About Me

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Former editor in chief of an award winning publication, avid outdoorsman, love hiking, kayaking, fishing, biking, visiting state parks, published writer, avid drinker, certified bartender, beer rater and I ran a bar tending school, and blogger writing under title of the Man Can Critic 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The past year of Beer

So its been almost a year since I started writing this blog and since we trivia this week at Dorko's and I was taking pictures I figured I would provide some stats on the blog and me for the year. I have amassed 127 different empty bottles and cans of beer. I have visited Yuengling, Marley's, Troegs, Stoudts, and Iron Hill Breweries. I did reviews on Uncle Cones and Dorko's and drank about 160 different beers. I reviewed roughly 130 beers give or take over the last year and just recently tried my hand at brewing beer. So who know where this year will take this blog. Hopefully it will continue to change and become more popular but even if it doesn't it is always an enjoyment for me and enjoyable for me to hear from those who have taken the time to read my musings on beer. Thanks for reading and as always drink responsibly.

This is a picture of the 127 bottles I have amassed over the past year and it just grew by one since I took this picture.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Like Pounder of the Week sponcered by Promosonline

So a couple of weeks ago  I got an email about doing some type of contest and Promosonline.com would send 10 plastic beer mugs to the winner. So I thought that would be awesome. So I figured I would make it something simple. For the month of October for every person who has liked the Pounder of the Week Facebook page I will put your name in a hat for a chance to win the mugs. At the end of October I will get a neutral third party to draw the name and then contact the winner via email to get their shipping information. More than likely I'll do the drawing up at Dorko's in Mount Carmel the first Monday in October so anyone who wants to witness the drawing can be present. Thanks for your continued support and taking the time to read my blog and good luck to all who like the Facebook page. Oh and by the way to get to our Facebook page just click on the like button on the page of click on any of the links for Facebook page on this post. This contest is only open to US residents and can only be shipped to a US address.

P.S. if your looking for some Plastic Beer Steins just click on the link and check out their great selection.

Rankings of Oktobertfest Beers and Pumpkin Ales I've Had

This is a list of all the Oktoberfest beers and Pumpkin beers/ales that I have had this year and last. I ranked them and gave short reviews and some longer ones for each of them. Hopefully this helps you find some excellent fall beers.

Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale
I had this beer up at Dorko's in Mount Carmel. I was really looking forward to it because I've always liked Blue Moon. On top of that they are one of the mass produced beers that has a changing variety. This one probably would rank for me between second and third out of the four I had. It had a good taste and some nice spiciness.

Information from Blue Moon


Here as Long as the Leaves Are.
In 1995, we crafted our first autumn seasonal—Pumpkin Ale. At the time, Oktoberfest beers were in high demand. For our version, we wanted to create a beer that was a little different than what was already out there and complemented the season by highlighting the flavors we’ve all grown to love during this time. It was so popular that it became the first nationally available pumpkin ale. Harvest Pumpkin Ale, as it’s called now, is crafted with pumpkin and spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice for a taste you’ll want to fall right into.
Available in 12-oz. bottles, 6-pack, 12-pack, Draft
Ingredients and Profile
Malts: Munich, Caramel
Hops: Hallertau
Our Twist: Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove, Allspice
IBUs: 16
Original Gravity: 15ยบ Plato
ABV: 5.7% 
Appearance
Deep amber-colored ale with brilliant clarity and a rich, white head.
Aroma
Very complex aroma consisting of malty spice notes.
Taste
The taste starts out with assertive malty notes and is quickly balanced with the right amount of harvest spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. There’s a small amount of bitterness to keep the malt sweetness from building up.
Mouthfeel
A medium-bodied ale with just enough carbonation to balance the rich caramel character.
Finish
Finishes with a smooth, clean malt and spice taste. Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and malt gradually fade.
Food Pairing
The flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and the other harvest spices pair well with beef dishes and seasonal soups.
One of our favorite recipes to pair with Blue Moon® Harvest Pumpkin Ale is braised beef short ribs.

Fegley's Brewworks Devious Imperial Pumpkin
I had this and some Weyerbacher that my wife was drinking. She preferred the Weyerbacher and I liked the Fegley's a little better. Fegley's had a higher alcohol and a lighter spiciness and what my wife considered a more caramel flavoring but I felt that it still had a nice mild spice to it.

Information from Fegley's Brewworks


  • Pumpkin Ale
  • 9.0%
  • 1.088
  • August-October; 750 mL and 12 oz bottles; 30L draft
  • Nugget
  • 2-row, Munich, caramel


World Beer Championships

  • Gold Medal Winner - 2011

Amber hued Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with real pumpkin and pale, Munich, and caramel malts.
Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice are flawlessly combined with the subtle taste of pumpkin for the most deviously enticing Autumn brew.

Style

Imperial Pumpkin Ale – A fall seasonal that ups the abv to 9% from a standard Pumpkin Ale. Imperial Pumpkin Ales are still typically mild, with a malty backbone that is balanced by the additional alcohol. The spice takes a lead, but is not overwhelming to the natural pumpkin that’s used in the brew.


Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat
This one was my least favorite even though I still thought it was a pretty good beer just not my favorite out of them all. Also I spilled most of this one along with the fact that it was the last one I had in a series of beers up at Dorko's. I will give an updated review of it next time I have it.

Information from Shock Top website


SHOCK TOP PUMPKIN WHEAT
Our Pumpkin Wheat seasonal offering combines the smooth taste of Shock Top with the flavors of Fall. We start with a traditional Belgian-style wheat ale and then brew with ripe pumpkins and a variety of autumnal spices, including nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, for a refreshingly smooth beer that fully captures all the flavors of fall.


Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
I had only a little of this but I still thought it was pretty darn good. I probably would have had more of it had my wife not snatched it out from under me. She put the kids to sleep before she finished it but made a point that I shouldn't drink it while she was with the kids and then once they were asleep she finished it. So at least for her I would say its fantastic.

Information from Weyerbacher


Like a pyramid for a pharaoh, we set out to make a bold monument for The King of the Pumpkins!
This 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is the mother of all pumpkin ales. It is heartier, spicier, and more “caramelly” and “pumpkiny” than its faint brethren! We have added lots of pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor. This truly is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale.
Perfect finisher on a cool autumn night, or match it up with a slice of pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream. It is available August through November.
I gotten this from the Fridge in Lancaster, PA and as far as Pumpkin Ales go this was pretty decent. Nothing hugely special but an easy to drink beer. For me it ranked just about even with Shocktop.

Information from Smutty Nose Website

Color: pale, hazy gold
Malt BillNorth American 2-Row, Carastan, C-60
Hops
Bittering: Cascade
Flavoring: Cascade, Liberty

OtherNatural Pumpkin Puree, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves
Starting Extract 14° PlatoTerminal Extract  2.99° Plato
ABV 5.84%
IBU 35
Recommended Food Pairings
Thanksgiving dinner, braised root vegetables
One of Wine Enthusiast's Top 25 beers of 2009
"More spicy than spiced—this ale from Portsmouth, N.H., is bracing and bitter. Less aromatic than most, with more noticeable hops, it's not an obvious pumpkin beer, but not quite anything else. Who says autumn can't also be refreshing? This is the only pumpkin beer that rightly comes in a six-pack."  Wall Street Journal




Available seasonally in 6-packs, 12-packs and on draft in 1/6 and 1/2 barrel kegs.




Unita Punk'n Harvest Pumpkin Ale
This one would probably be a little bit higher than Shock Top. It had mild pumpkin and spice notes.

Information from Uinta web site


DESCRIPTION

This sessionable pumpkin ale is brewed with fresh pumpkin and seasonal spices.

TASTING NOTES

Malt and hops accented with roasted pumpkin and spices of the season. A subtle hint of vanilla and honey. Punk'n is a wonderful compliment to foods with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove flavors. Try it with roasted turkey, squash or pumpkin ravioli, peach cobbler, or pumpkin cheesecake.

IBU

10

SRM

11


Evil Genius Pumpkinstein
I got this one down in Pine Grove because I heard good stuff about their Trick or Treat and this one was in their variety pack. It didn't have a lot of pumpkin flavor to it but I would still say it was a pretty good think beer.

Information from Evil Genius website


PUMPKINSTEIN






A traditional Pumpkin brown ale spiced with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Rich and soothing aromas will remind you of fall baking, while the clove, cinnamon and nutmeg are balanced by the darker brown malts. A delicious fall monster!




ABV:
IBU:
Malts
Hops
4.5%
31
2 Row, Crystal, Chocolate
Tettnang
Pumpkin Patch Variety








Flying Dog Dogtoberfest (reviewed)
This and Lancaster are about equal in my book but drinking this is what made me feel that Flying Dog was a really great beer.

Lancaster Brewing Company Oktoberfest (reviewed)
I like a lot of LBC beers and this one is close to the top of what they make.

Warsteiner Premium Oktoberfest(reviewed)
Warsteiner I would place right around the same level as LBC and Flying Dog

Stoudt's Oktoberfest
Stoudt's I thought this was the best Oktoberfest until I had Sly Fox actually edging out Yuengling just because I am starting to feel bad about always picking local. But this Oktoberfest was absolutely excellent.

Information from Stoudt's

Sam Adams Octoberfest (reviewed)
This is probably my forth favorite because it is easy to get and a great representation of the style.

Sly Fox Oktoberfest
I thought Stoudt's was my new favorite when I had it the other night and then I had Sly Fox and this has to be the best I've had. It makes me feel like I'm in Germany celebrating Oktoberfest. I'm drinking it pretty warm and it is just fantastic. I keep on typing to hold myself back from drinking it all in a matter of seconds.
Information from Sly Fox
This traditional Oktoberfest beer celebrates the arrival of Fall. It is a medium-bodied, smooth and malty brew made with German Vienna malts and German hops.

13.8 OG | 25 IBUs | 5.8% ABV


Availability: Seasonal (Aug / Oct)

Yuengling Oktoberfest (reviewed)
This would be my second favorite only because I feel it unfair to always rate it the best.

Iron Hill Oktoberfest
I got this in a growler and its not a bad Oktoberfest but I think I wait to long on drinking my growlers and they don't taste as great as they do when I sample them. I put this one on the same level as Lancaster Brewing.
Information from Iron Hill website

Oktoberfest

OG: 1.063   Color: 17   IBU: 26   Alc by Vol: 6.0%
Traditional German festival beer, this full-bodied deep amber lager has a wonderful malty and bready aroma and a firm malt flavor, balanced with mild bitterness and a clean dry finish.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Party Pig Beer Dispenser

So I attempted to make my first batch of beer using the Mr. Beer kit I had gotten for Christmas.

Everything was super easy and the two weeks of fermentation seemed liked they were never going to get here. But last Friday came and I figured it was a good time to move the beer into the Party Pig I had gotten from Mr. Steve's in Lancaster, PA. I sanitized it and then moved the beer into the pig which took about five minutes or so. Then I put in the pouch and sealed her all up. Everything looked pretty good and I inserted my tubing and then tried to activate the pouch using my air compressor. This did not work very well. I couldn't get it to activate the first time and the restrictor became dislodged. I disassembled it to put the restrictor in and tried the compressor again. This time the restrictor became dislodged again but the pouch activated. So I figured I would be good except for the beer coming out at a greater rate. Well about 12 hours later I went to the basement where I had the beer conditioning and found all the beer from the pig on the floor. The beer smell great but would not be able to be drunk. So I decided to email Party Pig. They responded pretty quickly and after getting some information they told me it was hard to say what went wrong. But the most common thing would be that the screws weren't tightened evenly allowing for a leak when the pressure built up. They also said that it was better to use the hand pump they sell instead of a compressor because it dislodges the restrictor. I figured I'll give it another try with the other kit I have sometime soon and see if it works out better this time. Hopefully my next blog entry about the Party Pig has a happier ending than this one.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Iron Hill Lancaster, and Stoudt's

Over the past two weeks I have been traveling to Lancaster for functions and day trips. So why I was there I figured I could hit all aspects of beer down there. About a week ago I went to Mr. Steve's to pick up some supplies for making beer. I got a Party Pig, a growler, some sugar and cleaner. All in all not a bad place for supplies the prices were some what reasonable and the staff some what knowledgeable. The clerk said the one in York was much bigger so next time I will hit the York store so I can give Mr. Steve's a more accurate review. As for now I will make do with what I have. The other day I did a world wind tour and stopped at the Fridge in Lancaster. This place has a great selection of singles. They have stuff that you can't find in your local bars and distributors along with some more common stuff. They also have artisan pizza and some art for sale. They just had their year anniversary so congratulations to them. Average prices on their bottles especially for being singles and above average prices on their growlers but definitely a place I would go again. Its a little on the small side compared to what I had in my head but still worth the trip. After that I hit Iron Hill in Lancaster. This place had great prices on growlers and growler refills. So much so I asked twice just to make sure. So if you need a growler stop by this place. Also I sampled three beers to decide what to get in my growlers. Everyone of them was fantastic but I ended up going with their Raspberry wheat and the Grisette. My brother always liked going to this place and I can definitely see why. The place is nice and clean and modern looking. Tons of light and the servers are friendly and fairly knowledgeable. I will definitely make it down to Iron Hill again. The last place I stopped at was Stoudt's. They are celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary this year. The brewery is located in Adamstown and wasn't hard to find. This place was a little on the dark side. The equipment looked a little dated but they did have some interesting decorations. The one room was filled with steins and empty bottles from both Stoudt's and other breweries. They had a nice selection of shirts, glassware, and other brewery related items. I got a growler filled the Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout which was very good, a six pack of some Stoudt's beers and why I was there I had their Double Mai Bock. Overall Stoudt's has some really great beers and some interesting antiques but the service was only so so. If I end up in the area I would probably stop by again.

Some pictures I took while I was at Stoudt's Brewery





Monday, September 3, 2012

9/3/12 Founder's Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale

So the last week or so has been super busy. My kids went back to school and I decided to finally brew my first beer. I had a Mr. Beer kit sitting around since Christmas and decided to make the Blonde Ale. It was very easy and didn't take long now its just the wait until in ferments and then I have to condition it. So in the mean time I just have to drink all the great beers that are coming out for the season. I still have a couple of summer beers and some spring beers lying around so I figured I try to knock them off while inter mingling some fall beers. The other night I had Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale paired with some green beans, rice and apple wood smoked salmon. They paired nicely together. I had this ale in a Guinness pint glass and it had a temperature of about 51.4 degrees with a small 1/4" head and a fizzy off white appearance. The head dissipated quickly and it had little to no carbonation and a flat clarity with a ruby color. It had a taste that reminded me of a very mild scotch and it seemed really similar to Saranac's Single Malt. The flavor was moderate with a long finish and a back tongue hit. There was virtually no body lacing. Overall it was a good beer but not as good as I expected. I was expecting something better than Saranac but still not a bad beer. Thanks for reading and as always drink responsibly.





Information from Founder's

 
So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads.
  • ABV: 8.5%
  • IBUs: 50
  • Availability: Year-round
  • 2010 - WBC Silver Medal Winner
Information from myfitnesspal.com

Founder's Brewing Co. - Dirty Bastard - Scotch Style Ale

  1.   
Calories255Sodium0 mg
Total Fat0 gPotassium0 mg
Saturated0 gTotal Carbs0 g
Polyunsaturated0 gDietary Fiber0 g
Monounsaturated0 gSugars0 g
Trans0 gProtein0 g
Cholesterol0 mg  
Vitamin A0%Calcium0%
Vitamin C0%Iron0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.