Monthly Archives: April 2011

Ovila – A Successful Collaboration

So, Sierra Nevada Brewery makes another successful beer and it’s sooo delicious!  The Ovila Dubbel is a collaboration beer between Sierra Nevada and the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux.  My husband popped open a bottle of this tonight to share with my brother and sister-in-law and we all had a different opinion of what we tasted.    I said anise, but other comments were apple, fruit, nuts, liquor and a comparison to a regular brown ale.  One thing we did agree on is it has a rich, smooth taste and we’d have it again!  Cheers!


It’s not a beer, but certainly “Grand”

Okay, so it’s not a beer cap, but it is a cap none the less.  When I’m feeling “beered out” I love to freshen my palate with a small snifter glass of this nectar of the gods!  Grand Marnier is a French liquor that is flavored with oranges.  It’s perfect to mix in desserts, alcoholic concoctions and to even drink alone (which is how I prefer it).  Now don’t be fooled if someone tells you that Triple Sec or Cointreau taste the same as Grand Marnier – yes, they all have an orange flavor – but none are as rich and balanced as Grand Marnier.  This liquor may be more expensive than the other orange liquors, but it’s so worth it.

The next time you need a break from beer and would like a little dessert in a glass, remember this delicious find!

A Deep Beer Thought from Jack Handy

No Cap, but I assure you I drank plenty – and I found a great beer quote for today:

Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink 
I feel ashamed. 
Then look into the glass and think about the workers
in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. 
If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work 
and their dreams would be shattered. 

Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink 
this beer and let their dreams come true than be 
selfish and worry about my liver." 

-Jack Handy

Spaten – Enjoy it on tap if you can!

Spaten Brewery in Munich makes one of the “original” delicious Oktoberfest beers.  At first glance, you’ll think – this can’t possibly taste like a bold, malty Oktoberfest – but believe me, looks are deceiving.   This light colored brew packs a full mouth feel and rich malt flavors that assure you – it’s a beer worth a celebration.

Just a note of warning, Spaten comes in green glass bottles, which most beer lovers know can cause some “skunk factor”.  I’ve had a few bottles that were totally skunked, and had it been my first time trying the beer I probably wouldn’t have tried it again.  Get Spaten Oktoberfest on tap if you can, because it really is a wonderful concoction!

Long Hammer – just doesn’t do much for me.

While I’m mostly a malt girl, I do enjoy a pale ale here and there – but this IPA leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  The hop taste is just overwhelming and way to bitter for my liking.  They use Willimette and Cascade Hops in this IPA, and I can only assume that I don’t like the Willimette Hop flavor, as I love Cascade (one of my favorite pales, Sierra Nevada, uses Cascade Hops).

On a nicer note, I have loved Redhook Brewery for years.  If, like me, you end up not liking this Long Hammer, here are some of my favorites from the brewery that are sure to tickle your tastebuds:  ESB, Winterhook and Late Harvest Ale.   Some of my friends think this is a tried and true IPA and they actually choose it when picking up a six-pack, so please don’t rule it out if you like the those extra hops.

Gordon Biersch loosely translates to “Good Beer”…

Okay, so it doesn’t REALLY translate into “Good Beer”, but you get the point.  Gordon Biersch may sound like a German brewery, and they are known for making German style Ales, but their breweries/beer are actually found here in the U.S. – lucky us!

The Germans have a brewing law, that was initiated in 1516, called the Reinheitsgebot, which was sometimes called the “German Beer Purity Law”.  This law states you can only brew German beer using four ingredients:  water, barley, hops and yeast.  Gordon Biersch remains true to German beer and its culture by also following this “law” and even using yeast from Germany.

My favorite beer from this brewery is their Märzen.  If you’re not familiar with the Märzen style, it’s a little lighter than the Oktoberfest, but still rich and flavorful. It has an awesome maltiness that I love, and while there is a great hop flavor, the little hint of caramel and sweetness mellow that out.

Gordon Biersch makes a large variety of other beers that are equally delicious:  the Maibock, Winterbock and Festbier, just to name a few.  Cheers!

Leffe – The Brown you can’t buy in the U.S.!

When my husband and I first started dating, he raved about this beer that he had while backpacking through Europe.  In a small, very old brewery in Brugge, he stubbled upon Leffe Brown.  It was one of the most delicious beers he had tasted and actually started his quest for “good beers” – straying away from your run of the mill, random domestics.

We searched for this beer from state to state but, much to our despair, were told that they only sold the Leffe Blonde in the United States and that the Brown was not imported here.    I so wanted to try this beer my husband raved about, and he longed to have a taste again of what turned him on to craft brewing.

Fast forward a couple of years, to when we honeymooned on the Island of St. Maarten.  What a beautiful island filled with lots of different tastes and cultures!  One evening we stumbled upon a small German restaurant (yes, a German restaurant on a warm vacation island), but we love German food and German beer – so it was certainly a find!  Inside, the small bar/eatery boasted a number of delicious beers, one being the long sought after Leffe Brown.  We drank the four beers the kind owner had on hand, and she even ordered us another four to pick up a couple of days later.  It’s rich, chocolaty malt and has that distinctive Belgium beer taste.  It’s been a while since I’ve had it, but I can remember that it was wonderful.

So, I bet you’re wondering where this particular cap (or bottle) came from, eh?  Our friend was recently in Europe, knew our story about this legendary beer, found it and brought us one back. What can we say, we have great friends!  So, the reason the cap is still attached??  We haven’t opened it yet; we’re waiting for a special evening to share it together – maybe even a wedding anniversary?

Wind Powered Brewery? Good Beer and Environmentally Conscience!



What’s better than an environmentally conscience brewery?  One with delicious beer and great bands!
We visit the Outer Banks and always go to The Outer Banks Brewing Station!  This brewery crafts delicious beer, currently I’m enjoying the Coco Brown Ale… mellow, chocolatly and yummy!  And the food is delicious… their hush puppies are the best I’ve ever had!

If you have little ones, there is a playground out back of the brewery.  You can have a brew and they can have a homemade rootbeer while running off the sugar!

The brewery is also soley powered by the windmill out back, which I think is one of the most awesome things ever!  They host lots of great bands with a wonderfully set stage as well!

If your ever vacationing in OBX, you must visit this stellar brewery!  You can even get a grolsch bottle of beer to go!  Cheer!

Okay, not really a “cap” but a delicious beer!


I’m in DC for a concert tonight and had a great dinner at Pizza Paradiso.  On tap they had an Avery Quad!  Wow, how lucky are we?!  It was rich, with note of caramel, plum and raisins… yum!  At 10% though, I stopped with one and follwed with a Hoffbrau Maibock… but that’s another beer for another time!

On a side note, if you’re ever in DC, you must eat at this pizza place.  Not only do they have awesome pizza, their “good” beer selection is extensive!

Hobgoblin – Yum, English beer!

My husband purchased an English Dark Ale today made by Wychwood Brewery.  I’m an English beer fan, embracing some of their more popular beers like Fuller’s ESB and New Castle, but this beer was more roasty and complex than my normal taste of England.  The “Hobgoblin” boasts rich but smooth toasted malt and chocolate flavors.  Upon my first sip, I didn’t think it was going to taste so dark, but you really get a bitter chocolate finish.  It’s a pretty tasty brew, although a little too rich for me to have more than one (500ml bottle, that is).

English beers always have a distinctive taste that can’t be found in American beers.  I remember asking my home-brewer husband to make me a New Castle Brown Ale Clone.  He said he probably wouldn’t be able to duplicate it exactly since it was “English”.  Evidently the water in England has different minerals than our water (makes sense being a different country and all) so even if we copied and English Beer recipe exactly, it wouldn’t taste the same as the recipe being brewed over in Jolly Old England!  So… enjoy those delicious English Ales and appreciate that distinctive taste that’s all its own!