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09-07-2006 , 05:01 AM

Wookie's advice is good. Go with some well known beer companies. You don't have to jump straight into small microbreweries. Try some Newcastle, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, etc.. these might not be the cream of the crop according to beer enthusiasts, but they're still pretty darn good, and pretty affordable. They're also widely available at bars, so you can try it there, too. And like Wookie said, it takes time. I'm still pretty new to the beer thing and my tastes are still developing.
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09-07-2006 , 04:41 PM
I was wondering how do you guys try these exotic beers... I havent even had the more traditional ones sold in grocery stores such as IPA and red stripe mostly because I dont want to buy a 6 pack and hate it..
My local liquor store has what they call a "Beer Buffet". You can mix and match single bottles to create your own 6 pack. They charge $1.20 per bottle. This is a great way for me to try something without buying a whole 6 pack. I'd really hate the thought of having paid for 6 bottles of that crappy chili beer. My liquor store is a small mom and pop outfit so they aren't as well stocked as a mega store. They probably have 100 or so varieties available on their "buffet". Check your local liquor stores to see if any of them will let you build your own 6 pack. I'll bet you'll find one nearby.
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09-07-2006 , 11:27 PM
I decided to try some Australian beers. My liquor store had 4 varieties of Cooper's Ale; Extra Stout, Dark Ale, Pale Ale, and Sparkling Ale. I sampled the first two last night and the second two tonight. The Extra Stout and the Dark Ale were very dark. I generally prefer light lagers, but am learning to appreciate the dark beers. This was the first stout that I've tried. I found it to have a very strong coffee flavor. The malts were very sweet but weren't overwhelming. Both the stout and the dark ale had a very similar taste, but the stout had a much fuller mouth feel. The dark ale felt a little thin. There was very little bitterness to these dark ales. Overall I liked them both, but prefer the stout because of its mouthfeel.

The pale ale and the sparkling ale were much, much lighter. The pale ale had a straw color and was lighter in color than most pale ale's I've tried. It really didn't have much flavor and didn't have much hop bitterness either. All in all a rather bland beer. Better than out American Macrobrews for sure, but nothing really special. The sparkling ale had a golden color - similar to MGD but a little deeper and richer. We have a Colorado Microbrew that makes a "golden ale" that I really like (Flying Dog Brewery - Tire Bite Ale) that is very similar to this. I'm going to sample them both together to see which I like better. First impressions were that the Cooper's sparkling ale didn't have much flavor and that it was a little more bitter than my Tire Bite. I'll sample them back to back and report back here in a few days.
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09-08-2006 , 07:49 AM
Two friends and I got together yesterday for at tasting of beers they'd brought home from Hungary and Poland respectively. I added two Icelandic beers someone got me.

All together 24 different but totally crappy pale lagers without any interesting features what so ever. At times it were a long night....

The only positive entry was this one:

It's a 9.2% ABV Baltic style porter from Polish Jedrzejow Brewery that is owned by the second largest Danish Brewery, Royal Unibrew.

The Brok Porter tastes of coffee and licorice (sp?) in particular. Even though is rather strong, the alcohol balances the fat roasted malts perfectly. I give it
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09-12-2006 , 09:27 PM
Just a quick review here, no pictures. I went on a brown ale buying kick, and one of the ones I picked up was He'Brew's Messiah Bold. Dubbed as "the beer you've been waiting for," the kitchy marketing of this beer is pretty clever, making me hesitant to try it -- I've been afraid of all marketing, and no beer. However, it finally wore on me, and I picked up a bottle. It pours dark brown with a small head. It smells good and malty. Taking a sip, this is a very solid brown ale. It has great malt flavor, mild hops, and hints of caramel and coffee. It's somewhat sweet. It's not going to unseat my current favorite, Brooklyn Brown, though. I like it about as much (BB is a little hoppier and a little sweeter, Messiah is a little darker in flavor w/ the coffee), but the Brooklyn Brown is quite a bit cheaper. Regardless, this is a beer. It's a solid offering, one worth checking out if you're into brown ales and looking for something new, or if you have some thematic event that calls for a solid beer and would appreciate the humor. L'Chaim!
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09-13-2006 , 04:14 AM
Brooklyn is your favorite brown ale?

I'm surprised. Oh yes, Brooklyn makes nothing but good quality beers, but bar the Black Chocolate Stout they're rather "standard" beers IMO.

Have you tried Rogue's HazelNut Brown Nectar and Avery's Ellie's Brown Ale?
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09-13-2006 , 10:07 AM
I've tried the Ellie Brown. I was underwhelmed.
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09-13-2006 , 11:16 AM
I've tried the Ellie Brown. I was underwhelmed.

I finally tracked down some Jolly Pumpkin (got the Calabaza Blanca, which wouldn't have been my first choice). I'll try to review w/ pictures later this week.
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09-14-2006 , 03:41 AM
I'm glad you got to try the DFH IPAs. I agree with your assessment of the 90 completely. I actually don't really dig the super mega hop bombs, when it's just straight up hop flavor. However, the 90 has an intense, complex, but more balanced flavor and good malt.
It's also very good on tap as I found out this weekend. Same goes for the Stone 10th anniversary IPA. Avery Brewing's "The Beast" (15% abv), The Taps Fish House & Brewery in Brea, CA makes a very good Russian Imperial Stout. Still not as good as the Alesmith Speedway Stout, which unfortunately wasn't available.

Thanks, Stone.
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09-14-2006 , 02:25 PM
i tried the 120 minute "ipa." it taste like malty sugar syrup.

i didnt try "the beast."

i probably used 4 tabs for drake's denogginizer and then i got about 4 free beers at the end of the first session.

overall, awesome day. too bad the rest of escondido is pretty much dead, and we couldnt get a taxi to save our lives.
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09-14-2006 , 05:55 PM
Just had La Chouffe, which is a golden belgian ale similar to Duvel, so here are the notes I have for the two.


Pale yellow with a huge white head. Aroma is clove, sugar, pear, yeast. Flavor is sweet, with fruit and clove notes. Finish is a bit bitter but not as bitter as delirium tremens but stonger than leffe. Has enough of a bitter kick to keep it from being too cloying. Nice warmth from the alcohol as you finish the bottle.

my notes for Le Chouffe are,

Pours hazy golden with a huge foamy head. Aroma is sweet, with yeasty and candy sugar notes. Nice coriander hints. Flavor is sweet, spicy, slight hints of citrus, and medium bitterness for a belgian. Finish is nice, but could last a bit longer. not as hyped as Duvel, but just as good if not better in my opinion.

My rating for Le Chouffe
4/5 and just a hair better than Duvel. I reccomend it to those looking for a duvel-type beer, I think le chouffe is a bit cheaper and at least for me is easier to find.
I live in Belgium and I have visited the La Chouffe brewery a few years ago (now it's being brewed in the same brewery as duvel, Moortgat Brewery). I just La Chouffe and I'm surprised that you can find it in America.

I like Duvel just a little bit more though, and where I live you can find Duvel in every bar and every store, whereas bars here don't often sell La Chouffe.

Anyway, maybe a few beers you should definately try if you can find them. I'm guessing the Leffe 9° should be fairly easy to find, but I have no idea about the Augustijn. and

The Leffe 9° is rather new, and rather strong
It costs about 3$ here.

Augustijn has become one of my favorite beers in the last year. It has a very strong aftertaste but once you get used to that, it is a very nice beer. There is a bar here in the town I study in that sells them from the tap for about 1.8$ (the price of a regular beer), it is 7-8° strong and me and my friends always drink this if we come to this bar (which is quite often ). It is also brewed in the same town, so maybe that's why it's so cheap.
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09-14-2006 , 09:57 PM
I couldn't find a link to the article on Men's Journal's actual site (maybe they don't put new issues up right away), but here's a link to their top 25 American beers.

I picked up the La Fin du Monde today. Haven't cracked one yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I should be, as it ran me $10.99 plus tax (9.25% in TN).
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09-14-2006 , 11:15 PM
WTF? I think that list is terrible. DFH 60 instead of the 90? Ommegang Hennepin instead of any other beer from Ommegang? Sam Adams Black Lager?
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09-15-2006 , 01:51 AM
I live in Belgium and I have visited the La Chouffe brewery a few years ago (now it's being brewed in the same brewery as duvel, Moortgat Brewery
Luckily that is not correct. Yes, Duvel-Moortgat have very recently bought D'Achouffe but the latter will continue to brew its own beers.
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09-15-2006 , 03:05 AM
WTF? I think that list is terrible. DFH 60 instead of the 90? Ommegang Hennepin instead of any other beer from Ommegang? Sam Adams Black Lager?

number one is FIRESTONE pale ale, are they kidding?

sam adams black lager maybe belongs on a top 100 list

and alaskan amber is disgusting
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09-15-2006 , 06:56 AM
To me that list looked like "Most mainstream beers from the top 25 American craft breweries." That's why I went looking for the actual article, to see if they mentioned criteria.

Still, any list from a major publication that is completely devoid of BMC breweries is a good thing. I'm glad that New Belgium got left off but was surprised that nothing from Bell's or Three Floyds made it on.
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09-15-2006 , 12:48 PM
I actually love Alaskan Amber. I find it disheartening I can't find it on the east coast. I'd buy it by the case from Costco when I was back home on the west coast, though. That said, I think it's more of a "staple beer" rather than a gourmet, top 25 beer. An imperial stout, imperial IPA, barley wine, or something Belgian-style are going to be the sorts of American beers that just straight up taste the best, but they're not necessarily what I'd drink the most.
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09-15-2006 , 01:04 PM

i have never had a beer with the word "amber" in its name that i didnt utterly hate. i hate the style, and yes, alaskan amber may be one of the best "alt style" ambers out there, but i cant help the fact that i cant stand it.

amber bock makes me barf, as well. i would rather drink bud/budlight, coors/coors light, miller/miller lite, miller high life and high life light, keystone, keystone ice, natural ice, natural light, pabst blue ribbon + light, or mickey's. i think only old milwaukee is worse to me.
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09-15-2006 , 01:14 PM
Huh. To each his own, I suppose.

Weird thing about Alt beers, though. I picked up a couple from Beers of the World to explore the variety a little bit. The first one I tried was dark brown with some earthy tones, not much in the way of hops. The second was very light in color, almost like a white ale, and it had a little bit of lemon in the flavor along with a medium level of hops. Alaskan Amber is a little lighter in color than the first one, a little maltier, and has an intermediate level of hoppiness. Had I not been reading the label, I would have laughed at anyone who tried to tell me that these three beers held the same name for their style. Anyone know what an Alt style ale means?
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09-15-2006 , 02:59 PM

7. Amber Hybrid Beer Styles

1. 7A. Northern German Altbier
2. 7B. California Common Beer
3. 7C. Düsseldorf Altbier

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09-15-2006 , 03:07 PM
Huh, ok. So it looks like Alaskan and the Schwelmer alt I have are of the north German variety, and I have no idea what that light beer was doing being called an Alt.
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09-20-2006 , 12:40 AM
Slight hijack, but I was wondering where would be the best place to score a nice snifter and/or tulip glass for my favorite strong beers?

I recently picked up some La Fin du Monde based on the rave reviews here so I wanted to pick up the appropriate glassware so I can fully enjoy it.
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09-20-2006 , 10:16 AM
Well, I got mine at the same place where I shop for my beer. There are a number of places online that have good stuff, and I'm sure some of those stores have B&M stores, too.
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09-20-2006 , 10:45 AM
There is a bar here in the town I study in that sells them from the tap for about 1.8$
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09-20-2006 , 07:15 PM
if anyone wants to try an IPA that balances a strong hop flavor pretty well, try

lagunitas "freak out"

sorry if you cant find it. it's available in southern california for sure.
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