Beer Profile: Punk IPA by BrewDog

Profiled by Ken Carman

This is a simple beer so it will be a simple review. Yes, it’s an IPA. Just a regular IPA. No real hop flavor. Typical grapefruit nose and pale malt way behind that. NOTHING else. To the taste bitter dominant and, again, pale malt way behind that. Nothing else.

Mouthfeel is tad thin and bitter aftertaste fades fast. Medium carbonation. Nothing else.

Appearance: medium yellow, white frothy head. Nothing else except decent clarity.

I think this is exactly what it’s supposed to be and nothing more. I see nothing “punk” about it. It’s boring, it takes no risks. In a competition I would praise it for it’s simplicity but want the brewer to seek at least a hint more complexity just to provide something here worth latching onto. I simply could not go with a 4. 3.8 on BA and untappd.



Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


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GrowlerWerks: The PouroMancer at Home

What I’m setting out to write here is a big damned subject, with tangents and tributaries and tentacles. This could, very easily, go on for the same length as a novelette. And I – not exactly someone who is known for brevity – has to try to keep it some length that you can read without taking a nap in the middle.

Wish me luck…

About five years ago, I started to get inquiries – a lot of inquiries! – from folks who were intrigued/confused by the new and booming subject of steel thermal growlers. There were not many of them available, at the time, and I finally got enough emails, asking for my recommendation, that I began to read up on them. Curiously, about that same moment, makers of these started sending queries, asking if I would be willing to try theirs and maybe review it. The coincidence was hard to ignore, so I started replying and saying yes. Three arrived right away. The first of them was just a flat-out Fail: hard to close, harder to open, imperfect seal, didn’t keep beer effervescent for more than a day, broke easily. The third was better but still tricky to use and dented if you looked at it. Fail, Part Deux.

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Judging Advice from Kristen England

Firstly, this is a personal message, not from the BJCP in the least. I’ve a few morning thoughts back from a weekend of judging and things I’m noticing more and more over the last few competitions that I’ve been stewing on…over…whatever.

Secondly, this got long…

– The first thing you should do when you sit at a table is introduce yourself. It should not be trying to see who is the highest rank nor to say how important you are. Continue reading “Judging Advice from Kristen England”

Beer, Wine, & Spirits: The Dominance of The Middle Class


Recently, when students walked out and protested, I’ve been seeing a lot of memes and commentary comparing them to sheep and claiming they are simply being encouraged by teachers or parents. Anyone even remotely familiar with teens knows if parents or teens encourage often teens reactions are the opposite.

Did some follow a trend, or the crowd? Yup. What’s new there, huh?

I studied to be a teacher and was a sub for a while so I have mixed feelings here. No teacher should ever encourage any student to skip school, no matter what the cause. If I were principal, yes, I would give them ISS or detention, but not because they expressed their opinion. It’s a matter of consistency. However if it was an attitude problem: a student walking out out of disrespect, the penalty would be more severe.

There’s a balance here: respecting and encouraging them to have opinions, think through opinions which is why in classroom discussions are important.

I think those who simply want to let it go are wrong, but those who think ALL these students are mindless have forgotten the nature of teens. Teens don’t think through as well as they should sometimes, but thinking and expressing are the best avenue to adulthood. So just calling them names and insulting their intelligence is no more than demanding they DON’T think.

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A Beer Judge’s Diary- Peach State Brew Off

By Ken Carman
 This edition will be short. Stay tuned: I will explain why.
 I have never judged at this competition before for various reasons. I used to tour through Atlanta with my kid shows and educational activities. I stopped touring because of Atlanta traffic is wild and crazy, rush hour traffic amounting to parking lots and many of the places hiring me kept shifting ownership almost weekly. I’d book a program and three weeks later I’d walk in to new owners and, “Who are you?”
 Atlanta is a crazy busy, exploding outward town. The closer you get to Atlanta the harder it is to find reasonable motels more than questionable quality. There are plenty of great places, but very pricey. Why? Demand is high.
 The resorts I used to stay at were far out of town. There used to be free camping on Allatoona Lake to the north, but to save money the state shut them down. The short but simple face was, business-wise, it started to make less and less sense. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary- Peach State Brew Off”

From the Bottle Collection: Silverback Gorilla #9

 Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice: tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s; OR, cover them with…

The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

 I know, I haven’t written for a while. I have no excuses. And this hasn’t been brewed for quite a while. I’m sure they have plenty of “excuses;” better known as “reasons:” formerly brewed in Dubuque, Iowa, like they went out of business in 2006? This has been on my best of shelf for a long time. Continue reading “From the Bottle Collection: Silverback Gorilla #9”