Posts tagged ‘beer review’

July 22, 2011

Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest

It’s Friday!  I bet you already knew that, but I just like saying it.  I don’t have to work today (thank goodness), so I plan to paint cabinets in the guest bathroom, go to spin class at 9:30, pick up and put down some heavy things numerous times, and then return to paint a second coat.  I’m pretty pumped, actually.

I’m also still happy thinking about the awesome beer I had last night.  I first tried it at a beer festival; then I was never able to find it.  Two years ago, I found it at a teeny beer shop in Maryland.  Finally!  It was delicious.  I hadn’t been able to find it since… until now.  <– Yeah, that part is best when said in your best movie announcer voice.


beer gods have spoken - "this is good"

It’s Sierra Nevada’s Northern Hemisphere Harvest, and it’s popping up everywhere.  Woohoo!  The beer scored a 99 on and received an A- on Beer Advocate.  Clearly it gets an A+ in my book!  It’s an IPA with 6.7% ABV.  Watch out – it’ll getcha if you drink too many.  It’s an IPA, but it could probably pass as an APA if it really wanted to do so.

Appearance: It has a beautiful amber color.  There is a thin lacy head that lingers like nobody’s business.

Smell: The beer smells of hops and light citrus, but there’s not a huge kick of either grapefruit or clove.  It’s a blend of fragrances.

Taste: It’s bitter.  It starts bitter and ends bitter.  However, the flavor-to-bitter ratio (a useful guide I devised for myself) is perfectly balanced.  It’s not like those beers that are bitter for the sake of bitter.  No, this dog has bite to match the bark.  It is also heavy in both malt and hops flavor.  The malt is more caramel – not overly roasted.

Mouthfeel: Ummmm… wonderful?  Not descriptive enough?  Okay – it is moderate to high in carbonation, but not overdone.  It’s also very smooth.

Drinkability: It’s so drinkable that even Kevin and I agree about its greatness.  Crazy.


This was worth natural light; too bad my best camera is on my cell phone.

This beer was the perfect appetizer for my dinner – turkey burgers with baked sweet potato fries and a grilled mushroom cap.  I was going to have the ‘shroom instead of a bun, but I caved and went for the carbs.  At least it was wheat, right?  Of course, I also had some ice cream for dessert.

Have a great weekend everyone!

July 1, 2011

Beach, Beer, and Bikini

Today started out with a good workout and another parfait.  Those two things help make for a good morning.  Then again, how could a Friday not start off well?  Actually, don’t answer that; we’re focusing on positives here.

One positive is that it’s going to be a long weekend, thanks to Independence Day.  My office lets out a few hours early the day before long weekends, so that’s another positive.  A third positive is that I’m going to the beach this weekend.


Beach Flashback Pics

I’m pretty excited for the three B’s: beach, beer, and bikini.

Speaking of beer, I’d like to do a quick brew review for you.  This is one of Kevin’s favorite beers, and I’m a big fan myself.  I got to enjoy it last weekend, and in doing so, I took both notes and pictures.  I’m such a good blogger.

Smuttynose IPA

First and foremost, this is an awesome label for a bottle.  Okay, now let’s get down to business.



It’s a light color for an IPA, and it has a nice golden tint.  As you can see, this is an unfiltered beer.  That’s one of the reasons why Kev and I love it.  After a bottle pour, you can see a very thin head.  It’s a nice lingering lace, but nothing much.



I didn’t take many notes on the smell, probably because it was not all that aromatic.  I guess that’s better than smelling funky though, right?


This beer tastes of citrus, and it’s so refreshing!  By IPA standards, it’s not that bitter, but it has a little bite.  There’s also that hoppy flavor I love, as well as a hint of pine.  It’s not a light beer, clocking in a 6.9% ABV, but the alcohol content is not overpowering.  Thank goodness!


Despite the cloudiness, there is not a thick feel to this.  You you notice the smooth richness, not a heavy thickness.  It is moderate in carbonation.


Overall, I like it.  I know I already said that, but now it’s official.  It’s hard to switch from this to another IPA since this one is quite unique.  If you order one, stop there or stick with it!  This brew earned an A- from the Beer Advocate Community but an A+ from “The Bros” at Beer Advocate.


Here’s a link from the Women of Craft Beer.  The ladies give 3 suggestions for Independence Day brews to enjoy during your festivities.

I have a cookout to attend at the neighbor’s house on Monday when I return from the beach.  I don’t think I’ll have any beer, but maybe I’ll bring some of my Food Should Taste Good chips to share.  I’d like to share some with you too, so enter my giveaway!

What are your plans for the weekend?  Will you be firing up the grill?

June 10, 2011

But I don’t know if I like beer…

First and foremost, I am not trying to persuade anyone to drink beer.  I frown upon excessive beer consumption, and I frown on underage drinking.  Whew!  Now… let’s get to the good stuff.  Today, we’re learning how to review a beer, and I’m basing my review off guidelines provided by an article at BeerAdvocate.

My first beer when a warm keg beer in a plastic, red cup.  It was a Miller Lite.  I hated it.  Guess what… now that I have an appreciation for brews, I can honestly say that I still despise warm beer, prefer not to drink from plastic cups, and dislike Miller Lite.

red cup

Knowing which beer to pick is the hardest part.  It depends on many factors, such as what you already like.  Sweet or savory?  Light or hearty?  Even seasons can play a part in your beer experience.  (I know you all have heard of chilled pinot grigio in summer!)

With all these variables, I’m going to just generalize here, and we’re going to go with a whitbier. Yesterday via tweet, It’s Just the Booze Dancing and Beer Runner also recommended a crisp wheat beer (hefeweizen, actually) for a beer newbie, which makes me feel better about my choice.  I’d go with a Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat or Hoegaarden, and for this post, let’s stick with Hoegaarden’s White Ale.  (On a side note, Kevin is not a Hoegaarden fan!)



  • First, pour your beer into a pint glass at an angle or order it draft.  Notice its appearance, including the beautiful light yellow color and its cloudiness.  This isn’t a very heavy beer, but as a non-filtered ale, it’s more cloudy than your typical American lager.  You can also take note of the lovely lacy head on top.  Makes it cute, right?  (I think the Hoegaarden people would track me down if they discovered I called their beer cute.)


  • Doesn’t it smell pleasant?  Your senses may pick up different things than other people – just like with wine.  You could notice lemon, bananas, other citrus, spice, yeast, malt, or even pepper.  I mean, we’re not talking about fragrant rum punch; it’s still beer.


  • Finally!  Don’t get too excited; we’re not shot-gunning!  Sip, savor, and think about any complex flavors you taste.  Maybe it’s apricot, orange, or lemon that’s dancing with the doughy flavor in your glass.  Is there an aftertaste?  There’s a lot going on here, but this is not an overpowering beer.


  • Mouth-whaaa?  Many stout drinkers might say this is light and refreshing, but if you’re used to a light pilsner, you may think it has moderate carbonation with a n almost “chewy” mouthfeel.  It’s relative, and there are no wrong answers.  Score!


  • We’re at the finish line here.  Ask yourself the most important question, do you like it?


I hope that helps.  As you know, this blog is more about healthy living, fun times, and random oddities than beer education, but I hope we all learned a little something.  As you know, I don’t place beer in my “healthy things” file, but I keep it in my “enjoy in moderation and let the good times roll” file.  Yeah, that files much cooler.

  • Have you had this beer?  What do you think?
  • Also, I’m curious as to how many readers are also beer drinkers.  Gimme’ your two cents.

Have a super weekend!

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