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03-20-00

Beer Review #320 Piercing Pils

03-20-02Dogfish Head is out with yet another new beer, a lager this time around. Piercing Pils is the name of the beer and it is a “Czech-style Pilsner brewed with pear juice, pear tea and Saaz hops,” because you know you can’t be Dogfish Head without throwing something weird into the mix.

Piercing Pils pours a yellow straw color and it has a bit of a haze to it. A medium white head fades into a thin white head and remains for the rest of the drink. Dogfish Head has recently gotten large enough to have it’s own branded bottles and Piercing Pils looks gorgeous¬†coming out of their new bottles. The nose is sticky sweet with bits of sulfur. It also has a good bit of citrus that adds a nice layer to the aroma of the beer.

On the first taste I was really surprised at the amount of citrus that comes out of this beer. A lime-like flavor starts and ends the beer. There isn’t a ton of malt to talk about but there are some nice bread notes that come out as you drink the beer. I’m not a giant fan of pears but this beer allows you to experience a good pear flavor without becoming dominant. The hops really come in at the end and clean-up the beer nicely.

I really didn’t expect to like this beer as pears are just not my thing. I found myself really enjoying this beer. It’s easy to drink and it goes down very easily. Not all new Dogfish Head beers agree with me but this one does. (more…)

07-16-03

Beer Review #301 Imperial French Style Ale

07-16-02I’m always on the lookout for new beers and beer styles to sample and try. When I came across the Lavery Brewing Company’s Imperial French Style Ale, I just had to purchase it. It comes from Erie, PA and Lavery has a bit of a history of making some different styles of beer that you normally don’t find. I’m also a bit partial being from Pennsylvania.

Lavery’s Imperial French Style Ale pours a hazy straw color. This beer comes packed with carbonation which results in a thick white head. This nose has a slight hop around that was nondescript. A wet hay aroma cane be found along with some Belgian-like spice. A grassy note can also be found. It has a Belgian IPAness to it.

On the first taste I was really struck by how bright the hops were. The nose didn’t really let on that bright hops were to be found in this beer, but upon tasting, there they were. The hops are packed with citrus and have notes on lemon. There is a slight Belgian yeast note that comes out the more the beer warms. There is also a slight sourness mixed into the flavor that I rather enjoyed. All tolled, the malt wasn’t very powerful, but the hops and yeast notes make this an interesting tasting beer.

In my notes I wrote, “a very nice, confused beer.” It’s like a Belgian IPA with a funkier yeast than what you normally find. The hops are on par with other beers in the style by the yeast is more unique than others that I have tried. If you like IPAs, and more specifically Belgian IPAs, this will be an enjoyable, drinkable beer for you. I’m excited to try more of their stuff in the future. (more…)

Beer Review #237 Responders Ale

16 Mile Brewing Company is becoming on of my favorite local breweries. Sure they don’t turn out the volume or variety of their neighbor Dogfish Head, but they do turn out quality, drinkable beers. The owner of 16 Mile, Chad Campbell recently did an interview with the guys from the Better Beer Authority, check it out here.

Responders Ale pours a clear golden straw color. It has a nice dense white head that does not quickly fade. The nose has a good helping of malt along with a complimentary citrus odor from the hops. There are also some hints of honey mixed in there.

A nice light malt flavors kicks this beer off and is followed by the additional malt notes of honey and bread. The hops come in at the end and provide  a small kick. They scream citrus and do a nice job of balancing out the malt. I still think this beer is a bit malt forward, but there is nothing wrong with that.

This beer comes in at 4.1% so you can easily down a few of these. The beer was designed as a thank you to emergency responders. I really liked this one. It has a fresh quality that can only come from a locally brewed beer. I think this one fits in perfectly into the summer beer category. I wish that I would have tired this earlier so that I could have enjoyed more of them. (more…)

Beer Review #231 Hocus Pocus

Disclaimer: This beer was sent to me by the brewery as a promotional sample

The good folks at Magic Hat Brewing Company hooked me up again with a sampler pack of their fall selection. Today’s beer is Hocus Pocus, a beer that hasn’t been brewed since 2008 but was brought back by popular demand. Along with out next review they sent a bottle of Hi.P.A which I reviewed over 200 beers ago. As a quick review, it is a solid IPA that mixes hops and malt very nicely. I enjoyed having it again after a few years of evolving taste buds.

Hocus Pocus is a wheat beer that comes in at a tiny 4.5% ABV. It’s meant to be sessionable and drinkable. I had this beer several years ago but I never had the chance to review it and to be honest, I don’t remember much about it other then its logo. Hocus Pocus pours a nice golden straw color with a thin white head. For a wheat beer, this one was super clear. The nose has some great floral hops that hit you at first and are quickly followed by some nice wheaty grain. A good dose of citrus comes in at the end of the breath which really rounded out the nose on this one.

Up front this beer has some honey-like sweetness that gives way to a slight citrus punch. A nice bready flavor also fades into compliment the rest of the malt flavors. There is a hop note that is present during most of the drink but it’s not a biting hop, just flavor. I found it very nice as a strong bittering component would have overpowered the malt.

I really liked this one. It’s perfect for those warm fall days that fade into brisk fall nights. This one might become my Sunday afternoon football beer as it doesn’t pack a lot of ABV’s but has some really nice flavors going on. I’m glad that Magic Hat brought this one back as I think it is one of their better seasonal beers. (more…)

Beer Review #219 Sunshine Pils

Many of the first reviews were of Troegs Brewing Company. The reasons for this are two fold 1.) They make lot of good beer, and 2.) They were the most accessible craft beer when I first got into craft beer. Since that time they have been in my regular buying rotation as I still have a fondness for their beers. Sunshine Pils is a spring/summer seasonal release of theirs that I never actually tried until this year. Generally when I am looking for a good PA pilsner, I go for Victory’s Prima Pils, but seeing as this was a new beer to me, I grabbed it.

According to the bottle, Sunshine Pils comes in at 5.3% but Troegs website says 4.5%. In any case this beer looks exactly like a pilsner should. It is a golden straw color and has a brilliant clarity to it. A thin white head sits atop the beer below and slowly absorbs back into the liquid. The nose is a bit more complex then what I was expected. The first thing that gets you is a good solid malt, which has a grainy, fresh quality to it. The odor is on the sweet side with some bits on honey mixed in there. I didn’t get any hops in my attempts to find them.

The taste very much follows what the nose promised. It starts off with a honey sweetness that has some notes for grain as it goes over the back third of your tongue. There is a really nice earthiness to this beer which I wasn’t expected. It has a real handcrafted quality to it that I have not found in many pilsners. The hops finally make their appearance at the very end of this one and give a slight noble hop spiciness that dries everything out enough to keep this beer from being too sweet.

With the exception of the earthiness, this is a pretty standard pilsner. It was nice, balanced, and refreshing; all things that a pilsner should be. I wish I had tried this beer soon as it would have really helped those summer classes in my college days. (more…)