Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hizzoner 2015 Release

Monday, April 27, 2015

Birthday Beer! (and a margarita)

Hey! Hey! It's my birthday! So, my sweet hubby took me out for dinner.

We went to Joey Cs Roadhouse BBQ & Tex Mex per my request. Joey C's has great barbecue, fresh margaritas, and a pretty good craft beer list.

It was happy hour so I started out with a house margarita. Of course I was sharing photos of the festivities on social media and the first comment I got was "OMG... you without a beer."

Not to disappoint my friends and fans, I ordered a beer.

Their beer list said they had a "Super limited edition Dogfish Head Burton Baton IPA on tap. Holy guacamole!! Sadly, the tap had run dry with not even a drop to spare. So sad.

Since I wanted a hoppy birthday, I went for the Sierra Nevada Hop HunterThat they had!  Woot!

It was served in a Magic Hat shaker pint. I can't fault them for their choice in glassware. The brew was tasty.

Hop Hunter (6.20% ABV) is American IPA.

It didn't have a huge aroma but the taste was crispy and piney.  Loads of yummy hop flavors without being brutally bitter.

Hop Hunter was delicious and refreshing.

It went pretty well with my mound of ribs, too!

Good stuff.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tour de Anniversaire 2015

Birthday cake courtesy of Willimantic Brewing Company

This is that very special time of year when I enlist hubby as my chauffeur so that he can haul my ass all over the state on a beerific drunken odyssey. Yep, it's birthday time. And I have the best husband ever.

We started my quest by checking out Stony Creek. I was really impressed with the new digs. The brew house is glistening and has plenty of room for expansion. The tasting room is bright and airy with a beautiful deck overlooking the creek.

The beer wasn't so bad either. In fact, I was quite impressed. I admit I was not a fan of any of the Stony Creek beer that was contract brewed at Hooker. But the new brewmaster has done a fine job creating some fine and tasty brews.

We enjoyed samplings of all the brews on tap. I liked all the brews but I especially like Cranky and Creeker. The black ale on nitro was wicked good!

I can't wait to go back!

Then it was off to say a fond fare-thee-well to Thimble Island's soon-to-be old location.

We sampled a few brews and went on our way.

I'm looking forward to visiting the new brewhouse.

Then we were off on a short run up the road for a first visit to Duvig. I've had Duvig beer several times over the past year at various brew festivals but this was my first visit to the brewery.

We got a flight and sampled each brew. I liked all of them. I'm not usually a fan of brown ales, but I was even impressed with this one. I especially liked the pale ale, it was really flippin' good.

And, finally, off to the ultimate destination - Willimantic Brewing Company - where we enjoyed a variety of wings, burgers, garlic fries, every dessert on the menu, and BEER!

There were too many beers on the menu to try them all, so I stuck with my beloved IPA's.

Willimantic Brewing Company is one of my happy places.  Good food and better beer.

Ah, good times.

St. John Brewers

While on vacation in the US Virgin Islands, I continued my ongoing quest for new-to-me brews. Most especially, local beers and local brewers.

The first beer I had when I got to St. Thomas was Island Summer Ale brewed by St. John Brewers.

I was curious as to how beer brewed on the islands would taste liken considering that fresh water is fairly scarce and the tap water had a distinctive brackish quality to it that, to my taste buds, is nearly unpalatable.

I was pleasantly surprised. It was pretty good beer, light and refreshing. Not the best beer ever but great to relax and cool off with while burying my toes in the sand and enjoying the amazing beauty of the islands.

On further inspection of the bottle, I noticed that the beer was actually brewed practically in my own back yard - Portland, Maine.

Interesting. It only took a quick Google search and a peek at the St. John Brewers website to determine that their beer is contract brewed at Shipyard Brewing.  I was a little disappointed to discover that since I'm generally not a fan of Shipyard.

St. Johns Brewers' standard offerings are pretty good but not outstanding. I especially liked Pale Tourist.  However, their VI Massive series is fabulous.

Since I was vacationing without my beloved spouse, who also happens to love beer, I brought a few bottles back for him.  That was a pretty pricey proposition since I now would have to check my bag at the airport and that's a hefty $25 surcharge.

It turns out that I can buy St. John brews in New Hampshire and Maine. New Hampshire is practically my home away from home! Oh well. At least I may get to try some of the brews that I didn't have when I was in St. Thomas and St, John.


Friday, April 17, 2015

VI Massive's at the Tap Room

I spent a wonderful week on vacation with my family in St. Thomas.

One of the best days of the vacation was the day trip to St. John. We got an early(ish) start and hopped the ferry to the island.

The views on St. John are amazing, the water is incredible, and the beaches are gorgeous.

It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.

We spent the day driving around teh island site seeing, snorkeling, and relaxing on the sand.

There may have been a beer (or three or . . . ) involved.

We finished up the day at the Tap Room at Cruz Bay.

I enjoyed a number of St. John Brewers beers and a fabulous burger.

I was totally dying of thirst so I quickly sucked back a Pale Tourist. Thirst quench, I looked at the menu and spied the VI Massives.

Holy Beeroli!

Of course, I had to try them both.

As fabtabulous as the Double IPA (8.8% ABV) was, the Coffee Stout (8.9% ABV) was even better. And this is from a girl who will pick an IPA over a stout any day of the week.

Both beers are well crafted and delicous. And, strong. Soooo, good.

There's no doubt, that the next time I visit St. John, the Tap Room is going to be a do-over destination.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Elephant Beer

I recently was vacationing in St. Thomas with family. On the day that I was forced to go to El Mercado at Charlotte Amalie for a day of shopping was undoubtedly the worst part for me. I friggin' hate shopping. Frankly, I'd rather chew glass.

So, what's a girl to do? Find a vendor selling beer, buy said beer, and drink said beer. Many, many said beers. Until the shopping is done.

That's what this girl does.

I'm not a beer snob. I'll drink just about anything. Let me amend that. I will try just about any beer. And any beer that I haven't already logged on Untappd draws me like a magnet.

I spied a beer that I'm sure I'd had before - many eons ago in my yout' - but for sure hadn't logged on Untappd. In fact, I didn't even know they still brewed this beer.

The beer? Elephant Beer (7.20% ABV) by Danish brewer Carlsberg. A Danish beer sold in St. Thomas may seem odd, but the island was a colony of Denmark from the mid 17th century until the early 20th century when it was purchased, along with St. John and St. Croix, by the United States.

Enough with the history lesson. I bought the beer because I'm a badge whore on Untappd. There! I said it.

Anyhoo, I drank the beer while suffering through watching my niece get her hair braided. The hairdo was cute in the end but the waiting was torture. Beer makes everything better.

Pale Tourist

When I was on vacation in St. Thomas, I spent a lot of time on the beach and in the water.

Basically, I spent a lot of time in the sun. That was a lot more sun than this fish belly white northern girl usually gets exposed to.

That's how I went from a pale tourist to a painfully pink tourist in a very short period of time.

So, when I spied a bottle of St. John Brewers Pale Tourist for sale in the market at Charlotte Amalie I had to laugh and get a bottle.

I liked Pale Tourist. It was pleasantly hoppy and super refreshing. Just the thing to cool off with after a day in the sun.

The sunburn? So worth it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I had my first Presidente beer while watching the sun rise from the balcony of a vacation condo in St. Thomas. Dawn was breaking, my brother-in-law handed me a beer. Who am I to argue?

So, I drank it.

It wasn't the last.

It became a personal sunrise tradition to watch the sun come up and suck down a Presidente. There are certainly worse things in life.

Presidente (5.00% ABV) is is an American Adjunct Lager brewed by Cervecería Nacional Dominicana  in the Dominican Republic.

It's an island beer, just not brewed on the island I was vacationing on. However, President is sold just about everywhere.

It's not super awesome but it is very light, refreshing, and drinkable. And cheap. Cheap is good when you're on vacation.  And, to be perfectly honest, it didn't suck.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Carib Lager

Most of my Caribbean vacation was about chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool. As much as I would have enjoyed spending all of my time being a total beach bum suckin' on rum, I mixed it up with a bit of adventure, shopping. and bird watching.

Carib Lager (5.20% ABV) seemed to be readily available almost anywhere I went. And on the islands beer and rum is available just about any place you go.

Admittedly, it's not the best beer in the world. Not even the best beer in the Carribean. But it's everywhere you want to be!

On the docks after a parasailing adventure.

In the mercado amongst the vendor's stalls.

Hangin' with the locals.

Even on the beach.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Island Hoppin' IPA

One of the great things that I enjoyed during my island vacation was being able to wake up to soft caressing breezes, a gorgeous view from my balcony, and occasionally starting my day with a cold bottle of beer. Okay, maybe it was more than just occasionally. Don't judge me, I was on vacation.

One of my go-to breakfast brews was Island Hoppin' IPA (6.20% ABV) by St. John Brewers. Why? Because IPA's are generally my go-to beers and they were stocked in the fridge.

Island Hoppin' is what I would consider a "gateway" IPA. It's a mildly hoppy, easy going, drinkable IPA. A good beer for someone new to the world of India pale ales.

I had more than a few of those puppies with my feet kicked up and just enjoying life. And, that's what it's all about.