Archive for July, 2011

Bitter Woman IPA in Tulip Glass

Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been camping in Door County in Wisconsin…and will actually have a bunch of new reviews related to that trek in the coming days…but here is my latest review.

Bitter Woman IPA

Tyranena Brewing Company

Lake Mills, WI

IBU – unavailable

ABV – unavailable

Tyranena Brewing Company calls Bitter Woman IPA a “Wisconsin version of an IPA”. It is named in honor of an early Lake Mills, WI resident named “Aunt Cal” who was romantically linked to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

 I grabbed my trusty tulip glass and poured my bottle of Bitter Woman. The ale was golden, almost orange in color, sporting a thin white head that clung to the glass.

 The aroma is sweet yet with a strong floral hoppiness. Not to get too sappy here, but I sometimes think that if there’s a heaven, I hope it smells like Bitter Woman IPA.

 The first thing to hit your tongue is the sweetness of the malt…which is quickly swept away by an intense hoppy bitterness that lingers in your mouth, teasing the goodness that awaits you in the rest of the glass.

 This IPA has long been one of my favorites. I think I’ve recommended it to everyone I know that drinks beer at some point. It’s a beer that hopheads will love instantly but might be a little bit intense for those that are new to the style.

 Bitter Woman IPA is a beer that I personally look forward to drinking on tap every year the Great Lakes Brewfest. It is a beer that I know I can count when I am in need of a crisp, refreshing IPA.

In my opinion…this is a 5 star beer.

Track it down, give it a try. I think you’ll love it.


Josh Frank


If you have any beers you’d like for me to check out and review here, drop me a line with the name of a  shop where I can find a bottle or two

Upland Dragonfly IPA in a Pint Glass


Upland Brewing Company

Bloomington, IN

Dragonfly IPA

6.5% ABV

50 IBU

Upland Brewing Company’s website states that Dragonfly IPA features 7 hop additions. On paper, that’s enough to make any hophead drool. In reality, Dragonfly really was a bit of a let down.

 I poured my Dragonfly IPA into one of my favorite Great Lakes Brewfest pint glasses. It is golden in color and had a little bit of white foam on top that dissipated rather quickly. It appears to be unfiltered though I can’t find any reference to that on the Upland site or on the bottle.

 The aroma is malty and sweet with a citrusy hop tone beneath.

 Dragonfly IPA is light and crisp, but the initial flavor to hit my tongue is a slight metallic taste. However it quickly fades to a malty sweetness with sort of grassy hop flavor and has a dry finish.

 This is not an IPA that I will be drinking more of. It may be the right beer for someone…and really is not a bad example of an IPA, but when a brewer makes a point of saying that a beer has had 7 hop additions, that sets certain expectations and Dragonfly let me down. I’d say this is probably 3 stars, but it is not the beer for me. I certainly will not be recommending it to my friends. Should they find it on their own…they can proceed at their own risk and form their own opinions.

Left Hand – Milk Stout in a Pint Glass

Left Hand Brewing Company

Longmont, CO

Milk Stout

5.3% ABV

25 IBU

Today marks my first Left Hand Milk Stout, but I assure you it will not be my last.

 I’ll be honest. I was first attracted to the psychedelic cow on the label. Is that so wrong?

 I opened the bottle and poured it into a pint glass, not really knowing what to expect. The stout was black, nearly opaque with a thin beige head and I could smell it’s roasted malty goodness before my nose got anywhere near the glass. Holding the glass under my nose and inhaling deeply, I was greeted by coffee and hints of chocolate. It was just this sort of heavenly aroma that first drew me to stouts back in college.

 The thick, creamy liquid was sweet and had intense coffee flavors. There was a slight bitter aftertaste, but it was not at all unpleasant and it’s finish was a bit dry.

Left Hand’s Milk Stout is a simple well-balanced beer. Silky and smooth, but not at all heavy as stouts can often be. I would say it is a 4 star beer and I would especially recommend it to someone who is new to the style as this would make a fantastic introduction to the world of stouts.


josh frank

Wasatch Beers – Polygamy Porter


Polygamy Porter

Wasatch Beers

 Salt Lake City, Utah

7.0% ABV

I opened a bottle of Polygamy Porter and poured it slowly into a pint glass. The porter is dark brown, nearly black with a creamy beige head that clings to the glass with every movement. A cascade of carbonation bubbled up from the depths of the ale.

 The aroma was mostly of roasted barley but gave hints of chocolate and held the promise of a nice flavorful porter.

 The first sip brought only disappointment, as did each sip thereafter. There are the slightest coffee tones, but beyond that the flavors seemed vague and watered down. If only Polygamy Porter could have tasted half as good as it smelled…or maybe not smelled so good to begin with.

 If we’re sticking with the stars motif, I’d have to say that Polygamy Porter is two stars.


josh frank

Potosi Snake Hollow IPA in the Glass


Snake Hollow IPA

Potosi Brewing Company

Potosi , WI

ABV – 7%

IBU – 70

I’m new to writing about my beer drinking experiences…so bear with me.

 When I initially visited the Potosi Brewing Company site and read the brief summary on Snake Hollow IPA, I thought maybe I was in for an exercise in extreme beer-drinking. The brief description talked about how the IPA was hopped “plentifully in the kettle” and then hopped again prior to being aged. It is described as a “sturdy beer” that is sure to “satisfy the many hopheads among new-aged beer aficionados”. The hophead in me couldn’t wait

 I cracked open a bottle of Snake Hollow…sniffed the bottle…poured it into a tulip glass and inhaled deeply. The aroma was fantastic. I may have drooled on myself in anticipation. The slight smell of citrus intermingled with just a touch of pine. What more could a hop-lover ask for, right.

 The beer itself is golden, almost amber in color. Nicely carbonated with a fluffy, white head atop the ale. The head actually lingers for quite a while…so overall, nice head retention.

 The first sip was quite a surprise. I’d expected hops to the extreme. Snake Hollow IPA is mellow, well-balanced and complex from first sip to last. The first thing to hit the tongue is a pleasant malty sweetness followed by citrusy hop tones. The finish is slightly dry and grassy…and left me craving more. I was sad to see the glass empty.

 Potosi Snake Hollow IPA is one tasty beer. I can see it becoming a regular in my fridge and it is certainly a beer that I would recommend to a friend. I’m not exactly sure what the rating scale is going to be on my reviews here…

 If this was a star based system with 5 stars being the tops…I’d have to say Potosi Snake Hollow IPA is at least 4 and ½. This is a fantastic beer that I will definitely be revisiting over and over again.


josh frank


These reviews are only my opinion.   In the end, you should check this breweries out for yourself.

Hey there

This is my first “Beer n Shtuff” post.   I’m passionate about good beer and needed a place to come to talk beer, post some reviews…maybe the odd homebrew recipe…stuff like that.

I’ll do my best to keep this regularly updated…so try to stop by as often as you can.  Who knows, maybe i’ll be able to turn you on to a beer you’ve never tried or been interested in before.

My taste in beer has changed over the years.  I first fell in love with the dark and malty stouts and porters, but over time have become a bit of a hophead.  These days, my dad and I enjoy chasing down the hoppiest IPA’s we can get out hands on.

The funny thing is, they’re not always microbrews.  One of my favorite IPA’s right now is made by the Big Horn Brewing Company (the folks that operate the RAM brew pubs).   There is something to be said for consistency.  I know that I can walk into any RAM Brewpub, order a Big Red IPA and it will be fantastic every single time.   On the more micro side of the aisle, I’m hooked on an IPA called Bitter Woman that is made by Tyranena Brewing Company in Lake Mills, WI.  I’ll get around to posting reviews of these and others later on…

Anyway, if you stumble across a beer that you’d like me to check out or review…or if there’s anything else you’d like to see here…drop me a line at



As you have time, check out the Scary Ales Brewing Company shop at

There’s some cool beer merch and paraphenalia out there.  T-shirts, bumper stickers, and even a mug or two.