Archive for February, 2012

Lounging around with some beer

Beer: La Folie

Brewery: New Belgium Brewery

Style: Flanders Red Ale

ABV: 6%

Location: Fort Collins, CO

Appearance: Deep red/brown, half a finger of off-white head that quickly fades

Aroma: Smells like sour. After the funk you can smell some cherries

Taste: Sour, sour, sour. Very funky with some earthy and cherry notes thrown into the mix. Mostly sour and funk though.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Finishes very dry, but maybe it’s because this beer makes me pucker up.

Drinkability: Really tasty, but I could not finish a bottle on my own. It’s just too sour

Beer Advocate Grade: A (94)

My Grade: A-

Homebrew V.3.0: Harder Better Faster Stronger

A few days ago my brewing buddy and I popped the first bottles of our third homebrew. This time we brewed a Russian Imperial Stout, and I’m happy to say that it turned out incredible! We adapted a clone recipe for Victory Storm King, and in my opinion, our version is tastier. It’s thicker, heavier, and more alcoholic! What’s not to love!

Do not worry: cat food was not used in our recipe!

I’m still not allowed to review my own homebrew under punishment of death by my brewing buddy. I will say this, it is definitely the tastiest brew we’ve made so far. I like this upward trend of improvement.

Next up: Zombie Dust/Gumballhead hybrid!

Turns out there is a Valentine’s Day beer

Somehow Valentine’s Day beer works? Seems kind of like an oxymoron considering the holiday that it is made for celebrates a day where all men in relationships are turned into spineless romantics!

First off, something about Alameda’s bottle wax makes it really difficult to open the bottle cap that hides beneath it. The wax is pretty soft and pliable, so no amount of cutting, ripping, or tearing can get this sonofabitch off. I actually partially tore bits of the bottle cap off with pliers in an attempt to open the god damn thing.

I was so frustrated I almost dumped it. I was 2 seconds away before taking a dremel to the stupid thing.

I’m still bitter about the whole bottle cap mess.

Beer: My Bloody Valentine

Brewery: Alameda Brewery

Style: Saison

ABV: 5.5%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: A light rust color with 2 fingers of really bubbly head. The foam had a bit of a pink tinge to it

Aroma: Smells like yeast, spices, and some slightly bitter orange

Taste: Yeast, clove, orange, and dark fruit, dates/raisins perhaps?

Mouthfeel: Light with high carbonation, suits the sweetness of the beer well.

Drinkability: Really, really easy to drink. Maybe this beer was designed for men to chug in between offering back massages and boxes of chocolates to his significant other.

Beer Advocate Grade: N/A

My Grade: B+

Is it bad if my beer smells like the ocean?

After snowboarding yesterday, I was pretty beat, but decided to enjoy a tasty brew that I got the other day.

Beer: Oyster Stout

Brewery: Upright Brewing

Style: Stout

ABV: 5.25%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: Inky black, with no head. All you get is a little ring of roam around the glass.

Aroma: Roasted malts, coffee, and the smell of ocean.

Taste: It tastes pretty sharp, with notes of coffee, caramel, and a inkling of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with strong carbonation. I really don’t know why such a carbonated beer failed to form a head. I don’t understand…

Drinkability: I finished a bomber with no issues, but I was ready to drink something else afterwards.

Beer Advocate Grade: B+ (88)

My Grade: B+

Another 100 bucks down the toilet

Spent a ton of money at Upright today buying a bunch of bottles. About half are for me with the rest being used for trades. Here one of the beer labels for you to feast your eyes on.

Tell me you don’t want to try it. You won’t.

Long day….

Work was a bitch today. I was at the office for just over 11 hours today, so understandably I cracked open a beer the moment I got back to my apartment. Thankfully, the beer was pretty tasty.

Beer: Riptide Red Ale

Brewery: Pelican Brewery

Style: Irish Red Ale

ABV: 5.3%

Location: Pacific City, OR

Appearance: This beer is RED! Holy crap I can’t remember a beer that had a deeper red hue to it. A nice little bit of head as well, but that doesn’t last very long

Aroma: Hops, caramel, and some malts

Taste: Sweet and malty with some piney hop notes underlain with bits of caramel. Really tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low/moderate carbonation. A little on the oily side, but that’s not a bad thing

Drinkability: I could easily down 2 bombers right now, but that’s probably due to a combination of how drinkable this beer is and my willingness to drink.

Beer Advocate Grade: N/A

My Grade: B+

Back into the groove

I haven’t really had a beer recently, possibly due to the drinking that occurred during my birthday this past weekend. But now that my recovery is over, time to get back into the groove of things!


I like these new labels from Elysian, as well as the name of this series of beer: 12 beers of the apocalypse

Description:If the world were coming to an end, what beer would you brew? Utilizing artwork by Seattle native Charles Burns from his graphic novel classic, Black Hole Seattle’s Elysian Brewing and Fantagraphics Books team up to answer the question with The 12 Beers of the Apocalypse.

Beer: Nibiru Yerba Mate Tripel

Brewery: Elysian

Style: Tripel

ABV: 7.6%

Location: Seattle, WA

Appearance: Very pale gold, but very bright. I really like the way this beer looks. Kind of reminds me of the Golden Compass for some reason.

Aroma: Citrus, yeast, and cloves

Taste: Sweet, then bitter, with yeast and clove in the middle. All very subtle though, I expected this beer to be a little more aggressively flavored.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, with low carbonation. This beer would be a lot better if the body was light to match the flavor profile.

Drinkability: Bomber is about right. I wouldn’t mind having this beer come in 12oz. bottles.

Beer Advocate Grade: B (83)

My Grade: B-

I dare you to find a better name for a big beer.


My taste buds were shot at this point, but this beer was really damn good. Boneyard doesn’t bottle unless I’m mistaken, and they have limited distribution. If you ever see a beer made by them, get it on the spot. They are all amazingly tasty and Armored Fist is no exception.

After the Block 15 Release, I Kept Drinking…

…that is, after I got back to Portland and napped for a bit.

The beer isn’t dark at all, it was just really dim in the bar

Beer: Apex

Brewery: Bear Republic

Style: IPA

ABV: 7.5%

Location: Healdsburg, CA

Appearance: Amber, with a little bit of white head that didn’t last for very long.

Aroma: Hops, hops and hops. Citrus, pine, take your pick, it was all there

Taste: After all the bourbon barrel aged beer at Block 15, this was a fantastic change of pace. Light, with tons of grapefruit and pine, with little of the typical hop bitterness that comes with many lesser IPAs

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light-ish carbonation. Very creamy for such a light beer.

Drinkability: If I had more time at the bar I could have easily polished off three glasses of the sucker.

Beer Advocate Grade: A- (92)

My Grade: A-

Block 15, a very painless beer release

Last Saturday I was part of a mass exodus of Portland beer geeks down to Corvallis for the Super Nebula and Pappy’s Dark releases at Block 15. However, I was not part of the hilarity that was the group of guys that rented a people carrier van to go down to the brewery (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go here:

I went with a much less extreme alternative for getting down to Block 15, which would be to simply grab a few friends and drive down in a car. On the other hand, I did leave for Corvallis at 8:15 Saturday morning, which is a little on the early side. The reasoning behind my early departure lies in the fact that if you ate brunch at Les Caves, Block 15’s next door neighbor (which also happens to be owned and operated by the same people), you would be guaranteed bottles of Super Nebula and Pappy’s Dark. I’m still a little bitter about a previous beer release when I was denied bottles when people behind me were walking out with cases of said beer because they paid with credit instead of cash. I’m not going to say the name of the brewery, but they are known for having dogs with various hats on their labels.

But I digress, we went down for lunch and I was floored by the amazing food and wonderful tap and bottle list available at Les Caves. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I saw such a good selection of prime beers that weren’t out to gouge you on prices.

Onwards to what I ate for brunch!

Super Nebula on nitro, at 10:30. Why the hell not, it was stupid good.

Lots of bourbon flavor up front, with a huge chocolatey finish, with tons of creamy nitro mouthfeel in between. I’m happy I got a full allotment!

Cinnamon roll french toast might be the tastiest brunch I’ve ever eaten. Why didn’t someone come up with this idea earlier!!! On the flip side, I don’t need 4 lbs of butter on it plzkthnxbai.

Then my friends and I did what any sane person would do, we walked off out food coma and went to the establishment next door 2 hours later for lunch!

At this point I was fully aware that I would have to go to the gym for 3 weeks straight to work off all of the calories I was ingesting from that singular day. Rebuttal: the southwest burger at Block 15 doesn’t really give you a choice. You are forced to eat it.

I had a Pappy’s Dark with my burger, but was so full that I couldn’t lift my cell phone to take a picture. It was lightly carbonated, but with huge Bourbon notes. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but Super Nebula is simply a better beer.

I think I blacked out from all the deliciousness from that morning/early afternoon.