Tag Archives: #beerclub

#beerclub Favorites

I am grateful for every beer that the twitter #beerclub has introduced me to. Even the gross ones (hey! that could be another blog post!). I am partial to an IPA, but I really enjoy tasting all kinds of beer.  Here is a list of my favorite beers that we have done so far in the #beerclub- in no particular order. So I’m not numbering them. (And I am sure I am leaving some out).

Ale Asylum Bedlam IPA

Ale Asylum Bedlam

Ale Asylum Bedlam

From their website:

“ALE ASYLUM is unfiltered and all natural. We use no additives, preservatives, fruit, horse hooves, fish guts, or extracts. Our ingredient list: water, malt, hops, and yeast. This is what we mean when we say our beer is FERMENTED IN SANITY. You know who makes it, you know what it’s made with. You know after having one you’ll want another.”

So, in other words, this brewery in Madison, Wisconsin kicks ass. I am a lover of (almost) all IPAs and this beer is described as a Belgian style IPA. It is a seasonal beer and was perfect for the season we drank it in- Spring.  It was fruity, hoppy, delicious.

Victory V-12

Victory V 12

Victory V 12

Admittedly, I don’t remember the exact taste of this beer that well. But I know it tasted really good.  This is called a strong ale and I was told that if I enjoyed an IPA, I would enjoy this. And I did. Very much. This beer has a very high alcohol content, 12%, and the alcohol content was cleverly disguised by a great tasting beer. Resulting in me drinking enough of it not to remember exactly how it tasted. I know it had a hoppiness I enjoyed and it came in a really cool corked bottle.


Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

An IPA (go figure) made with 18% rye malt. This gold medal winning beer has the super hoppy flavor that I just cannot get enough of. It was the first time I had tried a rye malt beer and I am glad I did! This brewery also produces another favorite IPA of mine, Racer 5- which was not a beer club pick, but has become a staple in my refrigerator.

Three Floyds Gumballhead

Three Floyds Gumballhead

Three Floyds Gumballhead

Here is a shocker- this one is not an IPA! It is actually a wheat beer, and I have to say, I do not enjoy many wheat beers.  But this is a wheat beer that has made a permanent home in my refrigerator. It is not an easy beer to describe, but it is an extremely easy and enjoyable beer to drink, with big flavor. This brewery also makes another favorite of mine that was not a beer club pick, and is also not an IPA- Alpha King is a pale ale and it is awesome.

Honorable mentions:

Left Hand Brewing Chainsaw Ale a “connoisseur version of our award winning Sawtooth Ale” Yum

Sprecher Belgian Dubbel a 25th anniversary brew and a classic. Brewed locally here in Wisconsin!

Stone Brewing Arrogant Bastard Ale A strong ale and very enjoyable

Thank you Mitch for letting me use your photos! It should be noted that Mitch is classy and drinks out of fancy glasses. I drink from the bottle.

#beerclub BOTW: Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

Yellow Snow IPA

The holidays are behind us, and we’re into the heart of the winter months. It’s time to drink a seasonal beer that’s not your typical winter beer. Why not a seasonal IPA with an unconventional name. Rogue Brewery offers up Yellow Snow IPA which fits this bill perfectly.


Yellow Snow IPA was originally introduced for the 2000 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Yellow Snow is Rogue’s tribute to winter sports everywhere—downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country, ice hockey, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and even curling.

It will be available November 1st in select states where mountains and snow can be found.

Tasting Notes:

Pale golden in color with a hoppy fruity aroma. Big hop flavor up front complemented by medium body and hoppyness mid-pallet. Finishes with a characteristic lingering bitterness.

8 Ingredients:Cara Foam, Melanoiden & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare™ & Risk™ Malts; Amarillo & Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution Hops, Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast.
Specs:15º PLATO

70 IBU

76 AA

14º Lovibond

Join us this Monday night January 10th at 8:00 PM Central time. Follow the twitter hashtag #beerclub for more details and to drink along.

#beerclub Beer of the Week: Bells Winter White

Bells Winter White Ale

Bell's Winter White Ale

Winter is in full effect and 2011 is on the door step. For our first #beerclub of 2011 we need to drink a special beer. This is where Bells Brewery Winter White Ale comes in. A Belgian style white ale, Winter White is not your typical heavy winter beer.

Taking its cues from Belgian-style white ales, Bell’s Winter White Ale offers a lighter yet abundantly flavorful alternative to the traditional heavy winter warmers. Fermented with a Belgian ale yeast, this blend of barley & wheat malts yields a mixture of clove and fruity aromas, all without the use of any spices. Deliberately brewed to retain a cloudy appearance, Bell’s Winter White Ale is a beer for embracing winter.

Alcohol by Volume: 5.0%
Original Gravity: 1.052
Shelf Life: 6 months
Dates Available: Winter Seasonal
Available Packages: Bottle, draft, and 5 liter (1.32 gal.) mini-keg

Join us on Monday Night January 3rd for Bell’s Winter White.

#beerclub Beer of the Week: Sprecher Winter Brew

To keep on the theme of seasonal beers, this week the #beerclub is drinking Milwaukee’s own Sprecher Brewery Winter Brew. A Bavarian Style Dunkle, Winter Brew is a beer to warm you up during the cold winter months in Wisconsin.

This #beerclub is special because we’re going to be doing it in person. Genevieve and Craig have opened their house up to the beerclub for a nacho dinner and #beerclub in person meeting. This is an event you surely don’t want to miss. Make sure to RSVP and find out more information on the official Twitvite. It’s fitting that we’re drinking the Winter Brew at the scene of this horrendous event. Come out and celebrate the season, drink along with good friends and remember the fallen Winter Brew next Monday.

Sprecher Winter Brew

Sprecher Winter Brew

A flavorful blend of dark roasted and sweet caramel malts defines this smooth and robust lager. The rich, nourishing flavors of a full-bodied Munich bock make this Bavarian-style brew perfect for those long winter nights.

Randy’s Notes: “Winter brew is a Munich style dunkel bock of much repute among those who know us best. It has won the World Beer Cup, Gold and Bronze medals.”

Winter Brew Facts

Available Dec. through Feb.
Alcohol by Volume: 5.75%
Degrees Plato (Initial Gravity): 14.5P
Weeks Aged: 8
Bitterness Units: 0 IBU
Year First Brewed: 1986
Serving Temperature: 50°
Malts: Black Patent, Caramel, Chocolate, Pale
Hops: Cascade, Chinook, Mt. Hood, Tettnanger
Sizes: 1/4 and 1/2 Barrels, 16oz Bottles

Craft Beer-or Just Beer-and Women

At a recent beer bloggers conference one panel (rightfully) focused on Marketing Craft Beer to Women, which intrigued me because it’s something I’ve been concerned with for the past few years.  In some respects it’s a similar issue to marketing sex videos to women. Say what? Take a sip of craft beer and think about it. Porn/sex videos were originally made by men for mens’ pleasure. It took awhile to realize that many women did not enjoy the scenarios as much as guys not because they don’t like sex or sex videos but because they appreciate a different perspective.

Until recently, beer has pretty much been marketed exclusively to guys. So it’s been about men drinking and being served by luscious babes and/or guy humor, bonding over sports, grilling, etc.  Suffice it to say, a majority of beer advertising lacked many seductive notes or nuances. Now we have an increasing number of seductive beer ads, e.g., the sweaty bottle, and also ads showing brewers and people with a passion for the industry as well as the product. And that is largely due, I believe, to the influence of craft beer whose motto is best stated by Beer Advocate’s founders, Jason and Todd Alstrom: “Respect Beer.” Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, not only was a leader in bringing craft beer to the “masses,” but he is one of the most creative marketers of craft beer. So I give props to Jim who came up with the “Don’t be afraid of flavor” craft beer campaign.

Perhaps you’re wondering where I’m going with this, what’s the tie-in with women and sex videos? Body image.  Beer commercials aimed at women almost exclusively focus on the lowest calorie beers. Too many calories = fat = unattractive. And now the beer calorie terror has spread to men. Is it MGD 64 that has a frequently played ad with neurotic thin men exercising so they can drink another Mich Ultra while the savvy guy drinking MGD 64 just stands around calm and collected? So not only are women worried about becoming fat if they drink beer, men are concerned too.  Funny, because vodka cocktails have more calories per ounce than beer and yet, you won’t see a vodka ad that plays to calorie anxiety.  Instead, you see signifiers of good taste such as people relaxing and enjoying themselves among friends in pleasant surroundings.

As far as beer is concerned it gets back to “Respect Beer,” and “Don’t Be Afraid of Flavor,” whether you’re a man or a woman.  Try some craft beers with friends, in a special beer glass or wine glass, and talk about the flavors you taste.  Enjoy what you’re drinking; savor the experience. And as far as marketing beer to women, good taste always sells.

#beerclub Beer of the Week: Sierra Nevada Celebration

Sierra Nevada Celebration

Sierra Nevada Celebration

We’re heading into the holiday season and that means it’s time for holiday beers. We’ve also had a few fresh/wet hop beers. This week for #beerclub we’re combining these two and drinking Sierra Nevada Brewing Celebration Ale. This is a “fresh hop” ale

“The long, cold nights of winter are a little brighter with Celebration Ale. Wonderfully robust and rich, Celebration Ale is dry-hopped for a lively, intense aroma. Brewed especially for the holidays, it is perfect for a festive gathering or for a quiet evening at home.”

Join us on Monday Night December 13th for Sierra Nevada Celebration.




This blog presents a perfect opportunity to explore topics relating to beer outside of just which beer we’re drinking each week. It’s in this spirit that I’ve invited Genevieve (@Einley) to become a contributor to the site.

Genevieve is one of the core members of the #beerclub. She’s attended every single virtual meeting and even though she hasn’t liked every beer we’ve tried, she keeps coming back to experiment. As a craft beer loving mother and wife, who’s not afraid to tell it like it is, she adds a fresh perspective to the club and I look forward to reading her thoughts on beer and beer culture in future posts.

– Mitch

The other day on twitter, @AnneSprecher posted a general question to all of her followers, “What was your first beerpiphany?”   I answered back that I would have to think on that. And I did.  And what I came up with was way more than the 140 characters that Twitter allows, so here is the best place to put my beerpiphany right?

In 1996, I was a student at Michigan State University. About a half an hour outside of East Lansing, in Webberville, Michigan Brewing Company opened and I made sure to visit this craft brewery. And visit often.

This new, small brewery was my beerpiphany.  When it opened, it had only a few tables, a long bar, and a few beers on tap. There was a glass door that led to the brewery containing the vats of brewing beer and picnic tables with freezing temperatures where smoking was allowed. The parking lot was gravel and you had to drive through a gas station to get to the brewery.

Of course, I made quick best friends with a bartender there and would pay for one pint of

Michigan Brewing Co.

Michigan Brewing Co.

beer and drink limitless amounts of beer (and leave a nice tip).  This craft beer was my beerpiphany because prior to that, I was a beer snob who only drank Labatts.  This was a big deal because all of the college kids drank Busch light so Labatts was high brow.  Compared to LaBatts, this new craft beer (from the only craft brewery remotely local to me) was pure heaven.  I was introduced to my favorite kind of beer- IPAs and many other kinds as well.

Now Michigan Brewing Company has expanded big time. They have a pub in Lansing in addition to moving to a larger brewing facility. They paired up with Kid Rock to make BadAss Lager and have expanded their distribution.

I am grateful to them for giving me my first beerpiphany and to Anne Sprecher who made me remember such a great time in my life.

#beerclub BOTW: O’So Lupulin Maximus

So last week we cut it kind of short. Between the holiday and late arrival of the Lupulin Maximus, I wanted to make sure everyone had the chance to get the #beerclubBOTW. As you know, we changed the brew to Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard as a send off to Stone’s distribution here in Wisconsin.

Lupulin Maximus

O'so Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA

Now that the Lupulin Maximus has been in stores for almost a week, I feel safe making it the #beerclub beer of the week. As I posted here originally, the O’so Lupulin Maximus is one of the more highly anticipated brews in the Wisconsin Craft Beer market. It’s an imperial IPA that comes with a hop cone in every bottle.

“The second you open this bottle there is no mistaking that this is not your average IPA. Massive hop additions of the most obnoxious breeds put this taste bud burner in a league all it’s own. Our bet is that you will think it is O’so Freakishly good! Caution! This brew is 9% and may contain a hop cone in every bottle!!!”

Join us Monday December 6th at 8:00 PM for a very interesting brew. If you’re not in the O’So distribution area, find a double/imperial IPA and drink up!

#beerclub BOTW CHANGE!! Stone Arrogant Bastard

Due to the timing issues with the holiday, and the freshness of the Lupulin Maximus, we’re going to mix it up a little and delay the Lupulin Maximus for a week. This should give it a little more time to make it to store shelves for your drinking pleasure.

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

Instead, this week we’re going to say “fare-thee-well” to #beerclub friend Stone Brewing by drinking their Arrogant Bastard Ale. Stone is exiting the Wisconsin Market due to slow sales. It seems only fitting to take a retrospective look back at what we will soon be unable to attain.

“This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you will have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory — maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.”

First released in 1997, it’s 7.2% ABV and available in bombers and on tap. Join us Monday night 11/29 and prove that you’re up to the challenge.

#beerclub BOTW: O’so Brewing Lupulin Maximus

O'so Lupulin Maximus

O'so Lupulin Maximus

One of the more anticipated releases of the Wisconsin craft beer scene, Lupulin Maximus is a double/imperial IPA that focuses heavily on the hops. So much so that the bottle comes with a hop cone inserted. This brew packs a punch, at 9% ABV it’s not for the faint of heart.

Join the #beerclub as we tackle this monster of an imperial IPA. Monday 11/29/10 at 8:00 PM Central.