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

February 9, 2014

TBR’s Bass Pale Ale Beer Review 2.9.14


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:
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.

June 2, 2013

Harviestoun Brewery’s Old Engine Oil Beer Review 6.2.2013

This is about as black as old engine oil would look. Quite an apt name.

This is about as black as old engine oil would look. Quite an apt name.

TBR Reports On Old Engine Oil by Harviestoun Brewery
File Date: 6.2.2013

File Name: I see a ‘newer’ car in our future.
The Beer: Old Engine Oil
Type: English Porter/Black Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 6.0% ABV
Brewer: Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: United Kingdom (Scotland)
Brewer Info: In the beginning…It all started on a sunny day on October 5th, 1983. We’d love to say that it was one of the most memorable days of founder, Ken Brooker’s life, but that night he hosted one of his legendary tasting sessions and he can’t remember much about it. In the years that follow, Ken continues to brew beers in his shed and host his friends. Word spreads and his friends begin to bring along their friends and their friends’ friends, until eventually Tuesday nights at Ken’s attracts up to 40 people! In return for being one of the lucky few to sample his early creations, Ken insists that his guests fill out tasting notes.

Brewer Brand Hype: Old Engine Oil is a remarkably smooth, creamy brew with a beautiful velvety mouthfeel. Enjoy flavours of coffee, slightly buttered toffee, dark chocolate and earthy hops. You may find some mild cherry fruit within the residual sweetness, neatly accompanying the roasted flavours that ride with you all the way to the finish.tbr-old-oil-insert
Label: Brewed in small batches. Viscous. Chocolatey. Roasty. Harviestoun’s original master brewer Ken Brooker spent much of his early life crafting wooden prototypes for the Ford Motor Company. This black, viscous ale reminded Ken of thick, goopy car engine oil, so he named it in honor of his second love, the internal combustion engine. It’s thick, chocolatey flavor leaves a roasty, bittersweet aftertaste to savor.

The Brewski Review: This beer reminds me of our need to purchase a new car. My wife needs to trade up from a small Mazda to a vehicle more suitable for growing children. I’ve been telling her to get a small SUV. She’s been looking at the Ford Excape, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forrester and the Toyota Rav4 amont others. We both want all the bells and whistles but on our mac & cheese budget, it’s not in the cards; maybe a ‘newer’ one that’s two or three years old. She’ll get the car, of course, since she has the kids most of the time, and I’ll get her old car which will be my new ‘go to work’ car. My Ford Exploder will most likely get turned in as a trade: it has 170K miles and mechanical issues are popping up routinely. I could sell it outright but there’s the hassle factor: it’s not worth my time. I’ll trade it in when I find that big SUV that fit’s my pleasure (Suburban. Used; of course). If we can make this all work out soon, I’ll have to pop open one of these porters. The color is certainly consistent with old engine oil – minus the grit of course. It pours with a beautiful mud colored head that dissipates rather quickly and leaving lace on the side of the glass. I don’t really think it’s ‘thick’ or ‘viscous’ but it does have an oily mouth feel. The malts pop and linger all the way through to the aftertaste. It’s definitely a delicious porter that’s worth a try.

Drinkability: Delicious. Most definitely.
Appearance: Black on the pour with a nice mud colored head.
The Buds: Great roasted malt taste all the way through.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 cap rating out of 5.

Vintage Oil Girl promotional piece featuring Pennzoil.

Vintage Oil Girl promotional piece featuring Pennzoil.

March 30, 2010

Spoetzl Brewery’s Shiner Bock Beer Review 3.30.2010

Shinger Bock On Tap Is Delicious.

Shinger Bock On Tap Is Delicious.

The Brewski Report Reviews Shiner Bock And A Ford Explorer Electrical Problem.
File Date: 3.30.2010

File Name: Man Drives 145,000 Miles To Find A Great Bock Beer.
The Beer: Shiner Bock
Type: Bock
Serving: Draft
Stats: 4.4% ABV
Brewer: Spoetzl Brewery
Web Site:
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-shiner-bock-label-insert1Brewer Brand Hype: Bock reflects the tradition of genuine Bavarian beers as a brew only a craftsman like Kosmos Spoetzl, trained in the “Old Country,” could bring to life. With its deep amber color, distinctive rich flavor and full body, Shiner Bock demonstrates the care of a handcrafted brewing process to bring forth a mellow taste free of the bitter aftertaste found in many micro, specialty and imported beers. Just think of it as Shiner smooth.
Label: Pulled straight from the keg.

The Brewski Review: My Ford Explorer has about 145,000 miles on the odom.  Some say ‘it’s just getting broken in’.  I say: ‘Let’s switch cars’.  ‘I’ll let you revel in the luxury of driving a car with the kinks already worked out.’  ‘And, I’ll suffer while I drive your new car.’  At this stage, it’s not a monthly payment so much as the nickle and dime repairs.  The other day the Exploder died on me.  I had taken the day off to get some work done around the house and my car quits.  (If there’s a silver lining to this story,  it’s that I didn’t get stranded at work.)  Click. Click. Click went the starter.  Battery right?  Yeah.  Later that evening my wife asked if I fixed the car.  Like a flash of lightening, it hit me: did I really fix it?  ‘I’m going to Auto Zone.’ I yelled upstairs to my wife who was struggling with two ornery kids.  The retail guy checks the system and says the alternator is fine.  I have an electrical short.  Arrg! The car sits for a week while I decide what to do.  I’m paralyzed with inaction.  I fix things myself because I don’t trust others and I like to save money.  (Yes.  I know I have issues.)  I call the dealer. ‘Well, we’ll start you out at $100 and work till we find it.’  Reading between the lines I replied, ‘So, you have a $100/hr service charge.  Correct?’  Silence for a moment then, ‘Uh. Yes.’  Apparently, he never had anyone call him out on his car-mechanic double-talk, super-secret covert pricing lingo.  Since I didn’t really consider this a viable option, I received names of other friend mechanics but decided to wait until Saturday to give it a good once over.  Good thing I did.  Aside from not seeing a wiring issue that would classify as a ‘short’, I removed the + battery cable while the vehicle was running (Remember? I installed a new battery) to see if it would continue with just the alternator.  It didn’t.  Hmmmm.   That’s not right.  I drove back to Auto Zone to have another retailguy check the system.  This one tells me it’s my alternator.  I believe it this time and drive home with a new part in hand.  Problem solved.  New battery and alternator: $225.00.  Getting erroneous decision making info from a retailguy, losing 1/2 vacation day and wasting a week thinking about it?  Priceless as it is finding a fantastic Bock beer!  Absolutley delicious!  I’d highly recommend Spoetzl’s Shiner Bock beer to everyone.  I won’t verbosely expound on it, but it was gooooood.

Drinkability: Two thumbs up on this one.
Appearance: Amber Brown in color.  No head by the time it made it to my table.
The Buds: Very mild and crisp.  Minimal aftertaste as noted by the brewer.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

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