A Very Berry Beer To Savor This Summer – Not Berry Hefe – Knucklehead Craft Brewing

Fun fact – 40 lbs of raspberries were added to the fermenter to give Not Very Berry Hefe a noticeable berry hue. The brew is light and effervescent but not sweet, as you may guess from the name. Heck, my husband even liked it and he’s not a fan of fruit beers.

I love raspberries, I love beer – the choice wasn’t difficult.

Knucklehead Craft Brewing has a flagship lineup of the usual stouts, IPAs, a cream ale and a scotch ale year round but they regularly release a limited batch/seasonal offering. The last time I’d swung by was for their Blueberry Muffin Ale, which they served with some blueberries and cinnamon sugar on the rim (I declined that garnish and kind of regret it). It actually tasted like a blueberry muffin.

The Not Berry Hefe, though, I had never had before because it has sold out wicked quick the last couple of times they’ve brewed it.

I can now see why.

The brew is a lovely blend of berry flavors and the light refreshment of a witbier. We’re not talking the sticky, icky sweetness of something like Founders’ Rubaeus or Shocktop Raspberry. The closest equivalent is, not surprisingly, my perennial favorite, Harpoon’s Raspberry UFO.

The biggest difference between the two is the smell and taste. Their use of a traditional Weissbier does give it a bit of that smokey flavor you get with those beers over more commercially available Hefeweizen style beers. However, if you can’t get to Knucklehead before it sells out, again, the Harpoon one is your best bet. Then plan better next year.

It definitely tastes and smells like summer should and will refresh your body and soul during the few hot weeks we have left.

Not Berry Hefe – Knucklehead Craft Brewing – Hefeweizen – ABV Unknown

Brewelist Advent Calendar 2016 – The Cure for Cabin Fever – Stone Brewing Company’s Cabin Fever Mixed 12 Pack

Buying beer for a crowd can be difficult. Like, very. You’ve got the guy who only drinks Bud Light, the guy who will only drink West Coast IPAs and the person who won’t touch anything they can see through. And then the person who swears they don’t drink beer because they don’t like how it tastes.

If you have one of those last people in your life, get rid of them. You don’t need that negativity in your life (though we kid).

The Cabin Fever Mixed 12 Pack does a decent job of coming thisclose to giving a little something for everyone. Alas if you’re only into Pilsners/Lagers/Weak Beer, you won’t be well served here. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, like some flavorful beers and are willing to spend around $22 for the people you love, you’ve got yourself a winner here.

Stone includes 3 bottles of their Delicious IPA, their Ruination Double IPA, their Coffee Milk Stout and, the star of the show, their Vanilla Bean Porter.

The Delicious IPA is, as advertised, delicious. There is a subtle sweetness and fruitiness that lacks the bitterness that some people don’t care for. It’s the second highest alcohol content in the pack, so take it easy.

The Ruination Double IPA 2.0 takes things up another level (and increases your chances of misery the next morning). This isn’t my favorite but it’s strong. So if you’re just trying to get through that awkward gathering you went to as a plus-one, hide in the corner with one of these. It’ll be over soon.

The nights, and our seasonals, are getting darker. This one has a clear coffee taste and a smooth flavor that makes it perfect to unwind after a long day.

My favorite, overall, is the Cabin Fever exclusive, the Vanilla Bean Porter. It’s not too sweet and you can taste the freshness of the vanilla. It reminds me of a cold latte or a milkshake. Stone – won’t you pretty please make this a recurring beer and maybe make it possible for me to get a 6 pack of it in the future? It is THAT good.

Yes, this pack will run you more than most variety packs (ones that are similar in content and styles around me run about $17), but this is more than worth it to offer something a bit different to your guests.

The Stats:

Stone Delicious IPA – 7.7% – India Pale Ale (Year-Round, available in six-packs, 22oz bottles and on draft)

Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0 – 8.5% – Double IPA (Year-Round, available in six-packs, 22oz bottles and on draft)

Stone Coffee Milk Stout – 5.0% – Milk Stout (Seasonal, also available in six-packs or on draft)

Stone Vanilla Bean Porter – 5.9% – Porter (Exclusive, only available in this pack)

The Pick Six – June 15, 2016 – Sodastream Does Beer, Ohio lifts the ABV cap and Virginia Tech’s Fusion Lab Gives Rise to History-Based Video Game

Brews: 

Sweet Tang Lager With Grapefruit – Hamburg Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV – This lager has heavy grapefruit flavors. It lacks bitterness and is heavy on the citrus. It’s very crisp, very tasty, and very welcome on a hot summer day. And, at only 5.0% ABV, very drinkable.

 

All about the Hefe lifting – Widmer Brothers from Portland, OR is releasing its Hefe Shandy again this Summer. The seasonal beer features Hefe’s signature hazy appearance with the addition of lemon drop drops and natural lemonade flavor. It’s the perfect beverage to enjoy on your back porch with fireflies all around and a breeze through your hair. The beer only has 4.2% ABV, so it’s great for keeping you cool when things heat up. You should be able to get your hands on this beverage at a local brew stop near you.

 

 

Games: 

Our Pandemic: 1918 – Virginia Tech (Jackie’s alma mater) has created the Fusion Studio which allows participants across multiple disciplines to collaborate. In this case, a historian, a video game developer, an expert on pandemics and an artist joined forces to create a point and click game that explores the 1918 influenza outbreak. Also worth mentioning that Virginia Tech now has a microbrewery on campus and students can learn about brewing beer and whatnot. I’m glad to see my tuition dollars are being well spent long after I can no longer benefit from them (but I guess there’s always grad school?). The game isn’t out yet but I suspect it’ll be an interesting use of the medium.

 

Oxygen Not Included Announced at E3 – One of our favorite Indie Game studios, Klei Entertainment has announced their newest project, a space colony simulation called Oxygen Not Included. While no firm release date has been released, there is a Steam Page and speculation it will hit later this year or early in 2017. How will we fare as leaders in space colonization? Probably not well but we’ll have a lot of fun failing.

 

 

News: 

Beer on demand going too far? – Sodastream has begun selling their “Beer Bar” product, which allows you to, allegedly, brew a craft beverage at will using their system. They swear you can’t taste the difference but I suspect it’s going to take a lot more than a Sodastream and some flavored concentrate to dupe an actual beer. While I’m curious to know what it’s like, I’m going to sit this one out. I mean, I still have difficulty accepting that gas stations can fill growlers…

 

Ohio Lifts ABV Ban – Previously, if you were an Ohio resident and wanted any beer above 12%, you were out of luck. The state has voted to allow the beers to be sold in the state, but must be labeled “High Alcohol Beer.” Sounds like a reasonable compromise to me.

 

The Pick Six – March 20th, 2016 – Alberta Clipper, Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island and New Belgium Brewing

Brews:

Great Lakes Brewing Company Alberta Clipper – 7.8% ABV, Porter – Great Lakes releases this brew around February every year. It’s worth hunting down when available because it was Jackie’s Beer of the Year for 2015. This beer is super dark but almost oddly refreshing as it has very, very prominent raspberry notes. It’s also more tarte than sweet considering the chocolate notes in it. It’s like a dark chocolate raspberry truffle but with alcohol and without the extraneous sugaryness.

Games:

Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island – In the same vein as a Jack & Dexter or a Ratchet & Clank, the duo of Skylar & Plux are on their way to your action-platforming heart later in 2016. The game features jetpacks, powerful upgrades to your weapons, and beautiful landscapes. Check out the trailer HERE from the Grip Digital, the people behind The Solus Project.

Dragon Land – Take your mind back to the first time you played Spyro on the Playstation. You’re a tiny dragon that doesn’t quite know how to fly, but breathing fire is becoming second nature to you. You jump along in a 3D platformer and you’re having a ton of fun. Dragon Land is pretty much the same thing, but for your mobile device. It’s free-to-play, but costs to keep going if you run out of lives and hearts…unless you want to wait for them to regenerate. Lots of fun, great controls, and looks good too!

Collapse Simulator – Ubisoft – A companion tool to Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division, it takes you through the collapse of civilization due to a virus that is 3x more deadly than smallpox. The simulator gives you choices to make, from the pharmacy where you attempt to get medicine, to the international destination you go to in order to escape the plague. It’s a fun mini game that you can play while working and no one will be the wiser. If you like playing the architect of the apocalypse, you may also want to consider playing Plague, Inc. which is available for both computer and mobile operating systems and was conveniently reviewed on a previous episode of the Brewelist Podcast.

News:

Gray water translates to Great beer? – Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is making small batches of it’s Mavericks Tunnel Vision IPA with recycled waste water. You heard it right. Your sink, shower, dishwasher, and washing machine water is being converted into beer for your drinking pleasure. The San Francisco beer maker is brewing up the perfect solution for California’s water shortage. Dirty water has never tasted so refreshing.

Thanks to FoxNews for the info.

New Belgium Has a Doctor In the House – New Belgium Brewing has added an on-site doctor’s office to their newly renovated facilities in Colorado. CEO Christine Perich wanted her employees to have access to a doctor so they would not be reliant on emergency services or an urgent care facility and hopes the addition to the staff will have a positive impact on employee health. Dr. Patti Palagi has been with the company since March of 2015. If the program works well, New Belgium may provide similar services to their Asheville, NC brewery, set to open in April 2016.

Kudos to Brewbound.com for the info.

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 25: DuClaw Brewing Company Sweet Baby Jesus

Here we are, on the final day of the Brewelist Advent Calendar! It’s been a full twenty-five days of games, beer and sharing, which is what the season is all about.

The beer that inspired this entire project is about to be reviewed – Sweet Baby Jesus from DuClaw Brewing Company. So steal a few seconds, grab a cold one and read on.

Where to find it: Mid Atlantic Region Supermarkets, Beer Shops, Gas Stations, etc.

ABV: 6.2%

Style: Porter

Availability: Year-Round

Taste/Smell: The beer smells and tastes like dark chocolate. If you remember the dark chocolate Reese’s cups, that’s pretty much what it’s like. The beer is thick and dark and offers both flavors without being sweet at all. You may be left with some bitter notes but they do not detract from the overall flavor.

Rating (out of 10): 9/10

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Brewelist Crew!

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 24: Ellicottville Brewing Co.’s Lloyds Christmas Ale

Lloyd’s Christmas Ale – Festively brewed ale with fresh ginger and fig.

Where to find it: They distribute locally near the brewery and to select locations in New York and Pennsylvania. You can find their distribution map here: http://www.ellicottvillebrewing.com/find-us/find-our-breweries-retailers-and-distributors/

ABV: 8%

Style: Belgian Brown Ale

Availability: seasonally in the winter

Taste/Smell: Smell- this had a very light and airy smell with a hint of ginger. Not a lot of extra flavor going on here. You can get some of the fig, just because it’s a unique flavor that isn’t normally in beer. The ginger was there, but just as a slight “bite” on your tongue.

Rating (out of 10): 7 out of 10 but this is the first year they’ve released it, so expect some tweaking of the recipe in the years to come.

Lloyds Christmas Ale

Brian Beer God: Please follow me on Facebook and on my website to see more great pictures and read more reviews on your favorite brews.

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 19: Blue Point Brewing Company Blueberry Ale

I first had this beer over the Summer, when fruity beer and shandys are all the rage. I had wanted to try something that was imbued with Blueberry flavoring, as it’s one of my favorite fruits and why not just mix it into alcohol? After trying a lot of disappointing offerings, I came across the Blue Point Brewing Company Blueberry Ale and just loved it. I had one and then went out and bought a six pack. It has the right kind of fruit to malt ratio that it’s competitors didn’t offer. As of right now, I have not found a better Blueberry beer.

Brewery Name/Location: Blue Point Brewing Company, Long Island NY

ABV: 4.60%

Style: Frut/Vegetable Beer

Where to find: Your local beer Store

When to find: Seasonal

Taste/Smell: Tastes like a blueberry pie and smells like your grandma’s house if she was someone who baked pies. Otherwise it just smells like a nice bake shop.

Rating (out of 10): 9/10

Blue Point Brewing Company Blueberry Ale

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 23 – Naught Reawakening and Silversmith Brewing Black Lager

On the 23rd day of Advent, we bring you Naught Awakening and Black Lager from Silversmith Brewing! This episode of the podcast goes through an unusual pairing of craft beer and indie game. Enjoy the episode below and let us know what you think!

Grab the game on STEAM or on Mobile devices and the brew exclusively at Silversmith Brewing.

Check our Facebook page for updates, along with our Twitter and Instagram. We also have an UnTappd account where you can see what we’re drinking; and you can catch us on iTunes for your listening pleasure.

Any ideas you have for a game to play and a drink to go along with it? Email us: brewelist@gmail.com.

Stay Thirsty and Play Indie!

~Casey and Jackie

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 21: Kona Brewing Company Pipeline Porter

Beer: Pipeline Porter

Brewery Name/Location: Kona Brewing Company, Hawaii

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Porter

Where to find: Beers of The World, Wegmans

Taste/Smell: Rich Earth flavor, with a light coffee scent.

Thoughts: When my company sent me on a day trip to California I found a brewing company called Kona Brewing Company and had some of the most amazing beer I have ever had with Koko Brown. I hunted and hunted for it in Rochester with no luck before finding Kona’s Longboard Lager which was a good beer from this company. Viewing Kona’s selection this winter I was excited to find they brought a new beer to the Rochester area, the Pipeline Porter. This may be the best beer from Kona yet, made using coffee beans from Kona Coffee, which may be the best coffee bean out there. The coffee flavor is quite strong and earth, but really makes this beer a great porter from the Kona Brewing Company. One things for sure, Hawaii sure knows how to do drinks right, so take some time to grab a 6 pack and your longboard, and go ride the pipeline.

Rating (out of 10): 9/10

 

By: Jake Duell, @snakesbeard

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 18: Flying Bison’s Bison Warmer

Where to find it: They distribute locally near the brewery and to Western, NY. Outside of that their distribution is unknown (not listed on their website)

ABV: n/a

Style: Winter Warmer

Availability: seasonally in the winter

Taste/Smell: Lots of malts going on with this. But that’s typical of a winter warmer. A slight roastiness with a lot of background flavors going on here I can’t pinpoint.

Rating (out of 10): 8 out of 10

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Brian Beer God: Please follow me on Facebook and on my website to see more great pictures and read more reviews on your favorite brews.