Bitter Creek Brewing
Beer 1 : Sweetwater Wheat - light bright, and easy drinking. Soft fruity flavors, but very light.
Beer 2 : Boar’s Tusk Light Ale - very light and a nice cracker malt with just enough hops on the finish to make it a solid refreshing sunshine beer.
Beer 3 : Red Desert Ale - good beer! Great caramel malt sweetness is balanced by a dry hoppy smack. This is the one to beat.
Beer 4 : Mustang Pale Ale - I did not feel threatened to be bucked off by this mustang. Had a very English pale ale feel to me. More like dressage. Still drinkable and good, just didn’t live up to the claims on the menu for me.
Beer 5 : A Beer Named Bob - ooh lala. Now that’s quite good. Rich, complex little dark ale. It’s got a great flavor with a medium body. Toasty chocolate notes really shine. Bob’s the best of the brews from Bitter Creek in my opinion.
Wind River Guest Beers - Pinedale, WY
Old Faithful - quite good. A lighter character blonde ale. I dug this. Very drinkable - nice straw and almost a sourdough like bread-like malt. Good hop kick too.
Adventure Amber - really solid beer. This is has a harmony of malt and hops that really isn’t all that common. A goldilocks balance. Great body and a miner manly mouthfeel. Really drinkable and good. I think this was the best of the lot.
Road trip sampler.
We were diverted by weather and flooding to head to Laramie, Wyoming. My dad seems sure we’ll be stuck here - and that may not be too bad knowing Altitude is in the downtown.
1st Brew : Tumble Wheat
Light and refreshing wheat beer. Nothing complicated about it or particularly earth shattering - but it is good and if it was a hot day - I’d be down for it.
2nd Brew : Altitude IPA - really light in body, creamy, aromatic hops, not a lot of bitter bite. Not my style choice - feels a little British inspired.
3rd Brew : Altitude Amber Ale - mouthfeel was a little off, felt watery, but the beer was good. It had a nice caramel sweetness and nice hop kick to balance that out.
4th Brew : Bearpaw Brown Ale - malty, again, a little flat and watery on the mouthfeel, but the flavors are great. It’s got a surprising amount of hops for a brown, I liked that a lot. I think if it had a little more fizzy and substance, it’d be exceptional.
5th Brew : High Plains Pale Ale - ooh! That’s a good one! Nicely hopped and great malty and biscuitiness, too. Nicely fragrant hops too. That’s a keeper!
6th Brew : Expedition Porter - another really good one! This one has a nice hop kick in it too! Soft mouthfeel with a nice pop on the tongue from the hops. Richly layer malt profile with essences of coffee and cocoa. High quality porter!
7th Brew : 7200’ Stout - feels really under carbonated, almost cask-poured. It’s not helping this one stick out. The flavors are subdued, and I think that has to do with the carbonation being a little off. I vastly prefer the porter.
8th Brew : Black Ale - This one is pretty good. Dark malts bring and almost spiced cocoa quality. It’s pretty darn good. Definitely a candidate for the best in show.
Best in Show!
Expedition Porter for sure gets my vote for the best in show. It was definitely the best - admittedly - it is a dreary day outside - we are definitely in Laramie for the any port in a storm conditions, but it’s definitely a good beer and I have to tip my cap to the Pale Ale and the Dark ale, those were both quite good as well. The rest of them had some issue that prevented them from really rooting into favoritism - carbonation clearly being on my list as a thing that made me go “Hmmm”
Anyway - if you make it to Laramie, the brewery has a great atmosphere, our waitress way awesome and knowledgable and clearly a beer lover, and made it easy to have a good time in a small Wyoming town.
I’ve really changed this from the Beer every day to a post whenever I encounter something truly exceptional. Exceptional can be good or bad. On this night it is certainly the good kind of exceptional - the kind that inspires and brings you back to a long neglected form of expression.
In this Mikkeller Vanilla Shake, I am reminded of all these mother living poser beers that talk about vanilla and coffee in tonality and taste. “Aged in whiskey barrels”
“Brewed with espresso”
“Made with Tahitian Vanilla”
Mikkeller lays it out in two key words.
This is a chocolate syrup pouring, wide bodied, badonkadonk, and just an enthusiastic amount of flavor - the beer just does exactly what it sets out to - and then makes you forget Brother Thelonious or Old Raputin are options. Serious.
Winner. Find it. Drink it. Hope the hype don’t ruin it.
Sierra Nevada Summerfest
What Budweiser should taste like if it was really a king of beers.
It’s probably one of the best lawn mower beers or gardening beers or all day sort of drinking beers. It’s got enough flavor to satisfy craft beer snobs, but isn’t going to drive away the Bud buds.
Double Mountain Brewery I.R.A. (India Red Ale)
This was another gift from my Oregon connection, Adam.
Pretty freaking good. T
This fusion of a red ale and a distinctly Oregonian-vibed IPA. I love a good mashup.
Great body, bold malty flavors that are lightly toasty and incredibly complimentary to the richly resinous hops. Great floral aroma that sings about the piney crisp hops, but doesn’t leave you worrying it’s going to annihilate your tongue in hops
Another fantastic bottle of beer… way impressed. Looking forward to the other bottle in the fridge.
Big thanks to Adam for delivering some rare Oregonian gems that have shaken me out of my beer-writing slump. I AM A PHOENIX!!
Well… I feel like one… I guess…
Anyway, first up on the return is Hopworks Urban Brewery’s Organic Hopworks IPA.
This little pounder of brew is world-class. They shouldn’t be modest when they boast it on the can. It’s a legit claim.
This IPA’s strength fully lays in the aromatic hops. I don’t have the worlds greatest sniffer, but this brew has just a lovely scent of layers and layers of firm resiny hops. Worried that the stank meant my tongue was in for basically licking the aluminum siding of a several Willamette Valley hop farm’s silo as I drank up the beer - I was pleasantly surprised. It’s smooth as silk. You taste a great deal of hops, but it’s not vengeful, hateful, in fact it’s like those ladies in the Shaft theme. I was all…. this beer is gonna be one bad mother …. SHUT YO MOUTH. And they were right, this beer is just phenomenal for an IPA and if you don’t like it —- Shaft should be allowed to pop you in the mouth for your beer hate.
Thanks for the delivery, Adam.
Well, yeah, it’s not a beer, but it’s something I also do. I write comic books in addition to drinking & talking about great and wonderful beers. I’m currently trying to get $8,000 to fund my brand new comic book series, B-Squad. I'm about 15% of the way there with around 20 days to go!
If you've been enjoying Beer Per Day, please check out the kickstarter and consider backing my creative dream: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erasernubs/b-squad
More beer reviews to come, fellow beer lovers.
North Coast Brewing’s Old Stock Ale - Otsuchi 2012
I love it when a good beer does a good thing.
North Coast Brewing Co. Old Stock Ale is their standard anniversary ale, but this year they are dedicating the proceeds to Ft. Bragg’s sister city, Otsuchi, Japan, which was hit harshly by the tsunami. It makes the beer slightly more expensive, but you’ll get to give a little compassion and read the great story about how Ft. Bragg & Otsuchi became sister cities as you drink a truly world class old school style beer.
Old Stock is a fantastic English-bent Old Ale. Old Ales are malt balls. They are incredibly rich with flavor, but not thick like a stout. They drink with a lot of vine-ripened fruity flavors and Old Stock isn’t different. It is lavish and unyielding with it’s flavor and has this deep charred molasses quality. At 11.9% liquor content, it’s a deceptive little bastard and can easily make you hate the morning if you happen to to have more than a few.
Find it, and pony up. Otsuchi was one of the more ancient and old townships of Japan, right on the coastline, and it lost many people and places to the mighty wave. They are rebuilding and this is one way to fill.
Deschutes Brewing Co.’s Chasin’ Freshies. A Fresh Hop I.P.A.
This ambitious brew hails from Oregon and it is using hops fresh from the vine and straight into the beer.
"Sure. Whateva.” says you?
Well, look - this beer’s hops is something special! While this beer’s hops kinda sounds like it’s straight out of Portlandia sketch, the truth is better than the comedy in this case. Chasin' Freshies is brewed with an heirloom-strain of Cascade hops found at one of Oregon's oldest hop-grower's, Goschie Farms. Family owned and operated for over a century, Goschie Farms are well known producers of hops in the Willamette Valley, one of the best sources for full and flavorful West Coast hops.
And sure, it looks a little bit like yellow snow. Ignore Zappa’s warning and cold one is certainly safe to drink.
I burned right through my glass of Chasin’ Freshies. It was bright, lively, and I could really get a sense for why those Cascade hops are prized the world over. It drank like Chasin’ Freshies is a single hopped and single hopped without measuring. This was just a POW - TASTE THIS! sort of IPA - but ultimately balanced enough that I didn’t feel like I’d never be able to taste bacon again - just smacked with enough hops to initially give me doubts.
If you’re a hop lover or even just a dabbler in the IPA zone, I highly recommend tracking this one down as its lively full flavor will give you a learning as to why the hops up in Oregon are known as some of the world’s best for big flavorful IPAs.
Uinta Brewing’s Tilted Smile - a Crooked Line series beer.
This Imperial pilsner is absurdly strong (9% boozeahol) but doesn’t taste like it at all. It drinks incredibly pleasant. The smile grows cock-eye only because you feel like you’re getting buzzed off a delicious malt soda. There is this I know something you don’t quality. It’s smooth, crisp, & highly traditional (only Saaz hops and Pilsen malt)
Bottom line this is danger in a large bottle. Split it. Share it with a special lady friend.
Atwater Brewing’s Vanilla Java Porter
This beer hails from the Motor City and is the color of a dark and used oil, but it certainly drink like a cup of something special.
Light enough on the mouth to be easy to drink, but still rich and flavor like a good porter should drink. I’ve had several vanilla porters, and this one certainly plays well with the others at the top. This one drinks perhaps a little more like a Peet’s coffee cup of liquid candy, rather than a rich roasted heart at the center of a black cup of joe. So note which side you’d rather see your porter fall on - all I can say is either way, it’s a damn good beer.