O’Death – Outside

O’Death is a band that was introduced to me a little over a year ago by my good friend Jamie in New Orleans, LA.  I was very interested in their sound and their musicality; however, I never really took to them at that time.  With the release of their new album, Outside, I rediscovered their music and developed an even greater love for them.

One of the biggest surprises for me in looking into their background was to find that this band didn’t come from the south at all.  Their sound certainly makes me think that they grew up somewhere south along the Mississippi.  I suppose featuring such instruments in your music as the banjo, fiddle, and ukulele will tend to do that.  These southern style musicians however, honed their craft in good old NYC.  Forming in 2003, their music quickly developed almost a cult following.  They have a great folk sound that is sort of different from the folk sound that is prevalent in popular music today.  Everyone has heard Mumford and Sons on the radio which has a more folky Irish feel to it.  O’death goes for more of an Americana-folk that would be created on the front porch of a small cabin down by the river.  Their gothic take on American music creates songs that seem to be more fitting of a funeral than any sort of celebration.

As O’death have matured, their songs have done so as well.  This is the third release and it is by far their least frantic and chaotic.  Evidently they have more or less begun to drop the punk association that many tagged this band with earlier on in their career.  This album finds them still varying up their style; however, always returning to a muted and low-key sound.  Refer to the videos I have included below to see just how their music has differed.  “Low Tide”, a song off their last album, is clearly more hectic and punk rock influenced than their newest video: “Bugs”.  One of their biggest reasons for maturing may be some of the trials they have been forced to face in the past few years.  David Rogers-Berry, drummer for the band, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, and forced to undergo both chemotherapy and a shoulder replacement.  This forced the band to drop off their 2009 tour and take a break until a return to the stage the following summer.

O’death manages to create a sort of unique sound that they change and develop in each song.  The songs will typically manage to come back to the way in which they started, but they go through many different changes throughout the trip getting there.  “Bugs” starts out sounding like a long lost track off some Elliot Smith album.  However, after the first verse, the banjo manages to find its way into the mix and takes it off in a completely different direction for the chorus.  It fits together quite nicely, but being the first song on the album, it is the very first taste of a lot of southern style songs.

Every song on the album somehow manages to sound like some sort of indie strolling minstrel gypsy song.  O’death manages to create a sound that not many are attempting at this point in time.  Some of the songs do manage to sound slightly light and happy; however, a great quantity of the songs come off with a funeral dirge sound to it. A song that really embodies this concept is”Alamar”.  This song starts off with people almost monk chanting in the background.  Then a jarring guitar comes in followed by a very heavy metallic sounding drum.  You could almost see them following a coffin towards a pre-dug grave site followed by mourners.  It is a great song, and probably one of my favorite on the album; however, if you are looking for a pick me up, I wouldn’t recommend a lot of songs on this record.

Another song that sounds just as sad and mournful is “The Lake Departed”.  The song starts with an almost old church organ sound, followed by heavy drums and bass, and then finished out with lead singer Greg Jamie’s quavering vocals singing out “Leave her body in the snow, there is no where else for her to go”.  Not exactly a pick me up, and of course, it is the final song on the album.  So, it leaves you with a very ominous impression of the album.

There are some more upbeat songs on the album.  You of course do have to understand that O’death’s version of upbeat is much different from most other bands. “Back of the Garden” has a much lighter feel to it.  This is more based on the instruments and not on the vocals.  It even contains what i believe to be the most danceable song on the album.  Of course, it may be more fit for a tango than anything.  “Ghost Head” is another fairly upbeat song.  You can once again blame this more on the instruments than the vocals.

All in all, I am very happy with the album O’death has put out here.  I don’t think it will be for everyone, and I am sure there will be those that really can’t stand this style or the vocals.  However, I’m content to enjoy O’death despite them being a pretty big downer a lot of the time.  I don’t think you’ll put this on to enjoy a day at the beach, but I think you’ll find yourself going back to this album more than you thought you would.  So check it out.

Teacher Grade: B

Avery – Collaboration Not Litigation

Collaboration not litigation is one of those beers you have to at least try if you aren’t into the standard run of the mill brews that are out there.  One of the more interesting things brewers are doing now a days is trying to find harmony in the brewing community.  We see these light beer wars on TV.  Miller light is better than Bud Light blah blah blah.  In the end they both taste like pee.  Craft brewers have decided to go the other way when it comes to the competitive beer market.  That is, they combine similar recipes to hopefully produce a product that is both different and amazing all at the same time.  Unfortunately I missed out on the last big collaboration I wanted to get, Life and Limb, which brought together both Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada.  I would not allow that to happen again.  When my good friend over at Hockey and Beer told me about this bottle, I had to check this one out for myself. I headed right over to the store and picked up a bottle until now.

The aptly named, Collaboration not Litigation, brings together two big names in the craft beer industry.  The first is one of my up and coming favorites in Avery.  Recently I enjoyed their double IPA DungA.  If you are into hops, this is definitely one you are going to want to check out.  It will have your face doing contortions at 93 IBU’s. The other is a west coast brewer known as Russian River Brewing Company.  Russian River is pretty hard to get over here on the east coast.  Evidently, according to their site, they only really retail it in the Philadelphia area.  I guess I know what I’ll be looking for when I head up there again.  As the story goes, these two breweries are both putting out two Belgian style ales by the name of Salvation.  When they realized this there was some talk over who would get to keep the name; however, instead of having just one brewer producing the Belgian ale by the name of Salvation, they actually both kept these on their roster and decided to combine the recipes into one bottle as well.  Hence Collaboration not Litigation.

The biggest surprise to me when pouring this beer out was the complete lack of head that developed on the pour.  Even on my second glass, I changed the angle of the bottle and did manage to get a slight, less than an inch, amount of white lacy head on the top.  This actually made me a little nervous due to the somewhat long period of time I have been holding onto this bottle.  Really, I’ve only had it since Easter, so I wasn’t sure if that could be a bad sign at all, but I felt it still had to be pretty good.  The color of the beer is a slightly reddish-brown hue.  It has an almost bronze color to it. Considering this is a blend of two Belgian Ales, I was kind of surprised by the heavy amount citrus I received on the initial smell.  I suppose I just don’t always associate heavy citrus qualities with Belgian beers.  Once the citrus dissipates there is a slightly boozy and bready smell to it. Additionally, there is a slight little hint of hops towards the end, but you can tell that there won’t be much of any hops to the taste of this beer.

The taste starts with a very citrus feel but manages to blend away to a mild taste of clove somewhere in the middle of the developing flavor.  The clove flavor then gives way to a little bit more of a boozy and brown sugar feel towards the end. Glancing at the recipe on the bottle reveals that there is Belgian candied sugar in the recipe.  This really comes through on the back half of the flavor profile.  It has a fairly heavy feel, but the medium level of carbonation seems to hide the fact that this is a fairly heavy beer.  The right amount of carbonation gives way to some boozy feeling at the end, but it allows you to remember that you’re actually drinking a Belgian beer.  Finally, it seems to finish off with a very sugary sweet taste that almost comes out of nowhere. A slight warming effect greets you at the very end of the taste; however, not enough to make you think you need a single glass and then a nice little nap.

Overall, I really enjoyed this bottle for its ability to blend two recipes into what I feel is perfect harmony.  I have become a huge fan of the big flavors that Avery is able to produce in almost every bottle on their quite large roster.  This bottle, however, leaves me wondering what the Russian River brewing company is producing.  I am really happy that Avery made this brew available to us on the east coast; however, I would love to be able to find their very popular Pliny the Elder in my area.  I’ll keep my eyes open in the future, but, if you’re looking for great take on a Belgian Ale, check out this bottle.  It’s the fifth batch they have produced, and I am looking forward to the sixth. You really won’t want to pass this on up.

Teacher Grade: A

Review: Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell

I really haven’t veered too far from my original intent when I began this site, but I wanted to at least put up a little review of sorts onlone survivor the book I literally just finished this afternoon.  I would like to think of myself as a jack of all trades kind of guy; however, I think the follow-up to that (master of none) is more fitting.  I really love to read, but I allow a lot of other things to get in the way, which causes me to read at a very slow and distracted pace sometimes.  So I’ve been reading this book for about a month or more now, however, this week it really took off for me. Lone Survivor is probably a book you’ve seen half a dozen times at your local bookstore.  I know I passed by it quite a few times before finally deciding I had to read it.  I have lately really enjoyed non-fiction stories that involve people doing things that I guarantee I could never do.  Lone Survivor is just that type of story.

This tale follows Marcus Luttrell through his experiences preparing for the navy seals, going through the necessary training to be a navy seal, and then going through a mission gone horribly awry while working in Afghanistan. The actual plot that takes place is pretty incredible.  I found both the training and the actual mission extremely interesting to read about.  Luttrell goes into great detail describing the different tasks that were required of him in boot camp.  Some of the activities help me understand why it is I sit in a classroom everyday and didn’t choose to do what he does.  Such things as being required to jump in the freezing cold ocean, roll around in the sand, and then go for a four mile run don’t sound like much fun to me.  His description of “Hell Week” where he was not permitted to sleep for 72 hours, forced to tread water in freezing cold temperatures, and perform crazy drills while carrying an eight-foot long and one foot in diameter log only further prove to me that I am just not motivated enough to keep up with this guy.  All along he tells of all the people around him quitting.  I can’t help but think I would have been one of the first.

Without giving too much away, the mission (Redwing) in the story is once again an incredible look into a special ops mission in Afghanistan.  The team (Danny, Axel, Murphy, and Marcus) head out to find, kill, or capture a major al Qaeda leader hiding in a very remote part of Afghanistan.  They see the danger of the situation before even leaving; however, being navy seals, they still head out to and try to accomplish their mission.  If the title doesn’t already give it away, the mission goes seriously wrong and they have to fight their way out while sustaining tremendous casualties.  Their fight to live and survive shows more heart than I could ever imagine being able to conjure up.  I cry when I get shot in the wrong place with a hockey puck.  These guys keep fighting despite being shot in the neck and chest.

After reading this story, I looked around to see what someone could possibly say negatively about this story.  Of course, people will always complain about something as hot button as war. One of the biggest complaints people have is that he seems to blame most of the downfalls of their mission on liberals in America.  As Luttrell says, “…the view of most Navy SEALs (is), the public does not have that right to know, not if it means placing our lives in unnecessary peril because someone in Washington is driving himself mad worrying about the human rights of some cold-hearted terrorist fanatic who would kill us as soon as look at us…” (pg. 38).  I think this is a very easy point of view to take when you look at what he went through. Had his team not been worried about the issues that would arise from how they should have handled their situation, things would have ended up very differently.  He does continually come back to this point throughout most of the story and, to a degree, it definitely does get a little repetitive.  My political views are so minute that this really does nothing to raise my displeasure or love for the story.  I can definitely see his point of view given his situation; however, when compared to what happened at Abu Ghraib, it is hard to say we should not regulate at all what people do in a time of war.  If nothing else it has left me with something to think about.

Lone Survivor is an incredible story about how one man managed to survive against all odds.  If you can separate this from your own political and religious views, then you’ll really enjoy this story.  However, if you simply can’t get past Luttrell using his story as an opportunity to talk about what is wrong with liberal America, then you’ll probably have a tough time getting through this one.

Teacher Grade: B

Beer week: Smith Commons and The Argonaut

For those of you who didn’t know, this week is actually American Craft Beer Week.  Throughout the different states there are special events going on for craft beer lovers to enjoy hard to get drafts, meet and greet different brewers, and get some free swag.  Therefore, last night John and I headed down to Smith Commons for the special Bells event they were holding down there.  It was billed as having Two Hearted Ale, Oarsman Ale, and Hopslam.  As I have never actually enjoyed having Hopslam, this was my main reason for wanting to go.  However, after waiting a little while to get the attention of the bartender, we were finally told that they had run out of the Hopslam in the first half hour of being open.  Guess a $5 Hopslam special is bound to do that.  Slightly disappointed we decided to grab a glass of Two Hearted and count our loses out on the lovely porch they have built.  Two Hearted is, at least in my opinion, a pretty standard beer from Bells; therefore, I really didn’t put too much thought into the different flavors that were present or anything.  It’s a very good American IPA, probably one of the more enjoyable one I have had in a while.  They don’t really rely too much on the citrus aspects in their IPA, it has a much meatier feel to it.  From there, still disappointed about missing out on the Hopslam, we decided to switch over to a Dogfish Head that neither of us have had: Palo Santo Marron.

Normally, when I’m considering trying a new beer I’m very knowledgeable about what it is that I’m getting; however, I hadn’t looked into this one at all.  Therefore, when John came back with two snifter glasses full of a very dark beer, I was very curious to see what kind of flavors we had going on here.  Having not looked into it at all, I immediately thought that I was dealing with some sort of porter or stout.  I have had quite a few porters as of late at Rock Bottom Brewery after my hockey games, and I was certain this was falling right in line with a similar flavor profile.  It had a lot of coffee, caramel, and chocolate flavors in there.  But there was too much carbonation for it to be considered a stout. However, looking it up today, I see that Dogfish Head bills this as a brown ale.  This has to be the heaviest brown ale I’ve ever had.  Apparently, Dogfish ages this brew in barrels made of Palo Santo wood.  I don’t believe I have ever really had a beer aged in barrels made of this wood before, so I am certain that has a huge effect on the flavor.  After enjoying both of these beers, we decided it was time to move on and see what else we could find in the area; plus I hadn’t had dinner and was quite hungry. Evidently, if I was a bigger beer geek, I could have gotten tickets to see someone from Bells talk about the history of the company and their two biggest beers, but I decided I would much rather eat some good food.

We walked the two blocks over to The Argonaut and managed to grab two seats at their brand new open air outdoor bar.  When the place burned down somewhere around a year ago they made some huge changes to their place.  One of the biggest was cutting out the back wall of the bar and adding seating on the patio that connected to the bar inside.  A great idea I’m surprised I don’t see more.  I picked up the newest release from DC Brau: The Penn Quarter Porter.  One thing really stuck out to me when the bartender brought it over.  The head on the beer was almost as dark as the rest of the beer.  I was certain this would be a very heavy beer.  Evidently, this beer is a limited edition draft only release from DC Brau.  Therefore, if you don’t live in the DC area, you’ll probably miss out on this one.  It was an excellent porter.  Very heavy and very deep chocolate and coffee flavors.  Brau notes that it borders between a porter and a stout.  Therefore, it isn’t for the light beer drinker at all.

All in all, it was a great night out celebrating craft beer week.  I doubt I’ll make it back out anywhere this week.  However, if you’re looking for somewhere to go this week, Smith Commons is having Dogfish Head tonight, DC Brau on Thursday, Great Lakes on Friday, and Flying Dog on Saturday.  For anyone who didn’t get the Hellhound on my Ale release from Dogfish, it will be at Smith Commons tonight.  Don’t forget to get there early or you may not get a taste at all. Trust Me!

So wherever you live, do some research and see what events are going on around you.  Head out and be supportive of the hardworking American brewers that are trying to save us from Anheuser- Busch.

Oh and we had a Spike Mendelsohn, of Top Chef, sighting as we were leaving.  I’d like to think he was out supporting Craft Beer Week as well.

The Dodos – No Color

The Dodos aren’t exactly a new band.  They have been around since 2005 and have released four different albums.  Their third album, Time to Die, was mostly considered a huge flop.  They were attempting to follow-up their biggest release, Visitor, but weren’t able to find that same magic they had on their sophomore release.  “No Color” finds them taking some different, and very successful steps, to once again produce a stellar album.  One of the biggest differences in this recording is the lack of the vibraphone.  The Dodos were given two months to records this album, which allowed them to really play with sounds of the album.  Although most of the songs were originally recorded with the vibraphone, they soon realized that the songs sounded better when it was taken out.  This ultimately resulted in having Keaton Snyder, vibraphonist, leave the band. Another big addition to this record is having New Pornographer, Neko Case, along to guest on quite a few songs. Neko managed to join up with The Dodos when they toured together this past year.  Neko helps to bring some harmony to the developing wall of sound these two musicians have created.

It seems ironic to call what The Dodos do a wall of sound with only two members; however, they do display a lot of power on this album.  This is a very acoustic guitar and drum centered album.  That is mostly due to the fact that those are the only instruments the two members play.  Meric Long is the singer/guitarist and Logan Kroeber is the drummer.  However, being given two months for recording, the two were able to really experiment with their sound.  They incorporate dual guitar parts in many of the songs, very powerful drum sections, and even some strings mixed in here and there.  They even sneak a few electric guitar parts in once in a while.  The very first song on the album, Black Night, is an excellent song to set off the pace and sound for this album.  It utilizes a heavy and repetitive drum part that dominates most of the song.  This ends up making the guitar part in this song mostly secondary.  Even Meric’s crooning voice is secondary to what the drums are doing.  Halfway through the song develops into a much more fast paced song that helps keep the listener interested and entertained.  It’s this type of progression that shows the growth and maturity of this pair of musicians.

Some of the other songs on the album seem really really busy in the way they are constructed.  Don’t Stop has a very sporadic sound to it due to the way in which the drums are played.  They fit nicely into the sound that The Dodos are moving towards.  Going Under is an extremely powerful song.  It alternates between electric fuzzy guitars and acoustic plucking.  The drums are also extremely busy and powerful on it as well. The part that will really confuse you, really on most of these songs, is how melancholy Meric’s singing is on every song.  No matter how upbeat and loud the song gets, Meric comes in low-key and subdued.  It creates a great contrast if you’re into that.

All in all I think The Dodos have created a really good album.  They tried to stay away from some of the things that hurt their appeal in their last album, and they really invested a lot more time into thinking about how they wanted their sound and songs to be structured.  One of their greatest techniques for find their sound this time was having hour-long jam sessions, then pulling out a minute or two they thought were really good to utilize on their record.  It is this kind of devotion to their recording that shines through on this record.  I’m not sure how to characterize their sound.  They have a more folky sound at times, and then also come across as almost rock at other times.  Either way, you’ll want to check this album out.  It has potential to make my top ten of this year.

Teacher Rating: B

Beer Wars: The Battle of the Tripels

In the interest of keeping things upbeat around here, we have two new aspects to the blog.  First, we are having the first ever battle between two beers.  Secondly, this is the first time we are featuring a guest reviewer: John.  This battle will feature two different perspectives and two different brewers version of a Belgian Tripel.

The first beer is Karmeliet Tripel.  This beer is brewed by the Bosteels Family and Browerij Bosteels in Belgium.  It is made with three different grains: oats, barley, and wheat.  This is a recipe that has been around since 1679, which means that it has a lot of years of experience and perfecting going on.

The other beer we are featuring in this battle is an Ename Tripel.  The details on this tripel are a lot harder to find.  Apparently, Ename was a castle in Beligium that was built in 974 AD and converted to an abbey in 1063 AD.  This is when the St. Benedictus monks moved in.  However, in 1794 this abbey was ransacked and destroyed by French Revolutionaries.  They not only killed all of the monks, but also, burned the entire abbey to the ground.  In 199o Roman Brewing Company picked up this label and began brewing a variety of different Ename Beers.  There are not a lot of different details related to the brewing practices of this beer: however, I’m still hoping for a delicious tripel.

Karmeliet: John’s Review (unadulterated by Gary)

Gary has been lying to you.  He claims to have good taste in the finer things in life, but he owns more than 5 movies starring Keanu Reeves.  He will impress you with facts and figures but when you get down to it, beer is about drinking something that makes you feel better about bobbing your head to that Ke$ha song.   However, fine beers require the same thoughtful consideration that went into the perfection of the recipe.  With that in mind, I will attempt to convey the near perfection of Karmeliet Tripel.

Sound of Music taught me to start at the very beginning, so I’ll do just that .  The champagne cork pops and you pour a hazy golden ale that reminds you of a hefeweizen.  On the nose you will smell pineapple, lemon, cream, and banana (seriously).  The aroma literally fills a room and at this point you are not regretting the $13 you spent on this beer.  There is a technical term for the taste of the beer (mouth feel?) but let me just say your tongue is going to high-five you.  There is a texture to the beer, like a Napa Chardonnay, that fills your mouth with a thick and satisfying creamy smoothness.  You get oak and fruit on the front and then a nice orange and nutmeg on the finish.  The best part of the beer is the lingering flavor that does not get bitter or sour.  You will remember this beer long after you have taken your last sip.

Let me tell you who should buy this beer: chicks.  Honestly, if you are a girl and you want to impress this guy, bring a bottle out and say, “Oh this beer? I just saw this and thought it looked like a good abbey style tripel”.  You had him at beer.  You don’t have to deal with the bitter hops of an IPA or the chocolate/coffee/tar stout, but you still look awesome for suggesting an interesting brew that is basically Blue Moon on steroids.

You may agree with Gary and I can’t blame you.  He has impeccable taste and a well-versed palate.  He is also the nicest al-Qaeda operative I know.

Brewmaster’s Rating – Natalie Portman in that scene in Black Swan.

Ename: Gary’s Review

First off, Ename has a clear-cut advantage over Karmeliet.  There is this scary green bottle that the Karmeliet comes in.  I can’t help but think one thing when I see a green bottle: Rolling Rock.  Thankfully I can tell you Karmeliet stands hands and feet above that lower level beer.  John’s beer is Karmeliet though; therefore, I won’t dwell too much on my guest brew reviewers beer, simply be pleased to see the wonderfully beautiful bottle Ename comes in.  The color of this tripel is a darker copper color.  It really doesn’t develop much head either on the pour.  This was fairly surprising as I had it after the Karmeliet which produced a lot of head.  The smell that arises from a freshly pored glass is very faint.  I get hints of apple, pear, and an overwhelming smell of honey.  It almost has a little bit of an apple cider citrus smell to it.

The taste is exceptional.  It’s almost sort of strange as you get a very boozy apple cider feel to it at the start of the taste.  This taste however melts away and lingers on the tongue.  That isn’t where it stops though, some where towards the end you get a reminder that you are drinking alcohol when the slight hoppy feel kicks in at the end.  This little hint of hops doesn’t let you forget for a while that you were actually consuming an alcoholic beverage.  Some how this old school recipe has a different but similar taste to the tripels I’m very familiar with.  I’ve never had a tripel that had such a mellow feel to it.  The tripel feel does come across somewhere in the middle of the tasting.  Therefore, there is at least one thing I have to agree with when it comes to this tripel.

It would be great for impressing chicks or chicks looking to impress dudes.  Pull out this bottle with a girl/guy who loves beer, tell them the history of the abbey that was once a castle and abbey, but was then burned down.  Then let them taste the boozy apple cider like tripel goodness, and they’ll be impressed with the fact they can enjoy something that has been around for hundreds of years.  I would definitely recommend buying this beer; however, don’t be surprised when you think it’s sort of a good tripel and not the best one you’ve ever had.

Teacher Grade: B

DC Brau

DC Brau is the newest brew to come to the DC area, and I am fairly certain you can’t get it anywhere else but the DC metro area.  Therefore, if you don’t live here, that is too bad.  DC Brau is the first beer to be brewed inside the district in the last 60 years.  This new brew was masterminded by two men: Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock.  These two didn’t just wake up one day and decide they wanted to create their own beer.  Jeff first had an apprenticeship at Franklin’s Restaurant and Brewery in Hyattsville, Maryland, Jeff then brewed at Grizzly Peak Brewing and Arbor Brewing companies, both in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland.  So, they clearly have a strong foundation on which to start brewing their own beer.

One of the very noticeable things about DC Brau is their decision to provide their brews in cans only.  For years cans were the bane of beer lovers existence.  Most of the beers that came in them tasted metallic and remarkably like pee.  However, craft beer makers decided sometime in the past few years to reclaim this long hated packaging.  Joining the ranks of 21st amendment and Oskar Blues (among others), DC Brau joins the hipster can revolution.  On their website, they also explain the green aspects of the can.  They site such things as the can being 100% recyclable, able to be donated for charity purposes, and the requirement for less energy to recycle.  However, I would like to add one more detail to their mantra about the benefits of the can, it is extremely trendy right now.

I can’t speak for other areas of the country; however, DC is really high on the can right now.  Travel to the newest hot spot in dc right now, The Atlas District, and you’ll see every hipster with a can of PBR in their hand.  If you go to The Rock and Roll hotel you’ll even see them with PBR tall boys.  The Pug has half of its menu in cans.  Therefore, when I visited The Pug the other night to have my first taste of this new DC staple, it was no surprise to me that most of the patrons were sporting a can of Public Pale Ale.  For me the funniest part of the whole thing was how the cans were being kept in a big white paint bucket behind the bar. As you can see, I even had my wife snap a little picture of me enjoying my first can for the purpose of putting it up here.

There was one very surprising thing I found about the taste of this Pale Ale; it’s really more of an IPA than a traditional American Pale Ale.  There was actually such a bitter bite to it that the friend I was there with didn’t really want to finish his.  He is not that big of an IPA fan.  Of course given the atmosphere, it was kind of difficult to give this beer a full review.  Perhaps I’ll be able to add more to the actual taste, color, and mouth feel later on. Ironically, DC Brau is working on releasing their actual IPA called Corruption Ale, as well as a beer called Citizen.  Citizen will be a Belgian style IPA. Clearly these guys like their IPA’s.  However, right now, just know that if you are looking for an IPA disguised as a Pale Ale.  You’ve found it!

The great news is that these two brewers have opened the door for more brewers to move in to DC.  Both 3 star brewing company and Chocolate City Brewing will be coming up in the next year.  Also, DC has changed its laws so that DC brewers are allowed to do tastings in the city.  This in part is thanks to the hard work of DC Brau to get the law changed.

As far as I know, you can’t find this beer anywhere in the country as of yet.  But, it couldn’t hurt to go and check for yourself.  If you happen to visit the city and want to check out this beer, check on their website for where you can find their beer.  They have a tracker on their site that tells you everywhere their beer is carried.  For me, I’ll be heading back to The Pug sometime soon for another can.