Friday, November 27, 2015

Alpine Nelson Rye India Pale Ale

Alpine Nelson Golden Rye India Pale Ale. 7% ABV. Brewed and bottled by Alpine Beer Company, in San Diego, California.

Lightly hazy, bright golden appearance, with a large, voluminous, gorgeous cloud-white head, leaving lace and looking beautiful.

Incredibly fresh and vibrant aromatics, but not with the usual pine and citrus notes we expect in an IPA. Rye malt comes across, subtly, and some white grape notes, some white wine character, and just a whiff of the ol' cat pee, the common traits of the Nelson Sauvin. Tropical fruit essence rolls up. Intriguing stuff.

In the mouth, it's all the hoppy goodness. Rye spiciness creeps up just a little, but the hops are tops here. Bold bitterness, with fruity notes abounding. Amazing beer. So full of flavor, big on the hops, and a delight to drink. Just about perfect. Mmmm.

Great beer, go drink it.

American Sky USA IPA Ale

American Sky USA IPA. 6.8% ABV. 72 IBU. Color: Butterscotch.

Clear, bright amber coloring ("butterscotch"?), slim, soon-gone, ivory head.

Vibrant, citrus-y nose. Beautiful, floral, and bitter.

In the mouth, a burst of hop bitterness, long on the the palate. Bitterness blazes the senses and lasts long in the finish. All the usual suspects are in order, grapefruit, lemon and lime. Fairly delicious, this one. Satisfies, if it doesn't thrill.

I can heartily recommend that this is a good beer, and that you can drink it.

American Sky Amber Salute Beer

American Sky Amber Salute Beer. Brewed and bottled by American Sky Brewing, Minnetonka, MN. 5.5% ABV.

It's a formerly Hudson, Wisconsin-based brewery that has been purchased by Lucid Brewing earlier this summer, with the original brewer still making the original recipes in the Minnetonka Lucid Brewery, using some of the equipment from their Hudson facility. The bottle is a sample given to me by Jon Messier, one of the owners of Lucid, last week. He's been back to find out my opinion, and I had to admit I hadn't opened the bottles he'd given me yet. Time to rectify this situation.

Lightly hazed, amber coloring, slim whitish head, soon down to a tight ring.

Toasty, malt-forward nose. Grainy. Smells of fresh wort. If you've ever been in a brewery when they're brewing, this is what I'm getting.

In the mouth, it's a warm and malty thing. I'm guessing we have an unfiltered amber ale here. Low on the hops, full mouthfeel, malty finish, softly fading. A little nutty. Tasty. Thirst-quenching, excellent drinkability.

You know what, I like this. Go ahead and give it a try. Won't hurt you.

Town Hall Northern Gale Sticke Alt

Here we have another new Town Hall beer that's not listed on their website. I found it on BeerAdvocate with one rating, added this Sunday. Raters on added it a few weeks earlier. I hadn't been in in the pub in a while, so it was new to me. By the name, I'm taking a wild guess that it's a German-style Sticke Altbier. Those helpful folks mentioned above say that it's 5.5% alcohol by volume. I could have found that out myself, but I didn't take note while I was there, just grabbed the growler, and now here I am ready to drink it. So what am I waiting for?

Clear, caramel-brown coloring, slim off-white head, soon-gone.

Clean, malt-forward aroma.

Rich, malty flavor. Semi-sweet. Good balance. Brief notes of caramel and toffee, a little cocoa, and the hops are holding malt just in check. Tastes like a sticke alt should.

Good beer. You can drink it.

That about cover it, friends.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Founders ReDankulous Imperial Red India Pale Ale

Founders Redankulous. Imperial Red IPA. Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 9.5% alc. by vol, 90 IBUs.

Clearish, bright crimson coloring, large, creamy, off-white head, lasting long and leaving lace. Looks great.

Aroma is piney, citrusy, fruity, and, yeah, that most hated of words, to me,..."dank"...I should just give in, right? It's funky stuff, for sure. I like it.

In the mouth: Boom, boom, boom, boom. Big and full and fresh and vibrant. Everything at once, while being easily drinkable, but for the high alcohol. And that is looming large. Big malt, big hops, big everything. Whoa, this is serious. And I'm digging it. It's tasty as they get.

So rich and malty, so well-balanced, so thick with the dank (I hate myself for writing that)...this is a beer to be experienced. Once in a while. Nice one, Founders.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Alpine Hoppy Birthday Session IPA

Alpine Hoppy Birthday Session IPA, (or American Pale Ale).  5.2% ABV. Alpine Brewing, Alpine, CA.

Lightly hazed, bright golden coloring, ivory head leaving lace, looking lovely.

Bold, citrusy aromatics. Lemon and lime, orange, and pine. floral. Incredibly fresh leafy, green hoppy nose. Beautiful.

In the mouth: a bracingly bitter entrance on the palate. Fresh hop attack, more citrusy goodness. Lean-bodied. Easy-drinking. Bitterness never quits, and alcohol doesn't stand in the way of having a few, if that's what you want to do.

Label side gobbledygook: Hoppy Birthday. "The Most Celebrated Beer in the World." Truth is, everyone has a birthday. And when you want to celebrate, this Session IPA is a gift to the senses. Made with 6 different hops, this brew is refreshing enough to enjoy again and again. Now, make a wish and blow out the candles. But, don't tell anyone or your wish won't come true."

Sure. Okay. Well, I liked it, so go out and drink some.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Destihl St. Dekkera Le Diplomate

Destihl Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Ale. Le Diplomate. Sour Ambelgo-style double pale ale aged in oak barrels. Batch year 2013. Alc. 7.3% by Vol. Brewed and bottled by Destihl Brewery, Bloomington, IL.

Clear, light amber coloring, intense carbonation, with a slight, but staying ivory head.

Aroma: sour from the start, nothing but straight-up funk. Oak barrel conquers all. Nothing else climbs up to say anything else.

Tasting it: Funk and sour kicks it off again, with a bit of hops peeking through. Texture becomes increasingly intriguing, deliciousness begins to show up on the palate. I feel a double pale ale peeping out, but “Ambelgo-style”? That’s a new term for me. But I think I understand what they’re getting at. I’d love to try that beer before they oaked it and funked it. I’ve got an idea of what it was like, but the end product here is all about the wild and the oak.

And you know what? There ain’t nothing wrong with that.  It’s a great beer, and I’m drinking it. (Warning: this is most likely only available in Illinois. I bought this at the brewpub in Normal, IL, paid $19 for it.)

Indeed Let It Roll IPA

When it comes to the local beers by the breweries I like, I try to get to their new beers right away. I’ve been dragging on this one. No reason why, just been slow to pick it up at the store, all the while wishing I’d get a sample can. Oddly enough, I just got a couple sample cans of Stir Crazy, a beer I’ve been enjoying seasonally for three years now. We can’t question the Sample Man, though, we can only thank and praise him for his kindness. (Note: I did have a cask of it at Acadia, but didn’t take notes on it, and finally ordered a keg, but I don’t take notes at the bar that often. Like to formulate my thoughts in the ol’ Sanctum Sanctorum.)

Indeed Let It Roll India Pale Ale. 6.2 % ABV. 12 oz. 86 IBU. “Juicy, crisp, floral.” Short and sweet, that’s the way I like the gobbledygook. Which is the opposite of gobbledygook.

Lightly hazed, bright crimson coloring, slim off-white head.

In the nose: Intriguing blend of flavors here, nothing in particular jumping out. Some citrus and pine in the mix, but all part of a greater tapestry. Other fruits and berries are suggested, as well, and it’s lower on the bitterness. I like it.

In the mouth: Bitter, crisp and bright from the start, with a long lasting stay on the palate, just the way I like it. Sweet malty character keeps perfect balance. Hoppy bitterness never leaves.

As mentioned earlier, not a lot of mumbo jumbo on the can, I’ll see what I can find out………….. "Go all-in on Let it Roll IPA, brewed with a winning blend of spicy malt and citrusy hops. Together with Let it Ride IPA, we’ve doubled down to bring you an IPA all year round. When you’ve got a good thing going, you Let it Roll, baby, roll."

That doesn't tell me that much. If there's more information out there, I'll find it, eventually.

Back to the beer. Here comes the juicy, yeah, that part is there. The more I drink this, the more I like it. Happiness swells around. It hits me in all the right places, where a good IPA ought to. Nice one, Indeed. Keep on rolling.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

F-Town Ipalicious IPA

F-Town Ipalicious India Pale Ale. 12 fluid ounces can. 6.5% ABV. Brewed and canned by F-Town Brewing, Faribault, MN.

So, my first time with this newish Minnesota brewery. I took a gamble on a 6-pack with no notion of the quality inside. There’s gobbledygook ringing the bottom of the can, and I’ll read it before drinking because it’s rather simple and basic. “Piney citrus hop punch with a complex balanced malty flavor.” All caps, no punctuation.

Logo looking a lot like a cross between Victory’s HopDevil and Surly Man with Empty Glass. Mixed with some sporting team's logos that I can't think of right now. Just throwing that out there.

Clear, reddish-brown coloring, large, creamy, off-white head, leaving lace and lasting long.

In the nose: yep, piney, and yep, citrus-y. Sweet caramel malt notes swiftly follow.

In the mouth, it lives up to the can’s description and the promise of the aroma. Full malty flavor, big bitterness that lasts long on the palate. Continuing duet between bitter and sweet. Tasty stuff. Reminds me quite a bit of …you guessed it. What, you didn’t guess it? Well, go ahead and guess….hint: it rhymes with Murious.

In the end, it’s a good beer and I can drink it. Glad I bought the 6-pack. Now go out and drink some.

Also, here's more gobbledygook from the website: This devilishly good IPA is not for the faint of heart. One sip and you will be hit by its signature piney citrus punch with a complex, yet balanced, malty flavor. Our IPA will give you the hoppy kick that you expect, while still providing you with the balanced finish that you crave and deserve.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fair State Cromulence

Fair State has been embiggening the local beer scene with their sour beers, lately. In a totally cromulent way, of course. Hence, Cromulence. I bought a bomber, and here's what I said when I drank it up:

IBU: 10. ABV: 4.

Hazy, pale godlen, slim white head.

Aroma starts off wild and weird. Lactobacillus at play? Tart and funky. Some graininess.

In the mouth: Whoa! Ay, yi, yi! Fierce funk, wild and crazy. Is there wheat malt here? Sour stays strong in this. Lasts long on the palate, full of puckering and refreshment. Sour keeps on coming. Perfectly satisfying. If you love a good sour ale, get this one. Now.

Let's see if there's any gobbledygook on the label. "We made a wheat beer, dumped a bunch of bacteria in it, let it sit, boiled it, chucked in some citrus peels, and fermented it in an old dairy tank. That's a perfectly cromulent way to make a beer, right?"

Sure is. What's funny, though, is that every time I type "cromulent" autocorrect wants to change it to "corpulent." D'oh!

Deschutes Pinedrops India Pale Ale

Deschutes Pinedrops IPA. 6.5% ABV. 70 IBU. Let's drink it.

Clear, bright golden hue, lush and lasting head, pure snowy white, leaving lace.

Bursts of citrus and sunshine in the nose. Beautiful floral notes, lemon and lime, and, yeah, some pine tones, too.

In the mouth, a blast of bitterness that coats the palate, then softly takes a bow and slides back. Bold, bitter and brilliant. Crisp and delicious. Oh, this is good. I will drink this over and over again.

There's only the slightest bit of gobbledygook on the packaging: " Hints of pine and spruce. Clean malt and a crisp finish." That's all you need to know. And the clean malt really makes this one shine, for sure.

I demand to know more, so I went on the inter webs. Hops: Northern Brewer, Equinox, Centennial, Chinook, Nugget. Malt: Pilsner, pale, munich, carapils, crystal. All the right ingredients (comment mine). More info: "Available Year-Round. This lively IPA delivers a crisp and light malt body with ample citrus and pine notes from Chinook and Equinox hops. Inspired by the aromas and silence we experience when exploring the scenic pine forests just up the road from our brewhouse."

As I said, I'll return to this one whenever I get the chance.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Val-Dieu Tripel

The Sample Man came 'round again, and this time he brought me a good ol' beer I haven't had in a long time. Val-Died Tripel. Took notes on a 750 ml bottle way back, almost 11 years ago, in late November of 2004. Let's take a look at those notes:

Right now, I'm in desperate need of relief from an excrutiating night at work, and this bottle just so happens to wait in the fridge. Let's hope it does the trick!

Untwisting the wire cage, almost there, and POP!, goes the cork with no effort or urging at all! Someone could have gotten hurt that way!
It's a foamy gusher, too, the suds filling the glass immediately, and spilling out of the sides, soI'll take time to admire the appearance, while it dwindles down. Hazy golden color, gorgeous, lace-weaving head, crystalline, pure white, fluffy as they come.

Aroma: light and angelic, a sublime sweetness, distinct candi sugar, a little fruity, spicy, ethereal and ultimately uplifting.

Now, to taste: very sweet, candy-ish, with fruit notes, peach, apricot, and orange, in attendance as well. Light in body, but long in flavor, with the sweetness profoundly impacted upon the palate, stays on board and tickles the senses for a few sweet seconds, then lightly drifts off. Flavor gets lemony, more spicy, prickly and sticky, near the end of the first glass, but let's not forget, this is a full 750ml bottle I'm exploring.

I consider what uses and occasions are ideal for this brew, and they can only be times when you need to bring up the happiness in your life, (like now, for weak and weary me), or when you're already happy, but could stand a little extra joy, what the hell. It's here in this bottle, just watch the cork, and get ready to slurp up some foam!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Alaskan Winter Ale

Alaskan Winter Ale. 6.4%. Categorized as an Olde Ale, but, well, I'm not so sure about that. You can read about it here. 

Clear, bright amber coloring, slim whitish head.

Citrus hop character in the nose, with a hint of spice. Soft, malty tones. Pleasant.

Sweet, scrumptious malty flavor carries it forward. Kiss of the hops. Some citrus, some spice. Nice balance. Wonderful taste. Medium-bodied, excellent drinkability.

This isn't what I expect when I pop open a bottle of anything called winter. I anticipate something darker, maltier, richer, etc. There's nothing wrong with this approach, I guess.

Although, I will quote from the website: Traditionally malty with the warming sensation of alcohol, Olde Ales are brewed in the fall as winter warmers.

At 6.4%, it's not that alcoholic, and not very warming. Something's fishy here. I'll have to say as a beer unto itself, there's nothing wrong with it. As an olde ale, I'm unimpressed.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Oliphant Mary Porter & "What's The Deal With That?" Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Graer Bear Baltic Porter

I got this growler back in September, and have been sitting on it for nearly two months. Why not just drink it, already? I will. I don't remember this being the name on the chalkboard, but that's what it says on the label wrapped around the cap. Rye barrel aged baltic porter, here we come...

8.5% Alc. by Vol.

Rich brown coloring, dark and inviting, lush, creamy light brown head.

Aroma is caramel, toffee and whiskey. Cocoa and vanilla. Sweet, hot, deep and fiery. Nice.

Mmmm. The whiskey is dripping all over the place. Smacks the palate up, slips in and takes it over. Richly malty, with flavors of vanilla, cherry, cocoa, toffee, and more. Delicious. Damned delicious. Nice and thick and rich and rewarding.

Here's the thing, though. Good as this is, I like the original better. And I've never brought it home in a growler and written about it. Just enjoyed it at the taproom, but choosing other beers to bring to Minnesota with me. I have got to fix that, haven't I?

Barrel-aging is great, and all, but sometimes the extra additives cover up what's really golden beneath. I drink this enjoying the whiskey barrel effects, but keep wanting the tastes that are hidden.

White Birch Small Batch Ale Son of Ned the Red

White Birch Brewing Small Batch Ale, Hocksett, New Hampshire.

Lightly hazy, bright crimson coloring, slim head.

Sweet and malty in the nose, increasingly and surprisingly rich. More malt here, less, if any, hops. And that's okay.

I'm going to look at the label some, before drinking: Bottled: October 2014, Batch: Son of Ned the Red, Bottle Count: 800, ABV: 6.5%.

It's red and malty, but not that big, alcohol-wise. Taste....mmm, not as full-bodied as I'd like. There's some fruit in the flavor. Just enough bitterness. Sweetness staved off. Good stuff. I like it. Don't love it.

This one was given to me as a sample, and it's the first White Birch beer I've tried. It must be new, for I can't find it on their website. I did see Ned the Red, though. It sounds a lot more interesting than this one.

I'll give these guys another try, of course. This was just the wrong beer to start on.

Dark Horse Boffo Brown Brown Ale

Boffo Brown Brown Ale, from Dark Horse Brewery of Warren, Michigan. Alec 7.0% by volume.

Clear, medium-brown coloring, small brownish head, that disappears quickly.

Malty, roasty nose. Some cocoa in there, a bit o' nuts. Caramel malt.

In the mouth, good carbonation. Medium bodied. Malt forward, with some hop presence. Touch of chocolate, more caramel. Hints of anise and molasses. Steers close to sweetness, but keeps that just at bay. Nice interplay between hops and malt.

I don't turn to brown ales much. Not a favorite style. Just doesn't give me what I'm looking for. But this isn't a bad one. Good beer. You can drink it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Toppling Goliath 1492 India Pale Ale

Found this one at the store today, having never heard of it. I love a pleasant surprise. The sailors on the label's ship got an unpleasant surprise when the giant octopus gave it a hug. Is it the Nina, the Pinta, or the Santa Maria? They don't say. Me, I'm going to quit worrying and drink the damned thing.

Lightly haze, bright amber/golden coloring, big white head that drifts down and leaves lace.

Ah. Gorgeous floral aromatics, light and lovely, with citrus zest coming up behind with a dash of spice. Beautiful.

In the mouth, a great big payload of delicious hop bitterness. Touch of tropical here, too, slice of pineapple meets the spritz of lemon.

Okay. I'm getting it now. 1492. Columbus hops? Will label tell me? No. Let's look to the website, then....This is all it says (other than 6.5% ABV, and 45 IBUs.) In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Though his course lay true, he ran into a mighty cephalopod, which stuck him through. With a whack-whack, the mast gave a crack. One big smack and the sails went slack. The ship started to wobble, so they gave the beast a throttle, tossing it bodily into an open bottle. They let it stew until it turned into this delicious brew for you and your crew.

Well that's a cute little nursery rhyme, but it tells me nothing, now, doesn't it?

Whatever. It's good beer and I could drink it. It's $10 a 4-pack of 12 ounce bottles, though, so I may not pick it up that often.

Off Color Apex Predator Third Tropical Level Farmhouse Ale

Here we have the first Off Color beer on the Bitter Nib. Or, in it, if you prefer. Why did it take so long? We'll ponder that later, for now, we dig in.

Off Color Brewing Apex Predator Third tropical level (whatever that mean) Farmhouse ale. 6.5% Alc. /Vol. IBU: 25. Malts: pils, flaked wheat, honey malt.  Hops: Crystal, Sterling. Secret techniques: Free Rise fermentation, prey selection. Brewed and bottled by Off Color Brewing, Chicago, IL.

Hazy, cloudy, straw yellow coloring, with a voluminous ivory head, leaving lace.

Citrus aromatics, spicy, wheat-y, musty, and a little bit funky. Just right.

In the mouth, all those flavors and more. Citrus-y spicy, and slightly sour. Fresh, zesty, and easy-going. Lots a lemon, a touch of spice, and a little honey. I love the taste of this. An authentic feeling farmhouse ale, unlike so many others. Slight hop buzz, slight a bunch of things, but it's the Belgian yeast that's making the biggest impression on me. This feel right. Go get some.

So, back to the why it's my first. I'd heard about them, but it was either the expense or the uninspiring graphics that did not spur me into purchasing a 4-pack. Nice illustrations, but the lack of color pushed me away, I'd bet. But, then, would they be "Off Color" if their graphics weren't black and white?

So, while some people were saying good things about them, I just wasn't listening very hard. I still haven't bought one. This was a sample from the Sample Man, bless his heart. (A different one from last time. They're always different, every time.) I have two new jobs thanks to him: buy more bottles for me to try out, and buy some kegs from him to share with the fine folks on the West Bank.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Destihl Clarice Grand Cru

Destihl Oak Foudre Series Clarice Grand Cru. Belgian-style strong dark ale. Aged in oak cognac foudre. Alc. 10% by vol. IBU: 32

Clear and rose-colored, under a slim, but lasting, cream-toned head. Looking great.

The barrel notes comes right out of the nose, getting the cognac and the dark fruit. Rich, malty, vinous, sweet, then sour. Some cherry notes popping up, some berry. Intriguing.

Drinking it: Mmmm. Beautiful. There was a tasty beer in here before, but now it's bursting with the wood and the barrel. Oak is coming through, cognac traces, very fruity, while still staying short of sweet. Something is bringing the funk.

This is damned delicious. It could stand a few years aging, but I couldn't help myself. And to tell you the truth, I don't age beers, I drink them. This one, keep it and see what it does. But, I must warn you, it's a trifle dear. The last time I reviewed some of these 500 ml bottles from Destihl, I was informed of their price by a reader in a comment. I did not pay for that bottle. I did pay for this one. I spent $19 on it knowing full well I'd be happy with it's contents. Purchased at the Normal, IL brewpub.

I actually spent about $19 each on four of their exceptional barrel-aged beers. And another came free. That was the wedding beer. In case you didn't read it here earlier, I am related to this brewery through my older brother's second marriage. His new bride is a founder and their CFO. I will remain objective, but damn, it's a good beer. So there.

I am going to drink one of these Destihl beers a week before they are gone. Because I believe in drinking beers, not watching them grown old.

I will now attempt to read the label: "This special Grand Cru version of Clarice Belgian-style dark ale  has been aged in a French Cognac oak foudre, culminating into a beautiful beer that warmly welcomes you with a deep amber color and cherry-like aroma. It then befriends you with it's rich, fruity, velvety-sweet maltiness, full body and pleasant spiciness, bidding you farewell with flavors imparted by Cognac founder-aging."

This is so smooth, and so good, and it's it's the perfect nightcap before I shove off to bed. Nighty-night.
Here's a peek at some of the barrels aging beers at Destihl. My iPod, which takes terrible pictures anyway, was losing juice, so I got my brother to take some photos for me. He's much better at it. All credit to Wayne McCarty. No credit to either of us to think to turn the camera around and snap a shot of the giant foudres that probably held this beer originally. 

Ballast Point The Commodore Stout

Ballast Point The Commodore Stout. "Dry, Roasty Stout" Alc. 6.5% by volume. Crafted and bottled in San Diego, California.

Solid blackness, with a rich, tan, lace-leaving head. Looking just like a good stout should.

Does it smell like a good stout should? Yes, it does. Dry 'n' roasty. Little bit of cocoa powder, cola, rye bread, anise.

In the mouth, it's a highly pleasing thing. Full-bodied and slightly filling, rich and hearty. Here's a stout without any fancy tricks up it's sleeve, no extra ingredients, no barrel-aging or additions, just good old stouty goodness. And there ain't nothing wrong with that.

Good and dry, and pretty easy to push down the gullet. Commodore gets a bony thumb up from me for a good ol' reg'lar drinkin' stout.

And it's great to see one of these San Diego breweries do something that has nothing to do with hops.

Finch's Hardcore Chimera Imperial India Pale Ale

Finch's Beer Company Hardcore Chimera Imperial India Pale Ale. Alcohol 9% by Volume. 1 pint. Brewed and canned by Finch's Beer Company, Chicago, IL.

Lightly hazed, peace-y coloring, apricots, large white head that drifts down in a quickness.

Pithy, pungent aromatics. Or do I mean, "dank"? No, because I hate that word. Juicy, thick citric notes filling the nose.

Event thicker and fuller in the mouth. Starts bitter, picks up sweetness. Medium bodied, long, lingering hoppy finish. Smooth and creamy. Did I say that? Damn, it, though, it is. Smooth, if you've got a high tolerance for alpha acid bitterness. Creamy, if you want that super thick (I refuse to say sticky) hop goodness dripping all over the palate.

The 9% ABV is starting to kick in, giving me that good feeling that says I'm not going out tonight.

Damn good IIPA. Go drink it.

Sisyphus Chocolate Mild

Sisyphus Chocolate Mild Ale. 3.8% ABV. 16 IBU. Date: 10/28.

Clear, with a reddish brown coloring, ruby tinges, under a moderate tanned head, that slips away with time.

Malty nose. Not much from hops, Cocoa comes out first, caramel comes out from behind.

In the mouth, chocolate comes out on top, fairly dominating this classic, clean mild ale. Lean-bodied, well-balanced, and chocolatey. Nothing from hops, low alcohol, easy and breezy.

I respect mild ales, I admire them, and might even like them, but I don't love them. This is a nice one, with an appreciated chocolatey twist.

In other words, it's good beer and you can drink it.

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...