Ayinger Brau-Weisse

July 7th, 2009

Ayinger Brau-Weisse

Ayinger Brau-Weisse is brewed in Germany by Brauerei Aying.  I’ve been focusing on beers that are more suited to the summer months since it’s been so damn hot and dry lately, so this wheat beer fits the bill perfectly.

Brau-Weisse has a washed out golden color and a cloudiness that is a result of the lack of final filtration.  This beer is very active  and there is way too much head when pouring it into a glass.  You can see in the picture that the head is down to a normal amount but there was at least four inches of head at first.  I suggest drinking this one out of the bottle.  There is a sweet smell of flowers with citrus fruits.  The taste is fruity and very sweet with no hint of bitterness or bad aftertaste.  There is a smooth texture and clean finish, but it’s not as refreshing as a wheat beer should be.  The alcohol content is probably around the 5 – 5.5% mark.

This is a good wheat beer but it’s just not the right balance of sweet, refreshing, and clean.  The major problem with this beer is the overly sweet flavor of it.  If you like a sweet, wheat beer then this is the brew for you.  I bet a wedge of lemon would subdue the sweetness of this beer and really balance out the flavors.  I really think I’m going to have to update my rating system to incorporate .5 ratings just for cases like this.  I can’t really say I’m a huge fan of this beer but it’s much better than an average beer.

Rating: 3

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3 Star, Beer Reviews

Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss-Dunkel

June 23rd, 2009

Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss-Dunkel

Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss-Dunkel (from here on known as JE) is a German brew from the Wurzburger Hofbrau brewery.  I selected this beer due to the unusual Hefeweiss/Dunkel mix.

JE is a large beer weighing in at one pint 9 ounces.  When poured JE reveales a nice even color and activity level with a thick, fluffy, white cloud sitting atop.  The darker color is unlike most Hefeweiss beers, but the wheat brew cloudiness is still in tact.  There is the familiar smell of most wheat beers with it’s light floral aroma.  For the level of activity and large amount of head, it’s surprising that this beer has so little tingle on your tongue.  It’s more characteristic of the Dunkel in that aspect, but the flavor is a blend of both.  It’s sweet and refreshing like a Hefeweiss but robust in flavor like a Dunkel.  There is little to no bitterness and a light aftertaste to let you know what you’ve been drinking.  I couldn’t find the alcohol content but it’s probably a mid range 5.5 – 6%.

I have a hard time believing that this beer was all brewed at the same time.  It’s such a mix I’d almost say Wurzburger Hofbrau brewed a Dunkel and a Hefeweiss then just poured half of each one into this bottle.  Usually your wheat beers are lighter in color and more suited to the summer months, with their bright floral notes and clean refreshing taste, and your Dunkels more to the winter months, with their heavy smokey flavors and generally higher alcohol content.  This, however, is both.  It fits the bill of both a Dunkel and a Hefeweiss to the letter.  I’m sure some people will really love this beer, and I encourage you to try it, but it has too much of an identity crisis for me.

Rating: 3

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3 Star, Beer Reviews

Fisherman’s IPA

June 16th, 2009

Fisherman's IPA

I know I said I was going to try and lay off the nautical reference beers but this is the last one of the Beer of the Month beers so I had to get it out of the way.  Fisherman’s IPA is brewed by the Cape Anne Brewing Company of Massachusetts.

Fisherman’s IPA has a nice, even amber color, with a very fruity almost sweetness to the scent.  You pick up very easily on the blackberries and cherries used in the brew.  There is a consistent, but mild head that follows you all the way down the glass as you drink.  The most important part, the taste, is where this beer is totally lacking.  There is a sweetness and a good complexity to the taste with all the malted hops and fruits, but the bitterness is so heavy it takes away from the real taste.  That annoying bitterness lingers long after you’ve taken that first sip.  It gets a little more tolerable the more your taste buds get adjusted to it but it’s still so overpowering you can’t focus on the good parts.  Who cares what the alcohol content is.  You probably can’t finish one anyway.

I don’t think there is a good nautical beer out there.  I know I haven’t found one.  It’s like, once you say something that eludes to water or fish or boats then breweries just associate that with bitterness.  Maybe they’re trying to remind you of the taste of sea water.  Please, if you know of a beer that can redeem all the nautical reference beers I’ve had, I’d love to try it.  For now I think I’m done.  I’ll just drink the sea water.

Rating: 1

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1 Star, Beer Reviews

Eisenbahn S.A.P.A.

June 8th, 2009

Eisenbahn S.A.P.A.

Let’s just get this out of the way first.  S.A.P.A. stands for South American Pale Ale.  There, now we can go on using the abbreviation without any confusion.  I’ve never had a S.A.P.A. before so I’m not sure what to expect.  I have had other beers from South America, and some have been quite good.  Eisenbahn S.A.P.A. is brewed by the Eisenbahn brewery in Brazil.

There is a small amount of head but it’s very persistent.  I made it through the entire beer with the exact same amount of head the entire way down.  It has a wonderful blend of floral and fruity aromas.  The beer is slightly cloudy, but nothing like an unfiltered beer, and has a light brown color.  The sweetness of fruits and floral hops are very pronounced in the taste of this beer, and that usually equals a heavy bitterness, but not here.  S.A.P.A. has a mild complimenting bitterness that isn’t too overpowering and goes quite well with the overall flavor.  The texture is very smooth and almost creamy.  There is no alcohol content listed but I’m guessing the 5 – 5.5% range is probably accurate.

I can’t help but think I’ve tasted another beer, almost identical, in flavor.  It took me a while to put my finger on it but it tastes just like the Piranha Pale Ale from BJ’s brewhouse.  Now that’s not a bad thing in my opinion.  I can’t really complain too much about this beer except that it’s just a little bit too fruity.  I have another beer from this brewery to try and I’m excited to see how it stacks up.  Another win for the South American brews.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews

EKU Pils

May 31st, 2009

EKU Pils

Since my last review was a total loss I decided to make this week a two-for.  EKU Pils is a German beer from the same brewery that makes the  EKU 28 I’ve reviewed in the past.  EKU 28 got a good rating so I’m hoping this beer will follow the trend.

Pils is bright yellow with very little head when poured, and a subdued hoppy, malted aroma.  There is a tinge of sweetness to go with it’s dry flavor and a little bitterness to round it all out.  It’s very clean and doesn’t linger in your mouth and none of the flavors really over power the other.  It’s very balanced and neutral.  You could almost say it’s a refreshing beer, but it’s a little too heavy.  The alcohol content isn’t listed, but I’m sure it’s 5.5 – 6%.

EKU Pils is billed as everyday drinking beer, and I can see that.  It has depth to the taste, but is not so heavy that you need a nap after-wards.  It’s hard for a beer to be complex and easy drinking at the same time, but this seems to fit the bill fairly well.  The bitterness is the drawback for me here.  While it is a good beer, I can’t really bring myself to say I “like” it.  Yes, it’s fine, but probably not something I’d buy again.  For EKU beers, I’ll stick with the 28.

Rating: 3

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3 Star, Beer Reviews

Teton Ale

May 31st, 2009

Teton Ale

Teton Ale is brewed by the Grand Teton Brewing Company in Idaho.  Yes, I know the Grand Tetons are in Wyoming but the location of this brewery is basically within walking distance from Wyoming and the Grand Tetons, so all is forgiven.

You may have noticed the picture is just a glass full of head.  While I’d like to say this is because of some sort of jarring to the bottle, that is not the case.  I literally poured only the neck of the beer into the glass and got what you see.  After 15 minutes the head finally subsided but the beer was totally flat, so I decided to drink straight from the bottle.  This should have been an easy task but the exact same thing happens when you pour it into your mouth.  I had to spit out the first drink cause I almost exploded beer foam all over my desk.  I can’t really review this beer since I can’t swallow any of it.  But what I had in my mouth was just total bitter.  Basically like a nice big foaming gulp of sea water.  Who cares about the alcohol content.  You can’t drink it.

This is by far the worst beer I’ve ever had.  It’s so bad I think it might be a joke beer just to fuck with your friends.  If you could finish one, and believe me you wouldn’t be able to, I think it would make you sick.  This beer is so bad I can’t even give it a one star rating.  It is far and away a new level of shittiness.

Rating: No rating this week, cause I don’t really know if this is beer.

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Beer Reviews

Pietra

May 26th, 2009

Pietra

Pietra is my second beer from France.  Pietra is brewed by Brasserie Pietra in Corsica France.  So far my impressions of French beer haven’t been that great but you can’t judge an entire nation’s offerings from just one brew.

Pietra has a nice fluffy cloud on top when poured and tends to stay throughout and a beautiful, very active, golden color.  There is a great mix of floral hops and nuts to the scent.  The overall presentation in sight and smell are very good.  Unfortunately the taste is overly bitter.  You can’t really taste the chestnuts that were used in the brewing process due to the over bitterness.  The taste is smooth, even and dry, but it’s just too masked by the bitterness.  The bitterness just lingers on and on.  The alcohol content is 6%, so just about right for an amber beer.

The bitterness seems to be the great downfall of a lot of potentially good beers and this one falls under that catagory.  I can tell there is a great beer under all the bitter, but I just can’t find it.  It’s a shame really,  the initial presentation is great and really makes you want to enjoy this beer, but the taste just takes it all away.  Strike two for the French.

Rating: 2

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2 Star, Beer Reviews

Czechvar (Budweiser Budvar)

May 17th, 2009

Czechvar

My father was telling me about this beer due to its conflict with the Anheuser-Busch name Budweiser.  See the BBNP Brewery brews and sells Budweiser Budvar in Europe, but due to some trademark issues it is sold as Czechvar in the US.  Anheuser-Busch does marketing in the US for Czechvar, but other than that there is no ties between the two breweries or their beers.

Czechvar is a bright golden lager and very active, somewhat like champagne.  It has a very smooth, clean, feeling and is actually quite refreshing.  It’s easy drinking with it’s 5% alcohol and there is little to no bitterness.  But for all the good things it has going for it, taste is the one thing missing.  There just really isn’t anything to play on your tongue.  I mean it’s not water but it’s damn close.  Oh and don’t let it get warm.

I was able to find Czechvar at my local HEB so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some at your local grocery store either.  I could definitely see this being a good beer to enjoy after doing any summer activity, but at over nine dollars a six pack you’d be better off just buying plain ol’, standard, everyday, ordinary, run of the mill, (oh god I’m actually going to say it) Budweiser.

Rating: 3

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3 Star, Beer Reviews

Harpoon Hibernian

May 11th, 2009

Harpoon Hibernian

Harpoon Hibernian is an Irish style red ale brewed by the Harpoon Brewery in Massachusetts.  I’m not sure what’s been up with all the nautical beers lately but I assure you it’s not on purpose.

Right off the bat you can see this isn’t a very red beer as the bottle would suggest.  It has a tint of red but is mostly leaning to the brown side of the amber gamut.  There is a nice frothy head that forms when poured and has, what I can only describe as, a hop explosion of floral fragrance.  This heavy hoppyness is probably what gives the beer it’s heavy thick texture and overall bitterness.  Hibernian is sweet and spicy with woody tones typically seen more in darker beers.  There is, however, a lingering aftertaste of bitterness that seems to stay on the palette long after you’ve put the beer down.  Alcohol content is 5.4% which is pretty standard.

I have to say this beer fails to excite me in any way.  Yes there is a complex flavor but it’s overpowered by the bitterness.  It’s not a face contorting bitterness but still too much.  Don’t get me wrong there needs to be bitterness to this beer.  The multitude of flavors needs that slight bitterness to balance it all out.  The emphasis on that sentence being “slight.”

Rating: 2

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2 Star, Beer Reviews

Negra Modelo

May 5th, 2009

dsc_0541

Seeing as this is the 5th of May I thought I’d review my favorite Mexican beer.  Negra Modelo is a quite common beer and you can find it in just about any store that sells beer.  It is brewed by Grupo Modelo in Mexico and is one of the oldest breweries in Mexico.

Negra Modelo is a dark beer with a medium brown, not amber, color.  It has a light hoppy smell with no earthy tones that you typically find in darker beers.  There is a clean even taste and texture to this beer.  It’s like the cream soda of beers.  Smooth and consistent taste are the best way to describe it, with a clean finish.  There is a hint of bitterness but it’s hardly noticeable and doesn’t interfere.  Negra is crisp and mild with an ever so slight smokiness.  The alcohol content is 6% so it makes this a fairly easy drinking beer to be enjoyed during any season.

I typically enjoy my Negra Modelo with a generous wedge of lime but it’s just as good without.  If you haven’t tried Negra Modelo you have no excuse not to.  It’s easy to obtain, and somewhat inexpensive at a little over a dollar per bottle.

Rating: 5

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5 Star, Beer Reviews