#18 Union Brewing Balt Altbier

**Part 1 of 3 of a Dark Beer review**

Yay! A beer review!

I figure it was time for me to do a local beer review, pertinent to my new home town. This is a fun review, so hunker down and lets hop to it!

A mini anxiety attack and driving back and forth and we found it!

So, nestled in the cozy community of Woodbury/Clipper Mill, Union Brewing is busy making some great beers. Me and my fiancee decided to make the 15 minute trip (ended up being about 30, because me and directions are terrible) one Saturday afternoon. Growler in hand, we entered into a  half full tasting room, while a larger group of people were just heading off on the small brewery tour that we decided against. We just wanted beer. They had three beers for tasting;

Duckpin Ale, which I did not enjoy.

Old Pro Gose, which was pretty good for my first time trying a Gose

And that brings us to the subject of today's review, Balt Altbier! This was easily the best of the three, and much like the Gose, it was my first time trying the style. When I got home, I had to do a little research into exactly what an Altbier is and this is what I learned:

Altbier is a German top-fermenting beer brewed in Düsseldorf and other parts of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The name Altbier, which means old beer, refers to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast. Over time the Alt yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store or lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer than is the norm for some other top-fermented beers such as British pale ale.

Pretty neat, huh? So yeah, review...

Oh my god, wicked dahk!

The following review is all based off my own private drinking, from the growler that we totally took home with us!

This bee poured beautiful, dark mahogany. Along with that pour was a slight, disappating head, and  a nice, slick lacing around the edge.

In the light box, IT'S STILL DARK!

It has a pleasant nose to it; bold, smokey, roasted malts.It goes down nice! You can immediately taste the roasted malt, with a smooth undertone of caramel. At the end, I'm getting quite a bit of chocolate, with a bitter finish. There's a ton of small bubbles, but its a pretty light to medium body. It's really easy to drink, and at 5% its even THAT much easier. I wish I had a fireplace to drink this in front of, because it just seems fitting.

This beer is the first in a small series of dark beer reviews, because I thought it would be fun, and I'm feeling spontaneous.

Union Brewing Balt Altbier

Smell: 5/5
Appearance: 4/5
Taste: 4.5/5
Feel: 3.5/5

Overall: 4.25/5

This beer pairs well with: Clutch - Electric Worry

You can check out this awesome brewery on the web here:


Brewfus Beef Stew

Hello again!

Today I'm going to try something new, so I ask that you bear with me. Obviously, I love beer. And I've made it known how much I love music. But there is another thing I love a lot...


Cooking is something I discovered I was very good at, given the time and space and ingredients. My favorite thing to cook is soups, stews, chili and things of that nature. those are what I have found I'm best at. Being told my corn chowder and chili are the best people have ever had was probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. And I've found (as many people already know) beer is an EXCELLENT ingredient in cooking. I personally love cooking with dark beer, I think they offer a nice, complex taste. But I don't add beer to everything I cook, just things I think would benefit. It makes a great marinade, too. It's just a useful, all around great kitchen ingredient.

So with things I cook, that I include beer in, I'm going to blog about it and share the recipe with you! My first entry is a beef stew, and for bloggers sake, we can call it Brewfus Beef Stew! Has a nice ring to it, wouldn't you think?

So here's what we're gonna chow down on!

Doesn't that look awesome? This was the first batch I ever made (December 2011)!


2 pounds of cubed stew meat (cut and grade is your choice)
3 large potatoes (if white, peeled. If red, your choice)
2-4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
2 cups of chopped (or baby) carrots
3-4 beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 large clove of garlic, minced
2 cups of water
2 cups of beer
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
Large pot

Now like with anything else, taste is all relative, so you can feel free to add more/use less of any of the ingredients.

  1. Start off by browning the meat in whatever pot you're cooking. drain half (or all) of it.
  2. Pour in water, bouillon cubes, beer, salt, pepper, rosemary, parsley and bay leaf. Bring it all to a boil. cover and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Next, add potato, celery, onion, celery, and garlic. Mix a tablespoon of the cornstarch in a table spoon of cold water, and add to the mix, stirring it in. bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Uncover and let simmer for about 30 minutes, and BAM, you have some killer beef stew.
There are no real particulars, like I mentioned, taste is all relative, so feel free to tweak to your own taste! And when it comes to beer, use whatever you'd like! This time around, I used a mixture of one cup of Anchor Steam Porter and one cup of Union Brewing Balt Alt. The two mixed perfectly and you could taste the influence in the final product! And we scooped it up with a nice loaf of french bread! IT WAS SO GOOD! My fiancee was such a huge help!

So there you have it, my first post about cooking with beer! And a special thank you to Nikki from J. Timothys for giving me the inspiration to blog about this! If you like it, I'll continue doing it!

"Mouth watering. And I work at a restaurant where I can have almost anything. Damn you"


A Sixpoint Love Letter Of Sorts

A couple of weeks ago, I had made my first craft beer purchase since moving to Baltimore. It was an exciting moment! A new city, with new beer availability, in a new store. Wandering the aisles, I saw a small end display of a brewery I have been chomping at the bit to try, Brooklyn's own, Sixpoint.

Sixpoint had only recently been made available in Connecticut by the time I made my exodus south, so I never had the chance to try it. But in my involvement in the craft beer scene, it was a name that kept coming up, over and over again. I jumped at the opportunity to finally try it, threw a 4 pack of Bengali Tiger in my cart and kept truckin'.

My first Baltimore haul!

Here is where the real story begins. To following is a copy and paste from the Sixpoint Facebook Page:

Hey guys!

My name is Jake, I run Hipster Brewfus, a beer blog. Your name is a name that has been really coming up a lot in the last few months, and deservedly so. But I have a pretty sad story for you.

I had never had your beer prior to

this past Tuesday. I set out to the liquor store after work on Tuesday, fighting through an hour of traffic, just to get my hands on some good beer. I finally reached The Wine Source in Hampden, MD and the first thing I grabbed was a 4 pack of your Bengali Tiger, as its the one beer I've been dying to try all summer. After grabbing the fiancee some shitty wine and bread and cheese, I made it home and put the box of your beer in the fridge and waited for it to cool down. I finally grab one and pour it into a glass and drink it. it was heaven. It is easily one of the best beers I have tried in 2012 and I thought, "with my next can, I'll take notes for a review, this beer is amazing!" That was the only beer I had that night.

Fast forward to last night, Thursday. I'm ready to sit down and get to work on a review, I grab a can out of the box in the fridge and it feels...squishy. Like there's no pressure in the can. I opened it up, no audible "crack" of the can, and the beer is as flat as can be. I'm a little bummed out, but I grab the next can. Same thing. So I'm down to one can, and that one was ok.

I'm annoyed that I essentially paid nearly $12 for 2 cans of beer. Maybe something happened during shipping. Maybe someone dropped the case at some point, not thinking anything of it. whatever it is, I paid the price and I am wicked annoyed and slightly upset by it. I don't know what the purpose is of me writing this to you, I don't know if I expect anything or if I just think you should know. It is what it is, I guess.

For what its worth, I attached a photo, showing what I found. A broken seal between the can and the top.



The VERY next day, I was notified by Sixpoint to send them an e-mail, which I did. Not 15 minutes later, Shane, the PRESIDENT OF SIXPOINT, wrote me back, promising me he was going to make this right. We exchanged a few e-mails, and a few days later, I had a box waiting for me when I got home...


I was speechless as I stared at the contents in the box. Speechless. This kind of generosity is just incredible. It doesn't have to do with me demanding anything, it doesn't have to do with them doing anything wrong. It was an honest consumer being taken care of by a caring company. And while it was the first time I had ever had Sixpoint, I can say I will be a fan for life. I will tell everyone I can to drink this beer and support this brewery. That one act of kindness says so much. I hope one day there's something I can do for them, or some way I can pay it forward.

I can not wait to drink these beers and I cant wait to review each one of them! Thank you Shane, and all the workers over at Sixpoint. You are another reason why I love being a part of this growing scene.

And I look DAMN good in that shirt. The fiancee even said so!


#17 Widmer Brothers Lemongrass Wheat (2011)

I don't make a habit of buying the same bottle twice. But I had broken that habit when I spotted this bottle of Widmer Brothers Lemongrass Wheat Ale at my then local beer stop. It was something I had picked on a whim about a year ago. I remember taking a picture of it. I remember really enjoying it. I remember thinking "If I had a blog, I would write all about this."

Well guess what? Now I have a blog, and the best part about that is people actually read it! So when I saw it I grabbed it up quickly and went about my business.

So, lets get it on!

Yes, lets.

And before we go any further, I should note that when I first had this bottle, it was late 2011, so the bottle was relatively new. I had the luck to have another almost exactly a year later. Someone over at (one of my favorite beer blogs) Two Girls, One Beer wrote something that stuck with me:

I’d like to say something refined like “I buy two of every bottle, one to sample now and the other to age”; thus, I have a reason for getting around to drinking this beer.

It really makes a lot of sense, and I think its a habit I am going to get myself into! And lets go!

It comes in a box, A BOX! I am feeling damn fancy!

I do think that one of the selling points for me, is the nice packaging. When I'm spending $10+ dollars a bottle, I like to be made to feel fancy. Thank you Widmer Brothers, you succeeded!

As always, you have to start somewhere, and you cant drink without a good pour. And what a pour! A nice, cloudy beer color with a beautiful, fluffy 3.5 finger head. And it was a brilliant, pure white. Beautiful looking beer. Catching a whiff, it smells like lemonade, a light touch of malt and grape. The muscat grape juice kinda has me excited, and was another reason I picked this up initially.


This is a wheat?! Ha! No way, this is a sour. This is puckery! Very sweet and sour! Ok, I know its not a sour, but still. If it was wearing a fake mustache, It could sneak into a Sour Beer party.  Even with the strong sour/sweet, this beer has a nice, light feel to it. Tiny little bubbles massaging my palate and making me all warm and fuzzy.

I would definitely buy this beer again, and If you see it, I would suggest you try it also. It doesn't have the highest rating on BA, bringing in a score of 74. But who really cares what ratings say? I don't!

Widmer Brothers Lemongrass Wheat Ale (Brothers' Reserve 2011)

Smell: 4/5
Appearance: 4/5
Taste: 3.5/5
Feel: 3/5

Overall: 3.6/5

This beer pairs well with: Stone Temple Pilots - Sour Girl