Bear Republic Brewery
A brewery out of Sonoma County, California. Founded by who else, but homebrewers, Bear Republic has risen to the top of my list for best craft breweries in the state of California or the country.
Brewers Richard R Norgrove, and wife Sandy, Richard G Norgrove, (Brew Master) and wife Tami, have developed a style that is characteristic of their brand. I think I could identify any style from Bear Republic in a blind taste test. They have produced a specific flavor that is unmatched and flows through all their beers.
Red Rocket Ale
I believe this is a common ale that can be found throughout much of the United States. It has won many awards including:
- 2009 California State Fair – SILVER
- 1999 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales or Lagers – SILVER
- 1998 Great American Beer Festival® Other Strong Ales – SILVER
Bear Republic Profile Of Red Rocket:
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.
12oz. 6 pack | 22oz. | keg
My Personal Review
Appearance: Thick foam head, that sticks all over the glass refusing to fall. Beautiful reddish brown color that screams drink me. Some floating particles can be seen when held up to light.
Smell: Strong hops with hints of citrus, toasted malt and a little alcohol.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and full creamy body. Strong bitter taste that holds on throughout and after. Toasted malt and caramel hold there own on the back of the palate. Hop oils or something dry your mouth while keeping your salivary gland wanting more.
Notes: Packs a lot into it without being in your face overwhelming. Would go great with a juicy steak and hardy meal. That foam head never leaves the side of you glass. How do they do that?
Serving type: 12 oz brown bottle
Bet you can’t guess the main ingredient of this beer? Okay, so maybe that was too easy a question.
What is great about brown sugar is that yeast love the stuff as it is almost entirely fermentable, lightens the body while providing an extra kick.
Upon pouring this beer expect a reddish clear tone from the darker crystal malts. The foam just loves to stick around the rim of the glass during the entire session. Streams of bubbles also flow consistently throughout the drink.
Toasted brown shugga smell with a hint of cereal and old rotten fruit. Not in a bad way though. I think that is referred to as fruity esters. I also get some hops coming off the top and the high alcohol presence is noticeable.
The malt is the main flavor of this beer, with a blend of toasted and caramel profiles. The hops steps in to keep the sweetness in check creating a balance that is hard to achieve.
This is a very drinkable beer. The smooth thick body with moderate carbonation keeps the 9.9% in check. So be careful. What does not seem present in this beer will become noticeable upon drinking a second.
Brewery Description/Beers Creation:
Brown Shugga was originally a failed attempt to make our Olde GnarlyWine Ale way back in 1997. Boatloads of Brown Sugar were added to the boil in an attempt to rescue the batch. The result was quite different from the Olde GnarlyWine we were looking for, but the Accidental Release of Brown Shugga that year was the beginning of an annual rampage caused by a beer that follows no style guidelines and can best be described as…. Irresponsible.
I first heard about O’Dell during a ski trip to Colorado. I stopped by New Belgium for a tour and they told me it would be a 3 hour wait but I should check out another brewery in the time being down the street. This was in 2009 and their brewery was small.
Only a year later in 2010, I returned to O’Dell. Wow! They grew a lot and expanded their brewery a great deal. Time to take them seriously I thought. And so should you.
Placed in the ‘Classics’ category of their beer, 90 Shillings is a year round craftbrew from O’Dell Brewing Co.
It reminds me of Sierra Nevada. It is to Colorado what Sierra Nevada is to California. You can count on this beer being a tap at almost any bar in Colorado. But like Sierra Nevada, this isn’t a beer to be mocked.
This classic beer from O’Dell Brewing pours a clear amber, copper color. The lace holds its own on the side of the glass but doesn’t last too long on top.
I get a mint and evergreen smell with malt included. Fruit and citric hops stand out. It is very moderate body with equally moderate carbonation. I think this makes it very drinkable. The hops and malt are equal parts; they come and go alternating as the beer passes down your throat. The citrus hops are very noticeable. Kind of goes from sweet to dry in the end.
I would not say this beer is anything to go crazy about. I would probably only get this beer if I plan on having large amounts of guests over to my house or its the best choice on tap and the local dive bar. 90 Shillings has another category that stands out if you are interested in having more experimental beers. However, it is crafted for maximum drinkability. It is a ‘classic’ example of an American Amber ale.
At 5.3% this is a great beer to put down at your favorite bar during a Sunday football game. Just do not expect to be wowed by anything but the game.
O’Dell’s Description of 90 Shillings
We introduced 90 Shilling, our flagship beer, at our opening party in 1989. For a while, we’d been wondering what would happen if we lightened up the traditional Scottish ale? The result is an irresistibly smooth and delicious medium-bodied amber ale. The name 90 Shilling comes from the Scottish method of taxing beer. Only the highest quality beers were taxed 90 Shillings. A shilling was a British coin used from 1549 to 1982. We think you’ll find this original ale brilliantly refreshing, and worth every shilling.
5.3% Alc. By Vol.
My beautiful wife picked up this beer for me while in Denver at the Mondo Vino in a six pack.
The label looks a little old fashion with a winter horse and carriage arriving at a mountain villa estate or hotel. Another original design that is unique in the Avery collection. Good thing they have the big red ‘A’ to make their beers easily identifiable.
This beer pours out a deep red with foamy head that dissipates quickly. Hold it up to the light and you will notice the spectacular clarity with very few bubble coming off the bottom.
Take a huge whiff of this ale and you will smell hints of mahogony, roasted malts and slight alcohol presence.
Alright already! Time to take the long awaited taste. Yes, its been 5 long minutes since I started writing this review. But well worth the wait.
Upfront nothing special. But fairly quickly the chocolate, or perhaps its the mahogany, flavor hits you mid way down with a bitterness from the hops. As quickly as it comes it goes though. I wish it stuck around for the party a little longer, but that only makes me want more. The party begins again.
Medium to low in carbonation. Could use more in my opinion, but perhaps the low carbonation makes it more reminiscent of a winter ale. Drink this one with steak or a hardy meal. At 8%, it is high for the average drinker but I don’t think comes off that way. Definitely calls for you to take another sip…and another.
I wouldn’t say there is anything that amazing about the brew. However, Avery has created another fine beer that is a perfect if you happen to be in front of a fire place or just coming out of the cold. I can not wait for it to snow so I can enjoy this one after a long ski day.
Our winter ale has a gorgeous mahogany hue, a hint of hazelnut, and a finish reminiscent of mocha and toffee. No spices, just a perfect blend of five specialty malts. Cellarable for 3+ years. Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, hops and yeast.
The Story Behind The Beer
This beer has a lot going for it besides a killer name.
A full-bodied brown ale, this beer is filled with intense pumpkin and spice flavors. Brewed with real pumpkin ‘meat’, organic brown sugar and spices, it is the perfect beer to accompany your Thanksgiving dinner or to enjoy during the fall season. This is your watered down version that most breweries make when attempting pumpkin ales.
The name Punkin and the beer have a bit of history as well. It was actually named after an event in southern Deleware called the Punkin Chunkin. During the event they catapult pumpkins some 4,000 feet through the air. Farthest wins…I guess. They even have a Miss Punkin Chunkin Pageant!
Punkin Ale made it’s debut at this event as it claimed first prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Conest , some 6 months before Dogfish Head opened its door.
Brewed every Fall and released around September, you must try it. One of my favorite beers this time of the season. By as much as you can as it will go fast.
Appearance: Semi-murky over steeped tea color. Good lacing that lasts throughout.
Smell: Major pumpkin pie aroma. In a blind taste test, you think you were smelling an actual pumpkin pie that was being baked. Spicy with some alcoholic esters to boot.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth and a bit creamy in the medium body. Sizable malt flavor, biscuity and sweet. A touch yeasty in the back with expressive esters in the front. The spice flavor helps the hops to balance out the sweetness. Finishes sweet and spicy.
Notes: The best pumpkin brew I have had to date. Dogfish Head knows how to make flavored beers that smell and taste just like they should without being too overwhelming and undrinkable. For someone like myself that can’t eat enough pumpkin pie, I for sure can not drink enough of Punkin.
Serving type: 12 oz brown bottle