Beers in Review: Back to a Threesome

I'm going back to doing three beers in this review, mostly because I had a really good beer today that I want to share. That will be the last one up.

But first up, a couple from the weekend. First up is an offering from one of A-B InBev's latest High End acquisitions, Virginia's Devils Backbone Brewing Company. Their core IPA, Eight Point IPA, clocks in a 6.2% ABV and 70 IBU. The particular watering hole where I had this beer was pretty dimly lit, so I called it a "roughly gold" color,but your actual mileage may vary. I also noted a highly carbonated mouthfeel. Overall, the flavor profile brought varied flavors to the tasting experience, but all were mild to medium in intensity, with no one flavor standing out or overpowering the others. I got a little bit of citrus, mild to moderate pine notes, some sweetness in the front half of the tasting experience, and a moderate (constant, but not overpowering) hop bite that carried into the aftertaste. This hop bite, really, was the most prominent flavor note of them all, so I wasn't a big fan of that. A decent, drinkable, if unremarkable, IPA.

Next up is the final beer from the Shiner Family Reunion variety pack from Spoetzl Brewery near Austin, Texas. The Bohemian Black Lager poured like a very dark cola to near black color, with 4.9% ABV, 18 IBU, and a medium-to-heavy body. It's a fairly basic schwarzbier (black beer). I got toasty and roasty malt notes with a slight graininess at the start of the drinking experience, and a very slight grainy note throughout. I also noticed that the beer had a fairly high amount of carbonation, but was a quite smooth and gentle drinker. Basic but good enough.

Finally, from Alpine, California's Alpine Beer Company is their Session IPA, Hoppy Birthday. Coming in at 5.25% ABV and 69 IBU, this beer pours a crystal clear gold color. Six different hops are used in this Session IPA, resulting in a bit of pine and lots of grassy field notes. I think I also got some hop candy flavors, fueled by a mild sweetness throughout the tasting experience. I probably need to track down some hop candy, just to be sure. It had a dank aftertaste, and the mouthfeel brought some interesting carbonation. It was a prickly sensation in my mouth, almost to the point of being a tad rough. This was a very minor note, as the flavors of Hoppy Birthday were truly outstanding.

Video Review: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Pat-Rye-Ot

As promised over the weekend, I will be video reviewing the six beers of Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America collaboration pack. Here is the first offering, a collaboration with Dogfish Head, Devils Backbone, Trillium, Stoudts, and Lawson's Finest Liquids, called Pat-Rye-Ot.

Expect the next review in the series on Saturday. See you then!

Beers in Review: Plus a programming note for next week

Three very different beers to discuss today. Let's get to it.

Vienna Lagers are not necessarily the most diverse of beer styles, but Devils Backbone Brewing Company is delivering on the style in a big way, having won multiple awards over the last several years. Their Vienna Lager pours a deep gold, and doesn't have a whole lot of body. Mild grain notes are accompanied by a great malt sweetness and some toasted notes. As expected, it is also very crisp on the palate and in the finish.

Next up, we try the Medusa Stout from Columbia's own Conquest Brewing Company. Pouring pitch black and having a good amount of body, you find many of the typical stout notes present: mild amounts of chocolate, some roasted coffee, some dark maltiness. There was also some bitterness present, but that tended to dissipate as it warmed. It had a pretty clean finish, but a bit of a smoky aftertaste or breathiness after drinking.

Finally, Terrapin Beer Company's session IPA, RecreationAle (not a typo). It's a pale gold color, has a moderate amount of body, and I find the flavors to be largely pretty mild. Citrus hops and a good amount of hop bitterness lead the way in sipping this beer. There is a bit of a fruity bite later on, along with something grainy as well. As a Session IPA, it's a relatively low ABV beer that would be best enjoyed quite cold on a summer day.

So, St. Patrick's Day is a big deal here in Columbia, South Carolina. We have a festival that draws 40,000 or more downtown to enjoy a big street fair, including 4 big stages of music, a parade, kids' carnival, and more. In the spirit of St. Pat's, check out 4 different Irish beer reviews next week, from Monday the 13th through St. Patrick's Day on Thursday. At least one of these will be a video review. That will all start Monday!

Beers in Review: A pair of pales

A pale ale and an IPA on tap for today's reviews. Let's do it!

Natty Greene Brewing Company's Southern Pale Ale, their only year-round pale ale (also have 2 seasonal IPAs) pours a gold color and has a medium body. Interesting blend of hop flavors, initially showing off bright citrus flavor before leading into a hint of piney hops as well. Not too complex, but a very solid flavor profile coming out of this pale ale. It is pretty crisp to drink and has a pretty clean finish.

Next up is Eight Point IPA from Devils Backbone Brewing Company. A similar light gold or rich hay color with a light-to-medium body, the flavor is bold, hitting you with rich piney hops, along with some dank hints and maybe a something a little bit herbal or peppery. Despite the strong flavors, there is only a moderate amount of bitterness that tends to occur towards the end of the sip. The overall result is a beer that is surprisingly NOT overpowering, as some hop-powered beers can be. That hop bitterness hangs around the palate and the throat for a little bit after drinking.

Coming this weekend, two words: Beer spa!