Sunday, August 28, 2011

Worth Brewing Company

The Worth Brewing Company is in Northwood, Iowa.  It is in north central Iowa, very close to the Minnesota border, several miles east of Interstate 35 North.  Their beers are only available at the brewery (on tap and in growlers), which has a pub in front.  The hours are limited, so check their website before you go.  They have five standards, one rotating seasonal, and two guest taps.  The brewery is located in an historic building.  The beers are made in very small batches.  It is probably more correct to call this a nano brewery than a micro brewery.  The attention to the beers shows, they have a very solid lineup.  The beers are excellent representations of their styles (and delicious too).  While they are a bit off the beaten path, it is definitely worth the trip.  Highly recommended.

"If it's not hand crafted, it's not Worth Brewing."

Sunderland English Mild Ale - This is a low alcohol brew (3.1% ABV) in the style of English mild ales.  It is light brown in color, transparent, with a creamy off-white head that leaves medium lacing down the glass.  The aroma is roasted and toasted malt, nutty, an occasional touch of toffee.  The taste follows the aromas, it is very malty, but pleasantly so, and has a balanced bitter finish.  This is a very drinkable beer.

Dillon Clock Stopper - This 4.5% ABV beer pours a hazy pale gold, light straw in color.  It has a nice white head that leaves light to medium lacing down the glass.  The aroma is hop forward, very fruity with much tropical and citrus notes and the occasional touch of grass.  It drinks with the same wonderful fruits that are in the aroma.  It finishes clean, dry and perfectly bitter.  The fruitiness lingers in a pleasant aftertaste.  If you have had Surly Hell or Narragansett Summer Ale, this is similar to those and just as delicious.

Brown Ale - This 5.0%  ABV beer is light to medium brown in color with a hint of copper.  It is hazy with an off-white head that leaves medium lacing down the glass.  The aroma is dark roasted and toasted malt, nearing coffee.  The taste follows the aroma, it is slightly sweet with nutty toffee notes, but does finish pleasantly bitter.

 (Picture: Clockwise from the top - Sunderland Mild, Dillon Clock Stopper, Brown Ale, Field Trip IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Smoked Rye Porter)

Field Trip IPA - This 6.6% ABV beer pours a hazy golden-orange in color.  The aroma is hop forward, with plenty of tropical and citrus fruits.  The taste follows the aroma but is well balanced with malt, although the hops, appropriately for the style, predominate throughout.  It has a very bitter and dry finish.  This is a fine American style IPA.

Oatmeal Stout - This 5.8% ABV beer pours pure black in color, with a creamy head of off-white to light brown foam.  The aroma is deep, dark roasted malt, nearing almost burnt toast.  This had the deepest, darkest roasted malt aroma I have come across in a stout.  It has lots of deep, rich, dark roasted, mocha and coffee.  The taste follows the aroma, but is lighter than the aroma (lighter being relative, it is full-flavored).  There is lots of rich, dark coffee.  As with many stouts, there is a sour-tart note in the background.

Black Chow Smoked Rye Porter - This was the August seasonal offering when I visited.  It is 5.9% ABV and is dark black in color.  Some of the malt for this beer was kiln-dried in Wisconsin with cherry wood smoke.  The aroma is dark, roasted malt, and very, very smokey, but not out of balance.  The taste follows the aroma, there is both a sweet and tart note along with the dark roasted malt and smoke.  The mouthfeel is very smooth.  The aftertaste of smoke has a cherry note in it.  I am not a huge fan of smoked beers, but this was very well done.  If you are a fan of smoked beers, seek this out while it is still around.  Worth Brewing will be taking it to the Festival of Iowa Beers in Amana, Iowa on September 4, 2011.

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