Tag Archive: review


MKE Brewing Company

Hop Happy IPA

ABV – 7.7%

IBU – 51

I picked up a bottle of Hop Happy IPA by MKE Brewing Company at Badger Spirits in Beloit WI as part of a “Pick Your Own Six Pack” one off. I was pleasantly surprised. I cracked open the bottle and took a tentative sniff. I was greeted by a floral, grassy hop aroma that seemed to carry just a hint of citrus.

I poured it slowly into my favorite tulip glass and and the aroma that had peeked out from the bottle was far more intense in the glass.

Hop Happy IPA looks like honey in your glass. It has a white foamy head that hangs around for a few minutes before vanishing completely.

I was a little bit bewildered when my first sip of Hop Happy IPA was sweet, but then the hops swept in and completely took over. The hops seem to have far more of a citrus to them at this point…ever so slightly grapefruit. Really quite delicious.

A nice bitter aftertaste lingers at the back of your throat…begging you to take another sip.

I tend to lean toward IPA’s and Stouts, so I may be a bit biased…on these two styles.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hop Happy IPA. Its definitely one I plan to tell my dad and all my friends about. It might be a bit on the boozy side at 7.7%…not something you could drink all night long, but it would be a great beer to take one or two pints of just to get the night started off right.

Have you had this before? What did you think? This is quite a tasty beer in my opinion. I’d definitely buy this one again…probably a six pack or two of it next though.

Great beer.

Hey…I just want to mention that I tried Dark Horse’s “Smells Like a Safety Meeting” IPA a couple days ago…the day before the 4th of July I think.

Anyway, I don’t have all the specs right now…and I’d like to pick up a couple bottles to give it a fair review…but I really enjoyed it the other day at Oasis Micro Pub…really good stuff.

In case…

 

In case your wondering who this idiot is, that is bashing your favorite beers…that’s me on the left there…what a schmuck, right.

That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout Rolled Oat Stout

Pearl Street Brewery

La Crosse, WI

http://www.pearlstreetbrewerycom

ABV -6%

IBU – Unavailable

 Hey there…I’m back for more beer related shenanigans. Today we’re going to have a look into the pitch black depths of Pearl Street Brewery’s “That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout” Rolled Oat Stout.

 TWITB appears pitch black in my pint glass. Seriously, it looks like someone poured a glassful of the thickest, blackest molasses they could find. There’s a slight tan head, but that disappears pretty quickly leaving just a bit of foam at the top.

 The aroma is pretty amazing. All the roasted malt punches you right in the nose. Seems like a bit of chocolate comes through as well.

 TWITB is thick and rich. It’s chocolatey with the slightest hint of coffee. Just as the malt flavors are fading away, a pleasant bitterness sneaks in the back way to take its place.

 That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout Rolled Oat Stout is a delicious, full-bodied ale. You really have to pay attention to uncover everything this beer has to offer.  I know several people who enjoy a good stout…and I would recommend this to any one of them with out a second thought. TWITB is a really tasty beer. Ya know what might be good…and maybe not…but this is me being childish yet again…a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream dropped into a room temperature glass of Pearl Street’s Rolled Oat Stout. Yeah…you heard me…a That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout Rolled Oat Stout Float…

 Don’t just sit there…run out and grab some now.

By the way…if any of you are tired of reading about Wisconsin and midwestern micro’s, send me something else. If you have a great microbrew in your town and you want people to know about it…send me one…I’ll happily taste and review anything you send my way. Drop me a line at jfrank2264@gmail.com and I’ll set you up with some mailing info.

Cheers…

Josh Frank

Kilbourn Hop Ale

Wisconsin Dells Brewing Company

Wisconsin Dells, WI

ABV- 5.5%

IBU – Unavailable

When visiting the Wisconsin Dells, you’ll find Wisconsin Brewing Company’s Kilbourn Hop Ale on draft at both the Moosejaw Restaurant & Brewery and Buffalo Phil’s.

 This particular day we were having lunch at Buffalo Phil’s. My Kilbourn Hop Ale arrived in a frosted mug. It is golden or possibly bronze in color. It has no real head to speak of, just a slight film floating at the top of the glass.

 Kilbourn has a piney hop aroma mingled with a slight sweetness.

 The first sip is all malt and the hop flavor is  vague and hard to define. The ale has a clean finish with no lingering aftertaste.

 Kilbourn Hop Ale is a decent beer , not great by any means, but certainly the high point of a pretty lackluster line up.      I wish I had more to say about this one.  It’s really just not a noteworthy beer.  Kilbourn Hop Ale is an American Pale Ale that is average at best,  made by a brewery that is lucky enough to be the only microbrewery in the Wisconsin Dells.

cheers,

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

 

Contorter Porter

Ale Asylum

Madison, WI

www.aleasylum.com

ABV- 4.8%

IBU – Unavailable

I’ve been a fan of Dean Coffey’s brewing since his days at Angelic Brewing Company.   I’ve had a couple other Ale Asylum beers. My favorite is a hoppy as hell amber that bears the name Ambergeddon.

 I had high hopes for Contorter Porter. I opened the bottle and poured the dark brown ale into an imperial pint glass. An inch thick, frothy beige head quickly formed.

 I held the glass to my nose and found the aroma to be sweet with hints of chocolate.

 However, Contorter Porter actually seems rather bland.  The malt flavors were distant and almost non-existent and were followed by a ever so slightly bitter aftertaste.

 It was actually pretty disappointing.  I’ve enjoyed some of Ale Asylum’s other offerings and have been looking forward to cracking open this bottle of Contorter Porter.

 The Ale Asylum website describes Contorter Porter as complex with a rich flavor and silky smooth finish. Maybe it’s just over my head or something. Maybe my tastebuds just aren’t equipped to handle the “complexity” that Contorter Porter brings to the table…who knows.

 I really wanted to like this one. I took each sip with great care… I tried to find something, but all I really found was disappointment.

 While I would happily recommend other Ale Asylum beers…for instance, Ambergeddon is fantastic…I’d recommend that you steer clear of Contorter Porter.

Anyway…

cheers,

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

Jack Stout

Wild Onion Brewing Company

Barrington, IL

www.onionpub.com

ABV – 6%

IBU – Unavailable

The first time I ever had a can of Wild Onion’s Jack Stout, I was sitting by a campfire in Door County Wisconsin. I was surprised at how good it was as microbrew from a can is still a shock to me…so I was astounded that anything from a can could really be so good.

 Several weeks later, I found time to sit down with a second can. I poured it into a pint glass and watched as a creamy tan head formed atop the blackest of ales.

 Holding the glass to my nose…or maybe my nose to the glass, I was greeted by the aroma of roasted malt mingled with coffee and chocolate.

 Jack Stout is quite tasty. It is rich and creamy. Slightly sweet with intense coffee flavors.

 Maybe its the creaminess, but there are moments where Jack Stout reminds me just a bit of Guinness.

 Jack Stout is smooth and quite drinkable. It would make for a good session ale…perfect for a night of playing cards or just hanging out.

 If you enjoy a good stout, Wild Onion’s Jack Stout is the beer for you. For my Guinness hating friends out there…don’t worry…while the creaminess is certainly reminiscent of Guinness, the intense flavors and complexity of Jack Stout leave any similarity to Guinness in the dust. So give it a try pick up a Jack Stout. I think you’ll like it…and once you’ve had one, cans # 2 and # 3 won’t be far behind.

Cheers.

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

ok…ok…

Ok…it’s been a few months but I’m back and am going to try really really hard to do better with keeping this up.

Excuses, excuses…mainly, my wife and I have been doing Weight Watchers since last March or April. We’ve both been quite successful, but until recently beer had sort of fallen off my radar as I was assuming if I wanted to be able to eat dinner in the evening, beer had to be back burnered…crappy, huh.

Well…I have returned to you a much wiser man. I have added running to my exercise routine and in the process, have learned that as long as I exercise I can drink a beer or two a day if I want and still lose weight. Pretty damned cool if you ask me.

So anyway, I’m sorry for the long break…won’t happen again.

cheers!!

Josh

HopMouth Double IPA

Arcadia Ales

Battle Creek, MI

http://www.arcadiaales.com

ABV – 8.1%

IBU – 76

Arcadia Ales Hopmouth Double IPA is certainly a pretty beer. It is an amber colored ale that seems to glow in my glass. A white head quickly forms, but is gone just as quickly.

 My nose is greeted by an intense citrus hop aroma mingled with a sweetness that reminds me a bit of honey.

 The first sip is amazing. Hopmouth is crisp with a nice effervescence. The first flavor to hit is the hop bitterness. A fantastic blend of citrus and what seems to be pine. There is also the slightest hint of malty sweetness, but the wonderful hoppiness is far and away the dominant flavor.

 I find Hopmouth to be crisp and really quite refreshing. For me, this seems like the perfect beer to end a day spent on yardwork.

 I plan to trackdown many more Hopmouth Double IPA’s.  I’ve got one bottle left and I’m planning to give that one to my dad. He’s just gotta try this one…and so do YOU.

Cheers.

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

Horny Goat Brewing Company

Steven’s Point, WI

Stacked Milk Stout

ABV – 4.0%

IBU – Unavailable

It’s funny, the Horny Goat website describes Stacked Milk Stout as “full bodied and drinkable”. I’m not sure either of those adjectives actually apply to this ale.

 I poured the dark brown ale into a pint glass and watched as an off-white head formed and rapidly faded.

 The aroma was a bit deceiving. When I held the glass to my nose, I was immediately hit by a rich, roasted malt intermingled with chocolate and the slightest hint of coffee. With an aroma like that, I couldn’t help but think…”this is going to be good”.

 However, Stacked Milk Stout simply did not deliver. It was strangely bitter with a watered down, somewhat vague malt flavor that fades to a strangely sour finish.

 Horny Goat’s description of Stacked states that it is creamy and smooth. Really? Creamy? Are you sure? Do they know what creamy actually means?

 I’m not even sure it is really a stout. Stacked seemed more like a sort of watered down brown porter.

 I’ve been drinking beer a long time. In that time, I’ve drank a lot of crap. Horny Goat’s Stacked Milk Stout is without a doubt among the crappiest beers I’ve ever drank. I will never…I mean it…NEVER have another.

 I’m sure some of you probably will disagree with me…and that’s fine…but I think there are far better beers out there for you to spend your money on.

Cheers.

Josh Frank

jfrank2264@gmail.com

Hey there…

I need some help with a ratings system.

The stars thing is wearing a little thin.  I’m also trying to figure out if I need a ratings system at all of if I should just give the facts, end with my opinion of the beer or my recommendation and leave it at that.

Since starting on this process a few weeks ago, I’ve found the stars system a little unfair.  So I’m sort of stuck.  A letter grade seems a little weak as well.  This is all my opinion without any right or wrong…so I don’t know exactly what to do.

I’m way more comfortable drinking a beer and explaining it than grading it.   I really am hoping over the course of this to expose myself to some beers and styles I might not have tried and along the way to turn you all on to some things you might not have tried before either.

What do you think?  I’m curious to hear what you have to say.

Also, any home brewers out there…

if you want to send me a bottle one of your creations,  I’ll taste it and do a write up here.  I’m a home brewer too and always love the response the first time someone tries one of my beers.   So if you’re interested, drop me an e-mail at jfrank2264@gmail.com and I’ll pass along mailing address.  Ales, lagers, dark, light, malty, hoppy, whatever you all are creating…I’m eager to try it out.

cheers everybody.

josh frank