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

March 25, 2011

Royal Bavarian Hefe-Weizen Beer Review 3.25.2011

Very Heady Brew This Royal Bavarian.

Very Heady Brew This Royal Bavarian.

The Brewski Report Reviews Konig Ludwig Weissbier
File Date: 3.25.2011

 File Name: Kick the usual habit.
The Beer: Konig Ludwig Weissbier (Royal Bavarian Hefe-Weizen)
Type: Hefeweizen
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg
Web Site: www.koenig-ludwig.com/klw/koenig_ludwig_en.asp
State/Country of Origin: Bavaria, Germany
Brewer Info: The Kaltenberg brand covers the bottom-fermentation, blond premium beers of the König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg. They are produced using traditional brewing methods with selected raw materials from Southern Germany. His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, who himself personifies and continues the Royal Bavarian beer tradition, brews the Kaltenberg beers totally in the centuries-old tradition of his Wittelsbacher forebears, who established the Bavarian Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot). For special occasions such as the “strong beer time”, folk festivals, harvest festival or Christmas, particular beers are brewed and bottled – beers fitting the character of each occasion, Even with this Prince Luitpold of Bavaria follows tradition – because a special occasion was always worth a special brew as far as the Bavarian Royal House was concerned. In the heart of Bavaria, 40 kilometres west of Munich, lies Kaltenberg Castle, residence of His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria and containing one of the last true castle breweries. Prince Luitpold, great grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig II, feels himself bound by the tradition which links the Wittelsbach family with the art of brewing. It is not least his personal dedication, which has made the beers of the König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg so excellent and so renowned.

tbr-rbh2Brewer Brand Hype: The world-wide fame of Bavarian beer is directly attributable to the House of Wittelsbach, the family of His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria. It was in 1516 that Duke Wilhelm IV issued the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot or Purity Law – which is still valid today. Prince Luitpold is thus continuing a long-standing family tradition. 200 years of experience gained through the wheat beer monopoly held by the Wittelsbach family also means that König Ludwig Weissbier is truly a “Beer of Royal Highness”. The König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg today feels more than ever connected to this centuries-long tradition – and brews its four varieties of König Ludwig Weissbier – Hefe Weissbier in both Hell and Dunkel types and Light and Kristall sorts – with the greatest possible care. Find out how a true connoisseur enjoys König Ludwig Weissbier:
1. Get hold of a properly shaped wheat beer glass – better still an original König Ludwig Weissbier wheat beer glass. If you do not have one, we will gladly take an order from you.
2. Rinse the glass out carefully with clear, cold water and open the bottle with appreciative restraint.
3. Hold the glass at a slight angle and pour the beer carefully into it.
4. Make sure that a small amount is left in the bottle. You will need this for the next step.
5. Shake the yeast up and pour the remaining beer into the glass putting an appetising head on your wheat beer.
Now there it is, in all its splendour – your brilliant, fresh König Ludwig Weissbier. Don’t hang about any longer, get on with the tasting!
Label: Naturally cloudy wheat brew. Brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law. Why are the Bavarian Royal Family and King Ludwig so important to brewing history? The Bavarian Royal Family had sole rights to brewing of Hefe-Weizen in Bavaria for 200 years. No wonder they are leading experts on wheat brews.

The Brewski Review: Excellent wheat beer. Naturally cloudy in appearance and oh so smooth and light. I’m beginning to like the mild taste of Hefeweizen beers. No bitterness or aftertaste to contend with. Just pure drinking enjoyment. The whole purpose of my misson with this blog was to find some great beers. I think I’ve succeeded in doing that. But more so, I’m finding the types of beer I like best such as Hefeweizen and Bock but not so much with IPA. I’ll keep at it. Maybe I’ll inspire you to try different brands to get you out of the beer you’ve been drinking for the last 5, 10 or 20 years.  Bottoms up!

Drinkability: Definitely
Appearance: Large white head, cloudy golden color
The Buds: Smooth and light tasting. Excellent.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Branding to new heights.

Branding to new heights.

Looks inviting to me. How about you?

Looks inviting to me. How about you?

The only other Royal I know.

The only other Royal I know.

March 19, 2011

Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale Review 3.19.2011

Sierra Nevada Spillage on the Celebration Ale

Sierra Nevada Spillage on the Celebration Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale
File Date: 3.19.11

File Name: The Forgotten File
The Beer: Celebration Ale
Type: American IPA
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 6.8% ABV
Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.sierranevada.com
State/Country of Origin: CA, USA
Brewer Info: [In 1978] Ken and co-founder Paul Camusi cobbled a brewery together from dairy tanks, a soft-drink bottler, and equipment salvaged from defunct breweries. Though the equipment was secondhand, they created a first-rate microbrewery. The ingredients were premium, including the copious quantities of hops that would become the brewery’s trademark. An avid backpacker, Ken named the new company for his favorite hiking grounds—the Sierra Nevada mountains. Finally, on November 15, 1980, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. brewed the first batch of what would soon become a landmark in American craft brewing: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

tbr-sn-celeb-ale-labelBrewer Brand Hype: The long, cold nights of winter are a little brighter with Celebration® Ale. Wonderfully robust and rich, Celebration® Ale is dry-hopped for a lively, intense aroma. Brewed especially for the holidays, it is perfect for a festive gathering or for a quiet evening at home.
Label: Special beers made for the winter season have been a brewer’s tradition for centuries. To honor this heritage, we present this unique offering. Celebration Ale.

The Brewski Review: Although 65 on the International Bitterness Units (IBU) seems high, It’s really not. But it sure seemed like it. It made me pucker up. Actually, I don’t like my beer too bitter. Maybe I need to become better acquainted with bitter beers so I can tolorate their hoppiness. My younger days of drinking mild American Adjunct lagers in college and years thereafter has put me in a bad position. Had I started down my drinking path requesting an IPA everytime I stepped up to the bar I’d probably like nothing less. So, I’m somewhat jaded. The only thing I can say is ‘it is what it is’. There are probably many that like this beer. I truely can’t say it’s a bad beer, it’s just not something I would enjoy drinking every day. So, if you like hoppy beers, give this one a try next holiday season. Oh yeah, you may note that the bottle says 2009. I’m a little untimely on this report. The report was half finished then it was misplaced and forgotten about. So, I thought I’d blow a little dust off the file folder and report out on it just the same. I’m sure my opinion hasn’t changed. I’ve just gotten a little older that’s all. 

Drinkability: No. I’ll pass.
Appearance: Dark, cloudy medium amber color
The Buds: Hoppy and bitter.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 Rating

Yes. The beer I drank was from 2009. Of course, it was 2009 when I drank it.

Yes. The beer I drank was from 2009. Of course, it was 2009 when I drank it.

March 14, 2011

Tyskie Gronie Euro Pale Lager Review 3.14.2011

Kompania Piwowarska SA's Tyskie Gronie Pale Lager

Kompania Piwowarska SA's Tyskie Gronie Pale Lager

The Brewski Report Spotlights Kompania Piwowarska’s Tiskie Gronie
File Date: 3.14.2011

File Name: A World of Hurt For Japan
The Beer: Tyskie Gronie 
Type: Pale Euro Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.6% ABV
Brewer: Kompania Piwowarska SA
Web Site: www.kp.pl
State/Country of Origin: Poland
Brewer Info: Kompania Piwowarska SA came into being in 1999 out of the merger of LECH Browary Wielkopolski SA and Browary Tyskie Górny Śląsk SA with the South African Breweries International (currently SABMiller) becoming its strategic investor. In 1995 SAB acquired the majority stake in LECH Browary Wielkopolski SA and a year later in Browary Tyskie Górny Śląsk SA. In 2003 a contract was signed between Kompania Piwowarska SA and Radeberger Gruppe AG on the basis of which Kompania Piwowarska became the owner of Dojlidy Brewery of Białystok. In January 2008, the company was joined by the 4th brewery, Browar Belgia in Kielce, where the production process came to a close in 2009. In 2009, SABMiller purchased from Kulczyk Holding SA the 28,1 % of Kompania Piwowarska’s shares, thus becoming the sole owner of the company.

tbr-tyskie-logoBrewer Brand Hype: Tyskie is our flagship brand. It is an unrivaled leader on the Polish beer market. For years it has been winning recognition at home and abroad. Many times it has been awarded the most prestigious prizes of the brewing industry. Tyskie is also a unique sport sponsor; since 2005 it has supported the Polish national football team, its coach Leo Beenhakker and football fans. Tyskie Gronie continuous a centuries’ long tradition of beer brewing at Tychy, dating back to 17th century. Gronie’s enthusiasts appreciate most of all its mild hoppy aroma, golden colour and the thick, white head. This beer’s exquisite taste and aroma are a benchmark for Polish beers of similar type. Tyskie Gronie is a fine beer brewed in compliance with traditional recipies. Tyskie Gronie stands for its rich head and ideally balanced bitterness. Tyskie Gronie tastes best after a long day’s work!
Label: Tyskie. Z Polski. Tyskie. Made in Poland.

The Brewski Review: If there’s anyone whose a big fan of pale lagers it’s me. But I was quite surprised when I tasted this Euro Pale. I wasn’t immediately in love with it. After I finished I’m still wasn’t. No love here. It seemed to sport too much of an aftertaste for me. I didn’t think it was mild either. Too bitter I guess is what it boils down to. So I think I’d have to pass on this one. And should I visit Poland I still wouldn’t drink it. It wasn’t terrible; just not for me. But on a more depressing note, I’m sure everyone is aware of the tragedy unfolding in Japan. It’s amazing that in our modern era of technological advances, so many people would perish in a tsunami triggered by an earthquake; especially in such a heightened cultural awareness where earthquake preparedness is taken to a level  unlike any other. Preparing for a 100 year wave of water 30 feet high probably wasn’t even in the ‘likely scenario’ playbook the city planners reviewed. And, with a possible nuclear meltdown flickering on the horizon it’s easy to see why this is such a formidable catastrophe. Everyone should give a moment of silence for all the lost lives and those millions in need. Then, than your lucky stars that no matter what your current situation is, it’s better than what others are experiencing right now in the Land Of The Rising Sun.

Drinkability: Surprisingly I’d pass.
Appearance: Light golden color with ample head.
The Buds: Too much hoppy bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Wouldn't this make a great mural on the side of a 5 story building?

Wouldn't this make a great mural on the side of a 5 story building?

Polish beer caps on an image of an American Flag. Advertisement celebrating a milestone of Tyskie Gronie imported in America.

Polish beer caps on an image of an American Flag. Advertisement celebrating a milestone of Tyskie Gronie imported in America.

What is Dyngus Day you ask? Historically a Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of lent and the joy of Easter. Over the decades, Dyngus Day has become a wonderful holiday to celebrate Polish-American culture, heritage and traditions.

What is Dyngus Day you ask? Historically a Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of lent and the joy of Easter. Over the decades, Dyngus Day has become a wonderful holiday to celebrate Polish-American culture, heritage and traditions.

March 12, 2011

Pyramid Brewery’s Snow Cap Winter Warmer 3.12.2011

Pyramid Breweries Snow Cap Winter Warmer

Pyramid Breweries Snow Cap Winter Warmer

The Brewski Report Reviews Pyramid’s Snow Cap
File Date: 3.12.2011

File Name: The Last of The Seasonal Beers
The Beer: Snow Cap
Type: Winter Warmer
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 7.0% ABV
Brewer: Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Web Site: www.pyramidbrew.com
State/Country of Origin: WA, USA
Brewer Info: No relevant information on the brewery origin on-line.

pyramid-breweries-150x150Brewer Brand Hype: Deep mahogany in color, our full-bodied winter warmer is brewed in the spirit of British winter ales. Crafted with a flurry of roasted chocolate and caramel malts, and generously hopped, it delivers a smooth finish that makes this beer the perfect cold weather companion.
Label: Life is what you pour into it. Your thirst for life demands an offering that can match it. With the artistry of our brewing, we’ve created in every bottle an adventure worth sharing with friends.

The Brewski Review: Rather bitter aftertaste. Large foamy head at the pour. I don’t think I’d try another Snow Cap. Given my desire to find the best beers that suit my palate I’d move on and try something else in a Winter Warmer. But it won’t be until next winter season. This is the last of the Winter Seasonal beers I’ve had tucked back in my fridge so it’ll have to wait until the end of ’11. Besides, it’s time to get outside and do yardwork, pull down the deer netting, pick up twigs and branches, get the rest of the leaves off the groung, fertilize the yard, etc. I like living in the Northern states but the winter blah’s can a good man down.
Enjoy the warmer weather everyone!

Drinkability: Would try another Winter Warmer.
Appearance: Dark amber brown in color.
The Buds: Bitter aftertaste.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.25 out of 5 caps.

tbr-snowcap-label

March 6, 2011

Samual Smith’s Imperial Stout 3.6.2011

Samual Smith Old Brewery's Imperial Stout

Samual Smith Old Brewery's Imperial Stout

The Brewski Report Reviews Samual Smith’s Imperial Stout
File Date: 3.6.2011

 File Name: A Heavy Beer For Slowing Things Down.
The Beer: Samual Smith’s Imperial Stout
Type: Russian Imperial Stout
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 7.0% ABV
Brewer: Samual Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Web Site: www.merchantduvin.com
State/Country of Origin: UK (England)
Brewer Info: The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was founded in 1758 and is Yorkshire’s oldest brewery. Samuel Smith is one of the few remaining independent breweries in England, and further is the last to utilize the classic Yorkshire Square system of fermentation solely in stone squares. The rich Samuel Smith strain of yeast at The Old Brewery dates from the early 1900s. Hops are hand-weighed by the master hop blender, and the brewing water is drawn from a well sunk over 200 years ago. First introduced to the U.S. market in 1978 by Merchant du Vin, Samuel Smith beers quickly became the benchmark ales for the emerging craft beer movement. To this day, they remain among the most awarded. All Samuel Smith beers are vegan products, registered with The Vegan Society

tbr-ss-logoBrewer Brand Hype: Russian imperial stout was originally brewed in Great Britain to satisfy the Czarist courts, who were great connoisseurs of Champagne, caviar and the art of the table. Because it was transported across the freezing Baltic, Russian imperial stout was brewed with a high level of alcohol. Rich, flavorful, deep chocolate color, scented and roasted barley nose. Complexity of malt, hops, alcohol and yeast.
Label: Contractors To Her Majesty’s Forces. Brewed at Samual Smith’s small, traditional British brewery with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, roasted barley, yeast and hops to create a rich flavourful ale; deep chocolate in colour with a roasted barley nose and flavour that is a complexity of malt, hops and yeast. Fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’. This distinctive type of ale was originally shipped to imperial Russia; it was a favourite of Russian nobility.

The Brewski Review: Very much like drinking syrup. Very malty and bitter. Pitch black in color with a large head on the pour. I don’t think it was bad but Russian Imperial Stout isn’t my thing. Too heavy. It would take some getting used to if I wanted to pop one of these open at the end of the day to relax. Good for fall or winter. I think it would tend to slow me down in the Spring/Summer. Heaven only knows, I need something else to slow down this uber-athletic body of mine.

Drinkability: No. Not my thing.
Appearance: Large head and pitch black.
The Buds: Bitter. Very malty. Like drinking a syrup.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75

tbr-ss-impst-label1

Goose Island’s Mild Winter Beer Review 3.6.2011

Goose Island Brewery's Mild Winter

Goose Island Brewery's Mild Winter Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Goose Island’s Mild Winter
File Date: 3.6.2011

File Name: Mild winter my buttski! Glad March is upon us.
The Beer: Mild Winter
Type: Rye/American Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.6% ABV
Brewer: Goose Island Beer Company
Web Site: www.gooseisland.com
State/Country of Origin: IL, USA
Brewer Info: In his travels across Europe, beer-lover John Hall had enjoyed a distinctive local brew in each region he visited. Hall was convinced that Midwesterners could produce beers as good or better than those he’d tasted in his travels. Living on the shore of the largest system of fresh water on the planet Earth, in a city with rapidly evolving tastes – John decided that his hometown, Chicago, would be the ideal place to do just that. The key to building interest in craft beer, Hall decided, was to allow consumers to watch the brewing process – while providing them with the then-novel experience of enjoying a wide variety of distinctive beers that had been produced on-site. Hall wanted to not only cater to his customers’ tastes, but to challenge them as well. Goose Island’s brewers set to work crafting a diverse selection of unique beers – and on Friday, May 13, 1988 the Goose Island Brewpub was born. It turned out that John was right; Chicagoans palates evolved rapidly once Goose Island’s Brewpub opened its doors and introduced the city to distinctive craft beer. By 1995, the brewpub had become so popular that John Hall and his son Greg, who had by then become Goose Island’s brewmaster, decided to open a larger brewery and bottling plant to keep up with demand. Finding still more room for growth, in 1999 the father-son team opened a second Goose Island Brewpub just a stone’s throw away from historic Wrigley Field.

tbr-gi-drft-pullBrewer Brand Hype: Toffee brown, medium-bodied, with a creamy head and an aroma of raisins and freshly baked dark bread. Mild Winter’s rich caramel malt and spicy rye flavors are sure to take the bite out of whatever Old Man Winter brews up for you this year.
Label: Serve Mild Winter in a Willi Glass.

The Brewski Review: Nice deep amber/brown color. Or, as Goose Island states – toffee color. I thought it was tasty and so did my wife who wanted me to purchase a six pack. Of course, I beat her to the punch and drank most of it before she had the chance. Hey, I need a drink to help me unravel from a metally stressful day of having to deal with the weather, house, my job/boss/coworkers, whatever excuse is handy. But, March is here upon us so we’ll be shelving the seasonal winter brews for the time being. I beleive I have one more tucked back in the fridge I need to polish off. I’ll take care of that soon. Would I drink this again? sure. Maybe I’ll have to visit Goose Island next time I’m in Chicago to visit the relatives.  You know, for research.

Drinkability: Bought a whole six pack. So, yes.
Appearance: Large head. Deep amber/brown color.
The Buds: Tastly winter ale.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 caps out of 5.

Best Big City In America - in my humble opinion.

Best Big City In America - in my humble opinion.

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