Melancholia and the Infinite Sadness

Gigantic Brewing is going through a goth phase. The last four beers I’ve tasted have been black, some blacker than black. The latest is a doppelbock called Kiss the Goat. It’s dark. It’s very dark. In the black center of the beer is a gaping void. Is it licorice or is it death? Kiss the Goat tastes more like and ale than a lager – a messy finish on the palate. But the yeast can’t help you now. Even in the depth of depression there is a glimmer of sweetness, the beer is half sweet, bittersweet. Hopefully, the guys at Gigantic can climb out of their black hole soon. But as long as they are down there, more beer, please.

Nut Roll Ale (Pennsylvania Brewing Co. / Penn Brewery)

Brewery : Pennsylvania Brewing Co. / Penn Brewery
Beer : Nut Roll Ale
Style : Brown Ale / Spiced Ale
Variance : Brewed with Cinnamon and Vanilla

8 / 10

I’m from Jersey. Basically that means that if it wasn’t for the fact that I lived in PA for a few years, I would have never known what the fuck nut roll was. Before I moved there I assumed nut roll was just what happened when you had your testicles removed and tossed down a fairly steep hill. Clearly I was wrong. I didn’t know what to expect going into this beer because even with all the opportunities I’ve had, I’ve still never actually eaten nut roll so I’m not sure how accurate this beer is flavor wise. All I know is that this is a pretty darn tasty brown ale and I’m fine with that. This is my first beer from Penn Brewery and I like the fact that they went a little outside of the box when brewing this so I’ll have to seek out more of their stuff. This starts with a  nice vanilla creaminess before some caramel flavors join in with a little bit of malt and cinnamon joining the group at the end leaving for an interesting finish. This is completely different then any other browns I’ve had so far and I commend these guys for that, it’s just not the best of the style I’ve had. I can see why this would be such a hit over the holidays and it hits the spot perfectly now that this shitty cold weather is rolling in. I’d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the style or anyone with the last name Stoltzfus and as for newbies, this is a very mild version of the style so getting into it should be easy peasy. Cheers!

Written by: Steve B.

When you buy a beer that advertises appealing flavors like cocoa and vanilla, you end up being disappointed if those flavors aren’t there. Luckily Tioga-Sequoia Sugar Pine Cocoa-Vanilla Porter did not suffer from that problem, with both the cocoa and vanilla ever-present throughout.

Our review of Tioga-Sequoia Sugar Pine Cocoa-Vanilla Porter. Check it out:

(via Tioga-Sequoia Sugar Pine Cocoa-Vanilla Porter)

Kicking off a little in home Mardi Gras w/ @moderntimesbeer Palace of Paper Sacks. Happy Fat Tuesday everyone!

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Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale (New Belgium / Ben & Jerry’s)

Brewery : New Belgium / Ben & Jerry’s
Beer : Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale
Style : Brown Ale / American Brown Ale
Variance : Brewed with Cocoa and Vanilla Powder

8 / 10

There’s nothing better than beer being drank for a good cause. These two powerhouses brewed this beer to help Protect Our Winters combat climate change. For those of you who don’t know what climate change is, you are probably republican so let me explain (I still love you all I promise). Climate change is when you have a bunch of old men in congress who bring snowballs in as a fucking show and tell items and try and say that super cold winters dispel global warming. Those people are also fucking idiots but once the world heats up a few more degrees and we’re all living on rafts, I’ll be sure to grab one of these and float around on a tube like I’m in the world’s largest lazy river. I got a little off track there, sorry. Anyways, this is a pretty delicious beer from New Belgium and my only real knock on this brew is that the ice cream created in collaboration definitely edges this one out on the scrumptious-ness. It starts with a a chocolaty borderline coffee bitterness before a nice vanilla sweetness joins in towards the middle before just mellowing and leaving you with a nice dessert like finish. I’m glad I got my hands on this because it really is an interesting take on a style that so many breweries either under flavor or downright abuse like Heath Ledger’s blood stream after a long night with a bag of pills. This is a good pickup for the craft aficionados and fans of the style and as for the newbies, this is a great way to get into better beer and also support a great cause at the same time. Cheers!

Written by: Steve B.

Indie vs. Craft

There’s a new term rumbling through the beer blogosphere: indie beer. Like indie music and indie games, the term is meant to describe the ownership structure of a brewery more than the beer is makes. So, Deschutes Brewery is indie, and 10 Barrel was formerly indie but is no longer. Indie beer can be used the same way microbrew was used fifteen years ago, it describes the shape and size of a brewery but not necessarily the type of beer it produces. 

And we can finally stop arguing over the definition of craft beer.

Craft beer emerged in the mid-2000s as a way of describing breweries that outgrew the micro phase, but still wanted to sit at the cool kids table. Craft meant small. Craft meant local. Craft meant hand-made. But now craft beer is large, mechanized, and increasingly global.

The meaning of craft beer has morphed, even if we can’t see it. Look at other countries with traditional, independently owned breweries – the UK, Germany – there are new breweries opening calling themselves craft. And what do they make? IPAs, imperial stouts, sour beers – beers that no one in their country wanted to drink ten years ago. Around the globe craft beer is shorthand for hoppy, extreme, or experimental.

This way, an expertly made, barrel aged beer from Goose Island is craft beer, but not indie. And a Yuengling from Pottsville is indie, but not quite craft. Of course, new terms result in new arguments, but I think this is one word worth fighting for. When we only have two words for breweries, we limit our thinking. Beer becomes binary, either craft or crap. By embracing a new term like indie we open up to new ways of seeing the current beer landscape.

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Over the pasts couple of days I had few good ones! Oasis put out a new Lake Monster Scotch Ale, which was the best, Azacca from Founders, Infamous IPA from Infamous Brewing Company.

Monday night I met a buddy at Lakewood Growler for Lakewood Brewing’s Raspberry Temptress keep the glass night, it was delicious. Also got a flight of French Quarter Temptress, Giant Slayer Imperial Stout from True Vine, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti from Great Divide and Codex Triplex, a sour Belgian that clocked in at 10.8 ABV, from Real Ale. That Codex Triplex was bad ass!

Agave IPA from Victory, Lagunitas did a fine job with their Cappuccino Stout, X Pale Ale from Alesmith and finally Hopside Down IPL from Widmers!