Weird Beers

Beers craftily made by amazing people in small-medium brew houses.

KCCO Black Lager

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I don’t think I’ve ever waited for a beer to be released as if it were a new Grand Theft Auto. Thanks to TheChive.com, KCCO Black Lager had a following before anyone could even pour it down their gullet! Brewed in-house and then expanded outward to ‘Merica with the help of Red Hook Brewing, KCCO Black Lager was worth the wait!

It took a hot second for this misfit beer to reach Sin City, but there are now two places you can now get it! (E-Mail, Facebook, or Tweet me to find out where!) As soon as I heard this news, I drove immediately to get my first six pack. 

Once in my possession, I quickly dispatched the first bottle and was actually very surprised! I was a tad worried that this beer wouldn’t live up to the hype, but in my discovery, it very well lives up to it and tells it to Chive On! KCCO Black Lager looks the part, but doesn’t really fall into what I would call a black lager. It’s much lighter and smoother than most and has a very easy finish with very little bitterness on the back end. Flavor-wise, I mainly tasted hints of coffee with chocolate undertones with similar aromas to match. I enjoyed mine while eating some spicier foods and it blended well; It helped cool my pallet while still offering a counterbalance of complexity and flavors. This is a black lager that can be enjoyed by enthusiasts as well as those that aren’t as fond of darker beers. I like that I can’t quite put my finger on where this beer really belongs, it helps it be unique and something any respectable craft beer drinker should try.

Rating out
of 10
Description
9 Value

About $9 for a sixer, not bad considering the epic flavor and drinkability.

9 Flavor

It's delicious and fun and could be enjoyed year round. It's not as complex as similarish beers, but still top notch.

10 Drinkability

Light beer drinkers, dark beer drinkers, occasional beer drinkers, I think anyone would enjoy this.

9.3 Overall

Definitely a new favorite, and I can't wait to try their Gold Lager later this year!

Seasonals

Ommegang Abbey Ale

Ommegang Abbey Ale (8.5% alc.) Belgian-style beer made in New York? Ok, worth a try…

Craft beers with corks just feel fancier. I know they're not, but I love hearing that "POP!" from the cork every time! Once I popped the top and poured this bad boy into a properly wide rimmed glass the aroma slapped me in the face. To accompany this aromatic ale is a rich body that is very smooth with a lot of other fine attributes. I'd go as far as saying that this is a delicious and complex beer. The front has a hint of dark fruits with a clean finish and a mildly chocolatey undertone. I'd say that this ale is better than average but not quite the best of the best. It is a beer worth trying if you find it though.

Rating out
of 10
Description
7 Value

750ML for about $13… meh.

9 Flavor

It's almost amazing. It's bold and aromatic, it's just not quite top
tier.

6 Drinkability

If you're used to light beers with no flavor, this is not the beer for
you.

7.3 Overall

Albiet delicious, it's just not stellar.

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Rhinelander Brewing Shore Break IPA

A growing trend in the craft beer world is in the way of cans. Yes, cans seem less "nice" as a bottled beer, but in actuality, the fact that glass allows light in is bad. Most bottles limit the shelf life of good beers and can even change their flavor when faced with sunlight and store lights. Light is the enemy. 

Shore Break caught my eye because if its popping colors and boxed six-pack design. Also, being six 16oz cans helps! For $10, that's pretty tough to beat. This is definitely a lighter than usual IPA in flavor and braun. The light 6.2% alc. makes for a good Summertime beer. It has a smidgin of bite on the back end but overall is decently smooth and refreshing. This is a bang for the buck beer. It's not going to knock your socks off, but if you're socks are already off, just pretend your enjoying this on the beach and it'll be that much better.

Rating out
of 10
Description
10 Value

$10 for six 16oz beers. Not too shabby. And it's good!

6 Flavor

It could be better, but it gets its point across.

8 Drinkability

A hair watery, but otherwise good.

8 Overall

Good for the beach/summertime.

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Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

Out of Sonoma Country, California, Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA is a solid 'Merican brew. Entering the ring with a 7% alc. it's not the strongest out there but it does make for a good casual beer. When poured into a glass Racer 5 holds a good frothy head and at first taste I noted a hint of caramel on the front end that helps compliment the soft, bubbling suds. Though this beer is brewed with four different kinds of hops, it really isn't overly hoppy and really has a light malt undertone throughout. This is a good beer to enjoy with pizza or pasta and is a good IPA for those that don't like "punch you in the face" strong tastes. 

Rating out
of 10
Description
7 Value

Around $10 for a sixer, not bad. Not Great.

8 Flavor

Not an abundance of flavors, but what is there is solid and tasty.

9 Drinkability

Decently smooth and not too hoppy, pretty drinkable for most.

8 Overall

I'd get it again.

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Goose Island: Pere Jacques 2011 Belgian Style Ale

I am glad I found this beer! Offered up in a plain white label in a 4-pack of 650mL bottles, Goose Island's Pere Jacques 2011 Belgian Style Ale is phenomenal!

As soon as this luscious beer touched my tongue, the first thought in my head was "Delicious!". This beer has the right things going for it. It's strong with an 8% alc, but not "slap you in the face" strong. It actually reminds me of a richer, slightly toned down Pirrat (One of my favorites!). Enjoyed from a wide mouth glass, I really got a caramel overtone that was held up by a healthy head throughout each glass. And talk about smooth! This Belgian Ale is like the Billy D. Williams of beer!

Easy to drink, immaculate flavors and aromas, and really good company to a hearty meal; This beer has the right combination of positives to be a new favorite for me. Go try it now!

Rating out
of 10
Description
9 Value

I forget what I paid for it, but it was worth it!

9 Flavor

Very, very good flavors. I can't wait to try it again!

10 Drinkability

About as smooth as you can get while still holding on to an 8%
alc!

9.3 Overall

I'm buying a case, who want's to come?!

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Lagunitas: Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale

Lagunitas: Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale leaves a little Sumpin' Sumpin' to be desired. While I typically like what Lagunitas has to offer, this 6-pack just wasn't all that great. 

Clocking in at 7.5% alc, this sixer will pack a punch, but it's just missing something. It is a smooth beer going down your gullet with a slightly hoppy middle and a spicy finish. But there just isn't a lot of flavor there. This beer is missing it's soul. 

Overall I was just not impressed. This is one that I'll drink if that's all you have at your BBQ, but I wouldn't buy it again.





Rating Description
out of 10
6 Value
For around $10, there's better out there.
5 Flavor
A little hoppy, slightly spicy, maybe citrusy, but over bland.
8 Drinkability
The high alcohol content is hidden well and it is pretty smooth.
6.3
OVERALL
I guess it's ok to try once.
(out of 10)

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Joseph James: Hop Box Imperial IPA

I know what you're thinking, "Craft beer in a can? That's stupid.". Actually, it's smart. Very smart. A lot more breweries are putting their hard work into can form now a days. Why? Cans don't allow light to affect the carefully crafted suds. Most bottles are dark in color to fight light, but a can is able to completely protect it. Genius.

So, now that we've learned something, let's take a look at Hop Box. Brewed right in Sin City's backyard in Henderson, Hop Box is a truly local beer! It's also a man's beer. For around $7 you get six 12oz cans packing a whopping 9.3% alc each. If you make it through all six, you will be down for the count. This is a beer better enjoyed slow and with care of every taste. Each sip offers a woodsy undertone with a hint of caramel in the mix. It has a very clean texture and doesn't taste as strong as most IPAs tend to. For being so strong it is very drinkable, but once you pass four of these puppies it will sneak up on you quickly. I'd say this beautiful brew is best enjoyed with some good 'ol BBQ or a gourmet pizza. 

This is easily one of my new favorites. Find it and enjoy it. But take your time, it's worth it.

Rating Description
out of 10
10 Value
For $7, you can't find a better sixer.
9 Flavor
It's not really complex, it's just good. Definitely bold overall, but not overbaring.
9 Drinkability
For an IPA, this is very drinkable.
9.3
OVERALL
A new go to IPA for me.
(out of 10)

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Squatters: Hop Rising

Brewed out of Utah, this hoppy beer is a solid choice for any good ol' backyard BBQ. Clocking in at 75 IBU's (Beer bitterness from hops rating) and 9% alcohol content, this beer has a lot of flavor. It is pretty smooth despite all that, which is nice, but it is pretty bitter if you're not used to IPAs or overly hoppy beers. Hop Rising has an odd mouth feel, almost like soda water, but not odd enough to not try it. It's actually not as strong as it sounds. This is a great beer to enjoy with grilled goodies if drank responsibly. This is not one to chug, this is one to savor and enjoy. I tried it both cold and at room temperature and actually enjoyed it better warm. Hop Rising is a good beer for IPA lovers, and a great beer if you want to taste the hops in your suds.

Rating Description
out of 10
9 Value
Packs a good punch and isn't too expensive. I swooped it on sale for only $8.99!
8 Flavor
It's solid. It's definitely not my favorite, but I like it enough to reccommend.
7 Drinkability
If you're used to hoppy beers and IPAs, you'll be fine. If you're new to craft beers, I'd work my way up to something like this.
8
OVERALL
I'll drink it again on occasion.
(out of 10)

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Crooked: Labyrnith

It's amazing the breadth of which that some breweries span. This beer is from Uinta Brewing under their Crooked Line. I've had Crooked Line brews before at a few beer fests, but never Labyrinth. I picked this guy up at a local super market for $13.99. 

Immediately after opening the cork, I smelled the aroma of chocolate and herbs. At the first splash on my toungue of Labyrinth, I then tasted a for sure bittersweet chocolate overtone. This beer is very rich and could be overpowering for some. Also, clocking in at 13.5% alc, one bottle could "do a body good". The finish is finely tuned with a woodsy/oaky taste. 

This is a very dark beer and should be enjoyed with desserts or on it's own. I was glad to be caught in the maze of flavors that Labyrinth has to offer. It's not absolutely stellar, but it does stand out as a solid choice for the right occasion. 

Rating Description
out of 10
9 Value
I'd say for the alc %, the flavor, and the size, it's well priced.
8 Flavor
Simple but flavorful. Good for desserts or alone, it has it's place..
7 Drinkability
This beer is not for your light beer drinker. It is definitely dark and decently complex. Not one to chug.
8
OVERALL
I'll drink it again on occasion.
(out of 10)

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