Posts Tagged With: Weyerbacher

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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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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Attack of the Pumpkins! (Part 1)

Pumpkins! Quite a crop!

Pumpkin Crop

Yes, I grumbled because pumpkin beers were flooding the shelves in July. I was delaying the inevitable. Yes, for a while I focused on Oktoberfest Bier (and enjoyed them very much, thank you). But now Oktoberfest is over, it’s the same month as Halloween, and it’s time to give in to the pumpkin tide. As a bonus, these are very much to the liking of my family, where there is not a hop-head among them.

Captain Lawrence Pumpkin AleCaptain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale

Captain Lawrence says, “this is the perfect beer to drink as the weather starts to turn a bit cooler.” Yes, there’s good reason to wait until after July! Medium amber with a tight off white head. A light malty aroma comes with just a hint of squash and then some spice. The palette is crisp and again lightly malty. There is not much pumpkin at all, but rather a good ale with a hint of pumpkin, a refreshing beer. 5% ABV, 20 IBU, setting the stylistic pattern of minimal hops. This brewery is in Elmsford, NY.

Defiant Headless HorsemanDefiant Headless Horseman

A glass of dark pumpkin-y amber with a medium creamy head, this comes from Pearl River, NY. Pumpkin leads the aroma with a little shot of hops and bakery malt. There’s a tiny metallic note. After the aroma, the spicy flavor surprises, carried on a bed of malt. The pumpkin comes back on the finish, mixed now with the spices. There is more going on than the Captain Lawrence. 5.5% ABV

Schlafley Pumpkin AleSchlafly Pumpkin Ale

From St. Louis, this was a favorite with my friends, and with me. Pours chestnut with a brief bubbly off white head. Pumpkin pie nose! Absolutely! The flavor continues the pie and brings in bready malt (the crust?) and a little shot of spicy hops to join the cinnamon, nutmeg & clove. There is great balance among the spices as one then another stands out. Then comes a long spicy finish with that sweet pumpkin. 8.0% ABV, 16 IBU

Harpoon Imperial PumpkinHarpoon Imperial Pumpkin

This stout is an almost opaque cola brown with a brief tan head. There is a shot of pumpkin aroma as soon as the cap comes off, then it gets relatively mild with restrained nutmeg and perhaps butternut squash. No, it’s pumpkin: “We had some fresh pumpkin puree leftover from a recent brew of our UFO Pumpkin…” The flavor is richly spiced and lightly pumpkined with roasty dark malts coming almost to dominate. The finish says stout first, then nutmeg & cinnamon like a spice cookie, and only mild pumpkin. 10.5% ABV

WeyerbacherWeyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

They say “we set out to make a bold monument for The King of the Pumpkins!” This comes from Allentown, PA, chestnut in the glass with a brief off-tan head. Lots of pumpkin aroma arrives with spices in the background and a layer of warming malt. The flavor delivers spice and pumpkin together, and more pumpkin than pie, it’s not as sweet as some. There’s cinnamon & nutmeg & cloves–like many pumpkin ales–but Weyerbacher gives a little something extra with cardamon. The finish starts with malt and pumpkin but it’s the spices that linger through a long finish. Very good. 8.0% ABV, IBU 21

KukaLabelKuka Pumpkin Dubbel

From the Andean Brewing Company, Blauvelt NY, this fills the glass with deep amber with a moderate bubbly off white head. There’s a nose of musty fermented pumpkin and spices. Their beers are unique, featuring maca root in the recipe. This stands out among the pumpkins with a strong fermenting fruit flavor over medium dark malt. It’s almost a sour, and is only barely to my taste. Wraps up with malt and raisin. 6.5% ABV

Shipyard PumpkinheadShipyard Pumpkinhead

This was served at Growler & Gill in a glass rimmed with sugar & cinnamon, as appropriate as rimming margaritas with salt, and what does Shipyard write about it? “A seasonal favorite! Try Pumpkinhead with a shot of spiced rum or in a pint glass rimmed with sugar and cinnamon.” This pours amber with a light off white head, followed by a nose of pumpkin & malt & spice. The flavor delivers more spice than pumpkin with medium bakery/cara malt. It has a light body not quite watery. The finish is quite light with pumpkin & malt and lasts for a little while. I may have to look for some spiced rum! 4.5% ABV.

Flying Dog The Gourd StandardFlying Dog The Gourd Standard

Fills the glass with pretty copper and a generous lemon chiffon head. Pumpkin pie spiced with hops gives a nice big aroma. The flavor starts more melon than gourd with malt and pie spices and hops in the background. The hops emerge on the finish making this a nice variant on the less hoppy pumpkins. 6.7% ABV, breaking the mold at 60 IBU.

Yes, there’s more where these came from. After all, we haven’t touched the Dogfish, and we haven’t touched the superstars Pumking and Warlock. These will be along as soon as my liver recovers.

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