Author Archives: Jake

Your Next Beer is Kaput

As you may have guest, Jim and I have decided the show has run its course. When we get time we’ll record a fairwell.

Episode 115: Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit – First from the Big Easy

We begin a series on Abita beers with Satsuma Harvest Wit. We’ll be doing four Abita beers over the next four weeks.

News

This is an update from a story we brought you several weeks ago about a beer from Michigan. Drinks Americas Holdings, Ltd announced that on July 4th it started brewing and filling kegs for the launch of Kid Rock’s “AMERICAN BADASS BEER COMPANY”. Kid Rock plans to launch kegs of his new AMERICAN BADASS BEER American Style Lager at Detroit’s Comerica Park in time for concert dates July 17th and 18th. AMERICAN BADASS BEER will be available at kiosks within the park during the concerts.

After these shows, a newly formed sales team will begin meeting with and selecting distributors and filling orders in the Michigan market. J. Patrick Kenny, CEO of Drinks Americas, said, “ We will launch AMERICAN BADASS BEER in Michigan starting with Comerica Park and then rolling out to the balance of the Michigan market.

Satsuma Harvest Wit

  • Abita is located north of New Orleans, in the town of Abita Springs, Louisanna.
  • Abitia first began brewing beer in 1986. That year, the company produced 1,500 barrels of beer. Today, they brew over 80,000 barrels of beer annually and 5,000 barrels of root beer annually, which puts that in the larger craft beer area.
  • In fact, they are the 31st largest brewery in the country right now and the 17th largest craft brewer.
  • We are going to get into more of the history over the next few weeks, but let’s talk about this weeks beer first.
  • It weighs in at 5.1% abv and is made with the satsuma fruit.
  • The satsuma fruit is a citrus fruit, something along the line of an organe or a tangerine.
  • Pour – Almost Coors lite in color. A little bit of haze, but really not much to speak of. The head is a crisp white, that does seem to stick around for at least a few seconds.
  • Smell – Citrusy, but not bitter citrusy, almost organe or tangerine. That would be the Satsuma fruit I suppose. Some spices, corriander, but very light.
  • Taste – First taste I get is of bitter orange rind. A little bit of the lighter wheat comes through as well. Mouthfeel is medium with a tone of carbonation.
  • Overall, it is an intersting beer. I can see this being a very good quenching beer, and after tasting this I would like to actually like to try the Satsuma fruit.

Next Week

OK, next week will be another Abita, although to be honest I am not sure which one.

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Episode 114: Unibroue La Fin Du Monde – End of the world, or just end of the series?

Did you hear Jake mention he has a Tour de France podcast? Want to hear more audio gold from the co-creator of Your Next Beer, check out the Tour de France for Beginners podcast.

News

This weeks news is really less news and more of a shameless plug for a Chicago related beer event.The third annual AleFest Chicag will be held on Saturday. More than 150 craft brews from some 50 domestic and foreign breweries will be poured at Soldier Field’s Stadium Green which is the grassy plaza outside the lake side of the stadium. Represented will be such Chicago-area breweries and brewpubs as Flossmoor Station, Goose Island, Metropolitan, Piece, Three Floyds and Two Brothers. Attendees will be able to taste brews and quiz brewers or brewery reps about how their favorite beers are made.

Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

  • This weeks beer, La Fin Du Monde, weighs in at 9.0% abv and is classified as a Belgian Trippel.
  • For those of you who don’t remember, we did talk about trippels in our Belgian series. However, as a brief refresher:
  • The name “Tripel” actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist “Simple.”
  • Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, the head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish.
  • Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well.
  • La Fin Du Monde roughly translates to the end of the world, and was brewed to honor the great explorers, who believed they had reached the end of the world when they discovered America.
  • First brewed in February of 1994 after 18 months of research, the website describes it as having champagne-like effervescence, it has a vigorous presence in the mouth, which accentuates its strong personality. Slightly tart, with the balanced flavors of wild spices, malt and hops, it belongs to the class of great Trappist beers and, in this regard, is a North American first. At meals, it can replace white or red wines and enhances the flavor of most dishes.

Next Week

Well that’s all for the Unibroue beers. Next week I think we are going to start another series based on a brewery, but I am not sure which one yet, so tune in a find out.

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Episode 113: Unibroue Maudite – Wasn’t this the show with Bee Arthur?

News

In order to promote responsible drinking this July 4th, we bring a story of true drunken stupidity to you this week so you can know what not to do. According to the Associated Press, a South Milwaukee man was accused of driving drunk last week after trying to use a golf cart to drive home nearly 40 miles away from the golf course where he had been drinking beer. The man told police that his relatives had left him behind at the golf club. I have wanted to leave drunk people at the golf course from time to time. So he got in a golf cart and headed home down Highway 167. When the sheriff caught up with him, the man said he had drunk about 10 beers, but did not consider himself intoxicated. I think that if you think for some reason that driving a golf cart home, clearly, you are either retarded or drunk…or both. So don’t do that this weekend.

In a side note a recommendation from a listener, Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink a book by Randy Mosher

Unibroue Maudite

  • Back this week to Unibroue. We are halfway through the series and to be bevery honest, there isn’t alot more that we can say about the brewery.
  • As a brief review, Unibroue is a Candaian brewery located in Quebec, Canada. The brewry is currently owned by Sapporo a Japanesse company.
  • In November 1992 Maudite which is translated to “the damned one, was the first strong beer to be distributed in Quebec grocery stores.
  • It weighs in at 8% abv and is classifed on the website as a Strong Red Ale, refermented in the bottle, which probably just means bottle conditioned.
  • Because of the high alcohol content on this one, it can be cellared and the website says that it has a 5 year life span or more.
  • Maudite has a typically Quebecois name that is reminiscent of the legend of the Chasse-Galerie (the legend of the Flying Canoe). Legend has it that a group of lumberjacks struck a deal with the devil to fly home in their canoes, guided by Satan himself, to make it home in time for Christmas. This is the scene that is depicted on the label as well.

Next Week

One more week, and one more Unibroue beer. We are going to be looking at La Fin Du Monde, which I believes translates into the end of the world. So tune in and enjoy.

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Episode 112: Unibroue Chambly Noire – Does anybody actually know what that means?

News

Well, for the second week in a row we have a Pennsylvannia story. This one is from my home town of Pittsburgh, where the Pittsburgh Brewery will no longer be producing Iron City. All production will be moved to the old Latrobe brewery, owned by City Brewing. The brewery will go dark on June 22nd for the first time in 150 years. The brewery president said that the old Pittsburgh brewery cost too much to upgrade and and was not sustainable in the current economic climate.

Unibroue Chambly Noire

  • Alright, well we are back for a second week at Unibroue, which we found out last week was a Canadian brewer that makes some rather potent beer.
  • We talked a little bit about the brewery last week, but let’s go back into the background some more.
  • In 1990, the founders of Unibroue, André Dion and Serge Racine obtained 75% interest in La Brasserie Massawippi Inc., a struggling brewery in Lennoxville, Quebec.
  • At the end of 1991 the remaining shares of Massawippi were acquired and transferred to Unibroue Inc. Massawippi changed its name to Brasserie Broubec Inc. and amalgamated with Unibroue in 1993 to form the corporation that was around before it was bought by Sleeman.
  • In spring 1992, Blanche de Chambly was unveiled after consultation with a Belgian brewer. La Maudite debuted in November of the same year, and Unibroue began to invade the palates of Quebecers. It would be another 18 months of research until their next beer, La Fin du Monde was ready for the market in February 1994.
  • Another year passed, and Raftman debuted in March of 1995, followed by La Gaillarde in August. By now Unibroue was gaining respect and was exporting: even slow learning LCBO permanently stocked Maudite and Blanche de Chambly in the fall of 1995. Unibroue’s first seasonal, Quelque Chose, was unveiled in January 1996, and L’Eau Bénite debuted in June 1996.
  • More on the history next week, but as for now, how about the beer for this week, Unibroue Chambly Noire.
  • Chambly Noire weighs in at 6.2% abv, which is a step above last week, and is classified as a Belgian Dark Ale.
  • Belgian Dark Ale’s are traditionally all over the board, but are darker in color and can contain some spiceness, as you can expect with some typical Belgians.


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Episode 111: Unibroue Ephemere – So starts the series with difficult pronunciations.

As promised our Unibroue series begins with a small little thing Ephemere.

News

This weeks story comes from Harrisburg, the state capital, where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court says stores and restaurants with licenses allowing beer to be consumed on the premises cannot limit sales to take out. The court ruled 5-1 Monday against a Sheetz convenience store in Altoona, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Louis Sheetz, the chain’s executive vice president for marketing, said he was surprised by the ruling and does not understand the court’s reasoning. “We are certainly not the first, and we certainly won’t be the last restaurant to sell six-packs,” he said. “The only possible difference is that they serve beer on the premises, and we do not.” Giant Eagle, a chain that has cafe areas inside its stores, has applied for beer licenses for seven stores in western Pennsylvania. Dick Roberts, Giant Eagle spokesman, said the chain is studying the court ruling, because it had planned to sell beer only for off-premises drinking.

Unibroue Ephemere Ale

  • Well finally, no more Irish beers for a while. This week we turn our sites on a Canadian beer company, Unibroue, and the first in a series of beer that we are going to cover from that brewery.
  • This was actually a listener suggested series from Ben in Chicago, so thanks Ben for the idea and feel free to keep them coming to everyone else as well.
  • Unibroue is a brewery located in Chambly, Quebec and was founded by Quebec native Andre Dion in 1993.
  • As with most breweries these days, it has been bought several times, first by Sleeman Brothers, Ltd in 2004 and then later by the Japaneses brewer Sapporo in 2006.
  • Now I don’t want to cover too much of this company in the first week because quite frankly I am already a little worried about running out of material in the coming weeks, so lets focus some on the beer for the evening.
  • Tonight’s beer, Ephemere, weighs in at 5.5% abv, and I believe is the lowest alcohol beer that Unibroue makes. There are a lot of high octane products from the brewery.
  • It has been brewed since 2002 and is described as a while ale brewed with apple must on the website and ale brewed with apple juice, coriander, and curacao on the label.
  • I had this one out of a 750 ml bottle that was corked and capped. The bottle claims that it is a bottle conditioned beer, and with the cork popping, that would seem to be true.
  • The pour was light in color, very much like a wheat beer and very hazy, again like a wheat beer. It also had a nice big white fluffy head that seemed to go away rather quickly.
  • The smell on this one was green apple, almost like a jolly rancher green apple it was that potent. It got me wondering if this was going to taste artificial.
  • The flavor is not as potent as the smell may suggest, with a bit of bitterness up front and the apple aftertaste.
  • There was a little bit of sourness here, but really not too much. Overall it was a pretty good beer for summertime. It really wasn’t too heavy and the apple gave it just enough to make it taste different than a wheat beer.

Next Week

Next week we are going to continue our Unibroue series with Chambly Noire, a dark Belgian beer.

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Episode 110: Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale – Too many Southpark jokes here to mention.

The second, and last, beer in our Irish Beer in Ireland series we look at Kilkeny Irish Cream Ale. Sorry about my audio quality, I forgot to turn my actual microphone.

News

Well talk about topical, we not only have a news story for you tonight, but it is a news story about Ireland. The oldest brewery in Ireland closed on May 30th. The Beamish and Crawford brewery was opened in Cork, a southern county in Ireland, around 1792. Production of Beamish is being transferred to the Heineken Lady’s Well brewery in Cork following a decision made last year. This means that Beamish and Murphy’s, once bitter rivals, will now be housed under the same roof. Heineken Ireland meanwhile has presented the Beamish archives – probably one of the most complete brewing archives in Ireland or Britain – to the Cork city archives. Beamish, as you may remember, was an Irish Stout that we covered back in our first Irish series and I actually like it better than Guiness.

Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale

  • Tonights beer is Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, named after a town located in the middle of the country, Kilkenny.
  • A little bit about the background of this beer. Well, guess what, it is made by Diageo, the giant beverage company that also makes Guiness, Harp, and Smithwicks.
  • We have talked long and hard about Diageo, so I am not really going to say much about the company.
  • The beer is actually produced in Kilkenny in the same brewery that produces Smithwicks.
  • The St. Francis Abbey Brewery occupies over 25 acres in the heart of Kilkenny City. The brewery has been part of local life for over 290 years and it is here that Smithwick’s Ale was first brewed in 1710.
  • To give you a feeling of the size of the brewery, Budwieser is also produced there for the Irish domestic market.
  • Tonights beer weighs in at 4.3% abv and is not available in the US. It is available over most of Europe and even Canada, but not here. Also, there are some rumors that the beer may start to be imported here in the future, so just keep your eyes open.
  • Kilkenny is first a formost a nitro beer, alot like Guiness. This gives it a nice creamy mouthfeel and large head.
  • The taste is rather well balanced, with some nice malty flavor and just a bit of bitterness from the hops. This is really kind of like Smithwicks, just a little bit better mouthfeel.
  • Overall, I would give this one a try if you can get it.

Next Week

Well, that is just about it for the Irish beers, being that this is the second Irish beer series that we have done within the last 4 months. Next week a new series, one completely focused on Unibroue. So tune in.

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Episode 109: Guinness –You can wash your car with the American stuff

Jim’s back from Ireland and we begin to take on some of the beers he sampled over there, starting with Guinness.

News

A press release from MillerCoors today is announcing that they are recalling one of their products. MillerCoors has recalled a batch of Coors Light in the Southeastern United States after taste tests at the company’s Georgia brewery found the beer to be subpar. Yeah, go ahead, make your jokes here about Coors Light not really having any taste anyway. MillerCoors began pulling the beer from its distribution system and from retailers. “We sampled it and realized it wasn’t up to standards,” said Pete Marino, a spokesman for MillerCoors. He didn’t immediately know how much beer was recalled, or if the recall had been completed. But the batch involved only Coors Light brewed at the firm’s Albany, Ga., brewery.

St. James Gate Brewery, Dublin

  • Before we go into Guinness, let me tell you a little bit about the experience that was the St. James Gate Brewery.
  • While the old brewery building is no longer actually used as a production brewery, Diageo Guinness’s parent company, has done a fantastic job turning it into a self guided museum.
  • One of the first things that you see when you walk in is the famous 9,000 year lease that Arthur Guinness signed in 1759 for 45 lbs per year. The lease is situated at the base of what is supposed to be a giant pint glass of Guiness, and by giant I mean 5 or 6 stories high.
  • The museum takes you through the production of Guinness, and beer in general in a rather detailed and interactive experience.
  • Once you get through the production levels, there are several exhibits that show you about Guinness advertising over the years and even a place where you can pour your own. Because pouring Guinness correctly is half of a good Guinness.
  • At the top of the tour, and top of the building, is the Gravity Bar, where your ticket can be redeemed for one free pint of Guinness.
  • Now, I am a little fuzzy on the vital stats of Guinness overseas, so I will say that is weighs in at 5.0% abv which may be a little lower than the US version.
  • This beer in Ireland I thought was actually much better than Guinness in the US, and I enjoy a good Guinness in the US. It seemed to be a little bit more full bodied, almost a little bit thicker than its US cousin. It also had a slightly more bitter flavor from what I would guess is the increase in roasted malt.
  • One thing that may be influence the taste is the water. Yes, brewers all run their water through filtration systems, but you can’t always get everything out.
  • As our cab drive said while we were there, “You could wash your car with the stuff in America, the Guiness in Ireland is much better” and I kind of half to agree.

Next Week

Next week we will be keeping with the Ireland theme and talking about Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, yet another beer that I had a chance to have in Ireland.

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Episode 108: PENNdemonium – This beer may cause Pandemonium…get it…because the beers name is Penndemonium.

Another bit of “filler” this week, but tastey, tastey filler. This week we look PENNdemonium.

News

Another in a long line of stupid beer related crimes tonight’s. Authorities are investigating a chainsaw attack. Leflore County Sheriff Bruce Curnutt says a group of men walked to a house in Monroe and said their car was out of gas. The residents drove them to their car but say they noticed a pack of beer was missing from the good Samaritan’s vehicle. A fight broke out and the officials say a man with the group that ran out of gas grabbed a chainsaw and cut another man’s arm.

PENNdemonium

  • Penn Brewery was founded in 1986 by Tom and Marybeth Pastorius, however they had to contract out their brewing at first because of a PA law that stated that you weren’t allowed to be a microbrewery or brew-pub.
  • Tom Pastorius, with technical and financial assistance from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, began restoring the former Eberhardt and Ober Brewery located at 800 Vinial Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Three of the original E & O brewery buildings remain, the stock house (c. 1880-84), and office building standing on a side cut into the rock of Troy Hill. Pastorius hired German Brew-master Alex Deml, who oversaw construction of the 20,000 barrel-a-year capacity brewing facility, which included custom built and authentic German imported micro-brewery equipment.
  • The brewery and restaurant was scheduled to go out of business as of Feb 2009, but at the last minute a 5 year lease was signed, so I guess they are still there.
  • Tonight’s beer, Penndemonium is a maibock beer, a springtime beer that appears to be a lighter bock beer but is pretty strong with the alcohol content. This one weighs in at 10% abv.
  • This beer poured a lighter color than other maibocks, but the lack of head is in keeping with the style.
  • This beer is unfiltered which means some yeasty goodness in the bottom of you’re glass
  • Taste is a bit thin, almost light lager like, which is not good for this style.
  • A bit malty but hardly any hops which is wrong for this style. Generally Maibocks are hopper than other bocks.
  • The beer hides the alcohol taste very well, but that’s about the only thing it does well

Next Week

Next week we are going to go back to Ireland for beer, but with a little twist. Jim is actually going to Ireland and is going to taste some beers that are actually in Ireland.

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Episode 107: Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh – More than just a beer

Another departure for YNB, this week we look at a Brew Pub Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh. Jim and I are both traveling a lot so we are doing things a bit differently this week.

News

Well, this past weekend, for those of you who didn’t know, was the second race of the triple crown, the Preakness. This years attendance at the Preakness, which was won by a filly Rachel Alexandra, was down dramatically due to a ban on outside beer. The reason for the ban was because, shocklingly, drunk people can be rowdy and they decided that was enough of that. Just another reason to drink in moderation, just don’t give people a reason to take the beer away.

Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh

  • There are three Hofbrauhauses in the United States, one in Pittsburgh, one in Las Vegas, and one in Cincinnatti.
  • Hofbrauhaus was founded in Germany and the first brewery was created in 1591.
  • In 1828 a restaurant was added, so that the patrons could have both beer and food in one place.
  • The Pittsburgh location is modeled after the old world style of the German locations, with four distinct areas. There is a open hall inside that is made up of benchs and a polka band, a quiet dinning room, an outdoor veranda, and an outdoor beer garden. The design includes lots of exposed wood beams and general German looks.
  • The food is distinctly German, including various sausages and wursts, saukrauts, and schnitzels. I had a wurst platter that included three different types of wurst.
  • Now, how about the beer. Well, they have four standards and one seasonal. The standards are all brewed on premise, while the seasonal may be brought in from Germany. The standards are a light lager, a standard lager, a Weizen, and a dunkel. The seasonals rotate by month.
  • I had the dunkel beer, which is a dark lager and weighs in at 5.5% abv.
  • The taste was distinctly maltly, with just a little bit of bitterness but a very easy drinker. And that is a good thing because the beers come in two sizes, half liter or liter. With those sizes, you really can’t have too heavy of a beer.
  • Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. Not only was the beer and food excellent, but the atmosphere was fantastic as well. I strongly suggest going to one of them in the US if you are around one.

Next Week

Next week we will be doing a beer that both Jake and Jim have tried, it is Penndimonium from Penn Brewing Company in Pittsburgh.

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Episode 106: Duck-Rabbit Bewery

Another week with a non-standard show.

We didn’t get a show together this week before Jake heads off to Seattle, so you get to sit in on a little conversation about Duck-Rabbit Brewery.

Next week, a new show … I promise :)

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Episode 105: Clip Show

We are taking a break after our listener supported series for a clip show.

These shows are rated “R” so be aware if you listen in the car with your kids or if you are related to Jim or I.

We’ll be back next week with a whole new show!

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Episode 104: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout – Sweet Home Chicago

For our two year anniversary we take a look at our last in the listener supported series, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

News

AB Inbev has stopped using the “Born On” date on labels on some of its beer brands. They stated that improvements in brewing and packaging reduces the amount of oxygen introduced into the beers and shelf life can be extended up to 180 days. Bud Ice, Michelob Porter, Honey Lager, and Pale Ale will all drop the date while some of the bigger ones such as Bud and Bud Light will keep them. It is interesting here because Bud made such a big deal of this for such a long time, and this change is probably only the first step.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

  • These weeks beer comes from Chicago’s own Goose Island Brewing Company, which is another one of those companies that we have talked about quite a bit on the show, not only because they have a great distribution system, but because they tend to make solid beers.
  • Founded in 1988 by John Hall, and has two brewpub locations in the city of Chicago and one production brewery as well.
  • This is a family affair, with John Hall being the president, and his son Greg Hall the head brewmaster at Goose Island.
  • Tonights beer, the Bourbon County Stout, weighs in at 13% abv, and is a stout that has been aged in oak bourbon barrels.
  • According to the website, it was brewed in honor of the 1000th batch at the original Clybourn brewpub. They go on to describe it as a liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. A great cigar beer.
  • Pouring this beer I would tend to agree that it is just about as dark as a black hole. Pouring it in front of my girlfriend, she thought I was pouring motor oil from the bottle.
  • The head didn’t really come through for me, there is come around the edges of the glass but thats it.
  • The smell is sweet vanilla at first, which comes from the barrels, and some light chocolate and sweet bourbon aromas come through too. This is one of the more complex beers that I have smelled.
  • The tastes is more of that same complexity. There is the sweet vanilla and bourbon, a little alcohol heat, some chocolate and burnt toffee on the aftertaste. This is a beer that is meant to be savored and explored as opposed to just tossed back like a cheap Coors like.
  • Really this is an outstanding beer. However, it is not a cheap beer. The four back cost me around $24.

Next Week

next week I think we are going to do a clip show, because well it has been a while since we have done a clip show and we need to kind of reset our minds and pallet’s. The next series however will begin in two weeks, and we aren’t really sure what that will be at this point, so tune in and find out.

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Episode 103: Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale – How does that even happen?

Second to last Episode in our listener supported series. This week we go back to the well and look at Burning River Pale Ale.

News

Boston will be the middle of the craft brewing world for the next few days. Starting on April 21st and going until April 24th, the Brewer’s Association has it’s annual Craft Brewers Conference. This conference happens every year and just about everyone in the craft brewing world is there in attendance. The speaker list reads like a rock star list of brewers and beer industry insiders.

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

  • Tonight’s beer comes from the Great Lakes Brewing Company, located in Cleveland, Ohio. We have talked about Great Lakes a few times, because it is one of my favorite breweries, they make reliably good beer, and both Jake and I can get it.
  • Great Lakes has been in operations 1988, established by the Conway brothers first as a brewpub, the first brewpub in the state of Ohio in fact.
  • As a result of that last expansion, you should be able to get their beers in most of the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin. I also think that they are now in Virgina as well, but I could be wrong about that last one.
  • Tonight’s beer, Burning River Pale Ale, weighs in at 6.0% abv, and has won a ton of awards including Gold Medals in the 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 1996, 1995, and 1994 World Beer Championships, and Silver Medals in 2002, 2001, at the there as well.
  • The name comes from one of the most infamous events in the history of Cleveland, where in 1969 the Cuyahoga River caught on fire because it was one of the most polluted rivers in the world. In fact, it caught on fire several times.
  • The pour of this one is a light amber, a bit darker then a regular budwieser, but is around the color we see here. The head was small, but it did stick around for most of the glass.
  • The smell if mildly to medium hoppy, with some citrusyness there. A little bit of sweet malt aroma goes to balance it out.
  • The taste is much the same. This is not an IPA, so the hops aren’t overly aggressive. They are there and are stronger than the malt but don’t overpower the beer.

Next Week

Alright, one more week of you listener picks, and next week we will be looking at one from sweet home Chicago, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.

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Episode 102: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

We continue our listener supporter series looking at Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

News

Anheuser-Busch InBev is considering selling its Rolling Rock brand, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. For those of you who may not remember, InBev sold Anheuser-Busch the iconic Rolling Rock brand for $82 million in May 2006 and reacquired it when it bought Anheuser-Busch for about $52 billion last year. The paper said the brewer remains interested in selling Rolling Rock. Now the real question is where will the brand be brewed if and when it is sold. The Latrobe Brewery is either currently empty or owned by City Brewery which uses it to brew other companies beers.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

  • Well as by popular request we are going to re-examine a beer this week from last March, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.
  • For those of you who don’t know, Brooklyn Brewery is one of my favorite brewery’s, not only due the fact that they make good beers, but also we use their brewmasters book, the “Brewmasters Table” as one of the major references for YNB.
  • The brewing history is not unlike brewing history in many major US cities. Where once their was a vast network of breweries, prohibition took them down in numbers. Only recently have more and more small breweries, like Brooklyn, been sprouting up again.
  • One interesting thing about Brooklyn is that they are a well published brewery, something you don’t often say. In addition to the Brewmasters Table, the owners have also written a book called Beer School, which details how they set up the brewery.
  • Tonight’s beer, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, weighs in at 10.6% and is classified as a Russian Imperial Stout.
  • This beer is a winter seasonal beer, and is one of my favorites. Tonights version is a 08-09 vintage.
  • The pour is motor oil black. There were some highlights in the pour but really they went away in the glass. It has a thick chocolate colored head.
  • The smell is chocolatly, a little alcohol there. It just smells wonderful.
  • The taste is a little of dark chocolate, a little alcohol hotness, and a little coffee flavor there as well, but something along the lines of a esspresso flavor.
  • This is a great sipping beer, one that goes great with desserts and other sweeter flavors. Think of this like a coffee to go with your rich chocolately dessert. It can both balance out and compliment the sweetness.

Next Week

One more beer left in you pick-em series. So, you need to tell us what that beer is going to be, or I am going to pick one in my fridge.

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Episode 101: Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock – On the way to 200.

Continuing our listener supported series we look at Celebrator Doppelbock.

News

MillerCoors LLC has launched a partnership with Sara Lee Corp. to produce a co-branded bratwurst that will debut this spring. The partnership will blend MillerCoors. Now I will say this about High Life, about the one thing that it is good for is cooking brats.

Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock

  • The brewery is located in Aying, Germany, and is a pretty small area with a population of just under 4,500.
  • The brewery founded in 1878 by the Inselkammer family, is award heavy, winning Small Brewery of the Year in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 as well as winning the top prize for every beer they submitted to the World Beer Championships in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.
  • Tonight’s beer, the Celebrator Doppelbock falls into a category of beers that we haven’t really touched much on in this show, bocks.
  • This beer is a doppelbock is a relatively strong German lagers. Typically stronger than regular bocks.
  • Generally they have a very full-bodied flavor and are rather dark with a higher level of alcohol, usually from 6.5-9% abv.
  • Tonight’s beer weighs in at 6.7% abv and typically comes in a four pack as opposed to a more traditional six back. Mind you it still costs as much as the normal six pack.
  • The pour is a dark brown to light black, if that is even possible, with some nice mahogany highlights around the edges.
  • You get a nice sweet smell, a little bready, a little burnt and toffee like at places.
  • The tastes is wonderful, I always forget how much I love this beer. It’s chocolaty and nutty, with some bitterness there as well. It isn’t too alcoholic on the tongue which is nice as well.
  • Overall, a great beer but one that may be a special occasion beer. Not an everyday drinker unless you need another meal!

Next Week

Alright, next week, another listener request Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

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Episode 100: Gulden Draak – Is 100 the Golden Anniversary?

In honor of our 100th show we start a listener request series with Gulden Draak.

News

I know that YNB tends to stay away from politics with the occasional commentary, however I think I actually found a story that blends beer and policitcs quite nicely. The Aurora Womens Republican party talked to brewmaster Mike Rybinski of Walter Paytons Roundhose and pared down a list of 26 potential beer characteristics to the most important three. Using these three characteristics, Rybinski’s job will brew a “Republican Ale” come September as part of a party fundraiser. Two lucky Republicans will even get to help brew the beer if their raffle ticket is pulled

Gulden Draak

  • Gulden Draak comes from Belgium and the Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V..
  • The brewery is located in Ertvelde, East Flanders. This is the last brewery located in East Flanders.
  • Gulden Draak, or if Golden Dragon if I am guessing the label correctly, weighs in at 10.5% ABV and is classified as a Triple.
  • The Golden Dragon is actually a replica of a golden dragon on the top of the Belfry of Ghent and is said to be the protector of the treasures of the city. It has been there since 1382, and before that it was stolen back and forth between Ghent and Brugge.
  • This beer pours a dark brown. You can sort of see through it but it rather hazy, which means it is probably unfiltered.
  • The smell has a hint of alcohol but mostly smells of fresh fruits.
  • Tastes sweet, very malt forward a very little bit of bitterness, maybe more from alcohol than hops.
  • Very complex so much so that it left Jim speechless.

Next Week

Well we start the journey to 200 next week with another listener suggested beer, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock. We also still need a couple more suggestions, so send in those ideas.

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Episode 99: Harp Lager – Let’s Stop Harping on Irish Beer

We finish our Irish Beer series looking at Harp Lager

News

The Royal Brunei Marine Police Force (RBMPF) thwarted an alleged alcohol smuggling attempt into the Sultanate by a 37-year-old Bruneian man. Based on RBMPF’s initial investigations, the suspect, believed to be a mule, was provided with a van to transport the contraband to the distributor in the country. The suspect was also found carrying cash amounting to $952.

Harp Lager

  • When most people think of Irish beer they think of stouts, they would be wrong. Like America, Lager’s are now king on the Isle, with around 63 percent of the beer sold there being lagers, about 32 percent being stouts, and the remaining 5 percent being general ales.
  • Tonights beer is a basic lager, brewed by the same company that owns Guinness, Diageo.
  • Now the dirty little secret about this beer is that the American version may or may not be brewed in Ireland. They also brew this in Canada at the Labatt’s brewery.
  • This is not an old beer by Eurpean standards, being first brewed in 1960 in Dundalk Ireland at the Great Northern Brewery.
  • The current version of Harp weighs in at 5.0% abv and I sampled it at a bar, on draft, so my review may be a little off due to the fact that they have dim lights.
  • The color is light to medium golden in color, but it is filtered so it is pretty clear and crisp looking.
  • There really wasn’t much to the smell, maybe a little hoppyness.
  • There is a little bittnerness in the tastes, with some carbonation there to wipe it away as good lagers should have.
  • Overall it isn’t too bad, but pretty basic to say the least. I would say this may be a good gateway beer, but probably only because it has a forgein name that may attract some people.

Next Week

Well next week is our 100th show, and we will be doing a listener recommended beer, Gulden Draak. So tune in and make sure to give us an idea of what to drink after that

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Episode 98: Smithwicks Ale – Thats “Smitticks” not not Smithwicks

Our second on our Irish Beer sereies, we turn our attention to Smithwicks.

News

In Lansing, Michigan, it was announced that a local craft brewer will make a beer with Kid Rocks name on it. The Michigan Brewing Co. plans to invest $7 million in the new product line. The village of Webberville also is considering a tax abatement. Michigan Brewing Co. was started in 1995 and sells nearly 20 kinds of craft beer in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, and Minnesota. It also has begun distilling vodka and other spirits.

Smithwicks Ale

  • The beer is an Irish Red Ale, and is advertised as the oldest brewed ale in Ireland.
  • Brewed in Kilkenny Ireland, it was originally brewed at a brewery called St. Francis Abbey Brewery, by Franciscan abbey monks.
  • The recipe went commercial in 1710 when John Smithwick founded a brewery in Kilkeny.
  • Smithwicks is also the largest selling beer in Ireland.
  • Smithwicks weighs in at 4.8% abv, and once again I had this one on draft this past weekend.
  • The pour was a mahogany with some amber in there as well. The head doesn’t last as long as the Beamish from last week, but that isn’t shocking because it isn’t a nitro pour.
  • The smell was kind of subtle, with a little malt and a little hops.
  • The taste is a bit more malty than hoppy, which is something that you should expect because this is an overseas beer.

Next Week

Next week we are going to talk about one more Irish beer, Harp Lager.

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Episode 97: Beamish Irish Stout – The other Irish Stout

For March we are talking about Irish Beers, you know cause of St. Patrick’s Day. This week we look at Beamish Irish Stout.

News

In San Diego, and around the country for that matter, a different kind of bar crawl is occurring. The Snuggie bar crawl. For those of you who are not familiar with the Snuggie, it is a blanket with arms. Bars are starting to take advantage of this, especially in the colder cities, and starting Snuggie Bar Crawls. There is on in San Diego on March 13th, and one here in Chicago around the 18ths of April.

Beamish Irish Stout

  • Beamish Irish Stout is made at the Beamish and Crawford Plc Brewery located in Cork, Ireland.
  • William Beamish and William Crawford founded the Cork Porter Brewery in 1792, by 1805 it had become the largest brewery in Ireland, producing over 100,000 barrels a year.
  • Like many foriegn breweries, it has gone through quite a bit of change over the years in ownership, being bought in 1962, by the Canadian brewing firm Carling-O’Keefe Ltd. In 1987, Elders IXL purchased Canadian Breweries (incorporating Carling-O’Keefe). In 1995, Elders sold the brewery to Scottish and Newcastle.
  • In 2008, Scottish Newcastle was bought by Heineken International, and as of this month, they are actually closing the original brewery and will be brewing the product at a Heineken brewery.
  • Weighing in at 4.1 percent abv, it is actually right for an Irish Stout. Most people think that the dark beer is a heavy and high in alcohol. While they are all designed to be lighter beers, meant for long nights of drinking at the local pub.
  • I had this beer a few nights ago on tap, and it was a nitrogen pour, which is the same as Guinness.
  • The pour is dark ebony, with a nice creamy head that really didn’t go away throughout the entire beer.
  • The smell is a little chocolaty, and a little bit of hops.
  • The taste is a little chocolaty, but really dry as opposed to sweet. There is also some light roastyness there, think of some very light burnt flavor, but in a good way.

Next Week

Next week we will be talking about another Irish beer, and it is one that is much more available, Smithwicks.

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Episode 96: Abita Amber – A little taste of Louisiana.

This week, we finish up our Amber series with Abita Amber Ale

News

A Manatee County, Florida man is in jail after deputies say he stabbed his three roommates late Friday night. A witness told deputies that the offender and the victims were drinking beer when he left to go to the bathroom. When he returned, he saw the stabbing. The offender fled the scene on foot, but he was found about 500 yards away passed out. Apparently he was upset with the brand of beer two of the victims bought. Luckily, all three victims had non-life threatening injuries. What I really want to know is what beer were they arguing over.

Abita Brewing Amber

  • Tonight’s beer comes from a brewery that we haven’t really had a chance to talk to much about, and that is Abita Brewing Company, from Abita Springs, Louisiana, 30 miles north of New Orleans.
  • The first began brewing in 1986 and is the oldest crafter brewery in the south east. It today produce over 80,000 barrels a year.
  • They use spring water from the Abita springs to brew there beer.
  • As I step into the beer geek in me with this next comment, Abita was one of the first breweries in the country to use a Merlin system for brewing which is a more energy efficient way to boil the wort.
  • Their flagship beer, either the Purple Haze or the Turbo Dog, are both pretty widely available, and if I am counting right are available in 35 states.
  • Tonights beer, the Amber, is actually not an amber ale at all, it is instead a munich style lager. It was the first beer sold by the brewery in 1986.
  • Weighing in at 4.5% ABV, it is a rather straight forward beer in alochol content, one you would typically expect to be a session style beer.
  • The pour is a light amber with a big creamy head that sticks around for a few minutes.
  • The smell is a sharper hop smell, and it looks like it is going to have good carbonation as well.
  • The taste is slightly sweet, slightly sour, and subtle hoppy. I guess I would compare this beer more to a malty pilsner.

Next Week

Who knows whats next. I am thinking that we may do a few shows on porters or stouts, maybe specifically Irish beers.

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Episode 95: Tröegs Nugget Nectar – This beer is a true gold nugget

Getting back to our Amber series we look at a very regional brewery and Tröegs Nugget Nectar

News

Tonight’s news comes from the state of Oregon, where if a group of state lawmakers gets its way, the tax on beer might go up 1,800 percent. Five legislators have introduced Oregon House Bill 2461, which would impose a $49.61 tax on each barrel of beer produced by Oregon brewers. The aim is to increase revenue for the state; specifically, says the bill, to fund prevention, treatment and recovery programs for those addicted to alcohol and other substances.

The last malt beverage tax increase in the state was 32 years ago, and it currently ranks next to last among states in such taxation rates. Opponents of the bill say the low tax rate is one of the major factors in making Oregon an attractive place for brewers.

They say passage of the increase would raise the price of beer, probably cost jobs, and result in lowered revenues for the state in the long run. This also could be the story across the nation, with more and more states considering raising the taxes. Look for higher prices in the future.

Tröegs Nuggest Nectar

  • Tonight’s beer comes from Tröegs Brewing Company, a brewery that we may not have talked about for a while if at all.
  • Tröegs is located in Harrisburg, PA and is not widely distributed. In fact, I am not sure if you can get this outside of the Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.
  • The name Tröegs is actually a combination of the name of the founders, John and Chris Trogner, and the Dutch word for pub, kröeg.
  • Established in 1997, Tröegs was founded in Harrisburg because John and Chris wanted to start a brewery in Colorado, but it had to much competition. It was a simple case of supply and demand, there was demand in PA, and not much supply.
  • Tonight’s beer, Nugget Necatar weighs in at 7.5% abv and is advertised as one of the hoppiest ambers out there. Made with Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk Hops, it has an IBU of 93. They say this beer is their Hopback beer just turned up a few notches.
  • We haven’t talked about IBU’s much on this show, but they stand for international bitterness units and is generally a way to tell about how bitter the beer is. The higher the number, the more bitter the beer. So 93, is pretty bitter.
  • The beer pours a light amber with a nice white head that sticks around a while.
  • The smell very hoppy. This is one of the most hop forward smells we have talked about in a long time. There may be a little malt back bone in this beer, but really it is very low.
  • The beer is hoppy, but almost a slightly sweet hoppy. Some beers that are this hoppy can be almost undrinkable in my opinion, just overpowering, but this one is actually just about perfect, just up to the level. It is very drinkable and smooth.

Next Week

Alright, next week we have one beer left in the amber series, Abita’s Amber Ale.

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Episode 94: Rogue American Amber Ale – Salute the bottle

After a one week break to celebrate Pittsburgh we are back to our Amber series. This week its Rouge American Amber.

News

A 22-year-old man ran out of a Silver Springs Citgo gas station with two cases of Bud Light Sunday night, pulling a knife on a customer who tried to stop him. James Steven Buckman had little time to enjoy the beer, as Marion County sheriff’s deputies soon arrested him at his Econo Lodge motel room across the street. Thats right, he was camped out right across the street!

Rogue’s American Amber Ale

  • Tonight’s beer is from the West Coast and is rather widely available.
  • We have talked about Rogue in the past, but just to refresh some memories, they are located in Newport, Oregon.
  • They are one of the bigger craft brewers in the country, and have a variety of beers out on the market, although as we have talked about on this show before, some of the beers are just re branded versions of the same beer.
  • Tonight’s beer weighs in at 5.6% abv, and is made up of four types of malt, two types of hops, and their proprietary Pacman yeast. It won a gold medal in the 2006 World Beer Championship.
  • The beer pours amber, again not a huge shock here considering the name of the series and all, with a nice creamy head on top.
  • The aroma has some citrusy and hoppiness notes there, but there is some malt backbone there to give the beer some body.
  • The taste is more of that same balance, just enough hops to give it a little bite and just enough malt to make the beer stick around in your mouth and want the hops to be there.
  • This really is a very well balanced beer. I would say this is a great session beer, one that you an have several of and not be too overwhelmed. It is moderate in alcohol so you won’t get too drunk of several of them as well.

Next Week

Well next week we will be heading back to Pennsylvania and Tröegs Nugget Nectar, a beer that I don’t have but Jake does.

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Episode 93: Pittsburgh Beer Part 2 – Because we have some extra and we can

Another week focusing on Pittsburgh. We had some more beer lying around so we recorded another show.

News

This weeks news story comes from Spirit Airlines and some angry flight attendants. It appears that the new aprons that they have to wear have a Bud Light logo on them. The group of angry flight attendants says that the ads are not only “demeaning” but raise safety concerns, as flight attendants are obligated to enforce federal regulations regarding intoxicated passengers. Spirit says that the new aprons are the latest revenue-generating tactic in its onboard advertising initiative, called Mile High Media, launched in September. Spirit has introduced introduced Hertz ads on ticket jackets and cups, ads on napkins. I think they should start turning the planes into NASCAR style planes with tones of ads on them as well.

Pittsburgh Beers Part 2

  • Alright, since we have some time and two more beers left from the beers that we bought earlier, we figured we would do a few more Pittsburgh beers tonight.
  • These are two more beers from two of the breweries that we talked about last week, Penn Brewery and Church Brewworks.
  • We will start with the Church Brewworks this week and their Celestial Gold, a German style pilsner weighing in at 4.1% abv. As we mentioned last week, Church is actually a brewpub in an old Church, with the brew kettle on the altar. Possibly a little sacrilegious, but hey, it is good beer. In addition, this is going to be a tough beer to get outside of the Pittsburgh area, but if you are in the area you can stop by and either get bottles or pick up a growler of the stuff on premise.
  • The second brewery this week is the Penn Brewery and their Penn Wiezen, a Hefewiezen weighing in at 5.0% abv.

Next Week

Well next week it is back to our amber series. We will be looking at a beer from Rogue Ales Brewery and American Amber Ale. So tune in and listen.

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Episode 92: Pittsburgh Beers – Here we Go Steelers!

A departure from the Amber series in this post Super Bowl 43 world, we talk about Pittsburgh beers.

Pittsburgh Beers

  • At first I was hoping to do a comparison show between Arizona beers and Pittsburgh beers, but the only beer that I could find from Arizona was Dave’s Crazy Chili beer, and I refuse to try that.
  • We are going to be tasting three beers, from three different breweries tonight, including Penn Brewery’s Penn Dark, the Church Brew Works Pious Monk Dunkle and of course, the old standard, Iron City Light.
  • IC Light. is the big time Super Bowl beer for me. Made by Iron City Brewery it weighs in at 4.15%.
  • On to Church Brew Works, which is located directly across from the Iron City brewery. Since they are a brewpub and you really can’t get this stuff anywhere outside of the Pittsburgh area.
  • Finally lets end with the Penn Brewery’s Dark Pennis actually no longer making their beer in Pittsburgh. They have recently closed their brewery in Pittsburgh nd have been brewing all of their beer at the Lion Brewery up in Wilks-Barre. The Penn Dark weighs in at 5.0% abv.

Next Week

Another Pittsburgh Beer show. We revisit Church Brew Works and Penn to tackle two more of their beers and continue the celebration of all things Pittsburgh and beer.

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Episode 91: Fat Tire Amber Ale – Peddling it way into our hearts.

We start a new series talkin’ bout Amber Ales. We start off with one of our favorite beers, Fat Tire Amber Ale. Ambers are a good bit lighter and hoppier than barleywines. A nice departure.

News

Police have arrested a Greenfield, California man for allegedly arranging to sell his 14-year-old daughter into marriage in exchange for $16,000, 100 cases of beer and several cases of meat. Police said they only learned of the deal after the 36-year-old man went to them to get his daughter back because payment wasn’t made as promised. The man was arrested Sunday on suspicion of human trafficking. Officers also arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of statutory rape. Investigators believe the girl went willingly with the man, but she’s under California’s legal age of consent and can’t legally marry.

Amber Ales

  • We will be talking about Amber Ales for the next couple weeks, which I will admit is a bit of a catch all category. It is also one that many brewers produce and I would wager to guess nearly all brewpubs make.
  • An amber ale tends to focus more on maltly flavors, but there can be some hoppyness depending on the brewer and the beer. The color is going to be, shockingly, amber.
  • Expect to see ABV’s in the range of 4-7% for these beers.

Fat Tire Amber Ale

  • Fat Tire is brewed by New Belgium Brewing Company located in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Founded in 1991 by Jeff Lebesch, a home-brewer and electrical engineer, and Kim Lebesch a social worker and first sales person for New Belgium, the first two beers were the Fat Tire and a brown dubbel.
  • Fat Tire was actually named for the owners bike trip through Belgium. The label of this beer features a big and employees receive a replica of this bike on their one year anniversary.
  • Fat tire weighs in at 5.2% abv and is available is in quite a few states.
  • The pour is amber in color with a nice little head that provides some nice lacing as you drink the beer.
  • The smell is light and malty, although there is some nice citrus smell from the hops.
  • The taste is balanced to malty in flavor, however there is some nice hoppyness there at times as well.
  • This is a great beer to introduce people to good beer with. It isn’t too overwhelming, and it is a great session beer. I will admit, this is my favorite beer to drink with a nice slice of deep dish pizza.

Next Week

Another amber, which one we do not know, so stay tuned.

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Episode 90: Victory Old Horizontal – Time to put this series to bed

News

A new Gallup poll out recently shows that adult consumers now prefer beer to wine by a double digit margin. This is a bit of a reverse in trends from previous years, where in 2005 wine actually was in the lead, causing some to say that beer was dead. Looking at the results of this poll, you know it doesn’t surprise me much. My guess is that during economic slow times, beer may move up the beverage scale because it can be cheaper than wine.

Barleywine History Part II

  • Well we have been promising you some history on the barleywine, and wouldn’t you know it has taken us up until the last show of the series to deliver on that promise. But hey, better late than never.
  • Barleywines, like many of the ales that we talk about, orginated in England in the early 1700s. Up until this time, the upper class in England was drinking wine from France, with many of the brewers rather envious of that fact.
  • Slowly, a wealthy merchant class began to arise, that already seemed to have a bit of a liking for beer, and brewers started to play a little bit with yeast and stronger worts, slowly creating products that rivaled wines in both strength and complexity.
  • Early on, these beers may have been called October beers, Dorchester beers, malt liquors, or malt wines, but by the early 1800s, the term barley wine was being used.
  • These beers are not easy to brew because no only to you have to get a very strong sugary wort, at times actually adding sugar to raise it enough, but you also have to get the yeast to convert more sugar than they are used to.
  • Originally, these were first probably brewed by butlers for wealthy families, who could take their time and create a wonderful product. All I have to say is I want me a butler like that!

Victory Old Horizontal

  • So tonight we hit the last beer of the series, and it is from an old familiar brewery to faithful YNB listeners, Victory Brewing Company from Downingtown, PA.
  • It was founded in 1996 by Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski in an old Pepperidge Farm bakery, but currently distributed in 23 states.
  • Tonight’s beer, Old Horizontal, weighs in at 10.5% abv and is going to be closer to the American style of barleywines, so in other words, it will be a bit more hoppy and aggressive.
  • The pour is darker than the last couple weeks, almost like a brown ale or a light porter. Think of like a dark mahogany here.
  • The pour actually has a good dark cream head that sticks around for a while.
  • The smell is all about hops, and it is aggressive to say the least.
  • The taste is once again hops up front. The more the beer warms up, the more the malt comes out, but by no means is this beer as malt forward as it has been the last couple weeks.

Next Week

Thats it, we are done with getting Jim drunk. We are going to move on to something a little lighter, specifically, ambers. We’ll be starting off with New Belgium Brewing Company’s Fat Tire Ale Ale.

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Here we go Steelers

As regular listeners will know we are Steelers fans.

And Flying Dog has given us another reason to root for the Black and Gold.

As if we needed one.

Episode 89: Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot – Enough of this will make you one

This week another barley wine, Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher. This beer is a little harder to get a hold of, but worth the effort.

News

Tonight’s news story comes from Chicago and MillerCoors. They are putting out a new Aluminum Pint bottle, which was first designed for Pittsburgh Brewing Company. This one has a bigger mouth which Miller says that it offers a smoother flow to enhance the Miller Lite Taste and a resealable lid to help lock in the taste. I think I can best describe the look of bottle as a can with a cone on top.

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot

  • Weyerbacher is located in Easton, Pennsylvania. In fact I first heard about this brewery when I was in grad school at Lehigh.
  • It was founded in 1995 by Dan and Sue Weirback. Shockingly, Dan was a home brewer before he started the business.
  • The brewery is known for its big beers, in fact they have a big beer box, a case of mixed beers that are all big in alcohol.
  • In addition to being a big barrel aged beer brewery, it has also been called one of the best Belgian style breweries in the country. Their Quad is another great one to pick up if you get the chance.
  • Tonight’s beer, the Blithering Idiot, weighs in at 11.1 percent ABV and is a great beer to store for 4 or 5 years according to the brewery.
  • The pour tonight is a little bit darker than the last couple, but it still has that copper tone to it. The head on this one was a creamy white and acutally stuck around for a while.
  • The smell is a bit more alcoholic than the past couple weeks, it seems to pour through the malt a little bit more. Once again, not too much hop aroma here that I could find.
  • The taste at first to me was kind of sharp, but I realized I was drinking this way too cold, so I let it warm up a bit. After that there is the same malty profile as before, but with a little more bitterness this week, probably from the alcohol, but that is a good thing. I think it helps cut some of the sweetness away.
  • So again, a pretty good beer. If you can get one, grab it and lay it down for a year or two before you try it, or even better, grab one of their Insanity’s instead. I find them much more complex.

Next Week

Alright, one more week of the heavy stuff left. The finally barleywine we will be doing is Victory Old Horizontal, and to be honest, it may make me want to be horizontal.

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Episode 88: Flying Dog Horn Dog – alright, there are just too many jokes

Another Barley Wine this week. Horn Dog from Flying Dog, one of our favorite breweries, because they give us free beer on occasion, hint, hint to other breweries!

News

A bit of a tragic news story out of Colorado. The ramp at Colorado 58 to eastbound I-70 in Wheat Ridge was closed after a 53-foot refrigerated semi tractor-trailer hauling beer overturned. The driver wasn’t injured and no other cars were involved, said Lisa Stigall, spokeswoman for Wheat Ridge police. The ramp is expected to be closed until for at least afternoon, while the truck is set back on its wheels and the beer off-loaded, Stigall said.

Flying Dog Horn Dog Barleywine

  • This weeks show comes from a company that we have talked about a few times, Flying Dog Brewery, located in Frederick Maryland. I believe we have covered their Gonzo Imperial Porter and Doggie Style Pale Ale in the past on Your Next Beer.
  • It orginally opened as a brewpub in 1990 in Aspen Colorado and was it’s first brewery in 100 years.
  • In 2006 they starting to shift operations to a Frederick Maryland brewery and in 2008 shifted all production to that location. They currently brew around 50,000 barrels a year at this location.
  • Tonight’s beer, Horn Dog, weighs in at 10.5% abv and is part of the Canis Major series.
  • It is made with 3 types of malt and 3 types of hops and is actually aged for 3 months before it is bottled. It actually wone the 2004 silver medal at the World Beer Cup for the barley wine catergory.
  • One of the nice things about Flying Dog is that they suggest that types of food to go with beer. For this one, they suggest cinnamon desserts, game, and hearty beef dishes.

Next Week

Well we are three beers deep in this series, with a couple more to go. Next week we go to a brewery that many people will have trouble finding, Weyerbacher and Blithering Idiot. So tune in and listen to us become blitering idiots while drinking it.

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Episode 87: Clipper City Heavy Seas Below Decks

A new brewery for the second in our Barleywine series. Tonight we talk about Clipper City Heavy Seas Below Decks.

News

Tonight’s story is from across the pond from the UK. Police raided a 16th birthday party at a leisure centre in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, and seized 110 pints of beer, or about 13.75 gallons. A police spokesman said: “The amount of alcohol … could have resulted in someone being seriously ill or hurt if they had been able to consume it.” I must say, that seems like quite a bit of beer for a 16 year olds birthday party.

Heavy Seas Below Deck

  • Well, I think that we said we would be doing a beer from Brooklyn this week, but as normal we have changed things up a bit on the show. Instead, we are going to be doing a beer from Clipper City Brewing and their Heavy Seas series.
  • Clipper City was founded by Hugh Sisson in 1995. Mr. Sisson also operated Baltimores first brewpub, named Sisson’s in 1989.
  • In 1998 Clipper City bought Oxford Brewing Company and expanded in size. They currently brew about 15,000 barrels a year.
  • The website says that the brewery is named for the famed Clipper ship, first developed and built in Baltimore.
  • The Heavy Seas line is made up of beers that are a bit higher in alcohol, including the beer that we are going to talk about tonight, Heavy Seas Below Deck Barleywine.
  • Below Deck weighs in at around 10% ABV which is about average for the style.
  • It was created to celebrate Clipper City’s 10th Anniversary and is extremely limited and “vintage” dated. It is made with both three type of malts and three types of hops.

Next Week

Well next week we are going to be staying in the Maryland area with Flying Dog Horn Dog Barleywine, so tune in and listen.

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Episode 86: Winter Sampler – Happy Holidays!

A departure from our Barley Wine series as we often do around the Holidays.

We take a look back at four Winter Beers we covered last year.

I pulled out just the tasting notes for:

Consider it a sampler pack of just the tasting notes on those beers. If you want to see the original posts, just click on Winter Beers here, above or in the sidebar.

Next Week

We’ll be back at it with a LIVE tasting show. That is Jim and I will be in the same room huddled around a microphone enjoying a beer. And who knows some friends of the show may be around too, so it could be a good time.

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For the inquiring minds, I didn’t include the Winter Lager/Winter Moon show because the sound quality was crap.

Episode 85: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine – One monster of a beer

A new series this week as we dive into Barleywines. For this week a familiar west coast brewery, Sierra Nevada, brings us Bigfoot Barleywine.

News

This weeks news story comes from the ice bowl known as Lambeau Field. This past week, a longtime Lambeau Field beer man Allan Hale became the 11th member of the Green Bay Packers Fan Hall of Fame. A friend who often sits in section 119 where the 70-year-old Hale has worked since 1963 nominated him. Hale told The Associated Press in a profile January that he became a beer man by accident, looking for a ticket to a game in 1963 when he was approached by a vendor.

Barleywine

  • Tonight, we start a new style of beer, the Barleywine. This style is not for the meek, with average ABV’s running from 8 – 15%.
  • A barleywine is first off a beer and not a wine. It is brewed like any other beer as opposed to just being left to ferment like wine.
  • The taste of barleywines can range from fruity to sweet to bitter and can be amber to dark in color.
  • One of the resounding flavors that you can generally pick out in these is the alcohol warming. My experience with these is that they can almost resemble lower proof brandy’s and whiskeys at times, so just be aware of what you are getting into, but don’t be scared.
  • This style of beer originated in Great Britain, which we will talk more about next week.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine

  • Sierra Nevada, for those of you just tuning in, is located in Chico, California, and was founded in 1980 by Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi.
  • Sierra Nevada is on the verge of becoming a big brewery, but is by no means a small local one right now. They brew approximately 700,000 barrels a year, most of which is going to be the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, their flagship beer which we have talked about on this show.
  • The Bigfoot Barleywine weighs in at 9.6% ABV and is pretty widely available. I actually got to sample this one last Friday on tap.
  • The beer has won the gold medal for barelywines at the GABF in 1987, 1988, 1992, 1995, and 2005, so it is a pretty well received beer as well.
  • I had this beer in a snifter style glass, and when it came to me it didn’t have much of a head on it at all. The color was a dark brown with some hints of orange in it.
  • Smell was hoppy, some malt laying in the background, but the taste was what I loved about it.
  • I found it to be a balanced to hoppy beer, with a nice soft hop finish. I say that I found it to be this way because this beer, like most barelywines can be cellared and will taste dramatically different year to year.

Next Week

While we’re not exactly sure what we are going to talk about, but Monster Barleywine from Brooklyn Brewing Company.

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Episode 84: Hop Rod Rye – This beer can motor.

Our last in the Rye series is Hop Rod Rye. The edit might be a bit rough, because well I didn’t listen to it. Erin and I are traveling sans computer so I had to wing it.

News

Authorities in southwest Florida say an drunk man had his 9-year-old son take him on a beer run. Cape Coral police arrested the 27-year-old man last week, after seeing a pickup truck drive onto a median. When officers stopped the truck, the man told them he was teaching his son to drive. Officers say the father’s speech was slurred, his breath smelled of alcohol and he unable to stand without swaying. The man was charged with cruelty toward a child and allowing an unlicensed minor to drive.

Hop Rod Rye

  • Bear Republic is located in Healdsburg, California which is located in Sonoma County, home of some great wine.
  • One of the owners is also the brewmasters here, Richard G. Norgrove. The other owner is Richard R. Norgrove. I am guessing they may be related too.
  • I will be honest, I could not turn up a lot on this brewery, although they do make a few tasty beers such as Racer 5 IPA, Big Bear Stout Ale, and tonight’s beer, Hop Rod Rye.
  • The distribution for this beer is actually not although if you live in the north middle and south east of the country you could be in trouble. They distribute to Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, So. Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
  • Tonight’s beer weighs in at around 8.00% ABV, so it has a little kick to it, and is probably close to an IPA or APA style.
  • The bottle tells me that it is, “a high performance, turbo charged, alcohol burnin’ monster ale with dual overhead hop injection, made with 18% rye.”
  • The beer is an unfiltered beer, so it may have some sediment in the bottom so watch when you pour. Mine poured a dark brown, although not like a porter or stout brown, but the color of the bottle. The head is a little off white and sticks around for a second or two.
  • The smell right away is hops, shocking from the name and all, but then comes the slight sweetness in the aroma that seems to grow a little bit with each sniff. Think along the lines of sweet citrus here.
  • The taste follows through with the hops on the front and back but there is that subtle taste of malt and rye as well. The malt gives it the sweetness, the rye kind of lends a little twang to it.

Next Week

Next week we will start the month of Jim getting drunk, or in other words, we will be starting our barley wine series.

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Episode 83: Terrapin Rye Pale Ale – Turtle Power

After a week wishing you Happy Thanksgiving, we are back to our series on Rye beers. Jake was actually able to find Terrapin Rye Ale, so that’s what we look at this week.

News

A Japanese company, Bandai, has come out with a new beer shampoo. The beer foams up and overflows like a shaken up bottle of beer when water is added. Bandai has given Beer Shampoo a fruity citrus scent just in case those who have already imbibed a few REAL beers don’t down the wrong suds. The bottle is convincingly beer-like and the shampoo itself contains hops. The product is released on December 1st in Japan, although Bandai has no plans to export Beer Shampoo to the U.S.

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale

  • Rye, like barley, is a grass cearal grain. It is mainly grown in eastern, central, and northen Europe. Typically you are going to see rye used in breads like pumpernickel. The beer with have some of that same earthy flavors to it, a little more sharp than the typical barly malt.
  • So tonights beer comes from Terrapin Brewing Company, which is located in Athens, Georgia.
  • Terrapin was founded by Brian “Spike” Buckowski and John Cochran and was named after the Greatful Dead album Terrapin Station. Mr. Buckowski is a bit of a Deadhead it seems.
  • There first release for the brewery was this Ryle Ale was in 2002.
  • The Rye Pale Ale won a Gold Medal at the GABF for American Pale Ale in 2002, and weighs in at 5.3% ABV and is brewed with 10% rye malt.
  • So the name should give this away, but this is a pale ale, that means that you shouldn’t expect a big rye taste.
  • Pours a copper, little darker than a pale with a little white head that goes away after a few sips except around the edge of the glass
  • Nose is very pale ale no real rye.
  • Taste starts the same way but in the mid-pallet you get a different kind of malt taste, that’s the rye. Best way to describe it is a bit more bitter and grassy than your normal malt taste
  • Finish is what you expect from an APA nice grapefruity hops

Next Week

One more week of rye beer, and this one is going to come from California and Hop Rod Rye and Bear Republic. This is going to be the last of the Rye Beers that we cover.

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Episode 82: Happy Thanksgiving – Who needs wine?

Back to our normal show, Jim’s internet is limping along. We give you our Thanksgiving Show. We talk about 10 or 15 beers so get your pen and paper ready.

News

The AB/Inbev deal that we talked about on several shows is finally a done deal. Most of what had to happen was formality, there was rumors in recent weeks of some doubt that the deal could get done due to the current economic climate. The 52 billion dollar deal did close however, and the new company will be called Anheuser Busch InBev.

Thanksgiving Beer

  • I am just guessing here, but most people probably have some sort of wine with the big turkey dinner. I know my family enjoys a few bottles of Asti every year. Well, believe it or not, you can substitute beer in there and it can work just as well if not better.
  • The trick with Thanksgiving though is that there are lots of different situations to work with. You have the before dinner drink, the dinner drink which has to pair well with a variety of flavors, and then the dessert drink which is a completely different creature.
  • The great thing about beer is that you can have bottles for each part of the meal and not only will it cost you less then the wine, but for the most part you will probably be less intoxicated as well, if you were to drink the same amounts of wine vs beer.
  • Lets first deal with the pre-meal drink. Now traditionally, I do actually drink beer here, although it is usually what my family has around which is a light beer of some sort. Recently we have actually have some decent lagers around, which aren’t bad ideas. You don’t want that is really powerful or overwhelming here, because it could taint the rest of the night. Think something crisp like a pilsner or a basic lager.
  • Now the meal itself is kind of difficult, so I am going to speak to my personal tastes here. Generally, the dinner is going to be a little on the saltier side, with the stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey, and vegetables. I like to balance that out with a sweeter beer, maybe a belgian of some type like a saison. Actually the Hennipen here from Ommegang would be pretty good because the high carbonation would also help to push flavors off your tongue so that each bite is a new flavor.
  • Now what about desserts? Generally, I drink coffee or some more wine with a slice of pie or two. What you are looking for then with a beer is something with a roasty, chocolaty, coffee like finish. Look for some nice porters, stouts, or even imperial stouts here.

Next Week

Alright, next week I promise we will go back to rye beer. We’ll be talking about Terrapin Rye Pale Ale and Jake will be doing the tasting for a change.

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Episode 81 – Jim’s Got No Internets

Well with Jim involuntarily unplugged you get a clip show.

Enjoy!

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Episode 80: Founders Red’s Rye Ale – A little Rye in your Eye.

A new series with a kind of beer we’ve never talked about, Rye. We start this week with Founders Red’s Rye

News

This weeks news story comes from Rice University where scientists have said that they have created a beer that can help save your life. BioBeer, as it’s called, has three genes spliced into special brewer’s yeast that produce resveratrol, the chemical in red wine that is thought to protect against diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other age-related conditions. Don’t expect this product to hit the shelves any time soon.

Founders Red’s Rye Ale

  • The rye beer style can vary, and is generally defined as any beer that has rye in it. How is that for vague.
  • The style probably originated in Germany and was called Roggenbier there. These beers typically had a very high rye content, as opposed to the modern US versions that can vary greatly.
  • Typical American Rye beers are going to to have moderate bitterness in order to allow the often spicy and sour-like rye characteristics to pull through.
  • This weeks beer comes from Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapid, Michigain. Founders Brewing Company was started by Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers in November of 1997. These two were home brewers, as were many people who start breweries.
  • Today, Founders small facility of 10,000 square feet that houses all its manufacturing needs. Current capacity allows for approximately four thousand barrels (31 gallons) per year.
  • Tonight’s beer, Founders Reds Rye, weighs in at 6.8% ABV, so it is a little on the higher side. This is a smaller brewery, so there is a good chance you won’t be able to find it out there.
  • This beer pours dark copper in color, not quite red like the name suggests, but still a very nice hazy color. This beer also appears to be unfiltered to some degree. The head is a nice tan and sticks around for a few seconds.
  • The smell is very strong on the hop character. Think along the lines of a big IPA. You get a little rye on the nose, but not a lot. The hops overpower that one to some degree.
  • That taste you can get a bit more rye, a little bit spicey, a little bit bready. The hops for this one are still up front, but they move towards the back a little with more and more of the malt and rye coming forward.

Next Week

In the next two weeks we will be doing Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic. We’re looking for another beer for next week, but if we can’t find anything we’ll go right to the Hop Rod.

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Episode 79: Happy Halloween – Bring out your dead

A departure from Pumpkin beers, because all the good ones are sold out in Chicago. This week we look at a “scary” beer, Rogue Dead Guy Ale.

News

Tonight story is a little bit of a warning to all you home brewers out there. Don’t try to brew with drugs. A 28 year old graduate student in organic chemistry used poppy pods to brew beer. The only problem is that he apparently used a chemical procedure first to extract the opium from the pods which was then placed in the beer to give it a little extra kick. Well the law didn’t like that idea, and they went after him, but not too hard. His punishment for this fancy homebrew is that he has to have the soil in his back yard tested where he dumped the spent grain to make sure there is no contamination, go to drug classes, and stay clean for the next 18 months. Not too harsh, but still, don’t try to brew with drugs. That is just a bad idea!

Dead Guy Ale

  • Now there are surprisingly lots of beers out there with Halloween sounding names, such as Lucifer, Red Devil, Hop Goblin, or the Hopness Monster, however after looking over the shelf I could come up with no better choice than Rogues Dead Guy Ale.
  • We have talked about Rogue a few times on the show, but for those of you who are new, Rogue Brewing Company is based in Newport, Oregon and was founded in 1988 and is run by Jack Joyce.
  • One thing that most all of their beers have in common is that they use a proprietary strain of yeast they call Pac-Man yeast, which will give the beers a flavor that you can’t find in other ones.
  • Tonight’s beer, Dead Guy Ale, is their flagship beer and weighs in at 6.5% abv. This beer is classified as a Maibock beer, which is tends to be a lighter colored bock beer that is generally brewed in the spring around May.
  • Before we get into the beer itself, Dead Guy has a very distinctive bottle and tap handle, both showing a skeleton sitting on a barrel of beer. This is probably my favorite tap handle out there.
  • The beer is made with four types of malts and two types of hops, and as always it has a suggestion of food on the side which is for pork or hot and spicy food.
  • The beer pours a lighter color, maybe a light gold, with a nice pillowy orange white head that sticks around for a bit.
  • The aroma here is mainly malt but even that is sort of subdued to some degree. Rather sweet smell with just the vaguest hint of hops in the aroma here.
  • The taste is a bitter malt taste at first which is something that you aren’t expecting when you smell the beer. The hops are there, but they aren’t overpowering. However, that is only with the first sip. After I had a few sips, the malt sweetness seems to come forward in this beer and the hops tend to move to the back. There is a little alcohol hotness as well in the aftertaste, but nothing to bad. This is only a 6.5% beer after all.
  • I would call this a good session beer, but it is still a little high in abv for me in that regards. I would say that it would make a good Halloween night beer however, so enjoy!

Next Week

Well enough of this Halloween themed stuff, we are jumping back into a normal series again next week, this time it is going to be Rye beers. Which Rye is yet to be seen. This is one of Jake’s favorite styles.

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Episode 78: Post Road Pumpkin Ale – So where is Post Road anyway?

This week we look at another Pumpkin Beer, Post Road Pumpkin Ale a Brooklyn Beer in disguise.

News

It seems that the maker of the iBeer application, an iPhone application simulates a beer pouring when you tilt the iPhone back, the beer appears to be drank, is suing Molson Coors. The applications creator is claiming loses of $12.5 million in damages because Molson Coors are using their knock-off to advertise their Carling Black label brand of beer. The breweries version, names i-Pint is free, which the iBeer application costs $2.99.

Post Road Pumpkin Ale

  • So another week, another beer, and this week we will be going to Post Road Brewery…wait, there is no Post Road Brewery. This weeks beer is just really a Brooklyn Brewery beer in disguise!
  • Brooklyn Brewery, a favorite of YNB, is located in, you guessed it, Brooklyn, New York. Once again, this beer is one brewed by Garret Oliver, the brewmaster that we may refer to quite a bit on this show.
  • Post Road Pumpkin Ale weighs in at 5.0% abv is about a pretty average abv for this style.
  • The story behind this beer, or at least so says the six pack holder, is that in the 18th Century, colonial Americans brewed wonderful and interesting ales using local ingredients. Although barley was the main ingredient, pumpkin was also often used. They were used for the spicy flavor, and spices.
  • The beer is brewed with four types of malt, 2 types of hops, and apparently hundreds of pounds of pumpkin. I will be honest, it really didn’t taste like hundreds of pounds of pumpkins.
  • This beer pours a medium orange, with a slightly off white head that tends to stick around for a couple seconds but not too long.
  • The minute that you pour this beer you can smell it. The aroma is spicy to some degree, maybe some cinnamon and nutmeg, think about a slight pumpkin pie aroma. You really can’t smell any hops or citrus here at all.
  • The taste is not as sweet as some of the other pumpkin ales that I have had, however you can tell that the spiciness is there. It is pretty balanced overall, with some bitterness on the end but there is some spiciness and not a ton of sweetness. I will say though that it doesn’t have a lot of mouth feel, however there is some pumpkin on the end with the aftertaste.

Next Week

So next week, if I can find it, will be Pump King from Southern Tier. I looked for it this week but could not seem to find any, but I do have one more place to look, so we will see!

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Episode 77: Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale – Yep, another Budweiser product

We start a new series with another AB product Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale. A good place to start with Pumpkin, we’ll be stepping up from here.

News

Another year, another list of winners from the Great American Beer Festival. Some stats from this years festival, a total of 432 breweries attended, 2902 beers were in competition, and 225 medals awarded.

Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale

  • Of course, one of Jim’s favorite things about Halloween and the fall in general is all the fun and exciting beers that come out.
  • Not only do you have beers like Octoberfest beers, which has basically already come out, you have pumpkin beers, that generally come out around now, and then in the coming weeks, just before winter starts, you have some of the barelywines, winter warmers, and porters and stouts. Beers that are great for the winter weather.
  • A pumpkin beers can vary quite a bit. Some brewers will add the pumpkin to mash, some will add it to the boil, and some will just put them in as flavoring, either real or artifical. If some of those words don’t make sense, listen to our brewing basics show. The beers also tend to have a lot of the “fall” seasonings as well, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Generally speaking, these are not going to be bitter beers. They will be much more mild, or even sweet. There really isn’t going to be a lot of hop character to these beers.
  • Jack’s weighs in at 5.5% ABV and is brewed under the Michelob label.
  • This beer first came out a few years ago, and according the the website is made with all malt, pumpkins, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and clove.
  • The beer poured amber, almost an orange in color, and has a little bit of that pumpkin pie aroma on the nose, but that tends to dissapate quickly.
  • The taste of pumpkin is there, however it is not overpowering by any means. There is a little bit of bitterness with this beer, but the sweetness of the malt is really the main chord here.
  • Overall, this isn’t a bad beer, but it isn’t a great beer either. I would have to call this somewhere middle of the road. If its there, give it a try, but if not, you haven’t missed much.

Next Week

Well, if I can find one that I like, we are going to do another pumpkin beer. Possibly one from Southern Tier, possibly one from Brooklyn. It all depends on if the beer Gods are with Jim.

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Episode 76: Budweiser American Ale – About Time!

We’ve been teasing this for weeks and we finally get to pay off and talk about Budweiser American Ale.

News

This weeks news story comes from Denver Colorado and it all about the Great American Beer Festival, starting this week. The 27th annual GABF kicks off this week on 9th and runs through the 11th. If you are in Denver, I highly suggest you stop by, because you will have the chance to sample from 400 brewers a total of 1,900 different beers. Although the event is now sold out, so if you don’t already have a ticket, you won’t be going this year. This is part one of the story, with part two coming next week which will be the announcement of the winners. So make sure to tune in to find out if your favorite beer won.

Budweiser American Ale

  • The beer has been on the way for a while now, I think that we have been hearing about it for about 4 to 5 months in the open market but it has been a open secret in the industry for much longer.
  • Part of the reason, if not all of the reason that this was rolled out is AB needs to gain a foot hold in the craft beer market.
  • Interestingly, AB has also revamped their ad campaign with Bud Lager recently, advertisting it as the Great American Lager.
  • The beer weighs in at 5.10%, which is just .1% higher the Bud Lager, but .9% higher than Bud Light.
  • This beer pours a a nice little head, a little off white and a amber color. An interesting thing to note here is that the beer did not have a twist off cap.
  • The taste is I must say a lot better than Jim would expect from a Bud product. I know, that may seem bias, but so sue him.
  • The flavor is a bit malty and sweet, but not over powering. There is a little bit of a caramel malt flavor, but it is very mild. There is also some bitterness here as well, nice little citrusy zest to it, but nothing overpowering like an IPA.
  • Overall, I will say that this isn’t a bad beer. It isn’t terribly complex, but it is a pretty refreshing drinker, that if it was at a bar, I would probably get one. I suggest that you give it a try too.

Next Week

We will be getting back to a series next week, and I think it will be something seasonal, maybe some pumpkin beers.

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Episode 75: Refrigerator Roulette Part Three – The return of the Fridge.

Perhaps our last in this non-series series. Jim once more dives into the unknown realms of his fridge. This week it’s Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale.

News

Believe it or not, one of the hottest items out there right now for theives are metal kegs. With the price of some metals skyrocketing, the kegs are often worth more than the deposit that is put down on them. A pair of sheriff’s deputies in El Paso, TX were eating breakfast when they saw two men, one chasing after the other, running across a parking lot. The police followed and found out that the man being chased had just robbed a beer delivery truck for the empty kegs.

Refrigerator Roulette – Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

  • Well here we are at week three of Refrigerator Roulette. For those of you who don’t know what is going on, well the basic gist of it is that Jim reaches in the fridge and grab a beer. Usually Jim’s fridge has at least 10 different types of beer in there, so it can be fun.
  • This week, we are going to be doing one that we actually did before, we just didn’t record it correctly. But hey, that happens. It is Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, California.
  • Part of the reason that we don’t review too many of these beers is that I can’t get them in Chicago. That being said, you can get these beers from coast to coast these days and they are coming to more and more markets.
  • Arrogant Bastard Ale is probably considered their flagship beer, with its slogan being “Your not worthy”. The generally are seem as some of the bad boys in the brewing industry, brewing things that they like and not necessary things that have mass appeal, however they do sell very well.
  • Tonight’s beer, Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, is the regular AB just shoved in an oak barrel for a while. It weighs in at 7.2% which is the same as the regular AB.
  • It pours a reddish color with a creamy white head, with the aroma of citrusy and sweet all at the same time. The taste is rather aggressively hoppy, however the oak does come through with a little bit of a vannila taste.
  • I will say this beer is not for the beginner and only give it a shot if you are up to it.

Next Week

Who knows, hopefully we will be doing the American Ale that we have been talking about, but if not we may talk about Momma Mia Pizza Beer.

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Episode 74: Refrigerator Roulette Part Two – The revenge of the refrigerator!

So not a real series, but sort of a series. Jim reaches into his refrigerator again and pulls out an Imperial Dortmunder from Great Lakes Brewing Company.

News

A German man has been sentenced to three years in prison for selling his partner as a sex slave to his neighbor for a crate of beer (wonder what kind of beer it was). The bizarre deal between the 39-year-old man from Hersfeld-Rotenburg and his 60-year-old neighbour was revealed after a 32-year-old woman told police about her ordeal. The court in Fulda established that the woman was forced by her alcoholic partner to have sex with the elderly neighbor for several weeks. The neighbor paid with a crate of beer for every visit. The neighbor was sentenced to a two-year suspended jail sentence and a single payment of $3463 to the victim.

Refrigerator Roulette – Great Lakes Imperial Dortmunder

  • This week I reached in and pulled out a bit of a special beer, Imperial Dortmunder from Great Lakes Brewing Company, out of Cleveland Ohio.
  • Why is this so special you may ask? Well, Great Lakes just celebrated their 20th birthday, and in honor of that, they brewed this beer.
  • Their regular Dortmunder is probably considered their flagship beer, and is far and away I would think their most popular beer.
  • A regular dortmunder can be described as something close to a pilsner, however the beer was made popular in Dortmunder, Germany as opposed to Pilsen.
  • Now the original Dortmunder from Great Lakes weighs in at 5.8% abv, however because the word is Imperial is thrown in front of this one, it is actually a bit stronger at 7.3% ABV.
  • This one poured dark gold with a thick white head. You could tell right away that this was a little bit different than the regular Dortmunder.
  • The smell is of hops with just a little bit of sweetness. The taste is more of that sweetness, with a little bit of alcohol taste, which may acutally be contributing to the sweetness. There is a little bit of sweetness at the end, however it is not nearly as bitter as the smell.
  • All in all, I think that I probably didn’t like this as much as the regular Dortmunder, and I probably wouldn’t get it again, however I think it is only a one time brew so it really doesn’t matter too much!

Next Week

OK, one more Roulette show next week, and it is actually going to be a beer that we looked at about a year ago, but just never really recorded it correctly. It is Oak Age Double Bastard Ale from Stone, so tune in.

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Episode 73: Refrigerator Roulette

We couldn’t get Budweiser American Ale so Jim just reached into his fridge and pulled out Brooklyn Pennant Ale, that’s what we talk about this week.

News

We have been talking so much about the one big brewer, Anheuser Busch, that I feel that we are leaving out the other big brewer in the market, MillerCoors. MillerCoors is being sued by a group in regards to their Sparks brand energy beer (products that we have not nor never will cover on YNB). The group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, states that the ingreidents in Sparks, including Caffeine, Taurine, and Guarana should not only not be used in alchohol, but in addition they feel that this product is being marketed to kids. Now, this same group threatened to sue AB if they didn’t take their energy drinks off the market earlier this year, and AB caved in. Analysts are saying that MillerCoors will end up fighting this one tooth and nail however, so stay tuned for the blood bath.

Refrigerator Roulette – Brooklyn Pennant Ale

  • Alright, so we admit that we haven’t come up with a new series yet. We are just not sure what style we want to take on next. On top of that, we had planned to do a show on the American Ale from Budweiser tonight, but I could still not get a hold of it. I am being told that hopefully next week I should be able to get some, but untill that time, we have Refrigerator Roulette.
  • So the rules of the game (which I just made up) are simple. Go into my refrigerator, grab a beer, and that will be the one that we talk about tonight. Now first let me say that my frige is no ordinary frige, I have a bit of selection present, I think 14 different beers in there at last check.
  • The beer that was pulled for the evening is Brooklyns Pennant Ale, out of Brooklyn Brewery, in, you guessed it, Brooklyn, New York.
  • Established in 1987 by Tom Potter and Steve Hindy, this brewery was founded to extend the pairs fascination with home brewing.
  • This weeks beer, Brooklyn Pennant Ale, is named after the 1945 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers. It is described on the website as a honey colored pale ale, close to an traditional english style pale ale.
  • It weighs in at about 5.0% ABV and is made with 3 types of malts and 4 types of hops.
  • One of the great things about Brooklyns website is that they suggest food pairings with the beer. For this one they suggest roasted and grilled meats, robust fish, crab cakes, and spicy food.
  • It pours a nice little bit darker than described, I would go maybe a shade darker than honey, with a slight colored head which seems to disappear in a hurry as well.
  • The smell is more on the sweeter side, some carmel notes there, and just a little bit of bitterness from the hops in the aroma.
  • The taste is a little bit different than the softer smell, with almost a slightly acidic taste, almost crisp apples in the fall. This is a good thing though. There is a little hop bitterness but that really isn’t too strong.
  • This is a really good example of an English Pale Ale, not too strong, not over powering with the hops, and rather well balanced.

Next Week

Another week where we aren’t exactly sure what we are going to do. Another attempt at Budweiser’s new American Ale, but if we can’t get that, it may be back into Jim’s fridge.

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Episode 72: Three Flyod’s Gumballhead – Wait, didn’t we do this one already?

A repeat already, after only seventy-two episodes? Well yes because this is a good beer. We finish up our second wheat beer series the same way we finished up our first, with Gumballhead.

News

Recently 100 college presidents got together and said that the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18. Their argument is that by making drinking legal it would take away some of the appeal and would then in turn curb binge drinking. Now of course this has caused a very large debate.

At Your Next Beer we’ve always been clear, don’t enjoy the beers we talk about and drive, ever. Similarly, if you aren’t twenty-one don’t drink at all.

Three Flyod’s Gumballhead

  • So now wait a minute, didn’t we do this beer already, about a year ago? Actually it was a little more than a year ago, on Episode 12.
  • This beer is only distributed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia , Wisconsin. To you all, I say make some friends in those states.
  • Three Floyds is located in Munster, Indiana and has been open since 1996.
  • One of the things that has changed about this beer in the last year is it now comes in 12 ounce bottles as opposed to a single 22 ounce bottle. I am a big fan of this change because a 12 ounce bottle is a lot easier to finish for one person.
  • The beer weighs in at 4.8% which makes it a good middle of the road beer. A little stronger than your light beers but not as potent as your barley wines.
  • The pour is a hazy gold, maybe a little like straw in color for all you farmers out there. It has a light white head that leaves in a hurry as well.
  • You smell hops right away with this beer, but once you get your nose in there you smell some biscuits as well.
  • The taste is much like the smell, with the hops up front but balanced well by the biscuity wheat and malt.
  • Overall, I think this is too hoppy to be a good wheat beer, but if you’re looking for not a wheat beer, you are in for a treat. If you taste this for what it is, a good lighter drinking beer, with some wheat characteristics, then you should enjoy it.

Next Week

Not sure on direction for next week, if we can get a hold of it, we will be tasting the new American Ale from Budweiser, however if we can’t, who knows!

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Episode 71: Bell’s Oberon – More than just a character in a Shakespeare play

Another American Wheat beer, this week we roll up the coast of Lake Michigan and look at Bell’s Oberon.

News

Ames, Iowa is installing a rubber sidewalk at a spot near the Iowa State University campus. This spot is where beer distributors unload hundreds of kegs for bars in the area. When these loaded kegs hit the ground, they have been damaging the concrete and the keg. City officials have decided to install sidewalk pavers that a California company makes using shredded recycled tires instead of concrete. Because we hear at YNB always are on the leading edge of green technology, the sidewalk is using up about 675 tires that otherwise would end up in a landfill.

Bells Oberon

  • Bell’s Brewery, located in Kalamazoo, Michigain, was originally founded as Kalamazoo Brewing Company in 1983 as a home brewing supply shop by owner Larry Bell.
  • In 1985 they made the jump from store to actual brewery, and today have two facilities, one located at the site of the original store and another a short distance away which is aimed at more heavy production.
  • One of the things about Bell’s, and the major reason we haven’t talked much about it for that matter, is that it isn’t easy to get a hold of. You can only get it in Michigain, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Florida, Virgina, Iowa, and now once again, Illinois. If you aren’t in one of those states…make friends with someone who is!
  • Tonight’s beer, Oberon, is probably one of Bell’s most popular beers, although it is a seasonal beer and typically only available from March thru October
  • Weighing in at around 5.8 percent ABV, this is on the high end of the alcohol scale for an American Wheat.
  • This beer pours with a very nice white head that takes a while to disapate, and while it does it allows some of the aromas out.
  • You have a sweetness from the wheat malt with just a little bit of citrus, sort of orange in aroma, from the hops and a nice yeasty presence as well.
  • The flavor is more of the malt flavor but although the hop presence wasn’t strong in the aroma, it is here in the taste.

Next Week

Next week we are going to be doing a YNB first, we are going to revisit a beer and take another look at it. The lucky beer, Three Flyods Brewing Companies Gumballhead.

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Episode 70: Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat – I gotz beers in different area codes!

Another week another American Wheat Beer. This week it is 312 Urban Wheat from Goose Island Beer Company.

News

Pabst Brewing is bring back the one, the only, Schlitz. It is coming back with the original formula, after introducing a new formula several years ago and getting a “New Coke” kind of reaction. There is a waiting list in some Wisconsin area stores, and they are only allowing set amounts per person. Basically, they are trying to take advantage of the nostalgic beer market that the younger generation is getting into. Well at any rate, look for it in your local stores and bars soon.

American Wheat

When American brewers started to brew these beers, they were worried about the possibility of yeast contamination, so they didn’t like to have more than one strain in the brewery. The German Hefe’s however required that unique strain of yeast that gave the beer its bubblegum, banana, and clove taste.

So American brewers balanced out the lack of taste from the yeast by including more hops and acutally bittering the beer a little bit more, although it still remained a fairly light product.

312 Urban Wheat

  • We have talked more than our fair share about this company on Your Next Beer, so I am not going to go into the history too much. Just remember that it was founded by John Hall in 1988 and has been a big guy on the Chicago brewing scene just about ever since.
  • This weeks beer, the 312 Urban Wheat, is actually named after the 312 area code, which is in the Chicago area. It has one of the more interesting tap handles that I have seen, an old telephone receiver.
  • Weighing in at 4.2% ABV, this beer used to be a seasonal release but has gained so much popularity that it is now a year round release.
  • It pours cloudy and and pale gold, which is what you expect from an unfiltered wheat ale.
  • The aroma is along the lines of a light bready smell, with a little bit of citrus and just a little bit of banana as well.
  • The drinkability of this beer is really high, it has a really light taste that has a little bit of a citrus taste, with a little bit of malt as well. Like I said though, overall, pretty light stuff. Great for a hot summer day.

Next Week

Well next week, if I can get it, we are going to be talking about a wonderful Bell’s Beer, Oberon. As you may remember from last week, this beer is just coming back to the Chicago market, so hopefully Jim will get to taste it again.

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Episode 69: Widmer Hefeweizen – Tilting at Widmers

A new series this week. We’re looking at American Hefeweizens. We looked at Hefeweizens before, but this time we are focusing on American versions. Specifically this show is about Widmer Hefeweizen.

News

Well I must admit that this weeks news story is a bit of a local one for those in Chicago. Bell’s Brewery, out of Kalamazoo, Michigan is coming back to the Chicago market after a two year absence. The rights to distribute Bells was held by one company who sold those rights to a different company. Bells didn’t like that other company, claiming they didn’t do anything to help their beer brand, but could not get out of the sold contract. So, instead they just left town, even though it accounted for 10 percent of their business.

American Wheat

  • Typically speaking, these beers will be a rather pale or light gold in color with a longer than normal lasting head.
  • These will be a lowly hopped beer for the most part and there may be some different malt character from the higher content of wheat present.
  • These beers, following their German cousins are unfiltered for the most part which will give them a nice hazy appearance.

Widmer Hefeweizen

  • This weeks beer comes from a brewery that I don’t think that we have mentioned much on this show, and that is Widmer Brothers out of Portland Oregon.
  • Founded in 1985 by Kurt and Rob Widmer they are considered one of the pioneers in the craft world in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Jim was actually lucky enough just a few months ago to visit the Widmer facility in Oregon and I have to say it is a very nice facility. Not only is it rather new but they are also expanding with new fermentation tanks to increase their output.
  • Tonight’s beer, Widmer Hefeweizen, weighs in at 4.7% ABV, but is not, as the name suggests, a hefeweizen, lacking the yeasty quality’s of true German versions.
  • I beleive that the this beer acutally accounts for around 70 percent of the product sold by Widmer, and is far and away considered their flagship beer.
  • The pour is an orange color, that is quite hazy as well.
  • This beer reminds you it is from the West Coast with it’s hop presence. Although it isn’t there at first, you can taste it on the finish and the bittering stays around for a while.
  • If you are expecting the clove and banana with this, you will be disappointed because it isn’t there.

Next Week

Next week we head to Chicago for one of my favorite lighter beers, 312 Urban Wheat from Goose Island.

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Episode 68: Local Beer 101 – Drinkem if you gottem!

So a different kind of show this week. Instead of talking about a specific beer, we are going to talk a bit about why you should try to find a Kölsch at your local brewery or brew pub.

News

Well for the first time in a while we have a bit of an uplifting news story from the beer world. It comes out of the United Kingdom and the Brysons of Lancaster. Brysons have launched a new beer called ‘Lifesaver’ and for every pint sold, they will make a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The beer at this time is only on sale locally. So, if you are listening to this in the UK, you can go out and have a good beer and feel good about yourself at the same time!

Local Beer

  • Generally speaking, you can find a decent Kölsch at most brewpubs this time of year for several reasons. First off, it is a good refreshing style to make for the summer. It is crisp, but not as harsh as a pilsner can be, and goes well with a lot of summery food.
  • Second, it is an ale, which means that its fermentation time is a lot less than a pilsner. And of course, lower fermentation time means it is out the door quicker and a little cheaper to produce.
  • Now a lot of times this beer may be called something other than a Kölsch, such as a “summertime” beer or even lumped in just a light beer on the menu.
  • I am lucky enough to be able to go to Goose Island and have that as one of my local brewpubs, which is the beer that talked about first in the Kölsch series, summertime ale I think. But there are also a lot of other ones out there, such as Rock Bottom, Ram Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch, and any of a number of local ones.
  • In addition to the local brewpubs, there are also a ton of local breweries that you may be able to get but other people may not be able to. A great website you can use is Beer Mapping. Just enter your region and you are good to go.
  • So all that being said, look for the following things when you are at a local brewery or brewpub in regards to a Kölsch.
  • Look for an Ale, it should be moderate in alcohol, around 4-5% abv, and it should be rather light in color. In addition, it shouldn’t be too hoppy or bitter, instead almost like a light beer but with some flavor. So good hunting, and enjoy it when you find it, and post some comments on your local brew pubs.

Next Week

Next week we move onto another American Wheat beers. Right now we have Widmer Hefeweizen slated, which is widely distributed so you should be able to find it.

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