1. Choc Brewing Wheat Ale
I was confused when I saw this beer in my last "beer of the month" package because of the name of the brewery. On the label on the right, for instance, I feel like the placement of the text needs to be swapped. A first glance looked like "1919" was the brewery and "Choc Beer" was the style. Apparently, "choc" comes from a recipe handed down from Native Americans to Italian immigrants. What I DO like about the label is that it includes back story on the brewery, but only a chapter. Apparently, they have six beers in a series, each of which has a different chapter on the brewery. Anyway, on to the beer, an American wheat. As you can see in the picture, the beer is pretty opaque for a wheat beer, which is what I like. Not only is it unfiltered, but it's also bottle-conditioned for full flavor. And it definitely has some nice flavor for a basic wheat beer. This is just a basic style done well, which would make a great warm weather beer as well as a sessionable beer. I would absolutely drink this over any of the mass-marketed Blue Moons, Shock Tops or Hoegaardens.
Overall Rating: B+
2. Rogue Dad's Little Helper Black IPA
Well call me predictable but I'd try anything new that Rogue put on the shelves. Oh, Rogue Funky Cheese Ale? Yeah, I'll buy that. Rogue put out a "Dad's Little Helper" before, a malt liquor. Real classy. This time, they jumped on the bandwagon and put out a Black IPA. Having tried a handful of these, I've started ranking my favorites (Avery's New World Porter probably still sits at the top). This one probably falls somewhere in the middle. The level of carbonation was a little strong, I thought, for the style, but I think the combination of malts could have used a boost in flavor. It needed some extra oomph (technical beer industry word) to make it darker, bolder and smoother. The hoppiness was there, but that also could have used some oomph. Not my favorite from Rogue, but I'll always be loyal.
Overall Rating: B