Sam Adams Bell in Hand Ale
This past weekend I traveled to Boston for a quick getaway. After trying to go to New York for a couple days first, Mother Nature forced us to just go directly to Boston. One of the first things we did was go get a drink, and where else to do so than the famous Bell in Hand Tavern?
The Bell in Hand has the claim to fame of being America's oldest tavern, with their first pour being in 1795. Now I'm not disputing any of this, but I feel like there are many other bars who have some version of this claim: oldest saloon, longest operating bar, etc. Either way, this place was pretty cool.
On tap, they had many different craft beers, but while in Boston, why not try a new Sam Adams? The place has their own flavor for crying out loud. It was great. It was pretty smooth, with a lot of taste, but not a lot of hoppiness. It was like drinking a piece of American history, right there out of a glass that had a logo on it - definitely not a Sam's logo though... maybe they ought to rethink of that. Beer = good, different brewer's glass = not so good.
Elysian Space Dust IPA
To IPA, or not to IPA, that is the question. As far as a good IPA is concerned, I go for "to IPA" when I can. That being said, if going for quantity and not necessarily quality, I will gladly put a dozen or so Busch Lights away.
Anyways... I have had Elysian Space Dust IPA twice now, once in a bottle and once on draft. First things first, I was pleasantly surprised that both tasted the same. For all the haters out there that seem to think that beer doesn't taste differently when out of a can, bottle, or draft, you are wrong. Go think about your life decisions.
Elysian may need to rethink their artwork, which is actually what drew me to it in the first place. It looks like a puking moon, but hey, that doesn't detract from the beer. Boasting a whopping 7% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 70 IBU (international bitterness units), this is a good middle of the road IPA. Some IPAs take me a month to finish a six pack, but not Space Dust. I can proudly say that I finished all of them in one evening (don't send me the number to call with a problem, I already have it).
Space Dust is flavorful, but still smooth and calm enough to have a couple. So, if you are looking for a nice calm IPA that still tastes like an IPA, try it out.
Three Floyds Gumballhead
I recently decided to try out homebrewing. There's just something to be said about taking a bunch of ingredients and making it into something as delicious as precious beer. (Bonus points when it actually tastes good)
My first batch was so-so, but my second really turned out well. It is a wheat ale recipe from Great Fermentations in Indianapolis, Amarillo Face. They have a ton of recipes, with some being modeled after great beers from great breweries. Amarillo Face is based on Three Floyd's Gumballhead.
If you are from the Midwest (Indiana in particular) and have ever been to a bar with craft beers on tap, you have most likely seen Gumballhead. Gumballhead is a staple of Midwest craft beer, and I had to get a fresh six pack to compare my beer to. Popping that first one open reminded me how versatile and delicious this beer is. At 5.2% ABV and only 35 IBU, it's super smooth but full of flavor. It's made from Amarillo hops, hence the name of my "knock off" recipe.
Gumballhead is delicious and always a good choice, but my homebrewed version was even better (in my humble opinion at least). Either way, this review is on Gumballhead, and it's quite delicious, so give it a try.