Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 12

Friday, September 28, 2012

Costa Rica!

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.

Beer notes:
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!

Side note:
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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Cheers! - We Do The Hard Work So You Don't Have To

It's amazing how much a blind tasting changes the playing field. You could have your mind made up one way or the other about a product, good or bad, but take away the label and it's all fair game. That's why I get so much enjoyment out of these large blind tastings. When the bottles finally come out it's a complete surprise as to what we were actually tasting.

In this video in particular I was very surprised to see what the results were. I have had a few of these beers before and disliked them, but found myself liking them this time around. I've had a couple of these before that I thought were decent on their own, but when stacked up against the rest it was amazing to see how they fell. Watch this episode and see what I'm talking about. I encourage all of you to try out a blind tasting on your own. You might be surprised as well.

[via What Cheers!]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bell's Oberon | Crafty Beer Reviews: Episode #26

It's officially Fall now, but I wanted to post one last nod to Summer! Oberon is a favorite seasonal of mine from Bell's! Thanks for watching and check out my other reviews if you like what you see!

What Cheers! - I Want Mo' Beer Please

Maine Beer Co. is one of those small breweries that flies completely under the radar on the shelf. It has easily the plainest, simplest labels I've seen in a long time. Yet hidden inside this bottle is an absolute gem. The buzz about Maine Beer Co. is quickly spreading amongst New England beer geeks, but to the untrained eye it's something you may easily overlook.

I'm still amazed at this beer. Such a flavorful, aromatic brew. It just hits you in the face with so many good aromas and that carries through to the palate. It just goes down so easily. I never buy beer in 6-packs because I don't like limiting myself to one beer. This is a beer I wish came in 6-packs.

[via What Cheers!]

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beer Reviews Can Be Fun To: All Day IPA

In this episode we wanted to have a little fun and play beer pong as snooty as possible.  so we got some tulip type glasses and a lot of "all day ipa".  watch with your face!

The Bruery Autumn Maple Ale Beer Review

Please come join me for another beer review. In this review I take a look at The Bruery's Autumn Maple Ale. To see more of my review please click the following link                   

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout - Blind Taste Test

Thanks to Dominion for sending us this six-pack of Oak Barrel Stout. We reviewed this beer in a blind taste test format so we could get an unbiased review of the beer. None of the reviewers had ever had this beer because it's not available in Ohio, but if you live within a 200 mile radius of Dover, Delaware you should go give it a try.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Clown Shoes Miracle

What Cheers! - Make Sure You Are Sitting For This One...

This is a long one... It's not our normal 5 to 8 minute beer review, but if you're willing to stick it out to the end I think you will enjoy the 22 minutes you just spent.

Every Autumn we, as consumers, are inundated with Pumpkin flavored everything! The craft beer market is no exception, in fact Fall is probably the biggest beer season. We decided it was only right that we embrace this idea and run with it.

This is the first in a series of pumpkin reviews and we wanted to start it with a bang. We have not one, not two, but five different pumpkin beers to taste. We figured the only way to do it properly was to make it a blind tasting. No biased opinions, no preconceived notions, just a raw, unadulterated review. We hope you have as much fun watching it as we did filming it. This was an absolute blast!

[via What Cheers!]

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hill Farmstead E.

Pete and I take a look at a beer from the highly sought after Hill Farmstead. This is their E. A tasty treat for a warm summer afternoon. Enjoy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beer Slobs: New Holland Black Hatter

Hey whats going guys and gals, in this episode we tackle Black Hatter from New Holland.  This beer was pretty pretty awesome!  PUT IT IN YOUR EYEBALLS!

What Cheers! - Who Says You Can't Have Beer For Breakfast?

This is where it starts to get fun. Founders Breakfast Stout. This is a beer that wants you to drink it first thing in the morning. That's what I'm talking about! I'll take a cold beer over hot coffee any day of the week. This beer reminds me of the times when there wasn't anyway to purify water, so alcohol was actually the safer beverage. Start off the day with a nice, cold beer and don't stop until your head hits the pillow. Man that must have been fantastic! 

This is my first time tasting the Breakfast Stout and to kick this series off right we decided to make it a vertical. That's right, we have both a 2012 and a 2011 bottle here and it is very interesting to see how this one has changed. I was honestly very surprised. Join us as we jump head first into our first review. We think you will enjoy it. Cheers!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Great Lakes Oktoberfest
Beer Review

Great Lakes Oktoberfest is seasonal release from the brewery. It shows up in Early September and you usually can find some on the shelves 3-4 months after. I am not a huge fan of this style but I can enjoy them every so often. Check out this review to see how a liked Great Lakes' version of this German style, Cheers!
Click Here For More Reviews

What Cheers! - An Introduction

We should formally introduce ourselves... we, Nick and myself, are What Cheers Beer Reviews. We were recently invited to start blogging with the Better Beer Authority and share some of our videos on the site. This couldn't be more exciting for us, but before we start doing that you guys deserve an introduction.

Nick and I are two extreme craft beer enthusiasts. We have been passionate about the craft since the day we each turned 21, and maybe a little before that... We figured it was time to start sharing our passion with the rest of the internet and break into the beertubing scene. I recently graduated with a B.S. in Beverage Management, essentially I majored in Alcohol, and I currently work as the Beer Manager at a local specialty shop. I read as much as I can, drink as much as I can, stay on top of the industry hot points, and brew my own award-winning beer. Nick got all his experience the "hard" way, by drinking as much craft beer as he could in the past 5 years. He also has the beer cellar to support this project. He's been collecting some of the most sought after beers on the market for the past couple of years and aging them. Now it's time to drink. Together we bring a wealth of knowledge and entertainment, explaining and drinking some of the best craft beers this industry has to offer.

We hope you enjoy our videos and we are very excited about our future here on Better Beer Authority. Cheers!

- Jared

Founders Breakfast Stout 2012 Batch

In this video I review founders Breafast stout.Please check out my youtube channel for more beer reviews                                                      


In this video I review the  highly sought after Pliny The Elder. Please check out my youtube channel for more beer reviews.                                            


In this video I review Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti by Great Divide Co. Please check out my youtube channel for more beer reviews.      

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Great Divide 18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA | Crafty Beer Reviews: Episode #18

In this review me (and a friend) look into another Great Divide beer!! If you enjoy my videos please comment and check the other reviews out! Thanks! (Sorry this is late, work was long today).

16 Mile Brewing Company - Interview Owner Chad Campbell

The Better Beer Authority toured breweries in the state of Delaware and decided to stop by 16 Mile Brewing Company in Georgetown, Delaware for some beer and an interview with co-owner Chad Campbell.

Mikkeller Barrel Aged Blackhole Stout (Scotch Whiskey)

Pete and I sit down and give the Mikkeller Barrel Aged Blackhole Stout a fair shake. Some of the reviews we had read before hand gave us a heads up of to what to expect. Lets just say that this is one you're either gonna love or hate. This is no middle of the road on this beer! Enjoy! 

Beer slobs Canadian Breakfast Stout

Hey what's going on, I am chris from "the Beer slobs" and for our first episode we did "canadian Breakfast Stout.  it was good and fun.  please subscribe if you like what you see.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Invite to Beertubers and Beer Channels on Youtube

I am inviting established Beertubers and other beer-related video makers to submit their videos to



Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale

8.5% alcohol. Brewing company founded in 2003. Brewed in Florida.

 Check out my Youtube channel:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Great Divide Yeti (2011 vintage) | Crafty Beer Reviews: Episode #16

This week's review is one of my favorites from Great Divide! They make a lot of great beers that I continue to revisit, but their Yeti is near the top for me! Check out my other reviews if you like what you see and comment! Thanks!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

RJ Rockers Son Of A Peach - Beer Review

Thanks to Justin McMullen for providing us with Son Of A Peach from down south. The thing that sticks out immediately about this beer is all the random stuff that is floating around in it. It makes you wonder if the beer is going to be good. Find out what the Better Beer Authority thinks of this unique ale from RJ Rockers in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Three Floyds Black Sun | Crafty Beer Reviews: Episode #12

Hey everyone! Check out my review for a delicious Three Floyds beer! It's Black Sun; dark and drinkable. If you enjoy my reviews please watch the others I have on YouTube! Thanks.