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March Madness Beer Championship Round 1 Results

unlv si pic 230x300 March Madness Beer Championship Round 1 ResultsRound 2 March Madness Matchups: 32 Beers Advance in the Bracket

By Matt Goldstein, Tim Rodgers, Pat Smith, Don Corino & Mike Magowan

In our first annual March Madness Beer Championship, the first round results are in. 32 Beers have advanced to round 2 and 32 beers were sent home with their bags packing. All styles of Ales, Lagers, Crafts, IPA’s, Stouts, Belgians and Pilsners are banging it out one taste test at a time. The round 2 matchups pit some big dogs against each other in an all out March Madness Bracket beer battle royal. Click the link below to see if your favorite beer made it through to the next round! Stay tuned for round 2 results to see out Sweet 16.

 

March Madness Round 1 Bracket Results & Round 2 Bracket Matchups.

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Making My Case: The Top 30 Beers in the World

blue point brewing logo 300x166 Making My Case: The Top 30 Beers in the WorldCourtesy of Billy’s Beer Blog

By Billy Zavorskas

This Saturday marks the second anniversary of Billy’s Beer Blog. To mark the occasion, I’ve decided to do an updated version of my Ultimate Case.  While I’m keeping two of my three rules from a year ago – no retired beers and a limit of one beer per brewery – I’m dropping the ban on extreme beers of 20% or more. I’m also expanding my Ultimate Case from 24 beers to 30, thus eliminating the need for an Honorable Mention 6-Pack.

And so, without further adieu, is my Ultimate Case The Sequel. It’s been a fun filled and exhaustive journey to put together a list of 30 beers from the countless number of brews that I have enjoyed. I hope that you enjoy reading this post as much as I have enjoyed preparing it.

alesmith brewing Making My Case: The Top 30 Beers in the WorldAleSmith Speedway Stout; AleSmith Brewing Co.; San Diego, CA; Imperial Stout; ABV: 12.0; This DIPA is nothing less than superlative. It’s a full-bodied beer that pours a jet black color, with big notes of coffee in the nose and taste. The latter is balanced by milk chocolate, dark fruit, and roasted malt with a hint of caramel at the finish. Speedway is quite smooth from start to finish, and amazingly the alcohol content of 12% isn’t that noticeable. This stout will definitely send your taste buds racing!

Bell’s HopSlam Ale; Bell’s Brewery, Inc.; Kalamazoo, MI; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 10.0. An absolute hop bomb! The uber hoppy presence is well balanced by sweet malt and a taste of honey. Truly one of the best IPAs out there.

Blue Point Old Howling Bastard; Blue Point Brewing Co.; Patchogue, NY; Barley Wine; ABV: 10.0. This superb barley wine is amber in color and well balanced. Big notes of sweet caramel are complimented by bready malt, citrusy fruit, and piny hops. Old Howling Bastard goes down smoothly, and the 10% alcohol content is well hidden. In many ways, it reminds me of a classic West Coast barley wine.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace; Brooklyn Brewery; Brooklyn, NY; Saison / Farmhouse Ale; ABV: 7.6. A superb saison from the acclaimed brewery. Golden in color, with the Japanese Sorachi hops balanced by notes of citrusy fruit, sweet malt, and peppery spices. Refreshing from start to finish.

Captain Lawrence Cuvee De Castleton; Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.; Pleasantville, NY; American Wild Ale; ABV: 8.0. Pours a golden orange color, with considerable notes of Brettanomyces yeast and Muscat grapes complimented by malted barley. Cuvee De Castleton has a buttery Chardonnay like character from being aged in French oak barrels.

CigarCityBrewing 300x201 Making My Case: The Top 30 Beers in the WorldCigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Brandy Barrel Aged; Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; Russian Imperial Stout; ABV: 11.5. Created from their Marshall Zhukov’s Imperial Stout, it’s jet black in color, with big notes of expresso and dark chocolate balanced by roasted malt, vanilla beans, and peppery spices. There’s a nice brandy backbone from the barrel aging. One of the best imperial stouts on the planet.

Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge; Brouwerij Bockor N.V.; Bellegem-Kortrijk, Belgium; Flanders Red Ale; ABV: 9.0. A truly outstanding Belgium sour ale, and one of my new favorites. If ever there was a 9% ABV beer that could be considered a session beer, then this is the closest thing to it! A beautiful crimson color with an array of tart cherries in both the nose and taste. The latter is complimented by a nice oaky finish.

deschutes brewing Making My Case: The Top 30 Beers in the WorldDeschutes Mirror Mirror Barleywine Vintage 2009; Deschutes Brewery; Bend, OR; Barley Wine; ABV: 11.0. Quite simply an outstanding barley wine and part of Deschutes Reserve Series. Aged in oak barrels, Mirror Mirror is actually a doubled up version of their Mirror Pond Pale Ale. It pours a dark amber color and there’s notes of sweet caramel and vanilla in the nose. There’s a lot going on in the taste, as the sweet caramel and vanilla are complimented by dark fruit and Cascade hops, with a bourbon like backbone from the oak barrels. Mirror Mirror has a warming, almost candy like feel to it as well, and goes down quite smoothly for a beer with an 11% alcohol content.

Dogfish Bitches Brew; Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Milton, DE; Russian Imperial Stout; ABV: 9.0. Named to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis’ jazz fusion album Bitches Brew. It’s as smooth as the late jazz legend, and pours a jet black color. There’s notes of honey and dark chocolate complimented by dark fruit, roasted malt, and gesho root with a hint of smokiness at the finish. While I liked it on tap, I found that drinking Bitches Brew from the bottle, slightly chilled, captured the true essence of this stout.

flying dog raging bitch belgian style ipa 300x175 Making My Case: The Top 30 Beers in the WorldFlying Dog Raging Bitch; Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD; Belgian India Pale Ale; ABV: 8.3. Another excellent ale from the former Colorado, and now Maryland based, brewery. As mentioned in previous posts, Belgian IPAs have become a trend in the last year or two, and Raging Bitch takes its place among the better ones. It pours a light amber color, with notes of citrusy fruit such as bananas and grapefruit in the nose and taste. The latter is complimented by honey, sweet malt, and piny hops with a slight bitterness at the finish. Raging Bitch is as smooth as it is complex, so the 8.3% alcohol content isn’t very noticeable.

Founders Breakfast Stout; Founders Brewing Co.; Grand Rapids, MI; Imperial Stout; ABV: 8.3. FBS pours a deep chocolate color, with humongous notes of chocolate and expresso coffee balanced by oatmeal and sweet malt. If you’re a fan of all things chocolate and/or java, this is the stout for you. The alcohol presence is definitely noticeable, so FBS won’t sneak up on you. It’s certainly a beer to be savored.

Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2009; Fuller Smith & Turner PLC; London, England (UK); Old Ale; ABV: 8.5. A classic English old ale, brewed annually in limited batches. Amber in color, Vintage Ale 2009 has well balanced notes of caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar, and spicy hops with a brandy like feel in the backbone. This ale is full-bodied, yet silky smooth from start to finish.

Goose Island Juliet; Goose Island Beer Co.; Chicago, IL; American Wild Ale; ABV: 6.7. Truly deserves its world class ranking. Aged in cabernet barrels with blackberries, Juliet is ruby in color and hits you right off the bat with a big vinegar nose. The rosé wine like quality is prevalent throughout this ale, with the blackberry notes complimented by sour cherries and sweet caramel malt with a dry woody finish. The silky smooth Juliet pays homage to the classic Belgian sour ales, and “parting is such sweet sorrow” once the last sip has been taken.

green flash le freak Making My Case: The Top 30 Beers in the WorldGreen Flash Le Freak; Green Flash Brewing Co.; Vista, CA; Belgian India Pale Ale; ABV: 9.2. A blend of the brewery’s excellent Trippel and Imperial IPA into a silky smooth full-bodied ale. The color is burnt orange, and the nose is very floral with hints of citrusy fruit and yeast. The taste has a definite presence of banana, as well as other citrusy fruit, complimented by honey, spices, and big piny hops with a slightly bitter finish.

Hair of the Dog Adam; Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.; Portland, OR; Old Ale; ABV: 10.0. Brewed in the historic Adambier style of Germany, Adam is a superb full-bodied old ale. The first beer brewed by Hair of the Dog, it’s jet black in color and has rich notes of chocolate and tart fruit in the nose and taste, with the latter complimented by caramel malt, spices, and light hops, with a woody feeling in the backbone. Adam is velvety smooth, but also quite robust, so the 10% ABV isn’t going to sneak up on you.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40; Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.; Alva Clackmannanshire, Scotland (UK); Old Ale; ABV: 8.0. Yet another outstanding offering from the brewery’s Special Reserve series. Ola Dubh means “Black Oil” and this old ale, aged in Highland Park 40 Year whiskey casks, is based on Harviestoun Old Engine Oil. Jet black in color, 40 has big Scotch whiskey notes in the nose and initial taste, complimented by hints of dark chocolate and sweet malt with a vanilla oakiness at the finish. An extremely well balanced beer, 40 is as rich and smooth as it is complex, and I believe that it’s the best offering in the series.

Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA; Ninkasi Brewing Co.; Eugene, OR; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 8.8. Like its namesake, this ale really packs a punch! Tricerahops pours a rich amber color, and there’s big notes of hops in the nose. The full-bodied taste is an array of piny and citrusy hops, complimented by sweet caramel malt and honey with a nice dry finish. Tricerahops is smooth from start to finish, and the alcohol content of nearly 9% is well hidden.

Russian River Consecration; Russian River Brewing Co.; Santa Rosa, CA; American Wild Ale; ABV: 10.0. One sip of this superb ale was enough to make me believe brother! Consecration is aged in American Oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. The wine presence comes across quite clearly in the initial taste, complimented by an array of notes such as Brettanomyces yeast, currants, sweet malt, and tart fruit with a crisp clean finish. It more than holds its own with the classic Belgian farmhouse ales, and the alcohol content of 10% isn’t that noticeable. Needless to say, Consecration is a wonderfully complex and eclectic ale.

Samuel Adams Utopias (2009); Boston Beer Company; Boston, MA; American Strong Ale; ABV: 27.0. The 2009 edition is definitely something special. Caramel in color with big notes of sweet caramel, vanilla spices, and an oaky cognac like backbone. Utopias has a nice candy like feel to it and is very warming.

aventinus bottle glass 167x300 Making My Case: The Top 30 Beers in the WorldSchneider Aventinus; Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn; Kelheim, Germany; Weizenbock; ABV: 8.2. A robust yet smooth, full-bodied bock that truly deserves its reputation as one of the world’s best beers. Named after Johannes Aventinus, a noted Bavarian historian and writer from the late Middle Ages, it pours a dark ruby brown color and there are notes of sweet malt and spices in the nose. The sweet malt and spices jump out in the taste as well, complimented by hints of banana, dark chocolate, vanilla, and wheat with light floral hops at the finish. There’s a lot going on in Aventinus, and the sweet candy backbone makes it a truly enjoyable bock.

Sierra Nevada Grand Cru; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Chico, CA; American Strong Ale; ABV: 9.2. Brewed as part of Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary Series, Grand Cru is a blend of their Oak Aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale, and Pale Ale. Amber in color with notes of citrus and piny hops complimented by caramel malt with a nice bourbon kick from the barrel aging.

Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly; Southern Tier Brewing Co.; Lakewood, NY; Imperial India Pale Ale; ABV: 11.0). As great as the original Unearthly is, this DIPA takes it to the next level. It pours a deep amber color and the nose has big notes of piny hops and oakiness. Both are reflected in the taste as well, balanced by sweet caramel and a woody bourbon backbone. Oak Aged Unearthly is silky smooth for an beer of its potency, and you’ll want to savor it slowly to truly appreciate this ale.

St. Bernardus Abt 12; Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV; Watou, Belgium; Quadrupel; ABV: 10.5. A wonderfully complex balance of spices, ripe fruit, & sweet malt. The definitive gold standard of Belgium quads, and one of the world’s best beers period.

St. Feuillien Cuvée de Noël; Brasserie St. Feuillien; Le Roeulx, Belgium; Belgian Strong Dark Ale; ABV: 9.0. Mahogany in color, Cuvée de Noël has rich notes of caramel and roasted malt balanced by an array of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. This velvety winter ale has a nutty feel to it, and is quite spicy as well.

Terrapin Side Project #9 The Dark Side ; Terrapin Beer Co.; Athens, GA; Belgium Style Imperial Stout; ABV: 8.5. An exceptional imperial stout. It pours a jet black color and has notes of chocolate and roasted malt balanced by dark fruit, molasses, and a spicy smokiness at the finish. The Dark Side is fermented with Trappist ale yeast, which actually gives it the feeling of a Belgian strong ale. The taste is as rich as it is smooth, and the 8.5% alcohol content is well concealed.

The Bruery Coton; The Bruery; Placentia, CA; Old Ale; ABV: 14.5. As smooth as it is complex, Coton takes its place alongside among the world’s best old ales. This chocolate colored ale has notes of dark fruit such as cherries and raisins complimented by caramel, vanilla spices, and a bourbon feel in the backbone. Coton reminds me of the now retired DuClaw Repent, one of my favorite all-time Belgiums, in that the alcohol content isn’t too noticeable for a beer in the 14-15% range. It’s easy to order a second pint of this deliciously eclectic ale.

Town Hall Masala Mama IPA; Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery; Minneapolis, MN; India Pale Ale; ABV: 5.9. This world class IPA pours a deep mahogany color, with big notes of Cascade hops in the nose and taste. The latter is complimented by citrusy fruit and toffee, with the sweet malt backbone apparent at the end. This IPA is silky smooth from start to finish, and with an alcohol content of just under 6%, is quite easy to drink. Masala Mama would make an excellent session beer for hop-heads, and non hop-heads, alike.

Traquair 2020; Traquair House Brewery Lld; Peeblesshire, Scotland (UK); Barley Wine; ABV: 10.0. This sublime barley wine was brewed in a limited release of 9600 bottles to honor the first decade of the 21st century, and to be consumed before the end of the second decade. This ale is nothing short of outstanding, and takes its place among my favorite all-time barley wines. Deep chestnut in color, 2020 has pronounced notes of sweet caramel and dark fruit in the nose and initial taste, followed by hints of brown sugar, honey, and vanilla spices with a smooth creamy finish. 2020 is a very well balanced beer, and the alcohol content of 10% is extremely well hidden.

Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne (Brouwerij Verhaeghe; Vichte, Belgium; Flanders Red Ale; ABV: 6.2). This may very well be the best sour ale I have ever had. Named for medieval duchess Mary of Burgundy, it pours a deep chestnut brown color with notes of tart fruit, notably cherries, and dark malt. Since this ale is aged in oak conditioned casks, Duchesse has a red wine like feeling to it. The array of sweet and sour flavors are perfectly balanced throughout this ale, and it’s velvety smooth from start to finish.

Westvleteren 12; Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus; Westvleteren, Belgium; Quadrupel; ABV: 10.2. This is the ale that Beer Advocate, BeerPal, Rate Beer, and many others consider The World’s Best Beer. In addition to ranking at or near the top of most beer lists, Westvleteren 12 is also one of the rarest beers in the world and not that easy to find. This Belgian quad is quite possibly the most complex beer that I have ever had. Westvleteren 12 pours a rich chestnut color, and there are light notes of caramel and dark fruit in the nose. The flavors are a delicious array of caramel malt, dark fruit, and spices with a hint of sweet fruit in the very smooth finish. Everything about this beer is in perfect balance, and there’s a nice warming sensation with each sip. Westvleteren 12, in fact, actually gets better as it’s allowed to sit and be savored.

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Ice Fishing: The Flying Fish Grand Cru Winter Reserve

flying fish grand cru logo pic Ice Fishing: The Flying Fish Grand Cru Winter ReserveCourtesy of Billy’s Beer Blog

By Billy Zavorskas

While we’ve had beautiful weather in Florida for the last month or so, and Spring is at least making a cameo in the Northeast, much of the country is still mired in ice and snow. For those of you still dealing with Old Man Winter, I’d like to suggest a winter warmer.

Flying Fish Grand Cru Winter Reserve (Flying Fish Brewing Co.; Cherry Hill, NJ; Belgian Strong Pale Ale; ABV: 7.2) is a nice seasonal winter beer. Golden in color, it’s fermented at a high temperature to give it a fruity feeling, although the ale actually contains no fruit. The fruity undercurrent is complimented by notes of breaded malt, honey, and spicy hops with with a crisp clean finish.

I recommend Grand Cru Winter Reserve hook, line, and sinker.

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The March Madness Beer Championship Tournament Bracket!

march madness 2011 The March Madness Beer Championship Tournament Bracket!Click the Link Below to Download Your 2011 March Madness Tournament Bracket Now…

By Team Goldmine

Introducing the inaugural Whiskey Goldmine March Madness Beer Tournament Bracket Championship!  64 of the world’s best beers have been chosen and will go head to head in our March Madness Bracket Style tournament.  It’s win or go home in one of the greatest all style all flavor taste tests ever created.  In order to advance, the beers will have to win multiple taste tests in each round, sometimes blind and double blind taste tests.  From the first two rounds, to the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, the Final Four and to the Championship Game, the March Madness Tournament winner will be declared the 2011 Beer of Champion!  Download your 2011 Tournament Bracket now! 

 Click the link below to view the bracket. (Don’t be afraid to zoom in.)

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2011 March Madness Beer Championship Tournament Bracket.

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The 2011 March Madness Championship Beer Rankings!

March Madness Beer Championship Update

Introducing Our 64 Beer March Madness Tournament!

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The Top 10 Beers at the Beats, Brews & BBQ Beerfest: Hoppin Frog Borris the Crusher, Weyerbacher Heresy, Founders Dirty Bastard, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and more…

brews beers beats bbq beer circle The Top 10 Beers at the Beats, Brews & BBQ Beerfest: Hoppin Frog Borris the Crusher, Weyerbacher Heresy, Founders Dirty Bastard, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and more…Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Borris Oatmeal Imperial Stout the Show!

By Matt Goldstein & Kevin Hussey 

The 2011 Beats, Brews & BBQ beer fest at the World Café Live in Philadelphia had over 35 brewers with more than 100 beers and tickets sold out months before the beer fest opened its doors.  With more than 100 beers trying to stake their claim at the 2011 beerfest, our panel of tasters provides you with the top 10 craft beers that crushed the competition.  Speaking of crushed, Hoppin Frogs Borris the Crusher stole the show!    

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Hoppin Frog BORIS oak aged The Top 10 Beers at the Beats, Brews & BBQ Beerfest: Hoppin Frog Borris the Crusher, Weyerbacher Heresy, Founders Dirty Bastard, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and more…1. Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Borris Oatmeal Imperial Stout: 

Made from the 2008 Gold Medalist at the GABF, Borris the Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout, the barrel aged version is a masterpiece in cask matured stouts.  Full bodied, robust, roasted and smoky, with notes of oak and vanilla, the Barrel Aged Borris is complex and full of character.  9.4% ABV, 60 IBU.  Hoppin Frog Brewing.  Akron, Ohio.

     

2. Weyerbacher Heresy Imperial Stout:

The Heresy is an old heathen oak aged imperial stout.  Aged in bourbon oak barrels with a roasted flavor, the Heresy has notes of bourbon, oak, corn, vanilla, and coffee.  8.5% ABV, Weyerbacher Brewing.  Easton, PA.   

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founders dirty bastard The Top 10 Beers at the Beats, Brews & BBQ Beerfest: Hoppin Frog Borris the Crusher, Weyerbacher Heresy, Founders Dirty Bastard, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and more…3. Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale:

The Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, also known as an old ale, is brewed with 7 different types of malts.  Ruby Red in color, with strong notes of hops, hints of smoke and peat, the Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale is a classic.  8.5% ABV, Founders Brewing Co.  Michigan.   

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4. Victory Old Horizontal Barley Wine:

The Victory Barley Wine is rich in hops with a sweet flavor that balances very well.  With imported 2 row hops malts and American whole flower hops, the Old Horizontal is perfectly balanced.  10.5% ABV.  Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA.

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5. Six Points Sehr Crisp Pilsner

With all the IPA’s and Imperial Stouts at every beer fest, the Six Point Sehr Crisp Pilsner was a refreshing session beer and strongly lived up to the Pilsner style.  According to Beer Advocate, the Sehr Crisp Pilsner is a cross between a German Pilsner and a Bohemian Pilsner and blended with German hops.  5.4% ABV.  Six Point Brewing Company.  Brooklyn, NY. 

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bear republic hop rod rye 300x199 The Top 10 Beers at the Beats, Brews & BBQ Beerfest: Hoppin Frog Borris the Crusher, Weyerbacher Heresy, Founders Dirty Bastard, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and more…6.  Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye:

The Hop Rod Rye has been a staple of Bear Republic for years and years, winning three separate gold medals in craft beer competitions.  The Racer 5 and Rocket Red are already legendary Bear Republic Brews, but the Hop Rod Rye is just as good.  The Hop Rod Rye is an IPA with a heavy rye malt base, but also a spicy kick and bitterness that add a beautiful complexity to the hops.  8.0% ABV, 80 IBUs.  Bear Republic Brewing Co. Healdsburg, CA.    

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7.  Yards Chocolate Love Stout:

The Yards Chocolate Love Stout is a sweet and sultry full bodied chocolate stout with a beautiful roasted malt flavor.  The Chocolate Love is brewed with oysters in a kettle.  Oysters?  WTF!  5.5% ABV.  Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, PA. 

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8.  Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Dorris the Destoyer Double Oatmeal Imperial Stout: 

Some of our tasters at the beer fest thought the Dorris Destroyer might have been better than Barrel Aged Borris and for good reason.  This Double Imperial Oatmeal Stout is similar to the Borris but a little more tangy.  Dry hopped and wort hopped, Dorris the Destroyer will smack you right in your mouth.  10.5% ABV, 70 IBUs.   Hoppin Frog Brewing Co.  Akron, Ohio.

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LEFT HAND FADE TO BLACK1 The Top 10 Beers at the Beats, Brews & BBQ Beerfest: Hoppin Frog Borris the Crusher, Weyerbacher Heresy, Founders Dirty Bastard, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye and more…9.  Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 2 Baltic Porter:

The Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 2 is a flat lout smoke monster.  Made with 2-Row malts, Smoked Munich (smoked with Hackberry) malts, Malted Rye, Cara Aroma, Chocolate, Carafa, Special II, Carafa III and Magnum and Northern Brewer hops, the medium to full bodied porter stood out from all other porters at the beer fest. 

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10.  Dogfish Head Red & White Belgian Style Wit Ale:

The Red & White Belgian Style Wit Ale is an easy drinking Belgian ale “brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice.”  WOW!  Dogfish Head will try anything.  The Red & White Ale is then aged in Oak tanks.  An Oak tank?  That’s first we’ve heard of that.  It certainly sounds better than being aged in a metal vat, but can’t possibly provide the character of an oak barrel.  Either way, the Red & White is a fabulous Belgian Wit.  10.0% ABV, 35 IBU.  Dogfish Head Brewing.  Rehobeth Beach, DE. 

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Beer of the Week: Yards Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale

YARDS new sign Beer of the Week: Yards Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern AleBy Matt Goldstein 

Originally Published October 8th, 2010

The Yard’s brewery has been a staple of the Philadelphia craft beer scene since 1994.  Their Philadelphia Pale Ale has had national notoriety for years but the Yard’s brewery keeps coming up with beer after beer.  We’re a huge fan of the Yard’s Brawler Pugilistic Style Ale.  The Brawler is an English style session ale with a lot of malt.  If you know the whiskey goldmine well, you know we love boxing almost as much as beer, so the next big fight, you can bet that we’ll have some Brawler on hand.  But today, we’re here to introduce beer lovers to the big dog on the block, the Yard’s Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale.

The Yards Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale is sweet, tangy and bitter with a lot of flavor.  The Tavern Ale is said to be based on an original recipe of Thomas Jefferson, brewed with ingredients found on Jefferson’s Monticello Virginia estate.  There is a lot of yeast sediment in this beer but it brings a beautiful thick golden orange color.  The sediment also gives the flavor a good bite and dry aftertaste.  This is a classic ale, and one of the best we’ve ever had.    

thomas jefferson 130x300 Beer of the Week: Yards Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern AleThomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale, 8% ABV, Yard’s Brewery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Featured Beer of the Week: Troeg’s Pale Ale

troegs craft beer logo 300x296 Featured Beer of the Week: Troegs Pale AleTRÖEGS: An aura of Complete Enjoyment and Contentment

By Tim Rodgers

Founded by brother team Chris and John Trogner in 1997, the Pennsylvania based Troeg’s Brewing company start is like many craft brewing companies throughout the United States today.  Tired of the rat race compounded with the love of beer, the Trogner brothers started the crafting art in Mechanicsburg PA.

 According the brewery itself, the definition of TRÖEGS (tr?gs) *v-tröeged, -tröeg’in is…  The act of tröeg’in, ie “I tröeged it” or {slang} “that boy is tröeg’in” -adj.  An aura of complete enjoyment and contentment, ie “My you look Tröegy this morning” -n. a new tradition of Pennsylvania specialty ales {from the brewers of Tröegs}, ie “I’ll have a Tröegs!”

Today, the brewery produces nine different beers including Hopback Amber Ale, Troegenator Doublebock, Rugged Trail Ale, Tröegs Pale Ale, Nugget Nectar (seasonal) Dead Reckoning Porter (seasonal), Sunshine Pils (seasonal), The Mad Elf (seasonal), and distributes its product in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Massachusetts and Virginia.

troegs pale ale beer pic Featured Beer of the Week: Troegs Pale AleAs many of you may be aware, the East Coast and especially the Northeast have been rocked by brutal winter weather.  Some say that Eskimos (or Inuits for the overly sensitive politically correct) have over 20 different words to describe snow and we’ve been hit with all of them in recent weeks.  Being “cooped-up” this January, I felt compelled to drown my cabin fever in some Troeg’s Pale Ale.

 It poured a nice gold to amber color in my pint glass.  It settled to a medium to small head that rapidly “thinned” out as the glass became full.  It had a nice floral-hoppy aroma as I put the pint to my nose.  As I drank the beer, it had a nice hoppy character but with distinct spice notes.  But what stood this pale ale apart from most others is the dry bitter malty finish.  Overall, the beer seemed very fresh with bold hop, bitter and malt flavors for a pale ale.  Other than the weakness in the head, I believe this beer makes up for it in bold flavor.

 Pick up some of this immediately!

Cheers!

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The Sourthern Tier Pale Ale Variety Pack Tail Gate Extravaganza: Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale, 422 Pale Wheat Ale, IPA and Pale Ale

Southern Tier Pale Ale1 300x266 The Sourthern Tier Pale Ale Variety Pack Tail Gate Extravaganza: Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale, 422 Pale Wheat Ale, IPA and Pale AlePack of Pale Ale’s: One of the Top Craft Beer Variety Pack’s on the Market

By Tim Rodgers with Matt Goldstein 

Southern Tier Brewery out of Lakewood, New York was founded in 2002 by Phineas DeMink and Allen (“Skip”) Yahn.  Originally envisioned as a regional craft brewery, Southern Tier’s fine craft brews can be now enjoyed in much of the United States including other parts of the world. What could have been conceptually and now in hindsight, was the last tailgate of the year in the city of brotherly love, I needed a beer that I knew wasn’t going to disappoint.  Based on experience and reputation, scoring a Southern Tier “Pack of Pale Ale’s” would ensure that we couldn’t be let down by the beer.  It was very possible however, that it would be my favorite NFL franchise doing the letting down on Wild Card Weekend.

southern tier ipa india pale ale 300x263 The Sourthern Tier Pale Ale Variety Pack Tail Gate Extravaganza: Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale, 422 Pale Wheat Ale, IPA and Pale AleAs soon as WhiskeyGoldmine founder Matt Goldstein and I arrived at an already lively tailgate party we wasted no time by diving right into the Southern Tier I.P.A.  Unlike many I.P.A.’s and especially those from the west coast, the Southern Tier IPA was more balanced and encompassed more malt flavors.  Slightly sweet but again was balanced with a nice appropriate bitterness in the aftertaste.  7.3% abv • 11.4ºL •  These went well with the buffalo wings that were hot off of the grill as soon as we got there.

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The Southern Tier Pale Ale

Next, we rolled up our sleeves and labored right onto the next beer.  The Pale Ale.  The Pale Ale like the IPA was slightly sweet with notes of grapefruit. I give Southern Tier points for a creative variety that stands out.  I would recommend these beers for those looking for more flavor out of their beer, but don’t want to get blown away by bitterness, hops, or malts.  The Pale Ale is about 6.1% abv.  We paired this with some Philly style roast pork sandwiches with extra sharp provolone!  Nice!  You haven’t had a real roast pork sandwich until you came to Philly.  FACT!  We recommend Tony Luke’s in South Philly or the New Valley Tavern in Plymouth Meeting PA. 

southern tier  phin and matts extraordinary ale 298x300 The Sourthern Tier Pale Ale Variety Pack Tail Gate Extravaganza: Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale, 422 Pale Wheat Ale, IPA and Pale AlePhin & Matt’s Extraordinary Ale

The best part of that late Sunday afternoon was Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Pale Ale.  It is well represented by its name!  What was extraordinary was how well the malts and hops complimented each other and balanced to produce a perfect beer.  You can taste the quality of the ingredients and the final product is a true reflection of that.  5.7% abv • 7.3ºL.  We paired these with some bratwurst and sauerkraut and I think it went well for us.  I wonder if Michael Vick’s Pre-game meal was as good as ours. 

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Southern Tier 422 Pale Wheat Ale

Last in the infamous “Pack of Pale Ale’s” was the 422 Pale Wheat Ale.  This unfiltered wheat ale gets its name from “earth day” and is packaged with recyclable material.  (Earth Day?  What a bunch of liberal crap!  Who needs the earth.)  While all of that environmental stuff is commendable, my partner in crime Matt is more into that hippy crap than I am.  How’s the beer?  5.8% abv • 5.0ºL.  I thought it held up against the other ales.  It is a testament to the European wheat styles, and a very worthy beer.  With hints of zesty coriander and orange, all around solid.

southern tier pale wheat ale recycle symbol logo 300x300 The Sourthern Tier Pale Ale Variety Pack Tail Gate Extravaganza: Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale, 422 Pale Wheat Ale, IPA and Pale AleAlthough Southern Tier can’t drive your football team down the field in the 4th quarter to score a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers, but it won’t throw an interception either.  The Southern Tier variety pack provides a quality beverage to your Sunday tailgate.  We have yet to be disappointed by the fine folks at Southern Tier.  Grab a “Pack of Pale Ale’s” for the upcoming Super Bowl to be the hit of your playoff parties!

Bottoms up!

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The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

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Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA

Raging Bitch flying dog belgian style ipa pic 111 300x210 Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPAThe 20th Anniversary Brew by Flying Dog is an Absolute Must Try!

By Matt Goldstein

The Raging Bitch is an American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast.  With Warrior, Columbus, Amarillo hops and El Diablo Belgian Yeast, the Raging Bitch is then dry hopped with Amarillo.  Having great Belgian malts with a hop kick and delicate hop bitterness, at 8.3% ABV and 60 IBU’s, this bitch is dangerously drinkable.  It’s perfectly balanced.  The Raging Bitch is a MUST TRY!!!   The Flying Dog Raging Bitch Strong cheese (sharp or blue), Spicy Thai, Dark Chocolates or anything rich, hot and sassy!  It doesn’t really matter what you try the Raging Bitch with, just as long as you try it…

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The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

 

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The Corsendonk Abbey Tripel Belgian Ale

corsendonk bier pic 290x300 The Corsendonk Abbey Tripel Belgian AleA Top 5 Tripel!

By Matt Goldstein

The Corsendonk Abbey Pale Ale Tripel is brewed by Corsendonk Monks in a brewery dates back to at least the early 1600’s, maybe earlier.  The monks, originally from Switzerland, were also well known for their book making and copying.  The Corsendonk Abbey Tripel from Belgium is a thick golden color, murky and white almost like a Belgian white or witbier.  The head is very thick and sticky with a very light citrus scent.  Having a bit of hops, the tripel fermented malts and herbal notes make for a complex Belgian Tripel.  Crisp, but not too carbonated, the Corsendonk Abbey Tripel has an understated hoppy aftertaste.  This is an exceptional Belgian Tripel!  Our only regret about drinking the Corsendonk Abbey Pale Ale is realizing that we should have selected it for our Belgian Tripel Trials!  The Corsendonk Abbey Tripels is a top 5 Tripel easy.  .

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The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

 

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