Beer Profile: Choklat Stout, Southern Tier

southern tier brewing company Simply put, this is dark chocolate delicious. Nice full mouthfeel, light carbonation tickles the tongue, head fades fast with a mix of mostly pillow and some rock to start. Nose chocolate, but very light. Full body. Taste-wise this is an uncomplicated beverage: dark chocolate, full deep body hidden by dark chocolate: not much else.

The aroma: chocolate, pretty much nothing else. Very black and a bit murky, probably from chocolate. No light shined through the quaff. Head tan that was small and faded fast: my guess either a tension to the surface problem, or more likely the glass it was poured into. This was sampled along with many others, so ran out before could check with a bigger/different glass. Sometimes small glasses are not friendly to decent head.

95 on Beer Advocate. Nothing noted on

According to their website…

Around 50,000 barrels of beer annually. The hand crafted ales are now available in more than half of the United States, as well as parts of Australia, Denmark, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Ontario, British Columbia, and the United Kingdom.

Founders Phineas DeMink and Allen “Skip” Yahn started the brewery with the vision of reviving the practice of small batch brewing to a region rich in brewing tradition. Very thick in a pleasant way.

STYLE: Imperial Stout brewed with Chocolate
ABV: 10.0%
FERMENTATION: Ale yeast, two varieties of hops, four types of malts, bittersweet Belgian chocolate
COLOR: Opaque, very dark brown
EFFERVESCENCE: Lightly carbonated
NOSE: Chocolate, sweet caramel notes, hints of vanilla
FLAVOR: Chocolate, dark cherries, lightly woody and bittersweet
BODY: Creamy, heavier bodied
GLASS: Tulip glass, snifter, oversized wine glass
AVAILABILITY: November release / 22oz / 1/6 keg

The deepness, and the darkness, of this brew is incredible. While simple, I don’t find that a problem: more a positive. 10%? You’d never know. No hops noticed.


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 “prefecto.”

Beer 101

Written by Tom Becham


Just What IS Beer Anyway?

It occurred to me that many of the readers of this website may be “beer newbies”. So, while detailed and arcane explanations of brewing gravities, obscure styles of beer, and labeling from long-gone brews may appeal to those of us well-entrenched in Beer Geekery, some more basic writings may also be appropriate.

So, to begin, just what the hell is beer, anyway?

Beer is defined as a fermented grain beverage, usually containing hops. (So, technically, sake is a rice BEER, not a rice WINE.) In the past, to further confuse things, “beer” and “ale” were considered separate things, beer containing hops, ale not containing hops, but some other bittering/preservative agent. Now, however, the umbrella of beer holds under it both lager and ale.

So, what’s the difference between the two?
Continue reading “Beer 101”

Brew Biz: Werts and All

The Topic: Adventures in Braggotland, Part I

 Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

     My wife and I have been homebrewing since 1979. To be honest I started with what was probably close to a Russian Imperial, minus the roasted barley since I didn’t know any better, and did variations on that for quite a while. Then we stopped homebrewing for a few years: late 80s and early 90s, because of some physical problems, and returned in the mid-90s. By then homebrewing had gotten real serious with homebrewers owning equipment that would have made George Washington and Tom Jefferson jealous.
  Yes, our forefathers were homebrewers.
  And it seemed they were all out to brew the most perfect Pale, or IPA. Everything had gotten so tech-y and extract brewing, even with additions, was frowned upon. Of course we obediently followed their lead.
  Just went all grain year before last, but even there we shrunk our brewery rather than trying to brew 10 plus gallons. Now we brew 2 to 2 1/2 gallons and can focus even more on wild and wacky recipes that seem to fit no style. Ciders? Yes, but blueberry, raspberry, and a few apple ciders/cysers. (Yes, I know there’s a difference when talking to the true cyserman, as one of our former club members called themselves.)
Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”

From the Bottle Collection: Scarecrow

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

Wynchwood Brewery
Witney, Oxfordshire, UK

  I have mixed opinions about Wynchwood. Some of their beers are marginally impressive, a few “why did they bother?” The last Wynchwood brew hardly seem worth the effort.
 To me, Scarecrow is probably one of the best, if not the best, I’ve had from this brewery. Not the hops, which seem mostly not there. The body, the malt, nice, but nothing to rave about. It’s the yeast. The yeast is marvelously bready, almost like a loaf of hardy, wholesome, multi-grain bread from some small, whole food, bakery that only uses natural ingredients. Yet it’s not “dark” or dense, more complex, yet light.
 Not rated that high at Beer Advocate: 71, and Rate Beer only a… 23? YIKES!!!
 Is it me, or did the reviewers miss the yummy yeast? Personally I think some Americans think yeast should be neutral when it comes to all the flavor components in a beer. Ferment: yes, but otherwise neither be seen or tasted. To me, done well, it’s delicious: if not for how yeast changes beer many Belgian brews would be considered inferior in craft beer world.
  This beer used to be called Circle Master, but I never saw that name in the stores here in the states.
 Here’s some history and facts… Continue reading “From the Bottle Collection: Scarecrow”