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Thursday, April 28, 2016


to change your address for the Jolly Good Fellows blog ( to:

by 1 May 2016. Before it is too late!

The Triple Lindy by Old Ox Brewery

Triple Lindy at Old Ox Brewery
The ol' Triple Lindy. Made famous initially by Rodney Dangerfield, I really hadn't heard mention made of it until I walked into the Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn, VA. Naturally, I had to order it, along with a spicy chicken sandwich and salad. Man, did I make the right choice!

What sells the Triple Lindy is its creamy base. The hops are good for the short term, but the base is what is selling this beer. It holds the Triple Lindy together no matter what you may have with it. (If the spicy chicken sandwich didn't put it through it paces, nothing will!)  It comes with a nice light semi-transparent color and a good head, but it is the taste of the cream base that holds its place.  Definitely a beer you can sip or hit hard.

Old Ox Brewery is a family owned and operated brewery. They put out beers that really hold their own.  They produce a total of ten beers according to their menu and these are spread across seasonal, core, and experimental.

The Triple Lindy is a one-off beer. It is not listed in Old Ox's list of seasonal, core or experimental beers, but I think a nice worded note might see it return.  It does not have an ABV or IBU numbers.

Though the Triple Lindy is no longer on offer (it sold out that night!), many of the Old Ox beers are excellent for drinking. Start with Alpha Ox and work your way down - you won't be disappointed!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Wild West by Brouwerij Alvinne

Wild West
The Wild West brings us connotations of cowboys, wrestling cattle and long beautiful sunsets as they set across the plains.  The raw smell of the men, unbathed for days, doing the gritty work that we have dreamed of but have avoided because it wasn't really our "thing." Not the stuff of Field of Dreams.

Well, this Wild West is entirely different. It is brewed by Brouwerij Alvinne and has the flavor of plums in it to create a unique sour ale. Yes, that is right, I said plums, the forerunner of prunes, and have wrapped them in a sour ale.

The result is a great sour ale that is smooth and wickedly alive at the same time. They take oak aged barrels and add about 15 kg of wild plums to each barrel. The taste really begins in the nose of the beer. You just get a feeling that the beer is waiting for you to get busy. It is a lot less sour than the standard ale because the plums have been used to absorb that standard sour ale taste. The taste is really a mix of different flavors over the top of a distinct plum base. Nice to the tongue!

Brouwerij Alvinne is located in Moen, Belgium and was founded in 2004 and moved to a new building in 2011. The Wild West with plum is set for 2015, but the 2014 beer sold out. Grapes and Blackthorn were planned for last year and a Kriek is on for this year. If they have half the luck that Brouwerij Alvinne had with plums, they should be looking to sell out as well.

Wild West comes with a 6% ABV and no IBUs.

This beer and others from Brouwerij Alvinne are sure to rank up there when debating great sour ales. Get a bottle and try it out. I think you will find it pretty delicious too.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

To Get in Touch with Me...

I know that most of you are thinking, "I know how to get in touch with this guy," but I will be switching email addresses as of 1 May 2016. After that, you can reach me at:

Mark your email (or your spam folders) accordingly.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bourbon Barrel Raspberry Stout with Vanilla Bean - Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Raspberry Stout with Vanilla Beans

Raspberry stout is an excellent flavor. When you ferment it in bourbon barrels, you really get a bonus. But what did Hardywood Park Craft Brewery expect when they put vanilla beans in with it? Well, I found out when I tested this brew at Alexandria's Rustico that Thursday night.

I had tried the Bourbon Barrel Raspberry Stout right here, as some of you might have remembered and it rated pretty high in my estimation, so I figured that this stout would be good, but a definite second place.

Man, was I wrong. This raspberry stout is a completely different, though excellent tasting beer.  The difference came in the way it handled the vanilla beans. It presented the vanilla beans rather than mixing them with the raspberries and the stout. Rather than being a raspberry stout with a vanilla beans chaser, it was actually a vanilla bean stout with a subtle yet substantial raspberry chaser. When you go and taste it, don't expect the raspberries to be a really strong flavor, but expect to taste the vanilla beans up front. This is very much as raspberry swirl in vanilla ice cream rather than a taste of vanilla in a strong raspberry sorbet, if I can extend the ice cream analogy. The result is a very tasty, yet different, raspberry and vanilla bean variant.

The Bourbon Barrel Raspberry Stout with Vanilla Beans by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery is a 12.4% ABV and a 50 IBU beverage. It is a Barrel Series Beer and is available in the Spring.

Oh so good!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yeah, It is Going to be Portland, Portland, Oregon!

Portland, OR
It has been a long time in coming and it wasn't what I thought it would be but I am going to Portland, OR. It will be May 15-17. Well actually it is Astoria, OR and I am going with 46 other craft brewers and their guests on a three day view into how craft beer is brewed. It should be really cool. (And yes, Eric Stone, I am making time for you, though it may not be very much by your own reckoning.) Stay tuned as we get closer to the date.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happy National Beer Day!

Today is the day! April 7, 1933 was the day that Prohibition ended and we could return to producing beer. Lots of beer! But when you consider the effects of two world wars, Prohibition and the Great Depression in 30 years, it's amazing we had an industry we could bring back at all. Cheers!

Procrastinator Batch #3 - Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes

Procrastinator Batch #3
Sour, but oh so good! That is what is going through your head after drinking Procrastinator Batch #3 by Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes of Switzerland. What is really weird is that this drink is of a rare type called an eisbach. The eisbach is a brew that has been left past it point of maturation and is considered overdone. But it is served so cold that it actually has an extension to its life. So it turns out to be really sour rather than hoppy. It makes for a really interesting drink because the strength of the sour is present through out the drink.

Procrastinator does just the same thing and it is sour noticeable throughout the beer. But this drink has a lot of flavor from a mixture of fruits and berries. At first the taste is rather confused because there is so much going on, but then is starts to straighten itself out. It rights itself about half way through and then it is like liquid gold before finishing with a sour end. It is a total beverage.

Now this is when I layout the particulars for the Procrastinator Batch #3, like ABV and IBU, but these don't appear to have been any calculated for the beer. Strange, but I can accept that these will remain a mystery.

But if your brewery will carry this brand, go ahead and get a pour. If you like sours, you will not be disappointed. Think I will go back for a second one...


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Rocky Road by Smuttynose Brewers

Rocky Road by Smuttynose Brewery
Chocolate ice cream, marshmallows and walnuts. Can't ask anything more from Rocky Road ice cream manufactured by Dreyers Ice Cream of Oakland, CA since 1928. Yep, those brown and white striped containers (Edy's is the brand name on the East Coast of Dreyers) have had magical ice cream goodness in them. As a native son of Oakland, I have to say that Dreyers is a thing of beauty. Smooth, creamy, and crunchy all at the same time, Rocky Road has become one of those flavors that stands up and says "I am here. Come and get me!"

So I am going over the bill of fare at Birch & Barley preparing to order my dinner, and there it is - Rocky Road from Smuttynose Brewer of Hampton, NH. This is the first dessert stout from Smuttynose and they have picked a thing of beauty. (Still not sure that they have permission, but we will leave that one for the lawyers.) With a chocolate nib over a stout body, marshmallows and amaretto among the malt and hops, this comes pretty close to a perfect combination.

Rocky Road is a 7.3% ABV and a 25 IBU. Malt consists of North American 2-Row, Munich 10L, Carahell, C-120, Carastan, Brown Malt, Chocolate Malt, and Roasted Barley. The hops consist of Magnum (bittering) and Bravo and Sterling (flavoring). Yeast is American Ale and other flavors are cacao nibs, Fluff, and Amaretto soaked oak chips.

So glad to see Smuttynose Brewers reaching across the aisle and grabbing Rocky Road. It may be their first dessert stout, but I don't think it will be their last.