Sep 28

The Terrible Beers of Summer 2014 – Which did you drink?

In my last post, I wrote about the beers I really enjoyed over the summer. In this post I’ll write about the terrible beers I was exposed to.  I know I’m risking alienating some of my readers, so hopefully you won’t be offended if I mention on of the beers you drink regularly. So here’s my 2014 list of terrible beers.

5. Budweiser Lima-a-Rite

Honestly, I don’t know what I expected and this is one of those ideas that sounded good while we were talking about it.  I bought a pack of lime flavored Lime-A-Rita but saw they also had a strawberry flavor.  I’ll admit it was refreshing for about five minutes but I couldn’t bring myself to finish one. And I was embarrassed to post it as a check-in on Untappd since I was worried all my craft beer buddies would make fun of me for drinking this terrible beer.

4. Terrapin Recreation Ale

I admit, that in the cool spring or fall, this might be one heck of a beer. But for the heat of the summer, it was one of the terrible beers of summer I took to the pool.  I picked up a twelve pack since they were in cans, (remember, I like taking cans to the pool).  This beer was way to hoppy.  WAY TOO HOPPY!  It was so hoppy, I felt like I had some sort of plastic chemical reaction happening in my mouth. My buddy loved it, however. He not only drank the remaining beers I had, but went and got more.  Too hoppy, go figure.

The Brew-Stand | Terrapin Recreation Ale

I should probably add that for the most part, I really love the Terrapin beers.  I do like their Rye IPA…

3. and 2.Trader Joe’s Simpler Times

Terrible Beers of Summer 2014 numbers two and three are a tie!

These two terrible beers of summer scarred me and to rub salt in the wound, my wife thought I actually enjoyed these and came home from Trader’ Joes with two more six packs.

Again, in my pursuit for a good summer time canned beer for the pool, I was tempted to pick up a six pack of these beers since the price was right and for the most part, Trader Joe’s stuff is usually pretty good.  Well, I was disappointed. Not only did it taste of poor quality beer, I found it had an aftertaste that I didn’t care for.  It reminded me of another beer I don’t care for on this list, (but was much worse).

I’ll add that I gave one to a neighbor who loved it.  She loved it and I gave her my extra ones.  I also used a couple in a drip pan when I was smoking some ribs.  The ribs came out moist, by the way…

The Brew-Stand | Simpler Times

Some of the other Trader Joe’s private label beers are really good.  Not these…

1. Landshark

Man, this was the worst beer I had ever tasted. It was awful!  We were at the pool and a friend offered one for me to try. As it happened, it was a tall boy (16 ounces).  I took a sip and immediately realized my mistake.  When it started to rain and my friend ran to his car to close his sunroof, I took the opportunity to dump out this number one terrible beers of the summer behind the fence.  Good lord, I can’t imagine how this beer stays around in business.

For taste, it was very similar to the Trader Joe’s Simpler Times mixed with a Yuengling Lager but with an even more powerful and longer lasting aftertaste.  Not for me!

The Brew-Stand | Landshark Lager

Sorry that this post took so long to get out. I had started this post near Labor Day weekend when our pool closed down.   Life ended up getting away from me.

I’d love to hear about your summer time beer experiences whether they are good or bad.  Now that fall is in full swing, I’ll start working on the list for my favorite fall beers, (Hint, try Paulaner Oktoberfest).


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Aug 16

These summertime beers were just awesome at the pool this year. #1 really surprised me!

As it got hotter in the South this year, I had a hard time drinking the big IPA’s and anything with a lot of hops.  I found those types of craft beers just too heavy and hard to drink in the heat.  Thus began my quest for summertime beers to enjoy in the heat and the pool.  This list is what I found to be the best for this summer!

If we’re friends on Untappd, we were able to see what each other was drinking. If we aren’t connected on Untappd, I’d be happy to accept your friend request.

The following list is my favorite beers I drank this summer.  Bonus points were awarded if cans were available for ease of consumption at the pool.

5. Coors Original – The Banquet Beer

I must admit, this was a bit of surprise. I was telling my brother-in-law that I was having a hard time with heavy beer in the summer heat, and he said, “You know, I’ve been getting Coors… You should try it.” Sure enough, it was great! As far as a summertime beer goes, it certainly hit the spot. I went out and got two six packs of tall boys and believe it or not, it was the hit at the pool.

For sure, there are plenty of folks drinking the “Silver Bullet,” but the original Coors was a great hit for the pool.  It was light enough for the heat, good flavors, and very economical.


4.  Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

I grew up in the mid-west and enjoyed some of the MIlwaukee beers when I was younger.  PBR is a perfect summertime beer at the pool and comes in convenient cans.  Every summer I usually end up buying some twelve packs to enjoy in the heat and someone is always asking me for one.

3. Red Hare Brewing Company – Long Day Lager

Red Hare Brewing is gaining popularity and I was very happy when I saw them offering several of their beers in cans.  One of their offering was an IPA. As I said, I’m not into IPA’s during the summer.  So I went for the Long Day Lager as one of my summertime beers.  It’s a little heavy for a lager, but easy to drink and has is mildly hopped.  I also enjoyed the Lond Day Lager with hot wings at our favorite local joint.

Red Hare Long Day Lager


2. Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits – Pale Ale (Yellowtail)

So far, I’ve tried just about everything from Ballast Point..  My favorite (and the most expensive one) was their Sculpin IPA. Man, that’s good but again, no IPA’s in the summer.  So the next best thing I found was their Pale Ale. Unfortunately no cans were to be found so I had to drink it in stealth mode at the pool in a styrofoam cup. Well worth it.  Great tasting, high quality beer.

Ballast Point Pale Ale

1. Harpoon –  UFO Big Squeeze Shandy

This was my run away favorite this year.  Hopefully, at some point you had a chance to try Harpoon’s UFO (unfiltered wheat).  As you may know, wheat beer is awesome in the summertime and they added a generous amount of grapefruit juice to the beer.  It was amazingly refreshing and pretty sweet. It went down awfully smooth.  Additional bonus for being in cans and was $14 for a 12 pack at my local bottle shop.  Not only a value but wonderful to drink in the heat, at the pool.  I noticed I did not enjoy it as much when it wasn’t really hot outside.

UFO Big Squeeze

Harpoon calls this beer a Radler.  Check out this description from The German Beer Institute:

What does a German drink, when he or she wants a low-alcohol beer, but does not want to resort to a “light” brew? Radlermass or Alsterwasser (its northern German name) to the rescue — a beverage that is a half-and-half mix of blond lager (usually Pils or Helles) and lemonade. This drink originated in Bavaria in the early 20th century, but it is now bottled and canned premixed and available in all of Germany. However, it generally does not make its way across the sea to North America.

In short, we got ourselves a wheat beer with grapefruit juice. Genius! Of course, if you don’t care for grapefruit juice, you probably be turned off on this.


Next post, I’ll post my five most disappointing beers of this summer.

I’d love to hear about what you drank at the pool this summer. Feel free to comment and let me know! I’ll start making my list for next year!


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Sep 12

Buffalo Trace Releases Antique Collection

It’s no secret I like bourbon.  I tend to rotate through a couple of different distilleries and Buffalo Trace is one of my go-to brands. I was excited to see an article that announced that Buffalo Trace is about to release five whiskey’s that are part of their Antique Collection.  I bet they’re good and will put hair on your chest.  Here’s the list and a link to their website:

Although these look really good, rumor has it they’ll retail at about $70 / bottle, which is a little more than I usually spend.  I’ll probably have to settle for a double the next time I head to the local watering hole.

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May 15

New Belgium Brewing Releases New Beers for Summer

New Belgium Brewing release two new beers for summer! That’s great news. If you know me, then you know that I like most of the New Belgium Brewing beers, (not all of them).

The two new brews are called Paardebloem and Pluot. Both beers should be available as long as supplies last or until the end of July.

Pluot (10% abv) is a sweet ale made from pluot juice (a hybrid of plum and apricot) and New Belgium’s house Belgian ale yeast. Paardebloem (9% abv) is the sixth beer to be launched in collaboration with Salt Lake City’s Red Rock Brewing, mixing ingredients like peach juice and dandelion greens with the house Belgian ale yeast, as well as some wood-aged sour beer and Grains of Paradise

I’m not really big on fruity beers but Paardebloem does sound attractive to me since I’m familiar with Belgian Ale Yeast.  I don’t think I’d buy a six pack of these beers, but would certainly look forward to trying them in in a mixed twelve pack.

I’ll be watching at my local bottle shop to see if these come in.  If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear your opinions.


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May 14

Hiatus and New Topics

I’ve been away. I’ve been busy, so I fell off the wagon posting stuff.  I’m sorry. I want to start again. And now we’re going to include craft liquor!

In fact, you might say that I’ve been gone and have expanded my horizons.  You might have noticed the new tag line that now says:

News and Reviews for Home Brewing and Craft Beer and Liquor

The “Liquor” part is new.  Even though I haven’t been posting, I’ve tried to stay up to the news around craft beer and home brewing.  And while I’m happy to say that it’s gone mainstream now, (in a good way), I’ve been following news about efforts to legalize home distilling.  What a cool concept!

Yes, there are plenty of hand-made for small batch liquors out there, and more popping up every day.  It’s cool stuff if you ask me, and if the trend follows closely like home-brewing did, we might see even more variety around the craft liquor industry.

I’ll (hopefully) begin to write more about this but just in case you don’t believe me about craft distilling, here’s a snippet of an article about Indian and how they are considering changing the laws around distilling:

Indiana is poised to become the latest state to reform its craft distilling laws. Inspired by the popularity of craft wineries and microbreweries, more small-scale distilleries are starting to open in the Hoosier State.

See you soon!


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Oct 30

Buying Brew Kits Beer, Homebrewing Kits

Brew Kits Beer!

You might wonder why I used the term, “brew kits beer” instead of using something like “homebrew kits” or just “brew kits.”  It turns out, that every year during the holidays, many people who have never been exposed to home brewing, get or give a brew kit or a home brewing kit for the holidays. Not everyone knows what homebrewing kits are, or that they even exist and often just search for terms, “brew kits beer.”

I’ve seen many blog posts about people who have gotten into home brewing because someone got them a brew kit for beer either for Christmas or their birthday.  That first brew kit got them into something that grew into a hobby or maybe a lifestyle, that ultimately lead them to start up a craft brewery.  I’ve been bitten by that same bug, too!

Brewing © by barockschloss

When I got my first brew kit in 1994, I was still in college and had dreams of one day owning a microbrewery.  I must admit, sometimes I still think it would be an awesome idea.

But enough about me. We’re here to talk about brew kits and beer.  Let me break it down for you.  You might be shopping for someone or maybe you are looking for yourself.

Here’s some handy links for you to jump around with:

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