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!)

13. Bridgeport – Hop Czar

Here comes another football related entry.  Sorry.  You’ll have to bear with me until the playoffs are over.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of heading back to DC for Pyzocha’s 30th birthday.  You may remember him from J Street Beer Review, where I was writing before this.  The surprise party was organized to be at RFD (our standard watering hole), and scheduled to begin about the beginning of the Patriots game.  With both of us being Patriots fans (and X being a Broncos fan), it worked out perfectly (for us… not X).

We made it to the bar in time to catch the tail end of the San Francisco – New Orleans game, which quickly turned into an instant classic.  All game long it was destined to be fairly boring.  Then, with about two minutes left, all hell broke loose.  Alex Smith manages to rush for a touchdown, putting SF up.  Then, Drew Brees works his way down field and tosses a touchdown.  I’m fairly certain everyone watching the game thought that would be the final.  I don’t think anyone thought the 49ers had the offense to score with only 1:37 left.  But they did it.  It was ridiculous.  85 yards in a minute and a half.  The bar went crazy!

Eat it Tim! (Getty Images)

It set us up for the next game, which the Patriots delightfully won.  However, I think we all stopped watching it at the half.  It was a blowout.  Sorry Timmy.

This week I went with something that was nearly impossible to find in DC: something from Bridgeport Brewing Company.  I found the Hop Czar, an Imperial IPA, and decided to give it a shot.

Sight:  Bright orange in color and opaque.  Almost like faded orange juice.

Smell:  Very hoppy and citrusy in the aroma with a slight fresh cut grass scent.

Taste:  Very bitter up front that transitioned into a mild malty backbone.  The malt was actually less than I expected for the style.  It faded into a light sweetness and then a lingering bitter hoppiness that didn’t seem to want to go away.

My overall grade:  C+

I was a bit disappointed with the Hop Czar.  I think I had high hopes because it was from Bridgeport.  I’ve definitely had better imperial IPAs.  Maybe next time Bridgeport.

Time for me to start warming up my “Baltimore sucks” chant.

Side Note:  You may notice the black ribbon on the upper right of this blog.  It’s my minor addition to the SOPA/PIPA protest.  Click here for a great video explanation.  Thanks.

12. 5 Rabbit – 5 Rabbit

January is a great month if you’re a football fan.  You’ve got the college football bowl games and the beginning of the NFL playoffs.  It’s a time best spent in a local sports bar, staring at a big screen, drinking your favorite beers, and screaming about how you would be a much better coach than the one on the field.

For today’s post I’m going on a bit of a football rant.  I watched the NFL playoff games over the weekend and watched the BCS championship on Monday.  First I want to discuss the BCS championship.

It was LSU and Alabama, #1 and #2 (respectively).  It should have been a great game.  Instead, it was a game that most viewers were likely to turn off or fall asleep during.  Alabama won 21-0.  Now, you’re probably thinking it was an exciting 3 touchdowns.  No, it was 5 field goals and 1 touchdown (the kicker missed the extra point, along with a couple other field goals).  The only good thing happening for LSU was that their punter was able to showcase his skills for NFL scouts.

I hate you.

Three of the four NFL playoff games were equally unexciting.  The Saints made the Lions look like they shouldn’t have made the playoffs, the Texans made the Bengals look silly, and the Giants made a good Falcon offense disappear.  The only good game to watch was the Pittsburgh – Denver game; which leads me to my next rant.

I can’t stand Tim Tebow.  I’m sure 80% of the country is absolutely appalled by that statement, but it’s true.  I don’t think it’s his fault though.  I’m sure he’s a nice guy, maybe a bit too religious for my tastes, but nice nonetheless.  He plays hard; he’s probably a great teammate.  He even takes time to sign autographs for the kids.  I think my problem is actually with every sports outlet telling me that I should love him.  And not just telling me occasionally, but telling me ALL THE TIME.  ESPN can’t run a SportsCenter without mentioning him.  The local news can’t stop talking about him, and we’re in Bears country.  I think when people are done talking about him and his holy miracles then I’ll probably end up routing for the guy.  Until then, I hope the Broncos lose… and soon.

Since I had the 5 Lizard last week, I decided to stay in the same vein and went with the 5 Rabbit this time.  It’s the 5 Rabbit – 5 Rabbit from the Department of Redundancy Department!

Sight:  Light golden in color and sparklingly clear.  Very inviting.

Smell:  The aroma has a slightly malty sweetness to it, but it’s very mild.

Taste:  Very light flavor, it’s crisp and refreshing, it has a slight biscuit flavor with a mild bitterness toward the end.

My overall grade:  B

The 5 Rabbit is quite good.  It’s the kind of beer you can sit down and enjoy a lot of.  It’s doesn’t overwhelm and doesn’t make you feel miserable if you have a few.  Not a bad choice for a party or a hot summer day.

I’m off to prep for this weekend.  GO PATS!!!