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Beer of the Week: Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

This week’s featured beer is Old Brown Dog Ale, an American Brown Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company. Old Brown Dog is the second beer that was brewed after the Smuttynose Brewery opened, and if you feel inspired while drinking this beer, feel free to take a photo of your own pooch (brown or not) and send it to Smuttynose to be posted in their Old Brown Dog Pinups section.

Tasty Mug Review

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep amber with a decent head that dissipates fairly quickly. Lots of bubbles from the bottom of the beer. No lacing.
Smell: Roasted, malty, with a bit of hop.
Taste: Really nice flavor, sweet, nutty, maybe a tad metallic, toasted/malty and some caramel, light to mild hop.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied and pretty carbonated; there’s a bit of a bite from the carbonation.
Overall:
This is a nicely balanced beer, really drinkable with a nice flavor. I could definitely drink more than one. The only con for me was it was slightly more carbonated than I generally prefer in a beer, but that certainly wouldn’t stop me from having another!

Tasty Mug Rating: 3.45 / 5

Additional Information

Style: American Brown Ale
ABV: 6.70%
IBUs: 18
Original Gravity: 15° Plato
Malts:
North American 2-Row, Munich 10L, C-120, Chocolate
Hops: Bittering: Cascade and Galena; Flowering: Willamette
Availability: Year-round
Food Pairings: Grilled meats, sausage, rib, steak
Glassware: Pint glass or mug
Calories: Not listed
Aging: Unknown

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Beer of the Week: Thirsty Dog Citra Dog (Cask)

Thirsty Dog Citra Dog at AleFestThis week’s featured brew is Citra Dog IPA from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. I happened upon this beer at Columbus AleFest this past weekend, tapped from a cask, and I’m pretty sure it was a rare find; I’m hard-pressed to find much additional information about this brew. The flavor and hops in this particular batch were nicely balanced and I’m definitely glad I was able to give it a try!

Tasty Mug Review

Appearance: Pours a pale amber with a white head.
Smell: Hoppy, sweet like citrus, and maybe grassy or like hay
Taste: Interesting taste with a strong hop presence and sweet as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and really very smooth.
Overall: I had this beer from cask at AleFest Columbus. Compared this to two other cask ales at the festival and this stomped the other two out of the competition. The flavor and hop presence were complementary and found this overall very drinkable. I’m going chance to say that I may have enjoyed this beer more due to this particular batch being cask-conditioned, I really think that added an extra element to the overall taste and mouthfeel.

Tasty Mug Rating: 3.85 / 5

Additional Information

Style: American IPA
ABV: 7.70%
IBUs: Unknown
Original Gravity: Unknown
Malts:
Not listed
Hops: Not listed
Availability: Limited (brewed once)
Food Pairings: Not listed
Glassware: Pint glass or mug
Aging: Unknown

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Columbus AleFest (2013)

AleFest - Crowd

The lively crowd at AleFest.

Yesterday I attended the 8th year of AleFest at Aladdin Shrine Center in Columbus. Similar to the previously reviewed Beerfest, AleFest is also a craft beer festival. This year they boasted more than 100 breweries and over 250 craft beers including rare draught lagers and ales, as well as cask ales. There were approximately 15 new breweries and 25 to 30 beers that weren’t available last year, including 4 to 6 gluten-free beers. The gluten-free beers were all in the same area so I did a run-by to see what was available, however I didn’t notice any that I haven’t previously sampled.

Within our first handful of samples, my friend and I targeted the three cask ales we could find at the event, Citra Dog from Thirsty Dog, Columbus IPA from Columbus Brewing Company, and Brown Stoat Stout from Weasel Boy. The Citra Dog was by far our favorite of the three, it was very smooth, hoppy, and pleasantly oaky. A few other notable beers that we ran across were the Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale, Ten FIDY, and Hoppin’ Frog / Amager (Bryghus).

My AleFest “Sampled Beers” List

AleFest Sampler

AleFest Sampler

A little about my rating system below.  I log all the “new” beers (anything I haven’t had previously or have not recorded previously) on my Beer Advocate profile, then rate them according to their rating scale of 1-5, while evaluating appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel, and overall impressions. For each beer below I’ve also listed its style, ABV, and my rating and any notes.

  • My Antonia – Dogfish Head Brewery
    American Double / Imperial Pilsner (7.50% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3
  • Founders Imperial Stout – Founders Brewing Company
    Russian Imperial Stout (10.50% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.75
  • Citra Dog – Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
    American IPA (7.70% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.85  
  • Columbus IPA – Double Dry Hopped – Columbus Brewing Company
    American IPA (6.50% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.25
  • Brown Stoat Stout – Weasel Boy Brewing Company
    American Stout (6.20% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.25
  • Great Lakes Loch Erie Scotch Ale – Great Lakes Brewing Company
    Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy (8.30% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 2.5
  • Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale – Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
    Flanders Oud Bruin (5.50% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 4.5 – This was a surprise favorite of the evening for me, especially because I don’t typically go for Sour Ales.
    Monk's Cafe - Flemish Sour Ale
      
  • AleSmith Nut Brown Ale – AleSmith Brewing Company
    English Brown Ale (5.00% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3
  • Hop Stoopid – Lagunitas Brewing Company
    American Double / Imperial IPA (8.00% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.25
  • There Will Be Black (Brewmaster’s Reserve Winter 2012) – Brooklyn Brewery
    American Black Ale (7.50% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru – Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
    Flanders Red Ale (6.00% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.25
  • Resin – Sixpoint
    American Double / Imperial IPA (9.10% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.25
  • Ten FIDY – Oskar Blues Brewing Company
    Russian Imperial Stout (10.50% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 4.5 – The Ten FIDY definitely lives up to the hype – I haven’t had it since they started distributing to Ohio but I definitely thought it was tasty and will be drinking it again!
  • 3 Monts Amber Ale On Lees – Brasserie De Saint-Sylvestre
    Bière de Garde (9.00% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3
  • Hoppin’ Frog / Amager (Bryghus) Frog Hops From Amager – Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
    American Double / Imperial Stout (7.80% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 4
  • Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout – Dark Horse Brewing Company
    American Stout (7.50% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.25
  • Baba Black Lager – Uinta Brewing Company
    Schwarzbier (4.00% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3
  • Last Chance IPA – Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
    American IPA (5.90% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3
  • Stodgy Brown – Zauber Brewing Company
    Altbier (5.20% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 2.75
  • Four C’s American Pale Ale – The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
    American Pale Ale (6.00% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3
  • St. Peter’s Cream Stout – St. Peter’s Brewery Co Ltd
    Milk / Sweet Stout (6.50% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.25
  • Matilda – Goose Island Beer Co.
    Belgian Strong Pale Ale (7.00% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 4
  • Irish Red Ale – Buckeye Lake Brewery
    Irish Red Ale (ABV Unknown)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 2.75
  • Milk Stout – Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
    Milk / Sweet Stout (7.60% ABV)
    Tasty Mug Rating: 3.25
Writing Beer Notes

Diligently writing my beer notes.

Summed Up

I’d definitely call this year’s AleFest a success. Despite the undesirable cold, snowy weather outside, the vibe inside was lively and festive, with many folks participating in the “tropical attire” theme, sporting coconut tops, leis and Hawaiian shirts. There was a variety of beer choices, definitely something for everyone, and the live entertainment by Nick Mitchell was very good as well – he was great at performing cover songs (I especially enjoyed his renditions from Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond).

Overall, I would say that AleFest wins the award for ambiance and vibe from the crowd, but Beerfest wins for their brewery and beer selection.

So what’s the bottom line? The best solution is to go to BOTH of course!

Until next year!