I went on vacation last week, visited relatives in Oklahoma, then stopped by my folks place in Missouri on the way home. While there, we went to Wal-Mart, of all places, to buy beer. There we got Boulevard Pale Ale, Boulevard Lunar, and New Belgium 1554. Why can't my Wal-Mart carry good beers like these?
On the way back from the store, my sister wanted a bottle of liquor, so we stopped into a liquor store to get that. I also picked up a sixer of New Belgium Blue Paddle. Here's what I thought of these:
Boulevard Pale Ale
Apparently, I have tried this before, since I already reviewed it on ratebeer.com. I said it was a good example of the style, and one of the better Pale Ales I've had. I wouldn't say it smells/tastes like a Sierra Nevada, but it's that same style. It has a decent smell, and just the right amount of hops.
New Belgium Springboard
Dad already had these in the fridge when I got there. This was a nice example of a simple Belgian Ale. Not necessarily a whit, not a triple, just a light ale. A decent summer beer.
New Belgium 1554
I had just a sample of this at the Flying Saucer in Houston one time. I thought it was a Schwarzbier. While it looks like a Schwarzbier, it finishes more like a Belgian ale. Nice yeast in this one. Light, but dark in color with ruby highlights. I really started to appreciate this when I got near the end.
The description on the outside of the box would have you believe this was a brown ale. As I drank it, I thought it was a bit clovey for a brown ale, but something was familiar about the style, I just couldn't place it. So I looked it up on ratebeer.com and sure enough, this is a dunkleweizen. A very good example of a dunkelweizen, too.
New Belgium Blue Paddle
I've been looking for a decent American pilsner. My favorite German and Czech pilsners all come in green bottles, which skunks the beer, and disappoints me. This one was in a brown bottle and was very nice, with a great hop profile, golden clear in color. I totally recommend this one.
On the way home we stopped at Trader Joe's in Orland Park where I was able to pick up a mixed six pack of Victory Hop Devil and Victory Prima Pils. I'll give those a try and let you know what I think.