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Tame The Wild

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Your instructions are to bring back something from the wild because the zookeeper needs to make some additions to the zoo. Lo and behold, you explorations take you across the globe and you discover an IPA that hits the mark on what the zookeeper asked for. The zookeeper looks in bewilderment, but smiles and takes the six pack.

Zookeeper IPA from Empyrean Brewing Co out of Lincoln, Nebraska is part of their limited collection and helps benefit Lincoln Children’s Zoo.

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Zookeeper IPA is part of Empryean Brewing Co’s limited collection. This IPA for me has a lot of grapefruit citrus flavor upfront with just a hint of sweetness. The finish has a nice amount of hop bitterness. The hop blend is Citra and Simcoe coming in at 58 IBUs. The ABV is 5.5% making it a nice session IPA!

Empyrean Brewing Co is one of Nebraska’s oldest craft beer breweries. I enjoy many of their beers especially when having a great dinner at Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill in Lincoln and in Omaha.

I highly recommend checking them out. Cheers!

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Abuelita - Not Your Grandma's Chocolate

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White Elm Brewing Company never disappoints when it comes to the stouts they brew. Abuelita is a milk stout with cocoa nibs and cinnamon.

Give this one a little time to rest coming out of the can. As the beer warms and the carbonation subsides, is when it is at its best for me.

This smooth stout has lots of chocolate up front and finishes with a distinct cinnamon ambiance. This is definitely a nice after dinner beer or night cap. I highly recommend trying it out!

Cheers!

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Your Friend Death

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Your Friend, Death from Cosmic Eye Brewing breaks the principle of Yin and Yang. The balance of power shifts to the darkness after your first sip of this beer! This incredible imperial, oatmeal stout is deep and sophisticated and stops all notion of time.

There is so much chocolate flavor upfront in this beer that comes only from the malts. The finish is roasty and grabs your attention telling you to have more! All memories of light slowly fade and now you live only for the darkness you get from Your Friend, Death.

Cheers!

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Everything Has Eyes

Eye opening Post Haze IPA

Eye opening Post Haze IPA

A wise old owl told me that I must try Everything Has Eyes from Cosmic Eye Brewing.

This hazy IPA has lots of citrus and pine aroma. The Cascade and Simcoe hops provide the citrus flavor upfront with a nice bit of hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is very smooth!

This IPA comes in at 5.8% ABV with 55 IBU. A very tasty IPA if you dare to take it away from the owl!

Check out other Cosmic Eye beers. Cosmic Eye Brewing is located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Cheers!

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Step Into the Light

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What a difference a few days can make! It was hard to believe that the 4 to 5 foot drifts of snow would melt in a few days. From snow white to sunshine lit, this beautiful stout captured my attention!

I must admit I wasn’t sure what to think of a white stout. I know I meet plenty people who have the perception that stouts are just way too heavy of a beer. They see the dark color from the roasted malt and immediately think that the beer isn’t right for them. Many times, however, they do like the coffee and chocolate flavor that come from some stouts.

So, what if you were to change the color of the stout by using a lighter colored malt but still have the coffee and chocolate flavor? This is exactly what Zipline Brewing Co. has done with their White Stout. If you were to take a blindfold taste test, I would imagine you would have a hard time telling that this wasn’t a traditional stout. The coffee is upfront and very pleasing as it finishes off sweet and chocolaty.

Some people call white stouts a gimmick beer, but I call them ingenious! Well done Zipline Brewing! This is a very enjoyable beer whether 20 degrees or 80 degrees outside.

Cheers!

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Hope

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear” by Suzanne Collins

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear” by Suzanne Collins

Blue Blood Brewing Co created the Hope Stout in remembrance of those that have lost their battle with cancer and those who are impacted by the disease. We all hope that a cure can be found soon.

The Hope Stout is a stout that everyone can get behind and support. It is a very roasty stout where the sweetness of chocolate and a silkiness invades your mouth.

A sessionable beer that comes in at 5.0% ABV. I highly recommended this stout to anyone who enjoys the combination of chocolate and coffee flavors!

Cheers!

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Sealed with a Kiss

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Pint Nine Brewing has a way with barrel aging beers that adds just a kiss of the what is in the barrel to the beer. Take for instance the Heathen Porter. This porter is a very nice, dry, and roasty porter. The beer has a lot of flavor and is very sessionable coming in at 4.8% ABV.

Now take this beer and age it in a Patriach Distillers Rye Whiskey barrel. I have had the Rye Whiskey and it is a very smooth and wonderful whiskey. So, I was very excited to see what it would be like with the Heathen Porter!

The barrel aged version of the Heather Porter adds some oak notes and just the right amount of the rye whiskey flavor to come up with incredible version of this porter. It takes some great brewing skill to pull off barrel aging a beer to get the flavor of the barrel without increasing the ABV significantly!

If you get a chance to try this beer, I highly recommend it!

Cheers!

Smokin' Hot Straight Out of Robber's Cave

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You know what melts snow? The latest Robber’s Cave Series beer from Blue Blood Brewing Co out of Lincoln, Nebraska. The name of the beer is Smokin’ Coconut Caper. I am a big coconut porter and stout fan, so when this beer was released, I knew I had to give it a try!

This beer is really complex to figure out. The upfront taste is definitely sweet. I really enjoy the coconut and chocolate flavor. In the middle, I get the smoky, roasty characteristics of the cherry wood smoked malt. The finish is back to what I experienced in the beginning. The mouth feel is very silky. Wow - this one is really messing with my senses but in an incredibly good way!

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So, I am a big fan of label art. Blue Blood Brewing’s Robber’s cave series labels have been so fun to follow. Each beer label makes you feel like you are part of the story.

The artwork is done by Perfect Pour Studios. The imagination and creativity of each label aligns perfectly with each beer in this series!

I am looking forward to taking the tour of Robber’s Cave! Blue Blood Brewing also has a great taproom and restaurant adjacent to the main brewery.

When the snow is not on the ground, the brewery has an amazing outdoor setup with a stage for live music.

I highly recommend checking out this brewery! If you are like me and a coconut porter fan, then stop in soon and grab a 4-pack or two of the Smokin’ Coconut Caper.

Cheers!

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Oso Cafe is Oso Good

A blend of Hazelnut and Brazil coffee in a super smooth brown ale

A blend of Hazelnut and Brazil coffee in a super smooth brown ale

Have you ever taken that first sip of beer and let out a loud “Wow”? Pint Nine Brewing Company’s Oso Cafe will definitely do that to you. This brown ale is well balanced with a blend of Hazelnut and Brazil coffee from A Hill of Beans Coffee Roasters in Omaha, NE.

I am use to coffee stouts and porters. The Oso Cafe has been my first coffee brown ale and it is wonderful! There is so much to like about this beer. The hazlenut adds that special flavor that really makes this beer unique to me. It blends so well with the malty, roastiness of the brown ale. You might think this beer would be higher in it’s alcohol content, but it is very sessionable at 5.6% ABV.

OSO Cafe t-shirt

OSO Cafe t-shirt

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Local and out of state friends have really enjoyed this beer. I had a craft beer enthusiast from Seattle, Washington tell me that is has to be the best coffee beer he has ever had!

Stop in and give the Oso Cafe a try. I bet you will being leaving with a crowler because it is Oso Good!

Cheers!

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What a Great Ideia!

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I have been holding onto this bottle for quite awhile. A friend got me this from Central 28 Beer Company. He told me how this was one of the best coffee beers from Florida and he wasn't kidding!

When it comes to coffee beers, I am big on aroma. As I brought the glass up to my nose, the beautiful coffee aroma woke my senses and made me very excited for the first taste. 

Lots of coffee flavor forward with a creamy mouthfeel. Hints of chocolate and toffee throughout. I very smooth and sweet finish to this rich Imperial Porter that comes in at 9.5% ABV.

The coffee in this beer is a Brazilian Legender Peaberry coffee. Peaberry beans are rare due to the fact the come from the coffee cherry in which only one bean exists instead of two. The beans are round like a pea hence the name. Many people will say the beans have a sweeter, nuttier flavor than normal coffee beans. The coffee is roasted at Trilogy Coffee in Deland, Florida.

I highly recommend this beer! I had it after dinner and it was perfect for a night out on the patio. It is by far the best Imperial Coffee Porter that I have had this year.

Cheers!

 

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Ye Olde Creamery Milk Stout

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For some reason this beer reminds of way back when milk use to come in quart glass bottles and was farm fresh. That is exactly what you feel when having this milk stout. 

Ye Olde Creamery was named to remember the history of the building where Lost Way Brewery is now. Back in the day the building was a Sunglow Dairy and provided fresh milk and dairy products to the area. Now today, you are able to relive the past with this wonderful milk stout.

This stout for me was all about the roasted malt. I loved the deep, rich flavor that has nutty and chocolate notes. The finish is so smooth! This beer is definitely a summer treat and if it was ice cream, I would be saying, "Can I have a second scoop please?"

One of the best milk stouts I have ever had. Cheers!

Tallying Up This Chocolate Coffee Porter

Ballast Point Mocha Marlin

Ballast Point Mocha Marlin

Ballast Point Mocha Marlin is a Chocolate and Coffee Porter. This is a really good Porter with more chocolate flavor than coffee. The chocolate appears in the aroma of this beer and also up front as you drink it. I really didn't get much coffee flavor out of this like I do with the Victory At Sea Imperial Porter with Coffee and Vanilla. At the back end there is slight hop bitterness that nicely offsets the chocolate sweetness upfront. 

Another enjoyable beer from Ballast Point Brewing Company.  Cheers!

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Mucho Grande Flavor

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Boiler Brewing Company in Lincoln, Nebraska continues to come up with some of the most unique, flavorful beers and this one is no exception. The Monte Grande is a Russian Imperial Stout with chocolate, coffee, and coconut. The triple crown of flavorful elements that sent my taste buds into a frenzy. The chocolate is well pronounced with a variety of Guatemalan cacao nibs. The chocolate hits you up front and then a nice coconut and coffee finish. I was impressed on how much coffee flavor I got out of this. Truly a king of beers. Cheers!

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Iron Strong but Smooth as Silk - Iron Joe

Oak aged with Avoca Coffee

Oak aged with Avoca Coffee

So I first met Iron Joe at a beer fest this winter and immediately loved how unique this beer is from Rahr & Sons Brewing Co in Fort Worth, Texas.  While raising the glass you get a whole lot of coffee aroma along with notes of whiskey and oak.

The coffee flavor is up front right there where you like it. Very silky mouth feel and just a little bite at the end from the barrel aging.  This is such an easy drinking beer even though it is at 8% ABV.

If you get a chance, I recommend trying this one especially if you like coffee beers! 

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Looking forward to trying more beers from Rahr & Sons. 

Cheers!

 

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Hey is That Peanut Butter in My Imperial Coffee Porter?

Hands down my favorite Peanut Butter Imperial Porter

Hands down my favorite Peanut Butter Imperial Porter

Most of you already know that I love a good coffee stout or porter. Now what you may not know is that I am very fond of chocolate and peanut butter together also!  So when I found about the Peanut Butter Victory at Sea by Ballast Point, I had to try it.

The aroma for me is a chocolaty sweet smell. I don't get a ton of coffee aroma from the Caffe Calabria coffee. The flavor is very rich with a lot of chocolate and vanilla up front. In the middle I pick up some coffee notes along with the peanut butter. The back end is very roasty and just a hint of bitterness from the 68 IBUs. 

This 10% Imperial Porter is a great beer on a cold winters night. I enjoyed it immensely! 

Cheers!

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A Beast of a Beer

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Espresso Oak Aged Yeti from Great Divide Brewing is a very complex brew. It comes in at 9.5% ABV and 75 IBUs. It is my first time having any type of Yeti and there are several characteristics that stand out in this imperial stout. First I would say that I get a tremendous amount of chocolate flavor out of this beer. That is then replaced by some coffee but more noticeably is the oak and whiskey flavors. The finish is some bitterness from the huge hop profile in this beer. From an imperial stout, it is pretty darn good. I am not sure I am getting enough coffee out of it to be a go-to coffee beer for me.  Cheers!

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Lucky Bucket Tropic Thunder

On tap at Luck Bucket Brewery

On tap at Luck Bucket Brewery

Can't make it to the beach, but want that warm, sunshiny feeling? Lucky Bucket has the answer and it is called Tropic Thunder. This wheat brew has a great balance of Mango up front and a perfect amount of Habanero heat in the back end. Sunshine and some heat in the same glass! Go in and try this one while you can and let Lucky Bucket know that you would like to see this 4% ABV session beer bottled for this spring and summer.

Cheers!

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Berkshire Brewing Company Coffee House Porter

Ok, you are thinking what is up with a Groot Pumpkin and no Pumpkin beer? Well this fall was great for Pumpkin beers, but I am moving on to something a little darker and earthier ... in other words Groot approved! This is my first beer from Berkshire Brewing Company from South Deerfield, MA. I was taken back by this Porter.  Incredible chocolate aroma and flavor! The coffee is mild, so don't stray away from this beer if you are not a big coffee fan. This porter has a slightly sweet finish which to me makes this porter better than most that I have ever had.  If you would like to find out about more beers from New England, check out this blog site - Hoptitude.com  These guys have an awesome site and can direct you to the craft beer gems of the Northeast.

Cheers!

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Max's Addiction

What to you get when you have a brewer named Max who loves Heath bars?  One hell of a toffee milk stout is the answer!  Max's Addiction will have you after the first sip of this wonderful chocolate and toffee milk stout.  Oh and if you stop in to the brewery, bring Max a few Heath bars to make sure he keeps brewing this beer.  Cheers!

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Total Eclipse Dunkel Bock

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You knew this one had to make the list the week that solar eclipse took place. This beer goes out to the people you meet when the moon crosses the sun!  I thought I was a big Total Eclipse fan until I met Sarah, Libby, and Nate this week.

This is one German style beer I had never heard of until I started going to Thunderhead Brewing. This deep brown malty beer is so smooth that for most, you would never guess that it is a 10% ABV brew. I also get some nutty tones with the Total Eclipse.  It is a great sipper with chilled or slightly warm. Give this one a try, you won't be disappointed!

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