First night of summer swim lesson for the girls and the sunset over Pittsburgh was beautiful.  I saw colors of orange, yellow, pink, red, blue, grey, white and shades in between.  Sitting here in my kitchen setting up to blog last night and tonight's beer and my wife is... you guessed it baking!  But this time its personal!  She is making birthday cake for our SOON TO BE 4 Year Old!  Brecken's Bday is tomorrow at 12:33pm.  We are all very excited no more so then Brecken herself.  She is getting Blue Cake with Blue Icing!  Her favorite color is Blue you know.  So in honor of her, I have a "blue" beer lined up for her.  More on that tomorrow.  But as for the last two nights, here's what I've been drinking:
6/12/2012 - Lancaster Brewery - Strawberry Wheat - Grade 4.5
I actually ended up driving to 4 different distributors to find this variety pack.  I knew/know this is good beer but didn't realize that it was that popular.  I ended up finding it at Beer Express Is Best down on Stuebenville Pike near Crafton, PA.  It was also a nice surprise to see they are taking advantage of some of the new PA Laws that allow to sell home brew ingredients and equipment.  Their supply seemed pretty small for now but they are just getting into it so it will be interesting to see if it takes off.  The prices didn't seem to bad though.  Now onto the beer; I try to have this beer at least once or twice a summer.  Its the original "fruit" beer that made me want to attempt to brew a fruit beer.  I have attempted a strawberry wheat beer once or twice; unfortunately none to my satisfaction.  That is why I highly recommend this one!  I poured this one in the fancy crystal because I know the better glass ware makes it taste even that more delicate.  I poured it into the glass and you get that yellow slightly murky wheat beer presence with just a hint of red tint that is the first hint there are strawberry flavors present.  The nose isn't all that fancy in that it almost smells like any old lager you may have had in the past.  I don't get huge strawberry notes or sweetness at all.  But wait, if you try (at least for me it is trying) I actually do notice just a hint of strawberry sweetness hanging out in the back of the nose.  Not over powering, just nice and present.  From there, the taste of this beer is a well balanced beer that comes through with wheat notes of light banana in the background that are most definitely from the yeast it was fermented using.  From there, you get a light flowery note that is a bit light citrus and bringing up the finish is that always so present strawberry existence.  It is not huge and obnoxious as some fruit beers try to steer.  Instead, they start with a well put together well balanced wheat beer and add the strawberry in as an almost after thought to compliment the banana notes and wheaty goodness.  In general, I love this beer.  I've heard that at the brewery they make "Chocalate Strawberry Beers" using their Lancaster Milk Stout layered with Strawberry Wheat.  Though this sounds incredible (and I may just have to make one to try this week), I always have a hard time attempting to mix this beer with anything as it is such a finely perfected strawberry wheat which in my opinion are hard to come by (same reason I never tried skiing as I didn't want to ruin a great day of snow boarding).

6/11/2012 - Harpoon's - Unfiltered Offering Pale Ale - Grade 3.25
I believe after this one I have one last Offering from the variety pack and I'm excited because all of these beers have been really enjoyable so far.  Harpoon makes a quality brew for sure.  This beer doesn't disappoint either.  Carbonation was nice and large on this beer as it has been in all the others I've tried to date.  It was not surprisingly a bit cloudy in the glass.  It may have been the most clear/clean beer in the unfiltered collection that I tried.  It poured a bit glowing orange or amber red in the glass.  There is a light malty sweet flavor with huge hop flavor.  The hops are very grapefruit and citrus burn.  There was a bit of soapy flavor in the background that I didn't really appreciate.  I attribute this "soapy" floral finish to the specifics hops being used in this beer.  This could have probably hit a 3.75 or 4 maybe if not for this some what undesirable finish in my opinion.

As always, thanks for stopping by for the read.  Please send me updates on my Facebook page on what you are drinking and/or where.  I enjoy all the feed back.


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