Monday, September 28, 2020

302. New Belgium Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO) - Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

“At 6.4% ABV, Atomic Pumpkin is perfectly positioned to capture the fall beer drinker who wants more than just an ordinary Pumpkin or Oktoberfest beer.”

There are four blurbs of Tasting Notes on the website, and between those four blurbs, they use the words ‘slight’ or ‘slightly’ six times, with respect to other descriptors such as sweetness, bitterness, herbal, spiciness, alcohol-warming, and astringent. The Beer Facts (keep scrolling after Tasting Notes) reveal that Saigon cinnamon and habanero chile have been incorporated into the brew. I don’t drink many pumpkin beers, so maybe I’m just missing the pumpkin in this one; or maybe pumpkin is a subtler flavor than I expect it to be; but unless that is a flash of pumpkin in the brief, initial sweetness, then this is just a spicy cinnamon ale that is going to give me heartburn. And yet…I can’t quite bring myself to call it bad. It’s certainly not something I would ever buy again, but it is one of the more interesting beers I have tried in a long time.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

301. Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, FL) - Florida Man

“Unpredictable varieties of hops used in nearly-criminal volumes combine to create a bold, citrusy Double India Pale Ale brewed to pay tribute to ‘the world’s worst superhero,’ Florida Man.”

The high alcohol (8.5%) makes the finish a little more bitter than it seems like they meant for it to be. The tropical, citrus, and peach flavors manage to balance each other nicely once it warms up—but are not sufficient to balance the alcoholic bitterness. The plus side of the 8.5% is that by the time I finished the first one, I no longer cared that the balance was off. The second one, on the other hand, was balanced and delicious in all kinds of ways that the first one was not. I’ll probably never shake the belief that beer should be served cold—but I’m not unwilling or unable to acknowledge the occasions when a particular beer would be better served by being served something other than ice cold. This is one of those occasions.

Friday, September 25, 2020

300. Fountain Square Brew Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Hop for Teacher

“Pine & citrus aromas proceed [sic][?] a truly balanced body with a smooth & clean finish.”

And something floral in there too, but it ain’t anything to write home about. Not bad, but not interesting, either. I should probably have another go at this one too, but who knows when I will be in anything like a good place again?

Deep Thoughts #229

Now Fuckwit Hogsett has the blood of Duos Indy on his hands. Please don’t forget how bad he fucked all of us when it’s time to vote in 2023.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

299. Daredevil Brewing Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Hop Pilot

“A New England style IPA that showcases our love of aggressively hopped beers.”

Sweet, fruity, and very smooth, with some bright citrus on the back end as it warms up and lots of stone fruit up front. It has a deceptively light taste to it, and I’m not sure the word aggressive applies here. It’s really good, but I feel oddly indifferent toward it. Beer #300 is going to be Fountain Square’s Hop for Teacher—which seems sort of appropriate, considering what my wife does for a living.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

298. New Belgium Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO) - Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze

“Packed with bright tropical aromas and brilliant citrusy flavors, this unfiltered IPA wraps up with a pleasantly smooth finish.”

Very similar to the Higher Plane I just tried yesterday, but drier and not quite as big. I probably like this, but I’m not in a very good place at the moment. May reeevaluate later, but can’t now; world ending.

Deep Thoughts #228

I shall do my best to support as many of these businesses—and anyone who wants to give Fuckwit Hogsett the ass fucking he deserves—as I can.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Deep Thoughts #227

Maybe now you’ll think about the Supreme Court the next time you vote? Maybe you’ll actually vote this time? Fucking Bernie Bro shit stains.

Monday, September 21, 2020

297. New Belgium Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO) - Voodoo Ranger Higher Plane

“Higher Plane IPA achieves the perfect balance of delicately bitter flavors and tropical, juicy aromas. Channel your inner haze.”

Doesn’t really taste bitter at all, even when you factor in the high alcohol (8.5%). Definitely some nice pineapple going on there, with a little bit of papaya underneath. Very smooth finish. Tastes like they brewed it sweet with the intention of balancing that sweetness with the alcohol.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

296. Great Lakes Brewing Co. (Cleveland, OH) - Hazecraft IPA

“3, 2, 1…we have haze! A cloudy cosmos of Azacca, Lemondrop, and Simcoe hops awaits exploration. Blast into orbit through a hazy galaxy of otherworldly tropical fruit aromas.”

For me, this is indeterminately tropical, with an echo of lemon on the back end, and a bitter finish that is disproportionate to the rest of the flavor profile. As it warms up, the bitterness softens a little bit, and I get a hint of papaya. Tried a second to see if anything changed, but nothing did. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing to write home about, either.

295. Metazoa Brewing Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Puppy Slumber Party

“It wouldn’t be a puppy party without a big nose full of peanut butter. And the first whiff of this dark, malty brew delivers. A rich creamy mouthfeel with notes of dark chocolate and a touch of roastiness from the malts is rounded out with a sweet yet cozy finish. And it’s peanut butter all the way down. It’s the thing of puppy dreams, but who would sleep when they could have this on the roof of their mouth?”

Strong peanut butter flavor and a crisp malt backbone, with a little bit of a dry finish. Won’t be taking the place of Peanut Butter Busted Knuckle anytime soon.

Deep Thoughts #226

Is Donald Trump more or less fit for his current job than Kramer is for his job at Brandt/Leland in the “Bizarro Jerry” episode of Seinfeld?

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Deep Thoughts #225

I desperately wish that there were some way to make sure that all of the women rushing to the drugstore for RU-486 today also voted in 2016.

Deep Thoughts #224

And for the Bernie Bros—especially the women—who didn’t vote in 2016: the next Supreme Court justice is on you. Every. Single. One. Of. You.

Deep Thoughts #223

I can conceive of no situation in the near future in which the following sentiment would not, to some degree, be warranted: Fuck you, Mitch.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

294. Fountain Square Brew Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Hop Your Face

“Featuring Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic hops, along with 100 pounds of honey, this years [sic] Hop Your Face is sure to scratch the itch of any hop-head.”

Strong pine aroma and flavor up front lead to a stiff and bitter (but not unpleasant) finish, and all of that fades a little bit as it warms up. That makes some room for a little bit of shine from the citrus, but by the time it does, the 9.98% ABV is beginning to do things that make you feel happier than you really are. It doesn’t drink all that big, though, which could be dangerous. I’ve had Fountain Square beers before, but this is the first one I have posted—and possibly the first one I have had since I started this odyssey. I still have this cigar that Jackson’s friend’s dad gave me when we were in Honduras last year, and this would be an absolutely perfect beer to linger over while smoking that bad boy.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

293. Sun King (Indianapolis, IN) - Bourbon Barrel-Aged Donuts

“Bourbon Barrel-Aged Donuts is a collaboration Pastry Stout aged in bourbon barrels. Made with 500 Jack’s chocolate donuts, chocolate malt, flaked oats, lactose, and semi-sweet chocolate, the barrel-aged version adds bourbon character to an already tasty treat.”

I don’t usually dig on bourbon barrel beer, but this one is very nicely balanced. In fact, the more it warms up, the more it drifts toward the chocolate and away from the bourbon. Awfully big at 10.4%, and certainly not the kind of thing that should be attempted very often; but it was pretty dope to try.

292. Scarlet Lane Brewing Company (McCordsville, IN) - Dorian Coconut Stout

“Distinctively ever changing and always unforgiving in its character, Dorian aims to change your thinking of Stouts. Each revolving Dorian Stout incorporates unique and artful approaches to the painting canvas of this traditional beer. A combination of carefully selected Northwest hops, masterfully selected malts and distinct additions will take you to a new discovery of Stouts. Don’t go mad however, it’s not you changing, it’s the Dorian Stout constantly rediscovering itself. Sit back with a book or friends and make a toast to that portrait of yourself with Scarlet Lane Brewing Company’s Dorian Stout.”

Oh my. I’m on the fence about Scarlet Lane (and not just because of the bad writing), which I may try to hash out in a blog post all its own; but this version of their flagship Dorian Oatmeal stout is solid. The menu said Dorian Coconut Stout, but there’s obviously some of the espresso variant in there, too. Strong coffee flavor up front, with what I initially thought was just a hint of coconut on the back end; but as it warmed up, those flavor profiles traded places, though the coconut never got as strong as the coffee. This would be an excellent beer to linger over with a good cigar and some close friends.

291. Scarlet Lane Brewing Company (McCordsville, IN) - Tiberius

“Without apology and with strategic layers of palate diplomacy, Tiberius rules your senses with 100 IBUs of masterful balance and scholarly oversight. With swift and precise layering of hops and aligned malts, Tiberius is not to be underestimated in the reign of IPA emperors. Clean and swift hops frontline a legion of high quality malts to march the 100 IBU India Pale Ale to the gates of your IPA discoveries.”

Oh my. Somewhat tropical and floral, but not overly so in either direction. Biggish (8%) and very bitter, and the two combine for a finish that is a little sharp even for me. This is possibly my first Scarlet Lane beer, though I suspect that the Midsommar ale I had at Cannonball (after Scarlet Lane had taken over, but before they changed the name) awhile back was actually brewed by Eilise Lane, given her affinity for horror and the tone of the film.

Friday, September 11, 2020

290. Black Acre Brewing Company (Indianapolis, IN) - Watermelon Wheat

“An incredibly refreshing American Wheat Ale, with an added Hoosier favorite: watermelon!”

Is it bad of me that I was afraid this was going to be a lurid pink when I poured it into the mug? I’m not big on watermelon (which doesn’t make me a very good Hoosier, though—as I’m sure you can guess—I could give a shit about that), and wasn’t necessarily expecting to like this; but it sounded sort of interesting, and for me, at this point, Black Acre can do no wrong. It’s almost a sour, but not quite; and the watermelon is so faint that you might miss if you did not already know it was there—and yet it lingers, in an oddly pleasant way.

289. Fat Head’s Brewery (Middleburg Heights, OH) - Head Hunter

“Head Hunter is an aggressively dry-hopped, West Coast-Style IPA with a huge hop display of pine, grapefruit, citrus and pineapple. A punch-you-in-the-mouth brew for those who truly love their hops! Uncivilized. Aggressive. Award-winning.”

And when the battery in your 14-year-old lawn mower is not equal to the task of cutting both your front yard and the front yard of the neighbors next door who never cut theirs, one of these bad boys is a damn-near-perfect way to kill some of the time it will take for the mower’s battery to recharge. The resin-y taste of pine is all over the place, but the delicate flavor of pineapple also manages to makes its presence known. At 7.5%, it almost begs to be compared head-to-head with Daredevil’s Lift Off—and that just might have to happen one of these days.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

288. Sun King (Indianapolis, IN) - Cherry Busey

“Cherry Busey is a Flanders-style Oud Bruin Ale produced using a complex cocktail of wild yeasts and aged in a bevy of barrels. A multitude of Montmorency cherries were lovingly liberated to give the beer its tart cherry tang.”

Strong aroma of red wine and fruit, and then a pleasantly—but not aggressively—sour cherry and wine flavor up front. A little bit of funk in the background, as well as the echo of wine barrels. I was afraid that this beer would be a kick in the teeth, but it was actually almost understated—a thoroughly pleasant surprise, and one of the best Sun King beers I have tried yet.

Monday, September 07, 2020

287. St. Joseph Brewery (Indianapolis, IN) - Confessional

“This IPA is made with a blend of German and American hops giving it characteristics of grapefruit and melon.”

The one I tried on draft at the restaurant while Amy and I waited for our lunch today tasted floral and fruity in nonspecific ways; but this second one, from a four-pack of tallboys I got to take home, most certainly tastes of melon—with maybe a hint of grapefruit on the back end. The finish is somewhere between dry and bitter, and while not the greatest IPA ever, it is the best thing I’ve tried from St. Joseph so far.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

286. Taxman Brewing Co. (Bargersville, IN) - Blackberry Wit-Held

“Nothing was ‘Wit-Held’ in creating this refreshing session ale. Coriander, orange and lemon peel combine with oats and white wheat to showcase zesy spice and malty sweetness. Signature Belgian flavors and tangy, refreshing blackberries round out this distinctive white ale.”

It’s possible that I have already had too much to drink on this lovely Sunday afternoon when my crew is down in Brown County camping and I am up here not; but I am not getting the flavor of the blackberries. I get the tart, and the funk from the Belgian yeast, but not the fruit. It’s also possible that Taxman should not be meddling in the session fields. I suspect I am not in any position to say; but while my dinner heats up downstairs, I will have another one of these and see if I can come to some kind of conclusion. Alas…it’s just tart and funky. (Not bad, though. Actually pretty good.)

285. Sun King (Indianapolis, IN) - Genevieve

“Genevieve is a Belgian-Style Amber Ale with malty sweetness, fruity character, and a hint of spice.”

Smooth and creamy, with a tiny little bit of funk from the Belgian yeast that combines very nicely with the hint of spice. The sweet, malty backbone deepens as it warms, but I’m not catching any of the fruit. I’m not entirely sure I like it, but it’s a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.

Friday, September 04, 2020

283. BrewDog (Columbus, OH) - Clockwork Tangerine

“This fully atuomated IPA is infused with tangerine. At 4.5% it’s a stand-out session beer that packs a perfectly timed delivery of juicy citrus and mellow tropical fruit resting on a lightly toasty and caramel base. Fresh, juicy and sessionable.”

That’s almost all tangerine and citrus, but the malt backbone gives it just a hint of Creamsicle on the back end. I’m on my fourth over the last two days, and they have all tasted a little bit different. (It has also dramatically reduced my interest in trying their NA stuff.)

284. Black Acre Brewing Company (Indianapolis, IN) - New Rules!

“New Rules is our newest Hazy India Pale Ale, brewed with Mosaic, Calypso, Eukanot, Simcoe, and Lemondrop hops, then fermented with Kviek [sic] yeast!”

This is practically the kissing cousin of Dystopian Game Show, a hazy IPA they brought out for a brief run earlier this summer—except that this one is a little bigger (7.1% vs. 6.4%) and less expensive ($12 for a four-pack of tallboys, as opposed to $16). The flavor is a little lighter, more generally fruity than specifically grapefruity, and the finish is much smoother than Dystopian’s. Both are excellent, and while I have never made an actual list of my favorite breweries and have, at various times, thought of any of half a dozen or so as my favorite, I’m pretty sure that Black Acre would currently be at the top of any list I might make.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

282. Bell’s Brewery (Comstock, MI) - Two Hearted Ale

“Brewed with 100% Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest and named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, our American IPA is bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit from massive hop additions in both the kettle and the fermenter. Perfectly balanced with a malt backbone and combined with the signature fruity aromas of Bell’s house yeast, Two Hearted® is remarkably drinkable and well suited for adventures everywhere.”

Not aggressively flavored in any particular direction, but very robust, and nicely balanced. I don’t know if that’s grapefruit, though; it sweetens noticeably as it warms up, though not in a bad way. It’s still pretty balanced. It’s a little heavy and boozy (7.0%) to qualify as drinkable from where I’m sitting; but it’s a little south of romantic, too. In sum, though, all of that sounds far too critical. I’m in the middle of re-reading some very bad writing from college, so that might be having some kind of impact on my assessment of this beer. I feel like it’s very close to Black Acre’s TV Wolf, but I love that one and don’t quite know how I feel about this one. So I’m going to go ahead and blame the writing.