Friday, July 28, 2017

Fulton 72 Stretch Gose-style Ale

Fulton 72 Stretch Gose. 4.6% ABV, 12 IBU. Fulton Beer, Minneapolis, MN.

Clear, bright yellow, lush ivory head above.

In the nose: starts out tart, citrus-y, spicy, and a little salty. Coriander?

In the mouth: Fresh and zesty. Nice citrus flavor throughout. Very lime-y. Low bitterness. Wonderfully smooth and drinkable.
Just enough tart, just enough salt, clean and refreshing, light bodied, and beautiful. Great gose and you can drink it.

One unfortunate side effect of the current popularity of the Gose style is that so many drinkers now are under the mistaken impression that they need to be overpoweringly, puckeringly sour. It just isn't true. Try a genuine Leipzig gose and find out for yourself. This one is much closer to a true gose than the sourer stuff that American breweries are churning out.


72 Stretch is a clean fermented Gose style ale. The malt bill is comprised of pilsner malt and 35% wheat with a touch of Acidulated and Munich malts. We utilize Herkules, Perle, & Summer hops to create a gentle bitterness and pleasant hop aroma. We also add Mediterranean Sea salt & coriander to the kettle to create the classic Gose characteristics.  We ferment the beer with a clean ale strain and then dry-hop the beer with lemon & lime zest. The result is a refreshing, citrus-forward ale with hints of melon & stone fruit. 

Dangerous Man Joyless Villain Triple IPA

On the 29th day of June, a Thursday, I stopped into Dangerous Man Brewing for the release of a new beer, a "triple IPA" called Joyless Villain. The name comes from a City Pages article about a vandal who's destroying the work of an anonymous street artist. It seems this unknown creator is installing tiny doors and windows at the bottoms of buildings, as if to allow gnomes or mice inside. Some Joyless Villain, say the CP scribes, began desecrating them. And here was a big, hoppy beer and I was overdue for a visit. Had one at the taproom while hanging with friends, opened a crowler with friends at my birthday party the next day, and held on to a growler until last night, when I wrote the following.

Dangerous Man Joyless Villain IPA. 113 IBU. 11.3% ABV.

Clear-ish, crimson colored, slim, soon-gone head.

In the nose: sweet & fruity from the malt hits first, all the berries, apple, melon, more. Low bitterness, though some hop flavor.

In the mouth: Bam! Big, bold malt flavors, bristling bitterness, creeping alcohol at the onset. Loud, boisterous, almost overbearing. Hot, hot, hot. Plenty malt, tons of hops, but not especially coherent. It's all over the place. Big and boozy becomes the predominant theme.

I like it. I like anything as flavorful as this, but I can't love it. It's too much of a mess.

Their website only says this, on the event page: We're releasing an IIIPA ... this one is so bitter, it'll steal your joy and turn you towards evil. Much like Minneapolis' own Joyless Villain. 

It's still on tap, apparently, but when you look up the beer, you only get the stats.

Utepils Copacetic Kolsch

Utepils Copacetic Kolsch. European-style. Utepils (ooh-ta-pilz) Brewing, Minneapolis, MN. "Brilliantly clear with subtle hop and malt characters." 4.9% ABV, 25 IBU.

Here's the first Utepils beer in the Nib. I brought home a growler and took notes on it when I first saw the brewery back in February, but never published them. I intended to do them with the MN Breweries One by One post, that I've been procrastinating on. I'd better get to that.

Clear, bright golden color, slim, soon-gone white head.

In the nose: Hitting the right notes, apple and pear, nice and light and delicate, low bitterness, clean and lovely.

In the mouth: Light bitterness, lean malt body, crisp, clean and tasty. This is hitting it right where you want it. Sure to be a great summertime pleaser. Or anytime, really.

This may not be my top all-time local kolsch, as it's a bit too light and watery. There's not a thing wrong with it, otherwise. Certainly crisp and refreshing. Copacetic is the way to go.


Utepils is a Minneapolis craft brewery steeped in the traditions of the European brewmasters. Our sophisticated yet timeless brews pair well with friends and a sunny outlook on life. Our beers are inspired from around the world but brewed locally for you."

Huh. I guess their target market aren't curmudgeonly loners, then. Good to know.

Forager Urban Hops Pale Ale

Forager Urban Hops Pale Ale. 5.6% ABV. 35 IBU, Forager Brewing, Rochester, MN.

And now on to crowler #3 (of 4) from my recent visit to Forager. I got a taste of it, but not a full pint. Dave went all the way and was wowed. Now, it's my turn for a full 25 ounces or so and get the big picture on Urban Hops.

Thoroughly and completely hazed, bold orange hue, long-lasting off-white head.

In the nose: Ah! Yes! Bright and brilliantly fruity, mango, pineapple, papaya, tangerine, a cornucopia of the tropical and citric, in that order. Very low bitterness in this.

In the mouth: Mmm. Quite nice. Moderate bitterness boards the palate, and is swiftly met by more of that fruit. Lush malt, medium mouthfeel. Very refreshing. Absolutely lovely. This would make anybody's picnic.

Bursting with mango, melon and tropical fruit aromas. Thick and juicy with gentle bitterness. A light malt body allows the citra hops to take center stage in this world renowned new approach to a pale ale.

That's what I ripped from Untappd. The label reads differently: "American Pale Ale. Classic English malt blends beautifully with citra hops creating flavors and aromas of mandarin oranges, tangerines, and melon. As the summer heat sets in, crush on this session pale ale." 

Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative Community Kolsch

Community Kolsch. Broken Clock. Minneapolis, MN. 5% ABV, 28 IBU.

Several weeks ago, I told you all to stay tuned to the next in the series of Broken Clock samples, and, man, can I procrastinate. So, I finally got around to it, and it was worth the wait.

Slightly hazed, bright golden color, slim white head atop.

In the nose: Right on the money. Apple and pear. Delicate. Light. Fruity. Small bitterness. Delightful.

In the mouth: Little bit of hop bitterness, then fresh and lightly fruity and refreshing as it gets. Light bodied, lean, crisp, delicious. Yum, I say. This tastes exactly like a true and good kolsch should.

I've said it before, and I say it again: this style of beer is one that I feel should be done very well or not at all, and shouldn't be subject to experimentation and interpretation. The last beer from Broken Clock, out of all the samples I'd been sent, was the "coffee kolsch" and I desperately wanted to learn that they could make a real and true one. And they have, and they do, and I doff my hat to them for this.

I have two more Broken Clock samples left to go. I hope I like them as much as I like this one.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

LynLake Bourbon Peach Treat

LynLake Brewery Bourbon Peach Treat. 10% ABV, 40 IBU. Lyn Lake Brewery, Minneapolis, MN.
The first bottled beer I've brought home from these guys.

Highly hazed, burgundy hued, slim, soon-gone head.

In the nose: Smoke. Whiskey. Cherries. Tobacco. Much malt. Peach? Eh. Kind of messy, actually. Not quite coherent.

In the mouth: Here's that barley-wine I was looking for: sweet malt, minor hop bitterness, big, bold booze. A little bit smokey, good dose of fruit, delicious.

I'm going to read the label and figure this one out: "Bourbon Peach Treat Bourbon Barrel-aged English Barleywine-10% ABV. Smokey Treat, our English Barley Wine, aged in Old Forrester Bourbon Barrels. Intense chewy honey & caramel flavors beneath a Cherrywood smoked malt base. Fermentation derived aromas of stone fruit. All fooling around on a bed of peaches for a decadent dessert sipper. Release date: 4/26/17."

I'm getting a taste of the peach, but it's not too prominent, just a little taste. Just enough bourbon, just enough barley-wine, but not quite enough.  This is okay, but it's not quite ...good. And when I say good, I mean Good. Not great, not Good. "Okay."

Update: As we go forward, it's getting better and better....Is it because I'm getting drunker and drunker?

I bought this in May and opened it in July. Maybe I should have sat on it longer? Well, even if this was a little disappointing, I'll keep my eye on these guys and give them another chance.

Sisyphus Is That A Cucumber In Your Pils?

This Is ITACIYP ? 2.0, I guess. I had the previous version on tap and in a growler, but did not take notes. This new batch also includes lime as well as cucumber, but the name is not changed. Recipes slightly different, but the "same" beer. It's okay, I don't think it matters. Let's drink some, alright?

Is that a Cucumber In your Pils? 4.5% ABV, 25 IBU. Sisyphus Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

Clear, bright golden hue, slim, white head.

In the nose: Lime pops out. Cucumber creeps in. Slightly sweet and citrus-y, low bitterness, nice.

In the mouth: Pow! Cucumber takes charge from the start, with lime right behind, keeping it in check.  Light bodied, clean, crisp, with a lingering malt flavor at the bottom. One thing this is for sure is tasty. If you don't care for cucumber, of course, you'd be best off staying away. Smooth and easy-drinking. The cucumber flavor grows and grows in the mouth as we drink away, with the lime aiding and abetting on the side.

Nice, nice, nice. Let's just say I like this one.

Part of our Employee Designed Beer series. You have Chris to thank for this tasty and light summer treat. But really, do you have a cucumber in your pils?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Oliphant Graumann's Center

Oliphant Graumann's Center Bourbon Barrel Aged Foreign Export Stout. 9% ABV. Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, WI.

Deepest blackness in the glass, with a rich brown ring of foam above. Looking good.

In the nose: thick, dense, boozy. Charcoal, chocolate, smoke, dark rum, bourbon, booze. Molasses, anise, espresso. Intense? Yeah!

In the mouth: Jumps on the palate and oozes hot, sweet and delicious. Bourbon barrel delights all over the place. Deep, dense, rich, and I don't want to use the same words over and over, but it is all that. Viscous, vanilla, touch of cherry. Sweet, slick, strong and ....did I say delicious? Yup. And I'll say it again, I don't care what you think.

Mmm. Oh, yeah. So nice. I dug this one in a major way.

Bourbon barrel happiness.

I searched for the meaning of "Grauman's Center", fairly certain that it had a "Tim & Eric" reference, and found this "definition" on Urban Dictionary: "A segment of the Universe located between Grauman's Center and Sector 8. The most mysterious part of the Universe, Undiscovered Worlds is a swirling vortex of enigmatic matter. You know the universe is a little bit like the human hand. For example you have Grauman's Center right here, and then you have Undiscovered Worlds, and uh, um, Sector 8, and up here, it's the, uh, Tittleman's Crest."

So, maybe all the names for the barrel aged beers from Oliphant will come out of this sketch? One never knows....

The Universe. What A Concept. 

Bent Paddle Kanu Session Pale Ale

Bent Paddle Kanu Session Pale Ale. (Why not just Pale Ale? Aren't they all session beers, ostensibly?)

This can is the last of my 12-pack, bought many weeks ago. That seems to be my way, lately, drinking the other 5 or 11 or what have you and enjoy without critical thinking, if it's good of course. And then leaving the last one and procrastinating, as it sits in the fridge, waiting to have those notes taken. Well, it's high time, dammit. Let's drink it!

4.8% ABV, 48 IBU.

Lightly hazed, bright golden, bordering on amber color, slim white head.

In the nose: soft, slightly spicy/hoppy, citrus and pine, all played in a minor key. Nice.

In the mouth: Hop bite is big at first, a great of bitterness, and the lemon and the pine needles on the palate. A little bit of tropical notes pop up here and there, too. Nice and spicy and dry. Lean bodied, easy-drinking, good to toss back and have another. Yum, quite tasty.
It's a classic American pale and a good beer, and you can drink it. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

The “Weekend Warrior”, the “Tin Tank” the “Camp Classic”- most canoeists experienced their first paddle in an aluminum canoe. They are perfect for the beginner - rugged, stable and not to mention glaringly bright! Kanu Session Pale Ale pays homage to that nostalgic entry point into paddling life. Brilliant hop expression with a structural malt “hull”, this Session Pale is designed to accompany your journey. Grab a 12’er and climb aboard our craft!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Drekker Wheez the Juice India Pale Ale

Drekker Wheez the Juice India Pale Ale. Fargo, North Dakota. 5.5% ABV, 59 IBU.

Heavily hazy, bright golden color, under a voluminous helping of ivory fluff above. Looks great. 

In the nose: Notes of peach, pineapple, lemon and orange. Popping with citrus, tropical and pine. Nice. 

In the mouth: Fresh and lively, bumping with bitterness, that mellows in a minute. Lush, lovely mouthfeel. Juicy, dank, delicious. Good IPA and I can drink it. 

Some triply hippie artwork on the can. If someone can clue me in to ....wait, it's a drug reference, right? I'm so naive. Actually, now that I think of it, it looks a lot like an R. Crumb drawing known as "Stoned Again" that was a popular poster in head shops back in the day.

I am not proud of the fact that after three weeks I finally
made that connection. It took me longer to figure out that the Viking in the Drekker logo has a hop cone for a beard.

The New England-style IPA is a very new and uniquely American style of IPA. What sets these IPAs apart from the more established West Coast IPA and traditional English IPA is the shift from bitter, piney hop flavor to less bitter, juicy tropical fruit flavors and the use of oats, wheat, and other ingredients to give the beer a noticably soft mouthfeel and a very hazy appearance.

Wheez the Juice uses a whole bunch of flaked wheat and oats to give it a soft, creamy mouthfeel and more than 3 pounds per barrel of Mosaic and Mandarina Bavaria hops make it burst with juicy, tropical fruit flavors and aromas with very little bitterness. Go ahead, wheez a little juice.