Thursday, July 31, 2008

Boulder Beer Taphouse to open at DIA

There's a new taphouse in Denver but it's in a place that you'll probably only go to if you're on your way to the airport. The Boulder Beer Company has licensed the new Boulder Beer Taphouse in the main terminal at Denver International Airport that opened on August 1st, 2008. The Taphouse features many of Boulder Beer's regular and seasonal offerings. Got a delayed flight or just waiting for someone to arrive at the main terminal? Why not stop and enjoy one of many cold Boulder Beer ales while you point and laugh at the poor people waiting in line to go through security. Now, hanging out in the main terminal never sounded so good. Boulder Beer website.

Follow-up news (October 2008): Boulder Beer's Marketing Director Dan Weitz talked about other places around the DIA concourses where you can also drink some Boulder beer:

At the airport, Lefty’s has a bar in all the concourses that carries at least 3 of our beers on draft. They’re owned by the same company that operates our Boulder Beer Taphouse (it’s a licensing thing – we go out there as much as possible, but we/they have no ownership interest in each other. That explains the polo shirts on the staff. I’m working on loosening them up a bit, and hopefully by next summer they’ll be allowed to wear shorts, bowling shirts, etc. and be a little more “Boulder.” While we trained them prior to opening about beer and specifically our beer, they don’t actually work for the brewery.)
So don't fret if you had to race through security to get to your gate, you can still find a Boulder Beer out on the concourse at DIA. It may make a delayed flight a bit more tolerable.

Related articles:
- Boulder Planet Porter review.
- Boulder Cold Hop review.
- Boulder Mojo IPA review.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Going Green at GreenScene 2008

Here's your chance to help out the environment and support the Colorado Environmental Coalition while enjoying some tasty beers at the same time. This Thursday, July 31st from 6:30pm to 10:30pm at Owsley's Golden Road (just 3 blocks from Coors Field in LoDo Denver), come gather for GreenScene 2008. Tickets are $20 for advance purchase or $25 at the door. All proceeds will go directly to the Colorado Environmental Coalition. There will be an Art Show from Limited Addiction Gallery, Live music from "Head for the Hills" plus a DJ, Food from Strings Restaurant Appetizers and all the great beer you can drink from Great Divide Brewing Co and New Belgium Brewing Company. Last year's event attracted over 300 attendees and raised over $3500. This year should be bigger and better than ever. One of the sponsors will be none other than the Geeks Who Drink gang.

Where: Owsley's Golden Road, 2151 Lawrence Street, Denver, CO.

More info and advance tickets:

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Summertime and the living is easy

Fermentedly Challenged goes campingA weekend in the mountains camping. Ah, nothing better. No phones. No emails. No jobs to do around the house. Just me, the mountains and nature. And for once, I could bring along some beer. You see, normally I'm camping with my son's boy scout troop and alcohol is verboten. But not this time, this was a family camp out. Beer was definitely on the menu.

My daughter was the one who asked to be taken camping. All these years of taking the boys camping with the scouts and not a single time did it include her. She felt left out. So finally, after 19 years, I got the chance to take her camping. Just her and Dad. She's actually quite the outdoors woman now that she's been to college.

The two of us spent an enjoyable weekend away from the computer just relaxing and getting away from it all up near Estes Park, Colorado. The mountain wild flowers were out in abundance. The sky was bright blue and the temperature was just right. Life at 8000 feet elevation seems rather slow in comparison to the hustle and bustle of every day living.

Camping at Hermit ParkThis trip was planned just a week or so in advance. We got a campsite reservation online and just threw some equipment together. The menu was fairly basic but good enough so that we'd have a lot to eat if we wanted to. I had a few beers at home that I could choose to bring along but had a hard time deciding which to put into the cooler.

I had some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a few North Coast Red Seal Ale and some good old standby New Belgium Skinny Dip. I decided ultimately to bring along the Skinny Dip as the beverage of choice. It's light and refreshing and has just enough flavor to be interesting. Space was tight in the cooler so I just put 3 bottles in.

Rocky Mountain National ParkSkinny Dip, a New Belgium beer, is quickly becoming one of my standards for a hot summer weekend. It's a good thing I was camping, otherwise I'd have brought along my notepad and taken notes while sampling it. But I decided to forgo the beer geek in me for just one weekend and just enjoyed the beer for what it was. It was cold. It was beer. It was good.

From my past notes I can say that Skinny Dip is a clear, golden brew with a nice white head. It contains a generous supply of Cascade hops and Kaffir Lime Leaf. Quite good. I originally sampled some at a Rocky Mountain Beer festival in Estes Park earlier this year.

Taking a few days away from the computer does one good. I even took the entire Friday off of work to head to the mountains. I could get used to 3-day weekends.

So now it's Monday. I'm back home and headed back to work today. Sigh. My mind is still in the mountains. I think I still have another Skinny Dip in the fridge...

Related articles:
- New Belgium Mothership Wit review.
- New Belgium Dark Kriek review.
- Touring New Belgium's Liquid Center.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

North Dakota Barley Crop Isn't Looking Good

This year's barley crop in parts of North Dakota isn't looking too good due to extreme dry conditions. What does this say about upcoming beer production? Check out this report from KX News in Dickinson, ND and see why in some cases part of this year's malt is going to be fed to cows instead of being made into beer.

Click here for the original story on the KXMA web site.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Beer Cellar Aging - A Short Experiment

North Coast Old RasputinI recently began experimenting with aging beers in my basement. I heard from a few readers about the benefits of aging higher alcohol beers and how it could change the complexity and flavor of a brew. One of my favorite sites that I used to follow is: The Brew Basement (no longer active). That site had some great tips on how aging a beer can do wonders for it. I started to be a believer.

Quite by accident, I ended up aging some Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter for about a month or two and was really surprised at how in just 8-9 weeks the hops had mellowed and the alcohol bite had smoothed out a bit. That got me to thinking about aging some other beers.

Last March I bought several bottles of North Coast's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. This beer had a 9% ABV and a 75 IBU rating. I opened and reviewed the first bottle immediately and ended up giving it a 3.7 out of 5 ranking. Not a bad ranking already, but I wondered what would happen to it if I aged it a bit. So, I packed away a couple bottles of this in a cool dark corner of my basement and forced myself not to touch them for a while.

Four months later and I had the itch to try one of them again. I realized it had been only 4 months and beer of this kind could last at least a year or so if stored properly, but I broke one open for my birthday to celebrate. Good enough reason for me to open this up.

This beer was stored on a bare cold cement basement floor in a dark corner where little to no light would hit it. I estimate the average temperature of the floor stayed around 65 degrees with very little variation. Not perfect conditions by any means but seeing how I didn't have a spare beer fridge with temperature control I had to do the next best thing. I put the beer in the fridge to chill it down just a bit and then opened it up.

So how did it rate after 4 months? The beer poured with another impressive head. I could only pour 2/3rds of this beer into the pint glass before the head towered above the top of the glass. Exactly like last time! So at least the head was not affected.

The aroma was rich with chocolate and coffee malts. It still smelled great. The taste was even better. In a matter of 4 months, much of the alcohol bite had mellowed yet you knew it was still a higher ABV brew. This beer was very smooth and still had a nice dry finish. The hops had toned down a bit as well. It tasted even better than I remembered. I read over my notes from March and couldn't help but think that this beer had improved. This time around I'm giving this beer a 4.0 out of 5 rating!

I still have one more beer left from the original 4-pack and I plan to save it for the end of the year. Let's hope my craving for imperial stouts don't make me open this one up before then. The success of this short-term trial has encouraged me to try cellaring other strong beers for even longer periods of time.

Have you had some beer aging successes? Post a comment and let us know what you found out.

Related links:
- Brew Review - Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.
- Revisiting Beers and Changing Tastes.
- North Coast 2008 Old Stock Ale review.
- Cellaring notes on North Coast Old Stock Ale 2008.
- Why Cellar Beer? (

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Belgium and Elysian Brewing to Cooperate

New Belgium BrewingElysian Brewing CompanyIn a recent wave of cooperative mergers and efforts, two western US brewers are getting together to brew each others beers at the others brewing facility. New Belgium Brewing and Elysian Brewing Company agreed yesterday, July 18th, to allow brewing access to each's facilities. That mean's New Belgium will be able to brew Fat Tire in Washington and Elysian can brew The Immortal IPA in Fort Collins.

As the costs of brewing and distributing stay high, many more craft brewers may find themselves wanting to cooperate with brewers in other regions to make their brews remotely. This will save shipping time and make new brews available to regions who may not have had the opportunity.

Thanks to Charlie Papazian for finding this news and reporting on it. It will be interesting to see if this experimental cooperation catches on with more craft brewers. To view the original press release, read the original article here.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

North Coast Red Seal Ale review

North Coast Red Seal AleI was fresh out of beer yesterday and made another run to the brew store to look for some summer refreshers. I spotted three beers that caught my eye and took them home. The first of these beers is a flagship brew from the Mendocino Country brewers of North Coast Brewing Company called North Coast Ruedrich's Red Seal Ale. My previous encounter with this California brew came a few months ago when sampling their delicious Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. I really loved that brew and cellared a couple of them to open at a later date. I was curious to see how some of their other brews tasted, and this was the perfect opportunity.

I could tell that I was going to enjoy this beer from the start. It pours a bit on the orange side, not as red as it's name would indicate. I think there is some question on the beer ranking sites as to whether this is an amber ale or an American Pale Ale. The aroma would lead you to believe this is no amber ale, but rather a nicely hopped pale ale. It has a wonderful citrusy (almost pineapple) aroma with a hint of pine and spice. Very fresh smell. I wish North Coast would list their hop ingredients on their web site - I'd like to know which hops they used.

The head on this beer grew tall, both on my first beer and on the second beer (see pic). Very thick white head that kept itself present for a good long time. Ruedrich is the last name of their master brewer and I can see why he put his name on this beer.

The taste is also very fresh. Definitely an APA in my book. Not too hoppy and not too sweet. At 5.5% ABV and a 42 IBU rating, I could drink these all night and probably will have another before the night is through. This beer has been compared to a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which, coincidentally, I also bought this week at the beer store. I'll be sampling that one later this week and compare the two side by side. Should be a fun taste testing.

The Red Seal Ale has a nice dry, crisp finish with no lingering after tastes. I had one last night but got too involved with other activities to give it a full review, but tonight I can say this brew is just as good as it was last night. Put this beer on my buy-again list.

Here in Colorado, a 6-pack of this beer cost even $7.64 after a 10% discount. A bit pricier than what you can get it for on the west coast. Give this one a try and you won't be disappointed. I'm giving this one a 3.5 out of 5 rating.

Related articles:
- North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout review.
- North Coast Old Stock 2008 review.
- Beer cellar aging - a short experiment.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ska Decadent Imperial IPA review

Ska Decadent Imperial IPAThis beer is the last new brew of my latest beer run. It's been a while since I've sampled a brew from Ska Brewing Company of Durango, CO. This is another in their small line of "Robust Reincarnations". Today's brew is their Ska Decadent Imperial IPA. As with all of their robust line of beers, these bomber bottles are dipped in colored wax, red in particular. I love their skeleton and bowling pin themed labels too - it fits them to a tee. This is the brew that Ska cooked up for their 10th anniversary. It worked so well that they continued to make it several years after. And fittingly enough, they packed in a 10% ABV for this decade anniversary ale, so you knew it was going to be loaded.

Appearance: This beer pours a lovely dark orange color and built up a nice thick off-white head. When I poured it outside in near 100 degree heat fresh out of the fridge, the bottle and glass both started sweating a lot. But once inside, it cleared up nicely and I could see a small amount of carbonation working in the glass.

Aroma: The aroma was simply wonderful. Just what I expected from a nice double IPA. It reminded me a bit of a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, piney, earthy, and with a hint of alcohol in the nose. I wish they'd make a car air freshener out of this beer. I could smell this all day long. But how would it taste?

Taste: After inhaling this beer for nearly 3 minutes I took in a big mouthful of this brew. Ah nice! It had a nice creamy mouth feel. The 99 IBU rating lived up to it's name. Wow. There was a big hoppy taste to this beer as well as some delicious caramel maltiness. It had a dry and bitter finish to boot. About what I expected out of a good double IPA.

Overall: I wish they'd make a car air freshener out of this beer. I could smell this all day long. Whatever hops they used worked well for this beer. It simply made the whole experience for me. Nice. I'm definitely going to buy this beer again. I just wish they'd put it into 12oz bottles. Again, a full 22oz bomber is almost a bit much to consume at 10% ABV. But I was up to the challenge.

While this was one darn tasty beer, it wasn't the best I've had, but it's getting close. The beer ranking sites were mostly impressed with this brew but left room for improvement. I'm going to give this beer a thumbs up and a nice 3.7 out of 5 rating. Definitely something to look for and try out for you IPA lovers. Good thing they ship to this side of the state, otherwise it would be a long 6-7 hour drive for me to visit their brewery.

Update September 2016: Just bought this in a 12-pack can variety pack. Every bit as good and probably better than I remember. Been 8 years since my last one and I'm glad I picked it up again. A hop lover's delight for sure.

Related articles:
- Ska Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter review.
- Ska Ten Pin Porter review.
- Ska Modus Hoperandi Double IPA review.
- Ska Ten Pin Porter review.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Crabtree Jeff's Pale Ale review

Crabtree Jeffs Pale AleTonight's beer review comes from the last of the three different beers from Crabtree Brewing Company that I picked up direct from the brewery. This beer is named after the brewer - Jeff's Pale Ale. This American Pale Ale weighs in at 5.0% ABV and with a 45 IBU rating. I've had several pale ales before and was eager to sample this local brew. I had tried a small sampling on tap from the brewery and didn't feel like I had enough to review it then so I opened up a fresh 12oz bottle for a full tasting.

This beer was served cold out of the fridge and poured into a snifter glass. The beer poured a cloudy copper color with a decent two+ finger white head. The head quickly melted into just a slight 1/4" bead which lasted through the entire sampling. The cloudiness was most likely due to chill haze as it started clearing as it warmed up.

The aroma was a bit of a surprise. I was first hit with a spicy hoppiness but was also mixed in with a slight hint of butter. As the beer warmed during the sampling the buttery aroma became more apparent.

The beer itself was decently carbonated as there were noticeable bubbles rising from the glass. The taste was at first slightly sweet but then followed by a mix of hop bitterness which seemed a bit off balance. Again, the buttery aroma came through in the taste and made for some slow drinking.

I must admit, I fell in love with their Boxcar Brown and the Twisted Creek Wheat, but this beer needs a bit more work before they get it right. While I finished the entire glass of this pale ale I asked myself whether or not I'd want to drink a second one of these. I believe that I could be a bit hesitant to do so. This isn't one of their best.

Being a fairly new brewery, Crabtree beers don't have a lot of reviews on the beer rating sites yet, so the jury is still out on this one. But as I reviewed it, I'd give this beer just an OK rating and a yellow caution flag. Give this one some time and another bottle of this will most likely be better.

Related article:
- Crabtree Boxcar Brown and Twisted Creek Wheat.
- Supporting my local brewery (Crabtree).
- Crabtree taps it's Braggot.

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Crabtree Boxcar Brown and Crabtree Twisted Creek Wheat reviews

Crabtree BrewingI'm doing a double review today. I had the pleasure of visiting my local hometown brewery Crabtree Brewing Company of Greeley, Colorado. I've somehow put off visiting this brewery for the last two years but could not wait any longer to go visit them. Crabtree is hidden amongst the railroad tracks on the east side of town in a small warehouse brewery. I had the opportunity to meet both the owner / brewer Jeff Crabtree and his wife Stephanie. Both of them are primarily responsible for running the entire operation at Crabtree. After a quick tour and an interview with Jeff, I got to sample a few of their top brews. I liked them so much I put together a sampler pack from their cooler and brought them home for closer inspection.

Crabtree Boxcar Brown

Crabtree Boxcar BrownThe first beer for review is considered their flagship beer - Crabtree's Boxcar Brown. If you look out on either Ratebeer or BeerAdvocate you won't see many reviews on their beers yet. The brewery has only been in operation for 2 years and is still trying to get some exposure. Don't let the smallness of this operation fool you. Crabtree makes some good quality beers. This brown ale pours a lovely dark brown with scarlet highlights. There was a nice full inch tall tan head that appeared upon pouring but quickly dissipated down to a small bead.

The Boxcar Brown had a wonderful nutty roasty taste that was pleasantly surprising. It's got a full body and great mouth feel. The brew comes in at 5.28% ABV and is balanced well with just enough hops to notice. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this brown better than the Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown and the Rock Bottom Molly's Titanic Brown. I can see why this would be considered one of their flagship beers. Definitely worth a look. If you're in state and are looking for a beer to try - check this one out. 3.5 out of 5 rating.

Crabtree Twisted Creek Wheat

Crabtree Twisted Creek WheatThe second Crabtree brew of the day is also the 1st brew that the brewery ever put out - the Twisted Creek Wheat.

Twisted Creek pours a traditional cloudy dark yellow and had a decent sized white head on it. The head leaves a nice small lacing on the side of the glass. It has the distinct wheat aroma, somewhat funky and with a mild citrus overtone.

The taste is very smooth. I can see why folks at the beer fest like this. Goes down easy on a hot day. It has a slightly sweet taste and had a mild carbonation to the mouth feel. I'm not much of a big wheat beer drinker, but this one struck me as something I could get used to. The aroma seemed to change a bit as it warmed. From funky to slightly lemony. I enjoyed every drop of it. The taste is better than the aroma, but still worthy of your consideration. 3.2 out of 5 rating.

Related articles:
- Crabtree Jeff's Pale Ale review.
- Crabtree Brewing taps it's Braggot.
- Supporting my local brewery (Crabtree Brewing).

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ommegang Three Philosophers review

Ommegang Three PhilosophersThis review comes a day late as the 4th of July festivities kept me really busy last night. I've had the pleasure of sampling two different and unique Belgian Quadrupel ales this weekend. My previous review was of Avery's The Reverend. Tonight I broke open a big 25.4oz bottle of Brewery Ommegang's 2007 Three Philosophers. This brewery while related to parent company Duvel of Belgium, is actually made in Cooperstown, NY. My local liquor store just started carrying this brand and I jumped at the chance to try it out.

This bottle of Three Philosophers (3 Phils) came with a cork and a wire twist. After carefully removing the cork with a distinct 'pop' I poured the ale into a clean tulip glass. The ale has a dark burgundy color and quickly grows a tall tan head. The head remained for a very long time. I sipped this brew over the course of an hour and later when the head totally disappeared it looked much like a brandy.

The brew is actually a blend of 98% Belgian Quad with 2% Kriek, a cherry lambic. There is a very subtle hint of cherries in the aroma, but you also get a rich sweet aroma of a quad. There is a small whiff of alcohol as well due to the 9.8% ABV in this beer. Swirling the beer really brought out the full bouquet on this beer.

The taste reminded me of a fine Chimay, but a bit less refined. Still, you get the feeling that this beer is no ordinary ale and was created by brewers who know what they're doing. The alcohol on this beer comes out fairly quick. The high alcohol content should not be taken lightly. This beer brought out a little sweat on me despite being sampled in an air-conditioned room. I felt that I would have difficulty finishing an entire bottle by myself without getting too buzzed. You can enjoy some nice dark malts in this brew. I'd suggest drinking this beer with a nice chocolaty dessert or perhaps ice cream with cherries on top.

Three Philosophers is very very smooth. A bit on the sweet side but balanced well. I couldn't really detect the cherries in the taste but knew from the smell that they were present. You get a rich malty taste with a distinctive Belgian flare. After the first glass I felt that I had drank over 2 beers already. Ya, it kicks ass. I started a second glass and knew I'd be sleeping well tonight. There was little or no head upon the second pouring. This beer quickly becomes one of your best old friends after the first glass. It's a taste to be savored, not in quantity but sparingly and slowly over the course of an evening. Don't rush to finish this glass.

I highly suggest you share a bottle of 3 Philosophers with 1, 2 or 3 friends. There is enough brew in this over-sized bomber bottle to give a full experience for up to 2 couples. I'm not going to try to drink all of it as I want to avoid getting too drunk. Overall, I'm very satisfied with this beer. It's not like your common craft brew. It's strong, dark, rich and full of flavor.

The beer ranking sites seemed to praise this ale as well. Check out Ratebeer and BeerAdvocate for more reactions but do so after you've tried it for yourself. I really appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this beer. It beats out Avery's quad by a long shot. I'm going to give this beer a 3.7 out of 5. I'd buy this again for a special occasion to share with friends. Be sure to drink it around 50 degrees (beer temp that is) and don't drink it in a hot environment as it will bring out a sweat in you. Good stuff.

Related articles:
- St. Bernardus Abt 12 review
- Avery the Reverend review
- Oud Beersel Kriek Ale review

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Avery The Reverend review

Avery The Reverend Belgian QuadToday's beer comes from one of my favorite Colorado breweries - Avery Brewing Company. It also marks my first venture into Belgian Quads. Today I give you Avery The Reverend. Part of the Heaven and Hell series from Avery. This brew comes in a tall 22oz bomber bottle that's topped off in red foil. The figure on the label reminded me of Mr. Spock from Star Trek. I knew up front that this beer was to be respected as it weighed in at a hefty 10% ABV. This beer was loaded down with a ton of Belgian malts as well as a generous portion of dark Belgian sugars. Just a little something extra for the yeast to chew on.

This beer poured a deep amber color that yielded very little head. What head remained after the pour was thin and tan. This brew had been stored a bit cold in the fridge so I let it breathe a bit before imbibing. The glass quickly gathered a lot of condensation on the snifter. Once I wiped the sweat from the glass I could see that this brew was mostly clear with perhaps a slight chill haze. The initial aromas gave me a hint of fruit, perhaps cherries mixed with other spices with a definitive Belgian yeast aroma. There was a fair amount of malts detected in the smell as well.

The first taste was surprising as the higher alcohol gave it a bit of a medicinal taste yet without a warming burn. It is malty and mildly carbonated but not overly so. I was getting a sense of a flashback to their Avery Fifteen but without the funky brett taste. This quad was lightly bittered (just 10 IBU), but with a crisp dry finish. I got the feeling that this beer was in a class above the common beers. It sipped like a foreign brew, yet with an American twist.

Avery's web site described this beer as having hints of dark cherries, currants, and molasses, complimented by an underlying spiciness. I detected the cherries, but I don't eat currants often enough to tell you what that tastes like. As for molasses, I'd probably not describe it that way. I'd give that distinction to more of the darker and thicker stouts rather than in this Quadrupel ale. This beer tasted a tad sweet, yet I drank it with just a bit of discretion. First because it was high alcohol and second, the taste was just spicy enough to make me want to drink it slowly.

Seeing how this was my first adventure with a Quad, I'll hold off making any rash scoring decisions on this brew. While I felt that this beer was made well I'll also have to wait until I've tasted a couple others to pass final judgment. Still, I'll give this beer a modest 3.3 out of 5 initially but will remind myself to revisit this beer again once I've had a chance to try others of this style.

Related articles:
- Avery White Rascal review.
- Avery Salvation review.
- Avery Hog Heaven review.
- Avery The Czar Imperial Stout review.
- Avery Redpoint Ale review.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Alaskan Pale review

Alaskan PaleWhile scanning the beer coolers at my neighborhood liquor store I noticed another Alaskan Brewing Company 6-pack that I hadn't tried, so I grabbed it. Today I'll be reviewing the Alaskan Pale (aka Golden Ale). I still have fond memories of my trip to Alaska in 2007 and the opportunity to get another beer from that great state was a no brainer for me.

The Alaskan brewing web site said that they mixed in a pairing of European and Pacific Northwest hop varieties in with the 2-row and specialty malts. They tout their glacier run-off water as a key ingredient. Glacier run off? Have you seen what that really looks like? It's cloudy and gritty with tons of sediment. Luckily for us, they filtered this water extremely well so that none of the pulverized mountains were included in this beer.

Appearance: I used my trusty Sam Adams glass again for this test. It helps to bring out the aromas. After hand turning the twist off cap, I poured this brew into the glass. A huge white head grew in this glass as I poured. So much head in fact that I had to stop before all of the beer was out of the bottle. The beer itself is a nice clear golden color.

Aroma: The aroma instantly reminded me of a nice summer brew - a hint of lemon citrus and floral notes. I also detected a bit of bubble gum in this beer. This isn't a Pale Ale as the name might indicate, but rather is classified as a Golden Ale / Blond Ale.

Taste: The beer tasted just as good as it smelled. Light, crisp and with very little bitterness. Served cold this beer goes down quick. Perhaps it was my craving for a beer after a long hiatus that made me drink this beer down in nothing flat and then open up another one. This is one refreshing brew. The ABV was around 5.2% and the IBU rating is just 24. Even over 5%, this tasted like a good session beer.

Overall: What made this beer purchase even better was the fact that is was already on sale plus they took off another 10% with my coupon. So this 6-pack only cost me $6.74. Not bad for a beer that traveled all the way from Alaska.

The beer rating sites were mostly favorable but didn't give this an outstanding mark. Typical of a light colored 5% alcohol beer. But in my book, this beer is a winner. Light, tasty and refreshing. It makes you want to grab another when you're done. Grats Alaskan - I'll give you a 3.4 out of 5 rating and a repeat buy recommendation.

Related articles you may enjoy:
- Alaskan Amber review.
- Alaskan Summer Ale review.
- Alaskan Smoked Porter 2008 review.
- Alaskan IPA review.
- Alaskan Black IPA review.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Liquor now sold 7 days a week in Colorado

It's July 1st and for beer drinkers in Colorado this is a day to celebrate. For as of today, liquor stores in Colorado will be able to legally sell beer on Sundays for the first time in 75 years thanks to a law passed this Spring to repeal one of the few remaining Colorado Blue Laws.

Ever since 1933, a state law has been in effect to prohibit the sale of alcohol in an effort to protect the Christian sabbath. But due to changing times and lifestyles, many Coloradoans find themselves unable to shop during Monday through Saturday and Sunday was their only option. This made it difficult to buy beer or alcohol on Sundays. Only convenience stores and grocery stores were allowed to sell 3.2 beer on Sundays.

Colorado becomes the 35th state to allow liquor sales on Sunday and also the 12th state to pass such legislation since 2002.

With the passage of the new law, the sales of 3.2 beer in Colorado are most likely to go away as full strength beer can now be purchased from stores 7 days a week. Convenience stores are likely to be hit the hardest with some stores likely to lose up to 14% of their sales due to this legislation.

I for one welcome the change. There have been countless weekends where I wish I could have picked up a 6-pack on Sunday. My only other alternative for a fine craft beer was to find one at a local restaurant. But now it will be a luxury to be enjoyed any day of the week.

Most liquor stores I've talked to state that they'll open up as early as 10am on Sundays and stay open until 6 or 7pm. Liquor stores are having to staff up for the extra day. Many store owners complain that now they will have no days off. In order to stay competitive, most liquor stores will need to post some amount of Sunday hours.

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