Monday, August 21, 2017

Founders Green Zebra

ChadPolenz (1828) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 21, 2017

DOC: 7/26/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 29 Fruit Beer (base style: 27 Historical Beer: Gose)

AROMA: Nose is a bit muted, but equal parts Gose character (sea breeze, lactic acid) and watermelon. The fruit seems rather faux; akin to watermelon ice cream or candy. Slight sourdough bread character. No hops. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Golden hue (5-7 SRM); slightly hazy. Moderate white froth mostly dissipates. 2/3

FLAVOR: Light watermelon fruit flavor up front along with a moderate tartness. Fruit seems rather faux; it is in no way juicy. At the apex, the salt becomes apparent which is hard to ignore, but milder than most examples of the style. Sourness follows immediately and is quite strong with a clean lactic acid taste that lingers. There is a brief, mild watermelon candy-like flavor in the aftertaste as well. Otherwise, dry clean finish. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light+ body; high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing. Probably sessionable for some drinkers at 4.6% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Fruit character is a bit mild and faux, but balance is fairly close. Works better if considered as a gose with a bonus flavor than a fruit beer. 6/10


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Modelo Especial (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

ChadPolenz (1827) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 20, 2017

DOC: 4/23/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 2A International Pale Lager

AROMA: Moderately low base malt with hint of sweetness. Faint trace of spicy hops. Clean fermentation. Nose is mild overall, but inoffensive. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Gold color (5-7) SRM. Clear body; bubbly. Small, white foam mostly dissipates. 3/3

FLAVOR: Low grainy malt sweetness with a bit of a cracker flavor. No adjunct taste is apparent (most likely an all-malt recipe). Becomes a bit sweeter as it warms. Hops are low with a peppery flavor and soft, dry bitterness. Clean fermentation profile. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; medium-high carbonation. Refreshing with a clean, crisp finish. Quaffable and sessionable at 4.5% 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not a very interesting beer, but it’s mostly to-spec and inoffensive. 6/10


NOTE: See my 2009 original review here:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bell's Oberon Ale (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

ChadPolenz (1827) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 15, 2017

DOC: 5/24/17

2015 BJCP Category: 1D American Wheat Beer

AROMA: General wheat/sourdough bread scent but with no distinctive character. Not sweet. Not much hop presence. Slight tang. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Extremely hazy orange body (7-9 SRM). Fairly large off-white foam retains and laces well enough. 2/3

FLAVOR: First half is mostly malty-bready flavor. Not especially sweet, or even robust for that matter. Some orange citrus flavor emerges as the apex akin to sweet orangepeel (though likely due to American hops). Low bitterness with minor spicy bite. Brief starchy aftertaste but otherwise clean. Palette is a bit mild even for this style. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-high carbonation. Texture is very soft and creamy with smooth finish. Refreshing. A bit too potent for the style (and consumer expectations) at 5.8% ABV. Should be more sessionable. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Probably the Godfather of the style, though not exactly the best example of it anymore. 7/10


Monday, August 14, 2017

Can you help me find some of these obscure beers?

As you may know, I'm reviewing beers according to the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines in order (that's the plan, at least). The problem is, some of the more obscure/niche styles are very difficult to come by in America, ESPECIALLY here in Florida! So if you have access to any of these commercial examples of these styles and you'd be willing to donate them to me I'd be very grateful! Trades are also a possibility. I'd be willing to comp postage depending on the circumstance.

Also, if you'd like me to review your homebrew to BJCP specs you can send that to me as well. I can be reached at

Here's the styles I need for now:
3A. Czech Pale Lager
Commercial Examples: Březňák Světlé výčepní pivo, Notch
Session Pils, Pivovar Kout na Šumavě Koutská 10°, Únětické
pivo 10°

3B. Czech Premium Pale Lager
Commercial Examples: Bernard Sváteční ležák, Gambrinus
Premium, Kout na Šumavě Koutská 12°, Pilsner Urquell,
Pivovar Jihlava Ježek 11°, Primátor Premium, Únětická 12°

3C. Czech Amber Lager
Commercial Examples: Bernard Jantarový ležák, Pivovar
Vysoký Chlumec Démon, Primátor polotmavý 13°, Strakonický
Dudák Klostermann polotmavý ležák 13°

3D. Czech Dark Lager
Commercial Examples: Bohemian Brewery Cherny Bock
4%, Budweiser Budvar B:Dark tmavý ležák, Devils Backbone
Morana, Kout na Šumavě Koutský tmavý speciál 14°, Notch
Černé Pivo, Pivovar Březnice Herold, U Fleků Flekovský tmavý
13° ležák

5A. German Leichtbier
Commercial Examples: Beck’s Light, Bitburger Light,
Mahr’s Leicht, Paulaner Münchner Hell Leicht, Paulaner
Premium Leicht

7B. Altbier
Commercial Examples: Bolten Alt, Diebels Alt, Füchschen
Alt, Original Schlüssel Alt, Schlösser Alt, Schumacher Alt,
Uerige Altbier

7C. Kellerbier

Kellerbier: Pale Kellerbier

Commercial Examples: (local) Paulaner, Paulaner
Brauhaus, Hofbrau, Tegernseer Tal. (bottled) Ayinger
Kellerbier, Hacker-Pschorr Munchner Kellerbier Anno 1417,
Hofbrau Munchner Sommer Naturtrub, Wolnzacher Hell

Kellerbier: Amber Kellerbier

Commercial Examples: (local) Greif, Eichhorn,
Nederkeller, Hebendanz (bottled) Buttenheimer Kaiserdom
Kellerbier, Kulmbacher Monchshof Kellerbier, Leikeim
Kellerbier, Löwenbräu Kellerbier, Mahr’s Kellerbier, St.
Georgen Kellerbier, Tucher Kellerbier Naturtrub

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Genesee Cream Ale (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

ChadPolenz (1827) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 13, 2017

DOC: 6/7/17

2015 BJCP Category: 1C Cream Ale

AROMA: Corn-forward nose though sweet like cereal. Base malt is present, but subtle. No hop presence (none needed). Clean fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Very clear golden color (4-5 SRM). Sparkling. Fairly large white foamy head retains and laces quite well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Mild palette overall, though corn and base malt are about even in intensity. Slightly sweet cereal-like taste. Perhaps a background note of DMS (seems to have a minor oily/metallic note - but is easy to ignore). Faint spicy hop flavor and bitterness to offer balance. Clean dry aftertaste. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing. Easily sessionable during warmer weather despite being 5.1%[?] ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: While not as exciting as some of the craft interpretations of the style, this is a progenitor of the style and still exemplifies it many decades later. 9/10


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Coors Original Banquet Beer

ChadPolenz (1827) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 12, 2017

BBD: 11/13/17

2015 BJCP Category: 1B American Lager

AROMA: Genuine barley smell with slight sweetness. Corn cereal grist adds subtle sweetness. Faintest trace of earthy hops. Clean fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Light yellow/golden hue (2-4 SRM); brilliant clarity. Large white foam mostly dissipates. 3/3

FLAVOR: Lightly sweet taste of authentic barley, though no specialty malt whatsoever. Corn adjunct imparts additional sweetness, but seems more of a garnish than a main course. Clean fermentation character. Only minute bitterness and no distinctive hop flavor (though none needed). Clean dry finish. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light[ish] body; high carbonation. Refreshing and highly quaffable. Slight carbonic bite. Sessionable for most people at 5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Exactly what an American adjunct lager should be. Not delicious but definitely a shining example of the style. 9/10


Friday, August 11, 2017

Coors Light (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

ChadPolenz (1827) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 19, 2017

BBD: 11/6/2017

2015 BJCP Category: 1A American Light Lager

AROMA: Lightly sweet corn cereal character (though far from cloying). General base malt. Aroma is fairly mild overall, but clean fermentation. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Pale straw hue; very clear and effervescent. Moderate white foam mostly dissipates. 3/3

FLAVOR: Moderately-low corn cereal taste which is somewhat sweet. A general, light base malt presence. Hops are barely noticeable, but detectable in the form of spicy/peppery taste and weak bitterness. Clean, dry finish. Clean fermentation character. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; high carbonation. Slightly refreshing, clean aftertaste. Highly quaffable. Sessionable at 4.2% ABV. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though not what I prefer to drink, this is certainly a classic example of the style. 9/10


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sierra Nevada Stout (2017 re-review)

ChadPolenz (1826) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 9, 2017

DOB: 5/9/17

2015 BJCP Category:20B American Stout

AROMA: Strong hop presence of pine, resin and slight citrus (seems a bit too hoppy for the style). Moderate dark malt presence with some coffee character (I’d prefer more maltiness). 8/12

APPEARANCE: Very dark brown hue (39-43 SRM); large tan frothy foam. Retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: High hop flavor and bitterness throughout. Citrusy up front with more dank resiny/piney flavor on the back end. Base malt is dark but not particularly sweet, though there is a coffee and roasted malt taste on the finish. Seems a bit too hoppy for the style; needs more malt flavor. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium-low carbonation. Smooth, though hops and roasted malts leave a slightly drying aftertaste. Feels a bit lighter than 5.8% ABV. No alcohol presence. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A West Coast style stout bordering on Black IPA. Good, but is it really to style? 6/10


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fuller's London Porter (2017 re-review)

ChadPolenz (1826) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 8, 2017

BBD: 8/15/17

2015 BJCP Category: 13C English Porter

AROMA: Moderately sweet nose with notes of milk chocolate and caramel. Dark malt, but nothing roasty. Slight butter note. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Dark brown with light brown highlights (25-35 SRM). Clear body. Small white foam which retains and laces pretty well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Plenty of brown/dark malt throughout. Milk chocolate flavor initially, though transitions into a coffee/roasted malt taste on the backend. Bitterness is moderate and offers balance. Slight caramel and nutty tastes on the finish and into the aftertaste. Palette is a bit simple, though age of bottle may be cause for this. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body and carbonation. Smooth texture; easy to drink. Feels much lighter than 5.4% ABV, and tempting as a session beer. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Enjoyable and fun to drink. Usually world class when fresh. 8/10


NOTE: Read my 2012 original review here:

Sunday, August 6, 2017

North Peak Thunder Oat IPA

ChadPolenz (1826) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 6, 2017

DOB: 6/7/17

2015 BJCP Category: 21B Specialty IPA

AROMA: Moderately strong American hops (tropical fruit; herbal/spicy). Generic base malt presence, no specialty (none needed). 9/12

APPEARANCE: Dark maize/pale orange hue (6-8 SRM). Extremely cloudy body. Small, white foam. 2/3

FLAVOR: Tropical fruit taste up front followed by moderate bitterness (more dry than dank). Finishes with fairly strong herbal/spicy/peppery sensation and bitterness. Oat imparts subtle sweetness, slight variation on the usual base malt character but not especially memorable or innovative. Slight lemon drop flavor (oxidation?) 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-low carbonation. Smooth texture. Feels much lighter than 6.7% ABV. No alcohol presence at all. Hops linger, but are not astringent. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Satisfying, to-spec IPA that’s a little different than most. 7/10


Old Rasputin vertical vs. horizontal aging experiment (Round 1 of 4)

Does it matter if you store beer vertically or horizontally? Is one method better than the other? That's what I'm trying to find out by doing this experiment in which I'm aging two 4-packs of North Coast Brewing's "Old Rasputin" imperial stout in my fridge: one vertically and one horizontally.

We'll compare them at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years of aging to see how they progress over time.

the article that inspired this experiment:

Try this at home for yourself! Cheers!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Morland Old Speckled Hen (2017 re-review)

ChadPolenz (1825) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 5, 2017


2015 BJCP Category: 11C Strong Bitter

AROMA: Fairly sweet malty nose with caramel/toffee notes. Typical British yeast esters create for light fruity character. Low earthy/floral hops. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Deep copper hue, slightly magenta. (17-25 SRM). Mostly clear body. Large white froth due to the nitro widget. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly mild palette overall; notes of toffee/caramel are present, but subdued. Slight marmalade toasty flavor as it finishes. Minor earthy hop flavor and bitterness. Minor fruity yeast esters. Palette is pretty well balanced. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; low carbonation though extremely smooth due to nitrogen widget. Malty aftertaste. Good afternoon beer at only 5%. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: British pub-style beer for sure, mostly to-spec; though far from amazing. 7/10


Friday, August 4, 2017

Kulmbacher Mönchshof Schwarzbier

ChadPolenz (1825) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 4, 2017

DOB: 2623412?

2015 BJCP Category: 8B Schwarzbier

AROMA: Strong caramel/confectionery aroma (slight butterscotch). Slight black licorice (probably dark malt that’s aged) with minor sherry component. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Dark brown the black hue (22-38 SRM). Large tan frothy retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly strong malty sweetness with confectionery flavors of caramel, butterscotch and toffee. Some dark/roasted malt provides some balance. Hops are low with earthy/minty flavor. Bitterness is very low. Clearly an old bottle, but has held up well. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and carbonation. Smooth texture; slightly sweet aftertaste. High drinkable and sessionable at 4.9% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though likely old, still quite delectable and fun to drink. Alternative to your usual dessert beer. 7/10


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mikkeller Hallo Ich Bin Berliner Weisse Apricot

ChadPolenz (1824) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 3, 2017

BBD: 3/1/18

2015 BJCP Category: 29A Fruit Beer (base style: 23A Berliner Weisse)

AROMA: Fairly strong lactic acidity along with moderate apricot fruit aroma. Wheat comes through as sourdough bread. No hops (none needed). 9/12

APPEARANCE: Pale straw hue (1-3 SRM); very hazy body with spastic carbonation. Extremely large moussy froth retains and laces well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Firm wheat base combined with bacteria gives it a sourdough bready character. Lemonade-like flavor and tartness. Sourness is stronger on the finish, but never especially strong. Apricot is virtually non-existant, but palette is fine overall. 11/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; high carbonation. Crisp, juicy acidity. Refreshing with slight tart aftertaste. Highly quaffable and sesionable at 3.7% ABV. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Pedestrian sour beer with little fruity flavor (this is most likely due to age of the can). 6/10


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Destihl Wild Sour Series: Here Gose Nothin'

ChadPolenz (1823) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUL 30, 2017

DOC: 6/5/17

2015 BJCP Category: 27 Historical Beer: Gose

AROMA: Strong acidic character akin to lemon juice. Some salty sea breeze scent in the background. Very faint coriander. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Light copper hue (6-9 SRM). Mostly clear body. Small white soapy foam dissipates. No efflorescence. 1/3

FLAVOR: Strong sourness and acidity throughout. An underlying taste of lemon juice give it a citrusy quality. Coriander imparts slight orange flavor and spice on the finish (though fairly subtle). Salt is moderately-low but enhances the refreshing quality of the palette. No hop flavor or bitterness but none needed. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body and carbonation. Little tepid for the style, though crisp and refreshing. Bone dry finish. Feels lighter and more overtly sessionable than 5.2% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Has the basics of a gose for sure, but a little too simple and overly sour. 6/10


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Bavik Super Pils

ChadPolenz (1822) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUL 29, 2017

BBD: 1/6/17

2015 BJCP Category: 5D German Pils

AROMA: Moderate spicy Noble hop presence. Slightly skunky. Touch of lemon and honey as well. General pale malt scent with indication of sweetness. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Straw yellow hue (2-4 SRM); very clear body. Small, white foam. 3/3

FLAVOR: Medium Noble hop peppery/spicy flavor and bitterness right away. Moderately sweet malt base with a honey/lemon flavor quickly follows. Well-attenuated, clean fermentation. Hops linger momentarily, otherwise the aftertaste is clean. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium carbonation. Refreshing and crisp. Easily sessionable at 5.2% ABV, especially in warmer months. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Mostly to spec for the style, just a little mild. Fun and easy to drink, though. 7/10


Friday, July 28, 2017

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA (2017 re-review)

ChadPolenz (1821) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUL 28, 2017

BBD: 8/21/17

2015 BJCP Category: 21A American IPA

AROMA: Moderately strong orange and lemon citrus (though I suspect the lemon character may be oxidation). Slight candy/floral character, too. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Rusty copper-orange hue (9-11 SRM). Large creamy beige head. Retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Moderately-strong orange and lemon citrus (lemon flavor very likely due to oxidations). Some floral hop flavor as well. Bitterness doesn’t seem as strong as advertised (75 IBUs) - could be due to age. Malt base creates for a general sweetness, but nothing specific. Slight lingering citrus pith and faint astringency. No alcohol presence. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; medium carbonation. Surprisingly smooth creamy texture. No alcohol warmth for 7.5% ABV; but doesn’t feel like such a big beer. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: When fresh this can be world class, but a typical bottle is just plain good. 7/10

 NOTE: Read and watch my 2010 original review here:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale

ChadPolenz (1821) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUL 26, 2017

DOC: 7/6/17

2015 BJCP Category: 18B American Pale Ale

AROMA: Fairly strong American hops with tropical, melon and citrus fruit aromas along with slight grassy character. Malt base is evident but has no specialty character. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Rusty orange hue (9-11 SRM) over a cloudy body. Moderate white foamy head, retains and laces pretty well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Tropical fruit flavor dominates the palette. Melon and citrus fruit flavors are also present in the background. Bitterness is moderate though a tad strong for an APA. Slight grassy/spicy sensation on the second half. Malt base works as backbone, but not especially sweet nor any specialty taste. Palette overall is hop-forward, but not wildly unbalanced. No alcohol presence. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and carbonation. Smooth texture. Quite refreshing while in the mouth, though there is a slight drying aftertaste. Easily quaffable at 5.5% ABV. Ideal for summer. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: An American hophead’s pale ale. Not perfect, but pretty darn close. 9/10


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Einbecker Brauherren Premium Pils

ChadPolenz (1820) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUL 25, 2017


2015 BJCP Category: 5D German Pils

AROMA: Strong skunky smell. Mostly from lightstrike, possibly from Noble hops. Lightly sweet grainy malt base is present as well. Clean fermentation profile. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Brilliantly clear white gold (2-5 SRM). Large white foamy head. Retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Medium spicy/peppery Noble hops and minor bitterness. Surprisingly sweet malt taste on the backend with slight graham cracker flavor. Lightstrike was immediately evident on the first swig only. Palette pretty well balanced (though lack of hop dominance could be due to age of bottle). Aftertaste is a little sweet. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body with medium-high carbonation. Quite crisp, but slightly slick texture. Very sessionable at 4.9% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Definitely on-point for a German Pils. Not bad considering old bottle. Probably amazing fresh. 7/10


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale

ChadPolenz (1819) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JUL 23, 2017

DOC: 6/2/17

2015 BJCP Category: 34B Mixed-Style Beer (base styles: 5B Kolsch, 23A Berliner Weisse; 27 Historical - Gose)

AROMA: Moderately-strong sea breeze character with underlying sweet lime presence. Faint sourdough bread scent. Acidic component prominent, but complements everything. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Pale orange hue (5-7 SRM); very hazy body. Large off-white foam completely evaporates. 2/3

FLAVOR: Lightly sweet authentic lime peel/juice flavor immediately. Underlying sourness throughout becomes very acidic on the finish with some tartness. Subtle coriander and salt spice flavors. Moderate bready/doughy malt flavor. No hops (none needed). 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; medium-high carbonation. Very crisp; momentarily refreshing. Tart acidic aftertaste lingers briefly before finishing clean. Feels a tad lighter than 4.9% ABV, but still easily sessionable as is. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Essentially a gose with lime. Nice taste and easy to drink, but not amazing. 7/10