When you make a hobby of purchasing beer based solely on the fact that you've never had it before, one is bound to experience a few surprises. My purchase of 1831 Schwarzbier was such an experience.
The first surprise I experienced with this beer was during the pour. This beer was black like a Guinness when it it the glass. I didn't expect that. My experience with German beers has been limited to light or amber colored beers. I had no clue that Germany made dark beers (not that I though about it). Oh, well, I thought. In for a penny in for a pound. Let's try this bad boy.
I anticipated a stout flavor based on the deep dark colour, but it was anything but. 1831 may look like Guinness, but it doesn't taste anything like it. It was surprisingly light in flavour with a flowery aroma. I experienced bits of burn caramel and toasted malt in the finish. Overall, it kept a light feeling in my mouth from its good carbonation.
While researching this beer, I learned that Schwarzbier simple means black beer in German. So, now you know. When you see that name, expect a deep dark beer that is generally light tasting. If you are looking for a stout, this style of beer isn't for you. However, if you want something a little different, give the dark lager of 1831 a try.
I'll definitely give 1831 Schwarzbier another go. By the end of the glass, I decided that this is a 4 burp beer. I just had to get used to the dark color and light taste to fully accept it.
Let me know what you think.
I think what initially attracted me to Innis & Gunn's Lager was the can. It's funky writing caused it to stand out on the supermarket shelf. I was glad, I noticed this beer. It is a pretty decent lager.
Innis and Gunn promote themselves as craft brewers. This isn't surprising. With the surge in craft brewing the last 10 years, just about everyone has become a craft brewer. What makes Innis and Gunn different is that they really are. They don't even own their own brewery. They use two different brewers in the Edinburgh, Scotland area to make their booze. Now that's craft brewing!
The first thing I noticed when I poured this bad boy was the the deep gold, light amber colour. This was a nice looking beer. The head was decent, but it disappeared rather quickly.
Like many lagers, this one had the slightly sweet malty taste at the beginning, which changed to a slight bitterness in the finish. What was amazing about the bitterness was how quickly it dissipated. The overall finish was very smooth. At first, I thought this was just my opinion of the finish, but I learned that Innis & Gunn use naked golden oats as part of the brewing process. These oats help obtain the smooth finish. See, it's not just me. There has to be something to it.
I said to Carolyn that if I was in Scotland, I could drink this lager on a regular basis. Traditional lager taste with a slight bitterness and a very smooth finish works for me. It was easy to give this beer four burps.
Let me know what you think.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit The Noble Pig Brewhouse while traveling through Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. After a long day of white knuckle driving through the Canadian Rockies I was ready for a few beers. I asked the front desk clerk at the hotel where should I go for a good local beer. He immediately said The Noble Pig was the best place in town, and he wasn't wrong.
This brewhouse/restaurant is located in downtown Kamloops and is in walking distance to many of the local hotels. It had the look and feel that you would expect from a craft brewer located deep in the Rocky mountains - wood and lots of it.
The Pig brews seven beers, and we tried 5 of them. Unfortunately, I was enjoying them to much, and forgot to write reviews after the third one. Guess I will have to return some day (damn). They make 4 types of ale, a lager, pilsner and a porter. Below are a few quick blurbs of the beers we reviewed.
Wallonian Pig Belgian Peppered Ale
I was really looking forward to trying this beer. My favourite beer of all time is a chile ale from Mexico and I hoped this would be somewhat similar. I really liked this beer. It was spicy and it had a black pepper finish that puckered my cheeks. Carolyn thought it tasted mediciney. 5% alcohol.
Honey Badger Pale Ale
This was a true English bitter style with a nice dull taste of bitterness. If you like a good bitters, you'll like this one! I really enjoyed this beer but I could only drink a couple in a row. 3% alcohol.
This had a true classic flavour of mocha porters everywhere. If you have a hankering for a porter, this one will do the trick. It tastes exactly like you would expect it should.
The food at The Noble Pig was decent but not outstanding. Both Carolyn and I have had better meals in this type of establishment, but we were there primarily for the beers. In this department it stood out. It was easy to give the beers at The Noble Pig Brewhouse four big burps. I suggest you go there if you ever visit Kamloops, British Columbia.
As soon as I saw the can of Guinness Blonde, I knew I had to try it. I love Blonde beers, and I like Guinness. I knew it had to be good, and I wasn't disappointed.
It wasn't until I got home and looked at the can that I realized that this blonde beer's full name included "American Lager". Upon closer inspection, the beer isn't even made in Ireland. True to it's name, it's made in America. Pennsylvania to be exact.
When I poured the beer, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful amber colour. I was anticipating a pale yellow like many American lagers, but this Blonde beer looked tasty. And, its looks didn't disappoint. This was one tasty beer.
It had a nice hoppy taste. Not to strong or overpowering. As Carolyn commented, she could understand why people would like this beer. It was very well rounded. It had good flavour, but not to much. I found it went really well with hot wings. It cut the heat easily and left a nice refreshing taste in my mouth.
I could drink a bunch of these while sitting on the deck on a warm day. Guinness Blonde American Lager went down easy yet it had a somewhat complex taste. Nothing to say bad about this beer. That's why I give it four burps.
Since my university days, I've enjoyed drinking blonde ales in the summer. They tend to be light and crisp and go great in hot weather. Canada's Knotty Blonde Ale certainly fits this bill.
It's a light tasting beer with a slight fruity flavour. I know what you're thinking - light tasting beers taste like water and usually suck. Well, that's not the case with this Knotty Blonde. It's crisp tasting with a subtle maltiness, and it isn't hoppy at all.
I drank this 650 ml bottle quickly. A bunch of these would go down very easy sitting out on the back deck. Even Carolyn really enjoyed it.
Not much of a head formed on my initial pour even though I thought I poured it aggressively. When I topped up the glass at the halfway point, I nice thick frothy head formed which was nice.
Brewed by Old Yale Brewing Company in the Chilliwack River Valley, the brewers claim to use Canada's best drinking water. I don't know about that claim, but Knotty Blonde Ale tastes pretty damn good.
It's easy to give this beer four burps. If you're looking for a fresh and crisp tasting beer to enjoy during hot patio weather, this is it.
Let me know if you like it.
Brauerei Aying's lager Jahrhundert Bier drinks much easier than it's spelt. I was done half the glass before I knew it. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. The only other beer I've had from this brewery was an easy 5 burp beer, and I expected this one to be of similar quality.
I certainly wasn't disappointed with Jahrhundert Bier. It's pale gold colour was typical of many lagers but it was slightly cloudy which added another dimension. It had light carbonation that created little head, but that didn't affect the fresh malty taste.
It was a very easy drinking beer. It went down quickly, and I said to myself as I finished the glass that I could easily drink a bunch of these. With it's crisp taste, this medium bodied lager had a malty finish that wasn't overpowering.
Jahrhundert Bier was created in 1978 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the brewery, and has proven itself to become a regular brand for Brauerei Aying.
I waffled between giving this lager four or five burps. At the end of the day, I realized that I really liked this beer but I didn't love it. Therefore I give Jahrhundert Bier 4 big burps. If you like lagers, you have to try this one.
I'd been saving my bottle of Black Butte Porter for just the right time. I have to be in the mood for a porter to truly enjoy one, and this one came in such a large portion size, I didn't want to open it unless I had a hankering.
Last Saturday, that hankering came. I didn't know what I wanted for lunch, so I decided I would just drink this big bottle of porter. At 1 pint 6 ounces, I knew this beer would satisfy my empty belly.
I knew I was going to enjoy this beer as soon as I poured it. It had a deep black colour, and a nice thick, fine bubbled head. It wasn't as creamy as a Guinness but it's close. Upon drinking, I immediately noticed a strong coffee taste, and later on, I could taste a hint of chocolate in the finish.
Many people may think this is a thick, strong tasting beer from looking at it, but it isn't. It was quite smooth tasting without a bitter aftertaste. Carolyn quite liked it. She said it was almost sweet.
I knew after the first couple of swallows that this was a 4 burp beer. By the time I got to the bottom of the glass, my opinion hadn't changed. I give Deschutes Brewery's Black Butte Porter four solid burps!
I've been drinking several dark beers as of late. I've had them, from Ireland, England and Canada, but I've never had a German dark beer, so when the opportunity to drink a Weissbier Dunkel presented itself, I jumped at the chance.
When I poured the Dunkel, I took note of its dark brown color which is typical of the many dark beers, I've had before. The head formed very easily. Almost to easily. It foamed over the top of the glass both times I poured it. It was a good thick head. Not creamy like a Guiness, but foamy and thick. Eventually, it reduced to a fine foam layer that clung to the side of the glass.
What really surprised me about this beer was the subtle flavour. It had a mild malty taste with a hint of coffee at the beginning. It was very clean and smooth with very little aftertaste. It was so mellow, Carolyn actually said it was the first dark beer she really liked.
I was also shocked to learn that this yummy dark beer was a wheat beer. I didn't know wheat beers could be brewed in a dark style. Maybe that's why it was so smooth.
Brewed by Erdinger since 1886, Weissbier Dunkel claims to be "the world's most popular wheat beer". I don't know about that, but it's a pretty damn good beer. After the first couple of swallows, I thought it would get three burps, but by the time I finished the glass, this dark wheat beer easily obtained 4 burps.
Let me know what you think.
Nowadays, many brands describe themselves in glowing terms like "premium". That's why I was skeptical when I read "Outstanding Premium Ale" on Fuller's London Pride. I've heard it all before. However, these chaps from Chiswick, London have definitely put their money where their mouth is. I really liked this beer!
The first indicator that this was going to be a good beer was the nice foamy head that formed when poured. The head dissipated into a thin layer that remained for the length of the glass. I really found that the head kept the beer fresh tasting, like it was poured from a tap.
London Pride is a beautiful golden brown colour with a mild fruity aroma and a slight fruity taste. The finish was mild. You could barely taste the hops. It was a very smooth beer. Carolyn actually said that she liked it because it wasn't bitter.
Family owned Griffen Brewery has been making beer in London, England since the 1860's. London pride has been produced since the 1950's and is considered London's beer (at least according to the brewer).
This Outstanding Premium Ale easily got 4 big burps. It almost got five. I highly recommend you search this out and try it. You won't regret it.
I've never been a huge drinker of dark beers. One or two and I'm good. I can't drink dark beer all night long. However, I might be able to drink a whole bunch of Mill Street Brewery's Vanilla Porter.
Imagine enjoying the dark malty flavour of a dark beer combined with the unique flavour of vanilla. Don't think this is like the vanilla flavour you get in Vanilla Coke. You're not going to get any artificial vanilla flavorings here. The fellas at Mill St. use real vanilla extract, and you can tell the difference once you taste this delicious porter.
You can definitely taste the vanilla. It wasn't overpowering, but you could taste it in the background. It went very nice with the traditional coffee and malty flavours of porters. It's head was thick and creamy like you would expect, and the colour was deep brown.
Porters are similar to Stouts but they differ in the type of malt used during brewing. Porters use malted barley while stouts primarily use unmalted roasted barley. Porters also tend to be a little lighter than stouts but the two are similar. If you like one, you'll like the other.
I give Mill Street Brewery's Vanilla Porter 4 big burps.
Let me know what you think.
Drinking the world.
One beer at a time.