Tag Archives: IPA

Beer Review: Clown Shoes Galactica & Hoppy Feet

Ohio is receiving lots of distribution from new (to us) breweries at the end of 2013.  New Belgium, Deschutes, and others will be here before the end of the year but it’s getting kicked off with Clown Shoes. Clown Shoes is a contract brewing operation out of Massachusetts that’s known for somewhat insensitive beer names like Tramp Stamp, Lubrication, and Brown Angel. Controversial names haven’t stopped them from making big and interesting beers for a few years distributing them to a variety of states before finally coming here.

Clown Shoes is initially gracing Ohio with 6 different brews: Galactica and Hoppy Feet are here in 4-packs of 12 oz bottles, Chocolate Sombrero, Genghis Pecan, and Muffin Top are all in 22 oz bombers, finally Tramp Stamp is draft only, at least for now. I did a review of a bottle of Tramp Stamp that I brought back from Georgia last year, you can read that here. I also had a bottle of their Chocolate Sombrero which, in short, is a spicy chocolate imperial stout starting out with some heat that slowly builds and adds in rich chocolate as the glass warms.  I have yet to have Genghis Pecan or Muffin Top and my thoughts on Galactica and Hoppy Feet are just below!

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The Utility of Beer Styles

This post is in direct response to Andy Crouch’s article “The Futility of Beer Styles” in this month’s (October 2013) Beer Advocate magazine [Edit: Andy has made me aware that this was only part 1 of 3 and these concerns will be addressed in future parts. A fact not mentioned in the magazine]. If you haven’t read it yet then I won’t fault you for reading it before continuing this post. However, if you don’t get Beer Advocate magazine or don’t want to wait then the quick summary is that he advocates for discontinuing the use of beer styles.

Beer Style Poster

Without beer styles we couldn’t have awesome posters like this!

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Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Flipside

I like Sierra Nevada in general, I like their IPA, and I really like their pale ale, all that combined with my general love of Amber IPAs (or India Amber Ales) makes me very excited to try Sierra Nevada’s brand new Flipside Red IPA. flipside2013_sellsheet_front Read on after the jump for more info and my review! Continue reading

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King of the Cincinnati IPA

As previously teased one beer has been named the King of the Cincinnati IPA. Last Saturday a plethora of local beer bloggers expert tasters and myself got together to drink a bunch of free donated beer, hooray free beer! The full list of bloggers is:

The blind tasting was proctored by

If you don’t read these guys blogs and/or follow them on twitter I’d highly advise it. They’re all cool and knowledgeable dudes each covering Cincinnati beer in a slightly different way. Also we’re each blogging our thoughts on this whole event and covering everything slightly differently so you should spend a few minutes reading all their posts on the event.

But back to the King of the Cincinnati IPA competition. I’m not sure who’s idea this first was but over the course of ~200 some emails we set a date and a place and got all the local brewers to donate growlers of their IPAs. To ensure fairness Jack & Matt stepped in to randomize the growlers and take care of pouring the samples so we were blind to what beer was in what cup.

The city has some fantastic IPAs some like Mt. Carmel, Cellar Dwellers, and Moerlein are more classic IPAs while Rhinegeist and MadTree produce more over the top hop-focused IPAs that are currently the rage. Rivertown comes in with a session IPA aiming for plenty of flavor with less alcohol so you can drink it over an extended session, hence the name. Blank Slate brings in a very different kind of IPA, as it does for all it’s brews, with what it calls a White IPA. It’s described as a wheat IPA “containing two different wheat malts in addition to oats and honey malt meld with copious amounts of Columbus, Cascade and Nugget hops”.

With all these slightly different IPAs it was hard to pick 1 winner but alas we did, in fact we picked two! Rhinegeist’s Truth and Blank Slate’s Lesser Path tied for first in the initial scoring. We then did a final round with no scoring just a straight up preference pick and while I myself went with Rhinegeist on the basis of it being more a true IPA I was out voted 3 – 2 so Blank Slate’s The Lesser Path took the King of the Cincinnati IPA title.

King of the Cincinnati IPA

Since we crowned a king IPA for the Queen city folks may be anxious to give this a taste. If that’s you then the following list should help, but these places may have already sold out so call before you go!

•Allyn’s •Arnolds
•Bar Louie •Beer Sellar
•Dilly Deli •Firehouse Grill
•Flip Daddy’s – Mason •Liquor Box
•Mios Blue Ash •Northside Tavern
•Remke Hyde Park •The Comet
•Valley Wine & Spirits •Vito’s Cafe
•Washington Platform Saloon •Whole Foods – Mason
•Yard House

Since our winner is draft only I want to give a special mention to Christian Moerlein’s Northern Liberties which was the highest ranked packaged IPA we tasted. Now I’m also realizing that out of 10 beers we tried only 3, Mt. Carmel, MadTree, and Moerlein are available in non-draft forms.

I want to thank all the breweries for making such great beer and letting us try some, all the bloggers for helping throw this together, and the Brew Professor’s family for putting up with us all for a night! We all had such a great time that it’s agreed we’ll do something like this again. Perhaps another style of beer or perhaps tap rooms or perhaps some other idea we’ve yet to think of!

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The Six-Pack Project

Bryan Roth over at This Is Why I’m Drunk has invited me to participate in his Six-Pack Project. The idea here is that 6 beer bloggers in 6 different states choose 6 beers to represent their state. I was busy when round 1 went by but you can head check out the results from North Carolina, South CarolinaVirginia/DC, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Besides us this round also features:

The hope that when you go to one of these states you’ll be able to pull up a quick list of what to get along the way. I know for sure I’ll be checking that North Carolina list when I head for the Outer Banks next month!

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A story of Anchor’s Liberty Ale and the little hop that could, Cascade!

A few days ago I did a Quick Sip review of this beer over on the Queen City Drinks Facebook page. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet now is a great time to do it so you can keep up to date on the quick sip reviews. I enjoyed this beer so thoroughly that I felt compelled to give it a full blog post especially because of the significant history in this beer.

In the far distant past of the mid 1960s the American craft beer scene was… well non-existent. Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco had gone through a number of owners throughout the years until Fritz Maytag (of the washing machine family) bought the place up in 1965. By the mid 1970s there was a craft beer scene and there was a lot of preparation for America’s bicentennial.

Almost every brewery was working on something special for July 4th, 1976 but Fritz didn’t want to get lost in the wash (intentional pun) of competition so he opted to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride. To do this they created their Liberty Ale which used something new and relatively unheard of at the time, an American hop by the name of Cascade.

There were some hops grown in America but they were mostly bittering hops and the aroma hops were coming from England or Germany. That changed when a USDA researched created hop 56013. Hop 56013 would, in 1972 be first used by Coors, and eventually be called Cascade, and as of this week became the second most grown hop in America.

Fritz Maytag discovered this hop and decided it was what would make his Liberty Ale stand out as the first American craft beer to use cascades and the first american craft IPA. That decision is the proverbial butterfly wing beat that created a tidal wave of Cascade use in almost all American craft pale ales and India pale ales.

Great history and all but is this beer actually any good? Liberty Ale is a delicious 6% IPA with a superbly bountiful aroma of citrus and flowers owed entirely to the little hop that could, Cascade. If you’ve got yard work to do or a grill out to go to this summer I strongly advise picking up a six pack of this to enjoy! It should be available at any better beer store this summer, or any time of year.

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Beer Review: MadTree PsycHOPathy

MadTree Brewing has been around town for a few months now but only this week did they start canning their beer. As of the time this post is going up they only have PsycHOPathy canned but Gnarly Brown and Happy Amber will be filling the aluminium sometime in the next week or two. Shortly after that, around mid April, you’ll start seeing the cans pop-up around town! If you’re like me and impatient though then head on down to the brewery for a pint on draft and a 6-pack ($10) to take home!

If you follow other Cinci beer blogs you’ve no doubt already heard lots this week about MadTree. They’ve been on a bit of a beer blog spree which is great news for them and for our fellow beer bloggers! That said I’m not gonna focus too much on the brewery, if you want that info please check out our friend Brew Prof’s post MadTree cans roll off the line and make history. He did a fantastic job on that and there is only 1 thing he’s missing, a beer review!

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Beer Review: Victory HopDevil

Long ago I feel in love with Victory’s Golden Monkey (my review of it) and I’ve tried most of their brews though never given any others full reviews. I intend to change that starting now with their IPA HopDevil. The artwork is awesome though the name is a bit much. This is a very hoppy beer, but not quite “devil”worthy. Here is what they have to say about it:

The mythical HopDevil® resides in the lore of farmers. Our HopDevil is the real deal. Bold, spicy and menacingly delicious. He’s the product of distinctive American hops and meticulous craftsmanship. Arising from the heady wilds of our hopback and gently tamed with time, this Devil makes a great companion.

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Beer Review: Upland Double Dragonfly

Upland is a small regional brewery hailing from just over in Bloomington, Indiana. Upland came to the Cincinnati area last fall, without too huge of a splash on the scene. I’d had their brews before on trips to Indianapolis, they have a small tap room north of downtown, but never got around to having more since. One reason is that I enjoyed their Dragonfly IPA and pined after their Double Dragonfly double IPA, but was never able to find it… until now:

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Beer Review: Columbus Brewing Company Bodhi

Looking for a great, highly rated, draft only, IPA that you can only get in one city? Skip the plane ticket to Cali or Vermont and drive on up to Columbus instead! When I say this is highly rated I mean a 98 on both Rate Beer and Beer Advocate plus on Beer Advocate’s list of top Double IPAs this comes in at #20 making it the “best” DIPA in Ohio!

The Columbus Brewing Company has been making their double IPA, Bodhi, for a few years now and have kept it on draft only and rarely distribute those kegs outside of the Columbus area. Luckily it’s relatively easy to score in Columbus and quite a few places offer growler fills of it. My wonderful wife had a work conference in Columbus this weekend and was kind enough to pick up a growler of this for me!

Bodhi (pronounced bow-dee) is a sanskrit word from Buddhism which is roughly translated as enlightenment or awakening. Lets see if it’s hops awaken by taste buds to the same level of love that others give this beer.

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