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Monday, October 31, 2011

#Halloween Beer Post: Great Lakes Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale

Greetings, Citizens!  It is that time of year again when the veil that separates our world from the great beyond is at its most thin, and spectres and ghouls walk the earth, and craft beer is enjoyed with Asian cuisine.  What?  Well, at least the last part is true.  I first saw  Great Lakes Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale at a Wegman's weeks ago, and I knew I wanted to try it, so the weekend before Halloween seemed to be the perfect time.

I have to admit that for some time I have not been all too pleased with red ales.  I think it may have something to do with the bad taste of Killian's Irish Red, but needless to say I was pleasantly surprised by this ale, but in retrospect, I suppose I shouldn't have been.  If you have read any of our other Great Lakes reviews on The Ferment Nation, you know that they get rave reviews here.  This imperial red ale has a nice floral hoppy nose, and it has some kick to it at 8.0% abv.  It was crisp and tasty, and I would like to see it in a six pack.  I wanted to try this beer so bad, that I don't even remember how much the four pack cost me, but I liked it a lot. 

And this imperial red ale goes nicely with food, too.  It was a dark and stormy Saturday, but good beer and food brightens up any day.  Citizen Elizabeth* and I enjoyed some Szechuan style Terrifying Tofu and Hellfire Hot and Sour soup, and Nosferatu, the beer with bite, held up to the spicy and tasty food quite nicely with a solid hoppy flavor with some body to it.  Citizen Elizabeth liked its "nice warmth, and its not overly but tasty hoppiness, and that great red color.  What a great beer to review on Halloween!" I think what I like best is that for a lesser brewing company, producing a "Nosferatu" red ale would be a gimmick to drum up sales, but this, like every other Great Lakes beer I have had, is a really solid, tasty beer.

If you have had this beer, tell us what you think -- leave a comment or e-mail me directly at vp@fermentnation.com.  In the meantime, check out our other Great Lakes reviews.

Have fun, be safe, and I will leave you with a gem of modern animated non sequitur humor from Spongebob Squarepants. Enjoy.

Happy Halloween!

*Be on the look-out for a full brewpub review by Citizen Elizabeth to be posted soon.
Email the VP

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Victory Dark Intrigue

Hello Citizens,
Victory has announced the arrival of Dark Intrigue 2011:  Storm King aged in bourbon barrels from Jim Beam and Heaven Hill-- can't really go wrong with that, now can we?  Bottles (and even a case, if you're so inclined) will be available at the Downingtown brew pub on Dark Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011.  There are details to consider, however.  Why not read Victory's own blog post and see for yourself what those details might consist of? Thanks to Karen for making this news known to El Presidente.  I might even be able to make it out for the event... Will you be there?

Dark Intrigue Release: Nov. 23

Dark Intrigue Release: Nov. 23

Dark Intrigue Release: Nov. 23

Monday, October 24, 2011

San Luis

This Mexican-style lager has a light aroma, if any. The color is just as light, yellow but not golden.  Looks refreshing, which might just work with the chicken and potatoes I have lined up for dinner.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of this beer. It's pretty good, but not great. I can't really make out the malts or the hops, and overall it seems to lack a little character. The lightness doesn't carry with it a dryness that would clean up the finish.

I'm pretty sure that this brew made its way to New Jersey by way of Boulder, CO at the #BBC10 Beer Bloggers Conference last year.  I confess my sins... Sometimes I hang onto beers way too long, especially the larger format beers that I figure I'll be sharing with someone.  A Mexican-style lager probably isn't the best choice for aging, so I sincerely believe that a brand spanking new bottle or draft of San Luis Valley Valle Especial is probably way more deliciouser than the one I dug up out of my beer fridge in the basement.  Everyone has a beer fridge, right?  Well perhaps I should have enjoyed this beer earlier.  Then I would have enjoyed it more.  So check the date.  If it's fresh, I would suggest buying one if you enjoy a light lager.  Overall, though, with plenty of those to choose from, I'm not in a terrible rush to try the San Luis Valley Valle Especial again.  Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not in my wheelhouse.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#Halloween Merch - It's Not Too Late!

Want to look snazzy this #Halloween? Try on The Ferment Nation's Halloween Tombstone T!

When you buy and wear Ferment Nation merchandise, you are supporting The Ferment Nation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Long Trail Coffee Stout Pt. 2

Long Trail Coffee Stout pours a dark black, but one droplet at a time appears an even darker red against the glass, like the blood of a ruby against an August sunrise. Hehe That's poetic, right?  The head doesn't last too long, but it is a dark tan color that gives this brew a hearty look. The aroma is certainly coffee, but it is light and pleasant, and doesn't make one's nose wrinkle.

My first sip of this brew was probably the awesomest.  I'm enjoying the coffee bitterness (and the 8% abv) and but the other herbal flavors are creeping in and starting to taste a bit medicinal to me. Don't get me wrong, I love Ricola... But the Long Trail Brewmaster Series Coffee Stout is coming up just short of the mark for me.
Look, this beer is clearly well-crafted (made with quality ingredients from Vermont Coffee Company) but for some reason it isn't lighting my fire right now.  I think we should take a look at the VP's thoughts from an earlier post. He is the resident expert on coffee, and is a particular fan of a good stout. Or perhaps I should revisit my review when the bomber is gone. Or maybe you could send me your comments (hint, hint).

Actually, a Citizen Review may intrigue readers as well...Thanks for the review, Cheryl!

Even though the line that "separates" stouts from porters is thin and/or blurry, most craft beer drinkers I know have some expectations about which one is which. I kinda think that stouts are either extra dry (in the Irish style) or extra rich (in the imperial style), and porters make up a good bit of the middle ground. This, of course, from a drinker's point of view.

The Long Trail offering is big enough at 8% to earn an "Imperial" rating as far as I'm concerned.  But it doesn't quite measure up to my recollections of other imperial stouts I've had, so maybe it can be an Imperial Porter. But that's typically the standard for a stout anyway, so why don't they call it: "Long Trail Brewmaster Series Coffee Stout.". I think that's a good idea.

Overall, I would suggest buying this beer outright if you just have to try every coffee brew out there.  If you're not particularly fond of the style but you might like it if it's the perfect one, just try it instead.  Maybe order it in a flight, or take a sip of someone else's.  I liked it but didn't love it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend of Many Flavors

Greetings, Citizens!  Your favorite Presidente spent the weekend with the First Lady's family and got to sample some pretty awesome brews, some of which were first tastes.  Check out this storified collections of pics and tweets from this weekend, with some additional commentary.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any comments, please don't hesitate to get in touch.  Email me or comment on Facebook or Twitter.  The contact info for those social media sites are over to your right.  Thanks and Cheers!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Schneider Weisse

This hefe-weizen is a hearty German wheat beer brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot if 1516 (oops! that's of 1516). Like most good German Hefes, Schneider Weisse has a slightly fruity, spicy nose with those banana and clove aromas and flavors rising to the surface.

A slight departure from some hefe-weizens I've tried is the slightly deeper color.  The malts could be giving just a hint of caramel to the brew.  I'm also noticing just a bit less fluffiness of the head as well, but that could be because of my own crime: I hoard beers in my beer fridge and tend to save them for that "special occasion." In the process of saving, however, I feel that I may hang onto brews just a bit past their optimum freshness. I love aging beers and will, on occasion, bust out a vertical tasting.

The aging process notwithstanding, Schneider Weisse is a solid hefe-weizen with serious flavor.  Slightly lighter brews include Paulaner, Fraziskaner, Weihenstephaner, and Schneider's own Edel Weisse.

If you want to cross over to the dark side, try the legendary Aventinus Weizen-bock (thrill-seekers may even dabble in the Aventinus Eisbock. Youch!) Brooklyn even collaborated to create the Hopfen-Weisse, a hoppier version of the hefe-weizen for those who desire such a thing. Truth be told, I've tried Hopfen-weisse and wasn't that impressed.  It's pretty good, but I didn't love it. Aventinus, on the other hand, may make it onto the desert island with me when I go. Probably one of my Top 5 beers of all time.

All in all, I'd say that you want to buy this beer when you see it.  Beer lovers in general, but hefe-weizen lovers in particular, need to have this brew and give it their full attention.  It may not end up being your favorite beer of all time, but it will definitely provide a standard by which you can shamelessly judge others by.  It's made of the highest quality, and that you can't deny.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Iron Hill Imperial Pumpkin Release

We at the Ferment Nation loves us some pumpkin beers!  Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant in Maple Shade, NJ had released its Great Imperial Pumpkin and the Imperial Bourbon Pumpkin Ale at their release party a few weeks ago.

Now the beers:
Iron Hill's Pumpkin Ale was fresh and delicious... Pumpkin flavor and all the appropriate spices, but very drinkable.  Slightly smaller body and alcohol content make it a groovy session beer.
Great Imperial Pumpkin is bigger and badder.  Definitely comparable with some of the sought-after Imperial Pumpkin Ales out there (like Pumking, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, Fegley's Devious...).  If I may be so bold... I think the Iron Hill offering trumps them all.
Bourbon Imperial Pumpkin was magnificent.  The oaky bourbon flavors complemented the autumnal pumpkin pie spices and the earthy gourd essence of the pumpkin in a way that blew my mind.  I tried Avery's Rumpkin ale last year, and I definitely got what they were going for, but it was just a teensy bit too big for me.  Iron Hill's Bourbon Imperial hits the mark!

It's getting closer to those fall holidays Halloween and Thanksgiving, when pumpkin ales are tough to find in the stores and pubs.  Those of us on the ball, however, get out there early and often.  Following are a Storified collection of tweets from the party and a slideshow of some nicer photographs taken with an actual camera (as opposed to my photo-challenged Blackberry).  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


October 11, 2011
CONTACT: Profile Public Relations
Clare Pelino or Jennie Hatton


WILMINGTON, DE – Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, with eight locations in the mid-Atlantic region, brought home three medals from this year’s prestigious Great American Beer Festival (GABF), held in Denver, CO:  Head Brewer Bob Barrar (Media, PA);  Head Brewer Vince DesRosiers (North Wales, PA);  and Head Brewer Chris Lapierre (Maple Shade, NJ).  Marking their 15th consecutive year as GABF medal winners, this latest win brings Iron Hill’s company-wide total to 35 medals.
“Competing in the GABF is a huge honor,” says Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson.  “We are tremendously proud of all our talented brewers, particularly Vince, Chris and Bob, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate 15 years of consecutive wins as a team.”  
Iron Hill’s award-wining beers are: 
·         Russian Imperial Stout, a silver medal winner for “Imperial Stout,” from Media, PA.  Iron Hill’s most “decorated” beer from Iron Hill’s most “decorated” brewer, Bob Barrar, who has won a medal at the GABF for 10 consecutive years.  Russian Imperial Stout’s medals include:  GABF gold medal 2010;  GABF gold medal 2006;  GABF gold medal 2003;  World Beer Cup [WBC] gold medal 2010;  WBC bronze medal 2006.
A full-bodied beer that starts with a complex malty sweet and high roasted character, wonderfully balanced with the generous use of citrusy American hops. 
·         Vienna Red Lager, a bronze medal winner for “Vienna-Style Lager,” from Maple Shade, NJ. GABF gold medal 2008;  GABF bronze medal 1999;  and WBC silver medal, 2008.
One of Iron Hills “house” beers, a wildly popular European amber lager with delicate malt aroma, slight sweetness and a clean, crisp finish.
·         Grand Inquisitor, a bronze medal winner for “Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout,” from North Wales, PA.  DesRosier’s first GABF medal-winner, an exciting achievement and a milestone for all Iron Hill Head Brewers. 
Russian Imperial Stout, aged in bourbon barrels, with complex malt character balanced by distinct bourbon flavors.

The GABF is an annual event celebrating the best in American brewing culture.  This year’s competition attracted more than 46,000 visitors, including 3,930 beers from 526 breweries in 48 states, plus Puerto Rico, vying for the 248 medals.  Award-winning brewers received prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals in 84 beer categories, establishing the best examples of each style in the U.S.  For more information, including a complete list of winners, please visit www.gabf.org
Founded by home brewers Edelson and Kevin Finn and restaurateur Kevin Davies in Newark, DE in 1996, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant is the region’s fastest-growing restaurant group, blossoming from one restaurant and brewery to eight locations across the mid-Atlantic.  Each is dedicated to producing and serving top-quality hand-crafted beers and cuisine in a warm and hospitable setting, and all are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.  Their acclaimed beers have accumulated a wealth of awards from the nation’s top beer festivals, and their restaurants have earned more than 100 “Best of” nods from local and national publications. 
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s eight locations include:  Newark, DE (147 East Main Street, 302-266-9000);  Wilmington, DE (710 South Madison Street, 302-472-2739);  Media, PA (30 East State Street, 610-627-9000);  West Chester, PA (3 West Gay Street, 610-738-9600);  North Wales, PA (1460 Bethlehem Pike, 267-708-2000);  Phoenixville, PA (130 East Bridge Street, 610-983-9333);  Lancaster, PA (781 Harrisburg Pike, 717-291-9800);  and Maple Shade, NJ (124 East Kings Highway, 856-273-0300).   Their ninth location, in Chestnut Hill, PA, is projected to open in 2011.
For more information about Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, or to make a reservation at any of their locations, please visit www.ironhillbrewery.com.  You can also like them on Facebook at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant and follow them on Twitter @ironhillbrewery.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Two Great Beers at the Perch Pub in Philly

I had another chance to stop by The Perch Pub on the corner of Broad and Locust in Philadelphia.  I have mentioned this bar before, and I think it deserves further mentioning, because it is a great happy hour bar in Philly.  I shouldn't say that too loudly, because part of the charm of this bar is that I have never seen it packed, which is odd.  I think they feature one appetizer (maybe) during happy hour, but their craft beers are half price.  Great deal.  If you are thinking of appetizers, I recommend the deviled eggs (made with sriracha) as well as the pretzels (accompanied by a stone ground mustard and cheese sauce).  And did I mention that it is bright and airy, because it features lots of glass windows (rare in Philly)?

This time I sampled two brews: Williamsburg Alewerks Pumpkin Ale (bottle) and Fegley's Brew Works Double-O Seven (draft).  The pumpkin ale was tasty.  It definitely had some pumpkin taste to it.  I have heard some people complain about some pumpkin beers that taste all like cinnamon and spice and not very nice, more like potpourri beer than pumpkin.  Not the case here.  This was good, and I would drink it again.  The Fegley's I am confused by.  I forgot to write down Perch Pub's description of it.  I just remember it being 9.0% abv.  I don't see a description of Fegley's website either.  It was a little harsh and aggressive - you could taste the alcohol, but it did have an interesting citrus, slightly tart grapefruity taste to it.  But I am seeing some sites say it is a witbier, but I am not sure.  Feel free to comment on this post and enlighten me.  It was good, especially at half price, but not something I would return to.  Because of its grapefruity taste and aggressive hopping, I think I assumed it was a 2X IPA, but I really don't know.  Maybe I will have to get back to the Perch Pub to investigate further.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Great American Beer Fest

Check out the GABF winners here!!

Sadly, we couldn't make it out to the GABF in Denver, CO this year.  Many of our friends went, of course, and  we look forward to hearing from the folks who enjoyed the events as well as the brewers who can bring home some bragging rights!  Please comment if you have any thoughts about the winners, or if you've tasted any of the beers that captured some hardware.  In fact, if you would like to send over some reviews, we would love to post them here for all the Nation to see.  Get in touch.  Cheers!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chick Beer Pt 3: Editorial

Okay, so let's start at the conclusion:  Good for you, makin' money, but did you really have to play that card?

Now back to your regularly scheduled editorial:  

My very very first reaction to the packaging of Chick Beer was something like this:

My first reaction to Chick Beer after reading their basic philosophy (PLEASE check it out for yourself at: www.chickbeer.com) was, "Geez, what do chicks think about this?"  I have several female friends who are serious #craftbeer enthusiasts and I was wondering if they would be excited to try this beer or if they would be put off by the marketing.  Aside from the decidedly feminine packaging, the beer is quite proud of its low carb/calorie content.  I like a good session beer, but is that really the reason that women should buy it?  So in Pt 1: Chick Beer Facebook reactions. and Pt 2: Chick Beer Twitter reactions of this series, the good citizens of the Ferment Nation reacted on the aforementioned social media, respectively.  The reactions varied, but were generally negative.

The more I thought about it, the more mixed my reactions became.  I checked a seriously competent source called Women Enjoying Beer.  Women Enjoying Beer is an awesome organization that specializes in marketing craft beer to women.  I get the impression that Ginger Johnson, the driving force behind WEB, believes that the product itself shouldn't be "feminine" or "ladylike" in nature.  Rather, brewers can reach the female consumer by utilizing WEB's mission: to "grow and authentically develop the female craft beer enthusiast."  Gee, that makes perfect sense.  

Referring specifically to Chick's new offering and a conversation with Chick Beer founder Shazz Lewis,  Ginger had this to say:

Regardless of what she asked of me and I shared with her from these smart and engaged, brand savvy women, she chose to go forward with her dream. Power to her. No power to the idea. Because whether Shazz likes it or not, the beer isn’t about her and what she thinks; it’s about what the market wants and will positively respond to. Right now, it’s mostly negative and for good reason.

Since a product is neither masculine nor feminine by nature, the marketing of that product should be pretty specific with regards to its audience if it is going to be effective.  Let's look at another quote from Ginger:

There is no such thing as a women’s beer. Everyone wants the opportunity for flavor, whatever form that may be, and everyone wants to be treated and invited to the product with respect and in a genuine manner. And for the record, not all craft brewers get that either.

While marketing is not my specialty, it is Ginger's specialty.  Even if you stop reading the rest of this post, you need to get the full story from the Women Enjoying Beer website:

As a dude, I think it's kind of gutsy to go forward with a frilly-packaged brew called Chick.  As a craft beer drinker, my feelings are kind of hurt.  I have a guy friend who simply doesn't understand my fascination with "fancy beer."  He's tried some of my recommendations and just thinks they're too strong.  Well, at least he tried. But would he fall victim to to a marketing ploy and pack his cooler full of Fancy Beer or Meathead (love ya, Mitch!)?

Some reactions to the marketing strategy of Chick Beer are even more visceral.  Here is a Twitter conversation between two followers (@FermentNation, in case you need to get on board):

@LoneTreeBeer David Shire
@TheArtofBeer @FermentNation - re Chick Beer - looks disgusting, the idea is revolting and the name is demeaning. Hope it fails big time!!

Sound a bit harsh? 

@TheArtofBeer TMS
Bad Boy @LoneTreeBeer --- @FermentNation was asking for constructive input - we don't want to slam people for exploring new concepts

@LoneTreeBeer David Shire
@TheArtofBeer @FermentNation yes we do! The idea of sexually determined beer is disgusting! What happened to that Gay beer from Mexico?

Wait, I can't resist:
Okay, so anyway... going back to the notion that a beer is neither masculine nor feminine in nature (nor does it indicate a sexual preference).  Why is it that women should be really excited to have a "special" beer made with light flavor, low carbs, low calories, low alcohol...?  Is that really what chicks like?  Or is it what they should like?  

Back in the mid-90s, before the explosive #craftbeer boom (okay, the revolution started way earlier, but very few serious micro and craft beers were readily available outside their own neighborhoods until many of them popped up in the mid-late 90s; I know because I was 21 in 1995 and scouring bars for a damn Stella...) I went to college at the University of Notre Dame and participated in many parties that were attended by men and women alike.  Slightly more formal dances brought about more formal drinking circumstances.  The dudes typically drank beer, and lots of fruity mixed drinks (yes, Boone's Farm made some appearances) were prepared for the "chicks."  Though the women I usually cavorted with drank beer, just like the guys.  They weren't trying to be dudes, they just enjoyed beer.  And by the way, most of the respondents to our Facebook question are those very same women, and still friends of mine.  They have good taste in beer and aren't afraid to sound off about it.  Keep in mind that college days were a bit lean and generally craft beer-free, so we mostly drank Busch Light.  But hey, ya gotta start somewhere.
As we've seen from my personal friends in Part 1 of our series, the reaction to Chick Beer has been pretty fair and honest.  The name is a little insulting to some readers because they love beers with flavor.  So why would a "chick" beer be super light in body, alcohol, and carbs?  Is that what women should prefer or what they probably prefer?  On the other hand, my friends might try it on a hot day... after all, it may be okay.  Light lagers and session beers can be darn refreshing and are sometimes exactly what a beer drinker is looking for.  Samuel Adams makes a light beer, and so does Beck's.  How about Dogfish Head's Lawnmower Light or Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale?  Stone Levitation, anyone?  So why is a light beer like Chick causing negative reactions among some female readers?  It isn't the beer... it appears to be the marketing. 

It seems that the creators of Chick Beer have openly acknowledged that pretty much all #beer has been shamelessly marketed to men.  I suppose I would agree that most mass market beer has been marketed to men, what with auto racing, professional football (and most pro sports, for that matter) leading the way.  We all know that sex sells, so scantily-clad women have been employed since time in memorial to sell more than just brewskis. 

Meanwhile, Miller Lite's "Man Up" campaign doesn't do much for image of the forward-thinking,, classy #craftbeer drinkers that we (and by that, I mean YOU, the readers of beer blogs) believe ourselves to have.  

And while we're at it, what goes better with slugging down a few cold ones than racing an automobile at hundreds of miles an hour along a dirt track against other people trying to cut you off so they can get to the other... um... so they can get to the... um...checkered flag first? 

So if we can agree by way of these few examples that those massive breweries with massive advertising budgets have been marketing more towards "dudes" shouldn't we welcome with open arms a product marketed specifically to "chicks?"  Well, maybe and maybe not.  Personally, I think that Chick Beer may be a lost opportunity.  It doesn't seem to be getting good reaction from our readers.  In the interest of fairness, I promise to try Chick Beer if and when I find some in our area (Philly/South Jersey, that is).  I also promise to review it fairly with regards to its qualities as a brew.  I do think that it's kind of a gimmicky attempt to capture female #craftbeer enthusiasts.  In fact, I think that true lovers of #craftbeer will pass it over because of its packaging and marketing strategy.  

But is there a certain courage involved in taking control of the "chick" moniker?  I think there is.  Here is the story from www.chickbeer.com:

The idea for the name literally came to us in a dream, but in retrospect is obvious.  For years, men have dismissed lighter beers as chick beers, something “not on par with what real men drink”.  Our take on this: “Since when is Chick a bad thing?”

So we decided to turn the pejorative Chick upside down, and to use the word as a statement on the strength and power of women.  We also decided that this Chick would be anything but subtle: Bright pink packaging with a purse; LBD on the label; and an over-the-top feminine font; just to be absolutely certain that no one could mistake it for dude beer.

Chick Beer.  Not every woman likes the idea, and some men seem to be threatened by it.  But that’s always been the story with uppity Chicks, hasn’t it?

So taking possession of the term "chick" and applying it to Chick Beer could have a positive effect in the end.  It has long been an empowering phenomenon in the world of the African American community to reclaim certain racial slurs and throw them around a bit in order to take some of the sting out of them.  Comedians like Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, and more recently Chris Rock have done it for years. 

The rap and hip-hop communities have been especially liberal with certain terms that had historically been used as the nastiest of insults.  And let's be honest: when Chuck D says the "n-word," just about every white person within the sound of his voice looks over his shoulder to see what the hell just happened.  Of course, Public Enemy was neither the first nor the last artist to "take the power back" but they are probably my favorite.  And since this is my article, here's a picture of P.E.
Taking ownership of some pejorative terms and wearing them as a badge of honor doesn't stop at the Terrordome.  The homosexual  community, too, has taken control of a damaging epithet and worn it with pride.  Here in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area, there is a radio program that illustrates the point:
Q'zinecelebrates queer arts and culture with a mix of interviews, commentary and music from out artists worldwide.

Bringing the discussion back to beer: What about our very own #craftbeer community?   Has anyone heard of @thebeerchicks, @The_Beer_Bitch, @tattooedbeergal, @brewbabes, @CTGirlsPintOut, @QuenchWench, @TheBeerWench, @beerchick, @beerbabe, @HopSlut (... wait, that's a dude), @seattlebeergirl, @beerlass...? 

Names like gal, babe, wench, bitch, girl, lass, and chick are not exactly the most flattering if a guy were talking about a woman, especially one he doesn't know.  But these women boldly take on the names and their typically pejorative usage.  They become less offensive when you take the punch out of them, don't they?

So how can we wrap this up?  Well, I guess we have come back to the beginning.  My bottom line opinion, if you could see my actions right now, is a shrugging of the shoulders.  I won't be buying Chick Beer because of its low carbohydrate content.  Frankly, I don't give a flying ding dong how many carbs are in my beer;  I want it to taste amazing.  Honestly, though, I'm curious.  Is this a full-flavored session beer that refreshes the parched traveler?  Or is it total crap?  I said I'll try it, and I will.  But it's more of a gimmick than anything.  If you can commandeer the term "chick" and use it to make a buck, then more power to you, but is that really the best you could come up with?  I think there ought to be an organized plan, however, for meeting an immediate demand for people who are dying to try it.  Then, phase two of the plan may very well be finding a way to get rid of all that Chick Beer that was brewed in anticipation of continued demand that may never materialize.  

I honestly wish Shazz the best of luck with Chick Beer.  Everyone should be able to make a dolla' and a cent in this bidness, so go boldly forth.  I hope that you, dear citizens, have found this post to be enjoyable.  Please weigh in with your thoughts: president@fermentnation.com.  Cheers!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bar Harbor Thunder Hole Ale

Thunder Hole is a landmark of distinction in Acadia National Park in Maine. The natural rock formation provides a cavern that waves crash into with such force that the result is a thunderous boom audible for quite a ways.  Maine weather can get rough (my friends and I have camped in ME several times, so we've had a taste) and the surf can get angry. So let's take this Thunder Hole Ale seriously, huh?
Unbelievably smooth brown ale with a little hoppiness up front, followed by a caramel and brown sugar earthy sweetness. The mouthfeel is a little bit astringent, with a coppery undertone that provides a mineral finish to the sip.

It's funny, but after hearing the description of Lazy Magnolia's brown ale as told at #Savor, the differences in brown ales have become much more distinguishable to me. The water that is used to brew an individual ale is paramount in deciding the brew's finish. Softer water (like they have down South) results in a mellower finale, while harder water brings about that mineralistic finish that you might be familiar with if you've enjoyed a Newcastle recently.

That being said, Bar Harbor Thunder Hole Ale is bigger and more full-bodied than Newcastle. It is overall a hearty ale with a roundness that makes it stand out from the crowd. If you see this beer anywhere, I would recommend you buy it.  It's worth buying, even if it's only available in a larger format.  You won't have any trouble handling a bomber by yourself.  I'm not sure what the abv% is, but my guess is that it's around 6% or so.  Big enough to provide richness and flavor, but not so big as to prevent a happy session of drinking.  Cheers!

Photo by Greg Hartford of AcadiaMagic.com
You can find out more about Thunder Hole and Acadia National Park at www.AcaciaMagic.com.  I highly recommend visiting Acadia... Plan your trip by visiting AcadiaMagic first!