Learn how to homebrew

We were pretty stoked to get this months club, we've tried a lot of beer, no really we mean A LOT. So when we get beers we've never seen before it's always a little more fun. These sounded cool too especially the Southern Pecan, which is where we'll start.

If you want to get the same club as us go here: Click to Join


Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company - Southern Pecan

Appearance: Depending on the light the Southern Pecan strays somewhere within the range between brown and garnet. The head on this one is an off-bone color.

Smell: The aroma of this beer is a little like a lager. There's some sulfur in the smell, and it smells smooth and sweet.

Taste: On the tongue it's a bit sweet and finishes nutty. It has quite a malty tone to it, but the nuttiness balances it well. This would go well with dessert or barbecue. In fact, it makes us really want a piece of pecan pie! We really like this one, we would totally buy this if it was available around here.

Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company - Indian Summer

Appearance: A golden clear pour is the first thing you notice when you pour this one.  It's not as light looking as many summer beers, but not too dark to be worrisome. It's just deep enough in color to look interesting. Surprisingly off-white head for the color of the beer.

Smell: Right away we get spiced fruitiness... not heavy handed, but in a good way.

Taste: Oh, that's good right up front! Crisp and pretty dry up front, it's not nearly as sweet as it smells. The wheat in this beer definitely helps with the taste while the orange peel and coriander are super light, which is important for a spiced beer. When we heard spiced, we were worried... but this is spiced in a way that we can really enjoy. When we say wheat, coriander and orange peel, you might think Blue Moon (or a better craft beer version) but this is a much lighter summery beer that is light-handed with the spice. The citrus definitely adds to a brightness rather than sweetness.

Ellicottville Brewing Company - EBC Pale Ale

Appearance: This is more pale, when it comes to the spectrum of paleness. The head is white and the beer is clear. Pretty much hit the style on this one.

Smell: Oooh, that's pretty nice! Lot's of hoppy smell and some honeysuckle in there. A hint of orange is in the aroma as well. This smells nice! A little sweet and lots of hops.

Taste: We actually have differing tastes over here when it comes to pale ales. Jeff really likes this one, it's got really solid bitterness up front with some decent honey and orange hop flavor at the end. Devon prefers a more late-hopped beer with less bitterness and more hop flavor that this one has.

Ellicottville Brewing Company - EBC Nut Brown Ale

Appearance: Guess what? The beer is brown. Surprised? We're not. But we'd be upset if it was blonde or red. The head is a coffee and cream color. It's on the darker side for a brown ale, and looks pretty appetizing.

Smell: There are some sweet and malty aromas in this one. It's quite nice, there's a bit of brown sugar as well. No real hop smells, this one is all malt.

Taste: Up front there's a strange bitter flavor... but not from hops. That's too bad, because we expected much more from this one. We don't know what the flavor is, but we don't care for it. It smells good and looks good, but this one fell a little flat for us. That's part of trying new things, not everything is delicious. Oh well.

Our May beer of the month club is here and we're ready to give these a go. We just ordered some Indian food, a risk when we don't know what these beers were going to taste like but we're happy to report all went well. Enough about us though, on to the beer.

If you want to get the same club as us go here: Click to Join

Shmaltz Brewing Company - Coney Island Sword Swallower

We like the people over at Schmaltz, the seem to have fun with beer, their labels are pretty bad ass and we love Lenny's R.I.P.A. With all that background we were looking forward to this beer. This is one big hoppy lager! Again we were a little split on this though. Devon really liked it, lots of up front hops finish with a tasty lager funk. Devon remarked "I've been on a lager kick lately so this really was exactly what I was looking for tonight" Jeff wasn't as a big a fan of the aftertastes on this one though

Appearance: Light golden with a light head

Smell: Dank hops with hints of biscuity malt

Taste: Very hoppy up front front, great balance of malt and the a funky lager finish, this is a tasty brew

Shmaltz Brewing Company - Coney Island Albino Python

Appearance: Golden and hazy with a fine head

Smell: Flowery and light, this is very delicate on the nose

Taste: This doesn't taste like a lager at all to us but it's a very cool beer. The first time we tried this was actually over at the Taza Chocolate factory with one of the Shmaltz reps. It's heavily spiced but we like it. There's definitely a flowery element that we can't quite pinpoint. Hints of fennel and anise show through in the finish. Very cool beer.

Lancaster Brewing Company - Lancaster Milk Stout

We first tried this beer on our yearly trip to Pennsylvania. Every year we head down to PA as a group to go to the SlyFox IPA fest. While we were down there we tried this beer and ended up liking it so much that we brought a couple cases of it back to MA with us. This isn't so much a review as us just enjoying a beer that we know and love. Glad to see this in the package this month, it's been a while since we got to try it.

Appearance: Black beer with coffee with tons of cream head. The bubbles are huge... think a pancake when it's ready to be flipped.

Smell: Coffee... And a little sweetness. Basically, this smells like chocolate covered espresso beans.

Taste: Wow! Creamy, yet sharp. It starts out creamy from the lactose sugar, then ends up sharp from the malt bitterness (a result of the dark malts used). This is a tasty beer. We were glad to see it in the pack, because we've had it before from a trip to Pennsylvania and we were glad to have it again!

Lancaster Brewing Company - Lancaster Strawberry Wheat Beer

Disclaimer: We're not huge fruit beer guys, there are certainly exceptions to that, for example Dogfish Head Festina Peche, but in general it's not our favorite. We try to go into these beers with an open mind though and also review based on what it tastes like compared to other similar beers.

Appearance: Amber

Smell: Light strawberries

Taste: The strawberry actually isn't overwhelming, for us it just walks the line. There's a nice tartness that helps balance this beer. It's not our favorite but we'd bet a lot of our friends would love it.

We just got in our December shipment from Gourmet Monthly Clubs we're thirsty tonight though so without further ado here's out review of this months shipment!


Choc Beer Company Miner Mishap Black Lager

Appearance: Chocolate milk, a bit thin and recedes quick. Dark brown body, fairly opaque with some reddish brownish tinges at the edges.

Smell: Dry chocolate and roasted malt. Smells nice and refreshing for a dark beer. Smells like a porter.

Taste: It tastes like a porter, but cleaner without the fruity esters associated with Ale yeast. Super smooth, our only complaint might be it's a little minerally and chalky at the finish. Jeff likes this in his porters, though, so is totally fine with it. This is a very good beer that we would drink a good bit of.

Saranac Black & Tan

Rich dark brown with a light tan head

Smell:  Sweet coffee and chocolate fines

Taste: This drinks much lighter than a "true" black and tan. It feels a bit heavier on the lager than the stout, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. This beer is very easy drinking and for a Friday night this is really hitting the spot.


Saranac India Pale Ale

Appearance: Looks like honey with a slight off-white, very prominent and cloudy head.

Smell: Smells like sweet hops. It looks like honey and actually smells a bit like honey. The hops give quite a nice smell with the honey, though!

Taste: We don't know where the honey smell comes from, because this is dry and fairly hoppy! Nice bitterness up front with decent hop flavor. If you hold the beer on your tongue, though, you can see where the honey aroma comes from. There it is, right on the mid-palate. This is a good beer!


Choc Beer Basement Batch:

Hazy straw with white head fine bubbles

Smell: Crips hops

Taste: This beer is a bit one dimensional for us. The hops are aggressive up front but then don't seem to follow through to create a good flavor profile. It just feels a bit too bitter without anything else going on.