I’m writing this article well ahead of time because I am in Richmond VA having a Sippy Time Beer courtesy of my older brother, who graciously provided more pumpkin beers to try than any one person should in our Year End Review. I’m also sure that I’ve had a few beverages from the neighboring state West Virginia on our way. Those beers should hit the internet come next week. Until then, here’s some drinks from February.
Anderson Valley Brewing Co. – Winter Solstice – Ken and I had some free time without the ladies so we went to the 16 Bit Bar & Arcade in town. Not only is it a fun place to play the terrible video games I played as a child, it’s also a great place to try beer. Anderson Valley started off the fun with this take on a Winter Warmer. Though their site only says that they use spice, there’s definitely nutmeg in this beer which is standard for this style. They also include toffee & caramel which helps sweeten the beer up even more. Sometimes that would make the beer too sweet but it doesn’t for this one. They don’t even add much hops to offset the sweet but at 6 IBU, there’s no bitterness to be found. This beer packs a wallop at 6.9% even if that’s low for a winter beer. They are based in Boonville CA so if it reaches Ohio you probably have a good chance of trying it in the winter.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. – Conway’s Irish Ale – At some point during my tenure of writing beer reviews, I will do an Irish themed post around Saint Patrick’s Day. This beer will get included in that post. I’ll also review it now. This seasonal beer is available from January to the end of March. It is similar in flavor to their year round offering & one of my personal favorites, Eliot Ness. It is lighter on the malt though so it’s as in your face. Neither are hoppy which is confirmed by the 25 IBU for this one. Conway’s provides a decent punch at 6.5% ABV. They distribute in these areas so even though it’s a seasonal beer, you may still be able to find this one.
Lagunitas Brewing Co. – Maximus – Jeremy brought this company to my attention. It is another California based company so the distribution area is bigger which helps me try them too. This beer is an amped up version of their IPA. Since I haven’t had their IPA, I can’t compare them. They don’t list IBUs so I can’t compare bitterness. I do know though that this beer didn’t taste bitter for a Double IPA. They claim it will remove enamel from your teeth because of the hops but I don’t agree. To no one’s surprise though, you jump from 6.2% in the IPA to 8.2% for the DIPA. It provides quite the punch so be careful if you’re a hop head.
Revolution Brewing Co. – Bottom Up Wit – I had this after trying the beer below. This Chicago based company has just started distributing in Cbus. It was the second beer of the evening at 16 Bit, which wasn’t the best idea. It wasn’t quite as bad as going from an IPA to a wheat since the difference in hops isn’t as drastic. This wheat beer has a 14 IBU which compares to 6. If you can tell that difference, you have a better palate than me. They use pilsner malt which lightens this beer up more than your regular wheat. It is gets a nice spice from orange peel which makes it refreshing. It’s a session beer at 5.0% which helped out my motor skills for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you find yourself stranded in Chicago, find this beer.
Seventh Son Brewing Co. – Seven Fists of Deth – Because Revolution Brewing just came into Cbus, they decided to team up with Seventh Son Brewing to create this Double IPA. I don’t know of any DIPAs that use Belgian yeast but this one does. It gives it a funk to the boat load of expected hops. They also use home made candi sugar to help curb the bitterness from the hops. The write up says there’s spice & orange also in this beer but there were so many flavors going on, I couldn’t pick them out. That’s not meant to sound bad, because this beer was fantastic. Next time these two breweries team up, I’ll be ready to try their next beer.