27 June 2016

822. Ballast Point Mango Even Keel

The beer starts off really enjoyable in the front end, and then my mouth dries up terribly.  The mango is mild.  The hops are heavy. It's thick. It's not my style.

821. Blue Point Summer Ale

Nothing exciting.  Supposedly a wheat ale, but it really just comes across as a glorified Miller Lite.  A little thicker and heavier, with some citrus notes but nothing prominent. Not a bad beer, but nothing special about it at all.  

26 June 2016

820. BIER Belgian Dubbel

Very nice and enjoyable malty flavors going on here.  Light and easy to drink, with what almost tastes like a bourbon flavor to it. 

REVISITED 117. Rogue Dead Guy Ale

So, now that I've started the Revisited brand on the website, I will be trying to cover some of the beers from The First 152 post.

One of them being Rogue Dead Guy Ale. This was one of the earliest craft beers I tried, and it still holds up today.  I still really enjoy it. Nice, good malty flavors. It rolls down my tongue smooth and is just enjoyable to drink.  It's a little too heavy for me to consider drinking a lot of them at once, but I do enjoy the bock flavor of this beer. 

REVISITED 343. BrewDog Hardcore IPA

Beer 343.  BrewDog Hardcore IPA
Originally drank on October 15th, 2013.

When my friend Claire recently went to Ireland, she knew I was a fan of BrewDog beers and she grabbed me a pair of them. One I had and one that I hadn't. Since it had been over two years since I drank this beer, I thought I would start up a "revisited" series for some of these special beers that I get my hands on. 

So, it looks like my original feelings are still in tact. And drinking it in the new IPA glass didn't seem to make it any different. It's got some good flavors. It's a little thicker than an IPA but has less bitterness and dry-mouth taste.  

It's not my favorite BrewDog offering, but as I said before, I can drink one with no problem and enjoy the quality. 

22 June 2016

819. Arcadia Ales Loch Down Scotch Ale

Really good and enjoyable flavors.  The scotch flavor isn't too strong, it's very crisp and mellow.  Very good beer. 

818. Kentucky Old Fashioned Barrel Ale

Very nice beer. 
The flavors are really good, I think the cherries add a nice sweet flavor up front, before the bourbon kicks in and finishes a little dry - which I honestly don't mind.  It reminds me what I am drinking.  I like this, more of a "sip on one a night" beer.  Not something I would want multiples of. 

20 June 2016

817. Anderson Valley Summer Solstace

Drank at 10:34pm-ish - almost exactly at the Official Summer Solstace. 

Very nice malty beer.
Thick with some good caramel flavor. 
Not hoppy or bitter. 
Some really nice flavors overall.  
It's a good beer, but nothing I have to drink again.  

816. Stone Mocha IPA

I was pretty worried going into this beer. Stone tends to always be far more dry and bitter than I prefer.  Oddly, I actually somewhat enjoy this beer.  The cocoa is lacking, and it's kind of sweeter mocha flavor.  Mildly dry and not hoppy at all. Nothing I really enjoy, but I do find it far more drinkable than I expected. 

17 June 2016

815. Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock

A nice and chocolaty smooth bock. Claims that it uses the same recipe as it did 375 years ago, which could be what gives it such a unique taste.  It doesn't try to do too much, it's mellow, and the chocolate flavors are fairly prominent. It's not amazing, but it's drinkable and not bad at all. 

814. Upland Campside

I heard about this beer a few years ago, and was waiting for Zach and I to take another camping trip.  We planned to get a case and drink them by the camp fire. But, that was years ago.  It never happened.  So, when Claire bought me a randomly built six pack for my birthday, this was in it. 

Sadly, I'm not a fan.  I wanted to like it, but it just wasn't smooth enough to earn the "session" title it brags.  Too dry, too hoppy.  NOT something I ever want to drink more than one of.  

11 June 2016

813. Indiana City Toasted Imperial

Very enjoyable beer, something I really enjoy.  Nice full bodied flavor up front - although I don't taste any fruit/citrus in the beer - and it finishes with a really good mellow coconut flavor. Mellow coconut.  Still not the full coconut that Kona once perfected - but better than most coconut beer.  This is something I would drink as often as I could and enjoy it.  Probably not something I could a lot of in one sitting, but I do really enjoy the flavors. 

June 18th, Follow Up. 

I really wanted to try the beer again, because I felt like I should have liked it more. And I am glad that I did.  The plastic cup last weekend definitely altered the test and caused the problem.  Today's drinking from a glass was much more enjoyable!!!  Really delicious beer.  Chocolate is very promenient, coconut still creeps in the back.  Delicious. 

812. Victory Golden Monkey

Really good flavors, some interesting spices involved.  Nice and full, without being too dry for 9.5%.  Really enjoyable, but not something I would go out of my way to drink again. 

08 June 2016

811. Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

I am beyond impressed with the fact that I don't hate this beer. 

I've been seeing the 120 Minute in stores, but knew I needed to take the progression in order. So, I ordered this when I saw it available. 

It's strong.  It's flavorful.  And it's dry and bitter in the back - but not terrible. It's not something I want to drink often, but I'm not chocking it down like I thought I would be...  120 coming soon!

07 June 2016

810. Redemption Me LUV U Triple Time

Really enjoyable beer.  Nothing special about it, but it was good and easy to drink.  Mild flavors, but enjoyable.

809. Flix Luna Rose Wit

I'm not sure exactly what I don't like about this beer, but there is something. It's light and fairly smooth, but there is some kind of dry/spicy note that just doesn't sit right with me. 

808. Flix Golden Ale

Pretty much exactly what I was expecting. Nice and easy to drink.  Light. Refreshing.  Nothing special.  

807. Dogfish Head Higher Math

My Birthday Beer!!!
807 on the 7th. It kinda works. 
WOW.  Technically a Barleywine. BIG on some crazy flavors.  The chocolate/cocoa nibs are there but in like a thick syrup-style flavor not just hints.  The "sour" cherry flavor is what creeps in the back end, almost like an afterthought of flavor. 

The beer is obviously pretty heavy, and drinks rather thick. Not smooth going down.  The flavors swirl around together and then leave you with an interesting - yet enjoyable - aftertaste. 

PROST to the 36th anniversary of the day which I was born. 🍻

And it's funny, after I wrote my review, I went to their website to check out their story on this beer - and it seems that we disagree on when the flavors come forward.  Very interesting!

05 June 2016

806. TwoDEEP Brickhouse

Very standard Amber ale.  Good flavors, smooth and easy to drink. Not a bad beer, but not memorable either. 

03 June 2016

Looking Back at the Milestones

So, the first few potential milestones were all included in the First 150 Post, and really don't matter for anything.  It consisted of the beers I drank in high school, and right after I turned 21.  All macrobrews, all beers that overall sucked and mean nothing.

The first legitimate milestone this website saw was in October of 2011, when I visited Triton Brewing - a local Indiana Brewery and drank BEER 200 - Triton Magnificent Amber.  Being so early in the website's infancy, I didn't write up much of a review.  Also, that day was my first ever visit to Triton, which saw me add four beers to the young website: #198 to #201.  At this time, Triton would turn into one of my main drinking locations.  Often my friend Heather would join me for beers and food trucks here.

#250.  One quarter of the way to my goal was hit on July 23rd, 2013, at Ale Emporium.  BEER 250 was the Green Flash Hop Head Red from California, and was very NOT memorable to me.  On that day, during my visit to Ale Emporium, I added three beers to the website.  Xingu Black was #251.  Truth be told, BEER 252 is what I WISH I would have done for 250:  Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale.  One of my favorite sour beers and a beer that I continue to drink to this day.  Missed opportunity for Beer #250.

#300.  On September 5th, 2013, I reached BEER 300, I realized the importance (to me) of making the milestones count.  As I state in the comments, I wanted Beer #300 to be an Indiana beer, and I picked something from Flat 12.  Sadly, it turned out to be something that was just okay.  Nothing special, and nothing I have ever drank since then.  It's nice to look back and see when I made the decision to make sure my Milestone Beers mattered to me.

#333.  Lolita.  Oh, how I LOVE Lolita.  BEER 333, ONE THIRD of the way to my goal was reached on October 10th, 2013, and I got lucky enough to try my (still) favorite sour beer - Goose Island Lolita.  This is a beer that I continue to drink to this day, and still ranks as my favorite sour beer to drink.  Sometimes its hard to find, but when I can, I will always grab a bottle to enjoy.

#400.  BEER 400 benefited from the fact that I had recently been introduced to Ommegang and had fallen in love with their beers.  I wanted to try them all, and once I hit Beer 399, I started going to the bigger liquor stores that I knew to look for something special for #400.  I was always checking for something new from Ommegang, and was very happy to find this beer on November 2nd, 2013.  In a funny twist, I had been drinking at Indiana City Brewing on the afternoon of November 2nd, when I hit BEER 399 with Indiana City's Red Collar.  One of the best beers I have ever had.  Looking back, and knowing how much I would come to love and support Indiana City - I wish Red Collar had been #400.

#500.  HALFWAY DONE.  Fifty Percent Complete.  BEER 500 was a special one.  As I was getting closer and closer to 500, I was talking to my brother, who surprised me with something amazing.  We made plans for me to come up to Chicago to celebrate the halfway milestone and on April 28th, 2014 I made my way up to Chicago, and learned that Scott had secured a can of the beer that was rated #1 on Beer Advocate at that time.  The Alchemist Heady Topper from Vermont.  In a twist of luck, Scott had a friend who went to the east coast and was able to get their hand on some of these cans.  The Alchemist only distributes to three other states in the North East (or at least, that was the case in 2014).  So, it was rare to get, and Scott was able to buy one for this special occasion.  While it wasn't my favorite beer I have ever drank, it is one of the most memorable.  Just because it was rated #1 when I drank it, I drank it with my brother, who had specially gotten it for us for that milestone.

#600.  BEER 600 is another very, very special beer to me.  Not because of the beer itself - but because of the story around in.  In June of 2014, Ryan Miller and I watched a few World Cup Soccer Matches at The Ale Emporium.  We noticed on their beer list, a 3L bottle of Chimay Blue.  Full disclosure, I am sure I drank this beer before #600, however it was never documented that I drank.  It was never given a number.  So, on that day, Miller and I decided that Beer #600 (my next upcoming Milestone) would be this 3L $120 Bottle of Beer - which I still have in my possession to this day.  Six months later, on January 20th, 2015 - we gathered a group of good friends at the Ale Emporium, and I drank my first new beer of 2015, Beer #600.  The more important reason this milestone is so important to me, is that it is the first one that Caitlin and I shared together.  We had just started dating a week earlier, and while she didn't make it in time for the photo - she did show up later and we had a wonderful night together with all the amazing people in the photo.  We went to Tilly's and kept drinking while playing Cards Against Humanity, my buddy Jae even showed up later.  Beer #600 was one of the best nights of drinking I have ever had - in my life.

#666.  On June 30th, 2015, I drank a beer with Caitlin, that turned out to be BEER 666.  I believe I spent a good amount of time trying to find something "devil" or "hell" related for this beer - specifically, Victory's Hop Devil - and just didn't come up with anything.  So, on that night, I was hanging out with Caitlin, I was playing Destiny, and I drank this beer with her.  To this day, it remains one Caitlin's favorite beers, and I do think it's a good beer - so I'm not disappointed with having this milestone on the resume.

#700.  August 21st, 2015 saw another milestone that I can't express how important to me it was.  On this day, a number of my friends were all in Chicago.  Myself, Jason, and Snow were attending Comic Con.  Claire and Steve were working Comic Con.  And Miller just happened to be up at a Cubs game that day.  So, we all met at Headquarters - a beercade (Adult Arcade that serves beer) and we had an amazing night.  On that night, I found a Mikkeller beer that became BEER 700.  It was nice, because of how hard it is to get some Mikkeller beers, coupled with the amount of friends I had in Chicago that night - it was unbelievably amazing.

#750.  THREE FOURTHS OF THE WAY TO MY GOAL!!!!!!!  Sadly, I didn't do a very good job on BEER 750.  After my Christmas Vacation, and hitting Beer 747, I took some time off.  90 days to be exact.  I spent ninety days learning a lot about myself, my relationships, and my sobriety.  These were the best 90 days I've spent in a while, and it's gotten me very prepared for a better life - both personally and professionally.  It shed a lot of light on the ways I was living my lifestyle wrong.  That all out of the way - My first beer after sobriety was from Indiana City.  Then, a couple of nights later, Caitlin and I went to see "The Breakfast Club" at a local Brewery Theatre.  (Local, as in franchised from Texas, but still brew their beers in house).  This beer will always be a special milestone because of sharing it intimately with Caitlin.  So, it was a Scotch Ale.  It was drinkable.  Nothing special, except Caitlin being there with me.

#800.  BEER 800 was a very generous gift from my long time drinking buddy, Claire.  She recently visited Ireland, and while she was there I told her to look out for BrewDogs beers - some of my favorite beers I have ever had, just because I really enjoy the TV series they did.  James and Martin are hilarious and have done some of the most amazing beers in the world, won all kinds of awards, set brewing records, and just seem like super cool guys to be involved with.  So, because I told her to try their beers, she came back with a few for me.  And I saved one of them for the sole purpose of being this milestone.  Joining the Dead Pony Club was awesome.  Hitting 80% of my goal was great, especially with a brewery I fully support.

Today has been amazing.
I've spent the majority of the afternoon sitting around Indiana City Brewing - my favorite local brewing - enjoy their beers, while I write and get nostalgic about some of the most important beers I have drank in my life.  During this afternoon, I have texted numerous people - letting them know how much I appreciate them and their influence on my drinking life and this website.  I drink.  I drink a lot.  And I have amazing friends who help me drink amazing beers.  I also am blessed with an Amazeballs Girlfriend who supports my passion, and drinks with me.  If you check out APRIL 2016 - you can see our amazing trip to Cincinnati and all the beers we tried together that day, and the following days.  Also, if you check out my BICYCLE SERIES it is 100% dedicated to Caitlin - who bought me the deck of cards I used for that aspect of this website.

It's been a long journey.
It's been a crazy journey.
There have been ups and downs.
There have been amazing nights and blackout night that I can't remember.
All that matters is that I have a woman who loves me and supports this journey, I have an awesome brother who is always up for experimenting in Chicago with whatever breweries I can find, and I have amazing friends in the bartending/bar managing business who bring in new beers for me to try.
After years of being an angry drunk, who wanted to party like he is still 21...
...I am proud to say that my life and focus has changed in 2016.
I have goals.
I have dreams.
And some of them involved this website.
I was asked to partner with Home Brew Supply - by them.  Which was an honor.
And I've chosen to use this website as a writing avenue for myself - on top of keeping account of my new beers.
Most importantly, I have a very supportive "better half" who also enjoys beer, and is insanely supportive.  Keeping my two loves so close together, and still importantly separate.

My life is good.
My life is amazing.
And I have 196 beers left to try to hit the goal I set for myself.
Luckily, I'm not doing this alone.

805. Indiana City Son of War

This could be my new summer beer. I really enjoy the flavorful and almost creamy lightness of this beer.  Heavy enough to remind you it has flavor, but easy and refreshing to drink.  Goes down super smooth and easy and sits well. I could outside all day drinking these and enjoying the weather and the flavor. 

804. Indiana City Anniversary Ale

A giant mouthful of hoppy flavor - which is balanced out with a very mild bitterness.  Much better than I expected, based on the smell.  There are a lot of flavors blended together and it makes it really enjoyable.  As per usual with Thai style - the dry-mouth in the end is my only complaint.

Turns out this ale was brewed with all their leftover grains from their previous beers, I believe I heard 16 different ones were put into this one beer. According to Rachel, "It was either going to turn out really good, or really terrible."

I'm going to say really good, even if it's not my style. I'm sure a lot of people enjoy the flavors more than I do.