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|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|
*I might drink it to avoid death by dehydration.
**I’d drink it to be polite, or if I was really thirsty.
***OK. Neither unpleasant nor impressive.
****Good beer. I would purposely drink it again.
*****Really good. Bring this, and I’ll pretend to enjoy your company; I may even laugh politely at your jokes.
Cultural cross-over beer. You can serve this at your Superbowl party to all the fat Bud Light-swilling guys in ill-fitting sweats. They will like it, and so will you.
American Craft BeersLesser American BeersImported Beers
American Craft Beers
BeerIBUSRMABV*****About the Beer
Abita BeerAbita Springs LA
Jockamo IPA52166.5***
Alaskan BrewingJuneau AK
Amber18225.3***A very ordinary beer. A bit too malty for my taste, but not bad.
Black IPA651006.4**I don’t think an India PALE Ale can be black, but anyway … this is a combination of the bitterest dark chocolate with the dregs of burnt coffee from the bottom of the pot at the end of a very long day.
IPA5596.2***Too malty, with little hop aroma. No dry-hopping, perhaps? An OK beer, but a poor IPA.
Bell’s BreweryKalamazoo MI
Java Stout7.5*****Coffee stout. Dark chocolate and coffee. Delicious, but too expensive.
Kalamazoo Stout6.0****Stout with licorice.
Porter5.6****Hints of coffee, with chocolate dominating. Somewhat thin mouthfeel.
Big Sky BrewingMissoula MT
Big Sky IPA65226.2****Smooth, vaguely sweet.
Heavy Horse Scotch Ale20306.7*****Reminded me why I should drink Scottish ales more often.
Moose Drool Brown Ale26385.1***It’s brown, It’s ale, It’s OK.
Powder Hound Winter Ale60127.2*****Practically an IPA, but for a slightly less hoppy aroma. So nice and smooth, it’s a shame it’s seasonal.
Trout Slayer Wheat Ale3555.0***As wheat beers go, this one is quite pleasant.
Bluegrass BrewingLouisville KY
American Pale Ale555.8*****A very nice near-IPA.
Boulder BeerBoulder CO
Cold-Hop British-Style Ale466.3**Pale ale (“cold-hop” means nothing). Mild aroma and strong flavor of something I recognize, but can’t name. Whatever it is, it’s nothing good.
Hazed & Infused Dry Hopped Ale70105.0***Nice aroma of grapefruit and pine, otherise an unremarkable IPA.
Mojo IPA5087.2***Too mild for an IPA.
Boulevard BrewingKansas City MO
Amber Ale24195.1****A good, ordinary beer.
Boss Tom’s Golden Bock2266.1***Lager with malted wheat. Run-of-the-mill lager.
Bully! Porter49656.0****Mildly bitter-sweet, like a Porter should be.
Irish Ale30265.8****Mildly sweet toasted malt nicely balanced against the hops. If a porter is good but a bit heavy for you, this is your beer.
Nutcracker Ale38315.8****Ale with malted wheat, brown sugar, and molasses. Sweet and Hoppy.
Pale Ale30125.4***Ordinary beer. Not unpleasant, not particularly good.
Single-Wide IPA5785.7****IPA with malted wheat. Full IPA bitterness, somewhat short on flavor.
Unfiltered Wheat Beer1444.4**Unfiltered wheat ale. Light and bland. Good beer for girls who don’t like beer.
Double-Wide IPA71228.5***Imperial IPA brewed with dextrose and brown sugar. Less body than I expect from a double, harsh bite, and unimpressive flavor. Not surprising, when adjunct sugars are used to boost alcohol.
Rye-on-Rye472212.0****Rye ale brewed with dextrose and brown sugar, aged in rye whiskey barrels. Apples in the nose, rich caramel malt on the tongue. Smooth and warming. A good champagne substitute. Can’t help wondering how it would have tasted without the adjuncts.
Craft Brew AllianceCBA is a merger of four craft brewers: Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Kona Brewing, and Omission Beer. How long they will remain true craft brewers, especially since Anheuser-Busch Inbev owns 32.2%, remains to be seen.
Redhook Long Hammer IPA446.2***A good enough beer, but low IBUs for an IPA.
Widmer Brothers Rotator Hopside Down IPL506.7***Lager imitation IPA. Too malty.
Widmer Brothers Rotator Shaddock IPA506.2****IPA with grapefruit peel. Grapefruit and more grapefruit. Clean, dry finish. A good Summer beer.
Widmer Brothers Rotator Spiced IPA707.0****IPA with wheat, brewed with Assam black tea, ginger, cinnamon, clove, star anise, black pepper, and cardamom. Wonderful citrus aroma with subtle citrus flavor. Smooth finish.
Crooked Stave BreweryDenver CO
Surette Provision Saison206.2**Sour farmhouse ale, barrel aged. Lemon, very sour. Highly praised by those who know how this style should taste. Me, I'm still puckering.
Deschutes BreweryBend OR
Black Butte Porter30255.2*****Very chocolatey.
Chain Breaker White IPA555.6***Wheat IPA with orange peel and coriander.
Chasin’ Freshies657.2*****Fresh hop IPA. Citrus and grass, pine(?), light mouthfeel, refreshing.
Fresh Squeezed IPA606.4*****Citrus, mainly orange, medium mouthfeel. Outstanding.
Hop Henge Experimental IPA951110.6***Double IPA. Really nice piney aroma, flavor not so special. Malt stands out a bit too much.
Inversion IPA80116.8*****Powerful citrus aroma with piney background. Bold flavor with mild hints of grapefruit. Smooth and pleasant.
Jubelale606.7****Dark chocolate, vaguely fruity with the bare suggestion of coffee. Hops are bold without dominating. Bitter-sweet, but not too sweet. An excellent winter ale.
Mirror Pond Pale Ale405.0***Ordinary pale ale.
Obsidian Stout55206.4*****Rich dark chocolate and coffee with some fruitiness sneaking in.
Red Chair NWPA60106.2*****IPA. Citrus, pine, and grass, with pine dominating but not overpowering.
Empyrean BrewingLincoln NE
Watch Man IPA586.0***Very little aroma. Spicy flavor, finishes bitter.
Fargo BrewingFargo ND
Iron Horse Pale Ale325.0*****Powerful piney aroma, flavor to match.
Stone’s Throw Scottish Ale194.5****Nothing too remarkable, just a good Scottish ale.
Wood Chipper IPA706.7****IPA with oats. Aroma and flavor of lemon and grapefruit with moderate bitterness. Bright and zesty, a good beginners IPA.
Flying Dog BreweryFrederick MD. I had to try the IPA because it’s an IPA, but I won’t be buying any more Flying Dog brands. The labeling is not aesthetically pleasing, and many of their brands are vulgar and even obscene.
Snake Dog IPA607.1****
Grand Teton BrewingVictor ID
Bitch Creek ESB60186.0**Bitter brown ale. Probably a pretty good beer, I just don’t like the style.
Sweetgrass APA6086.0****Aroma is light and citrusy. Flavor is more of the same, and very smooth.
Granite City Food & BreweryFargo ND (and elswhere)
Broadaxe Stout5.2***Coffee and chocolate for nose and tongue. A very mild oatmeal stout.
Duke of Wellington IPA5.2***Nothing outstanding, good or bad. A pretty good beer, but light and mild for an IPA.
Heavy Seas BeerBaltimore MD
Gold174.5***Golden ale, with wheat.
Hop Valley BrewingSpringfield OR
Double D Blonde204.9***Nondescript.
Lake Placid Pub & BreweryLake Placid NY
Nippletop Milk Stout4.9***Slight hint of coffee.
Left Coast BrewingSan Clemente CA
Hop Juice82129.7***Double IPA. Far too malty.
Lucid BrewingMinnetonka MN
Foto IPA656.5***
Lucky Bucket BrewingLa Vista NE
IPA606.3****Mildly piney aroma and flavor.
Madison River BrewingBelgrade MT
Copper John Scotch Ale197.0***Everything you would expect in a Scottish ale, sadly toned down.
Hopper Pale Ale436.0****Almost an IPA.
Magic Hat BrewingSouth Burlington VT
Ticket to Rye80157.1*****IPA with rye and wheat. Creamy smooth, with citrus and an unexpected presence of dark chocolate.
Mendocino BrewingHopland CA
White Hawk Select IPA7.0***Mostly piney with a little citrus.
Red Lodge AlesRed Lodge MT
Bent Nail IPA6.0***A good pale ale, 4* even, but hardly an IPA.
RJ Rockers BrewingSpartanburg SC
Witty Twister4.8**Wheat beer, tastes like bananas.
New Belgium BrewingFt Collins CO
1554 Enlightened Black Ale215.6***A misnamed lager. Smooth, mildly sweet. Reminds me of a mild Scottish Ale.
Accumulation White IPA706.2***
Belgo IPA607.0****A hybrid Belgian/IPA, fruity & spicy with a hoppy kick.
Dig Pale Ale365.6****Nice and hoppy.
Fat Tire Amber Ale195.2***Mildly sweet-malty.
French Aramis IPA756.7****Aroma of orange peel and pepper. Dry.
Giddy Up156.0***Ale brewed with lemon peel, infused with espresso. Not the greatest beer to my taste, but certainly one of the most interesting. Initial aroma is of bread dough, quickly giving way to coffee. Coffee dominates flavor, with just a vague suggestion of lemon, providing just a little zing in the background. Lemon increases toward the finish, but never stands out.
Hoptober4057.0****Pale ale with rye, wheat, and oats. Fruity citrus aroma; mildly hoppy with a citrusy zing. Very smooth.
Mothership Wit1234.8***Wheat ale with orange & lemon peel and coriander. Oh, excuse me, so sorry: organic orange & lemon peel and organic coriander. In fact, all the ingredients, malt, hops, and all, bear that adjective [yawn].
Rampant Imperial IPA858.5***
Ranger India Pale Ale70116.5****IPA
Red Hoptober606.0****Similar to last year’s (2011) Hoptober, but a bit hoppier, less complex, and roastier.
Snow Day Winter Ale556.2****Smooth, dark, and hoppy. Pleasant citrus hop aroma.
Somersault Ale285.2***Ale with oats, ginger, and apricots.
Springboard6.2***Unfiltered Pale Ale with oats, gogi berries, and schisandra (look it up). Light and mildly spicy.
Ninkasi BrewingEugene OR
Radiant Ale406.0***
North Coast BrewingFt Bragg CA
Acme California IPA556.9****Wile E. Coyote’s brand. Not bad.
Pangaea BeerWisconsin Rapids WI
Argosy IPA886.1***Lack of dry hopping gives it a malty aroma. A more malty flavor (for an IPA of 88 IBUs) demonstrates how much aroma affects taste.
Hop Nest Monster IPA777.0***Inspires apathy.
Rush River BrewingRiver Falls WI
Bubblejack IPA606.5***The pleasant mild piney aroma is deceiving, as is the 60 IBU rating. Flavor is more malt-forward than an American IPA ought to be.
Samuel AdamsBoston Beer Company, Boston MA
Alpine Spring1875.5***Unfiltered Lager. Mildly sweet and citrusy.
American Kriek8377.0***Belgian Ale barrel aged with Balaton cherries. Just the perfect compliment of cherries, but too malty.
Belgian Session16104.3***Belgian Pale Ale. Mild fruit and spice, as expected.
Black & Brew Coffee Stout24805.8****Sweet Stout brewed with Sumatran coffee beans. Less coffee flavor than expected. Vaguely fruity, with chocolate dominating.
Black Lager19504.9***Schwarzbier. Good with a heavily salted and peppered steak; otherwise, just a little too black and bitter.
Blackberry Witbier1075.5**Wheat ale with Marion blackberries, orange peel, coriander. Not good at all.
Bueberry Hill Lager1875.5***Aged on blueberries. Nice Summer beer.
Bonfire Rauchbier19395.7***Smoked lager. Mildly sweet and smokey.
Boston Ale34145.4***Pale Ale. Balanced, creamy; nicer feel than Boston Lager.
Boston Lager30114.9***Sam Adam’s stock pale lager. More hops than ordinary lagers (30 IBUs vs. Budweiser’s 12) and no adjuncts make it a beer worth drinking.
Brown Ale30375.4***English Brown Ale. Discontinued. I need a bottle for my collection. Help?
Cherry Chocolate Bock11755.8***Chocolate Bock (see below) with cherries added. Good beer, but the cherries ruin it as a complement to my Thanksgiving cherry pie. Chocolate Bock, I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.
Cherry Wheat2375.3***Wheat ale with cherries and honey. Surprising, very light and refreshing.
Chocolate Bock11755.8****Lager aged on a blend of cocoa nibs from Ghana, Ecuador, and Madagascar. Dessert. Drink it with cookies, pie, cake, . . . mmm.
Cinder Bock Rauch Bock25259.5****Smoked lager. Rich, sweet and smokey. Exceptionally smooth for a strong beer.
Coastal Wheat875.3***Unfiltered wheat ale with Eureka, Lisbon lemons. Another surprise: a pleasant hefeweizen, light and lemony.
Cold Snap1065.3***Unfiltered wheat ale with “a blend of exotic fruits & spices including orange peel, plum, hibiscus & fresh ground coriander.”
Cream Stout28804.9***Sweet stout.
Dark Depths Baltic IPA55607.6**Schwarzbier. Presented as a Porter/IPA hybrid, it’s actually neither. Porters and IPAs are ales; this is a lager. Sweet & hoppy, with hints of . . . soy sauce?
Double Agent IPL43105.0****Pale lager, hopped to imitate an IPA, with a lighter body and drier feel.
Double Bock21169.5****Imperial dark lager. ½ lb of malt per bottle makes this a hearty beer sandwich. Neither malty nor hoppy.
Dunkelweizen13205.1**Dark unfiltered wheat ale. Weird wheat beer fruitiness.
East-West Kölsch1555.0***Wheat Ale with Jasmine Sambac. Slightly sweet, malty.
Escape Route3075.0***Ale.
Fat Jack Double Pumpkin25258.5*Imperial ale with pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Surprisingly, more palatable than Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Still weird, though.
Griffin’s Bow Oaked Blonde Barleywine Ale451211.5
Grumpy Monk Belgian IPA55135.7****If nothing else, this beer wins the Best Name for a Beer Ever award. The miscegenation of his precious Belgian ale with the heathen IPA is what makes the monk grumpy, but it makes me, a not-so-big fan of Belgians, happy with the combination of fruity spice and hoppy zing.
Hallertau Imperial Pilsner11058.5*****Unfiltered pale lager. Surreal. Extremely hoppy, but not bitter; full bodied, but not heavy. Very smooth.
Harvest Pumpkin Ale14335.7*Ale with pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
Hazel Brown20285.2***Brown ale. Nutty, slightly chocolaty.
Holiday Porter40555.8*****Tasty malt; hard to believe it has no added spices.
Honey Porter38505.5***Porter with Scottish heather honey. It’s a good, mild porter, but the honey sweetness borders on sickening.
Imperial Stout421759.2*****Strong dark chocolate with coffee underneath. Very nice. Try it as an ice cream float.
Imperial White151710.3****Wheat ale with orange & lemon peel, dried plum, Grains of Paradise, coriander, anise, hibiscus, rose hips, tamarind, vanilla. Mildly fruity, very smooth and warming.
Infinium10810.3***Champagne style Belgian ale. Malty, bubbly. Somewhat more like wine than beer. I’d substitute this for champagne any day, but not for my regular beer.
Irish Red25305.8***Leans toward sweet-malty, but with enough hop bitterness to balance.
Juniper IPA50155.8****IPA with juniper berries.
Latitude 48 IPA (2009–2012)60206.0***India Pale Ale. The IPA that got me hooked on IPAs.
Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed
East Kent Goldings
Hallertau Mittelfrueh
I bought four twelves of this limited brew. All are good, and distinctly different. Maybe by the time I’m down to the last bottles, I’ll be sophisticated enough to write individual reviews. Until then, you’ll have to take my word for it, because you’re not getting any.
Latitude 48 IPA (2013–)60206.0***Mosaic hops added to the original Latitude 48 IPA.
Little White Rye1875.3***Pale ale with rye, orange peel, corriander, and white sage. Aroma of orange peel, apple, and cinnamon. Sweet and fruity, somewhat like a Belgian ale.
Maple Pecan Porter30485.6***Porter with maple syrup. Tastes OK, but a little watery.
Merry Mischief Gingerbread Stout252009.0****Sweet stout with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger. Tastes like Christmas.
Mighty Oak Ale15255.7***Oak aged ale. Reminds me of a richer Octoberfest, plus mild oak character.
New Albion Ale3096.0***Good traditional pale ale. Not really a Sam Adams beer. Click through for the story.
New World Tripel17910.0****Unfiltered wood aged Belgian wheat ale. Crisp and fruity, mildly spicy. Reminiscent of cider. Surprisingly light for such a big beer.
Noble Pils3454.9***Pilsener. Light, citrusy, and moderately hoppy.
Norse Legend Sahti16307.0***Rye ale with juniper berries. Slightly malty, with the dry feel of rye. Vaguely herbal, but I was unable to identify the juniper.
Octoberfest15205.3***Smooth and mildly sweet-malty.
Old Fezziwig Ale25385.9****Dark Ale with orange peel, ginger, cinnamon. Festively Dickensian.
Pale Ale2385.4****English Pale Ale. Lighter than Boston Ale.
Porch Rocker864.5***Pale lager with lemons. Lemonade for beer lovers. Sounds weird, but it’s pretty good.
Rebel IPA45116.5***“West Coast style” IPA, whatever that means. Vague grapefruit aroma, flavor is somewhat bready, nothing special.
Revolutionary Rye Ale35205.5****Dry-malty with a perfect balance of hops.
Ruby Mild20205.6**English dark mild ale. Citrusy hops come through a malty aroma, but are nowhere to be found in the flavor. Way too malty for my taste.
Rustic Saison2254.4***Belgian ale with honey. Light and sweet.
Sam Adams Light10114.3**Light lager. Better than any other light beer, but then, at 119 calories, it’s not all that light. Still a waste of a bottle. At least it’s a pure adjunct-free beer.
Scotch Ale35295.5*****Sweet and smokey, just the thing to wash down steak, prime rib, or roast beef.
Stony Brook Red10359.0****Wood aged Belgian ale. Rich in fruity flavors with a hint of chocolate and cinnamon, but I couldn’t taste it. Feels more like wine.
Summer Ale765.3***Wheat ale with lemon peel and Grains of Paradise. Barely escapes wheat beer purgatory.
Tasman Red Red IPA50456.5****Interesting aroma, with a bit of sweet maltyness accompanying grapefruit from the hops. Too sweet for a pure IPA, but pretty good as the hybrid it is.
The Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock20758.5***Lager with cocoa nibs, ancho and chipotle chilies, and cinnamon. Surprising. The chocolate is not overly sweet, and the chillies come through at the finish with more feel than flavor. Not bad.
Third Voyage Imperial IPA85248.0****Mild for a double, somewhat short on aroma.
Thirteenth Hour Stout17699.0****Barrel aged Belgian ale finished with champagne yeast. Rich chocolate, fruit, and spice flavors.
Triple Bock6020018.0*Defies classification. Is it a bock, or an ale? It’s called both, but can’t be, and the yeast strain is undisclosed. I detected pretty much all it’s reported flavors (see this review), but the dominating impression I got was of high-octane soy sauce.
Verloren Gose1596.0****Unfiltered wheat ale with kosher salt and coriander. Mild, smooth, and pleasant with a clean, dry aftertaste.
Wee Heavy305010.0*****Imperial Scottish ale. Sweet and smoky, as a Scottish ale should be. Concurrently potent and smooth. Ineffably sublime.
White Ale1065.3**Unfiltered wheat ale with orange & lemon peel, dried plum, Grains of Paradise, coriander, anise, hibiscus, rose hips, tamarind, and vanilla.
White Christmas865.8**Wheat ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel.
White Lantern10105.5***Wheat Ale with Tangerine & orange peel, Grains of Paradise, and coriander. Another wheat beer rescued by added ingredients.
Whitewater IPA6185.8***Wheat ale with apricots, coriander, and orange peel.
Winter Lager22255.6**Wheat lager with orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon. Mildly sweet and citrusy.
Sierra Nevada BrewingChico CA
Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale909.6***A hop explosion with an alcoholic kick in the head. Too much bite to drink alone. Combine with Swiss cheese or chocolate to smooth it out.
Blindfold Black IPA706.8***The best I’ve tasted of this oxymoronic style.
Celebration Fresh Hop Ale656.8*****IPA. Powerful Aroma and flavor, yet very smooth. That it’s seasonal breaks my heart, but it wouldn’ be a “fresh hop” ale otherwise.
Estate Ale676.7****Wet hop IPA. Aroma of pine and grapefruit carries through to flavor with some sweet maltiness.
Hoptimum Whole-Cone Imperial IPA10010.4*****Imperial IPA with malted wheat. Incredibly smooth for such a powerful beer. Stronger in every way than Bigfoot, yet much milder to the taste.
Nooner Session IPA404.8***OK beer, disappointing IPA.
Pale Ale385.6****Refreshing citrus hoppiness.
Porter325.6*****Smooth and bitter-sweet, like a Porter should be. Possibly the best porter I’ve tasted.
Ruthless Rye IPA556.6*****Bouquet of citrus and pine carries through to flavor with the dry feel of rye. Brewing this ale seasonally is very cruel.
Snow Wit White IPA405.7***White IPA.
Stout505.8*****An outstanding stout. Rich aroma of fruit and grain. Hop and roasted barley bitterness is nicely balanced with notes of chocolate and maybe caramel. Definitely the best stout I’ve tasted.
Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale375.5***A slightly smokey brown ale.
Torpedo Extra IPA657.2****Just a good IPA with no outstanding bells and whistles. Slightly drier than the average IPA.
Shipyard BrewingPortland ME
Monkey Fist IPA6.9***Beyond the clever name and label, nothing special to speak of.
Casco Bay Riptide23145.4***Irish Red ale.
Snoqualmie Falls BrewingSnoqualmie WA
Copperhead Pale Ale325.3***Slightly malty with distinct citrus rind accents.
Southern Tier BrewingLakewood NY
IPA7.3***Where are the hops? Nice beer, but it doesn't measure up as an IPA.
2XIPA8.2****Imperial IPA with wheat. Smooth and citrusy, very light for such a big beer.
422 Pale Wheat Ale5.8***Wheat ale that didn’t make me gag. I guess that’s good.
Iniquity Black Ale9.0***Imperial black ale with wheat. Deceptively smooth.
Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Ale5.7***Extraordinary.
Unearthly IPA10.5****Imperial IPA with wheat. Relatively light and very smooth for such a strong beer.
Summit BrewingSt Paul MN. Can anything good come out of Minnesota? Al Franken notwithstanding, yes.
Extra Pale Ale45255.1***A good but ordinary beer. A good compromise for discerning drinkers and the Bud Light crowd.
Great Northern Porter451205.6*****Nice balance of bitter and sweet. Robust.
Hefe Weizen2064.8**Wheat beer. Just sickening.
Horizon red Ale60445.7*****Dominant caramel malt, Near-IPA hoppiness.
India Pale Ale65266.4****Hoppy IPA goodness.
Maibock35186.5****Dark blonde. Robust, nice balance.
Oktoberfest25307.3***Drinkable, but somewhat unpleasant. Strong alcoholic flavor overwhelms whatever else it has to offer. Improves toward finish.
Pilsener25104.8***Typical Pilsener. Not my favorite type, but pleasant enough. Improves at the finish.
Sága IPA80186.4*****Powerful pine & citrus aroma, distinct grapefruit flavor.
Winter Ale36806.1***Mildly sweet-malty.
Thirsty Theologian BrewingHazen ND. The pride of Mercer County since 2011. “It’s beer.”
2011 IPA (Opus 1)8876.4****American 2-row malt & loads of US Hallertau hops. Crisp with a bit of a bite. Strong hop aroma.
2013 Porter (Opus 2)60405.0****American 2-row, Rye, & Crystal 40 malts; Zeuss & Willamette hops.
2014 IPA (Opus 3)7156.7***American 2-row malt; homegrown Horizon hops. This brew tells me Horizon is not a good flavoring hop.
Twisted Pine BrewingBoulder CO
Big Shot Espresso Stout30****Coffee stout. Big roasted malt flavor, mildly fruity with dark chocolate and, of course, coffee.
Lesser American Beers
BeerIBUSRMABV*About the Beer
Anheuser-Busch InbevLeuven, Belgium; Sao Paulo, Brazil
Goose Island India Pale Ale555.9***Generally mediocre.
Michelob Amber Bock195.2***Dark lager. One of the better choices available in restaurants that haven’t discovered craft beer.
Michelob Bavarian Style Wheat135.2**Unfiltered wheat ale. Beer should not taste like bananas.
Michelob Pale Ale375.5***
Michelob Porter255.9***
Michelob Rye PA505.6***
Shock Top Wheat IPA5.8**Pale wheat ale. An insult to the palate. Take an average hefe weizen, add a microsmidgen of hops, and you’ll have a fair imitation of this sickening excuse for an IPA.
MillerCoorsChicago IL
Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve154.8***Pale lager. A beer so ordinary I dreamed I was slouched on the couch watching football with my size XL belly hanging out of my size M Nascar T-shirt.
Henry Weinhard’s Woodland Pass IPA456.0***Not a bad tasting pale ale, but 45 IBUs do not make an IPA.
Schell’s BrewingNew Ulm MN. I bought a sampler 12-pack this summer (2010). So appalled was I at the quality that I didn’t bother rating them at the time. One beer, Firebrick, stood out as a pretty fair *** beer. The rest (Dark, Hopfenmalz, Pils, Stout, and Zommerfest) were typical of beers in the Busch Light/Budweiser class.
Spoetzl BreweryShiner TX
Shiner Bock13184.4**Pale lager. Very bubbly with huge head that dissipates immediately, leaving no lace. Very watery. What is this, beer-flavored soda?
Imported Beers
BeerIBUSRMABV*About the Beer
Anheuser-Busch InbevLeuven, Belgium; Sao Paulo, Brazil
Bass Pale Ale (England)5.0***A bit on the malty side.
Beck’s (Germany)2045.0****Pale lager. Tart, light, slightly bitter. Good hot weather beer.
Leffe Blond (Belgium)25116.6***Belgian pale ale. Fruity, smooth and creamy. Sweet-malty, hints of pear and honey. No distinct hop flavor to speak of.
Corona Extra (Mexico)1234.6***Adjunct lager. Light.
St. Pauli Girl Lager (Germany)3344.9****Pale lager. Similar to Beck’s, but less bitter aftertaste. Good hot weather beer.
St. Pauli Girl Special Dark23214.8***Dark lager. Bland.
Stella Artois (Belgium)1235.0***Adjunct lager, far too light. Girl’s beer.
Bitburger BraugruppeBitberg, Germany
Bitburger Premium Pils3344.8***Pilsener.
Wernesgrüner Pils Legende4.9***Pilsener.
GuinnessDublin, Ireland
Guinness Extra Stout50355.0*Bottled sewage.
Guinness Draught37324.3*Ditto.
Guinness Black Lager4.5**At last, something with the Guinness name that I can drink. Too bad it gives me no reason to do so.
Smithwick’s Irish Ale23144.5***Dry stout. Bitter, but toned down to a drinkable level.
Heineken InternationalAmsterdam, Netherlands
Dos Equis Special Lager (Mexico)1235.0***Adjunct lager. The “Most Interesting Man in the World” drinks this?
Heineken (Netherlands)2375.0***Pale lager. Unimpressive, inoffensive. Slightly crisp, slightly hoppy, slightly sweet, slightly dry finish. Slight in every way.
Murphy’s Irish Red (Netherlands)5.0***Irish red ale. Malty. Similar to Bass Pale Ale (tasted in the same sitting).
Newcastle Brown Ale (Scotland)30274.7***
Newcastle Winter IPA285.2**English IPA. As disappointing as the 28 IBUs would indicate.
MikkellerCopenhagen, Denmark
Apollo Single Hop IPA50116.9***Good enough beer, but unsatisfying as an IPA (especially at $4/bottle).
Citra Single Hop IPA50116.9****Nice citrus aroma, sweet and citrusy with grapefruit dominating. Still not worth $4.
Moosehead BreweriesSaint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Moosehead Lager1235.0***Pale lager. Liked this beer a lot 30 years ago, when I was still drinking cheap American macrobrews; now I’m not so imressed.
MillerCoorsChicago IL
Peroni Nastro Azzurro (Italy)2045.1**Adjunct lager. No flavor, yet leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. The Italians are apparently no better at making beer than war.
Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic)3344.2***So it’s the original Pilsener. Too ordinary.
Trappistes RochefortRochefort, Belgium (L’abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy à Rochefort)
Rochefort 102711.3*****Belgian Ale with candi sugar and coriander. My palate says chocolate and prunes. Very rich, very smooth. You’d never know it was such a strong beer. Paired with blue cheese, it’s like heaven.
Rochefort 8229.2Belgian Ale with candi sugar and coriander.
Rochefort 6187.5***Belgian Ale with candi sugar and coriander. Smooth, caramel.
Warsteiner BrauereiWarstein, Germany
Warsteiner Dunkel23214.8****Dark lager.
Warsteiner Premium Verum3344.8****Pilsener.