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Possibly All The Beers I've Ever Had, Reviewed (A-M, June 2022)

Beer, beer, beer... There's so much that can be said and quoted about the stuff, ranging from the old standard, attributed to Ben Franklin, that "Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy," to the new standard from Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing: “I like beer. I don’t know if you do. Do you like beer, Senator, or not? What do you like to drink?”

I like it, too. I used to brew my own and experiment with tweaking the fermentation process. Sometimes it turned out, ehh, okay, and other times uncapping a bottle was reminiscent of one of those grade school science fair volcanos. These days, I'm more a consumer than a creator, always in search of the perfect (to me) product. I like to keep a record both as a hobby and so if the question ever arises, "Wait, have I had this?" it's not hard to find out.

As of 2022, I'm still getting used to the IBU (International Bitterness Units) scale, which ranges from 0 to a normal ceiling of 120. If you need an intro or a refresher, here's the gist:

IBUs of some common styles

​Beer style

IBU rating



Wheat beer


American lager


Irish red ale









Pale ale






India pale ale


Sure, every style isn't exactly precise, but it's helpful enough that I will probably stay away from the single and triple digits.

Now, if you happen to be looking for honest and independent reviews of anything and everything from a regular (and slightly trained via hobby brewing) sipper, this can be a good resource. And it's probably helpful to note that my preference generally (but not always) leans toward the slightly sweeter side.

Each beer is rating on a scale from 0 to 5. The higher the number, the better. I try to avoid decimals, but sometimes they feel necessary.


BREWS REVIEWED (Most have photos and some don't, but this post is a work in progress!)

21st Amendment Brew Free Or Die beer can - photo by KilmerMedia

​21st Amendment (San Leandro, California)

"Brew Free! or Die" blood orange IPA

7% ABV, 70 IBU, can

Hey, a nice, easy drinking IPA! The hoppiness isn't overwhelming, the blood orange essence is nice and so is the mild sweetness. This actually feels like it could be a cousin of a radler or shandy. Ah, taking a big whiff before a gulp enhances the experience.

Rating: 4 out of 5

(picture owed here!)

​Afanasy Marochnoye

dark lager

4.5% ABV, bottle

Pretty good and in a swing top bottle, which gives it style points. This one is dark and semi sweet and reminds me of a mild Zwiecky or a sweeter Guinness. My wife doesn't care for it, but it made her think of a vanilla latte. I don’t get that exactly. This is nice and a good one to sip on.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Alaskan Amber Ale bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Alaskan Brewing Company

"Alaskan Amber" ale

5.3% ABV, bottle

Hey, this one is good! The Alaskan Amber has a mild caramel swirl candy (or “cow tail”) taste and feel. This kind of beer I most associate with being 100% refreshing after mowing the grass with a push mower on a hot summer day. I could probably drink a few of these back-to-back on a non-summer day, as well. It’s good. And I like the story the Alaskan rep told me at a tasting (circa Jan. 2018). He said the company is more widespread now but used to exclusively come from Alaska, passing through Seattle, where some of the beer would go missing, en route to distributors further away. Despite the beer theft, people were trying it, enjoying it, and talking about it. That may or may not be a myth, but it’s a fun story attesting to the power of word of mouth.

Rating: 4 out of 5

​(Yup, I owe a photo.)

​Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, Maine)

"Curieux"golden ale

11% ABV

Oh yeah! This one is sweet... and dangerous. It's a nice treat from time to time, and the high, 11% ABV means my good friend wasn't able to order it as a full yard at Yard House. It's a Tripel aged in oak bourbon barrels, giving it a nice complexity and subtleness compared to the sweetness of, say, the New Belgium Trippel.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Allagash River Trip beer can - photo by KilmerMedia

​Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, Maine)

"River Trip"Belgian-style session ale

4.8% ABV

Meh. This one is officially described as conjuring up notes of grapefruit and stone fruits... and I'm unfamiliar with Allagash's use of the term "table beer", which seems derogatory, like it's on par with the pitchers of PBR you may have split with a buddy at the pizza parlor while in college because it was the cheapest option.

This beer meant nothing to me. I loooooove Allagash's "White" and "Curieux"offerings, but the "River Trip" had, sure, a fruit essence and a bitter component to it. I will fully acknowledge that this one possibly could have earned a higher rating on a different day.... On this particular one, dinner was at The Prince in L.A.'s Koreatown neighborhood. Without getting into specifics, as this is a beer review, the overall experience was bad, and I was downing the "River Trip" with the hope it would provide some relief from the capsaicin burning my mouth while eating the spicy chicken. It didn't, because it's not milk. Even while sipping after the burning went away, meh, but again, the overall environment may have influenced the not-so-great impression of this "table beer".

Rating: 2 out of 5

Allagash White beer bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, Maine)

"White" Beglian-style wheat beer

5.2% ABV, bottle

I dig it. This hazy beer is nice and wheaty and citrus-fruity (it's brewed with orange peel). It has some hoppy bitterness but the beer is well-rounded, light, and refreshing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Azores Juicy IPA beer bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Azores Juicy IPA (Azores, Portugal)

5.5% ABV, bottle

It’s an IPA, so the expectations were low. However, this tastes like a solid, well rounded offering of that variety. It very much reminds me of one specific Kona (Hawaii) beers. Which one I can’t say at the moment, but this is almost identical.

4/5 (maybe the highest rating I will ever give an IPA)

Baltika 6 Porter beer bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Baltika Brewery (St. Petersburg, Russia)

#6 Porter

7% ABV, bottle

This is nice. It’s my second Baltika, and I’ve enjoyed both flavors. This porter isn’t too sweet and has a nice chocolate and coffee essence.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

​(I need to revisit one day, in order to get a photo... but that'll be after Russia ends this war I don't understand.)

​Baltika Brewery (St. Petersburg, Russia)

#8 wheat ale

5% ABV, bottle

As I suspected it would be, this wheat ale is reminiscent of one of my favorites - the Hofbrauhaus Hefeweizen. It has that distinct banana and cloves taste, but it’s not a perfect replacement for the Hofbrauhaus version. It’s close, though.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Baltika Grade # 9 Beer Bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Baltika Brewery (St. Petersburg, Russia)

#9 Extra lager

8% ABV, bottle

I’m discovering Baltika is my favorite brand among the offerings at the “international grocery” near me. This particular one is no bland American lager, that’s for sure. I’m not really sure exactly what “extra lager” means, but maybe that’s why it’s more tasty than an American version. It has maybe a little more of a wheat feel and fruity flavor than I’d expect. As a side note, this has some nice bubbles and might be a good one for product photos, without having to pay $6 for a bottle of Weihenstephaner Kristall.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bandida do Pomar Sidra apple cider bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Bandida Do Pomar sidra

4.5% ABV, bottle

I didn’t know what I was ordering, here in the Azores, since it was under the beer section. However, it’s very good and less sweet than the shrill we’re used to in the US (ahem, Angry Orchard). I will be ordering this again, at another time, at another meal. Otherwise, it tastes like an apple cider. I don’t know what more there is to say.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Belikin beer bucket in Belize - photo by KilmerMedia

​Belikin (Belize)

chocolate stout

This was my go-to beer in Belize - the Belikin lager just didn't do it for me. The chocolate stout was incredible on those hot summer days, and it's probably for the best that it wasn't available everywhere since I would have grown tired of that one.

Rating: 5 of 5

Big Brother Hard Root Beer bottles at a grocery store - photo by KilmerMedia

​Big Brother (Monroe, Wisconsin)

"Hard Root Beer"

5.8% ABV, bottle

I absolutely hate this hard root beer, which I've only seen at the local Aldi. It earns half a star for not being as repulsive as the Brewyard "I Am Root" root beer lager. Big Brother should get back to the drawing board and figure out how to reverse engineer "Not Your Father's Root Beer". Sure, that one has its own questionable quirks (starting here is a slippery slope), but at least the taste (of whatever it is) is good. The amount of wintergreen flavor in the Big Brother product is off-putting, and eliminating that would be the first place to start a reformulation. Is it there to mask another flavor? Does drinking a root beer immediately after brushing your teeth sound like fun?

Rating: 0.5 out of 5

​(the basic review was noted before getting in the habit of snapping supplemental pics)

​Blue Moon

"Belgian White"

5.4% ABV

It has nice citrusy-sweetness, with a really nice, mellow smoothness.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bochkovoe pale beer bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Bochkovoe (Poltava, Ukraine)

pale beer

4.6% ABV, bottle

I was expecting more of a bitter, pale ale kind of bite that I’ve been experiencing lately with Ukrainian beers, but that’s not the case with this one. It has a mellow citrus/vanilla/wheat flavor and feel. It’s not all that flavorful, but it would be a really lovely beer on a hot day, after mowing the grass out in the sun. Aside from that, I am enjoying it as-is, but I just think that might be the perfect scenario for this one.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bohemia Original (Portugal) beer poured from a bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Bohemia (Portugal)

“Original” marzen

6.2%, bottle

It’s a marzen… if you’re looking for something that has a sweet essence of caramel, corn, and malt, this should do the trick. It’s good but lacks some sort of magical umami I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s just that it’s slightly too sweet.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bohemian Mountain Brianda beer poured from a bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​​Bohemian Mountain (Azores, Portugal)

"Brianda" pilsner lager

5.2% ABV, bottle

Interesting lager, like a little bit of the Peter Francisco from this same brewer splashed in this one. It’s good and more complex than a normal Pilsner or lager.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

Bohemian Mountain Peter Francisco beer poured from a bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Bohemian Mountain (Azores, Portugal)

"Peter Francisco"

Bohemia Regent Prezident beer bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Bohemia Regent (Trebon, Czech Republic)

Prezident pilsner

6% ABV, bottle

Not feeling it... It's bitter but without the bite you get from an IPA... so just bitter. I did get this half liter bottle for .99 cents, so I’m not too heartbroken over not enjoying it.

Rating: 2 out of 5

​Brecken / State of Brewing (Waunakee, Wisconsin)


5% ABV, bottle

This is another one of those brands found at Aldi that I haven't seen anywhere else. So far, what they all have in common is that they aren't anything special. At least the hefeweizen 6 pack was $6.49, and that's a L.A. price. This one isn't bad - it's just on the bland side and reminds me of the Mr. Beer kit I used to have, when it was like "it feels kind of weird to be brewing in plastic, but at least I'm kind of making something on my own, yet it's not great."

Brewyard I Am Root Root Beer Lager can - photo by KilmerMedia

​Brewyard Beer Company (Glendale, CA)

I Am Root, Root Beer Lager

5.5% ABV, can

Wow, this is gross. Like probably most people, I love a good root beer, so I was looking forward to trying this one. The can mentions vanilla, wintergreen, licorice root, and anise, which sounds agreeable. However, the only other hard root beer I've had that specifically noted wintergreen (Big Brother from Aldi) was gross. So is this one. The notes on the Brewyard can also mention that no sugar is added, and that's probably the problem. Sure, it has a root beer essence, but it's so bitter on the tongue and feels kind of chalky. Yuck. This is literally one of the worst things I have ever poured. The woman working at the beer shop said "Oh, I can recommend that one - it's delightful." It's not at all. She has bad taste.

Rating: 0 out of 5

Brianda (Azores) beer poured from a bottle - photo by KilmerMedia

​Brianda (Azores, Portugal)

Pilsner lager

5.2% ABV, bottle

Interesting lager, like a little bit of the Peter Francisco from this same brewer splashed in this one. It’s good and more complex than a normal Pilsner or lager.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5