844. New York: Chelsea Brewing

On Sunday (6/22/08), Win, David and I did the whitest thing we could have done with our early afternoon. We hit golf balls at the Chelsea Pier driving range. I'll spare you the details since I don't really care for golf; though the occasional low pressure trip to the driving range can be enjoyable when accuracy isn't a goal. While we were waiting for our turn at the range we stopped at Chelsea Brewing Company for a beer.

844. Long Island Altbier

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Chelsea Brewing Company
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Tap
Style: Altbier, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 3.5 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 3.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 4.0

Overall: 3.6


Pours a clear, copper color. The off-white head fades to a ring, leaving patches of lace. The aroma is malty: toffee and fruit mainly. There's also a bit of alcohol and light, resiny hops.

Toasty malts lead into a bready sweetness. The richer malt flavors that you might expect are pretty muted. There's a light bite from the alcohol and carbonation. The finish has a lingering grassy bitterness. Light-bodied with high carbonation and a light dryness in the finish.

Overall, not as malty as a lot of Alts that I've had, but I think the relative lack of sweetness helps a bit with the sessionability.

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843. New York: Spuyten Duyvil

David is an enabler, so when we're out drinking he almost always insists on me adding to the list. So after we left Radegast we had to go to Spuyten Duyvil for another round. I'm a big fan of this place, great atmosphere, great beer and awesome bar snacks. I'd been twice before, once when visiting David, and once for his bachelor party.

We had a single round out on the back porch, and then either played around with the wiffle ball some more, or we went to Barcade and then went played around with the wiffle ball (Barcade may have been Sunday night instead).

843. Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale

This was my thirds choice. They were out of the two harder-to-come-by beers that I tried to order first.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Alcohol: 6.20%
Serving: Tap
Style: American Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 4.0 | Taste: 4.0 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 4.0

Overall:
4.0

Pours a hazy amber. Topped by a thick, off-white head that fades somewhat, but sticks around as a half-inch layer. Leaves sheets of lace over the side of the glass. The aroma is dominated by hops that are resiny, and piney. There's also an undertone of fruit present.

Hoppy as fuck. There's a brief flash of sweet malt backbone upfront before the citric and resiny hops take over. The bitterness is intense and lingers long into the finish. Medium-bodied, moderately-carbonated and oily.

This is one hell of a pale ale. The hops hit you over the head, but i wouldn't expect and less from Sierra Nevada.

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834-842. New York: Radegast Hall & Biergarten

Win wanted to go to a couple Mets home games this year since it's their last season at Shea Stadium. Win arrived in New York on Thursday and I took the bus down from Boston on Saturday June 21st.

I met Win and David at our hotel, and then we went to a nearby diner so I could grab lunch. They had previously eaten at the always delicious Kitchenette. After eating we went to Central Park and watched the end of a baseball game, and afterwards David set off to find entertainment. He returned with a wiffle ball and bat, which entertained us for awhile. Our next destination was a beer garden in Williamsburg, but before heading to Brooklyn we stopped by a stationary store for a pack of cards and David's impulse buy of multi-colored pipe cleaners.

We went to Radegast Hall & Biergarten, which was across the street from The Levee, a bar we had been to for David's bachelor party last summer. I got the impression that this place opened fairly recently, but I might be mistaken. The bar consists of two, long, single-story buildings that sit side by side. From the street Radegast Hall is on the left, and the Biergarten is on the right. The hall is large with various tables and booths for seating. There's also a large spectacle shaped bar towards the back right of the establishment with a service window that looks out onto the biergarten. The floors, tables and booths were all wooden, with a worn character, thought the bar was smooth and new. The Biergarten is a long, brick structure that's semi-enclosed. There are retractable awnings over openings the length of the ceiling and the windows at the front were open. Long benches were located at either side of the building creating a single aisle down the center. There are some good pictures on the website that give you a feel for the place.

We grabbed the end of a table in the biergarten and decided on our first round. There were twelve taps and about two or three times as many bottles. All of the taps were dedicated to German beers, except two for Czech beers, one Austrian beer, and a single Belgian Witbier. The bottles were half German/Czech/Austrian, half Belgian. The draft beers were available both in pints, liters and pitchers.

We spent a few hours here, and first got a snack of bratwurst and sauerkraut. The brats were nice, and the kraut was tasty, though a tad sweet. When we determined that we'd be staying for awhile longer we ordered dinner. Win had the hanger steak, David had the braised rabbit and I had the veal schnitzel. The bits of the rabbit and steak that I had were tasty, and I was quite happy with my choice. Though when isn't schnitzel delicious?

The pipe cleaners that David bought were instantly popular. Our waitress took one for a bracelet, and later another waitress did the same. Various tablemates took a few, and people were stopping by our table fairly regularly to make things.

Most of these are lagers, which I have limited experience with as far as rating goes, so some of my descriptions may be off.

834. Gaffel Kölsch

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.
Alcohol: 4.80%
Serving: Tap
Style: Kölsch, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 4.0 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 4.5

Overall: 3.95


Pours a clear golden with a white head that fades to a film. The aroma is light, there's a bit of pepper and a grassy, leafy aroma, presumably from hops.

Clean and crisp overall, generous carbonation pulls the flavors along on the palate. There's a slightly sweet, but mostly neutral malt undercurrent running through the beer. There's a bit of pepper and a husky graininess in the finish that melds with a light bitterness and a hint of citrus. Crisp, and slightly dry.

Very drinkable, flavorful without being overpowering. Refreshing.

835. Brou Czech Dark


Beer Stats:
Brewery: Nova Paka Brewery
Alcohol: 5.00%
Serving: Tap
Style: Munich Dunkel Lager, BJCP Style Guide

There are two BrouCzech Darks on BA, but I think they're the same beer. So I'm putting this one into the main entry.

Appearance: 3.5 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 2.5 | Mouthfeel: 3.5 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.1


Garnet brown in color with a beige head that thins to a patchy film. The aroma is peppery with fruity malts that are accentuated on swirling.

Sweet malts upfront, fruitiness appears in the center with a peppery finish and a light bitterness. The aftertaste is a bit off. Light-bodied and thin feeling with high carbonation.

A tad sweet, but still fairly drinkable.

836. Gösser

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Braueri Göss
Alcohol: 5.20%
Serving: Tap
Style: Euro Pale Lager, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.5 | Smell: 2.5 | Taste: 3.5 | Mouthfeel: 3.5 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.5


Pours a clear golden. Topped by a fluffy, bright white head that fades to a film leaving trails of lace. The aroma is light. There's a hint of graininess and perhaps a bit of peppery yeast.

Malty sweetness throughout. Light citric character with some pepperiness and a light grassy finish that hints at bitterness. Light-bodied, moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkable, but it falls a bit flat overall. Perhaps a bit more carbonation would help brighten things up.

837. Gose

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof
Alcohol: 4.60%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Gose

Appearance: 3.5 | Smell: 4.5 | Taste: 4.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 4.0

Overall: 4.2


Pours a lightly hazed golden. The fluffy, white head fades to an asymmetric film. The aroma is quite strong. There's almost an acidic fruitiness in the aroma, but it balances towards sweeteness. Notes of citrus, honey and coriander. Smells absolutely delicious.

The taste is mild overall, but still complex and flavorful. There's a sharp citric character that gives a nice tartness, but doesn't overpower. Sweet, but not cloying malts and some neutral graininess throughout. The finish is a bit salty. Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. There's a bit of a bite to this beer.

This is my first experience with Gose, and I have to say that I'm a big fan. Very flavorful and a bit of a departure from other beers.

838. Uerige Sticke


Beer Stats:
Brewery: Uerige Obergärige Hausbrauerei
Alcohol: 6.00%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Altbier, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 3.0 | Smell: 4.0 | Taste: 4.0 | Mouthfeel: 3.5 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.7


Pours a cloudy, particulate brown. The beige head is thin and quickly fades to nothing. The aroma is rich and malty. There are notes of caramel, toffee and dark fruit. Swirling brings out a sharp character.

Sweet malts are definitely the focus of the beer, but they aren't too sweet. There's a boozy character upfront that mixes with the caramel and toffee flavors. There's an alcoholic spice and a moderate bitterness in the finish.

A bit sweet overall, but very flavorful.

839. Berliner Style Weisse


Beer Stats:
Brewery: Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof
Alcohol: 3.00%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Berliner Weissbier, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 3.5 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 3.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 4.5

Overall: 3.65


Pours an extremely pale, straw color. The white head fades to nothing. The aroma is light. There are some banana and orange notes, as well as a light acidity.

Tart upfront, but this fades through to the finish. There's a light graininess and only a hint of bitterness in the finish. Light-bodied, low carbonation and a hint of dryness.

Tasty and very refreshing. I would have liked a little bit more sourness, but that's just me.

840. Urbock 23°

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brewery Castle Eggenberg
Alcohol: 9.60%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Doppelbock, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 3.5 | Smell: 3.0 | Taste: 3.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.45


Pours a hazed, golden copper. Topped by a thin white head that fades to a wispy film. The aroma is sharp, but light. There almost seems to be a medicinal undercurrent.

Very malt forward, lots of sweet caramel. Hints of citrus. Moves into a heavy, alcoholic spice that interacts with a pronounced dry finish. Medium-bodied with moderately high carbonation.

Spicy, strong and a little sweet, but overall decent.

841. König Pilsener

Beer Stats:
Brewery: König-Brauerei
Alcohol: 4.90%
Serving: Bottle
Style: German Pilsener, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a clear golden. Topped by a white head that fades to nothing. The aroma is grainy and grassy.

Lightly sweet. WIth a graininess throughout. There's a nice grassy bitterness in the finish. Light-bodied, high carbonation, crisp.

842. Ettaler Kloster Edelhell


Beer Stats:
Brewery: Klosterbrauerei Ettal
Alcohol: 5.00%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Munich Helles Lager, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a nice golden with a light haze. The white head fades to nothing. The aroma is grainy with a light sweetness.

Sweet malts, but the sweetness is unobtrusive. Very tasty. A bit of pepper and a mild bitterness. Light-bodied and highly carbonated.

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833. Saranac Pomegranate Wheat

833. Saranac Pomegranate Wheat

I had this beer at The Tavern in Central Square at Kevin's thesis defense party on June 20th.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Matt Brewing Company
Alcohol: 4.70%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Fruit Beer, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 3.5 | Smell: 3.0 | Taste: 3.0 | Mouthfeel: 3.5 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.2


Pours a cloudy golden with a reddish tint. Topped by a thick, bright white head that fades to a film leaving patchy lace. The aroma is grainy with a hint of grassiness and a light pomegranate note that becomes stronger and a bit syrupy on swirling.

Sweet pomegranate upfront and throughout. The finish is grainy with not a lot of bitterness. Too sweet overall. Smooth, low carbonation and light-bodied.

Too sweet, but the pomegranate flavor is nice.

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832. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

832. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

We grilled at Jadyn's place to get to know the new roommate who's subletting from Kurt. He's German and he brought a few German beers.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brauerei Heller-Trum
Alcohol: 5.40%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Rauchbier, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a clear brown with a foamy beige head that thins to a film. The aroma is smoky with some hints of maltiness. Sweet caramel malts upfront, smoky with some spiciness, a nice toasty finish and a light bitterness. Medium-bodied, light to moderate carbonation. The smokiness is a bit strong, but it's tasty.

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830-831. The Dancing Bear

Jadyn and I went to Waco in early May. We went to the dancing bear with Win one evening. Unfortunately they're still being dicked around by the ATF so they haven't been able to start brewing yet.

830. Real Heavy

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Real Ale Brewing Company
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Tap
Style: American Strong Ale

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 3.0 | Taste: 3.5 | Mouthfeel: 3.5 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.5


Pours a lightly hazy amber-brown with a filmy beige head. Malty, caramel, raisins and bit of spice in the aroma. Fruity and malty sweetness upfront and through a thick feeling center. The finish is a lingering fruitiness and a mild, but lingering bitterness. Lightly carbonated.

831. Warrior IPA

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company
Alcohol: 6.60%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: American IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 4.0 | Taste: 4.0 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.95


Pours a hazy copper. Topped by a sudsy, off-white head that leaves rings of lace as the glass is drained. The aroma is hoppy, citric and leafy with a bit of sugar and caramel below.

Bready and toasty maltiness upfront. A light caramel sweetness appears before being quickly overtaken by citrusy hops and a leafy bitterness. Medium to light-bodied, highly carbonated.

Not overly hoppy, well balanced. Not sessionable, but very tasty and definitely worth revisiting.

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Washington Post: Another Kind of Red

There's a nice article in the Washington Post called Another Kind of Red, about Flanders Red Ales. It starts by mentioning Rodenbach Grand Cru and later mentions other Belgian and American versions like Duchesse de Bourgogne and La Folie. It does a nice job of describing the style:

Don't be intimidated by the sharp, almost vinegar-like aroma, a common trait of the Flanders sour red ale style. You'll find these beers complex, thirst-quenching and food-friendly. They're remnants of an earlier era when brewers aged their beers in unlined wooden vessels; microorganisms residing in the wood, particularly lactobacillus and wild yeasts, joined in the fermentation and made their own flavor contributions.

Flanders red ales are fruity, with cherry being the most common descriptor. You might also detect a little sour apple, raspberry or cranberry in the Rodenbach. Those flavors come from fermentation byproducts called esters and from acedic acid and lactic acid (also a component in yogurt). A wild fermentation can be unpredictable, so brewers try to achieve consistency by blending the contents of different vessels.

Specialty malts are responsible for the ruddy color, which ranges from deep amber to burgundy, and add a caramely sweetness. Hopping is minimal in these beers, but contact with the wood results in a dry, mouth-tingling tannic taste.

It's nice to see mainstream coverage of beer, and especially to see coverage of wild/sour beers.

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829. Samuel Adams Honey Porter

829. Samuel Adams Honey Porter

Matt brought this in when we brewed our oatmeal stout (post upcoming). I didn't take notes, and don't remember a lot.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Boston Beer Company
Alcohol: 5.45%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style:American Porter, BJCP Style Guide

I remember being pleasantly surprised that the honey sweetness didn't overpower the roasty malts. That's about all I remember.

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828. John Harvard's Apeman Ale

828. John Harvard's Apeman Ale

I had a pint of this at John Harvard's on April 26th. I'm pretty sure this was describes as a Saison at the bar.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: John Harvard's Brew House
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Tap
Style: Saison, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 3.5 | Smell: 4.0 | Taste: 4.0 | Mouthfeel: 4.5 | Drinkability: 4.0

Overall: 3.95


Pours a very cloudy -- log phase yeast cloudy -- straw color. It's topped by a foamy, white head that thins to a patchy film and leaves clinging strands of lace. There's almost a peach like hue from the refracted light. There's a nice neutral graininess in the nose, with some light peppery spice and banana fruitiness.

Light-bodied with high carbonation that pulls the flavors along. There's a nice neutral maltiness that's carried through to a crisp finish. Banana and bubble gum fruitiness is present in the center with a hint of sour citrus. The finish has a nice, grassy hop bitterness and a pleasing dryness.

Tasty and very drinkable.

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827. Boont ESB

827. Boont ESB

I bought a six-pack of this at the liquor store down the street from Jadyn's place on April 24th.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Alcohol: 6.80%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB), BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.5 | Smell: 4.0 | Taste: 4.5 | Mouthfeel: 4.0 | Drinkability: 4.0

Overall: 4.3


Pours a clear copper. Topped by a thick, merengue-like, off-white head that retains well, but eventually fades to a thin layer leaving quite a bit of lace. Thea aroma is toasty with a hint of fruit and lightly floral, citric and piney hops.

Sweet initially, sugar and light caramel flavors are carried through by the carbonation. Malts quickly turn toasty. The crisp hoppy finish is citric and resiny with a hint of oiliness that contributes to the medium-bodied feel.

Nicely balanced. Not to sweet and lets the hops do their thing.

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826. Harvard Square Helles

826. Harvard Square Helles

Jadyn and stopped at John Harvard's for a beer sometime in late April.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: John Harvard's Brew House
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Tap
Style: Munich Helles Lager, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a lightly hazed golden. Topped by a thick white head that fades to a film. The aroma is light, predominantly graininess and grassy hops on swirling. There's a neutral graininess upfront that moves into a rough bitterness in the center that's accentuated by citric elements. Light-bodied, highly carbonated with a bit of roughness in the finish. Tasty and refreshing.

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825. Bitchin Bitter

825. Bitchin Bitter

I had this at the CBC sometime not long after I got back from New York.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Cambridge Brewing Company
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Tap
Style: English Bitter, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 3.5 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 4.0 | Mouthfeel: 3.5 | Drinkability: 4.0

Overall: 3.75


Pours a hazy amber that borders on a brownish copper. The beige head hd faded to a wispy film by the time our beers arrived. The aroma has notes of light caramel, a slight nuttiness, and a some herbal hops.

Sweet bready notes upfront that moves through to a bit of toastiness that seamlessly blends with a light grassy bitterness in the finish that's accented by a bright citric flavor that appears just before the finish. Medium-bodied and highly carbonated with a bit of a grainy texture in the finish.

Nicely balanced and drinkable.

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823-824. New York: Rabbit Club

After leaving Burp Castle David and I went to Spitzer's Corner for dinner. David has the herb roasted chicken and I had a tasty Duck Confit.

After dinner we went to the Rabbit Club, a basement bar somewhere in the West Village. The bar itself was long and narrow and darkly lit. After a certain point they shut the front door and people had to ring the buzzer to get in.

After leaving the Rabbit Club we aught the Metro North back to Pelham and watched some South Park on David's computer.

823. Ivanhoe

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Ridgeway Brewing
Alcohol: 5.20%
Serving: Bottle
Style: English Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a hazy, amber copper. Topped by a sudsy beige head. Light lace clings to the glass. The aroma is sweet malts, caramel, and a bit of grassy hoppiness. Toasty malts upfront, light sweetness throughout with a good bitterness in the finish. Moderate carbonation, light-bodied.

824. Cwrw Braf

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Tomos Watkin Brewery
Alcohol: 4.20%
Serving: Bottle
Style: English Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Clear copper with a head that fades to a patchy film. The aroma is sweet and malty caramel with a hint of fruit. Toasty upfront with a touch of fruitiness and a light bitterness. The finish is husky. Overall I though it lacked flavor and character.

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