Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weihenstephaner's Vitus Weizenbock

Anyone who knows me knows that Weihenstephaner is my favorite German brewing company; that's just booze 101 as far as I'm concerned.  I initially reviewed the brewery here.  So when I went to a German beer hall and saw three beers from them on tap I says to myself, I says, "Hey, why don't I get me one of those."  Spoiler alert: I did.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right, so I ordered a liter of this stuff; costed $20. If you aren't a mathemagican that breaks down to around $6 for 12 ounces; depending on the strength of the yen.  In accordance to reference every single Broken Lizard movie, I also ordered a boot later on. And yes, I did get  some on me.

So this is a weizenbock, right?  So that means its wheaty and a stepkid of the lager family.  They typically have a sweet flavor, like myself, and cloudier than your head after a solid day of binge drinking.  This is a nice full bodied brew that will certainly fill you up, even if you don't order a liter of it. Though I still suggest you do.

It's got an IBU of 17, which makes it have a relatively low bitterness.  And it also has an ABV of 7.7% which could cripple a dolphin!  The general taste is a wheaty, full bodies, sweet, citrusy suckerpunch to the kisser; in a good way.  It's surprisingly easy to drink and, earmuffs mom, I slammed this in no time.  The cloudiness might imply that its heavy, but its slammable and full bodied, which is a treat if you ask me.

One of the best things about this beer is that it makes you drunk, like so many other beers before it.  These three douchebags wanted to fight our table for some reason and I still know why, but, if you drink enough of these you'll be in a wrestling mood and it won't slow you down when you kick people in the ribs.  This is hands down the best fighting beer I've had in a while.  I think Rocky drank this in Rocky III, but not when he fought Mr. T, but when he fought Thunderlips. Remember that? Man, that movie rocked.  I really like the montage with Apollo Creed too.  It was just unfortunate that Thalia Shire ruined the entire series.  She was pretty smoking in Rocky I though; what a babe! But I digress.

So, to sum this up, Rocky II is my favorite Rocky movie and this beer is great.  I wouldn't necessarily buy it all the time because, contrary to what my wife thinks, I'm not made of money! But it's definitely a treat.  I think even Hitler drank this stuff, and that dude was pretty clueless. Napoleon probably would have drank it if he wasn't busy inventing ice cream. 

Drinkability: 9/10
Taste: 9/10
Value: 3/10
Curb Appeal: 5/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Great Lakes Brewing Company – Lake Erie Monster

Check out some brewery and past review info on great lakes here and here.

I will have to say that Great Lakes is in my top 5 breweries worldwide. They produce a nice variety of beers and never seem to disappoint. All are pretty complex flavors, and you can throw back any of their flavors throughout the whole night without feeling too shitty the next day.  Not to mention, from my experience, their employees are cordial and like to have a good time.

I first tried Lake Erie Monster at 2012 Philly Beer Week, a comrade of mine got me into a private Great Lakes event at the Waterworks, behind the art history museum. Pretty rad event, only about 30 people, and 6 beers on tap, all you can eat and drink. They tried to throw some water conservation crap at me, but I was 8 beers in or so, and didn’t feel like a lecture.  But that was some museum employee, so I won’t knock Great lakes for it.

Please see below for me and Benjamin Franklin.  Ben Franklin has a haircut I may pursue in the near future, and he let me hold his cane. Even if he did nothing else, those 2 facts make him ok in my book

I first must say something about beer week. I highly recommend everyone who is interested in alcohol make a trip out. Philly Beer week has over 650+ events all around the city in a week span.  I read some facts, and I vaguely remember San Diego being the closest to compare for just over 350+ events for their beer week. It’s a beer drinking city and it’s awesome.  That being said, breweries need to take it easy on the hops.  It seems like the new thing is to hop the shit out of a beer just for hops sake. Now, I am a hop fan, but it is my conclusion that some sub par breweries just add the bitterness because they can’t make a superb beer, and hops can mask the taste. I dono, prove to me that you a reputable and make an all malt beer taste good, and then I’ll give you some credit.

Ok, Lake Erie Monster is real good. Not to mention the label looks like the Luck Dragon from Never Ending Story got bit by a zombie.  It’s an unfiltered, hazy double IPA with a huge hop presence. Bitter but smooth, and you can drink em all night long. Great Lakes doesn’t disappoint again. They use Harrington and Caramel malts, as well as Simcoe and Fuggle hops. The combination boast an ABV of 9.1%, so maybe drinking them all night is even a better idea now. 

Price wise, mine was free, at the museum event and another Great Lakes event I caught out there. But I bought a draft recently for 5 bones.
Drinkability: 8/10
Taste: 8/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 8/10

Overall: 7.5/10

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Goose Island's Sofie Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale

Beer Reviews 101: When you pay $7.00 for a beer - you review it.

So we've reviewed a few brews from Goose Island; we covered the brewery right here. Makes sense than InBev made a Belgian style ale.

This beer is brewed the traditional Belgian sense, giving it a bitter and dry flavor.  Let the record state that I do not like Belgian style beers, but as far as Belgians go, this one tastes pretty mild.  I've had plenty that essentially taste like Italian dressing; but not this one.  So I know what you're asking "Why the heck did I buy this beer?" Well, truth be told, I focused too much on the "farmhouse" part, and not at all on the "Belgian" part.  As King Herod once said in the New Testament, "My Bad".

This particular beer has an IBU of 25 and an ABV of 6.5%; both of which appeal to me.  They use Amarillo hops in conjunction with Pilsner (Pilsnerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!) and wheat malts.

But Goose Island has a few different types of beer, along with styles.  They have the classics and the vintage (all Belgian style); which is a fancy way to say "expensive".  Do I think these vintage beers are worth the 2x price? Hell no! Does it make it look like you roll Big Willie Style in a phat Benzo? Uh, YES! These beers shit class.  If some broad sees you drinking this she will think you have style and class.  Unfortunately for me, I didn't see any noteworthy girls in the opium den I was drinking this in.

I find it never unlikely I'd ever get this again unless I fall for the same trick that duped me into getting it in the first place.  For a Belgian I really enjoyed it; but they aren't my thing and if you've seen my paychecks you'll soon realize I am not on the $7.00 beer tier.  To put in in perspective, the beer I have before this was a PBR and the beer I had afterwards was an Old Style.  If I was going to get another expensive Goose Island beer, I'd probably head towards the ones brewed in the bourbon barrels.

I know a lot of the kids are into the Belgian thing and that's cool. You'll look cooler than Strider when he was rolling deep with all those hobbits; ya know, by contrast.  He wasn't cool for hanging out with them although I suppose it worked out for him in the end.

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste: 7/10
Value: 3/10
Curb Appeal: 9/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Other Goose Island Reviews:
Goose Island India Pale Ale
Goose Island Mild Winter Ale
Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Hefeweisen
Goose Island Kilgubbin Irish Red Ale

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kompania Piwowarska Brewery's Lech Pale Lager

So my commute from work ranges from 45 minutes to 2 and a half hours.  During these 2.5 hour commutes, I will occasionally stroll on into a bar to wet my proverbial whistle.  So me and my pal go into this log cabin bar outside of the Chicago city limits and it had an abnormally large selection of Polish beers.

Lech is actually owned by SABMiller, which you might know from Miller Genuine Draft.  Those guys actually own a ton of beers that I'm not going to get into.  The plant itself was erected (insert joke) [insert additional joke] in the late 1970s. They made beer there, go figure, and Miller bought them out in the mid 90's when everyone was rocking out to Evil Empire; remember that album?

Poles are known for their booze consumption, so it wasn't a coincidence that in 2007, they made the worlds largest beer mug inside of the brewery. It held 4250 liters of beer and 10,625 people enjoyed it.  Obviously, my invitation got lost in the mail.

Kompania Piwowarska itself translates to "Brewing Company" controls 45% of the Polish beer market, the largest being Tyskie.

The thing about polish beers are some of them are great.  Some of them taste like Slip and Slide water from Daniel Stern's birthday party.  This is the good one (though they both sound pretty good when you put it like that).  It has a similar taste to Lomza.

It has a nice clear look to it, as most pale lagers do.  It is complimented by a flowery, crisp flavor with a sharp finish.  This may be a bold statement, but it also smells like beer.  I feel this is a great beer to slam when you are watching sports at a bar because you can drink a hell of a lot of them and it comes in half liter bottles that any fool knows can knock out any hooligan.  It's got such a light taste also, that if you don't knock out that hooligan, you can certainly outrun him.

I paid $5 for this 500mL rascal and it has an ABV of 5.2% which is nothing to bite your thumb at.  This is one of my favorite Polish beers and would definitely get it again. The worst thing I could say is the label is not nearly as appealing as Lomza. Becks called; they want their label back.

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste : 7/10
Value: 5/10
Curb Appeal: 4/10

Overall: 5.75/10

Monday, June 4, 2012

Asia Pacific Brewery's Tiger Pale Lager


Put yourself in this situation if you will. Your minding you own business in Shanghai with a guy named "Slim" and you end up in some bar.  This is specializes in getting you "the wasted".  Now, me being the responsible man that I am, I limit myself to two servings.  Thing is, they sell beer by the dozen.  How awesome is that?  And on the menu? Tiger.

It was trivia night there also; so get this.  Instead of being solely based on knowledge, they took an intermission and gave everyone a free beer from each team and sent us up in the rafters to a chug contest.  Well, I explained that it was safe for me to climb up these old stairs to a mezzanine-esqe shady ass rafters.  So after I went up there, I vowed not to do it again until I had another dozen Tigers.

Bad stuff happens there, man.

Tiger is brewed by Asia Pacific Brewery; real original name.  Tiger is their main beer and dates back to the Ming Dynasty of 1934, the Ming Dynasty obviously led by Joe DeMaggio and other men of the caliber.  I bet Joltin' Joe slammed a buncha these beers back in the day; bitching about the Reds.  The redcoats that is.  Revolutionary War was around that time right?

So this brewery opened her doors in '31 (sorta like your grandma) and was the first local beer to come out of Singapore, or as I call it (as of today) Sing-A-Pour.  It tallies a 5.0% ABV; average.

What isn't average is the taste of this stuff.  Unless you drink a dozen of these suckers you won't approve of the taste.  That being said, if you drink them by the dozen, you will be happy, then real sad.  And if Steve Martin taught me anything I've learned everything is cheaper by the dozen.  So yeah, it starts off regular enough and whatnot, but then you get a catapult of jack crap and staleness down your gullet.  I thought I had Kurt Rambis' dirty sweatsocks in my mouth.

The label you can't beat; cuz it looks awesome.  I always liked tigers because they sorta played second fiddle to the lion in a jungle setting; but I still feel a real upset tiger can beat a lions ass ANY DAY! Remember Bengaled tigers? Did they go extinct?

So the worst thing about this stuff, worse than the taste, is the price.  I mean in China it's practically free; especially by the dozen (Thank you Steve Martin) but here in the old U.S. of A, it was like $5.00 at a bar and/or speakeasy.  I mean you can get a real beer for that much.  And lord knows you don't want just six of these bad boys.  The smell is simple enough but if you are going for a pale lager, you might want to try these.  I will say this: If you are drinking by train tracks or under a bring and you pull one of these guys out, you'll be the hippest bum in town.  And I know a thing of two about hip bums.

Drinkability: 5/10
Taste: 3/10
Value: 3/10
Curb Appeal: 8/10

Overall: 4.75/10