Archive for Craft Beer

V-Twelve (Victory Brewing Company)

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2010 by bumpcitybrews

Generally when one is perusing the beer isle of a grocery store, you wouldn’t expect to find too many beers you haven’t heard of already.  I know there are a few exceptions out there, but for the most part, they are few and far between.  I found this beer while picking up some lump crab and filet from Whole Foods and I encourage you to do the same.  I was impressed to see a number of beers I haven’t had before including beers from both the left and right coasts, including Belgian styles and Northwest Ales, all placed on a shelf mingling amongst one another.  I was in the mood to try a Belgian ale from an East coast brewery I have never heard of before.  I tend to always support my local breweries, but thought I would support the great state of PA this time and one of its local craft breweries, Victory Brewing Company.

 THE BEER:

 A little bit about Victory Brewing Co…

 “Having trained in Germany, we appreciate the artistic freedom we have here in the US. Here creativity is embraced by a fervent core of consumers and we are happy to serve that audience with our experience in traditional methods, selection of choice, often imported ingredients, and the best processing that technology can offer us.  We relish the opportunity to please both ourselves and our audience with our flavorful creations.  We’ve invested more than our lives in this. Take a look.”     Bill Covaleski, Brewmaster & President

Bump City Brews thoughts…

 Pour:  Pale Amber with a slight tint of burnt orange in color, picture perfect.  Good, lasting, frothy, white head that surprisingly left no evidence of lacing on my pint glass.  The body was a little hazy with tiny bits of particles present, not really noticeable unless you are specifically looking for them. 

 Aroma:  My senses detected a sweet, passion fruit aroma to this beer.  Fruity combined with underlying floral tones gave this beer a nice edge to it.  At first the malt aroma present was light, but as it warmed, I noticed aromas comparable to bubble gum were present on top of the fruity and floral scents already giving way. 

 Taste:  This medium bodied belgian ale offered a complex combination of flavors.  It started with a short-lived caramel like sweetness, followed by a medium bitterness, and nicely finishing on my palate dry with a spicy and tart banana/clove combination.  For my palate it was quite complex, but the bitterness was just at the right mark to make it a nice balance.  The flavors became more intense as the beer came closer to room temperature and was a nice representation of a Belgian Strong Ale in my humble opinion. 

 Overall:  I don’t have much experience drinking as many Belgian ales, but this beer did inspire me to do so.  The components of sweet, bitter, spicy and sour all balanced very nicely together.  There wasn’t one aspect of the beer that was the most forthcoming, each one played off each other to help one another be represented in the beer.  The bitterness mellowed out the sweetness, while the spicy accentuated the tartness, and vice versa…

Will I buy more of it?:  Yes, it was a good Belgian Strong ale.  As I said earlier, I do intend to drink more Belgium beers and then I will probably buy another bottle of V-Twelve to analyze the flavor profiles again. 

 Vintage:  ??

BEER FACTS:

Name:  V-Twelve

Style:  Belgian-Style Specialty Ale

Brewery:  Victory Brewing Company

City:  Downingtown, PA

Country:  USA

Container:  25.4 oz Corked Bottle

Malts:  Imported German Malts   

Hops:  Styrian Goldings & Tettnanger whole flowers

ABV:  “Above” 12%

IBUs:  ??

Date:  3.06.2010

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Hop Rod Rye (Bear Republic Brewing Co.)

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2010 by bumpcitybrews

It was an unseasonably warm and sunny winter day in Seattle one Saturday and the only thing that would quench my thirst was a nice cold bitter beer.  I opened my fridge and looked at the nice variety of hand selected craft brews to my avail.  After briefly considering my options, I found one that would hopefully meet my thirsts desire.  A nice Rye IPA coming out of a brewery located in sunny California, the Bear Republic Brewing Co. to be exact.  At 8% and 80 IBUs, I am looking forward to this one, so lets get on to the good stuff.

THE BEER:

From the label on the bottle…

Don’t drink and Drag.  Sediment at bottom of the bottle may be a result of the truckload of hops in the non-filtered Ale.

Bump City Brews thoughts…

Pour:  Reddish-orange in color, a very good looking beer.  Produced a thin off-white head where retention lasted throughout the session…also had good lacing around the glass.  I did notice a small amount of particles in the body of the beer which was likely a result of being non-filtered as mentioned on the label by the brewer.  The sediment did not take anything away from the experience or appearance of the beer though…if anything, it made me appreciate the fact that I was drinking high quality craft ale.

Aroma:  A medium-light floral perfume nose to it as a result of the hops.  Other than that I did not detect much more aroma.  Considering the amount of hops claimed to be used in this beer, I would have expected more hop aroma present.  No malt aromas detected by me either…maybe my nose was having an off day.

Taste:  It’s obvious how the “truckload” of hops were used…bittering agent… A Crisp, grapefruit bitterness dominates this beer.  Rye is known to accentuate hop flavors in beer, and the 18% of Rye in this beer did its job right.  The aftertaste of bitterness stayed on my palate for quite some time too.  Keep this in mind if you plan on drinking beers with more delicate flavors later on, you might drink this one later on in the session. 

Overall:  I got what I wanted.  A very citrusy bitter beer with surprisingly less hop aroma that I expected.  There is a little body to the beer, probably from the Rye, but not much more that that.  By brewing a Rye IPA, the intentions of the brewer were probably to make the Hops stand out and I think he achieved his goal through this beer.  Personally, I wouldn’t start out by drinking this beer first and if you are introducing a friend to hoppy beers, this might not be a good one for beginners…but then again, we all share a different palate…so cheers!

Will I buy more of it?:  Yea, but I would by it in a 12 oz. bottle as opposed to 22 oz.  For me, it’s a great beer to drink on a lazy summer afternoon.  But be forewarned, this one will getcha if you’re not careful…weighing in at 8% ABV, this one caught me off guard and made my eyes a little droopy!

Vintage:  2009

BEER FACTS:

Name:  Hop Rod Rye

Style:  Rye IPA

Brewery:  Bear Republic

City:  Cloverdale

Country:  USA

Container:  22 oz

Malts:  Rye/?   

Hops:  Unknown

ABV:  8%

IBUs:  80

Date:  2.20.2010

Trumpeter Imperial Stout (Skagit River Brewery)

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2010 by bumpcitybrews

I think Facebook is letting me get the most out of my beer drinking/brewing/researching obsession.  I think I have become a fan of anything beer related on Facebook…if I see someone holding what looks like a craft beer, I try to befriend them.  Most of the time it turns out that they are a beer fanatic like myself, but other times, I de-friend them.   The fact that my local Bottle Shops have fan pages and are constantly updating me with the most recent deliveries that they receive has allowed me to always be able to pick out the beer I want to purchase before driving out to pick it up, a convenient feature for me and free marketing for them.  I won’t bore you with my beer related Facebook stalking though, let’s get back to what matters, Beer.

THE BEER:

A little bit about Skagit River Brewery…

This commitment to Yakima Valley hops, northwest grown barley and wheat and the purity of our water source combine to produce outstanding beers. Skagit “Steelie” Brown Ale and Dutch Girl Lager, are truly American-made versions of traditional English and German beers. Our other beers each draw on their own sources of inspiration to provide for seasonal individual tastes.

Bump City Brews thoughts…

Pour:  Black as one would expect for an Imperial Stout.   Medium-light, creamy head with a light amber tint to it, but more importantly (to me) the head retention lasts throughout the entire session. The lacing left on the glass with this beer was very nice as well. 

Aroma:  Sweet, dark roasted caramel notes are the dominant flavors present.  Followed by a slight hint of chocolate.  No overwhelming coffee aromas present in this Stout as one might find in other stouts.  I wanted topoint out that as this stout comes closer to room temperature, the sweet caramel aroma becomes more mild allowing the roasted notes to come through, which balance it nicely.   

Taste:  Rich, sweet caramel flavors are the forefront with the dark roasted malt serving more as a shadow and not a partner.  Notes of chocolate are present with each taste as well.  Hints of licorice are present on the back of my palate as an aftertaste.

Overall:  This is a full-bodied stout, almost a little to cloying for my taste.  I would prefer a little more hops and roasted malt to balance out the overwhelming sweetness from the caramel and chocolate malts.  My lips are still sticky from drinking this one… 

Will I buy more of it?:  Nah, probably not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  As you have probably noticed, its a little too sweet for my taste buds and it’s making me fuller and fuller by the minute…I might not need to eat dinner tonight after this one.

Vintage:  2010

BEER FACTS:

Name:  Trumpeter

Style:  Imperial Stout

Brewery:  Skagit River

City:  Mount Vernon

Country:  USA

Container:  22 oz

Malts:  Chocolate, Caramel, Roasted

Hops:  Unknown

ABV:  10%

IBUs:  ?

Date:  2.5.2010