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27 Feb

Brewer : New Belgium Brewing

Location : Fort Collins, COImage result for new belgium abbey

Alcohol % :  7.0

IBU : 20

Appearance : Very dark mahogany color which poured to a small tan head

Aroma :  Yeasty, Malty

Body : Medium

Interesting Fact  :  Abbey, a Belgian-style dubbel, was one of the first beers released by New Belgium in 1991. It is their most award winning beer

Survey Says : A wonderful dubbel. This medium bodied brew has a delicious malty flavor. It is a very smooth and quite drinkable beer with just a slight bit of bitterness. It was enjoyable and definitely a beer I would revisit.

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Double Aught Pilsner

10 Feb




Brewer : Bear RepublicImage result for bear republic double aught pilsner images

Location : Cloverdale, Ca

Alcohol % :  5.0

IBU : 25

Appearance : Light yellow color, large white head

Aroma :  Yeasty

Body : Light

Interesting Item  : Bear Republic’s name refers to California’s 1846 Bear Flag Revolt in which a small group of American settlers in California rebelled against the Mexican government there


Survey Says : This brew was light bodied and very refreshing. It was slightly sweet and very drinkable with no bitter notes. This beer is a good simple lager with nothing to get too excited about. Despite its name, this brew comes across as more of a lager than a pilsner style brew since there is very little hops flavor.

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Taco Truck Amber Lager

16 Jan

Brewer : Dust Bowl Brewing Company

Location : Turlock, CaImage result for photos of taco truck beer

Alcohol % :  4.7

IBU : 20

Appearance : Nice rusty amber color. Large tan head

Aroma : No distinct aroma

Body : Light

Interesting Item : Brett Tate, whose grandfather  immigrated  from Oklahoma in the 30’s, founded Dust Bowl Brewing. He is a retired high school teacher and coach from Turlock. In 2009 Dust Bowl Brewing produced its first beer know as Hops of Wrath.

Survey Says : Very interesting amber lager Mexican Style beer. Good mild malty flavor. Very flavorful, drinkable and refreshing. This brew would be a nice change of pace for a Mexican dinner vs. the usual weak flavored Mexican beers. There was no bitterness or bad aftertaste.  Very smooth tasting with no hoppiness. This was a very enjoyable beer with just enough malt flavor that I would definitely try again.

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Black Toad Dark Ale

23 Jul


Image result for black toad beer


Brewer : Josephbrau Brewing Company

Location : San Jose, Ca

Alcohol % :  5.3

IBU : 12

Appearance : Very dark mahogany color which poured to a small tan head

Aroma :  Sweet

Body : Medium

Marketing Gimmick  : This brew is a Trader Joe’s beer. TJ’s likes to use an alias for its brewers for some reason. While listing Josephbrau on the label as the brewer this beer was actually made by the Gordon Biercsh Brewing Company in San Jose.

Survey Says : I purchased this beer with low expectations, being that it was quite inexpensive and a Trader Joe’s house item. I was very pleasantly surprised by this brew. It has a malty, lightly roasty flavor with a touch of hops bitterness. The hoppiness was not offensive and added to the flavor profile of this beer. It was refreshing, smooth and very enjoyable and drinkable. There was some lingering bitter aftertaste but not objectionable. I would definitely buy this beer again.

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Full Boar Scotch Ale

9 Jul

Image result for devil's canyon full boar scotch ale pictures



Brewer : Devil’s Canyon

Location : San Carlos, Ca

Alcohol % :  7.4

IBU : 12

Appearance : Medium sized foam head. It has a very dark brown color.

Aroma :  Very slight yeasty smell

Body : Medium

Interesting Fact : The Company, established in 2001 in Belmont, derives its name from the canyon which runs through the area named la Canada del Diablo by 18th century Spanish settlers.

Survey Says : I sampled the pint sized bottle of this fine brew and the 7.4% alcohol level had my head spinning quickly. This is a very drinkable smooth flavored brew. It exhibits a nice malty flavor with no detectable hoppiness. There was no bitter aftertaste with this brew. It has very little carbonation. This was a very enjoyable beer which I would definitely try again.

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Everyone Gose Mad

23 Jun



Image result for everyone gose mad ale

Brewer : Mad River Brewing

Location : Blue Lake, Ca

Alcohol % :  4.9

IBU : 13

Appearance : Very large foam head. It has a bright yellow color and is quite cloudy being unfiltered

Aroma :  Sweet

Body : Medium-Light

Interesting Fact : in 1989,  Bob Smith, Mad River’s founder, bought Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s old original brewing equipment from his long time acquaintance Ken Grossman and founded the company. That system is still in use today.

Survey Says : This is a Gose Style beer, which means it is brewed with predominantly malted wheat. Gose beers, which originated in Germany, are typically sour and salty flavored. This beer is no exception. It has some sweetness and some fruity citrus notes. This  Gose has a very different flavor. It definitely has bitter/sour tones and a hint of saltiness. It is fairly smooth  and  drinkable but not my personal cup of tea.

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Deschutes Obsidian Stout

27 May

Brewer : Deschutes BrewryImage result for deschutes obsidian stout

Location : Bend, Oregon

Alcohol % :  6.4%

IBU : 55

Interesting Fact : This brew was voted by the World Beer Awards in 2016 as America’s Best Stout

Survey Says : This Northwestern brew had a nice yeasty aroma and it poured to a dark head. This stout is practically black in color. It is very lightly carbonated. This dark beer has a strong toasty malt flavor with some sharp bitter notes. With a slightly high IBU of 55 for a stout, it expresses more than expected hoppy bitterness. It also left a bitter aftertaste. I prefer stouts with a smoother malty flavor and little to no bitterness. Overall I was disappointed with this style stout.

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Victory Golden Monkey

20 Jan

Brewer : Victory Brewing CompanyImage result for golden monkey beer

Location : Downington, PA.

Alcohol % :  9.5%

IBU : 25

Interesting Fact : Since its introduction in 1997 this craft beer has been Victory Brewing Company’s number one selling brand

Survey Says : This medium bodied brew had a sweet, yeasty aroma. It had a cloudy golden color with a nice tan head. This Belgian-style tripel ale has some spice added which can be detected in its flavor. The taste is very smooth with both maltiness and some sweetness coming through. There are no bitter notes or negative aftertastes. It is very easy to drink and quite enjoyable. I would definitely try this one again and would recommend it to friends.

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Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

23 Mar

Brewer : Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Location :  Chico, CA

Alcohol  Content :  5.5%

IBU : 37

Interesting Item : Due to low volume and declining sales, this fine beer has been discontinued. We can only hope they bring it back someday. R.I.P. Tumbler, until we meet again

Survey Says : This personal favorite was sold as part of a fall season variety pack. It has a nice dark color with a slightly toasty aroma. It is medium bodied with a very smooth mouth feel. The flavor exhibits a wonderful malty taste. It is extremely drinkable. Even with a relatively high IBU of 37, the hoppy bitterness does not overtake the sweet malty tones. This brew was originally designed to be enjoyed in the fall but actually could have been loved year round.

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Santa’s Private Reserve

15 Feb

Brewer : Rogue AlesRogue Santa Beer Christmas with rogue santa

Location : Newport, Oregon

Interesting Fact : The brewery was founded in 1988 in Ashland. In 1989 it moved to a garage in Newport located beneath one of Mohava Niemi’s clam chowder restaurants.

Alcohol  :  5.3%

IBU  : 65

Survey Says : This brew poured to a large tan foamy head. It is a reddish amber color. Very little aroma could be detected. It was medium bodied. There was no sweetness to the flavor. This beer is quite bitter. For an ale it exhibits very little maltiness. It is definitely more hoppy than malty. With a high IBU of 65 this is not surprising. This seasonal Christmas blend is made with double the amount of the usual hops plus an additional mystery hop called Rudolph. This craft beer was just way to bitter for my taste. I don’t think even Santa would like the beer!

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