Archive for the ‘Monthly Reviews’ Category

Another month has come and gone….I do apologize to all two of my faithful readers who actually give a shit about what I have to say for getting this out so late.  In the month of April, 81 beers were reviewed….and by reviews, I mean actual reviews…not jerk off reviews where some asshole goes to a beer festival, has a half ounce of a beer and has it totally figured it out.  Unfortunately, this is also a side effect of too much travelling and not having anything really productive to do on the road.

Anyways…beers, beers, and more beers…..so out of the 81 reviewed last month, here were the tops for May:

Top 5 Beer Reviews for May (yeah, its only 6 this month):

 

The 5 Beer Reviews (okay, 7) that shows how everyone is trying to do a Berliner Weisse now (and poorly):

  • Old First Ward Crikrat Kolsch ~ Kolsch ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Funk Brewing Crimson ~ Farmhouse / Saison Ale ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Local Option Bierwerker Blood ov the Kings ~ American Wheat Ale ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • The Bruery Papier ~ Belgian Strong Ale ~  3.1 /5 Rating
  • Strand Brewing Ito Weisse ~ Berliner Weisse  ~ 2.9 /5 Rating
  • Ithaca Brewing Cruiser ~ Berliner Weisse ~ 2.8 /5 Rating
  • And the beer that just proves not every beer is all that rare was Jester King Brewing Bonnie the Rare ~ Berliner Weisse ~ 2.7 /5 Rating
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It is hard to imagine that April has come and gone already, especially given the fact that the temperatures are in the low 40’s and my backyard is a pond….usually by this time of year, I am breaking out the patio furniture, cleaning up the yard and the grill.    After having a chance of getting down to San Antonio last week to slay some Texas turds, I was able to follow it up with a nice trip down to wonderful Central PA…please, hold your applause.  Anyways, here is my highest rated beers for April:

Top 5 Beer Reviews for April (okay, it is 7 again but how is that different from any other month):

 

The 5 Beer Reviews that screams out how superior sours beers are over common bullshit:

  • Pizza Boy Brewing Hop Test #1 (White Pech) ~ American IPA ~ 6.0% ABV ~ 2.9 /5 Rating
  • Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel (Calvados Edition) ~ American Imperial Stout ~ 10.9% ABV ~  2.5 /5 Rating
  • FEMSA Dos Equis XX Special Lager ~ Pale Lager ~ 4.5% ABV ~ 2.3 /5 Rating
  • FEMSA Carta Blanca ~ Pale Lager ~ 4.0% ABV ~ 2.1 /5 Rating
  • And the beer that just proves how superior American beers are over the rest of the world was Kirin Brewing Ichiban ~ Pale Lager ~ 1.7 /5 Rating

I do apologize for being late with this post but the past four weeks has been very hectic with work and with all the travel (which included a trip to central Pennsylvania and another to Eastern PA, Maryland and Delaware), it has led to a ton of reviews for the month of March (70 in total).  Unfortunately I think my work travelling is coming to an end which means I may have to go out and get a real job soon.  Anyways, lets get to the good stuff…the good beers for March:

Top 5 Beer Reviews for March (okay, it is 7 but they are solid ticks):

 

The 5 Beer Reviews that made me realize that everything can not be a Wild Ale or Bourbon County variant:

  • Terrapin Brewing Cabernet Barrel Aged Monks Revenge ~ Belgian IPA ~ 9.8% ABV ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Stewarts Brewing Citra IPA ~ American IPA ~ ABV Unknown ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Left Hands Brewing Sawtooth Ale with Peaches ~ English Special Bitter ~ 5.3% ABV ~  2.9 /5 Rating
  • Picobrouwerij Alvinne Phi ~ American Wild Ale ~ 10.0% ABV ~ 2.8 /5 Rating
  • And the beer that made me wish I had chosen a better brewery other than Stewarts was Stewarts Brewing Kolsch ~ Kolsch ~ 2.7 /5 Rating

I know it may catch some of your of guard that there is an Otter Creek in my top 5 beers for this month but they must have finally realized that they can still make good beers and sell them to the masses.  I am not calling them the new White Whale brewery of the week but they have launches three straight beers that are better tan most other shelf beers or even some rarities in some cases.  Obviously, they are still no Cantillon…but few breweries are 🙂

Didn’t 2014 just start yesterday???    It really seems to be just like yesterday that we had turned the page for the new year but instead I am writing the second installment of my monthly beer reviews for 2014.  Again, another crazy month with work travel and just general doings that included a trip to sunny Newfoundland and another visit to the Del-Mar-Va region too.  It is funny too because when the weather is crappy, the amount of reviews I do goes up but the amount of tastings drops off dramatically.  Anyways, other than complaining about work and being cooped up in the house, lets get to the good stuff..

Top 5 Beer Reviews for February (hey, 6 is actually really good considering the past few months was at 9):

The 5 Beer Reviews that made me wish that I never went to Newfoundland as all 5 beers were had on that trip:

  • Molson Rickards Oakhouse ~ Amber / Red Lager ~ 2.8 /5 Rating
  • Coors Brewing Original ~ American Adjunct Lager ~ 2.0 /5 Rating
  • Henieken Birra Moretti ~ American Adjunct Lager ~ 1.9  /5 Rating
  • Molson Black Horse~ American Adjunct Lager ~ 1.4 /5 Rating
  • And the beverage that made me regret going to Canada (again) was Labatt Brewing Blue Star  ~ American Adjunct Lager ~ 1.3 /5 Rating

If you are to draw any conclusions from this month is A) Not every place I go to is a craft beer paradise and B) American Adjunct Lagers suck, not matter which country they are made in.

Welcome to 2014…the year that I had to start paying for my craft beer trips….errrr, ‘work trips’.   Yes, I know that almost every post recently starts off with me getting laid off and being broke…blah blah blah.  Unfortunately, one thing with my new gig is that it requires a lot more travel in order to make money, so I made trips to Albany, Vermont and Long Island this month with more on the way.  I will skip to the meaty portion of our program and the soft beer porn starts.

Anyways, I have gotten several inquires from several people about why I don’t tick or trade….your answer is that I do.   Since I have officially abandoned that shitty website run by the dickhead Alstrom brothers, I took all of MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (yes, any posts, reviews or place reviews on BA are considered Intellectual Property of BA…fuck that.)   All of my intellectual property was posted up onto Ratebeer.com and deleted from BA.  Furthermore, I do have a decent sized trade history including BIFs too but my entire profile was deleted from the craft beer Nazis on BA and I haven’t posted them up on here yet (Im lazy…).   Currently, I am pretty much on a Trading Hiatus for several reasons….1) ISO forums are laughable these days as you can’t really make a trade without it being lopsided or including whales….2) I am sick of boxes getting lost en route….3) I am tired of douchebags who don’t know how to trade….4) I am really trying to scale back the cellar.     But from this disasterpiece of craft beer enlightenment comes the phoenix rising from the ashes as I have kept several trading relationships going with traders that I trust and am opening up the cellar to one and all.  Gone are the days of saving bottles for that special occasion that will never come….gone are the days of hoarding bottles to share with a specific person, whom I cant seem to get a tasting going with….beer sharing should be free and open…and without restraints.    Rant over…here is the purpose of this post…

Top 5 Beer Reviews for January (yes, I realize that there are 9 but that’s how it ended up):

The 5 Beer Reviews that made me regret the start of 2014 already:

  • Flying Bison Holiday Ale ~ Scotch Ale ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Sam Adams Boston Lager ~ Amber / Vienna Lager~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Molson Rickards White Ale ~ Witbier ~ 2.7 /5 Rating
  • Flying Bison Rusty Chain ~ Amber Ale ~ 2.5  /5 Rating
  • Molson Rickards Red ~ Amber / Vienna Lager ~ 2.2 /5 Rating  (totally infected….)
  • And the beverage that made me regret going to Canada was Thornbury Village Premium Apple Cider  ~ Cider ~ 1.6 /5 Rating

Several things to note here….

1)   Funky Buddha was on top for the second straight month

2)   Even though I have pulled a 180 0n Bruery and now think they can suck it, two of their beers made the Top 5 list this month (okay…top 9 again)

3)   Bruery Bois comes in 4 versions, the base and three different barrel aged versions.  I happened to bring the 3 barreled versions for a side by side and Brandy was the best but Ratebeer will only list one version for some reason.  Dumb!  They have three different UPC codes for gods sake.

4)   Flying Bison and Rickards both had two beers each on the Bottom 5 (err….6) this month…but I am sure they make a fine beer.   (muhahahahahaha)

…with that said, more travelling in store for February, more bottles to be cracked, more pints to be drained.  Peace.

…if you read the title and kept reading this thread, well then that is on you.  You’ve been warned!!!

A quick recap for myself in the craft beer genre

As all of my friends know that I am a craft beer ticker.  A ticker is someone who rates every beer that they have tried as they go, regardless of style, preference or quality.  A rating can be anything from a quick 1 to 5 score (5 being the highest) up to a full review with full descriptions of appearance, nose, taste and mouthfeel.  Unfortunately, I do not have a total for beer reviews for 2013 because I dumped all my information from Beer Advocate to Rate Beer then blew up my BA account.  If I were to take an educated guess, it would have to be upwards over 700 different reviews and with that being said, lets check out the best of the best from last year.

The Merc Top 20 of 2013:

20.   Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXIV ~ American Porter ~ 4.44 /5 Rating

19.    Bruery Sour in the Rye with Kumquats ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.44 /5 Rating

18.    Upright Brewing Four Play ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 4.45 /5 Rating

17.    Trappistes Rochefort 8 ~ Belgian Strong Dark Ale ~ 4.46 /5 Rating

16.    Almanac Beer Co. Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine ~ 4.46 /5 Rating

15.    Founders CBS Imperial Stout ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

14.    Hoppin’ Frog Bairille Aois BORIS ~ Russian Imperial Stout ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

13.    Cantillon Fou Foune ~ Lambic – Fruit ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

12.    Cigar City Hunahpu Imperial Stout ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.49 /5 Rating

11.    Fat Heads Brewing IBUsive ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 4.49 /5 Rating

10.   The Ale Apothacary Sahati ~ Sahti ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

9.     Live Oak Brewing Hefeweizen ~ Hefeweizen ~ 4.50 /5 Rating   (thanks Chris)

8.     Bruery Preservation Series: Or Xata ~ American Blonde Ale ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

7.     Bruery Oude Tart with Cherries ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

6.     Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze (batch 1) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.54 /5 Rating   (thanks Nate)

5.     Cascade Brewing Vlad the Imp Ale ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.60 /5 Rating

4.     Funky Buddha Veruca Snozzberry Gose ~ Gose ~ 4.60 /5 Rating   (thanks Miami Mike)

3.     VooDoo Brewing Black Magick Pappy Van Winkle ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.61 /5 Rating  (thanks Tom)

2.     Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek (2003) ~ Lambic – Fruit ~ 4.70 /5 Rating   (thanks Tom?)

and the Top Rated Merc Beer for 2013 was….Trappistes Rochefort 10 ~ Quadruple ~ 4.75 /Rating

Honorable Mention: Funky Buddha Passion Fruit Berliner

You will notice some names next to some of the beers listed above, that is just an appreciation to the people that shared or gathered those beers.  One great thing about the craft beer community is that most people will get really outstanding or rare beers not only to try them but to also share them with other people.  It is not all about a bunch of guys getting together to get drunk and make fools of themselves, its more of a profound brotherhood.

Now it is time for the 2nd annual installment of “The Merc-y Awards” (pronounced Merk-ee)

Favorite New Breweries Visited in 2013:

  1. Crooked Stave Artisan Beers ~ Denver Colorado
  2. Hoppin’ Frog Brewery ~ Akron Ohio
  3. New Belgium Brewing ~ Boulder Colorado

Honorable Mention: Voodoo Brewing Company ~ Meadville Pennsylvania

Favorite New Brewpubs Visited in 2013:

  1. NoDa Brewing Company ~ Charlotte North Carolina
  2. Tired Hands Brewing Brewing ~ Ardmore Pennsylvania
  3. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery ~ Charlotte North Carolina

Honorable Mention: Market Garden Brewing ~ Cleveland Ohio

Favorite Beers of 2013 (regardless of review or rating, this is more of preference):

  1. Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek
  2. DESTIHL Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Raspberry/Strawberry Ale
  3. Funky Buddha Veruca Snozzberry Gose

Honorable Mention: Bruery Oude Tart with Cherries

Biggest Surprises of 2013 (regardless of review or rating, more of a surprise because I usually don’t like the style):

  1. Bruery Or Xata
  2. New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb
  3. Perennial Barrel Aged Abraxas

Honorable Mention: Buffalo Bayou Gingerbread Stout

Here is to a healthy and great drinking 2014 (hopefully, I get a real job soon…).  Prost!

Yes…I know that December was kind of a neglectful month for this shitty blog but I was busy worrying about my financial future, health insurance and lack of a vehicle.   As stated previously that my now former employer decided to outsource my job which then not only resulted in a loss of job, health insurance and company car…I then had to dish out a bunch of money in the form of a new car and various insurances needed to function in 2014.   But, even though my blog posts were down for the month, my monthly beer reviews were probably the highest for the entire year.  Lets look at the Top Beers for me in December…

Top 5 Beer Reviews for December (yes, I realize that there are 9 but that’s how it ended up):

The 5 Beer Reviews that made me forget 2013:

  • Flying Bison B.O.B. (Bison Ordinary Bitter) ~ American Bitter Ale ~ 3.0 /5 Rating
  • Fat Heads Busy Bee Honey Blonde Ale ~ American Blonde Ale ~ 3.0 /5 Rating
  • Leinenkugels Orange Shandy ~ Fruit / Vegetable Ale ~ 2.8  /5 Rating
  • The Bruery Cacaonut ~ Old Ale ~ 2.7 /5 Rating  (totally infected….)
  • And the ‘beer’ that really wasn’t beer was Miller Brewing Steel Reserve 211 High Gravity ~ Malt Liquor ~ 1.9 /5 Rating

Well, 2013 has finally ended….and with that, I look forward to 2014 and whatever the beer drinking future has in store for me.   Year End Thread to come…