2 Beer Guys Blog

Welcome to the 2 Beer Guys Blog! Here, you will be able to read our stories and adventures as we travel through the world of craft beer.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Vlaemse Primitieve

A new take on an old theme

Vlaemse Primitieve [Flemish Primitives] refers to the ancient Flemish way of painting pictures: no perspective. The guys in the castle in the background are as big as the castle itself. It looks like your painting was made by a very talented 4 year-old. A typical image can be seen here

There is, and do rejoice friends of the beer, a beer by the same name.
Imagine a yellow-golden beer in an almost ball-shaped glass on a fine, tall foot. The sumptuous head, when the beer is poured to perfection, and De Bierkamer's Gert pours it like a sultry invitation to sin, dear friends, tops off the glass like a crown.

Smell the hops, come on, take a whiff of that oh so delicious fragrance and wonder: oh my, what is this delight going to taste like? What do you expect? The constituent parts of this wonderful beer are: water, hops, malt and yeast. Good, honest ingredients.

The taste is something you're going to have to get used to, but if you like hops in beer, crank up the smile to volume 12, m'boys and girls, because this puppy is hops all the way.

The first drink fills your mouth with such abundance of hops that you think "You can't be serious! There's nothing but hops in this taste" and then fear strikes "Oh no, what will the aftertaste be like!?'. Soon after that, your stern alarum will turn to merry measures [I stole that one from Shakespeare, I'm sorry]. The after taste... how does one put this... it's like your loved one rushing up to you and kissing you firmly on the lips. That moment, right there, that intensity is how this beer comes to you. And it stays there, until it lingers away. There is no bitterness in the after taste at all as the taste trails off.

And it does that every time you take a drink.

I am deeply in love with this beer and rather peeved at it at the same time. You see, this 75 centiliter miracle, weighing in at about 8.5 to 9%, a steaming kiss if ever there was one, is intended for the export market. Gert only managed to buy a batch through fortuitous circumstances. Usually, this beer is shipped to the US. And that is why I write about it here.

To tell you to go out and find yourself some, because you will absolutely love it.

There is the connotation of the acquired taste, maybe hops is not quite your thing. In which case there is still the chance that you may one day find this beer's true glory.

But if it already is your taste, you're in for a treat, you're absolutely going to love it, and I'm not going to say it twice.


Craft Beer article on CNN

A good article appeared on CNN today from an AP reporter. It discusses the resurgence of the craft beer industry.

Craft Beer Industry Enjoys Resurgence

PORTLAND, Maine - Like most small breweries, Gritty McDuff's went through a lull as sales of craft beer leveled off in the late 1990s. Now Gritty's and the craft beer industry as a whole are enjoying a resurgence, with sales growing at their fastest pace in a decade.

Production of craft beer — those specialty brews typically made in small regional or local breweries — grew by 9 percent last year, the biggest jump since 1996, when the microbrewery fad of the '90s was still going full tilt. Mainstream beer sales, meanwhile, fell slightly.

To read the rest of this article, click here

Are you feeling a little "Nutty" brown?

ATTENTION: 2 Beer Guys, Thirsty Beard (Ryan), The Girl Who Knows (Lisa), Maine Babe (Amber), and Greek Goddess (Jen), celebrated the "Most Action Packed Night on TV" (Fox 25), by reviewing a selection of beers from Nutfield.

Nutfield Brewing Company
Derry, NH

The selection was a Mixed Nuts Variety Pack - The variety pack contains for different Nutfield brews: Old Man Ale, Auburn Ale, Black 47 Stout, and the Current Seasonal Ale (Winter Frost Ale).

The action packed evening began with a wonderful gourmet meal cooked by Thirsty Beard and Ian.

The Action packed TV started with an EXCITING episode of "Prison Break" and moved into a SUSPENSEFUL episode of 24. Jack Bauer was on the rampage again and provided another evening of excitement and enjoyment.

During this action packed evening, we found some time to review the selection of Nutfields. All 4 selections were an amber brown color and had a taste similar to a darker-malty beer. We were not satisfied with this 4 pack selection. While some were rich with aroma, we didn't find the taste to be welcoming to our pallet.

For additional information, please read the individual reviews.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Are YOU a Believer?

Are YOU a Guiness Believer?

2beer Guys Attend GUINNESS Believer Event

A few weeks ago, we received an invitation to attend a GUINNESS Believer Event. To attend this event, one must register on line. We believed that this was "Our ticket to an informative evening that will include great food and cold GUINNESS beer."

When registering for this event, I was only allowed to "bring one guest to join you for this lively occasion."

Where and When did this event take place?

Thursday 03/23/2006 6:30 PM
One Faneuil Hall Market Place
Boston, Massachusetts 02109


What did we think about the Event?

This event was similar to attending a time share seminar. We arrived at the event only to wait outside the Paris function room (within Faneuil hall) in a long line. A Guiness hostess came around with a clip board form for "Guests" to fill in their contact information, how many beers you normally drink in a week, and if Guiness is your favorite.

We stood in the line for about 10 minutes before they started letting anyone in. About 5 minutes later, we made it to the font of the line. With a quick ID check and 2nd registration, we were in. It felt rather weird and it felt as if no one knew what was going on. We thought....

What the hell are we doing here?

Why did they pick the smallest room possible, huge tables and nowhere to walk?

Are we going to get free beer?

What is up with the slide projector?

After entering the room, we headed straight to the bar to get a cold Guiness and some snacks. Being towards the end of the line was a pain, because like they said in their email, "SEATING IS LIMITED and SPACE IS NOT GUARANTEED". While Ian was dillying around with the Snacks, I found us some seating toward the front of the room.

While enjoying our cold, fresh draft, the presentation began. The presenter was some novice, untalented actor that wasn't even Irish. Along with brief information about Guiness history, the presentation included some samples of Guiness Extra Stout, Half and Half presentation (Guiness and Harp Lager), and a description of a true Black and Tan (Half Smithwicks and Half Guiness).

We felt, as the 2beer guys, that we could have provided this presentation with our eyes closed. We weren't expecting to learn a lot of information, but I feel that Guiness could have used this audience to test out new ideas or promotions. We did receive some free beer, but as Mom always says, "Nothing is ever really free".

Note: We enjoyed the experience, but it could have been better.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Beer Bid

So, monday evening one of the Beer Guys and I went to see the Celtics play at the Garden in Boston. Prior to the game, we met our friend Andy at Boston Beer Works, had a few beers and some dinner. Sean was excited to try a beer that Andy recommended to him. The Hercules Strong Ale is "the port wine of beers" we read. It is brewed with barley to make it very srtong. It is fruity, floral and bitter. It is meant to be sipped as an aperitif....evidently Andy thought it would be funny to leave this point out it also has 11.5 % alcohol.

Sean drank the 10 oz beer in about 20 min. he then decided to drink a "mistake pour" Bunker Hill Blueberry Beer. It was a typical blueberry beer...a light tasting ale with a handfull of Maine blueberries dropped in for added flavor. Next was his final beer. He chose the Ice Ale...yet another ass kicker of a beer about 8.5 %. It had a very distinct, strong flavor.

By the time we got to the Celtics game he was feeling pretty good. Not to mention I myself had had 2 Curley's Irish Stouts. They were, I do have to tell you extremely yummy. It is named after Boston's most memorable mayor. It was dry tasting, but very smooth Stout. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it to anyone who loves a good DARK beer.

So any way....we got to the game and came across an auction. It was lined with sports parafanalia to bid on with the proceeds going to the children's hospital. Well, we found a picture of St. Andrew's golf course and decided to place a $90 opening bid. We decided to go back at half time and see if we had won...we got there with a few seconds to spare and noticed the highest bid was $120. We looked at each other...asked should we do it? and quickly I placed our bid for $130...3 seconds later we had won the bid!!! I looked at Sean and said, "If we saw this picture in a store would we have bought it for $130? He said, "Probably not." We both agree....Beer is a great bidding tool! We will always think about some good Boston Beer Works Beer when we look at that picture. Out! BeerGirl

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

St. Patrick's Day- Sean

Let the Festivities Begin!
Who is St. Patrick and why does he have his own day?

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn, and he almost didn't get the job of bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship.

Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. During his captivity, he became closer to God.

He escaped from slavery after six years and went to Gaul where he studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years. During his training he became aware that his calling was to convert the pagans to Christianity.

His wishes were to return to Ireland, to convert the native pagans to Christianity. But his superiors instead appointed St. Palladius. But two years later, Palladius transferred to Scotland. Patrick, having adopted that Christian name earlier, was then appointed as second bishop to Ireland.

Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. And this fact upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity.

His mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. After that time, Patrick retired to County Down. He died on March 17 in AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. Much Irish folklore surrounds St. Patrick's Day. Not much of it is actually substantiated.

Some of this lore includes the belief that Patrick raised people from the dead. He also is said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the snakes from Ireland. Of course, no snakes were ever native to Ireland, and some people think this is a metaphor for the conversion of the pagans. Though originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday.

One traditional icon of the day is the shamrock. And this stems from a more bona fide Irish tale that tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity. He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day.

The St. Patrick's Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated in this country, in Boston.

Today, people celebrate the day with parades, wearing of the green, and drinking beer. One reason St. Patrick's Day might have become so popular is that it takes place just a few days before the first day of spring. One might say it has become the first green of spring.

What does this day mean to the 2 beer guys?

The 2 beer guys hold a special place in their heart for St. Patrick's day. In addition to making our first major alterations to the 2 beer guys website, we celebrated in 2 beer guy fashion by enjoying the company of our friends while sampling some tasty Irish brew at a local watering hole. We were very excited to have Ignace as the ambassador to our celebrations on the website. We hope that you enjoyed the brief changes.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Harpoon St Pattys Festival

Ok, so this blog is way overdue, but the event is still as fresh in my mind as the beer was pouring from the taps that day.

Sean, Chris, Carolyn, and I headed down to the festival and got there right around 2 when it started. We ran into Niles, one of Harpoon's sales reps, who brought us in and introduced us to Liz, the Director of Communications for Harpoon. We spoke with her for a little bit, exchanged contact info, and discussed doing a 2 Beer Guys/Harpoon cross-promotional event. We're thinking in Newburyport, doing a hat and tshirt giveaway, and introducing people to some of the other Harpoon offerings they may not have had before.

On tap, Harpoon had their Ale, UFO, Hibernian Ale, Winter Warmer, IPA, and their newest baby, UFO Raspberry. I had an IPA, a Raspberry, and a Hibernian, and they were all fantastic. You can read our reviews of the beers on our site, 2 Beer Guys.

De Ranke XX versus Urthel Hop-It!

2 Beer Guys Blog

Ian wanted to know whether "De Ranke XX Bitter" was the hoppiest beer in Belgium. As it happens, I -have- had De Ranke XX Bitter. This is BITTER beer. Very VERY bitter beer.
It is certainly hoppy, but to me it's a decade beer. The taste is MUCH too bitter for the drinker to enjoy pretty much anything else, really.
Once you had one you will know yourself to be a real trooper, a guy who would wash himself in a tub of Budweiser and drink it afterwards!
This is seriously bitter beer.

However, is it the hoppiest beer? Well: no. This isn't the hoppiest beer at all. What you really want is Urthel Hop-it: http://ratebeer.com/Beer/urthel-hop-it/51264/
I've had one soon after it was released to the general public. It is very hoppy [whouda thunk?] but completely contrary to the XX, this beer is actually a delight. I can't seem to find a picture of the brewer, to my great agony, but it might be a hint of why it is so tasty. Hop-it is very hoppy, laced with spices but it has a wonderful fruity character to it. Big head of steam with some carbonation. You will taste bitterness which is poorly understood, judging by the comments on ratebeer, something you cannot avoid given that it has more IBU points than De Ranke XX. However, the bitterness is not of the kind that makes your cheeks want to touch each other from the inside, this is actually a great beer. It masks the alcohol content very well. You will find that this is something you could be drinking for a while but it would so come back to bite you as it is a 9.5% alcohol content, quite the delighful buzz :). What this beer has that De Ranke XX does not have is balance. By IBU count alone you would avoid this beer because you thought it would be far too bitter by far, but it is actually a very steady platform. A very finely crafted beer. Not too much hop [but there's a lot of it], not too bitter [but it has a delightful bite], not too much fruit [but you'll go: yummy!], not too much alcohol [but it certainly puts a bullseye on your butt if you have too much of it]. I most definitely recommend it.

Hildegard, here's to you, sweetie!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Message from Vanessa

I would like to start by saying thanks to all of the 2 beer guy fans out there.

Today, we received an exciting review from an independent reviewer: Vanessa (and her dad).

"Of note are a couple of beers my dad and I encountered this weekend: St. Peter’s Organic English Style Ale and Rouge’s Kells Irish Lager.

St. Peter’s Brewery company is based in South Elmham, England. The brewery started in 1996 and boasts an ideal set-up—they have excellent water quality from their own deep bore-hole and are able to use locally malted barley, along with Kentish hops to produce a range of classical (19th Century Style) English cask-conditioned ales. Their English Ale pours with a beautiful pillow of head which floats over an amber sea. The foam dissipates quickly (after a few sips) and leaves a nice lace as it goes down. I really like the aroma when the bottle is first opened--a fresh floral hop scent. If you get a chance to try it (my dad found them in a small local convenience store), do. In our opinion it’s a solid beer: robust yet creamy and well balanced in terms of hops/malt.

The Kells Irish Lager is from the Rouge Brewing Company. This is a European-style pilsner brewed with Great Western 2-row, French Carapilsner malt, Sterling hops, and Czech pilsner yeast. The Rogue brand, as even the name suggests, endeavors to do things differently, to change the status quo. As such, their beers have no preservatives, additives, nor chemicals; they also do not pasteurize their products. Kells pours a beautiful 14K gold color with a rich, robust frothy head. The nose is of clean natural malt, un-roasted and fresh. The mouth-feel is unbelievably soft and subtle, like liquid velvet (perhaps low mineral content in the water). The taste is ever-so-slightly bitter, very creamy and understated, with just enough residual sweet malt to finish. This is not a blow your doors off beer, rather it is a very easy-going and satisfying brew that can be drunk endlessly. "

Vanessa, we are a fan of Rouge Brewing Company, but have not tried the The Kells Irish Lager ....... yet ....

If you would like more information about the 2beerguys reviewing process, please let us know. We recommend using the PDF, that's available for download, for hints and tips on what to look for when reviewing.

Thank you for your review and for being a fan.

The Good Life

What could be better really? If I could guess, I don't think that switching the pipes was an accident. This is a beer drinkers dream come true!
Woman Gets Beer From Her Kitchen Faucet - NEWS - STRANGE - Comcast.net

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Note from a Humbled Reviewer

Some call it the opportunity of a lifetime, others say it may only happen once so take advantage of the moment, I call it being blessed. I've been blessed to have the chance to join my fellow beer drinkers in a opportunity so great that I can only imagine few things better. We've been given a mission...a mission to help those less fortunate beer drinkers experience a better tasting, better crafted beer that most often can be tasted in the same building that it was born in. Put those 2 beer guys up there with Joan of Arc! I offer my humble thanks for the opportunity to join these two fine men and their selected reviewers on a mission that only few can ever dream to embark on. Now if I could only get my nose to figure out the difference between hops and malt! I have so much to learn!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Trois Pistoles

Last night, I decided to venture outside the world of domestic brews and sample Trois Pistoles, a Belgian Ale. Thankfully, as my last snifter was broken a couple months ago, it came with its own one. It had a very rich aroma to it, with a definite alcohol presence. It at first tasted very much like a barleywine, and then finished up tasting like a dry red wine. At $6.50 a bottle, I'll probably get four glasses out of it, which seems like a bargain compared to an average bottle of wine. It was just nice to be able to appreciate the craftsmanship of the beer after learning what to look for in a good brew.

Skip the whole milk. Pass on soda. Drink beer?

That's correct kids. As the 2 Beer Guys say, beer is the real milk. And now there is actually some evidence to support our claim. According to a study, paid for by the parent company of Lipton Tea, "...the scientists say men can drink as much as 24 ounces of beer a day -- more than the 16 ounces of low-fat milk or soy drinks they suggest, and three times their recommended limit for fruit juice."


See full article here

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Brewery Exchange

So Friday night before the Lowell/UVM game, Sean and I met over at the Brewery Exchange in Lowell to sample some beers. Well, some turned into nine and we had quite a lot to say about all of the offerings. We ordered the sampler, which came with six beers. Then our waitress Melissa was nice enough to give us some samples of the Rapscallion ales to try. Those were good, but I definitely want to revisit them with a full glass. Three of the beers are considered Mill City Brewing, but are brewed by Concord Brewing, as are the other six beers. Lowell then beat UVM and there was much rejoicing.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The journey is more important than the destination

You could say that as a Belgian I'm overprivileged when it comes to enjoying the er... joys of beer. And you would be right. We have an incredibly rich and diverse history of beer making and beer tasting. In days of yore every village worth its lard had at least one brewery and of course more than one bar. Even today there are villages... [does 12 houses count as a village?] that have no bakery, butcher shop, general convenience store or any other such modern amenity. But there will be a church and two bars [we call them: café]. God forbid we would be thirsty after church.
Life, in fact, was so good to our ancestors that there were celebrations of one kind or another all the time. Flanders has always been a much sought-after piece of real estate by warring nations with good reason. People used to go from one celebration to another. When the week-long feast would draw to a close in one town, you just went to the next one to join in the fun there. There were worse places to be than mideaval Flanders, let me tell you. Then Albrecht and Isabella came and they decided there can be too much of a good thing indeed and do we really need -that- much celebration. Since that day, we celebrate our saints and saviors at fixed dates. It was a great ride while it lasted.

One thing we never gave up, although there are by now far less breweries, is our love of beer. And in the thousand years or so that we've been brewing it, we've learned a few things. It would be a sad affair indeed if we did not manage to create some really fine beer along the way.

Now that the world is growing into a global community and we're finding that once-remote places of the globe are essentially different burroughs of the same neighborhood we go and look how other people are doing what we love best. For me that means: what beer are other people drinking?

And that's exactly what I did when I went to the United States on several occasions. Few things are more horrifying than the taste of the mass-produced Budweisers, Millers and Coors Lights. If the beer was as good as its commercials it would be nothing short of nectar of the gods. Sadly, it turns out that the quality of the beer was inversely proportional to the quality of the commercials. So I had to either find something else or give up drinking beer in the States alltogether [the other alternative is drinking Belgian beer, which means paying a King's ransom for a single glass, and I'm not a king]. It was at that point Sean, bless his heart, introduced me to the delights of microbrews. I have had the opportunity to try some of the microbrews myself, among those some of them that have gathered their own following. The most important thing though is to go out and see what's out there.
And this is where the 2 Beer Guys shine: they are undertaking a great adventure that will last them a life time and which will take them from the awful over the curious [but not bad] to the truly amazing. And the only way to gather that knowledge in a meaningful way is to do as we have done it for centuries past: find yourself a buddy and take nobody's word for it when it comes to deciding whether a beer is good or bad.

2 Beer Guys, I salute you.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Harpoon Brewery officially releases a new beer and the 2BeerGuys were on the scene to review.

What's this new beer?

Harpoon Brewery says: "UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen is our own interpretation of the European practice of adding fruit flavors to wheat beers. "

Basically, it's a spin off from their already tasty and unique UFO line with a strong Raspberry aroma and a sweet taste. This beer will definitely be refreshing on a hot summer afternoon sitting around the pool.

For those north of Boston, there was a special gathering at Rockafellas in Salem, Mass. to debut the new beer. Prior to the event, there were rumors of a red carpet, glamour, possible star siting, rejoicing in the street, and a toast during the night.

We arrived on the scene to find empty parking spaces, barren streets and a very cold, New England night.

We were unable to locate the stars and the rejoicing in the streets, but it was a pleasurable evening.

Will this marketing spin off turn UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen into a mass market beer? Only time will tell. Buy a 6-pack and try it for yourself.

(For more information about the new beer, please read our review.)

New Brewery in Milford, NH

There is a new brewery about to come into town. Well, not our town, but Milford, NH. The entire article can be found here. Following is an excerpt regarding the brewery:

After doing research, he hired Labbe, former head brewer at Concord Brewery in Lowell, and began scouting for equipment and a location.

The Permattach building at 127 Elm St. has been vacant since 2002, when the industrial-diamond firm shut after 42 years in town. Jewett said the long, brick-fronted factory, a half-mile west of the Oval, suits him even though it is hidden from Route 101A by a steep slope, because he has no plans for retail sales.

Apparently the only other microbreweries in the region are brewpubs, like Martha’s Exchange in Nashua. Pennichuck will exclusively sell wholesale to bars and restaurants, and bottled beer sold through local stores may come later.

Jewett said they plan to start with an “English-inspired” red ale, followed by a Vienna lager to head up a series of German-inspired lagers. Lagers are less common from small breweries because they take roughly twice as long as ales to ferment.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Are these guys real reviewers?

Many may ask the question, Are these guys real reviewers or are they just finding a reason to drink?


Any reason to have a tasty beer is a good reason, but we do take our beer reviewing seriously.

This makes me wonder, how would anyone review a beer without testing it?

It's like reviewing a car by taking a picture of it.

"'This car has four wheels, lights on every side and through the window we can see a steering wheel." Who would want to read that?

You can't review a beer just by looking at it. You have to:

* Kick the tires
* Open the hood
* Check the frame (what ever that means)
* Check the tire tread
* Look for faulty manufacturing

We understand that everything looks good if you look at it from far enough away. Some beers look delicious and refreshing, until you drink it.

Read our reviews and see if you agree!

Otter Creek, Harpoon, and 24

So Monday night, we reviewed the variety pack from Otter Creek in Vermont, as well as the IPA and UFO from Harpoon. Two of Otter Creek's offerings, Pale Ale and Copper Ale, were very drinkable beers, but didn't offer up very much in terms of aroma or taste. The Stovepipe Porter however was a much different story, as it displayed hints of caramel, coffee, chocolate, and a general maltiness.

24 came on at 9, which was when we were starting to look at the two Harpoon beers. We've had the Harpoon IPA many times in the past, and it happens to be one of our personal favorites, so it was with great surprise that we were less than blown away when it actually came time to review it. Perhaps we just got a bad batch, or it had simply been out on the shelf for too long. Either way, we powered through it and, although not enticed into another one that evening, enjoyed it just the same.

On a side note, it was literally an explosive episode of 24, where the President's medaling wife almost got her due. If I may, I just have to say that who is she to be meddling in the affairs of state. Nobody elected her into office, and as sniveling and cowardly as the President is, he is still the boss and doesn't need his wife cutting him under. There, I've said my peace and I feel a lot better.

You've got mail

Funny thing happened today in the World of 2 Beer Guys.com

We have received our first fan mail and possible date Proposal.

Check it out and provide comments if you like...

Subject: 2beerguys

"Hi there--saw your website and thought it was brilliant:-) Any chance you are both single--my friend and I would love to meet you two--be in touch--best, Beth "

Message to Beth:

Unfortunately, both 2 beer guys are committed relationships. We thank you for your email. If you are real, please post a response.