Monday, June 30, 2014

Stiegl Grapefruit Radler

From the Stiegl Brewery in Vienna, Austria, this Radler eschews the traditional lemonade for grapefruit juice. Pretty refreshing and summery but the grapefruit really overwhelms any beeriness. Worth it if for nothing more than the novelty factor.

Big Sky Brewing Pygmy Owl "Itty Bitty IPA"

On the theme of "brewers can call a beer anything that they want to", here we have an IPA that weighs in at 30 IBU's...I'll get into the taste here in a  moment, but I would expect anything called an IPA to have at least 40 IBU's, and that's on the low end. Call it a pale ale and be done with it...but that's marketing for you. And "sessionable" IPA's are this year's fad.

Now that my bitching is done, on to the beer itself. It pours a pale golden color with a two-finger snow-white head. There's some fruitiness evident, in particular pineapple and pear and a very light grapefruity hop profile. Other flavors making an appearance are lemon and orange peel, and maybe a little coriander. Overall, it's not bad, decent enough summer ale, but nothing to write home about.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Modern Monks Monkadelic Pale Ale

Giant sized head that swiftly recedes from five fingers to a meager coating over a brew the hue of amber waves of grain! A hoppy pale ale, with the hops biting playfully on the heels of apricot and lemon tinged flavors released by the magic of top-fermenting yeast! Not a bad addition to your summer grill-outs.

Sam Adams Longshot Winner: American Stout

The third of the Sam Adams Longshot Home Brewing contest winners is billed as an "American Stout". It poured a deep brown, almost black, with one of the "reverse waterfall" four-finger mud-colored heads. Lots of coffee and chocolate notes right up front. As it warms up a little, a suggestion of figs and dates float to the forefront. Very heavy, yet smooth and velvety. Too bad this is a one-off, I'd love a few of these in the Fall & Winter.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sam Adams Longshot Winner: Grätzer

Another beer style that I had previously not heard of. This is a Polish beer style where the malt comes from oak-smoked wheat. Grätzer pours a pineapple-yellow with a scant white head. The smokiness is evident immediately, but is balanced nicely by the wheat and what tastes like a Belgian style Wit. I'm not usually a seeker of smoked beers, but this isn't too bad. I might recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried smoked ales before as an introduction. Nice job on this one!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sam Adams Longshot Contest Winner: Pineapple IPA

Pours a honey gold (dare I say "pineapple"?) hue with a one-finger off-white head. The hops bites right off the bat, a piney variety that balances the pineapple nicely, although the pineapple imparts more sweetness than actual pineapple flavor. Kind of an oily aftertaste on the down side, but some caramel notes on the positive side. I don't think it lives up to its label.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goose Island Endless IPA

Since there isn't any law, like the German Beer Purity Laws, to govern how brewers describe their offerings, you can call a beer anything you want to. With the proliferation of so-called sessionable IPA's, my point is illustrated. 35 IBU's is hardly in the India Pale Ale category in my estimation (there regular IPA clocks in at 55 IBU's) but more like a pale ale. Despite the ambiguity of the name, it's not a bad beer. Crisply refreshing, with a surprising hop bite, with an almost minty character, rather than the more common grapefruit or pine notes. Some citrus: orange and lemon peel. Overall, worth a try, it just doesn't live up to the label.