Monthly Archives: May 2016

Wrapping Up (Beercation 8)

Beercation Wrapup

Coming to the end of my Beercation week, with one more brewery and a craft pub.

The Alementary

Alementary Exterior

Mr Stevens

An English mild, this is dark brown with a medium light tan head. Starts with a darkly malty nose with a hint of classic English hops, it seems. On the palate there is a light body, a big malt flavor, not sweet though with a hint of toffee, fairly crisp. The finish is mild and medium long with malt giving way to a little tingle of hops. If you want “sessionable” then this is your beer: 3.6% ABV, 18 IBU

This was the brewery’s grand opening, so all was madness, with 45 minutes in line to get a pint. It was worth the wait, and great to see them off to such a good start. In fact, they were so busy that with eight taps flowing, the first keg kicked in 15 minutes!
Alementary Grand Opening
So that’s my eighth brewery in seven days, starting with the Bronx Brewery. I followed the Bronx Brewery by visiting Growler & Gill, so now I’ll finish my Beercation at the Dog & Cask.

Dog & Cask

Sorry for the quick notes! I was with friends who I hadn’t seen in a while, and I spent more time listening and talking and less time taking notes. Here’s an all-Jersey flight:

Magnify Search Saison Foeder Batch 1

Pours nearly clear with a medium white head. The aroma is of stone fruit & yeast with light hoppiness. On the palate comes very tasty fruit, then herbs then back and forth with malt and oak notes coming in. The finish is stone fruit soup fading to spicy hops. Wouldn’t drink 3 but 1.5 is about perfect. 5.5% ABV

Bolero Snort Strawbully

“Strawberry wheat saison” made with strawberry and Sorachi Ace, starts with a nice strawberry aroma, then subtle flavor builds sip to sip with a hint of sweetness coming in. Toward the finish an herbal note joins in. The Sorachi Ace is muted but emerges more on the finish. 4.3% ABV

Carton BDG

American Brown Ale, a caramel brown cask ale with a light head. Delivers a rich malt & toffee nose, continuing through the flavor and into the finish. 6% ABV

Carton Boat Beer

Hazy pale gold in the glass with a persistent white head. This has a bright lemon aroma. The flavor contines the fruit with hops coming in, quite crisp on the palate, followed by a long hoppy finish. 4.3% ABV

Kane Citra

This pours cloudy gold with a generous white head. Really pretty orange peel hops arrive on the nose and continue in the flavor, then bittering out. This is not subtle or intended to be. 5.2% ABV

Hermanns Blonde Ale“Hermann’s Blonde Ale”

Back at home, what better way to wrap up my Beercation than to have my own Blonde Ale. I can’t claim objectivity, but it’s nice and malty with hints of stone fruit. Best of all, it’s mine.

So what are the totals on the scorecard? Seven days, eight breweries, 57 different beers. And once I was done, the ‘fridge doesn’t look so bad after all. Never mind the other three cases worth in the closet!


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The Jesters of Easton (Beercation 7)

Weyerbacher Brewing Company

Across the I-78 bridge into Pennsylvania, a tiny detour brings me to a brewery that I have wanted to visit for a long time.

Weyer Entrance

Weyer LimitedThe tasting room is practically a Mecca, with a menu of beers that you can’t get anywhere else.

Weyer Insanity 365Insanity 365

Blithering Idiot aged in oak barrels for one year (shorter aging shown below.) Maple syrup brown (ok, medium amber) in the glass with zero head. The nose is of intense boozy malt and brown sugar. On the palate comes candied malt and and a whiskey kick with vanilla oak touches. The finish goes on forever, sweet & malt & boozy. 11.1% ABV

Line Street Pils

To clear the palate! Pours clear straw with a generous snowy head. Starts with a pure lagery nose of cracker malt and noble hops. It’s crisp enough to cut through the 365 bourbon, delivering straight malt with a nice hop bite. I think of Weyerbacher in terms of big Belgian ales, but they do a good lager! In fact, they say: “Sure, we love our big beers, but sometimes we just want something lighter without sacrificing flavor.” 5.3% ABV

Weyer LIdiot GraisseL’Idiot Graisse

Then there are one-offs not even on that menu. Here’s another Blithering Idiot variant suggested by a member of the tasting room staff, this is served from cask and pours a pretty chestnut amber with a light off white ring. The aroma delivers subtle wine and malt, followed by a very malty flavor, adding a tang of red grape with the sweetness characteristic of Blithering Idiot. It’s made with Cabernet-aged French oak and red grapes, a successful experiment! 11.1% ABV I presume.

Weyer Brunicorn!Brunicorn #1

An American Wild Ale, in the glass it’s like pretty, light apricot nectar with the tiniest off white ring. The nose is peach nectar, slightly tart, followed by a crisp, tart & stone-fruity flavor moving into a wheaty body. The finish resolves like an Italian fruit soda, lingering quietly with a white wine note. I’m not up to sours but this I like. Not a favorite, but I’m sure not sending it back! 6.5% ABV

Then we have two that I had in the tasting room, AND brought back to repeat at home.

Weyerbacher Jesters ChoiceJesters Choice 4

Smoked American Porter. Nearly black with generous foamy tan head. There’s a very malty nose on the dark side, lightly smoky, and maybe a hint of hops. Smoke arrives on the palate, as crisp and refreshing as smoke can be, followed by a ton of dark malts and some caramel. The smoke balances the sweetness as hops might do in other styles. This is a porter with smoke, not smoke with beer like a rauchbier. That balance of slightly sweet hops and slightly bitter smoke lingers, as does the lacing on the glass. The tiniest note of bacon emerges on the finish. 7% ABV 40 IBU

Weyerbacher IPASingle IPA #1

The start of an annual series of four, this one is clear gold with a generous white head. Citrus hops, citrus hops, floral hops? The aroma starts with citrus juice and moves to citrus peel, then a fleeting floral note transitions to malt. The beer looks like a light amber snowstorm with particles percolating up the center and down the sides. On the palate things start with lemon peel then quickly get outright bitter moving directly into the finish. Maybe my taste buds are off, this doesn’t taste as good as it smells. 5.5% ABV “Features a blend of Centennial, Cascade, Calypso and Equinox hops.”

Something I love about Weyerbacher is their support for charities, including their support of animal shelters, as with their Last Chance IPA. This continues in the tasting room:

Weyer Last Chance Tips

And one more I brought back from the brewery . . .

Weyerbacher InsanityInsanity

“Insanity, 11.1% ABV, is made by aging our Blithering Idiot Barleywine Ale in whiskey barrels.” So this has shorter aging than the 365 and pours a cloudy chestnut brown with a brief light tan head. Starts with a big dried fruit and malt nose with a boozy note and a hint of oak. It has a complex flavor passing from fruity to malty to caramel, back to malt with a sugary sweetness, then back to fruit. Waves of flavor continue through a long finish, ending sweet.

And this brings me HOME!!

LootHere’s the loot from the trip: 54 12oz, 3 half growlers and a 750:

FridgeWhat I had not really considered was what I already had in the ‘fridge: 19 12oz, 1 16oz, 3 bombers and 2 two 750s, not to mention about 20 homebrew in the closet!

What have I *done*?

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