This past Tuesday I attended another craft beer tasting at Dorn’s wine warehouse right here in Gainesville, Florida. This months theme “What would Josh drink?” Ok, so you’re saying who’s Josh and why should I or anyone else care what he drinks. Josh works at Dorn’s and sets up the beer tastings. He knows good beer! Here he is doing just that, he doesn’t seem happy about being photographed but such is the life of a beer celebrity 🙂
To go along with the fabulous beer selections Josh got neighbor restaurant Pio’s Pasta Company to provide some tasty food, and local bluegrass/folk band Nook & Cranny to provide some live music to brighten up the event.
Now that that’s out of the way its time to find out what Josh drinks and if I think it’s any good. Josh chose 12 beers set out on 2 tables for us to try. Here’s what the front table had to offer.
First off I tried the Brooklyn Brewing Local 2, a Belgian strong dark ale, 9% ABV. Spicy and peppery like Belgian ales tend to be, this one tasted fine to me but Belgian Ale’s aren’t really my thing unless they are sour. I’m sure its great, it gets high ratings it’s just not for me.
Next up was the Westmalle Tripel 9.5% ABV, another Belgian Ale and again not my thing but it tasted nice. Peppery estery and sweet.
Third in my tasting was the Terrapin Wake N Bake Imperial Stout 8.2% ABV. This was my favorite beer from the front table. Wake N Bake is a coffee stout with a heavy emphasis on the “coffee” part. Terrapin adds in a heavy dose of local GA roaster Jittery Joe’s coffee, it is a very dark roast coffee they are using giving the beer a nice dry toasty flavor. Ok, a STRONG toasty flavor, think french roast, but I am a coffee lover as well as a beer lover so this beer made me all tingly!
Next up was the Hoppin’ Frog BORIS Russian Imperial Stout 9.4%. To Be honest after the Wake N Bake this one kind of just disappeared. I didn’t get much flavor from it beyond a mild tasting imperial stout. It was well balanced, not overly sweet.
For beer number 5 I tasted the Erie Brewing Drakes Crude Oatmeal Stout 6.9%, this was a really good oatmeal stout. Rich, thick, creamy, all the good things an oatmeal stout should be. I will have to try this by itself soon!
For the final beer on the front table I tried the Boulder Brewing Mojo IPA 7.2%. This is a nicely balanced IPA, good strong malt flavor up front, with a nice bitter finish. It was good, but an IPA nonetheless if you like some malt with your hops try this one.
Next up we move to the back table after sampling some of the food and enjoying some great music.
While the front table was all Belgian and Stout-y the back table featured a nice mix of styles for every beer drinker.
First up I tried the Narragansett Lager 5.1%, everyone drinks a cheap adjunct lager here and there and I guess Josh is no different. Narragansett is another one of those vintage throwback lagers like Pabst Blue Ribbon. Narragansett was revived in 2005 by a group of investors and is contract brewed by Genesee. Not much I can say about the taste, very typical of the style.
Next up was the Major Tom’s Pomegranate Wheat 4.9%. On this warm springtime day this nice tasting wheat beer was nice and refreshing. The pomegranate was neither artificial tasting or overpowering. I can see myself buying this beer to throw in with my everyday drinkers on the top shelf of the fridge.
The third beer I tried was Bells Oberon Wheat Beer 5.8%. I don’t really remember much about this one. A mild flavored wheat beer. Crisp, citrusy, and light. I think my palate was getting worn out by this point.
Moving on there was the Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Brown Ale 4.5% ABV. After recently drinking an Abita Pecan Harvest ale I was excited to get to try this one. Lazy Magnolia is Mississippi’s only craft brewery. I don’t know if its psychological or not but these pecan ales have much more pecan flavor than you would think possible. Along with the sweet malty dark grain this creates a really nice beer, think Pecan Pie for a hot summer day!
For the fifth beer on the back table I tried the Clipper City Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA 7.25%. Well if my palate was already shot this beer was like the red cross running to my aid. Huge Grapefruit flavor in this one, I really like this beer, in fact I am going to say this was my favorite of the evening. Maybe it was the weather but I like a light hop forward IPA, we drink IPA’s for the hops right? Screw the malt! I will definitely be buying some of this for the fridge, its perfect for this time of year.
Finally on the back table we were faced with the Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Barleywine Ale 8.8% ABV. This was pretty much a standard Barleywine, dark rasin like fruity flavor, the alcohol was well masked not any noticeable hop presence like other American Barleywines. I didn’t particularly like this one, I would choose a SN Bigfoot over this without a though.
So to sum things up Josh would drink a lot of good beer’s, but I knew that already and now you do to. He chose a variety of styles and good representations of those styles. I found a few new beer’s that I can buy with confidence and had a good time. Stay tuned here or Dorn’s facebook page for info on the next beer tasting in May. It should take place the first Tuesday of the month.