Craft Beers

When one of the guys at work says “Hey we have some Brewdog - anyone want some?” My answer is “Yes, by Beelzebub’s bouncy butter balls!” (well… maybe not quite that alliterative, but you get the idea).  And why not? This is one of Stormyskiesahead’s favorite brewers - as well they should be.
Hardcore IPA – BrewDog
This one pours out a clear amber orange with a tall off white head that dissipated quickly leaving spotty lacing.  It has notes of spruce, pine, citrus, pineapple, toffee, and green apple.  It has a medium mouth feel with moderate carbonation and the strong oily hop bitter finish.  If you love hops (i.e. hop head) this one is for you.  That said, it has a number of layers in the flavor profile and the malt has not been forgotten.  This is an extremely decent IPA and well worth the time to seek one out and give it a try.
American Double - Imperial IPA | 9.20% ABV

When one of the guys at work says “Hey we have some Brewdog - anyone want some?” My answer is “Yes, by Beelzebub’s bouncy butter balls!” (well… maybe not quite that alliterative, but you get the idea).  And why not? This is one of Stormyskiesahead’s favorite brewers - as well they should be.

Hardcore IPA – BrewDog

This one pours out a clear amber orange with a tall off white head that dissipated quickly leaving spotty lacing.  It has notes of spruce, pine, citrus, pineapple, toffee, and green apple.  It has a medium mouth feel with moderate carbonation and the strong oily hop bitter finish.  If you love hops (i.e. hop head) this one is for you.  That said, it has a number of layers in the flavor profile and the malt has not been forgotten.  This is an extremely decent IPA and well worth the time to seek one out and give it a try.

American Double - Imperial IPA | 9.20% ABV

My son was helping work on the jeep a while back and we pulled out a couple of “after your finished” brews.  Knowing this is one of his favorites I made sure to have a some on hand.  College students not being known for their large beer budget (it was nice to have the help) he appreciated having one.
Claymore Scotch Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company
This one pours out a dark red brown with a fairly large tan head that hangs around for a while, leaving thin but discernible lacing.  It has notes of caramel, mild coffee, fall grass, and sweet malts.  It has a medium mouth feel with virtually zero carbonation and a pretty clean, smooth but sweet finish.  This is a tribute beer to the “Wee Heavy” style and as far as I can tell it stands well in the category.
My son loves this style of beer (ahhh… what can I say - he truly is my son, stands tall and goes for malt and bold), and he thinks that Great Divide has made a classic in this one.  Who am I to argue with someone that has such good genetics.
Scotch Ale - Wee Heavy | 7.70% ABV

My son was helping work on the jeep a while back and we pulled out a couple of “after your finished” brews.  Knowing this is one of his favorites I made sure to have a some on hand.  College students not being known for their large beer budget (it was nice to have the help) he appreciated having one.

Claymore Scotch Ale - Great Divide Brewing Company

This one pours out a dark red brown with a fairly large tan head that hangs around for a while, leaving thin but discernible lacing.  It has notes of caramel, mild coffee, fall grass, and sweet malts.  It has a medium mouth feel with virtually zero carbonation and a pretty clean, smooth but sweet finish.  This is a tribute beer to the “Wee Heavy” style and as far as I can tell it stands well in the category.

My son loves this style of beer (ahhh… what can I say - he truly is my son, stands tall and goes for malt and bold), and he thinks that Great Divide has made a classic in this one.  Who am I to argue with someone that has such good genetics.

Scotch Ale - Wee Heavy | 7.70% ABV

 It is the first snow of the season (yes, it is mid September and the first snow will fly).  One to three inches (2.54 to 7.62 cm for you across-the-ponders) at my house, but just a bare dusting down in town.  In honor of this momentous occasion (cold weather, busting out the firewood, etc…) I have broken into my stash and pulled out my last bottle of the 2013 Uncle Jacobs.  I don’t normally play favorites, but this one has to make my top five all time.
Uncle Jacob’s Stout - Avery Brewing Company
This one pours out oil can black with a very thin tan head that evaporated almost instantly leaving very little, if any lacing.  It has notes of bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, dark fruit, oak, molasses, and caramel.  It has a medium mouth feel with low carbonation and a silky sweet finish with slightly astringent alcohol and oak touches.  I hate to say it but I love this bad boy, and the year of aging only made it better.  This one is a very heavy hammer, in your face, stout.
If you are looking for a barrel aged stout you would have to go a long way to find a better example of the category.  Be aware it has a high ABV and can sneak up and beat the crud right out of you.
American Double - Imperial Stout | 14.83% ABV

 It is the first snow of the season (yes, it is mid September and the first snow will fly).  One to three inches (2.54 to 7.62 cm for you across-the-ponders) at my house, but just a bare dusting down in town.  In honor of this momentous occasion (cold weather, busting out the firewood, etc…) I have broken into my stash and pulled out my last bottle of the 2013 Uncle Jacobs.  I don’t normally play favorites, but this one has to make my top five all time.

Uncle Jacob’s Stout - Avery Brewing Company

This one pours out oil can black with a very thin tan head that evaporated almost instantly leaving very little, if any lacing.  It has notes of bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, dark fruit, oak, molasses, and caramel.  It has a medium mouth feel with low carbonation and a silky sweet finish with slightly astringent alcohol and oak touches.  I hate to say it but I love this bad boy, and the year of aging only made it better.  This one is a very heavy hammer, in your face, stout.

If you are looking for a barrel aged stout you would have to go a long way to find a better example of the category.  Be aware it has a high ABV and can sneak up and beat the crud right out of you.

American Double - Imperial Stout | 14.83% ABV

Okay kids - today we are going old school.  I am reaching way back on the shelf and pulling out a bottle from 2010!  Sorry the picture is a touch wacky, but I got a great label shot!  At the time I was really enjoying some of the local brewers (well I still do, actually) and since I really love single batch bourbons I was trying to taste some of the small batch series that a number of the local brewers release (a worthy endeavor by the way). This one came my way and I was not sorry for that at all.

Double Pilsner Single Batch Series - Odell Brewing Company

This one poured out a hazy orange gold with a very small white head that dissipated quickly leaving virtually no lacing.  It had notes of sweet malt, biscuit, honey, citrus, grass, and traces of tropical fruit. Moderate mouth feel with a crisp somewhat full finish and a strong lingering sweetness.

I really like this brew, but it was not at all what I expected.  It is a very traditional European pilsner (think Belgian or Dutch), not an American Double.  Not sure why this one is called American or Imperial, but that doesn’t stop it from being tasty.  This was subtle and very drinkable.  I understand that Odell has now started releasing this on a yearly seasonal basis and I would be very interested in picking up another and seeing how they compare.  Maybe I should put that on the list!

American Double - Imperial Pilsner | 8.10% ABV

stonebrewingco:

Our latest collaboration #beer, the pro-style edition of the winning recipe from our American Homebrewers Association homebrew contest translates the essence of Mexican hot chocolate into beautiful, beery form. Behold the story of Chris Banker / Stone / Insurgente Xocoveza Mocha Stout!http://www.stonebrewing.com/collab/xocoveza 

I love the sound of this one.  I am going to see if I scrounge up a couple of bottles.  I don’t know if it is in Colorado, but I am going to certainly try!

bigskybrewing:

Through some serious #hardwork and dedication our old, used, pieced together bottling line runs more efficient & faster than it ever has before- at any brewery. That’s 390 bottles a minute that we’re pretty proud of around these parts. #craftbeer #montana

I always love hearing about brewers expanding capacity and doing well.  This is pretty cool

bigskybrewing:

Through some serious #hardwork and dedication our old, used, pieced together bottling line runs more efficient & faster than it ever has before- at any brewery. That’s 390 bottles a minute that we’re pretty proud of around these parts. #craftbeer #montana

I always love hearing about brewers expanding capacity and doing well.  This is pretty cool

They gave everyone at work one of the new growlers.  Wahoo!  So what does one do with a brand new growler you might ask?  Fill it, of course!  I put the growler in the fridge (rinsed out, natch) and the ice packs from my lunch pail in the freezer.  The growler fits perfectly in my insulated lunch bag. Low and behold I had a growler coozie (with ice packs no less).   Does life get better then that?

On the way home I stopped at Mountain Toad Brewery and fill my ice cold growler up with yummy beer for the weekend.  What did I get for the inaugural growler brew you  might ask?  Well let me tell you… 

Ryrish Stout - Mountain Toad Brewing

This one pours out coffee black with a short tannish head that dissipated slowly leaving nice lacing.  It has notes of coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, black pepper and mountain pine.  It has a thin creamy mouth feel with mild carbonation and a clean somewhat bitter finish.  This has quite a bit of hop for a stout and the bitter blends well with the sweet malts.  The rye seems to come out in the creamy texture and peppery spice.  

This is a very nice example of an Irish Stout and one that any brewery would be proud of.  That it has come from a brewery open less then two years is very impressive.  I am pretty sure my growler is going to have to get filled with this one again.

Irish Dry Stout | 5.90% ABV

The new growlers are in!  They are 64 oz and shaped like a miniature keg with all the company logos.  These are pretty sweet!

The new growlers are in!  They are 64 oz and shaped like a miniature keg with all the company logos.  These are pretty sweet!

As some folks may remember (I know - I am assuming a lot here).  I had a chance to try several of the NAB (North American Breweries) beers.  I started with Heart of Darkness, so I for the second choice I went with something totally outside my comfort zone.  This one is from their Pyramid Brewery located in Portland.
Pyramid Apricot Ale - Pyramid Breweries
This one pours out a clear golden orange with a thin white head that left very little lacing.  It has notes of apple, apricot, malt, light caramel, and maybe a touch of stone fruit (plum, peach?).  Very smooth and light mouth feel with a moderate amount of carbonation and little or no hop bitterness.  In fact there was very little hop in general in this beer.
This is a very light and refreshing fruit beer and though as I mentioned it was well outside my comfort zone I still thought it was well done.  There are several people in the office that like fruit beers and they loved this one.  This would be perfect to have on hand if you were going to have friends over that are not really beer drinkers, but wanted to try something different.
Fruit - Vegetable Beer | 5.10% ABV

As some folks may remember (I know - I am assuming a lot here).  I had a chance to try several of the NAB (North American Breweries) beers.  I started with Heart of Darkness, so I for the second choice I went with something totally outside my comfort zone.  This one is from their Pyramid Brewery located in Portland.

Pyramid Apricot Ale - Pyramid Breweries

This one pours out a clear golden orange with a thin white head that left very little lacing.  It has notes of apple, apricot, malt, light caramel, and maybe a touch of stone fruit (plum, peach?).  Very smooth and light mouth feel with a moderate amount of carbonation and little or no hop bitterness.  In fact there was very little hop in general in this beer.

This is a very light and refreshing fruit beer and though as I mentioned it was well outside my comfort zone I still thought it was well done.  There are several people in the office that like fruit beers and they loved this one.  This would be perfect to have on hand if you were going to have friends over that are not really beer drinkers, but wanted to try something different.

Fruit - Vegetable Beer | 5.10% ABV