Tired Hands Brewing – Acid Raindrops, a 7.5% IPA brewed with rye and oats. Hopped with Mosaic, Equinox, Centennial and Motueka.
One word description: Delicious
Amateur description: Tired Hands and their oat IPAs are the ticket to my beer heart. Poured in that classic northeast hazy form with a decent amount of head. Plenty of citrus and tropical fruit in the aroma. The taste is very similar with the malts shining more than in the aroma. Deciphering aromas and flavors from a beer is not a strong suit or mine but I can taste quality and lack thereof. This is a top notch IPA that strikes a nice balance of bitterness and juiciness with that unique mouthfeel.
Going to pull double duty today with some Tired Hands stouts.
Tired Hands Brewing – Only Void, an 11% Imperial Stout brewed with a plethora of specialty malts and oats.
One word description: Surprised
Amateur description: First things first, I LOVE the style in which Tired Hands brews their IPAs. The addition of oats creates a unique mouthfeel and lingering taste that I haven’t found in other IPAs. This is my first stout from them and was rather surprised by it. Typically I do not enjoy stouts without adjuncts because of the roasted chocolate malt flavors that they typically produce, but Only Void is a different animal. Instead of that bitter roasted chocolate aroma, you get a smooth creamy chocolate and vanilla which is exactly what you got from the flavor profile. What stands out most is the softness of the beer instead of that dry roast you typically get.
Tired Hands Brewing – Only Void (Single Origin Ethiopian Coffee), a 10% Imperial Stout brewed with a plethora of specialty malts and oats. It was then cold conditioned with a heavy amount of Awake Minds Ethiopian Coffee from nearby ReAnimator Coffee.
One word description: Stunned
Amateur description: After trying the regular Only Void and thoroughly enjoying it, I was thrilled to get a can of this. Aroma is dominated by roasted coffee and chocolate. The taste is very similar with prominent coffee and chocolate, complimented by some vanilla. I’m guessing the oats balanced out some of the bitterness but overall it was the BEST non-barrel aged stout that I have tasted.
J. Wakefield Brewing – Desperado, a Russian Imperial Stout aged in whiskey barrels with cassia, Ancho chiles, and cocoa nibs.
One word description: WOW
Amateur description: Unlike Mexican Cake or Hunahpu, the chiles are not at the forefront of the flavor profile. Omits delicious aromas of cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate. The taste is dominated by the chocolate, cassia cinnamon and the whiskey, while being complemented by the chiles that tame the sweetness. This beer is not short on flavor but they work together in harmony.
Civil Society Brewing; Florida’s long-awaited hop head haven. We’ve had breweries master porter treatments (Funky Buddha), barrel aged stouts (Cycle), berliners (Wakefield) and one that has mastered just about every popular style (Cigar City), but Floridians have yet to see one focused on hops. Enter Civil Society. Whether it’s a saison, blonde ale or and IPA, they’ve all been hopped to high heaven. Civil takes it beyond the traditional and overused Citra/Simcoe/Cascade combo and explore the lesser known Topaz, Ella, Calypso and Vic Secret hops.
The Jupiter, FL location is an unassuming one next to Roger Dean Stadium and better known for its monthly classic car shows, but it works. A clean industrial feel with plenty of space featuring couches, high tops and a few community tables. Of course, the best part is the beer enjoyed in 4, 8 or 16-ounce servings. After a few visits, the favorites have to be Pulp, Life Skillz and Subject four.
If you’re ever in the Palm Beach area, please do yourself a favor and check them out. Bonus if you show up on the first Saturday of the month to catch the classic car show at 5:00pm.
Civil Society Brewing is located at:
1200 Town Center Dr #101, Jupiter, FL 33458
Asheville, NC; the city where you can blissfully walk your way from brewery to brewery without breaking a sweat. From Wicked Weed to Green Man and Burial to Catawba, there is no shortage of high quality beer. I’ve been fortunate to visit a few times and look to add a Part Two of the Asheville post.
Wicked Weed Brewing and the Funkatorium
With a brewpub upstairs and a cozy cellar taproom downstairs, it has something to offer anyone. Most importantly though…their world class sours and IPAs. The Funkatorium just around the block is their hub for all sour and wild ales with a small helping of some flagships. Admire the variety of barrels playing host to future gems while sipping on some brews. Highlights included what I consider their flagship sour Black Angel, White Angel and Pernicious IPA.
Burial Beer Company
Ah Burial Beer…it’s like drinking beer in the shed where Leatherface is about to unleash some hell upon you. Burial has the prototypical feel of a small brewery that takes pride in their craft and loves what they do. The qualities I look for in a brewery…other than fantastic beers. Some of the highlights were the Surf Wax West Coast IPA, Bolo Coconut Brown and of course the Skillet Donut Stout. The garnish courtesy of the neighboring Vortex Doughnuts.
Green Man Brewery
My personal favorite beer spot in Asheville. The bottle artwork and concepts are among the best I’ve come across and have been hooked since my first visit in January 2014. While I’ve always missed out in their renowned sours, the Rainmaker DIPA is a thing of beauty.
Rounding out the list is one of the recent additions to the South Slope. While not a new brewery (operating since 1999), Catawba recently opened their third location. While not the most well known brewery in the area, it does offer a relaxed vibe and solid brews. Offering an impressive 24ish brews on tap I opted for the ambitious flight of eight to get a full range of their lineup. Of the beers sampled the highlights were their White Zombie Witbier and aptly named Brutal DIPA.
Ah the barrel aged coffee stouts..a beautiful beer category and a favorite of beer truck chasers across the country. Two of the most acclaimed and well known barrel aged coffee stouts and a new kid on the block were the subject of this ambitious Friday experiment. Who will reign supreme…besides my taste buds?
*Note I am not, nor do I claim to be an expert taster with a broad tasting lexicon
Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (2013 Vintage); Wow…within nearly two years of age, it is the perfect balance of a big bodied chocolate stout with an amazing blend of the bourbon barrel and coffee. I don’t know if there is any way this beer could improve itself.
Weyerbacher – Sunday Morning Stout (2015 Vintage); This is the inaugural bottle offering of Weyerbacher’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee Stout and it came out the gates with tons of positive feedback. So much so that it was labeled a “KBS killer”. At the time it was a killer coffee stout with some strong barrel character and some heat. Unfortunately after a few months this bottle took a turn for the worst and became a mess of bourbon and smoked stout. I have no idea what happened but for now will just assume it was an anomaly.
Founders – Kentucky Breakfast Stout (2015 Vintage); One of the beer hoarder/truck chasers favorite prey is the “highly acclaimed” KBS. For reasons unknown this is one of those beers that tastes completely different on draft than in does bottled which is cause for some frustration. Moving on, how did this years bottle offering fare? Chocolate, chocolate and some more chocolate with a faint bourbon notes. No coffee was detected so needless to say I was disappointed comparing it to the stellar release in 2014.
With all that said, the winner is………Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout! Not at all a surprise but between the amazing balance and holding up so well over time, there was no debate. Where does your allegiance lie?