Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hibiscus Gose

Whatever you do, don't try this. It made me shiver and retch a little.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

With the leaves beginning to fall and with the boxelder bugs trying to come indoors, it feels like just the right time to try a pumpkin beer. On their Halloween Tour, Old Chicago pours a few ounces of  Guinness over Blue Moon's Pumkin Ale creating a pretty glassful that's pretty yummy to drink.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

312 Urban Pale Ale

Of course, chili and beer go together. That's how I was raised, anyway. And that's how I still think of it today.  The only difference is, when I was still at home, my mom's chili would go well with the nearest available light lager. But nowadays, the chili my wife makes, requires a full and intense flavored beer to stand up in the heat. Tonight's batch was extra special. When our son, Cameron, called us in the middle of the meal, Sandy told him, "The chili is making Dad cry." He said, "Now I'm about to cry for not being there to have some."

Goose Island's Urban Pale Ale has a strong malt backbone with hops flavors of lemon grass. It cools the tongue, relieves the throat and settles the gullet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lagunitas NighTime Ale

Stimulating and entertaining conversation, authentic German comfort food, and some exceptional beer were the key components of a fun evening at the Bier Stube in Moline, Illinois. My colleague, Rick Milas and I enjoyed the beer special on tap, Lagunitas NightTime Ale, a tasty treat of dark roasted malt and bold hoppy bitterness.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ommegang Abbey Ale

Whenever I see their trucks, my mouth waters, anticipating that moment when I taste a sample from the brewers in Cooperstown, New Jersey. I got that first chance today during the second half of the Hawkeye game.

It appears that Ommegang brews their beers in the Belgian tradition of continually throwing odds and ends of fruits, nuts and spices into the brew pot until it starts to taste good. This Dubbel has been made with annis and orange peels and other stuff printed on the label in letters too small to read. Now normally I would rather follow the German tradition that assumes beer is good on its own. The brewer should have no need to add garden and kitchen scraps. Today however, I must admit that Ommegang Brewery has settled on a recipe that makes an interesting and drinkable ale.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Black Cabin Smoked Ale

This is the smokiest. I’ve tried smoked beers before, and often I find myself puzzled as to where exactly is the smokiness in the flavor.  Black Cabin is smoky from first whiff to last drop.  The smoke hangs nicely over the smooth flavors of chocolate and black malt. Bottom line: Excellent.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fearless Youth

As I taste this Dunkel, prunes and dark bread come to mind, which is really much better than it sounds.

Monday, September 15, 2014


This hefeweizen ale is full of the flavors of heavy bread, yeast, bananas and alcohol. The warming experience makes one feel relaxed and at peace. As Queen Victoria said, "Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

La Rossa

My wife is so great! Not only does she pick me up some beer when she's out, she impresses me by bringing home the best beer ever produced by Italians. This dark, strong lager is rich in cereal sweetness with intriguing hints of additional flavors like black cherries and appreciable hop bitterness.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Obsidian Stout

And then all the sudden it's fall -- Gray, damp, chilly and blustery. This evening I look for a beer that will not only slack my thirst, but also warm and comfort my disposition. It is wonderfully relaxing to sit and sip Obsidian's dark ashy flavors. The Deschutes website says, "Anyone passionate enough to homebrew has our respect." So they provide the recipe to make an Obsidian clone at home.  That's an unexpected touch on the part of these brewers that impresses me greatly.