Sunday, January 20, 2013

Emmett's Brewing Company's McCarthy Red Ale

This is a first review for Emmett's Brewing Company; brace yourself.

Emmett's Brewing company is located in West Dundee, Illinois, north of Chicago and started up in 1998. The whole thing was started up by the Burns family as a restaurant in some old ass building. The name, Emmett, was the name of Tim Burns' (co-founder) father and was used to pay homage to the man whose fundamental principles in life were hard work and self-reliance.  Since then, they've spread to a total of three locations all located in the greater Chicago area.

Their beers' ingredients are imported depending on the style of beer they are making. Currently, they have about 5 different kinds to tickle your taste buds.

So what the heck is up with this beer? Glad you asked.  This beer is a fairly full bodied with a thick, frothy head. As you can clearly see, the foam is heavy and sticks to the glass nicely. It has a sweet, caramel-like flavor but ultimately has a malty, well balanced flavor with a hoppy, semi-bitter aftertaste. The ABV is a mere 5.2% and I paid $5.50 for a pint as a bar that was selling pretty much all their drafts at around the same price. It'll run you a little more than a bullshit Budweiser, but as far as microbrews are compared I'd say it's average priced.

This beer is tasty and heavy enough that if you drink two or more of them, it will subside your appetite or about an hour or so. I mean you can hardly see through the glass so you know it's a little heavy, but flavorful.  They have a pretty nice, no nonsense label that if someone sees you drinking this they know you mean business. Straight up.  I'd get this beer again and try a few more malty beverages out of their books. Two thumbs up.

I usually say that reviews are not nearly as fun when I like the beer and this is living proof. Sorry for neglecting the poo-poo and pee-pee jokes.

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

Overall: 6.3/10

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Berkshire Brewing Company's Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale

I rarely have anything negative to say but this tastes like a sweat sock was dunked in Maxwell House coffee for a week and rung out into a glass that was previously occupied by jock straps worn by Sinbad from the movie "Necessary Roughness". Extreme? Definitely. Accurate? Not so much. Disappointed? Totally!

We first reviewed BBC in their Drayman's Porter here and I was not only totally stoked, but also, mildly "whoa". So when I saw the opportunity to try another tasty beverage from BBC during one of my fantastically amusing drug delivery and diagnostic global business bi-annual conference, you could imagine my interest piqued like Orlando Bloom's woodstock when he first saw Smeagol in a loincloth. The happiness sunk faster than the Titanic after my first sip. What a crock!

First as you can tell by the picture, this beer had less head than Gargamel ever got in college. The bubbles were about as evident as washing your hair after 10 days of slothfulness, and it tasted like that one time you made out with your dog when you were sort of experimenting with things.

The taste? Bitter and dry. The smell was non-existent. I gotta hand it for the look though because it sort of resembled that amber cane that old dude had in Jurassic Park, though I thought that movie totally blew.

I would love to blame the bar for having a skunked keg but I have no evidence to persuade me otherwise. This tasted like a "badder" Coors Light which puts it close to the mark of formaldehyde.

This was free for me (thank God) and has a ABV of 5.3%. I assume it'd be around $5 a pint. The IBU's are around 20 which, call me a critic, or an asshole, but an extra pale ale should have an IBU count higher than 20, in my humble opinion.  BBC is a pretty well respected name in Massachusetts and I was quote disappointed in this. I'd try it again only to see if this sample was a fluke. But if anyone ever drinks this again ever you should probably just live on the moon, you dodo.

Other Berkshire Brewery Reviews:
Drayman's Porter

Drinkability: 5/10
Taste: 2/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 5/10

Overall: 4.5/10

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lakefront Brewery's Fixed Gear Red Ale

I don't normally like to praise anything but this beer is fargin' good.

Lakefront Brewery is a brewery located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is living proof that cheese curds aren't the only thing good to come out of that place. They fired up the brews in 1987, which may ring a bell as the year those dirtbags from Minnesota stole the American league title from the renown Detroit Tigers. But these guys pump out almost 18,000 barrels a year and have about twenty recipes to their repertoire.

It was started when Jim and Russ Klisch were all about brewing some beer. Jim had some legitimate interest given the background of their family, as many members owned taverns.

Lakefront prides themselves on their ingenuity. They claim to be the first brewery to use fruit in their beer (1992 - Lakefront Cherry Beer). They also claim to be the makers of the first organically certified beer (1996 - Lakefront Organic ESB), though as I'm sure the avid readers remember, Eel River Brewery claimed to be the first organic brewery (1994). So someones not certified or someones a liar. Either way, I'm happy. Finally, these turkeys changed the governments definition of what beer is; talk about innovation. Due to gluten intolerant assholes (no offense), they wanted their New Grist "beer" to be New Grist beer. As everyone knows, beer is technically made of 25% malted barley. Well their New Grist contains hops, water, rice, sorghum and gluten free yeast (grown on molasses, obviously).

The brewery itself has won more award than I can shake a stick at, so why the heck would I list them all? If you care about awards and jazz, go look it up yourself! I will say this, Fixed Gear Red Ale hasn't won jack and is delicious, so one can only assume I'll continue trying their stuff!

Their Fixed Gear is delicious though. As the self proclaimed poet Jeremy Pettis once said "This is my girlfriend's favorite beer." Well, I'm a dude and I like it too. A total dude! This beer has a pretty solid amber color and pretty cloudy. I like cloudy ales because that using tells me if got some strong flavor and stronger than babe the blue ox; this bastard does not disappoint. Its got a heavy drink to it and a dry finish. It tastes hoppier than its 34 IBUs would suggest. It pours a decent sized, cream head and really tickles the old tastebuds.

I paid $5.50 for a glass but 6 packs cost about $9.00, so at 6.5% ABV you are certainly getting your moneys worth but is, by no means, the steal of the century. The label ranges somewhere between "cool" and "pretty neat" and if you like bicycles and beer, this might be right up your alley. The use 2-row and dark caramel malts with Chinook and Cascade hops. The recipe is similar to the Sierra Nevada Big Foot Ale, so if you like that, you'll love this! If I saw this at a bar, I would definitely get it again. $5.50 is steep but worth it. If you pass up a 6-pack at the store, you're a total doofus.

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste: 9/10
Value: 5/10
Curb Appeal: 8/10

Overall: 7.3/10

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Old Harbor Brewery's Old Harbor Pale Ale

The beer so nice they named it twice. Old Harbor Pale Ale warrants the name of the brewer itself.

The brewery itself is the only microbrewery in Puerto Rico, which is Spanish for Paul Rico, the famous hair stylist; duh. They got about 4 beers on their regular rotation and a seasonal one that they release whenever the hell they want to.  The brewery itself was founded in 1996 but did not open until about 10 years later. They're nothing to say about other than Dr. Porifio Diaz was probably drinking all the profits! Or not. It's a family run business so its a wholesome time and destined to fail. They also serve food at this place which was actually pretty rad, by Ted Theodore Logan's standards. The brewery itself is located in San Juan which, of course, is Spanish for "Sand Man", also named after a famous man, Mr. Sand Man. He was good. A little too good.

So as far as the pale ale is concerned, here's the skinny. It's a typical pale ale; with citrus undertones and a hoppy bite that would make Bunnicula shriek. Eeeeeep! The main thing I found about this beer, because I'm such a professional, is that you can absolutely pound the daylights out of these, I mean f'real. They go down faster than the sleezy woman in the hotel room next to Gross. You can't tell from the picture but it's got a nice copper color. Like someone melted a rattlesnake in a jar or pennies. Delicious.

The beer itself, well, I dunno how much it cost; so in my opinion it was free. Shooting from the hip and spilling from the lip, I'm gonna guess that it was about $8 for a 20oz glass. Which sounds ridiculous but beer is abnormally expensive here. They sell shit beer for $5 on happy hour, true.

So in my opinion, would I get it again? Heck yes I would monsignor! I mean if you're in the Rico and you wanna down some suds and you're like, hey, that beer looks nice, then you drink it you turkey; its as simple as that. And this beer is certainly tasty. I couldn't afford a zillion of them but if you have to drink, HAVE TO. Like someone put a gun to your head, I'd get this. Or you can get Bud Light and pull the trigger you dummy! Cuz that's what you'd be; a dummy. Simple as that.

Drinkability: 9/10
Taste: 7/10
Value: 4/10
Curb Appeal: 5/10

Overall: 6.25/10