Brew Review: December Craft Beer Club

This weeks brew review features 4 beers I received in my December shipment from the Original Craft Beer Club. Two are from Elysian Brewing, a Seattle based brewery and two are from Sierra Blanca, a brewery located in Moriarty, New Mexico. If you missed my post last week about my first shipment check it out here.

Elysian Loser Pale Ale: With it’s slogan “Corporate Beer Still Sucks” as a play on of the tshirt Kurt Cobain wore on the cover of Rolling Stone that said “Corporate magazines still suck”. This beer is dedicated to Sub-Pop records which was the biggest label to release the grunge style in the 90’s. This American Pale Ale definitely lives up to the style. It’s very full flavored, with an excellent balance between malt and citrus hops. The smell is sweet and fruity but it tastes more like an IPA to me. It has a large hop presence to it but is only 57 IBU’s and it also has a very good mouthfeel as the hops stick to the tongue. Overall I liked this quite a bit. It’s worth a try if you’re looking for a different kind of pale ale or a really light IPA.

Recommend a six pack? Definitely, can’t go wrong with this beer

Rating: 83 on Beer Advocate and 88 on The Southern Committee

Loser Pale Ale

Sierra Blanca Nut Brown Ale: Wow! I have to admit, I find most English Browns pretty boring but this one was pretty good. It’s dark but not too heavy in appearance. It has flavors of brown sugar, nuts, and hops with a good dry finish without alcohol presence noticed. It has enough malt character to hang out with Brown Porters and possibly some Robust Porters. Overall a quality brew from Sierra Blanca, I’m glad I got to try it. A great beer to sip in the mountains of New Mexico on a cold night.

Recommend a six pack? Sure, but i’ve had better browns

Rating: 81 on Beer Advocate and 80 on The Southern Committee

Nut Brown Beer

Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale: This is an unusual and delicious beer. When you first take a sip you can slightly pick up on the 7.6% ABV but I would never have guessed this was a winter warmer. Due to the higher amount of hops than normal for this style, it is not nearly as sweet or sticky as some of the other winter warmers I have tried. Also, I enjoyed the fact that it did not seem like it had a lot of spices added to it, which in my opinion made the beer a little easier to drink. Overall this is a nice beer, full flavored and lots of character. Tastes like the hops are licking your teeth, nice bitterness, but very sticky and very delicious. Dangerous folks over there at Elysian Brewing, crafting this beast.

Recommend a six pack? Oh yes! Perfect winter time beer

Rating: 84 on Beer Advocate and 87 on The Southern Committee

Bifrost Winter Ale

Sierra Blanca Roswell Alien Amber: I appreciate what this is, for what it is. Not my favorite brew ever, but the carbonation is good, the body is medium, and it’s plenty refreshing. A little too much sweet, but its yummy in a lot of ways. Smells a bit like white grape juice mixed with plastic and orange peel. Hard to tell if the citrus note is coming from the hops, the yeast, or…somewhere….ELSE? (cue X-files music). Overall, a decent brew. Nothing terribly exciting, but I’d have it again. If you’re from New Mexico or love aliens, give it a go. Otherwise, pass over it, there’s a lot of other choice out there, as far as ambers are concerned. It’s not bad, just certainly nothing memorable.

Recommend a six pack? Nah, just not my cup of tea

Rating: 72 on Beer Advocate and 71 on The Southern Committee

Alien Amber Ale

Overall I was pleased with the selection of brews sent to me from the Craft Beer Club. It’s nice getting a new surprise in the mail every other and month. I’ll be looking forward to my next shipment of tasty goodness in February.

If you’ve ever tried any of these beers or have beers you want to see me review let me know in the comments below.

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