Thursday, October 23, 2014

Autumn Ale

When the farmers start harvesting beans and corn around here, my allergies flare up. I have this constant tickle in my throat and I am constantly looking for the perfect medicine to sooth it. Currently I am trying this seasonal offering from Breckenridge. It's not the best I've had from there. It is dark and fruity as promised, but there is something tart here that makes me wonder: Was there some infection in this batch? Or are they intentionally trying to get in the fad of sour beers? For the moment, my ailment is cured.

Road Warrior

This Imperial Rye India Pale Ale introduces itself to the drinker with great citrus aroma and then follows up with a powerfully bitter taste. Then out of nowhere, there is some odd sort of flavor, like root vegetables. Overall, I think I like it.

This would have been a pretty nice picture, had Moses not photo-bombed it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Old Style

Alpha, Iowa is a town that no longer exists. Fortunately, the proprietors of the Alpha Tap have not yet accepted this fact and they still serve up some great food, like these gizzards that help me enjoy an Old Style in a long neck. I was surprised to see that I have not yet put Old Style in my book. Old Style has a long proud history, and is now kept on the market for that reason alone.

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.