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Our mission at The BeerFathers is to teach you to stop worrying and love the beer. Our secondary mission is to drink a lot of beer. Our tertiary mission is to give you ratings on those beers - objective, unbiased, opinionated, prejudiced ratings based on what we find good about beer. Take it with a grain of salt or preferably one of those big beer pretzels they sell in Munich. Those things are great.

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Top US Beer Brand Stats

By John on June 5, 2008 (3 Comments)

Note: This post was written in 2008 for the 2007 stats. We’ve since updated it for the 2009 stats (here) and the 2010 stats (here).

In a recent issue of Beverage Industry magazine (April 2008) there is a category focus on US beer consumption for 2007 that gives some really interesting stats by sales. The good info is in tables that aren’t on the link above, so I’ll summarize below. Prepare for the bullet points:

Top Craft Beer Brands 2007:

  1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  2. Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  3. Samuel Adams Seasonal
  4. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
  5. Samuel Adams Light
  6. Shiner Bock
  7. Widmer Hefeweizen
  8. Samuel Adams Brewmaster Collection
  9. Redhook ESB
  10. Pyramid Hefeweizen Ale

The BeerFathers Notes on Top Craft Beer Brands:

  • Sam Adams gets to lump it’s collections together, like seasonals, to show up as one brand, which is quite misleading.
  • Two awful hefeweizens make the list. Weihenstephaner to the rescue?
  • I’d be really interested to see how Michelob Amber Bock sales compare to Shiner Bock, since the two are so close in taste and one has a solid craft reputation.

Top Imported Beer Brands 2007:

  1. Corona Extra
  2. Heineken
  3. Corona Light
  4. Tecate
  5. Heineken Premium Light Lager
  6. Modelo Especial
  7. Newcastle Brown Ale
  8. Guinness Draught
  9. Labatt Blue
  10. Beck’s

TheBeerFathers Notes on Top Imported Beer Brands:

  • A tip of the beer glass and a hearty “Hola!” to our amigos south of the border.
  • Heineken. Now there’s a tough one. A marketing machine, yes. But is it just the image associated with drinking Heineken that makes people get it? It sure as hell isn’t the taste.
  • Guinness is the only one on this list above the 50th percentile at RateBeer.com (with a solid 82). Newcastle Brown Ale comes in good second with a respectable 47. Beck’s is the next closest with a 14. All the others, seriously, are in single digits.

Top Beers by Brand 2007:

  1. Bud Light – 21.9% market share
  2. Budweiser – 11.1% market share
  3. Miller Lite – 7.2% market share
  4. Coors Light – 7.0% market share
  5. Corona Extra – 4.7% market share
  6. Natural Light – 4.1% market share
  7. Heineken – 2.9% market share
  8. Busch Light – 2.6% market share
  9. Busch – 2.1% market share
  10. Miller High Life – 2.0% market share

The BeerFathers Notes on Top Beers by Brand:

  • Good grief this is a depressing list.
  • Anheuser-Busch owns 41.8% of the US beer market.
  • The highest rated beer on the list at RateBeer.com? Heineken FTW at a 9. Second place? Corona Extra at a 3. Shouldn’t at least one of the top beers be in double digits?
  • Coors’ Blue Moon grew 77% last year and was called the top performing beer brand of 2007. It’s not cracked the top 10 list yet but it may soon. If it does we’ll have a double-digiter on the list.

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Beer Rule: The Hefeweizen Law

By John on May 30, 2008 (4 Comments)

We seriously love the hefes here at The BeerFathers. It’s almost unnatural. There’s just something about the wheat and the lemon and the banana and the slight pepperiness and the overall je ne sais pas that just gives us the goose bumps.

Because of this we’ve decided it’s time to create The Hefeweizen Law:

I hereby propose the passing of legislation that makes mandatory the possession of an inventory of no less than 6 hefeweizens in your fridge at any given point in time between the months of April and October. I’ll even broaden it out to allow for any wheat beer without fear of punishment.

All in favor?

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Les Trois Mousquetaires Imperial Weizen

By John & Dad on May 22, 2008 (No Comments)

In yet another Thursday father/son beer tasting we gave the Imperial Weizen Summer Wheat Ale from Les Trois Mousquetaires a long look. This one comes in a 1/2 ounce-robbing 11.5 oz bottle and by the time you’re through you’re thinking that other 1/2 ounce would be just about right.

The ABV comes in at 8%, nice and solid for an imperial wheat. The beer temperature was 43 F and our pour into a weizen glass yielded an insanely huge 4″ foamy white head. The head dissipated slowly and gave us virtually no lacing. The carbonation was lively, the body clarity was hazy and the color was a beautiful gold to amber.

The initial aromas were biscuit, wheat, orange, yeast, banana and clove. The initial taste added in some alcohol and peach to the fray. The body lacing was fair as we drank it down. The initial flavor notes came off as moderately sweet and lightly sour. The finish flavor moved to a light sweet, moderate bitter and a light saltiness. The finish duration was long, mouthfeel was oily and it actually was almost perfectly balanced on our patented malt to hop scale. Though not repeatable (we really wouldn’t want to drink another one right after it), it was definitely drinkable (we wanted to finish the one we had), memorable and even had a wow factor for wheat beer. Would we buy it again? Absolutely.

Overall this is a good springtime beer. It was remarkably well balanced, though we’d have to say it’s probably the hoppiest weizen we’ve had to date (though the malts balanced it out well). Not bad for our first imperial weizen. Refreshing really isn’t the right word to describe it if you’re thinking of say a hefeweizen, but it is quite enjoyable. One glass is just about right.

Les Trois Mousquetaires Imperial Weizen Rating: 6 out of 10 (?)

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Why We Love The Weekends

By John on May 19, 2008 (No Comments)

Duck Rabbit Milk StoutWe love the weekends because you get to do a little grilling, a little Mario Karting and a little drinking of the good stuff.

We love the weekends because you occasionally get perfect weather and get to hang out with the family, friends and pups you love.

We love the weekends because you get to try some new beers and buy some new ones too.

And with all that I can honestly say that’s just about as good as it gets. It makes the fact that you didn’t do any of your chores and will now have to do them during the week seem okay.
Cheers to more weekends like this in the near term future!

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Big Changes Coming at Guinness

By John on May 14, 2008 (No Comments)

Guinness is revamping the St. James’s Gate brewery – they’re going to upgrade it to produce only for the Irish and British markets and handle tourists. A new brewery is being built that will make Guinness for export and it should be commissioned in 2013.

This means a significant space reduction once the new brewery is operational and at that point they will sell half the land at the St. James’s Gate brewery as it exists now (source: Times Online UK).

Read the full press release from Diageo
(parent company of Guinness, Harp, Red Stripe, Johnnie Walker and lots of other top brands).

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Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager

By John & Dad on May 12, 2008 (2 Comments)

Louisiana is a special place in the The BeerFathers household – son Beer Love was born there and spent his first 25 years there. And though Father Beer Love wasn’t born there, he’s called it home for well over 30 years. Because of that Abita beers may get a special nod in the beer love department, though we’re not opposed to telling you how we really feel about them – see the Abita Wheat and Abita Mardi Gras Bock reviews as evidence. That said Abita Springs, LA wouldn’t be a bad place to call your final resting grounds.

With the Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager we didn’t know what to expect going in – our experience with fruited beers in the past hasn’t always been remarkable (see Sam Adams Cherry Wheat), but this one seemed too good to pass up. We do know one thing from the Abita Purple Haze – Abita knows how to fruit their beers.

Father Beer Love was the first to buy it, having seen it in an ad for Albertson’s, and quickly called to say that a 6 pack was in order. Needless to say in that time son Beer Love has been through two 6 packs and as he writes this may be making plans for his third.

For our official review we used a weizen glass and on the pour got a huge 3″ white foamy head that gave a good amount of head lacing as it dissipated slowly. The beer temperature came in at 45.1 F from the 12 oz bottle. The body clarity was clear and almost sparkling, with a soft carbonation and a yellow to golden color.

The aromas, though not great in number, were scintillating – strawberry, vanilla, sweet biscuit, heavy cream, dough, batter and white cake. It smells very much like a strawberry shortcake or a white cake with strawberry icing.

The tastes were in line with the aromas, and we got an additional barley note in the flavor. The initial flavor gave us light sweet, light bitter and light tart and the finish stayed true to the initial flavor. The finish duration was average, the body lacing was fair and the mouthfeel was a little dry. On the malt to hop scale it was slightly skewed towards the hop side, just a little off of perfectly balanced.

All said it tastes like dessert! Beer for dessert – and that suits us just fine. Memories of childhood – a sweet warm biscuit split and buttered with real butter, covered with strawberries the size of your thumb that had real flavor sliced and macerated with real sugar until the juice came out and cold heavy cream poured on top and and let set for a few minutes to let the flavors blend (what we didn’t know then about cholesterol and saturated fat). You can tell these are real, great Louisiana strawberries in it, and they are understated enough to be enjoyable – it has a definite beer taste to it and the strawberries don’t overwhelm. The bitterness, sweetness and tartness all work together to make it quite enjoyable and refreshing. It’s not very complex, but it is quite satisfying. Worthy of a 12 pack and a great session beer – it’s a gulper. It’s a shame to drink just one though. It’s repeatable and quite drinkable. It’s memorable and even has that wow factor we look for. The harmony is so-so but would we buy it again? Yes and we have.

This is just about the perfect spring beer. Ideal for 60 to 80 F weather. We don’t think it would work in the summer, fall or winter. Spring is just about right. If you want to label it with a season call it a good Easter beer, which coincides well with the strawberry season. A great way to cut the yellow dust (pollen) that covers everything, especially after mowing. Drink it fast though, it probably won’t keep well for months on end. Buy it young, drink it quick and enjoy spring and its new rebirth of flavors. Everyone we’ve shared it with has loved it. The overall rating is a solid 4, plus one point for nostalgia and tasting like our youth – strawberry shortcakes with real cream, not Cool Whip. Don’t get too critical and don’t over think this, just take it for what it is – a good, enjoyable treat of a beer, not a top beer in the world by any means – and you’ll love it. Get it soon though because it’s a seasonal and won’t be around all year. And though we didn’t use it for the review – a frosty glass or mug would be perfect for this one.

Tangent: In typing up this review I kept mistyping strawberry as strawbeery, perhaps because of my poor grammar skills, but perhaps because the marketing switch in me is always turned to “on”. In retrospect this might be an even better name for the beer. Or at least a good descriptive phrase. Who knew? Strawbeery!

Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager Rating: 5 out of 10 (?)

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Beer Love 2.0

By John on May 11, 2008 (No Comments)

We launched the first official redesign of the The BeerFathers web site this week, meaning we’re officially version 2.0, with a web 2.0 look. And officially we will never use that term again because we hate it.

This site redesign got started a little under a month ago and we took the opportunity to update a lot. Highlights include:

  • We made the site much more aesthetically pleasing – cleaner graphics, larger fonts, wider layout, more breathing room, etc.
  • We made the site much faster – like a billion times faster.
  • We merged the beer blog and beer ratings together so they can live together in beer harmony. You can still pull out just the ratings if you like by clicking on Beer Ratings at the top of the page.
  • We put the full content of the last 25 beer blog and beer rating posts on the home page so you don’t have to individually click on each post to read them. We hated having to do that just as much as you.
  • We added some “meta data” to the beer ratings – namely you can now browse by Beer Styles – we broke these out into two main categories – Ales and Lagers.
  • We put the full counts of the number of beers in each of our ratings categories so you know what you’re getting into.
  • We put sortable beer results on all ratings, styles and search pages. This will give you a table where you can click on the header to sort by beer name, date reviewed, reviewer and number of comments.
  • We made the search results a lot better and a lot more usable, especially if we don’t have any results matching your search.
  • We added a Twitter feed so we can post quick micro-updates.
  • We made the ads (hopefully) a little bit more relevant to the content.
  • We did a lot of boring behind the scenes work to help with search engine results and things like that.
  • And finally we’ve got a ton of ideas in the queue that we will push in the coming months. Videos, free stuff and more.

We welcome any and all feedback – Twitter us up or drop us an email. Cheers!

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Rogue Dead Guy Ale

By John & Dad on May 8, 2008 (1 Comment)

For Mike.

This is our first memorial beer tasting, in the memory of our co-worker and friend Mike White. I found out after his passing that he was a big fan of the Dead Guy Ale, so on the way back from his funeral some fellow co-workers and I decided to stop at World Market and pick up a few 22 oz bottles. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Our HR Director mentioned before that Mike would occasionally joke around and tell her he had 6 Dead Guys in his kitchen. Classic.

It’s a relatively new beer in the market and the story goes that in the early 90s it was created as a private tap sticker to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead for a restaurant in Portland, Oregon. It stuck and turned into an actual bottled product a few years later. Style-wise it’s considered a Maibock, which is in fact a lager known to be a little bit hoppier and contain a little more alcohol than a traditional bock, and is usually served around the springtime (May Bock, the ideal time to start drinking beer outside). It’s almost like a light version of a double bock. Rogue makes it their own though and throws in their proprietary “PacMan” ale yeast, giving this lager the word ale in the title and confusing those of us who try to classify styles on our web sites as either a lager or an ale.

We used a standard American pint glass for the test. Beer temperature was 48.6 F and the ABV is a nice 6.6%. The initial pour from our 22 oz friend gave us a large 2 inch foamy off-white head that dissipated slowly and left virtually no head lacing. It was a cloudy, almost murky-like amber/orange color. Looks good!

The initial aromas gave us caramel, honey, roasted and toffee malts. We also got some citrus (mostly orange) and some alcohol to the smell. The initial taste gave us most of the same profile as the aromas but added more depth – we detected a nuttiness, coupled with brown sugar, ginger and sherry. It was a treat to find these taste notes and added complexity we weren’t able to pull out of the aroma. The alcohol was not present in the taste like it was the smell. The initial flavor was a moderate sweet with a light bitter and light saltiness to it. The finish duration was average in length and the finish flavor profile changed a little to a light sweet with a moderate bitter and a light to moderate saltiness. There’s a lot of malts in here and a good number of hops to balance it out.

The mouthfeel was dry and we got no noticeable body lacing. The malt to hop scale came in ultimately at balanced, but this was an average measurement. Initially the malt profile stood out and it leaned to the malty side, but through the finish we moved more to the hoppy side. Not too far either way, but enough to notice the slide. Almost like two beers in one!

Dad notes he had an original review of this on 7/19/2005 – close to 3 years ago when we first started getting into the craft brews:

“Catchy name forgettable taste – bad.” My how things change – would have been a 1 or 2 then. Did the beer change? No, I have and this proves it.

Repeatability and drinkability are both there – we would definitely do another. We felt like it had a good balance to it, but not that intangible harmony we find in the upper tier of beers. Though good – it was memorable for sentimental reasons – it didn’t have the “wow” factor that some beers do. We would definitely buy it again though and we love the 22 oz size, which should be mandatory for all beers. You really can’t go wrong with it – $4.99 for the 22 oz bottle is a little pricier than you may expect, but it’s money well spent. The beer evolves as it warms – we suggest you start with it cold and experience it mature as it gets warmer.

The bottle reads: “Gratefully dedicated to the Rogue in each of us” – and to you Mike.

Rogue Dead Guy Ale Rating: 6 out of 10 (?)

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Recession Resistant Beer Coming Soon, Nay, Already In Stores…

By John on April 28, 2008 (No Comments)

There’s another new beer in stores now. Not select stores, but EVERY store that sells beer. You can even find this new beer at convenience stores like Circle K and 7-11. It’s called Recession Resistant Beer and it’s inside every bottle or can you can pick up everywhere beer is sold.

Check out the full story, Recession threat not causing brewers to cry in their beer, over at STL today.

Cheers!

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Anheuser-Busch Spewing New Beers Willy Wonka Style

By John on April 22, 2008 (No Comments)

It’s interesting to note that A-B is using Michelob as the brand to launch most of their more diverse craft brews. They’ve got their two staples – Michelob and Michelob Light, plus Amber Bock, which to most people I know was their “breakout beer.” They’ve since pushed out Porter, Marzen, Pale Ale, Wheat and Honey Lager. And now they’re getting ready to push out Red Ale, Brown Ale, Dunkel Weisse and Bohemian Pilsner. Are we running the risk of diluting the real craft brews or will taste prevail?

Full story is here at STLtoday.com.

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Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA

By John & Dad on April 15, 2008 (6 Comments)

Currently #91 on the RateBeer.com Top 100 Best Beers in the World, the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA is an IPA force to be reckoned with. This is another in a series of Thursday evening reviews between Father and Son Beer Love, but this one wasn’t a phone review, it was our first ever video review. That’s right we got Father and Son Beer Love hooked up through the miracle of iChat so we can just sit in front of our Macs and talk and see each other. How great is that?

For those who don’t know, the story of the India Pale Ale (IPA) is quite interesting. For starters as a category, IPAs are classified as a sparkling pale ale with a little bit more alcohol and hops than a typical Pale Ale. A Pale Ale is called that because it generally uses ale yeast and mostly pale malts. In the IPA the extra alcohol gives it a little kick and the extra hops give it a very distinctive bitterness – this bitterness is almost exclusively the defining characteristic of the style. British brewers invented the IPA in the 1700’s to solve the problem of keeping beer fresh on long sea voyages in hot climates, to places like India and Africa. These trips were torture on beer (and the crew no doubt) and beer tended to spoil, becoming sour and flat. You’ve got to remember that pasteurization wasn’t invented until the 1860’s and refrigeration wasn’t a viable option so alcohol and hops were all you had to fight spoiled beer (they prevent bacteria growth). With the invention of the IPA long travel and hot climates were no longer a problem and the British brewers could ship beer all the way to India and it would still be fresh, 6 months plus later.

Back to our beer, the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, which is classified as an Imperial or Double IPA. It’s called a 90 minute IPA because the boil time of the wort in which the hops are added (continuously, mind you) is 90 minutes. More boil time on the hops means more bitterness. They also make a 60 minute and 120 minute IPA following this same process that are less bitter and more bitter, respectively. It’s brewed in Milton, DE by the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and our 12 oz bottle comes in at 9% ABV and 90 IBUs. Our bottled on date was May 2, 2007. I don’t think we have to worry about this one going bad.

We poured it into a tulip glass and got a beer temperature of 52 F. The initial pour yielded an average 1 1/4″ white fizzy head that gave us a fair amount of lacing. It’s got a medium amount of carbonation and the body is fairly clear and a nice amber color. The initial pour gave us a number of aromas – mainly caramel, sherry, earth and spices and of course a lot of hop aromas – citrus, floral, grass, herb and pine.

The initial flavor is a moderate sweet and a heavy bitter and that stayed true through the finish. Hell, it’s an IPA, what did you expect? In addition to the aroma notes above we also picked up some honey later in the taste. It’s really a beautiful complex mixture of tastes. There was surprisingly no alcohol in the taste, but the alcohol does hit you – it’s very strong and potent. The taste became very nice as it warmed – it’s definitely a taste bud tickler. There’s really no “hop shock” to speak of and though it’s hoppy, the balance saves it. It edges just a little, but not too far, towards the hoppy side on the patented BeerFathers malt to hop scale. The finish duration is long, the mouthfeel is oily and there was a fair amount of body lacing.

Neither Father nor Son Beer Love are hopheads, but this is a great hop beer. It’s not necessarily repeatable, or rather you probably shouldn’t have another one though you may want it (high gravity, you see). It was, however, very drinkable, very memorable, had a great wow factor and we would definitely buy it again. We feel the main thing about it this beer is the balance. It’s just extremely balanced, especially considering how complex it is, and it becomes so wonderful as it warms into the 60s. We don’t have a lot of IPAs in our ratings to compare it to so we’ve given it a 7 as is. When we have other IPAs to compare it to we may come in and adjust the rating. For now you need to get this beer and try it. If you love hoppy beers (do you like Sam Adams?) then you’ll fall in love with this one. And even if you’re not a known hophead, there’s still something in here for you and you should be able to appreciate this for the wonderfully unique beer it is.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA Rating: 7 out of 10 (?)

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Top 50 Craft Beer Companies Announced

By John on April 15, 2008 (No Comments)

BeerTown.org has released some stats on the American craft beer scene for 2007, including the top 50 craft beer companies by sales volume. No surprises at the top of the list with Boston Beer (Sam Adams), Sierra Nevada and New Belgium sitting in the top 3 spots. I was happy to see though that the Spoetzl Brewery, makers of our almost hometown Shiner Bock, came in at number 4. There’s some great companies on the list – Bell’s, Dogfish Head, North Coast Brewing and our beloved Abita, coming in at 17. Check out the full press release here (PDF format).

You can also check out some of their other interesting Craft Brew Statistics, including how the craft beers break out – microbreweries vs. brewpubs, growth rates and total overall numbers. A worthwhile read.

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Bell’s Expedition Stout

By John & Dad on April 10, 2008 (2 Comments)

Go ahead and put on your to-do list, if you’re ever in Kalamazoo, MI, to visit the Bell’s Eccentric Cafe where you can try most of the Bell’s Beers on tap. We’d say you also need to visit Bell’s Brewery as well, but it’s not open to the public. We base this directive solely on the strength of this one rating. Looking over their brands though, they tend to make mostly ales and stouts and porters, so wethinks it would be hard to go wrong.

In case you haven’t guessed, this Bell’s Expedition Stout review is one of our infamous Thursday phone reviews between Father and Son Beer Love.

This 12 oz bottle of Expedition Stout goodness sported a 10.5% ABV and came in right at 50 F when poured into our American pint glass. The pour produced an average 1 1/4″ dark brown creamy head that had excellent lacing as it dissipated slowly into the murky depths below. Completely black and opaque in color, we noted very little in the way of carbonation.

The initial aromas gave us chocolate and coffee, earth and black licorice. The initial flavor gave us a moderate sweet and a heavy bitter, which stayed true through the finish with the exception of a light saltiness we started to pick up. The regular chocolate and coffee aromas though turned into dark chocolate and espresso tastes, with some additional smoke flavor coursing through our taste buds. The finish duration is long, the mouthfeel is oily and the body has a good amount of lacing to it.

It’s a bold taste and the bitterness we pick up is not in the hops. Though it’s as far to the malt side of the malt-to-hop scale as you can get, in your mouth it’s actually almost perfectly balanced – between the sweet of the chocolate and the bitterness of the coffee it finds a terrific niche. There is no alcohol in the taste initially, but as it warms you start to pick up some alcohol notes in the finish. The beer overall becomes more refined as it warms into the upper 50’s and lower 60’s. It’s a stick-to-your-ribs kind of beer and a taste bud tingler – it’s an almost overwhelming experience in your mouth.

It would be good with cheeses, crackers and fruits and great with a fine steak (Ruth’s Chris, maybe?). It’s repeatable, drinkable, memorable, has a wow factor to it and we would buy it again. One of the few times we’ve agreed on all those factors. This would frighten away a beer newbie, but after a year or two of gradually working into the dark stuff they’d be able to appreciate this beer for what it is. Definitely a top beer.

Bell’s Expedition Stout Rating: 9 out of 10 (?)

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And the Fastest Growing Beer in America Is….

By John on April 10, 2008 (1 Comment)

Think you know what the fastest growing beer in America is? We’re not just talking craft beers here but all beers. Specifically year-over-year growth in 2007 in supermarkets.

The winner? Blue Moon.

The full article is available here
.

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O’Fallon Smoked Porter

By John & Dad on April 8, 2008 (No Comments)

The latest Thursday night Father and Son Beer Love Session features the O’Fallon Smoked Porter. The smoked porter concept was new to us so we were pretty anxious to give it a shot. We like smoked and we like porters, so let’s blend the two and dive in.

The O’Fallon Brewery is conveniently located in O’Fallon, Missouri, and I’m sure the crew there was pleased with the happenstance of the name/location. This Smoked Porter weighs in at 6% ABV in it’s 12 oz bottle, which also tells us it was the 2004 Gold Medal winner for the best smoked beer in America. To celebrate we served it up in an American pint glass and had an initial pour temperature of 47 F. Perfect!

The pour produced a small 3/4″ frothy medium brown head and an opaque black body. The head dissipated rather quickly and left a fair amount of lacing in the process. Not much carbonation to speak of. Our initial aromas, using our patented BeerFathers sniffing process, gave us roasted malts, black licorice, soy sauce and smoke. We rated the smoke smell as very comparable to liquid smoke that you use to marinade your meats when you can’t actually smoke them outdoors.

Our initial flavor was a moderate bitter, followed by a lightly salty aftertaste. Very interesting. The soy sauce taste is high predominant and the smoke flavor follows thereafter. It’s not terribly complex and we were a little surprised there was no coffee or chocolate notes at all to it – being smoked porter newbies we’re not sure if that’s the style or just the style of this one in particular. The finish had an average to long duration and produced an odd saltiness we really haven’t experienced much before in other beers. The mouthfeel was dry and on the malt to hop scale it was closer to the heavy side of malts.

It’s definitely worth trying one – it may suit you or someone you love’s tastes very well. It definitely won’t appeal to the masses and didn’t really appeal to us. Try it for its uniqueness though – this thing makes its own statement and we respect that. Plus one point in the rating for it’s boldness, brazenness, brashness and bravado. This may work with a hearty meal – think briskets and stews. The heavy bold flavors might jive a bit there. Hell, it may be worth a shot to marinade your steaks right in this. Now that we can get into!

O’Fallon Smoked Porter Rating: 4 out of 10 (?)

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