Endless Beers: He Said He Said


Not sure you got our memo yet, but: fall has arrived. Get with it. That means that pumpkin beers are nearly gone already and Christmas everything will be out in a matter of weeks. Bah humbug. Until then, let’s enjoy the fall spirit with some more BEER!

The He Said He Said is a collaboration four pack brought to you by 21st Amendment and Elysian Brewery. The four pack offers two beers: a Belgian Tripel Brewed with Pumpkin and Spices and a Baltic Porter Lager Brewed with Pumpkin and Spices.  The four pack tells the stories of how the two brewmasters/co-founders came up with their collaboration pumpkin brews. Of course, as we all would, each brewmaster takes a bit more credit than the other. The result of the clashing stories was two strong but very different pumpkin collaboration brews. Get it? He said, he said.

The first offering is the brain child of Shaun O’Sullivan of 21st Amendment: The Belgian Triple Brewed with Pumpkin and Spices. Of course, this comes from the brewery that brings us beers like Hell or High Watermelon and Back in Black IPA. Special ingredients in the Belgian Pumpkin Triple include pumpkin puree, pumpkin juice, Galangal, and Tarragon spices. Enough with the small talk, let’s discuss the taste:

ABV: 8.2 %

  • Appearance: Orange – the color of a pumpkin. A bright, transparent orange.
  • Aroma: Earthy pumpkin scents complemented by herbs, spices, and a little bit of the belgian trappist yeast.
  • Taste: Has clean and crisp taste of a Belgian Tripel, then pumpkin and spice flavor throughout. It’s a strong brew, but it doesn’t taste as much like alcohol as many Belgian Tripels. The smooth, sweet flavors take away most of the boozy taste.
  • Mouthfeel: Surprisingly creamy leaving a buttery feeling on the roof of your mouth.
  • Overall: Definitely a strong belgian with a decent ABV.  I was able to drink this without feeling full, and instead actually feeling refreshed. The pumpkin flavor is there, but isn’t intensely strong like an imperial pumpkin. Good on a warm fall day, or a Sunday while watching football.

Next up is the other side of the debate of how the collaboration began: the Baltic Style Porter Lager Brewed with Pumpkin and Spices. This is the Elysian side of the coin – the side that brings you pumpkin fests, intense pumpkin beers, and strong beers. The Pumpkin Porter includes special ingredients such as pumpkin puree, pumpkin juice, Vietnamese Cinnamon, and Caraway Seed. While it’s a porter, it is also a lager. BOOM. Here are the tasting notes:

ABV: 8.2%

  • Appearance: Black, opaque. Looks more like a thick stout than a thinner porter.
  • Aroma: Sweet coffee smell with a meaty pumpkin smell.
  • Taste: Coffee flavors along with sweet molasses, but not as strong as expected. The pumpkin flavors come through stronger but do not overwhelm. Fall spices are subtle in this one.
  • Mouthfeel: Smooth, but more crisp than expected.
  • Overall: Carbonation could be better, but other than that it has the sweet flavors of a porter complemented by earthy spices and pumpkin. Lager aspects of the brew are subtle, but it balanced out the beer a bit.

The He Said He Said is an interesting collaboration that offers a different take on pumpkin beers. The porter was good, but reminded me of other stout pumpkin beers I have had before. On the other hand, the Belgian Tripel Pumpkin offered a completely different take on pumpkin brews that I haven’t had before. The Tripel is more of an “anytime beer” than other pumpkin beers I’ve had before. Refreshing yet sweet, strong yet not overwhelming, the brew offers the fall flavors without suggesting it must be drunk after dinner or during a cold, crisp day.

Our ES Suggested Pairings (dare I say…for BOTH?!):

  • Meals: Chicken Tacos (for the tripel) and juicy steak (for the porter)
  • Cigars: Macanudo Maduro or CAO MX2 (for the tripel) and Drew Estate Naturals English (for the porter)

Endless Beers: Happy IPA Day!


You may not know it, but it’s National IPA Day! Donut day, coffee day, ice cream day…why not have a day for those of us who take pride in the name “hophead”? Well today’s that day. Many consider the IPA (India Pale Ale) to be the brew that really made a name for craft beer. The IPA is a bold, typically strong in alcohol content, and bitter (in a good way) brew that includes strong notes of citrus. Regardless, today is a day to try an IPA for the first time, try out a crazy new IPA flavor, or crack open your favorite IPA. In the spirit of this wonderful holiday, we worked with some of the best breweries in the nation to bring your our “National IPA Day Roundup.”

Sierra Nevada 2014 Hop Harvest: 6.5 % ABV

harvest-equinoxbottle-pint3Sierra Nevada brings out this annual 5-bottle series that features a single hop, wet hop, fresh hop, and wild hop brews. I had the Equinox Single Hop IPA. Single hop meaning they used only one kind of hop to highlight the aromas and the bitterness. The brew is an easy drink that will put you in the mood for fall. The IPA has typical hop flavors you would expect and then the taste of fresh peppers and spices from the garden comes through.

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Endless Beers: Our Top 10 IPAs

Summertime. Hot days, no more school, and yes, our fourth round of the beer exchange. This was one of my favorites—IPAs. I’m trying to savor these…but at the same time, you can’t let them sit too long, or they’ll go bad! While reviewing the exchange beers, and thinking about my favorite IPAs, I’ve done you the great pleasure of creating our “top ten IPAs” list. Here they are in no particualar order. You’re welcome.



10. Founder’s All Day IPA (ABV 4.7%)

IPAs don’t have to be high in alcohol content. Enjoy this bitter delight ALL Day…and more than once. Packs a punch of hops and malts without the dangers of having three on a hot day and feeling groggy for the rest of the day.

PHOTO: Founder’s


9. Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA (9%)

Hop. Garden. There really isn’t much more to say here. If you like the aroma and flavor of hops…this is the one for you.

PHOTO: Weyerbacher


8. Sierra Nevada Snow Wit White IPA (ABV 5.7%)

For those drinkers who are looking for something light and sweet…but still packing a hop-forward punch. The Snow Wit is surprisingly tasty with a refreshing sweet taste of summer.

PHOTO: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Top 10 Beers for Christmas

Put down the eggnog. I know you”re only drinking it because of some ridiculous tradition that started before you were even a thought. Okay, now that you”ve come to your senses, perhaps this is the year you drink and offer beer to your guests instead (not the kind that looks like piss). Even though I”m still having a hard time letting go of the fall seasonal beers, the winter has plenty to offer. I tried to pick a variety of winter seasonals ranging from dark stouts to spicy ales and lagers. There”s something for everyone! Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

*DISCLAIMER: This list is in no order. Try all ten, then decide what your favorite is!*

10. Sam Adams Winter Lager

(PHOTO: Sam Adams)

The Sam Adams Winter Lager is a tried-and-true brew that will not leave you disappointed. Sam Adams does lager well. They added a mix of winter spices and made the brew a bit darker (which makes it a tad bit sweeter in this case). The spices and the slight caramel flavor makes it an enjoyable fire to chug sip next to the yule log.

9. Troegs Mad Elf

(PHOTO: Troegs Brewing Company)

Just the name is enticing. Troegs Brewing Company has established themselves as one of the best craft breweries in the country. The Mad Elf and their Nugget Nectar have been my favorites for a while. Mad Elf packs a punch (11% ABV) and offers all the flavors I think of about Christmas: sweet, fruity, spicy. All packed into one swig that tastes great and gets you buzzed quick while dealing with that crazy family of yours.

8. Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale

We all know how I feel about this brew. Get a couple of six packs of this and put a couple bottles in the basement to compare to the next couple years” versions. The rest—drink with your friends and impress them with your knowledge of the brew!

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