Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shandy Carib Sorrel - Beer Review

Adam sends in a dispatch from his trip to the Caribbean.  We'll post photos when he gets back:

This was an interesting beer that I picked up while traveling around the Caribbean.  It is very distinctive by the bright red color.  When it is poured into a fluted pint, the resemblance is very similar to Big Red.  There is heavy noticeable carbonation and has a 2 finger head that disappears very quickly.  The taste is very sweet with a spicy note, like allspice.  Although altered by artificial color, the sorrel leaf is what gives some of the reddish tint.

Sorrel is a perennial herb that is grown all over the Carribbean that has a similar taste to sour wild strawberries.  It is a leafy green herb, and is also often mixed with more bitter greens to cut some of the taste.  The spice is from the oxalic acid found in the plant, and because of this acid, too much of it can be poisonous.

When I first tried it, it was very similar to drinking a wine cooler or “red pop”.  It is very light, and bubbly.  After drinking about half a beer, I do notice a slight burn on my lips from the sorrel.

All in all, this is not a bad beverage, but not for beer drinkers.  I would recommend checking this out, along with others from the Carib Brewing Company while down here in the Caribbean, but do not think I will be looking for this specific beer when I return stateside. (It is available for purchase all over the states)  My overall rating :6

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Biking and Beer - Duchesse De Bourgogne

Nothing works up an appetite for beer like an epic mountain bike ride.  Fellow "extreme" cyclist, JT Shilling, and I went out for a morning ride at Alum Creek State Park with some Duchesse De Bourgogne waiting in the car.

We stockpiled about 20 miles running over bridges, logs, roots and squirrels.  We even bunny-hopped a few injured mountain bikers.  Out of our way!  No mercy!  We are shredding trail so don't mess with us.  Anyways...

After all the radical moves, we finished up, headed back to my place and opened up the Duchesse De Bourgogne on the BBA set.  It was a gorgeous site to two thirsty, rundown lads.

The drink had plenty of carbonation and felt very active in our mouths.  It had a great scent and light, refreshing berry taste that seemed perfect after a hard ride.  This was definitely not the usual beer flavors that most Americans are used to like hops and malt.  It was very champagney and had that nice, artistic Belgian touch.

If I had a veranda (but I don't), then this would be a great drink to enjoy on it with salad and some grilled pork chops (which I also don't have).  Regardless, I wouldn't mind finishing off another ride with this fine beverage.

BBA Rating: 9


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Top 10: Most Reviewed Beers on

90 Minute IPA Dogfish Head Craft Brewery 2438
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 2211
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout North Coast Brewing Co. 2211
Arrogant Bastard Ale Stone Brewing Company 2063
Stone Ruination IPA Stone Brewing Company 2008
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 2004
Storm King Stout Victory Brewing Company 1929
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 1920
Two Hearted Ale Bell's Brewery, Inc. 1909
Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) Stone Brewing Company 1909

Beer Wars - The Movie... and other stuff

I just watched it.  It was great.  Everyone should watch this movie.  ...especially beer nerds.

The irony - I was drinking a Miller Lite while I watched.  I feel so guilty.  Sorry Sam Calagione at Dogfish Head.  I've done you wrong.

However, I'm happy to report that I tasted my first Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA at poker the other night and it was delicious.  I've been to the brewpub a couple of times in my past travels to Delaware (shout out to David, Richard, Jenn, John, Brad, Peter, Cassie, Mr. & Mrs. Hartogs, and the guy who owns Zogg's) but I think I would have a new appreciation for it now, not just because of the movie, but because of this whole BBA experience.

Dogfish Head seems like they have a real passion for brewing and the movie does make Sam Calagione seem like he would be a fun guy to hang out with - unless you're an Anheuser Busch rep.

In other news...  This week I've been having one Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA every night after dinner.  The flavor is really growing on me.  I think it's a really well balanced beer.  Good hop bitterness up front and plenty of malt richness on the backend.  I have one bottle left for tomorrow and I'm getting a little misty-eyed just thinking about moving on.  I'm looking forward to doing one of Sierra Nevada's brews on our show in the near future.

BBA watchers - Let me know what Dogfish Head or Sierra Nevada beer you would like to see on the show.  I already have some in mind, but I could be persuaded to change course.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Episode 13: Orange Blossom Cream Ale, Buffalo Bill's Brewery

April 12, 2010
Review #13

Brewery: Buffalo Bill's Brewery
Beer: Cream Ale
Beersperts: Scott B, Joby J, Adam H
Beerspert Panel Rating: 5
Available: Most US States

Notes from the brewery:
Orange Blossom Cream Ale is a seasonal beer in the fastest growing category in the craft segment. Pour it into a glass and enjoy the wonderful fragrance of freshly peeled orange. Orange Blossom Cream Ale is brewed with sweet orange peel, orange blossom extract, and honey.

ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 13
CAL (12 oz.):

Notes from the Beersperts:
Scott B:
Exactly what it is billed to be, a cream ale with a fruity taste and flavor. Could be used as a champagne substitute. I would not come back for more, my wife would probably like it.
Rating: 5

Joby J:
Fruitier then I expected. The aroma is pure fruit. Unlike most beers, like a champagne, high carbonation. No where near as manly as I, for the females.
Rating: 5

Adam H "Chef":
First impression it tasted like orange Tang. It is clean and crisp but not what I'm looking for in a beer. A pretty sweet taste, no resemblance of actual beer. It's good, nothing wrong with it, just nothing I would ever seek out.
Rating: 5

Monday, April 12, 2010

Upcoming Beers

Beer WarsThe BBA fridge is currently stocked with Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Kentucky Ale and Magic Hat Vinyl Lager.  Look to see those reviews in the near future.

We have already taped James Page Burly Brown Ale and the edit turned out great.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Episode 12: Chili Beer, Cave Creek (Mexicali Brewery)

April 5, 2010
Review #12

Brewery: Mexicali Brewery, orginally the now defunct Cave Creek
Beer: American Style Lager
Beersperts: Scott B, Joby J, Adam H
Beerspert Panel Rating: 3.0
Available: Worldwide

Notes from the brewery:
For Crazy Ed Chilleen, of Cave Creek, Arizona, (Pop.1328 including coyotes and cattle) beer was much too important to be trusted to outsiders. So, in 1989, he started brewing his own beer. The town was suspicious. And became even more so when an entire brewery arrived in crates at the foot of Black Mountain, along with a German named Arnold. But after the first batch the people began to come around. The beer was good, damn good, So good in fact, the yuppies started driving in from all over to try it.
Something had to be done, So , whenever one of them whined for a "wedge of lime" Ed started putting a hot Serrano chili pepper into the beer instead. Amazingly, about 2 out of ten actually liked the stuff. Surely, thought Ed, the Eighties had come to close.

Today the Brewery in Cave Creek is closed but Chili Beer Lives on and is being made in Tecate, Mexico and being distributed worldwide.

ABV: 4.7%
CAL (12oz):

Scott B
Like licking asphalt on a hot sunny day. A good beer for parents to give to their teenagers to discourage them from drinking. I can't even finish one.
Rating: 1

Joby J
I don't taste any beer, just PEPPER! It's like drinking jalapeno juice. No beer flavor. I can only see someone drinking this on a dare.
Rating: 4

Adam H "Chef"
The flavor is spiciness, a Serrano chili floating in the beer. The actual beer has less flavor then Miller Lite. By far one of the worst beers I've ever had. Drink it for novelties sake.
Rating: 4

Life and Limb - Dogfish Head Brewery - Beer Review

I have been a fan of Dogfish Head from day one, and have a long personal history with them. I remember going to the restaurant they took over before they where in existence and watched them grow from there.

They produce high quality craft beers, and their Shelter Pale ale for me is a bench mark for all Pale Ales. Their 90 minute IPA is also regarded as a top notch benchmarking IPA. I also had the experience of going to Chico California and seeing the Sierra Nevada brew pub this fall.

So this past weekend when I met a friend at the original Dogfish Head brew pub in Rehoboth Beach, DE this Saturday, he sold me on trying the Life and Limb beer. The L&L was a collaborative effort between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, perhaps two of the most well known craft breweries on their respective coasts. This is a must try for beer fans.

First on availability, this was a very limited release, I was told there were a total of 60 cases that went into distribution, (12 22oz bottles) Dogfish Head was able to distribute 30 cases. They sent one case each to their top 30 liquor stores to sell. So finding a bottle was difficult at first and now impossible as they are sold out. Some bottles are going for $80 on ebay.

Back to Saturday night, they had it on draft and will do so for a few months until they run out. This is a high octane beer coming in at 10.5% and served in a snifter. At first I was concerned that this would be overly sweet and taste too much like alcohol. I was wrong. This beer is actually brewed with maple syrup,

Appearance- dark brown, almost black, with a medium head that stayed around for half the time it was in my glass.

Aroma- my nose isn’t the best so bear with my primitiveness. It was a bit lighter than you would expect, a little bit of caramel and chocolate.

Palate – Wow! Incredibly smooth for such a high ABV, some fruit, cherries perhaps. And a mild mild bitterness. I spent my first snifter full trying to nail it down, and my second one enjoying it immensely. Just a very interesting tasty beer in normal guy terms.

Overall: I was shocked how good and drinkable this beer was at 10.5%, is this a session beer?  No.  You should have no more than two portions in a sitting, but wow this one was to be savored like a fine single malt. Perhaps I was caught up in the moment of exclusiveness to having the beer, or perhaps it really is this good, but I give this a 9 on the BBA rating scale.

- Dave

Two New Beers Coming Soon!

Tonight we are reviewing James Page Burly Brown Ale and Orange Blossom Cream Ale.  Hope everyone will check out the videos when they are released in the next two weeks.

Friday, April 2, 2010

16 Mile Brewery - Amber Sun Ale

I spent a weekend in Cincinnati earlier this month.  My friend Dave brought a uniquely-bottled beer from a new brewery in Georgetown, Delaware.  Amber Sun Ale from the 16 Mile Brewery came in a 22oz aluminum "bottle".

It's made of metal, but they call it a bottle.  When I think metal I think of a can.  Maybe the should call it a "cottle" or a "ban"?  "Cattle"? "Mottle"?  What word would you use to describe this metal bottle-shaped thingy?

The  brewery claims on their website that the "cottle" is somehow going to save the earth.  I don't doubt these claims.  I just hope it's not too late.  16 Mile - the earth needs you and your delicious beverages.  If only their beer could somehow bring world peace too.  Just a thought.

Anyways - this is a dark beer that let's a little light through, but won't let you make out Dave's goofy grin on the other side of the glass.  I'm going to call the color Amber Brown.  The head is thick and this beer scores big on the look.

The aroma is very fruity - I'm picking up apricots, caramel and something that reminds me of the Dum Dum Pops that I used to get from doctor when I was little.  Mmmm.... Doctor.

Upon putting the bev to the mouth, I find that the beer is a little lighter in mouthfeel than it looks.  It's not nearly as sweet as the smell would lead you to believe it's going to be.  It's decently balanced with a light hop bitterness.  Doesn't linger too long in the mouth.

This is a good beer and gets bonus points for being from a cool, new brewery.  I'd recommend supporting it (even though its a little pricey for my cheap ass).

16 Mile only has three beers available, so I'm curious to taste what the other beers are like.  Although, being in Ohio, it's going to be difficult unless my boy Dave or the brewery hooks me up.  Can you hear me  guys?  I'm hollerin' at ya!
Mr. Beer Deluxe Edition Home Microbrewery System
Brew your own beer with
this homebrew kit.

It would be fun to do a full-blown BBA episode about their "Old Court Ale".  For all of our fans - I'll get to work on making that happen.  Until then,  let us know if you're able to find this beer, where you find it and what you think of it.

BBA rating: 7


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hoegaarden - Light Bulb Above Head.

Several days ago I bought some Hoegaarden because I was craving a Belgian witbier.  I was inspired by a delicious witbier from Flying Dog Brewery and wanted to relive that taste.  I poured the Hoegaarden into a glass and was disappointed at the weak flavor.  The bottles were quickly deprioritized to the back of the fridge.

After couple days of working my way through the supply of beer in my fridge I was faced with the abandoned Hoegaarden.  I reluctantly pulled it out of the fridge, but decided not to pour it into a glass.  Chug-a-lug, straight from the bottle.

Wait a minute!  This tastes much better.  It's a much more concentrated flavor and aroma.

Hmmm....  Is Hoegaarden better from a bottle than a glass?