InaugurAle

Very simple, copper colored pour with a nice, bone white head and some lace. Looks nice. The beer basically drinks up front like a simple ESB or English bitter. Very tasty and malt based with some simple hop accents. Where this beer goes in the finish is the interesting thing. I'm not sure if this is by design (either for this beer in particular or for the style), but it dried quite violently in the finish. Very, very dry as it ends and in the aftertaste, and I was surprised how quickly the...

Hopgasm

Clouded copper pour with plenty of haze and a nice, sticky head. Nose and tastes simply reflect the style very well. There are plenty of slightly resinous notes and a complimentary, slightly slick mouthfeel to go with it that is appropriate. Malts are in check, which again is appropriate but to me the combo seems somewhat tired. I'm not sure if the style is getting to my palate, but the beer gave me a bit of a yawn factor. Why not brew something DIFFERENT to make a mark? An entirely...

Phoenix Pils

Very refreshing and satisfying. Classic appearance with, what I consider to be the most important part of the look for a pilsner, a head with excellent retention. Even with quality pils, if you lose the head you'll end up with something that looks like an adjunct macro lager. Definite sweetness in the aroma, but a sufficient hop bite to make the beer feel real. I enjoyed the cleanliness of the brew and it's refreshing quality. Great summertime-lunchtime drinking.

Big Hoppy Monster

This was the new, specially brewed 8% brew that Spike was kind enough to give me a preview of before it's appearance in September 2004, not the previously reviewed smaller beer. This brew reminds me of a typical English bitter, it has the classic red/brown clarity, an upfront hoppy strong character and a solid, well formed and well retained head that is a delight. The only difference was the amazing Grapefruit aroma that was incredibly strong. In fact it was so strong it was on the verge of...

Lionheart Pale Ale

A pale golden appearance with a scant head. Everytime I drink this beer I find it to be consistent and refreshing. To me, it's definitely a seasonal drink, in as much as I tend to enjoy it on warmer days and less so when it's cooler. Definite mild hoppiness, and discrete malts make this a beer that isn't huge on flavor but still manages to carry off an enjoyable experience. Don't get too caught up in the IPA/Pale Ale thing, because if you are expecting the large hoppiness of an American IPA...