Tag Archive | craft beer

Good People IPA (Video)

The second beer from Alabama I picked up at Liquor Express in Huntsville. This is also from Good People, whose DIPA I reviewed previously. This one is more sessionable at 6%. It’s not a world-class IPA but it’s solid and serviceable and my rating is perhaps a tad low.

Plus, check out that can! It just screams “Alabama IPA” to me. If Wal-Mart had a house brand IPA, that’s the kind of can they’d use.

Beyond the Pour grade: B-

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Olde Hickory Black Raven Black IPA (Video)

The first beer sent to me in trade with Tommy. The rest will be coming shortly.

This video is a bit longer than usual because I’ve had and reviewed several Black IPAs in the last couple of weeks, and I spend some time musing about the style. Is it really all that new? Will it stick around, or is it just a fad? I’d be interested in getting comments on those kinds of issues, and may make a more involved video on the topic down the road.

Beyond the Pour grade: B+

Can Anheuser-Busch Make a Decent ESB? (Goose Island Harvest Ale 2011)

Goose Island Harvest Ale
English Special Bitter
5.6% ABV

This is sort of the moment of truth, isn’t it? Harvest Ale will be the first seasonal release from Goose Island made since their sort-of acquisition by A-B Inbev. I don’t have a clear memory of what this beer tasted like in previous years, but if it’s a solid ESB we have room to hope that Goose Island’s other seasonalsbourboncountystout!will still be decent.

So let’s get the damn thing in a glass and find out!The pour itself

Pours very clear orange/red body with almost no haziness at all. Typically with an ESB you have a bit of haze, but nothing here. It gives me about a finger and a half of white head that dissipates pretty quickly. Aroma is very English, with lots of biscuity toasty malt and a very dry character. Love to see what this one’s like on cask — I’ll have to see if it’s available next time I stop by the Clybourn location in Chicago.

Check out that clarity!I digress. Flavor is very much like the aroma, somewhat sweet with lots of fruity esters. Very malty and toasty, drying on the finish with a hint of spice quality. Aftertaste is clean but biscuity. Nothing too complex –certainly not my favorite ESB!– but it’s definitely solid. Tastes like a very authentic example of the style.

I’ve got to say, this bodes well for the future of Goose Island. We’ll see how it goes, but for now color me cautiously optimistic.

Beyond the Pour grade: B+

Bell’s Octoberfest 2011

Bell’s Octoberfest 2011
Batch 10531 bottled 2011-08-12
Comstock, MI
5.8% ABV

I got off work early today, so I figured, what the hell — let’s do a quick beer review!


It’s Oktoberfest season, not necessarily my favorite time of year beer-wise but it’s nice to have a season devoted to brown malty lagers. I don’t like doing video reviews of these because so many of them are very similar, lots of malt with a bit of yeastiness and maybe some earthy hops with a clean malt finish. But text reviews are quick and easy and I figure I might as well do a few of them this year as I get around to them.

Sorry about the monitor glare -- my lamp is in use elsewhere at the moment.

Pours a bit lighter than expected, whether that’s my memory playing tricks with me or if the beer is really a bit lighter than last year I can’t say. Kind of a pale brown/orange or dark roasty yellow color. A twinge lighter than copper. Head is minimal and dissipates immediately. Smells grainy, sweet, slightly cardboardy. Somewhat “off,” in that nondescript way. Maybe a hint of chocolate and some earthiness.

Aroma’s a bit off, but flavor’s pretty solid. No graininess present, instead with some sweet caramel and fruity notes, a bit like a dopplebock. Somewhat creamy on the mouthfeel with a carbonation bite on the finish. Leaves a hint of breadiness on the aftertaste. Very smooth. I’ve got to say I was expecting this to be a disappointment based on aroma but it really made up for it in flavor. Not my favorite Oktoberfest/Marzen to be sure, but pretty solid, especially from an American micro.

Beyond the Pour grade: B

Good People Snake Handler IPA (Video)

I actually shot this on August 14, the day I got back from vacation, which explains why I’m a bit rusty in the video.

This is a new brewery in Birmingham, AL, that doesn’t bottle at all yet. I’ve had this beer a couple of times when I was down south, but haven’t bothered to review it until now. A shop called Liquor Express in Huntsville, AL, has draft beer to-go sold in plastic milk jugs, which is the format for this review.

Is it a bit hyperbolic to call this beer better than Hopslam? Probably, but it’s still a pretty impressive beer. (Keep in mind I’m not really a huge fan of Hopslam.)

Beyond the Pour grade: A-

Check out Liquor Express in Huntsville here:
1802 University Drive
Huntsville, AL 35811