20th Anniversary Ale by Weyerbacher

14567529_10103596944661030_1894206684023985654_oRating: 5/5

20th Anniversary Ale by Weyerbacher is an 11% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale Brewed with Coriander and Star Anise.

Weyerbacher is turning 20 this year! How do we celebrate 20 years of bold and innovative beers? With the release of our 20th Anniversary ale!

Our 20th Anniversary brew is a Belgian-Style Dark Ale weighing in at 11% ABV. It’s malty with notes of caramel, raisins and berries, as well as subtle hints of coriander and star anise.

Weyerbacher is a brewery I wish I had more beers to try from. We do not get these beers in the west coast but for the brews I have been able to get from them have all been phenomenal. My favorite of the brews is the Blasphemy. One of the best Quadrupel ales that I would consider as one of my top beers. This brew was like a Dark Fruit and pecan pie in a bottle. So since I had the opportunity to bring more Weyerbacher beers, I decided to bring their 20th anniversary ale. In the theme of Belgian beers which I see they like to take, it would be a great honor and addition to review it. Let’s have a look.

Dark fruits like black cherries, currants, raisins, plums, figs, dates, raspberries, butter pecan ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, flan, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, chocolate, pecan pie, buttery Mexican pan dulce, Danish cream, rock candy, bananas, clove spice, port wine, raspberry chambord, apples, rye bread, cinnamon and fruit cake.

Dulce de leche caramel, dark fruits like black cherries, currants, raisins, plums, figs, dates, raspberries, leather hints, cinnamon hints, coriander spice hints, bananas, clove spice, stone fruit peaches, pears, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, chocolate, pecan pie, buttery Mexican pan dulce, Danish cream, rock candy, Belgian candi sugar, port wine, raspberry chambord, apples, rye bread, anise, molasses, blackberry preserves, dragon fruit hints, brown sugar and butter pecan ice cream, sweetened condensed milk and flan.

Rich dark fruits and dulce de leche caramel linger with a slight sweet port wine and earthyness. No alcohol in the taste. Dark crimson body, moderate to sipping drinkability, velvety, syrupy and bold mouthfeel with a very rich and smoothness.

A perfect Belgian Dark strong. So much of what I love from Belgian beers. Bananas, dark fruit, candi sugars and more! They even managed to have some of those pecan pie flavors that I loved from the Blasphemy. I can only assume it is the special yeast strain that they are using. Either way, this is the stuff of great beers and I highly recommend you to look for this one!
Anime Corner:
Selvaria Bles from Valkyria: Azure Revolution was used in this pairing mainly for the colors of label but also fits with the somewhat dark theme of beers presented by Weyerbacher. The colors just caught my eye and seems it would work overall.


Ground Control by Ninkasi Brewing Company

11175026_10102532087797720_8447991351314195574_n 11168028_10102532089125060_1676763492614523542_o 11674_10102532090302700_1502554317347205278_n 11127041_10102532090637030_2262761749053563897_nRating: 5.85/5

Ground Control by Ninkasi Brewing Company is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Oregon Hazelnuts, Star Anise, Cocoa Nibs and Ale Yeast Sent Into Space!

NSP (Ninkasi Space Program)
Born from a relentless pursuit for innovation, this limited release Ninkasi Space Program beer is brewed with yeast that went into space and back.

Seven years after we started brewing in Oregon, we decided the sky was not the limit. One year, two rockets and
countless lab hours later, we successfully launched a payload of brewer’s yeast into outer space with the help of rocket
scientists. After a much awaited return to Earth, the mission of creating space beer is now complete.

Ground Control boldly combines local and out-of-this-world ingredients. This rich, complex Imperial Stout is brewed
with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs, and fermented with an Ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back.
Mankind will enjoy the sweet finesse of this beer that only fares better with time.

Beer Stats
• Name: Ground Control
• Style: Imperial Stout
• Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, Draft
• Enjoyed Since: 2015
• Date Available: April 13, 2015
• OG: 1100
• IBU: 80
• ABV: 10.0%
• Malt: 2-Row Pale, Black, Chocolate, Munich, Crystal, Honey,
Special Roast, Peated
• Hops: Apollo, Bravo, Comet
• Special Ingredients: Oregon Hazelnuts, Star Anise, Cocoa Nibs


The Metroid/Yeast is in captivity… The Galaxy Hops are at peace [Since they were not included]… To boldly go where no yeast has gone before… and new hope in brewing, from the dark side with the force of space… The Final Frontier!! I bring forth, a brew from none like any other… a brew who’s yeast took a long field trip into space and has returned, brewed and tells a store. The space alien colony that has fermented this dark liquid brings forth a flavor from its new explorations. Whether this is a gimmick or not, Space and SciFi fans rejoice! Let’s explore the darkness of eternal ether… get ready to Blast off!!

Rich dark chocolate, coffee notes, mocha, anise, molasses, licorice, vanilla, caramel, tobacco hints, mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies, rich cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, oak notes, pecan pie, walnuts, earthy hop notes, dragon fruit notes, toffee, cinnamon, candi sugar, rock candy, star burst hints, chocolate abuelita, rye bread, tobacco, leather, and banana notes.

Rich Dark chocolate, clove spice, anise, mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies, rich cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, oak notes, mild bourbon notes, vanilla, caramel, smokey notes, rich dark fruit raisins, plums, dark cherries, rich coffee notes, mocha, hazelnut nectar, peanut butter hints, pecan pie, walnuts, earthy hop notes, dragon fruit notes, toffee, cinnamon, candi sugar, rock candy, star burst hints, chocolate abuelita, rye bread, tobacco, leather, banana notes, phenolic notes, stone fruit apricots, coriander spice, ginger bread notes and espresso.

Rich dark fruits, hazelnut nectar, mocha coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, anise, molasses, earthy notes, vanilla and caramel linger for while. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, Pitch Black Hole body, Silky, syrupy, smooth, creamy and velvety mouth feel, easy to drink despite the ABV.

Exceeding my expectations for beer. This really reminded me of the W00tSt0ut from Stone but also like Black Xantus but then also has some hidden Belgian Stout characters in there. The beer is delicious regardless of balance or what not. It is freaking way more than what the ABV shows it almost with a Dark Lord syrupy mouth feel. You can almost cut this one like you would a dessert. Is it worth the 20$ just to say you had a beer made in Space? Maybe, but I would really want to see what from what I tasted in the flavors actually contributed from it’s space voyage! I’m sure “Gravity” (ABV/Sugar measurements) has drastically changed due to a change in thinning atmosphere and low gravity. Who knows, but I really damn well enjoyed this one regardless.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Metroid , the bad ass space bounty hunter is back to represent some space black gold here. When it comes to space and adventuring the universe, not many characters come close to space exploration like Samus does, (except maybe KOS-MOS) but to get to the real nitty gritty of space, Samus does it. Her colors as well as her Varia Space suit go well with complimenting the colors and the label of the beer. She has successfully gone to space and back on many missions. The vial colony of yeast can be represented in the baby metroid she brought to the space station in Super Metroid for the SNES. So yeah, pretty bad ass.


Holiday Belgian Strong Brown Ale by Avila Ales

10615512_10102208548642780_528146605221522982_nRating: 5/5

Holiday Belgian Strong Brown Ale by Avila Ales is a ??% ABV Belgian Strong Brown Ale brewed with Oak chips, Cinnamon Sticks, allspice and Star Anise.

My friends Richard and Megan Avila have been busy brewing some very awesome magic potions. In September, they visited King Harbor brewing in Redondo Beach which were able to donate their equipment for my friend Richard to create a 5 gallon bucket of just Brown Ale wort. While there were many there, many would take their buckets home and customize their own recipe even further. Richard and Meg decided to go with a Belgian yeast strain for this brew. As the weeks passed, they added oak chips, cinnamon sticks, all spice and star anise to fermenting bucket which then after close to 2 months, this Belgian goodie was born. They were awesomely kind to donate some of their beer to me to do a review. One thing to note, while there may have not been a last gravity check to verify the alcohol by volume, this beer was definitely strong, complex and yet, smooth and easy to drink. A conundrum yet a masterpiece of a Holiday Ale for sure. One day, they plan to open their own business to get these awesome creations rolling and hopefully, with my reviews here, you may be enticed to try them. Cheers.

Mint chocolate, anise, bananas, clove spice, molasses, vanilla, oak, campfire hints, rock candy, brown sugar, coffee hints, dark fruit raisins, cherry hints, milk sugar, candi sugar, flan hints, cinnamon, ginger spice, all spice fruit cake and pecan pie.

Banana, clove spice, anise, molasses, Dark fruit raisins, mild prune notes, cherries currants, oatmeal cookies, coffee hints, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, oak, marshmallow smore hints, hints of maple, piloncillo hints, milk sugar, toasted coconut hint, biscuit bread, mint chocolate chip, honey, nutmeg, fruit cake notes, pecan pie notes, cinnamon, ginger spice, all spice, vanilla, caramel, rock candy, candi sugar, brown sugar and some flan hints.

Dark chocolate, oatmeal cookies, anise, banana hints, clove spice, dark fruit and earthy notes linger. No alcohol in the taste, drinks way too easy yet you can tell this is strong, Pitch black brown body and a creamy.

A perfect holiday ale ranging from a lot of sweet complex flavors with the oak bittering out the sweetness. This is a “drink and sit by the fire place” beer. My friends really nailed this one for sure. The complexity and sweetness is reminiscent of some of the best Belgian beers out there. The addition of the oak, cinnamon, allspice and Anise gives it an additional level of depth that quite possibly is what is responsible for making this one smooth as well although I can only assume at this point. I hope they brew this one again as it was the best beer yet!

Anime Corner:
Akemi Homura in Akuma form from Madoka Magica was used in this pairing because I wanted to show case several aspects about this beer including ingredients, flavors, strength and complexity. The abbey like monastery used as the background in this pairing goes well with the style of the beer and the brown colors making this a Belgian brown. The fact that she looks sweet and innocent goes with the smoothness and rich complexity of the beer. The fact that she is in Akuma form or Demon form represents the unknown aspect of the ABV. The fact that drinks super well but it is dangerous since you do feel it after just a little goes to show how truly powerful this beer is. Also, the colors represent the beers flavors and to some extent the added ingredients which gave this beer perfection.


Take the Black Stout collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang

1382812_10101435699803050_1709517878_n 1375745_10101435699798060_796599398_n 1381171_10101435699823010_1410032006_nRating: 4.5/5

Take the Black Stout collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang is a 7% ABV Belgian Dark Ale brewed with licorice root and star anise.

A stout as dark at the winters that once engulfed Westeros, as robust as the men who swear their oaths at the weir wood tree. Chocolate and caramel sweetness are balanced by hop bitterness. Roasty, woodsy notes, and an earthy finish.

Pour slowly so as to not disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet.

The second release of Game of Throne series of beers is one that is a Belgian Stout. One of my favorite styles. Ommegang decided to brew many of these so make sure to pick this one up before it is gone. Also, even if this could be a gimmick, similarly like the last beer, you can never go wrong with Ommegang beers.

Aromas are similar to a Black Ale, with fragrances of chocolate, licorice, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, roasted malt, peppercorns, earthy hops, fudge brownie, incense, oak and brown sugar.

The flavors are of roasty and lightly smoked malts, dark chocolate, anise, mint, licorice notes, cola, dark fruit, raisins, plums, clove spice, caramel, earthy hops, pepper, oak, plums, espresso and mocha

The aftertaste is of sweet chocolate, earthy bitterness, dark fruit, and brownie notes. This is a full bodied beer so it is best enjoyed sipping. As it warms up, the beer becomes more balanced. Initially it was pretty roasty but as it warmed up, stuff started to fit together.

Overall this is a very good beer. If you watch the show this may be more enjoyable. I actually do not watch it, but I like good beers and this one is good stuff. Looking at the label with the tree, all dark, woodsy and deep roots in the earth, the flavors make a lot of sense. Might go with Lord of the Rings movies too, who knows. Belgian beer lovers and even those that don’t like licorice will like this one.

Mohshinobi: http://mohshinobi.deviantart.com/