Being that March is almost over, I figured that I should put a review of a Märzen up here. Märzen is German for March beer. See you learn something new everyday. This particular brew is made by Gordon Biersch out of San Jose, California. Right off the bat, if you are a fan of subtle, malty lagers, this on is for you.
The beer pours a nice orange amber color and it is perfectly clear. There is a slightly off-white head to goes along with it. The nose was actually pretty full for a lager, as most lagers tend to be kind of stale on the nose. The things I picked up on the nose was malty, bready, and toasty notes. There was a sweetness about the nose that I really enjoyed. A single note of hop could be found towards the end, but I really had to search to find it.
On the first taste the bready notes from the nose overrun the palate. The rest of the malt washes in as well after a few sips. There is a slight hop finish that tasted like Hallertau, which is one of the classic if not the most classic German hop. There is also a slightly honey-like flavor in the beer, which I really enjoyed. There is a very clean finish that leaves a great aftertaste.
Gordon Biersch Märzen comes with a medium body and nice carbonation. The carbonation seemed a bit lower than a normal beer, which really let the malty flavor shine. It is super drinkable and a great beer for March. I really loved every drop of the six pack that I purchased. If you like malty, clean beers that are more complex than the nose would lead you to believe then this is a beer for you. I also have a love of quality German lagers. Call it my German ancestry or my eastern PA roots, but I really love almost any German style of beer. This is one of my new favorites and I am glad that I found it in the season it was supposed to be drank in. Continue reading
I haven’t done any homebrewing in a few months. It may actaully be the the longest stretch I have ever going without brewing since I started. I miss it. I want to do it. I need to decide on a beer to brew. The last time I brewed was the weekend after Thanksgiving where I did a take on a Rouge’s Dead Guy Ale. My buddy Pete came down from Colorado to help in the brewing. That beer finally got bottled yesterday so now I have open fermenters, open space, and a bit of open time to brew.
I have narrowed down my choices to be either an amber, pale ale, or I was also thinking a pilsner. As strange as all of those may sound together, those are the styles of beer that I have been digging recently. I was thinking about an English ale, as I have been on an English ale kick for the past few weeks, but decided against it as I am getting burnt out.
For my next batch(s) I am also not going to be brewing the standard 5 gallon batch, rather I am going to half it and brew more often. I generally don’t like to brew until I am almost out of my previous brew. The simple reasons for that are time and the lack of bottles. While I do have a nice set of new cases from bottling yesterday, I suspect that is going to be gone by the time my next brew is ready to go. I am also going to be a lone wolf (the Hangover anyone?) at the end of next month as my wife and my friends will be going tornado chasing for six weeks. Yeah. Sadly I do not get to join in that experiment as I am not a PhD or Masters student in the Texas Tech Atmospheric Science or Wind Engineering departments. So I need to cut it back on the homebrew so I don’t have cases upon case just sitting around my dog and I. I’ll get an update on what I decide when I decide it and as always I’ll post my recipe and brewing plan. Any other ideas on what I should brew.
For some reason I have been in an English beer kick for the past few weeks. Maybe it is because I have been watching a lot of Band of Brothers on HBO recently, but I am really digging the English style ales right now. Unfortunately Lubbock does not offer much in the way of English style ales, however I did find the subject of today’s review, Hobgoblin from the Wychwood Brewery. The Wychwood Brewery is located in Oxfordshire, England and they make about two dozen or so different beers since I last checked.
Hobgoblin pours a dark brown to ruby color and has a thin off-white head that quickly fades into the beer. It is perfectly clear and the head that started with the pour comes in medium sized bubbles. Just like most English ales the malt is showcased on the nose. Toffy and caramel are a few of the highlights, followed by the malt itself. There is also a slight hop smell in there as well.
After tasting the beer, Hobgoblin was exactly what I wanted. Biscuit, malt, nut, and a slight hop bit were all there to be found on the tongue. Sadly my bottle also had a few skunk flavors in there as well, but there did not overpower the beer like some skunk can. I am going to blame Lubbock on the skunk and not the beer itself. There was also some dried fruit in there, mainly grape. The mouthfeel was very thin and the beer was lowly carbonated.
Hobgoblin is very easy to drink and exceptionally dry. When people who have not tried a lot of beers see a “darker” beer the immediately assume that it is thick and high in ABV. This beer is a great example of how assuming things makes an ass of of… well you know the rest of it. It comes in at 5.2% ABV and is almost watery. I found it very easy drinking and a sure thing for anyone who appreciates English ales.
Hobgoblin comes in 500 ml bottles that have a unique design to them. I don’t know about you, but an interesting shaped bottle and almost make be buy a beer without loving the style. Luckily this beer did both for me. If you have a chance to pick it up, I suggest grabbing a bottle or six pack (they sell those too) as you will not be disappointed. And make sure that you are getting it from a place that replaces it’s stock regularly, skunked beer is no good. Continue reading