Monday, May 31, 2010

Samuel Smith's Ale

Type: Ale
Origin: UK
Price: $3.50 a 550 mL

I got this bad boy about two weeks ago when I got the Coronado Wit and Left Coast Belgian at Whole Foods. As you could probably see, I got distracted by a few parties last week. As Andy was saying, the labeling is far superior to any other beer and makes you feel like people are dying outside from the plague. This ale is probably the smoothest ale I have ever had. It smells a bit citrusy, but only tastes a little bit like that. The hops are very subtle and perfectly balanced. The color is like when you open up an old pirates chest. Truly a treasure that I will consume again.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Samuel Smith's Pure Brewed Lager

Type: Lager
Origin: England
Price: $3.69/550 ml

Samuel Smith always wins the prize for badass labelry (not a real word, but fuck it); the packaging alone makes me want to drink this brew. It turns out Yorkshire can pump out a quality lager, though I'm not surprised. You can definitely taste the malting, and the 5% alcohol cuts right through to the end. If these were sold in great quantities at RiteAid, my ass would be handed to me by the great Humphrey Smith, regularly. I think it's time for a trip to Tadcaster, Yorkshire, you slag.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Wits End, San Diego, CA

420 Robinson Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 294-4848

This place is seriously hit or miss. In the heart of Hillcrest, its not a gay bar, not that there is anything wrong with it. I was there last night, karaoke night, and it was pretty lively for a Wednesday night. The beer selection is pretty good, not the cheapest place, but not bad either. You do however get to experience the whole range of San Diegans, from the gay guys singing diva songs to the androgynous women wearing Power Rangers shirts. Considering its proximity to my house, not a bad place to go.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Murphy's Irish Stout

Type: Stout
Origin: Ireland
Price: $6 for 4 pint cans

I picked up this 4 pack at Trader Joe's because it was a pretty good price and I always love getting Murphy's. The widget inside gives the nice soft creamy head associated with nitrogen taps. The color is very dark and it is very sweet in the front of the mouth. There is a touch of bitterness in the back of the mouth. For a stout, this is not too overpowering, giving the drinker the ability to get thoroughly wasted on it watching a nice rugby match.

Stella Artois

Type: lager
Brewed: Leuven, Belgium
Cost: up to $15 / 12-pack (bullshit, I know)

Number three, and my last review before the inevitable messiness. Anheuser-Busch InBev owns this label now. Oh well. My buddy Chris put it best, interrupting my lunatic ravings about how fucking gross I think this beer is, and said "my buddy was at a Pearl Jam show and a fan in the front row gave Eddie Vedder a Stella. He cracked it, took a drink, spat the sip out on the stage, and threw the bottle back at the fan." Chris then proceeded to beat the crap out of me in pool. I would rather drink stale keg beer than pay this much for this level of crap. How InBev has managed to keep up some image of quality I will never understand.

Sierra Torpedo Extra IPA

Type: Extra IPA
Brewed: Chico, CA
Price: don't know, but probably worth it

Beer number two. The word "Extra" in the name scared the shit out of me. It made me think of those shitty, over-hopped, double IPAs. Within moments of my first sip I realized I hadn't given this craft brew its due-respect. This beer tastes like the most wonderful gin-n-beer-n-tonic. Hints of pine. Hoppiness in check. Classic taste. 7.2%. Yep, I'm definitely buying this if I ever see it in the store.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Type: lager (is "Boston" really a type?)
Brewed: Boston, MA
Price: $12-15 / 12-pack

First beer of the recent-PhD-graduate-party mess-fest. Good choice. Honestly, this beer is good. It's not a complex set of flavors, but who cares? If you do, you're a damned, dirty snob. The flavors don't evolve much through each drink; it is consistently crisp and malty tasting. Nice. The result: 12-oz steps to happy-drunk status. The best Sam Adams I've had was, no surprise, in downtown Boston out of a foot-long glass.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Newcastle Brown Ale

Type: Brown Ale
Origin: UK
Price: Didn't buy it

I think this will be the final beer review from this event. I did review two others: natural light and sasha's home brew. We plan on doing a shitty beer taste testing for the site eventually, so I will save the natty review. And until Sasha gets distributing, it would be futile to review it, although it was surprisingly good. It was actually much better than this Newcastle that I am about to review. I have no idea why Newcastle Brown is famous. When you really get down to it, it tastes like dirty old socks. There is almost no head, no hops, a bit sweet with a faint chocolate color. I am pretty sure I have never bought this in a bar or in a store before in my life. So I guess considering that, its not a bad beer. But if you pay anything for it, you deserve a good de-ballification.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Type: Pale Ale
Origin: Chico, CA, USA
Price: Didn't buy it

Sierra Nevada is always a welcome go to beer when you are unsure of anything else. Everyone knows that there is a decent amount of bitterness in Sierra Nevada, and upon inspection, they use a larger portion of the hops in the brewing process. The color is just a perfect golden orange with a tiny bit of head. The smell and taste is very floral and citrusy. The floral undertones really come to fruition in the back of the mouth.

Newcastle Summer Ale

Type: Ale
Origin: UK
Price: Didn't buy it

I hadn't seen this one before, so I figured I should grab one before they get scavenged. This was kind of surprising. It was a bit dark and was pretty nutty. There was a decent amount of bitterness, much more than Newcastle Brown. There was nothing in this beer that screamed "Summer Ale". This is a fucking winter beer, through and through. I guess the brits don't really know what summer is supposed to taste like, but I think a combination of oranges and tits is a good start

Tap Room No. 21 Moe's Backroom Lager

Type: Pale Lager
Origin: La Crosse, WI, USA
Price: $8 per 6 pack

I picked up a sixer of Moe's Backroom Lager for my buddys PhD thesis defense, at which we all got thoroughly wasted. This did however provide the perfect opportunity to get a large amount of beers in. This beer was my first of the day, although I already had champagne earlier. I didn't have a glass to pour into, but from what I could tell, the color was pretty light, and the head was very small. There was really nothing of note on this beer. It was light in flavor, not hoppy, and had a faint taste of warm PBR in the back. The bottle is pretty badass though. It has a picture of some fat mobsters on the front, and it says they are "celebrating the repeal of prohibition". Yeah celebrating it by serving shitty beer that is probably from the prohibition.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

St Pauli Girl Special Dark

Type: Dark Lager

Origin: Germany

Price: $15/12-pack


Nutty, chocolatey flavors develop through each taste, finishing with fairly dry bitterness. A decent beer for the price, though it can fall flat quickly if poured wrong or consumed slowly. I probably wouldn't order it at a bar, but if I were at TGI-McScratchy's with Duff on tap, I might. I could certainly picture myself drinking das Boot mit St. Pauli Special Dark gef├╝llt. An added bonus: each swig increases the St. Pauli Girl's boobage by 10%. No cup envy here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Type: Cream Ale
Origin: Ireland
Price: $4 a pint

Final beer of the day for now. Kilkenny is a fantastic Irish Cream Ale that uses nitrogen taps to keep the head nice and smooth. I think if you stare at the glass long enough while the head is settling out, you can probably see into the future. The color is a nice dark brown, but still opaque. There is a faint coffee taste in the back of the mouth, with some roasted chocolate notes testing their magic. It is way creamier than boddingtons, and it is one of my favorites at Dublin Square. I think I had three of these last week before I started this blog. A definite repeat.


Type: Ale
Origin: Manchester, UK, now many places
Price: $4 a pint

Beer two at the slutitorium. Boddingtons is a classic beer that I think has gotten a little worse as of late, i.e. when InBev bought it. This is a creamy beer, and that is truly the defining characteristic of it. It can be a bit overpowering on the hops, and it is to the point where I can't pick any other flavors out of it. If it weren't for the head, I probably would have dumped this beer a long time ago.

Magners Irish Cider

Type: Hard Cider
Origin: Ireland
Price: $3 for 19 oz at happy hour

I was a little hung over from last night, so I decided to start the day with something more refreshing and not too strong. Sorry no posts from last night because a) I forgot my camera and b) I forgot to write stuff down. A recap though: 3 bud lights, 1 bud heavy, a noble pils, a shitty Firehouse IPA in 32 oz form, some other Firehouse beer, also 32 oz form, and two blue moons. Magners was pretty cheap, so I gave it a go. They gave me the bottle and a glass of ice, which I presume is the preferred drinking method. There is definitely no carbonation in this, and it really doesn't represent beer in any way. This tasted like Andre with no carbonation, with an obvious hint of apples. It was surprisingly dry and not very sweet. There were nutritional facts on the back, and there was only 19 g of sugar in the whole bottle. This got a bit old by the end, but was a nice little diversion.

Dublin Square Irish Pub, San Diego, CA

554 4th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101-6905
(619) 239-5818

The past few weekends, I have gone on pretty long walks downtown and have ended up at this fine establishment. The happy hour from 3-7 has good beers for $4 and really cheap food. I got three beers this visit, which I will review in a second, but let me tell you how awesome this place is. Perfect Irish pub warmth with a touch of Irish sluttiness. The uniforms at this place are amazing. I took a picture, but since that is kinda creepy, I decided to draw a picture in paint:

I wonder how they recruit their waitresses. It's probably much harder to get a job there than to get an professor position. Very reminiscent of the Seinfeld episode where all the waitresses were "well endowed".

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Left Coast's Belgian-Style Golden Ale

Type: Belgian Ale
Origin: San Clemente, CA, USA
Price: $5.50 per 22 oz

Beer two of the night. As one of the cheaper Belgian style beers, I decided to give this a try. This is a special release from Left Coast Brewing Company, and it is definitely special. The color and head on this are magnificent. It is a perfect golden brown color. The smell is very fruity and complex, almost like a Riesling. There are a great deal of citrus notes, and my girlfriend says this smells like smoked gouda. This is just a fantastic beer, and the high alcohol content (8%) could make this an interesting night

Coronado Orange Avenue Wit

Type: Wheat Beer / Hefeweisen
Origin: San Diego, CA, USA
Price: $4 for a 22 oz

I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up this beer and 2 others. I've had a good number of Coronado beers, but never the Orange Avenue Wit. The color is a nice orange/yellow, with a good amount of particulate matter in it (I'm guessing it's unfiltered). It tastes exactly like the name suggests: orange and citrus. In true San Diego spirit, they were able to add a few hops to this, giving it a very unique taste for a wheat beer. I absolutely love this, and I think I have a new favorite wheat beer, of which I am a huge fan of.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Primo Island Lager

Type: Lager
Origin: Hawaii, USA
Price: $1.99 for 22 oz

This is the first time I've ever seen Primo, and I had to have it with its ridiculously stupid label and $1.99 price for a 22. Upon googling this, I found out Primo used to be in SoCal a long time ago, and finally came back last year. The website says there is a touch of pure island sugar cane, and I don't think I believe them by tasting it. The smell has a slightly sweet smell, so they might not be messing with us, but all I taste is a decent amount of hops. They are now owned by the Pabst Brewing Company, and I think I taste a bit of PBR in it. Not a bad beer considering the price point. I would definitely pick this out over a coors or miller tall boy for the same price.

Fischer Amber Ale

Type: Amber Ale
Origin: France
Price: $4 for 1 pint, 6 oz

Wow, who would have thought the French could do something other than retreating. Well, this brew is made by Heineken France, so that could explain things. This comes in one of the flip tops and had a hearty pop when opening. The color is a light brown, but still opaque. It has a distinct nuttiness that only comes through in the back of the mouth. In the front of the mouth, it is just refreshing, so a nice two faced taste on this one. I am currently eating a burger with cheddar, mushrooms, onions and mustard and this beer perfectly complements the earthiness of the dinner. I would definitely buy this again

Monday, May 17, 2010

Starz Beer

Type: Pale Lager
Origin: Rochester, NY, USA
Price: Really Cheap?

So my friend and I bought this about a week ago at a cheap liquor store. I could not pass up on such a "fantastic" looking beer. We drank the first few in the hot tub, and as I remember, it was pretty average. I am now drinking one out of a pint glass, and I think I'm digging it. It is not hoppy at all (less than a miller lite), but it is a surprising little brew. The taste is just overall fresh, and the only way to describe this is "Generic Beer". There are better crappy beers out, so I don't think I will buy again, but definitely would steal some from my friends if they brought it to a party

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Konig Pilsener

Type: Pilsner
Origin: Germany
Price: $8.50/6 pack at BevMo

I let this baby chill in the freezer for about 15 minutes before opening it up and I was too impatient to let it sit any longer. I poured it into a pint glass and it is definitely a pilsner. The color is exactly like a nice bud heavy, but it was much headier than I would have expected. Probably due to slightly chilled temperature, or my improper handling process. The initial smell out of the bottle was definitely skunked, but upon first taste, no skunkiness. The hoppiness is pretty nicely balanced. Overall, this beer is exactly what you think beer would taste like. Simple, quality ingredients, nothing overdone, nothing pretentious, just refreshing. I could definitely pound out a few liters of this at a beer garden. I would probably buy this again if it is on sale.