Friday, September 22, 2017

Indeed Oktoberfest

Indeed Oktoberfest. 6.4% ABV. 20 IBU. Wait. hold on.

I received this growler from the brewery with no information on it. I looked up Derailed No.10 on Untappd and copied that information and entered it above. They've been brewing it since 2014, when I had it at the taproom. But there was another listing, with 46 people, at this hour of writing,  posting about their various pints at local restaurant and bars in recent days and weeks. And this one is listed as being 5.7% and 123 IBUs. Hmmm. I don't think so. Maybe 23?


In any case, they appear to be slightly different beers. So, here's this new version of Oktoberfest:

Clear, bright amber color, slim ivory head, gone quick.

In the nose: clean and classic. Good and malty. Cereal grains and slight sweetness.

In the mouth: More clean and more classy. Vibrant malt body, light hops, nice balance, good drinking.

A straight, by-the-books, no fuss, no muss Oktoberfest lager. Not especially spectacular, and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

This Oktoberfest is traditional with a new wave twist: a traditional German malt bill topped with new German hop varieties Polaris and Mandarina Bavaria.

(The above is from the Derailed listing. Information about the new version may be different. I'd love to pull information off of their website, but it doesn't seem to be there.)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pulpit Rock To Hop and To Hold Double IPA

A few weeks back, Jason and I made it down to Decorah, Iowas and my first visit to the Pulpit Rock brewpub. I got the opportunity to sample all of their excellent ales during our stay, and took three of them home with me to take larger notes. And here's one that came in the handy crowler format. It's proof that there are still hop-related puns out there for those who look hard enough.

To Hop and To Hold. 7.8% ABV. 60 IBU.

To the eye: there's that haze that's all the rage, a bold orange hue, and an absolutely gorgeous pure white head, leaving lacing. Lovely.

In the nose: Grapefruit, orange, pineapple, plus. Big citrus/tropical aromatics, more fruity than bitter. And I can dig it. More of the lovely.

In the mouth: Smooth, creamy, fruity, delicious. Moderate bitterness, medium body, plentiful body and yeast at play on the palate. Juicy, bitter, ending dry. Bitterness grows and grows on the palate, and I'm enjoying it more and more.

Hazy IPA meets double IPA, and it's altogether tasty.

A deliciously progressive marital bliss between Simcoe, Mosaic & Summit hops.

Alesmith /Pizza Port Logical Choice 3X India Pale Ale

Alesmith/Pizza Port Logical Choice 3X India Pale Ale, brewed and canned by Alesmith Brewing, San Diego, CA. 12 fl. oz. 10% Alc. by Vol. "An epic crew makes an epic brew."

There's a whole lot of copy on the back of the can. Let's try to read it: ...uh, no, it's gobbledygook. We'll stick to what I had to say.

Clear, bright golden, lush white head, looking utterly beautiful.

In the nose: Fresh tropical fruit notes start it off, pineapple, guava, mango.  Lemon, grapefruit, and pine climb on afterward. Sweet and lovely, with just enough bitter.

In the mouth: Big, bold hoppiness here. Brassy, ballsy, and a treat to drink down. Gritty, complex, yet sweet, tasty, and a lot of bitter. Needless to say, I like it.

Ommegang Pale Sour Ale

Ommegang Pale Sour Ale, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY. 6.9% ABV. Product of Belgium. (If that's confusing, it is instructive to remember that Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, New York is a wholly owned subsidiary of Duvel-Moortgat, and some of their branded beers are actually brewed in Belgium for sale in the U.S.) This one, actually, was brewed in collaboration with Liefmans.

Lightly hazed, pale golden coloring, slim white head.

In the nose: Big funk, big sour. Slightly vinegar-y. Wine-like, fruity, nice.

In the mouth: Sharp, tart, sweet, funky. Medium/ light bodied. Perfectly easy drinking, refreshing, and delightful. Just enough sour, just enough malt, great balance, go drink it.

I was going to copy off the words on the label, as I often do, but they used pretty much the same verbiage that I just did, and that would be embarrassing. Note that I did not read it first, however. Mere coincidence.

Here's more from them: Pale Sour is an elegant, drinkable sour beer, unique in that it’s not wood-aged. It has a well-balanced blend of sweet and sour. Liefmans is such a historic, iconic brewery and having the opportunity to work with them has been an honor and very enjoyable. 

Pale Sour begins with a mixed culture fermentation in open copper vats. Aged over several months in stainless tanks, master blenders blend new batches with older ones until the optimal balance of flavors is reached.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Insight Splendid Moose Northeast Style Pale Ale

Haze, haze, haze, haze is the craze, haze for days, the kids these days they all crave the haze, it's all the rage. Sigh.

So, this has been going on for a bit now, and I was tired of it long ago, but as the hype cranks up, I turn into even more of the Grumpy Old Man. Dangerous Man made them, Modist, Fulton, Lupulin, Disgruntled, Forager, I forget them all. I'm sure someone will pipe up and correct me. You'd think there'd be a database, with a list of all the local "NE-style" beers, sometimes referring to New England, sometimes "the Northeast", and sometimes playing with "Nordeast, Minneapolis." (This refers to the style's origins, which can be traced back to The Alchemist in Vermont and their Heady Topper Double IPA, reviewed here. Read more about the style here, if you like.) Barrel Theory is running with their versions, Blackstack and Headflyer have admirable additions to the ranks, and a couple of new ones have popped up that are making the local beer geeks forget about Dreamyard and HopStar. They are over. Over, I say! Now, it's the new one from Fair State (Spirit Foul, which I've yet to try...I haven't gone searching for a can, because when you have 2 -3 dozen cans, bottles, growlers and crawlers awaiting review, you have to stop going out and buying more beer) and this one from Insight that they're flipping out over. Brewers are feeling the pressure to put out their own to join in on the fervor. And I still don't get it.

I like unfiltered ales, I always have. Give me that yeast, baby. But this new excitement over a lack of clarity and a resemblance to a glass of O.J. is baffling to me. I get that some prefer a lower bitterness, a higher juiciness, but the extent to which they flip over that look, which is sometimes unappealing, I just can't fathom it. It feels like a fad which will soon run it's course, and then they'll all soon marvel over the clarity of some new-spun take. "Whoa, this IPA you can totally see through! And it has no hops! And it lacks any flavor! Best IPA yet!" Just you wait and see.....

Insight Don't Feed the Splendid Moose Northeast Style Pale Ale. 6.5% ABV. 22 IBU.

To they eye: Need I say it? Hazy orange coloration, slim, but lasting layer of ivory froth atop.

In then nose: Perfectly pleasant, pungent and pretty. Cool, calm and collected, busting with tropical and citric fruit notes, but low on the bitter scale. All the beauty with none of the bold.

In the mouth: Bright, fresh, full citrus flavors load the palate. Tasty grapefruit and orange notes, with a dose of pineapple. Moderate bitterness, lightish/medium-y bodied, lingering bitter finish. A pleasant pale to while away the day. Good beer, you can drink it, haze, juice, etc.

This isn't labeled an "IPA" and it isn't. Low bitterness but all the haze that the kids crave.

DON’T FEED THE SPLENDID MOOSE

Our Northeast Pale Ale is brewed with Pale and Pilsner malt, along with a copious amount of Citra hops that give a super hazy and juicy color to the beer. Bright oranges fall on the nose with a smooth, citrus flavor on the palate. If you close your eyes, you just might think this beer was juiced rather than brewed.

NE PALE ALE notes: JUICY ORANGES SMOOTH
abv:
6.5%
ibu:
22

Oliphant Undiscovered Worlds

Oliphant Undiscovered Worlds Russian Imperial Stout. 9.5% ABV. Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, Wisconsin.

This is one purchased some months ago, and left in the fridge until now. Should I have saved it longer? Maybe next time, I just had to taste it. If I remember right, though, I did try it on tap on the day of purchase, and I recall enjoying my glass quite a bit. Now, to crack the mini-growler.

Dark as sin, roasted brown head above.

Spills out the darkest aromatics, teeming from the glass. On closer inspection, roast and toast, cocoa, coffee and cream, lush and delicious in the nose.

Now, to drink it up: Nicely even-ly balanced RIS. Not too overboard, fine and mellow. Full-bodied but not over-powering. Plenty of malt, but not too boozy. A mere 9.5%. A pushover. Some smoke and tobacco.

This one can be safely called a middle-of-the-road RIS. Not too big, not too little. Yeah, you could wish it to be bigger and ballsier, but it is what it is, and what it is is just fine. Although, yeah, I'm yearning for just a bit more, here and there. I picture this one as a preamble to something greater on the horizon.

Undiscovered Worlds as sampled at the taproom.
Like many of the beers at Oliphant, the name comes from a sketch out of the Wareheim and Heidecker ouvre, the same one as Tittleman's Crest and Graumann's Center. They're calling this the Universe Series.

Sisyphus Orange You Glad You Like Chocolate?

Sisyphus Orange You Glad You Like Chocolate? 5.2% ABV, 23 IBU. Canned 9/12. Consumed 9/13. Sisyphus Brewing, Minneapolis, MN. Stout w/Cocoa Nibs & Oranges

Dark brown, just about black, nice cocoa-tinged head atop.

In the nose: sweet, chocolate, hint of fruit, at first. Light hop bitterness, mostly malty sweet. Okay, I'm getting it, it's there, but in small doses.

In the mouth: Rich, lush, delicious. Full body, much malt. well-tempered. Sweetness hangs on, but bitter keeps it in check. The orange, however it entered this brew, is kept pretty subdued, but has a presence. Hop bitterness stays on top, keeping command of all the other elements.

Good beer, and guess what? I can drink it.

You know those chocolate oranges you used to get in your Christmas stocking that you'd let sit for months and then they'd be all hard and gross? This beer isn't really anything like that expect for the chocolate orange part. But probably try to drink it fresh rather than storing it behind your old Beanie Babies.

Flavors: Dark chocolate, orange zest, roasted coffee

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Troegs Scratch Series 83 Impending Descent Imperial Stout

It's been a long time since I've had a Troegs beer. I haven't been to Pennsylvania since....ever, and I haven't traded with an East Coaster in nearly as long. The only time their name has come up here in the  Nib was with a collaboration with Stone Brewing, that I wrote of five years ago. Over on BeerAdvocate, it looks like I've had eight of their brews, in my early years of trading. And now, I've got another one in my possession, a gift from a friend on my birthday. After 2 1/2 months in the fridge, tonight's the night to drink it down.

Troegs Scratch Beer Series 83: Impending Descent. Imperial Stout. 10.9% ABV. 98 IBU. I believe this was released in 2014.

Full-on ebony hue, rich cocoa/tan head that drift down assuredly, still, looking fine.

In the nose: full and fierce. Char, roast, cocoa, molasses, anise raisins, maple syrup, more? Intense. Incredible. Amazing.

In the mouth: Fullness to the extreme, with all the richness you can imagine. Big, huge, bold, rich. Thick. Almost viscous. Thoroughly everything. And pretty damn strong. This one goes all the way. A perfect nightcap brew. And off to bed I go.


Malt: Chocolate, Crystal 80, Munich, Pilsner, Roast, Special B
Hops: Bravo, Columbus, Galena, Nugget
Yeast: House Ale
As we spiral further toward the end of the Mayan calendar, we at Tröegs felt obligated to brew a special beer to commemorate the expiration of planet Earth. We think it’s a pile of gibberish (just don’t quote us on that, though… you never know)! Either way, celebrate the countdown to extinction and raise a goblet of this colossal Russian Imperial Stout as we plummet into utter oblivion. If your tongue doesn’t disintegrate as a result of the birthday party cheesecake jellybean BOOM, at the very least this beer will wreak major havoc on your taste buds. Yes, ¿Impending Descent? is as enormous, face-melting, and palate-numbing as it sounds. If there ever was a last beer to enjoy before Doomsday, this is it. Here at Tröegs we say, “Bring on the apocalypse!”

Friday, September 15, 2017

Barley John's Stuck Bridge Wheat IPA

I've said it before, and I'll most likely say it yet again. This Minnesota brewpub/Wisconsin brewing company business of Barley John's is becoming very confusing. I went on Untappd to find information about this one, given to me as a sample by the gnome himself, and nearly all the listings had it as being "by Barley John's Brewpub" and having been consumed at "Barley John's Brewing Company" or elsewhere that a brewpub beer from New Brighton, MN couldn't be served. Well, no. Someone made the simple mistake, and everyone else just logged on to that error. Because Brewpub comes first and no one thinks about the two being distinct? Should anyone care? When it's this impossible to un-tangle, how can anyone?

Never mind, I'm going to drink a beer.

Barley John's Brewing Company Stuck Bridge Wheat IPA.  5.3% ABV.

Clear, light amber color, brilliant white, lace-leaving head.

In the nose: lively, spicy, vibrant citrus fruit and pine aplenty.

In the mouth: Pow! Hop bitterness hits the palate hard, flooding the senses, dropping off all the orange and lemon, tangerine and pine needle goodness. Smooth malt flavors. Medium bodied. Long, bitter finish. Big hops. Delicious.

"Barley John" informed me that he remains loyal to his 6 Knot IPA, though this new creation of Mr. McKenzie is more in line with the current taste in IPAs. And mine, too. Yeah, this fits right in with the India Pale Ales that I dig the most. Sorry, John.

Clown Shoes Space Cake #7 IPA

Clown Shoes Space Cake #7 India Pale Ale. 7.77% Alc./Vol. Brewed and canned by Clown Shoes Beer, Ipswich, MA. "Our mission: To produce Beer without Pretension while Being Free and Little Crazy."

To the eye: highly hazed, bright golden/amber-hued, nice, lasting pure white head atop. Looking great.

In the nose: there's the pine and the pulp, the juicy tropical fruit and the pithy citrus. Everything you want in an IPA, and then some. Orange and grapefruit, and tangerine. And we can dig it.

In the mouth: Ah! Right on! Just enough delicious hoppy goodness, all over the palate. Sharp, strong, dry, bitter, and, yeah, delicious. Just the way I love it. Nice. So nice I'll bring out my favorite catchphrase that never caught. Are you ready? Here it comes: Yum, a dum, dum!

I love it! You should try it! Seriously. Do it. Spread it around. And give me credit. Yum A Dum Dum. TM. And C.

Tasked with bringing cake to our 7th anniversary party, Miracle Mike needed to destroy the laser beam shooting pastries that menace him.  He appears to have “borrowed” the birthday surprise from a young wizard that did not die.  Dry hopped with seven hops (Idaho 7, Mosaic, Citra, Ella, Galaxy, Centennial, and Nelson Sauvin), this IPA salutes the industry and our customers.  Thank you for a wonderful seven years!

Cosmos Martian Rambler Amber

Cosmos Brewing Martian Rambler Amber Ale. "Save Space For Beer!" 5.8% all. by vol. 25 IBU. Cosmos Brewing, Hugo, MN.

Clear, dark amber color, ivory head that starts big and settles quickly.

In the nose: Clean and malty, lightly sweet.

In the mouth: Smooth and malty, medium bodied, fairly faint finish. Slightly on the sweet side, this. There are hops here, too, just enough to keep it all in balance.

One flaw I find is that leans a little too far into the sweet side. Spicy rye malt keeps in interesting.

"Are we alone in the universe?" A true American amber, Martian rambler is crafted using only ingredients produced in the USA. Malt forward with a touch of hops, rye provides a hint of spice on the back end." 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Broken Clock Pocket Watch Pecan Brown

Broken Clock Pocket Watch Pecan Brown Ale. 6.5% ABV. 23 IBU. Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative, Minneapolis, MN.

Lightly hazed, crimson/brownish coloring, nice cocoa-tinged head atop.

In the nose: sweet, nutty, malty, balanced, and enticing, to be sure. Right on.

In the mouth: On comes the malty sweetness, here comes the nutty flavor, and it's wonderfully textured and terrifically tasty. Some caramel, some cocoa, but never too much Just enough bitterness to keep it in check. Perfect balance. Long, malty/dry finish. Altogether excellent. Very nice.

I have every reason to be skeptical of brewing operations that begin with home brewers with no other experience. They have worked before, many times, but there's still the chance that they won't. Always that chance. And it's not happening here. I think this is the sixth offering I've sampled from these guys and they've all been solid. I hope to visit the brewery soon and get a few more tastes. Maybe they'll get their taproom before too long and I can while away some time with a pint or two.

Biscuity, nutty, carmely brown ale brewed with brown sugar and praline pecans from Midwest Northern Nut. Inspired by Jeremy Gharineh #16

Oliphant OcctoberBoi Oktoberfest Lager

This beer reminds me of my favorite U2 song, in honor of my favorite month, which is still several weeks away, but has a German beer celebration in it's name held in September. I'll remember it as if I am hearing the great Bono's voice whispering in my ear: "OcctoberBoi, ....and the trees are stripped bare, of all they wear....I hate Mondays....but, I love lasagna..."

So, I went to Oliphant and I brought his back, and then I drank it, and while I did that, I wrote this:

Oliphant Occtoberboi. Oktoberfest lager. 6.3% ABV.

Clear, copper-y colored, slim, off-white head.

In the nose: Rich and malty. All the right smells are here, in all the right amounts. Classic marine aromatics, toasty and ablaze with the scents of autumn.

In the mouth: Nice smack of bitter starts it out, followed by massive malt. Rich and full-bodied, a heftier version than most marzens. Also, non-stop tasty. The crowler was ended in no time at all. Not a strict, by the book rendition, but there are plenty of those.

I can't remember if there's any special reason that Garfield the Cat is associated with this beer, was it just the magical whims of the chalkboard, or some other nonsensical meaning. It's okay either way, with me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest Amber Marzen

September's here, and it's Oktoberfest season, naturally. Another German bottle enters my hands due to the generous Sample Man, and once more I discover that the works of this old and revered German brewery have not been represented here in the Nib yet so far. Surely I must have taken notes on Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest Amber Marzen once before? Yes, indeed, back in January of 2003, way back in the infancy of my beer notations. I'll share them now:

5.8% Alc. by Vol. Brewed according to the German purity law of 1516.

Amber color, with a lacey, tannish head.

Highly aromatic: spicy, cloves, cinnamon, herbal.

Malty, but not overmuch. Some sweetness, but, again, just enough.
Delicate hop, solid body, slight sharpness and a coppery edge in the mouthfeel.
Very delicious.

Short and to the point. That happens sometimes.

Pulpit Rock Saftig IPA

Sunday, the 3rd day of September in 2017 was the occasion of my first visit to Iowa in recorded memory. Meaning, of course, that I could not tell you the last time I crossed that southern border of Minnesota for any reason. It's been a long, long time, and whatever reason there was, it was probably to get through to what was on the other side.

This time the reason was to drink the beer of Decorah, a long overdue endeavor. Toppling Goliath is the most renowned of the two breweries of this college town, with their many IPAs and double IPAs, imperial stouts and morning' delights getting them fame far and wide. The first time I heard of this brewery was when I found that my friend Bob Slack started brewing there, many years ago. Well, guess what? A few years back, he jumped ship and crossed the street and is now one of the head brewers at Pulpit Rock, and like the fool I am, I forgot to tell him I was coming to town. I do that too much. Have to stop that.

When Jason and I pulled into the sleepy town that is home to Luther College, and we passed by the little brewery on the hill, we saw the parking lot at TGBC full and took our chances down the road. It would have been uncouth to park at PR and walk to to TG, so the plan was hatched that we'd drink at PR, then walk to to TG, then head back for more. Unless, of course, we didn't like what we had at the first stop. That wasn't likely to happen.

I'll give you an overview of the place in a little bit, in another post. For now, I'll tell you about the first beer I had at the brewpub, which I took notes on from a growler I brought home.

Pulpit Rock's take on the hazy, east coast IPA style showcases both Mosaic & Simcoe hops.







Pulpit Rock Zaftig IPA, Pulpit Rock Brewing, Deborah, Iowa, 6.4% ABV. 45 IBU.

Thoroughly hazed, as if the day's fashion, with a dull orange timbre, and flush ivory head above. Looking nice.

In the nose: Ah! Just about perfect citrusy aromatics, fresh, vibrant, floral, lovely. Digging the grapefruit, lemon and orange/tangerine.

In the mouth: Yow! It comes on in full force here, blazing with bitterness and awash in citrus-y flavors. Clean, lean, medium malt. Excellent drinking, if you're in it for the hops. Perfect for the hophead, perfect for me. Man, I enjoyed the heck out of this one. I would return to this over and over again, and it helps to set my full faith in the fine beers at Pulpit Rock.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Coronado Islander IPA

Coronado Brewing, Coronado, CA Islander IPA. "Stay Coastal." (Well, why am I drinking this in Minnesota?) Centennial, Columbus, and Chinook hops. All the C's. Almost all. But all C's, anyway. 7.5 % ABV, 83 IBU.

Clouded, pale gold, solid, lasting layer of white head on top. looking good.

In the nose: There's the pine, there's the citrus, right where it ought to be. Absolutely lovely for a hophead like me. Perfect.

In the mouth: Hop bitterness spanks the palate from the start, fierce pine and citrus fruit flavors, punchy and pungent. Juicy, even. Medium bodied, long, hoppy finish. Quite delicious.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Castle Danger Summer Crush

Castle Danger Brewery Summer Crush. 4.7% ABV. Castle Danger Brewing, Two Harbors, MN.

Lightly hazy, pale golden color, slim white head.

In the nose: light, soft, airy, nice enough. Low bitterness.

In the mouth: Creamy, smooth, light citrus-y hop bitterness. Quite palatable...."crushable" as they youths are fond of saying, these days. Refreshing, lemon-y flavors grow and grown, and it stays just as quenching all the way through.

Good light, refreshing summer ale that I'm drinking just as summer ends....and you can drink it. (That's how my catch phrase goes, right?)

Summer Crush is a beer we brew just for summer.  It has a pleasant lemon flavor and aroma from using Sorachi Ace hops, which is a defining characteristic of this Japanese hop variety. The malted barley lends a slightly sweet, biscuity backbone. Summer Crush is a sessionable beer and our take on a Shandy without being one. Like a Summer Crush back in the day, or Minnesota's short summer season, this beer won't be around for very long. Enjoy it while you can! Crush it!

Disgruntled Bulletproof American Brown Ale

Disgruntled Bulletproof Dark and Hearty American Brown Ale. 5% ABV, Canned on 7/24. Disgruntled Brewing, Perham, MN. 750 ml crowler.
"Grumpy is Good."

In the eye: Rich brown color, clear(-ish), slim brown head atop.

In the nose: Malt-forward aromatics, nutty, slightly sweet, earthy, rich. Nice.

In the mouth: Smooth and substantial. Bold entry on the palate. Judicious bitterness meets malty sweetness well. Medium/full-ish body, consummate drinkability. A flat-out tasty-as-heck brown ale. I can drink this one all the way down and enjoy it.

This brewery is certainly getting it's due of late, mostly due to IPA's and big, barrel-aged stouts and such, as is often the case. They should be famous, as well, for making solid examples of standard styles.

Toppling Goliath Supa' Sumo Double IPA

And here we have the first bottle of Toppling Goliath beer that I purchased from Toppling Goliath in Deborah, Iowa. Picked up at the on Sunday, September 3. I could have looked for one locally, but I was there, and so was the beer.

Supa' Sumo Double India Pale Ale. 8% ABV. 100 IBU.

Hazy, just the way the kids like 'em these days, and a dullish gold hue, with a slim white head.

In the nose: soft, lightly bitter, tropical fruit notes, slight citrus, touch of pine. I'm getting the feeling that this is yet another entrant in the NE IPA sweepstakes. Time to drink...

In the mouth: Here's the bitterness from the start, there's the fruit and the hops and the delicious malty flavors. Terrific smack of hops, wonderful dryness, dee-licious. yeah, I can drink it, and enjoy it all the way. Nice. Good and nice. Tons of tropical and citrus fruitiness, while sticking on the dry side. Loving it.

This double India Pale Ale is a hazy triumph made possible by the combination of Mosaic and Citra hops giving it pineapple and orange flavors that will smash into your tastebuds. 

Ah, Citra & Mosaic, the classic, unbeatable dup, they never fail.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Oliphant Crom! Pale Ale with Zythos Hops

Oliphant Crom! Pale ale with Zythos. 6% ABV. Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, WI.

Hazy, amber/golden color, slim white head, leaving lace.

In the nose: Citrus hops notes take a back seat to a taste of the tropical. Low bitterness.

In the mouth: Crisp, smooth and refreshing. Medium body, with an herbal hop character on the palate. Earthy, grassy, citrus notes add to complexity.  A different take on a pale ale, with a bit of a rare hop. I've heard of Zythos, had it in a few ales, but haven't come across it too often.

As every fan of pulp literature knows, Crom! is the
deity worshipped by Conan in the works of
Robert E. Howard. And probably Conan
O'Brien, too, as I'm sure Jeremy has researched.
He wouldn't just make that up.
By Crom, I enjoyed draining the contents of this crowler!

Inbound Chocolate Belgian Quad

Inbound Chocolate Belgian Quad. "A malty rich ale brewed with milk chocolate." 10.2% ABV, 25 IBUs. Bottle #178. Inbound BrewCo., Mpls, MN.

Solid blackness, sim brownish ring above.

In the nose: Chocolate is strong in this one. Deep, dark, rich, redolent.

In the mouth: Big cocoa. So nice. Thick, rich, delicious. Not getting the Belgian quadruple character yet, but I don't even care. I'm sure it will appear soon. The alcoholic strength of a Belgian quad is coming through, if not the exact flavors. Little bit, little bit. The flavors that are here are real and true. Heavy chocolate flavors, held aloft by the heft of the Belgian quadruple at the base. Very nice.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn Double India Pale Ale

Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn Double IPA. Pipeworks Brewing, Chicago, IL. 8 % ABV.

Lightly hazed, bright golden hued, vast, lush white head, looking great.

In the nose: Brash, bold, fresh citrus-y aromatics. Beautiful.

In the mouth: More of that, and more. Bright and wonderfully bitter. Medium body, yeast-y, malty texture. Great play on the palate. Thoroughly enjoyable. World class double IPA, all the way. Abundantly excellent, I'll go through the whole cart of superlatives before I get tired. That good.

Ninja vs. Unicorn celebrates the epic battle between two of the biggest hop-heads of lore. Brewed with over five pounds of hops per barrel, this unfiltered double IPA is sure to please the most discerning hop lover.

ABV: 9.0%

Malts: 2-row, munich, special roast, white wheat, acidulated malt

Hops:  CTZ, centennial, falconner's flight, zythos, cascade, chinook, falconner's 7Cs, simcoe


Adjuncts: dextrose

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Lakes & Legends St. Gail Raspberry Braggot

Lakes & Legends St. Gail Raspberry Braggot. 7.2% ABV. 4 IBU. Lakes & Legends, Minneapolis, MN.

Haze-ish, ruby-red-like, raspberry-type look, slim, whitish head. 

In the nose: Some sweetness, some fruit. There's a whiff of funk, along with the fruit. 

In the mouth: Raspberry flavor is here, and some honey sweetness. And something off. Not much, but  it doesn't help me forget the off-flavors found in the other bottles I've tried. If you didn't know that they could be there, it's easy to shrug them off. The problem is that their very possibility is lurking below every sip. And it is real. 

Further into the glass, the raspberry flavor is on top, the honey taste is here, but I can't escape the shadow of the plastic feel I got from the witbier. It's faint, but I can feel it.

This one needs some fixing, I'm sorry to say.

Don’t be fooled by this beer’s pink lemonade looks – this love triangle between raspberries, honey, and Belgian ale may seem sweet on the surface, but at 7.2% it’s seemingly innocent smile is actually a subtle sin grin.

Shiner Ruby Redbird

Here at the Bitter Nib, we drink all the beers. Not just the hot, flashy, sexy ones, not just the whales, not merely old reliables and trusted favorites. If a beer comes our way, we drink it, and more often than not, report on it and share that with you. That's why I opened this bottle instead of something I was sure that I would enjoy.

Shiner Ruby Redbird. Beer brewed with Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice and with Natural and Ginger Flavors Added. 4.01% alc. by vol. Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, TX. "For best results, serve ice cold." On the bottle cap: "A tart & delightful beer."

Clear, light amber color, slim white, soon gone.

In the nose: Yeah, that's grapefruit. And ginger, too. Whole lot of ginger.

In the mouth: Tart at first, then some bitterness, more grapefruit and a large payload of ginger. Thin, light, fairly drinkable, but not especially pleasurable. To some, perhaps, not to me. Tastes like a shandy, and there's very little beer here. You might be the type who enjoys this sort of thing, but if you are, you can't be a regular reader. Perhaps you might try some of the other beers I recommend here in the Nib. This one is best forgotten.

Urban Growler Cowbell Cream Ale

Urban Growler Cowbell Cream Ale, Urban Growler Brewing Company, St. Paul, MN. "We're Beer For You." TM.

Clear, bright golden color, slim white head.

In the nose: clean, soft, mild, lightly sweet.

In the mouth: More of the above. A little citric fruit flavor, minor hop bitterness. Light-bodied, extreme drinkability. There's that creaminess, and whole lot of smooth. Untroubling, refreshing, tasty.
Cream ales aren't really my thing, but if they're yours, by all means.

Here's how they talk it up on the website: A "transitional beer" that may just lure the American light lager fans into the world of craft beer. Our cream ale is light gold in color and low in bitterness; the specialty malt and flaked maize add complexity to this smooth thirst quencher. This is a “lawnmower beer” that will leave you wanting more – no worries, just yell “I need more CowBell!”

And from the can: "Gold in color and low in bitterness, the specialty malt and flaked maize craft a subtle complexity for this crowd pleaser."

Friday, September 1, 2017

Toppling Goliath Hopsmack Double India Pale Ale

Toppling Goliath Hopsack Double IPA. Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, Deborah, IA.

Thoroughly hazed, bright orange color, slim, staying white head above.

In the nose: Pithy and pungent. Big citrus, intense bitterness. Nice 'n' dry.

In the mouth: Bursts with lemon, lime, grapefruit. Smacks, naturally, of bitter and citrus. Medium bodied, with a long, hoppy finish on it. Juicy stuff, just like they like them these days. Hazy and juicy and boozy. I like this one quite a bit. (I didn't like paying $12 for it, but that's how it goes.)

HOPSMACK!

Double India Pale Ale – 8.0% ABV, 100 IBUs 

First in the series, HOPSMACK! inspired us to launch the TG Hop Patrol Series “palate rescue mission”. Giant aromas of pineapple and tropical fruit jump from this enticingly complex double IPA. True to its name, this brew delivers a heavy smack of dry hops and a double dose of bitterness in the finish.

Oliphant Snail Down Saison

Oliphant Snail Down, Hoppy Saison, with Warrior, Wakatu, & Citra. 4.9% all./vol.  Somerset, WI.

Clear, pale yellow coloring, slim white head.

In the nose: Sweet, citrus-y, fruity, chardonnay softly spicy. I can dig it. Nice.

In the mouth: Light-bodied, lean and easy-drinking. Lemon-y. Slightly spicy. Simple malt character, complex hop component. Quite a lot of tasty going on in this one. Is this the opposite of Bird Up!, I wonder? This one is quite refreshing. Delicious, even.

Town Hall Hoopsteiner Session IPA

Town Hall Hoopsteiner. 4.3% ABV. Minneapolis
Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN.

In the eye: Clear, bright golden color, slim, but sturdy and staying white head.

In the nose: Beautiful, bold citrus aroma with tropical traces. Juicy, sweet, mild bitterness.

In the mouth: Here's where the bitter comes in, bracing and astringent. Fierce citrus and pine. It's just what I like in an IPA. Lower alcohol, light body, but never-ending hop flavors.

This is great little IPA, gives me what I want in a neat little package, for easy consumption. Good IPA and you can drink it, that's what I mean. This mini growler will be empty in no time.

Session IPA hopped with Eureka! and Denali.

Lakes & Legends Marigold

Lakes & Legends Marigold Belgian Golden Strong Ale. Lakes & Legends Brewing, Minneapolis, MN. 7.7% ABV, 25 IBU.

Clear, bright golden coloring, slim, lasting white head above.

In the nose: Belgian funk prevails. Very strong Belgian yeast character that veers dangerously close to that band-aid-y phenolic funk mess that I detected in the last L &  L bottle I tried. This slight flaw disappears quickly, and what we have left is the bubblegum, the slight spice, the fruity funk and wonderfully weird world of the Belgian strong golden ale that this brew is attempting to impersonate. And it's doing a fairly good job.

I like this. It ain't bad.

Official notes: A beer to savor, this beer’s apple-like smell combined with its easy drinkability belie the higher alcohol content. Soothe your mind and warm your nights with this signature Belgian ale.

Deux Amis: Brasserie Dupont / The Lost Abbey Collaboration Saison

Deus Amis, "Two Friends", collaboration between California's The Lost Abbey and Belgium's Brasserie Dupont.

A little bit ago, I had a friend over for some beers, and what would be a more appropriate ale to share than this one. Because I had company, my notes were very different. If I'm with someone, whether just one on one or in a group, I tend to avoid taking notes, or if I do, they're don't tend to be complete sentences. I jotted things down while conversing and I will share those notes with you, though they wouldn't be the same if I'd been bereft of company. And so what. You'll get the gist, which is: you. go. drink this, too, with your friend. Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself...

So, it's an Ameircan/Belgian Saison Ale, bottle conditioned, unfiltered, brewed and bottled by brss. Support , Tourpes, Belgium, Product of Belgium, A collaboration of the Lost Abbey Brewery and Brasserie Dupont. The images of Tomme Arthur and Olivier Dedecker grace the top of the label, logos of both breweries flank the side. And there's a whole lot of verbiage on the back that I will not type out for you.

Hazy, straw yellow, great fluffy white head.

There's the funk, the barnyard, the horse blanket, ah, flat-out ah.....

In the mouth: Sunny, citrus-y, lushly malty, lovely hoppiness, tantalizing the tongue, absolutely delicious. Scratch that. Gorgeous. Funky, fresh, beautiful.

This was one of the very best beers I've had lately.
 Here's a little more info I found online: French for “Two Friends,” Deux Amis brings together two esteemed brewers who have long admired each other’s work – Olivier Dedeycker, the fourth generation Brew Master of world-renowned Dupont Brewery and four time GABF Brewer of the Year,Tomme Arthur of California’s Lost Abbey Brewery. Deux Amis has the trademark flavor of Dupont’s signature peppery yeast accentuated with vibrant notes of tropical fruit all balanced by aromatic hints of clove and pine. It makes the perfect companion to spicy cuisines, stir-fries, fresh fish and bright, citrus-y marinades. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Half Acre / Short's Freedom of '78 IPA

Half Acre Brewing / Short's Brew Collaboration Freedom of '78. Brewed and Canned by Half Acre Brewing, Chicago, IL. Pure Guava India Pale Ale.

Lightly hazed, bright golden  lasting white head.

In the nose: Fruity aromatics, big citrus and sweet tropical, low bitterness. Kinda nice.

In the mouth: Juicy/fruity at first. Little bit sweet, with minor hop bitterness. After pouring this can, the fact that it is brewed with guava completely left my mind, unless I started drinking. Guava's all over this. A little bit of apricot/tangerine in here, too. Below it all, some of the alpha acids are peeking through, just enough to make it an IPA, not an APA. The guava flavor seems to tamp down, just a bit, but it's juicy all the way through. Very nice.

Pure Guava India Pale Ale. A true juicer, brewed in collaboration with Short's Brewing Company. Gallons of guava puree turn this IPA into a true hoser. Check for it around fireworks season. 7% ABV

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cosmos Brewing Planet XPA

Cosmos Brewing, Hugo, MN. At last, I have a sample of Cosmos. I had some brought in at work, but it was one of those things were they cracked open a growler, and you had to drink it with them. I've seen their cans and bottles on sale, but haven't taken the plunge to spend my own money on their beers just yet, not being a fan of what I'd had before. At last, a new sample man came around with cans, and now I drink the XPA, they call it, the Planet XPA. Let's drink....

In the eye: Clear-ish, copper-y coloring, slim white head. Looking alright for the style.

In the nose: ah, yes. There's plenty of citric hop notes here. Grapefruit, lemon, pine, and plenty of malt. Lovely.

In the mouth: Mmm. Juicy, hoppy, just enough malts, and very tasty. Light bodied, lean, clean, delicious. Nice and hoppy. You know what? This one is good. I like it. And I like to like a pale ale. I like to drink a good one, and I love to recommend them. Guess what I'm doing with this one? Drinking it and recommending it. Go drink it, people, it's a fine one.

Let's read some copy from the label: "Where did we come from?" You've discovered the real Planet-X! Don't be mistaken, this Aleien planet is not Nibeeru. XPA is the first step on your journey through the Cosmos. Explore these suds with your buds. {Editorial: GACK!} Then: SAVE SPACE FOR BEER! And then: "A heavily Citra hopped pale ale with balanced malt character and a floral citrus aroma. Oats provide a frothy head and a full mouth feel." Brewed by Cosmos Brewing, Hugo, MN, 55038. www.cosmosbrewing.com.

Pale Ale, 6.6% by Vol. 50 IBU.

As I said before, this one is good. Hope the rest are. Let's find out, a little bit later.

Modist False Pattern American Pale Ale

Modist False Pattern American Pale Ale. 5.5% ABV. Modist Brewing, Minneapolis, MN.

Highly clouded, very light yellow coloration, slim white head atop.

In the nose: Big lemon, huge citrus, traces of tropical. Trickles of pine. All kinds of nice.

In the mouth: Boom, there it is again, plenty of citric hop character, lots of bright hop character. Mouthfeel is smooth, clean, lovely. Oat malt flavor is coming through in this pale ale, and I really like it. Here is a good beer that you, I can surely state, can drink. Tasty stuff, thirst quenching, sessionable, utterly likable. Friendly and fun.

There's a lot of writing on this can that I can't read. Wait, let me get my glasses...Here's something I found: "A soft, hazy pale ale brewed with a grip of oats and juicy hops." A grip? What's a grip? More than a grab? Or less? No matter, it's a tasty beer that you can drink down with ease.

This is the replacement for Toats, due to someone thinking the name was too close to theirs, although it wasn't. Well, it seems like they found the right name, and I hope it sticks. This good beer that you can drink is one that I will return to again and again, and so should you.

Oliphant Smoked Wheat Erry Day

Smoked Wheat Erryday. Smoked hefe weizen with pineapple. 4.9% ABV. Oliphant Brewing, Somerset, WI.

Clear, amber hue, small white head.

In the nose: Getting the hefe yeast notes, the banana and the touch of clove, with the smoke coming on. Smoked malt, getting smokier. Nice.

In the mouth: There's the smoke, there's the wheat, but...what? Pineapple? Huh. Yeah, that's here, too. Smoked banana and pineapple, too. Light bodied, easy drinker. Plenty of interesting, while still palatable flavors. Why not make a smoked wheat, why not call it Smoked Wheat Erry Day (because, you know, Snoop Dogg, right?), and then pineapple? Got to be something else there. You tell me. I meant it, you tell, 'cause I don't know.

Who cares, it works.

Broken Clock Stand Up Stout Sweet Stout

Broken Clock Cooperative Stand-Up Stout. Last of the samples. 5.6% ABV.

Fully black, rich brown, creamy head on top.

In the nose: malty sweet, dusted with cocoa, nice and roasty. Very nice.

In the mouth: Slight sweetness here, too, cocoa and coffee in the flavor. Medium bodied, easy-drinking, light finish. Tasty, smooth, and sessionable. I like this. Good sweet stout, and you can drink it.

This sweet stout has notes of caramel, chocolate, coffee, toffee and wild berries; lightly hopped with East Kent Golding hops and has a slightly smoky finish. Inspired by Will Hubbard #3 *contains lactose 

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier Bavarian Style

A few years back, I admitted my shame that I hadn't posted any reviews from this, the world's oldest brewery, the State Brewery of Bavaria, in good ol' Freising, Deutschland. Weihenstephaner. Say it with me: Vey-hen-steph-ahn-ur. Now, fast: Veinstephahner. So, I sat down with a bottle of the Korbinian Doppelbock, and then the Vitus, to redress this great wrong.

But, in the intervening 3 1/2 years, I plumb forgot to return to their biggest hit of the bunch, the Bavarian Hefe Weisse. I procured a bottle, and lo, and behold, I took notes on it way back in March of 2003. Here's what I said then:

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier Bavarian Style. 5.6% ABV. Premium Bavaricum.

Hazy gold/pale orange in appearance, pouring an enormous, bilious white head.

Aroma is shockingly fresh, floral, citrus, lemon, orange, lively, and lovely.

Light and playful upon the tongue, brief finish, light body, slight texture.

No lemon required, unless you're a certified lily-gilder. Refreshing as a beer can be!

It's still true, all of it. Especially about the lemon. Folks, leave the fruit bits out of your beers. Just....just don't do it.

Town Hall Combustion Junction

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery Combustion Junction Smoked Porter.

In the eye: solid blackness in this, with a rich, brown head atop, settling into a slim ring.

In the nose: Coffee, chocolate, smoke. Sweet, dark, delightful.

In the mouth: Full-bodied, rich and tasty, densely textured. Big chocolate malt meets robust smoke, with a little bit of heat. Here's a beer I can truly dig. This mini-growler is empty in no time at all.

A re-brew of Travis Lott's best in show Smoked Porter recipe from the 2016 Byggvir's Big Beer Cup at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. 7.9% ABV. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Disgruntled Guvnor English Amber Ale

Disgruntled Brewing Guvnor, A malt forward English Amber Ale. 5.6% ABV. Canned on 7/17.

My first crowler from Disgruntled, purchased at South Lyndale Liquors last Thursday. I was alerted to their presence there earlier last week, and told that there were only a few left. The hot ones, the IPAs and such were, in fact, sold out, and only the "boring ones", the browns, the pales, the amber, were left. But, you know, even boring beer can be good beer, when it's good.

In the eye: Clear, rich copper-y/amber hue, off-white head. Looking nice.

In the nose: Clean, malty, nutty, earthy. Just enough hops, just enough sweet.

In the mouth: Easy going as they get. Clean and malty, excellent balance and utterly smooth. This is the beer that I was told was their top seller when I first visited the brewery back last year, which caused some consternation to the brewer. He hated making it, he said. Well, if your clientele is tossing this back, and not complaining because isn't Miller Lite, you're doing something right. That was last year, this year they've successfully conquered the beer geek crowd. I haven't been able to return and am sufficiently jealous of those who make it up there for the big beer releases. I can't imagine when I'll be in Perham next, so I'll have to keep hitting the store and hope luck is with me.

I'm still drinking this big ol' crowler and more flavors are developing in the mouth, hops are getting bolder, citrus is shining. Remains on the sweet side, but hops are keeping it from going overboard. This is an overall excellent amber ale, and I recommend it highly.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Boom Island Bolleke Plus

Boom Island Bolleke Plus Belgian Double Pale Oak Aged. 7.2% by vol. Boom Island Brewing, Mpls., MN. Breaking the Boundaries Series #2. (#1 was the Belgian Strong Golden, which I had on tap at Acadia, but did not take notes on. I'm sure there are more bottles around somewhere.)

Clear, rosy-hued, magenta-isa, slim head atop.

In the nose: Dark fruit, stone fruit, raisins, and plums, a little tart and funky, with a mess of sweet. And there's the oak, matching the malt. Very nice.

In the mouth: Sweet malt meets sour, right off the bat. Dark fruit gets sour with a quickness. Light/medium body. Caramel malt flavor stays on top, mixing well with the oak-aging, and the richness that ensues. This is nice. Not too this, not too that, fruity and funky, and certainly drinkable and delicious. Nice, nice, nice. A very unique offering to this particular market. More power to 'em.

See that link up at the top? Click on it to read the post where Kevin describes in detail the origin of this beer. Here's how the label reads: This beer is the brainchild of a special collaboration with Mouterij Dingemans, Hopsteiner, and Cargill Specialty Malt for the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference. We started with our traditional Belgian pale recipe, then took it up a couple of degrees. Next, it was oak-aged for 8 weeks. Finally, we dry-hopped it with an Experimental variety #09326 from Hopsteiner. The result is an amped up Belgian Pale with a citrusy and fruity nose and hints of French oak.  Grain bill: Pale, Biscuit, Aromatic and Caramel malts, Hops: Bravo, Exp. #09326, IBU: 23.4

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Dogfish Head Brewery of Delaware.

I love these guys, and I'm so glad they're back in our market. I buy them in the stores when I know it's a beer that hasn't appeared here on the nib, yet. And if I get a new one in kegs at Acadia, I tend not to take notes from on tap at the pub. So, no Beer For Breakfast or Siracusa Nera, until I find bottles. And then, we got a keg of 120 minute IPA. I don't remember even asking for it, it just showed up. That's always nice, when you are found deserving. And so, 120 Minute IPA. Tapped last Sunday, and going so fast, that I had to take a pic, and not take notes, for I'd reviewed it from a bottle way back in ....November, 2003? Almost 14 years ago? Yes, for DFH had been here, and departed, and I traded for bottles back then.

So, instead of writing new notes on this beer from on tap at Acadia, I quick took a photo of the one I had this evening, and will share with you my notes from a bottle from back then, and I believe they are better than what I could scribbled down while sitting on a bar stool:

120 Minute IPA. 

Gorgeous bright ruby red color, very sizable, bubblingly creamy head...
Aroma...massive, intense, huge, towering, flowering, flowing over in the air, in the senses, in the soul, ...big, fat fruit, grapefruit, peach, apricot, mango, more...and not too bitter, surprisingly pleasant...
...and, to taste...Oh, my goo'niss! Ah, ah, ah!!!
INCREDIBLE occurence on the palate, prodigious, amazing, and highly flavorful...floods and gushes, uplifts, elevates, urges pleasure at the very instance lip meets cup and ale enters body...full-bodied to say the least, with a long, tantalizing finish, and additional candyish notes that linger on and on...
An IPA that lays me low, knocks me down a notch, and leaves me no recourse but to bow down and let it wash over...every subsequent taste provides further onslaughts of flavor...oh, yum, yummy, McYum-Yums...
During consumption of this ale, I had no idea of the ABV, for it's been carelessly omitted from the label...20%!?!?! ...hot damn!
Sticky, fruity, gummy, sweet, this surely transcends the boundaries of the India Pale Ale, and feels closer to a barleywine, or even a mead or brackett...but whatever the Hell it is, I love it!

Yeah, I think that one covers it. The current version is labeled as 16.5% ABV, not the 20% I talked of above, but who's to quibble. It's incredible, and it's dangerous. Don't ask, I just don't want to talk about it.....

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lakes & Legends Great Wit North

Lakes & Legends Brewing Company Great Wit North, Belgian Wit Brewed with Orange and Coriander. Brewed in Minnesota. 5.6% ABV. 23 IBU.

In the eye: Clear, bright golden color, sizable ivory head, lasting long.

In the nose: Sweet and fruity at first, a little spice, and a whiff of something unpleasant. Plastic-y phenols emerge, a touch of the bandaid. Not big, but there all the same. Further in, it's harder to detect, but it was there.

In the mouth: Fruit, spice, wheat, and those off-flavors are back. This style of beer should be clean, light-bodied, and ultra-consumable, with just enough orange and spice to keep it fun and refreshing. This one misses the mark, and is a bit heavier in the mouthfeel than we'd like. Also, the threat of those off-putting off flavors are still lurking about.

I've been to the taproom several times in the nearly two years since L & L set up shop near Loring Park. (I've checked in on Untappd on 3 separate occasions, but have probably stopped in once or twice more than that.) I've never encountered a bad beer while there, though I've heard stories from those who have. I thought they'd get the kinks out before sending bottles to market. The flaws are mostly masked as we continue through the bottle, but that I noticed them right away is troublesome.

I'm finishing this one, but it's not leaving me happy. A good wit does the things described above and leaves the drinker fairly contented. Draining the glass, the missed marks are less evident, but the memory of them remains. This a beer that could definitely be better.

Oliphant Bird Up! Saison with turmeric & lemongrass

Oliphant Bird Up! Saison brewed with turmeric and lemongrass. 5.3% ABV. Canned on 6/16/17, purchased at Liquor Depot, next to Oliphant, 7/23/17.

Clear, bright golden, slim head.

In the nose: nicely spicy, citrus hoppiness, yeast. Very nice.

In the mouth: Smooth and easy-breezy, hops tingle the tongue, yeast delivers deliciousness, spices pounce the palate. Light-bodied, good drinker. Just a fine ol' saison, and you can drink it.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Town Hall Chinook SMASH

Town Hall Chinook SMASH pale ale. 5.3% ABV.

Clear, amber-hued, prodigious gathering of bright white foam above.

In the nose: Big malt juiciness comes out first, followed by bitter hop melange.

In the mouth: Citrus-y hops maintain a dry presence on the palate. Malty mouthfeel, medium body, tasty, and quenchable. Hop bitterness never quits, malt flavor keeps it real. Single malt, single hop, delivering a tasty ale. Quite nice, and a mini-growler consumed with the greatest of ease.

The Town Hall website was no help (in fact, had no information about any beers), but I pulled this off of Untappd: Unfiltered American Pale Ale brewed with Golden Promise pale malt and Chinook hops.