The New Beers Keep A Coming!

I had to run back to Midtown's beer store to grab some random stuff for a trade. I was just there a few days earlier and returned to see a few newcomers. O'Fallon 5 Day IPA and O'Fallon Smoke was available in six packs. I also picked up a 22 ounce bottle of Rogue Chatoe Dirtoir, which is a Schwarzbier (black lager) and part of a limited series. If you like this style of beer, it's excellent. Grab one before they are gone.

I then ventured over to Frugal MacDoogal (liquor store side) where they had two new offerings from Stevens Point Brewery- Whole Hog Six Hop IPA and Russian Imperial Stout. Both were in 4 paks for $6.99.

Foothills Brewing draft beers should be hitting the Nashville market any day according to my sources. Look for Hoppyum IPA, Torch Pilsner, People's Porter, and Pilot Mt Pale. This brewery out of North Carolina will not disappoint. High gravity offerings are expected in the spring, and hopefully that means we will get their double IPA.

I AM STILL WAITING FOR SIERRA NEVADA BIGFOOT! Let me know if there are any sightings.



Beer Review- Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock


I have always been a fan of Sierra Nevada, from their classic Pale Ale to their Bigfoot Barleywine. The Glissade Golden Bock is the newest product to their line, which is classified as a Heller Bock. A Heller Bock is basically a lighter sibling of a Maibock, which is a European strong lager brewed for the Spring.

 Glissade Golden Bock -
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA

Commercial Description:
As winter begins its slide toward the sunny days of spring, we bring you Glissade Golden Bock to help you enjoy the ride. Glissade is a remarkably mellow take on the traditional spring bock. With restrained sweetness, we emphasize subtle malt flavor, balanced against delicate aromas of spicy and floral European hops. This complex balance helps Glissade slide across the palate—bracing us against the last cold nights of winter, while its bright golden color turns our thoughts toward spring. ABV: 6.4%

Smitty's Review: Sampled at 45 degrees. Pours a clear straw golden amber with a dense 1 inch white head. Aroma of lemon rind and pilsner malts. Lighter side of medium bodied with good carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel. The pale malt core has notes of honey and biscuit, as well as a hint of toastiness. This is countered by a pronounced European grassy and herbal hoppiness. The beer leans slightly the sweet side. Finishes semi dry and clean with some light alcohol. Sierra Nevada did a nice job keeping this beer authentic to the German style, although I would prefer a little less residual sweetness. If you enjoy German lagers and don't mind a little extra "kick," give this one a try.

Rating*: 8 out of 10

Recommended Food Pairing: Pizza, Grilled meats and poultry, German Cuisine, Soft or mellow white cheeses.

Moderate at $9.99 per six,

Beer Audience: Lager drinkers who can appreciate a little more body and bitterness

Where To Buy: Liquor Stores with craft beer (Frugal MacDoogal, Midtown, Cool Springs Wine & Spirits, Graces Plaza, Red Dog,  etc. )

* rating system based on aroma (1 pt), appearance (1pt), palate (2 pts) flavor (3pts), comparison to other commercial examples of the style (3pts)

McNeill's Brewery Now In Nashville

I was casually browsing the Midtown's beer store side and was shocked to see Pullman's Porter and Firehouse Amber Ale from McNeill's Brewery, a very small microbrewery out of Brattleboro, VT. Their distribution had been so limited that I would have to trade via internet forums to get their beers, even with all my travels to the east coast.

It's a real treat to have this brewery distributing in Nashville. Let's show some support so they will continue to stay in this market. Expect to pay around $4.50 per 22 ounce "bomber." I will post a review of the porter soon.



Beer Review- Caldera IPA

Yes I am a hophead. Yes I love IPAs. Yes I like cans over bottles. Yes I was excited to see Caldera IPA hit the Nashville shelves. Let's pop one open......

Caldera IPA -
Caldera Brewing Company.- Ashland, OR

Commercial Description:
An American-style India Pale Ale brewed with plenty of body and an assertive hop profile.
Grist: Premium Two Row, Munich, Crystal
Hops: Crystal, Galena, Centennial
Original gravity: 1.057 
ABV- 6%

Smitty's Review:  I prefer cans over bottles (with the exception of cellaring),  mainly because they prevent the the beer from being light stricken and have lower dissolved oxygen levels. Cans do not cause beer to taste metallic- that's a myth. Now to the beer. Sampled at about 45 degrees. Pours a medium orange amber with a thick foamy off-white head and webby lacing. Very inviting aroma of floral hops and fruity ale esters. Medium bodied with average carbonation with a slight earthy mouthfeel. This has a bold malt profile, which produces notes of caramel, bread, and a hint of brown sugar. The maltiness is countered by a very assertive grapefruit rind and tea like bitterness. The attenuation is just right by getting just the right amount of sweetness to balance things out. Dry and long hoppy finish. Once this beer gets to about 55 degrees (cellar temp), it melds a little more on the palate and takes on a slight British character. This is like a marriage of IPAs, with maltiness from the east coast and aggressive hop bitterness from the west coast. Even though has a steep price tag, it's one of the top malty IPAs available in Nashville.

Rating*: 9 out of 10

Recommended Food Pairing: Pepper Jack Cheese, Vintage Cheddar, Thai Food, Cajun dishes, Wings, Grilled Salmon

at $10.99 per six plus tax, this is pricey (thanks to TN beer tax laws).

Beer Audience: Hopheads, but approachable to some casual craft beer drinkers

Where To Buy: Craft beer stores (Frugal MacDoogal, Midtown, Woody's Smokes & Brews, etc. )

* rating system based on aroma (1 pt), appearance (1pt), palate (2 pts) flavor (3pts), comparison to other commercial examples of the style (3pts)

More New Stuff

Damn! Beer keep coming in faster than my wallet can generate cash. Although Left Hand Brewing Fade To Black is not new, the last delivery only dropped a few cases over the entire market. For those who missed it, now is your chance to try it and about $4 cheaper per six. Fade To Black is very nice Foreign Stout, which is more robust than dry or standard stouts.

IPA fans may want to check out 400 Pound Monkey, also from Left Hand Brewing. I will be honest. I tried this on draft last fall in Champaign, IL and was not that impressed. Left Hand's commercial description does state that "this beer is not for everybody." I guess I was one of those people. If you are into dry and overattuenatted IPAs, this may be up your alley.

Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock is a new arrival that I am anxious to try. This is a Heller Bock that comes in at 6.4%. Speaking of Sierra Nevada, Bigfoot should be here any day! I buy this every year and put a few back to cellar. There has never been a bad year as long as I have been drinking this classic American Barleywine.

Has anyone spotted Samuel Adam Nobel Pils other than in the sampler pack? This is a tasty new Pilsener and I would like to grab some more.

I know I owe you all a few reviews. I am working on it. I promise!



Calling All Hopheads- Avery Dugana Is Here!

It's no secret that I love double IPAs. Needless to say I was excited to see this Avery Dugana on a recent beer run. The commercial description is as follows:

"Lupulin Rapture Incarnate! As fervent devotees of hops, we found ourselves on a quest to create a transcendental IPA capable of quenching our voracious lupulin desires. Our mantra became “unity of bitterness, hop flavor and aroma.” Enlightened, duganA IPA was born: A brutally bitter, dank, piney and resinous ale designed for those seeking a divine hop experience."

Original gravity:1.076, 
ABV: 8.5%
IBUS: 93

I just popped it open and  I can confirm that this is a very nice beer (as long as you love lots of bitterness). The caramel malt profile provides a nice backdrop to the brutal grapefruity bitterness. The finish is dry with a long clingy, resiny hoppiness. This style of beer has a very short shelf life, so grab one soon. I bought mine at Midtown Wine and Spirits, but they had their bottles stored near the window (that's bad for the beer and I wish they would stop that practice). Any liquor store with a craft beer selection should have this one on the shelves. Expect to pay around $7 per 22 ounce bottle. Cheers


What's New- February 2010

Rumor has it that Boulevard Dark Truth and Rye on Rye should be hitting the shelves any day now. These are part of the highly regarded "Smokestack Series." Caldera Brewing beers are finally on the shelves- Pale Ale, Nut Brown, and IPA. I just picked up a six of the Caldera IPA and it does not disappoint. If you are a fan of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA or Sweetwater IPA- Caldera IPA is right up your alley.

Stone Brewing Co. fans will be happy to know that their lower gravity offering Levitation Ale is now available in craft beer stores.

Rumor has it that North Carolina-based Foothills Brewing Co. will be in Nashville soon. I am very excited about this news. Trust me when I say that they brew some great stuff, including their double IPA. Stay tuned for more details.  Please post any other new beer sightings in the comments section.