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: www.thebrewkettle.com
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.

October 12, 2014

RJ Rockers’ Son of a Peach Wheat Ale Beer Review 10.12.14

Son of A Peach by RJ Rockers

Son of A Peach by RJ Rockers

TBR Reports on RJ Rockers’ Son of a Peach Wheat Ale
File Date: 10.12.2014

File Name: Just Peachy
The Beer: Son of a Peach
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 6.0% ABV
Brewer: RJ Rockers Brewing Company
Web Site: www.rjrockers.com
State/Country of Origin: SC, USA
Brewer Info: RJ Rockers Brewing Company became Spartanburg’s first brewery in 1997, when owner and brewer Mark Johnsen set out on a mission to provide the people of the Upstate with the best microbrewed beer they had ever tasted. Mark, a New Jersey native, had loved brewing beer for his friends and family for years.
Following his service in the 1991 Gulf War, Mark was stationed in Germany as a member of the United States armed forces, and he took this opportunity to learn as much as possible about brewing from the experts. By the time he was honorably discharged from the service, he was ready to take his beer to the public.

Brewer Brand Hype: An unfiltered American wheat ale made with real mean peaches. The only thing missing is the fuzz. Savor the anger. Now available all year long!  6.0% abv 16 ibu.
Label: This unfiltered American Wheat Ale made with real Carolina peaches has a real attitude problem. Call him ‘sweet’ and he flips his lid. Most would take offense if he wasn’t so darn tasty. Go ahead, savor the anger.

The Brewski Review: I think the brewer’s assement of the taste is spot on. Overwhelming aroma of peaches fills the olafactory senses upon the initial pour. The taste, as noted, only needs the fuzz on the skin to be a more fruit-like. This is definitely a keeper if you like your beer with a little fruit flavor. Some of the hard core beer drinkers probably wouldn’t be caught dead drinking this. But, what do I care? I like what I like. As I’ve noted in my ‘about’ page, I’m on a quest to find the best taste of each beer type. This one is tops in the peach field. Give one a try. I think you’ll be as impressed as I was. I drank this after mowing on a cool fall day – maybe low 60’s – but I think it would be rockin’ on a hot summer day.

Drinkability: Excellent. Would drink again.
Appearance: Drank it down to fast before I noted the color.
The Buds: Wonderful peach flavor
TBR Cap Rating: 4.5 caps out of 5.

Son of a Peach is like peaches without the fuzzy skin.

Son of a Peach is like peaches without the fuzzy skin.

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?

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.

June 30, 2013

Spoetzl’s Shiner Kosmos Reserve American Pale Lager 6.30.2013

TBR-Kosmos-Rev

TBR Reports on Shiner Kosmos Reserve Beer
File Date: 6.30.2013

File Name: Maybe my Son is onto something….
The Beer: Shiner Kosmos
Type: American Pale Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.0% ABV
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-Kosmos-InsertBrewer Brand Hype: Named after founder Kosmos Spoetzl, this all-malt lager is hopjacked for additional aroma and flavor. Robust with a clean finish, it’s a beer that’s as every bit unique as the man himself.
Label: Every drop of Shiner is brewed in Shiner. This Aromatic dry hopped lager is specially brewed to celebrate the man who started it all. The original brewmaster of Shiner. Kosmos Spoetzl knew how to brew great beer. Born in Bavaria, Kosmos’ mastery of German brewing carried him as far as Egypt before he found his way to the small Texas town of Shiner. Our proud brewery still carries his name and commitment to excellence in brewing. This full-flavored, hop-jacked lager is every bit as unique as the man himself and our way of saluting the brewmaster who started it all. PROSIT!

The Brewski Review: I’m watching my son this afternoon as I review this beer. My daughter had a birthday party to attend and my wife was the designated chauffeur – as usual. Unfortunately, this arrangement usually doesn’t bode well for me digging deep into house projects so I’m usually just tinkering around keeping an eye on my son. Today he was playing out in the sandbox and decided it would be fun to fill his shorts with wet sand. Then he filled his pockets. Then his underwear. Then his shirt. I had to laugh, it was hilarious. I grabbed my compact and snapped one off for your enjoyment. He probably wouldn’t have done it if he knew I was watching through the window. Anyway, I guess a pant load full of sand is a great thing when your a little dude. The beer? Kosmos was enjoyable to drink. It had a hoppy flavor but the bitterness was subdued and didn’t linger in the aftertaste. The head was minimal at the pour and dissipated quickly leaving no lingering residue on the glass. I don’t know if this is a limited edition beer since it wasn’t profiled on the brewer’s web site. I purchased it in a Shiner sampler 12 pack so if you want to try one you better get looking. Enjoying this beer is no surprise to me since Spoetzl has yet to dissapoint.

Drinkability: Certainly.
Appearance: Deep golden color.
The Buds: Excellent lager with minimal aftertaste.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.5 caps out of 5.

My son adding wet sand to his shorts - with the dog's approval of course.

My son adding wet sand to his shorts – with the dog’s approval of course.

May 6, 2013

Spoetzl’s Ruby Redbird Summer Seasonal Beer Review 5.6.2013

TX Grapefruit. TX Brewed. TX Proud.

TX Grapefruit. TX Brewed. TX Proud.

TBR Reports on Spoetzel’s Ruby Redbird Summer Seasonal
File Date: 5.6.2013

File Name: Drink the beer first. Then mow the lawn.
The Beer: Ruby Redbird
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.2%
Brewer: Spoetzel 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-ruby-redbird-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Shiner Ruby Redbird is brewed with genuine Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit, the signature sweet citrus of the Rio Grande Valley, and ginger. This lager beer features grapefruit tartness and finishes with a ‘lil kick of ginger. With Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit and ginger, Shiner Ruby Redbird is sure to be a crisp and refreshing summer beer. Shiner Ruby Redbird is now available in cans, too.
Label: Summer Seasonal. Beer brewed with Texas red ruby grapefruit juice and with ginger and natural flavor added. Grapefruit – Sweet citrus of teh Rio Grande Valley. Ginger – all natural tropical spice. Serve Ice Cold on Hot Days. This crisp, refreshing summer seasonal is brewed with Texas Ruby Red grapefruit juice, the signature citrus of the Rio Grande Valley. Tartness from the grapefruit juice and a delightful kick from ginger combine for a taste that’s perfect for hot summer days. It’s deep gold color and full body come from pure Munich malt and Mt. Hood, Citra and Cascade hops balance the flavor well.

The Brewski Review: I love Rube Red Grapefruit. It’s one of my favorite fruits. So, it was no surprise that when I saw Spoetzel Brewery’s version I grabbed a couple off the shelf. Up to this point, I don’t recall being disappointed by any beer brewed in this Texas hotspot and this is no exception. Although it wasn’t as grapefruit tasting as I’d like it was still exceptional. Slightly on the sweet side, a dark golden color and a nice, tight creamy white foamy head to top it off makes it a good choice for a hot day. Technically not summer, I came home from work today realizing we’d be having Cinco de Mayo leftovers so I made a point of reaching into the fridge to pull this beverage out. If I couldn’t get it out before dinner I doubt I would have pulled it out at all. There seems to be limited opportunities to get things done. Take, for example, my hard work outside yesterday: it was a georgous day and while I was working I thought how great it would be to drink a beer. I also realize that if I stopped doing what I was doing to go inside the house for a beer (I haven’t stocked the garage fridge yet), that much less would get done. So I keep working and think about having one afterward. Well, that didn’t happen. Even though I have a beer blog I probably drink a heck of alot less than you may think. As I stated in my Mission Statement (or, the  ‘About’ page for those not in the know) I’m only doing this to find the beers I enjoy drinking; not to enrich myself with huge brewery endorsements (none yet, but open to offers) and to set the world on fire with my alcoholic pontifications.

Drinkability: Sure. Would drink this again.
Appearance: Dark golden color.
The Buds: No overpowering grapefruit flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5.

Love this promotional piece. Reminds me of a vintage ad.

Love this promotional piece. Reminds me of a vintage ad.

April 6, 2013

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager Beer Review 4.6.2013

Shiner goodness in every drop of Bohemian Black Lager.

Shiner goodness in every drop of Bohemian Black Lager.

TBR Reports On Spoetzl’s Bohemian Black Lager
File Date: 4.6.2013

File Name: Fishing For Memories
The Beer: Shiner Bohemian Black Lager
Type: Schwarzbier
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.9% ABV
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.

shiner-black-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Bohemian Black Lager, crafted according to exacting old-world standards with imported Czech Saaz, Styrians Hops and selected roasted malts, is the darkest beer we brew. Initially added to the Shiner family as our 97 Anniversary Brew, the unique and complex flavor of this rare brew found such a following among our customers that we brought it back for good!
Label: This rare and deliscious style beer is referred to in Germany as a ‘Schwarzbier’, or black beer. This handcrafted Bohemian black beauty is brewed with select roasted malts and imported hops. ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’. Here in Shiner Texas (pop.2,070) we’ve been handcrafting beer since 1909. The passion of our original brewmaster, Kosmos Spoetzl, continues to inspire our efforts today. First brewed to commemorate our 97th anniversary, this Bohemian Black Lager remains true to the old-world heritage of the German and Czech immigrants who settled Shiner. Imported Czech Saaz and Styrian hops, and select roasted malts make this ‘Schwarzbier’ our darkest brew yet. PROSIT!

The Brewski Review: The sky wasn’t as sunny as they predicted. I wanted to give my two kids a nice fishing experience this afternoon but the wind was blowing and the air still had a chill. So much for a nice memorable first time fishing experience. It lasted about 15 minutes tops before the chorus of ‘I want to go home.’ sounded. We were only at my parents house 1/2 mile down the street so thankfully we didn’t have a long trip invested. I didn’t see many other fishermen on the river so figured it was just too unseasonably cold. The sun needs to warm the water a bit more before the fish get more active. Maybe we’ll try again next weekend. I want to expose my kids to as many things as possible. When it warms, we’ll camp in my parents back yard, have a fire, fish and read stories. I’ve got a couple years to plant some memories before they bail for a life of their own. I remember fishing with my grandfather years ago and that still sticks with me. I haven’t fished since then. Life got in the way. When I came home I popped open this Shiner Bohemian Black Lager. It was tasty. Nice chocolate colored, tight laced head and a strong malty aroma filled my nose. It was exceptionally tasty with the roasted malts and a rather sweet flavor. I would suggest you try this one.

Drinkability: Definitely.
Appearance: Almost black with a light muddy colored head.
The Buds: Beautiful roasted malt taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Lady fisherman No.1 fellas. Soak it up.

Lady fisherman No.1 fellas.

Lady fisherman No. 2 knocking out the trophy pose.

Lady fisherman No. 2 knocking out the trophy pose.

Lady fisherman No. 3 working those thigh highs.

Lady fisherman No. 3 working those thigh highs.

February 10, 2013

Frankenmuth’s Winter Bock Beer Review 2.10.2013

Frankenmuth's Winter Bock Lager

Frankenmuth's Winter Bock Lager

TBR Reports on Frankenmuth’s Winter Bock Lager
File Date: 2.10.2013

File Name:F The Day of Zombies
The Beer: Winter Bock Lager
Type: Bock
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 7.0% ABV
Brewer: Frankenmuth Brewery
Web Site: www.frankenmuthbrewery.com
State/Country of Origin: MI, USA
Brewer Info: Frankenmuth’s founding fathers brought the tradition of brewing to the mid-Michigan forests in 1845. John Matthias Falliers founded Frankenmuth’ first brewery in 1857. Cousins William Knaust and Martin Heubisch opened the Cass River Brewery just north of the Fallier property in 1862, where the Frankenmuth Brewery continues to stand today. The Cass River Brewery was purchases by Johann Geyer in 1874 and renamed Geyer’s Brothers Brewing Co. For the next 112 years, the facility operated under many names including the Frankenmuth Brewing Co.

tbr-winter-bock-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Winter Bock Lager- A Deep mahogany colored lager beer complete with a tan head. Very rich in character demonstrated in a sweet, malty flavor, a full body, and chocolate and caramel notes. Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up with this warm, smooth beer.
Label: Frankenmuth Winter Bock is rich in character with a deep mahogany color complete with a tan head. This traditional German Style lager is malty sweet, full bodied with notes of chocolate and caramel to warm you up from the crisp winter air.

The Brewski Review: When is not a better time to be indoors, than in the winter drinking a nice bock beer and watching zombie shows. The Walking Dead was playing reruns all day long today. AND, the wife took the kids to her sisters house. Why not take advantage of this? The Dead marathon was a precursor to the season premire tonight at 9pm. Can’t wait. The reason I like the thought of a world overrun by zombies is that it levels the playing field. That high flying, ego driven CEO would be down in the trenches with the guy who actually dug the trench. No amount of money would serve you well at this point because money would have no value. It’s those that prepare for such adversities that would come out on top. Of course, I’m no where near being prepared for anything. We have enough food and water to last about a week. I’ve been meaning to get around to purchasing more foodstuffs but it always takes a back seat to every other bill that shows up in the mail. But in reality, it wouldn’t be zombies. It’ll be a major power outage, severe winter storm, financial collapse, solar flare or any other Doomsday Prepper reason for stockpiling goods. I don’t think these people are kooks. I think everyone should have enough to get them by at least a couple weeks should some life threatening adversity befall them. The government can’t be there for everyone all at once.

Drinkability: Excellent. Would drink again
Appearance: Deep mahogany color
The Buds: Nice malty taste
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5 caps

Frankenmuth's fleet of delivery trucks in years past.

Frankenmuth's fleet of delivery trucks in years past. 'A Dog Gone Good Beer'

Vintage Frankenmuth Bock Beer can for all the can collectors (are there any left?).

Vintage Frankenmuth Bock Beer can for all the can collectors (are there any left?).

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.

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