Thursday, March 26, 2015

Beer Journal #57: Blue Moon First Peach Ale, Circus Boy, 2015 Beer Camp, UFO & More

First Peach Ale
Brown Ale/Seasonal Collection
Blue Moon Brewing Co.
Golden, CO

I truly enjoyed this beer at Siesta Dunes on Siesta Key, FL, on 3/18/15. I purchased it at Publix.

Label treasures:
5.6% ALC. BY VOL.
"With one foot in winter and the other in spring, we crafted this Belgian-inspired Brown Ale with flavors of peach and coriander to complement both. It has a tart taste balanced by caramel malts for the cooler days and peach notes for the warmer ones."

My thoughts:
I like the concept of "one foot in winter and the other in spring..." I got my hands on this beer at exactly the right date.

Lager Margarita
Cerveza Dos Equis
Imported from Mexico

I drank this during the spring training ball game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, FL, on 3/18/15.

Messages on the can:
7.2% ALC. BY VOL.
"Introducing the original Dos-A-Rita. Handcrafted in Mexico, the Dos-A-Rita combines two traditional Mexican favorites: the Margarita and Dos Equis Lager. Sweetened with 100% Agave Nectar, this great tasting blend of authentic margarita flavors and lager makes a perfectly balanced and satisfying combination. Served cold over ice, it is the perfect complement to a summer day or an interesting night."

My thoughts:
I broke my rules when I bought this beer. I don't have a label for my beer album. But then, rules are meant to be broken, right?  

Spiced Banana Wheat
Belgian-Style Wheat Ale/ Limited Edition
Shock Top Brewing Co.
St. Louis, MO

I had this beer on 3/19/15 during our vacation on Siesta Key, FL. I purchased it at Publix.

Label facts:
5.5% ALC. BY VOL.
"Brewed with citrus peels, honey, spice and banana, with natural flavors.
To serve, pour down side of glass until 1/2 inch is left in bottle. Swirl and pour remaining brew to release the aroma and flavor. Enjoy!"

My input:
I failed to read the pouring directions. It was great anyway!

Circus Boy
Magic Hat Brewing Co.
S. Burlington, VT

I sipped this treasure in my cabana beside the Gulf of Mexico on 3/20/15. I found this at Publix.

Label stats:
4.5% ALC./VOL.
"Unfiltered and unfettered. The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavorful beer is a performance to behold. Our mysterious melange of time-honored ingredients harmonize with chaotic chemistry, humble patience and blind faith to create this unique beer to share in the rousing company of kindred spirits. Cheers!"

My input:
Gotta love the label narrative!

Pay The Ferryman
Cerveceria Mexicana
Imported from Mexico

I was at Mr. Bones on Anna Marie Island on 3/20/15 when I rescued bottle that was swimming with its friends in icy cold water. He was none the worse for the experience.

Label stats:
5% Alc./Vol.
"Day of the Dead Beer"

My input:
I was concerned that the label would be somewhat ruined by having soaked in water but it came off beautifully.

Long Hammer
Redhook Ale Brewery
Woodinville, WA*Portsmouth, NH*Portland, OR*Memphis, TN

While enjoying my cabana, I drank this IPA early afternoon on 3/21/15. (Purchased at Publix).

Label stuff:
6.2% ALC. BY VOL.
"Redhook is a big fan of dry hopping, which sounds much dirtier than it is."

My input:
Let's keep it spotlessly clean, boys!  
Audible Ale
"A Crushable Ale"
Redhook Ale Brewery
Woodinville, WA*Portsmouth, NH*Portland, OR*Memphis, TN

Late afternoon on 3/21/15, I savored this ale which I purchased at Publix.

Off the label:
"Fill your passion bucket with the ultimate crushable ale."
"A crushable ale brewed in collaboration with Dan Patrick of The Dan Patrick Show."

Malt Beverage with Natural Flavors Added
Shipyard Brewing Co., LLC
Portland, Maine

I savored this refreshing beverage in our cabana on 3/22/15.

Label info: 4.5% Alc./Vol.

2015 Beer Camp
Hoppy Lager
Spring Seasonal
Available One-Time Only
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Chico, CA & Mills River, NC

I discovered this beer on 3/23/15 at Capt. Curt's Restaurant on Siesta Key.

Label treasures:
7.0% Alc. By Vol.
55 IBU
Purest Ingredients      Finest Quality
"This hop-heavy beer combines intense citrus and floral hop flavors with the clean, classic malt body of a hearty blonde lager for a crisp but aggressive take on the India Style Pale Lager."
"Last summer we teamed up with San Diego's ? Point for a hop-head twist on a crisp lager. We remixed this encore which is loaded with whole-cone hops in the brew kettle and in our Hop Torpedo to deliver a bold aroma backed by smooth malt flavor."

Raspberry Ale Zinger
Harpoon Brewery
Boston, MA & Windsor, VT

On 3/23/15, I had this beer with dinner at Capt. Curt's.

Label stuff:
4.8% Alc/Vol
"Fresh off the vine and straight from the brewery."
Unfiltered offering.

Extra Pale Ale
Sweetwater Brewing Co.
Atlanta, GA

In our cabana, on 3/25/15, I sipped this Sweetwater brew.

Label stats:
"Don't float the mainstream!
Drink 'em if you got 'em
Bottle conditioned for your pleasure!"

"A tasty west coast style pale accentuated by a stimulating hop character. First conceived in our bat cave on 4-20, this kind beer keeps the wheels on the bus going round and round."


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Beer Journal #56: Ghost Ship, Hopsecutioner, Sofie, Rounder, Pride & More

Scotch Strong Ale
Special Reserve Series
Saint Francis Brewing Co.
St. Francis, WI

On 3/13/15, I enjoyed this beer.

To complete my photo, I brought one of my favorite classics to join my glass and bottle.

Big Eddy
Ryewine Ale
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Chippewa Falls, WI * Milwaukee, WI

I spent time with Big Eddy on 3/13/15. I paid $3 for this bottle.

Label info:

10% Alc/Vol

A rare blend of rye malts gives a spicy complexity to a brew with the unforgettable depth of an American barleywine ale.
Our brewery was born on the Big Eddy Spring in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Its waters guiding us through five generations of genuine brewing heritage.

Belgian-Style Pale
Expressionist Collection
Blue Moon Brewing Company
Golden, CO

Twas 3/14/15 when I reached in the frig and pulled this Blue Moon beer out, poured it in my favorite glass and sipped away.

Label info:
5.6% ALC. BY VOL.
In the 1940s, Belgian-Style Pale Ales grew in popularity and were ordered by the round due to their balanced taste. Our brewmaster's expression of this sessionable ale is crafted with hibiscus and orange peel for a hint of spiciness and touch of wheat for a smoother, rounder taste.

Ghost Ship
White I.P.A.
Capital Brewery Co., Inc.
Middleton, WI

3/14/15 was my day for enjoying this white I.P.A.

Label info:
5.6% ALC./VOL.

Wheat ale with coriander and citrus peel

This unfiltered ale is brewed with wheat, spices, and citrus which are accentuated by the bright grapefruit flavor and aroma of amarillo hops. Don't let its pale color fool you. It's scary good!

Munich Dark
Capital Brewery Co., Inc.
Middleton, WI

I tasted this lager for the first time on 3/15/15.

Label stats:
5.4% ALC./VOL.
Styled after a traditional European Dunkel lager with dark caramel malt flavor with a smooth dry finish. One of our original Garten Brau beers, Capital Dark is our most award winning beer and still remains an all-time favorite.

Belgian-Style Farmhouse Ale
Goose Island Beer Company
Chicago, IL

This ale hit the spot for me on 3/15/15.

Label words:
6.5% ALC/VOL
Tart, dry, sparkling ale with spicy white pepper notes, a hint of orange peel and a creamy vanilla finish.
80% Belgian style ale blended with 20% Belgian style ale aged in wine barrels with orange peel.
Serve in a wide mouth glass

India Pale Ale
Terrapin Beer Co.
Athens, GA

I enjoyed this beer at Capt. Curt's on the day we arrived at Siesta Key, that is, on 3/16/15. 

Label info:
7.3% ALC./VOL.
Hear ye, hear ye...All hopheads shall herewith rejoice! Terrapin hath recruited ye olde Hopsecutioner to execute the exact hop profile for this killer IPA. "You may lose your hophead over this one!"

Forbidden Traveler
Apple Ale
The Traveler Beer Co.
Cincinnati, OH and Breningsville, PA

I drank this ale on 3/17/15. I found it a Publix and enjoyed it on the deck by the gulf in the early afternoon.

Label statements:
4.4% Alc. By Vol.
Ale brewed with lemon peel, with apple juice and natural flavor added.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Beer Journal #55: Winter Skal, Sucks, Big Slick, Beyond the Pale & More

Winter Skal
Capital Brewery
Middleton, WI

I drank Winter Skal on 3/8/15. I bought this bottle in the gift shop at Capital Brewery on 3/7.

Bottle label info:

5.8% ALC./VOL.

"A full bodied beer with a warm amber hue showing off its rich malt body. Mildly bittered, featuring a hop presence that compliments and rounds out the malt overtones."

My thoughts:
The shades of blue on the label...YES!  

Black Iron
India Black Ale
Milwaukee Brewing Co.
Milwaukee, WI

I popped the cap off this beer and savored this ale on 3/9/15.

Black Iron weighs in at a hefty 7.4% Alc. by Vol.

Brown Shugga' Substitute Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Petaluma, CA

I learned on 3/10/15 that Sucks ale does NOT suck. It rocks!

The entertaining label reads like this:

E.K. Ross would have enjoyed our suffering in 2010 when we saw we couldn't brew our Brown Shugga. But in that time of deepest despair, as is common to artists everywhere...broke, hungover, abandoned by the muse and prepared to take a job at Arby's, we found in that darkness the spark of inspiration that would yield up this nearly sanctified recipe!

7.85% ALC. BY VOL.
O.G. 1.085       I.B.U. 63.21

Beer Speaks. People Mu mble.

My input:

I researched this beer and discovered that due to the brewery's construction induced capacity issues, they were unable to brew their Brown Shugga beer. They substituted with this recipe and its popularity required that it be brought back for a curtain call.

Beyond the Pale
Stevens Point Brewery
Stevens Point, WI

On 3/10/15, I went beyond the pale with this IPA.

The label says:

IPA with Galaxy Hops

Point  *  Well Made
Big Slick
Ale Asylum
Madison, WI

I hung out with Big Slick on 3/11/15 and loved every minute of it.

Label words of wisdom:


Copious amounts of dark and sweet malt give our stout aromas of coffee and a rich, creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish. Big Slick is brewed with passion and is best enjoyed that way. 

Capital Brewery
Middleton, WI

I savored this bock beer on 3/11/15 after a hard day's work. Not that hard but 8 hours is 8 hours. Right?

Label facts:

6.2% ALC. BY VOL.

Our spring seasonal is a deep golden lager with a flavorful but smooth malt presence. When you see our Maibock hit the shelves you know things are about to get better...including the weather!

Bottle Conditioned Pale Ale
Southern Tier Brewing Co.
Lakewood, NY

Today, 3/12/15, I pulled this beer from the refrigerator, poured it in my glass and life immediately got better.

Label stats:

5.5% ALC./VOL.

Brewed with 4 varieties of hops and 4 types of malts.

Contains yeast. We recommend decanting into a glass.

My input:

I didn't know what decanting means so I looked it up and learned it means to pour from one container to another without disturbing the sediment. Yay! I just keep getting smarter.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beer Journal #54: Glimpses of Capital Brewery Company in Middleton, WI

We visited Capital Brewery yesterday, Saturday, March 7th.  It is in Middleton, WI, a northwest suburb of Madison. They have accommodations for outdoor seating and entertainment in the summer months besides the indoor gift shop, Bier Stube, and tours. 

We entered here.

We arrived early so we could browse in the gift shop. I'd inquired early in the week about taking home single beers and was assured they were available here.  

See that blue Supper Club sign above the shirts? It's now hanging in our bedroom.

These single bottles were too big for my liking. 

Eureka! I found 7 Capital Brewing Company beers I haven't had yet. I'd hoped for more than that but I was pleased with what I got. 

Lon is patiently waiting with our brewery souvenir glasses, our beer sampling cups, beer cap tokens and our tour brochures while I "case" the joint.

Darn. The three beers above weren't available in single bottles.

On our way to the Bier Stube (cozy bar area), we passed all these award plaques. Since the brewery was founded in 1984, they have won over 200 major domestic and international awards.

The Bier Stube has a few occupants when we get there. 

We proceeded to the bar to use some of our beer sample tokens and to wait for the 2:00 tour to begin. The area where our tour will take us is visible behind the bar.

Lon doesn't like to drink and drive unless we're in Beloit so he had a glass of water and one small sample of beer. What a guy! Since Jared wasn't with us, Lon was the designated driver.
I like this ceiling light fixture.

I had three small cups of beer at the bar. I had Eternal Flame, Maibock and Blonde Doppelbock. I carried a sample of Winter Skal with me during the tour.

Between tours, the Bier Stube filled up. In this photo, it's pretty quiet.

The tour begins.

Silliness you can only appreciate when you're drinking beer on a brewery tour.

Looking down into a vat.

The brewmaster had names of Gods and Goddesses of brewing printed on these huge holding tanks.

Interesting names, huh?

Dang, not her again. I noticed her at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee last weekend. She was leaning against a solid object then too. Those beer samples must be too much for her. 

Could we have stumped the guide with a difficult question? No, he knew his stuff and is just making a point here.

Leaving the entrance/exit for guests to the brewery.

Cheers to a fun day at a fine brewery!