Weyerbacher is a brewery I saw on a lot of shelves when I was living in Delaware this summer but I never bothered to pick up any bottles of their beer. It's nothing personal, I just never got around to it. I'd like to think it didn't have anything to do with the packaging, but these labels are notoriously low budget... It looks like these labels were crafted from the finest clip art galleries available to a community college graphic design student in 1997. Labels don't have any effect on the flavor of the beer, but they might be the deciding factor for someone who isn't familiar with the Weyerbacher name.
The more I drink Troegs beer the more I enjoy it. I've still only had an admittedly small number of their beers, but what I have had has been great. When I talk to others about Troegs there's one beer that keeps getting mentioned as their best and it's called Mad Elf. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a bottle of Mad Elf during the Christmas season, so it took a little hunting to find a bottle. This is a beer that's released in November, so it's been sitting around for about 7 or 8 months. It's a big 11% Strong Ale though, so I'm willing to bet it's held up just fine.
"Tastes like hops dipped in candied sugar and rolled in dark chocolate nibs." That is what you'll find printed on the neck label of the Flying Mouflan. It certainly sounds delicious. Flying Mouflan is Tröegs' Barleywine style beer, an extreme version of their highly regarded Nugget Nectar. This bomber has a yellow and red label with a winged bottlecap in the center. A Mouflan is a breed of sheep, which I why I thought this would be a Bock or a variation on the Troegenator Doppelbock. I'm guessing the reference is lost on me, oh well...
I've heard of Tröegs in passing a few times before moving to the East Coast, but I was never able to get my hands on any of their beers. The beer I heard the most about was their Nugget Nectar, an IPA that I wasn't really going to go out of my way to try. I just assumed Tröegs was more of an IPA brewery for some reason. After moving to Delaware I started seeing a lot of Troegenator six packs and bombers at the local liquor stores. I tend to get along really well with Doppelbocks so I figured I'd give it a shot. The art on these bottles nearly turned me off though, it's a little too Ed Hardy and tribal tattoo for me... but the guy has a killer beard and demon horns so I'll let it slide.
I feel like I should make a confession before starting in on this beer. First, I have yet to drink a Victory beer that I liked. A couple of them weren't bad, but I wouldn't buy any of them again. That shouldn't really be a problem since Victory doesn't distribute to my area... Secondly, I love Weizenbocks. This is definitely one of my favorite beer styles. My diluted German heritage might have something to do with it, but I think I'm predisposed to liking Weizenbocks. So, I feel conflicted about trying to review this beer... On the one hand, I know I like this style of beer but on the other, I know I don't like any of the Victory beers I've had before.
Victory HopDevil is a year round IPA out of Downingtown, PA. It's 6.7% alcohol and brewed with some mediocre hops and barley. I don't know a whole lot more about this beer because I'm completely disinterested in it. It's an IPA that has a reference to hops in its name and it comes from a brewery I don't really care too much about. I'm trying to keep an open mind because I felt the same way about Hopslam and it ended up being one of the best beers I've ever had. I'm hopeful for HopDevil, but I won't be surprised if it's just another IPA I'll never drink again.
Storm King has a reputation that other brewers would kill for. Before I knew who Victory was I'd heard of a great Imperial Stout named Storm King. Victory doesn't distribute to my part of the country so I remained in the dark until recently. After returning from a trip to a far away beer market I found myself in possession of six Storm King bottles. The Stout family of beers has certainly grown on me over the past few years and I've eagerly awaited a cold wintery night to open up this 9.1% alcohol Imperial Stout. The Storm King's bottle says it is a seasonal release and there is a remarkable amount of hops packed into this beer. Suddenly, I'm a bit less excited...
When I first head about Victory Brewing Company it was in reference to this beer. Prima Pils is a German style Pilsner beer with a big hop bud on the label. Everyone I know who's had Victory's Prima Pils before has spoken very highly of it so I figured the least I could do was pick up a bottle and try it out. The Pilsner style is one I find exceptionally boring. If I were a brewer I'm sure I'd appreciate the style more for the level of difficulty involved in mastering it. As a consumer however, I generally just tune these beers out and look for something with a bit more flavor and texture. Who knows, maybe this bottle of Prima Pils is the key to unlocking the mystery of why people like this style of beer...
Milk Stouts have always fascinated me. Beer and milk are two things I don't generally think of as complimentary flavors, just like coffee and beer... Stouts, being so dark and malty make it all possible. The sweet from the lactose sugar helps mellow out the bitterness from such a high concentration of dark malt. Coffee is at the other end of the spectrum, and something I really don't care for. Somewhere in between lies the Lancaster Milk Stout. I know what you're thinking, it says Milk Stout right on the bottle, so it should be sweet, smooth and dark. It's most of those things but I think it has a couple important flaws.
The packaging for this beer isn't terribly informative so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from Yards' Brawler. The label says this is a "Pugilist Style Ale" which isn't particularly helpful. What does that mean? You'll get belligerent and start throwing punches like an old timey boxer? The neck label is a little more informative, saying that this is brewed in the style of an English session beer that is meant to be mild so you can "go a few rounds." That description is pretty apt, this beer is light in alcohol and not as heavy, texture-wise, as you might expect from an English style ale.