Saturday, June 8, 2013

Beer: Dixie and Breckenridge

Here are a few more craft beer reviews, just a smattering from the hundreds Goatsden has been responsible for. Shame on us for enjoying so much beer and keeping notes on it. 

Anyway, scores are, as ever, from 1 (awful) to 5 (awesome). Anything over a 3.5 or so should be considered worthy. With that in mind, check these out and judge for yourself. Keep beer independent and local, and down with the corporate monoliths and monopolies!

DIXIE BEER (New Orleans, LA) - 2.5

Dixie Brewing has a long history and is a beloved institution in New Orleans. However, the brewery has been closed since it was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina. Now, Dixie is contract-brewed by Minhas in Wisconsin, and the results are not good.

Clear golden, with a fizzy white head. Lace is thin and weak. Aroma is malty, grainy, and lager-like. Very average. Tastes sweet -- very much like a thin adjunct character. As with other beers brewed by Minhas (as this apparently was contracted brewed by), this one's an unbalanced mess that lacks complexity and wallops the taste buds with heavy, syrupy sweet malts. Ugh.

As near to a drainpour as I've had in some time.


Clean ruby/brown appearance, with a rich head of off-white foam. Definite lace, but seems spotty and erratic. Nose is like other Minhas brews -- adjunct and sweetly malty. Taste is weak and watery, like the regular Dixie Beer, but with a definite roasty malt tone.

I have to wonder if Dixie's beers were better once upon a time, as this one is really disappointing.

Opened in 1990 in beautiful Breckenridge, CO, Breckenridge Brewing has been a Colorado craft beer staple since the beginning. These are a couple of their regular year-round brews. Clean amber in color, with a nice off-white (almost tan) head. Decent lace. Aroma is biscuits and yeast. Like freshly baked bread maybe. Tastes much the same - bread. A hint of roastiness and a minimal hop snap at the finish. 

Straight-forward and sturdy, and a solid session amber ale.

Deep, dark brown and opaque. Almost black in appearance. Good suds, a little lace. Aroma is definitely, unmistakably vanilla. And good! Flavor goes straight to the vanilla. Creamy body, feels almost like a vanilla coke. The roastiness takes a back seat here, and likewise, I get no coffee tones. Still, this is a good-tasting porter, and a superb change of taste from the usual. Nice work!

Beer: Summit Brewing

Founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1986, Summit Brewing has been a Northern-Midwestern craft beer staple for some time. At long last, Summit's fine beers have made their appearance in the Ohio Valley/Southern Indiana region, and I had a couple of choice samples. Keep in mind that my beer ratings range from 1 (awful) to 5 (awesome). As nothing is truly perfect, I don't give any 5's, but anything from a 3.5 to 4.5 should be considered a fine product and well-worthy of your time, attention, and lunch money.


Semi-clear amber, with a nice, thick head of carbonation. Lace is lovely thick cobweb-like. Nose says more amber ale, as I get more toasty grains than hops.
Flavor echoes this. Seems sweetly malty, pleasant, with a touch of citrus hops later on the palate. Expect a well-done English-style pale ale, rather than a hoppy American pale, and you'll be alright.

That said, this is solid and sessionable, for certain, but not one I'd look to again.


Lovely clean amber complexion, and amazing, beautiful, detailed lace. Bravo! Aroma is enticing and bold citrus hops. Very, very nice. Taste is sharp, with bittering hops up front, with definite tones of citrus and herbal notes. Very tasty.

A delicious IPA, and one I'd love to return to. Nice work.

"Alien Crash At Roswell: The UFO Truth Lost In Time" DVD

A documentary based around an interview with the grandson of a military commander who was present for the discovery of the Roswell incident in the New Mexico desert in 1947, "Alien Crash At Roswell" is a marginally interesting perspective for fans of the "Ancient Aliens" series. In fact, that very show's Philip Coppens hosts and produced this feature-length film.

Aside from some seriously amateurish animations and recreations, this one has plenty of, eh, more convincing visual documents of the 'UFO cover-up" long suspected of being perpetrated by the United States government. Sure, there is a lot of filler and fluff here, but there are some fascinating bits of evidence here among the speculation and happenstance suppositions. 

Not a landmark documentary, by any stretch, "Alien Crash", however, will prove to be a fine watch for fans of "Ancient Aliens" or "The X-Files".

"Exorcist Chronicles" DVD (director: Philip Gardiner)

Exorcism has long been used effectively by the Catholic church as a tool to assert power and fear among the faithful. As a dramatic, fictional subject, is there any proper follow-up to the now-classic William Friedkin film adaption of the William Peter Blatty novel, "The Exorcist"? I think not. Call me a cynic, but nothing since that 1973 film can hold a candle. "Exorcist Chronicles" is certainly no threat to that assertion.

This low-budget English indie pits a young Catholic priest and a female scientist (who tends to wear skimpy outfits) against a string of demonic possessions plaguing Derbyshire and Glastonbury.

A reliance on silly digital effects and visual filters do more harm than good here, but the coup-de-grace is the plodding plot and disjointed storyline. Acting is reasonable enough, and there are a number of appealing breast shots, but there's little else here to recommend, sorry.

"All American Horror: Gateways To Hell" DVD

This collection of American ghost stories/legends features supposed interviews with eyewitnesses and historians, as well as dramatic recreations. The catch here is that it all seems somehow rehearsed and scripted. So, as a documentary, this one gets low ratings.

Even the packaging comes across as pure exploitation, not-so-vaguely referencing the popular TV drama, "American Horror Story". And the "documentary" itself, with a plethora of night-vision cameras, EVP meters, and EMF readers, seems a shallow cash-in on the success of the "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventures" TV shows. On the positive side, there are some fine locations (like the great Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Louisville, KY), but that's all I can say.

"All American Horror" is a thoroughly dodgy production, and should be of interest only to the most die-hard ghost watching fans. Steer clear.