From Beer Reviews

Bronx Brewery Releasing New Beer: Rye Pale Ale

Later this month, the Bronx Brewery team is introducing a new beer, a Rye Pale Ale. “We wanted to stay within the pale ale category and introduce a beer that showcases another member of the grass family,” said Head Brewer Damian Brown, in an email message. “The unique spicy flavors of the ryle compliment and balance some of the woody, piny and spicy aspects of the top hop varieties in this beer – Crystal and Chinook. Our goal is to brew relatively big and assertive beers, but ones that are balanced and subtle enough to remain easy drinking.” This beer,…

AleSmith IPA for #IPADay

Last year we acknowledged #IPADay by drinking through Sam Adams’s Latitude 48 deconstructed IPA limited release variety pack. Then we had a bunch of other IPAs. This year, we’re doing a little AleSmith IPA. Just the one bottle. Look how we’ve evolved (read: we’ve had too much drunkenness lately).

Rodenbach Oak Series Vertical Tasting

Two of the most popular trends right now, oak aging and sour beer, combine in Rodenbach’s Vintage Oak Aged series. We picked up the 2007 and 2008 versions of the limited release for a mini vertical tasting (meaning we tried multiple vintages of the same beer side-by-side) this week and were surprised by what we found. Both beers had a delicious funkiness mingled with oak. The 2007 was more tart with layered fruity flavors like cherry and plum. The fruitiness of the 2007 was followed up by strong oak flavors in the aftertaste. The 2008 tartness was focused into more…

Captain Lawrence Bottles

Some of the most exciting small local breweries often focus their early attention on draft beers. Not much of a problem if your local bar regularly carries them or your favorite beer store has them on tap for growler fills.  But, if you were looking to share that brewery with friends or have one of their beers at home on your couch you were out of luck. With their expansion into a new brewery in Elmsford NY, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company has added a bottling line. We were excited last month when bottles of Freshchester Pale Ale, Captain’s Kolsch and…

Bronx Brewery Releases Bourbon Barrel Aged Pale Ale

Last night at Cafe D’Alsace the Bronx Brewery released a variant of their Pale Ale, aged in bourbon barrels. As usual, the pale ale was on tap, but they also had it on cask. The bourbon barrel aged pale ale is one of the best barrel aged beers we’ve had. Aged for three months in Woodford American oak barrels, it wasn’t too hot, with just enough vanilla and woody flavors that don’t overwhelm the delicacy of the pale ale. Less carbonated than the traditional pale ale, the beer has a great roundness to it. On cask, the pale ale was…

Founders Blushing Monk

As many of you know, we are big fans of Founders Brewing Co. beers. Recently they started a Backstage series of 750 ml bottles and we were very excited. The first in the series was Blushing Monk, which they had apparently brewed as a one-off beer back in 2007. We were surprised by just how red the beer was – almost like a red wine – and by the short-lived pink head on it. The beer was dominated in both smell and taste by the raspberries used in fermentation. It smells as though you’re putting your face in a basket of…

For #IPA Day: A Journey Through Latitude 48 IPA

Today is International #IPADay, “a grassroots movement to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide through social media,” wrote Beer Wench Ashley Routson, co-founder of the movement. A grassroots beer movement? We’re totally on board! We decided to acknowledge the day by trying Samuel Adams’ Latitude 48 deconstructed IPA limited release variety pack. We hadn’t yet sampled a single hop variety series and thought this would be a good place to start. Here are our tasting notes, beginning with Latitude 48 IPA and continuing on to the five IPAs brewed with each individual hop variety in…

Stiegl Lager

As some of you may know, we are planning an important two-week trip to Austria this fall (where we will be actively seeking out good beer). Recently my coworker Alison brought in a six-pack of Stiegl lager – a beer from Salzburg, Austria –  for Sarah and I. The beer showed some of what we love about the Austrian/German beers we’ve tasted: clean flavors, attention to detail and balance. It’s a golden straw color, with a slight hoppy grassiness. The malt sweetness is enough to provide a base for the spicy hop flavors. Stiegl was a great way for us…

Marco Island Brewery

Wherever we are, we always try to sample the local beer options. So being on Marco Island, we went to the Marco Island Brewery, which we learned opened last September. Currently they offer three beers brewed in house: a pilsner, a red ale and a Belgian wheat. We both got a flight of these three beers and a Cigar City oatmeal stout – an excellent oatmeal stout with vanilla flavors. To us, the Marco Island beers seemed to be somewhat one-note. The best of the three was the Belgian wheat, except – as you’ll see from the picture – it…

Beers in Ft. Lauderdale

This weekend we were in Ft. Lauderdale, which mostly involved attending a wedding and avoiding macro beer. We did, however, manage to enjoy some craft brews we had never seen before at the hotel bar: Key West Sunset Ale and Hurricane Reef Pale Ale from the Florida Beer Company. The Sunset Ale was a slightly sweet summer ale and the Pale Ale was a well balanced American pale ale. Both beers were nice and refreshing after spending much of the day out in the Florida heat. Unfortunately the bartender gave us some of the worst pours we have ever seen.…