Monday, August 31, 2015

Town Hall Galaxy Pale Ale

Notes from August 18:

Town Hall Galaxy Pale Ale. Galaxy hops, I'm guessing. What else do I know about it? Can't remember. Once more, we'll have to look it up later and hope for the best.

Appearance: clear, bright golden coloring, large and long-lasting ivory head.

Aroma:  lemon and pine, sparkling and lively. a citrus explosion.

Taste: Bitterness bursts on the palate to begin with, juicy malt rides in afterward. Citrus explosion redux. Bitterness lays low for a while, but never quits hanging hard on the tongue. Very satisfying, and tasty. Light-bodied, easy-drinking. Another good beer, and you can drink it.

Town Hall Nuptial Kolsch

Notes from July 26:

Town Hall Nuptial Kolsch. Someone got married, I presume. Not a ton of information available, again, I know, big shocker. Let's just crack open the mini-growler and see what this kolsch is all about.

Appearance: Clear, golden-toned, diminished head.

Aroma: Bright, sweet fruit notes, green apple, and a little pear. That's the classic kolsch profile, and when I don't find, I know it's not going in the right direction. Soft, and beautiful.

Taste: Little bit of hops greet the palate first, crisp and bitter. Thereafter, smooth, clean, and refreshing. Fruity notes dominate, bright and delicate, and delicious. A good kolsch is light, easily downed, with just enough flavor to keep it interesting. This is one.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

56 Dark Territory Sweet Stout

Another visit from the sample man! And this time, he came from NorthEast Minneapolis' 56 Brewing. I still don't know why they're called 56. But, here's their Dark Territory Stout, with additions of coconut and cocoa nibs. We had it on nitro at Acadia, but I never took notes. And now I have a mini-growler all to myself, thanks to the sample man!

Notes from August 23, at 4:23 A.M.

It's dark, alright, very nearly black, with a slim, roasted tan head on top.

Sweetness in the nose right away, with low bitterness, and low roast. Coconut? Yeah, I'm getting it. Cocoa? Not yet.

Let's drink it: Um. Uh. Okay. Well. Let's drink it again. Dark malt, a little toasty, some of that coconut sweetness is coming through, is beer, and you can drink it, paraphrase whoever (was it Dorothy Parker or Tallulah Bankhead?) there's no there there. It does nothing for me. The thrill isn't just gone, it was never here.

I'm going to take a break and read the back of the growler. First off, the phrase "garden to growler." It's never explained. What garden? Where? How? Why? When? And then: "Do you love this beer because it is great? Or is this beer great because you love it? We love craft beer. But our beer wouldn't be here without your love for it. So with every one of these growlers that gets filled, rinsed, and returned we thank you. You love great beer and you make our beer great!"

Can a love not make something great? Can a thing that is not great remain not great despite some misguided love for it?

There's nothing "great" about this beer, no matter how much someone may love it.

It's fullish bodied, smooth and easy-drinking, but the promised flavors never show, and the ones that remain do not entertain. There is so much that one expects and enjoys in a stout that never shows up here. Well, there's something, but ... occasional coconut ain't gonna cut it.

That's all I want to say. There's no need to rake them over the coals further.

The brewery has this to say about the beer: Dark territory is a term used in the North American
railroad industry to describe a section of running
track not controlled by signals or traffic control.
Train movements in dark territory were previously
handled by timetable and train order operation but
now replaced with train dispatchers managing train
movements directly.

The brew house is adjacent to BNSF & CP train and
railroads that run throughout Minneapolis, hence
the appropriateness of this craft beer brewed in our

A rich and complex stout composed of smooth,
sweet and dark tones without being overpowering.
It has forefront aromas of chocolate, roasted dark
malts. A slight scent of hop bitterness and coconut
with resounding velvet, smooth and roasted flavor
gives this an opulent finish on the palate.
It is brewed with a blend of 6 different malts,
flaked oats, milk SUGAR, toasted raw unsweetened
coconut and cocoa nibs. The fermenter is loaded
with additional coconut to balance the flavor profile.
Drink this with lower carbonation to enjoy the full
bodied flavor.

Pairs well with: Roasted Beef, Blue Cheese

ABV: 5.6%
IBU: 31
SRM: 37

Friday, August 28, 2015

Indeed Berryswell

Notes from Saturday, August 22, 4:55 A.M. (Yes, this is how late I stay up writing these notes, just for you.)

The sample man came! The sample man came! Hey, everybody, the sample man came!

It's been sixteen months since the last time I bought beers for a bar, but I'm back at it, and the samples are coming thick and fast. Hooray! Samples, samples, rah, rah, rah! Even samples I might have bought myself, beers I may have chosen without even trying it out first. And so we have a mini-growler with no identification, but I've been assured that it's Indeed's newest beer, BerrySwell, a Mosaic hop pale ale with pureed blueberries. There's more information about it, but that's all I remember now. I'll get to the rest later.

5% aBV. 20 IBU.

Clouded, pale reddish coloration, going towards orange, more closer to apricot. Slim, staying whitish head.

Sweet, fruity nose. Moderate alpha acid bitterness rises up. It's a beautiful melange: maramalade, grapefruit, and, yeah, blueberries. Nice.

Fruit is strong in the taste at first, with hop bitterness quickly catching up. Medium-bodied, with a long, bitter finish. Fruitiness continues in the flavor, keeping perfect time with bitterness. Together, it approaches a candy-ish sweetness, with slight appearances by sour.

This is a very likable beer. And I am one who likes it.

The brewery says this: Style: Blueberry Mosaic Pale Ale
Description: Here to help you soak in the dog days of summer, it’s Berryswell Blueberry Mosaic Pale Ale, a sessionable, single-hopped offering with a light crisp malt bill, blueberry puree, and the fruity, tropical, and piney aromas and flavors of Mosaic hops.

And there's more to learn here.

Sisyphus Cake Beer

Notes from July 25, 2:42 A.M.

Sisyphus Cake Beer, Imperial Stout brewed with 24 Wuollet Bakery birthday cakes, ancho chilies, cinnamon and vanilla. 10% ABV. 51 IBU. Brewed to commemorative the first anniversary of the brewery and taproom.

I must be a lucky fellow. They say there were only 5 of these crowlered. (Because that's a word now, the verb "to crowler.")

Solid blackness, with a rich, creamy tan head atop, long-lasting and looking good.

Aroma: More richness, more depth, more malt. Sweetness is stronger than roast here. Vanilla and cinnamon are picked up easily, and then, yes, it does come across cakey!

Taste: Once on the tongue, it gets even cakier. How can you really quantify and describe that experience? You just feel it, the cakes comes into your senses, and spreads the birthday cheer. Bitterness is kept at bay by sweet malt, and vice versa. Some of the elements we look for in an imperial stout are somewhat muted and masked by the massive load of cakiness. Not quite as much of bittersweet roasty notes, of coffee, but cocoa, sure. And the peppers and spice jump back in place from time to time, just when you forgot they were there.

Full-bodied, fully-flavored, a glorious celebration stout. A gimmick beer? Yeah, but a tasty one, and that's all that matters. The cakitudalescence reigns over all, and it's good. Cheers to more years!

Sisyphus Kentucky Common

I'd never heard of a "kentucky common" until Summit made one a few years ago. I'm sure that they're popping up all over the place, as trends trend to circulate around the country, and old styles get revived. Urban Growler in St. Paul has one that we tapped at Acadia (never took notes) and what do you know, Sisyphus did one, and I took notes on it. From Wednesday, August 5, at 1:40 A.M:

Sisyphus Kentucky Common. What's a Kentucky Common? Is it really from Kentucky, and is it all that common? Enquiring minds want to know. 5% ABV. 38 IBU.

Appearance: clear, reddish-brown, slim head.

Aroma: malty sweet, caramel and toffee. vanilla. light fruity esters.

Taste: Malt is on top here, too. Sweetness kept just at bay with all the right hops. A little herbal malt, more of the caramel. Dark fruits...

so what the heck is a "kentucky common"? It's kind of like a cream ale, and kind of like a steam beer, and what the hell, just check out wikipedia, they know everything....

Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner

Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner. Another one from the SN summer sampler box. 5.2% ABV.

Appearance: clear, golden. Slim, soon-done head.

Aroma: sweet, malty, cereal grain nose. Light hops, fairly floral.

Taste: In the mouth, it's sweet, again, it's smooth, ever-so slightly bitter, and incredibly drinkable. Just enough flavor to keep my engaged, but not enough to make it interesting. Little trickles of fruit, flowers, and honey, smacks of cereal, ending ultimately on a dry note.

I don't mind this at all, but you won't see me toting home a case of it. I recommend it to your friends and fathers-in-laws, of course.

Hey, what's that on the bottle neck say? "German style pilsners are the original session beers. Nooner is our version of this classic style, loaded with floral and spicy hop flavor and balanced by a crisp and dry finish."

Sierra Nevada Kolsch

Notes from July 20, 2015.

Sierra Nevada Kolsch, German-style Ale. Last from the summer box. Alc. 5.0% by vol.

Appearance: It's clear, bright golden, with a sufficient white head on top.

Aroma: Lightly hoppy, with notes of apple and pear. Enticing.

Taste: Little buzz of hops hits the palate first, ending nicely dry. Lean body, excellent consumability. Light fruitiness persists in the flavor, too, and again, it tastes of green apples and pears. Just right. So light, so delicate, so beautifully quenching, dry, and delicious. Hops hang around, leaving just traces of bitterness.
I like this.

One thing I really hate is bad kolsches. Sad, sorry versions that don't come close to the real thing. I feel like they're hoodwinking the public and are profiting from a lack of knowledge of what kolsches should actually taste like. No surprise, Sierra Nevada gets it.

What's that bottle neck label say? "Our left coast take on a crisp, classic German-style ale is hopped up with zesty American and European hops for a twist on a traditional light-bodied beer."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fair State LactoBac 6 Lichtenhainer

I used to write these notes "live" typing as I'm drinking, then posting immediately after on the internets super-highway world wide web.coms. Then, I decided to alter the time stamp (I think it's somewhere in West Africa), so you, the reader wouldn't actually know at what inhuman hour I'm actually doing this drinking.

Why, then, I wonder, when I look at these notes I wrote weeks ago, and see the real-time stamp, do I feel the need to tell you that these notes on Fair State LactoBac #6 were written on Thursday, July 30 at 3:46 A.M? Maybe I should keep that information to myself?

Fair State LactoBac 6. It's another sterling example of why I need to visit Fair State more often. I've had the other LactoBacs, (not all, though) at other stops at the taproom, and perhaps at other bars. This past Sunday was the first time I decided to take a growler home with me. On the other occasion, I think, I just wasn't equipped to carry one back with me on my bike. This time, though I was prepared, and so my 750 ml growler collection has grown by one, and I'm ready to dig into LactoBac 6, a beer about which I've forgotten everything.

Appearance: clear, bright golden-hued, slim white head.

Aroma: Musty, funky, and oddly fruity. Undercurrents of white wine and wild yeast.

Taste: Whoa! Wild and weird. Now, I remember. This one has a german name that I'll have to look up, and it's clear from the smoked malt character coming through on the palate that it's some cross between a Berliner Weisse and a rauchbier. Or is it?

This is crazy stuff. Can't say I've had a smoked sour before. Wine barrel character, smokiness, light fruit, full-on funk, ending dry. Sharp, sour, just enough bitterness, exceedingly tart and dry.

One of the strangest beers I've ever had. Somewhat refreshing and just a little shy of delicious. There may be some who would detest this brew. I shall not be one of them.

I don't know why, though. I've had strange beers that I've hated. But, then, they were far stranger than this. LactoBac #6 has got just enough goodness to keep the strange from being bad.

And here's what the brewery says: LÄCTOBÄC 6 is our interpretation of a Lichtenhainer, a mostly dead style of sour wheat beer from Central Europe. Brewed with Oak-smoked wheat malt and Beechwood-smoked barley malt, and soured by lactobacillus. pH 3.28. 4% ABV, 10 IBU.

Fair State Hefe Weizen

Fair State Hefe Weizen. This is one we had on tap some time ago, and I never took notes, but I bought a 4-pack of cans. The last one has been sitting in the fridge and giving me the evil eye every time I open the door. We're definitely moving out of the season, so let's take this one down before moving on to oktoberfests and pumpkin brews.

12 IBU. 5% ABV.

Hazy, pale yellow hue, large ivory head, that inevitably drifts down.

Classic Bavarian hefe weisse bier aromatics: big banana, lemon, and clove. Somewhat sweet, and slightly spicy.

On the palate, sweet and wheaty, perfect texture, nothing but smooth and refreshing. The requisite flavors are in good supply, the light clove spiciness, the citric snap, the hint of banana. Creamy and quenching. Light bodied, easy-drinking, just the thing for summertime.

the can copy is relatively free of gobbledygook. There's a brief description, and a manifesto of sorts regarding their "collective perspective." This canned Hefe Weizen fills the bill respectfully, accomplishes it's every mission. I have to keep coming back to these guys. They're worth watching out for.

Sisyphus Centennial Pale Ale

Sisyphus Centennial Pale Ale, according to what Sam wrote on the crowler's label. Also that it's 6.5% ABV, 56 IBUs and was filled 8/20, last Thursday.

Clear, bright amber, with a slim, lasting white head.

Classic Centennial hop nose, fresh citrus, lemon and lime, fresh and lively.

On the tongue and down the throat, it's more of the same, with a thrilling bitterness riding the palate. This is what I want in a single hop pale ale. Refreshing and drinkable, yes, but with the incessant sensation of Centennial hops. Delicious. In fact, yum. Indeed, even yummy.

So tasty, and so finely tuned toward the thirsty hophead. A well-made beer, and a fine addition to the Sisyphus roster.

Steel Toe Size 4 Session IPA/Pale Ale

Steel Toe Size Four.  Steel Toe Brewing, St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Year two of this brew. I tried it for the first time last summer, and enjoyed it. But, whenever I visited the brewery for a growler, they were out. S.O.L. Until this week. It was no longer on tap, but only available in growler, so I could take some home. And just in time for me to order some for the Acadia bar. I'm pretty excited for that, let me tell you.

(I'd like to share more information from their website, but it's missing, oddly enough.)

Enough of that jibber jabber, let's drink some.

Clear, bright golden appearance, slim ivory head, high carbonation.

Gorgeous aromatics, and that ain't no lie. Pineapple's spilling out with orange, grapefruit's knocking boots with mango, and banana is getting down with lemon and lime. Beautiful. Perfect. Good lord, it's lovely.

On the tongue and back down the palate, it's a citric delight. Perfect flavor for any hop-head, bright citrus-y sensations are a treat to drink down. Those who know me can attest that I treat language delicately, but this, this is fucking delicious. It's all Mosaic hops, or so I heard, and it's absolutely perfect.

Light to medium body, long bitter finish, interminable citrus-y flavors. Grapefruit spritz, orange peel, lemon zest. Every hop-head worth his membership card needs to keep shoveling this down his gullet at every appropriate occasion

Lynlake Big Dill JSB (Japanese Special Bitter)

Notes from Tuesday, August 11, 4:04 A.M.:

There's this beer at the LynLake Brewery called Big Dill. They're calling it a JSB, or Japanese Special Bitter, because it uses the Sorachi Ace hop instead of traditional English hops. I liked it so much that I bought a mini-growler, or "roadie", as they call it, but I won't.

Appearance: clear, bronze-toned, with a rich, lush, creamy, off-white head.

Aroma: Oh. That's why they call it "Big Dill." It's Dill-icious, it's Dill-ightful, it's Dill-lovely. Vegetal, herbal, hardly any of the typical hop esters and aromatics. A little briny. And I kind of like it.

Taste: There's a slight bitterness gracing the palate. more of that odd dill flavor, then the stage is set for the malt to shine. Just a little bit of caramel and toffee, a touch of sweetness, and a whole lot of smooth. I've got to say that this is unlike any beer I've ever had. And I kind of dig it.

Lagunitas Pils Czech Pilsner

Lagunitas Pils. We had this one on tap a few months ago, and all I had to to was drink a pint and snap a pic, and I would have added my old notes back then. Didn't, and the keg drained quickly. Well, another bottle has found it's way to my fridge, and I hate to dis a sample, but that's the way it goes, and after having it again, I have to agree with my opinions from July of 2003:

Appearance: clear, bright golden color, active carbonation, with a thick, fluffy, bone-white head, which softly sizzles down to size.

Nose is dry, wide open and suggestive of absolutely nothing in particular, or at all.

Light and smooth, just right for a lager, but bad for a self-described "Czech-style pilsener." For one thing, very little hops are felt, and additionally, dryness is missing. Instead the flavor is bland, bald, and lagery sweet. I keep waiting for some dry hoppiness to emerge and assert itself through this treacly murk, something that may indicate a true "Czech-style Pilsner" profile, but, alas, it never does.

Again, far too thick and sweet...nice try, but you missed.

Sorry, but it just doesn't work for me.

Bent Paddle Lollygagger Pale Ale

Notes from Monday, July 27, 10:52 P.M.

Bent Paddle Lollygagger Pale Ale. Alc. /Vol. 5.2%.

Appearance: clear, bright golden, long-lasting ivory head, looking fine.

Aroma: All tings good and citus-y. Lemon and lime, orange and pineapple. A touch of floral and altogether delightful.

Taste: Bitterness boards the palate at first, bursts on board, then fades back, but lingers in for the long haul. Bitter bite, then smooth and mellow. Citric buzz hangs in hard in the back, but nothing troubles the drinker throughout the drink. Quenchable all the way. Medium to light-bodied, almost creamy, without missing the hops.

I like this. A nearly perfect pale ale, which means it's a good beer and you can drink it. This is can #6 of the 6-pack, I held on to the last to take the notes. Which is another way to say that I downed the first five way too fast.

This is a charitable beer, which may be why it's such a pleaser. Let's let the can copy tell us about it: "Community and partnerships are a large part of how Bent Paddle rolls. We have partnered with local manufacturers Loll Designs to create this flavorful West Coast style pale ale. We are dedicating 5% of our sales to our local cycling organization COGGS ( "Cyclists of Gitchee Gummee Shores") to help them reach their goal to create the first 100+ mile system of singletrack all within an urban environment--the Duluth Traverse Bike System."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sisyphus The First Beer That We Named IPA

Sisyphus Brewing's The First Beer That We Named. None of the other beers had names, apparently. Just styles. I thought they were named after their styles, but I guess I was wrong. It's 7% ABV, 83 IBUs, and I'm pretty sure it's some kind of IPA. I've had it a couple of times, and I liked it more each time. Maybe I'll like it even more tonight? Let's crack the crowler and find out...

Appearance: hazy, golden/amber coloring. large and lasting, creamy white head. Looks great.

Aroma: Everything you want in a bright, citrus-y IPA is right here in the nose. Vibrant orange and lemon, a little grapefruit. Lively floral notes. Just about right on the money. Just a little piney, too, in fact.

Taste: Bam! An explosion of hops pounds on the palate, spreading citric flavors and bitterness about. Citrus zest is delivered in force with each new sip and swallow. Bam! Pow! Zazz! (Zazz?) (Yeah, zazz, and also gazork.)
Medium/light bodied, long, bitter finish. Succulent, this one. And satisfying. Just about right on the money, I'd say. (wait, I already said it. So, I said it twice. Worse things have happened.)

Fair State Pahlay' Ahlay Pale Ale

Notes from Tuesday, August 4, 3:53 A.M.

Fair State Pahlay' Ahlay, Pale Ale. I assume. Fair State Co-op. Minneapolis, Minnesota. IBU 45. ABV 4.8%.

Appearance: clouded, bright golden-hued, large, white head, leaving lacing.

Aroma: bright and citrus-y, lemon and lime. Beautiful.

Taste: light, bright, and lovely. Doing what's got to be done. Bracing bitterness at first, then all is mellow thereafter. Mango and pineapple. It drinks down a dream, for certain. Drinkability is supreme. A right on the money pale ale. Does what it's supposed to do, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Is there gobbledygook? Yes. ""Pale ale (get it?) brewed with citra hops for a tropical fruit explosion. Mahalo, y'all."

Is there more? Yes. "We believe in happy ours. At Fair State Brewing, our cooperative model puts the mutual love  between craft brewer and patron to work to create something that truly belongs to us all. It's our belief that quality beers can build infinite community. Cheers!"

Olvalde Farm Rise of the Burghers and the fall of the feudal lords

Notes written August 14, 2015. 2:20 A.M. (why so early?)

Olvalde Farm Rise of the Burghers and the Fall of the Feudal Lords, ale brewed with natural flavors, lightly hopped, unfermented, refermented in the bottle. Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company, Rollingstone, Minnesota.

Appearance: thoroughly hazed, bright golden coloring, large white head that drifts down to nil in no time.

Aroma: Tartness first, wild and crazy, horse blanket on parade. Funky stuff. Imperceptible hops, mild malt.

Taste: Whoa. Crazy, funky, wild, and fresh. Sour, for sure. Fruit lurks below, citrus and stone. There was nothing on the label to prepare me for this wild character, nor did I remember anything I heard or read, and I am liking it. Brisk, refreshing, crisp and delicious. All of a sudden, I'm starting to taste the hops a little, the malt is showing off, but nothing at the expense of the sour. Lemon starts to shine, then along comes a glimpse of pine.

Rise of the Burghers is ridiculously good. I'm practically in love with it. Where have you been all my life, I wonder. And I've still got half of the bottle left to enjoy. It can only get better.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Surly 1349 Pale Ale

Hey, check it out, another Surly beer that I've notated upon in the past month, unable to reveal to you until now. It's another ...well, you'll get the picture once you read these notes...from July 22, 2015, at 3:44 A.M.

Surly/Lervig 1349 Pale Ale. Alc. 6.66% by Vol. (naturally.) Brewed and bottled by Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center, MN.

Hmmm. Another collaboration with a Scandanavian brewer, another beer inspired by a heavy metal band. Ho hum. Get out of your rut, Surly! Make a beer with an Argentinean brewery, inspired by a barbershop quartet.

This is one of two 1349 beers, the Pale one. Okay, the wax is off, the cap removed, the ale in the glass. Let's drink:

Appearance: clear, bright golden, slimmish, but lasting chalk white head.

Aroma: Lovely, lovely piney and citric hop notes hit first. Tropical tones are ushered in next, Pineapple, orange, mango, guava. Soft, supple, sensuous.

Taste: Again, bittersweet hop notes board the palate first, some floral tones, too, but fruit remains dominant. Lean, that is to say, light-bodied. Exquisitely drinkable. Bright and beautiful citrus and tropical fruit notes explode on the tongue. Bitterness remains steadfast, holding strong, but falters or wavers or edges into the realm of the overbearing. It's high hopping reminds one of double IPAs, but the moderate alcohol level keeps it from becoming one.

There's some grandiose verbiage on the back of the bottle, urging us to revel in the Dionysian pleasure(!). A lot of gobbledygook. It does introduce a new word to me, one I'm aching to understand: "feinschmacker." I'm not sure what that means, but I know they've been called worse.

Oh, yes. It's good beer, and you can drink it. But, I don't think it's worth $15 a bottle. I've seen the Dark Ale going for $20. Bring it down, guys, they can't all stand with Darkness.

Indeed Wooden Soul #1

 notes from 12:40 A.M. Tuesday, July 28.

Indeed Wooden Soul #1.

the last time I was at Indeed Brewing's taproom, and I wanted to take home a growler, it was Wooden Soul #2. I stopped in the other day, a Sunday, and lo and behold #1 was available. $15 for the 750 ml. It's high for what I like to pay for a 750 ml bottle, really high for a growler. But I wanted it, and I bought it, so here I am ready to drink it, and find out all about it. Join me, won't you?

Appearance: hazed and golden, with some flotation devices detected, and a slim white cap atop. Looks fine if funky.

Aroma: fairly screams wildness from afar, but let's go in deep for a real examination. I'm picking up the essence and the oak of a white wine barrel, with the sharpness and strangeness of a wild yeast strain. Feline eliminations. The scent of a barn animal's pajamas. The very aromatics of where the horse hangs his head. And I like it.

Taste: Not much from hops at all, but the yeast twist kicks in right away. I'm unsure what the base beer is here, and I can only guess it began with some Belgian style, which this brewery doesn't do all that much. Just kind of makes some sense, though. Wicked, weird, tart, wild, crazy. Superlatives like that spin out with ease, but a mystery remains. Rich, tasty malt bottom. Tingly yeast flavors continue to delight. It's never too anything, though, thankfully. Not too strange, not too sour, but delivering the right amount of everything.

I can't remember what sets this apart from number 2, just as I currently don't know what #1 really is, either. I'll go to the website and it will all be revealed, I hope. But if this one is the start of their barrel-aging/sour program, they're on the right track.

Surly Todd the Axe Man IPA

Surly Todd the Axe Man. India Pale Ale. Originally brewed by the Danish brewery Amager in honor of Todd Haug and his musical skill. The bottles that were imported here sold out quickly and were never seen again. It wouldn't be like Omar or Todd to make a beer and name it after themselves. They merely re-created Amager's tribute and kept the self-aggrandizing name. Nothing wrong with that. And now, it's in cans, and now I'm drinking one. "Beer to shred your face, in a can." Let's see if my face gets shredded.

1 pint, 7.2 % alc. by vol.

Appearance: Lightly hazed, bright golden/amber-hued, solid ivory head, leaving a little lace.

Aroma: Ah, there's the stuff, that's the spark. A bit of tropical fruit character is mixed in with the usual citric suspects. Some pineapple and mango to match orange and grapefruit. The gentlest whiff of cat pee takes time with the scent of the pine forest floor. Some floral meets the fruit, and it's quite lovely. (Gosh, that didn't sound metal at all....perhaps I should imagine it reminds me of great suffering and horrible pain? Conjures images of demonic hordes and rivers of blood, etc., etc?)

Taste: Fierce flood of hoppy delights ensues from the onset. Nice and bright, aggressive, assertive, all
the wonderful things you want from a big and bold IPA. "Wonderful things"? How utterly un-metal of me. How about: "fills the fateful warrior with the pleasure one only gets from vanquishing foes underfoot and defiling their families with vileness and violence." Man, I should go to Munster, Indiana and work for Three Floyds.

Hops deliver the goods, but the bright, buoyant Golden Promise malts really do the trick with this one. Medium-bodied, long, bitter finish. Tasty as heck. Incredibly enjoyable. No, I can do better than that. "Rewarding as the moment of perpetrating unthinkable evils upon an unworthy world." Hmmm. Not great. I shouldn't write heavy metal lyrics.

Hey, look, there's some gobbledygook, let's find out how Surly sells it. "The Axeman Cometh. Amager Brewery in Denmark named this beer after our head brewer and heavy metal guitarist Todd Haug. They collaborated to make an IPA with hop character as intense as a thrash metal guitar. Golden Promise malt provides a blastbeat background to the screaming citrus notes created by overdriven amounts of citra and mosaic hops. Pour this in a tulip glass and let the aromas and flavors assault your senses."

Monday, August 10, 2015

Where the heck have I been?

Perhaps you're wondering where I've been these past few weeks. It's not like this faithful blogger to go missing for so long. It's simple: I'm locked out of my technological loop.

The MacBookPro that I normally used for writing, publishing, editing photos, etc. just plumb stopped working. Haven't been able to find a way to get all my data on a new machine, or get the old one fixed just yet. Doesn't mean I haven't been writing. Notes on 14 beers rest on the desktop of my 11-year old eMac, and pics sit inside my iPod. Can't wait to show them to you! Soon...soon...

Though I should let you know in case you thought I fell off the face of the earth. And also so this vacant spot doesn't get hacked by Korean spammers. You never know what might happen.

Minnesota Breweries One by One #16: Forager Brewery, Rochester

For the second stop in Rochester we chose Forager Brewery , as our collective stomachs were rumbling, and this one is a brewpub with food ...