Event: Summer’s almost over and time to start leave the light Summer brews behind (It didn’t reach 90 today which is pretty good for Augusta in August). Tonight’s tasting were definitely not light Summer beers.

All had distinct flavors and color. From the North Coast Blue Star Wheat to the New Holland Dragon’s Milk, the tasting tour took us to California to North Carolina, Michigan and New Hampshire.

I spoke to one taster, Audra who was rather excited about the Dragon’s Milk saying “I was expecting it to be very hardy but was lighter and sweeter,:” adding it was nice to find a nice surprise at the end.

It was the last beer of the evening and was not a brew that people sat on the fence. They liked it… or they didn’t. My Beer Brother Mark said he likes cask aged brews but this oak aged brew was a bit too much oaky. As for me I liked it. I was surprised to see this brew was 10% ABV because I agree with Audra, this brew wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be.

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I spoke to Josh Taylor, of Comer Distributing, and he said the Dragon’s Milks is one of their best sellers.

Actually I could say the same about the Smuttynose Robust Porter. It poured out an opaque dark brown with creamy dark brown head but didn’t taste as heavy as it looked. But sweet it was not. Had a bit of a hoppy bitter finish. The Duck-Rabbits are always popular with the darker brew fans.

I found the Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale interesting. I overheard Josh calling it a hybrid brew and after reading their notes on their website they even admit calling it a “bastardized Scottish style red ale.” With a 67 IBU I thought it would be more bitter, which it was, but the sweet, caramel malt flavors kind of pulled it into check. I might have to give this one a second try. Kinda of hard to really give a full opinion with a 2 oz. sip.

And I want to say congratulations to Wine World on celebrating their 40th Anniversary.

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Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC
803-279-9522

When: Friday, August 24, 2012, 5-8pm
Cost: $5 per person. You get a $2 rebate with the purchase of 6 bottles of the featured brews

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Here are the brews presented (click to see more):

  1. North Coast Blue Star Wheat
  2. North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner
  3. Duck Rabbit Amber
  4. Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale
  5. North Coast Le Merle Saison
  6. Duck Rabbit Brown
  7. Founders Dirty Bastard
  8. Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
  9. Smuttynose Robust Porter
  10. New Holland Dragon’s Milk

Here are the detailed brew notes:
North Coast Blue Star Wheat
What: Brewed in the style of the American Craft Beer renaissance. Blue Star is unfiltered, the yeast adding a complex note to the flavor profile.
Style: American Wheat Beer. Color: Translucent Straw. ABV: 4.5%. Bitterness: 17 IBUs.–From their Website
From: Fort Bragg, California
Brewery: North Coast Brewing

Blue Star Wheat
North Coast Scrimshaw

North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner
What: Named for the delicate engravings popularized by 19th century seafarers, Scrimshaw is a fresh tasting. Pilsner brewed in the finest European tradition using Munich malt and Hallertauer and Tettnang hops. Scrimshaw has a subtle hop character, a crisp, clean palate, and a dry finish.
Style: Pilsner. Color: Pale Straw. ABV: 4.8%. Bitterness: 22 IBUs.–From their Website
From: Fort Bragg, California
Brewery: North Coast Brewing

Duck Rabbit Amber
What: The Duck-Rabbit Amber Ale is a medium bodied beer with a lovely tawny copper or bronze color. This brew emphasizes malt complexity with layered caramel malt flavors. We put a lot of effort into getting this amber ale just right and we’re extremely proud of the result!–From their Website
From: Farmville, North Carolina
Brewery: Duck-Rabbit Brewery

Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale
What: An American Amber Ale. ABV: 6.8% IBU: 67 Color: Deep Copper Red. Red Rocket Ale is a bastardized Scottish style red ale that traces it’s origins to our homebrew roots. This full bodied and hoppy brew finishes on the palate with sweet, caramel malt flavors.–From their Website
From: California
Brewery: Bear Republic Brewing Company

North Coast Le Merle Saison
What: Le Merle is a rustic ale, pale in color, inspired by the rich brewing traditions of the Flanders region. Abundant hops and a Belgian yeast strain contribute exotic aromas of tropical fruit. For all she has contributed since the brewery’s founding, North Coast Brewing is pleased to honor our Merle, Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich’s wife, with Le Merle (the Blackbird), a subtle sophisticated Belgian-style Saison beer. Style: Saison. Color: Straw. ABV: 7.9%. Bitterness: 26 IBUs.–From their Website
From: Fort Bragg, California
Brewery: North Coast Brewing

Duck Rabbit Brown
What: The Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale is an American brown ale brewed with loads of hops from start to finish (it’s hoppy and beautifully bitter). Amarillo hops in the boil provide a spicy citrusy bitterness. Saaz dry hops in the fermentor provide a refined flowery aroma. These hops are supported by a grain bill of seven varieties of malt. Oh yeah!–From their Website
From: Farmville, North Carolina
Brewery: Duck-Rabbit Brewery

Founders Dirty Bastard
What: So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish, with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads. ABV: 8.5%. IBUs: 50. Availability: Year-round.–From their Website
From: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Brewery: Founders Brewing

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
What: An American India Pale Ale. ABV: 7.0% IBU: 75+ Color: Golden. This hoppy American IPA is a full bodied beer brewed American pale and crystal malts, and heavily hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial. There’s a trophy in every glass.–From their Website
From: Cloverdale, California
Brewery: Bear Republic Brewing Company

Smuttynose Robust Porter
What: This hearty, mahogany colored ale is brewed to evoke the dark, full-bodied ales that were a favorite of dockworkers and warehousemen (hence the name “Porter”) in 19th century London. It is a good bet that when Dickens’ Mr. Pickwick sat down for a pint, we would have been drinking an ale much like our Robust Porter.This is a smooth and very drinkable beer, characterized by its well-balanced malt and hops, plus subtle notes of coffee and chocolate.–From their Website
From: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing

New Holland Dragon’s Milk
What: The beer you hold in your hand, Dragon’s Milk Ale, is a crown jewel of New Holland Brewing Company. It is the unrivaled result of painstaking processes – both creative and scientific. We could tell you about the centuries-old tradition of the term, Dragon’s Milk, or we could tell you about the history, craftsmanship and challenges of what’s important, the beer inside this bottle. Toasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath. Pairings: red meat, smoked foods, balsamic, rich cheese & dark chocolate. Alc. 10% by Vol.–From their Website

From: Holland, Michigan
Brewery: New Holland Brewing

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