Batch 9000 Ale - Offers up aromas ranging from the sweet caramel & molasses of dark rum to fruits such as raisins and plums. Brewed with the idea of pushing boundaries in mind, Batch 9000 Ale is a unique, one-time-only recipe. Well suited for vintage aging. *Not cheap, but well worth it if you can find (and hold onto) it. ~$20/6pk
Bell's Hopslam Ale - Possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repetoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style. *The honey takes just enough edge off the hoppiness. My current favorite Ale. ~$16/6pk
Also, I had Southern Tier's Pumking on tap at the local ale house the other day and loved it. I've tried many pumpkin beers and nothing touches this - especially on tap. ~$7/22oz bottle
Sounds like RateBeer, but hopefully less total shit. (seriously, ratebeer can DIAF or stop Force Closing out of nowhere) I'll definitely check it out and try to send some feedback. There's really no good beer app out there right now.
e: Ah, no app yet at least
I think Untappd is all HTML5, so you can just navigate there in a phone browser. I hear they're making dedicated apps for platforms soon.
Tried a new pumpkin beer last night, by local NJ brewery River Horse. I wasn't aware it was an Imperial till I tasted it, and even then they managed to mask the alcohol taste pretty well. Not that sweet as pumpkin beers go, but pretty good, reminded me a bit of Weyerbacher's Pumpkin. Didn't match Southern Tier's Pumpking, which still reigns as my favorite Pumpkin.
I also have a bourbon aged pumpkin from Heavy Seas sitting in my cellar, will try that one on Halloween. Sounds like a very odd combination, I hope that one turns out okay.
Indeed. Bell's is a Michigan brewery, and so I don't think it's available most places outside of the Midwest, but definitely worth looking for:
Hopslam: Delicious double IPA, and the honey really adds just the right touch of syrupy sweetness. Two-Hearted Ale: Their regular IPA, and probably my favorite of their offerings. Oberon: A well-crafted wheat beer, one of my standard summer session beers. Refreshing. Expedition Stout: A fantastic russian imperial stout. Drink it.
Speaking of midwest breweries that haven't been mentioned much in this thread, here are a couple more of my favorites.
Two Brothers (Chicago, IL) Cane and Ebel: My favorite rye ale, even over Founders' Red Rye P.A. Perfectly balanced. The Bitter End: One of the best Pale Ales around. Very drinkable, an excellent session beer. Heavy-Handed IPA: Fall seasonal available now. Brewed with fresh "wet" hops.
Surly (Minneapolis, MN) Furious: My absolute favorite IPA. Not too resiny, not too syrupy, hoppy out the wazoo. Coffee Bender: The perfect beer. Surly's Bender is a smooth but not heavy oatmeal brown ale. Coffee Bender adds cold-brewed coffee and the result is... wow. I'm a coffee fiend, and this is one of the only coffee beers that really pays careful attention to getting the coffee extraction right, not just the beer. The flavor they get is amazing, and the beer is as refreshing as an iced coffee. Darkness: Russian Imperial stout. I'm road-tripping 500 miles to get some of this stuff. Enough said.
Bell's actually has pretty good distribution and shows up in some East coast states. I've seen Two Brothers in Philadelphia as well. Surly, however, doesn't leave that area which is a shame because I've heard great things about it.
A shop specializing in brew your own supplies and materials has recently opened near me. The Fermentation Trap. I knew you could brew beer at home, but I had no clue you could simplify wine to the point of "homebrewing."
I've had plenty to drink, but neither I nor my friends have tried to get into the home brew phenomena. Anyone have any recommendations on where to start? Just to be clear, I'm familiar with how to actually brew, I'm just curious if anyone has had any experience, good or bad, with any memorable equipment or ingredients.
A bunch of people on this board brew (including me), but it's a huge rabbit hole and probably beyond the scope of this thread. If you buy a Benefactor subscription we have a homebrew thread in the off-topic forum. Otherwise Homebrew Talk and The Brewing Network are both amazing sites that cover brewing from A-Z.