The perfect beer blog should inform people of…blah, blah, blah.
People often refer to me as a Jack-of-all-trades, I know just a enough on a multitude of subjects to be dangerous…While I don’t know everything there is to know about beer or brewing, I have an awful lot of experience with smelling, sampling, repeating and discovering what tastes good to me.
(so much good beer! such little time…)
Whether in my adopted state of Wisconsin (Madison, Madtown–I miss you, go Badgers!)—[Blasphemy when considering I’m an Illinois native and alum…]—or my third state to call “home” California, I’ve sought out beer that I like and sought it out often.
Unfortunately for me, I tend to be a bit of a “collector” when I find something that peaks my attention. And so I’ve been around the brewery block more than a few times as they say…
I’ve mildly dabbled in trading or the infamous “beer mail”, And I must confess I’m guilty of using a suitcase much larger than I needed so that I could transport some East Coast Craft across the entire country to my West Coast home. My wife just looked at me in disbelief when she saw me packing bubble wrap, then semi-amazement as she watched me unpack a sixer of Jai Alai IPA and a bomber of Southern Tier Unearthly IPA.
(Baggage Fee? It was a business trip, the company paid that…)
While I can opine with the best of the them on what new beer a brewery just released or what last year’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Pugachev’s Cobra tasted like or what some website or app said is the perfect/best beer; I question whether most casual beer drinkers care about that?
How is information on the nuance and minutia of beer and brewing useful to them, especially if they are just beginning to dabble in the world of craft?
One of the things I love about beer is that it offers different things to different people. Whether you are interested in drinking it, collecting it, brewing it or whatever, there is a realm of knowledge available on the subject.
For me, beer opens a whole new world of knowledge to acquire, conquer and then help disperse. Sharing information with people who are interested is something I have always loved to do, regardless of the subject.
So, here at craft beer confessions, all that you will get is honest to goodness opinions from a “beer snob” who believes that while beer may mean different things to different people, all beer is not created equal, but good beer is irrefutable.
Lately I’ve made an effort to get my “collecting” under a bit of control and that’s lucky for you, as this post is intended to share some “Regular Release” brews that are waiting on local stores’ shelves for you to come and blow 10 bones on a World-Class American Craft Beer drinking experience.
Drinking the latest Double IPA from Stone or enjoying a bottle of Bottle Logic’s Wine Barrel Aged Wheat Ale is fantastic, but lesbihonest, it can get costly. And when there are so many affordable alternatives there’s no reason to break the bank every weekend. The trouble is that in a realm of so many possibilities people often get overwhelmed and stick with what they know…
Nevertheless, fear not craft beer drinking brethren for I am with thee and will always point you down the path of the righteous ale or lager. I’ve been trying to find the time to finish this post for almost three months, but just like brewing great beer, so it is with writing about beer; it may not be there when you want it, but it’s always on time. While time may not be on my side, the time to enjoy good beer is upon you; and with that thought in mind, here are some of my recent pick ups that I am sure you will enjoy. Prost!
Karl Strauss Brewing Red Trolley Ale
The term Award Winning never really does much for me, but in this case I must admit it is warranted to read too much into this. Red’s aren’t a typical beer for me. There was a time perhaps 15 year ago (pre hop-head days) when I lived for Ambers and Reds. But after having my taste buds assaulted by the West Coast, low IBU beers just don’t cut it for me most days…
RTA is a beer I drank an awful lot of when I first moved to SoCal and as I was feeling a bit nostalgic, I recently decided to revisit this SoCal Classic. If you’re looking for a straight-forward, easy drinking beer to expose new friends to craft or just to enjoy with Monday Night Football, then look no further as Karl knows good beer.
Barley Forge Brewing The Patsy
If you like Coconuts, then I’m suggesting Coconuts migrate into your bloodstream via the liquid goodness that is Barley Forge’s The Patsy Coconut Rye Stout. BFB burst onto the OC Craft Beer Scene last year and with the help of The Patsy has springboarded to the forefront of the scene. I guarantee you that anyone who has an open mind about beer and new things will LOVE this beer. This is one of the only beers I’ve ever bought a T-shirt to represent… The fact that you can get a six pack for around $10 is ridiculous, so find it and drink it, often…
Modern Times Beer Blazing World
Ok, so this beer isn’t technically under $10, it’s $12 and it’s only a 4-pack, but it’s pints and it’s 64 ounces of confused GLORY! This beer was my “Beer of the Year” 2 years ago and if the words HOPPY, DANK, AMBER excite you as much as they do me, then you want to try this <cough>IPA…
Seriously, I don’t care what you label it, nothing quite hits the spot for me like a world or in this case your taste buds set afire…this is not for the “casual” drinker, you must like Hops, I mean love Hops to enjoy this beer.
On a side note, all their flagship beers are available in 4-packs and right around $10 (this being the exception and it’s worth it.) and all of them are Fantastic, just depends on what you are in the mood for. I certainly wouldn’t pass on the Black House Stout if coffee is your thing.
New Belgium Brewing Ranger IPA
NBB was one of the Craft Pioneers responsible for bringing flavorful, delicious beers to market and to the masses and Ranger is no exception. Through the use of Cascade, Chinook and Simcoe NBB is able to craft a highly drinkable and flavorful IPA than can hold its own with the West Coast. Always respect the classics.
These are just a few of my recent pick-ups that are definitely worth a try. Give em a whirl and let me know if I’ve steered you wrong…
Until next time, happy hunting and remember Drink Good Beer! Craft Beer!
Photo Credit: BrewFiend