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?

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.

July 30, 2010

Bell’s Brewery Oberon Ale Beer Review 7.30.10

Bell's Brewery Oberon Ale

Bell's Brewery Oberon Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Bell’s Oberon Ale.
File Date: 7.30.10

 File Name: Scent Of Sunny On Sale Now!
The Beer: Oberon Ale
Type: American Pale Wheat Ale
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.8% ABV
Brewer: Bell’s Brewery Inc.
Web Site: www.bellsbeer.com
Country of Origin: MI, USA
Brewer Info: Bell’s Brewery, Inc. formerly Kalamazoo Brewing Company, founded by Larry Bell as a home-brewing supply shop in 1983, sold its first beer in 1985. Originally brewing in a 15-gallon soup kettle, the company has grown remarkably. Bell’s Brewery has grown from a tiny operation renting part of a former plumbing supply warehouse to a bustling, regional craft brewery. Although the “microbrewery” revolution began on the West Coast in the 1970s, the Midwest saw this brewing development much later. Bell’s Brewery stands as the oldest craft-brewer east of Boulder, Colorado. Originally self-distributed, Larry and crew brewed, bottled and delivered all of the beer to market for the company’s first four years. By 1989, Bell’s was shipping over 500 barrels annually and assigned its first wholesaler to further establish itself across the State of Michigan. After struggling several years to produce and sell robust, full-bodied ales against a tide of a mass-market domestic beer, Bell’s began to see the demand for craft beer grow dramatically. Bell’s soon ventured outside Michigan, continuing its solid growth and developing a reputation across the Midwest for the unique style and flavor of its Bell’s brands.

tbr-oberon-sm-labelBrewer Brand Hype: An American wheat ale brewed with Saaz hops. Spicy and fruity, Oberon is the color and scent of a sunny afternoon.
Label: A short draft beer served at the bar. No labels.

The Brewski Review: I don’t really have much to say about Oberon Ale and it appears the brewer doesn’t either. Take a look at the Brewer Brand Hype noted above. ‘color and scent of a sunny afternoon’? Who wrote this uniquely undescriptive marketing tagline? Bell’s Brewery must have bartered some of their product with a local ad firm because they most certainly couldn’t have paid for this touchy, feely assembly of words. If this verbiage is printed somewhere on the label and I was fortunate enough to read it before purchasing, the limited sensitivity of my manliness would have prevented me from purchasing this beverage. The bottle would have slipped through my hand and exploded on the store floor while I stood, slackjawed and immobile at the mere thought of something so unnaturally beer-like. Who is the intended market for this brand: nuns and sweet old grandmothers between the ages of 60 and 80? Seriously, was there any vision here into gaining market share with this brand advertising? I’m just really at a loss on this. What does a sunny afternoon smell like? To me, the scent of a sunny afternoon smells like fresh cut grass in the spring, thick, muggy and humid air in the summer, a burning pile of leaves in the fall and crisp, burning notrils on a subzero and sunny winter day. What does the scent of a sunny day smell like to you? Most likely not like this beer. Oberon to drink was decent and drinkable but I guess I expected more than Bell’s was capable of delivering. Ultimately, I wouldn’t consider Oberon Ale a quintessential summertime beer if that’s what the ‘scent of a sunny afternoon’ is supposed to convey.

Drinkability: Sure. Maybe.
Appearance: Clear and medium to dark golden color.
The Buds: Good. But I expected more.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Why couldn't the caption be 'Beer for the Blue Skies and Warm Days of Summer'? This picture is pretty darn inviting.

Why couldn't the caption be 'Beer for the Blue Skies and Warm Days of Summer'? This picture is pretty darn inviting.

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.)

July 17, 2010

Southern Tier’s 422 Pale Wheat Ale Beer Review 7.17.2010

Southern Tier's 422 Pale Wheat Ale

Southern Tier's 422 Pale Wheat Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Southern Tier’s 422 Pale Wheat Ale
File Date: 7.17.10

File Name: Is ‘Green’ Beer all the rage?
The Beer: 422 Pale Wheat Ale
Type: American Pale Wheat Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.8% ABV
Brewer: Southern Tier Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.southerntierbrewing.com
Country of Origin: NY, USA
Brewer Info:  Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, New York, has been in operation since 2002. Founders Phineas DeMink and Allen (“Skip”) Yahn started the brewery with the vision of bringing small batch brewing back to a region rich in brewing tradition. In 2002 Skip and Phin purchased the defunct Old Saddleback Brewing Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. All the equipment was removed, brought back to Lakewood and set up at its new home located within the Stoneman Business Park. The Brewery began distributing regionally in February 2003. By 2005 sales covered the majority of New York State and the eastern half of Pennsylvania. In the beginning their two flagship brands were Pilsner and Mild Ale and they also brewed IPA. As it turned out the flagships were a flop and the IPA was a huge success! They next launched a line of seasonal beers which gained great success. Since the beginning, Southern Tier has experienced steady growth and after multiple expansions to keep up with demand a new building was built in 2009. The building was designed with the express purpose of brewing innovative, high quality beer for an expanding customer base.

I wonder if Southern Tier is a 'green' company. Do they use solar or wind power to brew? Or, do they use 'green' marketing to sell their brands?

I wonder if Southern Tier is a 'green' company. Do they use solar or wind power to brew? Or, do they use 'green' marketing to sell their brands?

Brewer Brand Hype:
Pour 422 Pale Wheat Ale into a pint glass, give it a long whiff and you’ll realize that this isn’t your average pale golden wheat. Preserved in its unfiltered state, 422 is a fantastic session ale in which flavors of wheat, barley and hops commingle to a refreshing and zesty conclusion. Hints of orange and sweet malts waft to the fore as a touch of bitterness contributes to a smooth finish. 422 is brewed as a tribute to preserving our precious planet and it’s environment. It is responsibly packaged with over 80% recycled consumer products and is completely recyclable. Enjoy 422 all year as to take one stride closer to an eco-friendly life.
Label: Make Everyday Earth Day

The Brewski Review: I haven’t been able to spend the quality time I need to finish our den. Most everything is done. The floors where a pistol to complete. The sand paper kept gumming up with shellac so I had to scrap the entire floor off with a paint scraper prior to sanding. That wasn’t a pleasant task I can assure you. Overall the floors turned out nice. There was one small area that used to house an electrical outlet (in the floor – probably for a window AC unit) which needed patched. To do the job I purchased a Dremel Multimax. There are other versions of the same tool. Fein, Rockwell, Rigid, Craftsman, etc. but I selected the Multimax because of the price – $99. Others were $109 and $119. Fein was a model I would have liked to have purchased but I would have had to miss a car payment in order to afford it.  The only downside to the Dremel was that it seems to be a light-duty version more akin to a hobby tool vs. an industrial use power tool. Still, it did the job. I’m sure I’ll find other uses for it around the house in the years to come. Check out the pictures of the nearly completed room. Maybe when it’s all done I’ll celebrate. Would I do so with a 422 Pale Wheat Ale?  Sure. Why not. It’s a crisp and mild, well balanced beer. I don’t know how the ‘green’ or Earth Day connection comes into play or even what the reference to the name 422 relates to but don’t let that deter you.   

Drinkability: Would drink it again.
Appearance: Pale gold color with plenty ‘o head.
The Buds: Decent beverage. Nice mild balance.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The Dremel Multimax in Hand.

The Dremel Multimax in Hand.

The Multimax Kit

The Multimax Kit

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