Sunday, May 13, 2012

Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout

Honestly, it's not as gross as it sounds! Flying Dog's Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout stout is brewed with Rappahannock River oysters. Proceeds benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership, which works to restore the endangered Chesapeake Bay oyster population. What a cause! And what a beer! I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of stouts, and this is seriously one of the best stouts I've had in a long time. To use some highly technical beer terminology, I'll say it, uh, tastes real good. It's creamy, and a little on the light side for a stout. There are notes of roast, subtle chocolate, and coffee. The inclusion of oysters adds a slight mineral element, which may sound weird. But it's not weird. This is a damn good beer - one of the best Flying Dog offerings I've tried to date. If you prefer smooth, flavorful stouts to "intense" ones, you will dig. This beer has done so well that it's been graduated to year-round status. So clearly I'm not the only one who approves. When's a novelty beer not a novelty beer? When it's delicious!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Summer Solstice

Honest to God, Anderson Valley's Summer Solstice is the best summer beer I've ever had. I don't think anything else comes close. Too often in the craft beer industry, "summer ale" is a euphemism for "overpriced swill". If that's all you're looking for, you might as well drink Miller High Life. But Anderson Valley, brewers of one of the world's best winter ales, make a summer beer that's just as good. The typical summer ale is light - both color-wise and taste-wise. Summer Solstice, on the other hand, is copper colored and majorly malty. And you know how I am about those malty beers! A little added spice brings something "extra" to the flavor, and all in all this is a sweet & creamy dream. It's the best of both worlds, really: combining the crisp thirst-quenching qualities of "lawnmower beer" with the depth of flavor and quality craftsmanship of the finest micro ales. Plus it's sweeter than your run-of-the-mill summer beer. And in the summer, I like sweet. I've seen this knocked as a "woman's" beer. What does that even mean? Women don't know good beer? Come on! Some of the highest authorities on beer I know are women! Who drinks Summer Solstice? Everyone who likes their beer to be awesome!