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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #361
RE: Official Beer Thread
(01-04-2020 05:46 PM)Fatmonarch Wrote:  As a brewer, not a fan. I’m not a fan of a bartender altering the beer in any way. We brewed the beer to taste, look, feel a certain way. I’m even picky about type of glassware it goes in at our taproom. However, most of the beers that bartenders are doing this with are cheap, mass distro beers (yuengling, Guinness) and they probably don’t give a ****.

I'm not particularly proud of who I was back then and the drink choices that I made. Luckily, my path took me places that taught me better. I wouldn't consider myself a purist in any sense, but the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years gives me a substantial respect for beer and those that brew it. Thank you again for the insight that you provide here.
01-05-2020 12:04 AM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #362
RE: Official Beer Thread
Saw loads of chocolate beers in some local establishments all of a sudden. Some of them looked quite tasty but nothing has ever measured up to that first pint of Young's Double Chocolate way back when. Fish Brewing Co used to do a 10% chocolate stout (or imp stout w/ chocolate) as part of their Reel Ales lineup and I remember enjoying that one too. I think DuClaw still makes a chocolate/peanut butter beer too.

Now I miss the peanut butter variant of the Ballast Point Victory at Sea.
01-17-2020 08:09 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #363
RE: Official Beer Thread
Finally got the chance to try Commonwealth's Champagnia Italian Pils and I am not sure what to make of it. Surely the first Italian Pils that I have consumed so it is difficult to set expectations for this niche style derivative. It was enjoyable, that I know. Kind of like a crossover between a Belgian Blonde and a Czech Pils. Body was a bit oily and thin compared to either though.

I also got to try Commonwealth's Wolverine Baltic Porter conditioned on Spanish Cedar. This was one of the most interesting dark beers that I have had to date. Roasty with a touch of sweetness and a healthy bitterness backing it up, as expected with a BP. (Although I do prefer ones with a bit of smoky bite...) The cedar does something really cool for this beer, at least in my experience. I've had beer aged in or conditioned on wood of all sorts, but cedar is not one that I ever expected. Setting aside my personal affinity and history with the scent of cedar, that slightly herbal woodsy note makes this beer special in the nose and the finish after an additional retronasal exhale. I also got a bit of a medicinal cooling effect from the beer as opposed to the normal alcohol warming effect. I don't know if this was just a perceptual anomaly or if it was by design, but it made me really like this beer.

So Champagnia gets a meh until I can find some other Italian Pils examples to compare. Wolverine gets two thumbs up.
01-31-2020 08:23 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #364
RE: Official Beer Thread
Any general thoughts on Belgian Lambic or Gueuze? It has been a long time since I did my initial survey of the style and I have the money now to dive a bit deeper. I remember Lindemans Cuvee Renee fondly. It has been a while since I had Oud Beersel but I think they were good too. Cantillon apparently makes the best but I never could get a bottle of the stuff. I wouldn't mind something with a bit of Brett funkiness right about now.

I did always prefer the lively carbonation of Gueuze since it lent itself better to beer/food pairing. A dead flat lambic may be plenty flavorful, but lacking that palate-cleansing prickle of carbonation. There's a bit of prep work involved to serve anything that well-carbonated (ex. my experience with Piwo Grodziskie) but it pays off.
02-14-2020 09:22 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #365
RE: Official Beer Thread
A little late in the season for it (spring being about a week or two away) but I've recently had the opportunity to explore some barleywines and wheatwines. I was out in Harrisonburg on business a few weeks back and I got to try the BA Our Restless Monster by Restless Moons Brewing. The flavor profile of this one truly transformed over the course of an hour; whiskey-forward at first and then malt-forward later. Bar staff was knowledgeable and even gave food pairing ideas for some of their off-the-wall brews. There was also a Wee Heavy brewed with peppers that went over quite well with the lads. But anyway, moving on to wheatwine.

Reaver Beach did a decent BA one a while back. Crooked Run did the same I believe. And after all these years, still chasing that Susan Constant Wheatwine from O'Connor. Strong but smooth, flavorful and sweet but not cloying. Knocks you over if you drink alone, but that is all the more reason to find decent company to share with. This is a style derivative that I will continue chasing for a while, I think. I've found these examples, but I am curious to see what some breweries of varying method and means can do. I've had hop-forward barleywines (grimacing at you, 21st Amendment) but I have yet to encounter a hop-forward wheatwine. I like to think that it would be like Schneider Hopfenweisse but more aggressive on all fronts. I can dream, I guess.
03-17-2020 09:08 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #366
RE: Official Beer Thread
I was gifted a four pack of a dunkelweizen by Audacious Aleworks out of Falls Church the other night and I quite enjoyed it. Me and my bud split it two cans each, but I wish I had been greedy and taken a third can. Very tasty stuff. It wasn't quite Weihenstephaner level of quality (not a fair comparison, simply the standard), but it was damn good for a small American brewery. If I am ever up that way, I will have to stop in for a pint.

I am glad that I got to sample some interesting beer from a small operation like that considering the pandemic and its economic impact. If things don't turn around soon, it might be the hammer blow that crushes a lot of the strictly-local brewpubs and microbreweries who haven't caught on with a major distributor.
04-12-2020 07:14 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #367
RE: Official Beer Thread
I've had a thing for session IPAs lately. I've been doing some "virtual happy hours" with the lads and those have been the theme. Founders All Day went over well, DFH Slightly Mighty was decent. Haven't had Lagunitas Daytime in a while but that was a decent low-calorie option. Sweetwater (GA) makes one I think. If you're looking for one from Georgia though, Terrapin's RecreationAle would be my recommendation. Way further north, Flying Fish Daylight Savings remains one of the more interesting session IPAs I have ever had (new recipe brewed with acai).
05-09-2020 07:13 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #368
RE: Official Beer Thread
The cyclical nature of the great beer adventure has me rolling back into one of the first beer styles I explored in detail: Witbier. I still greatly admire the almost single-handed revival of the style by the late Pierre Celis. I traditionally buy a six of Hoegaarden around this time in his honor and also for the refreshing quality of the beer in the warming weather. St. Bernardus Wit is good but I get it maybe once a year now. American craft interpretations have been exciting in the last five years or so. Avery White Rascal is a fun take, but I like to lean zestier with something like Dogfish Head Namaste. Port City Optimal Wit is a decent "brewed in VA" one. Can't say that I've ever had a legit "imperial witbier" but Ommegang did a Game of Thrones-themed "Double White Ale" a few years ago that I remember being decent.

I figure that witbier is a good focus before the heat of summer takes over and I settle in for the typical "lawnmower" beers. The stories and market histories behind American Light Lager are fascinating but the beer itself is quite dull. Kolsch is much better (and much less gassy) but good luck finding a decent American take on it. Drinking California Common aka Steam beer on a sweltering day kinda establishes resonance with that those poor fools had to deal with brewing the stuff back in the day.

So yeah, nothing like a good beer on a hot day. Especially if the beer comes with an intriguing story.

**And that isn't to say that dark beers can't do the job in summer. Modelo Negra for something dark and smooth, Founders Porter for something dark and complex. If you like a dark sour, Wicked Weed Black Angel or Lagunitas Dark Swan. Harrisonburg, VA-based Pale Fire does Rorschach, a dark saison to round out the list.
(This post was last modified: 05-22-2020 09:13 PM by CameramanJ.)
05-22-2020 08:55 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #369
RE: Official Beer Thread
Wheat beer and cider are two things that I want to get back into for July. It is easy to get stuck on hefeweizen so I'll make an effort to sample the less obvious wheat beers as well. Haven't had Berliner Weisse in a while and the weather is perfect for it. Piwo Grodziske might get another look too.

Getting deeper into cider might be tricky. I'm not keen on spending wine-caliber money on a single bottle of artsy cider but I might spring for it if the cider is French. Never really had the taste for Spanish sidra, but the presentation pour is impressive. I've enjoyed West Country cider from England but I have never had a true scrumpy. Scrumpy is high on my list of things to try. I have never had Perry either, and I might as well sample the original article from the home country if I can find a bottle. Failing that, maybe cider will be part of my next international travel plans (whenever such a thing is possible again). I've been paging through a cider recipe book and I am curious about some of these hybrids too. Some of the zanier ones ("Berliner Cider-Weisse"??) I would probably have to make myself to try, but my cidermaking ventures are still very much a speculative operation.
06-07-2020 12:00 PM
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mturn017 Offline
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Post: #370
RE: Official Beer Thread
(05-09-2020 07:13 PM)CameramanJ Wrote:  I've had a thing for session IPAs lately. I've been doing some "virtual happy hours" with the lads and those have been the theme. Founders All Day went over well, DFH Slightly Mighty was decent. Haven't had Lagunitas Daytime in a while but that was a decent low-calorie option. Sweetwater (GA) makes one I think. If you're looking for one from Georgia though, Terrapin's RecreationAle would be my recommendation. Way further north, Flying Fish Daylight Savings remains one of the more interesting session IPAs I have ever had (new recipe brewed with acai).

The 15 pack of Founder's All Day is my go to, always stocked in the fridge beer. Terrapin followed suite and made a 15 pack but Founder's is superior IMO. Stone's Go To IPA is really good also.
06-16-2020 12:07 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #371
RE: Official Beer Thread
I've always admired the snappy packaging many Stone beers (I remember the Go To being black and gold) but admittedly I haven't had much of their stuff as I should have over the years. I remember passing over many an interesting Stone beer and I regret it now with how many they've discontinued. I found a really old bottle of their Quadrotriticale from the Stochasticity Project line a few years ago and even with serious age on it the beer tasted good. If I had deeper pockets, maybe I would have gone for some of the Berlin collaboration magnum bottles.
06-16-2020 08:27 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #372
RE: Official Beer Thread
A friend of mine drove up from NC and he brought some good stuff with him -- I swapped some Burley Oak for a few cans of his Ghost Harbor.

Really liking the River Runner blonde ale. The over-arching biscuit malt note is quite pleasant. At 5.2% ABV, sorta sessionable. I got a can of the Gypsy Sorrow too but I haven't gotten into it yet.

My religious friend completed seminary school recently so I was cheeky and split a bottle of Avery Samael (2016 Vintage) with him. I actually managed to age this bottle properly, so it was quite enjoyable. I had a bottle fresh back in 2016 and it had a lot of heat on it...the age certainly mellows this brew. Still very warming, especially when you let it sit in the mouth, but 16.3% is too much of a beast to hide for long. Flavor profile is kinda like a malty port with toffee accents, and an underlying oxidation/age musk laced with vanilla. A bit of molasses in there too. Definitely a "special occasion" beer to be shared between at least two people. I don't even know if they make this stuff anymore. If not, truly the end of an era for me. This was the beer that started my collection and the last beer from the collection to be consumed. Maybe I can use this as an opportunity for personal growth and valuable introspection.

Or maybe I should start a new collection.
06-26-2020 09:47 PM
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ODUCoach Offline
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Post: #373
RE: Official Beer Thread
I just want those of you who continue to post your reviews to know that I, at least, truly appreciate it. I don't know enough about proper beer profiles to give the reviews like you guys, but I enjoy good beer and enjoy your reviews. It has actually prompted me to pick up a few of them when I see them.

So, just wanted to say thanks, guys!
07-01-2020 09:09 AM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #374
RE: Official Beer Thread
04-cheers
07-01-2020 04:16 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #375
RE: Official Beer Thread
I just figured out that Bourbon Barrel-aged DFH World Wide Stout is a thing. My fall beer pursuit just got another major player. Now I just need to acquire some good cigars and narrow down the list of friends and associates deserving of the honor. Good times.

For any fishing aficionados on here: what is your go-to "out on the boat" beer? The last time I was out there it was basically drag-line and Heineken Lt all day, which is telling
(This post was last modified: 07-03-2020 08:47 PM by CameramanJ.)
07-03-2020 08:37 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #376
RE: Official Beer Thread
I am sipping the Bitburger/Sierra Nevada Triple Hop'd Lager collab and it is an interesting take on the IPL. I was kinda hoping for a more vivid expression of each brewery's signature hops, but overall this was a pleasant beer. You definitely the SN West Coast citrus hop in the nose, and a little bit in the taste. I don't have a lot of experience with Bitburger's signature hop blend "Siegelhopfen" but it lent a lightly zesty accent at the back end of the taste and front end of the finish. From there on it was a light touch of pilsner malt fading quickly into a flourish of bitterness. I got a fair amount of astringency at the back end of the finish too, but maybe that was just me.

As far as pairings, I can only think of a Cobb Salad with Roquefort cheese. The light biscuit and water cracker malt notes would complement the bacon, neutral the tomato, and the hop bitterness would cut the funk from the cheese.

I'm normally not one for IPL/hoppy lager, so this gave me a chance to step outside my analytical comfort zone for once. The bitterness is more assertive if you drink this one cold, so I'd recommend letting the beer warm in the glass just a bit before consuming to get the full range. Overall, a pleasant collaboration between two world-class breweries.
07-10-2020 08:04 PM
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CameramanJ Offline
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Post: #377
RE: Official Beer Thread
I got some Schilling Landbier and I am enjoying it. It self-advertises as a "Rustic Lager" and I suppose it does have that touch of unrefined bite. I was hoping for something similar to Grevensteiner Original, but then again that was more of a Kellerbier. This Landbier is crystal clear, so obviously it got some sort of filtration. Perhaps my tasting vocabulary is lacking a proper definition of Landbier. If this is it, then I guess it isn't bad. I'll just have to seek out Kellerbier. It seems like every time I get some Schilling, I end up questioning my beer style competency. I like a brewery that challenges me.

I also got to try a bottle of Scaldis Peche Mel, something that was on the list since I had the positive experience with Scaldis Noel around Christmastime. I have a lot of respect for Belgian beers and this is certainly a decent beer, but there is definitely a time and a place for this particular brew. It is cloyingly sweet, no almost about it. It is brewed with peach juice (which I assume is sweetened before they even brew with it) so expect vivid and assertive sweet peach from the jump. Maybe I have sensitive teeth, but swishing this stuff in the mouth to coax out deeper flavors was uncomfortable. Just a very sweet beer. I've heard it makes a phenomenal base for a peach bellini but I have never made one myself and I wouldn't with something this expensive. As far as pairings, maybe a light pastry dessert with a flaky crust to do the peach cobbler crust thing. Good luck finding a cheese for it
07-24-2020 08:45 PM
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