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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 

Friday, September 20, 2013

9/19/13 Susquehanna Brewing Company Oktoberfest

For my review this week I decided to go with Susquehanaa Brewing Company's Oktoberfest. It been somewhat crazy week since my last review. I got to go golfing with my Dad and brother which was a lot of fun. I played trivia up at Dorko's in Mount Carmel which was a great time (I won the 50/50) but we didn't win trivia. I also had the best wings ever. They were the cooks special recipe called garbage sauce.  My friend had already tried Susquehanna Brewing Companies Oktoberfest and he said it was his favorite Oktoberfest of the season so I was really excited to try it. However, as usual I was a little disappointed. It wasn't a bad Oktoberfest it was just a little boozy for my taste. He said he didn't notice any of that when he had his so its hard to tell if it was just one that was off or not. I had mine at a temperature of 49.3 degrees in a pint glass. It had a nice pour with a small 1/2" head that had a foamy light brown appearance. The head dissipated quickly and offered virtually no head lacing. The carbonation was soft with a normal clarity and an orange body color. The aroma was a mixture of barley, grain and citrus with an alcohol taste. The flavor was light with an average finish length and a watery mouth feel. The tongue hit was towards the back with fair body lacing. Overall I would rank this Oktoberfest towards the middle of my list because it was different from the norm and I might have just had an off bottle. Thanks for reading and as always drink responsibly.
Cost: $10.99
ABV: 6.2%
IBU: 18
Glassware: Pint glass
Serve Temp: 45-50 degrees
Pairing: German food

Information from Susquehanna Brewing Company
Features all Two Row Barley malt and Crystal Malts for a deep amber color and slightly toasted flavor.  Initial rich malty aroma and sweetness with a moderately dry finish. Hop bitterness is also moderate using Bavarian grown Hallertau Tradition and Hallertau Perle hops, along with Czech Saaz hops.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11/13 Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Its been a little time since the last time I got to write. I haven't been feeling that great but I started feeling a little better so I figured it was time to start writing again. As for trivia at Dorko's this week it was just two of us from the RZA so we joined the team of O'Brien which worked really well for the team last time. Sadly however it did not work so well for us and we fell short and suffered another loss. But I tossed back some Leinenkugel Summer Shadys and enjoyed my time out. A friend of mine picked up a case of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and I really wanted to try this one. It had a real nice pour with a large 1 1/2" head with a foamy off white appearance that dissipated slowly. The head lacing was good and the carbonation was little. The color was gold with a flat clarity and a light flavor. The aroma had a grainy quality to it with a light allspice and pumpkin flavor. The finish was average with a dry mouth feel and a back tongue hit with excellent body lacing. Overall I thought it was pretty good but with how much I was anticipating drinking this beer I was a little disappointed. Its not that it isn't a really good beer I guess that I was just expecting more. It wasn't really boozy and it wasn't really spicy. I would say its how a pumpkin beer is supposed to taste when its not overdone and when let to warm up more of the flavors do come out. For me though I was expecting something over the top for the style. So I would place it on my upper middle of the road as far as the pumpkin beers I have drank. Still I would recommend drinking this beer and judging all others from this standard. Thanks for reading and as always drink responsibly.

Cost: $2.00 each (4 pack purchased off a friend who got a case for $45 at Brewer's Outlet in Pottsville(by the way they have a great selection of pumpkin right now))

ABV: 7.0

IBU: 28

Nutritional information from myfitnesspal.com

Dogfish Head Brewery - Punkin Ale Beer

Calories230Sodium0 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 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Inofrmation from Dogfish Head web site

A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices. As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with.
Punkin Ale is named after the seriously off-centered southern Delaware extravaganza Punkin Chunkin (check out some of these Discovery Channel videos of Punkin Chunkin, you gotta see it to believe it!). In fact, Punkin Ale made its debut as it claimed first prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Contest. Yes, that was a full 6 months before we even opened our doors for business!
Punkin Chunkin has grown in size and scale, with pumpkins now being hurled more than 4,000 feet through the air! If you come down to see if for yourself, drop by and visit us.
Since its debut, we've brewed Punkin Ale each and every fall. It is released right around Sept. 1 each year. When you find it, grab some extra because it's usually gone by Thanksgiving.
Every Beer Has A Story... here's Punkin Ale:
We currently send Punkin (in season) to our wholesale partners in the following states:
To find where our wholesalers have delivered this beer in the past 60 days, check out the Fish Finder (you can search by beer and by zip). As a reminder, it is always best to call and confirm a retailer still has the beer before making any treks!
Food Pairing Recommendations: 
Turkey, roasted duck, lamb, stuffing, dessert dumplings, sharp cheddar
Glassware Recommendation: 
Tasting Notes: 
Malty, pumpkin, caramel, brown sugar
Wine Comparable: 
Mulled burgundy
- See more at: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/seasonal-brews/punkin-ale.htm#sthash.spbt0ndI.dpuf

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

9/4/13 Captain Pumpkin's Maple Mistress Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Monday night I was up at team trivia at Dokro's. The RZA did not fair very well getting trounced and finishing in last. None of the questions really killed us. We just missed ones here and there by the end they really added up. Still it was a solid night. So today I went to the Beer Stop in Hazleton and wrote a review on that and now I am enjoying Captain Pumpkin's Maple Mistress Imperial Pumpkin Ale and some pumpkin pie. This is another beer brewed in Pennsylvania. It is brewed by Saucony Creek in Kutztown, PA. This is one of the first two beers to be brewed in bottles by Saucony Creek which started brewing in bottles around August 20, 2013. The pour on the beer was nice but didn't produce much head. It was roughly 1/4" with a fizzy off white appearance and it dissipated quickly. My initial first sip of this beer was in a pint glass at 48.9 degrees. The beer has a nice orange color with normal clarity and lively carbonation. It has a nice bouquet with a sweet bourbon smell and taste that is nicely accented by a cinnamon flavor. The flavor is moderate with a long finish length and a dry mouth feel and a middle tongue hit. I did not notice any head or body lacing. Overall I would put this close to the top of my list of Pumpkin Ales. It went nicely with my pumpkin pie and it had a great flavor. If you love high ABV pumpkins you will love this one. Thanks for reading and as always drink responsibly.

Cost: $2.70 from The Beer Stop
ABV: 9.5%
Glassware: Pint
Pairings: Desert
Serve Temp: 45-50 degrees

Nutrintional information from myfitnesspal.com

Saucony Creek Brewing - Captain Pumpkin's Maple Mistress

Calories175Sodium0 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 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Information from Saucony Creek

Every fall when the winds change and the leafs turn to crimson and orange, the ferocious temper of pirate Anne Bonney, crew mate and mistress to Captain Jack Rackham would storm Spanish treasure ships off the coast of Cuba and Hispaniola. Flying their famous skull-and-crossed-daggers flag, the two lovers and their crew were victorious and successful pirates in the Caribbean. Later another lover boarded the ship, pirate Mary Read. Both Anne Bonney and Mary Read were known for their violent tempers and ferocious fighting, and they shared a reputation as "fierce hell cats." Their fellow crewmembers knew that -- in times of action -- no one else was as ruthless and bloodthirsty as these two women were. Captain Jack, nicknamed "Calico Jack" for his love of colorful cotton clothing, was a well-known pirate in those days, but his reputation has survived through the ages primarily because of these two infamous women pirates on his crew. 
In late October 1720, Rackkam's ship was anchored off Point Negril, Jamaica, the pirates celebrating recent victories in their typical hard-drinking tradition. Suddenly a British Navy sloop -- the man-o-war Albion, headed by Captain Jonathan Barnet -- surprised them. The drunken male pirates quickly hid below deck, leaving only Anne and Mary to defend their ship. The women yelled at their pirate mates to "come up, you cowards, and fight like men," and then angrily raged against them, killing one and wounding several others. But the women were eventually overwhelmed by the British Navy, and the entire crew was captured and taken to Jamaica to stand trial. 
Captain Jack and the male members of his crew were tried on November 16, 1720, and were sentenced to hang. Anne was allowed to visit her lover in his cell before his execution, and instead of the consoling, loving words he was undoubtedly expecting, her scathing comments live on throughout history: "Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang'd like a dog." 
Anne and Mary were tried one week after Rackham's death and were also found guilty. But at their sentencing, when asked by the judge if they had anything to say, they replied, "Mi'lord, we plead our bellies." Both were pregnant from Captain Jack, and since British law forbade killing an unborn child, their sentences were stayed temporarily.
Their legacy inspired us to brew an equally ferocious Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pirate rum spices. We added a touch of fall flavor with butternut squash and natural maple syrup.

9/3/13 The Beer Stop Hazleton, PA

Today I made a trip to Hazleton, PA to stop at The Beer Stop. If you were not specifically going to Hazleton to go here you would probably never find it. It jut has a little sign on the outside and it is on one of the main roads in Hazleton. However, It is definitely worth making the trip to. I first heard about this place from one of my coworker and another one of my coworkers said how good it was. You can read the reviews about this place on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer. I listed everything I bought there and the prices they were. They had a fantastic selection and really reasonable prices. Besides singles they also had six packs, growler fills and some beer glasses for sale. Once you walk in you are greeted by a huge selection of bottles on your right. Directly in front of you and to the left are six packs and on the left once you come in the door there is a growler fill station. They also have another room off to the left side with more beer in it. When I went in there wasn't anyone working in the part of the store that had all the beer. So when I was ready to check out I just ring a bell. They have some information cards by some of the beers too. Overall they have a fantastic selection and great prices, but it would be nice if they had someone in the beer section when I came in. I will say though that their hours of operation are fantastic. I got there at 9:30 am and found out that they were open since 7:00 am and this is on a Tuesday. Thanks for reading and as always drink responsibly.

The Beer Stop
16 North Broad St.
West Hazleton, PA 18202
Open from 7am-midnight

Thomas Creek Castaway Chocolate Orance IPA $2.20
Ithaca Country Pumpkin $2.20
Vermont's Own Wolaver's Pumpkin Ale $2.10
Otter Creek Oktoberfest $2.00
Shipyard Pumpkinhead $2.20
South Hampton Publick House Pumpkin Ale $2.00
New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale $2.40
Post Road Pumpkin Ale $2.20
Blue Point Pumpkin Ale $2.20
Captain Pumpkin's Maple Mistress Imperial Pumpkin Ale $2.70

Sunday, September 1, 2013

9/1/13 Brooklyn Oktoberfest

Since my last post I have started watching all the past episodes of Breaking Bad and have become addicted to the show. I have also been doing various beer research on distribution systems in the US after watching Beer Wars on Netflix. Other than that nothing to crazy. Tonight I decided to try another Oktoberfest. This time I decided on Brooklyn Oktoberfest. I'd rate this one about upper middle of the pack. It wasn't as sweet as Victory nor was it as bitter as Beck's. It has a taste that's somewhere in between but its where I like it. I had it in a pint glass served at 48.2 degrees. The beer poured nicely with a fizzy off white head that dissipated slowly and had good lacing. The body color was orange with a normal clarity and a light amount of carbonation. The aroma and taste were a roasted barley. The flavor was light with an average finish length and a dry mouth feel. The tongue hit was towards the middle with good body lacing. Overall I enjoyed this beer and would definitely have another. As always thanks for reading and drink responsibly.

Cost: $11.99 in a mix six pack from Wegman's

Nutritional information from myfitnesspal.com

Brooklyn Brewery - Oktoberfest

Calories175Sodium0 mg
Total Fat0 gPotassium0 mg
Saturated0 gTotal Carbs13 g
Polyunsaturated0 gDietary Fiber0 g
Monounsaturated0 gSugars0 g
Trans0 gProtein2 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Vitamin A0%Calcium0%
Vitamin C0%Iron0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Information from Brooklyn Brewery website


When Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria wanted to celebrate his wedding engagement in 1810, he did what any good Bavarian prince would – he threw a beer festival. Both the festival and the special beer served there became known as Oktoberfest. Brewed from the finest German malt and hops, Brooklyn Oktoberfest is true to the original style, fullbodied and malty, with a bready aroma and light, brisk hop bitterness.

AwardsStyle: Märzen/Oktoberfest

Malts: Bavarian Heirloom Munich and Pilsner Malts (malted specially for us in Bamberg)

Hops: Hallertauer Perle, Hallertauer Mittelfrueh

Alcohol by Volume: 5.5%

IBUs: 25

Original Gravity: 13.7° Plato

Calories: 175

Food Pairings: Brooklyn Oktoberfest is especially great with sausages, chicken, steaks, pork chops, cold cuts, burgers and roasted meats. With cheeses, try Swiss, Gruyere or Stilton.

Availability: August-October

Format: 15.5 gal kegs; 5.2-gal kegs; 24/12oz. bottles