Well nobody followed me home in suits and black sunglasses

Stopped in at the Arcadia Cafe for the first time at their new location for lunch today. Asked if they had Black Helicopter on tap and ordered one up first thing. I’m a big fan of coffee beers. Even if I think of them as more of a winter beer. I’ve even brewed my own in the past. Very tasty, lot’s of coffee flavor.

I love caving

When I was a kid we used to go down into the sewer system (yeah gross I know but we were kids) to pretend we were caving. I think this beer would be the perfect beer (well it should be in a can so it wouldn’t break) for an adventure like that.

I have a feeling that if you did a blind taste test on this beer and people didn’t know who brewed it the results would come out much better than they will end up.

A barley win like none I have tasted.

I think the first barley win I ever had was on a camping trip to Chequamegon National Forest. I was up there with a group of mountain bikers (most older than me) while I was in college. After multipl Sierra Nevada Big Foots I stumbled off into the darkness to use the toilet. After exiting the bathroom I soon realized I didn’t remember what path I had come down. I think I walked up to about eight different camp sites (peering just from outside the ring of light) to find my group.

This barley wine was darn tasty. For being so alcoholic it really didn’t taste it, which is a good thing in my book. I’ll definitely have another, and I just did 🙂

Not bad in a pinch

A decent blue collar pilsner.  Normally when I want to get an easy drinking Schell’s I’ll grab a case of Deer beer or Dark but I started drinking more of the Pilsner when my boss made it his drink of choice for a few months.  To close out the day we’d on occasion suck back a bottle or two.

Also when picking up my supplies for this month I made my first trip to Heritage Liquor in Maplewood.  I met the owner and the beer buyer and they were both great guys.  They were talking about expanding their cooler space to keep even more craft and specialty beers on hand cool.  I think that would be a great idea.  They have premade six packs just for Brew52 beers.

Check them out next time you are in the area (map)

There’s an old saying in Tennessee

 — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Minnesota — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.

Well I’ve been fooled twice now by Brau Brothers.  This beer was awful and all the talk of a bad bottle…breweries just shouldn’t have bad bottles…this is the second beer I’ve had from them (Pils being the first) that tasted like it had hardly any carbonation and tasted like syrup.

It reminds me of some of my very first extract homebrews where I thought to myself hmm this isn’t terrible for something I made myself, but would I pay to drink it?  Heck no.  Thank goodness I bought it as a single so I’m not dumping five more beers down the drain.

I feel bad ripping a small local brewer but I guess ya gotta call it like it is.

I still don’t understand black holes

but I do understand my enjoyment of this beer. I had it twice. Once on tap at Stub and Herb’s and then also by behemoth bottle poured into glass in my own living room. Now I do enjoy my living room’s ambiance to that of Stub and Herb’s but the taste of this beer on draft definitely kicked the butt of its bottle brethren. No matter both were most delectable.

Two For Ones?

On tap at Stub and Herb’s.  I got mine served to me in a tulip glass.  The color was a nice dark brown almost black body with thin off-white head that kinda reminded me of the Darkness. Not a real strong foretaste but the mid and after was of heavy cranberry flavors.   It really kinda reminded of mixing a New Glarus Belgian Red with something like the Darkness.

I’m guessing this one will be another divided beer as I bet there will be those who are not into a sweeter tasting beer.  I really enjoy New Glarus Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart so this was a fun and tasty beer for me.

Thanks Rett

That was pretty well laid out last night.  Free drink, complimentary bottle opener, raffle prizes, custom name tags.  Brew52 goes all out.  I posted a few pictures on my blog.

Now to the beer.   Maybe I was hoping for to much, maybe I was still reeling a bit from the food poisoning that took me down over the weekend, whatever it was I don’t know the beer just didn’t sit right with me.  A bit to sweet perhaps, a bit to syrupy in the after taste, something just didn’t click for me.  Was it terrible?  By no means, just not something I’d continue to order.

I think I’ll stick to Schell’s Schmalt’s Alt as my favorite alt beer.

I’m ready for spring

but not because of this beer, just this cold spell.  I think the best pint of this I’ve had this year was at Stub and Herb’s when they had it on cask one night.   Ya just can’t beat cask beer.  Not to mention that Stubs, now that it is under new ownership, has quite the beer line-up.  Check em out if you are in the area.

I was over at the Groveland Tap (another great Minnesota beer bar) for a friend’s birthday and had all the intentions of getting a pint of Winter but when I stepped to the bar I just couldn’t pull the trigger as I knew that the Tapper would also have Oatmeal Stout on tap 🙂

So I guess that’s where it ranks for me.  It’s a good beer but not the best that is coming out of Summit.

Feeling Surly?

Furious is definitely not your everyday session beer (well I suppose there are some out there crazy enough that it is). But when you are in the mood for an overly hopped beer than it definitely fits the bill. First thing when popping a can of this is to take in the smell as its a big one. Though it has loads of hop flavor Surly manages a way to also make it not overly harsh on your tongue.

The one thing I’m most impressed with Surly is the way they have managed their branding, from the name, tying themselves into a strong bike culture in the area, going with the pint sized cans, the logos and names of the beers, just all the little things that have really catapulted this brand to the top of the craft brewing industry.

This is one of my favorite hop heavy beers and I’ll give it a score to show that.

The other white meat

It seems that most of the buzz in the beer world coming out of Minnesota is about Surly brewing but I think a lot of people are overlooking a great new brewery in Flat Earth. I’ve been able to taste test nearly all the beers they have brewed to date and there hasn’t been one yet that I didn’t like. The Belgian Pale Ale, being their first in a year round release, does not disappoint. I really think it does just what the name implies. It combines the best of a Belgian beer with just the hint of the pale ale. The taste doesn’t really jump your bones but is rather quite subtle and enjoyable. And the best part is after you pour a pint for yourself you can go back for seconds because of the nice big bottle 🙂

I had the lightbox up and running so I took a pic.

And I’m off and running

Well after a slow start to this awesome idea (I missed out on last week) I’m glad to say I just enjoyed a Gluek’s Honey Bock with lunch.  I was first introduced to this beer at a family reunion, not long after turning 21.  Now I had known of the Gluek’s brand, as it was a common staple in my dad’s fridge growing up, but never heard of the Honey Bock variety.

Tasted from a can (as pouring a beer of this quality into a glass just seems odd) the beer at first has the slightest bit of a malty aroma but dissipates quite quickly.   After pouring some out “for my dead homies” it appears to be of an amber kinda light brown color.  The taste is pretty watered down but rather quite enjoyable especially with the grilled cheese sandwich I’m eating at the same time.

In all fairness I once did a blind taste testing with my friends comparing this beer to our neighbor to the east’s Honeyweiss and it won out on all three tastings.  Now for some that might not be saying much but as a fan of honey beers I enjoy both.

Another fun fact about Gluek’s is that they are the nations second largest supplier of Energy Drinks brewing items such as Rock Star and Monster Energy drinks.

And bonus points that the liquor store near my house does sell this beer in singles.