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

July 31, 2015

Brew Kettle’s Summer Soulstice (Rays) 7.31.2015

Summer Soulstice (Newly renamed Summer Rays)

Summer Soulstice (Newly renamed Summer Rays)

TBR Reports out on Brew Kettle’s Summer Soulstice (Summer Rays)
File Date: 7.31.2015

File Name: Office Cubes are Killing Me
The Beer: Summer Soulstice
Type: Belgian Style Wit Bier
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.3% ABV
Brewer: The Brew Kettle Production Co.
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Strongsville, OH, USA
Brewer Info: TBK Production Works, The Brew Kettle Taproom &Smokehouse’s production side of the business, began it’s operations in 1995 as Ringneck Brewing Co. with a small 3 barrel brewhouse.From that humble beginning, we have been committed to producing ales and lagers of superb quality and character. The brewery has expanded twice since then increasing to a 12 barrels system in 2003 and most recently to a 20 barrel system in the spring of 2008.With this increase in production, Look for our hand crafted beers on draft and in retail establishments throughout Ohio and Kentucky.

Summer-Rays-6-packBrewer Brand Hype: Our take on a Belgian style unfiltered wheat ale brewed with raw wheat and flaked oats and spiced with coriander and orange & lemon peel.

Label: Summer Soulstice. Ale brewed with spices. Belgian Style Wit. Out take on a Belgian classic. This unfiltered wheat ale is brewed with flaked wheat & flaked oats and spiced with coriander, orange peel and lemon peel.

The Brewski Review: I’ve had this in my fridge for so long I think the brewer changed the name from Summer Soulstice to Summer Rays.Nonetheless, it was worth pulling out just the same and giving it a try. It was tastey and would definitely drink it again. The color was a very pale golden yellow, poured with minimal head and contained hints of spice. It was chilled nicely when I cracked it open on a hot summer day – probably the best time to drink a Wit Bier. (Then again, is there really a bad time to drink any kind of beer?) You haven’t seem many posts from me this year. I was finally able to upgrade my career and leave the nutcracker of a job behind me and pick up a suitable position with a large company that’s only about 7 minutes down the road. Needless to say, I’ve been busy getting acclimated to my new surroundings. The facility is a nice, quick little drive through a metropark along a river. How many people can say they see Egrets, deer, Blue Heron and other assorted wildlife within view or crossing the road on their way to work? Probably not many. Early indications are that the new job was going to be great until my boss was demoted about 3 months into my stint. He was one of the primary reasons I accepted the position but, apparently, he wasn’t righting the ship fast enough for the corporate folks. A new fella has yet to be found so we’ll see how this progresses. I’ll keep you informed.

Drinkability: Would drink again.
Appearance: Very pale golden color. Minimal head.
The Buds: Nice flavor with just a hint of spice.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5.

January 10, 2015

Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen 1.10.2015

Pink Grapefruit Lovers Rejoice!

Pink Grapefruit Lovers Rejoice!

TBR Reports on Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen Mix
File Date: 1.10.15

File Name: Life Goes On Brick By Brick
The Beer: Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen
Type: Hefeweizen Mix
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 2.5% ABV
Brewer: Radeberger Gruppe KG
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Germany
Brewer Info: The Radeberger Gruppe is a market leader in the German beer market. The group is part of the Dr. August Oetker KG family business in Bielefeld and a strategic business arm of the Oetker-Gruppe. The Radeberger Gruppe sees itself as a keeper of the German beer culture. With a clear commitment to regional heritage and to the values and traditions of its brands, the brewery group fosters the diversity of German beers and beverages and actively develops the German beer and beverage market with its innovative business model. The Radeberger Gruppe operates in many regions across Germany with 14 brewery locations as well as a mineral-water spring in Selters an der Lahn and its innovative brand Bionade in Ostheim vor der Rhön. With its unique brand portfolio, the Radeberger Gruppe clearly reflects this regional positioning: whether it’s crisp Radeberger Pilsner from Saxony, Frisian Jever from Friesland, Sion Kölsch from Cologne, Schlösser Alt from Düsseldorf, Berliner Kindl from the capital Berlin, Hessian Binding Römer Pils from Frankfurt, Tucher from Franconia, or Altenmünster Brauer Bier from Bavaria – this is German beer culture. This is the German beer market.

Schoff-TBR-2.2Brewer Brand Hype:
Schöfferhofer – sparklingly smooth! Schöfferhofer Weizen was the first wheat beer in Germany to be brewed outside Bavaria. For many years, it has proved to be one of the most successful German wheat beer brands, which include numerous award-winning and innovative variations in flavour. The most striking feature of Schöfferhofer Weizen is its fruity character with a slight citrus note. This, combined with a pleasant hint of clove, makes Schöfferhofer an enjoyable, sparklingly smooth beverage. Compared with the more filling wheat beers from the Bavarian region, Schöfferhofer is characterised by its ‘sleek’, elegant character and its resultant palatability. Schöfferhofer is known as “the champagne among wheat beers”.

Label: Schofferhofer Grapefruit is the unique combination of sparkling smooth
Schofferhofer Hefeweizen with grapefruit flavoring.A refreshing well-rounded taste with
tangy character and hints of sweetness is pleasing to the palate. Tastes best ice-cold and
right from the bottle. 50% of Schofferhofer unfiltered Hefeweizen blended with 50% grapefruit
drink. The natural ingredients may form a sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

The Brewski Review: This is one fantastic beer if your like grapefruit. The aroma and taste is to die for. The appearance is most definitely cloudy with a pale golden color. The head was minimal on the pour. It is a sweet beer so hop enthusiasts will want to beg off this one. I can imagine that the best time to drink one of these is probably not when it’s 3 degrees outside with a wind chill of 20 below. I purchased it on a nice warm spring day with every intent on cracking open the cap while chilling in my yet-to-be-built patio. Never happened. Life got in the way as it always does. Kids are getting older, I’m still working way too many hours for my personal preference (Positive 2015 will be the year I switch companies) and my project list is as long as it has ever been. I did knock off a couple big projects the last two months – installed a power vent water heater and tore down the chimney to the roof that serviced the old unit. With these project done, I can turn my attention to the interior of the house: tear down the chimney to the foundation and finish the master bedroom (the chimney brick was plastered over and was part of the wall in the room – thus, in order to finish the bedroom walls the chimney needed to go). I do plan on finishing the house sometime before doomsday – whenever that will be. This will make my wife and kids very happy.

Drinkability: Most definitely.
Appearance: Cloudy golden color.
The Buds: Excellent grapefruit flavor and aroma.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 caps out of 5.

The huge advertising conglomerates tell us that the chicks dig Grapefruit beer.

The huge advertising conglomerates tell us that the chicks dig grapefruit beer.

May 6, 2013

Spoetzl’s Ruby Redbird Summer Seasonal Beer Review 5.6.2013

TX Grapefruit. TX Brewed. TX Proud.

TX Grapefruit. TX Brewed. TX Proud.

TBR Reports on Spoetzel’s Ruby Redbird Summer Seasonal
File Date: 5.6.2013

File Name: Drink the beer first. Then mow the lawn.
The Beer: Ruby Redbird
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.2%
Brewer: Spoetzel Brewery
Web Site:
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-ruby-redbird-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Shiner Ruby Redbird is brewed with genuine Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit, the signature sweet citrus of the Rio Grande Valley, and ginger. This lager beer features grapefruit tartness and finishes with a ‘lil kick of ginger. With Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit and ginger, Shiner Ruby Redbird is sure to be a crisp and refreshing summer beer. Shiner Ruby Redbird is now available in cans, too.
Label: Summer Seasonal. Beer brewed with Texas red ruby grapefruit juice and with ginger and natural flavor added. Grapefruit – Sweet citrus of teh Rio Grande Valley. Ginger – all natural tropical spice. Serve Ice Cold on Hot Days. This crisp, refreshing summer seasonal is brewed with Texas Ruby Red grapefruit juice, the signature citrus of the Rio Grande Valley. Tartness from the grapefruit juice and a delightful kick from ginger combine for a taste that’s perfect for hot summer days. It’s deep gold color and full body come from pure Munich malt and Mt. Hood, Citra and Cascade hops balance the flavor well.

The Brewski Review: I love Rube Red Grapefruit. It’s one of my favorite fruits. So, it was no surprise that when I saw Spoetzel Brewery’s version I grabbed a couple off the shelf. Up to this point, I don’t recall being disappointed by any beer brewed in this Texas hotspot and this is no exception. Although it wasn’t as grapefruit tasting as I’d like it was still exceptional. Slightly on the sweet side, a dark golden color and a nice, tight creamy white foamy head to top it off makes it a good choice for a hot day. Technically not summer, I came home from work today realizing we’d be having Cinco de Mayo leftovers so I made a point of reaching into the fridge to pull this beverage out. If I couldn’t get it out before dinner I doubt I would have pulled it out at all. There seems to be limited opportunities to get things done. Take, for example, my hard work outside yesterday: it was a georgous day and while I was working I thought how great it would be to drink a beer. I also realize that if I stopped doing what I was doing to go inside the house for a beer (I haven’t stocked the garage fridge yet), that much less would get done. So I keep working and think about having one afterward. Well, that didn’t happen. Even though I have a beer blog I probably drink a heck of alot less than you may think. As I stated in my Mission Statement (or, the  ‘About’ page for those not in the know) I’m only doing this to find the beers I enjoy drinking; not to enrich myself with huge brewery endorsements (none yet, but open to offers) and to set the world on fire with my alcoholic pontifications.

Drinkability: Sure. Would drink this again.
Appearance: Dark golden color.
The Buds: No overpowering grapefruit flavor.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.0 out of 5.

Love this promotional piece. Reminds me of a vintage ad.

Love this promotional piece. Reminds me of a vintage ad.

October 12, 2012

Sea Dog’s Wild Blueberry Beer Review 10.12.2012

Sea Dogs entry into the seasonal fruit beer category.

Sea Dogs entry into the seasonal fruit beer category.

TBR Reports on Sea Dog’s Wild Blueberry
File Date: 10.12.2012

File Name: Work found to be toxic to your health.
The Beer: Wild Blueberry
Type: Fruit/Vegetable
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 4.6% ABV
Brewer: Sea Dog Brewing
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: ME, USA
Brewer Info: Being authentic is important to us. Our beers are brewed in a traditional English style using only the highest quality ingredients like English two-row malted barley and British top-fermenting Ringwood yeast. Our English brewing style results in brews with a distinctive, refreshing taste and crisp finish. Founded in 1993, Sea Dog is Maine owned and Maine brewed. Our crew brews a full line of award-winning handcrafted ales that capture the spirit of Maine’s sea-faring history.

tbr-sd-blueberry-insertBrewer Brand Hype: Our unique contribution to the fruit ale category features the nutty quench of wheat ale combined with the delightful aromatics and subtle fruit flavor contributed by Maine wild blueberries.
Label: Sea Dog Wild Blueberry. Beer with natural flavor added.

The Brewski Review: It was a rough day at work. My head hurts from the front of my skull, over the top and down the back. I purchased a couple extra lottery tickets today hoping to ease my pain. We’ll see if it works. So, I decided to come home and crack open a beer. Beings that my recent beer run pushed a few to the back, I had to dig deep for this one. It’s a holdover from my summer brews – Sea Dog’s Wild Blueberry. The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming blueberry smell. The taste wasn’t a disappointment either. There was no gimmicky color changes just a nice aroma and a very pleasant and mild blueberry taste. The brewer did this one up right in my book. Definitely worth a try. No need to have a bad day at work to drain one of these down your throat; just a desire for a nice spring or summertime brewski.

Drinkability: Definitely
Appearance: Nice golden appearance
The Buds: Nice aroma. Slight taste of Blueberry.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.5 out of 5 caps.

January 23, 2012

Wittekerke Witbier Review 1.23.2012

Belgium Wittekerke Witbier

Belgium's Wittekerke Witbier

TBR’s Take on Wittekerke Witbier
File Date: 1.23.2012

File Name: I want to drink so I must be sane.
The Beer: Wittekerke
Type: Witbier
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.0% ABV
Brewer: Brouweij Bavik
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Belgium
Brewer Info: In August 1894 founded Adolphe De Brabandere farmer on the “Hof ter Coulter” an application to the municipality of Bavikhove to “one brewery building.” One of his children, Joseph De Brabandere, made the same year his first brew. The Brabandere Joseph died in 1929 age of 54. After a difficult period, his son Albert the reins of the brewery owned, so the company is under a steady momentum of growth. What the beer bars and 1950 only to individuals was sold, was started in 1950 with exports to beer retailers. It was also during this period that the Lager beer began to rise. Previously it was mainly brewed beer table, next to the barrels of beer that was delivered to the pubs. an old truck unloading bierHet sales network was expanded through the bars and beer merchants could Bavik and the Bon-Val products obtained in West and East Flanders and Hainaut.

tbr-bavik-insertBrewer Brand Hype: WITTEKERKE charms you with its own character, smooth taste and a unique delicious aroma. A very pleasant drink, light in alcohol with a crisp and refreshing flavor. WITTEKERKE is always served cold, but in taking your time to enjoy it, you will find more flowery and spring flavors towards the end of your glass. Although the hoppy bitterness is an underlying taste, it is never dominant. Perfect white head. WITTEKERKE is a fictitious name for a typical Flemish town, like we find hundreds of villages in Flanders with a name ending on KERKE (church) or KAPELLE (chapel). WITTE means white in English, thus the translation of the name is WHITE CHURCH. The Bavik brewery has since a long time brewed its own authentic WIT beer under the “Bavik Wit” label, but the brewery chose to change the name in cooperation with the producers of the Belgian sit-com “WITTEKERKE”, airing twice a week in prime-time on the Belgian TV channels. The actors drink WITTEKERKE during the show.
Label: Authentic Belgian Wheat Beer. Originally brewed and bottled in Belgium by Bavik brewery.

The Brewski Review: I’ve been having some terrible employee drama in my department. No one wants to get along anymore so I’m ready to fire them all. Just kidding. It’s too hard to find quality individuals these days regardless of the high unemployment numbers that seem to lay stagnant out there in the heavy morning dew the government showers down upon us each week.  The departmental drama….yes, it does truly exist. It’s enough to make a sane man drink heavily. Which leads me to my desire to come home for a nice cold beer. I was excited to pull this Witbier out of the fridge and garnish it with a slice or two of orange before pounding it. First off, I had serious problems getting the sediment swirled off the bottom of the bottle. I actually had to pour some beer back in to work some free. Needless to say, the effort proved only half successful. Could this be the reason for the uncharacteristic taste? Possible so. It wasn’t like any other Witbier I’ve tasted, or enjoyed for that fact. To tolorate the beer I had to drop about half an orange in the glass – drinking pulp with each swig. I’ve never had a unpleasant wheat beer from Belgium before so I’ll have to try this brand another time for an updated review. Until then, the rating IS what it IS.

Drinkability: I’ll try again.
Appearance: Very light golden color – too clear for witbier.
The Buds: Very unusual tasting – almost too bitter.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.25 out of 5.

Bavik is a small sponser of this off-road rally team (given the prominence of the company logo on the truck, they must not supply much more than a few six packs every now and then.)

Wittekerke is a small sponser of this off-road rally team (given the prominence of the company logo on the truck, they must not supply much more than a few six packs every now and then.)

Bavik also sponsors a balloon. Nice way to advertise.

Bavik also sponsors a balloon. Nice way to advertise.

May 25, 2011

Spaten’s Munchen Dunkel Beer Review 5.25.2011

Spaten's Munich Dunkel

Spaten's Munich Dunkel

The Brewski Report Reviews Spaten’s Munchen Dunkel
File Date: 5.25.2011

 File Name: Only a tornado could separate man from beer.
The Beer: Spaten Muchen Dunkel
Type: Munich Dunkel Lager
Serving: Bottle
Stats: 5.5% ABV
Brewer: Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu GmbH
Web Site:
State/Country of Origin: Germany
Brewer Info: Franziskaner’s roots can be traced back to 1363. It was in this year that the brewer Seidel Vaterstetter is first mentioned as the owner of the ‘brewery next to the Franciscans’ in the Munich Residenzstrasse. The name ‘Franziskaner’ derives from the Franciscan monastery diagonally across the street. In 1861 Joseph Sedlmayr, owner of the Leist Brewery (probably founded in the 15th century) and son of Spaten’s Gabriel Sedlmayr the Elder, buys out August Deiglmayr, with whom he has been co-running the Residenzstrasse brewery since 1858. By 1872 ‘Ur-Märzen’, the amber-colored Oktoberfest beer from Franziskaner-Leist, is served for the first time at the Schottenhamel Tent on the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. Brewed from a Viennese recipe, this golden-yellow beer is stronger than the summer beer. In 1922 The Franziskaner-Leist Brewery and the Spaten Brewery, likewise owned by the Sedlmayr family, unite to form a single joint stock company, the ‘Gabriel und Joseph Sedlmayr Spaten-Franziskaner-Leistbräu AG’, in order to combat the economic problems of the crisis-ridden postwar years and to capitalize on synergies. The Munich artist Ludwig Hohlwein designs the company’s distinctive trademark in 1935, which is still used today. The Franciscan Friar continues to stand for the unsurpassed quality of Franziskaner’s premium weiss beer.

tbr-spaten-logo2Brewer Brand Hype: A bottom fermented dark lager, uses roasted malt, and Hallertau hops to form its easily drinkable taste & appearance.
Label: Since 1397. Spaten Muchen Dunkel. Original from Munich.

The Brewski Review: Spaten’s obviously been around quite a long time. Any compay that’s been in business since before America was born must have something going for it. This Dunkel was rather smooth and mild tasting and went well with the italian suasage, grilled chicken, peppers, potatos and onion dinner. It was a rather grueling day at work so having a cold one sounded like a good idea. There were quite a few severe storms blowing through the area as a topper to a frustrating day at work so a little alcohol was duely warranted. Luckily, we didn’t have to seek shelter in the basement. That would have been terrible since my beer is in the kitchen fridge.

Drinkability: Sure. I’d try it again.
Appearance: Dark amber brown color.
The Buds: Smooth and mild dunkel.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 rating out of 5.

How much worse could your day get? Think again. It could always be worse.

Don't believe your day couldn't get any worse than it is now? Think again. What are the chances of a fire and a mini-tornado at the same time?

May 10, 2010

Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top Belgian Witbier 5.10.2010

Bud's Shock Top Belgian White

Bud's Shock Top Belgian White

The Brewski Report Reviews Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top Belgian White Witbier
File Date: 5.10.10

File Name: Snorting Beer Can Tingle
The Beer: Shock Top Belgian White
Type: Witbier
Serving: Draft
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Anheuser-Busch, Inc
Web Site:
Country of Origin: MO, USA
Brewer Info: Anheuser-Busch traces its origins back to the Bavarian brewery, which was established in 1852. Eberhard Anheuser acquired the Bavarian brewery in 1860 and renamed it E. Anheuser & Co. In 1864, his son-in-law, Adolphus Busch, joined the company that would later become Anheuser-Busch. While the company’s early years were demanding, Adolphus Busch proved up to the challenge. His keen vision, bold initiative, marketing savvy and passionate commitment to quality were his legacy to those who followed, and the high standards he established have been adhered to by each succeeding generation. Today, Anheuser-Busch produces the two best-selling beers in the world, Budweiser and Bud Light, and operates 12 breweries in the United States.

shock_top-draftBrewer Brand Hype: Introduced originally as seasonal beer Spring Heat Spiced Wheat in 2006, year-round as Shock Top in 2007. As an unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale, this beer is naturally cloudy with a light golden color. Brewed with orange, lemon and lime peels and coriander. Shock Top Belgian White pairs well with fresh salads, chicken dishes and Asian cuisine. The beer is best enjoyed in a tall, wide-mouthed glass. To serve the brew perfectly, follow these pouring guidelines. Pour the brew down the side of the glass until about one-half inch of brew is left in the bottle. Lay the bottle on its side and roll it gently back and forth, mixing the remaining yeast that has settled at the bottom. Pour the rest of the brew, producing a nice, thick collar of foam.
Label: Reviewed this one as a draft.  (Kind of hard to roll the bottle on it’s side when it comes from the keg.  It makes me wonder if I’m getting the full taste from the tap.)

The Brewski Review: In typical witbier form, this Belgian style wheat ale is cloudy in color. I didn’t detect much of a citrus taste or aroma.  With it’s crisp flavor and minimal aftertaste it would make for a decent summertime beverage. Nothing too special or noteable to make it my witbier of choice.  My initial thought is to skip to another witbier before sampling this brew again.  Although, I may be willing to give a bottle a try sometime to see if I’m tasting the full yeasty flavor.  If I do try the bottle version, I’ll make it a point NOT to drink it while I dine with fellow coworker – ‘Two Buck Chuck’ – out on the road as I did when I drank the draft version. If I do, I’ll risk snorting most of the beer out my nose.  Who can’t laught at a coagulation of ruthless and sarcastic comments about your place of work and those you work with?  I most certainly can’t.  And the company I work for definitely has no shortage of material to comment about.  Does yours?  Probably not.  I’ve been with a few large, well known companies and they’re all about the same.  Maybe one day I’ll find an organization where I actually enjoy going to work each morning and doing what I’m paid to do.  I envy those individuals who knew what they wanted to do right out of high school, earned their degree and are now doing it. Probably making great money at it as well. Me? I need a career change.  Only problem is, I can’t afford to start at the bottom. That’s what the lottery is for right?    

Drinkability: Drinkable. If I drink it again, it’ll be in the bottle.
Appearance: Cloudy, Pale golden yellow.
The Buds: Decent for an industrial brew.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

March 30, 2010

Spoetzl Brewery’s Shiner Bock Beer Review 3.30.2010

Shinger Bock On Tap Is Delicious.

Shinger Bock On Tap Is Delicious.

The Brewski Report Reviews Shiner Bock And A Ford Explorer Electrical Problem.
File Date: 3.30.2010

File Name: Man Drives 145,000 Miles To Find A Great Bock Beer.
The Beer: Shiner Bock
Type: Bock
Serving: Draft
Stats: 4.4% ABV
Brewer: Spoetzl Brewery
Web Site:
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-shiner-bock-label-insert1Brewer Brand Hype: Bock reflects the tradition of genuine Bavarian beers as a brew only a craftsman like Kosmos Spoetzl, trained in the “Old Country,” could bring to life. With its deep amber color, distinctive rich flavor and full body, Shiner Bock demonstrates the care of a handcrafted brewing process to bring forth a mellow taste free of the bitter aftertaste found in many micro, specialty and imported beers. Just think of it as Shiner smooth.
Label: Pulled straight from the keg.

The Brewski Review: My Ford Explorer has about 145,000 miles on the odom.  Some say ‘it’s just getting broken in’.  I say: ‘Let’s switch cars’.  ‘I’ll let you revel in the luxury of driving a car with the kinks already worked out.’  ‘And, I’ll suffer while I drive your new car.’  At this stage, it’s not a monthly payment so much as the nickle and dime repairs.  The other day the Exploder died on me.  I had taken the day off to get some work done around the house and my car quits.  (If there’s a silver lining to this story,  it’s that I didn’t get stranded at work.)  Click. Click. Click went the starter.  Battery right?  Yeah.  Later that evening my wife asked if I fixed the car.  Like a flash of lightening, it hit me: did I really fix it?  ‘I’m going to Auto Zone.’ I yelled upstairs to my wife who was struggling with two ornery kids.  The retail guy checks the system and says the alternator is fine.  I have an electrical short.  Arrg! The car sits for a week while I decide what to do.  I’m paralyzed with inaction.  I fix things myself because I don’t trust others and I like to save money.  (Yes.  I know I have issues.)  I call the dealer. ‘Well, we’ll start you out at $100 and work till we find it.’  Reading between the lines I replied, ‘So, you have a $100/hr service charge.  Correct?’  Silence for a moment then, ‘Uh. Yes.’  Apparently, he never had anyone call him out on his car-mechanic double-talk, super-secret covert pricing lingo.  Since I didn’t really consider this a viable option, I received names of other friend mechanics but decided to wait until Saturday to give it a good once over.  Good thing I did.  Aside from not seeing a wiring issue that would classify as a ‘short’, I removed the + battery cable while the vehicle was running (Remember? I installed a new battery) to see if it would continue with just the alternator.  It didn’t.  Hmmmm.   That’s not right.  I drove back to Auto Zone to have another retailguy check the system.  This one tells me it’s my alternator.  I believe it this time and drive home with a new part in hand.  Problem solved.  New battery and alternator: $225.00.  Getting erroneous decision making info from a retailguy, losing 1/2 vacation day and wasting a week thinking about it?  Priceless as it is finding a fantastic Bock beer!  Absolutley delicious!  I’d highly recommend Spoetzl’s Shiner Bock beer to everyone.  I won’t verbosely expound on it, but it was gooooood.

Drinkability: Two thumbs up on this one.
Appearance: Amber Brown in color.  No head by the time it made it to my table.
The Buds: Very mild and crisp.  Minimal aftertaste as noted by the brewer.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

June 20, 2009

Negra Modelo Review 6.20.09

TBR Reviews Grupo Modelo's Munich Dunkel Lager AKA Negra Modelo.

TBR Reviews Grupo Modelo's Munich Dunkel Lager AKA Negra Modelo.

The Brewski Report Calls Out Negra Modelo and the Frustration with Crack.
File Date: June 20, 2009

File Name: Repairing the Walls of Shame
The Beer: Negra Modelo
Type: Munich Dunkel Lager
Serving: Short, dark bottle
Stats: 5.4% abv, 0 grams of fat, 170 calories per 12-oz bottle
Brewer: Grupo Modelo
Brewer Specs:  First brewed in Mexico by Austrian immigrants. It was first sold on draft in 1926, but was first produced in 1925. Negra Modelo comes in an unusually shaped, wide brown bottle with a trademark Gold Label. Grupo Modelo has marketshare of 56% in Mexico. Until the 60’s Grupo Modelo used red poppy flowers in its advertising, where almost any image it used had poppy flowers somewhere in the image.

Chocolaty Goodness? You be the judge.

Chocolaty Goodness? You be the judge.

Brewer Hype:  Negra Modelo redefines the way consumers think of a dark beer because in taste and color it is a very drinkable beer. Negra Modelo appeals to import beer drinkers who are looking for something new and different. Consumers who drink craft beers also love Negra Modelo as it offers more flavor, more complexity and a little “mystery.” To achieve its unique taste, Negra Modelo uses a greater quantity of malt, the finest hops, a special yeast and the purest water. It is a delicious, creamy, full-flavored dark brew with a pleasant malt aroma and dry hop flavor that has a smooth mellow taste.

The Brewski Review: In a quest to rejuvenate my house I find myself torn between doing the best job I can and the time I have to commit. Take the den for instance. It’s currently the room de jour for my efforts. The plaster walls have cracks, some larger than others. The larger cracks were addressed by cleaning out the crevice, filling with plaster and top coating with a light joint compound for easy sanding. The smaller hairline cracks and other surface imperfections are numerous, distracting and annoying. I could paint over the hairline cracks but the plaster surface, as a whole, is riddled with imperfections. This is where I’m torn – spend time to skim coat the entire wall for a reasonably attractive surface or let it go ‘as-is’ and chalk it up as ‘original’ to the house. What I’d ultimately like to do is tear it all down and hang rock but that won’t happen given my finances and available time. Your right, it’s not life or death. But it’s a mentally perplexing dilemma that frustrates me to no end. My advice to you? Tear it all out and do it right – before you move into the house. You want some more of this mind blowing wisdom? Never eat a handful of M&M’s before you review a beer. I did that the other day. I usually need a quick snack when I get home from work and it was handy. Did it subjectively slant my taste? I don’t think so. This beer had enough chocolate taste to hold it’s own. It poured with a tight, nicely formed head but it didn’t linger very long.  It wasn’t very bitter and it went down smooth. Overall it’s a good beer but I think I’d be inclined to try another Munich Dunkel Lager before cracking open a Negra Modelo.

Drinkability: Yes.
Appearance: Nice, tight head on top of a dark beer.
The Buds: As far as my limited exposure to Munich Dunkels go, I thought it was a decent beverage.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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