Green Flash Road Warrior Rye Double IPA

I had the pleasure of enjoying the Road Warrior last year when it appeared briefly at the tasting room. I really enjoyed it then and was a bit disappointed when it went away. Though a brief rye IPA release came back later in the year it just wasn’t the same. Thankfully, Green Flash decided to release many of their special beers in bigger batches, now with bottles as well. While available on tap at the brewery, the Road Warrior is also available in 4-packs of 12 ounce bottles and 22 ounce bottles. This review is based on drinking the beer on tap at the brewery. 

Green Flash Road Warrior
Green Flash Road Warrior
The beer pours a dark amber color and has some nice pine and citrus aromas to start. I really liked the combination of flavors from the Columbus, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops. They blend nicely with the flavors of the rye to create a balanced beer. As I got further into my beer, I noticed that the hops were a bit overpowered by the rye. The rye flavors give the beer a thicker mouthfeel and a slight syrupy flavor as well, similar to heavy malt beers. Overall, this was an enjoyable beer that could have been a little stronger on the hops for my tastes. However, if you like more malt in your IPAs, this one is perfect for you.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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Game of Thrones Fire and Blood and Widmer Upheaval Reviews

Game of Thrones Fire and Blood 
I decided to combine these two reviews together because both are relatively short. First off we have the latest Game of Thrones beer from ommegang brewing. This one is called Fire and Blood in honor of House Targaryen. My friend got a bottle and invited me over to try a taste so I jumped at the opportunity. The beer claims to be rich and malty while sporting some spicy flavor from Ancho chilies and a bit of rye.
Game of Thrones Fire and Blood Beer.
Game of Thrones Fire and Blood Beer.
The beer pours a nice amber color and smells sweet like a Belgian beer. It has a good sweet Belgian flavor with fruity malts coming through nicely. The spicy flavor is relatively mild though it has a decent kick. Compared to other beers, this is closer to Green Flash’s Serrano Double Stout and not anywhere near the Habanero Sculpin. I was generally satisfied by the beer as I continued to drink it. Though it doesn’t burn going down, the spicy flavor does work well to balance out the malts.
Widmer Upheaval IPA
For my second beer of the night, I tried the latest IPA from Widmer Brewing. My friend had told me that this was one of his favorite recent IPAs so I was excited to see what they could do. I like to see some of the bigger craft breweries making IPAs widely available now because many of them only ever really shipped their lighter brews nationwide.
Widmer Upheaval
Widmer Upheaval
Upheaval pours a nice amber color and has a good strong hop flavor. I tasted some prominent cluster hops along with some citrus, pine, and tropical fruit. It has a good amount of bitterness and was overall quite satisfying. The upheaval tasted a lot more fresh than the Rebel I tried recently. The date I saw on the bottle appeared to be a “bottled on” date, which I prefer to see on my beers. If you see this on sale at the grocery store, check the date for freshness and then go for it.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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Poor House Brewing

Poor House had a smaller taplist and so I didn’t try as many. I stopped by here on my way home from Thorn Street Brewing so I didn’t try as much as I might have if this was my first stop. I ended up with three tasters, the Experimental #6 IPA, the Bitter Side Imperial IPA, and the Cluster Fukk IPA.

Poor House 01

Keep in mind this brewery only accepts cash, which I haven’t seen at any other brewery in San Diego before. Also, they serve their beers in mason jars. The tasters are smaller mason jar pours.

Poor House 04

The Experimental #6 IPA was quite impressive. It had all the flavors I come to expect from San Diego IPAs with some nice grapefruit flavors at the front. It is a nice light colored IPA and quite tasty. The Bitter Side Imperial IPA was tasty though a bit heavy on the malts for me. It mostly had a strong caramel malt flavor at the front with some tropical fruit hops at the back. It is pretty low on the bitterness so it should hopefully satisfy hop fans who don’t like bitter.

Poor House 03

I really enjoyed the Cluster Fukk. The flavor that came through strongest was lemon, most likely from the Cluster hops. It made the beer very crisp and refreshing. This one was my favorite of the night followed by Experimental #6.

Poor House 02

Though Poor House didn’t have any stouts of porters when I was there, they said they do tend to have some versions of one or the other at times.  I was quite impressed by the IPAs they had on tap.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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Thorn Street Brewing

Thorn Street Brewing has a relaxing atmosphere and many delicious beers for every taste. I decided to stop by after a failed attempt to visit Mission Beach left me frustrated and in need of a beer. With so many beers on tap, I didn’t get to try every one but the ones I tried gave me a good taste of the selection.

Thorn Stree Brewing 01

To start with, I tried their Session IPA, a Spicy Session IPA, and the Oatmeal Stout. The session IPA had a nice pine flavor with some nice citrus, similar to the Lagunitas Session. It is mellow enough that it should be nice to drink on the beach. The spicy session was a bit on the hot side, which surprised me. It wasn’t as hot as the Habanero Sculpin but still hotter than a lot of other similar beers. The oatmeal stout had a nice mellow flavor with some sweet caramel and hints of chocolate. This one would likely satisfy fans of the style.

Thorn Stree Brewing 02

Next I got tasters of the Relay IPA, Tropic Daze IPA, and Red Headed Hop Child. The Relay had a nice crisp flavor to match the light color. It was more piney than citrus though it did have a light citrus on the back. The Tropical Daze had a heavy tropical fruit flavor with a bit of pineapple flavor up front. This was one of my favorites of the night. The Red Headed Hop Child disappointed me because it was a lot heavier on the malts than the hops. I thought it could use a lot more hops so what I had didn’t satisfy me at all.

Thorn Stree Brewing 03

To finish it off, I had some Rye Stafari, Menace, and the Barrel Aged Imperial Porter. The Rye Stafari gave me a heavy dose of smoke with roasted malts up front. It was pretty boring and dry tasting and didn’t impress. The Menace was almost a double version of the Tropic Daze though it did have some other varieties of hops to give it a different flavor. This was an impressive double IPA that went down smooth. The Barrel Aged Imperial Porter had the right amount of bourbon flavor to match the sweet coconut and went down smooth.

Menace Imperial IPA.
Menace Imperial IPA.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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Samuel Adams Rebel IPA, A Solid West Coast IPA

IPAs have become so popular that everyone wants a piece of the pie. Samuel Adams decided to make a West Coast style IPA so I had to give it a try to see if it was any good. I question the use of the name rebel to describe it because it has almost become an act of conformity to make an IPA in this style. Still, this beer has an alluring packaging and claims to use many of the hops that are popular on the west coast. Is it any good?

Rebel IPA Sam Adams

 

The rebel IPA pours a light amber color and has a strong pine scent on the nose. The first thing I tasted was a strong malt flavor with some pine hops. I checked the bottle and noticed it is one month away from the enjoy by date. This tells me that this beer might have had a bit more citrus flavor if I had tried some sooner after the release. Still, my second beer had a bit more citrus flavor and both had plenty of hop flavor. Considering my general dislike for all things Samuel Adams, the Rebel IPA is surprisingly good. It didn’t blow me away as much as my favorites but the freshness could be a big factor in that. It is as close as I have tasted from Samuel Adams to the West Coast style and for that I applaud them.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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Green Flash Black Freak, a Sour Beer with a Bourbon Kick

I am still trying to figure out exactly what is the freak part of Green Flash’s Little Freak and Black Freak. It seems the sour flavors are a big part of that. After all, sour beers are not very common in San Diego. I had to rush to Green Flash to try some Black Freak once it was announced on the Facebook page. This is essentially a sour version of a bourbon barrel aged double stout. And boy is it sour!

 

Black Freak 01

Typically a bourbon barrel-aged beer will have a smooth flavor of bourbon. While still present in a way, the bourbon flavors here are mostly overpowered by the sour flavors. This is not a beer for everyone but if you like sour you will enjoy the interesting mix of flavors. Once I got used to the sour flavor, I noticed that it made a good compliment to the bourbon flavors.

Black Freak 02

 

Not everyone who loves Green Flash’s Double Stout will enjoy Black Freak. Sour Beers are an acquired taste and I am still acquiring that particular taste. Still, it was an interesting beer to taste and I’m glad I stopped by.

 

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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New York City Beer Adventures Part 3 – Brooklyn Brewery

I made the mistake of visiting Brooklyn Brewery on a Saturday because it turns out that is when they offer free tours. I was a bit annoyed while I was there at how crowded it was and didn’t realize why until after I left. It is a huge brewery and has been around for quite some time. Getting there from New York City on the subway can be a challenge because there are quite a few sections of walking required before you reach it. Even more walking is required if you decide the food truck isn’t up to snuff and go in search of Brooklyn Pizza instead.

Brooklyn Brewery 02

I was disappointed by their use of plastic cups. I also didn’t like how they charged 2 tokens ($5 each) for the double IPA while everything else was one token. They also don’t offer taster flights so if you are planning on trying all of the beers in one visit you better bring a bunch of friends.

Brooklyn Brewery 03

Despite all of the negatives, I went straight for the double IPA because I didn’t want to try to order both the IPA and the double IPA on an empty stomach. The double has a nice citrus/grapefruit bite with some smooth caramel malts flavors. Though I really enjoyed it I’m not sure I would suggest paying $10 for a pint of it.

Brooklyn Brewery Double IPA.
Brooklyn Brewery Double IPA.

I ended up eating at a nearby pizza place called Vinny’s Pizza because I didn’t want to wait for the food truck. Though it was a decent walk to get there, it was worth the distance because the pizza was fantastic. I suggest you stop by Vinny’s on your way to the brewery so you are able to stay as long as you want once inside and don’t have to leave to grab something from a food truck.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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New York City Beer Adventures Part 2 – The Stag’s Head

As a craft beer fan I had to make sure I could walk from our hotel in New York City to a bar with a good selection of craft beer. I thought this wouldn’t be hard to find but then it turned out that a number of the bars were boring Irish pubs without any IPA but Goose Island (a New York brewery that was purchased by one of the big beer companies recently). Once I found The Stag’s Head and looked at the beer list online I knew I had to stay at the nearest hotel. Thankfully, they had a solid tap list and a good selection of local beers in bottles to choose from.
The first night I got to try Greenpoint Gobsmacked IPA. It had a nice mellow citrus flavor with a light amount of bitterness. It didn’t particularly stand out but it was enough to satisfy me for a few hours.
New York Beer 01
The second night I got to try Peak Hop Blanc from a Maine brewery. I had tried their IPA down here in San Diego thanks to Trader Joe’s so I was glad to try some of their other options. They also had a simcoe pale ale but it wasn’t hoppy enough for me at the moment. The Hop Blanc was a nice Belgian style IPA with a strong Belgian yeast flavor at the front and some pine/citrus flavors at the back. I sipped this one for quite a while because before ordering my next beer.
After the Hop Blanc I ordered the Ithaca Flower Power based on a suggestion from the bartender and the name, which suggested a floral flavor. The beer was served in a 12oz bottle and I poured it into a pint glass. It had some nice floral aromas and some malts to balance out the flavor. I was quite satisfied by the strong floral flavors and overall very impressed.
Flower Power IPA
Flower Power IPA
The Stag’s Head is a fairly loud and rowdy bar with a sports bar type atmosphere. The bartenders are knowledgeable about their beers and know how to party as well. I enjoyed my time there on Sunday night because there were a number of rowdy drunk patrons putting on a good show. If you aren’t going to be able to get outside the city to explore what New York has to offer, you will get a good taste of the area with The Stag’s Head.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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New York City Beer Adventures Part 1 – Random Beers I Tried

I recently made a short trip to New York City with my husband for sightseeing. Of course one of the most important sights is beer. This series of posts will focus on the different beers I was able to try while I was in the area. Part 1 will discuss a few of the single beers I ended up drinking at certain places. Part 2 will discuss a bar called The Stag’s Head where I spent a good amount of time. Part 3 will discuss Brooklyn Brewery, a huge draw because it has been around so long.

To start with I enjoyed some local beer while at the Embassy Suites near Newark Airport our first night. The hotel has a fantastic happy hour that we just barely missed with $2 pints. They have a few local beers on draft and others in bottles available. I got to try Cricket Hill Lager while I was there. It had a nice smooth hop flavor and was overall a solid lager. I didn’t find out until later that I could have gotten an IPA from the same brewery.

Tap list at Embassy Suites.
Tap list at Embassy Suites.

Later at Heartland Brewery in the Theater District of New York City, I ordered their IPA. It had a high amount of bitterness, possibly up to 70 IBU. A tropical fruit flavor came out pretty nice on the front. I was quite satisfied with this one though it did seem that the bitterness left it without much to taste. At the same brewery my husband ordered the oatmeal stout. He enjoyed the coffee and chocolate flavors and thought it was one of the better stouts he has had.

Heartland Brewing IPA
Heartland Brewing IPA

For a video review of these beers, check out this video I took while we were in Heartland Brewing.

After biking around Central Park New York City, we stopped by 3 Monkeys for a pint. They had a fairly large tap list with a number of different IPAs. I eventually settled on Single Cut Billy 18 IPA from Watt NY. It had a good pine hop flavor and tropical fruit with a mellow bitterness around 40 IBU. I enjoyed this one but it wasn’t anything particularly special.

 

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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Visiting New York City this weekend to t

I won’t have any posts up this weekend but I will be gathering material for some upcoming reviews of beer from New York and nearby areas.

I’m staying at a hotel right next to a craft beer bar and hope to visit at least two breweries while I am in town. Are the east coast ipas up to West coast standards? We will see.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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