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I just returned from the Columbia County Wine Festival. I was able to get some of these brews to review. I sampled a few and was impressed but with wine messing with my palate I couldn’t exactly take notes. So, I rushed home to watch the Auburn-Aggies game. With Vandy upsetting Georgia and Tennessee upsetting South Carolina I got excited that it was SEC upset weekend. Let’s go beat the Aggies.
So I devised a game plan. I have these brews and decided one brew per quarter. I’ll hold the fifth brew for next week.

  1. Sweetwater Crank Tank
  2. Mother Earth Second Wind
  3. Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat
  4. Abita Christmas Ale

Here’s my comments:
Sweetwater Crank Tank | Atlanta, GA
I picked this brew first because it has a predominantly orange and blue label. Nice Auburn colors. I’ve had their Dank Tank before, which is seasonal and was curious. I think this brew is bad luck because as I opened it Texas A&M just ran like 70 yards for a touchdown. Aggies up 14-10.
Very light bright golden yellow color. Looks so clear I have to wonder if its filtered…. not that that is bad now. Crisp. Tastes golden… kinda of like its color. Some bitter highlights on the first sip but the malts smooth it out. You always have what I call a hoppy high note along the roof of you mouth while the sides of your mouth stays malty smooth.

This is a good drinking beer when standing around at a party chatting with folks. Also good for watching a game. Smooth enough to want to sip some more but the slightly bitter hops keeps you waiting before the next taste. It’s got some malty tastes that appear to lead you to caramel then shifts to left field and the hops take it away. I like the mystery of this brew.

Added benefit. Mrs. Dan bought some nice herbs that when added to some really nice California OIive Ranch olive oil with some White Hills Farms “Sel Aux Herbes”. This brew is great with that on some bread dipped in this olive oil mix. Damn. I’m out. I guess between the olive oil and the game I’ve finished the brew. Verdict. I think Mark and Brett would have like it.
Interesting notes on this brew from the bottle and the brewery website. It is part of the Dank Tank Series, but isn’t their seasonal Dank Tank. I want to point out that this brew was created to help support the work being done at Camp Twin Lakes which is an amazing camp that helps kids with serious illnesses be kids. Here’s what the website says We cranked the fermentation temps down to a chilly 11 degrees celcius and went with a longer lagering on this Helles prior to filtration. Bright and balanced with the clean and crisp finish of traditional Munich style lagers, Crank Tank is very quaffable after any long ride.

Okay. Auburn is now leading 17-14. Time for the next brew.
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Mother Earth Second Wind | Kinston, North Carolina
Has soap suds type head. This is a canned brew. I picked it second because in some ways Auburn is finding it’s second wind. Obviously not filtered. This is one cloudy yellow brew. Kinda of a pale honey color. This is a very hoppy brew. Not sure if it’s hoppy or bitter. I like this brew cold. As it warms the bitterness picks up and the smoother hops profile diminishes. I am not a big bitter brew fan. I like hoppy beers that lean to the sweet hops side or citrus side. This is not a citrusy brew. I just said that the bitterness picks up as it warms up lot but on second taste…. and it has warmed more it actually smoothes out a bit. But no matter what this is a hoppy brew. This is from Mother Earth Brewing our of Kinston, North Carolina. Never heard of them but I would say this is a nice canned brew. I might have to add to my canned brew list I use when go on bike rides. Not an everyday brew for me but I like it. I wouldn’t turn it down if someone offered me one. I’m curious as to what other brews they have. Checked out their website and the Dark Cloud sounds intriguing. Their can motto is “Handcrafted in Eastern N.C.” Their other brews seem to lean to the hoppy side.

Aggies go ahead 24-17. Phooey. Gotta wait for the third quarter for the next brew.

Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat | Kansas City, Missouri
Not sure I’ve heard of these guys either. That’s the sweet part of this review, I’m trying brews from breweries I’ve never heard of.

This brew is definitely unfiltered. Pours out looking like a summer brew with it’s like lemony yellow color. Not much head. Has a best by date of 11/30.13. Another country heard from… Mrs. Dan is cheering on the Michigan Wolverines. They just scored….I like wheat beers. I would best describe this as a summer wheat. Bright, crisp but a bit citrusy. Not like other wheat beers I usually frequent. Not overly effervescient but it doesn’t need to be.

Bottom line is I like it. Trying to find a way to describe it is a bit challenging. I’m searching for something. I might have to cheat and see what their website says. Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer is a lively, refreshing ale with a natural citrusy flavor and distinctive cloudy appearance. This easy drinking American-style wheat beer has become our most popular offering, and the best-selling craft beer in the Midwest. Yeah, can’t argue with that. It was what I already had figured out. Not a bad little brew. The question is how much does it cost? I don’t have a clue.

Abita Christmas Ale | Abita Springs, Lousiana
I’m at an impasse. I have Abiti Andygator and Abita Christmas Ale. Auburn is behind 34-31. Johnny Manziel. is currently out of the game with a hurt shoulder. I think I’ll wait to decide which brew to drink next.

I finally have a decision. I’m having the Christmas Ale. I’ve just celebrated Christmas early. Auburn beat Johnny Football. I can’t say I’ve never been prouder. That would lessen all of those great games we’ve won over the years. But I’m not ashamed to say I blubbered like a baby. Let’s say I can’t be any prouder.

Now for that celebatory brew. Hmmmmm. This is not what I expected. It’s got some toffee flavors….pretty dark…..but much lighter and much more bitter than I expected. Head slumped down pretty quick. Not exactly my favorite Bell’s Christmas Ale but maybe that’s the problem. I’m trying to compare them when I shouldn’t. It has a bit of a nutmeg dryness to it. I liken the start of this beer to a dry wine. The long lingering finish is bitter and not toasty but toasted.

It actually it becomes more caramel like as it warms up. Not sure I’ll buy a six for Christmas.

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