Saturday, November 18, 2017

New Belgium Fat Tire Special Release Belgian White

New Belgium Fat Tire Special Release Belgian White. Alc. by Vol. 5.2%. Brewed and bottled by New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO & Asheville, NC.

New Belgium has many many witbiers over the years, but never one that was also called Fat Tire. Is this going to be a new thing for them, I wonder? Easier marketing, using the FT brand, since everyone seems to think the brewery is called Fat Tire, anyway?

Hazy pale yellow, slim ivory head above, looking perfect for the part.

In the nose: coriander, big ol' coriander, slice o' citrus, wheat, Belgian yeast, smooth, but spicy.

In the mouth: Nothing but smooth and easy drinking. Lightish/medium-bodied, light malt, low bitterness, just enough of the coriander, a touch of the citrus. Pretty tasty and easily pushed past the gullet.

Our Belgian Master Brewer's classic white wheat ale brewed with juicy Seville orange peel and freshly ground coriander. 
Also: 25 years ago we started brewing Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale. It became an iconic beer, and a symbol synonymous with craft. Now, for the first time, we’re adding a new beer to the Fat Tire family: Fat Tire Belgian White. Taking inspiration from our decades of experience brewing Belgian beers, Fat Tire Belgian White is made with Seville oranges and Indian coriander, both freshly ground less than a mile from our Fort Collins brewery. It’s a fresh, perfectly sweet, natural tasting Belgian White.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Junkyard Peanut Butter Bandit Stout

Junkyard Peanut Butter Bandit. 5% ABV, 20 IBU. Junkyard Brewing, Moorhead, MN.

Rich brown color, nearly black, toasted tan head, large and looming, slowly drifting.

In the nose: Incredible aromatics, peanut butter flavor wafts out and floods the atmosphere. Take it in for a closer sniff: sweet, creamy, rich, nutty, incredible. Insane. Whoa. Chocolate and other stout characteristics lurk beneath, but the peanut butter is all over it.

In the mouth: Thick and rich, lush and wonderfully rewarding. Again, there's a stout here, but the peanut butter component commands over all. Hop bitterness keeps a lid on the sweet, it's there but just to tamp down the malt and the peanut butter of it all. Some of the coffee and the cocoa of a stout creep up in to the flavor and are greatly appreciated on the palate, but there's never a moment where PB is not king in this. (Brings to mind, of course, Junkyard's other PB beer, which I've tasted once, and need to secure a crowler of ....that's the next hunt.)

I had this on my first visit to the brewery last summer, and was impressed then. Great to finally get my hands, and my lips around a full crowler (since I wasn't able to buy any then). So nice.

In time, sweetness is tempered, and the bitterness reigns over the malt, which is how it ought to be. I will not rank this against other PB beers, claim one as champion, crown a king. But I will pose a question: when you ask which is the most "peanut-butter-y", do you really want that? Do you want the most "peanut butter" in your beer? And if so, why? Do you want beer, or peanut butter? Are you an adult who drinks beer, or a child who eats peanut butter?

And I should shut up, because there are those, including this brewery who are adding jelly-like additives to the mix, because, of course, why not. And the breweries that I admire are doing the things I detest. Like "milkshake IPAs", Dangerous Man, of course, but Modist, Forager, and Junkyard are all doing them, and I can't keep from despising the infantilization of beer. I don't want to drink beers that remind me of things I consumed when I was a child. I will read my comic books and watch cartoons with a real beer in my glass, not something that tastes like candy or a smoothie. So, there.

A lot of blah, blah, blah to get out of my system. Sorry, if I'm an old grump. But, damn if this isn't good. And I'll try all of their beers, peanut butter and jelly or milkshake, etc, I'll try all of them once, at least, and try not to make the same old grumbles, and root for the real stuff. Just bring me a good ol' stout, keep the peanut butter.

(but, again, this is good!)

Oliphant blizzard of '91 pecan pumpkin pie blizzard ale

Oliphant blizzard of '91. "Pecan pumpkin pie blizzard ale." 4.1% Alc./Vol. Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, WI.

I recall that blizzard of '91. Who among us can forget it. Shut the whole darn town down. Except the muffin shop I worked at back then. They wanted me to come in. So, I waited and waited for the bus, like an idiot, to wait around for customers who weren't there because they took the day off and stayed home, like smart people. I'll bet this beer won't suck, unlike that Halloween blizzard.

Clear, Amber/bronze. large and lasting ivory head. Nice.

In the nose: Sweet, malty, vegetal. If there's pumpkin here, I'm getting it. Pecan? Yeah, sure. Spicy, pumpkin-y, nice, once more. A little toasty, tasty, mmm....

In the mouth: more sweet, more spicy, more tasty. Medium body, long malty finish, vanilla, pumpkin, sweet, spice, yum. A sometimes treat. I'm taking down this big ol' crowler by myself, but it's more than enough. It's definitely delicious. Has everything in just the right amounts, not too much, not too little. Damn.

I'm going hunting for more of this. It'll be perfect for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fair State BFD#

Fair State BFD#/ Barrel Fermented Du Pounde. ABV: 5.2%, IBU: 25, OG: 11.2, 750 ml of beer, brewed and bottled by Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Minneapolis (and St. Paul), MN.

Clear, bright golden hue, slim, soon-gone head. Not especially impressive, but is what is.

In the nose: white wine and vinegar, sharp and sour, funk and more funk.

In the mouth: more funk, more funk, more funk. A touch of sweet, and a ton of sour. Sour, sharp, slightly sweet, utterly delightful. Light bodied, low hop bitterness.
Tart 'n' sour 'n' fruity. Nice. Terrifically acidic, and quite refreshing.

Barrel-fermented Du Pounde is the mixed-culture, oak-fermented version of our flagship saison. Historically, saison would have been skewed toward the very bitter or the noticeably sour, depending on wort composition and fermentation. Brewed with malted wheat and barley and lightly hopped, this version is tart, funky and oaky. BFD# is a blend of our favorite barrels from the cellar. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Summit Unchained No. 26: Westie 7th

Summit Brewing Company hasn't done a lot of Belgian-style beers. There were some witbiers in their past and a recent Belgian pale, but their other attempts at the Belgian styles have all been in the Unchained series. They've done a dubbel, and a strong golden, and a few saisons, but never anything quite like this. The name nods once to the nickname for the most famous trappist beer of all, Westveleteren, and the chummy nickname that some apply, and also to the West 7th St. neighborhood so near to the Summit brewery. It's clever, and fun, and how is the beer?

Summit Unchained Series Batch no. 26: Westie 7th Belgian-style Dark Ale.  Nick Hempfer, brewer. 7.5% ABV, 25 IBU. Brewed and canned by Summit Brewing, St. Paul, Minnesota.

To the eye: dark, deep, burgundy-hued, with crimson highlights, and a slim, brownish head.

In the nose: Belgian funk, sweet and fruity, stone fruit, dark fruit, pitted fruit, plums and raisins and figs. We've got the general tenor of the Belgian quad, the Trappist high orders, the wild and the wonderfulness. It's beautiful.

In the mouth: So tasty. Delicious. Nails it. All the flavor of a dubbel or a quad, but below 8% ABV, and just a straight-up tasty treat. All that detected in the nose settles onto the palate. Not too big, not too heavy, but still loaded with flavors. Hangs hard on the sweet side, with just enough bitterness to keep it nice and balanced.

I like this one, and can see myself taking down a pint when I see it, but I only have one quibble. This brewery is canning their beers more and more, but seem to switch off when it comes to the Unchained Series. Of all the beers I'd like to see not in a can, it would have been this one. It just doesn't feel right.

With rich notes of dark fruit, dark caramel, and — lucky us — rum, Summit Unchained 26: Westie 7th features a complex blend of specialty malts, subtle, noble-type hops, and dark Belgian candi syrup. Finished with a Trappist-Style Ale yeast, expect traces of fig and raisin to round out the beer.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Utepils Alt 1848 Dusseldorf-style Altbier

Utepils Alt 1848 Altbier. 5.4% ABV, 50 IBU. Utepils Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

To the eye: clear, light bronze hue, slim, off-whitish head.

In the nose: malt sweetness, molasses, brown sugar, kept fairly dry with the right amount of hopping.

In the mouth: clean, smooth, and ever-so malty. Sweetness is alway kept just in check. Right on the money here, downright delicious. Medium body, clean finish, just perfectly delightful.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Warpigs Lazurite India Pale Ale

Warpigs Lazurite India Pale Ale. 6.8% ABV. 70 IBU.

Clear (-ish), bright golden hue, beautiful ivory, lace-leaving head.

In the nose: assertive hop bitterness screams out, spraying citrus notes and pine. Aggressive, but not unbalanced. Lovely.

In the mouth: It's off the hook, what seemed assertive in the nose is an all-out attack on the palate, but matched with malt to keep it under control. Citrus-y hop bite on each subsequent swallow. Grassy, piney, lemon-y flavors never quit, rage upon the tongue and the roof of the mouth. The senses are under siege.

I got tired of waiting for the sample man, so I got a six-pack myself and finished in off in no time. Good thing Sample Man finally came around so I could review it, (and I definitely will get a keg, or two!).

Medium bodied, long, bitter finish, delivers all the IPA flavor you're screaming for.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Omni Lake Day Citra Ale

Omni Brewing Lake Day Citra Ale, Omni Brewing, Maple Grove, MN. 4.9% ABV. 30 IBU.

You know we love our lakes around here. And we love talking about them on beer labels, as you'll see below. For now, let's concentrate on the beer:

Slightly hazed, golden hued, slim white head.

In the nose: bright and sunny, citrus-y. Altogether pleasant.

In the mouth: Nice hop buzz up front, good dose of bitterness. Lean -bodied and likable. Tasty and quaffable. Creamy mouthfeel and citra hop flavor carries you through.

Good pale ale and you can drink it.

Hop a wave of happy. Dive into aromatic goodness. Immerse your face in a personal 16-ounce inland body of natural wonderment. LAKE DAY brightens any day with it's soooo drinkable flavor profile, thanks to an ideal splash of citra hops. Our always lovable and lake-able citra ale. Enjoy the view and have a great LAKE DAY. 

Olvalde Farm Ale From The Old Vale

In writing this next post, a realization came over me. An embarrassing one. I have always referred to this brewery as "Olvalde Farms". It is not. It is Olvalde Farm, singular. Armed with this new knowledge, I must now go back and edit all past entries. And if you've never read, you would never have known of my mistake. So, I admitted this for nothing. Once again, the Bitter Nib is the beer blog that bares all, to no avail. You're welcome. (Strangely, I always copied the correct name off of the label, but went ahead and said 'farms'" anyway.)

Olvalde Farm Ale From the Old Vale, or the Brave Little Brewer, ale brewed with natural flavors, unfiltered and refermented in the bottle, local & native herbs, local hops. Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company, Rollingstone, MN. Also on the label, the words "Cepuros" and "Pandecter", which mean nothing to me. 7% ABV, 68 IBU.

Clear, bright golden color, slim white head.

In the nose: tart, fruit, spice. Wild & funky. I like it.

In the mouth: More wild, funky, & strange. Moderate hopping, medium malt, light body. Oddly flavored. Not bad, just odd. Not quite like any other flavor I've gotten from your average beer. Well, Joe Pond doesn't make average beer.

Citrus-y, slightly sour, and uniquely spiced. Certain to put many off, this is not for everyone. Polarizing, you might say. Me, I stand on the other side. I find this to be a delightfully quirky and refreshing Belgian-style brew.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Oliphant Also Bort Belgian-style Tripel Ale.

Oliphant Also Bort. Tripel Ale. 9.2% ABV. Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, WI.

It's crazy. This beer has been around for nearly two and a half years, and I've just recently got my first taste of it at the taproom. I'm never there when it's on, or it's brother, just plain Bort. You can be sure that I would have if it were, for I certainly wouldn't have skipped a beer of a favorite style named after such a great Simpsons reference.

I'd seen it in a crowler recently at a local liquor store, but passed, knowing that I'd be at the taproom soon and wanted to get it straight from the source. Went with a glass growler on this, instead of the crowler. This way, instead of having to finish one can in one night, I can reseal it and finish it off tomorrow. See how smart I am. S-M-R-T! I am so smart! I mean, S-M-A-R-T!

Enough palaver, it's time to drink some Also Bort. (And maybe, just maybe, someday I'll get some regular Bort, too. We can't have everything we want all at once, can we?)

To the eye: Clear, bright golden hue, under a slim, but sturdy, ivory head.

In the nose: Classic triple aromatics, slightly sweet, fruity, spicy, candi sugar and bubblegum. Orange, peach, and puree of pineapple.

In the mouth: Sweetness and spice lead the charge again, with moderate hop bitterness, and mostly malt on the playing field. High alcohol is also apparent from the start, but it's not troubling in any way shape or fashion, not yet. As I mentioned above, I'm not finishing this in one sitting, no mama, I'll drink half now and down the rest tomorrow....or, maybe I won't, and I'll just wish I hadn't in the morning? With all the fruit and the spice and the booze, I am throughly digging it. It certainly reminds me of Delirium Tremens from the days when that beer was novel and fresh.

Remarkably smooth and terrifically tasty. Starts sweet, ends dry. It only tastes a little bit like burning.

(If you're confused, that's another Simpsons
reference. Classic Ralph. )
In this permanent chalkboard illustration, Jeremy has used
an old Tommy Roe Greatest hits album as his canvas.
It's called 12 in a Roe, and a large Tommy looms over many
smaller Tommys. Jeremy replaced Mr. Roe with Bartholomew
J, and his miniature selves. 

also bort
dangusrous is what this is. it's also what we aim to beeeeeee. c'mon and flap, flap away with us to a land where everyone is also bort. that's nice! peace.

Bonus: I got a keg of it recently that I will soon tap at Acadia. Every day we can all drink all the Also Bort we want!