Farbrew’s Beer Review: Michelada by Nopalito Restaurant

Nopalito Restaurant

Michelada beer

Michelada is probably the most unique beer I have ever tasted. My sister took us to Nopalito Restaurant in San Francisco where she insisted on us trying their specialty mexican beer called Michelada. After we placed our order, I noticed the three pint glasses with what looked like hot sauce resting at the bottom about half an inch high. The bartender then filled the glasses with the beer from the tap which was a light cloudy golden color to beer. When the beer was served to us, it had a lime at the top with a rim of salt around the edge like a margarita. I’ve never experienced a beer before with salt. When I got a closer look at the beer, I noticed the thick pulpness of the oranges they use to help savior the spiciness of the beer. Really made the beer authentic and fresh. It also has some tomato juice added as well. This is a MUST HAVE beer! It was amazing. Had a serious kick to it but was not over whelming at all. If you like spice, this is the beer to try. It went well with our entire meal. Most people will only be able to handle one order because of the spice kick, but it was delicious!

The other beer in the second picture is the Negra Modelo which is another common Mexican beer. At first glance, it looks like a heavy beer that might fill you up, but it turns out to be a great beer with dinner as well.

If you are ever in San Francisco, Nopalito is a great place for families and groups because it has a family style menu with easy and delicious dishes, especially Carne Asada. You can check out the menu here.

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Bittersweet Lenny’s R. I.P.A by Schmaltz Brewing Company (He’Brew)

Bittersweet Lenny’s R. I.P.A
Schmaltz Brewing Company (He’Brew)

Bittersweet Lenny's R. I.P.A

He’Brew’s Bittersweet Lenny’s R. I.P.A is one hell of a beer. It is a double I.P.A with rye malt. The pour is almost goo-y with a small head that quickly disappears. The lacing is heavy on the side of the glass as you drink it which usually gives the sign that this is a good IPA. The bitterness is very potent and noticeable right from my first sip. Along with the hop heaviness, I can also taste a fruit-y texture, ripe apple or plum type flavoring. Another aspect of this beer that I noticed right away was the smell of the alcohol. It’s alcohol by volume is 10%, which is very high and the flavoring doesn’t seem to mask it very well.

This beer is brewed by Smaltz Brewing Company or He’Brew. Also referred to as “The Chosen Beer,” which I love considering I am Jewish. If you are into IPA’s, get your hands on this one, it is worth a try.

ABV: 10%
IBU: 96

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Fred Golden Special Ale by Hair of the Dog Brewing Company

Fred Golden Special Ale
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company

Fred Golden Special Ale

Fred is a amazing golden ale beer created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. The beer pours a nice dark hazy orange color with a really large head. Right after I poured the beer I could smell the flavors right away, with tons of spice and citrus flavors. It’s not over whelming but enough to grab your attention. One of the flavors that really pops out at me is the Belgian candy sugar mixed with a combination of Northwest hop varieties. The beer has a very sweet flavor because of this and it is so good!  It makes the beer very smooth and creamy. The alcohol content is extremely high at 10%, but the flavors really cover the alcohol well. I definitely wasn’t expecting much from this beer, but I have completely become a huge fan.

Highly recommended and a beer that you don’t need to buy a ton of. Hair of the Dog Brewing Company is out of Portland, OR. You aren’t going to find this beer in any liquor or grocery store. Gonna have to research this one but I’m sure it’s out there in a ton of locations. Go pick this one up!

ABV: 10%
IBU: 50

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Talking with Jesse Friedman the Co-Founder of Almanac Beer Company

Jesse Friedman almanac beer companyWe are so excited to bring you a new interview from Jesse Friedman, co-founder of Almanac Beer Company. Jesse founded Almanac with Damian Fagen in 2010 when they started brewing beer right in their apartments in San Francisco. They started with the goal in mind of brewing seasonal ales, pairing different fruits each harvest, in order to compliment locals foods and and cuisine.

Jesse handles the receipt development, barrel selection, and managing the brewer and farm relationships, while Damian handles the visual design, bottle labels, and the day to day operations of the brewery. We are were pleased have Jesse take some time to talk about his passions and Almanac Beer. Enjoy!

Jesse Friedman almanac beer companyCan you please introduce yourself and your role at Almanac Beer?

Im Jesse Friedman. I’m one of the two Co-Founders at Almanac. I’m in charge of beer recipe developement, as well as heading up sales, working with local chefs on pairings, and putting together our beer dinners.

Going back to the beginning of your brewing career, do you remember the first beer you brewed and where?

The first beer I brewed was with a homebrew batch with my roommate, just after I moved to San Francisco. It was for an Irish Red. Everything went wrong – the grain bag scorched and tore, and then the priming sugars weren’t properly distributed. Half the bottles were flat, and the other half were gushers.

What people, if any, inspire you outside of the beer industry?

I look alot to the culinary world for inspiration. There are the local big thinkgers here in San Francisco such as Alive Waters and Michael Pollan, but I’m especially inspired by the local chefs who set out to create (and succeed) in making something genuinely new and delicious – like Anthony and Karen at Mission Street Food (Now Mission Chinese Food), who created a new way of building a restaurant around great food and philanthropic giving.http://blog.missionstreetfood.com.

When did Almanac Beer start and what is the inspiration for the name and it’s logo?

Almanac Beer launched as a business about a year ago, but Damian and I had been working on it for a few years before that. The name comes from the Farber’s Almanacs, which record each season. We try to do the same thing with our beer, and use hyper seasonal fruit that will leave a unique character from the season it was brewed. Our design work is all done in house by the other half of Almanac, Damian. The tree etching was custom made for us by a local artist, and really does a great job of making us stand out on the shelf. For us, the Oak tree and it’s roots it does a great job of illustrating that our beer is different, and directly ties to the seasons and local farms.

How would you best describe your brewing style?

Inspired by the local food scene in Northern California. We start with Belgian-style ales, then layer on local fruit, unique sugars, and (sometimes) a loose west-coast hand with the hops. We are less concerned with fitting into a particular style or category than with our beer being food friendly and delicious.

In what states and markets can our readers find you beer and is there a plan for expansion?

We’re currently only available in the San Francisco Bay Area, but are slowly expanding out to more of California.

Does Almanac have any new projects or beers coming down the pipeline to share with our readers?

We’re about to release our sophomore effort: a Farmhouse Pale with Plums. We brewed a Belgian-style Farmehouse Ale, then added in 1,000 Lbs of plums from Twin Girls Farms. We finished with a dry hopping of Cascade and Amarillo hope to give it a bright, citrusy aroma. It’s fermenting as I write this, and expect it to be out in the early November. You can learn more about this bere here.

Does Almanac have a Facebook or Twitter page for our readers to check out? If so, have you seen an impact on your brewery from these social networks?

Of course! We’re on Twitter @AlmanacBeer, and also on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/almanacbeer. We’re very active in social media, since it gives us a great way to communicate directly with customers and friends online. Sincer what we’re doing is different and new, it really makes a big difference to be available and transparent online. We love live blogging each brew, and then hearing back from customers how our beer is, and what they pair it with.

Jesse Friedman almanac beer companyWhere can our reader find additional information about your brewery, beer festivals, new beers, tour info?

We’re online at AlmanacBeer.com, where you can sign up for our newsletter, which always has info about releases and upcoming events.

Okay, here’s a tough one for ya. If you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh man. If I had to pick JUST one, it’d have to be Orval. I love it, especially since it ages so well in the bottle. Young it bright and hoppy, then if you let it age a bit, you get a while new beer – funky and farmhouse as the Brett takes over.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Jesse! Looking forward to drinking more of your beer. Make sure to get your hands on Almanac Beer if you are living or visiting Northern California.

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Harvest Pumpkin Ale by Blue Moon Brewing Company

Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Blue Moon Brewing Company

Blue Moon Beer

The Harvest Pumpkin Ale is a seasonal beer brewed around the Fall by Blue Moon Brewing Company. The ale is brewed with pumpkin and nutmeg, then with a touch of wheat that gives the beer its smooth finish. I am usually not a huge fan of Blue Moon but I grabbed it because I am a huge fan of pumpkin and have been enjoying the fall seasonal beers, so I couldn’t leave this one out.

The beer initially poured with an reddish orange color and a half inch head which lasted throughout most of drinking it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really taste the pumpkin and nutmeg flavoring as much as I would have hoped. The smell of the beer wasn’t really strong either as I think the carbonation really killed the scent. The Ale wasn’t as heavy as I was expecting either and was very easy to drink and enjoy. I would definitely drink Harvest Pumpkin again if it was offered to me but it wouldn’t be the first fall beer I would buy.

Most people probably wouldn’t know this, but Blue Moon is owned by Coors Brewing Company. Coors never makes this clear to their drinkers because they want you to think that Blue Moon is another quality craft beer. With that said, you can find the pumpkin ale at any grocery store or liquor store around the country, but only for a limited time as it is brewed only for the Fall. If you can get your hands on one, give it a try, but I wouldn’t jump at this one right away.

ABV: 5.7%
IBU:  16

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Anchor Summer Beer by Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Summer Beer
Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Summer Beer

Anchor Summer Beer is an American wheat ale that was first brewed back in 1984. This is a really nice light refreshing beer. The initial pour has a really light crisp golden color with an unusually large head, lasted about 2-3 minutes. This is due to the protein contributed by the wheat which gives it such a large head. This summer beer is an all-malt beer with over 50% coming from the wheat and is fermented with a traditional “ale” yeast. This is a very easy beer to drink. Nothing stands out in terms of tastes which makes it for a nice even and easy drink to enjoy. I would definitely recommend this beer to all beer drinkers. Pick this one up before the summer is over!

ABV: 4.6%
IBU: Unknown

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Punkin Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Punkin Ale
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Punkin Ale

Wow! This beer is amazing. Definitely one of the most unique beers I have ever had. My initial attraction to this beer was the beer bottle’s upper logo which says “Punk.” When I saw that, I knew I had to try this beer. The initial pour had a copper color with a medium head and no lacing on the glass. The initial taste really brings out the cinnamon and brown sugar instantly. After my first sip, I was skeptical about the pumpkin flavoring because I couldn’t taste it right away. But after 2 or 3 sips the pumpkin and nutmeg tastes really stood out, almost as a surprise, and it was delicious! This is a perfect autumn beer and one that I highly recommend trying. Some beer drinkers might think that this is a type of beer that you would have one of, but I would definitely have a couple of these at a time as they are not as heavy as you would assume. Although, the alcohol content is 7.0%, which is on the higher end. I would also recommend letting this beer sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes after you have taken it out of the fridge. By doing this, you are allowing the flavors of the beer to come out. Go find this beer before it’s too late because this will be one of the better unique tasting beers you will try.

Punkin Ale is brewed by Dogfish Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware.

ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 28

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Boont Amber Ale by Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Boont Amber Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Boont Amber Ale

The Boont Amber Ale is an American-style amber ale. The initial pour gives a really nice copper color with a medium body with a strong head and minimal lacing on the glass. The taste of the beer is a sweet carmel flavoring with a slight bitter taste, but not overwhelming at all. I don’t think there is really anything special about this beer but I would definitely drink this again.

The name of the beer comes from Boontling which is the focal center of the Anderson Valley. It was the first ale produced at the brewery’s famous Boonville brewery. According toe the local Anderson Valley dialect developed in the 1800s, they would say ‘It’s Bahl Hornin’!” which translates to “It’s good drinking.” I would have to agree.

ABV: 5.8%
IBU: 15

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Sessions Premium Dark Lager Black by Full Sail Brewing Company

Sessions Premium Dark Lager Black
Full Sail Brewing Co.

Sessions Premium Dark Lager Black

When I first started this beer blog, one of the first beers I posted was the Sessions Premium Lager which was the light sister beer to this one. You can read my review of that beer here which I happened to enjoy more than this one. The Sessions Dark Lager pours a very dark brownish color with a fizzy head. The head lasted about 3-4 minutes before I was able to start drinking it. The initial taste really brought out Chocolate and Coffee flavors. They were very strong on the tongue. Though you can’t see the carbonation in the beer because of it’s dark color, you can really tell there is a lot of carbonation when you taste it. The beer finishes with a vert malty taste with chocolate and strong spices. I would definitely prefer the Sessions Lager over this beer. Though it was a dark beer, it was definitely drinkable and worth checking out if you like those coffee and chocolate tastes in beer.

Sessions beer is brewed by Full Sail Brewing Company located in Hood River, Oregon.

ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 18

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Rosee D’Hibiscus by Rosee D’Hibiscus Du Ciel

Rosee D’Hibiscus
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Rosee D'Hibiscus

Rosee D’Hibiscus is a Belgium wheat beer that is made with hibiscus flowers giving the beer a very reddish color. The initial pour had no head and minimal lacing. I noticed the aroma of the beer right away after I poured. It had a very strong floral smell which comes directly from the hibiscus flowers that are added in during the brewing process. The beer had a distinct acidic taste but was not overwhelming. The floral flavor quickly translated into the taste as well. I would recommend this beer for people to try but wouldn’t go running back to the store to pick up more. Plus, it also had one of the most hideous bottle logos I have ever seen.

This beer was first born back in May 2006 in Montreal at the Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel brewpub.

ABV: 5.0%
IBU: not listed but low

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Highway 78 Scotch Ale by Stone Brewing Company

Highway 78 Scotch Ale
Stone Brewing Company (Collaboration with Green Flash Brewing Co. and Pizza Port Brewing Company)

highway 78 scotch ale

The Highway 78 Scotch Ale is a collaboration beer between Stone, Green Flash and Pizza Port breweries. These three breweries decided to combine their brewing skills to create this heavy rich, malty ale made with all English ingredients. The initial pour shows a very dark reddish brownish color with little to no head. For my first taste I immediately thought coffee and hints of carmel. It is a thick body but is not as filling as I assumed. I feel like this beer would be a delicious dessert beer. This beer also has a slighter bitter taste which I’m assuming is due to the higher alcohol content of 8.8%. I would definitely recommend this beer to the dark beer drinkers and think that the collaboration was a success.

ABV: 8.80%
IBU:  30

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Pliny The Elder by Russian River Brewing Company

Pliny The Elder
Russian River Brewing Co.

Pliny The Elder

Pliny The Elder is an amazing ale from the Russian River Brewing Company. It has a hazy golden color with a half inch head. My first initial thoughts after first tasting this beer is HOPS. It has a strong taste of hops all around and it is amazing! This is actually has a very interesting story behind it.

Pliny The Elder was a man born in 23 AD and was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, writer, and according to me, an overall “baller.” Apparently, Pliny was one of the men who came up with the botanical name for hops which is “Lupus Salictarius,” which translates to “wolf amoung scrubs.” Hops grew amoung willows at the time which Wolves seemed to enjoy. Pliny died in 79 AD while saving people during Mount Vesuvius. His nephew, who was named Pliny The Younger, decided to carry on his legacy by documenting all of Pliny The Elders experiences during Mount Vesuvius. This beer is dedicated to “Pliny The Elder” who discovered hops and dedicated his life to helping others.

This beer is meant to be drunk fresh. Keep it well refrigerated if you don’t drink it right away. The freshness brings out the strong flavor of hops which makes this beer so amazing. Anyone that sees this on the shelf needs to pick this one up without hesitation. NO JOKE!

ABV: 8.0%
IBU: 67

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Video: Carlsberg Beer Commercial

Check out this hilarious beer commercial from Carlsberg. With the typical beer commercial these days really pushing the “our beer is the coldest” type of ad, Carlsberg really through out a curveball with this one. Watch as innocent couples make their way into a movie theatre only to discuss it completely full of tattooed bikers…..except for 2 seats in the middle. Watch and find out how the couples react and who decides to stay!

Video: Starting Up a Brewery

Farm to Barrel from Turnstyle Video on Vimeo.

For any home brewers out there, this is an amazing video to check out about the two founders of Almanac Beer Company and how they started the company from nothing. Founders, Jesse Freidman and Damian Fagan met at a brew club in San Francisco and started home brewing right in their backyard. The video explains their start and the unique beers that they brew using different processes and ingredients in the beer. After watching this video, I’m sure you will want to start home brewing yourself. Definitely, an aspiring video of starting from scratch in the beer industry.

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Derniere Volonte by Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Derniere Volonte
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Derniere volonte

This beer is a Belgian style blond ale that encompasses English style brewing traditions. The beer pours a nice dark carmel color with a large head, almost an inch thick that dies down very slowly as I drank the beer. It has a ton of different complex spices and flavors such as floral notes, some citrus especially lemon, and a Belgian yeast. The ale is definitely on the heavier side but it doesn’t taste or feel that way. I would drink this over and over again for sure so one or two of these would probably be enough. It is however on the higher side of the alcohol by volume. Great beer for a summer day either from the tap or bottle. This beer is worth seeking out. It is brewed at Microbrasserie Dieu de Ciel, which translates to (God of the Sky), in St. Jerome, Quebec, Canada. The beer expert at Wally’s recommended I try this and completely agree that this is an excellent beer.

ABV: 7.0%
IBU: Unknown

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Interview: Ken Grossman, Founder and President of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Ken Grossman sierra nevadaFor our very first interview here on Farbrew, we had the honor of interviewing the founder and president of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Ken Grossman. Ken opened up the brewery back in 1980 in Chico, CA and has now grown the company into one of the most respected craft breweries in the United States.

Ken studied chemistry and physics at Butte Community College as well as Chico State University. He also opened up a store in Chico called The Home Brew Shop, which supplied breweries with supplies, materials, and equipment. On November 15, 1980 Ken brewed the first batch of Sierra Nevada Co. beer which is now regarded as one of the top beers in the country: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Ken took the time to answer some of our own questions for our readers to learn more about Sierra Nevada as well as the creator. Thanks Ken!

Can you please introduce yourself and your role at brewery?

My name is Ken Grossman and I am the founder and president of Sierra Nevada.

Going back to the beginning of your personal brewing career, do you remember the first beer you brewed and where?

I first learned to home brew from the parent of a childhood friend. We were pretty young at the time, and my friend’s dad was tired of us stealing all his brew, so instead he taught us how to brew our own.

Where do you look for inspiration in the beer that you brew?

I wouldn’t say there is one single place I look for inspiration. We brew the kinds of beer that we like to drink, no matter the style or the origin, if we like it, it’s fair game! Lately we’ve been experimenting with a lot of Belgian-inspired styles, and that’s been fun for us.

When did the brewery start and what is the inspriation for the name and it’s logo?

I started building the brewery in 1979, and got it up and running a year later. We brewed our first batch on November 15th 1980. The name came for my love of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When I was growing up in southern California I used to love to set out on bike tours, and hikes, and backpack trips into the Sierras. When I settled here in Chico, in the foothills of the Sierras it seemed obvious to me to look toward that as the name for the brewery. The original banner logo was drawn by an artist friend of ours and we still use that logo today. (granted, it’s been update a bit.)

How would you best describe your brewing style?

We’re famous for being an American brewery. We were arguably one of the inventors of the “American style” beer…(hop forward, dry, clean yeast flavors.) That said, we love to make beers in any style we can. We’ve had a lot of success with our traditional German and English style beers, and now we’ve been playing with some barrel-aged projects, and more experimental Belgian styles. At the end of the day, though, we live hops and lots of ‘em.

Sierra Nevada logoIn what states and markets can our readers find you beer and is there a plan for expansion?

Right now, our beer is available in all 50 states. We’re getting close to capacity at our brewery here in Chico, so we’re looking into the possibility of building another brewery somewhere east of the Mississippi River. No final plans have been made, yet, but it is an option on the table.

Does the brewery have any new projects or beer coming down the pipeline to share with our readers?

We’re always coming up with new beer and new projects. We’re setting up a new canning line, as we speak, so that will be an adventure for us moving forward.

What can visitors expect when coming to visit the brewery?

We love having visitors come to visit us here in Chico. We’re proud of our brewery and we want as many people as possible to come here to see it. We’re especially proud of showing off some of the more traditional techniques we use in making our beer. We still use only whole-cone hops, we rely on open fermentation for several of our beers, and bottle condition most of our products. There aren’t too many breweries doing those sorts of things anymore. In addition, we like to show people our estate hops and barely fields. Right now, we have about 9 acres of hops, and 30 acres of barley growing on-site here in Chico. We use these organic products to make our Estate Homegrown Ale, which is one of the few estate made beers available anywhere in the world! We’re also really proud of some of our sustainability efforts. We have the nation’s largest private solar array and currently produce more than 80% of our energy needs, on site.

Does the brewery have a Facebook or Twitter page for our readers to check out? If so, have you seen an impact on your brewery from these social networks?

We have a pretty active following via social media. Our Facebook page has over 100,00 followers, and I think Twitter is upwards of 20,000. We’re lucky to have such a loyal and vocal group of fans, specifically without any large-scale advertising or marketing. To see the amount of activity and support for our brewery and our beer is humbling, especially after all these years.

Where can our readers find additional information about your brewery, beer festivals, new beers, tour info?

Facebook is a great place to hear about what’s coming next. We try and post a few times a day just to keep people updated with what’s going on here at the brewery. In addition, we’re in the process of overhauling our brewery website,www.sierranevada.com, and that will be updated with news and info as well.

Okay, here’s a tough open ended question for ya, if you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I can’t answer that! There are too many to choose from! Historically, if I could go back in time and pick one of my own from the past, I would choose the stout I brewed for my wedding. That was over 30 years ago and I still remember it, so it must have been really good!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions Ken and we look forward to drinking more of your beer!

Thanks for taking the time to reach out to us!

Make sure to check out Sierra Nevada on FacebookTwitter, and their official site.

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Ruth Pale Ale by Hair of the Dog Brewing Company

Ruth Pale Ale
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company

ruth pale ale The initial smell of the beer was a very earthy smell, typical of traditional pale ales. The beer is brewed with organic pilsner malt and whole Northwest hop flowers. Hair of the Dog brewery is out of Portland, OR. Other tastes of my first impression was some citrus-y type flavors as well. Wasn’t very dry and very easy to drink. I recommend this beer to any and all beer drinkers. Very highly recommended!

ABV: 5.6%
IBU: Unknown

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Octoberfest by the Boston Beer Company

The Boston Beer Company

samuel adams octoberfest

Personally, I think that this beer is the best to come out of the Sam Adam’s family of beers. I am usually not the biggest fan of Sam Adam’s but this beer really caught my eye. It has a really nice amber color due to the five variaties of malted barley. This beer gives a very home-y type of feeling with its strong taste due to the hops and is perfect for the fall season. My first thoughts before drinking this beer is that it is going to be too heavy a beer in taste, but I was caught off guard with how smooth and easy this beer is to enjoy. Other thoughts I had about this beer are hints of carmel and some fruity textures. You can find this beer at any local liquor store but get it soon because this is a seasonal beer which won’t be brewed for long.

ABV: 5.3%
IBU: Unknown

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: White Ale by Kiuchi Brewery

White Ale
Kiuchi Brewery

white ale

This beer is a White Ale brewed and bottle at Kiuchi Brewery from Japan. This is an excellent white ale with a nice golden color. The initial pour brings a nice foamy head. The beer has a very nice taste of different flavors but especially the taste of coriander and orange zest. The after taste is somewhat dry which only makes me want to drink it more. I can definitely see this beer as growing to be one of my favorites. I love simple wheat ales and this one is definitely worth seeking out. Super easy to drink and perfect for the summer time. I’m looking forward to trying more beers from this brewery as I’ve heard that they brew excellent beers. This one was definitely a good start.

ABV: 5.0%
IBU:  13

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Bald Eagle Brown by RJ Rockers Brewing Company

Bald Eagle Brown
RJ Rockers Brewing Company

Bald Eagle Brown

The Bald Eagle Brown is an English style ale but with more body. It is a heavier type of beer with a dark brownish color. The flavoring has a mixture of chocolate and black malts, but I can’t really taste the chocolate, definitely the bitter maltiness. The initial pour gives a very small head but not non-existent. For beer dummies, the head is the foam part of the beer that builds up when you are pouring it into a glass. It is created to help keep in all the flavors of the beer. My guess is that the major beers like Bud Light and Budweiser have such massive heads when you pour because it has to help keep in what little flavor it has.

The Brown Ale has a carbon-y taste with a dry finish. My personal opinion about this beer is that its good not great. I probably wouldn’t usually recommend this beer, but if you like the English style type of ales, this is one to at least try. Casual beer drinkers will most likely only have room for one bottle. The Brown Ale Beer is definitely filling.

ABV: 5.6%
IBU:  Unknown

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Lake Placid IPA by Lake Placid Craft Brewing

Lake Placid IPA
Lake Placid Craft Brewing

Lake Placid IPA

This beer is a basic American style IPA rich with hops and has a malty sweet taste. The initial pour gives a light head and a nice copper color. Apparently, this beer was brewed for the winter time but has earned its spot in Lake Placid’s permanent line up. It earned a silver medal at the Great International Beer Festival. Would go great with spicy foods like Buffalo wings or a Cajun Cuisine. My personal opinion is that there really isn’t anything special about this beer. I definitely enjoyed drinking it, but I feel that the IPA beer lovers of the world wouldn’t really be impressed with this one. This beer is brewed in Lake Placid, NY at the Lake Placid Brewing Company.

ABV: 6.8%
IBU:  17.5

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Farbrew Beer Review: Son of a Peach by RJ Rockers Brewing Co.

Son Of A Peach
RJ Rockers Brewing Company

Son of a peach

Son Of A Peach is an excellent seasonal wheat ale. Peaces happen to be in season right now, which I noticed when I went to grocery store and decided to pick up a couple peaches to snack on. When you first open the beer, you can smell the aroma of peaches immediately. This is brewed with real peaches which gives it a very fruity taste. The after taste really brings out the taste of peaches but is also a little dry as well. The beer was a little too sweet for me to have another one right away. It is definitely worth trying and I think the non beer lovers might be a fan of this one as well.  It earned the Gold Medal in the Fruit Wheat Beer catagory at the Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition.

Plus when I first saw this bottle the logo really caught my eye, displaying a bad ass peach on the front. Son of a Peach is definitely worth trying to find. It is bottled at RJ Rockers Brewing Company in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

ABV: 5.8%
IBU: 50

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City Beer in San Francisco

I am a native San Francisco and love nothing more than to support local beers, bars, and brew stores around the bay area. For my very first beer store posting I am proud to introduce CITY BEER, located in downtown San Francisco, only three blocks from home. My brother, sister and I decided to walk down and check out the store as well as pick up a case of Scrimshaw, a pilsner style beer from North Coast Brewery (review for that coming soon). City beer is not your typical beer or liquor store. When you walk in, you will notice the very casual and relaxed feel as the place is set up with two or three tall tables and a kitchen area that has an island with two or three beer taps. As you walk through the store/bar, you will get to the back shelf where any beer enthusiast’s mouth would drop.

The selection of individual beers was over-whelming (with joy, of course). It was a small shelf area but that amount of beers neatly organized on the shelf could compete with any major beer store. I would recommend any beer lover in the bay area to at least go and visit this store to see for yourself. You can go in for a beer or two before you purchase beer to bring home. I will definitely be going back in the near future.

City Beer Store
1168 Folsom Street (between 7th & 8th)
SOMA District
Official Website
Follow them on Twitter

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Harp Premium Lager by Guinness Brewing Co.

Harp Premium Lager
Guinness Brewing Company

 harp lager

This is an Irish style beer brewed and imported by Guinness. I has a dark yellow color with a strong white head. It has a very distinct bread type smell to it and it has a really nice carbonation as well. It is a really crisp beer and one that you would drink on a hot day. Other then that, I really don’t have much else to say about this beer. It is not a terrible beer but not unique at all. You can most likely find this beer anywhere since its bottled by one of the most recognized beer brands in the world. If there are other choices around you, I wouldn’t go for this one.

ABV: 5.0%
IBU: 23.5

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Video: A Funny Hahn Brewery Commercial from Australia

Hilarious beer commercial from the Hahn Brewery in Australia. It features the brewery’s entire brewing process from beginning to end set to the Night Rider theme song. Talk about Epic!

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale by The Stone Brewing Co.

Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale
The Stone Brewing Company

arrogant bastard ale

Okay, this beer kicks ass! Literally, the first thing I thought of when I first tasted the beer. Everything about this beer is amazing. To start, the bottle displays a buffed out gargoyle looking character holding a mug of beer, giving you a look almost challenging you to try this beer. The bottle cap displays the gargoyle once again staring up. Pouring the beer, it gave a strong reddish brownish ale color.  The head of the beer was minimal but not non-existent.

My initial sip was so refreshing. The after taste is really where you taste the different spices. It reminded me of a stronger Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. What I really liked about the beer was that it wasn’t very dry. It has a smooth taste and is really refreshing. Most summertime drinkers probably wouldn’t lean towards this ale because it is darker, but it happens to be really refreshing. Anyone that has the opportunity to try this definitely should.

I want to include the description I found from The Stone Brewing websitebecause first, it makes an attack on the average american beer drinker and the multi-million dollar beer companies competing with it as well as challenges you to drink this beer by stating that you probably wouldn’t even like this beer to begin. Go find this beer!

ABV: 7.2%

“This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory —- maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.

Too many strive towards complacency as a goal. We grow up thinking that the ability to become complacent is the equivalence of success in life. True Arrogant Bastards know that this could not be further from the truth. The real beauty, richness and depth in life can only be found if the journey through life itself is looked upon as a constant chance to learn, live and find life’s passion. Passion threatens the complacent, and fills them with fear. Fear of the new, the deep and the different. We, on the other hand, seek it out. Endlessly, joyously…and aggressively. To this end we bring you the “OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale.” Another reward for those seeking new sources of passion, and another point of dissension for those who are not.”

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Ten Fidy Imperial Stout by Oskar Blues Brewery

Ten Fidy Imperial Stout
Oskar Blues Brewery

ten fidy imperial stout

This is by far the darkest and heaviest beer I have ever had. This is a Russian Imperial Stout that poured so heavy the initial pour almost reminded me of oil. The beer almost had a dark reddish coloring to it. The head of the beer was pretty much non existent after pouring. The smell of the beer had strong hints of coffee and chocolate. The taste of the beer was extremely malty and I could definitely taste the coffee flavoring with hints of vanilla. As I was drinking the beer, the warmer it got the more I could taste the alcohol. I probably won’t drink this beer again and wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone else. It didn’t have any unique flavoring that I probably couldn’t find in another beer. Also, I was only able to drink half of the can because the beer was so heavy. This beer is brewed in a can only from Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado.

ABV: 10.50%
IBU:  98

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Allagash White by Allagash Brewing Co.

Allagash White
Allagash Brewing Co.

allagash white by allagash brewing co

Allagash White is another one of my all time favorite beers. It is a Belgium Wheat beer paired with coriander spice and hints of orange peel. It has a light cloudy look to it. It is a very refreshing beer with lots of flavor in each sip. You can usually find Allagash White on tap at classier type bars and restaurants. I usually drink it from the tap rather than the bottle. This beer is brewed in Portland, ME. Allagash is a perfect beer for a summer’s day and one that any typical beer drink should try. If you like a lot of flavoring in your beer, rather than the standard formula for beer, this is a great one to try. Look out for it next time you are out on the town as it is available year round.

ABV: 5.0%
IBU: 13

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: CoCoNut Porter by Maui Brewing Co.

CoCoNut Porter
Maui Brewing Co.

coconut porter maui brewing co

Upon pouring this beer, I thought to myself that this has to be the darkest beer I have ever seen. It poured very black and my initial assumption was this was going to be a thick beer. As I started drinking it, I started to not only taste to hint of Coconut, but also the hints of chocolate and coffee which obviously gives this beer its darker look. This beer is not very heavy in malt and smooth to drink. I think this beer is a perfect beer to have as a desert type. This is not a beer you would have as a compliment to a meal, as I felt like this beer alone was enough for a course of a meal.

Talking to the expert at Wally’s her explained to me that some breweries prefer to package their beers in cans, but comsumers think that drinking beer out of a can skew’s it’s taste. Honestly, I am not sure how I feel about that as I think beer from a bottle is better even if I am still drinking it from the glass. I feel like the metallic of the aluminum really gives the beer an off taste. (Of course this doesn’t apply to the typical Bug Light or Miller Lite as those beers are meant to be drank a freezing temperature so you can’t even tell the taste.)

This was definitely a fun beer to try. It’s brewed at Maui Brewing Co. in Hawaii.

ABV: 6.0%
IBU: 30

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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Aprihop by Dogfish Head Brewery

Dogfish Head Brewery

dogfish head aprihop

This seasonal beer from the Dogfish Brewery called Aprihop is released at the beginning on every Spring. This beer is unique because it’s made with Apricots which is something I personally have never had before. The scent of Apricots was immediate as I popped the top but I didn’t get that so much with the taste. The beer is a darker IPA with the color similar to an Apricot. It is a lot smoother and not as heavy as it looks upon pouring. This beer is brewed with a ton of hops which you can really taste when drinking it. It is suggested to best drink this beer out of a pint, and my assumption of this to allow the scent and flavors of the beer to really take affect. This is definitely a beer that any frequent beer drinker should try. You won’t find it in a typical liquor or grocery store, (at least in LA) but you might find it at your local beer and wine store. I found mine at Wally’s Wine & Spirits. I am also going to start adding the Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and International Bitterness Unit (IBU) to my posts to help further familiarize the type of beer and it’s alcohol content.

ABV: 7.0
IBU: 50

As a test to see how good this beer is, I wanted Mooby, one of my favorite dogs in the world, who happens to also be a lover of beer (even though she is NEVER allowed to have any) to see what she thought about the beer. And from the looks of the picture below, she was sure to do anything in her power to get me to allow her to stick her head in my glass. Safe to say she used her usual flirtations with me (which always seems to work) to try and dunk her in the glass.

farbrew beer dogFor more beer reviews check out Farbrew.com or Farbrew on Facebook!

How Do You Drink Your Beer?

beer glassesJust like wine glasses, beer also has it’s variety of beer glasses. Different beer glasses are used to help bring out the flavors in a typical beer. For me personally, my favorite type of beer glass is the standard pint glass you can always find at any bar or restaurant. No specific reason why but I have always been drawn to the standard pint. A friend recently sent me this article that I thought would be a great addition to my blog and I wanted to share it with all of you. This is a simple article introducing all the different beer glasses and how they are effective when drinking different types of beer. Check it out and let me know what your beer glass of choice might favor to use. Read the article here.

I also wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone that has supported me and this blog so far. I started this out of pure fun and have absolutely no expectations for where it will go. I am always open to suggestions on how to make this blog better, and more enjoyable for all of you.  If you haven’t already noticed, I also encourage anyone that has the same interest in beer to share what they are drinking as well. You can write a review of a beer you might have recently tried, or an interesting article you found, and submit it atwww.farbrew.com/submit. My goal is to blog about as many beers as I possibly can and would love for all of you to share what you are drinking as I know full well I am no beer expert and would love to learn about new beer. Thanks again to all and look forward to many more beers to come.  Cheers!!

Farbrew’s Beer Review: Pale Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Farbrew beer review sierra nevada pale ale

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the brewery’s most popular beer and definitely one of my favorite beers. It has a strong spicy flavor from the Cascade hops used. It has a nice thick amber color which makes it seem like a heavier type ale. This beer has no additional flavors to it besides the ingredients that make a traditional beer. The combination of the yeast, hops, and water give the beer its unique taste. It won the gold metal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1993, 1994, and 1995.

Not sure if you can find this beer anywhere on the East Coast but I read that the company is looking to expand and distribute on the East Coast. If you are on the West Coast, there is no question that you can find this beer at any grocery or liquor store. Always a great “go to” if you are unsure about what kind of beer to bring to a party. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is out of Chico, CA.

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Most Recognized Beer Brands of 2011

beer tastingI thought this is a great article to share on my blog. It lists the Top 10 most recognized beer brands of 2011. This is measured by the volume of beer that you sell, the more beer you sell, the more your brand is noticed. I think that most people can guess the top brands even if they were put on the spot, Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite (maybe??). There there were a couple surprises that I thought should have been made the Top 10 lists including Coors Light and Sam Adams and some that did make the list that I am not familiar with. Notice that Anheuser-Busch owns a majority of the top beers.


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Farbrew’s Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Summerfest by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Summerfest
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

sierra nevada summerfest

Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest is by far my favorite summer time beer. This pilsner-style beer was introduced to me last summer by my brother and from the very first sip it was immediately our summer time beer for the entire season.  It has a really nice crisp taste an with a slight hint of sweetness to it. The beer leaves a minor dry after taste but at the same time very refreshing. Recently, I continued to go to my local liquor store just waiting for them to get this beer. My brother, who attends Chico State University, where Sierra Nevada is brewed, has been enjoying Summerfest months before I have. Great! If you can get your hands on this beer, try it, you will not be disappointed.

ABV: 5.0%
IBU: 28