Stillwater Artisanal Tangerine Haze

Renowned electronica DJ producer turned craft brewer Brian Strumke started Stillwater Artisanal in 2004. Brewing in his backyard for years, he took a different approach using non-traditional ingredients and unconventional methods to create new interpretations of existing beer styles. This quickly earned him the title of “Best New Brewer” in 2011 by One of the original “gypsy brewers,” in one year he was able to brew 50 Stillwater beers in over 12 countries. Calling Baltimore home, Stillwater HQ serves as a gallery, restaurant, full service bar and even a bottle shop.

Tangerine Haze is a double dry hopped sour ale brewed with tangerines.

ABV: 7%  IBU’s: N/A

Head: Small off white head, less than finger and fades quickly. Good amount of carbonation.

Nose: Slightly hoppy with a faint hint of citrus notes, bit of a tart aroma in the background.

Palate: Tart right from the start with a sharpness to it. There hops and tangerine almost offset each other a little bit, some sips I get more hop notes and some shows more citrus fruits. Finish is clean, slightly acidic and leaves nice tart flavor on your tongue.

Overall: I wasn’t sure what to expect going to this one, was going to be more of a hoppy ale of more of a sour ale. I was surprised by the amount of tartness right out of the gate, personally I love a beer that comes on strong and Tangerine Haze does just that. May not be a beer for everyone but if you like a good sour with a little fruit this is for you, another stand out from Stillwater Artisanal.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.4 out of 5 Pints


Magic Hat Belgo Sutra

The Magic Hat Brewing Companybelgosutra was founded in 1994 by Alan Newman and Bob Johnson in Burlington, Vermont. Twenty years later, Magic Hat is known the world over for their craft brews.

The latest release from their Humdinger Collection, Belgo Sutra is a strong, dark ale brewed with figs, dates, and dark candied syrup.

Inspired by the Trappists of Belgium, this Quadrupel will warm your soul as you throw out inhibitions and lose yourself in intense pleasure!

ABV: 8.2%

Pour: Dark Amber/Brown with Mahogany hues.

Head: Thick off-white.

Nose: Sweet malty/fruit notes. Toffee and caramel.

Palate: Full bodied, mouth coating with loads of dark fruits. Hints of sweet chocolate and cane sugar.

Finish: Well smooth finish. Sweet, yet well balanced.

Overall: A solid pour from Magic Hat. A perfect pair for the changing weather.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Long Trail Harvest Barn Ale

long trail harvest barn aleThe first batch of Long Trail Ale rolled off the line in 1989. Back then the brewery, known as the Mountain Brewers, was a modest brew house tucked into the basement of the Old Woolen Mill in Bridgewater Corners. The goal was to brew an affordable, American-made alternative to the pricey German and English exports that filled the shelves.

Today Long Trail is a household name from coast to coast. Brewing over two dozen different beer yearly Long Trail has something for everyone. The Harvest Barn Ale is Long Trail’s seasonal offering for fall.  Vermont maple syrup added during the brewing process yields a lasting sweetness on the palate that’s guaranteed to warm your soul alongside the rich, chocolate profile and earthy hop character.

ABV: 4.4%

Pour: Rich Mahogany

Head: Thick off-white

Nose: Sweet, roasted malts, maple, and nut aromas.

Palate: Medium-bodied palate, with mild carbonation. Very malty, with chocolate and maple syrup notes.

Finish: Finishes with lots of dark cocoa powder flavors.

Overall: The chocolate notes were a bit of a surprise. Overall an enjoyable pour and alternative to the more common fall beer flavors.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Terrapin Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse Ale

Terrapin has been making world class craft beers in Athens, Georgia since 2002. With a portfolio that boasts over three dozen labels, it is safe to say that Terrapin offers something for everyone! Anyone who has tried one a Terrapin knows they make great craft beer. Their Rye Pale created a huge buzz, winning a Gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and put them on the map.

ABV: 5.5 IBU:22

Pour: Nice amber color with plenty of carbonation swirling from the bottom.

Head: Creek colored and frothy. 2 finger head forms and slows fades away

Nose: Malty with hints of spice. Some peaches sneaks in the back to bring this together.

Palate: Pretty light, the peaches are low key but come out mid-sip and stay through the finish. Hints of malt and almost no spice on the clean finish.

Overall: A clean farmhouse ale, the peaches give it a nice summer twist and add crushability. I really enjoyed this one, Terrapin is known for making great beers and this one fits right in. This would pair well with sushi, grilled meats and hard cheeses.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Lagunitas Born Again Yesterday Ale

Lagunitas Born Again YesterdayLagunitas is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the United States. Founded in 1993 by Tony Magee, the brewery is known for iconoclastic interpretations of traditional beer styles, and irreverent descriptive text and stories on its packaging.

Born Again Yesterday is part of the 2017 One Hitter Series. A series of rare, experimental and one-off brews produced in small batches released through the year.

7.0% ABV

Pour: A cloudy golden color with lots of carbonation swirling around.

Head: Very thin and airy head forms but hangs around for a while.

Nose: Lots of pine with hints of grapefruit behind it.

Palate: Light and juicy making it very easy to drink. Loads of hops give it a nice acidity but not as much fruit as I was expecting. Finish is clean and doesn’t leave much behind.

Overall: This was an interesting take a on a Pale ale, using “wet hops” gave it a nice juicy IPA feel while still having some remains of a Pale ale. This one is a limited release so it may not be the easiest to find but if you come across some this is definitely one to splurge on.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out Of 5 Pints

Funk Brewing Tumbleweed Pale Ale

funk tumble weed pale aleTucked away on a side street in Emmaus, PA is a dedicated brewer Kyle Funk, who’s hard at work putting out award-winning IPAs, lagers and other assorted varieties. The Funk Brewing Company has been producing beer in this Sixth Street building since February 2014, though his title of brewer began over 12 years ago. 80 miles to the north, a second taproom has been opened by Kyle’s brother-in-law, John Norman, with a focus on locally sourced menu, wines, and ciders.

ABV: 5.5%

IBU’s: 38

Pour: A really nice hazy golden color, cloudy enough where you can’t see carbonation in the glass.

Head: A thin head quickly forms and disappears, sticking to the edge of the glass.

Nose: Hoppy. Almost what you would expect from an IPA, but with more of malty background. Lots of fruit, citrus and notes of a tropical fruits, followed by some pine.

Palate: Medium bodied, juicy at first then malts surface showing its weight. Some lighter citrus notes but not as much of tropical fruit as expected from the nose. Slightly acidic but finishes quickly without leaving much behind.

Overall: A pretty solid Pale Ale.  At first seemed more like an IPA but came around after warming a bit. Not my first choice when it’s warmer out, the fruit notes here make this a little more approachable in the summer months. Plus it’s sold exclusively in cans making it easy to take along on your next outdoor adventure. Pairs well with burgers, cheddar cheeses or a classic bread pudding.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Einstök Icelandic White Ale

einstok white aleThe Einstök Brewery is located 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, in the fishing port of Akureyri, Iceland. Water flows from rain and prehistoric glaciers down the Hlíðarfjall Mountain, delivering the purest water on earth, the perfect foundation for brewing deliciously refreshing handcrafted ales. Led by Brewmaster Baldur Karason, previously with Carlsburg and Lowenbrau, Baldur completed the brewing program at the world renowned Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. One of the brewery’s most well-known offerings is their White Ale.

ABV: 5.2%

Pour: A light yellowish with a hazy hue and slight carbonation.

Head: A small off-white head forms in the glass before quickly disappearing, leaving minimal lacing.

Nose: Light malt notes, hints of lemon and wheat dominate the nose.

Palate: Light and airy. Notes of lemon zest, orange peel, coriander and wheat bounce off each other. Not much of a hop presence but hints of mineraility leave a clean finish.

Overall: I like when brewers take the unfiltered route. The small amount of sediment left behind adds texture and earthy flavor. The flavor is smooth and doesn’t have a mass produced feel while being refreshing. Must be that pure Icelandic glacier water! A nice pairing with steamed mussels and chorizo, herb crusted cheeses and fresh berry medley.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out of 5 Pints