Friday, July 31, 2020

Deep Thoughts #219

I cannot tell if Mike Braun just automatically repeats all of the stupid things Donald Trump says, or if he is actually that stupid himself.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

259. Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, FL) - Guayabera

“Traditional throughout Latin America, the guayabera shirt combines style, functionality, form and tradition in its four-pocketed design. We at Cigar City Brewing feel the same reverence and appreciation for the guayabera that we do for the Citra hop varietal, an ingredient that imparts notes of tangerine, lime and berries to this traditional American Pale Ale. The exclusive use of Citra hops in this beer creates a flavor that’s at once unique and recognizable, while its dry, crisp character and moderate alcohol make it as refreshing and functional as a crisp linen guayabera.”

That bitter finish takes awhile to creep up on you, and it’s a little more than the “dry, crisp character” they advertise—not strong, exactly, but sort of…odd. Doesn’t really work with the Citra flavor.

258. Upland Brewing Co. (Bloomington, IN) - Dragonfly

“India Pale Ale originated when the British added excessive amounts of hops to help preserve their ales for long journeys to their citizens overseas, including to India. Our Dragonfly India Pale Ale is true to this tradition, featuring seven hop additions to create a powerful hop profile. A solid malt base, however, tempers the bitter American hops giving Dragonfly a balance not often found in this style. The end product is a well-balanced, malty beer with the crisp taste of hops and an exceptionally floral nose. Dragonfly is our most popular beer, serving as an introduction to craft beer for many and a longstanding favorite for many more.”

I don’t find it particularly hoppy, but the caramel malt is quite pronounced—and tempers all that hop action maybe a little too much.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

257. Switchyard Brewing Company (Bloomington, IN) - Orange Blossom Blonde

“Brewed with local orange blossom honey from Hunter’s Honey Farm in Martinsville, Indiana, this approachable beer is light, citrusy and refreshing with a subtle honeycomb flavor.”

I liked the first one last night a lot more than I thought I would. Neither the orange nor the honey flavor are overpowering, and they both manage to add a degree of depth to the overall flavor that I do not often experience with blonde ales. It’s not enough to hold my interest for very long, but it definitely has a species of appeal.

256. Switchyard Brewing Company (Bloomington, IN) - West Coast IPA

“Inspired by our friend, Ant Blair of the Mo Head Y’all podcast and his love for the West Coast OG style of IPA’s, this in-your-face, double dry hopped IPA features heaping doses of cascade & centennial hops in both the primary & secondary fermentations.”

Yep—pretty much what it says. Lots of strong, sharp pine to start, and it gets a little fruitier as it warms up; but not really much to write home about.

255. The Tap (Bloomington, IN) - Ancho-Mandarin Modern Paradise

“Traditional American Pale Ale, medium bodied with notes of tangerine, orange rind, grapefruit, and soft pine complimented [sic] by malt balance.”

That’s the description of the standard Modern Paradise, minus the last sentence, which says: “Try a new variant of Modern Paradise: Ancho-Mandarin!” The chile flavor was very light—just a hint of spice up front and a little bit of dry backbone on the back end. The orange flavors were even lighter, and the low alcohol (5.0%) made this very drinkable. Not quite as good as Waggle Dance, but pretty solid.

254. The Tap (Bloomington, IN) - Waggle Dance

“American style White IPA brewed with orange peel, coriander, orange blossom honey, and packed with bright fruity and citrusy hops in a medium hazy body.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a White IPA before, and I certainly haven’t tried one; but the interwebs tell me that this is basically a mash-up of a Belgian wit and an American IPA. I roped Amy into going to the Tap after a very disappointing lunch at the Trojan Horse yesterday—and the two beers I had at the latter more than made up for it. The coriander announces itself immediately in the Waggle Dance, and the other flavors are there in more of a support role. Very easy to drink, but a little too busy to qualify as refreshing.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

253. New Belgium Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO) - Sour IPA

“There’s a point on every kite that’s critical to get right. It’s called the ‘Bridle Point.’ It’s where the tow string connects to the kite. Misplacing that point by one inch can make all the difference when trying to get lift. But when you nail it, that thing soars. That’s what the addition of refreshing acidity from our iconic Wood Cellar does to this hazy IPA. It pushes all those juicy fruity qualities forward and adds a flash of refreshing acidity that truly elevates this hazy IPA to new levels. We’ve been dry-hopping sours for over a decade and just couldn’t resist the opportunity to apply that knowledge to a fruit-forward, hazy IPA. We think you’ll like the result.”

I think that might be a little much, but it ain’t bad. They seem to want it to be the best of both worlds, but it strikes me as more along the lines of schizophrenic. (Still a little bit of that pissy feeling from earlier this week. I just can’t shake it…or this aggravating cough that doesn’t want to go away; and I can never find the cool spot on the other side of the pillow anymore. It’s probably just anxiety; I get that a lot, especially now that I’m not working. Makes it hard to breathe sometimes. You feel me?) It’s sour and fruity, but not at all hoppy or bitter. I’m sticking with the idea that it doesn’t really know what it wants to be.

252. 3 Floyds Brewing Co. (Munster, IN) - War Mullet

“This double IPA will make you want to grow a mullet (if you don’t already have one) and go to war (if you haven’t already).”

Starts off spicy and piney, and then relaxes into an anonymous fruity smoothness. Sort of perfect if the next thing on the agenda is going down to the south side to go grocery shopping in a sea of country gomers. (I’m not going to grow a mullet, but I’ll keep an eye out for them while I’m at Meijer.) The second one—after we returned from a mullet-free Southport Meijer—was sharper, becuase I poured it into a warm mug, and tasted much more like its advertised 8.1% ABV.

Monday, July 20, 2020

251. Odd Side Ales (Grand Haven, MI) - The Original Dank Juice

“Double dry hopped with Citra® and Amarillo® hops to create a slightly hazy beer rich in juicy tropical notes and aromas.”

Opens with an almost sour shot, but warms up into a soft pineapple flavor with just a hint of a dry finish. I think I dig it, but I’m feeling sort of pissy today—so I might be wrong.

250. Rochester Mills Beer Co. (Rochester, MI) - Orange Whip

“Another smoothie hop sensation. This IPA combines citrusy hop flavors of Citra & Mosaic hops with fresh oranges, orange zest, subtly sweet lactose and a hint of vanilla.”

Not much initial balance between the orange/vanilla flavors and the hop flavors, but it opens up a little bit as it gets warmer. The orange and vanilla flavors are so distinct that it’s almost like the flavor equivalent of a Black & Tan. Not sure if I like it or not, but it’s hella better than Sun King’s Orange Vanilla Sunlight.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

249. Quaff ON! Brewing Co. (Nashville, IN) - Java the Red

“Caramel malts and roasted barley blend with the added coffee to create a complex but smooth flavor.”

We have now eaten at Big Woods in Speedway twice since Indianapolis began the long, slow process of recovering from being raped by Fuckwit Joe Hogsett; and I still haven’t had any luck with the food, but man do I love the beer! Well…except for this one. It’s dry and crisp, but the coffee taste seems to be an afterthought rather than a real idea. (It’s also possible that coffee doesn’t go with red ale, and the brewers at Quaff ON! just don’t know that.) [I have no explanation for the shitty picture, except that I took it with Amy's phone. That probably doesn't mean anything, but it's all I can think of.]

248. Rhinegeist (Cincinnati, OH) - Cloud Harvest 02

“Dust off your bathers and budgie smugglers, the endless summer beckons. Sun shimmers on the Southern land to the sound of waves crashing over rocks. Toss me a coldie, ya ripper!”

The can and website both also say BONDI, though like the—ahem—description quoted above, no actual context is contained therein. The can further notes that this is an unfiltered, juicy IPA, with notes of pineapple, mango, and tangerine. Nice and fruity up front, but otherwise empty.

Friday, July 17, 2020

247. Two Deep Brewing Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Phase Four

No description apart from “New England IPA” on the can. Another entry in the Industry Relief Series. Big shot of citrus and stone fruit up front, and a very smooth fade. Very lightly carbonated. I’m not sure if I dig this one very much.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

246. Mountain Layers Brewing Company (Bryson City, NC) - Fontana Hoppiness

“Our signature West Coast IPA is layered with the traditional west coast characteristics of floral citrus and pine. Nugget hops contributes [sic] to a smooth persistent bitterness sure to quench any IPA lovers’ [sic] thirst. Traditinoal flavor and aroma hops consisting of: Centennial, Columbus, Amarillo, and Chinook really make this beer worthy of its West Coast classification. Finally, a crisp/dry finish will leave you ready to take sip after sip.”

This one is eluding me. (And I’m in a strange place today, anyway.) It doesn’t taste like a West Coast, but it’s also not juicy like a New England. It is dry and crisp, however. The weakest of the three I had from this brewery, but still pretty good. If you’re going to the Smokies, you really owe it to yourself to settle in on the North Carolina side of the park—fewer people, better trails, and better beer.

Deep Thoughts #218

If you’re using Twitter or Reddit for news, you shouldn’t be voting or operating heavy machinery or breeding another generation of fuckwits.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

245. Mountain Layers Brewing Company (Bryson City, NC) - Nydee Effret

“Juicy flavor and aroma without the bite of bitterness. Our flagship IPA. Bronze Medal at 2019 Carolinas Championship of Beer!”

I can’t place the flavor, but it’s got nice fruit, and a smooth, dry finish. Everything sort of blends together as it warms up. Mountain Layers is easily the best of the three breweries I got while we were in the Smokies. I still have one of their growlers to go, but so far this is the best beer of the trip.

244. Madtree Brewing Co. (Cincinnati, OH) - Psychopathy

“Explore the blend of citrus, bright, and floral aromas. Additional citrus flavors follow alongside a smooth bitterness. It finishes with a medium body and a slightly sweet, malty backbone. Trust your senses.”

Very light, very smooth, and gives no indication at all that it’s 6.9% (well, at first). I’m somewhat puzzled by this beer—because I should like it, but it’s not really doing anything for me.

Monday, July 13, 2020

243. Innovation Brewing (Sylva, NC) - Soulvation Tropical IPA

“This unique IPA is the result of Sylva’s collaborative community and is brought together by a love of both beer and tea. A beverage like no other, that exemplifies the manifestation of people working together. So fruity you can practically taste the rainbow.”

The can says that it’s brewed with “pineapple papaya green tea.” I taste the pineapple, and maybe even the papaya; but I don’t know if I could ever pick green tea flavor out of a hat. (“I guess that means I’m old fashioned. I like lips and assholes.”) The finish is a little bitter given the lightness of the flavors, but it’s not bad.

242. Lazy Hiker Brewing Company (Franklin, NC) - Slack Pack IPA

“Slack Pack IPA is your beer for enjoying that last view after you’ve left behind the baggage of the day. Slack Pack IPA features a full blend of American hops stacked like a cairn on slightly sweet malt.”

Very bright and clean, with light pine and citrus notes. Drifts a little more toward the citrus as it warms up. We drove down through Sylva, NC, today (7/10/20), to look at a really old rock covered in petroglyphs; and when we came back around, we had lunch in Sylva (Pie Times Pizza Co.)—and there were at least three different breweries along one section of Main Street. I got beer at two of them—the third only had crowlers and growlers, and they were too expensive (think Black Circle prices, except that Black Circle doesn’t do growlers of any kind)—and this one was only $10 for a six-pack of 12-ounce cans (and the stickers and buttons were free). The bitter finish lingers, and the citrus really shines when it warms up.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

241. Mountain Layers Brewing Company (Bryson City, NC) - Dragon Tamer NEIPA

“Combines barley and oat malt, along with flaked barley, rye and oats to produce a juicy, hazy IPA with citrus hop notes of orange marmalade, lemon and lime. Creamy white head and silky mouthfeel make this a sensual and delicious taste experience.”

Today was the best day of our trip to the Smokies so far, and as we were on our way to the Road to Nowhere, near Bryson City, NC, we passed a little shack with an awning that said, Mountain Layers Brewing Company. I checked it on the interwebs while Amy continued driving toward the Road to Nowhere, and deemed it worthy of a stop on our way back. Unfortunately, all they had for carry-out were crowlers and growlers; but the prices were decent, and they had lots of hoppy IPA choices. I grabbed three crowlers and a sticker for $35, which included a pretty fat-ass tip. That’s a busy grain profile going on up there, but it does have a creamy sort of thing going on. It doesn’t say anything about lactose or milkshake, but it has that kind of feel—and a very soft finish. And it feels like it drinks a lot bigger than its advertised 5.6%—but that might be because I haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast this morning, and it’s now going on 6pm.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

240. Crosstown Brewing Co. (Memphis, TN) - Traffic (6.2%)

No description apart from “American IPA,” but it has a nice tropical/stone fruit flavor going on up front. Had this one and the previous one after a four-mile hike on the Chimney Tops trail at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg is busy AF, and so is the park. Fairly good chance I’ll come back to tenderloin country with the ‘roni. Just sayin’.

239. Fat Bottom Brewing Co. (Nashville, TN) - Knockout (5.9%)

“Starting as a taproom special, this brew was too popular not to bring back for the big time. Made from Cascade and Pacific Jade hops, Knockout is distinguished by a grapefruit aroma. And at 80 IBU, she has a bitter punch, but is balanced with a malty backbone. She’s definitely a knockout!”

Cascade and Pacific Jade hops are supposed to impart spicy qualities and citrus notes, and I get some of both with this one. Has the powerful, sharp taste of a much bigger beer, but it’s only 5.9%.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

238. Odd Side Ales (Grand Haven, MI) - Citra Pale Ale

“A single hop pale ale brewed exclusively with Citra hops. The aroma is an intoxicating bouquet of grapefruit, tropical fruit, lemon, and pine.”

Nice balance of flavors, and just a hint of caramel malt at the end. Creeps up on me a little bit, in a way that I sort of enjoy.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Deep Thoughts #217

So will I blacklist the whole city now? It surely can’t be done. But I’m going to think about it (and we’re also going to leave for a week).

Deep Thoughts #216

I’m having trouble ginning up any patriotic feelings today for a place where lately so much ordering around of the people has been going on.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Deep Thoughts #215

I’ve been listening to discographies since the government hates movie theatres so much; and the Paul Stanley solo album is fucking terrible.

Deep Thoughts #214

Shapiro’s doesn’t make my blacklist, but their handwritten signs ejaculating “If you touch it, you must buy it!” pissed me off a little bit.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

237. Boulevard Brewing Co. (Kansas City, MO) - Space Camper Cosmic IPA

“Space Camper Cosmic IPA is an exhilarating initiation into a mind-bending alternate universe of India Pale Ales. Our brewers employ massive hop additions at the end of the boil, and during fermentation, to minimize upfront bitterness and create a juicy IPA bursting with tropical fruit flavors and aromas of nectar and citrus.”

Very easy-drinking, and at only 5.9%, it’s pretty much a light beer version of its IPA brethren. Might work for people who don’t really go for IPAs, but it’s a little tame for me.