Monday, July 30, 2012

Rogue – Chatoe Rogue OREgasmic Ale – Newport, Oregon


Is the West the Best? Although it’s true that the East Coast has NYC, and more hockey than you can shake an illegally curved stick at…I do believe that what the West has to offer is by far the best. You have the ocean, the mountains, the trees, vibrant cities, the music…and fantastic Breweries like Rogue. Now don’t get me wrong, the East Coast also has some great breweries, but in the end, they pale in comparison to the likes of Breweries such as Rogue, Stone, and Pike Place.  The best of these fine breweries calls Oregon home, and this is where I am tonight.

Oregon is the kind of place that people just gravitate towards. The music scene is incredibly alive. There are too many bands to mention here, but how about Modest Mouse? Although originally from the Seattle area, these guys decided to settle down in Oregon, for the music, the food, and of course…the beer.

Tonight, I’m feeling a little homesick. So with that in mind, I’m hitting up the Rogue Brewery and their Chatoe Rogue series. Specifically, I’m sampling their OREgasmic Ale, and it’s true Western Spirit. With every ingredient hailing from Oregon…this is as local as you can get without waiting for someone to pump your gas for you. Let’s see what the website has to say:

THE BEER:

Style: Pale Ale    
Food Pairing: Seafood, Hot & Spicy

Tasting Notes: Orange-amber in color, malty aroma, spicy fruity hop flavor with solid malt background and lingering finish.

6 Ingredients:

Brewed using 100% OREGON Ingredients. Micro Barley Farm Dare™ & Risk™ Malts; First Growth Micro Hopyard Revolution & Independent Hops, Pacman Yeast and Free Range Coastal Water.

Specs:
15º PLATO
40 IBU
76 AA
6º Lovibond

World Class Package:
22oz Bottle

THE BREWERY:

Jack Joyce, Bob Woodell (past U of O fraternity brothers), and another friend, Rob Strasser, were approached by Jeff Schultz, Bob's accountant, and an avid home brewer.

Construction began in June of 1988 in Ashland along a very scenic little stream called Lithia Creek. The 10 bbl brew system was set up in a basement with a 60 seat Pub above. The first brews were Amber and Gold. The Brewery and Pub opened in October 1988.

While the Brew Pub was located in a very pretty and scenic location, had a beautiful deck and enjoyed moderate success and the beer was great, Ashland was not to be Rogue's only adventure. Ashland was basically land locked, and frankly we were losing our butts in Ashland, trying to sell our hand-crafted ales. Rogue needed room to grow and grow we did. So Jack set off in search of greener pastures.

In early February of 1989, Jack wandered to Newport in search of the perfect place for another Rogue Pub. Legend has it that a terrible and unusual snow storm struck and Jack found himself stranded on the Historic Bay Front, with no way up the hill. He was forced to walk the streets until he met up with Mohave Niemi, founder of the famous Mo's Clam Chowder. She took him to the original Mo's restaurant, gave him a bowl of hot clam chowder and told him about her dream of living above a Bar and how she might just have the perfect spot for the next Rogue Brew Pub. The large building sported 3 full time apartments upstairs, a sweater shop, an Art Gallery and 1,100 sq. ft. of empty store front and an 800 sq. ft. garage that was currently being used to store antique cars. Mo offered the vacant space and the garage to Jack at a very generous price, under two stipulations: that a picture of Mo herself, naked in a bath tub, be forever displayed at the Pub (it's still there today just to the left of the Bar) and that Rogue "feed the fisherman", meaning that we give back to the local community. This building was known as the Front & Case Bldg.

In Feb of 1989, construction began on the Bay Front Brew Pub. Making this a step up in the world by going from a basement in Ashland to a garage in Newport. The front of the house also was being readied. The back bar was originally from the old Elk Tavern.

In May of 1989, John Maier joins Rogue after a stint with Alaska Brewing. John is a former Senior Technician with Hughes Aircraft Co. in El Segundo, CA from 1975 to 1986 and Seibel Institute graduate.

The Pub opened in May of 1989, with a small but enthusiastic customer base, made up of curious locals who dropped by to see what was going on and never left. Many joined in and helped with the construction and other projects as needed. The names of many of these early customers have been immortalized with brass plaques that grace the bar today. One of the most notable of these future customers was Chuck Linquist. He was retired, was a home brewer, and had an interest in microbrews. He was also bored and wanted to do something useful. We consider him one of our first employees. His handiwork is still visible at the Pub, the shelves that line the bar area, the light sconces, as well as the memorabilia on the shelf above Mo's picture, that Chuck brought back from Europe.

So begins the story of Rogue Ales, enjoy!

THEIR CREED:

Rogue is a small revolution, which expresses itself through handcrafted Ales, Porters, Stouts, Lagers and Spirits, and this is the way we conduct our business. The spirit of the Rogue brand, even the name, suggests doing things differently, a desire and a willingness to change the status quo. A Rogue Ale, Porter, Stout, Lager or Spirit is crafted to give it unique character, innovative in its makeup and brewing, a process that has not compromised quality. We believe if a Rogue Ale, Porter, Stout, Lager or Spirit cannot be all of these things, it should not be made at all.

We do what we do to become a meaningful industry leader through the products we create and by building an organization that is successful without being big, bureaucratic, or common. To be a leader doesn't mean you have to be the biggest.

The best leaders lead by example and by doing things the right way, even if it means going against the grain. Rogue will stand up to the big guy trying to bully his way into whatever business or territory he wants. Rogue will be David, only this David doesn't really care if the stone hits the giant or not. Just the idea of throwing the stone is exciting. We make products for the connoisseur, the entrepreneur, and the revolutionist.

Over time Rogue has developed principles to guide what it considers to be a revolution in fermentation. The principles start with six statements known as Rogue's "Fundamental Agreement."

The way ahead is clear.

Be honest about the battlefield.
Throw out the old rules that don't make sense.
Get out of the comfort zone.
Go to the front of the fight and stay there.
And most important, cut out all the B.S.

Behavior principles based on the Fundamental Agreement were developed and dubbed "The Rogue Way."

Listen generously.
Speak straight.
Be there for each other.
Honor commitments.
Give acknowledgement/appreciation.

Utilizing the above principles and behaviors is what allows innovation and precision in every aspect of Rogue's operations. It requires working with the best, whether it's hops, malts, yeast, water, or people.

THEIR MISSION:

-       To brew the finest varietal ales in the world with an uncompromising devotion to Quality and the Art of Brewing.
-       To present the finished work with a touch of educational, entertaining mischief.
-       To be dedicated to the Rogue in each of us.
-       To remember it is not simply a matter of profit but a highly personal work of art.
-       To build relationships, not just ales.
-       To be like great friends and remember it's what's inside that counts.

THE BREWEING PROCESS:

Rogue's love good beer. In fact, we're so serious about our award winning ales, porters, stouts, and lagers that our production manager could only be pulled away long enough to scribble this on a napkin at the pub.

This is how we flow:






















THE WEBSITE:


THE REVIEW:

What can I say? From the moment I started to pour, I knew that I was in for an incredible experience. The pour was thick and bursting with the fresh scent of unadulterated hops. The head was thick, with an aroma bursting from it like volcanic explosions. A little fruit…a little malt, and the distinctive lack of bitter aftertaste, makes this a brew that all can enjoy. This was one fantastic brew from start to finish. I will definitely be back for more.

RATING:

9/10 - Orgasmic




Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lucky U IPA – Breckenridge Brewery – Denver, CO


Ok, so I’ll admit…this one was from out of left field. I’ve never been drawn to the Breckenridge Brewery, nor have I ever had an aching desire to snatch up this particular IPA. What I did feel like was something just a little different, but with a familiar feeling to it. And so we bring forth the Breckenridge Brewery, and their Lucky U IPA.  It is a little different, but let’s take a look at what makes it such a familiar brew to many of us. On a personal note, my nephew Stephen Craig attends Colorado State University where he is enrolled in the ROTC program. Just as I plan to retire from Military service, Stephen should be getting commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. Now remember nephew, Artillery is where it’s at. My family also has some very old and dear friends who used to send us Broncos gear back when Elway was lighting things up. Maybe that gear will be arriving again now that Peyton is slinging the pigskin in the Mile High city. Oh yeah, and my Sounders just whipped up on the Colorado Rapids again the other night. How sweet it is.

Now those are all great personal reasons as to why I should hit up the Breckenridge Brewery…but why should you? How about the fact that Colorado has stolen the “City that produces the most Beer” distinction from that sudsy city of Milwaukee? That’s right, according to www.denver.org , Denver is now the King of beers.

Whatever your reason, Denver is quickly becoming the home of some great Breweries. We should all check them out. Let’s see what the Breckenridge Brewery’s website has to say about the Lucky U IPA:

THE BEER:

Drink up fortuitous one. We sure did. And the result is a well-balanced, soulful IPA with just the right amount of hoppiness. An even keeled ale that goes down clean and refreshing, but still lets you know it’s been doted on by the Brewmaster. It's true to its IPA heritage, but also highly drinkable. Lucky U. And we seriously mean that.

Beer Style: American India Pale Ale

Flavor: Nice forefront, hop bitterness with underlying malt character

Yeast: Top fermented ale yeast

Malts: Two Row Pale, Munich, Carmel, Torrified Wheat, Carapils

Hops: Amarillo, Magnum, Perle, Cascade, Apollo, Fuggle, Goldings

Color: Spun Gold

Bitterness Units: 68

Alcohol By Volume: 6.2%

Alcohol By Weight: 5%

THE BREWERY:

Back in the 1980s, our founder Richard Squire was your typical ski bum – with one significant difference. He had a knack for making extraordinary home brews. For years, only his closest friends were able to enjoy his creations, but it didn’t take long for Richard to realize that his talents needed to be shared with the world.

So, in February of 1990, Richard opened the doors of Breckenridge Brewery, Colorado’s third craft brewery, in charming and historic Breckenridge. He wanted to serve fresh, quality beer and homemade food in a relaxed atmosphere that everyone could enjoy. It didn’t take long for locals and visitors alike to appreciate these simple values, and within a few short years Breckenridge Brewery was the highlight of Main Street.

In 1992, the Brewery expanded its operations to Denver so that we could share the magic with more folks in Colorado. The Denver facility was the first Colorado brewery to package craft beer in 6-packs and 12-packs. Today, you can find our collection of beers in 32 states. However, our mission remains the same: create balanced, approachable and interesting hand-crafted beers. Our restaurants and Ale Houses share the same commitment to quality, which is evident in the excellent food and service you’ll find at each.

The original brewery in Breckenridge remains a favorite spot for families and friends to gather. Our humble beginning as a mountain town craft brewery is important to our company, and we strive to keep our history and culture alive in all that we do. Breckenridge Brewery has grown from a small 3,000-barrel-a-year brewpub into one of the most successful craft beer and restaurant companies in the nation. We now craft well over 40,000 barrels of fresh beer annually, and we operate five brewpubs and ale houses in the state of Colorado.

BREWERY TOURS:

Things have changed a lot since those hazy days in the ‘80s…

Back then; our powder hound founder was concocting brews out of his basement for him and his buddies to wind down with after a long day on the mountain.

Breckenridge Brewery is now Denver’s largest brewery, producing over 50,000 barrels a year, and growing every day. Come in to hear the whole story, enjoy a pint on us, and see where all of that beer gets brewed, bottled, and sent to find its way into the hands (and bellies) of lovely folks like you.

THE NEED-TO-KNOW:

Free tours are offered every Saturday at the brewery and production facility at 471 Kalamath Street.

Tours usually last about 30 minutes, and are offered at 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.

Meet in the Tasting Room, where you can also enjoy some delicious, in-house smoked BBQ. No need to sign up. Just be sure to arrive early to grab your free pint!

For special tour arrangements or groups of 10 or more, please email tours@breckenridgebrewery.com .

If a Saturday tour doesn't play into your weekend plans, we've got some other options available...

THE WEBSITE:


THE REVIEW:

I had my hopes up high for this gem, but then again, every time I pour, my hopes are high that I’m going to get smacked around by something new and different. In this case, similar to the Broncos offence, it was the same vanilla attitude. Oh, you definitely got an IPA…. it’s just not anything astounding. The pour was fine, but a little too carbonated for me. The head was non-existent. The coloring was nice, but not very bold. As for the flavor, there was a hops-like attitude to it, but nothing to really write home about. In the end, I fear that you get an IPA, just for the sake of making an IPA. As for the name…it is really only for marketing…you should not consider yourself lucky to get a hold of this one…only lucky enough to have found a store on the East Coast that sells it.

5/10 – Not so lucky



Friday, July 27, 2012

Who's Who at GABF 2012


Even though the Great American Beer Festival is still a few months away, your mouth may start to water for the October 11-13 event in Denver right about now. From the smallest brewpub you have yet to discover to your favorite craft breweries, almost every state in the union will be pouring beer at this annual bacchanalia. Check out this complete list of breweries at the festival at:


Tickets go on-sale to the public on August 2nd.

Killian’s Irish Red – Lett’s Brewery – Enniscorthy, Ireland


So here’s one of those brews that you see every time you head into the local shop. It’s usually right up there on the shelf next to the Guinness and just near the Heineken…like it’s some rare brew from across the pond that beckons you to take a sip. 

Is it special? Not really…today, it’s brewed right here in America. But is there some history attached to this red beauty. What’s the deal with Killian’s? Is it always going to be considered the Redheaded (no pun intended) step-child of older sibblings like Guinness and Murphy's? Or does it stand alone in this day of over-hyped Irish beers. Here what the website had to say:

THE BEER:

Appearance: Deep ruby red in color with a dense off-white foam.

Aroma: Roasted and toasted caramel characteristics with ale-like fruit esters.

Taste: Toasted/roasted caramel malt introduction with nice bready characteristics.

Mouth Feel: Full-bodied with medium carbonation.

Finish: Well-balanced with slight lingering citrus rind and subtle sweetness.

THE BREWERY:

1864

The original George brewed the first batch of Enniscorthy Ruby Ale, the inspiration for George Killian’s Irish Red. He just wanted a better beer to share with his friends.

He then founded Mill Park Brewery in Enniscorthy, Ireland, so he could share his ruby-colored ale with all of Ireland.

1890-1920

The Killian Family had raised horses for a long time. And before cars, horses were used to deliver beer to the pubs in southeastern Ireland near Enniscorthy. It’s even a Killian’s family legend that the horses knew the way home, even when the driver may have lost his way!

1981

George Killian Lett III decided that his family’s beer was too good to share with only the people of Ireland so he brought George Killian’s Irish Red to America.

2006

Irish Stout was introduced at the Dublin Irish Festival in Dublin, OH.

TODAY

The 6th and 7th generation of the George Killian family, Douglas and his son Killian work hard to share the beer that bears their family’s name with as many friends as possible.

OF NOTE:

Enniscorthy, Ireland has been cited in the History books since 465 A.D.

Although it has a long and sorted timeline, it is famously known for the 1916 Uprising. Here’s a short history of that pivotal moment in Irish History:

In 1916, Enniscorthy patriots again took their place in history, when James Connolly requested that the Enniscorthy Volunteers take and hold the railway line to prevent reinforcements from reaching Dublin. 600 Volunteers took the town, led by Robert Brennan, Seamus Doyle and J R Etchingham, they surrounded the police station, but did not attempt to take it. The RIC barracks was held by a police inspector and five constables while an RIC sergeant and one constable prevented the rebels from taking over a bank in the town. They established headquarters at the Athenaeum, and held control until asked to surrender by Padraig Pearse.

The Volunteers also established a strong position on Vinegar Hill, overlooking the town. The railway line was cut and men dispatched to Gorey and Ferns. The government responded by sending a force of more than 1,000 men to retake Enniscorthy and the rebels retired to their positions on Vinegar Hill. Before hostilities could develop the news of the Dublin surrender arrived, but the Volunteers refused to believe it. The army commander, Col FA French, was a Wexford man and in order to avoid bloodshed he offered a safe conduct for the Wexford leaders so that they could go to Dublin and hear of the surrender directly from Pearse. There were no fatalities.

Additionally, Ennicorthy are known for some off the cuff musical groups. One of which are The Bloody Irish Boys. With Not-so-famous tracks like “Drunk to Drown” and “The Pirate Song”…I have no idea why they’re not more popular. I wonder if they drink Killian’s. 










THE WEBSITE:


THE REVIEW:

You know, it’s not like I build things up too much in my head, or anything like that…but when I grab a brew with the name “Ireland” in the labeling, I guess I do garner a certain expectation that it might good.  It must be the same feeling that the general public gets when they vote for our politicians. And just like them, I was extremely let down when it comes to Killian’s Irish Red. The pour was boring, producing a head that dissipated quicker than a glass of Root Beer. At first, I was greeted with…nothing…nothing at all. Maybe there was a little flavor, just a little…but it was gone just like that. The coloring is about the best thing that this brew has to offer. True to its namesake, it does sport a deep red hue…but truthfully…that is its best characteristic. I cannot believe that I committed to an entire 6-Pack of this brew. Avoid at all costs if possible.

THE RATING:

3/10 - Avoid



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rainier Beer invites fans to restore the 'R'


If I had a list of things that I miss about the Great Pacific Northwest, great beer would certainly be way up there on said list. We’re talking about a region of the Country that is know for putting out well-crafted, excellent brews…Rainier Beer is NOT one of them. Imagine a watered down version of Coors Light, but with less flavor. The thing is…people don’t buy Rainier for the incredible flavor, with hints of citrus, and a malty finish…. they buy it because it’s cheap, and because it IS Washington State in a can. Grabbing a case of the “Rain Man” is as Washington as the Needle and throwing a fish.

Check out this article that I just came across in the Seattle PI, and you’ll get the point. I think their idea is a little gimmicky, but hell, it’s the Rain Man so why not?

Want to be a part of restoring the iconic Rainier Beer "R" sign?

Rainier Beer owner Pabst Brewing launched a "Restore the R" campaign Tuesday to drum up excitement for the process, unveiling a website where people can complete challenges that light one of 250 bulbs on a virtual "R."

"Rainier Beer has been around longer than Washington has been a state, making it a legendary part of Northwest history," Pabst co-owner Evan Metropoulos said in a news release. "Rainier is best symbolized by its iconic 'R' sign, which was created almost 60 years ago. We're very excited to see this important symbol come back to life."

Seattle's Museum of History & Industry restoring the actual "R." But, once all the virtual bulbs are lit, Pabst will invite a "select group of fans who participated in the challenges" to a lighting ceremony at MOHAI.

The challenges posted so far include creating a sculpture out of Rainier cans, staging a peaceful protest to restore the "R," building a luxurious cat bed out of a Rainier box and shaving an "R" into your hair. The site will release more challenges as people complete the current ones.

Pabst also plans to send Grazing Rainiers out to roam Seattle and Portland parks, events and neighborhoods. These are "mythical creatures best described as giant beer bottles with legs."

MOHAI plans to finish the "R" restoration later this year and put the sign on display at its new Lake Union Park location, which is set to open on Dec. 29.

"Few icons capture the spirit and traditions of the Northwest as powerfully as Rainier beer," MOHAI Executive Director Leonard Garfield said in the release. "For years to come, the 'R' will be a recognizable symbol that continues to grow in popularity as new generations of proud Northwesterners adopt the brand."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rogue's Captain Sig’s Northwestern Ale – Rogue Ales – Newport, OR


Okay, so I’ve been off the net for a couple of months, and now that I’m back at the bar again, I wanted my first review back to be reminiscent of a place that I miss so much…the Pacific Northwest. In the immortal words of The Blue Scholars – “The Northwest fills my lungs, heals the pain in my chest” (http://bluescholars.com/). That’s why the first time back in the shoot; I’m turning to Rogue to quench my thirst…one of the most consistently awesome Breweries out there. Now I know that Captain Sig’s Northwestern Ale is probably a little gimmicky, but if Rogue can combine great Ale, with an Iconic name like Captain Sig, then I say why not? Let’s give it a shot…. besides, aren’t you just a little curious where this little gem came from. I know I am. Here’s what the website had to say:

THE BEER:

Style: India Red Ale      
Food Pairing: Beef, Seafood

Tasting Notes:
The Blue Scholars 
Deep red in color, this Ale starts off with a floral, slightly citrus hop nose, hop flavor soon fades into the malty backbone of this red ale.

8 Ingredients:
Carastan, Chocolate, Great Western 2-Row Malts; Amarillo, Perle & Cascade Hops; Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

Specs:
14.5º PLATO
80 IBU
75 AA
20º Lovibond

World Class Package:
Draft and 22oz bottle

AWARDS:

2011 U.S. Beer Tasting Championships - Grand Champion
2011 World Beer Championships - Gold
2010 U.S. Beer Tasting Championships—PNW Champ
2010 World Beer Championships—Gold (Best of 2010)
2011 U.S. Beer Tasting Championships - Grand Champion
2011 World Beer Championships - Gold
2010 U.S. Beer Tasting Championships—PNW Champ
2010 Australian International Beer Awards—Silver
2010 World Beer Championships—Gold (Best of 2010)
2010 Great International Beer Festival - 3rd
2009 U.S. Beer Tasting Championships - Grand Champion
2009 Australian International Beer Awards—Silver
2009 World Beer Championships—Gold
2008 Australian International Beer Awards—Silver
2008 U.S. Beer Tasting Championships—Grand Champion
2008 World Beer Championships—Gold
2008 New Zealand Intl. Beer Awards—Bronze
2007 Australian International Beer Awards—Silver
2007 U.S. Beer Tasting Championships—Pacific N.W. Champion
2007 World Beer Championships—Silver

Dedicated to the Hansen Brothers--Sig, Edgar, and Norman--the Rogues of the Bering Sea.

THE BREWERY:

Jack Joyce, Bob Woodell (past U of O fraternity brothers), and another friend, Rob Strasser, were approached by Jeff Schultz, Bob's accountant, and an avid home brewer.

Construction began in June of 1988 in Ashland along a very scenic little stream called Lithia Creek. The 10 bbl brew system was set up in a basement with a 60 seat Pub above. The first brews were Amber and Gold. The Brewery and Pub opened in October 1988.

While the Brew Pub was located in a very pretty and scenic location, had a beautiful deck and enjoyed moderate success and the beer was great, Ashland was not to be Rogue's only adventure. Ashland was basically land locked, and frankly we were losing our butts in Ashland, trying to sell our hand-crafted ales. Rogue needed room to grow and grow we did. So Jack set off in search of greener pastures.

In early February of 1989, Jack wandered to Newport in search of the perfect place for another Rogue Pub. Legend has it that a terrible and unusual snow storm struck and Jack found himself stranded on the Historic Bay Front, with no way up the hill.

He was forced to walk the streets until he met up with Mohave Niemi, founder of the famous Mo's Clam Chowder. She took him to the original Mo's restaurant, gave him a bowl of hot clam chowder and told him about her dream of living above a Bar and how she might just have the perfect spot for the next Rogue Brew Pub. The large building sported 3 full time apartments upstairs, a sweater shop, an Art Gallery and 1,100 sq. ft. of empty store front and an 800 sq. ft. garage that was currently being used to store antique cars. Mo offered the vacant space and the garage to Jack at a very generous price, under two stipulations: that a picture of Mo herself, naked in a bath tub, be forever displayed at the Pub (it's still there today just to the left of the Bar) and that Rogue "feed the fisherman", meaning that we give back to the local community. This building was known as the Front & Case Bldg.

In Feb of 1989, construction began on the Bay Front Brew Pub. Making this a step up in the world by going from a basement in Ashland to a garage in Newport. The front of the house also was being readied. The back bar was originally from the old Elk Tavern.

In May of 1989, John Maier joins Rogue after a stint with Alaska Brewing. John is a former Senior Technician with Hughes Aircraft Co. in El Segundo, CA from 1975 to 1986 and Seibel Institute graduate.

The Pub opened in May of 1989, with a small but enthusiastic customer base, made up of curious locals who dropped by to see what was going on and never left. Many joined in and helped with the construction and other projects as needed. The names of many of these early customers have been immortalized with brass plaques that grace the bar today. One of the most notable of these future customers was Chuck Linquist. He was retired, was a home brewer, and had an interest in microbrews. He was also bored and wanted to do something useful. We consider him one of our first employees. His handiwork is still visible at the Pub, the shelves that line the bar area, the light sconces, as well as the memorabilia on the shelf above Mo's picture, that Chuck brought back from Europe.

So begins the story of Rogue Ales, enjoy!
   
THE WEBSITE:


THE REVIEW:

Well, you have to hand it to the Master Brewers at Rogue…they sure can craft a beer. In the Northwestern, you’re treated to a nice floral bouquet upon first pour, but not too heavy on the perfume. When it first hit my glass, I was expecting it to be a little overpowering, but it isn’t…it’s just a smooth, silky, floral scent…not too heavy. The coloring IS what you expect…a deep auburn, with a somewhat reddish tint to it. The first sip gave way to that hopped up taste that you come to expect from Rogue, but the finish is of a nice thick malty variety. This is one hell of a smooth brew. Now I really miss home. Enjoy!

THE RATING:


 8.5/10 - Smooth

WOW, THE BAR HASN'T CHANGED A BIT!

I'm back. It's been a couple of months, but I'm back at the Bar, and yes, I do realize that it's my round. Some of you have been contacting me wondering what's up? Where have I been? Why did I stop posting? Well, to make a long story short...I took a break. Believe it or not, this Blogging thing takes a lot out of you. There's beer to buy, festivals to attend, stories to track. It can get exhausting. So I decided to take a few months off, and recharge the batteries. take stock of my personal bar, and try to figure out where this blog needs to go next. What have been doing? Well, let me bring you guys and gals up to speed on what I've been doing since May:

1. The Army finally approved my retirement. After months of speculation, and delays, I received word that my final day in uniform will be 20 February 2013. Yeah, I know that it's a long way off, but these things take time. Never fear though, I'm putting the time to good use doing things like going back to College (Villanova) to close out some certifications, spending tons of time with my son getting ready to help coach his Peewee Hockey Team this coming winter, jet-setting all over New York State with his Travel Soccer Team, and prepping for life after the Army.

2. I've also been doing a little traveling that has nothing to do with beer (relax). I've been checking out some of the Canadian attractions just North of me. I've been to Boston, Salem, Vermont, Lake Placid (The Olympic Training Center), and this weekend, I'm off to the Baseball Hall of Fame (Go Mariners! - Sigh).

3. And finally, I've been resting, and like I said...trying to figure out which way I want to take this blog. Prior to my break, I was posting three of four times a day. It was exhausting. At one point, I even received some warnings from a Brewery out of California ( I won't name names) that wanted me to pull all references to them, or else face copy write infringement. Ridiculous, right? Hell, I thought that they would have been happy to get the exposure, but nope, they did not want their Gluten-Free (oops) beer ever mentioned again. It sucked anyway. But I digress. Like I said, this blog needed direction, so here it is. Two to three times a week, you can expect the same in-depth reviews that you always got, focusing on the history of the brewery, and the beer itself. Festivals will get a nod every so often, but not in the frequency that I was posting before, and Beer politics and corporate affairs will continue to be free game. The only thing that will really change is the frequency of the posts. Five to seven a week is what you can expect, but content should remain the same (with the exception of Gluten-free products).

So there you have it. I'm back, and you can expect regular posts from here out, starting with a review later this evening of Captain Sig's Northwestern Ale from the Rogue Brewery. I certainly do appreciate everyone sticking with me...it is good to be back and all, but hey, whose got the next round anyway?