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Tawny Owl Ale

Cotleigh Brewery
Tawny Owl Ale is brewed by Cotleigh Brewery in the town of Wiveliscombe, Somerset England.
The Tawny Owl is a part of their Beers of Prey Series.
This is a golden color ale slightly hazy with a frothy white head
The aroma is a fresh grassy hop nose that flows into a toffy sweet maltyness with hints of citrus fruit.
The flavor is a light smooth hop bitterness with a creamy malt sweetness and touch of biscuit that finishes dry on the tongue.
Carbonation is slightly on the high side due to being a bottle version. Creamy with a medium light body. Started to feel the
alcohol warmth after finishing the bottle 3.8% a.b.v.
This beer is a fine example of an English Ordinary Bitter that is a very satisfying session beer.

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Pittsburgh Airport, Tap House

Vacation is a great time to relax and recharge your batteries. As a beer lover and beer connoisseur it is an awesome time to experience new and exciting beers and breweries. As with most vacations we’re always running around seeing family and friends and we forget about the R & R part.
This trip started out at Pittsburgh Airport early in the morning. Looking for something to eat for breakfast I found the Tap House bar. I’m very familiar with the Tap House, having flown out of Pittsburgh a few times they have a great variety of craft beers on tap, bottles and cans. Ok also a very good selection of food. I was looking for something hearty and healthy to hold me through my flight, peanuts are just not enough. After looking over the beer list I pick the East End Brewing Co. Black Strap Stout. I’m very familiar with East End Brewing’s great reputation and good beer offerings. The Black Strap Stout is a big and bold American stout brewed with black strap molasses and brown sugar. This beer has a very roasty, robust chocolate and black coffee notes with some sweetness supported by a hefty hop bitterness of centennial and cascade hops. The beer was full bodied malty and creamy with hints of black coffee the perfect choice for breakfast. In the background my wife is sipping on a Founders Breakfast Stout which says it all. Definitely a place to stop on your way through and enjoy one.




Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Steel City Breweries

I Traveled into Pittsburgh on highway 60 to 279 through the beautiful rolling hills of Pennsylvania and on to the center of town. I came to Liberty Avenue in the Oakland section of the city. Pittsburgh seemed like a ghost town on the weekend a great time to see the city without the traffic.

I arrived at the Church Brew Works Brewery, which is nestled in the historic neighborhood of Lawrenceville. The Church Brew Works brewpub is located in an old Catholic Church and school. The former St. John the Baptist church built in 1902 in the Northern Italian architectural style.
The Church Works Brewery is all red brick facade building with enormous solid wood doors that lead into the great expanse of the church the size and beauty of it awed me. There were the hand painted cypress beams on the vaulted ceiling and the intricate European-style stained glass windows that cast a beautiful celestial light to the place. The 30’ foot high pillars with massive arches lead you down the center isle to the altar where the 15 barrel brew system sat. (I almost got down on my knees and prayed, for beer that is.)
The brewery usually has 8 beers on tap, which include Celestial Gold a light lager beer for the masses. It has an alcohol content of 4.2% a.b.v. (Alcohol by Volume) and 18 IBUs (international Bittering Units). The Pious Monk Dunkel a Munich Dunkel style beer with a 5.2% a.b.v. and 18 IBUs. This beer was a fine example with a good maltiness and subdued hop bitterness and well balanced. The Vienna Lager was a light copper color with a nice dry finish 28 IBUs and 5.8% a.b.v. which is on the higher end of the style. The Bell Tower Brown Ale drawn from an English beer engine was awesome. It was a Southern English style brown ale with a 5% a.b.v. and 18 IBUs. The flavor had a great malty sweetness with hints of caramel nut. Thou there were two beers that impressed me the most the first beer the Toasted Oatmeal Stout that had a wonderful rich sweet roasty flavor, creamy mouth feel and a clean finish. The second beer an Old English Ale the first I had ever tasted at a brewpub, this beer was heaven, and it had a nice malty aroma with an intense malty flavor with hints of dried fruit at almost 8% a.b.v. and 45 IBUs it got my full attention.
Church brew works has won a number of award and medals from regional and national competitions and the Great American Beer Festival. The food was outstanding the service was great. The beers they served were all fine examples of their style.

In all Pittsburgh is a great beer destination with a number of great breweries. Located across the street from the Church Brew Works is The Old Pittsburgh Brewery where Iron City beer is brewed. At the Southside Works Market place along the river is the newer German Hofbräuhaus, where it is Oktoberfest every day. You can experience the true Oktoberfest adventure with Oompah bands, communal seating, classic German food and Hofbräuhaus beers from Hofbräu Original, Lager, Munich Dunkel, Hefe Weizen and seasonal beers. Across town is the famous Pennsylvania Brewing Company the first craft brewhouse in Pennsylvania from 1986. The brewery is on the site of the former Eberhardt and Ober Brewery founded in 1848. Penn Brewery also has a wide selection of great beers from Penn Pilsner, Penn Dark and St. Nicholas Bock.
I can go on forever with the Steel City’s breweries, beer and history, but that is for another story. If you happen to go and experience the great city of Pittsburgh and it breweries, guaranteed they will definitely quench that thirst for great beer. Prost!


Posted by on April 24, 2012 in The Ale Guy, Uncategorized


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“Porter” History you can Drink

The Porter is one beer style that can be traced back to its very beginnings.
First brewed in 1722 by a man named Ralph Harwood and served at the Blue Last Pub
in England. Mr. Harwood brewed Porter to make it easier and faster to serve than three or four thread beers, which is beer pulled from three or four different taps. Mr. Harwood
decided to put the ingredients from those three or four beers into one beer and call it
Entire or Entire Butt.
Porter than became one of the most popular beer styles in the world in the middle to late
1700’s. Arthur Guinness started out brewing Entire Butt at St. James Gate Brewery Dublin in 1759, which later evolved into the stout. The name porter was first used in the 18th century from its popularity with the street and river porters of London. The Porter style started declining in popularity by the late 1800’s and almost disappeared in the 1900’s. Their demise was due to the popularity in paler and lighter ales and pilsners being brewed. Porter made a come back because of the home brewing and the craft brewing community that revived the style in 1960’s and 70’s. Thanks to a few concerned brewers porter is now a widely drank beer style again in the U.S. and England.
There are three different styles of Porter the Robust Porter, London Brown Porter and Baltic Porter. Their aroma and flavor profiles are listed below.

Robust Porter
A medium to full body in a balanced beer that has a noticeably coffee-like dryness, and may have a malty sweet flavor that comes through in the finish. Chocolate and black malts add a sharp bitterness, but do so without adding roasted or charcoal notes. There can be a little roast barley character with a hop bitterness presents and hop flavor and aroma noticeable. A low fruitiness and esters due to the clean fermenting ale yeast. The color is deep brown with red hues to black.
Here are some great commercial examples to try Anchor Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, Black Hook Porter. Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald Porter, Pikes Porter, Rogue Mocha Porter, and Left Hand Black Jack Porter. Alcohol can range from 4.5 – 8% a.b.v..
Brown Porter
A bit lighter than the robust, with light to medium body and generally lower in alcohol. The malt sweetness is low to medium and well balanced with the subdued hop bitterness. No strong roast barley or burnt malt character. Color is medium to dark brown with reddish tones. No real hop aroma and flavor with a touch of fruitiness from the ale yeast used. These are the commercial examples to try Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter, Fuller’s London Porter, Dublin Plain Porter (only in Dublin), Yuengling Porter, Stegmeter Porter, Flag Porter, and John Labbatts’s Porter the alcohol content is 4.5 – 5.5% a.b.v..
Baltic Porter
Baltic porter is brewed in the U.S., Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Denmark and Sweden. Baltic Porters are brewed with Lager yeast and aged giving them a clean rich flavor. The aroma has a great complexity of rich malty sweetness with hints of caramel, toffee, nutty and/or licorice notes. The flavor is malty sweet with a blend of deep malt, dried fruit and roastiness, which is balance with mostly noble hops. The commercial examples are Southampton Imperial Baltic Porter, Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter, Browar Okocim S.A. (Carlsberg), Smuttynose Baltic Porter, and Alaskan Baltic Porter the alcohol content is from 5.0% – 9.5% a.b.v. (Serving Temp for Baltic Porters are 42 degrees).
All three styles of these porters should be tried. You will taste their uniqueness and experience the real history that made this beer style so great. “Cheers”
The Ale Guy

Home Brewed Baltic Porter


Posted by on March 31, 2012 in The Ale Guy, Uncategorized


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