The Birthday Beer for # 49

Yesterday, I completed another circuit of life. And to celebrate before heading out on a wee little trip, I brought this little gem from 6+ years ago, up from the cellar, Black Butte 24th Birthday.

Add this to the list of beers that I was worried about due to letting sit unopened for too long. But a big nose of barrel-aged-ness popped once I popped the cap of this wax sealed birthday reserve.

This beer though is really mellow. There is some oak and vanilla but no burn at all. That allows for the figs and dates to come through and show off a bit. This beet still had quite some carbonated spark to it as well coating the top of the mouth. Putting my nose deep into the glass, more of a soothing caramel spirit note is hidden deep too.

A good choice to savor as opening gifts.

The Birthday Beer of 2018 – Part 2

In addition to the Mikkeller birthday beer from a couple days ago, there is also the matter of the beer that my Mom sent me as a present from Oregon….

It is the return of Cocoa Cow from Sunriver Brewing.

Will it be as good as the first bottle that I brought back from Oregon? Short Answer? Yeah. For sure.

I preface this re-review with this info that I can barely keep up with all the new beers, so to drink a repeat beer is new for me. AND it means the beer must have been really good. Here is the 2018 review…

I remember the chocolate now. Milk chocolate for sure. Nice tan head that dissipates quickly. Still has a little bubbly character to counteract the sweet. Sticks to the roof of the mouth pleasantly. A touch of dark malt but nothing bitter at all. There is a faint note of coconut here too that lends to a comparison to Girl Scout Samoa cookies of old. I can imagine all sorts of chocolate desserts to have with this beer but I could also see a great float with straight up vanilla ice cream.

The 2017 Birthday Beer

Washington’s birthday (and mine) has rolled around again and I have had to open my cellar boxes and peer into beer shops to find a suitable ale to celebrate.

For 2017, I have chosen a beer that my Mom selected for me from Oregon. It is Sticky Hands IPA from Block 15 Brewing in Corvallis.

Sticky pours orange with a lemonade tint. The aroma isn’t overpowering. Mostly grassy and earthy. Fairly light drinking as well. Not a big hop hit at all for an IPA north of 8% but it does grow slightly into a dankness as it warms. That dank note is a skosh off-putting for a beer that is light up to that point. I do have to factor in that my expectations were sky-high for this beer. I have heard nothing but good things about Block 15 so maybe if I had a second can (hint, hint Mom), I might have a different reaction.

In any case, it was good to have a beer from home to celebrate the year ahead.

The Annual Birthday Beer

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 4.24.26 PM

Yup, forty-five.  Each birthday sorta demands a special beer and with the Oscars falling on my birthday this year, there is an added layer of that makes the decision harder.

The week before, I hit up Sunset Beer to peruse the choices.  I also peered down my list of cellar items.  And I ended up choosing….La Tormenta from Breakside Brewery which they describe as an…”Experimental sour ale hopped entirely with a unique hop blend including Citra, Mosaic, and Equinox. Tart sour notes combine beautifully with tropical and citrusy hop flavors.”


And that is an apt description.  The beer pours a light yellow color and the initial aroma is very tropical fruity.  Some potpourri type notes to it.  Some might call it floral or perfume.  Flavor wise, the sourness is there but not overly harsh, mostly tropical fruit and a bit of lemon peel.  Not twinge inducing sour at all.  The beer is very light on the tongue but so flavorful and quite unique which is saying something in this day and age.  (Mine, not in general.)  It is also a bit slick on the palate as well which is weird when you expect a bite of hops or a tart sour edge to it.  This is quite a smooth sour.


Sean’s Birthday Beer for 2014

Usually I have a special beer set aside for my birthday.  But this year, I hemmed and hawed but nothing seemed to move me (or pair with apple pie which is my birthday dessert of choice).  But in the end, I found something to truly celebrate with when my mom sent me a little something special from Breakside Brewery right down the hill…

For this, my 44th year, I have selected…

Breakside Salt and Straw

(Peep not included)

I will add my review below after my birthday for this collaboration between the prolific (100 new beers in 2013) Breakside and Salt & Straw Ice cream.

In the meantime, check HERE and HERE to see past birthday choices.



Redhook has been changing labels and bottles but the outside doesn’t matter as much as the inside. And I am glad to see the ESB added to the new Blueline Series. Of course the “B” in this case stands for Birthday, as in 30th.

Here is the info… “a highly modified version of ESB that replicates the flavor profile of Redhook ale in the early 80s, lovingly referred to by Seattle locals as “banana beer.” A Belgian yeast is used to create these spicy banana notes. This special brew has a deep red color, bold hops, and rich malty body.”.

40 years ago…

..if you would have told me that I would have hundreds of beer choices, I would have laughed at you. It was Oly, Weinhards or Buckhorn. Sure, good wine in Oregon and California was underway and ready to pop but brew wise, not good.

Today, I turn 40 years old and my choices are unparalleled. I will thank the people who have helped me along the way but, since this blog is about beer, I want to thank the bold people from Maytag to Widmer to Carey to Raub who have made beer better for me.
Without them I never would have found my niche of getting the slightly interested in craft beer to become crazy about craft beer.

That being said…I am soliciting ideas for what to drink on my birthday! If you had yours already, what did you have? If yours is later in 2010, what are you planning on having? Tomorrows post will show what I drank for my 40th along with selected comments from you!