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.

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: www.magichat.net/
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?

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: www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.com
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.

March 20, 2010

Reviewing Anchor Brewing’s Bock Beer 3.20.10

Anchor Bock Beer and It's Big Head.

Anchor Bock Beer and It's Big Head.

The Brewski Report Reveiws Anchor Brewing’s Bock Beer Over A Steak And My Favorite Potatos
File Date: 3.20.10

File Name: Potatoes done right.  Not spelled right.
The Beer: Anchor Bock Beer
Type: Bock
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: Anchor Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.anchorbrewing.com
Country of Origin: CA, USA
Brewer Info: Anchor’s beers are produced in one of the most traditional and handsome breweries anywhere in the world. Our brewers employ no modern shortcuts. Each brew is virtually handmade with an all-malt mash in our handmade copper brewhouse, a veritable museum of the simple, traditional brewhouses of old. We strive to practice the art of classical brewing, and we employ state-of-the-art methods to ensure that our products are clean and clear, pure and fresh. Every bottle and keg of our precious beer is kept under refrigeration at the brewery, and at the warehouse of your local distributor. We know of no brewery in the world that matches our efforts to combine traditional, natural brewing methods with the most careful and modern methods of sanitation, finishing, packaging, and transporting.

tbr-anchor-bock-label2Brewer Brand Hype: Anchor Bock Beer, released in celebration of the coming of spring, is an ancient and mysterious part of the brewing tradition. Over time, the term “bock” has come to mean a beer darker and stronger than the brewery’s “regular” brew. We hope you will find Anchor Bock to be a rich and flavorful addition to our other offerings. San Francisco’s Anchor Bock Beer is virtually handmade by the brewers of Anchor Steam® Beer, in one of the most traditional small breweries in the world. It is brewed from a complex blend of the finest barley malts, wheat malts, and fresh, whole hops.
Label: Same as above.

The Brewski Review: I opened this bottle of Bock as I was sitting down to enjoy a nice steak dinner. I think it complimented the food quite nicely.  The dark brown beer poured with a large foamy muddy colored head that dissipated rather quickly.  It was very malty tasting and rather creamy going down with minimal bitterness.  And for those keeping tabs on my diet I also had grilled asparagus and sliced potatos.  I love potatos cooked this way on the grill…slice up the potatos, onions and mushrooms, put them in foil, season as desired (for me, it’s usually just a salt-free table blend) and add plenty of butter.  Seal and toss it on the grill for 15 minutes before turning and adding another 15 until done.  We’ve added variations on this….like including peppers.  I’m considering adding carrots because I like them cooked with potatos and onions.  Maybe I’ll even add the asparagus right inside the foil instead of grilling them separately.  Very simple yet tasty.  I recommend you try it today. 

Drinkability: Tasty.  Would drink it again. 
Appearance: Deep Brown in color.  Foamy.
The Buds: Creamy and not very bitter.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

November 27, 2009

TBR Reviews Otter Creek’s Oktoberfest Autumn Ale Beer 11.27.09

TBR Takes On Another Seasonal Beer With Otter Creek's Oktoberfest Autumn Ale.

TBR Takes On Another Seasonal Beer With Otter Creek's Oktoberfest Autumn Ale.

The Brewski Report Reviews Otter Creek’s Oktoberfest Autumn Ale.
File Date: 11.27.09

 File Name:  When a Creek Really Isn’t a Creak.
The Beer: Oktoberfest Autumn Ale
Type:  American Amber/Red Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats:  4.80% ABV
Brewer:  Otter Creek Brewing
Country of Origin: VT, USA
Brewer Info: Located in beautiful Middlebury, Vermont, we shipped our first keg of Copper Ale in March of 1991. Four years later, after quickly outgrowing our original site, we moved into a new state-of-the-art brewery just down the street. In 1998, we began producing Wolaver’s Certified Organic Ales in partnership with Panorama Brewing Company. Both brands have flourished as beer drinkers throughout the northeast have enjoyed craft ales, and as the focus on sustainable farming and living has blossomed. In May of 2002, the Wolaver family purchased Otter Creek Brewing. Otter Creek remains a family owned Vermont company and produces all Otter Creek and Wolaver’s brands for distribution throughout the country. We brew and bottle all of our beers in small batches to ensure freshness and consistent quality. We use natural Vermont water, the best domestic malt and hops available, and our own top-fermenting yeast. All Wolaver’s beers are made with no less than 98% certified organic ingredients. Our brewery and our Wolaver’s brands are certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. Otter Creek ales enjoy a complexity of flavor, natural carbonation, and a creamy texture that is favored by beer enthusiasts at pubs and restaurants throughout the United States.

untitledBrewer Brand Hype:  Oktoberfest is our version of the perennial favorite Bavarian Autumn beer. Oktoberfest’s deep golden hue helps bring to mind the old country and its time honored traditions. Brewed with Hallertau and Tettnang hops to balance its clean, malty sweetness, it’s the perfect brew for a crisp Autumn day. Available from August to November.

Label: Otter Creek Brewing has been brewing the finest quality, small batch, craft brewed ales at our brewery in Middlebury, Vermont since 1991.  Oktoberfest: Brewed with Hallertauer and Tettnang hops to balance it’s clean malty sweetness this is the perfect beer for a crisp autumn day.  The deep golden hue matches the fall foliage here in Vermont, in our version of this perennial favorite Bavarian Autumn Beer.  Our products contain no preservatives, are not pasteurized and, like all fresh foods, will chnage over time.  We print the date we bottled on for your information.

The Brewski Review:  It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I have so much to do.  The highest priority task is to bring the Christmas decorations down from the attic.  This year I’ve resolved myself to the idea that it’s a waste of my time to store holiday decorations in the attic.  Up two flights.  Down two flights.  This year will be different.  Everything is going down into the basement.  One flight seems a whole lot more appealing than two flights.  Anyway, I get about halfway completed and it’s time for my son to go down for a nap.  He’s a light sleeper so I have to halt my project.  Too much noise trudging up and down the old, creaky stairs.  (In a normal house it wouldn’t be such a big deal but on my sqeaky steps you could wake the dead.  Forgetabout an alarm system.  If an intruder enters our house I would have enough time from the first sqeak to: get dressed, shave, brush my teeth, pull out my Louisville Slugger and patiently wait at the top of the stairs.)  So, I sit down and take a break.  Otter Creak – oh, make that Creek, seemed to be the best way to settle back into the couch.  Since I didn’t really get a chance to break a sweat with the decorations it was nice to have this beverage warm me up.  Our drafty old house is rather chilly so this beer served two purposes: to warm me up inside while simultaneously enjoying a little libation.  I thought this beverage was okay.  It rather reminded me of an Oktoberfest beer – even though it’s an ale.    

Drinkability:  Nice Malty taste.   
Appearance:  Medium Amber in color.  Nice foamy head.
The Buds:  Decent.  More of an aftertaste than I’d prefer. 
TBR Cap Rating: 3.50 out of 5.

October 14, 2009

Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat Draft Beer Review 10.14.09

Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat Draft (photo courtesy of Leinenkugel).

Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat Draft (photo courtesy of Leinenkugel).

The Brewski Report Reviews Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat Beer
File Date: 10.14.09

File Name:  Another Draft Wheat Beer For The Expense Report               The Beer: Sunset Wheat
Type: WitBier
Serving: Draft
Stats: 4.9%
Brewer: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
Country of Origin: Wisconsin, USA
Brewer Info:  The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, the seventh-oldest brewery in the United States, is the oldest business in Chippewa Falls and one of the oldest in the state.  Our commitment and tradition of brewing quality products is matched only by the wants of generations of genuine beer-loving customers.  The origin of the name Wisconsin is Ojibwan.  To the Ojibwa, Wisconsin means gathering of the waters.  It was the waters of the Chippewa River, Duncan Creek and the Big Eddy Springs where Jacob Leinenkugel Found a home for his brewery in 1867.  The Leinenkugel brewing legacy in the United States continues today, more than 140 years and five generations later.

Brewer Brand Hype:  If you’ve ever experienced a Northwoods sunset, you know it’s a moment unlike any other.  So, instead of putting it into words, we captured the Northwoods’ finest moment in every batch of our all-new Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat.  Brewed with select Wheat and Pale malt, Cluster hops and natural coriander, Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat has a soothing taste that will leave you speachless.  Silver medal winner of the 2006 Great American Beer Festival and bronze winner of the 2006 World Beer Cup in the Herb & Spice category is like your very own sunset in a bottle.

The Brewski Review:  This one was also on the company dime.  Traveling always makes me thirsty. Again I thought I’d try anther Wheat Beer so I ordered Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat.  I actually liked this one better than Blue Moon’s Wheat beer but only marginally.  They were very comparable and if you like one you’ll like the other.  But, extra points for Leinenkugels long history of brewing.

Drinkability:  Creamy texture.  Low bitterness.
Appearance:  Unfiltered.  Cloudy.  Straw to Pale Golden color.
The Buds:  Liked it.  Orange slice as a garnish added a little extra taste.
TBR Cap Rating:  4.25 out of 5 – slightly ahead of Blue Moon’s Belgian White Draft

October 13, 2009

Coors’ Blue Moon Belgian White Draft Beer Review 10.13.09

Blue Moon Belgian White Picture courtesy of Blue Moon

Blue Moon Belgian White Draft (picture courtesy of Blue Moon).

The Brewski Report Reviews Coors’ Blue Moon Belgian White Draft Beer.
File Date: 10.13.09

File Name:  A Draft Witbier On The Company Dime.
The Beer: Belgian White
Type: Witbier
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.4% ABV
Brewer: Blue Moon Brewery/Coor Brewing Co.
Country of Origin: Colorado, 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:  Unfiltered with more depth of flavor and a unique cloudy appearance.  Best when garnished with a slice of orange to bring out the natural spices and subtle fruit flavors.  Full flavor with a smooth finish.  Light, spicy citrus flavors go great with chicken, seafood and pork.

The Brewski Review:  While on the road for the company, I decided to have a beer with dinner.  There was quite a few selections but I was intrigued by sampling another wheat beer.  So I chose Blue Moon’s Belgian White.  It was served with a slice of orange, which added an extra little taste.  I have to compare it against Hoegaarden’s Witbier which was also excellent.  This was good, but not as good.  Of course, this was also an unfiltered beer – cloudy right out of the tap. 

Drinkability:  Creamy texture.  Low bitterness.
Appearance:  Unfiltered.  Cloudy.  Straw to Pale Golden color. 
The Buds:
  Liked it.  Orange slice as a garnish added a little extra taste.
TBR Cap Rating:  4.0 out of 5.

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