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I recently visited my cousins in Alberta, Canada. One thing that makes me glad I don't live there: beer prices. Beer cost literally twice as much there. It was 24.99 (Canadian dollars, but Canadian and US dollars are practically the same at this point) for a decent 12-pack.

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Went to the perfect pour in Columbia, MD tonight. http://perfectpourcolumbia.com If you've never been, its worth the drive. Went on a Pumpkin binge. Here's what I got:

Southern Tier Pumpking

Star Hill Pumpkin Porter (excited for a Pumpkin porter, should be interesting even if Star Hill is hit or miss)

Schalfy Pumpkin Ale

UFO Pumpkin Ale

(Bud Light Margarita for the wife)

Add that to the three cheap pumpkin beers I already had (DFH, Blue Moon, and Shock Top) and I'm going to have myself a pumpkin taste test this weekend. Should be a good time.

Edit: Perfect pour had a BUNCH of other Pumpkins including Saranac, Weyerbacher, Post Road, Shipyard, etc, but I've already had most of them. While I know everyone loves the Weyerbacher, I'm not really a fan. Fisherman's Imperial Pumpkin Stout comes out next week, so I'll probably go back and pick up some other ones.

Edited by SloppyOneXXVI
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Okay has anyone actually had Dogtoberfest or The Fear this year? I'm not convinced they are in stores yet. I just hit up 3 local beer stores in the Dupont Circle area and none of them had any of the autumn Flying Dog beers

---------- Post added September-7th-2012 at 01:02 PM ----------

i did see that sam adams has a autumn seasonal 12 pack out with a variety of beers (3 of which I'd never had) for 18.99 at a local store. I might get that instead

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i did see that sam adams has a autumn seasonal 12 pack out with a variety of beers (3 of which I'd never had) for 18.99 at a local store. I might get that instead

I bought it.

2012-08-07_20-12-07_626.jpg

Worth it.

Two bottles of an unusual beer in the pack:

Sam-Adams-Hazel-Brown-570x449.jpg

I'm not usually a big fan of flavored beers. And hazelnut? Okay in coffee, but beer? I wasn't expecting much. But it worked. Really interesting taste.

The 12-pack sampler also included two each of their reliable Octoberfest, a Dunkelweisen, and their pumpkin beer.

A couple minor quibbles...One beer that didn't really fit was their Latitude 48. Nice I.P.A. but they've offered it all summer. Not sure why it's in a "Harvest" collection. Also, they wasted two 12-pack slots on their flagship Boston Lager, which is a good beer but why not use the space in the pack for something else?

All in all though, this is Sam Adams flexing its beer-making muscles.

Edited by Dan T.
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Okay has anyone actually had Dogtoberfest or The Fear this year? I'm not convinced they are in stores yet. I just hit up 3 local beer stores in the Dupont Circle area and none of them had any of the autumn Flying Dog beers[

Dogtoberfest has been at Twinbrook Deli in Rockville for a month. Maybe he saved them from last year. With that year stashed away they could have very easily improved flavor wise. Definitely getting that stuff this month.

Edited by d0ublestr0ker0ll
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Dogtoberfest has been at Twinbrook Deli in Rockville for a month. Maybe he saved them from last year. With that year stashed away they could have very easily improved flavor wise. Definitely getting that stuff this month.

ugh that's not really close to me. there has to be a place that is carrying it around here

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All my Heavy Seas Marzens are empty this morning...blah. All I had to tell my friend was that they tasted like the Sam Adams Octoberfest, and poof.

So I'm stocking up for the game today. Going to watch it with my dad. I've been giving him different styles of craft beer over the years, and know what he likes at this point. He doesn't venture too far off of the traditional Budweiser flavor, which is the only beer he'd drink until I handed him his first craft brew.

Will never forget it, gave him the Sierra Nevada 30th Anny Fritz & Ken's Stout. He pretended to like it :ols:. Even though the beer sat there for so long that I ended up finishing it for him. On his last birthday there were a couple stouts mixed in with some beers I gave him, and he told me he wasn't going to drink them. The man hates stouts because of me, not too much of a hop fan either...he simply likes his Budweisers. So I started to ask myself which styles have that same American Lager feel? Best ones that came to mind were Triples, Belgian Ales, Blonde Ales, Pilseners and Hefeweizens.

Moral of the story is, if you want to introduce someone to craft beer, go with a golden beer, sweet and mellow. Don't make them try the Brooklyn Black Chocolate or anything.

Edited by d0ublestr0ker0ll
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For the game tomorrow I got a 6 pack of Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen, and a 6 pack of Victory Prima Pils.

Paulaner Oktoberfest has a very full body for the style. Getting a ton of toast and wood, they stand out for sure. Roasted caramel keeps a very strong backbone. It's a big beer, hearty and filling. 11.2 oz bottles are usually somewhat depressing. I want my extra .8 oz sip. But the full flavor and body makes me forget about that. Price on this sixer was $12. Worth it.

Paulaner_Oktoberfest.jpg?1239728381

Victory Prima Pils is an extremely bitter beer. Stone Ruination meet your match! It's an immediate blitz of very high pitched bitterness. Wow. Virtually 0 warmth from the alcohol, virtually no malt, this is like the ripest grapefruit ever. Finish is very long too. Just a beast for a bitter beer lover. Damn!!!

beer_pp.jpg

Edited by d0ublestr0ker0ll
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Flying Dog Dogtoberfest 2012

Caramel-driven Marzen, from aroma to flavor. Yeast pops in and gives the beer a fairly toasted overtone. Caramel is dominant, just can't quite get my tastebuds away from it. Dark fruit undertone is definitely sweetening this beer up a lot. This is another hit for Flying Dog. Let's say a triple by their standards. Good beer!

1346812718_524cbd0f4e.jpg

Edited by d0ublestr0ker0ll
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So what is Maryland's best Marzen? It's between the Dogtoberfest and...

Heavy Seas Marzen

Not a second after the initial sip, I can already tell you the Dogtoberfest beats this beer. The Heavy Seas Marzen is light virtually all the way around. A sweet, bready malt is the vague theme, with toast and caramel touches. Body is the only thing fairly hearty, but it still is a couple notches lighter than the Dogtober. I'm still an advocate for the Heavy Seas Marzen, because the stuff is on the shelf all year, and it's alright. It's just that the Dogtober is pretty beastly next to this stuff. Time to start putting it up against the elite.

c29b6e94f569e7786f20fa8db8411ca5_320x320.jpg

Edited by d0ublestr0ker0ll
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Tried two new sam adams beers this week. they've got a Harvest Pumpkin and a Hazel Brown. I hadn't had either before.

Harvest Pumpkin: if not for the label, i wouldn't really have been able to distinguish this from the plain old boston lager, the spices and pumpkin flavoring was so weak. not a fan. a shame, because i normally really like both sam adams and pumpkin ales. stick with DFH's Punkin' Ale or go for the best: Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Hazel Brown: this one on the other hand did not skimp on the flavor. the nose and flavor are overwhelmingly and pleasantly of hazelnut. the hazelnut is so heavy that it almost feels like a hoppy IPA, but with nuttiness instead of hops. very tasty.

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In San Juan right now and the craft beer scene is non-existent. Went to Old San Juan yesterday and hit a microbrewery, (Old Harbor), and, with the exception of one of the stouts, the beers are weak.

I'm so sick of Medalla Light and Magna right now..the Medalla is 4.2% and comes in 10oz cans...and the Magna is around 5.something%, but at least they come in almost 12 oz bottles...ugh!

You can get some decent craft beers in stores, but no way I'm paying $14.00 for six-pack of Magic Hat. First thing I'm going to do when we get home is run to the kegerator, stick my mouth under the spout, and pull the handle!!

....and the flip side...the weather, the beaches, the resort, restaurants and people have been fantastic!

Edited by Skinsfan1311
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I went to my brother in law's bar for some drinks over the weekend. She asked me what I wanted, I asked what they had on tap, it was all local brews for the most part and I'm not from around there so I asked if they had a Märzen on tap. I said it properly too cause ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch. Anyway she looked at me funny and I went on: "It's a rich lager, originates in Germany, it's typically a seasonal beer this time of year because of oktoberfest..."

She says well I have XXXXXX (I couldn't hear what she said) and this month it's their seasonal lager...

I said is it a reddish color and somewhat sweet? She said yes. I said alright I'll try whatever it is.

Turns out it was a Märzen. Never caught the name, though it reminded me of the Paulaner posted above.

I haven't been a big beer fan for long on account of I didn't find my niche, but it bugs me when the people who are serving look at me like I'm speaking a different langu.....oh...well I suppose I was but still. I mentioned something about it just as a joke to my brother in law when he was off his shift drinking with us and he said he had to correct her for months about needing to pronounce Smithwicks beer Smit-icks and not Smith-Wicks.

Edited by No_Pressure
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In San Juan right now and the craft beer scene is non-existent. Went to Old San Juan yesterday and hit a microbrewery, (Old Harbor), and, with the exception of one of the stouts, the beers are weak.

I'm so sick of Medalla Light and Magna right now..the Medalla is 4.2% and comes in 10oz cans...and the Magna is around 5.something%, but at least they come in almost 12 oz bottles...ugh!

You can get some decent craft beers in stores, but no way I'm paying $14.00 for six-pack of Magic Hat. First thing I'm going to do when we get home is run to the kegerator, stick my mouth under the spout, and pull the handle!!

....and the flip side...the weather, the beaches, the resort, restaurants and people have been fantastic!

I went to high school in PR. Great times/no good beer. I heard they have Ballast Point now though.

Have to pretty much stick to ****tails there. If you feel the "when in Rome" moment you can handle a Medalla or 3.

In HS we used to order Coronas, drink the neck, and then have them pour a shot of Bacardi Limon in instead of adding a lime. I call them Puerto Rican Coronas. Make sure you plug the bottle and turn it upside down so the rum doesn't sit on the top.

If you make it back to Old San Juan and walk by a bar called "El Batey" pop in there for a second. I spent my Junior and Senor year of HS there. My name is on the wall and my business card is hanging from one of their lamps.

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Now that I live in Bethesda, Twinbrook Deli is my go-to for beer. Any one got any other good suggestions? On a side note, I some how consumed a 6pack of Loose Cannon. Forgot how strong, and delicious, this brew is.

I live 3 minutes away from Twinbrook Deli, but there are 2 beer stores better within a couple miles of it. The best in Rockville is Gilly's, located across the street from Guitar Center. Going north on 355, take a right on Bou Avenue, then take a left at the light you come up to. Gilly's will be at the end of the block on the left. It's the only store around here that lets you build your own pack of beer.

The second store is called Belby Beer and Wine, which is on 355 almost immediately after you cross Edmonston Dr (on your right). Their selection is badass as well, I go there the most. Better prices than Gilly's.

The Deli isn't shabby, they have a good selection of beer packs, the selection of single bottles on the other hand is very poor. I want to give the guy some advice, but don't want to sound condescending. He has Baltika's taking up the "specialty beer" rack. :ols:

Edited by d0ublestr0ker0ll
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I live 3 minutes away from Twinbrook Deli, but there are 2 beer stores better within a couple miles of it. The best in Rockville is Gilly's, located across the street from Guitar Center. Going north on 355, take a right on Bou Avenue, then take a left at the light you come up to. Gilly's will be at the end of the block on the left side. It's the only store around here that lets you build your own pack of beer.

The second store is called Belby Beer and Wine, which is on 355 almost immediately after you cross Edmonston Dr (on your right). Their selection is badass as well, I go there the most. Better prices than Gilly's.

The Deli isn't shabby, they have a good selection of beer packs, the selection of bombers on the other hand is very poor. I want to give the guy some advice, but don't want to sound condescending. He has Baltika's taking up the "specialty beer" rack. :ols:

Thank you! I live off Pooks Hill, but I'm definitely making a trip that way soon.

---------- Post added September-13th-2012 at 11:34 PM ----------

I live 3 minutes away from Twinbrook Deli, but there are 2 beer stores better within a couple miles of it. The best in Rockville is Gilly's, located across the street from Guitar Center. Going north on 355, take a right on Bou Avenue, then take a left at the light you come up to. Gilly's will be at the end of the block on the left. It's the only store around here that lets you build your own pack of beer.

The second store is called Belby Beer and Wine, which is on 355 almost immediately after you cross Edmonston Dr (on your right). Their selection is badass as well, I go there the most. Better prices than Gilly's.

The Deli isn't shabby, they have a good selection of beer packs, the selection of single bottles on the other hand is very poor. I want to give the guy some advice, but don't want to sound condescending. He has Baltika's taking up the "specialty beer" rack. :ols:

Ps. Are these stores where you find all the great looking craft beers you review?

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Ps. Are these stores where you find all the great looking craft beers you review?

They most certainly are! Have fun :)

---------- Post added September-13th-2012 at 11:57 PM ----------

Tonight I'm drinking some Guinness Extra Stout I got as a gift, so this last Dogtoberfest is going to the cellar for a couple years.

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They most certainly are! Have fun :)

---------- Post added September-13th-2012 at 11:57 PM ----------

Tonight I'm drinking some Guinness Extra Stout I got as a gift, so this last Dogtoberfest is going to the cellar for a couple years.

I definitely will. Ever had evolution #3 ipa? Almost picked some up tonight. I'm relatively new to the IPA world. I love loose cannon and ranger. Any other recommendations?

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I definitely will. Ever had evolution #3 ipa? Almost picked some up tonight. I'm relatively new to the IPA world. I love loose cannon and ranger. Any other recommendations?

Haven't had the Evolution, but thanks for reminding me about it, been eying it for a while. As far as recommending IPAs, that's like asking to recommend a good pizza. Faves off the top of my head are the Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, Stone IPA (Ruination is good too), Lagunitas IPA. Sierra Nevada's hoppy ales are pretty much sure bets, and they have a lot of 'em. The Sierra Nevada Torpedo is at all 3 stores we talked about, and it's actually straight up incredible. You might find the Bear Republic Racer 5 at the other two stores. Do you like Imperial IPAs? They're tied with American Strong Ales as my favorite style of beer.

Edited by d0ublestr0ker0ll
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Tried two new sam adams beers this week. they've got a Harvest Pumpkin and a Hazel Brown. I hadn't had either before.

Harvest Pumpkin: if not for the label, i wouldn't really have been able to distinguish this from the plain old boston lager, the spices and pumpkin flavoring was so weak. not a fan. a shame, because i normally really like both sam adams and pumpkin ales. stick with DFH's Punkin' Ale or go for the best: Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Hazel Brown: this one on the other hand did not skimp on the flavor. the nose and flavor are overwhelmingly and pleasantly of hazelnut. the hazelnut is so heavy that it almost feels like a hoppy IPA, but with nuttiness instead of hops. very tasty.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Hazel Brown. I wasn't sure about hazelnut flavoring in beer, but damned if it didn't work. It wouldn't be a regular drink for me, but I would be glad to sample it a time or two over the course of an autumn.

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