Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dogfish Head Saison du BUFF

I wasn't expecting to be able to find this brew as it was created about a year ago now, and in a limited, one-time release. You may have read my raving review of the Victory Brewing Co.'s version, the third in the series. Now, thanks to Beer Run in Charlottesville, I have the remaining two editions to compare!

Dogfish Head Saison du BUFF is a 6.8% ABV, hazy lemon-yellow color with a two-finger white head of small bubbles. As with the other two, this beer is brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme - all some of my favorite herbs for seasoning food.

The beer's label features the logos of the three breweries connected in a eerie looking triangle on a green background.

I smell primarily the rosemary in the aroma, but the first sip is dominated by the thyme. Very light and airy with a strong presence from the plant life - I believe the herbs are heavier in this one than in the Victory version, but I kind of expected that from Dogfish!

I love this beer, and am very excited to try the final release (to me) from Stone. Just wish I had picked up a couple bottles of each to cook with!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout 2011

I swear the weeks are simply falling off the calendar at this point!...

Recap since last Monday: the second homebrew batch is bottled and carbonating as we speak - can't wait to sample the new beer!

My soccer is league is finally over, and ended on a bittersweet note: we lost 1-0 on a crazy controversial call that got our keeper thrown out and almost cleared both benches!

My son could literally be born any day now, probably prompting another week long absence from writing...Hang in there guys, I promise I will keep posting more sudsy goodness in the future. Not to mention all the celebratory brews that will be drank in the weeks to come!

Speaking of celebrations, I have finally gotten my hands on one of my most sought after brews, and I will share my experience here and now with you. Oh, and by the way, this brew is craft beer #750!

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout can only be described as an improvement on what was already one of my top 3 beers!

This 11.2% ABV beauty packs 70 IBUs and pours a dark brown, almost black color with NO head. It smells intensely of alcohol from the high ABV and from being aged in oak Bourbon barrels for a year.

The old-fashioned label is awesome, as it declares this beer, "Does Not Give Relief From: Rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica, lame back, lumbago, contracted muscles, toothache, sprains, swellings and all manner of distress." It is, simply, "Good for everything a stout ought to be good for."

At first sip, this beer is so mellow and smooth it makes me wish I had the entire oak barrel full. The rich chocolate and coffee flavors are present right in the front. They are followed by brown sugar and caramel, bourbon and vanilla from the oak. The incredibly dry finish is a mixture of spicy hops, smoky oak and more sweet chocolate that lingers on and on. Amazing!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Who wants a BeerClip?

Sooo...who's ready for another giveaway?!

This time around it is the simplest of products, but profoundly ingenious on the part of the inventor.

I have a bad back, so it is important that I not keep a wallet in my back pocket - especially when sitting in a desk chair most of the day. This means that frequently I have to either carry my cash, cards, etc. in my front pocket which incredibly uncomfortable and inconvenient. I tend to leave my wallet in my desk drawer or in my car and am always forgetting it when I need it.

This product may solve all that - and it may add a convenient new tool to have on hand.

My new BeerClip is a functional, stainless-steel money clip that will free me from carrying a 2-inch-thick leather wallet. What separates this particular product from others of its kind is the fact that it incorporates a bottle opener at the hinge!

On top of all that, it is fully customizable with several pictures to choose from and the ability to add initial to the clip. Much easier than adding an opener to your keychain, this one serves two purposes. I know it will certainly serve me well!



If you would like a chance to win one of these, you can enter once each week for the remainder of April by submitting the following...

GIVEAWAY: In order to enter to win this awesome prize the rules are simple:
1). You need to follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: "I just entered to win the April @StayThirstyBlog giveaway. You can enter too at http://hops.me/2gw!
OR
2). "Like" the Stay Thirsty Page on Facebook and post the above text as your status update

AND
Comment on this post, and please include your Twitter name or follow name. Let me know if you just followed or have already been checking out the site!

All entries are due by Saturday, April 16th at 11:59 PM, and the winner will be randomly selected and posted on the site sometime on Sunday. Good luck!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Southern Tier Un*Earthly Imperial IPA

It is spring time, which for me means time for some of my favorite brews - IPAs! I spent most of the day on Saturday brewing my own version of this hoppy nectar, and of course had to sample a few for "inspiration". Here is one of the big bottles that stood out...

Southern Tier Un*Earthly Imperial IPA is an 11% ABV, hazy apricot colored brew with a two-finger head of off-white foam. The label of the bomber bottle features a winding hop vine on a pale green background.

The beer smells surprisingly of cotton candy with citrus and piney hop aromas. The first sip sets a fire burning in your stomach from the heavy alcohol, and then gently introduces sweet, bready malts. The presence of dank, biting, bitter hops is apparent from start to finish in this brew and provides an incredibly dry finish. One last surprise is the sweet, honey flavored aftertaste. This is a delicious beer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blue Point RastafaRye Ale

Man life has really gotten busy lately...and it is only gonna get crazier soon!

Work has been just nuts, my soccer league seems to have games every night, and my son is due to be born within the next month.

At this rate I'll be lucky if I ever sleep again!

I do bring most of it on myself...I could have spent Saturday just regrouping and sitting on the couch to watch TV, but instead I decided it was time to brew another batch of beer!

You may have noticed my affinity for rye ales lately on the site, so of course I had to incorporate this new passion into our next batch of homebrew. We are loosely modeling the beer off of one of my favorites, Founders Red's RyePA. I can tell you, this beer is going to be super hopped-up and flavorful with tons of malts and 5 hop additions.

Of course, the first rule of brewing is that you have to have a beer in your hand, so Dick and I decided to sample another rye ale.

Blue Point RastafaRye Ale is a 7.5% ABV, dark-gold colored brew with a two-finger head of off-white foam. The beer was brewed for the 10th anniversary of the brewery, and features a full explanation of the Rastafari culture on the side of the bottle - with the Lion of Judah symbol and colors of Jamaica. It also has a sweet clay-mation caricature of Bob Marley on the front! A portion of the proceeds of the beer go to underprivileged children in the Caribbean. I find it kind of fitting that this beer (celebrating an anti-establishment religion) is coming from a brewery that celebrates no corporate ties!

The beer smells of American hops, both spicy and floral. This is a really good beer! Delicious darker malt flavors from the malt balance well from generous hopping. Buttery and sweet, this is everything I want our beer to turn out as - with (always) slightly more hops!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Check out my new BBbarfly!

It may be a small perk to writing and keeping up with this blog, but I am starting to garner a bit of interest from merchants of beer-related products. Occasionally, they will even send me a free sample of their product(s) to try out and review for the site - something that I personally think is a great way to market!

This allows the retailer to get straight to the grassroots of the beer community without spending a tremendous amount of money on an ad campaign. Besides, is there really any better way to get your product out than word of mouth?

The most recent product I have been privileged to receive is none other than Canada's finest - the BBbarfly Bottle Opener!

The idea for this thing is actually really cool, it is loosely based around the premise of a butterfly knife. I don't know about you, but all of my friends and I had one of the knives when I was younger simply based on the fact that it was supposedly illegal. The simple fact that this thing looks like a concealed weapon makes me want to buy 3 of them!

The guys at BBbarfly have really caught the tiger by the tail with this product: they are fully customizable with your company's logo, have three different metal finishes (mine is sandblasted) for the bottle opener and currently offer 5 different colored handles to pick from with more to be expanded in the future.

The product seems to be very well made and features a bottle opener made from Food Grade Stainless Steel.  The BBbarflys are also all made in Canada and not overseas, so you can trust that the craftsmanship is from right here in North America!

Probably my favorite part about these products is that they are perfect as a conversation piece or something to bring with you to a party. The guys even put up videos of different tricks you can perform with your BBbarfly on Wednesday of each week on YouTube! Here is one of the demos:



I love my new BBbarfly, and suggest you guys check into picking one up of your own. You can purchase one for yourself only at BBbarfly.com!

Thanks for participating in the West|280 iOpener Giveaway!

Congratulations to our fourth and final winner, Kyle (@HopsBlog)!!! Week #3's winner was Edmond (@va_beergeek), Week #2's winner was Jay (@JayZeis), and Week #1's winner was Beer Drinker Rob (@DailyBeerReview). Many thanks to Kyle, Edmond, Rob and Jay, and to everyone that entered!


I also want to say a huge thank you to Clay at West|280 for providing these INCREDIBLE products to give away! Make sure you click on one of the pictures or links to their page where you can purchase your own, and please share with all your friends!

The West|280 iOpener is an innovative product to say the least...To speak in simplistic terms, it is a multi-functional protective case for America's fastest growing mobile phone, the Apple iPhone 3G/3GS. However, there are several things that set the iOpener apart from your everyday aftermarket covering:

First, and most noticeably, there is the surgical-grade stainless steel bottle opener. This retractable opener is fully functional, and quite the conversation starter.

Picture this - You are at the bar chatting with your friends about the drinkability of Sam Calagione's most recent divulsion when you ask the bartender for another brew. Rather than allow him/her to pop the cap on that Belgian Quad you pull out your iPhone, pop the top and simultaneously add what beer you are drinking to Untappd!

Or you could use West|280's personal mobile application, BevConX, downloaded for free from the app store. This app can record what you open, when and where. You can add beverages, see openings on map view and attach songs from iTunes to the opening action!

Second, the ergonomics of this case are second to none. Completely smooth and with perfect aesthetics, this cover is both comfortable and built to last. It also comes in two different stylish colors, Piano Black and Bright White.

Finally - and this point is most important to me - every part of this product and its packaging was manufactured and assembled in the USA! A fact that is absolutely unheard of during a time when companies will send any form of labor overseas if it translates to cost savings and increased profits.

Thanks again to everyone that participated in this giveaway, and make sure to check in from time-to-time to see what other contests I have going on!

Remember, you can pick up your own iOpener by going to their store HERE.

*Updated 4/1/2011