Tag: ale

Hoppin’ Frog Barrel Aged Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale

Well, life as a blogger is hard.  As I do not blog as my living, living seems to want to slow my blogging down.  However, intrepid readers, I am far from stopping my search for great beer and places to enjoy it!

After an enjoying walk around one of my local park’s lakes, here in Raleigh, I had the pleasure of swinging by, with my drinking pal Alan, Raleigh’s Hop Yard, located in the Durant area of North Raleigh.  See, here is one of my weaknesses.  Tired, hot, and definitely thirsty, I enjoyed a beer from the tap (Great Divide’s Yeti Imperial Stout) and then searched for a couple of bombers to bring home for my wife and I to enjoy.  Wow.  Today, I cracked the wine priced bottle of Hoppin’ Frog’s Barrel Aged Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale.

Hoppin Frog Turbo Shandy

A photo posted by First in Flights (@1inflights) on

Not only is the name a mouthful, but this sweet citrus ale is smooth and complex.  Minuscule bubbles bring a light effervescence with minimal head over a slightly cloudy hay colored ale.  Yes, my wife and I drank it out of wine glasses (white wine glasses, to be exact) and it was the right choice.  A lemon zest and honey nose, this smooth and velvety ale stayed nice and chilled, as we used the stemware, leaving an almost homemade lemon drop flavor across our palate.  At an ABV of 7%, it’s not too strong, nor is it too light.

What a way to help the missus unwind after our Sunday routine.


Rating 5/5

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Aviator Brewery – Wide Open Red

Next on our Aviator run, we are looking at Wide Open Red.

Aviator Brewery Wide Open Red

A photo posted by First in Flights (@1inflights) on

A dark, amber red body and tight, small bubbled head, characterizes this beer on our pour. When bringing the beer up for our first taste, we had a mild hop bitter nose, with an underlying caramel malt undertone.

The hop was noticeable, but not biting, when drinking, leaving a sweet mid-note and a clean finish.

Comments made were, “Very drinkable” and “Great go-to for a regular beer.”

Rating 3.5 / 5

Recipe ideas:  Would love to use this to make a beer bread or beer batter for fish and chips.

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Aviator Brewery – Frostnipper

It’s the time of season when Fall beers are finishing their runs and this article will start our first brewery run with Aviator Brewery.

Aviator has produced a wonderful fall beer, aptly named Frostnipper.  With an ABV of 7.2 and a grim specter on the can, you should be wary, but not afraid.

Aviator brewery Frostnipper

A photo posted by First in Flights (@1inflights) on

On first pour, you can see a nice dark brown body that, held up to the light, has a slight red tint.  The light tan head was brief, but with a tight bubble.

With a lightly sweet spiced coffee and chocolate nose, this beer was an absolute joy to drink.  Sweet and mildly spiced chocolate, this beer finishes cleanly, leaving a slight coffee or dark chocolate bitterness on the back note.  This goes down very smooth, with a creaminess that makes it very easy to drink.

Rate:  4/5

Recipe idea:  Use this in stews of beef, venison or lamb; gravies; or even in cupcake recipes.  Very delicious!

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Weyerbacher – Imperial Pumpkin Ale

I know, it’s a bit late in the pumpkin beer season, but it has been cold and snowing here in North Carolina. The state has shut down (to 2-8 inches of snow) and a beer that can warm you is just want is wanted, which Weyerbacher has done wonderfully.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

A photo posted by First in Flights (@1inflights) on

A rich caramel color body and a brief head when poured from a bottle, this beer lives up to it’s name.  A sweet, pumpkin and spice nose lends itself to the taste of a well made pumpkin pie in a glass.  Soft and smooth across the tongue, it finishes clean and leave a warm feeling in your chest.

This is what I would imagine my grandmother’s pumpkin pie would be if it was a drink instead of, well, a pie.

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AleSmith Brewery – My Bloody Valentine

New beer review, new brewery to try.

For the first beer from AleSmith brewing that my friends and I have tried, My Bloody Valentine was met with mixed results.


When first looking at this beer on my kitchen counter, it looked almost brown, but when brought into better light, it was a deep red color with a lighter colored head.  When bringing the glass up to breathe in prior to our first sip, we had a nice citrus note that was somewhat herbal, like lemongrass.

Flavor clung to the back of the tongue after starting off light and crisp, leaving a slight bitter taste on the back end.  This carried over in how everyone described the mouthfeel.

Admittedly, most of my friends were not as fond of it as I, but did admit that it was better as it breathed a bit and warmed up closer to room temperature.  This beer was reminiscent of a blend of a mild IPA and a red ale.

Rating: 3/5

Recipe ideas:  I would love to use this in a bread recipe!

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Waterfront Blonde Ale

What to say about Waterfront Blonde Ale?  This brew is made by Shipyard Brewing Company in Maine under the auspice of Waterfront Brewing Company.  There is not much in the way of web-presence, but it is still found even down here in North Carolina.


This blonde ale has a nice golden color, with a hint of darker tones and a bright, well formed head when poured from the bottle.

When you breathe in the aroma, a bright, slightly sweet, citrus note comes through.

The taste has a mild hop flavor, with the over-all impression of grapefruit that carries through to the slight bitterness on the back end, but not much in complexity.

Of my friends and family who tried this, all agreed that for an inexpensive beer, it was easy to drink, light on the palate with a clean, crisp finish.  A good beer to start with when you are first exploring.

Rating: 3/5

Recipe ideas:  This would be an adequate beer to try making your own shandy out of, or to pair with fish.

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