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Found 21 results

  1. I am honored to help VikingJew introduce beers to the VBT. I first became enamored with craft brews in the early 90's when living in Fort Collins, Colorado. Colorado may be the leading state for the craft revolution and I was lucky to live in a city with one of the foremost craft breweries, New Belgium (and Odell's is not bad either). Fat Tire was a revelation compared to the Michelob and Moosehead that I grew up with here in Montgomery County, MD. Though Fat Tire is legendary (at least in my mind), there are so many interesting brews and styles that have emerged, especially in the last 5-1
  2. I really enjoyed the conversation around pumpkin beers that we have had for the past few months, and I thought we could just carry this into the new line of seasonal beers, the Christmas Ale. My first Christmas Ale was probably Delirium Noel, and as opposed to Pumpkin beers, I was instantly in love with the style. It was malty and spicy, and was somehow a perfect drink on a cold night. This was close to fifteen years ago, yet I still get excited when the Christmas beers start trickling onto the shelves. I went to Total Wine this week to put together my first Xmas beer collection, and here
  3. After a smattering of postings about pumpkin beers both inside and out of the VBT forum, I thought it might make sense to open up a Pumpkin beer thread. With all the options out there it proved a bit difficult to just pick one beer for everyone to try. This way people can post their notes, letting us know what beers to try and which to avoid. This is a bit of a change from how we normally do things, but hopefully people check this thread out and start posting. Hopefully this thread can stay active throughout the season, and feel free to include other seasonal offerings even if they don't f
  4. My next few VBT postings might make some of you pretty mad. I received a mysterious package in the mail, full of West Coast beers, rarely see on the East Coast. The first box was full of fresh IPAs, that taste best the fresher they are so I dove right in and began with the Fresh Squeezed IPA. Although I deserve absolutely no credit for this, I'll go ahead and pat myself on the back for choosing wisely. This might be the best pure IPA I've ever had. It doesn't have the honeyed sweetness of HopSlam or the IPA bite of something like Cigar City Jai Alai, just a crisp smoothness about it tha
  5. Working at a bottle shop this past few months as giving me perspective on how quick word can get out about a new beer and how quickly people will gobble it up. We haven't yet been open for Hopslam season or Kentucky Breakfast Stout time, but we've seen our occasional DogFish Head 120 case or some fresh Maine Lunch get bought out in an hour. Along with those standard limited runs, Stone's new collaboration Mocha Stout has been one of the fastest selling "new" beers I've seen. It started with a solid review from a California beer columnist, then a 97 from the crowd on Beer Advocate, a 95 from
  6. Hey everyone, I thought I'd start a separate thread, just in case that are people who would be interested but aren't visiting the Hopslam thread. I figure we can also start brainstorming here. Please feel free to move this post to Events and Gatherings if that makes more sense, but I know the audience has been posting in this forum recently. A little background: The idea of virtual beer tastings has come up a few times, and Don suggested someone should begin rolling the boulder down the hill. I've participate in virtual tastings on WineBerserkers so I can lend a little bit of experience
  7. We're heading back to Grand Rapids, Michigan for Founders summer fruit beer. Here we have a straight up Raspberry Ale, similar to their Blushing Monk limited release from 2011 but with almost half the alcohol content. Now in the Festina Peche postings, I decried the not quite fruit not quite beer flavor of the offering, here we have all fruit. In fact, I dare say this is what it would taste like if you dumped Crystal Light powder into a High Life...but...it's still good! Now I think this might be the most debated beer we've featured, if everyone tries it. Some people will say this is as
  8. Blech... I think this is a pour down the drain for me, but I'm curious as to if anyone else likes this one. I'm a peanut butter fanatic, but this one does absolutely nothing for me. Found that Total Wine was selling singles of it, so luckily I'm only out $1.
  9. Southern Tier's Creme Brulee is a beer that's come up a few times in discussions of other beers. Some have used it as an example of a beer that's too sweet, while others point to it as a good example of untraditional flavors really making for a unique and delightful drinking experience. After the first quarter of this glass, I still can't decide which way I lean. This beer pours a pitch black with very minimal foam. After a few seconds in the glass a brown head, almost crema, forms on top of the beer. My initial reaction is that the aroma is much sweeter than the accompanying flavor, and
  10. Keeping in the spirit of hearty beers during cold weather months, I submit 3Beans from Sixpoint Brewery of Brooklyn, NY. I've seen this beer around in most stores, and Sixpoint has distribution in VA, DC, and MD. Sixpoint came onto the scene for me about a year ago with their Sweet Action cream ale, and I'm interested in trying their darker stuff. The brewery has been around since 2004, but I think they only start distributing outside of New York in the past two years. According to our friends at Beer Advocate, this particular recipe is a Baltic Porter weighing in at a whopping 10% ABV and
  11. Man, what a beer this is. In Fremont, California, it's available at a local gas station convenience store for $8.99 a six-pack, and it's just wonderful. It's a hefty 7.5% ABV, with 64.20 IBU and 1.076 OG - stuffed with everything, including the most important thing of all: balance. Far too often, "big" beers are tilted one way or the other out of balance, but not this - harmony abounds, and wine-wise, it would be like drinking a great 14.5% ABV Cháteauneuf-du-Pape. I'm not sure if Lagunitas is an actual microbrewery except by strict definition only, but *this* - this beer - drinks like a
  12. Okay, for anyone who has been following, this is how the Virtual Beer Tastings (VBTs) will get going. I'll post a topic starting thread, and provide a little background. Then instead of everyone trying the beer at the same time, we'll leave the thread open, and people can post their thoughts as they have them. Eventually it sounds like there will be a tasting subforum. Left Hand Brewing Company's Milk Stout "Nitro," Longmont, Colorado And here's a little background on the Nitro technology thanks to Boston.com's Steve Greenlee and his 99 Bottles Blog: "When a beer -- typically a stout --
  13. These pumpkin brews come out earlier and earlier, don't they? So I realize this is getting caught up in the hype....though Schalfly's version is one of the best out there. Ranked 3rd for pumpkin beers on Beer Advocate with a rating of 94, this seems like it's worth taking a chance on for a high quality beer early in the season. Per schlafly.com: Our Pumpkin Ale blends the spices of the harvest with full-bodied sweetness for a beer that tastes like pumpkin pie. Pounds of pumpkin form a malty foundation that supports the fall flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. While pumpkin beers were
  14. I sent out the bat signal for some sour recs, and I figured why not start towards the top of the mountain? Here if we have my first international beer for the VBT, the Oude Gueuze Tilquin í L'Ancienne. Admittedly I don't know much about he history of gueuze and the grand Belgian traditions, so this posting will be a lot of copy and pasting. From the Tilquin website: "Installed in Bierghes in the Senne valley, the Gueuzerie Tilquin is the only gueuze blendery in Wallonia. A gueuzerie, or Geuzestekerij in Dutch, is an enterprise where Gueuze í l'ancienne (or Oude Geuze) is blended. Fres
  15. This one is a recommendation from outside of the board. When my wife's boss asked my thoughts on this one, I had to admit to not only not trying it, but never having any Firestone Walker beer. So why not jump head first into a new brewery with their Double IPA? Here's some info on it from their website. "Double Jack IPA is our first ever Imperial IPA. It features a big malty middle to cloak the high alcohol and mouth puckering hop bitterness. Huge tangerine, grapefruit and juicy fruit aroma blossom over the herbal blue basil and malt earthiness of this aggressive beer. Best enjoyed in mode
  16. Another request from the field, and an excellent pairing to last week's Single-Wide I.P.A., we have Founders All Day IPA. The All Day IPA is named because it is a session beer clocking in at a low 4.7%. Right now it's only available in bottles, but Founders is supposed to be be releasing cans later this summer. I had this a few weeks ago, and remember thinking it's pretty good for a cookout beer. Founders has been one of my favorite breweries since the first bottle of their breakfast stout oh so many years ago. This is their newest "fully available" beer, and, as of May, has become thei
  17. Thanks to a discussion on the All Day IPA thread, I decided to throw out New Holland's White Hatter out for the group. I always see New Holland on the shelf, but never really drink it. I'm glad Nick Freshman chimed in about this one, since it's not something I would have thought of suggesting. It is a Belgian Pale Ale, so hopefully a nice counter to the IPAs we've been tasting. Here's a little info about the brewery from Wikipedia: Jason Spaulding and Brett VanderKamp, the founders of New Holland Brewing Company, grew up together in Midland, Michigan, and later attended Hope College. In
  18. I've enjoyed the past few beers under 6% ABV, so I thought I'd find another to throw out there, and Single-Wide I.P.A. it is. Boulevard was founded in 1988 as a local brewery for Kansas City but has grown to be the 10th largest craft brewer in the country (and yes, we can argue about the definition of a craft brewery, 160,000 barrels sounds like a lot to me). Boulevard Brewing is new to the Richmond area, and perhaps to Virginia altogether. The local Whole Foods had a roll out similar to the one New Belgium had in Arlington when it became available. From the website: "Boulevard Single-W
  19. Back in Black is an American Black IPA from the good folks at 21st Amendment Brewing. The brewery is a few blocks from AT&T Park, home of your World Champion SF Giants. It opened in 2000, founded by a former brewer from Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse in Berkley. In 2012, 21st Amendment planned to case 45,000 barrels of beer, up from 28,000 in 2011. I thought this was an interesting (wikipedia-sourced) fact, 21st Amendment's retail beers are canned in Cold Spring, Minnesota to contain costs. I wonder how common a practice this is for urban breweries. After looking at some reviews
  20. Pardon my first selfish post of the VBT, but I have to rave somewhere about this local product. For those of you who aren't familiar with Hardywood Park, it is one of the breweries that have started to put Richmond on the beer scene map. They gained some notoriety with a 100 point rating from the Beer Advocate boys for their Gingerbread Stout. Along with Strangeways, Center of the Universe, Lickinghole Creek, Extra Billy's, and the grandfather of them all Legend, Richmond has started to make a name for itself in beer. Cream Ale is a personal weakness of mine. Back in the days of the good
  21. Sorry Guys, had to call an audible on the beer for MLB Opening Day. I usually mark the beginning of my Reds season with Bells Oberon, but much to my chagrin, Bells does not have Maryland Distribution. Instead we'll be diving into New Belgium's spring offering Dig. I know there are some hop heads out there, so instead of listing the hop blend, I'll see how people do with a blind tasting to see how many you can identify. The hops are listed on the bottle, so no reading either. Dig is 5.6 ABV, which makes it nice enough to have a few during a nine inning game. Beer Advocate gives it a good,
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