November 12, 2009

Four + Brewing Punk'n Harvest Pumpkin Ale

punkn.jpgA quick disclaimer before I begin: Punk'n is a seasonal ale that is released by Four + Brewing, a sister company of Uintah Brewing Company. As such, it may only be available in Utah. That being said, let's move on. Punk'n is a beer that is is flavored with pumpkin and spices. Many beer purists don't like fruit beers. I'm not one of these. One of my favorite beer varieties is Belgian white ale, which is flavored with orange peel. Needless to say, finding myself in the spirit of the season, and being a fan of anything pumpkin spice flavored, when I saw a pumpkin ale on the shelf, I grabbed a six-pack.

When you pour this beer into a glass, it leaves a short, light brown head. The appearance of lacing on the glass indicates that this is a beer of reasonably good quality. The color is a brownish burnt orange which appears a deep amber when held into the light. The ale has a nutty aroma and a bouquet with a fair amount of spice. The flavor is more sweet than bitter with a definite pumpkin taste. The finish leaves a very mild pumpkin-laced aftertaste with a very mild amount of spice, which goes away after a few seconds.

Overall, I'd have to say that I enjoyed this pumpkin ale, and I would buy it again. My only complaint is that I wish that spice flavors would be a little stronger and more pronounced. In any case, if you are in the Utah area, you could do far worse that to grab a bottle of Punk'n.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Edgar | Comments (2)

October 26, 2009

Warsteiner Premium Verum

warsteiner.jpgWarsteiner Beer and Brewery is Germany's largest privately-owned brewery, located just outside the town of (believe it or not) Warstein, Germany. Their best-selling brew, Premium Verum, is a pilsener-style beer which boasts impressive sounding ingredients (forest spring water, two-row malted summer barley and all German hops). It's also brewed in accordance with the strict German Purity Law of 1516, which states that only these three ingredients may be used for making beer. The big question that the big speil about the ingredients and purity raises is "is the beer good?"

Yes, it is. The brew is a deep golden color with a medium-bodied texture. The entry is robust and the finish is very hopsy. It has just the right balance of strength, smoothness and taste. It is a slight bit bitter, but not excessively. Overall, if you like a pils that is both powerful and drinkable, this isn't a bad choice. While certainly not the best pilsener I've ever had (that title would go to Huari, which is sadly only available in the South American country of Bolivia), it's quite good. It's easy to see why this beer is Warsteiner's best seller. If you don't get overpowered by the bitterness of it, it's a fine brew.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Edgar | Comments (2)

October 10, 2009

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

saoctoberfest.jpgA couple weeks ago, I heard a radio commercial for Samuel Adams Octoberfest. The commercial said that the beer had won a gold medal at some beer festival. It must be pretty good then, I thought to myself. I picked up a six pack of it recently and was looking forward to drinking some great beer that would make me think I was actually in Munich eating Kaasspotzn and WŁrstl. Although Octoberfest is a decent attempt at a malty, Marzen-style lager, Iíve had better. I liked the maltiness and hint of sweetness, but it also had an aftertaste reminiscent of inferior beers. I just wasnít as impressed with it as the judges evidently were. How could they think this was worth of a gold medal? Either I know more than the judges that gave Octoberfest a gold medal, or I know absolutely nothing about beer. Maybe itís the latter, but I still canít recommend Samuel Adams Octoberfest when there are so many other great beers available.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (4)

January 25, 2009

Leinenkugelís Sunset Wheat

sunset_wheat.jpgSay it with me now, Lei-nen-ku-gels. See, it's not that hard. Saying it correctly is half the challenge, because it flows down the throat easier than it rolls off the tongue. Which is more than I could say about Red Dog. Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat is perhaps one my favorite beers, it's a light, wietbier-style beer with a hint of orange and coriander without a real hoppy flavor. It has a short, white head and is actually quite refreshing unlike some other harsh, bitter beers on the market (with all the breweries out there, I'm sure we can all think of at least five we'd rather not drink). However, unlike those less than memorable beers, Leinkugel's Sunset wheat should leave a desirable mark on the Hippocampus for lifetime. It's cloudy, hazed body leaves a nice, fruity aftertaste on the palette, reminiscent of blueberries. I would suggest drinking it poured in a Pilsner glass and serve it with an orange. Despite it's appealing taste, I would suggest enjoying on it's own, mainly because I can't think if any food it would pair well with, except maybe poured over fruity pebbles (which sounds delicious). So if you're looking for a light, refreshing beer, without a heavy alcohol taste, look no further than Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat at your local pub or your grocer's beer section. And if you botch the name, it's okay, just look for the beer in the blue box.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Alex | Comments (7)

November 4, 2008

Budweiser American Ale


Phoood Haiku:

I bought a six pack
The King of Beers, a new ale
What was I thinking?

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

September 22, 2008

Budweiser Chill Chamber

budcooler.jpgThe concept here is to serve good ole' Budweiser products (Bud, Bud Lite, Bud Select) at a temperature below usual freezing temperature - so your beer is more than ice cold. The creators (Anheuser-Busch and Hussman Refrigeration) say chilling the beer to 22F (-5.5C) is possible through a new "sophisticated cooling system". I don't know enough about physics to figure out how this happens, but I do know that this is the first time I've been able to drink a 22 ouncer and not have it taste like warm yak spit by the time I'm finished. On first opening, the beer really is noticeably colder and crisper. Those of you with sensitive teeth will feel some pain. Also, slamming one of these does result in a mild ice-cream headache. Fortunately, the can isn't cold enough to freeze your lips to the mouth of the bottle when you drink (though, I have to admit, I tried to get that result.) The local bar with this setup charges $6 a bottle for this, so the economy is good (they charge $4 for a 12 oz bud). All in all I think this is a "good" thing.

Postscript: About 3 months after I originally wrote the above words, I ran into a rather drunk Anheuser-Busch sales rep hovering around the Chill Chamber. He told me rather frankly that "It's all a big marketing gimmick." - Basically a response to the Coors "cold bottle turns blue" thing. He elaborated by saying that "any major American Brewery is gonna admit that their beer tastes like crap at anything above 40F. This helps... but its still all just branding." Interesting. Still, I give this a "good" because I like Budweiser... and if I can save some coin by buying a larger bottle without ending up drinking 10 ounces of warm backwash at the end, I'm happy.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Roc | Comments (7)

April 29, 2008

Gordon Biersch Dunkelweizen

gbdw.jpgPerhaps my least favorite type of beer is wheat beer. Iíve had some that I thought were good, but Iíve been underwhelmed by most that Iíve drank. Theyíve been a little too light and a little too flavorless for my taste. Gordon Beirsch Dunkelweizen is a wheat beer that I can enjoy, because itís a dark beer and itís also unfiltered. As far as beers go, it still on the lighter side, but it has a nice malted flavor that typical wheat beers donít have. I like the fact that itís unfiltered because that means there is more flavor floating around in the bottle. Unfortunately most of the country probably wonít be able to try this tasty beer, as Gordon Biersch beers are only distributed in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona. Also, itís a seasonal brew available only from March to June. So, get some while you can (and also try their Mšrzen, which is very good).

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

October 11, 2007

Anderson Valley Brewing Boont Amber Ale

boontamberale.jpgI bough a six-pack of Anderson Valley Brewing Boont Amber Ale because it was included on a list of the 25 best beers in America. Iím not a beer expert, and I havenít tried every beer on the list, but Iím surprised that it was included. Although it tastes good, and is very drinkable, I am not blown away by it. To me, its flavor was a little too boring to be considered one of the best in the country. I just don't find the flavor to be one that is especially memorable or unique. In the end, Iíd gladly drink a Boont Amber Ale if someone offered me one, but wonít go out of my way to buy it again.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

March 14, 2005

Widmer Drop Top Amber Ale

droptop.jpgMy sister lives in Portland, Oregon. Having visited her many times, I have become familiar with many of the breweries in Portland and other cities in Oregon. One of the many fabulous breweries in Portland is Widmer Brothers, which makes Drop Top Amber Ale. I recently had a pint of Drop Top for the first time in a bar here in Sacramento and found it to be very good. The Widmer Web site tells us that the beerís ďvelvet texture is from the use of honey malt and a touch of milk sugar. The Magnum bittering hops provide soft bitterness, while Simcoe, a newly developed hop variety, adds unique hop flavor and aroma.Ē Whatever they put in it, it sure tastes good. Iím often in the mood for dark, heavy stout beer. When Iím in the mood for something a little bit lighter and easier to drink, Drop Top Amber Ale is a great choice.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 24, 2004

Klaster Czech Lager

While shopping at BevMo, I came across a beer I had never seen before, and it was on sale for a very good price. I couldnít pass it up, so I bought a six-pack. Klaster Traditional Czech Lager comes from the Klaster brewery in the Czech Republic. I really like European beers, so I figured the Klaster would be good. Well, it isnít quite as good as I hoped. It has an adequately hoppy flavor, but a finish that reminds me of an inexpensive, lower-quality beer. To be fair, it did get a little better the more I drank. By the end of the bottle, I had a better opinion of the beer then when Iíd started it. Iíve had better European lagers, and Iíve had worse. Klaster Lager falls somewhere in between.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

May 3, 2004

Alaskan Brewing Company Alaskan Pale

Alaskan PaleI have heard good things about Alaskan Brewing Company, and their Web site list the many awards their beers have won. I recently had a pint of Alaskan Pale at a local restaurant, and was kind of disappointed. It was ok, but not great. I found the taste lacking in distinctiveness, and it left me wondering what all they hype is about. The restaurant served the beer ice cold, but the taste didnít impress me even after it warmed up a bit. Iím anxious to try some of Alaskanís other beers; hopefully theyíll impress me more than Alaskan Pale.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)