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

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:
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?

December 23, 2010

Clipper City’s Winter Storm ESB Review 12.23.10

Thar She Blows - A Category 5 Taste Sensation?

Thar She Blows - A Category 5 Taste Sensation?

The Brewski Report Reviews Clipper City’s Heavy Seas Winter Storm “Category 5” Ale
File Date: 12.23.10

 File Name: Winter Ranks Fourth in Seasons
The Beer: Heavy Seas Winter Storm
Type: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB)
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 7.5% ABV
Brewer: Clipper City Brewing Co.
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: ME, USA
Brewer Info: Brewed by Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing Co., Heavy Seas is produced by Baltimore craft beer pioneer Hugh Sisson – the brewery’s founder and managing partner – and Brewmaster Ernesto Igot, formerly brewmaster at San Miguel Brewery in the Philippines.  After successfully lobbying the Maryland Legislature to legalize brewpubs, Hugh began brewing professionally in 1989 at his family’s Baltimore pub – Sisson’s – which was coincidentally Maryland’s first brewpub.  In 1994 he left Sisson’s to found Clipper City and has been involved in all aspects of the business – brewing, finance, marketing, and sales. Combined, Hugh and Ernie represent over 50 years of experience in developing, producing, marketing, and selling fine beer.  Totally driven by a passion to make richly flavored beers, they are also focused on making beers with finesse and balance.  Their wealth of experience gives them a firm foundation in the values of traditional brewing methods, yet they also share a desire to create new beer experiences.  The result is a brand that captures the best of both worlds – modern beer thinking blended with the best elements of traditional methods.

tbr-winter-storm-labelBrewer Brand Hype: Our winter ale brewed with copious helpings of English malts and both U.S. and English hops making it a ruddy hued Imperial ESB in style. Full malty flavors dancing with powerful hop aromas and a lingering yet firm hop bitterness. Pairs well with very sharp cheddar, stews, and grilled ribs. Available October – December.
Label: This here pounder has a fine layer of yeast at her bottom. It won’t send you to Davey Jones’ locker, but will protect your brew from the rigors of life at sea. Hang on…it’s a Category 5 Ale! With a full ruby hue, vivid malty flavor, and earthy hop aroma, Winter Storm is an original – an Imperial ESB for the winter months.

The Brewski Review: I’m tired of winter already. Look at the street in front of my house (see picture below). Just kidding. I will say though, my tolorance for winter has abated in my ‘experienced’ years. I don’t really mind the cold weather so much as the snow. Just tired of it all. Move to FLA you SAY? No. Too humid and hot. Fall is my favorite time of year followed close by Spring. That’s why I’ll stay up north. Part of my journalistic endeavor here is to isolate the best beers to drink in any season. So, at some point down the road I’ll at least have a list of winter beers to keep me warm inside while I wait out the cold season. Like this Clipper City Brew: it  a nice winter beer. Hearty with an bitter finish (obviously). But, there were some nice hop and malt characteristics in the taste. Nice tasting ESB.

Drinkability: Yes. Would purchase again.
Appearance: Medium ruby color.
The Buds: Good malty flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.50 crowns out of 5.

The snow has really piled up on the street in front of my house.

The snow has really piled up on the street in front of my house.

July 30, 2010

Bell’s Brewery Oberon Ale Beer Review 7.30.10

Bell's Brewery Oberon Ale

Bell's Brewery Oberon Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Bell’s Oberon Ale.
File Date: 7.30.10

 File Name: Scent Of Sunny On Sale Now!
The Beer: Oberon Ale
Type: American Pale Wheat Ale
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.8% ABV
Brewer: Bell’s Brewery Inc.
Web Site:
Country of Origin: MI, USA
Brewer Info: Bell’s Brewery, Inc. formerly Kalamazoo Brewing Company, founded by Larry Bell as a home-brewing supply shop in 1983, sold its first beer in 1985. Originally brewing in a 15-gallon soup kettle, the company has grown remarkably. Bell’s Brewery has grown from a tiny operation renting part of a former plumbing supply warehouse to a bustling, regional craft brewery. Although the “microbrewery” revolution began on the West Coast in the 1970s, the Midwest saw this brewing development much later. Bell’s Brewery stands as the oldest craft-brewer east of Boulder, Colorado. Originally self-distributed, Larry and crew brewed, bottled and delivered all of the beer to market for the company’s first four years. By 1989, Bell’s was shipping over 500 barrels annually and assigned its first wholesaler to further establish itself across the State of Michigan. After struggling several years to produce and sell robust, full-bodied ales against a tide of a mass-market domestic beer, Bell’s began to see the demand for craft beer grow dramatically. Bell’s soon ventured outside Michigan, continuing its solid growth and developing a reputation across the Midwest for the unique style and flavor of its Bell’s brands.

tbr-oberon-sm-labelBrewer Brand Hype: An American wheat ale brewed with Saaz hops. Spicy and fruity, Oberon is the color and scent of a sunny afternoon.
Label: A short draft beer served at the bar. No labels.

The Brewski Review: I don’t really have much to say about Oberon Ale and it appears the brewer doesn’t either. Take a look at the Brewer Brand Hype noted above. ‘color and scent of a sunny afternoon’? Who wrote this uniquely undescriptive marketing tagline? Bell’s Brewery must have bartered some of their product with a local ad firm because they most certainly couldn’t have paid for this touchy, feely assembly of words. If this verbiage is printed somewhere on the label and I was fortunate enough to read it before purchasing, the limited sensitivity of my manliness would have prevented me from purchasing this beverage. The bottle would have slipped through my hand and exploded on the store floor while I stood, slackjawed and immobile at the mere thought of something so unnaturally beer-like. Who is the intended market for this brand: nuns and sweet old grandmothers between the ages of 60 and 80? Seriously, was there any vision here into gaining market share with this brand advertising? I’m just really at a loss on this. What does a sunny afternoon smell like? To me, the scent of a sunny afternoon smells like fresh cut grass in the spring, thick, muggy and humid air in the summer, a burning pile of leaves in the fall and crisp, burning notrils on a subzero and sunny winter day. What does the scent of a sunny day smell like to you? Most likely not like this beer. Oberon to drink was decent and drinkable but I guess I expected more than Bell’s was capable of delivering. Ultimately, I wouldn’t consider Oberon Ale a quintessential summertime beer if that’s what the ‘scent of a sunny afternoon’ is supposed to convey.

Drinkability: Sure. Maybe.
Appearance: Clear and medium to dark golden color.
The Buds: Good. But I expected more.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Why couldn't the caption be 'Beer for the Blue Skies and Warm Days of Summer'? This picture is pretty darn inviting.

Why couldn't the caption be 'Beer for the Blue Skies and Warm Days of Summer'? This picture is pretty darn inviting.

March 19, 2010

Okocim Brewery’s O.K. Euro Pale Lager Beer Review 3.19.10

O.K. Beer is Okay-ski with Me.

O.K. Beer is Okay-ski with Me.

The Brewski Report Reviews Poland’s OK Beer Pale Lager And Mulling The Prospect of Spring.
File Date: 3.19.10

File Name: What’s The Polish Word For Barbeque? 
The Beer: O.K. Beer
Type: Euro Pale Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.6% ABV
Brewer: Okocim Brewery
Web Site:
Country of Origin: Poland
Brewer Info: Okocim Brewery, in Brzesko in southeastern Poland, is one of the oldest and most renowned breweries in the country. It currently makes eight types of beer: O.K. (Pilsener), Signature (Pilsener), Mocne (Medium Malt), Porter, Karmi and Karmi Poema Di Caffe (Near Beer), Palone, and Zagloba. Established in 1845 by Johann Evangelist Götz (1815-1893), born in Wirtemberg. His son Jan Albin expanded the family business, married a Polish aristocrat, and changed his name to Goetz-Okocimski. In 1945 the brewery was nationalised, and reprivatised in the 1990s. Since 1996 the brewery has been a part of Carlsberg Polska, Carlsberg Breweries A/S.

tbr-okbeer-label1Brewer Brand Hype: Okocim O.K. is a fine and delicate brew, deriving its quality from a recipe which incorporates the best of indigenous Polish hop varieties, luxurious barley and only the softest mountain water. The O.K. label remains mostly unchanged from its original design from forty years ago. The beer itself helped define “Polish Pils style”, which in turn separated Polish beers from the many other European brands.
Label: Full Pale Beer.  Piwo Jsne Pelne

The Brewski Review:
  I am excited about the end of winter.  There was a day when I loved to see the snow fly.  The more the better.  But, as I grew older and picked up a few responsibilities of my own, like shoveling snow, I came to dislike winter.  I really don’t mind the cold so much but I dislike wasting time pushing a substance around that will eventually melt – not to mention the wonderful muscle aches I get in return.  Heated sidewalks.  Now that’s the ticket.  In the advent of warmer weather, we can turn our attention to more important issues like outdoor grilling.  And, no one can beat a punch to the grill faster than me.  But, who can enjoy a good grill without having a beer in hand. So, I pulled one from the fridge.  A Polish beverage called OK Beer, which I actually enjoyed.  Though I’m Polish I harbored no preconceived notions about what a beer from the ‘homeland’ would taste like.  It was refreshing.  Light and mild.  The only downside is that it’s only 11.2 Fl.Oz.  It disappeared rather quickly.  Try one next time your outside in the warm sun waiting for your chicken to sizzle on the grill.

Drinkability:  Very nice.  I could buy a case of this.
Appearance: Medium golden in color.  Nice Head.
The Buds:  Light and mild.  No bitterness.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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