14. Molson Coors – Molson Canadian Lager
Apr30

14. Molson Coors – Molson Canadian Lager

We stopped at the Fox Sports Sky Box in Chicago’s O’hare Airport for lunch. The selection of beers was pretty typical, but I tried to find one that might not be an obviously easy one to pick up along the way, so I ordered a Molson Canadian Lager. It wasn’t served with a glass, so I can’t comment exactly on the color or head, but, again, having had this before, I know it’s a pale yellow with a decent head....

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13. Grupo Modelo – Negra Modelo Dark Ale
Apr30

13. Grupo Modelo – Negra Modelo Dark Ale

We finished up in McAllen, TX and decided to go out for a good Texas meal before leaving the state.  We found a place down the street from our hotel called Republic of the Rio Grande.  Even better, we found a nice spot on their patio, right next to the fountain.  The beer list was mostly domestic drafts and some Mexican import bottles, so I ordered a Negra Modelo. The first tip that this may not be the best restaurant was when they...

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12. BJ’s Brewhouse McAllen, TX – Jeremiah Red Irish Strong Ale Draft
Apr29

12. BJ’s Brewhouse McAllen, TX – Jeremiah Red Irish Strong Ale Draft

After enjoying the Pale Ale, I thought I’d try another beer down the list, so I went with the Jeremiah Red Irish Strong Ale.  The menu says it’s “A silver medal winner in strong ales at the 1996 Great American Beer Festival. This Irish-style strong ale is brewed with a secret blend of five imported specialty malts. Not too hoppy in order to emphasize the complex malt flavor and fruity aroma.” Location: On tap...

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11. BJ’s Brewhouse McAllen, TX – Piranha Pale Ale Draft
Apr29

11. BJ’s Brewhouse McAllen, TX – Piranha Pale Ale Draft

Today we’re in La Joya and McAllen, TX and on our way back from our video shoot, we were ready to relax, have some lunch and a beer.  On our way back to the hotel we passed BJ’s Brewhouse in McAllen.  We circled around and headed there. When I go to a new brewpub, normally I like to try something unique.  However, like most chain brewpubs, the beer menu was pretty safe… so in that case, I usually try the Pale Ale,...

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10. AB-InBev – Ziegen Bock Draft
Apr28

10. AB-InBev – Ziegen Bock Draft

After having the Shiner Bock at lunch in the Houston Hobby Airport, we still had plenty of time to kill.  The server mentioned the beers on draft, and the only one I didn’t recognize was Ziegen Bock.  In all honesty, I had never even heard of it before, so I thought I’d give it a try.  Only after I ordered it, was I able to check my iPhone to discover I had ordered an AB-InBev beer… but I guess it had to happen...

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9. Spoetzl – Shiner Bock
Apr28

9. Spoetzl – Shiner Bock

You’ve heard the phrase, “When it Rome…”  Well, this week I’m in Texas, and it seems that the beer of choice here is Shiner Bock, brewed by the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas.  They’ve been brewing this beer since 1913, almost as long as they’ve been in business.  I wasn’t even until a few decades ago that Shiner began producing Bock year-round. Today 80% of the beer the Spoetzl...

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8. Diageo – Smithwick’s Irish Ale Draft
Apr27

8. Diageo – Smithwick’s Irish Ale Draft

I’m traveling for work right now, so this is the first draft beer I’ve reviewed.  An Irish pub in the  airport is pretty much a no brainer to pick up a beer when traveling.  We hit the Tigin Irish Pub in the Dallas Fort Worth Airport, and along with my Smithwick’s, I had a pretty good steak sandwich. As you can tell, the Smithwick’s I had was brown in color – even though it said it was a red ale –...

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7. Ballast Point – Calico Amber Ale
Apr26

7. Ballast Point – Calico Amber Ale

San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing Company Calico Amber Ale carries a Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal logo from 2001. It says “it is brewed in the American Amber style. Full bodied and aromatic, it is brewed with six malts for a deep red color and full flavor.”. It also indicates it was a Gold Medal Winner at the World Beer Cup in 2002. As you can tell by the photo, it was over-carbonated, but on the bright...

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6. Jolly Pumpkin – Bam Noire Dark Farmhouse Ale
Apr26

6. Jolly Pumpkin – Bam Noire Dark Farmhouse Ale

A nice afternoon treat, I broke open a bottle of Bam Noire Dark Farmhouse Ale from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales of Dexter, Michigan.  It comes in a large bottle like a Belgian (1pt 9.5 fl oz to be exact) except it is sealed with a normal bottle cap. My bottle was labeled as coming from batch 490 of 491. It has a picture of the proprietors’ Jack Russell on the front, and it says, “One of Bam’s brown eyes is, in fact,...

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5. Mendocino Brewing – Red Tail Ale
Apr25

5. Mendocino Brewing – Red Tail Ale

Mendocino Brewing Company’s Red Tail Ale says that, “this rich, inspiring amber ale is replete with refreshingly complex flavors and a delightfully smooth palate. It’s clean, dry finish makes this legendary ale outstanding!” It has an amber color and a fairly thin head upon pouring it. The smell of caramel malts was immediately noticeable and the aroma was exactly what you should expect from an amber ale. I...

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4. Goose Island – 312 Urban Wheat Ale
Apr24

4. Goose Island – 312 Urban Wheat Ale

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale came in a twist off cap (which is fine, except that I like pop top caps which can be reused for homebrewing).  I was really surprised when I poured it that it didn’t maintain a big frothy head (as I’ve come to expect from wheat beers) but instead it dissipated quickly and maintain very little head. The first smell that hit me was a sort of an earthy lemongrass smell. The body was very...

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3. Mendocino Brewing – Eye of the Hawk
Apr24

3. Mendocino Brewing – Eye of the Hawk

Mendocino Brewing Company’s Eye of the Hawk says that “This full-bodied intense amber ale is enriched with a spirit, intense sensuous flavor and complex taste impressively mellow, with the dry finish, this totally varietal ale is seductively drinkable.” It’s 8% alcohol by volume. It’s obviously amber in color, but a little bit on the darker amber side.  It’s got a nice creamy foamy head with tiny...

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2. Dogfish Head – Chicory Stout
Apr23

2. Dogfish Head – Chicory Stout

Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout says that it’s “a rich dark brew smoothed out out with a touch of roasted chicory and organic Mexican coffee goodness and carries a bone white head.”  It says that it is 5.2% alcohol by volume. It looks very very black and has an interesting smell that is hard to describe – slightly like coffee but a bit more of something else I can’t describe.  Maybe it’s the...

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1. Bell’s – Hop Slam
Apr22

1. Bell’s – Hop Slam

The journey of a thousand beers begins with a single step and a double IPA. Bell’s Hop Slam says it’s “a biting bitter tongue bruiser of an ale. With a name like Hop Slam what did you expect?” It’s got 10% alcohol by volume and says it’s brewed with honey. It’s a pretty pale yellow color with a very slight hint of orange color. It’s got a fairly thin head and the smell of hops is...

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A Journey to try 1000 Beers

I was looking up a beer one day someone had told me about and somehow stumbled across the 999 beers blog by Dave Selden. His quest is to drink 999 beers in 999 days, and he provides excellent tasting notes on each beer. My quest is similar, but it is certainly not an attempt to literally “one-up” Dave. For one, my tasting notes will certainly not be as thorough as his and will lack the fancy tasting graphs he includes....

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