5/19/2012

#BeerSummit Boston!

So in the midst of the A to Z challenge, I was unable to get in a post about the Beer Summit! http://www.beersummit.com/

The beer summit in Boston was April 13th, and 14th. I went with my friend Mike Johnson from http://www.FestPics.com who was taking pictures of the event.

There were 78 Brewers at the event, each with several brews to share. We got there a bit early so that Mike could set up. We walked around and got some pics of the folks setting up, got to talk with them for a while, and got the lay of the land.

The fest picked up quick, and within no time was packed. I very quickly lost track of Mike, which was OK, because he was busy anyway, and I really have no issues with being on my own. This was my first fest every, but he's been to a billion of em.

By the time the general public was let in, I'd already had a good buzz going. There's a lot I don't really remember, and not because I was wrecked or anything, but simply because a lot of it didn't stick out. All in all everything was "Good", with a few greats,  and a handful of disgusting.

I stopped and talked a while with the guys from Geary's, because during the A to Z challenge, I'd really been kinda blown away by their Winter ale. It was the only beer in the whole challenge that really surprised me. You can read my review of it here.

The Geary's guys were cool. I don't recall what the beers they had there were, except for an IPA... Which of course if you have read this blog much, or know me, is my favorite brew, so it's no surprise that that's what I remember...

The best brew of the night though, was a black IPA from the Garner Ale House brewpub out in Gardner MA. This beer was fantastic! If you are anywhere in the area, stop in and have some "Nightcrawler". You won't be sorry.

I was crushed though, to find that they do not make enough to ship to liquor stores, and it can only be had at the brew pub which is a 2 hour ride for me, one way... I will make it out there at some point though... This I swear.


I took this picture at the Saranac stand, cause I have two daughters, and thought this chair would be an excellent Barbie doll prop. He wasn't prepared to part with it though, and rightly so I suppose. I took this picture because I thought it was a great shot. This was before the doors opened. I had no intention of taking pictures. 

However, at some point, I guess I did. And I don't remember this because at this point, I WAS wrecked.



As you can see, I am not much of a photographer when I'm drunk. Don't judge, I don't even remember these. Not sure what I was taking a picture of. 

 

I don't have the slightest idea who these guys are, but aren't they photogenic? And friendly?


I don't know these two either, but this is actually a fairly decent pic. 


This guy I did talk to a fair amount, he's a friend of Mike's and is at most of the beer fests, from what I'm told. Very nice guy, though I can't remember his name... 

From this point on, things got worse as far as the pics I was taking... I got a few shots of the backs of some folks, and then a shot of some of them turning around like "Dude, what?" They were all pretty blurry, so I won't bother posting them. I'll leave you with this last one though, that sort of encapsulates ALL the rest of the pics I took that night. 


A beauty, ain't it? This is kinda what I remember the rest of the fest as. 

For anyone worrying, I am aware what my limit is, and I did stop drinking shortly here after, and got some hot dogs and water. I sober up pretty fast, the last half hour of the fest is pretty clear in my head, though it consisted of me just kinda standing around. 

Having just checked out the Beer Summit and website, as I recommend you all do, I realized that their next fest is September 21st... That also, just so happens to be my birthday. Coincidence?? I think not. 


5/18/2012

Magic Hat Black IPA

Brew Style: Black IPA
Brewer:  http://www.magichat.net/ipa_on_tour/blind_faith
ABV: 6%
BrewNewb Opinion: Good Beer


I love stouts and IPAs, so I figure, how can a hybrid be bad??


I poured this into my Samuel Adams, perfect pint glass, and it poured well, an inch and a half of head. 


Smells like a good stout. I'm aware of the lack of IPA smell though.

Next to no carbonation. 

Sort of a sticky sweetness to the taste, not a whole lot of hops. Tastes more like a black lager to me, than a black IPA. 

Still though, not a bad beer... I'll give this one a decent. 


I'm not blown away by this beer, given that it was called a black IPA. I love IPA... It was not even close to my definition of an IPA, black or otherwise. BUT. I do like it.

Port Brewing Hop-15 Ale

Image stolen right
off their website.
Brew Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Brewer:  http://www.portbrewing.com/our-beers/hop-15/
ABV: 10%
BrewNewb Opinion: Good Beer!


I poured this badly. I went a little too fast, into my over-sized Samuel Adams glass... The head came up fast, and I had to suck some ... uh, I'm not saying head there... Foam down real fast, or I was going to wear it. 


That said, the foam was quite promising. 


I let it relax a bit, and finished topping off the glass. 


Could QUITE fit it all, so I drank the end of what was left in the bottle. Lots of malt, and I could taste the alcohol though it's shrouded by bitterness and maybe a little metallic taste. I like it. 


The glass, very hazy orange. Translucent, but only a little. Enough to see floaties in the mix there. Probably dead yeast and what have you... "Lees" as it's called. 


Low carbonation, Syrupy. The after taste is mostly alcohol, some malt, not as much bitterness as I like in an IPA, and a little more floral than I care for. 


All in all, a good beer. 

5/16/2012

Cisco - Grey Lady

Brew Style: Witbier
Brewer: http://www.ciscobrewers.com/
ABV: 4.5%
BrewNewb Opinion: Yuck.

In all fairness, I didn't drink the whole thing. I asked for a taste at the British Beer Company, where it was (IS right now) the beer of the week.

Thsi poured (for me anyway, in the little taste glass) much paler than the picture on the left there, almost like a lemon juice. Smelled ok, lots of malt, lots of yeast and a TON of citrus.

The flavor was rather tropical, lots of coriander, oranges, maybe pineapple, and I swear I could taste some coconut. Perhaps some white-tea flavors... Underneath the fruits and flowers, it had a taste of something akin to coors light... A Pina-Coorslada, if you will.

Lots and lots of carbonation too, even in the small sample I had.

I did not like this beer all that much from the two or three ounces I was given as a taste. Perhaps given a full beer, it might have made a different impression, sometimes the first sip shocks the pallet, and you can't get the full appreciation until afterwards, but honestly, I can't see this beer tasting much better...

If you like light citrusy beers, give it a shot, you might be impressed. I just may be more of a hop head. I won't say it's a bad beer, just not my bag. This is the first example of this brew style I've ever had, maybe as far as the style goes, it's good? BeerAdvocate seems to like it.

#atozchallenge - Reflections

Help. I almost made it... I think at this point it's safe to say that I can quit, since it's halfway through the month AFTER the challenge.

The sad part is, I DRANK all the beers, I just couldn't get all the reviews done within the allotted time.

I will still post them, but I will refrain from calling it a part of the A to Z challenge.

Had a great time though! Going to still go through the linky list and visit the participants. Now I can actually spend some time commenting on others' posts!

5/01/2012

A to Z Blog Challenge Beer Review - UFO by Harpoon

UFO HefeweizenBrew: Unfiltered Wheat
Brewer:   http://www.ufohefeweizen.com/
ABV: 5.1%
Opinion: Yuck...

 I wanted to try to stick to lesser known, or "craft" brewers for this challenge, but I had a hard time with this one... I'm not sure if Harpoon is considered a "craft" brewer either, I'll have to check on that...

Anyway, this is an unfiltered wheat beer. I poured from a 12oz bottle, it smelled like a bud light, to be honest. My expectations are low.

Next to no head, it poured a very pale yellow. I noticed a lot of carbonation being released as it sat on my table. I let it sit a few minutes, and gave it another whiff. Still a bud or miller light scent.

Tried it. I hate it.

This is like two parts bud light, three parts scrambled eggs. Nothing but corn and yeast flavor. Totally not a fan.

This seems like a beer that people who want to say "I don't like bud light" but need to have something similarly bogus. "I won't drink that swill! I drink THIS!" but it's still swill, it just has a cool, lesser recognized label.


The only saving grace I can see this beer having is that it's a 5.1%.

I'm actually kind of surprised, my friends over seem to think it's good to average.

Truth be told, I'd rather drink miller light

And yeah, I know I didn't capitalize miller or bud.

I am disappointed. I like Harpoon's IPA.This is a far cry. I hope I never have to drink this again. Perhaps it's just me though, maybe I'm not much for unfiltered wheat beer?

4/28/2012

#atozchallenge - Torpedo Extra IPA by Sierra Nevada

Brew: Extra India Pale Ale
Brewer:   http://www.sierranevada.com/beers/torpedo.html 
ABV: 7.2%
Opinion: Meh...

This is another beer I kinda dropped the ball on. I seem to recall having somewhat of a trying day, and decided to do a few reviews all in the same night, for more reason than just to do the reviews...

But I remember this well. Frankly, this was one of the few beers (count em: TWO!) that I did not like from this whole challenge.

First, let me describe... The smell was hops, like most other IPA, some breadyness too... Nothing unusual there. I don't recall being impressed one way or another by the head, so I imagine it was average.

The inital taste was lots of piney hops, which I loved. However... Have you ever taken a drink of water from a freshly washed glass, from which not all of the dish soap was rinsed? You know that bitter soapy taste that kinda clings to the back of your throat? I got a lot of that... I thought perhaps it was just that it was the first sip, and my pallet wasn't expecting it or something, but throughout the whole bottle, I just had that soapy flavor in the back of my throat.

Aside from that, I probably would have enjoyed this. I'd still drink it before a Bud. Hell, I'd drink soapy water, before a Bud, most of the time.