Friday, November 21, 2014

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale


Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Boonville, California


Woah, this beer is a total surprise to me especially since I have no concept of what it is that I'm actually tasting here. It's a very mellow, doughy flavor with hints of cinnamon and whatever the fuck kind of all-spice, cloves and maybe even some pumpkin thrown in for good measure. Whatever it is tastes like a Christmas dessert from a generic box with LOAF emblazoned on the side panels. Something that you'd expect to be emanating from Nana Claus's pudenda back in the day before old Kringle fouled her when she was as handsome and fresh as the sleighride sights at night. But let's not turn this into a tawdry tale.

To boot, both the can and the cup of fizz on top are pretty to look at. Maybe that's the spirit of Christmas itself. Or perhaps I've just reached my two beer limit and it's time to turn my 3AM panderings towards B-grade vampire movies and the crazy woman that I love. May she suffer no more at the hands of monsters and her own demons. I wish these things for you my dear and my beloved cow-eyed daughter and everybody else who exists as well. Even those who wish me harm and evil itself which has slammed me to the ground repeatedly only to watch me rise again from the mire, refreshed and resilient to the forces of the world. Hallejulah, motherfuckers and to all a guten nacht.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Forgotten Flem Farmhouse Ale


Forgotten Flem Farmhouse Ale
Brau Brothers Brewing Company
Marshall, Minnesota


There's something quite dirty about these farmhouse ales that makes you think that somebody has sullied the meringue while you were out to pasture with some foreign and muddy substance. And you're quite right because somebody did and it was quite appropriate of them to do so whether you consented or not.

Now I'm not going to give you some lecture on mouthfeel--because I think it's both an obscene term to bandy about but an even more pretentious one to bring up at all--but I will give you my highly uneducated take on the style, though my only recollections are based on nearly decade old memories.

When I first tried Jolly Pumpkin's Bam Biere I was offput by the rank undertones of hops in an otherwise sour drink. But later on I began to appreciate that not everybody was a candy eater like myself. Well, maybe not appreciated the fact but tolerated their ignorance at least.

Anyway, it's a bit more roasty than I remember old Bammer having and if I'm not mistaken this one also has some chocolate undertones along with the earthy hops and caramel overtness. The sweetness tends to abate as the drink grows closer to the bottom of the vessel but retains its original essence to varying degrees.

A solid brew and especially so as a $1.67 refrigerated offering from the Wine Palace in Livonia. I'd never turn down a farmy at that price and luckily for my famished soul I didn't have to for once.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Noble Chaos Oktoberfest


Noble Chaos Oktoberfest
Short's Brewing Company
Bellaire, Michigan


Is there anything sacred left these days? A woman that doesn't chafe at true love? A man that dares not stick it into anything? A beer style that won't wonky itself into chaos? Human life is clearly a disease that needs to be eradicated from the Earth.

Okay, I've had too many beers tonight because I am railing against one of the better beer makers for their innocent bastardization of a traditional style with unnecessary experimentation.

Noble hops are fucking horse manure to any beer style but when they spoil the carmelization of the okt it becomes personal with me.

The best Oktoberfest that I ever had was a 6 months expired Samuel Adams that tasted like a caramel apple melted into a dark wort and was reduced to 5 bucks for a 6 pack. The seller thought he was selling me a stale ale but instead the happy accident gave me one of the greatest beer delights I've experienced.

This comes across as a generic IPA and my disdain for IPAs is legendary. I guess my cue not to try this was the NOBLE CHAOS emblazoned on the label but I could not resist. Yes, it's a disappointment despite being a quality beer. It's just not an Oktoberfest in my estimation. It's an IPA with a banner that sticks out like a sore bone pony due to its miscategoratization.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rochester Mills Milk Shake Stout



Milk Shake Stout
Rochester Mills Beer Company
Rochester, Michigan


I always get excited when I read lactose, milk or chocolate (similar to reading pumpkin ale) on a beer vessel and prepare myself for a confectionery wet dream upon purchase. Only to be significantly let down each time.

Milk stouts are boring.

Creamy? Yes. A little chocolately? Indubitably. But a milkshake? Fuck naw!

It's basically a Guinness with a boatload of sugar and some cocoa nibs. LOL. Who the fuck promotes their beer by touting its cocoa nibs? Ghastly, isn't it?

Listen, I'm not going to rag on this beer because it's pretty respectable and I'd never turn one down. It's just not spectacular and despite being mostly a bum and a second-rate half-wit, I'm always seeking out the crème de la crème despite not having the know-how to procure or properly place its umlaut.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Newport Storm Xavier Cherry Ale


Newport Storm Xavier Cherry Ale
Coastal Extreme Brewing Company
Newport, Rhode island


If I told you that making a schematic for chicken-shaped sugar cookies with black frosting and cinnamon eyes was the highlight of my weekend you might suppose that my life was a little dull. Well, in accordance with my drab nature and the fact that my propensity towards finding an ever-crazier version of the craziest woman alive is my feckless alter-aim, you'd understand why that is. I do and I don't but avoid it with all my might so as to keep my mind right for my little girl. And then there's beer...

Cherry wine or a fruity champagne come to mind when describing this potion. A bit too refined to be a wine cooler but it's not far from straddling that line due to the overabundance of cherry fruitness. Not a horrible one-offer but clear evidence as to why I never knew that Rhode Island had a microbrewer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Loch Down Scotch Ale


Loch Down Scotch Ale
Arcadia Brewing Company
Battle Creek, Michigan


If you're a dude and have never been stealthily kissed on the cheek by a raving mad Scotsman on the drive back from a casual dinner then you have no clue what fear is. I guess that I was partially to blame since I made the charitable gesture towards the former seaman in lieu of my girlfriend at the time being occupied by work for the evening. I mean the signs were all there: he had a Clark Gable mustache, always wanted to wrestle with guys, became enraged when being called a "homo" during typical construction work word play and gave me come hither looks at my apartment while I was readying to leave for vittles. I was offput by the animalistic glances but gave him the benefit of the doubt having known the guy for several years. Hell, he even talked about a woman that he was in love with and wanted to marry. Maybe I was really that woman to him! After all, I am as naturally beautiful as a wild beast and am sometimes called "ma'am" by strangers even when I am garnished with facial hair.

Now that the therapy session is over for the day let us talk beer. Your typical scotch ale is laden with a high alcohol content and gives off the vapors of such. This one has a faint hint of that fog which evokes a minor solar flare in the ribs but is mostly muzzled in mediocre lager affects: dull, airy malts with caramel affects and a scintilla of hops. A decent beer but not in league with some of the better, non-kissing Scotchies that I've had.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Short's Autumn Ale



Short's Autumn Ale
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, Michigan


Each season has been eulogized in lore by poets and prophets as a time for renewal followed by proclamations championing the endurance of the human spirit. I, for one, am not enamored. There is enough human anguish in one square mile of heavily populated terra firma to clot a thousand planets with a lifetime of despair. No, I'm not writing lyrics for a Cure song or the epitaph for my tombstone but rather surrendering to the elements.

The Earth is a beautiful place. Count the stars some black night and you'll understand that divinity exists even if not in an appointed godhead. The beauty needs no human eyes to validate it. I say let the beasts living mindlessly be the only witnesses and man perish. Well, after my little girl lives out of her time. But I'm becoming dour once more.

This beer reminds me of something that Ron Jeffries might have concocted down at Jolly Pumpkin before the skunks of industry turned his fine enterprise into an uppity affair. Not that his beer isn't worthy of praise on the scale of a wine-lover's masturbatorial altar but the prices are sickeningly upper crust.

Anyway, there's a farmhouse ale quality here with a pungent yeast and a cloying malt that coagulates as it strafes your reptile mouth. If the hops say anything it's that one shouldn't bite too sweetly into the fruit without anticipating the rind. And it's there, ever-present, waiting to break this and any dog's teeth who dares snarl at the invisible hand in the air that guides destinies and displaces souls.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Wilhelm Scream Pumpkin Ale


Wilhelm Scream Pumpkin Ale
Magic Hat Brewing Company
South Burlington, Vermont


Recently, I found some 19th century documents at an antique store pertaining to an old shuttered insane asylum in the Detroit area and figured that they would be of great interest to the readers of my blog devoted to that very institution. But it wasn't to be. There was zero fanfare. The readers are apparently only interested in hauntings, trespassing the grounds and a future fictional horror movie representation of the place and not exceedingly rare ephemera.

While bemoaning this fact to my friend Kayla, she said, "You should have found nude photos of women from the 1800s and then people would care." She was right, of course, that people want filth and maybe it's my bad karma for always writing this blog mockingly towards the serious reviewers of beer. Oh well.

So will Wilhelm Scream? Only if ye stick a plum up his bum! Otherwise he'll just whimper the cuckold's blue song of Eden while blowing chunks into the same bag that he brought this bile water home in.

There's a pleasing amount of pumpkin flavoring in here but it's not as fullsome as BIG BOUNCY ASIAN BREASTS. And the caramel and spicing? It's sufficient but hardly shakes you like a BIG CHOCOLATE BOOTAY. All right, I can't do this. The beer is mediocre and so is your mama you swill-chugging prick. Goodnight.

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Holland Dragon's Milk


New Holland Dragon's Milk
New Holland Brewing Company
Holland, Michigan

I don't know if it's more a testament to a lack of character on my part or those who buy me meals on occasion like I was some worthy hot chick but I've long tired of asking why about most everything.

I had one of these at Sidetrack Bar & Grill with Bearsdley, Bobo and the original Bob and my first inclination was to tip over in an exalted state of vertigo. I get drunk easy and quite fast and on an empty gut it came within a few sips with this one. By the time my black bean yuppy sliders (LOL) came 55 minutes later I was pretty much a simpering fool on half a pint, 2 glasses of water and one over-syrupy raspberry tea.

Even after the relief came the 10.whatever% had me reeling. Flat black stout with the accustomed traits until the last quarter of the glass. Then it was a stiff menthol alcohol infusion meant to topple the weakest parasites. And I was while bemoaning a sink tossed into the Huron River, the current state of American hegemony and my own mental lethargy concerning a girl (well... in generic terms since she's a woman and one always deserves whatever he gets from them). All which will vanish when I see my cheetah clone in the AM and the wicked world rights itself for a few dozen hours.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Short's Key Lime Pie


Key Lime Pie
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, Michigan

I came into this experience expecting a brew with a taste approaching that of a liquid simulation of dessert. What I got instead is what I would classify as a taste approaching a vomited up bad key lime pie and a soft-bellied beer. Where there's supposed to be a tart creaminess there's a sour tanginess that just doesn't sit right. It's pretty cringe worthy and hard to put down the gullet without getting a visceral reaction from the muscles which cause one to upchuck and extends up and into the nose and eyes. A rare bomb by the Short's crew that has absolutely no redeemable qualities and a total waste of the maiden voyage of my Kragers glass.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Short's Chocolate Wheat Porter


Short's Chocolate Wheat Porter
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, Michigan

When I first engaged in the practice of reviewing beer--mostly in mockery of the craft pornographers who whore out the product and themselves for attention and mutual ass-clasping connections--porters were one of my favorite styles. Specifically, Pontiac Porter, which I imbibed in more frequently than others before I moved onto the overedumacated prestige of the Jolly Pumpkin collection. Which is now so over-priced that one actually needs a job to drink. Haha.

One particularly memorable bout with the Pontiac P. occurred after a trip to the JP Brewery. The baby mama and I, pre-baby and conception, planned a camping expedition at grounds out past Dexter and near Hell, Michigan. I think it was Green Lake but who cares, right? Anyway, we were drinking up a storm because that's what cheating wives do (unbeknownst to me because I'm an innocent little angel) and partaking of dogs and such. Hot dogs, not the ones the accompanied B. M. and served as logs of oppression in the cloths of passion.

Listen, I'm not a big drinker but the witch was happiest being inebriated and I'm a sucker for craft beer. After nearly a six pack and enough food to bloat a small pig I was past the point of consumption. B. M. was just getting started. So off to bed we went for some fu schnickens. Or at least she thought anyway. I was beyond bloated and the last thing on my mind was engaging in some cuckoldry. I mean, I'm always up for befouling a woman that I love but there are times when it's nearly impossible due to physical limitations. So I told her to let me rest a bit and we lay down to quell our slovenly ways.

Of course, I fell asleep because that's what I do when I lie down for longer than a few minutes. The next thing I knew there was a wild eruption and she was roaring at the campers in the lots nearby who were carrying on way into the wee hours. It lasted several minutes and included threats of police, park rangers and beatdowns, all while I lay in conscious oblivion, pretending that I was still asleep. Needless to say, the next morning was a cricket symphony and after wrapping up our belongings and dropping me back off at the rented palace she returned to the safe confines of marital bliss.

This beer conjures up none of those past horrors. It's a wispy dark with a dainty sweetness that's befitting of one of those overpriced foreign cookies that come in a canister and is stuffed with creme that you always see at dollar stores or Big Lots! because Americans want cheap comfort food and care not for finery. There's a little sour in there, too, but nothing approaching what Ron Jeffries cooks up in his laboratory. What I'm saying is that my stories are better than this beer just not due to any fault of the brew itself. Yes, I'm that awesome and so is Short's, most of the time. Hell, give it a few years and maybe you'll be reading about another love-child born of forbidden passion. But first I have to stick it into something besides a bromide or a beer. Give this beer monk some leeway because it's a-brewin and nothing before its due time shall before me pass.

Earl of Brixom English Dark Mild Ale


Earl of Brixom English Dark Mild Ale
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, Michigan

Somebody must have pulled the bung from the King's court brew keg because this is one flat pourer. But what the good Earl lacks in fizz he more than makes up for it in roasty-toastiness. That said, without the carbonation this English dark mild comes across basically as a strong wort.

The maltburger's there all right and it's rich and dark as a cola but lacks the sophistication of a shape-shifting, interbred reptilian royal that puts women and children to death in the name of God, country and the House of Rothschild.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Honey Badger Black Ale


Honey Badger Black Ale
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, Michigan

There's little about me that's scientific or meticulous and as such I didn't make a very good amateur brew master. Not to mention that I refused to graduate to big boy equipment because I had no desire to brew 5 gallons of beer at a time or spend half of my life molesting a wort. Hence, I brewed kit beers with jacked up additions. Chocolate Pumpkin Stout. Brown sugar maple syrup ale. Cherry chocolate honey lager. Etc. They were all fairly mediocre and I pretty much lost interest in the matter, preferring the ease of a microbrew. Luckily, Short's sprung onto the scene with affordable and ingenious concoctions that I would have ventured onto eventually.

This is quite the black ale! Rich and roasty as a porter with the teeth of an imperial stout. While the orange blossom honey comes in segregated waves--citrus rind in the hop bite and faint honey sap sweetness in the finish--it's omnipresent in varying degrees. There is also a quite pronounced figgy/raisin infused alcohol vapor essense to the bottom of the glass that wasn't mentioned on the label but is welcomed all the same.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Double Take IPA


Double Take IPA
World Brews
Novato, California

It's odd that a brew which describes itself as "a head snapper" turns out to be one of the more mild concoctions of its ilk. But that's what it is. A peppery lemon jerker with just the right amount of whiskers for an old Tom such as myself. I suppose that I'm not THAT OLD but the difference between old balls and really old balls is more or less minutia.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Howlin' Chinaski Dortmunder Lager

courtesy of Beardsley Rummel

Howlin' Chinaski Dortmunder Lager
Short's Brewing Company
Elk Rapids, Michigan


Being that permanence is the standard bearer for literature it's safe to say that Bukowski wasn't a very good poet and his alter-ego Henry Chinaski merely a glorified pop icon. That said, he was mostly better than the alternative. Which is more a statement of societal decline than an accolade. Thankfully, we're not here to discuss literature. Though the field offers an interesting parallel between it and the beer culture during much of Bukowski's adult life and career. Most American beer companies after the 1950s and '60s strove to be national brands with watered down taste. With mass production came the necessity to become more economical and the adjunct lager became the regular fare. Macro swill lager dominated the landscape.

Then came the craft beer revival in the latter two decades of the twentieth century with the nineties exploding into an outright revolution. Thank Gawd for that, eh? With it came the rebirth of the American tradition of producing old world styles. Porters, stouts, ales, fruit and pumpkin beers, among many others. A dortmunder by any quality brewer tastes like this one. A full-bodied lager balanced with a rich sweetness and a mellow tack of grassy hops. It's what I imagine that Budweiser, Strohs or any of the big brewer's flagships brews used to taste like back in the 1800s through Prohibition.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Redd's Apple Ale


Redd's Apple Ale
Redd's Brewing Company
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


This swill is not a beer it's a goddamn wine cooler. Like it's contemporary, Wild Blue, only a chick would call this a beer let alone an ale. A pungent barfy concoction with a full gross of taffy apple corn syrup added. I wouldn't pour this into the asshole of Satan to cool off his world fuckery let alone feed it to a bitch in heat to cool her off from the heat of my innate greatness and magnanimity.