Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hell ~ Surly Brewing Company

Appearance: clear straw – pours with a beautiful white head which fades into a solid thin film, slightly thick along the edges.

Nose: breads, grains both husked and whole. Green grass damp with dew. Lemon essence followed by lemon peel.

Palate: clean with a beautiful keller lager personality. Soft doughy mouthfeel lingers long, soft, and creates a craving for homemade bread straight from the oven. Green grass and lemon in the middle. Crunchy grains along the edges, bread crusts. Slow growing bitterness. Solid moist chewy breads underneath with gentle sweetness. Is that key-lime? Lemon peel.

Final Thoughts: a beautiful beer made even more beautiful by the fact that it comes from a can. Should it make a difference? Maybe…maybe not. What is important is that the Hell Lager from Surly was delicious. Now if only I could get it in Florida… 


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

Blue Fin Stout ~ Shipyard

Appearance: pours black with some impressive viscosity. Little to no head; what there is has hues of espresso crema which starts thin and disappears almost immediately. Swirls with a thin crema collar which disappears equally quick.

Nose: rooty and burnt, char and tar. Dark fruits are dense, meaty, and hearty. A tart nip in the back follows the dark fruits. Tobacco and burning cigars; the blackness of smoldering leaves, dry not green.

Palate: thinner in mouthfeel and body than nose implied. Sour tannins with grape and plum skins. All natural black root and licorice with dense dark fruits underneath. Bright finish atop the tongue. Root beer candies. Frothy thing mouthfeel is a bit distracting. Prune juice goes along with the thinner mouthfeel.

Final Thoughts: it smelled really good and tasted just okay. For such a rich nose, a rich body and palate should follow and it didn’t. I enjoyed it, just as not as much as I had hoped. For Shipyard though, a fine offering. 


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

Espresso Piiti Porter ~ Funky Buddha

Appearance: dirty murky brown-black. Khaki head start off fluffy then fades to a collar surrounding a thin film.

Nose: espresso beans freshly roasted, crunchy, slightly singed and pure Arabica. Chocolate mingles within. Hint of burnt toast and burnt wood underneath and in the back.

Palate: fuller and creamier than its dry nose implied. Whisper of caramel meets roasted marshmallows, roasty and toasty along the sides. Espresso constantly weaves in and out, the fabric that holds it all together. Gentle melted chocolates encased in European truffles. Nondescript roast underneath. Sweetness up front and on top.

Final Thoughts: Awesome! Lovely! Fantabulous! 

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

Friday, July 22, 2011

Puppy's Breath Porter ~ Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: blackened browns under a voluminous tan head both velveteen and mousse-like. Fades in the shape of a doughnut. Swirls with a 360* collar and more smooth puff.

Nose: roasted and dry. Brittle chocolates, earth, dirt, wood, espresso beans. Tobacco and cigar leaf earthy and spicy. Used wood barrels. Black root. Mexican coffee. Dried leaves in the back.

Palate: malted milk balls with malt powder in back. Wisps of tartness in with the meaty dark fruits, craggy roots, and fresh tobacco leaf. Finishes dry and woodsy. Creamy mouthfeel is quite pleasurable. Black root and licorice in the middle. Dark fruits in the breath.

Final Thoughts: intriguingly complex, far more than I was expecting upon venturing in. Easily a good cigar beer but even if cigars aren’t your thing, having a Puppy’s Breath Porter is always a good and tasteful idea. 


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

Detonation Ale ~ Brooklyn Brewery

Appearance: blood orange under an off-white/pithy head – minimal, thanks to a headless draft pour. A thin film covers most of the beer.

Nose: orange oils and bitterness of orange skins front and center. Pine in the back with melba toast underneath. Bitter orange zips throughout. More pine needles along with some Christmas trees. Not complex but aggressive.

Palate: full and sticky, coating top of tongue and lips. Orange nectar than zest, skins, and oils. Pine trees, pine cones, and Christmas trees. Melba and caramelized crunch underneath. Orange oils mingle with freshly squeezed hop oils. Honeycomb joins the mix. Whole hop cones.

Final Thoughts: big, bold, and supremely lip-smacking delicious. Another winner from Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. 
(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Tocobaga Red Ale ~ Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: browns of the forest and the colors of long fallen leaves. Off-white head leaves lace around a thin film.

Nose: green hops – pine trees and pine needs with the essence of forest. Crunchy underneath – crisp twigs and pine cones. Nondescript spices, thin apple crisps, and the musk of older forgotten times. Fir and pine meets sweet crunchies.

Palate: clean. Crunchy caramelized sweetness underneath while atop twigs, pine needles, fir trees, fall leaves mingle together. Apple skins in the back with more twigs and whole cinnamon sticks. Whole hop cones – sticky and parching. More hop cones and pine in the breath. Nicely attenuated.

Final Thoughts: I drank a lot of this beer when it was on draft at Hurricanes. A lot. So much so I forgot about these tasting notes and so here we are, months later, and it remembers as good as it tasted. 

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

Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale ~ Kiuchi Brewery

Appearance: dreggy orange under a pithy head. Lace surrounds a solid layer of foam aka the head which when swirled retains its quite lovely appearance.

Nose: orange and lemon skins. Gentle cedar esters permeate yet never overwhelm. Greenness of bamboo stalks and aloe. Cantaloupe.

Palate: sweet and pulpy in the middle with oranges and papayas. Dry finish quenches and induces thirst – orange and mango skins, cedar chips. Green underneath. Cantaloupe in the middle. Even my breath is parched. Clean presence of flavors.

Final Thoughts: while the cedar doesn’t slap you in the face there is little doubt this ale was aged for a period of time in cedar. Refreshing and a great pairing with sushi, I would say. 


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

Devil Dancer Triple IPA ~ Founders

Appearance: superbly clear ambers and garnets polished to perfection. Coppery head lingers clumpy and bubbly along with delicate lace. Swirls foamy and bubbly with broken clumps of lace.

Nose: sticky, sappy, sweet, and crunchy with orange skins in the back. Honeycomb crunch with sweetness underneath while orange oils mix. Sticky hop resins and pine sap.

Palate: full of sap, resins, pine, and orange oils with lingering bitterness of the skins in the back. Mouth coating. Orange oils on top, honeycomb underneath. Grab handful of pine and whole hop cones, squeeze, and partake of the fresh nectar. Bitter bite of pine tree bark under and in the back; brief and cleansing. Orange skins linger long on the back center of tongue.

Final Thoughts: a bit one-dimensional in the best triple hopped way possible. Flavors were big and clean and balanced which in and of itself is a brewer’s feat of skill. Delicious! 


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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

BEERflections ~ 2nd Annual Family Summer Bash @ Hurricane VB

This year’s 2nd Annual Family Summer Bash wasn’t as beertiful outside as last year’s thanks not so much to the long-term nefarious shenanigans of a certain beer distributer, but plenty of fun was had by all, staff and patrons alike.

And of course, Beer too!

Kicking off this year on Saturday, June 25th, the official festivities started at 1pm and ended long after 5pm. Just like last year, I arrived early to help set-up not as a beerific volunteer but as an official Hurricane employee. Shazam! The new day was already shaping up to be a typical Florida summer afternoon with sweltering heat and thundering storms, both of which were a potential threat to our afternoon of both beery and wingly activities. Thankfully, the majority of Florida veterans shrugged it off as just another typical day in paradise, even if a few car-toting enthusiasts were befuddled by a little stormy weather. Those enthusiasts by the way are the Renegade Cruisers who understandably love their cars as evidenced by the few beauties on display who braved the temperamental weather to dazzle car geeks and wide-eyed munchkins alike.

As for me, the threat of stormy weather wasn’t as ominous as the threat of some serious heat exhaustion as sweat threatened to soak me long before Mother Nature did.


I dressed properly and my Love who came to chillax later in the afternoon brought a life-saving change of clothes just in case. Tagging along was our younger bundle of joy, Preston, who in another life was definitely a fish…or Merman. Either way, he can swim and splash and slide like no other and outlast all others. So yes, it is most certainly true that the smile of a loved one is happiness uncomplicated and fulfillment immeasurable. My Family and my Love have blessed me with this indefatigable reality.

On the list for Saturday included some but not all:
Water slide. Bounce house. Jousting ring. Bucket brigade. Ring toss. Wing eating contest.

For entertainment, 99.7 Jack FM kept the tunes and the antics roaring across the airwaves through rain, sleet, and more than a few ear-drum rattling thunderplosions. Yep. Just another day in paradise and helping us out was a smashing show of Hurricane regulars along with some faces new. I was especially pleased to see the boisterous bonanza of kids (with their parents) taking full advantage of all the family summer bash with the water slide and bucket brigade tying for favorite recreation. In fact, water slides aren’t just for kids. They’re for grown-up kids too judging by the multiple trips down the slide by Howard and friends amidst crashing bodies, flapping limbs, and water-logged laughter. I can pretty much guarantee that next year’s Family Summer Bash will feature the water slide, maybe even one bigger and badder…

Don’t believe me? Ask Preston.

The finale for the official festivities was far less water-logged and much more wing-logged.
Is that a word? Well, it is now.
A lucky dozen or so contestants battled it out over sticky spicy wings to see who would rein Lord of the Wings this year. Last year’s winner was my fellow beerfriend, Jeremy, eating 24 wings in just 4 minutes. This year’s winner came close, winning with 22 wings in just 4 minutes. His prize? Well, besides a jar of antacid and a roll of toilet paper for later, he won 10 free wings every week for a full year’s cycle. Considering the tastetastic proportions of the wings at Hurricane Grill and Wings of Vero Beach, t’was a coveted victory indeed. In fact, this year’s winner was last year’s runner-up, proof that perseverance and wet-naps leads to greatness.

But what about the beer?

As previously mentioned, the beertiful selection outside that was present last year was not allowed this year. I won’t go into the specifics as to why, but let’s just say that it is unfortunate when one person (in this case company) does things not by the books (and for a very long time), and when that hammer comes firmly down, it is ultimately the good people and businesses who suffer. And so, this year there was no beer truck outside pouring delicious fermented sudsy nectar from gleaming spouts of silver. Nor was there a tasting table of delectable beer goodies to savor and to share. No, this year there was a cooler with Miller Lite, Yuengling, and Heineken.


To put things in perspective a bit: last year the beer truck was pouring along with Miller Lite and Yuengling such tasty samplings as Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyner Weiss. Pouring at the tasting table were even more craft beers the likes of Bells Amber, Bells Kalamazoo, Stone Pale Ale, Stone Arrogant Bastard, and with Rich at my side, Brooklyn Brown Ale and Brooklyn Local 2. I rocked the tasting table last year and by wrap-up, there was little to nothing left to sample, a good problem to have when promoting good beer.

This year: Miller Lite, Yuengling, and Heineken in a can.


All was not lost for those enlightened many who crave the flav for inside Hurricane VB are 25 taps of hand-crafted beery beauty. Altogether there are 28 taps but the unmentioned three are of no concern. My Love sated her thirst with the glorious hop while I danced all over the board from hop to malt to hop and everywhere in-between. While supervising the Tap Toss and taking a gazillion pictures, a hungry thirst had been worked up, indeed. Together we shared a wing sampler while Preston demolished his ¼ cheeseburger, hold the dressings, and bring on the fries. Beverage? Coke, please. After feeling the heavens vent apparently long pent up frustrations, sunshine once more saved the day. Lighting gone, no sooner did we get the outside games back up and running were a passel of kids big and small racing for the water slide.

A big Thank You to Billy’s Bounce House of Vero Beach for all the awesome fun, you were definitely appreciated and the memories will linger for many summers to come.

Even though tons of fun was had, eventually the time to say not goodbye but good night came to pass. As the air left the bounce houses and tables were packed up, Laura, Preston, and I headed home, hearts and bellies full. And on that note, a final thank you to Scott, our not-really-so-grumpy kitchen manager for preparing a most delicious breakfast and to Nicole for raiding her farm before work. Nothing beats fresh, especially when hungry. And I am always hungry for life, for beer, for food, fun, memories, and for the beauty who has blessed my life inside and out.


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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

1888 Bock ~ Leinenkugel

Appearance: deep garnets and mahogany under a light tan head which fades into a thin collar corralling a puddle of foam. Swirls thick along edges but no lace.

Nose: smoky, meaty, and a little spicy; like a dry rub. Pumpernickel sticks. Twigs and sticks crackling over a clean hot fire. Brittle along edges. Apple and plum skins, black cherries.

Palate: clean and smooth with raisins, plums, and prunes – dried. Smoke and pumpernickel mingle. Fresh black cherries in the back. Treacle. Chewy and bready yet smooth and sweet. Twigs and sticks linger back of throat. Smoky in the middle all the way through the finish. Touch figgy.

Final Thoughts: not too shabby. Better than I was expecting; I enjoyed the 1888 Bock from first sniff to last quaff. Tasty. 


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

Kinda Blue ~ Boulder Beer Company

Appearance: clear copper and ambers under a sooth angel food cake head – cakey white and bubbly.

Nose: very faint fresh blueberries, more flesh than skin. Quickly leads into white breads with a bit of blueberry skin bitterness.

Palate: blueberries, angel food cake, and white bread. Faint residual sweetness on top of the tongue.

Final Thoughts: not too shabby but not too great. The Sweetwater Blue still remains the best blueberry beer I have tasted so far. 


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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Islander IPA ~ Coronado Brewing Company

Appearance: pours clear orange with a touch of chill haze. Gorgeous pithy head is clumpy, lacey, wispy, bubbly, and thick. Swirls thicker.

Nose: orange, mandarin, mango, and lemon. Dew-dropped flower petals and green grass. Zip and zest. Floral esters in the back.

Palate: chewy and meaty with orange, mango, and honey up front. Dry finish of citrus skin and inner pith. Chewing on green grass heavy with morning dew. Pith parches while skins bitter and thirst ensues. Floral esters lightly tinge the breath.

Final Thoughts: simply good and straight to the hoppy point – pith, skin, resin, oils, zest, grass, dew. 


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

Porter ~ Red Brick

Appearance: dark brown under a thick khaki head both foamy and bubbly. Head crawls up sides of glass while a flat foamy bubbly head lingers. Swirls with rich pockets of lace.

Nose: roasty and toasty. Smores – burnt marshmallow, burnt black chocolate bars, and burnt graham crackers. Touch of tar and char and black root – subtly weaves in and out. Smoldering woods. Ashen cinderblocks and old fireplaces.

Palate: toasted, roasted, burnt, bitter, barky, and grassy. Not as complex as nose implied. Burnt ash and cinders. Brittle chocolates. Lingering nondescript dryness. Burnt caramel and black bark.

Final Thoughts: if only the Porter from Red Brick had tasted as well as it smelled I might have enjoyed it more. The potential was there but far short of what I expect out of the classic porter. 


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

Pineapple Coconut Melomel ~ B. Nektar

Appearance: light yellow with brushes of fresh key lime and pineapple juice.

Nose: homemade canned pineapple, freshly shaved coconut, with wisps of honey essence in the back. Key lime, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Plump green grapes. Yellow banana skins. Homemade canned papaya juice. Bright.

Palate: clean. Sweet along edges and finishes dry atop the tongue with a touch of acidity in the middle. Sweet and sticky mélange of melon, grapes, and honey. Honey may be the stage but she isn’t the major player. Key lime ice. Bitterness of banana peel and grape skins along edges and back of swallow, melon skins too. Never overly sweet.

Final Thoughts: if there were ever a tiki mead this is it. Lovely, never cloying, tropical, and oh so delicious. 


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

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pitch Black IPA ~ Widmer

Appearance: deep and burnt with mahogany glints when held up to light. Coffee ice cream foam leaves clumps of lace, a thick collar, and a blotchy head. Swirls decadently thick.

Nose: roasted and burnt, hoppy and toasty, charred whole hop cones. Burnt pie crust. Pine cones and general scorched forest esters. Hint of grapefruit pith – pink than white. Black patent malt mingles with charcoal and wispy embers. Dry, crisp, and inviting.

Palate: clean and toasty up front with dry brittle European chocolates in the back and finish. Pine and pith along sides and underneath. Medium weight and mouthfeel. Subtle pink grapefruit lingers atop tongue and tingles the lips. Pine cones and burnt evergreen. Starts to grow a smoky sweet underbelly. Interestingly simple but with matching complexity. Chocolate cookie sticks – like the kind you dip in your dry dark roasty coffee.

Final Thoughts: I wasn’t expecting much because, well, Widmer doesn’t usually inspire me to expect much. I was pleasantly surprised then to find their Pitch Black IPA to be quite tasty. No complaints here; just a good beer I’d be happy to drink again. 


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

Pear Cider ~ Fox Barrel Cider Company

Appearance: clear light yellow pear hues with a tease of green. Pours with fizz which quickly disappears.

Nose: like biting into a super ripe pear juice so sweet you’d wonder if it was artificially sweetened. Flambéed and roasted pears with powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Plump juicy sun-dried yellow raisins.

Palate: sweet and silken up front. Fresh pears in the middle. Pear skins tingle atop the tongue, lightly dry and bitter-sweet. Green along edges with more skin in the back swallow. Plump juicy yellow raisins in the middle.

Final Thoughts: ground-breaking no but better than expected yes. Sweet without being saccharine and the fact that it is a perry and not a cider is tastefully obvious. I’d drink it again. 


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

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BEERflections ~ Rogue Dad's Little Helper Black IPA Tapping @ Hurricane VB

I’ve honestly never really been a fan of Rogue Brewing out of Newport, Oregon and somehow that makes me feel guilty. I don’t know why…maybe because thousands before me and millions after me have loved and do love their beers. Is there something wrong with me? Did the Roguepiphany somehow bypass the Kristyn exit for greener fortuitous pastures elsewhere? It’s not as if I haven’t tried as the dozens of Rogue beers tasted are a testament to. So where have I erred…or have I?

Let’s postulate for a moment.

Rogue is good, sometimes really good, but where she falls far short of my discerning threshold is at the door of greatness. Just as I think Rogue is finally going to go all the way – disappointment and solace throws me into the arms of other tastier greater beers. For the many Rogue brands and re-brands which have satisfied, all that many more have left me alone in my thirst. And maybe just maybe, I may be wholly impressed, a truly memorable experience so rare I can count them all on one hand. Truth.

But I am not here today to pummel Rogue with the cynic stick; I am here to encourage others (myself included) to never give up the hunt…quest if you will…for that pinnacle moment of beervana (cherubs, harps, and angels included) as glass touches lips, beery goodness flows forth, and the tastebuds render their final verdict. What shall it be? One will never know if one never touches said glass to lips to let said beer flow over buds ready to taste…which is exactly what I and dozens others did on June 24th of this year, 2011. Much to Tim’s delight, I enjoyed this adventure through fields of scorched earth and blackened hops aplenty, a sacred journey of savorance shared by peeps and Hurricaneites alike.

Remember: Hurricane Grill & Wings of Vero Beach, Florida is the original craft beer destination with wings and no prayers needed, just friends and fun in the Florida sun.

From peeps familiar to new faces bright eyed and bushytailed (until they get a few beers in them), pint after pint of Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA flowed into glasses eagerly ravished. A brand new Rogueventure for me, tasting book was at the ready along with an unbiased mind free of skepticism and cynicism.

I damn well tried at least.

In listening to Mark Carbone of the V&B wax poetic on this specific beer just days earlier, my expectations were quite high indeed. Who would triumph? My inner skeptic? Hope? Truth? In reality it ended up being a ménage-a-trois of all three expectations being met for better and for average.

Pouring a dark brown with burnt wood and black leanings, her café au lait head sat atop a medium body and clean mouthfeel. The nose highlighted roasted oats, ashen twigs, and burnt hops along with brittle dark chocolates and dark fruit stones. The palate was light around the sides while the middle featured burnt twigs, charred wood, dark fruit stones, and pure black cacao beans. The finish was burnt hop cones with ash permeating the breath.

Parched, thirst inducing and good. But great? No.

In typical Rogue fashion their house yeast (you can call him PacMan) was director, producer, and actor. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy more than my own few glasses of Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA…because I did along with great friends and friendly coworkers who graciously tolerated my mad roving camera skills. It’s hard to stay out of the way when trying to capture the moment and as many of them as possible before last call. I know this memory of mine won’t remain intact forever and even if it does, I’ll have my Love to share them with time and time again.

This reflection of events may seem like an old bitter quibble instead of an ode to exploration and curious indulgence but it’s really the latter. The greatest moments in these beery days of mine involve each and every minutiae, PacMan yeast included. Take nothing for granted for all is experience, life, perspective, and all is good. A few weeks have passed since the Rogue tapping at my local Hurricane and the next is literally just a few days away. What lies ahead are anticipation, excitement, and the thrill of the unknown.

In the end, if you come across Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA, whether bottle or draft, have some. Live life and drink it, too. You will be glad you did no matter what.

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

**TODAY!!** Cigar City Brewery Keg Party @ Hurricanes VB **TODAY!!**

**Easily one of Florida's best and influential breweries to break beer barriers in the last few years. Stop in at Hurricane Grill & Wings of Vero Beach to taste, savor, discuss, and celebrate the joy of damn fine beers brewed by Cigar City Brewing.**


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Censored (Kronik) *Rich Copper Ale* ~ Lagunitas

Appearance: coppers and ambers just like the name. Brilliantly clear. Bready head fades into a thick collar bordering a thin film marked by a few scattered bubbles. Swirls with spotty lace.

Nose: toasted whole grain wheat and rye breads. Spice mingles amidst with cinnamon, nutmeg, and powdered ginger. Dried apples and plums. Green earthiness in the back – like sticking one’s nose into a fern bush deep in the rich black soil. Melba and pumpernickel sticks.

Palate: wow. Crunchy sweetened caramelized sugars. Candied plums and apples – skins please. Melba and pumpernickel sticks are sweet on the outside, crunchy and spicy on the inside. Ferns along sides and in the back. Medium weight with a clean profile. More apple skins. Gently chewy in the middle with sweet fleshy apples atop fresh rye and whole wheat breads.

Final Thoughts: so far this is hands-down the best copper ale I have tasted. A relatively unknown and slightly vague style, I am doubly grateful that Lagunitas brews this beauty all year long. Yum! 


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

Kirin Ichiban ~ Kirin Brewing Company

Appearance: typical lager straw hues under a white head which fades into a thin head, slightly thicker along the sides. Swirls average.

Nose: grass and grains. Lemon peel. Key lime peel in the back. Golden sundried raisins. Sun-baked grains.

Palate: typically clean with lemon peel and lime in the middle while grains mingle about. Rather dry. Finish with just a touch of citric peel atop the tongue. Dry sweet bread crusts along sides.

Final Thoughts: it’s alright. Not horrible but not great either. For me it’s all about the nostalgia and the massive amount of sushi I have enjoyed with this beer…until I discovered really good cold sake. 


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

Marron Acidifie ~ The Bruery

Appearance: deep woodsy mahoganies under a tan head with plum skin hues. Spotty bubbly collar. Swirls thick along edges.

Nose: plums and wood – freshly cut with skins, flesh, sawdust, dirt, and shavings all mingling together harmoniously. Dark fruit stones – dry and nutty. Leathery tannins – shoes and old gentleman’s chairs. Tobacco leaf. Tart black cherries.

Palate: chewy with plums, leather, black cherries, and more leather. Meaty in the middle – dark fruits with stones. Lightly mouth-coating and tongue tingling. Leather in the back. Nutty dry earthy stones underneath. Red wine soaked oak staves and old barrels – Burgundy and Bordeaux apply. Plum skins.

Final Thoughts: lovely and delicious. Not quite super tart and not quite super earthen – a blend of the best of both. The Bruery never fails to delight with its brewing finesse along with a little help of wood. 


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

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Der Chancellor ~ Tequesta Brewing Company

Appearance: freshly baked breads. White head fades into a bubbly layer of enticement which crawls up sides of glass to meet and greet.

Nose: harvested grains, bread crusts, and lemon peel. Vibrant green grass dew-dropped and ready to be mowed. Yeasty, doughy, and then spicy. Whispers of the tropics – guava and papaya. Freshly kneaded dough.

Palate: chewy breads – more like biting into a loaf freshly baked then taking a sip of beer. Tropics in the back – guava, papaya, and mango with skins still attached. Green in the back and along the edges – grass and tropical skins. Sweetly doughy chewy middle within which lemon and spice mingle. Slowly grows a touch of dry bitterness in the back swallow and back top of tongue – lemon peel, green grass, and tropical fruit skins.

Final Thoughts: Matt is a precision brewer; his dedication to clean flavors which does not exclude experimentation and boundary pushing reminds me of Garrett. I know nothing but tasteful success and long life awaits Tequesta Brewing Company. 

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

Vuja De ~ Cigar City

Appearance: pours dark but not black. No real head to speak of though a super tight thin collar stays from start to finish. Brackish brown-black. Swirls a smidge thick along sides but that’s all.

Nose: plumy, smoky, tarry, and meaty in the back. Black root and black licorice root. Hit of chipotle fudge tickles the back of nose. Macerated black cherries and dark fruits still with stones. Rooty earthiness along sides. Burnt black strap molasses. Old fireplaces with long cold ash and embers.

Palate: not as thick as nose insinuated. Medium-bodied and cleaned. Sticky. Heat and spice clings to back of throat and lingers long through subsequent quaffs. Burnt wood and twigs left in the fireplace. Simply shippable. Brewers licorice and black strap molasses. Dries middle of tongue. Black fruits with stones after each swallow.

Final Thoughts: a collaboration with Saint Somewhere, one can definitely taste a little of both brewer’s in this particular beer. Deliciously funkalicious. 


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

IPA ~ Lagunitas

Appearance: clear shiny copper pennies with amber glints. Pithy head is voluminous, puffy, and sticky. Swirls lovely.

Nose: lemon and honeyed biscuit malt mingle seamlessly. Dew dropped green grass. Fresh mint leaves crushed between fingers. Freshly picked herbs in the back hits last and lingers.

Palate: clean and grassy. Lemon and herbal bitterness in the back swallow. Mint tickles the breath. More lemon along with key lime. Pine joins the mint. Soft bready mouthfeel and frothy up front. Bread crust underneath.

Final Thoughts: simply delicious IPA which would go delightfully well with any burger, pizza, and crisp brisk salad one’s burgundian mind can imagine. 


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

Friday, July 08, 2011

BEERflections ~ Ovila Dubbel Tapping @ Hurricane VB

Having become quite comfortable in my new work place, Hurricane Grill & Wings VB, it was time to stretch my beery wings and set sail upon foamy seas once more. Long before servitude, I patroned this wingly establishment in my signature cargo shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops. Believing authenticity is found within the wearer, I once more found myself with a goodly amount of time for beer and so without further ado…

I’ve drinkumented many a Hurricane beery bonanza but it’s been a long hard draught since the last. With a bold step forward, “Tap That Keg” Friday was born by taking an old idea and jump-starting it with flair and Howard’s blessing. Back in business, the challenge of attraction, consistency, ingenuity, and reliability are never far from this beer geek’s mind…or the mind of any other beer geek/hunter/aficionado/burgundian etc. And so we come to Friday night, 8pm, the day of June 10th, year 2011.

Location: Hurricane Grill & Wings VB.
Beer: Ovila Dubbel
Brewer: Sierra Nevada
Bounty: supertastic beer + $2 U Call It from 8pm – CL

Coincidence? I think not.

Joining yours beerly was her Love, our youngest Preston, and family friend, Caitlin. Momentarily lost at the bar, I quickly found my way back to family and friends. Brief communication burp out of the way, I soaked in the bustling Hurricane crew equally matched by my bustling peeps and peepettes.

Facebook and Hotmail, Kristyn thanks you.

Ovila Dubbel in hand, I slowly perused its flavorful story. A years in the making collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Ovila Abbey, the goodly folks in the valley of Chico have embraced our brothers of the cloth with open arms and mash rake at the ready. Surely the blessings of a higher power are to be found in beer for with each savory sip, humble inspiration struck in a chorus of plums, raisins, purple and black grapes, nutmeg, melba, and love. As the evening evolved through cameras flashing and hugs warming, many an Ovila Dubbel flowed into my glass and others.

Thirst and hunger are inseparable and so while filling our soul with beer we also filled our bellies with the always soft, never hard, blue cheese jalapeno queso dip. Normally just the intro to our feast (wings, burgers, salads ohmy!), kettle chips dipped deep into its bluesy cheesy spicy depths proved to be all we needed as the sun dipped into blackness. Moon up above, the dance of empty hands and brimming beer glasses continued the merry night through.

Just as the family and I were about to bid adieu, my dearly near friends Mike and Paula reminded me of a certain special obligation. What could that be?
 . . .
A bottle of 2009 Old Stock Cellar Reserve Bourbon Barrel brewed by North Coast out of Fort Brag, California.

You see, for pretty much any BEERvent I patron, along comes a bottle of something special. What it is nobody knows, not even me sometimes until the last minute, and I’m doing the bringing. A multitude of pours and tastes later, the bottle stood elegantly empty amidst curious glances and appreciative study. Much was savored and for that, my work was done for another tastebud conquered is another horizon expanded.

Even as we left we were welcome, a momentous state of being that Hurricane Grill & Wings of Vero Beach has achieved above all other samely named franchises. To the first of many Tap that Keg Friday’s – Slainte!

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

Hellhound ~ Dogfish Head

Appearance: coppers and ambers under an off-white pithy head which fades into an equally off-white collar. Blotchy along the sides.

Nose: fresh lemon rind, both pith and outer skin. Biscuit malt in the back, melba underneath. Sweet essence of key lime rind. Fir trees. Candied ginger in the back middle – delectable and teasatory.

Palate: ginger, lemon, spice, and rind. Apple skins. Dried peaches underneath. Lemon rind and key lime linger in breath. Caramelized ginger slices. Spice tickles the breath. Lemon pepper. General dryness of melba along the sides. More lemon in the breath – like biting into a whole fresh lemon while taking a breath. Parched and drying. Homemade lemonade aged in fresh oak barrels.

Final Thoughts: delicious, divine, dry, and refreshing. The adult summer beverage. 


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

Gaverhopke ’t ~ Koerseklakske

Appearance: steady stream of bubbles amidst cloudy lemons. Active white bubbly head. Clumpy broken layer surrounded by a sticky collar. Suspended haze of yeast.

Nose: lemon, pepper, yeast, and brisk cider acidity which doesn’t overwhelm. Chamomile. Floral quality in the back with stems and leaves and fresh mint. White grapefruit. Delicate golden grains. Quick hit of mandarin rind.

Palate: lighter mouthfeel than expected. Sweet up front with sweet breads than lemon followed by dryness of grains. Dried chamomile petals. White pepper in the breath. Mint is a tingle along sides of tongue. Rind along the sides and under breath. Dry golden grains in the middle. Straw and bales of hay.

Final Thoughts: surprisingly light and refreshing without being boring. Would go great with a lazy bike ride through the fields during harvest. 


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

Clausthaler Classic ~ Binding-Brauerei (Oetker Group)

Appearance: pours clear gold. Bubbly collar along with a bubbly swirl.

Nose: funked cheddar, curdled milk, and moldy bread. Rotten vegetables – asparagus and okra. Creamed corn.

Palate: creamy creamed corn. White wonderbread in the back. Asparagus in the breath. Acrid and rank. Funked cheddar and generic rotten cheese. Sweat socks and athletes foot.

Final Thoughts: blech. Either drink the real deal or order water with lemon.


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

Florida Brewery Tap Takeover @ Vine and Barley

Monday July 11, 2011

For the first time ever, Vine & Barley will be dedicating all their beer taps to only Beers Brewed in Florida! Every beer on tap will be ‘Made In Florida’. Come enjoy these special and limited draft selections starting at the 2pm opening bell, and going until they are gone. Some beers may be sticking around for a few days, but the best ones are sure to go that night. Many giveaways as usual! Don’t miss these great beers from:

Cigar City
  • Vuja De Sour Ale
  • Florida Cracker White Ale
  • Maduro Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown
  • El Lector English Dark Ale
  • Table Saison
  • Tocabaga Red Ale
  • Xenu Honey Cream Ale
  • Minaret ESB
  • Humidor Series Jai Alai
  • Hillsborough River Dry Stout

Saint Somewhere
  • Saison Athene
  • Pays du Soleil

Tequesta Brewing Company
  • Terminally Ale Brown
  • The Big Hitter Imperial Red
  • The Big Hitter Passion Fruit Imperial IPA
  • Gnarly Barley Pale Ale
  • Der Chancellor Kolsch-style
  • The Latest Batch Belgian Pale Ale

Florida Beer Company
  • Swamp Ape Double IPA

Dunedin Brewery
  • Apricot Peach Ale
  • Red-Head Red Ale
  • Celtic Gold Kolsch-style