Today We Celebrate #IPAday

IPAday

Every day there’s a reason to celebrate something, whether that be a birthday, a event, or even just life. And while beer is part of most of these celebrations, and why not, doesn’t it make sense that one of America’s favorite styles of beer gets its own day in the spotlight? So today we raise our glasses and celebrate the hoppiest day of the year, #IPAday.

The day also known as: put down that Bud Light and drink a real beer day. I actually have nothing against Bud Light <sarcasm>, but if you’re not an IPA fan because you think it’s too bold for you, I urge you to give it another chance.  When I first started drinking (real) beer, I wasn’t for sure about IPAs, too.  But now they’re my favorite style of beer.  Like so many of life’s more complex consumables, enjoying IPAs takes a little practice, a little thoughtfulness, and a little time to warm up to.

What Is IPA Day?

IPA Day was created in 2011, not by corporate breweries or big marketing machines, but by by bonafide beer enthusiasts Ashley Routson and Ryan Ross, who love and revel in craft beer and all the joy it brings! Whether you’re a brewer, a craft beer fanatic, or just a casual fan, it’s a day for everyone to come together, raise a glass, and give a cheer to craft beer, and on this day specifically, the delicious IPA!

Why Celebrate IPA Day?

Or the better question would be, why not celebrate IPA day? This illustrious style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations—making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice. Whether your a brewer, blogger, or just enjoy craft beer, IPA Day gives you the chance to lift up your glass and celebrate IPAs in unison.

How to Participate in IPA Day

It easy, just share your photos, videos, blog posts, tasting notes, recipes, and thoughts on IPA with the world. Be sure to tag your posts with the #IPAday hashtag and check and see what’s going on around your area. There are many meetups as breweries, restaurants, and bottleshops will be hosting events.

#IPAday Selection: Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

In honor of IPA Day, I’ve selected one of my favorite IPAs from Dogfish Head Brewery, the 90 Minute Imperial IPA. Enjoy. And celebrate IPA day for no good reason other than just beer.

Named by Esquire Magazine as “perhaps the best IPA in America”,  this 90-minute IPA pulls out the big guns when it comes to American Double IPAs.  I’d been hearing it talked up before actually getting my hands on one to try it, so I was afraid I might be disappointed.

But I wasn’t!

90 is quite surprising for the boldness yet complemented by elegance. Very deceiving and seductive. I can’t remember the last time a beer made me sweat.  One sip gives you so much and everything is appropriately themed 90 with 9%ABV and 90 IBUs.  I’d argue that these are some of the best hops the US has to offer.

This beer will help you set the standard for what a good IPA is.  It’s not a everyday beer, it’s a beer to break out when there’s something worth celebrating.

Bottom line: Worth the hype! A perfect selection to start off IPA day right.  ($11/4)

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

So, if you’re ready to join in the fun, all it takes is a #IPAday hashtag and a few thumb movements, and you’re well on your way to celebrating IPAday, 2014. Let me know in the comments below what IPA you’ll be drinking today. Cheers!

“Celebrate we will for life is short but sweet for certain” – Dave Matthews Band

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The Session #90: Beer Fight Club

The Session Beer Bloggin Friday

The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts The Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing of all the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry.

This month’s Session is hosted by Jake at Hipster Brewfus and the topic is Beer Fight Club. In a nutshell Jake wants to know have you ever drank a beer that became a battle, more than an enjoyable experience? 

When I think of a beer that became a battle to drink, one comes to mind that never really let go of me. It’s always hung on like it stole something from inside me. The beer which I’m talking about is simply known as “The Lambic” and here’s my story about the night I encountered it. Hope you enjoy.

It was a cool fall night, I remember it well. A slight breeze, football was in the air, and I was on the hunt to try a new beer. I walked out of the house and swung by my local brewshop to browse their plethora of beers. I decided to go with one of those “make your own six packs” and as I was surveying the beer selection my eye caught Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic. I stared at the Lambic and it was almost as if it was staring back, tempting me to take it. I felt like I was staring in the eyes of Medusa, but couldn’t look away as the Lambic knew it had me. As it forced me to put it in the 6 pack I thought to myself, this can’t be good, but it was already in control. I would say it was fate, but upon arriving at my house I would think otherwise.

Once I got home I let it sit in the fridge several days. I kept opening and closing the door, but unfortunately day after day it still appeared staring me back in the eyes. One day, after building up courage I decided to pull it out and open the Lambic beast. As the cap came off you could hear snaps, crackles, pops, and even screams as if this beer was about to attack. As I was cautiously pouring it, I saw it had a beautiful redish brown appearance, and the smell of fruit and cranberry flooded the room. This gave me a false sense of security, deceiving me into thinking this beer was about to be delicious.

As I raised the glass up to my lips it drew to me as if it knew what it had in store. I took my first gulp and I immeditatley knew it had me. Chills of Cranberry Lambic hit my palate as it started to take over. I felt as though a Siren was luring me in with her beauty, only to devour my soul as I drank it. Now scared I closed my eyes and took another sip, but to my surprise the chills quickly came back. I opened my eyes and there it was still full staring back at me. At this point I knew the Lambic wouldn’t go quietly. It was after something more, and that more was me.

You could feel it taking pride in watching me almost pass out sip after sip. The putrid taste was so bad I couldn’t possibly take another sip, but I knew I had to act quick. I thought to myself, “how can I rid myself of this cranberry beast?” I quickly ran to the kitchen sink to pour it out, but it wouldn’t have that. As I panicked, trying to find a way to get rid of this cranberry ghost of Sam Adams, I knew the only way to escape it was to finish it. So painstakingly I turned the glass up, sip after terrible sip, and it was finished. The Lambic put up a fight and didn’t go quietly, but in the end I knew I was the victor. I had conquered the possessed Lambic Cranberry. But the story doesn’t end here.

The next day I was feeling as though I’d conquered the world, but when I opened the fridge, to my surprise the Lambic had returned. Every now and then the Lambic reappears in my local brewstore before quickly vanishing, taking it’s next victim with it. The legend of the Lambic lives on to this day. I still shudder when it’s name is mentioned. If you come across this beast just don’t look in it’s eyes.

Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic

This post has been my contribution to The Session, a monthly collaborative blogging effort with beer writers from around the world. I hope you enjoyed.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”           – Edgar Allan Poe

Brew Review: Southern Tier Live

Southern Tier Live

I’m a big fan of Southern Tier Brewing Company. It all started when I got my hands on their prized Pumking. After that, I fell in love with their beer. Located in Lakewood, New York, the brewery is named aptly for the region of New York, a section west of the Catskill mountains and just north of Pennsylvania. Though the brewery itself is located near the Southern Tier region of New York. I’ve never had a chance to visit the brewery but I’m sure with the quality beer I’ve tried I wouldn’t be disappointed.

I ran across Southern Tier Live at my local brew store and thought to myself, might as well try it since I’ve liked every other beer from Southern Tier. It wasn’t until I got home and was reading the label when I noticed it was a bottle conditioned pale ale. Which means extra yeast is added that helps add carbonation and remove oxygen from the beer. Due to the presence of the yeast, the beer develops and changes slightly overtime and gives the beer added shelf life.

Southern Tier Live

One of the best parts about being a craft beer fan is that you never know when an unexpected surprise awaits. Southern Tier Live was just that, a unexpected surprise. A bottle conditioned pale ale, which utilizes 4 varieties of hops and 4 types of malts. This unexpected surprise has turned into one of my go to beers whenever it’s available.

Southern Tier Live

Serving Type: 12 oz. Bottle

Appearance: A loud ppppsssttt and quick rush of beer up the neck reminds me that it’s definitely a “live” beer. It pours a dense, frothy white head that bubbles for a few seconds after pouring. The color is a moderately hazed orangeish brown. In my experience with this beer, if u get crystal clear LIVE you have not received the best Southern Tier has to offer.

Smell: Nose is quite effervescent, nice hops up front, very citrusy and floral, a real pleasant aroma. The way it melds with the other aromas make it pretty solid. It’s simple straight-forward, but rather effective. Simply put it smells delicious.

Taste: Citrus and pine upfront, toasted malts, and a bit grassy at the end of the palate that carries into the aftertaste. The taste of malt is pretty well interwoven with the hops and yeast as a pale should be. It’s enough to satisfy the hop tongue and crisp enough to session. The bottle conditioning lends a yeasty smoothness to the beer.

Drinkability: With four hops and four malts Live is a easy to drink beer that’s worth it’s while. It’s definitely very sessionable with the alcohol at only 5.5%.

Overall thoughts: Now this is a neat beer. With Live you get a bottle conditioned beer that isn’t like most pale ales you will try. It’s well balanced with plenty of flavor, but very easy to drink. Packed with tons of great hop flavor, but with a wickedly light (yet alluring) body, it’s probably the most refreshing, yet heavily hopped, beers I’ve ever had.  A very refreshing cool drink on a hot summer day. Live is the real deal. Definitely my kind of pale ale.

The Southern Committee Rating: 8/10

Southern Tier Live

Availability: Year-round release
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company [more info]
Alcohol by volume: 5.5%
Bitterness: 64 IBU

“I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.” – Paul Simon

Brew Review: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Today we’re going to review a world class IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company.  Ballast Point got it’s start back in 1996 in the back of a homebrew store in San Diego.  18 years and 3 World Beer Cup medals later they are still producing high quality and tasty brew.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

When I think of craft beer in San Diego the big name that first comes to mind is Stone, and rightfully so as they release pretty awesome beers that hold the interests of craft beer enthusiasts.  So you may ask yourself how does Ballast Point compare with big name breweries like Stone?  The answer is quite simple, there’s a new kid in town and that kid is named Sculpin.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Sculpin is a very popular brew amongst the online beer community, receiving a 100 from Ratebeer and a 98 from Beeradvocate, the reviews of this beer are almost overwhelmingly positive.  It is consistently touted as one of the best IPAs in the country as it should be.  Distribution of this beer in Alabama has been somewhat limited; so I was excited to finally get my hands on one last week.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Serving Type: 12 oz. Bottle

Appearance: Pours like liquid gold, thin but intricate lacing all the way down.  Has a somewhat transparent orange color with some amber tones.  The frothy head doesn’t dissipate easy, and gives the beer a very stately appearance.  Real nice. 

Smell: Ahhhhh.  Stick your face into a glass of Sculpin and you may never come up for air.  It has an amazing hop nose with strong Pacific NW hops which are wonderfully fragrant and rich.  Very good stuff going on.  It just begs “DRINK ME”.

Taste: Highly bitter.  The hops hit you like a freight train but in a good way. Aftertaste is extremely mild and the 7.0% ABV is hidden by the hops and abundant flavors.  As advertised it “packs a bit of a sting…. just like a sculpin”

Drinkability: Nice, clean, refreshing, and lots of flavor.  Even though it has a good bite from the hops and carbonation, it’s still easily drinkable as the alcohol is not noticed.  The bitterness lets you know it’s an IPA, but it never damages your tongue or throat.  Just a well-rounded, top of the line, IPA.

Overall thoughts: If someone wanted me to suggest an IPA, I think this is the perfect blueprint of the type.  It’s definitely in my top 5 IPAs.  It’s hard to go wrong with a beer that wows you every time you drink it.  Big props to Ballast Point on this award winner. Ok, now kids go play in the back yard.  Daddy needs a Sculpin.

The Southern Committee Rating: 10/10

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Availability: Year-round
Style: American IPA
Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company [more info]
Alcohol by volume: 7.0%
Bitterness: 70 IBU

“My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.” – Winston Churchill

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.

Craft Beer of the Month Club

For Christmas I got the best gift anyone could ask for. What’s that you might ask? Well my wife’s parents subscribed me to a beer of the month club from the Original Craft Beer Club!

Craft Beer Club

What is the Original Craft Beer Club?
The Original Craft Beer Club finds delightful craft brews from around the country and delivers them to your doorstep. Every selection is produced by independent brewers around the US. In addition to traditional bottled beers, they also embrace the hundreds of small craft brewers around the country that offer their hand-crafted beers in cans.

How it works.
Every other month, a box featuring 4 different beers (3 each) from across the US is delivered right to my door.  The boxes are extremely well packed so, no worries of a broken bottle arriving.  I like the fact they include fact sheets about the breweries they are sending that month which also includes recipes for food that paired well with the beers. It’s a great way to be able to try new brews that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to!

And Craft Beer Club selects some good ones! 🙂

The beer and informational brochures:

Craft Beer 12 Pack

The first box comes with a few gifts – some glasses and a bottle opener:

Beer Glasses

As well as some tasty snacks:

Beer Nuts

Now I’ll be honest I’ve never done a beer in the mail type club before because I like to have control over the beers I buy but after receiving my first package I must say I’m pretty happy with what they sent. All 4 beers I’d never tried before. This months had beers from Sierra Blanca and Elysian Brewing.

Be looking for my post next week with reviews of the beers from Sierra Blanca and Elysian Brewing. Also if you’ve tried another craft beer club let me know how it was in the comments below.

Brew Review: Los Muertos DOA IPA Hop On Or Die

This weeks brew review features a Tasty IPA from Los Muertos Brewing, located in always sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Los Muertos brewing is a new comer to the game. They opened back in 2012 but their beer tastes as if they’ve been brewing it for years. With this brewery being from Mexico I haven’t ran across it on many occasions. So if you can get your hands on one of these beauts consider yourself lucky and you palate happy.

Hop on or Die

DOA IPA Hop On Or Die

ABV: 6.80%

Serving Type: Bottle

Appearance: Pours a very clear orange, with a huge pillow of white head that fades slowly.  Leaves a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Citrus, caramel malts, pine, bready, and biscuity. Yes biscuity. Hop profile of mostly citrus contrasts with a robust caramel malt backbone. The goal here I think is balance, which is done nicely if intentional.

Taste: Has something of a hop hit mid-taste, but with an acceptably restrained, moderate bitterness in the aftertaste. Finishes dry with a touch of warming alcohol.

Drinkability: Alcohol is concealed very well, really easy to drink for an IPA.

Overall thoughts: Overall a solid IPA from our friends south of the border. Def worth a shot if you can get your hands on one. As for the label, it’s one of the best I’ve seen on a beer in a while. It escapes me though as to why, if one is already dead, would wear a helmet and goggles. Still, I dig the dude’s ride with its scoop handlebars and flaming tank.

Freshness Rating: 8.0/10

Until next time, Salud!

The Six Pack Project: Alabama

The Six-Pack Project is a collaborative effort from a group of beer bloggers across the country designed to help highlight the local craft beers we think best represent our respective states. If someone was coming to visit the great state of Alabama, what bottles or cans would we want to share? That’s what the Six Pack Project is all about. I ran across the Six Pack Project the other day on Bryan’s blog and he was gracious enough to let me do a post on Alabama’s craft beer.

Six Pack Project

Here are the rules:

  • Pick a six-pack of beers that best represents your state and/or state’s beer culture.
  • Beer must be made in your state, but “gypsy” brewers are acceptable, so long as that beer is brewed with an in-state brewery and sold in your state.
  • Any size bottle or can is acceptable to include.
  • Current seasonal offerings are fine, but try to keep selections to year-round brews as much as possible. No out-of-season brews preferred.

If you’ve never been to Alabama, here’s a little of what you need to know:

Alabama is known as the Heart of Dixie or the Yellow Hammer State to most southerners.  Our state known for cotton, steel, kudzu, southern hospitality, humidity so heavy you gain ten pounds, college football on Saturdays, and church on Sundays. Every good Alabamian grew up on southern delicacies such as fried okra, sweet tea, fried chicken, and banana pudding. Beer also falls into this category, as we like the finer things in life. While home to fewer breweries than I’d like to see, our home-grown breweries produce some fine brew if I do say so myself.

Becoming the 22nd state on December 14, 1819, Alabama came from humble beginnings as far as beer goes. It’s a state that has always been lacking in breweries and craft brew. That slowly started changed back in 2008 when new breweries started opening and then soon after, new beer laws were passed. Over the past few years, I’ve watched Alabama turn from a state where people were only drinking “natty light” and Budweiser (because that’s all we had), to a state that now breeds and grows great breweries, craft beer, and even a beer festival or two. We now have over 20 breweries in the Great State and the quality of the beer is excellent.

Six Pack Craft Beer

My six pack was hand selected at my local brewstore here in town. I picked a variety that best portrays the taste and culture from the great state of Alabama. Here are 6 beers that truly give you a glimpse of southern culture in Alabama.
Monkeynaut IPA – Straight To Ale

Monkeynaut IPA

Monkeynaut, named for Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey who was launched into space in 1959 and is now buried at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, pays homage to Huntsville’s role in the NASA program. This hoppy little monkey of a beer is a tribute to those Simian heroes of yesteryear. It has a citrusy, floral hop aroma, a strong malt body and a crisp finish. Straight to Ale is an awesome brewery with beer that represents the history of Huntsville, I mean they produce beer with monkeys on the cans. What’s not to like about that? Overall it’s a fairly balanced IPA. Just enough bitter hops, but not overpowering. A nice complement to a Saturday night football game.

Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale – Back Forty Brewing Company

Truck Stop Honey Brown

Back Forty Brewing Co. makes four different bottled beers including Naked Pig Pale Ale, Kudzu Porter, and Freckle Belly IPA—but its claim to fame is the award-winning Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Made with wildflower honey from several apiaries in Alabama, the earthy, medium-bodied brew won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2010. It’s a medium bodied English brown ale brewed with Alabama Wildflower Honey, roasted malts and fresh hops. The balance of sweet wildflower honey and earthy hop aromas come through in every batch. This Alabama honey-infused beer isn’t just a gratifying summer treat, but a delectable supplement to desserts, chicken, and fish dishes  Whether preparing a delicious meal or sitting fireside, Truckstop Honey is the beer for you.

Peanut Butter Porter – Beer Engineers

Peanut Butter Porter

Beer Engineers, a brewery from Gadsden, create very unique beer. They are “dedicated to making the South’s finest high gravity beers” and boy do they. Their Peanut Butter Porter is 12% ABV, but hides it very well. You can get in trouble quick drinking these. I first tried this at Magic City Brewfest, a brew festival held in the heart of Birmingham every year. After the the first taste I was blown away. It smells like artificial peanut butter. If play dough had a peanut butter cousin this would be it. It’s fascinating really, to sum it up it’s a peanut butter party in your mouth!  It’s delightful. I suggest you drink it.

Tuxedo Black IPA – Blue Pants Brewery

Tuxedo Black IPA

Blue Pants Brewery is based out of  Madison, Alabama. “Pairs well with a bow tie,” they say. Black IPA’s always surprise me, even though I know what to expect. It’s like that purple colored Ketchup. Tastes like ketchup, but it just looks weird. Their slogan: “unreasonably good beer” and it’s just that, beer that is unreasonably good. Their Black IPA is not over the top, but balanced, allowing those who go crazy for hops and those who just like a good dark beer alike to enjoy in an unreasonably good experience. It is not merely an IPA in dark clothing. Instead it takes the hop and malt notes of a good IPA and combines them with the roasted notes of a good porter. The bourbon aging takes the edge off of the bitter. If you like Black IPA’s this is very much what the doctor ordered. Recommended even for the non-IPA lover.

IPA – Yellow Hammer Brewery

Yellow Hammer IPA

Named after the state bird, Yellow Hammer Brewery was started back in 2010. Their Yellow Hammer IPA is Brewed in the style of a west coast Imperial IPA, the Yellow Hammer IPA is a daring brew built for the bitter hop lover. They use over two pounds of hops per barrel, which gives the beer a burst of floral, pine and citrus aroma and flavor, though most of the hops come in at the end of the boil, which slightly tempers the bitterness.  Brewed with an abundant blend of Northwest hops (6 different types), this version employs more hops than the majority of east coast American IPAs. A great choice if you’re looking to grab an IPA in northern ‘Bama,  that competes favorably with nationally distributed IPAs. If you’re looking for a tasty Alabama IPA look no further than Yellow Hammer.

Snake Handler – Good People Brewing Company

Snake Handler Double IPA

Last but not least is my favorite beer from Good People Brewery out of Birmingham. Do you like hops, bitterness, and double IPA’s? Well look no further than the perfection of a beer called Snake Handler. Dangerously drinkable, this Double IPA brew is a spirited celebration of all things hoppy. Aromas of pine, citrus, flowers, spice, pineapple, and grassiness complement a biscuit and caramel backbone. It’s hands down the best beer from Good People. Good People offers five different year-round beers as well as small-batch of seasonal brews. Snake Handler, which blends five varieties or hops, creates a bold floral brew with bits of citrus. This is one of my favorite beers found in my fridge and a must buy if you stop by the great state of Alabama.

This six pack tells part of the Alabama beer story, from Huntsville building the first rocket launched into space, to the truck stops you see on every mile of interstate you drive, and good ol’ beer from the Steel City (Birmingham). These are the beers that will give you a glimpse of life in glorious Alabama: laid back and good.

I want to give Bryan a big thanks for letting me be apart of the Six Pack Project. You can check out his archive of all Six Pack Projects here.

The other six-pack projects for September:

“Domestic”
  • Alaska by William at Drinking on the Last Frontier
  • Florida by Gerard from Beer in Florida
  • Louisiana by Nora of NOLA Beer Blog
  • New Jersey by Vin at Bier Battered
  • Tennessee by Charles from Swen’s Brew Blog

“Imported”

Brew Review: Abita Turbodog

This weeks brew review comes from Abita, a brewery located in Abita Springs, Louisana, 30 miles north of New Orleans. Founded in 1986 by Jim Patton and Rush Cumming, two home brewers who wanted to turn their hobby into a vocation. 27 years later Abita produces over 151,000 barrels of beer per year and sell their beer in 46 states as well as Puerto Rico. They are currently the biggest craft brewery in the United States south of the Mason-Dixon Line and make quite good beer. Now you get to hear about the beer voted in 2005 as the best beer in America by Stuff magazine. Enjoy!

Abita Turbodog

Abita Turbodog

Availability: All Year Long

Serving Type: Bottle

ABV: 5.60%

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with two fingers of fluffy white head that fades fairly quickly, nice chunky lacing on the glass. Almost has a ruby hue when looking at the glass from the side.

Smell: The nose is just loaded with malty notes. Pretty sweet nutty aroma with hints of milk chocolate and some caramel with moderate roastiness. Quite inviting so far.

Taste: Up front with a little smoke and coffee, very pleasant tasting. Hops and malts were in great balance. The finish had faint bitterness and more of the toasted character. A bit more roasted and bitter in the flavor than the aroma suggested.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with a medium to lightly heavy body. Moderate carbonation levels and body. Feels similar to a black lager with the dark flavors hanging on.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and satisfying brown ale. Definitely well crafted and very tasty. Was pretty easy to drink with a good balance of sweet and bitter. Goes down very easy.

Overall thoughts:  Thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It’s a solid English brown that doesn’t get boring after a few pints. If you like an easy drinking malty beer that packs a punch (pretty decent ABV, too) then grab a six pack of Turbodog. Around $8.99 for a sixer, tough to beat for a decent craft beer. Bottoms up, y’all!

Freshness Rating: 7.7/10

Brew Review: Founders All Day IPA Session Ale

Today you get to hear one of many brew reviews to come at TSC. This weeks brew features a session IPA from Founders, a brewery located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founders Brewing Company was started back in 1997. The Founders Family, a group of passionate beer enthusiasts, has grown around this simple philosophy: “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste.” I have tried several Founders beers in the past, so I thought I’d give this one a chance, which ended up being a excellent decision. It’s the perfect reward for an honest day’s work and the ultimate companion to celebrate life’s simple pleasures.Founders All Day IPA

Founders All Day IPA Session Ale

Availability: All Year Long

Serving Type: Bottle

ABV: 4.70%

Appearance: Partly hazy with a golden hue that has a thin white head that fades to leave a light halo and thin clouds.

Smell: Strong hop nose, a powerful but pleasant IPA aroma. Aromas of hops, generic pine and citrus, light malts, pretty standard.

Taste: Taste follows, the big hop character of the nose. It’s light weight, but full flavored. Quality hops are there, as well as a pinch of grapefruit. Lovely bitterness mid-tongue.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, dry, light-bodied. Spot on carbonation. Dry, happy mouth feel, in a lighter weight, fresh, light, sessionable IPA.

Drinkability: A low (by IPA standards) ABV makes All Day particularly drinkable. A great default choice if you just want a no-fuss but enjoyable IPA.

Overall thoughts:  This is the standard by which “session IPAs” should be judged. I’ve had others and they really aren’t close. This beer makes me think a bit. Which I like. It’s perfect if you don’t like overly bitter. Glad these are popping up in Alabama now. Would definitely buy a 6er of it again. I could see myself quaffing these down this all summer if I had the chance.

Freshness Rating: 7.5/10

Until next time. Roll IPA!