The story of Horned Owl Brewing is brought to you by the letter ‘P’: Patience. Persistence. Painstaking. Passion.

Joe Uhl was going to open a brewery north of Atlanta. Once he finally settled in on the location for the new spot on the square in Marietta, it was time to finalize the paperwork and get the deal rolling. Working with the city council and landowner, they were able to move the ball all the way down the field but just couldn’t quite get the ball over the goal line. So, he had to start from scratch.

And then he thought he had another location in Smyrna … no dice. And then it happened again. And again. Because of his background as the COO of a company that owns and operates restaurants and bars, Joe fully knew that it took a lot of patience and persistence. Those qualities ultimately led to this …

Fast forward to today. Horned Owl Brewing is a beautiful anchor in the brand new and booming entertainment district in Kennesaw. High ceilings, huge wooden beams, stonework in every direction – you get the feeling that an owl may swoop down and join you on the next stool while you’re there.

The servers were on point … sociable without being over-the-top and only too happy to talk about the beer there. I was mid-flight when they brought Joe over to make the intros. I was sucked in. Here’s a guy who has a very clear passion for what he does. After surviving all of the challenges to get this thing in the air, the pride bleeds out of him when he talks about the beer. (Pride – there’s another ‘p’ word for the day.) He watched how I held the glass and could tell that I was appreciative of the craft.

The product – all very high-quality and with a dizzying array of styles. This place has only been open since November and yet has twenty tap handles, including two dark beers on nitro. (Joe tells me they’ve had a few cask ales as well.) Of course, they make a lot of the standards these days: IPAs, hazies, stouts, lagers, wheat beers, etc. But what stood out to me was not only the presence of some oft-overlooked styles but the quality of them as well. Horned Owl has a Schwarzbier (Cover of Night), an ESB (Twoo), and a Weizenbock (Tawny.) I love these styles and hate that not many breweries offer them anymore. All three were so very well done. I really can’t overstate how amazing it was to see such a massive diversity of styles and the quality beer delivered with each. Yeah – I’ll be back on South Main Street in Kennesaw again soon.

Fun fact: Yes – every beer name is owl-themed. I assumed that it was because of the nearby Kennesaw State University Owls. That may be part of it, but Joe’s last name is German for owl.

So, soar on over to Kennesaw and saddle up for some of Horned Owl’s finest. It’ll be a hoot. (Sorry.)

 

This is the next installment in, “15 Minutes With …”. These posts are designed to be more than just a brewery review. We will attempt to dig deeper and do more than simply tell you what sort of beer and food you can find at various places. We want to delve into the stories and anecdotes … those eccentricities, quirks, and oddities that make each brewery unique.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

When you know, you know. Jessie and Kevin knew. You need to know, too.

The paddle is shaped like Amelia Island. I LOVE this!!

Kevin and Jessie O’Brien haven’t known forever that they would one day open a brewery, but looking back it’s clear that this was destined to happen. Jessie has had a passion for craft beer for a long time, stemming from their time at the University of Maine. Kevin is naturally a people person. He is warm and engaging … he has an amazing ability to make you feel welcome with a smile and a genuine interest in conversation. Combine those two with Jessie’s drive to dive into the science of brewing and Kevin’s natural knack for marketing and management, and we have a winner!

I first contacted them about a week before my recent visit to Amelia Island/ Fernandina Beach, Florida. I had hoped to at least get the typical, “Yeah, come on by and we can chat” response. But what I got was a thoughtful welcome and some thoughts on some beers I should be trying. And right then I knew – this visit became the priority for the weekend. Spoiler alert: I was not disappointed at all.

 

First Love Brewing is pretty new to the scene, having opened in June 2020.
Yes – they opened in the middle of a global pandemic …
In an economy largely focused on tourism …

They were actually set to open in March, but we know how that turned out. I was particularly struck with the positivity and optimism Kevin displayed when talking about that situation. “That was great for us, because it gave us more time – it was almost like we had a three-month soft opening.” Lemons –> lemonade.

Enough of the background … how was the product? I was ‘only’ able to try 11 of the beers they had on tap. 😁 One thing really stuck out to me looking at their lineup: no sours and no hazy IPAs. It seems a lot of breweries these days focus almost all of their attention on just those two styles. It makes sense, because that’s the crazy-fad-trend right now. First Love has light, dark, Belgian, light & crisp, heavy and complex. And amazingly enough, for a brewery barely in its infancy, everything I had was quite good. And I’m not just being nice. Everything was legit good. A dubbel, tripel, saison, red IPA, Baltic porter, rye amber …. the variety of styles and quality of the beer was truly astonishing. I guess those brewing science courses at Auburn University and Level III Cicerone training are working pretty well for Jessie!

The pizza was stupid delicious.

Do not sleep on First Love. They have big plans. The beer is taproom only … for now. Back to the aforementioned timing of the opening – this brewery opened against seemingly all odds, and has been successful despite the challenges. According to Kevin, they have received amazing and consistent support from the community … the people they live with and serve every day. Just wait until the world starts traveling again. Community is what they’re all about. I’m going to straight up steal a line from their website:

First Love Brewing is built around the idea of pursuing your passions and dreams. We are driven by the people we meet, the community that we live in, and the places we visit.

Community – that’s obviously what they are supporting. But what they may not even realize yet is … they’re building community too. Their flight paddle (pictured above) is shaped like Amelia Island. They’ll place your beers in the order you should drink them for the best experience. (Drink from north to south for optimal results.)  And they have a solid menu, too. This is not a ‘grab-a-pint-and-go’ sorta place. Sit, eat, sip, enjoy. COMMUNITY. The detail that goes into every aspect of the operation just screams that this is designed to be a piece of the Fernandina fabric for a very long time to come. I mean, they trained under a master pizza-dude in Chicago; they import their flour from Italy. The pizza is unbelievable. The beer is amazing. The people are genuine and authentically friendly. Now I know.

Again, when you know, you know. And now you know, too.

 

This is the first installment in a new segment entitled, “15 Minutes With …”. These posts are designed to be more than just a brewery review. We will attempt to dig deeper and do more than simply tell you what sort of beer and food you can find at various places. We want to delve into the stories and anecdotes … those eccentricities, quirks, and oddities that make each brewery unique.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

It’s ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-ck! The holidays are approaching (finally) and it is time to start planning for the perfect gift(s) for the beer lovers in your life. We’re here to save you the Google-time … we’ve already done the shopping for you. Here are the top 12 gift ideas for beer enthusiasts for 2020.

Soberdough

Simple bread-making mix that uses BEER in the process. Their mix + your beer … mix, cook, and eat!! There are about 20 flavors to choose from, with savory, sweet, and spicy options available. Fun for the whole family!

Outdoor Beer Table

We’ve all said it before, “It’s so simple. Why didn’t I think of that?” It’s a stake with a tiny table on top … room for two beers and a snack. Tell me you won’t need this during the friendly backyard cornhole tournament.

Beer-BQ Sauce

Featuring beer from Jackie O’s in Ohio, there are three flavors of BBQ sauce infused with beer: Thai Sriracha, Honey Mustard, and Sweet & Smoky.

Poker Glasses and Coasters

What goes better with poker than beer? Fact – nothing does. These glasses and coasters will help you up the ante on your next poker night.

Pelican Sling Cooler

Ohmagoodness, yes. This cooler was designed specifically to hold a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans. Almost all I buy these days are 16 oz 4-packs, so this is brilliant!

Happy Hour in the Shower

Say it with me … shower beer. Those are happy words! The problem comes when it’s time to actually do the showering part. What to do with the beer? Worry nor more.

Complete Beer Course

Extremely highly-rated guide to tasting beer. This is a great gift for novice and expert alike. This description says it all, “Boot camp for beer geeks: from novice to expert in 12 tasting classes.”

Keter Cooler Table

Continuing with the backyard drink-holding trend. This table has a cooler-like bottom that can hold up to 40 cans with ice. Again, this is fantastic design.

Yoy Drink Holder

Apparently I am in desperate need of something to “Hold My Beer.” This simple gadget clips onto a table and serves as a drink holder/coaster combo when you’re on the go!

Brew Your Own IPA

Been thinking about homebrewing but not ready for the capital investment? Try out this kit that comes with everything you need to brew a gallon of West Coast IPA.

Belgian Beer of the Month Club

I’m going to put this in here every year until someone gets it for me. This is heaven delivered to your door every month for a year. Cousin Eddie said it best, “That’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.”

Viking Drinking Horn

I love everything about this. It’s rustic; it has a 97-year warranty (not sure what happens in year 98); has a cool factor that is so off the charts. I. Need. This. In. My. Life!!!

 

BONUS POINTS – when all else fails, support your local brewery. Buy gift cards, merchandise, and beer-to-go. Take a group of friends out for a flight-or-pint. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESSES!!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Yes … even amid all the Corona-chaos that has caused the world to grind to a halt, breweries are still pushing out new releases. We got our hands on two of those recently and want to get you the details so that you can run out and stock the shelves. (Yes, it’s still legal to visit breweries which have been deemed essential services.)

On April 2nd at 10:31 am, Pontoon Brewing put up a Facebook post, announcing a new beer called Grand Theft Otter. If you’ve followed Pontoon at all, you have probably seen beers referring to otters and/or beers with Otter in the title. Again, this latest one was announced at 10:31 am. I know a guy (ok, it was me) who immediately saw it, ordered it online, and was at the brewery receiving my fresh new delivery at curbside from Tom. (And I scored some brewery-made hand sanitizer to boot.) Needless to say, I was pretty excited.

GTO is a double New England IPA that’s later double dry-hopped with Citra, Cashmere, and Centennial hops. So, yes, it’s a DDH DNEIPA. I don’t know if I’m sad or proud that I know what all that means. I’ll admit that I had high hopes for this one, basically because it was from Pontoon and they can do no wrong. At first sip, I was disappointed, and I can’t tell you why. The flavor just had something that was off-putting. I kept going, fighting the good fight, and something interesting happened. It grew on me … pretty quickly, For the same reason that I recommend not giving an Untappd rating until after 3-4 sips, this beer absolutely got better with each sip. The flavors are pretty intense – the hop bitterness is mostly covered with the citrus, but it’s still there more than more NEIPAs you’ve had. That may have been what threw me off in the beginning. But give it a few sips, and I think you’ll find that it balances really well and packs a pretty good punch too!

 

At about the same time, Reformation released a beer in collaboration with Variant and Sprayberry Bottle Shop. Drink Well with Others is the third in a series of beers dedicated to giving to charitable causes. The first two were for Sporty Girl and World Adoption Day – but V3 is for a cause that hits way closer to home. As we’ve previously discussed, the Covid-19 hysteria has the potential to be economically devastating for brewery workers. Proceeds from this beer will go to support a GoFundMe campaign for Reformation’s furloughed and out-of-work staff. Fantastic cause … rock-star level beer. Think pineapple + vanilla and don’t think about anything else. Described as a Pineapple Milkshake IPA with “insane amounts of fresh Madagascar Vanilla beans, Sabro & Strata hops, and lactose,” this one walks, talks, and acts exactly like you’d think based on that description. If you don’t like pineapple, just walk away. If you do, buckle up and have a field day! This is insanely and maybe even frighteningly drinkable – at north of 7%, it could cause some blurry vision. Delicioud beer + great cause = victory.

 

Thank you to all the local craft breweries that are still working everyday to make OUR days a little better. We salute you!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington
Smiggles Can Art
The bunny has been overserved

There’s hype and then there’s hype.

I’m not referring to run-of-the-mill, buzz around town in the beer snob circles hype. And this isn’t even a FOMO/ need to make sure I’m in line to get a taste hype. I’m talking Atlas lets the Earth fall off his shoulders – construction on 285 halts – cats and dogs living together – outright hysteria.

So, what’s causing all the buzz? A beer from Pontoon called Rainbow Smiggles. Fun to say, and creating a buzz that I don’t recall ever seeing for a beer that no one has ever tasted. This is such an unknown quantity, and yet Fortune, MSN, CBS46, and a bajillion other global media outlets continue to report on it. There are two ways to look at this: the glass half empty guy says, “You better deliver with something phenomenal or it’s going to be a big bust.” The glass half full guy will say that the publicity is a one-of-a-kind ride, and we should all hop on.

Your intrepid neighborhood beerblogger went to the release party at 5pm today. Put me in the bucket of ‘glass half full.’ Wait – just put me in a bucket of this amazingly unique and fabulous brew. This collaboration between Pontoon and Sprayberry Bottle Shop brought the masses: lines of people clamoring for a drop, a swig, or as many 4-packs as they’d sell of this magic-in-a-glass. It’s a Berliner-Weisse brewed with … wait for it … 100+ boxes of Trix cereal and over 300 pounds of Skittles. The can art of a Trix-style white rabbit vomiting a rainbow into a brewing tank tells you what to expect. They added a Uhaul full of strawberries, pineapples, vanilla, and lactose to the brew, too.

What’s the result? Yes, please. Glass half full means, please fill it to the rim again. And again. And then maybe again again. It’s a Berliner, as previously mentioned, so it has the tart flavors. (This is when you say, “Well, duh. It has metric ton of Skittles in it.”) Berliners are tart to begin with, and then adding Skittles and the fruit have potential to put it over the top. Ahhhh, but that’s where the sweetness of the Trix, and smoothness from vanilla and lactose counter-balance the tart. It can be a very delicate process (aka trial and error) to try to hit that right balance. Too much in either direction and you’re either drinking lemon rind or a strawberry milkshake. This one tiptoes on that line and delivers a fantastic beer, and I know it sounds of but the purple Skittle is the strongest flavor.

I’d say more, but let’s leave it to Brij Patel, head dude at Georgia’s #1 bottle shop, Sprayberry, “The best thing about our industry now, is that we are willing to push the limits and come up with the most creative beer possible. The best thing about partnering with Pontoon is that they are always willing to push the boundaries. There is a reason they were rated the best new brewery last year in the state of Georgia.” Couldn’t agree more; Pontoon has been killing it with sours recently, especially with stuff like Fruit Cup Vol. 1, Double Cup Purple Stuff, and Snozzberries Taste Like Snozzberries.

This is the ultimate while supplies last moment, but get in your car and go to Sprayberry (because Pontoon already sold out) and load up on the Smiggles. Tonight, you’ll taste the rainbow!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Close your eyes, and let’s take a trip back in time. (Figuratively close your eyes, or get someone to read this to you.)

You’re 10 years old … it’s the middle of summer, and you’re playing outside with a gaggle of friends. Tag, hide & seek, running through the sprinkler. You’re happy; you’re carefree; and you don’t even notice that the heat is suffocating. The only concern you have is the internal struggle of not wanting today to end versus excitement over what tomorrow will bring. And then … those magic words from your mom …

I’ve got ice cream!!

But it wasn’t just ice cream – it was an orange creamsicle. It was orange, but it was sweet and creamy. Yes, it melted off the stick and onto your hand … but that was part of the fun. Yes, you’d be a sticky mess as a result, but that was part of summer. Can you taste it? Do you remember those times in the yard with your friends? This beer will take you back to the exact same place.

We’ve written about Wild Leap several times. From sours and hazy IPAs to stouts and dessert beers, they’ve been knocking it out of the park for over two years now. First brewed in early 2019, WL’s original Truck Chaser was immediately a huge crowd favorite. They followed that success with a Strawberry Eclair version that was mostly well-received, but had many people thinking that the original was better. Fast forward to early 2020 and Wild Leap brought back the Orange Creamsicle version.

Let’s go back to our time machine. Eating that orange creamsicle in the yard … what did you taste? Sweetness – orange – creaminess. All good things. And all of those are there when you take a sip of Truck Chaser Orange Creamsicle Double IPA (and some vanilla beans for fun, too). Wait … what? This sweet, creamy, citrusy beer is a DOUBLE IPA?!? Yes, yes it is. This ain’t your daddy’s IPA … tasting faintly of pine resin. This is a fabulously well-balanced and sinfully delicious beer.

From CEO/ Founder Anthony Rodriguez: “We’ve had so much fun creating this beer and fine-tuning the blend of hops and creamy milkshake flavor. We’re excited it’s back and we can’t wait to share what we’ve got in store for 2020.”

We can’t wait either, Mr. Rodriguez.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

This coming Monday is the big day. Well, it’s actually the tenth big day. More on that in a minute.
Updated. Information on Alpha Abstraction X is at the end of the post.

It has been very well-documented that Wild Leap in LaGrange continues to churn out amazing beers. Voted best new brewery in the country, they don’t just specialize in one style of beer. You want something sour? Done. Feeling like you want to go dark and heavy? They have you covered. Need a lawnmower beer after that workout? They’re your huckleberry.

But they probably have gained more acclaim and praise over the Alpha Abstraction series. Wild Leap first burst onto the scene with Alpha Abstraction Volume 1 in June 2018. It was an absolute home run, and so the series has continued. Every version, if I recall correctly, has clocked in at exactly 8% ABV. Always double dry-hopped, but always with a different hop or combination of hops.

Well, the tenth version of Alpha Abstraction will be released on Monday. Early social media teases make it seem as though it will simply be called ‘X’. In an effort to keep thing straight, I decided to list the nine previous versions, and which hops they featured. And I added a brief description of the flavor profile of each of those hops as well. As soon as details on X are released, I’ll update this post with the latest …

 

Volume 1: A combination of Loral and Citra hops

Loral – Mostly known for carrying lemony-citrus flavors and aromas, it also adds a floral and sometimes peppery character.

Citra – Citra has a pretty wide array, most notably citrus flavors (obviously), like lime, grapefruit, and orange.

Volume 2: Citra and Galaxy hops

(Note, the next seven versions feature a singular hop, instead of Citra plus a second one.)

Galaxy – Galaxy brings straight fruit flavors – nothing bitter or pine tree-esque. Think citrus, pineapple, tropical fruit.

Volume 3: Mosaic

Mosaic is all over the map, depending on how and when it’s used in the process. Some say that Galaxy brings in berry flavors or even sweeter notes, like bubblegum. Others will argue that Galaxy can be grassy or piney, with a little bit of peppery spice.

Volume 4: Denali

Denali has four main flavors … pineapple, citrus, pineapple, and more citrus. That’s it.

Volume 5: Nelson Sauvin

A newer varietal, this hop has some crisp white wine characteristics – with hints of apricot and mango.

Volume 6: Lotus

This was an experimental hop without a real name when Wild Leap chose it. Now known as Lotus, this hop has a phenomenal combination of tropical fruit, vanilla, and orange.

Volume 7: Barbe Rouge

Developed in the Alsace region of France, Barbe Rouge takes the rouge to heart, bringing aromas and flavors or red currant, strawberry, and raspberry into dance with the tropical fruit flavors.

Volume 8: Enigma

Somewhat like Mosaic, Enigma hops can take on a wide variety of flavors, depending on a lot of factors. This Australian hop serves a chameleon role in the brewing process and can be heavier (red currant and raspberry) or lighter/ crisper (pinto gris and tropical fruit.)

Volume 9: Michigan Chinook

These fellas can bring the heat – both with some spice and some smoky/ piney flavors. They can be aggressive when overused, but also bring a distinct grapefruit flavor when done properly.

Volume X: Strata and Cashmere

UPDATE

On Monday, December 9, Wild Leap announced that AA X will be available next week and features Strata and Cashmere hops.

Strata – I’ve heard these described as ‘passion fruit pot.’ On the fruit side, you’ll get some mango and passion fruit, with a little grapefruit mixed in. On the other side, well … you know. There’s going to be a hint of cannabis, for those of you who know what that might taste like.

Cashmere – Cashmere can bring in notes of coconut, melon, and grapefruit, but can also a coriander aroma. This one tends to be a little more delicate, so it will be interesting to see how this pairs with the Strata flavors. I cannot wait to try this one!

Cheers!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

As my friend Daniel put it … it pays to go to beer festivals. Back in the spring, we wrote about going to the Roswell Beer Festival. While there, other than having an otherworldly great time, we also met some fantastic people, in particular the gang from Pontoon Brewing. We hit it off, and they invited Russ and me back to Pontoon for a ‘tasting panel’ a few days later. We didn’t really know what to expect, but we were in. Here’s the short version … breweries will sometimes invite friends from other breweries, growler shop owners, industry experts, and beer media (that’s us!) to a special private tasting of some select beers. It’s usually to get honest feedback on the beer, either what to do differently on a pilot batch of beer; or what to consider for future versions of beer that will soon be out in the wild. Bonus … they had a chef come in and create food pairings for each of the four beers. Rock star status achieved.

Fast forward to this week, they had me back again. THIS time, we were tasting three beers that will be released this week and one pilot batch that is just in testing mode right now. It’s a seasonal that will hopefully come out later this year. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to try several beers before they’re even released. So, here ya go. A quick review of the three beers to be released this week and then the one that will hopefully emerge later in the year.

L-R … Belgian Tripel, Hazenado, Snozz Crumble, Fluffier Otter.
Chicken/gouda skewers, chocolate puff pastry, bacon-wrapped pork w/ cherry coulis, meatballs

Belgian Tripel

I’ve really become a sucker for a good tripel recently, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was a little boozy (9.5% really came through) and slightly syrupy to me, but the flavor was on point. I am certain that there will be some tweaks before this becomes available later this year. Really, really, really can’t wait.

Hazenado

It’s a Double IPA (DIPA) brewed with lactose and vanilla. The lactose, as expected, brought a creamy smoothness to it. Combined with a beautiful nose of pineapple (at least that’s what I got), this is a total home run. The flavor was an intoxicating mixture of milkshake and mild bitterness, very nicely counterbalanced with the sweet citrus from the hops. Yeah, I’ll be back later this week to have this one again.

Snozz Crumble

Pontoon has had a lot of success with a line of tart-creamy Berliner Weisse beers called, “Snozzberries Taste Like Snozzberries.” (Mad kudos on the reference there.) They took one of them for a ride with the Snozz Crumble, adding a pastry/cinnamon flavor to it. This had a very crisp mouthfeel, and was slightly more sour than I typically like. It has an absolutely stunning color to it and will be sure to be a hit with the sour drinkers out there.

Fluffier Otter

Again, Pontoon has resurrected a former favorite and transformed it into something new. The original, Fluffy Otter, is an oatmeal creme stout and is my favorite Pontoon beer ever. Basically, it’s a S’more in stout form. Now … add peanut butter. Fluffier Otter is an old school fluffernutter sandwich in a 9% abv stout. I almost didn’t want to drink it because it just smelled SO GOOD.

 

Again, Hazenado, Snozz Crumble, and Fluffier Otter will all be available this week! One is being released each of the next three days … check their site to see which one is dropping when. And then GO!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

I recently attended a conference that took me to a town that I knew; but I’ll admit that I knew nothing about their beer scene. Checking in advance, I found two breweries (almost next door to each other) and so I knew I had to go do some field research. Augusta, Georgia is known for two things: the Masters and … okay, it’s known for one main thing. Yes, the world descends on Augusta for a week each year to witness “a tradition unlike any other.” I’ve been several times before and will tell you that it is complete magic. However, I will tell you that these brewery visits made me realize that there is plenty to enjoy in Augusta during the other 51 weeks of the year.

Firs on the list was Savannah River Brewing, named after the river that forms Georgia’s eastern border right outside Augusta. The tasting room was large and inviting, although relatively quiet on a midweek afternoon. I saddled up and ordered a flight (plus another extra taste) consisting of No Jacket Required Pilsner, Phinizy Swamp Thing Berliner Weisse, Dynamite Brown, You Know Nothing John Stout (Nitro), and the extra taste of Westobou Amber. The pilsner was good, not great. Phinizy was slightly more tart than I would like, but delicious. Dynamite Brown was very good, but not anything that made me wanna do any break-dancing. John Stour on Nitro was tremendous: the flavors were deep and rich, but the nitro mellowed everything out, making it a really nice experience. But then the amber … oh, the amber. Westobou was the original name of the Savannah River, and this beer pays homage to its roots. The amber is a beautiful combination of maltiness and bitterness that you might expect in this style. And yes – I bought a 6-pack to take home.

I dragged myself away from SRB to drive the 2.5 minutes to Riverwatch. Whereas SRB had a beautiful space to enjoy a beer indoors; Riverwatch had almost nothing inside, but a fantastic deck for outdoor enjoyment. I ordered a flight (plus one additional taste, because that’s what I do). Now, when I order a flight, I try to list the beers in an order that makes the most sense. The bartender dude told me I had it all wrong, and re-arranged the order. And he was on point. My beers were the Route 104 Pale, 3 Under Par Tripel, Wild Irish Rose BA Sour Red, Godfather of Stout, and the Lazy Paddler IPA. I’m going to sum up this visit somewhat more succinctly … I don’t care about any of the other four beers I had … the tripel is the best I’ve ever had. And I’ve had lots. Yes, the other 4 were good (especially the IPA), but that tripel … Sweet Moses, that tripel. It was rich, smooth, heavy – a spectacular flavor profile and a warmth from the richness of the ingredients. It was truly a remarkable experience. Well done, Riverwatch. Well done.

The point of today’s post is … don’t concern yourself with the quantity of breweries in a general area. As long as the quality is there, you’re golden! And yeah, go hit these two in Augusta – you won’t be sorry.

 

 

 

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Frequent visitors to BGB will certainly know that we don’t always celebrate beer from our industry’s massive brewing conglomerates. But we also know and understand that we need to give credit where credit is due. Bud Light (and Ab-InBev) received a lot of publicity for their “No Corn Syrup Added” campaign first unveiled during the Super Bowl. On the other hand, the nation’s corn farmers fired back with a salvo of criticism directed at the brewing giant.

Today, AB-InBev announced their version of an olive branch. We received an advance 6-pack of a clever new beer … Bud Light Corn. It’s a compromise of sorts, while attempting to appease the corn lobby by making a corn-based beer, ABIB is sticking to their guns and somehow brewing this beer without adding corn syrup. A crazy feat of brewing ingenuity! And now for the beer review …

The taste is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. It’s a delicious and intoxicating combination of flavors. Think creamed corn mixed with a flavorless bubbly yellow liquid. Crazy levels of sweetness from the corn, mixed with … basically no flavor from the beer … combines to really send a shock to the system. And weighing in a 2.3% ABV with zero IBUs, it’s really crushable. You can drink these all day long and not feel a thing! And, in an interesting subplot, corn carries a massive amount of carbs. Take THAT, all you Mic Ultra-loving freaks!

 

Here’s to you Ab-InBev. Kudos for heeding the call of the masses, creating a beer that appeases your detractors while still holding true to your roots – providing America with a flavorless liquid masquerading as beer.

Stay tuned as we preview some more new releases in the coming weeks, as AB-InBev and Miller Coors try to reach new audiences:

  • Miller HighER Life. Now made with real Cannabis Oil!
  • Mic Ultra Peach Mango Salsa. Muy caliente!
  • Coors Light Buffalo-Blue Cheese. Maybe it will finally have some flavor …

 

 

And oh by the way. If you haven’t figured it out already, Happy April Fools Day!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington