NoDa Brewing Company Hop Cakes Imperial India Pale Ale

NoDa Brewing Company Hop Cakes Imperial India Pale Ale, 10.2% ABV and 118 IBUs (International Bittering Units) purchased from the local Harris Teeter grocery store here is brewed lots of Vermont Maple Syrup. Hop Cakes pours semi deep orange with a three finger white head with maple syrup aromas with a bitter hop resin notes with some citrus notes melt into you nose. Hop Cakes flavor is strong up front with a maple syrup rein bitterness with a bitter citrus fruit flavor coming in on the back of mouth and a very faint boozy note, with a big bitter syrup finish and a somewhat sweet yet faint syrup bitterness aftertaste with hits of a bitter resin citrus fruit with a full mouthfeel that is due to the amount of maple syrup used. NoDa Brewing Company Hop Cakes Imperial India Pale Ale is a big beer an is a interesting take on an Imperial IPA but the syrup and the hoppy bitterness make this on bitter hoppy beer which is good but I think that Hop Cakes is a B- beer. It would be a beer that you could drink a lot of, the bitterness would be overwhelming and would wreck your taste buds, but it isn’t a bad beer the maple syrup aspect add a nice touch to a beer with a hint of sweetness. I would recommend this just simply for the maple syrup, and yes I would hav NoDa Brewing Company Hop Cakes Imperial India Pale Ale again. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Throwback Thursday: The Olde Mechlenburg Brewery RPA, Rein Pale Ale

Originally posted on July 14th, 2012


Yes my favorite brewery has been hard at work and here is a NEW brew RPA, no not Rye Pale Ale, this is Rein Pale ale, 5.2% ABV. This is a cross between an American pale ale and a German-style lagered ale. OMB brews this with a combination of four different American and German barly malt verieties, spicy American Tettnag and noble Czech Saaz hops. This OMB pours a beautiful light amber color with a thin-ish white head. You can really smell the Hop scent here on this with a nice grassy note. Smells just like a fresh hop field. Nice! This RPA has a moderately bitter taste about it. Not to much bitterness, just the right amout to make it great. Great for most any occasion. There is a very very faint spicy note on the finish along with a still moderate bitterness that finishes light and crisp. This beer is a good NEW brew for OMB and they have done it yet again, in making a awesome and tasty beer. I love this brewery and can not say enough good things about them. This RPA is part of small growing trend of hoppy/bitter beers that have been hitting the market recently, after the height of IPA crazy hit, which is now not so popular as it onces was. Now the trend is more toward less hop and more bitterness, but to much bitter and it sour which is the next trend I think. But this hit the trend make well with it’s hybrid American pale ale and German lagered ale. Great beer and I give The Olde Mechlenburg Brewery RPA, Rein Pale Ale an A+. Just the right amount of bitter in this one. Not too much, yet not too little. Good work OMB! Keep it up. I would by this again, have it over and over again, just like all the beers they brew. I love a good tasty OMB brew! Cheers! Please drink responsibly! 

Birdsong Brewing Company Hazy Sexy Cool IPA

Birdsong Brewing Company Hazy Sexy Cool IPA, 6.8% ABV is a New England style IPA I picked up from Pop the Top Bottle Shop here in Charlotte. Hazy Sexy Cool IPA is unfiltered and brewed with Citra, Mosaic, & El Dorado hops. Hazy Sexy Cool IPA pours a hazy orange color with a big three finger white head that sicks around giving off juicy citrus fruit aromas with some bitter notes hitting your nose. Taste its juicy with orange and some grapefruit citrus with faint pineapple with a nice fruity bitter hoppy note coming in on the back of the tongue with a nice bitter juicy citrus finish and a grapefruit orange aftertaste with some nice hoppy bitterness. Birdsong Brewing Company Hazy Sexy Cool IPA is spot on and well brewed, it’s getting an A- here. It has a little stronger boozy note that his hiding behind all the citrus flavors but that doesn’t take away anything major from this beer, it’s a goof beer, one that I recommend and will definitely go back to! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Lord Hobo Brewing Co. Meat & Potatoes Dinner Stout

Lord Hobo Brewing Company from Woburn, Massachusetts is a fairly new distributed brewery in the Charlotte, NC area. This is Lord Hobo Meat & Potatoes Dinner Stout, 7.7% ABV. Meat & Potatoes pours black with a three finger beige head that slowly dissipates into somewhat spotty lacing, giving off ashy semi-coffee like aromas with a faint malty bitter scent. Then you come to a taste of roasted bitter notes with a ashy coffee-ish flavor with a very faint hoppy not on the very back of the mouth an tongue with a semi-bitter roasted chocolate finish and a much similar aftertaste with a bit of a faint hoppy bitter note popping in for a split second with a full mouthfeel. Lord Hobo Meat & Potatoes Dinner Stout sounded more interesting than it tasted, and was not very good. I found it to taste like a stout that was off or not as fresh, so I give this Lord Hobo Meat & Potatoes Dinner Stout a D-. The bitterness that I got from this stout through the beer off as it came into the coffee like flavor, they didn’t really go well together causing the entire beer to taste not well balanced. I don’t think I will be go back to this stout nor will I be recommending this beer. I didn’t like it that much! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Throwback Thursday: Stone Brewing Xocoveza A Winter-Spice Mocha Stout

Originally posted on January 9th, 2017

Wintertime is upon us and so is the time for dark beers, such as Porters, Stouts, Dunkles, and other various dark type beers. They warm you with thick rich high alcoholic flavored sips. Stone Brewing in Escondido California brews Xocoverza, 8.1% ABV, which is a milk stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Xocoverza started out in 2014 as a homebrewed beer that won Stones annual homebrew competition. Xocoverza was only to be produced one but due to popular demand they keep on producing it. Xocoverza is Stone idea of a Mexican hot chocolate. Xocoverza pours a quite black color with a thick two finger beige head that sticks around for a while and does leave some decent lacing. The aroma is ashy with a peppered spice and cinnamon note along with a very faint sweet vanilla note. Taste is ashy and slightly roasted at first then a bit of spicy and slight cinnamon comes on your taste buds with some very faint sweet notes. I know this is milk stout but I am not getting much of the common sweetness you get from milk stout. There is a nice roasted spicy note toward the back. Mouth feel is full with a nice spicy pepper coffee finish with much the same on the after taste but with a hint of sweetness and cinnamon. The fact that the spicy coffee masks the sweetness from the vanilla and coca rates Xocoverza an A-. The coffee characteristics are good on this beer, and that makes Xocoverza not have lower grade. This is a complex beer and isn’t for everyone, so I am kind of recommend this beer, but only with caution. I enjoyed it and I like dark spicy coffee beers. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Westbrook Brewing Co. 8th Anniversary Pecan Cookie Stoutwimw

I really enjoy the beer from Westbrook Brewing Co. in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina and this Westbrook Brewing Co. 8th Anniversary Pecan Cookie Stout, 9.0% ABV which I purchased from Pop the Top Bottle Shop here in Charlotte, North Carolina, and this beer was brewed for Westbrook’s 8th Anniversary And is brewed with roasted pecans, winter spices and vanilla then blended with dark roasted malts and candy syrup. 8th Anniversary Pecan Cookie Stout pours a black color with brown edges and a two finger beige head that gives you sweet aromas of a chocolate cookie with a bit of a nutty note. Then you get to flavors sweet chocolate cookie notes with nice roasted malts with a nice roasted pecan flavor coming through the roasted char notes with a nice sweet but faintly bitter finish with some semi-chocolate sweetness and a roasted malt pecan cookie sweet aftertaste that really hangs around coating your mouth with a full mouthfeel. Westbrook Brewing Co. 8th Anniversary Pecan Cookie Stout is a great dessert beer and really keep up with the great brewing knowhow making 8th Anniversary Pecan Cookie Stout an A here. It is what it says it is on the bottle a pecan cookie Stout and one that is well brewed and one I will recommend you to try and I will go back to., Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Elysian Brewing Company Space Dust IPA

I found Elysian Brewing Company Space Dust IPA, 8.2% ABV at my local Harris Teeter and wasn’t expecting to find this beer. Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington which has been in business since 1996 brews Space Dust with Chinook hops to bitter the beer and they use late and dry additions of Citra and Amarillo hops. Space Dust IPA pours slightly hazy orange color with a two finger white head with fruity-hoppy dank aroma wafting off the head with a slight sweet grass note then you get to a bitter flavor of some grapefruit with mild sweetness to it with some onion, dank grassy pine notes but you don’t really get the full hit of the 8.2% ABV. Space Dust IPA finishes nice with a faint sweetness and a nice bitter note with an aftertaste of bittersweet fruity onion with a fuller mouthfeel. Elysian Brewing Company Space Dust IPA is a good beer, getting a B. Now I don’t think that more than two Space Dust IPA could be had, the flavor would overwhelm your tastebuds halfway through a third, but that is not a bad thing. Lots of beers are great and are a beer that can you could only have two or three due to the strong flavors or higher ABV. I like the sweetness that compliments the bitterness in Space Dust IPA it blends well with the entire flavor profile of Space Dust. Elysian Brewing Company Space Dust IPA is a beer that I would recommend you try and one that I would definitely go back to. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Brut IPA

Picked up Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Brut IPA, 6.2% ABV from my local Harris Teeter. This Brut IPA is a Sierra Nevada spring seasonal and is part of a new and growing IPA style. Brut IPA uses late hop additions to brew this, which pours a clean and clear yellow golden color with a one finger fizzy white head with aromas of a light champagne note with a faint hop note hitting the nose. Then your lead into a semi-sweet taste with very faint bitterness that is barely there but does grow to somewhat there toward the back to the tongue with a faint hoppy dry finish and a champagne/Pilsner aftertaste with an ever so slight hit of a hoppy flavor. This sounded interesting with high hopes seeing that its from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company but it fell short. It tasted more like a dry Pilsner with very faint hop notes more then it taste like a Brut IPA. I give Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Brut IPA a D, just because it was not what it was advertising on the label. The only thing that was on the label that I found was the dryness. But the flavors I did taste were okay and boring. I might not go back to this beer. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Throwback Thursday: Southern Tier Brewing Company Blackwater Series Plum Noir.

Originally posted on July 4th, 2014.


During the summer time the store shelves are filled with light, fruity, hoppy, wheat and less malty beers. But one day I was in the grocery store and found a beer that you wouldn’t expect to find. This Southern Tier, Blackwater Series, Plum Noir, 8.0% ABV. This is an imperial porter brewed with Italian plums. Southern Tier also uses 2-row malt, caramel malt, barley flakes, chocolate malt, puréed plums, Chinook & Willamette hops. Plum Noir pours a very dark color, nearly black. But as I held it to the light I found a little brown hue to it. There is a one finger tan head that stays a while and make somewhat nice lacing. I found no light coming through the glass with no carbonation bubbles. The aroma is a coffee-like bitterness with a very faint chocolate aroma. The entire aroma on this porter is mostly the coffee like bitterness. The taste on Plum Noir is a mild coffee bitterness followed by a little mild chocolate sweetness. You don’t get a lot of the plums on the taste, but you do get a very little but faint plum earthiness in the back of your mouth. Plum Noir has a toasted grain with hints of caramel in there as well. The mouthfeel is medium with a little mild roasted finish that leads into an aftertaste of bitterness with chocolate. Southern Tier’s Plum Noir could be better, so it is receiving a B-. The sweetness could be a little more, but just a pinch. The plums aren’t really there but what I did taste was good. I like this porter. It sounds really interesting, but doesn’t taste as such, but still a good effort. I wouldn’t have this again but not right away. It is a good beer and something a little different for this time of year and all the summer beers. So go and try this one and see what you think of it. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

The Beer News

Here are this week’s news and events happening in the Charlotte, North Carolina area

  • Thursday, February 14th. Amélie’s & Birdsong Collab & Dessert Pairing. Birdsong Brewing. 5 pm-7pm. Join us on Thursday, February 14th from 5-7p for a special Birdsong and Amélie’s French Bakery & Café beer release and pairing in honor of Valentine’s Day! Amélie’s will be on site to pass out samples of their delicious hazelnut torte to pair with a duo of imperial stouts being released that very same day!

    We will be releasing both Prehistoric Dog Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and Turtles on Pterodactyls Barrel Aged Imperial Stout on draft and in cans at 3pm that day!

    Amélie’s is a French bakery and café located in Charlotte NC, Rock Hill SC and Atlanta GA. Their mission is to foster a feast for the senses and unique experience for each and every person that walks through their doors

  • Thursday, February 14th. Single AF: Anti-Valentines Day. Wooden Robot. 4 pm-10 pm. Are you single AF? Come party at the Bot.
    Join us for our Anti-Valentines Day Get Together on Thursday 2.14.19 from 4-10pm.
    We will have flights of our brand new S’mores Stout, Hibiscus Honey Balm Saison & Dragonfruit Passionfruit Sour. That day only we will be bringing back our beloved Strawberry Swirl It! and pouring Good Morning Vietnam infused with Caramel Oreo Brownies! Boozy, sugar coma warning warranted with this one…
    A local Caricature Artist will be drawing portraits if you are in need a good laugh from 6-8pm.
    Crowned Sparrow Craft Co. will be with us from 6:30-8:30pm offering Voodoo Doll crafts! She will have all the supplies you’ll need to create your own talisman of contempt over your Single AF status, including lots of different colors and embellishments to focus your energy on! Hit the link to reserve a spot. Walk-ins are available as well! bit.ly/2HInVTV
    Be Single AF and Proud! Come drink with us!

  • Friday, February 15th. Beer Release: Bantu Blaze Coffee Brown (Gluten Free Ingredients). Blue Blaze Brewing. 4 pm-9 pm. We’re excited to release Bantu Blaze Coffee Brown in draught. It’s a 4.5% bantu beer that was brewed using all gluten-free ingredients. This unique beer boasts a universe of complex flavors including hints of tart, oats, and coffee, and has a lingering hop finish.

    Made with all gluten-free ingredients, Bantu is an alcoholic beverage common throughout Africa (and other parts of the world) that has been made with millet or sorghum. This 4.5% beer was brewed using 100% gluten-free ingredients, such as millet, oats, etc. and infused it with local Enderly Coffee Company so that it comes across superbly nice as a coffee brown ale without many of the sour notes that are typical of gluten-free beers. As any gluten-free dieter will tell you, it is incredibly difficult to find a gluten-free beer that tastes great … but we think we’ve found it!

    Independently lab tested at under 10ppm gluten (max. 20ppm) and Made in a Gluten Facility.

    Swing by the taproom from 4:00 – 9:00 for a pint or growler to go!

    Food Truck- Ace Of Spuds Truck

  • Friday, February 15th. Hop Cakes Release. NoDa Brewing Company. 2 pm-10 pm. Pour yourself a stack of Imperial IPA goodness soaked in lots and lots of delicious Vermont maple syrup. Then put down your axe, loosen your suspenders and enjoy sweet, citrus, hops and resin flavors in this special release treat. Enjoy immediately (do not cellar). And feel free to come back for seconds!

    Available in cans and on draft, this 10.2% brew is one you don’t want to miss! While you’re here, enjoy some grub from TIN Kitchen, a tour at 6 pm and live music at 7 pm

  • Saturday, February 16th Azacca Acid Test Release. Triple C Brewing Company. 12 pm-10 pm. The third release in our Acid Test Series is coming soon!

    4.7% ABV- Kettle soured and loaded with Azacca Hops, this is a tart and refreshing ale with dank tropical fruit hoppiness.

    Draft, 16 oz cans and 32 crowlers will be for sale. New Wrap Order food truck will be in the house and Hunter’s Travesty playing from 5-8.

  • Saturday, February 16th. Rainbow Dust IPA Can Release. Sycamore Brewing Company. 12 pm-10 pm. Magic in a Can! Bursting with Six Rare Hops for Pure Hoppy Happiness. Expect Ripe Melon, Berry and Tropical Fruits.

    Join us for an Oyster Roast at Sycamore, too!

  • Sunday, February 17th. No Brainer IPA Release Party. Brewers at 4001 Yancey. 11 am-10 pm. No Brainer IPA is here! Be one of the first to try it and make sure you stock up.

    Beer taps when we open and we’ll have The Office trivia at 5 pm, giveaways, tons of board games, music, food and everything else you need for a perfect no-brainer Sunday!

    No Brainer IPA features a special selection of fruity, citrusy hops, real, all-natural hop flavor and delicious tangerine and mandarin orange notes. Our brewers spent months developing this brew to make sure it was the perfect formula for any IPA lover, no matter the occasion, no matter the day.

    We’ll be celebrating the release in style with a Sunday Funday full of trivia, games, great giveaways, food, fun and much more!

    Stay tuned for some great announcements as we get closer to the day

  • Monday, February 18th. February Pints for Purpose! NoDa Brewing Company. 12 pm-9 pm. As part of our Pints For Purpose Fundraising series, we are thankful for Noda Brewing Company to be included in their “You Drink, We Donate” program scheduled for 2/18/19!

    Mark your calendars as it’s a holiday and you’ll have all day to hang out, socialize, eat and have a few drinks while learning about what our charity has to offer!

    For every pint purchased that day, NoDa Brewing will donate $1 back to Cara’s Purpose!

    We will also have some merchandise to purchase such as wristbands, stickers, shirts, etc…

    Did we mention RAFFLE PRIZES? 🤩

    (1) Put the date in your phone right now and (2) say you’re coming to the event and (3) be sure to invite all your pals as it’s going to be a great day and a great event!

    We are very appreciative of all of you who may attend and to NoDa Brewing for their great way to give back to non-profits in the area!

    Be sure to check their website for all they have going on, their boatload of offerings and to sign up for their newsletter www.nodabrewing.com.