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

November 28, 2010

Harpoon Brewery’s Winter Warmer Beer Review 11.28.2010

Harpoon Brewery's Winter Warmer

Harpoon Brewery's Winter Warmer

The Brewski Report Reviews Harpoon’s Winter Warmer Spiced Ale
File Date: 11.28.2010

File Name: Christmas Crowd Pleaser
The Beer: Winter Warmer
Type: Spiced Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.9% ABV
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Web Site: www.harpoonbrewery.com
State/Country of Origin: MA, USA
Brewer Info: Harpoon Founders Dan Kenary &  Rich Doyle started the Harpoon Brewery in 1986 because—like today—we loved beer and wanted more good choices.  While traveling in Europe after college, we drank many wonderfully diverse, fresh, local beers.  We also saw firsthand how important local breweries were to their communities.  After our travels, we asked each other, “why not bring great beer and that sense of community to New England?”  That was the genesis of the Harpoon Brewery. Twenty years later we still revel in making great beer and sharing that joy with our friends and neighbors.  The success that we have had running Harpoon is due entirely to the wonderful employees who brew, package, warehouse, sell, deliver, and market our beer and you, the people who drink Harpoon.  We hope that our sense of gratitude is reflected in both the quality of the beer and the spirit of fun and enjoyment surrounding our beer and breweries.

tbr-winter-warmer-tap-pullBrewer Brand Hype: Winter Warmer was Harpoon’s first seasonal beer.  It was designed to be enjoyed during the holiday season.
When you bring a glass of this dark copper ale to your lips to take your first sip you will notice the aroma of cinnamon.  There is no aromatic hop added that might overpower the distinct spice scent.  The medium body of this beer is formed from caramel and pale malts.  These create enough body to support the spices without making the beer excessively rich.  Bittering hops are added to counter the sweetness of the malt and spice.  The finish of the beer is a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg.  The combination of these two spices results in a balanced, pumpkin-pie flavor.
Label: Brewed since 1988, the flavor of Cinnamon and nutmeg in Harpoon Winter Warmer make this full-bodied, rich ale a classic holiday treat. Enjoy!

The Brewski Review: Ever watch ‘A Christmas Story’? I’m sure many won’t argue that it’s a true classic. What’s so endearing about this film is it’s period. It harkens back to a time when life was more simple. The only source of information was the nightly news and the local paper. You could eat whatever you wanted without fear of getting cancer. People took ownership of their actions and didn’t sue at the drop of a hat. Holiday shopping wasn’t so commercialized and over-hyped. There was no ‘Doorbuster Deals’ to trample people over. Kids played with Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and dolls. No expensive electronics. People enjoyed each other since they weren’t so detracted by cell phones and MP3 players. Life was slower than it is now: muscle your way to work and put in 10 or 11 hours, race home and shuttle the kids to their far-flung sports and hobbies, eat dinner on the run, come home, do laundry, go to bed, get up and repeat the process all over again. I know it won’t happen but American needs to revert back to these simple times. Then we could unravel our complicated lives and enjoy a nice cold one. This Winter Warmer is a nice choice: good taste with a nice seasonal flavoring. I’ve had better spice beers and will probably have even better in the future but this is worthy of drinking again.  Enjoy the Holidays! Maybe a few of these beers will help tame the stress that goes along with all the crowd fighting you’ll be doing.

tbr-harpoon-cap-bannerDrinkability: Sure. Good Beer.
Appearance: Amber color with a high head.
The Buds: Nice seasonal flavor but not too overpowering.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 caps out of 5.

A timeless Holiday Classic. If you've never seen it, do so.

A timeless Holiday Classic. If you've never seen it, do so.

November 25, 2010

Fort Collins Brewery’s Retro Read Ale Beer Review 11.25.10

Fill up the little red wagon full of Retro Red please.

Fill up the little red wagon full of Retro Red please.

The Brewski Report Reviews Fort Collins’ Retro Red Ale
File Date: 11.25.2010

File Name: Hun, Would You Please Pull The Tree Out Of The Closet?
The Beer: Retro Red 
Type: American Amber/Red Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Fort Collins Brewery
Web Site: www.fortcollinsbrewery.com
State/Country of Origin: CO, USA
Brewer Info: No relevant information about the brewery is noted.

tbr-retro-red-labelBrewer Brand Hype: This banchee of a red ale is a looker and a taster. English crystal malts create a toasty, nutty flavor and medium body as Tettnang hops produce an assertive yet balanced hop presence. Retro Red is a treat for you taste-buds as well as your eyes.
Label: A Classic Red Ale. This banchee of a red ale is a looker and a taster. Take time to enjoy the confident hop character, rich malt profile and glowing ruby color. This red ale is a treat for your taste-buds as well as  your eyes.

The Brewski Review: Hearty beverage. Dark ruby brown in color. Not much head at the pour. Nice malt flavor. Popped one open while pulling out the X-Mas tree on Thanksgiving day. Which, by the way, is not as much fun for me as it is for others I’m sure. I once saw a home showcased on a home improvement TV series that had a double door closet reserved just for the owners Christmas Tree. What at great idea I thought – if you have the room to spare. Decorate the tree once then just move it in and out of the closet once a year. Where’s the fun in that? Just think of all the extra beers you could be drinking if your spouse wasn’t nagging you about setting up the holiday decorations. Sure, you’d have a few outdoor lights to hang but there’s beer for that as well. I’m all about saving time and energy. Someday maybe I’ll have that double door Christmas Tree closet. A man can dream can’t he?

Drinkability: Sure. Would drink again.
Appearance: Dark ruby brown color.
The Buds: Nice hearty malt flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5 caps.

November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from The Brewski Report

thanksgiving3The Brewski Report
File Date: 11.24.2010

We certainly hope you and yours have a splendid Thanksgiving Holiday this year. Eat and drink with family and friends. That’s what it’s all about.

Tommy Brewski & Family

thanksgiving-foilage2

Is Obama Pledging Allegiance To Turkeys?

Is Obama Pledging Allegiance To Turkeys With His Salute?

November 20, 2010

Sam Adams’ Winter Lager Beer Review 11.20.2010

Not a Winter Warmer Like You'd Thing But a Bock Beer

Not a Winter Warmer Like You'd Think, But a Bock Beer

The Brewski Report Highlights Sam Adams’ Winter Lager
File Date: 11.20.2010

File Name: Retail Employees Don’t Get Paid Enough
The Beer: Winter Lager 
Type: Bock
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.8% ABV
Brewer: Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams)
Web Site: http://www.samueladams.com
Country/State of Origin: MA, USA
Brewer Info: Jim Koch founded The Boston Beer Company in 1984 because he believed that Americans deserved better beer. Today, we’re a team of about 350 people, and we all share a common passion for bringing great Samuel Adams® beers to beer lovers everywhere. We’ve worked hard for the many successes we’ve enjoyed over the years. The Boston Beer Company has been cited as one of the best companies to work for by Boston Magazine, one of the Best Entry-Level Jobs by The Princeton Review, and our beers have won more awards than any beer in history.

tbr-sa_winter_lager-adBrewer Brand Hype: Bold and rich, with a touch of holiday spice. The first thing one notices about a Samuel Adams® Winter Lager is the deep ruby color. Then comes the magical aroma which promises something special on the tongue. The cinnamon, ginger, and hint of citrus from the orange peel blend with the roasty sweetness of the malts to deliver a warming, spicy flavor. On the palate Samuel Adams Winter Lager is rich and full bodied, robust and warming, a wonderful way to enjoy the cold evenings that come with the season. Winter beers are still produced the way they were in medieval Europe: using more malt per liter to push up the potency of the beer, and to warm a beer drinker’s heart on long winter nights. Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a dark wheat bock.  Bock beers are traditionally strong dark lagers originating in the town of Einbeck Germany.
Label: For centuries, brewers have crafted special beers to celebrate winter. In this tradition, we brew our Samuel Adams to share with friends. This rich and hearty dark lager is one of the finer pleasures of a winter evening. Cheers! Seasonal Brew. A dark wheat lager brewed with winter spices. Ale in TX.

The Brewski Review: My wife told me a hilarious story the other day. She took our two kids to get new shoes at the local Stride Rite store. As she was focused on my daughter getting fitted our son was at the other end of the store pulling all the shoes off the shelves. (Many of the polite daycare employees have told us, quite diplomatically, that our two year old is ‘all boy’.) When my wife caught him in the act he throws his arms up and says ‘Uh no’ which is code for ‘what happened here?’. As he’s being approached, he smiles and runs. Of course, that isn’t the end of the story. In his mind if he’s going down, he’s going down BIG. As he’s running from the law (mom) he holds out both arms open wide to create as much collateral damage as possible. He pulls the slippers off the shelves and most of the socks. I’m sure it was the hardest pair of shoes the clerk had to sell all month. Oh yeah, the beer?  Tasty. A very mild bock beer with minimal aftertaste. The spices weren’t overwhelming by any mean – very subtle. It didn’t warm me up as other winter beers have done but it was good nonetheless. I believe this is a very worthy winter beer to add to you list.  Happy Holidays!

Drinkability: Will be drinking this one again.
Appearance: Dark, amber brown in color.
The Buds: A mild beer. No big aftertaste.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Jim hard at work sniffing out the good stuff.

Jim hard at work sniffing out the good stuff.

November 12, 2010

Spoetzl Brewery’s Shiner Holiday Cheer Beer Review 11.12.2010

What do Holiday Cheer and Zombies have in common? Absolutely nothing.

What do Holiday Cheer and Zombies have in common? Absolutely nothing.

The Brewski Report Reviews Shiner Holiday Cheer Dunkelweizen
File Date: 11.12.2010

File Name: Zombie Survival 101
The Beer: Shiner Holiday Cheer 
Type: Dunkelweizen
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.4% ABV
Brewer: Spoetzl Brewery
Web Site: www.shiner.com
Country of Origin: TX, USA
Brewer Info: From its earliest time under the Shiner Brewing Association in 1909, to that fateful day in 1914 when Kosmos Spoetzl saw an opportunity to bring classic Bavarian Brewing traditions to his fellow immigrants, through the “Great Experiment” of Prohibition and and Great Depression, the “Little Brewery” has stuck to what they know best – handcrafting the finest beer.

tbr-cheer-pullBrewer Brand Hype: Happy Holidays from the “Little Brewery” in Shiner, TX. We hope you enjoy your Shiner Cheer, an Old World Dunkelweizen brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans. The malty flavors of this dark wheat ale are enhanced through the use of malted barley and wheat. And Kräusening ensures a smoothness that makes the subtle peach and pecan flavors all the more satisfying. May your days be merry and bright and your Shiner be cold. Prosit!
Label: ‘Tis the season for cheer.  Happy Holidays from the “Little Brewery” in Shiner, TX.  We hope you enjoy your Shiner Cheer, an Old World Dunkelweizen brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans.  The malty flavors of this dark wheat ale are enhanced through the use of malted barley and wheat.  And Krausening ensures a smoothness that makes the subtle peach and pecan flavors all the more satisfying.  May your day be merry and bright and you Shiner be cold. Prosit!

The Brewski Review:  I generally don’t watch too much TV. When I’m with the kids it’s usually an animated show or DVD. In a rare moment when the kids aren’t around you can find me scanning the channels for a good movie. If one isn’t showing at that particular point in time I’ll list the movies I’ve captured on our DVR (a great invention by the way). This is also good for the very few series that I’ve actually liked to watch but are aired after my 10pm curfew. One more to add to the list is ‘The Walking Dead’. I love a good zombie movie. Who doesn’t? The idea of having to live amongst the ‘unliving’ is appealing in a survivalistic sort of way. Where would you go? What would you do? It’s all about strategy. Someone should start a Zombie Survival Course at the university educational level. There are so many variables: are they fast or slow zombies? Will they come out in the light or are they dark dwellers? Is the head shot really the universal method of incompacitation? How bad do they smell? There are so many questions that need answered. AND, I’d bet you’d get to watch some killer zombie flicks. And, when your at home doing your zombie ‘homework’ you should crack open one of these beers: Shiner’s Holiday Cheer. This beer was my first Dundelweizen.  To be up front, I hope they all don’t taste this way.  I thought this beer lacked flavor.  It didn’t jump out at me like, ‘Man, I have to have this again.’  I thought Shiner Bock was fabulous so I’m not down on the brewery. Maybe I’ll try another next holiday season.

Drinkability: Beer with Peaches and Pecans? 
Appearance: Dark amber in color.  Big head.
The Buds:  Didn’t hold out much flavor. 
TBR Cap Rating: 3.25 out of 5.

Classic Zombie Business Attire.

Classic Zombie Business Attire.

The Uber Killers - Nazi Zombie Dead Squad.

The Uber Killers - Nazi Zombie Dead Squad.

There's even stripper zombies in case you were not aware.

There's even stripper zombies in case you were not aware.

Also quite unknow to many, zombies follow a strict nutritional diet.

Also quite unknow to many, zombies follow a strict nutritional diet.

November 4, 2010

Leinie’s Fireside Nut Brown Beer Review 11.4.10

Leinenkugel's Fireside Nut Brown

Leinenkugel's Fireside Nut Brown

The Brewski Report Reviews Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut Brown File Date: 11.4.10

File Name: 2010 Election Results
The Beer: Fireside Nut Brown
Type: Euro Dark lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.9% ABV
Brewer: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.leinie.com
Country/State of Origin: WI, USA
Brewer Info: The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, the seventh-oldest brewery in the United States, is the oldest business in Chippewa Falls and one of the oldest in the state.  Our commitment and tradition of brewing quality products is matched only by the wants of generations of genuine beer-loving customers.  The origin of the name Wisconsin is Ojibwan.  To the Ojibwa, Wisconsin means gathering of the waters.  It was the waters of the Chippewa River, Duncan Creek and the Big Eddy Springs where Jacob Leinenkugel Found a home for his brewery in 1867.  The Leinenkugel brewing legacy in the United States continues today, more than 140 years and five generations later.

tbr-jl-fnb-logoBrewer Brand Hype: The holidays are a time of warmth and good cheer. A time to celebrate traditions old and new. They’re also the perfect time for the comforting roasted malt taste and aroma of Leinie’s Fireside Nut Brown.
Label: The Pride of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin since 1867.

The Brewski Review: I’m sure many of my ‘readers’ are exhausted of all the political discourse of late but I still have something to blather on about. So, I’ll keep it brief. I’m glad the GOP has taken over the House but I don’t think the election was teh proverbial ‘trouncing’ that the media professes it to be. Taking control of the Senate, in addition to the House, would have been better. And, hoisting a few of these notable Democratic incumbants from their perches would have been the piece-de-resistance. It’s difficult to believe that there was still a majority of the constituents in these states/districts that believe these individuals are improving their lives. If you check out the Washington Post Election 2010 results you can check the stats by House/Senete races. I find it a very informative tool. One stat I notice is that the quite a few Democratic winners tend to follow those areas that are party line voters. The Democratic presidential voting in the same districts seem to be large margin victors. What does this tell us? With a broad brush stroke I could say that it will be difficult to change these voters. A large urban area with quite a few job losses over the years will still have residents that vote the same way – each and every time. Maybe they grew up voting Democrate because that’s the way their parents voted? I understand that some people vote by name recognition so that’s good for a liberal incumbent. Many urban areas vote Democratic and yet many of these areas are blighted. It’s easy to see that people don’t like change, but when the status quo is in the toilet, why not choose another option? At the very least, I’ve always said that you must pay taxes, or have paid taxes, to vote. Only those that contribute to the pot should be able to decide how it’s distributed. Otherwise, they system will always be on the verge of meeting the tipping point. Speaking of tipping, any person would know good flavor when they taste it. Take Leinie beer as an example. The natural hazelnut taste is almost overbearing at first. But, as you settle into it the flavor kicks back a bit. I thought it was a nice tasty beverage. The ABV isn’t as high as other seasonal brews, but I think it would go over nicely sitting outside around a fire on a nice chilly evening.

Drinkability: Very good. Would drink again.
Appearance: Medium to dark brown.
The Buds: Nutty flavor. Yum.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

That's me, next to the tree on the right. Just kidding. Although I do love a good outdoor fire.

That's me, next to the tree on the right. Just kidding. Although I do love a good outdoor fire.

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