Sunday Beer Blog: Arcadium Gruit

Arcadium Gruit

This beer is out of Tennessee. It’s by VonSeitz TheoreticAles. It’s a gruit with rosemary, savory, and marjoram. It’s actually a very complicated beer. I recommend you check out the brewers website. (See below.)

According to our friends at La Bodega, this was supposedly not too sour. After the first pour, the smell said sour patch kids had an accidental baby with those cheap sour rings you get at gas stations. I persevered.

Yellow Brown Ale

Syrup-yellow brown color, not auburn, is how I’d describe it. It was very distinctive. The mouthfeel was really nice and effervescent. I prepared for the worst, but the initial sip was not bad. It was actually pleasantly lambic in nature.

I grew braver on the second sip and let things swish. Tart but sweet. Maybe sour patch kids were in a committed relationship with gummy bears.

Thank goodness for the bubbles. They really took the flavors and rushed them around. It gave this brew the lightness it needed. Otherwise I think this would be close to barley wine. I don’t think I’ll repurchase, but I recommend this highly, especially to those sour beer lovers out there.

Brewer: VonSeitz TheoreticAles

Beer Type: Gruit

AVB: 6.1%

Purchase Location: La Bodega

Sunday Beer Blog: Zwart Black Star

Yes, it’s January. Yes, there’s snow on the ground. No, this was not a timely post. BUT I still think it’s worth mentioning this one. Surly Brewing Co.’s Zwart Black Star 8 is a Brewmaster’s collaboration between Ben Smith, Jerrod Johnson, and Dirk Naudis of De Proef Brouwerij.







“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie


I received this ale as part of my monthly beer club from La Bodega. While I’m not always a fan of what I get as a member of this program, I can always rest assured the beers are unique. This collaboration was not a disappointment in that arena.

The ale was bright amber in color. The note of star anise was nice, but the Brett was not. I’m just not a fan. I’ve tried so many Brett beers and my tastebuds are still very much against them. After pour, there was a really nice head, and a pleasant aroma. The first taste was sour and sweet. More than one sip proved this a complicated beer. I actually really liked the first notes. I dared to swish it around in my mouth and I got sweet, sour, and decent effervescence. Overall it was pleasant if not for the Brett. Brett fan? Run and grab this beer.

Little tidbit: this was named after Bowie’s final album “Blackstar”. My mother had a major thing for Bowie. She’s a very proper person, but when I was growing up she’d drop hints. I think the most scaring moment for me was when, after watching the movie Labyrinth, she announced that David Bowie should always wear tights as pants. Wowza. The only thing I could do to cope with the blow was wait until I had children, let them watch Labyrinth, and then let them know about Nana’s desires. Done and done. You’re welcome S and L.

To prove how much I love my mamma, and how I really did recover from too much information, here are some gratuitous shots of the man. Although, please note the Labyrinth photos have been omitted. I can only handle so much.

Brewer: Surly Brewing Co

Style: Old Ale

ABV: 8%

Purchased: La Bodega

Beer Blog: Kenai River Brewing

It’s cross country season for our two teens and that means our annual trip to Soldotna, AK for the Skyview Invitational. My husband and I love this race. We put the girls on the bus for “team bonding” and we drive my little, red Audi TT down the highway as fast as the curves call for.

Once there, we cheer for our girls (we’re not monsters) before ditching them to hit up local breweries.

On this year’s trip, we were able to enjoy Kenai River Brewing Company’s new location. Nice digs! Wood tables are found throughout, with the log shape being maintained. Metal accents at the bar and on the chairs continue the swanky yet rustic decor.

We were greeted by two employees behind the bar who were smiling and more than willing to chat about beer. We learned the nitro system is a delicate one, and beer had been lost the day prior because it wasn’t set up right. Derek and I have wanted a system at home, and were thankfully provided with some tips for success.

Excusing ourselves from great company, Derek and I wandered about with our first beers:Resurrection  Summer Ale and Breakfast Beer (on nitro) respectively. Derek described the Summer Ale as quite drinkable and a great malt flavor. It is a bit too malty for my taste though.

The Breakfast Beer is a classic I’ve had before, but the nitro was a great addition. It was smooth and had a delicate coffee flavor. It’s color was also quite pretty. I would love a blanket made of this brew so I could wrap myself up in it. (Imagination people!)

Winter Warlock was my second brew. It is high alcohol, 9.2%, and very good. Lighter in color than expected, the deep spice notes are chewy and it warms the bones on the way down. I didn’t want more than a glass of this one, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Breakfast; Resurrection; & Warlock

Kodiak Custom’s art adorns the walls of the brewery. They are Alaskan photographs wrapped on canvas by Kristin Dunn. Kristin is also, conveniently, a brewery employee. Such talent!

Wall art by Miss Dunn

As we were on our way out, we stopped to marvel at the shiny beer equipment one last time. Our audible compliments were rewarded with a quick tour of the facility, including its canning machine. Very cool Kenai Brewing. Very cool.

Sunday Beer Blog: Cold Brew IPA

So I’ll admit…today I woke up at 11 am. This does not happen often. I’m a grown-up after all, but today it did. Once my husband and I woke up, we got to cooking breakfast and taking care of pups. Derek was sweet and made us scrambled eggs and bacon while pups sunned themselves. I mention this because while bacon is amazing, it influences the tastebuds.


Once the cold brew IPA was opened it was obvious from the smell that we had a true coffee beer. I read the bottle Rogue notes and they promised a coffee start with a “punch” of hops in the end. I teased Derek that he was going to get hit with the hops, but we didn’t have that experience. In fact, I felt lied to. The coffee flavor was smooth and quite delicious, but the hops were just as delicious. They were complimentary. WTF? Don’t get me wrong, they were yummy, they just weren’t a punch.

The color was caramel and the head was decent. The flavor was light, smooth and lingering in a good way. I highly recommend this as a coffee beer. I can’t say there’s a very “special” ingredient or flavor, but it’s quite good, and I’ll be buying it again.

The best thing I can think of that came out of this tasting was a brain storm: hops flavored syrups for lattes! You’re welcome. Seriously, someone make money off this. (I’m talented, but apparently sworn to make zero profit off of said talent.)


If you’re curious about the pineapple, here’s the story. A student of mine knew I was allergic to apples, so he brought me a pineapple. I felt like that gesture deserved “fame”. I love this pineapple. XO

Beer Name: Cold Brew IPA

Brewer: Rogue

Region: Northwest

Alcohol Content: 7.5%

Purchased From: Wine Styles

Sunday Beer Blog: Jacobite Ale

Today our beer has travelled from far away and my blog is subtly laced with betrayal. Yes, today I will speak highly of a Scottish beer, and being that I’m Irish, this is not something I do lightly.

(Although I think it should be said that if we had spent thousands of years as a united front, we’d all be speaking Gaelic. Just saying that amount of ornery would have been unstoppable.)

Anyhoo…today’s beer is Jacobite Ale from Traquair House Brewery. Hailing from Scotland, these fellows have been brewing since 1745.

One of the perks of being in the “biz” so long is having a collection of cool brewing supplies. For Jacobite, they utilized a copper kettle from 1738 and oak fermenters.

This ale is yeasty, nutty, and lighter on the palate than expected. Coriander is supposed to be a main brewing ingredient, but I have to admit the distinct flavor escaped me.

Jacobite is very reminiscent of Newcastle’s Black Cabbie, and that’s a beer I have trouble sharing.

Derek’s take: “That’s a beer to enjoy by the fire.”

Beer Name: Jacobite Ale
Brewer: Traquair House Brewery
From: Scotland
Purchased From: Wine House

Sunday Beer Blog: Punkuccino

It’s officially fall here in Anchorage, so I was feeling like beer socks and a pumpkin ale. I grabbed a favorite, Elysian’s Night Owl, and saw Punkuccino next to it. Always willing to take a chance on a coffee beer, I picked it up too.

The Elysian brew doesn’t disappoint. While I didn’t get an overwhelming pumpkin flavor, Punkuccino offered a strong coffee taste combined with a light, effervescent mouth feel. The best part? A distinctive cinnamon and nutmeg finish. Quite like a dirty chai.

Derek’s take was “that’s a lot of coffee.”
My take was “Christmas beer with coffee added.”

Beer Name: Punkuccino
Beer Style: Pumpkin Ale
Brewer: Elysian
Alcohol Content: 5%
Purchased From: La Bodega