Monthly Archives: January 2013

Review of Green Flash/Founders LinchPin

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the collaboration beer called LinchPin produced by the Green Flash Brewing Company situated in San Diego, California and the Founders Brewing Company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I found this commercial description of LinchPin from the Founders website,  However, I think it was brewed at Green Flash, so be sure to check out as well to see some of their other spectacular brews.

“There’s a lot going on in this beer with two yeast strains, copious amounts of wheat malt, and a big focus on ‘C’ hops to deliver a citrus explosion,” explains Green Flash Brewmaster, Chuck Silva. “In fact we lined up more than a dozen hop varieties in the brewery to select three hops with the biggest citrus character to dry hop the beer. “This golden beer pours with beautiful, frothy white beer foam that lasts due to bottle conditioning. Gently rousing the yeast that settles in the bottle will result in a fuller texture and a more cloudy white appearance. The citrus aromas that jump from the glass are largely tangerine up front with other types of citrus notes that mingle with the Belgian yeast esters. Hop flavors of bitter orange zest dominate the brew and linger to the finish with a nice play of American and Belgian yeast combo.” A beer with so many components can be held together with a “Linchpin”. The official “Linchpin” of this beer is the skillful collaboration between the two breweries to create a unique hop-forward brew. Linchpins are symbolic: two simple shapes that combine to strengthen a bond amongst many different pieces.

Sounds good.  Let’s drink.

This beer came in a 22 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 7.0%.

It poured a hazy, yellow to pineapple juice color with a bright, white head.  The texture was soft, sudsy, soapy and semi-rocky.  It was sized greatly, the retention time was excellent and the lacing was patchy and cobwebby.

The nose released some hints of grapefruit citrus, clean white bread and some floral notes.  I also discovered some fresh grassiness, yeast and lemon along with a slight mineral fragrance.  It seemed well balanced and pleasant to me.  The mineral note was not all that distracting either.

The taste had both the grapefruit and lemon citrus.  Savors of grass and hay as well as the white breads and fresh floral tones.  A very, very light peppery spice tickled on the back side too.  The bitterness was nice, yet the hop bite seemed to be somewhat relaxed.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Dry, crisp, refreshing and thirst quenching.  The carbonation was good and not too lively.  Only a minor amount of warmth was felt and a good deal of flavor was left behind after each gulp.

Overall, I found this to be a very nice beer.  This brew was released back in the Summer and I got to sample it during the late Summer/early Fall, but it probably would be best suited for the warmer weathered season.  I doubt that I would turn it down no matter what the weather if it were offered however.  The drinkability was outstanding. I absolutely killed this bottle in no time flat.  I hope that they make this again at some point because it would easily be worth a try if you didn’t get the opportunity to grab a bottle.  If you did have the chance to try the Green Flash/Founders LinchPin, be sure to leave a comment and tell me of your opinion.  Did you guys like it?  Would you want it to be brewed every year?  

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-

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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Country: USA, Founders, Green Flash


Review of Pretty Things Baby Tree

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Pretty Things Baby Tree produced by the Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

So far, I’ve been fairly happy with all of the Pretty Things beers that I’ve tried, however I’ve yet to taste the Baby Tree.  I’m kind of excited about it though because I’ve heard good things.

From the website,, I found this rather lengthy bit of information about the beverage.

Baby Tree was our first Easter beer. We LOVE Easter here at Pretty Things. Usually after the long Boston winter, we’re itching to bring out the bunnies, bonnets and yellow fluffy chicks and get on with our Springtime.

The Baby Tree is a real tree. This must be said. It dwells in Sexhow and carries cavorting baby-dolls and in season, a few pears appear. It belongs to great friends of Dann & Martha, and they chose to rescue these small plastic people from a landfill-fate by allowing them to ride in their pear-tree many years ago. And thank heavens they did.

Our Baby Tree is a very magical, traveling tree filled with waving, happy babies, some of whom may or may not resemble Mikheil Gorbachev. There may also be some discrepancy in the number of limbs, but we cannot be sure where other baby heads may be poking through the leaves so we don’t worry ourselves about it. If you want, read our poem about it.

Baby Tree beer is a Pretty Things take on the best of Abbey-style brewing from Belgium. Inspired by monastic and abbey quadruples, embellished with dark fruit flavours, not too sweet, not too heavy, it’s a springtime beer with some of the richness of late winter. It makes it perfect year round, so that’s when we offer it! You should be able to find it most months of the year, on draft or in bottle.

All in all, it’s our way of bringing a bit of Springtime to you and to us, all year round. Hooray!

Ok.  That description is a bit different.  Let’s pour it and see how it looks, smells and tastes.

The Baby Tree was presented in a 22 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 9.0%

It poured a deep brown to deep burgundy color with a slightly off white/egg shell tinted crown.  It was sized very well and it was both smooth and slightly creamy in texture. The retention time was excellent and the lacing was exceptional.  Simply, a beautiful looking beer to say the least.

The nose released a very nice waft of sweet, dark fruits.  Plums, raisin and fig followed by a sturdy yeast component.  Hints of dark breads and spicy clove added more attributes and really kept this beer in line with the style.

The taste was more of the same.  Plums, fig and raisins.  A sweet and sugary profile co-mingled well with the breads, yeast and spicy clove.  A minor savor of alcohol was discovered, but the dark fruits continued to be the forerunner.  Nothing over the top or nothing out of the ordinary.  Just solid and true.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Very smooth, chewy, dry and kind of sticky. The carbonation was spot on and a little bit of warmth was felt from the alcohol.  A substantial amount of flavor was left on the palate after each sip too.

Overall, I really liked this beer.  Like I mentioned before, it really follows the “Quad” style well.  It doesn’t try to be anything it’s not.  It has plenty of character and personality without being overly complex and the drinkability was quite good.  It’s definitely worth a try if you are looking for a good American Quadruple and I’d sure pick it up again, especially if I wasn’t able to obtain one of the more well know Belgian Quads.  So, give the Pretty Things Baby Tree a try if you happen to stumble across it.  I think that you will be pleasantly surprised as to how well it is made.  Be sure to leave a comment if you’d like and tell me your perspective of the brew.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-


Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Country: USA, Pretty Things


Review of Stillwater Stateside Saison

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be sharing with you my experience in tasting a Stillwater Stateside Saison produced by Stillwater Artisanal Ales located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Stillwater brews are not all that common around these parts, but I have seen a few bottles floating around, so when I found this one sitting on the shelf I had to pick it up and give it a go.

From the website,, we find this bit of info regarding the Stateside Saison.

Stateside Saison pays homage to old world tradition while celebrating new world innovation. Naturally brewed with the finest European malts & fresh aromatic hops from the United States & New Zealand. It’s then fermented using a classic farmhouse ale yeast and bottle conditioned to enhance stability. The outcome is a beer of unique design and exquisite taste, showcasing some of the best attributes of modern-day craft brewing.

Ok.  Let’s try it. 
This beer came in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 6.8%.
It poured a hazy, orange to copper color.  The head was huge and white with a very rocky, bulbous, soft and fluffy texture.  It looked liked foamy, “whipped” cream or something  The retention time was outstanding to say the least.  The lacing was both patchy and sticky.  A very attractive looking liquid in my opinion.
The nose presented some light barnyard/funk notes as well as hints of orange and lemon citrus.  A decent shot of hay and fresh grass matched up well with a solid fragrance of earthy hops.  I also discovered a minor tone of pear and a very light peppery spice.  Some yeast and clean breads too.  Overall, I didn’t find the fragrance to be particularly strong, but a lot seemed to be going on here.  It was well balanced, harmonized and pleasant enough.  
The taste was very, very relaxed, but like the aroma… well balanced.  Some easygoing fruitiness of orange, lemon and pear.  The funkiness was quite complacent, however well suited.  The grass and hay were found again along with a touch of pepper, yeast and some extremely moderate floral relishes.  
The mouthfeel was medium to thin bodied.  Very light and airy.  Dry, crisp, refreshing and very thirst quenching.  The carbonation was altogether lively and prickly.  A sturdy amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after each gulp as well.    
I tell ya, I think this would be a great intro Saison for someone wanting to explore the style.  It’s a super easy drink and it has a lot going on, however it’s toned way down, which would allow for an easy transition into this arena in my opinion.  For me, I would love to have this during one of those unbearably hot and humid Summer days that we have here in Kentucky.  I doubt that I would ever turn it down if it were offered, but it doesn’t quite reach the level of some of those “world class” Saisons that are on the market today. It’s still a very, very nice beer though and definitely worth a try if you see it.  So, with that being said, give the Stillwater Stateside Saison a try sometime.  I think you may find it to be a pleasant little drink and one that you may revert back to from time to time.  
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it. 
Until next time.  Cheers.
Score:  3.8 out of 5
Grade:  B+
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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Country: USA, Stillwater

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