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Racer 5 IPA

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This is the first IPA I’ve reviewed and for me it’s a bit of a struggle to try and sell people on the IPA’s.  For starters even the most mild IPA’s are still too bitter for the novice beer pallet.  

But Bear Republic’s Racer 5 India Pale Ale is so outstanding that it’s been turning heads for quite some time now. in 1999 is one gold at the Great American Beer Festival in the IPA category.  Then from 2005 to 2009 won two silvers and one gold for American Style Strong Pale Ale and a 2009 Best of Show at the Colorado State Fair. 

Brewed with American Pale and Crystal Malts it then is “hopped heavily” as Bear Republic says on it’s site, with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial hops.  And nothing else describes this beer better than what they say on the website “There’s a trophy in every glass.”

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Lazy Day.

Well today’s a really dreary day and it’s making me feel so lazy.  So instead of a new brew review today I decided to lighten everyone else’s day with a song.  Beer by Reel Big Fish.  Hope you love this song s much as I do.  It’s funny, catchy and if you like ska music you should love this song.

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Long Trail Double Bag

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(Courtesy of Long Trail)

Long Trail Brewing Company, located in Bridgewater Corners, VT, has been getting more and more attention in the last decade around New England.  With simple beers like their Long Trail Ale and and Pale ale, they’ve gathered quite the following.  And now expanding their horizons to great seasonal beers like Harvest and a summer beer called Pollenator, Long Trail has been spicing up the beer world for the better.  But we’re here to talk about, in my opinion, their best beer.

It all started my sophmore year.  Yes I was underage but anyway, I gave an upper classmen some money for beer.  He had pretty good taste, drinking beers that I liked: Magic Hat, Harpoon, Opa Opa and many others.  I trusted him in what ever he would bring back.  Little did I know what I was in store for because soon he walked into the room with a big brown bag and set down a six pack of Long Trail Double Bag.  “What’s this?”  I asked never hearing of this beer before.  My friend, a native of Vermont and long time fan of Long Trail just looked at me sternly and replied, “You will drink, and you will like.”  So I popped the top took a swig and my life changed forever.

The dark amber ale sloshed through my teeth, rushed down my throat and left me at a loss for words.  I was only able to sigh in relief for the fact that I had just drank godliness from a bottle.  From that day forward my view of beer was altered and that day I truely became a “beer snob.”

Double Bag is in the Strong Ale style.  It’s dark amber body and and smooth texture makes the drink-ability level absurd and leaves you begging for more.  But take caution my friends, because even though the great taste of this ale is one that you will never want to leave your mouth, it’s 7.2% ABV will catch up with you fast.  Long Trail urges that it’s customers to “indulge in moderation.”  A six pack of this stuff even makes me, a 240 lbs man, stumble like a 100 lbs high schooler who just drank their first beer.

Double Bag is brewed with  2-row, Crystal, Chocolate, and Wheat for Malts and Northern Brewer and Mt. Hood hops.  Long Trails ability to brew with German historically genius methods for making beer makes them so good at producing ales like this.  Double Bag is known as a “Stickebier” German slang for “secret brew”.

The brewers suggest Double Bag goes great with smoked meats, pork and sausage (talk about typical German Food huh).  And that it should be served at 45 – 50 degress.  A common misconception in the beer world is that beer needs to be cold.  But on the contrary with beers like Double Bag, the temp matters.  Only at the right temperature can the true flavors of this beer be tasted.

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Oh hey! A list of beers!

On my way out of work the other day I remembered that I wanted a nice 6 pack for when I got home so I could sip it on the deck and enjoy the great spring day.  So I shot to the package store just across the street hoping to get a convenient pack of a nice IPA or maybe a new spring ale.  But, when I got inside I was just so torn on what to get.  Moral of the story, I had a little surplus cash so I grabbed 3 six packs to stock up. 😉

But here’s a list of the beers I was so torn about and they’re all great picks for the spring time warming and rainy days.

Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo.  An Extra IPA, this brew is bitter but perfect for relaxing and chatting with a few friends on a lunch break.

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(courtesy of Sierra Nevada)

Newcastle Brown Ale.  This ale is best described by the commercial Newcastle released about it.  “The lighter side of dark.”  And It’s true.  Dispite it’s rich color and frothy head, this brew sits very easily in the stomach.  Perfect with a nice order of buffalo wings or maybe a burger.

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(Courtesy of Newcastle)

Wachusett Blueberry.  This wheat ale changed my perspective of fruity beers because, before I hated them.  Why should beer be fruity.  It should taste like a beer!  But when I took my first sip of this my mind was blown.  The great light wheat ale style is complimented perfectly with a not to overpowering hint of blueberry.

(Courtesy of Wachusett)

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Left Hand Milk Stout

So the other day I’m enjoying a nutritious breakfast at 3:30 in the afternoon of 4 Oreo’s and a tall glass of milk (note the sarcasm).  But, I couldn’t help but get this hankering for beer, and not just any beer,  I was in the mood for Left Hand Brewing Company‘s Milk Stout.  Now there are a lot of skeptics of dark beers like stouts, but this one is the Dark Knight for these doubters.

Milk Stout is a sweet styled stout with an SRM: Black 47 stout.  SRM is the Standard Reference Method used by brewers to measure the amount of light that can travel through the beer.

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At 47 the Milk Stout is relatively high on the scale but not to come close its fellow stouts in the imperial styles.

Milk Stout rests in Left Hand Brewing’s Perennial series and as they claim “Milk sugar in your stout is like cream in your coffee.”  And the Milk Stout still has a ABV of 6% giving you a great after dinner satisfaction for this dessert of a beer.

Brewed with Pale 2-row, Crystal, Munich, Roast Barley, Flaked Oats, Flaked Barley and Chocolate for malts and Magnum and US Goldings hops this Stout stands apart from the rest releasing aromas and flavors that give it a great drinkability.

But don’t stop a just drinking the beer.  It’s a great cooking brew too.  Recipes at the website include Milk Stout BBQ sauce on beef short ribs and even Chocolate Milk Stout Cake.  So the next time your feeling a little tingle in your sweet tooth but still wanna go out and grab a beer with friends, remember to get your left hand on a Milk Stout straight from the rocky mountains.

(Note: If you try this and like it, try and get your hand’s on Left Hand’s Milk Stout Nitro type.  It takes this beer to a whole new level).

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(Picture courtesy of LeftHandBrewing.com)

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Magic Hat Single Chair.

It was rather cold and dreary today and it left me longing for summer.  So much so that I remembered that Magic Hat Brewing Company would be supplying my favorite summer ale again Single Chair Golden Ale.  It’s named after the Mad River Glen ski resort in Vermont, which is cooperatively owned and has the longest single chair lift in the country.  But skiing will be the last thing on your mind when you’re drinking this beer.  A Pilsner style ale, (or golden beer if you’re in texas) Single Chair is brewed with Magic Hat’s house Ringwood yeast, Hallertar and Apollo Hops and Pilsner malts.  It’s Alcohol content by volume (ABV) is 5.0%.  The ringwood yeast brings out alittle more fruitier of a flavor for a pilsner style ale but, not to the point where it’s overbearing.  You still get that great pilsner taste with a little extra bite for your bottle.  It uses Hallertaur hops which have been used in traditional style German Pilsners for almost a century now but Magic Hat threw in some Apollo too to yet again bring their unique style into their brewing.

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Single chair has a very nice traditional golden color and a light head after the pour.  Note to the novice: the head of a beer is the foam which accumulates at the initial pour (see this is informational too!).  But overall Single Chair is a great beer for a summer afternoon maybe taking a day at the beach or playing some heat wave baseball on a pleasant summer dusk.

Well that’s about all I can say for now but until next time, do yourself a favor and get to your packy and start looking for the Magic Hat single chair when it appears coming May.  Cause if you wait you just might miss it.

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Let’s get started.

So this isn’t my first blog and quite frankly, it probably won’t be my last.  In today’s social network based world, for an English major anyway, your ability to blog and keep people reading on the most ADD mediums in human history largely reflects on your talents as a writer.  So if you like my stuff, great follow me, keep reading and share it with your friends, and if you hate me… well criticize me and tear me down, but be sure to post it everywhere because honestly, I love a good argument.

Let us get down to business though.  This blog is about on of my favorite things in the world.  BEER!  Now I know what you’re thinking, “This is just some stupid college boy writing about how many Natty Lights he can shotgun in a minute,”(it’s 4 by the way).  But, listen to me when I say that you couldn’t be more wrong.  My blog is about the infamous Microbrew.  Microbrews and hand crafted beers are so much different and better than any of the beers you see in sports commercials these days.  I’m tired of the Clydesdale’s of Budweiser, the most interesting man from Dos Equis and the not so “great taste, less filling” mentality of Miller.  The beers I review come from hard work, a lot of research and development and most importantly, creativity.  But for now sit back and relax because I’m not at that point just quite yet.  Instead watch some of the promos from one of my favorite breweries Magic Hat.