Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘beer’ Category

upland-sour-ales-beerpulse“Making great example beers” was a quote from Doug Dayhoff of Upland Brewing Co. that both stuck and was entirely accurate. Good Spirits News was fortunate enough to speak with both Doug, the owner, and the head brewer Caleb Staton of Upland Brewing Co. based in Bloomington, Indiana on a recent stop in Syracuse, NY.

Upland’s beer selection includes a portfolio of beers that may seem contemporary to a lot of craft breweries such as pale ales, IPA’s, wheat ales, and many others that flush out a breweries selection. Where they truly shine however is their attentiveness and ingenuity when it comes to sours. Both Doug and Caleb were generous enough to allow Good Spirits News to sample some of their wares that they are introducing to NY in a widespread tour to establish themselves in a new market.

Doug Dayhoff

Doug Dayhoff

We tried three unique beers ranging from a relatively young 4 month sour to an 8-12 month Oud Bruin style ale. The first of the three was titled “Iridescent” and although the color was a hazy golden apricot, the title works well for the nature of the flavors that the glass carried. The blend of apricot and ginger come through easily and balance each other well. There is a slight dry wood character from the barrel aging that follows through on the back palate to compliment the initial tart acidity. As a young sour on draft it was very carbonated and had a great sharp mouthfeel. A relatively low ABV beer at about 5% this would pair very well with something fresh like sushi where the ginger in the brew could really enhance the pairing. A fantastic young sour and one that Caleb would recommend for those looking into the ever-growing sours market as a possible first attempt at something unique and delicious. Final Rating 4.25/5

Caleb Staton

Caleb Staton

The second sour we tried was titled “Aronia” and is an 8-month aged sour imbued with the relatively uncommon American berry titled the “Chokeberry”, although this beer will do the opposite of what the berry might suggest. With a deep ruby like color and relative clearness, the aroma matches it perfectly. A tart almost wine like character carries softly with each sip. It is a fairly dry ale due to the aging, and the oak barrel does the acidity justice once more. It plays well with the tart berry and balances the beer as a whole. A smoothly balanced flavor profile does this beer justice and for an experienced sour drinker it should be a treat. With the ABV content around 6.5-7% it’s definitely palatable and most enjoyed when sipping. Final Rating 4.25/5

Upland's Sour Facility

Upland’s Sour Facility

The final beer we were lucky enough to sample is titled “Darken” a spiced sour brown ale very much influenced by the Oud Bruin category of beer, but with enough to separate it from others. A different malt bill gives a slight rich sweetness that gives a cohesive undertone to the souring agents that make this beer truly delicious. Brewed with a wide variety of spices including grains of paradise, anise, ginger, coriander, black pepper, as well as a host of others the flavor is amazingly balanced with no spice standing out too far above the rest. The sour character works incredibly well with the malt and wood character that gives a triad of equally enjoyable parts. This beer is aged anywhere from 8-12 months and has a strong ABV of 8.5-9% although it doesn’t carry any “booze like qualities”. This beer is excellently crafted and is a fantastic sour to try for anyone who enjoys sours, browns, or wood aged beers. Final Rating 4.75/5

Through each of their friendly personalities, both Doug and Caleb’s passion for sours stood out from the beginning of our interview, and shone brightest through the product they distribute. Upland Brewing Co sources local ingredients and stays organic whenever possible, and this only enhances the quality they bring to the beer market. Welcome to New York, we hope you stay.

For more information go to: Upland Beer

Review by Kieran Jerome Matthew for Good Spirits News

Read Full Post »

For the first time ever, the brewers at Sam Adams have reformulated one of its popular flagship beers, Rebel IPA.

After months of experimenting with trial batches, and taking advantage of newly cultivated hops and those that were not readily available when Rebel was first introduced in 2014, Rebel IPA now has a more intense juicy, tropical and citrus flavor supported by a leaner body and a crisp, clean finish.

The original Rebel IPA was brewed with Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe and Chinook hops – for the 2017 release, our brewers added Mosaic hops together with HBC 566, a new hop proprietary to Sam Adams, and HBC 682, a new, experimental bittering hop. The caramel malt has also been removed, resulting in a cleaner, brighter IPA with more tropical, citrus and pine-forward notes.

And if the reformulation of Rebel IPA wasn’t enough, Rebel Juiced IPA, which was introduced in October on draft, is now available in cans and bottles. A West Coast IPA infused with mango, Rebel Juiced is a medium-bodied beer with a slightly veiled golden color that brings a big tropical aroma of guava, passion fruit and mango. The tropical hop aroma gives way to a juicy, fruity flavor with a hint of sweetness, followed up by a clean, citrusy finish.

download-1Rebel IPA: Sam Adams
Aroma: Low malt profile backed by a sweet hop character.
Flavor: A blend of hops that impart bitterness and a slight dryness to balance out the malt presence. No noticeable unique hop character.
Hops: Slight pine.
Malt: Fair amount of malt to make it full bodied.
Color: Amber
Body: Medium.
Mouthfeel: Balanced with nothing notable standing out.
Carbonation: Perfect carbonation.
Head/Lacing: Thin head with light scattered circular lacing.
Rating: 3.5/5

downloadRebel Juiced IPA: Sam Adams
Aroma: Strong sense of citrus with a bit of sweetness lingering through the hops.
Flavor: Fairly subdued fruit character which works well. More citrus than mango, but both are noticeable. Hoppy, but not nearly as dry or bitter as other brews go. Fairly balanced overall with enough malt to bring the bitterness down.
Hops: Fruity and bitter.
Malt: Just the very slighted bit of roasted character hiding beneath the bitterness.
Color: Amber
Body: Medium bodied.
Head/Lacing: Foamy rich head with scattered lacing.
Mouthfeel: Easy drinking with a small bite to it.
Carbonation: Perfectly carbonated.
Rating: 4/5

Review by Kieran Jerome Matthew

Read Full Post »

100

Samuel Adams was one of the first craft brewers to offer rotating beers that capture the essence of each season, and now, from January through April, the brewers are introducing drinkers to two new seasonal beers: Samuel Adams Hopscape and Fresh as Helles. It may be unconventional to have two seasonals at one time of year, but Sam Adams has never been known to follow the rules. The brewers felt that these two brews capture the essence of the ever-changing season across the country from January through April.

Available January and February, citrus and piney hop flavors with a nice lingering bitter finish make Hopscape best enjoyed during cold, brisk temperatures. While the honey malt aroma and orange blossom notes of Fresh as Helles make it a perfect pairing to welcome late spring weather during March and April.

“At the start of 1988 we introduced our first-ever seasonal beer, Samuel Adams Double Bock, a traditional spring beer originally brewed by German monks,” said Jim Koch, Samuel Adams founder and brewer. “While we pioneered rotating beers for the season, this season’s beers have changed more times than we can count. The variety in the weather during this time of year begs brewers and drinkers to explore flavors that match the ever-changing season. It might seem crazy, but after we brewed a few test batches of Hopscape and Fresh as Helles in our Nano Brewery, we knew we had two seasonal beers that captured the essence of the schizophrenic weather around this time of year.”

Brewer Megan Parisi continued, “With Hopscape, we knew we wanted to brew a hop-forward beer to match the bitterness of the cold. Our Sam Adams Nano Brewery gave us the chance to experiment with a variety of hop trials until we nailed the citrusy and piney flavor profile we were going for. On the flip side, for the more fickle side of this season, we knew we wanted to brew a more delicate beer. We found that our helles recipe created the perfect base for balancing the flavor of tangy Mandarina hops and floral orange blossom petals. As brewers, half the fun is brewing multiple trials until we get just the right flavor – or in our case flavors – that we’re looking for.”

Hopscape, the first new brew for 2017, is brewed with four varieties of West Coast hops that add bold pine and grapefruit notes to the deep golden wheat ale. Chinook, Citra, Centennial, and Zeus hops impart citrusy, dank resin and grapefruit rind aromas that lead into a balanced flavor of bright citrus and piney hop character. White wheat and a two-row pale malt blend add a crisp, light sweetness, and the beer finishes with a slightly lingering bitterness.

Fresh as Helles is a refreshing light amber, medium-bodied helles brewed with Mandarina hops and orange blossom petals. The beer’s lively, citrus flavors pair perfectly with the changing season. Soft citrus notes of orange blossom add a bright accent to the slightly sweet honey malt notes, leading to a round, smooth finish.

Hopscape
Flavor: Dry wheat, with a simple hop profile to round it out from other wheat ales.
Aroma: Distinct wheat and balanced low acid hops give it a warm aroma.
Hop: Mellow, but lemongrass is forward in the aroma.
Malt: Low malt, more dryness with a slight caramel note.
Carbonation: Well carbonated. Some bite without being too bubbly.
Mouthfeel: Dry and creamy.
Color: Hazy yellow/tan
Head/Lacing: Rich foamy head with scattered lacing.
Body: Light-Light/Med.
Rating: 3.75/5

Fresh as Helles
Flavor: Slight sweetness with noticeable orange blossom that ties in well with the subtle hops.
Aroma: Light and flowery, with a bit of butterscotch.
Hop: Light bitterness. Very subtle.
Malt: No malt presence to hinder the subtle floral nuances.
Carbonation: Under carbonated for a helles. Not quite as crisp as most others.
Mouthfeel: Bright and smooth
Color: Light amber
Head/Lacing: Creamy head with light lacing
Body: Light
Rating: 3.5/5

Review by Kieran Jerome Matthew

Read Full Post »

beeronthebeachBelieve it or not, Norfolk was just included in Travel + Leisures Top 50 global destinations to visit in 2017 and breweries seem to be popping up throughout the city.  Not sure how many jobs ask you to bring beer to apply and where it is then used to determine your knowledge, tasting preferences, etc. when it comes to beer and how you’d perform on the job.    
Opening up this March, Grain is a hip five-story-high rooftop beer garden in Norfolk, VA which will feature over 100 different beers from across the country .  Grain is looking for a Brew Master, the position requires they BYOB on the job interview and will be required to explain their assortment of beers. Once hired, they will get to travel across the U.S. searching for unique brews that will be featured in the new space.  Eventually they’ll balance managing the space but will continue to travel, drinking beer across the country and growing Grain’s stellar list of beers.
To find out more and apply, download this PDF: grains-brew-master-job-description-final

Read Full Post »

attachment1r

Sapporo Premium Black is a lager that marks Sapporo’s foray into the world of dark beer. Created from select barley and hops, Sapporo Premium Black is 5% ABV and packaged in a distinctly designed variation of Sapporo’s signature 22oz. steel can, embodying the same combination of cutting edge style and time-honored tradition that has defined Sapporo for 140 years.

Sapporo Black
Flavor- Similar to a brown lager.  Malt is noticeable, but not overbearing.  There is a rich sweetness that carries throughout the palate.  Caramel with a slight roasted character.
Aroma- Caramel malt with a sweet underlying presence,
Mouthfeel- Thin and watery, but smooth.
Body- Light to medium body. Quite drinkable.
Head/Lacing- Thin head, nearly no distinguishable lacing.
Hop profile- Very low hop presence.
Malt profile- Rich caramel.
Color- Deep molasses.
Carbonation- Low carbonation.  A little more would help with carrying the more nuanced flavors.
Rating- 3.2/5

Review by Kieran Jerome Matthew

Read Full Post »

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Bark, stems, flowers, herbs, spices, leaves, roots, and other foraged flavors have long been part of beer, but botanic brews in America were displaced by carbonated sodas in the early 20th century.  At Forbidden Root, this early brewing tradition has been a springboard for great creativity and exploration. “We didn’t invent botanic beer, we simply embraced it,” says Director of Sales Lincoln Anderson.

Forbidden Root: Sublime Ginger (A 3.8% ABV wheat beer with a splash of key lime juice, ginger, honeybush, and lemon myrtle)
Flavor- Key lime and ginger stand out. A whisper of tartness, solid wheat presence that rounds it out.
Aroma- Light lime, rich wheat aroma, and a very slight ginger laying underneath.
Mouthfeel- Soft and velvety.
Body- Light body.
Head/Lacing- Creamy head with scattered lacing.
Hop profile- Low IBU, almost unnoticeable.
Malt profile- Sweetness of the malt is balanced well with the tartness of the lime.
Color- Hazy golden.
Carbonation- Tight crisp carbonation.
Rating- 4/5
Forbidden Root: Money on my Rind (A 5% ABV witbier spiked with juniper berries and pure grapefruit, with grains of paradise)
Flavor- Juniper stands out, with a  pleasant grapefruit rind and juice on the back palate. Good balance of wheat and other flavors to round this brew ale out. Spices are light and come in at the finish.
Aroma- Wheat forward aroma, with a subtle juniper presence. Hops carry a floral note that is pleasant and leads you into the taste.
Mouthfeel- Well carbed and a slight metallic mouthfeel. Interesting.
Body- Light to medium body.
Head/Lacing- Low head with no lacing.
Hop profile- Very low hop profile, and subtle enough to not overpower the other lighter characters.
Malt profile- Nothing in the malt stands out on its own, but balances well.
Color- Hazy straw.
Carbonation- Average to high carbonation, but not too strongly carbonated.
Rating- 3.7/5
Forbidden Root: WPA (A 5.6% pale ale with the subtle addition of elderflower, marigold, and sweet Osmanthus flowers)
Flavor- Lasting bitterness with several different floral qualities that creep in and out of the palate. The flower additions carry well and leave you with a slight grassy and fresh bitterness.
Aroma- Floral blast right out of the bottle.
Mouthfeel- Very dry and crisp.
Body- Light to medium.
Head/Lacing- Thin head with scattered lacing.
Hop profile- Cascade and Citra hops come through well giving a citrus rind quality that enhances the overall character.
Malt profile– Light malt gives the hops and subtle flowers a chance to really shine.
Color- Light amber.
Carbonation- Well carbonated, and the slightly higher carbonation does a lot for this beer to help you find the subtler notes.
Rating- 4/5
Reviewed by Kieran Jerome Matthew
Forbidden Root, located in the West Town neighborhood, is Chicago’s first botanic brewery making craft beer inspired by nature. Forbidden Root loves barley, water, hops, and yeast, and uses those as a base to explore a rich world of wild ingredients.  Founded by Robert Finkel, Forbidden Root is a benefit corporation, meaning benefits, other than shareholder value, are built into their operating charter. They donate 100% of all non-consumable merchandise profits to charity. Craft Beer guru Randy Mosher is an equity partner and serves on the Forbidden team as Alchemist. Head Brewer is BJ Pichman, an accomplished brewer in the Chicago beer scene.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: