Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Juggernaut is a Amber/Red Ale brewed by the Pyramid Brewing, Inc.

I got this in a mixed 12-pack. It has an ABV of 5.6%

The beer pours a deep red color with no head and very little lacings. The aroma has sweet caramel and toffee malts with a hint of muddled citrus hops. The taste has caramel malts and a finish of the muddled hop flavor. It's medium bodied with average carbonation.

Overall, this beer did not do it for me. It had a one-note, slight malt taste and an old, muddle semi-recognizable hop flavor. It's ok to be simple and even one-note, but even those simple flavors are not clean. I know its not an expired beer, I checked the label. This is also par for the course with Pyramid. They churn out your standard styles with muddled flavors. I work one block from one. I went there several times when I first started working in the area, but now stay away because I have not had a good beer there. Skip It.

I still don't know how I feel about chain brewpubs like Pyramid and BJ's. I could argue that they are a gateway for novices to craft brews to get introduced. And I can also argue that because their beers are not good, they turn away novices from craft brew.


  1. Juggernaut is thin and boring, but they make an Imperial Red seasonal that is quite good. Similarly, their standard IPA is bland and terrible, but their special Grifter IPA is delicious, as is their limited release black IPA.

    I feel like Pyramid is doing a tug of war between its accountants, who want to make the most bland, approachable beers as possible to sell to your girlfriend, and its brewers, who actually want to make something interesting. Consequently, the only way to get good beer from pyramid is to grab one of their limited releases at the brewpub.

    As for the chain argument - to be fair, novices don't consider BJ's or Pyramid 'bad beer'. A boring, 'bland', approachable beer tastes great to them, and I can't see why it would turn them away from craft beer.

  2. Thanks for the tip I'll look for those. I did notice their Beer Advocate raitngs were higher. I had heard their seasonals were better and Juggernaut is marketed as a Fall Seasonal.

    To elaborate on my question about chain breweries is; if novices are use to associating blandness and unexcitement with chain red ales, IPAs, Hefe's, what is their incentive to spend a little more on a real craft brew? I can definitely see your angle and hope that's the case. I wonder if there's been market research on the subject.