Monday, January 30, 2012

Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter - Beer Review

Looking for a nice porter to warm you up in the depths of winter? Stovepipe Porter might be a good choice. At 4.4% ABV it makes a good session beer for people who like those deep, roasted flavors that are found in stouts and porters. Do the guys on the panel agree? Tune in and find out!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Delirium Tremens - Beer Review

This beer was voted "Best Beer in the WORLD" in 1998. Wowsers!!! But, with all the innovative beers coming out of the American Craft Beer Scene does it stand the test of time? The boys talk about differences in the beer scene between 1998 and the present.

Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue) - Blind Taste Test

Our review of Chimay Blue in 2011 is one of our most hated episodes. The rating wasn't horrible, but Chef and Mark were not kind to it and both said that they would prefer to drink Miller Light. I was wondering if there review was based on preconceived notions about the beer, so I set up this blind taste to see if the score would change when the boys didn't know what beer they were drinking. Tune and find out whether the ratings change in this fun follow up to one of our most notorious episodes.

Newcastle Summer Ale - Beer Review

Just in time for Summer - in Australia! :) This was shot in the summer of 2011 but kept getting bumped from the schedule because of bigger name beers. This is a TIE FOR THE LOWEST RATING WE'VE EVER GIVEN. Find out why the guys were hating this beer and why Chef wouldn't even finish it. This may not be the best beer we've reviewed, but that doesn't mean this isn't a great episode. This is one hatefest you can love!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

RVA's Beer Capital

one of the beer coolers behind the bar
When I went to school a decade ago in Richmond, VA, there were already some brew pubs and shops that sold a lot of imports.  I haven't been back too much since, but I did manage to stop for lunch on the way home from OBX.  And I was as delighted as ever to be in the home of my alma matter!

My traveling partner (thanks for the photos M!), suggested we go to Capital Ale House rather than the Cuban joint I wanted to hit up.  After looking at their tap list, I didn't hesitate.  After all, I could always stop at Kuba Kuba to get that Tres Leches cake that I had wanted to try after lunch.
taps behind the bar

The only problem with going to this place was the fact that I still had 100 miles left to drive after my visit.  Which meant I could only get one beer :(   I did make that beer count, Laughing Dog Dogzilla Black IPA.  M ordered the Bell's Winter White.  Both pretty good.  The beer menu is outstanding, I can sit here and list everything they have, but you should just check out their website.

One amazing thing about this place is that you can get growlers of anything they have on tap!  I saw a Dogfish Head tap take-over advertised, and you were even allowed to get growlers of Burton Baton, something the DFH Brew Pub in Rehoboth, DE doesn't allow!  Another great promo they have is Steal the Glass Tuesdays. With purchases from select breweries, you get to keep the logo pint glass!

The food was pretty good too.  There didn't seem to be too many light options....oh well!  I had a schnitzel sandwich on a pretzel roll.  My partner had a bacon cheeseburger.  Too bad she didn't share it, it looked amazing.

Drool if you must
Capital Ale House has four other locations in central Virgina. The restaurant is bigger than it appears.  The one thing I didn't like was that it was too dark for my liking inside.  Which is fine at night time, but not during a nice sunny day (or cold windy sunny day).  I wish CAH was around when I went to school in Richmond.

Next week, I prepare the college spring breakers on an old school Spring Break spot on where to get great beer...stay tuned.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


To many beach-goers in the mid-Atlantic, OBX is a great beach getaway. To the rest of the country, OBX stands for Outer Banks of North Carolina. Home to Kitty Hawk (first in flight), Nags Head, Hatteras, Kill Devil Hills and more.
Over New Years weekend, six of my closest friends spent three nights in a beach front house at Kill Devil Hills. Sure we brought our own hooch down with us, but we were excited to see what kind of beer we could find on North Carlina's barrier islands.

I read about Chip's Wine and Beer Market and decided this was the bottle shop I had to visit while down there. They boast a "snob free zone." I really liked this store. I am assuming it was Chip that my brother and I talked to while there, but whoever it was, he was super nice and helpful. We asked about local beers and other North Carolina brands. He pointed us to Weeping Raddish, Outer Banks Brewing, Highland Brewing, and others. National brands such as Avery, Stone, DFH, Southern Tier and more are available. All the beers are arranged by style, not brand, which is helpful for the most part.

I thought their bottle prices were relatively inexpensive, especially coming from Washington DC.
Another cool part is the lounge/tasting room attached to the store. Six taps were behind the bar, but I don't think that section was available to customers in the morning. DHF Burton Baton was one of the taps.

Overall, you don't need to bring your own stash to OBX, just stop by Chip's for all your needs, you will not be disappointed.

For lunch one day we went to Outer Banks Brewing Station. Which is America's first wind powered brewery.

My brother and I each ordered the sampler, unfortunately, they were out of the stout and Conquest IPA that day, so we weren't able to try the two beers that we were most excited to try. The highlight was surprising to us: Lemon Grass Wheat Ale. It was smooth and tasty with a nice hint of Lemon Grass. We also tried the Olsch, the Kolsch style beer, and Baltic Porter. We also sampled the Moondog ESB.

As for the food, I, along with the rest of us were not too impressed. The calamari was good, as was the fried okra. Chicken wings were bland. But I would recommend going to try some beer and some of their food. Service was fine also.

One place I had on my radar but didn't get a chance to visit was Weeping Raddish, located just before the Wright Bridge to cross into the Outer Banks.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 10 Beers of 2011 - Better Beer Authority

2011 was the second full year of reviewing for the Better Beer Authority. Our tastes have evolved quite a bit from our humble beginnings. IPAs had a hard time getting a good rating in 2010. However, we got a taste for the hops and 2011 was the "Year of the IPA." Tune in to see which IPAs made our Top 10 list.

This Top 10 list was picked from the 44 beers that we reviewed this year. The entire cast and crew voted and we added up the points. Thanks to all the people who tuned in for 2011. We look forward to bringing you tons of great beer reviews in 2012.