Archives for posts with tag: cans

It has been FOREVER since I did a real beer post. Thanks for your patience and putting up with the sporadic posting. Before I get to the beer, here’s the deal: we’re putting our health before EVERYTHING now and so our eating plan allows one cheat day per week. I’m averaging 1-2 beers on cheat day and I’ve been cleaning out old stuff that has been around too long. Not very exciting for reviews! LOL

I did get tempted into Gomer’s midtown location a couple weeks ago and after ogling all the bottles my eyes settled on a canned beer I hadn’t seen before. YES, I am still enamored with the idea of canned craft beers, ESPECIALLY if what’s inside might pour like motor oil!

I picked up this six pack of Santa Fe Brewing Co’s Imperial Java Stout for under $9 and it seemed like a good value. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized it was an “imperial,” I thought it was just a regular coffee stout.

I’m a sucker for packaging and while extremely simple, the Santa Fe can appealed to me because on one side there is a beer mug that says “after noon” and on the other side is a coffee cup that says, “before noon.” Clever.

Coffee beers are best drunk fresh because the coffee character is quick to go. I didn’t know this until I heard it on Craft Beer Radio recently, so I was excited to try a coffee stout that seemed to be a relatively new addition to Gomer’s lineup (i.e. hadn’t been hanging around long) and was also canned, giving it the best chance of retaining as much freshness as possible without drinking it right at the brewery.

According to Santa Fe’s website (worth looking at, they have a nice lineup of interesting-sounding beers) the Imperial Java Stout has an ABV of 8% uses two hop varieties and four types of malt. The website says they use organic beans fro New Guinea and East Timor that are locally roasted in Santa Fe.

Of all the coffee beers I’ve tasted I would say this one is the most coffee forward. There is no mistaking this as a coffee stout. I’m writing this from memory since it’s morning and I don’t really want to drink a stout from a coffee cup as fun as that seems, but I recall a LOT of coffee character (think cold-brewed coffee) with a good, classic stout backbone.

The beer has a good amount of sweetness to it, not quite like Left Hand Milk Stout but not dry, either. The sweetness is balanced in the finish by an earthy hop character and I would say the beer has good overall balance. I enjoyed one can while eating a couple of Justin’s Dark Chocolate peanut butter cups last week and that dried the flavor of the beer out a lot while bringing out more of the hops and a the dark roasty, almost astringent character.

I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised by this beer since I knew nothing about it going into it. It’s a good stout in and of itself, but as a coffee lover I think this is a great example of what a coffee-heavy beer can taste like when done properly. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another six pack of this again!

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Yummmm

I was running errands Friday evening and just happened to be passing by Tipsy’s in Merriam (or is that Mission?) and stopped in. I love that there are more can selections in the craft beer section every time I stop at a bottle shop these days. If anything, the choice is getting tougher, but that’s a good thing! We have a pool day/evening at our friend’s house on Saturday, so I needed a couple 6’ers or a 12 (there are always those good folks who come and like to “share” yet never bring anything with them…)

I was eyeing the Anderson Valley 6-packs… thinking long and hard about one of IPA and one of Barney Flatts stout (one of my favorite stouts… SO GOOD!), but the idea of stout, even from a can, at the pool on a humid day… nah, probably not a great idea.

Last summer I was a big fan of the Tallgrass Halcyon Wheat, which is a nice beer and was hard to pass up this time. The Avery cans looked great, but a little heavy for the pool, the Ska Brewing cans are nice but not that inspiring… then I spotted my friends in green!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I know, either Pale Ale or Fat Tire is every beer geek’s gateway beer into obsession, but still. Great beer is great beer. I almost ALWAYS avoid this beer in the rare occurrences we go out these days because it’s so readily available. I never have it at home. It’s a great beer and it just seemed RIGHT when I saw it! 🙂 The tallboys of Torpedo looked pretty inviting, too, but a 12-er of Pale Ale it is.

Hello, summer!

On my last beer run (which is going to be my last for a LONG time… I have WAAAYYYY too many beers in the “cellar” that need to be drunk before I buy anything more. I know I said the same last year, but this is serious now) I picked up some cans for the “Hey, Babe, Nice Cans!” series and Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s Hop Ottin’ IPA was one I picked up (see my last review for my impression of the canned Summer Solstice).

Again, longtime readers know I am still enamored with the idea of craft beers in cans! LOL Cans are a great medium for beers for many, many reasons, but IPA’s do particularly well in cans because there is no chance of light or air hitting the beer, both of which are bad for high-hopped beers especially.

I’ve had this beer in the bottle, but for some reason have never reviewed it. Hop Ottin’ weighs in at 7% ABV and 80 IBU’s (the measure for bitterness used by brewers). Unfortunately, the AVBC website offers virtually no information about what’s in the beer, so all we know based on the site is that it has “Pacific Northwest hops,” which could be anything since virtually all hops used in production brewing come from the PNW.

If there is one thing that California brewers all have in common is the love of HUGE, ultra-hopped IPA’s. Balance? We don’t need no stinking balance here on the Left Coast!

Hop Ottin’ pours a cloudy dark orange/amber-ish color with a huge, thick shaving cream like head. Head retention is massive on this beer and I even had an island of thick head that floated on the beer and never went away. Big heads come from big hops, generally.

The aroma is hop forward, with that piney, resiny type of hop character loved by many of the West Coast brewers. I didn’t get many floral or citrus notes from the aroma. They were earthy and there was a lot of pine tree in there, too.

Not surprisingly, the flavor was the same. Earthy, resiny, piney notes from beginning to end, and a lot of hop bitterness. The first 25% of the taste has pretty good balance with the malts, but then the hops wave comes crashing in and carries into a long, bitter aftertaste. There is nice carbonation in this beer and it’s quite an easy drinker despite the high bitterness. At this alcohol level and bitterness level trying to take down a 6-pack of this at a party or during a game would be a bad idea and would quickly lead to palate fatigue, but this is a good, solid, enjoyable IPA. After my disappointment with Summer Solstice, my love of AVBC has been restored! A great beer, probably tough to drink in volume, but sprinkling some cans in among the lighter fare for a day at the pool or camping would be a top notch idea.

What? A summer beer on a cloudy, crappy 35° day in Kansas City? Sure, why not? I went to Lukas and decided to build a sixer from cans, as part of my “Hey, Babe, Nice Cans!” series. LOL I enjoy most of the Anderson Valley Brewing Company beers I’ve had, so I thought I’d give this one a shot since I’d not had it before.

AVBC bills this summer beer as a “cerveza crema” or, presumably, a cream ale. The can says it has natural flavors added, but I could find no info about adjuncts on the website or anywhere else, nor detect any in the flavor, so I’m not sure what that was all about.

Cream ales are malt-forward, American “lawnmower beers.” They typically contain adjuncts of as much as 20% glucose or corn, so maybe one of those is added to Summer Solstice? There is a definite corny aftertaste with this beer, and it’s relatively sweet.

Summer Solstice pours a cloudy copper color with an off-white, bubbly head, as you can see in the photo (courtesy of boozedancing.wordpress.com). There isn’t much aroma to speak of, but what little there is seems sweet and malty.

The carbonation on this beer is relatively high and it has a full mouthfeel. The flavor is malt-forward with a little hops balance. The aftertaste is slightly bitter, but without much actual hop character, and there is a DMS (cooked vegetable) and corn-heavy aftertaste, for sure. While it is malt-forward in flavor it isn’t cloying and there is enough hops hidden in there somewhere to give it some balance.

This isn’t a bad beer, but for a summer, lawnmower, thirst-quenching type of beer there are a lot of things I would go to before this. There isn’t anything wrong with this beer, per se, but it seems a little heavy for what it’s intended to be, and the low hops makes it a little less refreshing than I’d like. I really enjoy everything I’ve had by AVBC, but this one is lacking compared to their other beers I’ve had.

Was at Lukas Liquors this weekend and spotted Moose Drool cans, as well as Lagunitas beers in bottles. I picked up a bottle of Hop Stoopid (104 IBU’s or something crazy) that I will be reviewing soon. After this weekend I am all beered out for a while. Oofa!

Ska Brewing LogoSka Brewing Company is a Durango, CO brewery that recently purchased a canning line from Oskar Blues. For $7.99, I found a six pack of cans of True Blonde Ale at Lukas Liquors, and Lukas also had Ska’s ESB in cans, as well as some other choices in bottles.I haven’t knowingly drunk too many blonde ales, as the style sounds about as exciting to me as “amber,” but you know I’ll try any craft beer in a can!

Blonde ale is a malt-oriented, American style of beer that is designed to be approachable and easy-drinking. Ska’s version poured a hazy yellow-light gold color. Not quite the neon of typical American lager, but not too far different from that, either. The head was white, thin and didn’t stick around for long. True Blonde Ale is 5.3%ABV and has low hops at only 39 IBU’s, as would be expected for this style.

There is not a whole lot of aroma on this beer. Initial aroma reminded me of a pilsner. There is a little malt, but really not much of anything there. The flavor is definitely malty, but not sweet, with hops to balance out the malts, although I never really get any hop aromas or bitterness out of it. The website says local honey is used in the brewing of this beer, too.

This is a great lawnmower beer. It suffers a little from a very thin body, but this is a beer designed to be a thirst-quencher, and I think it meets that challenge nicely. Of the canned craft beers I’ve had lately, I think this is the one I would like to take tailgating, or anywhere else where fairly large amounts of beer would be drunk. It’s relatively low in alcohol, it’s light and doesn’t make you think about what you’re tasting, and it has nice carbonation and a decent mouthfeel. What more could you want when you’re hot and thirsty?

Unfortunately, I’m feeling a little let down by the two canned beers I’ve purchased lately, but they’re a start and hopefully more adventurous offerings are on their way to our local KC area bottle shops.

Even more exciting can news! In a press release from June 19, Anderson Valley Brewing Company announced it will be released their Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema and Poleeko Gold Pale Ale in cans as an initial offering. Yet one more great canned beer to ask for from your bottle shop in addition to the recently announced Big Sky Brewing Company cans, too!