Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sisyphus BA Wild Brown Ale

Sisyphus Barrel-aged Wild Brown. 7.7% ABV. 67 IBU. Date: 7/6. And some other scribbles, something something, then /63. Huh.

Ever the jokesters, Sam & company at Sisyphus have wax-dipped their can growlers (crawlers) for the anniversary celebration. Someone asked me why, what purpose does the wax serve. Well, none, but neither does wax-dipping enhance bottles. It's all for show. Why not show it off on a can?

Appearance: dark brown coloring, with ruby highlights. Creamy tan head, slim ring that drifts down to nil.

Aroma: Wild and funky. Red wine barrel characteristics. Vinous, let's say, with notes of cherries and berries. Chocolate notes lurk just below.

Taste: Dark malt notes hit first, cocoa and raisins pop up, then the rich barrel-aged wine characteristics, and the twist of funkaliciousness. What a weird, wild, wonderful thing this is. Beautiful blended weird, wild, wonderfulness.  Not quite full bodied, smooth and tasty. A treat, for sure.

I don't know everything about this beer. What kind of barrel? Red wine, I think. What kind of wild yeast? Brett, I think. But, maybe I'm wrong? I'm sure I'll find some answers soon.

Tallgrass Ginger Peach Saison

Tallgrass Ginger Peach Saison, Ale with Ginger & Peaches. "The opening riff in our saison medley." Brewed and canned by Tallgrass Brewing, Manhattan, Kansas.

Appearance: fizzy, hazy, lush white head, lace-leaving.

Aroma: Big spice, plenty of the advertised ginger, with the fruit component rushing to catch up. Big ginger in this one. Fair warning.

Taste: Bright, bold, fiercely carbonated. Giant ginger flavoring, with peach not shy, neither. Any trace of "saison" is fully hidden. Spice character is nearly hot in it's intensity. Medium-bodied, clean and refreshing, but…not for me. I usually like what Tallgrass makes, but this is too much of some, but not enough of the other. File this one under "not again, thanks."

Indeed Dandy Lager

Indeed Dandy Lager Pale Lager. 5.4% ABV, 12 fluid ounce can, 40 IBU. "Noble, Crisp, Lively." "We Are Thirsty Creatures Indeed."

Appearance: Clear, bright yellow, lush ivory head, leaving lace.

Aroma: malty, cereal grain nose, little else, not much from hops. A little flowery.

Taste: Crisp, indeed. Zippy play on the palate, with a lasting malty mouthfeel. Hops are here, if they weren't detected in the nose. Light-bodied, with sufficiently full of character and charm. Lingering, pleasant hop bitterness hanging in there. Clean and refreshing, just right for summertime.

Dandy Lager is in classic German style, with pilsner and CaraHell malts, and all German hops: Hallertauer and Mandarina Bavaria, with a classic Czech lager yeast. This is being launched as a year-round and referred to as a flagship. (How many flagships can you have?) Though I have to say again that I'm not partial to this style, it;s hitting all the right marks, and has every chance of being a hit for Indeed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefe Weizen

It's time to be economical in beer buying, once more. And there's nothing that delivers like a Sierra Nevada sampler box. The summer version contains a Kolsch, a Pilsner called Nooner (they had a Nooner IPA previously, but what the heck, spread the name around), the hefe weizen called Kellerweis, and the Pale Ale, always with the Pale Ale, as if everyone hasn't already had it. So, is that 3 new beers for the blog? I was sure that I'd done the Keller Weis before, so sure that when we had it on tap at Acadia, I didn't taken notes. But a look through the blog shows no Kellerweis. Was I wrong? A peek at reveals these notes from August of 2009:

Sierra Nevada Kellerbrau (sic) HefeWeizen

Highly hazed, bright straw yellow color, big bountiful snowy white head.

Lemony aromatics at first, soft spice, light and lovely...creamy hefe weizen yeast in the nose.

Yummy wheat texture, mouthfeel, vast drinkability, enormous refreshment. Floods the mouth and thrills the senses. Light-to-medium bodied. Mellow. Great summer brew. I'll be stocking up while the heat's still ablazing.

Him. Quick and to the point, not spilling over in flowery phrases. Ain't nothing wrong with that. I did neglect to make notes about bananas as well as clove that is de rigeur these days. Can't catch 'em all.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ommegang Game of Thrones Three Eyed Raven Dark Saison

Ommegang Game of Thrones Three Eyed Raven. Dark Saison Ale. 7.2% ABV.

Another corked and caged 750 ml tribute to the Game of Thrones, which I continue to know nothing about.

Appearance: dark coloring, vast, creamy, off-white head, leaving lace, looking good.

Aroma: sweet and malty, with light spicy, peppery notes. Saison yeast character begins to flower. Just the stuff.

Taste: Rich and malty, some dark fruit and cocoa notes. A little anise, perhaps. Some dates and figs. Smooth and highly drinkable. Low hops, plentiful saison yeast character, keeping this authentic and ever so tasty.

Does it taste like a three eyed raven, though, in some far-away magical kingdom? I wouldn't know. Still digging it, though.

Bauhaus Hairbanger Belgo APA

Another local brewery, another new beer in a can. Man, we love cans! Cans, cans, cans, let's drink 'em all up!

Bauhaus Hairbanger Belgo-style American Pale Ale. Toasty & tropical. One of their "Seasonal Curiousites." Also, "Limited Release." 5.5% ABV. 50 IBU. 16 oz. Proudly brewed by Bauhaus Brew Labs, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Enough of that, time for my first-ever "Belgo-APA." (Cause the Belgo IPA is so yesterday's news.)

Appearance: lightly hazed, bright amber coloring, slim white head atop.

Aroma: Sweet, funky, fruity Belgian yeast greets the nose first, following by citric and floral American hops. A nice combination.

Taste: There it is, the sticky, bubble-gummy Belgian yeast flavors, playing with the snap and tickle of citrus-y American hops. Clean, lean-bodied, refreshing and delicious. Good beer, and you can drink it. Easy-going APA with a tasty twist.

I can't get my head around the name, though. Essentially a reference to thrashing one's long, luxurious locks in rhythm to metal music. Maybe the gobbledygook will fill me in? "Here's a beer that bangs to the beat of it's own double bass drum. Hairbanger features toasty malts and a classic Belgian yeast amplified by big, citrusy tropical American hops. This beer hits as hard as your favorite power chord. Turn it up, raise a fist, and rock out with this one, brother. Leather pants strongly encouraged."

Northgate Get Together Session IPA

Northgate Brewing Get Together American Session IPA. 4.4% ABV, 50 IBU, 16 oz.

My first can from Northgate, and here it is, yet another "session IPA", with the label graphics depicting an arm wrestling match between Yanks and Brits. Well, let's get into the glass and see what it's all about.

Appearance: lightly hazed, bright amber/golden hued, slim, but staying creamy white head.

Aroma: citrus and pine are here aplenty, with the friends in the stone fruit category and a dash of the tropical. None too bitter, and particularly pleasant.

Taste: Mmm. Yeah. It works. Lightly bitter, sweetly malty,lean-bodied and smooth. Apricot and biscuits. Tasty stuff. Long, hoppy finish. Toasty and fruity together.

Let's read the gobbledygook: "Just as the United States defeated the British in the Revolutionary War, it has won the war of the IPA. Now, both sides must Get Together to agree on terms over pints. The treaty for this ale hearkens back to the British style IPA with lower alcohol content and English yeast, but concedes the American malt and hop flavor's of today's IPA. Enjoy this session IPA anytime you want to Get Together with new friends or old adversaries."

Me, I like it. Not bad at all. And you sure can drink it.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Town Hall Pursuit of Happiness Blueberry Amber Ale

See, what they did there? Red, white, and ...blueberry? Get it?

Now, on to #3. What's what it looked like when I had it last night:

And here's what I originally wrote about it in July of 2005:An American amber ale, with blueberry essence added, filling in for hops, they say... 

Clear, coppery amber color, good, thick, creamy-toned head, disappears nearly instantly. 

Big aroma, projecting the fruit far and wide, from the moment the cap is removed. Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries, yum, yum, yum...nothin' but. 

TAste: smooth, and sweet, malt-dominated, with the fruit mingled in every swallow. Medium-bodied, with a light, dry finish. Very easy to drink, and a friend to all who favor fruit beers. 

Finishes the revolutionary troika of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, "Red", "White" and "Blue" beers, celebrating American Beer Month in July. An interesting idea, well executed. 

...although, as I finished my second pint, I eyed my neighbor's Masala Mama with envy...

Town Hall Liberty White Ale

Part two of the patriotic series from Town Hall is Liberty, a Belgian White. Here's what I wrote when it was first introduced in 2005:

Town Hall's latest version of a Belgian White Ale (or Witbier), but brewed with American yeast and a slightly different blend of spices.
Why? Because it's July, American Beer Month!

Clear, hazy straw yellow, big carbonation, nice head, an adequate layer of white.

Aroma is sweetness and spice, but which spice(s)? We took a vote and cinamon took the lead, but ginger was the sidekick. A hint of lemon behind. Just like the Belgian wit, citrus and spice are king. Quite a lively thing in the nose!

It sizzles in the mouth, too, jumps and jitterbugs...light bodied, supremely drinkable...if you like it. A caveat: not for everyone, there's something distinct in the flavor, that some may not be keen on. Me, I love it. Like I said, it's it's own thing, love it or leave...

Thinking on the name...seems they took "liberty" with a classic style, to their own end...and, it's also the second in a three part out for the Pursuit of Happiness!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Town Hall Life Imperial Red Ale

This week at Town Hall, there are three new beers themed for the 4th of July. Wait, did I say "new"? It seems that they did this 10 years ago, and the beers are the same. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. and red, a white, and a blue(berry ale). While I drink down a mini-growler, let's look back on my notes from July, 2005:

The name reminds me of a Sly & the Family Stone song, of the same name..."you don't have to die, before you live." How wise, Mr. Stewart... 

Only served in 10 ounce pours at the pub, somehow I have a whole 64 ounces at my disposal...goodness gracious! 

Dark crimson color, and clear, with a decent, long-lasting cap of off-whitish foam. 

Aroma is lush malt, tidy hops, fuzzy, warm, and strength peeks through and invigorates the overall feel. Ahhh!!! 

Taste: yes, let's! Huge fruit, fat malt, minimal hops, fierce alcohol...very warm...but it gets bigger and more complex as we sip it. We like it it casting a spell on us, making us want it more? What is this beer doing? 
Cherries and berries are at large, grapes and melons...and booze, too. 
This is a lush and tasty thing...rather wise that they limit it to such a small serving at the establishment...who knows what chaos would ensue were we to toss back a pint of this in one sitting?

This is a tasty, tasty ale, with enough of a potent sting to slay the demons of the day and let one relax in forgetting those torments. It's good like that. And so is Life, when we have a beer like this at our disposal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

La Trappe Bockbier

Hey, check out what's on tap!

And I wrote these notes back in 2008, probably from a bottle.


Murky plummish purply-brown coloration, creamy beige/brown head, slipping into a thin ring.

Rich, ripe fruit hits the nose...raisins, plum, a bit of fig, dates?just a tad?...a touch of port...

Tasting: Snappy, then smooth. Mellow mouthfeel overall, but plump with malty flavor. Yeast and malt are king here, and we've got a very Belgian trappist-y Dutch-style bock. How many of those have you had lately?

More I drink of this, the more I like it...I'll repeat mellow again, and it's just that kind of deep satisfaction I get from the Trappist ales, an enveloping feeling, the seeps out from the consumption of the brew and into the very heart of the drinker.

Hmmm: IBU: 36. Malts: pale, caramel, munich, barley, wheat and rolled oats. Hops: Hallertau, Northern Brewer, and Spalt.

Lightly spicy, a little funky, but mostly a fruity affair, but uplifting, and exalting.

Am I tasting the silence? I might actually be!

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...