Bell Time Beer Review – The Best of Cbus 2019

Runners Up (By Brewery)

First year that I’ve done this list that I’m not listing “missed” breweries since I even got to the new breweries opening in the past year. In some cases it was in store bought and others it was actual attendance. Outerbelt Brewing is the former case. My brother and I both approved of their Outerbelt IPA. I look forward to a flight in this coming year. Gemut Biergarten has some great German style beers along with gorgeous stained glass windows. Antiques on High continues to make me happy that I trained my palate to like sour beers. But only so many beers make it to the list though so I wanted to mention at least those before starting on the Runners Up list.

Dankhouse Brewing Co. – Chasing Trees – I missed out on Dankhouse for my 2018 list. After going there, I will not make that mistake again. This is not their only effort on my 2019 list.

Land-Grant Brewing Co. – 5th Anniversary Double IPA – After not being on the Runners Up or Top Ten list last year, Land-Grant makes a come back on both lists.

Platform Beer Co. – Emo – It’s going to be hard not to judge their beers on Budweiser scales moving forward since they made an agreement with them.

Pretentious Barrel HouseExultation – I think that I bought this beer in time to put it on last year’s list. Would have probably been in the same spot then. Very good but not Top 10.

Random PrecisionPassage of Time w/ Black Currant – This brewery was located near my old office. It is in a slightly more inconvenient spot for me now. They are part of the Sour Syndicate in town though. Quality stuff there.

Restoration Brew WorxBig Lovely Double IPA (DIPA)- Their food is as good as their beer so this one is always a good visit. Big Lovely was the best of the bunch on my latest visit.

Seventh Son Brewing Co. – Mr. Owl Double Brown Ale- I stopped in at Sevent Son a lot this year for a Community Garden pick up. It did not translate into a lot of Seventh Son beers consumed. Mr. Owl is one that I tried a flight of and bought a couple of bottles.

Sideswipe Brewing Co. – Collar & Elbow Stout, Pixelated Moon Black IPA and 5th Anniversary Imperial Chocolate Porter – I changed work locations in this past year. It has allowed me to have a few extra of their offerings. A lot of them have been good as the list above shows.

Staas Brewing Co.The Evangelist – I could put this one on my Top 10 list every year that I drink it. Hands down my favorite Quadrupel.

Three Tigers BrewingTripel “OH” Seven – I wrote in my Untappd Review “Beer List Level Good” and it was. Until I had their other beer that made the list.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing Co.All Treats Milk Stout, Black Mangrove Sour, Midwest Fresh Pale Ale, Tripel Whiskey and Yeah, Right Hazy IPA. Wolf’s Ridge is The Wife’s favorite brewery because of their choice of dark beers. It also happens to be close to where we park for Blue Jackets games. Lots of great food and beer here too.

Zaftig Brewing Co. – Hop Swapper #292 – The bummer about this beer is that it is likely not to be back. Plenty of other goodness offered at this brewery though.

Top 10

10. Staas Brewing Co. – German WeizenHefeweizen – 6.0% ABV – N/A IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD.

Usually when I think of Staas, I think of classic Belgian or English styles of beers. They do have a number of classic German styles in their arsenal too. This one stood out to me in this past year. It had a great banana flavor and clove kick. The German yeast version of haziness is in full effect too.

9. Columbus Brewing Co. – CreeperDIPA – 10.0% ABV – 100 IBU

Kevin DiFrango/Stunt Granny LTD.

This beer has been out there for a while and I knew of it’s reputation. I had my slow conversion to DIPAs a while back in this list. I think that’s why I dove in on this one. It’s worth grabbing when it’s available. It has a great blend of hops that doesn’t get lost like happens in some high IBU beers. The individual flavors shine through a body that holds it’s own which absolutely needs to happen when you’re pumping 100 IBU into a beer. I have yet to go down to their new tap room that was established. I will need to resolve that problem this coming year.

8. 2 Tones Brewing Co. – 2 Tones IPAAmerican IPA – 7.0% ABV – 52 IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD.

This brewery is another new one that I got around to in it’s 1st year of business. I’m very glad that I did. Their selection was great. The location is is easy to find and has a nice throw back feel. Their IPA was the most excellent of the choices. It used a nice dose of Mosaic hops which I like quite a bit. It’s not a heavy IPA at 52 IBU but the hops still shine through.

7. Dankhouse Brewing Co. – Super FantasticAmerican IPA7.0% ABV 60 IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD

Super Fantastic is an easiest way to describe this beer. It was good of Dankhouse to name their beer appropriately. Like the beer just above it in print, it’s not a terribly hoppy IPA. I think the 60+ IBU IPAs are really close to being a pale ale because the extra malt due to the higher ABV helps balance out the extra 10 IBU or so of hops compared to a pale ale. When you start going 70+, I think the hops takes over the extra malt. This beer is obviously in the early category. You can taste the super hops in this one along with a fantastic malt back bone. I’ll at least imagine the description is something like that.

6. Pretentious Barrel HouseSwipe Right For BerriesFruited Sour – 6.8% ABV – N/A IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD

While I was brushing up on which beers were my favorites, I noticed on Untappd that I simply wrote Berry Goodness in the description. I almost tasted like a Sangria. That was because of the fact that the part of this beer from Dayton Beer Company was aged in Pinot Noir barrels. It helped that they steeped the beer with plums, blackberries, boysenberries and black currants. That’s a lot of fruit and though I might not have been able to key in on one of those flavors, it was a fantastic blend. It was thicker than a normal sour which I always think of as a lighter beer. I am assuming the 6.8% ABV has something to do with there being more body in this sour than most which tend to be in the 4-5% area. Overall, this beer really fruity in the best way possible.

5. Land-Grant Brewing Co. – Quadrahopic Vol. 101IPA – 6.7% ABV – 37 IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD

This beer has many similar attributes to DankHouse’s Super Fantastic. IPA level malt, definitely more of a pale ale level of hops at 37 IBU though. As the name implies, they use four hops in each beer. This beer started off their series that goes quarterly. I’ve now had v. 102 and v. 103. Though I have enjoyed those beers, this one is still my favorite. The hops contained in this one were Columbus, Simcoe, Amarillo and Chinook. Amarillo is the only hop I don’t have a real love of. I don’t dislike it. I just don’t have much of an opinion on them. The main point is, I’m not surprised I like this beer considering that I like 3/4 of the hop make up.

4. Three Tigers Brewing Co. GangwarriorsNE IPA – 8.2% ABV – N/A IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD

I start my run of New England style IPAs with Gangwarriors. It was named in honor of Patrick Gangwer who was a brewer at Three Tigers who passed away from cancer. They brewed it to help benefit his fight against cancer. It was a perfect example of what I love about NE IPA style beers. A vibrant hoppyness without the bitterness. A slightly sweet malt flavor. It also gives the beer more body than most IPAs. It has a similar mouth feel as a porter.

3. Homestead Brewing Co. Easy Fella Hazy IPANE IPA – 4.9% ABV – N/A IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD

As usual, I’m splitting hairs at this point of the list. These beers are all delicious but some just have a little more pop than the other ones. Because this one is a Session style IPA, I feel like the hops popped more than normal.This one was overflowing with Citra hops which brought a great lemon flavor. When judging, I’m always going to give that extra hair to something with citrusy fruity flavor.

2. Sideswipe Brewing Co.Man.Go.BroNE IPA – 9.0% ABV – 10 IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD

Speaking of citrusy flavor, a unique one is Mango. That’s what Man.Go.Bro delivered that the other two NE IPAs didn’t. The base beer to this one is Bro.Haze.Bro which by itself is quite delicious. Toss in the Mango and you’ve got a real winner. Straight delicious.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing Co.Dire Wolf Yub Nub – Russian Imperial Stout – 10.4% ABV – 50 IBU

Kevin DiFrango/ Stunt Granny LTD

And now for something completely different. I’ve got to admit that I noticed sometime during the year that I had been drinking less dark beers since they are the only thing that my wife enjoys in the beer department. Sure, I sip on her beers to taste them but I don’t even get a 5 oz. pour more times than not. We bought a 22 oz. bottle of this bad boy to drink at home so I got about 11 oz to consume. Russian Imperial Stouts have a smoothness that some people jokingly refer to as “motor oil.” It is a viscosity all by itself when it comes to drinking beers. This one was not only smooth both has a nice sweet component, cinnamon, and a good bitter component, One Line Coffee. They balance each other out well which really helps put this beer over the top. It’s uniqueness on my palate might help too.

-Kevin DiFrango

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