stone brewing

Beer Review: Stone Stochasticity Project Master of Disguise

masterofdisguise_stonestochasicityLots of respect and love go out to all the breweries out there taking chances and experimenting with flavors in their beer. In the wake of the much talked about and dissected Budweiser Super Bowl XLIX ad I can honestly say their condemnation of craft breweries landed with a resounding thud. I can’t say a Pumpkin Peach Ale sounds all that great to me, but I would still prefer it (even if it sucked) over any Bud product on the shelf. That and other reasons is what prompted me to return back to a beer that I tried and had some less than flattering things to say about, but admired for its craft and spirit of experimentation.

I tried Stone’s Master of Disguise a while back and kind of wrote it off as a beer I wouldn’t really be interested in writing a review for. Lucky for me (maybe) I bought more than one bottle and the recent controversy gave me new interest in examining it a little closer- or just write about this time. Technically, this beer falls under the Stochasticity Project banner, which in my estimation is just Stone’s label in which they can get a little crazy with styles and flavors put in to those styles. No disrespect to Stone, as I believe they make some pretty great beers and I do love my IPAs, but so far I have yet to really “enjoy” a beer released through the Stochasticity label. (more…)

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Beer Review: Stone Brewing Coffee Milk Stout

stone_coffeemilkstoutWhen I think of Stone Brewing Company I think of hops. Big bold hoppy beers with little to no regard for your palate as it washes through one’s mouth. Even Stone’s Go To IPA is a monster when it comes to the amount of hop flavor it packs into that particular session IPA. Of the many I’ve tried I’ve found that to be one of the least sessionable beers that carry the label of being sessionable- though I do enjoy it quite a bit. Stone’s Russian Imperial Stout also has a hell of a hop bite at the moment that it is first released- I’ve had a bottle recently where the hop bitterness dropped off considerably since release.

Based on Stone’s catalog of beers I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when cracking open their newest seasonal release, the Coffee Milk Stout. I will say what I settled on in terms of expectations- bold bitter coffee but with a smooth finish and a creamy mouthfeel. Two out of three of those descriptors are mostly right on the money while the other is way way off the mark. As one might expect Stone’s Coffee Milk Stout pours pitch black and settles with about two fingers of nice tan head. There is a bit of highlights around the edge of the glass when tilted, giving it the perception of being thinner than one might expect from a stone beer.

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TGoF’s 2014 Beer Outlook

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In terms of beer, 2013 was a HELL of a year for me. I got the chance to try a ridiculous amount of new beers, which compared to a lot of more hardcore beer nerds out there is probably barely a drop in the bucket. So looking forward to what’s in store for the new year I wanted to touch on some new breweries that have come to my attention and other beers I’m looking forward to trying to track down this year.

Before that though I want to take a moment to highlight some of my favorite beers I was able to try for the first time in 2013 and hopefully won’t be the last I see of them. (more…)

Great Nebraska Beer Fest Preview

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This year (2013) will be the first year that I attend The Great Nebraska Beer Fest- which is actually only in its 5th year of existence. Honestly, it’s my first beer fest in general since changing the format of my little blog here over the last year. So to celebrate I decided to try to cover as much of the event as I possibly can, including this post which comes to you just a week before the event.

Naturally, the GNBF is a great way to taste a lot if Nebraska brewed beer and as someone who is originally from the Midwest and currently resides in Nebraska local beer is something I really like to support. That being said, there are a lot of visiting breweries that have my taste buds giddy with excitement and several that don’t currently distribute to the state. So, a week before the fest I wanted to profile just a few of the breweries and the beers that I’m looking forward to checking out while attending and hopefully being able to follow up after the event to share my thoughts on some of my favorite beers of the fest. (more…)

10 Craft Beers I’m Dying To Try

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Good beer isn’t all that hard to come by these days, especially if you know where to look. New beer can sometimes be a bit harder to track down if you feel like you’ve tried everything or start to get a little picky. It also sort of depends on your geographical location and how available today’s most popular craft breweries are to you. Where I am, the premiere brewers are scattered and few distribute here and the nearest drive to get beers from some of my favorites is anywhere from two three hours.

I love me some great beer and I’m willing to try almost anything and the following list I think conveys that. I have no idea when I’m going to get around to trying these, but I’m fairly confident that some way, somehow they will find themselves in my hands at some point and I highly anticipate being able to talk about every last one of them right here in the hopefully near future.

Dogfish Head Brewing Company 90 Minute IPA – I have developed quite the obsession with IPA’s over the last few months after being really turned off by them when I first started getting into craft beer. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the output of Dogfish Head and I could have put any one or two or three of their beers on this list, but I’m sticking with the IPA. The hoppier the better has been my motto as of late and as a double IPA I think it’s the perfect way to start off the list.

Odell Brewing Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout – Of all the beers on this list, this may be the easiest for me to get my hands on- in fact I just saw it at the store recently. Stouts aren’t really my bag, but I’m a work in progress still so I’m trying to keep an open mind. I’m a fan of Odell’s work so I can’t imagine that I’m going to be dumping this one down the sink once I finally get a change to taste it.

Boulevard Brewing Company Chocolate Ale – When I was old enough to head out to the store and buy my own beer my eyes always drifted to the Bud Light, since it was pretty much all I ever saw people drink. The first time I ventured outside that “comfort” zone the first beer I had was a Boulevard Wheat, something I immediately clung to since it was so different from what I’d grown to expect as normal. Fast forward and my horizons are so extended that I’m willing to give almost anything a go- including beer touted as tasting like chocolate. I stumbled across this after it disappeared at a local bottle shop and now I’m desperate to give it a go since o rarely see a chocolate beer that doesn’t have the color and consistency of a stout. Hoping I can track it down very soon and report back.

Stone Brewing Company Arrogant Bastard Ale – I can’t help but be intrigued to try something that as described on their website “is not good and you won’t like.” I think I’m paraphrasing a bit, but regardless it does catch my attention. With a name like Arrogant Bastard you would likely drift toward them marketing it as the best thing since sliced bread, but to go the opposite direction just makes me laugh and draws me towards it more.

3 Floyds Brewing Company Dark Lord – The white whale if sorts is 3 Floyds Dark Lord- sold once a year and exclusively at an event known as Dark Lord’s Day. Needless to say I’ve due to the beer’s inclusion on this list; I’ve never been to Dark Lord’s Day. One day I may be able to master the art of organization in order to adequately sync these events into my schedule and vacation time, but due to my procrastination affliction and my terrible planning skills I’m not sure when me and Dark Lord are ever going to acquaint ourselves with one another.

3 Floyds Brewing Company Zombie Dust – Easier to hunt down yet still out of my grasp is another beer from 3 Floyds, Zombie Dust. Having read nothing but good things about this tasty looking treat I cannot help but fantasize about the first sip from the bottle- and not to weird anyone out, but the sip I’m fantasizing about is nothing short of orgasmic. Maybe that’s setting my expectations too high and putting one’s faith in the hands of others is never entirely wise, but rave opinions abound have me biting at the bit to get my hands on a few of these babies.

Southern Tier Brewing Company
Chokolat – The vast majority of my favorite beers to try or happen to be my all time favorites, as is Southern Tier’s Pumking, are seasonal. Chokolat is a winter seasonal which aside from not being distributed in my neck of the woods creates more complex issues as to it only being available a certain time of year. Regardless, this is one I definitely intend on hunting down in the brisk winter months at some point to put in my mug in place of the traditional hot cocoa.

Cigar City Brewing Good Gourd Pumpkin Ale – Over the past few years I have really developed a taste for pumpkin beers. This is odd for me in a specific way- pumpkin, specifically the smell, makes me gag. My wife and I constantly discuss the weird fact that as picky of an eater I am and how sensitive to certain smells I am I can drink just about any beer put on front of me no matter how bizarre it may be. I’ve read plenty of good things about Cigar City’s releases and I’m pretty excited to give this a shot sometime.

Rogue Ales Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ale – Okay, let me first start out by saying this is on here simply for the fact that sometimes the odder sounding the beer, the more intrigued I am to give it a shot. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rogue’s previous Voodoo Doughnut collaboration, Bacon Maple Ale, but I have a thing for beers infused with Bananas so the allure of this one is irresistible to me.

Bells Brewing Company Cherry Stout – As previously stated I tend to enjoy beers infused with just about anything within reason and I always get pretty intrigued to try any beer infused with fruit. Love them or hate them I can’t deny that the taste certain fruits give their beer can be subtle or too dominant and effect the overall enjoyment one has in the beer and I enjoy how polarizing the mashups can be. Fruit mixed in with a stout is a combo that intrigues me especially since I have yet to develop a strong love for stouts.