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

August 14, 2012

Dark Horses’ Raspberry Ale Review 8.14.2012

Dark Horses' Raspberry Ale

Dark Horses' Raspberry Ale

TBR Reports on Dark Horse’s Raspberry Ale
File Date: 8.14.2012

File Name: Where’s the Raspberry?
The Beer: Raspberry Ale
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: Dark Horse Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.darkhorsebrewery.com
State/Country of Origin: MI, USA
Brewer Info: A brewer slowly climbed from the lowest points of business life with a sore ass, as he ascended to a new level. Hark! The horse of the dark nature holds the scales where the wheat and barley feedeth, not taketh from the mouths of man. A non-filtered view of hard work, careful perseverance of expansion, sticking to what is believed to be the right way and the only way to stay true to high quality, and also, the vague understandings of possible humor; blurring his family’s, employees’ and customers’ drinking experience and vision between a no-bullshit approach to brewing big, outstanding beers and selling nonsensical imagery and haberdashery…Proven to the masses as a Darkhorse trademark for the man behind the reigns.

tbr-raspberry-insertBrewer Brand Hype: A lot of people have asked us “why are there Bee’s on the label?” Well, we don’t really have an answer for you other than they just look cool. This is a light bodied easy drinking ale. We only use real raspberries so the flavor is very mild fruit and balanced, not what you would expect from a “fruit” beer. The way we see it is we’re brewers so lets make good beer, not some fruity carbonated malt beverage. Oh yeah, our motto…”beer first, fruit second”.

The Brewski Review: On the menu was fresh corn on the cob, grilled pork loin with a pinch of blue cheese, rice, cole slaw and a bottle of Raspberry Ale. The food was great. The beer? So-so. It was okay as far as an ale goes, but I was looking for something a little different. Heck, that’s why I picked the RASPBERRY ale. I could sense a ultra slight sweet taste…..but it was far from a raspberry taste. So, overall I’d have to rank this an average beer. It was cold, poured with a nice foamy head and gave off a nice ale taste so for these I give this brand a A. For being a raspberry beer maybe a D. Combined a C+/B-. I pulled some other raspberry and blueberry beers off the shelf so I’ll give them a try. I’m looking for that nice fruit taste. Why market a beverage as having raspberry, or any fruit for that fact, when it’s so darn difficult to taste. Simply doesn’t make any sense. Then again, what in this world does?

Drinkability: I’ll keep looking
Appearance: Cloudy and dark – similar to apple cider
The Buds: Where’s the raspberry?
TBR Cap Rating: 3.25 caps out of 5

July 22, 2011

Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weisse and the Sediment Swirl 7.22.2011

Hacker-Pschorr Weisse is worthy of the swirl.

Hacker-Pschorr Weisse is worthy of the swirl.

The Brewski Report Reviews Hacker-Pschorr Weisse Wheat Beer and the Sediment Swirl.
File Date: 7.22.2011

 File Name: Train your wrist for the sediment swirl.
The Beer: Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weisse
Type: Hefeweizen
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: Hacker-Pschorr Brau Gmbh
Web Site: http://www.hacker-pschorr.de/
State/Country of Origin: Germany
Brewer Info: Hacker-Pschorr – In the tradition of new ideas and old virtues. “On our centuries-old beer tradition we are proud. For us it is a piece of home, a precious commodity that must nurture and preserve it.” One of the great traditional Munich breweries is the Hacker-Pschorr brewery. Since the 15th Century the name “hacker” for pure enjoyment of beer, for the original, the living and lovable in Bavaria. 1417 is already a “Preustatt at Hagkagasse” in Munich is mentioned exactly where you ausschenkt still in the “Old House Hacker” Hacker-Pschorr beers. Almost a hundred years later, on 23 April 1516 Duke Wilhelm adopts IV the Bavarian purity law, and until now the Hacker-Pschorr beers are brewed in strict accordance with this bid. Centuries-old brewing tradition, a great family – Joseph Pschorr the only brewer whose bust in the Hall of Fame is available – to earth and reliability, but is Hacker-Pschorr. “The sky of Bavaria,” promises the loop above the logo. What is it for a true Bavarian heaven? The incomparable landscape, cherished traditions, even in modern times have on hand, the belief in the genuine love of life and of course a honest brewed fresh beer. The beer is of course at a brewery in the foreground, but confidence means for the home and involvement. As a regional brand in southern Bavaria presents itself Hacker-Pschorr, Munich and Upper Bavaria in the country, as the local partner associations – whether sporting or cultural. Here is also the home of typical and unspoilt inns, where you can enjoy a hearty snack Hacker-Pschorr beers. Whether full-bodied and spicy or tangy – fresh and tasty – the Hacker-Pschorr beers have to offer something for every taste exquisite qualities. Each beer has its own “character” and we are proud that it was the traditional brand Hacker-Pschorr Munich brewery as their first specialty in the swing top bottle offers. (Ever use Dictionary.com’s translator? The chopped up version you just read it about as good as it gets.)

tbr-hp-labelBrewer Brand Hype: Genuine old Bavarian wheat beer unfiltered, from 2 / 3 wheat and 1 / 3 barley malt, tangy, refreshing taste typical of top-fermented. When the first taste of beer? True – in the late morning accompanied by a Hacker-Pschorr Weisse unfiltered yeast lees with the typical taste excellent white sausages with sweet mustard and crispy pretzel. Fruity, fine bubbles and refreshing, it can be a well-kept white but also occasionally finds difficult to resist. Serving suggestion: For hearty Bavarian specialties a treat, but also to light dishes such as chicken or fish.
Label: Traditional Wheat

The Brewski Review: Very tastey wheat beer. I think I found a wheat beer that’s a tad bit better than the Hoegaarden Weisse. The flavors pop so much better in your mouth. It super creamy and ultra cloudy like a good wheat beer. As with all wheat beers, remember the swirl the last remaining few ounces of beer in the bottle to loosen the setiment at the bottom. I’m sure you’ll want to drink up as much of this savory liquid that I did.

Drinkability: Excellent. Would definitely drink again.
Appearance: Light amber w/ mucho head.
The Buds: Flavor pop.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5 caps.

Weisse Squad....Vice Squad....get it? I believe the 'cops' should have been in more skimpy attire. This isn't selling the brand to me.

Weisse Squad....Vice Squad....get it? I believe the 'cops' should have been in more skimpy attire. This isn't selling the brand to me.

There is a heaven, and it's located in Germany.

There is a heaven, and it's located in Germany.

June 26, 2011

Red Seal Ale or Notes: Which is Better? 6.26.11

Northcoast's Red Seal Ale

Northcoast's Red Seal Ale with spillage.

The Brewski Report Reviews North Coast’s Red Seal Ale
File Date: 6.26.2011

File Name: Red Seal Beer or Notes, You Choose.
The Beer: Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale
Type: American Amber/Red Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: North Coast Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.northcoastbrewing.com
State/Country of Origin: CA, USA
Brewer Info: A pioneer in the craft beer movement, North Coast Brewing Company opened in 1988 as a local brewpub in the historic town of Fort Bragg, located on California’s Mendocino Coast. Under the leadership of Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich, the brewery has developed a strong reputation for quality having won more than 70 awards in national and international competitions. In addition to Red Seal Ale, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Scrimshaw Pilsner, and other fine North Coast brands, the brewery has resurrected the old Acme label with a heritage dating back to the San Francisco of the 1860’s. These exceptional beers are available in 47 states now and also are exported to Europe and the Pacific Rim.

tbr-nc-logoBrewer Brand Hype: Malt and hops are beautifully married in this full-bodied, copper-red Pale Ale. Red Seal is generously hopped for a long, spicy finish. An excellent accompaniment to grilled meats and rich sauces.
Label: Brewed in Mendocino County, California. Water, Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast & That’s all. Malt & hops are beautifully married in this copper-red pale ale. Generously hopped for a long spicy denouement.

The Brewski Review: Nice tasting American Amber/Red ale. Hoppy and slightly bitter but not too overwhelming. Nice blend of malts and hops. Very foamy head on the pour. I give it a Brewski thumbs up. Of course, given the chance, I’d rather have another type of red seal as pictured below. Alot of those would set me up pretty well.

Drinkability: Yes. Tasty.
Appearance: Nice copper color. Large head
The Buds: Good balance of hops and malts.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5 caps.

A red seal of another kind and not to be confused with the Northcoast variety.

A red seal of another kind and not to be confused with the Northcoast variety.

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: www.franziskaner.com
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.

How much worse could your day get? Think again. It could always be worse.

Don't believe your day couldn't get any worse than it is now? Think again. What are the chances of a fire and a mini-tornado at the same time?

March 25, 2011

Royal Bavarian Hefe-Weizen Beer Review 3.25.2011

Very Heady Brew This Royal Bavarian.

Very Heady Brew This Royal Bavarian.

The Brewski Report Reviews Konig Ludwig Weissbier
File Date: 3.25.2011

 File Name: Kick the usual habit.
The Beer: Konig Ludwig Weissbier (Royal Bavarian Hefe-Weizen)
Type: Hefeweizen
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg
Web Site: www.koenig-ludwig.com/klw/koenig_ludwig_en.asp
State/Country of Origin: Bavaria, Germany
Brewer Info: The Kaltenberg brand covers the bottom-fermentation, blond premium beers of the König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg. They are produced using traditional brewing methods with selected raw materials from Southern Germany. His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, who himself personifies and continues the Royal Bavarian beer tradition, brews the Kaltenberg beers totally in the centuries-old tradition of his Wittelsbacher forebears, who established the Bavarian Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot). For special occasions such as the “strong beer time”, folk festivals, harvest festival or Christmas, particular beers are brewed and bottled – beers fitting the character of each occasion, Even with this Prince Luitpold of Bavaria follows tradition – because a special occasion was always worth a special brew as far as the Bavarian Royal House was concerned. In the heart of Bavaria, 40 kilometres west of Munich, lies Kaltenberg Castle, residence of His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria and containing one of the last true castle breweries. Prince Luitpold, great grandson of the last King of Bavaria, Ludwig II, feels himself bound by the tradition which links the Wittelsbach family with the art of brewing. It is not least his personal dedication, which has made the beers of the König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg so excellent and so renowned.

tbr-rbh2Brewer Brand Hype: The world-wide fame of Bavarian beer is directly attributable to the House of Wittelsbach, the family of His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria. It was in 1516 that Duke Wilhelm IV issued the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot or Purity Law – which is still valid today. Prince Luitpold is thus continuing a long-standing family tradition. 200 years of experience gained through the wheat beer monopoly held by the Wittelsbach family also means that König Ludwig Weissbier is truly a “Beer of Royal Highness”. The König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg today feels more than ever connected to this centuries-long tradition – and brews its four varieties of König Ludwig Weissbier – Hefe Weissbier in both Hell and Dunkel types and Light and Kristall sorts – with the greatest possible care. Find out how a true connoisseur enjoys König Ludwig Weissbier:
1. Get hold of a properly shaped wheat beer glass – better still an original König Ludwig Weissbier wheat beer glass. If you do not have one, we will gladly take an order from you.
2. Rinse the glass out carefully with clear, cold water and open the bottle with appreciative restraint.
3. Hold the glass at a slight angle and pour the beer carefully into it.
4. Make sure that a small amount is left in the bottle. You will need this for the next step.
5. Shake the yeast up and pour the remaining beer into the glass putting an appetising head on your wheat beer.
Now there it is, in all its splendour – your brilliant, fresh König Ludwig Weissbier. Don’t hang about any longer, get on with the tasting!
Label: Naturally cloudy wheat brew. Brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law. Why are the Bavarian Royal Family and King Ludwig so important to brewing history? The Bavarian Royal Family had sole rights to brewing of Hefe-Weizen in Bavaria for 200 years. No wonder they are leading experts on wheat brews.

The Brewski Review: Excellent wheat beer. Naturally cloudy in appearance and oh so smooth and light. I’m beginning to like the mild taste of Hefeweizen beers. No bitterness or aftertaste to contend with. Just pure drinking enjoyment. The whole purpose of my misson with this blog was to find some great beers. I think I’ve succeeded in doing that. But more so, I’m finding the types of beer I like best such as Hefeweizen and Bock but not so much with IPA. I’ll keep at it. Maybe I’ll inspire you to try different brands to get you out of the beer you’ve been drinking for the last 5, 10 or 20 years.  Bottoms up!

Drinkability: Definitely
Appearance: Large white head, cloudy golden color
The Buds: Smooth and light tasting. Excellent.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Branding to new heights.

Branding to new heights.

Looks inviting to me. How about you?

Looks inviting to me. How about you?

The only other Royal I know.

The only other Royal I know.

October 29, 2010

Michelob’s Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale Beer Review 10.29.10

You know Jack? Maybe you should become friends with the jack I know. Anheuser's entry into the Pumpkin Ale category.

You know Jack? Maybe you should become friends with the Jack I know. Anheuser's entry into the Pumpkin Ale category.

The Brewski Report Reviews Michelob Brewing Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale
File Date: 10.29.10

File Name: The Little Guy Gets The Shaft – Again.
The Beer: Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: Michelob Brewing Co. / Anheuser-Busch Inc.
Web Site: www.anheuser-busch.com
Country/State 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-jacks-pullBrewer Brand Hype: Our fall seasonal is a subtle, well-balanced ale, copper in color, offering rich, full flavors and aromas of pumpkin and spices. This all-malt ale is brewed with golden delicious pumpkins and select seasonal spices, including nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and clove. Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale complements dishes such as turkey dinners, pumpkin bisque, teriyaki chicken and mild Italian sausages. Enjoy Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale in a tall, fluted glass.
Label: Our fall seasonal draws it’s rich copper color from two-row Caramel and Carapils barley malts. Brewed with Golden Delicious pumpkins and select seasonal spices to produce a balanced, truly flavorful taste. All malt ale brewed with pumpkins and select seasonal spices including nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and clove.

The Brewski Review: I recieved my mortgage statement the other day in the mail. It was higher than I’m used to seeing to I phoned the bank to see what’s up. Apparently, my insurance company and county of residence decided I wasn’t paying enough. After hearing this I found myself in a state of confusion. About 6 months earlier I contested my property value and a decision came down in my favor. So, naturally, I called the county tax department and they said, ‘Oh yeah. Your property value was reduced but your taxes went up.’ ‘Perfect’ I said to myself. This could only happen to me. I pressed a little further and the helpful woman on the other end of the phone also noted that there was a local school levy increase (Didn’t Obama just give Schools/teachers $50B?) that was unknown to my wife and I. It must have been a double secret ballet that only the school officials knew about and voted in favor of. This makes me happy. Then, I call my insurance company. My agent’s response was ‘There was a general, across the board rate increase to pay for hurricane claims in the Southern States.’ I responded with ‘Twenty percent?’ ‘Yes’ he said. Arrrg! Nothing makes me happier than paying more than my share to help keep someone else’s premiums affordable (people, this is sarcasm.). It seems that whenever a company, organization, or G-man agency needs money they just raise rates and taxes while my slice get’s smaller and smaller. Is this a great county or what? Now that I’m in a terrific mood, I’ll spill the bean on this seemingly not-so-bad industrial brew. There is some decent spice flavor and some malty taste. The beer poured out as a rich copper tone – one of my favorite colors (see pictures of my den walls). I enjoyed this beer but It just didn’t measure up to some of the other pumpkin beers I’ve tasted. Nonetheless, it was still a drinkable beverage. This brand has been available since 2005.

Drinkability: Would drink it again.
Appearance: Rich copper color.
The Buds: Decent showing for an industrial brew. Nice spice taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5 caps.

Pumpkin Chunkin Ammo.

Pumpkin Chunkin Ammo.

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