Author Archive

My New Blog

Sadly, I won’t be writing much for J Street Beer anymore.  I may make the occasional cameo, but my posts will be few and far between.

With this disappointing announcement, I do have a happy one:

I’ve started a new blog in Chicago called Chi-Town tAles, check it out here:

Hopefully I’ll be seeing you all soon.



Brew Review: Short’s Nicie Spicie

Whole Foods on P Street is a great place.  Every time I go in there I’m always amazing by the bright colorful produce and tasty looking meats and cheeses.

My favorite part is the beer section (which seems to be slowly growing).

They’ve placed the beer section perfectly.  It’s like a grown-ups candy aisle.  You know how most grocery stores put little bags of M&Ms and candy bars and gum right in the aisle as you’re checking out?  It’s like a last second snack purchase.  Well, the Whole Foods on P Street has put the beer section just to the right of the express check out lane.  Which makes it virtually impossible to go to the store and not peruse their brewed wares.  You’re tricky Mr. Whole Foods.  You picked up on my weakness.  I can easily walk by an aisle of candy, but an aisle of beer… no way.

So, on my last trip to Whole Foods, I was tasked with getting burger rolls, eggs, and chicken.  I left with burger rolls, eggs, chicken, and a 6-pack of Short’s Nicie Spicie.

I have no willpower.

I picked up the Nicie Spicie because it looks like a decent summer beer, and it’s from Short’s (who make decent beer and aren’t usually readily available here).  My overall opinion on it: it’s okay, but I wouldn’t want more than 1 in a row.

The Nicie Spicie is pale yellow with a hint of cloudiness (it’s a wheat beer, so it kinda fits the mold).  The aroma is entirely expected.  The wheat takes over the majority of the smell and there’s a mild hint of citrus.  The flavor is a bit overpowering.  It’s light and crisp, like I was hoping for, but then there’s a rush of spice and citrus that takes over that kinda ruined my experience.  The lemon and orange zest comes on strong and then fades out, leaving behind a very spicy pepper flavor in the finish.

It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t have too many of them.


International IPA Day is Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is a big day.  A day that will live in infamy.  Well, maybe not infamy, but it’ll be a day to remember.  It’s International IPA Day!

That’s right, an excuse to drink your favorite hoppy beverage (in case you really need an excuse)!

We at J Street Beer will be doing our part by enjoy a few tasty hop-heavy beverages tomorrow.  It’s our civic duty.

So, the question if for you, dear reader.  What will you be drinking on International IPA Day?  Will it be something from the left coast?  Maybe a Blind Pig from Russian River (if you’re lucky) or a Green Flash West Coast IPA?  Perhaps something from the northeast like a Smuttynose Finest Kind, or a Brooklyn East India Pale Ale?  What about a Cigar City Jai Alai out of Florida?  A New Belgium Ranger IPA from Colorado?  Or perhaps you’re going to stay local and go with a DC Brau Corruption IPA?  What about a Fresh Hop from Great Divide? Maybe you’re thinking big and picking a double IPA like the Weyerbacher Double Simcoe.  Whatever you choose, make sure it’s an IPA.  Your possibilities seem endless.

Let us know what you’ll be picking up in the comments.  We’ll raise a cold grassy, citrusy, floral, earthy, bitter, spicy, sweet glass in your honor.


PS – Don’t forget, while you’re enjoying your IPA tomorrow, make sure you’re marking any of your social posts with the #IPADay hashtag.

Brew Review: Three Floyds Robert the Bruce

This beer was the shining star of my Chicago trip (excluding the Gumballhead, of course).

I’m always excited to find Three Floyds anywhere.  I’m yet to be disappointed by their beers.  As per usual, their Robert the Bruce is fantastic.

This Scottish ale pours a deep brown color with a nice malty aroma and a hint of spice.  The flavor is perfect for a Scottish ale.  It’s heavy, but not too heavy.  It’s bitter, but only slightly.  It’s malty, but not overpowering.  A nice sweet caramel throughout, and a subtle hoppiness to maintain balance.  It’s just done so well.

Oh, Three Floyds, how I wish you distributed to DC.



Brew Review: Two Brothers Cane and Ebel

This beer was a great surprise.  I had heard good things about Two Brothers, and this one definitely did not disappoint.

Brewed with Thai palm sugar (Cane), the Two (Ebel) Brothers put together a red rye beer that explodes out of the gate.  It’s reddish brown in color with a big floral hop aroma, much more than you’d expect with any rye beer.  The flavor I found very interesting.  It has a nice smooth sweet malty flavor, but it’s quickly overcome by a spicy, almost ginger taste that carries you into an almost tangy citrusy hop finish.

It’s very tasty and Two Brothers’ little step away from the norm was well worth it.




Brew Review: Wild Onion Summer Wit

Another Chicago-only beer (but don’t worry, you’re not missing much).

Wild Onion Brewery is a little outside of Chicago in Lake Barrington.  Its distribution isn’t very wide, and they may want to keep it that way with this offering.

The Summer Wit is a pale yellow color with that weird soggy wheat aroma.  That soggy wheat aroma carries into the flavor and provides you with a dull, all wheat taste.

Not very good.



Brew Review: Ska Modus Hoperandi

It’s hoptastic!  It’s hoptacular!  It’s hoperific!

Seriously, this beer beats you about the face with hops at every sip.

The Modus Hoperandi has a reputation as being the perfect sipper for hop-heads and I can understand why.  It pours a nice golden color, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if it came out hop-leaf-green.  The aroma is all hops, and if you leave the glass sitting on a table for a few minutes, the room will be filled with the scents of an open field full of hop vines.  The flavor was hops up front, hops in the middle, and hops at the end.  The surprisingly part about it though, was that it never seemed like it was too much.  The hop flavor meld together very well.

It’s delicious!