Shipyard – XXXX IPA (Bourbon Barrel-Aged) Review

Shipyward XXXX IPAAll You Need to Know

Brewery: Shipyard Brewing
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.4%
Cost: $12.99 (24oz)
Glassware: Tulip
Temp: 55°F (or current temp in hell)
Availability: Limited
Purchased@: Some where in Maine, possibly purchased from the Devil
Barrel-Aged: 100 days

Quick Take: Clearly, some people must like this or it never would have been released and good for them, but this bruiser of a beer demonstrates why most IPAs shouldn’t be bourbon barrel-aged. If you want to try a successfully bourbon aged IPA, Founder’s Doom is pretty damn good and worth seeking out.

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Southern Tier – Pumking (2014) Review

PumkingAll You Need to Know

Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 8.6%
Cost: $9 (22oz)
Glassware: Goblet
Temp: 42°F
Availability: Summer/Fall
Purchased@: Friendly Greek

Quick Take: I think Southern Tier listened to some of the criticisms of Pumking and tweaked the recipe. The heart of this is still the Pumking fans (like me) know and love, but with the rough edges shorn off to make it a more casual friendly beer. The Pumking detractors aren’t going to change their tune nor will this win over those that want the pumpkin front and center, but someone on the fence may find this year’s version to be a pretty enjoyable fall treat (or summer patio/fire pit drinker).

Changes from Last Year: Not only has the bottle label changed to regulate the King of Pum to a small bit of leafy green around the bottom, but the serving glass has changed from a beefy goblet to more of a water goblet and the serving temp has nudged up from 40°F to 42°F (Personally, I like it a bit warmer at 55°F). The vanilla has backed off and the spices seem less intense, but that may just be my palate. As these elements fade back, the earthy pumpkin is given more of a chance to come through, though it still isn’t a featured player. It also finishes with less bitterness, but more heat and malty bread.

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Beer Styles – Gose vs. Gueuze

Gose and GueuzeIf you’ve ever been out roaming among the beer hipsters of the beer-iverse, you’ve probably heard plenty of chatter about sour beers. While it seems like a conversation in an encrypted WWII language made to fool the Nazi’s, not everything us beer hipsters say is nonsense. Sour beers are a stronghold of the beer hipster, so if you want to stand any chance of finding out about or discussing the newest sours to hit the local beer shoppes, you need to know your styles. This will only focus on a small part of the sour beer world, but step one is pronunciation.

G-oh-suh (as in Van Gogh with a “suh” at the end)

G-er-zah (if you’re Belgian);
Goo-zuh (if you’re nasty);
G-oo-z (as in “goo” with a marketing firm’s urban “z” at the end)

So the terms sound similar and no one can entirely agree on the pronunciation, but dammit they do have real meaning! Those meanings may not be entirely different as a Gose and Gueuze are basically sour cousins, but there are a few distinctions. Those distinctions are sussed out in the brew process, so lets explore both to see where the paths in this wood diverge.

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North Coast – Old Stock 2013 Review

Old Stock 2013All You Need to Know

Brewery: North Coast Brewing
Style: Old Ale
ABV: 11.9%
Cost: $4.34 (12oz)
Glassware: Snifter
Temp: 50°F
Availability: Fall
Purchased@: Brass Rail

Quick Take: Although not the most complex beer, North Coast’s Old Stock excels at being one of the best, if not the best Old Ale that I’ve had. I have to admit a bit of fatigue as I drank this due to the strength of the malt and my feelings about very malt forward beers, but I can recognize everything this gets right. Great beer and one I imagine will become a go-to beer for the toffee/malt fans out there.

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Episode 13 – Southern Tier – Fuse Box

Episode 13 of Drew’s Brews Reviews is here! The beer review show you never knew you wanted and no one needs. I mix it up this episode by trying the “concept case” from Southern Tier called the Fuse Box. Southern Tier is essentially repackaging three of their standard beers and asking its customers to blend them together to create various concoctions. The cynical among us might see this a marketing gimmick, but I toss that aside and put my taste buds on the line by mixing an IPA, Ale, and roasty Porter with tasty results. And yes, I freakin’ nailed that pun about “mixing it up” before you even knew it was a pun. BOOM!

Ep 14 — Firestone 17th Anniversary Beer (Maybe — Footage is Blurry)

Continue reading “Episode 13 – Southern Tier – Fuse Box”