I’m feeling a bit under the weather today but I stumbled across this great interview that made me feel a bit better.
I’ve brewed a whole lot so far this year and I have done something that I have never done before; brew a lager. I’m three lagers deep currently with plans for one more before my basement starts warming up to above lager temperatures. Other than lagers I have been wanted to try brewing a sour beer for some time. I know that it is a time consuming process that can take years and blending different versions of the beer and all of that, but I still want to do it. My current problem is that I don’t have the fermenter space for it and I would need to dedicate one to just funky beers from now on.
My buddy Mike has been wanted to do a sour for some time as well so I think we are going to brew together at some point and pump one out. He sent me a text today talking about aging in a wine barrel. Since we don’t have the combined capacity to brew that much beer I suggested taking the oak chips that he uses in his wine making and dumping them into our future sour. Now we just need to plan out the beer and decide on what we want to brew. Has anyone out there brewed a sour before and/or do they have any suggestions or resources on brewing sour beers?
I received this beer as a Christmas present from my in-laws. I’ve been meaning to get some beers from The Bruery of Placentia, CA for some time, but something else always caught my eye first. I really like the style that this brewery bring to its bottles. Everything is clean and classic looking but has a sense of sophistication to it. According to the bottle, Mischief is a “Belgian style ale, golden and hoppy.” It also comes in at 8.5% which means this one is a sipper. From a marketing prospective, Mischief is a great name for a beer. If you have been reading this blog for any period of time you will know that I am a sucker for good marketing, and this beer has all of its bases covered in that department.
Mischief pours a nice golden color and has a soapy white head. This beer is naturally carbonated in the bottle, and the back label specifically mentions to leave the yeast out of the beer. My first two pours were clear, but the last bit came out hazy thanks to the agitation. The nose is very dry smelling. There are some dull and/or aged hops present along with some Belgian spices. The hops are citrusy, but understated. I also got a bit of a tart aroma that faded into a wet hay smell. Overall I would describe this one as earthy with a kick of hops.
On the first taste I noticed some slight lemon-like sourness that was quickly followed by a nice punch of hops. The hops were grapefruity and ended in a light pine flavor. The Belgian spices came through wonderfully on this beer. They were perfectly balanced and really added some nice depth of flavor to the beer. So often Belgian-style beers are over the top spicy, this one has the perfect touch. This beer is dangerously drinkable. It goes down easy and doesn’t have a single harsh component to it. Everything compliments each other nicely leading to a great balance. I’m going to have to try some more beers from The Bruery as this beer was a treat. Continue reading
I was excited to try my last beer reviewed, but it left me wanted. Perhaps the most interesting beer in the Sam Adams Variety Pack is Whitewater IPA. The bottle says a “wheat ale brewed with apricots and spices.” According to Sam Adam’s website the idea behind this beer was to combine an IPA with a Belgian-style White Ale. Before I dive into this review I want to share a few quick thoughts on the Boston Beer Company with you. For such a big brewery they really seem to embrace the “homebrewer mentality.” They do not seem to be afraid to try something different and out there. While they don’t get the acclaim of a Dogfish Head I really feel like they do a great job of making different beers. They are also 100% American owned, have a beer buyback program, and encourage homebrewers to try new things, which, with all things considered, makes them pretty badass. Maybe I am alone in that feeling as they have grown out of the microbrewery category, but I really respect what they do. Your regularly scheduled beer review continues below.
Whitewater IPA pours a hazy yellow-orange color and have a fluffy white head. The nose is very much that of an IPA. The hops are on the citrus side of the hop world with lots of grapefruit coming through as well. I didn’t get any Belgian odors nor did I find any apricots in there either.
The first sip lead to some very solid hops. This IPA has a fruity character to it. The hop flavor really enhances some of the fruit vibes in this beer. I did get a slight bit of apricot mixed in before the hops hit, but it wasn’t very strong. There is a strange flavor about halfway through a gulp that made my tongue feel slightly numb. I’m not sure if it was the Belgian component to the beer, but it was noticeable enough to make note of. The hops come in right after the strange flavor and do a good job or cleaning up the beer. They are full of citrus with some piney notes at the very end.
This IPA is one of the creamiest IPAs that I have had in awhile. I’m assuming that it comes from the use of wheat malt which can help contribute to mouthfeel. I really liked the balance on this one. The apricots didn’t add anything to the beer, but we can let that slide. I liked this much more than Might Oak Ale, too bad it is only in the variety pack right now. Continue reading
In my last beer review I took a look at Sam Adam’s new spring seasonal. In this review and the next I will look at the other two new beers in their Variety Pack. Boston Beer Company, a.k.a Sam Adams, seemingly puts new beers out all of the time. Might Oak Ale is a new one for them. It was the winner of this year’s Beer Lover’s Choice contest. There are some really good past winners from the contest, most notably Revolutionary Rye Ale and Noble Pils. I’m over the whole “oaking” thing, but I was interested to see what Sam Adams did with this one.
Mighty Oak pours a nice amber color and comes with a thin white head. The nose is very malty with a healthy dose of caramel. I got some slight vanilla in there as well. I didn’t find any hop odors to make note of. I was expected something a bit more earthy smelling, but this one was more of a malt bomb than anything.
The nose carries through to the taste as there is lots of caramel and some vanilla upfront. I again didn’t get any hops to make note of in the flavor world. There was some distant oak flavor, but nothing to write home about. I think they went a little too understated with the oak on this one. This beer is a mainly malt with some hints of complexity, but this isn’t one of my favorite. I’m not sure if this one will stay in a normal rotation for very long. Unlike the two previously mentioned winners, I wouldn’t get this one again. Continue reading