Archive for the Beer Reviews Category

Exciting milestone…for me, not my liver…he’s protesting…

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , , on 05/18/2014 by beerbygarth

I recently officially reviewed my 2000th beer.  This list is a bit skewed, as I didn’t “officially” begin reviewing until after living in Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and Anchorage, AK.  Seriously, all those “meccas” of craft beer, and I waited until moving to Ridgecrest, CA to begin officially logging my craft beer adventures.  What a dumbass.  Most people have these great, deep, philosophical answers to “What would you change if you could go back in time?” and my answer is to create a account before moving to Portland.  Oh well, on to the fantastic number 2k!

I made sure to make it a worthwhile brew, sitting on this wonderful beer for a while after moving from New Hampshire.  Now, I bring to you, Firestone Walker Parabola, vintage 2013.

look closely, it’s technically a selfie…

The beer is jet black, with a light halo of off-white head. Pours very thick and smooth. Aromas are spilling out of this snifter from a good distance; this is a beast. Very rich molasses, vanilla, bourbon, woody notes, chocolate, and toffee notes provide huge layers on your sense of smell. Throughout the layers, you pick up hints of licorice, cream, cherry, tobacco, smoke and char. This smells great. Flavors are very rich, with a blast of char, bitter and roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, and heavy booze notes. This is a blast on your palate. The more you drink, more flavor profiles reveal themselves, including tobacco, peat, earthy notes, and smoke. This is heavy. The body is robust, smooth, and full, like old motor oil, which is the perfect body to support this cavalcade of flavors. Rich, thickly sweet aftertaste of coffee, chocolate, and molasses, this remains heavy from start to finish. The finish is thick, smooth, and lingering. This beer keeps you on the ropes from the moment you open the bottle, and I personally loved every second of it.  This beer is an annual release…FIND IT!  Once in your possession, feel free to delve into the rapture that is this brew immediately, or, for those of stronger ilk, cellar it, because I can only imagine this beast grows more smooth and lethal as it ages!

Milestones are fun, as long as you can make them fun.  It’s all about perspective.  Big beers like this, which some people refer to as “whales”, are actually fairly attainable, in comparison to other limited releases that require traveling to a specific brewery, going to a festival, etc.  That being said, it doesn’t always have to be rare to be a good beer, but sometimes, especially in this case, a rare beer is the absolute tits it’s been built up to be.  Regardless, the best beer out there is the one in your hands.  With that said, remember to drink educated, my friends!




#Beer world, prepare to be Chuck Norris’d…

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , , , on 07/18/2013 by beerbygarth

Yeah, this is happening…

I’m not going to bombard you with a litany of Chuck Norris jokes, no matter how hilarious.  Just assume automatically that they are all implied, in their entirety, and this allows you the freedom to insert your own favorites here and there.  Look, now we’re interactive.  How progressive!

I love spicy anything…to the point of self-harm.  When we lived in Portland (West Coast) we made a trip to a restaurant named Salvador Molly’s for the sole purpose of eating their Habanero Fritters because we saw them on Man Vs Food.  Two bites and my goddamn eyebrows were sweating, but they were delicious!  Point being, any kind of spice intrigues me greatly.  That being said, as I have gotten older, I have also come to appreciate the ability to balance said heat, rather than having ball melting inferno-ness completely on its own.  I see spicy beer, I am very interested.

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer pours a beautiful, rich, dark brown to black coloring that is just about opaque. A tall, frothy, dense, creamy, chocolate-brown colored head sits atop at about an inch and a half, and slowly settles into a firm, filmy surface coating that clings to everything it touches. Aromas of rich, creamy chocolate in the backbone, with a subtle, overlaying highlight of smoky and slightly spicy chipotle peppers. Smells pretty damn good, and well-balanced, too.  Something many spiced beers fall short of accomplishing, especially when heat-centric spices are involved.  Flavors of coffee and cream first, with a charred and spicy pepper profile following immediately. The pepper characteristics build rapidly as you drink, with a slowly cumulative heat. Oaky and earthy undertones throughout, which help give some layering to the brew. Spiced and peppery aftertaste, with a bittersweet chocolate backbone to it. Mid-bodied and fairly dry throughout, with a spicy, semisweet, thin finish that has a spicy linger to it. More so the more you drink.  This brew is definitely geared towards those heat inclined in regards to their palates, but is not so overbearing that it can’t be enjoyed by just about anyone.  Also, it was made for pairing with the spicy Mexican fare, in particular dishes made with the beauty that is the chipotle pepper.

So, maybe next Cinco de Mayo you quit being the typical gringo douche that loads up on Corona and picks up something with a little more substance and bite.  I mean, technically, it’s not from Mexico, but let’s not get too picky, eh?  If spice isn’t your thing, maybe don’t try this one, but hopefully this helps some folks realize that other interests and tastes (literally) can be found in the world of beer.  Fruit, hot peppers, wood, wine, etc…all characteristics that can be found in the craft beer world.  So get out there and fly your taste flag proudly…and as always, drink educated my friends!

History of #Beer, Vol I

Posted in Beer Reviews, Enhance Your Taste Buds Through Learning with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 05/16/2013 by beerbygarth

There is a lot of back story to the nectar that is beer.  More and more information is being discovered all the time, pushing the limits of what we think we know in terms of styles, flavors, brewing processes, availability, and even when beer was being made.  There are a lot of hands working diligently to discover and learn as much as they can from the sometimes convoluted and sometimes mysterious histories that make up the world of beer.  Many have seen the season of Brew Masters ( put out by the Discovery Channel, which put a large spotlight on beer and its origins.  Also, the writings of many beer historians provide insight into old recipes, old brewing log books, etc, etc.  I personally enjoy reading Ron Pattinson, both on his blog ( and his articles in BeerAdvocate magazine (, and there are many others out there putting out a lot of interesting work.  As the craft beer scene in the United States balloons to astronomical numbers, both in brewers and breweries, it is sometimes fun and educational to cast an eye back on where this entire beer journey really started from.

One of the truly interactive and fun ways to participate in a self-driven study in beer history is being provided currently by Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project (  Pretty Things has a series ( known as “Once Upon A Time,” in which they brew beers from historical records/documents/recipes, true to form, to open up a window into the past (of beer).  As they put it: “We do not interpret or attempt to commercialize these beers in any manner.  In fact you have our pledge that if history presents us with a less-than-desirable beer, you will taste this beer as it was. That’s our unique commitment to you.”  It’s like going back to the good old days without the shitty Delorean ride.

For today’s history lesson, I’ll talk about three particular brews from the “Once Upon A Time” series, and I’ll relay the brewer’s descriptions of the beers, as well as my experiences with each brew, all in chronological order of original brew date, as any self-respecting geek would do.

December 6th, 1855 East India Porter, 6.0% ABV

From the brewers:
“The recipe that we’re using dates back to a brewsheet from Barclay Perkins Brewery in London, from December 6th, 1855. As with our other historical beers, the EIP was brewed in a vast batch-size that we cannot hope to recreate. The “Porter tuns” were apparently over 3400 barrels in size (that’s bigger than any modern American brewhouse). So, we’re brewing at 1/34th that size, but so much else is the same.  We visited our favorite maltster, Thomas Fawcett & Sons in Yorkshire a few months before we brewed this. The Fawcett maltings has been around since the 1780s, this is pretty authentic stuff.  So we employed their lovely grain for this beer. Their brown malt is sublime; the amber was, and to some degree still is a mystery. It’s a lightly roasted malt and our guess was that it would accentuate the dryness of the beer. But why did they use it back then?  The hops are a different story altogether: 4.47 lbs hops per barrel (Kent Goldings & Spalt).  4.5 pounds per barrel! That’s a double IPA, and as many hops as the 1832 10.5% Mild had! It’s more than some of the hoppiest MODERN IPAs out there… Crazy!  So: our Once Upon a Time 1855 EIP is dry, malty beer with a substantial pipe-tobacco bitterness, dark garnet colour and 6% abv.”

From yours truly:
Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, hazy, chestnut highlighted brown-to-black coloring with a thin, frothy, foamy, off-white head. Great bright ring on the surface of this beer the whole time you are drinking.  Aromas are heavy of roasted coffee, both bitter and a bit smoky. Flavors are very heavily roasted, with a solid profile of coffee, both bitter and rich. Very heavy coffee profile throughout, as I’m sure was being relayed already. The aftertaste is bitter and roasted, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate notes. Dry, bitter, mid-lingering finish. Solid brew, and fun to see what brews used to be like back in the day, as they say.  Coffee lovers dream!

Once Upon A Time 1879 East India Pale Ale

From Pretty Things:
“We couldn’t help but want to brew a proper period version of the beer that started the craft beer movement here in the US and Ron came up with a brewsheet that launched many OUAT firsts.  Not only does this one use English hops as would be expected, but also hops from Germany (including hops from Alsace that was only recently ceded to Germany from France) and California.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  We don’t even grow hops in California these days so it was surprise to see a Yorkshire brewery using them in the 19th century.  First ever use of American hops in a OUAT beer.  This is also our first non-London historical recreation and we’re really pleased that it lands us in Leeds, England – home of Martha and where I spent several happy years working at Daleside Brewery in Harrogate. That’s one first.  Another first with this beer is that it’s from a brick and mortar brewery that only recently closed.  In fact I went to a meeting there in 2006 and had a great tour of their brand new packaging hall.  Oh well, sometimes history is even closer than we would have liked.  That said, I could only dream to have visited at Trumans, Whitbread or Barclay Perkins!”

From this intermittently dedicated author (who is working on consistency a little more now):
Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, golden-copper coloring with a frothy, filmy, bright white head that eventually settles into a filmy coating. Nose of biscuits in the backbone, with a toffee sweetness, a touch of grapefruit tart, and a hint of hops bitter. The nose is very sweet, but very well blended and balanced. Flavors are balanced, too, but lend more to the bitter side. Initially toasty, with a lemon and grapefruit citrus blend that overcomes the palate rapidly, with a bitter and peppery hops profile following shortly behind. The bitterness is bold, and helps to clean the palate. The aftertaste is a bit on the bitter side, with the citrus tart still present, but slightly overpowered. The original biscuit backbone is a little lost, leading to a slightly astringent finish. Mid-bodied, which works to support the flavors, but the bitterness may “do in” some drinkers who are not fans of the hops, or accustomed to more bold flavorings. Interesting and very flavorful brew, nonetheless. I really like this series so far, it’s been fun getting to know these brews.

Once Upon A Time 1939 No. 1 Ale

From the horse’s mouth:
“This beer was originally brewed November 15th, 1939.  On that very day Franklin Delano Roosevelt  was laying the cornerstone to the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C.. Across the Atlantic a shift brewer in Edinburgh, Scotland was making one of the strongest beers his brewery had in its repetoire and it was called “No. 1.”  This dark, malty and sweet beer epitomizes Scottish beer of the day…and actually it was a peculiar recipe!  Not only does this recipe contain lactose sugar and require us to colour the beer mostly with caramel, but it also demands a “cereal mash”.  This one really is a beer from a comparatively modern industrial brewery.  So far in our list of historical beers we have beers reproduced from the years 1832, 1839, 1855, 1879, 1901 & 1945. Not one of them showed this type of complexity in the brewhouse. So it was a great joy and challenge to be able to tackle this beer.”

From a horse’s ass:
Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, dark, amber highlighted brown colored ale with a sparse, very thin surface coat of white head. Aromas of darkly sweet caramel and a hint of nut, with a sugary highlight that gives it richness instead of cloying. Flavors are just as rich as you would expect from the nose, with a deep, smooth ribbon of dark caramel providing a backbone that is highlighted by a touch of smoke and an earthy character that provides both depth and balance to the brew. Very rich, but surprisingly drinkable. There are subtle notes of alcohol throughout, but never anything that builds or overpowers. Smooth, full body that is lightened slightly by the carbonation. Roasty and rich aftertaste, with a sugary kiss, leading to a slick, slightly lingering finish. Really strong representation of the style, and possibly a good bar to use when tasting other Scottish Ales.  This was a really tasty beer!

These three brews are a start into this area of the beer world that I want to explore more, and drag all of you with me, kicking and screaming if I must.  In all honesty, there are some really great, unique beers being created/recreated due to this look back on history.  In this particular instance, we have Pretty Things, which is most readily available in New England…so, for those outside of that area, I guess either plan a trip or find a beer pen pal.  In all honesty, it’s worth the effort.  In future history lessons I will tackle the other offerings in the “Once Upon A Time” line, as well as some of the historical styles from Dogfish Head and other breweries.  It’s an interesting way to delve deeper into the awesomeness that is craft beer.  So brush off those history corners of your brain, and drink educated my friends!

New Pope, time for a #beer….

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 03/13/2013 by beerbygarth

This guy stole Bob Barker’s microphone!

So there was some big to-do today about the big man with the tall hat.  What’s more amazing is that this dude is replacing the first pope to retire in OVER 500 YEARS…and no one is really digging into that?  Seriously, these guys die on the throne (not literally, that would be way too hilarious), and everyone just blows over the retirement and the record short 2 day election (or whatever the process is) to pick the new guy?  American Idol takes months to pick out some no talent ass-clown to have a solid future in benders and rehab, and the heads of the god patrol pick their new leader in 48 hours.  Amazing.  Some smoke came out of a chimney (imagine that), and now someone else is in charge of covering up molestation stories, committing tax fraud/evasion, and continuing a strong homophobic mantra.  I don’t know why the change is so esteemed…nothing is really changing past the scalp holding up that rolled newspaper hat.  Any who, what better beer to “celebrate” the new big operator of the Vatican than Big Operator from Big Boss Brewing?

Big Boss Brewing Company ( hails from Raleigh, NC, and was started in 2006.  Their mission statement, from their website, reads as follows: “At Big Boss, we brew real beer.  Beer for people who appreciate the fact that while different styles of beer taste, well, different, a well-made beer always satisfies.  Big Boss is designed to be appreciated, but crafted to be enjoyed.  It’s a beer drinker’s ‘house brand’ – always satisfying.  Enjoy a pint when you’re out, and keep a few in the fridge.”  Words that play my heart-strings, that is for sure.  We are fortunate enough to have some great friends that live in North Carolina…family, really…and at one particular get together they hoisted a growler of Big Boss Big Operator, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale weighing in at 8.0% ABV.

Big indeed!

I had the beer in a pint glass, and it poured a jet black coloring with brown highlights and no head. The aroma was bitter coffee and fruity sweet, smoked malts. The beer’s flavor was heavy on bitter coffee, with very light undertones of raspberry ribboning throughout. A creamy body, but slightly dry at the same time. Very layered and dynamic throughout the drink. There is a fruit-sweet, malty aftertaste, again with a hint of raspberry. Smooth, subtle, slow transition finish, starting with the bitter and sweet fruit and quickly, but quietly, trailing off to nothing. Very, very tasty. Would make a good ice cream float, too, I’m willing to bet.  Either way, worth getting your hands on this one, if you can.  Cue the music…

I poke a lot of fun at religion, but I poke a lot of fun at most staunch, outdated institutions.  I mean, look at all the barbs I throw in Anheuser-Busch’s direction.  Bottom line, I don’t really care about people’s affiliations in matters of religion, politics, etc.  I care about craft beer, and it’s because of this care that I attempt to tie in with current culture and news the greatness that is the craft beer movement, to show some sort of twisted parallel, and perhaps win some people over to the side of taste and quality.  No matter the means, winning “beer drinkers” over to the good side is worth any amount of effort.  Whatever the reason some may need to celebrate any given day, drink educated my friends!

A big #beer from Delaware to ease some pain…

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , on 02/27/2013 by beerbygarth


adjective \ˈnō-bəl\

Definition of NOBLE

a: possessing outstanding qualities : illustrious
b: famous, notable <noble deeds>
: of high birth or exalted rank : aristocratic
a: possessing very high or excellent qualities or properties <noble wine>
b: very good or excellent
: grand or impressive especially in appearance <noble edifice>
: possessing, characterized by, or arising from superiority of mind or character or of ideals or morals : lofty <a noble ambition>
: chemically inert or inactive especially toward oxygen <a noble metal such as platinum>

There’s a family in Delaware that’s going through some “things” right now.  Hell, not just one family, but an entire state, really.  I mean, this is a giant shot to the eye for the state of Delaware itself.  When something this unexpected and tumultuous happens, when things are rushing down the shitter at an incredible speed, it helps to take some time to step away (as much as you can) and “pull out” from the current situation.  What better way to accomplish this feat than by cracking open a bottle of Dogfish Head’s Noble Rot.  Brewed right in your backyard, this beer is a heavy hitter.  Weighing in at 9.00% ABV, quaffing a couple of these will have you forgetting that ugly hotel room bedspread that is haunting your subconscious in no time.  I highly doubt you will be focusing on the finer details and intricacies of this fine brew, leaning yourself more on the alcohol component, but for the rest of my faithful readers, let’s delve into this beauty a little deeper (oooh…bad choice of words, I suppose).

photo taken by

photo taken by

The most recent time I had the pleasure of enjoying this brew, it was poured on-tap and served in a snifter.  The beer is a bright, vibrant, almost clear yellow coloring with a healthy, white, fluffy, frothy head. Aromas are rich in vino characteristics, with a white grape and boozey blend that is light and effervescent. Flavors are also wine-like, as is the body. This is borderline pinot gris. Sweet, smooth, and slightly dry grape characteristics with a rich, sugary body that avoids cloying. It really is like drinking a glass of carbonated wine. Slick, loose film along the glass as you drink. The aftertaste is tart, and slightly drying. A sweet, heavy finish that is slightly tart, leaving a bit of a pucker feeling in the mouth. Very unique, that is for sure.  This is a fantastic option for wine drinkers looking to venture into the ever-growing beer world.

"Oh, I lost my crown!"

“Oh, I lost my crown!”

I realize that reading through the review, some might ask “why the extraneous use of ‘tart’ as a descriptor?”  Well, once you piece together the not so subtle underlying joke throughout this review, you will realize that ‘tart’ is insanely appropriate.  That being said, to get back on track, DFH makes some incredibly unique styles of beer, almost pushing the limits of the definition of beer itself.  This particular brew embodies their style and flair, and it should be one you look for.  As I said earlier, it’s a good transition for wine drinkers into the beer foray, but that door could easily swing both ways (hehe), serving to bridge some beer drinkers over to the wonderful world of wine.  Flavor is flavor, and to only focus on one avenue means missing out on entire worlds.  Keep your minds and palates open, and as always, drink educated my friends!


Disney #Beer???

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 10/31/2012 by beerbygarth

So, for the past few days I was trying to hammer out a way to tie in a beer review with the whole Sandy Superstorm.  I kept coming up on shandy reviews, thinking I would sprinkle in Grease pictures, but I have yet to find a shandy I truly looked upon with any level of favorability.  When I thought all was lost, I happened to spy on one of the televisions at the gym that Disney had purchased LucasFilms.  BINGO!!  Back in business…natural disasters be damned (although this may turn out to be one in the end!).

Disney has been on a shopping spree in the past decade in an attempt to lure in male audiences…basically of all ages.  I mean, some males get sucked in when they take their kids to the cartoon features, but for the most part, Disney didn’t really have much to offer a little boy past the age of 6.  Step 1, they bought Pixar.  Okay, you now have the Dads you had, the boyfriends who are taking their girlfriends to see Toy Story, and younger males up to the age of 8 instead of 6.  Then, smartly, Disney bought Marvel.  At first people might scoff, seeing as how the comic book forum is a slow dying breed, but with the pulp classics that I and many others grew up with came the movie rights to all of the major powerhouse characters (minus Spidey, Punisher, and FF, among some other flops).  In all honesty, who didn’t see Avengers crap plastered EVERYWHERE last year??  So, now Disney has lured in the male audience from the wee ages of 4 all the way to mid-life crisis.  Good to go, right?  Well, what if someone said there were some closet geeks that had fallen through the cracks?  How will that play into Disney’s plans for world domination?  Apparently not well, as in the midst of the east coast destroying Frankenstorm that was Sandy it was announced that Scrooge McDuck loosened his purse strings to the tune of 4 billion dollars to purchase LucasFilms, and possibly more importantly the rights to churn out more sequels to Lucas’ crown jewel that is Star Wars.

I love Star Wars…not enough to go to the festivals or cosplay or any of that shit, but I love them all the same.  That being said, Episodes I-III were painful…the most painful, for me, being Episode I.  Jar Jar Binks made me look on the Ewoks like they were equivalent to Kevin Spacey’s character John Doe in Se7en.  Seriously, even as a kid I hated the Ewoks, and then there was Jar Jar.  What a cinematic clusterfuck that character was.  It was bad to the point that his brief cameo in Episode II physically angers me every time I see it, and he was barely in the movie.  No matter how bad those three flicks were to many, I find myself unable to really tear myself away when they are on the tube.  The story, on the whole, is classic and alluring.  The characters (for the most part) are endearing and dynamic.  The galaxy far far away just sucks me in.  So, would I be willing to watch a new sequel?  The Episode VII that has been rumored since the release of the A New Hope?  You bet your Jabba I would!

“But Garth, what does this have to do with beer?” you might ask.  Well, actually, you probably wouldn’t ask that, because until now most people didn’t look around to see what my name was, and with the length of this post, I’m sure I lost at least half of the people who didn’t bail on the premise of this being a Star Wars related post.  To those of you dedicated enough to read this far, I say “BRAVO!”  I also implore that you recommend this site to your like-minded, beer enthused friends…I’m trying to get my numbers up!  Anyway, the tie in is in the beer itself.  Today, fellow ale-conners, I present to you Imperial Stout Trooper from the New England Brewing Co ( out of Woodbridge, CT.

Imperial Stout Trooper was originally released in 2006, packaged in 12 ounce bottles.  The following year, nothing, but that wouldn’t slow down the behemoth that is this brew.  In 2008, the 12 ounce bottle returned, and in 2009 they made the switch to the 750ml format…more bang per bottle!  In 2010, for aesthetic purposes, they added Groucho Marx glasses and mustache combo to the label art.  Nice touch, if I don’t say so.  I will admit that this one is tough to find…if you live in New England you have a decent shot when it is unleashed on the shelves.  I don’t know their exact distribution geography, but outside of New England, I wish you luck.  Now, on to the beer.

This review is a 2012 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is jet black with a low profile, dense, creamy, chocolate milk colored head. Aromas are creamy, with a mocha blending, leaning slightly on the bitter side. Flavors are supersmooth, with a healthy underlying kick from the ABV. Bitter and dark roasted coffee throughout, with some dark, bittersweet chocolate overtones and earthy, roasted highlights. There is a subtle sweetness that jumps in at the end of the palate…seems like a tangy caramel. The body remains smooth throughout, but is light enough to be drinkable. Another solid boozey bite in the aftertaste, as well as a roasty and bitter blend. The finish is smooth and bitter at the same time; creamy, yet sharp. Very dynamic, solidly brewed RIS. Delicious!

So, the storm trooper connection is obvious.  At the end of Episode VI, which is the third movie in the original trilogy (if that’s confusing then you weren’t a real Star Wars fan, not that there’s anything wrong with that!), the storm troopers, along with everyone else, was running their asses off of an exploding Death Star.  I’m not sure if the storm trooper will have a place in the new trilogy, but that won’t stop me from cracking a few of these heavy ass stouts to celebrate the planned Episode VII release in 2015.  Until then, why not throw in A New Hope, sit back, and sip on this heavy hitting beast of a beer.  Sounds like a fun, SciFi themed beer night to me, and from previous posts you all know how much I love a good theme drinking night!  The hard part is going to be getting your hands on the beer, but the fun is in the chase…and you never know what gems you may stumble upon while searching for something like this.  May the force be with you, and as always, drink educated my friends!

#Beer for the Olympics, just in time for the closing ceremonies…

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , on 08/08/2012 by beerbygarth

In the tradition of the games that we are currently so enthralled with, I have brought about a trio of reviews worthy of the summer events.  Of course there are three, or else this would be a miserable parallel, now wouldn’t it?  So, in the same order that medals are awarded, I present to you the Bronze, Silver, and Gold medal brews worthy of London’s Summer Games.  Also, I should reveal to you, my faithful readers, that I actually drank these beers quite some time ago, but am only bringing them to you now, as to continue the example set forth by NBC’s abysmal television coverage of the actual events thus far.

All three brews are from London, and more specifically from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC (


Fuller’s London Pride

With a name like this, you almost have to assume Gold, but if names won medals then that Feck guy would have rocked the gold in diving instead of scoring the “worst dive in Olympic history.”  Seriously, what would have been better than a Feck-ing Gold medal…instead we saw a Feck-ing disaster.  I’m not kidding…look it up.  No seriously, I’ll wait.  …  …  Painful, right?  Okay, back to the wet stuff that doesn’t cause concussions.  Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer has a crystal clear, amber coloring, with a short stack of thick, beige foam that quickly disperses into an uneven film of bubbles. The beer has a roasty/toasty malt nose.  Flavors are malt heavy, with hints of toffee and caramel, but balanced by a very slight bitterness that I get only on the sides of my tongue. I get a little taste of candy/taffy every once in a while, also. The bitterness steps up in the finish and aftertaste, which makes it easy to take another sweet sip to follow-up. The beer is crisp, light, and smooth in mouth, and the finish is subtle, but hangs out long enough to remind you that the beer is hopped a bit. Very tasty beverage, and my first from Fuller’s, so I am looking forward to trying some of their other offerings.  Look forward to it so much, in fact, that I continued drinking their offerings immediately.


Fuller’s London Porter

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a dark, nutty brown color with a healthy, inch thick, mocha colored head. There is a nose of coffee, a little choco-toffee, and a little earthy-nutty sweetness. The beer has a very smooth body, with coffee flavors right off the bat, bringing a decent amount of bitter to the beer. Other flavors are sweet to balance, including a slightly dark molasses taste. The beer is surprisingly light and smooth in mouth, and it leaves a great lacing on the glass as you drink it. Very light coffee aftertaste, with chocolate highlights, that diminishes very quickly. Great finish, nice and smooth, and this is a very tasty beer to drink that remains light and easy to consume.  Good start and a strong finish will land you on the podium in the Silver spot.


Fuller’s ESB

So here it is, the Gold medal.  Fire up the UK national anthem, and let’s drink some beer!  Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a slightly hazed, orange-amber coloring with an airy, white, loose, one half-inch head. The aromas from the beer noted while pouring were caramel, toffee, a slight sour tone, and some hops. The caramel malt flavor is first on the tongue, with a subtle hoppy
background to help balance it. Some toasted flavor characters, also. The beer is slick and smooth in mouth, with a crisp and light finish. The bitterness from the hops disappears once the beer clears your mouth, and you are left with a balance of sweet and sour on the aftertaste, which is extremely pleasant. This is one easy brew to consume. Goes well with anything from grilled meat dinners to pizza.  Lower ABV allows you to drink a few while watching Track and Field, which is good because NBC throws so many goddamn commercials and delays in the mix that it takes 4 hours to complete 4 separate 12-second heats.  Asshats.  Anyway, with this Gold medal I now present three beers from London very worth of accompanying the tail end of these Summer games!

Olympics give us a fun reason to drink theme styled brews, and theme-drinking can be as easy as geographical similarities, or as deep as including all beers with a shared ingredient.  Whatever the reason, or the theme, it makes it fun and changes things up a bit to keep your beer drinking adventurous and new.  Hail to the Olympians, and as always, drink educated my friends!


And just in case you couldn’t find the dive…