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Beer Review #132 Victory Summer Love

I’ve reviewed a fair number of Victory Brewing Company beer on this website. Part of the reason for this is that it is one of my “home” breweries. In college I lived 45 minutes away from Downingtown, PA, home of Victory. By the grace of God I was able to get their beers in Texas and now that I live in Delaware, the brewery is only an hour away. I was at their brewery two weeks ago and saw Summer Love on the tap menu. I never heard of it so I grabbed a six pack on my way out. Apparently this beer had previously been released a few years ago, but they recently had a re-release party.

Summer Love is styled as an American Blond Ale or Golden Ale. It pours a surprising </sarcasm> golden color with a wispy white head. The beer is perfectly clear as well. The nose is pretty intense for the style. By that I mean that it is super hoppy. I find a lot of Victory’s beers tend to be on the hoppy side of the style, but this one is really hoppy smelling. There is a lot of citrus/grapefruit hops going on. A light touch of biscuit can also be found, but the hops really dominate the flavor profile.

As much as the hops smell like they will overpower this drink, they don’t in the flavor arena. The hops are strong, but balanced enough with the malt to make this beer very drinkable. I found a nice honey-like sweetness mixed with some bready flavors in the front end of this beer, followed by a solid hop punch. The hops linger around a bit longer than I wanted on my tongue, but I think that is more do to personal preference.

Victory Summer Love comes in at a 5.2% ABV rating. It is nice and refreshing as any summer beer should be. I like that it doesn’t follow the typical orange Belgian flavor profile that is so prevalent in summer beers. I love the artwork on the label of this beer. It is slightly nostalgic in the way it is presented, but also shows a slew of summertime activities; camping, fishing, baseball, fireworks, etc. I feel like they also did some things just for the local area on the artwork. The Liberty Bell is on there along with some baseball themes. Obviously the Phillies have been a summertime tradition in Philadelphia and that trend is only growing. Philadelphia’s City Hall is on the back label as well. As a homegrown Philadelphian, I appreciate a brewery that acknowledges that locals. There is still a month left of summer, so try this on out while you can. (more…)

Beer Review #123 Blues’ Golden Ale

This beer was a bit of a surprise when I first saw it on the shelves of the local beer store. The main reason for this was the fact that it was in aluminum bottles, 22 oz. aluminum bottles. I’ve seen plenty of breweries using cans as their container, but the only place I’ve seen the aluminum bottles is at a baseball game. I was intrigued, so I had to purchase their beer (I actually got a bottle of each of their three brews).

Blues’ Golden Ale is brewed by 16 Mile Brewing Company of Georgetown, DE. This beer pours a beautiful golden color and it is perfectly clear. It also has a two finger white head. One of the nice things about a 22 oz. bottle is that you can’t get all of it into a single pint glass, so you have a little nightcap in every bottle. The nose was pretty nice for a beer that looks like a more vibrant American Lager. There is a nice honey-like sweetness with a strong biscuit aroma mixed in. In addition to the malt odors, there is a really nice fruity aroma that ties everything together nicely.

The taste is light and crisp. The honey that is offered in the nose comes through in the taste and the bread/biscuit really gets kicked up a few notches. There is a light fruity flavor much like that in a lowly hopped Pale Ale.

I didn’t find this beer aggressive in any respect, but that’s not a bad thing. Blues’ Golden Ale is a enjoyable beer that is easy drinking but flavorful. I would highly suggest this beer for anyone on a warm day, and to a newcomer to craft beer. (more…)

Beer Review #117 Merry Monks

Seeing that this is my first day in Belgium I figured that a review of a Belgian style Golden Ale is fully appropriate. This brew comes from Weyerbacher Brewing Company out of Easton, Pa. Weyerbacher makes a lot of great brews and Merry Monks was one of my first Belgian style beers. I honestly don’t know what the difference between a golden ale and a Tripel is, but for this beer the stats seems very similar. Merry Monks rocks in at a wonderful 9.3% ABV.

This Belgian style ale pours a nice straw color and has a slight haze. An abundant white head floats on top of the ale. The nose promises some heat, along with a nice sweetness. The typical Belgian spices are in there as well, but this particular yeast stain really features a banana aroma.

On the first taste I noticed a slight sweetness on the front part which is quickly followed by the Belgian spices. The banana that was on the nose follows through in the flavor as well. The only thing that I didn’t detect was the heat. I got no heat on this beer, even after letting it warm for a bit. This beer is devilishly drinkable. I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend this beer to anyone. (more…)

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 #56 Tire Bite Golden Ale

We start off Flying Dog Brewery week with Tire Bite Golden Ale. This beer comes in at 5.0% ABV and supports 16.5 IBUs.  The beer pours a golden color (shocking I know) and is perfectly clear. There is a fluffy white head to go along with it as well. On the nose this is a bit of malt, with biscuit and bread in there as well. There is also a slight hop nose, but nothing overwhelming.

The flavor is bready with a light malt sweetness. The beer is very crisp. The only thing that I found odd was that it finishes a bit sour, with some lemon flavors in there. Overall it was nice and light, just had a few strange flavors that I was not expecting.  The beer is light, but well bodied. I would say this is a solid summer beer. Light and refreshing but refreshing.

If you look around the beer review sites this beer has a very low rating. I don’t know if they changed the recipe or anything like that recently, but I don’t think it deserves the low ratings at all. Sure it isn’t something that is super unique or fully flavorful, but it is not supposed to be. It is a simple refreshing beer that fits in perfectly with warm weather. If you are looking for something light and refreshing and still has flavor this beer might be for you. (more…)