Archive | May 2012

Lakefront – Fixed Gear

Style: American Amber / Red Ale
ABV: 6.50%
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass

I’m not a hipster so I don’t really understand the obsession with fixed gear bicycles. Are you too good for modern breaking systems? In my day, we rode Huffy’s (Dyno’s and Mongoose’s if your parents actually loved you). We fit one on the handle bars and one on the pegs and rode all the way up to 7-11 just to get Slurpees! And we jumped homemade wooden ramps and failed miserably at grinding bike racks. Damn kids these days!

Dammit this beer has got my blood boiling from hipster rage! Good luck getting a good review now asshole!

I kid…I kid… This is actually a decent offering from Lakefront Brewery based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The beer starts with a deep cloudy red color with about a half inch of head that faded quickly. Great sticky lacing gets left behind like a prom night dumpster baby. Strong aroma of earthy and piney hops dominate the nose which eliminates any detectable malt presence that may be lying underneath.

The flavor is where you find that secret malt stash as it hits you upfront with a left hook and then follows with a decent hop bitterness uppercut. It tastes pretty piney at the end of the sip and it has a borderline copper taste in the finish, which I usually despise. Remember that date you had with the girl that was pretty cute but had a nose that was just a little too big for her face? The metal taste, much liker her gross nose, isn’t enough to make you dislike it, but it’s enough to think twice about a second date. Did I come off as a big enough asshole yet? Because rereading that comparison makes it seem like that was my end goal.

The beer has a light medium body with average carbonation. Easy to drink but nothing that really “wows” me.  As a beer ticker, I’m glad that I finally tried this one. It’s a decent offering but nothing I would really go out of my way for.

Now get out of my way cause I got to bust out some of my sweet BMX moves! Barspins all day!

Overall: 2.75/5 – Did I mention I hate hipsters?

Lakefront Brewery

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Sierra Nevada – Pale Ale

Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 5.60%
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass

Much unlike Snooki and Teen Moms (or any other pop trend for that matter), I’m glad that I can find this wherever I turn at all times. There’s really no escaping seeing this beer everywhere from your local liquor store to the Korean grocery store that you steal Slim-Jims from. It’s pretty much a staple for “gateway craft beer-ism” and is useful in transforming your Bud Light drinkers over to the dark side. Or pale side.

How are you enjoying these semi-outdated pop culture references and horrible puns? Since I can’t hear your response, I’ll just assume, a lot.

There’s a good reason why this is the best selling craft beer in America. It’s easy to drink and damn tasty to boot. It pours a wonderful clear golden color with a small white rim of head and some nice lacing to it. Quite impressive look for a pale ale. The smell can best be described as malty, grassy, piney, and citrusy. This is a great precursor to the big citrus and floral hops and slight bitter finish to it. I realize that description sounds like your drinking lemonade in a forest, but it’s nothing like that. Though that does sound pretty pleasant. The beer’s body is medium built, drier than my humor, and somewhat disappointingly low on carbonation.

Overall I can’t stress enough that this is a pretty solid choice if you’re hard pressed for something simple. Good beer for a good price is what I’m all about these days.

Overall: 4.0/5 – I heard you kids like your ales extra pale!

Sierra Nevada Brewing

Brasserie de Rochefort – Trappistes Rochefort 8

Style: Dubbel
ABV: 9.20%
Serving type: Bottle into chalice

I’ll be completely honest in saying that I may be in over my head with this beer. As the number 2 rated Dubbel on BeerAdvocate, I might not have the sophisticated palate that seems necessary to fully appreciate a complex Trappistes ale. I figure maybe I’ll drink it now, and try it again in a year or so to see how my taste buds have evolved and matured. But as a casual craft beer drinker, here’s my honest take on this highly hyped beer.

The beer fills my glass with a real nice dark brown hue with two fingers of tan head that faded away relatively quickly.  The alcohol leaves a real nice clear lace curtain around the edges of the glass. The aroma is filled by malt, raisins, figs, and maybe some cinnamon or another spice I can’t quite pick out. My noob taste buds fail me again! Drats!

The taste is very similar to the nose with a slight booze kick to it. Dark fruits and malt are tasty, but it’s not blowing me away like I was expecting.
The medium creamy mouthfeel was a nice surprise as I thought it was going to be much heavier than what it turned out to be. It was complimented by lots of fizzy carbonation. Again, the alcohol warmth fits it perfectly.

Although I enjoyed drinking this and can see why it is a favorite amongst uber-geeks, I don’t believe I completely appreciated this yet. I will probably be giving the ‘6’ version a try to see if that’s more of my style as I think it’s supposed to be a little toned down version of this. Until then, I’d let this one cellar and try it again in a year or two. I’ll use that excuse instead of the $6 price tag which is enough to make me hold off for a little while on its own.

Overall: 3.5/5 – Dark, sinister, and boozy… aka Bobby Brown in a bottle.

Brasserie de Rochefort

Hacker-Pschorr – Hefe Weisse Natürtrub

Style: Hefeweizen
ABV: 5.50%
Serving type: Bottle into weizen glass

Hi, my name is Mike and I’m addicted to hefeweizens.

I don’t know if it’s the easy drinkability or the nice wheat flavors that make me a sucker for anything hefe related. It just goes down so damn easy! Luckily ABV isn’t higher or I’d be the one going down easy!

This classic German offering starts off a classic murky orange complimented by a tremendously large, fluffy white head that slowly faded away to about one finger. Lookin’ good Hacker. Lookin reeeaaal good.

This was followed by a big wheat and yeast nose with a faint spice to it. Not as exciting as hefes of previous posts, but still a solid aroma that makes your mouth water in anticipation of the first sip. And when that first sip comes, you get some delicious bready and light malts as a reward. A very light citrus finishes up your taste buds on the end. The body is light and carbonated well. Very easy to put a few back, as most great hefes are known for.

I got to say that this is another good example of a solid German hefe. I still prefer mine with some more corriander and banana kick, but I really enjoy the style regardless.

Overall: 4.0/5 – I’d like Hacker-More! lolololololol

Hacker-Pschorr Bräu GmbH (It’s all in German btw)

Minhas – Rhinelander Chocolate Bunny American Stout

Style: American Stout
ABV: 5.50%
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass

I’ll just admit this to start things off so you know what kind of beer drinker I am.

Sometimes I buy beer based on the names or the label art. There I said it!

It’s terrible. It’s a recipe for disaster. But I continue to do it every once in a while and I pray that I’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s my version of playing the stock market. Sometimes I come through all roses and sunshine, and other times I’m quite literally pouring money down the drain. I’m happy to say that after seeing this beer at work everyday, I couldn’t take it making my mouth water anymore. I liked to think of the chocolately goodness possibilities this beer had. Turns out the possibilities were still there, but it just doesn’t deliver the way I had hoped.

The appearance starts off pitch black with an impressive three fingers of super creamy chocolate milk colored head. Nice lacing left behind when I swirled it around my glass. Nice strong start and definitely surpassed what I was expecting from this underdog.  The first few inhales I take are filled with mostly dark malts, coffee beans, and maybe only hints of chocolate in it. I was hoping the chocolate would dominate the beer, but it just doesn’t shine through.

The taste is all coffee, roasted malts, roasted nuts, and again, a small hint of chocolate. Subliminal chocolate taste maybe? It just seems like false advertising to put “chocolate” in the name and not deliver in the slightest. There was a bitter hop presence that crosses the finish line in last place. The beer pretty much falls into the standard stout expectations of medium bodied with good carbonation.

I liken this beer to when you were a little kid and wanted Oreos for your sleepover later that night. You got super excited when your mom got home with the groceries and snacks. You begin digging in pure excitement, with your eyes set on the delicious chocolatey goodness that only Oreos can deliver! You finally grab what you think is the Oreos, only to find generic Jewel brand ” Chocolate Sandwich Cremes.”

God dammit mom!

Overall, I got to say that the Chocolate Bunny name is a little misleading as chocolate is definitely not the primary flavor that comes out. But a 22 oz bomber that only costs $2.99,  and coming from a brewery better known for its “Axe Head” malt liquour, it was a decently drinkable stout.

Overall: 2.5/5 – Where’s the beef? chocolate?

Minhas Craft Brewery