Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beer Journal #34: Dragon's Milk by New Holland Brewing, Crooked Tree, Krankshaft, Palate Wrecker, Black Top & More

Date enjoyed: 11/23/14
My rating: Yes Yes
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Comstock, MI

The label tells me:
The painting on the label is of Bell's Brewery Farm, Shepherd, MI.
"A blond ale reminiscent of the golden fields at harvest--made with Michigan-grown barley and a delicious blend of pale malts with a distinctive spicy, floral aroma and taste. "

"We invite you to reap what we've sown."
5.2% alc/vol
13364 PKGD
 8/06/14 A 

Date enjoyed: 11/23/14
My rating: So So
(Oatmeal stout with coffee added)
Bent River Brewing Company
Rock Island, IL

The label tells me:
"A dark medium bodied ale full of rich coffee and roasted barley tones
adjective, -er -est
l. not common; unusual; rare
2. unusual in degree; above the ordinary
3. exceptional; remarkable"

6.5% alc/vol
IBU 28.8

Date enjoyed: 11/24/14
My rating: Yes Yes
New Glarus Brewing Co.
New Glarus, WI

The label tells me:
"We invite you to discover this newest beer style Black IPA. Political debate rates over the origins of this jet black beer as both coasts feel they deserve credit. Our Black Top is a pleasant road connecting Villages and Communities statewide on a ride of Black IPA discovery.
Expect this beer to pour a hop forward jet black glass brimming with aromatic bitterness. Brewmaster Dan skillfully weaves molasses and chocolate malt undertones with a soaring rush of clean citrus and pine hop notes, to deliver a drinkable Black IPA. Savor Black Top, like Wisconsin's miles of licorice ribbons of ink that meander through armies of corn and bovine mowed fields. Enjoy the journey on a road less traveled."
Happy Trails,
Daniel & Deborah Carey

No alcohol or IBU listed

Date enjoyed: 11/24/14
How much did I enjoy it: Yes Yes
Church Street Brewing Co.
Itasca, IL

The label tells me:
"Righteously Good Beer"
Est. 2012
Made in the USA
"An inferno of Zythos and Motueka hops come together in this dry-hopped, massively fruity IPA featuring citrus flavors and a touch of rye for sweetness with a pleasantly bitter finish."

6.2% alc/vol
IBU 66

Date enjoyed: 11/25/14
How much I enjoyed it: Yes Yes, lots
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

The label tells me only this:

No alcohol or IBU info listed

Date enjoyed: 11/26/14
How much I enjoyed it: Not much at all
(Hamilton's Ale)
Green Flash Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA

The label tells me only:
"Fine Hand-Crafted Ales
'Think About Me!' SB"

9.5% alc/vol
No IBU listed

Date enjoyed: 11/26/14
How much I enjoyed it: A whole bunch
(Kolsch Style Beer)
Metropolitan Brewing LLC
Chicago, IL

The label tells me:
"Brewed in homage to the beer of Cologne, Krankshaft is a pale straw hued smile in a glass. We throw in a little wheat malt to round out an easy Santiam hop bitterness."

The artwork on the label is appropriate and I appreciate it.

No alc/vol or IBU were listed.

Date enjoyed: 11/26/14
How much I enjoyed it: Enormously, on account of it being a gift from brothers Tom and Carl and knowing it was purchased in Michigan.
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Comstock, MI

The label tells me:
"A golden beer with American hops contributing to a crisp, refreshing bitterness. A tribute to the Great Lakes, T.C.B. is a truly quaffable beer."

4.8% alc/vol
09/17/14 A

On Third Coast Beer's website, I found this:
"Trivia: A series of 24 different front labels map all 3,288 miles of the Michigan coastline, touching four of the five Great Lakes." 

Date enjoyed: 11/27/14
How much I enjoyed it: A whole lot because Tom and Carl brought it to me from where they live in Michigan in the Detroit area.
(India Pale Ale-Unfiltered and Unpasteurized)
Dark Horse Brewing Co.
Marshall, MI

The label tells me:

6.5% alc/vol

I'm puzzling over the bucket sitting under the crooked tree.
Date enjoyed: 11/29/14
How much I enjoyed it: Very much since it's another brought from Michigan by Tom and Carl.
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Comstock, MI

The label tells me:
"Original art by Conrad Kaufman.
A seasonally nuanced wheat ale that is both stylish and refreshing."

Alcohol by volume: 5.0%

10/07/14 A

Date enjoyed: 11/27/14
How much I enjoyed it: As much as possible. You guessed it; it was a gift from my two brothers from Michigan.
(Bourbon Barrel Stout)
New Holland Brewing
Holland, MI

The label tells me:
"A stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath."
Alcohol by volume: 11%IBUs: 31 
Date enjoyed: 11/29/14
How much I enjoyed it: To the max. This beer came to me across Michigan with my brothers, Tom and Carl.
(Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Stout)
Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI

The label tells me:
Brewed for us since 1997 
Alcohol by volume: 8.3%
IBUs: 60

My comment: Don't let the label fool you. This is not baby food.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Beer Journal #33: Contorter by Ale Asylum, 5 Grass Hoppy Ale, Flywheel Lager by Metropolitan Brewing LLC & More

Holiday Release
Traditional Marzen
Goose Island Beer Company
Chicago, IL

6.4% alc./vol.
IBU rating 17

Label info:
"Serve in a stein.
Bottled on: 05Aug14
This beer will remain brewery fresh for 180 days after the bottled on date."

I enjoyed this beer on 11/16/14, well before the brewery fresh expiration date.

I gave Oktoberfest by Goose Island a So So rating.

Prima Pils
A Refined Pilsner Beer
Victory Brewing Company
Downington, PA

Label info:
"Victory For Your Taste
Prima! An exclamation of joy. A recognition of accomplishment. Though it's spoken in German, it's felt in all languages. It's what escaped from our lips as we sampled the first brew of this mighty Pilsner beer. Though we'd been through a few in our years with other breweries, finally, with whole flower European hops and fine German malts, we had achieved what we'd sought for so long. exclamation of Victory! Prost!
Bill & Ron,
The Brewmasters of Victory
A refined pilsner beer for natural enjoyment.

Enjoy by: 22 Dec 2014"

I gave Prima Pils a Yes Yes rating, today, 11/17/14.

Bright Lager
Metropolitan Brewing LLC
Chicago, IL

Label info:
"The kinetic beauty of spicy hops grabs you by the nose and proclaims a German-inspired beer. Best for bombastic celebrations of singing voices and clanging mugs. Prosit this!

On 11/18/14, I gave Flywheel lager a Yes Yes rating.

Anchor Steam Beer
Anchor Brewing Company
San Francisco, CA

Label info:
"Brewed from all barley malts.
Made in San Francisco since 1896.
Anchor Steam brand beer is virtually handmade with an exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. The deep amber color, the thick, creamy head, and the rich flavor all testify to our traditional brewing methods.
 Anchor Steam brand beer derives the unusual name from the 19th century when 'steam' seems to have been a nickname for beer brewed on the west Coast of America under primitive condition and without ice. The word 'steam' may have referred to the pressure of natural carbonation developing in the beers. Today, the brewing methods of those days are a mystery and for many decades Anchor alone has used the quaint name 'steam' for its unique beer.
Today, Anchor is one of the smallest and most traditional breweries in the world. San Francisco's famous Anchor Steam brand is unique, for our brewing proces has evolved over many decades and is like no other in the world."

I gave this Anchor Steam Beer a Yes Yes rating on 11/18/14.

Porter Ale
Ale Asylum
Madison, WI

Label info:
"Our porter is dark in color yet soft on the palate. English chocolate malts give it a complex flavor wrapped in a silky smooth finish. Contorter is brewed with passion and is best enjoyed that way."

On 11/19/14, I gave Contorter a Yes Yes rating.

Floppin' Crappie
Northwoods Brewing Corp. LLC
Eau Claire, WI

I enjoyed Floppin' Crappie on 11/20/14. I gave it a Yes Yes rating.

5 Grass
Hoppy Ale
5 Rabbit Cerveceria
Bedford Park, IL

6.4% alc./vol.

Label info:
"5 Grass is a bright hoppy ale with the fresh outdoorsy aroma of the desert. A smooth backbone of malt showcases complex, piney and citrusy hop aromas and a brisk bitterness (60 IBU) from a variety of unusual hops. Spices and herbs add sage, juniper and other uniquely refreshing notes.
In Aztec mythology, 5 Grass (Macuilmalinalli) is one of the 5 Gods of Excess (Ahuiateteo) and reminds us that all living things form a grand community that is counting on us to do our part as thoughtful, caring stewards and good neighbors to all life.
Suggested foo pairings include: barbecoa, puerco en adoba, grilled lamb and steak.
Best served at 48F (9C) in a short tulip or red wine glass."

This is proving to be a great week for beer. Today, 11/21/14, I'm giving 5 Grass a Yes Yes rating.

India Pale Ale
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Inc.
Milton, DE

6.5% alc./vol.

Label info:
"The continually-hopped India Pale Ale brewed with Syrah grape must."

Let the good times roll! What we have here is another Yes Yes rating on this date in history, 11/21/14.

Fire Rock
Pale Ale
Kona Brewing Company
Kona, HI
Portland, OR
Woodinville, WA
Portsmouth, NH

6% alc./vol.

Label info:
"Fresh, Responsible, Always Aloha.
Active volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii leave visitors awestruck by their power. The glow of lava as it meets the ocean is an amazing sight. Our Fire Rock Pale Ale is inspired by this place with a bright copper color and rich roasted malt taste. Aloha!
Since 1994, Kona Brewing Co. has been committed to making handcrafted ales and lagers of uncompromised quality.
We invite you to visit our brewery and pubs whenever you visit Hawaii. Mahalo!"

I finish this batch of beers with another Yes Yes rating. I had a fine Saturday, 11/22/14 with Fire Rock.

* * *

Awards go to:
All the Yes Yes beers I enjoyed this week.
Floppin' Crappie for the most creative name.
Anchor Steam Beer for packing the longest narrative in tiny letters on the small label around the neck of the bottle.
5 Grass for the brightest colored label.
Flywheel for encouraging bombastic celebrations of singing voices and clanging mugs.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Birds

I've been delinquent when it comes to posting bird photos. I broke away from my baking, making chili, doing laundry, drinking beer and posting pictures of the bottles to show you Tuesday's birds.

This is a female cardinal. 

Much brighter, the male cardinal is hard to miss against the snow.

This guy is pretty intrigued by something up yonder. Notice that he filled his mouth first.

It's a long stretch to the water in the birdbath. After taking these photos, I went outside and added water.

Sparrows, sparrows, and...

...and a whole bunch more sparrows with a couple other bird types mixed in.

I love this photo. The grass, the snow and the too cute bird (sorry I can't tell you for sure what kind it is--I'm a bit rusty on that subject).

That's a junco between two sparrows. I find it sweet that many different birds get along just fine. 

And how are you this fine November afternoon?

Here we have another shot of a junco.

Did you notice any birds today in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beer Journal #32: Nightfall Lager, Alaskan Freeride APA, Black O' Lantern & More

Nightfall Lager
Dark Lager
Pecatonica Beer Company
Monroe, WI

Label fun:
"A truly balanced dark lager brewed with the finest Cascade, Centennial, Hallertau hops & traditional malts. Enjoy our love for artisan craft beer.

5.9% alc/vol

I didn't like this dark lager and on 11/10/14 I gave it a No No rating.

Freeride APA
American Pale Ale
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Juneau, Alaska

5.3% alc/vol

On 11/11/14, I gave Freeride APA a So So rating.

The picture on the label of a guy on a bicycle wearing a backpack and riding on frozen water past a glacier is extraordinary.

Good Old Potosi Beer
Potosi Brewing Company
Potosi, WI

Label info:
"All profits to charity"

5.0% alc/vol

I enjoyed this beer on 11/11/14 and gave it a Yes Yes rating.

Dirty Bastard
Scotch Style Ale
Founders Brewing Company
Grand Rapids, MI

I rated this beer--So So on the day I drank it, 11/12/14. 

Traditional Wheat
Hacker-Pschorr Brewing Company
Munich, Germany

Label info:
Brewed according to the German law of purity of 1516

5.5% alc/vol

I enjoyed Weisse on 11/13/14 and I gave it a Yes Yes rating.

Amber Alt
Alt Bier
Port Huron Brewing Company LLC
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Label info:
"Built to the standards of German tradition, our Alt Bier is painstakingly engineered to provide remarkable flavor. The meticulous blending of specialty malts yields a striking combination of sweet & bracing elements with a clean, balanced taste."

"Enjoy by 1.24.2015"

I was happy to see an "enjoy by" date and happier yet that the date is far in the future. I rarely see any dates at all on beer bottles. I had this beer on 11/13/14 and gave it a So So rating.

Schlafly Golden Ale
Belgian Style
Special Release
The Saint Louis Brewery, LLC
St. Louis, Missouri

Label info:
"A Special Release, Belgian-Style Golden Ale is available for a limited time, with a new style every few months. Schlafly Belgian-Style Golden Ale opens with a fruity nose and rounded sweetness that composes a pale and balanced beer."

 "Bottled with love on 05/05/2014"

"A votre sante. -French toast"

"Op uw gezondheid. -Flemish toast"

On 11/14/14, I gave this ale a Yes Yes rating.

Seasonal Series
Saint Francis Brewing Co.
St. Francis, WI

On 11/15/14, I gave Gluttony a Yes Yes rating.

Black O' Lantern
Pumpkin Stout
Utah Brewers Cooperative
Salt Lake City, Utah

Label info:
Brewed with pumpkin and spices

6.5% alc/vol

I gave Black O' Lantern a Yes Yes rating today, 11/16/14.


Mid-November Winter in Wisconsin

Snow looking west.

Looking south.

Looking north.

Looking southeast.

Looking east.

Looking southwest.

Looking southwest.

Looking west.

A partial pumpkin wondering what happened.

Ya gotta be impressed with this big male Red-bellied Woodpecker. 

He's pecking for peanuts but I don't think he's underpaid, do you?

And as you can see, it's still snowing.