The Good, The Better, and The Strange: More Florida Beers!

September 19, 2012

The Good:

Tequesta Brewing Co. American Farmhouse Ale – Tequesta Brewing Company does not appear to have a website, although they do have a Facebook page and some reviews on Yelp, so they are not wholly ignorant of this thing called the internet.  While they may not have much of an internet presence, I can say that they know how to make beer based on the pint of their American Farmhouse Ale that I knocked back recently. This American Saison was delicious. It had the funky farmhouse yeast aroma, pale yellow and cloudy color, and hay like flavors that I associate with saisons. I call it an ‘American’ Saison as it had a nice dose of hops added to it, which to me tasted like Chinook hops from the Pacific Northwest. This was not as hoppy as an IPA, but the hops were a prominent feature of the beer. This was a fine tasting beer, 7.5/10.

The Better:

Cigar City White Oak IPA: I enjoyed Cigar City’s White Oak IPA in a bottle, so I jumped on it when I saw it on tap recently. All the good parts of the bottled beer (the vanilla and oak notes, the complex fruitiness of the hops, the creamy texture) were amplified in the draft version. This beer was simply outstanding, 9/10.

Let’s have a brief musical interlude with my favorite Rock and Roll band from Florida, Charlie Pickett and the Eggs!

The Strange:

Holy Mackerel Panic Attack: Billed as a Trippel/Saison fusion, this tastes as odd as that sounds. This is overloaded with sweet fruit flavors, canned peaches, pineapples, mangoes. It is treacly sweet without any hop bitterness to offset that sweetness. Rather, this beer relies on the 10% ABV as a counterbalance to that sweetness, and 10% is not nearly alcohol to cut it. You also get that cotton candy bubblegum flavor that I find so cloying in trippels. The only saison notes I could find were in a slight funky yeast aroma and flavor. It also had a strange mustiness to it. I know it sounds like I hated this beer, but I actually found it kind of interesting, although I am not quite sure if I actually liked it, 6.5/10.

Hello D’ere!


Jester King Wytchmaker Redux and WILD! (And A Bonus Review of the Farmhouse Black Metal Stout!)

May 16, 2012

Don’t see much difference between these two bottles, do you? The bottle on the left is the regular Jester King Wytchmaker Rye IPA (my 2011 Beer of the Year!). The bottle on the right is the Wytchmaker Farmhouse Rye IPA.

The only difference between the two is the Farmhouse Rye IPA uses farmhouse yeast in place of the regular ale yeast. This gives it a slightly sour and funky flavor. It pours a little cloudier, and the aroma is just a touch funkier, with a touch of sourness added to the flavor. The difference is subtle, but nice. I don’t think it makes it a better beer, and it is not substantially different either, but it is still damn good, 9.5/10.

The Farmhouse version is a little cloudier, a little funkier, but just as tasty.

BONUS REVIEW!: The Farmhouse Black Metal is an improvement over the already excellent Black Metal Stout. The sourness from the farmhouse yeasts adds another flavor dimension and rounds out the dark chocolate, dried fruit, anise and dark brown sugar flavors.  Again, any differences between the two beers is subtle, but liked the farmhouse version a touch more. I gave the regular Black Metal Stout a score of 8.5, but the farmhouse version gets a 9/10.


Jester King Le Petit Prince

April 26, 2012

Isn't that just the prettiest thing you have ever seen?

Le Petit Prince is another fine offering from the good folks at Jester King. It is light, crisp and refreshing, a perfect beer for the coming brutal days of the Texas summer. Although it is light, the beer is hoppy and fruity, with a rustic farmhouse flavor, and a flowery finish from the hops. At 2.9% ABV, Le Petit Prince would be the ideal session beer, except it is a bit too pricey to drink all day. Although not cost effective as a session beer, it is still a fine drink, 7.5/10.

Does anyone else remember this television adaptation of The Little Prince from the Seventies? I was completely creeped out by the kid who played the Prince, to the point where I was glad the little weirdo died at the end.

Gene Wilder is great in this, but he is always great. Think about the run he had in the sixties and seventies: Bonnie & Clyde, The Producers,  Willy Wonka, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silver Streak, and Stir Crazy. Even when the movies may not have been the best, he was always great in them.


Big Texas Beer Festival, Dallas, April 14

April 16, 2012

Beer Festival Rules:

1. Pace yourself so that you can enjoy all the beers that you will be sampling.

2. Drink plenty of water.

3. Take regular food breaks. Read the rest of this entry »


Jester King Noble King Hoppy Farmhouse Ale

March 5, 2012

Yet another outstanding beer from Jester King, The Noble King Hoppy Farmhouse Ale tastes of green apples, clear spring days, freshly cut grass and Magnolia trees in bloom. Actually, a day like that would be awful for me, as I’d be laid up sneezing and coughing and my eyes would be red, itchy and alternating between dried out and watery, but I imagine that a day like that would be great if I did not get hay fever, and this beer is as great as a day like that should be. What the hell, let’s add some unicorns and wood nymphs to the mix while we are at it, because this beer is that good.

It is a hazy orange amber color, with a fluffy head, and some aggressive lacing running up the side of the glass. The Noble King is very hop forward, with the farmhouse yeast bringing a wild earthiness to the aroma and the taste. This finishes dry and crisp, with a tart fruity aftertaste and a velvety mouthfeel. Excellent beer, 8.5/10. I know Texas is rarely mentioned as a hot spot of the American Craft Beer Culture, but I consider myself lucky to be able to drink the beers of the mighty Jester King.


DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK! Jester King Thrash Metal Strong Farmhouse Ale

February 23, 2012

This is one hell of a bounce back beer after my disappointment with the Jester King Commercial Suicide.  As you can see from the photo, the Thrash Metal Strong Farmhouse Ale pours a hazy golden yellow, and that ethereal glow emanating from the glasses? It is real and arises from the divine nature of this beer. It has some peach flavors, herbal aromas, a complex hops palate, and a tangy, musky, funky aftertaste. I would describe it as a boozy saison (over 9% ABV), but that fails to adequately describe how great this beer is, 9/10.


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