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Otter Creek Copper Ale

Brewed by Otter Creek Brewing Co., Vermont

A very nicely balanced beer that's been a favorite for awhile, but has never been subjected to a full tasting. A great pour, with a lingering sheen of a head, tight bubbles, very light brown. Color is, not surprisingly, copper! Low-key malty aroma. Very mild hint of citrus.

Creamy and slightly tart mouthful. Fairly carbonated, but not inappropriately so for this style.

In taste, the balance is definitely on the maltier side of the equation. Hops are back in the mix, evident mostly on swallowing. Caramelly flavor. Just a really nice, well balanced ale. Certainly better than the Alpine Black IPA I reviewed a couple of months ago.

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Riptide Red Ale

Brewed by Casco Bay Brewing Co., Maine

Well, Im a surfer so I had no clue what to expect from a red ale named Riptide. I think of riptides and I think San Diego IPA’s. Anyway, this was a fun one in my box from Craft Beer Club. A couple weeks ago another FedEx dude showed up with another box of beer, I LOVE my life!

Anyway, this is a nice drinkable red ale. Red’s are not my favorite style. This one is a bit heavy on the rye flavour and not as balanced as I tend to like. Very drinkable though. It feels like I should be eating a hearty beef stew or something!

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Coopers Best Extra Stout

Brewed by Coopers Brewery Limited, Australia

Just a little head that fades fast. In my wife’s glass there was more head and a bit more long lasting; about a half an inch of head. Obsidian, as expected. A little sour-ish nose with some roasted barley. The first is a Guinness brew method: add just a little soured beer. The second is “as per style.” Far too may American Stouts at smaller brewpubs and micros seem to miss this step that, more than anything, separates Stouts from Porters: the addition of roasted barley.

The mouthfeel is roasted barley, pale malt and maybe some darker malts with some light carbonation. The taste, more Stout than Extra. A bit of souring. But I expected more dark malt/roasted malt intensity and more alcohol.

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Red Brick Peachtree

Brewed by Atlantic B.C., Georgia

Peachtree Pale Ale pours a hazy, burnished gold, with an off-white fluffy head that leaves some nice lacing. Citrusy and floral hops dominate the aroma, with some caramel malt in the background. The taste is hop-forward, with a strong grapefruit rind bitterness upfront from the Cascade hops, juicy citrus in the middle, and spicy dryness in the finish. A coarse graininess in the toasted malts and solid carbonation contribute to a moderately prickly mouthfeel. Medium bodied with a very faint caramel sweetness. There's a borderline aspirin-like bitterness in the aftertaste. A bright pale ale that borders on an IPA, Peachtree Pale Ale is a fine session beer and well-suited to summer quaffing..

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Butt Head Bock

Brewed by Tommyknocker B.C., Colorado

The Butt Head is a very heavy beer, with a creamy, almost chewable mouthfeel, which, along with the alcohol content, makes it something to really take in. At the end of the bottle, my ears were warm and my arms heavy. If the conversation wasn’t so good, I daresay could have taken a nap, which, sadly, would have prevented me from enjoying another. It quickly made me feel warm and comfortable, more so than other beers with the same ABV, since the large flavors all blended together with the feel to make quite the bock.

While you can get big beer anywhere, the Butt Head Bock is something that everyone should experience. When you drink it, close your eyes and imagine the sunrise over the snow-covered mountains or stars dancing in pristine glacial lakes. Or, you know, if you are like me, I can just look out the window.

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Brewed by Saranac B.C., New York

The flavor is what you would expect; heavy on the malts, just like most other American Oktoberfests, with a hop bitterness that tries to balances out the sweetness. This is a solid, middle of the road Oktoberfest that is easy to drink and pairs well with German food.

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Celis White

Brewed by Michigan B.C., Michigan

Beautiful for the style. 1-finger white head sustains at a thin film throughout. The body was a hazy pale/straw color with moderate carbonation. A later yeast swirl adds to the haze/cloudy body. Really good stick left on the glass.

Nice and sweet. At first I imagine lifting the lid from the mash to inhale the wheaty goodness. Citrus, hints of peppery spice. Lemon becomes more prominent later.

Lovely and delicate. A solid dose of citrus (lemon/orange zest) and spice (grains of paradise, black pepper, corriander?). Black peppery without the bite. Malts are cracker-like. Clean finish.

Fairly light bodied. Lemony flavor helps to dry the finish. Crisp and refreshing. Great summer beer. I can drink more than a couple in a sitting. The bonus is that I can share it with my wife.

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Pickled Santa

Brewed by Ridgeway Brewing Co., England

The beer is a bright, clear golden color with splashes of autumn red and gold. It poured a nice white foamy head which quickly dissipated into a small island of bubbles which floats in the middle of your glass. Rich carmal malts dominate with perhaps a hint of a toffee-like butteriness. This may be a slight flaw in the beer or it may be intentional. In either case it seems to work given the style. This is a spiced beer (cinnamon, coriander and nutmeg) but the spices are subtle and almost undetectable.

The mouth feel is dry, crisp and very bubbly which fades into a sweet and bready malt character and then gives way to the British noble hop bitterness. We detected the spices a bit more in the taste than in the aroma, primarily the nutmeg, and again pleasent toffee-like notes. More flavors seemed to emerge as the beer warmed, so we recommend serving this only slightly chilled. I was concerned by the name of the beer because it seemed gimicky but I did enjoy this beer. It was easy drinking and flavorful and the spices did not overwhelm the malts.

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Pigs Ear Brown Ale

Brewed by Woodstock Inn B.C., New Hampshire

The Pig's Ear is a spot-on example of what an English-style brown ale should be. It has a nuttiness to it, and it's sweet from the malts. Hops are nearly non-existent; only there to give it a little balance. And, it's low in alcohol, coming in at 4.4 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), making it easy to have a few in one sitting.

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