Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Oskar Blues Brewery's Deviant Dale's IPA

Locale:  Expanded to Longmont, CO
Craft Circa: 1999
Style:  American IPA
ABV:  8%
IBUs:  85
Notables:  2011 GABF Silver Medal Winner American India Pale Ale Category

Label:  The label is defiant and brushes off the idea you are about to sip something mysterious and satanic.  It is the color of the devils, THE DEVILS!  The can proclaims “Let’s sling a little mud, girl - - Sippin’ on a tall boy” which are lyrics from a Widespread Panic song “Tall Boy.”  Nice association. 

Overall:  When I get together with buddies back home, at least one of them brings some Dale’s Pale Ale with them to throw into the mix.  It’s Oskar’s flagship beer, and a nice staple to have for just about any occasion.  It’s not a personal choice of mine, but I have no problems with the beer, and it’s quite good by can standards.  With that said, I’m always looking for a bit more bite when it comes to ales, and I was excited to come across this at the local grocer, and give it a chance in the pitching rotation.   I was hoping maybe this can was indicating Dale was in fact being deviant, smuggled across some illegal suped hops from a foreign land, went to his laboratory and built a concoction that would blow Oskar pale ale lovers out of the water like a mad scientist.

The brew pours very nicely, looking like a cumulus cloud floating above ale.  The aroma is nice, but nothing jumps out at you.  The beer in fact came off more caramel than anything else; we’ll go with chewy caramel to an extent.  Any floral notes that try to sound off are shhh’d like a jackass at a movie theater.  The brew pours nicely, has nice head, and comes off shining copper like a penny.  I would probably bucket this as a fall seasonal IPA as it has amber characteristics along with the strong malt presence.  It comes off silky smooth, with mellow sugars killing any bitterness that may be hiding within the can. 

Those are quality features in a beer, but I look for a little more bite with an IPA.  It’s a decent beer but was hoping for more. There are too many can aspects bringing this beer down, including aluminum or metallic hints in the flavor.  This year actually marks Oskar’s 10 year CANniversary.  What’s with the can though on all their products?  According to their website, they thought the idea of their big luscious pale in a can was hilarious, and continued with it.  They claim their cans are modern, and lined with a water-based coating so beer and metal never touch, with no exchange of metallic flavor.  Shows you how much I know.  All that aluminum hint I was picking up must have been psychological. 

Either way, overall I give this beer a resounding m’eh.  Despite the higher ABV, the ale does come off surprisingly lighter, and lacks the mouth feel you get from typical IPAs.  A tad pricey for a 4 pack of tall boys as well.  There are plenty more IPAs out there with a  hop malt balance I seek at a much better price. 

Acquisition:  4 pack of tall boys - $14

Windfall:  I was really hoping to like this beer because during my mini research session, the more I was reading about the brewery the more I liked it.  They have a persona and attitude about them that intrigues me.  I would even categorize this brewery as having a cult following.  They definitely have their hardcore patrons, as I know a couple of them.   More importantly however, they also dig giving back to the community they live and work in. 

We all know that 2012 has been a rough year for Colorado, including wildfires among other things.  Oskar Blues Brewery has and continues to do their part in giving back to the community that helped them get to where they are today.  This includes a tap take over even in the Chicago area at a couple fine establishments including one of my personal favorites Fountainhead with proceeds going to wildfire victims. 

So keep a look out for local tap take overs in your area, or if you care to partner with Oskar on a cause, feel free to check out their donation and partnership page for more information.  It’s a win-win.  Good beer, good cause.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: 3 Floyds Zes Zes Zes

Locale:  Munster, IN
Craft Circa:  1996
Style:  Saison / Farmhouse Ale
ABV:  8.5%
Notables:  Appears to be a specialty brew only available ‘to-go’ from their brewing facility August, 2012.

Label:  Unique from many of their trademark labels, but very Revolver-esque. 

Overall:   It’s hard to find any information about this beer, including the 3 Floyds website.  I only came across the Belgian brew because I was picking up some Zombie Dust for Labor Day festivities.  To be honest, I have never seen this brew before until checkout at the register.  Per the label, this Belgian Ale was brewed with the combined efforts of 3 Floyds and the award winning De Molen’s head brewer Menno Olivier, who is labeled as “The real Dutch Hercules.” I wonder if this Dutch brewpub has a dance floor…

The label also mentions to check out the one they brew in Holland at De Molen.  Good luck with that one.  There’s probably a better chance attending a gay wedding this week at the Republican National Convention.

Damn you 3 Floyds… this smells amazing.  The aroma is powerful and quite intoxicating, full of fruity goodness.  A cornucopia of fruits just picked from the orchards.  It’s like smelling a BBQ joint in the vicinity, and then craving BBQ.  You smell this, and you want it immediately.  There’s a chance my notes for this brew are shotty as I was distracted by wanting to drink this brew more so than taking my time writing initial thoughts on it. 

The head was a thick layered egg creamy white, and settled nicely into a thin strip.  It isn’t as fruity as you would expect, but for me usually that’s a good thing.  The aroma dictates otherwise, giving you the impression you are in for a swig of sweetness.  It’s full flavored, slightly grassy, and very fresh.  It has a miniature kick.  The bitterness plays peek-a-boo, and if you are tentative enough you may just find it before it meshes in with the crowd like Waldo at a renaissance fair.  This Saison is large and in charge, much bigger than a typical Saison, and I think it may also be borderline BIPA depending on the hops and yeast strain.  If so, and it’s certainly a possibility coming in at 8.5% ABV that it may be the BIPA Injustice League’s 2nd recruitment. 

Compared to other Saisons I’ve tried, there is more to like with this one.  It’s spicy, seemingly full of Belgian influence, and it actually tastes better as you progress through it.   It’s a wonderfully dangerous brew.

Acquisition:  22 oz. - $12

Tidbit:  “Zes” is Dutch for the number “6.”


Monday, August 27, 2012

A Worthy 'Local Option'...

BreweryLocal Option
Locale:  Sheffield Neighbors, IL (Chicago)
Circa:  1986
ABV:  All over the board

*** Beer nerds welcome.  According to their Rolling Rock etching on their centerpiece mirror, this establishment was started in 1986, but in no way the same caliber watering hole as it is today.  They were the first bar in the Midwest region to sell Rolling Rock, and were a favorite of the local DePaul University crowd.  Robert DeNiro supposedly made Rolling Rock famous in the “Deer Hunter” and then this beer exploded throughout the country.  That may be a tale I was told, but I like it.  That was then, this is now.  Now it’s a “CROOK County Original.”

Times have changed and so has the quality of tap handles that so majestically span the bar top.  The ambiance and mood that is set for your artisan adventure is a great one.   There’s a definite vibe about the place that intrigues.   Maybe it’s Louisiana voodoo but it’s an atmosphere that is disconnected from the rest of the surrounding area, and I mean that in a good way.  Their taps act as their voodoo amulet protecting beer nerds from macro brew evil and all it stands for… bringing us luck and fortune in the form of flavorful balanced artisans.

These handles pour craft brews of the year-round varieties, seasonal varieties, and rare varieties, described and updated accordingly on the all-important Chalkboard.  If you are fortunate enough the lineup may also contain a precious jewel or a few of their very own Local Option Bierwerker series, developed by what they declare are non-gypsies.  “They don’t read palms, they put beers in them.”  B&B reviewed and researched a little further into the world of their Bierwerkers here.  The Kentucky Common, the Morning Wood (great name) were available during our visit.  And they just tapped the Schmetterling Gose that day which appears to be sour ale we’ll have to give a try another time.

I’m a sucker for all that is New Orleans and everything that town stands for as you will learn more and more, and their menu contains Creole flavors galore.  I have had the Muffuletta in the past, and they advertise it to be as good as Central Grocery which is near impossible.  But they came pretty close.  It’s a wonderful menu overall.

The bar contained a good crowd for a lazy Friday afternoon, and the patrons that arrive are serious and have a mission.  As you make your way through the door, passing the 3 Floyds neon sign, there is sense of beer fanatic camaraderie in the air.  You notice a fellow consumer with a note pad jotting down a discussion with the bartender.  You think to yourself, “Ha, what a nerd.”  Then you realize you are taking notes on your phone.  “Fellow reviewer?”  It’s quite possible.  Another guy pulls up a stool a buffer seat* away, and pulls out his list of beers and you think to yourself, “Ha, what a nerd.”  Then you realize you have your Local Option beer bucket list folded in your pocket that you printed online hours earlier.  “Fellow guy on a mission?”  It’s quite possible.  You can’t make this stuff up.  These are serious drinkers.

A Snifter of a Review:
1.   Firestone Walker Pale 31 (4.8% ABV) – it’s an ode to California, the 31st state to be added to the union. It’s pale indeed.  Very refreshing but there is no punch to it.  Lacks fullness compared to other pale ales, would consider this a less hopped up version, or mild ale.  The R&D team at FW must use all their resources perfecting and building the perfect IPA and Double IPA because they are great.  It goes down really fast, and the fact that everything about this beer is subtle, it flies by the taste buds.   It’s ok FW, I still love you.  As long as you keep brewing Jack and his buddy Double Jack, it’s all good.
2.   Local Option Bierwerker Morning Wood (7% ABV) – The aroma of coffee is nice.  Probably a great “hair of the dog” brew.  In speaking with the staff, we learned this is a variation on base amber ale with coffee, and oak barrel maturation.  Definite sweetness to balance the bitter which is unique to this type of beer in that other similar hybrids do bitter and another bitter such as coffee and then some sort of roast like a nutty malt.  More of a fall beer for sure, but it went down really well.  Smooth, goes down nice, not much of an aftermath.  Robust, yet sweet.
3.   Boulevard Double Wide IPA (8.5% ABV) – Ahhh, that’s better.  After the mild ale, and the hybrid, I was beginning to twitch going through hop withdrawals.  Nice brew with a great balance.  Great hops, nice bite but in no way was it overwhelming.    I would definitely consider buying a bomber if I come across it out and about.
4.   Great Divide Oak Aged Rumble IPA (7.1% ABV) – Hoppy yet creamy, by far the best beer of the Local Option trip.  Almost a thick IPA, very unique and very tasty.  Cream Ale meets IPA.  Smooth, unbelievable for the ABV.  Great ROI.  Great balance of bitterness, caramel, sweetness, and citrus undertones.  Very impressive artisan brew.  Another great Colorado brewery. 

The Local Option is indeed a great local option.  There is an alliance of all factors beer nerds look for in a place and it collaborates beautifully.  This place has a special impact; there is self-realization and inner reflection involved.  You realize the vast array of beers out there in the world you have yet to conquer, you start to question the rationality of becoming a voodooist, but more importantly you realize as you are surrounded by nerds while having an energetic discussion about brews with staff and patrons is that:  “Wow, I AM a nerd too! And it’s pretty cool.”


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Limited Release of Pipeworks Brewing Something Hoppy This Way Comes IPA

Locale:  Chicago, IL
Craft Circa:  2012
Style:  American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV:  10%
Notables: Very limited yield with this one; Sorachi Ace hops are very hard to come by according to Pipeworks.  B&B obtained batch #32.

Label:  Solid.  Shout out to a local artist yet again, and yet another winner.  The bottle art is by Jason Burke (Ink and Lead Designs).  We are thinking it’s a play on “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” a Ray Bradbury novel with a beautiful portrayal of a hopped up version of the carnival leader, Mr. Dark.   Oh, and the handwritten batch indicator as well.  Phenomenal Label.

Overall:   Very unique aroma smacks you in the nasal sensory once you pop the top.  Whatever hops those are, thinking the Sorachi Ace Hops -- since we were unfamiliar with this until promoted so wisely and effectively by Pipeworks on Facebook -- introduces itself nicely.  It’s an inimitable whiff of pleasantry, intoxicating, and builds excitement. 

It’s hoppy for sure. What an entertaining, complex beer to decode.  It is crisp, has a nice imperial dose of malts, and the flavor zig zags down LSD on a crotch rocket.  This is unlike any IPA we’ve had.  The hops “hop” on your tongue and present itself nicely with its full bodied flavor.  However, what gives this beer its charisma are the lemon & lime hints, the dill pickle undertones, and the bubblegum illusions of flavor?  Yes… you read correct, I’m going with bubblegum… it’s a hop carnival indeed.    

It was a short notice for a release, as many artisan brews are now these days.  B&B learned of its release and headed down to the local grocer to obtain a bottle about 20 minutes after the announcement.  B&B discovered Printers Row Wine Shop which is a nice hidden gem with a great selection in the south loop area.  Almost hate to mention it as I’m not one to share, but the service was top notch, and like I said, wonderful selection.  Upon purchasing, it was mentioned that this was bottled about 40 minutes prior to being shelved.  Bottled, distributed, consumed, and savored in a matter of 3 hours.  It’s euphoric.  That's a free market and capitalism for you.

It’s very smooth for a double, with a vast array of swirling flavors.  There is a lingering bitter presence after each sip that is rather enjoyable.  A hop carnival indeed; a spooky brew, and influenced perhaps by wizardry as well.  But this isn't "butterbeer" served at "The Three Broomsticks" or "The Hog's Head" in Hogsmeade…

Acquisition:  Two 22 ounces - $22

Windfall:  Fitting this brew made its way upon us seemingly in tribute to the works of Ray Bradbury, whom died in June of this year.  Suitable since this beer was so unique, outer space in a sense, similar to Bradbury works.  There’s an interesting, and timely piece on the significance of Ray Bradbury in pop culture here.  

In addition, John Williams took the dialogue from the famous scene in William Shakespeare's Macbeth in which the witches are around the cauldron and wrote lyrics for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."  One of the witches says: "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."

~GY Collaboration

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pipeworks Has Done It Again…Review: Pipeworks Brewing Company Poivre Rose Saison

Brewery: Pipeworks Brewing Company
Locale: Chicago, Illinois in the Bucktown Neighborhood 
Craft Circa:  2012 
Style:  Saison (artisanal variety w/peppercorns)
ABV:  7.70%
Notables: Available in the summertime.

Label: Great label. Rustic, old world, aged parchment look with cursive script that really makes its point that this beer has peppercorns in it with the spilled jar of peppercorns.

Overall: Great Beer.  These guys have done it again.  What does Poivre mean?  From what I can tell it’s a French word (duh) that means “coated in black pepper.”  Per the label this Saison has a “hefty dose of pink peppercorns, for floral and citrus notes.”  And a “touch of tellicherry black peppercorns for a hint of spice.”  This is sounding more like a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu or a cooking demo by the illustrious Julia Child than ingredients in beer.
Click picture to watch video...

BTW Julia would’ve been 100 years old on August 15, 2012 (she got a Google Doodle for it!).  Admittedly I was both disturbed and intrigued when Yinzer gave me the task of reviewing this beer.  “Peppercorns???”  (That’s the disturbed part).  “Hmmm intriguing…” (That’s because it’s Pipeworks Brewing; these dudes are producing some quality beer and getting good press and word of mouth.  Speaking of good press see B&B’s review of Pipeworks’ Glaucus Belgian IPA posted way back in July). 

So I thought, “It has to be good.”  And they did not disappoint.  The concoctions these guys are making are VERY creative AND tasty.  While slightly darker than the typical Saison, it had all the classic elements: great floral / spicy aroma, carbonation, and head.  It had a lightly sweet bite on the palate, yet a light full bodied flavor, an almost champagne-like effervescence to it (maybe that’s the French strain of saison yeast?).  This beer started off strong and finished strong.  I kept wanting more; in fact, the only thing that slowed down the consumption was my note taking.  There was a hint of spicy aftertaste from the peppercorns.  Before my first sip I prepared for a pepper onslaught but as I drank I realized that would’ve been a bad move by Pipeworks.  Any more pepper would’ve made this beer a marinade for some fine piece of meat or a bratwurst cookout hosted by the Sausage King of Chicago himself, Abe Froman. 

Acquisition:  22oz. - $9.49.

Windfall: While there are many pepper types, two types of pepper come from India’s Malabar Coast: Malabar pepper and Tellicherry pepper. Tellicherry (one of the peppers in Pipeworks’ Poivre Rose Saison) is a pepper made from fruits from the grafted Malabar plants grown on Mount Tellicherry. (Wikipedia)   



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Finch's Fascist Pig Ale

Brewery:  Finch’s Beer Co.
Locale:  Chicago, IL              
Craft Circa:  2009
Style:  American Amber
ABV:  8%
IBU:  72 

Label:  Clever label, would expect some radical ideology of a brew.

Overall:   Trying to learn anything about a Finch’s brew, other than one of their standard year around brews is hard to do.  I like to rely on information straight from the source, but Finch’s does not make it that easy.  If anything, you would think they would want to advertise one of their artisan brews, detailing out what’s in it, thus intriguing us beer nerds, but what do I know?

The brew has plenty of caramel, strong malt presence and a bit of rye almost.  The brew pours awesome, smells awesome, and looks awesome. 

Unfortunately, something’s coming off too scorched for me.  It’s like a great wood fired pizza with a completely burnt bottom to it.  It comes out looking amazing, the smell is amazing, and then once you bite into it, it’s soured by the burnt bottom.  Bit of a letdown.  The initial sip was promising, but the burnt crust immediately follows and over powers the ale.  If the beer was bolder and smoother, it would be a quality beer no doubt.

One upside to the beer is that it’s surprisingly high in alcohol, and impressive for a standard Amber Ale.  I enjoyed this beer more so than other Finch’s, but that isn’t saying much.  Decent ROI.

Maybe the Fascist Pig is on the label because this would make a great basting mop sauce for pulled pork.  I could definitely see that for this brew.  That would be pretty good.   What a radical ideological idea.

  Fascist Pig - warning: adult language.

Acquisition:  22 oz. - $8

Windfall:  Speaking of pizza... ever looking for great NY Style pizza in Chicago – Jimmy’s Pizza CafĂ©.  Quite good.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Two Brothers Brown Fox

Locale:  Warrenville, IL
Craft Circa:  1997
Style:  Brown Session Ale ~ Hybrid
ABV:  3.4%
IBUs:  14
Notables:  For Two Brothers 15th anniversary summer long celebration, “15 Beers for 15 Years”, this Artisan brew represents #7 of 15, released in July of 2012. 

Label:   Average. Does have an English vintage feel though.

Overall:   I have missed the ball on the other anniversary brews, but the majority I have seen seem to be inappropriate for the summer.   Unappetizing if you will.  I mean I really want to try a good portion of these below, and I’m hoping some, including the Scotch Ale is still around when fall climate creeps in.  It’s tough to experiment with these when it’s 90 some degrees.  Sorry, but a Dark Mild, Coffee Porter, Black Saison are not the quenching type.

The Pahoehoe not pictured was released August 6th 2012.  The Pahoehoe is a coconut ale.  Hmmm.

OK, back to Brown Fox.  Number 7 of the anniversary ales, comes in as a hybrid of sorts, I believe between a Brown Ale and a Session Ale.  Session Ale if you recall from our very first review, is lower in alcohol enabling you to drink more of them in a longer session of time.  It’s definitely more a Brown or Amber type of beer, but just comes off much weaker.  It’s flavorful in a sense that the malt and nut characteristics of a Brown Ale shine through beautifully, but it’s much too weak for my liking.

Brown Fox is a clever name as it is Brown Ale which is sly in the fact that it will not get you drunk.  This is a lot of beer to work on for little or no ROI.  Return on Investment you say?  Very good, but this in fact is B&B’s take on the scenario.  ROI, or the “Return on Influence” as we will call it, is the rate of return you get out of your beer using ABV, Quantity and Quality of the brew.

The beer is fine, tastes pretty good, but not enough bang for my buck.

Acquisition:  22 oz.  $5


Review: Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi

Brewery:  Ska Brewing
Locale:  Durango, CO
Craft Circa:  1995
Style:  American IPA
ABV:  6.8%
IBUs:  65
Notables:  Website indicates this is also available in bottle, but I have only seen Ska in can form.

Label:  I love it.  Love the play on modus operandi, love Pinstripe the villain, and the story behind their Legion of Ska.   

Ska Brewing website.
Overall:   I thought I was pretty certain a while back that I had this brew at a bar, late in the evening, and wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, disregarding it quickly.  Now looking back after trying it with a clean palate, I am figuring I must have been hammered.  I was going into this with low expectations and this beer simply put me in my place. 

I really enjoyed the brew.  It has a unique trait compared to other IPAs in that it doesn’t kick you off your stool like some hopped up brews can do to you; but instead, it coats the palate, and wears on you slowly like an anaconda preparing dinner.  There is less carbonation than just about any other IPA I can recall, and maybe that is why it came off so poorly mixing it with other IPAs while out and about. 

Modus operandi per wiki is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as “method of operation”, detailing someone’s habits or method of working.  In essence, one’s M.O.   Appropriate given that IPA appears to be one of Ska’s M.O.  It’s a quality brew, and the more you savor it, the more you want to take down.  Quite smooth, some pine, nice dose of citrus, it’s a great rapport. 

Have to steal this from the Ska Brewing website, because I like the analogy:  “A mix of citrus and pine that will remind you of the time you went on a vision quest with Native American cousin and woke up in a pine-grove full of grapefruit trees.”  Throw in Jim Morrison and you got yourself one hell of a dream sequence.

Hard to imagine this quality brew came from a can, and even more impressive is that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Cans are not my M.O. but glad to see Ska provided some hope for the IPAs behind aluminum walls out there. 

Acquisition:  6 pack canned - $9


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Revolution Brewing Cross of Gold

Brewery:  Revolution Brewing
Locale:  Logan Square, IL (Chicago)
Craft Circa:  2010
Style:  English-Style Summer Ale / Golden Ale
ABV:  5%
Notables:  2012 Gold Medal Winner at the World Beer Cup (Category 66)

Label:  Get used to seeing these fists breaking through a grocer aisle near you.  Love the reference to the speech delivered by William Jennings Bryan referencing bimetallism in place in England that stirred up politics and propelled his place for the Democratic nomination for presidency in the  (refer below for your beyond tidbit of the day).

Overall:   In case you missed it, there was a recent post about a revolution a brewing here in Chicago a couple weeks back.    Fitting that we’ve been covering the evolution of Revolution, and the word “gastropub” is being added into the Merriam-Webster dictionary for its yearly update.  The Logan Square Revolution Brewing Brewpub is the epitome of gastropubs here in Chicago, with high end quality food, to go with in my opinion even better beer. 

Ok, I’m blowing smoke up their asses, but that’s due to the fanatic status B&B has for Rev Brew…  hey, what can we say, they make quality brews.  In addition, the start of this review may be sugar coated to maybe mask the subpar feelings for Cross of Gold.  This just didn’t do it for me. An English Style Summer Ale can be compared to an American Blonde, at least portions of it.  Still though, there just wasn’t much to it.  You anticipate, you hope something more happens with this brew, but doesn’t.  You wait for a flavor note to make its way to a taste bud, strike a nerve, do something, but instead it fizzles out.  It’s a tad bitter off the bat, but nothing to steer you clear of this. 

I mean don’t get me wrong, the beer could be phenomenal for this style of beer; it won gold for Pete’s sake.   The beer is full bodied, goes down extremely smooth, pours great, I just have little experience with this type of ale, and didn’t thoroughly enjoy it.  I would be curious to taste others that have no WBC award assigned to them.  There is no sign of hops, and maybe that’s appropriate. 

Either way, when it’s all said or done, there are so many other viable options Rev Brew pours out… those are what I am sticking with. 

Acquisition:  22 ouncer - $5

Windfall (Wiki Collaboration):  Cross of Gold was a speech delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former US congressman at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1896.  The speech was promoting the “free silver” policy that he believed would bring the nation prosperity.  He decried the gold standard, concluding the speech, "you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold". Bryan's address helped catapult him to the Democratic Party's presidential nomination; it is considered one of the greatest political speeches in American history.  "The gold standard has slain tens of thousands." He referred to "a struggle between 'the idle holders of idle capital’ and 'the struggling masses, who produce the wealth and pay the taxes of the country;’ and, my friends, the question we are to decide is: Upon which side will the Democratic party fight?"  The idea was that minting silver coins would flood the economy with cash and end the depression.

Although Bryan lost the election in a landslide, he did win the hearts and minds of a majority of Democrats, as shown by his re-nomination in 1900 and 1908; as late as 1924, the Democrats put his brother on their national ticket.  The victory of the Republican Party in the election of 1896 marked the start of the "Progressive Era," from 1896 to 1932, in which the Republican Party usually was dominant.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Avery Brewing IPA & Kaos Pizzeria

Brewery: Avery Brewing
Locale: Boulder, Colorado
Craft Circa:  1993 
Style:  India Pale Ale
ABV:  6.50%
IBU: 69
Notables: Available year-round

Restaurant: Kaos Pizzeria
Locale: Denver, Colorado (on historic South Pearl Street)
Restaurant Circa: 2009
Type: Italian
Notables: Great garden dining area and decent beer selection.  Bring your best friend…dog that is.  They can dine with humans in a designated area in the garden.  Kid friendly too ;).

Avery Brewing's IPA
Overall: B&B headed out west to Denver to review Kaos Pizzeria and some local beer.  First up, Kaos Pizzeria...great garden dining atmosphere, and outstanding Naples style pizza baked in wood fired ovens.  I had the pepperoni and Margherita (per Wikipedia named after Queen Margherita after a visit to Naples), which was chock-full of fresh flavorful ingredients and delicious crust.  I felt like I was transported to Naples.  No, I haven’t been there but I’ve had my share of Naples style pizza, as in Naples, Italy, which is considered the birthplace of that circular disc of eating pleasure.  Kaos Pizzeria is nestled on a quaint, hodge-podgy stretch of shops, restaurants and houses (and yes, Rx medical marijuana joints…intentional pun) along historic South Pearl Street located south of Downtown Denver.  No, it’s not a “cheesy” front for KAOS, the global organized crime syndicate, nemesis of CONTROL in the TV series “Get Smart(Wikipedia).  Kaos Pizzeria didn’t miss it by that much; it was on the mark.

Instead of vino as the sidekick or “Agent 99” to my pizza, I was treated to a $2 draft of Avery’s IPA (happy hour time at Kaos ;)).  This IPA just kept on delivering a steady wave of hoppy heaven with each sip.  This beer went really well with the Neapolitan pizza.  It held up well and made me want more.  And from what I can tell, Avery Brewing isn’t run by Boulder resident Mork” from Ork, “Na-Nu Na-Nu….awww Shazbot!” 

Kaos had a respectable beer selection and fantastic pizza.  The service was good, not stellar, but we were in no hurry and only waited a bit for the check.  The drink and food came quickly.

Mini-review: I drank this after the Avery IPA.  Normally I wouldn’t mention a second beer in the review but I thought this was worthwhile to mention.  The beer was the “St. Lupulin” American Pale Ale from the Odell Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado (north of Denver).  It had a slight hoppiness to it and was smooth with every sip.  Quite tasty! 
Odell Brewery's "St. Lupulin" APA
Acquisition:  Pizzas range from $7-$20 depending on size and toppings (two small pizzas contained in the review were $9-$10).  $2 draft beer happy hour special.