Mike’s Harder Watermelon by Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co.

What do cigarettes, nasty bathrooms, questionable hot dogs, and macro beers all have in common? No, it’s not that they all taste the same. It’s that they are all typically found in a gas station convenience store, a place you wouldn’t usually go to if you’re searching for the next best craft beer. And though that’s often true, what you also wouldn’t expect to find is a malt beverage worth seeking out. However, next to all those 40 oz. King Cobras  and a few steps away from the candy bars, sits the latest flavor of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  The flavor variations are as numerous as the times you’ve stopped to get gas, and are more delicious than pretty much anything InBev has to offer. Join us this week as we sample a Mike’s Harder Watermelon, and we’ll attempt to smash your expectations when it comes to your next visit for fuel…

Mom’s night out, beer me a stout…

Have you ever offered to watch all the kids with your buddy so your wives could have a “mom’s night out”, only to realize after doing a quick headcount of the children that the number was somehow 9?  I did, and here’s the story about it…

Dad-Beer-MugProbably as a thank you to our wives for letting us hit up the last beer sampling together, Zack and I intended to return the favor by letting them head out for the evening while we attempted to corral them to the dinner table and entertain them for a few hours.  Did we sample a few cold ones that evening between the screams, diaper changes, and fights of our kids?  C’mon…we’re the Hopostles…what do you think?  That being said, rather than talk about one particular beer that we sampled that night, I’d rather talk about one of our favorite breweries in Ohio and feature 9 of our favorite beers from them in honor of our 9 rugrats. Think watching that many kids is hard?  Try narrowing down the list of Fat Head’s beers that you love to only 9…now that’s truly a challenge.

Hop Juju–one of our favorite beers of all time, and the closest thing to eating a hop-flavored pine cone that you’re gonna find.  A true hop lover’s dream, boasting 100 IBU’s and a 9% ABV that will leave you craving the next one.  But stock up when you get the chance, cause this Double IPA is only released in February and seems to sell out quicker than you can say, “Stop fighting with your brother!”

Hop Stalker–another gem of a hop forward American IPA, citrusy in flavor and like a son to Daddy Juju himself

Head Hunter–more IBU’s and a slightly higher ABV make this a little more bitter tasting of an American IPA than Hop Stalker, but being available year round makes it one we pick time and time again when sent out to “grab a couple groceries”

fh_cleve_orange286Trail Head–a pale ale that you’d think was trying to play dress up in an IPA’s clothes, its crisp and hop-forward taste will make you want to hit the trail for a run…to the fridge for another one

Bonehead Red–not just a name your kids call each other anymore, this hoppy red ale will make you appreciate amber-colored beers in a whole new way

Holly Jolly–a yearly winter warmer that’s got just enough spices to help you get through wrapping all those presents…think of it as a gift to your taste buds for all your hard work

Pimp My Sleigh–a Belgian Strong Ale that packs a high enough ABV (10.5%) to keep Santa warm on the sleigh ride to your house

Shakedown Stout–whether it’s the wife shaking her head at you or your kids shaking you down for more money from your wallet, this Imperial Stout will keep you smiling through the whole ordeal

Spooky Tooth–go ahead and show the kids the scary movie they wanna see while you sip this seasonal imperial pumpkin ale, a perfect partner to the colder days of October in Ohio

So, there you have it.  9 beers in honor of all our kids.  Fat Head’s brewery always keeps us coming back wanting more, which I guess is the same philosophy we both had when it came to deciding just how big our families were gonna be…

BEEResponsible,
the Hopostles

Tequila Barrel Aged Turbo Shandy by Hoppin’ Frog Brewery

On May 5, 1862, the Battle of Puebla took place between a ragtag army from Mexico and the French Army, led by none other than Napoleon himself. The victory for Mexico led to an annual celebration known as Cinco de Mayo, and has been celebrated with parties, dancing, and cerveza ever since. What does all this have to do with two gringos like us? Absolutely nothing, other than to give us another excuse to hoist a cold one. Watch us try a tequila barrel-aged shandy from Hoppin’ Frog, and judge for yourself if it’s a worthy enough beer to honor the men who took down Napoleon…

A pint a day keeps the doctor away…

medicinecabinetFinally, a medical study we can get behind.

A few researches at Greenwich University in the UK have found evidence that beer is an effective pain killer; even more so than the generic pain reliever in your medicine cabinet.

We know what you’re thinking. “Duh”. And you’re right. We’ve all been running our own personal case studies for years. For every thumb that feels the strike of a hammer, for every shin that catches that stupid coffee table, for every hand that can’t get out of the way of that car door…there is almost always a cold one to follow.

We’d love to hear your feedback! Leave us a comment about a time where you used beer to ease your physical pain.

And be sure to check out the full article from Tucson News Now.

Lemon Meringue Pie by Crafted Artisan Meadery

It’s a well-known fact that pairing a food with an alcoholic beverage, if done correctly, can greatly enhance the pleasure of the experience.  A medium rare steak with a glass of red wine, a bubbly saison with some pungent cheese, and a rich stout with a sweet dessert are just a few of the many combinations that come to mind.  That being said, what if you combine a whole mouthful of food with a beverage?  Wouldn’t that make the experience even better?  Is there a such thing as “too much of a good thing?”  Watch us sample a mead by Crafted Artisan Meadery called Lemon Meringue Pie, and we’ll attempt to answer those questions while completely throwing the rule of not talking with your mouth full out the window…

Rhinegeist Brewery

rhinegeistAddress: 1910 Elm St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Phone: (513) 381-1367

Website: www.rhinegeist.com

Flagship Beers: Truth, Cougar, Zen, Panther

Series Beers: Experimental DIPA

Other Notable Beers: Ink, Gramps, Mushhushshu, Saber Tooth Tiger, Hustle, Pure Fury, Dad, Streaker, Fiction, Puma

The Down Low: What is it about drinking beer on an open roof top that seems to enhance the experience exponentially?  Maybe it’s the summer breeze, coupled with the music and friends that you’re gathered with that make it feel like it’s gonna be a fun night in downtown Cincinnati.  Or maybe it’s the fact that every time you go back, the beer selection is new and exciting, with names that are simple and to the point, yet offer very little insight into what style they are until you try them.  Or maybe it’s just because Rhinegeist has one of the coolest looking logos out there, as the “Ghost of the Rhine” always remains blank-staring and stoic, despite the ever-changing myriad of colors and patterns around him…

RB out
Go into any craft beer store in Ohio that carries a decent selection and you’re almost guaranteed to see at least a few different types of Rhinegeist on the shelf.  They make so many different styles of beers, and pump them out year-round at such a furious pace, that it’s often difficult to keep up.  In fact, without the aid of the Untappd app, we’re pretty sure that most of the time, we wouldn’t remember which ones we’ve had and which ones we haven’t.  Most of the more common styles such as the IPA’s, pale ales, blonde ales, etc. will be found in cans, our favorite of which is Truth, due to its hoppy and citrusy character notes.  However, some of the other styles, such as the stouts, DIPA’s, TIPA’s, and barrel-aged beers, will be found in 22 oz. bombers.  They are a bit pricier, but are worth a try if you’re looking to branch out a bit.  They even produce a few ciders, with some hoppy and dry options to satisfy varying palates.

Situated in the historic Over-the-Rhine district of Cincinnati, the Rhinegeist brewery is located in an unassuming spot.  After driving past it once without seeing the vertical sign hanging out front, my wife and I were still unsure if we were at the right place, even after parking and beginning the descent up a narrow stairwell in what felt more like a parking garage than a brewery.  However, there was no mistaking it a few seconds later, as the stairs deposited us in a large, open room that had 2 different bars, huge fermenting tanks guarded by the ever-present ghost, and a smattering of tables and corn hole boards.

RB rooftopWith a vibe that could be best described as “industrial,” it seems to fit the downtown area perfectly.  You get the feeling that you’re in an old warehouse, yet the mood is more of a laid-back college party than anything else.  After a couple flights of beer and a few merch purchases for Zack and myself, we finished up on the rooftop bar which overlooks the surrounding neighborhood.  If the weather is nice when you visit, make sure to check this out as well, as the bar outside has a few other beer options that the inside bars didn’t have.

With a city like Cincinnati (which, by the way, hosts the second largest Oktoberfest in the world, second only to Munich itself), you’re sure to find food and beer options galore to explore.  Just make sure that Rhinegeist brewery is on your list…you don’t want that ghost staring you down if you don’t.

BEEResponsible,
the Hopostles

Manhattan Ale by Southern Tier Brewing Company

Proving yet again that the possible ingredients in a beer are endless, Southern Tier’s Manhattan Ale is the first of their Barrel Works Series, and it travels down yet another avenue of innovation–a beer designed to taste like a mixed drink. The Manhattan–no longer being pigeon-holed as just your great-great-grandfather’s favorite drink to order at the local speakeasy, this cherry juice-infused ale has been bourbon barrel aged to give that distinctive mixed drink flavor a little more flair and pinache. At just over 14% ABV, watch us sample a concoction that would be sure to peak old Grandad’s interest if he were still around today…

Phase 1: The Dream

image2

Taking an idea for a name that literally came from a dream and making it into a reality is no small feat. And yet, as we met the founders of Headtrip Brewery, we happened upon just that. With looks of excitement, beer recipes in hand, and dreams of taking their home brewing to the next level for a bigger audience, Headtrip Brewery is now in the beginning stages of opening a small brewery in Stow, OH.

Never personally knowing anyone who has opened their own microbrewery, we were intrigued when this opportunity presented itself to us to explore more of what goes into the process from the start. We will be following this brewery first hand, offering pictures, getting to know the brewers more closely, and giving our readers a bit more insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

Phase 2 will be coming along soon and will focus more on the brewers themselves and their backgrounds, as well as the brewing equipment itself. Phase 3 will complete our journey, as we see the brewery open its doors to its first customers and the guys reveal which brews they have chosen as their flagship beers. Though the timeline is not set in stone yet, we hope to move along in this process by year’s end, offering our readers something new and exciting to see as well.

For a bit more information on Headtrip Brewery, click on the link below to read a short article that was featured in Ohio.com’s beer blog.

http://www.ohio.com/blogs/the-beer-blog/the-beer-blog-1.273124/headtrip-brewery-in-stow-owes-its-name-to-a-dream-1.754068

BEEResponsible,

the Hopostles

Rabbit Rabbit by 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Zack is officially back, and the Rabbid Rabbit donning the label of a saison by 3 Floyds Brewing was hopping at the chance for a reason to be in the spotlight and welcome him back. What better time to grant his request than on this special Easter Sunday, a day when the bunny ears and pastel eggs are a perfect complement to the beautiful spring weather that was practically begging us to film outside.  Though the wind made the audio less than stellar at times, don’t blame the rabbit; it may make him even crazier than he already is…

Fruit beers: innovation or abomination?

fruit beer

The 4 main ingredients required to make beer are grain, yeast, hops and water. On that, we can all agree. But what is acceptable to add to this simple recipe depends entirely on who you ask.

To the purists, less is more. To everyone else, well…variety is the spice of life.

Brewers have responded to their consumers emphatically, and continue to push the boundaries of their craft. Take a stroll down the beer aisle and you’ll find everything from peanut butter porters to ghost chile ales and just about anything in between.

Fruit beers make up a significant portion of these flavor variations, and in a recent article from the Denver Post, brewers were asked about fruit’s place in the craft beer market.

So what about you? How do you feel about fruit beers? Innovation or abomination?

You’re among friends here, and we’d love to hear your thoughts…