Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pabst Blue Ribbon - Pabst Brewing Company

    Just like exaggerated facial hair, fixed-gear bikes, and bands that don't even exist yet, Pabst Blue Ribbon has been a mainstay of hipsters for years. Now that I live in Chicago's most hipster neighborhood, it was only a matter of time before this review happened. I debated not even reviewing the beer, seeing as it's so popular nowadays..

    PBR is brewed by the Pabst Brewing Company, located in Los Angeles, California. The beer is an Adjunct Lager, using large amounts of corn in the brewing process rather than all barley.

    The beer pours a golden straw color with a thin foam capping it. This brew is super-clear with lots of bubbles rushing to the top of the cup. A thin film of bubbles on top of the beer stays around for a surprisingly long time for a macro brew. These bubbles clearly don't realize foam isn't cool anymore. They'll probably catch on long after most of the other bubbles have moved on to the next "in" thing.

    PBR's aroma is very faint, but light malts and sour corn make up what odors can be smelled. To it's credit, the beer actually smells more like beer than other macros which tend to just smell like soda water.

Hipsters only drink warm beer, they grab it before it's cool.

    The Adjunct Lager is medium-light bodied with a medium level of carbonation. There is a bit of a wateriness to the beer, though I'm not surprised. It does, however, finish extremely dry, just like the hipster sense of humor. There is an alcohol content of 4.74% ABV in the brew.

     Pabst Blue Ribbon's flavor has plenty of sweet malt flavor. I'm surprised the beer finishes so dry with how sweet the flavor starts. There really aren't any hops flavors worth mentioning here. The large amount of corn used in the brewing of this Adjunct Lager is made clear by the pronounced, roasted corn flavor in the beer. In fact, this is the corniest tasting beer I've ever had. Don't hipsters know that the use of corn hasn't been "underground" since the early 2500 BC's?

    Overall, PBR is actually a bit better than most American macro brews. The corn flavor can be a bit off-putting at first as it's so strong, but you eventually get used to it. I suppose if you're looking for a cheap, ok-tasting beer (or if you're a hipster), PBR isn't a terrible choice. I can only hope that hipsters eventually move on to local craft beer instead of this, but until then I'll keep blaming Frank Booth from Blue Velvet for causing my neighborhood to be inundated with PBR cans...

Amulets and Ale Rating:
(I would have rated it higher if it weren't so mainstream..)

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Max Payne 3 - Xbox 360

    Max Payne 3 is a Third-Person Shooter released in 2012 on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, and OS X. The game was created by Rockstar games and picks up nine years after the events of 2003's Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tatra - Zywiec Breweries PLC

    Tatra is a Pale Euro Lager brewed by Zywiec Breweries PLC located in Zywiec, Poland. I honestly have never had a Polish beer before, and after seeing this at the store I had to try it out! As far as beer goes, I know next to nothing about Poland's traditions and styles, so I'm interested to explore the country's brewing.

    The beer pours a straw color that is darker than most Lagers. Thousands of bubbles froth up a white head that stands about an inch tall and shows surprising retention. There really isn't any lacing to speak of.

    Similar to other Lagers, Tatra's aroma is pretty light. Sweet, grainy malts are really all there is to smell here. At least there isn't an overabundance of sour corn malt like in some beers...

    The beer sports a light body and a medium level of carbonation. Tatra somehow just barely avoids the common watery beer character that macro Lagers so often have. Proving it isn't your normal Lager, Tatra contains an alcohol level of 6% ABV.

    Tatra's flavor starts out nice, sweet, and grainy. From there things start to get weird as the hops flavor comes in and confuses my mouth for a few seconds. The grain and hops flavors don't seem to mix well together. The beer's aftertaste is of clean grains, though you likely won't notice it with the weirdness of the hops/grain combo lingering in your mouth. The can advertises that Tatra is full flavored, but I would disagree to a certain extent. It's definitely more flavorful than a lot of American Lagers, but it still falls short of its "full bodied taste" slogan.

    After looking into Zywiec Brewery, I was surprised to learn that the company actually has quite a bit of history. Founded in 1852, Zywiec Brewery has been making beer for Poland longer than many of our American breweries have existed. Surviving through both world wars, Zywiec continues to brew under the Polish flag, even if they are currently owned by the Dutch company Heineken.

    With all the history behind the brewery, I still can't believe they haven't changed their recipe to include hops which jive a bit better with the sweet grain malts. Even though the beer's flavor wasn't exactly pleasant, I'm still glad to have tried the beer. If Tatra is an accurate example of Polish beers, they definitely have a unique flavor that I look forward to trying more of.

Amulets and Ale Rating:

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Warface - Xbox Live Arcade

    I'm just going to start out by saying that Warface is one of the weirdest choices for a game's title that I have ever seen. I mean, are we talking about some strange entity that actually has war for a face? Are we talking about soldiers showing their "war faces" kind of like athletes have a "game face"? I have no idea.
   Anyway, Warface is a Free To Play, military themed, multiplayer First Person Shooter that is available on both PC and Xbox Live Arcade. The game was released in 2013 on PC and 2014 on Xbox 360, and was created by Crytek. Interestingly enough, Crytek is actually changing their focus from full-release retail games (such as their Crysis series) to Free To Play games. From what I've seen in video game news lately, this decision has come back to bite the company pretty harshly, causing layoffs and other peril. So is Warface good enough to bring Crytek back from the brink of bankruptcy, or is Crytek going to show us their "out of business face"?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ApriHop - Dogfish Head Brewery

    ApriHop is an American IPA that is brewed with apricot juice. This fruity and hoppy beer is brewed by Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware as their Spring seasonal. It also seems to be craved by psychotic, albino rabbits, so that's something.

    The apricot IPA pours a clear, brass color with a half-finger head with great retention.

    ApriHop's aroma is strongly fruity as the hops and apricot juice form their own unique smell. Citrus notes as well as the stonefruit scents can be picked out, as can an earthy undertone. Light malt sweetness lies underneath the fruit and hop scents.

    The fruity IPA is medium bodied and sports a medium level of carbonation. Overall, the beer feels nicely creamy on the tongue. Dogfish Head's love of higher-than-normal alcohol levels makes the beer's alcohol content of 7% ABV unsurprising.

Stay away from my beer, or I'll devour the little one's soul!
    ApriHop's flavor is actually kind of disappointing. I was expecting a nice, lightly fruity, hoppy beer. Instead the flavors I'm getting are mostly earthy and herbal hops notes with a strong ale flavor at the end. There really isn't much apricot OR hops flavor in the beer, especially when you consider that the beer's label describes it "massively hopped". The label goes on to describe that the majority of the "massive hopping" was dry hopping after fermentation, which explains why there is lots of great hops scents and not so much flavor.

    This beer's label has me really concerned that there is a population of apricot-crazy albino rabbits somewhere out there. Just looking at that thing's eyes tells me that it would stop at nothing to enjoy its sweet, sweet apricot nectar of the gods. Plus, it's a widely accepted fact that albinos actually consume the souls of their victims. All I know is that if I run into one of these things on the street, I'm outta there.

    I was very interested in Aprihop at first. I could easily see how apricot juice would go well with hops and was excited to give it a try. As previously stated though, I ended up being disappointed in it. The beer was still decent, but not at all as advertised..

Amulets and Ale Rating:

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