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
not.

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%

IBU: No IBU

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

Beer Review: Painting with Light (South County Brewing Company)

South County Brewing Company’s Painting with Light DIPA.

Another day calls for another beer review. This time, after a long day’s work (yes, I work Saturday’s, thus why I’m drinking a beer and reviewing beer) as well as some yard work afterwards results in the need for a nice, cold, crisp beer. And today’s beer is Painting with Light, a DIPA (Double India Pale Ale) by South County Brewing Company.

So, since all of my adult duties are done for the day, without further adieu lets move right on to the beer!

Beer: Painting with Light
Brewery: South County Brewing Company
Style: Double IPA
ABV: 8.2%
IBU: (Untappd Lists No IBU)
Hops: Simcoe and Columbus
Notes from Untappd: A Bright and crisp IPA with earthy pine and sweet citrus pulp aroma. Medium body with resinous undertones, citrus fruit and pineapple/mango notes. Brewed with Simcoe and Columbus hops.

Canned: 4.25.19
Consumed: 5.18.19 (Hummelstown PA)

Pours a golden light orange/yellow body very similar to a lighter orange juice. The aroma is immediately mango notes upfront but with a hop-stickyness that for lack of better word (and over-usage) can be described as hop resinous.

The hoppy aroma is a bit surprising given how very little hop bitterness there is to the beer. As you drink it down you get some of the ‘burn’ of the hop but very little and only near the end of the glass (settlement). As far as DIPA’s go, its a very clean, smooth, sippable beer, and easily crushable (reminding me of Nimble Giant in that aspect, where its easily drinkable hiding its 8.2% [in this case, and the 9% of Nimble Giant] until you are onto your second and you begin to feel it – especially at my 155 lb weight).

I definitely recommend tracking this beer down and getting yourself at least one (even better, a four pack) and enjoy, especially on these upcoming hot summer nights.

My Untappd Rating: ****.5

Global Untappd Rating (as by 5.18.19): 4.15

-B. Kline

Beer Review: Scratch 375: Coco-Nator (Troegs Independent Brewing Company)

Scratch 375: Coco-Nator – Troegs Independent Brewing Company

Welcome to the first beer/brew review of The Beer Thrillers. Since this is the first of our beer reviews, we’ll be setting up a bit of a pattern here. We’ll state the name of the beer, the brewing company, the date consumed, then run down things like ABV/IBU, malts, hops, colorings, adjuncts, and other pertinent information in that regard. As well as any backstory or Untapped information on the beer. Then we’ll write up our review of the beer as well as give our rating of it, and the “global” rating of it from Untappd just for reference sake. ‘

Beer: Scratch 375: Coco-Nator

Brewery: Troegs Independent Brewing Company (Hershey)

Style: Double Bock Beer (Bock – Doppelbock)

ABV: 8.2%

IBU: (No IBU Listed)
Color: Bronze

Malts: Chocolate, Munich, Pilsner

Hops: Magnum, German, Northern Brewer

Adjuncts/Additions: Cacao Nibs, Toasted Coconut, Vanilla Beans

Background Infrormation: Early this year, we gave dozens of PA homebrewers a corny keg of Troegenator wort and challenged them to come up with a creative take on our iconic Double Bock. At our first Homebrew Hang a few weeks later, we chose our favorite: Coco-Nator Imperial Brown Ale from Kristen Richards of Harrisburg. We dug her beer so much that we worked with her to scale up the recipe, brewing and canning a Scratch batch of Troegenator conditioned on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and toasted coconut. Here’s to Kristen! (Source: Troegs Facebook page, and Scratch 375 Untappd page).

Consumed: May 16th, 2019 in Hummelstown PA.

After a long day of yard work, mowing, and generally being in the sun, this was just a nice refreshing beer to relax to as the day started drifting into night. Relaxing in my backyard with the fresh cut grass and two books to whittle away some time as I sipped on this brought a nice closure to the day.

Based off Troeg’s staple “Trogenator” this scratch series version is still very reminiscent of it’s original brethren. Coming in at the same 8.2% ABV this will pack a wallup though toned down and more deceptive than the original. (Also noted: the original Trogenator has an IBU listing of 25 whereas this one simply is listed as N/A.)

The concept behind the beer itself is a nice nod and ode to home brewing and National Home Brew Day allowing Kristen Richards to upscale her recipe for a large batch at the Troegs facility. This is a wonderful take on the Trogenator with fantastic flavors and a beautiful beer that might possibly be better than the original, if nothing else, its definitely a worthy brother.

The coconut is subdued in comparison to the vanilla bean and the cocao nibs. The vanilla bean being the most abundant in flavor profile with the cocao nibs coming in second. Whereas the original Trogenator was darker and tasted a bit heavier with the caramel and chocolate notes, this is slightly lighter, and not quite as bitter or overpowering with its flavor profile due to the lighter touches of vanilla bean and coconut.

The aroma is spot on exactly as you imagine, vanilla on the nose with hints of the coconut and an earthy doppelbock background with some of the cocao nibs and the chocolate and munich malts giving it that deep vibe to it.

The mouthfeel is perfect, a bit of a chewyness that is Bock central, but overall light and nothing off or wrong. Not watery, but with enough body to announce that its going to be a good filling and sustaining brew.

Overall, this beer comes wonderfully recommended and should be shortlisted for anyone in the Hershey/Central PA area. Its amazing to think that Troegs is at 375+ for scratch beers (remembering some of their earlier offerings that I got to try around the mid-60s) and this definitely ranks right up there with the best of their scratch beers.

Untappd Ranking: ****

Global Untappd Ranking: 4.05 (As of: 11PM EST 5.17.19)

-B. Kline


The Beer Thrillers

Hello everyone and thank you for checking out this blog. This will be the home blogging site for “The Beer Thrillers” and will contain daily or near daily articles from a group of various beer enthusiasts, home brewers, hop growers, and beer industry workers. Based out of the Harrisburg area of Central PA, you can expect to read blogs on beer reviews, brewery reviews, brewery tours, trip plans, hop growing, home brewing, what its like working in the beer industry (or volunteering in the beer industry), news articles and blogs about the impact of these events, as well as much more. So please bookmark this page and come back often to read up on a whole host of interesting beer topics!

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