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Kona Brewing Company Fire Rock Pale Ale Beer Review

09-03-06-01Last summer I was in Hawaii and had the joy of the Fire Rock Pale Ale. I haven’t had it since August, but I ran across a six pack here in Texas and I knew I had to try it again. Let me start off with what the brewery has to say about its beer:

“Fire Rock Pale Ale is a crisp, refreshing “Hawaiian-style” pale ale. Its signature copper color results from the unique blend of specialty roasted malts. The pronounced citrus-floral hop aroma comes from the liberal amounts of Galena, Cascade & Mt. Hood hops added to each brew.”

09-03-06-08I like that they refer to it as a Hawaiian-style pale ale because  I believe it is the only pale ale made on the islands. I remember reading the following somewhere, but I am unable to find it now, so bear with me. The brewery is located on the Big Island and there beer there is only served on the islands. The company is environmentally conscience and has another brewery on the mainland that produces beer for the rest of the beer for the states. If you know if this is false or true please let me know.

09-03-06-04Anyway, Fire Rock Pale Ale has a wonder aroma to it. It is mostly hops on the nose and a very citrusy hops at that. It pours a copper to light orange and has a bit of haze to it. The head on the beer is great, it diminishes somewhat, but lasted through my entire drink.

For a pale ale, there is a lot of body on the drink. Nice and malty with the hop carrying through the beer. It finishes smooth and the hop sits on your tounge for a bit. Unlike a lot of American Pale Ales this is a balanced beer that isn’t overly hopped. I think the biggest thing with this beer is that it is very drinkable. I remember sitting by the pool at my hotel with a six pack of this stuff and just loving the day away. If you happen to run into a six pack, go ahead and pick it up, I don’t think you will be disappointed. (more…)

Lancaster Brewing Company Hop Hog Beer Review

09-02-26-10Lancaster Brewing Company’s Hop Hog is one of the four beers the offer year round. You can read the description that LBC gives their hoppy brew on the right.

This is actually one of the first microbrews that I ever had so it will always have a special place in my heart. At the time I first tried it, it was a bit hoppy for me. Now, I think it is just right. Anyway, this beer changes drastically from keg to bottle. Obviously keg is better but the bottled version is nothing to laugh at.

Opening up the bottle there is a pleasant floral/hop aroma with a hint of malt base. It carries a decent head that lasts through the whole drink and Hop Hog possessed excellent lacing. The brew pours and orange/copper color and is extremely clear (common of most IPAs).

As you can see on the right, there is a ton of hops, but the malt character does a great job at balancing the flavors. It is very dry and the drink just falls off of your tongue. Unlike some beers that have an unpleasant hop taste left after the drink has left your mouth (see CBC EPA), this has a lingering hop but it is right on for an IPA. I’m drinking a bottle that I bought four months ago at the time of writing this and the hop flavor still seems fresh.

As for most IPA’s the mouthfeel is very light and goes down easily. It is a very drinkable beer that gets better down the glass. I prefer mine slightly above fridge temperature as there are some notes that really pop right around there. As you can probably tell, this isn’t one of those brews that I have had a 6-pack of. I’ve drank Hop Hog several times, and I will continue to do so so it is an excellent IPA and a local one at that. (more…)

Custom Brewcrafters English Pale Ale Beer Review

09-02-19-05A friend of mine lived in upstate New York for the past few years and he brought me a bottle of Custom Brewcrafters’ English Pale Ale. He had previously brought me their Double Dark Cream Porter which I liked a great deal, so I figured this one would be on the same level.

09-02-19-02The bottle reads, “a well balanced amber ale with a smooth dry finish.” I opened the bottle to a nice pfff and it had a nice malty smell to it. There was a small bit of hops in there as well as a strange sour smell. I couldn’t put my nose to it, but there was something off. The beer pours a nice copper color but not super clear. There is a bit of cloudiness in there but as a homebrewer cloudiness is not a big deal.

Upon my first sip I couldn’t get very much mouthfeel. This beer felt very light and drinkable on basis of mouthfeel. Taste is another matter. There was not much malt flavor, the sour smell continued into the taste, and the hop bitterness stayed around just a little too long. The bottle was correct with the dry finish as the flavors drop right off of your tounge, but the bitterness lingers. It’s not a terrible beer by any strech, but it’s not a good one either. There was a little funk that threw this off. After checking around the net, it’s not just me that has had this problem with this brew. Maybe it is something they are trying to get into their beer, but it only takes away from it. If you are out and about and see this, pick it up if you have some extra cash, but better get a buddy give it to you for free like I did.

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