Tag Archives: Picaroons

It’s Hot, but Here Goes

I’m continuing through my beer collection that’s too large at the moment.  Last night and tonight were no different.  Luckily, I have a lot of very refreshing beer, which is perfect for these ridiculously hot and humid summer nights.

Over the holiday weekend, I had a bunch of Festina Pêche.  I believe I’ve written about that before.  So to keep it short (and me somewhat dry), I’ll just say that it was a perfect BBQ beer.  It’s refreshing, easy drinking, and well worth a try, even if you’re not into beer because it doesn’t taste like any beer you’ve ever had (unless you’re like me and are really into beer).

Last night I decided to crack open my bottle of Rock Art Jasmine Pale Ale.  It sounded like a nice light beer, perfect for a hot day.  I was right.  It’s basically an amber ale brewed with jasmine.  It’s got a nice light flavor with a little floweriness (if that’s even a word) and a nice herbal quality.  It’s light, it’s not too sweet, but it hit the spot.  I give it two thumbs up.  Later on, I decided to try Dark and Stormy Night from Picaroons, the 5th beer from my trip to New Brunswick.  The label calls it a dark wheat ale and describes it as a German dunkel crossed with an English ale, and that’s exactly what it was.  It’s got a nice roasted quality with a nice wheaty/yeasty breadiness.  There’s a hint of caramel as well.  I was going to add it to Beer Advocate because it wasn’t there last I checked, but someone beat me to it.  I reviewed it anyway.  It was added as a dunkelweizen, though I was going to add it as an English brown ale because, to me, that’s what it tasted like (though the wheat and yeast obviously were what threw me off).

Tonight I started with Aprihop, which I have talked about here, but is one of my favorite summer beers (even though Dogfish Head releases it in the spring for some reason).  It’s a nice fruity IPA with the apricots balancing off the hops bitterness.  It’s very refreshing, even though it’s 7% ABV.  With dinner, I had 1809 from Weihenstephaner, a Berliner Weissbier.  It was absolutely awesome, though the first pour was a bit foamy.  It pours a nice pale grassy yellow with a lot of effervescent bubbles.  If I didn’t smell it, I would’ve called it a pilsener.  However, I did smell it and it has a lot of sour notes to it.  Basically, it’s a sour wheat beer, though quite refreshing and not quite as sour as a lambic.  It’s very light and very drinkable, and absolutely perfect for a night like tonight with temps in the upper 80’s.

I need to get out of this room, it’s really hot in here (I should invest in another air conditioner for my home office).

Two More Beers

To avoid having to play catch up again, here’s tonight’s beers, since they’re out of the ordinary.

I started with Picaroons Man’s Best Friend.  It’s a porter, I imagine an American Porter considering the body and bigger flavor.  It’s got a nice roasted malt flavor with just enough smoke to give it another dimension, but not enough to call it a smoked porter.   The beer is hopped for perfect balance, but it’s all about the malts.  It’s probably one of the best porters I’ve had.

The second beer of the night was less impressive.  I had Rock Art American Red Ale.  It looks as though it’d be a great red ale, but it’s a bit light in flavor.  Everything else is spot on.  However, as it warmed, the flavor picked up quite a bit.  It’s very drinkable, but nothing special.  I have 2 more in the fridge, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy drinking them.

Playing Catch Up

I’ve had a lot of beers that I haven’t written about.  You can always check my beer list if you’re curious as to what I’ve been drinking.  I keep that more up-to-date than my posts about beers I’ve had.  Anyway, here’s some of the beers I’ve had since I stopped writing about them.

As I posted previously, I picked up a bunch of beer from Rock Art in Vermont.  I have since tried their Midnight Madness Smoked Porter and their IPA.  The Midnight Madness was awesome.  It was nicely smoked and a great all around porter.  The IPA, however, was pretty bland.  It was light in color, flavor, and body.  It didn’t have the hops flavors I’ve come to love in my IPA’s, but it wasn’t really an English-style IPA either.  I probably wouldn’t bother with this one again.

One beer I picked up in Vermont that I thought was really solid was Peak Organic’s Maple Oat Ale.  This one has a nice hint of maple and the smoothness of the oats.  It’s a really great amber ale that I will likely buy again and again (perhaps they’ll find their way down to RI soon).

I rarely give a beer a drain pour.  However, I tried the bomber of McNeill’s Summer IPA.  It was easily the worst IPA I have ever tried (and being an IPA fan, I’ve had a lot).  I drank a full glass, but poured the rest.  It was just an unbalanced mess of hops and malt that didn’t make for a drinkable beer.

Another recommendation from BeerRiot was Clipper City’s Loose Cannon from the Heavy Seas lineup.  It was good, but nothing special.  I’d consider it just an average IPA.

Another disappointment was Founders Devil Dancer.  I use the term “disappointment” lightly as the beer was good.  It just wasn’t what I expected.  They call it a “Triple IPA”.  That’s not a true style (not yet at least), but the beer tasted like a slightly hoppy barleywine.  It was good and definitely worth trying (and maybe I’ll buy it again), but I wanted a DIPA at the time.

I tried a different Victory beer (and I think I’m just about through with their whole lineup aside from the bigger bottles, like V-12 and V-Saison).  I had the Moonglow Weizenbock.  It had a nice banana and spice flavor to it, but it wasn’t overly complex.  I’ve had better weizenbocks, but this one is still a great weizenbock from a great American brewery.

Finally, the beers I brought back from Canada… I had Picaroons Blonde Ale and Picaroons Yippee IPA.  The Blonde Ale was simply fantastic.  It was a nice light ale.  It was very refreshing, but still had a lot of flavor.  The IPA wasn’t quite as good, but it was still a good English IPA.  It had this other flavor to it that I couldn’t figure out.  The only thing I can liken it to is a slight whisky flavor (perhaps it was aged in barrels).  Other than that other flavor, which did make it good, it was a very solid beer.  The label made it sound like they were playing around with the recipe with each new batch.  I’ll have to look over their Brewer’s Log to see if I can find it.  Picaroons is turning out to be a totally awesome brewery.  I can’t wait to try the others I bought.  I had to add the Blonde and the IPA to BeerAdvocate because they weren’t listed (new styles, perhaps?).

That ends my catching up.  I’ll post about the Dogfish Head dinner in a little bit.  Right now, I think I need some Mr. Lemon.

ResNet 2008: Final Days

I last left off with resting from my seven mile walk around Fredericton.  Following that, we headed back downtown for dinner because we were on our own that night.  Sean and I met up with Dustin from Stanford who said he was meeting a bunch of people at Brewbakers.  Since we hadn’t eaten there yet and since the bill would be expensed, we joined them.  I ordered a wonderful Maple Curry Chicken Penne dish that was very flavorful, yet not too filling.  It was a little on the pricey side, but the quality was worth it.  I tried Picaroons Irish Red there.  It was the best Irish Red Ale I’ve had.  Following that, we ended up at the Rogue again (which will end up being a theme for the conference).  While there, I tried St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, Gritstone Ale, and more of the Picaroons Best Bitter.  I also decided to try Poutine.  It was different.  I wasn’t all that into the soggy gravy fries, but the cheese curds were good.

The next day I skipped the first session to try to catch up on sleep.  The late nights coupled with a bed that made prison cots look enticing were getting to me.  The thing about New Brunswick is that it’s in the Atlantic timezone, which is an hour later than Eastern Time, but Fredericton is north of the Eastern timezone.  This made for long days (sunrise around 5:30 and sunset around 10), which also aided in the sleep deprivation (the curtains in the room were not very helpful).  The good news about skipping was that I didn’t miss anything I was interested in (which was decided before I decided to sleep in) and I got to sleep an extra hour.  The last session I attended was about Facebook.  I was going to go to another session on hiring/training/managing students, but I figured I’ve gone to enough of those.  So I tried something different.  It was worth it.  I learned a bit about what students think of Facebook versus “real world” communication (it seems that real world communication is still more important).

Following the session, there was a Program Committee BoF, which I attended and volunteered to help out next year.  I like where ResNet is going and want to do whatever I can to help it continue and sustain itself.  Following that I had lunch and an Information Resources Committee meeting, during which we discussed where things are going with the ResNet websites and communication tools.  Following that, I went to the vendor fair, got some information and picked up some documentation from the doc fair.  After that was a break and then the closing reception and raffles and then we headed downtown for our lobster dinner and kitchen party, which was followed by more time at the Rogue (I tried Picaroons Dooryard Ale and Pump House Fire Chief Red Ale, which was good, though I thought it tasted more like a Brown Ale, and Innis and Gunn, an oak aged English Pale Ale) and a long walk up the hill to pack, sleep, and head home the next day.

The trip home was smooth (had a Creemore Springs Premium Lager in Toronto), except that my checked suitcase was left in Canada because the plane was too heavy.  Next time I fly to Canada, it will be out of Boston because I don’t want to deal with the crappity 18 seat plane and the possibility of my bag not coming with me.  I just got word that my bag has arrived in RI and should be delivered to me sometime after 2:00.

I have pictures of it on my gallery or at Flickr.

First Try of Local Canadian Beer

I’m in New Brunswick at the University of New Brunswick for the next few days for ResNet 2008.  After arriving, which was an interesting trip through customs and on a tiny 18 seat plane with propellers, I went out to dinner with some people (at 10pm, though it was really 9pm my time).  We ended up at this bar and I just told the waiter to give me something local and good.  He goes “Picaroons is good, which do you want?” and listed off the various beers they have.  I told him to pick.  He came back with their Best Bitter, what BA calls an American Pale Ale, but what I understood (and after seeing, smelling, and tasting it) to be an ESB.  It was an absolutely fantastic beer, and it’s brewed right here in Fredericton, NB, making it very local.  I’ll have to check out more of the local beer and see about bringing some home with me.  Mike from Nikki’s wanted me to try to come back with Péché Mortel.  We’ll see if I can find that.  The town is at the bottom of a big hill, so it’s quite a walk if I’m carrying beer.  Hopefully, I’ll hook up with someone that drove or rented a car and I can get in and out of town much easier.  We’ll see though.

Anyway, the bar we were at was the Lunar Rogue.  The food was also good (we all got the fish and chips because they were on a limited late night menu).  And I just looked it up and it’s the top rated beer bar in Fredericton.  Go figure.  No wonder it was packed.