Archive for the ‘Beer Squared’ Category

26, 27, 28, and 29.

Well, Bob and I decided to give pale lagers another go. We have come to the conclusion that we have way too many beers to work though and for full disclosure notice, we did this tasting after a round of double IPA’s. So, if you think our soon be trademark style is a little off, it’s because we had a wee bit too much to drink that day.

In this session we have a lot of St. Louis connections. We tried an AB-In Bev lager that they don’t see fit to let us drink, a beer who’s recipe is from pre-prohibition St. Louis, a new St. Louis Brewery, and the go to import beer. Bob and I aren’t really too big on lagers anymore, but they definitely have their time and place. There’s nothing like a great light lager to add to my bbq sauce or to drink while I’m grilling outside in August, but drinking these in the dead of winter clearly were not any of those times.


21, 22, 23, 24, and 25.

Bob and I ended up having a bit of a collection of flavored stouts. We did put an Oatmeal Stout in this category, which could or couldn’t be classified as a flavored stout. When we picked out the beers for this tasting, we only had four. I felt like we needed five beers to round this one out because there was nothing heavy. So, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout was tossed into the mix.

We ended up picking a beer by Bell’s, another Saranac beer I brought home from Western  New York, a Schlafly beer, a chocolate stout, and the aforementioned Sam Smith’s. We have three American craft brewers and two English brewers. I think this makes for a very good list of suspects, some usual and some not.


16, 17, 18, and 19. 20 not pictured.

When working out our schedule for what we’re going to review and the 80-some beers that are always waiting to be reviewed, I received a bottle of Deschutes Black Butte Porter in the mail, which bumped it up to the front of the line.

This is our first go with porters which were originally the working man’s beer. I’m going to apologize to our readers, as three out five of these beers are not available in St. Louis. I brought back a couple from Western New York and Bob brought one back from San Francisco….of course now Kona Pipeline Porter is probably available since I’m refusing to check…

So, this go round we have another five beers to go through and it’s a very nice mix of breweries. Deschutes, who just came to St. Louis, Yuengling, the nation’s oldest brewery, Great Lakes, who needs to come to St. Louis soon, Kona Brewing from Hawaii, and Dundee, one of our personal favorites who gets no love.


12, 13, 14, and 15 of 2012.

This is the first edition of Beer Squared that is outside of Lafayette Square! My wife started a project in our kitchen that needed some help from Bob, so he decided we’d have a “mini tasting” after he was done. In honor of the work put in, the beers have been photographed in front of the new wall.

In this post, we’re doing English Regular Bitters. Strength between 4.2% and 4.7% abv. In the United Kingdom bitter above 4.2% abv accounts for just 2.9% of pub sales. The disappearance of weaker bitters from some brewers’ rosters means “best” bitter is actually the weakest in the range. (source) (There’s a lot of good info on the English Ales at that link.


8, 9, 10, and 11 of 2012.

So, around this time of year the vaunted Hoplsam is released by Bell’s Brewing and we couldn’t be happier. So, once again we purchased a sixer of what I consider to be the best DIPA going, and we ambitiously compared it to three others.

We may have bitten of a bit more than we could chew in terms of alcohol content in this go around, but sometimes you gotta just play through the pain…or the awesome.

Here we’ve got a west coast DIPA that Bob brought back from San Francisco, an “Imperial” IPA I brought back from Buffalo, NY, a DIPA from Charleville Brewing (this one may have been a touch past its prime), and of course, Hopslam.


6 and 7

Here we are tasting some very high alcohol brews. Due to that fact, and the very large bottles, we chose to only do two of them instead of our usual four or five.

A barley wine typically reaches an alcohol strength of 8 to 12% by volume and is brewed from specific gravities as high as 1.120. It is called a barley wine because it can be as strong as wine; but since it is made from  rather than fruit, it is, in fact, a beer.  (source)

We went with a couple brewers we’re familiar with: Shipyard and New Holland.


1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of 2012

Now that we’re in the new year, I think we’re going to start the number over on our new quest to 100 beers in 2012. Today we’re tasting a style of beer that’s become a favorite: English Style Brown Ales. Since this is our first go with nut browns….

Brown ale is a style of beer with a dark amber or brown colour. The term was first used by London brewers in the late 17th century to describe their products, such as mild ale,[1] though the term had a rather different meaning than it does today. 18th-century brown ales were lightly hopped and brewed from 100% brown malt. (source) The most well known brown ale in the States, is Newcastle…which we’re not tasting today.  We’ve got a good mix of brewers today: Pete’s, Ska, Dundee, New Glaus, and Samuel Smith’s.


80-84...85 not pictured.

Welcome to another round of India Pale Ales. No matter how many of these we drink, there are always another fifty of these wonderful hoppy ales in the fridge to try. This time we even added a sixth to the proceedings as we had extra time and no one was around to tell us not to!

I really like the line up we had for this round. We have a well thought of craft brewer, Goose Island, a craft brewer that I don’t think gets enough press, Dundee, a highly reputed craft brew that you can’t get in St. Louis, Dogfish Head, a wonderful Scottish Brewer, Belhaven, a new to St. Louis craft brewer, Green Flash, and an English brewer, Greene King.


73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, and 79.....

As a family, we went downtown and watched the St. Louis Cardinals victory parade down Market Street. Afterwards we went home and as our wives went shopping, we started drinking.

I’m going to stop saying that we have any kind of set number for how many beers we do in a sitting, because it never seems to stick. I do believe, however, that we have eclipsed the number that any sane person should do in a single sitting, but this is what happens when we are left to our own devices. We thought of the beer in terms of time and not beers.

In this round, we have seven different pale lagers from literally all over the world. We went with some macro lagers, imports, craft, etc. I think we have a very good mix of them. Because we’ve chosen beers from all over the world, we’re just going to call these pale lagers instead of Pale American Lagers, but it’s close enough for government work.



68, 69, 70, 71, and 72.

With the release of Backwoods Bastard, we decided it was good to hit another round of Scotch Ales, one of my favorite styles that we’ve only done once. Once again, we rolled out a bevy of five beers for this tasting. We started outside and ended up inside…because these beers took awhile to go through. It would have been nice to stay out in the backyard for the whole tasting, but time got away from us as we sampled each of these beers.

Bob: As we’ve occasionally stated, our tasting groups comprise brews of similar but not necessarily identical styles. Today we sampled offerings of the Scottish persuasion, in order of increasing alcohol content. Like the stouts of our last session, these ranged over a pretty wide spectrum of tastes.