Tag Archives: koenig

New Glarus: You wish you lived in Wisconsin.

2 Jun

There are times that I don’t like living in Wisconsin. For instance, when you have nearly 6 months of below 20 degree weather and then go back to your hometown in the month of JUNE and it’s 50 degrees outside. Those times are not so cool.

But New Glarus is one of the great reasons to love Wisconsin. How many states have a well established brewery making astounding beer that caters only to residents and visitors of its own state? Possibly only one, I am not sure if there are others, so I cannot say with authority.

I’ve been drinking New Glarus only since I turned 21 back in 2006, but they’ve been brewing since 1993, and have just recently put out their 20th Anniversary American Strong Ale. This is a fun story (=

I’ve only recently begun to find out about the extreme limited editions that many breweries put out these days. Some of them garner thousands of fans lined up outside and the beer sells out literally in hours. I could go nuts over this, but there are still so many amazing beers for me to taste that I am able to temper my excitement and stay reasonably within my states restrictions. I would lvoe to find some Pliny the Elder or Dogfish Head 120 minutes, but hey, I have to remember what i have right here in good ‘Ole Wisconsin.

When I found out that New Glarus was putting out a limited release I knew I would have to have it. So today, on the weekend of my wife and my 5 year anniversary, we stopped at Ridgeview Liquor in Green Bay hoping to stumble upon some of this sought after beverage. As expected, they were sold out. Had been for ages in fact. I talked to the owner and he said that ******* might have some. Yeah, I’m not telling you where yet, because I may need to buy another one to store, and these are going fast. Message me if you really want to know! So Alicia and I journeyed to said purveyor of alcohol, and as soon as we walked in I spotted it in the first section from about 30 feet away. I ran up, grabbed a bottle and proceeded to do a funky little hop-jig-dance-like-thing in the middle of the aisle. My wife is used to this sort of embarrassment (=

Well, story time over, it’s time to talk about the beer. Oh yeah. First off, the label is great. It’s somewhat quaint, homey and spirited at the same time. I love the Carey’s ability to be a little quirky with some of their labels and just really do what they want, it’s a great thing.

This beer pours dark. In fact, I had a lighting area set-up, and the darkness of the beer actually caused me to have to reshoot (hence only one picture right now). I’ll get a few more up when I have the second bottle… not sure when that will be, it depends on whether or not I am able to procure another one to store for much later consumption. Anyway, it’s dark. It’s this beautiful rich dark amber color that has a murkiness to it. It also poured with a monster of a head. This amazing beast of a head. I actually attempted to float the bottle cap, but I flinched and it fell to the bottom of the glass. *awkward confession*. The head sticks around too, just looking at the lacing afterwards makes me almost giddy.

The aroma is wonderful as well. At first I didn’t even know what style this really was, as I’ve only had one strong ale before. Turns out it’s modeled after a Belgian Dubbel. I couldn’t quite identify a particular smell, but it turns out it’s plumb. You can tell too, but its’ not like a super fruitiness, just this delicate hint, and it really stands out. It also gives off a slightly stouty smell, more malty than hoppy, and definitely gives a sense of the reason it’s called a Strong ale. I should clarify here, that I haven’t had many of this style before, so if I do miss some things I apologize. I’m still rather an infant in the scheme of beer tasting (=

Upon first taste, I honestly was amazed. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it exceeded whatever expectations I may or may not have realized I had. It is a very “alive, robust and complex” beer, just like the bottle says. It’s powerful, almost like this slightly nutty, slightly fruity wave of beer strength that just carries you off into the ocean. Like I mentioned, the plumb taste is present but not with an overbearing fruitiness, but a perfect hint of sweet amidst a sea of power.

The mouthfeel is glorious, a caramel smoothness that massages the taste buds and soothes the soul. Just looking at the monster head (whenever I get photos up) gives you a sense of the thick smoothness that is present within.

I’ve had most of New Glarus’ selection, including some they don’t even make anymore, and this one is like nothing I’ve had from them. It’s on par with the Raspberry Tart for sure. It’s filled with wonderful complex flavors and is truly something to behold.  If I could buy up cases of this to share with everyone, I would. If you find it near you, DO NOT HESITATE, there is no decision to make here, just buy it. Buy three, or for, or seventeen. Drink a couple and save a couple. I plan to drink my second and go back for one or two more to store for a couple years and see what happens.

*Photo Edit* I managed to find a couple from the shoot that were usable, so I can save my 2nd bottle for a while (=





North Coast Brewing Co: Old Rasputin Imperial Stout

16 Sep

Well it’s that time again, time for a beer review! Man, did I pick a good one this time. I went to Ridgeview Liquor in Green Bay after work last week in search of a good stout to celebrate fall and I found a great one. North Coast Brewing CO.’s Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. This is one hell of a damn fine beer.

First off, the labeling is nothing short of awesome. It’s almost as if it’s saying “No beard, no beer”. Perfect.

It pours dark. As dark as it gets. There’s no seeing through this glass, no, it looks through you, asking if you’re ready. The head looks like a perfect creme on a shot of espresso, on top of that beautiful black liquid. As soon as that glass is full you know you’re in for a treat.

The aroma is not overpowering, but sure is inviting. You get a deep hint of roasted coffee and chocolate, just welcoming you. You can almost smell the 9% alcohol content. Even a little bit of molasses is present.

As far as mouthfeel goes, this is a pure stout. This beer is creamy, caramely, and just plain wonderful. Old Rasputin thickly pours into your mouth and rolls like an ocean of molasses, coating the entirety of your taste buds with a subtle power, and you instantly know how you’re gonna feel after drinking this.

The taste? Ohh the taste. This is the first Imperial Stout I have had, and all I can say is, wow.  You can taste stout. Stout flavor. Chocolate molasses and coffee, and the 9% alcohol isn’t overbearing, but you can taste the alcohol. It starts to pack a punch from the first delicious sip. Hops are noticeable, but this is a malty beer, full of caremelasses. It’s wonderfully bitter, a little bit of hops creeping in, but mostly losing the battle to the wonderful dark bread malt flavors.

All in all, this beer is awesome. I say with confidence that if you like stouts, you’re gonna love this beer. Go find it now!





Beer Review: New Belgium Ranger IPA

8 Aug

Ranger is probably an overdue beer for me to review, so here it is! New Belgium is one of the best selling craft breweries in the country, and I think they’ve earned it. I am really excited for the day when I get to head out to the beauty of Colorado, and take the tour. It goes without saying, that if your logo is a bicycle, you’ve already won my heart (=

For starters, I love the label of Ranger, it’s very simple. Green is also my favorite color so I’m a little biased, but hey. I also love seeing the fat tire bike anywhere and everywhere.

Ranger pours a very clear golden with nice visible carbonation. When I say clear, I mean it, this beer has no haze, it’s a color that feels crisp. I find that a lot of beers tend to be stronger than they smell, but Ranger is a bit of the opposite. The smell is good, but it doesn’t slam you with hops right away, it’s a bit of a more gentle introduction. You can smell hops for sure, with the light earthy and citrus aromas, but you don’t get a total hopslam. I get a little caramel as well.

The taste of this beer is great. It has a great flavor, hoppy with a bit of caramel, and not a ton of bitterness. It brings the hops, but not overpowering, it’s pretty pleasant. The mouthfeel is good as well, somewhat gentle, it seems to roll around in the mouth as if the feel is mimicking it’s crips golden color. I think the aftertaste could be a bit more bitter, but it fits with the rest of the beer very well.

All in all, Ranger is a great IPA. It’s not my favorite, and it’s not intense, but it’s very pleasant. I think it would be a good option for those who aren’t looking to get hop-slammed. It’s a great all-around beer though, really satisfying. Go buy some and drink it. For real.

New Glarus: Moon Man

31 Jul

Moon Man is one of my favorite beers from New Glarus. I’m really starting to love the APA (american pale ale) style of beer. I love my IPA’s and am pretty sure they’ll always be my favorite, but the sessionable nature of the APA is quite pleasant.

Moon Man pours a very clear golden. Light carbonation is visible with lots of good bubbles rising, and a fairly small crisp head. It smells great, in fact actually smells stronger than it actually tastes. It has a floral aroma, with maybe a bit of orange or maybe a tiny hint of grapefruit. The floral stands out to me the most. The taste is great, you taste the hops right away but they’re just present, not too powerful or very bitter. It has a good malty bitterness on the backend aftertaste. I could Taste the floral hops, little bit orangey. Moon Man is smooth, rolls right down the throat, very pleasant. It has good carbonation, and fills mouth well, bitterness comes out more if you let it sit a bit.

Overall this is a solid beer, very enjoyable. Good if you’re in the mood for an IPA type beer, but aren’t totally in the mood to get hammered with hops. A solid sessionable offering from New Glarus. I think the claim they make on their website is pretty acurate:

“You hold a session beer with a bright bold blend of five hops that flirt obligingly with the smooth malty backside. Don’t let this one lay around it is brewed to be enjoyed today. Bold and engaging without pretense, because in Wisconsin you do not have to be extreme to be real.
Just be”

150 Miles

10 Apr

Well, I’m going to get a bit personal on the bog today. You may or may not know, but my family has been struck by cancer a couple of times. More specifically my wife’s family. In 1999, Alicia’s cousin Dana passed from Leukemia in her lymph nodes. Alicia was really close to her, and it was quite a blow to her whole family. Alicia’s dad, my father-in-law Gary started a Relay-for-Life team in her honor “Dana’s Hikers for Hope”.

A couple of years ago, Gary was diagnosed with cancer. He had a rare form of carcinoid tumor affecting his colon. I don’t know all the details, but we ended up having a full year more with him than was expected, but he did pass this least year, not long before Christmas.

People react to cancer in different ways, forming relays, starting foundations. I have finally found a way to do some small part on my own. This summer I am partaking in the Scenic Shore 150 2012. It’s a 150 mile bike ride over the course of two days, starting in Mequon, WI and ending in Sturgeon Bay, WI. It’s put on by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I think it’s cool that I get to do something I love, and raise money to fight something horrible.

I have to register yet, but this is something I’m committing to, and I will have to raise at least $300 in order to participate. I’ll post updates of my training, and if anyone wishes to contribute let me know and I’ll get you the necessary information. Here’s to a whole lot of bike riding (=

Sierra Nevade Bigfoot 2012

16 Mar

Wow, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted. Life has been a little crazy, but then again when isn’t it? And it’s not like I’ve ever been great at consistently blogging. Well, I enjoy it anyway, so yeah.

And another wow. This beer, it’s one to remember. Sierra Nevada’s 2012 Bigfoot, their Barley wine. First of all, the design. Sierra Nevada is great, it has that classic look with the banner, and I love the feel. The sasquatch hiding in the woods is pretty epic if you ask me (= I love that there’s a beer named after Bigfoot.

It pours smooth, and should probably have a bigger head than you see in the picture, but I’m pouring from a bottle here, not a tap. In any case it’s a nice foamy head. The beer itself you can see is a reddish-brown, pretty clear, not hazy.

It smells hoppy and strong, and has a slightly sweet pine aroma. It smells great, and fills your nostrils, builds a great anticipation.

Upon first sip, it starts smooth and fills your mouth, and the bitterness pulls your pallet. I’m not even sure how to describe that, it’s like your taste buds are being pulled like puppet strains if that makes any sense. The beer takes over. The flavor stays, wonderfully hoppy, and almost IPA quality but with deep flavors, very complex, with a thick almost stouty texture.

Not only do I recommend this beer, I will be getting more, and trying it each year that Sierra Nevada puts it out. Amazing beer. Oh, and I felt pretty good after just one (=

Beer Review: Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale from Minhas Brewery

12 Aug

Well, it’s time for my second beer review!
This week, we have an interesting brew to say the least. It took me a bit to come to a conclusion with this one. I should say, my first taste came while on my friend’s sailboat on a gorgeous summer day, and these circumstances could make anything taste good. That being said, I have mixed feelings about Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale, produced by Minhas Brewery in Monroe, WI.

At first I thought this was my first farmhouse ale, but it turns out that New Glarus Spotted Cow (review coming) is also technically a farmhouse ale, that is basically a pale ale. I did inadvertently see some other reviews while trying to find more information about what exactly is in it, but i will try to stay unbiased and go by my own experience.

Lazy Mutt is an interesting beer. Upon my first sip, it feels citrusy and wheaty. I’m honestly not sure if there is wheat,  as I could not find a good description, but it definitely tastes as such. As for the somewhat sour citrus flavor, it’s not uninviting, but it really doesn’t seem to go anywhere. It’s not a bad flavor, but once the citrus wears off, there’s no aftertaste, no bitterness and no real complexity. I may have thought of hints of nuttiness, but I didn’t notice that in any but the first bottle (yeah I had a few today).  The beer is quite light and thin, body is pretty much nonexistent, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel like it needed more oomph, some other flavor, just to add to the experience.

One thing that really does stand out is the packaging. It kind of leads to a bit of a disappointment as the design is definitely better than the beer itself. I love the logo of the dog splayed out laying down, and the writings on the packaging are really quite clever and silly. The product just doesn’t quite add up to the packaged hype.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad beer in my opinion (other reviews will differ I’m sure you’ll notice), it’s good for what it is, that is a very light chill summer beer. It’s probably not a beer I will buy again or really recommend, but if you find yourself on a sailboat in 80 degree weather with a good headwind I’m just saying there are worse things you could be drinking (=