The Mikkeller Breakfast Beers

| January 15th, 2012 | No comments

All of us here at Hooked on Hops got together to taste the three different Mikkeller “breakfast” beers that are currently available in Las Vegas. Beer Geek BreakfastBeer Hop Breakfast, and Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, to be exact.

All three of these beers are oatmeal stouts brewed with coffee that are of moderate strength at 7.5%. Beer Geek Brunch is the odd man out here boasting an ABV of 10.9%.

First up, Beer Geek Breakfast. This is the normal one of the three. The original, if you will. This beer tastes like a bitter, black coffee with a nice, sweet oatmeal finish. Goran personally doesn’t care for the taste of coffee, but he loved this beer. We all loved this beer. I strongly urge anyone who loves stouts to buy this beer! Perfect smell, taste and mouthfeel, this is an incredible beer.

Next up was Beer Geek Brunch Weasel. It is essentially the same beer as before, however the alcohol level is bumped up to 10.9%. Also the coffee Is made from weasel shit. Seriously. Go ahead and search Civet coffee on the internet, I’ll wait.

This beer was a bit sweeter than Beer Geek Breakfast. The added sweetness is a result of the additional malt needed to get alcohol content up. The finish was also a bit more bitter than the last beer. Tastes like a lot more coffee was used. In addition to giving the beer more alcohol, the added malt also made the body thicker. This beer was a bit syrupy and very filling. It had a velvety texture. Or as Armando stated, “This tastes like fucking velvet!” The taste was incredible, like an amped up version of Beer Geek Breakfast. I do not, however, recommend you drink this beer alone. It is very flavorful, thick, and filling. Trying to drink the entire bottle by yourself is a bit much.

Finally we tasted Beer Hop Breakfast. This beer is essentially the same as Beer Geek Breakfast (same alcohol level and type of coffee used) except it is very heavily dry hopped. For the unfamiliar, dry hopping a beer means to add hops post fermentation.

This beer has a very big grapefruit aroma pouring out of the glass. The coffee bitterness is still there, however it is now paired with big, leafy, green hop flavor. This beer is meant for the hop lovers. It’s not necessarily bitter hoppy, like an IPA. It instead focuses on aroma and flavor. This is a very unique take on the stout style that can be very delicious to some, but a bit odd to others.

So which one is the best? They are all fantastic beers for different purposes. If you want to drink one of the best stouts you will ever have, get Beer Geek Breakfast. If you want something that is more of a dessert beer, get Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, it would go great with ice cream or even by itself as an after dinner beer. If you want to try something unique, kind of a blend of a stout and an IPA, try Beer Hop Breakfast.

All of these beers are currently available at Whole Foods and Khoury’s Fine Wine.

Special thanks to Danny Szeto for taking these awesome photos

Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

| January 2nd, 2012 | No comments

Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is a fine oatmeal stout brewed with kopi luwak, or civet coffee, which is one of the rarest coffees in the world. It is derived from the droppings of weasel-like civet cats which eat the ripe coffee berries. So, how is it? To say that this is the finest oatmeal stout that I have tasted would be an understatement. This would easily rate in the top 5 brews that I have had the pleasure to ingest. From the pitch black color, to the velvety texture, to the fantastic chocolate, coffee flavors, this is a beer to go out of your way to track down!

Get yours at:
Whole Foods Market
6689 Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Rasputin

| December 30th, 2011 | No comments

Old Rasputin is one of the best Imperial Stouts I’ve had. I always recommend this beer because it’s a perfect example of the style. If you can find the beer on nitro tap, it brings it to another level.
This bottle is a bourbon barrel aged version of Old Rasputin. I didn’t know it existed until I saw the bottle at Khoury’s Fine Wine. I can only imagine that this is pretty rare, and as much as I wanted to age it, I had to taste it.
The bourbon was very present in the way this beer smelled and tasted. It gave the beer a stronger alcohol taste and warmth. In addition to the bourbon flavor, the barrel aging added additional layers of vanilla in the body of the beer.
The carbonation gave this beer an incredible mouthfeel. It felt like it was served on a nitro tap. It had a giant, pillowy soft head.
This would be the perfect beer to drink with an after dinner dessert, or even as one in an ice cream float.

Tenaya Creek Imperial Stout

| December 29th, 2011 | No comments

If you find any of these bottles, BUY IT!
Deliciously balanced stout with lots of body and malty, roast chocolate, and espresso flavors. Loads of magnum hops give this beer a strong, clean bitterness to balance out the sweetness.
The caps are wax sealed so this beer can be safely aged. Over time the hops will start to fade and the sweetness will mellow out creating a smooth profile.

The Craft Of Stone Book Review

| October 20th, 2011 | No comments

A vast and expansive book, The Craft of Stone Brewing Company succeeds in so many levels for its varied topics and sections. You need not only be a Stone fan, or even a beer fan, to enjoy this book as it also includes various food recipes as well. Even better, the entire book is written in the same arrogant sarcasm that Stone is known for. After all, the subtitle is Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes and Unabashed Arrogance!

While the book does include other topics, the main point of the book is on the company. The history of how Greg Koch and Steve Wagner met along with how the company grew is detailed. The book is filled with side bars from each other giving different perspectives on how each felt at different stages. Also included is stories of other people involved in the history, like the illustrator for the now recognizable gargoyle motifs.

The real highlight in this section is the history of their beers. Every official beer they’ve made is listed along with a brief history or flavor profile and primary hops used. Also included are each year of their anniversary beers, each year of their Vertical Epic series and their collaborations. The only beers not listed here, are the ones released after this past spring and their beer variations (bourbon aged, double dry-hopped, chipotle pepper etc).

The other section of the book that deserves a mention is the recipes. Recipes included are from Stone’s World Bistro and Gardens restaurant as well as a few extras. Many of the recipes can be used as a starting point for your own dishes such as Arrogant Bastard batter, hop vinegarette, or barbecue sauce.

The second part of this section is the homebrewing recipes. A brief overview of how to brew beer is provided for those new to brewing. Despite the short overview, it is a very thorough guide that can definitely be used as your only source for beginning to homebrew. Recipes include a few of Stone’s year-round beers as well as some of their anniversary and collaboration beers. This chapter really highlights Stone’s open honesty, and even arrogance, in that they are giving you recipes for their beers. They even give you the water profile for their brewery so you can match their water chemistry. A few obvious beers are omitted, like Arrogant Bastard, but nonetheless, they are willing to share their secrets. It’s almost as though they are daring you to attempt to recreate their beers.

As I mentioned in the beginning, this is a very thorough, entertaining book, well worth the read for any food or beer aficionado.

Beer Craft Book Review

| June 18th, 2011 | No comments

If you are interested, or even just mildly curious, about how to brew beer at home, you need to read this book. This book excels over many other revered texts on home brewing simply for how straight forward and beautifully presented the informations is.

Brewing beer is not easy but it isn’t difficult either. It is an involved process with a lot of independent variables that the brewer is in control of. Because of this, every other book on brewing is typically a lengthy read. Beer Craft, on the other hand, is neither too wordy or too simple. It can easily be read in one sitting. Despite this, Beer Craft is just as informational as other books on home brewing. It is very clear what steps need to be followed exactly, and what steps you have the freedom to explore on your own. In addition to this, there are plenty of charts breaking down different ingredients and how they can be used. Brewing beer is a science. The ratios of the ingredients used and even the different temperatures used can alter the end product. Beer Craft does an excellent job of teaching the science without being too overwhelming.

Most books will recommend beginners start by using malt extract to brew beer. Beer Craft doesn’t even suggest this as an option, giving only all grain brewing methods. Where others will caution against the involvement required to brew all grain, Beer Craft provides the reader with one gallon recipes that can be brewed on a standard kitchen stovetop with supplies that do not require a hefty financial expense. This allows beginners to brew beer like the pros do, right from the get go.

Lastly, few books properly instruct beginners how to begin formulating their own recipes. Descriptions of beer styles is usually done by describing the final product, not the ingredients used to create it. Within Beer Craft are various charts showing what malts are used, and to what percent of the total grain bill, for each style of beer. Within each recipe Beer Craft gives, there are suggestions on what to change or add to the recipe. For example, Beer Craft provides a recipe for a pale ale. It then gives substitution suggestions to change it into an IPA, imperial IPA or even a black IPA. In addition to the recipe suggestions, one of the most useful chapters is one on adding specialty ingredients. Not only does it suggest different fruits or spices to add, but how much should be added and at what point in the process it should be added. Taken together, you learn what ingredients make up 10 different styles of beer, and suggestions on what to change in order to create other styles, or what to add to create something entirely new. If you want to brew an IPA with oranges, you can create a recipe simply by using the pale ale recipe, following the guidance on how to make it an IPA, then following the suggestions for adding citrus fruits. No other book I’ve read has shown me how to do this so easily.

I’ve learned more about beer reading this book than I have from reading anything else. This was also the shortest of all the beer books I’ve read and the best looking!

For more information, and more photos of the pages, go to the Beer Craft Book website

100 Beers

| April 24th, 2011 | No comments

I started using Untappd about 5 months ago and last night I reached the milestone of having had 100 different beers. I looked through the list and saw that I have had beers from 42 different breweries from 6 different countries.
The 100th was not as eventful as I was originally planning on it being, but I am glad that it was from a Las Vegas brewery that I had not tried before, Joseph James. I tried their Hop Box IPA, it was super hoppy but not at all bitter, much more of a hop aroma. I had seen it around town before and was very excited to give it a try. I was first introduced to this brewery when I tried their root beer at Ho Foods (Whole Foods). Just from that root beer alone, I could tell that this brewery knows what they are doing. I look forward to trying more beers from this brewery.

Beer For Weddings

| April 23rd, 2011 | No comments

The royal family has decided that beer is for the lower classes and has banned any beer from being present at Prince William’s wedding. Specifically: “It isn’t really an appropriate drink to be serving in the Queen’s presence at such an occasion.” Since many associate beer with a drunken frat party with an endless supply of Bud Lite, beer can have a negative connotation. Many think of beer simply as the watered down taste of Budweiser, Miller, and Coors. However, modern day craft beers have complex flavors that any alcohol enthusiast can appreciate. It is a shame the royal family does not see this, especially considering the history beer has had in Britain.

So, in honor of this, here are 6 beers that would be great at a wedding. While William and Kate have not shared their beer preferences, if any, these beers are wedding worthy.

Chimay Grand Reserve
This is a very smooth, amazing beer. It’s bottle conditioned, meaning that it is naturally carbonating and maturing inside the bottle. It is also brewed by monks in Belgium! How is this not classy?

Dogfish Head Midas Touch
This beer is fit for kings! The recipe for this was created by investigating the chemical compounds lining the inside of clay jars buried in Kind Midas’ tomb. It is brewed with honey and grapes, which gives it some white wine-like qualities. Dogfish Head states that this “will please the Chardonnay of beer drinker alike.”

Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu
Another beer from Dogfish’s ancient ales. Also brewed with honey, this is a very light, crisp and refreshing beer that could easily replace a white wine.

Dogfish Head Red & White
This is a witbier that is fermented with pinot noir juice. The added fermented fruit juice gives this beer a strong tart flavor making it a favorite amongst traditional wine drinkers.

Stone Old Guardian Belgo Barley Wine
This is similar to Stone’s normal Old Guardian Barley Wine, however this one is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain whereas the traditional Old Guardian uses and American yeast strain. The Belgian yeast brings out some floral and fruity characteristics in the beer which pairs perfectly with the strong, distinct taste from the barley and hops used in barley wines.

Coronado Brewing Idiot IPA
An unfiltered IPA from a small San Diego brewery. This beer is served on cask (aged and fermented naturally) giving this beer all the qualities of a good IPA with a smooth, soft texture.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar Review

| April 21st, 2011 | No comments

ALC/VOL: 7ish%? The bottle has the gravity listed in Plato and I don’t feel like doing to the math to convert it into alcohol by volume.

Color: Dark amber brown.

Smell: For lack of a better term, it smells like every other brown ale. Just a bit nuttier.

Feel: A bit more carbonation than most brown ales.

Taste:  It tastes a bit nutty!

Strong hazelnut taste. Do not drink too cold or the hazelnut flavor will be a bit hidden. It has a very basic brown ale base to it but the hazelnut extract makes this a very unique tasting beer.

Overall: Very unique, great tasting beer. I have yet to taste a bad beer from Rogue. That being said, this beer has a very distinct taste and as such, it might be a bit much to have more than one.

Lastly, I don’t think I have ever been disappointed by the artwork on Rogue’s labels.

Thumbs up.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA Review

| April 21st, 2011 | No comments


Color: Rich Amber

Smell: Grapefruit citrusy hop aroma

Feel: Pillowy soft head, medium mouthfeel, medium to low carbonation.

Taste: Hop bitterness is very present but not overpowering. Same with the hop aroma. Low level malt sweetness.

Overall: This is a definitive, west coast American IPA. Very strong, very present hop character.

One of the better IPAs that I’ve had from a small San Diego based brewery. Sadly they do not distribute to Nevada. The brewery is worth making a stop at if you are ever in San Diego. They often have one-off/unique beers on tap. When I was there I had a habanero version of this IPA that had a very spicy finish!