Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sleigh'r Dark Double Alt Ale

Ninkasi Brewery- Sleigh’r Dark Double Alt Ale – Eugene, Oregon

This review, my first “Oregon brew, drank in Oregon”, goes out to all the fellow winter seasonal beer lovers. I thiiiiink the winter seasonals are my favorite, and I think I have had enough beer in my life now to claim that responsibly. This beer is brewed by Ninkasi Brewery, straight from Eugene, Oregon, home of the University of Oregon a.k.a. Tracktown USA a.k.a. a bunch of underpaid, weird hipsters. Don’t get me wrong, Eugene is pretty neat, it’s like Portland’s little sister, so it’s not a surprise that they have an awesome little microbrewery in Ninkasi! I have yet to try many of their beers, but those that I have tried have been delightful.

As for the Sleigh’r, my first impression was good due to the pretty rockin’ artwork on the label. What could be better than enjoying your beer with a partyrocking, ghost riding Santa?!? I was also excited because this was the first winter beer I was going to have this year, not to mention my first Oregon brewed winter beer. Overall, I’d give this beer a 6 out of 10. It was definitely good, but it ended up not being what I wanted out of a winter seasonal. The taste was surprisingly light and smooth for such a dark beer, but most of the flavor I got out of it was metallic-y. The flavor suctioned on to the very back of my tongue and didn't go away until well after I had finished the beer. Again this is a good brew, and totally drinkable, but be warned that in my experience it was a bit of a face-scruncher.

Stay Thirsty.

Saturday, November 3, 2012



Legends of the Hidden Brewery took a temporary hiatus from the internets for the past three months, in order for the author to get acquainted with a new life and a new job, on a new coast...And a new internal sense of direction when it comes to navigating oneself to the east or west*. Not only is the author excited about this move and change of pace, but the author has not-so-coincidentally placed herself in a magical city known to some [ie the Mayor, Sam Adams (< NOT a joke)] as "Beertown," otherwise known as Portland, Oregon.

Portland has more than 40 breweries, more than any city in the WORLD. So if you love beer like I do, then this is a pretty spectacular location. There are more breweries here than anyone knows what to do with, I feel like I'm living in a constant state of anxiety knowing that I have only tried a fraction of the beer this city has to offer! Okay not really, but it is still quite overwhelming when you are driving around trying to find a drug store and instead you find six microbreweries/brewpubs. Beer can cure all ailments, right? Might as well stop at them and forget about the drug store checklist.

Needless to say, I now have A LOT of new beers I need to report on. There's...too many of them! Golly, even the grocery store beer isle is a project in itself, carrying all sorts of west coast gems from California, Washington, Colorado, Alaska, etc. I will not run out of material is what I'm saying; perhaps only the motor skills and cognitive functioning to sit down and type a blog post after drinking all these delicious beers!

Check back soon for my first thoughts on some Portland style brews! Until then check out this map which has now become my Holy Grail.

Stay Thirsty.

* Seriously, which side is the freaking ocean on right now? West? I have to turn left...The Pacific Ocean is always west? Where is home now? Wait, the sun is over there and it's 4pm what does that mean? Why am I going this way? WHAT. I'm going the wrong way. Shit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lhasa Beer

Tibet Lhasa Brewery - Lhasa Beer – Tibet

This beer is from Tibet. Home of the monks and the Himalayas. All those monks need good beer in Tibet I guess. I love everything about this beer just based off the bottle. It has a cool little cartoon of a monk-looking man with a rooster and a deer on a green wonderful -looking mountain and a mountain spring and it says “Imported from the Roof of the World” on the bottom. The bottle is weirdly heavy for a 12oz beer bottle, the glass must be thicker. And just in case the lovely drawing on the front didn’t put you in a good enough mood the back label has these reminders; “Drink Responsibly – Please Recycle – Be Kind – 10% of profits to philanthropy in Tibet.” Don’t you just feel like a good person for holding this bottle? I do.

Anyways, to what is inside. It says this beer is “all-natural” and “all-malt” made with “pure Himalayan spring water.” The malt definitely comes through in this, but it is a nice smooth taste, very sweet, must be the delicious spring water. The beer is weirdly not very carbonated, but I have a feeling that it has been perfected in this way, because I think the carbonation would ruin the sweet taste. Overall, this beer is really good, not amazing, and just the right amount of different that sets it apart from many of the beers I’ve had recently. (<< joke). They’re definitely brewing some special stuff up in those mountains. Good job Monks! Keep making this beer so I can buy it more places, and then feel good about myself.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ichabod Pumpkin Ale

Ichabod Pumpkin Ale - New Holland Brewing Company - Holland, Michigan

The third beer I’ve tried from New Holland and the third one that I like! I might have a thing against beers that are fruity flavored, because I don’t believe in beer that tastes like fruit (beer should taste like beer) but last time I checked Pumpkin was not a fruit…or is it. Crap. These are the things you should know when you are in your 20s. Well, assuming Pumpkin is not a fruit (but fruit’s seeds are usually found on the a pumpkin...things are not looking good for my argument) I generally like Pumpkin Ales. They are usually pretty dark and cinnamony and have a good, festive flavor. This one does not disappoint – most of the smell I got was cinnamon when I took my initial whiff. Exciting. The actual taste is less cinnamon than the smell leads you to believe, and the pumpkin flavor only comes out when you are about halfway through the beer. Overall, a complex tasting brew, but one that I will look for as the Fall rolls in and the air starts getting crisp and I can start wearing scarves and vests again! Also the bottle is cool and reminds me of Johnny Depp and the movie Sleepy Hollow.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Yakima Glory Ale

Yakima Glory Ale – Victory Brewing Company – Downingtown, PA 

Of all the beers I’ve opened in my life this has got to be the smelliest one. Like literally I opened the bottle and I smelled this beer without moving my face towards it. I could not decide if this was good or bad...So I drank it. WOAH BABY clearin’ out the sinuses with this one. I don’t understand what it is that’s in this beer that makes it feel like I just snorted pixie stick (flashback to freshman year of college…oops)…oh wait. Hops! I guess the “dark malts warming the hops bright edge” was not warm enough for me, and I fell off the bright edge. So if you like hops, definitely try this beer. If you don’t, stay away from it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

St. Rogue Red Ale

Dry Hopped St. Rogue Red Ale - Rogue - Newport, Oregon

If it’s Rogue I automatically like it. I have many personal connections to Rogue beers; they hold a special place in my heart for many a’ reason. So when I saw this bottle on the shelf I was pretty excited, because I have never seen it before - not even at heaven on earth, Total Wine. As the beer’s name points out it is “dry hopped” which I’m not really sure what that means***, but as I have said before I tend to shy away from lots of hops. And this beer does have a lot of hops, but the beer wizards out in Newport have found a way to blend the red ale-ish-ness with the dry hops to have it come out more sweet than anything else. This is definitely another strong tasting beer, one of those one-at-a-time, get a pint beers, but it is very pleasant and very tasty. Also the label is really cool and I’m pretty sure beer-drinking Jesus is on it, which obviously makes this a go-to on any shelf. Or maybe St. Rogue was Jesus’twin brother…the smarter one who turned the water into BEER.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Koko Brown - Guest blog!

Guest blog! By my number one fan Jess!

Koko Brown - Kona Brewing Company - Kona, Hawaii

I first encountered this beer in a frathouse, when a friend was sipping on a bottle and raving about the toasted coconut infusions of this Kona Aloha Series brew.  I was intrigued, but I was only granted a single sip upon which to base my first impression. This impression was also colored by the fact that the fratboy who suggested this beer had a collection of Woodchuck bottles on display in his room.  Now, this is nothing personal against Woodchuck, but a professed love of this sweet cider doesn’t really lend itself to a reputation as a great beer connoisseur.  In any case, my reaction to this one sip was: WHOA! Extreme coconut overload! I didn’t think that the coconutty taste mixed well with the moderate bitterness of the brown ale.  Little did I know, however, that my opinion would change when this beer would next cross my path. 

Several months later, my roommate decided to host a bring-your-own-six-pack party, and the shirtless man on the label caught my eye and peaked my curiosity once again.  I claimed a bottle for myself and set out to see if a second taste would sway my opinion. Sure enough! With more than a single sip to tantalize my tongue, I was better able to appreciate how the roasty tones inherent in a brown ale mixed well with the coconutty tones that distinguish this brew.

A couple weeks later, I was impressed enough with this beer to buy a whole six-pack for myself when I spotted it at the grocery store. I realized that I tend to appreciate fruity tones in a beer as long as they blend well and aren’t too overwhelming. I like that this beer has that little zest of flavor integrated with an ale, as opposed to a wheat beer, the style which accompanies many fruity-flavored brews.  I recommend it if you like brown ales and are interested in trying one with a twist, but beware that the toasted coconut flavor gives the beer a rather sweet and nutty finish!