Thursday, February 22, 2018

Pryes Winter IPA

Pryes Winter I.P.A. 7.1% ABV. Pryes Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

My patience works at separate speeds. I had little of it
to spare in waiting for the head to die down in taking
this pic, but I had to practice some before drinking.
Here we have a growler purchased at the brewery on January 13, and consumed on January 14. So, these notes and photos have been sitting on my laptop for about five weeks for reasons too tedious to mention. Let's waste no more time, before winter leaves and spring is in command of the land.

Clear, amber-tinted hue, voluminous creamy white head. Looking great.

In the nose: nicely spicy, dark fruity, floral, some malt in there, altogether beautiful.

In the mouth: More hops, more spice. Nice and fruity. Delicious malt, easy drinker, high quality. So many flavors. Spruce? Juniper? Various fruits and spices. So many nice hops. Nice meets nice plus nice. Good drinking IPA.

In Pryesian fashion, the beer is described with a trinity of words or phrases: Pine, Hoppy, Black Currant

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Eastlake Kirby Pucker #17

Eastlake Kirby Pucker #17. Coconut & Pineapple Sour aged on oak and mescal. "if you like Pina Colada." 5.2% ABV.

Clear, bright golden, slim to none head of foam.

In the nose: funky, fruity, sour. What? Oh, I'm getting the pineapple, it's thick and pungent. Sweet, tart, and wild & weird. Very interesting.

In the mouth: Wow! Intense puckeration. Lively souring. Lean bodied, sleek, tasty and sour. Nice, if you like that. (and I do.) Pineapple is here. Coconut? I'm not getting it. Some citrus at play here, and, hey, wait, here's a touch of the coconut. Thought you'd get away, eh, little guy?

Not great, but not bad, either.

Stepping up to the plate is Kirby Pucker, our rotation of brews that undergo a second fermentation with lactobacillus.
Every iteration in the series is a unique Eastlake take on postmodern American sour beer. Pucker up! After all, Lake Street Is For Lovers. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Town Hall Pitstop Cherry Lager

Town Hall Pitstop Cherry Lager. 5% ABV. IBU: ?. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Mpls, Minn.

To the eye: opaque, dense, and murky, thoroughly crimson, and a slim ivory head, gone in a trice.

In the nose: Sweet, tart, fruity, yum. Pulpy, fresh, nice. Good start.

In the mouth: We begin with the fruit, and the tannins, the tart and the sweet. Pulp-Tactic fruitiness. Low bitterness, even malt. Lots of fruit in this one, and much more flavor than you'd think from a beer of this kind. But that's if you're comparing it to the output of other breweries, who would make a beer like this and make it very boring and predictable and less like this one.

Pitstop is tangy and tasty, full-bodied, rich and fruity. I like it more and more.

Pale lager finished with Michigan balaton cherries.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Sisyphus Barrel Room Coffee Stout

Sisyphus Barrel Room Coffee Stout. 7% ABV. 55 IBU.  Sisyphus Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

Dense, thick, deep black coloring, with a rich brown head of foam above. Looking fantastic.

In the nose: earthy, semi-sweet, cocoa & espresso. Slightly creamy. Utterly delightful.

In the mouth: Sweet, chocolatey, creamy, rich and delicious. Just that, and also more. And that's just sip one. Let's dive in again. MMMM, mmm, malt-tastic. Lush and luscious. I keep liking this more and more the more I drink it. So good. And I mean that. So, so good.

Read more about tit here: Stout infused with Sisyphus Brewing Barrel Room Coffee.
The beans were aged in an Imperial Stout Bourbon Barrel and roasted on 2/2 by Roundtable Coffee Works. This Full City Roast hits you with a bright and chocolatey warmth and finishes with a toach of Oak, Fruit and booze. Is it coffee or beer? Or beer coffee? Who cares.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dangerous Man Cran Razz Sour

Dangerous Man Cran Razz Sour. 7.3% ABV. 20 IBU. Dangerous Man Brewing Company, Minneapolis, MN. 750 ml crowler.

To the eye: pinkish, purplish coloring, slim, whitish head.

In the nose: fruity, tart.

In the mouth: fruity, tart. Berry-licious. Cran-tastic. All those trite advertising cliches. Increasingly sour, ever-lastingly fruity. Fruity, fruity, sour, sour, nice, nice, nice. (I'm channeling something there, not sure what. Maybe you know?)

All in all, not bad at all.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Wild Mind Artisan Ales Northern Bloom

Wild Mind Northern Bloom Pale Ale. 5.8% ABV. 45 IBU. Wild Mind Artisan Ales, Minneapolis, MN.

There's a little trick in reviewing some beers from Wild Mind, these days. Some of the names have changed since their early, unoriginal monikers. Have I had Northern Bloom before? Doesn't show up in the blog. So, I check Untappd. It says I've had it twice, and the first time, I had a picture of it, from August of 2016. That beer was called Wild Pale Ale. But that one was 6.5%  ABV. And 40 IBU, different from this crowler I'm about to open. So, I'm going to re-review as if it's a new beer. Because it probably is. Here we go.

Hazy, dull orange, slim white head, soon gone.

In the nose: light bitterness. small citrus. a whiff of the wild.

In the mouth: more hops, more bitterness, increasing spice. Citrus flavors returns on the palate. Medium bodied, robust mouthfeel, tasty, tasty, tasty. Definitely delicious. I like this one. Good beer and I can drink it.

Postal script: This is the 500th post tagged "Minneapolis". I noticed that this number was being reached when the tag "Minnesota" was around 986. What if Minneapolis hit 500 at the same time as Minnesota hit 1000? How could this happen, do I just stop posting Minneapolis reviews, in favor of Minnesota ones? (Keep in mind, of course, that a Minneapolis tag is also a Minnesota one.)
Too hard. I already had reviews lined up, I didn't want to wait too long to post them, just for this. How many Minnesota/not Minneapolis beers did I have in the fridge waiting for review? Some St. Paul, some Roseville....a Mankato. It wasn't enough. And too many Minneapolis I just had to get to.

Another tactic: go through the reviews and see if there are any where the tags were forgotten. A time-consuming effort that yielded few results. And when I found that place where I'd omitted both "Minneapolis" and "Minnesota", that didn't get me any further along in this mission, for the one number grew along with the other. Before I knew it Minneapolis was at 499, Minnesota at 991, and I didn't have the heart to search for eight more missing Minnesota tags. I'd have to throw in the towel.

Do I go out and get more non-Mpls./MN beers, review those, save the ones I'm sitting one, put off the ones in wait? That's far too complicated for something so silly. You never know, I might have to delete a post or something, then it wouldn't be the 500th anymore. And maybe that's not worth all the worry. Or, is it?

See, that's what the inside of my brain looks like. And if you've read this far, you're proven that you're one of those people who wants to get a peek.

Friday, February 16, 2018

HeadFlyer Heavy D.

Here we have the first appearance of HeadFlyer Brewing  in the Nib. I've been there three times, and drank their beers there twice. I'll tell you about that later. I'll certainly be back in the future. And I've got more to say about them, of course, but let's just celebrate their entrance with these notes on a growler I picked up Sunday last.

HeadFlyer Heavy D. 8.5% ABV, 48 IBU. HeadFlyer Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

Heavy haze, ultra cloudy, slim white head, murky golden hue.

In the nose: Citrus-y hop flavors, a little pine, a pinch of grapefruit. Nice.

In the mouth: ooh, juicy! Hmmm, lots of bitter hop flavors deployed on the palate. Bold and tasty. It's sweet and malty, then turns to bitter and citric. Tons of tropical tones. Strength rises and rises. Just enough of the flavors and feelings to keep me satisfied. It's my own personal chocolate Jesus. But hoppy and beer. And you don't have to wrap this savior up in cellophane.

Tasty stuff, indeed. Good hazy IPA, and I'm drinking it. Am I turning a corner on this? Maybe it's not the road to ruin. One never knows....

The bigger, heavier cousin to our Juicy IPA. Double dry hopped with a heavy dose of Citra and El Dorado, we added Amarillo to the mix to produce a juicier nose. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Flat Earth Loyalty & Honor Chocolate Mint Porter

Flat Earth Loyalty & Honor Chocolate Mint Porter. 6% ABV. 45 IBU.

Two thoughts are springing to mind: One, who decided to change the name of Flat Earth Brewing Company to "St. Paul's Flat Earth Brewing Company", and why. Was it meant to differentiate it from another FEBC? Or, to make sure no one forgets they're in St. Paul? And's weird, is all. Never seen it anywhere else.
There's no "Fort Collins's Odell Brewing" or "London's Fuller Beer", or ...something like that.

Two: I'm obsessed with my collections. It's why I collect them. And I use my beer related items in the photos here. After my last post, about another Flat Earth beer, I saw the picture and thought, "dang, why didn't I use my Flat Earth coasters!" I corrected that oversight for this one, and after I this picture I thought, "dang, why didn't I pull out my Flat Earth pint glass?" My head is full of stuff like this.

Now, I'll shut up and tell you about the beer.

Solid blackness, slim brown head, looking good.

In the nose: Mint hits first. Chocolate just behind.  Nice.

In the mouth: Sweet, minty, cocoa, rich malt, smooth. Not bad at all. Everything is in proper order here. Plenty of the appropriate flavors, but not too much.

I like this.

Flat Earth Dubbel Agent

Flat Earth Dubbel Agent. Belgian-style abbey dubbel ale.
Saint Paul's Flat Earth Brewing Company, St. Paul, MN. 7.1% ABV.

So, there are times that I get samples from breweries that don't have the usual packaging designs. These are beers in the initial stages that haven't been pushed through production. Or, in this case, are beers that are at the taproom, or available for sale to bars, but won't be sent out to stores. Not yet. It's a better way to get a taste than taking a growler around to various accounts and giving everyone a couple of ounces. There are times that I share my notes on these, and this is one of them.

Clear, caramel-colored, slim whitish head.

In the nose: sweet, malty, dark fruit, fig and raisin, lightly spicy, delightful. Nice. I'm digging it.

In the mouth: more of the same. Dark fruits, spices, sweet-ish and malty. Has the telltale flavors of the Belgian dubbed, but lacks the depth. Medium-bodied, easy drinker for those into the style, like me.

Ultimately, I chose not to buy a keg of this because we already had a locally brewed Belgian dark ale on tap, and I didn't want to build up a collection of these beers. Them's the breaks.

By the way, I pronounce "dubbel" as "double", not, as I sometimes hear, "DOO-bell" or "Doo-Bull". I think I'm right and I'm sticking with it. The same people who say "dooB-Ull" also pronounce "triple" as "Trip-EL." Drives me nuts.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fair State 7 Principles Pale Ale

Fair State 7 Principles Pale Ale. 5.1% ABV, 40 IBU. 750 ml crowler. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Minneapolis, MN.

Pale ale brewed with entirely Minnesota-grown ingredients.

Clear, bright golden color, large and lasting ivory head above. Looking good.

In the nose: bright and citrus-y, fresh and lively. Beautiful and enticing.

In the mouth: citrus hop flavors bounce on the palate, clean and smooth. Minimal malt. Stripped down and succulent. There are a few flavors in here the I can't quite pin down. Reminds me of beers I've had with Crystal malt. Plenty of the citrus and pine, with other fruits figuring in and making up the mosaic. Melon, for sure. Blueberry, maybe.

This is a tasty pale ale, and I'm glad I'm drinking it. Very mellow, very smooth, and full of unique character.

So, does it taste like Minnesota? Close, very close.

Here's more about it:

7 Principles started as a set of cooperative guidelines. Now, it’s also a beer: A dry-hopped pale ale made with all Minnesota ingredients (hops from Mighty Axe in Foley/Ham Lake, malt from Vertical malt in Fisher, MN). 5.1% ABV, 40 IBU.

“I’m excited about this beer – to me, it’s a bit of a milestone to be able to source quality base malt and pelleted, ready to use hops locally,” Niko, our Head Brewer commented. “We’re sitting at the starting point for an entire industry of small, artisanal producers of raw beer ingredients, and it’s important that breweries support their efforts wherever it is possible to do so. Often local beers lack true locality, a sense (and taste) of place. We have no idea what MN terroir in beer means, but we’re starting to make strides towards figuring it out.”

We used aromatic and pale malt from Vertical malt, which yields a beer with a crisp, slight malt presence and pale golden color. It is hopped in the kettle with Cascade and Columbus hops, and the dry hop is a heavy dose of Columbus. As a result, the beer is pretty dank, with pine and citrus rind in the background.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Odell Rupture Fresh Grind Ale

Odell Rupture Fresh Grind Ale. 6% ABV. 36 IBU. Odell Brewing Company, Fort Collins, CO.

Lightly hazy, bright orange/golden hue, small, but lasting, ivory head. Looking great.

In the nose: fresh and zesty, bold and juicy. Big citrus. Popping with orange and grapefruit.

In the mouth: Bursting with hop flavors. Lean bodied, cracker-y malt base below. Hops give their all on the battlefield of the palate. Oily, resinous, ever-so delicious. Bitterness is on the low end. Juicy hangs high. Quite tasty. I could drink this over and over again. (Which I did, as this is once again, the final can from a six-pack.)

Rupture was born out of our obsession with getting the most out of each and every hop. In fact, we built a machine in our brewery to incorporate a unique fresh grind process. By grinding the whole hop, we "rupture" the lupulin inside - releasing the oil that gives the beer its flavor. And what we grind that day, we use that day. Leaving you a beer that's fresh, aromatic, with an unparalleled bright, hoppy character.

Town Hall Masala Mama IPA

I'm still scratching my head over what took me so long to visit the Town Hall Brewery. It had been in business five full years before I...