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Abita Brewing Company - Jockamo IPA (3) Bell's Brewery - Hopslam (3) Big Sky Brewing Company - Bobo's Robust Porter (3) Midwest Brewers Fest (3) Mother Earth Brewing - Sisters Of The Moon IPA (3) Oskar Blues Brewery - Ten Fidy (3) 21st Amendment Brewery - Brew Free! Or Die IPA (2) Abita Brewing Company - Restoration Pale Ale (2) Ale Asylum - Hopalicious (2) Ayinger Brewery - Celebrator Doppelbock (2) Bell's Brewery - Octoberfest Beer (2) Bell's Brewery - The Oracle (2) Bell's Brewery - Two Hearted Ale (2) Boulder Beer Company - Hazed & Infused (2) Brau Brothers Brewing Company - Pale Ale (2) Breckenridge Brewery - 471 IPA (2) Breckenridge Brewery - Christmas Ale (2) Crow Peak Brewing Company - 11th Hour IPA (2) Cucapa Brewing Company - Chupacabras Pale Ale (2) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - 90 Minute IPA (2) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Punkin Ale (2) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Squall IPA (2) Flying Dog Brewery - Raging Bitch (2) Fort Collins Brewery - Rocky Mountain IPA (2) Fort Collins Brewery - Z Lager (2) Founders Brewing Company - Centennial IPA (2) Founders Brewing Company - Devil Dancer (2) Founders Brewing Company - Double Trouble (2) Founders Brewing Company - Founders Pale Ale (2) Founders Brewing Company - Red Rye P.A. (2) Grand Teton Brewing Company - Trout Hop Black IPA (2) Great American Beer Festival 2010 (2) Great Lakes Brewing Company - Conway's Irish Ale (2) Green Flash Brewing Company - Hop Head Red Ale (2) Green Flash Brewing Company - West Coast IPA (2) Half Acre Beer Company - Daisy Cutter (2) Half Acre Beer Company - Meat Wave (2) Kona Brewing Company - Wailua Wheat (2) Lagunitas Brewing Company - Hop Stoopid Ale (2) Magic Hat Brewing Company - #9 Not Quite Pale Ale (2)

Sunday
Jul082012

2012 Chicago Craft Beer Festival (Part 1) - 5 Rabbit Cerveceria

This past Sunday, the crew and I headed out to St. Michael's in Old Town to attend and provide you some coverage from the inaugural Chicago Craft Beer Fest put on by Special Events Management.  Our interview with Issac from 5 Rabbit Cerveceria is the first of a seven part series of the fest and we have some great interviews for you coming in the next week or two.  Stay tuned to The Greatest Beer Of All Time for more Chicago Craft Beer Festival coverage...

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Isaac Showaki With 5 Rabbits Cerveceria from Salt Media on Vimeo.

Wednesday
Jun272012

Crow Peak Brewing Company- 11th Hour IPA : Badass in the Black Kills?

Recently I have picked up the running shows and put down the beers, but I couldn’t resist this ominous green can any longer. Jason slid me this beer a while ago and I have been meaning to get to it for ages. After tonight’s run I hit my target of fifty miles ran in under a month and I couldn’t pass on a celebratory review any longer. Fingers crossed that this is a beer worthy of praise and adulations.

I really like my initial impression of 11th Hour. It poured a rusty orange with almost no head and no carbonation. This beer seemed to have a real mysterious air. The aroma was complex and nuanced with hints of sweet malt, citrus and piney hops. The aroma is incredible and dangerously inviting. This brew has a real gravity and presence in your glass. I am truly excited for my first sip.

11th Hour where have you been my whole life? This beer took me by surprise. I was expecting a dense and heavy brew based off my initial impression and I was way off! This beer is incredibly smooth, crisp and light. It has a subtle, sweetness and a citrusy, green tee flavor. Crow peak has a smooth and perfectly blended summer IPA here: Think Ska Decedent Light! It is a shame that I can’t get my hands on this more often because this would be the perfect beer to drink while watching the Cubs lose.

 Consumed: Sensory Glass

ABV: 6.5%

Verdict: Buy A Case!

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Friday
Jun222012

White Flame Brewing Co. Releases “Hooterville Wheat” as Part of Hops for Hope 2012

(HUDSONVILLE, Mich) – Drinking Michigan craft beer AND supporting a great cause? That’s exactly what Bill White at White Flame Brewing Co. in Hudsonville is doing this summer during Hops for Hope 2012.

Today, White Flame is releasing “Hooterville Wheat” – a hoppy American-style wheat beer which sells for $5 a pint – with $1 from every beer sold going directly to fund breast cancer research at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids. The beer is only available in the taproom at 5234 36th Avenue in Hudsonville, through September 22.

“The cause is a good one that has touched many people's lives including ours,” says White Flame Owner/Brewer Bill White. “Both my wife Jenn and I have lost our maternal grandmothers to complications related to breast cancer so this cause is very dear to our hearts.” 

White Flame Brewing is open five days a week: Tuesdays-Thursdays (4-10pm) and Friday-Saturday (4pm-Midnight).

Opened in January 2012, White Flame Brewing is one of some 100 craft breweries in the state of Michigan, which ranks #5 nationally and touts itself as “The Great Beer State”!

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Wednesday
Jun202012

Short’s Brewing Company- Raisin Apollo Double IPA with Golden Raisins- Raisin against the machine? 

There is not a whole lot, besides my family, that I miss about living in Michigan. However, if I was forced to make a list I would have to include Short’s Brew on it. Short’s releases a lot of varieties and it is very easy to miss most of them when you live far away. Luckily my buddy Ryan saved me a bottle and we were able to make an exchange when I stopped by to see him, Amy and their adorable new baby, Brody.

Raisin Apollo is a DIPA made with golden raisins and it pours like sexual napalm. The hue is burnt orange with a low carbonation and a light, foamy head. I found the scent to be slightly mysterious. I hate to mix comparisons but this brew is both sweet and sour in aroma. The raisins have created a sweet, Riesling aroma reminiscent of a white wine, but there is also a strong undercurrent of piney hops. This beer is very hard to wrap your head around.

Wow Raisin Apollo is a bitter bomb. The first sip made my eyes cross and my lips pucker. Fast forward twenty minutes: Ok let’s try this again. I let Raisin Apollo warm for a few and it took a much different and ultimately better form. As this beer breathed it became more nuanced. The flavor is sweet from the raisins but also tart and full of wood and citrus. The flavor definitely morphs as it washes over your palate.

Honestly I am glad I had a little restraint and patience because I almost dumped this beer out. Time and heat really brought out the taste and genius of this brew. Beers like Raisin Apollo are what make Short’s something special. This is far from my favorite DIPA, but I have had nothing else like it and that is becoming something I can say less and less often. Check this one out for yourself.

ABV: 9.0%

Consumed: Ionic Pint Glass

Verdict: Buy A 12 Pack

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Sunday
Jun172012

Happy Father's Day - 2012

Happy Father's Day to all you Craft Beer loving Fathers as well as those who have not quite seen the light, yet.  For most of us, our father's were the ones we shared our first beer with or quite possibly the ones we swiped our first beer from.  Regardless, sharing a beer with your father can be one of the best moments ever.  I don't mean to get deep on you all but there was a moment almost 20 years ago I shared a beer with my father that I will never forget.

Back in June of 1992 I lost my 16 year old brother.  I was 18 at the time and had just graduated from high school.  It was one of the darkest moments in my life and despite the tragedy, we became stronger as a family.  A few months later, my folks packed my sister and I in the car and we drove to Breckenridge, Colorado.  We stayed at one of the larger resort properties and had some cool stuff planned as a family. At one point during our stay, my dad and I went down to the bar and he ordered a beer for each of us.  Mind you, I was 18, but at that moment it was about sharing not only a beer but a moment in time that has stuck with me forever.  It wasn't my first beer nor was it my first beer with him but it was at a point where there was some major healing and bonding happening.  Nothing major was said or discussed, just small talk and living in the moment.  As he remembers it, we had a New Belgium Fat Tire for the first time that day and I do believe if that was the case, it was the first time we shared a Craft Beer together.  

Many more have been shared since then.  I've converted him into a Craft Beer guy, despite the fact that he still has the occasional Budweiser.  Still, my dad is one of my favorite people to have a beer with and one of my favorite people in general.  We may not agree on everything or see eye to eye on a lot of things but he is my father and I am one lucky man because of it!!

Happy Father's Day,

Jason

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Friday
Jun152012

Short’s Brewing Company- Good Humans: We could all be better humans!

So my mom brought the hookup this holiday season. Not only did she bring me a bunch of awesome brews back from England/ Scotland, but she brought a whole bunch of tasty Michigan brews as well. We spent Christmas watching movies, playing games and sipping on some killer beers from Short’s. Out of everything she brought, however; nothing quite tickled my fancy like Good Humans. Good Humans is a Dry Hopped Double Brown Ale. Yup you read that right! Three of my favorite things in one brew: Double (strong), dry hopped and a brown ale! Sign me up for this ride.

This brown ale is, well… brown. But it does have a slight ruby/ mahogany glow. Here is the word from Short’s themselves, “This Double Brown Ale, made with Carabrown Malt, was created to showcase one of Briess Malting Company’s new products. Although it was thought to be a onetime brewing event, this beer is now one of our most recent successes. Sweet malty aromas mingle with prominent toasted caramel and toffee flavors. This beer finishes pleasingly dry, with a bouquet of hops that have slight fruity qualities.” The aroma is sweet and nutty with a toffee updraft and the carbonation is light as it should be.

It would have been a shame if Short’s only made this beer once. Good Humans stands tall as the best brown ale I have ever enjoyed. The flavor is sweet, nutty and toasted like a glass of Heath Bar Hot Chocolate. The dry hopping adds just enough IBUs to keep the flavor crisp and balanced while the caramel backbone of this beer accentuates a stellar flavor that can’t be missed.  I like to think that this beer is Short’s tribute to great people. I recommend sharing some bottles with friends: the way all good beer is meant to be enjoyed!

ABV: 8.0%

Consumed: Short’s Ionic Pint Glass

Verdict: Buy a Keg!

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