Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tucher Kristall Weizen

Type: kristall wheat beer
Origin: Nurnberg, Germany
Price: $2.29 per 0.5 L

This beer tastes exactly as it sounds. 'Weizen' is pretty self explanatory, and there is a stereotypical wheat smell, although there is a bit of wet dog in the background. The 'kristall' describes the overall pop on the taste. Its very light and smooth, and almost goes straight to your brain. The feeling is very similar to taking a quick swig of Squirt soda (or sprite for you lame people that haven't had Squirt). It even has some of the light citrus notes of squirt coming through at the end, although not too much of the grapefruit (seriously, have you not opened a Squirt yet). I wish I opened this earlier to see if the wet dog flavor was my fault, although even with that, I wouldn't mind drinking one of these on a hot summer day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy

type: imperial stout
origin: Longmont, CO
price: 10-15/4-pack (?)
abv: 10.5

My opinion of Oskar Blues went a little south after Gubna, so I took this beer with a grain of salt, LITERALLY.

Crack this baby open and... nothing, nada. Pretty much flat. I don't know if that's the packaging talking or the brew itself, but it was disappointing. The "head" is a very dark espresso color, and fortunately the taste is not as syrupy as you might expect. The alcohol (why they call it "Ten Fidy" I suppose) and sweetness blend nicely, and the finish is full of roasted whatevers: the hallmark of a delicious stout.

I am, overall, pleased with this beer. I'm not astounded, and there are better ways to spend your money, but in a pinch I would easily buy it. So yeah, this review was boring, but I think I'm still recovering from the bus tour.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Non Snob 1YR Anniversary

Let's start by saying this: Having someone drive you to breweries is amazing. Getting to drink beer with 40 friends during the ride is even more amazing. So that's what we did to celebrate the first anniversary of this blog.

Our first stop was Iron Fist in Vista. Their tasting room is fun, the people are wonderful, and their beers are top notch. I loved trying all the variations on Hired Hand (Saison). They even had Velvet Glove on nitro. Mmmmmm....

Second stop, the new Green Flash in Mira Mesa. Jesus Hoppy-Beer Christ their space is huge, and just waiting to accomodate their continued growth. Standout for me was the Cuvee, especially since I could still taste that it was delicious.

And here's a picture of Matt and Sambo, just to give you some idea how things went.

So thanks everyone for coming. If you didn't come, thanks just for reading. It has been so much fun this last year learning about beer, fruit esters, and even more so just drinking good beer with good friends. Special thanks to Brats for starting the site and keeping the enthusiasm high, and also to the man on the right, for making this event successful. You can check out more photos on the FB page.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Black Diamond Rampage Imperial IPA

Type: imperial IPA
Origin: Concord, California
Price: ?

Ok, I am cleaning out my beer review drafts, and this is a fairly complete one from a few months back. For those of you wondering how this happens, why don't you try reviewing 300 beers in a year and not lose any of them. I am leaving this unedited for an extra-special Non-Snob "Raw" Review. These are like those quarters where George Washington has two noses, so appreciate it (Non-Snob Beer does not really acknowledge the existence of quarters with extra body parts).

elephant rampaging through hop fields? ok, whatever, this is fucking america

really floral hop quality, not really too much else happening, but it is not really necessary.

high abv at 9%

perfect color, perfect beer

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dog and Duck Pub

Dog & Duck Pub
406 West 17th Street, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 479-0598 ‎

Brats and I were at a nerd-convention in Austin, right near the Longhorns campus. We were pleasantly surprised by a few things, including the food coma, meat sweats, and 48 oz beers from the wings joint the day before; millions of bats under a bridge (seriously WTF?), the terrible drawing some hobo did of me, and the beer selection at the Duck. It was satisfyingly extensive and also well priced, but you wouldn't feel the least bit uncomfortable ordering some Sutter Home or Bud Heavy. The interior is just my style too: few douche-bags, weird shit hanging around, unique furniture, dimly lit, and scary Mexicans. Diegito es el diablo!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw

Type: belgian strong ale
Origin: Mechelen, Belgium
Price: $11.99 per 750 mL

According to the website, this beer is brewed every February 24 to celebrate the birth of Charles Quint (otherwise known as Charles V). It translates to Cuvee of the Emperor Blue. The one I have is the 2010 edition, although I did see a 2011 at bestdamnbeerstore. The easiest way to describe this is a dubbel with a faint amount of lambic deep down (can tell more on the smell). On the finish, the alcohol cuts through any remaining sourness, converting this back towards the belgian dubbel/strong ale category. As you continue drinking this, you start getting completely different flavors, such as nutty malts, and the bottle claims apples as well. This is definitely one of those beers where I feel I have never had before, making it a must try.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Victory Baltic Thunder

Type: baltic porter
Origin: Downington, PA
Price: $5.99 per 22 oz

I bought this one probably 2 months ago and I kept putting it off since I never seem to be in the mood for a porter. That was however a mistake. This is a perfectly balanced porter that is not overpowering or off-putting. The malts are light and sweet, and are faintly nutty. The beer feels significant, but there is no major alcohol flavor, surprising considering the 8.5%. It also looks like soda on the pour with an extreme fizziness around the glass.

Rogue Chocolate Stout

type: Chocolate Stout
origin: Newport, Oregon
price: $6.99/22oz
abv: 6.3

Ehhhh, that's all I can really say. Put this with some ice cream and maybe I will like it. I mean it's not bad, but it's just taste too much like a chocolate shake to me then a beer. I really couldn't even taste much of the alcohol at 6.3%, mainly just chocolate, even the head looks like chocolate. chocolate, chocolate...If you want a good stout from Rogue try the Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout.

I bought 4 Rogues so look out for 2 more reviews coming soon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Avery Dihos Dactylion

Type: barrel aged sour ale
Origin: Boulder, CO
Price: $8.49 12oz
10.74% ABV

Standard amber color with little to no head. Also the typical cider vinegar smell dominates, but there is this intriguing burnt rubber aroma. Nice strong mouth puckering sour flavor. I'm starting to think this style of sour is very common, and it is becoming more and more difficult for me to differentiate between them. The good news? When they do taste like this, they are delicious.

What makes this one actually unique is it has a distinct and easily noticeable butter flavor at the very end of a very long finish. I wouldn't think this would be a desirable quality, but I kept going back for more sips quickly because I wanted to experience it over and over again. Even better is the fact that I could actually taste some spiciness from the barrel aging which normally goes mostly unnoticed in other similar beers. I can easily drink a few bottles of this in one sitting and end up drunk and broke far too quickly. Avery has their shit down pat.

Hacker-Pschorr Weisse

type: wheat bier
origin: Munich, Germany
price: $2.19/.5L
abv: 5.5%

It's hard work doing this sometimes. I'm conflicted because in terms of value this is as expected: cheap, tasty, strong; but I worry that wheat beer is the kind of ale that must be done really well to shine brightly in the beer world, especially under intense competition with other Munich brews. Unfortunately, this doesn't fare well. Brendan will disagree with me on this, but it tastes as if a full bodied wheat was diluted with Sprite, and so the alcohol and bitterness are a little too forward for my liking. Not to say it's a bad beer, just out of its league I suppose.

Hacker-Pschorr tested well at Beer Mecca, but that wasn't their weisse bier. Paulaner is better, and Franziskaner is waaaay better, but for most folk these are all fantastic Non-Snob approved beverages. Drink up, and don't listen to single word of what I just wrote.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hermitage Saison Style Ale

Type: saison
Origin: San Jose, California
Price: $3.69 per 22 oz

I have made my way through most of Hermitage's products because they are fairly solid beers that are pretty cheap. I saw this at BevMo! and tossed it in because it was cheap but had no idea it was Hermitage. It is only written in fine print on the side. Also, this must be fairly new since it isn't on their website yet. The name is also apparently "One Door" according to RateBeer, but once again, it is not printed on the bottle. Poor labeling aside, this is a pretty fantastic saison. It has the flavor of a pretty solid belgian tripel without any of the astringency. There is also a little bit more sweetness than a tripel, but nothing too offensive. There are really no fruit flavors coming through like thunderweizen, which is why I wouldn't call this an amazing beer. I probably won't remember any specifics about it, but would definitely have it again at this price.

Odell Red Ale

Type: Red ale
Origin: Fort Collins, CO
Price: $10 6pack
6.5% ABV

Reminds me of Green Flash's Hop Head Red, except much tastier. It is light on body with lots of hops. It has a nice balanced bitterness with good hop aroma and flavor. Nice roasted malt qualities as well.

I love beers that are hoppy without being overpowering or heavy. It makes me think of session brews, full flavored but light bodied. This is a tasty beer and my first experience with Odell Brewing, which I have heard a lot of good things about. I'm looking forward to tasting other offerings from their lineup. Sambo approved.

Oh and I put up a link to their site for all you lazy fucks who can't do a simple google search.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot

type: brown ale
origin: Petaluma, CA
price: $4/22oz
abv: 7.8%

I think I need to visit my brother more, because he lives near a major player in the beer game (at least the California one): Lagunitas. This is definitely a home-run. OK, no more stupid baseball analogies. It took me a little while to understand why they're calling this the "jobless recovery act" beer: "Not quite red, not quite black" (as in, the recession and ale-style). What makes the story complete is what makes up my review:
  1. "Malty, Robust", says the bottle. Check, and check.
  2. Strong? Check.
  3. Cheap? Check.
  4. Delicious? Check.
It's that easy, folks.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tucher Helles Hefeweizen

Type: pale wheat beer
Origin: Nurnburg, Germany
Price: $2.29 per 0.5 L

Ah, feels good to be back. Many of you have probably noticed I haven't posted for a month because I have been out of town quite a bit. I have a decent stockpile of scheduled posts coming up, so you can stop holding your breath (or balls, whatever tickles your fancy). I bought a few Tucher's at BevMo! over a month ago, and I am just now popping the helles hefe open. The website for this is the first to talk about the health benefits of a specific beer, saying that this is "A traditional, high fermented Bavarian yeast beer specialty with an accentuated wheat beer flavour and high vitamin B contents." The rest of their description is "Natural yeast cloudiness due to top fermentation. A sparkling refreshing and thirstquenching product!" I love how simple they are, because its only $2.29, so what the fuck do you honestly expect, a douchey BeerAdvocate review? With those prices, they can only afford a webmaster that was self taught through Angelfire web-templates. Just buy the damn beer. The beer is pretty decent. It is as if they took a cheap lager (say Heineken or maybe slightly lighter Amstel Light) and mixed it with a full flavored hefeweizen (say Franzikaner). Adjust the ratio to 75% Heineken and 25% Franz, and this is the bastard child that arrives.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout

type: Oatmeal Stout
origin: Newport, Oregon
price: $6.99/22oz
abv: ??

To be honest I have never really been a fan of Rogue, mostly because of their Dead Guy Ale, which sucks ballz. Some people may get mad at me for saying that, but it's just my opinion. I also think fat tire sucks ballz too. Anyways, I recently bought this Rogue beer and was so impressed I went and picked up 3 more of their beers at my local liquor store (Pacific on El Cajon Blvd in North Park...the shit!). The Oatmeal Stout was by far my favorite with a nice mix of malts and hops and a chocolate finish. I will definitely buy this again and again as it's my kind of beer as it gets better as you drink. The beer has a dark brown color with and creamy head and apparently according to their bottle goes good with beef, wait what the fuck.

Okay Rogue one thing I have mixed feelings about is their bottles consisting of their ingredients, dedication, tasting notes (their own review of their beer), food pairing symbols, and brewing specs. I mean I really don't want to have to do math when drinking beer to get the alcohol content because they just put the Plato info on there instead of alcohol content, I mean seriously fuck you for doing this Rogue. I enjoyed this beer and a few others, but really really.

I hate describing this on the nonsnob site, but Rogue has forced me to (again a big fu). So Plato is a scale to measure density of beer wort in terms of percentage of extract of weight (thanks wikipedia). Basically the ratio of fermentable malts to water. According to Rogues site you divide this by 2.5 to get alcohol %. Let see if I can do this (again fuck you Rogue) so 15 / 2.5 is 6% alcohol, yeah 20 minutes later I now have the alcohol %.

Overall I like their beer, but I say make beer for the drinking man not for your brewing buddies. Make the bottle contain things the everyday man can understand and not brewing specs. FAIL

Santa Fe Happy Camper IPA

Type: India pale ale
Origin: Santa Fe, NM
Price: I don't know
6.6% ABV

Out of a can and mutha fuckin' delicious. Great malt flavors; as you can tell from the color there's a lot of roasty deliciousness going on with this sexy momma. Lotta hop aroma with balanced and even bitterness from start to finish. Who knew Santa Fe had a brewery this magical? As a person who loves camping, I would definitely bring a six pack of these along. Now if only I could find this beer...

All you investors out there, craft beer in a can is the beer of the future. Sambo estimates 200-300% growth over the next 5-8 years. I will only take a 10% cut for all of you who listen and make it rain. And trust me, I'm Arab, you WILL make it rain.

Yebisu (ヱビス Ebisu)

type: lager
origin: Ebisu, Japan
price: $3/12oz
abv: ??

I read the word means "premium." OK, let's go with that. This is definitely an "all malt beer," and nicely sweet - like a good lager should be. I really enjoyed this as a break from the standard Sapporo* style lager; it has an appropriate (low) level of hoppiness, which brings the maltiness, sweetness, and alcoholic nature of the beer to the fore. Wait, that sounded boring. How about "this is as tasty as a pile of Japanese soba on top of a geisha's tit." No good?

* Sapporo acquired the original brewer, and considers it top-shelf stuff.