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Orlando Brewmania


DWTH travelled to the great city of Orlando to experience some fine brews in the beautifully air conditioned 4 Points by Sheraton.

JC graciously imported the beer from Tampa and we found some great ones in the batch.

Pro Tip #1– Grab a glass from either room service or downstairs to appreciate the beer vs the plastic or paper cups provided in the room.

Pro Tip #2 – Test the temperature of the fridge with water before beer.  At the 4 Points, a setting of 2/7 still resulted in a frozen salad and Gatorade (guess which tasted better).


Round 01:


Aecht Schelnekerla Urbock  JC 8.5 CE 8.5 – smoke bomb, bacon in a glass, one of the best of it’s kind

Aecht Schelnekerla Weizen  JC 8.0 CE 7.0 – slightly watered down version of the Urbock.  A good starter: “Welcome to the family!”

Gueuze Giradin 1882   JC 6.0 CE 5.5



Round 02:


Grimm Cherry Raspberry Pop!  JC 6.0 CE 6.5 – let this one sit out from the fridge.  Started as a 5 due to a lack of sourness, but opened up nicely

Crooked Stave L’Brett D’Raspberry  JC 8.5 CE 9.0 – pure raspberry jam, sour punch.  Another strong beer from a great brewery. High price tag makes it a treat only

Trooper Red ‘N’ Black Porter  JC 5.5 CE 5.0 – syrupy mash.  drinkable, but no real reason to

Smuttynose Rocky Road JC 6.0 CE 5.5 – 78% dark chocolate, no marshmallow yet sweet taste to it, another beer that opened up (common theme when the Sheraton fridge is too cold for it’s own good)


Round 03:

Round 03

A L’ancienne Vat 77 Mono Blend Geuze Boon  JC 4.0 CE 1.0

Lagunitas Night Time JC 4.5 CE 4.5 – tobacco juice solidifying the Lagunitas as an overall meh brand

Sierra Nevada Otra Vez  JC 7.5 CE 7.5 – another great German intrepretation from SN (see their Kellerweis Hefeweizen). Refreshing with a decent amount of salt

Rodenbach Vintage 2013  JC 8.0 CE 8.5 – saved the best for last. Sweet and sour sauce.  Add some more sour and it’s easy in 9+ territory


Round 04:

Round 04

Smuttynose – Biere De Shire   JC 3.5  CE  1.0 – Smuttynose is consistent in its disappointment


Round 05 (on the road):

Round 05

Bärentöter – German Sour Gose Bock JC 8.0. CE 8.5 – Oktoberfest malty texture with a nice sour taste. Tastes great in the back of a car.



Suds Story

We once drank a beer.  It was a delicious beer.  It hit every sense- starting with the eyes and ears, moving to the nose, with taste and touch not far behind.  Sure, our knees didn’t buckle, but that’s only because we were sitting down.

Now this beer only remains a mystery.  There is no written documentation of it, no picture, no receipt, there is nothing but a memory.

Yet, the memory is not real.  It is only an ideal, something to be discovered.

So it has become our mission, to find this beer, this 10 out of 10.  Yes, we have Franziskaner Weissbier (Naturtrub) as a 9.5 and hold it as the golden standard of Hefes, nay, all beers.  It is possible that nothing will ever top it, and our final act will be changing Franziskaner to a 10/10.  However, until that day, we will remain on the hunt.



Goodbye IPAs, Hello Sours!

It’s amazing what a year can do on the craft beer scene.  Here at Down With the Hops, we celebrate every time we step into a bar and see the number of gross IPAs dropping off the chalkboard while the number of sours climb in rank.

Hops had their time in the sun, now it’s clearly bacteria time.  Who would have thought something with such a negative connotation could produce such beautiful tasting beers?

The general public is shifting their taste from, “brettanoma-what?”

Sour Puss


To, yes I’d love another gose please! Tasty Sour


And for this, we are grateful people are realizing how delicious beer can be without having the IBUs constantly skyrocketing





Narragansett Lager – The Perfect Traveling Beer


It’s a 16 ounce can so you’re getting more bang for you buck, plus no glass to worry about.  It tastes like a stock beer, definitely in the Budweiser territory, but it has a bit more flavor and no headache follows.  (JC- 5.5, CE- 6)

It’s also cheap if you find it on tap at a bar.

If you are taking a train, plane, or other public transit system and drinking alcohol is encouraged, consider a cold lager.

Paid for by the state of Rhode Island because we have little else going on for us.