Skip to main content
07-21-01

Portland Breweries: McMenamins

07-21-01McMenamins is another chain that has dozens of locations in the Portland area. I know you are thinking that I traveled across the country to visit chain breweries; this is the last one. We went to the McMenamins Crystal Ball location. The funny thing is that have an additional bar the next block down. Weird.

McMenamins was a werid place overal, but I dug it. When Smalls and I entered there was a large bar area, and a decent seating area. Overtop the bar was a huge concoction of things. Broken glass, odd figures, bits and pieces of just about anything. It gave a folky vibe, which for an Irish place, is somewhat fitting. Smalls and I ordered our normal water and sampler.

In the sampler was a fruit beer, pale ale, stout, pilsner, wheat, and a porter. Most Portland breweries seemed to have a good selection of brews that run the gambit. To start out with we had the Pilsner called Bagdad Ale. It was a pretty tasty Pilsner with nice sutble flavors that would be perfect on a hot day. It was a great example of how you can use ale yeast for a lager. We then moved onto the wheat named Edgefield Wheat. I was alright, a typical American Wheat which some not subtle flavors but nothing to write home about.

The fruit beer was next on the list. It was called the Ruby and was pinkish in color. I never really had a beer that was that color before, so I was a little werided out. It is brewed a puree of Oregon grown raspberries as well. IF you have read this blog in the past, you know I’m not a fan of fruit beers, and this one did not agree with me. It was too sweet, to overly fruited (is that even correct english?) and there was nothing other than fruit. Not a fan.

Terminator Stout was McMenamins offering of a stout. Pretty typical flavors, mouthfeel, and aftertaste. I enjoyed it, but then again a typical tasting stout is pretty good on its own. Black Rabbit Porter was pretty excellent. It had a nice coffee flavor to it and Smalls promptly called dibs on it after tasting. Is it weird that I don’t like coffee, but I like coffee flavors in beer? Just saying. The final beer we had at McMenamins was their top seller, a pale ale, Hammerhead. It was a bit higher in hops than what I like in a pale ale but it was well balanced and fit the name. It was clean and really hit the spot.

The food wasn’t half bad at McMenamins either.  We got there for the lunch special and got all of our food and beer for under $25. Being that we had a $25 gift certificate, we each ordered another pint to finish it off. I got the Hammerhead and Smalls decided on the Pils. Pretty good place, both beer and food were not up to the standards of some of the future breweries I will write about from Portland. I would put the beer slightly behind Rock Bottom, and the food way behind it.

09-06-11-02

Troegs Brewing Company Nugget Nectar Ale Beer Review

09-06-11-02

Troegs is one of my favorite breweries. For the past five years I have lived in Lancaster, PA, which is about 20 minutes away from Harrisburg, PA, home of Troegs. So needless to say, I made a few trips out there during my time living near it. Feburary is one of my favorite times for beer. The spring beer are beginning to come out and Troegs releases their Nugget Nectar Ale. Let me start off with what the brewery has to say:

Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Hop Bitterness (IBU’s) : 93ish
Color (SRM) : Straw-Orange
Availability: 1/2, 1/6 and Cask Conditioned kegs, 12 oz. bottles
Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich
Hops: Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade
Yeast: Ale

09-06-11-05Squeeze those hops for all they’re worth and prepare to pucker up: Nugget Nectar Ale, will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience.

On the nose, this beer is hops, hops, hops. Citrusy and wonderful. It pours a nice orange color and has a decent amount of head, that lasts through the entire drink. As the brewery claims, it is like their Hopback Amber Ale, just an intense version.

It is nicely balanced and has a great malt backbone to support the hops. If you like IPA’s you will dig this beer. I f you can get it in Feburary do it. It is fresh and wonderful tasting. I had this in a 22 oz bottle in Feburary. I just found this at a local bar, on tap, and it is not as fresh, but still good. I wish Troegs made this year-round instead of just one month of the year. Again, if you are a hop head, go get this if you can find it. (more…)

Lubbock, TX Triple J Sampler Beer Review

Two weeks ago I was in Lubbock, Texas doing some job hunting during my spring break. Naturally one of the first things I did was look for a brewpub to visit. I found the Triple J Chophouse and Brew Company. You can check out their site here. Triple J is a nice place; it has some good food (a bit overpriced) and looked to have some promising beer.

09-03-19-01For a seemlingly upscale place, the table covers were brown paper. Kind of werid but I liked it. Anyway, onto the beer. I ordered the sampler which came with four of the breweries five beers, my server gave me a taste of the other one as well. From right to left you have the stout, cream ale, rye ale, raider red, and the smaller sample was of their IPA.

The cool thing was that they served their beers in little mason jars. The stout was pretty good; nice, roasty, and well balanced. I enjoyed it but it was nothing super special. A very good example of the style. The cream ale wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t very creamy with no head and a real lack of flavor. The rye ale was a nice treat. I love rye beers with their suttle flavors and this one was a bit different. The rye was really allowed to shine and it got better the more I drank. The Raider Red (Lubbock is home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders) was my least favorite of all of the beers. The website claims it is malty and balanced with hops, but I think it was way over hopped. There was a bit of nice malt upfront but it faded quickly with the hops. The final beer was the IPA small sample. As with the Raider Red it was over hopped, but it fits with the style. My problem was that it went too far with the hops. I like an IPA that has a little something else to offer, this did not. There was not a strong malt backbone to help balance the hops at all. Some may love it, I did not.

If you are in Lubbock for any reason (please don’t) then check out the Triple J. It’s not my favorite brewpub but it offers tons of different beers thoughout the year.

A little background

If you haven’t read the About Us page yet, I suggest you go on over and start that. If you have, and want to know more, then here is the post for you. My name is Nate and I am the tech/internet savy person who started this site, Pete was an afterthought. I got my inception to beer a couple of years ago and haven’t grown tired of the stuff yet. I’ve enjoyed making trips out to different bars, breweries, and 6-pack stores trying to sample as much as I can. And no, I’m not the snobby beer drinking who asks of little sample glasses and leaves when I’m at the bar (you know who you are).

I drink my beers fully by the glass, 6-pack, or case. I love drinking beer, but I have also gotten into homebrewing. This site will be a mix of beer reviews, homebrew, and beer culture. I’ve been homebrewing for two and a half years or so, mostly on the Mr. Beer setup. This last summer I finally converted over and got the 7.5 gal plastic buckets and all of the other necessary things. I’ve made everything, good and bad, from stouts, lagers, IPAs, Red Ales, and even a cider. I am getting ready to make my jump into all grain. So with that, my introduction is done. Think what you may, but I’m having a great time trying new stuff and creating some concoctions of my own.