Category: craftbeer

Wow thanks Steven Caxton! This @wildbeerco 5 y…

Wow thanks Steven Caxton! This @wildbeerco 5 year Anniversary beer looks tremendous!! #IcedModus #WildBeerCo #CraftBeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #Beerporn

Level 1-1Level Beer opened last summer in an old barn near the…

Level 1-1

Level Beer opened last summer in an old barn near the Portland airport. It’s a strange location, but a I’m sure welcome change from the usual industrial office parks. The brewery coats everything in retro video game visuals. At this point, Level doesn’t seem to have a particular beery niche in mind, but their tagline is “brewed with balance.”

Game On! their first bottled IPA is incredibly balanced, if a little dated. It’s a deep gold without a trace of haze. This is not one of those fruity IPAs. No Mosaic hops here. It’s actually bitter and a bit malty. The hops notes present as citrus, but not in your face with juice. If I had to guess, I’d say there are classic Cascade hops in there. The bitterness is bracing, but it’s balanced by a golden malt syrup sweetness. 

Let’s Play! is equally balanced. The dry-hopped Pilsner has a great fresh and floral scent.The body is snappy and fizzy. The malt is crisp and the finish has a great dried herbal flavor. Let’s Play! is not exactly a traditional pilsner, but it’s not completely out of a left field either. 

They also offer a canned Saison and the current seasonal is a chocolate Stout, which I cannot bring myself to buy. They bottled it in clear glass, and all my geek senses tell me that is a huge mistake. But these guys are veteran brewers, maybe they know something I don’t. They definitely know how to make beer.

Pseudo-Socialist Propaganda BeerRogue has never had a stellar…

Pseudo-Socialist Propaganda Beer

Rogue has never had a stellar reputation.

The beer is overpriced to make it look nicer, their pubs are terrible, and it seems to be a pretty shitty place to work.

The brewery was started in Ashland Oregon by a group of former Adidas and Nike executives. For them, the Rogue brand was always more important than the beer they made. It’s been years since I’ve given Rogue, one of Oregon’s oldest breweries, a second thought. But in the last year, the brewery seems to be quietly relaunching themselves. 

It started over the holidays when they sent us that bottle of Santa’s Private Reserve. I was expecting to hate it. I was expecting lackluster Red Ale wrapped in shiny paper. But it was actually, dare I say it, good. And then I noticed cans of Yellow Snow at the grocery store. I’d seen the sophomoric name before, but i remembered it being an IPA, but this is a Pilsner. A Pilsner with spruce tips. 

Again, I wasn’t expecting much, but the beer is good. It has that sweet, tangy, lemony flavor of spruce surrounded by a crispy yellow beer. Huh. Is Rogue getting better? The new beers are interesting, the branding is moving away from white dudes pumping their fists, and they even have a very respectable ranking on Glassdoor. I’m not ready to forgive all their old missteps – though those old Voodoo donut stouts are looking prescient now – but I may start following Rogue’s progress in the future.

On Bottle DesignOld Town Brewing, our old neighbors, decided to…

On Bottle Design

Old Town Brewing, our old neighbors, decided to change things up in 2018. Goodbye, 22 ounce bombers. Hello, sleek 500mL bottles. Each new bottle features a pared down, black and gold label which, trademark dispute with the city of Portland over, prominently features the leaping stag logo. The lower half of the label is color coded to the beer inside. Dark maroon means Paulie’s Not Irish, the Irish Red Ale. 

It’s nice. It’s modern. It doesn’t quite work. 

For one thing, the design almost seems like a retread of pFriem’s bottles. Same size, gold and black theme, only slight variation for each beer. It’s not worth fighting over – no one owns the color gold. But I think putting them side-by-side you can see how Old Town’s new label doesn’t work quite as well.

It’s the name. 

PFriem bottles all their beers under a simple style name. Pilsner, IPA, Belgian-Style Dark Ale – the minimalist labels are met with minimalist names. It’s cohesive. But Old Town is still sticking and older model of beer naming. They’re jokey. There’s a story behind each beer name. But when they are shrunk down to twelve point type, they just look dumb. Pillowfist tells a story, but when you slap it on a generic bottle, it looks the same as a Kolsch. 

Granted, it’s probably extremely cheap to slap a new name on these simple logos, especially compared to designing a whole new brand for each new beer. But when you go through the trouble of coming up with a catchy name, it seems like a waste to slap it on a premade label.

Just over half an hour until we go LIVE on our…

Just over half an hour until we go LIVE on our Facebook page with the new @brewdogofficial Native Son West Coast Double IPA, with some luck maybe @brewdogjames will tune in.

#BrewdogNativeSon #NativeSon #Brewdog #CraftBeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #Beerporn (at Cadoxton, Vale Of Glamorgan, United Kingdom)

@brewdogofficial have sent us some of their br…

@brewdogofficial have sent us some of their brand new #NativeSun , let’s go Live tonight on our Facebook page at 7pm ish for the review. (www.facebook.com/RealAleCraftBeer)

#BrewdogNativeSun #Brewdog #CraftBeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #Beerporn (at Cadoxton, Vale Of Glamorgan, United Kingdom)

Many thanks Sam Goodwill for today’s box…

Many thanks Sam Goodwill for today’s box of fine beer. Reviews coming soon. #CraftBeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #Beerporn (at Cadoxton, Vale Of Glamorgan, United Kingdom)

So Happens It’s TuesdaySo what’s the difference between the…

So Happens It’s Tuesday

So what’s the difference between the Bruery’s famous Black Tuesday and So Happens It’s Tuesday? About five percent alcohol, which is surprising, So Happens is already over 14%. But that extra alcohol is well integrated in the austere beer that tastes more akin to a fancy red wine than a pastry infused stout. 

The scent is full of the usual notes of bourbon and chocolate with cherry cola hidden in it’s depths. The powerful notes of vanilla and whiskey eventually give way to a sharp raspberry and subtle dark chocolate.

It doesn’t have the heat or the boozy sweetness I was expecting in a beer this strong. It’s not syrupy. It’s not hot. The body is full but not chewy. It’s a little meaty and dry like old pinot noir. That may be a result of age. 

Despite receiving the bottle for my last birthday, it’s already nearly two years old. That extra age probably dried the beer out a little, but it could just as easily be the result of careful blending, the unsung step all great barrel aged beers go through. Anyone can put beer in a barrel, but it takes great skill and an excellent palate to blend multiple barrels into a single excellent beer.

#BeerMail from @blacksheepbrewery this looks d…

#BeerMail from @blacksheepbrewery this looks damn tasty!!

#BlackSheepMilkshakeIPA #MilkshakeIPA #BlackSheepBrewery #BlackSheep #BritishCraftBeer #BritishBeer #CraftBeer #RealAle #Ale #Beer #Beerporn (at Cadoxton, Vale Of Glamorgan, United Kingdom)

“Does this taste like soap?” The human mind is very open to…

“Does this taste like soap?” 

The human mind is very open to suggestion and illusion. Sarah mentions a soapy note, and it’s all I can taste. What was once a thin head of loose bubbles becomes a bubble bath. That classic Upright flavor smell, apricots and slowly fermenting beer, is suddenly infused with a note of dish detergent. The Body is suddenly slick and oily on the tongue. It’s terrible.

But she was right. It does taste soapy. I was excited to try Upright’s latest Frequencies release, Jacaranda. It was brewed with a couple guys from Superflux in Vancouver B.C. It’s supposed to be brewed with oily hops, blended with Upright’s Shades Kriek and left in Vermouth and Gewurztraminer casks with some wild yeast for months. Sounds great, but I wasn’t able to finish it. My stomach hurt.