Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Leinkugel's Summer Sampler

is what my boy brought over today.  It has three bottles each of four Leinie's brews- Summer Shandy, Honey Weiss, Canoe Paddler, and Berry Weiss.  Of these, I did need the Berry and the Canoe paddler- which gives me 13 caps of ten different Leinkugel brews.

Canoe Paddler was our first try.  A Kolsch beer- from Cologne, Gremany, warm fermented and then lagered- it was light and nice.  Then we did the Honey Weiss- while we didn't taste the honey it still was pretty good.  A bit heavier than the CP, with a hint of bitter aftertaste.  Now, from here, I was thinking, this might get really gross, because flavored beer is not my m├ętier.

The Berry was next- and where the CP smelled like beer, and the HW didn't really have a smell, this stuff smelled like cough syrup to me.  Packed with loganberry, blackberry, and elderberry, it tasted to me just like the legendary MD 20/20, "mad dog" wine.  I really thought I wouldn't like it, but it wasn't bad.  KC actually liked it best.

Then came the one he was waiting on, the Summer Shandy.  A shandy is a beer mixed with a soft drink or juice, and this one has been heavily advertised around here, thus KC was anxious to try it.  First sniff had "lemon-fresh Joy" written all over it.  The taste though seemed about a 70-30 lemonade to beer mix.  It wasn't bad, though not what I'd mix with beer.  KC was not impressed, but Scrappy liked it.

Unfortunately, the lay-off has prevented me from getting a new binder, and Berry Weiss took the last spot in Book #4.  Canoe Paddler leads off book #5, which for now is a page from an old photo album without a home.

Okay, I've a Summer Shandy to finish off- eventually- so that's the story from the Summer Sampler taste test.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

And now, Stephen T. McCarthy

One of my most thoughtful and thought-provoking blog friends, he stars over at Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends  (No, this is not a Frank Burns tribute site), and along with something else I will mention after I have enjoyed it, he has sent me four new caps....

In apologia for taking the picture upside down, I'll start with the Odell on the upper right.  It comes from their IPA.  Odell is a craft brew founded in a converted 1915 grain elevator near Ft. Collins, CO.  Diagonal down from it, we have an entry from Deschutes Brewery from Bend, OR.  (The A's used to have a rookie-league team in Bend...)  Deschutes, as of 2010, is only behind Boston (Sam Adams), Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Spoetzel  on the most sales list.  The cap came from Mirror Pond Pale Ale, their "base camp" brew.

The other two ( and the font of a long comment discussion you can read here)  Belong to Lagunitas Brewery of a town of the same name in California.  The green fellow is their "Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale", a kind of a wheat beer/IPA combo- which, given my last experience with an IPA, might be the only way I could take one.  (Raised on lager, sorry!)  The other is their "Sucks", which was born as a substitute for their Brown Shugga ale when a bottleneck between desire and capacity forced them to forego the Brown Shugga one season.   The Brown Shugga was born of a similar story; apparently this brown sugar ale was itself a failed attempt at making their Olde GnarleyWine Ale that ended up good.

Again, I want to thank STM for the caps (and the other thing...), and also for sending the descriptions along so that I could tell you the story of each without spending two hours hunting them on the interwebs!  (Of course, thanks to a psychotic PlayMemories program, it took two hours to download the picture- and that's why you get the Odell upside down!)