Invaders of the Englandmen

If you read my post about Instagram friends then you’ll know that I’ve had a fun time getting to know people off the craft beer community on IG. I started talking to Andy and had mentioned if he was ever in Phoenix that I would show him around! Well… I wasn’t lying, but he lives in a different country so I never expected it to happen. Well Andy messaged me about two months after I said that and was like hey… remember how you offered? Yes. Well my friend and I are coming in January so… I had to get an itinerary together! And not going to lie, this seriously seemed so far fetched and exciting that I couldn’t contain my excitment. How often do you get to say “I went brewery hopping with my English friends”? For me, one time in my life so far, but I have a feeling it will happen again. Maybe I’ll be in England though!

Andy, Richard, Kevin (before he had to go to work) and I ventured around multiple places in Phoenix! I mean… in their defense it was mostly my favorite breweries around town. We started at The Beer Research Institute because I’ve now taken 6 new people there and everytime people have loved it. The IPA’s are good, which hey, if you know me you’ll understand that I’m not a big IPA person. The Battle Star Monkey sounded like a stout, so when I ordered it in the flight I didn’t realize it would be an IPA. But honestly it was a very smooth IPA that didn’t have a lot of that bitter after taste, but was hop forward and ended more fruity sweet.As we arrived at BRI I told the guys how excited I was for them to go in because I still stand by the fact that they have the best flight holders around. I haven’t been all over the world, but I’ve been to a few places… so if you know of a cooler one prove me wrong! If you’re there check out the Black IPA, again highly impressed by the way they balance all of their flavors. BRI was Richard’s favorite place because he is a fan of IPAs, so I feel like that is saying something! When in Phoenix come to BRI and let me know, I’ll come hang out! It’s a little out of the way for most travelers but so worth the trip.

Flight Life

Next stop had to be Goldwater! Side note before I go any further… Kevin hasn’t been to BRI or Goldwater so I’m super happy he was able to come hang out and more than grateful for the ride until he had to go to work (don’t you worry we ended up at King’s of course).

Chauffeur Life

Also… I guess they don’t have big trucks in England so the guys wanted to take a picture of Kevin’s truck due to “truck envy,” otherwise, I would have liked to take a picture in front of a brewery. But back to Goldwater! Andy picked Goldwater as his number 1 brewery and Richard gave it an honorable second mention! I think this was one of my favorite stops for the journey because of the Flannel Buddies for Lyfe beer. Out of irony I made the guys take a picture because they were both wearing flannel shirts, but as I would soon find out (at Sunup Brewing), they really should be the picturesque story for the beer. They’ve been friends since they were 15, have traveled the world together and had their moments of make and break, but somehow they always seem to get through no matter the difficult circumstances. When Richard was telling me this, my heart was melting. How awesome is that type of loyalty and friendship? Do you have someone in your life like that?

Flannel Buddies for Lyfe

Goldwater though has an awesome vibe with really good beer. They have some “hype” beers that I don’t understand the price of, but man the stouts are so good, brown ale is amazing (even my friend from Texas who doesn’t like brown ales was a fan of the Machine Gun Teddy) and their IPAs are also a Scottsdale staple. Everyone that works there is super chill and will chat (as long as they aren’t busy) with you for awhile. They do not have food, but free popcorn and a bunch of restaurants around them since they are in Old Town Scottsdale.

The great thing about Phoenix breweries, most of them are dog friendly. I lost the guys to the dogs a few times, which is always funny to me. This is a beautiful looking dog so I guess I can’t blame them. Also, I have a knack for taking candid pictures that people end up hating me for so here is one of them:

Working our way back toward Central Phoenix meant that we went to Wren House next. Wren used to be my Monday spot so it holds a special place on my list. The little house just has that homey feel. Sadly, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that they had a can release so it was a lot more busy then we would have liked. The guys enjoyed the vibe of the place anyways so I’m really glad. They’ve been doing a ton of IPAs lately, but Jomax will forever be one of the best coffee stouts. And maybe one day we’ll get lucky and they will bring back Lady Banks! Since they were busy and Kevin only had time to drop us off at the next location we ventured on to Helton!

Jomax at Wren House

Helton came in at a great time for some food, taco time! The Boysenberry sour was the beer I wanted Andy to try almost all day because he is a sour head. Luckily, the beer held up and he loved the tacos. Melissa and her sister came and joined in on the adventure! There is something about Helton’s brewery that just is so low key, but welcoming that makes you want to hang out all day and just chat with people. By far Helton is becoming a high frequented brewery for myself. This was Andy’s second favorite brewery.

Tower of Boysenberry Sour

After Helton, we went to SunUp Brewery. Another new frequented place for me! The White Russian Imperial Stout cannot be compared to anything else in the valley. They have an awesome staff, from the people I’ve met, and they help smaller brew projects by letting them use their facility to brew beer there. I’m a big fan of small businesses supporting other small businesses! The Pucker Puncher from Four Silos (brewed at SunUp) is so yummy. Go check them out and take a cool picture with their street art on their brewhouse.

Since my staple beer is Koffee Kolsch, Huss Brewing was next especially since it’s within walking distance. I completely forgot and tried to order an Uber, which I was made fun of for. We walked over and sadly they were closed for their employee holiday party. We ventured on to Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company. The downtown location is such a chill place. Sadly, by this point all of us were tired and had a decent amount of beer. Melissa suggested the duck and Andy loved it. Both of the guys would have liked to go there sooner to enjoy the brewery more.

Richard at AZ Wilderness

After AZ Wilderness, Richard went to sleep and Andy and I ventured to King’s Beer and Wine! Andy agreed that it’s the best place in town because it’s super chill, has a bunch on tap and a large selection in the store next door you can drink there. Jaime came and met up with us. I won’t pretend to remember because I was tapped at this point, so no clue what we drank there.

Both of the guys really enjoyed their trip here and I’m beyond grateful they trusted me to show them around for a day! Richard thought overall that Phoenix is laid back and friendly! So amazing to have people come and experience Phoenix because it’s one of those places that not many people think to come visit. I’ve been blessed with meeting such amazing people because of the craft beer community. This weekend with Andy and Richard was by far the most unique one thus far.

Big Bap Baptist Reserve #1

When I walked into King’s back in March 2018 I never thought it would become my “happy place,” nor did I think I would meet so many amazing people.

One such person, Kevin Schiro, has become a very close friend to me. He had this idea to buy a whole box of Big Bad Baptist Reserve (12 bottles) to which I said I would split with him and we can try it over time to see how it ages. After a little research, I found it’s not something you should really age too much so our plan of one bottle per person a year changed to two bottles per person a year.

Who knows… that may not last because someone is a little free spirited and likes to just throw shit out there that I, on occasion, role with! I also decided to write about it each time because of course everyone wants to know what happens with the beer overtime! Okay maybe not… but I like to pretend and gives me an excuse to write about beer and an evolving friendship.

Epic Brewing

Epic Brewing Company was founded in 2008 out in Salt Lake City, Utah by two “Epic” adventurers. Which better company to pick from!? The commitment to keeping the art in their beer by doing smaller, limited batches proves that the passion is still very much alive within the company.

This lovely stout gets a different type of dark coffee beans that are used each year so the variation and taste changes. As mentioned, Epic Brewing makes only a limited amount each year so the interest to try it year after year lasts with craft beer lovers. As in the title, Big and Bad is very spot on to the bold flavors in this barrel aged stout.

Kevin and I decided that Thanksgiving seemed like a fitting day to open the first two bottles. The first bottle rushed in with intense flavor with it’s dark bitter coffee and chocolate and ended with that whiskey burn. The smell was a lot more mellow than the taste, which made me think you get the coconut more on the nose because I couldn’t pick up notes on the taste. Compared to coffee and cocoa beans, coconut is a more mellow flavor profile. Whiskey and Rum barrel aging always makes me think that the beer will be more sweet boozey, but I didn’t get that from this first bottle. Bozzey for an 11.5% isn’t shocking in my book, but the rum didn’t shine through to me. There is a lingering smokey type taste on the tongue and the carbonation is low making it super smooth before that boozey throat burn.

Big Bad Baptist Reserve 11.5% ABV

Before opening the second bottle, Kevin had the bright idea to have his friend bring over some cigars and sadly I can’t remember which one was bought, but man was that an amazing decision.

The amount of flavor that was changed as the result of smoking a cigar with the beer blew my mind. I’m not rehearsed in cigar flavoring or anything like that, but this isn’t my first time pairing my beer with a cigar. The beer tasted straight up like chocolate and marshmallows.

It was a little cooler outside, we were sitting by a little outside fire pit and smoking/drinking so maybe that all led into a camping type vibe in my mind, which lead to the thought of s’mores. Who knows, maybe all in my head but the beer was now a lot more sweet, less coffee notes for sure and the boozey burn wasn’t there. The coconut and rum I was lacking before was coming through full force now. Kevin and I decided cigars have to be present next go around!

Thanksgiving 2019

Holiday’s are not always easy and for me it’s pretty rare I actually get to spend time with my family. Being able to express the gratitude I have for the welcoming atomsphere that Kevin’s family always have brings me at a loss for words. Super rare situation for me! Positive vibes are really all we can ask for in life. You’d be hard pressed to find someone else who can more consistently surround themselves with positive people or exhibit those attributes himself than Kevin. He holds true to his motto: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Not a moment goes by that I do not feel elated that tipsy me asked this random bartender a bunch of questions about himself that sparked into having this wonderful person in my life!

Thanksgiving was awhile ago, but I hope everyone had wonderful holidays! I appreciate all the reads, encouragement to keep writing and people who have been willing to embark on this adventure with me. 2020 is going to bring forth a lot more new moments on this craft beer adventure and I can’t wait to write about each of them and the wonderful people!

Kevin and I

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Stay tuned for March, the two year friendiversary, for the next take on Epic’s Big Bap Baptist Reserve and see if the beer and friendship ages beautifully.

Craft Beer Community

Recently I embarked down the rabbit hole that is Instagram, but honestly as anti-social media as I am I’ve been pleasantly surprised how amazing the craft beer community is on Instagram.

I grew up in religion and when I walked away from that I honestly missed the community feeling and until a few months ago haven’t felt like it existed for a while, but now I have found my community and am so grateful! I’ve met so many amazing people and I wanted to take the time to shoutout and share some of the beers I’ve gotten from said amazing people! **disclaimer, sorry if this post is a little too cheesy**

The first amazing person I really started chatting with and did my first beer trade with through IG was Scott! Scott is freaking awesome and is an oyster farmer and has great taste in music and beer!

Porch bomb!

Man these beers were gold! I learned what a shiso berry is. Sweet, but lingers tart nothing overpowering, light and beautiful color, 5/5.

The Electric Limelight has proven that I am a sour IPA person! So freaking good. Definitely get the lime flavor upfront, has a good tartness and a tinge of hops. After taste is tart, 4/5.
Now the stout from Foam Brewers blew my mind and by far my favorite beer Scott sent. Bold! Drinks like 13%. Coffee and vanilla smells like hazelnut but does not get the flavor when drinking it to me. Has a creamy aftertaste, 4.5/5.

Bonus Track: 20 8% ABV

The next people I met were Thomas and Josh who you may know started a podcast, Drink and Think, and asked me to be a host with them! Thomas came to Phoenix and enjoyed some awesome beer and moments here with me. And I got to go to Montana and meet them both, try some awesome beer and do a podcast with all three of us in one place! It was a blast. While in Montana got to meet and share a drink with Chelsea, which was such a fun time. I look forward to meeting more people in places that I travel. Beer meetups are super nerdy and it’s a rare and interesting thing that people can bond over one thing so easily.

Annoying IG story picture (sorry)

I could go on for days about the Podcast Boys and how great it’s been to have them in my life now or you could just listen to said podcast and check out our social media, you’ll understand. Look out for our adventure in Portland coming soon!

Happy Birthday Josh – Montana w/ Podcast Boys

David is up next! Eugene, OR is lucky enough to have this guy living there or maybe I am because he sends me all the bomb beer from Oregon! Dave is a super nice guy, fun to chat with, knows beer super well since he delivers it and has some pretty good taste in beer. The only downfall is that he has gone away from stouts most of the time, but I won’t complain since I’ve benefited from that! (I suck at times and forget to save my pictures before posting to my story so my cliche writing IG story pictures will have to do.)

Beermail

My first porch bomb from Dave included so much Great Notion that I thought I may have died and gone to heaven. I won’t lie I still haven’t drunk everything from this yet. Holding on to the Dissident and First Love still.

By far the most surprising one that I liked was the Super Over Ripe from Great Notion, one of the most smooth Imperial DIPAs I’ve had. Really didn’t even notice the 9% ABV and this was just like drinking straight juice and no horrible bitter aftertaste. The nice thing was it wasn’t crazy thick either.
My favorite was the Stacks of Coconut from Great Notion. I was a little hesitant about the pastry stout styles but really wasn’t overly sweet. For sure can taste the maple, but the coffee and coconut balance it out and ends up leaving that bitter coffee taste on the tongue. For an 11% ABV this wasn’t boozy at all, but it snuck up on me later in the night. 5/5 for me. The blueberry cobbler one was a close second for sure.

Blueberry Muffin 6% ABV

Mike from New York (Other Half fan boy) has been a pleasure to get to know! This guy is a teacher, has an adorable chubby dog Sadie, writes and also has great taste in music and beer. The longest storyception on IG with one person I’ve ever seen, which is impressive… I think. I was sent a lovely box of Other Half beer so I could finally understand why it’s necessary to come to New York and try this place and why he is there almost every Saturday.
The four that I was sent I must say did not disappoint. I was very impressed by the Raspberry Crun Chee! Tasted like ice cream with raspberries and graham crackers with a tinge of tartness. A little thick, which just made me pretend it was a milkshake! Perfect to satisfy my ice cream craving 5/5.

The yummy Double Dry Hopped Double Citra Daydream that I drank on Thanksgiving day was so good! This is a straight juice bomb, with some creamy oat taste and just a tinge of hops. Way too smooth to be an imperial, which was dangerous because it got me a little tipsy… may have really been cooking all morning without eating. This was a really good IPA though, 4.5/5.

Double Dry Hopped Double Citra Daydream 8.5% ABV

Sharing is caring, so I took the Daydream Imperial Oat Cream IPA to my first bottle share with some of my coworkers, so they got to experience their first Other Half Beer as well! Pretty awesome when moments like that get to happen and they enjoy the beer, they rated 4/5.

I could name quite a few other people that I have met and really enjoy chatting with, but you would be here for days. So I will share one final moment because it really was a full-circle moment for me that just made my day.
After talking with Scott one time, he had told me that he hadn’t had the chance to try anything from Great Notion so I checked my inventory and lucky enough had one can left from Dave. Now, this is one that I hadn’t had before but Dave did say to share so I sent it off. Crazy enough I got a box maybe a week later from Dave with another Great Notion stout.
Scott and I were chatting it up again and he was talking about how excited he was to try it and I mentioned that I wish I could be there to share the moment. Then a brilliant idea struck and I told him that when he decided to drink it, I would drink the new can I had just got so we can share the moment in different states, which he agreed to.

Midnight Howler 11.5% ABV

I was really having an off day and kind of down but I just couldn’t shake it. Then I get a message “are you home?” Instantly, I thought is today the day we get to drink our Great Notion stouts?! Yes, yes it was! Scott enjoyed his and I was a big fan of the hazelnut bitter coffee dark beer.

Just perfect timing and something as simple as that, drinking a beer at the same time as someone else and getting to really reflect on the connections I’ve made through this community and I was smiling the rest of the night!
Never could have happened without joining Instagram and diving into this craft beer community.

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Scott and I drinking Great Notion

I’m so surprised by how much change has happened in my life since July 18th, 2019 since I joined Instagram and am beyond grateful for all the connections I’ve made and will continue to make.

A lot of exciting things coming up even just next month in January so stay tuned!

Winding down Savannah

Downtown Savannah, close to the river, sits Moon River Brewing company and they only have a 3.47 rating on Untappd, which I found to be a little harsh. This has more of a restaurant with a bar feel than the other breweries in Savannah.

My favorite moment was when I asked if they did flights and I was told: “We have one flight, 11 4oz beers.” Yes!!! Take my money and give me all the beers. Mind you I was at Coastal Empire Brewing with my mom right before coming here so drinking 44 more ounces was no problem!

I’m a sucker for anything moon related so I instantly fell in love with the crescent moon flight holder. I appreciated the spectrum and variety of all the beers they had. I’m not going to even try and pretend to remember what all eleven tasted like, so I’ll just touch on the highlights. The Yoga Pants IPA was pretty good, not overly hoppy. They did give me that one on cask too though and wow, that was horrible. Made it so dry and the tropical flavors were absent, made it crazy hoppy. I guess I need to do my research on how cask affects beer because I didn’t realize that would be the case.

Taterlicious Ale was so fitting for the season! Sitting at a 5.3% ABV, I can see how this could be dangerous. I loved the touch of pumpkin pie spice on the rim of the glass because that added a little bit of spice and sugar to the beer with each taste. The malts are pretty forward on this beer, so the first taste is a tad sweet, but the sweet potatoes swoop in and add that earthy full flavor. Sweet potato vs pumpkin beer, I feel like most breweries should follow Moon River’s example and switch it up. The sweet, earthy, slight bitterness with that spice added on the rim got a solid 5/5 from me. My mom found it a little weird tasting, which I can totally understand from someone who doesn’t drink beer.

Not apart of the flight was the Barrel-aged Sour Wit, which won gold at GABF in 2017. I found a beer my mom liked in this one! I should have known my mom would be into sours, we have very similar pallets. This beer totally deserved gold in my opinion. 12 months of barrel aging left this the perfect blend of fruity, earthy, funky and sour! The coriander and chamomile gave it that earthy flavor right up front, then all that funky yeast takes over the tongue and you just get fruity sour left in the back of the throat! I really wish by this point I wasn’t so far into so much beer that I could have had more than a 5oz.

After Moon River, my mom and I went to Tandem Coffee & Spirits (out of all the places this is where my family kept ending up over the few days we were in town)! Loved this place and was able to find a drink my mom actually likes after she had been trying for months. One night with me and I found her a mixed drink, mojitos, and a beer she liked! Turning people to the dark side! If you’re in Savannah go check this spot out, the staff is amazing!

Beauty always shines after the storm

Being able to have some quality time with my mom was really cool. I generally have not had the chance to really show my parents my world because I live so far from them. No matter how many times you say, “communication is key”, it’s hard to realize truly how important it is. This trip was very eye opening for both myself and my parents and I’m so glad that I was brave enough to finally open the door!

The house of Two Tides

The trip to Savannah was mainly family time, so had to sneak in the breweries when I could. Luckily, Two Tides Brewing was open until midnight on Sunday! Pretty late for a brewery, at least from what I’m used to.

Two Tides Brewing Company

As my dad and I arrived I thought the all-powerful Google had lied to me, but the cool thing about Two Tides is it’s located in a two-story house. The brewing takes place downstairs and the taproom is upstairs, which seemed awesome once I realized they were not actually closed. Love the house breweries, always feels so cozy. They utilize all the rooms so perfectly and have a patio area in the front and back of the house, you get to walk through large windows to get to them. Maybe some forgotten childhood memories or something, but felt nostalgic being there.

Back patio

Now Two Tides is the highest rated brewery in Savannah, but I came based on the recommendation of the awesome Erik Stone @oklastoneou (check out his Instagram page). I could insert a long rant about how much I love the craft beer community and how amazing everyone is, but I’ll spare you the million-word blog post this time. Feel free to message me though if you’re curious.
The best thing I could have seen was the fact that they had a barrel-aged stout on tap and mind you, my first day in Georgia, but I hadn’t seen a stout yet. Not only did they have a stout, but two and one was barrel-aged, I knew it was going to be a good night.
By now you know, I got a flight to start and my dad looked at me like I was a tad crazy, which made me laugh! Welcome to the adventure dad. Luckily, Two Tides had their Uber Light beer on draft that my dad actually liked. I mean thank you Two Tides for having a light lager, but dang am I good at finding one-offs that people will like.

As for me: I went with the Festbier, a Saison, Stout and the BA Stout in a quaint flight.

Flight Life

I quite enjoyed the barrel aged Ms. Suzanne since it was oaky, bitter dark chocolate, coffee and a tad boozy from the whiskey barrel. Really only at a 10.5% ABV so nothing overwhelming. To me it hit up front, mellowed out and then hit on the back end. Like a roller coaster of flavor “in the amusment land of beer.” Thanks Thomas for that second portion of the metaphor. (This came from Episode 4 of the Drink and Think Podcast) 4/5 in my book.

The Shadow People coffee stout had a similar dark bitter profile as Ms. Suzanne. They are both just dark, bold, coffee, bitter and a tinge boozy. Just how I like my coffee flavored stouts. 7% ABV means I can drink a few of these and be nice and happy! My dad actually thought this was pretty good since it just tasted like black coffee. 4.75/5… real close to one of my favorite bitter coffee stouts.

I picked up a 4 pack that I brought back and am just hoping the lovely people I shared with like it. An edit shall happen in the near future for their thoughts.

Draft board

The Saison D’deux Marées was just the right amount of funky. I straight up looked at my dad and said you will not like this, but he tried it anyway… I wish I would have recorded his reaction. Really can’t remember the fruit profile, but nice and fruity up front with that semi tart salty funky taste and left a wheat taste on the tongue. At a 6% ABV, it would do the trick after a while. 4/5 for me, but I’m into those weird funky beers.

The Fiestbier rounded off my flight with a nice clean, crisp and refreshing vienna lager. There is nothing over the top or surprising about this beer, but it’s a solid beer. This isn’t the style for bold flavors so I appreciate the art of going back to the basics. 5.8% ABV making it a warm all day drinking beer. 4.5/5 is how I was feeling on this one, but that might have been all the beer before.

Oslo 5.7% ABV

After those yummy coffee stouts, I wanted to end the night with something crushable and figured the Czech style lager was the way to go. Luckily I was not wrong, this beer is definetly a tad sweet for my taste due to the malts but a super easy drinker. Malty, yeast and crisp. That low ABV helped maintain my tipsy state and didn’t tip me over to drunk so I was happy. 3.5/5

In hindsight, going to the best brewery in town (according to Untappd ratings) was probably not the best first stop since my standards were set high for the rest of Savannah breweries, but it was super good! I would venture back to this place anytime and if I lived there would be a regular for sure.

The last thing I would like to mention is the usage of this claw foot bathtub made me so happy… normally I wouldn’t take pictures of a bathroom, but this was pretty cool!

Coastal Empire

Since arriving in Savannah I’ve been drinking beer from Coastal Empire so I was pretty excited to check out the brewery. The hours were limited: they were closed by the time I was ready to go check some breweries out on Sunday and closed Mondays, so Tuesday it was. But let’s not get ahead of myself here, I’ll go back to the beginning. First night in Savannah ate at a place called Spanky’s and had my first Coastal Empire beer: Tybee Island Blonde.

Tybee Island Blonde 4.7% ABV

Trying to find anything that wasn’t an IPA was a tad challenging in Savannah. The blonde here was a solid beer. Was eating a fish sandwich so the lightness, laid back flavors and crispness just matched very well. They didn’t do anything crazy here, it’s just a solid blonde with that floral scent and a hint of hops. My mom doesn’t really drink much and my dad sadly is a Coors Light person, but it’s my mission to find a beer they like. My dad thought this beer wasn’t bad, but wouldn’t drink a full glass and my mom did not like it at all. And yes… I liked the boat in the background so the beer was not focused on for a reason.

The second Coastal Empire beer I picked up was a 6 pack from Kroger. I wasn’t happy Kroger didn’t have a mix and match option, so I actually went with the one my mom thought sounded good: Coco Piña Gose. This seriously tasted like a straight up pina colada with an after taste of that Himalayan Sea salt! Oh man I’m not into seeking award winning beers because it’s subjective, but I can’t imagine trying the Gold winner if this only got Silver.

Coco Piña Gose 3.8% ABV

Again, this was that perfect pina colada blend of a good amount of coconut (up front), then the sweetness of the pineapple kicked in and ended with that rum bitterness, salt and tart from the gose. I’m not really sure if it’s possible to get that blend in another beer or not, but that’s exactly how I make my pina coladas minus the salt, since I’m not huge into sugary drinks. I completely understand why this won silver at GABF in 2018. (Which by the way I had no clue until I got them to the Air BnB and happened to look at the back of the can)

Coco Piña Gose 3.8% ABV

Since I had two solid beers from them, when I was close to running out of the gose, my dad and I were at a convenient store getting more beer and I saw a praline amber, so figured it would be good. Kept hearing the tour guides on the trolley tours boast about the pralines in Savannah and I wanted a darker beer. Oh man, what a mistake! I will say, if pralines and sweet beer is your thing, you’d probably like this. To me, this was like drinking sugar cough syrup. A little nutty, way sweet (syrup sweet), thin consistency though and just a huge nutty and bitter aftertaste. This tasted medicinal to the max. I’m not one to pour out beers, I’ll suffer through but on the second one I seriously couldn’t do it and poured half it out. I know… why drink a second one? Well, I got a 6 pack. What was I supposed to do? I brought one back for my coworker, Melissa to see if she likes it. So still had to muster through 4 of them (no more beer was harmed after the 2nd one).

Southern Delight Praline Amber 5.2% ABV

Now to the day of the brewery visit. Driving up, I was super excited because this wasn’t downtown and is located in a warehouse, I loved the atomsphere. Seems so welcoming and just a chill place to hang out. Now, I would preface and say I may have been thrown off for two reasons: 1. They did not have a single porter or stout on their menu. 2. I asked why that was so common in Savannah and was told “it stays hot here, so we don’t put those out until November.” If you don’t remember, I live in Phoenix, it stays hot here all year long. So, I said that and she says “it’s a different kind of heat.” Well, she wasn’t wrong but I was cold 99% of the time I was there because of the moisture and wind….Seasonal beers are real and I do not disagree with them, but I 100% think you should always carry a porter or stout base beer all year round to appeal to the people who are not IPA fans. You have to appease all of the customers that walk through your door and I’m sorry, but Savannah is a tourist city to the max. So maybe if you were some small town no one visits I could see that response, but one of the highest tourist towns in the US… NO! What are your thoughts on this matter!?

Coastal Empire Beer Company

Also, they had a wall full of awards so I assume that the beer would be fitting of said awards.

I got a flight in true new brewery fashion (left to right):

  1. Passionfruit Sour Pale 5.2% ABV
  2. Double Raspberry Rainbow
  3. Spicy Jefe
  4. Not your PSL – Pumpkin Spice Amber 5.2% ABV

Flight Life

I won’t lie, the staff was pretty nice after the heat comment, but I didn’t like a single one of these beers.

The passionfruit was lacking in any sour. Now, I’m crazy into sours so my standard is pretty high. My mom also didn’t think it was sour though. Definitely fruit forward beer and I got a wheat after taste on this, which I found weird due to it being a sour.

The raspberry was 100% an IPA, but didn’t have much fruit flavor. The hops hit hard across the whole mouth and just lingered bitterness on the tongue. Was a bit creamy, but not as thick as one would expect from a milkshake IPA.

Tap handles and Awards

The Spicy Jefe had a strong pepper taste, possibly habanero or jalapeno. Pretty good flavor and man did that leave a lingering burning sensation in the back of my throat. Good for the style but after the pepper taste it settled like the taste of dirt.

Not your PSL is accurate since I didn’t get pumpkin or spice from this beer at all. Malty, sweet and caramel are the notes that stood out to me. Another slight medicinal taste like their praline amber.

Mom and I

After the flight I found no reason to keep us there so decided to head over to Moon River Brewing.

I would be interested to try their stouts and porters. Again I love the location; it’s pretty big with tons of seating, had some table top games around and the staff was pretty nice. The only place in Savannah to give me stickers. I feel like they have quite a few regulars at this place from the conversations happening around us. I would give them another chance if back in Savannah but it wouldn’t be my first stop.

The best package

Have you ever stayed home from work and missed your car maintenance appointment just so that you can sign for a package? Well… I, for sure did just so that my beer dropbox wouldn’t be returned back to Colorado. I was working from home, so not like I called out or anything, so don’t fret.
I was scrolling through Instagram one day and up came an ad for a beer dropbox from Colorado, and to say the least, I was highly intrigued. Craft Alley out of Denver Colorado gets beer from all around Colorado and will ship them to your door for a fairly reasonable price, and they have multiple plans.
Living in Phoenix, I do not have a lack of beer supply, so I just went for their most basic plan to try it out since we are close to Colorado but only get the big names. I was not disappointed at all! This box came with five different Colorado beers, two cans of each.

  1. Black Beary Sour from 105 Brewing Company out of Castle Rock
  2. Humulus Kalecumber from Odd13 Brewing out of Lafayette
  3. Sad Panda by Horse and Dragon Brewing Company out of Fort Collins
  4. Kiwicumber Jalapeno Dyad by New Image Brewing out of Arvada
  5. Blood Orange Kolsch by Periodic Brewing Company out of Leadville

I highly enjoy that they sent a little info sheet on sours, expanding the beer education one day at a time! My goal has always been to write relatable to anyone who doesn’t really know anything about the intricate beer-making process, and honestly, I never expected to learn as much as I have about the actual process. Thank you to all the wonderful nerdy beer people who have helped expand my horizons. Don’t worry, though, I’m going to continue just sharing my thoughts as they come and try not to get too technical. From my previous post, you may already know that it was a sour summer, and this box held true to that spirit minus the one stout. Not that my personal life is super interesting, but this post was the last one with my adorable furry friends, Rossi and Littles. I shall not forget my adventures with them or Kurt, but new adventures are sure to present themselves in the near future. Sometimes a good thing has to end, and that’s completely okay if both parties are happier that way. Anywho back to the reason you’re all actually here: Beer!

Dyad: Kiwicucumber Jalapeno 7.5% ABV

When I saw this beer and read that it was in between a sour and Kombucha I got super excited! Plus the crazy flavor profile: kiwi, cucumber and jalapeno I ran out to show Kurt like I was a little kid who just received best gift ever! Upon opening it the smell was crazy, little sweet, spicey and tart. The first taste for sure was the most confusing thing I’ve ever dealt with. My taste buds went nuts! The kiwi hits up front, cucumber freshness comes in with the tartness, then the carbonation and tea flavor comes out ad to top it all off the jalapeno flavor with a tinge of spice. Not an overwhelming spice so if you are not into heat you’ll be fine. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to fully explain this beer, but it was really good after the initial shock.

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Black Beary Sour 6.2% ABV

My obsession with blackberries and sours should be of no surprise at this point, but if you’re new to the adventure, I have a high fascination for sour beers and anything with blackberry I cannot resist. This beer is pretty simple in that it’s just a straight blackberry oated sour. The purple pour got me a little excited! In my personal opinion, it came off a little too sweet for me, kind of like jam. The oats made the beer super smooth and easy to drink, but I was surprised how carbonated it was for the style. Sweetness and carbonation threw it off for me so I only ended up giving it a 3.5/5.

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Rossi trying to move with me

Sad Panda was the perfect name for the mood I was in during the last few weeks. Change is never easy, and I tried to stay positive, but look at that cute little face just trying to move with me. Well, really, they both are just highly obsessed with boxes, but a girl can pretend right!?

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Sad Panda Coffee Stout 6.8% ABV

The feeling of opening a beer then getting the smell wafting up to your nose and knowing instantly it’s going to be good, may be one of the best feelings in my book. I’m talking better than Christmas day for me… I’m sure people will think I’m being a tad dramatic, but it’s a great surprise everytime.

Recently I started drinking 8oz of coffee at work because of the health benefits from coffee. Also, I started sort of eating chocolate. I’ve never been a fan, but my cousin Kjirsten and her husband, Will, started making chocolate and she was nice enough to send some chocolate to me. If you live in Tennessee checkout Kamela Chocolates! All organic, the flavor is all based off the cocoa bean and just adds a little bit of cane sugar so it comes out dark chocolate bitter and whatever flavor is just a hint. Random tangent but two new things I’m really enjoying feels like it got combined into a beer!

The Sad Panda was anything but sad, oher than when it was gone. I first opened it right out of the fridge and after the pictures, Untappd rating and taking that first glorious sip I knew I wanted to let this one warm up a bit so I let it sit while I worked out! Upon first sip, I got vanilla bitterness notes right up front and then it sweetened up with the malts and caramel, and finished off with dark chocolate and coffee bitterness. Crazy enough and why I think this is one of the best stouts I’ve ever had the lingering taste was actually more of the sweet caramel than bitter coffee. Mad respect for this beer! When it warmed up the vanilla and dark chocolate notes came out so much more! Just a smooth beer and really for the darknes and intense smell it was a lot lighter than expected.

When I was on the Beer Show NB I did say this was my favorite stout so… get it if you can and let me know what you think!

Humulus Kalecucumber 5% ABV

Odd13 put out an interesting beer with this one: slightly tart, but so refreshing from the kale and cucumber. Tastes like I’m drinking something super refreshing and healthy!? My favorite nights include drinking beer and listening to amazing bands! Checkout the band Dayseeker if you’re interested in. some new music.

Blood Orange Kolsch 5.0% ABV

Loved this picture, but I was not a fan of this beer. Sadly, the last one I tried but 4/5 spot on beers is solid in my book. The kolsch was light, but too carbonated for me. The taste was overly sweet with candied orange versus natural blood orange flavor, but slightly creamy. Made me feel like I was drinking an orange creme soda. If dessert is your thing then get it!

Super excited for these boxes every month. Keep up the solid choices Craft Alley! Has anyone else signed up for the beer dropbox from Craft Alley or anyone else that is worth checking out!?

Sour Summer

A summer full of sours, well the title suggests it’s been a sour summer but it’s been a really good one on the beer front.

Phoenix is a very hot place and my favorite way to escape the heat is by drinking a nice refreshing sour. There is just something about having some tart fruitiness with a little bit of alchohol mixed in to pretend I’m not in the land of 100 non stop degrees.

My favorite sour thus far has got to be Razzing Arizona by College Street Brewing.

Razzing Arizona 5.2% ABV

I first had this in a can, Kevin Schiro from King’s let me try one. Also photo credit goes out to him on this one! Probably bad choice on his part I ended up drinking all four of his four pack… but he does work in a convenient place to pick up more beer so I only feel slightly bad. I’m not sure if it was because it is a kettle sour, but this had the perfect amount of sour to me! Puckered my lips but not too overwhelming, hence why I drank two more (the fourth one was two weeks later). There was a slight malt taste, but mainly just raspberries, salt and sour. If they made raspberry flavored Laffy Taffy’s they would taste like this beer!

Razzing Arizona 5.2% ABV

Kevin and I went to Headquarters for dinner and saw that it was on draft so we both had to try it. Sadly, the flavor didn’t settle as well on draft as it does with the can so the fruit and tart balance was missing, the sour was really the only taste there. This is not the only beer we’ve felt this way during sour summer either: Rainbow Sherbert from Prairie Artisan Ales is also better in the can. This is our humble opinion, but I mean Kevin tries thousands of beer a year so I trust his judgement. Have you tried this in a can and on draft yet?

Kevin and I at King’s Beer and Wine

First time I had Rainbow Sherbert was on draft at King’s. A lot of the fruit flavors jump out at you to start: raspberry, pineapple and orange, then it is pretty tart but nothing like the Razzing Arizona tart. Another low ABV that’s just easy to drink and 100% tastes like Sweettarts. Just like the candy, it’s pretty sweet so I couldn’t have too much of it at one time.

Now the crazy thing is the can tastes way more creamy and actually like sherbert. I grew up eating sherbert and mixing with 7Up, drinking this beer from the can I got the same sensation! The flashbacks were real. Sorry for the below picture quality, I thought the lights were cool but it was hard to really capture the can. I really enjoy the can art, go grab one and check it out!

Rainbow Sherbert 5.2% ABV

My third favorite sour of the summer has been Boom Box (Triple Berry) by The Beer Research Institute, which you can check out my review on in my last post!

Humble runner up: ASMR Fission 003 by Stillwater Artisanal, which I drank warm after hiking Cibecue Falls with my lovely friends Alexandra and Monica! The water wasn’t pretty, but still an amazing hike. You can checkout my rating of this beer on Untappd: kylied312.

ASMR Fission 003 6% ABV

What sour beers have you had this summer!? Any I should be on the lookout for?

Beer and research!?!

Two things I enjoy most are reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, while enjoying beer!

Seemed only fitting to try a new brewery for both scenarios and what better place than Beer Research Institute in Mesa, AZ!? To me getting to know people is research because you form a hypothesis about said other person and find out by asking questions if your hypothesis is right.

I’ve had BRI’s beer at some other places, like King’s Beer and Wine, but hadn’t been to the actual brewery so when my friend I haven’t really talked to in two years wanted to hang out I knew exactly where I wanted to go and I was not disappointed. You may all remember Josh from back when I first started my blog, if not check out Monday Reflection.

Before, I had only seen BRI IPAs at places, which by now you may know I’m not a huge IPA person. At the actual brewery I was super happy to see their list of many styles! In true Kylie fashion, I ordered a flight to start off. Josh looked at me and said “dang you’re not messing around.” Not when it comes to beer and trying a new place. 😂

I’m pretty mad at myself for not getting a better picture of this flight holder. This is the fucking coolest flight holder ever! The holder is metal, shaped like brass knuckles and the glasses are little beakers! The science nerd in me had a little 5 year old response and got all giddy how awesome this is. Then the brewery made it even better by replying to my Instagram post saying “Thanks for the love. And yeah, we have the coolest fucking beer flight EVER!! ❤” Have you seen a cooler flight holder?

They have bartop, large stool tables and booths. Some bar food and then all the yummy craft beer. The staff is super friendly and it’s just one of those chill atomspheres you want to hang out and talk forever.

Barrell Aged Dark Side Until I Die 9.5%

This wasn’t my favorite barrell aged, but it wasn’t horrible. This was the first BA I’ve had from BRI so I wasn’t disappointed but just another slightly boozy and coffee beer. But they did have one of the best fruity sour beers I’ve ever had, Boom Box!

Boom Box 4.2%

This is a berry smoothie with alcohol and some tart! Okay, for most a lot of tartness, but for me it was perfect. I showed my coworker a picture and there in case comes to our second research project because they said they wanted to try it so I of course with no hesitation said lets go! Back and forth IMs and we ended up going for their lunch and I was off work! They concur this beer is amazing. Sour, fruit and alcohol nothing is better for the heat here in Phoenix. It’s not strong but it’s a tad filling due to the fruit pulp.

I’m a person who needs to go twice to a local place before writing about it because sometimes one time is just too good or too bad to do just once.

Well with the second coworker liking the beer and the service being also super friendly, the second time I really enjoyed BRI and will be back. I mean…. it’s 15 minutes from work without traffic so why not!

Gose for the Kill 6.2%

Had to try a new beer to see if anything else stood out and the Gose was really bomb. The grapefruit flavor was very upfront but that salty gose tartness lingered in the mouth. It was very well balanced in my opinion and my coworker Quay who is new to craft beer thought it was really good or just being nice to me.. who knows, hence the research!

The point is if you’re in Mesa, AZ go. Their IPAs are really good, just not my thing. They have a bomb selection of bar food and awesome people who work there. All in all a good brewery.

Kombucha… Beer!?!

I’m pretty sure most of us saw Kombucha beer coming, but did anyone expect it to actually be so tasty?
Normal Kombucha has less than 0.5% alcohol so when places started adding more and we could pretend that drinking 7.0% Kombucha Beer is actually a good alternative, happiness arouse. Does anyone else wonder though why IDs do not have to be checked when buying Kombucha but it does for non-alcoholic beer!?
The first time I tried Kombucha beer was at Mellow Mushroom on Mother’s day…. my mom lives in another state so what else was I supposed to do? Tanner was in town so we had to hit up Mellow for old times sake.

6% ABV

Anyways… I had Bourbon Peach American Wild Ale by Unity Vibration Kombucha. Honestly, I wasn’t really a fan because it was super sweet and oddly had very little carbonation, which is highly unusual for Kombucha. Initially I was like meh this is sweet, but I can get through it and half way through I was actually really struggling to finish it. I’m sure if anyone is a peach flavor fan and does more of the ciders they would like this beer, but the flavor was too syrupy for me vs an actual peach. That’s probably what led to the over abundance of sugar in my mind.

I really thought Kombucha Beer may not be my thing until Alexandra Nelson said that we should go get some from Whole Food’s.
After work we were going over to her house to work on more work and homework so me being me, loved the idea of getting beer before going to do that. Pretty sure I’m a bad influence on people… I hear way too often “I don’t really drink unless we’re hanging out.” Is what it is… my goal is to just help people understand the finer things in life 🙂 like yummy craft beer.

Alexandra and I

Booch Craft is the brand that Alexandra wanted to get and so grateful she did! We are both huge ginger fans so the Ginger, Lime and Rosemary one of course had to be tried and I didn’t want to get the same one so I reluctantly grabbed the Grapefruit, Hibiscus and Heather one. I remember how my first experience went so I was a little worried that Grapefruit was going to be too sweet.

I was pleasantly surprised that the hibiscus and heather notes really blended out the grapefruit so it was neither too sweet or too acidic! The fruity up front taste was evened out by the floral back notes; combination was great. Unlike the Unity brand Booch Craft had a good amount of carbonation. Think for a different style of beer it would be too much, but Kombucha is generally really carbonated so it was perfect. For being 7% ABV there wasn’t really any noticeable strong alcohol flavor, but Alexandra did get a little tipsy so it was real… sometimes why I need my low tolerance friends around otherwise I’d never know ha. 4/5 stars for me on this one!

Organic Grapefruit, Hibiscus and Heather Kombuch, 7% ABV

Like I mentioned before we are huge fans of ginger! I make homemade juice weekly with ginger, lime and kale so already knew ginger and lime work great together. The ginger was a little more mellow than I would like but you for sure get hit with that taste up front since it’s such a strong flavor and then a floral taste lingers on the tongue. Really balanced and probably a good amount of ginger for people who don’t really drink it all the time. Again carbonation was on point. I highly enjoyed these 4/5 for me for this one as well.

Great way to welcome Alexandra to the NSE Adventure!

Organic Ginger, Lime and Rosehips 7% ABV