Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beers #116-122: An Afternoon in the Burgh

To celebrate the end of classes for yet another academic year, I dropped the boy off at my parents and headed to Pittsburgh for a few hours of alone time (sort of).  Drove down through Butler to check out the locations for two new upcoming brewpubs in town (Butler Brew Works and Reclamation Brewing Co.) - a block away from each other!  That's going to be interesting in such a small town, but it works in other places, so I can only hope it'll work out for both of these places in the coming years.

Picked up my brother and headed to Piper's Pub for lunch. Tried their chips & curry appetizer (spicy but not overwhelming) and got my favorite dinner - lamb & smoked chestnut shepherds pie.  With that I enjoyed a couple of draughts of specialty beers crafted for PCBW.

116/365: Penn Fakin' The Funk:
Light woody tart nose and not much else. Coppery amber clear with lacing head. Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Watery tart with mild woody notes and medium acidity. Dry nutty finish with dry after.  Sour Red/Brown  56/100

117/365: Full Pint None More Black IPA:
Roasty and hoppy, like a toasted Band-Aid. Sweet and a bit smoky. Light hoppy notes. Dark black opaque with thin tan lacing head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Carbonic tang with roasted coffee and chocolate. Light Band-Aid and big big hop bitterness. Finishes roasted and bitter with big last hop bitterness. Lingering dark chocolate sweetness in the after.  Black IPA  68/100

After dropping my brother off at his place, I ran some errands and did some shopping before heading over to New Kensington to the House of 1000 Beers.  I love this place, and the $3 6-oz pours allows one to try a bunch of stuff without getting overwhelmed.  (Here is their current tap list)

118/365: Draai Laag Goedenacht:
Light sweet tripel aroma, yeast and esters, mild bubblegum and honey. Light golden clear with thin white lacing head. Medium body with light-medium carbonation. Starts and stays sweet with light bubblegum, yeasty notes, and a hint of honey-sugar tang. Notes of cherry wood in the finish, with sweet after. Mild warming. Nice ale, fruity.  Belgian Ale  72/100

119/365: Voodoo Redneck Riviera Red:
Fresh grassy-spicy hop aroma, wonderfully aromatic. Just a hint of caramel sweetness. Deep coppery amber clear with some haze, topped with large foamy off-white head. Medium body with medium-soft carbonation. Starts rich with lots of caramel, big fresh bitter spicy hop character and light grainy notes. Finish is bitter and smooth with lingering bitter chalky after.  American Strong Ale  80/100

120/365: Half Acre Daisy Cutter:
Fresh citrusy hops, bursting with aroma. Light grassy notes, really pops. Orange blossom and ozone. Pale golden clear with pillowy white lacing head. Medium-light body with medium carbonation - smooth. Starts dry with tons of hop flavor. Bright, citrus, pine resin, and ozone. Dry finish with tons of hop flavor but not much bitterness. Nice dry APA.  American Pale Ale  84/100

121/365: Harpoon Leviathan Czernobog:
Smoky with coffee, soy sauce, molasses, and chocolate. Light alcohol sweetness. Mild vanilla. Dark black opaque with thin cocoa head. Medium chewy body with medium carbonation. Starts rich and malty with chocolate and molasses, coffee, and a bit of smoke. Mild alcohol warming. Big chocolate-molasses finish with nutty sweet and bitter after.  Imperial Stout  84/100

122/365: Clown Shoes Blaecorn Unidragon:
Chocolate, roast coffee, and vanilla. Mild hop nose. Dark black opaque with thin lacing head. Thick body with medium carbonation. Sweet, rich, and malty. Smoky with molasses, coffee, and vanilla. Nice warming. Big sweet malty after with a bit of lingering bitterness.  Imperial Stout  84/100

Friday, May 10, 2013

Beers #110-115

Got a few new samples over the past week or so.

110/365: Church Brew D'Pomme Rye Saison:
From growler, courtesy of John C. Mild fruity character, bit of apple juice and light tart quality. Yeasty esters and a bit of banana and bubblegum. Medium golden amber clear with no head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts with neutral fruity character. Honey and mild apple cider vinegar tang. Yeasty bubblegum finish with orange tang and lasting juicy character.  Saison  66/100

111/365: Penn Overlook IPA:
From bottle at Nap’s. Skunky hop aroma. Sulfury, vegetal, eggy, and a bit of noble hops. Medium amber clear with foamy white lacing head. Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Starts dry with lots of hop bitterness. Mild malt sweetness with some vegetal notes. Big bitter dry finish with lasting harsh bitter in the after.  India Pale Ale  44/100

112/365: East End Pennsyl-tucky Uncommon:
From growler. Tart nose, roasted barley and smoky, with light chocolate and some spicy character. Dark brown hazy-clear with thin brown head. Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Starts tart with cherries and sour mash. Kind of like a brown sour but more acidic, less sweet. Nice tart finish with roasted smooth finish and after.  Traditional Ale  74/100 

113/365: Helltown Rapture:
On tap at Burgatory. Fresh hoppy grassy nose with neutral fruit sweetness. Dark amber clear with thin white lacing head. Medium body with medium-heavy carbonation. Starts fairly dry with huge hop flavor and bitterness. Big bitter finish with alcohol warming and a bit of neutral fruity character. Big bitter after.  India Pale Ale   74/100

114/365: New Holland Black Tulip Trippel Ale:
On tap at the Knick. Light bubblegum and yeast. Bit of fruity ester with mild alcohol vapor. Medium golden pale clear with thin white head. Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation and alcohol warming. Starts sweet with honey, bubblegum esters, light chalky yeast and alcohol notes. Big sweet finish with light smooth after.  Abbey Tripel  72/100

115/365: Lancaster Black Boar IPA:
On tap at the Knick. Rich malty and chocolate nose, with light coffee grounds and light hops. Dark black clear with thin off-white lacing head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Dry roast black patent malt, dusty with carbonic tang. Dry bitter finish and after. Tasty black IPA.  Black IPA  76/100
Hoping to get somewhere tomorrow for a few pints in celebration of the end of Spring semester, and next weekend (May 18), I'm excited to be going to the Pints for Pets festival in Altoona!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Beers #89-109: The Sour & The Funky

I was able to get to one event in celebration of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2013 - The Sour & The Funky tasting at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington (Sat Apr 27).  In light of my poor performance in April, I was eager to enjoy as many sour and funky beers as possible.  I arrived shortly before 1pm to check in. The tasting was run festival-style, with participants given a wrist band and tasting glass for ~2-3 oz. pours from taps and bottles.  It was very laid back, and the majority of my conversations were with Dan, a fellow RateBeer member from Pittsburgh.

Here goes ...
89/365: Bullfrog Jong Bruin:
Nice Flemish sour brown and oaky aroma. No hops. Tart and funky. Dark brown clear with no head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Tart sour brown ale with oak and funky notes, not quite cheesy. Wonderfully acidic and fruity, with smooth tart aftertaste and a bit of lingering sweetness.  Sour Red/Brown  78/100

90/365: Draai Laag La Pienture:
Estery with alcohol and isopropanol notes. Fruity and vapory. Dark brown hazy with foamy-creamy off-white lacing head. Medium body with medium smooth carbonation. Starts a bit sweet with nice oaky notes. Cherries and alcohol, finishing with cherry and oak. Smooth after. Nice tart fruit beer.  Lambic-Fruit  80/100

91/365: Bullfrog Pomme Par Jour:
Mandarin oranges, pears, and a light funk note. Apple must, yeasty. Light golden clear with thin white head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts sweet with apple notes, light chalky notes, and hop bitterness. A hint of Calvados. Finishes musty and bitter.  Fruit Beer  64/100

92/365: Allagash Interlude:
Light Brett nose but not overpowering. Bit of oak and hint of tartness. Hazy amber golden with thin head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts medium sweet with underlying funky-Brett and tart side. Oaky notes with neutral fruit, with light bitter finish. Ends with some carbonic tang and underlying bitter funky quality.  Belgian Strong Ale  76/100

93/365: Bullfrog Aggro Wheat:
Fresh fantastic hop nose with hint of spice to it. Underlying sweetness, grassy. Pale straw with light hazy and very thin head. Medium body with heavy carbonation. Starts with mild wheat and a ton of hops, not funky. Light overall, with a medium bitter finish and chalky after. More of a hoppy ale than sour or wild.  Sour Ale/Wild Ale  80/100

94/365: Petrus Aged Red:
Smells like cherry Sucrets - dark cherry and woody notes. Dark blood-red clear with thin light-pink head. Medium-thick body with medium carbonation with some fizz. Starts sweet with cherries and brown sugar sweetness. Underlying bitterness and tannic quality at the finish. A little too sweet for my tastes.  Sour Red/Brown  68/100

95/365: Anchorage Whiteout Wit Bier:
Smooth yeasty Brett notes, sweet. Subtle nose by very nice. Cloudy straw-white with thin white head. Medium body with light carbonation. Starts yeasty and Bretty with sweetness and a hint of light funk or tartness. Tasty and smooth.  Belgian White (Witbier)  76/100

96/365: 1809 Berliner Style Weisse:
Watery funky nose with apricot and pear nectar notes, light Brett funk. pale straw clear with foamy white lacing head. Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Medium tart beer with light sour-funk. Notes of pear and apricots. Tart but not as sour as other Berliner Weisses I’ve tried. Light, refreshing, and overall, a little watery.  Berliner Weisse  60/100

97/365: Cisco Island Reserve Pedaler Blueblerry Bleer:
Mild funky notes with predominant notes of blueberries, fresh and musty aromas. Light tang and medicinal funk. Dark blue-reddish hazy with thin pink lacing head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts and stays tart with lots of berry flavor. Musty and bitter with blueberry sour finish, light chalky acidic after. A bit of BandAid in the after, but not bad.  Fruit Beer  68/100

98/365: BRUX Domesticated Wild Ale:
Pretty mild nose, light Brett and neutral fruity funk and some honey. Cloudy golden amber with white lacing head. Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation. Starts and stays sweet with mild Brett and light honey, caramel. Not much funk to this one. Perhaps needs to age a bit? Belgian Strong Ale  62/100b

99/365: Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura:
Sour Coco Wheat! Funky and chocolatey nose with hints of coffee and molasses. Muddy coffee-brown with thin cocoa-colored lacing head. Medium body with silky carbonation. Tart stout with tons of cocoa powder and wonderfully tart finish. Smooth.  Stout  74/100

100/365: Uinta Crooked Line Birthday Suit - 20th Anniversary:
Nose of sour milk and lavender. Tart and smooth. Dark brown clear (like root beer) with thin head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Like Hawaiian Punch and apricots, sour and tasty and easy drinking. Almost like a fruit juice with carbonic tang. Smooth tart after.  Sour Ale/Wild Ale  78/100

101/365: Oude Gueuze Tilquin a l'Ancienne:
Sour, Bretty, horse blanket and leather. Funky, sour, and sublime. Hazy golden amber with thin white head. Medium watery body with medium-high carbonation. Starts sour, sour, sour. Brett, acidity, and funky leather. Dry, tasty gueuze that I could drink all day. Funky, sour, tasty, and refreshing. Sublime.  Lambic-Gueuze  86/100

102/365: Green Flash Rayon Vert:
Nose of BandAid and Brett, carbonic tang. Hazy golden amber with foamy white lacing head. Medium body with heavy carbonation. Starts medium sweet and dry with tons of Brett and light BandAid. Pale malt and carbonic acidity. Really carbed up, surprised these aren’t bottle bombs. Smooth tangy finish with light Brett, dry after.  Belgian Ale  74/100

103/365: Russian River Sanctification:
Mild tart nose with good Brett notes, yeasty and aromatic. Pale golden hazy with thin white lacing head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Starts and stays sour with tons of Brett and sour-funky notes. Carbonic acidity, with sour and Bretty finish. Nice one.  Sour Ale/Wild Ale  80/100

104/365: Goose Island Madame Rose:
Tart fruit and cherry, vanilla and oak. Nice aroma. Dark brow-amber clear with thin lacing head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Nice cherry sour and Bretty funk. Smooth and tart. Oaky with vanilla and light chocolate. Delicious.  Sour Ale/Wild Ale  82/100

105/365: The Bruery Rueuze:
Funky and Bretty and sour. Nice wheaty funk. Very traditional profile. Cloudy golden pale with no head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Tons of Brett and funk, with acid reflux sourness. Delicious and reminiscent of traditional versions. Nice sour gueuze that I would drink a lot of.  Lambic-Gueuze  82/100

106/365: Rodenbach Vintage (2010):
The aroma of Grand Cru, oaky and sour with soy and vinegar. Dark reddish-brown hazy with thin off-white head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Sweet, oaky, tart, and sugary. A bit of cherry, light oxidation. Beany sweet finish with light soy tang.  Sour Red/Brown  72/100

107/365: Goose Island Matilda:
Nice funky nose, sweet with a bit of vapor and light woody notes. Mild Brett. Medium golden clear with light haze, topped with big fluffy head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts light sweet with caramel, honey, and a bit of funk. Yeasty with alcohol vapor and honey. Light sweet funky after.  Belgian Ale  72/100

108/365: Telegraph Reserve Wheat
Medium wheaty nose with a bit of sour character. Cloudy pale with thin head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Mild sour Brett notes but overall a bit watery. A decent level of sourness but not assertive. Wheat-lemon after.  Berliner Weisse  58/100

109/365: Voodoo (HTP) Hail to Pitt IPA:
Wonderful fresh hoppy nose, floral and bright. Mild sweetness. Pale dull golden clear with thin lacing head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Huge hoppy profile throughout and mild sweet character. Big hop flavors from start to finish. Big hoppy finish with bitter lasting after.  India Pale Ale  66/100
Whew!  All in all, a really nice tasting. Well run and laid back with a lot of great samples to try.  I'm still behind in my tastings, but a little closer now to being caught up.  I look forward to getting back on track, and in particular, I am excited to get back to this year's Pints For Pets Brewfest in Altoona on May 18.

Beers Offered at the 2013 "The Sour & The Funky"

On Saturday, April 27, House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington held "The Sour & The Funky" beer tasting event from 1-4 pm, in celebration of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week.

Here was the line-up:
  • Anchorage Whiteout
  • Petrus Aged Pale
  • Petrus Oud Bruin
  • Bell's Oarsman
  • Bockor's Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge
  • The Bruery Saison Rue
  • Cisco Pedaler Blueblerry Bleer (no, that's not misspelled)
  • Goose Island Matilda
  • Green Flash Rayon Vert
  • Hanssens Oudbeitje
  • Hanssens Oude Kriek
  • Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura
  • Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial
  • Liefmans Cuvee Brut
  • Lindemans Cassis
  • Lindemans Cuvee Rene
  • Lindemans Faro
  • Oud Beersel Framboise
  • Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse
  • Rodenbach Classic
  • Sierra Nevada/Russian River Brux Domesticated Wild Ale
  • Telegraph Reserve Wheat
  • Tilquin Oude Gueuze
  • Timmermans Framboise
  • Timmermans Kriek
  • Timmermans Strawberry
  • Timmermans Bourgogne des Flandres
  • Uinta Birthday Suit (20th Anniversary)
  • St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
  • Monk's Cafe 
On Tap:
  • Allagash Interlude
  • Petrus Aged Red
  • Bullfrog Aggro Wheat
  • Bullfrog Jong Bruin
  • Bullfrog Pomme Par Jour
  • Draai Laag Goedenacht
  • Draai Laag La Pienture
  • St. Louis Framboise
Special bottles (after 3pm)
  • The Bruery Rueuze
  • The Bruery Sour in the Rye
  • Goose Island Madame Rose
  • Rodenbach Vintage 2010
  • Russian River Consecration
  • Russian River Sanctification