Posts Tagged ‘beer’

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Blue Point Brews “Toxic Sludge” to Help Feathered Friends Flying South

August 4, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I think I would drink some Toxic Sludge to help the bufflehead! — The Beer Snob

(Courtesy JustBeerNews.com) Blue Point Brewing Company logoLong Island, NY (August 3, 2010) – As American’s attention spans for the Deep Water Horizon oil spill begin to wane, Blue Point Brewing Company today announced a batch of charity brew created specifically to help birds hurt by oil spills, both now and in the future. The Black IPA (India Pale Ale) called Toxic Sludge will be available for distribution in draft and 22 oz bottles just in time for fall migration.

Blue Point will donate 100% of net proceeds from Toxic Sludge to Delaware-based Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research to fund their Spreading Our Wings Campaign and long term efforts to build a Wildlife Response Annex.

To help jumpstart fundraising efforts, starting today “Save the Buffleheads” T-shirts will be sold online for $25 at www.bptoxicsludge.com.  The smallest diving duck in North America, the Bufflehead breeds in Canada and winters off the Gulf Coast.

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research is an internationally recognized, licensed, nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation organization that cares for nearly 3,000 injured, orphaned, and oiled native wild birds each year ranging from hummingbirds to eagles. Tri-State is currently leading the wildlife rehabilitation response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  For more information, visit www.tristatebird.org.

Founded in 1998, Long Island, NY-based Blue Point Brewing is best known for its flagship brand, Toasted Lager that won Gold at the World Beer Cup in 2006. Blue Point brands are currently distributed in 12 states including MA, RI, NH, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC and FL as well as the District of Columbia. To learn more, visit www.bluepointbrewing.com.

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Beer and Craft Beer: The differences explained

July 28, 2010

I was thinking about beer tonight, and thinking about what beer is, beyond the standard dictionary definition, which usually reads something like this:

an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation

Thanks, Free Merriam-Webster dictionary!  That’s a good generic definition of beer.

But then I started thinking, what’s the difference between beer and craft beer?  Oh, I know, usually craft breweries are usually defined as small, traditional, independent breweries, but I thought a better way to define craft beer is to examine the differences between beer and craft beer.  If you have more contrasts to offer, please leave them in the comments section. I’d love to hear them!  I hope you enjoy…

Beer is made by large corporations named Anheuser-Busch, InBev and South African Breweries (SAB).  Craft beer is brewed by people, like Sam Calagione, Linus Hall, Douglas Booth and Daniel Kahn, craftsmen who now run successful breweries because they loved beer and wanted to share it with others.

Beer tastes like….well, beer.  Craft beer tastes, at various times, like chocolate, coffee, oak, caramel, molasses, grass, floral hops, dark fruit, smoke, grapefruit, oranges, lemon, coriander, pumpkin, hazelnut, and any number of other ingredients.

Beer is usually served ice cold from the can or bottle (to numb the tastebuds and make it palatable) and in massive quantities, in the hopes of getting drunk.  Craft beer is lovingly poured into a special glass, at just the right temperature, and given the chance to warm and release its flavors as the color and thickness of the head, the color and clarity and the nose of the beer are all examined, analyzed and appreciated, before the beer itself is savored on the palate and the various flavors are allowed to arise and intermingle.

Beer is marketed, on television and in print, by making you think you’ll be cool or get the girl with their product.   Craft beer is marketed, mostly not on television, on its merits as a beer, with emphasis on flavor and the ingredients that went into making the product.

Beer is usually yellow or brown.  Craft beer can be anything from a hazy golden straw color to a coppery orange to a ruby brown to an inky black and everything in between.

Beer is made with cheap ingredients and adjuncts such as rice, to make the beer more bland and inexpensive, with the end result being a beer that makes you feel bloated and full.  Craft beer is brewed using hand selected ingredients, specifically picked with certain flavor characteristics in mind and brewed with the end goal of flavorful, quality beer.  It is more expensive but a much better value for the money.

Beer is sometimes “shotgunned” or used for a keg stand.  Craft beer is sometimes selected and served as an integral accompaniment to a fine meal.

As you can see, I have an obvious bias towards craft beer.  I hope the contrasts I have pointed out help you understand what craft beer is, and I hope it inspires you to leave Bud, Coors and Miller behind in favor of better beer, such as Dogfish Head, Yazoo, Buckbean and so much more.

Cheers!
The Beer Snob

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Beer Review: Kona Brewing Company’s Wailua Wheat

June 24, 2010

Beer Review: Kona Brewing Company's Wailua Wheat I had never tried any of Kona Brewing Company’s beers before, but when they contacted me to see if I would review their Wailua Wheat (made with passion fruit!), I of course said yes.  I wasn’t sure what I thought about passion fruit, but I do appreciate a good wheat beer, so I was eager to give this a try. 

I had forgotten they were even sending me the samples when, lo and behold, a package appears on my doorstep bearing not two, but four reviewing bottles.  I usually get two bottles, and that is perfect for my reviews.  I always modify my tasting notes after the second bottle, as I finally pinpoint certain flavor notes or aromas, or just come up with a better way to describe the play of malt and hops on the palate, for example.  Four tasting bottles meant I could share this bounty with my fellow beer lover, Elmer.

Here is some of what Kona Brewing Company had to say in the accompanying press release:

Feel that ocean breeze, temperatures around you starting to climb and a new pep in your step?  That’s Hawaii calling you, and if you’re not soon boarding a flight bound for the Big Island, you can transport yourself in spirit with a bottle of Wailua Wheat, Kona Brewing Company’s spring/summer beer brewed with tropical passion fruit from Hawaii.

They go on to say that this beer will be available through August 2010, and that its bright citrusy notes will complement summer’s grilled fish and shrimp, roasted chicken, salads and Asian foods and even vanilla ice cream.

Here is what I thought…

The Pour
 A two finger thick, fluffy white head rests momentarily atop the lightly golden straw brew, and dissipates somewhat quickly.  A small amount of lacing decorates the glass as the head dissipates and as the beer is enjoyed.

The Nose
The nose on this beer is clear and unmistakable.  Quite simple, but pleasant.  The wheat and passion fruit are present in spades, but hints of orange also make subtle appearances.

The Taste
I must be honest with you, fair readers.  I was quite underwhelmed with my first impression of this beer.  I found it overly light and thin and not anywhere near wheaty enough for my tastes.  By the time I finished the first bottle, though, I was beginning to appreciate this beer much more.  It is mildly wheaty, but quite strong on passion fruit.  Orange flavors are there as well.  In essence, the taste very closely mirrors the nose.  It is indeed quite thin and light, but it has a refreshing nature and clean mouthfeel that fit the spring and summer seasons very well.  There is a very very slight hop bitterness on the finish as well.  Without the passion fruit, there would not be much in the way of flavor in this beer, but the passion fruit flavor is done very well.  It is there, and you know it’s passion fruit, but it doesn’t taste overpowering or artificial. 

Overall
This turned out to be a refreshing, clean beer that gives you unique flavor without weighing you down.  I prefer fuller bodied beers with more complexity, but if you like your beers lighter and more refreshing, this is a good choice for an occasional change.  The fact that it is only available seasonally means you can enjoy it year after year without burning out on it.  I would say this would definitely pair well with grilled seafood or chicken.

Recommended
This would have been a very refreshing beer to drink while grilling or with which to follow up a Saturday spent landscaping the yard.  This would also be a great beach beer or Jimmy Buffett concert beer, as the passion fruit would add to the tropical atmosphere of either locale.  If you like lighter beers (at least lighter as far as body and hue), give this a shot.

Price: Unknown (reviewing sample)

ABV: 5.4%

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Beer Review: Buckbean Brewing Company’s Roler Bock (maibock)

June 17, 2010

Perhaps a month or two ago, I heard that Buckbean Brewing Company was coming out with a maibock.  They are quickly becoming one of those breweries from whom I can expect very tasty beer, every time they can something new, so naturally I asked for a reviewing sample, and they were happy to oblige. 

More: Beer Review: Buckbean Brewing Company’s Roler Bock (maibock)

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Nashville beers suitable for Spring

April 28, 2010

[Originally posted at OnNashville.com]

Although it is swiftly draw­ing to a close, we are still in the midst of Awe­some April in Nashville. I can think of no bet­ter way to cel­e­brate than to sam­ple some of the great beers our city has to offer. With that in mind, I decided an explo­ration of Nashville beer was in order, specif­i­cally to sam­ple some brews that are just per­fect for Spring. I was try­ing to hit as many brew­eries as I could in a very short span of time, so my apolo­gies to Big River Grill Nashville, Bat­tle­ground Brew­ery & Restau­rant in Franklin and Cool Springs Brew­ery. I just didn’t man­age to make it your way. Per­haps next time? More: Nashville beers suitable for Spring

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