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Beer Review #247 Fall Summit Ale

I have finally gotten rid of my turkey hangover (to be clear, from food, not booze) and I am back to beer reviews. I asked if anyone was having anything special for Thanksgiving on Facebook, but I never answer the question myself. I had lot’s of homebrew along with today’s beer, Peak Organic Brewing Company’s Fall Summit Ale. I really enjoy POBC for their ability to capture a fresh, clean, and crisp hop nose.

Fall Summit Ale pours a nice orange amber color and has a full white head. It looks like a nice fall beer, the color matches the season. The nose has bunches of bright citrus hops. This beer doesn’t smell IPA hoppy, but the clarity shown by the hops is really nice. The hops really fill the nose and push everything else out of the way. In short, it’s wonderful.

There is a bit of malt up front which is followed by a good toasted, nutty malt flavor. The citrus hops do not stay at bay for long and flood in and wash out everything else. Unlike a lot of beers with a flood of hops, this is a nice transition and just leaves you wanting to take another sip.

I really liked this one. I wouldn’t consider it a fall beer as it doesn’t really have anything to do with season, but it is really enjoyable. Peak continues to live up to its name.

Beer Review #149 Southern Tier Harvest Ale

I’ve had a number of Southern Tier Brewing Company beers in the past, but none have appeared on this site until now. I am constantly surprised by the number of beers that I have had, but have not reviewed for this site yet. In any case, Southern Tier is located in Lakewood, New York and they recently put onĀ  a major addition to their brewery. I expect to be seeing a lot more of their beer in the stores soon.

Their Harvest Ale says clearly on the label, “4 varieties of hops and 2 different malts.” I guess this one isn’t going to be a malty monster full of caramel notes. This fall beer pours a nice light amber color with a fluffy white head. It is crystal clear if that matters to you.

The nose has loads of bright hops in it. They come off as floral and grapefruit. I was shocked at how fresh they smelled. It almost reminded me of a Peak Organic beer. I didn’t get anything other than hops in the aroma arena.The first taste has some nice sweet malt up front. The hops then kick in and take over. The same flavors promised in the aroma are there. Lots of grapefruit flavors flood over the sweet malt. The think that I found really interesting is that the hops don’t bite like a normal hop would. They rather melt into the malt than bite. It was an interesting experience and it really worked well.

This beer is clearly hop forward, but because of the way the hops come in the beer has the impression of being more balanced than it is. The bright hops made this one wonderfully drinkable and made me want more. I think I’m going back to the store to grab another sixer of this beer, I liked it that much. (more…)

Beer Review #70 Stoudts Oktoberfest

First off, Happy Halloween! I know I have been out of the loop for a bit, but I have finally recovered from the shocking loss of the Philadelphia Phillies to the San Fransisco Giants. As it is the last day of October, I thought it appropriate to post about an Oktoberfest. Even though Oktoberfest takes place in September, but who’s keeping track of all of that? Today’s beer comes from Stoudts Brewing Company located in Adamstown, Pa. One thing I love about being back home is that I have been to a lot of the breweries that I drink. In the case of Stoudts, I have been to the brewery, met one of the owners, met one of the brewers, and ate in the restaurant located on the grounds. I also have some glassware from the breweries in the area.

Stoudts Oktoberfest pours an orange color and has a white head the quickly fade. It is totally clear as expected with a lager. The nose is super malty and sweet. There is a slight sulfur smell as well. There are not any hops or heat to be found on the nose. This is not a ccomplicated smelling beer.

As expected, on the first sip I got a lot of malt and caramel sweetness associated with an Oktoberfest style beer. As with the nose, I really didn’t get any hops or heat. I don’t usually expect hops in a beer like this, but I would expect some hints of heat. There was a nice bready aftertaste as well, which if you read this blog often, you know that I love. The only thing I found strange was that it had a slightly metallic flavor to it. It wasn’t awful, but not something that is desired.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. It fits into the style very nicely, minus the metallic flavor. It comes in at 5.0% so it is a little low in the ABV area. If you like this style of beer, you should enjoy Stoudts Oktoberfest. (more…)