Nick’s Friday Brew Review! 4 Hands Brewing Co. Absence of Light

Can you say peanut butter and chocolate galore? Because I hate peanut butter but this might be enough to convert me.

4 Hands is based out of St. Louis on the Missouri side. This is another great craft beer coming from the Quad Cities region. Give them a look if you’re ever by the Arch!

The Taste.

As previously mentioned, it tastes like chocolate and peanut butter. It’s fantastic. It carries some sweet notes with it because of that chocolate an those sweet malts you find in your stout-style brews.

How’d it smell?

Again, just look at everything else. This brew nails everything on the checklist of beers that are supposed to have the advertised flavor and actually able to taste it. Subtle notes of chocolate, peanut butter, and malt.

The verdict.

This craft beer is fantastic. Holy crap. I highly recommend picking yourself up a bomber if you find one!

To see the full review, check out the video!

-Nick

Nick’s Friday Brew Review: Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. Pseudo Sue Pale Ale

Do you like dinosaurs with stubby arms? How about the Field Museum in Chicago? Or hoppy craft beer?

This craft beer had it all!

Toppling Goliath is based out of Decorah, Iowa. If you ever find yourself in the quad cities region, give them a buzz!

How’d it taste?

Really light actually. It wasn’t overly bitter and it was a fresh taste of hops and some fruity esters. A pleasant mouth-feel with a bit of an after bite with every sip.

Now I don’t know if this batch had a particularly high yeast settle-out in the batch or if it was supposed to have some bits of flavoring hops still there, but it did.

I’m not complaining, it just wasn’t terribly crystal clear to look at.

How’d it smell?

Like a pale ale. Not super hoppy and a pleasantly dank aroma filled my nose after opening the can and each sip.

A bit fruity, some pine-ish scents, but it was all with balance.

The verdict?

Awesome beer. I’m giving it a 3.75 out 5 stars. Standard fare ale that goes down smooth. The cloudiness in the brew is what lost the full star.

Watch it on my YouTube channel, too!

 

Nick’s Friday Brew Review: Alesmith Brewing Co. Grand Crue

I won’t lie here. This was fricken’ delicious. The ale has sat in its various locations for the past few years.

Can you say cellar-ed? 

It was bottled on January 8 of 2014. The climate and conditions of the store I got it from were ideal for the cellaring method of aging beers. It was a strong taste and I’m not disappointed in the purchase!

How’d it taste?

Oak wood. That’s the strongest flavor I took away from it. The barley used also lends an intense taste, too. The unintentional cellaring helped with that certainly, I’m sure.

Intense, thick, and flavor all the way through.

The aroma?

Fantastic! It smelled great. I asked my significant other what he thought of it. He said gnarly. But his taste isn’t as refined, either. So there’s that.

The verdict?

Awesome is all I can say. If you find yourself in a Schnucks grocery store in northern Illinois, pick one up!

Nick’s Friday Brew Review: Tired Hands Brewing Co. Such Passion passion fruit IPA

Here’s a hint: it has passion fruit in it. And some hops. It’s f*****g delicious.

Tired Hands Brewing Co. is based out of Ardmore, Pennsylvania and they’re a popular spot for the craft beer drinkers in the East.

How’d it taste?

This IPA was delicious. Fresh notes of passion fruit and hops blew my mind at first taste. It had a rather delightful mouth feel and was super light; a great BBQ or session ale for those weekends with the friends taste-testing the latest haul of state-line crossing deliciousness.

How’d it smell?

The aroma was strong with that passion fruit-y goodness too. A strong hit of fruit hit my nose at first sniff and then the passion fruit was super close behind that.

Each sip reinforced that fruit flavor.

The verdict.

I won’t lie. Like I said before, I could sip this bad boy all day. 3.75 out of 5 stars!

-Nick

I made a batch!

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s been a while since I’ve made a batch of homebrewed craft beer.

I forgot how great brew day is. It’s an excuse to talk about, drink, and make beer.

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Rocking the Oskar Blues IPA for the brew session.

Where’d you start?

This may make some people cringe and others left in confusion. Dont worry, I’ll explain.

The extract kit I used was a bit dated. The best-by date was September of last year. Before that, it sat in a myriad of storage conditions ranging from hot garage to freezing basement. It was old.

Extract kits contain the basic ingredients needed to brew a home batch. The liquid malt canisters in the feature photo have an incredibly concentrated sugar syrup that provide the starches needed for the yeast to do its alcohol-making thing.

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Heating up 3 gallons of water to a boil on the world’s smallest stove.

Cleaning and sanitizing.

I used a soft wash cloth to wipe down my ferment bucket and ran my various tools through the dishwasher.

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My oh-so-clean cleaning area.

After they were finished, I filled the bucket with IO Star-San and threw them in it.

I’ve learned to streamline the process a bit by not cleaning every single piece used, including the racking and bottling tools.

The boil.

I let my grains steep in the water from the time that I fill the pot to the point that I’m adding the liquid and dry malt.

I let the batch get to a low roil and wait for the hot break in the surface.

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We’re almost to the ideal temperature. I also didn’t ever actually take ANY temperature readings for this.

For this specific batch, it was a 6-row 20L and 2-row 60L barley mixture. It smelled delicious.The hops used were Hallertau at the start and Fuggle hops 10 minutes from the boil termination point.

We then let the batch sit on the stove with the lid on for the next 4 hours for it to drop to our ideal pitching temp, which again, was getting eyed.

Sealing it up.

Once it cooled down, we moved it to the ferment bucket for the water topping, yeast pitch, and the lid and airlock put on.

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In case it isn’t clear yet, we did not follow proper cleaning procedures for any of this.

My friend has a rickety stair case that leads to his basement which this had to be carried down. That was probably the hardest part of the night. But once I survived the 10-step trek, I put the warming blanket on it to keep the temps around the sixty-degree mark.

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Pictured: fabulous climate control

His basement is chilly and the fermenting of the beer produces heat, so I planned ahead. Now to wait for the next two months.

-Cheers, Nick

 

 

Nick’s Friday Brew Review: 3 Stars Brewing Co. #ultrafresh

The first thing that I noticed when I took that first sip was the hoppy-as-hell bite. You can see me recoil just a little bit in the review video after the first sip.

How’d it look?

The design on the can is super-simple as well. The hops in the beer are also shown right on the side of the can and you definitely taste what each one brings to the flavor. And the can has a sticker on the side as opposed to the fully painted aluminum.

That means they don’t have to stick to just on design and can change out labels much quicker and easier.

How’d it smell?

The aroma was also intense. It had a fruity smell at first, but prolonged indulgence lent way to the smell of bitter hops and light malt.

And taste?

The combination works perfectly for the beer and made drinking it part of the fun aside from just drinking beer for drinking beer.

Overall, This beer takes a solid 4/5 stars in my book. Easily one of the better beers I’ve had and it was nice to A) get it for free, and B) something different than the normal variety I’ve had to grow use to.

Stay tuned for next weeks review!

Cheers! -Nick

 

The Friday Brew Review: Alesmith Brewing Co. IPA

To start off: You can’t beat a good ole’ IPA. And this IPA delivers your standard fair of the experience.

Alesmith is a San Diego based brewery offering up American classics and specialties alike.

How’d it taste?

Delicious. It’s like any good IPA. A fresh, hoppy taste with slight notes of grapefruit and citrus. The flavor profile is not unlike that of any other IPA. A light, dry mouth feel with a little bit of bitterness peppered throughout.

It had a great pour and like you can see from the video, a perfect head on it too!

How’d it smell?

Dank. It was delightfully light and fresh. When you took a drink, the smell made the taste even better.

The verdict.

A solid 7/10. I’m not saying it was bad by any measure, but it’s a standard fare when it comes to IPAs.

I’ve had better, but this is always going to be a solid fall back option when you can’t find anything else to quench that thirst.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments and as always, cheers!

-Nick