Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 140, Lancaster Brewing Pale Ale

Hi Aleophiles!

Tonight I want to discuss another American Pale Ale from Lancaster Brewing named Lancaster Pale Ale.  An American Pale Ale, if I haven't beaten this style to death, is the American take on the English IPA but Americanized and Texas sized!  Usually big hopped with American grown hops and American ingredients.  Let's see how this one stacks up!
The beer pours a hazy copper colour with a nice one finger head that lasts throughout the drink as a ring and broken cap and leaves nice archway patterns on the glass.

The aroma is biscuity and caramel malty sweet with hints of mellow fruit and some floral hops.  Kind of nice actually but more English than American.  I would expect more hop aroma.

The same goes for the taste.  It starts off malty and sweet with notes of cantaloup caramel and bread and then transitions towards earthy and slightly citrus hop bitterness but maintaining a strong malt foundation.

The mouthfeel is moderately sweet and smooth and light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.  Very nice and drinkable!

This beer is really nice and tasty.  It's not exacty an APA and more like my favorite style of English Bitters, Ales, etc...  It is, however, exceptionally drinkable and you could have a few of these on a hot summer day with the best of the lagers!

Hey, this was a gift.  If a friend gives you a gift of a new beer, a homebrew, etc...  don't cast it aside and say that I don't like dark beers or something lame like that.  Get out there and drink something good!


Monday, June 24, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 139, Susquehanna Brewing Company 6th generation Stock Ale

Hey Y'all!

This beer has been around for a while and is considered an American Pale Ale as it uses hops from the Pacific Northwest but it also uses grain from Britain and truthfully it tastes very British and mild.  APA's are a take on the original English IPA's that were highly hopped to survive the long sea voyage to India.  Over the decades, for one reason or another,  IPA's lost much of their potency in alcohol and hoppiness.  APA's try to revive the original strength using American ingredients.  

This beer has been around for 6 generations and is reportedly the same as it was way back when which is most likely English in some characteristics.
The beer pours a beautiful rich and clear amber colour with a faint head and very little lacing until agitated and then it fades again.

The aroma is definitely English ale style.  Caramel malts, bready yeast, and light fruit aromas and very mild floral hops.  Very nice indeed!

The taste is equally as nice!  Caramel malty sweet light but sweet enough, some grainy yeast, a tiny bit of dark fruit and apple with a mild hoppy finish.  Bitterness is very light and barely noticeable between sips.

The mouthfeel is smooth and quite light in body but well balanced and highly sessionable!  The carbonation is moderate.  This is a nice beer!

Overall my only complaint is the body being a bit on the thin side and it's a bit off the mark as an APA but I love English ales!  Otherwise this would be an excellent beer getting a solid 4 out of 5!

I'm so glad that I received this as a gift and tried it!  Thanks Rich!  Fantastic style!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Patching a hole in the hull of a Catalina 22 Sailboat named TARDIS

Elaine!  I'm posting a project for you!  Ha Ha Ha!

I actually haven't posted many of the projects that I have been doing or documenting them either as time is usually short.  But today I decided to start blabbing about my sailboat that my Dad, Uncle Richie and myself procured last fall.  She was basically stripped of all of her wood by my father and uncle and revarnished, cleaned, upgrades made to some hardware, and the keel removed and the pivot bored out and re-sheathed with stainless steel.  The keel is called a swing keel and it is lowered and raised at one end and pivots on the other.  Well the keels fulcrum where it pivots from was really corroded and worn out and the keel was all wibbly wobbly sort of like time travel in the space time continuum.  That was a task!  I will document that later perhaps.  But tonight I want to talk about patching a hole in the hull forward of the keel box in which the keel retracts and pivots in.

Just forward of the box there is a noticeable hole and crack.
Before it was sanded down it was very obvious that the whole problem was caused by a bubble between the layers of fiberglass matting during manufacture and basically is a FAIL on Catalina's part!  Here you can the edges of the bubble with the dental tool in between the layers of glass.
My Dad prepped the surface with the almighty angle grinder and got it ready for filling with epoxy and fiberglass.  I chose to fill the major portions of the hole and deep gouges accompanying the cracks with Q-cell which is glass like fiberglass, but just bubbles instead of glass threads.  It's basically a filler and there were some pretty deep divits to fill.  This is what it looks like after the tape was removed as it was really difficult to try and get a shot of it while forcing it in with the tongue depressor.  The before and after pic would look the same anyway.
The Q-Cell is mixed with a batch of pre-mixed epoxy to the consistency of peanut butter (a thicker ratio may be too dry and not bond well with the surface of the prepped fiberglass.  It is also tricky because the boat was made with polyester resin and epoxy will adhere to dried and cured polyester  resin but polyester resin will not adhere to cured epoxy.  It's weird chemistry but they are two different entities.  Polyester resin does not add any structural integrity and relies purely on the fiberglass for strength and it also dissolves some of the glass as well making it adhere really well but weakening the glass some.  Whereas epoxy molecules lock together in chains forming a structure and protective coat as well as incorporating the fibers of the glass into the mix making it doubly strong as the polyester resin.  It's just a little of a gamble when working with the two.  But anyway, the hole was filled with the wet epoxy and Q-Cell and because it was only peanut butter consistency it had to be dammed in place with painters tape.
This process kept the shape of the hull and the edge of the keel box really well but as I was taping, filler seeped out around the edges of the tape so I had to make sure that I did not let this harden for two reasons;  1.  If it hardened then bits of the tape would be embedded in the filler making it weaker structurally and 2. part of the epoxying process dictates that successive coats of epoxy and fiberglass, etc... have to be within the time that the epoxy cures or there will be no chemical bond between layers and they will peel.  Being that I had planned to do at least two more coats (I actually did 6 more coats) the tape had to be removed and the filler checked for curing.  At about an hour I peeled off the tape gently and the filler still wanted to flow out a little bit so I put down a little bit of wax paper and retaped it.
Feeling that the filler needs to be in contact with air (I'm not sure if this is true, but it seems logical and my experience with these materials has led me to believe that it will cure faster exposed to the environment) I removed this tape and wax paper about 30 minutes later.  When doing this, I keep an eye on the container that the epoxy was mixed in to get an idea of how the cure is going.  On this section I learned that wax paper sticks to epoxy much more than the painters tape does and pulled a bit when removing it leaving a rough surface which was advantageous
for me.  Notice the right side of the patch.

The next step is to fill the depression with as much fiberglass as you can.  I had tons of 6 ounce fiberglass cloth around and put about 4 coats of 4 layers thick of the fabric after the filler step.  
Basically you paint on your epoxy, press down a glass patch and then wet out the glass with more epoxy on your brush.  Here you can see what the glass looks like pressed on to the surface by my vinyl gloved hands.  Where my fingers pressed on the fabric, the glass turns clear as the it wetted by the epoxy.  Then you brush on more epoxy and wet out the rest of the fabric.  I did this with four layers of the fabric and then let it almost cure all the way (chemical bonding) added an other 4 layers of glasss, let it almost cure (chemical bonding), added another layer of four pieces of fabric, etc... for four layers of four layers of fiberglass fabric.  

It is done in thin increments like that because if I were to layer out 16 layers of fabric at one time it would pose two problems:  1.  Thick layers of curing epoxy give off excessive heat as it cures, it can brown,   get extremely brittle after curing, and can delaminate and 2. all of those little spaces in between the stitching in fabric have air holes in them and the patch will not be as strong if all those patches don't get filled with epoxy from the consecutive layer of epoxy and fabric.  

That being said, when it was all finished, I had to come back an hour later before the patch was completely cured for the sake of chemical adhesion and brush on a final filler coat of epoxy to fill the air voids in the top layer of fabric.

Tomorrow it will be sanded flush removing the hill tops of the fabric and then coated with a bigger patch of 3 or 4 layers of glass.  Sanded again and then ready to be finished with the bottom paint for the boat.  WIN!

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 138, Stegmaier Pale Ale


Once again, I have missed two days!  They are racking up!  Instead of 365 days I will be lucky to get 300 I think.  Realistically that is to be expected, especially now that the weather is so nice, but my excuse this time is that I threw a party showcasing 4 of my homebrews out in the workshop on Friday and it took a lot of time and effort!  I put in a bathroom as you may know and had 4 taps going with my beer in them and it was quite an effort getting them borrowed, and working for cornelius kegs.  A good time was had by all.  I was a little busy and didn't get to talk to everyone as much as I had wanted, but I plan on doing it again and you know what?  I had a great time, and so did everyone else.  What really helped was it being a beautiful first night of summer with a super moon!  WOW!

So tonight I am drinking a beer gifted to me by Rich Wagner in a glass gifted to me by Tom Coughlin from the party.  Thanks to you both and all of my guests for bringing foodstuffs, charcoal, etc... and it was great to see my best friend Joe Gass along with all of my other great friends!  It was truly amazing and I am thankful to know som many really cool and down to earth people!

Stegmaier Pale Ale:  Style- American Pale Ale.
Screw Top Bottle!  Not homebrewer friendly!  FAIL,  points lost.

The beer pours a nice clear and copper colour with a huge 3 finger head and leaves and excellent lacing pattern that looks like the Beatles in the one cartoon where they have really long hair.  Trippy!

When it's warming the beer smells mildly malty with bready yeast and notes of orange peel, citrusy hops and honey.  It's very faint but nice.  You have to let this beer warm for those to come out.  Cold it's average.

Taste wise this beer is balanced really well.  Earthy hop bitterness mixed with orange peel play with some almost caramel sweet maltiness equally throughout the sip.

The mouthfeel is smooth but a bit on the thin side.  The carbonation moderate.

Overall I am going to say that this is not the best American pale ale that I have had.  It's a bit on the watery side, but the balance of flavours and aromas is excellent!  If it weren't for the thin mouthfeel I would be giving this 4 out of 5.  But I do believe that this beer is excellent for summer activities AND that it would be a great crossover beer for the craft beer beginner and it gets points for that!

This would be a great beer for you to get off your lazy arse to try and become hooked on good beer!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 137, Full Pint Kolsch

Hi everyone!

Tonight I am doing a Kolsch from Full Pint and I believe that it is a pretty good representation of what little I know of the style.  This may only be my second Kolsch that I have reviewed so bear with me!  Kolsch is obviously German from Koln.  It's really light in colour, hop assertive, a bit malty with a dry finish.
The beer poured crystal clear and straw coloured from the bottle and had very little head but stayed as a ring throughout the drink.  Lacing was minimal.  Beautiful looking!

The aroma is definitely of sweet pale malts,  some biscuity yeast and an almost imperceptible, unless you agitate the beer well,  grassy hop nose.

There is a pretty good balance between the pale malt sweetness and the earthy hop bitterness which comes alive half-way through the sip.  The finish is dry and slightly peppery.  Some light biscuity yeast is present through the sip as well.  Another reviewer mentioned cardboard, I'm not really getting that, but I may be confusing it with the earthy hops at the finish.  I'm not overly familiar with this style it being maybe my 5th or 6th kolsch ever, but I think it's pretty dang good!

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, a bit more than I have had, slightly slick on the tongue and dry.  Carbonation in this beer is medium and quite nice.

Overall, I would have to say that this fits the descriptions of a kolsch that I have read and there is really nothing that offends me or seems like an off-flavour.  I really like this beer and this style and recommend trying it to anyone.  Especially if you can get it on tap in the summer!  

Hey, this might not be the perfect cross-over beer for you, but you never know until you try it!  Good luck!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 136 Full Pint Brown Ale

Hi!  I'm having a late start as I am prepping for a party this Friday so I'm not going to have a picture tonight with my beer because my phone is dead!  AHHHH what to do without a phone!

Anyway, hats off to Full Pint brewing for doing a brown ale which I don't see many of.  Brown Ale is kind of a catch-all description for basically a brown ale which was developed in Britain.  I believe (there is not much info on this beer) that this one is an American brown ale which of course can use American ingredients or have coffee and nuts added to it.  Alcohol can be mellow or high and the same for hops.

This one is really middle of the road and delicious

It poured a hazy brown in colour with a thin tan head made of tiny bubbles that leaves a quickly falling lacing pattern.

The aroma is dominated by roasted malt sweetness, biscuity yeast, and very mild hints of coffee and vanilla.

Astonishingly the flavour is the same!  It is caramel malt sweet throughout most of the sip with hints of roasted coffee, butterscotch and vanilla until the end when a very mild earthy hop bitterness comes into play.  It's balanced in favour of the sweet, but it's very nice.

It's got a full bodied and sweet mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and leaves a little slick on the tongue.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who likes English Ales and newbies to craft beer as I feel that it is highly drinkable!  If I had any complaint it would be that its a little too sweet, but barring that I think it's excellent and gets a 3.90 out of 5.00!

I'm so glad that I tried this beer!  You should try it too!


Monday, June 17, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 135, Full Pint All-In Amber

Hello interweb beer prowlers!

Tonight I am drinking what is classified as an American Amber / Red Ale and is basically a beer with reddish hues and malt forward yet balanced well with hop bitter and a tad of toasted grain thrown in there.  Let's take a look!

This beer is positively clear and amber with a thin white head and a cool stalactite / stalagmite lacing pattern!

The aroma is like caramel malts mixed with date bread and a tiny bit of chocolate.  It's a very alluring combination!

Just as the nose the flavour is caramel malty in character, grainy with notes of dark fruit.  It starts off a bit bready and grainy and mid way it evolves into a malty sip and then finishes with some earthy hop bitterness which is actually a bit dry which makes this beer fairly complex!

The mouthfeel is moderate to full bodied, a little slick, and sweet transitioning to dry.  Very nice!  The carbonation is moderate making this a perfect beer!

Overall I find this beer exceptional and would recommend it to anyone, even someone new to craft beer as it would be a great crossover to one that has a little bit of hop bitterness to lure them in to the world of IPA's.

I'm glad that I tried this beer and I hope that you do one day as well!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 134, Free Will Citra Pale Ale

Yo Philly (and others)!

Tonight I am having another American Pale Ale from Free Will Brewing in Perkasie, PA.  As you know, an American Pale Ale is the Americanized version of an English IPA so let's give this one a whirl, how about it?

This beer was highly carbonated, hazy and gold out of the bottle with a huge white head and frothy lacing.

The aroma is definitely citrus and hoppy but not overly so with some pale sweet malts and a hint of bread.

I'm getting a citrus like bitterness with some pale malt sweetness underneath and finishing a little piney.  The carbonation is the first thing to hit your tongue bringing out some bitterness immediately then the malts are pretty apparent mid way through and then the bittering takes hold near the end.

The mouthfeel is pretty full, a little slick, and the finish dry but the carbonation is hot.  It's a bit overcarbonated.

The beer is fairly hoppy, but only a bit more than a perfect balance, the carbonation is a little too much and the mouthfeel a little slippery.  All in all, it's good.  A few tweaks here and there and this is going to be a great beer!  I like the hop profile!  3.5 out of 5!

Good beer isn't going to come to you!  You have to seek it out!  Try new beer!  Life is too short to drink crappy beer!


Friday, June 14, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 133, Full Pint Hobnobber Session IPA

Good Evening,  Happy Friday!

I apologize once again for missing another post!  Last night I went to review a really nice pub with some craft beers on tap for Out On the Town Magazine.  My friend Donny Smith and I have an article called Ale on the Town and we try and review places in Northeast Philly that are starting on the craft brew scene as there aren't many places in this area.  I will later include the link to the articles that we write as would seem only the smart thing to do!

Locally, it seems that most of Philly is still recovering from Beer Week as it takes a lot out of the publicans and brewers so I would like to say thanks to all of those involved for showing us a great time and invite them to my little party next weekend.

Tonight's beer!  Hobnobber Session IPA.  It seems that a new name has arisen for a light hoppy beer!  This beer is actually considered an APA or American Pale Ale which has been derived from the original IPA taken to India via ship during the early 1800's and had to be hopped extra to preserve the beer for the long trip.  American's have to have everything big.  I call it "Texas Envy" so they hop it more and use local ingredients.  This beer has less alcohol, 3%ABV, and is therefore considered sessionable, or capable of being imbibed in higher quantity, ie. good for summer BBQ's!

Hazy gold in colour with a thin white head and cool dragon tooth lacing this beer smells faintly of grapefruit, earthy hops and pale malt.  Of course, I poured it a bit too cold and I am sure more aromas will come out but for now it smells like an APA.  What I first noticed about it when I took the first sip was it was very light in body (thin) and fairly hoppy.  The earthy flavoured hops are pretty forward in the sip with mild pale malt sweetness underneath.  The beer finishes fairly dry with some peppery notes and leaves a thin coat on the tongue.  I would say that this beer is excellent for parties or outdoor events with food to those who enjoy a little hop bitterness and don't want to get wicked drunk.  At 3% ABV you could enjoy more than just one or two.  This being a bit hoppy would also pair well with food and in that respect I highly recommend it!  In comparing with most APA's it falls a little short in the body department and I am going to have to score it a bit lower than my enjoyment level.  3.5 out of 5.

Hey, it's summer (almost) and this is the time to put down that crappy macro pee water from Bodweazle and Milfnair and get some real beer!  


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 132, Full Pint Chinookie IPA

HI Everyone!

Tonight's beer is from Full Pint Brewing Company in North Versailles, PA. and is classified an American IPA which is just an English IPA Americanized with American hops and ingredients and maybe dialed up a bit more on the bitter side.
The beer poured amber and hazy with a thin yellow head that pretty much fades unless you agitate the beer for aroma and the lacing is nice.

Aromas are of very piney hops grapefruit and sweet amber malt with a bit of bready yeast to it.

Bitterness starts off this fare with hints of pine and very strong grapefruit.  About mid-way malt sweetness shows up and then is pushed back by even more piney bitter from the hops.  There are strong hints of tropical fruit as well and as this warms they show up better.

The mouthfeel is creamy, full bodied, and dry with moderate or above carbonation.

Overall this is a good beer!  I get a strange fruity smell in the aroma that I can't quite put my finger on and it does detract from the beer.  It's an IPA so it's hoppy as hell!  I'd like to get a taste of this on tap and see how it compares.  I would recommend this beer with some good spicy foods.  I'm going to score this beer about 3.5 out of 5.  It didn't really wow me, but I'm not a huge bitter fan either.

Hey, you never know unless you try!  And you gotta try!


Monday, June 10, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 131, Troegs DreamWeaver Wheat

Hi everyone!

It's been a long day.  The brewery out back got it's toilet back.  In the 40's when it was built there were facitilities, but I  removed them (two heads) to conserve space and because they were destroyed by time.  So now, we have a dunny!  No walls yet.  HAHAHAHA!

Anyway,  tonight's beer is a hefeweizen and those are typified by using half barley and half wheat for the grains and a phenolic (Belgian-like) yeast that has aromas and flavors of bananas, bubble gum, apples, etc... and can finish on the dry side with a fairly lively amount of carbonation.  This beer fits that description to the "T".
The beer pours hazy and gold with an excellent two finger soft white head that lasts and leaves pretty cool lacing patterns on the glass.

The aromas are just like the description of a hefeweizen with notes of banana, bubblegum, and apple floating above a nice pale malt sweetness.  This bottle has a hint of skunk aroma to it as well and I believe that to be not of the breweries fault, but the bottle may be old, but it's hard to tell as the date has been worn off.  A few points will have to be deducted though.  I have had this on tap and it does not have the skunk aroma.

The beer starts off light and pale malt sweet with light phenolic flavours of bubblegum and tart apple only very faint and the beer then smooths out with a noticeable wheat presence and then finally takes on some very nice mild hop bitterness, only VERY mild and spicy.  Some skunk presence as my last burp can attest to.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin, not overly so, which makes it highly sessionable, but it seems a little light.  The carbonation is lively but when the wheat comes through about mid-way on the palate, the carbonation mellows.  The beer goes through some nice transformations!

Overall I am going to say that this beer's complexity is really neat!  It all works well and goes through a pretty cool transition.  The only complaint towards the beer is that it is a little thin and light in mouthfeel.  The skunk flavour is a big NO-NO but not this beer's fault.  AND it's not overt so it's actually not all that detracting.  Would I recommend this beer?  Hell YES!  Especially for summer!  4 out of 5 for this beauty!

Get off the dunny from drinking that macro crap and try this beer!  As the end to Troegs week closes, I would recommend this brewery!  I think their creations are fantastic and probably one of the better ones from Pennsylvania!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 130, Troegs Perpetual IPA

Hi everyone!

I hope that you locals enjoyed Philly Beer Week!  Mine was laid back.  I mostly just went to the Grey Lodge Pub and enjoyed their offerings.  Philly Beer Geek was pretty exciting last Thursday!  Mike Lawrence who was sponsored by the Grey Lodge and is the producer of the documentary Beeradelphia ran away with the prize.  He truly deserved it and was up against some really excellent competition!  It really was great fun and I hope that it keeps on growing because I really think it pulls everyone in the area together.  Good times.

Tonight's beer is two days late because of Philly Beer Week but that is OK, if you have followed me on Untappd, I added about a dozen new beers and two more new badges.  Pretty cool.  So now I continue Troegs Week with Troegs Perpetual IPA which is yet again another Double or Imperial IPA.  This style is fast becoming a favourite of mine!  It's hoppier, but it's also maltier and there is a bit more of a balance to be looked for in this style.  Of course, the ABV will be higher and we want to hide that alcohol flavour.
This beer pours a clear gold to amber colour with a nice one finger head that lasts and leaves a cool cracked desert pattern on my tulip glass.  I poured it cold, but I sort of had to after a long hot day working.  It will warm and offer niceties. 

Aromas are of grapefruit and other citrus with a definite hint of pine.  It's awesome!  There is a foundation of pale malt sweetness and a bit of honey, but the nose is mostly grapefruit and pine. 

The beer starts off equally mild malty and hoppy and as the sip progresses more bittering comes out in the form of grapefruit and lemon peel with a mildly dry yet fairly bitter ending.

The mouthfeel is medium full yet drying and bitter with an alcohol tingle.  The carbonation is moderate but enough to really bring that citrus to your nose and palate with a little bit of a burn.

Overall I would say that this is exceptional as it has all of what this style needs and more in the way of hops.  It's a little more bitter than the favourites of mine, but still exceptional and would drink this again and recommend it to other IPA fans!  4 out of 5!

Yeah man!  I hope you got your fizzy yellow water drinking ass off the couch and enjoyed some Beer Week festivities as they are a great way to learn about new beer!  If you didn't this year, I suggest next year!  There are lots of pretty girls that enjoy craft beer you know!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 129, Troegs Sunshine Pils

Hey all!

It's Philly Beer Week and I again missed a night of my own Troegs Week as I was at the Grey Lodge with my nephew who is in the Navy and I don't get to see him much and I was checking out some Neshaminy Creek Beers along with saying Hi to the Philadelphia Brewing Company crew.  I couldn't stay out long but I did taste two excellent beers from NCBC an unfiltered Pils and an IPA both were excellent!  

Tonight I am going with a Pilsner as well as the style is still fresh in my memory and this one a bit different than last nights.  This fare from Troegs is called Sunshine Pils and is a great summer beer!  This one is a German "Pilsener" which are straw in colour with a big head and a bit on the hoppy side using German varieties of hops.
The beer was poured cold and moisture condensed on the glass but it is crystal clear and of a solid straw yellow.  The head was almost a finger full and I poured it a bit aggressive but then it faded to just a thin ring around the glass but if you agitate the beer to get aroma, the head returns and leaves nice lacing.

The aroma is mellow and of pale malt sweetness and yeast, some grain a bit of lemon and very faint herbal hop aroma.  It is refreshing!

It starts off tasting thinly malt sweet with a grassy earthy bitterness on top, some grain and yeast amid mild lemon and a licorice-like feeling of spicy numbness on the tongue which really become more present as the beer warms.  It finishes peppery and mild to moderately bitter.

I think the mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with a mild sweetness that vanishes at the end, which is pretty cool!  There is a mild peppery feel that is accentuated by the slightly above moderate carbonation.  Also a slick feel on the tongue.

Overall, this is an excellent summer beer!  It is much less hoppy than the Neshaminy Creek Pils that I had last night and I would have to say mild for it's style as well as a bit thin making this an awesome beer for a camping trip if it were in a can!  I'm sure it's equally as nice on tap!  I recommend this beer and think pretty highly of it!  I'm going to score it in the very high 3's or better!

Thanks for reading and I hope that you get a chance to get out and try this one!  Local boys Troegs really have a great lineup of beer and I have two more to go for Troegs Week!


Monday, June 3, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 128, Troegs Troegenator Doublebock Beer

Hi beer lovers!

Tonight I am going to review another beer from the Troegs Brewery in Hershey, PA, but first I want to talk about why I was away for two days again.  It's Beer Week!  And although I haven't been hitting a lot of the events I have caught a few.  One in particular was a wheat weekend at The Grey Lodge Pub, near my home and this is where I enjoyed many a sour beer on Saturday and my favorite in the ten beer lineup (I only drank 7) was Sanctification from Russian River which also happened to be the more sour of the lineup.  It's weird because I used to dislike the idea of sour beers and this event opened my eyes!  In keeping with beer week I also endeavored to keg 3 beers and do a little work on a small beer that I made and was cloudy.  I was thinking that it was infected, but I got no real bad tastes from it other than it was still sweet and with a gravity reading of 1.022 I decided to add finings to the batch and mix real well and put back in the chamber.  Well, it started fermentation again AND cleared up.  Go figure.  This is well after I tried to cold crash it to settle out the haze.  I'm kind of happy that I gave this beer some effort because it was a beer that was pretty much free to brew as I reused the grains and the yeast straight from another fermentor and there in lies where I thought it may have gotten skunked.  I"m crossing my fingers!  Anyway, I had not found the time to write and I know it detracts from my original plan on doing this every night, but that goal is just not realistic!  I am giving it my full effort though!  I'm just trying to relax a little as well.  So I hope that you all enjoy my writings.  I have been making an effort to shorten the reviews a bit so not to loose any audience.  I'm always looking for feedback so please, feel free to say "hey!"

I'm drinking a Doppelbock from Troegs tonight.  That style is German in origin and a lager with generally a stronger profile than just a lager.  A doppelbock (double bock) is a lager with double the malt and more like a meal in a glass.  Full bodied these beers can even take on some roasted character and this one does a little!
I poured this beer relatively cool but it has warmed as I wrote that bit.  It poured a dark mohagany colour and is clear!  The one finger head faded to just a faint ring around the glass and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is caramel malty sweet dominant with raisin bread and cherries as well.

AS this beer warms, more comes out!  Imagine that!  It's main flavour is caramel malt and is really forward but there are definitely solid black cherry notes as well as a mild roasted flavor and a bit of bready yeastiness.  (I love making up beer words).  As the sip finishes the roasted notes actually dry out the sweet a bit keeping it from being "cloying" and some very mild peppery notes arrive.  There is a VERY mild hop bitterness and a slight warming from the alcohol, but not much in the way of being noticed flavor wise.

The mouthfeel is obviously full and sweet and admittedly like candy, but it's not sickening sweet and quite drinkable.  The carbonation is kept at bay by the sweetness and is low.  Pretty typical for this style.  It does make a transition into dry which is pretty interesting!  LIKE!

Overall, I would LOVE to try this on tap as I find it pretty dang good in the bottle.  Personal feelings about the beer aside, I think this fits into the style excellently especially with the roasted notes and also pulls off a pretty amazing cover up of the alcohol and provides some nice roasted notes.  I would say that this is pert near being world class and gets a solid 4.5 out of 5 overall from me.

Try this beer.  Try this style of beer.  It's a good transition actually as it is low in IBU's (hop bitterness) and high in alcohol.  Enjoy life!  Drink good beer!