Brooklyn Brewing – Summer Ale

First off I would like to say that I am not a bottle snob.  You know that type of craft beer or commercial beer person that will not drink anything unless it is in a bottle.  Good beer can come in a nice hand held aluminum form.  Actually some of the newest up and coming breweries like Sun King out of Indianapolis only can.  The main reason is cost, but the promoted reason is that aluminum cans are more environmentally friendly.  Okay…okay you are waiting for the review of this beer, and I added so much to start with because this is a very simple session beer.  When I say session for those of you that are not in the know, I mean you can drink them like they are going out of style.  Brooklyn Brewing’s  Summer Ale has the strength and “drinkability” as a Budweiser, but gives a little hop note to the flavor.  You can taste the malt flavor coming through, but the small amount of hop taste seems to balance it.  Also is this a great beer in the eyes of craft drinkers…no...does it meet what Brooklyn Brewing probably set out to make (an easy drinking beer the appeals to the masses)…yes.  If you are new to craft beer I would say try one, or if you are out cutting your grass on a hot summer day…pop a cap and put one back.  If you are going to grab a six’er of Bud then you may as well give Brooklyn a try.

What this Blog is About!

First things first this is all my own opinion, and maybe right or wrong.  The whole thing about the craft beer market is that there are thousands of options, and you do not have to like them all even if someone says something is amazing.  The blog is intended to give a quick to the point review of a brew, and is meant for the first time craft beer drinker.   I am not writing over the top technical reviews of beer and how the style is not matching the BJCP style guide.  If a beer is good it is good.  One beer you will not see on here are “smoked” beers…they are just not my thing and I know it.  So giving you a review on these beers would be pointless.    I am writing to the Bud or Miller drinker out there that does not know what lies beyond the “Big Brewery” beer horizon.  Craft beer does not have to be a painful experience, and don’t go straight out after drinking a lite and try an IPA…  The two are like fire and ice and do not mix well with your taste buds.  Start off slow and start off simple.  If you are new to craft beer, congratulations, try yourself a lightly hopped Cream Ale or a dry British Ale to start with.  One beer at a time you will learn to love them all…well almost them all.
Cheers!  -  Dave T 

Sierra Nevada - 30th Anniverary Stong Ale

First off when you read the bottle this is a combination of Sierra Nevada’s Bourbon barrel aged beer, celebration pale ale, and their “green” pale ale.  May I say it is outstanding.  This is what a strong ale should taste like.  The sweetness of the malt shines through and is well balanced by the bitterness of the hops.  I am guessing they included their signature sierra hop in this beer.  The aroma of this beer really shines through, and helps you appreciate the process of dry hopping.  Without the dry hop stage this strong ale would be a malty mess.  If you have not tried this anniversary edition brew I highly recommend.  All I can say is at 9.2% ABV this will put you on your ass quick so slowly enjoy.  The champagne top makes this bottle well worth the $10.99 I paid for it, and I almost feel privileged to consume it.  Anyways enough of my babbling…  Buy a bottle or two and enjoy it with a close friend or love one, and know that 30 years only comes around once for Sierra Nevada so live it up!

Two Brothers Brewing Co. - The Bitter End

The name should be more like “The Bitter Start”.  I say this because the first thing that grabs you is the bitterness in this beer.  Which makes perfect sense since this is a pale ale.  After the second or third drink the initial bitterness subsides and you get more of the hop aroma coming through your nose and mouth.  This seems to be a very well balanced pale ale and allows for the sweetness of the malt to show through without being over powered by the hop flavor.  This microbrew has a ABV of 5.2% and IBU of 30.  I would say this is a good representation of what a pale ale should taste like.  The only thing that I would like to have a little more of is hop aroma.  After the beer sits for a couple of minutes it seem to disappear and you are left with just the bitterness and malt flavor.  These guys are out of Warrenville, IL and all in all seem to be doing it right.  They produce a couple other beers that I will look forward to getting my hands on.  I think the next will be their Prairie Path Golden Ale.  Here is a link to their website if you want to check them out.
As you can see from the picture the beer was pretty good since I drank half of it before I even got to the picture! Tell me what you think of this beer by posting comments below.