Beer Is Good – Worthy Brewing Lights Out Vanilla Cream Extra Stout

Foodland has been bringing in a few selections of Oregon brewery beers. This one is from Worthy Brewing and is a stout. Nice, IPAs have been all the beer fashion rage recently and darks seem to be scarce on the shelves. This pours extremely dark brown, practically black, with a medium head. There’s a good roast and peaty aroma. There is a decent bitter, but is not as high as some might expect. Being a cream stout, this has the addition of lactose which I am sure balances the bitter, in addition to helping it with the thicker creamy mouthfeel. The addition of vanilla I can not detect. If I try hard, I might say there’s a hint in the aroma, but I would never be able to tell if it wasn’t mentioned. This beer also takes kindly to warming up and seems to mellow and get sweeter as it warms. There isn’t a strong aftertaste aside from the lingering astringency.

Anyway, this is a solid stout, and at 7.7 ABV it packs a fair punch. 3 out 4 creamy monkeys.

Sierra Nevada – Kolsch

From the current summer variety pack, SN’s Kolsch, German style ale. Pours a clear light yellow with small head. Pretty strong hop aroma and bite. The bitter does eventually taper off and yield a bit of grain finish. Light, dry mouthfeel. A pretty decent beer, but it’s assertive hops makes it nicer if paired with an assertive food to counter.

It just makes 3 out 4 kolschy monkeys.

Bike riding?

So if anyone still visits this site, you must be wondering, are the guys doing anything aside from drinking beer? Yes, under the guise of bike riding, eating waffles and gelato! Honestly, we wanted to ride, but in our age we like to think we’ve gained some wisdom and will call off a ride if it rains. And yes, despite this picture, it was raining at Sunset Hills.

Anyway, the waffle was great and so was the gelato. Tip, if you order pancakes or the waffle and think you want some gelato for dessert, get the $1 upcharge scoop of gelato served on it. Otherwise you’ll end up paying $4, I guess $3 for the cup, spoon, and service?

Oh yes, it will induce sugar crash. It was reported that all three of us when we got home passed out and slept for a good part of the rest of the afternoon!

Beer Is Good – Sierra Nevada Nooner

Next up in their summer variety pack is this pilsner. Pours a clear bright yellow with moderate head. Hop aroma and bitterness right off the bat. Bright and dry with a light mouthfeel. With its pretty strong hop, the bitterness stays on but thankfully does not suffer from skunkiness. Was never a big fan of strong hops so pilsners and especially IPAs did not appeal to me, although I’ve had some pilsners that I thought were good. This particular pils I’d say is alright. It’s usually the skunk that really turns me off, that’s actually a sign of mishandling, hops that’s been lightstruck, but this does not suffer from that. This beer would be good with some food, alone it doesn’t excite me.

It’s prob better than a 2 but I’m giving it a 2 out 4 pils monkeys.

Beer Is Good – Sierra Nevada Kellerweise

Sierra Nevada’s summer variety pack, the Kellerweise is a “Bavarian-style wheat”. Pours a cloudy bright yellow with moderate strong head if you follow the recommended final swirl. Fairly strong hop initial like their pale ale with following bitter. Then there is the spice finish. It’s like a more hoppy Hoegarten. Medium mouthfeel aided by the yeast. If you are a fan of this style of beer, I think you will enjoy it.

3 out 4 weise monkeys.

Beer Is Good – Sierra Nevada Summerfest

Summer season from Sierra Nevada, blurb saying its a Czech style lager. Pours a clear bright yellow with small head. Some floral hop aroma, but not strong. The hop bitter stays even and lingers. Pretty light and bright beer, with a likewise moderate mouthfeel.

It’s odd how I wasn’t impressed with the first bottle, then found myself liking it on a later day on next bottle, and then with this bottle wavering somewhere in between. I guess I’ll give it just making 3 out of 4 monkeys. A nice “session” beer and something to have as you’re cooking up some food.

Beer Is Good – Guinness Generous Ale

Finishing off the Guinness variety pack is this “Holiday Ale”. Pours a dark clear amber with strong head. There’s an initial bit of fruit, but not citrus. Kind of some dark stone fruit, like prune or cherry. It feels like there’s some of the alcohol aroma, even though at 5.6 ABV it’s pretty low. The dark roast flavor is very subdued and bitterness pretty low key and even. Mouthfeel is pretty light, not something you’d expect from a dark beer from Guinness.

All in all quite pleasant, 3 out 4 generous monkeys.

Beer Is Good – Smithwick’s Winter Spirit

Another selection from the Guinness variety pack, this pours a deep red brown with strong head that quickly subsides. A touch of peaty aroma and taste of a red beer. The subtle smoke lingers throughout. This may be dark, it’s actually quite low in bitterness. Not much of a hop note. There isn’t actually a whole lot going on with flavors. It’s probably a good introduction, a gateway dark red beer if you will, but on the flip side it’s not a complex beer. It’s also a low ABV at 4.something.

I’m not sure how many monkeys to give this, I don’t think it quite rates a 3, but it’s better than a 2 monkey.

Beer Is Good – Hopworks Urban Brewery Hef Hop

A new beer that has shown up in Foodland over the past few weeks, they had a product promo girl tonight giving tasting samples. No, she was not hot, but she knew her product well. This is this Oregon breweries version of a Heffe. Pours a very cloudy medium dark yellow with light head. As promised, this is stronger on the hops than your usual heff, however the aroma is not too strongly floral. It’s more citrusy with a bit of bitter bite, even though the IBU isn’t extreme. The wheat and grain flavors are pretty subtle and hard to detect. Touted as a “session” beer, it’s ABV is low, at below 4%. Medium mouth feel.

Not sure how much I like the hop forward heffe, but it’s not objectionable. I’ll give it just making 3 out of 4 hop confused monkeys.

“Beer” Is Good? Occulto

I fell for the clever marketing. It had a cool label and I never saw it before. Upon closer look I saw the “blue agave infused” blurb. Pulling the pack off the shelf I saw that it was in clear bottles. Almost put it back but decided, the heck, might as well try it. Pours a clear light yellow with small head that dies down quickly. Aroma? There’s so little detectable hops that being in a clear bottle is maybe not a problem. That also keeps it low on bitter. There’s another blurb on the label, “blended with beer aged on tequila staves”. “With beer”. That’s right, this isn’t beer. If you try really hard you might detect some beery grain notes lingering in the middle. As for the barrel staves part? I can’t tell. There might be some tequila like notes there, or its just the marketing placeboing you into thinking so. Light mouthfeel. At 6% ABV its middle of the road for beer, enough to feel it on an empty stomach. Yes folks, this is not beer, it’s a malt liquor quite like Zima, remember that? You might call this a beer cooler, what wine coolers are to wine, this is to beer.

As a beer this gets one monkey, as a alcoholic drink maybe a generous 2 monkeys. It’s not abjectly horrible, I can actually finish it. There have been a few beers in my lifetime where it was so bad I could not finish them and threw it away. But on the other hand, why waste good money and time on this when there’s many other better alternatives. And yes, the pricing was in line with other microbrews. I’d much rather have a case of Speights for a couple bucks more than a six pack of this as a knock back while manning the grill bevy kind of thing.