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Really Miller Light?

09-03-09-01This blog generally only talks about good beer and beer related things, but I just saw something that irritated me to no end. It was a TV commercial about Miller Light. I’m used to that type of thing, generally it says tastes great, less filling and flashes some hottie up there. But no, this commercial went after the craft brew industry a bit. It talked about how Miller Light is hopped three different times. I wasn’t even sure there were hops in that swill. To quote a recent article:

“MillerCoors shared its new Miller Lite ad campaign with investors, saying it will focus on the brand’s taste to woo new consumers. One ad played for analysts touted the fact that brewers add hops to Miller Lite three times while it is being made. It also used a slogan familiar with its fans: ‘Great taste, less filling.'”

I guess this isn’t really that suprising since they also claim they are a true pilsner beer but come on.

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…)

Lancaster Brewing Company Sampler Beer Review

This isn’t so much of a beer review as it is a sampler review. I recently celebrated my birthday and decided that the best way to do that was to sample some microbrew from a local place. I live in Lancaster, PA so I went to Lancaster Brewing Company. They have some great beers, and package 4 of them (Milk Stout, Strawberry Wheat, Amish Four Grain, Hop Hog). They also package a few seasonals, but at their brewpub in Lancaster City they have a lot more to choose from.

Looking at the image on the left, there are 13 sampler glasses! That’s the most I’ve ever had from a microbrewery sampler plate. They were all 5 oz. glasses and it only costs $15. Not a bad deal at all.

There were actually only 12 beers on tap, but they then decided to make a black and tan type drink by combining the Milk Stout and the Strawberry Wheat into something they called a Chocolate Covered Strawberry. I like the Milk Stout by itself, not so much on the Strawberry Wheat, but when combined, both brews go to a new level. I’ll be reviewing a bit more of their brews in the near future. I mainly wanted to comment on the quality of the beers (with the exception of the Oktoberfest, when it is January and the Oktoberfest is still around, it’s not good) and how great they made my birthday. (more…)

Victory Brewing Company Hop Wallop Beer Review

I’m going to go ahead and bring it back to PA for this beer review, with Victory Brewing Comapny’s Hop Wallop. Before I go into it, lets see what Victory has to say about their brew:

We celebrate the pioneering spirit of old Horace ‘Hop’ Wallop and those who dare mighty adventurous things in this vivid, robust ale. As our annual homage to the hop harvest, expect loads of aromatic splendor and bitter beauty.

Malts: Imported German malts
Hops: American whole flowers
Alcohol by volume: 8.5%”

Man-o-man is this thing good. They don’t call it a Wallop for no reason. This is a seasonal brew by Victory, starting in November and lasting for a limited time. Luckily, at 8.5% this beer can sit around for a bit and still be good (though the hops will fade a bit).

I was excited to get my hands on this. To start off with the beer has a nice hop/piney smell. There is a bit of citrus and alachol (not suprisingly) in there as well, but they are much more subtle. It pours a briliant oragne and as with most IPA’s, is very, very clear. There is a thick head that pours with the beer, and it stays through the entire drink.

When you take your first sip, you immeditaly notice the hops. The hop flavor carries through the entire drink and stays on your touge. There is a bit of malty goodness in the middle, but it is overshadowed by the ever-present hop. The hops do a nice job of hidding the alachol taste as well, as there is almost none present.

I could easily recommend this beer to any hop head. It might be too overpowering for someone not used to hops. The extreme hoppy flavors mixed with the slight malt gives a decent ballance. I know I keep going to local beers, but it is what I have the most access and experience with. The next review will be from much further away. Go try a Hop Wallop if you have the chance! (more…)