September 1st, 2009 beckel
Today I have what I hope to be a fun beer from my local Summit Brewing Company out of St. Paul, Minnesota. For a long time I have wanted Summit to continue to step up their game by experimenting further with their brews and they have come close with their Unchained Series. Though the goal of Unchained is not to brew unconventional beers it has a none the less valorous goal of allowing the brewers of Summit the opportunity to brew historic styles that they are interested in and may have not had the opportunity to distribute or brew before. The first beer in the series was crafted by Mike â€œthe Mizâ€ Miziorko who seems to be very passionate about his authentically brewed German Style Kolsch which was made with all imported German ingredients including Pilsner and Kolsch Malts, Hallertau MittelfrÃ¼h Hops and Kolsch Yeast. Surely fitting with Summit’s typical German brewing heritage. This beer pours a light golden hue that is incredibly translucent. A solid three fingers of crisp white head are produced and fade with in a couple of minutes. Smells moderately of Pilsner Malt and a gentle lemon citrus. Flavor is of crisp Pilsner and Kolsch Malts. As one who is not particularly fond of Pilsners I really enjoy how the Kolsch Malts richer flavor balances and contrasts the Pilsner notes almost creating caramel flavors. Malts are moderately sweet and further complimented by the hops which add a nice gentle bit of extra citrus, soft floral notes and a small amount of bitterness in the finish. Though the hops are not particularly dominate I really enjoy the flavors they produces and more importantly the way they contrast the malt profile of this tasty beer. I have enjoyed a number of Kolsch’s I have consumed over the years as I find it to be a very interesting style with a deep history and I must say this is the cleanest I have ever had the opportunity to sample. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp which works dandy with the light body. Though I tend to go with darker, stronger beers this is one solid beverage and with an ABV of 4.7% you can be sure I’ll be drinking this beer all evening.Â I am proud to see Summit continue to brew more beers in distinct styles and can’t wait to see what else they come out with. If you are into light lagers you definitely deserve to try some of this brew, do it for yourself. Further if you are a fan of Summit’s other products and curious about new styles you have no excuse. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
May 22nd, 2009 beckel
On Tuesday I made it over to Acadia Cafe located on Cedar & Riverside in good ole Minneapolis for their 6 Shooters event. For the low price of $10 patrons were presented with six 5 ounce pours of some very delicious India Pale Ales. Though I didn’t really consume these beers in the “proper” order I started with the beer I was most excited to have the opportunity to sample, Victory Wild Devil which weighs in at 6.7% ABV. This beer pours an interesting redish orange hue and unsurprisingly smells almost identical to the Hop Devil who’s wort this beer was fermented from, quite hoppy with a bit of sweet malt that is further balanced by a subtle tart hint from the Brettanomyces used in this special brew. Flavor is again the same as the Hop Devil with just a bit of tartness that adds a nice extra layer to contrast the intense hop profile of this beer. I expected this beer to taste a bit stranger and more sour but the tartness is all around mellow making for a very nicely balanced beer. I hope to find a bottle of this brew sometime in the future to give it a more in depth review than 5 ounces could provide.
Next I sampled our very own Summit IPA that was cask conditioned and dry hopped with Amarillo. As the least heavy beer of the night with a 6.4% ABV it probably should have been my starting point but I doubt any beer could have masked the intense Amarillo notes of this brew. Appearance was an interesting reddish amber that was somewhat hazy. Head was pure white and surprisingly retained for quite some time as this picture was taken a good 15+ minutes after pouring as well as leaving a good amount of lacing. Smells strongly of oranges and something like passion fruit or similar sweet citrus or melon. The same melon like sweet citrus is very present in the flavor and frankly completely dominates the flavor. It was a clean easy to drink brew but I felt the massive flavor from the Amarillo was a bit over the top and one dimensional.
Then came the most balanced but least hoppy brew of the evening, Sprecher IPA. Like Summit Sprecher brews in the English tradition and this brew is a beautiful example of the great beers that it can produce. Color is a reddish amber that is very translucent. Aroma is largely of caramely malt and subtle orange citrus notes with just a hint of alcohol though it rocks a solid 7.5% ABV. Flavor is relatively sweet and of caramelized malt with a wee bit of citrus hops. The more I drank this brew the more the hops became apparent and I started to notice a nice bitterness in the finish. Not nearly as hoppy as I am normally looking for in an IPA but very traditional, well balanced and tasty.
Then from d’Achouffe Brewery out of Belgium we have their very interesting straw colored Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen Belgian IPA Tripel. Aroma is largely of Belgian Yeast and some light malty sweetness. Taste is very similar to other malty Blonde Tripels with the yeast playing a major role in creating herbal notes and malty sweetness as well as candi sugar sweetness that is often associated with the style but with the addition of some nice bitterness and floral hints in the finish. A tasty and unique brew with a whole lot going on and a solid 9% ABV.
Then it was time to enjoy some 16 Grit [review] from our local Surly Brewing and Iniquity IBA [review] from Southern Tier out of New York. You can see my full reviews of these delicious beers by following the above links. Cheers to Acadia for putting on this event and including delicious beers at a reasonable price. Keep up the good work. Now go have a beer ride your bike, safely please.