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

February 2, 2011

Great Divide Brewing’s Hibernation Ale Beer Review 2.2.2011

The Rich Goodness of Hibernation Ale

The Rich Goodness of Hibernation Ale

The Brewski Report Reviews Great Divide’s Hibernation Ale
File Date: 2.2.2011

File Name: Blizzard of ’11 Is A Yawner
The Beer: Hibernation Ale
Type: Old Ale
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 8.7% ABV
Brewer: Great Divide Brewing Co.
Web Site: www.greatdivide.com
State/Country of Origin: CO, USA
Brewer Info: In 1994, Colorado’s craft beer scene scarcely existed, but Brian Dunn recognized Denver’s potential to be a great beer city. Combining his business background with his passion for beer, which was developed through his international travels and his experience as a homebrewer, he decided to start a brewery. He set up shop in an abandoned dairy-processing plant at the edge of downtown Denver and began brewing the beers that would eventually carry Great Divide Brewing Company to its status as one of America’s most decorated microbreweries and would help transform Denver into an international destination for beer lovers.

tbr-hiber-labelBrewer Brand Hype: Hibernation Ale has been our celebrated winter tradition since 1995. This robust, dry-hopped ale has a malty richness balanced with a complex hop profile and hearty, warming character.  8.7% ABV. October thru January.
Label: Same as above with: Suggested Food Pairings: Aged, hard Dutch cows milk cheese, roasted chicken, grilled vegetables.

The Brewski Review: The ‘old’ in Old Ale refers to beers that in times past, could have been left to age in wood containers of varying types for periods up to a year. Due to this the beer can pick up slight acid flavors. I didn’t detect that here, just plenty of roasted malt favors and a little on the bitter side for me. Overall, very good. With the high ABV content I drank it before dinner in the hopes that I could lay on the couch and pass out with a full stomach. But, I don’t think I needed the beer to fall asleep fast. We had a winter storm blow through last night that stretched across the nation. 100 million people were supposed to be affected by this. We didn’t get it as bad as they forecasted but they still shut down our plant giving me the day off (we’ll have to work Saturday to make up the lost production). Isn’t winter great? So many resources are consumed by pushing frozen water around. Time, money and physical energy, which, buy the way, is why I’m so wiped out. I even have a mondo-size snowblower to help move the snow around. If I ever build a new house I’d love to install heated sidewalks and a driveway. Then, I wouldn’t have any more excuses to not sit in front of the TV and drink beer.

The frozen liquid winter wonderland in my little slice of heaven.

The frozen liquid winter wonderland in my little slice of heaven.

Drinkability: Good. But not a fan.
Appearance: Rich ruby brown in color.
The Buds: Hearty indeed. Very hoppy/malty.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5.

tbr-great-div-neon

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.

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