Ballast Point Brewing Fathom IPA

Ballast Point was founded in 1996 by Jack White, a home brewer who opened Home Brew Mart just 4 years earlier. 20 years later, Ballast Point has 6 locations in California and one in Virginia with tasting rooms where beer lovers can take a tour of the facility, have a few pints or take a growler to go. Over the years they have won countless medals at numerous beer competitions and were named “Small Brewery Champion” at the World Beer Cup.

Fathom IPA is brewed to showcase what a west-coast style IPA has to offer, made to be a clean easy drinking IPA.

ABV: 6%               IBU’s: 50

Pour: A rich golden color with plenty or carbonation. The head is white and frothy, fades slowly sticking to the side of the glass.

Nose: Classic west-coast nose, lots of pine needles with some orange peel in the background.

Palate: Light-bodied with good amount of citrus. Really nice hop presence that has almost resin like feel but isn’t sticky, just stays for a minute before a clean finish with moderate acidity.

Overall: A really good brew, highlights a lot of the characteristics you would expect in a west-coast IPA but super sessionable. Great to take along on your weekend trips or to enjoy with a nice burger and fries.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints

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Ommegang Pale Sour Ale

Cooperstown, New York is famously known for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it’s also the perfect place to make beer.

In the early 19th Century, Cooperstown was the epicenter of hop production. Having deep wells with high quality water, Cooperstown is a brewer’s paradise. Ommegang, a Belgian Style brewery opened its doors in 1997 and has since been purchased by Duvel. They have continued to grow in popularity, while expanding the portfolio. Recently they have gained even more popularity with a line beers centered on HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones.

6.9% ABV  9 IBU

Pour: Pours a vivid golden orange. The head is white, about 1 finger and lingers.

Nose: Slightly wheaty and floral with a hint of sourness.

Palate: Funky with hints of apple and lemons light bodied and malty. The finish is clean crisp almost like a white wine whit a slight tartness.

Overall: Wasn’t really sure what to expect with this one. Some reviews said it leaned more towards a sour ale but I got more pale ale. There was some tartness to it, but more malty for sure. An interesting take on a classic style that was very enjoyable.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Knee Deep Brewing Breaking Bud

Based in Auburn California, Knee Deep Brewing has been around since mid-2010. They started contract brewing out of another facility, and only sold their beers in kegs. 7 years later, they now operate a 28,000 square foot facility and produce 16 year round offerings, along with seasonal releases and small batches only available in their tasting room.

Breaking Bud is a West Coast IPA brewed with 3 different hop varieties and won a Bronze Medal for American IPA’s at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.

ABV: 6.5% IBU’s: 50

Head: A small off white head forms and leaves some lacing as it fades away.

Pour: A golden honey color, slightly hazy with light carbonation.

Nose: A big hop presence. Hints of fruit but mostly notes of lemon and a little tangerine.

Palate: Very mild considering the amount of pine on the nose. Medium bodied with a sharp but quick hop flavor before a smooth finish. There’s almost no acidity on the finish giving it a very airy feel.

Overall: Really enjoyable, I was expecting a very hop forward IPA from the nose but this was surprisingly mellow. A solid IPA that was very easy to drink. Fans of super hoppy IPA’s may want a little more, but the combination of a hoppy start and airy finish make a great combination.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints

White Birch Brewing Peach Berliner Weisse

The small New Hampshire Town of Hooksett is most famous for its historic Robie’s Country Store, a popular stop for politicians campaigning through NH for the last 6 decades.

Located 3 miles down the road from Robie’s is White Birch Brewing, known for making a wide range of brews including of one my favorite styles of Berliner Weisse. Consisting of a 30 barrel brewhouse, White Birch brews in smalls batches, with their brewing and canning done by hand and left unfiltered for the best flavor.

ABV: 5.5%

Head: Thin white head forms and disappears very quickly.

Pour: Light and hazy, looks more like peach juice then beer.

Nose: Peachy from the start with a juicy background. You can smell that tartness behind the peach.

Palate: Good amount of tartness, but not overbearing. A nice balance of peach and wheat for a rounded flavor. The finish has slight acidity that brings it all together.

Overall: A good balance of peaches and sour, reminded me of a wheat beer that was mixed with peach rings. I’ve had a few other of their fruity Berliner Weisses and this is my favorite. If you’re on the fence about sours, the peach in this one makes it easy to love.

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

Alesmith SD Pale Ale .394

San Diego Pale Ale .394San Diego’s craft beer scene is one of the best in the country, so standing out is no easy task, but Alesmith has managed to do just that for over 20 years.

They made a name for themselves in late 1990’s and have been awarded Small Brewing Company of the Year, Brewer of the Year as well as #1 Best Brewery in the World by RateBeer.com. In recent years they’ve moved to a new state of the art facility, boasting the largest tasting room in San Diego.

SD Pale Ale .394 is a golden pale with American hop flavor, brewed to commemorate Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn and his career high batting average of .394.

ABV: 6.0% IBU’s: 13

Pour: Hazy with a slight golden color, plenty of carbonation in the bottom of the glass.

Head: Thick off and off white, really frothy.

Nose: Floral with hints of hops and little bit of wheat.

Palate: Light bodied and slightly creamy with a malt background. Little bit of hops without being bitter. Finish is clean with almost no bitterness.

Overall: It’s been a while since I had a Pale Ale that really stood out. The creaminess mixed with the subtle hop aromas really plays off each other and the finish was quick and to the point, almost like a malty session IPA. A great pairing with a classic cheeseburger or some pumpkin pie.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Down East Cider Original Blend

Fall is in the air.downeastcider It seemed like a perfect day to crack open a fresh can of cider. Down East Craft Ciders are based out of Boston, Mass. To quote the Cider House, the Orginal Blend is “the Auerbach to our Celtics, the Satisfaction to our Stones, the Agent K to our Men In Black: Our Foundation.”

The Original Blend is the result of hundreds of attempts at creating the best hard cider you have ever tasted. This blend of freshly pressed Red Delicious, McIntosh, Cortland, and Gala apples contains no concentrate or artificial flavors/sweeteners.

ABV: 5.1%

Pour: Hazy Golden Yellow.

Head: Thin, white head.

Nose: Lots of green apple, with hints of pineapple.

Palate: Loads of sweet apples, hints of honey, and subtle baking spices.

Finish: A slight tart on the finish to balance out the sweetness on the palate.

Overall: An enjoyable pour. A nice balance of sweet and tart. Perfect for Fall.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints