Posts tagged ‘three pints’

Leinenkugel’s: Lemon Berry Shandy

By popular request (meaning my dad asked me to) I present to you my review of Leinenkugel’s newest (and year-round!) shandy: Lemon Berry Shandy. As my regular readers know I am a HUGE fan of Summer Shandy. The beginning of Shandy Season is the highlight of my May. Or as was the case earlier this year, the highlight of my February 29th. Despite my love of that lemonade beer from Chippewa Falls, I hadn’t yet picked up some of this new brew. Possibly because I had only been able to find it in 12 packs and I’m just not that interested in 12 beers I may or may not like. But I found a six pack two weeks ago, and now I’ve finally gotten some time to drink one!

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer. This is really an unfortunate category because it lumps Sam Adams Cherry Wheat (not that great) with New Glarus Raspberry Tart (amazing.) And it includes everything in between. Basically, these beers taste like the fruit or veggie added to them and there isn’t much else in terms of malt or hops to speak of.

Overall Impression: Do you like lemon? Do you like berries? Do you like them even more together? This is like the Powerthirst (warning-video link) of berry lemonade. Honestly, I didn’t like it as much as Summer Shandy but it wasn’t bad. Definitely more of a summer beer than a fall. Also, it tasted like a Honey Bear (Berry Weiss + Summer Shandy) and while this, being in one bottle instead of two, is certainly cheaper, I wanted something new and a little more different.

Appearance: Ooo! It’s pink! Okay, well, it’s pink-amber but hey, close enough. Head dissipates very quickly. Cloudy–basically looks like you put Berry Weiss and Summer Shandy together. I think Leinie’s might be trying to capitalize on the Honey Bear phenomenon.

Aroma: Kinda smells like lemon cleaner–same as Summer Shandy. It’s VERY lemony. And then you are hit with BERRY! (See what I mean about this being like Powerthirst? Read my all caps type in the voiceover style.) It also kind of smells like an Astro Pop shot (Smirnoff Ice + grenadine, drop in a shot of UV blue–awesome.)

Taste: Berry! And lemon! And….not much else.

Mouthfeel: Light, lots of carbonation. It pretty much feels like it should.

Try this if you like: Summer Shandy (I mean, they’re basically the same), Leinie’s Berry Weiss, Naked Dove Berry Naked (hands-down the best fruit beer I’ve ever had), New Glarus Raspberry Tart (not quite a beer…but SO GOOD)

3 stars

Magic Hat: Vinyl

I’m back! Perhaps temporarily, but I just finished writing a paper and have some time before the dog needs dinner and a walk. Grad school takes up a lot of my time–but only 10 months to go! (Oh yes, I’m counting.) Unfortunately, while I’ve been doing plenty of paper-writing and paper-reading, what I haven’t been doing is drinking a lot of beer. The one I’m writing about today I drank back in May. This is why I keep a notebook. Tonight’s beer of choice is Vinyl by Magic Hat Brewing Company in Burlington, Vermont.

Style: American Amber/Red Lager. This is a catch-all sort of category. You’ve got slightly fuller lagers than the American Light lagers (which includes Miller Lite and Bud Light, among others.) These beers have low bitterness and are a bit maltier than their light sisters.

Overall Impression: This is Magic Hat’s spring seasonal brew and it shows. It’s perfect for those warm spring days (especially this past year where it was about 70 on St. Patrick’s Day.)

Appearance: Gorgeous amber color which unfortunately does not come through in the photograph. I’m working on getting one of those staging thingys. The tan head disappeared quickly after pouring. The beer itself is pretty clear.

Aroma: Mostly roasted malts; and you can definitely pick up some caramel notes too.

Taste: Malt and hops. This is almost too bitter for a spring seasonal but then again I’m not the biggest fan of very bitter beers. However, the balance between malty flavors and bitter flavors is even.

Mouthfeel: Well, this is definitely a lager–you can feel all the carbonation! It is somewhat thin but that’s okay for a spring beer. This would be a decent session brew.

Try this if you like: Old Scratch Amber Lager, Wisconsin Amber, Point Classic Amber, Leinenkugel’s Classic Amber

3 stars

Sam Adam’s: Mighty Oak Ale

Part of the Samuel Adam’s Spring sampler pack, the Mighty Oak Ale was new this year. As I’ve said before, I view Sam Adam’s as a sort of craft brew-macro-brew hybrid, so you’ll never see a review of Boston Lager on here. But I do like some of their more interesting, crafty brews. See: Black and Brew and Infinium. This one was pretty good.


Style: American Amber/Red Ale. This, like many “American” beer styles, is a catch-all for ales that aren’t dark. It usually focuses on the malt flavors but can also be quite hoppy. This category also includes those faux-Octoberfest beers that are actually ales (not lagers.)

Overall Impression: Pretty decent beer. Would be a good session ale. This should appeal to fans of beer and novices alike. I’d tailgate with this. It gets a lower rating than taste alone would suggest, mostly because it’s just not that interesting.

Appearance: Reddish brown color, fairly clear. Not much head to speak of.

Aroma: Mostly malt notes in the aroma.

Taste: Somewhat sweet with a mild hop background. The oak notes really came through on the second (and subsequent) tastes.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light.

Try this if you like: Fat Tire Amber Ale, Bell’s Amber Ale, Cascazilla

Warhorse Brewing Company: IPA

I normally don’t drink IPAs because I’m not a fan of the strong bitterness. That’s why you don’t see too many of them on this blog-I find it difficult to review them objectively. But I gave it a shot with this one from War Horse Brewing Company (soon to be famous.) I’ve also reviewed their Riesling Ale and their American Black Lager.

Style: American India Pale Ale (IPA). Pale golden to reddish amber color. High bitterness and high citrate flavor. Usually balanced by a malty background.

Overall Impression: A pretty decent IPA. Nothing special but it gets the job done.  This went really well with the Indian food I was eating at the time.

Appearance: Clear with a pale brown color. Decent head retention.

Smell: Mostly the hops come through in the aroma.

Taste: Excellent bitterness. Everything you’d expect from an IPA. And like many IPAs, you don’t taste much beyond the hops.

Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp.

Try this if you like: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, HopDevil Ale, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon

New Holland: Sundog Amber Ale

There is nothing like a good amber ale, especially when it’s also cheap. And you drink it while tailgating. In the rain. And then your team loses 58-0. Ugh. But anyway! The best part of my trip up to Ann Arbor this year was discovering New Holland‘s Sundog Amber Ale.


Style: American Amber/Red Ale. This style is really a catchall for something that isn’t really “dark” but isn’t “light” either. These beers have a well-balanced mix of malt and hops, with a potential light fruitiness.

Overall Impression: Mmmm. Sundog has a mild bitterness which translated to a nice bite. As I mentioned above, I did tailgate with this beer so it’s a decent session beer. I had 2 of these and one Goose Island Harvest Ale. (Don’t worry, the review is based off of another bottle of Sundog I had a week or so later.) And it was also pretty cheap, so it’s got that going for it too. All of that said, it wasn’t anything special: just your typical tasty amber ale.

Appearance: Clear coppery/amber color.

Smell: Not a very strong aroma, mostly hops.

Taste: Mildly bitter, decent balance between hops and malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and well-carbonated. The taste does not really hang around on your tongue.

Try this if you like: Fat Tire Amber Ale, Bell’s Amber Ale

Irish Stout Homebrew Part 3: Tasting!

This is really the best part–tasting your creation.

Irish Stout 2 weeks post-bottling

The verdict? It tastes okay–after 2 weeks it was mostly just hops. After 4 weeks though, we got quite a bit more of the malt flavor and started to taste more like a stout.

On a scale of 1  to 5 pints, 5 being the best freakin’ homebrew I’ve ever had, and 1 being “Dear God we should give up now and pretend this never happened”, I give this attempt a 2.5, rounded up to 3. 🙂 We didn’t screw up royally-we did in fact succeed in making beer. The beer is the color it’s supposed to be. It’s just a little too hoppy and not enough malty for a stout.

End of Summer: Otter Creek Brewing-Otter Summer

Even though it’s probably going to be about 90 degrees today, I’m doing my last summer beer review until probably next April or May. So here we go, with Otter Creek Brewing‘s Otter Summer.

Otter Creek Brewing is a Vermont-based brewery (apparently I really like Vermont beer) and by the beer selection on the website, it appears to be pretty small. There are 3 year-round brews and 3-seasonal brews (a Summer, Oktoberfest, and Winter.) I’d like to get my hands on the Oktoberfest, but for now, let’s talk about the Summer!

Style: American Wheat Characterized by a light golden color, high carbonation, and moderate bitterness. Not very fruity.

Overall Impression: All bite and no bark. Since this is a summer beer, I was expecting a little bit of fruitiness. It would have been a great balance to the otherwise hoppy flavor. Then again, it is pretty true to the style Otter Creek claims they are going for.

Appearance: Light golden in color, with easily visible carbonation bubbles. Little to no head retention.

Aroma: Mild hoppy scent, not much else to smell here.

Taste: Mostly hops. Not overly bitter, but there isn’t much else to taste here.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean.

Try this if you like: Sam Adam’s Summer Ale, Bell’s Oberon.