The Big Beer Year 2014

In the word of birdwatching there is a competition known as “the Big Year”. Birdwatchers from around the world compete to see who can spot and identify the highest number of birds in a calendar year. This contest goes by the honor system and doesn’t really have any prize other than the recognition from your fellow birding enthusiasts that you are the winner. What the hell am I getting at? I’m glad you asked.

In 2014 I decided I would keep track of every beer that I consumed that year. It didn’t matter if it was something I’d never had before or a beer I drank every single day. I also didn’t put any restrictions on the amount of beer I had to consume in order for me to add it to the list (IE I didn’t have to drink an entire glass/bottle/can in order for it to count, but I did have to have enough to “experience” the beer). Each month I kept track of every beer I tried and then added up the total number consumed that month. I then went through this list and removed any repeats, which was surprisingly low, and verified the correct beer/brewery names.

Without further ado, here’s my list for “The Big Beer Year 2014”: Continue reading

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Nectar IPA (Humboldt Brewing Co.)

Sometimes re-branding yourself can be the perfect way to stand out in a sea of competition. Humboldt Brewing Co. has been around for quite some time now, with ownership switching hands more than once over the course of the past 20+ years. Now that they’re back in control of their own fate (so to speak) they decided that an image overhaul would be right way to go. And I agree. It got me to take notice, buy their beer, and thus write this (positive) review.

Nectar IPA sixerNECTAR IPA is an India Pale Ale from Northern California’s Humboldt Brewing Co. It has 60 IBUs and a 6.7% ABV.  Continue reading

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Heal the Bay IPA (Golden Road Brewing)

The quality of the beers produced by Golden Road has been a very divisive subject in the craft beer world. Beer drinkers were “upset” that the quality of the beer didn’t quite live up to the quality of the marketing supporting it. Golden Road heard the rumblings and made some changes in the brewhouse. These changes lead to some new beers and some tweaks to the original line-up. This is my first Golden Road review for one of these new brews.

Heal the Bay labelHEAL THE BAY IPA is an American IPA with 68 IBUs and 6.5% ABV.  Continue reading

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Black Tuesday 2012 (The Bruery)

The acquisition of a “rare” beer is a special treat. But like Uncle Ben once said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. What the hell am I talking about, you might ask. Well, I’m talking about the decision of when to crack open that hard-to-find gem you’ve just spent (usually) a good amount of money on. Do you drink it right when it’s fresh? Or do you set on it for a little bit and save it for a special occasion? Usually I tend to fall into the latter category of beer drinkers. So when we decided to get together for drinks at our house for a close friend’s birthday I saw the perfect opportunity to share one of these special beers.

Black Tuesday labelBLACK TUESDAY is a barrel-aged Imperial Stout from The Bruery. This particular bottle is from 2012 and has a whopping 19.5% ABV.  Continue reading

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Head Hunter IPA (Fat Head’s Brewery)

My current home, California, is known for its hoppy beers. Some of the best IPAs in the world come from here in the Golden State, so needless to say I’m often spoiled when it comes to availability and selection of those award-winning lupulin treats. However, every once in a while a beer comes out of the Midwest that gets the hopheads talking. This is one such example.

Head Hunter IPA logoHEAD HUNTER IPA is an American India Pale Ale from Cleveland, Ohio’s Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon. This hoppy beast has 87 IBUs and a chunky 7.5% ABV.  Continue reading

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Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout (Bell’s Brewery)

Ah, Bell’s Brewery. One of the first Midwest breweries I visited after getting into the craft beer scene. Because of this they will always hold a special place in my heart and give me reason to seek out their stuff when I’m back in Ohio. And that is precisely where I got today’s beer from.

Special Double Cream Stout labelBELL’S SPECIAL DOUBLE CREAM STOUT is an American Stout with a 6.1% ABV.

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Live (Southern Tier Brewing)

Whenever I go back to the Midwest I try to get my hands on as many Southern Tier beers as possible. Sadly this was the only one I got to sample this time around.

Live labelLIVE is a bottle conditioned American Pale Ale with a 5.5% ABV. Continue reading

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