LIC Beer Project – Long Island City New York

LIC Beer Project is in Long Island City. It is close to the subway stop making it easy to get to from Manhattan. Since I was staying in the Lower East Side of Manhattan I was able to get there along the F without transferring. They don’t serve tasters but will allow you to get a splash of beer prior to ordering a full pour. They were originally focusing on Belgians but now their tap list has added tons of hazy IPAs that they release in cans fairly regularly. The photos included in this post were sadly taken on my phone because I lost my camera I had the day before my visit.

I started with the Gal Friday Berliner Weisse. It had a cloudy yellow appearance and was super juicy with flavors of intense guava and mild passion fruit. The beer was mildly tart and quite impressive. The Higher Burning IPA was creamy with light vanilla, hints of bubblegum, and bright citrus flavors with mild hop acidity.

Barley Wine

The Hollows DIPA was soft and creamy with intense citrus and medium hop acidity. It ended with notes of grass and mango. The barley wine had notes of cherry and grape on the nose with a light caramel taste that mixed nicely with bitter chocolate and occasional hints of dark fruit. It could have been a little sweeter but as it was I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Hazy DIPA.

I’m glad I made the trip out to LIC beer but I would have liked if they had offered flights so I could taste more of the beers in one visit. I look forward to returning in a future visit to New York City.

Come for delicious berliner weisse and hazy IPAs.

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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Bar Sin Nombre – New Bar Brings Beer Fans to Chula Vista for World Class Beer

San Diego has its share of world class breweries. There are certain names in the beer world where you know whatever beer you order from them will be excellently made. At Bar Sin Nombre the tap list features beers from these breweries on the regular. Belgian beers from a couple of breweries are regular highlights as well as Belgian inspired beers from within the US. You will always find a few select IPAs and stouts along with some excellent lagers. By keeping the number of IPAs on the board fairly small, they can rotate through IPAs to ensure that whatever you find is fresh.

This is just half of the beers that were available on tap on my most recent visit.

They post updated tap list regularly on Facebook so you can see ahead of time what to expect. There is also a great selection of beers in bottles and wines for those who don’t drink beer.

Each beer is served in specific pours ranging from 8oz to 18oz with glassware selected to leave plenty of room for head. Most of the Belgian-style beers and sours are served in 8oz tulip glasses. I am especially glad that the larger pints are served in Impeiral Pint glasses and not the usual shaker pint glasses that I am surprised are still used at major bars around town.

A Belgian beer poured into their lovely short glasses with plenty of room for head.

The bar draws massive crowds occasionally when they share on Facebook that they have a special Cantillon on tap or other excellent beer. I have visited both when it is insanely busy, where I missed the Cantillon but saw a number of my fellow beer enthusiasts and more recently on a lazy Saturday where the crowd was light but still quite respectable.

The outside front has no sign telling you where to go, as part of the nameless theme but you won’t have any difficulty finding the place. The inside decor is simple with standard bar stools and plenty of spaces to stand around the outer walls. If you come on a particularly busy day you may barely be able to walk through the place. Though it only opened in Mid-November 2017, Bar Sin Nombre has already become a regular spot for local beer enthusiasts to visit, knowing that they will always find world class beer and meet people who appreciate the same.

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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Kane Brewing Company – Ocean, New Jersey

Kane is located in an area of New Jersey an hour south of Newark in a small town called Ocean. The building looks like an office building when you enter. To comply with NJ law everyone is given a self guided tour paper when they enter though the experience is like any other tasting room. They have some tasty IPAs but have gotten the biggest hype for their pastry stouts. When I visited they only had one stout of this type but it was so delicious I didn’t care.

Photo by Beertoro

The Belgian Blonde was well made and to style with ester notes, light fruit character, and a clean finish. The Sneakbox pale was hazy and had subdued hop character with notes of fruit and an herbal finish. The Head High IPA was fairly average hazy IPA with light hop flavor and a lightly bitter and acidic finish.

Photo by Beertoro

The Overhead Double IPA was creamy and delicious with minimal bitterness. Hops came through with light citrus and hints of onion and pine. Space to Fill DIPA was hazy yellow with citrus hop character and a light herbal/lemon finish. Mexican Brunch imperial stout had chocolate and spice notes on the nose. In the taste it was the most chocolate I have tasted in a beer, intense fudge and bitter chocolate with just a hint of spice and heat. This beer alone made it worth the drive. The hype is well-placed.

Photo by Beertoro

Kane is worth a visit to enjoy their delicious stouts the most. They also have some tasty hazy IPAs with the double IPAs packing the most hop punch.

Top 2:
Overhead DIPA
Mexican Brunch

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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Nashville Breweries – Southern Grist, Smith and Lentz, and Bearded Iris

Southern Grist

Southern Grist had some of the best beers I tasted out of the breweries I visited. They had a wide variety of options with tons of interesting flavors. This isn’t a spot for purists though because almost all of the exciting beers were made with tons of adjuncts added.


The berry cobbler sour was delicious and tasted like berry cobbler with a mix of caramel pie crust and jammy berry notes. It had a dark pink and purple color and had very little tart bite on the finish. The Key Lime Pie gose was also excellent with a sweet pie base and a hint of lime at the finish. Again, this was not particularly tart but a good balance of flavor. The Cherry Limeaid Saison had a strong lime finish and otherwise not much going on. I got notes of chlorine but it could have been just the mix of cherry and lime.

The Zero IBU IPA was creamy and grassy with a light bitter finish. While well-made, I didn’t care for the herbal hop character that dominated. The strawberry upside down cake DIPA was delicious with notes of strawberry and vanilla, a creamy mouthfeel, and a sweetness that didn’t overpower or become cloying. The standard double IPA was creamy and mellow with light tropical fruit notes and a sweet finish. It was a decent double IPA but lacked the intense hop punch that makes the style so delicious.


The coffee maple stout had a medium body with maple flavor dominating and subtle nutty coffee notes on the finish. I found this a bit too sticky sweet for me and could have used more intense coffee flavor. The imperial stout with cinnamon and chocolate had a strong cherry malt character with cinnamon and fudge notes on the finish. Some of the sweetness lingered on the tongue.

While I enjoyed the over-the-top flavors available at Southern Grist, many purists would complain that they don’t have any excellent base styles. I might have brought home a crowler of their berry cobbler sour if they were selling it to-go and came back the following day to enjoy more of it.

Top 2:
Berry Cobbler Sour
Strawberry Cake DIPA

Smith and Lentz


Smith and Lentz is known more for being a stickler to traditional styles though they still had quite a few interesting offerings on when I visited. It was also their second anniversary so they had a few options they rarely have like the barrel aged schwartz. They had a good spacious tasting room and plenty of seating.

The Vesethius Pale was hazy yellow with a citrus forward aroma and light herbal hop finish. It was a decent hazy pale but the hop flavors were fairly muted and the herbal bite overpowered it. The cheer beer was a strange one with cinnamon and cherry added. It had mild notes of caramel and cinnamon with a hint of cherry and a light acidic finish. This is one sort of holiday style beer I don’t generally care for but it was recommended to me by the server.

The smoked porter was nice and balanced with mild smoke and notes of dark fruit and a smooth finish. The barrel aged schwartz was thin and packed tons of bourbon flavor. The Brokedown Pallet was good and juicy with notes of tropical fruit hops and a light mineral finish. Like other beers I could have used a more intense hop aroma on this one.

If you are coming for flights, keep in mind Smith and Lentz doesn’t allow you to order individual tasters so you have to get 4 at a time. The smoked porter indicated to me that these guys know how to make more subtle styles of beer. By the time I was done with my first flight though I didn’t care to order a second so instead I got two half taster splashes.

Top 2:
Vesethius Pale
Smoked Porter

Bearded Iris


When I visited, Bearded Iris had nothing but IPAs on tap. Even the festbier they had was heavily hopped. They had three beers available for cans to-go but I didn’t taste anything so impressive that I wanted to bring IPAs back to San Diego. The locals seemed to quite enjoy their beers. They don’t order flights so you can either order half pours or full pours.

The homestyle IPA was soft and flavorful with notes of citrus, tropical fruit, pine, and some overripe fruit on the finish. The epicenter IPA was dank and acidic with a cloudy orange appearance. It had notes of tangerine and low bitterness on the finish. The Chasing Rainbows had notes of melon, a light acidic finish, and a soft mouthfeel. Both IPAs, though hazy, were lacking in the intense aroma that makes the style so enjoyable.

The Attention Please DIPA had an intense citrus punch with a mild dank resin base and an acidic finish. The Chief of Chiefs DIPA had a soft body and notes of citrus. Like the IPAs above, teh double IPAs lacked the intense hop aroma punch as well. They weren’t bad but they were fairly muted in flavor. None of them really stood out as significantly better than the other.

Bearded Iris is a good stop for hazy IPAs though they still have some way to go before they are worth traveling for from much outside the area. As far as breweries making hazy IPAs go, they are fairly average compared to breweries nationally. This is not a stop for someone who is not a hop head as they seem to be doing little else besides IPAs.

Known for:
Come for soft modern IPAs. They don’t seem to be brewing much else.

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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Tenaya Creek Brewery – Las Vegas NV

Tenaya Creek has been around since 1999 though only recently moved to their location in downtown Las Vegas. They have a spacious tasting room with excellent air conditioning and a wide variety of guest taps besides their own house beers. I tried seven different beers while I was there and overall quite satisfied.

I started with Hop Ride, their flagship IPA. It was dank and resinous with a bitter bite and notes of pineapple and banana on the finish. While it was tasty, it had a lingering bitterness that I didn’t care for. The Gypsy Fade IPA was much more modern with a minimal bitterness and bright fruity hops that blended nicely with herbal hops on the base. I quite liked this one.

The Magnum Rye was a nice fruity saison with notes of white cake and mild floral and herbal hop character and hints of bubblegum on the finish. The hops are quite subtle here and not anywhere near as powerful as I would have assumed but they work nicely with the base beer. The Howling Oats oatmeal stout blended notes of cherry malt base with tons of roast and finished with a bitter bite. I enjoyed the chewy body and how the cherry flavor didn’t dominate.

The Old Jackalope barley wine had notes of caramel but the hops overpower it with a strong bitter finish that I didn’t care for. I did not finish the taster. The silencer double IPA had a nice caramel malt base that blended nicely with sweet candied mango notes on the finish. Hops were mostly subdued and blended nicely with the flavor of the mango. The Baltic porter was thick and roasty with bitter chocolate and mild notes of smoke. The flavors balanced nicely with hints of cherry giving it a cherry chocolate flavor. This is one of the more complex and delicious Baltic porters I have tried.

If you are in Las Vegas for the weekend and crave some good beers, stop by for a flight and grab some cans to bring back to your hotel room. They had six pack cans of many of their core beers.

Top 2:
Gypsy Fade IPA
Baltic Porter

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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