Archive for category Beer Review

I Fell In Love with Stoopid

Yep, it happened again, I fell in love. Not with my wife or another woman, but with a hop-head beer I’ve never tasted before. It all started two weekends ago when my wife planned a trip to visit my old stomping grounds, Sonoma county. It was my birthday weekend celebration and she was taking to 4 breweries in Sonoma; Lagunitas Tap Room, Russian River Brewery, Bear Republic Brewery, and 3rd Street Ale Works. All four breweries had outstanding beers, the Russian River Pliny the Elder was a close second, which even beat out Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA, but the one that stood out the most and now has my heart, is Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale.

The Hop Stoopid ale has everything a hop-head wants, and I guess I’m now an official hop-head. The beer pours a brilliantly clear amber gold with a cap of fluffy off white head about a half finger high. Tons of lively carbonation bubbles rise out of the bottom of the glass and serve to maintain the head for an extremely long time. When you sit it, it is firmly bitter with lots of hop flavor up front. Pineapple, apricots, and roses are the dominant flavors in this heavenly delight. I can taste some grapefruit and some tropical flavors which make a strong round flavor. It has a nice, slightly sweet, caramel malt backbone. The alcohol flavors are not overpowering, but certainly contribute to the overall flavors. It’s loaded with citrus goodness and tons of grapefruit, all around.

In addition, this beer has a good amount of pine and rounded out pineapple favors. Just a little bit of malt shows through with a touch of sweet, in a sugary way, and the faintest bit of caramel. The carbonation is ample, filling my mouth with prickly bubbles and a slight foamy feeling. The alcohol is on the high side and is really sensation-able, but it tastes so good. Every time I finish a glass, I’m always looking for more. I truly love this beer. With 102 I.B.U., I could be drinking this with every meal.

Beer: Hop Stoopid
Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company
Style: Ale
ABV: 8.0%
Score: 99 (out of 100)

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Review of Sierra Nevada Estate 2009

Last week during my winter break from work, I was able to sit down and drink another great Sierra Nevada beer. This time it was the Estate 2009 brew. Yes, it was a little over priced, $9.99 for a 24oz, but well worth the experience.

The unique feature about this beer is that the hops are grown on-site at the brewery in Chico, CA. As you can see from the photo to the right, the beer has a thick foam when poured and it has a deep copper, orange color that extends to the foam head. It also has a pretty significant haze to it. The aroma is all hops, with a hint of a citrus grapefruit note. When you start drinking, it begins bitter and continues bitter, with lots of hops and a little higher than expected carbonation level. The body is big, I mean really big. There’s no lack of malt in this beer and the malty sweetness fills out the palate. Caramel, apricot and mild fruity notes complement the citrus hop aroma. Over all this beer is an excellent IPA, but not for the faint of hearts. If you don’t like the sharp bitterness of an IPA, stay clear, but if you do, shell out the $10 and drink yourself into heaven.

Beer: Estate 2009
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.7%
Score: 92 (out of 100)

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Review of Sierra Nevada 13th Annual Harvest 2009

Every year Sierra Nevada brews a harvest IPA. The unique feature about this beer is that the hops are wet and/or fresh hops, meaning that they brew the beer with hops that have been harvested within the last 24 hours. This brew usually has a unique citrus aromatic hoppiness and is somewhat sweet for an IPA. When I had my first sip, it reminded me of Will Ferrell in the movie “Old School”, were he just finished a beer bong, he states “Fill it up again! Fill it up again! Once it hits your lips, it’s so good!” Anyway, the brew has a clear golden/coppery color and when poured has a tremendous foamy head with great retention and lacing. This brew has a straight and abundant bitterness, a bit of a light body, and a thick creamy head. It’s not quite watery but it does not have the malt base of other Sierra Nevada IPAs. I must say, “I love this beer.” It’s worth ever penny and I’m planning on purchasing a case or two soon.

Beer: 13th Annual Harvest 2009
Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.7%
Score: 97 (out of 100)

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Review of Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen

p-2048-1536-afd10c37-8629-452a-84eb-2cf5424150ec.jpegI have been inspired by a friend, Matt Mallory, who has reviewed a few beers himself, to start reviewing the beers I drink. Since I usually drink at least a beer or two a week, I thought it would be a fun idea.

Over the weekend I purchased a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen, from the local Whole Foods market. I’m normally not a big Hefey fan, but I have had a few food ones and Sierra Nevada is one of my favorite breweries. Sierra Nevada is known for is IPA and for good reasons (it’s great).

On the top label (neck label), Sierra Nevada usually gives you a little insight into how the beer tastes. As I read this label to get a feel for the flavor of the beer, I noticed that there were instructions on how to pour the bottle. It read as followed: “pour two-thirds into a glass, swirl and pour the rest.” This is actually special for Hefeweizen beers. Since Hefey are unfiltered or very lightly filter beers there is a lot of yeast and sediment on the bottom of the bottle. You really want to get this extra goodness in your glass, which makes the beer a little more cloudy. This will allow you to really taste the beer and yeast, which promotes all it’s natural flavors.

You’ll also notice that this beer will produce a good head (no jokes here), which allow the beer to aerate and this brings out the flavor that much more. The first few sips are refreshing. For me, it takes a little while to get into the hefeweizen flavor, but the flavor is a smooth raw silky hefeweizen flavor. You can taste the full round flavors of the beer. It’s definitely worth a second glass and even a third. It’s a nice drink during the summer weather and great with a barbequed New Steak. I would give this beer a 4 of 5 stars.

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