Tag Archives: microbrew

Your Father Smelt of Elderberries (beer, not an insult)

Your Father Smelt of Elderberries is a beer from Stone Brewing Co.’s Stochasticity Project and a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s a medieval-style ale brewed with elderberries. It’s a pretty interesting brew. It pours a dark amber color with a thin off-white head. It has a fruity, malty aroma with a hint of wood. It tastes more bitter than I expected. There’s fruit, malt, smoke, a little wood. It reminds me more of a barley wine than an amber ale. It has a hefty 10.3% alcohol content, so it’s a heavy beer. A couple of these will make you sleepy. It’s not my favorite offering from the Stochasticity Project, but it’s one of the more memorable ones. I bought a few bottles to age, but I’ll probably end up drinking them within the week. It’s a decent beer, but it’s a limited brew so you should buy it now while you have the chance.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Heretic Evil Twin

Evil Twin is a bold West Coast Red Ale from Pittsburg, California’s Heretic Brewing Co. I just cracked it open and my nostrils were instantly hit by a strong whiff of grass, grapefruit, and hops. It tastes malty, with caramel, banana, toffee, and bitter hops to balance it out. You can also get a bit of grapefruit and apricot flavor as well. It has a crisp, creamy, and smooth mouthfeel, with a moderate amount of carbonation. It’s a nice red ale, with a decent 6.8% ABV. It would be better if it was stronger, but it’s still a very well-rounded brew. They should rename it though. It’s nowhere near as malicious as it sounds. It’s quite approachable and very drinkable. Give it a chance if you can.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Ninkasi Maiden The Shade

Maiden The Shade is a limited release IPA from Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company. It’s a clever name for a beer, it’s got a little pun action going on and everyone appreciates a good pun. The artwork on the label is pretty cool. There’s a Medusa-looking maiden sitting underneath a tree made of hops with a devil butterfly creeping up on her. It smells of citric hops, pineapple, grapefruit, mango, floral, and spice. It tastes of pine and citric hops with a slight bread malt flavor. Its bitterness is counterbalanced with subtle fruit sweetness. It’s got a 6.8% alcohol content, which is on the lower side of acceptable for a limited release microbrew IPA. All in all, this is a solid beer. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it again.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Stone Suede Imperial Porter

California’s Stone Brewing Co. presents Suede Imperial Porter, a limited batch ale brewed with calendula flowers, jasmine and honey. I don’t know why they call it Suede. It doesn’t smell like leather and it doesn’t taste like leather. It has a roasty and chocolaty aroma with fruity floral scents. It has a roasted malt flavor, and I can also taste chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, jasmine, lavender, and hops. It’s kind of a sweet porter with just little bitterness thrown in to balance it out. I’ve had better porters, but not many. It also has a hefty 9.6% alcohol content, enough to put a couple of hairs on your chest. I wouldn’t recommend chugging it, this is a beer that you sip on and savor. I would get it again. Too bad it’s only around for a few more weeks.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale

Believer is a Double Red Ale from Eugene, Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company. It’s a delightfully creamy, full flavored ale that stars with a rich, bready malt taste and is followed by sharp, piney hops. There are some hints of vanilla and caramel, but it smells sweeter than it is. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste. Red Ales aren’t for everyone, but this is a good starter beer. See if you like this one, and then you can branch out into other Red Ales from other breweries. It has a decent 6.9% alcohol content, which is on the lower to middle end of acceptable for a decent microbrewed ale. This is a decent beer. It’s not remarkable, but it’s not boring or anything either. I would get it again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it. If they renamed it Belieber, it would probably outsell Budweiser.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Black Diamond Fracas Red

Fracas Red is a Red Ale from Black Diamond Brewing Co. It has an aroma of hops and caramelized malts with citric undertones. I can smell grapefruit, oranges, and orange peels. It tastes of floral/herbal hops with a roasted malty backbone with caramel and citrus flavors. It starts bitter and finishes sweet. It says on the label that there are also hints of raisins. I’m pretty sure that they are lying. I taste no raisins. It has a solid 8% alcohol content, and it’s pretty drinkable so you might need to watch out and pace yourself. It has a cool label design. There’s a picture of a gnarly looking bull with eyes of flame staring directly into your soul. The bull knows your secrets. The bull knows your thoughts. He challenges you, daring you to try Fracas Red, to tame the beast. And you should. It’s a damn good beer.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Speakeasy Butchertown Black Ale

Butchertown Black Ale is a limited release brew from San Francisco’s Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, one of the better microbreweries in the city by the bay. It’s full flavored American Black Ale, full of malty and hoppy goodness. I can really taste the malt and piney hops, and it has a bit of a burnt smokey flavor as well. The Speakeasy brewmaster says that flavors of grapefruit, pine, currants and red wine come through before overturning to a malt depth intricacy of dark, toasted bread, pumpernickel, subtle notes of dark fruits and hints of dark chocolate, tobacco and leather. Try as I might, I can’t taste the leather and that’s probably a good thing. I think a lot of people would be put off by the bold taste, especially if you usually drink Bud or Coors. But if you like microbrews, this is a great choice. It’s 8.2% alcohol, a fairly typical amount for a good microbrewed ale. It has a cool name too. It was inspired by San Francisco’s Butchertown district where they used to slaughter livestock back in the day. Now it’s where the Speakeasy brewery stands. It’s worth buying. Look for the beer with a picture of a happy cow on the bottle. I don’t know why the cow is so happy. It’s almost as if it doesn’t know that it’s the mascot for a beer named after a slaughterhouse district.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout

Espresso Imperial Russian Stout is a limited release ale from Stone Brewing Co. It’s brewed with real espresso and it tastes like something you could order from the local coffee shop. It has a rich coffee aroma, with a roasted coffee taste with hints of caramel and bittersweet dark chocolate. The espresso really comes out in the aftertaste and lingers on your taste buds longer than the other flavors. It’s a very smooth and solid stout, and it’s very drinkable for a beer with such a high alcohol content. 11% alcohol by volume is nothing to scoff at, and a pint is enough to make you feel sleepy. This isn’t a beer that you drink at a party. This is a beer that you drink when you’re staying in and catching up on TV shows. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, like you’re bundled up in a blanket made of beer and happiness. Stone Brewing has a reputation for quality craft beers, and Espresso Imperial Stout is one of the reasons why.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Café Racer 15

Café Racer 15 is a limited batch brew from Bear Republic Brewing Co. It’s a nice, strong Double IPA with an impressive 9.75% alcohol content. Long story short, it will get you drunk and it will taste good in doing so. They use four different kinds of hops (Citra, Amarillo, Cascade, and Chinook) that makes for an interesting flavor profile. I can taste fruity flavors like peach, mango, grapefruit, and even a little apricot, along with a piney resin taste with a nice malty finish. You really can’t taste the alcohol, but you can definitely feel it after a few swigs. It might be one of the most refreshing Double IPAs that I’ve ever had. If you’re lucky enough to spot one in the store, you should grab it. And then you should drink it. And then you should thank me for changing your life. My only complaint is that it’s a limited batch so I can’t get it whenever I want.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Speakeasy Double Daddy Imperial IPA

San Francisco has a few amazing microbreweries and Speakeasy is one of them. They have a Prohibition/old-timey gangster theme that is evident in their naming of products and in the artwork on the labels. Double Daddy Imperial IPA continues the trend and has a backroom poker theme, proclaiming that it’s doubling down on the malt and hops with its no-limit style. It’s kind of a sequel to their Big Daddy IPA, only with more hops and more malt, and it’s also Imperial now. It has a malty scent with a caramel and pine aroma. You can really taste the malt when it first hits your tongue, but it’s balanced out by grapefruit and pine hops. It’s smooth and sweet and bold with flavor. The nice 8.5% alcohol content will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. It’s beers like this that make me wonder why people still drink Bud Light.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Wilco Tango Foxtrot

Wilco Tango Foxtrot is a limited release ale from the Lagunitas Brewing Company and it’s one of their best beers. Lagunitas is known for making bold hoppy beers, but Wilco Tango Foxtrot is more malty with caramel flavors and subtle hints of coffee and chocolate. You can still taste the hops but it doesn’t steal the show. It’s pretty strong with its 7.85% alcohol content too. This is a beer you can be proud of. If you’re lucky enough to see it in the store, grab a few bottles, call up some friends, and have a little microbrew appreciation party. And read the label; Lagunitas puts some clever shit on there.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Triple Voodoo Inception Belgian Style Ale

Triple Voodoo Brewing is a microbrewery from Belmont, California. It’s a Belgian style ale, but they seem to want to stress that it’s not brewed like most Trappist ales and that makes it taste more like an IPA. And they also describe it as having California characteristics, whatever the fuck that means. “I’m loving these California characteristics, bro. It tastes like sunshine and homeless people, with a little surfer thrown in.” It’s a malty beer with hop varietals that gives it a clean finish. It’s nice and very drinkable. The most important thing is that it’s 8% alcohol and that it’ll get you drunk.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Anchor Steam

Anchor Steam beer is the real San Francisco treat. The Anchor Steam Brewing Company was one of the first microbreweries to go national. They have a few different beers, but their flagship beer is Anchor Steam. Steam beer is also called California common beer, the brewing process results in a beer that has both ale and lager characteristics. Anchor Steam is refreshing and smooth. It has an 4.9% alcohol content so it’s not that strong. It’s still a great beer and I’m enjoying one now.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Raging Bitch Belgian-Style India Pale Ale

Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery makes some amazing craft beers and this is one of them. Raging Bitch Belgian-Style India Pale Ale is a very distinctive beer, from its taste to its awesome artwork. It’s also fun to go to a bartender and say, “Raging Bitch, please.” It has a nice alcohol percentage of 8.3%. It tastes good, looks cool, and it will get you drunk. What more do you want from booze?

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

Lagunitas is a California microbrewery that is best known for its IPAs. This Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale is something else. It’s a wheat ale and it’s pretty hoppy too. My taste buds aren’t that sophisticated but I like this beer. I especially like the 7.5% alcohol content. I like beers that taste good and get me drunk. And you seem more classy when you’re drinking a microbrew. If you’re lucky enough to see Lagunitas on tap or on the display shelf you should get it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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Lagunitas Maximus

The Lagunitas Brewing Company is known for their IPA. Their Maximus India Pale Ale has more alcohol and is hoppier. Wikipedia says it has a spicy finish with a lot of rose petal. Maybe my palate isn’t sophisticated because I don’t taste the rose petal. I think Wikipedia is lying. Anyway, 8.2% alcohol is pretty decent; it can definitely make you sleepy. Lagunitas is a great microbrewery. If you ever see it at the liquor store you should grab it. And read the label; they usually have a funny and random rant printed on it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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White Hawk Select IPA

The fine folks at Mendocino Brewing Company of Ukiah, CA have crafted another delicious microbrew. White Hawk Select IPA in an India Pale Ale that has a decent amount of flavor and a decent 7.0% alcohol content. This isn’t the best IPA, but it’s one of the better cheaper microbrewed IPAs. Mendocino Brewing Co. has some pretty decent brews. If you see it, you should get it, you won’t regret it. And even if you do regret it, I don’t care. Never trust the internet. This is just a filler article anyway.

Critically Rated at 10/17

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