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Thread: Beer!

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  2. #362
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    Default Re: Beer!

    Alright, everybody can stand down from alert status.

    I worked out an amicable trade with a gentleman in Michigan on RateBeer who is not just shipping me a single bottle but a whole 6 pack!

    I would have been happy being able to line up single bottles of The Planets in my beer display but, being able to line up the 6 packs with their box art will be even better if I can count on him to score me their future releases!

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    Default Re: Beer!

    Tonight I'm having a brew I picked up earlier today in my hunt for Mars. This is Stone's Coffee Milk Stout.



    Here's the official description:
    There’s no shortage of talented people at Stone and each makes their presence known in their own unique way. Brian Gallagher, a brewer who learned the art of fermentation in the UK, used the beer you now hold, a New World take on a traditional Enlgish milk stout, as his vehicle for personal expression. Originally brewed as a limited-edition offering at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, this coffee-laced milk stout quickly became a favorite among Gallagher’s peers. Made bittwersweet and creamy while remaining smooth and easy-drinking thanks to the addition of milk surgar, it’s clear why this is a brew we needed to share with fans everywhere.
    Poured very dark into an English Pint with a big tan head. Big coffee and chocolate smell! Taste is a lot of bitter coffee and sweet milk chocolate with some smokey flavor thrown in. There's a bit of hoppiness on the finish. The body on this is fairly carbonated and a bit on the thin side. This comes in at 4.2% ABV which seems a bit low for a stout, a porter I could see. Pretty good flavor but I'd say this beer would definitely benefit from a bigger body and more alcohol.

  4. #364
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    Default Re: Beer!

    Well, I personally didn't have any luck. In fact, I was finding it damned difficult to just find something like Killian's this past week. Why that was, I have NO idea!
    Libertatem Prius!


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  5. #365
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    Default Re: Beer!

    Oh HELL!


    What a mess.... oh the humanity....

    Expensive wine seeping across cellar floors shows Napa Valley was biggest loser in California quake

    Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press | August 25, 2014 9:52 AM ET
    More from Associated Press






    NAPA, Calif. — A powerful earthquake that struck the heart of California’s wine country caught many people sound asleep, sending dressers, mirrors and pictures crashing down around them.


    The magnitude-6.0 quake struck at 3:20 a.m. Sunday near the city of Napa, an oasis of Victorian-era buildings nestled in the vineyard-studded hills of Northern California.
    Scores were injured as the temblor knocked out power to thousands, caused gas and water lines to rupture and sparked fires.










    Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency and directed state resources toward a recovery effort in Napa.


    At least 120 people had been treated at the emergency room at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, said Vanessa deGier, a hospital spokeswoman. Most of the injuries were minor lacerations or abrasions caused by falling debris. But three patients were in critical condition, including a child who had been crushed by a falling fireplace. No deaths had been confirmed as of Sunday evening.


    The U.S. Geological Survey estimated damage could be up to $1 billion.


    The quake’s timing was bad for Napa Valley’s famed vineyards, where winemakers were just getting ready to harvest the 2014 crop. The quake broke thousands of bottles of wine and toppled barrels.


    Vintner Richard Ward of Saintsbury Winery south of Napa watched Sunday afternoon as workers righted toppled barrels and rescued a 225 kilogram grape de-stemmer that the quake had thrown to the ground.


    “That’s what happens when you’re a mile from the epicenter,” said Ward, who lost 300 to 400 bottles in the winery’s basement.


    The grape harvest was supposed to start overnight Monday, but it would now be pushed back a few days, he said. Had the harvest started a day earlier, the quake could have caught the workers among the heavy barrels when it struck, Ward said.






    Related



    The quake struck about 10 kilometres south of Napa and lasted 10 to 20 seconds depending on proximity to the epicenter, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was the largest to shake the San Francisco Bay Area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake struck in 1989, collapsing part of the Bay Bridge roadway and killing more than 60 people, most when an Oakland freeway fell.


    It was felt widely throughout the region, with people reporting feeling it more than 320 kilometres south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.


    For many, the quake roused them in the middle of the night and sent them fumbling in darkness to take cover and find loved ones. A number of the injuries were caused by people stepping on broken glass, falling down or being hit by furniture.


    Omar Rodriguez, 23, of Napa, was treated for a gash on his forehead in one of the triage tents outside a hospital that handled the victims.


    “We woke up to the earthquake and I thought I was dreaming because I fell off my bed, you know, it was all dark, and I just got back up. She noticed it was all bleeding,” he said, referring to his girlfriend.






    Officials were still assessing the damage late Sunday in hopes of getting a cost estimate they could submit for possible federal assistance. But the initial assessment found that dozens of homes and buildings in the region were unsafe to occupy, including an historic Napa County courthouse, where a 3-metre wide hole opened a view of the offices inside.


    An earthquake early warning system currently being tested issued a 10-second warning before the quake struck, said Richard Allen, director of the University of California, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory. California is working to implement a statewide system, though Allen said funding has not been secured.


    Aftershocks were expected to continue for several weeks, though State Geologist John Parrish said they would decrease in magnitude and it was unlikely that there would be a large follow-up earthquake. Still, he warned people to be careful because buildings that were damaged by the quake were now more susceptible to collapse from aftershocks.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  6. #366
    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beer!

    Tonight is the night that the first bottle of Bell's Mars - The Bringer Of War is consumed!





    Official description:
    The first release in Bell’s Planet Series, Mars (The Bringer of War) is a double IPA with a complex hop character and a malty backbone. Notes of tropical fruit, citrus, pine, lemon, lime and pineapple are all present in both the aroma and flavor. Hopped at a ratio of about 3.4 pounds of hops per barrel, the recipe for Mars was developed from a trial batch called Larry’s Latest Double IPA brewed in our original brewery located adjacent to the Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo.
    Poured a hazy brown-gold into a Snifter. Opted for the snifter since this is 10.1% ABV over the Shaker which I'd use for lower alcohol beers. It's hard to add to the official summary. Their descriptions of the taste and smell are spot on. The aroma is very inviting! I'd add that it is also very boozy with the 10.1% being very forward. It's a little bitter up front but that is balanced and mellows out quickly. Has a fairly sugary sweet finish.

    This is a very well done DIPA. I would expect nothing less from Bell's. I put this up in the ranks of Dogfish's 120 IPA and Bell's Hopslam in the DIPA category. Dogfish is still my #1. However, I think that Mars may have actually dethroned Hopslam as the #2.

    A real shame this is so hard to get. This really deserves to be enjoyed by many. I consider myself exceptionally fortunate to have an entire 6 pack to enjoy.

    By the way, this seems only fitting to have this playing as this fine brew is consumed - Gustav Holst: The Planets - Mars, The Bringer Of War.


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    Default Re: Beer!

    I'm having a brew by Mikkelller tonight, Chipotle Porter.


    (Yeah, I know that says "Texas Ranger" but it and the Chipotle Porter are basically the same with nearly the same label.)

    Poured inky black and viscous into a Shaker. Resulted in a really big brown head. Very, very chocolaty smell. Maybe a slight hint of pepper. Hard to tell over all the chocolate. The chocolate in the smell matches the taste, big and sweet. To go along with it there's a little oily pepper and a touch of oak from the barrel aging that the Chipotle Porter goes through which Texas Ranger does not. I don't get much heat from this.

    Overall impression is that this is good but not great and, to be frank, I'm a little disappointed in the experience. It's not a bad beer. As I said, it is good. It's more the lack of heat I expected combined with the fairly high cost of admission. Give it a try if you want but I believe Stone did this far better with their Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers which I reviewed earlier. It's also a better deal money wise.

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    Default Re: Beer!

    Next up tonight is a very limited release beer I happened across at Jungle Jim's.

    It's from a local brewer called Great Crescent and it is called Beer Agent Re-Ignition Ale.

    It is so new and limited it doesn't even have a page on Rate Beer yet. This was brewed by Great Crescent for the 2014 Cincinnati Comicon and the label is designed by Tony Moore who has worked on The Walking Dead comics. The beer name is a take off of the comic he's involved in, Fear Agent.

    Here's one of the few pictures out there I've found of it:



    Here's the label laid out:



    Poured dark, slightly hazy gold into a Shaker. Moderate white head. Smells like malt, honey, some spice, and a slight herbal note. Taste is very much like the aroma. The flavors compliment each other well! The body is fairly thin with a fair bit of carbonation. It's 5.3% ABV so it's not going to knock your socks off. Smooth and drinkable. Overall, I think Great Crescent turned out a decent brew!

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    Default Re: Beer!


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    Default Re: Beer!

    On Friday I picked up 4 very limited release beers from Party Source.

    One of those was one I've looked forward to trying, BrewDog's Tokyo/Tokio.



    Here's the description of Tokyo/Tokio from BrewDog:
    Intergalactic Fantastic Oak Aged Stout

    The irony of existentialism, the parody of being and the inherent contradictions of post-modernism, all so delicately conveyed by the blocky, pixelated arcade action have all been painstakingly recreated in this bottles contents.

    This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips.

    It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.
    When I saw it was banned in the UK, I knew I had to have some! I also knew it was a long shot getting some since BrewDog isn't the easiest to find in the US and BrewDog's more esoteric offerings are even more impossible. And yet, here I am with a bottle! Lucked out and managed to get some shortly after it was released for sale. Thankfully no line at Party Source this time!

    Poured an extremely thick, nearly black red-brown into a snifter. Didn't get all that much head from it. The nose on this has a very boozy oak smell. Not at all a surprise it would have such a heavy alcohol scent since this is a whopping 18.2%! I took a sip of this fresh out of the fridge and even ice cold was hit with an amazingly complex flavor. There's so much going on it is a bit hard to nail down. I get chocolate, molasses, oak, some hops, and malts. Probably some other things I'm missing. Surprisingly the alcohol doesn't come across as heavily as in the smell. Very sticky sweet. The body is quite thick.

    As it has warmed, the flavor only gets better as is typical with these strong beers. And it goes without saying, this is definitely a sipping beer.

    This is quite the beer. James and Martin really hit is out of the park with this! If you can get BrewDog where you are, I highly recommend putting some effort into trying to get this one. Yeah, it's expensive (I think I paid about $1 per ounce! :lol but it is very worth it.

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    Default Re: Beer!

    I'm currently having one of the other 3 of the limited release beers I picked up Friday.

    Tonight's is one from 3 Floyds. It's their Moloko Milk Stout



    Not much in the way of an official description on this except, "Baltic Milk Stout named after the famous milk drinks from 'A Clockwork Orange.'"

    Poured black into a Snifter with a moderate brown head. The aroma on this is a bit faint but I picked up smoke, a little bit of coffee, and alcohol. Taste is milk chocolate, some smokiness, and a bit of malt. The sweetness is on the moderate side. There's a very little bitterness in the background. Dry finish with a moderate body.

    The taste on this is very full, especially as it warms up, and all of the flavors compliment each other extremely well! A very good brew for sure!

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    Default Re: Beer!


    Every State in the USA, Ranked by Beer

    August 26, 2014

    It’s a great time to be drinking beer in America. Not that it was ever, you know, a BAD time to be doing that necessarily, but with craft breweries multiplying like rabbits who’ve been drinking beer, you can literally find some serviceable (if not downright tasty) local brews in all 50 states. Which made the process of ranking them all the more difficult, but we were up to the challenge, especially since it meant drinking and thinking about beer for weeks straight.

    Here they are, all 50 states in the Union, ranked according to their beer. A couple notes about our criteria. Quantity and quality are both important, but quality’s a bit MORE important. If you’re a small state turning out a disproportionate amount of great beer, it did not go unrecognized. We also gave a boost to states who played a historical role in American beer as we know it today. We also argued a lot, so if you want to do that as well, please join us in the comments!


    50. Mississippi

    There’s a reason that Mississippi’s the home of the blues. It has a lot to do with the fact that the state’s got fewer breweries than Blind Willie Nine Fingers has digits.

    49. West Virginia

    Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye. Note: the teardrop is because there isn’t enough good beer to drink here.

    48. Rhode Island

    ‘Gansett. That’s about all there is to say. ‘Gansett!! Luckily it’s really fun to say.

    47. North Dakota

    You’d think that two decades of enduring wood-chipper jokes would drive more North Dakotans to drink, but noh… noh, there’s not much brewing going on here, though a can of Fargo Brewing Co.’s Iron Horse Pale Ale is a mighty fine treat.

    46. Nevada

    Booze is a big business in the Silver State, but with respect to brewers like Great Basin, most of that silver is in Bullet form… given out for free. At the nickel slots.

    45. South Dakota

    When every biker from Portland, OR to Portland, ME comes rolling into Sturgis, they probably drink more beer than the collective frat population of the US. But they subsist on a diet of tallboys and Kid Rock. And while you’ll find local beer on many taps throughout the state, those taps are probably gathering dust next to a fresh macro keg. I frequent SoDak, and when I do, I subsist mainly on Crow Peak’s excellent 11th Hour IPA. There’s a beer scene lurking in the Black Hills, but it needs some nourishment. And support.

    44. Nebraska

    Luckily, the Cornhuskers’ 22 spot in the preseason AP poll is the only ranking this state really cares about.

    43. Hawaii

    People tend to vouch for the tastiness of the local beer they tried while in Hawaii, which is probably because THEY WERE IN Hawaii. Kona and Maui and the like make some solid beer, but it gets a bit of a perception bump from the Hawaiian mystique.

    42. New Jersey

    All sorts of silly laws, plus a statewide Red Bull-vodka addiction, stonewalled the development of Jersey breweries for years, but even though things have freed up a bit, they still don’t make Taylor Ham beer. Someone make Taylor Ham beer! If anyone answers that ridiculous plea, it’ll be ballsy up-and-comer Carton.

    41. New Hampshire

    Every person in New Hampshire is never more than two hours away from one of the top six beer states in the nation (gotta keep reading to figure out which!). So while the lack of an established scene aside from venerable Smuttynose is surprising, we don’t feel that badly for those who must choose daily between living free and dying.

    40. Wyoming

    The combination of locals having a lot of time to hone their crafts and the influx of tourists — skiers, Dads who’ve been penned up in an RV with three kids who could care less about Old Faithful — has made this sparsely populated wilderness a solid beer spot, with Snake River and Black Tooth brewing some seriously delicious beers that collectively pack more IBUs than the state has residents.

    39. Connecticut

    Not a ton happening here, but Olde Burnside makes a uniquely sessionable Scottish Ale, and also sells longswords on its website.

    38. Arkansas

    Last year, the Arkansas Times — whose research we trust, because they obviously weren’t drinking 11% stouts while writing, unlike some people — reported that the number of breweries jumped from four to 19… and it’s growing. That, friends, is a renaissance, with breweries like Core Brewing and Ozark Beer Co. leading a serious charge from the South. In 10 years, after the brewers get more comfortable, expect to see Arkansas as a real contender.

    37. South Carolina

    South Carolina has 1) many respectable brewpubs, 2) not very many breweries whose wares make it outside state lines, and, perhaps best of all, 3) a border with North Carolina.

    36. Kansas

    Tallgrass makes some solidly enjoyable brews for sipping out of a cold aluminum tallboy. The rest of the state’s beer is kinda just… there. Much like Kansas.

    35. Arizona

    Stick to iced tea! What’s that? Arizona Iced Tea isn’t even made in Arizona? Fine. You know what is? Actually some decent beers (Four Peaks, SanTan), but, hey, things are getting competitive.

    34. Iowa

    If Ray Kinsella had started a hop farm instead of a corn farm, brewing in Iowa would probably be… exactly the same, since he plowed over the bulk of said farm so he could have a catch with Ray Liotta. The bright side? Toppling Goliath, which five years ago brewed a half-barrel at a time, and now has road-trippers from all over the Midwest stopping by their taproom to drink that much in a sitting.

    33. Tennessee

    Whiskey, yes. Country music? Yep. Connie Britton’s charismatic turn as fading Nashville star Rayna Jaymes? Oh hell yes! Beer? Meh. That’s not to say that there’s not great beer — what up, Nashville’s Yazoo and Memphis’s Boscos — but the drop from great to mediocre is steeper than a Smoky Mountain cliff face. Plus, ain’t nobody — not even Rayna Jaymes — ever wrote a classic country song while drinking a fancy porter.

    32. Kentucky

    Look, bourbon will always be Kentucky’s first and greatest love, but breweries like Against the Grain are really giving it something to be proud of when it comes to certain other alcoholic beverages. Of course, those bourbon barrels have gone a long way to helping breweries all over the country make your beer more delicious. Although oddly, Kentucky Bourbon Ale (the state’s most high-profile barrel-aged beer) is just okay.

    31. Georgia

    Georgia loses points for not requiring each and every one of its breweries to make a brew called Sweet Georgia Brown, but it really lands in the middle by a couple dozen middle-of-the-road breweries, but no truly great ones. A C+ average might be passing, but it’s hardly excelling.

    30. New Mexico

    No, we’re not going to make a Breaking Bad joke. But we are going to ding New Mexico for being hot as balls, which makes drinking a thick, delicious microbrew extra difficult. Also making it difficult is the fact that, despite the efforts of great brewers like La Cumbre and Chama River, nobody thinks of beer when they think of New Mexico. Except maybe Schraderbrau. And… DAMMIT!

    29. Idaho

    For a state best known for potatoes and, um, potatoes, Idaho’s throwing some serious clout around courtesy of ballers like Grand Teton, Sockeye, Laughing Dog, and the incredible Selkirk Abbey. But the scene isn’t fully formed yet, thanks in large part to the fact that lite beer tastes better while muddin’.

    28. Virginia

    Virginia is for beer lovers. Or at least it’s getting there fast. Another state where weird laws (these ones involving how much food you needed to sell, for some God-awful reason) held brewing back for a while, VA’s got some real action going now, from entrenched favorites like Legend, Star Hill, and Devil’s Backbone, to new kid Smartmouth, whose canned IPA and Saison are (somewhat) specifically designed for you to drink on a boat. But they’re really good on land too! And all this leads to an interesting and telling halo effect: two of its cities — Richmond and Norfolk — are amongst the three finalists for Stone’s newest super-brewery/blissful outdoor drinking compound.

    27. Louisiana

    Louisiana’s another state where the joy to be had drinking beer there outstrips the actual quality of anything produced in-state. Obviously the beer discussion here starts with Abita. Purple Haze sounds more exciting than it tastes, but some of their less widespread releases make up for their more average flagships. If you’re looking for an intriguing up-and coming outfit to keep an eye on, Parish Brewing Co. merits your attention.

    26. Oklahoma

    Truth be told, a few years ago Oklahoma wouldn’t have placed nearly this high, but the meteoric rise of Prairie Artisan Ales as one of those “holy crap have you tried this” breweries that people cover some serious distance to visit has really raised its profile.

    25. Alaska

    Hey, it’s cold there. Often. Which leaves plenty of time to stay inside and brew. And they do, routinely rating as one of the top states in terms of barrels of craft beer produced per capita. But enough boring stuff! Get your hands on excellent brews like Midnight Sun Berserker, Alaskan Barley Wine, and Anchorage Bitter Monk.

    24. Maryland

    So yeah, it’s a little odd that Maryland’s most prominent craft outfit (Flying Dog), is a Colorado transplant, but the fact remains that the vast majority of the brewery’s tasty beer comes out of the Old Line State these days. They’re far from the only game in town, however. Stillwater is doing some seriously impressive work, like a damn-near-perfect Gose collab with Westbrook. Of course, old habits die hard, so the state still consumes plenty of Natty Boh, too.

    23. Montana

    Big Sky Brewing might be the ambassador for Montana brewing — Moose Drool being an essential brown, and Ivan the Terrible being a badass of a Russian Imperial — but with rising stars like Flathead Lake and Bozeman Brewing pouring high-quality wares, Montana’s becoming formidable on the scene. Bozeman will one day be a destination for beer lovers, provided you can deal with the requisite bluegrass music that accompanies your drinking.

    22. Alabama

    Homebrewing, the essential root of all the damn beautiful stuff in this story, has been legal in Alabama for barely over a year. So that’s crazy. Before that, a noble band of beermen toiled under the banner Free The Hops for almost a decade to get the legal ABV limit for any brewery raised from 6%. But after all that, the boom’s finally on, with the number of breweries doubling basically every year. One of the big deals: Good People, which has really cool cans, and fills them with a splendid double IPA called Snake Handler that would’ve gotten them all very arrested three years ago.

    21. Utah

    Utah! Get me two! That’s what you used to have to say when you ordered a beer in Utah, because it was mad weak. But outfits like Uinta (13.2% Labyrinth Black Ale) and Epic (11%, damn raisin-y barley wine) are saying eff that, except without cursing, because it’s still Utah. Plus, the 3.2 beer legend isn’t even true — for one, it’s actually 3.2% by weight, which means it’s in fact a whopping 4% by volume, and, for two, you just have to avoid the gas station and hit the government-run package store for the real stuff. Or, like, be in another state.

    20. Texas

    The only state to declare its own separate national beer and the home to venerable Shiner, craft beer has truly been exploding in Texas in recent years. Well, that’s been happening basically everywhere, but it’s Texas, so the explosion FEELS bigger. The Sours and Saisons coming out of Jester King are no joke. Wordplay! But for serious, they’re legit. Houston’s Saint Arnold, one of the OG’s of the Texas craft scene, continually turns heads with its special releases. Deep Ellum has been steadily making waves in DFW. Whether or not you’re drinking a Lone Star, it’s a good time to be drinking in the Lone Star State.

    19. Delaware

    It feels a little crazy to put a state this high basically on the strength of a single brewery, but it feels less crazy when said brewery is Dogfish Head, which has thus far managed the tricky balancing act of becoming an absolute powerhouse while maintaining serious quality and a distinct lack of the “they’re too big now” cliche that beer snobs sometimes fall into. For a state with a lack of glitz and glamour that made for arguably the best joke in Wayne’s World, Dogfish Head gives them some cache and a top 20 ranking to boot.

    18. Indiana

    The NASCAR set might account for beer drankin’, but it’s hard to overlook the presence of Three Floyds, whose Dark Lord Imperial Stout, Zombie Dust, and Dreadnaught IPA represent some of the Midwest’s most beloved beers. Throw in Shoreline’s bourbon-barrel stout and Upland’s lambics, and you’ve got enough powerhouse brewing to make it impossible to ignore Indy.

    17. Florida

    When you live in Florida, you have to deal with all the other people who live in Florida, not to mention the people who visit. So it’s nice that the rest of the normal, beer-loving folk have some excellent options to calm their nerves. Rapp and 7venth Sun represent some intriguing rising stars, and Funky Buddha’s Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is rightfully an object of obsession. But the shining-est star of Florida’s beer scene is Tampa’s Cigar City, which can go beer-to-beer with anyone. Hunahpu’s is about as flawless a rendition of the “people will line up to get this” imperial stout as you’ll find anywhere.

    16. Minnesota

    The most famous beer-beard in Minneapolis belongs to the guy behind Dangerous Man Brewing, who, by all accounts, is a totally nice dude. And considering that he’s pledged in a Hill Farmstead-y way to simply running a primo tap room and never bottling or distributing a drop, he’s also the perfect one to cement the Minnesota brew movement — a quiet but supremely burly scene that most people outside the state don’t even know exists. Surly’s locally famed cans just made it to Chicago, but to drink many of the rest — Summit, 612Brew, Harriet, Lucid, and the next big thing, Fulton — you’ve gotta make a trip to the Twin Cities. Might be worth staying a few days.

    15. North Carolina

    North Carolina, raise up, do not spin your beer around like a helicopter ‘cause then it’ll explode everywhere, and that’d suck, since many of them are quite delicious. Foothills’ Jade IPA is fantastically drinkable (which might not be the exact way you’d describe its superb Bourbon Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout), while Fullsteam, Big Boss, Highland, and Mother Earth cover about as much territory as a drinker could hope. And they don’t, like, make the beer, but Sam’s Quik Shop in Durham is one of the coolest places to buy it in the country — don’t be fooled just because it looks like a gas station convenience store that’s about to get held up.

    14. Maine

    Last year, I spent a week in an extremely non-air-conditioned cabin in Belfast, Maine. I cooled off with Allagash Saison during the day, distracted myself from mosquitos via Shipyard XXXX IPA come night, and, in between, sipped Summer Session Ales from Peak Organic, so I could feel healthy or whatever. It basically all comes from Portland, a beer boomlet that challenges even its West Coast namesake thanks to dozens of full-scale operations and brewpubs that ensure all those lobster rolls are properly accompanied.

    13. Illinois

    It marked the end of a craft beer era in Illinois when Goose Island was bought out by the big boys, but it remains a local fixture, and all the whimpers about “selling out” seem to mysteriously vanish anytime they’re releasing a special Bourbon County Stout variant as everyone scrambles to get their hands on some. That’s not to say Goose was the only game in town (which felt like the case not all that long ago). Half Acre, Revolution, and Pipeworks are all expanding their reach at an impressive clip, and Chicago has gone from a bit of a behind-the-times beer town to quickly accelerating towards the front of the pack.

    12. Ohio

    Great Lakes. That’s all you need to know. Except not really, since you should also be very, very aware of IBU boundary-defiers Hoppin’ Frog, the newly dominating Rust Belt, Cinci’s Christian Moerlein, rapidly expanding Fat Head’s (they’re not just life-size wall stickers of NFL players and the Jonas Brothers anymore!), and barrel-aging fiends Thirsty Dog. Yes, much of Cleveland’s economy is based on LeBron James. But thanks to joints like Nano Brew and open fermentation hideaway Indigo Imp, it’s only a matter of time before beer catches up.

    11. Missouri

    Sure, the baseball stadium in St. Louis was named for beer before stadium naming rights really became a thing, but Missouri has plenty going for it beer-wise besides a certain iconic American brand calling it home. Boulevard is NOT made of broken dreams, but rather delicious beer, particularly their Belgian stuff. And right in Budweiser’s backyard you’ve got standout brews from the likes of Schlafly and Perennial. Have you had the latter’s Barrel-Aged Abraxas? No? You should do something about that.

    10. Massachusetts

    We may take them as a given today, but you can’t deny Sam Adams’ role in ushering in the era of SO MUCH GOOD BEER in America that even folks in Mississippi will be upset about their ranking because there are breweries everywhere (even if most of them don’t have the resources to make a crazy decadent and resource-intensive brew like Utopias). Of course, plenty of other standout breweries have followed in Sam Adams’ wake in the Bay State, from Harpoon and Night Shift, to Clown Shoes, Trillium, and Jack’s Abby.

    9. New York

    Brooklyn’s so huge you can drink it in Helsinki, Blue Point’s recent sale to Anheuser-Busch made them somehow feel even bigger than that, and Ommegang cross-brands delicious Game of Thrones stouts with Hound-like abandon. But New York brewing is still about the small-scale local guys who keep outdoing themselves, from upstate’s venerable Captain Lawrence, to recent scene-stealer Other Half, to Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the scraggly-bearded, Brooklyn-based, gypsy-brewing genius behind Evil Twin — praise his Even More Jesus, fear his Molotov Cocktail.

    8. Pennsylvania

    Tröegs, Stoudt’s, Yards, Victory, Voodoo, Sly Fox, Weyerbacher: all always fantastic. Iron City: one of the world’s most lovable crappy beers. Yuengling: maybe not what craft-heads crave, but it’s the country’s oldest brewery (wait, you haven’t had someone drinking Yuengling tell you that?!?), and the very stuff that splashed out of dance-floor Solo cups all night at my cousin’s wedding in a barn on a PA sheep farm. Part of William Penn’s ‘’Great Treaty” to secure his land involved giving up a barrel of beer; we all got plenty back in return.

    7. Wisconsin

    There was a time when Milwaukee made approximately every beer consumed by every man who came home from work with grease on his shirt. Today, those canned brands of yesteryear are dead, or sold off and made in, like, California. But the Brothers Leinenkugel are statewide icons, New Glarus’ Spotted Cow is the first beer referenced by cheeseheads everywhere (even though nobody can get it outside the state), the baseball team’s name is the damn Brewers, and there used to be an urban legend that Miller Park’s taps were fueled by a beer pipe that ran directly from the brewery. An urban legend we will perpetuate, right here. Miller Park’s taps are fueled by a beer pipe that runs directly from the brewery!

    6. Vermont

    I once went into a beer store in Burlington asking for Heady Topper, and they laughed and laughed and told me to come back really early on Monday morning, so I could maybe score some in the half-hour before it sold out. But The Alchemist’s cult cans are only part of the story in the state with the US’s most breweries per-capita. See/drink Harpoon, Fiddlehead, craft harbinger Magic Hat, Long Trail, Lawson’s Finest Liquids (check the maple bourbon barrel-aged Sticky), and most prominently, Hill Farmstead, which many consider the world’s most currently dialed-in beer-maker, despite its tired “barn brewery to slightly larger barn brewery” origin tale.

    5. Washington

    Washington has long been one of the most formidable beer states, growing the majority of the country’s hops and giving hipsters something to drink with Olympia and Rainier, until those breweries sold out like so many grunge bands. We kid, of course, because Washington’s home to more than 200 breweries, highlighted by greatness like Seattle’s Elysian and Pike, the organic pioneers of Olympia’s Fish, Stevenson’s powerhouse Homo Erectus-brewing Walking Man, and Tacoma’s Harmon. But Washington also achieves greatness with “micro” beers for the masses, brewers like Pyramid and Redhook that bottle inexpensive bombers that help convert the skeptics across the nation to craft beer via the allure of a lower price tag. That, of course, draws the ire of beer snobs… something that always happens when a local company finds tremendous success. Especially in Seattle. Because popularity is sooooooo lame. But lucky for them, there are enough breweries in the state to let them have a lesser-known go-to pint, and a quality one at that.

    4. Michigan

    The Great Lakes State may not be a prolific hops producer, or contain one brewery for every man, woman, and child (they do have about two for every 100,000 adults, according to the Brewers Association). But mittens were meant for holding cold brews, and Michigan happens to host some of the best damned breweries in the country.

    There’s a reason that the annual release of Bell’s Oberon is like a state holiday, and why its Two-Hearted is consistently ranked among the best IPAs in the world, even as many drinkers don’t realize it’s an IPA. Or why Larry Bell’s neighbors to the North, Grand Rapids’ Founders, has become one of the nation’s most respected brewers, so much so that Grand Rapids is now on the map as a destination beer city. Why, folks set up shop in the tiny lake town of Bellaire just to sip Short’s, or head South to Dexter for a look at how Jolly Pumpkin is made.

    Beer in Michigan is a way of life, an economic booster that’s helping Detroit pull out of the apocalypse and a soul cleanser up in the UP, where long winters are made better with a growler from Ore Dock. And if that’s not convincing enough, consider this: in Ann Arbor and East Lansing, when the chaos of a tailgate clears, you’ll see as many empty bottles of craft beer scattered about as you will tallboys with holes punched in the side. In Michigan, beer love starts early.

    3. Colorado

    Everywhere you look in Colorado — literally everywhere — there is beer. There is no escaping the beer. This is a good thing. Everyone with a beard brews beer, and everyone has a beard, which, by the law of syllogism or something, means literally everyone brews beer. And, damn, do they do it well.

    Oskar Blues started the craft can revolution, and if you haven’t had a GUBNA, change that. Avery has an entire run of bombers called the Dictator Series. New Belgium is distributing with the big boys thanks to an amber ale and a cruiser bike. Crooked Stave is souring things that man previously assumed un-sour-able. Great Divide has proven once and for all that the Yeti exists, and he will mess you up. And the whole state’s in on it — even the guy who just had a frozen chocolatini with dinner can rattle off 10 upstart breweries you won’t hear of for years. Beer is everywhere. Everywhere is beer.

    2. California

    Manifest Destiny gave us California, and it gave us back beer. Literally, the entire state makes the stuff, from Weed Alehouse & Bistro in a city called Weed (seriously) about 40 minutes from the Oregon border, all the way down to San Diego, which we’re gonna go ahead and deem the most dominating beer city in world history — thanks to Stone and Green Flash of course, but also Port, Coronado, Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, AleSmith (find their Wee Heavy), and the other 70+ operations brewing flawless beer with abandon.

    God, there’s just so much to talk about here. Without hoppy vanguard Sierra Nevada, 99% of the beers we’re lauding (and… this story!) probably wouldn’t exist. Lagunitas’ commitment to growing national distribution while maintaining quality is second to none. 21st Amendment has a Watermelon Wheat to lure the beer-scared in, plus a perfectly portioned canned Lower De Boom barley wine to finish them off. Anchor’s been making whatever the hell steam beer is for almost 120 years. Firestone Walker’s Double Jack is probably the most deceptive 9.5-percenter you’ll ever accidentally drink too much of. And then, of course, there’s Pliny. Pliny, Pliny, Pliny! Pliny. And no, it’s not overrated.

    1. Oregon

    California and Washington might have more brewers, but dammit, they’ve also got more people. More importantly, they don’t have the density of Oregon’s offerings. Or the quality. Oregon’s long been at the forefront of the craft industry, with brewers like Widmer Brothers, Rogue, Full Sail, and Deschutes leading the national charge as gateway beers for people who want something more out of their pints. But they’re just the OGs of what might be the epicenter of the craft beer movement.

    Much ballyhoo has been made of the sheer number of breweries in the Portland metro area, which tops out at more than 70 and counting… but this isn’t a case of quantity over quality. It’s a case of quantity meeting quality head on. Portland houses an insurmountable number of great breweries — not good, pretty good, or wonderful, but effin’ great breweries — that are changing the landscape of modern brewing. Hair of the Dog, Breakside, Cascade, Upright, Ecliptic, the Commons, Burnside, Lompoc… it just keeps going. Even the “crappy” breweries by Portland standards would bury most of their peers based on pure deliciousness.

    But that’s just one city in a state full of amazing brewers dotting the state, from the coastal Pelican to the high desert’s 10 Barrel, mid-state’s Ninkasi, Southern Oregon’s uncleverly named Southern Oregon Brewing, Mt. Hood’s Double Mountain… basically, if you enter a city or town in Oregon without a solid brewery, you’ve probably crossed into Washington or Idaho. Or maybe the capital of Salem… which sucks. But you’ll still find a great brewpub serving some of the best beer in America, made in Oregon, with Oregon hops, by a bearded Oregonian who’s probably in a band that sucks… that’s the Oregon way. Oregon beer, more than any, has helped introduce the masses to the potential of drinking great brews, and, with new breweries seemingly opening on a weekly basis, it’s the best damn place to be a beer lover in the US.

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    Default Re: Beer!

    Having a new limited release brew tonight. This one is from Prairie Artisan Ales of Oklahoma, Cherry Funk.



    Poured a grapefruit juice, opaque pink into a snifter with a moderate light pink head. A nice funky sour cherry aroma. Taste is tart cherries, a little apple, as well as some oak. Also a bit boozy in flavor even though this is only 7.5%. Body is on the thin side, but not overly, and dry. Overall, very well done. Not overly sour for those who might not care for heavy sourness but would like to try a sour beer.

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    Alright, the Richard Simmons cherry head guy has got me a little freaked out.

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    Default Re: Beer!


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    Default Re: Beer!

    Just opened up one I grabbed on Friday. This is a fairly new beer on the market from Coronado Brewing Company. It's a pumpkin beer called Punk'In Drublic.

    With such a clever name like that, how can you resist! It's so new there are, as of right now, only 2 other reviews on its RateBeer page!



    Official description:
    Here in the land of eternal sunshine, it can be difficult to differentiate between seasons. Palm tree fronds don’t change color and fall to the sand, though the mercury does drop a few degrees, it’s still as paradisaical as Southern California lore would have you believe. So, from now on, count on this imperial pumpkin ale heralding in the fall season. Brewed with brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a heaping helping of would be jack-o-lanterns, Punk’In Drublic delivers autumn’s trademark flavors along with a hint of West Coast character, whether enjoyed in a pumpkin patch or on the beach.
    Poured a translucent, dark brown-amber into a Shaker glass with a moderate white head that left a slight topping. Smells of pumpkin spice and brown sugar. A nice flavor of pumpkin, some nutmeg and, fairly sweet. Maybe even bordering on too sweet! Not as flavorful as Pumking but very well done! The body is slightly thick and syrupy. No surprise given the sweetness of it.

    I have to say, I may have to put this as a tie with Dogfish's Punkin' at #2 on my pumpkin beer list. Definitely one of the better pumpkin beers I've had!

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    Default Re: Beer!

    Trying another one I just picked up the other day.

    This one is another beer from Clown Shoes, Pecan Pie Porter.



    Here's what Clown Shoes says about it:
    Pecans suck. That’s what I thought as a kid. Now I love them.So much so that I decided to create a beer in homage to the pecan as it find the perfect home: pecan pie. Our Pecan Pie Porter balances sweet and nutty porter flavors with the subtle addition of all natural and organic pecan concentrate and butter pecan extract. The result is mouth watering goodness.
    Poured a deep brown, practically black into an English Pint with a decently thick dark tan head. This smells heavily of pecans, cocoa, and sugar. Taste is nutty and sweet with a little coffee and cocoa. A slight alcohol warming. This beer is related to the Genghis Pecan from Clown Shoes I wrote about earlier but is a different recipe. In fact this one is aged in bourbon barrels which greatly adds to the flavor and, I think, makes it better. A very good beer for the cooler Fall months!

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    Default Re: Beer!

    Quote Originally Posted by MinutemanCO View Post
    Alright, the Richard Simmons cherry head guy has got me a little freaked out.
    hahahahahaha
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Beer!

    I just can't remember if I posted this before... lol

    BEER IMPROVES MEMORY: STUDY

    Posted on October 1, 2014




    KSTW: “Beer is better for the brain than you might believe. A new study finds the frothy beverage can improve memory. A researcher at Oregon State Universtity points to a compound found in hops, one of the main ingredients in beer, improved cognitive function in a group of mice.”




    It was that compound, xanthohumol, that improved their ability to learn mazes and run through them more efficiently.

    .


    KSTW- Study: Main Ingredient Found In Beer Can Help Improve Memory


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    Default Re: Beer!

    Decided to try a rather unconventional beer tonight that I had picked up in trade from the gentleman in Michigan that got me my Bell's Mars.

    It's unconventional because not only does it come in a can (as seems to be a trend gaining traction in the craft beer scene) but it is brewed with the intent to be consumed directly from the can.

    This is Alchemist Heady Topper.



    Well, I don't really know what color this is because it's in a can. What I could see on the lip looked to be a gold-ish color. On popping open the can I was greeted with a strong yet pleasant citrus aroma, maybe a little malt in there too. Taste is very smooth and well balanced. There's a bitter bite up front but it fades quickly. The bitterness is followed up with sweet malt. This is 120 IBU but it is far from undrinkable due to bitterness. A very well executed DIPA. Definitely recommend giving this one a try, especially if you're a IPA/DIPA fan.

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