Beer 28 of Spring – Peachy Keen

Dogfigh Head Festina Peche

Brewer: Dogfish Head       Craft: Festina Peche       ABV: 4.5%

What can I say – I have an affinity for anything Dogfish Head.  They were the first brewery I ever visited, which happened to be on an anniversary trip with my wife.  (Don’t I have an awesome wife?)  So it will come as no surprise that I really enjoy this craft.

Festina Peche is a perfect craft for those warm spring days.  The style of this craft is neo-Berliner Weisse, which translates to a tart, crisp, bordering on sour beer.  The peach is present throughout as a warm sweetness.  And there you have it.  Nothing too fancy here, and it doesn’t need to be.

I had just finished mowing the lawn and I was thirsty.  I wanted a beer that was refreshing, easy to drink, sessionable, and flavorful.  Festina Peche was a peachy keen choice.  I must say too, that, this craft would travel into summer perfectly well.  Those hot, humid, summer nights call for a craft such as this.  So if you’re willing to wait, grab some while it’s here and hold onto it until summer…

Rating: I’d pay for a case of this no problem.

Beer 42 of winter – perfectly piercing pear pilsner

Dogfish Head Piercing Pils

Brewer: Dogfish Head       Craft: Piercing Pils       ABV: 6.0%

Ooooh, alliteration.  The first time I had this craft, which was over a year ago, I was unimpressed.  It just didn’t sing to me.  Well, this goes to show you that you need to try something a couple times before you really decide.  I’m having the Piercing Pils again, and this time the tune is piercing my tongue.

I think the first time I didn’t really get what Dogfish Head was trying to achieve with this craft.  Maybe time, maturity, and experience have given me a better perspective.  Piercing Pils is definitely a pilsner.  It is crisp, and clean, and has that bitterness from the Saaz hops you expect in a pilsner.  And the aroma of those hops just screams to me eastern European beer.  I smell it and feel like I’m immediately whisked away to Germany or the Czech Republic.

But then I get a smoothness, and subtle sweetness, which must come from the pear.  This, to me, makes this a winter pilsner.  Typically you’d be drinking a pilsner in the hot summer months, as most are only crisp, clean, and refreshing.  But this is what Dogfish Head likes to do – mess with the norms of brewing and give you a product that makes you think.

I’d definitely have this craft again.  I like it because it’s the same but different.  That’s right.  The same but different.  Cheers.

Beer 38 of winter – 90 for 90

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Brewer: Dogfish Head       Craft: 90 Minute IPA       ABV: 9%

One of my favorite crafts.  Malty, subtly sweet, smooth, hoppy, warm, delicious.  Please, if you haven’t had this yet, go get some.  Notice I said some.  Not just one.  Get a four-pack.  Or even a case.  That won’t be cheap.  But you get what you pay for.  People – I’m serious here.  Go to the store and buy yourself some 90 Minute IPA.

And the title?  I decided to take 90 minutes to drink this craft to savor every minute that it was hopped.  So 90 minutes for 90 Minute.  At 9%, it’s okay to slow walk it.  I’m going to let the beer speak for itself now.  Go buy it.  Go.  Cheers!

Beers of New Year’s Eve – the recap

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I hope you had a fun, safe, tradition filled New Year’s Eve last night.  I did!  I thought I’d recap the beers of NYE and give some quick notes on each.  Beers were drank from left to right.  And here’s the recap…

First – Brewer: Traveler       Craft: Jolly Winter Shandy       ABV: 4.4%       A great way to start the evening.  This craft is a shandy, which means it has some fruit component built in.  Jolly has lemon peel, along with pomegranate, and orange.  It also has some spice from what I believe to be cinnamon and ginger.  It all works well together and sets the mood for the night.

Second – Brewer: Conshohocken Brewing Co.       Craft: IPA       ABV: 6.4%       This is my local, hometown brewery.  I was so excited when I heard that a brewery was opening up in the town I grew up in, and even more excited when I heard they were going to start canning a couple of their crafts.  This IPA is a solid, no nonsense craft.  Notes of citrus and bittering hops blend together to make this malty craft easy to drink, which, at 6.4 %, is just on the outside edge of being a session ale.

Third – Brewer: Samuel Smith’s       Craft: Winter Welcome Ale       ABV: 6.0%       A nice follow-up to the Conshy IPA is this winter warmer.  A malty backbone with a solid spice profile is what I want and expect in a winter warmer.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Fourth – Brewer: Rogue       Craft: Dead Guy Ale       ABV: 6.5%       I like this craft because it’s unexpected.  It is malty, but not overly so.  It has fruit notes that I pick up of pineapple and orange, but not too much of either.  It has a spice character toward the finish, which is just enough.  This craft is a quality blend of flavors married together in a convincing, unique way.

Fifth – Brewer: Dogfish Head       Craft: Namaste       ABV: 4.8%       These guys can do no wrong in my opinion.  I’m unabashedly a Dogfish Head fan.  They are creative in their brewing ideas and in the crafts they create.  They aren’t afraid to try things and push the envelope.  Namaste is lighter fare.  It almost drinks like a champagne.  I thought I might choose this one to finish the evening, but I decided to end with another local craft.  Though this could certainly be a drink with which you toast.

Sixth – Brewer: Conshohocken       Craft: Doll’s Eye CDA       ABV: 5.2%       I had originally thought I might end the night with a stout.  But as the night progressed, my mood changed and I wanted to end the night with the other craft I had picked up from Conshy.  So the Cascadian Dark Ale was the walk off.  I made a great choice.  This hoppy, malty ale was a nice change from the lighter, fruitier Namaste.  It left me satisfied that I had made wise choices all night long and could walk off into the slumber of the new year with fulfillment and joy.

The whole evening was an awesome experience filled with food, family, fun, and of course, craft beer.  I made sure I drank a glass of water in between each beer so I wouldn’t be waking up with a hangover.  Along with all of the cheeses, meats, and crackers, I woke up this morning feeling like I had fun last night, but not too much.  And for me, that’s what New Year’s Eve is all about…the tradition of enjoying myself with family, remembering it the next day and wanting to continue the tradition next year.  Or is it this year?

Either way, have a happy and healthy new year.  Cheers. – Ed

Beer Thousand of winter – huh?

Dogfish Head Beer Thousand

Brewer: Dogfish Head                  Craft: Beer Thousand                ABV: 10%

Well, okay.  It’s really beer 8 of winter.  But I couldn’t resist.  And I have to be up front with you right now.  I’m a big fan of Dogfish Head.  They don’t just make beer, they craft beer.

That being said, this offering from them does not disappoint on any level.  A quick description of the beer from the label:

“10 grains x 10 hops x 10% = Beer Thousand.”  It sounds like a great idea.  It was.

The aromas are subtle.  Citrus, caramel, and a malty sweetness blend together to create a softness that does not overpower your nose, but rather foreshadows the cornucopia of tastes to come.

And once you start drinking this craft, the tastes continue to develop.  It starts off with the notes your nose has pulled already.  You get the citrus.  You get the caramel smoothness and sweetness.  You get the malty sweetness. But then your palate picks up on subtle spice notes. And then you realize there’s some wheaty smoothness.  Oh, wait, is that rye?  And could that be banana?  Don’t be surprised if you find more in there.

With all of these flavors you would think it could be a mess.  But it is the complete opposite of a mess.  It is an organized, complete package of buttery smooth, subtly sweet, subtly spiced, on the verge of boozy, goodness in a goblet.  If you can find it, buy it.  You won’t regret it.