THE BREWSKI REPORT Tommy Brewski: My Beer. My Life.

October 31, 2010

Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale Beer Review 10.31.10

Yes. I'm reviewing another pumpkin ale.

Yes. I'm reviewing another pumpkin ale.

The Brewski Report Reviews Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale.
File Date: 10.31.10

File Name: Your Vote Matters (As Long As You Vote For Change).
The Beer: Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 8.0%
Brewer: Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.weyerbacher.com
Country/State of Origin: PA, USA
Brewer Info: Weyerbacher Brewing Company was founded in 1995 by Dan and Sue Weirback. In the beginning, I was an avid homebrewer and big fan of the blossoming new craft beers that were hitting the market.  One weekend in late 1993 while vacationing in Vermont, Sue and I toured the Long Trail brewery, back when it was in the basement of an old mill.  I was looking for a new business to get into but it was Sue who suggested we start thinking about starting our own brewery. Nearly two years later, Weyerbacher Brewing Company was born in a livery stable in downtown Easton, PA.  Launched in August of 1995, the original concept was to make some mainstream microbrews, like a Pale Ale and ESB. Boy did we take a wrong turn!  In 1997 we brewed our first big beer, Raspberry Imperial Stout, which happened to be one of Dan’s favorite homebrew recipes.  As hard as it was to get people to care about another “Pale Ale” in a sea of pale ales, people seemed to stand up and take notice of Raspberry Imperial Stout.  The following year we brewed Blithering Idiot Barleywine and began brewing Belgian beers as well, like our Merry Monks’ Ale (originally called “Belgian Style Tripel”).  This was the time when our path was set.  “Let’s make full-flavored high-quality brews for a discerning customer.”  We haven’t looked back.

tbr-weyerbacher-neonBrewer Brand Hype: Like a pyramid for a pharaoh, we set out to make a bold monument for The King of the Pumpkins!  This 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is the mother of all pumpkin ales.  It is heartier, spicier, and more “caramelly” and “pumpkiny” than its faint brethren! We have added lots of pumpkin along with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor.  This truly is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Perfect finisher on a cool autumn night, or match it up with a slice of pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream.  It is available August through November.
Label: Ale brewed with Pumpkin and Spices, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom & Cloves.

The Brewski Review: Election day is around the corner. If your for change and want to make a statment, get out there and vote conservative. We need a smaller, more nimble and accountable government. We don’t need higher taxes, more government intrusion & bureaucracy, elitist mindsets and dubious representation.  If your sticking with the current G-plan, you can stay home on the couch, waiting for someone to come and take care of you.  While you sit on the couch, or recliner, perhaps you should try an Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Just because we have a different political viewpoint it doesn’t mean that I can’t turn you on to a tasty beer. Anyway, 8% alcohol by volume it says on the label. It certainly didn’t seem like it. I drank this one on an empty stomach right before a dinner of grilled hamburgers and french fries. I though it was a very tasty pumpkin ale, just a little bit better than my last review of Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale. The spicy flavor comes through immediately but it doesn’t have that ultimate pumpkin pie flavor of which I am in search of. It’s close, but I think there may be better out there so I’ll keep drinking until I can find it.

Drinkability: Definitely.
Appearance: Medium brownish/amber in color
The Buds: Tasty pumpkin and spice. Not quite like pumpkin pie though.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 caps out of 5

The Brewery sure isn't pleasing on the eye but at least the beer tastes good.

The Brewery is nothing to look at but at least the beer tastes good.

October 30, 2010

Matt Brewing’s Saranac Pumpkin Ale Beer Review 10.30.2010

Matt Brewing's Saranac Pumpkin Ale.

Matt Brewing's Saranac Pumpkin Ale.

The Brewski Report Reviews Matt Brewing’s Saranac Pumpkin Ale
File Date: 10.30.10

File Name: A Well Prepared Military Is A Wise Investment.
The Beer: Saranac Pumpkin Ale
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.4% ABV
Brewer: The Matt Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.saranac.com
Country/State of Origin: NY, USA
Brewer Info: The Matt Brewing Company was founded in 1888 by German-born immigrant Francis Xavier Matt, or F.X. as he liked to be called. After Prohibition, F.X., then 74, was joined by his sons Walter and Frank. Walter Matt, who served as company president until 1980, is credited with increasing sales and many building renovations, including the model brewhouse and Tour Center. Today, under the leadership of the third and fourth generations of the Matt family, the brewery still crafts beer to the exacting standards set forth over a century ago. True to their German brewing heritage, the Matt Brewery Company has earned its reputation as one of the country’s most respected brewers of specialty beers. In each bottle of Saranac, you’ll find a commitment to quality and patient attention to detail that is the signature of the Matt Brewing Company.

tbr-saranac-pa-labelBrewer Brand Hype: Saranac Pumpkin Ale is brewed with Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves, Ginger and Vanilla. Look for a full-body and amber color. We’re sure you’ll enjoy this special brew!
Label: Ale brewed with pumpkin, spices and other natural flavors. In celebration of the fall harvest. Here’s an Autumn favorite that’s as enjoyable as pumpkin pie. This hearty ale is brewed with Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves and Vanilla. Look for a full body and amber color. We’re sure you’ll enjoy this special brew.

The Brewski Review: Normally, I try to keep my blog bipartisan in nature. I feel no need to interject my political views in my posts because that’s not what people want to read about. They’re here for the beer! To those half dozen, or so, readers of my humble web site I emphatically state: ‘Here I stand on the precipice of my core, unwritten values and I’m blindly stepping off into the abyss.’ Well….not really. I’ll quote a classic line: ‘It’s more of a guideline than a rule.’ (Bill Murray – ‘Ghostbusters’). That said I’ll make it known that I’m a creature of conservativeness. If you haven’t picked up on the clues in any of my other posts I can only surmise that your here to check out the beer girls. (See gratuituous picture of beer girl below.) My problem is that I’m in full favor of a modern, well equiped and ready military but I disagree that this same tool should be used the world over as a universal police force. If we need to take care of an issue – which there are times – we should get in, create maximum havoc, achieve the objective and get OUT. There are too many poor, uneducated, sick and needy people in the U.S. to spend billions every year on military jaunts and propping up weak countries for fear that they’ll collapse into a terrorist state. Our Government leaders are also too quick to send plane-loads of cash to dictators and other maligned countries to gain their favor. Let’s spend some of that cash at home and let the rest of the world step up and help out. We need to fix the problems at home before we try to fix everyone else’s issues. I’m not really thinking these thoughts as I drink this beer because that would just leave a bad taste in my mouth. Considering this is a pumpkin ale – one of my favorite – I’ll just relax and enjoy the beverage with a clear mind. I’ve said it before….I’ve become a fan of Pumpkin Ale’s. This is no exception. The spices and the higher ABV content is nice on a chilly fall day.  Saranac Pumpkin Ale is good. It had a nice dark color and a large foamy head at the pour. It seemed sweet at the start but that appeared to fade away the more I drank. Overall, a decent beverage.

Drinkability: Would drink it again.
Appearance: Medium Brown. Nice foamy head.
The Buds: Liked it as many of the other Pumpkin Ales.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 caps out of 5.

As promised.... gratuitous picture of a beer girl.

As promised.... gratuitous picture of a beer girl.

October 29, 2010

Michelob’s Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale Beer Review 10.29.10

You know Jack? Maybe you should become friends with the jack I know. Anheuser's entry into the Pumpkin Ale category.

You know Jack? Maybe you should become friends with the Jack I know. Anheuser's entry into the Pumpkin Ale category.

The Brewski Report Reviews Michelob Brewing Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale
File Date: 10.29.10

File Name: The Little Guy Gets The Shaft – Again.
The Beer: Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: Michelob Brewing Co. / Anheuser-Busch Inc.
Web Site: www.anheuser-busch.com
Country/State of Origin: MO, USA
Brewer Info: Anheuser-Busch traces its origins back to the Bavarian brewery, which was established in 1852. Eberhard Anheuser acquired the Bavarian brewery in 1860 and renamed it E. Anheuser & Co. In 1864, his son-in-law, Adolphus Busch, joined the company that would later become Anheuser-Busch. While the company’s early years were demanding, Adolphus Busch proved up to the challenge. His keen vision, bold initiative, marketing savvy and passionate commitment to quality were his legacy to those who followed, and the high standards he established have been adhered to by each succeeding generation. Today, Anheuser-Busch produces the two best-selling beers in the world, Budweiser and Bud Light, and operates 12 breweries in the United States. 

tbr-jacks-pullBrewer Brand Hype: Our fall seasonal is a subtle, well-balanced ale, copper in color, offering rich, full flavors and aromas of pumpkin and spices. This all-malt ale is brewed with golden delicious pumpkins and select seasonal spices, including nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and clove. Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale complements dishes such as turkey dinners, pumpkin bisque, teriyaki chicken and mild Italian sausages. Enjoy Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale in a tall, fluted glass.
Label: Our fall seasonal draws it’s rich copper color from two-row Caramel and Carapils barley malts. Brewed with Golden Delicious pumpkins and select seasonal spices to produce a balanced, truly flavorful taste. All malt ale brewed with pumpkins and select seasonal spices including nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and clove.

The Brewski Review: I recieved my mortgage statement the other day in the mail. It was higher than I’m used to seeing to I phoned the bank to see what’s up. Apparently, my insurance company and county of residence decided I wasn’t paying enough. After hearing this I found myself in a state of confusion. About 6 months earlier I contested my property value and a decision came down in my favor. So, naturally, I called the county tax department and they said, ‘Oh yeah. Your property value was reduced but your taxes went up.’ ‘Perfect’ I said to myself. This could only happen to me. I pressed a little further and the helpful woman on the other end of the phone also noted that there was a local school levy increase (Didn’t Obama just give Schools/teachers $50B?) that was unknown to my wife and I. It must have been a double secret ballet that only the school officials knew about and voted in favor of. This makes me happy. Then, I call my insurance company. My agent’s response was ‘There was a general, across the board rate increase to pay for hurricane claims in the Southern States.’ I responded with ‘Twenty percent?’ ‘Yes’ he said. Arrrg! Nothing makes me happier than paying more than my share to help keep someone else’s premiums affordable (people, this is sarcasm.). It seems that whenever a company, organization, or G-man agency needs money they just raise rates and taxes while my slice get’s smaller and smaller. Is this a great county or what? Now that I’m in a terrific mood, I’ll spill the bean on this seemingly not-so-bad industrial brew. There is some decent spice flavor and some malty taste. The beer poured out as a rich copper tone – one of my favorite colors (see pictures of my den walls). I enjoyed this beer but It just didn’t measure up to some of the other pumpkin beers I’ve tasted. Nonetheless, it was still a drinkable beverage. This brand has been available since 2005.

Drinkability: Would drink it again.
Appearance: Rich copper color.
The Buds: Decent showing for an industrial brew. Nice spice taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5 caps.

Pumpkin Chunkin Ammo.

Pumpkin Chunkin Ammo.

October 26, 2010

The Brewski Report Uncovers The Hottest News Story of The Year

The Brewski Report
File Date: 10.26.2010

Digging deep in the archives we uncovered a story we like to call ‘BeerGate’. This photograph was tucked away in a file folder so deep in paperwork we wondered who, what, how and why. The image speaks for itself and is bound to blow the lid off the age old secret of how to properly drink a beer. I’m sure many people THINK they know how to drink a beer, but sit back and review this educational tidbit so you don’t dribble the golden liquid down the front of your nice, fancy, food-stained tank top.  Enjoy!

So you think you know how to properly drink a beer? This age-old vintage educational pictogram tells the real story.

So you think you know how to properly drink a beer? This age-old vintage educational pictogram tells the real story.

October 15, 2010

Shipyard Brewing’s Pumpkinhead Ale Beer Review 10.15.10

Shipyard Brewing's Seasonal Classic

Shipyard Brewing's Seasonal Classic

The Brewski Report Reviews Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale.
File Date: 10.15.2010

File Name: Improving My Life And My Taste Buds Day By Day.
The Beer: Pumpkinhead Ale 
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.5% ABV
Brewer: Shipyard Brewing Co.
Web Site: http://www.shipyard.com
Country/State of Origin: ME, USA
Brewer Info: Since 1994, Shipyard Brewing Company has been brewing fine quality products with a wide range of style profiles.  We use only top quality ingredients and pride ourselves on the consistency and freshness of our products. All our beer is hand crafted from recipes developed by master brewer Alan Pugsley, one of the most influential people in the craft brewing movement in North America. The Shipyard Brewing Company was founded by master brewer Alan Pugsley and entrepreneur Fred Forsley. Shipyard first began in 1992 at Federal Jack’s Restaurant and Brew Pub in Kennebunk, which is one of Maine’s original brew pubs and working breweries. Within two years, demand for Shipyard beer outpaced the small operation and, in April 1994, Forsley and Pugsley opened the Shipyard Brewing Company in the heart of the waterfront in Portland, Maine on the site of the former Crosby Laughlin Foundry.

tbr-shipyard-logoBrewer Brand Hype: Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is a crisp and refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spiced flavors.
Label: Beer with natural flavor added.

The Brewski Review: On my many long business trips I’ve decided to take on the task of completing a set of Tony Robbins Self-help/Improvement CD’s I purchased many years ago but never seemed to have the time to finish. I’ve finally listened to them all and can say that, for me, there has been some benefit. We all go through life living day to day and we can easily forget the simple things. The collection can be somewhat considered a ‘life coach’ or a personal trainer to motivate you to spend the time to improve your life, situation, confidence, thought process, health, body and whatever. There are many little things I’ve picked up but the overall conclusion to me is that I need to work a little harder each and every day to be a better person: more understanding, focused, grateful, giving, energetic and less critical, procrastinating, stagnant and quick to give up. So, each and every day I’ve been trying a little harder to be a better parent, spouse, employee, citizen or collectively, a better human being. Challenges lay ahead but I’ll continue to replay the tapes so Tony can keep me on track. I’m already on my second go-around. Maybe I’ll even try to be a better taster? Is that possible? Take this Pumpkinhead Ale for example. I think this one is a keeper. If you like spice flavors, this beer has a taste that will jump out at you. It was tasty without being too overbearing. I like pumpkin ales and I would imagine that anyone else who likes this type of beer likes the spice flavor to be more pronounced than just a subtle flavor. I know I do. It’s not a pumpkin pie flavor that some tasters strive for. This is more akin to a spiced cider. Nonetheless very tasty. Pick one up yourself and give ‘er a try.

Drinkability: Yum. Will drink this one again.
Appearance: Medium to dark golden in color.
The Buds: Nice and crisp with a nice spice flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

October 5, 2010

The Brewski Report and The Harvest Moon

Filed under: Educational — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Tommy Brewski @ 6:39 pm
Desert Harvest Moon Rising. Can you hear the coyote's calling?

Desert Harvest Moon Rising. Can you hear the coyote's calling?

The Brewski Report Files This Post Under Educational
File Date: 10.5.2010

 File Name: What Is A Harvest Moon?

The harvest moon is the moon at or about the period of fullness that is nearest to the autumnal equinox. The harvest moon is often mistaken for the modern day hunter’s moon.

All full moons rise around the time of sunset. However, although in general the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, as it moves in orbit around Earth, the Harvest Moon and Hunter’s Moon are special, because around the time of these full moons, the time difference between moonrise on successive evenings is shorter than usual which means that the moon rises approximately 30 minutes later, from one night to the next, as seen from about 40 degrees N. or S. latitude, for several evenings around the full Hunter’s or Harvest Moons. Thus there is no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise around the time following these full moons. In times past this feature of these autumn moons was said to help farmers working to bring in their crops (or, in the case of the Hunter’s Moon, hunters tracking their prey). They could continue being productive by moonlight even after the sun had set. Hence the name Harvest Moon. The reason for the shorter-than-usual rising time between successive moonrises around the time of the Harvest and Hunter’s Moon is that the ecliptic—the plane of Earth’s orbit around the sun—makes a narrow angle with respect to the horizon in the evening in autumn.

The Harvest Moon is said to come before or after the autumnal equinox. It is simply the full moon closest to that equinox. About once every four years it occurs in October (in the northern hemisphere), depending on the cycles of the moon. Currently, the latest the Harvest Moon can occur is on October 7. Often, the Harvest Moon seems to be bigger or brighter or more colorful than other moons. These effects are related to the seasonal tilt of the earth. The warm color of the moon shortly after it rises is caused by light from the moon passing through a greater amount of atmospheric particles than when the moon is overhead. The atmosphere scatters the bluish component of moonlight (which is really reflected white light from the sun), but allows the reddish component of the light to travel a straighter path to one’s eyes. Hence all celestial bodies look reddish when they are low in the sky.

The apparent larger size is because the brain perceives a low-hanging moon to be larger than one that’s high in the sky. This is known as a Moon Illusion and it can be seen with any full moon. It can also be seen with constellations; in other words, a constellation viewed low in the sky will appear bigger than when it is high in the sky.

October 4, 2010

Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale Beer Review 10.4.10

Blue Moon's Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale Seasonal Beer.

Blue Moon's Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale Seasonal Beer.

The Brewski Report Reviews Blue Moon’s Harvest Moon and
File Date: 10.4.2010

File Name: My Time Of Year
The Beer: Harvest Moon
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.7% ABV
Brewer: Blue Moon Brewery/Coors Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.com
Country/State of Origin: CO, USA
Brewer Info: We started Blue Moon and began brewing our first beers back in 1995 at the Sandlot in Denver, Colorado.  The goal was to create uniquely-flavored, highly-drinkable, handcrafted beers.  (And, of course, have a little fun along the way.)  Well, it didn’t take long to strike gold.  One of our first creations, Belgian White, made an immediate splash at the World Beer Championships 3 years in a row.  More than a decade later, word has started getting around.  But otherwise, not much has changed.  Still just a bunch of friends having making great beer.  What’s not to love about that?

tbr-harvest-moon-label-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Amber colored ale brewed with a bounty of fall flavors like vine-ripened pumpkin, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. Together with a touch of wheat Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale has a smooth, slightly spiced finish.
Label: This amber-colored, naturally flavored ale is brewed for the autumn & combines the flavor of vine-ripened pumpkin & spices with traditional crystal malt. With its clove, nutmeg and allspice flavors, this amber-colored ale is perfect for fall’s crisp, clear days. Serve this hearty brew with all of your autumn meals.

The Brewski Review: I’m blown away by how fast the year is moving. It’s been a tough year on my family and me. With all the sojourns I’ve been going on (which, by the way, are starting to thin out these last month or so) there is much catching up to do. Since it’s fall I’ve turned my immediate focus on the yard and getting the house ready for an ‘Ice Station Zebra’ type winter. Again I find myself wrapping a select group of trees with deer netting, building a larger wood crib and filling it up, raking leaves, covering my A/C condenser and putting the kids’ toys away. These are just a few of the tasks on my list. Believe me, there are several more. Perhaps one of my most favorite autumn pastimes though is building a fire and drinking some nice, tasty seasonal beer. Blue Moons Pumpkin Ale was a good beer but there didn’t seem to be as much spice as I’d like in my Pumpkin Ale.  It definitely has it’s place on the shelf but I’d have to say that I’ll by trying other Pumpkin Ales before I crack open one of these again.

Drinkability: Definitely drinkable.  Will try others before having this again.
Appearance: Amber colored with large head.
The Buds: Spicy and crisp.  Low bitterness. 
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Fall Harvest Moon Up Close And Personal.

Fall Harvest Moon Up Close And Personal.

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