Video Review: Space, the Final Frontier

The beer in today's review comes from Shmaltz Brewing Company, and is a continuation of their Star Trek series of beers that began last year. Check out my thoughts on a rather different Imperial Porter.


Also, apologies on the rather hot mic. My computer apparently chose to draw audio from the webcam instead of the Meteor Mic. I will fix that for next time!

Beers in Review: Under the Weather

I had strongly hoped to do a video review today, but I'm feeling a bit under the weather. My fingers are working perfectly fine, and I have a handful of beers from earlier in the weekend to cover, so let's cover them!

Last month, I had my first offering from a new brewery in Columbia, Bierkeller Columbia, who are dedicated to making high quality German-style beers using simply core ingredients. I found their Braunbier, a dark lager, to be terrific. I was similarly impressed with their Kellerbier, which poured a delightful, slightly hazy gold color. This is supposed to be a little on the hoppy side, but as with the Braunbier, I found the malty side spoke to me more. The beer did open with some mild dank hop notes that quickly gave way to caramel malts. Regardless, I found this beer to be delicious. No matter what Bierkeller was going for, this was another tasty offering from that team.

Next is Mad Hatter, an IPA from Mad Hatter Brewing Company. This beer pushes hard towards becoming a "hop bomb", staying just on this side of overpowering. The bright, citrusy hop notes are accompanied by delightful floral aromatics and a moderate bitterness that just sort of lays on top of the overall drinking experience--very much present throughout, but, again, it's not an overwhelming presence. A solid IPA.

Up next, I try the next installment in Shmaltz Brewery's second offering in their 50th Anniversary of Star Trek series, called the Trouble with Tribbles Golden Anniversary Ale. Now, I enjoyed the first offering, which was a Red Session IPA. I recall being a fan of the beer, which had an impressive malt/hop balance and delicious malt flavors. Unfortunately, I was less impressed with this entry. This beer played like a mild Pilsner, as it was a bit peppery with a mild grainy sweetness. I also got an overall bitter note that just wasn't jiving with me. To me, this beer was just okay.

Finally, from Wooden Skiff Brewing Company, a Kolsch called The Tourist. Pouring a nice, light gold color, this beer was grainy-sweet and, quite simply, beer-like. It had a mild malt presence and was quite smooth and fairly refreshing. Really solid, a highly drinkable beer.

Beers in Review: A good beer night

Last night was a really good beer night for me. We'll get to them in the back half of this review. We'll be starting with a seasonal from SweetWater Brewing Company.

Goin' Coastal is their summer seasonal, an IPA with pineapple. Surprisingly, the citrusy hops used in the beer are what I picked up first, getting some grapefruit notes. A blend of tropical notes, including the aforementioned pineapple. The beer didn't have a ton of body, but I found it to be really juicy, especially in the finish, which I attribute to the fruit used in the process. Overall, though, I felt like I got more citrus (citrus and pineapple can be a bit similar, right?), along with some piney hop notes.

Next up was a "Star Trek"-themed beer, one of several being made this year in honor of the franchise's 50th anniversary in 2016. Brewing by Shmaltz Brewing under the fictional "Federation of Beer" banner, this particular was called Vulcan Ale (Genesis Effect), after "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock". After getting over the gimmick--seriously, check out this bottle:

--I dove into the beer. It's a bit hard to tell on the bottle, but it's a red session IPA, and it pulled off the balance very well. Pouring a reddish-copper color, I found the beer to be pretty malt forward with some dark fruit notes, and mild pine hop notes.

Getting into some beers from last night, I first had the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Lexington Brewing and Distilling. This beer pours a reddish copper hue, and spends up to six weeks in bourbon barrels, yielding many delightful flavor notes. I initially got vanilla, followed by some burnt sugar, and malted milk balls towards the end. It also contains a very small amount of booziness, but it's not even close to overpowering.

Finally, Founders Brewing's Kentucky Breakfast Stout, another beer spending time in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, though this beer is aged for a full year before bottling and release. Between this and the style (Imperial Stout), the result is tons of flavor and lots of alcohol (12% ABV). Lots of coffee, and TONS of chocolate flavor notes. I got a mild amount of bourbon booziness, though less than I expected. It was pretty sweet overall, with some smoke hints throughout and a bit of a smoky aftertaste. This was my first time having this highly-regarded, and it was truly terrific.

Programming note: Tomorrow (June 20th) is the first day of Summer, and as a result, I will be doing a video about some of my favorite summer beers, including a new beer review or two! Stay tuned!