Keymaster: So Much Better Than a Giant Slor

When you’re a geek like me and you spy a beer that has a picture of Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer, in dog form, than you buy it on general principle. When you notice that it was brewed in part by Seventh Son Brewing Company, you buy two. This was the exact position I found myself in recently while shopping for something new to try. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. Nope. It was definitely a beer called Keymaster with the devil dog from Ghostbusters peering back at me from the shelf. And there was the Seventh Son logo. Yoink. Yoink. Two bottles in my basket. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Saisons, Pt. 2: Four Witches

(Originally appeared on the Tipsy Techie Website in June, 2014. I have seen this beer in stores since, but have not tasted it. Not from a lack of desire, but there is just so much other local stuff on the shelves now, and I’ve been on a bit of a hometown support kick.)

Having overcome my fear of saisons, I had a bit more pep in my step during my next visit to the craft beer store. That’s not to say I was bounding down the aisles like Jack Skellington asking the universe “What is this?” at each new farmhouse ale. But I was open to further experimentation. And an experiment is what I decided on. A bomber bottle from New Holland Brewing grabbed my attention with the description, “Black Saison”. The beer’s name was Four Witches.

I feel I need to pause here for a bit of an observation/rant. It seems every few years the craft brewing industry gets caught up in a fad. A few years back breweries were obsessed with IBUs. Then came the Imperial Reign, when brewers doubled up their malt bills and started putting the label “Imperial” on all their new beers. And now it seems we are in the Dark Ages. Brewers are adding roasted grains into the mash to create “dark” versions of traditional styles. Sometimes, such as in the case of black IPAs, this works well and a whole new style is born. Most of the time, however, what made the original great gets lost amid the coffee and smoke. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Saisons, Pt. 1: Stone

(Originally appeared on the Tipsy Techie website in June 0f 2014. I’ve found myself craving this beer on hot summer days after yard work or a good hike. Still recommended.)

I have a confession to make. I’m not a big fan of saisons. I know that admitting to such a thing in some craft beer circles would mark me as a pariah for whom hanging is too good for. Because of my aversion of farmhouse ales, trips to the store during the spring and summer months tend to be disappointing. I find myself reverting back to my stand-bys.

However a few weeks back as I was perusing through one of my favorite shops, I spied the telltale demon head trademark of Stone Brewery peeking up out of the top of a six pack. Eager to try anything new from Stone, I picked up the pack. Continue reading

Crime: An Experience in Craft Brewed Arson

(Originally appeared on the Tipsy Techie website in March 2014. My opinion of this beer has not changed. At all.)

I consider myself a fanboy of Stone Brewing. I’ve never drank a bad, or even mediocre, beer made by them. I’m also a lover of spicy foods, so much so that I once partook of Quaker Steak and Lube’s Atomic Wings. Yet when I discovered Stone Crime at my favorite craft beer store, I felt more than a bit of trepidation. For the uninformed, Crime is part of Stone’s Quingenti Millilitre series. It was created by taking Lukcy Bastard Ale and aging it in bourbon barrels with an undisclosed number of hot peppers. The peppers ranged from lowly jalapeños up through black nagas and Moruga scorpions. Some of those tiny fruits have a Scoville ranking on par with police grade pepper spray. You know, that stuff cops use to subdue people. Continue reading

My Bloody Valentine: A Seasonal Beer for Lovers (of hops)

(Originally appeared on the Tipsy Techie website in February of 2014. The beer was released again in February of 2015).

I scanned the shelves of the store, trying to decide where my tastes lay that evening, when the image of a human heart oozing blood and pierced by an arrow was thrust in front of my face. I jerked back and saw that the gruesome scene was painted on a bomber bottle. “My Bloody Valentine Ale” it said. I followed the arm that held the bottle and saw my wife grinning down at me. A mad gleam shone in her eyes. Continue reading

Beer Reviews (RIP The Tipsy Techie Website)

The Tipsy Techie website has gone to the big domain name recycling center in the sky. That’s a shame, because I think the site had potential. I enjoyed my brief time of writing reviews for her. I was also pleased with the reviews I wrote, so I’m going to re-post them here. If they prove popular, perhaps I will add more (given the title of this website and all).

A Quick Update and Another Beer Review

Hi. I know. This site has been dormant. You probably thought I’d given up, yeah? Naw. Just getting some shit sorted. Some of it involves Chaos. The old boy is still fighting, but the allergies this year have taken a toll on him due to his compromised sinuses. Some of it involves stuffs I’m not sure I want to talk about here. But everyone still has their health. And I’m still writing.

However the reason I’m here right now is because the good lady who runs the Tipsy Techie has allowed me to post another of my beer reviews. This one is going to be a two parter. The first part is here. The second part should be going up in about a week. Take a look!