41. MKE – Hoptoberfest

What a bad sports weekend for me.

Crying Tebow? Entirely relevant.

First, I was excited that the Nationals were able to force a game 5 against the Cardinals.  But then, on Friday night, they managed one of the most crushing losses I’ve seen in quite some time.  They were up 6-0, let the Cardinals back in it and then were up 7-5 in the 9th.  Sadly, Drew Storen had a meltdown (in easily the most important game of his career) and gave up 4 runs in the top of the 9th.  Crushing loss.  Then on Sunday, the Patriots crapped out against the Seahawks.  I hear the Seahawks are supposed to be decent this season, but I can’t grasp that concept.  The AFC East is a barrel of mediocrity this season as the Jets and Patriots will be battling it out for first place in a division that has 4 teams at 3-3.  Sad, very sad.

On to the beer.  It makes me happy.

Milwaukee Brewing – Hoptoberfest

Sight:  A nice welcoming copper color.

Smell:  Malty aroma, with a light biscuity smell mixed in.  Lots of grassy hops to brighten things.

Taste:  A nice malty sweetness throughout laying a nice groundwork for this Oktoberfest.  The biter grassy hops sneak in toward the end and leave you with a light slightly clingy finish.

My overall grade:  B

Likely to be my last Oktoberfest, this beer from MKE was quite tasty.  A nice ending to the season.

Two Brothers – Oh Brother!

Sight:  Bright orange color with a light thin head

Smell:  It’s definitely a Belgian style.  Subtle cloves with a bright fruitiness.

Taste:  Creamy with a powerful malty sweetness and a mix of light dried fruits.  Very bright and very good.

My overall grade:  A-

Another of Two Brothers’ 15th Anniversary beers that was definitely worth bringing back.  A very good tripel.

Now, I’m off to hope for a better sports weekend. (maybe the Yankees will be eliminated tonight!)

40. Southern Tier – Harvest Ale

It’s October, which means it’s MLB playoff time!  A fun time of year, if you have a horse in the running.

My beloved Red Sox were beyond miserable this season, and I wrote them off in late August.  It was a sad season.  So, I’ve been rooting for my adopted team, the Nationals (I lived in DC for nearly 10 years, it’s okay).

They’re currently on the cusp of being eliminated, and I’m fairly certain that them shutting down Stephen Strasburg is going to be a big mistake.  I know the argument is that by sitting him, it’ll give him years and years of healthy productivity.  My argument is this:  How often to teams make the playoffs?  I know teams like the Yankees or the Cardinals are perennial playoff teams, but what about mid-level market teams (like the Nationals)?  They’re always fighting to make it, and more often than not, failing to do so.  Why would you stifle your chances?  It’s not every season that you’ll be running on all cylinders and your entire team meshes together.  Why sit a guy who almost always gives you a win (or at the very least gives you a great chance of winning)?  Especially when the reason for sitting him (playing it safe after Tommy John surgery) has no evidence of actually helping.  If the Nationals fail to win the World Series, you will never hear the end of this conversation.  Sports writers are currently churning out arguments for playing Strasburg and they’re storing them up, just waiting to inundate you with them until Spring.  It’s gonna suck.

This week I tore through the Southern Tier Harvest Ale and the Two Brothers Victor’s MemoriAle.  Both quite tasty.

Southern Tier Harvest Ale

Sight:  Gold brown, like fried potatoes

Smell:  Grassy hops with a little light biscuit aroma.  Subtle though, nothing too crazy floating around in there.

Taste:  Malty flavor throughout with spicy grassy hops settling lightly on top.  The finish is clean and a little thin and the ends slightly bitter.

My overall grade:  B

As I’ve said before, Southern Tier tends to be hit or miss for me.  This beer’s a hit.  I really enjoyed this one.  They’ve created a highly drinkable beer with a lot of flavor.  Nicely done.

Two Brothers Victor’s MemoriAle

Sight:  Dark brown in color with the slightest bit of ruby red shining through.

Smell:  Molasses and coffee.  It’s like an old school breakfast.

Taste:  Thick and creamy mouthfeel with mild chocolate and burnt coffee, bitter but slightly sweet with a thick heavy finish.

My overall grade:  B+

Another of Two Brothers’ 15th Anniversary beers and this is a great one to remake.  A good setup for the colder weather too.  Thick and a little boozy.

Well, I’m off to put on my Nats cap and hope they can force a game 5 tonight.