Saturday, August 22, 2015

Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA (2015 Edition) | Crafty Beer Reviews: Ep. #381

THE Stone collab of 2015 so far!! Awesome beer! Please check out my channel on YouTube and subscribe!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Metropole 1821 Ale

no flash

Normally when I a do blind taste test; it is concealed under a mystery box, there are cameras in front of me with elaborate lights settings, and two other sweaty reviewers sitting next to me.
This was different.  While visiting the soon-to-be opened Metropole Brewing Company, brewer and founder Mike Katrivanos poured me what will become one of Metropole's flagship beers.  Mike hand  me the beer and asked me to guess what it was.  All he told me was that it was called 1821 Ale and contained a secret ingredient.

The color and clarity of the beer was very nice with good head retention as seen in the images.
It was a highly aromatic beer.  Among the three beers Mike let me try, all three were quite aromatic and pleasant in their own rite.  1821 had a slight floral and some biscuit aromas on the nose; with a hint of clove (very mild). My initial suspicions were that it may be a belgian pale ale.

with flash
Upon my first sips, my taste buds alerted me to think that this beer was a belgian pale ale, however, it wasn't as clove heavy as they can be, and I noticed some subtle nuances with the beer that strayed me away from it; such as an ever so slight tinge of farmhouse ale characters.  Mike wanted me to guess the secret ingredient he put in the beer, and I missed on all of my guesses.  I thought for sure there was lemon verbena or zest in it.  Nope. It was Greek Mountain Tea, or according to my shrewd wikipedia search, Sidertis; that has health benefits for suppressing a cold, digestion and strengthens the immune system.
All that aside, I am a fan of the beer.  It is crisp, refreshing, yet is full bodied and never had a watered down taste to it like some lighter beers will become.  Also of note, there was a faint candied orange flavor the came about has the beer warmed up.

I will not give a BBA rating to the beer since it wasn't entirely a blind taste test, but I will say this:  I would buy this local beer to share with out-of-town visitors or keep a six pack in my fridge.  I think this beer will pair well with mild to medium robust cheeses and even some herb fused cheese.  Arrowwine carries an herb and olive oil soaked feta cheese for only $5 that I think would pair perfectly with this.


no flash




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stone 2010 Old Guardian Barleywine Aged in Bourbon Barrels | Crafty Beer Reviews: Ep. #400


Review 400 is here! Such a special beer that was given to me by a fellow YouTuber! Thanks to everyone for the support on the Better Beer Authority and all my viewers! Please watch and comment on YouTube! Cheers!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Beers of 2014 | Crafty Beer Reviews


2014 was one hell of a year and there were many great beers enjoyed! Here are my personal favorites from the year and here's hoping everyone has a great 2015!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 Beer Travel in Review

Richard enjoying Pliny The Younger in multiples
2014 was another great year in beer for The Better Beer Authority and myself.  The BBA took two great road trips and experimented with multiple formats for our reviews.  For myself, I went to Europe one less time than usual, but hit the West Coast two times.  Below is my, Richard Hartogs, best of 2014 in travel.  Please note only beers, places and events I went to are on this list.

Best Brewery Visit:  Modern Times Beer San Diego, CA.  I went there because a cousin of a friend was an assistant brewer there.  While I didn't meet him, I was introduced to four great beers (see below for best beer). The brewery at the Lomoland Fermentorium was spacious and had awesome artwork all over.

Sampler from Modern Times Beer
Honorable Mention:  Reuben's Brews Seattle, WA.  Great beers in a small Ballard neighborhood setting.

Best Bottle Shop:  Chuck's Hop Shop.  Seattle, WA.  My initial reaction when I walked in, "Holy Shit."  I could rant about the selection of bottles and taps, but I would never stop.  This is the best beer place I have even been to!

Honorable Mention: Charleston Beer Exchange.  I had heard great things and was not disappointed.  I knew they would have a great bottle selection, but I was still stunned to come away with some great beers.

Beer Bar:  Toronado San Diego, CA.  Yes, I scored Pliny the Younger there.  However, I was there the day before enjoying many delicious beers, with the best beertender in the world and eating pork belly skewers.

Honorable Mention:  The Alibi Room Vancouver, B.C Canada.  Big, well curated tap list from the Pacific NW.

Honorable Mention #2:  Mikeller Bar Copenhagen, Denmark. A wide variety of Mikeller beer plus Three Floyd's, Off Color and Prairie....not to mention Hill Farmstead bottles for purchase, how can you go wrong?  OK, the prices in Scandinavia are crazy expensive....that is the downside.

Beer Festival:  SAVOR Washington DC.  World Class beer and people.  Shared a beer with Jim Koch and Sam Calagione and Garrett Oliver poured me beers from their respective breweries.  And every attendee went home with a special bottle of beer.




Honorable Mention:  Snallygaster Washington DC. BA Abraxas, Fou Foune on tap?  Yes please.

had to take some home
Best Beer:  Modern Times Fortunate Islands hoppy citrusy wheat.  Forget all the session IPAs.  This beer, at 4.8 percent has an amazing hop profile while the wheat addition give it a nice body.  I would say I had beers that I would rate higher, but this beer is one I could drink every day and never tire of it.

Honorable Mentions.  Three Brothers Resolute Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout. Williamsburg Alewerks Bourbon Porter, Reuben's Crickey IPA, Maine Lunch, Three Floyd's Chevalier Bertrand du Guesclin.

Special mentions to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and 3 Brothers Brewing for being great hosts on our BBA road trips.

Also, while I had some good trips throughout the year, nothing can touch Lance's Brewery Tour.  We were honored to conduct a Brew & A with Aaron Rice, the director of the project earlier this year.



Monday, December 22, 2014

Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Torpedo Extra IPA (NEW!) | Crafty Beer Reviews: Ep. #370


Thanks for joining me for what is perhaps the best BA DIPA I've EVER had!! Sierra Nevada is doing some amazing stuff and this is just further proof. Please don't forget to watch, comment and sub on YouTube! Cheers!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014