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?

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.

May 23, 2010

Abita’s Strawberry Harvest Lager Beer Review 5.23.10

Abita's Berry Patch Needs To Grow Some Flavor.

Abita's Berry Patch Needs To Grow Some Flavor.

The Brewski Report on Abita’s Strawberry Harvest Beer After A Hard Day Around The Yard
File Date: 5.23.10

File Name: Where’s the Berry?
The Beer: Strawberry Harvest
Type: Fruit/Vegetable Beer
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.2% ABV
Brewer: Abita Brewing
Web Site:
Country of Origin: LA, USA
Brewer Info: Founded in 1986, the Abita Brewing Company is nestled in the piney woods 30 miles north of New Orleans. Our lagers and ales are brewed in small batches, hand-crafted by a team of dedicated workers with only the highest ideals of quality. This pride, along with our brewing process, is what creates our great brews. Abita uses only the finest ingredients – British and North American malted barley, German and American yeast strains, Pacific Northwest hops and the pure artesian water of Abita Springs. In Abita, we are blessed with the purest of water. Drawn from our deep wells, our pristine water is not altered in any way. Abita Beer has no preservatives, additives or stabilizers and is cold filtered. The result is beer that is the finest and freshest tasting as proven by our loyal customers and great chefs of the south who use Abita Beer in their recipes. We’re proud of our brewery and the beers we make. Try Abita Beer today and taste a bit of the South!
tbr-abita-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Strawberry Harvest Lager is a wheat beer made with real Louisiana strawberries, picked late in the season when they’re at their sweetest. This brew has earned quite a reputation in a short time, causing the brewery to up their production year after year. When this brew is found, emails and phone calls fly to friends informing them of the store’s location. Strawberry Harvest is a crisp, light lager with just a hint of strawberry sweetness.
Label: Ripe, red Louisiana strawberries are harvested at the peak of the season in the early morning chill.  The secret of the juicy red Ponchatoula berries fills the air as they’re picked and pressed for Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager. The end result is a light, crisp lager with just a hint of strawberry sweetness.

The Brewski Review: Frankly, I was dissapointed with this one.  I had just finished shoveling a ton and a half of river rock out of a pickup and mowing the lawn on a sunny 83 degree day.  All I wanted was to taste a nice beer and relax for a few minutes before embarking on another small project of removing the deer netting I installed on some trees last fall.  The beer was cold and crisp so I guess in this respect it was good (thanks, in part, to my fridge) but I was looking for a nice strawberry taste.  Aside from not tasting strawberry, I couldn’t even smell it.  Now, I did burn the tip of my tongue last weekend in a freak pizza incident (I was hungry and the pizza was, unknowingly, right out of the oven.) so there is a small chance that it dulled my taste buds.  But, hey, I didn’t burn my nose.  I drank another Bud Lime the other night (I was on the road traveling for business again and it sounded good) and I had no problems with my taste or scent capabilities then.  Many people rave about this brew but I think Abita needs to refine this recipe a little and make it more like the beer they market it to be.   

Drinkability: Drinkable.  But not as a ‘Strawberry’ flavored beer.
Appearance: Large, quick foamy head over top of a light golden color.
The Buds: An the good side, cold and crisp.  No strawberry taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.0 out of 5 just because it isn’t the beer Abita markets it to be.

Maybe The Bottles Are Placed In The Berry Patch Hoping To Absorb The Taste.

Maybe The Bottles Are Placed In The Berry Patch Hoping To Absorb The Taste.

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