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

September 3, 2011

Sam’s Cherry Wheat On Summer Vacation 9.6.2011

The draft was excellent. Now I'll have to try it the bottle.

The draft was excellent. Now I'll have to try it the bottle.

The Brewski Report Reviews Sam’s Cherry Wheat and Our Vacation Dinner
File Date: 9.6.2011

File Name: Dinner With A Cherry On Top
The Beer: Cherry Wheat
Type: Fruit/Vegetable Beer
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.3% ABV
Brewer: Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams)
Web Site: www.samueladams.com
State/Country 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-cherry-wheat-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Ale brewed with cherries. Crisp and fruity with a hint of honey. Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat® follows the centuries old American tradition of brewing beer with native ingredients, in this case Michigan cherries. The sweet, fruitiness of the cherries is balanced against the crisp, cereal note from the malted wheat and the subtle citrus flavor from the Noble hops.  A touch of honey is also added for sweetness.  The end result is a sweet, refreshing beer that is light on the palate but long on complexity.
Label: Draft – No label to review.

The Brewski Review: Aside from the fact that I love cherries, I couldn’t think of a better combination. And, Sam Adams brewed this beer up right. There is plenty of cherry flavor for those that love this delectable fruit. If this tells you anything, I was the kid that drank the maraschino cherry juice from the jar (My dad was not pleased) so you know I’m hard core. Anyway, when my family and I stopped into a local eatery while out of town on vacation I immediately scanned the beverage menu. One that stood out was this Sam Adams brew – which, by the way, you would think is seasonal due to the harvesting period but is, in fact, brewed year ’round. I requested a bottle but they only had it on tap. Oh well. If the only way to go native was to drink draft, so be it. My wife, who says she loves cherries, didn’t want to taste it. Good. More for me. I paired it up with a nice dinner salad, onion rings and boneless chicken chunks with accompanying dipping sauces. About the only thing detracting from a fabulous meal was my rowdy kids. This usually forces us to drink and eat faster than we’d wish. If we didn’t, we’d be chasing our kids around the restaurant and would be forced to take our food home in a doggie bag (which, would sit in the fridge until it was no longer edible – one day max in our family). Of course, I had to finish the beer. Full of cherry flavor and slightly hoppy – but not too overbearing.  Nicely balanced flavors.  Cold and crisp of course. If you like cherries, you ought to put this one on your list.

Drinkability: Yes. Love the cherry.
Appearance: Cloudy, deep golden color.
The Buds: Tasty cherry flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 caps out of 5.

Yum. Michigan Cherries. Is there any better?

Yum. Michigan Cherries. Is there any better?

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.

September 22, 2010

Sam Adams’ Octoberfest Beer Review 9.22.10

For display purposes only. Mine was a draft.

For display purposes only. Mine was a draft.

The Brewski Report Reviews Samual Adams’ Octoberfest
File Date: 9.22.2010

File Name: My Lost Vacation
The Beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest
Type: Marzen/Oktoberfest
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.3% ABV
Brewer: Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams)
Web Site: www.samueladams.com
State/Country 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-oct-logoBrewer Brand Hype: Brewed with five varieties of malted barley for a big, rich flavor. The first thing you notice when pouring a glass of this seasonal beer is the color. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest has a rich, deep reddish amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams Octoberfest masterfully blends together five roasts of malt to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The malt is complimented by the elegant bitterness imparted by the Bavarian Noble hops. Samuel Adams Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the heartier brews of winter.
Label: Draft beer served at the bar.

The Brewski Review: I took a week off for vacation tin the hopes of getting a good start on remodeling two more rooms in my house.  As I noted in an earlier e-mail, I’ve been cleaning out our ‘office’ for a while and I was dissapointed that it wasn’t completed BEFORE my vacation started. The last thing I wanted to do was waste time moving stuff on my vacation (which, by the way, is rare for me to take a whole week’s vacation.) So, it took two days to finish moving material out of the office and get the room sealed up – rosin paper on the floor and plastic over the doorways (sans the doors which were removed to strip the paint). And then, I tried to plug my wireless router back in and reconnect our computers. That’s were I lost two more days. So, four of my 9 total days were spent cleaning and trying to figure out how to set up the computer. Then, I purchased a few trees I needed to get into the ground before winter so I set about doing that. This took two days. So, my plans to work on my house and repair my SUV (the front sway bar links broke and the sway bar shifted over and tore a hole in my front passenger side CV Boot). I just pushed my timeline out until spring on both. I figure if my front axle locks up on me….oh well. And, it’s too late into the season to start tearing plaster off my walls. I won’t be able to run the wiring and insulate before it freezes so I better wait. The good news? I’ve got all winter to work on other stuff. Oh yeah, the beer. It was a decent octoberfest beer. Holding out for something better.  Would drink it again though.

Drinkability: Probably.
Appearance: Medium to dark brown. Minimal head (dirty glass?)
The Buds: Malty with a bitter finish.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5

July 30, 2010

Sam Adams’ Boston Lager Beer Review 7.30.10

Sam Adams' Boston Lager displayed in high tech drinkware.

Sam Adams' Boston Lager displayed in high tech drinkware.

The Brewski Report Reviews Sam Adams’ Boston Lager and a Good Way To Eliminate Chipmunks
File Date: 7.30.10

File Name: The Chipmunk And The Cat
The Beer: Boston Lager
Type: Vienna Lager
Serving: Draft
Stats: 4.75% ABV
Brewer: Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams)
Web Site: www.samueladams.com
Country 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-bl-medallionBrewer Brand Hype: When Jim left his job to start a brewery, people told him he was crazy. After tasting that first batch of Samual Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen, he knew he had something that just might prove the doubters wrong. It wasn’t like any beer out there. Full flavored with hops and malt yet balanced and complex. And a beer revolution began. The incredible thing is after all these years, its still the same amazing beer and nothing else out there is quite like it.
Label: Pulled this one from the tap.

The Brewski Review: **Disclaimer: Animal lovers should NOT read this post.** That said, I’ve set a rat trap to kill the chipmunks burrowing around my house. Wisdom gained from my father. He told me this a while ago but I never really followed through until the chipmunks started burrowing through the corner of my wood porch decking. Arrrrg! The guantlet was thrown. I didn’t even bother to bait the traps, just place them in their travel path. Pow! Pow! Pow! Three in a row at one hole. Some time went by and the hole came up dry so I moved onto another. Pow! Pow! Another two. At this point, I thought about getting little chipmunk stickers with X’s through them so I could apply them to my front door – much like the WWII fighter pilots did on their planes when they had a confirmed enemy kill. My high was great until one day the trap came up missing. What the…?! In the back of my mind I made a mental note: go to store later to buy another varmit exterminator. Before that happened, my wife came home from her morning walk and said our trap was out in the street with a dead chipmunk. DANG! That must have been one bad*ss furry rodent. I figured he got his back legs trapped and he pulled himself and the trap about 60′ to the road with his front legs. I’m not sure if this was possible but that was the only explaination I could muster. Anyway, I head out to the road to retrieve the contraption and come to find out it was run over. Everything, including the chipmunk, was crushed. DRAT! About a week later my wife was chatting with the neighbor across the street and she told my wife that she watched a cat walking across the street with the chipmunk (and trap) in it’s mouth and get run over by a car. A devilish grin crossed my face when I heard this story. It was probably the same neighborhood cat that was using our flower beds as it’s litterbox. Talk about irony. Anyway, it turned out to be one very bad day for the chipmunk and the cat. But, on the bright side, my day was looking up. I would like to say I celebrated with a beer but that wasn’t the case. Had I, Sam Adams’ Boston Lager wouldn’t be that beer. Although a decent beer, it was a little hoppy for my tastes. I would drink it again if offered to me for free. I doubt I’d purchase any. Oh yeah, the moral of the story? There is no such think in life as a free lunch.

"We have met the enemy and they are ours." - U.S. naval captain Oliver Hazard Perry (1785–1819) wrote these famous words in a letter to U.S. army general William Henry Harrison (1773–1841) after defeating the British navy at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.

"We have met the enemy and they are ours." - U.S. naval captain Oliver Hazard Perry (1785–1819) wrote these famous words in a letter to U.S. army general William Henry Harrison (1773–1841) after defeating the British navy at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.

Drinkability: Okay. Would drink it again.
Appearance: Pale to medium amber.
The Buds: Kind of Hoppy for my tastes
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5 caps.

July 20, 2010

Sam Adams’ Summer Ale Beer Review 7.20.10

Try not to focus your eyes too much. It's a terrible camera phone pic.

Try not to focus your eyes too much. It's a terrible camera phone pic.

The Brewski Report Reviews Sam Adams’ Summer Ale Beer
File Date: 7.20.10

File Name: A Link Between Skiing and Lemon You Never Knew Existed.
The Beer: Summer Ale 
Type: American Pale Wheat Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams)
Web Site: www.samueladams.com
Country 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-summer-aleBrewer Brand Hype: Bright and citrusy, brewed with Grains of Paradise. Samuel Adams® Summer Ale is an American wheat ale. This summer seasonal uses malted wheat, lemon zest and Grains of Paradise, a rare pepper from Africa first used as a brewing spice in the 13th century, to create a crisp taste, spicy flavor and medium body. The ale fermentation imparts a background tropical fruit note reminiscent of mangos and peaches.  All of these flavors come together to create a thirst quenching, clean finishing beer perfect for those warm summer days.
Label: Wheat Ale brewed with Lemon Zest and Grains Of Paradise.

The Brewski Review: There is a faint taste of lemon. Compared to Leinenkugel’s lemon flavored Summer Shandy it pales in comparison. If your going to go all out on lemon flavor, do it right and do it big. It’s like when you first learn how to snow ski. If your going to wipe out, wipe out big.  Take down a few people with you.  This way, when the skiers on the lift look down, it won’t be ‘What an idiot.’; it’ll be ‘Dude, did you see that?!’ Anyway, it was still a respectful beverage. As far as the ‘Grains of Paradise’ go, I don’t know if I’m tasting them or not. Since I’ve never tasted this flavor before how would I know what it was that I was tasting or even if I should enjoy it? Not that you asked but here’s a little information on Sam’s Summer Ale additive: known as Aframomum melegueta, it is a species in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. The more common name of this spice is Grains of paradise but could also be called Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains or Guinea pepper. The spice is obtained from the plant’s ground seeds and it gives a pungent, peppery flavor. As noted in the photo below, it appears to resemble regular, unground pepper. Understand all this?  Now maybe you can tell me why Sam Adams would put pepper in a lemon flavored beer? I’m not a cuisine afficianado by any means, it just doesn’t seem right.  Needless to say however, this spice tastes it doesn’t appear to deter the overall taste of the beer.  Try one out and let me know if you can taste the pepper.

Drinkability: Would drink again.
Appearance: Light golden color with maximus head.
The Buds: Lemon flavor wasn’t as evident as I would have liked it.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5 caps.

Grains of Paradise. (No rabbits were injured in the making of this spice.)

Grains of Paradise. (No rabbits were injured in the making of this spice.)

March 24, 2010

Sam Adams Noble Pils Beer Review 3.24.10

Pils In Bottle Form

Pils In Bottle Form

The Brewski Report: Sam Adams Noble Pils and My Fav Ethnic Fests
File Date: 3.24.2010

File Name: Give Me My Baklava And Leave Me Alone.
The Beer: Noble Pils
Type: German Pilsener
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Boston Beer Company/Samuel Adams
Web Site: http://www.samueladams.com
Country 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. Jim has been named an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Inc. Magazine. Our brewers keep amazing us with innovative new brews, most recently Samuel Adams Utopias and Samuel Adams® Chocolate Bock.

tbr-noble-pils-label-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Samuel Adams Noble Pils is brewed with all 5 Noble Hops for a distinct hop character and fresh taste.  Deep golden in color with a citrusy hop aroma, Samuel Adams Noble Pils is a traditional Bohemian Pilsner.  The honeyed malt character from traditional Bohemian malt is balanced by delicate yet pronounced citrus, floral, and piney notes from the Noble hops.  The winner of our 2009 Beer Lover’s Choice election, this beer was chosen by over 67,000 drinkers for its crips complexity and refreshing taste.
Label: Pulled this one from a keg. 

The Brewski Review: Again, reviewed this one on the road. Although I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately, I’m not a road warri0r. Never have been.  Just a homebody who like to hang with the family.  I don’t need to go bar hopping and partying with friends.  Been there.  Done that.  What I do like is visiting some of the local ethnic festivals.  Mostly for the food and beer.  Definitely not the people.  My wife and I like to watch the crowds move by, mutter our comments to each other as they do, but as I get older I like to be around people less and less. Visiting the local festivals is about the only place that I’ll tolorate it. My favorite festivals? Probably the German-American Fest and the Greek Festival.  Potato pancakes and baklava.  What’s not to love?  Noble Pils, on the other hand, is light on the palate and crisp tasting but I wasn’t impressed.  Rather hoppy with a strong aftertaste. Apparently, many people rave about Noble Pils but I can’t say I’m one.  It’s a decent beer but I’m not into the real hoppy brews.  If you are give one a try. 

Drinkability: Not one of the 67,000 Pils neophytes.
Appearance: Medium to deep gold in color.  Minimal head.
The Buds: Crisp tasting yes.  Delicious?  So-So.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

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