Category: beer

A Taste of AutumnLast month, we visited the pFriem Family…

A Taste of Autumn

Last month, we visited the pFriem Family Brewers tasting room on our way up the mountain to pick apples. The fresh hop beers weren’t quite ready, so we opted to try a selection of fall seasonals. The festbier was fine. The Jammy Pale was a little too much. But the Pumpkin Bier was surprisingly delicious. The weather was just turning and the subtle spices matched the chill. It smells like fall. Not like a Yankee candle approximating fall, like a kitchen full of baking pies and freshly fallen leaves. We only got a taste, but both Sarah and I wanted more. 

We picked up a couple corked bottles while stocking up on fresh hop IPAs and finally got around to them. The first thing that hit me from the bottled version was the Belgian yeast. Those classic yeasty phenols gave off a clove-like scent which mingled nicely with the added spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. The beer definitely lost some of it’s subtle squash flavor in the refrigerator. Drunk fresh, it has a subtle roast vegetable sweetness. The finish is dry with a hint of heat from the fresh ginger. It’s hard to recreate the same experience as at the pub, but it was so, so close. 

We are about to start our LIVE show over on ww…

We are about to start our LIVE show over on www.youtube.com/realaleguide we have 3 exclusive beers from @brewdogofficial to take a look at #CraftBeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #BeerPorn #brewdog #brewdogfanzine (at Victoria Park, Barry)
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Visit www.youtube.com/realaleguide link is also in our bio! For these banging beer reviews coming soon courtesy of our channel sponsor @beersofeurope.

#Craftbeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #BeerPorn #BeersOfEurope #Orval (at Victoria Park, Barry)
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A Fresh Hop OdysseyIn the Northwest, the period from Memorial…

A Fresh Hop Odyssey

In the Northwest, the period from Memorial Day to Halloween – give or take a week or two depending on the weather – is fresh hop season. It’s the one time a year when brewers can throw hops straight from the bine into their brew. The rest of the year, brewers use hops that have been dried to preserve them. Fresh hop cones begin degrading the second they’re picked. Within a few hours they already show signs of rotting. Within a few days, fresh hops turn to compost. 

The limited viability is what makes fresh hopped beers so hard to make, and few brewers outside hop growing regions attempt them. But in Oregon and Washington, so near the Willamette and Yakima Valleys, fresh hop beers are an annual tradition. Every brewery from Alameda to Zoiglhaus is throwing fresh hops into any beer they can. 

The first beer to hit shelves this year was Hopworks Totally Chill Hazy IPA with fresh Centennial hops. I don’t think the haze really let the fresh hops shine. There was an odd sort of oniony note on the nose, but it turned into tropical fuzz on the tongue. But I feel like the subtle fresh hop aromas were buried under layers of sweet bready malt.

Our bottles of Double Mountain’s Killer Red faired better. Also hopped with fresh Centennials, Double Mountain drew out more fall flavors by adding fresh Perle hops, too. Cranberry and fresh chopped wood on the nose. Pine needles and spruce meets citrus rinds on the tongue. The red ale base adds a nice toast note underneath without getting in the way.

When Sarah got a whiff of Stormbreaker’s Handfuls of Fresh Hops, she winced. She said it smelled “questionable.” It smells like pot. It’s infused with pungent  Centennial and Amarillo hops. It’s raw and rough. It’s very herbal – basil, thyme, arugula. It tastes like the bitterest greens. It’s not a subtle beer.

For a change of pace, we moved back toward the fruity end with Hopican from Old Town Brewing. Hopicana is a hazy IPA with fresh Mosaic and Citra hops. It smells like fresh strawberries. The flavor is woodier – cedar and grapefruit. The body is full and juicy with a vanilla sweetness. But again, I thought all the malt covered up the freshness.

At this point, I should probably mention we didn’t drink all these beers in a single sitting. Freshness is incredibly important to fresh hop beers, so the best way to sample them is as soon as they hit the shelf, or even better the tap handles. But I digress.

Back at Double Mountain, Killer Green was ready. This IPA is chockfull of fresh Simcoe and Brewer’s Gold hops. It’s a straightforward IPA. The old pine and grapefruit aromas spread out across the palate. It definitely tasted fresh.

But nothing is as fresh as Gigantic’s Sodbuster VI: the Return of the Simcoe. It tasted incredible. In a word: herbaceous. Handfuls of garden fresh basil. Bunches of fresh cut flowers. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Perfection.

Mazama Brewing’s Green Magic canned some of the same sorcery in a smaller package. Fresh Centennial hops meted out a constant low level of deliciousness. It’s exactly how a pale ale should taste. Balanced unassuming, but with a depth of character that only reveals itself through multiple glasses. 

Next up, Field to Ferment from Seattle’s Fremont Brewing. Again, Centennial hops take center stage. It’s green and plant-y – spicy herbs, notes of cedar. Nice, but missing a bit of fruitiness.

The last beer of our 2018 fresh hop odyssey brought fruit in spades, but was about it. Hop Bot is Gigantic’s all Citra fresh hop ale. It’s got a nice citrus note, but also a load of berries. Blueberries, under ripe raspberries, maybe a red currant. Whichever berry it is, it tastes seedy and leafy. Not bad, but I think I’m convinced now, I only really like the old hops.

HUGE #AustralianCraftBeer Unboxing for you guy…

HUGE #AustralianCraftBeer Unboxing for you guys today!! www.youtube.com/realaleguide for all the reviews going forward, (please Subscribe) and a huge thank you to Mick for sending

#sailorsgravebrewing #HopNationBrewing #HopeBrewery #AustralianBeer #CraftBeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #BeerPorn #greenbeaconbrewingco #BlackHopsBrewery (at Victoria Park, Barry)
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@beerhutbrewing has dropped!!!! For full video…

@beerhutbrewing has dropped!!!! For full video reviews visit www.youtube.com/realaleguide reviews should be up by the end of the week. #beerhutbrewing #BeerHut #IrishCraftBeer #IrishBeer #CraftBeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #BeerPorn @taytocrispsofficail #Tayto (at Victoria Park, Barry)
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New Beer New BottlesSome of you might still remember the three…

New Beer New Bottles

Some of you might still remember the three Rs of conservation – reduce, reuse, recycle. I distinctly remember Tweety Bird explaining it to me in grade school. The idea is to waste less, reuse what you can, and recycle what’s left. Lots of breweries like to tout their sustainable practices. New Belgium, for example, prominently features their energy use, waste, and emissions on their website. Lots of breweries boasted about the lower energy costs of aluminum cans. Cans are lighter to transport and easier to recycle. Of course, aluminum is harder to mine, but that’s another matter.

Double Mountain went in an entirely different direction when they began bottling beer, reusable bottles. If you return Double Mountain bottles to the brewery or most retailers, they will clean and reuse them. But only about 15-20% of bottles were actually returned. It was better than crushing and recycling, but not entirely reliable. To grow the reuse program, Double Mountain partnered with half dozen local breweries and the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative to introduce a statewide system for collecting and cleaning reusable glass bottles. 

It’s a far simpler system. Instead of returning bottles separately from other recyclables, the new bottles can go directly through the Bottle Drop to be sorted. washed, and sent back to participating breweries. The heavy weight glass can be reused up to 25 times. Breweries have been slowly rolling out the new bottles all summer in 500 mL sizes, and now twelve ounce six packs. Like Double Mountain’s new pale ale. A dry, mellow beer with a nice melon-y sweetness. 

Brewers Gone WildOld Town Brewing is quickly becoming a…

Brewers Gone Wild

Old Town Brewing is quickly becoming a buzzworthy brewery. When we moved into our place in North Portland some four years ago, it was just a basic pizza and beer joint. The Kolsch and IPA – an English styled brew – won an award or two. Nothing flashy, nothing wacky.

In the two years since we moved west, they’ve gone off the rails. Fruit beers, sours, green tea lemonade, and a ton of hazy IPA. And it all comes with the wit and charm of Joe Sanders, Old Town’s Instagramming pitchman.

The latest Old Town beer is Amazonia, a wild hazy IPA with it’s own Planet Earth segment. It’s fun. It’s silly. And the beer is really great, too. It starts out with the usual tropical faff, papayas and whatnot, but then makes a turn into the evergreens, with notes of juniper and pine. The combination of fruity Mosaic and Mandarina Bavaria hops with classics like Nugget and Cascade adds extra depth and complexity. The fluffy body and the dull haze are nice too I guess, but the bitte bite on the finish is what really makes the beer great. It’s that dry snap that really makes it worth drinking more. 

Beer mail from Germany! Please visit www.youtu…

Beer mail from Germany! Please visit www.youtube.com/realaleguide and subscribe for these beer reviews in the next few weeks.

#Craftbeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #GermanCraftbeer #GermanBeer (at Victoria Park, Barry)
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@watneysbeer has just landed! Check out the un…

@watneysbeer has just landed! Check out the unboxing, reviews will be live very soon on our channel www.youtube.com/realaleguide

#WatneysBeer #Watneys #Craftbeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #Beerporn #WatneysSlapstickDoubleIPA #SlapStickDoubleIPA #WatneysSlapStick #SlapStick (at Cadoxton, Vale Of Glamorgan, United Kingdom)
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