TrentonDevils

BEER

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I know, I have a massive list, and don't try the same thing too often either. I was just bored and wanted to see some basic favorites. 


 

 

 

Oskar Blues Dales

 

I've been loving Oskar Blues lately. Deviant Dales is one of the best IPAs I've had recently.

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I guess to somewhat answer the question, of the beers that are readily-available all year long, one of my favorites is Exit 4 by Flying Fish.

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I don't think I even have an "everyday" beer.  I usually get six or four packs as opposed to single bottles since it's more cost-effective, but I don't have anything that I always have in my fridge or buy on a regular basis, and I never buy the same beer at a bar twice in the same night unless nothing else on their menu interests me enough.  I guess it's because I prefer variety over quantity, and if I buy more of the same beer, that's a missed opportunity to try something I haven't had before.

This guy knows whats up.

 

For me, if it's an IPA or a pale ale, I'm on it. I don't drink much else, at least I prefer not to. Also stick to the local stuff as much as possible, but the NJ/Philly beer scene isn't the greatest. I always try something new, and like df26, almost never get the same thing twice at a bar. A lot of times I'll get something really awesome and forget what it was. I used to go for the highest alc. % for the sake of cost efficiency, and now I've grown to love high % beers.

 

I do have a few favorites, obviously, even if I don't drink them very often. Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is probably the first one that comes to mind. Their Torpedo is good, too. Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale is solid, but their IPA actually sucks. Shipyard IPA, Long Trail Black Rye IPA a few others. Flying Fish Exit 16 is one of the best, but it can be tough to find. I'm really pissed that the Exit series, which is an awesome idea, was wasted on turnpike exits. Now no one can do anything like that with parkway locations.

 

Boston Lager is the only generic beer I can stomach. You gotta find one, we're all dragged to Applebees and Chilis and all that garbage once in a while.

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This guy knows whats up.

 

For me, if it's an IPA or a pale ale, I'm on it. I don't drink much else, at least I prefer not to. Also stick to the local stuff as much as possible, but the NJ/Philly beer scene isn't the greatest. I always try something new, and like df26, almost never get the same thing twice at a bar. A lot of times I'll get something really awesome and forget what it was. I used to go for the highest alc. % for the sake of cost efficiency, and now I've grown to love high % beers.

 

I do have a few favorites, obviously, even if I don't drink them very often. Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is probably the first one that comes to mind. Their Torpedo is good, too. Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale is solid, but their IPA actually sucks. Shipyard IPA, Long Trail Black Rye IPA a few others. Flying Fish Exit 16 is one of the best, but it can be tough to find. I'm really pissed that the Exit series, which is an awesome idea, was wasted on turnpike exits. Now no one can do anything like that with parkway locations.

 

Boston Lager is the only generic beer I can stomach. You gotta find one, we're all dragged to Applebees and Chilis and all that garbage once in a while.

 

I agree Yard's IPA lacks.  Have you tried their Cape of Good Hope Epic Ale? It's an IPA and quite good. Should be able to find it in stores now. I picked up a six last week.

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My favorite Yards' beers are their Ales of the Revolution, especially the Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce.

Edited by devilsfan26

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My favorite Yards' beers are their Ales of the Revolution, especially the Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce.

Agreed. Those are good sh!t. Lately my favorite PA brewery (not technically Philly, but close) is Sly Fox. Their German style stuff is great.

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My favorite Yards' beers are their Ales of the Revolution, especially the Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce.

That whole line is awesome.

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I agree Yard's IPA lacks.  Have you tried their Cape of Good Hope Epic Ale? It's an IPA and quite good. Should be able to find it in stores now. I picked up a six last week.

Thanks for the heads up, I will keep a look out.

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I love the Yards Revo series, so does my family since it always seems to end up with atleast a sampler pack being present at get togethers.

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Anyone recommend a good winter beer that doesn't have a high %?  I am thinking in the 5-7 range and not the 8 and above that I see.  I have had a few but always looking for more as I have trouble finding a winter beer that I like and not a fan of stouts/porters.

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Anyone recommend a good winter beer that doesn't have a high %?  I am thinking in the 5-7 range and not the 8 and above that I see.  I have had a few but always looking for more as I have trouble finding a winter beer that I like and not a fan of stouts/porters.

I loved the Sly Fox Christmas Ale when I had it a couple years ago. Not sure if they follow the same recipe every year.

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With the winter beers all out now I figured i should do some reviews so here they are:

 

Troegs Mad Elf 22oz; to be fair im not a fan of cherry in beer, I didnt like sam adams american kriek, i don't care for more than 1 sam cherry wheat, so this beer didn't really do it for me. I can see why people like it. It has a nice body, not too sweet, well balanced flavors, but i don't like the cherry. If you're into lambic style beers, its perfect for a winter beer.

 

Sly Fox Christmas 2013 750 ml; of all the christmas beers i had this is the best one. Not bitter, not over spiced, not TOO dark. They blended all the spices close to perfect and i loved the beer, i would definitely get it again.

 

Rogue Santa's Private Reserve 22oz; i know rogue is popular but this was pure garbage. The hops they use taste awful, its way to bitter, there's no wintery spices you can taste. Never again will i even think of buying this.

 

Terrapin/Shmaltz Reunion Ale 2013 22oz; a collaboration brew from terrapin and he'brew, its made with cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee. I love every single one of those ingredients so it should be a homerun. Ehh it was good but nothing great. You cant taste the cinnamon or vanilla so that just makes it a run of the mill oaky, chocolatey, coffee flavored dark beer. I'd give it another shot, but there are much better options.

 

Great Divide Fresh Hop 22oz; i've said before that i was never a big hophead, but terrapin recreation changed that. Well this beer blows any beer out of the water that prides itself on its hops. Its not outrageously priced either. You haven't had a good hoppy beer until you've had this one. It's hard to describe fresh hops besides the fact that it tastes fresh. If you see this somewhere its definitely worth a shot.

 

Terrapin So Fresh, & So Green Green 22oz; this beer is the same basic concept as the great divide. It's awesome also, better than recreation ale but not as good as fresh hop.

 

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 64oz; it pours a golden yellow, naturally, and its actually pretty good. Nothing special as far as taste or smell, but theres nothing bad about. Not bitter, doesn't have a bad aftertaste. Give it a shot if you haven't tried it.

 

Blue Mountain Barrel House Long Winter's Nap 750ml; I had this one about a month and a half ago so i can't really remember the taste, but i do remember i loved it. It had a really different taste than any other winter beer. It wasn't dark at all, which is a nice change from most winter brews. The only problem is the cost, $13 a bottle is really pushing it. But if you can find it i suggest you try it.

 

Sam Adams Cinder Bock 22oz; yuck. They try and make a smokey beer and fail horribly. I've had magic hat's burnpile, now thats a good smoked porter. This was salty and undrinkable. Had 3 sips and poured it out. A waste of $5 or 6.

 

Boulder Shake 6pk; if you see this beer, buy it. Don't say ahhh idk, im not a big porter guy. It doesn't matter. This beer is awesome. What does it taste like? A chocolate shake. Well a beer chocolate shake. One of the best beers ive ever had.

 

Boulder Never Summer 6pk; this is a run of the mill red ale. A few seasonal spices mixed in there, not bad, not great, just ok. Theres alot better options out there,

 

Long Trail Brush & Barrel Series Culmination 22oz; their imperial pumpkin was the best pumpkin I had all fall, so i figured this would also be awesome. Yeah well it wasn't. It's a dark winter beer with coffee and cocoa flavors, like many other winter beers, but there's nothing wrong with that if they do it right. This was sooo bitter with such unbalanced flavors that it was tough to get the whole bottle down. Usually with these kinds of beer as it warms up it may get better. Well it didn't, it got worse. Skip this one

 

Avery Old Jubilation Ale 6pk; the package looks old-timey and looks like a good christmas beer. The taste is up to par, nothing to write home about but fits nicely into the winter warmer genre. All the usual christmas spices are there from hazelnut to toffee. It's tough to drink all 6 at once though, they're very filling.

 

Abita Andygator 6pk; this one was weird, very light in color and in taste. Its strange drinking it because you're like, "do i like this or dont i?". I don't even really know what the flavors were in there, orange, lemon, pear? No idea, it wasn't too bad though.

 

Maine Beer Co. Mean Old Tom 16oz; I was a little wary about ordering this because the packaging is so plain and unnoticeable, but im glad i got it. This beer is the best dark winter beer i've personally ever had. The vanilla comes through nicely, the chocolate tastes blends well. Buy this if you've never had it before. It's awesome.

 

Fegley's Brew Works Rude Elf Reserve 750ml; this beers recipe was not made well. There was way way too much ginger and cinnamon. Totally overpowering. I could not stomach more than half a glass.

 

Mamma Mia Pizza Beer 16oz; I'm sure some of yous have had it before, and it's exactly what it sounds like. I honestly didn't think it was that bad. I will say the second half of the beer was much worse than the first half since it started to get warm. It basically just tastes like chucky cheez pizza. Gas station pizza. Just frozen dough and oregano. It's something you have to try at least once, and its only $2.50 a bottle.

 

Dogfish Head Olde School 4pk; this beer has great ratings on any website you go to, and it really makes me scratch my head. It says to age it, maybe that will make it taste better. It's 15% and there's no hiding it. The alcohol taste is so strong and they made it so sweet with the figs that i drank half a bottle, poured the rest out and gave the other 3 bottles away. I feel violated that dogfish charges $15 for 4 of these things. Undrinkable in my opinion.

 

Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout 4pk; this beer was great. The cocoa they use is great, the milk part is really just the mouth feel. I could drink this every day of my life. Id recommend you try it if you find it.

 

Lagunitas Brown Shugga' 6pk; you can taste the actual brown sugar faintly but for the most part its just a hoppy beer above all. It grows on you the more you drink it. I might get it again next year.

 

Also a couple things coming out next week that im going to get in, im wondering if anyone has tried them(I know some of the stuff is coming out for the first time); Stone Smoked Vanilla Porter, Lefthand Fade To Black, Maine Beer King Titus, Brewdog Tokyo, Dogfish Head Piercing Pils, FiftyFifty Eclipse (any barrel flavor), Maine Beer Lunch, Terrapin White Chocolate Moo Hoo, Terrapin Wake N Bake, Great Divide Claymore, Boulder Killer Penguin, Great Divide Orabelle

Edited by Bartholomew Hunt

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Pretty bold statement saying Great Divide Fresh Hop blows away any beer that prides itself on hops.  While I've never actually had it, I have a hard time believing it even holds a candle to Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, or Heady Topper.  And everyone has their own opinions of course, but I disagree with your review of Olde School.  It is on the sweeter side, like many Dogfish Head beers, but to call it undrinkable is an exaggeration.  It's one of my favorite beers that they make, and I wouldn't go into a 15% ABV barleywine expecting it to not taste alcoholic or sweet.

Stone Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter is out at some places already.  It's their regular smoked porter brewed with vanilla beans, and it first came out about two and a half years ago along with a chipotle pepper version as well.  I was expecting more vanilla flavor and thought the chipotle pepper version was better, but it doesn't look like that one is coming out these days unfortunately. 

 

Maine Lunch is a pretty good IPA, but there seems to be an abundance of those so if you miss out on it I wouldn't be too upset.

 

Great Divide Claymore is one of my favorite scotch ales, I'll definitely be picking up some of that like I do every year.

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Pretty bold statement saying Great Divide Fresh Hop blows away any beer that prides itself on hops. While I've never actually had it, I have a hard time believing it even holds a candle to Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, or Heady Topper. And everyone has their own opinions of course, but I disagree with your review of Olde School. It is on the sweeter side, like many Dogfish Head beers, but to call it undrinkable is an exaggeration. It's one of my favorite beers that they make, and I wouldn't go into a 15% ABV barleywine expecting it to not taste alcoholic or sweet.

Stone Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter is out at some places already. It's their regular smoked porter brewed with vanilla beans, and it first came out about two and a half years ago along with a chipotle pepper version as well. I was expecting more vanilla flavor and thought the chipotle pepper version was better, but it doesn't look like that one is coming out these days unfortunately.

Maine Lunch is a pretty good IPA, but there seems to be an abundance of those so if you miss out on it I wouldn't be too upset.

Great Divide Claymore is one of my favorite scotch ales, I'll definitely be picking up some of that like I do every year.

Let me rephrase that then, it blows away any beer that ive had, that prides itself on its hops. You can point at the top rated beers and say hey there's no way its better than these. But I take those ratings with a grain of salt. For the most part its just beer snobs submitting those lengthy reviews and its no coincidence that generally the highier the price, the higher the rating.

I let about 10 other people try the olde school, 2 of them liked it. So there is something that people do like about it. But I can guarantee you that I wasnt exaggerating when I said it was undrinkable for me, and many others. Its so overpowered by the figs and alcohol that even my drain tried spitting it back out when i poured it down there. No but seriously like you said everyone has a different taste and there were a couple people that enjoyed it. Not for me though, maybe aging it would help.

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Let me rephrase that then, it blows away any beer that ive had, that prides itself on its hops. You can point at the top rated beers and say hey there's no way its better than these. But I take those ratings with a grain of salt. For the most part its just beer snobs submitting those lengthy reviews and its no coincidence that generally the highier the price, the higher the rating.

I let about 10 other people try the olde school, 2 of them liked it. So there is something that people do like about it. But I can guarantee you that I wasnt exaggerating when I said it was undrinkable for me, and many others. Its so overpowered by the figs and alcohol that even my drain tried spitting it back out when i poured it down there. No but seriously like you said everyone has a different taste and there were a couple people that enjoyed it. Not for me though, maybe aging it would help.

I don't understand your resentment of the ratings.  I don't think the BA ratings are the be all, end all, but I've had all three of those top rated IPAs I mentioned in my previous post, and I would agree Pliny the Elder is overrated but still very good because of how drinkable it is for how hoppy it is, but Younger and Heady Topper really are top notch.  While there are some snobs on that website like there are on any similar website, the ratings are an average of thousands of beer drinkers' opinions, and it's open to anyone, so you can put your reviews on there too.  It's not just some small clique of snobs deciding which beers deserve high ratings based on how expensive they are.  Since everyone has different tastes, I won't know if I like a beer until I try it, but the ratings are generally a good metric if you're deciding if a beer is worth the purchase or not, and they're also good for referencing when describing a beer to someone else who is deciding if it's worth a purchase because remember--everyone's tastes are different.  So while you or I may tell them we didn't like it, that's your opinion or my opinion, but it's still just one person's opinion.  Many BA ratings have hundreds or thousands of people weighing in on them, so they tend to average out to a good representation of the beer.

 

Elder and Heady were both not expensive at all.  Elder was $5 for a 500mL bottle which is $1 per 100mL.  Heady Topper was $12 for a four-pack of 16oz cans, which is 60 cents per 100mL.  Most bombers are more expensive than both of these.  How much is Great Divide Fresh Hop?

 

Of the people in your group that didn't like Olde School, which barleywines do you guys like?  Maybe that's just not your style.  I recently did an Olde School vertical and I didn't find too much of a difference from year to year, though it did smooth out gradually over time.  I prefer it fresh, but I also prefer most age-able beers when they're fresh anyway.

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Finally made it out to Butler to the High Point taproom. Good experience -- the brewers were in and out, talking, and the beer was solid. They have different stuff on tap, based on what's fresh. Here's what I had:

 

Imperial pilsner -- I'm not a pilsner person, but I prefer German style pilsners to Czech, and they do a decent one. I drank it fast, and moved on, but if that's more your thing, you'll probably like it.

 

Pale ale -- nothing to write home about. Not enough hop character for a pale ale, but also not really malty, or clean. All in all, a mediocre beer.

 

Dunkel -- really good. A smoky beer, with a chocolaty flavor. Almost felt like a mix between a regular dunkel and a porter. Certainly more of a winter dunkel. I'm definitely a fan.

 

Double Platinum Blonde Ale -- what a weissbeer should be. They get their yeast from Germany, so it's the only beer in the states with this flavor. It has a strong banana flavor. They claim clove as well, though I didn't taste it as much. In any case, it's not only refreshing, it's interesting, which is rare in a wheat beer. If you like wheat beer more than I do, you'll love it, because it is still a wheat beer. If you don't, you may very well love it too. I certainly did. Bought a growler home with me. 

 

They post what they plan on serving on facebook and twitter, but they change on the fly as things run out. If you're from that part of Jersey, I'd definitely recommend checking them out.

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Just got in terrapin white moo hoo today, cant wait to try it in a little bit. I couldnt get terrapins cinnamon rolld wake n bake though.

I had Ommegang Wild At Heart, I was pretty upset. I like ommegang but this one wasn't for me. A creamy yeasty taste that just wasnt up my alley. I wouldnt be as upset if it wasn't $15 a bottle. Needless to say I now put it on sale, basically for cost, $11.99 and still no one is picking it up. Which is suprising because I have a lot of ommegang drinkers come in.

Also for any Sam drinkers, if you haven't seen already they changed the spring again, its now a brand new beer called Cold Snap. It might be the same as their old White Ale or at least close. Also for the first time they're coming out with a secondary spring seasonal called Escape Route. Theyre also coming out with a new ipa called Rebel IPA, its going to come out on draft first then eventually bottles, I tried a sample it was actually pretty good.

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If anyone's interested, High Point's releasing their eis bock this weekend. They do this maybe once a year, and it's supposed to be great. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm excited. They open at 1 on Saturday. They'll fill growlers, but no more than 2 liters.

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The white chocolate moohoo I had from terrapin a couple days ago was great. If you're lucky enough to find a bottle I suggest buying one or two. I bought 4 for myself.

I also had Sams cold snap, I really liked it. Its very very drinkable, subtle coriander, really light body. They did a good job replacing the alpine spring with this. The Escape Route still hasnt been released yet.

I also just drank some Great Divide Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti. I was super excited for it. I've said before I love their fresh hop, and I also had their scotch ale. The scotch ale was mediocre, nothing id buy again. The espresso oak yeti was such a disappointment. An immediate salty taste up front, then a heavy heavy taste of oak and coffee. I shared it with 3 coworkers, none could get down more than a couple ounces. Yet another beer that boggles my mind how it recieves a 95 on beer advocate. As far as oaky, charred, coffee beers, terrapins wake n bake, and anderson valleys oatmeal stout blows this stuff out of the the water.

Curious if anyone has had anything from uinta, nj beer co or twisted pines. I had twisted pines Ghost Face Killah, I know its just a novelty but it wasnt terrible. Its tough to drink a whole bottle though because its just instant heartburn. I also brought in rogues double chocolate today, im looking foward to see how it stacks up against other chocolate stouts.

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Great Divide's scotch ale, Claymore, is one of my favorites of the style.  I look forward to it every year.  I've had a couple beers from Uinta, I'd say they were middle of the road.  I think I had their Cockeyed Cooper, a barleywine, and Labyrinth, a stout.  NJ Beer Co. hasn't impressed me at all.

Edited by devilsfan26

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Great Divide's scotch ale, Claymore, is one of my favorites of the style. I look forward to it every year. I've had a couple beers from Uinta, I'd say they were middle of the road. I think I had their Cockeyed Cooper, a barleywine, and Labyrinth, a stout. NJ Beer Co. hasn't impressed me at all.

Personally I thought the claymore got better as it got warmer, im just not crazy about the style. I officially hate barleywines as well, so you were right when you said the olde school probably wasnt good to me because I dont like the style. I had Boulder Beer's Killer Penguin and hated it just like olde school

Edited by Bartholomew Hunt

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Picked up 4x 6 packs of Hopslam. What a great beer. If you can find it, and you like IPA's, get it. 

 

Had a Bruery Black Tuesday over Christmas, another great beer worth checking out if you can get your hands on it.

 

Since i'm in Michigan I get some good daily drinkers. Founders, Bells, New Holland all great brewerys.

 

BTW, sometimes you can find some rare beers on letspour.com

Edited by mrthemike

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Picked up 4x 6 packs of Hopslam. What a great beer. If you can find it, and you like IPA's, get it. 

 

Had a Bruery Black Tuesday over Christmas, another great beer worth checking out if you can get your hands on it.

 

Since i'm in Michigan I get some good daily drinkers. Founders, Bells, New Holland all great brewerys.

 

BTW, sometimes you can find some rare beers on letspour.com

A couple years back a few of my buddies and I did a road trip where we went to a bunch of baseball games and stopped at breweries along the way.  We went to Founders, Bells, and New Holland all in one day.  You are very fortunate to have so many great breweries in that area.  That one day we left Chicago and stopped at Three Floyds, then went to Bells, then Jolly Pumpkin, and then New Holland, and ended the night at Founders.

Edited by devilsfan26

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A couple years back a few of my buddies and I did a road trip where we went to a bunch of baseball games and stopped at breweries along the way.  We went to Founders, Bells, and New Holland all in one day.  You are very fortunate to have so many great breweries in that area.  That one day we left Chicago and stopped at Three Floyds, then went to Bells, then Jolly Pumpkin, and then New Holland, and ended the night at Founders.

That's a good couple days, though I'm not a fan of Jolly Pumpkin. It's a bit of a hike, even for Michigan people, but if any of you guys are ever in Traverse City, Right Brain and Terra Firma are 2 of my favorite breweries in the country. Neither has very wide distribution, but they're totally worth a trip. Doesn't hurt that Traverse City/Sleeping Bear Dunes are beautiful.

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My recent beer purchases and likes include: Victory Hop Ranch, Victory Dirt Wolf, Green Flash Palate Wrecker, DC Brau Corruption IPA, Flying Dog Double Dog IPA. Thats all I can remember off the top of my head.  I liked them all but I will say the Palate Wrecker was very expensive at $14.99/4.  Liked the beer but don't think it warrants the high price.  Really liked the DC Brau.  Wasn't expecting much from it but it's a really solid IPA.  Dirt Wolf is an excellent beer and well priced at $8.99/4.

 

Was really hoping to try Lagunitas Sucks but the local store sold out of 5 cases in a matter of hours. Blah.  Will keep looking for it. Has anyone here tried it?

 

Have a Founders Breakfast in the fridge as well that I'm looking forward to trying for the first time.  Hear great things about this beer.

 

As far as Uinta goes I've tried their Oaked Jacked Pumpkin and I liked it.  It's in my once a year pumpkin purchase plan.  I used to live down the street from Great Divide and my favorites there were Hercules, Espresso Yeti and an occassional DPA. They have some solid beers.I also live near Twisted Pine but never got to try any of their stuff.

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