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

May 30, 2011

Kostritzer Schwarzbier’s Black Lager Review 5.30.2011

Kostrich's Black Gold. Texas Tea. First thing you know 'ol Jed's a millionaire....

Kostrictzer's Black Gold. Texas Tea. First thing you know 'ol Jed's a millionaire....

The Brewski Report Reviews Kostritzer Schwarzbier’s Black Lager
File Date: 5.30.2011

 File Name: Did you hear the one about….
The Beer: Kostritzer Schwarzbier
Type: Schwarzbier
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.8% ABV
Brewer: Kostritzer Schwarzbierbraurei
Web Site: www.koestritzer.de/en/marken
State/Country of Origin: Germany
Brewer Info: The Kostritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei (Kostritz Black Beer Brewery) looks back at more than 465 years of brewing tradition. It is one of Germany’s oldest breweries and one of the few breweries that have been producing dark beer without any interruption.

tbr-kost-labelBrewer Brand Hype: Germany’s most popular black beer represents an exceptional beer specialty that is the fruit of a unique combination of the perfect art of brewing and a centuries-old tradition. Brewed according to the German Purity law of 1516, the original is convincing by its light and sparkling character: Barley malts subjected to special processes give it its distinctive, delicate aroma and extraordinary coloration. Well-rounded by a mild hop flavour, it is really a great enjoyment. The production of Kostritzer Schwarzbier is based on the Pilsner style. Its strength is comparable with light beers.
Label: Brewed according to German Purity Law.

The Brewski Review: Did you hear the one about how Obama saved the auto industry and made a nice tidy profit for the American taxpayers in the process. Fiat, an Italian automobile manufacturer, decided to up their stake in the American car manufacturer Chrysler. Great! Or, is it? Since Fiat doesn’t have the $3.5B to pay for it the U.S. Dept. of Energy loaned them the money. Which, I’m sure, will be brushed under the rug and when forgotten about, be forgiven. Classic shell game. Anyone who actually believes the current administration single-handidly saved the auto industry and made money in the process will be a dupe for life. The taxpayers are still on the hook for this boondoggle but now it’s just a slight-of-hand that keeps the liberal believers chanting Obama’s superior powers of leadership. Suckers!  Wait, actually, we’re all suckers. Drat!

Drinkability: Would drink it again.
Appearance: Uh, well….black of course.
The Buds: Tasty. Mild flavor beer.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 caps out of 5.

Vintage Kostritzer Sign

Vintage Kostritzer Sign

Wie lange müssen wir hier stehen und lächeln sie für den Kauf von uns ein Bier?

Wie lange müssen wir hier stehen und lächeln sie für den Kauf von uns ein Bier?

May 25, 2011

Spaten’s Munchen Dunkel Beer Review 5.25.2011

Spaten's Munich Dunkel

Spaten's Munich Dunkel

The Brewski Report Reviews Spaten’s Munchen Dunkel
File Date: 5.25.2011

 File Name: Only a tornado could separate man from beer.
The Beer: Spaten Muchen Dunkel
Type: Munich Dunkel Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu GmbH
Web Site: www.franziskaner.com
State/Country of Origin: Germany
Brewer Info: Franziskaner’s roots can be traced back to 1363. It was in this year that the brewer Seidel Vaterstetter is first mentioned as the owner of the ‘brewery next to the Franciscans’ in the Munich Residenzstrasse. The name ‘Franziskaner’ derives from the Franciscan monastery diagonally across the street. In 1861 Joseph Sedlmayr, owner of the Leist Brewery (probably founded in the 15th century) and son of Spaten’s Gabriel Sedlmayr the Elder, buys out August Deiglmayr, with whom he has been co-running the Residenzstrasse brewery since 1858. By 1872 ‘Ur-Märzen’, the amber-colored Oktoberfest beer from Franziskaner-Leist, is served for the first time at the Schottenhamel Tent on the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. Brewed from a Viennese recipe, this golden-yellow beer is stronger than the summer beer. In 1922 The Franziskaner-Leist Brewery and the Spaten Brewery, likewise owned by the Sedlmayr family, unite to form a single joint stock company, the ‘Gabriel und Joseph Sedlmayr Spaten-Franziskaner-Leistbräu AG’, in order to combat the economic problems of the crisis-ridden postwar years and to capitalize on synergies. The Munich artist Ludwig Hohlwein designs the company’s distinctive trademark in 1935, which is still used today. The Franciscan Friar continues to stand for the unsurpassed quality of Franziskaner’s premium weiss beer.

tbr-spaten-logo2Brewer Brand Hype: A bottom fermented dark lager, uses roasted malt, and Hallertau hops to form its easily drinkable taste & appearance.
Label: Since 1397. Spaten Muchen Dunkel. Original from Munich.

The Brewski Review: Spaten’s obviously been around quite a long time. Any compay that’s been in business since before America was born must have something going for it. This Dunkel was rather smooth and mild tasting and went well with the italian suasage, grilled chicken, peppers, potatos and onion dinner. It was a rather grueling day at work so having a cold one sounded like a good idea. There were quite a few severe storms blowing through the area as a topper to a frustrating day at work so a little alcohol was duely warranted. Luckily, we didn’t have to seek shelter in the basement. That would have been terrible since my beer is in the kitchen fridge.

Drinkability: Sure. I’d try it again.
Appearance: Dark amber brown color.
The Buds: Smooth and mild dunkel.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 rating out of 5.

How much worse could your day get? Think again. It could always be worse.

Don't believe your day couldn't get any worse than it is now? Think again. What are the chances of a fire and a mini-tornado at the same time?

May 22, 2011

TBR Reviews Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale 5.22.2011

No doubt a colorful story behind the name. But, it's what's in the bottle that counts.

A colorful story behind the name. But, it's what's in the bottle that counts.

The Brewski Report Reviews Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale
File Date: 5.22.2011

File Name: An import that isn’t an import.
The Beer: Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.7% ABV
Brewer: Black Sheep Brewery
Web Site: www.blacksheepbrewery.com
State/Country of Origin: United Kingdom (England)
Brewer Info: Our HistoryIt is almost impossible to believe that The Black Sheep Brewery is only 18 years old. In fact it was in October 1992 when our beers first made an appearance in pubs in and around the Yorkshire Dales. The delivery of those first casks of beer all those years ago began a new era for Paul Theakston, whose family has brewed in Masham for six generations. It also allowed him to put behind him the heartache left by the often acrimonious battles that culminated in the “old” family firm of T & R Theakston Ltd ending up at the time as part of Scottish & Newcastle Breweries. The events that led to the loss of independence  of the Theakston brewery had rumbled on since the early 1970s, with Scottish & Newcastle finally seizing power in 1987. Although offered a position in the big company, Paul decided that that style of life wasn’t for him. What’s more, it would have meant him leaving his beloved Masham. Determined to stay in Masham and being a long, long way from retirement (both age-wise and financially!!) it didn’t take long for Paul to conclude that small brewery life was what he wanted. The decision was made; create a new but traditional style brewery in Masham…

tbr-hg-labBrewer Brand Hype: Another fine addition to the Black Sheep flock of premium bottle ales. This ale was specially commissioned to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Monty Python in 1999. Ten years later on the 40th anniversary Holy Grail is still going strong. With more hops than a killer rabbit, it’s a full-flavoured golden ale with a distinctively fruity flavour followed by the Black Sheep signature dry finish. Dangerously fruity against a biscuity malty background. You can always taste the difference when an ale has been tempered by burning witches. In this respect Holy Grail certainly doesn’t disappoint with its clean zesty flavour and long crisp bitter finish. We brew Holy Grail with Maris Otter malt, an old and expensive variety that is renowned for the taste and the quality of the beer it produces. A mixture of old English Hop varieties including a touch of WGV hops gives Holy Grail its lovely fruity nose. 2009 was the 40th anniversary of Monty Python and the 10thanniversary of our Holy Grail. To celebrate we are currently supplying the beer in all theatres showing the hit musical “Spamalot” on the nationwide tour. Did You Know…
That Holy Grail is our most popular beer in the US and Canada? All our bottled ales are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
Label: Tempered over burning witches.

The Brewski Review: I was somewhat perplexed by this beer. When I rolled the bottle around to check the brewer it listed Rochester, NY. At first I thought the retail shelf stocker made a mistake by putting a domestic beer with the imported. But, upon further research, I learned that the beer was subcontracted to Highfalls Brewing Company – the same company who brings you Genesee (In 2009 Highfalls was purchased by KPS Capital which then merged Labatt USA, Dundee Brewing, Pyramid, Magic Hat, MacTarnahan’s as well as Highfalls under a new name: North American Breweries.). More than 50% of the production of Highfalls is contracted out for other brewers such as Boston Beer Company and Coors. According to 2010 records, Highfalls is the 8th largest brewer in North America (betcha didn’t know that). Why I mention all this is because I don’t really consider it an import. It has the name and address of the brewery who owns the name and recipe, but it was brewed in the states. To me, it’s false advertising. If I wanted a beer brewed in Rochester I go by a Genny Cream. I purchased an imported ale which, to me, was nothing super special. I was hoping for a great tasting beer and instead drank something that was average with a colorful story behind the name. The movie? No doubt a classic from yesteryear. The beer? Not a classic in my mind and probably because it’s linked to an old movie which many new drinkers now-a-days never even heard of or seen.

Drinkability: Nah. I’ll try something else.
Appearance: Darker golden/bordering on amber color. Max head.
The Buds: Smoother than other English Pale Ale’s I’ve tried.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5 caps.

'Tis just a flesh wound.'  No doubt a true, venerable classic.

'Tis just a flesh wound.' No doubt a true, venerable classic.

May 11, 2011

TBR Reviews Stiegl’s Premium Goldbrau 5.11.2011

Take the red steps to flavor: Stigl Goldbrau

Take the red steps to flavor: Stigl Goldbrau

The Brewski Report Reviews Stiegl’s Premium Goldbrau Lager
File Date: 5.11.2011

File Name: Think Mr. Schwarzenegger drinks Austrian beer?
The Beer: Goldbrau Premium Lager
Type: German Pilsener
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.9% ABV
Brewer: Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH
Web Site: www.stiegl.at
State/Country of Origin: Austria
Brewer Info: The path to success leads up ‘The Red Staircase’.The private Salzburg brewery combines tradition and innovation, forming a concept for success that makes Stiegl the strongest beer brand in Austria. The “beer with the red staircase” is an unmistakable symbol in Austria for “the art of brewing at the highest level.” Since 1998, Austria’s leading private brewery has consistently borne the conspicuous and unique brand logo. This means that the symbol of the Stiegl brewery can now be found everywhere, in circulars, TV ads, promotions, on glasses, advertising materials, and even on the furnishings in our house restaurants and shops. Stiegl is the largest private brewery in Austria, and is counted among the most successful companies in the country. The secret of this success: Top quality raw materials and production process, Europe’s most modern brewing technologies, innovative variety of products, motivated employees, commitment to tradition, economic sustainability, down to earth quality and the flexible decision-making structures of a family business.

tbr-red-step-labelBrewer Brand Hype: An elegant, refined beer with a pleasant hop bitterness. Lighter kiln-dried malt gives Stiegl Pilsner a light golden colour. With a marvellous bouquet of the finest Saaz hops, a characteristic bitterness and liveliness, it’s a favourite of beer connoisseurs who love a delicate hop note and fine, aromatic flavour.
Label: Since 1492. Imported Goldbrau Premium Lager Beer. Brewed and bottled by the Stiegl Brewery Salzburg, Austria. Brewed from malts, hops, yeast, mountain spring water according to the “Purity Laws of 1516”.

The Brewski Review: This ranks as one of my favorite beers. The taste was clean, crisp and enjoyable with just the perfect balance with the malt and hops. Not bitter but full of delicious flavor. I highly recommend you give this one a try. I’ll be buying a six pack in the not too distant near future. I’m inclined to say that when my kids are older, and I’m still alive, I’ll be dragging my wife to Austria to travel the country and find all the breweries including Stiegl. So far, Austria brewed beers are winning my battle to find the best tasting beers. I envy all those Austrians…hey, wasn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger from Austria? I wonder what he considers his favorite Austrian beer?

Drinkability: Most definitely.
Appearance: Clear, pale golden yellow.
The Buds: Gotta love the purity law.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 caps out of 5.

I like the ad - green against the rich red.

I like the ad - green against the rich red.

Stiegl beer girls servin' it up. Can you handle it?

Stiegl beer girls servin' it up. Can you handle it?

I'm just a chick drinking beer in a field. Paaaartaaay!

I'm just a chick drinking beer in a field. Paaaartaaay!

May 7, 2011

TBR Reviews Wolaver’s Pale Ale 5.7.2011

Otter Creek, er, Wolaver's Pale Ale? Will the real brewer stand up?

Otter Creek, er, Wolaver's Pale Ale? Will the real brewer stand up?

The Brewski Report Reviews Otter Creek’s Wolaver’s Pale Ale
File Date: 5.7.2011

File Name: Just a little past it’s prime.
The Beer: Wolaver’s Pale Ale
Type: American Pale Ale (APA)
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.8% ABV
Brewer: Otter Creek Brewing
Web Site: www.wolavers.com (under construction); www.ottercreekbrewing.com
State/Country of Origin: VT, USA
Brewer Info: Located in beautiful Middlebury, Vermont, we shipped our first keg of Copper Ale in March of 1991. Four years later, after quickly outgrowing our original site, we moved into a new state-of-the-art brewery just down the street. In 1998, we began producing Wolaver’s Certified Organic Ales in partnership with Panorama Brewing Company. Both brands have flourished as beer drinkers throughout the northeast have enjoyed craft ales, and as the focus on sustainable farming and living has blossomed. In May of 2002, the Wolaver family purchased Otter Creek Brewing. Otter Creek remains a family owned Vermont company and produces all Otter Creek and Wolaver’s brands for distribution throughout the country. We brew and bottle all of our beers in small batches to ensure freshness and consistent quality. We use natural Vermont water, the best domestic malt and hops available, and our own top-fermenting yeast. All Wolaver’s beers are made with no less than 98% certified organic ingredients. Our brewery and our Wolaver’s brands are certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. Otter Creek ales enjoy a complexity of flavor, natural carbonation, and a creamy texture that is favored by beer enthusiasts at pubs and restaurants throughout the United States.

tbr-wol-banner1Brewer Brand Hype: N/A.
Label: Since 1997, Robert and Morgan Wolaver have combined their passion for exceptional beers with their belief in the benefits of organic farming to create Wolaver’s: supurb handcrafted ales brewed with only the finest organic barley and hops grown by small independent farms. His perfectly balanced pale ale has a malty taste with a crisp, hoppy finish; blending Cascade, Cluster, and Hallertauer hops with Harrington specialty malt. For those who simply love great beer, Wolaver’s is a delicious choice – and know that every purchase supports a healthier environment for us all. Our products contain no perservatives, are not pasteurized and, like all fresh foods, will change over time. We print the date we bottled on for your information. Certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers.

The Brewski Review: I believe I purchased an old bottle APA. I checked Wolaver’s website (sorry, they don’t have one yet….just a facebook page which, to me, says their seriously weak on marketing their brand or image.) and the ‘American’ pale ale wasn’t noted – only India pale ale. Maybe the store had this in stock from a season or so ago? It’s hard to tell by the lot code – 2719. My guess is that it’s from the 271st day of 2009. If this is the case, my green beer was really green if you know what I mean. Taste was okay. Nothing to write home about. Hoppy bitter taste much like any other pale ale. But still not as good as many Austrian beers I’ve had that were brewed under the 1516 ‘Purity Law’ where only natural ingredients were used. I’ll still hold out hope that Wolaver’s (or Otter Creek – still can’t figure this arrangement out) have better tasting beers more to my liking (and, not as old).

Drinkability: Nah. Wouldn’t buy again.
Appearance: Light amber color.
The Buds: Hoppy, bitter, ho hum.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.50 caps out of 5.

I like the retro looking Wolaver Farmer logo.

I like the retro looking Wolaver Farmer logo.

May 1, 2011

TBR Reviews Stevens Point Cascade Pale Ale 5.1.2011

Stevens Point Cascade Pale Ale

Stevens Point Cascade Pale Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Stevens Point Cascade Pale Ale
File Date: 5.1.2011

 File Name: My wife love me. She bought home a six pack.
The Beer: Cascade Pale Ale
Type: American Pale Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.4% ABV
Brewer: Stevens Point Brewery
Web Site: www.pointbeer.com
State/Country of Origin: WI, USA
Brewer Info: Steven’s Point Brewery HistoryThe Stevens Point Brewery is steeped in a history that has transcended the trials of the Civil War, the Great Depression and Prohibition. More than 150 years later, the Stevens Point Brewery continues to successfully brew quality beer, just as the brewery’s founders, Frank Wahle and George Ruder, did in 1857. This undeniable endurance is a testament of why the Stevens Point Brewery, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is the 5th oldest continuously operating brewery remaining in the United States. Today, the Stevens Point Brewery is proud to be Wisconsin-owned and independently operated. We take great pride in our history. And, we continue to work hard, as our founders did, to continue to provide our customers today with quality award-winning beer

tbr-stevensptlogoBrewer Brand Hype: Point Cascade Pale Ale is handcrafted combining special top-fermenting yeast and a dry hopping process to create this truly classic American Pale Ale. The intriguing character is derived from generous quantities of the choicest Yakima Valley Cascade hops and the finest crystal, 2-row pale, and Munich malts. The result is a delicious American Pale Ale with a signature fragrant hop bouquet and soft malt palate.
Label: Hand Crafted. Point Well Made.

The Brewski Review: Did I tell mention that my wife picked up a six pack of IPA for me a few weeks ago. She hunted and pecked until she thought she found the perfect set. Little did she know she stuffed an American Pale Ale in with the IPA’s. Stevens Point Cascade Pale Ale is that APA. I can say that I liked it a little better than the IPA’s I’ve been downing lately. This one has the hoppy bitterness but not as much as there seems to be with an IPA. For that reason, I could drink a six pack of this brand. It was cold and crisp and went down fast. Try some Stevens Point APA yourself and let me know what you think.

Drinkability: Yes. Would drink again.
Appearance: Light golden color. Quick dissolving head.
The Buds: Good. Hoppy but not as bitter as an IPA.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 caps out of 5.

Vintage Stevens Point beer advertisement.

Vintage Stevens Point beer advertisement.

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