August 31, 2015

Beer Bums Meeting – August 2015

Wanting to visit a single style we settled on the broad spectrum of lagers.  This style covers a lot of other styles, but maybe not as broad as something like “ales”.  While it casts a wide net most are very clean and crisp and we are also on the edge of Oktoberfest season which may be my favorite of all the lagers.  The new Oktoberfest from Sierra Nevada being my favorite and they really nailed the style. (Unfortunately I forgot to snap a pic of it at the meeting so the below photo was taken later).  The bonus Not Your Father’s Root Beer was definitely a different drink that tasted exactly like root beer.

Next Month, September – Pilsners

August 26, 2015

The Brü Revü – Karbach Hellfighter

I picked this up on a quick work trip to Houston about 2 years ago and promptly put it in the beer fridge where it sat forgotten until now!  The Hellfighter is Karbach’s Imperial Porter that is the base to all of their outstanding Bourbon Barrel vintages that I have yet to try. The beer poured a pitch black with a large and spongy tan head that left good lacing and a lingering ring.  The nose was very sweet and fruity for a porter with a tinge of bittersweet chocolate to round out the dark fruit and dried cherry notes in the aroma.  The taste started off with a burnt chocolate bitterness that quickly faded into the dark fruits and sweet malts.  This thick and creamy brew finished with a roasty bitterness that was palate coating and begged to be extinguished with another sip. The Hellfighter was a very smooth brew that seemed to mellow after 2 years although it still had a lot going on with a depth and complexity that would lend itself well to Karbach’s frequent Bourbon Barrel Aging. Now I need to seek out the Aged version as I would love to see the effects of the Bourbon Barrels on a beer that was as robust as the Hellfighter.  

Karbach Hellfighter

August 19, 2015

The Brü Revü – Victory Golden Monkey

Ahhh the Golden Monkey!  Victory’s year round Belgian Tripel that has been a staple in my beer rotation for years. The beer poured a deep gold with a large fluffy white head that left generous lacing.  The aroma was full of Belgian yeast and spices with cloves being the dominant spice.  The taste followed the nose with the clove spiciness and Belgian yeast notes that were accompanied by sweet candi sugar notes.  The sweetness became more prevalent as it warmed as did a slight peppery spice finish, but the main Belgian yeast and clove spices were at the forefront of this delicious brew.  The Golden Monkey hid its high ABV while remaining full flavored with a medium to full mouthfeel and a good level of carbonation.  All in all this was a great American version of a Belgian Tripel that I wish more brewers would produce.  The Belgian styles allow room to move and experiment, but I may be a bit biased as I got my craft beer start on Belgian Tripels and Dubbels.  I always need a tripel in my fridge so a well done year round version like the Golden Monkey keeps me in heaven.

Victory Golden Monkey

August 12, 2015

The Brü Revü - Founders Curmudgeon

You can't go wrong with a Founders beer, especially when it's Oak Aged with molasses. The Curmudgeon is just that, an Old Ale brewed with molasses and Oak aged to create another out of this world beer. The fact that this is a standard seasonal for Founders makes it even better. The beer poured a slightly opaque deep amber with a fleeting tan head. The aroma had sweet molasses and syrupy booziness right out of the bottle and was very pronounced. The taste had a sweet and syrupy tone from the start with an underlying bitterness that was fighting for attention but was deftly held at bay. I could detect hints of vanilla from the oak aging as it warmed in addition to dark fruits that gave this brew depth and character. My sample was a year old and I could see where it could be a little hot fresh. A year seems to have tamed the heat and allowed the flavors to balance themselves. It's still a thick and boozy beer with enough sweet molasses and dark fruit tones with hints of vanilla to make it a big and complex brew. Another excellent creation from Founders.

August 5, 2015

The Brü Revü - Goose Island Sofie

Sofie is one of Goose Island's Barrel-Aged Belgian beers that is a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale that is partially aged in wine barrels with hand zested orange peels. Having a readily available barrel-aged beer is quite an ambitious feat but one that I readily appreciate.  The beer poured a slightly opaque bright golden yellow with a lively white head. The aroma was full of Belgian yeasts and was very similar to a Belgian golden ale but there was a bit of funk underneath that must have come from the Barrel Aging. The taste followed with a bright and tart fruitiness that had hints of apple and pear that accompanied the Belgian yeast esters ending with a dry finish. There was an underlying barnyard funk to the tart flavor that gave Sofie a nuanced yet sophisticated profile. The mouthfeel was light and bright with the carbonation allowing the complex flavors to dance on my palate. The Sofie was a nuanced brew that was sophisticated yet fruity and peppy enough to go down easy on a hot Texas day.

Goose Island Sofie

August 3, 2015

Pint Glass Nights - August 2015

Misc. pint glass nights around Austin for August.  Buy the beer, keep the glass.
Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
Aug 03  The Travler Beer Co. Curious Traveler
Aug 10 Lagunitas IPA
Aug 17 Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
Aug 24 Franconia Kolsch
Aug 31 Hofbrau Marzen

Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM
Aug 05  Thirsty Planet Thirsty Goat Amber
Aug 12 Uncle Billy’s Brewery
Aug 19 Boulevard Brewing The Calling IPA
Aug 26 Robinsons Trooper (Iron Maiden Tribute)

Flying Saucer  - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
Aug 05  Infamous Brewing
Aug 12 Elvis Glass
Aug 19 Stone Woot Stout
Aug 26 TBD
Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates
Red's Porch – Thursdays, at 6 PM, Check their events page for glass updates