Lagunitas Brewing Company Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

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I’ve found that Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma California is quite popular among craft beer drinkers, so I decided to pick one up to review, Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, 7.5% ABV, this is a Pale Wheat Ale. Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale pours a yellow clear color with a two finger white head that dissipates somewhat quickly leaving very tiny lacing behind and aromas of earth sweet pine notes with slight hop notes that give you a similar sweet earthy bitter flavor with slight orange on the back that is slightly sweeter than it smells, with a nice bitter/sweet finish and an aftertaste of that is more like a semi-sweet IPA all with a medium mouthfeel. This isn’t the so bad nor is it good it’s slight south of boring, C-. I found there to be not enough sweetness, that was hidden behind the bitter earthy notes that make this beer more IPA like that anything especially a pale wheat. It’s trying to be two different beer, an IPA/hoppy beer, and a pale wheat ale at the same time cause a clash of flavors that don’t excite. I am not really sure if I would go back to Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale again but it’s worth a try in my book. Maybe this is not the Lagunitas Brewing Company beer that will convince me of it’s popularity. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!      

Southern Tier Brewing Co. Harvest Special Ale

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I am not a big fan of Southern Tier Brewing Co. and I only like a couple of their beers but one of my family members got to sample this Southern Tier Harvest Special Ale, 6.7% ABV at the local grocery store and bought a six-pack home. So I thought I would give it a proper review. Harvest pours an amber color with a one and a half finger off-white head that somewhat slow to dissipate giving off a malty aroma of slight bitter oranger with a hoppy not, to me it has more of an English IPA aroma, that lead you toward a bitter malty flavor of slight orange hoppy notes that give you more of an English IPA taste with a bitter finish and aftertaste of English malts with a slight hop note with a medium mouthfeel. I didn’t find this to be much like a harvest beer and more like a bad English IPA, so it gets a D. Southern Tier Harvest Special Ale did not taste like what it was labeled as and that is what I consider false advertising. I think that it could use more malt to keep some of the hop bitterness down and give it more flavor throughout. Southern Tier Harvest Special Ale isn’t something I’d recommend nor will I be going back to this. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!      

Throwback Thursday: Granite Falls Brewing Co. Blue Ridge Harvest Series Sweet Cherry Falls

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I’ve got another local North Carolina beer, this is Granite Falls Brewing Co. Sweet Cherry Falls, 6% ABV. Granite Falls Brewing Co. is in Granite Falls N.C. This is sour cherry ale from Granite Falls Brewing Co.’s Blue Ridge Harvest Sour Series, and is brewed in the winter cause cherries are the deep and darkest of the stone fruits. Sweet Cherry Falls pours a bright magenta hue with barely any head. The aroma is acidic with candied cherry fruit and a hint of a sour note, as it does warm the flavor becomes more medicinal tasting. Taste on Sweet Cherry Falls is slightly sour at first with a clean lactic sourness then steps into a sweet candied cherry tart note.  The mouthfeel is light and sour, with an acidic and somewhat sour yet tart finish. The aftertaste is tart with a faint sweetness.  The tartness does linger a little in your mouth but it’s not overly strong. Sweet Cherry Falls is good but not as rich as I thought it was going be. So it’s C+. I’d like this to be more complex and less candy cherry tasting. I’d like this to have more of a real cherry flavor. It is a bit on the fake side, but not far enough to make it bad. It is easy drinking and has good flavor. But there are not enough good ones though. I wouldn’t run back to Sweet Cherry Falls. I didn’t find this to be overly exciting nor was it terrible. It was average to me. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

Granite Falls Brewing Blue Ridge Havest Sour Series Boysenberry Falls

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This is the second beer from Granite Falls Brewing, from Granite Falls, NC, I’ve had and the first was from the same Blue Ridge Harvest Sour Series, Cherry Falls. This is Boysenberry Falls, 5.5% ABV. Boysenberry Falls pours a deep red color with a three-quarter of a finger pink head that fizzles away quickly with aromas of tart berries with a little sour fruit note that takes you to a tart and sour berry flavor with the faintest sweet note that has a little sourness around it, and finish with a tart yet sour berry not and an aftertaste of sour yet tart notes of boysenberries that linger until your next sip. I can’t really taste how much boysenberries are used in this sour ale, but it the boysenberries in this beer aren’t too overpowering nor do they steal the whole show. This is just an average sour fruit beer, so I give Boysenberry Falls, 5.5% ABV a C. It’s just average nothing really good nor really bad about this beer, and it’s not one I would or wouldn’t recommend. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!   

The Beer News

Here are this week new and happening in and around the Charlotte, NC area.

  • Thursday, January 18th Belgian Single Release. Catawba Brewing Co. Charlotte 3 pm-10 pm. Passport beer #2 hails from the region of waffles, french fries, and (of course) beer. This golden Belgian Single is full of fruity flavors with an aroma of bananas and bubblegum!! Come grab a glass and take a trip across the ocean with us! 
  • Friday, January 19th U.S. National Whitewater Center 6:30 pm-9 pm. River’s Edge Craft Dinner: Birdsong Brewing Co. Ticket info USNWC.org.  Join us at River’s Edge for Craft Dinner, taking place Friday evenings from December 1st through February 9th. Enjoy a five-course dinner created by Executive Chef Michael Rayfield with a 6 oz. beer pairing for each course. Each night will feature a different regional brewery including New Sarum Brewing Company, Legion Brewing, Triple C Brewing Co., Sycamore Brewing, Highland Brewing Company, Legal Remedy Brewing Co., Birdsong Brewing Company, Lenny Boy Brewing Co., Sugar Creek Brewing Company, Wooden Robot Brewery.
    EVENT DETAILS:
    Location: U.S. National Whitewater Center
    Brewery: Birdsong Brewing Co.
    Price: $60 per person
    Time: 6:30 -9:00 pm
    Registration closes the day prior to each event at midnight
    Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available. Please select your dietary preference after selecting a date for registration.
    Suitable for ages 21 and up
    UPGRADE: CHEF’S TABLE
    Upgraded experience featuring a chef-prepared meal inside the kitchen
    Interact directly with the Chef to learn how each dish is created, how ingredients are sustainably sourced, and receive a kitchen tour
    Price: $70 per person
    Time: 6:30 -9:00 pm
    MENU
    http://usnwc.org/relax/adventure-dining/rivers-edge-craft-dinner/
  • Friday, January 19th Charlotte Restaurant Week Craft Beer Dinner NoDa Brewing Co., hosted by NoDa and Tin Kitchen. 5 pm-10 pm. Ticket info at NoDabrewing.com
  • Friday, January 19th Flat Brim Hazy IPA V2 Release. Triple C Brewing Co. 4 pm-10 pm. Flat Brim V2 is packed with even more oats and Lupulin Powder this time around! Draft and Growlers. Bleu Barn Bistro has dinner covered!
  • Saturday, January 20th Legion Brewing Maple Canyon Release 10 am-11 pm. It’s back… “Maple Canyon”, our Maple Brown Ale, will be returning to our taproom on January 20th! This sticky, sweet beauty is one of our most highly requested beers- so we are throwing a party to celebrate its return!
    We are serving up our Maple Canyon Brunch menu from 10AM-1PM, and pouring Maple Canyon Ice Cream Floats (with Root Beer Floats for the little ones!) starting at Noon!
    Brunch Menu:
    Maple Canyon Waffle
    Belgian Waffle with a Maple Canyon Chocolate Reduction and Housemade Chantilly Cream. Served with Candied Bacon.
    Grit Bowl
    Cage-FreeScrambled Eggs, Bacon, Jalapeno, Salsa, Avocado on a bed of Smoked Cheddar Grits.
    Garden Veggie Frittata 
    Cage Free Eggs, Zucchini, Onion, Red Pepper, Tomato, Spinach, Gruyere, and Provolone.
    Southwest Breakfast Burrito
    Cage-Free Scrambled Eggs, Chorizo, Avocado, Jalapeno, Salsa, Smoked Cheddar pressed in a Spinach Tortilla.
    Live Music Line Up:
    The Locals Noon-3PM
    David Childers and the Serpents 4-7PM
    The Velcrows 8-11PM
    About “Maple Canyon”…This ale boasts a roasty, nutty aroma that paves the way for notes of chocolate and coffee. A heaping addition of real Vermont Maple Syrup adds significant sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel. Perfect to sip around the firepit!
     
  • Saturday, January 20th B. MacKaye’s Hell Raisin’ Scotch Ale Release Party Blue Blaze Brewing. 12 pm-10 pm. We are so excited to release one of our favorite beers: B. MacKaye’s Hell Raisin’ Scotch Ale, named after the legacy and legend of Benton MacKaye. MacKaye was the visionary and conceptual founder of the Appalachian Trail as well as an American forester, planner, and conservationist. His social activist group, the Hell Raisers, was comprised of the people, politicians, and members of the media who rallied around MacKaye’s social and conservationist platform and ideals. B. MacKaye’s Hell Raisin’ Scotch Ale is a dark, malty brew. At 7.7% ABV, burnt caramel character breathes life into a rich and dominant sweet malt flavor finishing with mossy, peaty hoppiness that is so characteristic of Scotch Ales. This beer is hard to put down and may cause you to do some hell-raisin’ of your own. With each purchase of B. MacKaye’s Hell Raisin’ Scotch Ale, one dollar will be donated to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and you will receive a raffle ticket to win free play at Lumberjack, Charlotte’s first ax throwing facility! Channel your flannel and challenge your friends to log tossing, keg crawls, and other fun lumberjack ax-periences throughout the day. If you work up an appetite, you can indulge in our free flapjack pancake bar from 2:00 – 5:00. To top it all off, we’re partnering with our friends at Lumberjack to host a tap takeover on January 27th! Stay tuned for more info! Would you like to further support the Appalachian Trail Conservancy? You can donate here: https://donate.appalachiantrail.org/default.aspx?tsid=7638
  • Saturday, January 20th Queen City Blues Can Release. Lenny Boy Brewing Co. 11 am-10 pm.Paint the city blue, pucker up, and groove. Queen City Blues is a LIMITED release in cans! Cans will be available in the taproom, so swing by and grab a $12.99 four-pack, no limit. Haven’t gotten the blues yet? This Kettle Sour Ale thrives with copious amounts of blueberries. If you love berries and good times, this wild ale was made for you.
    Your Moms Donuts will also be serving up their drool-worthy donuts from 12 – 3 PM 🍩 
  • Monday, January 22nd Charlotte Resturant Week Craft Beer Dinner with NoDa Brewing Co. and Tin Kitchen at NoDa Brewery. 5 pm-9 pm. Ticket info at NoDabrewing.com
  • Tuesday, January 23rd Bold Missy Brewery West Coast IPA Release and Beach Party.  5 pm-9 pm. Did you know that our Head Brewer and our Head Wheeler/Dealer have the same birthday? What better way to celebrate these two ladies than by releasing a delicious new beer? Come celebrate with Carli and Heather as we debut our new West Coast IPA, Surf Star! This tasty brew is inspired by Mary Ann Hawkins, a champion surfer, and Hollywood stuntwoman.
    Tropical shirts aren’t required, but are highly encouraged! 
  • Tuesday, January 23rd Wicked Weed Beer Dinner Harvey’s Cornelius NC. 6:45 pm-8:45 pm. We are pretty sure you’ve heard of our Beer Dinners, and we are certain you have heard of WICKED WEED Brewery in Asheville, but never have you had the two together. Come check out some great beers you can’t get every day in Charlotte and enjoy them paired with food you can’t get without the chef Trio, Josh McCracken, Oscar Lorenzo and Charlie Dyer. Combined Southwestern and Cajun country with Chicago and Charleston along with French cuisine and we can pretty much go anywhere with food. Come join us for a great night out with friends and meet some new folks as we seat everyone together. #h2style #beerdinner #wickedweed #harveys $35 bucks and it includes 5 beers from Wicked Weed with their folks on site to tell you about the beers and 4-course dinner pairing with our chefs to explain the food and the why’s behind the pairing. #craft #craftbeer #goodeats Sign up now! 
    If would like to be entered in a drawing for free Beer Dinner ticket, Post a pic of you at Harvey’s with a draft beer pic and #h2style on our page and we will enter you in a drawing that we will do at the end of the month for FREE BEER DINNER TICKET! Harvey’s, Your neighborhood hangout!

Foothill Brewing Craft Happiness IPA Project Cherish IPA

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The last of Foothills Brewing Craft Happiness IPA Project, Cherish IPA 8.5% ABV with 88 IBUs, don’t know if Foothills will do this again for 2018 or not but stay tuned. Cherish IPA is a double IPA brewed with Citra hops and pours an orange color with a slight yellow hue to it with a three finger slow fading head that leaves behind great thick lacing and gives a citrus fruit aroma of oranges and grapefruit with a slight earthy note that smells slightly bitter and hoppy which leads you to the big citrus fruit flavors of orange and grapefruit with nice amounts ob hoppy bitter earthy pine notes that are quite refreshing with a nice orange and grapefruit finish that is pleasantly bitter with a slightly bitter fruit aftertaste with a lighter mouth feel. Whenever I buy an IPA like this from Foothills I always have a feeling that it’s going to be really good and this one did not disappoint at all, and it deserves an A+ and is a beer that I highly recommend and would have again. It is so well balanced and so well brewed. It is just fantastic! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!        

Throwback Thursday: Brewery Ommegang Rare Vos Amber Ale

Oringally posted January 23rd, 2016.

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Once again I, Best Beer Blog found it’s way to yet another Belgian-style beer. This is Brewery Ommegang (part of Duvel) Rare Vos Amber Ale, 6.5% ABV. Rare Vos is an Amber ale style that is popular in Belgian cafés and is named after a café just outside of Brussels: De Rare Vos, or “The Sly Fox”, hence the fox on the label. Rare Vos is brewed with sweet orange peel, grains of paradise, and coriander. This beer is good by itself or with mussels, fries and other pub food. Rare Vos pours a bright copper-amber hue with a big three finger creamy white head that sticks around for a while. The aroma is spiced with orange peels, a grainy aroma with a nice subtle sweetness. The taste on Rare Vos is sweet and orangey with a spice note in there and hints of malt flavors. I like the way this tastes but not enough to have more than probably two or three. The mouthfeel is mellow with a nice fruity finish and a nice spiced orange that fades into a subtle sweetness that doesn’t linger for too long. I enjoyed this but like I said earlier this is good up until the third because the flavor is a bit bold and would be too much after a few. This Ommegang Rare Vos Amber ale is getting a B here. Not a bad beer but it gets to be too much after a while like I said. This isn’t the worst thing ever. It is a good beer, don’t get that wrong. I only had this one Rare Vos. But I am basing my opinion on how the flavor tasted by the end. It was slowly beginning to be a bit much for me by then. But it was not enough for me to stop at one. I could’ve had another, and I recommend you trying Brewery Ommegang Rare Vos Amber Ale. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!

The Beer News

Here are is this week news and event in and around the Charlotte, NC area

  • Wednesday, January 10th Triple C Brewing Company 4 pm-9 pm Pilot Batch Release Lucha Libre Barrilito Cask Stout. Don’t miss this 7.7% Cask Conditioned Stout packed with 3 different kinds of peppers, cacao nibs, and cinnamon! Bleu Barn Bistro has dinner covered! 
  • Thursday, January 11 Birdsong Brewing Co. 3 pm-10 pm Honey Pie Double IPA Release. it’s no secret that our Honey Pie Double IPA is often referred to as “Heaven in a glass.” In this limited release brew, a solid malt foundation is complemented by a generous amount of locally harvested honey from Cloister Honey, & you guessed it… HOPS! Our unique blend of hops will deliver you aromas of honeydew & grapefruit, & will have you pouring the second beer before you’ve finished the first! Join us for the release of Honey Pie Double IPA on 1/11/18! CANS & draft will go on sale at 3pm! 4-packs of 16oz cans will be $15 each & only available for sale in our taproom.
    ***Limit will be one case per customer, this is subject to change based on availability.  
  • Friday, January 12th U.S. National Whitewater Center. River’s Edge Craft Dinner Legal Remedy Brewing Co. 6:30 pm-9 pm. Ticket info http://www.usnwc.org. Join us at River’s Edge for Craft Dinner, taking place Friday evenings from December 1st through February 9th. Enjoy a five-course dinner created by Executive Chef Michael Rayfield with a 6 oz. beer pairing for each course. Each night will feature a different regional brewery including New Sarum Brewing Company, Legion Brewing, Triple C Brewing Co., Sycamore Brewing, Highland Brewing Company, Legal Remedy Brewing Co., Birdsong Brewing Company, Lenny Boy Brewing Co., Sugar Creek Brewing Company, Wooden Robot Brewery.
    EVENT DETAILS
    Location: U.S. National Whitewater Center
    Brewery: Legal Remedy Brewing
    Price: $60 per person
    Time: 6:30 -9:00 pm
    Registration closes the day prior to each event at midnight
    Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available. Please select your dietary preference after selecting a date for registration.
    Suitable for ages 21 and up
    UPGRADE: CHEF’S TABLE
    Upgraded experience featuring a chef-prepared meal inside the kitchen
    Interact directly with the Chef to learn how each dish is created, how ingredients are sustainably sourced, and receive a kitchen tour
    Price: $70 per person
    Time: 6:30 -9:00 pm
    MENU
    http://usnwc.org/relax/adventure-dining/rivers-edge-craft-dinner/
  • Saturday, January 13th Cavendish Brewing Company (Gastonia, NC) Boilerman Imperial Stout Bottle Release 12 pm-11 pm. Have you guys started bottling yet?”
    “Do you have anything I can buy that is bottled?”
    We are happy to announce that we have answered the call to one of our largest demands. Our premium imperial stout, Boilerman, will be available in standard and bourbon barrel aged styles. 22oz bomber bottles will be available for purchase in the taproom; limit 2 per style per person while supplies last. Local musicians, Buffalo Nickel, will be performing at 7pm in our taproom and Bebo’s Mac Shack will be serving up some delicious food starting at 4pm! 
  • Saturday, January 13th Grapevine Wine Shop/Wine Bar Riverwalk Rock Hill, South Carolina. Saturday Beer Sampler. 2 pm-5 pm. We’ll serve up SIX 6-oz. pours. Just Drop By | No Reservations Required | $12 per person
  • Tuesday, January 16th Flying Saucer N. Tryon Firestone Walker Release Party. 6 pm-12 am. We are welcoming Firestone Walker to North Carolina and tapping a handful of their excellent brews. Pivo Pils, Union Jack IPA, Nitro Merlin, Double Barrell Jack, and more.

Ballast Point Brewing Company Sour Wench Blackberry Ale

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The popularity of a brewery may be a reason why someone will try a beer. This Ballast Point Brewing Company Sour Wench Blackberry Ale, 7.0% ABV was one beer that yes I tried because Ballast Point is one popular brewery. Sour Wench is brewed with Marion Blackberries, a whole pound of them. Sour Wench pours a deep red color with a one finger pink head that falls into itself as quickly as it can giving aromas of sweet blackberries with touches of tart sour notes that then lead to a sweet and sour blackberry flavor with touches of tartness, but I found more fruity flavor than sour/tarts flavors. Sour Wench finish with a hint of sweet yet tart blackberry flavors with a semi-sweet aftertaste that all has a light mouthfeel.  Ballast Point Brewing Company Sour Wench Blackberry Ale is good without having too much of any specific flavor, I give it a B. It goes down easy but I do see that after three Sour Wenches you may not want another, by then the flavor is just a bit much on your taste buds. It’s enjoyable otherwise and one that I recommend trying. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!   

Throwback Thursday: Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout

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Hello to everyone. There is something to be said for finding cheap beer in the store that sounds good, but that isn’t always good, so be careful. What I found was Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout, 5.3% ABV from Rhode Island. This is a collaboration between Autocrat Coffee, which was started in 1895, and Narragansett Brewery which has been around just as long. Narragansett Autocrat pours a black color with a brownish tan four finger rocky head that slow to dissipate. I found there to be no light coming through nor did I see much carbonation bubbles due to the darkness of the beer. The aroma is strong with coffee, smell like a fresh cup of dark roast coffee. The taste of this beer is much like the aroma, big pot of dark roast coffee with just a little tiny hint of sweetness from the lactose sugars (that is what makes a milk stout). There is a little burned/roasted noted on the back that leads you into a nice cup of dark coffee finish with a semi-sweet roasted coffee aftertaste. This stout surprised me. It was really good. I would give Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout an A-. I didn’t really find any think of the flavor profile that tells me this is milk stout, but it was good nonetheless. I liked how this has big coffee flavors to it. Taste like something that Starbucks or any other coffee shop would sell. They really hit the coffee stout right on the head. I enjoyed it and so should you; yes I am recommending Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout. So go out and try it. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!