I saw the re-branded Private Reserve and decided to give it a whirl for the first time in a long time.

This Rogue Brewing beer tastes a little thin for a Belgian dark. Little sour tang and very fruit forward which I wasn’t expecting despite the label clearly stating it. I guess my brain was expecting more barrel notes. The holiday ale pours a near black color with red streaks. Raspberry first then yeasty esters.

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Next stop, NY and Southern Tier for their ode to Old Man Winter…

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Sean Suggests for December 2017

by Sean on December 15, 2017

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In honor of this month’s Extreme Beer Fest, let’s suggest three beers that are extreme in ABV and ingredients. And let’s keep it Californian too, while we are at it…

~LIGHT
Almanac/ Nectarine Cobbler7.2% ABV
“Nectarine Cobbler is our version of dessert in a glass. We started with yellow nectarines from Blossom Bluff Orchards, grown in high-summer along the banks of King’s River in California’s Central Valley. Four pounds of juicy stone fruit was added to each gallon of sour blonde ale and aged in oak barrels. We spiced the blend with cinnamon, ginger, coriander, and vanilla bean to recall the aroma of a freshly baked nectarine cobbler resting on the windowsill. Pair this autumn delight with mom’s baked desserts, Indian curries, and holiday gatherings.”

~MEDIUM
Ballast Point/ Peanut Butter Victory at Sea10.0% ABV
“Smooth peanut butter meets dark coffee in this roasty porter. This Peanut Butter Victory at Sea is a nutty version of our popular imperial porter. We took our trademark robust porter brewed with Caffè Calabria coffee and vanilla and added peanut butter, adding another level to this roasty, flavorful beer”

~DARK
Lagunitas/ Willetized Coffee Stout12.6 ABV
“Our friends over at Kentucky’s own Willett Distillery have one kind of barrel: wood. And they put two things in them: Bourbon and Rye. We were fortunate enough to get some of their Rye barrels, and we put our Imperial Stout in them. It’s a chocolatey, coffee-y, smoky, Bourbon-y beast of a barrel-aged thing. Word.”

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)

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Holiday Beer # 22 – Hoppy Holidays from NoDa

by Sean on December 15, 2017

Staying in southern climes and in the same IPA style we head to NoDa Brewing Co. for their Happy and Hoppy Holidays.

I prefer the Mrs. Claus can.

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900

by Sean on December 14, 2017

An early economic gift popped up over social media from the California Craft Brewers Association….

5 years and 587 breweries started up in California. That is amazing.  And my eye picked out another pair of numbers that might be even more important in the future.  Over 91% of residents are within 10 miles of a brewery.  With that kind of base, taprooms can become that 3rd place hub that can really put down roots.  Even die hard (It’s Christmas) water lager fans will be tempted to try “their” community brewery if they can be there in a few minutes from work on a Friday, or it is near their favorite restaurant, or they have just driven by and seen a crowd outside.

Now when do you think California hits the 1,000 mark?

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Georgia is Santa’s next stop for some southern IPA that is surely not a misfit for the current popular style, Island of Misfits from Red Hare.

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Beer is Poppin’?

by Sean on December 13, 2017


As I was doing some CyberMonday shopping, I came across this from the fun website ThinkGeek. Don’t know if I would order it except for a gag but thought I would pass it on to those who like to tease people at Christmas.

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Holiday Beer # 20 – Yellow Snow from Rogue

by Sean on December 13, 2017

Rogue Brewing has changed up the look of Yellow Snow and taken it back to nature…

Also, one of the rare pilsners on the list.

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I went into this book with high hopes. I have been on a bit of a King kick so I figured this would be another thriller/horror ride. Plus I love the novella format too.

But only the fourth of the set from Strange Weather was what I was looking for. And worse, the longest piece, Loaded, seemed an easy mark about our gun culture. Plus it was quite grim. Neither side of the debate would feel good after reading it and maybe that was the point. Aloft, the third tale, was weird with a lead character that I found annoying at times and didn’t end well. The book started with Snapshot which had a good thing going but the mechanics of the mysterious camera were never really explained so some of the scares were lost to me. I would have liked to have seen the gun polemic shortened to give more room for the other stories to fully firm.

The last story, Rain, was the clear winner. Great idea playing into our fear of the changing climate with a great and new type of lead character. She had spunk and was smart. The plot was scary and horrible at the same time and could possibly be real.

Here are some beer choices to “pair” with the book
Bottle Logic Stronger than Fiction Strong Ale
Maine Beer Co. Peeper
Burial Beer Weathered Scythe

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Holiday Beer # 19 – Winter UFO from Harpoon

by Sean on December 12, 2017

A rare winter hefeweizen. This time from Harpoon. Winter UFO has vanilla and coffee added.

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