Blue Point Spring Fling Ale

Blue Point Spring Fling is described as a Copper Ale. It poured a copper-ish color with a thick white head that had nice lacing. The aroma was a little weak, but what I could detect was bready and a little malty. I would call it an ESB or maybe a British IPA. It does have a very slight hop after bite, but the flavor is very mild. It is slightly on the malty side with some faint caramel and resin notes. Overall, an easy drinking beer, but not much complexity to the flavor. I would have this beer again, if offered, but probably would not seek it out. I give it 2 out of 5 proper pints.

Bell’s Smitten Golden Rye Ale

So I’ve noticed this year there seem to be more Spring-y type beers on the market. Each brewery seems to have come up with one or more Spring seasonals. This may have happened before and I just didn’t notice it, but I have been trying as many as I can and when I came across Bell’s, knowing how good their product usually is, I figured I’d give it a try. This one pours a pale orange color with a white head that laces the side of the glass as you drink it. If I didn’t know this was a rye beer, I would swear it was an IPA. It hits you right away with the floral, citrus of west coast style hops. The flavor comes through with a little bit of lemon and orange marmalade. It finishes with a little spiciness from the rye. This is a very refreshing light bodied beer. I would definitely have this one again. I rate it 4 out of 5 proper pints.

Moylan’s NorCal IPA

Moylan’s is a brewpub in the Marin area just to the north of San Francisco. I had never heard of it before and when I saw it at Grateful Red, I decided to give the IPA a try. This one poured an golden amber with a one finger white head. Characteristically of California IPAs, this one had strong citrusy notes in the aroma. There was also some mango and resin-y notes. This one was a little more malt forward than some others I’ve had. This reduced the bracing bitterness of the hops and brought it into a better balance than others. I thought this was a strong example of California IPA. would have it again. I rate it 3 out of 5 proper pints.

Slumbrew Flower Envy

This is a great spring/summer beer. It pours a nice golden color with a huge white head that sticks around. It offers a very refreshing fruity nose with hints of lavender and raspberry. The flavor is a little of wheat, yeast, and spice. There is a little citrusy bite from the hops as well. Very crisp and light body. It has a little bit higher alcohol content than some other summer beers at 6& ABV, so it could sneak up on you a little bit. I’ve only seen it in bombers. This would go well with a a light summery meal. I give it 3 out of 5 proper pints.

Dogfish Head Ta Henket

Apparently the brewers of Dogfish Head traveled to Egypt to capture wild yeasts and studied anthropology to make this beer. It has ancient wheat, doum fruit, za’atar spices and chamomile. I didn’t know if that combination of spices and flavors would taste good. I have not always liked some of the more experimental of Dogfish Head’s offerings. I do respect that they go out on a limb though. I did like this beer, but it does have a unique flavor to it. It pours an orangey color with a fairly thick white head. It smells bready and has a spicy taste to it, which I attribute to the za’atar. There is almost a peppery quality to the spice. At the end you get distinct chamomile. This seemed to fit well with a roasted chicken dinner with cauliflower and salad. I would definitely have it again, but it could be something you need to be in the right mood for. At only 4.5% ABV, you could have more than one. I’ve only seen it in 1 pt, 9 oz. bombers. I give it 3 out of 5 proper pints.

Maui Brewing Company Coconut Porter

I had wanted to try this one for a long time, but always passed it up for something else. Well today I decided to go for it. I didn’t regret it. I really liked this beer. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I didn’t know if it would be super coconut-y or not. Well ladies and gentlemen, the coconut works in a porter. It doesn’t come through as clearly as you would think. It mixes in with the aroma of roasted malt and chocolate and adds a slightly toasted coconut-y aroma. It was almost indistinguishable in the flavor, except that I think it brought out the roasty malts a little more. It also gave it a little bit of a creamy texture. The body was relatively light as well. This could be a beer you would have more than one of. I give it 4 out of 5 proper pints.

Buffalo Bill’s Orange Blossom Cream Ale

As you can see from the photo, I actually did drink this while I was grilling. This may be my favorite simple summer backyard lager. OK, it’s a cream ale, but it’s very similar. Buffalo Bill’s added some orange zest, orange blossom extract and honey. This is not a complex beer, but it is a nice base cream ale with the subtle added flavor of orange. It adds a very refreshing element to it without being too overbearing. Although you might think it was sweet, it wasn’t. I wouldn’t call it bitter, but just balanced. There was the slightest hint of citrusy hop to it as well. This was great t for grilling and I imagine would be good with most summery meals, but especially chicken and salads. I give it 3 out of 5 proper pints.

Dogfish Head Sixty One

I bought this at a local wine and craft beer shop called Arrowine, a place I highly recommend. I was looking around for something interesting to try and noticed a new Dogfish Head beer. I asked the beer guy if he had tried it and he hadn’t. We both shared our experiences with some Dogfish Head experiments. They can be right on, but sometimes not. I decided to go ahead and buy it. This was a very nice beer. They basically took the 60 Minute IPA and added Syrah Grape Must (which is grape juice used for making wine). There is a nice hoppiness, but it is tempered by the grapes. The grapes definitely influenced the color of the beer. It pours a reddish pink with a thick, lingering white head. You don’t get a strong flavor of wine or grape, but I think that’s because the strong flavor of the hops and the grapes are offsetting each other. It drinks very smoothly and is very refreshing. You do still get some of the malty backbone and just a hint of hop bite. I liked it, but I think some people might not. I give it 3 out of 5 proper pints.

Goose Island Summertime Kolsch

Given the recent warm weather, I thought I might like to try a summery beer, so I picked this up at Total Wine. I have to say it was a little disappointing. It’s not bad. However, it is not memorable. It pours a light golden color with a thick white head. It had very little nose, maybe a hint of lemon. It was very crisp. Probably would be refreshing on a hotter day. It was better than an adjunct lager, but only a little. I would probably not buy it again. I give it a 1 out of 5 proper pints.

White Birch Hop Session Ale

The last of the beers in my monthly beer club collection. This one is from a small brewery in New Hampshire. I haven’t seen it around anywhere before this. This is an American Pale Ale. It pours a light copper with a large head. It has an earthy aroma to it, but otherwise seems like an IPA. It doesn’t have the bright fruity or piney hop flavor of a West Coast IPA, but there is definitely a distinct hop flavor to it. It has a light body and except for the earthy hop aroma and slight hop bite, it has a non-distinct flavor. I might have trouble remembering what this one was like. I would probably not seek it out, but it wasn’t bad. I give it 2 out of 5 proper pints.