Friday, June 28, 2013

Lagunitas Brewery, Lucky 13 Brunette

Its that time of year for Lagunitas Lucky 13 which is a seasonal brew for them. This is brewed in the style of, as they put it "An ultra-mega-mondo red ale first made in 2006 to celebrate 13 years of brewing ultra-hoppy-mega-malty-mondo ales. Now it’s 2013 and we’re 20 years in," Whoa! 

There are actually two different versions of this beer. They make a "blonde" version in which the girl on the label is blonde and it is a super hoppy double IPA with is labeled "alt". This one is the original "brunette" version which as you can see from the picture on the right is a rich amber ale that is aggressively hopped with  mostly Amarillo hops. Both versions are fantastic, but I usually prefer the "blonde" version myself. 

This one is amazingly aromatic when poured into the glass. A big resiny hop punch greets you on the first whif. Filled with sticky, piney west coast hops and a caramel malt base to back them up, this combo does a one two punch on your taste buds. At first you get a classic orange peel, grapefruit, pineapple flavor washed over by a resin filled pine/juniper hoppiness. The sweet caramel malts balance some of the aggressive hop flavor, but it still leaves a nice lingering bitter bite. Definitely right up our IPA loving alley! 

Lucky 13 taps in at 8.9% ABV so it pack a little punch to it. It fits in our sneaky beer category because although the malt is rich it is surprisingly easy to drink. The high ABV can easily sneak up on you if your not careful. Overall though, another great one from Lagunitas Brewery. I look forward seeing their "blonde" version next year!

Personal Rating: 9.8 /10
Style Rating: 9.8 /10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Breckenridge Brewery, Agave Wheat

"Nectar of the Beer Gods" is how Breckenridge bills this on there website and I completely agree! This is one of our favorite Summer beers here due to its light but very complex style. Unfortunately for many of us, this year the distributor did not stock any of this beer. Luckily, with our continued calls for them to bring it back, they relented and brought in 10 cases just for our store in Absecon, NJ.

I personally fell in love with this beer a few years back as it was the first Agave Wheat beer out on the market. Since then, even mainstream breweries like Blue Moon have jumped on the bandwagon (but not duplicated Breckenridge's subtle complexity). The idea behind this beer is that it is made primarily wheat (with a few other malts such as Caramel and Carapils to add more depth) so that it is light and refreshing. They don't filter this beer so it is hazy but the unfiltered style definately adds more flavor. The agave nectar that they add gives it a Mexican twist complete with hints of fresh lime zest. It is very refreshing and at only 4.2% it is something you can start drinking early for those all day Summer parties!

When you first pour this beer into a glass you will notice a bright yellow/golden color that is hazy due to the unfiltered style. The aromas that leap out are lime zest, lemon and light coriander spice. This beer is incredibly refreshing and thirst quenching with out being vapid and one dimensional. If you want a cold refreshing beer on a hot Summer day but don't want a macro brewed flavorless imitation of beer then reach for this one. Bottoms Up!

Personal Rating: 9.9 /10
Style Rating: 8.5 /10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Friday, June 7, 2013

Terrapin Brewing Maggie's Peach Farmhouse Ale

A new addition to Terrapins' Seasonal lineup arrived at our door yesterday and was calling our name with the warm weather that hit us this week! As Terrapin says "This refreshing summer offering  has all the flavor and aroma of a freshly picked peaches (to the tune of 1,000 pounds per 100 barrel batch!) combined with the complexity of a well executed farmhouse ale.  Some of you may remember Maggie’s older sister, Side Project Volume 7, one of Spike’s first first foray into  farmhouse ales. This newest version is just as lovely, should age just as well and has the uniquely GA flavor of fresh summer peaches!"

When you open this brew, the first thing that hits your nose is the aroma of fresh peaches and light sweet spice. It also has hints of citrus, mild hops and a touch of malt. This beer smells like a fresh peach, but can the taste live up to the aroma. I poured it into a glass and it has a nice light golden color. It looks incredibly refreshing but looks can be deceiving. The taste is a nice farmhouse style ale. It has a nice light citrus base with just enough sweet peach flavor to be refreshing without making it one of those "sweet" fruit beers. This is a great Summer beer, light, refreshing and eminently drinkable. A must try on one of the upcoming hot Summer days we will be having. At 5.3% ABV, it is not to heavy nor to light. Enjoy! 

Personal Rating: 9.7 /10
Style Rating: 9.7 /10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at: