Number Three - A full bodied stout made with all malted barley and blueberry. Flavors of chocolate, roast malt and light blueberry make up the palate with lots of fruity blueberry aroma.
Glassware: Pint Glass
Dark Horse Brewing Co. Tres Blueberry Stout
Tasting Notes: This sparked my interest for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because I have always wanted to brew a blueberry stout or porter and the other reason as this is the first blueberry stout I have ever come across bottled.
From an aroma perspective it has the normal roasted maltiness you would expect in a stout but it does have very subtle hints of blueberry that comes through nice. I never have good expectations of a craft beer that have huge fruity aroma.
While drinking the Dark Horse Brewing Company Tres Blueberry Stout you will definitely notice a full body stout that has a sweetness that resembles chocolate and an aftertaste where the Blueberry comes through strong. What I really like about the Tres Blueberry Stout is that is a beer you should not have to worry about letting a female try. A lot of the women I know do not like stouts or porters but if they know they are going to be trying a stout that is sweet and has hints a blueberry you just may be able to get them slowly converted to darker craft beer. I will definitely be saving one for my wife to try. A well made stout that is definitely worthy of giving a try if you come across it at your local bar, bottle shop or if you lucky enough visit their taproom. Let me know how you like it!
Humble beginnings gave way to lessons learned of brewing in the shadows of the residence hall; steering clear of the landlord and having your ass handed to you by the almighty dollar are now consumed by the glory bells of success and the daily grind - a dichotomy of sorts… Should a young madman have to bend and be Ned Beatty’d to sell and serve to please the public eye’s nerve endings from the very beginning? Not this time around.
A brewer slowly climbed from the lowest points of business life with a sore ass, as he ascended to a new level. Hark! The horse of the dark nature holds the scales where the wheat and barley feedeth, not taketh from the mouths of man. A non-filtered view of hard work, careful perseverance of expansion, sticking to what is believed to be the right way and the only way to stay true to high quality, and also, the vague understandings of possible humor; blurring his family’s, employees’ and customers’ drinking experience and vision between a no-bullshit approach to brewing big, outstanding beers and selling nonsensical imagery and haberdashery…Proven to the masses as a Darkhorse trademark for the man behind the reigns.
Can true patrons of quality, time and devotion deal with the inner workings of a mad-man’s psyche as he speaks of visions of smacking Umpa Lumpas with snow shovels, or allows the obscure drawings of lawn jarts and tinker toys to be hung on the walls of his establishment? They seem to…A madman’s passion for brewing comes out in strange ways indeed; where his employees and fellow brew house boys may know not how to deal with his tongue twisted ramblings and contortions of the face at first; where the same can definitely scare away newcomers.
True patrons know how to accept the obscure humor. Some have lent a hand in some way or another. They know what “pour to the line” means; they have been to every annual crawfish boil and some find the passion within themselves to put the Darkhorse name to skin…still they barely understand the immature drawings created in the brewery… True patrons know the hard work the brewers put in to create and keep the Darkhorse name in the lead.
Some things in life are easily read and some things keep you guessing. Should we take turns consuming garage sale items and vomiting them on the walls or should we follow the square, straight and narrow? Slip into the pub and look around. Go out and buy a six-pack, and read the holder the beer comes in. Read the back of your growler. When you’re done, you’ll either get it or you won’t. No matter, as you’re drinking some of the best fuckin’ beer made in the great state of Michigan. Period!
Inspired by Paul Revere's midnight ride, we rebelled against the British style IPA, embraced the more aggressive American version and then recast it in bold, brave, defiant black. Our Black IPA is a Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of the expected.
Back in Black is our newest year-round beer available now in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like an American IPA but with the addition of rich, dark malts, this beer has all the flavor and hop character you expect with a smooth, mellow finish.
The 21st Amendment Brewery offers a variety of award winning house made brews and American grilled cuisine in a comfortable loft like setting. Join us before and after Giants baseball games in our outdoor beer garden. A great location for functions and parties in our semi-private Brewers Loft. See you soon at the 21A!
Tasting Notes: I’ve been to the restaurant several times while visiting friends in San Francisco and have been lucky enough to find this in beer distributors on the east coast and lately have found it in some local bars (in can). This Black IPA is one of the better ones I have tried that has the color of a stout / porter but aroma and bitterness of an IPA. When sampling this craft beer you will notice the aroma from the Black IPA is different from a typical IPA because of the ingredients used in the brewing process. You still get the citrus and piney aromas from that of a hop like simcoe but when it is combined with the dark roasted malts it creates a truly unique aroma you do not come across often. When tasting, it feels and finishes smooth like a porter or stout but has that great bitterness that comes along with an IPA. Another thing I really like about the beer is the fact it comes in a can. Great from outdoor activities and is a conversation starter. Whether you are tailgating a sporting event, at a party or any other social event and enjoying directly from the can someone is always curious to know what beverage it is you are holding. Craft beer in a can is something very new and it certainly does not look like your average soda can design that everyone is used to. A unique craft beer that I highly recommend. Drink with caution as it packs a punch with 6.8% ABV! Let me know how your like it!
DIY Igloo Cooler Mash Tun Conversion for All Grain Brewing
The below step by step procedure should give you all the information you need to build a cheap mash tun for all grain brewing.
10 Gallon Igloo Cooler - You can get these coolers many places. I got the one I used significantly cheaper on eBay but many other coolers can be substituted to build an effective Mash Tun. I opted to used a round cooler but rectangle coolers can work well too.
Cooler Bulkhead - I have seen other tutorials online with cheaper options but I have not had much success stopping the cooler from leaking with those so I spent the extra money and got a bulkhead that works really well. Not only did it stop the leaking problem it also helped keep the mash from loosing temperature. In previous designs I was typically loosing about 4 degrees during the hour mashing process.
Brass Barb x MIP Adapter (2) – You will need 2 of these for use inside of the cooler to connect to the Braided Stainless Steel (step 4) that will be used to filter the wort as it drains through the grain bed.
Stainless-Steel Braided Faucet Supply Line - I bought the 16 inch length so I had extra to use in the event I made any mistakes or needed to make any repairs. During initial construction you will only need about half.
Brass Square-Head Plug - This will be used secure to one end of the stainless-steel braided faucet supply line.
Wire Ties (2) – These will be used to secure the steel braid (item 4) to brass barb MIP adapter (item 3) and to the brass plug (item 5).
Teflon Tape – This will be used to wrap around the threads of the brass barb MIP adapter (item 3) that will be screwed into the cooler bulkhead (item 2).
Igloo Cooler Mash Tun Conversion Installation Instructions:
Step 1: Remove spigot from cooler
Step 2: Use hacksaw and cut braided steel. Once you have cut a length that will fit inside you cooler make sure to pull out the plastic inner lining in the direction that does not un-braid the steel. See image below.
Step 3: Install Brass Plug into one open end of braided steel and fasten with a wire tie.
Step 4: Wrap threads of Brass MIP with Teflon tape.
Step 5 – Screw brass MIP (above) into Cooler Bulkhead.
Step 6 – Install Cooler Bulkhead into cooler from the inside.
Step 7: Wrap the other end of the cooler bulkhead with teflon tape and then from the outside of the cooler secure the bulkhead with larger rubber gasket and nut. Be sure to make sure the rubber gasket is against the cooler.
Step 8: Screw ball lock valve onto end of bulkhead.
Step 9: Screw the other brass MIP to end of ball lock to easily connect tubing for hot liquor or wort removal.
Fairly simple process that yields great results. I’m sure there are cheaper ways of building something comparable so if you have any better options for parts listed above feel free to add a comment below or send me an email. Enjoy your new mash tun and more importantly your homebrew!
I was extremely happy with how my Oatmeal Stout came out. Before sampling the first thing you would notice was the nice creamy head and dark rich color. Aroma coffee like as anticipated from the roasted barley. When sampling you will notice a mellow bitterness and silky smooth texture that comes from the addition of oatmeal to the mash. Chocolatey undertones are also very prevalent which also adds to the bitterness of the stout. I will definitely be brewing this beer again.
Tasting Notes: While visiting a friend in San Francisco, CA I had the opportunity to head to Lagunitas Brewing Company for a couple fresh beers. Being a huge India Pale Ale fan I had to first go with their flagship brew and get their IPA. At first glance I was delighted by the glass it was served in as it isn’t certainly a typical glass you enjoy a beer from. The beer had a wonder floral aroma with a bitterness you feel in your jaw that keeps you going back for more. If you like IPA’s then this is definitely worth trying out. A typical west coast IPA that any craft beer fan will never say no to.
In a future post I will be describing my trip to Northern California Breweries in more detail that also included 21st Amendment Brewery and Russian River Brewing Company. It’s an area full of great beer and can’t wait to get back.
Craft Beer Reviewed Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Location: 1280 North McDowell Boulevard, Petaluma, CA
I decided my first post should be a little bit about myself and why I decided to start blogging about Craft Beer. My goal is simple – to give an honest, non-biased opinion about every craft beer I try with the hope of helping you decide if it is something you would like to try yourself. This is also my attempt to help grow the craft beer community and help people discover better beer.
I am currently an IT consultant which gives me the ability to travel all over the United States and visit breweries / sample craft beer that you may or may not be able to enjoy in whatever neck of the woods you live. My wife and I also love travelling to other countries for leisure so occasionally I will be able to post beers I have tried while abroad. Breweries are popping up all over the place with more and more beer to try.
When I’m not on the road working one of my other hobbies is brewing my own beer. I started extract brewing 6 years ago and for the past 2 years have started all grain brewing with good success. Brewing beer is not the easiest of things to learn on one’s own so I also plan to share information about my current homebrew, equipment I use, tutorials on what to buy / how to assemble and any other good information I find.