TrentonDevils

BEER

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While we're on the topic of sports bars not having a great selection, another pet peeve of mine is when there are a few craft choices, but the bartenders are not given any description of what they are, or the menu just lists breweries and not the actual beers.  "Sierra Nevada" and "Dogfish Head" are not beers.  Usually at these places you can assume it is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Dogfish Head 60 Minute, but it would be nice if you didn't have to make assumptions.  One bar I went to had a menu that included "Ithaca Beer," so I asked the bartender which beer from Ithaca it is, and his response was, "some dark beer."  I ordered it anyway, turned out it was their apricot wheat beer, which is not dark by any means.

 

I see that often too.  These are usually at sports bars where they only have a few craft beers on tap and/or they just recently started offering craft beer and the bartenders tend not to be knowledgeable of them either by ignorance or the fact that they are not trained on them.  When I went to the Suburban Tavern this past weekend for the Bernier signing they only had a couple of craft beers on tap (one was Dogfish head 60 min) and the bartenders didn't have much of a clue as to what they were.

 

I like what the Office does in Bridgewater, NJ (and perhaps their other locations).  They have a lot of craft beer (pretty much exclusively) and they always have a list of all the craft beers written down including their names, style, price and ABV.  I think that is the way to go.

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If I liked the food better, I'd do office more. The Montclair location is the closest to my parents'.

Going back to sports bars, I like that places are starting to feel pressure to get better stuff on tap. Unfortunately, with The big three making fake crafts, or buying the old breweries makes it too easy for bars to just order from them, which isn't good for craft beer growing. And, good as Goose is, The creativity, good and bad, that comes from independent craft brewers puts any of the half crafts to shame. Much as I enjoy being able to drink Goose or Bluepoint damn near anywhere when I used to be stuck with Bud, I'd rather craft brewers be able to grow more freely.

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If I liked the food better, I'd do office more. The Montclair location is the closest to my parents'.

Going back to sports bars, I like that places are starting to feel pressure to get better stuff on tap. Unfortunately, with The big three making fake crafts, or buying the old breweries makes it too easy for bars to just order from them, which isn't good for craft beer growing. And, good as Goose is, The creativity, good and bad, that comes from independent craft brewers puts any of the half crafts to shame. Much as I enjoy being able to drink Goose or Bluepoint damn near anywhere when I used to be stuck with Bud, I'd rather craft brewers be able to grow more freely.

 

I like the Office at Bridgewater.  I mean yeah the food could be better but if you stick to appetizers and burgers you are in safe waters. When you order off their entrée menu is when the problems start.

 

Also has anyone tried anything from Maine Beer Company's beers?  How are they?  Been hearing a lot about them lately.

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I like the Office at Bridgewater. I mean yeah the food could be better but if you stick to appetizers and burgers you are in safe waters. When you order off their entrée menu is when the problems start.

Also has anyone tried anything from Maine Beer Company's beers? How are they? Been hearing a lot about them lately.

Maine is my favorite brewery. Their stuff is extremely limited. Their MO is out of this world. A crazy clean, crisp pale ale. Peeper is good, Zoe is good. I've never been lucky enough to try lunch or dinner. King Titus was sub par but I only had it once. I've noticed I could not be crazy about a beer one day, then really like it the next day. Mean old tom was awesome the first time I had it, then the second time I had it I wasn't crazy about it. I've never had Weez. Definitely grab whatever you can from them. They're all usually 6.99 for 16oz

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Generally I feel like Maine is overpriced.  Their beers are pretty good but I haven't found any of them to be amazing.

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I loved the first Maine beer I had. It wasn't Mean Old Tom. Unfortunately, don't remember what it was, as it was the last beer I drank in a series of high ABV craft beers. Deets got fuzzy at some point...

I like the Office at Bridgewater.  I mean yeah the food could be better but if you stick to appetizers and burgers you are in safe waters. When you order off their entrée menu is when the problems start.

 

Also has anyone tried anything from Maine Beer Company's beers?  How are they?  Been hearing a lot about them lately.

I got a bad burger once, that was what turned me off.

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Open question, inspired by a mediocre beer from a great brewery, do you think breweries should churn out multiple styles, for the sake of variety, or stick to 1 or 2 styles that they specialize in? I'm honestly torn on the issue.

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Open question, inspired by a mediocre beer from a great brewery, do you think breweries should churn out multiple styles, for the sake of variety, or stick to 1 or 2 styles that they specialize in? I'm honestly torn on the issue.

They should churn out as many styles as possible. Even if most of the other stuff ends up being crap, it doesn't make the bread and butter any less available.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Haven't posted here in some time. Here are a few thoughts on some recent beer purchases:

 

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin - Really hesitant to pick this up at $15/6 but glad I did. It's a really good beer. I was already a fan of the regular Sculpin but usually opted for Ballast Point Big Eye over it due to the price difference $10 vs $15. The grapefruit adds a really nice citrus flavor and the smell of this beer is incredible.  If you like a citrusy kind of IPA I think it's worth your $15. May not be a frequent buy due to price and limited availability but it's something to try.

 

Flying Dog Bloodline Ale - I have been looking for this beer since it was released down in MD. I was even told it would not make it up to NJ by Flying Dog over the summer. I was walking around Canals and behold - there it was. About the closest thing to a 'whale' I've ever encountered. Immediately grabbed a 6 pack. Just like the Grapefruit Sculpin this has that citrusy smell to it that I personally really enjoy. It's not as hoppy as the Sculpin but overall a fine beer that i'll purchase as long as I see it. I really hope this is still around in the summer. Seems like a perfect BBQ/outside beer.

 

Spellbound IPA - Mount Holly's own. Was surprised how good this beer was. Saw a couple people compare it to Heady Topper over on BA. While I wouldn't say it comes close to the complexity of Heady I would say that this is a really good IPA. I think a closer comparison would be something like Avery's IPA. If you like IPAs I think this is a must try. Found at Canals. 6 pack cans.

 

Some brews I have in the fridge I have yet to try - Southern Tier 2xpresso, Boulevard Oatmeal Stout, Long Trail Stand Out, Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout

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Haven't posted here in some time. Here are a few thoughts on some recent beer purchases:

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin - Really hesitant to pick this up at $15/6 but glad I did. It's a really good beer. I was already a fan of the regular Sculpin but usually opted for Ballast Point Big Eye over it due to the price difference $10 vs $15. The grapefruit adds a really nice citrus flavor and the smell of this beer is incredible. If you like a citrusy kind of IPA I think it's worth your $15. May not be a frequent buy due to price and limited availability but it's something to try.

Flying Dog Bloodline Ale - I have been looking for this beer since it was released down in MD. I was even told it would not make it up to NJ by Flying Dog over the summer. I was walking around Canals and behold - there it was. About the closest thing to a 'whale' I've ever encountered. Immediately grabbed a 6 pack. Just like the Grapefruit Sculpin this has that citrusy smell to it that I personally really enjoy. It's not as hoppy as the Sculpin but overall a fine beer that i'll purchase as long as I see it. I really hope this is still around in the summer. Seems like a perfect BBQ/outside beer.

Spellbound IPA - Mount Holly's own. Was surprised how good this beer was. Saw a couple people compare it to Heady Topper over on BA. While I wouldn't say it comes close to the complexity of Heady I would say that this is a really good IPA. I think a closer comparison would be something like Avery's IPA. If you like IPAs I think this is a must try. Found at Canals. 6 pack cans.

Some brews I have in the fridge I have yet to try - Southern Tier 2xpresso, Boulevard Oatmeal Stout, Long Trail Stand Out, Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout

I didn't care for the Spellbound IPA when I had it in tap. But I had one of the earlier batches and I heard they changed their recipe for the better. I liked Spellbound's Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

That Long Trail Stand Out was disappointing. Their Spring seasonal from last year, Ramble, was discontinued. According to the rep he said they just couldn't get enough people to drink a Kolsch. Yet Sam Escape Route sells well. It was my favorite beer and of course its only out for 1 year.

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Haven't posted here in some time. Here are a few thoughts on some recent beer purchases:

 

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin - Really hesitant to pick this up at $15/6 but glad I did. It's a really good beer. I was already a fan of the regular Sculpin but usually opted for Ballast Point Big Eye over it due to the price difference $10 vs $15. The grapefruit adds a really nice citrus flavor and the smell of this beer is incredible.  If you like a citrusy kind of IPA I think it's worth your $15. May not be a frequent buy due to price and limited availability but it's something to try.

 

Flying Dog Bloodline Ale - I have been looking for this beer since it was released down in MD. I was even told it would not make it up to NJ by Flying Dog over the summer. I was walking around Canals and behold - there it was. About the closest thing to a 'whale' I've ever encountered. Immediately grabbed a 6 pack. Just like the Grapefruit Sculpin this has that citrusy smell to it that I personally really enjoy. It's not as hoppy as the Sculpin but overall a fine beer that i'll purchase as long as I see it. I really hope this is still around in the summer. Seems like a perfect BBQ/outside beer.

 

Spellbound IPA - Mount Holly's own. Was surprised how good this beer was. Saw a couple people compare it to Heady Topper over on BA. While I wouldn't say it comes close to the complexity of Heady I would say that this is a really good IPA. I think a closer comparison would be something like Avery's IPA. If you like IPAs I think this is a must try. Found at Canals. 6 pack cans.

 

Some brews I have in the fridge I have yet to try - Southern Tier 2xpresso, Boulevard Oatmeal Stout, Long Trail Stand Out, Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout

 

Agree with everything you said on Spellbound and Bloodline. Just tried 2xpresso myself. Really enjoyed it. Still waiting to get my hands on some Grapefruit Sculpin. The liquor store I work in was supposed to get it but the distributor was out. Hope we can still bring some in.

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Had Zoe by Maine Beer Company over the weekend at Maloney's.  It is listed as an amber but to me it seemed a lot darker/heavier than an amber and when the bartender first brought it out I thought I got a stout.

 

Overall it was good, but nothing too special.  A little disappointed.

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Agree with everything you said on Spellbound and Bloodline. Just tried 2xpresso myself. Really enjoyed it. Still waiting to get my hands on some Grapefruit Sculpin. The liquor store I work in was supposed to get it but the distributor was out. Hope we can still bring some in.

The grapefruit is going to be a core item from Hunterdon, so you'll get to try it eventually if you keep ordering it. We got 6 cases, there's only 3 6pks left. I've heard for the most part that regular sculpin is much better than the Habanero and Grapefruit. Still worth a try. I'm personally not spending $14 for a 6pk of the stuff though.

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So here's something interesting and at the same time enraging. Whole Foods and Wegmans signed a contract with Sierra Nevada. The purpose of that contract was this: those two chains will have exclusive rights to sell Sierra Hop Hunter for 2 weeks. No other store will be able to obtain even a case of that product.

I've been waiting for Hop Hunter to come in for 2 months now, since it was announced. Now that its finally here, only 2 mega chain stores will be selling it for the first 2 weeks. Talk about going completely against everything craft beer is about. Helping out the little guys and making good beer available to everyone. Sierra is absolute hypocrytes for letting that go through.

Okay, so you say, well this is just one product, who cares right? Well who's to say Costco or Spirits or whoever won't see this and say," you know what, maybe we should call up a brewery and pay for exclusive rights to xxx beer." It's a dangerously slippery slope that sierra just went down.

If you're really in tuned to the craft scene you know that whatever's hot is usually hot for a week and a half to 2 weeks and then the next beer comes along. This beer has been anticipated for a long time now. I can't begin to express the hypocrisy that's going on with this. End rant.

Edited by Jerry Lundegaard

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So here's something interesting and at the same time enraging. Whole Foods and Wegmans signed a contract with Sierra Nevada. The purpose of that contract was this: those two chains will have exclusive rights to sell Sierra Hop Hunter for 2 weeks. No other store will be able to obtain even a case of that product.

I've been waiting for Hop Hunter to come in for 2 months now, since it was announced. Now that its finally here, only 2 mega chain stores will be selling it for the first 2 weeks. Talk about going completely against everything craft beer is about. Helping out the little guys and making good beer available to everyone. Sierra is absolute hypocrytes for letting that go through.

Okay, so you say, well this is just one product, who cares right? Well who's to say Costco or Spirits or whoever won't see this and say," you know what, maybe we should call up a brewery and pay for exclusive rights to xxx beer." It's a dangerously slippery slope that sierra just went down.

If you're really in tuned to the craft scene you know that whatever's hot is usually hot for a week and a half to 2 weeks and then the next beer comes along. This beer has been anticipated for a long time now. I can't begin to express the hypocrisy that's going on with this. End rant.

That's dirty. I get wanting to make money and move your product, but that's a tactic straight out of the big 3 playbook.

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Holy sh!t this sounds like a pretty awesome idea. Too bad this also rapes the wallet.

http://gardenstatebrewfest.com/craftbeerfaceoff/

Yeah, I do not have that kind of cash right now. Too bad.

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Holy sh!t this sounds like a pretty awesome idea. Too bad this also rapes the wallet.

http://gardenstatebrewfest.com/craftbeerfaceoff/

 

 

 

Damn, if I wasn't paying the tax bill around then I would go for that in a heart beat.

 

Nice idea

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So here's something interesting and at the same time enraging. Whole Foods and Wegmans signed a contract with Sierra Nevada. The purpose of that contract was this: those two chains will have exclusive rights to sell Sierra Hop Hunter for 2 weeks. No other store will be able to obtain even a case of that product.

I've been waiting for Hop Hunter to come in for 2 months now, since it was announced. Now that its finally here, only 2 mega chain stores will be selling it for the first 2 weeks. Talk about going completely against everything craft beer is about. Helping out the little guys and making good beer available to everyone. Sierra is absolute hypocrytes for letting that go through.

Okay, so you say, well this is just one product, who cares right? Well who's to say Costco or Spirits or whoever won't see this and say," you know what, maybe we should call up a brewery and pay for exclusive rights to xxx beer." It's a dangerously slippery slope that sierra just went down.

If you're really in tuned to the craft scene you know that whatever's hot is usually hot for a week and a half to 2 weeks and then the next beer comes along. This beer has been anticipated for a long time now. I can't begin to express the hypocrisy that's going on with this. End rant.

 

Not surprising given what's currently going on with the craft beer landscape and what I touched upon in my posts a few weeks back.  Due to them wanting to keep the "craft beer" mystique and to find ways to counter big beer's distribution games, they have to resort to these types of games themselves to make some profits.  I really can't blame them and this seems to be the natural evolution of things when you are a brewery and become wildly successful.  Wikipedia puts them as the 7th largest brewer in the US and that seems pretty much about right.

 

I subscribe to Beer Connoisseur magazine (well I did but didn't renew over a year ago but they keep sending them to me lol) and in the most recent issue I got a couple weeks ago there was a big article about this sort of thing in regards to craft breweries cashing or increasing their distribution by selling out to big beer.  Very interesting and they had opinions from both sides where some admit they would like to eventually get rich and retire off the profits from their brewery while others do it "for the love of the craft."  I will add that most of the folks in the "for the love of the craft crowd" were in the smaller and/or newer breweries category so I wonder if their opinions change 10+ years down the line if/when they become successful and reach a crossroads that breweries such as Elysian and Goose Island did.  Very interesting indeed.

 

I also picked up a 6-pack of the Hop Hunter at WF the other day.  I really didn't know much about it outside the silly lawsuit and didn't know it is going to be a year-round beer.  Apparently they use Hop oil essence or something like that to make this the closest they can get to creating a bottled year-round wet hopped IPA since it tends to be an expensive and delicate process.  I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit and what I liked is that it has a low alcohol % (6.2 if I remember right) yet still has a nice smooth, hoppy taste.  Could see this as a go-to in the future.  Triumph in Princeton last year had for a couple weeks a wet-hopped IPA where they used hops from a hop farm outside of the Ft. Dix area and brewed it the same day.  One of the best IPA's I've ever had.  Wish I could remember the name but it was fantastic.

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Got the Sam Adams 2015 Summer Variety pack this year.  I am a big summer beer person as I tend to like my beers to be less heavy and I will admit I do not mind the fruit beers at all and think some are actually pretty good.  I get the Sam Adams Summer pack every year as I think they usually have at least a pretty solid lineup, however I think this year is a little weak.  This year only has 4 different beers (I notice they cut down from 6 to 4 on their variety packs.  When did this start?) and they are Boston Lager, Summer Ale, Rebel Rider IPA and Downtime Pilsner.  Not going to comment about Boston as it is in all of them and the Summer Ale is the same as every year (I think it is solid, but not fantastic).  Rebel Rider IPA is the same as their Rebel IPA but with the lower % (4.5) they are calling it a session IPA.  I think it is good but nothing special at all and can also be found in six-packs.  The exclusive is their Downtime Pilsner which I think is the best in the pack, but again nothing out of this world.  Overall an OK pack this year but nothing great. 

 

I actually miss their Porch Rocker that is usually included but now these are being sold in 6-packs.  Even though it is not really a Radler like they claim it is (for some reason Americans mistakenly think Radlers are beer and lemonade when it is really beer and a citrus soda like 7-Up or Sprite), it is still a pretty good beer to have when it is 95 degrees out and humid as hell.

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Got the Sam Adams 2015 Summer Variety pack this year. I am a big summer beer person as I tend to like my beers to be less heavy and I will admit I do not mind the fruit beers at all and think some are actually pretty good. I get the Sam Adams Summer pack every year as I think they usually have at least a pretty solid lineup, however I think this year is a little weak. This year only has 4 different beers (I notice they cut down from 6 to 4 on their variety packs. When did this start?) and they are Boston Lager, Summer Ale, Rebel Rider IPA and Downtime Pilsner. Not going to comment about Boston as it is in all of them and the Summer Ale is the same as every year (I think it is solid, but not fantastic). Rebel Rider IPA is the same as their Rebel IPA but with the lower % (4.5) they are calling it a session IPA. I think it is good but nothing special at all and can also be found in six-packs. The exclusive is their Downtime Pilsner which I think is the best in the pack, but again nothing out of this world. Overall an OK pack this year but nothing great.

I actually miss their Porch Rocker that is usually included but now these are being sold in 6-packs. Even though it is not really a Radler like they claim it is (for some reason Americans mistakenly think Radlers are beer and lemonade when it is really beer and a citrus soda like 7-Up or Sprite), it is still a pretty good beer to have when it is 95 degrees out and humid as hell.

Yeah I noticed the variety packs were cut down to only 4 beers. This is the 3rd year of porch rocker. Possibly the 4th (the years just blend into one another at this point in life). Its always been sold as 6pks aside from being in the variety pack, although the first couple of years it was very limited. Now its pretty widely available. My Sam rep said they're going to try and make it all summer long instead of a 1 shot deal like in prior years. It shouldnt be a problem either since they've ceased production of a handful of styles. Blackberry Wit, Black Lager, Double Agent IPL, Whitewater IPA. Variety packs are the way to go. I wish more breweries made 6pks in variety packs. Saranac is the only brewery that comes to mind.

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Yeah I noticed the variety packs were cut down to only 4 beers. This is the 3rd year of porch rocker. Possibly the 4th (the years just blend into one another at this point in life). Its always been sold as 6pks aside from being in the variety pack, although the first couple of years it was very limited. Now its pretty widely available. My Sam rep said they're going to try and make it all summer long instead of a 1 shot deal like in prior years. It shouldnt be a problem either since they've ceased production of a handful of styles. Blackberry Wit, Black Lager, Double Agent IPL, Whitewater IPA. Variety packs are the way to go. I wish more breweries made 6pks in variety packs. Saranac is the only brewery that comes to mind.

Makes sense as I never saw the Porch Rocker in six packs Before. I actually kinda liked the Blackberry wit as I am a fan of fruit beers. Didn't knock my socks off but for a fruit beer it was decent. I also liked the IPL but figured it was on its way out when a few months ago saw tons of it at a bunch of different liquor stores I go to. Never tried black lager (wasn't interested) and I had whitewater ipa only a couple times. Pretty decent and came out with their "hopology" line when the IPA craze was at its apex. It's essentially been replaced by Rebel IPA.

I love the variety packs. I hate having to buy a 6-pack and not like it after the first bottle. The other way is to do the make your own 6- pack a lot of stores do, but at the end of the day I end up paying $20-25 for a stupid 6- pack.

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Trap Rock Brewery and Restaurant in Berkeley Heights had an explosion this morning. One of the brewing tanks exploded causing pretty significant damage to the building (some reports are saying collapse but from the first pics I see that is a bit of an exaggeration). Good thing is no one was hurt. Bad thing is the explosion will probably put them out of commission for a few months.

Edited by DevsMan84

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