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Recent Beer Discoveries?

Anyone found anything new that they are enjoying right now? Doesnt neccessarily have to be new but if its new to you that works too. I have had and been wowed by

Captain Lawrence's Smoke from the Oak-This is a smoked porter from Pleasantville NY. It is aged in Pinot Noir Casks. Lightly smoky with definite pinot characteristics. This one went down smooth, very unique. You get those dark fruit/prune like flavours mixed with the chocolateness of a porter. This one isnt so easy to find, I had it at the recently opened Blind Tiger in NYC. This was my first beer from this young brewery and i was very impressed.

Victory Hopdevil-Now this one is fairly common place but i had probably not had it since 1998 or so. Having lived in SD for 2+ years this was a revelation of sorts. I gotused to the SD and other West Coast strongly piney/grapefruity IPA's so this was really interesting. The hops in this arent as overpowering but in some ways seemed so fresh and floral. Totally different fromm West Coast IPAs.

I have a bottle of Dogfishhead Worldwide Stout in the fridge right now. So that could be next on the list. I am frankly a little nervous.

So what new beers are people discovering for themselves?

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  1. I was just in Connecticut and picked up a few great ones, and one that I hope will be great that I haven't opened yet.

    Brooklyn Local 1 - Belgian strong golden ale, refermented in the bottle. Some saison-like yeast esters to my taste. Nice hops component, more pronounced than you'd see in a typical Belgian. When you go back to NY you should be able to find.

    Hitachino Ginger Beer - This is one of the most amazing beers I've ever tasted. Imagine a combination between ginger beer and a malty brown ale. It was like a ginger beer with the sugar fermented out. So, so good. Really wish I could get it here.

    I too have a Dogfish Head waiting to be consumed. I scored a bottle of their Pangaea ale while I was back there. Looking forward to opening that one up.

    On the local front, last time I was at O'Brien's I had the Alpine Nelson rye IPA. Amazingly good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh

      That Brooklyn Local One is pretty tasty. Belgian like yet not Belgian. I will have to give that Hitachino Ginger a try as i love ginger beer.

    2. norwegian brown ale called nogne O -- malty and delish, really seems more like a porter.

      the ginger beer is one of the hitachino offerings that i haven't tried yet, i'll have to grab some along with some more nogne on my next trip to knightly spirits.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hitachino

        If in Texas, try beers from the Real Ale Co of Blanco, Texas. They make a nice Pale Ale. I alwasy make sure to have one when in Texas.

        1. re: MOREKASHA

          I had their rye pale ale and nut brown ale when I was in TX. They were great.

      2. A co-worker took a trip to Burlington, VT last weekend, and brought me a growler of Magic Hat's Chaotic Chemistry as a thanks for recommending they visit the American Flatbread brewpub in downtown Burlington. I'm really looking forward to cracking that open.

        2 Replies
        1. re: braineater

          braineater, have you tried American Flatbread in Waitsflied, their original location? I haven't been to the brew-pub in Burlington, but always recommend the the Waitsfield one.

          I am not a fan of Magic hat, but I do respect what they are doing with their beers, and do occasionally like one.

          1. re: McJ

            I find their (Magic Hat) brews often have a "perfume" taste to them which I do not like.

        2. I'll admit, I'm a little scared of trying the Victory Hop Devil, something that hoppy doesn't sound very good to me, but everyone tells me IPAs are an acquired taste.

          Due to the InBev/Anheuser Busch distribution issues, I haven't had Bass in a while, so I picked up some Old Speckled Hen in hopes that it's a good substitute. Other suggestions are certainly welcome.

          20 Replies
          1. re: air

            but have you tried an IPA?

            granted, i am more of a malt than hop fan, but i've found that i really like some micro ales that are touted as IPAs - and ironically enough, i can barely finish many of the rogue offerings that are supposed to be hazelnuts, porters, browns, etc. (i guess that they use ungawdly amounts of hops)

            old speckled hen is water to me, and it's in a clear bottle.

            a beer in a clear or green bottle, particularly if it's an import, is something i'm very doubtful of.

            as for suggestions for a substitute for bass ale --- any US microbrewery's red ale or amber ale might float your boat......

            1. re: hitachino

              Yes, I've tried Redhook's IPA and definitely didn't like that. Also tried Rahr Stormcloud, though my friends who enjoy IPAs have told me it doesn't have enough hops to be called an IPA. They market it as a "German IPA"

              My Old Speckled Hen is in a nitro can, not too worried about anything going wrong with it.

              1. re: air

                Redhook's "IPA" doesn't have the strength or hops that the style requires. It's really a pale ale.

                I was seriously underwhelmed by all of the Redhook beers. Well, they had a coffee-infused stout some years back which was interesting (it actually delivered a mild caffeine buzz), but it was light-bodied and colored for a stout; more of a porter.

                1. re: Kenji

                  They used to have a rye beer that was nice, but it's been years since I had it.

                  1. re: Josh

                    Yes, I had Redhook's rye beer once.

                    Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye is a fine, robust rye IPA.

                    1. re: Kenji

                      Bear RepublicHop Rod is one of my favorites! Definetely Recommended!

                  2. re: Kenji

                    Do you personally make any distinction between American IPA and English IPA?

                    1. re: Chinon00

                      Absolutely. As far as distinctions in beerstyles go, the one between English-style IPAs and American ones is stark. Compare Great Divide's Titan to Sam Smith's IPA. Or Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin' to Fullers IPA.

                      Generally speaking -- of course there are exceptions -- American IPAs are much stronger and hoppier than English ones.

                      1. re: Chinon00

                        In my opinion, British and American IPAs are different enough that it doesn't make sense to even think of them as the same style. Even within the American IPA there is a huge spectrum.

                        Here on the west coast, and more specifically in San Diego, we have an IPA style that is quite different from other parts of the US. If you are interested in more info, I ranted on the subject a while back:

                        http://menuinprogress.blogspot.com/20...

                        1. re: menuinprogress

                          Double IPAs are pretty big -- or, to be more precise, pretty *popular* in -- Colorado as well. Avery makes one, Oskar Blues makes one, Great Divide makes my favorite example of the style.

                          1. re: Kenji

                            I just went to Great Divide on a recent road trip. Great brewery, and I loved the Hercules Double IPA.

                            Pictures here:

                            http://menuinprogress.blogspot.com/20...

                            1. re: menuinprogress

                              GD is indeed a great brewery. BTW, in addition to their fine variations on the IPA style (their Hercules and Titan are frankly my favorite examples of those specific IPA substyles), Great Divide also makes Yeti -- a beautiful imperial stout.

                          2. re: menuinprogress

                            So when you stated above: "Redhook's "IPA" doesn't have the strength or hops that the style requires" you were speaking specifically of AIPA?

                            1. re: Chinon00

                              I believe it fits the style guidelines, but everyones perceptions of what that style is keeps getting bigger. I enjoy a big IPA once in a while.

                              1. re: niquejim

                                I was at a place that carried Redhook's IPA a few days ago, and I noticed that they've increased the ABV to 6.5%. It used to be in the 4 - 5% ABV range, which is absurdly low for the style. That plus the beer's absence of hop character led me to conclude it was just a misnamed pale ale. 6.5 % ABV is an acceptable strength for an IPA. Does it have sufficient hop character? I don't know; I wasn't tempted to find out.

                              2. re: Chinon00

                                Redhook's IPA doesn't do it for me no matter what style i expect iit to be. It is just mediocre even as an EIPA. Definitely too weak to be considered a AIPA

                    2. re: air

                      Hop Devil is devilishly hoppy in name only. It's actually quite a mild IPA, more in line with the traditional British version, as opposed to the turbo-hopped West Coast version.

                      1. re: Josh

                        Yes hop devil is a milder sort of IPA, like a Brooklyn IPA. The hoppiness in Hopdevil is very different from a west coast ipa. Granted i love hoppy beers so people who dont might not see the difference. Give it a shot

                      2. re: air

                        Victory is a terrific brewery and makes a range of beers to fit most palates. Hop Devil is certainly worth a try, as is their Prima Pils, which will force you to change your thinking about Pilsners if all you have tasted are imports that have failed to travel well to this country.

                        I recently visited the brewery and really enjoyed some of their less well known beers - I was really impressed by both the Irish Dry Stout and the English Bitter.

                        1. re: air

                          i just started LOVING gulden draak. its a belgian triple but its dark! wierd, right?its brewed by the vansteinberg brewery who also do piraat. the draak, like the piraat, is a wholesome 10.5% ABV, but its so darn good. a big ass beer altogether, but wonderful to savor. highly recommended. pretty darn sweet, tho:)

                        2. Bigfoot barleywine has just become available here. This is very nice. Also the high alcohol line from Bell's, although I have to drive a bit for them. Expedition Stout is trying to return me to a stout drinker. Two Hearted is fighting from the other(hop) side.
                          A battle it is nice to be in the middle of.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Bobfrmia

                            Expedition Stout is top of the line seriously great stout.

                            If you like bigfoot barleywine (which I do), try also: Victory Old Horizontal, Dogfish Behemoth, and Anchor Foghorn.

                            1. re: Bobfrmia

                              I love the Bell's beers and wish I had regular access to them. Expedition is a fine imperial stout. I also very much liked Bell's Two Hearted IPA and Eccentric Ale.

                              1. re: Kenji

                                Just had Bell's Porter, Pale Ale and Kalamazoo Stout for the first time...the only Bell's beer that hasn't blown me away is their Amber Ale, but even that is a prefectly fine beer. I was distraught until I found that I can get Bell's when I visit friends in Philly. (no distribution in NY)