Monday, June 26, 2017

Real Ale Bitchin' Camaro

Blanco's Real Ale never disappoints.  The Central Texas brewery has been doing things for a number of years now, and everything they create is worthy of inspections.  The Bitchin' Camaro is a new limited release, an hoppy amber ale that really hits the spot.  The 6% ABV brew pours a deep amber with a bubbly, dissipating head and smells of spice and citrus with light notes of bread.  The beer feels and tastes like your normal amber, but with lots of citrus and decent bitter finish.  This is a great beer for grilling in the backyard.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Founders Doom

I partook in a little pre-Father's Day libation on Saturday night, the latest release in the Founders Brewing Co. barrel aged series, a delicious collision of flavors in a bourbon barrel aged Imperial IPA called Doom.  Pouring a dark, goldish amber with a foamy but dissipating head, this wonderful concoction smells of hops, vanilla, and oak, with hints of booze.  The flavor is a combination of intense hops and vanilla, with the notes of oak, malt, and alcohol mingling intermittently.  It's an interesting combo of aromas and flavors, but also very appealing.  And it weighs in at 12.4% ABV, so maybe take it easy.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Austin Beerworks ACTION! Anniversary Ale

It's kind of hard to believe it, but Austin Beerworks has been around for 6 years now.  In fact many of the local breweries here in Central Texas are starting to hit all kinds of milestones, and while it's kind of making me feel old, kudos to all the little guys and their tenacity.  Anyway, to celebrate, ABW just released their ACTION! Anniversary Ale, a hoppy little brew that, fittingly enough, weighs in at 6% ABV.  The beer pours gold with a foamy white head and smells of citrus, fruit, and light, spicy hops.  Notes of citrus, pine, and grapefruit abound, all with a slightly dank, but bitter crisp finish.  All in all, it's a pale ale pretending to be an IPA, and it's delicious.  As a bonus, the beer comes packaged in 6 different can designs, each playing like an old drive-in, B-movie poster.  Happy Anniversary!

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Red Horn Hippie Hollow Dry Hopped Sour Ale

Ever since moving out to the suburbs a year and a half ago, one of my favorite places to frequent is Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Co.  They never cease to impress me with their bounty of tasty brews.  Earlier this year, as part of their 2nd anniversary celebration, the brewers released their first bottled beers, one of which i will get to eventually, as it's currently aging at home.  But the other, the very Austin-named Hippie Hollow, is a wonderful sour pale ale that hit all the right marks.  Pouring with a hazy golden hue and bubbly head, the beer smells of malt, fruit, citrus, and some bread notes.  Tart and hoppy, the 6.5% ABV beer drinks rather smooth, the sourness from the different yeast cultures playing quite well with all of the pale ale hops, that all gives way to a slightly bitter finish.  I'm looking forward to future releases.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Stone Tangerine Express IPA

It's a holiday weekend, and while i may be working through 2/3 of it, my off time sure gets a tropical lift from the Tangerine Express IPA from the always dependable Stone Brewing.  The 6.7% ABV beer pours a nice, hazy gold with a minimal head and lovely aromas of hops, fruit, and citrus abounding.  The flavor is a sweet and bitter mix of tangerine, pineapple, citrussy hops, and some floral and herbal notes.  It's the perfect elixir for a hot summer day.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Saint Arnold Pub Crawl Pale Ale

Have i mentioned that we like sessionable beers here in Central Texas?  The coasts seem to give us big hops and big alcohol, but here in the heat and humidity of a the Texas hill country (and beyond), we tend to like our brews when we can drink them all day long.  The Pub Crawl Pale Ale from Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston is one such beer.  Pouring a light, hazy gold with a large and foamy white head, this 4.7% ABV brew has aromas of spicy hops and subtle malts.  It's crisp and carbonated with some slightly dank hoppiness abounding, and easy drinker for sure, but just hoppy enough to keep it interesting.  I think i'll have another.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Hops & Grain River Beer

It sure does get hot here in Central Texas, as we've repeatedly breached 90 degrees a few times in the last couple of weeks, and it's not even June yet.  That being said, we certainly seem to enjoy spending our days off outside in the sun, in parks, backyards, local swimming holes, and tubing any and all nearby rivers.  And beer is usually in the equation.  But you need something easy to drink and something sessionable enough as to not knock you on your ass before the sun sets.  And as we're craft beer drinkers around here (though Lone Star will always have a special place in my heart), offerings from the "big three" will not do.  Fear not, as Austin's Hops & Grain now have a delicious take on the American Lager we all grew up drinking, the River Beer.  This 5.2% ABV brew pours a beautiful crystal clear light gold with a foamy and bubbly white head and smells of light notes of grain and citrus.  Crisp and light bodied, the beer is subtly sweet at first with a dab of bitterness on the back end.  It basically tastes like beer.  Good beer.  I wish this had been around when i was in high school.

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