Summer Beer Tasting: 21 different styles in 26 Beers

My friend Stu returned from California with a nice haul of “West Coast” beers not available in S. Florida.   His philosophy is that good beer is meant to be shared, so he invited a small handful of friends to his backyard for a great beer tasting on Saturday.  

The Beer "Waiting Room"

Above is what I called the Beer “Waiting Room”.  This is a photo before more beer was added as guests arrived. 

I have listed the beers in the Order we drank them.  Our method of picking our next beer was very random.  We would just go to the beer “Waiting Room” stick in our hand and pull out a beer, most of the time not knowing what we were going to pull out.  It actually worked out quite well this way, as you will see the styles did vary and kept palate fatigue at bay.  We were able to taste 21 different beers style from the 26 beers we had.

Stu and the cheese spread as he finished pouring our 1st brew.

Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale

Beer #1:   Maduro Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale

 Brewery: Cigar City Brewing.  Tampa, Florida

Style: Brown Ale

ABV: 5.5%

Breckenridge IPA Small Batch 471

Beer #2:  Breckenridge IPA Small Batch 471

Brewery: Breckenridge Brewery & Pub.  Breckenridge, Colorado

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 9.2% 

Fort Collins Maibock Zum Leben!

Beer #3:  Maibock Zum Leben!

Brewery: Fort Collins Brewery.  Fort Collins, Colorado

Style: Maibock

ABV: 6.3%  

Flying Fish Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA

Beer #4:  Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA

Brewery: Flying Fish Brewing Company.  Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 8.2%

Cascade Apricot Ale (2009)

Beer #5:  Cascade Apricot Ale (2009)

Brewery: Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge and Brewpub.  Portland, Oregon

Style: Lambic

ABV: 9.0% 

Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock

Beer #6:  Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock

Brewery: Dark Horse Brewing Company.  Marshall, Michigan

Style: Doppelbock

ABV: 7.5% 

Hoppin’ Frog D.O.R.I.S. the Destroyer Double Imperial Stout

Beer #7:  D.O.R.I.S. the Destroyer Double Imperial Stout

Brewery: Hoppin’ Frog Brewery. Akron, Ohio

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5% 

Marin Brewing Point Reyes Porter

Beer #8:  Point Reyes Porter

Brewery: Marin Brewing Company.  Larkspur, California

Style: American Porter

ABV: 6.0% 

Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental IPA

Beer #9:  Hop Henge Experimental IPA

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery. Bend, Oregon

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 8.75%  

Three Floyds Robert the Bruce

Beer #10:  Robert the Bruce

Brewery: Three Floyds Brewing Co. Munster, Indiana

Style: Scottish Ale

ABV: 6.5 % 

Boulevard Dark Truth Stout (Smokestack Series)

Beer #11:  Dark Truth Stout (Smokestack Series)

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company.  Kansas City, Missouri

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.7% 

Stone Sawyer’s Triple

Beer #12:  Sawyer’s Triple

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.  Escondido, California

Style: Tripel

ABV: 7.6%  

Birrificio Italiano Scires

Beer #13:  Scires

Brewery: Birrificio Italiano.   Lurago Marinone, Italy

Style: Fruit (Cherries)

ABV: 7.5% 

Port Brewing Wipeout IPA

Beer #14:  Wipeout IPA

Brewery: Port Brewing Company / Pizza Port.  San Marcos, California 

Style: I.P.A.

ABV: 7.0% 

Old World Dark Knight Porter

Beer #15:  Dark Knight Porter

Brewery: Old World Brewery Inc.  Phoenix, Arizona

Style:  English Porter

ABV: 6.5%  

Black Lightning Porter

Beer #16:  Black Lightning Porter

Brewery: Lightning Brewery.  Poway, California

Style: Baltic Porter

ABV: 8.5%   

The Beer "Waiting Room" at halftime

After 16 beers it looks like we have more beer waiting than when we started!!!!  

Stu chilling out

 Looks like Stu is enjoying the tasting so far. 


Ballast Point Big Eye IPA

 Beer #17:  Big Eye IPA

Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company.  San Diego, California

Style: I.P.A.

ABV: 7.0 % 

Homebrew: Habanero pepper something or another

Beer #18:  Homebrew (Habanero pepper something or another)

Brewery: Jason’s

Style: Hot pepper

ABV: ??%  

Southampton Saison Deluxe (looks like the bottle got a little banged up)

Beer #19:  Saison Deluxe

Brewery: Southampton Publick House.  Southampton, New York

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

ABV: 7.4%  

Boulevard Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner (Smokestack Series)

Beer #20: Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner (Smokestack Series) 

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company.  Kansas City, Missouri

Style: Imperial Pilsner

ABV: 8.0%  

Rogue John John Ale #21 (Dead Guy Ale Aged in Dead Guy Whiskey Barrels) #22 (Pale Ale Brewed with Juniper Berries and aged in Spruce Gin Barrels)

Beer #21: John John Ale (Dead Guy Ale Aged in Dead Guy Whiskey Barrels)

Brewery: Rogue Brewery / Brewer’s on the Bay.  Newport, Oregon

Style: Mailbock

ABV: 6.4%

Beer #22: John John Ale (Pale Ale Brewed with Juniper Berries and aged in Spruce Gin Barrels)

Brewery: Rogue Brewery / Brewer’s on the Bay.  Newport, Oregon

Style: Pale Ale

ABV: 5.2%   

The Lost Abbey Judgment Day

Beer #23:  Judgment Day

Brewery: The Lost Abbey.  San Marcos, California

Style: Quadrupel

ABV: 10.5% 


Cigar City Gruit Humidor Series batch 02

Beer #24:  Gruit 2010 Humidor Series batch 02

Brewery: Cigar City Brewing.  Tampa, Florida

Style: Gruit

ABV: 5.5%  

Southern Tier Crème Brûleé Stout

Beer #25: Crème Brûleé Stout

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company.  Lakewood, New York

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.2%  

Rogue ÜberFest Pilsner

Beer #26:  ÜberFest Pilsner

Brewery: Rogue Brewery / Brewer’s on the Bay.  Newport, Oregon

Style: German Pilsner

ABV: 5.2%Hope you enjoyed these great tasting pics


My favorite brews of the day (in no particular order):

Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA

Cascade Apricot Ale (2009)

Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock

Hop Henge Experimental IPA

Dark Truth Stout (Smokestack Series)

 Point Reyes Porter

My least favorite brews of the day (in no particular order):

Crème Brûleé Stout (Only because I do not like butterscotch) Everyone else loved it.

Gruit 2010 Humidor Series batch 02

Sawyer’s Triple


Here are some of the beers we did not get around to tasting:  Which is good news as Stu says he will have another BIG tasting soon to finish these and many more!!!!!!!!!

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary, Imperial Helles Bock

SKA Brewing Modus Hoperandi IPA 

Cascade The Vine, Northwest Style Sour Ale

Allagash Musette   

Terrapin Side Project Volume 11 Boom ShakaLager  

AleSmith X   

AleSmith Anvil   

Lagunitas Lucky 13    

Cigar City 110K + OT Batch #3 (The Other West Coast IPA)

Cigar City Hunahpu’s   

Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager  

Thirez EXTRA Farmhouse Ale   

Hebrew R.I.P.A on RYE   

Schlafly Reserve Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout 2008   

Plus many others, including some home brews (see below for pictures of the beer which missed the cut)

Love Great Beer?  Join Us on a Bon Beer Voyage Beercation! 


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).

 Love Great Beer?  Join Us on a Bon Beer Voyage Beercation! 

%d bloggers like this: