Sam Adams Summer Ale 06/16/2011
Dutch's Take:If nothing else, this beer is a crowd pleaser. In the summer, it’s easier to find Sam Summer on tap than it is to find their signature Boston Lager.
Samuel Adams brags that this refreshing summer ale is brewed with “malted wheat, lemon peel and grains of paradise.”
In essence, this is a fancy way of saying that Sam Summer is a wheat beer, best served very cold, with a hint of citrus to it. This is Sam Adams interpretation of a Belgian white beer.
Summer ales are by nature supposed to be easy drinkers. As a result, Sam Summer is often knocked by critics for being too complicated for a summer beer. That argument makes little sense to me. At 5.2% alcohol, Sam Summer is refreshing, but savory. And it’s a wheat beer that men don’t have to put fruit in to enjoy (shame on you, Blue Moon).
If you like wheat beers, this is one of those wheat beers that is light enough to drink in the summer and it has enough brand recognition that everyone knows it. A very safe bet when filling up the cooler for a weekend barbecue.
Robo's Take: This beer is one of my all time favorites and definitely my favorite amongst the summertime brews. We’ve all seen the commercial where they boast about their ingredients including my particular favorite, grains of paradise. Now I’m not going to claim to have the slightest clue what that is but I do know one thing, a, Sam Adams Summer Ale on the beach is truly paradise. This is an extremely refreshing beer that goes down easy and sure as hell gets the job done. Bravo Sam Adams, you gave me everything I want in a summer ale and in my opinion that earns you Six Pack Sportz approval.
Robo: SPS Approved
Dutch: Respectable Draught
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Flying Fish Hopfish IPA 06/16/2011
Yesterday I made a tragic mistake. With a heart full of foolish confidence, I dusted my golf clubs off in the garage, threw them in the trunk and set out for the driving range. Needless to say, after nearly two hours of hooks, slices and a spattering of profanity and blasphemy, I was finished and I needed a drink. Exasperated, I headed into the clubhouse only to find that there were only two beers on tap: Michelob Amber Bock and Flying Fish Hopfish IPA.
Of course, this made my decision easy. Michelob is for women watching their figure, old men and guys who fantasize about drinking wine coolers on the beach with Dustin Pedroia. The Hopfish IPA and I were about go on a date.
I thought it was strange that an IPA was one of two beers on tap in the summer time, but when I tasted it, I knew why immediately. The Hopfish does not bite back like you would expect out of an IPA. The hops are bitter, but not overwhelming and this beer is a surprisingly smooth drinker. I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed this IPA, despite the hot weather.
When I went online to take a look at Hopfish, I liked this beer even more. A local beer from Cherry Hill, NJ, Flying Fish is the first "Internet Brewery" in the country. The brew was first made back in 1995 when the internet was still in its toddler years. The creator, Gene Muller, used the internet to get new ideas and feedback for his beers and he let beer loves help create designs and slogans for the company. In short, Flying Fish was a collaborative effort made possible by the internet.
As the World Wide Web grew, so did Flying Fish. The popularity of the beer took off and this "virtual microbrew" was being shipped out more and more. Today, the beer is the largest craft brew of around 20 in the state of New Jersey. The Hopfish IPA, which I have reviewed, was first released in 1997 and its fellows now include six different beers and a seasonal brew.
In short, if you're a big fan of IPAs and you're motto is "there's no such thing as too many hops," this one may not be for you (try Dogfishhead IPA), but if you like pale ales and are looking for something a little more crisp, this is a tremendous beer. This IPA is great for the summer and a hometown hero.
Alcohol: 6.2% A/V
Rating: SPS Approved
Sierra Nevada Summerfest 05/26/2011
image originated from blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com
I found this to be a very drinkable beer, but rather bland to be considered a summertime specialty. It was cool and refreshing, and I could definitely pound these bad boys all day long, but when it comes down to it there are just better ways out there to kick off your summer. I don’t see myself buying this beer again, but was not upset to have spent money on it to begin with. Drink it if someone gives it to you, but treat yourself better at home.
Most major breweries in the country have their own interpretation of a summer beer, but some are definitely better than others. In the next few weeks, Six Pack Sportz is going to review a variety of summer ales and lagers so that you can load your cooler up responsibly.
Sierra Nevada, like most other American microbrews is a beer with very humble beginnings. It first brewed in a garage in Chico, California by two guys with a home brew kit in 1980. When the company started to grow, Grossman traveled to Germany to buy the equipment necessary to expand their operation. They’ve needed to expand twice more since then and today Sierra Nevada is second only to Sam Adams in craft beer sales in the United States.
While most beers from Sierra Nevada are excellent, the Summerfest lager misses the mark. The Sierra Nevada company brews far more ales and IPAs, and they probably should stick closer to that. The Summerfest beer is a light lager which is an easy drinker, but the flavors are not nearly as powerful as their more celebrated Pale Ale. All in all, this is a fine beer, but there are definitely better summer seasonals out there.
Robo: Respectable Draught
Dutch: Respectable Draught
Dale\'s Pale Ale 05/25/2011
image originated from weblogs.baltimoresun.com
This beer is truly delicious. On top of its superior taste and drinkability I feel I would be remiss not to mention its efficiency weighing in at a hefty 6.5% ABV. If you’re looking for a truly delicious beer at a truly reasonable price there is no better option in a can (though perhaps I should reserve my judgment until I taste the rest of the Oskar Blues Brewery line up). I hate to give out the SPS seal of approval on my first ever review but I feel in this instance I am left with no choice. Kudos to the Oskar Blues Brewery on an excellent product that does not require me to leave my seat to crack it open.
Dale’s Pale Ale is one of my favorite beers because of its rich, bitter and hoppy taste, but the story behind the beer may actually be the best part of it.
In 1997 Oskar Blues Brewery owner Dale Katechis opened Oskar Blues Brew and Grill in Longmont, Colorado. Simply put, Dale is a boss. He and his buddies out in Colorado brewed a delicious pale ale in the barn next to the restaurant and started canning it because they wanted to take it to events and thought a craft beer in a can would be “hilarious.”
Actually, the first time I bought Dale’s Pale Ale, I did it as a joke too. I had just received bad news about a scholarship I applied for and I wandered down to the grocery store with my girlfriend to pick up a six pack. I saw Dale’s, turned to her and said “canned beer is for hard times.”
What started out as a joke soon turned an exciting reality for Dale, who still maintains that canned beer isn’t for hard times, it’s for all the time. In 2002, the beer began to be mass produced and distributed and the demand for it goes up every year. Despite the success of Oskar Blues, Dale still cans the beer in his aluminum lined cans, which protect the beer from sunlight and make sure that beer and metal never touch. The cans make the beers portable and allowable in places where glass is prohibited. Dale also claims that his cans are more eco-friendly (typical Colorado).
I’ll vouch for Dale. I’ve had Dale’s Pale Ale on tap and its every bit as good in a can. This beer gets the Six Pack Sports Seal of Approval because of its great taste and awesome history.
The Verdict: SPS Approved
Robo: SPS Approved
Dutch: SPS Approved
Welcome to Six Pack Sportz Beer Reviews 05/25/2011
Before we get started here allow me to explain our super sophisticated Six Pack Sportz Beer Ratings System (patent pending of course). Other sites tend to have a numerical scale, we here at Six Pack Sportz don't think this is the most effective way to rate a brew. What's the difference between a 3 and a 4 and an 8 and a 9. Piss water is piss water and great beer is great beer, our seasoned tongues and beer bellys don't feel the one point difference and we don't think yours will either. So without further ado, here is the official Six Pack Sportz rating scale.
Never Again - Under no circumstance will anyone affiliated with Six Pack Sportz ever drink this beer again. You shouldn’t even bother trying it (unless your homeless).
For our college friends – These beers are meant for those on a strict budget of Mom and Dad’s money. We here at Six Pack Sportz approve the consumption of these products, but only if you seriously can’t afford anything better, seriously.
Respectable draught – These beers are delicious but missing that special something to gain our full seal of approval. Drink these beers at will, but know there are better options out there.
SPS Approved – Drink these brews with wreckless abandon. Search as you may, there’s nothing better out there. These beers came, and saw, and conquered Robo.
A beer will only receive the coveted Six Pack Sportz Seal of Approval when both reviews are in agreement that the brew is indeed SPS Approved.
Six Pack Sportz