Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top 5 Pumpkin Beers of 2012

When it comes to pumpkin beer there's just an understanding between beer lovers on what makes it so great. Whether you like the spices of nutmeg and cinnamon that accompany the beer or just the pumpkin flavor itself, there is something that everyone can appreciate about the fine beverage.

This pumpkin beer season many brewing companies offered their latest version of the delectable flavored beer. Over the past couple of months tweaks were made to already great pumpkin beer and there were some newcomers into the mix as well.

Below you will find my list of the top 5 pumpkin beers this year had to offer.

5. Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Last year I thought Shipyard's pumpkin beer wasn't that great, but I gave it another chance this year. Pumpkinhead has a great aroma of spices and goes down easily. After enjoying my first bottle I bought a six-pack to share with some friends. It gets bonus points for its label of the Headless Horseman enjoying a beer.

4. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale - I didn't even know Dogfish Head had a pumpkin beer until one of my close friends told me. As an avid Dogfish Head lover I had to give it a try. The pumpkin smell is welcoming and includes nutmeg as well as brown sugar. The taste is even better. Definitely a must have pumpkin beer.

3. Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale - Tom's favorite pumpkin beer of 2012. Captain Lawrence's offering has a hint of cinnamon smell and a smooth pumpkin pie flavor. Tom could drink this beer for days straight.

Photo credit: Campfire Brewing
2. Southern Tier Pumking - Pumking is the pumpkin beer that both Tom and I can agree is spectacular. We drink pumking whenever we get a chance even if it's available long after Pumpkin Beer Season. It's literally just like liquid pumpkin pie and tastes just as sweet. Every time we drink it we're fighting over who gets the remaining drops left in the bottle.

1. Harpoon's UFO Pumpkin - At the start of pumpkin beer season I did a post on Harpoon's UFO Pumpkin and why I felt it was so great. After trying countless other pumpkin beers this season I still feel the same. UFO Pumpkin is my favorite pumpkin beer two years running and I'm wondering if it can claim a third. 

Now those are my favorites of the year, but what about my least favorite pumpkin beer this year? That award goes to Horny Goat's Brewing Company's Horny Copia Pumpkin Ale.

As mediocre as getting a single green shell as a weapon in Mario Kart

Horny Copia is one of the blandest pumpkin beers I have ever tasted and has nothing going for it. It's like they put no effort into brewing this beer or making it taste good for that matter.

One last thing I wanted to discuss was my favorite hard pumpkin cider. That honor goes to Woodchuck Hard Pumpkin Cider, deliciously sweet and refreshing for two years now. I love this cider and it's a nice change of pace if I'm not in a beer mood, but still want something pumpkin flavored.

 The Lorax's go to drink of the Fall

There you have it; my list of Top 5 Pumpkin Beers of 2012. Do you agree with my list? What pumpkin beers do you love that I might have missed out on? Please let me know in my Facebook comments so I can try some new ones next year!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bud Light Platinum

Now I know what you're going to say. Hurricane Sandy has made Phil gone crazy...he's writing a Beer Blog post on Bud Light Platinum!?! Hear me out. Bud Light Platinum is actually a pretty decent beer and at 6.0% ABV and its low price point you can't really go wrong.

The first time I tried Bud Light Platinum was at my Aunt and Uncle's house during the summer. One of my friends was telling me how great it was and how I should give it a shot...so I did. I popped open a bottle and was pleasantly surprised with the taste.

As I drank it, I paired it with Doritos, the delicious Taco Dip that my Aunt loves to make and tomatoes topped with fresh Mozzarella. Now these snacks are amazing enough by themselves, but drinking Bud Light Platinum alongside them makes them even better.

This particular offering is something that I've never experienced from a big name brewing company before. It's a light beer that doesn't sacrifice flavor and has you feeling good after only a couple of bottles.

I continue to enjoy Bud Light Platinum with my co-workers on a weekly basis when we catch the newest episode of The Walking Dead every Sunday. One thing is clear; every time I drink it, I like the taste of it even more! Give it a try if you ever see it at a party!

Bud Light Platinum: Phil Spadanuta tested, Phil Spadanuta approved!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale

Rogue has made some pretty delicious beers in the past, but nothing as inventive as Voodoo. They took three of the best flavors that I could think of (Maple, Bacon and Doughnut) and jam packed them all into one strangely satisfying beer.

Right after popping the top off the pretty pink bottle, the aroma that was unleashed danced with our noses in the most delicious smelling tango imaginable. The smell of maple dominated over anything else and made me want to drink Voodoo even more.

We divvied up the 750ml bottle among the 6 of us willing to try it and these were our impressions:

Indifferent reactions:
Erica: "I don't know if I like it."
           "I was expecting it to be more intense."
           She kept drinking it, but seemed unsure the whole time if it was okay to like it.
Amanda: "It's not bad."
           Only drank a little.
Dan: "I'll give it a 7/10. I enjoyed it."
          Kept pouring himself more and thought the beer at bottom of the bottle tasted better (due to flavor settling?)

Mmm Doughnut Maple Bacon Beer

Favorable reactions:
Chris: "It tastes just like the name says!" (while laughing)
           Gulped his sample right down, within seconds!
Phil: "Delicious smoky flavor, with a hint of maple."
         "It tastes just like a smoked ham or another type of meat."
          I sipped it a lot and did not want to stop sipping.
Tom: "It is fantastic...very sweet and smoky!"
         "Tastes like delicious."
         Kept pouring more for himself.

Overall the reactions were more towards the positive side and everyone seemed to find something that they liked about Rogue's Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale. While the smell was dominated by maple the taste was not. Instead it was mostly a smoky meat flavor with only a hint of maple. Definitely not a bad thing, but the maple taste was just not as noticeable as it could have been and was a let down for a few of us.

Trying it for the first time...look at the excitement in my eyes! (Tom is eating ribs)

Finishing the bottle of Voodoo wasn't a problem for the six of us. More than half the people trying it wanted to drink more after their first sample and so they did. Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale is a delicious beer especially for someone who loves the taste of breakfast.

Rogue only brewed this particular beer once so if you can find a bottle at your local beer store don't hesitate to pick one up before it's gone for good! We picked up our two bottles from St. James Beverage and he still had a handful of bottles left after we got ours, so try looking there if you want to indulge in some delicious maple doughnut bacon beer!

Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale was brewed by Rogue Ales and contains and ABV of 5.6%.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

UFO Pumpkin/The Beginning of Pumpkin Beer Season

It's the end of August and you know what that means! It's officially the beginning of pumpkin beer season! My regular beer distributors St. James Beverage and Lake Ronkonkoma Beverage have started to get in shipments of various pumpkin beers in their stores. Little by little all the big name companies' pumpkin beers have made their way onto the shelves at these two locations and other local Long Island beer shops.

Last year I did a tasting of all the different pumpkin beers that I could get my hands on with mixed results.  With St. James's six-packs of six assorted pumpkin beers it was easy for me to be able to try out all the different pumpkin beers that were available in their store. I narrowed down all of the pumpkin beers I tried to my top 3 choices and UFO Pumpkin came out on top as my #1 pumpkin beer of last year.

Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end and before I knew it the pumpkin beer season came to a close. I was only able to buy one six-pack of UFO Pumpkin before realizing too late that it wasn't available for purchase in the stores any more. In the blink of an eye my favorite pumpkin beer was gone, never to be seen until the next pumpkin beer season.

I made a promise to myself that the second UFO Pumpkin became available again that I would buy it in bulk. Lucky for me the day has finally arrived and UFO Pumpkin is now available again in stores. I spotted it while going on one of my weekly beer runs to St. James Beverage and instantly picked up two six-packs and put them on the counter.

UFO Pumpkin is the pumpkin beer to end them all. It contains the perfect combination of pumpkin flavor and sweet spices that you would find while consuming a piece of pumpkin pie. The flavor isn't overpowering in any way, nor is it bland. The flavor is subtle and the alcohol content is at just the right level (5.9%) to make UFO Pumpkin the perfect light pumpkin beer that doesn't sacrifice any flavor.

UFO Pumpkin pours a beautiful light orange color (as you can see from the picture above) and the amount of head I got while pouring was just the right amount. Immediately after pouring my 12 ounce bottle the smell of the beer drove me headfirst into one of the most satisfying beers I have had this year.

Every sip was enjoyable and the wait for UFO Pumpkin was well worth it. I know what I'll be drinking for the next three months on a regular basis!

UFO Pumpkin was brewed by the Harpoon Brewery in Massachusetts and is their UnFiltered Offering that contains an ABV of 5.9% 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers

Oh Stone, how I love you. Not only do you consistently brew a delicious Smoked Porter every year, you also up the ante by experimenting with new flavors to add to it. First there was Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean and now Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers. I even found out today that there is a variation with Coconut, which I still have yet to try. But back to the beer of today; Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers.

Split this 12 ounce bottle with Tom of course, my beer buddy. Right after opening the bottle we gave it a smell. The smoked aroma had a hint of pepper and poured a dark brown to black color identical to that of the Smoked Vanilla. The smell was good, but the flavor was out of this world.

The smoked flavor of Stone's Porter is amplified even more with the addition of Chipotle Peppers. It's almost a perfect combination. Both flavors compliment each other and result in a delicious smoked Chipotle taste you might find while enjoying food from your favorite Mexican eatery.

Tom and I couldn't get enough of Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers. Every sip we took was breathtaking. We were just sad when it was all gone. We even ended up going to Taco Bell after finishing our glasses since my craving for Mexican food was through the roof at that point. I don't know if it was the beer itself or the fact that it was brewed with Chipotle Peppers, but I wasn't going to sleep that night without ingesting some Taco Bell.

Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers is spectacular and I'll even go as far to say that it was better than Stone's Smoked Vanilla offering, which I also liked a lot. If you can find a bottle of it definitely try some smoked Chipotle Pepper beer.

Delicious to the very last sip

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean

Stone; one of my favorite brewing companies with many great offerings (I'm looking at you Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard!). Tom introduced me to Stone and their delicious beers a long time ago. It's always a treat to try something from them I haven't had before. When I heard they came out with a Vanilla Bean version of their famous Smoked Porter I just had to drink it.

Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean pours with a small amount of head and has an appealing dark brown color to it, almost bordering on black. Right after opening the bottle you are greeted with a delicious vanilla smell. Drinking the beer is even more enjoyable.

There is a vanilla flavor that lasts throughout every sip in addition to the smoky aftertaste you might be accustomed to if you've had the Smoked Porter before. The end result is a finely roasted vanilla flavored beer that is rich in flavor and pleasant to drink from start to end.

Stone takes pride in brewing high quality beers and they even go as far to tell you the story of how Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean came to be right on the back of each bottle. Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean is a limited release so if you can get your hands on one don't hesitate to do so!

Stone Smoke Porter with Vanilla Bean is 5.9% ABV and brewed by Stone Brewing Company located in San Diego, California. Look for my upcoming review of Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers coming soon!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer

Yes you read that right; pizza beer. I found out about this beer from a picture that St. James Beverage posted on their Facebook page shortly after they got it in. Needless to say, I immediately drove to St. James to get my hands on a few bottles of this...I just had to try it!

So I went over to my friend's apartment with a couple of friends, bringing the fabled Pizza Beer with me and the six of us sat down and each drank a sample with mixed reactions. Before getting into those reactions let's discuss the beer a little.

Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer is made by the Pizza Beer Company in Illinois and is brewed with oregano, basil, tomato and garlic. Upon opening the bottle you are greeted with the aroma of tomatoes and basil. Garlic and oregano make up most of the flavor as well as tomato. It has a clear orange color to it and looks similar to some pumpkin beers I have tried over the years.

At 4.6% ABV Pizza Beer is a light beer and won't get you feeling buzzed unless you drink it in large quantities, which may not be a problem for someone who really loves pizza.

As requested by my friends I am going to rewrite my notes, exactly as is, to show how everyone reacted to drinking pizza beer.

Unfavorable reactions:
Josh: "I have to drink this?"
          "This doesn't taste good."
          "You guys could drink the rest." 
Quincy: 1. Drank some pizza beer
              2. Made a weird face
              3. Put his glass down and didn't drink anymore
James: "This tastes like if you took the leftover sausage grease after cooking sausage and then combined it with Coors light."
             "This isn't good." 

Unsure about what I was about to drink 

Indifferent reactions:
Phil: "That was definitely weird, but still enjoyable in a weird way."
         "It smells like leftover cold pizza in liquid form."
          *Took my time in finishing my glass
Dave: "This is so wrong, but I can't stop drinking it."
           "Someone has got to finish it."
           *Finished the rest of the bottle by himself

Taking the plunge and trying the pizza beer

Positive reactions:
Tom: "I was expecting this to be a lot worse."
          "I don't mind it actually."
           *Drank his the fastest, probably would have had more if it was offered to him

Unfortunately after seeing these reactions one thing is clear. Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer isn't for everyone and only a select few pizza and beer lovers can truly appreciate pizza beer for what it is. I will most likely never buy a bottle of this beer ever again, even at the cheap asking price of $2.50 a bottle. It was fun to try and even more fun to see other people try it, but Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer will never make it into my ever growing rotation of beers that I like to drink. Give it a try, but don't say I didn't warn you!  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Brown Than Black IPA (The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone)

Today I got to try out a collaboration beer I've had for awhile. The great minds at The Alchemist, Stone Brewing Company and Ninkasi came out with More Brown Than Black IPA a couple of months ago and I finally got around to trying it.

I want to start off by saying that IPAs (India Pale Ales) are one of my favorite type of beers. The tree-like flavor of IPAs are what make them so great and why I keep coming back for more. I have tried countless IPAs so it's always interesting for me to try a new one and see how it ranks with some of the best of the best.

More Brown Than Black is no exception and is excellent in every regard. Most of the IPAs I have tried are not brown or even black in flavor, but lighter. This is probably the darkest IPA I have ever had and needless to say it is good...rather great.

The flavor of More Brown Than Black is subtle and not overpowering in any way. I would say that if this beer was still available for purchase in stores that anyone looking to try an IPA for the first time should go with this one. Unfortunately it is not.

More Brown Than Black is a good beer and is probably ranked #5 out of all the IPAs I have tried. If I could get more I would, but sadly I cannot. I could only hope that more collaboration beers happen in the future, especially with such high quality beer companies as Stone and the Alchemist.

I love beer and More Brown than Black IPA ranks up there with the best among the best I have had.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

TBA (Bear Republic / Fat Head's / Stone)

I want to start off this Beer Blog by saying: "Holy crap it's been almost 3 weeks since I last posted on this thing!" I've been slacking off way too much lately and I can blame a lot of different things for that, but I'm not going to. It's time to man up and start writing about beer again. So I apologize. Now no more sissy stuff let's discuss beer!

Today I had the pleasure of cracking open one of the two collaboration beers that came out this year. Bear Republic, Stone, and Fat Head's brewery all worked together on this fine beer, simply titled TBA.

Now I don't know if these three juggernaut brewers couldn't agree on a name because they were stubborn, or because it's hard to actually label TBA. I'm gonna vote for the latter.

TBA is a brown ale brewed with molasses and brown sugar. It is also classified as "extra hoppy" which I can say is true, especially poured right out of the bottle. (That's for true!)

In my mind, TBA is so hoppy that it reminds me of an IPA (India Pale Ale), but has the flavor of a brown ale (Mind=blown). This pairing of flavors/beer types makes for an interesting combination and one that I could get used to drinking.

TBA is what happens when two of my favorite beer styles make sweet, sweet love on a warm summer night underneath a sky filled with bright stars. This beer takes the best qualities of both IPAs and brown ales and combines them to form one extremely delicious beer that is satisfying to say the least.

I even used the new mug I got for my birthday this year from my aunt and uncle to celebrate my first time tasting this beer.

I got lucky alright...by buying a bottle of this beer when it first became available and being able to enjoy it today. So the next time you can't decide whether you want to drink a brown ale or an IPA, don't think twice about having a bottle of TBA. You'll be glad you did!

 Head Brewer Matt Cole's statement about TBA right on the bottle


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Southampton Uberliner

Last night I got to enjoy my only bottle of Southampton's Uberliner, which I bought at the Russian Imperial Stout release party. It was a very limited release, seeing as only 450 of them were bottled. I can only hope that they decide to brew it again in the near future.

I first tried Uberliner at the release party back in January when it was on tap at Southampton's Publick House. I'll start off by saying Uberliner is a great beer. Classified as an Imperial "Berlin-style" Sour Wheat Ale, even my dad and sister enjoyed it when I made them try it (and these are two people who don't normally like beer).

Uberliner is sweet and fruity. My sister said the taste reminded her of apple juice, while my dad described it as similar to ginger ale. They aren't wrong either. Uberliner is a delicious beer and one that is very easy to drink. As I was enjoying it I almost forgot that I was drinking a beer.

It pours a clear yellow color and didn't have much head. I drank it from my Three Philosopher's glass.

Every sip of Uberliner was just as pleasant as the last. The best way I could think to describe it was a citrusy apple taste. I never wanted to stop drinking it and got through the entire bottle in a little over an hour. I was sad when there was none left.

At 6.0% ABV, Uberliner is a great beer to be enjoyed among friends and family who enjoy their alcoholic beverages on the milder side, but still appreciate a ton of flavor. Unfortunately Uberliner isn't available anywhere to purchase and the supplies of it are very limited. I'm just glad I got to enjoy this one bottle and thankful I got it in the first place.

So if you're reading this Southampton, please bring Uberliner back next year. I'll be waiting in line for it!

 I enjoyed bottle 314 of 450

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

St. James Beverage: A great place to buy beer on LI

Beer Blog has solely been about the beers I have been drinking, but what about the places I buy all these delicious beers from? Today I'd like to discuss one of my favorite go-to beer shops: St. James Beverage.

I found out about this hidden gem of a beer store from my friend Tom, when I was asking him about new beer stores to try. So I took the 15 minute drive over there and saw this lovely sign out front.

It was a very nice looking sign, if I do say so myself, but what was even nicer was the inside of St. James Beverage after I set foot in it. Immediately I was greeted with the sight of the growler station.

Shortly after staring at the growler station for a questionable amount of time I was welcome by the owner Martin. He had a friendly smile and asked me if I needed any help finding anything. I was at a loss of words at how many different types of beer he had stocked, so instead of answering him I walked around aimlessly, looking around.

Belgian beers, various Ommegang offerings, Brooklyn brews, and Stone stouts; what more could you ask for? You name it, chances are Martin had it in stock. That shelf alone is only a small amount of the beers he has available. He even had Monk's Sour Flemish Ale, which I first tried in Philadelphia at Monk's Cafe and is one of my favorites.

I'm drooling as I look at this picture

Martin is also very knowledgeable about many different types of beers and always willing to talk to me about them. He's one of the friendliest beer store owners I've ever met and makes sure to tell me when he's getting new fancy, limited beers in to his store. 

Every time I walk into St. James Beverage it's a pleasant experience and I'm always leaving there with a new beer, or should I say beers, to try. Thank you Martin for having a fully stocked and presentable beer store that I can be proud to shop at. Kudos to you! I'll be back there soon enough.

Anyone looking for a new place to buy beers you can't normally get anywhere else need not look any further than St. James Beverage on 25A. Check out St. James Beverage's Facebook page at this link!

Dogfish Head Black & Blue

The first thing you see as you look at the bottle art of Dogfish Head's Black & Blue is a finely dressed gentleman with a perfect bone structure smiling as he enjoys a glass of Black & Blue. This image alone says a lot about Dogfish Head's black raspberry and blueberry fermented ale. First and foremost it implies that by drinking Black & Blue you will feel as fancy as the man pictured on the bottle. Secondly it shows that even the pickiest of people will find something they like about Black & Blue even if it isn't readily apparent after taking the first sip.

The most important of these realizations however is that Black & Blue successfully bridges the gap between fine beer aficionados who enjoy their beers at high ABVs (Alcohol By Volume) and the more casual beer drinkers that enjoy an occasional Yuengling or Sam Adams.

Black & Blue pours a beautiful reddish brown color and is pleasing just to look at. When first poured the amount of head was a little too generous and slightly overwhelming; after a few minutes though it was drinkable.

At first I was expecting an intense blueberry/fruit taste, seeing as Black & Blue was brewed with blueberry puree, a brewing method I have never come across in all my years drinking beer. I took my first sip and was instantly surprised at how subtle the flavor was. This beer tasted more like beer than the fruit overload I was waiting for. I was a little disappointed, but slowly the flavor grew on me and I began to notice the hidden flavor more.

The smell of Black & Blue is also very pleasant and smells strongly of blueberries, like if real blueberries were crushed right in front of my nose; it makes the beer all that more appealing. At 10% ABV, Black & Blue slowly crept up on my friend Quincy and I. We wanted to keep on drinking it, but the alcohol took effect so quickly that we had to stop and pace ourselves.

As I drank Black & Blue I was reminded of the beers I drank when I first starting enjoying beer. It was hard for me to pick out the subtle flavors back then and with Black & Blue I was reminded of that. Even if you only enjoy the most popular beer brands, such as Budweiser or the like, Black & Blue doesn't stray too far from beer flavor that it would discourage you from trying it. Black & Blue is a great stepping stone for beer lovers to get into the more fancy beers that are available on the market and I'd like to thank Dogfish Head for yet another great brew! Enjoy responsibly!



Friday, April 13, 2012

Samuel Adams The Vixen

Tonight I'm enjoying another one of Sam Adams' single batch beers; The Vixen. Classified as a chocolate chili Bock, The Vixen is a great beer and a real treat for anyone who loves both chocolate beers and Bocks. The combination of malts, cinnamon and other spices, and cocoa nibs balances out perfectly to create a beer that is full of flavor and a pleasure to drink.

Immediately after my first sip I was surprised at how good The Vixen was. I just kept drinking it and didn't want to stop. The chocolate flavor is most noticeable with the malts coming in at a close second. The aftertaste is also very pleasant with a fine mix of spices and chili. Don't be off put by chili and beer in the same sentence; this is a great combination and one that I suggest for everyone who calls themselves a beer fan to indulge in.

Try The Vixen by Samuel Adams. You will be glad you did. Scouts honor!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bourbon County Bramble Rye

Immediately after winning big at Lake Ronkonkoma Beverage's Beer Raffle, Tom and I picked up a couple of burgers at Wendy's and headed back to my place to try some of our newly acquired beer. I won a bottle of Bourbon County Brand Stout's Bramble Rye and we were both very curious to see how it compared to the regular Bourbon County Brand Stout and Coffee Brand Stout.

Bramble Rye, as its name implies, is aged in rye whiskey barrels and brewed with raspberries and blackberries added. It's classified as an Imperial Stout and American Double and is 12.7% ABV. We cracked open the bottle and were immediately overwhelmed with a huge raspberry and blackberry smell.

Poured into my two Ommegang goblets, Bramble Rye had virtually no head to speak of.
Not knowing what to expect, we each took a sip of our beers. Now I wish I recorded a video of this, but I didn't so I'll recall what happened to the best of my ability. Tom's facial expression went from overjoyed and ecstatic, to really weirded out and completely disgusted in a matter of seconds. I'm going to be completely honest with you here; Bramble Rye is the result of a beer experiment that went...wait for it...awry. I feel like the wonderful people over at Bourbon County Brewing were feeling extra inventive the day they came up with Bramble Rye; unfortunately the combination of flavors doesn't really work. Rye and berries? No thanks.

Tom and I continued drinking the Bramble Rye even though it made us cringe with every sip. Even right now I have the goblet with some of Tom's leftover Bramble Rye in it and the smell is making me want to gag. Tom also told me that he almost threw up in the middle of the night after drinking it.

So there you have it folks; a beer I actually don't like. It definitely was an experience trying it, but I think it's safe to say that I will never spend money on this beer ever again, or drink it for that matter. Stay away from Bourbon County Bramble Rye; it's just not good.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lake Ronkonkoma Beverage Beer Raffle - March 30, 2012

Two nights ago Ronkonkoma Beverage held a beer raffle to give all their loyal customers a chance to win the right to buy some of the rare beers they had in their supply. Over the past month they have received shipments of Founder's Curmudgeon's Better Half, Bourbon County Coffee Stout, Bourbon County Bramble Rye and Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout.  Needless to say a large number of people showed up (about 30-40 people) and everyone there was excited to have a chance at winning.

From 8 PM to 10 PM people were coming into the store and receiving their 4 raffle tickets from "Big John" the owner's son who was running the event and a personal friend of mine. Displayed on a table for all to see were all the beers that were being raffled with large brown paper bags in front of each.

Everyone with tickets was given the choice to divy them up however they wanted by putting one, some or all their tickets into a bag. 9 bottles of Curmudgeon's Better Half, 2 bottles of Coffee Stout, 10 bottles of Bramble Rye and 16 four-packs of Kentucky Breakfast Stout were on the line. At 10 PM the raffle began.

Big John started it off by thanking everyone who showed up and giving a short heartfelt speech saying how glad he was that the Ronkonkoma Beverage family could hold such an event for all their customers. After that he dove right into the raffle. Everyone lined up with their full attention on Big John and eagerly awaited the first number to be called.

Starting off with Curmudgeon's Better Half, Big John called number after number as happy customers who got their number called went up to Big John and received their prize. Just about everyone there won something, with some people even winning multiple times. Even the people who didn't win anything were still able to pick up any beer of their choice from the store at a 10% discount. Growlers were also available for $2 cheaper.

Tom and I were glad to attend the beer raffle at Ronkonkoma Beverage and we even got lucky and won a few beers. Our friends Chris and Kevin were also in attendance and they won as well! Between the four of us we each walked away with a four-packs of KBS and I also won a bottle of the Bramble Rye; the only beer out of the four that I hadn't tried yet!

 Myself and Tom with our winnings of the night!

I want to thank Lake Ronkonkoma Beverage for providing such a fun and exciting night to us. We got to discuss our favorite craft beers with other beer connoisseurs from Long Island and even sample some new Spider Bite offerings that were on tap at their growler station. Thank you John, John and John for doing this event and I only hope there will be more in the future!

  John Sr. and Big John (behind the counter) were all smiles before the raffle began