December 31st, 2014 beckel
Straight from Minneapolis’ newest Brewery; East Lake Brewing. Devil’s Kettle; a Belgian IPA. Poured from a bad ass stainless steel growler, a solid finger of bright white tight bubbles are produced. Color is a very bright orange brown. The nose is lovely with bright citrus from both the hops and Belgian yeast, leaving the nose with a clean refreshing yeast character. Tastes of orange, peach and apricots. Malt character is robust enough to stand on its own, yet plays well with the hops. Stopping the beer from being overly bitter. Belgian yeast persists in the flavor and is very complimentary. Mouthfeel is clean and the beer appears well attenuated. Body is medium. I’ve had the 6 beers currently available from East Lake at their taproom and this one is definitely the stand out so far. Reminiscent of Harriet’s West Side IPA in the very early days when it was more alcoholic and bright. At 92 IBU, this is a well rounded fruity Belgian IPA that I could drink all day (and sort of did yesterday). ABV is pretty standard at 7% and well hidden. I’m excited to see what this small brewery keeps putting out and will definitely be back. They are currently filling growlers if you bring one in, and are also selling bombers of a few beers for your off premise needs. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
January 31st, 2013 beckel
Today I have a beer I have enjoyed on tap but haven’t gotten around to sampling from a bottle yet. Clown Shoes is a newer brewery out of Massachusetts that appears to have been founded at the end of 2010 inspired by the Dogfish Head / Beer Advocate collaboration for the 2010 Extreme Beer Fest which resulted in wrath of the pecant. While a relatively young brewery they appear to have large catalog of brews that I have been enjoying sampling on tap over the past few months they have been in our market. Their beers are contract brewed by Mercury Brewing Company (formerly Ipswich Brewing) out of Ipswich, MA and if their beer names are any inclination they appear to have a lot of fun. This colorfully named Belgian-style IPA is brewed with Columbus, Amarillo and Centennial hops and was bottled 8/2012.
Pours a deep reddish orange hue that is very opaque and slightly hazy looking. Over three fingers of tight off white bubbles are easily created and stay suspended for many minutes eventually subsiding leaving a good deal of lacing along the glass. Smells of apricots, orange peel and grapefruit rounded off with a pleasant bitterness and some delicately spicy Belgian yeast phenols. The flavor is full of light pitted fruit notes. Apricot, orange, grapefruit & mango are most prevalent followed by contrasting malt characters and assertive bitterness in the finish. The combination of Belgian yeast and assertive American hops create an enjoyable earthy (slightly phenolic) yet citrusy flavor throughout. Alcohol is present in the flavor but is quite complimentary, and at 7% ABV it’s not going to hurt anyone. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is slightly chewy and slick yet still very quaffable. The label says this beer is not subtle and that is definitely a fact, particularly when you allow it to warm up a bit. If you’ve been digging the Belgian IPA trend as of the past few years this is definitely one that is worth your time. Overall this brew provides plenty of citrus to keep us hop heads happy, yet contrasts with just the right amount of malt and phenolic belgian notes to give you the best of both worlds. Give it a shot and ride your bike.