Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
In honor of Lager Day, I'm going to share a few tidbits about the tour of Yuengling's Pottsville, PA brewery that my wife, Diana, treated me to as an anniversary gift one year. (Yes, I know - my wife rocks!)
|Front of the brewery. That's Diana at the bottom left.|
|Here's a picture of the guy that writes this blog|
|Part of the bottling line|
|Old buildings are often not without opulence.|
Here's a stained glass ceiling in one area of the brewery.
|Kegs in the cellar / conditioning area|
|Yuengling tasting room bar|
(Photo courtesy of http://goo.gl/Oz9F6)
I hope that you enjoyed this National Lager Day by celebrating with your own favorite lager. Thanks for reading, and as always, prost!
 Wow, that opening line was extremely reminiscent of the beginning of my last post. I really gotta get a new hook...or blog more frequently than once a month!
 The unit "barrels" is abbreviated as "bbl", but I didn't use it here because I'm not sure how many people are familiar with that abbreviation. Also, I think it's silly that the abbreviation has two Bs. Here's an interesting article that tells where that second B comes from: http://goo.gl/kSLin.
 Even so, the Brewer's Association does not consider Yuengling to be a craft brewery because they do not meet the third of three criteria. A craft brewery must be 1) small, 2) independent, and 3) traditional. Even though Yuengling is not considered to be a craft brewery, they are a microbrewery.
 On December 5th, we just celebrated the 79th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, aka Repeal Day.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
I'm not entirely sure why there seems to be such an explosion of popularity in these "beer days", but they are obviously designed by and for the craft beer enthusiast (CBE). I believe that "beer days" are partially driven by CBEs wanting to show off to their CBE-friends via their favorite social media platform (many in which Justin's Brew Review participates). Badges like the one pictured above from Untappd are doled out to CBEs who post them to their social media profiles, thereby instilling a sense of community among posting participants. But I believe that the explosion of popularity in "beer days" is also partially attributable to the explosion of popularity of craft beer itself. One article from June 18, 2012 says that "the total number of breweries in the United States now exceeds 2,000--more than at any time since the 19th century, let along the prohibition years of the 1930s". Another article from August 6, 2012 says that in the last year, 350 new breweries were opened. That's nearly one brewery for every day of the year! As the craft beer scene continues to increase in popularity, I believe we'll see a proliferation of complementary products and services, such as the "beer days".
At any rate, I wouldn't typically go out of my way to celebrate a "beer day" and technically didn't this time around either. We just happened to schedule a vacation with my in-laws to Lewes, Delaware that coincided with Stout Day. And of course Lewes is only a few miles away from Milton, which means a trip to the awesome Dogfish Head Craft Brewery! (You may recall that I posted about our last trip there in May.) My wife was kind enough to schedule the tour and tasting on Stout Day. (Yes, she rocks.) And the "off-center" geniuses at DFH decided to provide only stout samples that day, so we rocked out by tasting:
- Bitches Brew
(rated 100 overall by 620 on RateBeer users!)
- Chicory Stout
(rated 96 overall by 1,634 RateBeer users)
- Palo Santo Marron
(rated 99 overall by 1,682 RateBeer users!)
- World Wide Stout (WWS, from 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008)
(rated 98 by the Bros. on BeerAdvocate and 100 overall by 1,898 RateBeer users!)
Judging by those ratings, craft beer lovers obviously love Dogfish Head! I thought that all four beers nailed the style, and I especially liked the notes of roasted coffee in the Chicory Stout. The coolest part, though, was the vertical tasting of WWS. I was able to taste how the beer changed over time. The older it was, the sweeter it got. My favorite of the WWS was the 2010; it had matured nicely without too much sweetness.
How did you celebrate Stout Day? Did you even know about it? What's your favorite stout at the moment? Let me know in the comments or catch me on FB, G+, or Twitter. Prost!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Yes, I went there, but I only did it in the interest of making sure your voice is heard. Use the comments section or send me an email at JustinsBrewReview@gmail.com to vote.
Actually, this election has been going on for the last week via social media, and I apologize for not thinking to post it here until now. If you aren't yet connected to Justin's Brew Review on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter, follow the links I just provided and get connected. Or you can always visit my blog later, and click on the social media links at the top of the page to get connected.
Don't miss your chance to have a hand in the future of Justin's Brew Review. Popular vote decides; there is no electoral college to factor in to this decision. Remember: if you don't vote, you can't complain about the outcome.
Monday, October 29, 2012
- Justin Mann
- Man #1
- Man #2
- Man not Appearing in this Film
- Lots of extras
- Als0 wik
- Als0 als0 wik
- Wi n0t trei a h0liday in Sweeden thi yer?
- See the l0veli lakes
- The W0nderful teleph0ne system
- And mani interesting furry animals
- Including the majestic m00se
- A M00se once bit my sister...
- Cameo appearance by Will Ferrell (at marker 1:54)
- M00se Trained by Yutte Hermsgervordenbroti
- M00se Choreographed by Horst Prot III
- Miss Taylor's M00ses by Hengst Douglas-Home
- Director - Justin Mann
- Writer - Justin Mann
- Producer - Justin Mann
- Music - the CD that happened to be playing when I recorded this (in between bands)
- Cinematography - Justin Mann
- Editing - Editing? We don't need no stinking editing. (Or at least, we didn't use no stinking editing.)
- Casting - Justin Mann
- Set Decoration - Yorktoberfest organizers (especially Matthew) and vendors
- Costume Design - GAP
- Makeup Department - Absolutely N/A
- Visual effects - Wee Wowem LLC
- Stunts - Evel Knievel and Robert Overcracker
- Transportation - my wife, Diana
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
("What Ales You?" Image Courtesy of http://goo.gl/t6ixA)
Artwork on package or label
"First impressions last, but don't judge a book by its cover."(1) Yet we do, consciously or not. Attractive packaging artwork catches our eye as we're browsing through the rows of six-packs. The colorful design on the bottle label practically yells "Look at me! I'm interesting. Drink me!" Even those that claim to overlook such marketing ploys would probably at least admit when the artwork is appealing, which has to play into the end result on some level. Otherwise, the craft beer industry wouldn't bend over backwards to create intriguing, eye-catching artwork for their packaging and labels. AmericanCraftBeer.com thinks so too: "A great label becomes part of the beer somehow. It's a doorway to the drink - both a reflection of and an invitation to the brewer's art...Very few [labels] are neutral."
Okay, so I like Tröegs. So what? I'll tell you so what. It is more difficult for me to criticize a beer brewed by Tröegs than any other brewery out there. Brand loyalty plays a big part here. I would like to say that all beers from Tröegs' brewery are the best you'll ever have. But that's simply not true. They have made a few brews that are not my favorite, so when I'm being completely honest, I'll tell you that I think Dead Reckoning Porter's 53 IBUs make it too bitter for the style. Speaking of bitter, Perpetual IPA is over the top in that category and is just too far out there for my liking (though it's a bit more acceptable for the style). But when I'm trying a new Tröegs brew--one from their Scratch Series for example--I have high expectations before I even take the first sip. I fully expect to like it before I try it! I'd say that's a bit biased.
Circumstances or Environment at Time of Review
How about the time or place or circumstances surrounding the event (yes, event) of enjoying a brewski? Yeah, they certainly play a role. Following is a list of a few I thought of. I'll let you decide how they might affect the outcome of the beer review.
- At a party with friends
- After a bad day at work
- At a beer-tasting event
- After being given a free beer
- At the brewery
- At home by oneself
- At a restaurant with delicious food
- At a restaurant with crappy service
- After receiving bad news
- Watching a Presidential debate
What about the beers with a lot of hype? Consider Russian River's Pliny the Younger (or Elder), The Alchemist's Heady Topper, 3 Floyds' Zombie Dust, or maybe even Tröegs' Nugget Nectar. (Refer to Beer Advocate's Top 100 most popular beers.) Each of these is purportedly among the best beer on the market. We talk 'em up; the suppliers mark 'em up. We go out of our way to get the good stuff. We pay more for a pint than we are willing to admit in mixed company, helping to shoot more holes in economists' theories about rational consumerism. And for what? A sublime swig of suds? Meh. I'm sure it's good beer, but I bet it's not all that and a bag of Chips Ahoy. Yet we perpetuate the hype by bragging to our friends and posting comments to our beer circle on Google+. Why? Because "everyone else is doing it". (Watch out for the edge of the cliff, my friends. It's dangerously close.)
Even the most conscientious beer reviewer will be influenced by one or more of the above factors, if not something else I've missed entirely. So as a reader of such reviews, you have been warned. Don't believe everything you read. When you're reading a review, take it with a grain of salt. Just as writers/speakers are admonished to know their audience, readers should know their writers. If you're not a regular reader of the beer blog upon which you've stumbled (perhaps this one!), get to know the author. Determine what predilections may prevent pure opining. Read more than one review of the same brew and take an average, as it were. And then form your own opinion. After all, in the words of LeVar Burton, "You don't have to take my word for it."(2)
(1) I had an idea about what I wanted to say here but couldn't quite phrase it right. After Googling for more ideas, I ran across this unique cliche mash-up and simply had to use it. Source: http://www.designweek.co.uk/industry-voice/what-does-your-first-impression-say-about-you?/3034985.article.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
|Beer maids and waiters must be able to carry 10 beer-filled mugs at a time. (3) (7)|
(Image Source: http://goo.gl/75eOZ)
|Underneath one of the big tents at Oktoberfest 2012.|
(Image Source: http://goo.gl/malIv)
I've tried a few different Oktoberfest-style beers this year, including:
- Tröegs' Scratch #73 "Fest Lager", which they've unofficially dubbed OkTröegerFest. At 5.5% ABV and 35 IBUs, this yeasty lager was growler-worthy. I very much enjoyed this one-off and would be appreciative of another appearance next year (hint to the Trogners if you're reading this!). You can read more reviews on BA and RB. Justin's Brew Review gives it an "A-".
- Yuengling's Oktoberfest was also rockin'. However, it was a limited release because Yuengling does not have the capacity (5) to produce seasonal brews. I had difficulty finding any to try, but I did receive a sixer thanks to my father-in-law who was able to purchase an entire case! I'm milking it (beering it?) because I don't want to run out too quickly. BA likes it better than RB, but Justin's Brew Review gives Yuengling's offering a solid "A".
- Samuel Adams calls their version Octoberfest (yes, they Americanized the beer's moniker). It is both excellent and available. Boston Beer (brewer of the Sam Adams brand) rarely disappoints in my opinion, and this is no exception. If you like the Oktoberfest style beer, you should go get yourself some of this. It rates well on BA, and RB ranks it very highly for the style. Justin's Brew Review gives it an "A+".
|The mayor of Munich ceremonially taps the first keg at Oktoberfest 2012.|
(Image Source: http://goo.gl/7eucr)
How are you celebrating Oktoberfest? Are you planning on attending any festivals? Wearing lederhosen? (6) Or drinking Oktoberfest-style beer? Let me know in the comments or send me a message on your favorite social media site: you can get me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
(1) Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oktoberfest
(2) Note that the math does not add up: 2012-1810 = 202, but this is only the 179th festival. That's because the fair has had to be canceled 24 times due to cholera epidemics and war (3).
(3) Source: http://www.vistawide.com/german/oktoberfest/oktoberfest.htm
(4) I love long German words! This one is pronounced RYN-hytz-geh-boht. You can listen to the pronunciation here.
(5) Sources: a tour of Yuengling's Pottsville, PA brewery that my wife took me on over a year and half ago that I have yet to blog about (yes, I'm behind) and http://www.brewbound.com/news/yuengling-introduces-second-seasonal-oktoberfest
(6) You can get a nice, basic pair of lederhosen (leather pants) for a mere 165 euros ($215) here.
If you really want to go all out, you can get some premium pants for $325 on the same site. They also sell dresses and other authentic German garb on that site.
(7) The Guinness world record was set in November 2008 by Bavarian Anita Schwarz when she carried 19 full beer steins (5 in each hand and 9 on top) that weighed a total of about 90 pounds over a distance of 40 meters and placed them on a table without spilling a drop. (Source: http://www.harrimantravelbooks.com/Oktoberfest_Facts_Tips.html and Image Source: http://goo.gl/DmTPw)
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
|This meme is not meant to imply that Dos Equis is a bad beer.|
At the same time, as a beer blogger, I believe that I have an obligation to report my unbiased opinions to readers. After all, it's good to know what bad beer tastes like so that you have a point of reference for good beer. You really can't define something without its opposite. I like how Boak & Bailey puts it:
Taking the time to drink bad beer is a useful way to calibrate the tastebuds, correct your perspective, and stimulate the tastebuds. Sometimes, it's just about remindering yourself that bad beer is still beer and won't kill you.So what do you think? Do you want to read occasional reviews about bad beer? Or would you rather just read about the good ones? Let me know what you think in the comments, or on Facebook, Google+, and/or Twitter.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Founded in 2011 by beer evangelists and social media personalities Ashley Routson and Ryan Ross, IPA Day is a universal movement created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide, using social media as the common arena for connecting the conversation together.
IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness.
Getting involved is easy; the only requirements are an appreciation for great beer and the will to spread the word. Anyone can participate by enjoying IPA with friends, making some noise online with the #IPADay hashtag, and showing the world that craft beer is more than a trend.
Sounds like something I can get behind! So to celebrate, I raise a glass of Dogfish Head's illustrious 120 Minute IPA. Prost!
I had wanted to try the oft-discussed, highly-sought beer for such a long time, but I had never been able to get my hands on any. I thought for sure I would be able to get it straight from the source. Alas and alack, such was not the case. It appeared I was going to be leaving a sad and empty-handed fellow, but thankfully, I found a few single bottles in a beer-liquor-wine shop in Lewes! At $8.99 for a 12-ouncer, it was a steal. It is not uncommon for the highly-demanded beer to command a price of $13+. I bought two: one to enjoy in the near future and one to age for a few years. The near future has come and gone, so here are my tasting notes:
Appearance: A deep, hazy orange with a thin cream-colored head. Look at those hop particles floating around in my glass. Makes my mouth water just watching.
Smell: You can tell there's a high alcohol content to this one, but it's not knock-you-off-your-feet overwhelming. Noticeably sweet smell mixed in there, too. Actually, it reminds me of DFH's Burton Baton (which I haven't formally reviewed yet - stay tuned).
Taste: WOW! I have never had anything like this! It's beyond great. Extremely smooth. You know that it has a high alcohol content (18% ABV!) from the first sip, but it's amazing how well the beer hides it with the sweetness. Fizzy yet smooth...soooo smooth! Is that scotch? Wishing I had bought a third and fourth bottle. Now my mouth is tingling from the hops, yet it is offset by the slight numbing effect setting in from the alcohol. It's amazing to me that this isn't more hoppy-tasting; 120 IBUs is nothing to sneeze at! I mean, it's boiled for a full two hours while being continuously hopped, dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month, and aged for another month on whole-leaf hops. It's a hophead's dream-come-true! But the 18% ABV isn't extremely evident either. It's as though DFH found the perfect mix of hops and alcohol: both very high and balanced. I'm impressed.
Mouthfeel: It doesn't get any smoother than this. Full-bodied fizziness to be enjoyed.
Overall: Impressive. This beer lives up to the hype. The only downside in my view is the availability factor. Rock on, Dogfish Head. You know what's up.
1770 BeerAdvocate users rate it an overall 87/100.
1980 RateBeer users rate it an overall 99/100 and a 97/100 for the style.
Clearly, people like this brew.
Justin's Brew Review gives it an A+.
Clearly, Justin likes this brew.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
|Feliz Navidad en julio!|
This beer is brought to us from Mexico by Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma (part of the Heineken company). The only other Mexican beer that I've ever had (thanks to my father-in-law, by the way!) was Tecate, which incidentally is also brewed by CCM. In fact, I believe that the large majority of the beer I've consumed to-date has been domestically brewed. Makes me wonder what I've been missing. If you've got any suggestions for great foreign-brewed beers, please let me know.
|"Get on with it!"|
Smell: A good "dark beer" smell. Hard to say exactly what that means, other than it seems to fit the style.
Taste: At first, there's nothing particularly interesting about the taste. But as I thought about how to describe my tasting experience, I realized that there was a slight bitterness present on the back end. Not so much that after having one beer you'd notice it all that much (unless you're trying to write about it!), but I believe that it'd start to catch up with you after having several. So the finish was not entirely clean (would you call this "somewhat messy"?), but it was satisfying.
Mouthfeel: Smooth with a bit 'o bubbly, though not too much.
Overall: This beer was a refreshing reminder of cooler weather. Pretty good.
71 BeerAdvocate users rate it a 78/100.
115 RateBeer users rate it 26/100 overall and 66/100 for the style.
Justin's Brew Review gives it a solid B.
Monday, July 2, 2012
At any rate, I have been trying many new beers, one of which is the subject of today's post: Covington Brewhouse's Bayou Bock.
|I thought Bock was German for "dark"?!|
|Boy, do I feel sheepish!|
Appearance: Golden yellow. No head but it evidenced thin white lacing on the sides of my glass.
Taste: Nothing remarkable. And by that, I mean there isn't really any special flavoring. However, it has an easy-to-drink quality. The hint of passion fruit was not as evident in the flavor, but it's definitely in the background. The aftertaste isn't noticeable in a bad way, and it certainly is not a bitter beer. I'd drink more than one at a time.
Mouthfeel: I wouldn't say that you really notice the carbonation, but the mouthfeel is good. It is not too light and not too heavy. It's Goldilocks just right.
 References and/or links to Juicy Juice® are provided strictly as a convenience to our users and are in no way intended to express or imply an endorsement of these companies or their products by Justin’s Brew Review. Plus, it isn’t even a beer.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
The first is a Chocolate Almond Milk Stout, also made by Matt.
5.0-5.5% ABV; 31-34 IBU
Appearance: Opaque brown with caramel-colored head
Smell: Sweet alcohol - definitively stout
Taste: At first sip, it was a subtle flavor. As I continued drinking, I noticed it was light on chocolate, was "milky", and had a great stout flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium; fizzy with a kick of carbonation.
Overall: Subtle flavor in an excellent stout. Maybe a little too much carbonation but a very good brew.
The second is an IPA, made by Matt's father-in-law.
I don't know the specs on this one, but I'd guess it's a sessionable beer, maybe 4.0-4.5% ABV.
Appearance: Orange hazy hue with a thick, off-white, frothy head.
Smell: The familiar comforting smell of hops, sweet and inviting.
Taste: At first sip, it was inviting and very drinkable. As I continued drinking, I noticed that there was a somewhat low bitterness factor. It was smooth and easy to drink with a welcome little kick. Possibly a hint of orange. A slightly bitter aftertaste, appropriate for an IPA.
Mouthfeel: Medium; smooth; definitely not thin.
Overall: Not as kicky of an IPA as I expected, but a great spot-on flavor.
I'm wondering what homebrews my readers are working on these days. Share your beery creativity by:
- leaving a comment below
- Tweeting @BrewReviewMann
- circling Justin's Brew Review on Google+
- find Justin's Brew Review on Facebook
- sending an email to JustinsBrewReview@gmail.com
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I'm going to attempt to chip away at my backlog of tasting notes and begin blogging about some of the beers that I have tried over the last few months (or year).
Today, we have Boulder Beer's "Hazed & Infused". As you may have guessed from the brewery's name, this amber ale comes to us from Colorado. Boulder Beer's website tells us that they are Colorado's first microbrewery (opened in 1979), receiving the 43rd brewing license issued in the United States. The founders, "Hummer" and "Stick", first opened the brewery in a goat shed. They have, of course, expanded since then, and I can assure you that their beer doesn't taste like goats! You can take a virtual brewery tour on their website.
Back to the beer, "Hazed & Infused" weighs in at 4.85% ABV and is infused, or dry-hopped, with Crystal and Centennial hops. This is in addition to the Nugget, Willamette, Crystal, and Centennial hops used to brew the beer. "Hazed" was a "one-keg" experimental brew (often the best kind!) from 2001, but it was so popular with those who tried it that it became a mainstay.
"Hazed & Infused" definitely had a hazy appearance, evidence that it is, in fact, an unfiltered beer. It had a sweet fruity smell with an undertone of bitter hops. Though the hops were also evident in the flavor, the taste wasn't too bitter. It had a nice citrus fruit flavor and was very refreshing. "Hazed" makes for a good summer beer and is, in a word, "fun".
BeerAdvocate users give it an 85 (824 reviews), and the Brothers give it a 78.
RateBeer users give it an 89 overall and a 91 for style (1116 reviews).
Justin's Brew Review gives it an A-.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
|DFH's $30,001 Steampunk Treehouse|
Before I talk about my experience at the Dogfish Head (DFH) facility, I should tell you about my preconceived notions. I have always viewed DFH as a tree-hugging, peace-loving, far-out-there kind of brewery. Their slogan proves my prejudicial bent: "Off-centered stuff for off-centered people". Also, the names of some of their beers are pretty inaccessible: Raison D'Etre, Palo Santo Marron, Burton Baton, Festina Peche, Chateau Jiahu, Namaste, Sah'Tea, and Ta Henket, to name a few. I am not against things that are "different", and I certainly don't mind creativity. Yet, DFH just didn't seem to be up my alley.
Of course, none of this would keep me from taking a brewery tour! I always find it fascinating to hear about the history of a brewery, see the operations, watch the bottles go clinking down the line, and of course, sample the wares. And I have to admit that by the end of the tour, I realized that DFH was not as inaccessible as I had once thought.
|Sam Calagione: the man, the myth, the legend. (Nice looking beer!)|
|Some of the original beer-making equipment|
|"Where's the tap on this thing?"|
|From DFH's Rehobeth brewpub|
- Sah' Tea -- Wow, spices galore! It's like Chai tea in a beer. I think you would have to be in the right mindset to drink this and maybe only one at a time. Very unique. I'm impressed.
- Indian Brown Ale -- Hits the style on the nose! Has a little extra spice, hence the "Indian", I suppose.
- Aprihop -- Lighter than I expected. A good apricot flavor. Easy to drink and refreshing at the same time.
- Midas Touch -- From the taste, this is what I would call a "normal" beer. However, it is slightly differentiated by the higher alcohol content (9%) and extra "bite".
- Tweason'ale -- Pretty good. I couldn't identify what "extra" flavor I was picking up on in this beer, but after reading the notes on BeerAdvocate, I believe it was the sorghum and molasses.
 One of Sam's "wacky" ideas was to brew a naturally-green beer using Spirulina (seaweed) in an attempt to thwart the obviously-evil plot to cheapen his beer by using green dye for St. Paddy's day. (Read DFH's take on it, and check it out on BeerAdvocate.)
 According to BeerMe.com, there are still only eleven DE breweries currently in operation with one in the works.
 Don't even get me started on the odd setup we have in Pennsylvania! But please feel free to visit Lew Bryson's blog "Why the PLCB should be abolished" at http://noplcb.blogspot.com/.
Friday, May 11, 2012
|One of these will bring you out of the Pitz, regardless of its moniker.|
(Three or four is a different story.)
Monday, March 5, 2012
Of course, not all the ingredients are grown locally. But who would expect that to be the case? After all, beer pretty much has its roots in Germany, and many hops and malts used to brew beer still come from Germany. Consider Lancaster, PA's own Lancaster Brewing Company. According to their website, the Lancaster Lager "showcases a balance of malt, along with German and European hops", including 2 Row Pale and Caramel malts as well as Hallertau and Saaz hops. Doesn't matter. The "outsourced" ingredients are "imported" and then brewed by local people. Sounds like a local beer to me.
So back to the question: what makes local beer better? I have to say that the quality of local beer is not automatically better simply because it is local. Let's face it -- some breweries just know how to make better beer than others, and it has nothing to do with proximity to where you live! However, the fact that it is local may make the whole experience better. For instance, take one of my favorite (and local!) breweries: Tröegs Brewing Company. (To be clear, I think the quality of their beers is superb.) I love the experience associated with visiting their brewery, which we affectionately call "T2". They have created a whole world for craft beer enthusiasts (you can read about my recent experience here). In their tasting room, I appreciate the opportunity to sample their brews, especially something from their Scratch Beer Series, and before leaving, I am always sure to have my growler filled with one of their finest. I enjoy walking through their self-guided tour, and to show my local brewery pride, I usually hit up the gift shop for some new paraphernalia too. The whole experience of gathering together with other craft beer lovers at this local venue is not something that would easily be duplicated for non-local beer. And even if it could be duplicated, I wouldn't feel the same pride I feel when I know I'm enjoying local beer.
Hope that answers the question to your satisfaction. What do you all think? What makes local beer better? Leave a comment below or send me a Tweet (@BrewReviewMann). I'd love to hear from you!
Saturday, January 28, 2012
|Mural in Entrance (File Photo*)|
Currently, Tröegs is only offering self-guided tours, but their website tells us of plans on offering a low-cost, taste-as-you-go, guided version coming in late February of this year. If I understand correctly, you'll even get a souvenir pint glass out of the deal -- not too shabby! Back to the self-guided tour: when you come in the front door, keep going straight through the doors and you'll enter the tasting room. There are multiple barkeeps at the impressively long bar, which includes a growler fill-up station (actually, they have an automated machine that is fun to watch as it fills the growler).
|The Impressively Long Bar|
|Growler Filling Station|
|Thankfully, this sign was not on the entrance doors.|
* The photo I used of the 2-story mural in the brewery entrance is a file photo because it is not currently there. I asked the Trogner brothers what happened, and they said that they are repairing multiple cracks in the wall. Never fear - they assure me that "it will return".
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Sure, homebrewers can have their beer analyzed at a laboratory in order to figure out the ABV and IBUs , but that costs money . Precious money that could be put right back into crafting more beer. I don't know about you, but I'd forgo the numbers in favor of more beer!
Speaking of being ready to drink, let's get to the good stuff!
A very smooth, easy-to-drink beer, which backs up Matt's assertion that bottle carbonation lends to a better, smoother brew. Overall, this Irish Chocolate Stout was excellent! So do you craft your own brews at home? What interesting combinations have you tried? I'd be interested to hear what you have to say! Just leave a comment or "tweet" me @BrewReviewMann. Prost!
 In the same post referenced in Footnote 1, I mentioned that you can have a laboratory perform this test on your beer for about $10. Unfortunately, I did not cite where I found this information - I apologize for that oversight. I just "Googled" it and found a helpful blog post informing readers that White Labs performs this testing for a reasonable amount of money. For your consideration, homebrewing reader.