“Beer for dessert? Absolutely. Stranger things have happened. If you’re subbing in suds for sweets, Finch’s Beer Company’s singular stout offering is a solid pick that doesn’t tip the scale into gut-busting overkill territory. While the brewery’s Secret Stache Stout never quite reaches the chewy sweetness of more hardcore dessert-centric beers, I can’t complain because it doesn’t skip on the flavor either, leaving plenty of room for a few pints to cap off your evening eats.”
“Sessionability is the key to a perfect warm-weather lawn mower beer. A refreshing pint on a hot day can make your task list a lot more enjoyable, but India pale ales are often too heavy-duty to make the cut for anyone who wants to be able to maintain cognitive function after a few cold ones. The good news is serious hopheads looking for a lower-test solution for quenching their thirst will find much to love about Founders All Day IPA.”
Hey, my first beer review for Paste Magazine is up! Awesome! Here’s an excerpt: “Potent in both flavor and alcohol content, Limbo IPA is a very different brew from Long Trail’s other IPA offerings. Having recently dug into the brewery’s new Farmhouse 12-pack IPA sampler, I was already impressed, but this tasty beast goes well beyond impressive. Concocted in the experimental farmhouse pilot brewery at Long Trail HQ, Limbo is the first Brown Bag series ale to make the jump to year-round status. That’s a great thing, as you’ll read in a moment.”
Hey gang, here’s the first of four Longtrail-related beer reviews. I recently picked up their new Farm House IPA Sampler 12-pack, which is sadly only available in Vermont for the time being, and was quite impressed. I’ve been tasting all four offerings over the past week and jotting down my thoughts. Here’s my take on Longtrail’s Black Rye IPA (ABV 6.3%), which is only offered as part of the sampler as far as I know.
There’s something oddly comforting about the old farts hanging about in their lawn chairs on the label of Smuttynose’s “Finest Kind” IPA. Perhaps I’m gazing into my distant future? Life could be worse, right? Cracking the cap off, this 6.9% ABV American IPA pours a effervescent light golden color with a meager white head. A subtle floral fragrance wafts out of the pintglass mingled with a strong blast of yeast aroma. It’s a curious blend that lacks the heavy duty citrus you so often see with the style. The hop flavor starts off subdued, balanced nicely by a subtle sweetness from the malts, but it picks up towards the tail end with a bitterness that creeps in and lingers on the tongue. This lightbodied IPA is deceptively complex and quite drinkable, but it doesn’t inspire me to hit the fridge for another pint.
After numerous repeat trips to the craft beer store and many minutes spent scouring the isles for interesting new brews to try, I eventually reach a saturation point. Aside from seasonal rotations, I inevitably glaze over at the same array of familiar labels greeting me each visit. So when something new and interesting pops up on the shelf, I tend to take notice. This time it was a new offerings by Portland, Oregon-based Gigantic Brewing Company — the new kid on block on VT beer shelves. I went out on a limb, and my tastebuds are impressed. Continue reading →
Or perhaps more appropriately titled: “Holy crap I survived another year of freelance game journo word-fu craziness!” Every year seems like a wild ride, but 2012 in particular has been an interesting one across the board. So much so that I feel compelled to blab personal thoughts about some of the more interesting moments of my year. Feel free to indulge in my self-indulgence!
It’s always a bit disappointing when a favored brewery puts out something that doesn’t quite measure up to its better beers on tap. I haven’t had Wolaver’s in a long time, though I recall digging a few of their beers back in the day. After enjoying some extremely tasty oatmeal stouts this season, I was looking forward to seeing what this Vermont organic label had to offer in the style. Sad to say, a fuzzy head and a less than enthused palate left me wanting more…of something other than what I was drinking. Continue reading →
Some brews are sneaky. They confuse the senses, making you wonder what the hell it is you’re drinking. Encore is one such brew. A nice light wheat beer can make for a great summertime refresher, while heavier IPAs offer a little more weight that’s typically not as sessionable. Encore attempts to blend the two with some sassy flair, but while it gets off to a good start, I’m not entirely sure the end result is worth sticking around for to catch a repeat performance. Continue reading →
Narwhals are awesome. They’re like the unicorns of the deep, braying and prancing with their (presumably) magical horns far below the surface of the icy arctic seas. Wandering through the isle of the local beverage outlet last month, I stumbled upon a curious thing: an imperial stout by Sierra Nevada sporting none other than my favorite mysterious seafaring pal Mr. Narwhal. The little dude practically jumped off the shelf and skewered me in the face. As a fan of Sierra’s Pale Ale and hop-heavy Torpedo, I figured lets give him a whirl, shall we? I was surprised, but pleasantly? Continue reading →