Well May has come and gone so let’s take a look at some of the new beers and label art that it brought us:
First up, Dogfish Head gives a few tweaks to its 90 Minute IPA label while adding the word “IMPERIAL” into the mix. 90 Minute has always been described as an Imperial IPA, but now the word is front and center. They of course echoed this repackaging for the 1 pint energy drink cans.
Next up, Mispillion River with The Goon IPA and War Badger, a sour beer brewed with fruit grape.
Iron Hill usually doesn’t have a lot of labels come through the system, but this month they’ve been pretty active. Below are labels for Vienna Red Lager, Ore House IPA, Crusher Session IPA, and a Halloween inspired (my favorite obviously) Pumpkin Ale.
Speaking of busy, the guys over at Midnight Oil have been busy doing more than making beer. Here’s a nice collection of keg labels from them.
And last but not least, 16 Mile with a very interesting looking label for their New England style IPA, Solar Flare. 16 Mile is also doing their thing were they’re passing numerous keg label through the system that are their beers mixed with various fruit and herbs. I haven’t included them because they’re pretty non-descriptive but they include Blue’s Golden with Blood Oranges, Blue’s Golden with allspice, apples, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, honey and mace, as well as Amber Sun with ginger and apples.
The other night my daughter and her friend were over for dinner. Whenever the girl visits from school the go to meal is usually cavatelli and broccoli, a simple dish that luckily also calls for bacon and parmesan cheese – because broccoli, is….well, broccoli.
When it was time to put in the broccoli, I placed a two bags of frozen chopped in our usually reliable microwave, pushed the defrost button and turned my back to continue to pull the dish together. The next thing I know my daughter was saying with an emphatic tone, “Dad, your microwave is on fire!”
I quickly turned to find that although there was indeed cause for alarm my daughter’s statement did not properly convey the situation that was unfolding. Because, although the microwave was dutifully going about its business, the receptacle it was plugged into be like…
I personally believe it was the microwave showing its displeasure at having to defrost broccoli. I might be wrong about that. I just know from past experience that broccoli can mess some shit up which is why little kids won’t touch the stuff. They know. Their survival instincts are uncanny.
So, the microwave was unplugged, the receptacle checked for issues, marked for replacement, and calm was restored in the household.
The next night I wanted popcorn. Believing popcorn to be more agreeable to the microwave than broccoli (and having not swapped out the receptacle yet), I moved stuff around on the kitchen counter so I could plug the microwave into another receptacle. When I pressed the popcorn button the fan and the carousel worked fine, but as soon as the magnetron kicked on, the kitchen lights be like…
At this point I believed that the microwave was indeed putting out some “demonic spirit” type vibe as my knowledge of the electrical wiring in the house assured me that the light and the receptacle are not on the same circuit. I might be wrong about that. I just know that demonic spirits can mess some shit up which is why dogs won’t go near them. They know. Their survival instincts are uncanny.
Realizing I only had one option open to me, I unplugged the microwave and stood there in silence. I’d had this microwave for a very long time and it had always proven to be a trusted and faithful servant (its defrost function was on point!), but once demonic spirits get into your microwave there is little you can do.
No, once your microwave has been infested with demonic spirits the only option left to you is to fill the inside with salt and sage, and bury it on holy ground during a full moon. I might be wrong about that. I just know that improperly interred demonic spirit infested microwaves can mess some shit up which is why school lunch ladies won’t go near them. They know. Their survival instincts are uncanny. And always drive back to your house using a circuitous route so that the angry spirits cannot follow you back and infest your new microwave.
Exorcism? Yeah, you could try that, but always make sure you check with your Demonologist and Master of the Black Arts before hand…
Empty stomach? Yeah, well I could take care of that with some popcorn or a Celeste’s Frozen Pizza, but in case you haven’t been keeping up, my microwave is…..Oh, you mean beer! Well, luckily I had that covered with Big Oyster Brewery’s DANG! IPA. Let’s taste.
THEM: BOB lists DANG! as a New England/West Coast crossover of the seasonal variety and describes it thusly on their website, “Dang! is one of our most popular beers. Brewed with flaked wheat and dry hopped three times for a pronounced citrus, fruity aroma.” DANG! Clocks in at 5.8%ABV.
BUZZ: Ratebeer (3.6/5 – only one rating), Beer Advocate (3.86/5), Untappd (3.8/5)
DE AVAILABILITY: Selected fine beer outlets.
ME: Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve probably worked through four of five 4-packs of this beer. That’s right, DANG! comes in the devil-witchery packaging that is the 4-pack. But, since it is a 4-pack of 16-oz cans, we’ll cut some slack here.
Dang! is a pretty beer, as long as you don’t mind some haze (and you shouldn’t), pouring a golden hue with hints of orange dancing in the light. The nose is stuffed with all kinds of hoppy aromas like tropical fruits, citrus and earthy notes. The flavor doesn’t stray from the hops very far, although there is a touch of caramel tucked in there and when the beer warms up a bit I almost get an iced tea vibe from it, but that just might be my palate playing tricks.
But it’s the hops that are definitely front and center here, with more tropical fruits, citrus and herbal goodness. Surprisingly, DANG! doesn’t finish as big and bitey on the back end as you might expect (although Tracey would probably disagree).
All in all, Big Oyster’s DANG! fits the New England/West Coast crossover description fairly well and if hoppy beers, and/or the recent New England IPA craze are your thing, one you should probably try while it’s still available.
I’ve been changing my drinking habits lately. Running around trying to grab every beer that one has never tried is a young man’s game, and I just don’t seem to have the energy for it like I used to. And yes, you can do the logic problem and conclude that I’m not a young man anymore.
Instead, I’ve been grabbing some local beers off the shelf and just kind of hanging out with them. Whether it be a six pack over a long weekend, or a couple (or maybe three) over a period of a couple of weeks (or months). I’ve been just hanging out with the beer, kicking back, relaxing, experiencing it at different times and in different situations, while trying not to let too many other beers distract me.
What is this beer? Does it have a story? Does the story change over time?
Will this improve my reviews? Probably not. But they’ll be changing a bit as well as the wordy intros will probably be whittled down to a few words so that the review is more concise and quicker for you to read.
I also want to use this beer ‘quality time’ to take some photos of the beer and let you all have a peek at what the beer and I are doing in our lives. And the truth is, I’d rather be playing in Lightroom and Photoshop lately than writing long, rambling reviews.
So with that, let’s check out the first beer in this new format, Fordham Brewing’s Dilated Pupilz.
THEM: From the website – “Dilated Pupilz has a solid malt backbone and well balanced hop character. This golden pilsner showcases a distinct hop nose and malty flavor up front but finishes with a floral bitterness. A great beer to enjoy any time of the year.”
The grain bill includes Vienna and Caraform malts, while Bravo, Tradition and Saaz hops balance the load. Pupilz clocks in at 5.0%ABV and 38IBU.
THE BUZZ: Ratebeer (no ratings), Beer Advocate (one rating), Untappd (3.4)
DE AVAILABILITY: Most fine beer outlets.
ME: As you can see by the below photos I’ve been drinking this one for a little while now. I’ve found it mostly to be a beer that drinks pretty nice in most situations without demanding too much attention on itself.
When stored in my super turbo beer over-chiller (aka, my fridge) Pupilz has a clean nose and a just apparent malt taste with some classic Pilsner hop flavors. Every now and then the beer tosses me a citrusy/lemon notes towards the end, not sure if that’s really there, or if it’s my palate doing some of that slight-of-hand stuff that it does sometimes. The end is pretty crisp and doesn’t linger.
I wasn’t sure I liked this beer at first, but in the end it really started to grow on me. In fact, once I had everything I needed for this review, I found myself picking up one last six-pack – you know, just for the hell of it.
As always click on a photo to enlarge and cycle through the gallery to read a little comment or two about each photo.
Time for another beer.
Last major snow storm of the year – last major snow clean up.
Dilated Pupilz is just the name, not the side effects, but still drink responsibly.
Of course after the snow finally thawed it was time to start leaf detail.
A little simmerinig tomato sauce on a Sunday, along with a beer or two.
I was sad to hear that Bill Paxton passed away so I grabbed a beer and cued up one of my favorite movies.
A pleasant surprise finding them both at my local.
OK, if I tell you this is the second flavored beer in a row that I’ve reviewed and the last review I posted was Stewart’s Stumbling Monk – don’t panic. Beer reviews are like a TV series here at tDoB, the order I shoot (write) them in might not necessarily be the order I broadcast (post) them. I just finished writing the guts of Mispillion River’s Cupacabra! the other day and that review is now in (what we like to call in the biz) post production. When either that one or this one will see the light of day remains to be seen.
Anyway, the flavored beer I’d like to focus on this time is Seed-Free and Joy, a Summer-time offering from the 16 Mile Brewery. The name is a play on Siegfried & Roy, the highly successful duo of Las Vegas magicians who were known for their use of lions and tigers in their act. Unfortunately an incident on stage in October of 2003 involving a 7-year old white tiger left Roy Horn severely injured and forced the Mirage Hotel and Casino to indefinitely cancel the show. The duo ended up retiring from show business in 2010 having made only one more stage appearance since Roy’s injuries.
In fact, the beer makes reference to Roy’s attack on the label with the artwork of a tiger eating a watermelon. While I have to admit appreciating the cleverness involved I found the humor a little on the dark side.
Dude, you dressed up as Roy Horn for one of your Halloween parties!
Ahhhh no, pretty sure I’d remember that. Now as I was….
Blood and all! I’ve see the picture around here somewhere.
Hahahaa noooo, no you haven’t. Besides there’s not time for that now….because I gotta….I gotta…..review this beer! Yeah! Let’s taste!
THEM: Seed-Free and Joy started as beer #5 in 16 Mile’s Off The Grid series in May of 2014. The beer was described by the brewer as a “classic American session ale, also known as a blonde”, brewed with watermelon and cucumbers, and initially clocking in at around 4.5%ABV (the bottle version is a tad higher at 4.9%).
ME: Pretty beer, a touch above golden to a light copper in my glass from bottom to top with a nice vortex of carbonation rising to support a nice ring and island of foam on top of the beer. My fridge may have over chilled this beer as does happen sometimes because I’m getting very little in the way of the watermelon, but what I am getting is a delightful cracker/bread crust/freshly cracked grain aroma that I’m finding really enjoyable. That cracked grain description hit me at the end, and now that it’s in my mind the aroma reminds me of how my barroom would smell when we’d hold grain grinding parties when I homebrewed. So nice.
Don’t go anywhere! I think it’s in this drawer somewhere!
That’s OK! No need to bother yourself! I take my first sip and all that aroma is definitely in the taste as well as a flash of melon and the sensation of freshly cut cucumber in the middle. I’ll admit, I probably wouldn’t have caught the cucumber if I hadn’t known it was there, but it is definitely in the mix. SFaJ finishes clean, almost to be empty on the back (as I find a lot of 16 Mile beers are) with just a hint of lingering cracked grain and hoppy spiciness; along with a slight anticipation for the next sip. The 4.9%ABV is right where it should be and as always I’ll leave it to the session police to squabble over the numbers.
If I had to chose between Chupacabra! and Seed-Free as my Summer thirst quencher – I’m going to have to go with Seed-Free as I just loved the cracker/grainy base of the beer. The watermelon is there, but it’s not at a level to be either bubble-gummy or gimmicky.