Beer Wednesday – Proclamation Porter

•April 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

Thsi week, after last week’s The Poet Oatmeal Stout,  I’m happy to continue reviewing a series of deeper vegan beers with Brewer’s Alley Proclamation Porter

Proclamation Porter, Brewer's Alley, Baltimore Beer. Porter, Vegan porter, vegan beer

Brewer’s Alley, a Maryland brewpub, paired with the National Museum of Civil War Medicine to brew a series of beers using traditional Civil War ear brewing recipes.

Now, I love the Civil War and it’s military history, but the idea of a beer team-up with a museum of medicine just didn’t click for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool that I get to review a beer that had such a limited release, as it was only brewed one time, but. . .

This vegan porter was a little thin at first taste, despite the huge head that it produced in the glass. The nose was a lot of malt, but instead of toasted malt, it was almost a little burnt, right from the nose. The 5.4% ABV made it drinkable from an alcohol standpoint, but the finish was far enough off for me to find it just a bit unpleasant. It may have been ash, but maybe just a little chemical flavor. I don’t know exactly what it was that was so far off, but the finish pretty much ended the taste for me on a unpleasant note.

As much as I love to celebrate local beers (and there are more coming), I am disappointed to give this vegan beer a 3/6 on my six-pack scale. Take that 3 with a grain of salt though, because I really did want to give this beer a 2.5, but nobody is putting a half-drunk beer back in one of MY six-packs!

six pack, three beers, beer, 3/6,

Happy Easter! (No Bunnies, Please)

•April 14, 2014 • 2 Comments

Happy Easter, all!

You may or may not know that I’m Catholic, and so Easter is the biggest deal holiday of the year for me (and all the other Catholics). Despite what society might represent, Easter is the biggie for us, not Christmas. Sure, Christmas is important, but it’s really all about the mobile holiday where Jesus rose from the dead.

Over the past hundreds of years, though, Easter has become associated with something that I don’t always understand: the Easter Bunny.

Sure, the date is related to pagan fertility rituals (and what animal is more fertile that the bunny?) but how oh how did a celebration like Easter get a rabbit?

Rabbit, BUnny rabbit, Bunny, rabbit in grass

Unfortunately, because of the rabbity nature of Easter, lots of people think that a rabbit is a great pet. In college a friend of mine did just that and got a baby rabbit for his girlfriend. He then buried it about 6 weeks later, because they had no idea how to care for it.

Each year, hundreds of rabbits are bought as pets for kids, by folks who think that they’re doing something good. Unfortunately, they aren’t. 90 seconds of research online by Googling “Do rabbits make good pets” tells you pretty clearly that they make great pets, but that they require as much work as a cat or dog.

They require attention, but they don’t necessarily like to be held, just like a cat.

Rabbits also use a liter box, like a cat, and need room to run around. They make rally good pets. . . for adults and young adults. Not little kids.

For those who bought them already, rabbits are not wild animals. The rabbits you  can get from a pet store have as much in common with wild rabbits as a shih tzu does with a wolf!

Shih tzu, shitzu, wolf, grey wolf, gray wolf, dog, running dog

No, totally, I see the family resemblance

These rabbits that are bought and then released are being given a death sentence, usually within 72 hours. They don’t know how to hide from predators and will almost certainly be eaten. While that might be better than being strangled, decapitated, eviscerated, or crushed, the ways many are killed in commercial rabbit farms, let’s be honest, death pretty much sucks, regardless of how one dies.

Additionally, if you do really want a rabbit, they’re way overbred. A female rabbit can get pregnant as soon as she had given birth, and many breeders do just that, because it saves them time and time is money. Instead of going to a pet store and getting a rabbit that is probably too young to have been taken away from its mother (many are sold at 3 weeks, and need 8 weeks to be fully weaned) Google “rabbit adoption” or “rabbit sanctuary” to find a rabbit sanctuary near you.

Remember, rabbits live up to 10 years, and have needs, just like all other companion animals. They’re sweet, soft, and wonderful, but they’re not toys. They’re animals, and they deserve to have all the life and happiness that any animal does.

Easter is a celebration of life and rebirth. Please don’t “celebrate’ it by dooming one of God’s sweetest creatures to death.

Beer Wednesday – The Poet Oatmeal Stout

•April 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week, I’ m happy to be reviewing a beer named for, I assume, Edgar Allen Poe. I make that ssumption because the bottle of this vegan beer has a raven on it, and, just about everyone is familiar with his famous poem, “The Raven.”

vegan beer, Edgar Allen Poe beer, stout, oatmeal stout, the poet, New Holland Brewing Company, New Holland

This particular stout has a smooth, malty chocolate taste. The hops were very light (just 40 IBUs), but this particular brew was very well balanced. The low ABV, 5.2%, made it extremely drinkable as well.

This was a terrific stout, despite the fact that it had a very slight burnt aftertaste, but even that was not entirely unpleasant. The aftertaste didn’t appeal to me very much, but it wasn’t severe enough to bother me. All of the pieces came together beautifully, and, as an English teacher living in Maryland, I’m really happy that it worked, because I think Poe woudl have risen up from his grave to take revenge on this Michigan brewery if it hadn’t!

I’m happy to have had this stout, and I’m equally happy to give this stout a 5/6 on my six-pack scale. Stouts aren’t my favorite brew, but I can recognize a good example when I see one. Which ones have you come across that impress you?

5 out of 6, 5/6 sixpack, opened six pack

Beer Wednesday – Allagash Black

•April 2, 2014 • 2 Comments

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week, I’m quite thrilled to be bringing you a terrific vegan Belgian stout, Allagash Black.

Allagash, Black, Black Stout, Belgian Stout, Blegian, Beer, vegan beer

This terrific Belgian stout (you know how I feel about Belgian beers) was rich, smooth and malty, with amazing balance, and a clean, crisp mouthfeel that has just the right amount of Belgian yeast. The head was a little thin, with just the right amount of carbonation. The nose was clean malt and molasses, with a tiny hint of coffee. The flavor though was rich and smooth, with chocolate, molasses, and coffee flavors that really opened up as the beer warmed. This particular vegan beer was as advertised, although at 7.5% ABV, I certainly could have drunk a few, but not a bunch, regardless of how good they are.

If I have to complain about something, and I do feel compelled, the finish had just a tiny bit of burnt malt and was missing a miniscule bit of sweetness, but I really am picking nits here. This was a great Belgian stout, and I’m really happy to give it a coveted 6/6 on my six-pack scale.

six pack, six beers, beer, 6/6, awesome beer

Beer Wednesday – Weyerbacher Quad

•March 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

For two weeks in a row here, I’m happy to be reviewing Belgian beers. This week, it’s Weyerbacher’s Quad.

Weyerbacher, Belgian, Belgian style, Belgian-style, Belgian quad, quad, strong ale

This beer is a strong quad, at 11.8% ABV, and you could tell. The color was a clear, clean amber/gold, but the flavor was super malty (as it should be) with a sweetness to accompany that. I got maybe some fruit flavors, but they were quickly washed away, because the beer was strong, and tasted that way. The alcoholic finish was less than perfect, and it disappointed me some.

I guess I wanted it to be less alcoholic and more rich, but the mouthfeel was a little thin, and the alcohol at the end was too clear for me to really love this brew. It wasn’t the best quad I’ve had, but it certainly wasn’t the worst beer I’ve had either. Am I whining? Maybe a little, but it’s my blog, I can do that!

Overall, I’m a little disappointed to be rating this beer as a 3/6 on my six-pack scale. A little better balance, a hint richer texture, and it would be really good, but as it sits. . . meh.

six pack, three beers, beer, 3/6,

Beer Wednesday – 21st Amendment He Said

•March 12, 2014 • 2 Comments

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This beautiful week, I’m thrilled by 21st Amendment’s Belgian triple, He Said.


This beer poured a cloudy, rich-looking gold, and had a sweet, sweet nose of malt and wheat. Once I tasted it, it was smooth, with a very light alcoholic tint that followed a clean, bright citrus finish.

If you read this blog often, you must know how I feel about Belgian beers. In fact, I have yet to find a Belgian that I don’t at least really like, and so I’m quite pleased to give this San Francisco Belgian triple a 5/6 on my six-pack scale.

Let me know what your favorite Belgian is, or if I’m way off on the beer.

Beer Wednesday – Kona Big Wave Golden Ale

•March 5, 2014 • 2 Comments

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week, I’m happy to be hiding from the cold, and awaiting spring, by reviewing a delicious beer from Hawai’i, Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave golden ale.

Kona, Hawaii beer, Hawai'i beer, golden ale, blonde ale, big wave

This golden ale has just 21 IBUs and is just 4.4% ABV, making it an awesome session beer. The hops were sweet, and citrusy, with  a smooth, pineapple nose, and a clean, bright finish. The malt flavor was light, and the color was beautiful. This is a beer that any non-beer drinker would love, and the low ABV means that if you “accidentally” drink six or seven of them, you won’t regret it in the morning.

Overall, I’m really happy to give this tasty, smooth ale a 5/6 on my six-pack scale. Give a few of them a try, and let me know if you can see summer coming from where you are.

5 out of 6, 5/6 sixpack, opened six pack

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