Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Narwhal Imperial Stout

It's been awhile since I've posted in this space.

But recently I was lucky enough to obtain (thanks to the fine folks at Crafted, a great new bottle shop that recently opened in my town) a rare bottle of Sierra Nevada's Narwhal Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. I had enjoyed the regular, non barrel aged Narwhal Imperial Stout the week before, and I was very excited to have an opportunity to try this bad boy so soon after.

It was also a great chance to get back to this little ole' blog thingy.

Sierra Nevada
Chico, CA
Narwhal Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
12.9% ABV

This monster of a beer comes in a 1 pint, 9.4 ounce corked bottle with beautiful artwork.

Now, I've found that stouts, especially the imperial kind, are better when warmed a bit, so I popped the cork and just let this sit on the counter for a good 15 minutes. I feel that the flavors are more pronounced and the aromatics more active once the chill is taken off. The beer is still cold mind you, just not as cold as if you'd enjoyed it immediately after removing it from the fridge.

Barrel Aged Narwhal pours thick and oily, with a very thin coffee colored head. There is little to no head retention and very minimal lacing on the surface and on the sides of the glass. A few swirls of the glass revives a low head of dark coffee foam, but it quickly falls and disappears. 

I lower my nose to the glass for a sniff and get a huge dose of bitter coca and chocolate aroma, with very subtle hints of alcohol. With almost 13% alcohol by volume, I had expected a boozier nose, but the other aromatics mask it well.

I finally allow myself a sip, slowly drawing from the glass and swirling it around my mouth. It's very soft and warm on the tongue. This is a full bodied beer, thick and rich with a velvety smoothness. 

At first taste I immediately detect a bit of alcohol bourbon burn, but just a touch. Coffee and bitter coca follow, and these are much more pronounced. The finish brings in some very subtle vanilla notes from the bourbon barrels used to age this beer, and more warm booze burn. All in all the taste is very bold and tasty, 

This beer is a behemoth, with tons of flavor that do a frighteningly good job of masking the massive alcohol content and bourbon burn. It works extraordinarily well, The bold flavors are well balanced and compliment each other superbly. Highly recommended if you can find it and be patient enough to let it warm a bit before consuming.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blood, Sweat and Beers....the Movie...

Writing a blog about beer has introduced me to some pretty cool people who share my passion for good beer (and good people).

Last week I received an email from Chip Hiden, a fellow craft beer lover who has been working on a documentary film- "Blood, Sweat and Beer",  which tells the story of two new breweries.

Now, I'm a sucker when it comes to helping promote the craft beer industry, and anything that supports it. Here's some info from the press release for the film:

Blood, Sweat, and Beer, a new independent documentary about the booming U.S craft beer industry, recently launched a crowd-funding campaign and released a trailer.

Blood, Sweat, and Beer is a feature-length documentary exploring the explosive growth of the craft beer industry, and the dramatic journeys of two start-up breweries.

The film follows a trio of 23-year-olds as they struggle to start The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company in Braddock, PA. Matt, Asa, and Brandon hope their brewery will help this once-prosperous steel town bounce back from decades of neglect, violence, and population loss.

The film also tells the emotional story of Danny Robinson (Shorebilly Brewing Co./Backshore Brewing Co.), an Ocean City, MD boardwalk brewery owner and restaurateur whose empire is threatened by an aggressive trademark lawsuit that could leave him penniless.

In addition to following these stories, the film explores the massive cultural and economic impact of craft beer in the United States.

Alexis Irvin and Chip Hiden, the co-directors/producers, filmed for 15 months in 14 states across the U.S.. The pair interviewed over 100 breweries and beer experts including: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Charlie Papazian, founder of the Brewer’s Association, Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and many more. The trailer was recently featured on Paste magazine's website and on

Hiden and Irvin, both 27-year-old Maryland natives, have a rough cut of Blood, Sweat, and Beer and need to raise $12,000 by November 2, 2014 on to fund the finishing costs of the film. 

I asked Chip how they came to choose these two breweries specifically, out of all the new breweries opening in the US. 

Chip: "We knew from the start that we wanted to find passionate people and brewery stories with a narrative arc - we wanted brewers that were pursuing a big goal, dealing with challenges, or going on some sort of journey. We thought interviewing start-ups would be a good place to start looking for these stories."

"We first interviewed Danny Robinson from Backshore Brewing Co. (formerly Shorebilly Brewing Co.) on the day that he cut the ribbon to open his brewery. We really liked his passion and enthusiasm for beer and entrepreneurship and how candid he was on camera, so we decided to keep checking-in with him and capture his first year of business as he pursued a distribution deal. A few months after that, Danny's story took an unexpected turn when he was hit with a trademark lawsuit over the name Shorebilly and was forced to change the name of his brewery. As of right now, we're still waiting on the verdict of the lawsuit, which could cost Danny hundreds of thousands of dollars and might cause him to go bankrupt."

"We first met Matt and Asa from the Brew Gentlemen Beer Company at a Cicerone exam in Washington DC. We were instantly intrigued with how young they were (22 years old at the time) and how big their ambitions were. A few months later, we decided to check out their under-construction brewery in Braddock, Pennsylvania."

"When we first entered Braddock, it was like driving onto a post-apocalyptic film set. Homes and historic building were boarded up or falling apart. Ivy crawled over front doors. Trees grew through front porches and roofs. The streets were empty, and most of the businesses were shut down. We learned that Braddock was a once bustling steel town and had been left for dead many years ago. Now, led by the efforts of renegade Mayor John Fetterman, Braddock is struggling to make a comeback - and Matt and Asa want their new brewery to help liven up Braddock and bring manufacturing jobs back to the area.

"We felt that this effort to use beer to help rebuild a community was a great second storyline.

Check out the trailer above, and give some thought to donating a few bucks to the kickstarter. I'd love to see this film on the big screen.


Bill aka MDB

Monday, October 6, 2014

MetroWest Brew Fest- Thursday, October 9th.

2014 MetroWest Brewfest

Attention Craft Beer fans- I'll be at the Holliston Business Association's 4th Annual Metrowest Brewfest this Thursday, October 9th.

This year over 40 breweries will be represented pouring over 150 of the finest brews and meads in Metrowest and Massachusetts. The Brewfest will include live musical performance from the local band Hillbilly Pop. Food will be available for purchase provided by the Holliston Superette and Dogs on Fire.

100% of the proceeds from the Brewfest will benefit the HBA Capital Scholarship Fund Trust which also includes the Holliston Community Action Fund. The fund is an emergency fund designed to provide timely financial assistance to community people in need as well as provide annual financial assistance to charitable and civic organizations serving the community.

Tickets are $30 each and available to purchase at Fiske's General Store (Washington St., Holliston), 5th Avenue Liquors in Framingham and Millis, or at the door on the night of the event.

For more information, call 508.893.9941.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

IPA Month- Why I Am Not Doing It This Year

August typically marks my annual celebration of IPA's here on Man Drinks Beer with "IPA Month".

This is my attempt at preserving summer, denying the approaching cooler weather of fall, and my attempt to fight back against the ever more aggressive and annoying seasonal creep of non-seasonally appropriate fall beers into the summer months.

Honestly, its my favorite month to write this blog. I love IPAs, and IPA Month is my own awesome excuse to indulge in them unapologetically for 30 days

But you'll notice this year that this blog is strangely quiet. That is because at the end of July we welcomed daughter number 3 into the Man Drinks Beer home! She arrived happy and healthy a good month early, with no complications. We are all thrilled.

However, a new baby- combined with my training for the Ashland Half Marathon in October- makes a month long IPA binge impossible.

I thought about asking guest authors to write their own takes on IPAs, but with an infant and 2 other little kids at home it just wasn't possible to arrange. But if anyone wants to guest drink and blog for IPA, I'm all for it, just shoot me an email at

In the meantime, I hope to be able to post periodically about beer related issues and topics, but the reviews may be scarce until after the race or the baby is sleeping through the night.

I'll see you all in the fall.


Bill aka Man Drinks Beer

Friday, July 18, 2014

Beer and Half Marathon Training

So I'm training for the Ashland Half Marathon in October.

This race kicked my ass last year, and I am determined to not let that happen this year.

Training goes well. Ergo, drinking does not.

Its funny what you learn about your preferences when you cut down on your beer intake. I've limited to myself to two nights a month of drinking. It makes the beer choice for those two nights very interesting. I thought it would be tough to decide, but I've actually found myself far more focused on what I really want to drink and enjoy rather than trying something that's new, or would be easy and/or interesting to write about.

And what I'm gravitating towards are pilsners and session beers. And. I. Am. Loving it!

There is something incredibly refreshing and impressive about a delicious, low abv beer with no gimmicks (or adjuncts). Craft beer often has such high abv, or ingredients that push the envelope and challenge the palette, that we often forget the basics that make a great beer- malted barley, hops, yeast, water.

I'm tempted to compare and contrast one of these three great beers below to the adjunct filled, mass brewed beer on the market, to really show how dramatically better good ingredients make a beer, but I'm not gonna do that. Heck, I'm not even going to really review these beers, aside from to say that they are just outstanding beers, one and all.

Notch Brewing
"Left of the Dial IPA"
4.7% abv

I've searched for this beer since Notch first brewed it last year. This year it FINALLY made it out to Metro West.

It did not disappoint. (Frankly, NOTHING from Notch ever disappoints.)

Great beer taste, modest but not overwhelming hops, and low alcohol content. You can drink 4 of these and do a 7 mile hill the next morning. I speak from experience.

Jacks Abby
"Sunny Ridge Pilsner"
5.1 % abv

This is what beer should be.

No gimmicks.

Just awesome, awesome beer taste.

If you think you know great beer taste and haven't had this beer, then you simply don't know great beer.

I love this beer more than Hoponius Union, and THAT says something folks.

Peak Organic
"Fresh Cut Pilsner"

Another outstanding pilsner, like the one above, but this one is dry hopped, so its got a nice hop character. Wish I took a picture of this one. Guess I'll have to buy more....

The moral of the blog tonight- it doesn't have to be fancy to be awesome.

Run and drink good beer.

That is all.



Saturday, May 31, 2014

Celebrating 3 Years of Man Drinks Beer...

On April 26th, 2014, this blog turned 3 years old.

And I totally, completely forgot about it.

Bad beer blogger, I know.

Year three has been a blur-the new career has kept me otherwise occupied, as have the ever growing and demanding children of the Man Drinks Beer Household, so new content on the blog has been far less frequent that in years one and two. MDB kid # 3 is due this summer, so the content is going to continue to lag.

But the craft beer scene in Massachusetts and across the country continues to grow. And so will this blog, albeit slowly.

One local MA brewery that's grown significantly this past year is Everett's Nightshift Brewing. Founded in 2012 and dedicated to "brewing memorable beers with a wide array of rich, complex flavors", Nightshift recently opened a brand new, expanded brewery and taproom at 87 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA.

Despite their great reputation, until this weekend, I had never had a Nightshift beer. I have no idea why. But it was something I felt I needed to rectify.

Viva Habanera
Nightshift Brewing
Everett, MA
7% ABV

I'm a sucker for beer with Habaneros. I just love what a spicy pepper can do to a beer, and I've found Habaneros to be the best at imparting both heat and flavor to beers. Add to the mix that Viva Habanera is a Rye Ale- spicy in its own right- and also has some agave, and you've got something really interesting going on here.

It was with eager anticipation that, after letting it warm for 15 minutes, I popped the cork and poured this into my glass.

Viva pours almost red, with a tinge of honey color, and a loose, fluffy off white head. Its clear, not cloudy, and deep in color.

I get a whiff of agave sweetness at first sniff, followed by noticeable spice, more black pepper than habanero at this point though. I take a sip, and here's where this beer quickly- and oh not so subtly- begins to assert itself....

Initial mouthfeel is moderate, almost light, but not quite. Nice texture, and some active bubbles on the tongue....

...and then these bubbles then absolutely freaking EXPLODE on the tongue, releasing a massive heat wave of spice. It's hot. I mean, like, Africa hot. Its intense and flavorful, but its difficult to discern rye from the habaneros in the initial assault. When the habaneros finally recede a touch I finally get some noticeable rye. Finish is very dry (or maybe my mouth is just completely dehydrated, I just can't tell at this point).

Wow, this beer is an absolute punch in the face of flavor, and I love it. With Viva Habenera, Nightshift remains true to their mission of producing memorable beers with complex flavors. This is a great brew, but its not for the faint of heart, spice averse, or craft beer newbies. The flavors in this beer are very complex- the heat of the habanero is the star, clearly- but the agave sweetness is also there, as is the more subtle rye spice, and if you can deal with the heat you'll enjoy a truly unique, flavorful, tasty beer. And really, isn't that we all really want?


Monday, May 5, 2014

Yuengling is available in Massachusetts?!! I had no idea....

OMG, when did Yuengling become available in Massachusetts?

I have long heard tales of this fabled beer from older co-workers, who would regale me with stories of it's greatness,  their glory days of college, and prattle on about their beloved Yuengling, which inevitably led to them bemoaning the fact that it was "no longer available in Massachusetts" and that it was "too bad, because you'd really like it"

The conversation typically went something like this:

Co-worker- "I hear you write a blog about beer."
Me- "yes, its hobby. I like to write, I like beer, I thought it'd be fun."
Co-Worker- "I like good beer too! Like Yuengling! It's really good, I used to drink it in college. You can't get it around here now though. It's too bad, you'd really like it. It's really good"
Me- "So I here"

Well, now that's all changed. Yuengling is FINALLY HERE! In Massachusetts!

What, you didn't know?

Did you miss the new YUENGLING signs at the local bar?

Didn't you notice the new YUENGLING tap handles at your local bar (that likely replaced a locally owned and brewed beer)?

The new YUENGLING signs at the liquor store?

Or the YUENGLING signs at the Pizza shop?

Or the annoying YUENGLING banner ads on

Or the YUENGLING ads on the radio?

Or the terrible, terrible YUENGLING ads on tv that only tell you that:

A) YUENGLING is an old brewery, the oldest in the United States in fact!


B)  YUENGLING is AMERICAN owned! (see the flag? it's right... there!USA! USA!)

Have you been living under a rock, with a blind fold on and ear plugs in?


Holy Sh*t is this YUENGLING advertising campaign annoying me! Heres why-

As a professional marketer/media guy, I absolutely appreciate the almost absurd scale and widespread exposure Yuengling has surely achieved with its marketing campaign. After all, that is the goal here. Re-entry into a market as crowded and lucrative as ours necessitates a grand entry, I get it. This is a business venture, they want to steal market share. Guess whose share is getting impacted? Yup, the small local brewery and their one tap at your local pub. It's now a Yuengling tap! Sorry _________(insert superior local brewery here).

It annoys me as a beer drinker to see so much money and hype over a- in my opinion- mediocre, out of state product being brought into a market when there are vastly superior, locally produced beers already widely available. Yes, I've tried Yeungling since it's reintroduction to Massachusetts. I was not impressed (I'll leave it at that). I mean its not like this is Westy 12 suddenly showing up on shelves, or Pliny, to give a better national beer example.  I'd understand any hype around these beers, which are well known and sought after for their taste and quality. But this? It's freaking Yeungling.

Budweiser long ago set the gold standard for advertising a beer as a lifestyle image rather than on taste, something I find both ingenious and disturbing- it's a food product, after all. Can I really blame Yeungling for carrying on that tradition? Probably not.

But I won't be drinking it.

Instead, I'll be drinking one of these great beers, all brewed in the great state of Massachusetts...

  1. Jack's Abby Hoponius Union India Pale Lager
  2. Pretty Things Meadowlark IPA
  3. Mystic Brewing's awesome "Hazy Jane"
  4. Backlash Brewing's "Declaration
  5. Berkshire Brewing's Steel Rail Pale Ale, the best kept beer secret in the state (means more for me!)
  6. Trillium Brewing's awesome Pot and Kettle Porter 
  7. Slumbrew's awesome "Flagraiser IPA"
  8. Mayflower Brewing's awesome "Summer Rye"
  9. Harpoon IPA
  10. Notch Brewings excellent Saison, always a "go-to" brew for me  
  11. Spencer Ale, Americas First Trappist Beer!
  12. Jack's Abby Framinghammer Baltic Porter
  13. Jack's Abby Sunny Ridge Pilsner
  14.  maybe Jacks Abby Smoke and Dagger
  15. Notch Left of the Dial IPA
  16. Berkshire Brewings Coffee Porter 
  17. Trillium Brewing's Fort Point Ale
  18. Clown Shoes Blaecorn Unidragon Russian Imperial Stout
  19. Harpoon Ale
  20. Harpoon White IPA
  21. Harpoon UFO
  22. Blue Hills Brewing's Watermelon Wheat
  23. Wormtown Brewery's Hopulence IPA
  24. Wormtown Brewery's Sweet Tats
  25. Trillium Brewing's Sunshower
  26. Wachusett Brewing's "Bad Larry"
  27. Sam Adams Cold Snap
  28. Anything from Element Brewing
  29. Pioneer Brewing's "Path of the Unknown" Imperial Brown Ale
  30. Notch session pils
And that's literally just off the top of my head. And this list just scratches the surface of great beer brewed in Massachusetts.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jack's Abby Brewing- Vanilla Barrel Aged Framinghammer Baltic Porter

I finally made it to the new Jack's Abby tasting room. And now that insomnia rules my life, I have time to write about it!

I had been trying to get to Jacks new tasting room since they got the new farm pouring license a few months ago. This new permit allows them to serve full size beers- in addition to the 2 ounce samples- at the brewery. And yes, you can still get growler fills and bottles of Jack's excellent beers.

What to have for my first beer at the new tasting room presented quite the dilemma. I had been dying to have a full beer at the brewery since I wandered in there that fateful July afternoon almost three years ago the day they opened. But what to have- their flagship Hoponius Union IPL, Smoke and Dagger, Framinghammer Baltic Porter? After much internal debate, I eventually settled on a Coffee Barrel Aged Framinghammer Baltic Porter in a sifter. It's a limited edition brew, on draft, at the brewery only. It simply  had to be in my glass. It was excellent. (It didn't last long enough to get a picture, sorry)

I did also manage to bring home a few bottles and a growler as well. Among the prizes I was lucky enough to take home with me were the Barrel Aged Framinghammer and Vanilla Barrel Aged Framinghammer Baltic Porters.

Tonight we're going to look at the Vanilla Barrel Aged Framinghammer.

Vanilla Barrel Aged Framinghammer Baltic Porter
Jacks Abby Brewing, Framingham, MA
10% ABV

I love a good porter, and Jack's Abby's standard Framinghammer is excellent on its own.

But, age it for a few months in Four Roses Bourbon Barrels- with some vanilla beans- and it adds another dimension of taste and aroma that makes this a true "WOW" beer.

Vanilla Framinghammer pours a thick and oily black, with a thick, tight tan head.

Vanilla and alcohol aromas immediately and generously waft from the glass, followed by complimentary notes of chocolate and coffee.

At first sip, the mouthfeel is thick, heavy, and velvety smooth.

Taste is mild vanilla- both from the beans and the barrel- and roasted malts up front, which transitions into a mild coffee/burnt chocolate flavor. I get a surprising hop resin bitterness that cuts the heft of this monster, right before the expected alcohol warm and slightly boozy finish.

This beer is just amazing on every level. Complex and delicious, with enough alcohol to keep you warm during this ridiculous New England winter, enjoy this beer liberally, in a recliner, by a fireplace.


Monday, January 27, 2014

America's First Trappist Ale- Spencer Ale

Thanks to the monks at St Josephs Abby in tiny Spencer, MA, the US has the first Trappist Brewery operating outside Europe.

There are only 10 Trappist Breweries in the world. In the simplest terms, a Trappist Brewery is a brewery where the beer is brewed and sold under strict supervision of Trappist Monks. All proceeds from the sale of the beer go to supporting the Abby and their missions work.

Aside from the definition above, there are no actual style guidelines for the actual beer itself. The monks can brew whatever they please. However, given their vows and circumstances, the ingredients are typically local, often sourced from the monastery grounds itself, or not far from. Some of the worlds most celebrated beers are Trappist, although acquiring some of them require a trip to a Belgium and an appointment with the monastery to acquire. The beers from the 10 Trappist Breweries themselves vary greatly, ranging from golden and crisp, to strong and dark, to almost funky/sour in style.

The monk at St Josephs released their Spencer Ale this past week, and by lucky coincidence I happened to be at Julio's Liquors when they rolled out the first 4 packs for sale and offered a tasting. I tasted, I liked, I purchased a 4 pack...

Spencer Trappist Ale
Spencer Brewery, Spencer, MA
6.7% ABV

Spencer Ale pours a hazy golden amber, with a big, loose and wispy white head. Head retention was fairly brief, but a nice lacing remains on the surface once it collapses.

The smell is noticeable right away- strong, spicy and fruity. I get strong banana and cloves, very reminiscent of a great hefeweizen, with a bit of peppery spice. It's very aromatic and enticing without being overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and very active. There's a lot of fizz here. But I'm not complaining, just making note of it

At first sip I get a mild and hot peppery spice, like pink peppercorns. This is followed by notes of fruit and tangy yeasty esters. It's very flavorful yet balanced. Mild banana and cloves notes follow and lead to a somewhat dry, light, crisp finish.

Overall, I thought this was a very, very good beer. It's extremely drinkable, with lots of complex but not overwhelming flavors. It reminded me of a good Belgian Ale. I understand that this was brewed by the monks to enjoy with their lunch, and I would call it great success. This would make a great lunch time brew.

Spencer Ale is brewed with Willamette and Nugget Hops from Washington State, a propriety malt bill consisting of 2 and 6 row malted barely, along with a caramel Munich specialty malt from Wisconsin. The yeast is propagated on the grounds of the monastery. The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Long Trail "Culmination"- Imperial Chocolate Porter

Long Trail Brewery's "Culmination" is an Imperial Chocolate Porter.

How can this not be awesome?

Culmination- Imperial Chocolate Porter
Long Tail Brewing, Bridgewater Corners, VT
9.3%ABV, 46 IBU's..

Culmination is a part of Long Trails "Brush and Barrel Series", where the brewery teams with a local artist to brew a beer and the artist creates the art for the packaging. From the bottle tag- "Our hope is that artists and brewers draw creative inspiration from one another and push past the boundaries of their respective art forms".

The art for this bottle was created by Katharine Montstream, a landscape painter from Burlington, VT

The brewer is Dave Hartmann, a 20+year career brewer who had spent two separate stints at Long Trail (1992-93, and 2009-present).

The beer itself is an absolute work of art. Brewed with Pale Two-Row malt, Brown Malt, Midnight Wheat Malt, Cocoa nibs, Turbinado sugar, and Northern Brewer and Mosaic Hops, Culmination pours pitch black, thick, with a huge, airy 3 inch tan head.

The smell is awesome- strong fresh roasted coffee is immediately present. This transitions seamlessly to more of a roasted malt aroma.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, firm, and luscious, with perfect porter carbonation, which is to say moderate. There is very little activity.

Taste is burnt cocoa nibs, followed by bitter coffee and a nice smoke flavor. Finish has delightfully surprising hoppy bitterness.

This is a great porter. Love everything about it- the body, the strong, distinct aromas and flavors combine to create an amazingly drinkable 9.3% porter, with absolutely no alcohol taste or burn at all.

I highly recommend this beer.

And yes, I know Long Trail isn't really a "local" Massachusetts beer, but Vermont is close enough, right?

North Carolina Beer from Oskar Blues and Asheville Brewing

North Carolina has become quite the brewing hot bed, with more than 70 breweries and brew pubs located in the Tar Heel State. The craft beer industry has noticed- west coast brewing heavy weight Oskar Blues (Colorado) has set up shop in North Carolina in an attempt to facilitate better distribution on the flush with cash (and perpetually thirsty) East Coast, and their Colorado neighbors at New Belgium have begun work on their own North Carolina brewery in Asheville, scheduled to start brewing in 2015.

In short- it's a good time to be a beer lover in North Carolina!

My mother in law was in NC recently visiting family, and as I understand it, my cousin-in-law sent a few local brews back with her for my enjoyment. As I also understand it, her husband may or may not have been aware of these beers being "liberated" from his collection, so Adam- I thank you, and I owe you some beers!

Rocket Girl
Golden Lager- 4.2%ABV
Asheville Brewing, Asheville, NC

This golden lager- from North Carolina local's Asheville Brewing - pours a deep, clear golden, with a low wispy white head. Smell is of fresh bread, with undertones of lager yeast and malt.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, with perfect carbonation. Taste follows the smell, mildly yeasty but clean and crisp, with a touch of citrusy to brighten it up. Finish is clean and crisp.

This is a rock solid, extremely well balanced lager. No gimmicks, no BS- just really good beer.

Imperial Red IPA- 8.7%  ABV, 60 IBU's
Oskar Blues, Brevard, NC

G'night pours a deep dark-but translucent- reddish brown with a thick, creamy head.

The smell is amazing- G'night is a dry hopped super hop bomb- sweet and hoppy. Lots of pungent tropical fruit sweetness and resinous piney hop aroma waft from the glass.

Mouthfeel is moderate, with surprising carbonation. Its kinda fizzy.

Taste is wicked bitter up front. Lots of sweet piney hops with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Flavors are strong but not distinct, sort of muddled. A robust malt bill tries to balance out the assault of hops... but fails. Less sweetness in the taste compared to the nose, but there is just enough to notice. Finish is very warm and bitter.

Loved this beer- massively aromatic, super sticky hoppy, with a great finish. I highly recommend this beer, but be warned, it's not for the faint of heart.

Have you experienced the North Carolina craft beer scene? Share your experience and leave a comment.


Bill AKA ManDrinksBeer