Beer #115 New Belgium Eric’s Ale, Lips of Faith Series


New Belgium Eric's Ale (Lips of Faith Series)

Name: Eric’s Ale, Lips of Faith Series

Style:  American Wild Ale

Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Inc.  website

Country: USA

Region: Fort Collins, Colorado

ABV: 7.0% Abv

How served: 22 oz capped bottle poured into a Liefmans chalice.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with:  Lobster ravioli.  This was a pairing I could do again, but not tomorrow.

Tasted on: Thursday May 27th, 2010. 

Note:  When you crack open this bottle you get a whiff of peaches.  When pouring brew this into a glass, you get a slow forming head, which disappeared within a minute.  The first sniff out of the glass reminded me of a chardonnay.  The taste is at first slightly tart and in a very refreshing way.  You then get a bit of sweetness and a mild peach flavor, without being to peachy sweet.  Despite the lack of carbonation in this beer, the mouthful was much thicker than I expected.   I will most definitely be looking forward to drinking this one again, especially in the middle of the summer.

On the Label:   Wood- Aged Ale with Peach Juice.

Eric Says It Best.  This Is A Sour Ale For Those Who Don’t Like Sour Ales.  And A Fruit Ale For Those Who Don’t Like Fruit Ales.  More Hypothesis And Wood Aged Ales At NewBelgium.Com

From their website:   We here at New Belgium Brewing are crazy pleased to introduce you to our new and rousing Lips of Faith program. Over the years, we have put tons of love and effort into our core brands such as Fat Tire, 1554 and our imaginative seasonal line-up.

At the same time, we’ve always wanted to keep the brewhouse a playground by creating tiny batch brews for internal celebrations or milestones. We’ve loosely grouped all these playground beers as Lips of Faith. In exchange, we are committing time, resources and boundary-free imagination to the Lips of Faith program to ensure that not only will you have innovative delicious brews, but also a steady and every changing variety available.

With the new release of bombers of Lips of Faith beers and our expanded draft program, you’ll have more opportunities to sample and enjoy the outcome of our brewer’s at play.

Looking to find some Lips of Faith creations? Try our Libation Location.

Eric’s Ale, named for long time New Belgium brewer Eric Salazar, combines a dry, sour beer aged up to three years in oak foeders with a semi sweet, higher alcohol base beer. The resulting blend is re-fermented with peach juice, creating a smooth ale with subtle peach tones and a warm, spicy finish. The aroma has pleasant hints of vanilla and tropical fruit, the wood characteristics are present but nicely muted.

A sour beer for those who don’t like sour beers. And a fruit beer for those who don’t like fruit beers.

ABV 7%

IBU 16

Hops/spicing: Peach Juice

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Beer #114 Flying Fish Exit 11

Flying Fish Exit 11

Name: Exit 11 (Hoppy American Wheat)

Style:  American Wheat Ale

Brewery: Flying Fish Brewing Company website

Country: USA

Region: Cherry Hill, New Jersey

ABV: 6.2% Abv

How served: 750ml capped bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Wheat glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with:  South Florida shrimp chowder. This pairing was not the best; I will try to avoid all hoppy wheat beers with chowder in the future.

Tasted on: Wednesday May 26th, 2010. 

Note:  You start off with a nice citrusy nose.  The taste starts off with what is both tart and citrusy sweet.  As this beer warmed up it became very apparent that the hops were there (in a good way), the tartness faded and you get more of the grapefruity tangerine bitter/sweet fight, which was well balanced.  Great beer to have by the pool on a hot summer day.

On the Label:   Second release in a limited series. The Flying Fish Exit Series.  We’ve now hit our second stop on our multi-year trip to explore through beer all that is New Jersey.

Exit 11.  Its confluence of highways ensures that you can get there from here.  So we chose a beer that celebrates a confluence of styles.  We looked to Germany and its wheat beers, but then we used a classic English ale yeast.  A trio of Pacific Northwest hops chime in to create a refreshing American wheat with a bit of a hop bite.

Exit 11 is brewed with 50% Belgian pale malt and 50% white wheat.  It’s hopped with Columbus, Palisade and Amarillo hops.  We then dry hop it with more than a pound per barrel of Amarillo hops for a bouquet reminiscent of tangerines and apricots.  A perfect beer to enjoy when you get where you’re going.

From their websiteThe Exit Series™ of beers is a multi-year brewing experiment to brew a series of beers as diverse as the great state of New Jersey. These big beers–in size as well as flavor–will celebrate each exit of the state-long artery that connects us. Each beer will focus on a unique aspect of an individual exit. Learn more about this project at

Exit 11 Hoppy American Wheat Ale is the second in their wildly popular Exit Series of Big Bottle Beers. Exit 11 is a confluence of styles and ingredients, just as Exit 11 is the point in New Jersey where the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike and several other highways come together.

“Exit 11 is the point on the Turnpike where the Garden State Parkway branches off and takes hundreds of thousands of travelers to the renowned Jersey Shore,” says Flying Fish Founder Gene Muller. “Our Exit 11 Wheat Ale is a fresh, citrus-y summer beer perfect for beachgoers and those who only wish they were headed ‘downa shore’.”

Exit 11 is an American-style wheat beer brewed with English ale yeast and three Pacific Northwest hops, Columbus, Palisade and Amarillo. It is brewed with 50% Belgian pale malt and 50% white wheat, and is an ideal summer thirst quencher, with its bouquet of tangerines and apricots. Exit 11 is available only during this one-time release, and only until it sells out across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

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Beer #113 Del Ducato A.F.O.


Del Ducato A.F.O. (Ale For Obsessed)

Name: A.F.O.  (Ale For Obsessed)

Style:  Pale Ale

Brewery: Birrificio Del Ducato website

Country: Italy

Region: Roncole Verdi Di Busseto

ABV: 5.2% Abv

How served: 750ml wide bottom capped bottle poured into a Boulevard Smokestack glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with:  Zuppa di Tomate e pesce.  This pairing went well.

Tasted on: Tuesday May 25th, 2010. 

Note:  This beer had a nice piney and citrusy nose.  The taste was like the nose, you get a mild piney and a sweet citrus taste up front, which then lead to a refreshing and yet mild grapefruit rind taste.  At 5.2% abv this would make a great session beer as it is extremely drinkable.

I picked this beer up in Italy a few weeks ago while I was in Greve in Chianti, Tuscany Italy.  I happened to run into a great craft beer bar, La Birrateca di Greve.  This place has an awesome beer list, they had at least 65 different high end Belgian’s (sitting in a cooler near the entrance), 35 American’s including Port Brewing, Great Divide, Hoppin’ Frog, Founders, yes even Breakfast Stout and about 65 others including the BrewDog and Mikkeller line-up.  Mikela, the barmaid and part owner of this establishment was very knowledgeable about her beers and craft beers in general. She did a great job of describing the 2 dozen or so local Italian made brews to me.  When I asked her what her favorite beer was, she picked this beer, A.F.O.  She said she was a hophead and this was one of the hoppiest Italian made beers she’s had.  I then asked her if it was as hoppy as some of the Californian beers she’s had.  She said “no no, not that hoppy, but for Italy, it is very hoppy”.  Since I trusted her judgment, I’m glad I did, I picked up this beers and a few other, which I will get to in a future post.

Ruth & Mikela in La Birroteca Greve in Chianti


 On the Label:   Consume by Dec 30, 2010. Rest of label is in Italian so here is the label for you to translate yourself.  🙂 (sorry, even though I’m Italian, I don’t know much of the language)

Del Ducato A.F.O. side label

 From their website: Birra di alta fermentazione una libera interpretazione del concetto di Pale Ale. Di color ramato intenso, è caratterizzata dalla generosa luppolatura che prevede l’utilizzo di oltre dieci luppoli di diversa provenienza (tra cui gli americani Chinook, Cascade e Simcoe che le conferiscono profumi agrumati e di frutta esotica) e da un carattere caramellato con delicate tostature che equilibra egregiamente l’amaro.


Una birra che ho sempre bramato: dedicata agli ossessionati delle Ales come me.
La A.F.O. è stata la seconda birra che abbiamo prodotto, uscita contemporaneamente alla VIÆMILIA, quando ottenemmo la licenza alla vendita, a fine marzo 2007. Ricordo che in quel periodo facemmo una festa nel centro di Parma nel piccolo grande bar del nostro amico Flavio, servimmo la A.F.O. a pompa ed ebbe un successo straordinario: ci fu persino un gallese che mi disse orgoglioso di averne bevute ben 14 pinte! La storia di questa birra risale al gennaio 2006 quando per la prima volta venni a contatto con il carattere così nuovo (per me) e irresistibile dei luppoli americani, tuttavia mi resi conto fin da subito che nella Pale Ale dei miei sogni volevo esprimere qualcosa che andasse ben al di là di questo, da allora la realizzazione di un bouquet complesso, affascinante e mai consueto è stata la mia sfida. Per questo viaggiando tra Inghilterra e Germania, visitando i coltivatori di luppolo e sperimentando varietà anche molto lontane (Nuova Zelanda) ho portato avanti una ricerca nel territorio olfattivo dei luppoli che, forse, non è del tutto terminata (fermo restando il carattere inconfondibile della A.F.O. che rimarrà sempre tale). 

 With the help of Goggle Translator : High fermentation beer a free interpretation of Pale Ale.  Intense color of copper, is characterized by generous hopping that involves the use of more than ten hops from different backgrounds (including American Chinook, Cascade and Simcoe giving it smells of citrus and tropical fruit) and a caramel character with delicate toasting that admirably balances the bitterness. 

A beer that I have always longed for: dedicated to the Ales obsessed like me. 

The AFO was the second beer that we produced, VIÆMILIA output at the same time, when we got the license for the sale in late March 2007.  I remember that time we had a party in the center of Parma in the small bar of our great friend Flavio, we serve the AFO pump and had an extraordinary success: there was even a Welsh told me very proud to have drunk 14 pints!  The history of beer dates back to January 2006 when for the first time I came in contact with the character so new (to me) irresistible and American hops, but I realized early on that Pale Ale in my dreams I wanted to express something that went well beyond this, since the creation of a bouquet, complex, fascinating and never has been my usual challenge.  Therefore traveling between England and Germany, visiting growers and hop varieties also experiencing very far (New Zealand) have carried out a search in the olfactory area of hops that perhaps is not quite finished (without prejudice to the unique character of the AFO that will always remain so).

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South Florida Beer Social Media Round 2 tasting

Beer List from the South Florida Beer Social Media Round 2 Tasting
Saturday May 22, 2010 At

325 NE 2nd Avenue # 104  Delray Beach, Fl 33444

South Florida Beer Social Media Beer Tasting List

 South Florida Beer Social Media Round 2 was put together and Emceed by Ed Roberts, Assistant Manager & “beer educator” from the Ft. Lauderdale Total Wine & More store and gracefully hosted by Chung of the Coffee District.   The purpose of this event was to have local South Floridian craft beer lovers who are knowledgeable in social media and/or of the local beer scene to brainstorm on how to improve the awareness of craft beer in the South Florida region, which would ultimately make this a very desirable area for craft beer drinkers.

Besides brainstorming, the 20 people who attended contributed 35 beers to be tasted including some great homebrews and different vintages of the same beer.  As it turned out the brainstorming took a back seat after we were about half way down the list.

 Other local craft beer bars represented:

Ryan and Jim from The Funky Buddha Lounge & Phann from The Lodge. 

 Local Craft Beer Bloggers who participated:

John at Beer Review Dude

Nessie at The Beer Cook

John with his Clean Plate Charlie (he writes both a Blog and is seen in the print media with New Times as a food critic)

Rob from Daily Beer Review

The Ferm & Cerveza Chica from Dos Beerigos

Mike from MikeLovesBeer

Vanessa at Potables +  Edibles

On Twitter you’ll find Joel @Brewkkake 

 Others in the Beer Industry:

Jonathon who runs & Emcees the Boca Beer Lovers Meetup group

Jeff with Draft Doctor

Ian at Fresh Beer

Drew who is in the process of opening up a brewery in Miami called Magellanic Brewery.

 And of course yours truly The Beer Stocked Refrigerator and my wife Ruth at Bon Beer Voyage

South Florida Beer Social Media Round 2 tasting

 Here is the list in the order we tasted the following 35 beers:

Conte Di Campiglia Etrusca

 #1) Conte Di Campiglia Etrusca  Style: Pilsener  ABV : 4.5%

Brewery : Conte di Campiglia  San Godenzo, Italy.    They have been producing beer since 2005.  Besides beer they produce wine, grappa, olive oil, jams and marmalades. This will be one of the places we will visit when we do our Bon Beer Voyage Tuscan Beer, Wine, Gourmet Food and Shopping tour in the Spring of 2011.

 The above beer was paired with Jam which was made with the above Etrusca from Conte Di Campiglia

The Bruery Rugbrod

#2) The Bruery Rugbrød Style: Rye Beer  ABV : 8.0%

Brewery : The Bruery  Placentia, California

Goose Island Matilda 2010

#3) Goose Island Matilda (2010 vintage) Style: Belgium Strong Pale Ale  ABV : 7.0%

Brewery : Goose Island Beer Co.  Chicago, Illinois

#4) Goose Island Matilda (2009 vintage) Style: Belgium Strong Pale Ale  ABV : 7.0%

Brewery : Goose Island Beer Co.  Chicago, Illinois

Homebrew: Hell or High Watermelon clone

#5) Homebrew: Hell or High Watermelon clone Style: Fruit Wheat beer  ABV : ? %

Brewery : Homebrew by The Ferm from Dos Beerigos  Florida

#6) Homebrew: Ian’s Red Hoppy Ale  Style: Red Ale ?  ABV :  ? %

Brewery :  Homebrew by Ian who works for Fresh Beer,  Florida

Grand Teton Pursuit of Hoppiness

#7) Grand Teton Pursuit of Hoppiness  Style: American Strong Ale  ABV : 8.0%

Brewery : Grand Teton Brewing Co.  Victory, Idaho.     This beer was only brewed once in 2009 as part of their Cellar Reserve “Big Beer in a Big Bottle series”  

Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu

#8) Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu  Style: Spiced Beer/ Ancient Herbed Ale    ABV : 8.0%

Brewery : Dogfish Head Craft Brewery  Milton, Delaware

2005 Westvletern 8 with the 2003 & 2004 Rochefort 10's in #17 & 18

#9) Trappist Westvleteren 8 (2005 vintage) cap date 19 02 09 Style: Dubbel  ABV : 8.0%

Brewery : Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren  Westvleteren, Belgium.   You can tell the vintage of a Westvleteren by subtracting 4 years from the best by date stamped on the bottle cap.

Andelot Cuvee Angelique

#10) Andelot Cuvee Angelique   Style: Dubbel  ABV : 7.0%

Brewery : De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)  Lochirist-Hijfte, Belgium

New Belgium Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek

#11) New Belgium Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek   Style: Lambic   ABV : 8.0% 

Brewery : New Belgium Brewing Inc.   Fort Collins, Colorado

Hair of the Dog Fred

#12) Hair of the Dog Fred   Style: American Barleywine  ABV : 10.0%

Brewery : Hair of the Dog Brewing Company  Portland, Oregon

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest

#13) Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest  Style: American Pale Ale  ABV : 6.7%

Brewery : Sierra Nevade Brewing Co.  Chico, California

Adriaen Brouwers Dark Gold Ale

#14) Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold Ale  Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale  ABV : 8.5%

Brewery : Browerij Roman N.V.   Mater-Oudenaarde, Belgium.   The beer is an “exclusive” from Total Wine and More.

AleSmith Wee Heavy

#15) AleSmith Wee Heavy  Style: Scotch Ale – Wee Heavy  ABV : 10.0%

Brewery : AleSmith Brewing Company  San Diego, California

Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale

#16) Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale   Style: American Strong Ale  ABV : 8.0%

Brewery : Mayflower Brewing Company Plymouth, Massachusetts

#17) Trappistes Rochefort 10 (2003 vintage) best by date 10 06 08 Style: Quadrupel  ABV : 11.30%

Brewery : Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy Rochefort,  Belgium.   You can tell the vintage of a Rochefort by subtracting 5 years from the best by date stamped on the bottle.

#18) Trappistes Rochefort 10 (2004 vintage)  best by date 6 10 09 Style: Quadrupel  ABV : 11.30%

Brewery : Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy Rochefort, Belgium

Anderson Valley Summer Solstice

#19) Anderson Valley Summer Solstice  Style: Cream Ale  ABV : 5.6%

Brewery : Anderson Valley Brewing Company  Boonville, California.

Panil Barriquée

#20) Panil Barriquée Style: Flanders Red Ale ABV : 8.0%

Brewery : Panil Torrechiara, Italy

21) Homebrew:  Lil Bitta  Style: ?   ABV : ? %

Brewery : Homebrew by Mike from MikeLovesBeer, Florida

Pretty Thing Saint Botolph's Town

#22) Pretty Thing Saint Botolph’s Town Style: English Brown Ale  ABV : 5.9%

Brewery : Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project  Cambridge, Massachusetts

Pugsley's Signature Series Barley Wine

#23) Pugsley’s Signature Series Barley Wine  Style: English Barleywine  ABV : 8.5%

Brewery : Shipyard Brewing Co.  Portland,  Maine

Half Acre Baumé

#24) Half Acre Baumé  Style: American Stout  ABV : 7.0%

Brewery : Half Acre Beer Company  Chicago, Illinois

Homebrew: The White Hoote Belgium Style White Ale

#25) Homebrew:  The White Hoote Belgium Style White Ale Style: Witbier  ABV : ?%

Brewery :  Homebrew by Vanessa at  Potables +  Edibles , Florida

#26) Homebrew:  Bohemian Pilsener  Style: Pilsener  ABV : ?%

Brewery :  Homebrew by Vanessa at Potables +  Edibles , Florida

Goose Island Pere Jacques

#27) Goose Island Pere Jacques  Style: Dubbel  ABV : 8.0%

Brewery : Goose Island Beer Co.  Chicago, Illinois

Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale

#28) Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale  Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale  ABV : 6.5%

Brewery : Williams Brothers Brewing Company  Alloa,  Scotland

Brew Dog Rip Tide

#29) Brew Dog Rip Tide  Style: Imperial Stout ABV : 8.0%

Brewery : BrewDog Ltd.  Fraseerburgh,  Scotland

Cigar City Big Sound Scotch Ale

#30) Cigar City Big Sound Scotch Ale  Style: Scotch Ale – Wee Heavy  ABV : 8.5%

Brewery : Cigar City Brewing   Tampa, Florida

AleSmith Speedway Stout

#31) AleSmith Speedway Stout  Style: Imperial Stout  ABV : 12.00%

Brewery : AleSmith Brewing Company  San Diego, California

Beer Valley Black Flag Imperial Stout 2009 Fresh Hop Harvest Edition

#32) Beer Valley Black Flag Imperial Stout (2009 Fresh Hop Harvest Edition)  Style: Imperial Stout  ABV : 11.0%

Brewery : Beer Valley Brewing Co.  Ontario, Oregon.  This is a version of the “regular” Black Flag which is “hopped-up” with 200 pounds of fresh hops and is made once a year.

Hoppin' Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S.

#33) Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout  Style: Russian Imperial Stout  ABV : 9.4%

Brewery : Hoppin’ Frog Brewery  Akron, Ohio

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout 2006 with the old colored cap

#34) Dogfish Head World Wide Stout (2006 vintage)  Style: Imperial Stout  ABV : 18.00%

Brewery : Dogfish Head Craft Brewery  Milton, Delaware

#35) Dogfish Head World Wide Stout (2007 vintage) Style: Imperial Stout  ABV : 18.00%

Brewery : Dogfish Head Craft Brewery  Milton, Delaware

Also we had some very delicious Stuffed Mushrooms courtesy of Nessie at The Beer Cook

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Beer #112 Victory Baltic Thunder


Victory Baltic Thunder

Name: Baltic Thunder

Style:  Baltic Porter

Brewery: Victory Brewing Company website

Country: USA

Region: Downingtown, Pennsylvania

ABV: 8.5% Abv

How served: 22oz capped bomber poured into a Brigand chalice.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with: Leftover thick tomato based vegetable soup with shrimp and fish added.  The mild chocolate taste in this baltic porter clashed with the tomato in the soup.   Next time I’ll stay with an IPA.

Tasted on:  Thursday May 20th, 2010. 

Note:  The first thing which hits you with this beer are hints of chocolate, toffee and the sweetness of the malt.  There is no way that you would think this was 8.5% abv, as it drinks more like a 5%er.  This was a very enjoyable brew, just wish I paired it with desert instead.

On the Label:   Enjoy by Jan 27, 2011 otherwise the same as “About” below.

From their website:

ABOUT  Truly a worldly beer. Baltic Thunder represents the Baltic Porter style admirably. Exhibiting the enticing, toffee roast of the British porter that originated the style in the 18th century, and the soothing, subtle fruit nuance of contemporary brews that flourish from Helsinki to Vilnius today, this dark lager honors the Baltic god of thunder.  Created by an inspired collaboration of brewers and tempered with a touch of turmoil, Baltic Thunder rolls on to bring you enchanting light as the darkness fades.

Hops: European whole flower
Malts: imported German 2 row and roasted malts
ABV: 8.5%

Draft for a limited time
22 oz. bottles by case (of 12)

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Beer # 111 Captain’s Reserve Imperial India Pale Ale


Captain's Reserve Imperial India Pale Ale

Name: Captain’s Reserve Imperial India Pale Ale

Style:  Imperial India Pale Ale

Brewery: Captain Lawrence Brewing Company website

Country: USA

Region: Pleasantville, New York

ABV: 9.0% Abv

How served: 500ml capped bottle poured into a Stone IPA glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with: A really thick tomato based vegetable soup with shrimp and fish added.  This was as good as a pair as it could get.

Tasted on:  Wednesday May 19th, 2010. 

Note: This beer poured with a nice puff head which lasted almost to the end, leaving a beautiful lacing. Very nice citrus nose.  It tasted mildly sweet upfront then a mild grapefruit bitterness followed.  This was very refreshing and not over the top in any way to make you think you where drinking an Imperial IPA instead of an IPA.  If you find this beer in your area, be sure to pick a few and you will not be disappointed.

On the Label:   Imperial India Pale Ale.  Even the name sounds impressive. But what should really impress you is the hoppy nectar that is held within this bottle.  A true testament to the ingenuity of the American craft brewers; this style of beer concentrates more hop character than any style before it.  Created from a blend of 5 different hop varieties this beer is the ultimate hop lovers dream come true. Cheers, Scott Vaccara.

From their website: This beer is a salute to the ingenuity and creativity of the American craft brewers. A uniquely American style of beer, the Double or Imperial IPA, has become the calling card of many craft brewers who aren’t afraid to push the limits of what hops can add to a beer. This beer is big and hoppy – not for the faint of heart! Be prepared to experience sensory overload as you savor this Imperial IPA.


Hops, and lots of them. The aroma is bursting with the classic citrus and pine aroma of American-grown hops. The flavor is dominated by a hoppy bitterness, with just enough malt to make you want to take another sip.


This beer needs an assertive food to stand up to it. Match Captain’s Reserve with aged cheeses such as Stilton, cured and grilled meats.

Hops: Columbus, Chinook, Cascade
Malts: Domestic Pale Malt, English Pale Malt, English Crystal Malt
IBU: 80
OG: 20
Type of Glass: Other

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Beer #110 Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale

Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale

Name: Hopback Amber Ale

Style:  American Amber / Red Ale

Brewery: Tröegs Brewing Company website

Country: USA

Region: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

ABV: 6.0% Abv

How served: 12oz capped bottle poured into a Taco Mac pint glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good

I paired this beer with: Grilled salmon marinated in a teriyaki sauce.  Very good pairing between the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce and the sweet malt of this red ale and the little bit of bitterness you got from the hops did not overpower the salmon.

Tasted on:  Monday May 17th, 2010. 

Note: This beer had a very pleasant malt sweetness up front and only a mild hop presence. From the nose you might have expected a bit more hop kick to this brew. This was a very refreshing brew and if not for the 6% abv it would be a perfect session beer to have during the hot Florida summer.

 On the Label:   Each batch of HopBack Amber Ale flows through a bed of whole flower hops creating a fresh aroma, spicy taste and a rich caramel not that defines our signature beer.  We invite you to come visit and tour our brewery on Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.  Cheers, Chris & John

 From their website: Tröegs Brewery’s Flagship beer, HopBack Amber Ale derives its name from a vessel in the brewhouse called a hopback. As the ‘wort’ is being transferred from the brewhouse to fermentation it passes through the hopback vessel. Packed full of fresh whole flower hops, the wort slowly circulates through this vessel extracting the essence of the aromatic hops. This vessel adds more time and more hop character that creates a fresh, spicy taste and rich caramel note that defines this signature ale.


Deep amber in color under a huge creamy head. The aroma very apparent, bold and spicy with a slight floral character. Balanced with caramel malt, this well-rounded amber ale has an up-front floral spice that builds with a flush of sweetness.


Big, robust flavors like red meats and strong cheeses. The assertive flavors of our HopBack will hold up against strong cheeses like Stilton and Smoked Cheddar.

 Serving Suggestions:
Temp: 50-55° F   Glassware:  Bavarian Tumbler or Pint Glass

Alcohol by Volume: 6%

Hop Bitterness (IBU’s): 55

Color (SRM): Amber

Availability: Year Round

Malts: Pilsner, Munich

Hops: Cascade, Williamette, Nugget

HopBack Hops: Whole Leaf Nugget, Mt Hood

Yeast: Ale

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Beer #109 Founders KBS (aka Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Founders KBS (aka Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Name: KBS (the beer formally known as Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

Style:  Imperial Stout

Brewery: Founders Brewing Company  website

Country: USA

Region: Grand Rapids, Michigan

ABV: 11.2% Abv

How served: 12oz capped bottle poured into a Dogfish Head snifter.          

My Overall Opinion: Amazing. 

I paired this beer with: nothing needed, as it’s breakfast in a bottle 🙂

Tasted on:  Wednesday May 12th, 2010. 

Note:  Why the name change in 2009?  Rumors has it that since the beer was not made in Kentucky it was misleading to the public to call it Kentucky Breakfast stout, therefore the new name of KBS.  Or is it just a new beer?  Since the name change the ABV went from 10% to 11.2% & the IBUs went from 25 to 70.   Or is it a combination of the 2?  Either way this is one fantastic brew.  The first sniff you get loads of coffee then some cocoa and a mild hint of the bourbon.   As far as the taste went, it was of roasted coffee, chocolate and just the right amount of bourbon, if you dig down you could pick up some of the vanilla.  This is the “best” bourbon barrel aged stout I’ve had to date.  

On the Label:   The Amazing Kosmicki’s Highly Acclaimed KBS.  A Stout Ale Aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels.  Does Not Give Relief From: rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica. lame back, lumbago, contracted muscles, toothache, sprains, swelling, and all manner of distress.  Is Good for Everything a Stout Ought to be Good For.  Malt Beverage brewed with chocolate and coffee

From their website: What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year, to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Make your taste buds squeal with delight.  70 IBUs

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Beer #108 Saison Du BUFF by Dogfish Head, Victory & Stone


Saison du BUFF by Dogfish Head, Victory & Stone

Name: Saison Du BUFF

Style:  Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Brewery: Collaboration with Dogfish Head Brewing Co, Victory Brewing & Stone Brewing Co

Country: USA

Region: This Batch (#1) was brewed & Bottled in Escondido, California

ABV: 6.8 % Abv

How served: 12oz capped bottle poured into an Oerbier glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good. 

I paired this beer with: Hanger Steak grilled with a sweet teriyaki sauce.   Nothing wrong with this pairing.

Tasted on:  Wednesday May 12th, 2010. 

Note:  The beer had a strong aroma of herbs and spices as soon as you popped the cap.  It reminded me of the smells in the food market is Provence.  The taste was more of what you smelled with a very mild tartness.   This beer was very crisp, dry and refreshing & I was left wanting to open another.   This brew is good with or without food.  I can’t wait to see the other 2 versions of this beer.

On the Label:  Ale brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme.

BUFF  Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor.  A clandestine organization committed to liberating collective taste buds, citing the dastardly and / or oppressive reign of so-called “fizzy yellow beer’.

Buff is how we think. How we act, and who we are…Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor!  Herbs in our brew?  Impossible where I trained in Germany!  But America has granted our breweries the amazing opportunity to create inspired ales and we seized the opportunity with gusto in making this collaborative ale.  Knowing the season this was to be enjoyed, we went for refreshment.  Being BUFF we added the challenge of unique flavor and landed in a style that offers ample latitude for both goals, saison.  New to the proverbial table in discussion we all remarked how much we liked sage and the idea of herbs cascaded out of the conversation.  Picking rosemary, milling in wheat malt and dosing the herbs, we three have had more fun than people are used to with clothing still on.  Leave yours and your preconceived notions on ale behind and be BUFF with us! 

From their website: Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone, Saison du BUFF is a 6% alc/vol Saison brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. This beer will be brewed three times, once at each brewery using the same recipe. The expected release dates for each brew are as follows:

Stone Brewing Co. Late April 2010

Victory Brewing Co. July 2010

Dogfish Head August 2010

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Beer #107 Southern Tier Krampus

Southern Tier Krampus

Name: Krampus

Style:  Imperial Helles Lager (Imperial Pilsner)

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Co  website

Country: USA

Region: Lakewood, New York

ABV: 9.0 % Abv

How served: 22oz capped bomber poured into a Delirium Noël glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good. 

I paired this beer with: Lobster ravioli and a spicy marinara sauce.  This was a fantastic pairing as the beer did not over power the lobster, but was able to cut down the heat from the spicy marinara sauce.

Tasted on:  Tuesday May 11th, 2010. 

Note:  I know I waited a while to have this Christmas beer, but what, you never heard of Christmas in May?  At least I used a proper Christmas glass.   This beer was extremely tasty, enjoyable and drinkable now I can’t wait for Christmas 2010 to get some more!

On the Label:  see website plus:

2-row pale malt

debittered black malt

munich malt

caramel malt

Kettle hops: Chinook

Dry hops: willamette

From their website:

 are you naughty or nice?  St. Nicholas, aka Santa Claus, is a magical figure, the bringer of gifts and an icon of holiday spirit. Forgotten by most is his evil side kick and enforcer of ‘the list’.

 European tradition says while St. Nick is busy delivering presents to good little boys and girls, Krampus hands out punishments to the bad. A fanged, goat-horned bully, the Christmas Devil uses sticks and chains to beat the naughty children.

 Dark malts and aromatic hops create the diabolical spirit of this brew. It is finished with lager yeast and aged cold for no less than 30 days. This Imperial Helles Lager will warm even the darkest hearts.

This season, replace the cookies with a bottle of Krampus. If he happens to pay a visit, toast to him with this devilish brew. Merry Kramp-mas to all, and to all a good pint!

9.0% abv. • 20º plato • Imperial Helles Lager • 22 oz / 1/6 keg

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