The English are not well known for their food, rightfully so… It is rather bland. Lacking in flavor, light, boring, and the list goes on. However… Their beer, that is what they get right, and Fullers is no exception. Today I give to you a beer, that for a time was the “go-to” beer in London pubs. A fine dark Porter, rich in malt flavor, not overly heavy in alcohol percentage, and better even yet, it won’t break the bank. This has been one of my favorite English porters that I have ever had. It is one of only a few beers that I would drink with chocolate, but it would go well in a stew (I prefer to drink my beer than pour it into a pot however). Anyways, with only 339 more beers to go, this one certainly falls in I would say the top 20% or so of the beers we will examine this year.

Comments Off on Full Sail Ahead!

A good buddy of mine informed me one afternoon that while he did graduate from Full Sail University, it was not the same Full Sail as the brewing company. Sad day. However, not a sad beer. Todays amber is an excellent brew, made with care from a brewery literally the exact opposite side of the country as Full Sail University. Full Sail (Brewing) is in Hood River Oregon, where the university is in Florida. Anyways, I continue on full steam… I mean sail ahead.


Red is a very intriguing color. One of the prime colors, it is bright, vibrant, attention getting. My neighbor growing up had a 1966 Mustang in cherry red. Gorgeous car. A buddy of mine now has a 2011 Camaro Convertible in Victory Red. Another gorgeous automobile. Today however I want to talk about a red beer. You can read my full thoughts here https://www.beerwithblake.com/?s=la+rossa. An Italian beer, brewed since 1859 Birra Moretti. Their La Rossa is an excellent example of a beer that is great to drink with pizzas, pastas, all sorts of Italian fare. Not overpowering, not too light a nearly perfect beer for mealtime.

Do that mean what I think it mean?
I do believe that it does.

Someone please name that movie. It is worth me buying you a craft brew at the local pub. (Yes, I am dead serious if you get it right, I will buy you a beer.)

Unfortunately, this beer leaves a lot to be desired. A low budget cerveza hecho en Mexico. Can’t win em all I suppose. Nothing remarkable about the beer, just a chance to reference one of my favorite movies of all time.

I’ll take 344 more, and a six pack to go. Thank you Mr. Jones.


Today I want to look at Red Trolley Ale by Karl Strauss. This beer is excellent. A San Diego microbrewery that I had never even heard of before two years ago. However, in traveling to San Diego a handful of times since then, I have learned to appreciate it. A very malty brew that is smooth to the palate, and easy to drink. 5.8% ABV isn’t bad either. I have also come to enjoy eating in the Karl Strauss restaurants located in the airports across California as well. The food is pretty dang good (for airport food). I wish I could get more Karl Strauss here in Texas, it is well worth the investment and change of pace from the typical hoppy offerings of most California brewers that I have come across. So without further ado, I give you a solid ale on our twenty second day together.

Now, I have never been to New Mexico. Well, outside of their airport anyways but it is certainly a place that I would like to go. I suspect that beers like this would be served in Roswell. A citrus wheat offering from Harpoon is what I give you today on our twenty first day together. May the objects fluttering above your head not be UFOs like they were on your twenty first birthday.

I do trust that a majority of my followers here are over the age of 21, but I could be wrong. If you are underage please let me know, I’d like to know your reasons for following me. I am glad to have support of all age groups.

Comments Off on Blind Faith

For today I am going to ask a simple question. Do you just take what I say as fact? or do you have your own opinions? Don’t follow me with Blind Faith, which oddly enough is our beer of the day. Another IPA that goes on tour with Magic Hat. I was not overly impressed with this IPA, that is not to say that it was poorly made, but it is a mass produced, seasonal variety pack offering.

Okay, so not all Independence days are celebrated on July 4th, France for example celebrates theirs on July 14th, Mexico on September 16th, and Albania celebrates theirs on November 28th. This pale ale from Independence Brewing in Austin, Tx certainly is a reason to be thankful. It is a pale ale made to celebrate Texan independence, not only from Mexico, but also from mediocre pale ales. This crisp, refreshing blend of hops rings the bell of freedom from the bland.

Three hundred and forty eight more examples for this year that will help you declare your independence from lackluster beer!

Pine Needles. Yeah, pine needles. That is what went into brewing this Scotish ale. The Williams Brothers Brewing company. I admire the Williams brothers for their craft brews. They take old style ales that have not been popular in centuries, and recreate them using authentic techniques and in doing so bring back from hiatus some excellent recipes. This one is no exception. This beer had a strong pine flavor, but was rather enjoyable. They say to enjoy it at room temperature, in doing so it ensures that you get the full pine flavor, as well as the wamrth of the alcohol (it weighs in at a slightly higher than average 7.5% ABV). If you can get your hands on some of their brews whislt traveling around Europe, please do. Also, don’t forget your favorite Blake, ensure you bring him some bottles back stateside!

Honestly, I don’t really care how you pronounce it. (For the record though, Pe-khan is the proper way.) Lazy Magnolia, a microbrewery out of Mississippi claims this to be the worlds first Pecan based beer. Very well, then, that just means there are no challengers to usurp their throne. Unfortunately, (and hopefully it was just the batch that I had) I missed the Pecan in the brew. Sure, if I really, really, tried to pick it out I could find it…. But growing up with pecan pies, fresh pecans straight off the tree/ground… this beer really disappointed me. Not that it wasn’t a solid brew, because it was. I just wanted more pecan flavor. Other than that, it was worth the six bucks or whatever I paid for it in Knoxville, Tennessee over the summer. I just figure that I am more unforgiving on my pecans and bbq than the majority of America.


This beer. Man, this beer. I am a unapologetic professor of the Dogfish Head gospel. “Off centered ales for off centered people” Their philosophy is certainly one that I embrace. For a craft brewery, they are doing it all right. This beer is certainly a prime example of that. The Palo Santo translated means “Holy Tree” and is Paraguayan. This brown ale is brewed in the largest wooden brewing vessel in North America. The ale has very complex vanilla and earthy flavors, and is warm, 12% ABV warm. It is pricey (About $13 for a four pack) but worth every penny. This brew is certainly one of my top 20 favorite beers all time and I would highly recommend it for your indulgence.


What the heck is a Wendelinus? Well, it is French for starters. Therein ends my knowledge of the beers beginnings. It is an abbey ale, but in a Belgian “dark-ale” style. However, for being a strong, dark, ale it is of the three… an ale. Nothing overpowering in this beer. It weighs in at a modest 6.8% ABV which is enough for the classification on paper, but in all reality, it is hardly a heavy hitting beer. The flavor is one that is for the most part unremarkable, nothing jumps out and grabs you. Unfortunately not all of our beers on this journey can be winners. This is one that falls certainly in the bottom half of beers that I will be bringing you this year.

No really, it is. A single chair, although, this chair is actually a ski left. In a beer brought to us to celebrate a co-op in the Mad River Glen in Vermont, Magic Hat gives us another beer from a variety pack. (I told you yesterday these things are worth the buck). A refreshing ale, but nothing to… well I guess I am writing about it now aren’t I. So it does in fact give you something to write home about! Even if it is just notating that you have drank it and found it refreshing. Again, I recommend these sampler packs. This one comes in the summer varietal which means in about five months it should be on the shelves of your local grocer.


I mean H.IPA, or H.I.P.A or however you want to look at it. Todays offering is a IPA from Magic Hat. This was an offering in one of their many sampler packs. This one is part of their “IPA on tour” series. These boxes have twelve beers, four styles and three of each. They are usually a good use for about thirteen bucks, the beer is decent, albeit I haven’t really found a stellar one yet. If nothing else in the aisle catches your fancy, I would snag one of these boxes (also great for parties, superbowls, weekend retreats, etc). Worth the money, but still produced for the masses.


Peru, home of many gorgeous rainforests, sculptures, bats… guano… Peruvian guano was a huge trade for decades. Excellent nutrition for your crops and flowers. But that is not what we are here to talk about today. Today I want to discuss their beer.

The story of Celis is a very intriguing one. Young Peter grew up outside of Hoegaarden, Belgium. (Does that name sound even semi-familiar? hint: it should). He grew up helping an older gentleman brew his unique witbier, or white beer. Now, the only place in Belgium this beer was brewed was Hoegaarden. There were countless breweries making this unique style. Well as time progressed this gentleman grew too old to manage his brewery operation. Young Peter approached him about purchasing the brewery. Celis did very well with this brew, to the extent that he was the lone brewer of witbier before too terribly long. He was approached by InBev and sold the recipe/brewery and it became the Hoegaarden brand. Celis then moved to Austin, Texas and began again making more beer. That is what we have here. A true example of an authentic witbier (white beer). I highly recommend this brew, it is very similar to Hoegaarden, albeit different (InBev altered the recipe for the mass-market).

Today on January 10th we will look at Bischoff Black Lager. This was a solid representation of a black lager. I have had a pair of Bischoffs, their Black Lager as well as their Doppelbock. Both are good examples of their representative styles. The black lager is smooth, ample malts and enjoyable by the fire. Enjoy!

Magnum… I mean, 357 more beers on the year!


I actually didn’t know what this meant, however, in looking it up, it means good afternoon. Oddly enough, this is very well fitting for the ninth beer in our journey this year. Kirin produces a solid Asian beer in their Ichiban. Now, I for one thought that this was a one beer brewery, but a quick look at their site shows that they also offer a “light” variety. I ‘ll keep my eyes open for it, and if you see one, I ask that you send it to me for review. The Ichiban is a brew that I have not had in awhile (being 18mo+) but I do remember it being a very good example of what an Asian beer “should” taste like. Not like Saki, not like fish, not like rice. Just a light bodied, semi-crisp, refreshing beverage.

Or milk. Personally, I love milk, chocolate milk, whole milk, milk in my coffee, real milk in my Blue Bell ice cream, etc. However, I don’t believe that milk should be put into beer. It just doesn’t work well in my mind, and certainly didn’t work well for Left Hand in their Milk Stout. I wouldn’t say that this beer lacked flavor, tasted like colored water, or was terrible… But it certainly bordered on all three. I was very disappointed, especially because 400 Pound Monkey turned me on to the brewery. Oh well, you win some, and you lose some.


Harpoon, not a brewer on the tip of anyones tongue, at least not out here where I am at. I am not sure why though, they make a good product. My first experience with them was their Celtic Red, and then I tried their UFO Hefeweizen, and then their Octoberfest. They actually use the American spelling of Octoberfest which should tell you something about the brewery. They aren’t trying to be anything that they aren’t. They aren’t trying to market to a European crowd, or say that their beer is authentically German. They offer their take on a wonderful style (Marzen) and they do a good job of it. Another brew that I enjoyed, although, in my quest to try so many different brews, I probably wouldn’t buy it again… however don’t read this as a complaint, I would still recommend that you try it for yourself. Shoot, it never hurts to try new things.

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