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oec brewing obscura baltic porter obscure is a baltic porter brewed with debittered dark malts and hopped with fine european noble hops. a warmer fermentation starts in open tanks for one & a half weeks using a traditional lager yeast. finally it is layered cold prior to packaging. - 8% abv. this is the kind of simple beer that really benefits from the open fermentation that oec uses. there's one basic flavor - dark malt - but there's all kinds of detail here. you get dark malt, mocha, mint, dark cherry, raisin and a little bit of anise. there's a little brightness at the end that reminds me of champagne yeast the way that brett does sometimes, but other than that it doesn't really taste like wild yeast, although it's really rare to find this kind of detail without it blah blah blah. recommended plus.

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tonigt: full moon belgian white ale--it is not really belgian, but a belgian style witbier from the mudshark brewery based in arizona. i quote my beeradvocate.com review:   looks very nice in the gl

Click. Way too young. And let's not forget his great whisky writings.

I'm not a huge fan of the Oberon but it seems the most accessible for the masses so it is the one that is most often on tap. It is a summer beer most change out to Pale Ale for the fall/winter (I lik

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I don't drink much beer these days, but the sunshine yesterday demanded it. 

Saazy Saazbourne pilsner from Rochester which I really liked.

Thousand Stars pilsner from Sunnyside which I did not. Maybe it was the end of the keg; it was a bit flat and insipid.

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jester king bitter death extra hoppy belgian style pale ale batch #1 april 2021 - 5.4% abv. jester king is an austin, texas known for their open fermented wild ales, which are as good as any similar american beers I've had. this isn't one of those, it was apparently made with antwerp ale yeast and nothing else. I was pretty bummed to see that, because I expect beer to need brett to be good more than a year after bottling, but this is terrific. there's a really nice mixture of slightly bready malt, tea, a lot of fairly gentle noble hop spice and the accompanying bitterness, and tiny bit of citrus and sweetness in the finish. this is as hoppy as any ne-ipa in it's own way, but very few beers have this level of detail and this is one of the few american versions of a classic european style that's clearly better than the european versions I've had and so on. my strongest recommendation.

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kcbc beverly hills croc india pale ale simcoe, amarillo, idaho 7, mosaic, falconer's flight & warrior hops, malted barley - 6.9% abv. one of the things that I tend to forget when thinking about how uniform the ne ipas available to me are is how much better they are than the ipas that preceded them - finding a great ipa was exciting because it was my favorite beer style and because they weren't in every bodega and so on and on. so it's exciting that the variability of these new west coast ipas is a feature not a bug or whatever. this is pretty decent, it's got a pretty old school hop bill with one new hop (idaho 7) and two things that were around when everything changed (falconer's flight & mosaic) and has the clear, slightly amber color that these beers are supposed to have. this is surprisingly well done, there's a nice combination of malt, pine, resin, and a little bit of newer hop stuff. this is a lot better than the other west coast ipa they released recently, although the internet tells me the first batch of the came out last summer.

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jester king femme sauvage dry-hopped farmhouse ale femme sauvage is a dry hopped saison brewed with wild yeast and the 2019 pink boots society hop blend - batch #2, december 2020, 5.5% abv. the pink boots society was created to advance the role of women in the brewing world, their 2019 blend was a mixture of loral, glacier, mosaic, simcoe, and sabro. that's a pretty modern hop bill, and it really goes well with the mixture of brewer's yeast and wild yeast they used in this one. this has a terrific combination of white grape gummy candies, peach, melon, which is followed by some really terrific brett notes. the beer doesn't dry out the way that the best brett stuff usually does, there's some grassiness and there's some green apple, pear, and a ton of melon in the finish. the finish is pretty sweet for a brett beer, but this is really well put together and nothing seems out of place. this is even more impressive than the bitter death I had the other day, the brett notes are pretty distinctive, which isn't surprising because the ones I usually like are from much further north than austin, blah blah blah. my strongest recommendation.

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kcbc taco friday pilsner brewed in collaboration with hop revolution and halleratau new zealand style pilsner riwaka, motueka, and saaz hops - 4.9% abv. I was pretty excited for this one, the previous beer in this series was excellent and I've had a couple of pretty good pilsners made with nz hops recently. this has the type of well done citrus notes you expect from these hops in a pilsner, along with some well done malt sweetness and a little bit of noble hop spice in the finish along with a bunch of the lychee/rambutan/hairy fruit you expect from these hops. this isn't perfect, everything is a little muddled and it's not crisp the way these kind of beers are supposed to be, but almost anything is going to be disappointing after those jester king beers blah blah blah. mildly recommended.

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maine beer company little whaleboat india pale ale - 6.5% abv. this is a brand new mbc ipa, which combines a bunch of older hops (citra, mosaic, columbus) with the newer talus. apparently talus is descended from sabro but has more of a focus on pine and citrus than the weird coconut like flavors you can get in sabro. this tastes more like a traditional ipa than the last few new mbc beers I've had, and there's no use pretending I'm going to do better than the commercial description that I read when looking up the hop bill, so... mango, grapefruit, and pineapple with notes of rose and chamomile. this is pretty big for the abv in a way that their beers usually aren't, but apart from that it's exactly the kind of excellent beer you expect from mbc. strongly recommended.

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sierra nevada hoptimum triple ipa - 11% abv. sierra has been making a version of this beer for the last couple years, I haven't seen it before and I'm pretty sure this is the first time they've sent it to nyc. they've changed the abv at least once, this year's version has the same high abv as last year's version but uses amarillo, bru-1, pahto, and simcoe. (pahto is a new to me hop that is apparently neutral tasting and best used as a bittering hop.) these bottles are from early april, which makes them a lot older than almost any ipa I've had in years, but I've been curious about this for years and I can't imagine passing on something from sierra. this is basically the same shade of amber orange that torpedo is, and starts out with a bunch of sweet malt that really dominates whatever else is here, although there's some honey and some tropical fruit jam that's overly sweet in a bad way. this really makes you appreciate how good the similar three floyds beers are.

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jester king grisette ale refermented with currants batch #1 december 2020 - 5.7% abv. this is a nice shade of dark purple that looks more or less like a light bodied red wine if you ignore the carbonation. this has a mildly tart mixture of currants, dark cherry, a tiny bit of oak, and some of the same bright brett I liked to much in femme sauvage I had recently. this is a lot sweeter than most lambics, and the sweetness shows through the currants at the same time the brett does. this is a really well made beer that’s pretty distinctive, but I prefer the other two jester king beers I’ve had recently to this. recommended.

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jolly pumpkin artisanal ales presents another chapter in the baudelaire biere series io saison ale brewed with rose hips, rose petals, and hibiscus - bottle 1/03/2018, 6.8% abv. this pours a dark amber color that has a tiny bit of red in it and smells strongly of brett, which is great because jolly pumpkin's brett beer is almost always terrific and you  expect it to be pretty prominent in something this old. their brett really is magic, there's nothing harsh or unpleasant here and you can still taste the rose and hibiscus, even if the latter tastes like tea. this slightly tart in a very pleasant way, there's some cranberry and even a little bit of noble hop spice (they used tettinger and cascade) along with some sweet brett flavors and maybe some lime, blood orange, and a little bit of oak. this is delicious, but I'd really like to have their beer a lot closer to fresh one of these days. recommended.

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jester king soul control table beer aged in gin barrels and refermented with lime juice lime zest and basil - 5.2% abv. apparently the gin barrels this beer spent several years in had previously been used to make another similar sounding beer made with juniper and myrica gale. this is a clear, light yellow and is pretty lightly carbonated and smells like bretty gin. it's got a really pleasant set of floral flavors at first, there's the basil I read about on the label, some citrus, some other herbal stuff, which is followed by the distinctive, slightly sweet brett that's been in their other open fermented beer, along with some buttery chardonnay like flavors and some oak. this isn't really beer as natural wine though, and the finish doesn't ruin the combination of brett and all the herbal stuff for me. recommended.

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grimm simcoe rewind west coast india pale ale - 7% abv. google tells me that this was initially release in 2020, which is well before they released the northeast clear dipa that got me excited about their beer again. this is a transparent shade of yellow that doesn’t have any of the amber tones it would if this had been made with caramel malt the way most of the real west coast ipas were, but it smells great and has a nice combination of pineapple and resin that’s a little bit sweet without any of the bitterness of malt presence that most of the older beers had. this is pretty enjoyable, a ton better than industrial art’s power tools, but so much worse than the beer they made in sterling. mildly recommended to nostalgists blah blah blah.

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birria baladin leön - 9% abv. baladin was probably the first italian craft brewer I came across, and while I haven't had any of their beer in years I remember really enjoying it. apparently they've grown quite a bit since the last time I went to their website and they currently own bars all over italy and five luxury resorts, two of which are in africa. italian beer has always been pretty expensive here, but even other half hasn't opened that many locations. anyways the same website lists this as their version of a belgian strong dark ale, which is exactly how it drinks. it pours a deep dark brown that smells mostly of sweet malt and alcohol, and there's a really nice mixture of mildly roasted malt flavors (powdered cocoa mix, coffee) and cherry that's not as hot as the commercial description says it will be. this is a really solid example of this kind of beer and a lot less weird than the way I remember their beer, for the little that's worth. recommended for what it is.

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Both a Memorial Day dinner and, because everything but the dogs was either pre-cooked, par-cooked, or slow-cooked, a suitable late supper for after I got home from the opera very late tonight.

HOT DOGS!  Mass-market Düsseldorf mustard.  A RAAAAAAMMMMMPPPPPPPPP on each roll.

Potato salad chockful of chives and marjoram.  Garnished prettily with chive flowers.

RG Vallartas, cooked with RAAAAAMMMMMMPPPPPPPSSSSSSSS, spring garlic, carrots, and their respective greens.  (Carrot greens are controversial as a food, but they certainly bring something to this particular party, IMO.)

Sautéed fiddleheads.

I've given up (for the nonce) trying to pair hot dogs with wine.  They don't go.  Also, it's Memorial Day.

KCBC This Is Your Brain on Hops Double IPA

This is made from Citra and, depending on the rotation, another hop.  I'm not enough of a geek to know what other hop went into this.

This is an unbalanced, overly hoppy beer. Tart citrus of various kinds.  Almost no taste of malt.  I love it.

KCBC now makes a Triple version of this.  The mind reels.

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