beermelodies

For Beer Geeks And Rock Freaks

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BLOOMINGDALE, NEW JERSEY

Coming into existence during the fall of 2015, Bloomingdale’s RIVER OF BEER proved to be a fabulous family affair on my initial May ’16 sojourn. Owned by Fred Soule (whose wife runs the antique shop next door) and featuring his son Dave’s fine craft beer selection (served on this rainy afternoon by Fred’s niece), this friendly neighborhood joint is only three miles from Route 287 on Hamburg Turnpike’s Main Street corrider.

Inside an antique brown Victorian house, …

Rating: 3.5

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On tap at River Of Beer, stylishly moderate Imperial IPA proves highly sessionable as delicate Citra-hopped grapefruit, mandarin orange and pineapple tang picks up caramelized crystal malt sugaring to contrast light pine-needled bittering as well as mild white pepper herbage.

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Rating: 3.5

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On tap at River Of Beer, stylistically moderate barleywine stays silken as delicate caramel malting picks up light citric hop astringency to contrast red cherry sweetness and sugared fig resilience. Not as rich, creamy and resilient as brewers’ 15th anniversary celebrator, but ultimately fine nonetheless.

Rating: 3

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On tap at River Of Beer, understated Belgian pale ale seemingly dupes gose-like beige haze, lemon spritz and salty lime bittering to embed stylish white-peppered grapefruit briskness (and subtle sugar-spiced banana undertones sweetening the back end).

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Rating: 3

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On tap at River Of Beer, 2016-debuted middle-of-the-road Bavarian American pale ale offers perfume-spiced citrus hops to mild earthen astringency. Laid-back lemony grapefruit tang saddles light wood-dried bittering. Serve to dismissive macrobrew relics as simply better alternative.

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Rating: 3

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On tap at River Of Beer, simple moderation works well as a low-alcohol table beer, but its jasmine-flowered grains of paradise adjunct loses luster as white-peppered lemon wisp tingles the tongue ever so gently above light pale malt spicing.

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LITTLE EGG HARBOR, NEW JERSEY

At Little Egg Harbor’s Great Bay Business Park in a beige aluminum warehouse with red awning lies PINELANDS BREWING COMPANY,  a nanobrewery looking to expand to a 7-barrel brew system by May 2016. Presently, Pinelands raw space contains an office area, brew tank room and tap room (with slate-topped bar, picnic table, small community table and green-walled beer bottles).

Brewmaster Jason Chapman utilizes exquisite locally sourced water to craft an ever-changing lineup of well-rounded brews. …

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MUSICAL WARRIOR SHELBY LYNNE FIGHTS FOR FREEDOM

By John Fortunato

FOREWORD: Originally published in High Times during 2011, this Shelby Lynne interview revisits one of County & Western music’s best artists. Unlike the pondedrous drivel clogging mainstream Country radio these days, Lynne harkens to a time when non-generic talent like Johnny Cash (whose mother she played in the movie, Walk The Line), Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, etc.

Talented singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne Moorer’s a kindred spirit. We both …

Rating: 5

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On tap at Poor Henry’s, magnificent soft-toned India Pale Ale boasts busy fruited flavor profile above resinous pine pungency and musky cannabis snip. Syrupy peach, mango, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricot and fig sweetness as well as honeyed caramel malts luxuriously contrast citric-pined hop bittering. A small step beyond the usual lemony grapefruit-orange West Coast-styled IPA’s.

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Rating: 5

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Impeccable ’16 collaboration between Italy’s Brewfist and Oklahoma’s Prairie Artisan Ales stays thick and creamy as dark-roasted coffee assault gains cocoa nibs upsurge, fudgy chocolate sweetness and vanilla bean richness over tarry hop-charred molasses bittering. Caramelized espresso, creme brulee and caffe mocha illusions as well as distant cherry, blueberry, blackberry and raisin fruiting stay recessive.

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Rating: 4

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On tap at Poor Henry’s, impressive cocoa nibs-embellished Imperial Stout gains plentiful dark-roast coffee richness, creamy black chocolate decadence and latent black cherry reminder above moderate nut-toasted hop bittering.

Rating: 4

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On tap at Poor Henry’s, creamy (11% ABV) Imperial Stout brings richly smooth bourbon-sugared brown chocolate and vanilla sweetness to cedar-smoked hop roast. Molasses-sapped dark cocoa, medium-roast coffee and scurried black cherry add depth as bourbon vanilla warmth soothes the soul.

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