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

January 6, 2013

Spoetzl’s Prickly Pear Beer Review 1.6.2013

Who knew a Prickly Pear would hit the spot. Simply Delicious!

Who knew a Prickly Pear would hit the spot. Simply Delicious!

TBR Reports on Shiner’s Prickly Pear
File Date: 1.6.2013

File Name: The India Fig Opuntia Like You Never Knew
The Beer: Prickly Pear
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: N/A
Brewer: Spoetzl Brewery
Web Site: www.shiner.com
State/Country of Origin: TX, USA
Brewer Info: From its earliest time under the Shiner Brewing Association in 1909, to that fateful day in 1914 when Kosmos Spoetzl saw an opportunity to bring classic Bavarian Brewing traditions to his fellow immigrants, through the “Great Experiment” of Prohibition and and Great Depression, the “Little Brewery” has stuck to what they know best – handcrafting the finest beer.

tbr-prickly-pear-insertBrewer Brand Hype: (This is a limited run craft beer from Spoetzl Brewery. There is no mention of it on their web site.)
Label: Drink one down. End your drought. Beer brewed  with Prickly Pear fruit and with natural flavor added.  Brewer’s Pride Craft Brew No. 3. A little something special from the little brewery in Shiner. This small batch brew is the third in our Limited Edition Brewer’s Pride Craft Brew Series. A combination of Citra and U.S. Golding hops gives this refreshing lager its citrus flavor and floral aroma. The brew’s signature tartness comes from the fruit of the prickly pear, a cactus native to our brewery’s landscape that’s a hearty, rugged and unmistakably unique ~ qualities we surely appreciate. Prosit.

The Brewski Review: Beautiful light, citrus tasting lager from Shiner. It pours with a nice, deep copper color and with ample head that dissipates rather quickly. It has a wonderful citrus, almost sweet flavor to it with minimal hoppy bitterness. I told my wife to try it and she takes about 5 rather large gulps. ‘I’d drink that one.’ she says. Since I only recieved two of these in a Shiner/Spoetzl sampler 12 pack I better take the other bottle out and hide it in the garage. I’ll have to try and track down a few more of these before they are extinct. Excellent taste. And, if you don’t know what a Prickly Pear is, here is a quick educational rundown: Born of the Opuntia cacti or, Indian Fig Opuntia (O. ficus-indica) to be precise, and most often used in culinary applications. There are others but this is the primary genus. Prickly pears typically grow with flat, rounded cladodes that are armed with two kinds of spines; large, smooth, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids, that easily penetrate skin and detach from the plant. Many types of prickly pears grow into dense, tangled structures. Dangerous to pick, so stick to drinking the beer.

Drinkability: Definitely
Appearance: Deep coppercolor with ample head
The Buds: Light, sweet taste
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Indian Fig Opuntia with golades

Indian Fig Opuntia cacti cladodes or better known at prickly pear fruit.

Next time your in Texas stop by here for your next field trip.

Next time your in Texas stop by here for your next field trip.

September 10, 2011

Siren Amber Ale or Devil Girl Beer 9.10.2011

Siren Amber Ale for the devil in all of us.

Siren Amber Ale for the devil in all of us.

TBR Reviews North Peak’s Siren Amber Ale (or, Devil Girl Beer)
File Date: 9.10.2011

File Name: Sirens and Devil Girls Go Head To Head.
The Beer: Siren Amber Ale
Type: American Amber/Red Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.0% ABV
Brewer: North Peak Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.northpeakbeer.com/
State/Country of Origin: MI, USA
Brewer Info: Legends of the north woods all start with a simple story at a single point in time. Our yarn began when the entrepreneurial Carlson, Lobdell and Czaplicka families signed the deed to a deserted candy factory in downtown Traverse City, MI. Within its cavernous brick walls the North Peak Brewing Company was established in 1997, where brews and food of uncommon quality were the focus. As the days passed into years, their passion for brewing grew and led them down paths travelled by other like-minded individuals. The result of this rendezvous of North Peak Brewing Company’s Jon Carlson and Greg Lobdell, and Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales was the spawning of Northern United Brewing Company in 2008. Headquartered in their secret forest hideaway on Old Mission Peninsula, these brewing elders recruited the final full-time member of their clandestine council in August 2009 — brewmaster Mike Hall (who had consulted on numerous other endeavors). Their mission was simple: take the well-respected name of North Peak and build upon it with craft beers of the finest, hand-made quality using ingredients borne of the northern Michigan landscape. This is why North Peak brews whenever possible with Michigan malted-grain, hops and water. Over the next three months, Mike and Ron collaborated on recipes that drew from their nearly 50 years of combined brewing experience. In late 2009, at their new, secluded state-of-the art brewing facility on Old Mission Peninsula, the first bottles of Siren Amber Ale, Diabolical IPA and Majestic American Wheat rolled off the bottling line.
 
tbr-siren-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Its call is intoxicating. An aroma that beckons you to pull up a stool and linger over it’s toasted malt character. Next, a deep kiss of liquid lust that will caress you tongue, thanks to an array of toasty Pale, Crystal (30 and 75) wheat, Carapils and roasted barley malts balanced by the subtle bite of Willamette and Fuggle hops. It’s a brew that will seduce your heart, mind and palette.
Label: Brewed Up North. Traverse City, Michigan, USA

The Brewski Review: Pleasantly suprised by the mild taste. Most of the amber ales that I’ve tried have been higher on the bitterness scale. This is more subdued and for me that means it more appealing to my taste buds. So, it’s well balanced between the malt and hops. Good for those that don’t care for the bitter aftertaste of some brews. On the marketing side, I have to add that I like the label: simple and eye catching with the red and white. The name stems from Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Seiren; Greek plural: Seirenes) were three dangerous bird-women, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. But, for me, the little logo represents more of a little devil girl. Perhaps the beverage should have been named Devil Girl. And, they should have hooked up with the artist COOP (at coopstuff.com) who draws some mighty awsome designs – many of which involve devil girls. If I was still in my single dude-man bachelor days, my house would be decorated in Coop designs. I’m not paid to plug his work, but if you like simple retro looking graphics about girls, cars, robots, etc., check out his Coopstuff website. 

Drinkability: Most definitely.
Appearance: Deep amber color.
The Buds: Refreshingly mild.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 caps out of 5.

One of Coop's Devil Girl poster designs.

One of Coop's Devil Girl poster designs.

September 2, 2011

Bitburger Premium and Becoming My Parents 9.2.2011

The Bit in Bitburger stand for Bitter.

The Bit in Bitburger stand for Bitter.

TBR Reviews Bitburger Premium Beer and Turning Into My Parents
File Date: 9.2.2011

 File Name: You Don’t Know What Your Missing
The Beer: Bitburger Premium Beer
Type: German Pilsener
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.8% ABV
Brewer: Bitburger Brauerei
Web Site: www.bitburger.com
State/Country of Origin: Germany
Brewer Info: In 1817 Johann Peter Wallenborn set up a brewery in Bitburg to make top-fermented beer. In 1839 his widow, Anna Katharina, took over the business before her daughter, Elisabeth, married Ludwig Bertrand Simon in 1842 and Simon continued to run the company. In 1871 their 24-year-old son Theobald Simon succeeded his father, investing in the expansion and modernization of the brewery. This included an ice-cooled artificial cellar designed to keep temperatures at the same low level, all the year round, making it possible to brew new bottom-fermented beers. In 1883 Bitburger brewed its first Pils beer. The first Bitburger Export led to activities in nearby Luxembourg, where a representative office was set up in Echternach in 1886.

tbr-bitburger-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Bitburger guarantees premium quality and enjoyment. Drawing on almost 200 years of expertise, the full-bodied, light Bitburger Premium Beer is of course brewed according to the German Purity Law. Its popular, dry-finished, hoppy taste has secured Bitburger Premium Beer its position as Germany’s no. 1 draught beer.
Label: Premium Beer Product of Germany.

The Brewski Review: The BIT in Bitburger may stand for the hefty bitterness  of this hoppy brew in my humble opinion. This one was cold and crisp and ultimately refreshing. Although, it leaves more of an aftertaste than I prefer. Call me a sissy if you will. I’m just not one to seek out really hoppy beverages. Would I drink this one again? Yes. If it was handed to me. Doubt I’d spend money to purchase a six-pack. I tend to favor more balanced flavors. My mother always used to say ‘You don’t know what your missing.’ whenever I turned down a dish at the table (primarily squash – yuck). Yes. I do know what I’m missing. That’s why I don’t eat it. Has anyone else had a mother or father say that? I think it’s ingrained as a parent because now I find myself saying it to my daughter with any food other than chicken dipped in ranch dressing. Drat! I have become my parents. 

Drinkability: Definitely.
Appearance: Golden yellow w/ minimal head.
The Buds: Refreshing but a little on the bitter side.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5 caps.

Using the anonymous girls to sell the brand.

Using the girls to sell the brand.

June 12, 2011

Singha Premium Lager Beer Review 6.12.2011

Singha Premium Lager with the Lion.

Singha Premium Lager with the Lion.

The Brewski Report Reviews Singha Premium Lager Beer
File Date: 6.12.2011

File Name: Triassic Park-ish weather may be here to stay.
The Beer: Singha Lager Beer
Type: Euro Pale Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.0% ABV
Brewer: Boon Rawd Brewery Ltd. (Singha Corp. Ltd.)
Web Site: www.singhabeer.com (site takes a while to load)
State/Country of Origin: Bangkok, Thailand
Brewer Info:   Phraya BhiromBhakdi was an aristocrat with an acute business vision. He was already successful in the ferry business, transporting passengers across the Chao Praya River. But, in the 1920s, bridges were being built around the capital, as private cars and public transportation were fast becoming the norm for commuters between Bangkok and Thonburi. Phraya BhiromBhakdi then thought to look for a new business venture. As Thai people were increasingly enjoying imported beers at the time, he found that beers were also being produced in a few Asian countries with similar climate to Thailand. Having received a report that water in parts of Bangkok was perfect for beer brewing, he visited many leading breweries in Europe to learn about the production process. Soon after, the request to brew the first Thai beer was granted; machineries imported;the new and exciting venture soon became the talk-of-the-town. Thus, began the story of the first beer to be brewed in Thailand, which began in 1933, when the founder was 60 years old. With Boonrawd Brewery being the first Thai brewery, the process leading up to the building of the brewery created much interest in Thailand at the time. Many visits to the brewery were made by members of the Royal Family, politicians, and foreign envoys, as well as other important individuals to see the new in-thing at the time. With Singha Corporation’s continual expansions, processes and technologies continually updated, Singha’s breweries are one of the most technological advanced in teh world. Please enjoy the photos from history to the present for which we will update periodically.

tbr-singha-logo1Brewer Brand Hype: The golden liquid is produced using the finest quality barley, malt and hops, imported from around the world, together with the pure artisan water, with a special balance that is unique only to our areas, distinguishing the taste from other beers. Distinghished brewmasters from Thailand and Germany ensure the quality of the product and the balance in taste.
Label: The Original Thai Beer Since 1933.

The Brewski Review: Not sure how to judge the taste of the ‘Artisan Water’ but overall a pleasant tasting beer. Not a favorite but definitely a drink-worthy brewski. Overall taste was mild with a slight hoppy flavor. I’ve had other euro pale lagers that satisfied my taste buds better, but this would work on one of these hot summer days. It’s been surprisingly hot this year so far and it doesn’t appear to be letting up. Are we working our way back to the weather similar to that during the Triassic period (206 to 250 million years ago)? The Earth proceeds through different cycles and the temperature will change accordingly. The Triassic period was definitely warmer and had a bonus – had cool dinosaurs roaming around. That’s one time period I’ll be visiting once someone invents a time machine.  I’ll just have to make a quick visit to the future to pick up a Ray-Gun at 7-11 before packing my bags.

Drinkability: Not if given a choice.
Appearance: Pale golden color with max head
The Buds: Slight hoppy taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A more exotic and upscale print ad with the Singha Lion Girl (that's beer girl in America).

A more exotic and upscale print ad with the Singha Lion Girl (that's beer girl in America).

Gotta hand it to Singha - they love the beer girls. Like me, I think they do wonders to enhance the brand.

Gotta hand it to Singha - they love the beer girls. Like me, I think they do wonders to enhance the brand.

Another Singha beer girl. This one is wearing a sash so we may be looking at Ms. Singha. Looks more European than Asian though.

Another Singha beer girl. This one is wearing a sash so we may be looking at Ms. Singha. Looks more European than Asian though.

April 13, 2011

Goose Island’s India Pale Ale Beer Review 4.13.2011

Goose Island Beer Co.'s IPA

Goose Island Beer Co.'s IPA

The Brewski Report Reviews Goose Island’s IPA
File Date: 4.13.11

File Name: Industrial Brewer Pegged to Purchase Goose Island?
The Beer: Goose Island IPA
Type: English India Pale Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.9% ABV
Brewer: Goose Island Beer Company
Web Site: www.gooseisland.com
State/Country of Origin: IL, USA
Brewer Info: In his travels across Europe, beer-lover John Hall had enjoyed a distinctive local brew in each region he visited. Hall was convinced that Midwesterners could produce beers as good or better than those he’d tasted in his travels. Living on the shore of the largest system of fresh water on the planet Earth, in a city with rapidly evolving tastes – John decided that his hometown, Chicago, would be the ideal place to do just that. The key to building interest in craft beer, Hall decided, was to allow consumers to watch the brewing process – while providing them with the then-novel experience of enjoying a wide variety of distinctive beers that had been produced on-site. Hall wanted to not only cater to his customers’ tastes, but to challenge them as well. Goose Island’s brewers set to work crafting a diverse selection of unique beers – and on Friday, May 13, 1988 the Goose Island Brewpub was born. It turned out that John was right; Chicagoans palates evolved rapidly once Goose Island’s Brewpub opened its doors and introduced the city to distinctive craft beer. By 1995, the brewpub had become so popular that John Hall and his son Greg, who had by then become Goose Island’s brewmaster, decided to open a larger brewery and bottling plant to keep up with demand. Finding still more room for growth, in 1999 the father-son team opened a second Goose Island Brewpub just a stone’s throw away from historic Wrigley Field.

tbr-giipa2Brewer Brand Hype: Our India Pale Ale recalls a time when ales shipped from England to India were highly hopped to preserve their distinct taste during the long journey. The result is a hop lover’s dream with a fruity aroma, set off by a dry malt middle, and long hop finish.
Label: Recognized as among the world’s finest, Goose Island’s India Pale Ale has a spicy hop aromoa and an inviting fruity flavor. This exceptional beer is one you will not soon forget. Serve India Pale Ale in a tulip glass.

The Brewski Review: Spoiler Alert! I just read someplace where Bud/InBev is going to purchase Goose Island for somthing north of $35M.  If you were looking for a brewery to purchase your a day late and probably a dollar or two short. The purchaser classifies Goose Island as a boutique brewery. I’ve never had any of their more exotic brews but I look forward to trying them out – as long as they don’t change with the purchase by a large industrial brewer. The IPA was good. It was hoppy and bitter. Nothing deviating too far from the standard IPA classic taste. The fruity flavor didn’t jump out at me but there was some mild sweetness to it. Again, a good beer. Give one a try if your into hops.

Drinkability: Sure.
Appearance: Dark golden color.
The Buds: Hoppy and bitter.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

This is pretty cool. If I could purchase a set of tiles I'd install this in my future kitchen makeover. My wife might not like it but I think my kids would.

This is pretty cool. If I could purchase a set of tiles I'd install this in my future kitchen makeover. My wife might not like it but I think my kids would.

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: www.clippercitybeer.com
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.

August 24, 2010

Coors Light Window Candy

The Brewski Report loves a good neon sign. And, Coors Light seems to enjoy them as well. The beer may not be that fantastic, but they do like to market the brand as much as possible. Take a look at these neon signs below.tbr-coors-bikini-neon2

tbr-coors-bottle-cap-neon1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tbr-coors-mntn-neon1

tbr-coors-rodeo-neon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tbr-coors-shamrock-neon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tbr-coors-nfl-neon1

August 20, 2010

Vintage Budweiser Advertisements 8.20.10

Here are a few vintage bud advertisements that make you wish for simpler times. I was just a glimmer in my mother’s eye when these ads saw their debut, but it still makes me yearn for a time before cell phones, cable news, wi-fi, rap music, bad 80’s hairstyles and celebrities who aren’t. Ahhhh!

Aren't you glad? Springtime is a happy time. And the best place to be is close to a bud. Cold, refreshing Budweiser....the King of Beers.

Aren't you glad? Springtime is a happy time. And the best place to be is close to a bud. Cold, refreshing Budweiser....the King of Beers.

KNOW HIM! He's the easiest man in town to meet. Just visit your friendly tavern and ask for Budweiser....King of Beers.

KNOW HIM! He's the easiest man in town to meet. Just visit your friendly tavern and ask for Budweiser....King of Beers.

I penned a post on 7.29.10 for Killians Irish Red that notes what my bartender would look like if I owned my own place. This smartly dressed man is what I pictured. Not a punk with a nose/ear/belly ring in a graphic tee shirt advertising his favorite band. Oh yeah, I dig that vintage light behind him as well.

Does anyone remember paying $0.25 for a beer? This would be a great sign vintage sign to have. Although, the only place my wife would allow me to hang it would probably be the garage or basement.

Does anyone remember paying $0.25 for a beer? This would be a great vintage sign to have. Although, the only place my wife would allow me to hang it would probably be the garage or basement.

July 16, 2009

Pictures of Red Stripe Beer Ads 7.16.09

Red Stripe Beer Brand Marque Web Advertisement

Red Stripe Beer Brand Marque Web Advertisement

Red Stripe Beer 16oz Can Picture - A rather plain white wrapper.

Red Stripe Beer 16oz Can Picture - A rather plain white wrapper.

Red Stripe Beer 'LIVE RED' Promo Ad Picture

Red Stripe Beer 'LIVE RED' Promo Ad Picture

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