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Review of Inversion IPA from Deschutes Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 7/1/2015, 8 ratings
In today's craft beer world, the IPA has become its own worst enemy. What was once a bitter pale ale with notes of citrus has become an uncountable juggernaut of variation. We now have Black IPAs, White IPAs, Belgian IPAs, Doubles, Triples, the list...  more »
 

Review of Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 7/1/2015, 10 ratings
The humble porter is perhaps one of the most perplexing craft beer concoctions. Is it a stout? A brown ale? An old ale? Some might be surprised to learn that the answer is ''yes'' to every question. The porter started out as a British ''everything bu...  more »
 

Review of True Blonde Dubbel from Ska Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/30/2015, 9 ratings
Navigating the insanely diverse craft beer world can be a daunting task for any novice. Once you get past the intro glut of lagers, pale ales and wheat beers, the veritable cornucopia of choice explodes in all directions. Belgians are perhaps the mos...  more »
 

Review of Venom IPA from Twisted Chile Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/26/2015, 7 ratings
Over the last several decades, the American craft beer scene has grown into a smorgasbord of delicious brew nectar. What was once a dismal selection of bland lagers and pale ales has ballooned into an massive variety of everything you can imagine. As...  more »
 

Review of Hibernator Oatmeal Stout from Black Isle Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/26/2015, 5 ratings
When a beer leaves an impression, sometimes it's for an unexpected reason. I recently visited the Black Isle Brewing Company in northern Scotland. One would think that an organic brewery set in a gorgeous locale would be more than enough to make a la...  more »
 

Review of Alaskan Imperial IPA from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/25/2015, 7 ratings
When it comes to beer reviews, one of the most abused terms is ''balance''. We all understand the definition, but what does that mean when applied to the enjoyment of any given beer? After all, hop heads love hops. Is there such a thing as too much h...  more »
 

Review of Counter Culture from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/25/2015, 7 ratings
For this review, I thought I would have a little fun. I'm going to be discussing Flying Dog's latest creation entitled Counter Culture, a beer that defies classification. That's not me being clever or existential, it's actually how the beer is market...  more »
 

Review of Big Butt Oak Aged Barley Wine from Black Isle Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/12/2015, 8 ratings
When it comes to the concept of big bold beers, few styles can go toe-to-toe with the barleywine. These gigantic malt bombs are to the beer world what Hummers are to the car world. They are burly, menacing, and demand your attention. ABVs often push...  more »
 

Review of Valar Morghulis from Ommegang Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/12/2015, 10 ratings
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have at least heard of HBO's epic series Game of Thrones, based on the wildly popular fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Craft beer fandom and fantasy geekdom seem to go hand in hand, as countless bee...  more »
 

Review of Dark Ryder from Duel Brewing  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/12/2015, 5 ratings
The American craft beer movement is full of contradictions, and I don't mean this in a bad way. In fact, it's one of the movement's most cherished precepts: a complete disregard for expectation. I can think of few greater examples than that of Duel B...  more »
 

Review of Big Mountain Pale Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/11/2015, 8 ratings
On paper, the concept of drinking beer and living an active lifestyle seems counter intuitive. After all, we harbor this image of beer bellies sitting on couches while ripped abs climb mountains. However, I am finding more and more that craft beer an...  more »
 

Review of Icy Bay IPA from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/11/2015, 7 ratings
Ah, the IPA. America's most popular and widely abused craft beer. I say ''abused'' not from a consumer perspective, but rather from a brewing perspective. Every brewery makes one, but few breweries put forth the effort to make great ones. Anyone who...  more »
 

Review of Numero Uno Summer Cerveza from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/11/2015, 7 ratings
Any beer fan that has found him or herself panting and sweaty after a hard day of work or play fully understands the concept of ''light and refreshing''. Unfortunately, this phrase is horribly abused by Big Beer companies who want to market their fla...  more »
 

Review of Session Cream from Full Sail Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/7/2015, 5 ratings
The Full Sail Brewing Company out of Hood River, Oregon first caught my attention with a stumpy little red-labelled bottle. I am of course talking about their wildly popular Session Premium Lager, which for my money is one of the best bridge beers in...  more »
 

Review of Alaskan Imperial Red Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 5/21/2015, 9 ratings
It's funny how beers can conjure amusing imagery. Breweries these days can no longer rely on the stale presentations of Big Beer yesteryear. Unless you're an English brewery with hundreds of years of brand recognition, the stylized oval with a name s...  more »
 

Review of Single Hop Imperial IPA: Warrior from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 5/21/2015, 7 ratings
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: if you want to study what hops do to beer, then drink single-hop IPAs. These beers are hop-forward by stylistic definition, but then you get to experience the amplified effects of specific hop vari...  more »
 

Review of Earl Grey Black Wheat from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 5/15/2015, 8 ratings
Sometimes a beer can leave you scratching your head. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just that the American craft beer movement hungers for new and interesting ideas. These days, beer fans know what it's like to sit down with some seriously...  more »
 

Review of Punishment from Stone Brewing Co.  (Good)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 4/21/2015, 12 ratings
I recently muscled my way through a pair of the most painful beers on the planet: Crime and Punishment. These mischievous pepper bombs were the brainchild of Greg Koch, Brewmaster of the Stone Brewing Company. I already reviewed Crime, which to be ho...  more »
 

Review of Crime from Stone Brewing Co.  (Good)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 4/21/2015, 11 ratings
Every now and then a beer will march across my palate and kick the shit out of my taste buds, prompting an array of eye twitches and involuntary spasms. However, nothing could have prepared me for the Stone Brewing Company's sadistic duo of Crime and...  more »
 

Review of Supertramp Tart Cherry Ale from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Good)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 4/14/2015, 8 ratings
Expectations can be a double edged sword in the craft beer world. They are good to have because they prevent your taste buds from discrediting a brew based on inexperience. On the flip side, experienced taste buds can discredit a brew based solely on...  more »
 

Review of Hopothermia from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/5/2015, 8 ratings
If I had to pick one beer style that has been beaten into the ground by the craft beer movement, it would be the Imperial IPA. At one point, these monster brews were considered feats of strength, bitter battles to be conquered. But as palates normali...  more »
 

Review of Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/5/2015, 9 ratings
Sometimes a beer will grab you from the second you lay eyes upon it. You pick it up off the shelf, give it a warm smile, and utter those magic words... you had me at hello. A hackneyed phrase to be sure, but it applies every now and then. This is the...  more »
 

Review of Single Hop Imperial IPA: HBC-431 from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/5/2015, 7 ratings
I have found that exploring the vast world of craft beer is a lot like reading. After a while, you begin to gravitate towards specific genres. You discover authors that speak to you. You start to recognize signature prose and distinguish between good...  more »
 

Review of Alaskan White Ale from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/13/2015, 8 ratings
Ah, the white ale, a wheaty and spicy adventure. At least, it should be. Sadly, the witbier style (Belgian wheat ale) has been hijacked by Big Beer companies and turned into a shoddy mess. To most Americans, the concept of a wheat ale has been reduce...  more »
 

Review of Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/5/2015, 11 ratings
Hype in the craft beer world can be a double edged sword. All it takes is the praise of one prominent beer critic to ignite a fury of interest. Many of us have dealt with the long lines to get our hands on what a few experts have called ''the end all...  more »
 

Review of Freeride APA from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/26/2015, 7 ratings
America's craft beer movement has accomplished many crazy things. It introduced American palates to exciting new flavors, from hop laden IPAs to sweet malty Brown Ales. It amplified beer strengths to unseen levels, which saw Imperial IPAs and Barleyw...  more »
 

Review of 1/2 Ale (Session Saison) from Brooklyn Brewery  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/26/2015, 9 ratings
As someone who can remember what drinking life was like back before the American craft beer movement, I cannot help but feel that we have come full circle with the current ''session beer'' trend. Now, before you see my words in a negative fashion, I...  more »
 

Review of Brooklyn Sorachi Ace from Brooklyn Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/23/2015, 9 ratings
When I first sampled Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace Saison several years ago, it was still considered an experimental brew. It came in those large bomber bottles and was geared towards the more adventurous beer fans who craved exciting new flavors. Since the...  more »
 

Review of Twisted Chile Scotch Ale from Twisted Chile Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/14/2015, 6 ratings
It never ceases to amazed me just how unbelievably ubiquitous the American craft beer scene has become. Many of us are old enough to remember just how dismal the beer scene used to be in this country. It seemed that every bar had the same handful of...  more »
 

Review of Doppelbock from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/7/2015, 8 ratings
Have you ever been in a situation where you really want to like something before you experience it, but that little devil on your shoulder whispers doubt into your ear? This is exactly how I felt about Flying Dog's Doppelbock when I first saw it. I'm...  more »
 

Review of Modus Hoperandi from Ska Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 12/11/2014, 7 ratings
Ah the India Pale Ale, the American craft beer movement's trusty whipping horse. Every craft brewery makes one, but few breweries make great ones. I use the term ''great'' loosely here because a great IPA can take many forms. What goes into making a...  more »
 

Review of Alaskan Amber from Alaskan Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 12/11/2014, 9 ratings
Good beer has the power to rekindle good memories. I lived in Seattle, Washington for many years, which is a popular export city for the Alaskan Brewing Company. I remember seeing their beers everywhere, but for some reason or another, they never see...  more »
 

Review of Red Chili Porter from Socorro Springs Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 12/8/2014, 5 ratings
When the craft beer movement exploded in the United States, few could have predicted the unbelievable smorgasbord of styles we would enjoy today. American brewers have been throwing everything they can think of into their beers in order to set themse...  more »
 

Review of Oatmeal Raisin Stout from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 11/24/2014, 9 ratings
Many craft beer fans eagerly anticipate the winter months because they bring us delightful treats like big bold stouts and winter warmers. It's also common to pair strong dark ales with sweet desserts and roaring fireplaces. They warm the belly and o...  more »
 

Review of Roasted Peanut Brown Ale from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 11/24/2014, 8 ratings
Beer-food pairings have become all the rage these days and many beer fans have taken notice. It has become relatively commonplace to find restaurants and brewpubs that host pairing events. Usually the pairings are pretty simple, mostly tried-and-true...  more »
 

Review of Oak-Aged Hazelnut Scotch Ale from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 11/20/2014, 8 ratings
I recently started sampling my way through a very interesting series of beers. Most craft beer fans are familiar with the concept of beer-food pairings. Many of us have even attended special beer-food pairing events. That being said, the Flying Dog B...  more »
 

Review of Imperial Hefeweizen from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 11/20/2014, 10 ratings
As the craft beer movement soldiers on, its wake becomes filled with an array of sub-interests. At first it was imperial versions, then seasonal selections, then barrel-aging, the list goes on and on. Hell, I've even seen beer soap. One big sub-inter...  more »
 

Review of Secret Stash Harvest Ale from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 11/12/2014, 7 ratings
One of the coolest aspects of being a craft beer fan is watching beers evolve over time. Much like with wine, the quality of yearly harvests of can greatly influence the tastes of your favorite beers. Some years are better than others, some batches a...  more »
 

Review of Santa Fe Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 10/23/2014, 7 ratings
Endless variety can be a double-edged sword. This is especially true in the craft beer world where ingredient lists can reach Santa Clause levels. We have grown accustomed to beers with exotic ingredients sentence-long names. They can be fun to drink...  more »
 

Review of J.K.'s The Pair Perry Cider from Almar Orchards  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 10/22/2014, 8 ratings
A lot of people don't realize that many of their favorite beverages are actually blends. It's a common methodology used to create desired flavors. Wine makers do it. Brewers do it. Even cider makers do it. Case in point: J.K.'s The Pair, a blend of a...  more »
 

Review of Single Hop Imperial IPA: Galaxy from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 10/21/2014, 9 ratings
When it comes to big bold IPAs, the conventional wisdom over the last decade has been ''bigger is better''. If a brewer can cram insane complexity and truck loads of hop varieties into a single Imperial IPA, then beer geeks will flock en masse to the...  more »
 

Review of J.K.'s Scrumpy Hard Cider from Almar Orchards  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 10/21/2014, 11 ratings
While the craft beer movement soldiers on at breakneck pace, some other lesser known movements are quickly gaining momentum. One of these is craft cider. Most beer fans can name a handful of common ciders. But these days, more and more are able to id...  more »
 

Review of Hoppy American Wheat from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 10/20/2014, 7 ratings
In today's craft beer world, it's not uncommon for stylistic lines to blur. It's a ''no holds barred'' world of free interpretation. American brewers thumb their noses at concepts like the Reinheitsgebot (the German Beer Purity Law). They do what the...  more »
 

Review of Trilogy 3: Brewers' Class from BridgePort Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 10/13/2014, 8 ratings
The BridgePort Brewing Company is considered to be one of the pillars of the American craft beer movement. The company is based in Portland, Oregon and is widely known as state's oldest craft brewery. It was founded in 1984, which means they are cele...  more »
 

Review of Scotia Scotch Ale from Bosque Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 9/24/2014, 5 ratings
Craft beer fans often find themselves in new and interesting places. We may have a favorite pub, but never an exclusive one. We also love to visit various breweries, brewpubs, restaurants, really anywhere with a respectable beer selection. In today's...  more »
 

Review of Thistly Cross Ginger Cider from Thistly Cross Cider  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 9/23/2014, 6 ratings
As the American craft beer movement soldiers on, sometimes we forget that big strides are being made in other similar movements. Craft cider is one such arena. We are very fortunate these days to enjoy an assortment of new and unique styles, thanks t...  more »
 

Review of Thistly Cross Whisky Cask Cider from Thistly Cross Cider  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 9/22/2014, 6 ratings
One hard set rule for any passion is to always be open for new experiences. For craft beer nerds like myself, this is a pretty easy rule to live by. These days, we have a seemingly endless variety of nectar adorning beer store shelves. Sometimes I'll...  more »
 

Review of Matt's Burning Rosids from Stone Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/29/2014, 12 ratings
Good beer can assume many roles. It can be a social lubricant. It can be a relaxation companion. It can be the fruit of a collaboration or the essence of a fundraiser. It can also be a touching tribute. I recently came across a beer called Matt's Bur...  more »
 

Review of Chicken Killer Barley Wine from Santa Fe Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/27/2014, 8 ratings
When beer fans dream of big bold brews, a few particular styles will pop into mind. One of these is the infamous Barleywine. I use the term ''infamous'' here because these monstrous malt bombs are often masked behind sweet and sugary personas. They a...  more »
 

Review of Mustachio Milk Stout from Tractor Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/25/2014, 7 ratings
Sometimes beer speaks to you. Not literally. Unless of course you're stark raving drunk, then maybe. What I mean is that beer fans purchase their suds for a variety of reasons: flavor, mood, tradition, locale, loyalty, etc. When I came across the Mus...  more »
 

Review of Moonray from Terrapin Beer  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/22/2014, 9 ratings
Time for a ride in the way-back machine. When I was in college, there was no such term as ''craft beer'', even though the pillars of the movement were slowly gaining momentum. Fancy beers went by names like Samuel Adams Boston Lager or Sierra Nevada...  more »
 

Review of White Monkey from Victory Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/15/2014, 11 ratings
Perhaps one of the most dangerous beers on the market is the Golden Monkey by the Victory Brewing Company. Card carrying beer geeks know exactly what I'm talking about. This 9.5% ABV Belgian Ale is smooth as silk and drinks like a dream. It's one of...  more »
 

Review of Malpais Stout from La Cumbre Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/14/2014, 10 ratings
To adequately critique the quality of any beer, you have to drink it outside of its comfort zone. What I mean by this is that most beer styles cater to certain situations. If you're relaxing under a flannel blanket next to a roaring fireplace, chance...  more »
 

Review of Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/12/2014, 8 ratings
When beer fans find themselves in strange new lands, exploring the local beer scene can seem a bit daunting. Who is the landmark brewery? Who is the wild child brewery? Who is the dependable brewery? You know what, screw all that. Let's just start wi...  more »
 

Review of Farmer's Tan Red Ale from Tractor Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/11/2014, 7 ratings
Craft beer has come a very long ways in a few short decades. Every now and then I will have an encounter that reminds me of this. I recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Part of any beer fan's transition is the hunt for local brews. I was in a g...  more »
 

Review of Buddha's Hand from Breckenridge Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 8/11/2014, 10 ratings
An unshakable sense of adventure has become the heart and soul of the American craft beer culture. American brewers as a collective tend to lampoon things like the Reinheitsgebot, Germany's rigid beer purity law, and instead embrace a carefree attitu...  more »
 

Review of Duvel from Duvel Moortgat Brouwerij  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 7/18/2014, 12 ratings
It's fair to say that today's craft beer world is infinitely complex. At this point, there is quite literally something for everyone. In a vast and growing sea of variety, it can be incredibly difficult for a beer to maintain its status as a supersta...  more »
 

Review of Dogma from BrewDog  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 7/17/2014, 11 ratings
As the new season of Brew Dogs starts up on the Esquire Network, I cannot help but think back on my recent visit to Scotland. For any certified beer nerd, Scotland means one big thing: BrewDog. Both the main brewery and a number of pubs adorn the Sco...  more »
 

Review of Red Kite Ale from Black Isle Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 7/14/2014, 8 ratings
Discovering a great beer can be a magical experience. Let me set the stage for you. I recently had the distinct pleasure of visiting Scotland. One of my days was spent exploring the gorgeous Scottish Highlands all the way up through Inverness. Part o...  more »
 

Review of J.W. Sweetman Irish Red Ale from J.W. Sweetman Craft Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 7/3/2014, 8 ratings
I must admit that I feel a little bad writing this review. The conundrum is quite simple: how do you compare delicious apples to other delicious apples? I recently had the pleasure of visiting Dublin, Ireland. Yes, the land of authentic Irish Red Ale...  more »
 

Review of Plain Porter from The Porterhouse Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 7/3/2014, 10 ratings
Allow me to paint you a picture. You're in Dublin, Ireland. You find yourself at the Porterhouse, a brewpub located in the heart of the city's famed Temple Bar district. Above the bar, a sign reads ''Welcome to the Home of the World's Greatest Stout'...  more »
 

Review of Agave Cerveza from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 7/1/2014, 9 ratings
Sometimes it's not the beer fan that finds the perfect beer, but the perfect beer finds the beer fan. Such was the case when I came across the Agave Cerveza, part of Flying Dog's always delectable Brewhouse Rarities series. Why was this the perfect b...  more »
 

Review of Black Isle Blonde from Black Isle Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/6/2014, 8 ratings
Enjoying great beer is about much more than simply popping the top on a quality product. There are countless other factors to consider, each with the power affect the taste of your beer. Environment is a big one that often gets overlooked. A crisp an...  more »
 

Review of Watt Dickie from BrewDog  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/3/2014, 9 ratings
I live my life by a few key principles. First and foremost: never stop learning. I like to think of my brain as a skull muscle, and without regular exercise, it will waste away and become useless. My second life principle is to always try new things....  more »
 

Review of Trilogy 2: Aussie Salute IPA from BridgePort Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 6/2/2014, 7 ratings
Beer has been regionally isolated for most of brewing history. Brews would acquire the distinct aspects of ingredients found in their particular area, many of which can still be identified today, such as the sweet bready qualities of Belgian yeast. T...  more »
 

Review of Guinness Draught from Guinness Ltd.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 5/29/2014, 11 ratings
There are several legends in the craft beer world that get perpetuated over and over by beer fans. One of the most popular is that a pint of Guinness tastes better in Ireland. This tale actually serves many educational purposes, the most obvious of w...  more »
 

Review of Dead Rise OLD BAY Summer Ale from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 5/21/2014, 8 ratings
Ah summer, that enchanting time of year when the giant ball of fire in the sky bakes your tender skin to a crisp. Did I say enchanting? I meant exhausting, especially for those like myself who live in sun-drenched bowls of unbearable humidity. Beer p...  more »
 

Review of Easy IPA from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 4/29/2014, 9 ratings
In the craft beer world, good ideas spread like wild fire. For many years now, big IPAs and barrel-aged beers have been the brain teasers of choice. But today it seems that beer geeks are growing a little weary of punishing their palates with every p...  more »
 

Review of Mint Chocolate Stout from Flying Dog Brewing Co.  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 4/16/2014, 9 ratings
Sometimes a concept is so obvious that it pains you not to have thought of it first. Two flavors that enjoy a harmonious marriage in the beer world are chocolate and stouts. Darkly roasted malts can easily impart notes of chocolate all by themselves,...  more »
 

Review of Even More Jesus from Evil Twin Brewing  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 4/3/2014, 11 ratings
Becoming a certified beer nerd is an intellectually stimulating hobby, but it's important not to take yourself too seriously. After all, one of the biggest differences between a nerd and a snob is perspective. Laughing with friends and sharing experi...  more »
 

Review of The Illinois from Goose Island Beer Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 4/1/2014, 8 ratings
I must admit that this particular beer review was a little painful to write. As a passionate beer geek, I am a loyal supporter of local breweries and grassroots beer movements. Goose Island has been a staple of mid-western craft beer since the 80s. T...  more »
 

Review of Spontankriek from Mikkeller  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/31/2014, 9 ratings
Trying new things is not only encouraged in the craft beer world, it is somewhat of a requirement. After all, you can only gather perspective by expanding your palate. Craft beer is an ever expanding universe and it takes a lot of time and effort to...  more »
 

Review of Altbairisch Dunkel from Ayinger Brewery  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/31/2014, 9 ratings
An inevitability of every craft beer journey is the discovery of a mind-blowing brewery. Any beer fan can find a brewery they enjoy or admire, but bowing to your first world-class brewer is a humbling experience. I remember feeling confident about my...  more »
 

Review of Barleywine Batch #1 from Breckenridge Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/17/2014, 10 ratings
When craft beer fans start to hone their imperial palates, it is inevitable that they will cross paths with the barleywine. These boozy malt bombs are some of the most complex and rewarding brews on the market. These are the beers that teach us about...  more »
 

Review of Buchanan from Mystery Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/6/2014, 7 ratings
It's astounding to me how much craft beer has transformed over the last few decades. What was once a more flavorful choice has become a canvas for thematic artistry. Brewers have broken their industrial chains for craft beers that evoke emotion and s...  more »
 

Review of White Oak from The Bruery  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/5/2014, 8 ratings
I have been really enjoying barrel-aged blends as of late. Brewers seem to have received the message that barrel-aged beers can be a little overpowering at times. After all, there is a reason that beer drinkers drink beer. They tend to like, you know...  more »
 

Review of Pangaea from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/4/2014, 10 ratings
At this point I like to describe Dogfish Head as the South Park of craft breweries. What I mean is that when creative geniuses are left to their own devices, which may seem bizarre or downright wacky, they reliably produce gold. Some artists need an...  more »
 

Review of Smokestack Series: Saison-Brett from Boulevard Brewing Co.  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 3/2/2014, 9 ratings
When the American craft beer movement started gaining traction a few decades ago, it was seen as little more than a flavorful alternative to the glut of bland fizzy yellow lagers. The craft beer pioneers offered a small array of higher quality baseli...  more »
 

Review of Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier from Weihenstephan  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/27/2014, 11 ratings
It is a common misconception in the beer world that a light shade of yellow is synonymous with low quality. But once budding beer fans acquire some basic beer knowledge, it is soon apparent that color plays almost no role in quality or strength. Take...  more »
 

Review of Trilogy 1: Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/27/2014, 8 ratings
When entering the wonderful world of craft beer, hops mean one and only one thing: bitterness. But as time progresses and palates expand, hops take on a seemingly infinite number of roles. Bitter, herbal, spicy, sweet, earthy, woody, fruity, grassy,...  more »
 

Review of 1/2 Ale (Session Saison) from Brooklyn Brewery  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/21/2014, 7 ratings
Trends play an important role with any popular product. They can be useful barometers for predicting staying power. If a new product is both trendy and innovative, then it has a serious chance of securing permanence after the heights of its popularit...  more »
 

Review of Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Co.  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/19/2014, 10 ratings
Hunting down precious gems in the craft beer world is a lot like you see in the movies. You know the scene. An unscrupulous looking customer wearing sunglasses approaches a dingy shop counter. A cigar-smoking shop keeper looks him up and down. The cu...  more »
 

Review of Blonde Bock from Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.  (Decent)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/18/2014, 6 ratings
Every successful company needs a niche, a hook, something unique that distinguishes them from the pack. In the craft beer world, this can take many forms. Some breweries focus on image. Others focus on quality or innovation. Gordon Biersch has manage...  more »
 

Review of Jackie Brown from Mikkeller  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/14/2014, 8 ratings
Finding things in common will always bring people together. This is especially true in the craft beer world, a place where camaraderie is a core component. Hop heads look out for each other and will often bond over their mutual love of bittery goodne...  more »
 

Review of The Wright Pils from Great Lakes Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/13/2014, 7 ratings
It's amusing how unrelated aspects of your life can cross paths from time to time. Craft beer fans make their beer store selections for a variety of reasons. Some are loyal to a particular brewery. Some are loyal to a particular region. Some are draw...  more »
 

Review of Smokestack Series: Rye-On-Rye from Boulevard Brewing Co.  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 2/13/2014, 12 ratings
Sometimes you come across a new beer that is so obvious in concept that it makes you slap yourself in the forehead and boast ''Why didn't I think of that?!'' Such was the case when I came across the Rye-On-Rye, a delectable barrel-aged beer from the...  more »
 

Review of Ommegang XV from Ommegang Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/31/2014, 12 ratings
In the wonderful world of craft beer, it's very important to highlight achievements. Craft brewers work tirelessly for their passions and often their biggest reward is just staying in business. While a strong sense of camaraderie is always present in...  more »
 

Review of Doom from Founders Brewing Co.  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/23/2014, 11 ratings
There are some breweries out there that flat out demand your attention. Not because they are reckless, whimsical, or beat you over the head with million-dollar ad campaigns, but rather because they brew fantastic beer with a boldness that can punish...  more »
 

Review of New Year Stout 2013 from Frankenmuth Brewery  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/23/2014, 9 ratings
Explore the craft beer world for long enough and some unexpected opportunities will present themselves. Most craft beer fans have at least a small tendency to hoard their prized nectar. Beers that age well, like imperial stouts and barleywines, tend...  more »
 

Review of New Year Stout 2012 from Frankenmuth Brewery  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/22/2014, 9 ratings
In the craft beer world, special occasions require special brews. When my birthday rolls around, I always select a special beer to mark the occasion. When my wedding anniversary arrives, my wife and I always like to share one of our mutually favorite...  more »
 

Review of Ophelia Hoppy Wheat from Breckenridge Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/22/2014, 11 ratings
The concept of hybrid beers can be a bit confusing to the average craft beer fan. More often times than not, we start our craft beer journeys with relatively simple versions of simple styles. Maybe a good pale ale or a wheat beer. Because of this, hy...  more »
 

Review of Marble Double White from Marble Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/16/2014, 9 ratings
It's not enough to brew great beer in today's craft beer culture. You need something more, something fresh, something innovative. This is why you see so many hybrid brews on the market these days. It's an ''anything goes'' environment that often spaw...  more »
 

Review of Marble IPA from Marble Brewery  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/16/2014, 10 ratings
The Marble Brewery in Albuquerque, New Mexico is arguably the region's most popular brewery. This can be attributed to many things. First of all, they craft really great beer, the hallmark of any notable craft brewery. Secondly, they bottle and can b...  more »
 

Review of Pater's Pale Ale from La Cumbre Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/15/2014, 9 ratings
For craft beer fans, changing things up is essential to keeping experiences fresh and interesting. Case in point: when I ordered the Pater's Pale Ale at the La Cumbre Brewing Company pub, I wasn't necessarily craving a Belgian Pale Ale. I had just po...  more »
 

Review of Elevated IPA from La Cumbre Brewing Co.  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/15/2014, 11 ratings
Sometimes a beer is so good that it makes you stammer. I recently had one such experience when I visited Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had picked out several breweries to visit, one of which was the La Cumbre Brewing Company. Whenever I sit down at a ne...  more »
 

Review of Vanilla Cream Ale (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Chama River Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/15/2014, 8 ratings
Even the famed Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster and one of the world's foremost experts on beer, notes that ''barrel aging is the current hot trend in American craft beer''. And just like with anything else that gets overly trendy, most ba...  more »
 

Review of Jackalope IPA from Chama River Brewing Co.  (Delicious)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 1/15/2014, 9 ratings
One of the most exciting aspects of craft beer comes in the form of travel. You may very well live in a region that is chock full of high quality local craft beer. I certainly do as a resident of Durham, North Carolina. But in order to fully apprecia...  more »
 

Review of It's Alive! (White Wine with Lychee Edition) from Mikkeller  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 12/27/2013, 9 ratings
When you get to the more adventurous side of craft beer, the phrase ''sure, why not'' becomes a common refrain. Bacon Double Pale Ale? Sure, why not. Smoked Banana Cream Stout? Sure, why not. Pickled Pepper Triple IPA? Sure, why not. After all, an ad...  more »
 

Review of American Blonde from Frankenmuth Brewery  (Great)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 12/27/2013, 8 ratings
If I had to pick an ideal bridge builder into the world of better beer, I would probably choose the blonde ale. These light and sweet beers are the perfect compliments to hot summer days, yet they retain enough flavor and complexity to warrant year-r...  more »
 

Review of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel from Weihenstephan  (Exquisite)
Posted by Chops (loved) on 12/23/2013, 12 ratings
The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan is the world's oldest brewery. They were founded in 1040 and have been brewing beer for almost a millenia. Let that sink in for a monent... a thousand years. To put this in perspective, America's oldest brewer...  more »
 
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