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

June 2, 2013

Harviestoun Brewery’s Old Engine Oil Beer Review 6.2.2013

This is about as black as old engine oil would look. Quite an apt name.

This is about as black as old engine oil would look. Quite an apt name.

TBR Reports On Old Engine Oil by Harviestoun Brewery
File Date: 6.2.2013

File Name: I see a ‘newer’ car in our future.
The Beer: Old Engine Oil
Type: English Porter/Black Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 6.0% ABV
Brewer: Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: United Kingdom (Scotland)
Brewer Info: In the beginning…It all started on a sunny day on October 5th, 1983. We’d love to say that it was one of the most memorable days of founder, Ken Brooker’s life, but that night he hosted one of his legendary tasting sessions and he can’t remember much about it. In the years that follow, Ken continues to brew beers in his shed and host his friends. Word spreads and his friends begin to bring along their friends and their friends’ friends, until eventually Tuesday nights at Ken’s attracts up to 40 people! In return for being one of the lucky few to sample his early creations, Ken insists that his guests fill out tasting notes.

Brewer Brand Hype: Old Engine Oil is a remarkably smooth, creamy brew with a beautiful velvety mouthfeel. Enjoy flavours of coffee, slightly buttered toffee, dark chocolate and earthy hops. You may find some mild cherry fruit within the residual sweetness, neatly accompanying the roasted flavours that ride with you all the way to the finish.tbr-old-oil-insert
Label: Brewed in small batches. Viscous. Chocolatey. Roasty. Harviestoun’s original master brewer Ken Brooker spent much of his early life crafting wooden prototypes for the Ford Motor Company. This black, viscous ale reminded Ken of thick, goopy car engine oil, so he named it in honor of his second love, the internal combustion engine. It’s thick, chocolatey flavor leaves a roasty, bittersweet aftertaste to savor.

The Brewski Review: This beer reminds me of our need to purchase a new car. My wife needs to trade up from a small Mazda to a vehicle more suitable for growing children. I’ve been telling her to get a small SUV. She’s been looking at the Ford Excape, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forrester and the Toyota Rav4 amont others. We both want all the bells and whistles but on our mac & cheese budget, it’s not in the cards; maybe a ‘newer’ one that’s two or three years old. She’ll get the car, of course, since she has the kids most of the time, and I’ll get her old car which will be my new ‘go to work’ car. My Ford Exploder will most likely get turned in as a trade: it has 170K miles and mechanical issues are popping up routinely. I could sell it outright but there’s the hassle factor: it’s not worth my time. I’ll trade it in when I find that big SUV that fit’s my pleasure (Suburban. Used; of course). If we can make this all work out soon, I’ll have to pop open one of these porters. The color is certainly consistent with old engine oil – minus the grit of course. It pours with a beautiful mud colored head that dissipates rather quickly and leaving lace on the side of the glass. I don’t really think it’s ‘thick’ or ‘viscous’ but it does have an oily mouth feel. The malts pop and linger all the way through to the aftertaste. It’s definitely a delicious porter that’s worth a try.

Drinkability: Delicious. Most definitely.
Appearance: Black on the pour with a nice mud colored head.
The Buds: Great roasted malt taste all the way through.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 cap rating out of 5.

Vintage Oil Girl promotional piece featuring Pennzoil.

Vintage Oil Girl promotional piece featuring Pennzoil.

December 31, 2012

O’Fallon’s Pumpkin Ale Beer Review 12.31.2012

A pumpkin beer worthy of a try.

A pumpkin beer worthy of a try.

TBR Reports on O’Fallon’s Pumpkin Beer
File Date: 12.31.2012

File Name: Santa Brings a Puppy!
The Beer: Pumpkin Beer
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.6% ABV
Brewer: O’Fallon Brewery
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: MO, USA
Brewer Info: The O’Fallon Brewery was founded by Fran and Tony Caradonna, in 2000. In January they ordered their brewing equipment and sold their first keg on May 6, 2000. The Caradonnas did all the brewing and selling for the first two years, brewing only one style (O’Fallon Gold), selling only kegs and delivering only in St. Charles County. Over the next several years they continued to grow their brands and distribution area. In May 2011 they sold the brewery to Jim Gorczyca, but Fran continues to play a part of day to day operations as the Brewery’s General Manager. The couple has two sons and currently reside in O’Fallon, Missouri.

tbr-ofallon-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Like pumpkin pie in a bottle…we add 136 pounds of real pumpkin to the three-barley mash and then season
the finished beer with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Available September 1.
Label: Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices.

The Brewski Review: Fall has come and gone but I found this tucked away in the back of the fridge. I’m still on my quest for the best pumpkin pie flavored beer I can get and after drinking this, I’ll still be looking. It was a good beverage with nice, spicy overtones but it just wasn’t the full-on pumpkin pie flavor I’m in search of. The color was a wonderful copper hue and it poured with minimal head. Overall it was a decent beer worth drinking again but to me this wasn’t the holy grail. It would still hold up to any occasion sitting around a fall fire. Which, by the way, I didn’t get a chance to do much this past season. I love an outdoor fire but my schedule and the weather wouldn’t permit. Santa delivered a puppy to our kids over the holiday (thanks Papa!) so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to stoke a fire in the spring when I’m in the back yard picking up all the doogie doo. See the sad eye little golden retriever below.  Take care and have a wonderful New Year. I could only imagine that your expectation for 2013 are as high as I’ve set for myself.

Drinkability: Would drink again.
Appearance: Nice copper color.
The Buds: Nice spicy flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5 Caps

Isabella is the name....but Chewy would have been more appropriate.

Isabella is the name....but Chewy would have been more appropriate.

September 23, 2012

Great Divide’s Wild Raspberry Ale Beer Review 9.23.2012

Great Divide's Wild Raspberry Ale

Great Divide's Wild Raspberry Ale

TBR Reports on Great Divide’s Wild Raspberry Ale
File Date: 9.23.12

File Name: Talk Like A Pirate Day?
The Beer: Wild Raspberry
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.6% ABV
Brewer: Great Divide Brewing Co.
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: CO, USA
Brewer Info: In 1994, Colorado’s craft beer scene scarcely existed, but Brian Dunn recognized Denver’s potential to be a great beer city. Combining his business background with his passion for beer, which was developed through his international travels and his experience as a homebrewer, he decided to start a brewery. He set up shop in an abandoned dairy-processing plant at the edge of downtown Denver and began brewing the beers that would eventually carry Great Divide Brewing Company to its status as one of America’s most decorated microbreweries and would help transform Denver into an international destination for beer lovers.

tbr-wild-rspbry-insertBrewer Brand Hype: WILD RASPBERRY ALE is a unique, thirst-quenching ale fermented with real red and black raspberries. Its balance of malt and fruit flavors make it a beer lover’s fruit beer.
Label: Wild Raspberry Ale. Ale Fermented With Raspberries. Flavorful. Ruby Red. Refreshing. Wild Raspberry Ale is a unique, thirst quenching ale fermented with real red and black raspberries. It’s balance of malt and fruit flavors make it a beer lover’s fruit beer. Suggested food pairings: Spicy Mexican food, creamy blue cheese, fruit desserts. Best of the Rockies, US Beer Tasting Championship, Summer 2007; Regional Champion, US Beer Tasting Championship, Summer 2004; Regional Champion, US Beer Tasting Championship, Summer 2003.

The Brewski Review: Arrrg! No, it’s not Talk Like A Pirate Day. This is me saying my back is killing me. Spent some time cleaning in the garage today so I can bring my truck home. It’s a long story. Anyway, I need it back so I can buy some 4×8 sheet of plywood to make a large barn door in my garage. I’ve been installing some baseboard trim in the garage (recycled, dry van, semi-trailer interior forklift skirting – that’s a mouthful) and had to move everything around. It’s a mess. More stuff than room. But all the moving around, unloading the motorcycle from the truck, reloading a non-working fridge then unloading it at the curb, mowing the grass, yadda, yadda, yadda. I’ll be taking some pain killers tonight so I can get some rest. I’m just as broke down as my motorcycle. I came inside exhausted. My wife is cooking chili so I thought a nice beer would be good. I’ve been putting down these seasonal fruit beers before the season leaves us. This Great Divide version of raspberry flavor is pretty tasty. It isn’t overwhelming, but strikes a nice balance with the beer. It’s also a beautiful ruby red color. Poured with minimal head. My advice? Skip the heavy work. Just open one of these up and enjoy yourself.

Drinkability: Yes. Would surely drink again.
Appearance: Beautiful Ruby Red as noted.
The Buds: Nice raspberry roundness.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5 caps.

March 17, 2012

Leinenkugel’s Chalks Up Another Win With Honey Weiss 3.17.2012

Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss beer straight out of the great state of WI.

Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss beer straight out of the great state of WI.

TBR Reports on Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss
File Date: 3.17.2012

File Name: I’m No Captain of Industry.
The Beer: Honey Weiss
Type: Kristalweizen
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.9% ABV
Brewer: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing
Web Site:
State/Country 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-hw-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Since its introduction in 1995, Honey Weiss has created quite a buzz. Brewed with Red Valley Wheat, Yakima Valley Cluster hops and a touch of real Wisconsin honey. Leinie’s Honey Weiss has a crisp, clean perfectly balanced flavor. Top your Honey Weiss off with a lemon wedge, sit back and enjoy.
Label: Wheat Beer Brewed With Real Wisconsin Honey.

The Brewski Review: Cold, crisp and a hint of sweetness. The color is a pale golden that poured with a nice tight, fast dissolving head. Excellent beer for a warm day outside. Not so much for a cool winter day in the month of March. Of course, I’m a big Leinie fan and this beer doesn’t fail me. I’d recommend you try several of the Leinenkugel brands and see for yourself. They have a slick web site that’s nice to visit as well. The only downside? I’d buy one of their Tee’s, Hoodies or a noggin caps but the prices are a little on the North side of my limits. I’m no captain of industry or a fancy Wall Street type. I’m just a regular Joe trying to make it like everyone else in this world.

Drinkability: Big Leinie fan.
Appearance: Pale golden color
The Buds: Crisp with a hint of sweetness
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 caps out of 5.

December 18, 2011

Czech Republic’ Primator Premium Lager 12.18.2011

Czech Republic's Gift to the World.

Czech Republic's Gift to the World.

TBR Reviews Czech Republic’s Primator Premium Lager
File Date: 12.18.2011

File Name: Czech Castle Brewed Beer
The Beer: Primator Premium Lager
Type: Czech Pilsener
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.0% ABV
Brewer: Pivovar Náchod a.s.
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Czech Republic
Brewer Info: Náchod town has a brewery built in 1872, which sells a range of beers under the Primátor brand name. In February 2009, the town authorities agreed to sell the brewery to Liberec Investment Fund (LIF), the owners of Svijany and Rohozec breweries.

tbr-primator-insertBrewer Brand Hype: The flavour experience of Premium will always leave you wanting another sip. This is the same of many a Bohemian beer, the style for which the Czech Republic is world-reknowned. Primator Premium is the pride and joy of our brew master. After choosing only the best natural ingredients, the meticulous production process is rounded off by a lengthy maturation at the temperature of 1°C. It has a strong, balanced flavour, sparkling gold colour and long-lasting head. There is a classic, moreish bitterness on the palate. A versatile beer, suitable for drinking any time, in celebration or comtemplation. Whatever the moment, we know that you will enjoy our beer!
Label: Primator continues a 140 year tradition of brewing award winning Premium Lager using the time-honored brewing process and the best natural ingredients –  finest two-row malted barley, world famous Saaz hops, proprietary yeast, and pure mountain water. Rich golden color, perfectly balanced flavor, and long-lasting head make this “2008 European Beer Star Award” Gold Medal winner one of the best lagers in the world.

The Brewski Review: Very tasty brew and full of flavor. It has a nice balance: not too hoppy or malty. Just right. This would be a good warm weather beverage served frosty cold. I would almost venture to say that there was a hint of sweetness to it.

Drinkability: Certainly would drink again.
Appearance: Golden yellow w/ minimal head.
The Buds: Well balanced.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

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:
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?

August 14, 2011

Celebrator Double Bock Beer and Cooking BBQ Pork Ribs 8.14.2011

Celebrator - the beer with the white goat around the neck.

Celebrator – the beer with the white goat around the neck.

The Brewski Report Reviews Celebrator’s Doppelbock and Marinating BBQ Pork Ribs
File Date: 8.14.2011

File Name: Beer Used As A BBQ Ribs Marinade?
The Beer: Celebrator Doppelbock
Type: Doppelbock
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 6.7% ABV
Brewer: Privatbrauerei Franz InselKammer KG/ Brauerei Aying
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Germany
Brewer Info: In 1876 the father of the Ayinger Brewery, Johann Liebhard, took over the agricultural and forestry estate “Zum Pfleger” with tavern and butcher’s shop, which had been family property since circa 1810. His wife Maria, a postmaster’s daughter from Markt Schwaben, was, as were all women of the brewing generations, the central pillar of support in the running of the business. In the economic high spirits of the 1870’s following Germany’s victory over France, Johann Liebhard applied his acute business acumen in deciding to found his own brewery. This was not so unusual at the time, which is why there were some 6,000 breweries in Bavaria alone in the 1880’s. Of these, approximately 650 are still in operation today.

tbr-pork-cutsBrewer Brand Hype: A beer that has a dominant malty taste. This beer’s origins in a monk’s recipe are reflected in its heartiness. The Pope of Beers, Conrad Seidl, describes it as: “Almost black with a very slight red tone, a sensational, festive foam and truly extraordinary fragrance that at first summons up visions of greaves lard. The first taste is of mild fullness with an accompanying coffee tone, which becomes more dominant with the aftertaste. There is very little of the sweetness that is frequently to be tasted with doppelbock beer.” The Ayinger Celebrator has been ranked among the best beers of the world by the Chicago Testing Institute several times and has won numerous platinum medallions..
Label: Finest Bavarian Double Bock Beer.

The Brewski Review: Dark and mysterious. Actually better than I had anticipated (C’mon…who doesn’t anticipate the taste of a beer before cracking it open?). I expected it to be creamier than it was but that didn’t detract from it’s flavor. Since I was eating UTX’s Honey Wheat Braided Twists with this (which, by the way, are pretty tasty themselves) I can’t give you the snobby breakdown on a nano-flavor level. It was more substantial, heavy and sweet than most beers I usually drink and that was the appeal. I was going to drink this with dinner tonight – BBQ ribs – but couldn’t wait. It was also coincidental that, when listening to the car radio the other day, that if you really want tender ribs, you should marinate them in a dark beer overnight. They say the acid in the malts break down the fat in the meat. Of course, I didn’t want to waste this beer as a marinade so I’ll have to wait until we purchase our next slab. Sounds rather delicious doesn’t it? If anyone has tried this please let me know. I’m curious to know what beer and BBQ sauce you used and how they turned out.

Drinkability: Would drink this again.
Appearance: Super dark with maximum head.
The Buds: Good. Heavy and full of flavor
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5 caps.

Don't these look simply delicious? I can't bear to watch the food network like my wife. It makes me hungry.

Don’t these look simply delicious? I can’t bear to watch the food network like my wife. It makes me hungry.

July 4, 2011

EKU Pils and the Obama Dinner Party Lottery 7.4.11

Kulmbacher Brauerei EKU Pils

Kulmbacher Brauerei EKU Pils

The Brewski Report Reviews Kulmbacher’s EKU Pils
File Date: 7.4.2011

File Name: Obama’s Dinner Lottery
The Beer: EKU Pils
Type: German Pilsener
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.0% ABV
Brewer: Kulmbacher Brauerei
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Kulmbach, Germany
Brewer Info: The name Kulmbach has always had a good reputation for beer connoisseurs, and no wonder: Even in antiquity, the inhabitants are dedicated to the art of brewing, as demonstrated by the discovery of a 3,000 year old Bieramphore, which is now seen as the oldest evidence of beer brewing in Germany. Since time immemorial the Darrhauben determine the malt, the brewer’s house and the restaurant’s heart, shapes the life of the people of beer in the region. 1846 joined the “prauenden citizens’ Johann Wolfgang Reichel, Johann Conrad Scheiding and Johann Martin Hübner, together with a Brauer community. This was the birth of the Kulmbach Reichelbräu. By exporting the legendary Kulmbach beer to central, eastern, and northern Germany began the rise of Reichelbräu. This was also the loss of sales territories in Central and East Germany was not slowed down after 1949. After the turn succeeded the tradition of brewing and brewing Sternquell pride in Saxony and the bathroom to take Brambacher mineral sources. 2003 the company took over the brewery Scherdel, courtyard. In 1996, the formerly independent breweries Reichelbräu, Sandlerbräu, and EKU priory under the umbrella of the Kulmbach Brewery were combined. Today we are the premium brand of Kulmbach , the traditional brand EKU , the specialty brand priory and the white beer brand Capuchin continue as separate brands with separate formulations . This beer variety Kulmbach justified reputation as the secret capital of beer.

tbr-eku-label1Brewer Brand Hype: When the very first clear, golden lager was brewed in the Bohemian town of Pilsen in 1842, beer drinkers the world over were immediately enchanted. The Germans quickly proved to be the most passionate devotees of the new style. Towns across the land began brewing their own “Pilsner” beers, and the name of the style was soon shortened to the friendlier “Pils.” The German touch was to make the beer a bit lighter in body – better for everyday drinking – and to add an extra dose of hops for a refreshingly bitter zing.
Label: The classic German ‘Pils’ with flawless balance. Light and refreshing, rich and deeply satisfying – perfect for everyday drinking. Brewed according to the German Beer Purity Law of 1516 and bottled by Kulmbacher Brauerei 95326, Bavaria, Germany.

The Brewski Review: Large head at the pour but dissapated quickly. Surprisingly hoppy for a lighter pilsener beer. Light and crisp. Good for a hot summer 89 degree day like today. You know, the other day I read a snippit of Obama’s Re-election campaign team to best their goal for $60M before June 30th. In an effort to drum up more low dollar contributions Obama himself sent out an mass e-mail appeal that stated: “I wanted to say thank you before the midnight deadline passes. And I’m looking forward to thanking four of you in person over dinner sometime soon. If you haven’t thrown your name in the hat yet, make a donation of $5 or more before midnight tonight — you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to be one of our guests.” Does this offend you as much as it does me? So what….Obama’s holding a lottery? For $5 you get a chance to win a meal with the President of the USA? It’s completely disgusting to think that we’re cheapening the value of the office for the country’s highest elected official, not to mention that it’s against the law to use the White House as a lever or means to solicit campaign contributions. Of course, I’m sure Obama’s crafty enough to work his way around this little loophole.

Drinkability: Sure. I’d double down.
Appearance: Clear, golden yellow.
The Buds: Hoppy tasting for a lighter ‘pils’.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 caps out of 5.’

Rule 1 when eating with the President: Don't stand between the president and the food. Rule 2: Keep your fingers and hands close to your person. Rule 3: Don't tell Michele what he eats.

Rule 1 when eating with the President: Don't stand between the president and the food. Rule 2: Keep your fingers and hands close to your person. Rule 3: Don't tell Michele what he eats.

June 5, 2011

Baltika No.7 Export Lager Review 6.5.2011

Not sure why the photo turned all funky light yellow like the color of the beer.

Not sure why the photo turned all funky light yellow like the color of the beer.

The Brewski Report Reviews Russia’s Baltika 7 Export Lager
File Date: 6.5.2011

File Name: Tommy mulls his unwise decision to blog.
The Beer: Baltika №7 Export Lager
Type: Dortmunder/Export Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.4%
Brewer: Pivzavod Baltika/Baltic Beverage Holdings (Carlsberg Group)
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Russia
Brewer Info: The Baltika factory in St Petersburg was constructed in accordance with a design prepared by the Gipropishcheprom-2 Institute. It was planned as one of the breweries within Lenpivo, the Leningrad Association of the Beer Brewing and Nonalcoholic Beverages Industry. Construction of the new factory began in 1978. The state enterprise Baltika Brewery was formed in 1990 right after completion of the construction work. The first shipment of just 27,000 litres of beer was brought to market in November, 1990. The Baltika brand did not yet exist. Instead the plant produced beer under the widespread trademarks of the time: Zhigulevskoye, Rizhskoye, Admiralteiskoye and Prazdnichnoye. In1992 the enterprise embarked on privatisation. During this process the Company was reorganised into an Open Joint-Stock Company. The shareholders of Baltika at the time were 28 legal entities and more than 2,000 private individuals. At about this time, the idea arose to create a proprietary “Baltika” brand. From the very beginning, Baltika beer was exclusively conceived as a beer of the very highest European quality brewed according to classical technology. In order to fulfill this task, the factory management developed its first investment programme for the reconstruction and development of the enterprise.

Check out the pull top cap.

Check out the pull top cap.

Brewer Brand Hype:
The launch of the Baltika №7 Export brand was timed to the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg in 1994. Since then the Baltika №7 has steadily been the market leader at the top of the premium segment. The Baltika №7 beer is made from selective malt and rare hops and is distinguished for its special softness and fullness. The “Seven” consumers are open to communication; they value everything that is aimed at development and know that they are capable of achieving more in life. And the Baltika №7 enables them to feel progressive, striving for the best and for new achievements.
Label: Brewed in Russia

The Brewski Review: I pulled this beer off the shelf and didn’t even know it was Russian. Not that it would have made me change my mind about purchasing it; I’m an equal opportunity beer drinker. Give me a beer and I’ll try it at least once. I’m always eager to try a different beer in the hopes that I’ll eventually find a good, solid, core group of favorites. I grew up on ‘Bud Light’ but have learned that it’s worth trying something new. I think my wife appreciates my experimentation. I’ve turned her on to some new flavors. Is it worth it to write a post about each one? I could just as easily develope an Excel spreadsheet to track them all. So, I’m still mulling that one over in my head. With limited time and resources it’s definitely not a wise choice. But, at the very least, if I can turn someone one to a new type or brand (without being a total beer snob in the process) I’ve made someone happy. Take this beer here? It was pretty good. It was rather mild, favorful and wasn’t too bitter. It went down more like an American Adjunct Lager but with more substance and taste. Give one a try. It could be a winner for you.

Drinkability: Very much so. Could drink a six.
Appearance: Good. Light
The Buds: Tasty. Good flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 caps out of 5.

Is it me, or is the Baltika beer girl not so easy on the eye?

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

The new Baltika beer girl in training.

The new Baltika beer girl in training.

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:
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.

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