Monthly Archives: April 2009

Twitter Contest to 3047 Followers

I would like to announce my first Twitter follower contest. When @beer47 on Twitter reaches 3047 followers, I will give out three prizes that were graciously provided by Oskar Blues Brewery. I want to make this contest interactive so in order to win you will need to answer trivia questions via Twitter.

The prizes are as follows:

  • 1 Gordon Beer pint glass
  • 2 Old Chub beer can cozies

How to participate:

  1. To win you must follow both @beer47 and @oskarblues. You must follow both @beer47 and @oskarblues up until the time the prize is put into the mail.
  2. Trivia questions will be asked via twitter when @beer47 reaches 3047 or more followers.
  3. The trivia questions for the contest will be asked on Twitter and will be formatted as follows:
    • “#beer47contest Question 1: Name two ingredients in beer.”
  4. To win you must respond via a public reply on Twitter with a message that starts with “@beer47 #beer47contest Answer #:” followed by the answer.
    • For instance, if I ask, “#beer47contest Question 2: Name two ingredients commonly found in beer.” Then, you would tweet, “@beer47 #beer47contest Answer 2: Barley and hops.”
  5. The first person to respond, according to Twitter time, wins the prize. If multiple people respond within the same minute, I will randomly choose one from the group.
  6. You must reside within the United States of America.
  7. You must be 21 years or older to participate. If you are selected as a winner, you must direct message @beer47 indicating that you are 21 years or older.
  8. Some prizes are breakable. Breakable items will be packed with the utmost care. However, if the prize arrives broken, a replacement will not be provided. (This is because I only have one pint glass to give out).
  9. If there are any problems or disputes, Beer47 @beer47 is the final arbiter.  Beer47 @beer47 has the ultimate discretion over awarding the prizes and may award the prizes to any of the participants of the contest.
  10. By participating, you agree to have your Twitter name published as the winner on Twitter and on this web site.
  11. Winners must provide a mailing address within the United States in order to receive the prize.
  12. Allow 4-8 weeks for delivery of the prize. Prizes will only be delivered to addresses within the United States.
  13. Void where prohibited.

Upon completion of this contest, I will be running more contests as soon as I can get more prizes.

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Oskar Blues: Gordon Beer, G’Knight Imperial Red Review

I picked up a 4 pack of Gordon Beer after tasting it during SF Beer Week at the Jug Shop Canned Craft Beers event. It left such an impression during the event that I had to take some more home to do a full review with pictures. Update (6/23/2011): Oskar Blues has renamed Gordon Beer to G’Knight Imperial Ale. At the time of writing this review, the beer was still called Gordon Ale.

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Van Steenberge Augustijn Ale Review


On a recent trip to Palm Springs to visit family in my home town, I had dinner at Pomme Frite, a Belgain bistro in downtown. I had first heard about this restaurant on Twitter from a posting by Draft Magazine in January, 2009. When I arrived, I discovered the beer list to be extensive and the food to be delicious.

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Avery White Rascal Review

While visiting Southern California recently I met up with Ryan, a good friend of mine from college, and we headed to the Yard House in Pasadena, CA. If you are not familiar with the Yard House, it is a chain of bar and grill restaurants in Southern California where they have on the order of 100 different beers on tap. If you go, I suggest surveying the tap handles while you wait for your table. Upon leaving I discovered that there were a few offerings that were not listed on the menu.

One of the beers that I selected was Avery White Rascal from Avery Brewing out of Boulder, CO. Avery is a brewery that has been coming up in some of the beer reviews on other blogs and so I thought I would try some of their brew. White Rascal is a traditional Belgian style witbier brewed with two-row malt, Belgian wheat, Czech Saaz hops, corriander, and Curacao orange peel.

Avery Brewing provides the following description of White Rascal on their website:

A truly authentic Belgian style wheat or “white” ale, this Rascal is unfiltered (yup, that’s yeast on the bottom) and cleverly spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel producing a refreshingly fruity thirst quencher.

Avery White Rascal Tap HandleWhere I Found It. I found this beer on tap at the Yard House in Pasadena, CA.

Serving Type. This beer was served on-tap into a pint glass.

Appearance. White Rascal has a nice white frothy head that lingers in the form of a thin layer of foam on the top of your beer until the last drop.  It is pale yellow-white in color and cloudy in appearance, both are attributes to be expected from a Belgian witbier.

Smell. The aroma of this beer has the expected Belgian yeast smell but it is slightly subdued and not overwhelming. The aroma has a smooth ripe banana smell and light accompaniment of cloves. It has a hint of citrus and and sweet grains.

Taste. White Rascal has a light grain-like sweetness that can be described as refreshing and not sugary. There is just the lightest hint of bitterness, with only 10 IBUs, and it is enough to balance the light maltiness in the beer. The orange peels come through with a some citrus flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is that of a light-bodied beer with just the right amount of carbonation. It was just a touch watery tasting and based on the final gravity I’m surprised it is not more watery tasting. The original gravity is listed as 1.050 and the alcohol content is 5.6% so, based on calculations, this makes the final gravity 1.007.

Drinkability. Just like many beers of this style, White Rascal is a very drinkable beer appropriate not only for warm weather but also for a slightly chilly evening. Although I prefer Flying Dog’s Woody Creek White, this beer comes in at a close second and I would drink it again and again.

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 4.0
  • Smell (20%): 3.5
  • Taste (40%): 3.5
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 3.5
  • Drinkability (10%): 4.0
  • Overall: 3.65


  • Style: Belgian witbier
  • Brewery: Avery Brewing
  • Alcohol by volume: 5.6%
  • Original Gravity: 1.050 (12.4 Plato)
  • Final Gravity: 1.007 (1.8 Plato)
  • Hops: Czech Saaz
  • Malt: two-row malt, Belgian wheat
  • Other ingredients: Curacao orange peel, coriander
  • Beer Advocate rating: 3.69 (as of April 5, 2009)

Other Reviews

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Kiuchi Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew Review

Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew Glass of BeerLast July (2008) I was in Las Vegas having a meal with some friends at a restaurant called Shibuya at the MGM Grand and we discovered Hitachino Nest beers, specifically the Japanese Classic Ale. Hitachino Nest is a brand of beers that are brewed by the Kiuchi Brewery in Naka-shi, Japan. The Kiuchi brewery has been making sake since 1823, shochu since 2003, and beer since 1996.

I had been casually searching for this beer ever since July and in November 2008 I discovered City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA and that they carried several of the Hitachino Nest beers. One of those beers that I picked up was the Real Ginger Brew.

Unfortunately, there is no information on the Kiuchi Brewery website about this beer. It is a very unique beer and it would by nice to know a little background information about it.

It looks like this beer is bottle conditioned so I might try to harvest some of the yeast the next time that I try one of the Hitachino Nest beers.

Where I Found It. City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA.

Serving Type. Poured a 330ml bottle into a glass.

Pouring a Hitachino Nest Real Ginger BrewAppearance. This beer has a foamy but not frothy yellow-white head and does not leave much foam on the glass. A small layer of head remains on top. This beer is hazy, which might be expected of an herb/spice beer, and has an amber or dark honey color.

Smell. Real Ginger Brew has a ginger aroma like that of ginger ale or ginger beer, which is a sweet smooth ginger smell. In fact the smell is almost indistinguishable from ginger ale or ginger beer. The bouquet is spicy with a bit of cloves and is enhanced by the ginger while accompanied by a light fruitiness. The hops are not pronounced and the malt only seems to be a vehicle to deliver the sweet ginger-ale-like smell. There is also a slight bready or yeast aroma present. I enjoy the ginger aroma but the yeast detracts from it a little bit.

Taste. The most pronounced taste of this beer is sweet malty ginger. It is almost as if this is a ginger beer made with malt, instead of cane sugar, and contains alcohol. It actually contains 7% alcohol but the astringent alcohol flavor is masked completely by the other flavors. Backing the ginger beer flavor is a sweet maltiness that is complemented with a touch of smooth hop bitterness. As you drink more of this brew the spiciness of the ginger builds but not so much that is it overpowering. All of these aspects combine to produce a crisp and refreshing flavor.

Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew (front)Mouthfeel. Real Ginger Brew is well carbonated, which adds to the comparison to ginger ale, and is a medium-light bodied beer. The taste of the ginger lingers just for a bit and fades nicely.

Drinkability. This beer is strong in alcohol content and strong in ginger flavor. On one hand it is crisp and refreshing like a ginger ale but also like a ginger ale I rarely want more than one. I would drink this again but I would not want more than one at a time. All in all it is an enjoyable beer.

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 3.5
  • Smell (20%): 3.5
  • Taste (40%): 3.5
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 3.5
  • Drinkability (10%): 3.0
  • Overall: 3.45

Caption on the Bottle

Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew (back)The following caption is found on the back of the beer bottles of Real Ginger Brew:

Fresh ginger roots aded to the brewkettle create and intriguing balance of ginger-spicy, sweet-malty and hoppy-dry flavors and aromas.


  • Style: Herb Spice Ale
  • Brewery: Kiuchi Brewery
  • Alcohol by volume: 7.0%
  • Other ingredients: ginger
  • Bottle conditioned
  • Beer Advocate rating: 3.69 (as of April 1, 2009)

Other Reviews

Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew Bottle and Glass of Beer

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