Beer Profile: Green Flash’s Sea to Sea Lager

Profiled by Maria Devan

pgaprofileHere we go! Green Flash Sea to Sea Lager. The can is dated best by 12/18/2016. I bought it a while ago and it’s been ogled. It’s past what many lager fans believe is the end of it’s shelf life and I bought it because it was in a can and because I actually believe in the freshness date on it as far as the lager in cans is concerned and in general because of the style of hopping. Low to moderate hops. This is a zwickel lager made with German pilsner malt, Hallertau Mittlefruh and Czech Saaz hops. They say a notable yeast so maybe that means a house strain not necessarily theirs?

Off topic a bit, in my beer world the grocery has just changed everything about the beer section. There is a new distributor I hear. There are more selections that resemble the selections you find in the bottle shop. The mainstays are still there but the way it’s organized is different. Now it is alphabetical instead of geographical region. It seems like there is more beer, but is there really? They have two huge palates taking up space where there used to be shelves full of beer. That’s not actually more beer but there do seem to be all kinds of new choices. The imports section is the same. Didn’t change at all and I want some of that Spaten oktoberfest. Let me tell you how that influences my buying habits as I think of it later, in other non related threads.

OK . . .

Soft nose. Breaddy with a nice toasty brown bread crust. Sweet herb from hop. Cool. Earth and mild sulfur and spice. A bit of malt richness. A little sweetness.

Taste follows the nose. Breaddy. Soft hop with a low presence on the palate but it is striking. Saaz are sweet leafy herb, the Hallertau are spicy earthy and floral. Crisp bubble, clean, no diacetyl, faint dms. Delicate flavors but a hearty mouthfeel.

Lightly hazy, pale golden yellow undertone. Bubbly soapy head, creamy on top. Excellent presentation. Lace is clinging.

I drank it pretty fast and I could go for another. As far as hops fading, these are not that faded from their low to moderate presence and the features that make the noble hop distinct are alive and well. Good clean bitterness lasts and takes the flavors away to leave the bread or the malt. This was an exemplary beer. No fruity esters, that hint of sulfur makes it appealing and authentic to me and opens the palate at the end so it goes well with food. No fruity hop flavors except for the characteristic light lemon. It should only be in the finish and not all over the palate. Brewers used to say the lager takes too much time, too much space and is not a good investment on the shelf either. I think it is. I think lasts longer than you think as compared to an IPA that has to be drunk today or else AND you can drink a lot of it, a surprising whole lot of it!

The lager is an extreme beer. Happy New Beer Sunday!



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.”


___________________________________Beer HERE


mdMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.

Judging Specialty Cider and Perry

At the BJCP members meeting in Baltimore it was indicated by a large percentages of judges present that they had at least some discomfort with judging cider. That’s natural, and the cider exam committee is working on that. In the interest of helping alleviate that discomfort, we’re going to start periodically talking about understanding and judging cider and perry.

Photo Sep 03, 8 34 26 AMI’m going to start with Specialty Cider because in general the characters are stronger, with less need for understanding of subtlety or the need to search out hard-to-find or over-aged French ciders or Traditional Perries for judge practice and palate training. Later, if there’s interest, I’ll talk about Cider Characteristics, as well as Judging Standard Cider and Perry, Common Flaws, and Understanding Malolactic

Fermentation (MLF).

In the meantime judges who want to know more about cider are reminded to read the Introduction section of our 2015 BJCP Cider Guidelines before they judge, and are encouraged to visit their local orchards this summer/fall, try new and different apples when possible, and to do some cider reading. Ben Watson’s “Cider Hard & Sweet”, Claude Jolicoeur’s “The New Cidermaker’s Handbook” and Andrew Lea’s “Craft Cider Making” are a great place to start.


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The Pumpkin Beer Thing: A Short View

What did I ever do to you, Jackass?!?


I’ve gotten a few emails – well, by actual count, 271 emails – in the past year that seem to presume that, since I’m a knowledgeable beer so ‘n’ so, I just hafta be against All Things Pumpkin, at least as the evil gourd applies to beer.

As I said, 271 times, that is NOT true.

As with every other style of beer, I find pumpkin beers that I absolutely adore and those I wouldn’t use to wash a cat. A LOT of people who confess to adore fruit-infused beers like Logsdon “Peche ‘n’ Brett”, turn right around and sniffily dismiss all pumpkin beers as though they were somehow plotting to crawl out of the bottle and taint their lovely peach-infused sour. That, folks, is irrationality at its blinkered, small-focus best.

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A Beer Judge’s Diary: 10th Annual Beaver River Beer Tasting

My other "niece," may: black hair, white blouse. This was the start. Eventually there were a LOT more. It took two buses and another vehicle to bring everyone in for the tasting and the Norridgewock.
May, my other “niece,” is in the background wearing a white blouse. This was the start. Eventually there were a LOT more. It took two buses and another vehicle to bring everyone in for the tasting and the Norridgewock.

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 This weekend marked yet another Beaver River Beer Tasting. As I serve all kinds of exotic brews I also offered a circular providing some fun information, as well as telling visitors about the nature of what I was serving.
 I am willing to admit the list of just 10 of the brews doesn’t provide much education. As usual some of that is done while serving. Even then it’s kept on the light side. The object is to keep it fun and not get too beer geeky. It’s also to raise the knowledge level just enough to make them more curious. That requires me being entertaining rather than too technical.
To the right you see Dorothy: my niece, well 2nd cousin. Second cousin twice removed by jaws of life? Oh, WHATEVER!
To the right you see Dorothy: my niece, well 2nd cousin. Second cousin twice removed by jaws of life? Oh, WHATEVER!
 Over 30 years as a children’s entertainer? Yeah, I can do that.
 The marvelous Mark Franey brought his wine and brews that reflected the seasons, including a great strawberry light (color/srm) ale. He also brought lots of folks with him from Lowville area. Mark has been an incredible friend and is a great brewer who has helped make this tasting successful every year. He also has helped with my fall competition in Old Forge, the Old Frge BIG Beer and Odd Ale Competition, as well as won one year. My cousin Joyce and her daughters: May and Dorothy, and they brought many friends. And, of course we had plenty of fellow Beaver River-ites. This is a tradition I have been proud to start.
 I thought providing you, dear reader, with my list of only ten of the beers made sense… Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: 10th Annual Beaver River Beer Tasting”

Deschutes “Hopzeit”: Cross-Cultural Cool

tpf-e1399233317787It’s hard for me to stay in denial about the fading of summer when football starts, trees start to turn, and those fall/winter-ish beers start to hit the stands. I could just rationalize away the football thing by under-dressing for the first two games, which I do every season, and if I can get my fabulously beautiful wife to quit rhapsodizing about “the trees are so beautiful, this time of year!“, I could ignore the leaves, too. But the beers…BIG damned problem.

FACTOID: the fall-into-winter beer category is the most popular seasonal roster of styles with craft fans in the US. Been that way for years. Why? Because they are just flat-out delicious. After stripping down recipes in search of something that will sell in warm weather, breweries emit an almost audible sigh of relief – like a fat guy loosening his belt after an hour at the all-you-can-eat buffet – when they’re able to start packing new flavors IN to the upcoming beers.  And, over the past five to eight years, we’ve seen a nearly shocking tsunami of creativity out of American craft brewers, tweaking old ideas and inventing new ones, in search of that perfect cold-weather quaffer.

Readers of ThePour Fool will find it not at all surprising to discver that I think Deschutes Brewery may have just done it.

hopzeit-ingredientsFor several years now, ever since its inception, one of my favorite PNW beers to just sit and sip and enjoy has been No-Li Brewhouse’s brilliant “Spin Cycle” Red, formerly called “Crystal Bitter”, an inspired cross-cultural mash-up of ingredients and techniques from the German, British, and American brewing traditions. Using Northwest hops, German malts, and a lager-style fermentation, “Spin Cycle” has always tasted like nothing else. It vaguely reminds me of my all-time favorite fall seasonal beer, Deschutes “Jubelale”, but with less of a hops presence and a little lighter body. It took home a Gold Medal from GABF in 2012, and won golds at both the 2016 Australian International Beer Awards and 2012 Japan International Beer Competition. And it richly deserved all of those. Spin is a gorgeous, coppery, mouth-filling juggling act of lightness and intensity. It’s coming home with me about four out of every ten times I go to a beer shop and is just so flat-out satisfying and delicious that I’ve become a bit evangelical about it, buying and pouring at least two cases of it over the past few years at organized beer tastings. The ONLY thing I have even found to criticize Spin Cycle for is its hops content, which is moderate and balanced but just a tad, just a whisker, less than I would have liked. Continue reading “Deschutes “Hopzeit”: Cross-Cultural Cool”