Here are some of the other beers I had while in Alabama over Christmas. There are beers I am not writing about as they were instantly forgettable but these stood out as worthy of a mention.
I'll start with the non-local stuff first. Sam Adams is often overlooked by bloggers these days. Probably a result of familiarity. They do make some fantastic beer, Boston Lager included. Some of their beers we can get in Ireland but many we can't.
Old Fezziwig Ale is a 5.9% Christmas style ale. It seemed like a brown ale with some slight spice. It features orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon additions, though they are fairly muted in the beer. What I got was a toffee/caramel bomb with a fair bit of bitterness to balance it out. There is plenty of brown sugar and a nice grainy cereal mouthfeel. It's a very nice beer, one I would like to have again.
The Chocolate Bock on the other hand was a bit of a mess. While it did taste like chocolate, it was like a chocolate flavoured cough syrup, something that has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I did finish the beer but there was a second bottle which I left behind. I should note, after reading other reviews it seems that what I had sounds in no way like how the beer should taste. It's a pity I left that second bottle behind.
Ciaran_76 on twitter suggested I try Hopsecutioner by the Terrapin Beer Company. Like Sweetwater, they are a Georgia based brewery but the beer was readily available in Alabama and Florida. Hopsecutioner is a 7.3% IPA with a strong bitter hit straight off the bat. Orange and grapefruit then come out to play with a little pine resin. An orange pith finish rounds off a very well put together IPA. Lovely stuff.
Black Forty is a local brewery in Gadsden, Alabama which is in the North East corner of the state. Naked Pig is their regular pale ale offering. It's a 6% pale ale with simcoe and cascade provide the hop character. The result is a mildly bitter pale ale, along the lines of the Sierra Nevada classic. There is a lovely fresh fresh cut grass along with the citrus. I really liked this beer a lot.
Truck Stop Honey, also from Black Forty is a brown ale with honey additions. This one I had on tap, but took a picture of the bottle in a supermarket. The honey is Alabama wild-flower honey. The base of this beer is an English style brown ale, or at least what Americans produce as an English brown ale.
Earthy hops, strong caramel malts, a little chocolate and a hint of coffee. Then of course there is the honey, of which there is plenty. It's a very nice beer, though was served far too cold for my liking. It went down well with everyone, including my miller lite drinking mother in law.
That's pretty much it for all the beer I had in Alabama, at least the ones I can write about. Some didn't make it due to being pretty boring. At least one did not make it because I forgot to take notes or a picture. No worries, It was Redhook Longhammer IPA.
I don't recall the name of it but I did see it in the fridge at The Brew Dock on Sunday so I know it's available here.