Winter Lager: The Unbearable Grossness of Being

Beat it, old man
Seasons change and so did I, you need not wonder why.

- The Guess Who, "No Time" (1969)

Living in the Northeastern United States, I am privileged to get a full on experience of all four seasons of the calendar. Unlike some other parts of our fair nation, which oscillate between “extreme summer” and “moderately extreme summer,” or “rainy” and “fuck off, so rainy,” we get clearly demarcated spring, summer, autumn and winter seasons here.

Sure, sure, I’m the first to admit, that in Syracuse, winter comes on stronger than a Bill Cosby date and lingers far longer into spring than I’d care for. This is a small price to pay, in my opinion, for a chance to live and enjoy the range of climate-related emotions.

It’s tough, for example, to find a place more scenic than upstate New York in autumn, when the colors are at the peak of change, and the foliage snaps in bright and forceful reds, oranges, and yellows.

Unless that critical eye is turned to the same place in January, after a fresh coat of pure white snow has blanketed the landscape, covering the world in serenity and beauty. It’s just like a postcard, I find myself telling others.

Spring, once it’s finished taking it’s sweet ass time arriving, is truly a time of rebirth, of newness, where we can rub the winter’s sleep out of our eyes, dust off our bikes from a winter of indoor-trainer/non-use, plant our gardens, and put the Eskimo layers away for a well deserved hiatus.

Summer? Well, summer takes me to the joys of my childhood, long days riding bikes in the neighborhood, swimming at the Rec Center pool, ice cream, baseball games. Laying out in the sun, eyes closed, on my desk and soaking up all of that vitamin D just there for the taking.

BUT WHAT ABOUT BEER?

Oh, for certain, every season brings its own delightful seasonal beers to be enjoyed. Like I needed another reason to look forward to summer or fall!

Well, not every season. I can’t really figure out if there’s such a thing as spring beers. I think we maybe should be drinking dandelion wine or just wringing out our mittens and hoping that something has fermented in them over the course of the winter. But aside from that, hell yeah! Seasonal beers!

Summer, to me, is the time to drink light, fruity beers, beers that go well with being outdoors and enjoying the warmest of days.

Fall? Well, that’s a good time for those delicious Oktoberfest lagers, brewed up for mid September and available for a good chunk of the autumn.

Winter is stout season, to me. Thick, high alcohol content, dark and delicious and filled with complex flavors.

However, there’s another trend I’ve noted in winter beers and from the title of this post I think you see where I’m going with this.

What the fuck is the deal with winter lagers?

More like what the moose left behind, am I right?

You’ll notice that over the course of this post, none of these beers are shown in my home, or in a pint glass, or a frosty mug, or, really, even unleashed from the bottles.  That is intentional.

When I started drinking beers a couple of years ago, with an eye for new flavors and textures, I sampled a number of winter ales, Christmas beers, and seasonal lagers.

 

 

Santa gives these to naughty adults

I noticed, very quickly, that they all share a common characteristic.

They are nasty.

I’m also not alone in thinking this.  I’ve heard these quotes offered up by Ceetar, my co-blogger here.

 

 

Oh, I know, pinecone flavored beer!

“There are times the Sly Fox feels like I’m eating a jar of allspice.”

” I’m not saying winter warmers necessarily taste like rotted pumpkins, but I’m not not saying it either.”

 

 

 

I personally will go one step further, and break out the all new negative prose-inator.

That’s right!  For the specific sole purpose of capturing the sheer grossness of drinking, in beer form, the first three random spices that fall out of my spice rack, I’ve come up with an all new random negative praise generator.  Let’s give it a spin, shall we?

“This beer tastes like the embodiment of the disappointment that I would imagine the parents of uber-celebrity

would feel if they knew that their child was consorting and cavorting with the likes of a totally unknown

instead of another celebrity of equal fame, value and prestige.”

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The Six Pack Commitment

 

Commitment is an act, not a word. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
Oatmeal – It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore™

There’s an entire sub-genre, it would seem, of stand up comedians and nervous protagonists of rom-com movies who lament on the American male’s deep reluctance to make a commitment. Perhaps this is hyperbole, or a stereotype that is easy pickings for humorists. Or, perhaps not. Maybe men really do have a harder time committing.

But what does this have to do with beer?

I’m getting to that, imaginative dialogue partner. Be patient.

This writer has found that the best way to discover and appreciate new beers, in the part of the world where I reside, is the very magical “Craft Your Own Pack” offer at Wegmans.  For future brevity, I will refer to this as the CYOP*, and the act of purchasing and enjoying these beers as “cyopping*.”

They don’t all fit under the Xmas tree, sadly

I’ve touched on this before, in previous posts.  For a very reasonable $10.99, thirsty Americans can choose six different beers from a handsomely displayed set of refrigerated shelves full of ambers, pilsners, lagers, stouts, ales, pale ales, IPAs, and even ciders and lemonades.

(It should also be noted that, unless watchful eyes are afoot, a person could theoretically take individual beers from craft four and six packs in the adjacent aisles and place them discretely into their “craft my own pack” holder, and the seller is none the wiser. Though my own Wegmans now has an employee stalking those very aisles every Saturday and Sunday morning, perhaps meant to halt that sort of rogue shopping banditry style cyopping).

This is the most recent six pack I crafted. A typical range of pales, IPAs, sours, fruity beers, and other mouthwatering treats meant to delight both young (well, you know, 21+ young) and old alike.

Six heroes. Fighting injustice.

Of these six beers, four are new to me. I’ve knocked back my share of Bel Air Sours and Sierra Nevada Pale Ales over recent months — they are both delicious representatives of the sour and American Pale Ale genres. The IPAs are ones I have not tried as of yet. The amber ale was tasty, and refreshing, and while the blood orange ale was as well, though it could have stood more orange flavor.

But the bigger question is, would I commit to buying an entire six pack of any of these?

(Confession: I attended a birthday party for my wife’s cousin’s 3 year old son, two weekends ago, and grabbed a six pack of the Sierra Nevada pale ales to bring based on her cousin’s statement of “I’ll drink anything you bring over” and a limited subset available at the local gas station I hit on my way out of town. But those were bought knowing that I would only likely be having two, and sharing the others with him and any other guest that wanted one.  So that doesn’t count, for purposes of this discussion.)

I’m talking about the six pack commitment. Six of the same beers, in a row, in my fridge, all at once. To be drank, over a relatively short time frame, in order to clear out room for the next six beers.

(Author’s note: I’m not talking about that sad pack of hard lemonades, originally six but perpetually five, that the wife thought she might enjoy,  slowly turning into Lemon Pledge in the back. I’m talking about Daddy’s beers, friends.)

I’ve faced this dilemma before. I’ll have a beer, on tap in a bar or restaurant, or in one of these choose-your-own-adventure six packs, and enjoyed enough to take the plunge. I’ll go to Wegmans and buy a sixer of that variety, and by the time I’m halfway through it, I’ve had enough.  Sort of a best case buyer’s regret (I mean, they’re still beers, paid for, in my house, so I’m not exactly suffering).

Maybe this is a side effect of choosing fruity, off-the-beaten-path flavored beers. A berry ale that seems refreshing once every four or five months loses some of its magic if I’ve had 3 or 4 over a week’s time. This is the beer drinker’s equivalent of looking at everyone else’s date at a wedding and wondering what those other gals can do that your own date cannot, or shall not.

So, to be concise, a beer has to be pretty special for me to make the six pack commitment.  I had this one, in a recent CYOP, and deemed it worthy.

I took the plunge with the Great Lakes Brewery Ohio City Oatmeal Stout (5.4% ABV, 25 IBU).

I feel like we can make this work, oatmeal stout.

There is just something about oatmeal stouts that appeals to me.   First off, while I am a cold cereal & milk guy most days, my default plan B breakfast is a bowl of instant maple brown sugar oatmeal.  The stuff keeps on the pantry shelf for ten thousand years, and doesn’t require anything besides a half cup of boiling water (good for days when there’s no milk left) and, if circumstances allow it, maybe a small pat of butter.

So maybe the oatmeal stout appeals to my innate love of warm, soothing oatmeal breakfasts.

Maybe it’s just that rich, chocolatey, silky kind of flavor that they all seem to possess.  I can’t think of a single oatmeal stout that I didn’t at least passively enjoy.  It’s specific to oatmeal stouts, too, as the Russian Imperials and milk stouts don’t grab me the same way.

Some of these oatmealers, such as the Buried Acorn’s (which they have sadly not brewed in some months), were worthy enough to get their own blog post.  Others, like the Ommegang oatmeal stout, or the Blue Moon cappuccino oatmeal stout, are like one night stands in my mouth, just coming across my palette briefly but remembered fondly the next morning.  And yet others, as in the Full Boar Dark Victory Oatmeal Stout, to be dreamed of and likely prose’d here as well someday.

Others, though, well, if they’re locally available in the six pack format, and I’ve already sampled them at a local pub or through a recent cyopping, well, then, I’ll get down on one knee, and in a classic romantic fashion, offer my commitment to drinking them.

<cue rom-com tissue honking and/or sitcom applause track>

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Run, Relax, Refresh: Full Boar Craft Brewery

You had me at “brewery”

Time for another installment of Run, Relax, Refresh, where our intrepid blogger combines a post-workday run with a stop at one of Syracuse’s fine local craft brewing establishments.

The Run:

This day’s journey took me along route 11 in North Syracuse, New York, to some residential side streets, and then spat me back out along the narrow shoulder of Taft Road, plus a couple of detours tacked on to get me to the 30 minute mark (my normal weekday exercise goal).

The route 11 portion of this run wasn’t bad, thanks to there being a sidewalk available set safely away from the road.  I was able to run past some of the town’s more quirky local businesses, such as Earthbound Metaphysical. I was hoping that this was a “Ray’s Occult Books” style shop of necromancy and paranormal resources, though it turns out they just sell fancy coffees and tees.

When I realized my route as originally designed was going to clock in at around 2.75 miles, I decided to tack on a couple of small detours.  One was to run down the access road at Hinerwadels, a famous local clambake joint that has sadly closed their doors this year (luckily, their gravel driveway remained accessible).  I also detoured over to the local junior high school and added a quarter mile by running a lap on their local track. These both had the added benefit of getting me off of Taft Road, where the shoulder is about as wide as Kate Moss’ torso.

The intermediate roads on this route, through residential North Syracuse neighborhoods, did have a nice display of foliage out for enjoyment.

A good workout, overall, not the most scenic path I ever traversed, but it conveniently started and ended at the Full Boar Brewery and Tap Room.

The Relax:

On to the Full Boar!

This awesome little joint opened in 2016 in a local shopping plaza — always a plus, ensuring that there’s plenty of parking and that it’s not too conspicuous to leave my vehicle in front for 30 minutes without shopping, while I get my run in.

This place has a lot to offer, first off — each table has a caddy of individual sized snacks, chips and pretzels.

I’ll have these

I personally went with the Dipsy Doodles, which are like Sun Chips’ sexy naked cousin in the snack world.

Lots of comfortable seating abound as well as snappy decorations, as you can see.

Oh good I was just thinking of trying beer for the first time

But now, let’s remember, this isn’t an HGTV decorating show. I’m not here to comment on the feng shui, I’m here to partake.

They have a great selection of brews, of all colors and flavors. Not to mention these tricked out growlers converted into hanging lights (OK WE GET IT DECORATOR-BOY).

SOOOO many choices

I sampled the peanut butter and jelly flavored blonde, which was just a bit too odd, and then had a sour mango, which was a refreshing enough beer (though I prefer my sour mango beers to be sourer and mangoier).

The real star of this “triple R” was the chocolate peanut butter stout.

The Refresh:

Look at this damned thing. LOOK AT IT!

It seems all too appropriate to enjoy one of these beers on the week of Halloween. After a couple of days spent “borrowing” from my kids’ trick or treating haul, this stout was scratching me right where I itched (not in the sweaty runner crotch kind of itch, more of the emotional yearning sort of way).  It’s basically a Reese’s peanut butter cup, only in beer form (which is candy for the liver).

As per the menu, this beer is a 6.6% ABV choice and ITBMCBB*, it’s “smooth and sweet with a deep roast flavor. Nice peanut butter nose balances well with the dark Chocolate.” At $5 for a 16 oz portion, it hits my wallet’s sweet tooth as well.

As for the flavor, well, it’s sweet without being “cloyingly sweet.” (Note: that phrase is borrowed from every single episode of the show Chopped ever to air on the Food Fatty network). And it’s a stout, with delicious roasted flavor. I enjoy many stouts and this one ranks very high on my list.  Shout out to the great pint glasses that the Full Boar uses, too.  That groove at the top is perfectly contoured to my fat beer loving lower lip.

The Prose-inator loved it too! No surprise there. How would you describe it, Prose-inator?

“This beer tastes like what it would taste like if a

made love to a

in the middle of a

and then together raised a baby with their shared feelings of

and, finally, that baby cried

tears of

into a frosty pint glass.”

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A Love Letter to Barleywine

How do I love thee?

 

Why is it so hard to write a love letter?

I’ve been married for a long time, 17 years, and I’ll confess that while my wife and I treat each other lovingly, and say and text each other nice things, that it’s also been a long time since I tried to express my love in the classic “love letter” format.

A long time ago, before the Internet, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I wrote my share of love letters. Long distance relationships and potential relationships call for that kind of communication and courtship. With my love now living in my home, I don’t have to exercise these muscles as strenuously.

So, here is my attempt to convey my feelings of love and passion and devotion to you, sweet barleywine.

Dear Barleywine,

Damn, yo fine!  Back that sweet ass up over here girl!

Sincerely,

Kilgore

How’s that?

OK, so it needs work.

Maybe if I spell out the reasons for my heartfelt emotion towards this product, this attempt will come a bit more naturally.

Do you even know what barleywine is?

There’s no bad time for a Joseph Ducreux appearance

I didn’t until fairly recently. Well, it turns out, that it’s not wine at all. It’s called that because of the high alcohol content. And much like the nerds in “Office Space,” looking up “money laundering” in the dictionary, it’s a bit saddening that I have to look up barleywine before I write my ode to it. Barleywine is a type of strong ale, brewed from barley, natch, and then called “barleywine” to identify an ABV percentage akin to wine, ranging from 8-12% generally speaking.

Let’s focus here.

High alcohol content.

We know that’s going into the love letter. Let me take another swing at this.

Dear Barleywine,

Damn, yo fine!  Back that sweet ass up over here girl!  You got that high alcohol content that sets me a spinnin!  You put dizzy in my heart, girl!

Sincerely,

Kilgore

I think we’re getting closer.

This particular barleywine, like so many recently enjoyed brewed products, is brought to you by the Buried Acorn Brewing brewpub and tap room. Their particular elixir is known as “Sticky Lips.” I think we know that that’s going in the love letter!

ITBMCBB*, the Sticky Lips is described as possessing “Centennial, Cascade, and Lemondrop hops. Toffee, Caramel… BOOOOOOOZE! Dry and Tasty!”

This is a rare scenario where I can say I maybe, almost, taste toffee and caramel. I can tell you that, like Sade, this drink is brown and smooth and easy on the palate.

I will give the Prose-inator a crack at this thing as well.

“This beer tastes like what it would taste like if a

made love to a

in the middle of a

and then together raised a baby with their shared feelings of

and, finally, that baby cried

tears of

into a frosty pint glass.”

Now, maybe the kicker to this thing is that despite being smooth and luxurious, that the Sticky Lips barleywine has a fantastic 13% ABV (and a 60 IBU, for reference). Which means that it’s a high octane sumbitch. It’s served in a 12 oz glass, which is fine, because I think a couple of tall pours of this nectar and you’d be Uber-ring your own ass home.

And lest you think that all barleywines are created equal, I attempted to drink a more mainstream brewery’s barleywine that was 10% ABV and available as part of a Wegman’s “Craft Your Own Six Pack” and I was barely able to finish it. It was nothing like this Smooth Operator (double bonus Sade reference points).

At this point, I feel like I finally have enough details to finish my love letter. Attempt #3:

Dear Barleywine,

Damn, yo fine!  Back that sweet ass up over here girl!  You got that high alcohol content that sets me a spinnin!  You put dizzy in my heart, girl!  You been 'round since the 18th century and how am I just finding you?  Aw, that don't matter none, just come by my way and sing me some of those sweet dulcet tones you got and we'll have ourselves a good time!  I'm gonna kiss them sticky ass lips!

Sincerely,

Kilgore

PS Bring money

That is romantic AF, right there.

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Beer Review: Great Lakes Brewing Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale

Why yes, I did win an age group award, and yes, I’d love to tell you about it

I think most people know in a very cursory fashion who Nosferatu is. I asked my 13 year old son, a voracious reader and fan of the genre, and he was familiar enough with the name to make the connection between Nosferatu and Dracula. I will admit, I didn’t know much more about the story than that either.

But the story, like this red ale, goes deeper than that.

Nosferatu was a film of the silent film era, released in 1922. It was a blatant knock off of the Bram Stoker “Dracula” novel, with character names changed in order to avoid copyright infringement (spoiler alert: it didn’t work, they got sued, and the movie production company never made another film due to the lawsuit).

But, also, Nosferatu was way uglier and creepier than Dracula. Like Harvey Weinstein, without the nice suits.

Handsome devil

Contrast that with Dracula, whom, thanks to cinematic portrayals, has often been given a cinematic luster of romance and sensuality. From Bela Lugosi, to Christopher Lee, to Gary Oldman, Dracula in films was meant to be a monster, but, also, simultaneously, a suave, debonair, neck licking Lothario.

Hell, I think even Count Chocula has that same reputation in the cartoon world.

Admit it, you’re aroused

And don’t tell me that Count von Count (that’s his real name!  I checked) from Sesame Street isn’t smashing copious amounts of puppet on his own time.

Aroused by felt. Barely even weird

But I digress.

Back to the red ale.

The Great Lakes Brewery web site has all kinds of great information on this beer at their web site, as well as their other fine products.

Here are some of the pertinent details, I’ll let them do the talking.

I’m not new to beer drinking (I had my first beer in 1987) but I am new to beer blogging, and new to looking at my beers with a more critical eye. I’ve knocked back my share of red ales over the years, too, without giving much thought to what makes them red.

Going in to this post, I was like 87% sure that it’s not blood (though a Nosferatu beer isn’t helping tilt that number in the right direction).

So, let’s learn something today, kids! (Author’s note: Kids should not drink beer).

According to the very authoritative sounding Craft Beer Club web site, red ales are red due to “specialty roasted malts that create a unique complexity within the finished beer and gives it a sweeter, butterscotch or caramelized flavor. The use of American hops varieties gives the brew very bold hops characteristics and tends to leave a dry finish.”

In other words, not blood.

<sigh of sweet relief mixed with notes of disappointment>

The long and short of it is, I recommend this red ale. It’s devilishly delightful and it will suck the sobriety right out of you, neck-first.

Finally, I’ll add, this beer is too beautifully made to be associated with Dracula’s ugly copyright knock off! Its a fine piece of craftsmanship. I’ll let the Prose-inator drive from here:

“This beer tastes like what it would taste like if a

made love to a

in the middle of a

and then together raised a baby with their shared feelings of

and, finally, that baby cried

tears of

into a frosty pint glass.”

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Reports from the Wild: Sloop Brewing Juice Bomb NEIPA

Another update from the big thirsty world! Our field correspondent Breezer Marieezer checks in with her latest favorite, the Sloop Brewing Juice Bomb New England IPA (follow her on Instagram, or follow the Barley Prose Instagram page to get the latest).

Sounds like a winner to me!

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Beer Review Generator: Long Trail Harvest Vermont Maple Brown Ale

I poured one of these beautiful beers out to have with my dinner last night.

And then, instead of trying to piece together a literate, smart review of the reasons why I enjoyed this beer so much, I put my newly christened Beer Review Generator™ to work.

It’s going to use random choices from a series of lists to generate words beyond my own capability for expression.  The best part is that every time you refresh the page, you’ll get a brand new review.

Go ahead and give it a try!

“This beer tastes like what it would taste like if a

made love to a

in the middle of a

and then together raised a baby with their shared feelings of

and, finally, that baby cried

tears of

into a frosty pint glass.”

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Two Beers, One Lunch: Tell Me Why?

Why do we do this?  I mean, any of it?

Why write a blog?  Is it just because I need something to do to focus my free time on?  Does it validate my need for creativity, being a guitar player who only plays other people’s music?  Is it because I seek fulfillment or a need for positive praise?

Why drink beer?  I mean, OK, that one’s a little more obvious, this one I can answer.  (For the record, beer is delicious and alcohol has the capability to give the consumer a feeling of euphoric bliss, relaxation, and contentment.  It’s also particularly useful at washing down food.)

Why eat lunch?  Is it as simple as “the time between breakfast and dinner is many hours and the body requires sustenance midday?”  Or is it an excuse to have a social interaction with friends, and then while there perhaps have a “two beers, one lunch” kind of moment?

With these questions in mind, I soldiered off to my favorite new local spot for a respite from the hustle and bustle of the day, to consume two ten ounce beverages nicely bookending a fine piece of cuisinery.

The “alpha” beer: Clown Shoes Pecan Pie Porter (2018)

A beer that tastes like pecan pie?  Yeah, you read that right.  I’ll tell you, this beer is perhaps my most favorite porter since the protagonist of the movie Payback (an underrated Mel Gibson vehicle that I enjoyed, back before he revealed himself to be a racist misogynistic shit-ass and I decided his films were beyond enjoyment).

Until I get my previously mentioned “beer review mad lib generator” working, suffice it to say, that if you enjoy a sweet, rich, dark beer, with a decent amount of punch (as per the menu, clocking in at 8.5%), then this makes a fine choice.

It tastes, to put a fine point on it, like a sweet good morning kiss, delivered by a beautiful Latina princess, saturated full of alcoholic goodness, and then having that moment captured on canvas, in oil, surrounded by an aura of  Lucky Charms shapes and little naked cherubs shooting me with pecan tipped arrows.

My biggest faux pas was to order this as the first beer, I would say, and not the dessert/second beer, for which I have now derived a new moniker.  Because it drank much more like an after dinner beer than a before lunch beer.  I still sucked it down, have no fear.

The “main course,” courtesy of the Hops Spot, was a BMP with a side salad.

What is a BMP, you might ask?  No, this sandwich does not represent my basic metabolic profile, not best management practice, nor a bitmap image.

I might, however, consider eating this at Brunswick Memorial Park (Brunswick, Georgia) or analyzing its broad market potential.

In this case, the BMP is:

Bacon.

Mushroom.

Provolone.

I couldn’t be happier about this.  I’m not a BLT guy — consuming raw tomatoes is, to me, the culinary equivalent of yelling “Kali ma!” and eating a live, beating heart, pulled fresh out of the chest of an innocent Hindu unfortunate enough to have been captured in the Temple of Doom.

So, swapping out lettuce and tomato with mushroom and provolone?  Well, duh.

The mushroom is the star of this particular choice, a big round sucker, breaded and fried and presented as a hamburger style central point of this meal, topped with melted cheese and a hearty layer of bacon.  Served topped with garlic aioli, and presented with some fresh greens.

The best, Jerry, the best.

The “omega” beer:  Sloop Liquid Sorcery New England IPA

This is a fine New England style IPA, not overpoweringly hoppy, with a decent kick (6.5% ABV) and good flavor.

I was kind of hoping for something more tart, more gose-like, more sour, than what this beer delivered, but it did make for a fine second half of the two beer combo.

Well, now, in hindsight, I answered very few of the questions I set out to at the start of this post, and perhaps that’s fine.

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Reports from the Wild: Peach Buzz Wheat Ale

Another dispatch from the front lines, courtesy of our intrepid western New York correspondent Breezer Marieezer.

breezerm@barleyproseblog I took one sip of this @empirebrew Peach Buzz and immediately uttered “Wooooo! That’s peach AF!” The peach is super forward, and tart, but it balances out with a sweat and smooth spoon full of honey – both together kind of mask the wheat flavor, which I’m pretty happy about. Lip smackingly good. I’m a big peach lover, but wheat beers are not traditionally my go-to. This just happened to catch my eye while making a mix-pack on the fly at @wegmans tonight, and although it’s a little out of season (in fact last one in the cooler), it’s so luscious that I’m not even mad about its summery vibe. 🍑 🍺 🌞 🍯 And just LOOK at that gorgeous color! 😍 I probably should have saved it for tomorrow since it’ll be 80 degrees outside, but I couldnt resist cracking it open tonight. 7/10 for a fruit beer. Yum.

 

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Reports from the Wild: The Astounding She-Monster Mango IPA

Pleased to present the first review from our newly appointed “reporter in the wild,” Breezer Marieezer, on a mango IPA for which she has a complicated relationship.

I’ve been attempting to lure her, one of my run club homies, here to Barley Prose to write longer form pieces, but, in the interim, I’ll be reposting these on her behalf, and with her blessing, as well as any other beers of which she might be persuaded to share her opinions.

Thanks Bree!  Keep those reviews coming in from the big bad world!

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