I’m really hoping to try is the Barley Wine.  On the website they warn you that it is a working brewery and it’s true.  It is pretty cool if you actually want to see how one really works.

As you can see David the Brewmaster/Owner at work.  Not much time to talk to the people, that’s fine by me as long as he keeps making such good beer.


Eastern Shore Brewing


On the way to our stay at The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s, Maryland.  I wasn’t expecting much in the way of a beer scene in this quaint little town, but to my surprise they actually had a small local brewery.  A little place by the name of Eastern Shore Brewery.  We stopped in one day to check out what they had to offer.

The tasting room is what you would expect of a small privately owned brewery.  Because well it’s a working brewery not a bar.  The space is fairly large and I do admit when we went they were just moving into the space so it wasn’t done yet so that’s what i’ll say about that.  We got to meet Owners/Brewmaster husband and wife team Adrian and Lori Moritz.  Both friendly people that make you feel welcome and have a good knowledge of beer.

The picture above is the tasting you can have there. Five beers, I think they were 4oz pours for 8$.  In my opinion that’s not a bad deal.  For the most part what i’ve see tastings are 10$ or more.  The list of beers include Lighthouse Ale, which is there offering for those teetering on the edge of the abyss of mass produced beer.  Cherry House which is basically there fruit beer offering. Magic Heifivizen, St. Michael’s Ale a Amber Ale, and last and I think the best is Duck Duck Goose a German Brown Porter.  I’ll have more in depth reviews of some of the beer I brought home later on.  If your ever in the St. Michael’s area it’s definitely worth stopping by.

Washington D.C.’s Beer Bar


Recently my wife and I were in Washington D.C. and being a beer geek in a big city I felt like i needed to go to what I would consider an actual beer bar.  With some help from the guys down at The Charleston Beer Exchange and the internet.  I narrowed my options down to two places, The Brickskeller and ChurchKey.  Both really good places to grab a beer but the deciding point was how easily we could get there from a metro station.  We chose to go to The Brickskeller which in perusing through Barnes and Nobles magazine section I stumbled upon an article in Beer Traveler.  The article is 150 perfect places to have a beer and The Brickskeller was number 28.  With no reference on beer bars I can’t say whether I agree with it or not.  What I can tell you is about our experience.  First the place is just inside Georgetown and around the corner from a fairly busy street with restaurants and shops.  The bar area is in the basement, i do have to say the door to the bar is pretty cool though.  Didn’t get a picture of it so you’ll have to check it out for yourselves.  The ambience is well…..  A basement.  Musty, dusty, dark and well a good place to have a beer.  When our server was able to pull himself away from sitting in the corner and reading the paper we were able to order.  I first ordered a BrewDog but due to our server being hung over he brought me a Broughton which for some reason I accepted.  But hey you have to try new things right?


This is Broughton Ales Black Douglas, a 5.2% Scottish Ale.  In the nose I picked up dark cherry, caramel, toffee, some bread and I don’t know why but I got some wood.  In the taste department I got the same I got in the nose.  Dark Cherry, caramel and a lot of malty grains.  If you like malt this one should be on your list.  Now for the one I ordered in the beginning.


BrewDog’s Bashah a 8.6% collaboration between BrewDog and Stone.  Now the bottle calls it a Black Belgian style Double IPA, but Beer Advocate calls it an American Strong Ale.  To be honest at this point I was exhausted and from the mustiness my nose was shot.  So all I was getting were the flavors and sells of a barley wine.  But i’ll leave you with the like to Beer Advocates page on it.

Well this turned out to be a very long post.  And in The Brickskeller’s defense the food was good and beer list was very extensive.  Despite our servers short comings he was personable, and overall we did have an enjoyable time.

Happy Drinking


Red, White and Beer


Yesterday was July 4th, and what did a beer geek like myself choose to drink you may ask.  Well, obviously I should go with a domestic brew.  So.  You think to yourself what domestic brew do I drink.  Do I go local?  In  that case it would be something from Coast Brewing but, wasn’t really feeling it.  Do I go with something really american looking like Stoudts American Pale Ale?  A good choice but I actually think about that one until a couple of hours ago and well it was a little late by then.  What I did go with was Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale.  Mainly because I was in the grocery store and saw the red white and blue can.  I figured to myself that maybe I should have some patriotic colors near me.  Luckily as well as the correct color scheme for the day the can contains a very good pale ale.  I have no review of it at this time because sitting there and writing down notes wasn’t really on the top of my list for things to do.  So here’s a picture of it for you and there you go.


Vacation Refreshment


Sara and I are back from our 1 year anniversary trip.  We traveled up to D.C. on the way there hitting stop and go traffic at midnight and then having air conditioning problems.  Not much worse then being 8 hours from home in 90 degree heat at midnight and a malfunctioning ac unit.  Luckily in the morning it was working somewhat but still smelling like burnt rubber.  On the second day we got to enjoy the Natural History and American History Museums. On the third day we hit up the Holocaust, Air and Space Museums and most of the Monuments on the Mall.

From there we moved onto St. Michael’s Maryland for our stay at The Inn at Perry Cabin.  The weather really came through for us not really getting over 80 the whole time.  Riding bikes through the little downtown area was just a nice little recharge.

Beer wise.  Here’s a little preview.

In D.C. we went to the Brickskeller.  Service wasn’t very good but I did get to try my first BrewDog creation

In Maryland we hit up a local brewery called Eastern Shore Brewing .

And last but not least we drove the back roads of Delaware to make it to Dogfish Head.  Then making our way down to their Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach.

A good trip and I’m looking forward to  getting more in depth about the beer experiences.


Poster Child Imperial IPA



I have to say this one is really really good.  Almost in my mind the poster child for Imperial IPA’s.  I know something else will come along and change my mind but for now let me think that i’ve found what I’m looking for.

Everything is this beer is big.  The ABV is sitting right about 8.7% which you can feel the burn down the back of your throat.  The nose is real nice and hoppy.  Tons of grapefruit and pine and a nice backing of caramel from the malt.  The taste really follows what you smell.  Coming at you with the grapefruit and pine caramel and of course the alcohol.  Overall very good, very strong, very smooth.  Basically every good variation of very you can think of that involves beer.

And to all you Dad’s Happy Fathers Day.


Pale Ale Vs. India Pale Ale


Diving into the vault for this one.  Which one do you like?  Do most of us really know the difference? Do most of us know that in both of these styles there are still subcategories?  It’s almost like music, as time goes on they keep adding new styles until it’s all just plain too confusing.  I found the one of the quickest explanations on 2baSnob.

Pale Ale – As in the English Bitters, there are varying styles of paleales. They all share a pronounced hop flavor and aroma with low tomedium maltiness. There is also a good deal of fruity esters. Among the types of pale ales are the English, the India (IPA), and the American. English have a dry character usually due the high sulfate content of the water. The India Pale Ale is usually stronger and hoppier because the higher alcohol content and hop acids acted as a preservative on the long boat journey from England to its colonies in India. The American is usually amber in color and has a bit more maltiness flavor than the other two. When brewing pale ales, fresh, quality hops is a necessity.”

To start off I’m taking 4 beers.  Two Pale Ales and two IPAs.  Both from the popular craft brewers Stone and Smuttynose.  Granted i did drink these beers some months ago so I’m only going to be going on what I wrote down.  I guess something is better than nothing.


The nose comes off with some slight toastyness and some grassy spicy esters.  Tasting it the malt plays a big part.  A light caramel and toffee and a well balance from the hops with some spice and earthiness.  Very drinkable.


Hops come through on the nose at first with strong grapefruit and some pine.  There is a bit of caramel and toffee in the background.  Smelling this you would think it would be really bitter.  Taste gives you much of the same.  However the malt comes in to even out the pine and make it much less bitter than the nose would suggest.


Comes out with caramel and grapefruit with a hint of pine.  The taste follows the nose, however the pine is more prevalent on the tongue.


This IPA is much like the Shoals Pale Ale only stronger.  So the Grapefruit and the pine come through more and there is more caramel malt flavor to balance everything out.

As i’ve once said I love Pale Ale’s and IPA’s.  I like all four of these tending to lead more towards the IPA’s mainly because I like the more assertive flavors.  Wither way I urge you to try these, try everything for that matter.  Get out of your beer comfort box and enjoy.  You never know what you might find.