I think at this point I’m in the Martin House fan club. I’ve been a fan of their stouts for a long time. In fact, their Pretzel Stout was the first beer I ever tried from them. The IPAs are impressive as well, especially the Cellarman’s Reserve. But recently, it’s the sours that have caught my attention.
They have released 5 different variants of Queen of the Mist now, and this is the third that I’ve tried (along with Prickly Pear and Apricot). The beer poured out hazy orange, almost like a mimosa and had a strong fruity aroma. It started out tasting very tart out of the can, but seemed to mellow out as it warmed (or maybe I just adjusted to it?) The fruit flavor here is outstanding. I’m not very familiar with Passion Fruit, but it tastes a bit like peach and orange to me with the saltiness of the base beer (The Salty Lady) standing out as well. I think it would actually be the perfect beer for Sunday brunch. These cans just started rolling out onto the shelves of specialty beer stores in DFW this week but if they are anything like the other Martin House 2 packs, they probably won’t last too long!
It’s the first day of American Craft Beer Week and I’m drinking a special beer from Cobra Brewing Co! Taps & Caps in Lewisville tapped the only keg of this watermelon version of Dawn of the Dank today and I was able to get a crowler of it to drink tonight.
This is an amazing beer! Dawn of the Dank is already a really good imperial/triple IPA with a good fruity flavor and strong bitter finish and this one has a ton of watermelon flavor thrown on top of it. It’s refreshing and would be a perfect summer beer if there was any still left when summer rolls around.
Cobra Brewing was my first local craft beer love. I’ve been to their brewery more times than I can count and I’ve tried almost everything they’ve released. This is probably my favorite IPA from them yet! At the time of this posting, the keg is already a quarter empty, so get on over to Taps & Caps as soon as you can to give it a try!
Less than a week since I enjoyed another raspberry beer (the excellent True Love from Martin House… more on that soon) I decided to give this one from 903 brewers a try. Besides being brewed with raspberries, this farmhouse saison was also aged in pinot noir barrels. Given how little I’ve enjoyed beers aged in red wine barrels in the past, you would think I would avoid this. But I liked the Martin House beer River Horse, which was aged in cabernet barrels, so I thought maybe I was coming around. I’ve also really enjoyed the last couple beers I’ve had from 903 (Birthday Sasquatch, Wonderland of Milk and Honey) so they’ve been on a roll in my opinion.
When I opened this one up, the raspberry aroma struck me immediately followed by a hint of vinegar. The beer poured with a pink head that faded away to a thin lace after a minute or so. The beer itself practially glows a reddish pink color. On first sip, I honestly wasn’t sure what to think because it caught me by surprise. I was expecting a pretty strong raspberry flavor, and there is some raspberry there, but there is also a counter punch from the wine barrel. At first these flavors seemed to clash, but they became more enjoyable as I got into my second glass. Carbonation was light, and there was a very slight tartness to the beer. The finish was a bit dry and this one isn’t very sweet at all.
So even now I’m not sure what to think. It was one of the more difficult beers I’ve tried o rate on Untappd. I’d say, if you want something a bit different, give this one a try. If you don’t want a beer that maybe spent a little bit too much time in the pinot noir barrels (and is pretty funky), I’d stay away.
The label art is awesome:
During the challenge, I had beers from 17 states and 4 countries. There were 70 different breweries, including 28 from Texas. The average Untappd rating for these beers was 4.16 but I tended to like them more than that as my scores averaged out to 4.33. I guess I am easily pleased! The most underrated beers to me are from two local breweries, and probably shows my bias. First was the Grapefruit Haze Dankosaurus and second was Sin Mint Temptress. To me, a couple of west coast barrel aged stouts, from Full Sail and North Coast, were the most overrated. I was most generous with my ratings on Monday (4.5 average) and most stingy on Thursday (4.11 average). The Untappd ratings are similar through every day so I must have just really been happy to have beers on Monday.
I’d do a 1 week challenge in the future. Maybe even a 1 month challenge. But there will NEVER be another 100 day challenge in my future. Sometimes you just need a day off from beer, and certainly it hasn’t been healthy. I’m on a 3 day break from alcohol so far (other than a single sip of Michelle’s gin and tonic the other night) and it’s a relief. I plan to break for at least a few more days (until Saturday) and it’s actually exciting.
When I started writing down my thoughts on the beers, I had no idea how to write about beer and I am sure it showed. But I was just doing this for me so it didn’t seem to matter. As the blog has grown a bit in popularity, I’ve made an effort to learn how to review beer more critically and I hope it shows. It’s still a work in progress, but I plan to continue it with further reviews over the coming months.
It probably turns some people away from here, but I started this blog as both a drinking challenge and a Trump protest. If the politics aren’t your thing, good news, as I’ll probably be posting less of it, but I’ll still write when it’s noteworthy. The first 100 days were a wild ride. Things haven’t been great for the country, but Trump tripping over himself has limited the damage he has caused, with very little legislation passed. Even though I won’t drink every day anymore, I’m sure this administration will drive me crazy and that will lead to drinking on occasion!
In The End
It was fun. I drank a lot of amazing beer and I always looked forward to what was coming up. I can’t possibly recommend that anyone else do this, but if you have a cellar full of beer, maybe a smaller challenge is in order. What’s the point of beer if you’re not going to drink it? I’ve got a couple of brewery reviews coming up, and event, and a couple of new beer reviews over the next couple weeks. Stay tuned, because I’m not going anywhere. Thanks for your support!
This blog was created for the 100 day beer challenge, and those 100 days are quickly winding down. But this is just the beginning. As the challenge ends, it will live on with recaps of brewery visits, beer reviews, mini beer challenges and much more. As a sneak peek into the future, a recap of my recent visit to Legal Draft Beer Co. will be posted later today. Stay tuned and keep drinking!
I just wanted to write a quick note about Blue Owl Brewery. I’ve tried their beers a few times in the past few months, and I’ve been very impressed. I’m quite jealous of Austin for this one!
The first that I tried was Professor Black, a sour cherry stout. I think this was the first time that I had ever tried a sour stout, and it was unique. The flavor was mostly chocolate and very tart cherries. I will definitely drink more of this if I can get my hands on it.
The second was Van Dayum! which is sour red ale. This one wasn’t as unique but it was just a solid sour. It had some light fruity flavors to go along with the tartness and was light and easy to drink.
Finally, I tried Wee Beastie yesterday afternoon. This is their attempt at a sour scotch ale. I think it is my favorite out of these 3. The beer is sweet and sour at the same time with a bit of smokiness.
I’m really enjoying what they are doing here with excellent sour versions of all different styles of beer. Looking at their website, I see that they have a sour IPA as well called Hop Totem which I would love to try. Next time I get to Austin, this will be a must visit destination for me.