Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cape May Brewing

Cape May Brewing, Cape May, NJ  9/20/13
http://capemaybrewery.com/
CMB1

Cape May Brewing is located in a small industrial park and could easily be missed but is worth searching out. This was my second visit to the brewery. The first was shortly after they opened and were experiencing some growing pains. Upon arrival it was clear they had worked out the kinks. The tasting room is very inviting and beckons one to kick back, relax and enjoy. The tasting room is comfortable with large picnic tables to sit at or you can pull up a stool at the tasting bar. They had a nice crowd for a Friday afternoon at 2:30pm and several people were filling growlers for take home.

A taster round includes 4 4oz pours, a tour and a souvenir pint glass. You can taste an additional 4 4oz pours for only $5 more. There were 8 beers to choose from this time around compared to just 3 on tap the first time I visited. There was also a house brewed root beer for the nondrinkers. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable as well.

First up….
Dunkelweizen  (a  dark wheat – 4.7%) – Lots of caramilization going on that compliments the roasted malts perfectly. It’s a very clean, smooth and refreshing beer. They nailed the style.

Alt Bier (amber – 5.0%) – Fizzy was the first word that popped into my head after the initial sip. It seemed to calm down some by the third or fourth sip. Beautiful amber color with a slight greenish head which made me think I would be tasting some hops but really didn’t; it did however have a slight flowery taste to it. It didn’t knock my socks off but still a very drinkable beer.

Devils Reach  (Belgium strong ale 8.0%) – Oh this is a lovely sipping beer. It’s creamy with light citrus flavors accented with hints of coriander and banana. Very smooth and goes down easily. Love this beer. Even my non beer drinker companions enjoyed trying this beer and were pleasantly surprised by the cornucopia of flavors it had going on.

Honey Porter   (made with local honey 5.1%) – This is a very nice porter with a rich dark body and light creamy head. The honey was a nice compliment to the roasted/charred malts, coffee and nutty chocolate flavors of this beer but was not overwhelming with honey sweetness. If I didn’t know this beer was made with honey I would have sat there racking my brain as to what the accent flavor was.

A very nice afternoon at Cape May Brewing and I look forward to trying future offerings from them. They were out of the Hitching Post Bourbon Stout and I most certainly need to try that.
CMPB2

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Great Lost Bear

The Great Lost Bear – Portland, Maine
http://www.greatlostbear.com/
On a Sunday in July I made my way to my favorite bar on the East Coast, The Great Lost Bear! They must have been expecting me because they were playing the Grateful Dead when I arrived and continued to do so through out my time there.I told myself 1 beer and 1 beer only since I still had a 1.5 hour drive ahead of me to my final destination. So I needed to choose wisely and did so with Gritty McDuff’s Black Fly Stout. It’s been a long time since I had a beer from Gritty’s. This stout was ridiculously smooth, light in body but packed with big roasty goodness. It runs in the Irish Stout family but enjoyed it more than the typical Irish Stout because of the full malty flavors.It was so good I couldn’t stop and decided to get a small taster round but decided to stick to local Maine beers.Sebago Runabout Red – nice red color, light body, and good accompaniment to food, hops are there but not overwhelming and without any bitterness, starts strong but the flavor quickly dissipates and leaves the taste buds wondering where the heck the beer went.

Rising Tide Spinnaker (wheat beer) – Super light & fresh beer for summer, spiced orange stands out with definite hints of coriander and subtle hints of green banana. True wheat beer.

Sheepscot Pemaquid Ale (Scottish) – I’m not a true fan of Scottish ales but thought I give it a try. Hmmmm, really all I can say about it was I had to swish it around in my mouth to try and find some flavor and, well, never did. A bit boring for my taste.

Gearys London Porter – I chose this beer to be part of my taster round for nostalgia purposes. This particular beer is one of the first microbrews I ever tried and is partially responsible for me getting into good beer. I joined Beer Across American because of Gearys. (BAA was a home delivery of microbrews long before they were available at the local liquor store.) Roasted chicory, dark fruity hints through out, not too heavy but full body, smooth going down and a true black beauty. Is it the best out there? Nope, but I enjoy it each and every time I have it.

There is something special about eating great veggie food, while drinking good locally brewed beer and listening the Dead that makes The Great Lost Bear perfect.

I also purchased some of their locally made hot sauce that is super yummy! Lost Woods Hot Sauce by Maine Men Co.

Football Sunday

UNO’s Hamilton, NJ  9/8/13
https://www.facebook.com/unohamiltonnj
 

Turns out Uno’s has $4 craft beer during the football games on Sunday, Monday and Thursdays. Suddenly I like football! Their beer selection was pretty impressive this past Sunday so I decided to go for a taster round (4 tastes) instead of the $4 special.

Neshimany Creek Dunks Ferry (Dunkelweizen 5.2%) A good Fall beer but had the slight taste of beer brewed by someone with not a lot of experience. It didn’t have that true dunkelweizen aroma and was a bit heavy on the malt for this style. I think with a few tweaks and a bit more experience brewing it could grow into a wonderful rendition of a dunkelweizen.

Fegley Devious Imperial Pumpkin (PA, 9.0%) Lots of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & vanilla) but didn’t really taste the pumpkin. Certainly a full bodied beer but would have prefer a tad of pumpkin flavor.

Avery Karma (CO, 5.2%) –Very light body, not much of anything going on here couldn’t distinguish a particular flavor/taste of anything. Smooth and drinkable just know once you swallow you forget about it. This was my follow-up beer to the Pumpkin and in fairness the spices from the previous beer may have overpowered this beer. Although, I seem to recall trying this before and wasn’t impressed.

Epic Smoke & Oaked Belgium Strong Dark (UT, 10.5%) OH FUN! Ridiculously smooth and clean with a note of whiskey and a light hint of smoke. Pairs well with food and deserves to be sipped. By far my favorite beer of the round.

Normally I would stop after one taster round but there so many beers on the list to try I had to go for another. Plus, one of my all-time favorite beers was on tap so I needed the 2nd taster round to include it.

Triple Karmeliet (Belgium 8.5%) ONE OF MY FAVORITE BEERS! Seeing this beer on tap made me break out into the happy beer dance, much to my companions dismay. This is a crisp, clean beer with nice compliments of fruitiness with pepper undertones. I prefer it not be served cold just slightly chilled. The true character is able to come out in the right temperature. Even though it’s a triple it doesn’t feel like you are drinking a 8.5% beer, it sneaks up on you.

Rogue Chocolate Stout (OR, 6.0%) It’s been a while since I’ve had this beer so decided to add it to the round. The aromas are wonderful, you can smell the cream and chocolate as well as taste it but it’s not too chocolaty you can have this with your dinner besides the dessert course. It’s more of a medium body stout. I once mixed this beer with a Lindemans Frambois and it was divine. Think chocolate covered fruit.

With taster rounds I like to force myself outside my comfort zone with at least one selection and this time that selection was…

Stone Cali Belgique IPA (CA 6.9%) – WOW this is a true California IPA. Personally, I feel the California IPAs taste different from most other IPAs. The hops are in your face but something about them makes it drinkable for the none hops person. They also have a greenish tinge to them with a slight grassy taste. There were hints of lemon and pine as well. To me this was a classic California IPA.

My final beer, that I ordered, was the Founders Nitro Oatmeal but instead was presented with the Founders IPA . How exactly does one confuse an IPA with a Stout?! I was brought my lovely stout and got to keep the IPA as a bonus. This is also the reason I forgot to take a picture of the 2nd taster round, I was in a panic that my nitro stout was missing.

Founders Centennial IPA (MI, 6.9%)- Hops overload. Really I’m good with going outside my comfort zone with one IPA but two is one too many. At least it was free and yes, I left most of it behind. The beer is unfiltered so it pours cloudy and really all I could taste was hops and it left my mouth puckered and parched. I felt I had cotton mouth.

Founders Nitro Oatmeal Stout (MI 4.5%) – Finally my little piece of heaven in a glass. I love how a nitro pours and then settles. It makes me smile as did this beer. Nice rich dark color with a creamy fluffy head. This beer is super smooth and velvety with wonderful aromas/tastes of bittersweet chocolate, oatmeal, roasted malt and rich coffee. It was a wonderful way to end a fun afternoon “watching football”.

Beer Review 9/8/13 UNO's Turns out Uno’s has $4 craft beer during the football games on Sunday, Monday and Thursdays.  Suddenly I like football! Their beer selection was pretty impressive this past Sunday so I decided to go for a taster round (4 tastes) instead of the special.  Neshimany Creek Dunks Ferry (Dunkelweizen 5.2%) A good Fall beer but had the slight taste of beer brewed by someone with not a lot of experience. It didn’t have that true dunkelweizen aroma and was a bit heavy on the malt for this style. I think with a few tweaks and a bit more experience brewing it could grow into a wonderful rendition of a dunkelweizen.  Fegley Devious Imperial Pumpkin (PA, 9.0%) Lots of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & vanilla) but didn’t really taste the pumpkin. Certainly a full bodied beer but would have prefer a tad of pumpkin flavor.   Avery Karma (CO, 5.2%) –Very light body, not much of anything going on here couldn’t distinguish a particular flavor/taste of anything. Smooth and drinkable just know once you swallow you  forget about it. This was my follow-up beer to the Pumpkin and in fairness the spices from the previous beer may have overpowered this beer. Although, I seem to recall trying this before and wasn’t impressed.  Epic Smoke & Oaked Belgium Strong Dark (UT, 10.5%) OH FUN! Ridiculously smooth and clean with a note of whiskey and a light hint of smoke. Pairs well with food and deserves to be sipped. By far my favorite beer of the round.  Normally I would stop after one taster round but there so many beers on the list to try I had to go for another. Plus, one of my all-time favorite beers was on tap so I needed the 2nd taster round to include it. Triple Karmeliet (Belgium 8.5%) ONE OF MY FAVORITE BEERS! Seeing this beer on tap made me break out into the happy beer dance, much to Michael’s dismay. This is a crisp, clean beer with nice compliments of fruitiness with pepper undertones. I prefer it not be served cold just slightly chilled. The true character is able to come out in the right temperature. Even though it’s a triple it doesn’t feel like you are drinking a 8.5% beer, it sneaks up on you.  Rogue Chocolate Stout (OR, 6.0%) It’s been a while since I’ve had this beer so decided to add it to the round. The aromas are wonderful, you can smell the cream and chocolate as well as taste it but it’s not too chocolaty you can have this with your dinner besides the dessert course. It’s more of a medium body stout. I once mixed this beer with a Lindemans Frambois and it was divine. Think chocolate covered fruit.  With taster rounds I like to force myself outside my comfort zone with at least one selection and this time that selection was… Stone Cali Belgique IPA (CA 6.9%) – WOW this is a true California IPA. Personally, I feel the California IPAs taste different from most other IPAs. The hops are in your face but something about them makes it drinkable for the none hops person.  They also have a greenish tinge to them with a slight grassy taste. There were hints of lemon and pine as well.  To me this was a classic California IPA.  My final beer, that I ordered, was the Founders Nitro Oatmeal but instead was presented with the Founders IPA . How exactly does one confuse an IPA with a Stout?! I was brought my lovely stout and got to keep the IPA as a bonus. This is also the reason I forgot to take a picture of the 2nd taster round, I was in a panic that my nitro stout was missing.  Founders Centennial IPA (MI, 6.9%)- Hops overload. Really I’m good with going outside my comfort zone with one IPA but two is one too many. At least it was free and yes, I left most of it behind. The beer is unfiltered so it pours cloudy and really all I could taste was hops and it left my mouth puckered and parched. I felt I had cotton mouth.  Founders Nitro Oatmeal Stout (MI 4.5%) – Finally my little piece of heaven in a glass. I love how a nitro pours and then settles. It makes me smile as did this beer. Nice rich dark color with a creamy fluffy head. This beer is super smooth and velvety with wonderful aromas/tastes of bittersweet chocolate, oatmeal, roasted malt and rich coffee. It was a wonderful way to end a fun afternoon “watching football”.