Saturday, October 1, 2016

Wild Onion Brewery's Pumpkin Ale

If you wanna look cool in front of your friends; crank the crap out of this!

So it's been as while since the last review but most importantly we are back in the wake of October to review everyone least favorite beers...Pumpkin beers.

I consider myself s bit of a connoisseur when it comes to pumpkin beers as drinking beers of all types is my job (which every alcoholic says). I've may have had a couple dozen in my day and, ultimately, my opinion tends to favor the guidance of Jay Sherman, "It Stinks!".

Pumpkins beers are as American as apple pie shots. Foreigners don't understand it and it's a huge marketing scam. Like pumpkin flavored anything was ever a good idea. Pumpkin pie is barely tolerable. Nonetheless, like getting into the Christmas spirit, I've jumped in with both feet into pumpkins beers and it will be a gut-wrenching month.

Nonetheless, let's continue.

Wild Onion Brewery, huh? Even if you are from northern Illinois this is not a brewery common to any Illini. They are "proud to be one of Chicagoland's first craft breweries" which is as special as my mom says I am. They make about a dozen beers which are as common as to run across as slender sorority sister; uncommon. They've been in the business since 1996. They chose the name due to the Potowami Indian's title "Chicago" which can be generalized as translating to "festooned with onions". They continue to grow and their shit can be found in 5 states in the midwest. I've never had any of their stuff before and, truth be told, just heard of them briefly before coming across this beer.

So let's talk about this beer, shall we? As the picture shows, it has a head smaller than Taylor Swift's and a dark, brown color. It has lightly less carbonation than your traditional ale as as cloudy as my sophomore year of college. It has a bittersweet scent and with a malty undertone. It has a half bodied taste that grabs onto the side of your tongue and leaves your mouth with a dry, better finish. The taste has traces of pumpkin and nutmeg but lacks in the sweet category, much like yours truly. It has an IBU of 21 and a ABV of 5.4% which is better than some of the crap out there.

Verdict? Well. I wouldn't get this again. No disrespect but it need a more full bodied flavor when drinking a pumpkin beer. Call me undeniably patriotic but I'm an American that feels that a couple of pumpkin beers should substitute a meal and I'm not getting it from this guy. I'd say the flavor its better than half the pumpkin beers out there but not enough to subject myself to another 6-pack of these guys (which I paid $9.99 for). Would I get it before something from Sam Adams or New Holland? Uh, yeah...? I'm not a n00b. Let's put it this way, if I was rolling in my 64 to a 'tay and stopped by the party store and saw this and some other crap. I'd get this because dummies don't know good pumpkin beers if it bit them on the nose. Also, because there really aren't any good ones. This one is better than average but leaves something to be desired.

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste: 6/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 6/10
Would I rather eat pumpkin pie: Yes

Overall: 6.25/10

Monday, January 18, 2016

Breckenridge Brewery's Vanilla Porter

Breckenridge is back again.

Actually, this is our first review of Breckenridge Brewery. I feel I've drinken (drunk? drank?) a zillion of their beers in my old age and it's only now that I review it? Well, quite frankly, I'm more surprised than you.

So Breckenridge started up in Colorado by a knightly man, Dick Squire; which coincidentally has the same name as the coolest guitar I've ever heard of. Picture this, some dude started a brewery in 1990 in Breckenridge. Not a glamorous story but probably the most factual thing you'll read on here. It expanded in '92 and 24 years later can be found in over half the states in America and are at a 62,000 barrel a year capacity. And that's good enough to get the attention of Anheuser and his friend, Busch, who recently purchased the micro (turned macro brew). I hate those guys. Don't have a reason but I suppose that unfortunately makes me a bigot and, let's face it, after a couple of these, that won't bother me any more.

Moving on. They make 28 beers over there (until A-B moves them to NYC; home of the worst worst salsa). Six of these beers are around all year round and the rest, believe it or not, aren't. Go figure. This beer, the Vanilla Porter, IS available all year. When it comes to beers, Vanilla Porter are as unique as a philly cheesesteak truck in the City of Brotherly Love. That means they are a dime a dozen but that no reason to not like them. Who likes unique beers beer anyway? Not A-B!

This beer is darker than Darth Vader's doodie hole in a cavern in on Pluto and smells twice as nice. It's also got a tan, thick head (like my ex-wife). The scent (other than the Pluto thing) is a chocolatey, sweet aroma. The taste is a thick, full bodied flavor, with strong chocolate and nutty undertone. The 5.0% ABV printed on the label contradicts the website's 5.4% proclamation. It's a proclamation abomination! I trust anything I find on a bottle (or at the bottom of) so I'm sticking with 5.0 unless Dick Squire's ghost shows up and tell me different. Also, I think he's still alive.

Well, let's face it, Breckenridge has sold itself to A-B so it's stock is going to drop faster than Beiber's drawers at a Hunger Games premiere. If you hang out at a local gathering looking for mad props from the honeys and homies rollin' up hard and strong with a sixer of this (which you can get for a 10 spot) bitches be like, "whaa" and the homies, well friend, you tell me what the homies say. Hint: they don't "play" that.

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste: 8/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 5/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Pabst Brewing Company's Old Style Light Lager

Yo yo yo! Check the mic y'all and crank this shit to the maximum decibel.

Many moons ago we reviewed the Old Style here and our friends from Pabst graced us with the presence of this: Old Style LIGHT! We never run out of STYLE!....(out of style). But if you do run out of style, go pick up some more style. Old Style. Light. This stuff is far less common can Chicago Style's Old Style. It's like the four leaf clover of Old Styles. You are pleasantly happy when you see Old Style (of a three leaf clover) and when you show your friends you've found Old Style Light (a four leafed clover) no one is impressed and this that you are overreacting. But AM I overreacting? Possibly. But its probably only because I'm stinking drunk. No one puts Old Style Light in the corner!

So let's take the good with the bad and compare it to our friend "Original Old Style".

Calories: OSL 110; OS 134
ABV: OSL 4.12; OS  4.64
Action: OSL Satisfaction; OS Satisfaction

So it's true you have to rip a handful of these down to get as drunk as a high school girl off of Zimas and Jolly Ranchers, but at $13 for 24 of these you can still get royally ripped for under $10. These sons-of-guns go down quicker than Tay Swift at a One Direction concert and are, as the name puts it, a lighter version of Old Style.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it on the Old Style review but Old Style has been sponsoring the Chicago Cubs since 1950. That makes it one of these two things.
A.) The longest sponsorship in baseball history
B.) A complete fabrication of item "A" that I heard once from a drunk guy at a bar.

Doesn't really matter cuz the beer is as good as a romantic sunset you turkey! It's good for a myriad of things; one level above plethora! You can shotgun it, you can chug it, you can sip it gently like a fine cognac, you can use it as a chaser, you can mix it with orange juice, you can give it to a girl, you can give it to your best friend, YOU CAN MAKE IT YOUR BEST FRIEND!

Listen, in a culture of highfalutin craft beers you have to respect Old Style. It's got history, it's Chicago style so you won't find it at every corner tavern like in Chicago and even buy Chicago standards, Old Style Light is relatively hard to find. I have to go to a special party store just to get it and it's worth it.

It may be true that I have a love affair with Old Style Light; not unlike JCVD, bicentennial Quarters and the 1987 Detroit Tigers, but its warranted, It's got a low profile boss can and if you roll up with a case of this and some Sweet Aromatic Backwoods to your pal's campfire, you'll be the talk of the town. You'll probably take some old broad back to her car and do some dirty dancing (if your lucky).

Drinkability: 9/10
Taste: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Curb Appeal: 9/10
Swayze Movie: "Dirty Dancing"
Overall: 8.25/10

Monday, December 21, 2015

Duvel Moortgat Brewery's Duvel Belgian Golden Ale

Crank it whens youse dranks it.

This is a review of Duvel Moortgat Brewery's Duvel Belgian Golden Ale or as the lazy man calls it "Duvel". Founded in '71 (1871), these guys teamed up with Tuborg which, after some research, is not an Orc from Lord of the Rings (or Uruk-Hai). Long story short, messy divorce and in 1999 they really started pushing Duvel (one of their beers) which is probably why your old granddad wasn't drinking it. They have a couple of beers other than their flagship "Duvel". They got Duvel Tripel Hop, Maredsous (a line of abbey-style beers). and some wheat beers and pilsners that you will probably never see. Really, unless you're more snob than slob, this will be the only offering you'll see from these guys. They were the principal investor in Ommegang which you've probably picked up at the store, and quickly placed back down after seeing the price before picking up a rack of Old Style Light. They ended up buying Ommegang. They also partnered up with Firestone Walker which is a common name with my California friends. They also bought the majority stake of Boulevard from Kansas City, which makes Duvel sound more like a "Bully-vard".

Well let's talk about the taste why don't we? You like spring water? Check. How about a subtle bitterness? Oh yeah. Dry finish? Like a post-menopausal housewife. You might find this beer is a little more bitter than you are used to. Well, you might be doing it wrong. Leave 1000 microns of beer at the bottom because you don't wanna suck down all the dang yeast!

It has a cloudy, golden hue topped with a relatively high, frothy head. They pull the old 330mL trick in traditional bullshit European style. Add that with the centimeter of beer you are supposed to leave in the bottle and you got about 3oz of drinkable beer. Good thing this sucker is 8.6% ABV and my buddy left this over from our Christmas party so the price is right and it can take paint off of your car.

It has a dry, floral scent that is as refreshing as a spring morning or some freshly laundered underpants. The bottle itself is pretty tight. Short and stout (like a few teapots I know) and a no-nonsense label that will make the babymamas say "Who dat man over there, he must be rich". Yeah, you'll be rich, yeah. And the bottle is so thick your drunk friend will knock himself out before it would break over his skull. So if you have a friend that like to break bottles over his head, have him try this. Especially if he like to run his mouth about his ex-girlfriend a lot when he's drunk.

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste: 6/10
Value: 4/10
Curb Appeal: 8/10
Swayze Movie: "Tiger Warsaw"
Overall: 6.25/10

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Leinenkugel's Red Lager

Crank this homegirl as you read this freak freak.

This is another beer from Leinenkugel (not to be called Leinie's unless you are a 18 year old sorority girl or an everyday run-of-the-puppymill chump). We initial reviewed this here when we took a peep at their ever-so-famous Summer Shandy (ain't it dandy?).

I remember when I was a pup I used to rock these hard at the local watering hole. Truth me told, this shit is smoother than Slim Whitman after 6 Alabama Slammers and 3 Fuzzy Navels. How smooth is that? As smooth as a seal caught under the Exxon Valdez on an Air Hockey table on Mars. Smooth.

So Leinenkugel got bought out by SADMiller in 1988. Yes. A year after the Minnesota Twins cheated their way to the World Series cheating the, always dominant, 1987 Detroit Tigers. Kirby Puckett (RIP) refused doping tests along with pitching great Frank "Sweet Music" Viola. Since then, they've release a plethora of potable libations. Let's just say 20 to be safe. The majority of them could possibly be construed as "sissy" or "fruitastic". I cannot argue this. I also think Canoe Paddler is a load of crap. But there is a special spot in my heart that says "Oh Baby" when this hit my tastebuds.

It's got a sweet, full bodied flavor; malty and delicious. It's got a tan head on it with a bitter aftertaste. To me, it tastes like an ESB Ale (which I like) and not like a lager at all. You can get 12 of these for 11 bucks which doesn't suck or ANYTHING! It's a mouse whisker under 5% ABV and 20 IBU. They use carpil tunnel malts mixed with 3 Pale and Caramel and a little thing I like to call Mt. Hood and Cluster hops. I like to call them that because that's what they are called.

When I see this on tap I jump for it. When I see it at the foodmart I usually pick this up when someone from out of town is looking for something nice and local. They gone down fast, so fast that when your buddy goes to the fridge you'll find yourself saying "Utah, make it two!".]

Drinkability: 8/10
Taste: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Curb Appeal: 5/10
Swayze Movie: "Point Break"
Overall: 7.0/10

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Deschutes Brewery's Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale

Jack it up and pack it up snowbunnies!

Remember four score and seven years ago I talked about how it was weird we didn't ever review Descutes beers and continued to NOT review then. Well, that one is on me. I don't have a good excuse other than, I just am lazy. These guys continue to brew plenty of good beers, even after Larry Sidor left them. I actually secretly had this as a point of contention. however, is it like me to hold a grudge. Yes, but that's borderline irrelevant.

Me? Huge fan of Cinder Cone. I remember I had it for the first time and crapped a load in a good way. This, Red Chair, was supposed to be their replacement to it. Cinder Cone was superior in my opinion and even if they modeled a better replacement for it, I still always tell people that this is their replacement, which, may not be accurate anymore, but since when has this site been accurate?

You got your cascade, munich, craphills (carapils), pilsner, and pale malts twisted with a cascade and centennial hop or two, which it with some water and yeast and blammo, Red Chair. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. This stuff yields a 6.2% ABV and a 60 IBU. Even a baby could taste the pale ale bitter, floral tastes from the cascade hops. Well, let's just summarize this as follows: You know a regular pale ale? Well, picture that with a touch more bitters and a more full bodies taste. I mean you put enough malts in anything and it'll toss your tastebuds for a ride. Then your tastebuds will be YOUR buds. Then it's "on".

It has a bittersweet, floral scent and leaves a solid oak tree effect on your glass. More carbonated than your typical pale ale, the full bodied flavor masks the carbonation for a solid, fullbodied taste.

In short, I'd love to shoot this down as an inferior replacement to Cinder Cone, and it is! However, that being said, still a damn fine beer. You can find this sucker at your local party store in the Winter and early Spring and, shit, regardless of what they say, I find this whenever I goddang want.

I paid about $10 for a sixer of this which is pretty average. If you roll up with this and a Philly blunt to a John Mayer concert, by default you will be the coolest cat in the henhouse. Just don't tell anyone you went to a John Mayer concert. Is he still around? I hope not. What a toolshed!

Beer gets it's name from a ski lift. Not too entirely important but some BS fact for you and your frat buddies.

Oh, I forgot. So for the month of December we are adding a new category with will be irrelevant to the score for for the beer. We will suggest the best Patrick Swayze movie to drink this beer to. Me and my pal came up with that after one too many brunch brews.

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste: 8/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 5/10
Swayze Movie: "Christmas in Wonderland" feat. Chris Kattan

Overall: 6.5/10

Monday, October 19, 2015

Staropilsen BruncvĂ­k Original Czech Lager

You know you aren't a pilsen until you are a Staropilsen. Crank this to the max!

Staropilsen, which I assume is pronounced exactly like it's spelled, hails from the Czech Republic; one of my favorite republics. It's somewhere between "Congo" and "Banana". Remember that movie? Just a friendly reminder that even Tim Curry does some regrettable things.

What can I tell you about this brewery? Answer: not much. Their website is about as useful as a hot babe in a mansion full of Orlando Bloom clones. (not useful at all). I can tell you this, they use their own barley and Saaz hops on this bastard along with soft artisan water; which makes me wonder what I've been drinking from other breweries. I don't think Schlitz uses soft artisan water.

But its a lager and it's from the Czechs. The beer has a dry European taste common for eastern Europe lagers with a crisp, floral scent. It has a light head that dissolves quickly and leaves you with a beer ready for chugging. And can you chug it? Yes you can! Yes you can!

I'll tell you two things I like about this beer. Numero uno: dirt cheap. The kinda cheap that makes you not expect beer from soft artisan water. I got this 0.51 litre beer for under two bucks which, shit, can't remember the last good thing I got for under two bucks. But they also give you a half a litre of beer ±0.01 litre; and the scientist in me likes that tolerance. Especially when it's lingering around the upper control limit!

Shits and grins aside, this beer is decent at best. I couldn't see myself crushing a zillion of these. The bottle looks cool and it has a cool name. Plus if you roll up to a ceremony rocking a Staropilsen, all the honeys be like "who dat playa?" and they'll be talking about you! You'll be the player! You player!

Drinkability: 6/10
Taste: 4/10
Value: 5/10
Curb Appeal: 8/10

Overall: 5.75/10