Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Andrew and I enjoy beer.   Not in the "bring me home a 40 of Bud Light so I can drink it in the backyard while all my beaters are in the wash" kind of way,  but in the "good beer is actually really good" kind of way. 

I judge people who drink crappy beer.   It's okay, I can accept the hate mail that will be coming my way for that.

I'm very guilty of trying a new beer and not remembering a thing about it later.   I couldn't say if I liked it,  what it tasted like,  what kinds of beers are like it,  or any other useful information.   I've decided to keep tabs of my  beer adventures here so I can reference in the future and maybe help some other adventurousbut not TOO adventurous beer drinkers out there.

Our recent tasting party consisted of 3 beers from 2 different breweries  that were new to both of us. 

Rising Tides Brewing Company out of Portland ME,  and Slumbrew out of (where else?) Somerville MA.   For those of you who are not from the Boston area,  Somerville (pronounced Summa-ville) is affectionately known as "Slumma-ville".   It's full of college students,  recent grads, and hard working blue collar families.   Hence Slumbrew.

From Rising Tides,  we sampled Ursa Minor.  This is what the company says about it:
Dark as squid ink and moody as the sea, Ursa Minor is our take on a winter wheat beer. Starting with a German wheat-beer yeast and a base of malted wheat, we added a blend of dark crystal and roasted malts to create a wheat stout. Redolent of dark fruit, weizen yeast esters, and roasted barley, Ursa Minor is perfect for an icy winter’s eve. Availability: September through April.
(original description found here
I'm not a huge fan of the stouts,  but I tried it anyway.  When they say "dark as squid ink" they mean it.  It looked like diet coke in the glass.    It's a winter wheat beer and it's extremely heavy - to me it's a slow sipping beer,  but again I don't always love dark heavy beers.   It had a heavy nutty smell too.   My personal rating of it is B.   Good beer,  but not my cup of tea.    I enjoyed my 6ish ounces that I tasted, but I let Andrew finish the bottle.

We tried two from Slumbrew,  Happy Sol and Flag Raiser IPA.   Andrew is on a huge IPA kick right now,  he could probably devote an entire blog just to them.

Flag Raiser
This is what Slumbrew has to say about it:
Flagraiser IPA is a big, hoppy tribute to the unfurling of the Grand Union flag atop Prospect Hill in Somerville, MA on January 1, 1776. This ale celebrates our passion for hop aroma and flavor balanced with just the right amount of malt.
Huge aroma and resin-y flavors from the elusive Galaxy hops are the signature of this beer. Built on a solid base of pale malts, this double IPA makes generous use of hops from Columbus, Crystal and Galaxy with the Galaxy hops taking the lead during ten days of aggressive dry-hopping.
original description here
It was very hoppy, as you expect from an IPA and it was slightly bitter.   I'm an ESB girl so bring on the bitter!  IPAs in general are sipping beers for me,  I could never look down and have accidentally drank 3 of them.   But this one was really good,  I had my 6 ounce taste and then Andrew and I split the rest of the bottle.   I think he wanted it all to himself,  but no dice!  My grade:  B+

Happy Sol

A refreshingly tart and crisp hefeweizen brewed with local MA wildflower honey, orange peel and coriander, and fermented with the juice from over 1,000 blood oranges. It’s a cloudy, yet effervescent beer, with lingering banana and citrus notes balanced against a healthy wheat backbone and hoppy finish from Mt. Hood and Crystal hops.
Original description here
It must be said that I could happy drink Blue Moon for the rest of my life.   Any serious beer drinker who made it this far has probably just pounded his keyboard in disgust but that's okay.   I like my Belgium white ales.  Please note though:  Blue Moon and Shock Top, though similar,  are not the same.   When I ask a server/bar tender if they have Blue Moon on tap  I don't appreciate the answer "no, but we have Shock Top".   While I will usually order the Shock Top,  it's still not interchangeable!
okay, rant over.
I really enjoyed Happy Sol.    Andrew described it as "Blue Moon on crack with all it's flavors".   You can definitely taste the citrusy flavors  but they are not over the top sweet/fruity like you would find in Sam Adams Cherry Wheat or Wachusett Blueberry.   Andrew,  who would never drink a fruity beer,  enjoyed his 6 ounce tasting as well.  I didn't let him have any more though,  I finished that bottle.   Clearly gets an A from me

Now I really want to try My Better Half,  they say it's a limited seasonal release but I'm not sure when that season is.   Anyone know?

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