Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beer Review: Sweet Water Dank Tank Wet Dream

Working at a store as the beer manager really has it's perks sometimes. Ok, not sometimes, most of the time. One of the really cool ones is the "free sample" perk. Brewery reps and sales reps from distributors will sometimes leave me some hoppy goodies in the hopes that I'll bring their beer into the store. Sometimes they do it because they just want to be nice and because I'm awesome. Ok, their just being nice.

Recently my Sweet Water sales rep, Jackie, came in and brought me an awesome surprise: a bottle of Sweet Water Dank Tank Wet Dream. I was so pumped! I've heard great things about the Dank Tank series and couldn't wait. I was going to write a little background info about the Dank Tank series but Sweet Waters website is like navigating a website for Smurfs. The words were way too small and I couldn't find what I was looking for. Oh well on to the review:

Brewery: Sweet Water

Beer: Sweet Water Dank Tank Wet Dream

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured a nice amber/reddish color with a huge, fluffy off white head. Nice lacing present throughout.

Smell: Not too overpowering. A nice hint of hoppiness. A nice citrus and grassy aroma.

Taste: Fantastic brew. Not too hoppy. Has a nice mild hoppiness which is balanced well with the sweetness. Very sessionable brew in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Mid range carbonation and medium body.

Overall: This beer was fantastic! I think many people are confused by what style of beer this is. On Beeradvocate this beer has a score of B+ and for a while was listed as a DIPA which this beer clearly is not. Someone has gone and changed it now but I think unfortunately many people reviewed this beer as a DIPA instead of it's proper style.

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hop Harvest

Here is a link to the NY Times Slide Show of hops being harvested at Sodbuster Farms in Salem, Oregon.


Beer Buddha

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Beer Snob: Missing the Point

In my job as "beer guy", "beer manager" or whatever you want to call it at Chans Wine World I get to deal with a lot of beer. And I mean A LOT. And I love it. I see so many different styles, brands and some items I can't even classify.

I also get to deal with many different people with many different palates. Sometimes I get to deal with people who are "newbies" to the "better beer" movement, sometimes I get to deal with people who are extremely knowledgable and sometimes I get to deal with people who just want their Bud, Miller or Coors. But with all that I also see the dreaded Beer Snob.

Now I'm sure many people think I probably fall into this beer snob category but I assure you it's not true. Beer Geek? Yes. Beer Snob? No. I may do my best to avoid BudMillerCoors but I have personal reasons for that. Those guys selling out to non-American companies is bull shit and my reason. It has nothing to do with taste or price. But if I go to a party and all they have is BMC you're damn right I'm drinking BMC. It's beer and that's what matters. Now I will always push a local craft beer over the larger breweries beers of course but does that make me a snob? No, it means I like to support local and keep my money(and your money) local.

Most of the beer people I know(and I know a lot)have no problem buying and drinking PBR, Schlitz or some other cheap, macro lager. I personally have no problem buying a $10 bottle of beer and a $8 12 pack of PBR. Makes sense right? Quality and quantity for $20. You'll never see a beer snob do this. They are always on the hunt for the most rare and most expensive beer they can find and they'll do whatever they have to in order to get it. Drinking cheap beer to them is frowned upon and they'll make sure you know it. I admit spending some serious cash on beer but there is a point where I'll draw the line.

The beer snob truly is the worst because they are missing out on the greatest part of drinking beer: the experience itself. Beer is the greatest social lubricant there is. Hence President Obama and his "beer summit" to calm the racial tensions of a cop and professor. Unfortunately people focused on what style beer they were drinking rather than the fact that they were just a couple of guys solving a dispute over some beer. I'm sure most of the world problems could be solved this way. Over a beer. Unfortunately there would be that someone that would say, "I don't drink that swill! Gimme my fancy schmancy beer now or else I'll launch my nukes". Drinking beer and hanging out with friends and family is such a great experience why ruin it with snobbery. If you want to promote better beer that's great but don't do it by telling someone their beer sucks or looking down at them because of their choice of brew. If anything that just makes it worse. Why would they want to try different beers if they view people that drink them as snobs? Beer is fun. Promote it that way!


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beer Review: Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

So I've been waiting patiently for the cooler weather to arrive in order to drink and review my pumpkin beers this year but a wonderful reader's comment regarding last years review of Shipyard Pumpkinhead made me feel obligated to start reviews a tad earlier. Being told I need to "develop a more inticate[sic] pallate[sic]" in order to be able to better appreciate the "subtle nuances" of this subpar beer will do that. I certaintly don't mind people expressing opinions regarding their take on certain brews(everyone's palate is different of course) but attacking my palate because I don't appreciate a beer. Not cool. Sorry, but in my opinion, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale just isn't that great of a beer. Let's be honest MOST of Shipyard's beers are just ok.

Anyways enough bitching. Moving to Florida from New Orleans is a cultural nightmare but it does have some perks and one is a much better beer selection. In fact, the Pumpkin Ale selection is plentiful. At Chans we have six: Jack's Pumpkin Spice, Weyerbacker Imperial Pumpkin, Dogfish Head Punkin', Brooklyn Post Road, Blue Moon Harvest Moon and Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale. Notice Shipyard Pumpkinhead is not on this list. Out of date issues will do that to you. The Smuttynose was one pumpkin ale that really stood out from the others. This company adds real pumpkin to the mash and uses traditional spices. On to the review:

Brewery: Smuttynose Brewery

Beer: Pumpkin Ale

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured a nice hazy orange(pumpkin color perhaps?) with a nice big white head which disappears quickly. Lacing present throughout and makes a nice webbing pattern.

Smell: Right off the bat I'm hit with pumpkin pie smells: cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin.

Taste: Wow. This one is interesting. Very pumpkin pie like with the pumpkin tasting very organic or real rather than pie filling. That makes a huge difference in the quality of this beer. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg are present but not overpowering because the beer has a nice malty backbone with an interesting hop present. That hop presense helps balance the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Without a doubt this is one of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had. THIS is what pumpkin ales should taste like. Fall in a bottle.

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas