Review – Earth That Was from Brouwerij West

Making the most of a simple circular label on a silver can, Brouwerij West has been canning a few of their beers. This “skeletal” IPA is the first that I have tasted from the San Pedro brewery.

This canned Belgian IPA or NE IPA pours a slightly hazed straw yellow color. Woodsy and earthy spring to mind when drinking this beer. Has that NE habit of green hop taste that gritty sticks to the roof of the mouth. The bitterness does linger. Some lemon notes at the back. Super cool label. Love the name too. This beer warms my cheeks quick for some reason despite only rolling in at 6% abv.

Featured Canned Beer Review – Hop A Feel Pink IPA from Eagle Rock

Yes, it is a Pink IPA. And the color comes from beets! Which is literally the only way I can eat that loathsome vegetable.

With each 4-pack purchased, Eagle Rock Brewery sent $2.00 to the Keep A Breast charity.
Now onto the review, wow that is a pink head of foam on this beer and then you hold the glass up to your nose and the fresh aromas bounce around but it is hops with a citrus hint and not what we expect upon seeing a really red beer.

Hop-A-Feel is labeled a Session IPA but this is no weak sibling. No watery-ness this is full bodied and more on the border of Pale and IPA. And damn if it isn’t the prettiest beer that I have had in a long while.

Featured Canned Beer Review – Wet Hop from Fremont Brewing

Fremont Brewing has been absent from my tasting for a long, long while but thanks to the delivery site Tavour, I got to sample a couple fresh hop ales from their Field to Ferment series.
Strong with the cat pee this one is. Big aroma of hearty Simcoe in this fresh hop beer. This is really bright and hop filled. Pretty much what you would expect from a fresh beer. This has a solid bite to it that really hits the palate. I think it beats out the Centennial version which is has a little less zest to it.

I am still a little confused as to why they have a website to distinguish which hop varietal you have when they could put that info on a label and make it easier for the consumer. Instead they have a number on the cans and colored coded bottle caps on the bombers which you then figure out yourself.

That aside, I am glad that I got to try this hoppy beer from Seattle.

Featured Review – Shower Beer from SoLArc

We start our canned beer reviews with the first ever can release from gypsy brewer SoLArc Brewing.

What’s up with Shower Beer….
This is a seriously creamy beer. My first thought was Naughty Sauce from Noble Ale Works but in a bright decorative can festooned with French Press and teapots. But Shower Beer seems a touch less beer and a bit more on the sweetened coffee side. The aroma is really coffee forward and the fancy Nilgiri tea isn’t really popping to the forefront. Something to balance out the sugar would have helped this drink easier. As it is, Shower Beer gets a little too hard to drink even just a 12oz can.

Savory Avery

For those looking for a little less hop and a little more spice in their summer beers, well Avery Brewing has you canned. You can start with the Day of the Dead-ish look of the cans for El Gose which adds lime to the traditional German beer with the famous addition of salt and then move on to Chai High for a heartier tea spice note in your beer.

Review – Jammer vs. Puff

Today’s taste-off is between two wildly different beer styles but by the same NY brewery, Sixpoint.
Jammer – “Bygone brewers, repping the Sixpoint star, provided the concept and our friends at Jacobsen Salt hooked us up with the key ingredient. It’s salty, it’s sour, and it’s slammin’. It’s Mad Science.”

Pours a light and clear orange. Good balance of an almost jello powder fruit with a really nice savory taste complimented by a solid sour tang. Very sharp on the palate initially but that fades off quickly.

Puff – “If you love Resin, try tasting it straight from the tanks. That’s PUFF – a hazy, unfiltered pour with an extra dose of dry hops… a new blend devised just for Puff.”

Hazy orange colo. Very dank in aroma. Some pineapple notes. A bit harsh on the tongue before a malt hop one two punch takes over. Harshness begins to grate as it warms. ABV shows up. Too much.

The Result – Jammer in a landslide.

Design Weisse

Mikkeller designs for labels and cans are distinctive. I’m not a big fan of the be-hatted person who graces many of the labels but that is a stylistic difference.

But I am onboard with the new Warhol-ian influenced look of the fruite Berliner Weisse series that they have started up. Almost has a jackpot-casino vibe as well that is cool. The made famous by non-German, very much Irish Kennedy phrasing of “I am a Berliner” is unneeded but the name tag Hallo is quite cool and fits the can well.

The next step being how the beer tastes.

Craft in Controversial States # 3 – Reformation Brewing in Georgia

One should realize as a Governor that you serve many niches of people and what you do to charm one will cause another to rise up.

And rise up people did upon hearing of House Bill 757 which would have given faith-based organizations in Georgia the option to deny services and jobs to the usual bogeyman of the right.

Only after pressure was put to bear from corporations large did Governor Deal finally backtrack and come out with this statement:
“I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in Georgia, of which I and my family have been a part of for all of our lives,” he said.

Now as far as I can see, no one is abridging anyone’s right practice their religion. What can be regulated is when you interact with humans, in public. Much as you are not allowed to yell “Fire” in a crowded restaurant there are limits to your faith when you are not alone. It is not a parapet from which you get to yell hateful things or deny access. Yes, a person can buy a product from people who believe the same way you do (and probably should) but eventually that leads to a grocery store where every checker can deny people from buying something and you end up having to split your purchases among 10 lanes just so as not to infringe on religion.

If you want to see real religious persecution, how about heading to Syria, or any other number of countries where you can be killed for your beliefs?
Now that we are “free”, lets take the discussion to a suitably religously named brewery, Reformation Brewery in Woodstock, Georgia.

Named after Martin, the iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. Per their website Luther, “…developed the pastime of inviting students to his home after class to have conversations about theology, life, and culture while sharing a pint of his wife Katy’s home-brewed ale.” Seems appropriate if the discussion is light and frivolous or lengthy and serious.

I would start my taster tray with their canned line-up…

1. “Cadence Reformed Belgian Ale is a beer created to acknowledge that indeed there is a rhythm to life and that every day deserves a moment to give thanks and to enjoy the good gifts of life. We have also crafted fig into Cadence. Why fig? Well, it certainly combines well with the malt to produce a deep fruit aroma and caramel flavor. But in addition to that, fig trees are survivors. Its roots dig even through crevices and rocks to find water in the valleys of their natural habitat. It’s an ancient tree, providing shade in times of intense heat. So figs are not only delicious in beer, they have sheltered life’s cadence as long as history.”

2.”Atlas IPA is a celebration of an honest journey and a gathering of stories along the way. It’s an American style IPA as diverse as the Atlas.” Brewed using Columbus and Cascade hops.

3.“Union Belgian White is about relationships. Created for that moment when a stranger becomes a friend. When the fear of judgment becomes the freedom to become known. Union is Belgian style white ale you can pull up chair and spend some quality time around–with and for those who matter.”

4. “Stark Porter is a beer created to share life and moments with each other, accepting and celebrating the good gifts that bring us together in harmony amid the noise of everyday life. Originally brewed to share and raise support for Cambodian Heritage Camp (our brewmaster Nick is an adoptive father to two Cambodian children) the beer has been served to connect adoptive families from all over the United States to each other.”

then finishing with a big bottle of…
5. “Providence is a Belgian tripel. Deep gold in color, its aroma and flavor are complex with estery sweet and citrus finish which is largely produced during the marvel of fermentation and then dry hopped. The enchantment of the beer is that it packs 9.2% ABV that goes largely unnoticed, much like providence. Best served at 45°-50°F.”

Featured Review – Winter White from Bell’s

Our final review of the year is another winter offering from Bell’s Brewing. It is the canned version of their Winter White Ale.
WW pours a hazy muddled light orange color with little brown yeasty bits down in the bottom of the glass. The coriander really pops in the aroma almost to the point of being as strong as cinnamon. That spice carries through to the flavor where it is augmented by an orange juice note. This wit beer finishes very dry. Pretty much a by the guidelines wit. And that is a good thing.

Open Mike

I have blogged before about cans that don’t just open a hole in the top of the can but take the whole thing off turning the can into a glass, automatically. When I did, there were none in the L.A. area to buy or test. Now there might be because Mike Hess Brewing has introduced its Open Mike™ beer can.

From their press release, “Open Mike six-packs will be available as early as November 1st wherever Mike Hess beers are sold, including Southern California and the greater Phoenix, Arizona, markets. The first brand to feature the new packaging and Open Mike™ ends will be Habitus®, Double IPA, World Beer Cup gold award-winner in the Rye Beer category.”

I can’t wait to see how this works and report back.