Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sprecher Brewing Company's Hard Root Beer

This is our first review of a hard root beer. Any hard soda or cola in fact.

Sprecher, primarily known for their soda pops, was founded in 1985 by Randal Sprecher. One "L", what the hell? Nonetheless, he was a brewing supervisor for Pabst in the early part of his career and in 1994 had expanded it's operation to it's current location. They currently have 6 all year round beers, a beer for all four seasons and about a dozen limited, reserve and special beers (the hard root beer and hard ginger beer being two of those). They also make about seven different sodas. They actually have a thing where you can make specialized sodas with different labels if you are trying to impress your middle school sweetie pie.

I am a huge fan out their soda. Their root beer is both gnar and lee so when I saw a hard root beer from these soda jerks I was like "Shit paw, I wanna git me somma this!" I think that was actually what came out of my mouth. So I picked up a four pack for $5 at the local party store so I was like, I'm getting two drinks for the price of one and I love root beer.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when the hard root beer was about 334% worse than their regular root beer. It's almost like Randy said to this root beer guy "Forget everything you know about root beer and make this hard root beer". I haven't been this disappointed since I found out my prom date was related to me. Not that it stopped anything ;). Family reunions got a little more awkward. So yeah, it is labeled a "Fire Brewed" hard root beer and I'm fairly certain that is the only problem with this beer. Who wants a fire brewed anything?!? It's aged in bourbon barrel for a fortnight or ten and yields a 5% ABV. I mean, you can tell at first sniff that this is going to have an oaky taste, okay? I mean who the hell wants an oaky root beer? Dumbos; that's who. I mean no one, and I mean no one, gets a hard root beer when it doesn't taste like root beer. Use your head dummies. You take two good things, beer and root beer, and make something that doesn't taste like either. You got rocks for brains!?! There are plenty of hard root beers out there and I thought a gourmet root beer giant would have killed this execution. Oh, it childlike demeanor.

Never, ever in my life have I seen such a poor execution.of two good things. That's like taking tacos and pizza and making some sort of bad taco pizza, which is seemingly impossible. Because it is! Boobs and sleep? I don't know how you combine those two things but it's gotta be good.

I will say this, I have hope. And if I see Randy come out with a non fire-brewed hard root beer I WILL buy it and I promise everyone ever in the world, if that stinks, I will never ever buy any Sprecher's product ever. Not even their soda pops.

If you are looking for a hard root beer try Small Town Brewery's "Not Your Father's Root Beer" or better yet, do a shot of Fireball and sip on Frostie or some non-alcoholic root beer because I have yet to find a hard root beer that satisfies all my alcohol and soda pop needs.

Drinkability: 5/10
Taste: 3/10
Value: 5/10
Curb Appeal: 6/10

Overall: 4.75/10

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bell's Brewery's Midwestern Pale Ale

Crank this if your are cool.

This is another beer out of Bell's Brewery; their Midwestern Pale Ale. If you went braindead since the initial review of Bell's which is chuck-full of facts about the place click over here. There actually isn't many facts in there and I think some of that is dated, but who cares (half the shit we say isn't right anyways).

So their is Bell's take on the pale ale which has many of the same characteristics of pale ales which means they know what their doing. Shit is as smooth as an Asian drag queen's stomach after going down a Nair slip-n-slide. Now that we have that image stuck in your head; let's continue.

It's got a light tan head and the beer itself is a cloud golden hue. It has a slight sediment to it and medium carbonation. It has a wheaty aroma with strong malt scents that are confirmed at first sip. What separates this from most pale ales is the full bodied flavor. It encompasses your mouth leaving a trail of hop and bitterness that is not realized upon initial oral contact, which is one of my top ten favorite contacts. This is not to be mistaken with oral contract; one of my least favorite contractions.

It's got a booze value of 5.2% ABV so it's strong than your typical beer but a little lower than some pale ales out there. What it lacks in crazy juice it makes up for in flavor. A sixer of this will run you better than $10 but if your friends are as cool as mine, you can con them out of a couple when they bring them over for a visit.

The bottle itself has got the whole barnyard look to it which I like because I was on a total Garfield and Friends kick a while back. And I know Roy was a jerk in that but he was still the best character.

Bell's for the most part makes a rad beer and this is no different. It's heavier than your Sierra Nevada and your Coors Cutter but this is great for kicking back and taking 'er easy. If you are doing a sack race in the near future I might hold off on these until after the finals. If no sack races are in your future; drink up!

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

Overall: 6.5/10

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Arcadia Ales' Nut Brown Ale

You like arcades? Crank it and yank it sea turtles!

So I should start by saying I picked up a twelve pack of a Arcadia sampler a little bit ago and if I'm too lazy to review a beer I'll leave one of each and drink the rest and I could have sworn I reviewed something from Arcadia before, however, I did not.

Arcadia spawned in 1996 marketing themselves as a British style microbrewery which I can only assume they focus on the bitter. They use English malts, hops from out west and blah, blah, blah. There isn't a ton of information about these guys. The staff consists of a handful of folks, some taken from Victory, that are native to the midwest and New York state. They have operations Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. That might sound familiar because I'm pretty sure Bell's has operations in both cities.

First and foremost, I've sampled three of their beers, other two to follow, and I can put it as simple as this: I was wholeheartedly unimpressed. My favorite part about this beer is that I picked up a 12 bottle sampler at Walgreens for like $14 where everything else was in excess of $18. Can you taste the savings? Unfortunately, yes. Even by "English Beer" standards (which I do not give full credit to English-style beer) this is poor to near-poor. Just simple things bore me about this brewery. First of all their website is as sterile as my milkman-trusting father. Their homepage consists of a handful of people that look like corporate managers on an outing because after tasting their beer, that is the only way you are going to get people in that place; drag them in there on a corporate retreat planned by someone who clearly doesn't know shit about beer.

I will say this. The nut brown is my favorite of the three and is mildly palatable. It's 6% ABV so if you do have the misfortune of picking this up by mistake, your taste buds will be numbs after about 5 and they will all go down as fast Michael Sam's career. I SAID CAREER! The label is okay but the glue job (now I'm getting picky) just flat out sucks and their Gaelic style fonts on their neck label is boring and un-original. Would I be this picky if I liked the beer? Probably not.

So...anyway. The beer is dark with a slightly tan, shallow head which is not atypical for an English style nut brown. It leaves a bitter aftertaste which sour undertones. It has a sweet, nutty scent however I would say the taste is far from nutty, unless you mean the Nutty Professor in which case I agree because it tastes like the worst shit Eddie Murphy had ever done. Too far? Probably.

So my evaluation? I would never, ever get this again or anything by Arcadia. But that's just me. Some people may love this shit. So...this is when I would buy it if I were you. It's 4 A.M. in Chicago and somehow you got a girl (or guy) to go back you your place to listen to your friend's bullshit EP because you fancy yourself as a music snob. Wait. It'd have to be before 4 A.M. Regardless, its late. And you and your new "friend" are already pretty lit. Well, you are aware they are not going to be impressed if you pick up a rack of PBR (or maybe they would) on the way home. So you pick up something cheap and strong and not part of the mainstream beer list. After you've been drinking all night you probably won't care (and they won't either) what it tastes like and they're gonna be all like "This guy's getting a microbeer, how faaannccyy".

Long story short. You can buy this when no one can taste shit and you're trying to impress drunk people who don't know any better". I see a new slogan in their future.

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

Overall: 4.25/10