Brewers from the United States and around the world teamed up with Sierra Nevada to create this amazing 12 pack!
Surly Brewing’s Ginger Lager, Tree House Brewing’s East Meets West IPA, Avery Brewing’s Dry-Hopped Barleywine-Style Ale, Fullers Brewing’s Atlantic-Style Vintage Ale, Garage Projects Campout Porter, Boneyard Beers West Coast Style DIPA, Duval Moortgat’s Hoppy Belgian Style Golden Ale, Kiuchi Brewing’s White IPA with Yuzu, The Bruery’s Raspberry Sundae, Saint Arnold’s Dry-Hopped Berliner-Style Weisse, Mikkeller Brewing’s Thai-Style Iced Tea Ale and Ayinger Brewing’s Dunkle Weisse. An amazing offering all in one box, stand outs for myself were: Saint Arnold, Boneyard Beer, Surly Brewing and Avery.
Hawaiian Uppercut is a Belgian style pale golden ale. Sampled on draught the beer poured a lightly hazy beautiful light golden straw yellow colour with a generous white head. The headed good retention and did leave some impressive lacing. The aroma had a ton of tropical fruit; lots of pineapple, citrus (lemon, and clementines, orange, grapefruit), light vinous notes. Belgian yeasts, and a slight resiny note. The beer is only brewed with four ingredients, it is hard to believe those four packed so much fruit flavour. The flavour is slightly sour and which compliments all the sweet flavours of the tropical fruits and citrus. Belgian yeasts appear mid sip and the finish has a nice citrus/leafy hop bitterness. The alcohol is well hidden - there is no alcohol astringency nor is their much evidence of malts. The mouthfeel was full and creamy and the carbonation was moderate. I really enjoyed this! Well done Stack!
This is one of the most solid IPA’s I’ve ever tried, reasonably priced, not overly hoppy, and never disappointing. Also, it comes in cans.
Double IPA: Victory DirtWolf -
A truly incredible beer that brings forward notes of citrus, pine, and spice. Victory really knocked it out of the park with this new release.
Lager: Yuengling Lager -
What can I say? It’s not a craft beer, but I have to say it may be the most solid beer in America. It is the definition of a go-to, at $22 for 24 bottles of reliable lager. Always consistent in flavor, whether it be from a can, bottle, or tap. I don’t think there is a beer that I drank more than Yuengling this year.
Black Lager: Port Brewing Company Midnight Expression -
A local liquor store had 24oz. bottles on sale for three bucks; I tried one, and the next day, I went back and bought out all of the stock in the store. This beer turned me on to black lagers, a beer I will always reach for if available.
Hefeweizen: Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen -
Delicious, light, and it comes in a 12 pack of cans. Many of last summer’s nights involved UFO.
Stout: Guinness -
Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that there isn’t a beer that I enjoy drinking at a bar more than Guinness. It’s the most enjoyable beer that I can get on tap. It’s incredible. That’s about it.
Imperial Stout: Ballast Point Sea Monster -
In contrast to Guinness, this is the stout I’m looking to drink to get a bit rowdy. Bold chocolate, coffee, and currant notes with an ABV of 10%. This beer will get you to that place.
Pumpkin Ale: River Horse Hipp-O-Lantern -
River Horse just moved their brewery about five minutes off of TCNJ’s (my school’s) campus, and that was somewhat of a miracle. I got to try this pumpkin ale fresh at the brewery, and it was always my go-to for a darker ale in the fall at our favorite local bar. It’s not overly pumpkin flavored, and that’s the trick.
Belgian: Victory Golden Monkey -
There will never be a beer that means more to me than Golden Monkey. There will also never be a beer that I will reach for more quickly at the end of a long week or after someone declares that the night is going into “full-throttle might not make it back alive” type mode. This 10% Belgian style tripel has alway been there for me when the need to get reckless is strong.
Special Belgian: Allagash Black -
Currently, this is my favorite beer. It is a Belgian style stout. I don’t know what category that really falls into, but it is perfect. Strong roasted malt, dark chocolate, and subtle coffee make up the flavor profile of this beer, and it goes down so damn smooth.
This seasonal Belgian-style Pale Ale (otherwise known as the Blonde or Golden Ale) is on rotation in the spring. I’d like to thank Keith Siggins of Colorado for his thoughtful donation of this bottle. Hoppy aromatics delve into bright lemon zest, grass, and fruits such as pear or apple. Malts come across like honey and bread, then follow with a dash of yeasty black pepper.
The palate begins with semi-sweet malts flavored like cereal grains, sourdough or biscuits. Hops step into the middle with an earthy, grassy approach that centers around mild bitterness. A sour upswing rises toward lemon, closing with a faint hint of spice. Mouthfeel is medium-to-light bodied, delivering smooth carbonation that leads into a dry departure. I’m disappointed to find this tastes worse as it warms.
New Belgium probably made a wise decision here, because the masses still want a drinkable ale. The careful balance of bitter and sweet is agreeable, and the mouthfeel is perfectly suited for spring. While I can recall a list of true Belgian counterparts that would certainly blow this out of the water, I must remind myself that this is an American rendition designed to carry more hop character, and is thus more likely to appease the palate of our typical, stateside craft drinker. Though I am not at all impressed, this is pretty good. This would probably agree with most, I think its worth trying. I might return to this again one day.
It may have come to your attention that I have something of a soft spot for Berkshire’s Siren Craft Brew, relative newcomers to the relatively new UK craft beer scene and champions of special releases, seasonal brews, experimental beers, and style twisting collaborations. More on the collaborations in the next few weeks, for now I have a trio of their latest seasonal IPA’s to play with, ‘tis a hard life.
First up is Ryesing Tides, a 7.4% abv rye IPA packed with Simcoe and Mosaic hops.
It pours a dark caramel colour, the head bubblegum white and long lasting. The aroma is toasty and spicy with citrus, tropical fruits, and a hint of old pine needles. Lovely.
It tastes like… You can’t decide on mixed citrus marmalade or peach and papaya jam to smother on your toasted rye bread so you put a bit of both on. You then garnish it with random dried flowers and drizzle it with caramel sauce. Aww yeah. 'Tis smooth as my pert derriere, medium bodied and has a long bitter finish. Great stuff.
Next we have Rainbow (Red) IPA, an entry into a competition with six other UK craft brewers where everyone was asked to brew a beer inspired by a colour of the rainbow. Siren went all Biblical with this, a Belgian style golden ale brewed with Duvel (Devil in Flemish) yeast that’s been hopped to IPA levels and has added apple juice to represent original sin. However they got there, I gotta say it sounds interesting.
It pours a rather beautiful burnished amber with a huge “Mr Whippy” ice cream like head. The aroma is yeasty with lemon and orange zest sprinkled on cookie crumbs.
There’s the heady, spicy, dry hay and wet mouse-like Belgian notes that are expected, but with a big hit of fruity, citrus flavours that add a delightful complexity. If your average field mouse knew how good this was they’d all decorate their nests with orange and lemon peel. It’s bittersweet, has a perky carbonation and a lingering dry finish. I do rather like it.
Finally there’s 7 SeasIPA, a black wheat IPA loaded with seven different “C” hops from the US and Germany.
It pours an entirely predictable black, the head beige as, whatever. The aroma has comforting, dark roasted malts, spice, and sharp citrus fruits.
“I’m an alchemist so I am! A good splash of cold brew coffee, a bar of milk chocolate, a chunk of Turkish Delight, a string of licorice, some liquid smoke, lemon zest, a segment of tangerine, and a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice all go in the cauldron. Alacazam! I got beer!!!” FYI that’s exactly how Siren make this smooth, roasty, citrusy, bitter and easy drinking brew. And yeah, it’s every bit as good as I think that sounds.
So there we have it. Three really rather successful and entirely different spins on the IPA wheel of wonders. Siren didn’t disappoint with any of these and I’d recommend any of them to those willing to try something a little different, but then if you’re reading this I think it’s safe to say you like beer that’s a little different. If I could have another of these right now though, I’d pick the 7Seas. I love the combination of roasty, hoppy flavours in a good Black IPA, and this balances them quite wonderfully. 'Til next time, cheers m'dears.