Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nude Beach and Golden Monkey

My girlfriend and I have a fun project! We are saving beer labels to collage onto a coffee table. We have many labels, about enough to cover half the table so far. As of late, I have selected some beer choices based on cool labels for the project.
Check out Nude Beach! Totally judged based on its cover, but it was a good beer too! Orange, cloudy, thin white head. A citrus-y wheat beer with a mild yeast smell and taste too. Pleasant, well-balanced, fairly mild. A good summer beer. And nudity = funny.
Golden Monkey from Victory also has a fun label. And I like Tripels, and I really liked this. It's a pretty hazy peach color and poured with a large foamy head.  It smelled and tasted of cloves, banana, a touch of spice, and mild yeast. It was super smooth, light, and crisp. High alcohol content at 9.5% ABV, but this was not noticeable to me in the flavor.
It's good stuff. And hopefully soon we'll have enough labels to make our coffee table one-of-a-kind.

Beautiful and Not So Beautiful

Samuel Adams' Tasman Red spoke to me. It is a Red IPA, aka, 2 of my favorites in one. Also reminiscent of one of my most favorite beers ever. The label offers some information: 6.75% ABV, hops from Tasmania, several varieties of malts, and a limited edition beer. Also it's gorgeous. A large sudsy brown head on top of a clear - red - ale, very solid, and still present after a good 5 minutes. Left lots of lacing, and just great to look at. Seriously Tasman Red, you're attractive.
The initial sweetness of the nose surprised me. Bread and caramel along with grapefruit and grass. There's something about the smell I don't really like. Again, the malty sweetness of the taste surprised me, but this time...It was a pleasant surprise! Brown sugar, grassy hops, grapefruit, then roasted malts. Bold, nice flavors. It felt medium-bodied, well-carbonated, somewhat crisp.
Overall, this was a great beer. Attractive, tasty, balanced, strong flavors...Just something about the smell didn't flow for me. But oh geez, I'll try it again, perhaps fresh on tap somewhere. A-

Nobody needs energy drinks in their lives. However, sometimes you kind of do. I admit, I occasionally indulge in a Monster. Monster is superior to Rockstar because of this. Anyways, no this is not a beer, but I had to try the UberMonster which is "produced using proprietary German brewing technology" and includes a (non-alcoholic) fermented malt-base. It was hard to get open. Ah, and then I read the label: "The bigass cap is a little hard to pry off, but it's sorta like, if you can't open it you shouldn't be able to drink it!" The label also informed me that ingredients include water, sucrose, non-alcohol fermented malt base, glucose, and approximately 461 other ingredients.

There it is. It did not resemble beer, not even non-alcoholic beer. Just an energy drink. Sweet, fruity, slightly medicinal, and slightly yuckier than some of my preferred Monster varieties of choice.

So, there you have it. One gorgeous drink and one not-so-pretty regular energy drink.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saturday May 5th, 2012

Saturday was a great beer-y day, as well as quality time with dad day. My dad and I went to the public library for a Homebrewing 101 talk as one of their Farm to Table presentations. I've read a little bit about it, but to have someone (who had been homebrewing for 19 years) explain the steps and show-and-tell ingredients and equipment was great. His explaination of extract brewing made home brewing seem extremely do-able. Dad found the talk very interesting too. We walked away from the talk feeling inspired. To brew! This may be a summer project.

Anyways, the talk also made me want a beer. Dad was easily persuaded to stop for a snack at Dusty's Tap Room. He ordered Mary's Maple Porter from Brooklyn Brewery and I got Trebuchet (a Belgian IPA) from Brewery Vivant. Oh, and some ridiculously delicious french fries.
The Mary's Maple Porter was very dark with a thin brown head. The aroma was malty with just a touch of noticeable maple that stood out more as it warmed. The taste was coffee, malts, dark fruits, and just a touch of sweetness that could vaguely be maple-ish. It was nice, smooth, and soft-feeling and about 7% alcohol. It was a decent porter, but I wish the maple had stood out more. B+
The Trebuchet poured a dark cloudy amber with thin head, left plenty of lace around the snifter. The smell? Hops in my face. Floral, citrus, not noticeably Belgian. I had forgotten it would be a Belgian IPA, so the yeast flavor in the taste was a pleasant surprise for me. Citrus, pineapple, bitter hops, sugar, and a little alcohol. Medium, well-carbonated, and really pleasant. It's very hoppy and high alcohol at 9.7%, so one to savor. I hope to try this one again. A
Later that day, I decided to indulge one more time and open a Bigfoot from a year ago. I poured it into a snifter; it was dark and cloudy, with lazy carbonation, and a small fluffy head. It smelled sweet - sugar, floral hops, and a little bit of bitter hops too. The flavors were big. Strong malts, caramel, also floral hops, and dark fruit. I really enjoyed it. A

A pretty self-indulgent day, but hey - May 5th is National Homebrew Day. The least I could do is have a little education and a little drinking.