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I hate beer snobs!

Out in Texas I ran into a few beer snobs at the local homebrew club, but overall, they didn’t bother me all that bad. They knew what they liked and what they didn’t. No problem with that. Now that I live in Delaware, I have run into more beer snobs than I have ever met. I think this is do to a larger number of educated beer people, but it is getting annoying.

I was at my new favorite beer place yesterday trying to grab a bottle of Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew and I ran into the worst beer snobs I have ever met. It started with my wife and I looking around the store trying to see if they had it. We could not find it in any of the coolers or on the shelves so we asked one of the guys who works there if they had it. Limit two per customer, cool. As the worker descended into the back room, a couple who overheard the conversation came over to us and said, “we had a bottle of that this morning, it was alright, not really that great.” What! The rules of being in public say that you don’t listen in on other peoples conversations and make comments on them.

You also do not give your opinion on a beer that someone else specifically asked for unless they ask you for one. We were in the store for about a half hour getting what we wanted and the couple did not move from one shelf the entire time. They were in the way, and were on their iPhones looking up each and every beer on the shelf. If it didn’t have an “A” rating, it did not go in the cart. I hate that. Get something that you like, don’t depend on other people’s tastes. I love the craft beer world and love the community surrounding it, but those kinds of people drive me up the wall.

Beer Review #65 Alamo Golden Ale

I have a few Texas based beer reviews left to do before I can say that I am totally done with the state. This beer comes from Real Ale Brewing Company out of Blanco, Texas which is about an hour north of San Antonio. I am a bit confused about the beer though, as the packaging said it was made by Real Ale, but everything on the internet points to the Alamo Beer Company as the creator of the beer. Any help on figuring that bit out would be appreciated.

Alamo Golden Ale pours a straw to golden color, as expected. It is crystal clear and has a nice soapy white head. The nose has a slight malt sweetness and a hint of biscuit as well. There is a slight hop end but nothing overpowering. With a beer titled “Golden Ale” I didn’t expect a lot on the nose of flavor, but there were things that you could gather from both areas.

The taste is sweet and slightly fruity. There is also a bit of lemon in there as well. The back-end of the beer is very crisp and has a nice biscuity aftertaste. This beer isn’t throwing flavor at you, but it has some delicate flavors that work well in it. It sounds weird to say what I am about to type, but the carbonation adds a ton to this beer. It was just perfect for the beer. I don’t know what it was, but the carbonation made this beer tremendously enjoyable.

Alamo Golden Ale is super drinkable. It is on the light end with everything, so a seasoned craft beer drinker might not fall in love, but I enjoyed it. It is a great beer for a hot summer day, like those in Texas. I actually drank this beer while sitting under a covered porch of a 100+ day in Lubbock, and it hit the spot. The bottle and packaging have the following two things to say about the beer; “brewed with a fiercely independent spirit” and that it has a “smooth, almost velvety finish.” All I know is that it hits the spot on a hot day. (more…)

Beer Review #64 Summer Bright Ale

We have another summer beer to review today. This one comes from the Breckenridge Brewery in Denver, Colorado. This is another wheat style summer ale as well. Wheat lends itself to summer beers because wheat adds some unique flavors that work really well in a lighter beer. Summer Bright Ale comes in at a nice 4.5% which makes it very sessionable as well.

The beer pours with a thin white head and is slightly cloudy. The cloudiness is expected because of the wheat malt, but I would of expected a larger and more long lasting head. Wheat adds natural proteins to the beer that promote head retention. Generally wheat beers have big heads and many beers will have a slight bit of wheat malt in them to just promote a good head. Golden or straw is where I would place the color on the beer.

The nose has some slight biscuit with some malt. There was some bitterness, but no a normal hop bitterness that you usually get on a beer. Overall there isn’t a lot happening on the nose of the beer. The taste is a bit nondescript. There is not much malt or hops. There is some slight lemon or citrus in there, but not a ton. The finish of the beer is probably my favorite part of it. It is nice and bready which is a flavor that I like to have in a beer.

The mouthfeel is light and watery. This is a drinkable summer beer. It is light and not packed with flavor, but it is super sessionable and a foot into the craft beer world. I would recommend that you drink this beer cold as well. Unlike a lot of craft beers, this one doesn’t really open up to anything new when warm. It is much more refreshing cold as well. If you like lighter beers that don’t have a ton of flavor but are still considered craft beer this one is for you. Also, if you are looking to get into the craft beer world, this is an easy beer to tackle and would be enjoyable for you. (more…)

What’s with Imperial Stouts?

If you haven’t noticed, I am a bit of a beer geek. Watching me shop for beer, writing/running this site, and a number of other things make this “news” very apparent. Because of my geekiness I tend to look at the two largest beer rating sites from time to time; Rate Beer and Beer Advocate. On these sites I don’t really tend to read the reviews because people tend to be really harsh on beers for no apparent reason or taste things that I can’t. Needless to say they are not helpful in that respect.

Even though I don’t read the reviews, I do look at the top beer lists. Rate Beer’s is simply titled the “Top 50 Beers” while Beer Advocates goes as far as to call it the “Top Beers on Planet Earth.” The two sites do largely agree on the good beers. What I find interesting is that most of the beers at Imperial Stouts. I don’t know why, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of love for other styles. Sure you get the Belgian beers in there and the occasional Double IPA, but Imperial Stouts take the cake.

While they are wonderful, why is it that “experienced” craft beer drinkers gravitate to the big beers? I must be missing a good segment of website traffic because I tend to stay away from the big beers. It is not becasue I don’t like them but I like so many different styles that I rarely grab the big guys. I am just wondering why the Imperial Stouts have become the beer style of the beer rating sites. Anyone have any ideas?

Beer Review #62 Drop Top Amber Ale

Widmer Brothers Brewing Company was one of the few Portland, OR breweries that my wife and I did not visit or taste on our honeymoon. I’m not sure why exactly we missed it, but we did. Perhaps it was because the town offers more breweries than one can visit in four days, but who knows. Anyway it is a brewery that is talked about a fair amount and when I saw one of their offerings in the store I decided to take a shot.

Drop Top Amber Ale pours an orange amber color and is perfectly clear. The color should not be to much of a surprise for a beer that has “Amber Ale” in it’s name. It also pours with a slight, off-white head. The nose on the beer is malty, fruity, and has a slight hop odor at the end. There are also hints of grape and orange in there as well. Not a super complex nose, but interesting.

The taste is malty upfront. Then some orange and fruity flavors follow. There isn’t much hop there, but the helps dry the finish out and adds a bit of crispness to it. Citrus also makes a delicate appearance in there. There is a strange malty aftertaste in the beer. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it was an odd flavor to have in a beer. Maybe it was the fruit flavors rolling off the tongue but I didn’t really dig it to much.

Overall I think the beer is drinkable. It is not a normal amber ale. The malt and lack of hops is there, but it is much more fruity than what you would normally expect from the style. It comes in at 5.0% ABV so it is very sessionalable and great for summer. If you like fruit beers this one is not going to blow you away with fruit and if you like amber ales this one is going to throw another flavor combination at you, but it is a drinkable beer for most craft beer drinkers. Give it a try, it might not blow your mind but it is a good stepping stone beer if you are just getting into the hobby. (more…)