Hunter's Beer gives reviews and descriptions of different beers that I sample and enjoy. I welcome all to sample, share, and comment with their own experiences of different beers. This blog will use many different styles and values of beer, from mass produced American beers to top of the line micro-brewers to historical brews from around the world. I present the information on the beer in a very informal and laymen manner, nothing you would find at a vineyard in France. So come, pop a top, and enjoy!

I will be using a 'cheer' system for quick ratings of the beer. The main factors I will use are taste, quality, lasting appeal and price.

5 Cheers - The best example of the quote by Ben Franklin "Beer is proof that God loves us and want us to be happy."
4 Cheers - Good enough to be remembered a week after drinking it, but falls just short.
3 Cheers - Only good enough to remembered the next day.
2 Cheers - Forgotten the next day, but good enough to be remembered in an hour.
1 Cheer - Forgettable.
Crickets - Skunked beer. Not even finished.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale - Carolina Brewing Company

 Ah, the pumpkin ale.  A delightful treat that happens only once a year.  A simple concept, yet hard to execute and in many from and fashions.  Carolina Brewing Company created this beer and made it extremely difficult to find.  But none the less, it is a beer brewed in North Carolina and its a pumpkin ale.  Seems like a double win, but what could go wrong?

Sight - To do a little twist on a Robert Frost poem, this beer is lovely, dark, and deep.  It is much darker and richer in color and texture than your standard pumpkin, giving it a character that distinguish itself from other pumpkin ales.  

Smell - With pumpkin ale, smell is keen difference among them.  Some are heavy on the pumpkin, while others are heavy on the spices, making them liquid pumpkin pies.  Cottonwood leans more on the pie side with a bounty of nutmeg and other cold weather spices.  There is still a whiff of pumpkin to it, but the star smell are the spices.  

Taste - The smell is important because in this style of beer, it predicts the taste flawlessly.  This taste more like pumpkin pie than actual pumpkins.  This is not a bad concept at all, as the higher end pumpkin ales are just like this. The taste itself is full of spice at first, then slowly turns in pumpkin at the end of the sip.  Delightful and enjoyable, a beer to simply drink one a chilled autumn night.

Overall - Cottonwood is a great high end pumpkin (pie) ale at a great price that is better than other pumpkin ales.  The only problem I have with it is its availability, because of its rarity.  It is hard to find beyond restaurants and bars.  Please tell me if you can find this beer on tap.  Anywhere.

4 out of 5 Cheers!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saint Bernardus Whitbier - St. Bernarud Brewing Company


 Saint Bernardus is one of more well known Belgium brewers in the world.   The happy monk mascot has been an icon in the beer world since the refounding of the brewery in the mid 19th century.  This is a traditional whitbier, or wheat beer.  Make sure not to confuse this with the German style wheat beer, as the Belgium wheat beer is different.  Let us see how this beer stacks up.

Sight - This beer carbonates very well! It is much lighter in color than other wheat beers, especially from German style wheat beers, which can be a darker amber color.  Because of the way the beer carbonates, it produces a great head for a beer with wheat in it.

Smell - Unfortunately, this beer does not have the scent like other wheat beers.  This could be because of it is a Belgium wheat beer, or simply could just the be the beer itself.  The wheat is not as prominent as in other styles of wheat beers.

Taste - While other wheat beers are crispy and often have some zest to them, St. Bernardus does not. This beer is heavy in taste for the light amber color it has.  One word that comes to mind to describe it is 'muggy,' in contracts to the usually crisp taste. It is a full flavor beer that never loses its taste throughout the entire drink, which is a great indicator of quality.

Overall - This is a beer that has a very small niche of people who would enjoy it.  If you have ever had a beer from Belgium and liked, you must try this one without a doubt.  I  would encourage anyone to sample it if they get the chance to, as it is hard to come by in states.  It is a historic beer that many people has drank since the Middle Ages, when the monasteries brewed beer to make fasting easier.

3 out of 5 cheers!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ayinger Oktoberfest Beer - Ayinger Brewing Company


 This beer is the second time I have drank a beer form the Ayinger Brewery.  If you remember, I did their Celebratory double bock, giving it a 5 out of 5 cheers.  Just in time for the Oktoberfest season, Ayinger brews a traditional märzen beer that is served at Oktoberfest. Märzen is like a lager, but with more malts and a smoother finish.  How does this relative new brewer stack up against tradition for the biggest beer fest in the world?

Sight - This is German beer, at least by appearance.  It has an amazing head that carbonates well after the beer has been poured.  A good attribute for a  beer that will take some time to drink due to the volume of the beer.  It has a cool amber color, perfect for an autumn beer.

Smell - Smelling like a true märzen, the beer smells sweet, due to the malts used in it.  It is simply the basic smell of a lager that defines this beer, allowing tradition to follow in crafting it.  

Taste - Here we go!  One sip gives the slightest taste of bitterness, but that is quickly washed away by the sweetness of the beer.  It is not sweet like a dessert beer, but an enjoyable beer to drink anytime of the day.  The idea of 'full body' beer is best explained here, being drinkable all the way to the bottom.  It has a very distinct style and taste that no other beer comes close to matching.

Overall - Every wanted to taste the beer they serve at Oktoberfest, but do not have the time or money to go there?  Get this beer.  A beer that follows the traditional märzen to the letter.  I do not really have problems with this beer because it embraces the traditional aspects of this beer type and does not divert from the tradition.  

5 out of 5 cheers!