BEER #109: WHITE RASCAL, AVERY BREWING COMPANY

Beer #109 is White Rascal by Avery Brewing Company. The color of the beer is a foggy hay. There is very little head and it is high in carbonation. The taste is true to a Belgian white with orange, yeast & wheat flavors; however, it tastes a little watered down to me, but it’s a decent beer for a hot summer’s day. Very drinkable.

IBV: 5.6%, IBU: 10

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BEER #108: STONE IPA, STONE BREWING COMPANY

This beer company just came to Kansas from good ‘ol California – welcome to Kansas Stone Brewing Comapny.

I’m at one of my favorite bars in Lawrence, Henry’s on 8th, and they happen to have this on tap for me to try. Thanks Calvin for the recommendation!

It’s pretty dark in here but with the little light I have, I can tell the beer is a very crisp, clear golden. The head is small but very smooth and frothy. Little lacing is left along the glass as you drink. The carbonation is medium and smells very floral. There is a beautiful balance of bitter bite but one that also has some pine in it. This beer finishes very wet. If you are a hop head, this is your jam. Gotta be one of the top 10 IPAs I’ve had.

ABV: 6.9%, IBU: 77

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ODELL IPA, RE-BLOG

I’ve already blogged about this beer, but as I expand this blog to talk about beer in general, I want to shortly blog about this beer again after just downing it.

This is still one of my all-time favorite IPAs – it has a perfect subtle sweetness that balances the aromatics of the powerful hops in the body. So smooth – this is my go-to IPA. Anyway, I toured Odell brewery a few months ago and I’d like to give you a taste of what it’s all about as I reminisce on my awesome trip to Fort Collins while drinking this wonderful creation. Cheers!

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Odell Brewing Company’s sign outside their brewery

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My favorite logo of all time beautifully painted in the tasting room

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I sat outside of the tasting room/brewery whose wall just opened up into the inside of the tasting room – SO COOL.

They have several flights in the tasting room. I chose the Co-Pilot Tray aka the high alcohol content tray.

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NOM

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Our awesome tour guide showing us the bottling line. Very small line!

They have a tasting bar INSIDE the actual brewery. Here we go to taste some beer.

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Barrels of Beer

BEER #107: TSINGTAO, CHINA IMPORT

ImageSo today I decided to try my first Chinese beer (despite being Chinese). Beer #107 is Tsingtao Lager, and holy moly – this beer is awful.

I didn’t even bother pouring it in a glass after taking one whiff and a quick taste. It instantly smells strongly of an unwanted skunkiness and tastes overly sweet, but watery, and skunky/grassy. I imagine if a skunk ate a bunch of pixie sticks and then peed into a bottle, you would have Tsingtao Lager. Some will argue it’s better with food, but I truly don’t believe you should have to eat food to make a beer taste better – a beer should help make your food taste better by enhancing its flavors. Don’t waste your palate, nostril power or money on this bottle.

ABV: 4.8% 

BEER #106: RAYON VERT, GREEN FLASH BREWING COMPANY

20130811-182346.jpgToday’s beer is Rayon Vert from Green Flash Brewing out of California. The first thing I noticed about pouring this beer is its great amount of carbonation. I ran out of clean tulip glasses which probably would have helped control the poor but man was this thing heavy.

The brew has now been sitting in a pint glass settling down for a few minutes, revealing heavy lacing and a smooth off-white, creamy head. The color of the beer is a hazy golden orange and the aroma is strong of a farmhouse ale and citrus. The taste is quite the same as the aroma with strong belgian yeasts and a slight bitter bite at the end. I would complain that this beer is over carbonated after tasting it. The carbonation tingles on your tongue and kind of takes away from your palate deciphering all the flavors of the beer. Good beer other than the heavy co2.

ABV: 7%, IBU: 32

Beers of the Recent Past (#99-105) Free State, Boulevard, Sierra Nevada)

Alright, so I have had several beers I’ve had the last few weeks or so that I want to share.

First off, if you recall, my hometown brewery is Free State Brewery in good ‘ol Lawrence, Kansas. They have been busting their butts and brewing a ridiculous spectrum of beers recently. I feel like I’ve been having a new one every week, so here we go!

Courtesy of Free State Facebook's Page

Courtesy of Free State Facebook’s Page

Beer #99: Blood Orange Radler, Free State Brewery

What is up with Radler’s? They are taking off like no one has ever heard of them or tried them before. If you haven’t, the history in a nutshell of the story of a radler is gatorade for cyclists with the lovely harmony of a beer ringing true. Anyway, this one is AWESOME. First off, Free State Brewery can apparently not just brew beer, but can also brew up a HOME-MADE BLOOD ORANGE SODA. And damn, do I love blood orange soda. So they took their blood orange soda and perfectly matched it with their wheat beer (the first batch was actually with a lighter wheat beer). People loved it. People cried. People laughed. People fell off their bar stools. And now everyone in the state of KS is trying to get their hands on it. I’m not a fan of ultra-sweet beers b/c of it losing the integrity of being beer, and I am also not a fan of soda b/c of it being too sweet. However, this is right in the middle and serves to satisfy my not-so-active sweet tooth. If you need something sweet (but won’t kill you), refreshing, crisp and with a bit of carbonation and an underlying very light beer flavor, this is it. (8 IBUs)

From FS Instagram

From FS Instagram

Beer #100: HopSession, Free State Brewery

I am very disappointed in this beer, and I think the fact that it went to a $1.75 beer special on Monday nights (aka pint night) proves people aren’t liking it. I love IPAs and I love hops. However, this beer just makes me think their brewers thought, “Let’s just make the HOPPIEST beer ever!” and then completely ignored the rest of the beer’s chemistry. It taste like bile. It just taste like carbonated bitter…like a gin and tonic mixed with bile. I wanted to return this beer and get my $3.75 back. The crazy thing too is this beer is only 40 IBUs but just taste like crap.

Beer #101: Phoenix Rising, Free State Brewery

Wow! This beer rocks. It has a great amber color with a decent head. Very crisp and clean lager with a medium presence of malts and a hint of bitter that harmonizes well. This is another beer you could drink a lot of but still have a great delivery of malts without exploding from fullness.

Beer #102: Andre the Giant, Free State Brewery
I’m going to be short and sweet with this one. Do you ever wonder what a beer would taste like if it was a powerhouse of malts AND hops? Well, Free State did, and they succeeded in brewing the perfect chemistry. A beautiful deep malty brown color, and an off-white creamy head. You taste toasted, powerful, coffee/caramel like malts. And then, you get smacked with the warmth of a bitter hops. Perfect. Never had anything like it. Well done Free State! (92 IBUs)

Beer #103: Lemongrass Rye, Free State Brewery

You know those “refreshing” summer beers that everyone is always vying for? Especially those described as summery and tend to have a citrus/lemony flavor? Well, this one takes the cake. This is beautiful golden, crisp beer. It just smells refreshing with a hint of citrus. It cleans your palate like a crisp pilsner but carries some malt and of course a light rye flavor. And then there’s the lemon. It is a perfect addition to bring out all the flavors of the beer rather than making it taste like lysol like so many other “citrus, summer beers.” Thin head and a good amount of carbonation to let you keep drinking and drinking without filling you up. (12 IBUs)

Now, I need to actually look back and see what beers I’ve blogged about b/c I don’t actually remember a lot of them, but Beer #104 is Pop-Up Session IPA, Boulevard Brewery. So, love of beer runs in my family, and my brother just got married and had his reception at one of the greatest microbrews in my opinion: Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City, Missouri (the only good thing about Missouri, rock chalk! town rivalry kind of thing). On the right is picture of all the beers I had unlimited access to (and we had unlimited BBQ…KC BBQ + KC Beer = PARTY OF THE CENTURY). You’ll see on the far left, it is a tester called Session IPA…weBoulevard Brewery ll the demand was great for it as the community toured and sampled Boulevard’s beer, and they are now bottling it and releasing it very soon. This is a VERY drinkable IPA – yes you get a delivery of bitter (probably on a scale of 1-10, a 5 or 6), but the hops are so very floral and aromatic. So really, you get a beautiful balance of fruits and hops. It is a very nice crisp, golden color with a good amount of lacing that remains, as you can see from the picture on the right…also feel free to drool over the BBQ. I’m so excited to have this beer soon at easy access. (IBUs: 45; ABV: 4.2%)

Picture courtesy of The Pitch

Picture courtesy of The Pitch

Another great beer Boulevard Brewery and Sierra Nevada (California) collaborated on for Boulevard’s smokestack series was Beer #105: Terra Incognita and WOW, am I glad this vision came true. This beer reminds me a little bit of a less sour stingo b/c you do get a good amount of tart. However, you also get a little bit of chocolate flavors and a very nice deep roasted malt. Very nice thick foamy head. My favorite thing about this beer though is the oak and whiskey flavor that is delivered throughout the sip and body of the beer. I am a big fan of this beer, and I would love if they made it a permanent beer that would be released again in the fall for those cool nights.

Also from Boulevard Brewery was their much acclaimed and sought after Saison Brett 2013. I will blog about this on an other day as I luckily have another bottle I managed to save (through much self-control). I also have a bottle of this I’m going to age for a year and try again (woo more alcohol content and a plethora of more flavor).

I’m getting excited just talking about all these beers. I feel like these last few beers have been riding in the back of my head begging to be shared with the world, so I’m glad I could finally “confess” and get that off my chest. Hope you enjoyed!

I’m BAAAAACK (in creepy voice)

Hi friends (if I have anymore left on this blog)…

I’ve been thinking about the beer blog a lot lately. I also have a lot of friends that tell me they miss my beer blog. And, as I drink and drink and drink more delicious and unique brews these last few months, I feel sad that I have cut off a way to share the love and my opinions on the beauty in my pint glass.

So, I’m coming back. It’s not feasible for me to drink a new beer every day I’ve decided (I’m too poor, I just started a new job, I am trying to get into grad school, and many other excuses). So, I am still sticking to 365 days of beer, and I will eventually blog about 365 days of beer. My motto still is, “a new day, a new beer” but perhaps these days are just not all in a row. Plus, every day really is a new day, so why rush all these into just one year?

I’m also going to expand this to just talk about beer, why not? I mean, for example, I recently had a giant hissy fit that I was not able to purchase Great American Beer Festival tickets through the evil ticketmaster and instead had to purchase it for 2x the price on StubHub from some non good-doer who doesn’t realize the impact beer has on people’s lives and would rather rob them. And also, when I’m at this festival, I’m going to be drunkily or hangoverily (yes all made up words) blogging about the thousands of beers at the festival and probably the less than 100 I was able to try.

So I’m back – I hope I still have some old followers and can make some new ones. So, please join me, & let’s keep talking about our common love: beer.

Cheers,
Amanda