Monday, November 07, 2011

The Alchemist - Heady Topper

The Alchemist Pub and Brewery is located in Waterbury, Vermont. The small brewery is headed up by John Kimmich and brews a wide variety of styles, from hop bombs to Belgian styles, easy drinking beers and even American Wild ales. Unfortunately, the pub fell victim to the wrath of Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011, leaving almost everything inside a muddy, ruined mess. They are currently working on rebuilding and I wish them only the best!!

 16oz cans, love 'em! First beer I've sampled from The Alchemist. Hazy golden yellow/orange pour with a nice creamy white head on top. Lots of hop sediment so be careful on the pour. Aromas are a blast of deep fruity, tropical hops. Such a wonderful, juicy, resinous hop blend that I could easily sit and inhale all night long. I would advise to drink this hoppy treat as fresh as possible.

First sip brings a rush of bright, pungent hops. Huge fruity, tropical flavors with resinous hop oils all over the place. Sweet crisp malts take their rightful place as it flows down with a bitter hop blast. Love that this is unfiltered and unpasteurized. An amazing fresh hop experience that is incredibly tasty!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with great carbonation. Medium bodied. This ends up being an extremely drinkable hop monster of a beer. Go ahead and drink this one from the can. Well worth seeking out if you're a hop lover. I'm really happy to have had the opportunity to try this. I have to get to Vermont one day!

Overall this beer gets a rating of Amazing from me.  An awesome beer!

Check out more from The Alchemist by heading over to

Thursday, November 03, 2011

21st Amendment Brew Free! Or Die IPA

21st Amendment Brewery was founded in 2000 in San Francisco, California. They quickly became a well known and loved brewpub. They decided to can their beers, which was a great decision in my opinion! I love good beer in cans, it's easy to travel with, you can take it more places and the cans block any light from ever reaching the beer inside! I picked up this can while on a weekend trip to Minnesota, which is the closest state to me that the beer is distributed to.

Love the cans! Pours into my glass a light, bright golden orange with 2 fingers of creamy head on top that leaves spotty lacing along the glass. Great clarity. Aroma kicks off with pine and resinous hop notes. Slightly floral with a twist of citrus. Somewhat bready malts with a touch of caramel and spice.

First sip brings a good balance between malt and hops. Bready caramel intertwines with resinous, pine laced hops. Citrus and spice mix in as it flows down with a nice kick of bitterness. Finishes dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking with good carbonation. Overall, a tasty IPA but nothing really stands out to bring it into the limelight. Glad I got to try it!

Overall this IPA gets a rating of Enjoyable from me.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ithaca Gorges Smoked Porter

This is the second beer from Ithaca Beer Co. that I have featured on For The Love Of Beer. The brewery located in Ithaca, NY produces a wide range of great beers and I've enjoyed all of those that I've been lucky enough to sample.

Stats for Gorges Smoked Porter are as follows:
ABV: 7.5%
Malt: Pale, Smoked, Dark Munich, White Wheat, Chocolate Wheat, Roasted Barley, Kiln Coffee. Hops: Northern Brewer

Pours into my snifter a deep dark brown bordering on black with a half inch of bubbling khaki foam atop the brew. Very little light escaping this one! Aroma is a bold mix of roasted dark malts alongside smoky, meaty, campfire-esque tones. Touch of chocolate and char but the smoke prevails.

First sip brings semi-sweet dark roasted malts upfront with notes of dark chocolate and dried fruit. Smoke billows in with a vengence of meaty, burnt wood and char flavors. Flows down with a kiss of bitterness and pervading maltiness. Smoked flavors linger on well after each sip.....

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with great carbonation, almost silky and really easy to drink. Solid body, this is just a great smoked porter if you're a fan of the style. Another winner from Ithaca, glad I was able to try it!

This one earns a rating of Great from me, lovely brew!

Check out more from Ithaca Beer Co. by surfing over to

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) To Be Bottled!

Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI has long been one of my favorite Midwestern brewers. They have a solid line up of regular brews along with a great deal of tasty special releases. This is a special release that I have enjoyed on tap multiple times in the past and is now being bottled for the first time ever!

I'm not sure if I'll be able to track down a bottle of this due to all the hype surrounding it....but we will see how it goes. For more info - check out the below direct from the horses mouth at Founders:

Canadian Breakfast Stout!
Taproom Release = Saturday, Oct. 1
Distribution Release = Monday, Oct. 3

Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) is the epitome of why we launched the Backstage Series: it brings some of the our most sought-after beers, which have been available primarily at the taproom or at a few select events, to a much larger audience. Despite being the fifth highest rated beer in the world on BeerAdvocate, CBS has never been bottled--that is, until now.

Taproom Release: The taproom release at 235 Grandville Ave SE in downtown Grand Rapids will begin at 11 a.m. on October 1. There will be about 1700 bottles available for purchase at $18 each. A strict limit of two (2) bottles per person will apply, and all bottles will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Because a line is expected to form before 11 a.m., numbers will be handed out so that the line can remain intact once the taproom doors open. CBS will be featured on draft, and CBS merchandise will be available in the Founders company store, which is on the north end of the taproom. As with all Founders specialty products, growler fills will not be available for CBS.

Distribution Release: If you're going to be trying to get some CBS from your local retailer, we recommend calling your local distributor to see where you'll be able to find it near you.
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Monday, September 05, 2011

Half Acre / Short's Captain Fantasy

Half Acre located in Chicago, IL is a great new brewery for Chicago. They moved into their current location on October 1, 2008 and brewed their first batch there in February of 2009! They've teamed up with Short's again for this collaboration brew. Short's Brewing is located in Bellaire, MI and has long been a favorite of mine. Brewing some really great beers and always pushing the envelope. This collaboration was only available directly at the Half Acre brewery in 22oz. bombers where it sold out on release day.

My last bomber of this :tear:

Pours into my glass a beautiful clear golden yellow with a quarter inch of white bubbles atop the brew. Aromas kick off with a great mix of crisp, slightly spicy malts along with lemony hops. Earthy accents along with plenty of pear underneath as well.

First sip brings crisp semi-sweet malts with a nice underlying peppery spiciness. Lemony, citric hops roll in (Sorachi Ace!) and mix with some earthy, grassy tones. The pear melds in as well and adds a great extra dimension to the brew that I really like. Just slight twinge of sourness on the way down.

Mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking with great carbonation. On the lighter side and on par for a saison, albeit one with a unique American twist. Another really tasty Short's / Half Acre collaboration beer. These guys just need to keep doing more collaborations so I can keep drinking them :)

Overall, this gets a rating of Great for me. Love it!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Glarus Back 40 Bock

New Glarus Brewing has long been a favorite of mine and I've featured a number of their other tasty beers here in the past (just search New Glarus to see them all!) Located in New Glarus, Wisconsin, they brew a wide range of styles and only distribute within the state of Wisconsin - so you gotta go there if you want to try their beers! I cracked the Back 40 Bock tonight after dinner.....

Grabbed a single up at Riley's in Madison. Pours into my glass a nice deep brown with striking ruby highlights throughout and a quarter inch of foam atop the brew. Aromas of rich malts that are somewhat toasted with a light spicy undertone. Reminiscent of baked bread a bit...really nice!

First sip brings smooth maltiness upfront with some toasty accents again and bready undertones. Flows down with a slightly spicy kick. Just enough sweetness to wrap everything together.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with quite a punchy carbonation. Almost a bit too bubbly for me but it still goes down nicely. Overall, just a solid bock from New Glarus and I'm not surprised as they've brewed plenty of great bock's in the past!

Overall this beer garners a rating of Enjoyable. Solid bock.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sierra Nevada Juniper Black Ale - 2011 Beer Camp

Sierra Nevada from Chico, CA recently released a mix 12 pack of beers in honor of their Beer Camp experience. The 12 pack featured 4 different beers - this Juniper Black Ale, a California Common, a Double IPA and a Weizenbock. I've always enjoyed Sierra Nevada products so I didn't hesitate much when I saw this 12 pack at my local shop! Cracked the Juniper Black Ale and it went like this.....

Deep dark black pour with a nice inch of cragly khaki foam atop the brew. Aromas start off with roasted dark malts and some bright juniper notes. Cocoa weaves in with some spice and a touch of citrus. Interesting for sure!

First sip brings plenty of roasted malts upfront with chocolate and earthy flavors melding in. Citrus tones mix in with the juniper as it flows down. Hop bite kicks in on the finish along with some roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel is rather robust with smooth carbonation. Quite malty and a touch on the heavier side. Overall, I found this to be a tasty brew and really enjoyed the Beer Camp 12 pack!

I'll give this brew a rating of Enjoyable!

Check out more from Sierra Nevada by surfing on over to