Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ovila Dubbel ~ Sierra Nevada

Appearance: deep mahogany, garnet, and ruby. Off-white head is bubbly and frothy. Swirls nominal.

Nose: bready sweet with raisins, dates, plums, and prunes. Maraschino cherries. Spiced red apple skins. Figs and fig cake. Dried black cherries.

Palate: dried cherries, raisins, figs, and chocolate in the finish. Spice mingles. Grabs sides of cheeks with balanced tart tannins. More dry chocolate cake in the finish. Maraschino cherries in the breath. Juicy along the sides, dry in the middle. Sophisticated. Essence of biting into juicy succulent plums. Date cake. Slow stream of bubbles from first quaff to last.

Final Thoughts: a lot of time, love, faith, and good will have gone into bringing the Ovila Abbey beers to our tables and our bars. Finally. As with all good things in life, twas certainly worth the wait. 


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Sea Monster Imperial Stout ~ Ballast Point

Appearance: black decadence. Dark khaki tan head. Swirls creamy espresso crema along the edges, but not much else.

Nose: rooty, roasty, and earthy. Hit of heat and tart meaty black fruits in the back. Charcoal bricks. Smoke and tar. Mildest up front, building in the middle, with a crescendo finish. Leather tannins.

Palate: meaty and chewy dark fruits up front – prunes and dates. Tar and char all around the sides. Burnt woods and charcoal underneath. Bakers chocolate in the breath. Smoked pitted dark fruits. Ash and cooled embers. Bark. Faint nip of tartness in the middle. Leather tannins along the edges.

Final Thoughts: big, sticky, and heavy, Sea Monster Imperial Stout was a sipper to be sure. Forget the fridge, you could almost take this beer off the shelf and pour directly into your glass, a chalice or snifter of some sort, please and thanks. 


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Saison ~ Brasserie Fantome

Appearance: slow steady stream of bubbles. Hazy golden grains. Bubbly fizzy bready head. Loud cork POP! Solid collar.

Nose: lemon zest, lemon bars, and lemon drops. Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Pinot Grigio. Essence of the harvest and her fields of bounty. Apple musk – freshly pressed ready to ferment. Sourdough.

Palate: lovely soft bready frothy mouthfeel. Lemon, earth, and funk. Grabs back of throat with green bananas. Straw and hay sun-baked and golden. Lemon breads lead into sourdough in the back. Chewy and doughy from first to last. Granny smith apples. Fuzzy apricots, peach skins, and all that lies within. Unravels slowly. Sauvignon Blanc and pinot grigio along the edges, mingling with lemon and zip.

Final Thoughts: a pleasure to drink, I am reminded again even of the few Fantome beers that I have had the pleasure to savor so far – all have been delicious, inquisitive, and unique. I wish they would use brown bottles instead of green, but I guess I can’t get everything. 


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pub Crawl ~ Final Destination ~ Tequesta Brewing Company

So… what do a Beer Ambassador and her Love do when they have the whole weekend to themselves? Without kids? Pub crawl of course!

Even though someone somewhere apparently thought it amusing to curse upon us a nasty head cold in clear violation of our weekend plans, deterred from beery foodie bliss we were not.

Starting with a side-trip to the historic Treasure Coast Antique Museum for some breweriana and glassware hunting, it was then off to the original Hurricane Grill and Wings. The birthplace of good wings, yes, but of good beer to drink with good wings, no. Thankfully that has changed, and under new stewardship the original Hurricane's is flourishing. While not sporting quite as many glistening spouts of beery decadence as my Hurricanes, a grand total of fifteen fountains of bliss is nothing to scoff at. With the exception of Miller Lite, Bud Light, and PBR, all the rest were craft choices. Located along the Fort Pierce jetty, any number of crafty treats (Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Harpoon IPA, Drifter Pale Ale, Ale, Cigar City Maduro Brown, UFO Hefeweizen, to name a few) await your thirsty attention while the blue cheese and jalapeno queso dip with kettle chips awaited our Sierra Pale and Holy Mackerel. Yum!


Rumblings in the belly sated for now, twas back onto US1 South through Fort Pierce for an impromptu stop in at the Boozgeois Saloon. Location? Behind Roy’s Liquor where time past tempts the present. A last bastion for smokers, what it loses in health it gains in old world charm. You truly feel like you have stepped back in time no sooner than you step through the doors. As your eyes adjust to the darkly wooden establishment where lighting is an after-thought, a plethora of old kitschy and risqué posters offend and intrigue at the same time. As Laura and I swirled into our bar stools, we leaned forward to savor our Southern Tier IPAs and, much to our contentment, realized leaning was not necessary.

Finally! So many drinking establishments have crappy chairs, stubby bars, and far too much space between where the elbows must meet to rest in comfort (versus leaning back and kissing the floor) thus inducing an ache in the back no amount of alcohol can or should cure. A brass bumper held in place with brass lion heads wraps its way from one end of the wooden bar to the other. In an instant I was reminded of a time when bars didn’t have chairs, just a wide counter with a foot rest and enough common sense to know when the swaying starts, tis time to call it quits. Ahh... comfort indeed. Before parting the Boozgeois to peruse Roy's eclectic beer selection, we quenched our thirst with another IPA for my Love and the classic Tanqueray & Tonic for me. Somehow, it just felt right.


Arms cradling precious goods, we bid farewell to an era lost to soon find ourselves at Vine & Barley. Even though it had only been a week or two since the last visit, our sense of deja vu was righteously crushed by an absolutely new line-up of beers on draft. Now that my friends is what I call beertastic. Why? Because there are that many beer aficionados in our tri-county area who feel it their duteous pleasure to patron Mark’s fine establishment on a very regular basis. I should know; I’m one of them. Seeing as my tastebuds were still out of tasting commission in regards to new untested beers, I started with a Marron Acidifie from The Bruery, a deliciously tart woodsy earthen collaboration between Bruery and Cigar City while Laura cured her hop craving with a Stone Ruination. We eventually settled on the patio where I savored a Cohiba Cubano Robusto with the last of my Marron Acidifie before heading on our way once more. As always, thanks for the hospitality Mark. Mi casa, su casa.


On the road again with no thanks to, we finally found Shindig’s Irish Pub after more than a few U-Turns threatened to leave us dizzy. Left is not right and right is not left. Got it? Good. Turned around and back again, new age meets old school meets wide open spaces with 40-something hipsters getting ready to cut a groove on the band floor. With a smattering of the usual domestics and "imports" to choose from, our final answer, Smithwicks, went down easy enough to be followed by another for Laura and a cocktail for me. Why? Why not. Drinks in hand, it was time once again to refuel and what better way than with corned beef and cabbage egg rolls. The green salsa verde got lost in the dipping, but the spicy mustard was spot on for a crunchy juicy meaty cabbage delight. Irish egg rolls duly demolished, it was time to move on to the main dish: the Belfast Burger *caramelized onion, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, onion ring, garlic aioli* and Rasher Cheese Burger *Irish bacon, cheddar cheese*.

Rasher = Irish bacon.
Fact: Bacon makes everything better.

Sharing the best of both worlds, our first bite led to many more amidst flavorful moans of burger bliss. Juicy. Tender. Meaty. Smoky. Bacony. Spicy. The toppings matched perfectly in melty savorance and the fry, that simple stick of potato humility, was quite frankly the best I’ve indulged so far. Hand-cut. Thin. Crisp. Potatotastic. What we couldn’t finish at Shindig's was finished the next day after a short session atop the oven stone. Delicious x 2.

Photobucket   Photobucket

Full of culinary delights but nowhere near full of life, where better to end our pub crawl than at the one place which inspired us to embark on this Saturday endeavor: the one and only Tequesta Brewing Company. Having sold, poured, and savored many a Tequesta brew in Vero, it was time to seek this holy nectar at its source and maybe even bring some home. Pulling into the parking lot, a seemingly endless line of cars greeted us but persistence prevailed and a space was had. Ready and raring, the grand entrance beckoned unlike none I’d ever seen before, the prelude to a blues tribute of grunge, industrial, heritage, and damn good beers.


After gratefully grabbing our first beers, a Belgian Pale for me and a Saison for Laura, we soaked in the ambiance with pictures scattered between. Always and forever, thank You to my Love for putting up with the camera and me; I may sometimes get caught up in the moment but that moment is meaningless without you and it is with only you I want to share them. In fact, if everyone reading this thought the pub crawl was my idea you are wrong. It was Laura’s fantastic plan.

Eventually nestling up to the 96 year old bar, we watched the hustle and bustle amidst a blur of modernist retroism. From the bar top we leaned upon to the mirror painted in today’s beerly offerings to the towering bar-back complete with arches, time oozed from its tobacco stained poor. Every nook, crack, scrape beneath our glasses told a story, a story that only Matt has the privilege to do justice as we listened in humble awe. If you want to hear the it than you know where to go, keeping in mind that nothing goes better with a good heart-warming story than a glass of good heart-warming beer.

Feeling the tiring effects not of beer but congestion, we wisely decided to call it a night but not before getting a growler each of beer to take home for later. Opting for the quart instead of the gallon, we cradled all the way back to Vero Beach the very Saison and Belgian Pale we had just savored. Being the beer geek that I am, they might be beers I haven’t taste yet…and even if they are, I want to taste them again.

And so I leave with a tribute and thanks to Matt and his generosity this picture tribute to our Final Destination. Cheers, my friend. We shall drink together for so long as delicious beery nectar flows from your humble taps.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saboteur Brett Barrel Brown Ale ~ Odell Brewing

Appearance: deep wooden browns – clarity when held up to the light with garnet glints. Bubbly woody head, vivacious. Equally bubbly collar crawls up the sides. Blotchy layer of head lingers infinitely. Swirls delicious.

Nose: Brett meets brown ale meets love. Funked leather and twigs followed by nuts and chocolate shavings. Rubber soles and leather shoes. Plum skins. Nuts and stones – chestnuts and acorns. Earthy. Firewood. Green leaves and green bananas. Horse, luggage, new car smell without the vinyl and plastic. Berry seeds. Pomace, dates, cherry pits.

Palate: oh where to start… surprisingly creamy mouthfeel. Chocolates and nuts mingle seamlessly and somehow also separately. Cherry pits and skins, prunes and chocolate all converge in the back of each swallow. Fresh leather to chew on, horse, and polish. Plum pits join the party. Meaty. Starts to linger with warmth and a tickle of spicy heat. Rubber soles. New car finish. Amazingly drinkable for such complexity. Apple and pear musk.

Final Thoughts: whoa! It’s been a while since Brett and I have danced the dance of Bretty delights. A love renewed once more and long overdue. To Odell and to Mother Nature, thank you for all that Brettanomyces has given to me; I am humbled. 


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Woodcut No. 4 Oak Aged Lager ~ Odell Brewing

Appearance: deep rubies and garnets. Lovely khaki hued head, lace clumps for a mostly solid head, slightly thin in areas. Swirls thick and woody.

Nose: wow! Oak, caramels, and vanillin. Candied apples. Cinnamon apple tart bun. Raisins. Fizzy and twiggy. Tickle of heat – woods and oak flicker with the flame of fire. Large chunks of oak – trunks and trees. Spiced pears, apples, and plums moist and gooey.

Palate: frothy, smooth, creamy, caramel, vanillin, toffee, chocolate, and Skor bars. Flambéed apple crumble, caramel apples. Lip coating, sticky mouth and coats top of tongue. Heat in chest appears very fast and lingers first to last. Vanilla bean fresh from the earth, some dirt still clinging to its roots. Toffee and more toffee. Tip of tongue tingles with caramel. Lots of tree wood oak and bark, especially along the edges where it is dry. Apple skins.

Final Thoughts: if you told me it was a lager I’d be hard pressed to believe it, but it is. What do we know of lagers anyway? What’s in a classy classification these days? An invitation to break the rules or a quick clap of the whip to keep scalawags in line? Or maybe both. What I do know is that the Woodcut No. 4 from Odell was divine. 


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Margarita-style Melomel ~ B. Nektar Meadery

Appearance: mostly clear with a touch of chill haze which seems to cling to the sides of my glass. Faint lime juice tint but mostly light yellow. No carbonation (of course).

Nose: honey in the middle and along the sides. Salty and briny. Freshly squeezed key-lime with a rim of salt. Cactus and cactus bloom. Lemon. Eyes touch watery. Raw honeycomb mingles with dew-dropped freshly cut green grass.

Palate: ooh, interesting. Clean and sweet with powdered sugar and honey. Key lime in the middle – sweet and zippy at the same time. Cactus. More lime zips through the middle. Salty finish makes the mouth water. Gentle sweetness is almost overpowered by the saltiness. Slowly grows some warmth in the chest. Sticky lips.

Final Thoughts: as with my margaritas in real life, I’ll skip the salt please and thanks. Pretty much spot-on for a Margarita-style Melomel but the saltiness could have been toned down a notch or two. 


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Deconstruction ~ Odell Brewing

Appearance: ambers and tangerines. Vivacious bubbly head atop a steady stream of bubbles along with a solid collar – gives the impression of boiling.

Nose: dust and funk – say hello to Brett. Spice. Horse blankets, sawdust, barns, and old woods. Dried citrus peel and pith. Apple cores and skin. Whiff of phenolics in the back – here and gone again. Pollen and greenage. Zippity tart citric acidity sets tastebuds and sides of tongue a-tingle. Orange oils and orange polish.

Palate: oranges, tangerines, lemons, and green bananas in the finish. Dry leather in the finish. Apple cores with must, seeds, and crunchy cores. Pomace and orchards. Candied pineapples. Spice – cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, wood. Green and white grapes. Lovely. Continues to open up as it warms up. Cider-like acidity in the middle of each swallow. More funk and farmhouse and Brett.

Final Thoughts: I love love loved this beer. Odell is not available here in the sunny state of Florida but thanks to my sister and various beer trips, I still manage to get my hands on their tasty brews. From a solid year-round line-up to envelope pushing big brews, Odell is where it’s at. 


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BEERhunting ~ Santo's Pizza Restaurant

During my two year tenure in Eugene, OR there were a few life altering experiences that still reverberate in my day-to-day life. At the heart of it all is pizza, seconded by beer only because though my exposure was vast nary a drop touched these lips. I was dry back then but thankfully no more. While I have since found good beer as far as the eyes can taste, truly life altering pizza has been frustratingly absent. Since relocating from the snowcapped evergreen back to the tiki-topped sand dunes of Vero Beach specifically and Florida generally, years have passed devoid of the sensorial enjoyment that is artisanal pizza. Just as in beer, the craft in pizza is packed with love, care, flavor, and I’ve finally found it.

Santo’s Pizza Restaurant.


Located along St. Lucie West Boulevard, Santo’s is nestled within an unassuming suburbia shopaholic paradise – the strip mall. With a palm tree obstructing most of its neon call sign, tis easy to drive on by as we unfortunately do most things in life these frenetic days. But Santo’s is a moment worth stopping for because what is one’s rush hour blur is another’s timeless treasure. Quaint and kitschy at the same time, what awaited Laura and me as we passed through those doors was nothing short of pizza fantasia. As mouthwatering wave after mouthwatering wave threatened to overload the senses, a procession of spice, herb, dough, sauce, garlic, and olive oil (to name a few) permeated the air along with a hearty din of merry-making. Taking in the extremely open air kitchen before us, there was nowhere to hide as pizza pasta garlic-knot creationism evolved right before our eyes.

Packed wall to wall, the only reason we didn’t have to wait was because just as we entered a two-top left and we sat down. As dusk waned into night, this same dance repeated itself over and over again, broken only by the multicasional To-Go pickups. With a flow of patrons almost as seamless as the food, a bustling impression was left upon my person. Slow days? Me thinks they have none.

Bustle aside, good things are worth the wait even though ours felt a little longer than normal. Imagination? Possibly. And so to ease our pangs of hunger, an order of fried ravioli arrived ready to please in-between.


Before and during our delicately delectable fried ravioli, we perused the vast varied menu on record at Santo’s Pizza Restaurant. Variety is always the spice of life which only made our decision of which pie to slice into all that more difficult. Through determined perseverance, we struck upon a fine burgundian plan thanks to my Love spying a new promotional poster. Properly enlightened, our selection of one 18 inch pizza was broadened to a choice of two 12 inch pizzas. Amen, hallelujah, and peanut butter.

With just 12 inches of circumference to conquer, Laura and I could choose two tastetacular escapades instead of just a mere one. Flavor in numbers? Maybe. What I do know is that our decision though difficult was final – ‘broccoli rabe, sausage, fresh garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper’ and ‘prosciutto, capicola, olives, artichoke, and fresh garlic’. The crust? Thin, of course. A few scintillating pictures later, all our senses were wholly engaged in a full body assault on the two pies in hearty appreciation. As blissful moans of satisfaction filled the air around our two-top, plans for future pizza excursions were duly noted. The broccoli rabe proved an easy favorite with her rich marriage of olive oil, herbs, garlic, and umami savorance the likes of which sent shivers up and down the spine. The prosciutto was meatarific but just a bit too salty for my personal taste.

Photobucket   Photobucket

Pizzavana aside, this is ultimately a BEERhunt and though I have traveled a long road, the beer is lacking. In Kristyn’s dream world, good beer is everywhere to be found. In Kristyn’s real world, tis not so easy. A previous inquiry with veteran Santo’s patron and good friend Mark Boland revealed that there may be beery hope waiting, but reality can be a cruel mistress. As I perused their macro list of mediocrity, a faint glimmer of hope shone in the form of Southern Tier’s Phin & Matt, a crisp hoppy crunchy American pale ale. Unfortunately for us the keg had blown earlier that day with no back-up on hand. Dangnabbit! Beer foodie perfection was thwarted once more. With Widmer’s faux Hefeweizen the only other craft option on the table, two mugs of Widmer were ordered and drunk in unimpressed unison. Meh. Alright but nowhere near inspirational or pizza/pasta friendly. Mugs drained, our next drinks were of the nonalcoholic nature – coke for my Love and water for me. We both agreed twas better to save our beerly desires for the next and final destination of our evening: Vine & Barley.

Bellies full, Laura and I bid farewell to Santo’s Pizza Restaurant, a worthy burgundian excursion indeed.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale ~ Coors Brewing Company (MillerCoors)

Appearance: clear gold with straw edges. Puddle of bubbles in the middle along with a surrounding bubbly collar.

Nose: honeyed wheat and grains. Hawaiian rolls.

Palate: honeyed breads. Hawaiian and whole wheat bread in the back. Tingle of lemon in the front of tongue. Lingers with delicate honey notes. Bit of grain and bread crust along the edges and underneath.

Final Thoughts: much better than I was expecting…which can sound a lot like it wasn’t as craptastic as I thought it was going to be. But, just as the original blue still continues to please so too does their Honey Moon Summer Ale. Groundbreaking? No. Simple? Yes, and pleasantly so. 


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Triple Haze ~ Abita Brewing

Appearance: dense purplish haze under an off-white bready head. The color is interesting, if not a bit off-putting – pink grapefruit meets raspberry meets blender.

Nose: I had to dig deep to find the nose on this beer. Angel food cake. White bread without the crust. Frozen blueberries and strawberries. Sweetened pink grapefruit in the back. Lemon and berry ice.

Palate: berry juices and angel food cake in the middle. Light, airy, and very bland. Nothing along the edges. Blueberry and strawberry ice while lemon ice nips faintly before disappearing in the swallow. More than halfway through faint berry skin tannic bitterness tries to impress.

Final Thoughts: meh. Boring if I do so and I do. The original Triple Haze from Abita is far better. For a bigger badder brother to the Triple Haze, he falls short on all counts. Forgettable. 

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Patio Tools ~ Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: clear obsidian black. Espresso crema leaves a collar bordered by a puddle in the middle. Swirls dark and bubbly.

Nose: pure unadulterated roast – charcoal and black ash. Meaty dark fruits in the middle. Black earth. Old burnt evergreen forests. Simply rich.

Palate: clean and light in the front, burnt in the middle, long ashy finish, and meaty dark fruits along the sides. Black root also in the middle. Lovingly parches mouth first quaff to last. Refreshingly thirst quenching and inducing. Medium-light body, dry and burnt. Grows a tart black plum nip along sides of cheeks while tickling back of throat. Burnt ashy charcoal bricks. Grows rustic in the finish.

Final Thoughts: yum and yum. Guinness, eat your heart out. I’ll take a Patio Tools any day of the week and crazy though it may sound tis a perfect beach beer. Delicious.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Chipotle Smoked Porter ~ Stone Brewing

Appearance: black. Thick voluminous off-white head. Swirls thick along the sides with blotchy lace and bubbles.

Nose: smack! That would be the chipotle saying “LOOK AT ME!!!”. Burnt, brittle, rustic, and woodsy overall. Dried roasted chipotle smacks me across the face then settles into the back. Dark pitted fruit stones, hold the meat. Ash and smoke – like a campfire after tossing water in to douse the flames. Tobacco and cigar leaf. Black root comes in as an afterthought.

Palate: heat grabs my tongue right in the middle before travelling into the back of my throat and eventually settling into my chest. Wham! Smoky, peat, charcoal, heat, and flame. Chipotle comes in last and lingers longest – nice dry roasted whole peppers. Sweet heat and smoke, burnt and black. Chicory. Campfire smoke and ash. White hot embers. Bacon and red meat comes out to play after each quaff.

Final Thoughts: spicy foods and spicy drinks and I don’t always get along. At first the chipotle was a smidge too much, but it didn’t take long for me to fall under its spell. Intriguingly enough, the Chipotle Smoked Porter I tasted on draft at Broken Barrel was far more chipotle intense than my most recent reintroduction at Hurricanes VB.


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Oerbier ~ De Dolle

Appearance: rich polished mahoganies. Creamy white head fades into a smooth thin film. Partial lace. Hint of chill haze; unfiltered.

Nose: raisins, plums, figs, peaty, smoky, oaky. Single-malt qualities. Red apple skins and cinnamon – baked apple pie crust. Sherried plums. Date stones, black cherries with stones. Dried dark fruits. Lovely.

Palate: wow. Hit of spice, oak, red and purple grapes. Clean flow of flavors. Spice tickles along the edges. Grabs middle of tongue and doesn’t let go. Apples, plums, prunes, dates, and figs simmered long and slow in the finest of single-malts. Juniper in the finish. Starts to dry middle of tongue along with lingering warmth in middle of throat. Port. Plum skins. Fine aged rum. Nutmeg and ginger. Warm fruitcake.

Final Thoughts: whoa. The “mad brewers” are certainly not mad unless you consider a passionate love and genius for fabulous beers of fantabulous flavors. If you ever stumble across a bottle of De Dolle Oerbier, or any De Dolle beer for that matter, grab a few and count yourself blessed.


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Namaste ~ Dogfish Head

Appearance: mildly cloudy with fresh bready esters. White bubbly collar, small yet firm film. Swirls minimal.

Nose: spicy and bready. Lemon bread crusts with wispy powdered sugar. Vanilla. Lavender and rose water. Pollen. Spring dewdrops.

Palate: sweet, floral, and citrusy. Bees pollinating spring flowers. Lavender and rose water. Dry along the sides with water cracker and bread crusts. Mandarin oranges surround the lemon. Lots of spice – cumin, ginger, paprika, star anise, grains of paradise. Lots of earthen floral herbal cooking spices. Bespeaks of Italy and the best of Eastern delights.

Final Thoughts: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but much like her namesake, harmony reigned. Dogfish may have stretched the bounds of the Belgian wit style, but did so with finesse, class, and inspiration from Leo of Birra del Borgo.


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

BEERflections ~ Tequesta Brewing Kick Off @ Hurricanes VB

Tequesta Brewing is Florida’s newest member of the craft beer family. Or maybe you would like to call it artisanal. Micro. Small. Real. Personal. Tastetastic. Whatever definitive adjective fits your intelligencia is fine with me. In a time of political correctness and label mania, all that’s left is what your tastebuds have to say. The unfortunate pitfall to that ideology is crap begets quality begets crap and all is lost in-between. Thankfully, labels and red-tape were but one means to a dream come true for Matt Webster, brand new papa to Tequesta Brewing Company, a brewpub of titillating gastronomic delights all can agree on.

It shames me to admit that I have yet to patron the new brewpub, but in the meantime Tequesta Brewing was gracious enough to patron me. Well, maybe not me specifically but somewhere just as worthy – Hurricane Grill & Wings of Vero Beach, Florida. Our official kick off was Friday May 13th (yes, I am the perpetually late blogger) and a fine Kick Off was had for all, yours beerly included of course.

Similar to the Ballast Point Brewing extravaganza not so long ago, the festivities started as soon as the doors opened for business. Served in appropriate glassware, Der Chancellor and Gnarly Barley took Vero Beach by storm. Trinkets, gold doubloon, and sunken treasures can still be found off our storied shores, but tis so much easier and far more rewarding to dock at your local pub to enjoy a glass or three of liquid gold brewed in here in the Treasure Coast.

As for the beers themselves:
Der Chancellor is a brilliantly crafted beer in the Kolsch-style rich with freshly picked tropical delights, dew drops, delicate green grass notes, soft Hawaiian rolls, and a soul soothing presence. Gnarly Barley is a classic American Pale Ale with some personally interpreted English designs – dry crunchy caramelization, orchard fresh red apples, bracing bitterness, and a thirst-inducing presence balanced only by quaff after quaff until there was none.

Both were delightfully delicious and both were masterfully Matt’s.
What do I mean by that?
You’ll just have to make a trip to TBC and discover for yourself the decadent deliciousness that waits.
You will enjoy it.

Speaking of enjoyment, I’ve been a repeat-offender at Corner Café (& Brewery?) but news of good beer travels fast and drinks well, too. Not only did we blow a keg each of Der Chancellor and Gnarly Barley that day, over the course of the weekend Hurricane’s thirsty patrons happily drained a grand total of six kegs, three Chancellor and three Gnarly respectively. A big thank you to Mike and Paula, Bob and Pam, Rob, Sam, Randy and crew, Tara, Chris, Rick, and all my beer loving Veroites. It was tasty, yes it was.

And so beer ambassador extraordinaire Kristyn Lier is getting back in step with her peeps and peepettes while spreading the beery gospel in these here parts. Diversity speaks in what we drink, share, and dream. Hurricanes of Vero beach defies the ordinary by creating a craft beer destination for all to enjoy. In my brief time ambassadorizing good beer diversity, I’ve seen all walks of life savor the flavor created by tun, mash fork, and love. With Matt’s finesse behind the kettle, I look forward to savoring all that he has to offer at Hurricanes, his brewpub, and beyond. Cheers, my friend. See you soon.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale ~ Boulevard Brewing

Appearance: clear gold and straw with hints of orange. Suspended specs of yeast. Airy bubbly white head. Lace clumps and sticks everywhere. Head looks like a bubbly white slice of bread. Swirls nice, releasing a massive nose.

Nose: little bit of funk up front – horse blanket, dry old bales of hay. Turned lemons – lemon and funk melded as one. Golden leather and lemon oil, shammy. Wildflowers blooming on a hot summer breeze; dandelion and sunflowers. Kiwi and papaya.

Palate: yum! Soured lemon skin, horse blanket, leather, dry bales of hay. Touch sticky along the sides. Immediately dries top middle of tongue. Spice with caraway coming to mind. Wildflowers, pollen, and green flower stems. Grabs back of tastebuds with papaya and kiwi, lots of kiwi. Each quaff reveals layers of flavor both separate and seamless. White peppercorns. Faint horse and hay dust in the breath.

Final Thoughts: yum and yum! I love me some farmhouse funk. Another winner from the Smokestack Series from Boulevard Brewing. Thanks to the sis for providing me with yet another delicious beer experience.


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Woodchuck Amber

Appearance: clear apple juice. No head, no bubbles.

Nose: apple pulp. Zip of acidity along the edges with fresh lemon zest. Crispness of apple skin. Pears wisp in and out. Simple and pleasantly apple sweet.

Palate: simple sweet fresh crushed and juiced apples. Hint of artificial sugary sweetness which grows borderline saccharine; teeth ache. Honey along the sides. Lemon skin. More sugar atop the middle of my tongue.

Final Thoughts: meh. Having tasted far better ciders I can appreciate what Woodchuck has done over the years for bringing cider to the drinking public, but still just too sweet. Maybe some ice would help…


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

DuganA ~ Avery Brewing

Appearance: clear oranges under a coppery pithy head. Nice lace with a thick puddle hovering in the middle. Swirls pretty.

Nose: grapefruit, grass, key lime, lemon, and cat pee. Bread crusts. Straw and baled hay crisp and sun-baked. Citrus rind.

Palate: citrusy and lemony, key lime. Green grassiness. Long lingering bitterness with cat pee lurking along the edges. Citrus skin and grass. Dried straw and hay in the breath.

Final Thoughts: it was good but by no means what I was expecting and it was a fresh bottle this time, too. I’m not the biggest fan of cat pee esters in my beer, either.


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Rustic Saison ~ Samuel Adams

Appearance: soft straw and bread crusts under a fluffy white head. Quite active with a steady stream of bubbles. Solid 360 degree collar of lace. Beautiful.

Nose: soft, yeasty, doughy, and phenolic. Coriander, grains of paradise. Floral along edges and back. White pepper. Dandelions and essence of spring. Red cherries, yellow pears, papaya. Banana skins. White cracker crisps. Lemon and orange peel. Fresh coconut shavings. Rose petals.

Palate: clean and surprisingly dry. Pleasantly thirst inducing. Crackers and cracked grains along the edges. Cherry, apple, and pear skins. Rustic and rough along the edges with a rather quick finish. White pepper and grains of paradise in breath. Lemon and key lime peel atop the tongue; lemon ice. Straw and hay – like chewing on a strand of straw.

Final Thoughts: quite tasty if I do say so myself. Jim and Samuel Adams captured the essence of spring and the harvest, the original inspiration for the saison as we know it now. Hopefully I will be able to enjoy this beer come next spring and the spring after that and after that…


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Bourgogne des Flandres ~ Timmermans

Appearance: rubies, plums, and polished garnets. Lovely head of khaki cream which fades patchy and bubbly. Swirls like mousse.

Nose: plums, grapes, and a lovely blend of rhubarb and strawberry. Black cherries. Hint of earth in the back - cherry pits, plum skins, pomace. Gentle tannins; not so much sour as grapey and plummy with sweetness, bitterness, and earthy nuttiness from stones. Spice under the skins - cinnamon and nutmeg.

Palate: clean, playful, and frothy. Expectedly mild but good. Procession of flavors: grape, plum, black cherry with strawberry and rhubarb in the middle. Clean finish. Plum juice lingers on the back of the tongue. Tinge of tannic skins and pomace. Lovely.

Final Thoughts: while Bourgogne des Flandres won't set the cheeks a-pucker, she was a gentle distinguished Flemish that the more I drank, the more I enjoyed.


(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)