566. Great Dane Pub & Brewing – Crop Circle Wheat
Mar27

566. Great Dane Pub & Brewing – Crop Circle Wheat

My family and I are headed from Central Illinois to Rochester, MN and Mayo Clinic for my mitral valve repair heart surgery. Around lunchtime we hit Madison, Wisconsin and decided to stop for lunch. Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Fred, we decided to stop at Great Dane Pub & Brewing and enjoy a sampler. With all sorts of tests tomorrow, I have to limit my beer/alcohol intake, so my wife and I split this. I started to do a...

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565. The Abby St. Sixtus – Westvleteren XII
Mar26

565. The Abby St. Sixtus – Westvleteren XII

I’m sure my upcoming heart surgery will go just fine, but before I go, I wanted to make sure I had this beer. It’s considered by many to be one of, if not, the best beer in the world, and is on the list of “1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die.” It’s one of the most coveted beers by all beer geeks. I was fortunate enough to get a six pack brick when they went on a once-in-a-lifetime sale here in the...

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564. Russian River Brewing – Supplication Ale
Mar25

564. Russian River Brewing – Supplication Ale

  I found out I’m going to need mitral valve repair heart surgery this coming Friday, so I’m digging in the beer fridge for a few good ones before I have to head to Mayo Clinic for the surgery. I picked this one up in Seattle when I was there a few months ago, and brought it back on the plane with me. The bottle indicates it’s aged in Pinot Noir barrels with cherries added. It says its aged in the barrel 12-15 months...

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563. Illinois Brewing Co. – Big Beaver Brown Ale
Mar24

563. Illinois Brewing Co. – Big Beaver Brown Ale

As I mentioned in my last post, when I reviewed Illinois Brewing Co.’ s Big John Barley Wine, I’m at Illinois Brewing Co. today brewing a batch on their system for our homebrew club’s barrel project. We finally finished up our brew, and while the snow is really coming down outside, we sat at the bar and enjoyed a beer inside. Behind the barleywine, this was the next most interesting for me on their house tap list....

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562. Illinois Brewing Co. – Big John Barley Wine
Mar24

562. Illinois Brewing Co. – Big John Barley Wine

Today I’m at Illinois Brewing Company here in Bloomington, IL. They let our homebrew club come in and brew a beer on their system for our club’s barrel project. I actually put together our Russian Imperial Stout recipe to brew on their system, so we can age it in a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel. We had a great time brewing, despite a few hiccups, and went upstairs for a bit during the boil to grab a beer. Since it’s...

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561. Odell Brewing Co – Myrcenary Double India Pale Ale
Mar23

561. Odell Brewing Co – Myrcenary Double India Pale Ale

I was out in Colorado for work about a year and a half ago and picked up a four pack of this beer at the local liquor store. I enjoyed the other three while I was there, and brought this one back in my luggage to review when I got home. Apparently, it got lost in the back of the beer fridge, and I noticed it just recently. One reader – Larry, whose beer journey can be found here – recommended it as one of his favorites, so...

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560. Samuel Adams – Third Voyage Double IPA
Mar23

560. Samuel Adams – Third Voyage Double IPA

My homebrew club acquired a few bourbon barrels, and our group is brewing an Imperial Stout to put in the barrel. We’re brewing tomorrow at Illinois Brewing Company (IBC), here in Bloomington, IL. We have the grain, about 250lbs of it, but found out IBC only has a small corona mill. Therefore, my friend Fred and I started milling the grain this afternoon at his house. While we were milling the grain, Fred offered me this beer...

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559. Finch’s Beer Co. – Fascist Pig
Mar22

559. Finch’s Beer Co. – Fascist Pig

Well, it’s been an interesting day with several good things happening. Today, I found out I got a promotion, and then got a phone call from Mayo Clinic. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but I need heart surgery for a mitral valve repair. My surgery date was supposed to be May 16, but today I got a call asking if I could come in next Friday (yes, in one week). To celebrate both of these, my family and I went out for...

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558. Bell’s Brewery – Lager of the Lakes
Mar20

558. Bell’s Brewery – Lager of the Lakes

My wife and son are out tonight, and I’m relaxing at home with my daughter. She’s playing in the basement, so I thought I’d take the chance to do another review. I can’t remember if I picked up this beer on a trip to the brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan last year, or if I got it in a mixed six pack at the local liquor store. Either way, the bottle has a batch number of 10204 on it. The label says, “ As...

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557. NW Peaks Brewery – Triumph Ale Imperial IPA
Mar18

557. NW Peaks Brewery – Triumph Ale Imperial IPA

I picked up this beer a few months ago when I was in Seattle for work. My cousin really wanted me to try this brewery and we got there at the last second (they were actually closing), but we talked with the assistant brewer for a bit and he let us stick around and have a beer. At the time, I had the NW Peaks Redoubt Red and it was pretty good. I wanted to try more, and since I was flying out the next day, my only option was to buy...

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556. North Coast Brewing – Pranqster Belgian Style Golden Ale
Mar11

556. North Coast Brewing – Pranqster Belgian Style Golden Ale

After stopping at Flinger’s Pizza Pub for a Green Flash West Coast IPA and a couple of pizza rolls, I headed to our homebrew club meeting at Fat Jack’s. I looked to see what was on the menu I hadn’t had yet, and this one caught my eye. I’d seen it at the liquor store, and heard good things about it, so I thought I’d give it a try since it was on draft. Location: On tap and served in a curved glass at Fat Jack’s in...

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555. Green Flash Brewing – West Coast IPA
Mar11

555. Green Flash Brewing – West Coast IPA

Tonight is my monthly homebrewers club meeting, and I had a half hour or so to grab some dinner beforehand. Regular readers will see that I love Flinger’s Pizza Pub for their pizza and craft beers on tap, and conveniently, it’s right down the street from Fat Jack’s, our meeting place. Since I was on my own, I had their tomato basil rolls – which were excellent – and this beer. Location: On tap and served...

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554. Spoetzl Brewery – Shiner Hefeweizen
Mar08

554. Spoetzl Brewery – Shiner Hefeweizen

Today is the first day of SXSW, and although I’ve been there before, I’m not able to go this year. However, I’m missing being there a ton and am taking advantage of their live streams of some of the keynote speakers. In order to truly make it a “SXSW experience at home” I wanted to crack open a Shiner while watching. Fortunately, my good friend @BettyWriter sent me a mixed 6 pack of Shiner beers right...

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553. Lagunitas Brewing – A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale
Mar06

553. Lagunitas Brewing – A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

After the happy hour at Station 220 ended, where I had the Boulder Freshtracks and a bottle of Old Rasputin, I still had a little bit of time. So, I ran by Medici in Normal to grab a beer during “Wednesday Warriors” (where if you have a beer on 10 Wednesdays during the year you get a t-shirt and discounts). Now the first beer I ordered ran out (just the luck I was having if you read my last post), and they had a bunch of...

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552. North Coast Brewing – Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Mar06

552. North Coast Brewing – Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

I’ve been having a great time hanging out with co-workers at a happy hour for a few of them who are moving on to bigger and better things.  After having the Boulder Freshtracks, I thought I’d try something different. I ordered a beer, and the tap blew. The only only remaining one that looked good was the Schlafly Pale Ale. Guess what? That one blew too. To avoid further issues with the taps, I ordered this bottle, which...

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551. Boulder Beer Co. – Freshtracks Wet-Hopped Singletrack
Mar06

551. Boulder Beer Co. – Freshtracks Wet-Hopped Singletrack

Tonight I’m at a happy hour for a couple of co-workers who are moving on to other positions within the company. We’re at Station 220 in Bloomington, IL., and I was a bit surprised to see they had 6 different craft beers on tap. I hadn’t heard of this one before, but I like Boulder’s Singletrack Copper Ale (I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed that one yet), so I thought I’d give this wet hopped...

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550. Boulevard Brewing – Smokestack Series Dark Truth Stout
Mar05

550. Boulevard Brewing – Smokestack Series Dark Truth Stout

I stumbled across this in the back of the beer fridge, and I have no idea when or where I got it. The label says, “Best by 10/9/11,” so it must have been a while ago. I’m watching my Mizzou Tigers taking on Arkansas and enjoying this beer before I sit down to get some work done. The bottle says, “ Roasted English malts provide a deep, rich texture, Belgian yeast Vistowes plum like fruitiness, and German hops...

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549. Perennial Artisan Ales – Peace Offering
Mar04

549. Perennial Artisan Ales – Peace Offering

As I mentioned with the Perennial Hommel Bier I had, my dad lives in St. Louis and I visit there often. I stopped by Perennial once and picked up a couple of beers, but I can’t remember when it was, and there’s no date on the bottle. The bottle says, “ Peace offering is un-American brown ale, brewed with a few hundred pounds of maple roasted Missouri squash. We hope you enjoy our take on autumn in that the flavors...

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548. Cathedral Square Brewery – Hail Mary Belgian-Style IPA
Mar03

548. Cathedral Square Brewery – Hail Mary Belgian-Style IPA

It’s Sunday night, and I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and relax after sending the kids up stairs to get ready for bed. I’ve found another corner of the beer fridge, with some beers (like Perennial Hommel Bier) I brought back from my many trips to St. Louis to see my dad. I’m not sure how long these St. Louis beers have been in the beer fridge, since they don’t seem to have dates on them, but...

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547. AleSmith Brewing – Old Numbskull Barley Wine Ale
Mar02

547. AleSmith Brewing – Old Numbskull Barley Wine Ale

I’ve heard a lot of great things about AleSmith beers, and really wanted to try them, but we haven’t been able to get them here in central Illinois. Fortunately, my friend David, who lives out in San Diego was willing to send me a couple of them. If you live in the San Diego area and need a photographer, please give him a shout – davereedphotography.com. So, as I sit here and watch my Missouri Tigers on TV, I decided...

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