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

September 29, 2012

Atlantic Brewing’s Blueberry Ale Beer Review 9.29.2012

Atlantic Brewing's Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale

Atlantic Brewing's Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale

TBR Reports On Atlantic Brewing’s Blueberry Ale
File Date: 9.29.2012

File Name: The Green Raccoon Strikes Again.
The Beer: Blueberry Ale
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Atlantic Brewing Co. LLC
Web Site: www.atlanticbrewing.com
State/Country of Origin: ME, USA
Brewer Info: The Atlantic Brewing Company began brewing in 1991, on the eve of the microbrewing revolution. We have steadily grown over the years by having a strong commitment to tradition, quality and service. As a result, we have become the number one beer of the Bar Harbor region. Our new facility was built on the site of an old farm a few miles from downtown Bar Harbor. It was designed to create a more visitor-friendly environment similar to country wineries and breweries found throughout Europe. Our beers are now available in select areas throughout the eastern US.

tbr-bh-blubryale-insertBrewer Brand Hype: A light fruit ale, made with Maine wild blueberries. As opposed to many of the sweeter fruit beers on the market, our addition of fresh Maine wild blueberries in this light ale yields a subtle blueberry aroma, without the sweet aftertaste. A mixture of the following Mutton malts, pale, crystal, and Munich, are combined with wheat to give this ale its lighter body, and we only use minimal amounts of Target and Willamette hops.
Label: Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale. Atlantic Brewing Co. LLC., America’s Original Blueberry Ale. Brewed & Bottled in Maine.

The Brewski Review: I’m a picky individual. I’m at the lumber yard today sorting through the entire bin of boards looking for the cheapest, least bowed, warped, checked, split, cupped and knotty pieces to complete a garage project – an interior barn door to close off my tool area. My kids are getting a little older and I fret that I’ll one day my mower will find a rusty wrench in the springtime left behind from a summer day play period. This project reminds me of a time when I was a kid. My older brother and me had gotten into my dad’s tool crib in the basement of our house one day and wondered what would happen if we drove a nail into a can of green spray paint. Of course, I wanted to find out and since I wasn’t the one holding the hammer or the nail, I was all for it. When he punctured the can, a rush of green paint blasted him in the face. Good thing he wore glasses. When he took them off he looked like a green raccoon. It was hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing. Ah, good times. Anyway, Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale is a decent beer but I really wouldn’t classify it as a blueberry ale. I noticed a twinge of sweetness, but far from a blueberry taste. It was mild and well balanced but overall it’s not a beer I’d purchase again if I wanted to taste blueberry. Aside from that, it’s a beer worth tasting.

Drinkability: Sure.
Appearance: Light amber in color. Minimal head.
The Buds: Mild taste but not much blueberry flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5 caps.

July 24, 2011

The Thing About Nude Beach…. 7.24.2011

Nude Beach the beer - not the venue.

Nude Beach the beer - not the venue.

The Brewski Report Reviews Nude Beach Summer Wheat Ale and Adds His Two Cents on Nude Beaches.
File Date: 7.24.2011

File Name: The Thing About Nude Beach…
The Beer: Nude Beach
Type: American Pale Wheat Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.2% 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-nb-labelBrewer Brand Hype: Point Nude Beach is the perfect summer pleasure.  Available only during the warm months of summer, this lively and unfiltered wheat ale is well balanced using “au naturel” raw and red wheat, then delicately finished with Yakima hops.  With a refreshing light flavor, Point Nude Beach is perfect while enjoying summer activities or just hanging out with friends.  Clothing optional.
Label: Hand Crafted

The Brewski Review: Nice, creamy summer brew. Cloudy, citrusy and cold. Just the way to drink it. I wanted to add a slice of orange but drank it down before I could pull myself off the chair to slice one up as garnishment. Don’t blame me, it’s the intense summer heat that pulling the energy out of me. And if the beer’s name makes you think about a day of clothing optional leisure at the beach, just be sure to google ‘nude beach images’ before you go. I have a tendency to believe that the Europeans are much more tolerent of public nudity and unsensored and unabashed sex than the puritan values of Americans. I think this is a good thing. There are way too many people out there that I don’t want to see in the buff. And, I’m sure there are those that don’t want to see me. But, if you think your missing out on something….have at it. Just be sure to take a cooler of Nude Beach. It may be the ice breaker you need.

Drinkability: Good summer brew.
Appearance: Cloudy medium gold color.
The Buds: Citrusy and creamy.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Your ugly nudity isn't a problem, but the dog is.

Your nudity isn't a problem, but the dog is.

April 8, 2011

Brau Union’s Gosser Pale Lager Review 4.8.2011

Brau Union's Gosser Euro Pale Lager

Brau Union's Gosser Euro Pale Lager

The Brewski Report Reviews Gosser Pale Lager
File Date: 4.8.2011

File Name: Another high ranker by type.
The Beer: Gosser
Type: Euro Pale Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Brauerei Goss (Brau Union)
Web Site: www.goesser.com
State/Country of Origin: Austria
Brewer Info: Around the year 1000, Countess Adula donated a convent on a piece of farmland on both banks on the, in which – according to ancient tradition – the nuns brewed beer. In 1459 a Pierbrewer by the name of Lenhartt Newmaister appears in a document. The Göss convent was the cultural and economic centre of the area until its abolition in 1782. In 1860 the tradition of brewing beer in the buildings of the convent was revived when beer brewer and entrepreneur Max Kober purchased parts of the convent and reactivated the convents brewery. This is a significant year for Gösser and it still appears in the label today. With the founding of a public limited company in 1893 Max Kober laid the foundation for the development of one Austrias most important breweries. With the developement of the pasteurising process and the use of crown corks in the 1920’s, Gösser also began its conquest of markets outside Austria. While the two world wars meant a fall in production and setbacks for Gösser Brewery the reconstruction of the brewery was a clear sign of the power of Gösser. During the gala dinner for the signing of the Austrian treaty in 1955 Gösser Spezial was served. Reinforced by this impressive symbol, Gössers journey of success has continued until today. The Göss Brewery, the birthplace of Austria’s best beer, is today one of the most modern breweries in the country.

tbr-gosser2Brewer Brand Hype: Gösser. Good. Better. Gösser. Austria’s finest beer. Purest water from our own carefully protected Alpine springs, the finest ingredients and a beer brewing culture refined over many centuries have made Gösser the best beer in Austria. With every sip of Gösser you are enjoying the finest quality, the purest that nature can offer plus a superb and living beer tradition – altogether a unique taste experience!
Label: Austria’s Finest Beer

The Brewski Review: Good beer. That’s about sums it up. For a Euro pale lager it had minimal hop bitterness and was refreshingly mild tasting. It tasted more like an American Adjunct lager but with richer flavor. This would rank as one of my favorite Euro Pale Lagers to date. Nevertheless, I’ll press on to try others to see if this one holds the torch in the end. Caps off, bottoms up!

Drinkability: Would definitely drink again.
Appearance: Minimal head. Light golden color.
The Buds: Minimal hop bitterness. Smooth.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 Caps out of 5.

Gosser Print Ad

Gosser Print Ad

Quite a few fanatics follow the Gosser BMW car that races in a European circuit.

Quite a few fanatics follow the Gosser BMW car that races in a European circuit.

January 29, 2011

Belhaven Brewery’s Scottish Ale Beer Review 1.29.2011

Belhaven Brewery's Scottish Ale

Belhaven Brewery's Scottish Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Belhaven’s Scottish Ale
File Date: 1.29.2011

File Name: Free will to drink whatever you want.
The Beer: Scottish Ale
Type: Scottish Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Belhaven Brewery Co. Ltd. (Greene King)
Web Site: www.belhaven.co.uk
State/Country of Origin: UK (Scotland)
Brewer Info: While 1719 may be the earliest documented evidence of the Belhaven Brewery, there may well have been beer production on the site pre-16th century as the wells and certain cellar vaults are known to date from around the time of the Reformation. Monks (noted for brewing skills) settled in the area from the 12th century. Luckily they had access to both fine water and top quality local barley. John Johnstone took ownership of the site in 1719 and it’s widely accepted that under his ownership the brewery started brewing for commercial sale. Commercial rail made it to Dunbar in 1846 both opening Belhaven up to a wider audience but conversely exposing the brewery to competition from further afield. At this time, Dudgeons diversified the business to focus on the maltings side (while still producing beer but in smaller quantities). It is thought that this diversification enabled Dudgeons to survive the widespread changes affecting other smaller Scottish breweries whose numbers dwindled as a result of closure or amalgamation. Through both world wars, Dudgeon continued malting and brewing for the military with a notable key customer – Belhaven Beers. By the 1970s, the malting side of the business that had seen the company survive two world wars, was feeling the strain of competition from modern automated plants. In 1972, family ownership came to an end as the business was sold. But this end was just the beginning of a twenty-year vibrant and significant period of growth for Belhaven. 1993 and a Management buy-out led by Stuart Ross enabled the management team to further expand and develop the business resulting in a successful flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 1996. Most recently (2005), Belhaven was bought by Greene King. 

tbr-scot-ale-logoBrewer Brand Hype: Malty and hoppy, we at Belhaven love the classic Scottish Ale and we’ve been brewing it longer than any of the other beers we produce. Delivering a sweet, smooth and creamy finish, Scottish Ale has a stunning ruby colour in the glass. Magic.
Label: The Belhaven Brewery is one of Scotland’s oldest surviving breweries, dating back to 1719. Belhaven Scottish Ale is a fully rounded ale, a complex mix of malt and hop producing Belhaven’s easily recognised malted and nutty flavour. The Belhaven Brewery Company, Dunbar, Scotland.

The Brewski Review: I read an article the other day about free will. The article was loosly implying that we don’t have free will if, for example, we eat that delicious looking chocolate covered Bavarian cream filled straight. But, you have free will if you don’t eat it. Huh? People have free will to do whatever they want; whether it’s to commit a crime (which, to some, is eating a donut) or performing a good deed for someone in need. (Sweets, by the way, are my kryptonite.) Basically, people make daily, conscious decisions about how to manage their life: from what words to assemble into a sentence to how one reacts in any given situation. Some decisions may not jive with your moral compass but that doesn’t make it any less free will than if the final outcome did line up with your perception of what’s right. If the negative internal consequences were that great, you wouldn’t have made the decision you made. Obviously, you were willing to absorb the risk for the perceived reward. Sometimes you make the right call, sometimes you don’t. Take this beer for example. I think I made the right call. I liked the smooth creaminess of it. Sure there was a nice, roasted malty taste but it just seemed to go down so well. I exercised some pretty darn good free will on this one. Why don’t you do the same?

Drinkability: Would surely drink again.
Appearance: Medium ruby brown w/ muddy color head.
The Buds: Nice smooth, malty taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 rating out of 5.

Everyone's Favorite Scot.

Everyone's Favorite Scot.

November 25, 2010

Fort Collins Brewery’s Retro Read Ale Beer Review 11.25.10

Fill up the little red wagon full of Retro Red please.

Fill up the little red wagon full of Retro Red please.

The Brewski Report Reviews Fort Collins’ Retro Red Ale
File Date: 11.25.2010

File Name: Hun, Would You Please Pull The Tree Out Of The Closet?
The Beer: Retro Red 
Type: American Amber/Red Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Fort Collins Brewery
Web Site: www.fortcollinsbrewery.com
State/Country of Origin: CO, USA
Brewer Info: No relevant information about the brewery is noted.

tbr-retro-red-labelBrewer Brand Hype: This banchee of a red ale is a looker and a taster. English crystal malts create a toasty, nutty flavor and medium body as Tettnang hops produce an assertive yet balanced hop presence. Retro Red is a treat for you taste-buds as well as your eyes.
Label: A Classic Red Ale. This banchee of a red ale is a looker and a taster. Take time to enjoy the confident hop character, rich malt profile and glowing ruby color. This red ale is a treat for your taste-buds as well as  your eyes.

The Brewski Review: Hearty beverage. Dark ruby brown in color. Not much head at the pour. Nice malt flavor. Popped one open while pulling out the X-Mas tree on Thanksgiving day. Which, by the way, is not as much fun for me as it is for others I’m sure. I once saw a home showcased on a home improvement TV series that had a double door closet reserved just for the owners Christmas Tree. What at great idea I thought – if you have the room to spare. Decorate the tree once then just move it in and out of the closet once a year. Where’s the fun in that? Just think of all the extra beers you could be drinking if your spouse wasn’t nagging you about setting up the holiday decorations. Sure, you’d have a few outdoor lights to hang but there’s beer for that as well. I’m all about saving time and energy. Someday maybe I’ll have that double door Christmas Tree closet. A man can dream can’t he?

Drinkability: Sure. Would drink again.
Appearance: Dark ruby brown color.
The Buds: Nice hearty malt flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5 caps.

July 28, 2010

Michelob’s Amber Bock Beer Review 7.28.10

The Food Looks As Good As The Beer Tastes.

The Food Looks As Good As The Beer Tastes.

The Brewski Report Reviews Michelob’s Amber Bock
File Date: 7.28.2010

 File Name: Designated Driver Sleeps In His Own Bed.
The Beer: Amber Bock
Type: Bock
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Michelob/Anheuser-Busch
Web Site: www.anheuser-busch.com
Country of Origin: MO, USA
Brewer Info: Anheuser-Busch traces its origins back to the Bavarian brewery, which was established in 1852. Eberhard Anheuser acquired the Bavarian brewery in 1860 and renamed it E. Anheuser & Co. In 1864, his son-in-law, Adolphus Busch, joined the company that would later become Anheuser-Busch. While the company’s early years were demanding, Adolphus Busch proved up to the challenge. His keen vision, bold initiative, marketing savvy and passionate commitment to quality were his legacy to those who followed, and the high standards he established have been adhered to by each succeeding generation. Today, Anheuser-Busch produces the two best-selling beers in the world, Budweiser and Bud Light, and operates 12 breweries in the United States.

tbr-amber-bock-logo1Brewer Brand Hype: Michelob AmberBock is an American-style bock beer with a rich, malty and smooth taste that is hearty and full-bodied, yet finishes cleanly. Anheuser-Busch introduced this premium-plus beer nationally in 1995. Best served with grilled, barbecued and German-style food. This dark mahogany lager has a rich nutty aroma. With a gentle hint of caramel malt sweetness, this American-style bock has a deep malty body that pours a tall head. Brewed using 100 percent malt-including dark-roasted black and caramel malts and all-imported hops
Label: Draft beer – no label.

The Brewski Review: I stopped into a small bar to have some dinner after work. It reminded me of my college drinking days: a bunch of regulars sitting up at the bar. I did spend time drinking at the local college bars, but I also liked to visit small bars where the misfits hung out: bikers, college kids, townies, old folks, music afficianados, etc.  You had it all. The bands were great and the beer was cheap (rest assured we didn’t drink anything like Michelob – that was an old man’s beer.).  Buy it by the bucket or pitcher. Pour it into plastic cups. Don’t touch anything in the restroom. If you were lucky you weren’t the nightly designated driver so you could whoop it up. It was always a challenge though not to be the driver. Usually we all met at someone’s house. After we had one or two we’d go outside to the cars. Everyone would walk to someone else’s car and then we’d argue. I probably had more than my fair share of driving assignments but that was alright. If you didn’t drive there was always a risk of not having a ride home. The driver may hook up or decide he’s had enough and just leave. So, when I did drive, I may not have been able to drink as much as I wanted. But, at least I knew where I’d be sleeping that night.

Drinkability: Sure. Would drink it again.
Appearance: Dark amber in color. Minimal head.
The Buds: Mild and malty tasting.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 caps out of 5.

tbr-amber-bock-banner

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.)

May 10, 2010

Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top Belgian Witbier 5.10.2010

Bud's Shock Top Belgian White

Bud's Shock Top Belgian White

The Brewski Report Reviews Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top Belgian White Witbier
File Date: 5.10.10

File Name: Snorting Beer Can Tingle
The Beer: Shock Top Belgian White
Type: Witbier
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Anheuser-Busch, Inc
Web Site: www.anheuser-busch.com
Country of Origin: MO, USA
Brewer Info: Anheuser-Busch traces its origins back to the Bavarian brewery, which was established in 1852. Eberhard Anheuser acquired the Bavarian brewery in 1860 and renamed it E. Anheuser & Co. In 1864, his son-in-law, Adolphus Busch, joined the company that would later become Anheuser-Busch. While the company’s early years were demanding, Adolphus Busch proved up to the challenge. His keen vision, bold initiative, marketing savvy and passionate commitment to quality were his legacy to those who followed, and the high standards he established have been adhered to by each succeeding generation. Today, Anheuser-Busch produces the two best-selling beers in the world, Budweiser and Bud Light, and operates 12 breweries in the United States.

shock_top-draftBrewer Brand Hype: Introduced originally as seasonal beer Spring Heat Spiced Wheat in 2006, year-round as Shock Top in 2007. As an unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale, this beer is naturally cloudy with a light golden color. Brewed with orange, lemon and lime peels and coriander. Shock Top Belgian White pairs well with fresh salads, chicken dishes and Asian cuisine. The beer is best enjoyed in a tall, wide-mouthed glass. To serve the brew perfectly, follow these pouring guidelines. Pour the brew down the side of the glass until about one-half inch of brew is left in the bottle. Lay the bottle on its side and roll it gently back and forth, mixing the remaining yeast that has settled at the bottom. Pour the rest of the brew, producing a nice, thick collar of foam.
Label: Reviewed this one as a draft.  (Kind of hard to roll the bottle on it’s side when it comes from the keg.  It makes me wonder if I’m getting the full taste from the tap.)

The Brewski Review: In typical witbier form, this Belgian style wheat ale is cloudy in color. I didn’t detect much of a citrus taste or aroma.  With it’s crisp flavor and minimal aftertaste it would make for a decent summertime beverage. Nothing too special or noteable to make it my witbier of choice.  My initial thought is to skip to another witbier before sampling this brew again.  Although, I may be willing to give a bottle a try sometime to see if I’m tasting the full yeasty flavor.  If I do try the bottle version, I’ll make it a point NOT to drink it while I dine with fellow coworker – ‘Two Buck Chuck’ – out on the road as I did when I drank the draft version. If I do, I’ll risk snorting most of the beer out my nose.  Who can’t laught at a coagulation of ruthless and sarcastic comments about your place of work and those you work with?  I most certainly can’t.  And the company I work for definitely has no shortage of material to comment about.  Does yours?  Probably not.  I’ve been with a few large, well known companies and they’re all about the same.  Maybe one day I’ll find an organization where I actually enjoy going to work each morning and doing what I’m paid to do.  I envy those individuals who knew what they wanted to do right out of high school, earned their degree and are now doing it. Probably making great money at it as well. Me? I need a career change.  Only problem is, I can’t afford to start at the bottom. That’s what the lottery is for right?    

Drinkability: Drinkable. If I drink it again, it’ll be in the bottle.
Appearance: Cloudy, Pale golden yellow.
The Buds: Decent for an industrial brew.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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