Kriek (cherry) Boon by Brouwerij Boon

“Sweet nectar of life.”

At least that is what my nose was suggesting to me as I opened the bottle and poured it into the glass in front of a roaring fire place. Slowly, carefully, until you get every last drop of that wonderful bit of life giving manana from heaven.

Kriek Boon (Cherry Flavored Beer) by Brouwerij Boon

Yeah, that was the night I had Kriek Boon by Brouwerij Boon (www.boon.be/en) and it was like having cherry soda. Not pure cherry juice, but simply cherry soda. ABV of 4% but you wouldn’t notice it as the alcohol was hidden from detection. From first taste to last taste, it was the same flavor. Just simple, a little fizz, some real cherry taste and a little fizz to close it out. It was so good and just like that, it was gone. A nice dark red color to the body, a little bit of foam and that really good cherry soda smell. So good!

I gave it a four and a quarter stars on Untappd.

Skal!

Give Me Stout or Give Me Death by Stone Brewing

Winter brings thoughts of cold breezes and short days with an occasional snow storm to create a winter wonderland. (OK, I admit it, as a Left Coaster from California, that is great for about two days, but then getting into my surf gear begins acting up.) However, the idea still remains for most of the country of that same bit of winter.

Give Me Stout or Give Me Death: A great stout by Stone Brewing, Hardywood Park Craft Brewing and Ardent Craft Ales

Tie into this view of winter a good glass of stout, pure and heavy. The kind of beer you share with your friends on the cold winters night. It is heavy and feels like another meal was ingested. Stout feels good going down and makes you warm all over, even as you strap on your jacket and boots for the trip home. On the coldest of nights, a stout can really feels like a great companion.

On the coldest of winter nights, the Give Me Stout Or Give Me Death by Stone Brewing (www.stonebrewing.com) really comes to the fore. With an ABV of 9.5% and 94 IBU and done with a combination of Belma and Nugget hops, Give Me Stout Or Give Me Death comes across with a full brewers approach to eliminating the evils of modern brewing.

Done in cooperation with Ardent Craft Ales and Hardywood Park Craft Brewing, both in Richmond, VA, this brew represents what happens when you don’t take a single approach to getting hops out of your beer, but rather take a multi-varied approach to the problem.

You have a smooth and subtle approach with hop base which is strong but not overly biting. The beer starts slowly and works its way up to having a strong flavor, so by the end, you have a nice, pleasant, taste of stout. It is really wonderful to have experienced.

So the next time you have that urge to head out into the cold wintery afternoon (or it is looking good on TV before heading to the beach), crack open a Give Me Stout or Give Me Death by Stone Brewing. You will soon be safe as the winter blows right around you.

The Night Mare Stout by Brew Republic Bierwerks

I am not one for bad dreams. They come and go just like the good ones (when you have them at all!) and they are pretty infrequent when you string them all together. But they still exist and a couple of them in a short period of time can be a bit disconcerting.

The Night Mare Stout by Brew Republic Bierwerks

So, when a small brewery rolls out a stout with the name The Night Mare, I do tend to sit up and pay attention. The Night Mare Stout by Brew Republic Bierwerks (https://brewrepublic.beer/) in Woodbridge, VA is the sort of beer that reaches out and mildly grabs you and says “I am here so you had better pay attention to me.” Oh, and let’s get something straight, it is not “Beerworks” or “Bierworks” (Are you listening Untappd?). It is “Bierwerks”, thank you very much!

So, what is the deal with stouts? You might think that all stouts are brewed the same way, but there is some variation in the way that a stout is attained. One of the ways is that the grain that is used to attach the tasty parts together. In most forms of stout, brewers use barley to hold the brew together. Over time this has gotten easier to do because brewing with barley simpler and has gotten easier.

However, there are a number of other grains that serve the same purpose. The problem is that you can not do everything with barley because barley is not grown all over the world. Wheat, rye and oats (or oatmeal) can all fill the bill at a lower cost than barley with wheat at a steadfast number two and oatmeal bringing up the rear.

The Night Mare Stout is an oatmeal based stout that carries this brew through to its logical conclusion. Being an oatmeal stout, it does this with a different taste than a standard stout. The oatmeal stout is often accused with being weak, but I think in the case of Night Mare Stout, it offers a decidedly different taste and that is a really enjoyable one. It is lighter and less heavy than its barley and wheat relatives, but it holds its flavor in good form. It is really worth taking a taste.

And there won’t be any bad dreams.

I gave it 4 stars on – even though they had misspelled it!

Skal!