Nebraska Brewing Company IPA

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Only The second Nebraska Brewing beer I’ve had, this is IPA 6.9% ABV with 72 IBUs. Nebraska brewing has some interesting can pop tops, the entire top of the can comes off when you open it sort of turning the can into a drinking glass or vessel. This a west coast inspired IPA using Citra Hops and pours an orange color with a one and a half fingers of white that fizzles into a nice ring giving off citrus fruit aromas with resiny pine notes with some bitterness that draw you into flavors of nice citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit with a piney resin bitterness with a slight bitter citrusy finish and a slight bitter piney citrus aftertaste with a medium mouthfeel. Being the second Nebraska Brewing beer, gimmick aside, I must say their beers are good, this one is a B, and was most enjoyable without being overly bitter and hoppy.  I do recommend Nebraska Brewing Company IPA. This IPA is a good one and one I will come back too real soon. It ticks all the right boxes on a what makes a good IPA. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!  

Throwback Thursday: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Celebration Fresh Hop Ale

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Here we have a beer from one of the earliest craft beer breweries in the US, Sierra Nevada, in Chico California, and soon to have a brewery here in the mountains of North Carolina. This is the winter/Christmas seasonal Celebration, 6.8%ABV. This is fresh hop ale, so that is using fresh hop not dries pellets of hops like in some IPA’s. This is also known as a wet hop. This ale was created in the winter of 1981 and always has the year on the neck label. Sierra Nevada uses whole-cone American hops in this fresh IPA. This is my first time having this, but my second Sierra Nevada beer. Celebration pours a nice rich amber color with a light tan head five-finger head that just sticks around forever and makes such massive lacing around the glass. I did find some light coming through the glass with a small amount of carbonation there. The aroma of Celebration is big pine needles with a big citrus fruit like grapefruit, orange, and some pineapple. There are orange and grapefruit juice. This just has that classic west coast fresh IPA aroma to it. This is just a very nice smelling IPA. The taste on Celebration is amazing, with a big grapefruit hit at first with a nice orangey/orange juice flavor right behind that. There is a little pine needle taste there too, but it’s a bit faint. Yes, there is hop bitterness thereto, but it’s more of a citrusy and slightly less hop plant-like. The finish on this is clean a bit fruity and slightly hoppy but does finish nicely. The aftertaste doesn’t linger too much just enough to be enjoyable with a piney pineapple, big grapefruit, and a little orange. Celebration has a great balance between piney and citrus hop aromas and flavors, and it wowed me. So this is getting an A from me. This is a good example of a classic fresh hop ale/IPA. Sure it isn’t what you expect from a winter beer, but hey it’s something different for the winter season and it is great. Yeah, it could have been a little more on the fruit or hop flavors to make it an A+, but not a whole lot could be done. This is a near perfect beer. I love this and highly recommend this! So go out and get it before it is gone. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Straight to Ale Brewing Company Monkeynaut India Pale Ale

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A few deliveries ago Brewpublik sent Straight to Ale Monkeynaut India Pale Ale, 7.25% my way. This IPA has one crazy cool label on it’s can, an Astronaut monkey in space. Straight to Ale Brewing in Huntsville, Alabama one of the few homes of NASA space program. Monkeynaut pours a deep orange color with a slight haze to it and a three finger off-white slow fading head with dank aromas of slight garlic with  hints of a malted sweetness and some hop bitterness that flows to a dank resinous garlic flavor with a nice big bitterness and hop flavor that finishes just as bitter as it starts with a lingering hoppy note that gives you a strong hoppy bitter aftertaste that there until you take another sip all with a medium mouthfeel. Straight to Ale Monkeynaut is a strong bitter IPA but not so bad I give it a C- and don’t think you can have more than one, it will wipe out your taste buds, I know that I won’t. The bitterness on this IPA takes away from all the other flavor in Monkeynaut and really holds it back. Monkeynaut needs more malt flavor to balance it out and sort of smooth it over. I wouldn’t recommend Straight to Ale Monkeynaut. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!  

The Beer News

Here are this week’s new’s and happening in and around the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Merry Christmas!  

  • Wednesday, December 20th, 4 pm-9 pm Triple C Brewing Co. Piolet Batch Release Bière De Garde. Bière de Garde pilot release! Bleu Barn Bistro has dinner covered!
  • Wednesday, December 20th 6 pm-9 pm Vintner’s Hill Mint Hill, NC. Catawba Brewing Tap Takeover. Come on out to our last tap takeover of the year, featuring Catawba Brewing Co. Celebrating 17 years, Catawba will be pouring White Zombie, Peanut Butter Stout, and Friki Tiki IPA. You won’t want to miss this! 
  • December 20th-December 24th Sweet Union Brewing 12 Growlers of Christmas. For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, we’ll be offering $12 growler fills on a select beer or beers everyday!
    Schedule as follows:
    Sundog Saison – Every day!
    12/13: Hoppy Wheat
    12/14: Brown Ale
    12/15: ESB, Olde Pendragon
    12/16: Oktoberfest, Blondina
    12/17: Distant Constellation Witbier, Sweet Tater Ale
    12/20: Distant Constellation Witbier
    12/21: Blue Tale Pale Ale
    12/22: Chamo Stout, ESB
    12/23: Astro Pterodactyl IPA, Blondina
    12/24: ESB, Hoppy Wheat
  • Thursday, December 21st 6 pm-9 pm Carolina Beer Temple Matthews, NC Belgian Winter Tap Takeover. Please join us Thursday, December 21st at Carolina Beer Temple when we will be featuring Belgian winter ales in a tap takeover extravaganza!!! There will be 4 Belgian winter ales on tap: Chouffe N’Ice, Delirium Noel, Gouden Carolus Noel (2016), and Scaldis Noel. We will be featuring flights and discounted drafts all day! Be sure to join us Thursday, December 21st for this exciting event! 
  • Thursday, December 21st 6 pm-10 pm Trackside Crafts Pineville, NC Return of New Holland! We welcome back New Holland Brewing Company for some fun just before Christmas weekend! Stay tuned for updates on draft & package offerings!
  • Friday, December 22nd 4 pm-10 pm High Branch Can Release McGill Ave Hazy IPA. High Branch Brewing Co. Concord, NC. This Friday at 4 – releasing McGill Ave Hazy IPA just in time for Christmas! Smooth and easy drinking with a distinctive hop flavor and aroma from the heavy dry hopping with Mosaic and Columbus. Stop by and grab some!
  • December 25th MERRY CHRISTMAS!
  • Friday, January 19th 5 pm-10 pm, Saturday, January 20th 5 pm- 10pm, Sunday, January 21st 5 pm-9 pm, Monday, January 22nd 5 pm- 9 pm, Tuesday, January 23rd 5 pm-9 pm Charlotte Resturant Week: Craft Beer Dinner hosted by Tin Kitchen and NoDa Brewing Company at NoDa Brewing Company. NoDa Brewing Company and TIN Kitchen have been teaming up for years to bring Charlotteans the best food and craft beer pairings in the city. While the tap room remains the perfect place for a relaxed evening, the private area, unique table-side service and upscale menu duringCharlotte Restaurant Week make for a special night out. This one-of-kind, flavor-packed menu coupled with locally crafted brews is an experience you don’t want to miss! The full menu and ability to reserve your table at this completely unique Queen’s Feast experience will be available on Friday, December 29! 

Mission Brewery Dark Seas Russian Imperial Stout

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Mission Brewery in San Diego California brewers some popular beers Dark Seas Russian Imperial Stout, 9.3% ABV is one of those I’ve not had any Mission Brewery beers before so Dark Seas is my first which I receive quite recently in a Brewpublik delivery. Dark Seas pours a pitch black color with some beige edges and a two finger beige/brown quickly fealing head that leave a tiny beige halo behind with aroma of big roasted coffee notes slight sweet chocolate with faint molasses and black licorice that leads you into tastes of roasted notes, coffee, a bittersweet chocolate, slight bakers cocoa that finish with a strong roasted flavor with barely a touch of sweetness and a big coffee roasted aftertaste that lingers for a while with a tiny ash-like note all with a full rich mouthfeel. I thought this Mission Brewery Dark Seas Russian Imperial Stout wasn’t the greatest but was still good, average, C+. I like the roasted notes throughout and in the aftertaste but I would’ve liked a touch more sweetness to add more to the roasted notes, but this beer was okay. I kind of would recommend this, but I wouldn’t rush out for Dark Seas. It was average. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!   

Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Berry Monks Belgian Tripel

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This beer, Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Beery Monks, 9.3% ABV Belgian Tripel brewed with cranberries, orange peel, and ginger is a fruited version of their Merry Monks Belgian Tripel. Berry Monks pours a bright orange color with a two finger that is gone before you even see it’s there giving you a weird aroma of gingery cranberries with faint orange notes. The aroma on this is a bit medicinal smelling and the flavor is sour/tart with orange, cranberry, and big ginger notes that do not seem to meld well with one another. The flavor is a bit like berry medicine with a tart and slightly sour ginger finish with a sour bitter aftertaste that lingers too long with a light mouthfeel. You really don’t taste the 9.3% ABV because it’s masked by all the flavors that aren’t so good, I give this a D-. Cranberries and ginger shouldn’t go together and it made an off-putting flavor that makes for a bad beer and I don’t recommend Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Beery Monks, I won’t be having this again. Blah! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!      

Catawba Brewing Co. Deep State Baltic Porter

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I’ve not had much from Catawba Brewing Co, but I’ve heard good things about them. This Catawba Brewing Co. Deep State Baltic Porter, 7.2% ABV which came via Brewpublik is one of a very few I’ve had. Deep State Baltic Porter pours a deep mahogany brown with light edges and a two finger beige head that falls quickly into itself and then into a little beige halo that wafts sweet roasted malts with a lightness of molasses notes to you with flavors of sweet rich roasted malts with a lightness and slight molasses raisin, toffee and a faint fig note that finishes smoothly with a slight bitter molasses like note and with an aftertaste of a roasted and a semi-sweet bitter note, and a light almost medium mouthfeel. I wasn’t expecting Deep State Baltic Porter to be as light as it was which is good, it’s an easier to drink Baltic Porter, it along the lines of a black lager. But some of the initial flavors feel a bit flat but as a whole, this beer is not bad, I say a B here. I would’ve like to have more roast and sweetness but not too much. But that is my only complaint towards Catawba Brewing Co. Deep State Baltic Porter and I would recommend this and would have this again. Cheers Please enjoy responsibly!     

Throwback Thursday: Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout

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I thought I would review this because I was digging through my blog and saw a lot of lighter beer recently and somewhat overall. So I though why not do a stout and I will review more stouts, browns and porters later on. But I am starting with a prime example of a true Imperial Stout. An Imperial Stout or Russian stout is one that was originally brewed and shipped to Imperial Russia and was a favorite of Russian Nobility. Today there are a number of different imperial beer out there, like imperial pilsner, imperial IPA, imperial lager and so on. That just mean that is double the alcohol volume, and has a stronger taste. But this here is a true original imperial stout from England, at 7.0%ABV. This Sam’s Smith is fermented in stone Yorkshire squares, which is basically a large square tub or vat made of local stone. This Samuel pours a dark brown/black dark roast coffee color, with a big light brown to tan thick two finger bubbly rocky head. I saw the head and I thought of nice brownish hearty bread. Nice appearance on the imperial stout. Now the taste on this is common to stereotypical to this style. This has a nice roasted coffee, that dark robust coffee, The kind I like. This has a dark fruity scent of raisins and figs. I got bit of the alcohol there as well. The way this looks and smells really intrigues me to drink this. Drinking this Sam’l Smith you first get that rich dark coffee taste, followed by a raisin and fig note that is semi-sweet. I also found a nice chocolate note there, but wasn’t a real sweet chocolate taste, but the dark fruits, raisin and figs help make that chocolate a bit sweet. This imperial stout has a big mouth feel that has a very little warming feel to it as you go though it  It was more of a good bakers chocolate, and I didn’t get much of the 7.0% alcohol. This bee here is a bit on the heavy side but just enough, it’s not overly heavy like some stouts can be. The aftertastes really stick in your mouth with this. The finish is nice with a faintly sweet  coffee finish. This imperial stout in not a very bitter but has some bitterness, the IBU (international bitterness unit) of this is 35. Samuel Smith’s India Ale is 46 IBU, some beers can be as higher. Overall this is a great old world example of a great Imperial Stout. Samuel Smiths brewery has some of the best examples of English beers and the are all organic. I would recommend this and all of Samuel Smith’s beer to anyone looking to get into the world of beer. So over all I would give this beer an A+. Just a very good example of a nice nice imperial stout. I was really enjoyed this as I do most Samuel Smith’s beer. A great representation of an English Imperial Stout. Please go out and get this and all of Samuel Smiths beer, I highly recommend you do! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!  

The Beer News

Here are this weeks news and events happing in and around the Charlotte, NC area.

  • Thursday, December 14th 2 pm-11 pm Legion Brewing Path to the Dark Side Nitro Release. Looking forward to the newest Star Wars movie? So are we! In celebration, we are breaking our new Nitro Tap just for our seasonal oatmeal stout, “Path To The Dark Side”! This rich and creamy oatmeal stout is aged on American oak that offers roasted coffee flavors and dark chocolate notes along with a balancing hop presence. Our friends at Queen City Pretzel Factory have created a special “Path To The Dark Side” pretzel, available in the tap room while supplies last! Come out in costume before heading out to the movie premiere and receive a special treat!
  • Friday, December 15th 5 pm-10 pm Sycamore Brewing & Vintage Charlotte 2017 Christmas Market. Sycamore Brewing and Vintage Charlotte will be teaming up to host a Christmas Market this December! Over 30 vendors, live Christmas music by The Clydes, food trucks, special beer, and hot cider releases, and Santa will be here! We will also be hosting the 2nd Annual ’12 Brews of Christmas’ Toy Drive during the market, benefitting Levine Children’s Hospital and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte.
    Here’s how to participate on the day of the market:
    – Bring a new, unwrapped toy for a child of any age
    – Donate cash money
  • Saturday, December 16th 10 am-11 pm Legion Brewing. A Second Year of Beer and Friends. Thanks to our wonderful friends and family, we will be celebrating our 2nd Birthday on December 16th- and you are invited to join us! We will be hosting a Brunch With Santa from 10-1PM: Bring your little ones and snap a family photo! We will be serving $4 Carolina Sparkle Party Beermosas alongside a made-to-order brunch menu.
    Pick up a commemorative Legion Brewing birthday glass while you are here!
    We are hosting a Toy and Treat Drive from 1-3PM, benefitting North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue! The following donations are always appreciated:
    – Nylabones & other hard bones
    – Training Treats
    – Medium & Large Kongs
    – Stuffed Toys (all sizes)
    – Squeeze Peanut Butter (xylitol-free) & Cheese
    – No Rawhides Please
    Expect limited beer releases throughout the day, live music from Adrian and Meredith, The Grassabillies and Coddle Creek, birthday cake from Drip Cake Bar and a balloon drop at 6PM, and more! 

    Keep an eye out for social media contests the week leading up to the big day- you deserve a birthday gift, too!
     
  • Sunday, December 17th 11 am-8 pm The Barrel Room at Triple C Brewing Company. Barrel Aged Up All Night Release. We are opening up The Barrel Room at Triple C for this release for all the extra taps! Things get started with at 11am with an hour-long Release Day Bottle Share in the taproom at Triple C Brewing Company. At 12pm, we will release 2017 Bourbon Barrel Aged Up All Night Breakfast Porter on draft and in bombers in the Barrel Room! Stick around for the Panthers/Packers game at 1pm on our two 120″ projection screens! Don’t forget we now serve cider and wine, and will even have some mimosas for this event!
    More details coming soon including info on:
    1) Brunch food truck
    2) Up All Night Verticals
    3) Special Draft List
    4) Surprise Bottled Barrel Aged Up All Night Variant! (small case run – brewery only) 
  • Tuesday, December 19th Duckworths Taphouse, and Grill Uptown. New Belgium Oscar tapping! New Belgium Oscar tapping! A delicious dark sour ale aged in blackberry-flavored whiskey barrels. We’ll also be giving away LOTS of swag! Reps will be here as well to giveaway beer samples.
  • Wednesday, December 20th 4 pm-9 pm Triple C Brewing Company. Pilot Batch Release Bière De Garde. Bière de Garde pilot release! Bleu Barn Bistro has dinner covered!

Founders Brewing Azacca India Pale Ale

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Founders Brewing Azacca India Pale Ale, 7.0% ABV with 70 IBUS (Founders Brewing is located in Grand Rapids Michigan) which came via a Brewpublik delivery, is named after the Haitian god of Agriculture and is brewed with Azacca hop which has an intense tropical aroma. Azacca India Pale Ale is also brewed with Caramel Malts and pours a burnt orange color with a three finger semi-off white head that slow to fade into some decent rings of lacing throughout the glass giving of fresh tropical fruit aromas like citrus and some mango with faint sweet malts that lead you to the taste of tropical mango and citrus up front with a Caramel Malt sweetness on the back and finishes with a sweet tropical fruitiness giving you a tropical fruit juice aftertaste with a nice touch of sweetness all with a light mouthfeel. Azacca India Pale Ale is amazingly tasty and well deserving of an A+ with nothing worth reporting negatively on. I highly recommend Founders Brewing Azacca India Pale Ale, it’s a must-have beer, and one that is worth having again. Azacca India Pale Ale is very well balanced between the tropical fruity hops and the sweet Caramel Malt backbone, which makes this a very well brewed beer. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!