Got Beer?

My Big Bash and Burn

It’s hard to make lightning strike twice. Actually, it’s hard to make lightning strike at all unless you’ve got a Tesla coil and a generator the size of a Honda.


New Albion Ale

I had written a wonderful review of the New Albion Ale from New Albion Brewing Company (brewed by Samuel Adams) but then my computer completely crashed and burned on me. Hard drive dead, all work lost, and here I sit straining my memory to remember what I’d written, watching the clock tick away.


My impressions were good. The beer itself was less than extraordinary, but it’s the beer credited with starting the microbrew movement in America, so it was there before the market became saturated like the humble grains of barley that went into it. However, it was the right beer at the right time: light, well-balanced, flavorful and just right to lure the hardcore brand loyalist beer drinkers away from their rice and corn concoctions.


It was the original crossover beer, and while it might turn off some liteweights (misspelling intentional) and pale in comparison to Double IPAs, remember that in a historical context, there was nothing but pilsners, bad pilsners, and the New Albion Ale – a simple, humble pale ale that changed everything.

The beer was brewed in honor of Jack McAuliffe, the man whose simple brewery began this renaissance of beer. In the name of those who came before, raise a pint in salute.


agunitas Sucks

Normally I’d indulge in a bit of wordplay here, but since we all see the punchline coming a mile away, I’ll let it just slide on by like a speeding bus without comment.


The Lagunitas Sucks (aka the Brown Shugga Substitute) is an odd little brew from under the Californian sun. Apparently, when attempting to brew their trademark Brown Shugga, something went awry. Rather than submit to hara-kiri, they chose to soldier on, making this brew. It’s light, with a strange crispness to it that I can only assume is from hops, though there’s a strange twinge of sweetness that I can’t quite identify, making it different from most brews of its like. (If there are any other brews of its like.)


It tingles on the palate and brings to mind a bizarre sort of kiwi-like citrus note on the aftertaste. Maybe all that sun has gone to their heads, but damn if this quirky little brew isn’t tasty.


And Also…


Normally these types of events slip by me due to things like publication dates, deadlines, flying computer shrapnel and good old-fashioned laziness, but for once I’ve got the drop on them!

February 16: Beer and Cheese Pairing at Newport Storm from 5:30 to 7:00pm. Five beers versus five cheeses, all locally made. In clear defiance of convention, enjoy your beer and cheese; leave the wine for Valentine’s Day.

February 22: Brews for Books at the Adams Memorial Library in Central Falls. Local cheese, chocolate and beer. The newest Rhody brewers on the block come together to benefit the local library. Books are good!