Podcasts of the Week Ending July 7


Podcast of the Week returns!  Here are five podcasts from the past week that I think are worth listening to.

The Memory Palace :: The Taking of Tom Sawyer Island

That time when the counterculture Yippies attempted a hostile takeover of the land.  Disneyland to be specific.  Except only about 200 of them showed and half of them were there for a goof. What a long strange monorail trip it’s been.

Smithsonian Sidedoor :: red, white, and brew

Home brewing is a big thing these days, among a stereotypical group of white men, but has a long history in the United States among women, enslaved people, and immigrants.

WBUR The Artery :: Stacks Of Books, But Short On Cash: New England’s Public Libraries Face Funding Troubles

Libraries are used to tightening the belt financially, but in these days of Federal and state cuts they are facing unprecedented struggles.

DecodeDC :: DC History 101, Swamps and Scandals Then and Now

The history of Washington, DC, built on an actual swamp, and how the development of the city reflects the views of the ruling parties over time.

ESPN 30 for 30Yankees Suck

Here’s a new podcast based on ESPN’s successful television sports documentaries.  This episode covers the history of the notorious Red Sox fan chant and how a bunch of hardcore punks made a profitable business out of selling t-shirts emblazoned “Yankees Suck!”  Brings back good memories of late 90s Red Sox games.

 

Beer Review: Almanac Pilsner


Beer: Craft Pilsner
Brewer: Almanac Beer Co. 
Source: Can
Rating: **** (8.5 of 10)
Comments: Almanac pours out golden, yet cloudy with a lot of effervescence and a thick head.  The aroma is of fresh cut grains and citrus with a flavor of mild hops balanced with a hint of sweet cream.  There’s minimal lacing and a light mouthfeel.  Overall this is great stuff.

Beer Review: Allagash Sixteen Counties Ale


BeerSixteen Counties Ale
Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company
Source: Draft
Rating: **** (8.8 of 10)
Comments:

A golden/orange beer offering yeasty and grassy aromas.  The flavor is a complex balance of fruits, spices, yeast, and grains.  A smooth and robust beer.  I love it.

 

From the same brewery:

 

Beer Review: Peak Organic IPA Evergreen 


Beer: Evergreen IPA
Brewer: Peak Organic Brewing Company
Source: Can
Rating: *** (7.7 of 10)
Comments: A cloudy golden/orange in color, this beer offers an appropriately piney aroma.  The flavor is grassy with hints of spice and a hop aftertaste.  It’s basically a liquid Christmas tree, and a like it.

From the same brewery:

 

Beer Review: Riverwalk Gnomad


Beer: Gnomad Farmhouse Ale
Brewer: Riverwalk Brewing Co.
Source: Bottle
Rating: **** (8.4 of 10)
Comments: Beer pours out golden with much effervesence and a thick head.  The scent is caramel with a warm, yeasty malt flavor.  The head is persistent while drinking and offers a light mouthfeel.  A nice example of the style.

Beer Review: Baxter Pamola 


Beer: Pamola Session Ale
Brewer: Baxter Brewing Co.
Source: Can
Rating: *** (7.7 of 10)
Comments: A straw colored beer with a thin head, this beer offers the scent of fresh mown hay.  The flavor is sweet with a touch of spice.  It’s a nice balance of subtle flavors in basic ale, good to pair with spicy food.

From the same brewery:

 

Beer Review: Harpoon Flannel Friday


Beer: Flannel Friday
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Source: 12 oz. bottle
Rating: ** (6.3 of 10)
Comments: Another autumnal beer, amber in color without much head or carbonation.  The beer offers floral and caramel notes and tastes mildly hoppy with some sweet citrus. Seems like an okay beer for the season, but it doesn’t excite me much.

From the same brewery:

Beer Review: Harpoon Octoberfest


Beer: Octoberfest
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Source: Can
Rating: ** (6.7 of 10)
Comments:

A copper-colored beer that pours out with light carbonation and a thick head.  It offers a toffee aroma and a flavor of roasted grain, caramel, and mild hops on the aftertaste.  The head evaporates swiftly making the beer look flat.  It’s drinkable, inoffensive.  A good beer for a crisp autumn day.

Note: I previously reviewed this beer on draft and had a more favorable opinion.

From the Same Brewer:

Beer Review: Goose IPA


Beer: India Pale Ale
Brewer:  Goose Island Beer Company
Source: Draft
Rating:  ***(7.4  of 10)
Comments: I generally shy away from IPAs, but apparently I’ve listened to Sound Opinions enough times to give Chicago’s flagship craft beer a try.  This copper ale had a thin head and a grainy, floral aroma.  The taste was a sweet flower with the expected bitter afteraste, but not overpowering.  For an IPA, I like it!

Beer Review: Mystic Table Beer


Beer:  Table Beer
Brewer: Mystic Brewery
Source:  Draft
Rating: ** (6.7 of 10)
Comments:  A hazy golden brew with a bread crust aroma and a mild banana flavor.  It’s light, refreshing, and low alcohol and drinkable if not very exciting.  Seems like a good summer beer for people who do not like bold beer flavors.

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Otra Vez


Beer: Otra Vez
Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Source: 12 oz. bottle
Rating: *** (7.6 of 10)
Comments:

This beer is brewed with prickly pear cactus, which reminded me of the time I fell into a prickly pear cactus and since there were no tweezers handy I tried to extract the needles from my hand with my teeth, but ended up with a needle in my tongue!  This was a more pleasant experience of introducing prickly pear cactus to my mouth. It’s a sparkly, golden beer with a finger-width head.  A sour citrus aroma introduces a tart and sweet flavored beer, kind of reminiscent of a gin & tonic.  It’s low in alcohol and highly drinkable, so it’s good for a hot day.  It paired well with my supper of Israeli couscous and roasted vegetables.

Beer Reviews: 21st Ammendment Toaster Pastry


Beer: Toaster Pastry India-Style Red Ale

Brewer
: 21st Ammendment Brewery

Source
: Draft

Rating
: **** ( 8.0 of 10)

Comments
: Beer pours with a gorgeous amber color, but no much head or carbornation.  Fruit and malts are apparent in the nose.  The taste is a balance of sweet and bitter with wood, nut, and strawberry favors.  Nicely done and palatable.  Not overly bitter as the “India-style” usually implies. 

Beer Review: Harpoon Trippel


Beer: Trippel
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Source: Bottle
Rating: ** (6.9 of 10)
Comments:  Harpoon’s version of a Belgian Trappist ale is golden, a bit cloudy, and effervescent.  The aroma is clove and musty grains.  The taste is a mix of bananas, apricots, and spices.  The beer leaves not lacing and the head evaporates quickly as does the bubbles.  It’s an okay beer, but seems like it should do more to live up to its Trappist heritage.

Harpoon Sticke Alt


Beer: Sticke Alt
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Source: Bottle
Rating: *** (7 of 10)
Comments: Another product of the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series celebrates a recent trip of staff to Germany. This beer is a reddish-brown with lots of carbonation looking all the world like a root beer. The aroma is sweet too, chocolate with some fruity hops. The flavor is chocolate too, but the hop bitterness makes it a dark chocolate rather than a sweet chocolate. A nice treat.

Beer Review: Stone Citrusy Wit


Beer: Citrusy Wit
Brewer: Stone Brewing Company
Source: Draft
Rating: **** (8 of 10)
Comments: On tap at Saus in Boston, this is a good beer to accompany Belgian specialties.  The beer appears cloudy and orange with a foamy head.  The citrus is strong with this one from the muted orange peel aroma to the orange/lemon flavor, punctuated by coriander spice, and followed by a bitter apricot punch.  As someone who is not a fan of bitter beers, this is a pleasant exception.

Beer Review: Beer Works Zwickel Stick


Beer: Zwickel Stick
Brewer: Beer Works
Source: Cask conditioned
Rating: *** (7.9 of 10)
Comments: This cask conditioned German unfiltered lager was on tap at the Boston Beer Works on Canal Street on Independence Day weekend.  It’s a honey colored beer with a finger-width head.  The aroma is mildly grainy and grassy, while the flavor is sweet up front and creamy, followed by a grain aftertaste.  The head remains for sometime and the beer has a sticky mouthfeel.  While this is a German-style beer it reminded me of being in an English pub.

Beer Review: Shipyard Summer Ale


Beer: Summer Ale
Brewer: Shipyard Brewing Co.
Source: Can
Rating: *** (7.3 of 10)
Comments:

A copper ale with beaucoups bubbles and a thin, but solid head.  The scent is musty cereal grains and the taste is a mellow blend of malts and yeast with a little tang.  Yummy, simple and unique.

 

From the Same Brewery:

Beer Review: Leinenkugel’s Ginger Shandy


BeerGinger Shandy 
Brewer: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing 
Source: Can
Rating: ** (6.8 of 10)
Comments: A cloudy golden beer with a big foamy head.  Like it says on the tin, the beer smells and tastes of sharp lemon with a hint of ginger, and is very tangy. Lazy lacing lines the glass and the foamy head disappears swiftly.  It’s a tad bland and artificial tasting, but otherwise a good variation on a theme.

Beer Review: Cisco Summer of Lager


Beer: Summer of Lager
Brewer: Cisco Brewers
Source: Can
Rating: **** (8.4 of 10)
Comments:
Poured from a can, Summer of Lager grows a foamy head with lots of carbonation bubbling through the golden liquid. The scent is of fresh-cut grass, and the taste follows the nose with a grassy flavor followed by spicy hops and a hint of appe. Tufts of lace cling to the glass and finger-width of head still persists after settling in the glass. It’s a nice, refreshing beer and good for a warm day.

From the same brewer:

  • 7.2 – Cisco Island Reserve Lager
  • 6.3 – Cisco Brewers Bailey’s Blonde Ale
  • 6.2 – Cisco Brewers Winter Shredder

Harpoon Camp Wannamango


Beer: Camp Wannamango
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Source: Draft
Rating: *** (7.5 of 10)
Comments: Harpoon prepares us for summer with this refreshing, light and fruity beer.  Wannamango pours out a golden color with a full head and tiny bubbles.  As the name implies, mango is strong in the aroma, although there’s some apricot too.  This is beer akin to a fruit spritzer, effervescent on the tongue and sweet with just a hint of bitter grapefruit.  Lots of lacing a sustained thin head even after quaffing.  This is good stuff!