Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thirsty Thursday: Opa Opa Kix Pale Ale

But first: a quiz! What's your Beer IQ, courtesey of MSN?
I got about half right, and learned a thing or two! It's interesting, so I don't want to give away any of the facts...So just take it already!

So I picked up this growler, which I had never gotten before. It's a half-gallon (64 ounces - a bit over 5 beers) and it was a very reasonable price, I believe $6.99. Opa Opa is a MA brewery. There are lots of rules about growlers - keep them cold, still, and drink within 2 days of opening. That's not gonna happen, however, a few days after first opening and it is still in decent shape. The Opa Opa Kix Ale is an American Blonde Ale, which is a malty, fruity, lager-like beer.

A) Pale straw. Clear. Sudsy head quickly disappears.
S) Not strong, light malts, lemon.
T) Watery, but also somewhat sweet and lemony with a slight bitter aftertaste.
MF) Thin, decent carbonation.
D) Definitely high - it's a light and refreshing beverage, easy to drink and would be refreshing on a hot summer day.

It's not bad, and I enjoy the novelty (for me) of a growler, but overall it's boring and watery. I like the name Opa Opa though (my grandfather was called Opa) so I'd give another one of their beers a shot for sure. Their Warthog Double IPA sounds particularly delicious.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hump Night Delight: Abita's Strawberry Harvest Lager

It's summer. Which means tankinis, bikinis, tube tops, and strappy sandles. Not on me, that is, but on other people. But it does mean that I am actually trying to be healthy and "watch my calories" and "excercise" and "not be a lazy ass laying on the couch drinking beer and avoiding doing anything." So I'm cutting back on the beer. Which means when I do indulge, it better count. No crap allowed.

Now that I'm sophisticated enough to know that different seasons = different beers, I hope to find a summer ale to call my own. First on the list:

Abita's Strawberry Harvest Lager.
A) Hazy shade of amber, tiny head disappears almost instantly
S) Strawberries mostly, some malt, not overly sweet
T) Strawberry jam on toast. Actually more balanced than I would think - the strawberry is more on the real side than artificial side.
M) Light and moderately crisp
D) Good. The alcohol is under 5% so you could easily drink several of these; it may go well with eating real strawberries. But overall I found it a little too sweet and kind of boring.

Now, for some real "thinspiration" (gross, I promise I would never use that word in real life) check out this new beer from Australia! Not only is it low carb, but the sexy lady gets naked as the bottle gets empty! Ingenius marketing.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Opening Up A Can Of Whoop-Ass. I mean Beer.

Bottles and Cans and Just Clap Your Hands...
There seems to be a movement of craft beer in cans. Not sure what that's about, but I tried a couple. While it felt less classy, I was not disappointed. I wonder what the economic/ecologic advantages are (or disadvantages?) More importantly, check out this cute cow!
1) Moo Thunder Stout: Butternuts Beer and Ale hails from NY at what was once a dairy farm. I highly recommend you check out their website; it's quite entertaining. The Moo Thunder Stout pays tribute to their dairy farm past. It pours black as night, with 1 finger of brown head. It smells very sweet - marshmallow, malts, coffee with sugar. It tastes roasty, with a sweet edge of caramel and coffee. It feels creamy. It's good! A little too intense to drink a whole lot of, but fun.

2) Mama's Little Yella Pils: From the Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado. They also make a Ten Fidy, something I have only read about, but sounds delicious. They modestly describe it as, "...the beer equivalent of decadently rich milkshake made with malted-milk balls and Heaven’s best chocolate ice cream." Ooooh man! Another day, hopefully. Now back to the Pilsner. It poured a cloudy pale amber with a decent sudsy head. I could not really pick up any smell. It tasted nice. Not overly sweet nor bitter. Like a piece of bread. Better than an BMC-type Pilsner, because it actually tasted good. But not distinct enough to know how to describe it. It felt smooth and was definitely refreshing. This is one to drink out of the can on a hot day while mowing the lawn. I drank it fast, and could easily enough several of these. Nothing remarkable but tasty and refreshing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Time in MI: Founder's Pale Ale

I've gotten to visit my homeland, and it's been super swell. My parents have a beautiful yard with floral trees and flowers so it smells amazing. My BFF got to come visit. I got to hear my sister play violin with a symphony. I got to play frisbee golf with my dad twice. And I was even social. How about that!

Last night I went to Stober's with a friend, primarily to play their shuffle board games. On tap was the usual crud but they also had Founder's Pale Ale. SO delicious! Not much to look at - a cloudy light amber with little head. It tasted hoppy but also sweet and fruity. For some reason I picked up pineapple which was awesome, along with some caramel. Mmmm...

Not so delicious? The hipster gentleman who was an excellent shuffleboard player, but turned out to be an incoherent alcoholic by the end of the night. But still...We had fun playing. I, on the other hand, am pretty bad at shuffleboard. But it's fun.

The night was completed by coming back home to eat my mom's delicious rhubarb custard pie. All's well that ends well.

Shuffle board: A
Dude: D
Mom's rhubarb custard pie: A+
Founder's Pale Ale: B+

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Trivia Night and Arrogant Bastard

Okay, I discovered some new things that I love.
1) British Beer Company
Great beer selection, great food including: 2) Veggie Pasty with mushroom gravy and sweet potato fries, from said location.
3)Did I mention the great beer selection? I had 2 Arrogant Bastards on tap. Arrogant Bastard is pretty funny. There was a poster behind the bar similar to the website saying things like, "You're not worthy. You probably won't like it." This is an American Strong Ale which is a generic term for any ale with a higher than 7% ABV. It's a dark reddish brown with nice fluffy head and thick lacing on the glass. With the intimidating advertising I expected it to be hugely bitter, but it wasn't. It had some spice, some bitter hops, some citrus/pine-ness, but also some caramelly sweetness. I found it to be well balanced enough and enjoyed it enough to have a 2nd. Which at 7.2%ABV (and 20 ounce glasses) was really not necessary...But delicious.

4)Oh yeah and it was trivia night! I had never gone to a bar trivia night before. It was FUN. I thought it would be like, on-the-spot-like, with people shouting answers or buzzing buzzers, but instead it was quietly discussing and writing answers down on little slips of paper. I suck at trivia but my gf is super smart and rocked it (plus was more sober than me). Yet she never acted like an "arrogant bastard." We did really well, at one point we were in 2nd or 3rd I think, but did not end up winning. Some things I learned?
George Bush does not like broccoli.
Missouri and Tennesse are the states that border the highest number of other states(8).

Um...I can't remember others right now but it was totally fun.

A's all around!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Do You Want To See Me Do the Chimay Again? Ahhhh.

Chimay = Shimmy. Look at : 3:49. GOD, Tina does a great "Ahhhh."

See? Yeah. But that Shimmy might be a little more delicious and satisfying than this one. And god, I love the key change at 3:14.
Anyhow, I had a private Chimay instead of a private Shimmey. I wish I liked this more. It's cool! It's made by monks at an abbey in Belgium. They give a portion to the profits to charities and the special yeast and " its highly protected water of the abbey's wells" make it special.

It's a Tripel, which means a strong and in-your-face ale, from what I can gather.

Appearance: cloudy peachy-amber, yeast sediments, 2 fingers fluffy off-white head with great retention and thick lacing.

Smell: pears, honey, yeast, freshness

Taste: darker than I expected. Dark fruits, yeast, strong at first, then milder and sweeter, then more boozey and green grapey.

MF: Crisp at first, then super soft and fluffy.

D: Not very good. It's a nice sipper, but too much alcohol presence to make me want to drink much.

I don't know if I've had other "tripel" ales, but, you know, I'm flattered. Perhaps even a little curious.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Short and Sweet: Otromundo Strong Red Ale

I found this for 1.99 for a pint bottle. It seemed to be on clearance and I have never had a beer from Argentina, so why not.

I was overall very pleased. It poured a clear bright amber with 3 or so fingers of fluffy head and decent retention. It smelled and tasted malty, heavy on the maple/caramel, and light fruits (apples and pears). It was medium and slightly creamy feeling. Good drinkability with 7.5% ABV, but a little too sweet. Still I was pleasantly surprised by this beverage. Plus, I love a good bargain.