Mike is a slavedriver. For real. He don't care that it's football season (he's a soccer fan), and I wasn't in front of the computer at all over the weekend - but only camped out in front of my tv. I had an email from him today that said, and I quote, "Chris, you better post your goddamned review of the beer we drank on Labor Day, or I'm going to come over to your house and kick your fat ass! Hell, I'll even kick your little dog's ass, too!" For real! He's mean.
Don't believe me??? Probably a good thing. I like to make shit up.
Anyway, to save my little dog from Mike's boot, here are my mug ratings from our Labor Day brews:
Bell's Batch 8000 - Wow! This isn't a good beer to drink as your first beer. I think I commented that it would better if it was like my third beer and my taste buds were already a little numb. This just grabs your taste buds and does to you what Humprhey does to Deano's tap. I'll give Larry Bell the benefit of the doubt, because I don't think he makes a bad beer. I'll give him 3.25 mugs, partially for bravado, and partially because it's how many strong beers I would need to drink before I would like this one more.
Unibroue's Seigneuriale - I think this roughly translates as "The Lord's Ale". If that's the case, God has bad taste in beer (is it sacriligious to criticize God's taste in beer?). Typically a very big fan of everything Unibroue, this one falls flat for me. This should be "Johnny Appleseed's Ale" because that was the only thing I could taste - apples. My personal beer mantra is "Don't fruit the beer!", and this just goes against my mantra. Too much. 2 mugs.
Goose Island Demolition - I don't remember much about this beer, which I think says enough. 2 mugs.
Now, I'm going to preference my next two reviews by saying that I have a very strong bias in favor of the brewery and everything they make. But it's only because their worthy of the praise.
Bear Republic is located in Healdsburg, California, a quaint little town in Wine Country about an hour north of San Francisco. On my trip out there in May, I trekked to Bear Republic upon the strong urging of BadaBoomz' Mike DeWeese. I cannot thank him enough. I think very highly of Nick Floyd's and Larry Bell's overall product offering, but brewmaster Richard Norgrove just might have them both beat, at least in my book. I tried everything they were offering, and some of it twice. I spent a lot of time there, obviously, getting to know the bartender and the staff. The following two beers were my favorite's then, and I've got to say, I still love both of them. It's very unfortunate that their beers are not offered in Indiana (World Class & Cavalier, you listening??), but at least we can get them in Chicago, which is where I picked these up on my recent trip with Jason to the Windy City.
Big Bear Black Stout - This ranks up with one of the best stouts I've ever had. It tastes just the way a stout should - thick, heavy, chocolate, nutty, and caramel. Damn, this will be a wonderful beer to drink this fall! 5 mugs.
Racer 5 IPA - This is their most famous beer, and I know why. It's the best IPA I've ever drank. For someone who isn't a huge hophead, but still likes some bitters to your beers, this is perfect. It's mellow, yet forceful. It's just the right mixture of hops (for me), and leaves a very pleasent aftertaste. Can I say it's sumptuous? 5 mugs.
Now, Mike, please leave my little dog alone. She doesn't even like beer!