Friday, December 26, 2014

Beer Journal #39: World-Wide Stout, Leffe, Bigfoot Ale, Jingle Java, Hop Whore, Maximus IPA Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Co. & More

India Pale Ale
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

On 12/26/14, I ordered this ale at The Cheesecake Factory in Milwaukee during lunch with Lon and Jared.

6.6% AlC./VOL.

The label tells me about IPA: "Brewed in Milwaukee for people who like beer."

I was so happy to find a beer on the menu that I hadn't enjoyed ever before. I bestowed a Yes Yes rating on IPA by Lakefront Brewery.

India Pale Ale
Avery Brewing Co.
Boulder, CO

I popped the cap off this beer and poured it into my TEKU glass on 12/21/14.

Upon sipping this IPA, I gave it a Yes Yes rating.

6.5% ALC/VOL

Avery Brewing Co. was established in 1993.

I found this jewel on the label:


IPA Maximus Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Petaluma, CA

I drank two beers on 12/21/14. Maximus was my second.

The label that's wrapped around this bottle is loaded with entertainment and product information, including:

O.G. 1.080, Alc. 8.2% By Vol, I.B.U. 72.41

"If some is good; More is better. Instant gratification is not fast enough. 42 IBU? Why not 72! The end is near. Don't sip. A trillion What$? Imelda's Shoes. Dow @ 7392? Just buy a Senate seat?! Tats. Nipple Piercing. Cutters, Burners & Hummers. A cold MAXIMUS just makes sense! Cheers!"

And, as always,
"Life is Uncertain. Don't Sip."

P.S. There's no extra charge for the entertainment on the label. Whooo!

Southern Cape
Sparkling Ale
Summit Brewing Co.
St. Paul, MN

My one and only beer on 12/22/14 was a Yes Yes beer.

This craft beer is a limited edition.

On the label:

Color: Pale Straw
4.4% ALC. BY VOL.
OG: 10.5P
IBU: 47

"Gairdner Pale Malt- Australia
Waimea Hops-New Zealand
Sebastian Caramel Malt-Chile
Southern Passion Hops-S. Africa

Hop Whore
Imperial IPA
Brewers Gone Wild! Series
A Series of Big, Bold, Ballsy Beers
Tyranena Brewing Co. LLC.

I downed this beer on 12/23/14 and gave it a Yes Yes rating.

The label includes these "Notes:"

"Overpowering perfume, dripping with luscious hop flavor. And, on what a body. You're in for one helluva experience!"

Around the back of the bottle label is a cartton drawing of a bearded fellow with a mug in his hand and he's saying "Shall we?"

What can I say? I was entertained while I drank.

Jingle Java
Holiday Stout
Bent River Brewing Company
Rock Island, IL

I uncapped this beer on 12/24/14. It seemed appropriate.

This is an oatmeal stout with coffee added.

Alc. 6.5% by Vol., IBU 28.8

The label tells me:

"This coffee stout is enhanced by adding vanilla, caramel, pecan, cinnamon and rum, giving it a flavor that is perfect for enjoying during the holiday season. The 'River Stuff' of Bent River Brewing Company are stubbornly dedicated to producing quality handcrafted beers that capture the true spirit of brewing."

Upon examining the picture on the label, I see that Santa is hesitant to show his face. I see his red-coated arm and his beer but he doesn't want to be recognized. I say "smart move" Santa.

Barleywine Style Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Chico, CA

This was my beer on 12/14/14. I rated it Yes Yes.

The label isn't extremely entertaining. I did find:
Purest Ingredients. Finest Quality.

On second look, the label does have a picture of Bigfoot lurking in the trees while a fellow and his horse examine his footprints.

I'm shaking in my boots.

My bad. There is more to report. the label gives a packaged date of 12/10/13 and the following:

"Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with flavor from massive amounts of roasted malt and spicy hops and brewed in the barleywine style, with a rich, bittersweet body and whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops."

Leffe (not to be confused with Lefse)
Belgian Ale
Abbey Ale
Product of Belgium
Imported by Import Brands Alliance
St. Louis, MO

I indulged in Leffe on Christmas Day of 2014.

I, of course. gave it a Yes Yes rating.

The label holds this info:

"Savor the Mystery of the Ages. Award-winning Leffe Blonde is a full-bodied deep golden ale that is surprisingly subtle and delicate. Belgium's classic abbey ale is best served in its own chalice-shaped glass, accentuating the ale's aroma and creating the perfect head."

ANNO 1240 

World Wide Stout
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Inc.
Milton, DE

I confronted and took upon this brew on 12/26/14. It is one very STRONG beer.

I'm still sipping it, two hours after I first popped the cap!

The label front boasts:

"A very dark beer brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley."

So there.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

The True Meaning of Christmas

We celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.

Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus.

One of the shepherds who were watching their flocks near Bethlehem.

Three wise men came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn King.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Beer Journal #38: War Hammer Porter, Chocolate Bunny Stout, Lust, Sloth, Little Sumpin' Extra! & More Brews

War Hammer
Coffee, Milk Porter
Valkyrie Brewing Co.
Dallas, WI

I enjoyed this on 12/13/14 at Jared's house.

I gave it a Yes Yes rating.

War Hammer is a malt beverage brewed with oatmeal and natural flavors.

The label instructs: Unpasteurized. Keep Cool! (I wonder how long this bottle of beer sat on the store shelf before I bought it and refrigerated it? Just saying).

Pale Ale
Victory Brewing Co.
Downingtown, PA

I sipped this brew on 12/13/14 and said "Yes Yes."

The brewmasters, Bill and Ron, state: "Malted barley hops and yeast are the building blocks of beer. But none of these elements would exist without water, the essence of life. The waters that feed our brewery begin just over a dozen miles away, making for spectacularly pure and vital water for brewing. Having worked with watershed advocacy groups since our inception, we value our headwaters, our source in many ways. We think you'll value them as well when you taste this firmly crisp and aromatically arousing pale. Cheers."

Bill and Ron go on to tell us: "Victory Brewing Company's commitment to environmental stewardship runs deep, and our devotion to our local watershed remains the source of our inspiration. Vital streams like our East Branch of the Brandywine face an uncertain future without the care and action of folks like ourselves. 'Ourselves' includes you. Please follow the below link to understand what your support of this delicious ale is contributing to the cause." 
Chocolate Bunny
Stout (Brewed with Cocoa Powder)
Rhinelander Brewing Co. LLC
Monroe, WI

I gave Chocolate Bunny a Yes Yes nod on 12/14/14.

This beer is 5.5% alc./vol. with 66 I.B.U.

I got a kick out of these words on the label:

"Dark and silky rich stout loaded with chocolate flavor. Is there chocolate in my beer or beer in my chocolate?"

West Coast IPA
India Pale Ale
Green Flash Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA

On 12/14/14, I gave this beer a Yes Yes rating.

The alc. by vol. content is 7.3%.

The label boasts:

"Fine Hand-Crafted Ales"

"Extravagantly Hopped"

Bavarian-Style Wheat Ale
Saint Francis Brewing Co.
St. Francis, WI

I relaxed with Lust on 12/15/14.

I rated it Yes Yes.

The label drawing is of Eve holding an apple out to Adam as the serpent looks on. That event in history was a true example of lust.

(St. Thomas) Belgian Abbey
Belgian Style Dark Ale
Limited Release
Potosi Brewing Co.
Potosi, WI

7.5% ALC/VOL

I relaxed with this beer on 12/15/14 with dinner at The Thirsty Badger with Lon and Jared.

The label tells me:

"All Profits to Charity"

"This medium-bodied ale is deep red-brown in color and has a nice malty sweetness with a chocolate-like caramel aroma that finishes with a light hop flavor."

Little Sumpin' Extra!
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Petaluma, CA & Chicago, IL

64 I.B.U.
O.G. 1.081
Alc. 8.5% by Vol.

Label findings:

"These words are the voice of the beer you are about to drink; they are an attempt to be understood. The beer beneath is more than just words. It is a promise. You are the promised. Revel in your times."
"...of hops, malt, hops, hops, yeast, hops, water, and hops."


Dragon Blade
American Retro Lager
Valkyrie Brewing Co.
Dallas, WI

I tipped a glass of Dragon Blade on 12/17/14 and shouted "Yes Yes" upon my final sip.

I see this beer is "Unpasteurized. Keep Cool!"

It's quite interesting to find that many of the beers have quite unusual names, from light-hearted to dark and sinister. 

Brown Ale
Saint Francis Brewing Co.
St. Francis, WI

I contemplated and sipped Sloth on 12/17/14 and hollered, "Yes Yes."

The drawing on the label pictures an unshaven man, sitting down and leaning against a building with his head resting on his chest. He's definitely not accomplishing a thing.

Just so you know, I don't approve of sloth, but I drank Sloth Brown Ale without hesitation.

Amber Lager
Wisconsin Brewing Co.
Verona, WI

I eased into evening on 12/18/14 with Amber Lager. It evoked a Yes Yes rating as most every beer does these days.

This beer contains alc. 5.5% by vol.

The label was quiet. I found nothing else to tell you.

Gandy Dancer
Potosi Brewing Co.
Potosi, WI

6.0% ALC/VOL

Today, 12/19/14, I welcomed the weekend with Gandy Dancer and nodded Yes Yes upon my last sip.

The red banner on the upper left edge of the label states, "ALL Profits to Charity."

I don't know what to say about that other than, "That's crazy awesome."


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beer Journal #37: Hot Chocolate Stout, Brrr Seasonal Ale, Namaste, White Out Imperial IPA, 3 Sheeps' First Kiss & More

Seasonal Ale
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.
Portland, OR

I enjoyed Brrr on 12/5/14.

7.2% alcohol by volume

I gave Brrr a Yes Yes rating.

These words grace the label: "Warm up with a cold one, or two. Our winter red ale is the perfect treat, naughty or nice."


"Citrusy hop aromas fill your nose. Then caramel & chocolate malts reward you with a perfectly balanced candy-sweet flavor and velvety finish."

I appreciate the lovely scene on the label. I see a warmly lit mountain home with a peak behind and snow laden pines all 'round. The entire scene is tastefully asparkle. 

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Inc.
Milton, DE

I enjoyed Namaste on 12/6/14.

4.8 % Alc. by Vol.

I awarded Namaste with a Yes Yes Plus rating.

Namaste is a customary greeting when individuals meet or depart, commonly found among Hindus of South Asia. Namaste is spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together.

I gather the skeleton figure is offering a greeting represented by the red rings emanating from his bony hands.

The label describes Namaste as "A white beer brewed with orange slices, lemongrass, coriander & peppercorns."

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Chico, CA & Mills River, NC

I enjoyed Stout on 12/6/14.

I gave Stout a Yes Yes rating.

The labels abound with words of interest:

"Purest Ingredients. Finest Quality."

"Sierra Nevada original stout is a full-bodied American version of the traditional black ale. Perfectly balanced with big roasted malt flavors and earthy wholesome hops."

"In 1980, when our fledgling brewery was being built, we needed a big beer with bold flavors to test the new, hand-built brewhouse. That first brew was a stout rich with roasted malts and earthy, whole cone American hops. We liked that original stout so much we've kept it with us as we've grown, and decades later, it still reminds us of that early pioneering spirit."

"We brew in Chico, CA, and Mills River, NC, to bring you the finest quality beer."
White Out
Imperial India Pale Ale
Green Bay Brewing Company
Green Bay, WI

Alc. 9.4% by Vol.

I enjoyed White Out on 12/7/14.

I gave it a Yes Yes rating, the same rating I seem to be giving the majority of the beers I'm drinking lately.

White Out is a Hinterland beer. 

First Kiss
Imperial India Pale Ale
brewed with honey
3 Sheeps Brewing Co.
Sheboygan, WI

8.2% ALC/VOL

I enjoyed First Kiss on 12/7/14.

I gave it a Yes Yes rating.

Not unexpectedly, 3 sheep posed for the label drawing. 

Pull Chain
American Pale Ale
MKE Brewing Co.
Milwaukee, WI

I enjoyed Pull Chain on 12/8/14 and gave it a Yes Yes rating.

On the label, above the name-Pull Chain, are the words "That's local flavor."

That's all I have to say about that, folks. 

La Fin du Monde
Triple Golden Ale On Lees
Unibroue Brewing Co.
Chambly, (Que) Canada

9% alc./vol.

I enjoyed this beer on 12/9/14 and gave it a Yes Yes rating.

Upon close inspection of the label, I find:

"Bottle Refermented. Ale brewed with spices."

"The excellence of triple fermentation through a blend of special yeasts gives this malt beverage La Fin Du Monde (The End of The World) an exquisitely robust flavour of exceptional refinement."

"Natural source ingredients refermented on yeast base."

The label advises using a wide glass rather than a narrow one.

Session Pale Ale
Ale Asylum Brewing Co.
Madison, WI

Alc. 4.7% by Vol.

I enjoyed Demento on 12/9/14 and of course, I gave it a Yes Yes rating.

Demento is described atop the label as "A symphony of cascade and centennial hops give this refreshing session pale ale a bright hop presence with a touch of bitterness. Demento is brewed with passion and is best enjoyed that way."

Red Lager
Viking Brewing Co.
Dallas, WI

I enjoyed Rubee on 12/10/14 and rated it Yes Yes.

I can't make out the images on the label except for the silhouette of a shapely woman all in black.

The large V on the neck of the bottle represents VBC, the insignia for Viking Brewing Co.

The website listed is 

McKenzie's Hard Cider
Hand-Pressed Green Apple Hard Cider
Mayer Brothers Apple Products, Inc.
West Seneca, NY


I enjoyed this hard cider at Thirsty Badger with my coworkers, Sue and Angela, as we celebrated Sue's birthday, on 12/11/14.

I gave it a Yes Yes rating.

On the label, I found:

"An American Tradition"

"! swift kick to the taste buds."

"McKenzie's Green Apple Hard Cider has quite the kick. With its deliciously crisp, slightly tart bite of fresh green apples, it's the most fun you can have with apples."

The label (uncharacteristically) lists:
Calories 160
Sodium 10mg
Total Carb 11g
Sugars 11g

Out of Bounds Stout
Avery Brewing Co.
Boulder, CO

6.3% ALC/VOL

I enjoyed this beer on 12/11/14. I rated it Yes Yes.

Label insights:

"Experts Only"

"This big, roasty stout takes flavor to the extreme. We aren't afraid to use a ton of roasted barley and a mountain of hops to give this full-bodied stout that little extra something you've been looking for."

"Est. 1993"

"Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, hops and yeast."

I like the image of the skier on the snowy mountainside on the label front.

Hot Chocolate
Chocolate Stout
Valkyrie Brewing Co.
Dallas, WI

I enjoyed this on 12/12/14 and gave it a Yes Yes Plus rating.

"Chocolate Stout Brewed with Cocoa Powder & Cayenne Pepper"

I avoided this beer for a long time when I'd see it on the store shelf. It sounds horrible. I tried it and I love it. Go figure!!

Palo Santo Marron
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Co.
Milton, DE

12% alc. by vol.

I enjoyed Palo Santo Marron on 12/12/14 and gave it a Yes Yes rating.

"Malt Beverage aged on Palo Santo Wood"

"An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented Brown Ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this ale comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. At 10,000 gallons each, these are the largest wooden brewing vessels built in America since before Prohibition. It's all very exciting. We have wood. Now you do too."

That's pretty interesting and unique, don't you think? 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Favorite Christmas Card

Isn't this just the grandest Christmas card ever!

We received it from my cousin, Kathy, and her husband, Greg.

I'll keep it forever.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Beer Journal #36: The Race for Beer on Black Friday

I have made more friends who live in Alaska. Patti (and Cap) sent me this newspaper article because they know about my beer hobby.

I live in Wisconsin and I didn't hear about Lakefront Brewery of Milwaukee's Black Friday beers until today when I got the mail.

I hope you can read this article that I photographed and posted here. If you have trouble, leave a comment and I'll type it out or you may be able to click on the photo and see a larger version.

I may have to travel to Milwaukee on Black Friday next year. I'm not a Black Friday shopper but I reckon I could drink a beer or two in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving!

Thanks again, Patti, for sending me this interesting article. I will keep it in my album with my beer bottle labels.


Beer Journal #35: Ichabod, Porter, Centennial IPA, KCCO, Vicious & More

Date enjoyed: 11/30/14
My rating: So So
(Extra Special Bitter Ale)
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, MI

The label tells me:
"The lore of the season captured in Ale.
"Handmade by people who care."

The alcohol content and IBUs aren't listed.

I like the colorful label with the autumn leaves swirling across the blue waters.

Date enjoyed: 12/1/14
My rating: Yes Yes
(American IPA)
Frankenmuth Brewing Co.
Frankenmuth, MI

The label tells me:
"Award-winning, medium-bodied IPA highlighted by intense aroma of fine American hops and assertive flavors of citrus, floral and pine."

6.9% alc/vol.
IBU: 69

I appreciate the stars and stripes.

I drank this bottle of beer on 12/2/14.
I bestowed on it a Yes Yes rating.
Look out, it's VICIOUS, an American Wheat IPA.
It's brewed by North Peak Brewing Co,
Dexter, MI.

The label states "Est. 1997 - Traverse City, Michigan."
(I'm confused. Dexter, MI or Traverse City gets credit?)

"Brewed Up North"

The alcohol content is 6.7% by volume.

I gather that the wolf/man is what gave this IPA its name. Do you think?

I relaxed with this beer on 12/2/14
and gave it a Yes Yes rating.
KCCO is a black lager
brewed by Redhook Ale Brewery
in Woodinville, WA-Portsmouth, NH-Portland, OR

My label findings include these words: "Resignation Brewery + Redhook"
"A Resignation recipe brewed in collaboration with Redhook."
"Resign from the routine."

The alcohol content of KCCO is 5.1% alc by vol.
IBU 22

In the lower right corner of the label I see
07:23 3
JUL 30 14

I'm not sure what type of bird that is on the label but he's stepping out!

I had this beer on 12/3/14
and gave it a Yes Yes rating. My tolerance is growing by leaps and bounds.
CENTENNIAL IPA  is brewed by
Founders Brewing Company in
Grand Rapids, MI.

Upon further inspection of the label, I see this beer is "Unfiltered and Dry Hopped."

This IPA is 7.2% alcohol by volume and
65 IBUs

The colorful picture on the label shows the name CENTENNIAL being held high by a male and a female figure. 

I loosened up for a Christmas Party with this beer before leaving home on 12/4/14.
I easily gave ICHABOD a Yes Yes Plus rating; that's a rarity.
This "Pumpkin Ale"  is brewed by New Holland Brewing in
Holland, MI.

Examining the label closely, I found that "Real pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg enrich this amber brew. Pairings: roasted poultry, root vegetables, peanut sauce and caraway."
"12.5 Plato, Alc. 5.2% by Vol."

I have to mention that I love the headless rider atop the horse, toting a pumpkin that's a creative touch.

Today, 12/5/14, I relaxed with
PORTER by Bell's Brewery, Inc.,
Comstock, MI.
Even though this is a very dark beer, I gave it a Yes Yes rating.

The small print around the back of the bottle says "A robust porter brewed from a tasty blend of dark malts with a rich, roasted flavor. Enjoy it anytime, like now for instance."

This beer is 5.6% alcohol by volume.

"13611 PKGD
10/29/14 A"

I would have thought Bell's Brewery could have come up with a more creative name for this porter, than PORTER. Oh well, I do appreciate the fellow toting the hops and barley on the front of the label.

I'd like to thank my brothers, Tom and Carl, for bringing me these beers when they came from Michigan for Thanksgiving.


Our First Christmas Card This Year

Leah is my cousin, Kathy's, daughter. This card came to us from Colorado.

I can't imagine how happy my cousin, Kathy, and her husband, Greg, are of their daughter and her wonderful family.

Kathy's mother, Dorothy, couldn't be prouder of her granddaughter, Leah, Jayson, Tyler and Carter.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Four Brothers

My brother, Tom.
My brother, Bob.

My brother, Carl.

My brother, John.

I'm thankful for each and every one of my brothers.

(The photos are in order by age, oldest to youngest).

I enjoyed this Thanksgiving more than any before, that is, since Mom and Dad have been gone.