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

May 1, 2014

Circus Boy American Pale Wheat Ale Beer Review 5.1.2014

Why the name Circus Boy?

Why the name Circus Boy?

TBR Reports on Magic Hat’s Circus Boy Hefeweizen
File Date: 5.1.2014

File Name: Seasonal Misfire
The Beer: Circus Boy
Type: American Pale Wheat Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.5% ABV
Brewer: Magic Hat Brewing/North American Breweries
Web Site: www.magichat.net/
State/Country of Origin: VT, USA
Brewer Info: North American Breweries, one of the largest and fastest growing American-owned beer companies in the United States, owns and operates four U.S. breweries and six retail locations in New York, Vermont, California, Oregon and Washington.  The company was formed in 2009 and is headquartered in Rochester, NY – which is also home to the Genesee Brewery. Since 1878, the Genesee Brewery has brewed and sold the historic line of Genesee beers. Today that brewery also makes Dundee Ales and Lagers, the Original Honey Brown Lager, Seagram’s Escapes and many other beers under contract from other companies. We brew one of the company’s most popular craft beer brands – Magic Hat – from our Vermont brewery.  Our west coast brewing teams handcraft the ward-winning Pyramid and MacTarnahan’s craft beers.  NAB also owns and markets strong import brands including its flagship beer Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light, which maintain strong market share among the Great Lakes region and beyond.

Brewer Brand Hype: A unique and refreshing American-style Hefeweizen brewed with lemongrass.
Label: Circus Boy. The Hefeweizen. 3/4 Pint of beer brewed with lemongrass. Performance in every bottle.
The ancient ritual of brewing a distinctly rich and flavorful beer is a performance to behold. Our
mysterious melange of time-honored ingredients harmonize with chaotic chemistry, humble patience
and blind faith to create this unique beer to share in the rousing company of kindred spirits. Cheers!

The Brewski Review: It’s a cold spring day and it’s just the way I like it. It’s seems that as I get older the spring and fall seasons fade away and we’re left with only winter and summer. It seems it’s either 30 degrees or 90. It’s my perception but it sure does fee like it.  This beer probably would have went down so much better had it been warm and sunny but that didn’t detract from it’s overall taste. It’s definitely a American-ish Hefeweizen with just the right amount of bitterness. I really couldn’t discern the ‘lemongrass’ flavor but it adds to the panache of the brand (the yellow label is an eye grabber…). Overall, it’s a tolorable brew that I’d drink again. I doubt I’d purchase a six pack though.

Drinkability: Sure.
Appearance: Nice pale golden color.
The Buds: Right amount of bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating: 4 caps out of 5.

In our effort to be educational, I've attached this nifty rundown for uses of Lemongrass. Who would have known?

In our effort to be educational, I’ve attached this nifty rundown for uses of Lemongrass. Who would have known?

August 26, 2012

Sea Dog’s Raspberry Wheat Ale Review 8.26.12

Full on raspberry flavor with this beverage.

Full on raspberry flavor with this beverage.

TBR Reports On Sea Dog Raspberry
File Date: 8.26.2012

File Name: A Delicious Brew to Welcome Me Back Home
The Beer: Sea Dog Raspberry Wheat Ale
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.5% ABV
Brewer: Pugsley Brewing LLC/Sea Dog Brewing Co.
Web Site: http://seadogbrewing.com/
State/Country of Origin: Maine, USA
Brewer Info: Being authentic is important to us. Our beers are brewed in a traditional English style using only the highest quality ingredients like English two-row malted barley and British top-fermenting Ringwood yeast. Our English brewing style results in brews with a distinctive, refreshing taste and crisp finish. Founded in 1993, Sea Dog is Maine owned and Maine brewed. Our crew brews a full line of award-winning handcrafted ales that capture the spirit of Maine’s sea-faring history.

tbr-sd-rspbry-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Sea Dog Raspberry Wheat Ale is a dry, crisp refreshing ale with the added essence of raspberries.
Label: Beer with natural flavor added.

The Brewski Review: Oh yea! This is it. Real raspberry flavor. As I said before, If your going to advertise Raspberry as an ingredient in your brew, it darn sure better taste like raspberry is in there. This ale does not disappoint. It poured with a minimal head but you could smell the raspberry aroma as it was poured. The first sip was oh good. I was hoping to have a beer earlier in the day but I started to polyurethane some trim boards for my garage and I didn’t want to put the brush and roller down (My professional painter 2 cents worth…roll the coating on first. Then brush it out with the grain. It looks better. Trim and doors look terrible with a roller finish.) I decided to go with a natural pine wood finish to enhance the ‘barn’ style appearance of my garage. I’m excited about getting a start on my home projects. One of two of my readers have probably wondered where I’ve been the past year and a half. Well, I’ve spend every weekend and some weekdays doing a rehab on my duplex. I’ve been unable to sell it the past 2 years I figured I’d bite the bullet and remodel the entire upper unit. New flooring throughout, new kitchen and new bathroom. Cleaned and painted the basement walls and did a whole bunch of curb appeal projects. Apparently it worked. I lost a bunch of money but I take consolation knowing I’m probably not the only one in this market. I’m just happy to be done with it. Now, it’s 100% home project time…starting with the garage completion. Everything dominoes….Garage needs done so I can empty the basement. Basement needs emptied so I can complete rewiring the electrical in the house. And so on. There are other things on the horizon I’ll share with you later.  But for now, enjoy a summer beer with Sea Dog Raspberry.

Drinkability: Yes. One of my top fruit beers to date.
Appearance: Deep golden color.
The Buds: Crisp, cold and plenty ‘o fruit flavor
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5 caps.

July 6, 2012

Mexico’s SOL Cerveza 7.6.2012

The BIG SOL bottle. Enough for you and your wife if she's a willing partner.

The BIG SOL bottle. Enough for you and your wife if she's a willing partner.

TBR Reports On Mexico’s Sol Cerveza
File Date: 7.6.2012

File Name: Sol Stakes A Claim On A New Line Of Perfume
The Beer: Sol
Type: American Adjunct Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.5% ABV
Brewer: Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, S.A. de C.V (Heineken)
Web Site: www.cuamoc.com/es/content/bienvenido-al-sitio-de-cuauhtemoc-moctezuma
State/Country of Origin: Monterrey (Nuevo Leon), Mexico
Brewer Info: It started in 1944 when Alberto Aldrete took over an old brick building that had been producing vegetable oil since it was built in 1929. Aldrete was operating a small malt factory in Tecate and had been brewing a beer as a sideline for over a year. He named his new brew after the town and it became the first maquiladora in Baja California.  In 1954 the brewery was sold to Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, a major brewer in Monterrey, Mexico that had been producing Bohemia and Carta Blanca beers. Today, the Cuauhtemoc brewery also produces Superior, Sol and Dos Equis along with the others in several different locations.  Today only Tecate and Carta Blanca are produced in the Tecate Brewery. Carta Blanca is a lighter pilsner beer, and most Baja beerdrinkers feel it doesn’t have the full rich flavor of Tecate.  The Tecate Beer that is exported is of a slightly lesser alcohol content, but that doesn’t make it any less popular north of the border. Tecate has the highest canned beverage sales of any import to the U.S.  The custom of squeezing a lime into Mexican beer began with Tecate beer.  The original brewmaster was of Scottish descent (last name Lorimer), who brought the idea from Great Britain where sailors would be given limes with their daily ration of grog to stave off scurvy (this is where the expression “limey” came from).

sol-logoBrewer Brand Hype: ‘El Salto del Agua’ (The Water Spring) near Mexico City, when a ray of bright sunlight shone through his brew. This event fired his imagination, leading him to name his new beer ‘El Sol’ and the very first ‘Mexican sunshine beer’ was born. In 1912 Cerveceria Moctezuma acquired ‘El Salto del Agua’ and in 1924 the brand name changed from ‘El Sol’ to simple ‘Sol’.

Today the original sunshine and ray designs remain virtually untouched and the proud brewing tradition behind this great brand continues. Sol “The original mexican Sunshine Beer” is a blond Mexican, light, festive and refreshing golden coloured pilsner style beer with a fresh malty, fruity-lemony flavour and a soft, quenching dry finish, serve chilled and drunk in the long neck bottle garnished with a fresh wedge of lime in the neck to accentuate the floral citrusy aroma of the beer. Great with lemony dishes like salads, fish and chicken satay or spicy food like nachos, tacos or Thai dishes or summer barbecues.

The Brewski Review: Large quart container. Great if your sitting on the front porch seat you just pulled out of your beat up pickup truck. As an American Adjunct Lager, it goes down ice cold and rather tasteless. It’s refreshing but not very flavorful. Mine was a little skunked…quoting my wife, ‘That beer does not smell good on you….’ With a clear glass container, I’m sure there were many opportunities to catch a little light inside the bottle and degrade the contents. Even thought I was on vacation and it was a sweltering day – upper 90’s – I didn’t drink it all. Some of that drink went down the drain since my wife had no interest in partaking. Nothing like having your wife say you stink after drinking a beer. Yeah, that’ll make me want to run out and purchase  more of this perfume.

Drinkability: No. Will pass on this one.
Appearance: Light golden yellow in clear container.
The Buds: Cold and a tasteless refreshing.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.0 out of 5.

Sol may not be as tasty as I like my beer.....but they make up for it in brand marketing. Here are a bevy of SOL beer girls for you enjoyment.

Sol may not be as tasty as I like my beer.....but they make up for it in brand marketing. Here are a bevy of SOL beer girls for you enjoyment.

And another SOL beer girl striking a pose on the beach.

And another SOL beer girl striking a pose on the beach.

Yes. These are beer girls too. Excellent brand placement.

Yes. These are beer girls too. Excellent brand placement.

This one seems rather surreal and heavenly.

This one seems rather surreal and heavenly.

October 5, 2011

Feel Like A Hipster Drinking Brazil’s Palma Louca Pilsener 10.5.11

Drink in the hipster vibes by downing this brew.

Drink in the hipster vibes by downing this brew.

TBR Reviews Brazil’s Hipster Palma Louca Pilsener
File Date: 10.5.2011

File Name: The Hip Beer for Young and Talented Brazilians.
The Beer: Palma Louca
Type: German Pilsener
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.5% ABV
Brewer: Cervejaria Kaiser (Heineken)
Web Site: http:www.kaiser.com.br/maioridade
State/Country of Origin: Brazil
Brewer Info: Minimal brewer history.

tbr-palma-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Palma Louca is a very refreshing and light beer, brewed by Heineken Brazil with the finest imported malts and hops. It is a beer for the Brazilian style of fun, to be enjoyed by friends on the beach, or at hot nightclubs and lively restaurants.
Palma Louca wants to tell the world about Brazil’s fascinating culture and the love for life and pleasure that Brazilians share. Its website, written by young and talented journalists, shows you the good stuff Brazil has to offer. A high quality brew, produced in the typical Brazilian style of refreshing lagers with full flavor and character. Bottled by Heineken, one of the world’s largest brewing groups, that produces other famous brands such as Heineken, Amstel, Sol, Dos XX, Xingu Black Beer and others.
Label: Escape to Palma Louca. Wild Palm. Cerveja – Pilsen – Beer

The Brewski Review: Palma Louca positions itself as the hipster in the crowd; i.e. ‘written by young and talented journalists’ that play up the culture and life in Brazil. I certainly don’t knock the pride they exhibit for their native land but I think they do their best to use the beer as a means to market ply their journalistic endeavors and showcase the young, urban lifestyle. It’s difficult to find anything worth reading about the beer. The Palma Louca website sheds little light on the brewer itself. Cervejaria Kaiser’s web site doesn’t even mention any information regarding the brewer’s history or Palma Louca beer iteself, but does reference it’s parent company Heineken. Not that all this matters. If you like the beer and want to be a hipster like the image Palma Louce mirrors, then by all means drink up. It’s actually an average beer: a decent summertime thirst quencher that’ll go down cold on a nice hot Brazilian day. I just prefer to learn a little more about the history of the brewery and the beer itself rather than an image an advertising company is pushing.

Drinkability: Would drink again.
Appearance: Straw golden color.
The Buds: Nicely balanced pilsener taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5.

August 21, 2011

Keo’s Premium Beer and A Lament For Better Times 8.21.2011

Keo Premium Beer Straight From Cyprus

Keo Premium Beer Straight From Cyprus

The Brewski Report Reviews Keo Premium Beer and A Lament For Better Times.
File Date: 8.21.2011

File Name: Are Cyprus’ Politicians Any Better Than The American Variety?
The Beer: Keo Premium Beer
Type: American Adjunct Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.5% ABV
Brewer: Keo Limited
Web Site: http://www.keogroup.com/
State/Country of Origin: Cyprus
Brewer Info: KEO is a public limited company formed in 1927 with its shares quoted and trading in the Cyprus Stock Exchange. It is a member of the Hellenic Mining Group whose varied interests in mining, cement production, consumer goods and banking make it the largest industrial group in Cyprus. The KEO Brewery was the first to be built in Cyprus. Production of KEO Beer -a Pilsner type Lager Beer- started early in 1951. The original brewery had a small production capacity of about 300,000 gallons annually. In order to meet the ever-increasing demand, the company has carried out substantial extensions to the plant and the equipment now used being the most up-to-date machinery in the brewing industry. The brewery is currently capable of producing over 30,000 hectoliters of beer monthly.

tbr-keo-insertBrewer Brand Hype: KEO is an exceptional lager type beer, brewed from the finest malt and the choicest hops, long matured, bottled fresh and unpasteurised, to retain its natural flavour, aroma and freshness.
Label: Gold medal for excellence Brewing International Awards. Brewed on the island of Cyprus.

The Brewski Review: American Adjunct Lagers always seem to taste the same. This one may have had a little more flavor but it isn’t anything to write home about. Definitely not worth paying a premium in price over a domestic brand. I guess the only cache would be to brag about drinking beer from Cyprus.  Whoop-de-do. What would impress me would be drinking this beer IN Cyprus. Then it would have some unique appeal. But, to drink it in a broken down town in a financially busted state isn’t anything to get excited about. It should actually propel me be purchase the cheapest beer I can find and drink in mass quantities to relieve myself from the thought of all the crooked, power hungry and dishonest elected officials we have and how they’re wrecking it for the rest of us. I think if I wasn’t underwater on my mortgage I’d move somewhere else.  This lament, I’m sure, isn’t shared by myself alone. 

Drinkability: Ah, probably.
Appearance: Very light golden color.
The Buds: Average adjunct lager.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 caps out of 5.

Educational Tidbit: In case you didn't know where all the wars, oil, men with speedos and Cyprus are, please review the map above.

Educational Tidbit: In case you didn't know where all the wars, oil, men with speedos and Cyprus are, please review the map above.

I'd pull up a beach chair here and drink a native KEO Premium Beer.

I'd pull up a beach chair here and drink a native KEO Premium Beer.

October 15, 2010

Shipyard Brewing’s Pumpkinhead Ale Beer Review 10.15.10

Shipyard Brewing's Seasonal Classic

Shipyard Brewing's Seasonal Classic

The Brewski Report Reviews Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale.
File Date: 10.15.2010

File Name: Improving My Life And My Taste Buds Day By Day.
The Beer: Pumpkinhead Ale 
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.5% ABV
Brewer: Shipyard Brewing Co.
Web Site: http://www.shipyard.com
Country/State of Origin: ME, USA
Brewer Info: Since 1994, Shipyard Brewing Company has been brewing fine quality products with a wide range of style profiles.  We use only top quality ingredients and pride ourselves on the consistency and freshness of our products. All our beer is hand crafted from recipes developed by master brewer Alan Pugsley, one of the most influential people in the craft brewing movement in North America. The Shipyard Brewing Company was founded by master brewer Alan Pugsley and entrepreneur Fred Forsley. Shipyard first began in 1992 at Federal Jack’s Restaurant and Brew Pub in Kennebunk, which is one of Maine’s original brew pubs and working breweries. Within two years, demand for Shipyard beer outpaced the small operation and, in April 1994, Forsley and Pugsley opened the Shipyard Brewing Company in the heart of the waterfront in Portland, Maine on the site of the former Crosby Laughlin Foundry.

tbr-shipyard-logoBrewer Brand Hype: Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale is a crisp and refreshing wheat ale with delightful aromatics and subtle spiced flavors.
Label: Beer with natural flavor added.

The Brewski Review: On my many long business trips I’ve decided to take on the task of completing a set of Tony Robbins Self-help/Improvement CD’s I purchased many years ago but never seemed to have the time to finish. I’ve finally listened to them all and can say that, for me, there has been some benefit. We all go through life living day to day and we can easily forget the simple things. The collection can be somewhat considered a ‘life coach’ or a personal trainer to motivate you to spend the time to improve your life, situation, confidence, thought process, health, body and whatever. There are many little things I’ve picked up but the overall conclusion to me is that I need to work a little harder each and every day to be a better person: more understanding, focused, grateful, giving, energetic and less critical, procrastinating, stagnant and quick to give up. So, each and every day I’ve been trying a little harder to be a better parent, spouse, employee, citizen or collectively, a better human being. Challenges lay ahead but I’ll continue to replay the tapes so Tony can keep me on track. I’m already on my second go-around. Maybe I’ll even try to be a better taster? Is that possible? Take this Pumpkinhead Ale for example. I think this one is a keeper. If you like spice flavors, this beer has a taste that will jump out at you. It was tasty without being too overbearing. I like pumpkin ales and I would imagine that anyone else who likes this type of beer likes the spice flavor to be more pronounced than just a subtle flavor. I know I do. It’s not a pumpkin pie flavor that some tasters strive for. This is more akin to a spiced cider. Nonetheless very tasty. Pick one up yourself and give ‘er a try.

Drinkability: Yum. Will drink this one again.
Appearance: Medium to dark golden in color.
The Buds: Nice and crisp with a nice spice flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

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