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

July 31, 2015

Brew Kettle’s Summer Soulstice (Rays) 7.31.2015

Summer Soulstice (Newly renamed Summer Rays)

Summer Soulstice (Newly renamed Summer Rays)

TBR Reports out on Brew Kettle’s Summer Soulstice (Summer Rays)
File Date: 7.31.2015

File Name: Office Cubes are Killing Me
The Beer: Summer Soulstice
Type: Belgian Style Wit Bier
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.3% ABV
Brewer: The Brew Kettle Production Co.
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Strongsville, OH, USA
Brewer Info: TBK Production Works, The Brew Kettle Taproom &Smokehouse’s production side of the business, began it’s operations in 1995 as Ringneck Brewing Co. with a small 3 barrel brewhouse.From that humble beginning, we have been committed to producing ales and lagers of superb quality and character. The brewery has expanded twice since then increasing to a 12 barrels system in 2003 and most recently to a 20 barrel system in the spring of 2008.With this increase in production, Look for our hand crafted beers on draft and in retail establishments throughout Ohio and Kentucky.

Summer-Rays-6-packBrewer Brand Hype: Our take on a Belgian style unfiltered wheat ale brewed with raw wheat and flaked oats and spiced with coriander and orange & lemon peel.

Label: Summer Soulstice. Ale brewed with spices. Belgian Style Wit. Out take on a Belgian classic. This unfiltered wheat ale is brewed with flaked wheat & flaked oats and spiced with coriander, orange peel and lemon peel.

The Brewski Review: I’ve had this in my fridge for so long I think the brewer changed the name from Summer Soulstice to Summer Rays.Nonetheless, it was worth pulling out just the same and giving it a try. It was tastey and would definitely drink it again. The color was a very pale golden yellow, poured with minimal head and contained hints of spice. It was chilled nicely when I cracked it open on a hot summer day – probably the best time to drink a Wit Bier. (Then again, is there really a bad time to drink any kind of beer?) You haven’t seem many posts from me this year. I was finally able to upgrade my career and leave the nutcracker of a job behind me and pick up a suitable position with a large company that’s only about 7 minutes down the road. Needless to say, I’ve been busy getting acclimated to my new surroundings. The facility is a nice, quick little drive through a metropark along a river. How many people can say they see Egrets, deer, Blue Heron and other assorted wildlife within view or crossing the road on their way to work? Probably not many. Early indications are that the new job was going to be great until my boss was demoted about 3 months into my stint. He was one of the primary reasons I accepted the position but, apparently, he wasn’t righting the ship fast enough for the corporate folks. A new fella has yet to be found so we’ll see how this progresses. I’ll keep you informed.

Drinkability: Would drink again.
Appearance: Very pale golden color. Minimal head.
The Buds: Nice flavor with just a hint of spice.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5.

November 2, 2012

Mexico’s Bohemia Beer Review 11.25.2012

Mexico's Cerveza Bohemia

Mexico's Cerveza Bohemia

TBR Reports on Mexico’s Cerveza Bohemia
File Date:  11.25.2012

File Name: Preparing for Dec. 21st
The Beer: Cerveza Bohemia
Type: German Pilsener
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.3% ABV
Brewer: Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, S.A. de C.V (Heineken)
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: 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).

tbr-bohemia-logoBrewer Brand Hype: His personality is known for its rich aroma and a rich, full flavor, the result of a craft in which they operate only ingredients of the highest quality. Bohemia, considered one of the finest beers from Mexico, promotes the culture of marriage and the importance of beer in the world of gastronomy. Thanks to its rich ingredients, Bohemia is the perfect beer to pair any dish, highlighting the flavors of foods like beer. Bohemia was founded in 1905 with the purpose of being the finest beer in the Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc then. Using the finest European hops from the famous region of Bohemia in the Czech Republic, our brewmaster keeps the recipe for this elegant golden beer, which has transcended and achieved significant recognition.
Label: Imported Beer. Cerveza Bohemia. Est. 1905.

The Brewski Review: Pulling out the Christmas tree and hanging lights is the normal thing to do after Thanksgiving isn’t it? Well, working in the basement getting ready to get ready also counts. My wife and kids were upstairs while I was in the basement getting my workbench organization crazies on. My wife comes downstairs, looks at me and just shakes her head. My natural response is ‘What?’. I guess tooling up during the holiday season is frowned upon in my wife’s viewpoint. Heck, December 21st is nearly upon us. Isn’t that supposed to be the end of the world as we know it? When the world starts to fall apart, I need to know where to get my McGyver equipment. I may need to build an ark out of duck tape, cardboard and 8 penny cc nails. Anyway, I thought a beer would be nice so I pulled this one out of the fridge. It poured with minimal head that dissipated quickly and left a disturbing looking coagulation of foam on the top. The color was a very light golden color that looked almost like an American Adjunct Lager. It went down without coming back up so that was a plus. Overall, it had a decent flavor that held it’s own.

Drinkability: Would not purchase again.
Appearance: Very light – almost clear – in color.
The Buds: Little hoppy bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.25 caps 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?

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:
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 4, 2010

Rogue Ale’s Juniper Pale Ale Beer Review 7.4.10

Pssst! Juniper Berries Are The Secret Ingredient.

Pssst! Juniper Berries Are The Secret Ingredient.

The Brewski Report Reviews Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale
File Date: 7.4.2010

 File Name: With friends like this…(insert joke here).
The Beer: Juniper Pale Ale
Type: Herbed/Spice
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.3% ABV
Brewer: Rogue Ales Brewery/Oregon Brewing Co.
Web Site:
Country of Origin: OR, USA
Brewer Info: Construction began in June of 1988 in Ashland along a very scenic little stream called Lithia Creek. The first brews were Amber and Gold. The Brewery and Pub opened in October 1988. While the Brew Pub was located in a very pretty and scenic location, had a beautiful deck and enjoyed moderate success and the beer was great, Ashland was not to be Rogue’s only adventure. Ashland was basically land locked, and frankly we were losing our butts in Ashland, trying to sell our hand-crafted ales. In early February of 1989, Jack wandered to Newport in search of the perfect place for another Rogue Pub. Legend has it that a terrible and unusual snow storm struck and Jack found himself stranded on the Historic Bay Front, with no way up the hill. He was forced to walk the streets until he met up with Mohave Neimi, founder of the famous Mo’s Clam Chowder. She took him to the original Mo’s restaurant, gave him a bowl of hot clam chowder and told him about her dream of living above a Bar and how she might just have the perfect spot for the next Rogue Brew Pub. Mo offered the vacant space and the garage to Jack at a very generous price, under two stipulations: that a picture of Mo herself, naked in a bath tub, be forever displayed at the Pub (it’s still there today just to the left of the Bar) and that Rogue “feed the fisherman”, meaning that we give back to the local community. This building was known as the Front & Case Bldg. The Pub opened in May of 1989, with a small but enthusiastic customer base, made up of curious locals who dropped by to see what was going on and never left. Many joined in and helped with the construction and other projects as needed. The names of many of these early customers have been immortalized with brass plaques that grace the bar today. So begins the story of Rogue Ales, enjoy!

Brewer Brand Hype: The Turkey was named the official bird of the rogueRogue Nation in August 2007. To commemorate the momentous occasion, Rogue Juniper Pale Ale was dedicated to “the turkey in each of us.” An axe and the dedication have been added to the serigraphed 22oz bottle and Juniper Pale Ale tap stickers. The Pilgrims were ale drinkers and most likely enjoyed beer at the first Thanksgiving. Juniper Pale Ale, like all Rogue products preserves water by using more ingredients, contains no chemicals, additives or preservatives and uses Free Range Coastal Water. A pale ale, saffron in color with a smooth malt balance, floral aroma with a dry spicy finish from whole juniper berries.
Label: Ale Brewed with Juniper Berries.

The Brewski Review: Brewed with Juniper berries? I really couldn’t detect the subtle flavor of the Juniper berries but it was a good beer. I would have thought this beer would have been clear but alas, it was a rather cloudy, deep gold color. I noticed a medium bitterness with a slight aftertaste. It is a crisp beer. Maybe this comes from the Free Range Coastal Water? What? Is there any other type of coastal water other than free range? What kind of marketing hype is this? Aside from a decent tasting beer, I’m reluctant to buy this marketing hyperbole. Which reminds me of a recent call from an old friend that was left on my work phone the other day. We had attended the same elementary and high school together but haven’t spoken since a reunion a few years back. I wasn’t in the office to take the call (go figure, I was out of town) but when I did retrieve the message I wasn’t so quick to return the call. His ultimate reason for the call was to sell a service to our company. A couple days passed and he calls again. This time I picked up the phone. We exchanged the usual ‘been a long time’ banter and reminisced about a few stories. He said he tried to look me up on Facebook but couldn’t find me (not my bag). At the end he said that his phone number was in the book if I wanted to call him and meet up for a drink some time. The likelihood that I’ll call him is rather slim. Actually, I can trace back my untrusting nature in people to this very one individual. Who needs a shrink? When I was about 8 or 9 years old I received a cassette player from my parents at Christmas. It wasn’t a week old when this friend asked that he borrow it. Okay. I was hesitant but I let it go. He returns it broken, with superglue fingerprints all over the top in a very sloppy attempt at repair. When I humbly asked what happened he litterally raised his voice, got in my face and said ‘What? It’s fixed isn’t it?’ Talk about a bummer. There have been other instances since then but this one point in time undoubtedly laid an unplumb foundation in my life.  

Drinkability: Decent beverage.
Appearance: Cloudy golden straw color.
The Buds: Malty tasting.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

June 1, 2010

Anheuser-Busch’s American Ale Beer Review 6.1.10

American Ale in all it's glory.

American Ale in all it's glory.

The Brewski Report Reviews Anheuser-Busch’s American Ale
File Date: 6.1.10

File Name: Would you like some beer with that smoke?
The Beer: American Ale
Type: American Amber/Red Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.3% ABV
Brewer: Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Web Site:
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-amer-ale-logo1Brewer Brand Hype: American-style amber ale. Budweiser American Ale has a robust taste that’s full-bodied, but not too heavy or too bitter. Carefully brewed with the highest quality American ingredients, this rich, amber-colored, all- malt ale delivers a satisfying bold taste with a bright hoppy finish. It’s an ale that’s distinctly American in character. Initial citrus and slight green hop aromas in the nose from the Cascade dry hop are balanced by caramel and slight toasted malt flavor and aromas. Balanced and full-bodied but not overpowering, with a savory finish. Brewed with caramel malted barley for a beautiful, rich amber color and sweet malt character and dry-hopped with Cascade hops from the Pacific Northwest for a noticeably citrus aroma, Budweiser American Ale achieves the perfect balance of rounded malt and hop flavor. 
Label: Budweiser American Ale defines a new style of ale – The American Ale – created by Anheuser-Busch brewmasters to deliver robust ale taste that’s full-bodied, but not too heavy nor too bitter. Carefully brewed with barley from America’s Heartland and Cascade Hops from the Pacifc Northwest, this rich, ambered-colored ale has robust flavor and a distinctive, hoppy finish.

The Brewski Review: I thought I’d try out a new restaurant today while out on the road.  It was tucked back off the main road with a red awning that said Sports.  Beer.  Food. and a few other key words to catch a guys attention.  We walked in, a coworker and myself, and were quite surprised by how few people were inside and how much cigarette smoke clogged the air.  (A Smoke-ateria I like to call it.) These patrons, about 8 old dudes in their 60’s and 70’s must have been huffing and puffing like they were all going on the wagon the next day.  I think the bargirls must be smokers as well since no one made an effort to turn on the ventilation system.  Let it be known, I’m no fan of smokers. I don’t judge people who smoke but at the same time, I don’t want to smell it just because you like to do it.  Needless to say, we down a quick beer and hit the road. We glanced at the menu but, frankly, I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy eating anything. The worst part is, from just my short time inside my clothes reaked.  Arrrg!  Anyway, the beer I downed was a Budweiser American Ale. If I was a beer snob and tried to detect all the suble aromas I would be hard pressed considering the environment. Good thing I’m not one of those guys.  I liked this brew.  Rather hoppy but it wasn’t too bitter and had minimal aftertaste. Decent beverage for an industrial brewer. Winter would be a good time to enjoy this beverage. Although it wasn’t heavy it was nonetheless a richer, fuller brew.

Drinkability: Would drink it again – maybe in the fall or winter.
Appearance: No glass this time around.
The Buds: Good. Hoppy tasting with mild bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5.

Isn't this a great logo? Anheuser-Busch has never skimped on Marketing their brands.

Isn't this a great logo? Anheuser-Busch has never skimped on Marketing their brands.

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