Beer Profile: Avery The Kaiser

Profile by Tom Becham

It’s that time of year again! Time for Oktoberfest!

While most of us who attend Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States will tend to drink very similar versions of the same style of beer, if you get the chance to try The Kaiser from Avery Brewing in Colorado, do it. You won’t regret it.

I was rather uncertain about this beer, as Avery has always been rather hit-and-miss with me. Some of their stuff I love, others I loathe. There seems to not be any middle ground. They tend to make very strong and/or very hoppy brews, so any mistakes tend to big and difficult to ignore.

Avery bills The Kaiser as an “Imperial Oktoberfest”, which seems like an inherent contradiction.

The Kaiser pours with a moderately large head of dense foam, which lingers for some time. It appears a coppery brown-orange, as is expected for an Oktoberfest/Marzen.

The aroma has the toffee and caramel-like malt one expects of the base style, with some earthy hop notes.

I had some misgivings about the taste and mouthfeel, but they turned out to be totally unfounded. The Kaiser has the same malty-but-not-quite-sweet quality of any good German Oktoberfest/Marzen. There is a hop quality that both balances the sweetness, and gives a somewhat citrus jam quality to the flavor. There are also some vague earthy hints that almost remind me of ginseng. Surprisingly, for a beer of 9.73% ABV, there is little perception of alcohol. Frankly, I expected this one to be much “hotter”.

All in all, I would definitely recommend The Kaiser for anyone seeking both a traditional and innovative approach to Oktoberfest drinking. Just be careful not to overdo!

Beer Profile: Ass Kisser Double IPA

image courtesy

Profiled by Ken Carman

Not a double. More caramelized/malty IPA with some extra alcohol. Someone thought this made it a double? A little Cascade-like nose but just bitter hops to the taste: but specific malt dominates. That “specific” fills the mouth with carmelization. Not a bad quaff, just mislabeled. A high alc. Scotch Ale IPA hybrid perhaps? Carmel up front.

Personally I wouldn’t drink a lot of this. Not bad. Not because it’s out of style. I’m no one’s style Nazi. Just not that interesting.

Club Update: Saratoga Thoroughbrews

Saratoga/Glens Falls/Albany area

Hi All,

First up, of course, is our monthly meeting this Thursday, October 7th at 7pm at the tap room at OSB. We will be judging catagories 20 and 21, but feel free to bring anything you wish to share.

On October 16th, from 1-5, is the Octoberfest at Adirondack Pub and Brewery in Lake George to benefit the Red Cross. We will once again be manning a table, and sharing our homebrew. Anyone interested in assisting with set-up should be there around noon. Bringing homebrew is encouraged; I will have an English Bitter on tap.

At 9 am on Saturday, November 13th will be our 15th annual Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews at the Albany Pump Station. We are still in need of Judges and Stewards, and others to help prior to the competition. Anyone interested in being a judge or steward, please let me know as soon as possible; please include your BJCP # if you have one, as well as which styles you wish to judge/steward, and which you wish to avoid. Anyone interested in volunteering for other duties, please contact Chris Gersey at: . And of course, ENTER!!

Hope to see you all there,

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Gravity Pour Versus Handpump

Written by Thomas ‘Tom’ Cizauskas more about Thomas Cizauskas

I’m sometimes asked by bar owners about how to install and use a beer engine to serve cask ale, also known as ‘real ale.’ The implication is that this simple hand-pump device will somehow ‘improve’ the cask ale that’s being served, increasing the level of carbonation and extending the lifespan of the beer. That is, of course, patent nonsense. A handpump does neither; it’s simply a hand-pump.

To that point, here’s a guest post by Steve Hamburg, one of the foremost cask cellarmen in the United States. It is taken from Cask-USA, an online forum devoted to cask-conditioned ale in the US, hosted at Yahoo! Groups.

In theory there should be NO difference between a beer served by gravity or handpump, unless you expect all your handpumped beers to be served through a tight sparkler. There’s simply no way that gravity pour can replicate the thick, cascading head, but that doesn’t mean the beer should be flat and lifeless.

The issue, as it almost always is with cask ale, is poor cellaring technique. Too many bars/pubs will over-vent their cask beers (breach the cask and leave the porous soft spile in too long) and then use the handpump and a tight sparkler fitting to artificially compensate for what is essentially a pretty flat beer in the cask.

Firkin Thursday

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Ye Olde Scribe’s “Boy That Really Sucked” Beer Report

image courtesy

Before After Triple Bock
Brewery Rinkuskiai

The fairy tale image on the label is cute. Flip the bottle and you still get crappy beer. The taste does change as it warms, much like flipping the bottle shifts the perspective on the image to a little better: “winey.” But overall this beer makes the ugly lady cute. The Cinderella lady would puke all over you during the worst moments as it first hits the tongue. At times the hot alcohol sense wants to burn though the tongue.

Can we force this upon Ann Coulter, maybe?

A failed attempt at a traditional Triple Bock. Belgian White candy sugar sense? Yes, but alcohol unsupported by the brew turns into YACK! A light gold. Head is supposed to be rocky and persistent. Rocky? Yes. Persistent? No. Should be for the style. What malt there is is odd. Did they melt a Worthington drop into this abomination? The caramel and the higher alcohols merge a bit at warmer temps. Seems an Americanized version of the style. At 12% the higher alcs make it seem a bit wine like. The recipe might better serve as a sandpaper-ish version of Charmin.

Beer Profile: Maduro Brown Ale

Maduro Brown Ale
Cigar City Brewing
3924 West Spruce Street Suite A Tampa, FL 33607
Phone (813)348-6363 ext 206
Head Brewer: Wayne Wambles

Profiled by Ken Carman

I had this for the first time at the Emerald Coast BrewFest. It stood out amongst many ales and lagers. You have to understand: this is a bit like finding an affinity with a single tree while viewing all of Alaska. So I decided to write this when I could simply get the sense of the tree without the forest.

Still amazing.

Open the bottle and Cascade hit the nose. Not a lot, but a nice whiff. Yet mouth feel and taste were quite different. The deep malt sense is damn near bottomless. The hops pop out as it warms with a nice, yet not too much, bitter. This is a complex quaff that keeps developing.

Deep, deep brown with garnet highlights. Not much head and it fades fast. This is an edgy Brown American Ale. Am I getting some Munich Malt? Brown malt too. This is one of the best beers I’ve profiled and I’m more of a beat the taste buds, high alc kind of guy. This solves that thirst by being edgy.

I met the head brewer: Wayne Wambles, when he was with Buckhead in Tallahassee…

…a location closed long before Buckhead itself went away. Let’s just say I’m not surprised I’m giving such an up review, considering the quality of the brews I’ve had Mr. Wayne had made.

Some sites on the net referred to this as an oatmeal Brown. Nothing on the bottle indicates this, though the body sense could support the premise.

Deserves any awards it might win.

Beer in Russia

Just a few of the many Russian beers

Written by Kerry Kubilius for

Beer is a popular beverage in Russia, and Russians have enjoyed beer for centuries. Beer is so important in Russia that an exhibit has been dedicated to beer drinking, beer brewing, and beer culture at the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg. While Russian vodka is the national alcoholic beverage, consumption of beer has risen in recent years to the point where officials have had to enact rules to curb advertisers’ ability to catch the attention of young drinkers.
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