Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy f'n New Year.

Another year is in the books. Its the great time of year where you are allowed to make an ass of yourself and cover up with " Happy New Year". You can literally tip over your barstool, spilling a crowd's drinks and get away with it because you have a funny hat and noisemaker. December 31st is the only night where it is okay to make bold promises and not follow through with them. Where it's okay to kiss a perfect stranger and then walk away. It is glorious. All of these things are great, but normally occur because everyone else does it. So I implore you all to try something new this year and it could start with your drink of choice to begin this assuredly disastrous new year.

Maybe it's a sign of my old age and lack of a outgoing personality, but this year I plan to fight any crowd and stay home with my date, Sweet Rose. This fine sparkler from Korbel is affordable at $9-12/btl and is a twist on your typical champagne/sparkling wine toast. Or in my case, a drink straight out of the bottle. I will update with my tasting notes in a few days.

Readers....Any drink plans for this fine holiday? Any silly resolutions?

Cheers! oh and happy new year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

In search of a winter warmer?

I like to drink beer in every season, but there is something to be said about a nice heavy beer to match the season of winter in Wisconsin. For those unaware of the frigid winter in Wisconsin. Below zero temps, snow, ice, shoveling, scraping your windshield, etc. You can complain all you want about the cold weather, shitty roads, and black ice. Trust me, some people do complain all winter long, and for those people who don't deserve Wisconsin, I hear that Phoenix, AZ is open and you can go live there all year long.
For the rest of us, we can persevere by finding that perfect winter beer. Please join me in drinking the best of winter seasonal beers that are out there. My previous favorites have been the Winter Welcome from Samuel Smith and Delirium Noel. In the cold weather I like a strong beer with higher alcohol content to create that warming sensation in your chest and throat, might sound wierd but its there.

My journey tonight starts with the Sprecher Winter Brew on a chilly night where the temp outside is O degrees. A seasonal, full bodied dark beer has caramel and chocolate aromas, and tastes pretty sweet with a clean finish. This lager is heavy, but not by any means the perfect winter warmer. Sprecher makes some good beer and the winter brew is average at best. I was hoping this beer would be a heavier version of the Black Bavarian, but its still worth a try.
It hails at 5.75%alc/vol and is available in 16oz bottles.

Suggestions please? You suggest a winter beer and I will drink it and review...happily! Cheers!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Your liquor store shelf just called, they still have Beaujolais Nouveau!!

With the 3rd Thursday of November in our distant past, we should still enjoy the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2008. For most Americans this is the Thanksgiving, turkey wine. A fruity and light red wine that pairs incredibly well with a juicy turkey and leftovers for later in the evening when you were already stuffed, but moved around a bit and made some room. This year seemed to have more cranberry notes than in years past and the result was delicious. A bit of lingering dryness is pleasant almost like a glass of fresh cranberry juice. I would suggest it for any Christmas party or ham dinner. By this time of year some stores will even reduce the price to ensure that the nouveau(new wine) sells through in entirety.
This year's crop was apparently down and the price went up a bit, but for $12-15/btl this is one way to say happy holidays and cheers! Wollershiem winery of Wisconsin also released their Ruby Nouveau this year and some stores might have the great substitute at $8-10/btl. Plus its nice to support Wisc wine in this dreadful economy.

With all that said, What are you all drinking for the holiday's this year?? Any good x-mas beer or wine suggestions? Drink recipes?

Bah Humbug!

It's the holiday season. Happy Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever you choose to celebrate. Hopefully you are all done standing in line at fricken Best Buy or Toys R US for this year at least. My sincere wish for Christmas is that somehow, someway this blog can actually become a productive part of our lives and grow daily/weekly. Please join me in a corny, group new years resolution to drink something new at every opportunity and strive to be open minded and passionate. But, mostly to just post and comment on this blog. As of January 1st, We Drink More! will officially become a community and we are calling all drinkers, writers, and opinionated, sarcastic people to join us as authors.

e-mail colemanz@students.westerntc.edu or comment on this post for consideration to join as an author. Once accepted, post whenever and about whatever that gets you going, but be nice and accepting of other people at all times!

Check out my idea of a christmas tree from youtube.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bastard is a funny word!


Sorry I have basically fallen off the face of the earth this last month. I recently moved to Madison, WI and now I am able to find more of my favorite beers in every liquor store. I figured that with my behavior of ignoring our readers and our passion that it would be best to review a beer that sums me up in a few words; the Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing in California. Stone Brewing is known for making strong beers with attitude that are bold and creative!

I was working in a liquor department on the west side of Madison earlier this week and two older women approached me. They were looking for a certain beer for one of their sons, but were quite hesitant to say the title but said the bottle had a gargoyle on it. After I said arrogant bastard, one of the women proclaimed " yup, that's him!". I assume she was talking about her son, but she was also searching out an incredible beer. The description on the bottle says it all....
"This is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory-maybe something with a multi0million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you its made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this."

The description may sound like I am a beer snob, but we all know that's a lie. This full bodied American Strong Ale is dark brown, floral, very hoppy and smooth for being 7.2%alc/vol. It smells like fresh hops and pine, but is so easy to drink that it is hard to be humble. This beer carries a similar taste and color to Pearl Street's Dankenstein IPA. A few years ago when Dan from Beaver Liquors first introduced me to this beer I wasn't even worthy to hold it in my hands. They also make an Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard which is definitely worth the money. 22oz retails $3-5

Readers, lets all turn over a new leaf now that it's fall. Please comment your thoughts on this beer or other beers that are similar.

Please drink up and tell us about it!!!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's a Yellow Tail?

We all know that I like a good value and enjoy a wine that is rich in taste, history, and overall fun! I would rather support a local or boutique winery/brewery than buy some corporate brand that mass distributes their products. For this reason, brands like Yellow Tail, Kendall Jackson, Beringer, and Miller are not my typical purchase. I feel like I just pay for advertising and big CEO paychecks. After reading a bit about Yellow Tail's history I might actually become a customer again for a few reasons.

Yellow Tail has always seemed to be a value wine that is kind of the "popular" thing to drink. People see plenty of advertisements and are drawn into this rapid movement of sales and increased distribution from this South Eastern Australian winery. This sixth generation family owned company has deep roots in Italy and delivers quality wines at a low price, even if you pay a bit more per bottle to see a kangaroo on the magazine pages. I have tried basically every varietal they sell, but I enjoy the Pinot Noir the most.

This pinot smells like blackberry brandy served in an oak glass. It has a soft taste of dark cherries and smoke. The aftertaste is like a vanilla flavored cigar that lingers for minutes. It is a bit dry and earthy, but I like that in a pinot noir. I personally tried it with slices of marble jack cheese and venison bacon. The bacon was a bit heavy and greasy for this wine, but what can I say I am poor. I envision this wine going best with a pasta that has a meaty-mushroom sauce.

We have now talked about two great values for Pinot Noir and nobody has yet to argue a better value. While a ten spot in your pocket can buy you Mark West, in most places you could score the Yellow Tail for $6-8.

Please remove yourself off a high horse if you are a wine snob, because I dare you to try this wine and tell me your thoughts!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

If you don't drink Pearl Street Beer ...... then F*** you!

While the title isn't their real slogan, it should be. Pearl Street is awesome beer made by awesome people. Every employee is passionate about their beer and I believe this title could be an unsaid explanation for how strongly they feel. This means that every beer is an easy drinking, full flavored beer of consistent quality and uniqueness. If I was sitting in a bar staring at all their beer on the tap lines, it would be really difficult to choose which beer to drink first. The Rolled Oat Stout is milky sweet and somewhat light in taste. Unlike some stouts where your stomach is full immediately after drinking it, this organic stout can be enjoyed all night long and in most climates. I also really enjoy the El Hefe in taps and bottles, while Downtown Brown. D.T.B is basically their flagship beer and can be found in many restaurants and stores.

This weekend I was lucky enough to go to the brewery(directions) and visit for the first time. So being a Pearl Street Virgin I couldn't wait to drink every beer and soak up the atmosphere. Walking into the brewery is like walking into a hardwood cottage, beautiful yet inviting. A dog is running around, great music playing, customers laughing, and tasty mustard pretzels are on the bar. The tasting room is set up like a wide open bar with lots of seating and reasonable prices ($2-3 pint), how cool is that! I was greeted with a Dankenstein IPA which recently won "Most over the Top Beer" at the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, WI. This imperial IPA is hazy dark brown in color and carries an amazing aroma. It has a very floral, hoppy smell and for an Imperial (9.5% alc/vol) IPA it is very well balanced. It's delicious lingering finish brings all of my taste buds to life in a way that I feel them all screaming "Thank You". Some big, full-bodied IPA's may have great flavor but absolutely ruin your palate for the evening (think Ruination IPA by Stone). The Dank is measured at 104 IBU's which is technically over the limit...but not under arrest. Whats an IBU?? For how bitter this beer is supposed to be, its so smooth and tasty. There's a slight alcohol burn, but actually pleasant.

The Dankenstein is currently out at the brewery, but I hope Joe (Brewmaster) decides to brew another batch in the near future. For anyone interested in this beer, Nicky B. and Allie saved me the last Dankenstein Growler and sorry to sound like a 3rd grader, but you can't have none.

Speaking of growlers, which are half-gallon btls, how many breweries do you know that reward you for drinking their beer and recycling? Purchase a growler and receive a free refill for every 10 6pk holders that you return in good condition. That's just one small reason to visit Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse and the tasting room is open Tues-Fri 4-7Pm and Sat 12-5PM. The tasting room is right in the brewery and is a smoke free, clean environment. Great music, cool people, and enthusiastic yet knowledgeable bartenders. This is the perfect atmosphere for tasting beer and enjoying a great afternoon or evening with friends!

I'm curious for any reader's thought about Pearl Street's Beer and tasting room! Were you lucky enough to taste the Dankenstein?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mexico= Cerveza, Runs, overall great time!

Taking a trip to a remote part of Mexico anytime soon? Please remember my three incredibly useful travel tips:

1. If a Mexican woman offers to cook you food....try everything. It's a sign of respect and tastes awesome.

2. Always stash Toilet Paper because you will need it and can't bank on any place having it for sure. Consider only drinking beer and bottled water.

3. Don't you dare purchase a Corona or Modelo...if you think that is Mexico's best beer, you suck. Try a Victoria!!

I just returned from a trip to Malagana, Mexico to visit family. When I said a remote part of Mexico, think ten hours past the border with dirt roads, small family owned businesses and farms, chickens and dogs essentially run wild. I stayed on a ranch with mostly family who all only spoke Spanish. My weak language skills didn't help, but I was able to find common ground through saying Salud ( "Saa-lude" which means Cheers) and drinking beer. I drank Cerveza Preparadas and Micheladas. A Preparada was a canned beer, luckily Pacifico, with lots of tomato juice, hot sauce and shrimp with a slice of lime. It was actually pretty tasty but so hot I had to chase it with a Sol Con Limon which is similar to a Miller Chill but a lot more bitter and salty. A Michelada is like a poor mans bloody mary but seems to be too much tomato juice, like how a Bud Light Clamato tastes. Another Grupo Modelo beer I tasted is the American lager-ish Estrella which is light and refreshing but pretty bland and finishes kinda tasting like dirty socks.

Great...so now I have quoted beers that taste like Budweiser and Miller products. Please, please keep reading! Because of my willing tour guides ( brothers-in-law) I was able to discover Mexico's Oldest Beer. Victoria has been brewed for over 140 years and to this day is only sold in Mexico. It pours an amber head with caramel sweetness and is overall really refreshing. It has great flavor and a crisp, clean finish. One of the darkest Mexican beers I have had but is so smooth and reasonably priced. We drank from Cawhlomas(40 oz bottles) for 20 pesos, which is only about US$2 and $5/6pk. It was a crowd favorite and more popular with the locals than any Corona, Modelo, or Sol. I wanted to sneak a few cases of Victoria back across the border but I am a pansy, and as you know the USA has some apparent beef with Mexico.

In my mind Victoria is like Fat Tire in Colorado and Yuengling in Pennsylvania. Great regional beers that are very popular, but not widely distributed. Enjoying a Fat Tire in Colorado is something that everyone should do at one point in their life (but be sure to enjoy New Belgium's other beer more).

Please do yourself a favor and enjoy a Victoria on your next Mexico trip! Also, tip number four, plan ahead and bring pepto bismol, I know it sounds bad but you will thank me.

Readers: What is your favorite Mexican Beer?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Random thoughts

Dear Readers,
You are the few and the proud ( but not like the marines). Thanks for keeping up with us. I am heading to Mexico this next week to visit family and possibly try a few cervesas/margaritas. My Spanish is rough, but I know how to order a beer and ask how to get to the bathroom so I should survive. If I call you it means I am trapped in a Mexican Jail and need your help so please answer!!! But seriously, when I return I'm planning a visit to Pearl Street Brewery in historic La Crosse, WI to taste some beers, receive the grand tour, and loiter. So check back soon! Please give your thoughts to Ben and as always....cheers!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Unbridled Passion: Wild Horse Cabernet

My boss Mark had bought blackberries from a farmers market yesterday and offered me a handful on his way out of the liquor store. I threw back the handful of blackberries and the delicious taste lingered in my mouth for the next ten minutes or so. The Wild Horse Cabernet Sauvignon had a similar effect on my taste buds and honestly tastes like the freshest blackberries with a slight hint of clove. It pours plum colored and full bodied in the glass which looks almost like a glass of grape juice...I guess that's what it is in the long run. When it hit my palate it was intense at first, but finished so soft and clean. This is definitely the best cab I have had from Paso Robles ( which means "pass of the oaks"-this cab is aged in French, American, and Hungarian barrels). Paso Robles is an appellation on California's Central Coast and is most popular for pinot noir. Wild Horse was actually one of the first wineries to make high quality wine in the area, but isn't the only company 25 years later. Estancia, J. Lohr, and Justin are other wine producers who have helped make the area famous with help from the soil, climate, and wide range of growing conditions that allow these wineries to basically produce any variety of wine. The Wild Horse website said the Cab could benefit from 10-15 years of cellaring. I must address this thought because I am not at a point in my life where I could resist drinking a bottle this good for ten years. It would sit in my cellar(assuming I had one) and literally call my name out every day/night until I finally caved and ended up drinking it straight out of the bottle. It was blackberry velvet in a glass and fully worth the price tag!

Any thoughts on this bottle or other Wild Horse wines??

Cabernet Sauvignon 91%, Malbec 6%, Blaufrankisch 2%, Syrah 1%
Alcohol: 13.9%
Case Production: 37,000
Release Date: January 2007
Suggested (CA) Retail: $20

*Big Red- thanks for this tasty treat!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pinot For The People!

I love Pinot Noir.
I favor it over other varieties due to it's consistent approachability. It's not because of the movie Sideways, either....just for the record.

I decided to write about Mark West Pinot Noir for a few reasons. First, I'm drinking it right now. Second, it's a staple in our store (festy). Third, I can't pick out a better bottle of Pinot for the price. We've sold this bottle for over 2 years now at $9.99, and not only has it been our best selling Pinot Noir, it's been one of our best selling bottles of wine.

If you check out the website, it really exemplifies the concept they're trying to convey in their wine: Pinot for the people.

This wine brings some serious fruit. The color is very light, and the nose has a soft raspberry component along with a slight toastiness. On the palate I experience a bit of cherry/raspberry, with a dash of cocoa, and a drop of toasty strawberry for the finish.

I'll give this wine two thumbs up completely based on value. To get this much fruit out of a pinot noir, normally you have to pay at least 15-17 dollars minimum.
Even if you don't like wine, or have never even tried it, this is a great bottle to start with.

Okay, I'm about finished now. What I want from you....is your feedback!
I know there are people who have visited this website and not posted anything. (That means you--Nate, Mark, and Chris!)

Until next time.......whether your glass is half full, or half empty, .......I just hope it's at least got something in it.



Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oktoberfest in August?

One of the hardest things about exploring wine and beer from other countries is the difficulty of actually reading the label. It can make people nervous and afraid to actually improve their palate and try new things. Even though I work in a liquor store I still have a few fears when trying new products. My co-worker Ben and I decided to have a little "Oktoberfest in August" tasting to actually sample some of the beer we have been curious about but nervous to try. Heres the lineup:
Kostritzer Schwarzbier
Erdinger Weissbier
Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel
Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel

My favorite of the night was Kostriker or Kostritzer Schwarzbier, a german style black lager (schwarzbier explanation). It had a roasty aroma and taste that was lighter for a dark beer and the cleanest finish ever. It really tastes like the last part of your Cocoa Krispies when the cereal is just soggy enough and the milk turns into chocolate milk. That full bodied delicious chocolately-ness is the best part of the whole bowl of cereal, and this might be the best black beer I have tried recently. I also like the Sprecher Black Bavarian and Sam Adams Black Lager, but the Kostriker is an inexpensive way to take a trip to Germany and enjoy every sip. This would be a perfect beer for someone easing their way into drinking darker beers.

Being a hefe-weizen fan I couldn't wait to try the Erdinger Weissbier(wheat beer). It is full bodied with an almost sweet aroma and taste. Great wheat beer finish with no maltiness. Still has the german beer smell and feel and isn't as fruity as most american style wheat beers. We also sampled the Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel which just means dark wheat beer. It seemed to have a heavy maltiness to it and tasted somewhat burnt. To me it had good qualities like the regular hefe, but as if the ingredients were left on the stove a bit too long. Kind of intense in a bad way.

Last, but certainly not least, we tasted a few brews from Weihenstephaner. It's the oldest known brewery in the world making beer since 1040. Honestly I didn't learn a whole lot of history in school and college, but take the virtual tour of this brewery and learn more about the origins of beer. It is a little long winded but pretty neat. I have tried a few of their beers and the Kristal Weissbier totally woke up my taste buds. Pours really bubbly and incredibly clear..clearer than any beer I have seen before. Almost looks and tastes like a glass of champagne or sparkling wine. The aftertaste of this heavy beer is sweet and semi-sour, but thirst quenching. Keep in mind that even though we are certified purveyors of the High Life, "eat your heart out Miller cause the Kristal Weissbier is the champagne of beers!-Ben" This beer could easily be the toast of your next beer tasting or new year's celebration! Weihenstephaner's dark wheat had great flavors of milk sugar and chocolate. This hefeweiss dunkel had much better taste than the Erdinger we tried earlier in the evening.

My conclusions from this tasting are simple. German's know their beer and people shouldn't be afraid by the labels. When you break down the labels and do some research it is much easier to feel comfortable in the import beer section. This Oktoberfest style beer tasting was an awesome idea, all we were missing were brats, music, these girls and enough beer to make us look like those guys...until next time, Cheers!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hail to the Cluny!

"I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly" ...Ron Burgundy

Scotch wasn't the easiest drink ever, but it has grown to be one of my favorite. I enjoy single malt scotch, and plenty of blended scotches too! Big shout out to Daniel at Beaver Liquors in Avon, CO for teaching me how pleasant scotch really can be, in addition to many other things! Of course I love single malt scotches, and the Balvenie 12 Year and Macallan 18 are my favorites. However, I am also broke on a regular basis and unable to afford higher end single malts. Cluny Scotch is darn inexpensive and with some rocks and a splash of water it is very tasty and smooth. It has a slight smokiness thats light on the band-aids and peat flavoring. Probably one of the best values I have had in a long time because it retails $7-8 per Ltr with a very solid taste.

Readers: Please let me know if there is a
better value for Scotch around!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wine Review: Francis Coppola Claret 2006

“Our prize offering... a new, ultra premium, Francis Ford Coppola Black Label Claret. This label honors the first California Cabernet blended in a Bordeaux style, done by Gustave Niebaum in 1910. This newly designed label and package are designated “1910 type” after one of the classic California blends of 1910. This is truly timeless quality in a classic blend style, available at a price my friends can afford!”
—Francis Ford Coppola
I might be too young to know much about Francis Ford Coppola and his movies, but I am just in time to enjoy his wine. Over 30 years ago he purchased acreage in Napa Valley from one of the original Inglenook wine producers. With an urging from Robert Mondavi he began to put actual effort into wine making and today is one of the top wine producers with grapes growing in Napa, Sonoma, and all over California. In fact, through some financial struggles it may have been his wine production that essentially bailed him out. There is more history to the story, check out this Square Meal interview for more cool facts about his films and wines.
I have tasted this Diamond Series wine previously, but I was more than happy to refresh my memory! Claret is historically a Bordeaux styled wine that features cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, petite verdot and cab franc. A California claret tends to be light and soft in comparison to Bordeaux's produced in France, and the Coppola Diamond series is awesome! It is soft and smooth with delicious blackberries and a velvety texture that would be pleasing before, during, or after a meal. There is a bit of dryness, but this blend really smooths out the cabernet sauvignon and the result is a delicious red table wine! A bit out of my price range at $14-20 a bottle...not very close to my normal $8 spending goal, but it is worth every penny. The best thing that I have found about Coppola wines is they are reasonably priced and consistent...consistently excellent! I have tasted most of Coppola's wines and really enjoy the Rosso, Malbec, and Zinfandel.

Readers (Drinkers): I haven't tasted many other claret's and would love to hear your opinion about this Coppola wine and other claret's that I should try! Cheers!

Red Blend
79% Cabernet Sauvignon,
9% Petit Verdot, 7% Merlot,
3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol 13.8%
Aged 12–14 months in French oak
Released January, 2008
p.s. thanks to Nate from Gen Bev for hooking us up with this wine!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Battle of the Wisconsin Farmhouse Ales

Not that I am looking for a replacement, but the old Huber Brewery (Minhas Craft Brewery) has used creative marketing and packaging in attempt to influence my most trusty brew. If anybody has spent time staring into their local beer cooler at a liquor store lately, you may have noticed a oddly shaped 6 pack...I mean 8 pack. The Lazy Mutt Ale is packaged in an 8 pack of bottles and carries a New Glarus cardboard like style. The bottle talks about how the Lazy Mutt is man's best friend, and until this tasting my best friend has always been a chubby, smelly Spotted Cow. I poured both beers side by side and both are a similar golden color with an average amount of head on the pour. The Cow is more cloudy while the Mutt appears light and transparent. Both of these beers are labeled "Farmhouse Ales" but they differ greatly in taste.
The Lazy Mutt has aluminum and skunky hints, yet it comes out of a brown bottle. Imagine standing in a barn full of hay and horses and that is my take on this beer. I would rather pour the Lazy Mutt in a doggie dish for a dog to drink, ha or one of my friends who has been "overserved" and will drink anything. I really wanted to like this beer and support the folks at Huber Brewery ( or whoever they are actually owned by now), but I must apologize because I am unable to. Of course I still finished the whole beer, but it's as if they pulled a lime/lemon out of a haystack and added it to a nice wheat beer that is combined with Blatz or some other swill. The initial taste is decent, but my mouth turns upside down quick and continues through a brief , almost sour finish. I always attempt to order a new style of beer or from a new brewing company, but Spotted Cow is my standby...the beer I can always trust and enjoy each savory drop. It's a medium bodied farmhouse ale with hints of corn and wheat that finishes smooth and delightful. The Lazy Mutt doesn't even come close to Spotted Cow, and due to laziness, probably never will. I encourage all readers to go out and buy both beers to taste next to each other, hopefully your liquor store has a "Pick your own 6 pack". You can call me an idiot; I doubt you will, but please let me know your thoughts and we can all enjoy having an open mind to sample something new! It's a quick way to throw back 2 beers, see you at the bottom!

Spotted Cow Retail: $6-8 per 6 pk bottles *Newly in $12-14 12 pk btls*
Lazy Mutt Retail: $7-8$ per 8pk btls

Rating from ratebeer.com:

Minhas Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale

<span class=Lazy Mutt "Farmhouse Ale"

* picture credits
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A Golden Ale/Blond Ale brewed by
Minhas Craft Brewery

Monroe, Wisconsin USA


on tap

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Ratings Average Score


Monday, July 28, 2008

Bar Review: Jennings & Co

It is hard to put together a more fun weekend then I had this last weekend in Central Wisconsin. I went home initially to visit some family and friends, but I was greeted with a great surprise. In my small hometown of Wisconsin Rapids, WI there is a new brew pub! Jennings & Co is located in downtown and offers a rustic feel and great selection of beers. They are in the process of expanding within the current location to offer food, gaming, and will soon be brewing their own beer ( I heard a rumor they might do a Scotch Ale...which I love). Their bartender provided me with expertise and superior customer service. The beer selection featured the best beers that Central Wisco has to offer, and I was extremely impressed with the selection from O'So Brewery of Plover, WI. This is a relatively new brewery, but they for sure know what to do! The Black Cocker Bock and Night Train Oatmeal Porter were definitely my faves, but their Hopdinger is a nice smooth, mellow pale ale. Oh yeah and the bottled beer was only 2 bucks which in my book is a steal. I also tried the Big O (their answer to Spotted Cow) and the Rusty Red which were okay, but nothing special. Go to their website to find locations, and beg your local liquor store to carry their beer when it becomes available. Jennings also had beer from Central Waters and Point Brewery which are both putting out some pretty excellent beer. If anybody knows Wisconsin Rapids it is a paper mill town that has been on the decline, but Jennings & Co may be the new shining point. I fully intend to go back and try their beer once they get up and brewing.

On a side note, to top off the whole weekend I was able to join a bunch of friends in Poynette, WI for a night where there was a party with a full bar. Of all the options I still chose to go with some Old Thompson Whiskey...because I am classy like that. The next day can be rough after the OT, but I still managed to catch some mini golf in the Wisconsin Dells which is always an excellent time! Until we drink again...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wine Library TV!!!

If you haven't heard of him, it's time to saddle up and get ready for the ride. Gary Vaynerchuk, host of Wine Library TV, has been busy charming, educating, and enthusiastically entertaining his blogger website audience for about 3 years now. Gary has over 500 episodes available on his website. He does about three to four shows a week on his website, and has gained national media attention while doing so. With appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show (twice), Late Night with Conan O'Brien (twice), CNBC's Mad Money, and ABC's Nightline, Gary Vaynerchuk is gaining the respect and admiration of thousands of Americans across the globe, all in a quest to achieve his goal.
His goal is admirably challenging. To change the wine world by teaching people to branch out and conquer the intimidation that is felt when the subject of wine is in the room. He believes in trusting your pallet, no matter what, and trying new things whenever an opportunity presents itself to do so.
You will love his witty sense of humor and his contagious zest for life.....and good wine too! With non-stop references and trademarks such as the "oak monster", "sniffy sniff" his archive of shows will keep you wanting to soak up more of what he has to say.

Check it out today! You can even podcast his show on iTunes!

For 1st time viewers, I recommend episode #148: How To Get Your Pallet Trained.

This is a CLASSIC episode that really captures the great lengths Gary will go to get the point across......his way.

Alright, this ends my 1st official post on WE DRINK MORE! Until next time.........

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beer Review: Bell's Oberon Ale

This is just a reminder that there is still a good chunk of summer left. We are approaching August 1st and this makes me upset for two reasons. It means I have to pay my fricken rent again and more importantly the Oberon Ale from Bell's Brewery will soon be leaving us for the year. Bell's is rapidly becoming one of the largest microbreweries in the country and they stand strong producing a creative personality and superior beers. Oberon is a cloudy wheat ale with hints of orange and wheat that finishes smooth. There really isn't much aroma, a slight citrus smell, but nothing very strong. This summer ale is meant to be enjoyed on the water or with sand between your toes and it is really refreshing. It really gives my standby (New Glarus-Spotted Cow) a run for its money. This is available Late-March through October in 6 pk bottles and 5-liter mini kegs. I highly suggest going the mini keg route. It is a challenge to drink in one night, but you'll enjoy every sip from a fresh Oberon on tap in your very own fridge! A big shout out to Nate from Gen Bev for turning me onto Oberon this last spring and encouraging me to review it. If you like Oberon give a few other Bell's products like their Porter or the Two Hearted Ale a try!
Retails $7-8 per 6pk bottles
$16-19 per 5 Ltr Keg
5.8% alc/vol

Readers: What is your favorite Summer Ale?? Please include links!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beer Review- Capital Brewery Bier Stube

Ladies and Gents:
There are new beers in the Capital Brewery 12 Pack ( Bier Stube) Sampler! I am a big fan of Capital beers, namely the Blonde Dopplebock and Autmnal Fire. I bought a Bier Stube that included three beers each of the Wisconsin Amber, Island Wheat, and two surprises. Surprisingly we are being rewarded with the Maibock which is typically only released from February until April. This Bock pours a nice golden/amber color and smells malty with bread, caramel, and cinnamon hints. The taste is relatively light with a smooth almost cinnamon tasting finish. Typically I don't enjoy cinnamon flavors or smells in beer, but this is so delicious and almost refreshing that I can't help but enjoy it. This beer reminds me of the spring when the seasons change from winter to spring in Wisconsin. The birds fly back from the south, outdoor beers and campfires begin to appear. The temperature still isn't quite warm enough to throw back 12 Miller Lites while wasting away outdoors playing lawn drinking games; so I long for a fuller bodied, winter spiced beer that is warming and relatively light. The Maibock isn't for 90 degree summer weather, but I am fully down to drink a few more while they last. I am guessing that Capital had some Maibock left over and rewarded the customers with this interesting release.
Retails $11-15 per 12 Pack Bottles
6.8 % alc/vol

The other nice surprise in this sampler is currently the strong English styled Vintage Ale. This beer is somewhat hard to understand and even enjoy during my first few tastes. At first it reminded me of a Leinie's Creamy Dark or the Yorkshire ale Old Peculiar, both of which I enjoy. On the nose it has caramel, vanilla, and bourbon hints and pours a cloudy orange/amber color. It tastes heavy with toffee and caramel flavors. The finish has a strong vanilla smoothness and a bourbon/alcohol lingering effect that is actually quite tasty. The strong ale was listed in two different places at 8 % and 9.5% alc/vol which could explain the alcohol burn and bourbon notes regardless of which percentage it actually carries. It is a limited release that was sold in four packs in limited areas. Similar to the Maibock, the Vintage Ale isn't really a summer beer, but a treat none the less!

Anybody try either of these beers yet? What are your thoughts??

**Check out this easy and awesome recipe from Capital's Website**

Beer Cheese Veggie Soup

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 bottle Capital Maibock
  • 2 C cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 C minced parsley
  • Salt and white pepper

Simmer onion, celery, and carrot in 2 cups stock until tender, about 20 minutes. In a large soup pot, melt butter and stir in flour. Gradually stir in remaining stock. Add milk, beer, and vegetables to stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Before serving, add cheese. Cook slowly, until melted. Stir in parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beer Review: Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

I like IPA's. At first it seemed like a mouthful of cut grass and citrus fruit.. but eventually I began to enjoy a great India Pale Ale for many different reasons. I enjoy a floral fuller bodied, hoppy, and bitter beer that finishes with citrus notes and lingers politely on the palate. My 3 favorite hoppy beers are:
1. Hazed & Infused- Boulder Beer Co.
2. Hopalicious- Ale Asylum
3. Two Hearted Ale-Bell's Brewing Co.
After drinking the Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA I fully understand why I love this style of beer so much and this particular IPA might become one of...if not my favorite. The aroma and taste are very hoppy, with citrus and light caramel notes. The 7.0 %Alc/vol is very evident in both the initial taste and finish. The bitterness of the aftertaste lasts for minutes! The Racer 5 is exactly what I desire from an IPA, but I wasn't very sure this would be the case. After researching a bit both online and talking to other beer drinkers I began to get the notion that Bear Republic beers are top notch, but somewhat underrated. It could be just in Wisconsin, but in the liquor store all the Racer 5 had been collecting dust and isn't a real strong seller. This IPA isn't for the faint of heart or a rolling rock drinker for example, but for anyone willing to let a beer totally take over their taste buds the Racer 5 IPA is the one!! Bear Republic's motto is "bigger is better" and they remain a dedicated, loyal family of brewers who want to provide consistent service and quality to their customers at their brewpub and nationwide. Their website features a great article on how to pair their beer with dessert. This would be an incredible way to sample some of their beers and expand your drinking horizons. After all, pairing food with beer is a great excuse for us all to drink more beer!! Any Hopheads out there?? What is your favorite pale beer??

Retails $3-5 per 22oz btl

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An India Pale Ale (IPA) brewed by
Bear Republic Brewing Company

Healdsburg, California USA


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