I am a fan of Real Ale Brewing Co., and I am particularly a fan of their Sisyphus Barleywines. The 2011 vintage is hot off the bottling line, and is a tasty little treat. At over 11% ABV, it is a warming drink for a cold night, with plenty of toffee, dried fruit, and floral hops in the flavor profile. If anything, it may be a tad too hot, and will probably age nicely. It is not as good as the 2009 Vintage (one of my top beers of the past year), but it is still an excellent barley wine, 8/10.
Real Ale has become one of my favorite brewers and anyone who can get their hands on this beer will understand why: The Lost Gold is a damn fine IPA, pouring a cloudy orange with a nice head. The hops smell and taste of grapefruit, and are balanced by the breadlike malts. This is not a gamechanger IPA, not a hop bomb like some West Coast IPAs, not a classic that you should move heaven and earth to get, but it is a very drinkable example of the style, 7/10, and another rock solid offering from Real Ale, and one which I will happily drink year round.
As the Saint Arnold website says, Saint Arnold’s Weedwacker is sort of a Hefeweizen, but not quite. Saint Arnold takes their Fancy Lawnmower, which is a Kolsch, and pitches Hefeweizen yeast, rather than ale yeast. The yeast gives it that distinctive banana and clove flavor that is the hallmark of the Hefeweizen, and it is cloudy too, but it is hoppier than any Hefeweizen I have had. It is crisp and refreshing, a great beer for a scorching summer day. I am not really a fan of the Fancy Lawnmower, but I love the Weedwacker, 7.5/10.
I have been in Texas for a few weeks now, and the one thing I cannot adjust to is the heat. T.E. Lawrence and his band of Merry Arab Pranksters may have crossed the Sun’s Anvil to attack Aqaba by land, but the Mexicans who work construction here in the summer think A’Lawrence and those Arabs are a bunch of candy asses for hiding from the sun during the day. It is the end of September, shortly after 10 a.m., and it is over 90 degrees, and no one here thinks that is odd. It is just the way it is. Read the rest of this entry »