Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gordon Biersch Marzen

Ratebeer 2.98/5 46th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

The nose was truly clean with a lightly bready and caramel nose. Usually I am not a fan of lagers, but this was tasty. The taste was just like the nose with a noticeable floral and earthy hops backing.

Aftertaste 0

The ending was very clean, crisp and slighly effervescent. Maybe just a lingering kiss of roast and caramel.

Alcohol Content 0 5%

I wasn't expecting miracles.

Value +1

This one was really nice.

Ingame Enhancement +1

This brew was enjoyed on my patio with a good buddy; he even bought the beer. I think he bought it because his name was Gordon also.

Overall 6/10

I will never look the same was at their cheesy restaurants again. This was a great Oktoberfest style beer: easy drinking with just enough caramel and hop goodness to provide palate love.

Buckerfields Lederhosen Lager
Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen
Hofbrau Bock - Trader Joe's

Half Pints Humulus Ludicrous

Ratebeer 3.75/5 97th percentile
Beer Advocate A-

Taste +4

I picked up this bottle at Firefly quite a while ago. The nose was a virtual hop soup. All the aromas are available for your pleasure: floral, citrus, spices and cotton candy. The taste is a massive hop assault on the bitter side. Ludicrous has all the citrus and cotton candy your palate can handle. There is barely enough bread and caramel malts to hide this hop behemoth. There was no carbonation and the mouthfeel was slightly acidic. Oddly it was not astringent but creamy and silky.

Aftertaste +2

There was a long earthy and floral bitter ending. It coated everything and left an healthy alcohol warmth.

Alcohol Content +1 8%

Value +1

This is a must for hopheads. A special mention for great wax dipped packaging.

Ingame Enhancement +1

The zombies must not like hops; whenever I burped they just fell over.

Overall 9/10

This perhaps the best object to every come out of Winnipeg. Truly a great and massive IPA.

Dogfish Head 90min IPA
Unearthly Imperial IPA
Hop Stoopid Ale

Red Racer Craft Lager

Ratebeer 2.55/5 21st percentile
Beer Advocate B-

Taste +2

Yup this was a lager; the nose was clean with faint grass and that standard lager smell. Luckily there was a faint floral hop accent at the start that was mixed in with the fizz. There were very faint grassy malts and slightly fruity - luckily to corn.

Aftertaste 0

The ending was clean, crisp with only the barest of grass

Alcohol Content 0 5%

Value 0

It was slightly above average lager.

Ingame Enhancement 0


Overall 2/10

Don't get me wrong, this was a good lager. Lagers never score well with my rating scheme. It is flawed and I'm OK with that.

Granville Island Lager

Session Premium Lager
Paddock Wood Black Cat

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Alcohol and Psoriasis in Women

I know most of you read about this on the beer blogs a few months back; but you may not have heard the whole story. It read that beer can increase the risk of developing psoriasis in women compared to other alcoholic beverages. It is true that drinking any alcoholic beverage can increase one's risk of developing psoriasis. The article that appeared in the August 2010 issue of Archives of Dermatology was the first article to really break the information down about which alcoholic beverages were the real culprits. The results are not good for craft beer drinkers.

The researchers found that women who drank 5 more nonlight beers a week had a greater risk of developing psoriasis - about 1.8 times higher. And overall, women who drank more than 2.3 alcoholic beverages a week were also at risk. Nonlight beer was the only alcoholic beverage that specifically increased the risk for psoriasis.

Since only nonlight beer increased the risk, it was thought that ingredients unique to nonlight beer might be the cause. The finger pointed directly at barley. We all know that good craft beer uses more barley than light beer. We also know that barley contains a lot of gluten and is not kind to people with celiac disease and other gluten-sensitivities. The researchers noted that people with psoriasis may have "latent-gluten sensitivity". Gluten-free diets can sometimes lead to improved symptoms for patients with psoriasis.

So there you have it; only people with psoriasis should reduce their consumption of craft beer. If need be they could drink -shutter- light beer. On our side they also found that alcohol abstainers had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were less physically active. That is a polite was of saying fat and lazy.

Fat Tug IPA (Driftwood)

It must be hard to produce an IPA in Victoria. This is an IPA-centric place. Releasing an IPA in Victoria is like walking down Douglas Street naked. You had better have a good product and great packaging because everyone is watching and not afraid to give their opinions. Luckily Driftwood has covered their...uh.. assets and flashed us a great beer.

Ratebeer 3.64/5 (6 ratings)
Beer Advocate A+

Taste +4

Like all great IPA's, the nose is big with serious pine, cotton candy and citrus (lemon and mandarin). Every sip slaps you with a hoppy astringency followed by good carbonation and alcohol warmth. The taste is all hops; pick your favourite hop flavour and I'm sure you can find it. Let's see, there is: resin, pine, sight cotton candy, lemon and pineapple. There is just a bit of caramel and bready malts to hold this brew together. As the glass raises up, the piny vapours hits your tongue first. For those keeping score: 80 IBU's.

Aftertaste +2

There is a long coating of sweet, oily resinous hops.

Alcohol Content +1 7%

You can tell it is there from the warmth.

Value +1

A big IPA that stands out in VictorIPA.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I had problems shooting the zombies tonight. After every sip I just stared into my glass and went "mmmmmmm..."

Overall 9/10

If you like a big IPA, then this is the one for you. The Fat Tug (I giggle everytime I say that name) is just two notches above easy drinking; just the way a good IPA should be. It may be a bit premature but this might be the best IPA in Victoria.

The seven sips of the Hopocalypse
Brew Free or Die IPA
Ranger IPA

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spiced Reserve (Tree Brewing)

Sometimes procrastination can be a very handy way to solve problems. I have not found the time to write up the Spiced Reserve Ale by Tree Brewing. This beer was released in Fall 2009. Now is the perfect time to write it up since this year's version is going to be released soon.

Ratebeer 3.13 48 percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +4

Like most winter warmers, the nose is heavy on the caramel. There is also a bit of roasted grains in every sip. The real difference is the spices that warm the back of your tongue: cinnamon, cloves, ginger. It will remind you of a mulled spice drink. There isn't much of a hop presence; I think can taste a little banana in there.

Aftertaste +2

It had a long spicy finish that coated the tongue. There was a little bit of soapiness, but it worked.

Alcohol Content +1 7.5%

Value +1

I liked this one. It was nice change of pace from the usual hop bombs lofted out of brewery windows.

Ingame Enhancement +1

Writing up this review is only making me look forward to next years edition, or maybe next weeks?

Overall 9/10

For something completely different, pick this brew up. It was a great winter warmer with all the necessary spices and alcohol warmth.

Saison du Buff
Midas Touch and How Far Will You Drive for Cheap Beer.
Granville Island Ginger Beer

Friday, November 12, 2010

I can't believe it has come to this

I have sunk to a new low; I bought beer from a corner store. This was not the sort of Seattle corner store where you find a selection of Stone Vertical Epics. This corner store had a large selection of Spam and expired prepackaged sandwiches. The deed was done - I bought the cheapest can of beer on the shelf. So what does $1.25 per pint get you: not a whole lot.

Milwaukee's Premium Best

Ratebeer 1.05 0th percentile
Beer Advocate D-

Taste +1

It technically was beer. The nose was very, very light with straw and metal shavings. I sniffed so hard to try and get a scent, I actually snorted beer. The 'Bests' mouthfeel could be best described as absent. Luckily the white fluffy head did not last long; it reminded me of styrofoam packing peanuts. Your dominant flavours are straw, stale peanuts and metallic hops. There was a small hop bite at the end which had the odd taste of diluted mandarin oranges.

Aftertaste 0

It left a slight soapy residue in the mouth.

Alcohol Content -1 4.3%

This was not actually listed on the can. The low ABV actually makes this a true session beer. The 'session' you are after while drinking this crappy beer escapes my imagination.

Value 0

This beer has its place; its place is in a trailer park or beer pong tournament. You cannot go too wrong at $1.25 for a 500ml can.

Ingame Enhancement 0

Drinking this beer really set the mood for my weekly Hoarders fix. It also reset my overly developed beer palate to zero.

Overall 0/10

I may have been too harsh in my opinion of this beer. It was light, crisp, palate cleansing and refreshing. This could also describe the bottled water in the next cooler. This same bottled tap water cost up to three times as much as Milwaukee's Best.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More Casks

Don't forget this November 11th at 5pm - hey that's tomorrow! - there will be a Salt Spring Island cask at Clive's Classic Lounge in the Chateau Victoria. This will be a cask version of their Pale Ale. I have tried this one before and liked it. It claims to be a session beer, i.e. a beer that is lower in alcohol. I tend to classify 'session' beers as something under 5%ABV, like the beers at Moon under Water. But the cask will be 5%ABV so it is close enough.

Lets see what their write up sounded like:
"light copper....double-hopped with East Kent Goldings... nutty-toffee malts... flowery hops..."
Yup, sounds good I'm in. I hope no one comes; that way there will be more beer for me!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Brooklyn Brown Ale

Ratebeer 3.41 89th percentile
Beer Advocate B

Taste +3
  • nose is roasted and caramel malts
  • colour is deep brown with an off white/tan head
  • Nice effervescent carbonation up front
  • slightly earthy hops that barely contain the rich caramel and roasted mild chocolate malts
  • Very malt forward
Aftertaste +1
  • Clean and slightly dry with dry roasted caramel. The malt quickly fades away

Alcohol Content 0 5.6%

Value +1

It wasn't that exciting, but it was good and flavourful.

Ingame Enhancement 0

Meh, I need to rethink this blog I am over 100 beers behind in reviewing.

Overall 5/10

A good malty and roasted chocolate brew. Interesting enough to please the seasoned beer drinker, but not scary enough to repulse the light beer crowd.

HoweSound Nut Brown Ale
Beaver Brown Ale (Canoe)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trade Route Infidel Lime IPA

Ratebeer 3.24 77th percentile
Beer Advocate B-

Taste +2
  • Nose of lime leaves and pine hops
  • Taste was bitter and astringent with citrus and pine, maybe a tad floral
  • every taste had a mild lime flavour and banana
  • Malts were of course caramel with a little bread
Aftertaste +1
  • The caramel malts and citrus/lime fades to leave an acidic tongue coating
Alcohol Content +1 7.5%

Couldn't really notice a burning nor warmth.

Value 0

It was a neat flavour but not worth a repeat purchase.

Ingame Enhancement 0

The aftertaste still haunts me.

Overall 4/10

It was a unique taste sensation that kinda worked. The tart lime cordial meshed well with the caramel and PNW hops.

Mango Weizen
24-mile Blueberry Pail Ale
Audacious Apricot Wheat

Stone Levitation Ale

Ratebeer 3.52 94th percentile
Beer Advocate B+

Taste +5
  • Glorious sweet grapefruit/citrus nose
  • colour is deep amber/red with light tan head
  • very hop assertive with good blast of citrus that fades to reveal a thin and thin lightly toasted bready malt
  • very cooling on tongue like menthol
Aftertaste +2
  • citrus hops leave a light/slick coating on tongue
  • long menthol coolness
Alcohol Content -1 4.4%

This should really be considered a plus

Value +1

Now this is a true session ale.

Ingame Enhancement +1

I really gotta change this category, but I must bump this beer's score up.

Overall 8/10

This is a great low alcohol ale with lots of the hop flavours we all crave.