Monday, April 19, 2010


We will be resume our weekly beer drinking the first week of May. Well, we will resume our beer writing in May.

Cheers for now.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Antithesis of Unearthly

Down here in the Tampa Bay area, our beer selection has improved dramatically in the last few years. We've gone from a relative beer backwater to the home of one of the most exciting new breweries in the country - Cigar City. Besides our own regional brews, we have also seen a huge increase in the selection of small batch brews from all around the country. As an apt example, I offer Iniquity - an imperial black ale from Southern Tier Brewing out of Lakewood, NY.

Per the writing on the bottle, Iniquity "is contrary to what one may expect from an IPA; this is an ale as black as night." However, I have to think they're referring mostly to the appearance of this black as night brew. Loaded with chinook, cascade, williamette, and centennial hops, this is clearly an IPA - even at first taste. But while the hops dominate and define this tasty brew, there is an underlying malt character that you might not find in other IPAs - I think the hop bitterness is evident, but the "debittered black malt" balances that bitterness out, making for a very pleasant 9% black IPA bomb.

Find one and drink it!

***For all the PA readers, I was at Cigar City Brewery the other night (and had some great beers), and I heard some bad news for fans from the north. Due to high demand, they're planning to stop supplying the PA market until later this year, after they get a couple new fermenters up and running. If you like the beers and see them around, snatch them up, as they won't be restocked for a while!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Week 13: Ancient Ales, Broken Batteries and Cunning Creatures

You can never predict where your car is going to break down. Ironically and lucky enough for me, I broke down the other night at Sly Fox Brewery in Royersford, PA. The downside to this story, other than the fact that the Camry was rushed to the emergency room, is the speed that its ambulance came to rescue. I think it was 20 minutes…tops. I know, I know…pretty boring beer story.

I began this post with a tale because I am in need of some good ol' fashioned filler. No beer list this week. Sure I tossed a few back, but my lady and I are in the process of home renovation right now. That pretty much means having over the best friends possible, spackle in one hand and a crowbar in the other, and tossing a few back at the day's end. In case you really want to know, we are drinking with our comrades Kenzinger, 60 Minute and Clipper City so far.

What I will do this week is deliver on a much promised review of Dogfish Head’s Theobroma. I picked up two last year upon its release in August. I saved one for the special occasion of the first day in the new home.

So what lies in this beautiful 22oz bottle?

  • Cocoa Nibs
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Ancho Chilies
  • Honey
  • Annatto

It’s got a great funky fruity smell. I know that there is cocoa on the menu, but that is picked up in the mouth, at least for me anyway. But keep sipping and smacking your lips together and the beehive will come alive. More malts than hops on the backbone, and you get a nice chili taste on the finish. Next time I gotta pick up 3 or 4.

Science backs up the facts on this one that it may be the earliest known alcoholic drink, based on a chemical found in pottery in Honduras.

Hopefully next week I have a couple different brews to talk about. Cheers until then.