Black Lab Bar

Archive for the 'Past Brews' category

Stone “Arrogant Bastard Ale”

February 25, 2012 2:52 pm

Pretty excited about this one – Stone makes some solid beers and the Arrogant Bastard is certainly one of them (with a rare “94” rating on BA and a 99 on – enough to land them at #19 for all American Strong Ales). With a logo (pictured at left) and tagline, “You’re Not Worthy” it has to be a badass beer and after Diller bought me the tap handle (Arrogant Bastard? Hidden message in there, perhaps) I knew it had to grace the Black Lab Bar, even if it’s not a New England brewer (they’re from CA).

What Stone says;

This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.

At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny – a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!


Stats: 7.2% ABV

Style: American Strong Ale

First released: 1997

Tapped 2/25/12

Smuttynose “Old Brown Dog” #5

December 23, 2011 8:43 pm

That’s right – it’s keg #5 of the OBD.  It’s one of the most popular beers so it’s become something of an annual winter tradition.

Berkshire “Saint of Circumstance IPA”

September 1, 2011 5:28 pm

Apparently there was a business error at BBC that lead to a shortage of hops. While trying to brew some Lost Sailor IPA they came up short with what they needed and ended up with a slightly lighter IPA. Rather than sell it labeled as Lost Sailer IPA and risk people thinking they had changed the recipe they rebranded the light IPA as the “Saint of Circumstance IPA”. It has a “B+” rating online.

ABV of 5.7%.
Tapped: 9/1/11 (for our Fantasy Football draft night)

9/2 Update: We poured a lot from the keg – maybe about 5-6 pitchers in 90 minutes or so – and it poured terrible.  Sometimes the first beer to pour has a large head but this was consistently a thick foam that would monopolize about 90%+ of the pour, as pictured below.  We ended up having to pour into a pitcher just to let it sit for a while in able to pour into our beers.  Tim has already offered to replace the keg but at this point (more than half-way through it) I might just finish it and be weary to buy “new” brews from BBC (who is already slowly falling out of favor with me).

Wachusett “Country Pale Ale” #2

June 24, 2011 7:51 pm

I ordered this before finding out that it’s the exact same beer as the “Country Ale” with a rename a couple months ago, rumored to be due to FDA regulation.  It’s a good beer and we enjoyed it this past May (it was kicked just a fewweeks ago in fact).

Wachusett says;

Country Pale Ale
The Balanced Pale Ale

The best selling ale in Central Massachusetts

• First brewed 1994

• Available year round

Our original brew crafted by Ned, Kevin and Quinny in the early 90’s with super drinkability.
American two row pale with Crystal malts Cascade, Willamette and Cluster hops.

A.B.V. 5.1% | 17 IBUs


Keg #50
Tapped 6/24/11
Kicked 8/31/11 (68 days later).
Great beer, just took too long to finish as it spanned August, which was basically a dry month.

Berkshire “Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale” #4

June 9, 2011 10:05 am

Back to back kegs of it since we crushed the last one so quickly during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.  This might be one of my favorite light beers.  Served in 2008, 2010, and now 2011 …twice.

We’re recovering from a pair of the slowest moving kegs we’ve ever had (Geary’s HSA & especially Gritty’s Halloween) so this should be a nice, welcome change.  I also wanted to serve something light since I’ve been getting sinus/allergy headaches when drinking and I suspect it might be the hops that I’m allergic to… which this hopefully won’t affect as much. [6/9/10 Update: it seems to be fine & allergy-free.  The Willamette hops didn’t seem to bother me at all]

From BBC,

BBC’s flagship brew is a light colored, medium bodied ale exhibiting exceptional freshness through its 2-Row Pale malt backbone and signature hop flavor and aroma.  In the words of renowned beer writer Lew Bryson, Steel Rail EPA is “what the water in heaven oughta taste like.”

5.3% Alcohol by volume (ABV)
20 International Bitterness Units (IBU)

Tapped 6/8

Kicked 6/15

…kicked during the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup win!


Sierra Nevada “Pale Ale”

May 15, 2011 9:25 am

It’s getting hot outside which means it’s time to start serving light, refreshing beers.  Tim mentioned that Sierra Nevada is one of his favorites so I figure we’ll give it a run even though it isn’t a northeast brewer.  Sierra makes some great beers and while it’s been a while since I’ve had their Pale Ale I remember it always being a nice, balanced beer with a very managable body and ABV.  This one should certainly go quickly.

Sierra Nevada wrote:

Our most popular beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, is a delightful interpretation of a classic style. It has a deep amber color and an exceptionally full-bodied, complex character. Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

“Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the flagship beer, the one that made Chico famous. It is a flawless beer that opens with bright, perky high notes of maltiness and orange blossom and segues into a delectable hoppiness.”

– Elaine Louie, Premier Beer—A Guide to America’s Best Bottled Microbrews
Great American Beer Festival (American Pale Ale: 1995, 1994, 1993;
Classic English Pale Ale: 1992; Pale Ale: 1990, 1989, 1987)

Kicked 6/13/11.

Good beer, but I found I was allergic to the hops.  I’ll try it again at some point but didn’t have the confidence to drink it after one.