Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brewer's Art, 2/21/09

Brewer's Art
Baltimore, MD
Sat. 2/21/09, 7:30pm
re-visit to this brewpub many years after the original visit

House Brews:
Resurrection (J)
Beacon Ale
Proletary (J)
Cerberus Tripel (B)
Petroleuse (B)

Cerberus Tripel:
Clear pale straw golod. Thin, quickly dissipating head. Aroma is faint but yeasty. Distinct apple flavor in the beer. Unlike any other tripel I've had before. Flavor is crisp although the beer is slightly flat to me. Also, the beer is served at just below room temperature - or at least much less chilled than I expected. [Hindsight note: possibly it was casked]. Fine body and mouthfeel. It's showing signs of being a chameleon and warming up to a far different beer than at first taste.

Caramel color. Slight head. The taste has a spicy element and an earthy element. The body is excellent. There is some malt and hop presence, but I don't think of this beer as primarily malty or hoppy. Served close to room temperature. It is a complex, interesting beer. Not easily categorized. 8.6

Clear reddish-gold color. Very little head. Aroma is gently malty. Also served less chilled. Body is sweetly silky. Very nice mouthfeel. Flavor? Oddly lacking. I taste malts but little else so far. It's advertised as having "earthy hop characer[sic]". Haven't yet found that. 8.1

Dark, slightly reddish color. Smells like coffee. It has a strong malty taste with tones of coffee and chocolate. Body is good. It could use something to balance the strong malt presence. It's a good beer, but not great. Doesn't really change as it warms up. Well made, but it's a one-note beer. 8.2

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lancaster Brewing, 11/29/08

Lancaster Brewing
Harrisburg, PA
Sat. 11/29/08, 3pm

House Brews:
Milk Stout
Celtic Rose
Litening Lager
Strawberry Wheat
Gold Star Pils
Hop Hog
Winter Warmer (J)
Amish Four Grain
Belgian Trippel (B)
Fest Beer

Belgian Trippel:
12% ABV. Filtered amber color. Thin but lasting head. Aroma hearty enough to smell halfway across the bar. Good flavor but the body is too thin for the style. It disappears down the throat without coating it. Yeast asserts itself much more in the aroma than in the taste. Taste is malt-dominant. It's not a bad beer, but it's really only a trippel in name. 8.2

Winter Warmer Ale:
Dark brown - a coppery color. Very little head. Nice balance of malt and hops in the taste. Body is very slightly on the thin side. While not as well made as Victory's 10 Years Alt, it has a lot of common characteristics. Nicely done! 8.5

Frankliln's, 11/10/08

Franklin's Brewery
Hyattsville, MD
Mon, 11/10/08, 6:15pm

House Brews:
Bombshell Blonde
Anarchy Ale (J)
Sierra Madre Pale Ale
Maple Porter (B)
Private IPA
Rubber Chicken Red
Nitro: ESB

Maple Porter:
Deep chocolate color with auburn highlights. Head is faint. Roasty chocolate aroma mixed with the grassiness of hops. Roasted coffee and chocolate malts are well combined and nicely balanced with enough hops to notice but not enough to overwhelm. Body is perhaps a tiny bit on the thin side, but it has some of the viscosity the other porters I've tried recently have lacked. A pleasant and full mouthfeel. Flavors remain balanced all through the swallow and finish. The added sweetness of the maple in its name is evident at the tail of the finish and more as the beer warms. A nicely crafted beer. 8.5

Anarchy Ale:
Slight head that doesn't totally disappear. Unfiltered, coppery-orange color. There is a strong hop presence, but the malts are also there. There is quite a lot going on with this beer. Body is strong. There is an underlying citrus taste. My only criticism is that there is a slightly off taste in the end of the swallow. Overall, however, it is a tasty, interesting cross of an IPA and a pale ale. 8.6

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Market Cross Pub, 11/9/08

Market Cross Pub
Carlisle, PA
Sun., 11/9/08, 3pm

House Brews:
MC Porter (B)
Ole Yeller IPA (J)

Market Cross Porter:
Not nitrous poured, but the head is foamy and fat. Sweet roasted malts and hops evident in the aroma. Flavor provides exactly that, although a bit more bitterness is present then expected. Malts and hops are well-balanced. Unfortunately, the body is severely watery and very thin in the mouth. With a little viscosity this could be a very good porter. Hops start to dominate as the beer warms, throwing it out of balance. Beer is very similar to Black Chip Porter at Main Street Station's 777 Brewery in Las Vegas. 8.1

Ole Yeller IPA:
Nitro poured - it took about 10 minutes for the foam to settle down enough to serve the beer. Nice copper color. Hop overload - needs more malt to balance the hops. The body is rather thin. Also, the beer doesn't warm up all that well. They tried to make a very assertive beer, but to do that well, you need more than just hops. 7.7

Johansson's Dining Room, 11/9/08

Johansson's Dining Room
Westminster, MD
Sun., 11/9/08, 12:00pm

House Brews:
Honest Ale
Whistle Stop (Red Ale)
House Porter (B)
Hoodlehead IPA (J)

House Porter:
Deep opaque brown. No head, just a rim of foam around the edge of the glass. Chocolate and coffee malts apparent in the aroma - they are bitter smelling. Thankfully the flavor is more roasted than bitter. Flavor is good, body is weak and carbonation is nearly non-existant. The result is a pleasant coffee-like feeling in the mouth that vanishes as soon as you swallow. No evident hops to make a flavor linger. If they tweaked the body/carbonation, it'd make a huge difference. 7.9

Hoodlehead IPA:
No head. Not enough carbonation. Unfiltered, which is unusual for an IPA. The initial taste is a little weak, but the swallow had a nice combination of hops and malts. Body is good,, but not great. Warms up ok. 8.1

Mill Street Brewery, 9/5/08

Mill Street Brewery
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Fri. 9/5/08, 1:30pm

House Brews:
Tankhouse Ale
Stock Ale
Coffee Porter (B)
Organic Lager
Fruit Beer - Raspberry (P)
Mill St. Winter Bock
Scotch Ale (J)
Cask Conditioned IPA (P ordered, but they had cask issues)
Wit Beer
Cobblestone Stout
Mill St. Pilsner

With our friend Patti, who did not participate in ranking her beer. She initially ordered the cask conditioned IPA, but we were told, shortly after hearing what sounded like an explosion from the bar area, they had "cask issues" and that beer was unavailable at the moment.

Coffee Porter:
Deep brownish-black color. Thin head. Roasty malty aroma. Thinnish body. Complex malt tastes. Coffee is the strongest malt, followed closely by chocolate. Hops aren't really present - some would add a lot of depth. I like the depth of malts. As it warms, a few hops show up but they're meek. The finish is a malty astringent taste - rather different. It's not a perfect porter, but it ain't bad. 8.3

Scotch Ale:
A nice dark reddish-brown color. Minimal head. A nice, smooth body. The taste is very warming and pleasant. It's not a very complex beer, but it's a nice malty taste. There is a mild hint of hops. A bit more hop presence would give the beer more character but still be consistent with the style. It's enjoyable, however. Warms up well. 8.3

Market Street Brewing, 9/4/08

Market Street Brewing
Corning, NY
Thurs. 9/4/08, 12:30pm
Re-visit, 10 years later

House Brews:
Mad Bug Lager
Pot Belly Pale Ale
D'Artagnan Dark
Brisco Bridge Blackberry
Wrought Iron Red (B)
Seasonal: IPA (J)

Wrought Iron Red: Clear light russet color. Medium creamy head. Malts predominate the aroma. Body is good. Malts dominate the flavor also. Oddly, a bitter malt shows up instead of hops in the finish. Tastes a little burnt. I have doubts about chocolate malts in a "red" beer. 7.8

IPA: Color is almost orangey. Fairly substantial head when served. A slight coating remains. Initial taste is largely malt The hops show up in the swallow. It's not very hoppy for an IPA. Body is very slightly on the light side. Drinkable, but nothing special. 8.1