Saturday, April 30, 2011

Summit Brewing - Unchained Series Batch 6 Gold Sovereign Ale; Unchained Series Batch 7 Honeymoon Saison; Silver Anniversary Ale; Extra Pale Ale; Horizon Red Ale; Unchained Series Batch 8 Black Ale

The Summit Brewing Co. has been brewing in St. Paul, Minnesota for 25 years now, having started in 1986.  That really makes them one of the grand-daddies of the craft beer movement.  They are one of my favorite breweries and consistently make a great and tasty product across styles.

Unchained Series Batch 6 Gold Sovereign Ale - This beer pours a dark yet bright golden in color with a quarter-inch of white head that leaves light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is slightly sweet, a bit fruity, a little like a pastry, perhaps a hint of yeast.  The taste is, at the same time, both sweet and smokey, with a dry and bitter finish.

Unchained Series Batch 7 Honeymoon Saison - This saison-style ale is brewed with Minnesota honey and the brewmaster who created it timed its release with his wedding.  There was an old tradition that newlyweds drank honey mead for the first month of their marriage.  This beer pours honey golden in color, slightly cloudy, with a half inch of thick foamy white head.  The aroma is sweet, honey, yeast and grain.  The taste is a near perfect combination of malty grain, honey, and zesty, spicy yeast.  This is a very tasty, interesting and drinkable beer.  Cheers to brewer Sam Doniach!

Silver Anniversary Ale - This is a special limited release brewed to celebrate their 25th anniversary.  It is an IPA in style.  The beer pours orange and copper in color with a half inch of creamy, foamy head that is off-white in color.  The aroma is hop forward, floral, orange, tropical fruit, melons.  There is a creamy element to the aroma, orange dreamsicle like.  The taste follows the aromas directly.  While the hop flavors are predominate, they have have a solid malt pedestal on which to shine.  The finish is dry and bitter.  The aftertaste is the fruity hop flavors.  I love hop forward American-style IPA's, and this beer is awesome and amazing and nearly made me swoon.  Think I loved it much?

Extra Pale Ale - This is probably the flagship beer for Summit.  It pours clear, shiny and copper in color.  It has champagne like carbonation and a small head that does leave medium lacing down the glass.  The aroma is light and clean, aromatic, fruity, and some slightly sweet malt.  The taste is also light and clean, an absolute balance of malt and hops with a slighty bitter and dry finish.  The taste follows the aroma.  The carbonation burns the tongue a tad bit (this is a good thing as far as I am concerned).  This is a nice American take on an English pale ale, but it is not the real hop forward style.  This is a true session ale.

Horizon Red Ale - This beer pours medium brown and ruby, it is dark but clear.  There is a half-inch of off-white and creamy head.  The aroma is fairly subdued, slightly hoppy, piney, malty, slightly spicy.  The taste is roasted malt, a bit of caramel, a touch of pine and a bitter finish.  I have had this before fresher, and fresh it is very hop forward and one of my favorite beers.


Unchained Series Batch 8 Black Ale - This beer pours black in color, very dark brown on the edges if held to the light.  There is a quarter-inch of light brown head.  The aroma is piney, pine needles, pine bark, pine sap, a touch of sweetness, and just a hint of very dark roasted malt hiding beneath all the pine.  The taste is coffee and pine, a sweet note, followed by bitter, followed by fruity.  This is a very flavorful and interesting beer. 


Friday, April 29, 2011

St. Ides High Gravity Malt Liquor

The famous (or infamous) St. Ides malt liquor is now owned by Pabst.  The beers they own are contract brewed.

This 8.2% ABV malt liquor pours a dark golden in color with massive amounts of carbonation, but there is only about one-quarter to one-half inch of foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly, but actually leaves a medium amount of lacing down the glass.  The aroma is surprisingly akin to a Polish strong lager and much less sweet than I expected.  There is some sweetness, fresh harvested dry fall grain, some straw and a touch of lager funk.  Only a slight touch of green apple and no metallic notes. 

There is much more sweetness in the taste, nearing cloying but just enough hops are in this to prevent cloying, barely.  The taste is not as good as the aroma as an element of circus peanut sweet fruitiness enters in, and not in a good way.  This is not really that good, it is borderline drinkable, but still on the drinkable side.  Some high alcohol malt liquors taste so bad they are essentially undrinkable.  I am glad I finally got to try the Ides, but when I am seeking out a repeat malt liquor, it won't be this one.

Considering it is a cheap malt liquor, I would give the appearance and aroma of this a 9 out of 10.  However, I would give the taste a 3 out of 10.


Lagunitas Brewing Wilco Tango Foxtrot

The Lagunitas Brewing Company is in Petaluma, California. Wilco Tango Foxtrot, you know, WTF?!

This 7.8% ABV beer is a limited release and self-professed "Malty, Robust, Jobless Recovery Ale".  It pours a dark brown, almost opaque, but translucent and ruby when held to the light.  There is a quarter-inch of thich off-white head.  The aroma is hoppier than expected, pine, burnt sugar, light aroma of dark fruits, a bit of caramel, and a touch of spiciness like appears in rye bread.  The taste is slightly sweet, roasted malt, piney hops, caramelized sugar that is nearly scorched, that hint of rye bread, and a medium dryly bitter finish.  The finish is also sweet at the same time it is bitter and is more sweet than the original taste.  A full-flavored and very interesting beer.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lake Superior Brewing Co. - Mesabi Red; Special Ale; Kayak Kolsch Style

This brewery is in Duluth, Minnesota and has been in operation since 1994.

Mesabi Red - Duluth is near the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota and I assume that is where this beer gets its name.  The beer pours a medium reddish-brown, it is translucent yet bright and has a very slight head.  The aroma is very fruity, I get something like grape and strawberry juice.  After the aroma, the taste is surprising.  It is almost smokey, there is roasted malt, some sweetness and the fruit is there in the background.  It finishes dry and lightly bitter.  This is a very interesting red ale.

Special Ale - This beer pours a light copper in color.  There is a small head, but it is well-carbonated.  The aroma is fresh, clean and fruity (apples, plums, pears) with a slight touch of straw and earth in the background.  The taste is hard to define.  The aroma is mostly light and clean.  The taste is much more full although it remains very drinkable.  The taste is a bit of caramel malt and an immediate grassy, dry, bitterness of hops.  There is a lot more than that going on in the taste, but it all merges and is hard to pull apart.  The fruitiness in the aroma does show up in the aftertaste.  This is a unique and very drinkable beer, hard to categorize.  It seems to combine elements of a cream ale, golden ale, English bitter, with a very dry finish.  You could definitely use this as a session beer.  This won a silver medal at the World Beer Championships in 2002, and it is easy to see why.

Kayak Kolsch Style - This beer pours pure bright golden, well-carbonated, and with a massive pillowy head of white foam that leaves light lacing.  The aroma is sweet, touch of honey, bready, with some fruit both sweet and tart, a bit like a dried apricot.  The taste is sweet, honey, fruit and the white inside of soft warm french bread.  There is a touch of yeast.  The carbonation bites the tongue nicely.  A person could drink this all summer.

http://www.lakesuperiorbrewing.com/


This is a picture you will find on the Lake Superior website, and damn I love this picture:


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Huber Bock

The Huber Brewing Company is in Monroe, Wisconsin where it is now actually brewed by the Minhas Craft Brewery. Bock in German means goat.

This 5.5% ABV beer pours extremely dark brown, dark mahogany, nearly black, it is opaque and turns ruby when held to the light.  There is an inch of off-white to light brown head that is thick and creamy. It dissipates fairly quickly but leaves some light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is sweet and creamy, but with a metallic tang.  There is a good bit of malt vinegar in the aroma and some dark roasted malt, with very light coffee and cocoa.  The aroma actually reminds me quite a bit of some Scottish ales.  The taste follows the aromas, with a distinct sweetness, adding mocha, and very dark, dried fruit. It is medium bodied and a bit creamy. There is a moderate bitterness on the finish that tempers the sweetness.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wolters Premium Pilsener; Fest-Bier

Brewed and bottled by the Hofbrauhaus Wolters in Braunschweig, Germany.  I wonder if that is also the home of braunschweiger, which would go quite well with this beer and some crackers or bread?

Premium Pilsener - This 4.9% ABV beer pours a dark honey golden in color with a half inch of white head that dissipates fairly quickly and massive carbonation.  The aroma is an old wooden grain bin filled with freshly harvested dry corn, grain, straw, a lager funk nearing fresh manure, and a slight hint of tall grass.  The taste follows the aroma with the grain paramount, followed by the lager funk and a very bitter hop finish.  This is a very flavorful pilsener.

http://www.hofbrauhaus-wolters.de/


Fest-Bier - Wolter's Oktoberfest beer, this pours an amber-copper-golden in color with a slight white head.  The beer lives medium lacing down the glass.  The aroma is straw, grain, and a touch of barnyard.  The taste follows the aroma, but is even more intense, with a slightly bitter finish.  A very tasty German beer.


Rush River Brewing Company - Double Bubble Imperial India Pale Ale; Bubblejack IPA; Uber Alt Altbier; Small Axe Golden Ale; Lost Arrow Porter; The Unforgiven Amber Ale

The Rush River Brewing Company is in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Double Bubble Imperial India Pale Ale - From their Small Batch Series, this 9% ABV ale brewed with honey pours a dark golden with just hints of orange and a small white head that leave light to medium lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fruity hops, honey, clover and yeast.  The taste is a somewhat indistinct mix of all the aromas along with a very bitter finish. 

Bubble Jack IPA - This beer pours a glowing dark golden color with yellow-orange tint.  The head is small and there is fine almost champagne-like carbonation.  The aroma is yeasty, slightly sweet and biscuity with a little bit of dark fruit.  The taste is biscuit like malt, a bit of dark fruit, some yeast and an extremely bitter and dry finish.  If you are looking for a hop forward American style IPA, this is not the one for you.  If you like a yeasty more Belgian-style IPA, check this out.

Uber Alt Altbier - This 8.5% ABV beer pours a glowing brownish-orange with a bit of copper and amber.  There is a slight creamy head.  The aroma is sweet yet tart, caramel malt with a disconcerting note of green apple Jolly Rancher.  The taste is caramel, malt, sweet and with a nasty sour apple finish.  I either got a bad bottle or this beer is terrible.

Small Axe Golden Ale - This beer pours a cloudy orangish pale straw with a small and rapidly dissipating head.  The aroma is light, slightly fruity, some grain and a bit of yeasty zestiness.  The taste is lightly fruity with a malty aftertaste.  This is a bit dated, I bet this is really good when it is fresh.

http://www.rushriverbeer.com/






Lost Arrow Porter - This beer pours a very dark brown, near black, in appearance.  There is a short head of light brown foam.  The aroma is dark roasted malt, some coffee, and a tart note on the end.  The taste is very deep, dark, roasted malt, strong black coffee, a fairly dry finish with just a hint of tartness.  This is a pretty darn good porter.


 The Unforgiven Amber Ale - This beer pours a cloudy dark amber-orange in color with a short head of off-white foam.  The aroma is a yeasty, tangy, lightly roasted maltiness.  The taste is richly malty, a touch of caramel, just enough bitterness on the finish to be well-balanced.  A nice and drinkable amber ale.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mendocino Brewing Company Imperial IPA

The Mendocino Brewing Company is in Saratoga Springs, New York and has been brewing since 1983.

This 8.0% beer pours a dark copper-amber with a reddish-orange glow and a half inch of long retaining thick off-white foam.  The aroma is of dark fruits, sweet tea, a bit of citrus zest and a hint of molasses.  The taste is more malty than hoppy, thick almost burnt caramel, strong tea, some dark fruit with a very bitter and dry finish. 

http://www.mendobrew.com/

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Olympia Beer

Olympia Beer has been brewed since 1896.  The Olympia Brewing Company  originally got the water for its brewing from artesian wells around Tumwater, Washington.  However, the Tumwater plant closed in 1993.  The brand is owned by Pabst (and has been since 1983), who now has all of their beers contract brewed.  The can still has their famous old slogan "It's the Water."  The can has a horseshoe with "Good Luck" on it, but as everyone knows, a horseshoe should point up or all the luck can run out.

This is the new orange label "95% malt" Olympia.  I do not know for sure if this represents only a change in the packaging or is in fact a change in the recipe.

This beer pours honey golden in color with three-quarters inch of thick foamy head that leaves very light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fresh grain, a bit metallic, and a touch of zesty hops and lager funk.  The flavor is more intense than expected in this "level" of beer.  The taste is malt grain and the same slight touch of zesty hops and lager funk.  There is no off-putting sweetness or green apple flavors common in this style.  For a "cheap" American adjunct lager, this is pretty good.

 2016 and they are back to the classic can, which I prefer:




Grieskirchner Pils

Grieskerchner is a 4.8% ABV pils is from Austria.

The beer pours straw colored, light golden with a pure white head that leaves some lacing down the glass.  The aroma is strong and inviting and has fresh grain, clean straw and lager funk.  The taste is also strong and pleasant and follows the aromas.  The beer drinks crisp and refreshing.  This is an absolutely delicious European lager.

Flat Earth Brewing Company - Northwest Passage IPA; Angry Planet Pale Ale

The Flat Earth Brewing Company is in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Northwest Passage IPA - This 6.5% ABV beer pours copper colored with a huge billowy head and champagne-like carbonation.  The aroma is malty, yeasty and zesty.  The taste has a spicy yeastiness, some tea and biscuits, and a very bitter and dry finish.  This is most like a Belgian style IPA due to its large yeastiness.

Angry Planet Pale Ale - This 6.0% ABV beer pours medium to dark brown, translucent, bright with a hint of ruby.  The head is thick, foamy and off-white.  The aroma is nutty malt and tangy fruit.  The taste is nutty, slightly fruity and tangy.  This is reminiscent of a really good English or Scottish nut brown ale.  Drinks fresh and clean and tasty.  This is a winner!
http://www.flatearthbrewing.com/


Best "Cheap" Beers

Many of these are considered "cheap" beers, although the price on some of them nears that of the supposed premium big boys.  Many of these are only available regionally, although a few have national distribution.  You can't go wrong with any of the following beers, placed in a vague, but not exact order:

Hamm's Golden Draft
Twins Lager
Hauenstein
Stroh's
Schmidt
Old Milwaukee
Olympia
Old Style
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Schlitz
Hamm's
Grain Belt Premium
National Bohemian
Schaefer
Miller High Life
Big Flats 1901
Boxer Lager




Napa Smith Brewery - Organic IPA; Pale Ale

The Napa Smith Brewery is in Napa, California.

Organic IPA -  This 7.1% ABV beer pours light brown with an organish tint, slightyly cloudy, with two fingers of an off-white sea-type foam.  The aroma is yeasty, sourdough bread and banana.  The taste is extremely yeasty, lots of banana.  It tastes like circus peanuts candy with a bitter finish.  Not to my liking.

Pale Ale - This 5.2% ABV beer pours dark golden in color with an orange-copper glow and a slight head that does leave some light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is dark fruit, plums and cherries, some biscuity maltiness and a little yeast.  The taste is nutty maltiness with a bitter dry finish.  There is just a hint of yeast in the taste.  This is a nice nutty English-style pale ale.  Despite the small head the beer is very effervescent and stings the tongue.

http://www.napasmithbrewery.com/

Full Sail Brewing - IPA; Pale Ale

The Full Sail Brewing is in Hood River, Oregon.

IPA - This 6.0% ABV beer pours a light to medium copper-amber in color with a small head that leaves light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is mostly dark fruit, slightly sweet, with a bit of fresh grass.  The taste is malty, biscuit and slightly sweet pastry, a bit of tea, with a very dry and very bitter finish.  This is along the lines of a classic British style IPA.

Pale Ale - This 5.4% ABV beer pours a clear copper in color with a slight head and fine carbonation.  The aroma is malty, fresh grain and grass with a zesty overtone.  The taste feels light, a cranberry and cherry scone, with a bitter finish.

http://www.fullsailbrewing.com/

Friday, April 22, 2011

Schlitz Malt Liquor - Bull Ice I.M.L.

The Schlitz Malt Liquor Bulls are from the Stroh's Brewery which is now owned by the Pabst Brewing Company who has all their beers contract brewed.  I vaguely remember Schlitz Blue Bull being very popular in the late 1970's.  They even had national television ads where the bull would crash into some place and they had some celebrity endorsers.  You can find some of the old commercials on You Tube.

Bull Ice - This 8.2% ABV malt liquor is the Schlitz Bull Ice Malt Liquor or I.M.L.  The beer pours dark honey golden with an inch of billowy head and is very amply carbonated.  It actually leaves medium lacing down the glass.  The aroma is sweet, grain in a metal bucket, with a touch of grass, a touch of zesty hops and a touch of green apple.  The aroma is better than the taste.  The taste is sweet, nearing cloying but not quite, with a lot of green apple and some malt.  Not a great taster, but it is at least barely drinkable, which is more than can be said for many high alcohol malt liquors.

Blue Bull remains, easily, the tastiest of the bunch.



Central Waters Brewing Co. - Illumination DIPA; Happy Heron Pale Ale; Shine On; Mudpuppy Porter; Ouisconsing Red Ale

The Central Waters Brewing Company is in Amherst, Wisconsin.

Illumination Double IPA - This 9.0% ABV beer pours a glowing light copper/orange in color with a half inch of thick and smooth off-white head.  The aroma is hop forward, pine, tropical fruit and cantaloupe.  The taste follows the aroma with the tropical fruit foremost, over a light sweetness and with a very bitter and dry finish.

Happy Heron Pale Ale - This 5.2% ABV beer pours a glowing light orange-amber-copper with a small head that still leaves light to medium lacing on the glass.  The aroma is mild, some light fruit, and a touch of yeast and hops zestiness.  The taste is malty, somewhere between Irish soda bread and biscuit with a touch of fruit, and then a very dry and bitter finish. A nice light-drinking, but full-flavored pale ale, more of the English variety than ultra hoppy American variety.

Shine On - Per the bottle, this is a malty session beer made with organic barley, and every sale supports the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.  The beer pours orange-copper-amber in color with a small creamy head that leaves thick lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fruity, cherry and plum with a slight caramel malt.  The taste is caramel malt, sweet and dry pastry, and some dark fruit with a very lightly bitter finish. 

Mudpuppy Porter - This beer pours dark black, there is a hint of ruby if held up to the light.  There is a tall quarter inch of light brown head that leaves medium lacing down the glass.  The aroma is tart and sour, yet sweet, roasted malt, raspberries covered in dark chocolate.  The taste follows the aroma, but not as much tartness, roasted coffee on the finish.



Ousconsing Red Ale - This beer pours reddish-brown, ever so slightly hazy, with a quarter-inch of off white head.  The aroma is malty, malty some more, a bit of caramel and fruit.  The taste is pleasingly malty, a bit fo caramel, and a fruitiness of strawberries.  This is a very malty and a very tasty red ale.



Stone Brewing Co. - Pale Ale; IPA; Ruination IPA; Levitation Ale; Arrogant Bastard Ale

The Stone Brewing Company is in Escondido, San Diego County, California.  Their logo is a gargoyle.

Pale Ale - This 5.4% ABV beer pours dark copper-amber with an orange hue and a quarter inch of off-white thick, creamy head that leaves light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fairly subdued, lightly sweet, caramel malt, plum and cherry type fruit.  The taste follows the aroma with even more maltiness apparent in the taste and a dry, bitter finish.

IPA - This 6.9% ABV India Pale Ale pours a light orange-copper-amber in color with a small head that leaves light lacing.  The aroma is slightly sweet, grassy, a hint of melon, cantaloupe, tropical fruit and dark fruits, and a bit of caramel malt.  The taste is mostly bitterness with some light fruit and rye like maltiness.  I question whether my bottle is fresh as I was expecting a much more hop forward West coast American style IPA.

Ruination IPA - This 7.7% ABV India Pale Ale pours a medium orange-copper-amber in color with a small foamy head.  The aroma is much more subdued than I expected, a bit of tangy citrus over a slightly sweet malt background.  The taste is dark fruits, plum and cherry, sweet caramel malt, strong iced tea, and very dry and bitter.  Again, I was expecting hop bombs from these Stone IPA's.  Either I was totally wrong in my expectation or I got less than fresh beers.  These are from Zipp's Liquors in Minneapolis.  Stone only just recently became available in Minnesota so it would have been stupid of them to make their first release less than fresh beers.

Levitation Ale - Levitation Ale - This 4.4% ABV beer pours dark brown, translucent, with a ruby tint. There is a half-inch of thick off-white head that dissipates at a medium speed and also leaves medium lacing down the glass. The aroma is hop forward, zesty, piney, and resinous. The taste is slightly spicy, rye bread, dark sun tea with lemon and a medium bitter finish. This is a very interesting beer and hard to believe for its massive flavor that it is only 4.4%. This was a 2007 gold medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival.

Arrogant Bastard Ale - This 7.2% ABV beer pours dark brown and ruby but still translucent with a half-inch of thick foamy off-white head that leaves medium to thick lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fresh, malty, caramel, toasty, and some dark fruit.  The taste follows the aroma directly and has a massively bitter, dry and somewhat roasted finish.  The ploy on this beer is that the bottle suggests it is too much for you and you would probably just do better to avoid it.  It is an interesting beer, but the massive bitterness on the finish would make it hard to drink too much of it at any one time.

http://www.stonebrew.com/


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barena

This 4.6% ABV beer is brewed by the Cervecria Hondurena in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The beer pours a light golden, straw color with a half inch of white foamy head.  There is a medium lacing left down the glass as the beer is consumed.  The aroma is grain and corn, a very slight bit of green apple and a touch of lager "funk".  The taste follows the aroma quite closely, the mouthfeel is creamy smooth, yet crisp and refreshing on the finish.  The taste here is mediocre, but it has a great mouthfeel for the category of an adjunct lager.

Baja Cerveza

This is brewed and bottled under the authority of the Cerveceria Monterrey by the Cerveceria Centro Americano in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The beer pours a clear pale straw, light golden in color with a quarter inch of pure white foamy head.  There is medium lacing left on the glass.  The aroma is grain, corn and lager funk.  The taste is very slightly sweet, malty grain and lager funk.  The beer finishes slightly dry, crisp and refreshing.  This is a really good summer type lager.  It was only $4.99 a sixer at Zipp's Liquors in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grand Teton Brewing Co. - Old Faithful Ale; Lost Continent Double IPA; Sweetgrass APA; Bitch Creek Extra Special Brown

The Grand Teton Brewing Company is in Victor, Idaho.

Old Faithful Ale Yellowstone's Finest Pale Golden - This 5.3% ABV beer pours dark golden and slightly cloudy with a small, thin head.  The aroma is clean and fresh, slightly sweet, a bit of plum-like fruit and some grain/pastry.  The taste is sweet, but not strongly so, a fresh biscuit with honey.  Flavorful yet easy drinking, there is just enough bitterness on the finish to give some crispness.  This is very good golden ale, a little bit more carbonation and it would be hard to get enough of this in the summer.

Lost Continent Doulbe IPA - This 8.0% ABV beer pours a bright orange-amber and cloudy.  The aroma is of fruit and sweet cantaloupe.  The taste is light for the style, fruit and slightly sweetened iced tea with lemon with a medium bitter finish.  This is a very heavily hopped beer and I wish mine was fresher as I think it has probably lost a lot of the more citrus and pine notes of the hops.

Sweetgrass American Pale Ale - This 6.0% ABV beer pours a glowing orange-brown-copper in color with a half inch of thick and creamy off-white head.  There is thick and sticky lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fruity, fresh-squeezed orange juice and melons.  The taste follows the aroma, sits on a balancing bed of caramel malt, and finishes with a grapefruit like dry bitterness.  This is seperated from an American style IPA only by its name.  This is a hophead's delight of an APA.

Bitch Creek Extra Special Brown E.S.B. - This 6.0% ABV beer pours dark brown with ruby highlights, translucent around the edges.  There is a quarter inch of light brown head.  The aroma is somewhat sweet, dark roasted malt and chocolate.  The taste is dark mocha chocolate, a touch of cofee, dark roasted malt, with a bitter finish and a light sour note.

http://www.grandtetonbrewing.com/



Monday, April 18, 2011

Two Brothers Brewing Co. - Bitter End Pale Ale; Resistance IPA; Domaine Dupage French Style Country Ale

The Two Brothers Brewing Company was started by two brothers, Jim and Jason Ebel, and is in Warrenville, Illinois.

Bitter End Pale Ale - This 5.2% ABV beer pours orange-copper-amber in color and is partly cloudy with a small, thin head.  The aroma is slightly sweet malt, french bread and some fruit.  The taste follows the aroma and the beer drinks with a tangy zest on the tongue.  There is a bit of iced tea with lemon in the flavor as well.  This drinks like an English pale ale.

Resistance India Pale Ale - This 6.9% ABV IPA is aged in French Oak Foudres (a large cask for storing, transporting and aging wine).  The beer pours orange-copper-amber in color with a small head.  The aroma is very hoppy, lots of tropical fruit, tangerine and cantaloupe.  There is a sweet yet tangy note as well.  The taste has the fruits of the aroma but is noticeably more piney than the aroma.  There is a fruity sweetness, but the finish is bitter and dry.  If the oak is apparent, it comes to me mostly in the finish.

Domaine Dupage French Style Country Ale - This 5.9% ABV beer pours a glowing brown-copper-orange-red in color.  The head is slight and rapidly dissipating.  The aroma is spicy, yeasty, slightly fruity of dark fruits, with a bit of biscuity malt.  The taste is fruity, cherry and plum, with a caramel sweet maltiness and a zesty and slightly bitter hop finish.  This drinks very smooth.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Surly CynicAle

The Surly Brewing Company is in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota and is currently only available in the greater Twin Cities area.  It is fair to say that Surly is one of the most talked about and coveted brewers at the current time.  Their beers are consistently delicious and flavorful. They are building a destination brewery in Minneapolis (which opened in 2014).

This 6.5% ABV beer pours a dark honey golden, and apricot in color. There is a half-inch head of white foam that leaves light and scattered lacing.  The aroma is fruity, some dried apricot, lots of yeast esters, cloves, a bit spicy.  The taste is very fruity, almost floral and lots of yeast, estery and herbal.  The finish is subtly bitter, dry, and smooth.  This is a great beer for those who like yeast forward beers.  According to the can this is brewed with French malted barley, English oats, Belgian yeast, and Slovenian hops. Pepper and peach/apricot move to the front as you make your way through the beer.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Big Sky Brewing Co. - Montana Trout Slayer Ale; Big Sky I.P.A.; Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout

The Big Sky Brewing Company is in Missoula, Montana.

Montana Trout Slayer Ale - This is a dark golden colored beer with a quarter inch of white foam.  It is 5.0% ABV.  The aroma is mild, just a bit of fruit and grain.  The beer drinks well-carbonated yet creamy.  The taste is light fruit, a bit of malt and grain, slighlty sweet, with a lightly bitter and dry finish.

http://www.bigskybrew.com/


Big Sky I.P.A. - This 6.2% ABV beer pours a dark amber and orange in color with a short head of off-white to light brown foam.  The aroma is grapefruit, orange peel, and cantaloupe rind.  The taste follows the aromas, although the fruit taste is lighter than the aromas, there is also a strong iced sun tea with lemon flavor.  The finish is quite bitter and dry.  This is a very nice IPA.


Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout - This 5.4% ABV beer pours dark as coal with a quarter-inch of light brown creamy foam.  The aroma is sweet, with a tart note, with dark roasted malt, mocha, chocolate, almost hazelnut.  The taste follows the aroma but the tart note is muted and the finish is dry. 


Ska Brewing Co. - Pinstripe Red Ale; Euphoria Pale Ale

The Ska Brewing Company is in Durango, Colorado.

Pinstripe Red Ale - This beer pours a reddish-copper in color with a small head.  The aroma is slightly fruity, malty, a bit of caramel.  The taste follows the aroma, and also adds a bit of unsweetened tea as the beer finishes somewhat bitter and dry.

http://www.skabrewing.com/


Euphoria Pale Ale - This beer pours a very dark copper and amber to medium brown.  There is a small off-white head.  The aroma is grassy, fresh herb, citrus, on a caramel malty base.  The taste is malty, tea with lemon, plums, biscuit, with a quite bitter and dry finish.


Ten Pin Porter! - This beer pours black with a very minimal light brown head that dissipates almost immediately.  The aroma is deep, dark roasted malt, some coffee, a touch of dark chocolate with a hint of raspberry.  The taste is cold coffee, dark chocolate with light raspberry.  The finish is quite dry, somewhat bitter.  The mouthfeel is light considering the big flavors. 


 

Odell Brewing Co. - 5 Barrel Pale Ale; Double Pilsner; Easy Street Wheat; Isolation Ale

The Odell Brewing Company is in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Odell is one of my favorite breweries.  They make consistently high quality and tasty beers.

5 Barrel Pale Ale - The 5.2% ABV beer pours copper/amber in color and is slightly cloudy.  There is a small thick and creamy head that leaves considerable lacing on the glass.  The aroma is hoppy, fruit and tropical fruit on top of a slightly sweet caramel malt base.  The taste is crisp and clean, fruity hops and sweet caramel malt. The over all effect is slightly sweetened fresh sun-brewed tea with a hint of lemon.  The beer drinks as well carbonated and refreshing.  Delicious.  My bottle is  a few months old, I dream of drinking this fresh out of a tap in Fort Collins.

Double Pilsner - This 8.1% ABV beer pours a glowing yellow golden in color with a half inch of pure white foam.  The aroma is fragrant, jasmine flowers, a touch of honey, and grain.  The taste follows the aroma directly and finishes dry, yet sweet, with a sharp yet fleeting bitterness.  The aftertaste is light bitterness and massive sweet fragrant jasmine.  For a strong pilsner lager, this beer is unexpected, but very tasty.

Easy Street Wheat - This 4.6% ABV beer pours honey golden and orange, slightly hazy.  There is a small foamy white head.  The aroma is wheat malt, citrus fruit, grassy, a note of sour fruit.  The taste is malty, citrusy, grassy, very, very tasty.  An excellent beer.

Isolation Ale - This 6.1% ABV beer pours dark copper and burnt orange.  There is a quarter-inch of creamy and foamy off-white head.  The aroma is malty and fruity, caramel, cherries, citrus.  The taste is roasted, toasted malt, nutty, with a grassy citrus note right before a somewhat bitter finish.  Excellent!

Mountain Standard Double Black IPA - This 9.5% ABV beer pours dark, dark brown to black with a very short head of light brown foam.  The aroma is hoppy, grapefruit and pine over a dark roasted malt that combines with the pine to become almost smokey.  The taste reverses the aroma with a sweet, dark roasted malt coming in the forefront, to be followed by a fruity and then bitter finish.