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Thirsty thursdays

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Founder's reDANKulous Imperial red IPA

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As part of the backstage series Founder's new release is exactly what the name implies: dank. It's a red ale but thanks to the generous amount of hops it's also an IPA. Chinook, mosaic and simcoe are featured here along with caramalt and roasted barley. It's a very big, very juicy and sticky brew that I'll honestly be buying more bottles of. Nice frothy crystal head, big 9.5% abv and a punch to the pallet at 90ibu's. The perfect release as fall starts to creep in. I haven't heard if this was kegged but there seems to be plenty of bottles to go around. Cheers!

My Score: 94

Rate beer: 95

 

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Stone brewing co. - Thunderstruck double IPA 19thAnniversary

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With fall and winter quickly approaching I'm running out of time to constantly talk about ipa's. Soon I'll be spouting off about browns and stouts and porters and oktoberfesters, but before I do all that I have to tell you to go buy Stone's new Anniversary ale. Of course it's a giant hop bomb, that's expected. What's new and awesome here is the use of 100% Australian hops. Malt too. 4 hops specifically: topaz and galaxie but also newcomers ella and vic secret. The use of these make this beer one intense tropical fruit tasting, super sticky and dank ipa. To no surprise either as Stone is known for being kings of the ipa in my opinion. Sort of a heavy hitter at 8.7% abv this one is sure to please you hop heads searching for the new what's next. Cheers!

My Score: 98

Rate Beer:  97

Beer Advocate: 90

 

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Not your father's root beer

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It's the biggest selling alcoholic item since Mike's hard lemonade. It sells more pallets a week than Bud or Miller. If you haven't had one yet there's a good possibility that you're dead, or just can't seem to find it. Grabbed off shelves as fast as it's put up. Brewed by Smalltown brewery at first but now contracted out and produced by the place where fourloko is made. I shouldn't have to tell you this tastes exactly like root beer, except after a few of these you may start to feel a little funny thanks to a 5.9% abv. Little did you know they also make a 19.5% abv version that goes into a nice 22oz bottle. Personally, I can only handle the sweetness of just one of these but by no means is it a bad root beer. However, the snob in me that I hate to whip out must tell you; this is not beer and it is certainly not craft beer. Nothing produced on a scale of its size can be considered craft. That being said, none of that information should stop you from imbibing this beverage. To each their own. Now go get drunk. Cheers!

My Score: 85

Rate Beer: 79

Beer Advocate: 87

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New Belgium - Hop Tart

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More of these please. Much like one of my favorite beers (evil twin's sour bikini) this is a sour ipa. Very much on the session end too even though the hops are very present. Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy and Experimental Hop 522 dry-hopping with lactobacillus for souring. Nice malt profile as well. Juicy but not too much. And a great amount of tangy sour like a granny Smith Apple. This and all of New Belgium's sour beers are incredible. I can't wait to see what they keep cranking out. Only downside here? Draft only! Good luck as this beer is surely one to try. Cheers!

 

my score: 95

Rate beer: 94

Beer advocate: 86

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Schramm's Mead

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Back on the meads. Something that seems to have made a quick entrance but still sits on the benches as a sought after alcoholic beverage. Don't get me wrong, some breweries who dabble in mead have bottles that trade on the beerwaves like liquid gold. It just isn't in as many stores or as talked about as craft beer. If ever there were a person or place to refer to when speaking of mead, it is Schramm's. Ken Schramm literally wrote the book on making mead. Here it is. Unfortunately you probably won't see this stuff too many places but should you ever, I implore you to give your tastebuds what they deserve. Only the best of the best ingredients here. Supreme Michigan honey and fruits and the finest spices go into these amazing meads. The best way to describe his flavors is to say they're very pure. Minimal ingredients are required to make mead which means the only flavors you get out are the ones you put in. I'm sure if you absolutely wanted to try some and were not a Michigan native, some google searching could put you in contact with a store willing to ship bottles. Good luck and Cheers!

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Founders Brewing - Double Trouble Imperial IPA

A little bit sweet, a little bit bitter, a little juicy and dank, a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. Oh, how I love me some seasonal releases. Especially from Founders. Also, ya know... IPAs forever. Weighing in at 86 IBU's and 9.4% abv so it's a big juicy bitch and I love her. This one never disappoints and honestly will hold it's own with any other highly touted DIPAs. Definitely some citrus hops in there but unfortunately I can't tell you what else is in there because they just don't tell ya! I'm just here to tell you that if you've been neglecting your local beer store, stop that right now. Go grab what's left of these majestic four packs and fire up a giant blunt. Prepare for your favorite summer day. Cheers!

My Score - 1oo

Rate Beer - 99

Beer Advocate - 94

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Kiuchi Brewery - Hitachino Nest Extra High

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Ji bīru or, "local beer" has only been a thing to Japan since 1994 when tax laws were relaxed and breweries could produce fewer than 16,000 gallons. There are now over 200 microbreweries in Japan. The kiuchi brewery makes some of my favorite Japanese craft beers with the hitachino nest series. one in particular being aged in shochu barrels. shochu is sort of like sake but typically more diluted and weaker in alcohol, in addition to being more commonly brewed with barley instead of rice. Hitachino XH is considered a belgian dark strong ale because of its high alcohol percent and larger malt bill. its a pretty boozy tasting beer but also bready and sweet. even notes of brandy are there because of the shochu barrels. this brewery makes incredible beers and it was hard to pick which one to talk about. i recommend picking up a few of their brews as most places wont just carry one style. Cheers!

My Score - 95

rate beer - 96

beer advocate - 85

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Dogfish Head - Festina Peche Berliner Weisse

Considered a bit of a neo-berliner, Dogfish Head's Festina Peche is one of my favorite summer seasonals. This year seems to be a bit more on the tart-side which, for my money, is great. Peach sugars are included in the fermentation process so the yeast is farting all that nice peachy flavor right into the brew. It's a light peach too so this isn't really that overly sweet type of brew. Extremely drinkable and refreshing. Perfect for this time of year. It almost has a pinot grigio essence to it and would pair great with the same things a white wine would pair with: fish, chicken and salads. A hazy straw color with a fluffy white head, the nose upon first pouring reminds me of what your sock would smell like after cutting the grass. I mean that in the best way possible. It's a little sweet on the nose but the funk is there. Berliners are meant to be drinkable and this one rings in at 4.5%abv so you can have more and more. A nice alternative to the overly sweet shandy beers that tend to find their way around this time of year. Cheers!

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My Score_80

Rate Beer_60

Beer Advocate_83

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The Bruery - Tart of Darkness - oak aged sour stout

I was at a bar last night where some older gentlemen next to me were experiencing their first sour beer. One guy said it tasted like a fruity bandaid. He's not wrong. Most people assume a beer with a sour taste has gone bad and cannot find the appreciation behind the talent it takes to make a truly good sour. It's certainly an acquired taste, but when you get it there will never be enough. One brewery who certainly understands the delicate art of funkifying beers is the Bruery out of California. Tart of darkness has all the great chocolately-roasty qualities of a stout but this ponys trick is an amped up carbonation(lessens when aged, highly recommended) and a HUGE sour bite. Even thinking about this beer makes the back of my jaw water. It's definitely overwhelming if it's your first dive into the sour world, but such a giant treat once you're addicted to them. A low 5.6%abv to so drink away. Honestly, buy a bottle and forget about it in your cool basement for a couple years. Thank me later. Cheers!

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My score: 100

Rate beer: 99

beer advocate: 94

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Deschutes Brewery - Fresh Squeezed IPA

welcome to michigan deschutes! i'm very happy to finally be getting this Oregon brewery on the regular. having just tried this beer yesterday i can happily say i'm eager for more. this year round ipa offers such a juicy, citrusy flavor given to it by the citra and mosaic hops. two of my favs. great malt balance, this beer doesn't have too big of a mouth feel. very easy drinking at 6%abv. this is one of those ipas that has such a balance and just the right amount of sweetness that is going to make you want one after another. pair with seafoods, red sauce pastas and cold cuts. duh. cheers!

my score: 100

rate beer: 98

beer advocate: 95

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Green Flash - Silva Stout

Ever since trying my first Green Flash brew when I had met their marketing team, I knew these guys had a penchant for big flavors. Just one sip of that west coast IPA and they had a fan for life. Now, I've had their double stout, and while it is delicious, it is not what I expected out of the Silva. Silky and creamy, and this amazing butterscotch flavor I have never tasted from a barrel-aged stout. Even on the nose you get that burnt sugar smell, like a crème brûlée. As far as I've read this is a blended stout. They first age the double stout for 17 months(!) in bourbon barrels, then blend in fresh stout as to not overwhelm the palate with whatever happened in those barrels. Sure there's the usual roasty-chocolatey niceness that comes with stouts, but this one has that little something else that I've just never come across in an aged beer. Which makes for a very unique and desirable brew. Cheers!

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Flying Monkeys Brewery: The Matador version 2.0 - El Toro Bravo

Have you ever been inside of a humidor? It's a very distinct smell. Ever wonder what it would be like to burn one down and then use the ashes to make a beer that tasted just like it? Wonder no more. This version of Flying Monkeys The Matador dark rye ale is aged on a bed of Spanish Cedar. This process marries the beer with the flavors of the wood and, with the spiciness of the rye malt, leaves this beer with an amazing flavor and mouth-feel. A little on the beefier side in the mouth, along with a huge 10.10% abv Flying Monkeys is no stranger to gigantic flavors and huge beers. This beer is no exception. I can only imagine chewing the perfect medium-rare steak and sipping this in unison. The flavors were almost meant to be. Drink it now or cellar this beast for up to 2 years and see where it goes. Cheers!

My Score: 97

Rate Beer: 95

Beer Advocate: 87

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Stillwater Artisanal_Contemporary Works - Surround

When first seeing Stillwater come into the state it seemed as if they were sort of a one trick pony. Everything I saw was a saison, or a take on a saison. I'm not a huge saison fan but they seemed to have an allure to them that made me try every single beer of theirs. Then some other stuff started to trickle in with an eye-catching packing and style descriptions that begged to be sampled. Specifically the new Contemporary Works series that has just been released. The Surround is... wait for it, an oak-smoked imperial wheat stout. Oh yeah. Unfortunately this is a one-off brew so you may never see it again but for now it's in abundance. Taken from Stillwater's site: "Like a sound system that fills the room with audibles swarming in every direction. This massive stout overtakes your senses with aromas & flavor of dark chocolate, caramel, roast, smoke, earth & wood, It's heavy I know, but you have to drop that bass every once in a while if you really wanna get down." Fuckin' A Stillwater. I'm always tryin' to get down. Pair with all of the bbq. Especially a fat Delmonico steak. Cheers!

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BLACKROCKS BREWERY 51K IPA

This one is for my Michigan beer geeks who read this, however few there may be. Yes, another IPA. I had the pleasure a few months back of trying a delicious canned brew from Blackrocks brewery out of the great north... the Upper Peninsula! Blackrocks brewery has now acquired distribution into the lower half of the state, which means elsewhere soon enough. As of this week you can start finding their great canned line wherever finer beers are sold. The first one I'd recommend and the first I've tried was the 51K IPA. It has all the wonderful floral and citrus notes you'd expect from a midwestern IPA. Nice alcohol at 7%. Some might be reminded of a certain beer with a couple hearts, but this beer stands on its own. A great balance of malt and hops, I sure can't wait to try the rest of their beers. I can tell Blackrocks is going to be around for quite a while with flavors like this. Cheers!

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Stone Brewing IPA

Hops? Yup, lots. Malt? It's in there, promise. Alcohol? Yeah, that's there too at 6.9%. One of the best selling IPA's is brought to you by Stone. First introduced in 1997, this perfect example of the west coast IPA is bursting with citrus and floral hop flavors and aromas. Notes of pine explode from the glass. Fitted with Magnum, Chinook & Centennial hops Stone IPA is a dry biting beast. Nice body and nice carbonation, nothing about this beer is offensive and honestly it's a very refreshing IPA. Pair with cheese, salads... fuck, it's bbq season. Grill some chicken and fish and keep these as handy as the lighter fluid. Cheers!

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New Holland Brewing "Incorrigible" Berliner Weisse

Usually when the warmer months start to hit I always find myself wanting beers that are lighter on the gut. Thankfully, session IPA's and the lighter sour styles are becoming increasingly available. Among the lighter sour styles is the berliner weisse. A light bodied, slightly tart, low alcohol wheat beer. So refreshing on a hot day. Basically adult lemonade but not disgusting like a certain "hard" beverage. New Holland said, we see your light refreshing weisse and we raise you a ton of bacteria and funk. Incorrigible is the mother of sour berliners (New Holland calls it a White sour. Whatever New Holland). Still light bodied and lightly carbonated, this beer still packs that back of the jaw bite. Very acidic but also very fruity. Remember, wild ales get their fruity characteristics from the wild yeasts. Unless noted, typically on the bottle, these sours are not brewed with any fruits. For the price and the 4% abv, this beer is going to be a great picnic beer for me this summer. Pair with sandwiches and cheeses and fruits. Cheers!

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Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales_Oro de Calabaza golden wild ale

If you've never had a Jolly Pumpkin or aren't really used to the whole funky-brew thing yet, all the beers they have to offer may lead you to assume they've gone bad. They have not. Also no, they're not all pumpkin beers. In fact they only make one pumpkin beer and it's once a year. Jolly loves to infect all their delicious beers by letting them age in wooden barrels that have been carefully infused with bacterias such as brettanomyces, lactobacillus.  These leave the beers with fruity esters, smelling of barnyards and having champagne-like characteristics on the tongue. Oro de Calabaza is brewed in the traditional Belgian Strong Ale way, but then aged on the bacteria barrels for some time. This is a nice light, not too sweet, but delightfully refreshing beer. Sort of spicy but in a zesty kind of way. Slightly floral with a nice acidity to it. Honestly, you can't really go wrong with anything from Jolly Pumpkin. It's obvious they are brewers who truly care about beer and see how many ways they can originate themselves by coming up with unique beer experiences such as this one. This could easily be paired with salads or white fishes. Maybe some chicken or turkey dishes. Cheers!

My Score: 99

Rate Beer: 99 

Beer Advocate: 92

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Carling Black Label

Yup. Fuckin' Black Label. It had been a while so I cracked one last night after a total shit day at work. You know what? That beer was delicious. I don't know if I just needed a beer so bad at that point that it could have been any beer, or something else. Either way, it lead to me doing some googling about said beer. FACT: Originally Carling's Black & White Lager, after renaming it, went on to become the world's first beer to be brewed on a mass international scale. This is back in the 20's.

FACT: Black Label sold amazingly well up to and through the 90's.  It's a Canadian Lager that eventually opened up shop here in the states. The idea was to have a premium lager at prices that seemed more local. I guess it's always been cheap. There's nothing overly amazing about this beer. It just is. That may even be the best part. It's exactly that beer for when you just want a damn beer, and you don't want your pants brought down over the price. At this point if you've never had a Black Label... what? Were you ever a young human? You could probably go buy some right now with whatever is in your couch. That's the best. Cheers!

 

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Uerige _ Doppel Sticke altbier

According to this German dick I encountered a few days ago, this isn't an altbier. I rolled my eyes like a turd but really, it's more of an imperial altbier. With a higher abv at 8.5%, it's compared more to a barley wine style. It has a nice medium body and sticky. Definitely a sipper. Spicy notes, dark fruits. A little sweet and a little boozy. Overall it's a great German beer, even if it's not technically true to the style it presents itself as. That flip top lid bottle is awesome too. I'm looking at you, home brewers. Cheers!

My score: 93

Rate Beer: 98

Beer Advocate: 92

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Founders Brewing Co _ Kentucky Breakfast Stout

It's upon us once again. The wily and elusive Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Known to us beer nerds as the one and only KBS. If you've never had the original Breakfast Stout then stop reading now. Have one, then come back to me. If ever there was a beer that paired with pancakes and sausages, this is the one. How could that get any better, you ask? Let's age it in bourbon barrels. Perfect. Sweet bourbon chocolatey goodness. There are few stouts that meet the expectations of this beast. Only problem is finding some. This is the game we play. Sifting through shelves at every local beer store, bribing clerks to hold us even just one bottle for a chance at sipping this sweet nectar. Of course having two bottles is the idea; one to drink, and one to forget about in your cellar. Not to worry though. Your favorite local craft bar should be getting at least one keg of this. In my experience that keg lasts as long as the piss you take from drinking several of these, so get on it. Cheers!

My Score: 1oo

Rate Beer: 1oo

Beer Advocate: 1oo

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