This month’s Session is all about Pale Ales. Hosted by The Beer Babe: She asks:
“Your mission — if you choose to accept it — it so seek out and taste two different pale ales. Tell us what makes them special, what makes them forgettable, what makes them the same or what makes them different. Then, share it with us.”
I had a bottle of Fuller’s London Pride and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I also talk a bit about pale ales in general, why we as beer geeks tend not to take them too seriously, and why we perhaps should. Check out the video below.
(Any beer bloggers watching this video should definitely check out the Youtube beer community if you haven’t already. There are some great channels out there doing some pretty incredible beer reviews. Likewise, any beertubers out there who haven’t plugged in to the beer blog community are missing out, as well.)
I haven’t done a text review in awhile. Let’s see if it’s really like riding a bike.
Pour rich orange-amber color, likely all that German malt. Rich off-yellow thick creamy head that leaves a ton of lacing as I drink the beer. Aroma is strong with rich caramel malt, tons of biscuity quality. Hops are a bit subdued for an IPA, but it’s an older bottle (but still in code, so I feel it’s a fair review).
On the tongue I get a ton of the rich German malt with a nice crisp whole-hop bitterness. Victory is one of the only American breweries I know (the other is Sierra Nevada) that only use whole-cone hops, no pellets. Definitely gets a nice crisp bitterness and I’m a fan of the flavor. Some spicy notes are definitely present — I can’t find it based on a few minutes’ googling but I’d guess there are definitely some Saaz hops here, or some very similar variety.
Overall, this beer is ridiculously smooth and very enjoyable, but it’s hard to judge it as a straightforward American IPA, as it has a lot of characteristics you’d expect from a malty German or Czech Lager wrapped in an American hop profile and an ale yeast. It’s definitely something that inspires me to thoughts of homebrew, which is definitely a good sign. Very nice beer. I’d love to try a super-fresh bottle and see if the hops are more on the IPA side — for now I’m not going to let that affect my final grade.
Beyond the Pour grade: A-
Tommy sent me this bottle of a beer that I’ve had in the past, most recently about five years ago. I decided to first do a short review of it on its own, then compare it directly with a beer that it is often compared to: Founders Breakfast Stout.
Beyond the Pour grade: A-
That’s right, time for my video of the Michigan Winter Beer Fest 2012. I considered editing this into several videos, but decided to just throw it all up at once and let you guys enjoy it.
My fiancee Shana shot a lot of this video, and I’ve included quite a bit of her crowd footage to show the extent and scale of the event. A dry recounting of beers consumed this isn’t.
Thanks to Founders for getting me into the event. Sorry I didn’t shoot more video at your tent.
Yeah, I know this is a bit low-fidelity, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of effort on this one and so I just did a “one-take wonder” outside.
It’s a shame that they put this in a blue Zima-looking bottle and give it such a chintzy look, because I think this is pretty much what regular Bud Light should taste like. Watery, with an adjunct twang on the back end, but a nice, sweet, lager. I’d just call this one Budweiser Premium Lager and call it a day.
Beyond the Pour grade: C
A hoppy beer from San Diego? Definitely sign me up. By the time I reviewed this bottle it was a touch under two months old, but this wet-hopped IPA definitely still had plenty of hop punch. I would’ve loved to have tasted this fresh but unfortunately Port doesn’t distribute to Michigan.
Full disclosure: This was part of a box of beers given to BGN at the brewery after we took a private tour.
Beyond the Pour grade: A
I start with an unboxing video of brew supplies purchased at Midwest Brewing Supplies with a gift card won in a contest put on back in July by Youtube channel BreweryShow. I know that sounds confusing, but I explain it a bit in the vid.
Then it’s on to the garage where I get on with mashing, boiling, and adding hops. I also try my most recent homebrew (the Black IPA, which turned out to be just a hoppy stout) on camera, and tease a future review to you guys.
By the way, this also counts as a Homebrew Wednesday vid!
I know I’ve already beaten Pilsner Urquell and Czechvar (Budvar in its native country) into the dirt through repetition on my channel, but fellow BeerTuber Lee sent me the canned versions from Canada per my request so I could try non-skuned versions sold in North Abmerica.
Long story short, they’re much better than the green-bottle skunky stuff available to me, but it’s still not quite the same as getting it fresh and locally-made. Much to my surprise.
Here it is, my very first “homebrew Wednesday” video here on Youtube. Woot! (And yes, I know this blog post is going up on Monday, but the original vid was posted last Wednesday so there.)
I’m doing a review of fellow Beer Geek Nation member Jamison’s William Wallace Scotch Ale.
Here’s the info he sent me on the beer:
Did a 90 min boil Used Scottish Ale Yeast Wyeast 1728 made a 3 L starter for it.
aged on 2 oz of french oak cubes soaked in Ardbeg 10 and 2 oz of American oak cubes soaked on Ardbeg 10. The Oak and Ardbeg went into the beer and aged for 6 weeks in secondary. Its 14% ABV.
17 LB American 2 row
2 LB Crystal 60
1 LB Crystal 90
3 LB Rye Malt
1 LB Peated Malt
2 oz of Chinook Pellets 13 AA 45 IBU’s
Great brew Jamison. Cheers!
You may think that since this is the first review I’ve posted since coming back from San Diego, that I actually picked this bottle up out west. In actuality, I found this bottle in Chicago and have been sitting on it for a few months, and it just happens to be the first review posted since coming back from the hoppiest place on Earth.
And I have to admit that I was definitely disappointed by this beer. Very syrupy and boozy, not in a good way.
Beyond the Pour grade: C-