BEER #27: HAWKTOBERFEST, 23RD STREET BREWERY

ImageTonight’s ginormous 60 oz. fishbowl beer is Hawktoberfest from 23rd Street Brewery – another fun local brewery in Lawrence, KS. Luckily for me and other high alcohol tolerant drinkers, you can have yourself 60 oz. of a craft brew for just $7.00 on a lovely Sunday evening – screw those Bloody Mary’s. However, I do have to say I think it’s ridiculous that I was charged $1.25 to try approximately 3 oz. of the Hawktoberfest before I ordered a fishbowl of it. Shout out to our other local brewery, Free State, for not charging for a sample before you order. In the name of beer drinking etiquette, that’s pretty crappy to do to a paying customer who wants to ensure an excellent beer is poured.

Anyway, that was my empty wallet ranting. This beer has a beautiful amber color with a little bit of a red hue mixed in. The head is thin and dissipates quickly with very little lacing. The carbonation is medium. The beer has a great malty flavor and you don’t taste the alcohol much in it, which I personally like. It also has a little bit of a sweet caramel twist at the end. However, I can’t taste much of any hop in this beer. It’s medium-bodied and goes down smoothly. Very drinkable. It’s all around a drinkable malty beer that went along great with a handful of home made pub chips…plus it has  Jayhawk influence in the name – definitely can’t go wrong with that! Rock chalk jayhawk!

ABV: 6%; IBU: 27

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BEER #26: SUPER NOVA SUMMER FEST, EMPYREAN BREWING COMPANY

ImageTonight’s beer is a summer seasonal called Super Nova from Empyrean Brewing Company in Nebraska. This may be the first beer I’ve had from the Cornhuskers, and I am not a fan.

The color of the beer is a hazy golden with a good amount of carbonation. However, the carbonation does settle out after about 5 minutes of the beer warming up. The head is thin and creamy and there is a slight amount of lacing. The aroma of the beer is lightly hopped with a sweet citrus. The taste of the beer is just not good in my opinion. They tried to make an American Pale Ale, and you can taste a bit of that bitter from the hops, but this beer is also very watery in my opinion and after drinking about half of it, I’m throwing the rest down the drain.

ABV: 5%; IBU: 35 

BEER #25: HOP CZAR, BRIDGEPORT BREWING COMPANY

ImageToday’s beer is Hop Czar from BridgePort Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon (thanks Joel!). They describe this beer as an imperial IPA, and it is pretty darn good.

The beer pours a nice amber-orange and has a pretty decent size head. Medium lacing is left along the glass. It smells heavily of hops and pine with some citrus, and this comes through with the taste as well. The taste of the beer is obviously very hoppy, but it is very earthy with a strong influence of pine coming through. This beer is also A LOT maltier than I anticipated – this adds to the interesting finish to this beer, but I don’t think I’m a big fan of this taste. I’ve honestly never had an IPA with such a strong malt backbone, so maybe I just need to have it a few more times to really appreciate this flavor palate.

ABV: 7.5%, IBU: 85 

BEER #24: BUSTER NUT BROWN ALE, SKA BREWING COMPANY

ImageTonight’s beer is Buster Nut Brown Ale from Ska Brewing Company also in Colorado. (I think I need to move to Colorado or Oregon given all the beers I’ve been reviewing happen to be from these two places).

The color is a nice dark brown with hidden hues of red when you hold it up to the light. The head is medium and is very frothy and smooth with the lightest tint of tan. Medium carbonation and the viscosity of the beer is thicker than most. A small amount of lace is left along your glass as you sip away. The aroma of the beer is especially malty with a little hint of yeast. The taste of the beer is very malty and nutty. It also has hints of caramel or brown sugar mixed in, and the slightest bite of alcohol and hops finishes off the beer. It’s a good brown ale, but it doesn’t scream memorable to me. What do you think?

ABV: 5.1%

BEER #23: ST. LUPULIN EXTRA PALE ALE, ODELL BREWING COMPANY

ImageYesterday’s beer was St. Lupulin, an extra Pale Ale, out of Odell Brewing Company in Colorado.

Man is this beer refreshing! The color of the beer is a beautiful hazy yellow. There is a thin-medium head with this beer, and a medium amount of lacing remains on the pint glass. The aroma of this beer is malty with the most decadent mix of floral hops. The beer has a very nice balance of malts and the nice floral sweetness of hops without the intense bitter due to it being dry hopped. Think honeysuckle being infused into your delicious, carbonation filled flavorful beer. I highly recommend. I want another after just writing this. This is by far one of the best beers yet I’ve reviewed. Summer may be over, but boy am I glad that this seasonal is still at a few of my local liquor stores.

ABV: 6.5%; IBU: 46

BEER #21: DOUBLE RED ALE, BRIDGEPORT BREWING COMPANY

Today’s beer is a “triple-hopped” Double Red Ale out of BridgePort Brewing Company in Oregon.

The color of the beer is a nice amber-orange-red, and there is a medium amount of carbonation through out. The head is thin and light. The aroma of the beer is light with the presence of malt and a slight amount of hops breaking through. When tasting the beer, I honestly taste a lot more rye and malt than hops. However, the hops do leave a bitter, pine/spicy ending note. The beer has a sour/acidic tinge and the taste of the alcohol is strong…I’m surprised that this beer does not have a higher alcohol content due to the taste. The beer finishes with a slightly dry, nutty finish.

I am not sure what I’ve decided about this beer. I think the taste of alcohol was too strong, and the body is too warm for how bitter and malty it is. I think it would be better paired with a warm, sweet cinnamon-like dessert rather than just drinking it on its own. This is definitely one I will need to try again before I make up my mind on whether or not it’s a winner.

ABV: 7.5% ABV