Drink Craft Beer
Hey all you craft beer drinkers! It's that time again! What time? New Beer of the Month from Gourmet Monthly Clubs time! Yeah... we know, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. But the beer... The beer tastes good. So let's get to it!
This month, we've got beer from Mercury Brewing Company and Abita Brewing Company. Mercury sends their Ipswich Original Ale and Nut Brown Ale, while Abita has their Jockamo IPA and Turbo Dog. On a side note, Mercury Brewing Company is quite local to DrinkCraftBeer.com. They're just about a half hour away in Ipswich, MA. They brew some delicious beers, so we're stoked to get reacquainted with these local brews (especially twice this month as we got Mercury beers from both of our Beer of the Month Clubs). With that in mind, let's get to the beer!
And, as always, if you want to get the same club as us go here: Click to Join
Mercury Brewing Company Ipswich Nut Brown Ale
Appearance: Wow, that's a beautiful brown beer! Clear, reddish brown with a chocolate milkshake head.
Smell: Sweet malt with some molasses.
Taste: That's a pretty good brown ale! It's a little nutty. Actually, it's peanuty, which would make it a legumey beer. But that doesn't sound nearly as appetizing as this beer is tasty, so let's go with nutty. It goes very well with roasted unsalted peanuts. The malt really makes this beer, as it's lightly toasted with a hint of nut. A nice session ale at 5.4% abv.
Every year fans of Lagunitas Brewing Company (based in Petaluma, CA) look forward to their winter seasonal, Brown Shugga’. This year, because of the enormous growth they’ve done in the past couple years, they were stretching their capacity to the max. The result? There was no way they could brew Brown Shugga. Unfortunately, the beer takes a long time to develop in fermentation tank before it’s ready to be shipped and that meant they’d miss out on brewing several batches of their flagships. There was no way that Lagunitas could cause even more of a supply shortage of their deliciously hoppy ales. So what did they do? With their typical style, they brewed up Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale Brown Shugga’ Substitute, a super hopped IPA that was faster to ferment and didn’t tie up much needed capacity. Well, turns out it was a pretty good beer and the readers of Drink Craft Beer voted it their favorite new brew of 2011. Somehow we haven’t tried it until now, so I’m just going to dive right in!
Lagunitas Sucks pours a beautifully clear, rich golden hue with a puffy white head on top. For real, this thing just looks like a West Coast IPA! It looks hoppy. Maybe this is the reputation proceeding it (it was the top new craft beer in the Drink Craft Beer Top 11 Craft Beers of 2011: Readers’ Choice Edition), but I can’t wait to try this one.
Just as I expected from the appearance (and the aforementioned reputation), it smells super hoppy! It’s not so much oily hops as bright, citrus hops. There’s some sweetness to it, but I can’t tell if that’s the malt acting up or just something I’m getting from those little green lupulin cones of deliciousness.
And the first sip just confirms everything I said above. It’s hoppy! Not just bitter. Not just flavor. It’s hoppy...like, really hoppy. The bitterness is balanced, but asserts itself on the back of your tongue. As soon as it hits your lips, though, your entire mouth is awash in a sea of orange citrus hops. I’ve rarely tasted anything like it. We’ve had a lot of clementines around the house lately and, honestly, that’s what it’s reminding be of: biting into a ripe clementine. It’s juicy, it’s sweet...but not from the malt it doesn’t seem...it’s orangey and it’s a bit tangy even. I would totally believe that they put orange in this. But they didn’t. Just 63.21 IBUs (that’s an astoundingly accurate number...and, for those keeping score at home, no way are they actually able to be this accurate) of pure hop goodness. I can see why this was our readers’ favorite of 2011!
I bought a single 12oz bottle of this craft beer at Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont.
CNN had a cool article in their Living section about beer and how many breweries have used religious angles in naming their beer, breweries, equipment and more. Lost Abbey, Russian River, He'Brew, St. Arnold are all featured, as well as several beer appreciation groups and more.
The article definitely gives a pretty good look at why some people decided to use God and religious symbolism in naming their beers or breweries.
Having heard good things from multiple sources, I’m quite excited to try out Newport Vineyards’ Rhody Coyote Hard Apple Cider. Made entirely from a blend of Rhode Island apples, they cold ferment the juice and bottle. Pouring the cider, a hit of apple comes at you that quickly that tapers off and requires you to really nose into the glass to find it again. Juicy apple with a slight woody scent at the end – makes me picture an old wooden crate at an orchard that soaked years of apples right into the grain. A clear liquid with a light Chardonnay color, it is surprisingly still for the burst of aromatics that came busting out at first pour. No bubbles after the initial contact with the glass, even moving it around it has the consistency and activity of a glass of regular water. The slightly sweet apple scent comes back into play as you draw the glass up for a sip, but not until your nose is almost taking a dip!
Wow, there comes the flavor again as the first sip goes down. A subdued sweetness comes in, an almost overripe apple taste. It's a crisp sweetness, not overripe like a baked apple or applesauce. It's definitely not cloying, but has that same sweetness you find when you get an apple just bursting with juice that runs down your hands as you crunch through it. Again, the woody tone comes in on the back of the tongue, an afterthought almost. I have no idea where it comes from, but it's a great combination! I understand what all the hype is about, because I'm loving this cider! Thank goodness it comes in a 750 ml bottle, so there is plenty for me and enough to share...because I know everyone is going to come back for more! This would be great with roasted meat or even grilled chicken. The bottle suggests chilling some to have with your catch of the day and seafood seems like a great partner as well. Hmmm, maybe I’ll have to check in with Chef John to see if we could get a seafood recipe with this - scallops anyone?
This bottle was purchased at Barb’s Beer Emporium in Concord, NH.
Hey all you craft beer drinkers! It's that time again! What time? New Beer of the Month from Amazing Clubs time! Yeah... we know, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. But the beer... The beer tastes good. So let's get to it!
This month, we've got beer from Pennsylvania Brewing Company and the Stone Cat line from Mercury Brewing Company. Pennsylvania Brewing Co. sends their Penn Weizen and Penn Gold, while Mercury has their Stone Cat ESB and Stone Cat Blonde Ale. On a side note, Mercury Brewing Company is quite local to DrinkCraftBeer.com. They're just about a half hour away in Ipswich, MA. They brew some delicious beers, so we're stoked to get reacquainted with these local brews. With that in mind, let's get to the beer!
And, like always, if you want to join this club go here: Click to Join.
Pennsylvania Brewing Company Penn Gold
Appearance: This beer pours with a white thick head and a straw pale, clear body.
Smell: Clean and crisp with a hint of biscuity malt.
Taste: This helles lager is clean and crisp, just as it should be. If Budweiser was done very well, it would taste like this. This is a perfect lawn mower beer for a hot summer day. Dry, crisp and refreshing. Penn Gold would be GREAT from a can. This is a good camping or boating beer. We would have rather been sent this beer in the summer, but it's still a mighty fine beer.