Anheuser Busch’s Busch. It was an integral part of my halloween costume. You’re probably expecting me to rant about American Macros, etc. and criticize them and be a beer snob. And honestly, I can’t. There’s a reason beer like this exists - the same reason fast food exists - it is there when you want something in a hurry that you can eat/drink quickly, is cheap, and isn’t fussy.
Stillwater’s existent farmhouse ale. An interesting take on a farmhouse. Quite rich and dark with nice roasted malts and chocolate notes. Not a typical farmhouse ale for sure, but I kind of prefer this. Almost like a porter but has some nice spice notes. EDIT: Nietzsche quote and portrait? Lame.
Russian River’s Consecration. A cabernet barrel-aged sour - and one of the best sours available. It has currants added - and you get nice fruit and wine-y notes through the sourness. Very sippable - and a great intro to sour beers for people who are unfamiliar with them. A great after dinner drink to sip on - a definite favorite of mine.
Highland Brewing’s Oatmeal Porter. Nice bready and caramel malt nose. Quite a thick body with a nice bit of offsetting bitterness. Nice lingering slightly sweet finish. A very solid porter, and the oatmeal really gives it a nice thick body that makes it taste like a meal. The best I’ve had from Highland Brewing, and North Carolina for that matter. Good porter.
Stockyard’s Oatmeal Stout. Nice burnt/dark malt nose. Thin but rich body with plenty of presence from the malts, and finishes rather clean with a tiny bit of sweetness. A solid oatmeal stout at any price, and an amazing one at $5.99 a six-pack from Trader Joe’s.
Shiner Bock. Cheap in TX, and definitely the classier version of the home-state beer (with Lonestar fulfilling the supporting role). Not a big fan - quite watery with no real malt back or anything reminiscent of body. Still, gotta love TX, especially when you can get $6 pitchers of this. If it costs any more of that, there’s better beer out there.
Petrus Golden Tripel ale. Some fruit esters come through, and quite pleasant and simple on the palate. Don’t taste much alcohol, and it is very easy to drink. There are better tripels out there, but this is not bad at all.
Bridgeport’s kingpin double red ale. Nice hop nose and pine bitter bite up front. Good malty body with just a hint of caramel notes, but not that clean or thick of a mouthfeel. Kind of thin. Solid flavor and easy to drink, but nothing elevates this above mediocrity.
Lindemans Framboise Lambic. Not beer really in my mind, but refreshing. The raspberries are quite powerful in the nose and on the palate, but make this very easy to drink and taste like it has no alcohol at all. Lambics aren’t my style, but this is ok. I need a strong ale after this, though.
Schmaltz He’Brew RIPA on Rye. Doesn’t taste like the 10% it has in it - drinks like a good subtle IPA. The rye whiskey barrel taste barely came through on my palate, although as it warmed more and more came through. The hop bitterness really seems to limit the nuance of the rye (and the rye barrels) - but the age really seemed to mellow the beer out a lot. Definitely very good, but not amazing.
Ommegang’s Hennepin saison. Nice wheat taste and very fluffy body. Nice floral and bready notes too, but still remains crisp. Good saison, but I’d rather have a biere de garde if I’m having a farmhouse ale.
Choc’s Belgian Style Dubbel. Ok, but kind of thin and plain. Some chocolate and caramel notes come out, but they are subtle and the beer still tastes pretty watery. I can’t believe this one GABF in 2009-there are so so many better dubbels out there.
Dogfish Head’s chicory stout. A very nice coffee, chocolatey and malty nose, but the body doesn’t follow through very well - tastes quite similar to a nut brown ale with just a bit more darkness. Definitely a good stout, and the chicory and Mexican coffee add something special to it - but not amazing. Also, the label says “…beneath a bone white head”, which is not true - it definitely has a lot of color to it. The carbonation level is quite nice on this, though. I feel like I’ve been hitting a mediocre rhythm with the beers I pick recently - hopefully winter break will snap the streak!
Founder’s Porter. Nice roasted nose with a lot of notes presence - caramel, toffee, chocolate. Drinks a little thin, but still quite good. Nice brown head on the pour, and feels quite crisp and even bitter for a porter. That really helps the balance with the deep malts, which linger nicely. Great porter.
Mendocino’s Red Tail Ale on tap at Zachary’s in Rockridge. An amber ale that has some bready malts come through and a decently thick body, but barely any bitter or balancing presence at all. Not disappointing but not exciting.
Butternuts’ Snapperhead IPA. This is another malt bomb. Very similar to Upslope Brewing’s IPA with the ridiculous malt presence. You get a bready, sweet, and buttery malt body with almost no hops - except for a tiny bite at the end. Not a bad beer - quite interesting, in fact, but this is not what I call an IPA.