Smashing Pumpkin Ale by Avila Ales

10926265_10102323269386490_4691924029885868015_oRating: 4.65/5

Smashing Pumpkin Ale by Avila Ales is a 5.5% ABV Pumpkin Ale brewed with Pumpkin Flesh and Cinnamon Sticks.


It is way past fall and well, were are still technically in winter but even then, when it comes to home brew, any style is great on any time of the year. My friends Richard and Megan Avila allowed me the opportunity not only to get to bring this beer to the site but also get involved in what was their first All Grain Brew process. I was glad I was able to have a very small part in the creation of this nice all grain pumpkin beer. This has inspired me to finally step up to the plate and start brewing my own beers. I will soon have a first batch to present but for the meantime, let us check this amazing fall beer. By the way home brewers, while my friend did get the original recipe from Northern Brewing, his addition of ingredients slightly tweaks the recipe so this review may help as to what to expect if you brew it similarly. Cheers!

Cinnamon, pumpkin, vanilla, honey, biscuit bread, sugar, citrus, ginger hints, pecans, caramel, maple and clove spice.

Pumpkin Flesh, Piloncillo, cinnamon, milk sugar, vanilla, honey, citrus hints, toffee, maple hints, clove spice, banana hints, peanut butter hints, sweet potato, caramel, biscuit bread, hazelnut, pecan pie, earthy hop notes, ginger bread and nutmeg.

Pumpkin flesh, cinnamon,earthy hop notes, ginger bread and honey. No alcohol in the taste, honey brown light to medium body, light creamy and crisp mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability.

A very good pumpkin beer. When I first tried it at a colder temperature, you can definitely a small amount of bitterness while still tasting the pumpkin flesh and cinnamon complexity. However, once it got warmer, that is when the magic happened. The more complex flavors really started to shine and was way more enjoyable that way. Definitely a great beer to homebrew.

Anime Corner:
Lucy Heartfilia from Fairy Tale was used in this pairing mainly to pair with the pumpkin, fall and Halloween aspects that are brought from these pumpkin beers which is the obvious. While I didn’t show the smashing of pumpkins, the word smashing in English context can also be seen similar to the work awesome or excellent. If the name of the beer was smashing pumpkins, well, we can say that the smashing pumpkin is the one next to Lucy and Lucy has some smashing pumpkins. I leave you to figure that out.


Ol’ Leghorn collaboration by Firestone Walker and Three Floyds brewing

10670274_10102069141710390_4260297735774778352_n 10646964_10102069146455880_4706552414182859628_nRating: 4.65/5

Ol’ Leghorn collaboration by Firestone Walker and Three Floyds brewing is a 10.5% Wheat/Blonde Barley Wine.

Ol’ Leghorn was initially brewed by Floyd and Brynildson during last year’s Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest. In a shout-out to Firestone Walker’s and Nick Floyd’s mutual English heritage, this blonde barleywine was brewed with traditional English ale malting varieties—Golden Promise and Optic base malts- with no specialty malt added.

The beer was then racked to a combination of retired bourbon barrels and new American oak wine barrels for aging at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. In fearless 3 Floyds fashion, another batch of dry-hopped Ol’ Leghorn was recently brewed for blending into the aged beer, to add a fresh, hoppy layer to the more intense spirits barrel and oaky character of the initial batch.

The result is a staggeringly hoppy blonde barleywine that will first be unveiled at the 2014 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest in Paso Robles on Saturday, May 31. Additionally, 22-ounce bottles will be available for purchase (six bottle limit per customer) at Firestone Walker’s Brewery Store on Sunday, June 1 starting at 10 a.m., with very limited market release later in the month. Ol’ Leghorn is meant to be consumed fresh in its youth, and vigilantly cold stored in the meantime.

This beer was made during the time that 3 Floyds was touring with other breweries this year to create collaboration brews. While hard to come by, I really wanted to bring this beer forth to the site as FW and 3F make some crazy world class beers. So I wanted to see if their collab could truly be remarkable. Well here it is and now we can find out for sure.

Vanilla, oak, honey, citrus, piney and grassy hops, orange preserves, caramel, toffee, butterscotch hints, rich mango, dragon fruit, peaches, apricots, white grapes, peppercorns, rye, coriander spice, clove spice hints, earthy hop notes, graham crackers and marshmallow.

Lots of honey, oak, citrus, vanilla, caramel, toffee, grassy, grapefruit and piney hops, tropical fruit like, mango, pineapple, dragon fruit honeydew melon, stone fruit like peaches, apricot, apples, lemon peel, orange peel, biscuit bread, coriander spice, orange preserves, rye bread, cinnamon, graham crackers, almonds, pecans, earthy hops, graham crackers, marshmallow hints, floral notes and peppercorn notes.

Citrus, tropical fruit, caramel, vanilla, piney and floral and earthy hops linger. No alcohol in the taste, syrupy yet smooth mouth feel but sipping drinkability and a light to medium body.

A very good Blonde Barleywine / Wheat Wine. This beer seems more hoppy than some of the other barley or wheat wines I have tried for that matter. Then again , White Oak from the Bruery was pretty damn citrucy. They say this beer should be consumed fresh but I think it can withstand some time although the tropical aspects will fade with time and be more rich with sweetness. While this one is very good, I can only say that it is worth a try just once but if not, you are not missing out. There are other Wheat wines just as good if not better. Even if it does have 3F and FW on the label, I can at least say it was very good but don’t bet your hype on it.

Anime Corner:
Erza Scarlet and Mirajane Strauss from Fairy Tail were used in this pairing to represent Firestone Walker and Three Floyds in their collaboration of evil but also to represent the colors of the rooster with the reds and the whites. The power of these 2 collaborators to bring forth such an awesome collaboration is pretty much legendary. I can only state that the idea was awesome but was nothing momentous. So they pretty much represent that. The awesome idea.


Fillmore Fusion by Lagunitas Brewing

11212_10101059919784220_1027903425_n 551403_10101059919414960_1880041555_nRating: 4.75/5

Fillmore Fusion by Lagunitas Brewing is a 5%ABV American Pale Ale

Brewed to honor the 100th Anniversary of the building housing the historic Fillmore Theater in San Francisco. The resulting 5% ABV beer utilizes a new, experimental hop called ADHA 483.

Upon opening this beer, I knew something was quite different about this beer. This was in a good way of course. The hoppy fragrance is quite different adding like an exotic fruit character like a lychee, kumquat, dragon fruit or persimmon like aroma. Some of the grassy and pine notes are subtle and give way through some more tropical fruit flavors such as the grapefruit, mango, oranges, tangerines, caramel, cherries, and like a gummy bear sweetness. The Flavors are awesome. Starts off with typical west coast California grassy, piney and grapefruit hops followed by those exotic fruits like a persimmon, dragon fruit, lychee or kumquat. We also come a nice tangerine, orange, lemon, mango, papaya, pear, slight cherry, apple, herbs and spices. A very crisp and sweet Pale Ale. Refreshing as well. Definitely a summer type of beer with some very interesting flavors. A must try.