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

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.

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.

January 23, 2012

Wittekerke Witbier Review 1.23.2012

Belgium Wittekerke Witbier

Belgium's Wittekerke Witbier

TBR’s Take on Wittekerke Witbier
File Date: 1.23.2012

File Name: I want to drink so I must be sane.
The Beer: Wittekerke
Type: Witbier
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.0% ABV
Brewer: Brouweij Bavik
Web Site: www.bavik.be
State/Country of Origin: Belgium
Brewer Info: In August 1894 founded Adolphe De Brabandere farmer on the “Hof ter Coulter” an application to the municipality of Bavikhove to “one brewery building.” One of his children, Joseph De Brabandere, made the same year his first brew. The Brabandere Joseph died in 1929 age of 54. After a difficult period, his son Albert the reins of the brewery owned, so the company is under a steady momentum of growth. What the beer bars and 1950 only to individuals was sold, was started in 1950 with exports to beer retailers. It was also during this period that the Lager beer began to rise. Previously it was mainly brewed beer table, next to the barrels of beer that was delivered to the pubs. an old truck unloading bierHet sales network was expanded through the bars and beer merchants could Bavik and the Bon-Val products obtained in West and East Flanders and Hainaut.

tbr-bavik-insertBrewer Brand Hype: WITTEKERKE charms you with its own character, smooth taste and a unique delicious aroma. A very pleasant drink, light in alcohol with a crisp and refreshing flavor. WITTEKERKE is always served cold, but in taking your time to enjoy it, you will find more flowery and spring flavors towards the end of your glass. Although the hoppy bitterness is an underlying taste, it is never dominant. Perfect white head. WITTEKERKE is a fictitious name for a typical Flemish town, like we find hundreds of villages in Flanders with a name ending on KERKE (church) or KAPELLE (chapel). WITTE means white in English, thus the translation of the name is WHITE CHURCH. The Bavik brewery has since a long time brewed its own authentic WIT beer under the “Bavik Wit” label, but the brewery chose to change the name in cooperation with the producers of the Belgian sit-com “WITTEKERKE”, airing twice a week in prime-time on the Belgian TV channels. The actors drink WITTEKERKE during the show.
Label: Authentic Belgian Wheat Beer. Originally brewed and bottled in Belgium by Bavik brewery.

The Brewski Review: I’ve been having some terrible employee drama in my department. No one wants to get along anymore so I’m ready to fire them all. Just kidding. It’s too hard to find quality individuals these days regardless of the high unemployment numbers that seem to lay stagnant out there in the heavy morning dew the government showers down upon us each week.  The departmental drama….yes, it does truly exist. It’s enough to make a sane man drink heavily. Which leads me to my desire to come home for a nice cold beer. I was excited to pull this Witbier out of the fridge and garnish it with a slice or two of orange before pounding it. First off, I had serious problems getting the sediment swirled off the bottom of the bottle. I actually had to pour some beer back in to work some free. Needless to say, the effort proved only half successful. Could this be the reason for the uncharacteristic taste? Possible so. It wasn’t like any other Witbier I’ve tasted, or enjoyed for that fact. To tolorate the beer I had to drop about half an orange in the glass – drinking pulp with each swig. I’ve never had a unpleasant wheat beer from Belgium before so I’ll have to try this brand another time for an updated review. Until then, the rating IS what it IS.

Drinkability: I’ll try again.
Appearance: Very light golden color – too clear for witbier.
The Buds: Very unusual tasting – almost too bitter.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.25 out of 5.

Bavik is a small sponser of this off-road rally team (given the prominence of the company logo on the truck, they must not supply much more than a few six packs every now and then.)

Wittekerke is a small sponser of this off-road rally team (given the prominence of the company logo on the truck, they must not supply much more than a few six packs every now and then.)

Bavik also sponsors a balloon. Nice way to advertise.

Bavik also sponsors a balloon. Nice way to advertise.

June 11, 2011

“33” Export Lager Review 6.10.11

This beer should be called 'Double-O Thirty Three' due to it's low profile brand marketing.

This beer should be called 'Double-O Thirty Three' due to it's low profile brand marketing.

The Brewski Report Reviews Vietnam’s “33” Export
File Date: 6.10.2011

File Name: ‘Double O-33’ the secret beer.
The Beer: “33” Export
Type: Dortmunder/Export Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.8% ABV
Brewer: VBL Tien Gang Ltd.
Web Site: Not available.
State/Country of Origin: Vietnam
Brewer Info: None noted.

tbr-33-labelBrewer Brand Hype: No web site or distributor web page.
Label: Product of Vietnam

The Brewski Review: This beer was rather good. The taste was mild and it held some good flavors. What I don’t understand is why it’s such a secret. I could find no official web site or distributor web page. The brewer name doesn’t get a google hit but rather turns up quite a few hits of internet stores offering ’33 Export’ tee shirts for sale. It seems as though that’s their whole marketing schtick…..word of mouth with drunks wearing their brand name. The whole ‘low prifile’ branding just seems rather odd. Other sites note that Heineken of France is the license holder of the brand and Tien Gang Ltd is under license to brew/bottle. Whether this is true or not I surely can’t verify. All that aside, I beleive the beer is worthy.

Drinkability: Sure.
Appearance: Moderate to pale golden in color.
The Buds: Good flavor. Mild.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 caps out of 5.

This print ad is what little I found on '33' Export marketing.

This print ad is what little I found on '33' Export marketing.

What little Tien Gang does spend seems to be on the race circuit.

What little Tien Gang does spend seems to be on the race circuit.

May 30, 2011

Kostritzer Schwarzbier’s Black Lager Review 5.30.2011

Kostrich's Black Gold. Texas Tea. First thing you know 'ol Jed's a millionaire....

Kostrictzer's Black Gold. Texas Tea. First thing you know 'ol Jed's a millionaire....

The Brewski Report Reviews Kostritzer Schwarzbier’s Black Lager
File Date: 5.30.2011

 File Name: Did you hear the one about….
The Beer: Kostritzer Schwarzbier
Type: Schwarzbier
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.8% ABV
Brewer: Kostritzer Schwarzbierbraurei
Web Site: www.koestritzer.de/en/marken
State/Country of Origin: Germany
Brewer Info: The Kostritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei (Kostritz Black Beer Brewery) looks back at more than 465 years of brewing tradition. It is one of Germany’s oldest breweries and one of the few breweries that have been producing dark beer without any interruption.

tbr-kost-labelBrewer Brand Hype: Germany’s most popular black beer represents an exceptional beer specialty that is the fruit of a unique combination of the perfect art of brewing and a centuries-old tradition. Brewed according to the German Purity law of 1516, the original is convincing by its light and sparkling character: Barley malts subjected to special processes give it its distinctive, delicate aroma and extraordinary coloration. Well-rounded by a mild hop flavour, it is really a great enjoyment. The production of Kostritzer Schwarzbier is based on the Pilsner style. Its strength is comparable with light beers.
Label: Brewed according to German Purity Law.

The Brewski Review: Did you hear the one about how Obama saved the auto industry and made a nice tidy profit for the American taxpayers in the process. Fiat, an Italian automobile manufacturer, decided to up their stake in the American car manufacturer Chrysler. Great! Or, is it? Since Fiat doesn’t have the $3.5B to pay for it the U.S. Dept. of Energy loaned them the money. Which, I’m sure, will be brushed under the rug and when forgotten about, be forgiven. Classic shell game. Anyone who actually believes the current administration single-handidly saved the auto industry and made money in the process will be a dupe for life. The taxpayers are still on the hook for this boondoggle but now it’s just a slight-of-hand that keeps the liberal believers chanting Obama’s superior powers of leadership. Suckers!  Wait, actually, we’re all suckers. Drat!

Drinkability: Would drink it again.
Appearance: Uh, well….black of course.
The Buds: Tasty. Mild flavor beer.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 caps out of 5.

Vintage Kostritzer Sign

Vintage Kostritzer Sign

Wie lange müssen wir hier stehen und lächeln sie für den Kauf von uns ein Bier?

Wie lange müssen wir hier stehen und lächeln sie für den Kauf von uns ein Bier?

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?

May 10, 2010

Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top Belgian Witbier 5.10.2010

Bud's Shock Top Belgian White

Bud's Shock Top Belgian White

The Brewski Report Reviews Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top Belgian White Witbier
File Date: 5.10.10

File Name: Snorting Beer Can Tingle
The Beer: Shock Top Belgian White
Type: Witbier
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Anheuser-Busch, Inc
Web Site: www.anheuser-busch.com
Country 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.

shock_top-draftBrewer Brand Hype: Introduced originally as seasonal beer Spring Heat Spiced Wheat in 2006, year-round as Shock Top in 2007. As an unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale, this beer is naturally cloudy with a light golden color. Brewed with orange, lemon and lime peels and coriander. Shock Top Belgian White pairs well with fresh salads, chicken dishes and Asian cuisine. The beer is best enjoyed in a tall, wide-mouthed glass. To serve the brew perfectly, follow these pouring guidelines. Pour the brew down the side of the glass until about one-half inch of brew is left in the bottle. Lay the bottle on its side and roll it gently back and forth, mixing the remaining yeast that has settled at the bottom. Pour the rest of the brew, producing a nice, thick collar of foam.
Label: Reviewed this one as a draft.  (Kind of hard to roll the bottle on it’s side when it comes from the keg.  It makes me wonder if I’m getting the full taste from the tap.)

The Brewski Review: In typical witbier form, this Belgian style wheat ale is cloudy in color. I didn’t detect much of a citrus taste or aroma.  With it’s crisp flavor and minimal aftertaste it would make for a decent summertime beverage. Nothing too special or noteable to make it my witbier of choice.  My initial thought is to skip to another witbier before sampling this brew again.  Although, I may be willing to give a bottle a try sometime to see if I’m tasting the full yeasty flavor.  If I do try the bottle version, I’ll make it a point NOT to drink it while I dine with fellow coworker – ‘Two Buck Chuck’ – out on the road as I did when I drank the draft version. If I do, I’ll risk snorting most of the beer out my nose.  Who can’t laught at a coagulation of ruthless and sarcastic comments about your place of work and those you work with?  I most certainly can’t.  And the company I work for definitely has no shortage of material to comment about.  Does yours?  Probably not.  I’ve been with a few large, well known companies and they’re all about the same.  Maybe one day I’ll find an organization where I actually enjoy going to work each morning and doing what I’m paid to do.  I envy those individuals who knew what they wanted to do right out of high school, earned their degree and are now doing it. Probably making great money at it as well. Me? I need a career change.  Only problem is, I can’t afford to start at the bottom. That’s what the lottery is for right?    

Drinkability: Drinkable. If I drink it again, it’ll be in the bottle.
Appearance: Cloudy, Pale golden yellow.
The Buds: Decent for an industrial brew.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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