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Category Archives: Specialty Brews

drink responsibly, and enjoy these recommendations

Samuel Adams New World

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

Lots o' new 111

It’s been some time since we’ve posted. Life gets in the way, you know? We’ve not been inactive, however, having stayed current on Twitter and such, but it was high time we update our blog with something new for our readers. It can take sometimes up to six hours to research and write one of these articles, so it’s nice to slip into something a little more comfortable, like a beer, as we ease into refreshing our blog with monthly posts at minimum.

Strolling down the aisles at Costco, you’d be surprised at the unique finds. Don’t hate, it’s a great store. Each one carries its own special stock of things, as we learned recently that our favorite vegetable juice is available at the Costco over 15 miles away, not the one just down the road from us. But I digress. Walking through our Costco today, Zach spotted a trio from Samuel Adams’ Barrel Room Collection, aged in oak barrels once used for making Italian brandy. These are special craft beers, not something you’d find at your local grocer, so it was all the more of a surprise to see this selection at Costco. I like a sense of order, so I’ll be writing about the trio alphabetically.

The New World is a substantial yet subtle tripel at 10% ABV and 17 IBU. The impact is strong on the noggin, but the taste is smooth and only a little sweet, the same sweetness as a Basque sidra. Its description reads “spices and tropical fruits” so I was expecting something a little rummy, and thank god it’s not because I don’t like rum. It’s like a strong pale ale with minerals and a natural fruitiness. I’m sipping it solo so as to enjoy its pure essence, but in all honesty this is something that you would want to pair with a meal. Being that it is light in flavor, this would go very well with grilled chicken or fish of any kind. The caramelization of meat would bring out the deeper notes of the brew.

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Mikkeller Dim Sum

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

dim sum

dim sum

When a brewery has produced more than 6,000 different types of beer within seven years, it has to be commended for its tenacity.  Creativity clearly is flowing freely.  Mikkeller has impressed me before, but I’ve also been put off by the taste of one.  The Pilsner-style Dim Sum happily makes its home right around average – I hardly dislike it, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t knock my socks off, especially for the price.  With a golden head, 5% ABV, and unknown IBU, it’s light and refreshing.  Having been brewed with coriander and lemongrass makes it more refreshing, but honestly the lemongrass was very faint and the coriander was even more so.  This would be a nice accompaniment for an afternoon, outdoors, picnic concert.  Too bad now is not really the season for that!

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

juniper pale ale

juniper pale ale

Growing up with a steady diet of Monty Python, hearing the word “juniper” would always bring one particular scene to mind.  Later I learned that it’s also a name, and an important one at that for California’s history – Junípero Serra was a friar who helped to establish the mission chain running from San Francisco south through Mexico in the 1700s.  Rogue, my favorite brewery from Oregon, brewed this pale ale with whole juniper berries to craft a tasty beer with 5.3% ABV and 38 IBU that, like most of Rogue’s brews, is free of chemicals, additives, and preservatives.  The aroma is very faintly floral and the aftertaste has a hint of spice, but between the first sniff and the last sip, it is a very mild and pleasant brew.  Easy to enjoy and with a suggested food pairing of turkey (it is “dedicated to the turkey in each of us,” after all), this is a beer that I am happy is seasonally available during my favorite time of year, perfect for holiday dinners and curling up on a chilly night.