Beer Review: Sunburst (Boneshire Brew Works)

Sunburst by Boneshire BrewWorks at the Boneshire Brewery.

Boneshire is about as much of a second home brewery as one comes for a person. I’m there as often as I can, and its an absolutely wonderful atmosphere that is very reminiscent of Cheers, wherein pretty much if you go once or twice, your name is remembered and everyone will know you.

So its only about time I finally get around to reviewing one of their newest offerings (as well as talking about the place a little bit). And this is certainly a fantastic beer to start off with.

Beer Name: Sunburst
Brewery: Boneshire Brew Works
Beer Style: Fruit Beer
ABV: 3.5%
IBU: None
Fruits Used: Tangerine and Grapefruit
Untappd Write-Up: We teamed up with Sara Bozich to bring you the perfect summer crusher! Sunburst is brewed with a healthy dose of Tangerine and Grapefruit and is slightly tart.

So let’s dive into this one, it is tart, but not unpleasantly so, and not “lemon-head” sour. It has a nice summer lemonade style tartness to it that goes perfectly with its low ABV to make it a nice sessionable summer beer.

The aroma is very citrusy, it has great notes of the grapefruit and tangerine with hints of other citrusy fruits like lemon/lime.

The color is a nice light straw, a bit hazy in appearance but also a fair bit transparent. It looks similar to a child’s juice drink of orange or tangerine or nectarine or something similar in that fashion, but not crazily hazy or pulpy.

It’s a perfect summer, grilling, poolside, beachside, easy going, relaxing, only 3.5% ABV beer. A crowler of this and barely an impact on you – other than a good time. This is just a wonderfully delight beer that reminds you of being a kid and enjoying a Capri Sun outside in the sun in the summer, maybe catching fireflies or lighting up a bonfire or grilling. Its refreshing, crisp, tangy, tart, wonderfully clean, and completely delicious.

It was the perfect beer to have after a long day at Hershey Park with my three daughters and while relaxing there at the brewery chatting with a friend and fellow beer enthusiast (thanks for the trade Josh!) while playing a game of CandyLand.

Could drink this all day.

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 3.82 (as of 6.14.19)

-B. Kline

Beer Review: Abbra Collabra 6 Way Banana Split Milkshake IPA (Tattered Flag)

Another of the Abbra Collabra series by Tattered Flag and their friends.

Planned a quick stop at the Tattered Flag brewery to pick up my four pack of the “Custardy” (beer review soon coming), and lo and behold I found this on draft. Having wanted to try this, and unfortunately not getting to try it in cans I had to settle for it on draft (due note: “settle” is being used facetiously).

Tattered Flag has teamed up with several local (Central PA local) breweries to produce quite a few Abbra Collabra’s. Some of these breweries include: Wolf Brewing Co, Collusion Tap Works, Snitz Creek, Pilger Ruh Brewing, Abomination Brewing Company, Rotunda Brewing Company, as well as a brewery out in Denver Colorado.

This time they teamed up again with Wolf Brewing, as well as Pilger Ruh Brewing, Snitz Creek, Rotunda, and Abomination to release a six-way Abbra Collabra that was sold in cans and on draft at all of their locations (Wolf Brewing Company will soon have their own taproom/brewery, Abomination Brewing is a contact brewer, and Pilger Ruh Brewing is currently in the “soon to be” phase).

All six of these breweries are top notch, and many of which have won awards. Derek Wolf with Wolf Brewing Company has won a homebrewing award in all 50 states, Tattered Flag along with Pilger Ruh Brewing won for their “Should Have Put Him in Custardy” at the Schuylkill Brewfest. Likewise Rotunda, Snitz Creek, and Abomination has gotten numerous recommendations and consistently does well with ratings on Untappd and other services.

And this beer definitely deserves the praise as well. So lets break it down:

Beer Name: Abbra Collabra 6 Way Banana Split Milkshake IPA
Beer Style: IPA – Milkshake
ABV: 7.6%
Untappd Write-Up: 6 way collaboration between Tattered Flag, Pilger Ruh, Abomination, Rotunda, Snitz Creek and Wolf Brewing Co with chocolate, strawberry, banana, vanilla and lactose!

This is certainly a full bodied Milkshake IPA. Distinctive look, appearance, and smoothness from the lactose. The head retains perfectly and the look and styling is spot on for a Milkshake IPA.

The aroma is banana right up front and instantly noticeable. You get the hints of vanilla and strawberry, not much of a chocolate aroma to go with it however, but you do get the faint hints of the strawberry and vanilla that balance out the banana smell and makes it smell like an ice cream parlor’s banana split.

At the very first sip you are blasted with a mouthful of the banana, vanilla, and lactose. Its smooth, its rich, and its full of banana and cream. As you sip and drain this delicious brew you start getting the notes of strawberry that pick up a bit. There is a slight, subtle, muted chocolate that is extremely faint, faint enough to be barely there. The problem with chocolate tends to be if its too strong in a beer, it overpowers most other flavors (coffee is the same way in beer), so I can understand the slight usage of the chocolate and the slight taste for it, if its too much, it’d probably overpower the banana and strawberry. Just the nature of the beast on that one.

I enjoyed this delicious tasty drink at the lower bar at Tattered Flag’s brewery, getting to spend my time chatting with Dave (head brewer) and picking up my four pack of “Should Have Put Him in Custardy” before starting my day at Hershey Park with the family. A nice way to spend fifteen minutes at lunchtime and the Tattered Flag brewery is always such a great venue and place to relax and enjoy a brew.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.94 (as of 6.14.19)

-B. Kline

Multiple Beer Review – Brewery Flight (Troegs) – Beers – Scratch #379 – Krausened Keller Pilsner, Scratch #378 – DIPA, Scratch #377 – Oat IPA, and Scratch #376 – Passionfruit & Guava Tart Ale

A flight of the latest scratch beers at Troegs. Scratches 379, 378, 376, and 377 (in order of left to right).

So this is going to be a bit different than my normal beer reviews, because this is a “mutli-beer review” (four for the price of 1!). Since I’m doing them only as tasters rather than as full drafts, I figure instead of doing a separate beer review for each would be a bit superfluous and decided to do it as one conglomerate post. Plus this also lets me go a bit into the detail of beer flights at breweries and how they are different at different places, and even how Troegs themselves recently changed their beer flights.

Firstly, lets go into beer flights at breweries (and some bars do them as well) in general. Typically a flight is either one you create yourself or made up by the brewery of anywhere from 3-5 (though some do much larger ones of six or even ten – Spring House and Hop River Bend do very big flights), and they are typically pours of 4oz or 5oz depending on flight size, cost, etc. Some breweries do a “choose” your own flight, where you pick X number from their tap, and some do a “here’s our flight”. Likewise some do a general price for their flight and some do a “by beer” flight cost (ie. if you pick more stouts, your flight will likely be more expensive than if you picked four hefes).

Troegs Brewery (Hershey Pennsylvania, just down the road from HersheyPark) offers two choices – a pre-set “regular” flight and a “build your own”. The pre-set “regulars” is their mainstays, Perpetual, Troegenator, When in Doubt, HopBack Amber Ale, and their current Hop Cycle beer (this time of year that is now Field Study). And this varies throughout the season with the stout being added in and with some other changes here and there.

As for Troegs ‘build your flight’, this has changed. And twice very recently. So for seemingly forever (up until about 2-3 months ago) it was 3 beers of your choice on their draft menu (no bottled beers, so none of their foeder release beers like Blackberry Tizzy, Farmette, Freaky Peach, etc.) and it came in 5oz pours in their sample glasses. 6$ for the flight. This could include everything from their mainstays (like Perpetual, Troegenator, etc.) to their scratch system (they typically release a new scratch beer as a one-off each Thursday). I liked to make a stop out at to Troegs about every two-three weeks and do a flight of their scratches that I haven’t had yet, and any new releases they have done (like when Lollihop, Field Study, Golden Thing, etc get released), and for 6$ (+2$ tip minimum) you couldn’t beat that. Was great for a little noon-lunch-time stop while kiddos were in school or while running errands.

About two months ago they changed it to now make it a flight of 4 beers, same policy (pre-set or build your own) but the cost now being 8$ rather than the 6$ (understandable increase). 2$ a pour is pretty standard for most flights, and very reasonable when you have a full list of choices of various styles and with their scratch system and their mainstays there is definitely a lot of choices there.

So when I came in this time after a morning full of errands (DMV, car garage, Giant, and the Hershey Library) I did my usual and got a flight of the four latest scratches (all of which were new to me). The board still stated the new policy of “Chose Your Flight – Our Regulars or Build Your Own Flight, 8$”. So I built my own, and did my typical, and got the four scratches listed herein.

Well, their policy has once more changed, to what many other breweries do, which is “unlimited flight” but its price-adjusted. 2$ for the standard, plus a slight cent increase depending on style. So instead of the 8$ for my flight, it came out to be 11.25$ for the four. Which broke down to 2.75$ x3 and the last beer being 3$. Not terribly bad at all and nothing to be alarmed about (just something to be aware of, especially since there was no price listings, in case you are heading to Troegs soon). (Hopefully with the change to their flight policy they will start listing the prices per oz style pourings so people can be aware of this ahead of pay-out). Still 11.25$ isn’t bad for four brand new beers, so I was ready to dive in.

The scratch system at Troegs can be hit or miss. Its their small barrel system that they use to experiment on and try out new styles, techniques, whirlpooling, hop cycling, etc, to try and get new ideas, and and just in general advance their knowledge of brewing. Its been through this that we’ve gotten beers like Nimble Giant, Blizzard of Hops, Lollihop, and Golden Thing (as well as many many many over the past years, like Naked Elf, etc.). Nimble Giant itself was many various scratch beers that they honed in and dialed in til they got it to just how they wanted it, and then released as the big bad summer monster itself Nimble Giant.

So as you can see the scratch system has been a big boon for Troegs and especially with their larger facility in Hershey and with time and years of practice they have gotten some great results out of it. And its also a great way for people in the area to consistently try new beers from Troegs despite Troegs being everywhere in the market.

So starting off with this picture and working my way left to right like a book, I have Scratch #379, Scratch #378, Scratch #376, and finally Scratch #377. I will break each of these down and do a bit of a mini-beer review for each.

(The styles above in order are – Pilsner, DIPA, Gose, DIPA.)

Scratch #379 – Krausened Keller Pilsner

Beer Style: Pilsner – German (Open)

ABV: 4.9%
IBU: None
Untappd Write-Up: The delicate profile of a good pilsner leaves nowhere to hide. For Scratch #379, hot-steep tests with four grains pointed us to a pilsen malt that struck the right balance between earthy straw notes and a clean finish. One pound per barrel of Saaz, the quintessential Noble Hop, adds a delicate herbal layer. Finally, we krausened this beer, adding wort and fresh yeast as it finished up fermentation to create a soft, bready mouthfeel. When every ingredient comes through just-so, it’s pilsner perfection.
We taste: flowering herbs, fruity esters, earthy straw.

I will be honest with this, Pilsner is typically not my style. I’ll drink them and can enjoy and appreciate them, but rarely do I reach for them. In that vein, if I’m having something I’ll grab a good well produced lager (the 717 Lager this year was very good) rather than a Pilsner.

Troegs has been experimenting a bit heavily with these Krausened style beers. I believe this is their third rendition of it on their scratch system and it seems like their dialing it in and trying to perfect it for a possible full-fledged beer.

Luckily I got the ‘worst’ of the flight out of the way first. And by ‘worst’ I don’t mean its a horrible beer, just out of these four, it comes in last. Its not a horrible beer by any means, but it is completely non-interesting and frankly boring. Its light, watery, and dull, without much flavor. Maybe not bad as a palate cleanser between beers, or maybe pilsner fans will enjoy the flavor more, but for me it didn’t have the crisp and the pop of a pilsner or lager and it tasted very light and without flavor. Typically there is an earthy, sometimes bready, flavor to most pilsners or lagers, and this is definitely lacking in both of those flavors.

My Untappd rating: ***
Global Untappd Rating: 3.86 (as of 6.13.19)

Scratch #378 – DIPA (Peach and Apricot)

Beer Style: Double Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.5%
IBU: None listed
Hops: Lotus, El Dorado, Azacca
Untappd Write-Up: We’re hot on the heels of a new Double IPA. An oat-dominated malt bill gives this beer a super-soft mouthfeel, and it’s loaded with 25 pounds per barrel of fuzzy peaches and apricots. A hop combo of Lotus, El Dorado and Azacca complements the stone fruit with notes of orange rind and pear, and a fruit-forward yeast pulls in flavors reminiscent of gummy peach rings.
We taste: juicy peach, orange rind, brown sugar

This is a wonderfully delicious brew. This is very fruity, very in your face juicy, and just wonderfully delicious. The ABV is completely hidden (a noticeable trend in Troegs DIPAs) and there is no boozyness, no hop bitterness, nothing but clean hazy juice IPA. Probably could be considered a NEIPA but Troegs doesn’t like to label their beers that way.

The appearance is a beautiful orange golden hue and the smell is phenomenal. Straight peach with the hint of apricot and slight hoppy smell backbone to it. The mouthfeel is soft and wonderful and this is just a delightful beer all around.

My Untappd Rating: ***.75/****
Global Untappd rating: 3.83 (as of 6.13.19)

Scratch 376 – Passionfruit & Guava Tart Ale

Beer Style: Sour – Gose
ABV: 5.35
IBU: None
Untappd Write-up: This week’s small-batch Scratch release was born at the crossroads of a few styles and ingredients we’ve been diving into lately. Hornindal Kviek yeast (you might remember it from our recent Brut IPAs) ferments hot and lays down a base of dank pineapple and fruity esters. On top of that, we took a page from our Tart & Fruit Series and loaded this beer up with fruit – in this case passionfruit and guava.
We taste: a tart cross between strawberries and pears, pineapple, passionfruit

A nice change of pace from the last DIPA and the pilsner before it, though just as fruity and tasty at the juicy DIPA. Despite the description I didn’t really get any strawberry or pineapple flavors but the passionfruit definitely came through big time with the guava added a nice effect to it.

The kveik yeast gives it the tart flavor, a good puckering and adds some distinguishable notes for those who have had kveik yeast before that makes it pretty easily apparent.

This has a beautiful coloring just like the peach/apricot DIPA, a nice golden straw with the hazyness and juicy look that the fruits give off. The aroma is also a a powerful fruity punch of passionfruit and a host of other floral fruity smells (notably pear and guava).

A nice lingering aftertaste that lets the fruit flavors cling to your tongue.

My Untappd Rating: ****
Global Untappd Rating: 3.95 (as of 6.13.19)

Scratch 377 – Oat IPA
Last but not least, we get to the Scratch 377 Oat IPA, which they’ve done some cans of but I’m just getting the small taster. This is a juicy DIPA that some could peg down as a NEIPA though Troegs is pretty adamant about not using that naming style.

Beer Style: IPA – Imperial Double
ABV: 8.2%
IBU: None Listed
Hops: El Dorado, Citra, Mosaic
Untappd Write-Up:
With a malt bill dominated by oats and unmalted wheat, Scratch #377 has a soft, rich mouthfeel, laying a canvas that lets the hops shine. A combination of El Dorado, Citra and Mosaic gives us resiny mango, grapefruit and passionfruit notes, and a new-to-us yeast adds juicy notes of peach.

We taste: passionfruit, stone fruit, peach, pine

This is definitely the best of the four pack sampling I did. This is a bright, powerful, juicy, gorgeous looking beer. With a first sip you are instantly enjoying and falling in love with it and wanting much more of it. I can see why they decided to can this, and they have done several other versions of this in their scratch series, so here’s hoping they decide to turn this into a staple beer.

The coloring is a wonderful hazy juicy golden straw beer. Very reminiscent of Tree House or other hazy creations from up north. The aroma is likewise a wonderful blend of hop smells with a bit of pine notes and very heavy mango.

First sip you can get the juicyness of the hops with no true hop bitterness, a burst of mango and passionfruit notes with the right balancing of the malt to give it a very heavy mouthfeel that just feels right.

This is definitely one of their better offerings in quite some time, and a wonderful beer all around. They’ve gone through a couple iterations of these Oat IPAs and most have been hazy. Similar to their krausened ones that they’ve been doing, they’ve been pumping out a new Oat IPA seemingly once per 3 weeks or so on their scratch system, and most have been very good, but this is probably their best version so far.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.98 (as of 6.13.19)

If you can ever get into the Hershey area, I highly recommend stopping in at Troegs, its a lovely facility, both inside and out. (I sat out in their new-ish beer garden area to relax in peace to drink mine while reading). They have a wonderful kitchen (both upstairs and downstairs) and a top-notch brewery tour. Definitely a must stop if you are in the Hershey area.

Until next time everyone, cheers!

-B. Kline

Beer Review – LazerSnake (Three Floyds Brewing Company)

LazerSnake by 3 Floyds Brewing.

What do you do after a long day at work where you do a massive give-away that brings in hundreds of people looking to score a Harley Davidson motorcycle? …..I think we all know the obvious answer to that rhetorical question.

LazerSnake is a regular beer from Three Floyds (or 3 Floyds) that has finally started making its way into South Central PA. Its not the highly sought after beers from 3FB like ZombieDust or Alpha Station Middle Finger or obviously Dark Lord but this is a nice staple and “regular” beer to be gotten in six-packs.

So, what we got here is:

Beer: LazerSnake
Brewery: Three Floyds Brewing Company
Style: IPA – American (West Coast IPA)
ABV: 7%
IBU: 55
Untappd Write-Up: LazerSnake is a good old fashioned Indiana Pale Ale. Brewed with Special Bavarian hops that give LazerSnake it’s smooth non-filtered appeal to all craft beer and macro enthusiasts.

This is a perfectly fine beer and like the description reads, it’ll easily appeal to craft brew fans as well as your ‘macro enthusiasts’ (nice way to say “Bud Lite Drinkers” or “typical America”). [Though I like to think “typical America” is becoming more craft beer centered, I don’t truly think thats the case……..yet.]

The coloring is a lovely light golden straw with a slightly dense but still relatively clear view through it (it is listed as unfiltered so the denser appearance makes some sense). The carbonation and bubbling is reminiscent of champagne to some degree, bubbling well after the entire bottle was poured. The head retention was spot on with a wonderful fluffy thick foamy head to it.

Aromatically it has a wonderfully full hoppy smell more on the earthy, grassy, pine narrative. No true notes of anything but the pure hops coming out which just makes this a pure hoppy joy.

The taste is completely as one expects, an earthy, grass, pine resin hop forward west coast style IPA. Bitter but well balanced. A perfectly fine mouthfeel if anything running a bit thin but not to the point to be a problem. It has a lightness to the body and an easy taste to it, not quite as heavy on the bitterness as some similar IBU and ABV IPAs (like Troeg’s Perpetual for example) but it has enough of the hop bittering bite to give it that ‘hop pow’ in your mouth, making it a wonderful grilling beer with burgers and hot dogs on a nice warm summer night.

A wonderful six-pack beer for you and a buddy to kill at a grilling cook-off over summer, a nice relaxing refreshing beer to pound down three over the course of an evening.

And as always with Three Floyds, lets take a moment to say how incredible that label artwork is. Just like their others (ZombieDust, Dark Lord in particular), this is a fantastic bottle label and just fun to look at while sipping on the beer.

My Untappd Rating: ***.5
Global Rating: 3.96 (as of 6.9.19)


Beer Review: Baby Genius (Bissell Brothers Brewing Company)

Newly arrived to Breski’s Beverage today (6.3.19) Bissell Brother’s “Baby Genius” Session.

Got a notice from my local beer trading, muling, etc., Facebook group around 4-5PM that Breski’s Beverage was getting Bissell Brother’s in. Two can limit. So I definitely had to make a stop after work, no doubts about it. Bissell Brothers is one of those “sought after” breweries, and not one readily available in the South Central PA area.

Got there, grabbed my two cans from their walk-in cooler (where they keep all of their NEIPAs and a lot of their IPAs and beers), paid the 10.58$ (tax included) and left. Definitely can’t complain about two cold high-end brewery beers in an area that doesn’t see them for only 10.58$ (16oz cans).

So let’s dive into this beauty and see what we got here:

Beer: Baby Genius

Brewery: Bissell Brothers Brewing Company

Style: Blonde Ale

ABV: 4%

IBU: None Listed

Hops: Citra, Ella, Topaz

Untappd Write-Up: A hoppy, hazy blonde ale. Brewed with Citra, Ella, and Topaz hops.

Eclectic and Crushable

I’ve seen this listed as a “blonde ale”, a “session blonde ale”, and a “session NE Pale Ale”. The Untappd and their page list it just as a blonde ale and point out its lower ABV and its easy drinking and “crushable”-ness. And it definitely has easy drinking and crushableness in spades. Could easily pound more than the 2 allotment of these in a sitting, could see myself downing near a case while watching a baseball game, hanging out for a picnic, or a long mow-day.

Pouring this out it looks like a beauty in the glass. Light straw coloring with a bit of hazyness to it, cloudy, but still looks like a great beer. Head retention is strong and staying and no noticeable floaters or particulates.

The aroma is similar to most blondes and hefe’s. A light smell of hops but no noticeable hop overtly notes as you smell in.

For a light 4% there is no loss of flavor and fear not it is every bit as good and tasty as a higher ABV beer can be. The missing % won’t be missed and is actually nice to be able to drink 3 or more of these without getting the slightest buzz.

As typical of ‘hazy’ style beers (even if their not called NEIPA or New England style) it comes with a very soft juice taste. Soft, refreshing, but also crisp and clean, its smooth and easily drinkable and like I said above without the high ABV there’s really no buzz so no problem crushing these.

There is no hop bitterness and aftertaste or burn to this, the hops are softened, cushioned, its foamy and relaxing and not a typical ‘beer’ taste for those who don’t like the hop or “beer” taste.

It has some lemony notes but overall it steers clear of typical hop fruit or citrus notes, the lemony notes are about as close to citrus as this comes. Its not dry or sour or tart either as one would expect with lemony flavors in a beer either.

This is completely one to buy a case of, sit out on the back porch and spend the day chatting with friends, or relaxing and reading a good book (I’m personally currently reading Aldous Huxley’s ‘The Divine Within’) or watching a baseball game or getting all of your yard work and mowing done. Cheers and enjoy!

My Untappd Rating: ****.25

Global Untappd Rating: **** (As of 6.3.19)

-B. Kline

Beer Review: Cinnamon Toast Brunch (Collusion Tap Works)

Cinnamon Toast Brunch, a 10% cream ale, on tap at Warwick Hotel and Restaurant

While the kids are in school, getting to sneak off and meet your buddy at a local craft beer bar is a wonderful way to spend an hour of the middle of your day. (One of the few perks of having Thursday/Friday off is that the kids are in school during most of your day off).

The Warwick Hotel and Restaurant is a staple in Hummelstown and predates the town’s founding. Their claim of fame, and one that is echoed in many taverns/pubs/hotels throughout the Pennsylvania area, is that George Washington once stayed the night there. (No idea on the veracity of this, but we’ll go with it).

The Warwick typically has a terrific craft beer lineup and listing though it has diminished a bit in recent months (year), its still going to have a typically great list with local breweries well represented (usually has Boneshire, Troegs, Tattered Flag, Collusion, and other locals on tap). There is also a bottle and can selection (though not listed as they used to be).

So while meeting my friend at the bar and discussing Chernobyl (the show and the incident) as well as much other pop cultural current events (like the abomination that was Season 8 of Game of Thrones, and most likely the inevitable let-down of Episode 9 – The Rise of Skywalker) I grabbed myself a draft of Collusion’s “Cinnamon Toast Brunch”.

Beer: Cinnamon Toast Brunch

Brewery: Collusion Tap Works

Style: Cream Ale

ABV: 10%

IBU: 34

Untappd Write-Up: Imperial Cream Ale brewed with Lactose sugar, Vietnamese Cinnamon and Vanilla conditioned on Green Bean Coffee Beans, Madagascar Vanilla beans and Vietnamese Cinnamon.

Cream ales are always an interesting style to try, their smooth (typically), and have a nice easy flowing taste, something perfect for spring and summer. (Think the old Genny’s Cream Ales). Usually crushable and lower ABV though craft breweries are now pumping out some high-end cream ales with higher ABVs and on the ‘decadent’ side of things. This is one such beer.

The aroma is like opening a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Immediately noticeable cinnamon notes and perfectly captures the aroma, sense, and nostalgia of the cereal.

The taste is very heavy cinnamon, maybe a bit too much, but not too too much. It tastes like the cereal, but there is a fair bit more to it than just the cereal. I think this is where the lactose and the vanilla comes in, it lends it that smoothness and creamyness of a cream ale, but at the same time changing how the cinnamon toast crunch cereal taste of the beer goes. It makes it complex and a swirl of different tastes that are altogether interesting and different. There is a multitude of differing notes to just the cereal, and I contribute that to the conditioning on the coffee bean and the Vietnamese cinnamon.

All in all definitely worth giving it a try. The ABV doesn’t wallop you as much you think a 10% would, and the taste is very complex, interesting, and a great nostalgia to the cereal you probably ate bowlful after bowlful of when you were a kid. Likewise give The Warwick a try for a good tap list, great bartenders, and a really good food menu.

My Untappd Rating: ***.75

Global Untappd Rating: 3.97 (as of 5.31.19)

Beer Review: Sundrifter (South County Brewing Company)

Sundrifter, a terrific beer to relax while procrastinating and NOT mowing.

Another weekend in May means another chance to mow… or to try and put off mowing until you absolutely have to, which is just as wise. Even wiser when you have a fantastic beer to drink and sip and read rather than do that sweat inducing mowing!

And today’s beer for the task of procrastination is “Sundrifter” by South County Brewing Company. An absolutely fantastic and refreshing IIPA New England that is pure deliciousness.

So let’s dive into this fantastic beer!

Name: Sundrifter

Brewery: South County Brewing Company

Style: Double Imperial New England IPA

ABV: 8%

IBU: 15

Untappd Write-up: A soft bright New England double IPA, brewed with Pilsner malt, wheat and oats. Pacific Northwest and German hops. We get notes of light pineapple, white peach, white gummy bear, pear and a hint of white wine.

Canned Date: 4.9.19 (Consumed: 5.30.19)

The coloring is a light straw yellow, not incredibly hazy for a New England IPA but a soft see-through-able light yellow. It has a terrific head to it that stays and doesn’t go away.

The aroma is a sweet pineapple and peach with the smell of a brewery in process. That distinct muted hop smell blended in with the fruity aromatic notes. Its distinctive to anyone whose ever stepped foot in a working brewery, the smell of the malts and oats and the hops all blended into a perfect smell lingering in the air. Like at a bakery or a deli that just simple perfect smell.

As soon as you take a sip of it you realize how crisp and refreshing and simple the beer is. Its light, seemingly too light for a 8% DIPA, but that it definitely is. The hops lend a very mellow pineapple, peach, and mango flavor that is smooth and has zero bitterness. A creamy smoothness from the malt-oats that lends it the crisp and clear and easy drinking beer. Add this to the column of easily deceptive “crushable” 8%+ IPA/IIPA’s.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25

Global Untappd Rating: 4.14 (as of 5.30.19)

-B. Kline

Beer Review: Black & Blue Tastee (The Veil Brewing Co.)

We all have that one beer we find in the back of the fridge from months ago… and we all know we can’t let it go to waste, so we drink it, and sometimes we end up pleasantly surprised, and other times

Looking in my fridge after a long day of work on Memorial Day while everyone else was out picnicking and enjoying a beautiful sunny day, I was thrown all over the world in the casino working numerous different games, getting yelled at by numerous different types of guests, and just needing something to drink, like a usual night after work. This time instead of grabbing something new and familiar from the front of the beer fridge I decided to see what all might be lurking in the back of the fridge, and to my surprise, I found this.

I had traded/bought a four pack of this straight from The Veil Brewing Company over a year ago (according to my stats, my first time having it was on 2.23.18, and this is currently now 5.24.19). So this is definitely going into the “science experiment” beer drinking category. And have no fears as a review, this is going to be based on the beer when I had it the original time with my original notes on it, as well as how it is *NOW*.

Black and Blue Tastee from 2.23.18, in comparison to the above taken on 5.24.19

These were gushers when first released. Meant to be drank pretty much the day of. And even then there typically was still fermentation in the can and a release when poured the day of/after/soon-after.

The first time I had this, I had it 3 days after its canning release, and the fermentation in can wasn’t too extensive, and I had kept it cold (after receiving it cold) so as not to let it warm and allow the yeast to do more work inside the can. Even still, there was a bit of foaming and loss, but nothing horrific and nothing more than a good sip’s worth.

So diving into the beer, we have:

Beer: Black & Blue Tastee

Brewery: The Veil Brewing Co.

Style: Sour – Ale

ABV: 5.5%


Untappd Write-Up: Tastees are kettle sour ales clocking in at 5.5%. We add a ton of lactose to these and brew them intentionally to be fuller bodied to try and replicate a fruit smoothie. We then select two different fruits and bomb them out in secondary fermentation at just shy of double fruited goses levels of fruit. For the third fruit blend in this series, we decided to use Blackberry and Blueberry. This one is literally like an adult fruit smoothie.Tastes like grandma’s blueberry pie filling with some acidity to it.

If replicating a smoothie was the goal, it was accomplished with 100% accuracy. For those who do that dreaded “work out” stuff and drink smoothies and all kind of muscle-building and dieting concoctions that require blenders can attest to, this is exactly what the pour looked like right out of the can after the foaming settled. Likewise, that’s how it tasted, a sour version of a blackberry and blueberry fruit smoothie with just a hint of alcohol in it, enough to give you the slightest buzz after a full-drink.

For those with lactose intolerance (your gracious reviewer included) this is definitely loaded with lactose and will result in the ‘results’ therein. The sour of the beer is never complete full on pucksucker but it definitely has that sour flavor and the slight bitterness to it that comes with the kettle souring process.

The true hero of the beer though is the blackberry and blueberry base. They are a perfect combination, especially for a sour, and even moreso for one that is to be an “adult smoothie”. Always been a huge fan of blackberry and blueberry flavors, in beer, in food, in pretty much everything, and the two work so well together. Especially with the slight acidity of the kettle souring that really brings out the flavors of the two berries.

So, now onto the “science experiment” portion of drinking a beer 1+ year old that was potentially a “fermentation bomb” only a week old. …Well, it definitely continued stayed that way. It obviously hit some point where it stopped fermenting, and being left cold in a fridge for this entire time it never got to the true temperatures needed to really make the yeast do what it does, but it was much more of a ‘bomb’ than when I originally had the first three. I would say roughly 45-55% of the beer was lost to foam and carbonation and overflowing issues (thus why I opened it in the backyard and far away from anything I didn’t want stained purplish).

As for the aroma and colorization and other visuals it held the same as it did in it’s release.

The taste was still spot on to what I remembered, though more sour now with the year on it, and more acidic. It went from being tart to full sour and pucksucker, but no bad aftertaste that “older” beers sometimes get.

The year of sitting in the fridge didn’t harm it or really make it worse and it was still pretty much the same beer as I originally had a year plus ago.

My Untappd rating: ****.75

Global Untappd rating: 4.3 (as of 5.27.19)

-B. Kline

Beer Review: You Hoppin On Me? (Tattered Flag)

You Hoppin On Me? Canned Yesterday (5.23.19) by yours truly, and released today (5.24.19) by Tattered Flag.

So its been one week since I started the blog, and this will be the fourth beer review. And with a week of the blog, also comes another mowing, weekend of yard work and general house maintenance and a (not) relaxing evening enjoying a beer. For today’s beer review, I decided to do a brand new release (released today, canned yesterday), a beer I helped can and another beer from Tattered Flag (my second review of their beer).

You Hoppin On Me? is a brand new beer from Tattered Flag, both brand new recipe, and brand new release. Its a New England style hazy beer and it definitely delivers on the haze and the juice. So let’s get drinking and reviewing.

Beer: You Hoppin On Me?
Brewery: Tattered Flag

Style: IPA – Imperial / Double New England

ABV: 8.2%

IBU: (None Listed)

Hops: Amarillo, Citra, and Centennial.

Untappd Description: Hopped with 5lbs of hops per barrel. Amarillo, Citra and Centennial hops.

This is a fresh and very juicy beer. Green a bit due to how freshly canned it was, but that is not a hindrance or problem with it at all. Adds the hop bitterness that once it mellows a bit (give it a week) won’t be noticeable, and none of this is a bad thing (on either end).

The coloring is a beautiful orange (practically looks like Orange Juice in your glass). The head is perfect with great retention and great carbonation for the beer. Its hazy and impossible to see through and just looks absolutely beautiful.

I got to enjoy a few of these while canning yesterday, and the taste is still the same today being poured into a glass. Its extremely aromatic with a wonderful hoppy smell, the Citra and Centennial shine through the most, the Citra lending it a very fruity grapefruit and mango smell and taste, the Centennial giving it a more pungent floral smell and flavor with a wee bit of a lemony taste. The Amarillo hops gives it a boost to the fruity mango, grapefruit, and lemon. There’s a bit of an orange taste to it, but muted in comparison to the more powerful fruity notes of mango. The orange probably comes from the Amarillo and is most likely the less used of the three hops, or at least the less powerful coming through of the three.

The beer is smooth, crisp, refreshing, and easy to drink. The mouthfeel and body are both consistent and fine. There is no annoying tastes, odors, or odd aftertastes. The 8.2% is not noticeable and after a few could easily creep up on you. This will be a fantastic back porch crushable beer for sipping and enjoying a nice relaxing summer day. Perfect for Memorial Weekend.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25

Global Untappd Rating: (Too soon, not enough ratings/reviews for it to be given a global scale yet.) [As of 8PM 5.24.19]

-B. Kline

Beer Review: Boulangerie Stout – Imperial Churro (Tattered Flag)

Boulangerie Stout – Imperial Churro by Tattered Flag (in collaboration with Wolf Brewing Co.) (Bonus points for Leela photo-bombing.)

The start to any weekend (and yes, my weekend begins Wednesday night, with my days off being Thursday-Friday) requires a relaxing fantastic beer to enjoy, and something strong to remove all lingering reminders of work…. and I picked a wonderful one to do it with.

This is not a new beer for me (or even a new beer period) by any stretch. And I’ll be upfront on this, I helped Tattered Flag (and Derek Wolf of Wolf Brewing Co) to can it. We canned it on 1.17.19, so roughly four months ago. But obviously, as a stout, that’s no problem, especially kept cool in my fridge from the time it came home. (And according to Untappd, I’ve checked into this now 15 times, so I’d say I’m a bit familiar with the beer).

So, in essence, a big, strong, tasty, dark beer to relax to while reading is the perfect start to any weekend. And yes, its always stout season, no matter the temperature, don’t let the haters fool you.

So lets get right into this big boozy beer:

Name: Boulangerie Stout – Imperial Churro

Brewery: Tattered Flag (collaboration with Wolf Brewing Co.)

Style: Imperial Stout: Milk/Sweet Stout
ABV: 11.2%

IBU: None

Untappd Description: Straight from Latin American churrerias to your glass – via our friends at Costco – Tattered Flag and Wolf Brewing Company bring you Boulangerie Imperial Churro Stout. Brewed with whole churros, then conditioned on ceylon cinnamon and the finest vanilla beans, this is truly pastry in a glass. Todo el mundo debería creer en algo. Yo creo que debemos tomar otra cerveza. Salud!

So, the first notes of this are immediately boozy, warm, and strong. As it warms up it mellows out a bit, but the first impression will be sweet, strong, and boozy, and very tasty.

As you delve into the beer, the vanilla and the cinnamon takes a bit more prominence, especially as the beer warms up in your glass. There is a nice sugary taste and feel to it (afterall it is a pastry stout), but its not cloying, or over sweet, or over powering, it seems to be just right on.

The churro is a nice backbone to this sweet, boozy beer, providing it with the thick mouthfeel and much of the aroma. The vanilla lends it that sweetness that makes it very delicious, and the cinnamon provides just the right spice to keep it interesting to the last sip.

My Untappd Rating: ****.25

Global Untappd Rating: 4.05 (as of May 22nd, 2019)

  • B. Kline
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