Oskar Blues is finally available in Las Vegas. If you are unaware of who Oskar Blues is, here’s what you need to know:
1. Colorado based craft brewery famous for being the first to fully embrace cans for the packaging of their beer.
2. They make outstanding beers.
Now that we have cleared that up, let me say that every Oskar Blues beer that I’ve had has been phenomenal; though admittedly, I haven’t had too many. Ten Fidy, Old Chub, and Deviant Dales come to mind. So, I went ahead and decided to try something new. Being as I’ve been in a bit of a lager mood lately, I opted for a can of Mama’s Little Yella Pils. (more…)
The wife got me a subscription to Mantry for Christmas. If you are too lazy to click that link, Mantry can be best summed up as a food snob of the month club geared towards men. In addition to receiving a pound of bacon, gourmet fried pork skins, bacon toffee chocolate, and a few other things, I also received a bottle of Bloody Mary concentrate. The thing is, I’m not really a fan of Bloody Marys. I don’t like tomato juice, and I don’t get the point of vodka (seriously, what’s the point? It doesn’t taste like anything!). So, I went ahead and did the only thing that I know how to do: I mixed it in beer. (more…)
Lagers tend to not get the same amount of respect within the craft beer community that ales do. The name alone tends to bring up connotations of industrially brewed “fizzy yellow beer,” despite there being about 20 different styles of lagers to choose from. This likely stems from the fact that most craft breweries start out focusing on ales, likely because they are cheaper to make. Lagers not only require a lower fermentation temperature, they also require a much longer aging process, tying up fermentors that could’ve turned over a couple batches of ale. While there are several craft brewers in America that are known for their lagers, they tend to focus on making traditional examples of the styles.
What I would like to see, is the sort of innovation and creativity that American brewers have used to create very uniquely American ales, but towards the different lager styles. (more…)
This past week, May 13th-19th, marked American Craft Beer Week. American Craft Beer Week is basically a week to celebrate the small and independent breweries and the fine work that they do.
For the first time that I can remember, local brewery Tenaya Creek went all out to ensure that craft beer fans got a chance to whet their palates with some rare offerings. Each day, Tenaya Creek released a new beer (sometimes more), and all are worth talking about. (more…)
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to take part in a Lagunitas beer pairing dinner at Mandalay Bay’s Fleur. The event was organized by Certified Cicerone Sarah Johnson, Mandalay Bay’s director of food and beverage. The event was wonderfully executed, and featured not only great beer, but also very delicious food paired with it. Without further ado, let’s discuss the incredible dinner that took place!
Lagunitas’ pilsner was the first beer that we were given, to help whet our palates and prepare us for what was to come. This beer is extremely dry and crisp. It has the firm bitterness that pilsners should be known for, with a nice, grassy finish.
Mammoth Brewing Company is tucked away in the mountains of California, and sadly, does not distribute to Nevada. Thankfully, it is close by to some of the Hooked on Hops extended family! We were able to get our hands on seven of their beers and had a tasting of them all. To get to the point, these beers do not disappoint! Next time you are in California, be sure to scope out some of these!
GOLDEN TROUT PILSNER
This is a solid pilsner! This is very refreshing, with a toasted bread aroma and a dry, cracker-like finish. There is a firm hop bitterness (as any good pilsner should have!) that gives this beer a nice, long, lingering grassy, finish.
REAL MCCOY AMBER ALE
As light and refreshing as the pilsner, but with less hop flavor, and more maltiness. This beer smells like caramel and has a maple-like finish. This is extremely refreshing and would make for the perfect session beer during the hot summer months!
PARANOIDS PALE ALE
This beer smells incredibly like fresh oranges, with a nice orange zest-like finish! In fact, this has such a strong orange aroma and flavor, that we decided to mix orange juice in with the beer to create one of the best beermosas we have ever had! This is very citrusy, with a lightly bitter aftertaste. Also, an amazing summer beer, or breakfast beer for that matter!
DOUBLE NUT BROWN
This beer recently won the gold medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup, and for good reason! An amazing coffee aroma greets you, along with a smooth coffee flavor in the finish. The aroma, and initial flavor, is lightly smokey with a nice smooth and chocolatey body. One of the best porters available!
Blondibock is an incredible uniquely flavored beer. This is brewed as a traditional blonde bock-style lager, but it is then aged for 3 months in bourbon barrels. The result is an extremely flavorful beer, especially for a lager. The nose is filled with bourbon and coconut, with a hint of pineapple, giving this an almost piña colada-like aroma. The flavor is also filled with coconut, in addition to a firm bourbon overtone. The overall flavor and aroma of this beer would make for an amazing candle!
DEVILS POST PALE ALE
If there was a grapefruit beer, this would be it. Generously hopped with centennial hops, this beer has a strong grapefruit aroma, along with a firm grapefruit style bitterness that lingers long after the finish. Calling this beer a pale ale is an understatement, as this beer has the alcohol and bitterness to match any other well respected IPA on the west coast!
Lastly, we tasted the juniper-themed IPA. The juniper is exceptionally strong in this beer, so much so that it is difficult to discern the sage that is also added to this beer. In the flavor, the juniper immediately jumps out, followed by a firm hop bitterness in the finish. A very solid, and unique, take on the IPA style.
All in all, Mammoth has some solid beers. We strongly recommend you seek these beers out the next time you are in California. The most favorited beers amongst the Hooked on Hops crew were the Blondibock and the Double Nut Brown Porter. Not sampled today, but also an exceptional beer, is their Hair of the Bear Doppelbock!
Photo Credits: Danny Szeto
Last night at the bar it was mentioned that many people don’t realize how many different types of beer there are. I thought I’d give a brief overview:
To simplify things, there are primarily two different types of beer: Ales and Lagers. At the most basic level, the difference between the two is the type of yeast used to ferment the beer. Lager yeast ferments at colder temperatures and ale yeast ferments at higher temperatures. Lagers and ales break down even further into different types of beers.
This is the most prominent type of beer simply because this is the kind of beer that Budweiser, Miller and Coors are. Other common lagers are the popular Mexican beers: Corona, Dos Equis, Pacifico etc. These beers are best served at ice cold temperature and as such have a lighter more “refreshing” taste. Or as I think of it, kind of watered down taste. The predominant lager beers are American lagers and pilsners. Again simply because this is what the big 3 companies make. The good lagers are the kind that Germany makes: marzen, bock and dunkel. These beers are typically darker colored and have a much more complex taste than the common American lager. However these beers are still lighter in flavor and feel than most ales and don’t have a predominant hop taste.
These are the more complex beers with a wider range of style. These range from the wheaty Hefeweizen and white beers (like Pyramid Hefeweizen or Blue Moon) to the dark stouts (like Guinness). Pale ales and India pale ales sit in the middle of the spectrum. IPAs and pale ales are recognized by their hoppy bite. Ales are the predominant type of beer everywhere except North America. I couldn’t begin to try and explain every type of ale because there is just so many kinds!
Ales are by far, my favorite kind of beer just because there are so many different kinds. The few beers that ive blogged about here have all been ales. I’ll try to continue to review different beers and use that opportunity to describe the beer type and it’s common characteristics.