Archive for the ‘Brewviews’ Category

5 Seasons Brewing Co. North

Sunday, October 25th, 2009


Recently, I took a much cherished visit to 5 Seasons Brewing Co. North.
I don’t get to go here very often, but when I do, it’s worth the wait!
Here are the beers I had…

Cask Aged Dark Star Licorice Stout-dark chocolate bitter, yeasty and nourishing.

Oktoberfest Lager-great hoppy marzen, loaded with malt and plenty of hops powering through.  This is the best of both worlds!

Big Red-smooth amber ale, kind of finishes like unsweetened tea.  Good Fall beer.

Amberliscious ESB-I used to be avoid Extra Special Bitters, until I started getting into hoppy- bitter beers.  To my surprise, ESB’s really aren’t that bitter, but they are usually pretty special.  This one is no exception.  Lots o’flavor, and it does actually finish with a good hop bitterness.  Earthy butterscotch with great hop finish.

Plan B IPA-2 years ago, I couldn’t have finished this beer.  Now I love it!  This is a freakin’ hop bomb!  Citrusy-Skunky,(in a good way), aroma. Sweet malt flavor mixed with grapefruit hops and hops and hops, with a bitter pine hop finish.  This beer could’ve carried itself from Britain to India!

Decadent Brown Ale-dark brown chocolate-nutty brown ale with plenty of hops breaking through.  This ain’t no Newcastle!  Deliciously Decadent-10 malts/10 hops, (Deca)= Mmm, mmm good.

Belgian Red– Bubble gum/candied apple with warming alcohol.  Probably shouldn’t have had the big brown before this one, still very good.

Alright, obviously all the beers were wonderful.  I recommend you get the sampler, so you can try all the draughts available.  I had Veal Bratwurst and Green Tomato Gyoza to eat, and they were both delicious.  Take a trip to Alpharetta, Sandy Springs or Atlanta.  It is a wonderful experience to try original, fresh, handcrafted beers, that you can’t get anywhere else.

Gordon Biersch Variety Pack-Fall

Monday, October 19th, 2009

GBGordon Biersch Variety Pack,

Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.
San Jose, CA

Alright, this is a gateway mix for those of you still drinking mass produced American Lagers.  This is also a fine group of well made craft beers! If you see this mix-pack, buy it!  There is a delicious Festbeer and Marzen, a well balanced and hoppy Czech Style Pilsner, and a hefty, sweet, Blonde Bock.
They are all good, and would be great for an Oktoberfest party.  These beers are all excellent examples of their style and you will impress beer geeks and casual beer drinkers at the same time.  One of the best variety packs I have ever purchased. You won’t be disappointed.


9.4 bananas!

Founder’s Dirty Bastard

Friday, October 16th, 2009

dbDirty Bastard
Scotch Style Ale
8.5% ABV
Founders Brewing Co.
Grand Rapids, MI

Dark brown color, opaque.
Super malty aroma, burnt caramel?


He’s a Wee Heavy!  It’s like sipping Scotch, but it’s a beer!  Super malty with a hop kick, peaty finish.  Taste a little tea, coffee and dark chocolate in there. Good beer.  I wish they sold Founders in Georgia, had to buy this one in N.C.  Love it!


9 bananas!

Left Hand Warrior IPA

Friday, October 16th, 2009

warrior2[1]Warrior IPA
Left Hand Brewing Co.
Longmont, CO

Great copper color.
Not a lot of hoppy aroma, but it’s there.  I am cooking chili, so maybe my sense of smell is a little muted.  Okay, tried again and there is a great piney hop aroma.  Maybe I should just say:  Beer good or beer bad.  Beer good. 

 This beer really shoots down the walls of heartache…bang, bang.
Clean Cascadey, (minty, fresh air, light citrus),  start with strong, pine hoppy, lasting bitter finish.  Plenty of malt to back up all these hops, a very good American IPA.  If you lika’ de hops, you’ll lika’ de Warrior. 


8.420 bananas!

Live Updates from the 2009 Great American Beer Festival

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

We will have live updates from Live Talking Monkey Correspondent, Beak, at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado.  Right now he is volunteering at the GABF, living the dream, with more updates to follow soon.













Looks like the popularity of this festival is finally picking up.  They may make it after all.  I’m glad Beak’s looking back instead of forward.










“Um yes, this is my first time here.  Which way to the beer?”










“Doh!!!  What do you mean there is actually no such thing as Duff Beer?”












Here it is, the Great American Beer Festival.  Looks pretty big.















Here are a few of the beers our correspondent sampled…




Mmm.  That looks pretty tasty!













I’d hate to be stuck up there without a paddle…Hope the beer’s good!











Pretty Hoppy?













Atlanta’s in the house!  I believe that’s Kevin McNerney, (formerly of Sweetwater),from the 5 Seasons off of 285 and Roswell Rd.  They have two more locations: One on Old Milton in Alpharetta and a new one farther into Atlanta.  Good to see them represented out West.  I wonder what competitions they entered?





And now for some of the characters attending the GABF…





“Yo queiro mas cervesa, mucho mas cerveza!  Ehhhh, Heh Heh Hehhh!!!”













“Daaa Beers!”













“Okay, I give up.  Where is he?”












3 penguins and Hot Rod???






Let’s check back in with Beak…





I believe our top correspondent has lost his focus.











“Okay, you girls are German.  Who wants to play ‘hide the sausage’?”















Beak’s final report was brief, and summed up the whole night perfectly,



For those of you interested, please check out the GABF’s website…

Wells Banana Bread Beer

Friday, September 11th, 2009

wellsbanWells Banana Bread Beer
5.2% ABV
Wells & Young’s Brewery Co.
Bedford, UK

Hey, I’m a monkey.  How could I resist?

Color-Somewhere between gold and brown, hard to call.

Aroma-Very Banana-ish.

Ok, here’s the deal.  Not telling the whole story is not the same thing as lying.  Therefore, I choose not to review beers that I don’t like.  I admire any brewery going out on a limb and making beer, and who am I to condemn them.  Besides, people have very different tastes.  A buddy of mine, and regular reader, (thanks for reading Mingo), tried a beer I liked a lot and highly recommended, (Lagunitas Brown Shugga’), and he didn’t really care for it.  In fact, he may still have some in his fridge, although I highly doubt it.  Anyway, I digress. 
Moral of the story, this is not one of my favorites, and I love bananas.  It is a good clean, crisp ale, with a pretty overpowering artificial banana taste.  Try it for yourself, but the name and description promised more than the beer delivered.  But don’t get me wrong, I didn’t pour it down the drain.  I never judge a beer completely until the last sip!


5 natural and artificial bananas.

Sweetwater Dank Tank V

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

dank2Big Ol’ Belgian Blue Balls-Dank Tank V
8% ABV
Sweetwater Brewing Co.
Atlanta, GA

Beautiful Golden-Amber color.
Smells kinda like cotton candy, in a barn.

There’s wheat, there’s barley, there’s rye, and there are blueberries, but it tastes like a smooth Belgian Tripel to me. Sweet nectar mixed with Farmhouse Belgian yeast flavor.  Very subtle blueberry flavor.  Good stuff, love me some Dank Tank!


8.7 bananas

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

roguejunJuniper Pale Ale
Rogue Ales
Newport, OR

Beautiful dark golden color:  They call it saffron.
Lesson #1-Don’t store Rogue beer bottles on their side.  I did it with two and they both overflowed when I opened them.  I think I may have started another fermentation.  Looking at my perfectly sized glass I found, in our condo, I see yeast dancing around everywhere!  This beer smells like freshly picked hops, thrown into a boiling wort.
Man this is a good, clean, crisp tasting American Pale Ale.  Perfect malt profile contrasted with lots o’ hops, but not super bitter; great balance.  Finishes nice and bitter like any ‘hops forward’ brew should do.  You also find a touch of the juniper in the finish, but you have to pay attention.  As usual, Rogue doesn’t disappoint.  Delicious beer.


9.4 bananas…easy.

Juxtaposition Black Pilsner

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

juxtJuxtaposition Black Pilsner
10% ABV
3-way collaboration between Stone Brewing Co., Brew Dog, (Scotland), and Cambridge Brewing Co., (Cambridge, MA).  The beer was brewed and bottled at Stone’s facility in Escondido, CA.

Color-Purrty black, with a dark tan head.
Aroma-Thick, sweet malt, intertwined with citrusy hops.

Strong, dark malty flavor with hops right there in your face the entire time. Dark and bitter, sweet and bitter, sweet citrus then bitter.  Then comes the lingering crisp bitter, smokey hop finish.  According to the extremely brief description on the back of the bottle, that Stone is famous for, these guys used hops at every possible step in the brewing process, from the very beginning, all the way to my glass, excluding a swat team crashing through my windows, spraying me and my beer with fresh hops. So it’s super malty, loaded with hops, hello Stone.  Any of you familiar with Brew Dog Hardcore IPA will recognize the strong citrus flavor that hits you right in the middle of the swallow.  I haven’t  had anything from Cambridge, but being that they were involved in this, I’d like to.
Overall, great beer experience.  I’m trying to think of an occasion special enough to have this beer again.  Hump day maybe?



9.5 bananas!

Beer Cred

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

redribbonFor those of you that don’t know, I entered my first beer competition back in May and suprisingly finished 2nd  in my category, (out of like 19)!

(Scroll down to table 19, Specialty Beer) 

One of the judges grabbed me on the way back from collecting my prize and asked me what I used and told me the beer was great.  Well, due to mine and my wife’s extreme surprise we celebrated a little too much that night, with friends and family,  and I lost my scoring sheet.  I contacted the hosts of the event the following Monday, to get a copy, and they informed me that the score sheet I received was the only copy!  Oh well, that’s the price you pay for really, really, loving beer…Well, one of the prices.  Anyway, one of the hosts emailed me back with the email addresses of the judges in my category.  I emailed both of them and one of them responded…

“Hey Brian,

Awesome beer. The only notes I can recall, speak to it’s amazing tangerine aroma and flavor, balanced perfectly with a nice malt backbone. Very nice copper color, too, IIRC. I gave it a 47.

But you should be able to get another copy of your sheet from Les, no? Either way, keep up the great work and send me that recipe!


Obviously I was flattered.  Especially after checking out Matt’s website and learning that he was actually a professional in the beer industry.  I went back to his site recently and saw this…

I’m even more excited and honored after seeing this.  With Nicolai’s assistance, I have made this beer again, with some modifications, and it is silently completing itself downstairs.  Should be ready in a few weeks, who wants one?