Whisper Creek Brewing Surplus Citrus Ale

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! It’s been a long fall with wedding planning, traveling, fishing tournaments, and oh yeah, the 23 game UCF win streak! This week was a first for UCF as College Gameday came to campus and an estimated 20,000 fans showed up to support the Knights! This was one of the largest, if not the largest, crowd in Gameday’s history.

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A view from College Gameday

We went on to roll the Cincinnati Bearcats 38-13. To cap off an extraordinary win, I am trying a new beer from Whisper Creek (WC) which bills itself as a Honey Citrus Ale. WC is the brewery for Mariott that develops their beer and has Big Storm produce it for them at the scale they need. The label has a lot going on, so let’s see how the beer unfolds!

Appearance: It comes in a tallboy can and pours a honeyed gold, which fits. There is a decent head that lingers around.

Smell: Right off the bat, you get a candied citrus aroma. It smells a bit artificial, and I am skeptical of any mass produced “craft beers.” We’ll call this strike one.

Taste: Well, here are strikes two and three. The Honey Citrus Ale starts with a nondescript malt billing. Then a wave of what only can be described as OJ that is past its prime washes over you. It’s sweet, tangy, and definitely off. Tori describes it best as “Natty Light with orange.”

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is a dead ringer for a cheap light beer. It’s thin, watery, and then has a pucker factor from the aforementioned “old OJ” flavor.

Value: I mean, at least it was free?

Overall: While Tori claims it is the worst beer she has ever had, I would disagree, but not by much. I’d give this a 3/10 because it is bad, but not absolutely undrinkable. This furthers my aversion of mass produced “craft beers” because they very rarely do it right. So, the next time you’re at the Mariott, go with a real craft beer or get a regular macrobrew.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

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Blue Moon Winter Wheat

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but it’s been a busy past few weeks between wedding planning, work travel and watching the UCF Knights continue their nation-leading 22-game win streak. This week, I’m back with a #basicbeer. I picked up the Blue Moon Winter Wheat because club Pub (Publix) didn’t have anything else interesting in the singles aisle.

Appearance: This poured a brownish amber with minimal head, and it matches the Abbey Ale style they were going after. It looks perfect for a cold day hanging out by the fire.

Smell: For being a macro brew produced by Anheuser-Busch, there is a very complex nose to it. You get a bunch of allspice, clove and other wintery aromas. Too bad it’s 89 degrees out right now.

Taste: Unlike the nose, there isn’t much to the flavor. You get a bit of malty sweetness, and a spice that tries to stick its head up but peters out quickly. Overall, it is very drinkable but I really wish there was more depth to the flavors. You get some winter spice, but not nearly enough to make it a stand-out seasonal.

Value: Per usual, I’m balling on a budget at $1.79/single.

Overall: Based on the value and drinkability, I’d give this a 6/10. It isn’t flavor packed, but it isn’t bland or off-balanced. For these mild Florida winters, it will definitely go over well at your holiday parties. For those of you up North, you may want to pack something a bit heartier.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

Weyerbacher Brewing Daywrecker APA

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! After an embarrassing showing, somehow UCF pulled out the win over Memphis 31-30. Other than that, it was a busy weekend of pre-fishing, errands and wrapping up honey-do lists before I leave for my bachelor party. In the spirit of debauchery, we paid a visit to the old college liquor store which has a great selection of craft beer and I picked up the Daywrecker. I figured I’m a glutton for punishment, so why not?20181014_185202

Appearance: This beer came in a tall boy and poured a hazy orange/amber with minimal head. At 10% ABV, I figured there wouldn’t be much.

Smell: Right off the bat, you’re hammered with tangerine and orange hops. It’s surprisingly light and bright on the nose considering it is a monstrous American Pale Ale with a crazy high ABV.

Taste: Man, I can see why this is called the Daywrecker. It packs a ton of flavor with malty sweetness, earthy and citrusy hops, and is sublimely balanced. The hops fade at first then come back with a vengeance on the aftertaste. Daywrecker leaves you with a taste like you bit into a grapefruit, but in the best way possible.

Mouthfeel: Did I say it was smooth? Everything about this beer belies its firepower. I could sit by a pool and down three of these no problem. The hops help leave your mouth crisp and clean after each sip.

Value: $4 for a pint wasn’t terrible, especially considering the flavor.

Overall: Daywrecker not only will wreck your day, but it wrecks the competition. This has a ton of flavor, is easy to drink, easy on the wallet, and is well balanced. I give this a 9/10. I couldn’t tell you what it is missing, but there is just a little something that keeps it from being perfect. If you can find one, grab one; they’re worth it. Next weekend I hope to have a tuna report from my fishing trip!

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! This is the first post written from the new house and let me tell you, life is good! As we were perusing the Publix (and my fiance says, “They never change the singles, why do you insist on checking?!”), I found the new Oktoberfest release20170820_190349.jpg from Sierra Nevada. Yes, it is a touch early for Oktoberfest, but football is back, it’s close to September, so I’m gonna say it’s close enough. For those of you who haven’t had an Oktoberfest (technically Marzen) beer, the style is very malty and a bit spicy, but also very, very drinkable. Overall, a perfect football beer, especially for those of you who actually get a fall season instead of slightly less humid, but still stupid hot Florida. Anyways, here is the review!

Appearance: It pours a beautiful warm amber with a 1 finger head that slowly dissipates.

Smell: Predictably, there is a malty sweetness to it with just a hint of spice. Note this is the spice you find in a warm apple cider or mulling spices, not the jalapeno spicy of some chili beers.

Taste: Right off the bat you get a delicious tempered sweetness and a clove-esque spice on the tail end. It’s a very dry beer reminiscent of a crisp Autumn day. If you could bottle the taste of a hay ride after a cold front, this is it.

Mouthfeel: This is a very dry and crisp beer, but the crispness is due to the spice instead of the carbonation.

Value: Ya’ll know I ball on a budget, so $1.89 for it was right up my alley.

Overall: Maybe I’m in a generous mood, but this is an 8/10. It is an excellent summation of all my memories of Autumn wrapped up into a delicious adult beverage. It also signals the start of football! For you non-craft beer drinkers reading this, if you like Bud Heavy then give this a shot this Fall.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

Redhook Brewery Redhook IPA

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! After another long weekend of house work, hanging out with good friends, and oh yeah, our Undefeated National Champs UCF trouncing hapless Pitt, I’m wore out from the floor out. Hence the reason I grabbed a beer that I’ve had before from Publix because it was convenient and I wasn’t going to drive to a liquor store to create some more content. Redhook Brewery has always been one of those breweries that has never excited me, but I can settle for a middle of the road IPA.

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Bounce House Stadium!

Appearance: I left it in the “steinie” style bottle with the short neck. If you’re unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, think Red Strip or Nattie Light bottles. There was a small head when I popped the top.

Smell: For an IPA, there are a ton of malts hitting you and a distinct absence of hops. The bottle says it is “dry hopped” but it doesn’t smell like the Dogfish Head 60 Minute or Sierra Nevada Torpedo, which are other dry-hopped IPAs.

Taste: Holy malty! This has almost the flavor profile of a barleywine and very little to no traditional characteristics of an IPA. There are a ton of grain and bready notes with some boozy sweetness that is finished off by a bittersweet note. I wouldn’t classify it as hoppiness, just bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: It is very heavy on the palate with an acrid sharpness on the end. You can barely feel the carbonation.

Value: It was $1.49 for one so I guess you get what you pay for.

Overall: I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on this and say I got an old one. However, if this is how it normally is, it’s a 3/10. The only redeeming features are that it is cold and wet. It misses all the marks of a traditional IPA and has a closer profile to a malt liquor or a light barleywine. On the bright side, UCF is slated to destroy SMU, and I will be in attendance to witness it.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

Boulevard Brewing Tropical Pale Ale

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! I had a long weekend of watching my Knights dismantle FAU and doing miscellaneous home improvement projects, so I decided that I needed a reward for all that hard work. So the soon to be missus and I went to a local craft beer bar this afternoon to kick it into full relaxation mode. I tried a new-to-me beer from the always reliable Boulevard Brewing and was not disappointed. It turns out that they even partnered with Cigar City for this, which is one of my favorite breweries. Needless to say, I’m excited to try this collab.

Appearance: For being a “tropical pale ale,” it was almost as dark as an amber with a nice off-white head that hung around.

Aroma: Well, tropical is a pretty darn good way to describe it. I got mangoes, pineapple, and sweet citrus on the nose with just a touch of piney-ness on the end.

Taste: You get hit right off the bat with a bright tropical hop flavor then followed up almost instantly with a palate-cleansing bitterness. The tropical flavors range from passion fruit and pineapple to the standard lemon-lime citrus that is typical of these newer wave IPAs. This is definitely hitting the spot in 94 degrees Florida fall weather.

Mouthfeel: Just like the taste, it is bright, crisp and fresh. It’s not heavy or syrupy like some IPAs can be, but not as light as some session IPAs. It strikes a good balance between drinkability and flavor.

Value: For $5 a pint going out, I can’t complain.

Overall: I’d give this a solid 6/10. It straddles the fence between session IPA and the higher octane IPAs that have become the norm. It tastes great but is just a touch too bitter on the end for me to enjoy more than one of these in this heat. Once we start to get into the 80’s, this would definitely be a good cookout beer. But until then, this is a one and done.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!

A Floridian’s Thoughts on Oktoberfest

Happy Sunday Funday ya’ll! For most of the country, football is back on, days are getting shorter, and the weather is cooling. To match that, the crisp summer lagers and shandies are being replaced with more rich and flavorful Oktoberfest-styled Marzens and Vienna Lagers. If you’re in the sunshine state however, it is still a blistering 95+ degrees and 80% humidity for the next few months. Here are my thoughts on how Florida should embrace the Oktoberfest style.

First and foremost, what makes a good Marzen? Well, it should be soft, malty, and complex to start, with bread-y notes and some sweetness. It pours a beautiful amber color with a thick creamy head. The end of the beer is rounded out by crisp and clean hop bitterness which refreshes the palate and isn’t overwhelming. There are even hints of alcohol warming in some which really help out if it’s a cooler day with a brisk breeze. Now that we have that established, we know that crisp and cool isn’t Florida in September.

Even though fresh beer is the best beer in most cases, breweries and distributors should hold off sending this style to Florida until at least Halloween. There is nothing more disappointing than seeing a new Marzen release, which is full of malty and hearty goodness, and realizing you broke a sweat walking into the store. By the time Halloween rolls around, it should only be 90 degrees and 60% humidity which allows you to enjoy the beer instead of being turned off by how heavy it is.

Florida breweries shouldn’t bother brewing this stuff until mid to late October as well. Additionally, we should move Oktoberfest from the end of September to at least mid November. Yes, I know its called Oktoberfest, but there is nothing festive about sweating bullets in a heatwave. Therefore, the date change allows people an excuse to enjoy an outdoor beer festival without dying of heat stroke and also having a bunch of different beers than the run of the mill IPA, Lager, Gose, etc.

If you couldn’t tell already, this is a style of beer that I greatly enjoy. My only regret is that it usually disappears before we can truly enjoy the rich and complex flavors that come with this style. For all three of my readers in parts of the country that do have more than one season, enjoy what you have because us Floridians are down here stuck with session IPAs and light lagers.

Until next time, tight lines and cheers!