Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yo Momma's Strawberry Pizzaz ~ B. Nektar Meadery

Appearance: rose tinged gold – unripe strawberries. Bubbles cling to the bottom and sides of glass but no visible carbonation. Broken collar of tiny bubbles.

Nose: slicing into fresh strawberries with a honey jar lurking in the background. Light and delicate. Straightforward and uncomplicated. More sliced strawberries, now with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Palate: faint strawberry with a honey finish. Jammy. Strawberry ice and honey. No seeds for bitterness. Strawberry lingers longest. Honey in the breath with a hint of warmth.

Final Thoughts: not one of my more favorite meads from B. Nektar but it was still good. A little thin on the palate all-around. 


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

McSorleys Irish Pale Ale ~ Pabst Brewing Company

Appearance: copper and garnet. Off-white head is thin but solid with a smidge of lace. Swirls with no lace.

Nose: general doughy breads, more whole wheat than white. Chewy. Raisins. Fig newton cookies without the fig – cakey. Rather nondescript and bland.

Palate: chewy sweet breads – whole wheat. Faint apple flesh in the middle – washington. Faint plum and grape flesh.

Final Thoughts: very bland and average. Beer incognito. Lost and never to be found. Boring. 


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

Lips of Faith Vrienden ~ New Belgium

Appearance: clear deep coppers and ambers under an off-white head with some lace working its way up the sides. Swirls thick along the edges with a creamy smooth middle.

Nose: peach, apricot, honeydew. Freshly sliced pineapple. Honeyed grain husks, grapenuts, dried flower petals. Green vegetables – endive. Raw coconut shavings. Kiwi.

Palate: sweet, spiced, fruity, dry. Hibiscus in the middle, petals candied and ready for the eating. Endive in the back and along the middle. Kiwi hits last and lingers atop the tongue, slightly unripe with tart tingles. Green and bitter tropical fruit skins. Pineapple. Spiced and cooked peach and apricot skins. Essence of earthen rustic old houses and barns.

Final Thoughts: quite tasty. The Lips of Faith series from New Belgium rarely disappoints but there are a few who have come close. Vrienden was exactly what she promised – a fruity spicy slightly earthy funky Belgian-inspired ale brewed with hibiscus. Yum! 


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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

O'Malley's Festive Ale ~ Weston Brewing Company

Appearance: clear, deep, and ruddy with mahogany and plum. Tan head with a solid collar which fades soft with a few scattered bubbles. Swirls thick and rich.

Nose: chocolate covered raisins and prunes. Chocolate truffle powder and brownie mix. Toasted walnuts and chestnuts. Surprisingly more dense than dry. Crackling rustic logs in a fireplace. Dry cacao nibs.

Palate: rich and cake mouthfeel – like biting into a moist chocolate cake. Dry finish of espresso beans and cacao nibs. Chocolate covered espresso beans in the breath – more milk chocolate than dark chocolate. Burnt nuts. Starts to grow a touch ashy. Sweetness along sides than tart plum skins. Crackling firewood.

Final Thoughts: a solid fall/winter quaffer. The Festive Ale was different and not what I was expecting. 


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

O'Malley's Irish Cream Ale ~ Weston Brewing Company

Appearance: clear golds and oranges under a pithy head. Head fades with a bubbly collar and a few spots of lace. Swirls average.

Nose: whole grain crust and sweet golden grains. Dry citric skin in the back, orange especially. Hint of grains of paradise. Overall sweet and husky.

Palate: nice. Whole grains honeyed and crunchy – cereal grains, bread crusts. Lingering hint of artificial sweetness. Toasted along the edges with a light sweet honeyed glaze. Hawaiian rolls in the middle, dry in the finish.

Final Thoughts: alright for a cream ale but nothing special at the same time. I’d drink it again if something gave it to me but I wouldn’t buy it again. 


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

Inversion IPA ~ Deschutes Brewery

Appearance: slightly opaque with coppers and garnets. A pithy head rests atop with massive lace crawling up sides of glass. Head fades into a bubbly creamy puddle. Swirls puffy and bubbly but with no more lace.

Nose: pink grapefruit and tangelo oranges. Crunchy caramelized honeyed grains. Grapenuts and citrus fruits. Damp dew atop juicy ripe white grapefruit. Hint of pine needs and generic green woodland shrubbery. Dry bitterness of tangelo skins.

Palate: pink grapefruit and juicy tangelo flesh with the dry bitterness of their skins flirting along the edges. Dry oily resinous finish. Real ginger, raw and untamed turns into lightly caramelized ginger slivers. Kiwi and cantaloupe. Sweet and tart in the middle. Pine needles are a ghostly whisper. Honeydew in the breath.

Final Thoughts: quite lovely. Deschutes never disappoints. Now if only I could find Deschutes in Florida… 


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

Friday, October 28, 2011

Schlafly Pale Ale ~ Saint Louis Brewery

Appearance: deep and clear copper-amber depths. Beautiful head of puffy fluffy lace-inducing goodness – off-white and bready. Swirls creamy.

Nose: breadly sweet. Peach and apricot breads and pastries with delicate sweetness of candied fruits. Ginger snaps and ginger candies. Dense whole wheat bread. Dried apples and plump juicy golden raisins.

Palate: apple pastries with cinnamon and apple skins in the back. Dry finish in the middle lingers and induces more thirst. Golden raisins, dried apricots. Sweet with a tropical tart nip at the back of each swallow. Pineapple? Dried candied ginger slivers. Nutmeg in the breath.

Final Thoughts: a very nice pale ale which is a style that is and can be very overdone in the sense that everyone brews a pale ale and to find one that stands out as something to be remembered is rare and elusive. The Pale Ale from Schlafly was one such stand-out I’d gladly happily drink over and over and over. 


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

Schlafly Hefeweizen ~ Saint Louis Brewery

Appearance: cloudy orange and banana under a solid layer of white. Wisps of lace crawl up the sides of the glass. Swirls thick, heady, and chewy.

Nose: yeasty doughy slices of bread. Banana peel. Generic tropical skins. Cracked grains. Overall rather mild.

Palate: creamy bready softness enhances the overall mild character of this beer – like biting into the middle of a fresh loaf of bread. Banana lemon cream. Grows a bit bitter with lemon skin and bread crusts.

Final Thoughts: it was alright but rather mild and unimpressive for a hefeweizen. I like my hefeweizens like the germans like them – big, bold, chewy banana clove awesomeness. This was like a thin watered down German wannabe. 


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

Schlafly No. 15 ~ Saint Louis Brewery

Appearance: tangerine orange under a tight head which fastly fades into nothing. Swirls with a few meager bubbles.

Nose: tangerine, apricots, and peaches. Not overly sweet with a faint nip of tart kiwi. Spice in the back. Leather and fruit skins in the back. Orange honey flambé.

Palate: sweet, tart, then orange oiled leather. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Chew breads in the back laden with apricot and tangelo chunks. Kiwi in the middle and along the edges. Candied ginger. Flambéed peaches and apricots, skin included. Underlying bitterness of orange peel.

Final Thoughts: not at all what I was expecting in many very delicious ways. I’m not sure I would classify it as a “dunkelweizen” but for now, I’ll pass on style semantics and keep the beer. 


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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Samuel Adams Octoberfest Event @ HurricaneVB **TODAY**

**Hurricane Grill & Wings of Vero Beach, FL is proud to present the Samuel Adams Octoberfest Event. We think we know Samuel Adams...but do we really? More than just their classic BOSTON LAGER and OKTOBERFEST, Samuel Adams continues to push brewing boundaries while encouraging others to do so with their HARVEST PUMPKIN ALE, IMPERIAL WHITE ALE, AND OAKED ALE. See you here!!!**


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blue Paddle ~ New Belgium Brewing Company

Appearance: golden grains under a solid white head of foam and bubbles. Fades creamy in the middle and bubbly along the edges. Swirls with lovely lace.

Nose: artisanal whole grain bread. Sun-baked grain. Dried lemon and lime skin. Sourdough bread creeps in – creamy in the middle, crunchy along the sides. Whisper of banana in the back. Husks and hay.

Palate: smooth chewy decadent breads up front and in the middle – slightly sweet. Dry finish of husks, straw, and fields of grains. Pineapple essence. Dryness of banana peel and skins.

Final Thoughts: definitely more complex in the nose than in the palate but a solid summer quaffer nonetheless. A biergarten pilsner. 


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

Regal Double Pilsner ~ Breckenridge

Appearance: copper and gold under a voluminous white head which lines the inside of my glass with lacey fingers. A slow stream of bubbles keeps the head afloat in blotchy beauty. Swirls thick and full.

Nose: bread crusts, saltines, green grass, key lime. Brisk – dry then zesty, zesty then dry. Lemon zest. Tropical zip in the back – papaya and star fruit. Floral and herbal esters weave in and out. Dandelion and white flower petals.

Palate: sweetness along the edge leads into crisp, dry, bitterness. Papaya and banana skin. Greenness of flowers, stems and all. Key lime and sweet mown grass. Smooth mouthfeel and gently mouth-coating with subtle sweet grains. Pineapple, coconut, and star fruit. Tickle of spice in the back – grains of paradise.

Final Thoughts: delicious! I was worried the bottle was going to be a dud seeing as months had passed from when I bought the bottle to when I actually drank it. Thankfully the beer deities were friendly and the beer delightful. Another winner from Breckenridge. 


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

Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red ~ Boston Beer Company

Appearance: clear garnet and reddish black grapes under a full smooth head of tan foam. Slight trace of lace crawling up sides as head fades. Swirls thick and lacey.

Nose: rhubarb, plum, grape. Cinnamon apple sauce. Burgundy soaked leather and old oak staves. More leather in the middle. Nutty underneath with flesh covered plum stones. Strawberries with blueberry essence – freshly pureed with skins and seeds providing bitter dry tannins.

Palate: rhubarb, strawberry, and blueberry. Leather and fruit stones mingle. Berry and grape skins lead to leather leads to red wine soaked barrels. Slightly tart black cherries. Chocolate essence in the breath – unsweetened.

Final Thoughts: not over the top or overly complex but straight to the point. I’ve tasted two out of the three Barrel Room series and so far the Stony Brook is tops. 


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

Friday, October 21, 2011

BeerWorks Charitable Foundation Presents ~ 4th Annual Treasure Coast Beer Fest


**For further inquiries/questions, visit our official FaceBook Event page! Check out the OFFICIAL poster below for your closest TICKET LOCATION for TCBF4.**


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Invasion @ Hurricane VB **TODAY**

**Come one! Come all! Drink of some TASTETASTIC pumpkin beers at Hurricane Grill & Wings of Vero Beach on Wednesday, October 19th 2011! Along with CIGAR CITY GOOD GOURD, BROOKLYN POST ROAD PUMPKIN, DOGFISH PUNKIN ALE, we will be pouring SOUTHERN TIER PUMKING and brand new to the Treasure Coast, BLUE POINT PUMPKIN ALE. Come taste them while we have them!!!**


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Traquair 2020

Appearance: clear garnet, amber, and cherry woods – dense and polished. Small tannish head fades to a small but solid collar bordering a paper thin tan film. Swirls thick and lacey.

Nose: prunes and fudge, raisins, dried plums and apricots. Fudge weaves in and out of all while dark fruits dominate. Apple skins. Tree bark shavings along the edge with faint whispers of dried leaves.

Palate: prunes and raisins with cinnamon in the back. European chocolates mingle with rich moist black earth. Wisps of smoke in the back – burning bark and wood. Starts to grow tannic along sides – red wine soaked leather and oak. Chocolate truffles with cinnamon and chocolate powder. Spiced and flambéed plums, prunes, grapes, apples, and apricots.

Final Thoughts: lovely and sophisticated. Traquair House never disappoints both in traditional castle brewing and modern inspiration. 


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

Tramp Stamp ~ Clown Shoes Beer

Appearance: massive huge bubbly head is held aloft by an equally massive stream of bubbles. Head is pithy mousse while the brew below was brilliant burnt coppers and blood oranges.

Nose: orange zest, white grapefruit, lemon and lemon zest. Pine needles. Freshly mown grass. Honeyed oats and grains. Dried flower petals. Sunflowers, ferns, and fir.

Palate: clean then sticky and mouth-coating. Sweet than bitter. Green grass dominates the middle. Grapefruit flesh and skin and pine weave together seamlessly. Spice and throughout. Dried flowers, dried cut grass. Long bitter citrus peel finish – dryness of pith and zest of orange, grapefruit, and lemon.

Final Thoughts: another delicious beer from Clown Shoes Beer and, contrary to some hoity-toity people, I like their label artwork, Tramp Stamp included. Yum!


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

Field Mouse's Farewell ~ Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project

Appearance: blood oranges and mandarin. No real head other than a thin white bubbly layer which disappears fast, leaving only a collar. Swirls with a thicker bubbly collar but no head.

Nose: peaches and mandarins freshly peeled with a nice addition of zest with rye seeds providing spice. Dryness of rye husks and bitterness of orange skin in the back leads into straw and green grass blades. Essence of the summer. Lemon zest.

Palate: crisp and sweet than long bitter finish of citrus skins, rye seed husks, straw. Zest tingles atop my tongue. Juiciness of mandarin and blood oranges than a subtle dry zesty finish. Saddle leather and dry brittle bales of hay. Rye weaves in and out, over and under, working with and not against all the other flavors. Damp freshly cut grass – sweet.

Final Thoughts: ingenuity and creativity personify Pretty Things and it shows in their unique flavorful beers. Field Mouse’s Farewell did indeed bring to mind a journey through fields of amber, gold, spice, and season’s change. 


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

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pepe Nero ~ Goose Island

Appearance: beautiful cherry and mahogany woods, old, polished, and deep. Voluminous tan head resembles freshly frothed cappuccino. Head is dense mousse which caves in slowly like a reverse donut – thick. Lace sticks full circle.

Nose: dry, earthy, twiggy, and rich with dense dark fruits – plums and grapes. Acorns and almonds. Grape seeds bitter and tannic. Haystacks and stable dust with a faint and pervasive essence of saddles and blankets. Old leather.

Palate: plums and raisins. Earth, twigs, and fall leaves in the finish – crispy and crunchy. Soft frothy smooth mouthfeel. Raisins and figs lead into cakey fig newtons in the back. Oiled leather and saddles. Dry nutty stones also in the back. Dry tannic thirst-inducing quaff to quaff. Dried leaves and twigs. Spice in the breath.

Final Thoughts: loved this beer! No. I really did. I love rye and saisons and Goose Island beers in general so twas no surprise the Pepe Nero was a divine treat. My only regret was that I had but one bottle to enjoy. 


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

Ruddy Amber Wheat ~ Weston Brewing Company

Appearance: ruddy ambers and garnets, slightly dirty and muddled under a pithy head. A broken collar bordering a broken film lingers, even after a few average swirls.

Nose: stewed peaches, apricots, and apple cores. Fig cake in the back. Whole wheat loaves, dense and thick, almost cakey – fig newtons come to mind.

Palate: chewy soft mouth of wheat. Dry in the finish with apple skins and stems. Meager plum and grape skins, dried apricots, and ending with an unpleasant hard salty mineral quality.

Final Thoughts: not really that good. The finish was especially unpleasant and I ended up not finishing the glass. 


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

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie ~ Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: deep mahogany and polished wood which shines clear when held up to the light. Khaki head leaves a thin but solid film.

Nose: cinnamon sprinkles. Fresh baked oatmeal raisin cookies. Brown sugar chunks. Nutmeg sugar granules. Chocolate truffle powder.

Palate: just like biting into a fresh oatmeal raisin cookie with cinnamon sprinkles, only difference is the cookie is cool, not warm. Chocolate truffle powder in the finish. Faint plum essence weaves in and out with plump raisins. Iced coffee with cinnamon sugar oatmeal raisin infusion.

Final Thoughts: delicious. I have found this beer to be an intriguing tasting experiment; much like pumpkin beers, people either love the intrigue of a beer that tastes exactly like a liquid cookie, and others would rather have their cookie and beer separate. 


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

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tequesta Brewing Company Invasion @ HurricaneVB and HurricaneFP

**Looking for something to do before and after the 4th Annual Treasure Coast Beer Fest? Look no further than HURRICANE GRILL & WINGS of Vero Beach and Fort Pierce. With only one keg each of RYE DOUBLE BOCK, WET HOP INDIA BROWN ALE, and BOHEMIAN PILSNER, they won't last long!**


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Minaret ESB ~ Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: touch of chill haze gives a glow to aged copper and peach skin hues. Off-white head fades fast, leaving a bubbly collar and broken foam in its wake.

Nose: apricots, apple sauce, apple turnover cake. Flambéed peaches and honey. Nutmeg first followed by cinnamon sticks. Apple skins and whole grain bread crust.

Palate: clean and to the point. Sweet and mildly chewy up front with peaches and apple flesh followed by the skins for a lingering touch of refreshing bitterness. Nutmeg and cinnamon in the breath. Sun-dried golden raisins in the middle. Dryness of straw and hay underneath, adding to the overall bitter profile. Apple seeds. Very subtle caramel and honeycomb sweetness flits along the edges.

Final Thoughts: another sessionable quaffable flavorful addition to my tasting repertoire from the inspirational genius that is Cigar City Brewing. While bold and beautiful is a steady mantra, so too is subtle and sophisticated. Bravo! England would be proud. 


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

El Lector Dark Mild Ale ~ Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: deep dark plums and grapes. Smooth and creamy khaki head with pomace inclinations. Fades with pockets of bubbles while lace marks the sides of my glass.

Nose: roasted coffee beans. Iced coffee. Brittle dry cacao crumbles and powder. Fall leaves and twigs signify the changing of seasons. Raisins and dried prunes. Rye seeds and rye bread crust.

Palate: chocolate powdered truffles of the dark cacao variety. Whispers of cinnamon. Pumpernickel sticks and pumpernickel crust – dry, crunchy, and toasty. Treacle. Raisins. Dried coffee along edges and in the finish. Plum and grape skins carry the essence of the fruit along with dry tannic notes.

Final Thoughts: a fantastic dark mild that would feel right at home in merry ol’ England. Low abv, lots of flavor, and immense quaffability. Belly up, buy a round, and chat it up with your mates long into the night. 


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

Florida Cracker White Ale ~ Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: cloudy straw and bread crust hues under an attractive white head of fluff which fades into a solid layer with some scattered lace. Swirls nice.

Nose: mandarin, mango, and cantaloupe atop saltines and white table crackers. Citric pith and zest along the edges. Banana peel – dry on the outside, meaty on the inside. Star fruit. Grains of paradise for a hint of spice.

Palate: creamy mouthfeel with sweet breads in the middle. Grains of paradise in the middle through to the finish. Lemon peel along the sides with some sun-kissed hay. Bananas and star fruit in the middle. Saltines and white crackers last longest in the finish, parching and inducing thirst at the same time. Cantaloupe and mango.

Final Thoughts: yum! A Florida native I am but Florida Cracker I am not. Home state technicalities aside, this was a fine interpretation of this classic and at one point almost extinct Belgian beer style. 


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

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Xenu Honey Cream Ale ~ Cigar City Brewing

Appearance: hazy straws – chill haze? White head is bready and smooth with a full collar and ambitious lace. Steady stream of bubbles keeps the head puffy and fluffy.

Nose: gentle sweetness. Angel food cake, white cake. Bread crusts to temper the sweetness without overwhelming. Gentle lemon esters. Dew-dropped cut green grass in the back.

Palate: creamy mouthfeel. Lemon zest and green grass lingers in the back from first quaff to last for some refreshing thirst-enticement. Dryness of bread crusts underneath with sweetness of angel food cake and white cake in the middle. Driest along the edges and tippy-top of my tongue. Honey.

Final Thoughts: yum! Not corny or grainy or adjunct at all but a true honey cream ale. The style itself may not be for everybody, but this particular offering from Cigar City was inspirational. 


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

American Darling ~ Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project

Appearance: clear gold and straw under a puffy white head which fades to a solid layer resembling a slice of bread. Small batches of lace try to crawl their way up the side after a puffy swirl.

Nose: golden sun-baked grains, grape nuts, and husks. Dried grass and straw in the back dry next to baled hay. Lemon peel and white grapefruit in the middle for zip and zest. Green apple musk.

Palate: toasted grape nuts. Saltines and whole grain crackers. Lemon and grass in the back with lemon rind lingering the longest atop the top back of my tongue. Green banana peel. Husky. Honey joins the freshly toasted grains, husks, and crackers. Lemon along the sides.

Final Thoughts: exactly what it strove to be – the quintessential lawnmower ale. Brisk. Refreshing. Why yes, I think I’ll have another. 


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

Grand Cru Belgian Dark Ale ~ Great Divide

Appearance: clear deep mahogany with richness belying an older time of sophistication and powdered wigs (minus the powder). Smooth velveteen head of tan leathers. Full circle collar with a puddly puff in the middle. Swirls smooth and creamy.

Nose: dark breads and dark fruits. Singed twigs and sticks. Dates, prunes, and raisins ohmy. Black bread. Tar lurks in the back. Fruitcake. Licorice root and brewers licorice. Dried ginger root and cumin in the back for a final kick of spice.

Palate: meaty, chewy, and rich. Chocolate mingles with dark fruits and dark breads – inseparable. Richly decadent. Tart tannins along the edges – plum skins, black cherry skins, and rhubarb. Brewers licorice and black root mingle with char and smoke which weaves in and out of black earthiness. Dry nutty stones.

Final Thoughts: delicious! I don’t get my hands on Great Divide beers very often which is just sacrilegious because I can therefore I have been willfully negligent. But! It is a hard job I am more than capable of to rectify this wrong.


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

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Easy Street Wheat ~ Odell Brewing Company

Appearance: hazy with gently faded breads along with hints of raw grains and orange. Little to no head with nothing but a meager collar with some encouraging swirls.

Nose: bread crusts and baguettes – dry, crunchy. Generic citric pith with leanings toward lemon. Green banana peel barely peeks out of the back. Dry coconut shavings.

Palate: creamy and smooth mouthfeel with fresh breads – like biting into the middle of a loaf of white, no crust. Lemon juices along the edge with some grains for company. Pith and bread crusts underneath.

Final Thoughts: I expect a bit better than this from Odell; an average wheat beer from a better than average brewery. Okay for a tasting but I wouldn’t buy it again. 


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

Backwoods Cyser ~ B. Nektar Meadery

Appearance: clear light straw with yellow at its deepest depths. Some miniscule bubbles – hints of residual fermentation? Swirls with sticky spots.

Nose: apple flesh with a tickle of caramel. Mulled cider with whole cinnamon sticks. Raw white oak. Whispers of entwined spice and heat – nutmeg, allspice. Flambéed apple slices. Cooked honey.

Palate: sweet. Mouth-coating along the sides with pure honey fresh from the comb. Sweetest in the middle. Dry finish with cinnamon sticks and white oak. Cooked apple finishes last – sweet, spiced, flambéed, and married with oak. Vanilla caramel oak esters – warm yet cool at the same time.

Final Thoughts: quite a delight I must say. It was intriguing the additional character the oak added to the mead in a harmony as if they were meant to be. Separated by time, maybe? 


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

James Page Iron Range Amber Lager ~ Stevens Point Brewery

Appearance: ruby and garnet under an off-white head both thick and smooth with lace along the sides. Fades with a thin film lingering in the middle. Swirls bubbly.

Nose: apple mush – flesh than skin and starting to turn brown from sitting out in the open air. Moss and hay bales in back. Nondescript dry crunchy breads in the back. A tad musty and dusty.

Palate: apples – sweet flesh than bitterness of the skins. Cinnamon sticks, twigs, and dried old bread underneath. Dried apple skins in the back. Hint of staleness along the edges.

Final Thoughts: a marginal amber lager in a market of mostly marginal amber lagers. While quite possibly on its way south, the beer itself was still okay. Nothing to write home about and nothing to remember though certainly not a drain pour. 


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

Friday, October 07, 2011

BEERflections ~ Beer Tasting @ ABC Fine Wine & Spirits VB

I love a good beer tasting and judging by the thirsty turnout at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits on SR60 the evening of September 14th, 2011, I’m not the only one. There’s something “je ne sais quoi” about beer tastings that unites humanity around a common cause: really good beer. No crap need apply. Here in our burgeoning sunny beertopia, variety rules and flavor inspires before, during, and long after the fact. Like a contagious cure, good taste and good beer will spread until all children can laugh and play, adults will merriment make, and peace unites.


But I’m getting ahead of myself here…or am I? It’s a proven fact that the good beverage beer has brought people together for as long as people have been walking around on their own two feet. Fast forward a few hundred thousand years and those two feet, mine specifically speaking, made their merry way through a packed parking lot to the humble entrance of ABC where inside a grand showing of table after table of beer, brewery reps, long-lost Great Spirits Beer Tasting peeps, and friends new and old awaited. A few minutes late, it didn’t take me long to pay the meager toll of $10, receive my wristband of beer indoctrination, and get right to tasting…and taking pictures, lots of them! With my camera back from repairs because hot flames and plastic don’t mix (not to mention I’m a dunce who doesn’t understand the concept of “zoom”), no photo opportunities were lost, even some including yours beerly in front of the lens versus my ever stoic position behind. From reps to peeps to coworkers to randoms, no one was safe from the lights and camera amidst the action. I’ve long lamented the loss of my Saturday beer tastings since Great Spirits closed their doors; seeing so many of my Saturday peeps at ABC that sunny Wednesday afternoon melted filled my heart with an ache both wrenching and soothing that only a multitude of social schmoozing and beer sampling could cure and sample I did. I even got to tastefully muse over a homebrew, Ruby Red IPA, generously shared amongst myself and a few other lucky individuals by a local home brewing beer enthusiast. It’s opportunistic gems such as this which I truly relish about beer, the people, and the proud community it represents. Overall, there were 23 tables pouring beer and 2 tables offering food, one of which was my very own Hurricane Grill & Wings of Vero Beach, home to 28 taps, 25 of which are craft with a large focus on American artisanal breweries. Long before other imitators came huffing and puffing along, Hurricanes was embracing beer flavor diversity and educating their patrons as to the supremely enjoyable benefits of damn good beer. Manned by General Manager, Howard Steinberg along with our head cook Scott and fellow beero, Al, our mouthwatering smoked fish dip and other tasty nibblies were hungrily consumed by a swarm of beer tasters. Amidst the feeding frenzy, email addresses for our inaugural beermail list were gathered while our Beer Book garnered endless ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’. Come one, come all, come and drink and eat and be merry at my Hurricanes where I happily patroned long before I came to happily work there.


But who cares about work! Work shmork I say! A beer tasting is about beer in all its playful tasteful seriousness for which there was plenty to be had. My count may be off by one or three but from bottle to tasting glass to all the senses, almost 100 beers tested the sober mettle of many. Yours beerly had already tasted a decent majority of the beers present, but there were still a few close encounters of the virgin variety along with some old favorites long absent and happily reunited. Pouring some of those experiences new and old were friends dear: Rich Nowak of Brooklyn Brewery, Bethany Bryant of Stone Brewing, Andrew Bradley of Sierra Nevada, and a new old friend in the tangible form of Mina Rouas of Anchor Brewing. You rock Mina! New to the Treasure Coast and Anchor Brewing but not new to the beer scene, I hope we will get to chat some more during the fast and upcoming 4th Annual Treasure Coast Beer Fest on Saturday, October 22nd.

Boom! TCBF4 pimpage victory!
And now back to the ABC Beer Tasting expose.

Flitting and floating around the store, I ran into and proceeded to glomp and giggle with my passel of peeps which included Rob and the gang, Bob and Pam, John and Patty, Darrel and Suz, Danny and the gang, Alex, Alysha and Steph, and a few others whose names currently are in hiding from me. Bloody buggers these names remember be but know even in names lost, it was wonderful to see you all again.


As for standout beers that inspired and pleased, the Lost Dog from Napa Smith was an intriguing and deliciously quaffable amber ale given its relatively high ABV; unique. And while not a ‘licensed’ brew, once more I want to thankfully reiterate the impressive homebrew that was the Ruby Red IPA. Being a citrus industry veteran/descendant, I love my grapefruit a lot and can be rather particular when it comes to this particular rotund fruit. Earnest honest opinion on the brew from nose to quaff to finish was appreciatively received and I look forward to seeing where they their next batch shall take me, Ruby Red and beyond.


Moving beyond the homebrew, I was reminded of how much I love Brooklyn’s Local 2 and Post Road Pumpkin (tis the season!) along with the Cubano Espresso (mm… espresso) from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa. A craft beer mecca of flavorphoric bliss, if you haven’t made the trek to Cigar City yet, then do so now; book a room because you’ll need it, fill the gas tank, pile into the car, and prepare to settle into their just-right tasting room and forget the hours as they pass by unhurried. Another refreshing beer trip down tasting lane had German Hefeweizens at heart - the Kellerweisse from Sierra Nevada. A traditional German Hefeweizen in all possible clovey yeasty bananaganza ways, the Kellerweisse also embodies the communal harmony of a German biergarten. I often joke how the Kellerweisse would make a killing were it ever offered on draft and, let’s just say, those sepia-colored biergarten days may not be all that far away. We shall see…

Schmoozing about, 8pm came faster than I had anticipated as the tables slowly started to clean up, pack up, and call it a night themselves. In the presence of fun, friends, and burgundian indulgence, time was absolutely not of the essence. Taking one last look around the mingling merry faces, I gathered my complimentary tasting glass, bid a multitude of fond farewells, and loaded my bag of swag into the minivan for home and Love. Heart full of warm fuzzies and lost times regained, it was clear to me once more that life with beer is good. I could count the ways, but instead I will leave with a Cheer and a promise of more good times to come. Always.


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

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Clementine ~ Clown Shoes Beer

Appearance: clear lemon under a vibrant, huge, fluffy white head of mousse. Sticks to all available surfaces on my glass. Swirls sticky, blotchy, puffy, and enticing.

Nose: lemon zest, Curacao orange rind with a smidge of oily zest. Chamomile and lavender. Orange blossom. Grains of paradise. Key lime. Basil and thyme – subtle but there.

Palate: yum! Medium-light body reveals basil, thyme, and straw in the back of each swallow for refreshing parchment leading right into each thirst-quenching quaff. Lemon and key lime essence underneath – bright and fresh. Curacao in the finish. Grains of paradise are a faint drizzle while not standing out in any one spot. Lavender in the breath.

Final Thoughts: an amazing tapestry of aromas and flavors that worked together without losing any sense of their original identity. A tasty American interpretation of the classic Belgian saison. 


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

Patch Porter ~ Amherst Brewing

Appearance: clean and clear with blacks bordered by garnet and cherry woods. Tan collar but no real head to speak of.

Nose: roasted and toasty all around. Dark Ghirardelli cocoa powder. Roasted marshmallows with a nice char, just the way I like them. Vanilla bean. Rich black earth.

Palate: wet woods old and deep, ash, and scorched earth. Bark and twigs in the middle, burnt of course. Unsweetened pure black cacao Ghirardelli chocolate tingles and grabs sides of cheeks. Acrid burnt black root. Raisins and prunes for a touch of meaty goodness.

Final Thoughts: a solid quaffer of a porter perfect for slaking a hard working man or woman’s thirst. The last of my Amherst flight of four, I declined on any growlers to go but did get my lucky hands on a t-shirt. 


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

Massatucky Brown ~ Amherst Brewing

Appearance: pumpernickel bread with no haze and mahogany hints along the edge.

Nose: chocolate front and center – chocolate cake, bars, and malted milk chocolate. Godiva hot chocolate. Chocolate wafers. Chocolate covered walnuts for some dry crunch.

Palate: chocolate shines but never overwhelms – good balance. Hint of burnt dark fruits, grapes and plums specifically, in the back with stones and seeds included. Chocolate and walnuts mingle. Something indiscernible in the back.

Final Thoughts: never could lay my tastebuds on that final flavor at the back of each quaff. Overall though quite the tasty sessionable brown ale. I’d drink it again. 


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