Now, I have a bias against the Herkimer. I just don’t have a high opinion of the joint. Don’t care for the food and don’t like that the only beer I can drink when I’m there is theirs. So that said, I thought this beer tasted like the rice vinegar that was sitting on the table next to me. 

There are times when I don’t like to think and drink

Thanks to Summit Winter, I don’t have to. It’s perfect for the season. I would give it 5 stars, but I need to reserve a .5 in case we get to the Oatmeal Stout.

On a side note, (which should probably be my main note since it’s longer than my review) I went to Memory Lanes last week and asked for one on tap. To my shock, they had already changed out their seasonal to Maibock. Beer isn’t fashion – I don’t need the spring styles in winter. As much as I hate it, winter lasts through March 21. I want my Summit Winter on tap through then and don’t want to see Maibock until Mai.

I gotta stop reading the label first

The problem is this…I poured my Surly in a glass (like is says on the can), took a sip and thought “mmm, Summit Extra Pale Ale-y”, which was confirmed by the hoppy goodness I read about on the side of the can. Then I got to the part about citrus and pine. And I thought, “I don’t want pine in my beer! What retard would infuse beer with pine?!” and started sniffing the glass and combing my palate for some sort of piney aftertaste. I just want to drink and enjoy the beer on its own merits without outside influence. So from now on, no more reading about the beer until review time.

 Considering that the Furious didn’t go down in one sitting (it probably took an hour from start to finish during various chores), I wasn’t excited about it as I thought. However, I would like to try another out at a bar in a social setting to see how I feel about it. I like Surly for their design, the brand they’ve built so far and general chutzpah for starting a brewery and for me that goes a long way. 

Looking for a great bock beer? Keep looking.

If you listen to the Twins on the radio, the only way to enjoy a ball game outside of actually going in person, you’ve heard the relentless ads for Gluek’s Honey Bock – several times a night. And yet, I managed to go all of last season without having one (ah, the power of advertising). So I was kinda excited to see this on the list so I could see if it’s worth sitting on the porch this summer with a few in the cooler while the game’s on (pitchers and catchers report Feb 14!) The answer…not really.

While I will say this beer isn’t terrible, once you get past the first swig (bleh), it’s not one I want to have over and over for 9 innings. I don’t know how many Bock beers Dan Gladden’s had, but somehow I don’t think he cares (think quantity, not quality). Too much honey, not enough Bock if you ask me. Had this been a Shiner Honey Bock, I might have been more forgiving, but Gluek’s doesn’t carry a lot of weight with me as a brewery (or an establishment).  Still, better than the Snow Storm from last week.

My two word review: Shit Storm

My longer review: I always lean toward the underdog (Kucinich ’08!) and want to see them come out on top, so it’s with much disappointment that I come down against Schell’s Snow Storm. I couldn’t wait to finish this and I nearly didn’t, but I always finish my beer (with the exception of that craptacular Fat Tire pint I tried because everyone raves about it for some reason).

A few things just from the back of the label: “inspired by the Monastic beers of Belgium” – This is like saying Lichtenstein was inspired by the Old Masters because the results are pretty far off. Have we been to the same Belgium? Second, what’s a “subtle overtone”? Can an overtone really be subtle? Maybe like a hushed crescendo. 

I will say this – the 6 malts did stand out, unpleasantly so as did the spice factor. If I had to compare the taste to something I’d say it’s like a Blue Moon with a rancid orange squeezed in. Very nasty. This is one case where my taste buds trump my indy spirit because if this were offered to me for free next to a Budweiser I had to pay for, I’d take the Bud and, dammit, I hate Bud. And paying.