The humping returns

soon…

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Pittsburgh Craft Beer Examiner

Over a month since an update? Well for good reason. I’ve accepted a position as the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Examiner on examiner.com

Thanks to everyone who helped keep this Humpday experiment going over the last couple years. I started this so i could work on my palate and develop my reviewing skills and I think thats been a success.

I’m going to keep up the beer reviews over there from now on so make sure you subscribe!

cheers!

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News n’at

You may have noticed there haven’t been many updates recently. The closing on the house is coming up so we’re all frantic getting things ready for when we sign the papers. I have a few more beers to release and then we’ll see what happens. Figures right after I renew the domain that this opportunity came for me to… Well, I’ll wait.

more soon once its official

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79 – Beer School: Shells Pils, Edelherb Pils, Heavy Seas Small Craft and Baltika 7

Last night good friend Uncle Crappy taught Craft Beer School at the Cabaret and joined myself and sickpuppy as alumni teachers for the event. I thought a nice change of pace would be to recap the beers when I attend these events and also give you an idea of what goes on.

Quick recap if you haven’t heard of Beer School before. It’s a 4 class schedule held in the fall and winter/spring at the Cabaret at Theater Square in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Sponsored by Vecenie Distributing Company, it’s $25 a ticket per class and you get 4 beers to sample plus a light fare. For the food, beer and education plus the company it really is a great deal. For more information

Last night we were treated to 4 pilsners that stretched the spectrum so instead of drawing them out over 4 weeks we’ll hit it all up in one shot. Shells Pils, Edelherb Pils, Heavy Seas Small Craft and Baltika 7

  • Shells Pils – Smelled like Bud. tasted like Bud. I could barely stomach it. Thank God I was sharing this with Norm. Spoon rating: D
  • Edelherb Pils – Very crisp and surprising. Mild bite from the hops. Finished a bit dry. Ideal summer session. Spoon rating: C+
  • Heavy Seas Small Craft – This was an imperial pils that lived up to it’s name. To mock the Staples commercial “WOW! Thats a great beer!”. The alcohol was tasted slightly but quickly masked by the muscle punch of flavor of hops and slight sweetness. Incredible experience! Spoon rating: B+
  • Baltika 7 – This was my shocker. I’ve had other Baltika’s and hated them but this was actually very pleasant. if you’re looking at a basic pils to get started into the style I would suggest this one. Very clean, crisp and not overwhelming flavor to get your hopes up on all beers in this style. Spoon rating: B-

Here are pics from WPXI’s “See & Be Seen – Covering the hottest people and events in and around Pittsburgh” from last night’s Beer School. I’m in one pic and sickpup is in 3. Good times 🙂

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78 – Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor

Oh lordie we have ourselves some beer porn!

Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor
brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker – http://www.hetanker.be/
style: Belgian IPA
abv: 8.0%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
price: $7.99

Overview
“Hopsinjoor” is a wordplay to for one thing the several hops which were used, and on the other hand the typical character of Mechelen of Gouden Carolus: the figure “opsinjoor” is intertwined with the history of Mechelen (see: www.opsinjoorke.be/Opsinjoorke/opsinjoor.htm).

4 types of hops are used: Golding, Spalt, Hallertau and Saaz. These hops were fractioned at several times in the cooking process in order to keep a maximum of aroma.

Regarding to taste we can say that the beer has a gentle, but nevertheless bitter aftertaste. Gold-yellow colour. Hoppy aroma.

What I think
Just LOOK at that head! Sweet God almighty I just stepped back and admired it for awhile. The body sits with an incredible golden hue which if you’re strictly an IPA drinker this could be a curve ball for you. The aroma was challenging at first. I picked up strong citrus upfront and that followed with a nose-full of hops. The taste brought on a sweetness that I was expecting but the carbonation was a bit high for my taste but the flavor was balanced with the amount of hops used. The finish was really what perked my interest. It started out sweet and ended semi-dry. Complexity is a great way to sum up this one.

Spoon’s rating: A-

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77 – Scotch Silly

Slap me silly Sidney

Brasserie de Silly S.A. – Scotch Silly
brewery: Brasserie de Silly S.A. – silly-beer.com
style: Scottish Ale
abv: 8.0%
serving size: 750ml
glass used: snifter
price: $8.99

Overview
It offers a finely wooded nose hinting at hazelnut, and is therefore distinct from traditional British scotches. It has a more rounded taste letting a discreetly full-bodied bitterness come to the fore, and will naturally seduce you.

What I think
The only reason why I bought this beer was due to the name. Sometimes you gotta give in to curiosity. The pour was curious. The head appeared at first like it was sticking around for the long haul but much like the Ottawa Senators defense it vanished fast (haha couldn’t resist. GO PENS!). Unlike most scottish styles I’ve had in the past there was very little malt. Each drink was full of body and slightly bitter but I felt like I was missing something. the finish was too dry for my taste.

Would I buy this again? Eh maybe. Depends on what my other options are. Give it a shot and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Spoon’s rating: C+

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76 – Ommegang Biere de Mars – 2nd Batch March 2008

I never had this style before and it was the last bottle on the shelf so I figured what the heck. A couple days before I opened this I started reading up on the whole Biere de Mars thing since I’ve seen it mentioned in a few articles about other breweries. You can also find this under a style called “Bière de Garde” which I haven’t seen much of in Western PA. For the sake of brevity you can read more about this style on the BJCP website.

Ommegang Biere de Mars – 2nd Batch March 2008
brewery: Ommegang – ommegang.com
style: Belgian Style Amber Ale / Bière de Garde
abv: 6.5%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
price: $7.99

Overview
Ommegang Bière de Mars is a Belgian-style amber ale with a bit of magical space dust woven in – Brettanomyces bruxellensis, a wild-yeast used in the secondary fermentation. The Brett imparts added tartness, a bit of zing and some farmhouse funkiness. Also dry-hopped, this new ale continues our exploration of using Brett for secondary fermentation in limited-release beers.

Bière de Mars reveals a copper-amber body and a frothy white head that builds, clings and stays. Aromas are of malt and grain, clove, fruit and a bit of funk. Flavors are full-bodied with delicate malty sweetness, followed by spicy, peppery yeastiness and Brett-induced funk. Hopping is subtly bitter and aromatic, bumped up a bit by dry-hopping. The finish is dry and gently lingering. At 6.5% ABV, Bière de Mars offers easy quaffing; it also pairs nicely with spicy foods such as barbecue.

What I think
Would you just look at that pour. Sweet Jesus I had to take a step back and admire that head. Go ahead look at it. Now the aroma… a big whiff of stale malt. Maybe that was the bit of funk they mentioned? Honestly it wasn’t a turn off as it may have been about 3 years ago when I started getting seriously into craft beers. The taste was dry and I picked up a date and very yeasty flavor. This was absolutely a new one for me. The finish was slightly dryer and surprisingly welcoming to a person who normally views dry and boring.

I do have to say that I disagree with the Ommegang website when they say it would “pair nicely with spicy foods such as barbecue.” My bbq is never spicy. I’m a sweet wet mop kinda guy. However I would steam some spicy mussels in it or site down with some of Lushie’s pepper hummus.

Spoon’s rating: B+

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75 – Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale

Camera is back in a couple week with corrected white balance. woooooo!

Dark Horse – Scotty Karate Scotch Ale
brewery: Dark Horse – darkhorsebrewery.com
style: Scotch Ale
abv: 9.5%
serving size: 12oz
glass used: pint
price: $2.69

Overview
For those of you who don’t know who “Scotty Karate” is… He is a local one man band who plays an amazing slurry of honky tonk influenced, punk country songs. His voice is amazing as well as his high energy shows. (Check him out @www.scottykarate.com) So, we decided to make a beer and name it in his honor. This beer is a big, full bodied Scottish ale. It is 9.75% alc. but it is very smooth and balanced. Since Scotty is also very passionate about  beer I asked him to write a description for you, so from the man himself…

Aroma: Smells like A fresh caramel apple with a hint of cinnamon inside of cranberry shortbread. Or maybe fresh home made hard candy (from home economics class-7th grade).
Flavor: Tastes like a smokey chocolate chip cookie, wild roadside cherry-asparagus, woody, crispy leaf on a fall day. -SK

Silver medal winner 2007 Great American Beer Festival

What I think
The aroma for me was close to the commercial description with the presence of caramel noticeable as soon as I put the bottle down. The taste was pure malt with a twang of alcohol, a little nut and slight hops. The finish was smooth and a little on the bold side. It packed a wallop and felt great.

For the price, if you don’t pick up a bottle of this to try, you’re a fool. Even if you aren’t fond of the style you MUST give this a try. Besides at less than $3 you can’t lose. That’s 1/2 a pack of smokes and you will feel much better drinking one of these.

Spoon’s rating: A-

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Drinking with the Wench

The Beer Wench and I sat down for a chit chat over email about my beer blogging, Should I Drink That, my own personal beer history from the first one I ever drank at age 16 (and still have the bottle) to why I does what I does now n’at. You’ll find out more about me that I haven’t said in interviews before and you can also check out the other fantastic beer bloggers she’s talked to.

Read the interview here!

Raise a pint and leave a comment here or there or everywhere 🙂

cheers!

P.S.  Now that Should I Drink That has been revamped I’m starting work on this one. Hopefully by the end of April. If you’re new around here you can also check out my personal blog.

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Beer News – bit by the bug

This is the second Wednesday that I haven’t been able to post but for good reason. I’m in a household of sick people. Palates are all screwed up and beer is piling up and its killing me not to drink it. Lushie is hopefully the last one sick so I can pound out a bunch of reviews so we’re not stuck in this situation again.

So until next Wednesday… I’m drinking vicariously through yinz!

cheers!
spoon

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