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A Hoppy Beer for a Dry Day: Lawless IPA

by Charles Wangersky July 28th, 2014| Beer
ETNA PLUSSaturday was a surprisingly warm day this week, and the lawn needed attention, something it had gotten far too little of last year. I'm not saying I'll do any better this year, but I did get a head start on it this year, and so far I've been pretty good about the yard work. Of course, I have to fight the push mower to knock the rust off the blades as well as cutting at least some of the grass with it, and there is the beating my knees take as I try to uproot the hawkweed and dandelions. So
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Driftwood Pale Ale: Balm for a Hot Tiring Day

by Charles Wangersky July 21st, 2014| Beer
driftwoodThe north end of the West Coast has been suffering, if you want to call it that, through a long and unusual period of hot weather. Normally this doesn't affect me much, because my main job is working with computers, and it's important to keep computers cool after all. People can simply be told to deal with it, computers can't. Of course, it is a bit of a shock leaving work in the evening; and the weekend, and those days when I have to work from home, can be . . . interesting.

So today, as I write, was a
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Red Racer Pale Ale: Lots of Hops for a Hot Day

by Charles Wangersky July 14th, 2014| Beer
IMAG0003Central City Brewers and Distillers, 5% ABV

After John Frazzetta's farewell last week, I thought I should take a moment to introduce myself as the new beer reviewer. My family and I live in Canada, but of course I will be selecting beers to review that you can get in the States as well; no point in getting too insular, no matter how good I think Canadian beer is. I've done a lot of home brewing, which has resulted in a certain amount of analysis of "what exactly went wrong." I feel this might be useful for a
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Victory Brewing, Summer Love Ale

by J Frazzetta June 30th, 2014| Beer
DSCF6719Bottle/Tap: Bottle

Met a beer that was as tasty as can be, had a sip and I was jumping with glee, winter beers are leaving the shelves but, uh oh, those summer beers!

Oh well, Avid Reader, did you think I would do the whole song?  Given enough time I’m sure that I could have made an entire review based on that tune, and I’m hoping it is now stuck in your head.  The grills are going, the sun is getting high in the sky, which means that we are seeing plenty of light summer beers cropping up, and I’m
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Magic Hat, Dream Machine

by J Frazzetta June 23rd, 2014| Beer
DSCF6716Bottle/Tap: Bottle

It took me a while to appreciate an IPL brew, Avid Reader, but the journey has been interesting.  I’m still a little foggy on how they got started; no matter, since I’m starting to see them on shelves in more stores and I’m more apt to give them a chance.  Let me bring you in on the meaning: IPL stands for India Pale Lager, which means this brew has a little more body than your standard IPA and makes for a satisfying drink.

Pouring out the liquid into one of my favorite pint glasses, I noted that the color
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Sam Adams, Porch Rocker

by J Frazzetta June 16th, 2014| Beer
DSCF6713Bottle/Tap: 12 pack

It isn’t very often that a beer can take me off guard and take up residence in my fridge, but here we are, Avid Reader, on the cusp of summer, and I’ve had a ready supply of this brew for the last few weeks.  We were at a family gathering in early May and I noticed one of these hiding behind some bottles of Bud Platinum and other stuff, so I decided to rescue the bottle.  Not long after a few pulls I was hooked on this brew, so I bought a six pack at the grocery
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Rogue, Voodoo Doughnut Ale

by J Frazzetta June 9th, 2014| Beer
DSCF6708Bottle/Tap: Bottle

You might recall that a few years ago I happened upon on of these mythical collaborations at a bar in Boston and found it to be horrendous.  At that time I had no idea this would be a regular thing between Rogue Brewing and Voodoo Doughnuts, so when I came across this odd combination at a local store part of me had to give a chance, Avid Reader, to see if it was a better result.  I tasked my neighbor and me with giving this thing a whirl, because this is a beer you need to share
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Ommegang, Fire and Blood

by J Frazzetta June 2nd, 2014| Beer
DSCF6705Bottle/tap: Bottle

There are some mornings I wake up and I can swear that I am the father of a dragon.  Granted, she might be three, but my daughter knows how to growl, spit fire and fly up on our bed.  All right, so I might have lied about the flying part, Avid Reader, but everything else is true.  Either way it just means that my dream of having something in common with Daenerys Targaryen is coming to life.  I am well aware that she is a fictional character and could have me strung up by my toes but that
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Andean Brewing Co., Kuka Banana Nut

by J Frazzetta May 26th, 2014| Beer
DSCF6702Bottle/Tap: Bottle

Hold on, I can explain.  Yes, a few weeks ago I might have made some bold statement, "No more brown/dark beers until the fall!" or something close to that; so how can I write about this one?  Avid Reader, you should know better than that. There are two reasons why I picked up this beer: I’ve never heard of this company before, and there is a claim on the label that it is made with maca root and real bananas.  This beer was begging me to come home and what was I going to do?  I couldn’t refuse and that is
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Ruckus Brewing, Euphoria

by J Frazzetta May 19th, 2014| Beer
DSCF6698Bottle/Tap: Bottle

Something dawned on me a few weeks ago, Avid Reader, and it was the fact that I hadn’t talked about a good Tripel style beer in a while.  Let’s fix that by talking about a brew from Harrisburg, PA with a cool label and delectable contents.  Years ago I can recall drinking a Tripel beer and thinking that it tasted terrible; what did I know?  Well, I didn’t know very much, and over time I grew to appreciate this style of beer -- when it has been crafted with care to ensure a quality product.

One of the first
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Baxter Brewing, Pamola Xtra Pale Ale

by J Frazzetta May 12th, 2014| Beer
DSCF6696Bottle/Tap: Can

The weather is starting to get crisp, the sun is staying out a little longer and beers are appearing in cans on the shelves.  Don’t get me wrong, Avid Reader, but drinking a winter beer in a can is fine; however, drinking a spring/summer beer in a can is glorious.  This time around I’m going to tell you about a beer from Baxter Brewing Company in Lewiston, Maine; they are new to me and I have a feeling they won’t be strangers for too long.  While out a few weeks ago I picked up a can of
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Founders, All Day IPA

by J Frazzetta May 5th, 2014| Beer
DSCF6693Bottle/Tap: Bottle

Over the last few years I’ve started to notice more craft beers with the word "session" thrown on their label, and thinking nothing of it, I just picked up a few of the brews to sample at home.  A few weeks ago I happened to read an article for some beer magazine or forum where there was a quick explanation for the "session" craze, Avid Reader, and I’ll relay that to you now: everyone loves string beers but they hate the fact that you can just drink one or two at a time before you want to take
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