Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cape Ann Brewing Company, Sunrise Saison

A new Summer seasonal for us but one that stands out from the crowd. What caught our interest was the Saison brewed with fresh strawberry and rhubarb. This sounds like it could be the perfect combination of sweet and tart.

The brewery elaborates on the inventive style saying they took "... a cue from a home brew recipe from Mr. Jumpers Home Brew club, we gave it our own spin and came up with the Sunrise Saison. Our first foray into Belgian styles of beer, Saisons were pale ales originally brewed in the farmhouses of Wallonia, the French speaking region of Belgium. Giving it our own twist, we’ve added 150 lbs of rhubarb and 250 lbs of whole strawberries. The result is a light pink hue and flavors that wonderfully compliment the natural tartness of a traditional saison." We normally don't carry much in the way of this brewery other than their pumpkin stout, but they do seem to have some interesting seasonal beers.

This brew clocks in at 7% which is similar to my other farmhouse saison Colette by Great Divide. When you pour this beer out you get a nice whiff of fresh strawberries. I clarify that statement with "fresh", because you don't get a fake, syrupy strawberry flavor. You definitely get that super ripe, juicy and slightly tart natural strawberry flavor. The aroma also has the classic farmhouse spice of lemon, coriander, clove and slight farm funk. I'm not quite sure what rhubarb smells like, but with the complexity of aromas coming out of this beer are very enjoyable. The flavor in the mouth is very tart and refreshing with just a ghost of sweetness at the end. A perfect beer for Summer that is both flavorful and easy to drink. I would highly recommend picking up a 6 pack especially at the $9.99 price while it is still in stock. I highly enjoyed this beer so I gave it a 9.5 rating, but I took a half a percent off the style rating simply because of the liberal addition of strawberries and rhubarb which while delicious are not normally found in farmhouse saisons. Cheers!

Personal Rating: 9.5 /10
Style Rating: 9 /10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Stone, RuinTen IPA

Its Back! Stone Ruination's Tenth Anniversary Release was so popular when it was released last year in 2012 that they decided to bring it back for a second go around. These crazy son of a guns took the already super ampped up Ruination IPA, which is brewed to killed your taste buds, and exposed it to Super Gamma Rays and more then five pounds of whole hops in each barrel to create this Hulk of a beer. As any of our blog readers know by now, we LOVE hops. The more the better and we have not met an IPA or DIPA we couldn't easily kickback with. However, I have to turn in my man card and admit that I struggled to get through this beast of a beer. I did finish it but it was so super bitter and hoppy that I nursed it like a fine Cognac.

When you first crack this brew, it is a rich golden amber color with a sticky lacing from the creamy white foam. The aromas really do jump from the glass and fill up the room. My wife could smell the hops from across the room. They really do a nice combo of the classic Centennial hops blended with the relatively new Citra hop (almost 50/50 according to their website). The aromas are of concentrated citrus (lemon, orange, lime), resin mixed with tropical fruit, with a light spicy quality. It smells like a great IPA but it is very intense. The first sip is spiked with an aggressive tang of bitter hop and hot alcohol. After it does a number on your taste buds, it calms down a little bit. It does a good job of coating your taste buds with a sticky resin after coating. 

Overall, I did like this beer. It is a very extreme version of Ruination, but what else would you expect from Stone Brewery. This beer won't be here for very long but luckily it will be a yearly release from the brewery. If you like extreme beer and you want to give your taste buds a run for their money, then give this one a shot.  Hey, for $7.99 a 22oz bottle you can't go to wrong.

Personal Rating: 8 /10
Style Rating: 9 /10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at: