InglesBräu – Column 2

Sorry. We cheated. No way in hell we’re drinking Corona Light.

Drinking Corona? I don't think so.Yeah, I know we said we’d go through ALL the beer in Ingles, but I swear to God – I couldn’t bring myself to waste the time, calories and blogging power on a frigging Corona Light. The regular Corona was so bad that I figured light cat piss can’t be any better than regular, full-flavored cat piss. So, we passed on that one. We DID, however, grab a jar of Great America Apple Pie Malt Beverage. Cade, I think, will be the guinea pig for that one. I value my liver a bit too much to do that to the old boy.

Anyway – week 2. Some we know, some we’re excited about and some we’re not too sure we are going to enjoy.

  1. Big Wave Golden Ale, Kona Brewing Company, Kona HI
  2. Ranger IPA, New Belgium Brewery, Asheville via Fort Collins CO
  3. Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, WI
  4. Gaelic Ale, Highland Brewing Company, Asheville NC
  5. Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico CA and Asheville NC
  6. Rampant, New Belgium Brewery, Asheville via Fort Collins CO
  7. CORONA FUCKING LIGHT?!?!?

There’s some good beers in this list. There are some great beers in Ingles – but I swear to God – I will not drink Corona of ANY variety. The concept of Corona Light is outside my ability to reason. The full version is so bad, the only hope for the Light is that it’s SO light that you can’t taste anything. Like yellow water. Honestly, PBR is a better choice, and I only drink PBR on protest. I guess, though – taste is subjective. I’m also not a fan of pointy shoes and too-tight flannel shirts, but I guess I’m in the minority. Somebody’s making bank off selling Corona Light – but they’re not getting my money or my liver.

Asheville North Carolina Beer Reviews
1

Big Wave Golden Ale
Kona Brewing Company
Kona, HI

2

Ranger IPA
New Belgium Brewing
Asheville & Colorado

3

Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Chippewa Falls, WI

4

Gaelic Ale
Highland Brewing Company
Asheville NC

5

Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co
Chico CA and Asheville NC

6

Rampant
New Belgium Brewery
Asheville via Fort Collins CO

7

Corona Light.
Whatever.

#1 – Big Wave Golden Ale, Kona Brewing Company, Kona HI

James Says

Honestly, I was expecting a bit more from this beer, as Kona’s IPA was so outstanding – but this one left me somewhere deep in the meh zone. It’s certainly a solid beer – it’s light and tasty, but it’s just a good beer. It would make an excellent party beer, as you could concentrate on hitting on chicks or telling raunchy jokes instead of paying attention to your beer. It’s a solid – but it’s not really outstanding in any way. Bottles are cute, and the coordinating cap is a nice touch. A good summertime, after-mowing-the-grass beer.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 75
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 85
Overall Drinkability - 90
Packaging Appeal - 30
Overall Score - 68.75

Cade Says

I actually really dug this one. Super smooth, super drinkable, super tasty. Smelled like tropical fruit, citrus, and bread, with a slight hint of like.. Pear? I think? Maybe apple? Something fruity. It’s not quite as good as their Castaway IPA, but this is honestly probably my second favorite beer so far. The bitterness level is super low, but there’s a strong hoppy bite to it. Good shit. A mixed six with three of these and three of Kona’s Castaways would be excellent for a chill day by a swimming hole.

The packaging is growing on me, but it’s still kinda tacky. I guess it’s cool in a kitschy sorta way, but it just makes it look like a cheap, boring beer – which is selling it real short.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 90
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 95
Overall Drinkability - 95
Packaging Appeal - 30
Overall Score - 80
74.5

Combined Score

#2 – Ranger IPA, New Belgium Brewery, Asheville via Fort Collins CO

James Says

New Belgium gets a lot of shit for what they’re doing in Asheville, and while I don’t want to make a political statement or anything of the sort, really, I would like to say that New Belgium makes a line of solid, drinkable beers. They know what they’re doing. I’m a big fan of IPAs (although at heart I’m a stout man,) and Ranger is an excellent IPA. It’s not the highest of ABVs (6.5%,) and it’s not a horribly boozy or harsh IPA. It’s got a nice bitterness – very hoppy – but it’s not overly so. Balanced, smooth and tasty. The packaging leaves a little to be desired (if you’re going to have a 4 color label, do something interesting with it,) but I guess it’s pretty on-brand. Good beer, solid player. Sorry, haters – New Belgium makes some good beer. Now, building on a flood plane and jacking up Haywood Road – that’s another story…

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 85
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 80
Overall Drinkability - 85
Packaging Appeal - 60
Overall Score - 77.5

Cade Says

Truthfully, I don’t much remember drinking this one. I had this while drinking the aforementioned Great America Apple Pie Fake Moonshine High Fructose Corn Syrup Bullshit, so it’s a bit hazy. I definitely enjoyed it, but I’m not too sure I can give it the most fair review..

It’s good though! Not super bitter, but it’s got a floral-y, hoppy hit to it that’ll definitely remind you that you’re drinking an IPA. It’s got some dankness, but that’s not meant as a knock to it – it pairs very nicely with the grapefruit-y tinge hidden somewhere in there. It’s not the most incredible, interesting beer I’ve had, but it’s pretty damned good. However, if you’re looking to get a New Belgium pale ale.. well.. keep readin’, buster.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 85
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 70
Overall Drinkability - 85
Packaging Appeal - 70
Overall Score - 75
76.5

Combined Score

#3 – Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, WI

James Says

This is a strange beer. There’s a grape/blueberry undertone, but it’s not prominent enough to bring this into novelty beer land. It’s good, it’s smooth, it’s drinkable – but that’s really where it stops with me. 4.9% ABV, so it’s not exactly a brute of a beer. It’s oddly appealing, but I could see myself getting really tired of this beer – and pretty quickly. The packaging sucks, to be perfectly honest. Beer is decent, but not decent enough. The label is complete shit, but – what do i know?

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 50
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 30
Overall Drinkability - 75
Packaging Appeal - 30
Overall Score - 46

Cade Says

This.. huh. This beer is an enigma. It shouldn’t be palatable at all – it’s cheap as shit, the packaging is godawful, and it’s cloudy to the point of being concerning.. but.. I actually kind of enjoyed it.

Granted, I haven’t had any proper blueberry beers, so my point of reference is nonexistent.. But this was a pleasant surprise. It’s not particularly “good”, but it’s interesting enough that I’d recommend picking up a bottle. The blueberry taste is VERY strong, followed by some grapey notes and some super light hoppiness. I really need to stress that it’s not a GOOD beer, but in my uncultured mind I actually liked drinking it. Pick it up for a novelty, don’t pick it up otherwise.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 65
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 30
Overall Drinkability - 65
Packaging Appeal - 10
Overall Score - 45
45.5

Combined Score

#4 – Gaelic Ale Highland Brewing Company, Asheville NC

James Says

I must’ve had this stuff a zillion times back in the day.  This one brings back fond(ish) memories of hanging out at Barley’s with The Indian and having a few pitchers. Gaelic usually found it’s way into the mix. This isn’t a super-heavy ABV at 5/6%, but it actually drinks like a 8-9%. Kind of harsh, very hoppy, pretty dry. I hate to keep on picking on Highland’s packaging  but – lord save us all – it’s time. This is red plaid. No – really. I’m serious, guys. Red plaid.

Solid beer. Not sure I’d go for a full sixer at this point – but I’m at least 33 weeks away from going full six on ANY beer. But – Gaelic Ale: Not my favorite, but a sentimental brew – and a tasty one at that.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 85
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 30
Overall Drinkability - 75
Packaging Appeal - 30
Overall Score - 57.5

Cade Says

I feel like a total dick for saying this – but I didn’t particularly like this beer. Granted, I drank it the day after my Great America Apple Pie Nausea-Inducing Jug-O’-Piss, so it might’ve been my body rejecting any and all alcohol I tried to put into it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one, but.. I dunno. It’s not BAD, but it’s not really my tastes. I can’t even really put into words what it was that rubbed me the wrong way. The best way I’ve been able to explain it is “it’s just a little too much of everything”. It’s like getting kicked in the mouth. I’m sure some people are tooootally into that, but it was just too heavy for my delicate tongue..

And good god almighty, please fix your packaging Highland. I’m a huge proponent of supporting local businesses, but you’re making it REAL damn hard to support you guys when I feel dirty for paying money for your packaging..

(might be hyperbole, but c’mon guys. it’s 2016, your beer deserves better.)

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 60
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 30
Overall Drinkability - 65
Packaging Appeal - 10
Overall Score - 55
56

Combined Score

#5 – Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico CA and Asheville NC

James Says

This pale ale, standing at 5.6% ABV, is an outstanding beer (for me, anyway, Cade has his own ideas – wrong though they may be.) On first whiff, it smelled like Schlitz Malt Liquor. The blue label shit. First sip was different, though – hoppy and sweet with a woody (and I mean that literally – woody) undertone. It’s smooth, but it has a pleasant bitterness to it. Honestly, of the beers I’ve had thus far, this is the one that grabs my by my caller, pulls me in close enough to smell it’s breath and says to me “I am a BEER.” Excellent texture, complex flavor. Imminently chuggable. I think this one has to be served cold. A warmer version of this kinda scares me – but out of the fridge, I roundly approve.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 80
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 1
Overall Drinkability - 1
Packaging Appeal - 55
Overall Score - 67.5

Cade Says

Again, I know I’m in the minority here, but.. Not really my thing. I can definitely see the appeal of it, but for whatever reason it just didn’t go down as easily as I would’ve liked. It’s light, dry, and easy to drink, but in my eyes it’s pretty “eh”. Didn’t wow me. Maybe my expectations were too high.

I don’t really know what else to say about this one. Everyone’s had it, everyone loves it, and I’m a moron for thinking otherwise. I liked it more than the Gaelic Ale!?

Eh.

(video nsfw-ish. except at blue dozen. anything goes here.)

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 70
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 50
Overall Drinkability - 70
Packaging Appeal - 70
Overall Score - 70
69 (heheh)

Combined Score

#6 – Rampant • New Belgium Brewery • Asheville via Fort Collins CO

James Says

The first whiff of this smelled a bit like rotten apples – but the taste was well off from that. At 8.5% ABV, this stuff can knock you on your can – but it’s not nearly as sweet or boozy as you’d expect. There’s a creaminess to it – a little reminiscent of Little Kings Cream Ale, and it has a definite fruity tone. Apples and tropical fruit is what I’m getting. I can see myself buying a sixer of this stuff – but Jonathan Wainscott would kill me. Solid beer.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 80
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 80
Overall Drinkability - 80
Packaging Appeal - 55
Overall Score - 73.75

Cade Says

This stuff rules. It’s pretty similar to the Ranger IPA, but this kicks it up a notch. It’s super hoppy, super herby, malty, fruity, caramely, creamy… It’s just a damn good beer. It’s heavy, but still super smooth and refreshing. The 8.5% ABV is definitely noticeable by the mild burn at the back of your throat, but it’s not at all unpleasant. This is definitely the best I’ve had from New Belgium so far, and it opened my eyes to the wild blue yonder of DIPAs/IIPAs. Highly recommend it.

How Tasty is the Stuff? - 85
Would I Buy a Six Pack? - 90
Overall Drinkability - 90
Packaging Appeal - 70
Overall Score - 88
81

Combined Score

#7 – Corona Light • Crown Imports • Chicago, IL

Ok – I guess by this point, you get the idea that we believe that Corona, in all it’s forms, should go the way of the Apple Lisa. Round them all up an bury them in a landfill, wash your hands and walk away to forget they ever existed.

If you’re a fan of Corona, I hope we’ve not upset you. At the same time, we hope that you see that there are much better beverages out there. Gasoline, paint thinner, gutter runoff, half a Mickey’s Malt Liquor with a cigarette butt floating in it. Anything. Do yourself a favor. Branch out – you deserve better. We love you, and we just want you to be happy and healthy. Consider this an intervention.

I think if I had a superpower, it’d be the ability to sense a Corona being opened, and I could teleport to the scene and slap it out of people’s hands. Bullshit Beer Man. Yeah. That’d be awesome.

Google “Apple Lisa Landfill.” It’s thrilling.

Apple Lisa

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