beer reviews to brood over, brought to you by me and occasionally my “wife,” Marta. none of that mouthfeel and “notes” nonsense, neither.
Name: White Russian
Brewery: Lefthand Brewing Co. (Longmont, Colorado)
Style: White nitro stout with coffee + vanilla
Review: It’s been a hot minute since I’ve reviewed any beer, so bear with me.
This beer was very tasty, but it almost wasn’t beer to me. I should admit that I have little experience with drinking White Russian cocktails. One of my best friends, Evyn, introduced me to them in Cuba, of all places. That was four years ago. I may have gone another three years before drinking a White Russian again — and that was when my friend Danylo decided he’d make them for me and all of my roommates to celebrate their graduation in May 2020. I will say: I am quite fond of the beverage, given the limited experience.
Name: Coriolis Effect
Brewery: New Image Brewing (Arvada, Colorado)
Style: New Zealand Style IPA
Rating: 4.2 / 5
Review: I will preface this review with stating that I am quite, quite biased on this one. Further, I am going into launch into a long story that barely reviews the beer.
I actually saw this beer for the first time back in December (remember December? A time when we weren’t wearing face masks and could socialize without fear of contracting a devastating virus?). My rad co-worker had given me a $15 gift certificate to the liquor store right before you get on I-25 from my exit of Colorado Springs. I never go to this liquor store because it’s just *slightly* more expensive than my go-to, college liquor store. But hey, I had a gift certificate!
Name: Hibiscus Wheat
Brewery: Yonkers Brewing Co.
Style: Wheat Beer
Review: I don’t know if I’m proud or ashamed to say that at this point, I’ve drank a lot of beer. A lot of styles of beer. And frankly, it’s gotten almost a little old. I’m finally disinclined to try new things, because I can usually peg the beers I’m going to like and the which ones I won’t care for instantly. “Life is too short,” I recently told my friend, “to drink shitty beer.” Therefore, I’ve been kind of seeking comfort and assurance from beers I already know and love. But I grabbed this beer thinking, “Eh, I’ll probably like it well enough,” and knowing my sister, who is not a huge beer drinker, would like it far better than an IPA. Well, I took a sip of this and paused. “Dang. That’s interesting. That’s something I haven’t had before.” I don’t even know what hibiscus really is, nor can I really describe its flavor, but this was refreshing and tasty and just different. There is still a reason to try new beer!
Name: Hop Rising Tropical Double IPA
Brewery: Squatters (Park City, Utah)
Style: American Imperial IPA
Review: During this pandemic, you need something strong. And this is 9%, so it really helps you tune out your family and/or panicked thoughts. Not overly hoppy, definitely tropical (as it boasts, whatever “tropical” means), and probably dangerous, as I could have easily downed a second or third and then have been in TROUBLE. Go try one for yourself.
Name: Southern Pecan Brown Nut Ale
Brewery: Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company (Mississippi)
Style: English Brown Ale
Rating: 3.1 / 5
Review: I spent the last week and a half traveling from Charleston to Atlanta, visiting friends and family. For years, I have received Snapchats from my best friend at Clemson of “The Wall of Beer.” Naturally, now that I was finally visiting her at Clemson, she had to take me. And it’s exactly what it sounds like: a wall of tantalizing craft beers. But it’s not in some magical place — it’s in a Quik Mart.
Name: Porch Pilsner
Brewery: Sanitas Brewing Co. (Boulder, Colorado)
Style: Lager – Pale
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Review: In my effort to stop only posting beers that I like, here’s one that fell flat for me. Pilsners are supposed to be light and highly drinkable, but this one tasted strangely slightly hoppy? Hops are fine, but not when you’re expecting a mellow pilsner. Sanitas is generally a favorite in Boulder, but it definitely pales in comparison to Avery Brewing Co. (AMAZING) and Upslope. If you go to Sanitas, don’t get this one — their Everyday Mountain Lager is better.
Name: Galaxy Dry-Hopped Wild Saison
Brewery: Upslope Brewing (Boulder, Colorado)
Style: Farmhouse Ale – Saison
Rating: 3.7 / 5
Review: I’m realizing I need to stop reviewing all these middling-rated brews and actually throw in some bad beers or out-of-this-world ones. I don’t know. This one could be bad, depending on who you are.
I got this on tap. Just asking for a taster, I could smell the few ounces of beer from across the bar — and it wasn’t exactly a good smell. The taste was stranger. Why do I want to say I feel like there were hints of ketchup? I truly do not know. But perhaps the strangest thing about this beer is that I really liked it. Maybe it’s so out there, it tasted good just out of novelty. I’m not sure. Go try it yourself.
Name: Deck Daze Passionfruit Tea Infused Wheat
Brewery: Vail Brewing Co.
Style: American Wheat Ale
Rating: 3.4 / 5
Review: Holy cow does this beer actually taste like white tea. I would say it tastes first like tea, then like beer, then like wheat beer. It’s just different. If you’re a tea drinker or a fruity beer lover, this is the beer for you.
Name: Blueberry Velvet
Brewery: 4 Noses
Style: Milkshake IPA
Rating: 4.3 / 5
Review: Honestly, I should rate this beer higher, but as my high school English teacher always quoted Robert Browning: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp — or what’s a heaven for?”
I’ve been a big 4 Noses fan for a while even though they didn’t have an auspicious start with me (didn’t LOVE their Proboscis Simcoe American Pale Ale, and it was the first beer of theirs I’d tried). Luckily, I gave them another chance and I’m so glad that I did.
My friend Emily felt like she didn’t know anything about beer, puzzling over what to order at any craft brewery that she entered. I let her in on the secret: it doesn’t matter if you know ANYTHING about beer — you just need to know what YOU like. We split a flight and discovered that she liked the fruity wheat beer best of the four. This beer was a recommendation I gave her after this experience, coupled with her telling me that just she and her mom drank an entire bottle of rosé the previous night.
This beer was recommended to me and my roommate by one of our favorite liquor store employees — who said another employee (an infamous former college caterer) can’t get enough of it. We dug it as well.
Name: Sky Kraken
Brewery: Fremont Brewing (Seattle)
Style: Hazy Pale Ale
Rating: 3.3 / 5
Review: Refreshing, not overly hoppy. The can claims it boasts melon, citrus, pineapple, and pepper flavors, but they don’t shine through as much as one would like. However, it’s a crowd-pleaser, an overall good quality beer. And as the can says, “Sky Kraken is also just a really cool name for this really cool beer that we wanted to brew.”
My friend has taken to buying Costco beers — IPAs, APAs, stouts. While they’re definitely superior to your Rolling Rock or Busch, I can’t get behind them.
Name: India Pale Pale
Rating: 2 / 5
Review: The most basic of IPAs you could ever drink. I blind-tasted this and was like, “This tastes like an IPA…not really getting any sort of flavor beyond that.” It has a bit of hoppy-ness. That’s it. It’s a taste as generic as its name of simply, “India Pale Ale.” Stick to buying beers from your local brewery, not Costco, Jesse.
Brewery: Bonfire Brewing
Style: “A Centennial State spin on the traditional radler, drifting among red rocks and rapids.”
Rating: 4.1 / 5
- Marta: “Tasty and fresh as f*ck. All you need.”
- Slaico: “I dig the juxtaposition of the RAD name and the classy mint and lemon flavors. Refreshing.”
I’m currently revisiting an old favorite, and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. Here’s Marta’s and my review from summer 2017.
Name: Los Locos
Brewery: Epic Brewing Company (Denver)
Style: Mexican Lager
Rating: 4.5 / 5
- Marta: “The combination of the salty lime and tropical vibes make this a true sensory experience.”
- Slaico: “My only regret is that I didn’t have tacos to eat this with.”