Monday, March 29, 2010

Episode 11: Murphy's Irish Stout, Heineken Brewery Ireland, Ltd

March 29, 2010
Review #11


Brewery: Heineken Brewery Ireland, Ltd
Website: www.murphys.com
Beer: Dry Stout
Beersperts: Scott B, Joby J, Adam H
Beerspert Panel Rating: 7.6
Available: Worldwide

Notes from the brewery:

ABV: 4.0%
OG:
IBU:
CAL (12oz):

Scott B
A bitter, chocolaty balanced taste, the taste of alcohol is unpronounced. I'd drink it with some fish and chips but I wouldn't drink a bunch of them.
Rating: 6

Joby J
A thick and creamy head but a thin feel in the mouth. Hard not to compare this beer to Guinness, when you think of a dark stout you think of Guinness. I'm not sure I can tell the difference between this and Guinness.
Rating: 8

Adam H
My chocolate milk. I love this beer, I would drink this anytime of the day.
Rating: 9

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Episode 10: Nut Brown Ale, Bluegrass Brewing Company

March 22, 2010
Review #10


Brewery: Bluegrass Brewing Company
Website: www.bbcbrew.com
Beer: English Style Brown Ale
Beersperts: Scott B, Joby J, Adam H
Beerspert Panel Rating: 6.7
Available: Kentucky

Notes from the brewery:
BBC Nut Brown Ale has a diverse grain bill which lends this traditional English ale a variety of flavors that coalesce into a remarkably smooth and pleasant drink. Additions of various pale, caramel and dark malts create a smooth, sweet malt profile with hints of roasted nuttiness. Multiple additions of English hops round out the flavors and give this classic beer a true flavor of the Old World.

ABV: 4.9%
OG:
IBU: 29
CAL (12oz.):

Scott B
Looks like a pot of coffee or a dark sun-tea. Nothing really stands out about this beer. An average ale, middle of the road. I would drink it if it was available but I wouldn't choose it over most other beers.
Rating: 6

Joby J
I would drink this at the Kentucky Derby, but then again I would drink anything at the Kentucky Derby. I was excited about this beer as a dark beer drinker, but as an ale it throws you off with the hops. Has the coffee start but the hoppy aftertaste that isn't appealing to me.
Rating: 6

Adam H
I like the flavor, a chocolaty hoppyness. I think it tastes like Nutella. Drawback is it's not as thick as a stout but it is of course a dark ale. Has a full flavor. I like it a lot.
Rating: 8

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rogue Chocolate Stout - Beer Review

I held it up to the light and darkness prevailed.  Below it's thick, creamy, tan head is a black hole of well-balanced delicious beer.

The smell is sweet.  Caramel is the first word that comes to mind.  The hops are not too big in that first impression.

The first taste is bitter.  The liquid coats your mouth and leaves a hoppy taste lingering.
Why won't this lady on the bottle stop looking at me?

After a few more minutes, my tongue gets past the bitterness and starts experiencing other flavors like toasted coffee, very light chocolate hints - maybe toffee??? Hmmm....

I love the fact that they list the ingredients on the bottle.  Right away I pick up on the creaminess coming from the oats.  It gives the beer a nice milkshake fullness.

There is light carbonation streaming across your tongue in every sip, but the highlight of this beer is still the aroma.  I could use some of this as an air-freshener in my car.  Mmmm...  Delicious.

This is a solid offering from Rogue (Rogue Ales Brewery - Newport, Oregon).  There is a lot going on in this beer.  The aroma is a little misleading.  At 69 IBUs you expect more bitterness.  You don't smell it right away, but it is definitely there when you taste it - almost surprisingly so.


This beer would be great on a cold day with thick heavy food - like pot roast - mmm.... pot roast - maybe after a long day of skiing.  There is so much flavor that I think it could get a little fatiguing after a while, but at 6% ABV you don't need a lot of it before you would get yourself in trouble.

Would I venture into the darkness again.  I would - and so should you.

BBA Rating: 8

-James


Monday, March 15, 2010

Episode 9: Honker's Ale, Goose Island Beer Company

March 15, 2010
Review #9


Brewery: Goose Island Beer Company
Website: http://www.gooseisland.com
Beer: English Bitter
Beersperts: Scott B, Joby J, Adam H
Beerspert Panel Rating: 6.7
Available: Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, more TBD

Notes from the brewery:
Inspired by visits to English country pubs, Honker’s Ale combines a fruity hop aroma with a rich malt middle to create a perfectly balanced beer.

ABV: 4.2%
OG:
IBU: 30
CAL (12oz.):  

Scott B
A pretty nondescript beer.  Has a really good lasting flavor.  It doesn't stand out to me. An even tase something you can drink 10 or 12 of.
Rating: 6

Joby J
The aroma reminds me of an IPA, but it drinks smooth not too hoppy.  Pretty entertaining, well balanced.
More then meets the eye when you first taste it.  Starts strong, ends smooth.
Rating: 7

Adam H
Smooth flavor, sweet caramel at first, nice bitterness at the end. Intriguing, a different flavor characteristic.
Rating: 7

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stone Brewing Company Photos

Thanks to David for sending these great photos from the Stone Brewery.




Exterior of Stone Brewing Company

Beer Garden at Stone Brewing Company



Arrogant Bastard Ale and Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale



A lost soul ponders his menu options



Serenity Now!!!

Thanks Dave!



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Company - Beer Review

This is intimidating.

This beer is in the 99th percentile at RateBeer.com.

The silk-screened label on the bottle is taunting me with "You probably won't like it.  It is doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this fine quality and depth."

What if I get it wrong?  The beer nerds will see through this thin facade and banish me to a life of "fizzy yellow beer".

Every review on-line talks about the label.  The marketing is genius.  They taunt you and shame you into liking this beer.

The pour - thick head.  It not only sticks to the glass, it sticks around for a while.  I go to the bathroom and come back.  The creamy head still looks the same.  I play a game of checkers and come back.  The head still looks the same.  Will this thing go away?  I'm getting thirsty.

The color - ruby brown.  It's a little hazy and I'm worried that the beer might be too cold.  I need a thermometer.  Only nerds drink with thermometers.  I play another game of checkers and come back.  I think it's warm enough now.

Stone Brewing Company Imperial Pint Glass
You can buy this cool
Stone Brewing Company
Imperial Pint Glass
The initial aroma is a little sweet with mild hops.

The beer is a mouthful.  The liquid coats your tongue and stays around for a summer vacation.  Bitterness lingers throughout the drinking experience.

The combination of 7.2% alcohol and the strong fatiguing flavor of this beer means that it is definitely not a session beer.

The taste leans toward the hoppy side but is reasonably balanced by the malt.  The word that kept recurring in my mind - piney.

According to the label, this beer is only made with barley, hops, yeast and water.  If this is true, I see this as a positive for the beer.  I appreciate the puritanical efforts they take to make great beer.

It's listed as an American strong ale on RateBeer.com.  This comes off as a strong pale ale or less-hoppy IPA.

Arrogant Bastard Ale Burning Trinity of Hot Pepper Sauces - Set of 3 Flavors
Check out these hot
pepper sauces from
Stone Brewing Company
Maybe my mission has failed.  I can't put this in the 99th percentile of beers that I like.

Although it's not a bad beer.  It has failed to inspire me to find a second 22oz. bomber - after all, it ain't cheap!  I can't even put it in the top 2 beers of the week.  This week on the BBA we reviewed Goose Island's Honker's Ale and BBC Nut Brown Ale.  I thought both of those were delicious (and less expensive) and I would choose those over this offering from Stone.

Arrogant Bastard gets point for purity, marketing and a decent all-around beer, but for me it comes up short in the inspiration and uniqueness category.  Sorry beer nerds.

BBA Rating: 6

-James

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

FAQ: Are you guys really beer experts?

Absolutely not!  Don't let the fancy graphics and catchy theme song fool you!

The 50 Greatest Beers in the World: An Expert's Ranking of the Very BestSure the name "Better Beer Authority" implies a certain amount of expertise, but it sounded way catchier than "The Mediocre Beverage Novices" or "The Half-Ass Hops Brigade".  Besides, this is the moniker that we are striving for.

The main strength of our show is that we are beer drinkers looking to expand our knowledge about beer.  That's why we include an educational element in each episode.  If you tune in every week you will learn lots of fun facts from "What is a session beer?" to "Why is barley the most used grain in beer?"

We research each episode and want to make them informative and concise.  We know we have a long way to go to reach perfection, but we strive to make each episode better than the last.

However, even as we learn more about beer, our goal is not to be too "inside baseball" with our conversation in the show.  We want this show to be accessible for beer lovers whether they have tried 5 beers or 5000 beers.  We aren't striving for an all-encompassing look at the beers.  We just want to give a snapshot that allows you to decide whether you want to learn more about the beer or whether you should taste it for yourself.

Each reviewer has a different beer history that they bring to the table.  Adam is a chef and has the most experience describing flavors and aromas.  Scott is the vagabond renegade whose many past lives bring a wealth of knowledge (some of it useful) to the table.  Joby is our resident "Joe 6-Pack" who represents the perspective of the average American guy.

As of last night, we have taped 10 reviews and it feels like we have come a long way since our first review of Schlafly Pale Ale.  We have already learned so much about beer and our tastebuds are enjoying the adventure.

We are having a blast working on this show and we can't wait until we have 100 episodes in the can.

P.S.  Try Raging Bitch from the Flying Dog Brewery.  It's delicious.

-James

Monday, March 8, 2010

Burger Beer, Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company

March 8, 2010
Review #8


Brewery: Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company
Website: http://www.burgerbeer.com/ 
Beer: American Lager
Beersperts: Scott B, Joby J, Adam H
Beerspert Panel Rating: 5.0
Available: Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky

Notes from the brewery:
Cincinnati's original Burger Beer and Burger Light are back! The crisp, clean, and refreshing beers you grew to love are now available in both six and twelve can packs. This is your grandfather's beer! And let's face it... your grandfather was cool.

ABV: 4.62%
OG:
IBU: 12
CAL (12oz.): 150

Scott B
They're going to have to change their recipe.  Not so classic.  A flavor of ground corn and rubbing alcohol.  It's just a beer I don't like.
Rating: 4

Joby J
A working man's beer.  You crack a can open and you drink it.
Rating: 6

Adam H
I'd drink it in Cincinnati, after watching yet another Reds or Bengals loss.  Not too much flavor aside from skunkiness and a nasty bitterness at the end.  It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Rating: 5

Monday, March 1, 2010

Episode 7: Spotted Cow, New Glarus Brewing Company

March 1, 2010
Review #7

Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Company
Website: www.newglarusbrewing.com
Beer: Cream Ale
Beersperts: Scott B, Joby J, Adam H
Beerspert Panel Rating: 8.7
Available: Wisconsin

Notes from the brewery:
Cask conditioned ale has been the popular choice among brews since long before prohibition. We continue this pioneer spirit with our Wisconsin farmhouse ale. Brewed with flaked barley and the finest Wisconsin malts. We even give a nod to our farmers with a little hint of corn.

Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow.

ABV: 4.8%
OG:
IBU:
CAL (12 oz.):

Scott B
One of the best beers I've ever tasted.  Amazing flavor, a malty tang.  This is a beer I would drink ten or twelve of.
Rating: 9

Joby J
Tangy, I picked out a citrus aroma.  I would recommend this to anyone who can get their hands on it.
Rating: 8

Adam H
Little hop and no aftertaste.  Everybody should be drinking this.  Anytime this beer is available, drink it.
Rating: 9