Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 19, 2014 Show

This week we examine some new and unique takes on the insanely popular IPA style.  The styles are not technically recognized as a beer style, but those who have had or heard of them do not think about this when enjoying this amazing beers.

Dogfish Head Brewery- Aprihop: Dogfish Head has made some bold IPA's and really set one of the standards for the style itself.  With Aprihop the brewery re-staked their claim within this beer style by blending a standard American IPA with apricot juice.  Resulting is an unbelievably juicy and thirst quenching IPA that still manages to have a fantastic and clean finish.  The choice of using Amarillo hops adds another great layer of flavor depth to this beer with strong orange notes seemlessly melting into the apricots.  Stop reading and try it, especially since this seasonal beer will be gone soon!

Harpoon Brewery- Brown IPA: Harpoon really produces some world class beers, especially those in their 100 Barrel series and this Brown IPA is no exception.  While technically classified as an American Brown Ale, this "Brown IPA" is certainly a hopped up version of a somewhat hoppy style.  Heavy handed use of Chinook, Simcoe, and Amarillo hops create one huge hop bomb with a silky smooth brown ale backbone.  Very enjoyable and only 5.7% ABV!

Otter Creek- Black IPA: This beer is proof positive just how popular the Black IPA style is truly becoming.  Otter Creek used to brew this beer as a seasonal but demand grew to such a fever pitch that it soon made it's way into being brewed year round and we can all rejoice for that decision!  This is an incredibly smooth and easy drinking Black IPA that does not have any unpleasant notes and is actually what we would call a fantastic introductory beer to the Black IPA style.

Stone Brewing Co.- Sublimely Self-Righteous Black Ale: Another beer that was made available for a limited time, specifically as part of Stone's annual anniversary beer lineup.  However, demand for this beer to be brewed again was huge and soon the brewery did just that and thus unleashed the first widely available Black IPA upon the market!  This is certainly the most powerful beer in the bunch with aggressive hopping and a bold malt selection.  This is certainly not a beer for the faint of heart, but is truly a fantastic drinking experience.  An absolute must have!

This weeks special beer from the dark nether regions of Derek's fridge:

Odell Brewing Company- Runoff Red IPA: Wow, just wow!  Odell is a brewery that does not have it's footprint in a lot of states, but the states that it is in, well these are very lucky people!  This fantastic rendition of an Amber Ale gives a smooth malt feel with perfect citrus and pine hops and fantastic carbonation that seemingly tickles the palate while cleansing.  Not many beers can hold their own after drinking Sublimely Self-Righteous, but Runoff Red not only held it's own, it absolutely dominated.  As with all Odell beers, this is another to be classified as world class!

April 12, 2014 Show

This is it, the big day of the inaugural Beer Geek Festival!  Hard to believe it has finally arrived.  We decided to kick off the fest in style by examining a brewery that is making their presence known in our area once again by staking their claim at the festival, BrewDog.  The Scottish brewery has built quite a reputation by making bold statements and delicious beer.  This week we took a look at 4 of those wonderful beers with some returning guests to the show to start the festival off on the right foot!

5 A.M. Saint- We started off a bit on the lighter side with this 5% ABV Amber Ale.  The aroma has a lot of citrus and piney hops but with a huge backbone of sweet malts present as well.  The taste matches the nose with a strong sweet malt up front with citrus and pine hop notes present throughout, but with very little hop bite if any, but still has a semi-dry finish.  A great introductory beer!

Punk IPA- This is one of the beers that BrewDog has built a strong reputation upon and with good reason, it's a great beer!  Coming in at 5.6% ABV, this beer has a nice grapefruit punch and is balanced with slight pine hops and an almost lager like mouthfeel.  A very easy drinking IPA that is a must try for IPA fans or IPA newbies!

Libertine Black Ale- The Black IPA is a style that has been gaining fans slowly but surely and with beers like this it is easy to see why!  The aroma has a strong hop presence with hints of bitter chocolate dancing in the background letting you know just what is in store!  The pine hop flavors hit strong and hard before the incredibly smooth and soothing malts wash over with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and various roasted malts, but incredibly this beer still manages to have a dry finish and the 7.2% ABV is not detectable at all!

Hardcore IPA- This 9% ABV behemoth packs a wallop of flavors and complexities and is extremely easy drinking.  The strong malt presence is there to balance the hop bomb locked within.  Hardcore IPA proclaims itself to have 150 IBU's, whether or not you can perceive that on your palate is up for debate, but rest assured this beer is hoppy and one for true hopheads and those new to the style may want to stear clear for some time.  Rest assured we all absolutely LOVED it and highly recommend it!

There was not special secret 5th beer this week as we decided to instead use this time to talk about the incredible festival and save some drinking time for the beers at the festival!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April 5, 2014 Show

This week we were joined by the wonderful Rich Howells from the Weekender.  We also took a look at one of our favorite, and we feel under-appreciated breweries, Unibroue!  Another fantastic brewery that is also making an appearance at the inaugural Beer Geek Fest!


Blanche de Chambly:  This is said to be the first Witbier brewed to the Belgian specifications brewed in North America and if that is the case than they really set the bar high with this one!  This is a fantastic example of the style with strong notes of wheat coming through with very subtle spicing but still has a very light, crisp, and refreshing characteristic that one enjoys when drinking this style of beer!

Maudite: (Pronounced Mow- debt) A fantastic example of a Belgian take on the red/ amber ale style with a lot of dark red fruit flavor in aroma and taste.  This is a very complex beer with a lot of fruit aroma both in red fruit along with citrus hops.  Absolutely no sense of the 8% ABV at all, another absolutely fantastic beer from Unibroue!

Trois Pistoles: A Belgian dark strong ale that has a lot of Abbey ale qualities and is more in line with a Belgian Dubbel.   Again notes of dark fruits with figs, plums, and dates up front balanced against the wonderful Belgian yeast strain.  A fair amount of spices present but a rich and complex beer without being to heavy on the palate.

Terrible:  do not let the name through you on this one, this beer is anything but terrible!  This is yet again classifed as a Belgian dark strong ale, but leans more towards the Belgian Quad spectrum.  An extremely flavorful, deep, rich, and engaging beer that is a definite sipper coming in at 10.5% ABV.  Let this one warm up a bit in the glass and you will really notice all the aromatics within this world class beer.

We also gave away a beautiful Unibroue glass and another pair of tickets this week to the inaugural Beer Geek Festival!  It is a week away and we can hardly believe it!  It is happening April 12, 3 PM - 7 PM at Montage Mountain, tickets are going FAST!!

This weeks super special secret beer from the dark regions within Derek's refrigerator....

Odell Brewing Company- Isolation Ale: Odell Brewing Co. is a personal favorite of Derek's and with beers like Isolation Ale it is easy to see why!  Isolation Ale is the brewery's winter warmer offering, but unlike many other winter warmers which are overly spiced and too malty, Odell gets it just right!  The aroma smells of sweet malts with light earthy hops and the taste backs that up with subtle hints of hops dancing on the palate backed with sweet caramel malts.  A great beer to drink and celebrate the end of the winter season!

March 29, 2014 Show

This week the Beer Geeks went fishing with their special guest Gene Philbin from Peculiar Culinary, who joined us fresh on the heels of first joint beer dinner that took place at Exit 190 Beer Deli.  We took a look at some of the great offerings from Dogfish Head Brewery, along with our special 5th beer!

Dogfish Head Brewery:

Sixty-One: This is very unique beer to say the least.  The idea behind Sixty-One is to blend the beer and wine world together into one great beer, and Dogfish Head certainly accomplished that goal!  The base of the beer comes from their world class 60 Minute IPA with the addition of Syrah grape must.  The overall impression is a wonderfully balanced IPA with strong sweet wine notes that still has a wonderfully crisp and dry finish.   
Midas Touch: The recipe for this one dates back quite some time, around 2700 years to be exact.  The recipe comes from DNA extracted from drinking vessels found in King Midas's tomb.  The 9% ABV is incredibly well hidden in this delicious beer.  The strongest notes that come through in the aroma and taste are honey and saffron with strong biscuit malt backbone. Midas Touch is incredibly sweet but still manages to have a very dry finish. A must-have!
Indian Brown Ale:  Dogfish Head has had this gem on the roster since 1999 and it is still an extremely popular brew. The brewery describes it as a highbred of Scotch Ale,  India Pale Ale, and American Brown Ale.  This description summarizes the beer perfectly. Strong caramel, brown sugar, roasted malt, and hop notes come through in the aroma and taste and has an incredibly smooth mouth feel. This is a fantastic beer to have any time of the year.
Palo Santo Marron: This 12% behemoth is a strong and powerful brown ale that is packed full of depth and flavor that is aged in Palo Santo wood vessels.  The brown ale base and parts smooth caramel flavors while the wood aging gives flavors of vanilla and subtle spicing. If you are unfamiliar with this beer and are a fan of Dogfish Head, then THIS is the must try beer!

All of this week's beer was paired with some of Chef Gene Philbin's fantastic food, unfortunately we ate it before we were able to take photos!
We also gave away a great prize package this week including two tickets to the inaugural Beer Geek Festival, a Deschutes pint glass, and a copy of Locally Brewed, a fantastic new book showcasing many of the craft breweries we discuss on our show! If you are interested in picking up a copy of the book yourself click on the cover below!


Also we cannot forget this week's special 5th beer from the dark nether regions of Derek's fridge!

Terrapin Brewing Company- Dos Cocoas: For those of you who are regular listeners you know this is probably Freddie's favorite beer just by its name. This was a pleasant surprise for everyone with its rich and deep Porter characteristics.  The name is certainly true with this beer as well with chocolate being the most dominant flavor and aroma. There is a subtle hop note present as well, which gives this beer a great balance and makes it incredibly smooth! An absolute perfect beer to have at the end of perfect show.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

March 22, 2014 Show

This week the Beer Geeks get Stone'd!  We are taking a look at the fabulous Stone Brewing Co.! Along with our special 5th beer of course!  We examine 2 of Stone's sessionable beers and 2 of their larger bees!

Stone Brewing Co.

Levitation:  This is Stone Brewing Co.'s most well known session beer that is classified in the Amber Ale style with a great hop backbone.  The ABV is 4.4% but still has a great body, full flavor, and wonderful dry finish.  A fantastic beer if you are out with friends for a night on the town!

Go To IPA: Stone Brewing Co.'s latest release and it is an amazing one!  Many craft beer lovers have been asking for a well balanced and sessionable IPA but so far these requests have been met with varying degrees of success.  However, with Stone's Go To IPA, craft beer lovers have finally found their dreams coming true!  The hops are certainly present in both aroma and taste with a perfectly dry finish.  The body is a bit on the thin side, but does not detract from the beer and is expected in a beer classified as sessionable.  A fantastic beer and a big thanks goes out to Stone Brewing Co. for bringing us a great session IPA!

2014 Old Guardian Barley Wine: Session beers are quickly left behind as we jump to this 11% ABV American Barleywine.  Barleywines are typically more enjoyable with a bit of age on them, but Old Guardian is just as enjoyable fresh.  One would expect a hop punch in this fresh barleywine, but it is surprisingly sweet in aroma and taste with a pleasant background note of pine hops.  Very easy drinking despite the high ABV, a must have for barleywine fans!

2014 Imperial Russian Stout: This 10.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout is as delicious as it is aggressive.    The aroma is dominated by coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts.  While this is a beer that is not for those uninitiated to bigger styles such as Russian Imperial Stouts, it is a must try for fans of darker beers.  This is also a great beer to age and do vertical tastings with over time!

This week's special 5th beer from the dark recesses of Derek's fridge...

AleSmith Brewing Company- Speedway Stout Bourbon Barrel Aged:  Many stout lovers are familiar with Speedway Stout.  This award winning stout is full bodied, full flavored, and incredibly smooth.  The addition of the Bourbon barrel aging adds an extra layer of depth and complexity, the 12% ABV is also a nice addition!  The aroma alerts you to the Bourbon flavored inside with notes of vanilla and coconut being the most prevalent.  The vanilla and coconut flavor combine with the chocolate and coffee for an absolutely fantastic and enjoyable drinking experience.  This is definitely a sipping beer and will open up as it warms up.

March 15, 2014 Show

St. Patrick's Day is upon us and while broadcasting this morning the Scranton, PA St. Patrick's Day parade was underway, but the Beer Geeks decided to take a look at quality over quantity this week!

The Belgians are coming! The Belgians are coming! Do NOT be afraid though, embrace them and partake of the fruits of their labor!  This week we take a look at Belgian beers, 2 brewed in America and 2 brewed in Belgium (and the special 5th beer of course!)

Brewery Ommegang- Glimmerglass:  Brewery Ommegang has built a solid reputation on brewing amazing Belgian beers right here in the U.S. of A.  Their has been a lot of hype around their Game of Thrones beers, which the hype is justified, however the brewery is also still putting out some other new and fantastic beers, and Glimmerglass is one of them!  This is a Saison, many are familiar with Hennepin, a beer we covered on this show previously.  Compared to Hennepin, Glimmerglass is lighter in mouthfeel and ABV and is more in line with a traditional Saison.  The yeast strain is really prevalent in this beer and is an absolutely perfect spring beer!

Tröegs Brewing Company- Tröegs LaGrave:  Tröegs Is certainly not afraid to try anything and everything.  Their take on the Belgian Tripel style is very good and worth seeking out.  The subtle fruit flavors and yeast characteristic really shine through.  The only knock it had for us was that it was a bit over carbonated but certainly did not take away from the overall enjoyment of this fantastic beer.

Brouwerij HuygheDelirium Tremens:  a personal favorite of Dr. Johnny blindside, Delirium Tremens Has a cult like following    throughout the world.  The Belgian pale ale style differs a bit from the others in the flavors that come through.  The Belgian yeast is very pronounced within this beer, but gives off more flavors and aroma that are similar to honey, banana, and clove. Delirium Tremens is truly a world class beer.

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NVMaredsous Brune - The style for this one is a Belgian Dubbel and Maredsous Brune falls well within the confines of the category.  Strong notes of dark fruits, molasses, Belgian yeast, and rich malts come through in both the nose and taste.  If you are fan of Belgian beers this is one to seek out!

This week's special 5th beer from the dark recesses of Derek's fridge:

Allagash Brewing Company- Allagash Black: A delicious Belgian stout rounds of this weeks look at Belgian beers.  The St. Patrick's holiday is upon us and stouts are seemingly everywhere, but nothing nearly as good as Allagash Black.  The strong chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts blend seamlessly with the Belgian yeast to create an extremely smooth beer. Allagash is known for their world class beers and you can certainly count Allagash Black as another world class beer!

March 8, 2014 Show

During the winter season many of us switch from lighter colored beers to the darks (stouts and porters) in "celebration," and we use that term lightly, we took a look at the wonderful world of porters.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.- Porter:  This American Porter showcases the American take on the style with a fair amount of hop bitterness coming through up front before the sweet chocolate and caramel malt flavor wash over.  A textbook example of the American porter style.

Fuller's- London Porter: The English were the first to produce the porter style so there is no doubt that they also perfected the style and this is certainly try with Fuller's London Porter.  The side by side comparison with the Sierra Nevada Porter also alerts the drinker to the difference between how the English and how the Americans view this style.  The London Porter has nearly no recognition of hops and is extremely smooth and creamy.  This is quite possibly one of the best porters.

Deschutes Brewery- Black Butte Porter:There is a reason that this beer has a 100 rating on Beer Advocate, it absolutely deserves it!  The rich flavors locked within and an aroma giving off wonderful chocolate and coffee notes, this is a breathtaking beer.  The mouthfeel is perfect, smooth, and creamy.  Everything that you could want in a porter with a light 5.2% ABV!

Founders- Porter:  Founders is simply a brewery that does not disappoint with any of their beers, so it stands to reason that their porter is world class, and you would be right in thinking this!  The aroma and flavor lean heavily toward the chocolate end of the spectrum with very subtle coffee background notes.  The mouthfeel straddle the line of being a stout, but is absolutely phenomenal, another must tru!

This weeks special 5th beer from the dark recesses of Derek's refrigerator...

Stone Brewing Co.- Suede Imperial Porter: Another collaboration  brew for Stone, something they have done a lot of this year with tremendous success! The name perfectly describes just how smooth this beer feels on the palate.  This is also another beer that straddles that line between porters and stouts, something we discussed on the show.  The big ABV (9.6%) and imperial porter status tends to lean more towards being a stout stylistically, but would still be classified as a porter for most who drink it. The honey, jasmine and calendula flowers give off unique flavors and make this beer even more complex and certainly a talking point for craft beer fans.