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Beer Review #44 Snow Cap Winter Warmer

Another seasonal beer found in Lubbock, I can’t believe it. I saw a review of this beer on Taste Buds awhile ago and, being that I’ve never had a Pyramid brew before, I decided this would be a good first offering. It comes in a short but stout bottle much like Sierra Nevada’s beers do. The label is pretty neat and has a whole heck of a lot going on. There are various winter sports on the label and they did a few little graphic design tricks to make it look interesting. When looking for the name of the brewery, I actually saw that it said Pyramid Breweries as there are locations in Seattle, Berkeley, and Portland. Somehow we didn’t make it to Pyramid during our honeymoon in Portland.

Snow Cap pours a nice dark ruby color with tinges of brown in it. It is perfectly clear and has a thick off-white head to go along with it. The nose of the beer is malty with some tones of dried fruit in there. I didn’t really get much in the way of hops, which for a Winter Warmer is a toss-up. There were also some roasty notes in there as well.

The taste of the beer is malty, which is to be expected seeing as how there was so much on the nose. There are some notes of chocolate in there as well which I was not expecting. There are some hop undertones but they are very restrained. And finally there is some alcohol in there as well. Snow Cap actually comes in at 7.0% ABV; just right for a winter warmer. It has a medium body on it as well. I think the biggest thing that I noticed is how dry this beer is. It seems more like an English style dark ale than a winter warmer. This beer is very drinkable as it is very subdued. All of the flavors mesh well with each other and it is excellently balanced. This is more what I was thinking when I want a winter warmer. (more…)

Beer Review #39 Celebration Ale

Happy New Year and welcome back to BreweryReviewery.com. Today we are celebrating two things; New Years and our first anniversary. Yup, one year ago today we opened the site  and this marks the 175th post on the site since that date. And what better way to celebrate these two events than with a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.

Celebration Ale pours a nice orange-amber in color  and has a massive, fluffy, off-white head. There are lots of tiny, medium, and large bubbles to be found. The beer is also clear if you are into that type of thing. The nose of the Celebration Ale is complex and hoppy right off the bat. The most immediate smell is citrus hops. followed by a bit of pine odor, and there is also a bit of malt sweetness that sneaks in. Citrus hop is by far the most dominate smell with the others taking a back seat.

The beer’s flavor is also complex. The initial taste is malty while is immediately followed by a citrus flavor. The citrus hop flavor is very refreshing and fits in so well. Then the pine takes over. As I said on my last post, I remembered this tasting like a Christmas tree. And boy does it. The pine flavor dominates all of the early flavors. Even the aftertaste is pine. I find the pine to be not as terrible as I used to but it is still a bit too strong for my liking and it really crashing on the  tongue in a harsh way. I do like that the malt backbone is just strong enough to support the hop.  The interesting thing about this beer that more further you get into the drink the less of the pine flavor you get and the more of the citrus there is.

Celebration Ale has a medium body and nice, lasting carbonation. It comes in at 6.8%. This is surely not a beer for a newcomer to craft beer. Heck, this might not be for people who have had their fair share of craft beers. You have to be an IPA lover to enjoy this beer and also enjoy piney hops. Pine is not my favorite at all, it is probably the hop flavor that I least like. The saving grace for this beer, in my mind, is that the pine fades and the citrus comes through. IF you are a hop head and enjoy other Sierra Nevada products then this beer is right up your alley. (more…)

What are you drinking on New Years?

I did a post back when the Obama administration took office on the beer that I would be drinking for the Inauguration. That lead me to think about the beer that I would be having for New Years. I have been scouring the store shelves looking for the right beer to fit for the day. I finally came across it while at the World Market the other day.

I have decided to go with Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. What other time of the year gets celebrated as much as New Years. While I can claim that I have never been to a New Years party (is that sad) I can say that I have enjoyed many a tasty brew from the safe confines of my house. Last year I had a helping for three different stouts and a nice barleywine. Celebration Ale is on tap this year and I am super excited. I haven’t had it in just over two years now, which is right around my awakening to craft beer.

So I am excited to get to taste it again and see if I like it as much as I did before. The biggest thing I remember it tasting like is a Christmas tree, but we shall see if that still holds true as my tastes have evolved. Celebration Ale is also appropriate becasue January 1st marks the one year anniversary of BreweryReviewery. Have a happy and safe New Years everyone, I have a bunch of fun plans for the site coming up this year.

Custom six packs

For some reason I forgot to mention that my new “home” of Lubbock, Texas has become a wet city in the past 2 months or so. I would like to think that this happened becasue I moved into the area and they knew that I didn’t want to drive long distances for an adult beverage. So you are welcome Lubbock for not having to travel outside of city limits for a drink.

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Anyway, one of the guys at work alerted me to our local World Market. He said that they have beers from all over the world there and that the prices aren’t too shabby either. I went out yesterday for a few things and stopped by the World Market to see what he was talking about. And he was right on both counts; beers from everywhere and decent prices. Most of the world beers came in clear bottles and you can buy them singles only. Not a fan of that. But on the American side of things you could get six packs, cases, and mix and match six packs. Awesome.

There were roughly 30 different beers that you could choose from to put into your six pack. While I was deciding on which six beers to purchase (only 6 under strict instructions from SWMBO), I was thinking about why more places don’t do this. It is a great option for a place that specializes in craft beers. Most craft beer drinkers want to taste everything they can, and the store can charge a slightly higher price per bottle for the convenience of having a custom six pack. The other nice thing is that they had a flat price per bottle, so your choices were not limited by the cost either.

I picked up the following beers for $1.89 a bottle:

  • Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
  • Sierra Nevada Stout
  • Victory Storm King Stout
  • Pyramid Snow Cap Ale
  • Full Sail Amber Ale
  • Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Some of those beer would of cost me more per bottle if I would of just gotten them as a six pack. Sweet. Anyone else have a local store that does mix and match and do they do it on a per bottle charge or a flat fee?