Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Brickway Brewery's Hef

Nebraska beer! Nebraska beer! Nebraska beer! Hef is part of Brickway's 'Session Series', beers that won't knock you out with excessive ABV. This is a good example of the hefeweizen style, beer that is made with at least 50% wheat malt. It pours an apricot yellow with a two-finger white head. There's the characteristic bubble-gummy/banana/clove flavor, with a little bit of lemon peel on the back end. I've long been a fan of hefeweizens in general and this one gets my vote.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Shipyard Pumpkinhead

Just when I think that I've tried all the beers that there are to try (yeah, right!) another untried wonder comes along. I haven't reviewed too many from Shipyard (just one, I think). Pumpkinhead tastes like someone threw a heavily spiced pumpkin pie in the blender and pureed until it liquefied. Not bad if you're not too concerned about the underlying "beeriness", which is hard to discern. Think of a pumpkin-flavored Angry Orchard or Woodchuck and that's what this sort of tastes like (without the apple). If you're merely looking for something pumpkiny with alcohol in it, then you'll be okay; otherwise, you might be disappointed.

Brooklyn Brewery East IPA

I don't often get a chance to sample anything from Brooklyn Brewery, but I had a couple of these after the wedding reception in Poughkeepsie Friday night. East India Pale Ale poured a deep apricot gold with a scanty white head that disappeared fast. It had a bit of an oily consistency to it and seemed to have a fairly high IBU count, but it's only a 47, which is probably about where you want it to be - according to their website, Brooklyn Brewery is not "trying to peel the enamel off your teeth". The hops impart a piney aroma and as the beer reaches room temperature, other flaors, such as peach and maybe some lemongrass and caramel. Overall a very solid IPA

Zipline Nut Brown Ale

Another outstanding offering from one of Nebraska's premier craft breweries. Their nut brown ale is a fine example of a seasonally appropriate brew. Usually we think of Oktoberfests and Pumpkin ales, but brown ales are also a pretty good match for the cool days of Autumn. Zipline nut brown pours a deep mahogany brown with a thick tan head. The subtle aroma of chocolate and roated malt predominates, with some caramel and coffee showing up it warms up. IGB recommends for the rest of the Fall season.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Red Hook "Out of Your Gourd" Pumpkin Porter

Last of the pumpkin ales currently in my fridge, Out of Your Gourd pumpkin porter is a surefire winner. Pours a chocolate brown with a frothy tan one-finger head, this isn't one of those ales where the flavoring overwhelms the beeriness of the beer...if you know what I mean. Solid roasted malt foundation, sweet, but not cloying. Lots of spices floating around but not clamoring for attention: nutmeg, cinnamon, even a little cranberry. If you're a porter guy or gal, if you're a pumpkin ale aficionado, then this gourds for you!

Nebraska Brewing Wick for Brains Pumpkin Ale

From Nebraska Brewing Company in Papillion, here's one that I haven't seen (or tasted) before. As I poured it from the can to the glass it appeared to be the color of orange soda, but as it settled into the glass it took on more of the hue of a hazy copper with an orangey head that disappeared quickly. The pumpkin spiciness is somewhat subdued, but one can detect ginger, a hint of cinnamon, and an even subtler whiff of clove. If you're looking for a pumpkin spice ale that's not going to bunk you on the head like a thrown pumpkin on Halloween, Wick for Brains is your beer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Odell's Oktoberfest

I'd say on an Oktoberfest sacle of 1-10, this would be a 5.5-6. Nothing wrong with it - just doesn't have anything that makes it stand out from the pack of Märzens out there. Perhaps if they hopped it up a little; maybe there's just not that much one can do with a Märzen. I'd drink it again if it was offered to me, but I wouldn't seek it out.