BrewBrawl Week 7: Eagles vs Cowboys

Welcome back, BrewBrawl fans!

Hard to believe it’s already Sunday. Of course it’s always painful to think about starting the work week all over again tomorrow morning. But thankfully, we still have one more night to kick our feet up and enjoy ourselves. So, let’s not waste any time and get straight to the good part– Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys.

[Rules Refresh: Based solely on name and/or label appearance, a craft beer is assigned by me to each team. The matchup’s will reflect the two teams playing Sunday Night Football that week. Thus, all post-season playoff games and championship rounds are TBD.]

Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys

modus-hoperandiModus Hoperandi, Ska Brewing Company
[IPA] 6.8% ABV
88 IBU
Strong citrus aromas followed by pine rise from the glass. As it moves across your tongue… bitterness… following close behind is a melding of citrus and pine with light caramel sweetness.

 

scape-goat-beer2Dallas Cowboys: Scape Goat Pale Ale
Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula MT [English Pale Ale, EPA] 5.0% ALC
40 IBU
Vague hops, toasted malt, with notes of caramel and citrus. Refreshing light body and slightly dry finish, making it extremely drinkable.

 

For anyone keeping score, only one of these beers is making it’s BrewBrawl debut… And WOW did it make an amazing first impression! As you may recall, I have my gripes with Scape Goat, but absolutely none of them apply to Modus Hoperandi. In my opinion, Ska Brewing Company brewed up the perfect example of what a hop-heavy IPA should taste like. A new favorite, for sure.

WINNER: Modus Hoperandi/ Philadelphia Eagles

Be sure to check back next week for Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders…

 

BrewBrawl Week 6: Seahawks vs Cardinals

Hello again, craft beer fans. This installment of BrewBrawl covers last week’s Sunday Night Football game, Seahawks vs Cardinals. This is an uncommon matchup, as both teams were assigned similar styles of IPA.

So, without further delay– let’s play BrewBrawl!

[Rules Refresh: Based solely on name and/or label appearance, a craft beer is assigned by me to each team. The matchup’s will reflect the two teams playing Sunday Night Football that week. Thus, all post-season playoff games and championship rounds are TBD.]

Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals

crooked-tree-ipav2Crooked Tree IPA, Dark Horse Brewery
[IPA] 6.5% ABV
46 IBU
Well-balanced, hoppy start with noticeable malt flavors, plus tones of citrus, mango, tangerine and passion fruit. Medium-bodied, smooth and bittersweet.

 
brewbrawl-wk6-star-chickenv2Star Chicken Shotgun, Greenbush Brewing Company
[IPA] 6.8% ABV
80 IBU
Slightly sweet yet spicy, with hints of malt, candied orange, pine and faint caramel undertones. Medium bodied with bitter hoppy finish.

Truthfully, I was both pleased and disappointed with the malt-heavy nature of both brands. Pleased, as it was incredibly easy to compare one to the other; and disappointed as IPA is my favorite style of beer, but typically because of their hop-heavy qualities, which are absent in the malt-forward varieties. That said, I cannot complain as both beers were pleasant and easy to drink. Ultimately, I thought the flavor profiles of Star Chicken Shotgun were a bit more fulfilling and complete. However, if you prefer less pungent versions of IPA, these brews are for you.

WINNER: Arizona Cardinals/ Star Chicken Shotgun

Be sure to check back tomorrow for this Sunday’s matchup: Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys.

 

BrewBrawl Week 5: Colts vs Texans

Hard to believe but Sunday night is here once again. Which, luckily for me, means it’s time to crack-open a couple more craft beers… Ahh, where does the time go anyway?

As many of you already know, this week’s matchup is Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans. And, although I am a bit embarrassed to admit it, there’s probably not two other teams in the entire NFL that I know less about. But this is BrewBrawl, not Football– and thankfully I can say with confidence, I do know my beer.

And knowing my fellow beer lovers, with that, I’ll skip right to the good stuff. Let the BrewBrawl game begin!

[Rules Refresh: Based solely on name and/or label appearance, a craft beer is assigned by me to each team. The matchup’s will reflect the two teams playing Sunday Night Football that week. Thus, all post-season playoff games and championship rounds are TBD.

Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans

hhg-apa

Indianapolis Colts: HHG Americana Pale Ale
Central Waters Brewing
[American Pale Ale] 5.3% ABV
IBU unknown
Surprisingly fresh with crisp bursts of mango, dank hops, and well-balanced malt flavor. Soft, moderate bodied and not too sweet with slightly dry, bitter finish.
 

burton-baton-2Houston Texans: Burton Baton
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
[American Double/Imperial IPA] 10% ABV
70 IBU
Very aromatic with nuanced flavors including malted caramel, toffee, and a trace of warmth. Thick bodied, perfectly aged with a deluxe and smooth bourbon-like finish.

This was the toughest match-up yet. Both brews were extremely enjoyable to drink, and wonderful examples of precisely what craft beer should taste like their respective categories. One downside to Burton Baton is the price tag, costing more than $10.99 per four-pack. That said, ultimately I had to base my decision on the only attribute I could identify which set these two competitors apart from one another: Burton Baton may be the best tasting, most drinkable American double/Imperial IPA that I have had to date. (with sturdy 10% ABV, no less!)

WINNER:  Houston Texans/ Burton Baton

Be sure to check back for next week’s BrewBrawl matchup: Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals…

 

BrewBrawl Week 4: Giants vs Packers

Another great autumn weekend, another amazing opportunity for two of my favorite things–
football and craft beer!

This Sunday’s matchup, New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers, has all the makings of a very interesting game. While both are recent Superbowl champions, the 2016-17 season is off to a rocky start, with both unexpectedly defeated by the injury-plagued Minnesota Vikings.

As for their respective brews, I am anxious to see how this week shakes-out. While ‘The Creature” Black IPA had been drafted for the Packers in week 1, one of my go-to American Pale Ale’s was absolutely the perfect fit for the Giants… So, without further delay, lets play BrewBrawl!

[Rules Refresh: Based solely on name and/or label appearance, a craft beer is assigned by me to each team. The matchup’s will reflect the two teams playing Sunday Night Football that week. Thus, all post-season playoff games and championship rounds are TBD.]

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers

dales-pale-aleNew York Giants: Dale’s Pale Ale
Oskar Blues Brewery
[American Pale Ale] 6.5% ABV
65 IBU
Assertive but not overpowering. Medium bodied, prickly, slightly resinous with lively carbonation. Easy to drink with a clean finish.

the-creature-web1Green Bay Packers: The Creature
Urban Legend Brewing Company
[Black IPA] 8.5% ALC
85 IBU
A sturdy dark, malty flavor with rich, fruity hop aftertaste. Creamy, medium body making it easy to drink.

While it is clear these two beers could not be more different, the authentic deliciousness of ‘The Creature’ Black IPA was far-and-away the star of this game. Don’t get me wrong, as previously stated, I frequently buy and enjoying drinking Dales Pale Ale; especially when I am entertaining and want a reliable, middle of the road American Pale Ale option for my guests. And still it’s clear, ‘The Creature’ is not your typical beer, but the stuff of champions.

WINNER: Green Bay Packers/ The Creature

Please be sure to join me next week for: Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans…

 

BrewBrawl Week 3: Chiefs vs Steelers

Welcome back, beer lovers!

This week’s highly-anticipated matchup is: Kansas City Chiefs vs Pittsburg Steelers

Before kickoff, I must admit– I am very excited to try these two brews. Unlike last week, I enjoyed a variety of brands to pick from, and therefore could draft the most enticing options for each team.

[Rules Refresh: Based solely on name and/or label appearance, a craft beer is assigned by me to each team. The matchup’s will reflect the two teams playing Sunday Night Football that week. Thus, all post-season playoff games and championship rounds are TBD.]

Now let’s play BrewBrawl!!

Kansas City Chiefs vs Pittsburg Steelers

ale-to-the-chiefKansas City Chiefs: Ale to the Chief!
Avery Brewing Company, Boulder CO
[Imperial IPA] 8.1% ALC
70 IBU
Brewed only in election years, referred to as “Presidential Pale Ale” by brewery. Starts off as smooth, malty backbone, with hints of light toffee, as well as citrus and floral notes. Medium body, finishes warm with bitter, spicy hops.

krank-label-1Pittsburg Steelers: Krank Shaft
Metropolitan Brewing, Chicago IL
[German Kolsh] 5% ABV
28 IBU
Clean, crisp apple and citrus flavors with underlying tones of malt, grains, and sweet honey. Light to medium bodied, with faint hops and tart fruits in the finish. Overall a refreshing, great example of the Kolsh style.

As expected, both team brews in this week’s competition scored extremely high. Ultimately, it came down to a technical foul against ‘Ale to the Chief’ for mistakenly marketing this microbrew as an “Imperial IPA”  While surprisingly tasty, it is a bit too sweet and too malty compared with other brews belonging to this category. To make matters worse, their website unsuccessfully rationalizes this mischaracterization as: “Originally brewed to celebrate Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009. We elected to give ‘Ale to the Chief’ a second term to commemorate the 2012 election!​ ​Not an “Imperial” pale ale, this is a democracy. It’s Presidential!”

Err… well, considering that same twice-elected inaugurated president has worked tirelessly to earn the label of “the Imperial President,” along with his tenure being widely-hailed as the “Imperial Presidency,” I’m not sure the folks at Metropolitan Brewery could’ve been more wrong? In any event, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were sampling too much of their great tasting products for the last 7+ years.

WINNER: Pittsburg Steelers/ Krank Shaft

Be sure to stay-tuned for next week’s matchup: New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers…

 

 

BrewBrawl Week 2: Bears vs Cowboys

Happy weekend, beer fans!

This week we have an exciting match-up: Chicago Bears vs Dallas Cowboys

And while they may be two of the most widely-known NFL franchises, finding their corresponding ‘team beer’ based solely on packaging was a bit difficult this week… You would think there’d be at least ONE beer label with a bear on it somewhere in this relatively trendy liquor store!?  Nevertheless, I am confident you’ll quickly figure-out why I picked these two intriguing craft brews.

[Rules Refresh: Based solely on name and/or label appearance, a craft beer is assigned by me to each team. The matchup’s will reflect the two teams playing Sunday Night Football that week. Thus, all post-season playoff games and championship rounds are TBD.]

Now, without further delay– let’s play BrewBrawl!

Chicago Bears vs Dallas Cowboys

imperial-mugshot-logo3Chicago Bears: Imperial Mugshot
Myths & Legends Brewery, Westmont IL [Brown Rye Porter] 9.1% ALC
70 IBU
Smooth, dark-roasted start with hints of coffee, chocolate, dark cherry and dry spice note on finish. Noticeable kick, yet shockingly drinkable
 
scape-goat-beer2Dallas Cowboys: Scape Goat Pale Ale
Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula MT [English Pale Ale, EPA] 5.0% ALC
40 IBU
Vague hops, toasted malt, with notes of caramel and citrus. Refreshing light body and slightly dry finish, making it extremely drinkable.

As someone who enjoys, but seldom drinks the darkest varieties of beer, I was very pleasantly surprised by ‘Imperial Mugshot.’ Despite it’s strong alcohol content and robust flavor, it’s uncharacteristically easy to drink. With ‘Scapegoat’ on the other hand,  I found myself re-checking the label before being disappointed with the lack of that hoppy twinge one expects from a typical Pale Ale. To be fair, I later learned from their website that it is described as a “Classic British Pale Ale with a Montana flare.” In that case, it’s not a bad-tasting beer, but I would suggest they inform the buyer upfront, as the current packaging seems misleading.

WINNER: Imperial Mugshot / Chicago Bears

Be sure to check back next week for: Kansas City Chiefs vs Pittsburg Steelers…

American Experiment Is Ending As It Began

Absent from the faux-news, feigned outrage and brain-eating filth of Election 2016, lurks the only certain and unavoidable tragedy for mankind. It’s not Donald Trump with the nuclear football. That’s shocking, I know. And ironically enough, it also isn’t the most-corrupt candidate to ever become the nominee of a major American political party. It’s not the greedy banks or those cold-hearted millionaires and billionaires. Can’t blame climate change, or the looming threat of a major foreign war. It isn’t even the absurdity of pretending we are all an androgynous clump of cells until we (fully!) exit the birth canal, and thus deemed worthy of a soul with the ability to choose our ‘true’ gender.

No, perhaps the most tragic, shameful part of it all is that you won’t even hear the real cause for concern on any cable news channel, or discussed on any mainstream website. That’s because the real tragedy of 2016 is much too sophisticated for the mollified, self-obsessed masses to comprehend. And so, while America tears herself apart over the unsavory reflection of our decrepit civilization, our fundamental liberties are silently embezzled by far lesser beings than the force which endows such powers.

“Virtually every aspect of our lives is to some extent or entirely controlled or regulated by the state. At birth our children are forced into the Social Security system and subjugated to a variety of mandatory tests and vaccines. They start out life owing about $55,000, representing their per capita share of the federal debt imposed on them to pay for the campaign promises of dead politicians. Our children are kidnapped from their homes and placed into daytime juvenile detention and propaganda centers (government schools) at age 6.”– James Ostrowski, November 11, 2014 in article titled ‘State of the Progressive America’

And, like all profound tragedies found in libraries of past empires, there is no way we can politically address the problem. Neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump can recognize the encroaching threat of tyranny from the balcony of their heavily fortified castle. Therefore, they will only contribute to the vast suffering it will cause. So yes, please, whine about Trump’s insensitive rhetoric. Go ahead and decry the delusional media crusade to assure Hillary is elected, and their complacency in the Soros-funded leftist effort to manipulate U.S. Elections. None of that, or nearly anything else we choose to debate in this country, will rescue even a single child from starvation or spare one moment of pain for those forced into hard labor. That’s what it’s like to live in a country where you do not have the right to liberty– and the world that emerges after the inward collapse of the freest, most powerful and prosperous nation mankind has ever known.pew-poll-candidates

While society caters to the fat, spoiled brats it has created, the dark army of serfdom draws evermore near. There is no escaping the battlefield, we will be made to fight the enemy. With the reemergence of such harsh realities, the divisions once misguidedly obsessed over like party, race, creed or social status will seem petty and infantile. The only ‘privileges’ which exist where America is going will be a roof over your head and food in your belly. We will pay the full price for our reckless stewardship over that which was fair and just in this world. Now the only decision is how great of a price that will be.

So once again, please ask yourself, ‘What kind of a people would choose Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as their president?’ People like us. All of us. We are all in some way to blame for the state of our lives, our communities, our cities, our states, our country, and this miracle of a planet. The last hope for America can only be seized if individually and collectively, we admit we caused this mess, then accept responsibility for ourselves and our actions going forward. We must return to embracing the very truth on which this nation was conceived: If you do not take ownership over yourself, somebody else will.

 

Let’s Play… BrewBrawl!

We’ve all skimmed those bland reviews for appealing craft beer. But in the midst of 2016 politics, it only seems fitting to trash convention and embrace the outlandish— well, at least for the remainder of football season.

Therefore, with exceeding eccentricity, I am honored to present the first official season of “American BrewBrawl!”

The rules are simple: Based solely on name and/or label appearance, a craft beer is assigned by me to each team. The matchup’s will reflect the two teams playing Sunday Night Football that week. Thus, all post-season playoff games and championship rounds are TBD.

So without further delay, let’s play to this week’s BrewBrawl Matchup!
(Sorry fans, but I’m still in the process of recording the theme song.)

Minnesota Vikings  vs. Green Bay Packers

beard-of-zeus3Minnesota Vikings: Beard of Zeus, Short’s Brewing Company
[India Style Pale Lager, aka IPL] 5.3% ALC
82 IBU
Adventurous flavor profile of hops, honey, and lemongrass. Medium body, not too sweet with a light, lingering bitterness.

the-creature-web1Green Bay Packers: The Creature, Urban Legend Brewing Company
[Black IPA] 8.5% ALC
85 IBU
A sturdy dark, malty flavor with rich, fruity hop aftertaste. Creamy, medium body making it easy to drink.

This was a very heard decision as both are great beers in their respective categories. What ultimately tipped the scale towards Beard of Zeus was the unusual hop-quality coupled with ease of drinkability.

WINNER: Beard of Zeus / Minnesota Vikings. 

Stay tuned for next week’s matchup: Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys…