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All year long, I will be drinking one beer a day -- no more, no less -- with no repeats. Join the discussion and help me discover and share new beer!

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Aug
20

St. Bernardus Abt 12

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (1)

Abt 12 detailWestvleteren 12 is a Trappist ale that is arguably the rarest and most sought-after beer in the world. A gray market has sprung up among websites and auction sites, but the only proper way to get a taste of this rare Quadrupel is to visit the Abbey at Saint Sixtus — and that’s after calling ahead to reserve the one case allowed per phone number.

Perhaps the closest the rest of us can come to tasting “Westy 12″ is through St. Bernardus Abt 12, readily available at any bottle shop with a good Belgian selection. If you haven’t guessed from the title of today’s post, this is a story about St. Bernardus, not Westvleteren.

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Aug
19

Old Chub - Oskar Blues

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (6)

Old Chub canOskar Blues Brewery is most widely known for crafting some of the best beer you can find in a can. But they also have a reputation for creating some strong beer, too. Since my last can of Oskar Blues was a decidedly tame Moma’s Little Yella Pils, I feel the urge to venture back out into deeper waters.

Old Chub is a Scottish-style Ale from Oskar Blues. Scottish Ales are generally dark, malty, and often smokey. The strong malt often dominates the flavor, but I’ve discovered an affinity for Scottish Ales that has me curious about what Old Chub throws at me.

My can (“Batch #2″) was filled on January 20th, 2009 — Inauguration Day here in the United States. But despite the accidental stars and stripes on the can, this beer seems far less presidential and far more informal. The Colorado can has a tartan band and the slogan, “High Altitude. High Attitude. High Land. High Ya. No Rice!”

High Attitude indeed — this beer is a hefty 8% ABV.

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Aug
18

Brooklyn Lager

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (2)

Brooklyn Lager detailI’m pretty “thumbs down” on most lagers. To me, the lager stereotype seems to hold true — that they aren’t much for taste, have too much of an unpleasant yeasty quality, and are generally fairly weak and light-bodied.

But the Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager puts its best foot forward. This lager is strong on hops and has a big caramel malt taste. It’s actually a pretty good beer, even with that “LAGER” name so prominently displayed on the label. How’s that for a back-handed compliment?

I knew I was in for something different as soon as I poured the beer. Brooklyn Lager isn’t a fizzy yellow beer — it’s a coppery, amber lager with a plump cushion of white head that looks thick and almost meringue-like.

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Aug
17

Great Divide Titan IPA

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (1)

It’s IPA Monday, so let’s start with the bottle description of tonight’s IPA:

“Titan IPA is a big, aggressively hopped India Pale Ale brewed for hop disciples. It starts out with piney hop aromas and citrus hop flavors, and finishes with a nice rich, malty sweetness that is balanced with crisp hop bitterness.”

Hey, that sounds pretty good. But I’ve heard lots of boasting about hops, and only rarely does the actual beer come through on those pre-built expectations.

I’m pleased to report that Great Divide’s Titan IPA has a fair amount of hop taste — but by no means will this beer induce a hop-attack. Instead, the emphasis in the description should be placed on the word “balance”; flavorful hops and robust malt push against each other like some sort of team-building, trust exercise.

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Categories : Beer a Day, IPA Monday
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Aug
15

Smuttynose Summer Weizen

Posted by: Andy Murphy | Comments (0)

Smuttynose SummerSummer has kicked off its shoes and settled in across New England, and it looks as though it may stay a while. Most of today was in the upper 80′s and, even with the windows open and the fans blowing, it was certainly what the natives call “a Scorcha!” So it only seemed fitting that I fight off the heat with a summer ale from New England.

Smuttynose Brewing Company is just a short drive from me, in Portsmouth, NH. Their summer seasonal, called “Summer Weizen” is a wheat ale “brewed with chamomile flowers”.

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