Goose Island Beer Co. of Chicago, Illinois is one of the most famous and popular craft beer breweries in the United States, but Anheuser Bush owns it and it’s parent company In-Bev. But they manly control Goose Islands core brands such as Goose Honkers Ale, Goose IPA, 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Green Line Pale Ale, and Four Star Pills. In-Bev manly wanted to buy Goose Island for distribution. But they aren’t taking over any other beer in Goose Island portfolio. One beer in particular that has not been as much a part of the In-Bev deal is Goose Island The Illinois Imperial IPA (India Pale Ale), 8.4% AVE and an IBU of 80. The Illinois is brewed with Calypso, Galaxy, Cascade, and Chinook hops. The Illinois pours a deep orange coopery color with a decent one and a half finger white head. The color is quite nice looking. The aroma is strong and earthy with a little pine in the mix. I did find a faint bit of some citrus fruits like a bit of orange and grapefruit, but more grapefruit than orange. Taste is strong up front but quickly becomes citrusy earthy with hints of faint pine. At first the taste is great but as you continue to drink it you become friendlier with the intense hoppy flavor and it becomes better with each sip. The mouth feel is somewhat medium and the after is hoppy earthy with touches of faint pine and citrus flavors. I wasn’t sure I liked this Imperial IPA at first but it grew on me the more I drank it. It’s a B- in my book. Not bad for an Imperial IPA. I am not a fan of Imperial IPAs I rather go for a normal IPA, but this was not bad. I would go back for this but not so fast. It wasn’t so smooth as some other Imperial IPA like The Unknown Brewing Co. Vohopciraptor. But I enjoyed Goose Island The Illinois Iperial IPA. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Pale Ale is made with using warm fermentation and using pale malt. They are many different types such as Amber Ale, American Pale Ale, Bière de Garde, Blonde, India Pale Ale, Burton Pale Ale, English Bitter, and Strong Pale Ale. Pale Ale such as American Pale Ale is a good gateway style to IPA (India Pale Ale), and Amber Ale or English Bitter is the gateway to American Pale Ale. So this one here is Pike Brewery in Seattle Washington Pike Pale heirloom amber ale, 5.0% ABV and 32 IBUs. I think that Pike is using heirloom hops in this Amber ale. Pike Pale pours a deep and dark amber color that is close with a thin tan like right of bubbly foam up top. The aroma is kind of like caramel and faint toffee with hints of some hops. Taste here is much like what you smell, with not a lot of hops are present but there is a caramel like taste than is faintly sweet. The mouth feel is medium with a slow finish of a faint but subtle finish of an earthy caramel. After taste is much to write home about, but it’s okay. There is a little hop flavor that fades out fast and that’s it. This is a C beer. This is just average Amber Ale and not much going on here. Good for a pint and that’s about as much as I would like to have. It is not bad but not great either. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Exploring the world for beer is also fun and interesting but it can be expensive. Yes I know that we would all love to do that if it were cheap to do. But I have here another French beer (the other being Brasserie La Beleine La Picaro) that isn’t imported here to the USA, and I didn’t have to spend a lot to go over there. My Norwegian Olsovian’s sister brought it to me. Frog Beer is in Paris, France and had been in the brewing business since 1993. Bare with me here the entire label is in French. This is Frog Beer Pearl Pale Ale, 4.1% ABV. Pearl pours a slight hazy gold color with a beautiful tower of brilliant white foam. The aroma is not what you’d expect from pale ale, I think we here in the US are used to American, English, and Australian pale ales. Anyhow the aroma is filled with slight subtle fruity notes. Taste is okay up front with a light flavoring of corn, but there isn’t any hop notes or malts here that you’d usually get on pale ale. That’s going to hurt it just a bit. But it's reminiscent of faint white wine in my opinion. It has a dull but somewhat semi-sweet flavor throughout the mouth. The mouth feel is light to barley medium. Pearl finishes with a crisp like flavor but still no hops or malt notes. The after taste is like any average national brand beer, and fades kind of slow on your taste buds. Not a bad beer this, but not what I would call it pale ale. I say it a B-. Whatever this is wasn’t bad but was kind of above average. I might have this again if I came across it, but I wouldn’t jump all over that chance. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Here is yet another from Foothills Brewing. This is Hop of the Month Kazbek Pilsner, 5.4% ABV and with an IBU of 40. Foothills brewing have already brewed a pilsner in this series but it was with a different hop. They are using the hash tag hopswap on social media. That’s pretty cool. Kazbek is a hybrid hop bred from the popular Czech Saaz and wild hops that grows in the Caucasus Mountains (at the base of Mt. Kazbek). The Caucasus Mountains are located in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and Mt. Kazbek is the third highest mountain in Georgia (the country west of Russia not the state north of Florida). Kazbek Pilsner pours golden copper color with a towering white foamy head that stays for what seem like forever. The aroma is much like a pilsner should be, you get a light and faint cracker scent but it is has a subtle floral note to it that is pleasant. There is a slight hoppy aroma to it. Taste is refreshing up front with a slight crispness, but then it become a little floral and hoppy but subtle, and toward the back of the mouth the hops come forward and the beer is a little hoppier. But as this Pilsner warms the hops become more present throughout. This Kazbek Pilsner has an earthy hoppy finish with a light crispness to it, that leads you into a nice short hoppy yet slightly grassy after taste. Well I am going to sound like a broken record, but this is another great Foothills Hop of the Month. Kazbek Pilsner is an A+. It was less hoppy than the other Pilsner in the series, not say that Foothills Mandarina Pilsner is bad. No it wasn’t at all. Kazbek is just not as hoppy. Both Pilsners are good, just different. I highly recommend trying Foothills Hop of the Month Kazbek Pilsner. It’s really good! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Saturday, April 16, 2016
I just love coffee porters and stouts especially when they are brewed right. The other day I got my hands on a Flying Dog Brewery beer via Brewpublik (www.brewpublik.com). This is from their Brewhouse Rarities, Cold Press Coffee Porter 6.0% ABV. Brew Dog is located in Fredrick Maryland. This beer is collaboration with beanrushcafe. Cold Press Coffee Porter pours a deep black color with a thick and tall deep beige head that is creamy and does stick around for a while. The aroma is like a freshly brewed pot of rich coffee. The aroma on this beer is amazing! The taste is just as amazing. It is like I am drinking rich cold coffee. There is a nice roasted note with a faint yet subtle sweetness. The sweetness comes in let you know it there and two seconds later is fades out as the coffee roast washes over your mouth. The mouth feel is rich and medium with a pleasant coffee finish. The after taste is coffee that will make you want another sip and then another. It is good and this beer gets an A+. This is darn good and it is exactly what the bottle say is it. I loved it and I highly recommend that you try Flying Dog Brewery Brewhouse Rarities Cold press Coffee Porter. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
There is trend going around in craft beer and it is taking off. That trend is hard root beer, which is beer made to taste like actual root beer with alcohol or just root beer with alcohol. Big Boss in Raleigh North Carolina has gotten in on this trend with a Limited Release Root Beer Stout, 6.75% ABV. Only 200 cases made. Big Boss Root Beer Stout pours a black cola like color with a dark tan to a lighter brown colored head that is medium sized but fades away quickly in a rush of bubbles. The aroma is very much like a root beer. There is nice vanilla and bitter chocolate on the nose. This has great root beer smell. The taste is more beer than soda like some of the other beer root beers out there. There is nice vanilla and hints of bitter chocolate with faint sweet roasted noted but the sweet vanilla does fade out a bit to quick. This is more beer than syrupy soda tasting. The mouth feel is medium and it finish sweet with nice faint bitter chocolate notes. The after taste is not as sweet as you get on the initial taste but more faint but still a good after taste. Big Boss did a good job with this jump into the new trend. So I give it an A-. I like the sweet vanilla that is there at first but it fades away to quickly for me. But what I did taste was good. That is the only downside to this Big Boss Root Beer Stout. I love how it is more of a beer than soda. That is a big plus, and it not overly sweet like some of the ‘hard root beers’ out there. I would recommend trying this. You should try this with a few other ‘hard root beers’ and compare them. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!