King Louie Winter Stout by O’Fallon

O’Fallon Brewery is located in Maryland Heights, MO

ABV: 6.3%

Beer Notes: King Louie Toffee Stout is full-bodied, velvety, and balanced between soft chocolate, caramel and roasted notes. Our friends at Bissinger’s worked with us to develop a proprietary toffee blend with hints of caramelized sugar and vanilla to round out this confectionery collaboration.

Java Stout by Bell’s Brewery

Bell’s Brewery is located in Galesburg, MI

ABV: 7.3%

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This was the beer I chose to celebrate National Beer Day.  I wasn’t disappoited!  I love love love coffee beers and Bell’s makes a damn good Java Stout!

Beer Notes: Java Stout uses a custom blend of coffee beans, roasted locally for us by Water Street Coffee Joint, to generate its intense flavor. Possessing an unmistakable aromatic punch, Java Stout has long been one of our most popular stouts.

About Bell’s Brewery:  Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 400 people over a 23 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC.

Photo taken from Bell’s Brewery website.

Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout by Big Sky Brewing Company

Big Sky Brewing Company is located in Missoula, MT

ABV: 5.4%

My thoughts:  I thought this beer was kinda blah.  Not much going on with it.  This is hard to admit because I’m a big fan of Moose Drool.  I wanted to try it though because it was a limited release beer.  I love getting my hands on something that isn’t always available.

Brewer thoughts: Happens every year; people shootin’ cows. That’s how the Slow Elk got it’s name.  Enjoy the creamy texture, great malt complexity and the unequaled smoothness of this northern Rockies oatmeal stout.  Stock your fridge the easy way and keep an ear open for the unmistakable bugle of the slow elk….moooo!

photo credit: ratebeer.com

Java Lava Coffee Stout by Pearl Street Brewery

Pearl Street Brewery is located in LaCrosse, WI

ABV: 6%

My Thoughts:  I tried this beer about three years ago and it changed my opinion of dark beer forever.  I instantly feel in love with coffee stouts!  I mean really, coffe is great and beer is great.  Put them together and you have yourself some kick ass beer!

Beer Discription from the Brewer: Infused with fresh roasted Guatemalan coffee beans from our friends at Bean Juice coffee roasters, this version of our organic rolled oat stout is a real eye opener. The buzz is, it’s great!

About the Brewery: 

Back in 1999, craft beers were revolutionizing America’s beer culture. That same year, Brewmaster Joe Katchever founded Pearl Street Brewery — with only a dream, a 1984 Eagle Wagon and a trailer packed with brewery equipment driven from Colorado to the heart of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Although Joe and his dad started in a small, subterranean brewhouse on Pearl Street, the celebration and Grand Opening was enough to attract throngs of flavor-starved people and get Mayor Medinger to tap the inaugural keg. Pearl Street Brewery eventually expanded to the historic La Crosse Footwear building on Saint Andrew Street.

We’ve come a long way. Today, Pearl Street beer can be found on tap in most restaurants and bars in the area and on the shelves of retailers around the state — and now, in Minnesota. But the one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is a big commitment to making great beer. It is the only thing that still matters. It’s that simple. We’re inspired by good beer.

photo credit: www.ratebeer.com

Visit to Second Salem Brewing Company- Whitewater, WI

This week I’m on vacation and have been looking for things to do in state. I’ll call it my WIcation. My first stop took me to Whitewater, WI. It’s a cute little city with a population of about 15,000 people. I arrived in the town and found my destination, Second Salem Brewing Company.

I bellied up to the bar and quickly received service from the bartender. She was knowledgeable about the beer and very personable. Then I had the chance to speak with the owner, Christ Christon. He also was friendly and shared some background information about Second Salem. After some suggestions and info I put together a 4 beer flight. Bigger flights are available but I was only interested in the darker beers.

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Coffee Porter:
Dark, brooding appearance, creamy mouthfeel and hint-of-raisins sweetness
ABV: 6%

Black Mass Stout-Nitro:
A traditional American Stout, features a slight hop profile that accents the mixture of light chocolate malt body while also complimenting the roasted barely finish.
ABV: 5.6%

Full Sleeve IBA (black IPA)
Full Sleeve offers hop aroma to rival most IPAs, with pungent citrus and herbal hop notes. Big roasty malt flavors with balanced hop bitterness offer a Full Sleeve of complex flavor and texture with a refined bittered finish.
ABV: 6.8%

Beast of Bray Road Amber Ale
The amber ale has voluminous body, malty complexity, and pronounced spicy, herbal, and piney hop character, and holds its own with just about anything on the dinner table.
ABV: 6.66%

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My experience was great at Second Salem Brewing Co. This one-barrel nanobrewery is now officially on my craft beer radar. Looks like a great spot to hang out during the summer. They have a patio that overlooks Cravath Lake and some pretty good food too. Don’t have time, swing in for a howler or a growler to take some of your favorite beers home.

5 Beer Styles to pair with your Easter Ham

Many people who celebrate Easter will be sitting at the dinner table with ham as the chosen meat. Why ham? History shows that pigs were slaughtered in the fall and the meat was easily stored during the winter months. The time between fall and spring also gave time for the meat to cure.

Now that we have covered why, let discuss more important things. If you are eating ham you will want to carefully consider what you will drink with the meal. I suggest you drink beer. Ham is very salty. I will say it again, ham is very salty! Beer is sweet. Just like the perfect chocolate covered pretzel, beer will pair beautifully with your ham. The beer’s sweetness will go well with the saltiness of the ham.

I have selected 5 styles of beer to pair with your ham. The five styles are all from Wisconsin but you can find beers in your state that are similar.

Wheat Beers

The Big O by Oso Brewing Company

Location: Plover, WI

ABV: 4.6%

Our 2015 GABF gold medal winning beer, The Big O, offers drinkers a new twist on popular wheat beers. Our Flagship combines malted wheat with a touch of orange to create a crisp, zippy, easy drinking beer. Everybody loves the Big O!

Island Wheat by Capital Brewery

Location:  Middleton, WI
ABV: 4.2%

An American wheat style beer, meaning a beer with a mild and approachable personality. The wheat from Wisconsin’s Washington Island provides the silky smooth finish.

Hefeweizen

El Hefe by Pearl Street Brewery

Location: LaCrosse, WI
ABV: 5%

A Bavarian-style wheat beer brewed with American barley and wheat malts and fermented with Weinstephan yeast for a subtle banana clove aroma often found in Bavarian wheat beers. Traditionally unfiltered, and usually served with a wedge of lemon.

Dancing Man by New Glarus Brewing Company

Location: New Glarus, WI
ABV: 7.2%

If you dream of wheat this brew will get your toes tapping. Since 1995 we have brewed Bavarian style wheat beers exclusively for the same great state that grows and malts our own Wisconsin wheat. In a world full of posers this a true hefe-weizen naturally 100% bottle fermented and hazy.

Expect this beer to cascade effervescent into your glass. The rich spicy clove and cinnamon notes will greet your nose while sweet fruit and wheat kiss your lips. Lick the foam from your mouth and admit sometimes you just gotta get up and dance.

Belgian Tripel

Tripel Nova by Ale Asylum

Location: Madison, WI
ABV: 9.8%

Golden in color with a bouquet of fruit and spice, this Belgian style Tripel has a touch of sweetness and a crisp, euphoric finish.

Schwarzbier

Black Bavarian by Sprecher Brewing Co

Location: Glendale, WI
ABV: 6%

This intensely dark Kulmbacher style lager has a superb malt complexity with the distinctive flavors and aromas of coffee, caramel and chocolate.

A renowned smoothness and a creamy, tan head make it a world champion.

Dark Helmet by Titletown Brewing Company

Greenbay, WI
ABV: 5.5%

Dark and roasty, not harsh or heavy, this German-style black lager starts with aromas of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and toasted malt and finishes clean and smooth. Bronze medalist, Great American Beer Festival.

Dopplebock

Autumnal Fire by Capital Brewing

Location: Middleton, WI
ABV: 7.8%

Alluring and intriguing, a legendary doppelbock with malt complexities hinting at dark fruit and mysterious sugars. Brandy Snifter time!

Bourbon Barrel Dopplebock by Hinterland Brewing Company

Location: Greenbay, WI
ABV: 8%

Our Bourbon Barrel Doppelbock pours a dark amber with an ample, two finger khaki head. Aromas of bourbon and caramel fill the nose. The taste of bourbon oak and caramel fill the palette and finishes smooth. This brew was aged 10 months in bourbon barrels.

Rover Truck by Toppling Goliath Brewing

Photo credit: www.ratebeer.com

Toppling Goliath Brewing located in Decorah, IA

ABV: 5.7%

Brewery discription:  Roasty, almond aroma, hints of dry chocolate with a mild but chewy oatmeal body. Take a ride on the Rover Truck!

About the brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company started in May of 2009 with Clark and Barb Lewey after months of dangerous experimental home brewing projects that claimed the Lewey’s garage. As the recipes gained favor with family and friends, they decided to build a small nano-brewery “on the hill” in Decorah, Iowa. Brewing 3 times a day, for almost 2 years on a ½-barrel nano-system, led to a demand that could not be kept up with. When a 10-barrel system lost its home in Washington State, it relocated to NE Iowa and became the workhorse of our brewery. Soon, it too was incapable of keeping up with local demand.

Today, brewing on a new high-quality, 4-vessel, 30-barrel system; and packaging on a new state of the art filling line, the demand still outpaces supply, but not our eagerness! Our brews are distributed throughout NE and central Iowa, and SW Wisconsin. A pleasantly quenching California Common lager, refreshingly clean hop forward ales, bold double IPA’s, barrel and wood aged beers and attention-getting imperial stouts have become the foundation of our quest to make big beers In small batches.

photo credit: www.ratebeer.com

Dirty Bastard-Founders Brewing Co

So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads.

http://foundersbrewing.com

Smoke Porter-O’Fallon Brewery

Dark, rich and smoky…this classic porter is brewed with 63% German smoked malt and makes a perfect after dinner (or anytime) sipper for those who love a “bigger” beer. Winner of the Gold Medal in the 2004 Great American Beer Festival® for best Smoked Beer in America!

http://ofallonbrewery.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter-Horny Goat Brewing

A full bodied porter that gets its dark luscious color from the generous use of roasted malts.  You’ll get just the right amount of chocolate and peanut butter to question whether you’re drinking a glass of delicious suds or popping a peanut butter cup in your mouth.

http://www.hornygoatbrewco.com