So this was my birthday weekend.  It was a bit of a hectic week for sure.  But as always one for the records.  My girls were sweet and happy and showered me with love.  I could ask for better girls when it comes to that.  They are special.  For me, I took sometime to reflect on this challenge.  So far, it is going pretty much as I expected.  I had hoped to keep up on the notes better then I have been the last few weeks.  But it is summer so what else can you really expect for something fun and extra like this.  Also, I have had time to reflect about another incident about humanity recently.  This issue with the "bus monitor lady".  I don't know where my readers stand.  But I did post a bit on facebook today on my personal account.  Responses were interesting.  I mean no disrespect here I'm just really confused by the actions of others to donate "so much money" for this situation.  Its interesting because when I started this venture a comment was made about me "wasting my money" on something like me drinking and enjoying beer.  The beauty of this country is we all have our own opinions.  I just really think this bus monitor issue was taken to a whole new level and very very interesting.  So be it, on to the beers:
New Holland Brewery - Hopivore -  Grade 4
This caramel brown liquid comes equipped with a light murky thin head on top.  The beer smells of flowery hops with hints of citrusy grapefruit.  The taste is definitely a spiced hoppiness on the back of your tongue with a medium body.  The site speaks about using 100% of Michigan hops that.  And an even more special note is that this beer was wet hopped.  I’m not sure any other beers I had this year was wet hopped.  Basically, this brings the hops straight in off the truck into the brew.  It brings a very unique flavor of the hop that is more fresh and bitter.  There is no drying of the hops before the use.

Sierra Nevada – Bigfoot 2011 – Grade 4.25
When I pour this I first notice the huge thick red color in the glass.  The color could be likened to a Red Mahogany or Sedona Red stain.  The head disappeared quickly.  When I swirled the beer in the glass it held to the side trying not to fall to the bottom.  The liquid is thick and syrupy in every sip.  With huge alcohol smell and taste in every sip it really came across as a nice bourbon or scotch conditioned in a cask.  This beer had huge amounts of hops.  The texture is thick in the mouth.  Every sip tasted like pounds of liquid raisins.  The high alcohol taste seemed to balance out many of these other flavors nicely.  This beer is very highly malted and nicely balanced.  It did taste like it could take a bit more time to mature.

Clearly this is not the right picture - Scratch this - Its my birthday and I planned on drinking this - I DID drink this as I got it as a birthday gift from a close friend.  Thank you for that.  Though they harrassed me half the nigh if I had already drank this (clearly they do not review the Empties section of my site ;) haha).  In drinking this now, I found I liked it a 'bit more' then when I drank it a few weeks back.  Now, what else did I drink Friday night?  It was my birthday - so I will use the Saranac - Blueberry Blonde Ale - I honestly can't "safely" review this beer tonight since I actually was fairly "happy" while drinking these.  I did try this again this past weekend and I remember it being nice and refreshing.  I don't remember if it was to Blue Berry Sweet or not.  I have a few left down stairs and may try to come back to this one.  In general I remember liking it and I'll call it a Grade 3 since it was a drinkable beer and I enjoyed it.  But it was a FRUITY beer so?  I am starting to get sick of these though I gotta say.

Church Brew Works – Pious Monk –
This is a nice brown beer in the glass.  There is a wonderful nice clinging head to the side of the glass.  In general, this beer is a nice medium bodied beer with nice lager notes in the nose.  The beer flows nicely over the tongue leaving a nice tingle of hop trace on every sip.  It finishes with a bit of light peppery spice.   Almost has a silky smooth texture in every sip.

Saranac Brewery - Kolsch – Grade 3
Nice medium bodied sweet malty body – very beer like qualities.  Nice carbonation tingled the tongue nicely.  Honestly, not much to talk about with this one.  Just running low on descriptors

Stone Brewery – IPA Ruination – Grade 4.25
Head of the beer is thick and cream and stream.  The first sip of this beer is definitely screams of all hops.  That is by design of course.  I got a huge citrus and maybe even rose pedal in the mouth.  The malts are big and strong to hold this beer nicely.  The alcohol on this beer is showing a 7.7% alcohol to help support the hops. The bottle even has printed right on the side: “A liquid poem to the glory of the hop”.  A very nice beer to be drank indeed.  Not being a huge hop head I still can find a way to enjoy this beer.

New Holland Brewery - Dragon's Milk Ale Aged in Oak Barrels - Grade 3.5
This is a STRONG beer.  This is a BIG beer.  This is a Ale Aged in OAK Barrels.  This is part of New Hollands High Gravity Series.  I have had this beer in the past and remember liking it a bit more then I do tonight.  It could partly be that I am not up for a "BIG BEER" tonight.  Or it could be that this beer is just a bit more BITTER then I would like.  It pours very dark brack in the glass.  It pours with a dark brown head on top that lingers around gently as you drink.  This mouth feel is a strong alcohol background that makes you want to reach for a water.  It is hardy not refreshing.  There are notes of black cherry nose wafting from the glass.  Also, a bit of wood and dark malty chocolates.  I do normally enjoy this but tonight it is a bit strong.  It definitely leaves a bit of a bitter bite in the back of our mouth.  I would like it to be a bit more smooth.  Maybe it is a younger beer that could be aged a bit in the cellar.  I would recommend you try this beer as a unique beer but be warned - it is STRONG alcohol flavor.  And enjoy!

As always - drink responsibily (maybe not like I did on my b-day night) and have fun.  Every beer has a story and these beers are no different.  Thanks for reading.