Monthly Archives: November 2012

348. Blue Lobster Brewing Gold Claw Pale Ale

This is Blue Lobster Brewing’s flagship beer. The first time I tried it was  at the brewery and I was able to sample the beer but not purchase a growler as their supply was limited. Fortunately the next time I visited the brewery they had sufficient amounts to allow me to purchase 2 full growlers. I brought these to Thanksgiving at my sister-in-laws house and everyone really enjoyed this beer.

As you can tell from the photo the beer is beautiful pale orange color with a thick white head. The aroma is amazing for a pale ale and really draws you into the beer. Taste has plenty of citrus but not overpowering. Very refreshing beer and with a fairly low ABV of 4.5% it is a great beer for family gatherings, BBQs or other events.

Overall this is a great pale ale and something that craft beer drinkers and non-craft beer drinkers will enjoy. If you are in Southern Maine or New Hampshire you should stop by Blue Lobster before your next holiday gathering to grab a couple growlers of this beer; your family, friends or co-workers will thank you.
Pros:
Appearance, aroma, taste
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Blue Lobster (Facebook page)
Brewers Description: 

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347. Throwback Brewery Amber’s Amber

Another “growlette” from Throwback Brewery and this one comes with a very nice rye pale ale. There is a great story behind this one and you can read it here. I met Amber Jansen (and her husband Sean) last weekend at the opening of Earth Eagle Brewings.

Rye beers seem to be very popular in the Northeast with many brewers including rye in their beer. I have tried many of these and I really enjoy the rye beers. This one is an excellent choice for any beer lover. The color is amber (no surprise there) with a nice off white head. Aroma has some spice to it from the rye and is very mild and pleasant. Taste is excellent, very well balanced and at just over 5% ABV easy to drink. This beer would pair well with a meal or on its own.

Really impressed with Throwback as everything I have had from them has been quality. Highly recommend anyone that is in Maine make the trip to Hampton, NH to check our Throwback.
Pros:
Very drinkable
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 35
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Throwback Brewery
Brewers Description: About 20% of the grain bill is malted rye.  For the beer nerds out there, Amber’s Amber clocks in at 5.2% ABV, 35 IBU.  It is dry hopped with amarillo and cascade hops. The result is a nicely hopped up, beautiful amber-colored beer.

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346. Foothills Brewing Cottonwood ENDO IPA

This is the first of the North Carolina shipment I received as part of the Beer it Forward I participated in. This is a straight up American IPA with a light orange color and single finger white head. Nice retention and overall a nice looking beer. Aroma and taste both seemed a bit old. A little soapy smell with an overly bitter taste.

Based on the smell and taste I believe this bottle was probably a bit past its prime. Not a bad IPA but with so many good ones out there it is hard to give this much more than an average rating. 
Pros:
Appearance
Cons: Old??
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 66
Rating: ★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Foothills Brewing
Brewers Description: True to its NC roots, this American IPA delivers on the floral, hoppy notes that made Cottonwood a Boone, NC favorite. 100% malted barley and copious amounts of Cascade, Magnum and Chinook hops.

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345. Rocky Coast Brewing Red’s ESB

Stopped by Rocky Coast Brewing which is part of Post Road Tavern in Ogunquit on my way back from New Hampshire. Since it now off season for them it was almost empty which gave us a chance to check out the brew system and taste this beer on-tap. In addition to the ESB they also had a very nice line up of other craft beer including Weyerbacher, Founders, Rock Art and others.

Red’s ESB was the only Rocky Coast beer on-tap so it was my only option to bring home. The growlers are plain brown and the bartender wrote the name and date on the growler but it quickly rubbed off. The beer is a nice representation of the style with fairly low carbonation, a deep orange color and solid malt backbone. Sweet caramel and some dark fruit are the dominant flavors here.

Not a bad beer but it is a style that I don’t drink a lot of. Was nice to have with a meal and if you enjoy ESBs you will probably enjoy this beer. 
Pros:
Good representation of the style
Cons: Plain growler
Alcohol Content: ??% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Rocky Coast Brewing
Brewers Description: A full bodied ale with a great finish. Very drinkable.

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344. Throwback Brewery Donkey-Hote

Throwback originally brewed this beer as Dr Evil (see link to Throwback’s site below for the full story) and changed the name to Donkey-Hote. I grabbed what they call a “growlette” of this beer on my last trip to New Hampshire. A “growlette” is a 32 oz version of a growler perfect for one sitting.

As the brewer states in their description of this beer it is not your typical double IPA as it is not using the typical blend of hops. This comes through in both the nose and the taste. Appearance is nice pale orange with a thin white head. I had pour aggressively to get the inch or so in this photo. Aroma is mostly pine resin with a bit of sweet maltiness  in there as well.

Taste is solid but nothing to exciting, plenty of piney hops and a slight bitterness. Only a touch of tropical fruit. Taste improves slightly as the beer warms so don’t be surprised if your last sip or second glass tastes better than the first. Overall an enjoyable beer and certainly worth trying. If you are at Throwback sample a few beers as they have some great offerings. 
Pros:
Appearance, Balance
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 106
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Throwback Brewery
Brewers Description: It is brewed to style for a double IPA, but unlike many of the IPAs which use the newer West coast hops, we use ‘old school’ hops in it.  The beer has a nice golden color and tastes slightly sweet, which balances the abundance of hops (106 IBUs!)  Donkey-hote clocks in at 8.2% A.B.V, so it is more of a sipper than a guzzler.

Donkey Hote

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343. Blue Lobster Brewing Excess Is Not Rebellion

Blue Lobster Brewing is a new brewery in Hampton, NH and I was there on the first day they were filling growlers and 750s. That day they were giving samples of their Gold Claw Pale Ale and filling 750s of Excess Is Not Rebellion and Gales of November.

Excess Is Not Rebellion is the first of their Double IPAs and it is an excellent start. The beer is super clean which made me think it was filtered however David informed me it is simply the process they use that clears the beer out giving it the filtered look. Color is the deep orange you expect from a Double IPA with a solid white head that is retained well and leaves great lacing. A very pleasant sweet citrus aroma draws you into the beer.

Taste does not disappoint with solid citrus notes balanced well with sweet malts. It is a bit sweeter than I expected but not in a bad way. Finish is smooth and clean without the resin film that many Double IPAs leave. This beer is refreshing and masks the 8% ABV well. Overall a very drinkable beer that is worth a trip to across the border to try. 
Pros:
Very drinkable and well balanced
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Blue Lobster (Facebook page)
Brewers Description: 

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342. Evil Twin Brewing Hop Flood

This is my second beer from Evil Twin Brewing in just a couple of weeks. The first was the Russian Roulette (Black IPA version) which was quite tasty. This one my brother-in-law brought over to my house and with a name like Hop Flood I was expecting a big IPA. Come to find out this is actually an Amber Ale.

Beer pours with a huge biscuity tan head that sits there for the duration of the beer. The aroma has some of the characteristics of an amber ale with some caramel malts, nuts and also a fair amount of hops. Taste is where this one fails with everything competing for your taste buds. Hops, malts, bitterness, its all there but it is competing instead of complementing.

Not terrible but not something I would buy.
Pros: 

Cons: Unbalanced
Alcohol Content: 7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Evil Twin
Brewers Description: On a beautiful summer night in July while peaceful Danes rocked at Roskilde Festival and sipped wine in their picturesque summer retreats, an apocalyptic tidal surge flooded the famous Ølbutikken in Copenhagen and drowned thousands of precious beer – Hop Flood is a bitter tribute to the heroic bottles that didn’t make it.

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341. Founders Brewing Harvest Ale

Founder’s has a great line up of  beer many of which are only available for a short time. These include many of their most popular beers; KBS, Double Trouble, Devil Dancer, Backwoods Bastard and this Harvest Ale.
Harvest Ale is a wet hopped IPA only available in October and it comes in 4-packs. Beer pours a nice orange with a very thin white head. Aroma is surprisingly sweet but also has plenty of hop. Nice mix of tropical and citrus fruits. This beer is surprisingly refreshing and crisp, nice balance of hops, sweet malts and a slightly bitter finish makes this an excellent beer by itself or with a meal.
Overall I really enjoyed this beer. Its nice to have a beer that doesn’t try to go over the top. 
Pros:
Well balanced and refreshing
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 70
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Founder’s Brewing
Brewers Description: This liquid dream pours a hazy golden straw color with a white, two-finger head. Your first sip rewards you with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh citrus, then finishes to introduce toasted malt undertones.
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Throwback Brewery

Updated November 8th, 2012: Made another trip to Hampton, New Hampshire and stopped at Throwback. I was there early afternoon which is before their normal growler hours but they were nice to let us in for a couple of growlers. They were out of growlers but had plenty of growlettes – a 32 oz growler – and I ended up with an Amber’s Amber and a Donkey Hote – Double IPA.

Also the guy that helped us out gave me an update on the move out of the warehouse to the farmhouse. Apparently it is happening and they hope to move sometime next Summer. The brewery is certainly looking a little cramped so this move will be great for Throwback. Look for reviews of my 2 growlettes coming soon.

Original Post: While in Hampton New Hampshire checking out Blue Lobster I stopped by Throwback Brewery as they are just down the street. Throwback is currently located in an industrial park set back from Route 1. When I arrived shortly before 5:00 there were several people in the brewery enjoying some samples and getting growlers filled. There are a few tables setup near the growler fill station and they sell 4 oz pours for $1. They had 6 beers on tap and you can check the on-tap section of their website to see what they are pouring on any given day. I was able to get a growler of the Rhubarb Wit and also grabbed a bottle of their Hop Happy Hefeweizen. Throwback has a nice variety of beer including some pilsners, stouts, porters and they even have a beer that uses jalepenos in the brew process. If they have this next time I go I will certainly give it a try.

The owners and the assistant brewer are all women which is great in an industry that is predominantly male. Their goal is to move the brewery from the current location to a farm just down the road from the current brewery. Keep an eye on this brewery as they are doing some very interesting things.

Website: www.throwbackbrewery.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ThrowbackBrewery
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thrwbck
Location:  121 Lafayette Rd – Hampton, NH
Hours: Thursday & Friday 4 – 7 / Saturday 1 – 4
Tours: ??
Packaging: 
Growlers (750 ml / 2 L), bottles, kegs
Distribution:
 New Hampshire only

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Beer it Forward

Earlier this year I signed up to participate in a Beer It Forward put together by John at Beertography.com. It involves 13 guys from different parts of the country, John shipped a package of local beers to someone on the list. That person then ships to someone else on the list not in their area and it continues on until everyone has received a package. My package arrived today from Joel at Four Saint Brewing  with lots of beer from North Carolina. Joel also included some Four Saints beers and lots of other great stuff. So excited to try this stuff and really appreciate John putting this all together. Also excited to ship out a package full of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont beer to some lucky person in another part of the country.

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