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

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:
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.

November 20, 2010

Sam Adams’ Winter Lager Beer Review 11.20.2010

Not a Winter Warmer Like You'd Thing But a Bock Beer

Not a Winter Warmer Like You'd Think, But a Bock Beer

The Brewski Report Highlights Sam Adams’ Winter Lager
File Date: 11.20.2010

File Name: Retail Employees Don’t Get Paid Enough
The Beer: Winter Lager 
Type: Bock
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.8% ABV
Brewer: Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams)
Web Site:
Country/State 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_winter_lager-adBrewer Brand Hype: Bold and rich, with a touch of holiday spice. The first thing one notices about a Samuel Adams® Winter Lager is the deep ruby color. Then comes the magical aroma which promises something special on the tongue. The cinnamon, ginger, and hint of citrus from the orange peel blend with the roasty sweetness of the malts to deliver a warming, spicy flavor. On the palate Samuel Adams Winter Lager is rich and full bodied, robust and warming, a wonderful way to enjoy the cold evenings that come with the season. Winter beers are still produced the way they were in medieval Europe: using more malt per liter to push up the potency of the beer, and to warm a beer drinker’s heart on long winter nights. Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a dark wheat bock.  Bock beers are traditionally strong dark lagers originating in the town of Einbeck Germany.
Label: For centuries, brewers have crafted special beers to celebrate winter. In this tradition, we brew our Samuel Adams to share with friends. This rich and hearty dark lager is one of the finer pleasures of a winter evening. Cheers! Seasonal Brew. A dark wheat lager brewed with winter spices. Ale in TX.

The Brewski Review: My wife told me a hilarious story the other day. She took our two kids to get new shoes at the local Stride Rite store. As she was focused on my daughter getting fitted our son was at the other end of the store pulling all the shoes off the shelves. (Many of the polite daycare employees have told us, quite diplomatically, that our two year old is ‘all boy’.) When my wife caught him in the act he throws his arms up and says ‘Uh no’ which is code for ‘what happened here?’. As he’s being approached, he smiles and runs. Of course, that isn’t the end of the story. In his mind if he’s going down, he’s going down BIG. As he’s running from the law (mom) he holds out both arms open wide to create as much collateral damage as possible. He pulls the slippers off the shelves and most of the socks. I’m sure it was the hardest pair of shoes the clerk had to sell all month. Oh yeah, the beer?  Tasty. A very mild bock beer with minimal aftertaste. The spices weren’t overwhelming by any mean – very subtle. It didn’t warm me up as other winter beers have done but it was good nonetheless. I believe this is a very worthy winter beer to add to you list.  Happy Holidays!

Drinkability: Will be drinking this one again.
Appearance: Dark, amber brown in color.
The Buds: A mild beer. No big aftertaste.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Jim hard at work sniffing out the good stuff.

Jim hard at work sniffing out the good stuff.

September 20, 2009

Breckenridge Brewery Autumn Ale Review 9.20.09

After Rakin', it's Breckenridge Brewery's Autumn Ale

After Rakin', it's Breckenridge Brewery's Autumn Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Breckenridge’s Autumn Ale.
File Date: 9.20.09

File Name:  Professional Drinker?  No.  Professional Cart Pusher?  Yes.
The Beer: Autumn Ale
Type:  Old Ale
Serving:  Bottle
Stats: 6.7% ABV
Brewer: Breckenridge Brewery
Country of Origin: Breckenridge, CO USA
breck_brewery_logo1Brewer Info:  Back in the 1980s our founder, Richard Squire, had a dream – to ski all day and drink great beer every night. Since he lived in the snow-kissed Rocky Mountains, fulfilling the skiing portion of his dream was easy. But the great beer part – at a time when a “microbrew” was a rarity – that was another story. So Richard started brewing his own, more flavorful beers for himself and his thrill-seeking ski pals.  His homebrewed creations were a hit, and soon Richard was spending more time brewing than skiing. So he chased after another dream – making exceptional beer for a living. In February, 1990 that dream became reality when Richard opened the original Breckenridge Brewery & Pub in the town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Richard’s ski bum days were over, and so were the days of bland beer for the folks in Colorado’s ski country.

Brewer Brand Hype:  Breckenridge Brewery’s fall seasonal combines the malty goodness of a German lager with the clean crispness of an American ale. Brewed with Munich malts and a delicate blend of Bavarian hops, our Autumn Ale is a full-bodied treat with a nutty-sweet middle, a warming alcohol level and notes of toasted grains. A pre-winter winner.
Label:  Munich Malts & Bavarian Hops.  Deep Mahogany Fall Season Ale.  Warms the Soul, Soothes the Spirit.

The Brewski Review:  I went shopping at the local market the other day with my wife and kids.  Normally it’s a race to get the necessities and rush home before the toddler meltdown begins.  Today was no exception but I did make the effort to check out the wine section.  Yes.  Believe it.  I like to consider myself a cultured individual but I in no way consider myself a serious professional like others (Yes Matt, I’m referencing your pro-athlete status for the buy-it-by-the-case ‘Three Buck Chuck’.).  Unfortunately, my hankering for a bottle of red was left unfulfilled after checking the Brewski household stock of vino: 0 Red, 7 White.  No base hit here.  As Bob Uecker would say….’Juuuust a bit outside.’  As I strategically perused the aisles I was careful not let my infant son, Mr. Grabby Hands, get within arms reach of anything breakable.  Since I wasn’t in the boxed wine section (What I won’t do is buy my wine by the carton – part of the pleasure in drinking from the bottle is that I can fist the neck and pound it.  Just kidding.  But the pour, like beer, is part of the fun.) this was rather difficult.  But, I did happen to pick up a couple of nice bottles.  We’ll see how they taste.  Maybe I’ll write about it.  I’ve done cider so let’s just do all alcoholic beverages.  Maybe we can do moonshine as well.  Anyway, I never did drink that bottle of wine.  Instead I popped open this Breckenridge Autumn Ale. ‘After rakin…Autumn Ale” so says the label.  It was tasty and enjoyable but it wasn’t what I had in mind.  It was a worthy Old Ale, one that I would drink again, but I was on the bench for something more ‘fall-like’.    

Drinkability:  Worthy.  Not for the adjunct lager crowd though.
Appearance:  ‘Dark Mahogany’ color as noted by BB, but I’d say closer to black.
The Buds:  Thought it was tasty but just I’m not sold on Old Ale just yet.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5

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