10 reasons why I’m giving up Beer Blogging.
Mikkeller Black Stout

Mikkeller Black Stout

Hi, friends.

You may have noticed that as of late I’ve slowed down my beer blogging considerably, and I have a very good reason: I’ve slowed my beer consumption considerably, and may very well stop drinking altogether. Before continuing, I want to say that I still very much love the craft beer movement, many of my friends and colleagues who enjoy, photograph, tweet, and blog about beer, and that I’ll still raise a glass with you, I just might not have any beer in mine.

I want to especially thank the following people and groups for sharing my quest for the best beer out there:

Gservo, gogoincognito, rkapes, scarbonaro, Angel and Bryan, Rob Mangold, Liz and the crew at the Hulmeville Inn, Mike at canal’s Burlington, the beer guys at Canal’s Lawrenceville, everyone at Super Saver Pennington, Ryan and the folks at Uno Grill in Hamilton, everyone at Issac Newton’s, Shawn Connelly and the Aleuminati, The Beer Boss, The Beer in Me, Beer Valley, the New Jersey Brewfest, the Beer Babe, Twitter Taste Live, Roch Pisarek, Jim in Hopewell, and the rest of you. Raise a pint for me, and enjoy.

My reasons for slowing, and perhaps stopping, my beer consumption are as follows:

1. I’ve gained 50 pounds in the last year, after losing over 100 in the last 3 years.

At one time, I was doing a small speaking circuit on how I lost over 100 pounds. My friends, kindly avoiding the topic, have surely noticed the return of my girth. Since I religiously record my calorie intake, I can very easily tell you that it is due to beer calories, which if you follow this blog, you know I pay attention to. However, some of my additional calories are due to post drinking easiness with which I’ll consume a few hundred calories that my sober self would easily have passed up.

2. I drink more than one or two great beers in a sitting, and sometimes drink 4 or 5.

While I can have just one beer, I don’t find a lot of fun in it. I’ve loved going to my local bottleshop, picking out a six of singles, and enjoying the complex differences between a few porters, IPAs, Belgians, or Hefeweizens. If I have the opportunity for a sampler, such as Triumph’s, I’ll always enjoy the variation in flavors and be quite satisfied with 12-14 ounces. When I’m sampling at home though, it’s easier to just splurge. The only problem is that it leads (in my individual case) to the other issues I’m listing here, not to mention, it’s called binge drinking, though it never felt that way to me.

3. Great beer can be up to $25 for a single 12 ounce bottle.

My favorite beer in the world is Mikkeller’s Black (look for the Chinese character) a 12 ounce bottle of the darkest, choclatiest, most delicious elixir I’ve ever tasted. It’s over a dollar an ounce at my place, coming in at about $18. A six pack is about $120 after taxes. This is an extreme case, but if you enjoy craft beer, you know that it’s not cheap. There are exceptions, especially when a case gets past its prime and goes on special, but in general, a six pack is between $8 and $10, and it can go pretty quick for me.

4. I’ve become closely associated with beer in my personal and professional circles.

There are some people who when they haven’t seen me for a while ask me what I’ve been drinking lately far before they’ll ask me what my favorite new application is, how my boys are doing, or how things are going at work. I’d like to be known as a list of things besides the beer blogging guy, not because I didn’t love this effort, but because I’m many things besides a beer blogger.

5. I have become recognized on sight at my local bottle shops.

When I go into any of 6 or 8 of my favorite bottleshops, I get a smile, a welcome, and a handshake. That’s nice, very nice, but the fact that I seldom get the same welcome at my favorite restaurants, food stores, libraries, etc. means that I may need to refocus my energies on strengthening different kinds of relationships.

6. I have taken to traveling for over an hour to visit great bottleshops throughout my state.

Oaktree BuyRite is a great bottle shop. I’ve traveled on a Sunday for over an hour so that I can get the finest selection of craft beer in the state. I could have been spending that time not burning gas, reading, sleeping, or playing with my sons. Again, it’s refocusing priorities.

7. When traveling, part of my itinerary is undoubtedly finding great beer.

I have a google map where I’ve collected high ranked beer shops in each of the areas I’ve visited in the last two years. I have gone on late night trips to supermarkets to see what that state’s offering comparative to NJ. Simply put, traveling for me became as much about finding great beer as taking great photos, and sometimes the beer finding outweighed the photos.

8. I’ve started getting beer related gifts for holidays and other occasions.

In the last three months, I’ve gotten 2 beer related shirts, 3 beer posters, and asked to go to a beer festival as my major birthday present. All nice gifts, but there are other things to enjoy.

9. My youtube videos, tweeps, social networks, and other online trails have become laden with beer related content.

I like my job, but I bet if I was job searching right now, I’d be answering questions about my obsessions with beer in interviews. I personally think I’d have great answers about why beer was such an important part of my life, but I bet that many people would read into my intense appreciation for beer as something else. It’s already happened with some people.

10. I want to refocus on other topics, such as leadership, technology, open source, training, and family.

As I said, while I really enjoyed this great ride, it’s time to give it a rest. This is by no means meant to be an insult to the brewing community, beer lovers, beer bloggers, or anyone else. It’s really just a way of communicating why you might not be hearing alot more from me about beer anytime soon. You can however start hearing from me about the topics in the header above, and many others.

Here’s to you, thanks for a great ride.

John LeMasney, formerly Beercritic.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Beer review: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Style & glass: Pale lager; dimpled mug

12 fl oz x 5% ABV = 60 / 60 = 1 beers * 150 C = 150 calories (est.)

Available at: everywhere, for Pete’s sake for $.50 a can

smell is mostly corn, sight is mostly yellow, taste is mostly corn and rice, feel is thin and light, overall I’d say drink in the event you want to recall what it was like before you drank craft beer.

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Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf BWSA
Ridgeway Criminally Badf Elf BWSA

Ridgeway Criminally Badf Elf BWSA

Style & glass: BWSA, Snifter

16.9 fl oz x 10.5% ABV = 177.45 / 60 = 2.96 beers * 150 C = 444 calories (est.)

Available at: Canal’s, Lawrenceville, NJ for $5.80

sweet, syrupy aroma, deep brown body under a white head, quickly dissipating, cloying, syrupy, sugary, unbalanced, blunt mouthfeel, Slightly unrefined for the style. Blunt, dull, and hammering.

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Port Brewing Wipeout IPA

Port Brewing Wipeout IPA

Style & glass: IPA in a tulip
22 fl oz x 7% ABV = 154 / 60 = 2.5 beers * 150 C = 375 calories (est.)
Available at: Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, PA for $5.99
Citrus aroma fills the room, deep amber body under a bright white sticky head with good legs, lemon zest and surprisingly bitter flavors for an IPA, highly bitter, zesty with a very long finish, overall, a complete winner for hopheads.

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Flying Fish Exit 4 American Trippel

Beer review: Flying Fish Exit 4 American Trippel

Visually stunning orange body, but less than stellar head dissipates too quickly. Aroma is as expected orange cloves, honey, and banana, and taste is much the same. Very well done version of the style. Very hoppy, mindful of Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen. Delicious. Points off for being a gusher and quick head, but otherwise, fantastic. Available at Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $10.00

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Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008
pourn: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008

pourn: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008

Glass: Shaker, Tulip
Purchased at: Oaktree buy rite, South Plainfield, NJ
Price: $16.99 for two 6 packs.
Size: 12 fl oz
ABV: 6.8 %
IBU: n/a
Estimated Calories: 170 C
RateBeer Rating: 96

Aural: quiet opening, active carbonation, nice pour

Aroma 8 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: sweet

Impression:  nice

Malt Aroma: rye toast, peanut oil
Hops Aroma
: dry earth, grass, basil, grapefruit
Other Aroma
: pine

Notes: A great active aroma. Very mindful of a strong IPA.

Appearance 5 out of 5

Color dark

Clarity: cloudy, bottle conditioned

Head Retention: average

Lace: intricate

Notes: Beautiful beer. Deep red orange hues with a white head and lace.

Flavor 9 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Impression: nice

Malt Flavor: grain bread toast nut
Hops Flavor: curry, cardamom, grapefruit
Other: orange, grapefruit, pine

Notes: Sawdust and blood. Like an accident happened, but in a good way. How do they make such a commercial beer so very good?

Palate 5 out of 5


Sensation: creamy drying

Body: full

Carbonation: average


Length: long

Intensity: strong

Balance:  bitter

Notes: Perhaps the best aspect of this very good beer. Leaves you wanting more.

General Impression: 18 out of 20

Craftmanship:  excellent

Freshness:  fresh

Personal Taste:  loved

Notes: An amazing beer for the brewer and price. Just fantastic.

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Magic Hat Spring Fever 2009

Circus Boy

My planned progression for the Magic Hat #TTL tasting on Thursday March 26th at 8 pm on is Circus Boy, Odd Notion, #9, then H I.P.A.

Magic Hat Spring 2009

Magic Hat Spring 2009

Magic Hat Circus Boy

Magic Hat Circus Boy

Magic Hat Circus Boy Hefeweizen Style; glass: Vegetable/Spice beer (lemongrass); weizen 12 fl oz x 4.4% ABV = 52.8 / 60 = .88 beers * 150 C = 132 calories (est.) Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.25 as part of a variety pack. Aroma: faint, lemon, citrus, spicy, some slight sourness. Visuals: fun intriguing packaging, body is hazy yellow, like a sandblasted sheet of gold, bright yellow color, hazy, under a bright white head, lace is minimal and fleeting. Taste: very light, starts with a dull sweetness, middle is clean water, finish is short but enjoyable. Very little hop aroma or bitterness. Clean, refreshing, reminds of a light lemonade. Very drinkable, and clearly a session beer. At an estimate of 132 C each, I could have quite a few of these and not worry about gaining. Palate: Starts quite wet, some sourness emerges, sweet brightness in middle, very clean water throughout, finish is fleeting and abrupt. Overall: Clearly meant as a session brew, and it’s quite an enjoyable beer as such. I think it’s an ideal springtime brew, and a very nice ‘lawnmower’ beer.

Magic Hat Odd Notion Spring 2009

Magic Hat Odd Notion Spring 2009

Odd Notion Agave Poppy Seed Pilsner Style; glass: Pilsner; Footed Pilsener 12 fl oz x 5% ABV = 60 / 60 = 1 beers * 150 C = 150 calories (est.) Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.25 Aroma: hay, manure, dust, corn, light, flowery Visuals: quirky, fun packaging, like a science experiment, brilliant bronze body, very clear, wispy off white head, little lace. Taste: starts with tobacco, leather, surprising, probably great for pairing with salads or roasted veggies, middle is bitter and slightly  acetic, wow, a strange taste. Peanuts or sunflower seeds would be delicious with this. Palate: starts with bitterness and sourness, middle is leathery and dusty, finish is long and mostly a twisting lemony rind bitterness. Overall: surprising flavors, and can’t wait to try to pair with something. A strong series of layered flavors, and would balance sweetness nicely.

Magic Hat #9

Magic Hat #9

Magic Hat #9 not quite pale ale. Style; glass: Fruit beer; flute 12 fl oz x 4.6% ABV = 55.2 / 60 = .92 beers * 150 C = 138 calories (est.) Purchased at: canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.25 Aroma: cherry, fruit, peach, apple, flowery, honeysuckle Visuals: alluring, enticing packaging, body is brilliant, golden, yellow highlights, foamy white head, sticky lace. Taste: starts sweet, some syrup, flour, corn, flowers, grassy middle, turns to candy, slight sourness throughout, finish is short and sweet and sour. Palate: starts very carbonated and purfumed, middle is quick and crisp, finish is short lived and very flowery. Overall: Very much an experiment, and enjoyable as such. Might pair well with chinese or japanese cuisine, something spicy, saucy, and thick would be cut well with this brew.

Magic Hat HIPA

Magic Hat HIPA

Magic Hat HIPA Style; glass: IPA, tulip 12 fl oz x 5.8% ABV = 69.6 / 60 = 1.16 beers * 150 C = 174 calories (est.) Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $1.25 Aroma: coconut, orange rind, perfume, pine Visuals: intriguing packaging, oceanic sunset, bright orange body, brilliant, thin wispy white head, sticky lace. Taste: starts very sweet, goes quickly to citrus and middles to a perfume based bitterness, finish is orange rind, pineapple, coconut. Palate: starts quite crisp, carbonated, middle is mellowing, finish is medium and enjoyable bitter. Overall:  A very nice IPA, though unlike many others it seems like this one is playing with a few island inspired peripheral flavors. As a purist about the style, I’m not offended, but I do prefer a more straightforward approach to the flavors of an IPA. Magic Hat, however, tends to take everything in about three new directions from what’s expected, which is kind of nice.

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Sampler Sessions: Twitter Taste Live: Dogfish Head Exotics
pourn: Twitter Taste Live Dogfish Head

pourn: Twitter Taste Live Dogfish Head

I’m participating in Twitter taste Live on Twitter tonight (Eastern Standard times listed below). For more info on what that means, please visit
and please consider joining us. It’s free, aside from getting the beers, and a hell of a lot of fun.

The beers are estimated using my formula to have a cumulative total calories of  2137.5 for the single consumer who finishes each of them. Wish me luck.

Interestingly, the beers are listed with FAR lower calories than my estimates on the DFH web sites, which I include for comparison.

Red & White – 8:05 pm (oak aged wit, snifter)

25.4 fl oz  * 10% ABV = 254 / 60 = 4.23 beers * 150C = 634.5 C estimated

Fort – 8:30 pm (fruit beer, snifter)

25.4 fl oz  * 18% ABV = 457.2 / 60 = 7.62 beers * 150C = 1143 C estimated

Palo Santo Marron – 8:50 pm (wood aged brown ale, pint)

12 fl oz  * 12% ABV = 144 / 60 = 2.4 beers * 150C = 360 C estimated

  1. @dogfishbeer I don’t want it to be like that, I love your brews, can’t you tell me how it affects my weight? After my loss, cmon #ttl

  2. @semperfifi so glad to hear it. #ttl

  3. @BahHumBrew flyingdog rocks esp imperial styles #ttl

  4. @dogfishbeer let’s talk. I don’t want to disrespect, I just want the truth. I love your beer, love my sense back. Calories matter!!!!!! #ttl

  5. @semperfifi I love the platform. #ttl

  6. @hopwild with great beer, who needs bread? 😉 not me. #ttl

  7. @BahHumBrew it’s an amazing way to share, let’s do it more often! #ttl

  8. @TheBeerWench yeah, you’re impervious to calories, but for the rest of us, we need to consider a day’s worth in a sitting. #ttl

  9. @csjo #ttl is the greatest search term that ever existed. We try beer, and wine, and we tweet on it. Join us!

  10. @snax should never stop you, should just make you aware. I’m consuming about 2500 calories today, most of it (amazing) beer. #ttl

  11. RT @beertweeter: @dogfishbeer @zymoid @thebeerwench the best! great peeps, great brews! I’m sticking around #ttl

  12. @beercommdood exactly. I need some detail on why the Calories are reported so low. #ttl

  13. @beertweeter from tonight, Fort, all time? world wide stout #ttl

  14. RT @hopwild: thanks @dogfishbeer and @zymoid for joining us! thx @thebeerwench for hosting! #ttl

  15. @beercommdood she was interesting for sure! #ttl

  16. @Sandorsnow thanks! #ttl

  17. @semperfifi thanks! #ttl

  18. @dogfishbeer can you give me an @ for your lab dude? I have some questions. #ttl

  19. plus, it would take an elephant gun to kill you buzz, just sayin. #ttl

  20. hey, I have to consider the issue, or else I’m obese again. #ttl
  21. @dogfishbeer I appreciate that you are posting calories, but how do you come to your numbers? What’s the serving size? No disrespect. #ttl

  22. @lemasney whoa, 2000 C. sorry. #ttl

  23. @beertweeter I did — for single drinkers, it’s over 20000 calories, IMO. @dogfishbeer differs. http://beercritic.wordpress… #ttl

  24. wondering how to collect my tasting notes effectively for beercritic. #ttl

  25. RT @hopwild: dont forge to follow your fellow ttl-ers #ttl

  26. @kallardnyc re: the video feed? 😉 #ttl

  27. @Sandorsnow still finishing bottle one, but I’m with you all the way #ttl

  28. RT @Lotay: “Crash Into Me” – Dave Matthews Band ♫

  29. @beercommdood interesting, for sure. #ttl

  30. @zymoid from you, that’s the ultimate compliment. You are a poet in physical action, and we all appreciated it here tonight. #ttl

  31. @Sandorsnow no, I was just leaving half of my bottle full. 😉 #ttl

  32. @JugShop Beeeeelllllllccchch. #ttl

  33. enjoyed @dogfishbeer with you all tonight. Thanks! #ttl

  34. @TheAleuminati bye! #ttl

  35. @ErikBoles wish I was, dude. #ttl

  36. I’m so surprised by the flavors of the familiar PSM tonight — so much a coffee stout tonight, never before. #ttl

  37. @TheAleuminati oh yeah. #ttl

  38. @ErikBoles they are the reason I took to twitter for real interaction TTL rocks #ttl

  39. @beercommdood that’s a great summary #ttl

  40. RT @ErikBoles: @DFH‘s is like sex with a 40 year old woman when you are 21: it teaches you things you didn’t even know existed #ttl
  41. @Gservo cool, crazy, and chaotic, but fun, as usual. #ttl

  42. @BahHumBrew the warmth is essential, the aroma moves from subtlety to a command of your olfacatory #ttl

  43. @TheAleuminati so say we all! #ttl

  44. The flavors as it calms are like espresso. So very nice. #ttl

  45. @Gservo coming after we shut down — plenty of pourn, too! #ttl

  46. @TheAleuminati Hi right back! #ttl

  47. “the ones that count are here” That’s nice. #ttl

  48. @ErikBoles well done re: summary. #ttl

  49. @JugShop yeah, how about that. :/ #ttl

  50. has everyone seen the palo santo marron brewing video? Youtube it. @dogfishbeer #ttl

  51. @zymoid it’s such a beautiful layered series of flavors. Not nearly as complex as the others, but like eating a handful of roasted malt #ttl

  52. starts tart, and dark, middle is continuous toast, and finish is long ad burnt. The wood is omnipresent. #ttl

  53. Taste is chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, deep and dark burnt flavor. little sweetness present, this is all about malt. #ttl

  54. SPM is deep, woodsy aroma, sweet, and black as midnight in the woods. I’ve had it several times, but always enjoyable to anticipate. #ttl

  55. @panache yes! #ttl

  56. @Sandorsnow no, why do you ask? #ttl

  57. @zymoid most definitely. You have quite a product here. 😉 #ttl

  58. So when is Santo Palo Marron? #ttl

  59. @ErikBoles exactly. #ttl

  60. see you, @beerphilosopher ! #ttl
  61. @AngelosTzelepis sorry if it makes you laugh. #ttl

  62. Dogfish head is brewing beers that make you rethink the very state of beer as an idea. They ask you to set aside your beer definition. #ttl

  63. I feel like the body in the glass is like a mirror, a look at hope for the future. It’s like a celebration in a glass, to share 😉 #ttl

  64. RT @ErikBoles: RT @beerphilosopher: Friends don’t let friends drink Fort and Tweet … … #ttl NICE

  65. yeah hops seem secondary. this is about candy. #ttl

  66. The taste reminds me of stone ground wheat in texture, grape soda in aroma, and medicine in finish. The best medicine ever. #ttl

  67. definitely brandy, wheat, raspberry, and honey. Delicious. Agitation brings a strong aroma of whiskey, oak, and leaf mold. #ttl

  68. I doubt highly anyone will be able to taste the Palo Santo Marron. #ttl

  69. Surprisingly well balanced. Not sweet at first, sweetness emerges, nice burn throughout, and long wonderful finish. #ttl

  70. taste is deep, layered with flavors: raisin, cherry, plum, raspberry, citrus, bitterness, burns on the way down. So nice. #ttl

  71. No head at all, but the body is deep amber, just a touch of haze, and visually active in carbonation. #ttl

  72. Wow, Fort’s aroma is wonderful, sweet, and all about raspberries. Some cherry effects, grape soda, and candy all the way. #ttl

  73. @zymoid moving on to Fort then. Thanks! #ttl

  74. @beertweeter thanks! #ttl

  75. so are we moving on to Fort? #ttl

  76. 3-7-2009 7-53-43 PM.jpg [pic]

  77. @dogfishbeer @zymoid thanks for the great work that you do! #ttl

  78. @TheBeerWench we can make that happen next time. #ttl

  79. @dogfishbeer you make fantastic brews. Cheers! #ttl

  80. @beercommdood I don’t think so, it could just be my palate tonight. It’s def not off, but wondered. #ttl
  81. 8:20 what’s next up? Fort, I’m hoping. #ttl

  82. @kallardnyc Reign In Red & White #ttl

  83. I saw that trend post coming. Let’s rock it, tweeps. #ttl

  84. R&W there is definitely a bit of aluminum peeking through somehow. Delicious, not off putting, but surprising. @zymoid, ideas? #ttl

  85. Thanks, all. I think #TTL is the best way to share beers with friends. #ttl

  86. carbonation is not visually evident, but very evident in the palate. Like an ocean. The body is a summer sunset, with rain in the morn. #ttl

  87. mine is warming up nicely, and the aroma is reaching out into the room. #ttl

  88. sencondary tastes are about citrus and rind. The finish for me is lengthening. #ttl

  89. my sediment hasn’t made it into the glass yet, and it’s surprisingly clear. I must have stored it well. 😉 #ttl

  90. not sweet at all, so much about the electric palate. very little bitterness, but finish is medium and very much about malt. #ttl

  91. @rgrace99 yep, just paused to record the video for the pour. Uploads later! #ttl

  92. first taste is amazing, very round in the mouth, spritzy and slightly metallic. electric palate, pins in the mouth. wonderful. #ttl

  93. red and white is Belgian aromatics, clear, red, and white head. Very nice to look at and brilliant. #ttl

  94. @beerphilosopher hey Shawn! Great to see you here! #ttl

  95. wow, that kind of blows. #ttl

  96. opened the fort since it was listed first in the listing. #ttl

  97. @dogfishbeer Fort up first #ttl

  98. @biergirl no disagreement. 😉

  99. now following @zymoid 😉 #ttl

  100. @kyleroth haven’t done as much pairing as tasting, but encouraged. 😉 #ttl
  101. Brooklyn Local 2 rocks! #ttl

  102. beers out. 😉 #ttl

  103. @TheBeerWench you’re doing great. #ttl

  104. @TheBeerWench wonder what #ttl trends will do tonight, and how that will affect ustream. 😉 Cool! stream looks good.

  105. @binendswine happy birthday! #ttl

  106. @MattsAquarium great, tasty, nice #beer like @dogfishbeer or @stronebrewingco

  107. @TheBeerWench so happy to hear you’re going ahead with it. #ustream rocks. #ttl

  108. RT @Bsimi: @rogersmithhotel will officially have @stfler22 @bsimi @chefdeRSH in on #ttl @dogfishbeer tonight. Sweet. #ttl

  109. doing some homework while waiting patiently for 8 pm to come.
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