Beers in Review: Not Too Warm to Review a Winter Warmer

First up is this year’s offering from Great Divide Brewing Company’s Hop Disciples series of IPAs utilizing a rotating selection of hops. The 2019 version features Callista hops, which “showcases floral and tropical notes with hints of citrus and pine.” The beer itself pours a clear pale gold and checks in at 6.2% ABV. I picked up some of the tropical and floral notes, along with a bit of pine. But none of it was particularly potent or notable. In fact, I hesitate to call it a bad beer, but it feels like it needs to do SOMETHING better than what it’s pulling off right now.

Next is 9 3/4, the Winter Warmer from Frothy Beard Brewing Company. Appropriate as we start flirting with 90 degrees here in Columbia. 9% ABV, and it pours a dark cola color. I got a little bit of a harsh start to the tasting experience, but it quickly gave way to dark fruits and a good amount of booze from that 9%. This was a decent Warmer, but I found the sweetness level to be pushing my personal limit of enjoyment. Still, some good things happening here.

Beers in Review: Dark and Light

For this first review, we go back to one of my hometown’s standard bearers, River Rat Brewery. My Morning Stout is their primary stout with an ABV of 6%. The beer pours a dark cola brown to near-black, and I found it to be fairly light-bodied. There is plenty of coffee present—a unique blend made by a Georgia-based independent coffee roaster. Burnt sugar, cocoa, and vanilla notes are all present, and I feel like the beer had a bit of a cold brew coffee-style thing going on: a little sweet and maybe a little milky, at least to me. Another solid effort by River Rat.

Next up, we go about as far in the opposite style direction as possible with this offering from Charleston’s Frothy Beard Brewing Company. They seem to like their fruity Blonde Ales (currently featuring a Blueberry Blonde), and got to enjoy their Strawberry Blonde Ale earlier this year. 5.2% ABV, the beer pours a fairly clear nice straw gold color. As expected, strawberries make up darn near everything in this beer. The sweetness level on this beer is pretty high, almost pushing to the point of being too much for me, but staying JUUUUUUST on the right side of my line. Overall, I found this to be a light and tasty Blonde Ale.