Unleash the Pumpkin Beers

Beer friends! What’s up?!

I’ve been cranking away at SOB 2.0, oh… wait… you haven’t heard? Earlier this summer I finally purchased shortonbeer.com and I’ve been writing there every single day. It’s not just about beer though. Actually beer only comes up every so often. It’s about me and life and being a creative professional and about anything I feel like writing about.

That’s not why I’m writing this post. I’m writing this post because I’ve had my first pumpkin beer of the year. I fought the season creep and held out to almost a week into September. Pretty good, right?

I’m helping my wife help my friend craft some paper for welcome bags for her wedding next weekend and knew it was time to break my pumpkin beer yearly seal. Since Starr Hill was so gracious to send me their Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter I felt that it’d be right to start with theirs.

Maybe it’s because I had it at the end of the season last year. Maybe it’s because I’m sick of crafting. Maybe it’s because it’s my first sip of pumpkin in months. Maybe it’s because they changed their recipe (I have no clue – I was bad and didn’t read the letter that came with the beer!) But this beer tastes leaps and bounds better than last year’s.

I have no hard-hitting or in depth analysis. I just dig this beer tonight. I’ll probably head into the garage and grab my other one soon. We’ve crafted 17 of the ~80 things we need to make. And we’re pushing close to three hours…

Time for another beer. Time for a pumpkin beer.

Before you go, what’s the first pumpkin beer you had this year?

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The Root Beer Beer Thing

The Root Beer Beer Thing

This weekend I had Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer, or as I like to call it: The Root Beer Beer Thing. It was…different.

Quick Info:

  • Brewery – Small Town Brewery
  • Beer – Not Your Father’s Root Beer
  • ABV – 5.9%
  • Style – Herbed / Spiced Beer
  • BA Rating – 87%
  • Untappd Rating – 4.19
  • Where Did I Have It – Brazwell’s in Charlotte, NC

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The Bloodline

By all means I wanted to have a post up last week. I have a solid draft and everything. Life, as it seems to always do, got in the way. And as I sit here tonight with a couple free minutes while I wait for a side project video I’m working on to render I feel like I can word vomit something of meaning. Let’s talk about the beer that I’ve drunk more than any other the past year.

Bloodline

There’s an empty bottle of Flying Dog Bloodline on my desk. I had it last night I was up late “hustling” on this side project that I’m still working on tonight (and will be working on the next several nights and weekends). Flying Dog Bloodline for those who don’t know, is a blood orange IPA. It’s a dangerous 7% and damn is it good.

I’m not one really for beer reviews anymore so I’m not going to go into mouthfeel and bubbles. I’ll leave it up to you to read the 1,000 or so reviews on BeerAdvocate if you want to know that stuff. I recommend you trying it for yourself and if you trust me, which you should, I think you’ll enjoy it.

I typically work from 7:00am-3:30pm (+/- 15 minutes). I work in a happening area of DC with plenty of bars and happy hours. But I live an ungodly distance away so generally I like to get out of town by 4:00pm. The thing is though most of the bars don’t open until 4:00pm. However there are days when I want a beer before walking to the bus and passing out for the hour+ trip back to suburbia. Thankfully there’s a little sports bar around the corner and I have a coworker I can usually convince to join me for an afternoon beer.

The sports bar though has a small selection – the usual BMCs, Sam Seasonal, usually a Shiner, Stella and … Flying Dog Bloodline.

Bloodline is $6 for a 16oz pint or $7 for a 24oz. Guess what I’m getting? Yeah. Bloodline. Tall, please. Which nearly every time the bartender thinks I’m saying “Bud Light” (and I got served it once). I’ve now added “Flying Dog” before saying “Bloodline” when I order it.

On those rare occasions my coworkers talk me into staying past 4:00pm to go to happy hour I still want to leave at 3:30pm and grab my usual spot at the bar while they all finish up their tasks before we go out and have fun. That 24oz Bloodline at 7% goes down very easily and I’m nervous one day I’ll wake up at the last bus stop some 25mi past my house in the middle of nowhere.

That’s Bloodline to me. That’s the beer I’ve drunk the most over the past year. What’s yours?

That Moment I Changed My Mind on a Brewery

Starr Hill was the butt of many jokes of mine the past couple of years. To me they made so-so beer. I had no problem with them; I just knew I wouldn’t be ordering it out at a bar or buying it at Harris Teeter. You go do you, Starr Hill. I’ll be over here enjoying my “good beer.”

Yeah, I was a jerk. And it made me miss out on Starr Hill’s transformation over the past year or so. I have officially flip-flopped my opinion on them. Hey, if politicians can do this all the time and still get elected then why can’t I? Instead of being this local-ish brewery that I didn’t care for, Starr Hill is quickly becoming a regular contributor to my fridge and bar tabs. This post will cover why and I’ll go into detail on a couple of their newer beers.

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Old 690 Brewing Company

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted. My other project has been sucking up all my extra time that I used to spend on this site. But I solemnly swear to keep bringing you awesome content about craft beer, Virginia beer and my great beer journey.

Come visit Old 690 in Hillsboro

Old 690 in Hillsboro, VA

Recently I got a chance to visit one of Northern Virginia’s newest breweries – Old 690. I’d like to take the next 1,000 words or so to tell you why you have to escape suburbia and drive down a gravel road to visit these guys.

The Beer

Before we go into Old 690’s atmosphere and the people behind it, let’s cut to the chase and get into their beer.

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