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It’s been a while…

Insert Simon and and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence intro “Hello darkness my old friend….”

Hey folks, the blog is back but it’s a little different as you will hopefully tell after a few posts are up. I know, you might be asking, “Why Brett? I loved the beer reviews and descriptions!!!”

Well, I just decided it was time to change up the format, the delivery, and the whole scope of my writing. So, as you can tell, this is now called This American Beer instead of Brett’s Beer Blog. I wanted to mix a sense of lifestyle and beer all into one place. What resulted is what you’re reading.

Hope you enjoy it!

Concerts and Beer: An American Treasure

With Chicago’s Lollapalooza hangover completed, I think it’s okay to talk about Lolla once more. However, I’m not talking about the actual event itself (which is now full of crazed, drunk, 18 year olds that crowd the Metra trains on that weekend). I’m talking about the Lolla sponsored after shows. That’s where the fun is at. Nothing like a 11pm door opening concert tucked in one of Chicago’s neighborhoods.

So, the Saturday of Lolla, I went to see a 11 pm after show with Jade Bird and Wilderado at Schubas. The real reason I went was for Wilderado, one of my favorite bands. I saw them on Halloween (Where they dressed as Walderado) in 2018 at Chop Shop in the city, and it was electric. They played at Lolla’s main stage on Sunday and absolutely killed it.

Anyways, to the show! Right when I walked into Schubas, I went to the bar (naturally). I saw that they had Schlitz, Old Style, PBR tall boys, and an assortment of craft beer. So, wanting a bang for my buck, I got a PBR. Then, we made our way from the bar to the music area. Wilderado went on and did their thing. Let me tell you, it was phenomenal experience standing there, drinking some PBR’s and singing along with one of my favorite bands. This is an experience everyone should go through multiple times in their life.

After the show, we grabbed one more beer, then waited in the back for Jade Bird to start. However, I don’t think we even listened to one full song of hers. We decided to hang in the hallway from the bar to the venue area, and the best thing happened. We saw the lead singer, Max and chatted with him for a little. Right after, we saw Tyler (guitar) and Colton (bass) and we chatted with them for about 5 minutes about Chicago, their tours, Lolla, and whatever else. They were truly awesome to talk to and I admit, I fan-boyed after.

To wrap all of this up, music and beer (or alcohol) are a classic pair. As a prime example, I noticed Wilderado’s bassist, Colton, was drinking an Old Style during the show and I was thinking, “wow, this guy gets it”.

Hopefully, after you finish reading this, you go and indulge in your favorite band and enjoy a brew or two while doing it.

Cheers

Cigar City Brewing Tocobago

Beer type: Red IPA
Alcohol Level: 7.2%
Brewed By: Cigar City Brewing
IBU: 75

It’s been a while and I’m not proud of it. I apologize. I’ve been working some later hours and haven’t had the “time” to write about any beers. But don’t you worry, I’ve still been drinking them. How else does one cope with a long day?

This review is coming from Marco Island, Florida, where I’m staying on vacation for about a week. Cigar City Brewing is based out of Tampa, FL, so I decided to keep it local with this beer.

The Cigar City Brewing Tocobago is a Red IPA that stuck out to me in the store. It smells like an IPA, but it’s red color makes it look like your traditional amber ale. When you drink it, you get a sense of the amber taste along with a bitter IPA finish. It’s a good balance of rich, malty flavor with a sharper bite at the end.

Cigar City says it’s “Brimming with Citra hops, our Hoppy Red Ale tempers its bitterness with rich malt flavors reminiscent of caramel and bread crust. Notes of blueberry and pine round out this assertive yet balanced ale.”

I’m a fan of this one and it tastes even better when sitting next to a pool. Be on the lookout for at least another post with another FL craft brew. Cheers!

3 Floyds Zombie Dust

Beer type: Pale Ale
Alcohol Level: 6.2%
Brewed By: 3 Floyds Brewery
IBU: 50

Back to back 3 Floyds beers on the blog. Let’s be honest, I should’ve written about 3 Floyds a lot sooner, I just didn’t get around to it. Like I mentioned in my post about Gumballhead, 3 Floyds is a major craft brewery not just in the Chicagoland area, but also the midwest.

To the beer…Zombie Dust is one of 3 Floyd’s signature beers and is available year round. Coming in at 6.2%, it’s the right amount of alcohol to get you feeling good, but not too crazy. It has a hazy, dark yellow color. It’s darker than a lager but lighter than a brown ale. When you’re about to drink it, you get a whiff of earthy notes, along with citrus. It tastes how it smells, earthy and citrusy, but has a bitter bite to it towards the end. Overall, it’s a great pale ale with an easy drinkability.

3 Floyds says it’s an, “Intensely hopped and gushing undead Pale Ale will be one’s only respite after the zombie apocalypse. Created with our marvelous friends in the comic industry”.

3 Floyds Gumballhead

Beer type: Wheat Beer
Alcohol Level: 5.6%
Brewed By: 3 Floyds Brewery
IBU: 35

Happy Monday and welcome back! With over 30 beers on the blog, I’ve never talked about a 3 Floyds beer yet. I know, what’s wrong with me? The coveted Munster, Indiana brewery is well known for their crazy beer names, beer labels, and more importantly, great beer. So, I managed to get two of theirs in my fridge and the first one I opened up was Gumballhead.

Gumballhead has a citrus aroma that reminded me of an IPA at first, but not quite as strong. When tasting, it didn’t have a crazy bitter finish. It just has a simple, wheat beer taste to it. Nothing crazy, just a smooth, easy drinking beer. It pours a nice dark gold color. It almost looks like a miller lite, but a few shades darker.

3 Floyds says it’s “An American wheat beer with a refreshing, crisp citrus finish. This delicious session beer is brewed with boatloads of Amarillo hops.” This one is available year round, so look to your local liquor store to grab a six pack. My next post will be about the other 3 Floyds beer I have, so stay tuned.

Collective Arts Brewing Life in the Clouds IPA

Beer type: New England Style IPA
Alcohol Level: 6.1%
Brewed By: Collective Arts Brewing
IBU: 50

This is my second beer from Collective Arts Brewing. I initially wrote about Prophets & Nomads back in May 2018. As a refresher, Collective Arts Brewing is based out of Stowe, Vermont. Vermont is the phenomenal state that holds the great title of most breweries per resident. Might need to take another trip to visit family up there soon.

Like the beer I wrote about before this (Noon Whistle Mosiac Gummy Northeast India Pale Ale), Life in the Clouds is a northeast style IPA. Traditionally, northeast IPAs have a more citrus flavor and less bitterness compared to west coast IPAs that are the opposite.

When pouring the beer, I immediately smelled the citrus aroma. It has a hazy, tangerine/golden color to it. When I drank it, I tasted a semi-citrus flavor and a crisp aftertaste. In my opinion, it wasn’t bitter at all, compared to a lot of other IPAs.

Collective Arts says that Life in the Clouds is, “an unfiltered beer, neither overly sweet nor bitter, with a pillowy mouthfeel.”

Overall, a good IPA that I would love to drink again.

Cheers!

Noon Whistle Mosiac Gummy Northeast India Pale Ale

Beer type: Northeast IPA
Alcohol Level: 7.6%
Brewed By: Noon Whistle Brewing

Happy 2019 folks! It’s been a while since I’ve written about beer and I don’t know why I stopped. Part of me didn’t know if I should keep blogging about it. But, another part of me thought why not? What’s the worst that can happen? (Odd foreshadowing moment) Anyways…To the beer!

Today, we’re talking about Lombard, IL’s own Noon Whistle Brewing Company. They have a series of beers called the “Gummy Series” that they say are “Hoppy, Hazy, Juicy and less of a bitter finish than a traditional IPA…”.

So, I decided to grab the Mosaic Gummy Northeast India Pale Ale from that series. My good friend Jack from Fomo Chicago loves this beer, so I wanted to try it out. Noon Whistle says it’s a “Double dry-hopped mosaic New England style IPA.”

First of all, this beer has an old-fashioned can opening style. You don’t just pop the small tab, you pull the whole top of the can off. That’s a unique feature to these beers right away. Once you pour it in a glass, you see a hazy, yellow color that starts to remind me of orange juice. Then, you get a fierce citrus aroma as you bring it to your lips. When drinking it, you get a citrus flavor which then transitions to a smooth, semi-bitter finish.

As we know, I don’t truly review beers with scores on this blog. But, I would give this a high rating if I was. It’s refreshing, flavorful, and it’s a good alternative to a traditional IPA.

Cheers!