Take Me Out to the Beer Game

The Bronx Brewery

For many New Yorkers, the Bronx Bombers are the only reason to cross the Harlem River from Manhattan. Now there’s another reason, the Bronx Brewery. (Pity they don’t normally package in bombers, that would be perfect…a lot of work, but perfect.)

As for me, I’m starting my beercation, a week which will feature visits to several breweries in several states. I am informed that I’m expected to post about it. For much of the week I won’t have access to my computer, but I promise to post more when I return. Anyway, I started with a flight and a pint.

Bronx Flight 1Summer Pale Ale

They recommend a sequence for the flight, and I had no reason to second-guess them. Their summer offering pours hazy gold with a hint of orange. The nose is quiet with light malt and light citrus. The flavor has lemon peel (as did the batch) plus light malt with spicy & citrusy hops coming in. The finish is crisp, light & citrusy, a very refreshing summer beer. 5.2% ABV, 32 IBU

Session IPA

A clear gold glass with a brief white head. Actually all these beers–except the rye–had a brief white head. I think the cups were bad for head development and retention. On first sniff the nose delivers stone fruit, then hops & hops, fairly sharp. The palate moves from light malt through stone fruit and back to citrus hops, nicely balanced. The finish is light and fairly long with nice bitterness. Here’s one that the brewers can drink all day long. Session IPAs at many breweries seem to be for the brewers as much as for the customers! 5.0% ABV, 59 IBU

American Pale Ale

Here’s their flagship, and they can be proud of it, clear amber with a chestnut touch. The aroma delivers light to medium bakery malt, leading to flavor that is nicely caramel-malty moving through a spiciness like a hint of ginger and on into stone fruit. Pretty complex. The finish lingers moderately with hops coming in as a presence, restrained. 6.3% ABV, 50 IBU but doesn’t seem bitter at all.

Rye Pale Ale

The pours a hazy honey gold with no head or ring, almost like Real Ale. The nose is of cat pee and spice over biscuit malt. It moves on to a light caramel malt flavor with bright citrus hops coming in to carry on into the nicely bitter finish, with a light lingering sweetness. 6.3% ABV, 58 IBU. 58 vs 50, but this shows bitterness where the APA did not. This is not a complaint!

Belgian Pale Ale

Changing course, this shows lightly hazy straw, and the minimal head clearly shows the shortcoming of the cups. It starts with a classic Belgian estery nose, banana and melon, with a solid biscuit malt backbone. It continues with a really fruity flavor with a slightly silky mouthfeel and lots of malt, sliding into a malty fruity finish with just a touch more flavorful hops than a typical Belgian. 6.7% ABV, 36 IBU

Bronx Pale wTeaSpring Pale Ale with Tea

The pint has the head that I’m sure most of the others would have, medium off white, over cloudy amber like an apricot nectar. The aroma starts with floral herbal tea notes and plenty of biscuit malt. The flavor is really interesting, reflecting the black and chamomile teas plus a lemon hint from the lemongrass. This is really true to its ingredients, with a light fruitiness coming in. Light piney hops carry the finish, very much in balance. Nice! 5.7% 36 IBU. I had this with “black pepper pork clouds” like pork rinds but fluffier. These played off very well against the tea and malt. Nice pairing.

Dustin gave one of the best brewery tours I’ve had, giving not only the what of the steps of the process but also the why, mash tun to brew kettle to whirlpool to fermenter, then on to bright tank, forced carbonation and canning. Almost all beers are either canned or kegged, eliminating light from the equation to help keep the beer as fresh as when it leaves the brewery. When I’ve had their stuff “in the field” they seem to be succeeding nicely.

Definitely worth a stop on the way to Yankee Stadium, or as a direct destination for Mets fans and others!

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Two Stouts, a King, a Monk, a Stone and Three Philosophers

No, they did *not* all walk into a bar.

Actually, I suppose they did.

Bells ExpeditionBells Expedition Stout

We start with an opaque black glassful with a brief brown head. From a foot away the aroma reminds me of chocolate milk. Moving closer it delivers massive malt and a roasty earthiness with a hint of brandy. The flavor leads with roasty malt and hints of charred oak, but this needs to warm up about 10 degrees . . . okay, now it’s richer and deeper with more balanced malt, and that touch of chocolate is back, lingering into a very smooth finish with just a hint of spicy hops. 10.5% ABV

Captain Frost MonsterCaptain Lawrence Frost Monster

In honor of April snow, a winter creature visits. Almost opaque dark brown with a brief brown head ringing the glass. The aroma is of spicy hops, cake malt, roast grain and a vanilla hint. Medium to full in body, the flavor reminds me of bitter Mexican chocolate with roastiness like lightly scorched grain. There is substantial bitterness on the finish, along with hops and very dark malt. 12% ABV, 65 IBU

Konig Ludwig Weissbier HellKonig Ludwig Weissbier

Once reserved for the royal family, “Royal Bavarian Hefe-Weizen,” this pours a cloudy golden straw with a moderate bubbly white head. This German style features a yeasty aroma of stone fruit rather than the banana of the Belgian equivalent. That aroma concludes with a little burst of noble hops. The fruit gets stronger on the palate, moving into biscuit malt with a touch of caramel. The finish is very crisp with a clear hop note to tie it all together. 5.5% ABV.

Spencer2Spencer Trappist Ale

The only American Trappist ale–the only one brewed outside Western Europe–the label says “Pair with Family and Friends.” It is apricot gold with a generous buttermilk-colored head and lots of effervescence. The nose gives biscuit and cake malt with slight stone fruit and light earthy hops. The flavor leads with crisp apple and good malt, continuing into a malt and stone fruit finish. This seems like the Trappist single that only the monks get in Europe, rather than the Trappist dubbels and triples (and occasional quads) that are exported to the U.S. 6.5% ABV

021416_EnjByUNFILTERED_22ozR2Stone Enjoy By 02.14.16

No, these are old notes, not an old bottle! An unfiltered IPA, it’s effervescent, hazy gold with a generous yellowish head. Very distinct hop aroma–showing I don’t know my hops–all hop, pine & citrus. Ah, from the website I see that there are twelve different varieties of hops! No wonder I couldn’t identify them! It then gives a creamy mouthfeel with leading sweetness, then the hops come in with great flavor. The malt emerges and carries the flavor into a balanced hoppy finish. 9.4% ABV 90 IBU

ommThreePhilosophersOmmegang Three Philosophers

Deep amber in the glass with a moderate orangey head. The nose is super malty with quiet stone fruit and a little hop zing. This is followed by a delicious caramel or toffee mouthful, wine-like with an undertone of peach or apricot. It has a very smooth finish of hops and malt and fruit. Outstanding! 9.7% ABV

Image couresy of Stone Brewing Co.
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Beer from Bergen

The Alementary

Many, perhaps most professional brewers cut their teeth as home brewers. This has been true for a while, but doubly so for the current generation of new pros, like Blake Crawford and Mike Roosevelt. Professionally, they represent the science side of the art and science of brewing, Blake as a chemical engineer and Mike as a molecular biologist. Along with that comes an on-site lab that would be the envy of many a larger brewery. Meanwhile, their home brewing passion lets them explore the artistic side. In addition they emphasize the community aspect of hanging out with friends and beer.

Opening in Hackensack, NJ, I guess they are the second production brewery in Bergen County. The Alementary officially opens on April 16, but my homebrew club got a preview. These are brief notes, even for me, but I tried five of the eight they had on tap, first a flight of four, and then a solo tasting glass.

Alementary Flight


Pours cloudy pale straw with a brief white head. The nose is hoppy for a Kolsch but with a nice pilsner malt backbone. On the palate it’s very refreshing, delivering that malt along with a crisp edge of noble hops. Malt and spicy hops alternate down a moderately long finish. 5.2% ABV

1st Session

Straw-colored with a light bubbly white head, their first session IPA starts with a good complex hop aroma. The flavor shows light flavor hops balanced neatly by biscuit malt. The finish is light as well, with bracing bitterness. 4.8% ABV

A-Game IPA

A golden glass with a peach hint and a very light hop aroma, lighter than the session IPA. The hops grow stronger on the palate, citrusy, with malt comeing along and then a bitter wave. It’s very smooth, and the finish continues these elements. 6.0% ABV

Vindication Black IPA

I presume the name reflects breaking through all the paperwork and plumbing to finally be able to open the brewery. This is dark brown with chestnut highlights and a medium tan head. To me this is more brown ale than IPA, but very satisfying with a moderately long finish. At all times any roastiness is balanced by the hops. 6.8% ABV


This pours pale gold with a moderate bubbly head and a tangy malt nose. The aroma delivers salt and light tartness balanced with cracker malt, continuing through the flavor into the finish with salt building very slightly. This is tart, not sour, and both salt and tartness are nicely restrained. This would be particularly good with food. 4.8% ABV

Alementary Kolsch

Our mission is simple: Create approachable and uncomplicated world-class beers in a brewery experience that gives our friends and neighbors a brewery that they are proud to call their own.

From this preview, I think they are delivering on their mission. Welcome, Blake and Mike!

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Seven Hells! Fresh from Westeros

Ommegang Seven Kingdoms

Of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms, six were conquered and one, indomitable, was brought in, not by war, but by the sacred blood ties of marriage.

Omm Seven KingdomsThe sixth in the excellent Game of Thrones series of beers (sounds like it should have been the 7th.) Pours a slightly hazy straw with a medium bubbly white head. The nose is yeasty Belgian with little apparent hoppiness except perhaps for an emerging citrus tang. It’s a foamy malty yeasty mouthful with grapefruit peel, and enough sweetness for balance. This glides into a long smooth finish of malt and citrus with almost no bitterness. 6.9% ABV

Seven Kingdoms is a marriage of a traditional Belgian-style wheat and a hop-forward American ale – but unlike so many of the marriages on the show, the resulting hoppy wheat is pleasant, playful and inspired.

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S. W. S.

Schneider Weiss and Saranac

Three from G. Schneider & Sohn in Kelheim, Germany, and three from Matt Brewing in Utica NY. Family owned since 1872 meets family owned since 1888.


ScheniderWeisseOriginalSchneider Weisse Original Tap 7

This Hefe-Weizen is effervescent amber, fairly dark for a hefeweizen, with a moderate fluffy white head. The armoa is of light estery yeast leaning toward banana, accented by spicy hops. The flavor hits that banana note even more than the aroma, then there’s a caramel maltiness. It has a pretty big mouthfeel for relatively low alcohol. The finish is quietly fruity with a layer of noble hops. 5.4% ABV

ScheniderWeisse Edel-WeisseSchneider Weisse Weisen Edel-Weisse Tap 4

Pours effervescent clear gold, unusually clear with a medium white head. The nose gives biscuit and cracker malt plus malt ball sweetness and a lagery note. The mouthfeel starts creamy, becomes crisp then lightly fruity, really complex. The finish is crisp and light ending with little burst of bitterness. Very refreshing! 6.2% ABV

ScheniderWeisse AventinusSchneider Weisse Aventinus Tap 6

Very dark amber in the glass with a generous vanilla cream head. The aroma starts with rich complex malts with spicy hops and just a hint of yeast. The mouthfeel is medium full, bubbly, with dried dark fruits, figs and dates on a bed of dark malts ranging from bread through cake to rough dark tones. The finish is long and carries the dark fruit into a dry hoppy ending. 8.2% ABV

I have to wonder what’s on Taps 1, 2, 3 and 5!

Crossing from Bavaria to New York State . . .

SaranacTwinsSaranac Adirondack Lager

Pours effervescent amber with a moderate bubbly off white head. There is a cake malt nose with a little toffee and a hint of spicy hops. Medium mouthfeel comes with solid malt and almost a touch of maple. The nice malty finish continues that with just a bit of hop bite on the very end. 5.4% ABV, 20 IBU.

Yes, that is the Pale Ale in the picture, but these next notes are from the Legacy IPA.

Saranac Legacy IPA

“Our founder’s century-old IPA recipe uses lighter malts which allow the hop flavor to shine through. We’re proud to share his legacy of great beer.” There’s a half-inch ivory head of smooth foam over clear pale gold. The aroma starts with piney-citrus hops sweetening to a tropical fruitiness over bready malt. There is a caramel malt flavor with hops in a supporting role and a touch of butterscotch. A hint of prune emerges in the malt, and the hops are complex and hard to break down, but herbal flirts with pine and flirts with floral. The beer has a soft body and medium finish. This might be an IPA that is approachable for those not yet on the hop bandwagon. It might still be too bitter for them, but only a little bit too bitter. An entry drug, perhaps. 6.5% ABV

Saranac NitroSaranac Distuption Nitro

A nearly black pour with a tan head after settling from bubbly brown. The nose is of chocolate milk with a touch of hops. On the palate comes a creamy mouthfeel with lots of roasty malt and more hints of chocolate with a slight alcohol note. The finish continues the creamy chocolate and malt, and ends on a hop note. 7% ABV

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Winter Beers, Round III

We’ve just about run out of winter, at least here in the Tri-State Area, so I have to rush to get in the last winter beers.

The Shed Mountain AleThe Shed Mountain Ale

This is a brown ale with a brief off white head, as malty as an English ale should be. The flavor gives full-bodied caramel and toffee with a lightly roasty undertone and moderate English style hops (the notes say Mt Hood & Northern Brewer). It has a nice caramel finish dried by hops. 7.4% ABV

Victory Winter CheersVictory Winter Cheers

“A celebratory wheat ale” this pours cloudy straw with a generous foamy white head. The nose is yeasty and estery with banana and stone fruit plus a distinct but subtle spiciness. On the palate comes sparkly refreshment with a touch of cloved orange. The finish is long and lightly spicy with almost a hint of cinnamon, dry, but retaining that estery quality all the way. 6.7% ABV

21st Fireside Chat21st Amendment Fireside Chat

“Winter Spiced Ale,” dark brown in the glass with a moderate off tan head and an aroma of spiced fruit bread. The mouthfeel is soft, the flavor is earthy, almost meaty, with roasted grain and dark malts. The finish gets very dry as substantial hops come in, a nice finishing bite. On further sips, sweetness develops in the flavor and spice increases on the finish. This is a 50-degree ale, not a 40-degree brew. 7.9% ABV 45 IBU

ommLovelyDarkAndDeepOmmegang Lovely, Dark and Deep

“Oatmeal stout winter ale,” this pours opaque brownish black with a persistent moderate tan head. The aroma is so roasty it almost crosses to tobacco, then come rich malt and a hint of smoke. The flavor starts with smoke, almost ashy, with malt building in. It makes me think of rauchbier and that persists into the finish. Never sweet, it dries out more on the end. 5.3% ABV

Founders Project PAMFounders Project PAM

A Backstage Series beer, a Black IPA, this delivers maple syrup & bourbon, inky brown with a brief off tan head. It delivers a rich bourbon nose over deep malt, then a maple-and-malt flavor blending with the bourbon then persisting into finish getting sweeter. 10.8% ABV

Troegs The Mad ElfTroegs The Mad Elf Ale

“Ale brewed with honey and cherries,” it pours clear chestnut with almost no head, just a light pinkish ring. The nose? Cherry soda with a hint of biscuit malt. The aroma left the expectation of cherry soda and the flavor is not far from that, just adding a base of malt and a smooth layer of honey. The finish holds both cherry and honey but adds a spicy hop note. Pleasant sipping and good follow up to the Great Lakes. 11% ABV and not a hint of that strength. This stuff could be dangerous!

It has been a mild winter of good beer, let’s look forward to a nice spring with more of the same!

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Winter Beers, Round 2

I have to hurry up while it’s still winter!

Deschutes JubelDeschuttes Jubelale 2015

A cloudy brown glassful with a very brief light off white head. The aroma is of caramel and oaky vanilla, tons of malt and just a hint of alcohol. The flavor is of rich raisiny malt, definitely wine-like, and the raisin reminds me of Italian Amarone, one of my favorites. The finish is smooth and balanced with just a note of hops mixed with the malt and raisin. This is an ale that many wine drinkers–like my wife–would love. Ale with 50% aged in Pinot Noir and Oregon oak barrels. “Affectionately known as ‘Super Jubel’, Jubel 2015 is an imperial take on our festive winter ale. Originally planned as a once-in-a-decade ale; we just couldn’t wait another five years.” This was one of my favorites of 2015! If somehow you can find it, the 10.4% ABV will let it age for some time.

Brooklyn InsulatedBrooklyn Insulated Dark Lager

A Schwarzbier, pouring dark cola brown with a generous light tan head. Starts with a lightly roasty, malty aroma. It delivers more roastiness on the palate with a chocolate hint and a mix of German and American hops. The finish continues these, drying at the end. 5.6% ABV

Stone Double Bastard in the RyeStone Double Bastard in the Rye

“2015 Double Bastard Ale aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey Barrels” Cloudy dark amber in the glass with a brief tannish head. There is rich malt and whiskey on the nose with rye spiciness. It’s a filling mouthful of malt, rye and caramel carrying into the finish with a solid shot of hops on the end and a solid shot of alcohol as well. 12.7% ABV

Stone BBA Arrogant BastardBourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard

This pours a rich chestnut amber with a medium tannish head. The nose is dark malty with only a hint of bourbon. Even the flavor is more toffee and caramel than bourbon, but there is an oakiness and some alcohol heat. A creaminess comes into the mouthfeel and then a bitterness emerges and carries into the finish, joined by hop spiciness. “Quite refined, unlike you.” 8.1% ABV

Singlecut DoesAnybodyRememberLaughterSinglecut Does Anybody Remember Laughter?

This IPA has an apricot nectar look with a moderate persistent off white head. Citrus-piney hops hit as soon as the cap comes off. It arrives as a big bitterish hoppy mouthful and the lemon peel citrus stays bitter through the finish. I like this but it’s sort of a one trick pony. 7.2% ABV

21st Cerveza El Sully21st Amendment Cerveza El Sully

Clear gold with a brief white head and light effervescence. The aroma seems almost like a Belgian single, lightly yeasty and estery, crossed with the flavor of clean biscuit malt and light spicy hops. This one is a straightforward lager, a summer beer, but in a winter with a 70 degree Christmas Eve, I’ll happily drink it. 4.8% ABV

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Winter Beers, Round 1

The coldest days of the winter are coming to the lower Hudson Valley, so it’s time to explore some beers that can stand up to the cold . . . though the coming single digits are more conducive to a hot toddy!

Coney Island The PlungeConey Island The Plunge

Perfect for brutal weather and the insanity that compels hundreds on New Year’s Day to jump into the frigid North Atlantic, specifically New Yorkers at Coney Island, the source of this beer. Described as “Belgian-style ale with ginger, orange peel and fennel seed,” this pours a cloudy apricot color with a brief medium off white head. It leads with a complex spicy nose of stone fruit over light malt. The flavor swaps the sequence and starts with the fruit followed by the spice. The whole thing is crisp and refreshing, less yeasty than many Belgian styles but keeping the estery nature. The finish is subdued stone fruit and malt, but flickers of spice continue. 6.9% ABV

1Heavy Seas Winter StormHeavy Seas Winter Storm

Sounds perfect for the unfortunate cruise ship passengers who just discovered why the winter North Atlantic is feared. “Category 5 Ale” starts cloudy brown with little head, but the head still laces the glass. The straightforward malty nose tends toward dark bread and a hint of toffee. Flavor is on the dark malt side of straight ale, earthy with a bit of pruny fruit. There’s something a little harsh in flavor and finish. Good but not excellent. 7.5% ABV

1Weyerbacher Winter AleWeyerbacher Winter Ale

Dark brown in the glass with a light ivory head. The aroma is like brown bread, dark malt with a hint of molasses. On the palate comes rich malt with a surprisingly light body and roast grain coming in. That roastiness builds into the finish and hops dry things out, and finally some spiciness emerges. 5.6% ABV

1Bells XmasBell’s Christmas Ale

Pours slightly cloudy amber with a medium yellowish head. The aroma is gentle with bread and cake malts and hop spiciness. The very malty flavor comes with a fairly light body and light effervescence, leading to moderate bitterness in the finish. This is a good straightforward ale, not fancy, and its holiday “spice” comes from hops and barley. A Christmas ale for real ale fans. 5.5% ABV

1Tsjeesus ReservaTsjeesus Reserva 2013

The bottle says “Belgian Xmas Ale Boubom Barrel Aged. Bottled July 2014.” This is cloudy amber, quite effervescent with a moderate tannish head. The nose is super malty toward the dark side with subtle fruitiness and a distinct bourbon note. It’s a malty mouthful with bourbon notes and no apparent spicing. The finish is smooth, steady malt with a developing tinge of caramel. 10.0% ABV

1Great Lakes XmasGreat Lakes Brewing Christmas Ale

A pretty glass of chestnut-tinged amber with a very brief off white head. The aroma is spicy-fizzy, if that makes sense, with cinnamon and ginger. There is plenty of malt and just a hint of barnyard below the spice. On the palate comes a light ginger ale body with increasing spice flowing into the finish, with a light honey sweetness that grows from sip to sip. I like it more each sip. At the very end some hops dry it out. Quite drinkable–refreshing–though not outstanding. 8.5% ABV 30 IBU

Now bundle up and keep warm.

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Again from the Smithy

Samuel Smith

“The Old Brewery Tadcaster”

From the traditional gravity-fed brewery to the unique slate “Yorkshire Squares” fermentation, Samuel Smith delivers styles not common on this side of the Atlantic.


SamSmith IndiaIndia Ale

This gives an amber glass with a generous vanilla cream head. The nose of bakery malts come with mild earth & spice hops. It delivers rich malt on the palate with a hint of caramel immediately banished by hop bitterness. This is no hop bomb but still the hops assert themselves, a British IPA recalling the roots of the style. Moves to a long lightly hoppy finish. 5.0% ABV

SamSmith ApricotOrganic Apricot

“Brewed at Melbourn Bros ancient brewery in Stanford, Lincolnshire” then it proceeds to Tadcaster for bottling.
It is gold tinged with apricot with a brief medium white head. There’s a light apricot nose, a tiny bit sour, over cracker malt. Then comes clear clean apricot flavor with a creamy texture. This avoids sweet and avoids bitter, delivering fruit but not sugar, real fruit not artificial. Ends with a smooth fruity finish. 5.0% ABV

1sam_smith_organic_raspberry_ale_smOrganic Raspberry

I reviewed this before, and I’ll quote myself: “the Organic Raspberry Ale is . . . really intense, like raspberry preserves on the nose and palette. This one and the Organic Cherry were my intro to their fruit beers, and the Apricot takes its place in a strong lineup.

SamSmith Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Opaque darkest brown in the glass with a medium tan head. Starts with a roasty, slightly boozy nose with a ton of malt. On the palate comes a full mouthfeel with layers of malt, bready and cake-like and especially dark. There’s a note of spicy hops that comes in on the lingering malt finish with a hint of dark fruit. 7.0% ABV, strong by their standards.

SamSmith ChocolateOrganic Chocolate Stout

This pours a nearly opaque dark brown with a brief tan head. The serious chocolate aroma is like walking into a chocolate shop, then this resolves into an aroma like a chocolate malted shake. The first sip starts like cocoa and slides darker like semi-sweet chocolate. It has a relatively light body and even a certain crispness beyond the chocolate. Some roasty notes emerge on the finish. This is a chocoholic’s beer! 5.0% ABV

A fine session for Anglophiles and those who appreciate traditional styles.


Images courtesy of Samuel Smith Brewing
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Hitting the Brix

Brix City Brewing

Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution, and Newark NJ is called the Brick City . . . never mind that the brewery is in Little Ferry, rather far from Newark. The tasting room features an wall-sized map of old Newark with numbered markers for about 65 breweries that were in the city in the late 19th Century. Prohibition and adjunct lagers killed those off, so it’s time for a new generation.

This is the brewery in walking distance of my office. It’s just as well that the tasting room isn’t open at lunchtime! The beers are listed in the order in the photos, but not in the order in which I drank them.

Brix 1

Brews Willis IPA

Slightly cloudy gold with a moderate white head. The nose is of strong fruity hops and a hint of pine. Coming back to this after Just Another IPA, the aroma doesn’t seem that hoppy at all. The flavor gives nice stone fruit with an immediate hoppy edge. Malt emerges on later sips. There is lots of flavor and it’s easy to go back for more. Hops build on the finish with citrus peel emerging. 6.2% ABV.

Cheap Labor Pale Ale

Clear golden straw with a generous white head. Aroma of stone fruit & cracker malt. Coming off the Tripel, the hops leap right out, stronger than an English IPA. Light citrus and light stone fruit lead the flavor of a very straightforward beer that resolves into a quite bitter hoppy finish. Quite sessionable at 5.2% ABV

Just Another IPA

Quite cloudy apricot-nectar color with a light white head ringing glass. It has a dusty herbal earthy nose with stone fruit notes over biscuit malt, subtle. The flavor gives a sort of fruit & bread quality like eating a plum with a lightly sweet doughnut. Unusual. The finish is like bitter lemon peel with almost a balancing sweetness, but it doesn’t reach balance. Not a favorite but really interesting. The apparent strength belies it’s 9.5% ABV.

Belgian Tripel

Clear pale amber with virtually no head. There’s almost an apple cider nose with yeast coming over the top with light esters. Doesn’t look like a Belgian but certainly tastes like one. The esters come right out with peach and pear and banana, with biscuit malt and a tingly quality that must come from the hops. Long fruity lightly sweet finish. Sneaky strong at 10.5% ABV.

Brix 2

Gloria Belgian Blond Ale

Slightly cloudy light straw with a brief white head. The nose is very Belgian, yeasty & estery. Very clean and refreshing flavor with really spicy hops. Goes great with lightly flavored food, ham & cheese and Italian potato salad. The finish is lingering banana with spice. 5.5% ABV

Porter Authority

Dark brown with chestnut highlights and a medium off white head. The nose is roasty with coffee notes. On the palate comes a smooth mouthful of roasty malts with light coffee notes and a light crystal sweetness underneath. The body is relatively light for a porter. The finish continues smooth and roasty, quite refreshing, a very good porter. 6.3% ABV

Chuck Bowman Black IPA

Black with a generous light tan head coating the glass. Nose of fruity hops with toffee & liqueur notes, slightly hot. Mildly creamy body with malt going immediately to sharp hops. There is a very light sweetness balancing everything nicely. Good stuff as the finish continues those flavors with some malt building back in. 6.9% ABV.

Brix Baltic Porter

Opaque brown with a brief off tan head. Very roasty, a very malty nose and almost a meaty quality. Oh, very refreshing! the medium body emphasizes grain over dark toffee over coffee. There’s a long tingly finish continuing the flavors of the palate. 7.5% ABV

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