El Hopadillo Negro is one of two year round IPA offerings from Karbach and is their version of a Black IPA. I am growing fond of all Karbach beers so I was happy to pick this up on one of my many trips to Houston. El Hopadillo Negro poured an opaque black with a significant tan head that exuded heavy hops and a hint of roasted malt in the aroma. The taste has a strong citrus hop start that faded into a sweet roasted malt bitterness. The Negro was very similar to their Hopadillo but a bit sweeter and with a deeper richer profile. Given the dark appearance the brew was light and flavorful and left a roasty bitterness on my palate. El Hopadillo Negro was a really enjoyable beer from Karbach and its silky smooth body was a real beer treat.
June 23, 2013
June 21, 2013
I am a total Stone Brewing devotee so it’s surprising I waited this long to finally try their infamous Imperial Russian Stout. On top of that I was able to sit on this for a year which shows remarkable restraint but I knew I would be rewarded in the end. And what a reward it was. Released once a year around the beginning of summer, this Imperial Russian Stout is uniquely timed and uniquely fantastic. The IRS poured an opaque black with a slight tan head. The aroma held notes of molasses, dark chocolate, roasted malt with a slight hint of licorice and dark fruits. The taste followed suit with a strong note of molasses, dark chocolate and dark fruits. Obviously there was a lot going on in this brew and it deserves the strong reputation. The fantastic flavors only expanded as it warmed A full and rich bodied beer that was a pleasure to consume. This wasn’t just a beer, it was an experience.
June 19, 2013
I have been drinking Hops and Grain brews for a while now, so I’m amazed I have yet to review one of their beers. No better place to start than their outstanding The One The Call Zoe pale lager. It’s refreshing that a young brewery can come out with such a “normal” beer and knock everyone’s socks off, but Hops and Grain did just that with Zoe. There's nothing huge or outrageous about this beer it just does everything right. A full flavored and thirst quenching beer that puts all pale lagers to shame. It pours a golden orange with a bit of hops and fruit on the nose. The taste zips on your tongue with citrusy fruit and apricot flavors and a mild bitterness to give it a nice dry finish. Very crisp and very refreshing. The Zoe is a bountiful beer in a can and a total home run from Hops and Grain.
June 17, 2013
Lagunitas’s Lucky #13 Mondo Large Red Ale was first brewed for their 13th Anniversary, but they liked it so much, they keep bringing it back. I have had the Lucky #13.Alt, but never the original. I am not usually a fan of Imperial Red Ales, but I love all things Lagunitas so I had faith this would be great. It poured a deep copper amber with a substantial off white head. There were sweet malts and a strong citrus and fruity hop on the nose. The initial taste was signature Lagunitas grapefruit and citrus hops and I knew I was going to enjoy this beer. The flavor had much more depth than the initial hop love. There were notes of caramel and toasted grain malts underneath the tropical fruit, citrus and apricot hop flavors. The taste profile was deep and varied and took my palate on a ride with each sip. The Lucky #13 was a really superb beer and had me re-thinking Imperial Red Ales, although this is the best I have had.
June 13, 2013
Heavy Machinery is Austin Beerworks seasonal IPA series where they will be brewing and canning a different IPA throughout the year in 16 oz. cans. The first one was supposed to be a Black IPA but due to the cans arriving late, and us thirsty Austinites drinking it up too quickly the Double IPA became the first to arrive in cans. Now the packaging is phenomenal: I don’t usually pay too much attention to the container, but this packaging is truly inspired. Outstanding packaging for what is an outstanding beer. The beer poured a hazy amber orange with a full head and an explosion of hops in the aroma. Loads of dank resinous hops with a some citrus as well which is right in my wheelhouse. The taste followed the aroma with loads of dank resinous and citrus hops with a good dose of floral bitterness on the back end. The hops were floating in a sweet honey malt body that was surprisingly full and gave a nice heft to this brew. What an outstanding beer from Austin Beerworks, they really hit it out of the park on this one. I can still taste the dank bitter hops on my palate now. mmmmm. This Double IPA will be a mainstay in my fridge while it lasts and I eagerly anticipate the next IPA in the lineup.
June 12, 2013
According to the Urban Dictionary, Roshambo is a game; to kick each other in the balls over an object, last one standing wins. Rough. For Karbach, Roshambo is their version of a Belgian Style IPA. This is one of two new year round IPA offerings from Karbach (the other a Black IPA) available in 22 oz. bombers. The Roshambo poured an opaque copper with a substantial off white head. The aroma held Belgian yeast mixed with citrus and floral hops. The taste had Belgian yeast and slight clove notes on the front that faded quickly into the bitter hops which were slightly fruity citrus and floral. The Roshambo was a great full flavored brew with a good hop bitterness that coated my palate and a made me happy. Definitely a well done IPA from a stand-out Houston brewery.
June 10, 2013
In honor of "Drink Your State’s Beer" month we had an all Texas beer meeting. The quality and number of Texas brews continues to increase which is good for everyone. All outstanding Texas beers represented this month along with two guest beers: Austin Beerworks Heavy Machinery Double IPA and Southern Star Buried Hatchet. All canned except one, interesting....
Next Month, July – Hops and Grain Tour?
June 6, 2013
Real Ale took their Fireman’s 4 and turned it up to 11! They took their ever popular blonde ale and multiplied the malted barley and hops and then added a round of dry-hopping for good measure. A supercharged version of the Fireman’s 4 with a clean dry finish that went down smooth. The 4-squared poured a hazy gold with a substantial white head. The added hops were readily apparent on the aroma and through the first sips that really transformed the Firemen’s 4 into a fantastic beer. The base Fireman’s 4 flavors are there with a bit more body behind them and more pleasingly bitter hops all around. The 4-squared was a rockin version of the Fireman’s 4 and will easily be kept in my summertime rotation.
Real Ale 4-Squared
June 3, 2013
Misc. pint glass nights around Austin for June. Buy the beer, keep the glass.
Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
June 03 Rahr Summertime Wheat
June 10 Trumer Pils
June 17 Samuel Adams Summer Ale
June 24 Estrella Damm
The Tavern – Tuesdays
Check their facebook page for glass updates
Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM (I will update once Zax updates their calendar)
June 05 Hofbrau Hefeweisen
June 12 Circle Brewing Hop Overboard
June 19 Saint Arnold Summer Pils
June 26 Sixpoint Brewing Sweet Action
Flying Saucer - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
June 05 Branchline Can Glass
June 12 Father’s Day Glass
June 19 Session Stubby
June 26 Green Flash
Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates
Red's Porch – Thursdays, at 5 PMCheck their events page for glass updates