Ryan’s Bar: For the Beer Loving Football Fan

Sierra Nevada Summerfest

One of the seasonal beers I look forward to every summer is this one, from one of the most top notch breweries in the world. Their seasonals always nail down the mood, and this of course is no exception.

Look: Almost crystal clear, just a slight chill haze to it with a thin snow white cap on top. It screams refreshment to the eyes, makes you can’t wait to take a sip!
Aroma: Clean on the nose, just a touch of hops coming through. Nothing super pungent, but doesn’t do anything wrong either.
Taste and mouthfeel: Crisp and clean, refreshing from the get go. A little bready, just enough to give it some sort of substantiating body and finally giving way to a slightly crisp, almost grassy hop finish. Just a touch of citrus in the end there too. The aftertaste is short-lived due to a cleansing, higher carbonation; the bubbles pick up any off flavors and whisk them away.

Overall, one of my go to any time of the summer. Just a very easy going beer that doesn’t skimp on flavor, and certainly a good beer for those on the craft beer fence to try. Be careful, this one might convert you, especially if you have it after a long hot summer day!

Space Dust IPA
Elysian Brewing Company
7.2% ABV

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Appearance: Somewhat hazy gold color with a 1.5 finger white head on top that reduces fairly quickly down to a patchy, sea-foamy layer. Good looking beer, reminds me of a wheat field on a bright summer day.

Smell: Small dose of resinous, oily hops hits the nose first. Not getting much of a malt backbone from the aroma, mostly just those hops, which to some, might resemble cat pee. Not a bad smell, but not nearly as pungent as I think a 7.2% ABV beer should be. Lets give it a taste.

Taste/mouthfeel: Bolder hops in the flavor here, a nice sharp hoppy bite in the first sips. It leaves a pleasantly lingering bitterness in the aftertaste, begging you for another sip. Slight bready notes come through to create the canvas that the hops are highlighted on. The hops have a great spicy, citrus character that lends towards refreshment. Finishes with a subtly boozy heat. The body is on the lighter side for a bigger beer, making it dangerously refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. The carbonation levels are low enough that it doesn’t scrub away the hop flavor, but high enough that it does wash away some of the bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall: Very enjoyable. Would have liked to see a little bit more from an aroma standpoint, but the flavors were pretty much right on. Part of their Manic IPA Series according to the bottle, and this selection will probably lead me into some other Elysian selections, especially for the lower price point (8.99 for a 22oz bottle at my local store). Definitely give it a try. Its a good sipper on a hot summer evening. B+

Introduction| Ryan Schisler
A lot of us like to enjoy a brew or two with a sports event, a movie at home, out on the porch or out at the bar. This is an point in history like no other for beer and brewing companies, where craft beer is starting to actually chisel away at big brewing conglomerates such as MillerCoors or Anheuser Busch. These companies still hold a vast majority of the beer market and have become very good at what they do: making beer in mass quantities.

Fortunately for craft brewers around the world, there is something to be said for doing things in smaller batches and supplying savvy customers with bigger, bolder and overall better tasting beers. While the big companies continue to plug along while their less tasty beers are bought less and less by the average person, craft brewers continue to see continued success and are brewing better beer year after year.

But I digress. This is a place to post my experiences with beer. Craft beer can be a wonderful world to explore if you haven’t already been there. There are so many varieties and different types of brewers/breweries out there that my head spins when I walk into a good beer store. I enjoy trying as many different kinds as I possibly can and am often looking for beers that I haven’t given a whirl yet, not matter what style. I hope some of these reviews either confirm what you craft beer drinkers already know or maybe pique the interest of those who haven’t had the opportunity to get to know some of these wonderful beers.

A quick overview of how I “grade” beer:
Beer is judged mainly on 4 criteria- Appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel. Each one plays into the other in some way or another. I put quotations around “grade” due to the fact that I believe grading a beer is a bit arbitrary. Everyone has slightly different palates and opinions that will certainly differ from mine. I can only go off of what I personally see, smell, taste and feel.

With that said, I hope you enjoy reading this and future posts about the wonderful world of craft beer

Ruthless Rye IPA |By Ryan Schisler
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
6.6% ABV

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Appearance: Slight chill haze to this deep amber colored beer. With an aggressive pour, the off-white head billowed up to a full 2.5 fingers that reduces down to a thin cap, but sticks around for a good long while. Nice strings of lacing left on the glass after a few swirls.

Smell: A nice deep inhalation yields some clean hoppy notes up front with a mild fruitiness in tow. Its rounded out by a mild peppery note that foreshadows the influence the rye will have on the taste.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Malty and fruity notes deceptively hit the palate first, but quickly give way to the main highlights of the beer: the spices. The first few sips coat the palate with a bright and pleasant bitterness from the hops, which is then accentuated by the pepperiness that the rye brings, creating a not-quite-overwhelming bitterness. But after that first sip or two, the palate assimilates to the those big flavors and a bold backbone of caramel malt and citrusy hops come through to round out all the flavors, making the rest of the drinking experience a pleasure. This beer finishes with a bitter and peppery last kick to remind you what its all about. Medium body that fits the flavors well, not too light that it can’t support them but not too heavy as to be overbearing.

Overall: Really solid beer from a great brewing company who know their way around a hop. Maybe a bit late in the year for this, as the slightly heavier malt backbone may be best enjoyed with slight chill in the air, but still a great selection to enjoy on the porch even on the hottest of nights. If I had to give it a grade, I’d go with an A.

Thanks for reading!

What is Ryan’s Bar?

Ryan Schisler and his best friend Matt are building a bar on Common Sense Football. This will be the go to place for beer reviews, and conversation about beers from IPAs and craft beer to condemning piss water that should not be opened, Ryan has you covered.
Coming Soon on Common Sense Football!

One comment

  • What a nice surprise to learn of the collaboration. Enjoyed the well-written review. Made me thirsty. 🙂

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