Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pumpkin Beer

O'Fallon's Pumpkin Beer is a great fall beer. Their website calls it "pumpkin pie in a bottle" and it really is. It has the right balance of pumpkin flavor and spices. Great at any temperature, it goes down nice and easy. I'd recommend this ale to anyone interested in seasonal brews.

Beer Advocate

Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale

A-B website description: Our fall seasonal is a subtle, well-balanced ale, copper in color, offering rich, full flavors and aromas of pumpkin and spices.

Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale is a decent pumpkin beer. I'd take O'Fallon's Pumpkin Beer first but Jack's isn't far behind. It's got a decent alcohol content at 5.5% ABV. I'm not sure about the price because the 6-pack was a gift. I do think that Jack's is better somewhere between cool and room temperature. The carbonation when cold hides the flavor too much.

Beer Advocate

Monday, December 6, 2010

Three Floyds Alpha King

Commercial Description:
Alpha King is an american pale ale (APA) with a bold citrus hop character. We brew all our beers for our own demanding tastes. If you're unwilling to compromise on your beer, we urge you to try it.

This brew pour a beautiful orange/amber color with a great head. It definitely smells of hops and citrus. My first sip is great. Hops are much more subtle than I expected, as the smell is much stronger than the taste. Tastes like an APA should and perhaps one of the most refreshing pale ales I've ever tried. Initial citrus and hop flavor dominate as I drink with a ever so slight sweetness, and a mild bitterness kicks in as it goes down. A perfect balance of bittering, flavor, and aroma hops are used in this brew. As I continue to enjoy Alpha King, the head diminishes as it should and the lacing is evident all the way down to my last sip. Tastes like it should be around 4 to 5% ABV, but is 6.5%. If you can get your hands on this beer, invest in it and you won't regret it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sierra Nevada's Celebration Fresh Hop Ale

Brewer's Description: "Celebration Ale is a special ale for the holidays. Featuring the first hops of the growing season, this pioneering IPA is full of complex flavors and aromas from the generous use of whole cone American hops."

This surprisingly dark IPA from Sierra Nevada poured with very little head, but a lot of aroma -- not hops aroma, but wheat and spice. For an IPA (even a Christmas one) I was really impressed with the dark, rich, taste this beer packed (and the 6.8% ALC). At first taste, the Celebration Ale was like all ales: very hoppy. Nothing surprising here except at how normal the flavor was, without any skunkiness or harsh bite. But the flavor quickly deepened into a thick brown more commonly found in a stout. The remaining flavors were a smooth and generic blend of spices and wheats with a smooth, gentle aftertaste. Overall, Sierra Nevada made another good beer -- nothing too fancy, but just a good, classic Christmas Ale that won't let you down.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Short's Black Cherry Porter - Short's Brewery

I got 3/4 of the way through it before I started gagging. The flavors just don't mix. There is no way I would ever try this beer again. I wish I could say more than this but the stuff really sucks.

It almost seems like they decided to brew a porter, added black cherry juice, some dark chocolate and called it good.

Beer Advocate

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Loch Down Scotch Ale

Classified as a type of pale ale, but it is very dark with a very short head.
Also being a "wee heavy," the 8% ABV is definitely there.
I swear it smells like bananas too.
New and improved name from the original.
I was not the biggest fan, but I might just not be a fan of scotch ales...


Guinness by the can...


Delivery Time

Arcadia Ales and Bell's Brewery deliver kegs in Ann Arbor, MI

First Post and Blue Star Wheat

This blog is to explore our favorite beverage - beer.  Some of what might be found here in the future could include:

  • reviews of specific brews
  • suggestions about pubs or bars to visit
  • pictures of beer
  • thoughts and discussion about the brewing process

Posts will be tagged with things such as names or styles and there is a search function to find certain topics of interest.

To begin, I thought I might share a bottle I had this afternoon.  Blue Star Wheat Beer from North Coast Brewing Company in California.  I picked it up a Sciciliano's Market while back home in Grand Rapids this past weekend.

It comes in a shorter, stout brown bottle similar to Newcastle or brews from Founders.  The label is blue and yellow, which is automatically appealing to a Michigan man such as myself.

The bottle description says "water, malt, hops, yeast, & that's all" and it seems about right.  This is a pretty basic wheat beer.  It poured a solid orange-gold color with an nice inch+ head that subsided nicely upon drinking.  The most important part is that it tasted good.  Typical wheat flavor with a little citrus; not much bite to it.  The only downside might be the significant amount of sediment found in it, but that doesn't take much away from the overall quality.


It has already been added to my bottle collection, which I officially started yesterday when it became more than one total.