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Bottle Share: 4 Hands Pyrus Saison and Jester King El Cidra

So my buddy Franklin had a bottle of Three Floyds Blackheart to share, as well as a couple of other bottles, so he came over and we split some stuff. We started with the Blackheart (which I didn’t bother to review) but I did do tasting notes on paper for the two bottles of Lidney’s that we split. I’m basically transcribing verbatim below, with exact transcription in italics.

4 Hands Pyrus Saison


Pours yellow-orange with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is super dry, with pear, notes of funk, perhaps some brettanomyces? Taste follows the nose very well.

At this point I just transcribed one word: salty so I suppose I was getting hints of saltiness on the back of the palate. Then: Extremely dry. Crisp. Green apples. Green apples can be a sign of acetaldehyde but here I think it’s more likely just a yeast ester. (Lots of things can add green apple flavor to a beer.)

Drinkable, good, not too complex.

Rating: B+

Onward and upward.

Jester King El Cidra

This is a dry-hopped and cedar-aged ale from Jester King. It sounded gimmicky to me, but Lidney typically doesn’t steer me wrong, and I quite liked Black Metal, the only other beer from the brewery. I ended up amazed at the quality.

Cloudy yellow-white. White head sticks around.

Smells of weirdly complex roasty, grapefruit/orange rind. Gourdy. Definite woody undertones. Taste follows the nose. Delicious.

This one had a really interesting spicy note that was really hard to place for certain. This was the first beer in awhile that I wish I had done a video for, because the process of me trying to find the particular flavors was probably really entertaining.

With yeast very bready. Fruity ester notes. More green apple? Hugely complex spice build. Allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon.

Rating:A, maybe even an A+


Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

Another day, another IPA?

This is a beer from Deschutes I haven’t had, and another one from Lidney. It’s dated best by 8/5/14, so I’m hoping that means bottled May 5.

The bottle says it uses Citra and Mosaic hops. No further ado, let’s dig in.


Pour transparent orange, thick frothy white head that dissipates with time. Leaves significant soapscummy lacing. Aroma strong with orange and grapefruit. Significant sweetness from the hops, slight bready malt base.

Flavor follows the nose. Hints of bready malt, but overall a big wallop of orange/citrus/grapefruit astringency. Very long finish, mostly grapefruit/tangerine.

This is one of those beers that’s more satisfying to drink than to talk about. I’d love to sit down with a growler or a sixer of this and really dig into it. It’s delicious, but maybe a bit one-note?

Rating: A-

Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 18 (with Bonus Episode!)

There’s about two and a half hours of content here, so hopefully no one’s disappointed on length at least. In the main episode, Jamison, Lee, and I discuss what we’ve been drinking, the “craft vs. crafty” distinction, and beer cultures around the world. We also play a little beer geek game around barrel-aged beer. In the bonus episode, Rob Derbyshire of Hopzine and I have a long and free-flowing conversation about the UK beer scene, craft beer vs. real ale, and a wide variety of other topics. If you listen carefully I even make a Doctor Who joke!

Main episode:


Show notes:

0:00 to 17:40 Introductions and what we’ve been drinking. Jamison: Deschutes Jubelale, Scotch Silly, Firestone Walker Parabola. Lee: Boxing Rock Vicar’s Cross DIPA, 2012 Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. Daniel: Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf, various other Three Floyds beers, and a visit to Revolution Brewing in Chicago. Different kinds of experiences at breweries and brewpubs?
17:40 to 25:55 BrewDog’s definition of “craft beer” for the European market.
25:55 to 46:40 That leads into the “craft vs crafty” distinction which has been a major conversation piece in beer blogs for the last few months. Does it make sense to make a distinction between a true local brewery vs. a large corporation if we don’t make that distinction in other areas of our lives? What happens if and when large American breweries start to make really good beers? Is that even possible?
46:40 to 1:14:27 Beer culture around the world. Also, we respond to a few of our live comments.
1:14:27 to 1:27:22 A barrel-aging beer game Jamison came up with. Fun!
1:27:22 to 1:29:21 Wrapping up and where to find our stuff on the internet.

Jamison’s review of George T. Stagg Jr.

Bonus episode with Rob from Hopzine:


I didn’t keep show notes for the bonus episode, but it’s a fun listen. Check it out. For a good taste of Rob, check out his review of a fresh bottle of Stone Ruination here.

Solo Beer Chat 1: National Beer Brands

Those of you obsessed with me (ladies) are already aware of the new project I’m doing where I open a beer, drink through it, and talk about some issue related to the craft beer industry (or my life) in the process. The video ends when the beer is over, which makes it easy for me to edit but also makes for long, sometimes meandering videos.

Well, now I’m adding the content for the podcast. I’ve used Audacity to clean up the audio for the podcast, but otherwise the content is the same. This is meant for those who (like me) would rather take the audio with them rather than watch the video on Youtube. This is an experiment, so we’ll see what the stats look like after a few weeks when determining whether I continue on this path.


Show Notes

0:00 to 3:00 Introductions and Green Flash West Coast IPA
3:00 to 6:24 The place for national beer brands
6:24 to 9:12 Talking about personal issues With a couple of members of the beertube community
9:12 to 14:50 The future of beer (Spoiler alert! Hopefully local, innovative, and high-quality.)
14:50 to Finishing the beer and finishing the video.

Lee’s great video talking about our fellow Beertubers:

Quickie Review, Bell’s Wheat Love Ale

A brand new beer from Bell’s. A wheatwine, no less, you don’t see that every day. I’m tired from work and class tonight and just watching a bit of classic Breaking Bad, so I can’t be bothered to set up the camera. Let’s do an old-school text review.

Pours hazy yellow/orange, billowy white head. A bit like a hefeweizen, but at 8% it’s a bit big for a hefe. Then again, it’s a bit small for a wheatwine/barleywine.

Bottle and snifter.

Bottle and snifter.

Aroma pulls even closer to a hefe. Quite estery, hints of banana. Maybe some bubblegum. Flavor follows the nose, tons of ester and a nice dose of alcohol, though no booze. Sweet.

Overall I’d definitely call this something like an Imperial Hefeweizen rather than a wheatwine, although that’s just pendantic semantics. The back label mentions “the Wheat series,” implying that this is the first of many beers like this. It’s not phenomenal, but it’s decent. I’d drink it again, maybe on tap. Pretty standard special-ish releease for Bell’s these days.

Vlog 2013-09-20: Talkin’ About Esters

I’m going to try to do at least one video a week going forward, and focus a lot more on talking generally about beery topics rather than straightforward reviews and tasting notes.

I am always interested in new ideas for topics you’d like to see me discuss, so leave ’em in the comments!

Nightly Beers, 2013-08-24

Another long workday, ready for a couple of beers and leftover dinner.

First, a single bottle of Short’s Controversius Maximus. Definitely overly sweet for me, although I’ve heard that this bottle may be way older than it should be for a DIPA. You definitely get the alcohol burn here. I’m a big fan of ControversiALE (formerly Hangin’ Frank) but this one isn’t quite for me.

Short's Controversius Maximus DIPA

Short’s Controversius Maximus DIPA

All right, onto the next beer, Founders Red’s “Rye PA.” Formerly a year-round, but apparently really expensive to produce, so they’ve turned it into a seasonal four-pack. Since this is probably my all-time favorite rye beer, I was definitely interested in trying it, especially since at the time of this writing this bottle is all of eleven days old.

You definitely get more of that earthy funk from the rye than I remember in this beer, but I don’t think I’ve ever had it this fresh. Nice sweetness from that amber malt character. (Added via crystal malt? You can never be sure with these kinds of beers.) Just as dank as the Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye, but much more drinkable. I think if anything they’ve made this beer better by turning it from a year-round to a seasonal.


That’s it for the night. Cheers to all.