Monday, December 31, 2012
Hey guys here's another Stone review! Their IRS is great for the winter months and it sure has been cold lately! Happy New Year to everyone, thanks to the BBA and everyone for all the support! Let's have an awesome 2013!
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Back with another Fall seasonal this week! This is my first beer from the highly acclaimed The Bruery and I'm stoked to try it! I've heard many good things and was not disappointed. Please subscribe and comment on YouTube and thanks for watching!!
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Southern Tier Pumking Review
Ok....so it's not Halloween, but I wanted to post my review of Pumking!!! Sorry this is a day late, but I had finals this week. Now I'm done and can get back to reviews and posting!!! Please subscribe and comment on YouTube!!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Richard Hartogs, the travel writer for the BBA came to visit and I asked him to pick a beer that he discovered while traveling that he thought our BBA audience should try. He chose Sculpin from the Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, California. This beer is #46 on BeerAdvocate's Top 100 Beers in the world. Tune in and find out whether I agree that our viewers should taste it.
Posted by agileh at 9:32 AM
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
For some reason my friend Jeff and I decided to go away for a random weekend and explore a new city. The criteria we discussed were as follows: cheap short flight, good night life, and a city neither of us had been to. He was unaware of my primary criteria; good beer must be available. We went international with this trip and ended up in Toronto, ON, Canada. A short 1 hour 4 minute flight and equal amount of time battling with customs agents and getting our luggage, the beer-cation was on.
We visited a lot of different types of beer venues. My favorite by far was Bar Hop in the Entertainment District which was about a seven minute walk from our hotel. Bar Hop wasn’t on my radar. We were down the street at Gabby’s (nothing but adjunct lagers there) watching football. The cute waitress suggested Bar Hop to us.
The entrance was kind of weird and dark, but it led to a very comfortable, almost cozy bar. We sat at the far end of the bar and took in the beer list. Impressive; with 36 beers on tap, 2 casks, plus over 100 bottles and cans; Bar Hop has to be Ontario’s premier craft beer bar. The first beer I ordered was a cask of Kensington Augusta Ale Extra Hoppy (with extra Citra hops in the cask). I would give it an 8 on the BBA scale. The second beer I ordered was Karma Citra from Great Lakes Brewery (of Ontario, not the same as GLBC in Cleveland). I would give that beer a solid 9 on the BBA Scale. It was at that point that we decided to get a flight of 4 samples so we could work through a little more of the list.
We had Great Lakes My Bitter Wife IPA (best beer name of the trip), Black Oak Nutcracker Porter (Christmas porter), Nickel Brook Winey Bastard Imperial Stout, and FlyingMonkey Triple Chocolate Stout (a collaboration with the band Bare Naked Ladies). The Winey Bastard and Flying Monkey really stuck out for different reasons. Winey Bastard is an imperial stout aged for a year in Pinot Noir barrels. It isn’t for the faint of heart. The triple chocolate stout was something special. It is a 10 on the BBAscale for me and maybe a top five beer of all time. They had a bottle of it which I asked if I could buy for take-away. I couldn’t.
|Oysters and beer = heaven|
We had already eaten dinner (see below Town Crier), but when I saw raw oysters on the menu, by nature, I had to get some. I ordered half dozen oysters from PEI and I was stunned to see our bartender of record, Matt Bod, do all the work. As he opened each oyster, he sniffed the shells to make sure they were fresh. Then he took raw horse radish and grated onto an empty shell. Aside from Matt’s oyster shucking prowess; he was a really friendly bar tender and knew about every beer I asked about. It was attention to detail like that that put Bar Hop over the top for me. After which, I ordered a full pour of the triple chocolate stout followed by a Kwak. Needless to say, I was opening up and talking to everyone who was sitting at the bar at that point.
|Can't rotate! sorry|
I don’t like to give my year in review (link is for 2011) winner away until I publish it at the end of the year; but Bar Hop will possibly be my # 1 beer bar visit of 2012.
Before I went to Toronto, I reached out to some BBA fans for advice on where to get good beer in Toronto. I was not disappointed. The first place I hit was C’est What. It has an excellent selection of Canadian beers including some of their own offerings) and had four casks as well. At first I didn’t like the bar tender. But he warmed up later. I asked if they did samples and he said no, and that he was happy about that. He also didn’t tell me I could have ordered half pints. Jeff ordered one of their cask (I forgot which), but it was really solid. I started off with Twice as Mad DIPA from Muskoa Brewery (which was also recommended). Besides the short comings of that one bar tender, I would highly recommend C’est What.
|Bacon cheeseburger poutine = hangover killer|
We left C’est What to go to some random animation company’s holiday party. I am leaving out some names here for their own good standing in Toronto. Brazen Head is a huge Irish pub in Liberty Village. A large section was roped off for the party where food and drink were included in the party! This is where things got interesting. But before they did; I was able to try a couple offerings from Mill Street Brewery (see my visit below). I had the Tank House Ale and Vanilla Porter; both really solid offerings. The food that was served was tasty, so if their regular menu is as good, then it is worth a visit.
The next day we ventured to the Distillery District where a German Christmas market was going on. There were wooden stalls all over the place selling traditional food and knick knacks to buy. Not only is Mill Street Brewery there, but there were four other beer gardens throughout the complex. I was home. Unfortunately the open bar the night before left me a little hung-over that even a bacon cheeseburger poutine couldn’t completely fix. I was able to sample some beers at Mill Street and buy a souvenir glass.
|Beer Garden at Mill Street Brewery|
Mill Street Brewery was way too crowded for me to explore, but I did have another Vanilla Porter and their IPA in the make shift beer garden. Mulled drinks were being served at all the beer gardens. A mulled drink is a hot, usually with red wine or cider, drink with Christmas type spices such as: clove, cinnamon, and all-spice and others. Jeff ordered a mulled Wit bier, and I have to say, I need to learn how to make it. It was great.
Near the Distillery district was the only beer store we came upon. It was called The Beer Store Boutique, and it was just ok. Some craft brews, a lot of big brand stuff. But if you are there, it may be worth checking out.
|Me at Steam Whistle|
On our last full day in town, we made the tourist rounds and had noodles in Chinatown, walked to the CN Tower, and toured the Hockey Hall Of Fame. We also stopped at the Steam Whistle Brewery which is at the base of the CN Tower. I was first introduced to Steam Whistle in 2003 on a trip to Ottawa and remember putting a lot down. They make only one beer, a pilsner. As far as a pilsner goes, I really like it. Just walking into their brewery, you get a free sample. You can also buy growlers and bottles. So I enjoyed one more bottle while watching NFL football on TV there. I liked the tasting room; it was neat and a little rustic. I can see big time beer nerds not into Steam Whistle, but I think it is a great, easy drinking beer that fits the bill as a craft beer.
|Charcuterie at Town Crier|
That night we headed to a European beer pub Town Crier Pub & Halfway Beer House. The menus (draft, bottle, and food) were quite impressive. I have a Belgian DIPA and a Charcuterie plate that consisted of cold German sausage and salami, a hot pretzel, and sharp mustard. I loved it. Jeff ordered the Currywurst, and it brought me right back to Berlin. Town Crier is a bar I could spend a lot of time at. Drinking good beer and eating perfectly paired food.
My overall impressions of Toronto as a beer town after visiting are much better than expected. It wasn’t too hard to find craft beer, and I really shouldn’t be surprised that some of those beers were fantastic. Though the quantity of breweries are not nearly what us southern neighbors have, there certainly isn’t any quality lost.
Also, visit St. Lawrencemarket while there. It is the hub of culinary shopping in Toronto.
Posted by Richard Hartogs at 10:49 AM
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Sometimes after a long day of fun at the beach a nice pale lager tastes better than the finest craft beer. When you go to Guam, this is the lager that fits the bill. How does this compare to other island beers and are the boys ready to book their next trip to Guam?
Posted by agileh at 1:38 PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Woohoo!! This is my 50th review!! Thanks so much for everyone watching and supporting my videos!! To celebrate I crack open a very special beer from Mikkeller! Please comment and subscribe on YouTube guys! Thank you to the BBA for letting me post on here!
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hey guys! Sorry for the late update! This week's review is on a really special Stone release from a few months back! Enjoy and please subscribe and comment on YouTube!!
Monday, November 26, 2012
This beer was sent to us by BBA superfan Justin McMullen from his former state of South Carolina. Thanks Justin! Nice 'stache! Thomas Creek was a wonderful dopplebock with a nice traditional flavor. Tune in and find out if it ranks with the great dopplebocks of the world.
Posted by agileh at 10:13 PM
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
A fantastic beer that the BBA guys already gave a great rating previously! Please subscribe and comment on YouTube! Thanks for watching and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
This is the perfect beer to do a blind taste test for. There is so much hype that goes along with it. Heady Topper, from the Alchemist Brewery in Waterbury, VT, is one of the top beers in the world. It's number 3 on BeerAdvocate's list of Top Beers in the world. What will the boys think of this beer without the advantage of knowing that all the other beer nerds love it? Tune in and find out.
Posted by agileh at 12:48 PM
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Old Dominion sent us Hop Mountain Pale Ale and then just by coincidence we were going on a road trip to Delaware Breweries a few weeks later. Luckily, this was a good beer, so it made our visit something to look forward to. Their Oak Barrel Stout is pretty delish too! Tune in and find out who loved this beer and who this beer had to grow on in this slightly off-center review.
Posted by agileh at 9:57 PM
Sorry for the late update. Another beer review featuring an IPA from none other than Three Floyds!! Please comment and subscribe on YouTube and follow me on Twitter @OhioBeerTuber. Thanks!!
Posted by Jonathan McBride at 9:34 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
It was very nice of Pete to make a small beer run to France and bring back some of the highly sought after Cantillon beers. This was my first taste of Cantillon and I can see why it garners such praise, as it's a very well crafted product. I can't wait to try other beers from Cantillon. Enjoy!
Posted by Chris at 9:06 PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Cigar City Jai Alai Beer Review #27
In this video I review Cigar City's Jai Alai coming in at 7.5%abv to check out more of my beer review click the following link http://www.youtube.com/user/spicymcwilliams/videos?flow=grid&view=0
Posted by travis williams at 9:22 PM
Cigar City Cucumber Saison Beer Review #26
In this video I review Cigar City's Cucumber saison coming in at 6% abv to check out more of my reviews click the following link http://www.youtube.com/user/spicymcwilliams/videos?flow=grid&view=0
Posted by travis williams at 9:08 PM
Hey guys! I did the Stone Smoked Porter w/ Vanilla Bean last week so I thought I would do the other specialty from Stone too!! Hope you enjoy and subscribe and comment on YouTube too!!
Monday, November 5, 2012
Earlier this year we went on a road trip to tour breweries in the state of Delaware. Our final stop was at Fordham and Old Dominion in Dover. These are two separate brands that are produced at the same facility. Old Dominion is the brand for the beer geeks and Fordham is for someone who is looking for some less extreme beers. We spoke to the President and CEO, Jim Lutz, who provided us with some additional insight into this regional brewery. ...and then we got to run around the facility like crazy monkeys. Tune and in and find out more.
Posted by agileh at 11:39 PM
Earlier this year we went on a road trip to the state of Delaware to tour the breweries there. Our final stop was at Fordham and Old Dominion in Dover, Delaware. These are two separate brands that are produced at the same facility. Old Dominion is the brand for the beer geeks and Fordham is for someone who is looking for some less extreme beers. We spoke to the President and CEO, Jim Lutz, who provided us with some additional insight into this regional brewery.
Posted by agileh at 11:37 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Hey guys! Hope everyone in the path or close to Hurricane Sandy is doing ok! For this review I look at another limited Stone release! I hope you enjoy! Please subscribe and comment!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
This beer review almost didn't happen. We were given a case of random beers from Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall, Michigan. I decided that we would review Crooked Tree IPA from the case because that seemed like their most popular beer. Then, one night I popped open a Plead the 5th Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout and it blew my socks off. I knew that we had to feature this on the show. We did a blind taste test so the ratings wouldn't be biased by the fact that we got it for free. Find out if the guys on the panel liked this beer as much as I did! -James
Posted by agileh at 8:33 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Sorry this a day late guys! Life has been busy! Here we go, another beer review! This time from the famous California brewery AleSmith!! Enjoy and please subscribe and comment!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Westvleteren 12 is rated as the best beer in the world by ratebeer.com. So when Joby handed me a bottle that he received from a friend I was pretty excited. But we only had one bottle and we usually need a six pack to shoot an episode. That led to a review with a unique twist. I would review the beer by myself with Joby as a host. Will this beer live up to the hype? Is it as good as everyone says it is? Tune in and find out!
Posted by agileh at 9:02 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Great Lakes Nosferatu is a imperial red ale which a huge hop character to it. This comes out for September and October every year. I always pick up a 4 pack because it's a great beer for a great value. Check out this review to see if this beer has the same bite as the vampire, cheers!
Click Here For More Reviews
Posted by CheertoBeers at 10:49 AM
Another beer review (very late)! This beer is one from Japan! If you like what you see please subscribe and comment on YouTube and follow me on Twitter @OhioBeerTuber
Posted by Jonathan McBride at 1:04 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Stone Brewing Company's latest creation is a novel idea - they are going out of their way to make sure that everyone consumes their latest IPA fresh - within 35 days of being bottled. Stone Enjoy IPA is 9.4 % ABV and 88 IBUs. It's also delicious. Find out what the BBA panelists think of this new, hard to get beer.
Posted by agileh at 3:28 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Hey guys! Hope everyone is enjoying the Fall weather (this may only apply to the Midwest at the moment) finally! Today I'm posting a really special video about an amazing beer that I reviewed a few months ago! This is the Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA! If you like what you see please subscribe and comment on YouTube! Thanks!
Imperial Octoberfest Lager is no exception. Imperial Octoberfests aren't too common but this takes a pretty standard style and kicks it up a notch. A good hybrid between a traditional German Oktoberfest and an American-style Octoberfest. This beer is one you wont want to miss this Oktober.
[via What Cheers!]
Posted by What Cheers Beer Reviews! at 9:37 AM
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
When we visited Evolution Craft Brewing Company in Delmar, Delaware they were getting ready to move to a new faciltity in Salisbury, Maryland. We interviewed brewmaster Geoff DeBisschop, who revealed to us which Evo beer was his favorite. This was a great stop on our Delaware brewery road trip and every beer enthusiast should definitely stop by and get a pint of their Lucky 7 Porter. Make sure you tell Geoff I said "Hi!"
Posted by agileh at 2:28 PM
SOUTHERN TIER PUMKING BEER REVIEW#25
In this video I review Southern Tiers Pumking coming in at 8.6% abv. To check out more of my reviews click the following link http://www.youtube.com/user/spicymcwilliams?feature=guide
Posted by travis williams at 12:30 AM
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Brewdog Tokyo is a big imperial stout coming in at 18.2% alcohol by volume. It is brewed with cranberries and jasmine. Then it is aged in french oak barrels. Brewdog is known for it's crazy beers, watch this review to if this one lives up to their name. Cheers!
Click Here For More Reviews
Posted by CheertoBeers at 10:49 AM
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Pete and I take a look at Cambridge Brewing Company's Sgt. Pepper. I picked this bottle up from the brewery while in Boston for a Sox game. Upon purchase I was told that it had won a gold medal the night before at the World Beer Cup in the Spiced and Herb catagory. Not too shabby an award.
Posted by Chris at 7:49 PM
Hey guys! Time for another beer review! This time it's my first Avery beer and it's a delicious Barleywine; perfect for cooler weather! Check out my other reviews and subscribe! Thanks.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
As part of our tour of Delaware Breweries, we headed to Evolution Craft Brewing Company in Delmar, Delaware before they moved to Salisbury, MD. This brewery was very welcoming and we sat down for an interview with the brewmaster, Geoff DeBisschop. Several samples later, we declared this a successful stop and started heading to our next destination - Fordham and Old Dominion Brewing Company in Dover, Delaware.
Posted by agileh at 10:48 PM
Monday, October 1, 2012
The aroma alone is truly outstanding. The bourbon-barrel comes together very nicely with the "Imperial Special Bitter." While there is still a hint of the original DBA, Firestone Walker really does a good job of turning this beer into an American Strong Ale. Plenty of fruity notes to compliment the barrel-aging process and create and outstanding beer.
[via What Cheers!]
Posted by What Cheers Beer Reviews! at 3:29 PM
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
|Witch's Rock Pale Ale|
My three great loves are surfing, travel, and beer. So I decided to fit it all in during one vacation! Destination: Costa Rica. Guide: Joe Walsh. Participants: Myself, my brother David, and his pregnant wife Jenn.
Joe is a San Diegoan who bought a school bus and drove it to Costa Rica in 2001 to open a surf camp. He ended up planting roots in Tamarindo, on the northwest coast in Guanacaste. He eventually built Witch’s Rock Surf Camp into a full fledged bar, restaurant, hotel, surf shop, surf school and more. In 2011 he bought a hotel/property above Lake Arenal and opened up Volcano Brewing Company and Hotel.
Since this is a beer blog, I will write about the last two days of our trip first.
Craft beer in Costa Rica is in it’s infancy. The only two craft brewers are Volcano Brewing Company and Craft BrewingCompany. Each makes two production beers: VBC with Witch’s Rock Pale Ale and Gato Malo (bad cat) brown ale. CBC makes Libertas Tropical Golden Ale and La Segua Red Ale.
After the 2.5 hour drive from Tamarindo, we arrived at VBC hungry and thirsty. After we checked into our well appointed rooms, we gathered in the restaurant area for some grub and suds. We were instantly greeted with a free sampler of all four of Costa Rica’s craft beers. The sampler tray was carved out of a log. (Note: I will get into the tasting notes at the end of the blog).
|the great staff at VBCC|
Aside from a roadside lunch one day, we ate all of our meals at VBC and enjoyed most of what we ate. The highlights were the Volcano Burger, Pollo Jalapeño, Whole Fried Tilapia from the lake, chicken wings, pancakes, and the tres leches dessert. The volcano burger and pollo jalapeno came is a delicious jalapeño cream sauce. The chicken was also served with mashed potatoes mixed with pale ale and thyme.
The property that VBC sits on is breathtaking. On one side there is a complete view of the lake and surrounding mountains. On the other, views of lush vegetation and hills. Also on the property are a couple gardens and an awesome skate park. I didn’t ride the pools in the skate park, but I am sure if I tried, it would have ended poorly. There is also a koi pond, pool and hot tub. The hot tub area is pretty cool. It is in a little grotto next to the pool. It isn’t quite Hugh Heffner’s grottos, but still cool.
|Me zip lining at 400ft|
On Lake Arenal, you can go boating, paddle boarding, wind surfing and kite surfing. Just research the best launch areas. One the far side of the lake near La Fortuna is where a lot of action is. Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal (Arenal Volcano National Park) is there. We did an insane zip line next to the volcano with Skytrek. The highest line is 600ft above ground, fastest is 55mph, and longest is ½ a mile! Afterwards we relaxed at the Baldi Hot Springs.
Witch’s Rock Surf Camp
The first part of our trip was spending five days in Tamarindo at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. This was my fourth visit since 2004 and I really loved it there. If you are a surfer, this is a must visit. If you want to learn how to surf, this is a must visit.
|sunset from the pool in Tamarindo|
One of my favorite spots at the surf camp is naturally the bar. They now have all four of Costa Rica’s craft beers on tap, as well is Imperial; which is the national adjunct lager, er, cerveza. They also serve nachos “as big as your ass.”
Tamarindo has a lot of bars, a couple of night clubs, tons of accommodations and a lot of good restaurants. It is also a great hub for surfers, deep sea fishing and many other adventure activities.
I had the WRSC Pale Ale my first day and liked it. I had many Imperials afterwards. When I went back to the Pale Ale, I could not stop drinking it. The cascade hops really came through. The more I drank it, the more I liked it. This is a great flagship beer for a new brewery.
I had the Gato Malo a few times. It is a rather pleasant brown ale. And actually even refreshing, which is key in the tropical climate of Costa Rica. I think it is a really good beer for a place like Costa Rica. Many people who are not into craft beers think that "dark beers" are heavy. We know they are wrong, and the Bad Cat will prove it.
I love what Joe Walsh is doing down there and I am really excited to see VBC grow. If you plan a trip down there, contact me and I will put you in touch with the right people!
Halfway to Volcano Brewing Company from Tamarindo is a really cool water fall that I highly recommend stopping at, Llanos de Cortes. Instead of writing about the beauty of it, I will let my photo do the talking.
|David and Richard at Llanos de Cortes. You can wade into the water|
Posted by Richard Hartogs at 3:06 PM