Left hand Brewing Co. Pixar Pepper Porter

I received Left Hand Brewing Co. Pixan Pepper Porter, 7.2% ABV from a friend for Thanksgiving which is brewed in Longmont Colorado. Pixan pours a black oil color with brown/beige edges and a two finger beige head that slowly to fade, giving off slight dark stone fruit with some roast pepper malt notes with a hint of a spiced coffee, that leads to a spiced dark stone fruit flavor with malted pepper notes which seem faint on barely there with a faint peppered finish and a spiced aftertaste that is mild at best with a medium mouthfeel. Left Hand Brewing Co. Pixan Pepper Porter is not a great pepper Porter, its a D. The pepper flavor is mild and sometimes barely present in this beer, which makes me think Left Hand Brewing is using a mild pepper of not enough peppers in this Porter. I generally like a pepper beer but this was more like off spiced dark coffee, which I am not going to recommend, no. I just think Left Hand needs to strengthen the pepper flavor on this to make it better. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Blowing Rock Brewery Shadow Mountain Black IPA

Blowing Rock Brewery Shadow Mountain Black IPA, 6.5% ABV, picked up from the local Harris Teeter grocery store is brewed Hickory North Carolina and uses Cascade, Columbus and Chinook hops in the brewing process of this winter seasonal, which pours dark, black color with brown edges and a one and a half finger beige head that slow dissipates into a quarter of foam giving off slight yet faint roasted hop notes that are like a faint earthy coffee with a slight roasted earthy coffee bitter malted flavors where the IPA bitterness comes in on the back of the tongue with a bitter finish that is very faint lay roasted with malt and a earthy roasted bitter aftertaste with high-medium mouthfeel. Shadow Mountain Black IPA is a not a bad beer the roasted noted overshadow the hops and bitter notes of the IPA, so overall I give Blowing Rock Brewery Shadow Mountain Black IPA a C+, slightly above average. Blowing Rock Brewery Shadow Mountain Black IPA could’ve had more hoppy IPA qualities to help it and could have Balanced the roasted notes, the dark malts with the IPA notes to really make it a great beer. But I found it to be slightly above average and I think that two is about where this Blowing Rock Brewery Shadow Mountain Black IPA would get to be to much flavor but I still kind of recommend trying it. Please enjoy responsibly!Cheers!

Highland Brewing Stargazer White

Highland Brewing, brewing since 1994, Stargazer White, 4.8% ABV from Asheville, North Carolina is a season Belgian White Ale brewed with grapefruit peel, and ginger and coriander and is a quite popular style of beer many other breweries brew the Belgian White style of beer. Stargazer White pours a yellow color a two finger bright white head that fizzles down to almost less than on finger giving off grapefruit and faint ginger with a slight spice note that leads you to a flavor of fruitiness with grapefruit and some orange notes with slight spiced ginger that is different for a white ale gives it a slight tropical feel with a slight grapefruit finish and more fruity grapefruit aftertaste with a light mouthfeel. I like my Belgian White to have a more fuller mouthfeel and this was on the light side and the ginger and grapefruit did quite meld together well but was kind of alright. I give Highland Brewing Stargazer White a D+. It was a different take on a White Ale that sounded alright but tasted not as good as it sounded, and wasn’t the worst Belgian Style White Ale I’ve had. The thin mouthfeel with the ginger and grapefruit peel did go well together in my opinion. I can tell what Highland brewing is going for with Stargazer White, it’s more of a summertime White Ale and I know it’s not summer now but that’s not why I didn’t like it. Stargazer White is not how I like white Ales. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!`

Foothills Brewing Oktoberfest

Foothills Brewing Oktoberfest, 5.8% ABV picked up from my local Harris Teeter grocery store is a seasonal from the Winston-Salem based brewery. Prince Ludwig was a man of the people, which is why when he married in 1810, he invited the entire town of Munich. That is where Oktoberfest celebration comes from. Foothills Brewing Oktoberfest pours a deep red/brown color with a two finger white head that disappears quickly giving off malty sweet aromas with a faint barely-there hop note that takes to a flavor that is similar to the aroma with a malted sweet flavor that has a little hint of hoppy dark fruits, but just barely so, with a sticky finish that linger into a sweet and sticky aftertaste, with a slightly full mouth feel. Foothills Brewing Oktoberfest is a good beer a B, and I would not expect anything different from Foothills, they brew such great beers time and time again. I’ve not really had a bad beer from them. This, there Oktoberfest is a beer that you could drink a six pack of but not much more than that because I think the malty quality would then be to much, but one that you could really celebrate Prince Ludwig with and I hope you try it! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Throwback Thursday: Thomas Creek Brewing Octoberfest Lager

Originally posted on August 22nd, 2013

Each year the beer world celebrates October fest, by brewing up Oktoberfest beer, which is either called, fest beer or Märzen (March). This type of beer was kept cool in a cave until October and brewed with higher gravity so they would keep. This particular beer is Thomas Creek Octoberfest Lager 6.0% ABV, from Greenville South Carolina. This Thomas Creek Octoberfest pours a nice bight copper/amber color with a finger and a half of whitish head that is dissipated at a quick pace. Some light came through the glass, with a nice amount of carbonation bubbles. The aroma is big with a nice malty caramel scent with the faintest hop note. The taste on Octoberfest Lager is sweet with a caramel malt flavor up front, and then toward the back, you get the faintest hoppy flavor that quickly turns sweet. Then mouthfeel is light to medium, with a nice sweet caramel malt flavor. The aftertaste is sweet with a hint of very light vanilla and malty flavor. I have to say this beer is surprisingly good and well brewed, so this is an A beer. This Tomas creek is not overly sweet and malty, but just enough to keep this beer tasting good. I would surely recommend that you try this beer! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

The Beer News

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

  • Thursday, November 15th.  Brown Bear Nutella Release. Catawba Brewing Company. 3 pm-10 pm. This week’s passport beer is a special one! Brown Bear Nutella is making its appearance in our tasting rooms for the 2nd year in a row! Our traditional Brown Bear Brown Ale has been enhanced with cacao nibs and natural hazelnuts, complementing the beer’s underlying dark chocolate notes and transforming our Bear into a rich, decadent dessert beer.
  • Thursday, November 15th. Science Is The Art Final Release Party with signed Print Raffle. Brewers at 4001 Yancey. 6 pm-10 pm. Join us Thursday, November 15th, for the release of Paradox of the Powerful, the 6th and final release in the Science Is The Art Collection. At the event, we’ll be raffling offprints of each design in the series, signed by illustrator Christopher Balaskas. The limited edition signed artwork will be sought-after, so don’t miss out on this chance to enter and win!
  • Friday, November 16th. First Ever CLT Brew’d Release. Brewers at 4001 Yancey. 6 pm-8 pm. It’s here! Join us for the tapping of our first two CLT Brew’d beers this Friday! We’ll be tapping Victory Grapefruit Kolsch and Southern Tier Orange Pale Ale. Come and taste the new beers, talk to our brewers and learn what other beers are coming out soon. We’ll have live music, samples, and great giveaways!  
  • Friday, November 16th. Cranberry Gose Release. NoDa Brewing Company. 2 pm-10 pm. Our delicious Cranberry Gose is back, and this time it’s in cans! Instead of reaching for a mug of something warm and cozy during this time of year, grab a refreshing and tart pint of this 4% ABV Gose. As always, TIN Kitchen will be here serving up plenty of tasty grub, plus we’ll have a free tour at 6 pm and live music at 7 pm! 
  • Saturday, November 17th. Up All Night Breakfast Porter Release. Triple C Brewing Company. 12 pm-10 pm. The best thing about New Years is the Christmas lights! Up All Night, our 10% Breakfast Porter is back on draft and in 22 oz bombers and 32 oz crowlers! Brewed with flaked oats, honey, lactose, chocolate malts, and Magnolia Coffee Company coffee! Don’t miss the taproom only draft variant with Cacao Nibs, Vanilla, Cinnamon and Cayenne.
    New Wrap Order Food Truck on site  
  • Saturday, November 17th. Juicy Lager Can Release. Sycamore Brewing. 12 pm- 11 pm. juicy Lager IPL Can Release! Juicy hops in abundance! Lively citrus notes of Valencia oranges, bright tangerine, and grapefruit!
    Live music all day from Pluto for Planet and LateNightSpecial! Best Greek Food in town by Gyro Twins Truck
  • Sunday, November, 18th. Tiki Time – Flip The Script Sundays. Wooden Robot Brewery. 12 pm-9 pm. We’re flippin’ the script this winter every 3rd Sunday of the month!
    Join us for our first Flip the Script Sunday as we transform the brewery into an island oasis for Tiki Time on Sunday 11.18.18!
    All day long we will be getting Lei’d, drinking Pineapple Tiki IPA with fresh pineapple & cherry garnish and dancing to tiki tunes! Coconut bras and grass skirts are highly encouraged.
    $1 off all Medium Brews ALL DAY LONG.
    Come party with us!
  • Sunday, November 18th. S’mores Golden Stout Release. Catawba Brewing Company. 11 am-8 pm. If you guessed that REI is the outdoor retailer that partnered with us on our s’mores-inspired beer collaboration, you were correct! In honor of REI’s annual Twinkie & S’mores Roast, we present S’mores Golden Stout. Come and try this scrumptious beer on November 18th at any of our tasting rooms. And if you’re in Asheville, be sure to swing by the tasting room to roast some Twinkies and Marshmallows with us! $1 per pint will be donated to the Carolina Climbers Coalition.

Sugar Creek Brewing Company Big O India Pale Ale

Pick up this local Sugar Creek Brewing Big O India Pale Ale, 7% ABV from my local Harris Teeter grocery store. Big O is brewed California grown “Moro” blood Oranges, which pours an orange copper color with a three finger white head with aromas of big blood orange with some hoppy grapefruit notes intertwined into some fant pine notes that give you a big grapefruit flavor with some hoppy grapefruit with hints of sweetness and some pine notes that give a blood orange bitter sweet finish and a very similar aftertaste that really lingers behind with hints of a hoppy flavor with a light mouthfeel. Sugar Creek Brewing Big O India Pale Ale is so good, and is well deserving of an A+. It has a big blood orange flavor with enough bitter hops to help make it great and the flavor is not to extreme nor does it become overwhelming. Well balanced and well brewed Sugar Creek Brewing Big O India Pale Ale is one that I highly recommend trying! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Modern Times Beer Lomaland Saison

Modern Times Beer Lomaland Saison, 5.5% ABV, brewed in San Diego, California I picked up from Total Wine is relatively new to the Carolinas and it quite popular in the craft beer community. Lomaland pours a bight yellow with a three finger white head giving off lemon pepper aromas with some yeasted notes with a bright lemon sweet/tart flavor with a pepper notes some though with a slightly funky finish that is semi-tart with a nice funky yeasted aftertaste with a light mouthfeel. Modern Times Beer Lomaland Saison isn’t the best Saison I’ve had but it’s not a bad one either, it gets a B-. It’s the lightness of it all that holds it back a bit but doesn’t make it bad. I think that it’s a light Saison that should be in the introduction to Saison, when you want to get into Saison this should be a beer that you should try. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly

Kentucky Ale Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale.

Kentucky Ale Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale, 5.5% ABV pick up from Total Wine, is brewed in Lexington Kentucky and is 100% barrel aged. Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale pours a clean orange color with a one finger fizzing white head with sweet vanilla aroma with thin barrel oak that guides you into a sweet vanilla taste that washes quickly of your tongue with hints of a smooth sweetness with a lingering finish of vanilla that is soda like and a much similar aftertaste that lingers with vanilla with a medium mouthfeel. Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale has lots of sweet vanilla to it with very little barrel notes and I think its C-. The sweet vanilla flavor hold the beer to be average but not great. This beer has more of a vanilla soda like quality to it that is okay at best and I don’t think I would hurry back to have Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale again! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Throwback Thursday: Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer

Orinally posted on August 27th, 2016.

Here we have an import beer from Scotland, Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer, 6.6% ABV. This beer is aged in an oak barrel for seventy-seven day before bottling. This Innis & Gunn pours a caramel color with a one finger white fizzy head that fade kind of quickly. The aroma is sweet with hints a light vanilla and caramel with a faint toasted oak note. Original Innis & Gunn does have a sweet start to the taste, with a slight vanilla and some caramel notes then you get a bit of toffee in the middle with the oaky flavor towards the end. The finish is smooth yet semi-sweet with a nice lingering after taste of vanilla toffee. Not a bad oak aged beer; I give this one a B+. You can really taste how the aging really smoothed out the beer, usually, this Scottish style is a bit harsher but this one isn’t, it’s mellow and smooth with a nice subtle sweetness. I recommend trying Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer. It’s a nice beer. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!