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

February 9, 2014

TBR’s Bass Pale Ale Beer Review 2.9.14

bass-tbr-rev-ldr

TBR Reports on William Bass’ Pale Ale
File Date: 2.9.14

File Name: Titanic size snow piles.
The Beer: Bass Pale Ale
Type: English Pale Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.0% ABV
Brewer: Bass Brewers Ltd.
Web Site: www.bass.com
State/Country of Origin: United Kingdom (England)
Brewer Brand Hype: Bass is a full-flavored English-style ale that is still brewed according to its original
Brewer Info: The Bass Brewery was founded in 1777 by William Bass in Burton upon Trent,
England. The main brand was Bass Pale Ale, once the highest selling beer in the UK. By 1877,
Bass had become the largest brewery in the world, with an annual output of one million barrels.
Its pale ale was exported throughout the British Empire, and the company’s distinctive red triangle
became the UK’s first registered trademark.

recipe.  Select malts, aromatic hops and water rich in essential salts and minerals combine to give Bass its
slight burnt roast aroma and high-quality, full-bodied flavor.  The original English Pale Ale and England’s
first trademark, Bass has been embraced by trail-blazers since 1777.  The brand has been painted by Manet,
fought over by Napoleon and was served on the Titanic.
Label: The World’s Finest Pale Ale. Iconography – As Bass Pale Ale’s popularity grew, unscrupulous imitators
tried to pass off inferior products as Bass by copying the unique red triangle logo. In 1875, concerned for
the reputation of their beloved brew, Bass brewers applied for and were granted England’s first registered
trademark. This fine pale ale has been brewed in the great British tradition using the finest two-row
malted barley.

The Brewski Review: Served on the Titanic? Interesting. I think I have a snowpile as big as the iceberg that
sank the Titanic sitting next to my driveway. I believe my patience with winter has reached a high point –
I’ve had enough. It’s snowing every couple of days and I’ve officially run out of places to throw it.
This winter has been brutal. If it’s not snowing it’s subzero weather. I’ve had to replace a battery in one car,
my pickup truck won’t start (it also needs a new battery) and my Explorer has a leaking power steering pump
(or hose): the fluid drains out within a couple of hours. So, I’ve not been a happy camper this bitterly
cold season. Not even a good beer makes me feel better these days. This beer comes close. It’s a wonderful
tasting pale ale in my humble opinion. It pours as a amber/copper color and has a quick dissipating head that
leaves just a trace of lace on the glass. There is a nice mild, almost sweet taste that is smooth on the way
down and leaves no bitter aftertaste. Just the way I like it.

Drinkability: Will definitely drink again.
Appearance: Light amber/copper color.
The Buds: Nice and smooth.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.5 out of 5 caps.

Love the promo ad by Bass.

Love the promo ad by Bass.

And another clever promo ad from Bass & Co.

And another clever promo ad from Bass & Co.

August 25, 2013

Blue Moon’s Valencia Grove Amber Ale Beer Review 8.25.2013

Blue Moon's Valencia Grove Amber Ale

Blue Moon’s Valencia Grove Amber Ale

TBR Reports on Blue Moon’s Valencia Grove Amber Ale
File Date: 8.25.2013

File Name: Wife Expands Horizons
The Beer: Valencia Grove Amber
Type: American Amber/Red Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.9% ABV
Brewer: Blue Moon Brewery/Coors Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.com
State/Country of Origin: CO, USA
Brewer Info: We started Blue Moon and began brewing our first beers back in 1995 at the Sandlot in Denver, Colorado. The goal was to create uniquely-flavored, highly-drinkable, handcrafted beers. (And, of course, have a little fun along the way.) Well, it didn’t take long to strike gold. One of our first creations, Belgian White, made an immediate splash at the World Beer Championships 3 years in a row. More than a decade later, word has started getting around. But otherwise, not much has changed. Still just a bunch of friends having making great beer. What’s not to love about that?

Brewer Brand Hype: The First Sign of Spring. Maybe it’s not time to shed that winter coat just yet, but we’re hoping this beer gets you one step closer. Valencia Grove Amber is for all those in-between days when you try to coax spring out by wearing short sleeves or flip-flops. You’re still cold. We get it. Cozy up with roasted malts, Valencia orange peel, and a touch of wheat for a hint of citrus that’s ripe for the season.
Label: Seasonal Collection. This copper colored ale is crafted with roasted malts, Valencia orange peel and a touch of wheat for a smooth taste with notes of citrus. Our Valencia Grove Amber is crafted with roasted malts, Valencia orange peel and a touch of wheat for an uplifting orange, caramel aroma. It’s the advantage of the season.

The Brewski Review: My wife was shopping a couple weeks ago and picked up a six of Blue Moon’s Valencia Grove Amber ale. She had a hankering for a beer and thought this would be good. This is strange twist because she normally drinks Bud Lime when the warm days are long, but, it’s nice to know she’s not boxed in by her habits. The one I pulled out was the sixth soldier so I thought I better put pen to paper (or, fingers to keyboard) to share my thoughts. On the pour the head is a nice, tight cream colored foam and pours a beautiful copper color. There is a little sweetness to the taste but not overwhelming. There is a nice balance between the hops and malts so there is no lingering bitterness on the finish. Overall, a good brew and definitely worth a try when the sun is high and hot and the bottle is cold and wet.

Drinkability: Yes. Would drink again.
Appearance: Rich copper color with abundant head.
The Buds: Great balance and mild taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5 caps.

January 6, 2013

Spoetzl’s Prickly Pear Beer Review 1.6.2013

Who knew a Prickly Pear would hit the spot. Simply Delicious!

Who knew a Prickly Pear would hit the spot. Simply Delicious!

TBR Reports on Shiner’s Prickly Pear
File Date: 1.6.2013

File Name: The India Fig Opuntia Like You Never Knew
The Beer: Prickly Pear
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: N/A
Brewer: Spoetzl Brewery
Web Site: www.shiner.com
State/Country of Origin: TX, USA
Brewer Info: From its earliest time under the Shiner Brewing Association in 1909, to that fateful day in 1914 when Kosmos Spoetzl saw an opportunity to bring classic Bavarian Brewing traditions to his fellow immigrants, through the “Great Experiment” of Prohibition and and Great Depression, the “Little Brewery” has stuck to what they know best – handcrafting the finest beer.

tbr-prickly-pear-insertBrewer Brand Hype: (This is a limited run craft beer from Spoetzl Brewery. There is no mention of it on their web site.)
Label: Drink one down. End your drought. Beer brewed  with Prickly Pear fruit and with natural flavor added.  Brewer’s Pride Craft Brew No. 3. A little something special from the little brewery in Shiner. This small batch brew is the third in our Limited Edition Brewer’s Pride Craft Brew Series. A combination of Citra and U.S. Golding hops gives this refreshing lager its citrus flavor and floral aroma. The brew’s signature tartness comes from the fruit of the prickly pear, a cactus native to our brewery’s landscape that’s a hearty, rugged and unmistakably unique ~ qualities we surely appreciate. Prosit.

The Brewski Review: Beautiful light, citrus tasting lager from Shiner. It pours with a nice, deep copper color and with ample head that dissipates rather quickly. It has a wonderful citrus, almost sweet flavor to it with minimal hoppy bitterness. I told my wife to try it and she takes about 5 rather large gulps. ‘I’d drink that one.’ she says. Since I only recieved two of these in a Shiner/Spoetzl sampler 12 pack I better take the other bottle out and hide it in the garage. I’ll have to try and track down a few more of these before they are extinct. Excellent taste. And, if you don’t know what a Prickly Pear is, here is a quick educational rundown: Born of the Opuntia cacti or, Indian Fig Opuntia (O. ficus-indica) to be precise, and most often used in culinary applications. There are others but this is the primary genus. Prickly pears typically grow with flat, rounded cladodes that are armed with two kinds of spines; large, smooth, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids, that easily penetrate skin and detach from the plant. Many types of prickly pears grow into dense, tangled structures. Dangerous to pick, so stick to drinking the beer.

Drinkability: Definitely
Appearance: Deep coppercolor with ample head
The Buds: Light, sweet taste
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Indian Fig Opuntia with golades

Indian Fig Opuntia cacti cladodes or better known at prickly pear fruit.

Next time your in Texas stop by here for your next field trip.

Next time your in Texas stop by here for your next field trip.

December 31, 2012

O’Fallon’s Pumpkin Ale Beer Review 12.31.2012

A pumpkin beer worthy of a try.

A pumpkin beer worthy of a try.

TBR Reports on O’Fallon’s Pumpkin Beer
File Date: 12.31.2012

File Name: Santa Brings a Puppy!
The Beer: Pumpkin Beer
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.6% ABV
Brewer: O’Fallon Brewery
Web Site: www.ofallonbrewery.com
State/Country of Origin: MO, USA
Brewer Info: The O’Fallon Brewery was founded by Fran and Tony Caradonna, in 2000. In January they ordered their brewing equipment and sold their first keg on May 6, 2000. The Caradonnas did all the brewing and selling for the first two years, brewing only one style (O’Fallon Gold), selling only kegs and delivering only in St. Charles County. Over the next several years they continued to grow their brands and distribution area. In May 2011 they sold the brewery to Jim Gorczyca, but Fran continues to play a part of day to day operations as the Brewery’s General Manager. The couple has two sons and currently reside in O’Fallon, Missouri.

tbr-ofallon-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Like pumpkin pie in a bottle…we add 136 pounds of real pumpkin to the three-barley mash and then season
the finished beer with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Available September 1.
Label: Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices.

The Brewski Review: Fall has come and gone but I found this tucked away in the back of the fridge. I’m still on my quest for the best pumpkin pie flavored beer I can get and after drinking this, I’ll still be looking. It was a good beverage with nice, spicy overtones but it just wasn’t the full-on pumpkin pie flavor I’m in search of. The color was a wonderful copper hue and it poured with minimal head. Overall it was a decent beer worth drinking again but to me this wasn’t the holy grail. It would still hold up to any occasion sitting around a fall fire. Which, by the way, I didn’t get a chance to do much this past season. I love an outdoor fire but my schedule and the weather wouldn’t permit. Santa delivered a puppy to our kids over the holiday (thanks Papa!) so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to stoke a fire in the spring when I’m in the back yard picking up all the doogie doo. See the sad eye little golden retriever below.  Take care and have a wonderful New Year. I could only imagine that your expectation for 2013 are as high as I’ve set for myself.

Drinkability: Would drink again.
Appearance: Nice copper color.
The Buds: Nice spicy flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5 Caps

Isabella is the name....but Chewy would have been more appropriate.

Isabella is the name....but Chewy would have been more appropriate.

October 8, 2011

Dogfish Head’s Pumpkin Ale Pass Muster? 10.08.2011

Dogfish Head's try at my seasonal favorite - pumpkin ale.

Dogfish Head's try at my seasonal favorite - pumpkin ale.

Dogfish Head’s Pumpkin Ale Just Won’t Cut It For This Frustrated American
File Date: 10.8.2011

File Name: The struggles of being underwater.
The Beer: Pumpkin Ale
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 7.0% ABV
Brewer: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Web Site: www.dogfish.com
State/Country of Origin: DE, USA
Brewer Info: The story of Dogfish Head began in June of 1995 when we opened Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, the first state’s first brewpub opened in the resort beach community of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The plan was to bring original beer, original food, and original music to the area. With the popularity of the pub growing, it was quickly apparent that the 12–gallon brewery would not keep up with demand. We built a new brewery and underwent a thirty-fold expansion of the brew house! We outgrew our distributing brewery in a couple years and in the summer of 2002; we moved our entire production brewery up the road to Milton, Delaware into a 100,000 square foot converted cannery. Around the same time (just to keep thing interesting), we built a distillery on the second floor of our Rehoboth Beach brewpub, so we could make vodka, rum and gin.

tbr-dh-pumpkin-insertBrewer Brand Hype: A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices. This is the perfect beer to warm-up with, as the season cools. Punkin Ale is named after a locally-famous and seriously off-centered event here in southern Delaware – Punkin Chunkin (check out some of these Discovery Channel videos of Punkin Chunkin, you gotta see it to believe it!). In fact, Punkin Ale made it’s debut as it claimed First Prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Conest – yes, that was a full 6 months before we even opened our doors for business. Punkin Chunkin has grown in size and scale with pumpkins now being hurled more than 4,000 feet through the air! If you come down to see if for yourself – come by and visit us. Since then, we’ve brewed Punkin Ale each and every fall. It is released right around September first each year. When you find it, grab some extra because it’s usually gone by Thanksgiving.
Label: A full bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown suger, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.

The Brewski Review: I’m not ranking this pumpkin ale high on my list of favorite pumpkin ales. It has a gorgeous copper color and pours with a sumptuous head but it doesn’t have that pumpkin pie flavor I’m looking for. Others may not care for the pumpkin pie flavor but, to me, that’s what these beers are all about. This one just didn’t do it for me. The allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg weren’t as bold as I would have liked them to be. But then, of course, there are many things that aren’t as good as I’d want them to be. Take, for example, my finances: I don’t have nearly as much as I’d like. In reality, it’s less than ‘nearly as much’ and closer to ‘I drive a 15 year old car and can’t afford to upgrade because I’m under water on my mortgage’. But wait, it’s even worse than that! This taxpayer could save thousands if we refinanced our house, which we can’t do, because as you may have guessed, we’re under water on our mortgage! So, like so many of you out there, we struggle to get buy each and every day. Drinking an occasional beer is just a small reward that keeps me hanging on – day in and day out. And, by golly, if I want pumpkin pie flavor, dang it, I won’t settle for anything less!

Drinkability: Probably not. Would seek out another pumpkin ale.
Appearance: Visually appealing.
The Buds: Not very pumpkin pie-ish.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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