Archive for ‘The Pint is Mightier’

May 2, 2015

The Bracket is Mightier IV: A New Hop

No, you didn’t miss it.

We made the difficult decision last time to stop live blogging our beer brackets. Not only does it slow down the process as we furiously write up mid-tournament reviews, but, frankly, the quality of blogging declines as the bracket goes on (ahem).

So instead, here is our post-game analysis of Beer Bracket IV: A New Hop. There were a couple highlights this time around. For starters, its the first time that a #1 seed has gone all the way. The Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge, a delightfully tart and complex Flemish Sour Ale from Belgium, didn’t lose a single match up on its way to the crown. All our previous winners rose up from the losers bracket to take the top spot.

Southern Tier’s Choklat won the annual “top tier seed crashes and burns” award. Chocolate notes have many fans in the beer community, but our judges did not look favorably on what tasted like carbonated chocolate water.

This was also (sadly) the farthest a Washington beer has got in the competition. Elysian’s Punkaccino – a flavorful and well-balanced coffee and pumpkin ale – put up a good fight in the championship against the Cuvée, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Someday, Washington beers!

Here is how it all went down:

Beer Bracket 4 -Winners Bracket

Losers Bracket

And here were the entrants, seeded:

  1. Brouwerij Bockor Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge
  2. Southern Tier Choklat
  3. Elysian Punkuccino
  4. Fremont The Brother
  5. Black Raven Trickster
  6. Hop Valley Alpha Centauri
  7. Alesmith Yule Smith
  8. Uinta Sea Legs Baltic Porter
  9. Anchorage Galaxy White IPA
  10. Old Schoolhouse Ruud Awakening
  11. Elysian Dark O’ The Moon
  12. Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman
  13. Two Beers Fresh Hop
  14. Black Raven Tamerlane
  15. Evil Twin Justin Blaeber
  16. Ninkasi Oatis Vanilla Stout
  17. Perennial Artisan Ales Saison De Lis
  18. Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit
  19. Eel River Raven’s Eye
  20. La Trappe Jubilaris
  21. New Belgium Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout
  22. 10 Barrel Big Ol Pumpkin
  23. Iron Horse Lagunatic Brew

Stay tuned, our fifth bracket is imminent and it is bound to be an exciting one!

September 5, 2014

The Pint is Mightier: Schooner Exact Brewing

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

For out latest review we ventured to the South Seattle destination of Schooner Exact Brewing. While it would be easy it pass judgment on their business park location with airplanes from nearby Boeing field buzzing overhead, it would be a mistake to do so. Aside from a solid selection of beers and a cozy interior, it’s home to the best damn Reuben in Washington State.

Unfortunately we visited when the brewery was missing one of their most delectable looking brews: the Black IPA and the barrel aged Winter Warmer. Expect a follow up review in the future!

Schooner Exact Brewing Company

Eric’s first beer – Gateway Golden (3.5/5 on Untappd)

I don’t usually go for Golden ales, but our quest for great beers always pushes me to try new things – and in this case I am glad I did. I enjoyed this beer much more than I expected to.

The brew poured a golden color and had a mild hop aroma. It did not appear very carbonated.  At first taste I was surprised by the level of hoppiness, which was very apparent and pleasant. It is a shame that Schooner Exact was out of their Pale ale at the time of review, because it would have been very interesting to compare the two.  Strangely, there is almost a subtle creaminess in the aftertaste, hidden cleverly amongst the hop flavor, that added a good level of depth to this beer. The Gateway Golden would be a fantastic beer for a hot summer day.

Porter, Golden and Eric

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July 5, 2014

The Bracket is Mightier III: A Game of Beers

7:13 update – We have a victor! The Delirium Tremens is the official champion of the third annual(ish) beer bracket. Congratulations to Zach, who entered the DT!

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June 30, 2014

The Pint is Mightier: Standard Brewing

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

Last time we took it easy, getting back into the swing of things with a Pint is Mightier trip to Reuben’s Brews. Didn’t want to pull any beer-drinking muscles after so long without a brewery review.

This time though, we really came out swinging.

In our most expansive review to date, we covered four beers each at Standard Brewing, the Central District’s first craft brewery. Aided by the fact that Standard is a mere three blocks from Eric’s house and thus not requiring a car to get to, we dove mouth-first into the beers proffered by one of the new kids on Seattle’s brewery block. With a jewel of an outdoor area and a broad selection of beers ranging from old standbys to unique treats, this is absolutely worth a trip (walking recommended).

Standard Brewing

Standard Brewing

Quinn’s first beer – West Coast IPA (3.5/5 caps on Untappd)

With a golden profile and an excellent hop aroma, I was excited to start my review of Standard with the West Coast IPA. The flavor was heavy on hops, but not in a way that was excessive or unpleasant. The blend of bitter and citrus notes was well done, although it lacked a bit in complexity. In short, the West Coast was a quintessential (see what I did there?) Pacific Northwest IPA. It wasn’t the best of it’s style that I’ve had, but it’s well-crafted and enjoyable nonetheless.

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June 3, 2014

The Pint is Mightier: Reuben’s Brews

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

Recent followers of Rosemary Renaissance may not know this, but in addition to recipes this blog is also home to Quinn and Eric’s reviews of Pacific Northwest breweries. It’s been more than a year since we ran a post in our “The Pint is Mightier” series, but we finally got our act together and have a new write-up of local Seattle brewery: Reuben’s Brews.

Our tasting notes and Untappd scores for individual beers are below. Overall, we thought that Reuben’s was a strong brewery with an ample variety of consistently tasty beers. Their space was nice, with a neat loft area up top and covered outdoor seating. Out only wish was for the fortitude to taste more beers during our excursion. Consider this on our list of breweries to revisit.

Reuben’s Brews:

Reubens Brews

Eric’s first beer – American Rye (4/5 caps on Untappd)

I have had a few Reuben’s Brews beers in the past and so I was excited to try them out in a more official capacity. I went with what any patriot would choose: the American Rye. This beer poured an opaque golden yellow color and really lacked any sort of strong aroma. When discussing these beers, Quinn noted that the aroma was almost lager-esque in nature.

Upon taking my first sip, it was very apparent how carbonated this beer was. The huge rye flavor blasted my taste buds with a marvelous balancing act that tempered the hops. The beer had a great mouthfeel and went down quite easily. Interestingly, after drinking about a third of a pint, I could taste a bit of lingering yeastiness on my tongue from the beer. This was not a bad thing, and I think helped highlight just how delicate and well balanced this brew is.

This beer was great – anyone who likes rye beers should give it a try. If you are not used to the rye flavor, you might be put off by how bold this beer is, but I think you will quickly come to enjoy it. For me, this is a great standby beer. If I am ever in a pub and I don’t know what to order and they have Reuben’s American Rye – well, I guess I would know what to order at that point.

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December 7, 2013

The Bracket is Mightier II!

5:53 update – The decision has been made! In a 6-5 split, Black Diamond’s Peak XV Imperial Porter has triumphed over New Belgium’s La Folie. Kudos to all the beers entered!

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5:28 update – The Championship Round is upon us! It’s New Belgium’s La Folie against Black Diamond Peak XV Imperial Porter. May the best beer win!

4:33 update – We have our elite eight! Still remaining in the bracket are:

  • Sculpin IPA
  • Alba Scots Pine Ale
  • Trois Pistole
  • La Folie
  • Wesphestanier Korbinian
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru
  • Flyers Pacemaker Porter
  • Peak XV Imperial Porter

4:02 update – First round of the losers bracket is up! Here are the results

Losers round 1

3:04 update – The first round of the winners bracket is over! We had a couple upsets, here’s where things stand!

Winners round 1

Original Post:

Veteran readers may remember the first beer bracket that we set up and liveblogged here on Rosemary Renaissance. Eric and Quinn both selected eight of their favorite beers and pitted them against one another until one – Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack – emerged victorious.

It’s been a long time coming, but we are excited to announce our second annual(ish) beer bracket! We’ve made a couple changes this time though. It’s now a double elimination bracket, and we’ve opened it up for fellow competitors to enter beers as well!

Below is the bracket, the winners half at least, with match-ups starting at 2:00 pm Pacific. Be sure to stay tuned here or at the Rosemary Renaissance Facebook Page as we look to settle once and for all (but not really) what is the greatest brew of all time!

Beer Bracket II

The Beers:

  1. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  2. Firestone Walker Double Jack
  3. New Belgium La Folie
  4. Stone Double Bastard Ale
  5. Rodenbach Grand Cru
  6. Dogfish Head Burton Baton
  7. Unibroue Trois Pistole
  8. Weihenstephaner Korbinian
  9. Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
  10. Schneider Weisse Original
  11. Peak XV Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter
  12. Iron Horse Irish Death
  13. Alba Scots Pine Ale
  14. New Beligum El Dorado Fresh Hop Ale
  15. Pelican Wee Heavy Ale
  16. Flyers Pacemaker Porter
  17. Schooner Exact Hoppy Holidays
  18. Wells Banana Bread Beer
  19. Iron Horse High Five Hefe
  20. Kulshan Trans-Porter
  21. Big Time 25th Anniversary IPA
June 20, 2013

The Pint is Mightier: Outlander Brewing

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

After playing some serious catch up with our previous review of Skagit River Brewery, we’re ready to stay ahead of the game with our latest review! From the Center of the Universe in Seattle, WA….

Outlander Brewing

Although this brewery has only been open for about six months, we would hardly be surprised if it wound up taking off in the near future. With a prime spot in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, a stylish location in a converted old home, and a line up of well-crafted, creative beers, Outlander is one to watch.

IMG_1642

The first beer that we tried was Outlander’s Peanut Butter Stout. It was quite dark with mild carbonation and a light scent of peanut butter on the nose. The beer itself had nice, roasted notes in the flavor with just a hint of chocolate. We felt it had a mouthfeel more similar porter, but that’s semantics. The peanut butter flavor was very subtle, but was just enough to add that special something to the brew. It’s just a slight tease, enticing the drinker to go back for more and more until, before they knows it, their glass is empty and it’s time for another beer. Evil geniuses, those Outlander folks are.

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May 14, 2013

The Pint is Mightier: Skagit River Brewery

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

We confess: this brewery review is from almost a year ago. It got buried in the to-do stack and we just got around to finishing it up. A blast from the past, and from Mount Vernon, WA…

Skagit River Brewery

Tired – and definitely not hung over – we were on our way back from Bellingham when we drawn in by the siren’s call of another brewery. Although occasionally disrupted by a loud train careening by right outside, Skagit River generally held the same sleepy, relaxed atmosphere as the town around it. Digging the laid back attitude, we settled in for some reviewing.

Our first beer was the Highwater Porter, which poured a thick, dark black with no head to it. The aroma was light, but carried hints of the roasted malt flavor that made up the base of the flavor. A sip revealed mild grassy and earthy notes as well, but not in any unpleasant sense. There was a hint of strength, but nothing to suggest the actual potency of the brew – 7.2 percent. Overall the Highwater was good and well fortified porter, but nothing to shout from the mountaintops about.

The next beer that we tried was the Sculler’s IPA, a dark amber beaut. It had poured with a relatively small head, and had a rather see-through appearance for an IPA. The beer had a characteristically fruity-hop aroma that was quite enjoyable. The first sip revealed an incredibly power hop flavor, a hop-hurricane (patent pending) you might even say. It wasn’t until the aftertaste that the citrus hops really shone through however. This IPA was tasty and strong, but somewhat unremarkable. You’ll enjoy it if you like IPAs, but it won’t hook you on the style if you don’t.

We were not very impressed with our first sip of the Gospel IPA, with it’s faint banana undertones and overly bitter finish. Something about the hops, malts and yeast were out of whack.  There wasn’t enough body to make up for the force of the hops, which themselves were too weighted towards floral tones without any hint of bitter or earthy notes.  Although we found that this deep amber, medium carbonation beer did grow on us somewhat towards the end, we think that probably had more to do with our taste buds acclimating than anything else.

We concluded our daydrinking session with the Farm to Market Bitter. We don’t often have the chance to review an ESB, much less a regular old bitter (if you don’t know the distinction, don’t be troubled, it’s minor). It poured an amber color with a delightful half inch of head, with a malty and mildly hoppy aroma. It lacked opacity and appeared quite bubbly and carbonated. Just as it smelled, this beer had a good malty flavor with a perfect level of bitterness to balance out the flavor. At 5 percent ABV wasn’t a weak beer, unlike other bitters. We were quite pleased with this beer, judging it to be better than the similar but more widely imbibed Redhook ESB and Mac and Jack’s African Amber. If you like either of those beers, you ought to give this one a try.

The Skagit River Brewery was a fairly pleasant place. It has a good atmosphere, and we imagine that it’s a great local spot for those who live in and around Mount Vernon. While it would be worth your while to stop by if you’re passing through, we don’t recommend an expedition unless you’re as crazy about trying new breweries as we are.

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December 28, 2012

The Pint Is Mightier: Two Beers Brewing Co.

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

Long time, no brew. We know.

It’s not because we haven’t been drinking beer. Oh no. We’ve just been lazy in writing about it. But we’re roaring back into the Pint is Mightier with a new review from south Seattle…

Two Beers Brewing Co.

Two Beers Tour

Two Beers Brewing is an unassuming craft brewery located just off 99 in Seattle’s SoDo District (that’s south of the dome, for those of you who aren’t from around these parts/don’t remember the Kingdome). The small business park where it’s located is easily accessible by car or public transit, so there’s no excuse not to check it out.

There were quite a few beers to choose from, but being the connoisseurs it’s our job to be decisive. The first beer up was the Back Country Cascadian Brown Ale. Some of you have probably heard of a Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA), but for those of you who haven’t, here’s the scoop – it’s a dark IPA with lots of roast and lots of hops. Two Beers took the CDA concept and applied to the traditionally sweeter brown ale. Preposterous, you say? Pshaw! They very much pulled off the brown ale with big hop flavor. This dark brown ale of medium opacity had all the best parts of a brown ale on top of a perfectly balanced hop profile. Combined with solid carbonation, this beer was highly drinkable. And it comes from us highly recommended. Drink up!

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July 14, 2012

The Bracket is Mightier!

8:37 update – The battle has drawn to a close. Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack has emerged as the victor of the Pint is Mightier bracket tournament!

7:52 update – The finale is set! The Wookie Jack prevailed over the Tart Lychee, and in a 3-2 decision (With both Eric and Quinn crossing over to vote for the opposite beer!) the Rogue Hazelnut beat #1 seed Hop Henge to move forward. Soon we will crown the ultimate beer champion of the pint is mightier!

6:49 Update – The final four have been decided! The quartet includes Firestone Walker’s Wookie Jack, New Beligum’s Tart Lychee, Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Ale and Deschutes Hop Henges XPA. Eric and Quinn each have two in – stay tuned for the final chamion of the pint is mightier bracket!

6:07 Update – Some great action in the middle of round 3. E7 seed, New Belgium Tart Lychee, advanced to the final four against the Oak-aged Yeti in a battle of the upsets. Also mocing ahead are the Wookie Jack and Hazelnut Brown Ale. More updates soon!

4:40 Update – Round one is complete! the second half of of the bracket was much more predictable, with all higher seeds winning their bouts. Here is the graveyard of the poor beers defeated in the first round.

Still in the running are:

  • Deschutes Hop Henge XPA
  • Black Raven Trickster IPA
  • Firestone Walker Wookie Jack
  • Great Divide Oak-Aged Yeti
  • Maredsous 10 Tripel
  • Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale
  • Unibroue Trois Pistole
  • New Belgium Tart Lychee

3:21 Update – We’re halfway through the first round, and we’ve already had some major upsets! Great Divide’s Oak-aged Yeti (Quinn’s #6 seed) took out the three seed, the Lucky 13 Alt, and New Belgium’s Tart Lychee (Eric’s #7 seed) upstaged the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous, a number two seed. Moving into the second half now!

2:55 Update – Firestone Walker Wookie Jack, Maredsous 10 Tripel and Great Divide Oak-aged Yeti all advance as round one continues!

The moment is finally here! The Pint is Mightier bracket!

The Pint is Mightier bracket will be underway shortly, so check back as we begin to pit our favorite beers head to head in a battle for beer glory. In the mean time, here is the final lineup!

Quinn’s Eight

  1. Deschutes Hop Henge XPA
  2. Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous
  3. Black Raven Trickster IPA
  4. Firestone Walker Wookie Jack
  5. Fremont Interurban IPA
  6. Great Divide Oak-Aged Yeti
  7. Pyramid Outburst IPA
  8. Widmer Marionberry Hibiscus Gose

Eric’s Eight

  1. Maredsous 10 Tripel
  2. Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale
  3. Lagunitas Lucky 13 Alt
  4. Elysian Immortal IPA
  5. Unibroue Trois Pistole
  6. Bocker Bellegems Bruin
  7. New Belgium Tart Lychee
  8. Odin’s Gift
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