Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gigantic Brewing Company - Shazoo Milk Stout

Do you shazoo?
What the heck is a shazoo? I googled it but the only thing I could find was a YouTube video of a Family Guy clip involving a European See and Say. Apparently, European cows say "shazoo" instead of "moo". Hey, I'm not making this crap up, I'm just reporting it.

Shazoo is also the monicker of the beer I'm drinking tonight. Gigantic Brewing Company's Shazoo Milk Stout to be precise. I picked up a bomber of this beer at New Seasons. Sorry, I don't recall the price. Hey, it didn't bankrupt me, I can tell you that. The label proclaims an ABV of 8.5% Ah, the label also says the beer is "inspired by Europe" with the addition of milk sugar. I see what they did there.

How does this Europe inspired beer rank on the ol' Beer Guy PDX crushed can scale? Let's find out!

The beer poured into my glass a pitch black color that showed some mahogany tones when held up to the light. A creamy, clumpy, mocha head rose up to almost a finger thick. The foam dissipated at a moderate rate and left behind a thin cap of spotty lacing.

Aroma was espresso and chocolate. Sweet malt. Vanilla. Caramel.

Taste was sweet lactose right up front, but that was immediately toned down by coffee and bitter cocoa flavors. Robust roasted malt. Smooth. No hint of booze to this 8.5% beer. Sweet but not at all cloying. Just a hint of smokiness.

Medium to slightly full mouthfeel. Appropriate carbonation. Creamy, silky finish with all the aforementioned flavors balancing on the palate at the end.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. Flavorful, rich and surprisingly complex for the style. I like it!

I'm giving Shazoo a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.

Beer Guy PDX Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Happy freakin' holidays, ya filthy animal!
Yeah, yeah, I know! I'm getting off the mark a little late this year. I've been a wee bit distracted by the collapse of Western Civilization, the destruction of Democracy and, uh, stuff. You know how it is. Anyway, anyhow, anyhoo, we have about 18 shopping days until Christmas, and for all the Johnny Come-Latelies like me who do most of our shopping on-line, there's about a 10-day window to get this job done. Yikes!

This isn't so much a "gift guide" as it is the random meanderings of a desperate man across the internet. I must say that once again I've found a number of amazing beer-related gifts--for myself. What? Did you think I was going shopping for you? Don't be silly.

1) Let's start out with a great little stocking stuffer. Does  your significant other love beer? Does he also have a mustache? What happens to his 'stache as soon as he takes a long sip on that pint glass?


Here's a little tool to solve that problem: The MoGuard Mustache Guard Drink Attachment. The MoGuard is made from flexible silicon and can fit a variety of glasses. Just slap it onto the glass and enjoy some foam-free sipping. Available right now at Amazon for only $9.99 and free shipping for Prime members, the MoGuard comes in a variety of colors and is dishwasher safe. There's also a hole in the thing for attaching to a keychain, but my keys are filthy, so that's not gonna happen. CLICK HERE for ordering information.

2) Is your primary mode of transportation a bicycle? Do you ever have a hard time transporting mass quantities of beer by bicycle? If so, I have  a great little item for you!

The Beer Gear 6 Pack Bike Carrier by True is made from sturdy nylon and holds six bottles of beer. It can be easily attached to a bike frame or a  pannier rack, and it's even insulated! Won't you be the stylin' devil when you pull up to the next bottle share with this  tote strapped to your fixie? Hell, yeah, you will!

Only $11.89 right now on Amazon AND there's free shipping for Prime members.

CLICK HERE for ordering information.

3) I don't know about you, but I don't think it's possible to own too many bottle openers. Of course, Mrs. BeerGuyPDX would disagree, but she just doesn't understand the  pure tragedy of needing a beer bottle open and not having an opener immediately within reach. Come on! Somebody might actually have to walk into another room to pop that top off a cold one? That's crazy talk!

No matter. I will have an opener conveniently mounted in every room as soon as I get this Diablo III Bottle Opener from ThinkGeek.

This devilish device is the spittin' image of good ol' Diablo from the epic Blizzard video game. It can also be magnetically attached to the fridge! What more could you want? I'm pretty sure my lovely spouse will have no problem with me mounting this thing on our living room wall, right next to the velvet Jesus.

Only $19.99! CLICK HERE for ordering information.

4) It's my personal opinion that a man just isn't a real man unless he has a little fire in his pocket. Do you know what I mean? No? Okay, a man is supposed to be able to cut stuff and set stuff on fire whenever asked. It's the law of the urban jungle. That's why a decent pocket knife and a reliable lighter are de rigueur for any dude worth his snuff.

There's nothing more awesomely reliable than a trusty Zippo lighter. I firmly believe every man should carry one in his pocket--whether he  smokes or not. And wouldn't you know it? Zippo has several beer-themed lighters  available.

Right now, at Amazon, you can order a Zippo Beer 6 Pack Engraved Lighter for  the low price of $29.95 (okay, that's not so low) and with free shipping!

CLICK HERE to get one!

5) My wife just loves candles. That's my go-to stocking stuffer for her. "Mmmm, isn't the smell of this lavender-scented votive divine," she'll say. I'll just nod in the affirmative--like I know what lavender is--like I know what a votive candle is--you know, like I know.

This year, I want a candle! The Beer Scented Stinky Candle from the Stinky Candle Company sounds like it's  perfect for moi! Truthfully, I've never smelled one of these. I have no idea if it actually smells like beer. Heck, for only $10.99 at Perpetual Kid, why not give it a try? I mean, seriously, how bad could it be?

Order one today and let me know how it goes. CLICK HERE for more information.

6) Ah, yes! Every year I run across an item that is just so ridiculously wrong that I MUST have one! Here's the conversation I imagine between two drunks at the last George Foreman Grill Inventors Convention:

DRUNK ONE: Say, Billy, you know what would be terrifi-, turrifi-terr--AWESOME!

DRUNK TWO: No, Joe--BURP!--I do not!

DRUNK ONE: A bottle opener that can shoost out the bottle cap like a gun!

DRUNK TWO: (misses high-five) HELLS, YES! That would be clashic! I mean CLASSIC! Let's do it!

Yup, because nobody's eye is getting shot out here! Nope! Nopitty nope! The LMS Cap Zappa Beer Bottle Opener Cap Launcher Shooter by Spinning Hat can be had  at Amazon for only $8.44 with free shipping. What could go wrong? Don't sue me if anything does!

CLICK HERE for more information.

7) How is your beer lover set for steins? Come on! Nobody can have too many beer steins! Steins are collectible! My wife actually lets me display mine in a "discreet" spot in our living room. Okay, they're in the hall closet but that's CLOSE to the living room.

Check this out! They have a trio of Star Wars steins available for $39.99 on Amazon with free Prime shipping! They have Darth Vader, R2D2 and my personal fav: Chewbacca. I want one!

The Star Wars Chewbacca Stein is a collectible, 22oz, ceramic mug with a metal hinge that unfortunately does not make the distinctive Chewbacca roar sound when you lift his head for a sip. You can, however, provide the sound effect for yourself.

CLICK HERE for the info.

8) To quote the timelessly skeevy Dean Martin Christmas tune, "Baby, it's cold outside!" What can you do to keep yourself warm, other than put yourself in harm's way hanging out with a slurring, leering, semi-inebriated lounge lizard?  How about the perfect winter scarf?

The Beer Time Scarf from Portland's own Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) is appropriately stylish for all kinds of yucky weather.

Get yourself one for only $22.00 at the Hopworks on-line store. CLICK HERE for ordering information.

Okay, that's my list for now. I may follow up with a Part 2 tomorrow. If I don't, here's wishing you all a very merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and the best New Year ever!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

GoodLife Brewing Company - Comatose Imperial IPA

You snooze, you booze.
Yeah, sorry about the caption on the photo over there. (groan) I was drawing a blank for about thirty minutes and finally decided that I needed to type something--anything--or this blog post was never going to happen. Man, I don't know what's wrong with me lately. You'd think I got some really, really, really bad news this month. It's like I'm in a coma or something...sigh.

Well, the world might be going to hell in the proverbial handbasket, but at least I'm still surrounded by lots of tasty, tasty beer. Today's tasty beer is from Bend, Oregon's GoodLife Brewing Company. Comatose Imperial IPA comes with an ABV of 8.5% and I got mine in a 500ml bottle at New Seasons for $4.99. 95 IBU's according to the label.

The beer poured into my glass a slightly hazy, golden orange color with a creamy, clumpy white head. The head dissipated slowly. A full, thin cap of suds was left behind with thick webs of lacing all over the glass.

Aroma was juicy fruit galore. Tropical fruit scents of melon, guava, and pineapple. Luscious citrus: tangerine and Mandarin orange. Hints of pine. Floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. This is a big flavored beer. Some spicy, herbal notes mixed in with the citrus and tropical fruit. Sweet caramel malt up against some well-rounded hops bitterness. Nice!

Medium mouthfeel with a bit of a chew to it. The finish was just a bit hot. The 8.5% ABV was apparent but not overbearing. No doubt that this is an Imperial IPA.

Overall, this is one heck of a delicious beer. I can't find any fault with it. I get a lot of grief from my friends about my generous ratings, but I'm giving Comatose a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4. All that really means if that I would buy this beer again without hesitation. I'm also giving it a Droolie. Merry the Wonder Beagle's nose perked up the instant the cap came off the bottle of this one. Trust me, her nose knows.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Old Town Brewing Company - Mushroom Ale

Will this beer make you a...
wait for it...fun guy?
One thing I've learned through my beer adventures is to always keep an open mind--always. If the brewing process is anything, it's transformative. You can literally make beer from dang near anything and chances are good it will, in the very  least, be drinkable. "What the holy heck are you talking about, Wolf?" you ask. "Are you 'shroomin'?" you say. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am!

Tonight, I'm drinking a beer that was brewed with mushrooms. Yup, mushrooms. If you're not from around here, I should probably clue you in about mushrooms and the Pacific Northwest. We have a lot of rain. We have a lot of forests. Mushrooms love damp forests. It's where they live. Lots of Oregonians forage for mushrooms. It's kind of a big deal. Some mushrooms are for eating--like my favorite Chanterelles--and some are for, uh, other things. We have a veritable mushroom bounty every fall in these parts, and there are dozens of delectable mushroom varieties that most folks out in the real world have never heard of before.

Old Town Brewing Company's Mushroom Ale is flavored with Candy Cap mushrooms. I'm not sure when the mushrooms are added. To the boil? In the fermenter? Beats me. A REAL journalist would find out for you, but I'm just a lowly blogger, so I'm not held to any kind of standards--other than my own very low ones. Sorry.

Candy Caps are an interesting little fungus because they taste and smell exactly like...are you ready for this? Maple syrup. Bam! How are they in a beer? Delicious! Pow!

The beer poured into my glass a dark amber color with a creamy, light tan head. The head rose up to almost two fingers thick and dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin cap of lacing was left behind.

Aroma was full-on maple syrup up front. Brown sugar. Sweet caramel malt. Some muted citrus and floral notes.

Taste followed the nose. Maple syrup. Sweet malt. A mild but appreciable hops bitterness was present to balance  things out quite  nicely.

Medium to slightly full mouthfeel with a smooth, creamy finish. Very drinkable and light on the palate  at the end.

Overall, this is a terrific beer. Something new, different and unapologetically  Pacific Northwest. I love this beer. I must go get some more tomorrow! My wife tried a sip and proclaimed this the beer that she will use to make her special holiday gingerbread cake this year. That's quite an honor, Old Town Brewing, and I'll let you know how  it turns out.

I'm giving Mushroom Ale a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4. Get yourself some of this seasonal beer while you can. I bought my bomber at Hollywood Beverage on Sandy Blvd, here in beautiful Northeast Portland.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hopworks Urban Brewery to Release HUB Brewer's Whiskey

(photo courtesy of Hopworks)


Hopworks Urban Brewery today announced that they will release HUB Brewer’s Whiskey at both Hopworks pubs on Wednesday November 16. More than four years in the making, the whiskey was distilled at New Deal Distillery from the wash of Hopworks’ award-winning Organic HUB Lager. Highly limited in production, HUB Brewer’s Whiskey will be available primarily by the glass at Hopworks pubs, with an upcoming bottle sale in December.

“What really sets our Brewer’s Whiskey apart is the use of our beautiful, finished and filtered organic beer in the still,” said Hopworks Brewmaster and Founder, Christian Ettinger. “We get a smooth spirit that exhibits characteristics well beyond its years. Making whiskey is a natural extension of our passion for craft beer. Our Brewer’s Whiskey is a product of our playfulness and our commitment to push the limits of what we can do as fermentation experts.”

“We’re used to working in a fast-paced brewing facility. It was an exciting challenge to make a whiskey based off organic beer and give it the love, patience, and neglect it needs to age well,” said Hopworks Head Brewer, Trever Bass. “We did just that and we’re truly proud of the results.”

Unhopped Hopworks’ Organic HUB Lager received a traditional double pot still distillation and was aged in a variety of American oak barrels where it picked up flavors of brown sugar, dark currant, chocolate, and leather. Much like Organic HUB Lager, the whiskey has a clean honey flavor, restrained ester profile and a smooth finish.

“We had a lot of fun working with Hopworks to create a single malt whiskey,” said Tom Burkleaux, New Deal Distillery owner and distiller. “Being brewers, the Hopworks team excels at working with all malt fermentations. We wanted the deeper notes of the malt to carry through. Once distilled the malt had a pleasant nutty character, which mellowed nicely in the barrel. Of course the best part was finally tasting it after several years!”

Of the partnership with New Deal Distillery, Christian Ettinger said, “We found a great partner in New Deal. Their decisions to use organic ingredients resonates with us, and they have been excellent in helping us bring to fruition a product that is made with the same skill and care as our beer.”

Release Party

HUB Brewer’s Whiskey will be available at both Hopworks’ pubs beginning Wednesday, November 16 at 5pm. The whiskey is served neat or in a variety of house cocktails that include a Hopworks Old Fashioned and Blackberry Sour. The Hopworks brewpub on Powell will also serve a BBQ Whiskey Burger special with beer battered in the days following the release.

Bottle Sale

750ml bottles of HUB Brewer’s Whiskey will be available during a special bottle sale on Saturday, December 17th, from 11am - 3pm at the Hopworks brewpub on Powell Blvd. New Deal Distillery will also have a variety of bottles available for purchase at the pub during the sale.


About Hopworks Urban Brewery

Hopworks Urban Brewery strives to revolutionize and inspire the brewing industry with practices that drive quality, protect the environment and improve the community we live in. Utilizing organic malts and a combination of locally-sourced, organic and Salmon Safe hops, the company’s 20-barrel brewery produces 13,500 barrels of beer and cider a year for HUB’s brewpubs and for distribution throughout the Northwest. Hopworks is a family-owned and operated business, the first Certified B Corporation brewery in the Pacific Northwest, a gold-level bike friendly business, and is recognized as one of the Best Green Companies To Work For In Oregon. In 2016 Hopworks will open a new brewpub in Vancouver, Washington. More info at hopworksbeer.com

About New Deal Distillery

New Deal Distillery has been proudly crafting small-batch, award-winning spirits in Portland’s Southeast Industrial District since 2004. Visit their Tasting Room & Distiller’s Workshop to sample and see what they’re playing with, or take a hands-on whiskey-making class taught by owner and distiller, Tom Burkleaux. Find New Deal at local farmers markets, spirits event around town, or on the shelf of your local liquor store. More info at www.newdealdistillery.com