Leinenkugels Canoe Paddler

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! After watching UCF bring home the American Conference championship at home against our arch rival USF (and subsequently storming the field) I needed some Grade A refreshment. Thankfully, our local Club Pub (Publix) had BOGO on not only the Summer Shandies, but also the Canoe Paddler so I had to get on that deal like white on rice. FYI for those that haven’t had a Kolsch style, its like a light beer with flavor. Awesome for a hot Florida summer day.

Appearance: Bright and effervescent just like a Busch light

Smell: Some light citrus and malty sweetness, overall very refreshing.

Taste: Again, its very light with some malty sweetness on the tail end. You could slam these like no tomorrow.

Mouthfeel: It feels like it looks, bubbly and refreshing.

Value: BOGO, ’nuff said.

Overall: I’d give this a 5/10. At the BOGO price I’m about it, otherwise its like a slightly more flavorful Busch Light. I like it, I just don’t $9/sixer like it.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

PS there may be a surprise update from my Louisiana trip next week!

Sweetwater Brewing Grass Monkey

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! This weekend the lady friend and I made an impulse buy on some Jimmy Buffett tickets that were on flash sale 2 hours before the concert. It’s safe to say we were “wasted away in Margaritaville”. Needless to say if you haven’t seen him, it’s a must if you get the chance. On a side note, when we were perusing the beer aisle I found a beer that’s name caught my eye: Grass Monkey. The first thing that came to my mind is that Beastie Boys hit “Brass Monkey,” so of course I bought it. Anyways, here’s the review!

Appearance: This looks like a classic lager with a solid 1 finger head. Since it is a hoppy wheat ale, it looks par for the course. But man, does this look awesome after spending time in the scorching Florida summer sun!

Smell: I’m getting notes of lemon, which is in part due to the lemon drop hops and the other part is the lemon grass added in. It’s like a sweet tropical breeze that’s light and just the right amount of refreshing.

Taste: Just like the aroma, this is a light and tropical taste. The hops add a juicy citrus with the perfect amount of bitterness to balance out the sweetness. This is one of those beers you could drink a ton of by the pool or at a tailgate and not realize you’re doing it.

Mouthfeel: This is a nice smooth beer with a touch of tartness at the end which helps cleanse the palate.

Value: At $1.69 for a single, even Scrooge McDuck couldn’t complain.

Overall: I’d give this an 8/10. This is a great summertime beer that everyone can enjoy. It’s easy on the palate along with the wallet. Next time you’re buying beer, I’d definitely recommend it.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

Barely Bearable Beer: Not Your Mom’s Sweet Tea

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! After a fun tailgate for the UCF spring game and some bankhopping, where we pulled a mogan out, I decided to pick up another truly (hopefully)

Grizzly Adams with a stud Largemouth

awful beer. I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t it Not Your Father’s?” And nope, this is an imitator. Also, much of Not Your Father’s and the ilk are malt beverages, and this says specifically BEER on it. So here’s to splitting hairs and terrible life choices!

On the first sip, you get hit with strong lemon and sugar, then the taste of warm Natty Ice comes through. It smells like rubbing alcohol and makes you cringe with just the aroma alone. As a perennial drinker of Twisted Teas, this tastes like bilge water in comparison. After a few sips, all I’m getting is lemon Pledge flavor and diabetes-inducing sugar.

The more you drink, the more OK you are with the downward spiral your life is heading in. I’m glad this isn’t my mom’s sweet tea because I would have to think I was adopted. Now that I’m at the bottom of the can, I’m not sure if I’m buzzing from the 5.2% abv or the massive amounts of sugar. At the end of the day, this fulfilled my expectations of being barely bearable AKA drinkable, but only just. On a side note, this would be a great substitute for Smirnoff Ices when you “Ice” someone.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

Tomoka Brewing Hazy Sunrise

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! After a long weekend of partying down with the family and dyeing some eggs I had to go to Total Wine to restock my bar. One downside of hosting an Italian family is that they drink you dry, but it’s always great to see the family. While at Total Wine, I saw a local brewery Tomoka (Ormund Beach) in the 6 pack aisle so I picked up their Hazy Sunrise.

Appearance: Well my genius self poured it into a blue pint glass from New Smyrna Beach Brewing, so here’s my best shot. This is slightly carbonated unlike the typical wheat beer and has a thin head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Getting hit with TONS of citrus. This smells like an orange grove on steroids. #Gainz

Taste: Just like the aroma, this is heavy on the orange flavors and some wheat sweetness. There is next to no hoppy bitterness and there’s also a touch of sourness stemming from the acidic citrus.

Mouthfeel: It feels much lighter and more carbonated than it looks. This is a great summertime beer in that it’s light and easy drinking.

Value: $11 for a sixer isn’t terrible, but isn’t exactly a bargain either.

Overall: I’d give this a 6/10. It’s a solid wheat beer, but nothing over the top. This is 100x better than a Shock Top and 10x better than a Blue Moon. If you’re looking for a good tailgate beer, look no further than this!

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

Rouge Santa’s Private Reserve Ale

Happy Tuesday, which is definitely worse than Monday. After a long weekend of Busch Light I decided to pick up a beer I’ve never seen from Rouge: Santa’s Private Reserve Ale. Rouge has been hit and miss with me but at $1.89 for the beer I’m in no position to complain. On a side note, fishing has been fantastic in Central Florida and we went aboard the SS Rowdy and absolutely slayed the snapper. If you can catch a break in the weather, definitely make the run! Anyways, here’s the review!

Hate on it

Appearance:  Poured with a quickly dissipating head and a dark amber color. There is also an unexpected opaqueness to it. I’m curious to see how this shakes out.

Smell: Not a whole lot going on, I’m getting some faint roasted malts but thats about it. Kind of thin smelling for a “winter beer”.

Taste: Just like the smell its not heavy or full of flavor which in Florida isn’t such a bad thing. There are typical red ale style roasted malts but no spices like what I expected. I’m getting some rye and a nice touch of hops on the end. But as previously mentioned, there aren’t heavy fruits or spices like a winter “reserve” ale typically has.

Mouthfeel: This is fairly smooth and lighter which doesn’t quite mesh with style they’re shooting for. This is right up my alley for Florida “winters” but if it actually gets cold it doesn’t have the warmth I look for.

Value: Less than $2/bottle so no complaints

Overall: This is mediocre to sub-par depending on how much you like red ales. I’d give it a 4/10. Its billing suggests winter tastes and it delivers on none of it. The beer is decently put together but it oversold and under delivered, classic rookie mistake Rouge.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

Homebrew and Other Thoughts

Happy Sunday Funday y’all! Instead of doing a focused post on one beer or one brewery, I’ll give you a disjointed rambling about my first brewing experience, a local brewery (Ocean Sun Brewing), and whatever else comes to mind. This weekend I was supposed to run offshore for some mahi fishing, but 7′ seas said otherwise so my good buddy Danny Oceans came to visit, and we hit up a new brewery called Ocean Sun.

This place has only been open for a year, but when we walked in it was pretty busy for 2 p.m. on a Saturday. They had 8 or so of their own taps with varied styles from a Belgian Strong Ale to a DIPA. One thing I noticed is that everything was over 6% abv, so they pack a punch. Along with the high abv they had some interesting names as the first beer I ordered was called 2Bucoo4u. It was a Black IPA and had awesome flavor to it.

The second I picked was the Mur De Huy, a Belgian style strong ale which is apparently some hill in Belgium on the Tour De France. I thought the name was weird, but it was another very well crafted beer. For being such a young brewery the beers seemed very polished. A side note, they have free popcorn there so you constantly have something to munch on. This is a cool place that you should definitely check out if you’re in the area!

If you haven’t attempted brewing before, it is not for those who want things immediately. I brewed my first batch, and the brewing process alone took me approximately five hours for a one gallon batch. You heard that right, five hours to brew one gallon. I learned a ton doing it that would cut the time down, but it still takes hours to do. Once it’s brewed you let it ferment for another two weeks then bottle for another week or so. So for my nine bottles of beer (I spilled some), it took five hours of brew time and three weeks.

All of that being said, when I got to taste my own beer for the first time it was 100% worth the effort. I made an IPA from a box recipe (Brooklyn Brew Shop), and I am pleasantly surprised with the quality of it.  I’d say a great way to get into it is to purchase a box with all the equipment and ingredients so you don’t have to keep running back to the store. Pack some patience and a few cold beers, and you will have a good time and hopefully crank out some awesome brew that you and your friends can enjoy!

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!






Coffee Stout by Sierra Nevada

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! I took last weekend off from posting, but I have a good reason for it; I brewed my first batch of beer. Before you start complaining, I did this with a whole grain mash not that liquid malt extract nonsense. Needless to say, it took about 5 hours to brew 1 gallon, and it will take 2 weeks to ferment and another 2 weeks to carbonate. Not exactly beer overnight, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to try. On a slightly related note, I picked up the Snowpack winter variety pack that was on sale at Club Pub from Sierra Nevada. They’ve begun to distribute more variety packs with beer that isn’t regularly seen in my neck of the woods, so I jumped on the deal!

This pack contained Coffee Stout, Maple Scotch, Single Hop (Chinook), and the ever present Pale Ale. The Maple Scotch is fantastic by the way, and this Coffee Stout is very different. Without further ado, here goes the brew review!

Appearance: The coffee stout pours smoothly with a burnt chestnut color. There is a surprising amount of carbonation for a 6.2% brew.

Smell: Since this is brewed with cold brew coffee (hipsters rejoice), there is a decided lack of coffee to it. I’m getting toasted malts and chocolate. I love the smell of stouts, and this one has my taste buds watering!

Taste: The label description is dead-on with heavy toasted malts, coffee flavor, and a unique treat; baker’s cocoa. Bakers cocoa gives it a chocolatey taste, a dry bitterness to counteract the malt backbone. This allows a nice contrast without hop flavors to interfere with the profile. Coffee Stout is onto something with this!

Mouthfeel: This has a light spritz of carbonation and starts off watery but throughout the sip it changes to dry with a bitter tang, just like if you were to have raw baker’s cocoa powder.

Value: 3 of 4 different kinds of beer for $13 is a great deal, especially from a top notch brewery like Sierra Nevada.

Overall: I’d give this a solid 7/10. You could have a few of these, and they aren’t strong enough to chase off your friends who aren’t super into Stouts. Between the different flavor profile and mouthfeel, it is a new twist on an old favorite. Grab one before this season is out!

For anyone that is a fishing fanatic, here’s a quick and dirty report from this week’s bass tournament on a private quarry (yeah, hate on it). We had interesting conditions with a full moon and a front due to push through in two days. After a half-day of fishing, we broke two studs off and got a limit at 11 – 12 which was good enough for fifth. We got ours flipping reeds with watermelon red speed worms as did most of the field.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!