Beer Review: New Belgium Accumulation

In honor of the first significant snow fall in Cincinnati today I decided it was time to get around to trying the sample of Accumulation that New Belgium kindly provided me in advance of their statewide roll out next month (December 16th). Recent brewing history has had winter seasonal beers focus on the “winter warmer” variety of a dark, roasty, spice laden brew packing a highish abv. This year both Dogfish Head and New Belgium are throwing a curve in that tradition. Dogfish Head is bringing out a cider/beer hybrid featuring pear in a pilsner. I’ll let New Belgium explain their new brew below:

Accumulation White IPA was inspired by the white beauty that falls each winter from our Colorado sky. Flurries of Mosaic and Amarillo hops bring soft fruit and citrus flavor, followed by a layer of bitter. Piled high in IBUs, Accumulation will make your winter brighter.

Continue reading “Beer Review: New Belgium Accumulation”

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Flipside

I like Sierra Nevada in general, I like their IPA, and I really like their pale ale, all that combined with my general love of Amber IPAs (or India Amber Ales) makes me very excited to try Sierra Nevada’s brand new Flipside Red IPA. flipside2013_sellsheet_front Read on after the jump for more info and my review! Continue reading “Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Flipside”

Beer Review: Sam Adam’s Summer Ale

Attention all brewers please take note: April is not summer, it is spring. March (when I first spotted this beer as well as Bell’s Oberon) is also not summer, May is kinda summer, June is officially summer. Summer ales belong in summer… However it was over 70 degrees yesterday, and I spent all day doing yard work followed by beer & grilling out… So it’s close enough to summer.

There was a time a few years back when Sam Adam’s Summer Ale was pretty much the only beer I’d drink whenever it was available. I enjoyed a few craft beers but had no “true” idea of what was out there. Like I said that was  a few years back, last year I only had one of these and it was at a bar where the other options were less than “optimal”.

The following is the Sam Adam’s blurb about this brew:

Samuel Adams® Summer Ale is an American wheat ale. This summer seasonal uses malted wheat, lemon zest and Grains of Paradise, a rare pepper from Africa first used as a brewing spice in the 13th century, to create a crisp taste, spicy flavor and medium body. The ale fermentation imparts a background tropical fruit note reminiscent of mangos and peaches. All of these flavors come together to create a thirst quenching, clean finishing beer perfect for those warm summer days.

To me that sounds like a bunch of PR hype. “Grains of Paradise” and “a rare pepper from Africa” seriously??

Brewery: Sam Adams
Beer: Summer Ale
Style: Wheat Ale
ABV: 5.3%
Calories: ~160

A very attractive wheat beer with a nice cloudy orange/yellow color and pure white head.

Smells of lemon and a bit of grass… really not the most appetizing aroma.

Decent, though very light, flavor of mostly lemon mixed with the sweet wheat and some orange-citrus hops. Nothing to get excited about but also nothing to complain about. And there is an intangible taste that just “feels” like “summer”… though this may be part of my memory of this beer more than anything else.

Very light bodied mouth feel with plenty of carbonation.

As I said initially before I truly knew of the world of craft beer I loved this beer and it was “summer” to me. Now I know a good deal better, that doesn’t make it a bad beer it just puts this into perspective a bit. I still enjoy this in warm weather but there are superior summer wheat beers out there like Bell’s Oberon. Though I have come to prefer a nice sessionable IPA or a high quality Helles lager (by Rivertown) over one of these wheat beers… But that’s just me.

2 “Cincinnati” Octoberfest beer reviews + What is an Oktoberfest (aka Marzen) beer?

August is gone, September has begun and somehow it’s time for Oktoberfest already. Tonight I’m going to review two Marzen beers, Cincinnati’s own Christian Moerlein Fifth & Vine (brewed in PA) and Sam Adam’s Oktoberfest (brewed in Cincinnati). First off Marzen and Oktoberfest styles are the same thing, I plan to stick to using Marzen in general just to differentiate the style from the Oktoberfest events held around the world.

Continue reading “2 “Cincinnati” Octoberfest beer reviews + What is an Oktoberfest (aka Marzen) beer?”

Beer Review: 3 Floyd’s Gumball Head

3 Floyd's GumballheadBrewery: 3 Floyds
Beer: Gumball Head
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.5%

Pours a super cloudy dirty gold, like something a miner would pull out of a creek in California. Topped off with loads of fluffy white head full of big bubbles. The head is slowly rolling down as the beer continues to roll up.

Very powerful aroma of grapefruit, lemon, and some peach action.

What a great taste, there is a tiny bit of hop bitterness that kinda reminds of Aspirin, which Google tells me comes from the Amarillo hops they used. There is minimal malt presence though, but it actually results in a pretty balanced beer. There is plenty of the wheat zing present here but it isn’t overly sharp like in many wheat beers.

It’s got a super light bodied mouth feel with some slight carbonation.

This is a great sessionable wheat beer (I’d say summer seasonal, but they make it year round). I’m not too crazy about wheat beers overall but I like to have a few of these each summer. Initially I thought that at 5.5% ABV this was gonna be a little to weak to make me happy but it’s a solid strength, especially if you wanted to session this during a hot summer afternoon.

Oh… and this doesn’t remind me of gum, or gumballs, at all. Slightly disappointed there but according to their site it’s named for some cat from some comic I’ve never heard of, which also explains the cat on the logo. That all is my bad for not knowing more initially about this beer, but I assumed (and I imagine others have and will assume) that this beer somehow tastes like gumballs.